Tag Archives: aftermath

Sergio Aguero apologises for stamp on David Luiz

Aguero apologises to Luiz for two-footed stamp in FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea

By
Laurie Whitwell

PUBLISHED:

21:35 GMT, 16 April 2013

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UPDATED:

00:27 GMT, 17 April 2013

Sergio Aguero has apologised to David Luiz for his two-footed stamp on the Brazilian defender during Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final win over Chelsea.

The Argentine escaped a three-match ban after Chris Foy missed the horror tackle and the FA ruled the incident could not be re-refereed.

Influential: Sergio Aguero played a key role in Manchester City reaching thee FA Cup final

Influential: Sergio Aguero played a key role in Manchester City reaching thee FA Cup final

Luiz had called on Aguero to say
sorry and the striker tweeted: ‘I’ve contacted @DavidLuiz_4 and
apologised for what happened during the match. It was an impulse
reaction that shouldn’t have happened.’

The victim responded: ‘Thank you
@aguerosergiokun for a demonstration of character. We get to know great
man and athletes this way.’

Luiz suffered no serious harm in the
challenge and played on until the end of the match – but in the
aftermath did call on his fellow South American to apologise.

Over the top: But Aguero has apologised to David Luiz

Over the top: But Aguero has apologised to David Luiz

The defender said: 'Aguero is a great player but he needs to be honest with himself and say, “I don't like to do bad tackles”.

'Kids see the game and they want to
see the good things and not the bad – I would apologise. Football is
beautiful, but sometimes in games people have five seconds like that – I
forgive him because I have a good heart. I don't like to beat people.

'Sometimes in a game people have five
seconds when they are angry and do things they don't like to do. I
think it was that. I never saw Aguero do a bad tackle on other players.'

City won 2-1 after goals from Samir Nasri and Aguero when only Demba Ba could score for Chelsea.

Rory McIlroy admits he was wrong to storm off at Honda Classic

It was the wrong thing to do, admits McIlroy after storming off at Honda Classic

By
Derek Lawrenson

PUBLISHED:

00:48 GMT, 5 March 2013

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UPDATED:

01:16 GMT, 5 March 2013

Rory McIlroy had barely made it back to his new home ten miles away on Jupiter Island on that fateful Friday last week when he knew he had done the wrong thing.

As Jack Nicklaus so wisely opined, if only he had thought for five minutes, he wouldn't have done it.

In an interview with American magazine Sports Illustrated last night, McIlroy held up his hand and admitted it was a terrible mistake to walk off the course after eight completed holes of his second round at the Honda Classic.

Backtracking: Rory McIlroy is now saying he was wrong to walk off

Backtracking: Rory McIlroy is now saying he was wrong to walk off

Whatever has been said in the aftermath
during the storm that has become McIl-gate, 'I have probably said to
myself,' he commented.

'It was the wrong thing to do,' added
McIlroy, and with those seven words he did what he's always done on the
few occasions he has made mistakes, and taken full responsibility for
his actions.

World No 1: But the defending champion insisted he wasn't in the right frame of mind to play on

World No 1: But the defending champion insisted he wasn't in the right frame of mind to play on

'It was a reactive decision. What I
should have done is take my drop, chip it on, try to make a five and
play my hardest on the back nine, even if I shot 85,' he said.

'What I
did was not good for the tournament, and not good for the kids and fans
who were watching me.' Mcilroy said at the time he was 'not in a good
place mentally,' and then a statement was issued on his behalf an hour
later blaming a sore wisdom tooth.

Concerning: There had been no signs that McIlroy was about to withdraw

Concerning: There had been no signs that McIlroy was about to withdraw

The latter is an ongoing problem –
his Belfast dentist Mark Conroy has faxed a letter to the PGA Tour
describing the problem – but McIlroy admitted it can be treated with
painkillers and did not constitute the sort of injury that would be a
mitigating reason for walking in.

This, after all, is the man who played
on with a badly strained tendon in his wrist after damaging it while
playing from off a tree root at the 2011 USPGA Championship.

McIlroy will learn from this, like he
always does. He will learn that it is always best to come clean, and not
seek to pull the wool over people's eyes. Here's betting he never walks
off a course again.

Miserable: The Northern Irishman did not appear to be enjoying himself

Miserable: The Northern Irishman did not appear to be enjoying himself

McIlroy breaks four-day Twitter silence

For every complex problem, there is a simple solution. #FTB

Now it's time to work on those damn
swing issues that are far more infuriating than a bad tooth.

McIlroy admitted to suffering teething problems since his switch from Mike. 'The driver and the ball took some time to get used to, but I had weeks at Nike before the start of the year, and I feel comfortable with all the equipment,' he said. 'The problem is, I’m bringing the club too upright on the backswing then dropping it in too much on the downswing.'

The next
time he will be seen in public is tomorrow at Doral and the WGC-Cadillac
Championship.

Caught in the act McIlroy had been pictured eating a sandwich, despite later claiming a tooth ache

Caught in the act McIlroy had been pictured eating a sandwich, despite later claiming a tooth ache

Regret: He has since withdrawn that as an excuse

Regret: He has since withdrawn that as an excuse

McFadden returns to Motherwell until the end of the season

McFadden returns to Motherwell until the end of the season

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

16:00 GMT, 17 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:26 GMT, 18 February 2013

Motherwell have confirmed the signing of Scottish winger James McFadden until the end of the season after his short term contract was not renewed by Sunderland.

The 29-year-old had scored 32 goals while he was a teenager at the club before his 1.25million move to Everton.

The announcement caused so much interest among Motherwell fans that their official club website crashed in the immediate aftermath of the news.

Genius: James McFadden scored 26 goals in 63 games for Motherwell

Genius: James McFadden scored 26 goals in 63 games for Motherwell

He had attracted interest from two other
SPL clubs, which meant Motherwell moved fast to tie down, and he may be
available to play as early as Tuesday against Dundee United.

Talks had
continued from last week as McFadden was keen to rejoin the side he
last played for in August 2003, in a 2-2 draw with Partick Thistle.

According to The Sun, last week manager Stuart McCall didn't want to talk about the McFadden situation directly, saying: 'He's a talented player but there's nothing more to report than that.

'We provide facilities for a few of our former players. Marc Fitzpatrick is in training with us and I think Paul Slane is coming in next week as well.

McFadden wanted to get a deal sorted out as soon as possible to move back to his former hunting ground and was at their 3-0 win against Inverness on Saturday.

Home sweet home: McFadden was at Fir Park on Saturday to watch Motherwell

Home sweet home: McFadden was at Fir Park on Saturday to watch Motherwell

The club are hoping that McFadden will not only boost morale in the team, but also attract more numbers to Fir Park.

The winger, who was originally known for the number of dribbles he made in games for the North-Lanarkshrie club, moved to Sunderland last October but only made three substitue appearances, totaling just 34 minutes.

Capped: An in-form McFadden would be fighting for a Scotland place again

Capped: An in-form McFadden would be fighting for a Scotland place again

Kevin Pietersen to get full England central contract after performances in India

Happy landing: Textgate is history as England reward model pro Pietersen with full central contract

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 18 December 2012

Kevin Pietersen’s successful
‘reintegration’ into the England team will be officially acknowledged
with the award of his full central contract at the end of this historic
tour of India.

One of the most acrimonious episodes in modern English cricket, which began when Sportsmail revealed
that Pietersen had sent ‘provocative’ texts to South African opponents
about Andrew Strauss last summer, will come to an official end when the
four-month trial contract he was handed ahead of this trip is extended
to a full year.

The 32-year-old batsman has been a
model professional throughout England’s 2-1 series win, their first in
India for 28 years, vindicating the decision to add him to the squad
both with his behaviour and the superlative century in Mumbai which
transformed the series.

No more baggage: Kevin Pietersen after touching down at Heathrow

No more baggage: Kevin Pietersen after touching down at Heathrow

And Andy Flower, who was badly hurt
by the wearying saga last summer, confirmed that Pietersen has mended
all the bridges during one of the most successful tours in modern
English memory.

‘The contract won’t be a problem,’ said Flower in the aftermath of the drawn final Test in Nagpur.

‘Kevin has been excellent in every
way. We don’t all always get on with people all of the time, any of us
in any walk of life, and everyone has made an effort to make it work.
It’s been really good fun and he should be very proud of the way he’s
operated out here both as an individual and as a player.’

Feelings ran high last summer and
there was no guarantee that a fragile peace-pact would hold in the
demanding environment of India but from the word go here it has been as
though Pietersen never uttered the words: ‘It’s not easy being me.’

Triumphant: Monty Panesar and Alastair Cook

Back home: KP

Triumphant: Monty Panesar (left) and Alastair Cook were at Heathrow along with Kevin Pietersen (right)

Flower added: ‘We did move on from it
as soon as we had our meetings and everyone made a commitment to do so.
I want to continue that moving forward. We want to learn from the past
but we don’t want to keep on revisiting it. He’ll have a little break
over Christmas, like a lot of the guys, and he’ll be back for the
one-day series.’

Flower had a big smile on his face as
he contemplated the scale of the achievement in becoming only the
fourth England side to win a Test series in India and the first from
anywhere since Australia seven years ago.

He had asked, in the aftermath of the
nine-wicket first Test defeat, for his side to be judged at the end of
the series but even he could not have believed that England could win so
gloriously in Mumbai and Kolkata. It is like, as former England batsman
Mark Butcher aptly put it, a football team winning 5-0 in the Nou Camp
against Barcelona and then 4-0 in the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.

Good show: Cook and Panesar were greeted warmly at Terminal 3 at Heathrow

Good show: Cook and Panesar were greeted warmly at Terminal 3 at Heathrow

All smiles: Cook was accompanied by his wife Alice as he pushed his trolley through the terminal

All smiles: Cook was accompanied by his wife Alice as he pushed his trolley through the terminal

‘I work closely with these guys and I
see them in training every day,’ said Flower. ‘I did mean what I said
because I did believe they had improved themselves as players of spin. I
knew some of the work they were doing and we knew the quality of our
spin bowlers — even though we didn’t play one of them in the first Test!
— so I did feel we could win out here.

‘We all know to come back from one
down in these conditions to win a series is a hell of an achievement. I
am very proud of all those guys and I know they will always be able to
look back on this series and be proud of themselves, which is a really
nice position to be in.’

Flower then left for home with the
bulk of the England side who have not stayed here for the two Twenty20
internationals that conclude this leg of the tour. It is another example
of England recognising that they cannot expect their players, and now
coaches, to constantly slog around the world performing in all cricket
in all formats.

Reconciled: Pietersen and Andy Flower chew the fat in Ahmedabad in England's second warm-up game

Reconciled: Pietersen and Andy Flower chew the fat in Ahmedabad in England's second warm-up game

Rotation, strength and conditioning —
call it what you will — is here to stay and if any spectator is unhappy
about it they must blame the administrators who put money before the
product by flooding the calendar.

England took another step towards
protecting their prized assets when they decided to leave Jimmy
Anderson, superb in this series, and Jonathan Trott out of the
five-match one-day series back in India next month. Their places will be
taken by Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler.

Joe Root was also added to the squad for the two Twenty20 internationals that begin here in Pune on Thursday.

Say cheese: The pair smiled for the cameras after touching down in the capital

Say cheese: The pair smiled for the cameras after touching down in the capital

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

Spinning to victory: This picture of Graeme Swann (right) and Monty Panesar (left) was tweeted by fellow bowler James Anderson

‘I don’t like it being called rest
and I don’t like the word rotation,’ said Flower. ‘The purpose of taking
anyone out of international competition is to maximise their
performance when they do play. If you look at the next couple of years
we must look after certain players, and Jimmy is one of them, otherwise
they will snap. It is our duty to look after them and hopefully that
will mean they will play more cricket for England and help us win more
matches.’

Flower has now changed his job to avoid snapping and will hand over all limited-overs coaching to Ashley Giles in the new year.

Showcasing his talent: Joe Root has another chance to shine on the subcontinent in the T20 series

Showcasing his talent: Joe Root has another chance to shine on the subcontinent in the T20 series

Would he have walked away from
England if his load had not been lightened ‘It never got to that
stage,’ he insisted. ‘Luckily I was communicating with Hugh Morris,
who’s a good man, and we came up with this solution. We don’t know if
this will work but we will try to make sure it does.’

It is certainly a better bet than
risk English cricket losing Flower. The man who has masterminded two
Ashes wins, a World Twenty20 triumph and now, perhaps the best of the
lot, victory over India in the ‘final frontier’ is too important to let
go just yet.

England prepare for third Test in India with confidence

Broad pays the price as confident England seek to turn up heat on India

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 3 December 2012

What a difference a week makes. England, who had reached the point where they had begun questioning their own methods, go into Wednesday’s third Test here with one of the greatest series wins in modern times suddenly within their reach.

Now, after the extraordinary turnaround in Mumbai, it is India who have the problems, not an England side who arrested the decline which had seen them lose seven Tests this year with a stunning 10-wicket second Test success.

Serious questions would have been asked of England had they crashed to defeat No 8 in Mumbai. Certainly, it is unlikely they would have felt able to announce a big change to their coaching structure in the aftermath of another reverse. It would have looked as though Andy Flower was being demoted.

Back in the frame: Steven Finn is set to face India in the third Test

Back in the frame: Steven Finn is set to face India in the third Test

New row with BCCI

The ECB have said sorry to the Indian board after failing to get official clearance for the England Performance Programme’s trip to India.

Although arrangements for the visit were put in place back in the summer, they were not rubber-stamped at board level.

The Indians were irritated by the fact that the EPP’s game in Navi Mumbai provided Steven Finn with a chance to prove his fitness ahead of the third Test. The BCCI have accepted England’s apology.

Instead, England have been imbued with such confidence that they are set to make at least two changes to a winning team, acutely aware that they will need contributions from more than just the four outstanding performers from Mumbai if they are to make history here and in Nagpur.

Steven Finn declared himself fit and ready to make his first appearance of the series and that will surely mean England will drop their vice-captain and one of their most highly regarded players, Stuart Broad, for the first time in four years. Figures of 36-2-157-0 for the series have left Broad as vulnerable as at any time in his career.

David Saker, the England fast bowling coach, paved the way for the move with a well-directed verbal boot up Broad’s backside after Mumbai and the Twenty20 captain’s subsequent tweet suggesting he had been ill for a week was at odds with England’s insistence that he was fit going into the Test.

Clearly England believe Broad has not helped himself on this tour and they will not hesitate to bring in the extra pace and bounce of Finn, who had been earmarked for a leading role in their attack in India before he hurt his thigh on the very first day of the tour having bowled just four overs.

‘It was majorly disappointing,’ said
Finn after bowling six overs in practice at Eden Gardens. ‘I’ve never
had that feeling of something popping before. It was alien to me, scary
and frustrating. I had a great chance of playing in that first Test but
it wasn’t to be. Now I’ve had a bit of time out, had a good work-out
with the Performance Squad and I feel fresh. I’m in a good place.’

Dropped: Stuart Broad has paid the price for his poor performances

Dropped: Stuart Broad has paid the price for his poor performances

Finn talked like a man who was expecting to play when he reflected on England’s seismic victory secured at the Wankhede Stadium to level this four-match series without him. ‘It was difficult knowing the lads were there in Mumbai celebrating a win, being together, and I was on the other side of town with the Performance Squad watching it on TV. It was a strange feeling and one I didn’t particularly enjoy so I’m keen to get in on the act if that happens again.’

Ian Bell, another man apparently refreshed by time away, in his case to be with his baby son, will also return, with the only question being whether it is Jonny Bairstow or Samit Patel who makes way. Logic would suggest that Bairstow, who is still to convince against top-quality spin, should stand down but it is not a foregone conclusion, particularly as Patel’s bowling is less important now that Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar are the first names on the teamsheet.

England’s tinkering from a position of strength contrasts starkly with the pressure being felt by MS Dhoni, whose demand for another pitch that turns from ball one has been met with firm resistance from the Eden Gardens curator.

Prabir Mukharjee, the 83-year-old
groundsman, is clearly a man who likes to do things his way, but it
remains to be seen whether his determination to prepare a true surface
against the India captain’s wishes will help or hinder England. It is
usually that sort of low, slow, worn pitches in this part of the world
that bamboozles them.

Under pressure: Sachin Tendulkar

Under pressure: Sachin Tendulkar

What is beyond doubt is that India’s batsmen, with the exception of their new star Cheteshwar Pujara and one of their old ones in Virender Sehwag, need a score, not least the struggling megastar that is Sachin Tendulkar.

One legend of the game in Ricky Ponting bowed out on Monday and all of India is now speculating as to whether the Little Master will soon follow.

It has been suggested here that Tendulkar has told the Indian selectors that it is up to them when he finally stands down, in which case it will take a very brave man to tap him on the shoulder and say: ‘It’s time to go now Sachin, old son.’

More likely, the leading runscorer in the history of Test cricket will be allowed to go on for a little while yet, at least until he has made eight more appearances to reach the magical 200 mark. Sachin is known to love a landmark.

To justify that he needs to fare better against Panesar, who dismissed him in Mumbai both with a ball that turned square and one that did not turn at all. The latest instalment of the duel between Panesar and his hero will be a compelling one.

As indeed should be the whole Test. England are due to win a toss and will surely bat first if they do. The pressure would really be on Dhoni if England can make the running with big first-innings runs again.

Groundsman in the spotlight

Prabir Mukherjee , the 83-year-old groundsman at Eden Gardens, has become
the unlikely focus of attention in the build-up to tomorrow’s third Test after he branded as ‘immoral’ India captain MS Dhoni’s request for a pitch which turns from ball one.

Mukherjee threatened to take a month’s leave after the Indian board sent a member
of their grounds and pitches committee to Kolkata to ‘assist’ with preparation.

‘Why does Dhoni want a square turner on the first day’ he asked. ‘Then why are you
selling tickets for five days It’s immoral.’

He has barely been out of the headlines over the last few days, laughing off suggestions that the BCCI could prevent him from speaking to the media.

‘I am at the fag end of my life,’ he said. ‘They are threatening to suspend me if I talk about the pitch. That is the treatment I get after more than two decades of service.’

And Mukherjee has promised a pitch of pace and bounce, which he says will assist Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar as England look to repeat the famous victory at Mumbai.

That could further infuriate Dhoni, who called the Eden Gardens strip an ‘ugly
wicket’ when England played a one-day international here in October 2011.

India v England

Sir Ian Botham in Twitter row with Stuart Broad: Don"t listen to ex-playing "experts"… But Beefy hits back with lusty blow

Botham's beef with Broad in Twitter row: Don't listen to ex-playing 'experts', warns Stuart… But Sir Ian (who averaged 55 in India) hits back with lusty blow

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UPDATED:

12:09 GMT, 19 November 2012

Ian Botham and Stuart Broad became embroiled in a heated Twitter row as England crashed to a crushing nine-wicket defeat in India this morning.

Broad saved his fiercest delivery of the week for his tweet, posted in the aftermath of the loss in Ahmedabad, when he wrote: 'And before u listen to too many ex
playing 'experts' being negative, ask them if they ever won a Test
series in India….#28years'.

Botham came off his long run to deliver a speedy reposte, which read: '
'@StuartBroad8 Didn't average 40+ with the ball overseas…! Not sure
what I scored against India with the bat.. #justsaying'

Hitting out: Stuart Broad let rip on Twitter after England lost the first Test against India

Hitting out: Stuart Broad let rip on Twitter after England lost the first Test against India

England's greatest all-rounder
Botham, 56, who is working for Sky Sports as a pundit throughout the
series, hit 114 in the Golden Jubilee Test in Mumbai in 1980 and averaged 55 as England lost the six-Test series 1-0 in 1981-82.

Broad scored just three runs on
the final day as England collapsed and failed to take a single wicket in the entire Test.

Broad was candid enough to admit England's performance in the First Test was wanting. He tweeted: 'India outplayed us. A few positives but on the whole poor so sorry for that. Onwards and upwards.'

He then followed up that posting with the one challenging the 'ex-playing “experts”'.

Minutes later, the England t20 captain added another message to his Twitter feed, which read: 'On
DRS. I hear 12 decisions would have been overturned in the Test.
Potentially match changing but India would have had 8 of them
#itsneeded'

To the point: Broad did not hold back on Twitter after England lost the first Test

Response: Ian Botham let Broad know what he thinks
ENGLAND IN INDIA

Second Test
Mumbai, begins Friday (4.30am)

Third Test
Kolkata, December 5-9

Fourth Test
Nagpur, December 13-17

Botham was later challenged by one Twitter user who accused the former England captain of 'kicking' the defeated Broad while he 'was down'.

Botham posted: '@andrew14ad: @BeefyBotham @stuartbroad8 Ian should not kick a man when he is down me thinks!!” Who started the kicking..'

Meanwhile, England captain Alastair Cook took comfort from the character his side showed in the second innings despite having gone down to a nine-wicket defeat in the first Test against India in Ahmedabad.

The chances of a brave rearguard being commuted into a famous stalemate in this first match of four centred on Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) on the final day.

But they could augment their combined defiance by only 16 more runs – and with their stand of 157 broken, England lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out.

India's resulting target of 77 was then treated with near contempt by Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara, whose aggression put paid to any fanciful notion that Graeme Swann's off-spin might yet make life difficult on a worn pitch.

Gearing up for a rumble: Ian Botham (left) and Shane Warne lark about last summer before the Second Test between England the West Indies (FILE IMAGE)

Gearing up for a rumble: Ian Botham (left) and Shane Warne lark about last summer before the Second Test between England the West Indies (FILE IMAGE)

Brave effort: Alastair Cook scored 176 in England's second innings

Brave effort: Alastair Cook scored 176 in England's second innings

India v England – Pictures

We are unable to carry live pictures from the First Test in Ahmedabad due to a dispute between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and international news organisations.

The BCCI has refused access to Test venues to established picture agencies Getty Images and Action Images and other Indian photographic agencies.

MailOnline consider this action to be a strike against press freedom and supports the action to boycott BCCI imagery.

Cook knew he and Prior had to remain at the crease if England were to pull off something special but he was pleased with his team's fight.

He said at the post-match presentation: 'There was an outside chance: Matty and I knew we would have to do the majority of the work. We got closer and closer and knew India had done a huge amount of overs in the field as well.

'That was the inspiration this morning. It wasn't meant to be. We didn't get that partnership going as we did last night.

'There was a lot of character showed by the lads. They fought hard.'

He added: 'It was a great fightback. We were in a very tough situation and to get to the last day there is always a glimmer of hope.

'It had to be something very special – unfortunately it wasn't meant to be today.

'We fought hard – we can take a lot from the second half of that game with the batting. We need to work hard so when we go to Mumbai we can start again.'

India counterpart MS Dhoni said: 'As the game progressed there was a bit of low bounce for spinners but not much turn so they had to work really hard – it was a fantastic effort by them.

'What was important was not to give many runs. A fantastic performance by the whole team.'

Pujara, who helped put India in a commanding position by scoring 206 not out in the first innings and then got the hosts over the line with an unbeaten second-innings knock of 41 today, was thrilled with his man-of-the-match display.

Digging in: Matt Prior weighed in with 91 runs as England tried to scrape a draw

Digging in: Matt Prior weighed in with 91 runs as England tried to scrape a draw

'It's a great feeling,' he said at the post-match presentation, televised on Sky Sports 1. 'I was out for almost a year because of the injury and since I've been back I've been enjoying the dressing-room atmosphere.

'The ball was hard and coming nicely onto the bat. I had a lot of confidence after scoring a double hundred.'

The 24-year-old also acknowledged the efforts of the India bowlers in dismissing England twice.

'I think initially (the pitch) was quite slow but as the game progressed the ball was coming nicely onto the bat,' he said.

'There was a bit of time when it was quite slow so it was difficult for the bowlers to get the wickets.

'I would like to congratulate our bowlers on the way they bowled and kept their patience to get them out twice.'

Mark Webber calls for Romain Grosjean to be banned after Suzuka crash

Webber calls for 'nutcase' Grosjean to be banned again after first-lap Suzuka crash

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UPDATED:

11:22 GMT, 7 October 2012

Mark Webber branded Romain Grosjean a 'first-lap nutcase' after the Frenchman wrecked his chances of victory in today's Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

Lotus driver Grosjean has been involved in numerous first-lap incidents this season, and was banned for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after taking out Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez at the first corner in Belgium.

In the wall: Webber's race was ruined after Romain Grosjean crashed into his Red Bull

In the wall: Webber's race was ruined after Romain Grosjean crashed into his Red Bull on the first lap

He was once again at fault here as he hit the right-rear corner of Webber's Red Bull as the field funnelled through Turn 2.

The impact sent the Australian spinning onto the infield and destroyed his chances as team-mate Sebastian Vettel took a dominant victory to capitalise on Alonso's first-corner exit.

Webber eventually recovered to finish ninth and pick up two points, but his failure to score big has hurt his title aspirations, leaving him 60 points behind Alonso, and 56 adrift of Vettel, with a maximum of 150 available.

Angry: Webber hit out at Grosjean (below) after the Japanese Grand Prix

Angry: Webber hit out at Grosjean (below) after the Japanese Grand Prix

Angry: Webber hit out at Grosjean (below) after the Japanese Grand Prix

Webber did not hold back as he spoke to reporters in the immediate aftermath of the race, suggesting Grosjean should receive another ban.

He said: 'I haven't seen what happened at the start but the guys confirmed it was the first-lap nutcase again, Grosjean.

'The rest of us are trying to fight for some decent results each weekend but he's trying to get to the third corner as fast as he can at every race.

'It makes it frustrating because a few big guys obviously suffered from that today. Maybe he needs another holiday.'

On track: Webber re-joined the race to finish ninth in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix

On track: Webber re-joined the race to finish ninth in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix

He added: 'He needs to have a look at himself obviously. It was completely his fault. How many mistakes can you make, how many times can you make the same error with first-lap incidents'

Red Bull boss Christian Horner echoed Webber's comments, and believes Grosjean needs to take a long, hard look at himself after his latest first-lap collision.

Horner said: 'I think that is the seventh incident he has had this year, he needs to really talk to himself or his team need to talk to him because not only is it dangerous for others, he has cost himself and his team a colossal amount of points, together with the number of innocent victims he has collected en route.

'At this level it is unacceptable to be having so many incidents. 'I think Mark has every right to express his feelings, it was a complete misjudgement.

'The most important thing when you make a mistake is to learn from it but this was a repeat incident.'

England nearly pulled out of 1990 World Cup following Hillsborough disaster

England nearly pulled out of the 1990 World Cup following Hillsborough disaster

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UPDATED:

07:52 GMT, 13 September 2012

Ministers considered pulling England out of the 1990 World Cup in the aftermath of the Hillsborough disaster, government papers reveal.

Former deputy prime minister Geoffrey Howe said the tournament would provide a 'natural focus for hooligan activity' and the possibility of withdrawing the team was discussed in a government committee, files released as part of Wednesday's report show.

In a letter to then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher on September 27 1989 he said the idea was dropped because it was feared 'determined hooligans' would head to host nation Italy anyway.

Close call: England are greeted by fans on their return from Italia 90

Close call: England are greeted by fans on their return from Italia 90

The committee also discussed abandoning an England versus Scotland match the following spring.

'The World Cup in June next year provides a natural focus for hooligan activity. And every individual match carries the potential for confrontation,' Mr Howe wrote.

'The committee also looked at the possibility of our seeking the abandonment of the England v Scotland match at Wembley next spring and the withdrawal of England from the World Cup.

'They felt it would be premature to reach a firm view on either.

Vigil: Liverpudlians gathered in the city centre on Wednesday night

Vigil: Liverpudlians gathered in the city centre on Wednesday night

Vigil: Liverpudlians gathered in the city centre on Wednesday night

'It appears that the Scottish Football
Association privately favours cancelling the England v Scotland match,
especially if both countries are in the World Cup. So this issue may
resolve itself, to everyone's satisfaction.

'Withdrawal from the World Cup is an altogether larger issue. If England withdrew, the likelihood is that the determined hooligans will make their way to Italy anyway and find a different cause to champion.'

The documents also reveal Mrs Thatcher was told by her press secretary Bernard Ingham that the Football Association was behaving 'extraordinarily stupidly' for wanting to go ahead with a friendly against Holland in December of that year.

Tributes: Fans leave scarves and shirts on the gates of Anfield on Tuesday night

Tributes: Fans leave scarves and shirts on the gates of Anfield on Tuesday night

Vigil: Crowds gathered in Liverpool on Wednesday night

In a letter dated September 5 Mr Ingham wrote: 'You will recall the after the European Championships you asked the FA to consider whether to go ahead with European friendly matches and they cancelled a fixture with Italy at Wembley.

'However, they have inconceivably gone ahead with the Dutch fixture in the middle of December notwithstanding that Holland has probably the worst soccer hooligan problem in Europe after ourselves.'

He added: 'The FA do seem to be behaving extraordinarily stupidly in organising a friendly with Holland at a time when, apart from anything else, they should, in their own interest, be cultivating their return to European football proper.'

Tragedy: 96 fans were killed at Hillsborough

Tragedy: 96 fans were killed at Hillsborough

The December fixture was eventually cancelled at sports minister Colin Moynihan's request, the files state.

Mrs Thatcher was urged to press Council of Europe members to deal 'vigorously' with football hooligans who committed offences at matches overseas.

Joey Barton: I let myself down!

I let myself down! Barton offers no excuses for Manchester madness

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UPDATED:

09:39 GMT, 11 September 2012

Joey Barton admits he's still
struggling to tackle his inner demons as the controversial QPR
midfielder seeks to get his career back track.

The 30-year-old was loaned out to French club Marseille after being handed a 12-match ban following his red card and subsequent violent conduct at former club Manchester City on the final day of last season.

Out of order: Joey Barton loses his head against Manchester City

Out of order: Joey Barton loses his head against Manchester City

Barton was sent off for a clash with Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez and responded by lashing out at City players Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany before attempting to confront Mario Balotelli.

Barton admitted he had reacted badly to the pressure during the 3-2 defeat at Etihad Stadium.

'I completely let myself down but it's not a rational situation. I knew we could be relegated, they could win the league and I'm captain,' he told GQ Style.

'There's a bit of a media spotlight on me so if we go down, I'm going to take a lot of s***.

'I was already getting it on Twitter so pressure started building and I didn't handle it well.

Screen test: Barton is still in the spotlight in France

Screen test: Barton is still in the spotlight in France

'My inner chimp doesn't work well with injustice, it reacts too quickly. Tevez has done what he's done, I have reacted and the aftermath is…'

Barton recognises there is no justification for what he did but says the incident has focused his mind to try and improve as a person.

He explained: 'I look at it now and it's almost like it's not me. I'm like “What the **** were you thinking”

'At the time in some weird way I thought it was the correct way but, looking at it now, I know it wasn't.

'I've got to learn a lesson from that. The thing it reiterated to me was just how far I am from the person I want to be.'

Hugo Lloris wants talks with Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas

Showdown! France stopper Lloris to demand talks with AVB over Spurs snub

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UPDATED:

09:04 GMT, 10 September 2012

Hugo Lloris' uncomfortable start to life at Tottenham has taken a fresh twist with the France goalkeeper set to demand talks with Andre Villas-Boas when he returns from international duty.

The former Lyon stopper only moved to White Hart Lane on deadline day, but has been disappointed by the comments of his manager in the aftermath of the only game since.

On his knees: Hugo Lloris wants talks with Andre Villas-Boas over his future

On his knees: Hugo Lloris wants talks with Andre Villas-Boas over his future

After a match-saving performance against
Norwich, Brad Friedel was reaffirmed as Villas-Boas' No 1 for the
season, suggesting the coveted jersey was the American's to lose.

France boss Didier Deschamps hit out at his compatriot and now it Lloris has revealed he wants clarification on the situation as soon as he gets back to London following Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Belarus.

'When I join up with the national team, I concentrate uniquely and we’ll see about my personal situation when I go back,' Lloris said. 'Obviously it is not nice if the coach says he will pick someone else for the first team, but we can see what happens.

'For now, I have to put the situation to one side as France have important matches and I cannot worry about what might happen at my club.'

As for Friedel, the veteran has laid down the law to his new team-mate, insisting he has every intention of keeping hold of his starting berth.

Causing a stir: Andre Villas-Boas' comments were criticised by Didier Deschamps

Causing a stir: Andre Villas-Boas' comments were criticised by Didier Deschamps

The 41-year-old American said: 'I feel like I played pretty well in my last game and hopefully I continue to get picked. Right now I believe the shirt is mine to lose.

'I believe the manager came out and said that and if this is the case then it’s a great challenge for me.'