Tag Archives: accent

Tom Daley"s Olympic diving partner Peter Waterfield has a "Wayne Rooney" hair transplant

Daley's Olympic diving partner Waterfield has a 'Rooney' hair transplant
Waterfield, 31, says that with his Cockney accent and shaved head, people often mistook him for a thugDecided that a hair transplant was best way to soften his imageHad 4,200
individual hairs moved from the back of his scalp to the front

PUBLISHED:

17:17 GMT, 25 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:00 GMT, 25 January 2013

He wowed us all with his spectacular dives alongside Tom Daley at the Olympics and is the most successful diver in British Olympic history.

Yet despite his achievements over the last four Olympic games, Peter Waterfield has always had an image problem.

With a strong Cockney accent and a shaven head – done to disguise hair loss which has dogged him since he was teenager – he admits that many people mistook him for a 'thug.'

He badly wanted to soften his image and decided the obvious solution was a hair transplant.

Peter Waterfield (left) and his diving partner Tom Daley at this summer's Olympics

Team GB divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield

Peter (left) with his diving partner Tom Daley. He said he felt his baldness make him 'look like a thug'

Peter, 31, has a strong baldness gene in his family and both his brothers have lost their hair.

The father-of-two said: 'I started going bald when I was 18 which is when I got really serious about diving, although I've been told this had nothing to do with it.

'I had completely lost my hairline and the only way to cover it up was by shaving my head.

'I come from the East End of London and I would find that people could
sometimes be intimidated by my Cockney accent and my shaved head.

'I think some people wrongly got the impression that I was a bit of a thug – which could not be further from the truth.

'I am a loving family man who has dedicated my life to diving and helping others.'

Peter before the treatment. He has a strong family history of hair loss, which began when he was 18

Peter before the treatment. The purple line marks where the hair would be transplanted

Peter after the treatment, which involved moving 4,200 hairs from the back of his head to the top of his scalp to restore his hairline

Peter after the treatment, which involved moving 4,200 hairs from the back of his head to the top of his scalp to restore his hairline

The silver medallist lives in Southampton with his wife Tania, 30, and sons Lewis, 11, and Marshall, four.

He
added: 'I wanted to soften my whole image and make sure that I was a
little more approachable to strangers. The best way to do that was by
having a hair transplant.'

Peter had approximately 4,200 hairs moved from the back of his head to
the top of his scalp to restore his hairline at the Crown Clinic in
Manchester.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Peter had the same Follicle Unit
Extraction procedure as Wayne Rooney – moving 2,500 grafts (some 4,200
individual hairs) from the back of his scalp to the front.

During the procedure last month, around 1,500 grafts were transplanted to his hairline and a further
1,000 were transplanted to bolster his hair at the top of his scalp.

It will take around a year for the full benefits of the procedure to show as the transplanted hair grows back.

There has been 25 per cent rise in the number of men having hair transplants in
the last five years as the technology improves and high-profile stars
such as Wayne Rooney and the Cold Feet actor James Nesbitt have gone public to
show the benefits of the procedures.

Running in the family: Peter has a strong baldness gene in his family and both his brothers have lost their hair

Running in the family: Peter
has a strong baldness gene in his family and both his brothers have lost their hair

The procedure was carried out by hair transplant surgeon Asim Shahmalak.

He has performed similar procedures on a string of
celebrities including Dr Christian Jessen from Embarrassing Bodies and
the model and TV presenter Calum Best.

Dr Shahmalak said: 'There are seven categories of male pattern baldness. Category one indicates no hair loss and seven is total hair loss.

'Peter ranked as a 5A – indicating substantial hair loss due to his family history. Like a lot of the men I have treated, he found that the
transplant significantly boosted his self-esteem.

'He looks and feels a lot younger, too. There is no doubt that a hair transplant can completely transform a man’s life.'

Peter said: 'I am so glad that I had it done – I feel so much more confident now. I am really looking forward to being able to grow my hair for the first time since I was a teenager and present a new image of myself to the world.'

He is now Peter is looking forward to competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 with Tom Daley, despite uncertainty over his funding.

He said: 'We are both really excited about the Commonwealth Games, and hopefully I can also go on and compete at a fifth Olympics in Brazil in 2016.'

THE PAINSTAKING PROCESS OF HAIR TRANSPLANTS

Hair transplantation is the only method that is guaranteed to overcome hair loss and regain hair. Medications can halt hair loss but they will not lead to the regrowth of lost hair.

There types of hair transplant. In both cases, transplantation can be done so well that often a barber or stylist cannot even tell that grafts have been placed. The transplanted hair is permanent and in nearly all cases will stay in place for the rest of the patient’s life.

The most popular and cost-effective method is called Follicular Unit Transplantation – popularly known as ‘strip harvesting’ – where hair follicles are removed in a ‘strip’ of skin from the back or side of the head and moved to the thinning areas at the top of the scalp.

The second technique – and the one Peter Waterfield had – is called Follicular United Extraction. It is more expensive than strip harvesting and is the procedure which was used on Wayne Rooney when he had his transplant in 2011.

The main difference is the hairs follicles are removed and transplanted individually as opposed to in one single strip.

It is more time consuming – and therefore more expensive – than strip harvesting. This method is particularly popular with men who like to keep their hair short because there is virtually no scarring.

In Follicular Unit Extraction, or FUE, individual follicles are extracted directly from the back or side of scalp, usually one at a time.

There will be some minor scarring – which looks like pin pricks – immediately after the operation but this disappears during the healing process which takes approximately 5-7 days after which any redness or slight swelling in the treatment area will have subsided.

FUE generally has a quicker patient recovery time and lower post-operative discomfort than strip harvesting.

Joey Barton should be football"s gay hero – Martin Samuel

Gay hero Surely there's only one man to herald football's watershed moment… step forward Joey Barton

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UPDATED:

09:41 GMT, 5 December 2012

Could just one footballer please come out and be gay, so everybody can be really cool about it and the sport can get on with its life Just one, it’s not much to ask surely

Football is beginning to sound a little desperate with its pleading. Rugby, cricket, they’ve all had their gay watershed moment.

Man of the moment: Joey Barton

Sensitive soul: Joey Barton in his Marseille tracksuit

Man of the moment: Joey Barton is a sensitive soul who adds a French twist to his English words

And until football does, too, it will
continue to be presumed that the sport has not evolved enough to handle
male homosexuality.

(Hope Powell, the manager of England’s women, has been openly gay for years, without comment, yet that does not seem to count.)

The gay pressure group, Stonewall, has called again for football to tackle its ‘culture of fear’, while Anders Lindegaard, the Manchester United goalkeeper, has said that football needs a ‘gay hero’.

So here’s a thought. Joey Barton continues his quest for intellectual and social respectability. Why not come out as gay

Outspoken: Barton has often found himself at the centre of attention

Outspoken: Barton has often found himself at the centre of attention

Instant credibility, instant respect, untouchable by the Football Association or future employers. His past misdeeds mentally reprocessed and explained.

‘Well, of course he put his cigar out in that bloke’s face, Gary. He was a tortured soul, forced to live a lie.’

And imagine the new material. A never-ending treasure trove for Barton’s Twitter feed: Alexander the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, Oscar Wilde, Lady Bunny.

And, let’s face it, with that new accent, he’s probably halfway there.

Watch Barton's hilarious French accent below… and read Martin Samuel's column here

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Joey Barton has TV presenters in stitches with comedy French accent

Game for a laugh! Barton has TV presenters in stitches with comedy French accent

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UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 27 November 2012

The immediate reactions across the
nation would have been mixed.

Stunned silence, head-in-hands, a wry
smile and maybe a few belly laughs.

But not even the professional
broadcasters inside the Sky Sports News studio could hold it together as
they showed footage of Joey Barton's cringing French accent live on
air.

VIDEO: WATCH JOEY BARTON'S HILARIOUS FRENCH ACCENT

DM.has('rcpv1990967346001','BCVideo');

The footage of Barton, who is on loan
at Marseille from QPR, in a press conference became a viral sensation
over the internet on Monday and caused presenter Kirsty Gallacher to
hide behind paper notes on the desk to try and mask her laughing.
Co-presenter Jim White didn't seem to help.

The transfer deadline day favourite
reacted by going into his own French accent which did little to calm the
giggles that had got the better of Gallacher.

White is arguably more convincing
with his take on the accent and using it was keen to point out to Barton
that he is a long way off mastering the French language.

Gaffe: Joey Barton spoke in a French accent at the press conference after his league debut for Marseille

Gaffe: Joey Barton spoke in a French accent at the press conference after his league debut for Marseille

Funny side: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White

Funny side: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White

White said (in a French accent): 'The
thing is Kirsty, is I think Joey thinks by talking like that by going
up at the end of every sentence and doing the shoulder bit he is
actually speaking French. But Joey, you're actually not.'

Barton's accent has already been
compared to Steve McClaren's Dutch accent which was quickly adopted by
the Twente boss shortly after joining the club during his first spell in
charge in 2008, following his dismissal as England boss just months
before.

VIDEO: Kirsty and Jim can't help but have a laugh!

DM.has('rcpv1991400495001','BCVideo');

Links have also been made with 'Allo! 'Allo! character Officer Crabtree.

Barton responded on Twitter soon after his accent video emerged.

The midfielder said: 'Steve MaClaren
(sic) eat your heart out…'In my defence, it is very difficult to do a
press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists. The
alternative is to speak..like a 'Allo Allo!' character which is choose.
Its simply a case of you had to be there. #youstupidwomen!'

Applause: Barton is on loan to the French team from British side QPR

Applause: Barton is on loan to the French team from British side QPR

Oh 'Allo! Barton sounded alarmingly like Officer Crabtree from the hit television series

VIDEO: WATCH STEVE MCCLAREN SPEAK IN A FAUX DUTCH ACCENT

Martin O"Neill told he had "resigned" while watching video of Sunderland losing to West Brom

Double blow for O'Neill who was told he had 'resigned' while re-watching West Brom defeat

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 26 November 2012

Martin O’Neill was still in his office at the club, watching a re-run of Sunderland’s defeat to West Brom, when he discovered he had 'resigned'.

The Sunderland manager was contacted on Saturday night by the club’s press officer Louise Wanless, and then owner Ellis Short, to be told news of his pending departure from the Stadium of Light had hit cyberspace.

'It was a double whammy,' O’Neill said. 'I’d just reached the point when the referee had given the penalty to West Brom so I was cursing twice.'

Oh no! Martin O'Neill heard the perplexing news while watching his team lose on video

Oh no! Martin O'Neill heard the perplexing news while watching his team lose on video

The rumour that O’Neill had offered his resignation was tweeted by his former player Stan Collymore and broadcast as a fact after West Brom’s 4-2 win.

Sunderland, and O’Neill, then had the difficult task of whether to comment fully on a non-story, in the fear that it would give it some credence.

'People tweet now and it runs like wildfire,' said O’Neill. 'It has got to the stage where I just accept it but if you go out of your way to dismiss it then it keeps running.'

O’Neill was in good humour as he sought the best way to deal with the issue three days later. He even quoted The Sundance Kid at one point. 'I wanna fight them,’ he said, without the accent. 'I want to fight 'em, so let’s stay and fight em.'

But there is the serious issue of his future and commitment to the Sunderland cause. O’Neill has been the subject of internet rumours for the last month, not helped by his side’s indifferent start to the season which saw them fell to 16th in the Premier League. He remains defiant and insisted he and owner Short are in it for the long haul.

O’Neill said: 'The owner has said to me this will take some time to get things together here. I don’t intend to do it in 10 years as that would bore the life out of everybody but I intend to do it as quickly as I possibly can.

'I don’t say I know Mr Short fantastically well but we’ve had some very good conversations and he is the one pointing out to me this will take time. He is not expecting anything at the minute and he genuinely wants stability at the football club.

Bad start: Sunderland have been less than impressive this season

Bad start: Sunderland have been less than impressive this season

'In the past it’s the teams who have shown stability who have come through it. It is tough, there is no doubt and like everybody else I would not mind a few more points on the board if we could get them, but I knew it would be tough. I want to do well at the club and more importantly I expect to do well.

'We will look to strengthen the squad. In the course of time I think both of us want to deliver a team that not only would the fans be delighted with but also a side that can compete.

'I spent five years at Wycombe, five years at Celtic and four and a half at Leicester and four years at Aston Villa. I am not sure where the quitting thing comes in.

Dark days: O'Neill admits times are tough at the moment

Dark days: O'Neill admits times are tough at the moment

'It is pretty tough. I have chosen the job, don’t get me wrong, there are as many dark days as rosy ones. You have to get through it and I would expect somewhere along the way my time in the game will stand me in good stead.'

O’Neill has not ruled out captain Lee Cattermole from QPR’s visit to Wearside on Tuesday night but John O’Shea is injured.

Police will advise supporters to set off early for the game after the A19 was shut north and south in Wearside on Monday.

O’Neill visited the Stadium of Light and is confident the pitch, subject to a postponement in the first month of the season, will handle another deluge on the day.

Joey Barton French accent: Video: watch midfielder"s hilarious post match interview

Excusez-moi, Joey After claiming that he's too intelligent for football, Barton makes a Steve McClaren gaffe as he gives an interview in English… with a comedy French accent

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UPDATED:

16:53 GMT, 26 November 2012

Joey Barton says he's too intelligent to be a footballer. So clever he seems to have been learning French by watching 'Allo 'Allo!

The 30-year-old midfielder made his league debut for Marseille yesterday and conducted his post-match press conference in English but in a bizarre French accent.

Barton, on loan at the Ligue 1 joint-leaders from QPR, talked for over a minute following the 1-0 win over Lille in a cringe-worthy display.

VIDEO: WATCH JOEY BARTON'S HILARIOUS FRENCH ACCENT

It was a more than passable
impersonation of 'Allo 'Allo!'s Officer Crabtree and evoked hilarious
memories of former England boss Steve McClaren putting on a Dutch accent
during an interview – in English – at FC Twente.

Barton seemed aware of the comparison between his performance last night and the popular 'Allo 'Allo character – as well as McClaren.

This afternoon Barton tweeted: 'Steve MaClaren (sic) eat your heart out…'

Before adding moments later: 'In my defence, it is very difficult to do a press conference in Scouse for a room full of French journalists. The alternative is to speak…

'..like a 'Allo Allo!' character which is choose. Its simply a case of you had to be there. #youstupidwomen!'

He even came up with a novel name for the language, and said: 'I am christening this new language Bartonese…'

You'll have to watch the video above for full French-accent effects, but Barton said: ‘For me it’s important
that people speak about the qualities I bring as a footballer.'

Gaffe: Joey Barton spoke in a French accent at the press conference after his league debut for Marseille

Gaffe: Joey Barton spoke in a French accent at the press conference after his league debut for Marseille

Seriously Barton made a similar gaffe to former England manager Steve McClaren when he spoke in a faux Dutch accent

Seriously Barton made a similar gaffe to former England manager Steve McClaren when he spoke in a faux Dutch accent

All smiles: Barton joked with the French media in the press conference

All smiles: Barton joked with the French media in the press conference

Before adding: ‘Maybe the one criticism of the French league is, it’s a little bit boring.’

Speaking in France before his league
debut, Barton said: 'Perhaps I shouldn't say it, but I'm maybe a little
too intelligent to be a footballer.'

The claims in a French newspaper attracted derision from former Arsenal and Manchester United player Mikael Silvestre.

On Twitter, he wrote: 'The uneducated Joey Barton is fascinating for the degree of his stupidity, his ego and his megalomania!'

Applause: The QPR loanee clapped the home fans last night

Applause: The QPR loanee clapped the home fans last night

Barton helped his side move level on
points with leaders Paris Saint-Germain, but unsurprisingly was booked
within half-an-hour of kick-off.

The Rangers exile had a lengthy wait
for his first domestic match for the Ligue 1 team, and could only play
in the Europa League while he served his 12-match ban.

But Barton was handed a start at Stade Velodrome in front of the home crowd as Marseille beat Lille 1-0.

Marseille took their time to get a foothold in the game, as Nolan Roux and Marvin Martin went close in the early stages.

But the hosts would have been in
front after 13 minutes if it weren't for a splendid triple save from
Mickael Landreau as he denied Andre Ayew, then Mathieu Valbuena and then
Benoit Cheyrou.

Barton wasted little time in picking
up his first caution in French football, as the QPR midfielder was
booked after 22 minutes for a strong challenge on Florent Balmont.

But the Englishman settled well into the match, and so too did Marseille.

Balmont was red-carded before the break after chopping down Valbuena when the Frenchman was through on Landreau's goal

Debut: Barton made his league debut for Marseille

Debut: Barton made his league debut for Marseille

It went from bad to worse for Eden
Hazard's former club as Lille went a goal down through a Jordan Ayew
header just after half-time.

Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda
was called upon on a number of occasions by the visitors, but proved
himself more than up to the challenge with a couple of competent stops.

Barton, who also had stints with
Manchester City and Newcastle, was inches away from marking his league
debut with a peach of a goal.

The 30-year-old blasted an rasping drive from 25 yards, but it whistled past the stranded Landreau's post.

Marseille joined PSG at the top of
the table on 26 points, having played one game less, but sit in second
place with an inferior goal difference.

Oh 'Allo! Barton sounded alarmingly like Officer Crabtree from the hit television series

Oh 'Allo! Barton sounded alarmingly like Officer Crabtree from the hit television series

VIDEO: WATCH STEVE MCCLAREN SPEAK IN A FAUX DUTCH ACCENT

VIDEO: 'GOOD MOANING!' WATCH OFFICER CRABTREE IN ACTION

Chelsea Mark Clattenburg fiasco: Ron Gourlay should resign – Jonathan McEvoy

The enemies of football are now pariahs of the Premier League… Gourlay should pay with his job for this

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UPDATED:

23:45 GMT, 22 November 2012

For a cabal that has found it easy to spread so much insinuation and so many insults about so many innocent parties, Chelsea cannot bring themselves to utter the one appropriate word.

Sorry was not to be heard in the wind howling down Fulham Road last night. It was as predictable an omission as it was sad.

The FA had found the club’s accusation that referee Mark Clattenburg called John Mikel Obi a ‘monkey’ did not stand up to scrutiny. All logic and instinct had told us that the minute the claim was made on October 28 following Chelsea’s acrimonious defeat by Manchester United.

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded - but they won't say sorry

No evidence: Chelsea's claims about Mark Clattenburg have proved to be unfounded – but they won't say sorry

Sky TV had failed with all 20 of their cameras to pick up the racial slur. The other officials cleared Clattenburg of wrongdoing. Chelsea had a record of intimidation and arrogance.

What is more, Clattenburg speaks with a Geordie accent. Anyone who has spent time in a Newcastle pub will tell you how those tones can be faintly indecipherable to English ears let alone to a Brazilian, namely Ramires, who thought he heard the insult despite the backdrop of a noisy stadium. Ramires’ recollections were translated for the rest of the team by David Luiz, another Brazilian. Mikel, the supposed victim who has good English, did not hear the word monkey spoken.

Despite all this — and after the shameful saga of John Terry, Chelsea’s totem, calling Anton Ferdinand a black **** — the club were going public within hours about Clattenburg’s supposed crime. They also claimed Juan Mata was called a ‘Spanish t***’, an accusation later withdrawn.

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Nasty episode: The John Terry race row with Anton Ferdinand brought shame onto the club

Why did they not keep quiet while they considered if a complaint was worthwhile That is a question for Ron Gourlay, the chief executive. A second question for him is: will you resign after this fiasco
Harsh Hardly. This is a club drunk on its own oxygen and wealth.

Take Rafa Benitez’s unveiling as the ninth manager of Roman Abramovich’s nine-year reign. He is the latest pawn in a billionaire’s game where normal employment rights — like reward for success — do not count because he can afford to override them.

No wonder the men on the pitch and in the boardroom adopt such high-handedness when the boss sets such a rebarbative example.

The litany of modern Chelsea’s bullying of referees is without parallel in British football.

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

Remember him Referee Anders Frisk (second left) was forced into retirement by death threats

The crime sheet goes back as far as February 2005, when the then manager Jose Mourinho accused Anders Frisk of collusion with Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard during Chelsea’s defeat at the Nou Camp that saw Didier Drogba sent off. Chelsea were charged with inappropriate conduct and Mourinho was banned from the touchline. Frisk retired after receiving death threats.

Mourinho was cast as an ‘enemy of football’ by UEFA referees’ committee chairman Volker Roth.
Since then the wrath has been incited not just on the continent but also closer to home. Chelsea have gone from the enemies of European football to the pariahs of the Premier League.

In November 2006, Graham Poll sent off Terry as Chelsea lost to Tottenham for the first time in 16 years. Terry accused the referee of changing his explanation over why he had shown the red card.
The delightful Ashley Cole chimed in, saying Poll had warned Chelsea players he wanted to ‘teach us a lesson’. A fortnight later, Chelsea withdrew the accusation and Terry was fined 10,000.

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Who could forget this Ref Tom Henning Ovrebo was subjected to vile treatment from Chelsea fans

Fast forward to May 2009, when Norwegian Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down four Chelsea penalty appeals. Admittedly, it was a shocking refereeing performance but not as wayward as the reaction of Drogba and Jose Bosingwa, who both turned on Ovrebo at the final whistle. Drogba screamed ‘It’s a f***ing disgrace’ into a television camera. Ovrebo was still being subjected to vile emails from Chelsea fans as late as this spring.

Last October after that infamous game against QPR, Chelsea were fined 20,000 for failing to control their players. Drogba and Bosingwa were dismissed in the first half. Manager Andre Villas-Boas called it a ‘very poor display’ — by the referee, that is, not his players.

The unfortunate referee then was Chris Foy. /11/22/article-2237127-0608100D0000044D-767_634x456.jpg” width=”634″ height=”456″ alt=”Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006″ class=”blkBorder” />

Sound familiar Chelsea retracted claims about comments by Graham Poll back in 2006

So back to Chelsea’s weasel words in response to the FA findings. They said: ‘Chelsea FC has a duty of care, as do all employers, to act responsibly when such allegations are reported by employees.’

It smacked of the usual one-eyed, self-serving nonsense that fails to acknowledge a wider obligation to football itself or the lightly trampled reputation of a blameless referee.

We are Chelsea. We snarl and we smear. Who says we should say sorry

London 2012 Olympics: Tom Cleverley aims for kick-start to Manchester United season

Cleverley hoping Olympics will kick-start strong season with Manchester United

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UPDATED:

11:50 GMT, 3 July 2012


London calling: Team GB's Tom Cleverley

London calling: Team GB's Tom Cleverley

Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley hopes this summer's Olympics can give an early kick-start to his season.

The 22-year-old's first full season in Sir Alex Ferguson's side, having impressed on loan at Wigan the previous campaign, was wrecked by ankle injuries.

And having been called into the England squad for the first time last August but not yet been able to play, Cleverley wants to put himself back in the international frame at London 2012.

'I'm buzzing about it. I cannot wait,' he told the Manchester Evening News.
'It is a great way for me to bounce back after the disappointment of not going to the Euros with England.

'It's a young squad, apart from the older-age players, and after England's Euro 2012 experience a lot of people are talking about putting the accent on youth.

'This is a chance for me to remind people early. They've put trust in us and I want to repay that faith.'

Cleverley added: 'I need to hit the ground running for the new season and this is a great chance for me.

'The manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] was happy for me that I was shortlisted and had no problems about me being in the Olympics if chosen.

'I will miss United's pre-season tour and, ideally, I would have liked to do both.

Ouch: Midfielder Cleverley's last season was blighted by ankle injuries

Ouch: Midfielder Cleverley's last season was blighted by ankle injuries

'But after my injury spell out last season, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick were doing so well I didn't get much game time.

'So I need minutes on the pitch and I feel that playing in high-stake competitive matches like I'll get at the Olympics is right for me.

'I am very excited about it and I just want to have a good tournament. It's a fantastic opportunity and a great boost.'

Euro 2012: England can hurt any team – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

England can do damage to any side, insists bullish Ox ahead of Sweden showdown

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UPDATED:

10:25 GMT, 13 June 2012

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain believes England have the quality to 'damage any team' during Euro 2012 providing they also adhere to the basics of hard work and physically matching their opponents.

Arsenal winger Oxlade-Chamberlain made his first competitive start for his country in England's 1-1 draw with France in Donetsk in their opening match in the tournament on Monday.

New head coach Roy Hodgson's side put the accent on denying France space and closing them down. But Oxlade-Chamberlain is confident England can also cause their opponents problems ahead of Friday's meeting with Sweden in Kiev.

Hard at work: England manager Roy Hodgson (centre) leads training Session in Krakow on Wednesday

Hard at work: England manager Roy Hodgson (centre) leads training Session in Krakow on Wednesday

Training: Wayne Rooney at the Stadion Suche Stawy

Keeping you awake Joleon Lescott at the Stadion Suche Stawy

In training: Wayne Rooney (left) and Joleon Lescott (right) at the Stadion Suche Stawy on Wednesday

Euro 2012 email button

Euro 2012

The 18-year-old said: 'It's been a
good start for us, we can build from here, we can definitely get
stronger, and we showed our quality as well in glimpses.

'Every game in this competition is going to be very hard for us. Teams wouldn't have qualified unless they had the quality in the first place.

'We will approach every game in the same way and we know it is going to be a tough game against Sweden but we've got the quality in our team to do damage to any team on our day.

'As long as we keep approaching these games in the right way, keep our eye on the goal and work hard and match every team we come up against physically, hopefully our attacking prowess can come out.'

Water prospect: England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain relaxing in Poland

Water prospect: England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain relaxing at the team's hotel in Poland

On the charge: Oxlade-Chamberlain made his competitive debut against France

On the charge: Oxlade-Chamberlain made his competitive debut in the draw against France

Oxlade-Chamberlain showed glimpses of his potential against France but is refusing to contemplate the prospect of becoming a regular starter under Hodgson.

Little over a year ago he was playing in
League One for Southampton and has made only six Barclays Premier
League starts for Arsenal.

Oxlade-Chamberlain said: 'It was a massive honour for me to get out there and represent my country in a competition like this.

'It was a nice surprise but one I needed to expect and be ready for when it came.

'But look, I'm only 18. Any chance I get, I'll try and take with two hands. I'm always learning from the boys around me. I'm grateful for any chance I get.

'There are really good players in all positions and there are a lot of competition for places and I'm sure there will be squad rotation.

'We've got the players to do it and there is a lot of physical demands from game to game.

'There is a lot of competition for places and whether I keep my place, is not for me to say.'

Alex McLeish set for crunch talks with Aston Villa

Villa boss McLeish set for crunch talks after fans call for his head at Norwich

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UPDATED:

07:20 GMT, 14 May 2012

Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish will hold talks with club owner Randy Lerner in the next 24 hours which will decide whether he will pay the price for a season of underachievement.

Lerner will fly in from the United States to speak with McLeish along with chief executive Paul Faulkner in the aftermath of Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Norwich, which was described as 'woeful' by the manager.

Sections of fans again called for the former Birmingham boss to be axed as Villa ended the campaign just two points clear of the bottom three.

Take a walk: Aston Villa fans wave their shoes at manager Alex McLeish

Take a walk: Aston Villa fans wave their shoes at manager Alex McLeish

McLeish has had to contend with
slashing the wage bill, which he described as astronomical, and has been
deprived of several key players through injury or illness.

The likes of record signing Darren
Bent, key defender Richard Dunne and skipper Stiliyan Petrov have been
sidelined for lengthy spells and McLeish has had to put the accent on
youth.

McLeish always stressed it would be a
season of transition after replacing Gerard Houllier last summer, but it
was still a surprise that Villa only made sure of survival last
weekend.

Their tally of 38 points in finishing 16th is actually one less than when McLeish was relegated with Birmingham last campaign.

Villa have also encountered their worst season in their history in terms of their home record in registering just four wins.

McLeish maintains he is the right
man to turn things around at Aston Villa – despite the club's own fans
chanting for him to be replaced by rival boss Paul Lambert in
the season-ending 2-0 defeat at Norwich.

But his future now depends on whether
Lerner decides it is time to search for a fourth manager in less than
two years or takes into account the difficult conditions McLeish has
worked under.

Under pressure: McLeish (second left) has struggled at Villa this season

Under pressure: McLeish (second left) has struggled at Villa this season

Martin O'Neill quit in the summer of
2010 and Houllier had to leave Villa last summer on health grounds,
which led to McLeish's controversial appointment after leaving Blues.

First-half goals from Norwich's
leading scorer Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson allowed the hosts, who were
already safe from a last-day relegation scrap, to enjoy a party
atmosphere in the Norfolk sunshine on Saturday.

However,
the several thousand travelling support sent a loud and clear message
they expected much better next season.

Even though there were calls for his
head from the club's own fans, who even chanted Lambert's name during
the match, McLeish insists he can get the Midlands club back on track.

'I am not a quitter,' he said.

'I
can totally understand the fans' frustrations and I am the man who
carries the can for the performances, but it is also frustrating for me
to watch that kind of stuff.

'It is up to me to turn the opinion around and will do my best.

'I have to get a team in that Villa jersey with a winning mentality and I can change the fans' opinion.'

Main man: Grant Holt capped off a fine season with another goal against Villa

Main man: Grant Holt capped off a fine season with another goal against Villa

Main man: Grant Holt capped off a fine season with another goal against Villa

Like
for much of their disappointing campaign, Villa offered little in the
way of attacking threat against the hard-working Canaries.

'That was an unacceptable performance
in Aston Villa colours and I have to change that, and there will be
change,' said McLeish, a somewhat controversial appointment to replace
Gerard Houllier after leaving bitter rivals Birmingham following their
relegation.

'I might not
have had the riches to spend of other managers, but believe I can turn
Aston Villa around by adding quality and players who are going to work
their socks off.'

McLeish remains relaxed ahead of his showdown with the Villa Park hierarchy.

'You can start fearing for your job at any time. That would be really negative,' he said.

'I will go into the meeting as positive as possible.'

At the helm: Norwich boss Paul Lambert has worked wonders this season

At the helm: Norwich boss Paul Lambert has worked wonders this season

Lambert,
meanwhile, has seen his stock rise after masterminding Norwich's
survival with a series of industrious displays by a squad full of
relative unheralded players which secured 12th spot.

The former Celtic midfielder has become a potential target for other clubs, but refused to be drawn on the chants of the Villa supporters – who goaded McLeish he was set to be 'sacked in the morning' before declaring their allegiance to Lambert.

'Aston Villa is not my team. Norwich is and the Norwich fans singing it is greatly appreciated,' said Lambert, who took the club up through successive promotions from npower League One.

'I understand what is happening at Aston Villa and I can see what is happening with the crowd and the manager which is never nice.

'But that is out of my control – my control is Norwich and the Norwich fans have been brilliant for me.'

However, asked if he would still be with the Canaries at the start of next season, the Scot said: 'It is a hard one to answer because I have a contract here and everyone is doing great in their respective jobs.

'I will get this season out of the road and then I will see what happens and think about what is going on and the achievements we have done, and then we will see.'

American Idol"s Hollie Cavanagh supported by Liverpool and Jamie Carragher

American idols Liverpool stars feature across the pond to support Hollie Cavanagh

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UPDATED:

10:23 GMT, 19 April 2012

Since Liverpool have been in US ownership over the past five years, the relationship has for the most part been on UK shores.

But for one night at least the Reds went mainstream on US territory, albeit via a video link, on popular TV programme, American Idol.

The team, led by Jamie Carragher, posted a good luck message to Liverpool born contestant Hollie Cavanagh live on the show on Wednesday night, as she bids to reach the final six in the competition which is the US equivalent of X-Factor.

The 18-year-old moved to the US 10 years ago but remains a dedicated Liverpool fan and was clearly shocked to see the message of support from her Reds heroes.

Hollie aside though, how many US citizens would have managed to decipher Carragher’s strong Scouse accent