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Alfie Mawson wants to become a leader at Swansea

Mawson has had to be patient to show his worth. Credit: Reuters

Swansea new boy Alfie Mawson wants to fill the leadership void left by the summer departure of Ashley Williams.

Mawson was the surprise choice to replace Williams at the Liberty Stadium following the Swansea and Wales captain's move to Everton in August.

The 22-year-old joined from Championship club Barnsley for £5million just before the end of the transfer window and has had to be patient to show his worth.

But after making an impressive debut in the goalless home draw with Watford, Mawson believes he can fill the sizeable shoes of Williams who made over 350 appearances in eight years for Swansea.

Mawson said:

I'd like to have the same impact he had when he came in here. He was a League Two player, but he helped the club rocket up the leagues and played at the Euros in the summer.

Not so much football-wise, but being a leader. That's what some say is missing at this club because Ashley left a big hole in that respect. If I can take on that role I'm happy to do so.

– Swansea defender Alfie Mawson


Barcelona captain Iniesta ruled out for two months

Iniesta is likely to be out for around two months. Credit: PA

Barcelona captain Andres Iniesta is set to be sidelined for up to two months with a knee injury, the Spanish champions have announced.

Iniesta was carried off on a stretcher just 14 minutes into Saturday's La Liga victory over Valencia at the Mestalla after being injured by an Enzo Perez tackle.

Barca coach Luis Enrique said in his post-match press conference that Iniesta was likely to be out for a "long time", and it was subsequently confirmed that the 32-year-old midfielder may not play again until next year.

A Barca statement read: "Andres Iniesta has injured the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee. After an initial diagnosis at the Mestalla stadium, the tests taken in Barcelona have revealed the extent of the injury. The midfielder is expected to be out for between six and eight weeks."

Mourinho admits he must win silverware at Man United

Mourinho knows he must win trophies to live up to the hype. Credit: Reuters

Jose Mourinho admits he will not be considered the 'special one' if he fails to win any trophies with Manchester United.

The Portuguese, who signed a contract tying him to United until 2020 in May after replacing Louis van Gaal, proclaimed himself the 'special one' when he arrived in England for his first stint as Chelsea boss over a decade ago.

Now, speaking ahead of his return to Stamford Bridge as United manager on Sunday, Mourinho concedes that Red Devils fans will not view him as anything out of the ordinary if he is unable to deliver any success to Old Trafford in the next three years.

He told several national newspapers: "Connections start before titles are won but it is success that brings empathy between the supporters and managers and makes that connection become really strong.

"I have a three-year contract here and if I am here for three years the people will know that I have given everything to the club and that I am a professional and dedicated coach who gives himself 24 hours a day to United.

"But if, at the end of the three years, I don't win a single piece of silverware for them, they will say 'great guy, good coach, we like him, but we feel nothing special about him'."

Wenger 'frustrated' by Arsenal display on his birthday

Arsenal couldn't break down Middlesbrough at the Emirates. Credit: Reuters

Arsene Wenger rued Arsenal's unusual lack of creativity as they were held to a goalless draw by Middlesbrough.

The Gunners' boss was celebrating his 67th birthday as they fought for their seventh consecutive league win but an impressive performance from Boro goalkeeper Victor Valdes and a lack of creativity in midfield kept the game goalless.

Speaking about the performance, Wenger said:

I think I have a frustrated face and I am (frustrated). We had a lot of the ball but a lot of the ball in a modern game is not enough to win the game.

I felt that with 75 per cent of the possession, we did not have our usual pace and not enough sharpness in our movement. The first 25 minutes were quite satisfying but Middlesbrough came back in the game with a break.

In the end we could not do enough to win it but at least we were concentrating enough not to lose it. We could have lost the game in the first half, we lacked a bit of creativity.

– Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger


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