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Rafa staying positive

Sir Tokyo Sexwale

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Rafa has refused to concede the Premier League title to Manchester United and called on Arsenal to prove they are better than their recent results suggest. The Liverpool manager is defiantly clinging to the faint hope that United will fail to earn the point they need from their last two games to retain their crown.


Benítez hopes Liverpool will still have something to play for when they take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns on Sunday, but that depends on Arsenal winning tomorrow lunchtime at Old Trafford.


"We have confidence that Arsenal will play a good game," Benítez said: "They have lost their last two and this time you will see a totally different team intent on proving something about themselves. If they do that, hopefully it will give us our chance the following day.


"Whatever happens, I am really pleased that we are in this position at the end of the season. But I am certainly not giving up on the title; we must always be positive. Arsenal will put up a fight, they are a good team with players of quality. And because of the results they have had in the last few games, they have to prove something.


"Arsène Wenger is a winner, and his players are too. You cannot lose in the way they have done in their last few games and not want to try to do their best.



and Carlsberg can feckoff




Carlsberg want their name on the Premier League club's new stadium, but the brewing company say they need assurances about the team's financial strength before extending its long-standing commercial partnership.


Their ties with the club stretch back to 1991, and the current contract, worth £7m per year, expires at the end of the 2009-10 season.


In announcing Carlsberg's intentions the head of sponsorship, Gareth Roberts, indicated his company would be monitoring the club's ability to refinance a loan of around £250m and, more crucially, progress on a new stadium.


The new 60,000-seat venue on the adjacent Stanley Park was due to have been ready by 2011, but the global economic downturn forced the co-owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr, to halt building work last year. Carlsberg, though, are still keen on the new stadium bearing their name.


"That will be part of the discussion I'm sure, but there's been no decisions yet," Roberts said.


Roberts found the off-field tensions between Hicks and Gillett distracting, but last month's show of unity, with the Americans sitting together during the 4-4 draw with Arsenal, was an encouraging sign as negotiations between the parties intensify.


"We need to understand where they are going with the stadium, what is the next step?" Roberts told the Associated Press. "[The ownership situation] is a distraction. The best thing is they seem to have resolved the internal issues and they are going to take the next step. If it's done in the right way and they take the next step then absolutely.


"The ownership issue is also about the stadium and the financial setup. The stadium is a big step of their progression in the future and we want to be part of that."


Naming rights have been on the owners' agenda since they bought the club in 2007, with Gillett saying the windfall could subsidise buying a high-profile player every year.

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