Tag Archives: boys

Cardiff could move for Jamie Mackie

Cardiff eye Mackie, Ramsey and Ledley as they plan for life at the top

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:33 GMT, 21 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:00 GMT, 22 April 2013

Premier League new boys Cardiff have put QPR striker Jamie Mackie on their wish list.

Ex-Cardiff players Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley have also been touted.

The Bluebirds sealed their return to the top flight for the first time since 1962 after a nervy draw at home to Charlton Athletic last Tuesday.

Fancy it Jamie Mackie (left) is likely to be relegated with QPR

Fancy it Jamie Mackie (left) is likely to be relegated with QPR

Lionel Messi with son Thiago in Barcelona

A message to defenders across the world… Mini Messi is coming to get you

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UPDATED:

11:33 GMT, 13 December 2012

These pictures should melt the hearts of most people around the world – but they will send a chill down the spine of every young defender around the world.

Lionel Messi took his new baby boy Thiago on his first public stroll around the streets of Barcelona with his girlfriend Antonella. If Thiago's goalscoring form is anything like his father's, then the Messi dynasty is in safe hands.

The Barcelona talisman increased his record tally of goals scored in a calendar year to 88, after netting twice against FC Cordoba to secure a 2-0 win in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey tie.

Sealed with a kiss: The Barcelona star parades his new baby with girlfriend Antonella

Sealed with a kiss: The Barcelona star parades his new baby with girlfriend Antonella

The Argentina striker equalled and surpassed Muller's 1972 record of 85 goals in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Real Betis when he scored another brace. But he doesn't seem content with beating the great German hitman, as he marched on with another two goals last night.

When Thiago was first born, Manchester City striker and fellow Argentine star Sergio Aguero gave Messi a miniature iconic Blue and White-striped Argentina shirt for his then two-week-old son.

Aguero pledged to buy the kit for Messi's baby boy, as he tweeted a picture of the two friends holding up the kit accompanied with: 'Promesa cumplida!!/Promise kept!! #ThiagoMessi10'

Leo Messi

Leo Messi

Baby love: Messi took his new baby boy Thiago on his first public stroll around the streets of Barcelona

Promise kept: Sergio Aguero (right) bought his international team-mate Lionel Messi an Argentina kit for his two-week-old son

Promise kept: Sergio Aguero (right) bought his international team-mate Lionel Messi an Argentina kit for his two-week-old son

Aguero gave Thiago a No 10 shirt – the same number his father wears for both club and country.

Despite not being able to walk yet – let alone run – baby Thiago has already been made a member of Newell's Old Boys' supporters club, after an agreement was reached between the Argentina club and the infant's grandfather, Jorge.

Messi played at Newell's at youth level before making the trip to Barcelona, aged 13.

Sweethearts: The Argentina star and Antonella first met as children but only begun dating in 2009rgentina star eclipsed Gerd Muller's goalscoring record earlier this month

Sweethearts: The Argentina star and Antonella first met as children but only begun dating in 2009

How do you fold this again: Messi has to contend with every new father's nightmare... collapsing the buggy

Thiago, who was born on November 2, was issued with an official club membership card last week and will receive a kit from Newell's.

Messi was born in the Argentine city of Rosario, located 200 miles north west of Buenos Aires and remains a fan of Newell's, his hometown team.

At the double: Messi scored twice in Barcelona's win over Cordoba last night

At the double: Messi scored twice in Barcelona's win over Cordoba last night

Match of the Day is an old boys" club – Laura Williamson

Wake up Gary, or Match of the Day's old boys' club may close for good

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UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 9 December 2012

The BBC website features a page called ‘How to watch Match of the Day’. Increasingly, however, the answer is quite simple.

Record it and fast-forward past the ‘analysis’ between games or risk water intoxication (or a nasty hangover) by putting the kettle on or topping up your wine glass every time the Three Wise Men come on to your screen in their smart-casual, open-necked shirts.

On Saturday night, for example, Alan Hansen delivered the following gems during the 15 minutes we were not watching match action or plugs for Sports Personality of the Year.

Old boys club: (from left-right) Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson

Old boys club: (from left-right) Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson

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Sunderland ‘have got to stop leaking bad goals early’, three defeats in a row for West Brom is ‘enough’ and, my personal favourite, QPR ‘have got to get victories’. Funny that, as they are bottom of the table having just set a record for the longest winless Premier League start.

Hansen, though, delivers these insightful nuggets with the explicit authority of a father talking down to his eight-year-old son. ‘How are babies made, dad’ ‘They just are.’ End of conversation.

On the rare occasions host Gary Lineker deigns to probe his pal a little further, Hansen frowns and squirms in his seat, visibly affronted. There was a similar, almost embarrassed, reaction from Lineker after reporter Damian Johnson asked Martin O’Neill about self-doubt after Sunderland had slipped into the bottom three.

Ah, those pesky journalists asking former footballers questions. How dare they

Match of the Day too often seems like the comfy old boys’ club we should be honoured to visit for 80 minutes every Saturday night. Relaxed and matey is fine, but it is not conducive to forthright opinions or illuminating punditry.

Dan Walker, who will present next week’s show in Lineker’s absence, may help here. The programme has also tried, to its credit, to shake things up by including current players such as Vincent Kompany and Phil Neville in recent weeks.

It is a very difficult ask, however, for an active footballer to be anything other than diplomatic — particularly when three ex-pros are fawning over your every word.

The programme misses Lee Dixon, while Mark Lawrenson is infinitely better on the radio. Alan Shearer was perfectly fine on Saturday, although he got himself in a twist trying to explain how Chelsea are playing more to Fernando Torres’s strengths.

Effort: Vincent Kompany (right) appeared on the show - but there was only so much he could say

Effort: Vincent Kompany (right) appeared on the show – but there was only so much he could say

Missed: Lee Dixon (right) added something to the show when he was there

Missed: Lee Dixon (right) added something to the show when he was there

But at least Shearer had a go; at least he was enthusiastic and animated. Hansen was also right to highlight Jack Wilshere’s display for Arsenal against West Brom but he simply talked us through what happened and not how or why.

What did Arsene Wenger’s side do differently to their 2-0 defeat by Swansea City And what about Santi Cazorla’s blatant dive to win Arsenal’s first penalty

Little evolution: Lineker (centre) with Hansen and Lawrenson in 2001 and below in 2006

Little evolution: Lineker (centre) with Hansen and Lawrenson in 2001 and below in 2006

Familiar faces: Lawrenson, Lineker and Hansen

Familiar faces: Lawrenson, Lineker and Hansen

Oh, they all had a good laugh about that one, while singularly failing to discuss or expand on one of the main talking points. Are foreign players more culpable than home-grown ones How do we stamp it out Alan, did you ever dive to win a penalty

This is the main problem with the modern Match of the Day. There were highlights of six matches delivered from the shiny new set in Salford on Saturday, not one definitive game.

But then Match of the Day is not definitive any more. That happens on a Monday night on Sky with Gary Neville and his interactive white board. MotD is now occupying a beige middle ground of irrelevancy.

Is it a light entertainment show or a sports programme

It needs to make up its mind before a much-loved television institution is fast-forwarded out of existence.

Blast from the past: Lineker took over hosting duties of the show in 1999

Blast from the past: Lineker took over hosting duties of the show in 1999

What they said

Harry Redknapp teed up his first meeting with QPR chairman Tony Fernandes by announcing: ‘I’ve said it a million times that they’re nice people. I’m not saying that because I need the job. If I thought they were tossers I would say so.’

I wonder if January transfer targets will be on the agenda

Not tossers: Harry Redknapp defended his new bosses

Not tossers: Harry Redknapp defended his new bosses

…And this is what I've been doing this week

In Athens with Arsenal on Monday, Arsene Wenger was noticeably disdainful of any suggestion his club are experiencing a crisis. The admirable belief in his principles is nothing new, but the scornful tone felt different and unnecessary from a manager who has achieved as much as Wenger.

Arsenal are not a club in meltdown — they are still fighting in all competitions, after all — but they are certainly not one in ‘fantastic shape’, whatever the Frenchman may say.

Balance: Arsenal are not falling to pieces, but nor are they in fantastic shape

Balance: Arsenal are not falling to pieces, but nor are they in fantastic shape

Meeting new UK Athletics coaches Rana Reider and Terrence Mahon at Loughborough University, both of whom are American. We Brits have a tendency to self-deprecate, but the way the pair talked up our funding system, personnel and facilities suggested we are doing something right. It also means, of course, there are no excuses for athletes who fail to deliver.

Impressed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s easy, eloquent manner at the Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Awards on Thursday. The Arsenal midfielder picked up the Best International Newcomer award and quipped: ‘Thank you, it’s nice to win something.’

Kevin Nolan: How I rescued Andy Carroll

Nolan: How I rescued Carroll and put him on the right path

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UPDATED:

23:51 GMT, 10 November 2012

Andy Carroll's chief concern is to score his first goal for West Ham but his team-mate, Kevin Nolan, remembers a time when such on-field problems were mere trivialities.

A time when, as a star in the making with Sunday's opponents Newcastle, he needed saving from himself and from the paradox that is Geordie adulation.

Old boys: Former Newcastle duo Andrew Carroll (right) and Kevin Nolan set to return with West Ham

Old boys: Former Newcastle duo Andrew Carroll (right) and Kevin Nolan set to return with West Ham

The 21-year-old home-town hero was self-destructing and it was at then Newcastle skipper Nolan's door – literally – that the problem was dumped in October 2010.

Carroll was charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend and to secure bail he needed a place of residence instead of living in a hotel awaiting a house purchase. Nolan answered the SOS.

A combination of Carroll's cooking, Nolan's guidance and the unlikeliest of calming figures – Joey Barton – got the tyro back on the right path.

While happy to laugh off his saviour status, Nolan knows only too well the deadly serious role he played in the rescue mission.

'You can write that if you want, “Nolan saves him!” ' he said. 'I just said to him, and he knew himself, that he had got to keep out of them situations.

'At Newcastle when something goes on, it gets exploded 10 times over and with Andy up there it was magnified a thousand times. It was just because it was him, he's a 6ft 5in lad who's got long hair and stands out.

'He'd been brilliant for Newcastle for 15 months, he was the local boy, everything he did was magnified. You'd have to ask Andy if I'd had an influence on it. Of course I'm going to say yes. As a group we had a committee-type of experienced pros with myself, Joey, Alan Smith, Steve Harper, all different backgrounds, voices and opinions.

Hard going: Carroll is still searching for his first West Ham goal

Hard going: Carroll is still searching for his first West Ham goal

'The togetherness of the squad and what we were all like at that time helped Andy dramatically. He bought into it massively and he excelled and he's gone on since and I think he'll just even get better and do better things.'

The recipe for turning a boy into a man was all cooked up in Nolan's kitchen.

'I said he could stay, I cleared it with the missus, of course, first,' added Nolan. 'She was down in Liverpool a lot of the time so we were like room-mates. He was a pretty good cook. Pasta with tomatoes, chicken, things like that.

'Since then he has learned so much. There is a different lad standing in that dressing room now. There is a man who can look after himself and does the right things on a daily basis.'

Carroll, 23, will need the thickest of skins to emerge unscathed from what is a fixture laced with potential animosity. West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has always felt harshly done to regarding his rapid dismissal after eight months in charge of Newcastle.

Carroll is yet to score for West Ham but his last trip back to St James' Park, with parent club Liverpool, ended with the frontman being booked for diving before storming off after being substituted.

Nolan said: 'I am hoping I'll get quite a good reception, I'm sure Andy will get the worst one. I've got a lot of good friends there and I'm looking forward to going back and saying goodbyes to people I didn't have the chance to.

'Once one goes in for Andy, hopefully on Sunday, I am sure they will come. It would be a great time to score in front of the club he has loved since he was a kid.'

Carroll's goal-shy start to life in east London is in stark contrast to Nolan, who has picked up where he left off in the Premier League by scoring four times in 10 games.

And the West Ham midfielder, 30, admits he is angered about never having secured an England cap, especially in a week which saw 31-year-old Leon Osman get a call-up.

'Obviously, when you see Leon Osman, who I'm delighted for, getting a call-up it does tell you not to give up hope but I don't know how much more I could do,' he said. 'It does hurt that I haven't got one. I think I have deserved at least a call-up and a chance to prove myself at that level whether it be at Bolton, Newcastle and even now.

'A former England manager said if he knew everything I was about before he was England manager, he definitely would have called me up, which was nice to hear. But then I sort of wanted to strangle him!'

Burnley kid Jack Errington suffers heart scare

Burnley kid Errington ruled out for season after heart scare

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UPDATED:

21:59 GMT, 3 October 2012

Burnley youngster Jack Errington will not play again this season after learning he faces surgery to correct a heart problem.

The 17-year-old defender was found to have an enlarged aorta during routine heart screening and further tests confirmed he would require an operation to safeguard his future well-being.

Errington, a graduate of the famous Wallsend Boys Club, penned his first professional deal in the summer and will return to the north east to undergo the procedure and begin his rehabilitation.

Target: Howe hopes Errington can still have a successful career

Target: Howe hopes Errington can still have a successful career

'We wish Jack and his family all the best and will make sure he continues to get the best possible care,' said manager Eddie Howe.

'This shows the value of heart screening for all young footballers and while it's a blow for Jack in the short term, the good news is that he can still hopefully have a successful career ahead of him.'

Manchester City v Southampton live

PREMIER LEAGUE LIVE: Manchester City v Southampton – as it happens from the Etihad Stadium

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UPDATED:

03:00 GMT, 19 August 2012

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the Barclays Premier League as Manchester City begin their title defence when they host new boys Southampton at the Etihad Stadium. Roberto Mancini's side are heavy favourites but will have to guard against complacency when they take on the Saints. Send me your thoughts on the action at [email protected] or contact me on Twitter @Ripinho.

*Follow live coverage from 3.30pm*

Home favourites: Carlos Tevez (left) and Manchester City will hope to begin their title defence with a win

Home favourites: Carlos Tevez (left) and Manchester City will hope to begin their title defence with a win

Liverpool 3 FK Gomel 0 (agg 4-0): Brendan Rodgers and Fabio Borini feel at home as Steven Gerrard hits 150

Liverpool 3 FK Gomel 0 (agg 4-0): New boys Rodgers and Borini feel at home as Gerrard hits 150

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UPDATED:

20:57 GMT, 9 August 2012

New signing Fabio Borini and captain Steve Gerrard scored in the first-half as Liverpool eased their way into the Europa League play-offs.

New boss Brendan Rodgers received a warm welcome from the Kop before his first competitive home game in charge.

And Liverpool, leading 1-0 from the first leg of the third qualifying round tie, doubled their advantage with Borini's 21st minute strike before Gerrard put the result beyond doubt by scoring his 150th goal for the Reds just before half-time.

Defender Glen Johnson added a third in the 72nd minute.

More to follow

Just Fab: Borini celebrates his early strike

Just Fab: Borini celebrates his early strike

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Nice one: New manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates

Nice one: New manager Brendan Rodgers celebrates

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Southampton 2 Wolves 0: Billy Sharp continues hot streak in St Mary"s friendly

Southampton 2 Wolves 0: Sharp continues hot streak in St Mary's friendly

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UPDATED:

17:47 GMT, 4 August 2012

Premier League new boys Southampton beat last season's top flight basement boys Wolves 2-0 at St Mary's on Saturday.

Saints took a first half lead when Billy Sharp converted an Adam Lallana cross for his fourth goal of pre-season, before Jason Puncheon doubled the lead midway through the second half when he drove into the net from the edge of the area.

Battle: Guly do Prado of Southampton is challenged by Roger Johnson

Battle: Guly do Prado of Southampton is challenged by Roger Johnson

Southampton sign Nathaniel Clyne

New boys Southampton swoop for young Palace star Clyne after United shun move

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UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 18 July 2012

Crystal Palace's Nathaniel Clyne has completed his move to Southampton.

The highly-rated 19-year-old has long been linked with a move away from Selhurst Park, with Manchester United, West Ham and Newcastle amongst those interested in the right-back.

However, Clyne has opted to join newly-promoted Southampton, penning a four-year deal at St Mary's.

Going up: Southampton shave signed Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne

Going up: Southampton shave signed Crystal Palace defender Nathaniel Clyne

Clyne broke into the Palace first-team at the beginning of the 2008/09 season, making his debut in a 3-0 home win over Barnsley. He signed a three-year deal soon after and grew to become one of the Eagles' key players.

Clyne won the club's player of the year award for the 2010/11 season and last term was included in the Championship team of the year.

The defender is out of contract at Palace, who will be due compensation for the academy graduate as he is under the age of 24. If a fee cannot be agreed between the clubs, it would go to a tribunal.

Guly do Prado signs one-year Southampton extension

Saints' Brazilian star Do Prado pens new one-year extension at St Mary's

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UPDATED:

12:49 GMT, 15 July 2012

New deal: Guly Do Prado has signed a one-year extension

New deal: Guly Do Prado has signed a one-year extension

Guly do Prado has signed a one-year contract extension with Barclays Premier League new boys Southampton.

The 30-year-old Brazilian forward, who has scored 22 goals in 85 appearances for Saints, will now stay at St Mary's until at least the summer of 2014.

He told the club's official website: 'I'm very happy to have signed a new contract.

'To be able to stay here for another year to help the team was very important for me, and I think I have a big opportunity this season.

'I'm happy and my family are happy to stay here, so it was good to sign a new contract.

'Everything has gone well in the last two years – the team has come back into the Premier League and we have a good chance to do well this season.

'We are going to play in big stadiums against big players, and the fans are going to be happy to see these teams in Southampton again. It's going to be fantastic because I have a big chance to show people what I can do.'