Tag Archives: breakthrough

Paul Lambert warns Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke against leaving Aston Villa for a bigger club too soon

Do you want to sit in the reserves Lambert warns Weimann and Benteke against move to bigger club too soon

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:29 GMT, 4 March 2013

Paul Lambert has warned his young strike-force that the grass isn't always greener as he tries to persuade both Andreas Weimann and Christian Benteke to remain at Villa Park.

Villa face Manchester City tonight with two of the club's old boys, James Milner and Gareth Barry, likely to feature against their former club.

Both England midfielders left Villa when the financial bait from the current champions was set.

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Crucial: Christian Benteke has led the line for Villa since joining from Genk last August

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

Talent: 21-year-old Andreas Weimann has scored 10 goals during his breakthrough season

And now Lambert is facing a fight to keep hold of his two forwards.

Benteke has been linked with a move to Spurs and contract talks with Weimann are likely to resume only when the club's fate is known.

However, Lambert said that, given the duo's age and experience, they may be better off playing week in, week out, rather than becoming part of a squad.

'I think if you asked Gareth Barry and James Milner whether they enjoyed their time here, I'm pretty sure, without knowing them, that they would say they loved it.

'It was great for them. We are not necessarily a selling club. If someone gets more money somewhere else, then people will look at it.

'Everyone in this room would do the same.

'With Andy and Christian, you have to get into their heads and let them know what you think.

'The difference is those two are really young lads, I don’t know what age Gareth and James moved on, but those two are young.

'The thing is do they want to go to a side where they are sitting in the reserves and don’t get a shot at it'

Lambert's future plans to avoid drop have not been helped as it seems that Darren Bent will miss the next three weeks with a foot injury.

Bent has not been featuring ahead of Weimann or Benteke even when fit but the inclusion of an established international in Villa's match-day squad would be an obvious advantage.

'Darren is still struggling,' added Lambert. 'It is a little bit of a concern at the moment.'

James Milner

Gareth Barry

Return: James Milner and Gareth Barry both left Villa to join Manchester City

6 Nations: Alex Goode says England are always pantomime villains

The Six Nations has so much history… but England are always the pantomime villains

By
Alex Goode

PUBLISHED:

01:57 GMT, 2 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

01:57 GMT, 2 February 2013

This is my first appearance in the Six Nations and I’m very excited to be involved in it at last.

The tournament has so much history and for as long as I can remember England have been seen as pantomime villains.

Part of the tradition seems to be for pundits from other nations to talk about how much they dislike the English and accuse us of arrogance, and that has happened again this week. I’m not sure why but it occurs in lots of sports. In football, everyone wants to beat Manchester United, for example.

Breakthrough: Alex Goode is getting ready to play in his first Six Nations

Breakthrough: Alex Goode is getting ready to play in his first Six Nations

It often comes across as if all the passion in these games comes from the other side, not England. People talk about all this passion Scotland have, but the English are passionate too. When we play against the Scots, of course we want to beat them. We would hate to lose against them. It’s not something we ever want to deal with. It’s the same with every team we play against.

I don’t have hatred for any other countries, but I definitely hate losing. I would hate to be involved in a game that led to stories in years to come when people talk about a famous Scottish victory against England. That would wind me up.

No-one likes losing and that can be what produces the passion. I know that me and Owen (Farrell), for example, are extremely competitive, whether it’s in training or playing for Saracens or England. We both hate to lose. We want to be the best and that drives us to try to get to the top.

Preparation: Goode (right) trains with debutant Billy Twelvetrees ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland

Preparation: Goode (right) trains with debutant Billy Twelvetrees ahead of the Six Nations opener against Scotland

We needed a bit of passion to beat New Zealand. I just remember how loud the crowd was that day, and I have never been part of a team that was more fired up. That showed we can be a passionate people too. That win against New Zealand was great, but we can’t make too big a deal of it.

As players, we would rather there wasn’t such a fuss because we want that standard to be our norm. We can only achieve that if we bring the same level of intensity to our performance against Scotland – an intensity they will struggle to match.

I’m relieved that I recovered from a shoulder injury to play. I was out for more than a month and the first reaction from the boys was that I had become ‘big-time’ and didn’t fancy playing in winter. When I used to play with Thomas Castaignede at Saracens, he would come out on a wintry day and say: ‘No electricity. No electrics in Thomas. Thomas don’t train!’ Then he’d walk back inside. So the lads said that about me and how I have changed!

Famous: Goode impressed during England's 38-21 win over New Zealand

Famous: Goode impressed during England's 38-21 win over New Zealand

It was tough when I realised the injury was worse than expected. It knocked me a bit, then it was a race against time, putting the hours in. Luckily, I came through a game for Saracens to prove my fitness.

You know there are always going to be people pushing you for that shirt. I’d had to wait longer than most to get my shot, before I made my Test debut in South Africa last summer, so I didn’t want to let it go. A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined starting a Calcutta Cup game at Twickenham, but now I’m raring to go.

We have gone from being underdogs against New Zealand to favourites for this game. Everyone expects us to win – pundits and the public, but Scotland are bouncing back from a bad loss and they’ve got new coaches in Scott Johnson and Dean Ryan and they’ll be fired up to impress, which makes them dangerous.

This will be a dog-fight, but I’m hopeful we can win.

Joe Root not resting on laurels after England beat India

Long way to go: Root not resting on laurels after Rajkot win

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

11:07 GMT, 12 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:04 GMT, 12 January 2013

Joe Root is confident England will not rest on their breakthrough success over India in yesterday's first one-day international.

England claimed a first 50-over win over India on their home soil in seven years, and 13 games, after securing a nine-run success in Rajkot.

The tourists had been whitewashed 5-0 in their previous two visits but, after a long-awaited Test success in the country last month, Root said the limited overs team would not get ahead of themselves in the five-match series.

Runs: Root was not required to bat in the first ODI as England racked up 325-4

Runs: Root was not required to bat in the first ODI as England racked up 325-4

'We all know how tough it is out here and there is still a long way to go in the series,' he told Sky Sports News.

'We are all up for it and ready to go for the second match (in Kochi on Tuesday).

'We are only concentrating on the next game and making sure we put in a good performance like we did in the first ODI. If we do that then we will be up there.'

Root was not required to bat on his ODI debut yesterday as England posted 325-4 on the back of a 158-run opening stand between Alastair Cook (75) and Ian Bell (85).

Partnership: Bell (85) and captain Cook (75) shared an opening stand of 158

Partnership: Bell (85) and captain Cook (75) shared an opening stand of 158

The 22-year-old revealed he had begun the day expecting to come in at four but, after England's start, was shunted down the order.

It meant his nine handy overs of part-time spin – which conceded 51 runs – were his major contribution, although the Yorkshireman was hardly complaining.

'I was told I was going to bat four but the key to success everywhere is being able to adapt and we did that fantastically well yesterday,' he said.

'We're going to have to continue to do that throughout the tour if we are to be successful.

'I'm happy to play and be a part of it all so I'm not worried at all.'

Picture dispute

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

The BCCI has refused access to 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.

Andy Murray pictures show added muscle ahead of Australian Open 2013

Muscle-bound Murray shows off bulked-up frame ahead of latest shot at Aussie Open

has left him hungry for more.

Murray enjoyed a breakthrough season last year when he became the first British male to win a grand slam in 76 years with his success at the US Open, while he was also crowned Olympic champion during a fairytale summer for the Scot.

The world No 3 is not ready to settle for that, though, and has spoken of his determination to keep on improving and adding to his title collection.

Andy Murray

Murray looks on during practice ahead of the Australian Open

Watch out, Australia: Andy Murray practices serving as coach Ivan Lendl looks on at Melbourne Park

Murray serves as his coach Ivan Lendl watches on during practice at Melbourne Park

Focused: Murray has his sights set on the Australian Open, which begins next Monday

Murray serves as his coach Ivan Lendl watches on during practice at Melbourne Park

Murray once again spent December building his fitness at a gruelling training camp in Miami before flying home briefly for Christmas and then on to Australia via the Middle East. While in Florida, Murray worked hard on his physical strength, doubling his weekly weightlifting sessions from two to four, in a bid to boost his shot power.

The result is an added three pounds of muscle to his already impressive frame. And, judging by the impressive pictures taken of the Scot in practice in Melbourne today, he is in peak physical condition ahead of his latest tilt at the year's opening grand slam title.

Speaking ahead of the upcoming Australian Open, where the 25-year-old will aim to improve on runners-up finishes in 2010 and 2011, Murray told the Daily Telegraph: 'The US Open and the Olympics made me extremely motivated.

'It wasn’t a case of, “Oh, everything’s done now”. It’s taken a long time to get there and to win those sorts of events.

Murray has been hard at work building his fitness over the winter

Murray has been hard at work building his fitness over the winter

What a specimen: Murray has been hard at work building his fitness during the break over the winter

Murray has been hard at work building his fitness over the winter

'I know the feeling when you do win them now and it’s worth all of the work that you put in.'

Prior to his success at Flushing Meadows, Murray had won 22 singles titles but had never managed to go all the way in a grand slam tournament, tasting defeat in four finals and reaching numerous semi-finals.

He added: 'In the past, there were loads and loads of questions. I wasn’t physically strong enough. I wasn’t mentally strong enough. I didn’t listen to my coaches. I was spoilt. Whatever it was, none of that really bothers me any more.

'I’m just looking for ways to keep improving.'

Although Murray has been working hard on the physical side of his game, he is adamant that the real difference between victory and defeat comes from brains, not brawn.

The Scot's love of boxing is well known – he counts David Haye as a close friend – so he was thrilled to meet former undisputed heavyweight champion Lennox Lewis while filming for the BBC's SPOTY programme, where the pair talked training – and winning.

'Heavyweight boxing is the pinnacle of sport really, especially when he (Lewis) was fighting,' said Murray. 'So to get to pick his brains about certain things was nice.

'I asked a lot of questions about current boxers and how you train. He was saying boxing is 70 per cent mental, 30 per cent physical in the actual talent you need, and I think that applies to a lot of sports.

'The difference in how guys hit a ball is not that huge, but it’s about how you deal with the pressure moments and who can hold their nerve.

'When you get towards the end of sets, some guys make more mistakes than others.'

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES…

Murray at Melbourne Park last year

Murray flexes his muscles back in 2009

Murray's torso is noticeably less ripped during practice at Melbourne Park last year (left) while, despite his best Incredible Hulk impression, his still-impressive physique from 2009 (right) is not as muscular as today

Billy Vunipola set to sign new Wasps deal

EXCLUSIVE: Forward thinking to keep Billy at Wasps until 2015

|

UPDATED:

22:29 GMT, 31 December 2012

Wasps are on the verge of retaining one of the brightest emerging talents in English rugby, Billy Vunipola.

The marauding Anglo-Tongan No 8 has been in sensational form for the revitalised Wasps this season but his contract expires in June, drawing intense speculation about his future plans.

Vunipola has been linked with Saracens, where older brother Mako — who made his England debut against Fiji at the start of the recent autumn series — plays.

On the run: Billy Vunipola looks set to sign a new deal at Wasps

On the run: Billy Vunipola looks set to sign a new deal at Wasps

Leicester have also reportedly expressed an interest in the 20-year-old ball-carrier, who was born in Sydney but has represented England at Under 18 and Under 20 level.

He grew up in Wales then Bristol, before attending Harrow school, and signed for Wasps in the hope of emulating club icon Lawrence Dallaglio.

This has been his breakthrough season, with 13 starts and 15 appearances as a 20st force of nature at the base of the scrum.

Going nowhere: Vunipola has been in impressive form for Wasps this season

Going nowhere: Vunipola has been in impressive form for Wasps this season

Dai Young, Wasps’ director of rugby, has repeatedly expressed his determination to keep hold of a player he feels is destined for senior England recognition in the near future.

Now it appears his wishes have been answered as Sportsmail understands Vunipola has reached agreement with the club about staying and is set to sign a new deal this week.

It would be a major coup for Wasps, and the development follows the decision in November by England lock sensation Joe Launchbury to commit to the club until June 2015. Young is developing a top squad on a core of great young, homegrown talent.

Chris Wood will sign for Leicester for 1.5m

Foxes snare 1.5m West Brom hitman Wood to aid promotion push

|

UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 27 December 2012

Leicester have won the battle to sign Chris Wood after
agreeing a 1.5million deal with West Brom for the free-scoring New Zealand
striker.

Wood has been in prolific form during a loan spell with
Millwall, who were anxious to turn his temporary stay into a permanent transfer and were competing with Leicester, Huddersfield and several other
clubs for his signature.

But the 21-year old has opted for Championship promotion
chasers Leicester and will be confirmed as a Foxes’ player shortly.

Goal machine: Chris Wood has been in fine fettle for Milwall

Goal machine: Chris Wood has been in fine fettle for Milwall

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson bemoaned his side’s lack of
a cutting edge after seeing them follow a 1-0 home defeat by Cardiff with a
goalless draw at Hull on Boxing Day.

He was adamant that the addition of more firepower could
prove vital to their promotion prospects and admitted he was hopeful of a
transfer breakthrough in the next few days.

Though he played down speculation
that he was closing in on Wood, the burly West Brom target man was always his
main priority and is now heading to the East Midlands to bolster Leicester’s
promotion push.

Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 4 match report: xxx

Aston Villa 0 Tottenham 4: Bale's triple salvo crushes Villains' resistance

PUBLISHED:

19:22 GMT, 26 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

19:22 GMT, 26 December 2012

Gareth Bale scored a second-half hat-trick as Tottenham moved up to fourth place in the Premier League after a dominant display at Villa Park.

The visitors had an amazing 16 efforts on target but they had to wait until the 57th minute to make the breakthrough when Jermain Defoe fired his shot past Guzman

Bale added a second four minutes later with a neat finish and the Welsh wizard added his second with a 73rd minute strike.

Bale completed his hat-trick from close range in the 84th minute.

Gareth Bale celebrates his goal against Villa

Handy: Gareth Bale celebrates his goal against Villa

Match facts

Latest Premier League table and results

x

Jermain Defoe makes the breakthrough

Jermain Defoe makes the breakthrough

Happy days: Defoe celebrates his strike

Happy days: Defoe celebrates his strike

Ryan Shawcross to pledge future to Stoke

I want to stay because of Pulis: Loyal Shawcross set to pledge future to Stoke

|

UPDATED:

22:43 GMT, 2 December 2012

In an age when loyalty in football is the supposed to be the sole preserve of the supporter, Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross appears to be a throwback to a bygone era.

With his contract running towards an end, a lucrative six-year replacement deal is on the table for the Potters’ centre-half.

Surely he could be forgiven therefore, having made the breakthrough into the England squad, if he were to set his sights higher

Loyal: Ryan Shawcross is poised to sign a new deal at Stoke City

Loyal: Ryan Shawcross is poised to sign a new deal at Stoke City

But Stoke’s captain believes he owes a debt to manager Tony Pulis. And that’s why he looks certain to tie up his contract before Christmas.

‘I want to stay and they want to keep me,’ he said, ‘the talks are on-going. I’m happy, the club is happy.

‘But the main reason I want to stay is the gaffer. He’s been great to me throughout my time here and made me captain at a young age.

'I’ve told him I want to stay here.

‘He’s improved me as a player every year — and he got me into the England squad because that was a goal of mine.

‘It’s been an issue. But getting a call-up shows a Stoke player can get into the England squad and I’ve been in the last couple now.

‘I don’t want to go — even if a top four club comes in for me — but it’s all down to the people above me now.’

Pulis said he has had to ‘slap’
Shawcross into line from time to time, but the fact the Potters boast
the second best defensive record in the Premier League is no fluke.

It
wasn’t pretty at the Hawthorns between these two — it rarely has been —
but it was mightily effective against a Baggies’ side that managed just
one direct effort on Asmir Begovic’s goal all afternoon as the Potters
grabbed their first away win.

West Brom head coach Steve Clarke has not fielded the same team in consecutive matches this season.

Influential: Tony Pulis (left) is one of the main reasons why Shawcross wants to stay at Stoke

Influential: Tony Pulis (left) is one of the main reasons why Shawcross wants to stay at Stoke

On the cusp: Shawcross has broken onto the England scene

On the cusp: Shawcross has broken onto the England scene

For that reason, he was not going to point fingers at the final whistle following six changes from the XI that lost to Swansea City.

‘The changes were made to freshen things up,’ he said, ‘I can’t keep saying I’ve got a good squad then pick the same players every week.

‘I’d be a liar if that happened. I can’t tell the players that I trust them the same and then not do it. It was a week to use the squad. And that’s what I did.’

Raheem Sterling interviewed by police over alleged attack on woman in Liverpool

England teenager Sterling quizzed by cops over alleged attack on woman in Liverpool

|

UPDATED:

10:33 GMT, 20 November 2012

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling was interviewed by Merseyside Police in connection with an alleged attack on a woman earlier this month.

The 17-year-old made his international debut for England last week against Sweden and has enjoyed a fine start so far in what is his breakthrough season at Anfield.

Quizzed: Raheem Sterling was interviewed by police

Quizzed: Raheem Sterling was interviewed by police

But it is reported that the teenager was
quizzed by police under caution after he reported to a Merseyside
station by prior appointment on November 5 – three days after the
alleged attack on a 27-year-old woman took place in the Liverpool 8
area.

Jamaican-born Sterling, who joined Liverpool two years ago from QPR, was not arrested, however, and the police revealed that investigations are ongoing.

‘Merseyside police can confirm that a 17-year-old male from the Woolton area was interviewed under caution following a report of an assault on Friday, November 2,’ a police spokesperson told the Daily Mirror.

On the ball: Sterling made his international debut for England against Sweden last week

On the ball: Sterling made his international debut for England against Sweden last week

‘A 27-year-old woman received slight injuries during the incident in the Liverpool 8 area.

‘The investigation is ongoing and no formal action has been taken.’

The Mirror reported that Liverpool declined to comment on the police interview.

Sterling, who has a five-month old daughter Melody Rose, turns 18 next month and is in line to receive a new bumper deal at Liverpool to secure his long-term future at Anfield.

Carlos Tevez shows Hammers Irons sign to West Ham fans

Hammers hero Tevez hails 'fantastic relationship' with fans after 'Irons' sign

|

UPDATED:

20:09 GMT, 4 November 2012

Carlos Tevez has spoken of his 'fantastic relationship' with West Ham supporters after being given a rapturous homecoming from the Upton Park faithful on Saturday.

The Manchester City striker was given a brilliant reception by Hammers fans ahead of Saturday's 0-0 draw.

A place in his heart: Carlos Tevez held his crossed arms aloft showing a Hammers sign to the fans of his former club

A place in his heart: Carlos Tevez held his crossed arms aloft showing a Hammers sign to the fans of his former club

And the Argentina striker responded by giving the cross-armed 'Hammers' salute, a move that delighted home fans.

The Tevez love-in continued during
the game as West Ham fans chanted, 'There's only one Carlos Tevez' and
'Carlos Tevez, he wants to come home'.

Tevez's goals kept West Ham in the Premier League in 2007 – something fans of the East London club have never forgotten.

Appreciated: West ham fans responded by singing songs praising Tevez, whose goals saved them from relegation in 2007

Appreciated: West ham fans responded by singing songs praising Tevez, whose goals saved them from relegation in 2007

Class act: Tevez shone for Manchester City at Upton Park, despite being unable to make the crucial breakthrough for his team

Class act: Tevez shone for Manchester City at Upton Park, despite being unable to make the crucial breakthrough for his team

And the former Manchester United forward said: 'I have always had a fantastic relationship with the West Ham supporters.

'They were singing my name before the game and that's why I did that (Hammers salute), in tribute to them.

'I've always felt really at home there.'

All smiles: Tevez shared a joke with George McCartney (left) before kick-off at Upton Park

All smiles: Tevez shared a joke with George McCartney (left) before kick-off at Upton Park

Tevez played 84 minutes against his old employers but could not add to his tally of four Premier League goals for the campaign.