Tag Archives: concerns

Ben Foster ends England exile

Foster ends England exile by giving Hodgson green light to pick him again

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

11:42 GMT, 28 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:06 GMT, 28 February 2013

Ben Foster has ended his England exile and decided to return to the national team squad at the request of England manager Roy Hodgson.

The West Brom goalkeeper has told Hodgson that he is ready to come back for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro.

Former Albion boss Hodgson is struggling to find top-class competition for Joe Hart and will be boosted by the news that a man he knows well from the year they spent together at The Hawthorns last season is ready to play international football again.

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

On the cards Foster is in line for an England return against San Marino and Montenegro, having left the national set-up (below) in 2011

Foster

For the last England game, the 2-1 friendly win over Brazil, Hodgson only named two goalkeepers in his squad, Hart and Jack Butland.

Foster announced towards the end of the 2010-11 campaign, when he was still at Birmingham City, that he was withdrawing from the international scene because of injury concerns.

His last game was a 2-1 defeat by France in November 2010.

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Two's too few: England only named goalkeepers Joe Hart and Jack Butland (below) in their squad against Italy

Jack Butland against Italy

The former Manchester United keeper suffers from groin problems and earlier this season underwent surgery to cure the nagging issue.

However, since returning he has been in superb form, saving a penalty from Steven Gerrard during West Brom's 2-0 victory over Liverpool.

He has been a massive factor in Albion's push for a Europa League spot.

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Old guard: Hodgson managed Foster during his spell at The Hawthorns

Arsenal target David Villa scores two great goals

Are you watching, Arsene Villa shows Arsenal what they are missing with two great goals in 5-0 Barca romp

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

00:06 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 11 January 2013

David Villa showed Arsene Wenger exactly what he was missing as he scored two goals of real quality in Barcelona's 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba on Thursday night.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with the 31-year-old forward, but Wenger is believed to have reservations over a move for the Spaniard, as Villa is likely to be costly in both transfer fee and wages.

See what your missing: Arsenal target David Villa (foreground) scored two excellent goals in the 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba

See what you're missing: Arsenal target David Villa (foreground) scored two excellent goals in the 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba

Earlier this month Arsenal were quoted a price of 16million to bring Villa to the Emirates but Wenger does not usually spend big on players over 30, and has added concerns over Villa's long-term fitness as he suffered a broken leg last season.

Villa would also likely expect wages of at least 130,00-per week, which could be another stumbling block in any potential deal for the player.

His first goal tonight saw him beat two players on the byline before a neat chip over the Cordoba keeper, while his second was a very smart low drive down to the keeper's left.

One: Villa's first saw him beat two men before cheekily dinking the ball over the goalkeeper

One: Villa's first saw him beat two men before cheekily dinking the ball over the goalkeeper

Despite his high price tag and injury concerns, bringing Villa to England may not be as risky as it sounds.

In limited playing time this season he has seven goals in all competitions, while he has 53 in 85 appearances for Spain and 28 league goals in 61 games for Barcelona.

Villa himself is reported to be desperate for the move to go ahead, but Barca president Sandro Rosell ruled out a move just this week.

Two: The Barcelona striker's second was an expertly driven low shot into the corner

Two: The Barcelona striker's second was an expertly driven low shot into the corner

Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC1 on Tuesday, Rosell said: 'I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market.

'He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left.'

Villa's two goals, as well as goals from Thiago Alcantara and two from Alexis Sanchez, sealed a 7-0 aggregate win over Second division Cordoba that sent Barcelona into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Reservations: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (pictured) has concerns about paying a reported 16m for a 31-year-old

Reservations: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (pictured) has concerns about paying a reported 16m for a 31-year-old

Jessica Ennis misses out on Female Athlete of the Year to Allyson Felix

Team GB golden girl Ennis pipped to Athlete of the Year by US sprinter Felix in Barcelona

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UPDATED:

13:31 GMT, 25 November 2012

Jessica Ennis has missed out on being named the 2012 Female Athlete of the Year after American sprinter Allyson Felix won the award.

Olympic heptathlon champion Ennis was on the three-strong final shortlist, but lost out to Felix, who won three gold medals at London 2012, at an IAAF ceremony in Barcelona this afternoon.

Felix, 27, won the 200 metres and the 4x100m and 4x400m titles in the summer.

Unlucky Jessica: Prince Albert of Monaco (left) stood next to, Usain Bolt (centre left) and US sprinter Allyson Felix (centre right) after she pipped Ennis to Female Athlete of the Year

Unlucky Jessica: Prince Albert of Monaco (left) stood next to, Usain Bolt (centre left) and US sprinter Allyson Felix (centre right) after she pipped Ennis to Female Athlete of the Year

New Zealand shot putter Valerie Adams had also been in contention.

Usain Bolt won the men’s award for the fourth time in the last five years.

He beat Olympic 800m champion David Rudisha and 110m hurdles gold medallist Aries Merritt.

The pair have both set world records this year, while Bolt successfully defended his three sprint titles.

'This means a lot to me as this was one of my hardest years,' Bolt, who had fitness concerns in the run-up to the Olympics, said on the IAAF website.

Looking sharp: US athlete Aries Merritt missed out on an award

Looking sharp: Usain Bolt picked up the men's award

Looking sharp: Usain Bolt (right) picked up the men's award as Aries Merritt (right) missed out

Beaten: Yohan Blake

Winner: Allyson Felix pipped Jessica Ennis in Barcelona

Winner: Allyson Felix (right) pipped Jessica Ennis in Barcelona and Yohan Blake (left) strikes his signature pose

'My coach doesn’t want us to discuss injuries, so I didn’t talk about it, so this means a lot.'

Felix said: 'It is pretty much one of the coolest awards I’ve ever received.

'Winning it means you are at the top of your sport, which is something we all strive for. To finally reach the goal during the journey of a long career is very special.'

Another win: Bolt picked up his fourth award in five years

Another win: Bolt picked up his fourth award in five years

Class act: Jessica Ennis shone in the London Games, winning the heptathlon gold

Class act: Jessica Ennis shone in the London Games, winning the heptathlon gold

'For me this is a great honor to win a fourth time. I really worked hard and I was really focused this year. This season was one of my toughest.

'I had my ups and downs, even though we don’t like to talk about them,' said Bolt, who thanked his coach and the fans at this summer’s Olympics.

'The London games were magnificent. Fans were there in the stadium from 10 in the morning, I had never seen anything like that.'

In 2003, Bolt and Felix won the Rising Star awards for the most promising young athletes of the year.

Bolt said: 'Nine years ago I was here with Allyson, now I am back, that means I am getting old, which is slightly worrying,'

'But I will continue to work hard.'

Arsene Wenger blasts international friendlies

It's little wonder players are pulling out of international friendlies – they're just there to make money, says Wenger

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UPDATED:

09:35 GMT, 14 November 2012

Arsene Wenger says it's little wonder players are withdrawing from this week's international friendlies – they're a waste of time and just a way of making money, he says.

The Arsenal manager believes national team bosses are kidding themselves that this week's clashes are useful preparation for competitive matches three months away.

Quite a few players seem to agree, with Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon, Jonjo Shelvey and Kyle Walker all withdrawing from Roy Hodgson's England squad to take on Sweden.

Making a point: Arsene Wenger believes international friendlies are inconvenient and just a way of making money for corporations

Making a point: Arsene Wenger believes international friendlies are inconvenient and just a way of making money for corporations

While some of these may have genuine injury concerns, cynics may argue that they just can't be bothered.

Elsewhere in Europe, Spain, Germany and Holland have all been hit by withdrawals, with former Arsenal player Robin Van Persie dropping out of the Holland squad with a thigh injury despite completing a full 90 minutes for Manchester United on Saturday.

While it's a short hop for England over to Stockholm and an even shorter trip for Germany to Amsterdam, Spain are flying half-way around the world to play Panama.

Wenger said in The Sun: 'There are a lot of politics behind these games because when you see some teams travelling during that period, you think it is more to pay back some corporation rather than preparing a team for the next official game.

'The friendlies in November, how can they prepare you for a game in February

'I believe the friendly games are there as well to help some federations to raise money.'

Reshuffle: England boss Roy Hodgson had to rethink his plans after half a dozen players withdrew from the squad to take on Sweden

Reshuffle: England boss Roy Hodgson had to rethink his plans after half a dozen players withdrew from the squad to take on Sweden

Wayne Rooney hobbles out of Manchester United's game at Aston Villa on Saturday

Theo Walcott picked up a knock in Arsenal's draw with Fulham at the weekend

Absentees: Wayne Rooney (left) and Theo Walcott (right) are two of the England stars out of England's friendly against Sweden on Wednesday night

Wenger thinks midweek friendlies should be moved to Tuesday evenings, with prior agreement between clubs and managers about how long their star players can be on the field.

'The problem is not to have too much conflict with the interests of the club.

'For example, when we play this Saturday at 12.45 against Tottenham and Santi Cazorla plays in Panama on Wednesday, you cannot say there is no conflict of interest.

'What is difficult to understand is why these games are not like the official games and on a Tuesday.'

Long haul: Santi Cazorla (right) is part of the Spain squad flying off to Panama for a friendly this week

Long haul: Santi Cazorla (right) is part of the Spain squad flying off to Panama for a friendly this week

Wenger is just the latest manager to add a dissenting voice this week.

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo said: 'I question how worthwhile these friendlies are.

'I know the national coaches want to try out some stuff but I am not sure how much this benefits any of the players who are travelling from different time zones.'

And ex-Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp added: 'Players from all around the world have pulled out of friendlies.

'It would be interesting to see how bad they are by who plays on Saturday or Sunday for their club.

'It seems some only want to play when it suits them. Maybe some national coaches should not pick them again.'

Graham Onions set for England chance in India warm-up against Haryana

Onions set for chance to win England place with Finn absent for latest India warm-up

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UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 2 November 2012

England are likely to make several changes, just one enforced, to their team for Saturday's second match on their tour of India.

Steven Finn is certain to be missing because of his thigh strain against Mumbai A at the DY Patil Sports Academy, where new Test captain Alastair Cook could also take a breather after his century in the first match at the Brabourne Stadium.

England finished that three-day fixture with natural concerns over Finn, who managed just four overs before pulling up injured on day one and taking no further part.

Time to shine: Seamer Graham Onions is set to play for England on Saturday

Time to shine: Seamer Graham Onions is set to play for England on Saturday

The fast bowler was thought a likely member of a three-man pace attack for the first Test in Ahmedabad, but will surely have to play and come through unscathed the third tour match there if England are to stick to Plan A on November 15.

In his absence against India A, Tim Bresnan and James Anderson had to churn out more than 50 overs between them as the hosts reached 369 all out in the first innings and then put themselves back in front on 124 for four second time round.

Anderson said of Finn's setback: 'It's not ideal because you want to choose from your strongest squad.

'But we're lucky we have a number of bowlers who can come in and do a great job for us.'

Two men who can therefore expect to play for sure are Stuart Broad, the new Test vice-captain who could also deputise in charge for Cook, and Graham Onions.

One or even both of Anderson and Bresnan, with plenty of overs under their belts already, can take a break.

Ready for action: Stuart Broad practices in Mumbai on Thursday

Ready for action: Stuart Broad practices in Mumbai on Thursday

'Graham Onions, I'm sure, will get a chance in the next couple of games to show what he can do,' said Anderson. 'It's exciting for those guys. Obviously it's unfortunate for Steven – we'd like him to be fit for selection – but injuries do happen.'

England's other pressing concern, following a fixture in which Kevin Pietersen appeared to make a harmonious return after his summer of discontent, was a third-ball duck on debut for prospective Test opener Nick Compton.

Should Cook sit out proceedings, Compton and young Yorkshireman Joe Root may both be given a chance to impress at the top of the order over the next three days.

Either way, Anderson is unperturbed by what he has seen so far from batsmen who piled up 426 between them, or bowlers who stuck to their task admirably.

'We got two guys getting hundreds, a couple of 50s in there, and the lower order chipped in with useful runs,' he said. 'I think that's the way we're going to win Test matches out here.'

Roberto Di Matteo spends international week working with younger players

All quiet for Di Matteo as Chelsea boss takes time to work with younger players

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UPDATED:

12:01 GMT, 17 October 2012

Manager Roberto Di Matteo has been making the most of his quiet week at Chelsea.

With most of the Blues first-team squad away on international duty, it has been an opportunity for the manager to work with some of the younger players at Cobham.

Di Matteo will now step up preparations for Saturday lunchtime's Barclays Premier League game at Tottenham, with John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses having yesterday rejoined the group following their African Nations Cup qualifier against Liberia.

So quiet: With the majority of Chelsea's first teamers away on international duty, Roberto Di Matteo has taken the opportunity to work with the Under-21 side

So quiet: With the majority of Chelsea's first teamers away on international duty, Roberto Di Matteo has taken the opportunity to work with the Under-21 side

'This last week has been quite quiet for us – we've basically trained and coached the Under-21 team,' Di Matteo said on the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com.

'We have had the groups together because we had only six players, last international break it was three, so it's good for us to take a look at the younger players and good for them to be involved with us.'

Di Matteo feels his backroom staff of Steve Holland and Eddie Newton have all played a big part in helping take the European champions to the top of the Premier League.

International duty: Di Matteo is hoping Ashley Cole returns from England's match in Poland without any injury concerns

International duty: Di Matteo is hoping Ashley Cole returns from England's match in Poland without any injury concerns

'We have a good understanding among the technical staff. They are very supportive and both have good knowledge of the game,' he said.

'We have developed a strong trustworthy group, and we have [conditioning coach] Chris Jones and [goalkeeping coach] Christophe Lollichon with us as well, so I am happy with the management staff.'

Di Matteo will be hoping England duo Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill show no ill effects from having a day's less recovery following the postponement of Tuesday night's World Cup qualifier in Poland.

Frank Lampard (calf) and Ryan Bertrand (virus) did not make the trip to Warsaw, and continue to be assessed ahead of Saturday's game at White Hart Lane, after which comes a Champions League trip to Donetsk.

Chris Foy: This legacy could make kids losers

This legacy could make kids losers

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UPDATED:

22:35 GMT, 27 September 2012

Legacy. It's the sporting word of the
year. In the warm afterglow of the London Olympics, it has become a
cherished, six-letter symbol of British vision.

But in rugby, there are grave
concerns about legacy. Three years from a home World Cup which could
galvanise the sport as never before, there is unrest about the
management of future generations.

girls tag rugby

Word reaches this column of widespread discontent with the revamp of mini rugby up to Under 12 level. An RFU investigation into this formative stage resulted in a change of emphasis to smaller pitches and smaller teams, with the accent on core skills and decision-making. It's difficult to argue with the logic, which is in tune with the formula in other leading nations.

Following trials, the new model has been adopted around the counties. But there is a groundswell of alarm over what is seen as a move away from the principle of competition.

County officials have held meetings with club coaches to preach the new mantra but the message is being distorted. Many junior festivals are being arranged without finals or trophies, and in at least one case organisers have decreed that they won't even keep score during games.

Understandably, many parents are up in arms. Emails seen by Sportsmail lambast the system as 'absolute tosh', 'shocking' and 'disappointing', and 'another example of the namby-pamby society we live in'. There is a feeling that children must learn how to win and how to lose as preparation for adult life.

But the RFU insist this perception of the revamp is wrong, with rugby development director Steve Grainger saying: 'We'd like to reassure people that we're not “anti- competitive”. Tournaments, trophies and getting more children enjoying the game are at the heart of what we do.'

Somehow, the message is not filtering through. The confusion must be addressed, quickly. The commitment to develop skills in junior players is welcome but the context of competition cannot be removed. If it is – by accident or design – children and their parents will simply look elsewhere for that competitive 'fix'.

Ford stuck in neutral

George Ford of Leicester

Johan Goosen will start at No 10 for South Africa on Saturday, after graduating from the 2011 junior World Cup – where he scored the same number of penalties (10) as George Ford.

The English fly-half went on to win the IRB's World Young Player of the Year award but while Goosen serves as his country's playmaker, Ford will be on the bench for Leicester.

Again. He had a 15-minute cameo at London Welsh, seven minutes against Worcester and has been an unused replacement twice. Richard Cockerill can pick who he likes and he is backing Toby Flood, but a precocious talent is going to waste. Ford is in the Saxons squad but cannot put pressure on England's senior fly-halves if he can't get a game.

His Leicester contract expires at the end of the season and he is highly likely to move on.

It's all about the timing

There was something convenient about ERC's decision to confirm on Monday that the 2014 European finals would be held in France.

The announcement came a fortnight before the next talks aimed at resolving the TV rights row which is threatening the future of continental club competition – with French allegiance viewed as crucial.

The Heineken Cup final was last held in France in 2010, and in 2001 before that, with a block on the promotion of the title sponsor contributing to the scarcity of such showpieces there. Now it will return just four years later.

If there is a defined rota, why are these announcements trumpeted one by one And what about the talk of taking finals to Italy If the detail in the announcement is not cause for cynicism, the timing surely is.

Farrell shows his value

Anyone in doubt about the qualities Andy Farrell will offer England now he is back in the national coaching hierarchy should have heard him speak at the launch of a sponsorship agreement designed to enhance the development of young players. Normally, these occasions generate polite gratitude and corporate-speak but Farrell spoke with real passion in recalling his own formative years in rugby league. If that is how he can talk at a business-like function, his comments in the final minutes before a Test match must be truly inspirational.

The last word

Hardly a week goes by without a Welsh player being linked with a move to France and the latest to consider his options is Jamie Roberts. The Cardiff Blues centre is sure to ignite a transfer frenzy, given his status as a Grand Slam-winning Lion. Roberts, an outstanding player, is also a bright, articulate figure who will soon qualify as a doctor. If he departs, it will be emphatically the biggest loss yet to the game in Wales. Given his standing and qualities, the WRU should consider contributing to his salary in return for ambassadorial duties. Roberts would not be worse off – in any sense – for moving on, but Welsh rugby would be.

Sam Allardyce believes his West Ham squad are shaping up well

They look good to me! Allardyce sees West Ham vision beginning to take shape

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UPDATED:

13:21 GMT, 14 September 2012


Looking good! West Ham manager Sam Allardyce rubs his hands in glee during his team's last match with Fulham

Looking good! West Ham manager Sam Allardyce rubs his hands in glee during his team's last match with Fulham

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has revealed his excitement at standing back and observing his new-look squad during training sessions.

Due to injuries and the international break Allardyce has seen most of his squad come together for the first time this week and he believes it is a group of players strong enough to do well in the Barclays Premier League this season.

He said: 'Watching it (the squad) jog around the pitch and doing the training is when you say we have a good chance of doing well this year if we can keep them all fit and keep them playing to their best.

'I think we could have a relatively good season – it is far too early to tell what combinations will be what and who will perform better.

'Everyone who has a place will have to fight very hard to keep their place now with the squad we have got and anyone who gets a place will have to perform very, very well to keep it if they get the chance and that competition for places is a huge factor on getting the best out of the players on a consistent basis which is what you have to do to get the results you want in this division.'

Allardyce saw all of his international players return from duty without any injury concerns although Winston Reid only landed back in Britain from New Zealand on Thursday.

The Hammers are missing Jack Collison and loan-signing Andy Carroll through injury but the rest of Allardyce's squad is available for selection when they travel to face Norwich on Saturday.

Loan signing Yossi Benayoun featured in both of Israel's World Cup qualifiers but Allardyce is still not sure whether the midfielder is ready to start for West Ham.

'I couldn't possibly answer that question at this point in time,' he said. 'Yossi has been away with his national side and only had a light training session today, so we will assess the squad on Friday and make a decision on the starting line-up from there.'

No quick fix: Andy Carroll, who was injured on debut against Fulham, will miss Saturday's trip to Norwich

No quick fix: Andy Carroll, who was injured on debut against Fulham, will miss Saturday's trip to Norwich

Former Newcastle boss Allardyce is expecting a tough challenge against Norwich, who are still looking for their first league win of the season.

He said: 'Hopefully our players can hit the same levels they did last time out but, like every away game in this league, Norwich will provide a difficult test for us.

'It will also be good to see Chris Hughton at his new club, but hopefully I will be the one smiling at the end of the game.'

The fixture will see the Hammers kick-off early on Saturday afternoon for the third time this season.

Long haul: Winston Reid (number two) only returned from international duty in New Zealand on Thursday

Long haul: Winston Reid (number two) only returned from international duty in New Zealand on Thursday

Their first was strewn with defensive errors as they lost 3-0 at Swansea but their home game at Fulham proved to be more productive as they beat their London rivals 3-0.

Allardyce has no concerns with playing before the rest of the league and wants his players to reproduce the form shown in the Fulham game.

'I was reasonably happy with the lunchtime kick-off because it allows a manager less time to worry about the game,' he said.

'Our players are okay from that point too. This is our third consecutive 12:45pm kick-off but the only thing we are worried about is trying to perform as we did against Fulham.'

John Terry begs Roberto Di Matteo to let him face Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road

Terry shrugs off injury concerns by begging Di Matteo to let him face Ferdinand at Loftus Road

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UPDATED:

21:59 GMT, 13 September 2012

John Terry will plead with manager Roberto Di Matteo to let him lead Chelsea against Queens Park Rangers.

All eyes will be on Loftus Road ahead of kick-off to see whether Terry and Anton Ferdinand shake hands during the pre-match ritual.

Terry has been nursing an ankle injury picked up in England’s 5-0 win over Moldova last Friday — but the central defender is expected to train having done so on Wednesday and Thursday.

Let me play: John Terry will ask Roberto Di Matteo to be in Chelsea's starting XI

Let me play: John Terry will ask Roberto Di Matteo to be in Chelsea's starting XI

Privately, Terry has declared himself fit and is desperate to go toe-to-toe with Ferdinand for the first time since his successful court battle earlier this summer.

The Chelsea skipper was accused of racially abusing Ferdinand in the now infamous Premier League clash on October 23 — but Terry was cleared of the criminal charges in July.

Despite the fact he is likely to be targeted by QPR supporters the former England captain does not want to be accused of ducking the issue if he sits out the game.

Ferdinand is planning to refuse to shake hands with Terry and Ashley Cole who appeared as a defence witness for his Chelsea team-mate.

Flashpoint: Terry and Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road last season

Flashpoint: Terry and Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road last season

Chelsea released a statement pleading with their supporters to behave at Loftus Road.

‘Both Chelsea and QPR will work together with the police to ensure that anyone using discriminatory or inflammatory language on Saturday is identified, and that the strongest possible action is taken against them,’ the statement read.

‘Fans witnessing any form of abuse are urged to report it to a matchday steward or text confidentially on 07557 435421.’

Swede Hanson in Ryder Cup dilemma over sick son

Swede Hanson in Ryder Cup dilemma after sick son rushed to hospital

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UPDATED:

21:56 GMT, 8 September 2012

Swede Peter Hanson's Ryder Cup
preparations were thrown into chaos when his infant son was rushed to
hospital with a virus and put in isolation on Saturday.

Yet, with just 19 days to go before
the start of one of the biggest events in the world No 34's golf career,
he has been told to resist his natural instinct as a father and steer
clear of his child's bedside.

Anxious dad: Peter Hanson of Sweden

Anxious dad: Peter Hanson of Sweden

If he ignored the advice, he would risk having to pull out of the cup altogether. Hanson, 34, was racing up the leaderboard in the KLM Open in Holland when he learned that his 18-monthold son Tim was in hospital in Orlando suffering from a serious virus that affects children's lungs.

But despite wishing to be with his family, he has been told not to race to the child's bedside because he too could catch the virus – and this would threaten his place against the Americans at Medinah, in Chicago.

Explaining his decision to stay in Holland, Hanson – a member of the 2010 victorious Europe team – said: 'Tim has got an RS virus, which is dangerous when you are a child. He has been ill for a couple of days and it goes down to the lungs.

'I spoke to the doctor and he said that, with the Ryder Cup coming up, it might be possible I could also pick up the virus.

'So that's why we have Tim isolated in the Arnold Palmer Children's Hospital, because my wife Sanna is now ill and so too is our nanny.

'The doctors said that when they cough it could be so easy for me to pick up the virus.'

So when he tees off in the fourth round of the KLM Open today, just one shot behind four joint leaders who include England's Graeme Storm and Scotland's Scott Jamieson, Hanson's biggest test will be putting aside, for a few hours, his family concerns.