Tag Archives: council

Chelsea move to Earls Court from Stamford Bridge unlikely after setback

Stay away, Chelsea! Roman stadium blow as Blues told they have 'no place' at Earls Court

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

17:20 GMT, 23 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 23 January 2013

Chelsea have been dealt a fatal blow in their pursuit of moving to a bigger stadium away from Stamford Bridge.

Owner Roman Abramovich is desperate to relocate the west London club to Earls Court.

But the Russian billionaire will have to reconsider his lofty plans following a damning joint statement released by Hammersmith and Fulham Council, and developer EC Properties on Wednesday.

Moving on: Stamford Bridge has been Chelsea's home since 1905

Moving on: Stamford Bridge has been Chelsea's home since 1905

Bird's eye view: Roman Abramovich had set his sights on the Earls Court Exhibition Centre

Bird's eye view: Roman Abramovich had set his sights on the Earls Court Exhibition Centre

'Neither of the two landowners believes
that the inclusion of a football stadium in the scheme would offer the
regeneration benefits of the existing master plan,' the press release read.

'It is the firm intention of the two
landowners to proceed with this landmark regeneration, creating 9,500
permanent new jobs and around 36,000 temporary construction jobs.

Plans for the redevelopment of the Earls
Court site have been unveiled after an agreement paving the way for
1billion worth of community benefits in North Fulham and Earls Court
was signed – with Chelsea not part of that.

Blow: Roman Abramovich will be forced to reconsider his plans after another setback

Blow: Roman Abramovich will be forced to reconsider his plans after another setback

Hammersmith and Fulham Council Leader Nicholas Botterill added: 'There really is no place for
Chelsea Football Club within the Earls Court redevelopment.

'It remains
the council's firm belief that the future of Chelsea FC is best served
at their historic home of Stamford Bridge.'

Despite the obvious setback, Sportsmail understands Chelsea will continue to monitor the site as an option with the Stamford Bridge club aware that similar language has been used before.

Nevertheless today's statement will still come as a huge blow to Abramovich who continues to look for a new home for his side who have been based at Stamford Bridge since 1905.

Chelsea's hopes of moving to Battersea Power Station were extinguished last year after a Malaysian consortium completed a 400million purchase of the London landmark.

The Blues lodged a bid to move to the iconic 39-acre site on the south bank of the River Thames.

The west Londoners released plans in May that detailed how they hoped to turn the derelict site in to a 60,000-seater stadium incorporating the four famous chimneys.

More follows…

Newcastle sign Mathieu Debuchy from Lille

Debuchy heading to Newcastle as Magpies seal 5.5m deal

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UPDATED:

14:36 GMT, 30 December 2012

Newcastle United have agreed a deal with Lille for Mathieu Debuchy.
The French international, and friend of Magpies midfielder Yohan Cabaye, has finally completed his move to the north-east.

Debuchy was a target for Newcastle during the summer, but despite regular talks, they failed to land the defender.

Mathieu Debuchy

Alan Pardew

New arrival: Debuchy (left) will join up with Pardew (right) at Newcastle

The deal is believed to be worth
around 5.5million, and a resolution to the long-running saga will be a
relief for manager Alan Pardew.

Debuchy was vocal about his difficulties with the troubled Ligue 1 side.
Both he and departed goalkeeper Mickael Landreau waged war after Lille
boss Rudi Garcia axed the pair from the 'Conseil des Sages', a so-called
‘council of elders’ which used experienced players as a link between
coaches and the rest of the team.

Newcastle, meanwhile, could still be active in France this January, but have been told Marseille ace Loic Remy will cost 15m.

MATHIEU DEBUCHY FACTFILE

1985: Born July 28, Fretin, France.

2004: January – Makes professional debut for Lille

2005: May – Helps Lille finish second in Ligue 1 and qualify for the Champions League.

2006: March – Ruled out for six months with knee ligament injury.

2010: August – Called into France squad for the first time.

2011: May 14 – Wins Coupe de France as Lille beat Paris St Germain 1-0 in the final.

May 21 – Clinches Ligue 1 title with Lille to complete the double.

November – Makes debut for France against Albania.

2012: June – Plays in all four of France's matches at Euro 2012, including the 1-1 group stage draw with England.

December – Lille agree deal with Newcastle for sale of Debuchy.

England win Test series in India for first time in 28 years

England end 28-year wait for series victory in India as Trott bats hosts into submission

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UPDATED:

12:05 GMT, 17 December 2012

England scored a famous 2-1 Test series victory over India after centurions Jonathan Trott and Ian Bell shut the hosts out to confirm the stalemate they needed in Nagpur.

Trott (143) and Bell (116no) barely had a moment's anxiety in a stand of 208 before England declared on 352 for four in the final session, with a lead of 356 which rendered an India second innings unnecessary.

It is almost 28 years since England last won a Test series here, under David Gower and when current captain Alastair Cook was a babe in arms only weeks old.

Party time: Prior celebrates victory with England back room staff

Party time: Prior celebrates victory with England back room staff

Cook has been one of the foundations
of this success, with centuries in his first three Tests after replacing
Andrew Strauss as permanent captain.

But it was Trott and Bell who today
ensured an achievement all the more notable after England's crushing
nine-wicket defeat in the first Test in Ahmedabad.

There was much reason for personal
satisfaction too – in Trott's second hundred of 2012 while Warwickshire
team-mate Bell registered his first since making 235 against these same
opponents at The Oval in 2010, and in a country where he had previously
passed 50 just once in three tours.

Cook, Kevin Pietersen and spinners
Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann had begun England's comeback in Mumbai;
then the captain was at it again in Kolkata last week, when Steven Finn
and in particular James Anderson's mastery of reverse-swing completed
England's skills set.

It was heartening that Trott and Bell
should be involved in the home straight, though, after their relative
troubles in a year which has seen England lose seven of 15 Tests as well
as their position at the top of the International Cricket Council
rankings.

After Trott's ducks in Ahmedabad and
Mumbai, he contributed significantly at Eden Gardens and here –
completing the process with a typically cussed near five-hour hundred
and also passing 1,000 runs after all in the past 12 months.

England's number three reached three
figures with a trademark boundary wide of mid-on off leg-spinner Piyush
Chawla, and celebrated with feeling.

All around him India, minus veteran
master batsman Sachin Tendulkar who was off the field with a sore neck,
wore glum faces resigned to a first home series defeat in eight years.

Bell did nothing to lighten their mood
either and, having had just one escape on 75 when a fierce cut at
Piyush Chawla was edged and put down by Virender Sehwag at slip, reached
his painstaking six-hour hundred from 293 balls.

Getting shirty: KP enjoys a beer in his shirt signed by all the players

Getting shirty: KP enjoys a beer in his shirt signed by all the players

Along the way, there had been 13 fours and a six over long-off from the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.

Soon after that blow to bring up the
200 stand, Trott was finally gone – India's only success of the day when
he was caught at leg-slip off Ravichandran Ashwin from the 310th
delivery he faced.

He and Bell had joined forces at a
wobbly 94 for three when Pietersen was bowled shouldering arms at Jadeja
last night, and Trott's only alarm came on 106 when he missed a Chawla
top-spinner but survived the lbw appeal.

England arrived here needing only a
draw, but Cook was at pains beforehand to spell out the danger of
settling for limited ambition with stakes so high.

In the event, conditions dictated that
the stalemate would have to do on a mesmerisingly slow surface which
precluded a scoring rate much in excess of two an over throughout.

Despite its crazy-paving cracks from the outset, the VCA Stadium strip never deteriorated either.

Unwatered and unrolled for almost
three weeks before the match, the intention seemed to be to provide a
'result' pitch in the hope India's four spinners could outbowl England's
two.

If those were the expectations, it was soon abundantly clear the hosts were barking up the wrong tree.

Solitary seamer Ishant Sharma was by
far the pick of their attack in the first innings, when low bounce from
his high trajectory posed the biggest threat to England.

But after the tourists recovered from
16 for two to top 300, it was hard to see India getting far enough in
front quickly enough to apply the pressure.

So it proved as, even after a near
double-century fifth-wicket stand between Virat Kohli and captain
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, they ended up declaring with a marginal deficit.

England knew then they merely needed
to bat long in increasingly benign conditions to claim the prize of a
historic series victory.

Thanks to their relentless fourth-wicket pair, it was never in doubt.

Unstoppable: Trott's 143 laid the foundations for England's decisive draw with India

Unstoppable: Trott's 143 laid the foundations for England's decisive draw with India

Picture dispute

We are unable to carry live pictures from the fourth Test in Nagpur 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.

Hereford racecourse given hope after hosting final meeting in 241-year history

Hereford racecourse given a lifeline after hosting final meeting in 241-year history

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UPDATED:

17:56 GMT, 16 December 2012

It may not be all doom and gloom for the supporters of Hereford racecourse, which held its final meeting for the foreseeable future on Sunday.

Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone (due to race for the last time on Tuesday) claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open at some stage in the future.

Assistant racing director Jim Allen said: ‘There are still 17 years left on the lease and any racecourse or body can come and talk to us about it.

Game over: The sun set on Hereford's racing history on Sunday

Game over: The sun set on Hereford's racing history on Sunday

Hope: Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open in the future

Hope: Owners Arena Racing Company, who also run Folkestone claim they are still open to negotiation and that the track could re-open in the future

‘We’d like to see racing continue at
Hereford at some point in the future and we’ll do what we can to make
that happen. We’ll be maintaining it, it will stay as it is and there is
still every opportunity that some fixtures in 2014 will return here.’

Disputes with the local council over the lease have led to Arena deciding to curtail a business which it says is not financially viable.

Even if this is the case, any of the remaining races of even vague importance have long been transferred elsewhere and recent investment in the facilities at the venue is non-existent, with the bar for owners and trainers, for example, housed in a fairly dilapidated shack.

Richard Johnson, so often runner-up in the jockeys’ championship to Tony McCoy, was born just five miles away and rode his first ever winner at Hereford on his grandfather’s Rusty Bridge in 1994.

Bustling: The bookmakers stools were as busy as ever

Bustling: The bookmakers stools were as busy as ever

End of an era: Spectators make their way into the racecourse for the last time

End of an era: Spectators make their way into the racecourse for the last time

Appropriately Johnson took the opening race on the card when partnering Sammys Gone to victory.

He said: ‘I was 16 when I first rode here, so it’s very sad. I know a lot of people have said they are keen on trying to do something to keep it open, so I really hope they do.’

A decent crowd of 2,600 watched the last race in Hereford’s 241-year history, and it turned out to be a lucky one for Seymour Eric who was winning for the first time in his career and completed a double on the day for trainer Martin Keighley.

He said: ‘It’s a local track to me, it’s well run and it’s sad to see it go. Hopefully something can change.’

Below par: The facilities at the venue were criticised due to a lack of recent investment

Below par: The facilities at the venue were criticised due to a lack of recent investment

One last time: Seymour Eric won The Thermolast Handicap Hurdle Race, the last race of the day

One last time: Seymour Eric won The Thermolast Handicap Hurdle Race, the last race of the day

There might not have been any Cheltenham Festival candidates on show at Hereford yesterday, but across the Irish Sea Pont Alexandre looked a top-class hurdler in the making when landing the Navan Novice Hurdle.

The performance was good enough for the Willie Mullins-trained four-year-old to be installed as 6-1 favourite with Paddy Power for the Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.

Lord Herman Ouseley steps down from Football Association

Kick It Out chairman Ouseley quits post at FA claiming football is going backwards over racism

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UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 14 December 2012

Lord Herman Ouseley stepped down from his position on the FA’s council this morning because he believes football is going backwards in tackling racism.

But he will continue as chairman of the game’s equality and inclusion campaign Kick It Out.

The 67-year-old said that black players have lost faith in the FA’s ability to deal with racism and that his position on the council had become ‘untenable’.

Backwards: Lord Herman Ouseley believes football is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to race cases

Backwards: Lord Herman Ouseley believes football is moving in the wrong direction when it comes to race cases

Stepping down: Lord Herman Ouseley

Stepping down: Lord Herman Ouseley

Lord Ouseley criticised the national game’s governing body for ‘allowing its own processes to be undermined in the way it handled the Terry and Suarez cases’ and that there has been ‘almost a complacency that’s been creeping in that we’ve achieved quite a bit and can move on. The sporting ethic seems to be lost in parts of game.’

And when asked on Radio 4 if football is going backwards in terms of racism he replied: ‘Yes, it clearly is.’ Ouseley wants football matches to be stopped if racist chanting is heard in the crowd and for people who run football clubs to show moral leadership adding ‘everyone just protects their own interests’.

The move is confirmation of comments he made earlier in the week. On Tuesday he hinted that he would be quitting in ‘a matter of days’.

And he added: ‘I believe there has been a collective failure on the part of people running the game. They have to come forward very soon with a plan to show that what happened in the last year will not happen again.

‘We need to see some dynamic leadership from David Bernstein [Football Association], Richard Scudamore [Premier League] and Gordon Taylor [Professional Footballers’ Association].

'These are good, committed people but they need to recognise that we’re now in a new climate. Vile chanting and abusive behaviour is out there and we are in very dangerous times with the increase of right-wing activity and intolerance.'

Untenable: John Terry was banned for four matches after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Untenable: John Terry was banned for four matches after racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Formula One calendar 2013: Turkish Grand Prix looks set for return in absence of New Jersey race

Turkish GP looks set for return to F1 calendar in absence of New Jersey race

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UPDATED:

16:15 GMT, 5 December 2012

The 2013 Formula One calendar could again stretch to 20 races in the wake of today’s final meeting this year of the World Motor Sport Council.

With the removal of the Grand Prix of America in New Jersey until 2014 due to financial and construction difficulties, it appeared the calendar for next season would revert back to 19 races following the record 20 this campaign.

Track record: Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag at Istanbul in May 2010

Track record: Lewis Hamilton takes the chequered flag at Istanbul in May 2010

2013 Formula One Calendar

Mar 17: Australia
Mar 24: Malaysia

Apr 14: China
Apr 21: Bahrain

May 12: Spain
May 26: Monaco

Jun 9: Canada
Jun 30: Britain

Jul 7: Germany
Jul 21: TBC
Jul 28: Hungary

Aug 25: Belgium

Sep 8: Italy
Sep 22: Singapore

Oct 6: Korea
Oct 13: Japan
Oct 27: India

Nov 3: Abu Dhabi
Nov 17: United States
Nov 24: Brazil

However, the WMSC has opted to switch
the German GP – which still does not have a confirmed venue – from July
14 to July 7, and which will now be back-to-back with the British GP at
Silverstone.

In doing so, they have created a vacancy for July 21, which the WMSC state 'has been reserved for another F1 European event, subject to the approval of the relevant ASNs (National Sporting Authority)'.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone is known to be in discussions with the new owners of the Istanbul Park in the hope of restoring the Turkish Grand Prix to the calendar, with the likelihood now next year.

That race would also form a double-header with the Hungarian Grand Prix on July 28 ahead of a four-week summer break across August.

Rafa Benitez Chelsea latest: Former Liverpool boss ready for Stamford Bridge job – comment

He didn't want to be baby-sitting for Pep but now Rafa is ready to lead Chelsea

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UPDATED:

09:37 GMT, 21 November 2012

'My ideas are near to the Milan of Arrigo Sacchi. I like technical and aggressive teams that don’t allow the opponents to play. I like teams that play the ball with speed and look to score with as few passes as possible.' – Rafa Benitez (2004)

When Montse Benitez handed her newborn baby to husband Rafa for night-feeding duties she expected little else.

For the next three months, at 4am every morning, the proud father would feed his baby daughter until she peacefully settled. Yet it wasn't the sweet background sound of nursery rhymes that prompted young Miss Benitez to slumber but the whirring of an old video recorder playing football videos as her doting father studied footage of his side's next opposition.

Some call it dedication, some would call it obsession. It is a quality that often strained relationships among his Liverpool staff but it is one that also brought memorable results.

Challenge: Rafa Benitez would be up to the task of taking over at Chelsea

Challenge: Rafa Benitez would be up to the task of taking over at Chelsea

Last year when Chelsea came calling, Benitez wanted assurances that he wasn't just baby-sitting for Pep Guardiola. Budget wasn't an issue, he wanted a challenge that he could turn into a legacy.

Today Benitez is addressing the Abu Dhabi Sports Council with a talk about football coaching; the differing styles between Spanish, English and Italian leagues and the structures of football clubs. He talks from experience and is on comfortable ground. However, Benitez is now ready to take risks. To steal his phrase, that's fact.

Talk to Benitez and he is charming company. There is a recognition that he became embroiled in the wrong arguments at Liverpool and Inter Milan but also a burning desire to prove he can bring success to any club.

Passion: Benitez would thrive on the vacant job at Stamford Bridge

Burning desire: Benitez wants to prove he can be a success at any club but does not want to be a babysitter for Pep Guardiola (below)

In the shadows: Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola

A deep thinker and supreme strategist he can't help but talk in football nuances. How running in a side-on lateral movement gives you greater chance of recovering possession, how closing down the left-footed centre back when on his right steals an advantage or simply when demonstrating tactical moves with his prized chess set, two salt cellars or a bowl of fat cut chips – Benitez thrives on the challenge of the game.

Though with Roman Abramovich he seeks an assurance he can be allowed to do the job, the demands of the task do not trouble him. Nor does the status of any player.

Steven Gerrard probably never forgave him for the day he substituted Liverpool's iconic captain during a Merseyside derby at Goodison Park. Yet his replacement, Lucas Leiva, went on to win the decisive penalty. 'Gerrard,' Benitez said, 'was playing with too much passion.'

Fernando Torres was non-plussed as he was unceremoniously taken off when Liverpool toiled against Birmingham City. Benitez was adamant his striker's health needed protecting. Days later Torres tore Benfica apart in a UEFA Cup quarter final.

They've got previous: Benitez bought Torres when he was in charge at Liverpool

They've got previous: Benitez bought Torres when he was in charge at Liverpool

Glory days: Benitez guided Liverpool to Champions League success in 2005

Glory days: Benitez guided Liverpool to Champions League success in 2005

How Chelsea would love those sort of problems.

Torres is the great enigma. Dropped last night, there is a recognition that the 50million striker must be sacrificed but Benitez can save Abramovich that embarrassment. He believes he can bring out the best in his compatriot and still harness the finesse of Juan Mata, Oscar and Eden Hazard to boot.

Abramovich wants victory with style. The problem is idealistic choice Guardiola would come without the well-laid foundations that preceded his project at Barcelona. Benitez has confidence he can deliver now.

The Anglophile may drive a Union Jack mini by choice but Benitez can accelerate Abramovich's Rolls-Royce of a squad to the glory days they yearn for.

Cricket World Cup semi-final fix claims denied by BCCI

BCCI chief dismisses claim of fix between India and Pakistan in World Cup semi-final

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UPDATED:

19:26 GMT, 11 November 2012

WAS THE WORLD CUP SEMI-FINAL FIXED

Read the full story here

The chief of Indian cricket has rubbished renewed claims that their World Cup semi-final against Pakistan last year was fixed.

A Sportsmail article, which included content from a yet-to-be-published book, alleges that the match had been played out to a pre-planned script that was apparently e-mailed to an English-based sports betting journalist as it was being played. India won the match by 29 runs in Mohali.

Game in question: India celebrate their win over Pakistan last year

Game in question: India celebrate their win over Pakistan last year

Pakistan v India March 2011

Board of Control for Cricket in India president N Srinivasan on Sunday reacted angrily to the claims, told reporters: 'I don't generally comment on such newspaper reports but this is the farthest from the truth.

'And it is an insult to the Indian team which worked hard to win.'

Earlier this year the International Cricket Council denied it was conducting an investigation into the semi-final following reports to the contrary.

Then ICC chief Haroon Lorgat said in a statement: 'The story carried by the newspaper, in which it has claimed that the ICC is investigating the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 semi-final between India and Pakistan, is baseless and misleading.

Denial: The BCCI have hit back at the claims

Denial: The BCCI have hit back at the claims

'The ICC has no reason or evidence to require an investigation into this match.

'It is indeed sad for spurious claims to be made which only serve to cause doubt on the semi-final of one of the most successful ICC Cricket World Cups ever.'

Ijaz Butt, who was chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board at the time of the match, has called for the current board to take the matter to the ICC.

'I am no longer the chairman and it is not right for me to say anything now but I think the current chairman should take up this issue with the ICC,' he said.

Mario Balotelli less dramatic than Inspector Montalbano – Edge of the Box

Think Balotelli's a drama queen Try Montalbano

By
Mark Webster

PUBLISHED:

00:01 GMT, 5 November 2012

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UPDATED:

00:01 GMT, 5 November 2012

I for one could not be more grateful that BBC 4 are running the Sicilian detective series Inspector Montalbano.

I am learning so much. First of all, I now know that every building on the island seems to be made from the same cream coloured rock.

That, or some rather over-zealous local council official went a bit crazy with the magnolia paint they clearly got a great deal on.

Nothing to write home about: Mario Balotelli was relatively restrained

Nothing to write home about: Mario Balotelli was relatively restrained

Second, I have learned that only about eight people live there.

On the beach, in the town, at the police station, on the roads – not a soul, save for the Inspector, his sidekicks, the odd suspect or witness, and the fragrant young woman he’ll take for a giant plate of so-fresh-it's-still-squirming seafood that he’ll eat with her on the terrace of his favourite restaurant. Which is empty.

Thirdly, I have been getting a weekly crash course in the Italian language, as spoken by Italians. Close study has revealed you say ‘pronto’ when you answer the phone and that aside from a mouth to form words, you also need rolling eyes, fully shruggable shoulders and very wavey arms to be able to express yourself eloquently.

It is, all in all, great late night telly. It is not, however, the great Mario Balotelli.

Not my word, you understand. Nor, indeed, Alan Shearer’s if Saturday’s exchange on Match Of The Day was anything to go by.

The inscrutable Geordie was all fixed grin and no eye contact as his opposite Alan – Hansen – informed the Shearer right ear that ‘you called him great twice’ as once again Manchester City’s enfant terrible striker was put under the microscope.

A shining wall of gritted teeth, through which the former centre forward growled ‘I said good’, said happy. While the eyes said ‘as soon as the red light goes off on that camera..’.

In spite all of this, I really couldn’t fathom from what I’d seen of their highlights, just why it was all about Mario again Even Gary Lineker sounded a little surprised as he made the very same point, and I must say it did feel like they were hammering an editorial square peg into a round hole.

Smooth: Inspector Montalbano (right) with one of his 'fragrant' beauties

Smooth: Inspector Montalbano (right) with one of his 'fragrant' beauties

Sure, we saw images of a manager barking instructions at a player, and the same player looking disgruntled at coming off and sitting solemnly on the bench as he zipped up his coat. Yet no water bottles appeared to go flying. Nor did he make straight for the tunnel. All in all, by Sicilian TV body language standards, the pair might have barely exchanged brief ‘how do you dos’.

Which probably explains why Mancini looked as baffled as Lineker had done, when asked twice in the post match interview if it got on his nerves answering questions about Mario Balotelli. Think I might have spotted the eyes on a bit of a roll then!

Of course the young Italian will make headlines again. However, on November 3rd, he seemed to do nothing to warrant it. Lest we forget, though, you’re likely reading this on 5th of November. So if you ARE looking for some Super Mario gunpowder, treason and plot…

Come the following morning on Sky Sports, and there wasn’t even really a mention of him on Goals On Sunday in their coverage of Man City’s trip to West Ham. As the theme song says, Sunday mornings are decidedly ‘easy’ in the exceptionally capable hands of Ben Shephard and Chris Kamara, and they were clearly much more laid back about what they’d seen at Upton Park.

Personable: Chris Kamara is normally relaxed

Personable: Chris Kamara is normally relaxed

Which is – unless Kammy is on a mission with the officials – the way of a pair who are one of the best teams in televised sport. Their rapport puts them right up there with the BBC’s F1 boys and Jeff Stelling and the team on a Saturday.

What’s more, it helps make their weekly guests feel really relaxed, so that you get so much more from the players and managers who arrive on their settee than you’ll see pretty much anywhere else on the box.

It’s a long show, happy to take it’s time in allowing everyone to have their say about all the action and incidents, as well as discuss their own careers and lives. This week was no exception, with two excellent guests in former Bolton colleagues Stuart Holden and Patrice Muamba.

By Kammy’s standard in particular, this was a rather sombre day on the shirt front, but young American Holden certainly helped brighten the place up with a pair of truly appalling union flag socks. He was also very engaging, funny and pretty ‘northern’ nowadays in the accent department, which certainly helped with the dead pan delivery when he enquired at the end of the show as to where he could make a donation to Kammy’s Movember ‘tache

However, it was the presence of Muamba that really made the morning. The fact that he was there and well would have been good enough. But it was also a pleasure to listen to a man whose quietly spoken, thoughtful words couldn’t have been further away from where Mario’s do their business.

Ben pointed out that they had been inundated with well wishers on email enquiring about his future. Patrice replied that he would ‘take his time… then see where I fit in, in the football world’.

Here’s hoping it somewhere nice and snug. The game could do with his company.

West Indies win World Twenty20 title in Sri Lanka

West Indies battle to glorious win over hosts Sri Lanka to win World Twenty20 title

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UPDATED:

17:08 GMT, 7 October 2012

Marlon Samuels inspired a West Indies fightback from the brink to deny Sri Lanka a home win and triumph themselves instead in the ICC World Twenty20 final.

Samuels' memorable 78 revived the Windies, after it appeared they had fluffed their lines terminally, on the way to an improbable 36-run victory at the Premadasa Stadium.

In a showpiece match which saw the majority of bowlers excel themselves, and almost all the batsmen stumble on centre stage, Samuels bucked the trend emphatically with a 56-ball innings containing six sixes and three fours on a fair pitch. How the West Indies needed him, though, after an embarrassing false start to their innings in which master blaster Chris Gayle could make only three from 16 balls.

On top of the world: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World Twenty20 final

On top of the world: West Indies players celebrate after winning the World Twenty20 final

We've only gone and done it: Dwayne Bravo celebrates as he holds a catch to clinch victory for the West Indies

We've only gone and done it: Dwayne Bravo celebrates as he holds a catch to clinch victory for the West Indies

Even after Samuels had transformed
proceedings, it seemed West Indies had almost certainly fallen short of a
winning score with their 137 for six. But it was to be Sri Lanka who
truly froze as what appeared a near routine chase featured a mid-innings
collapse of six wickets for 21 runs – for a final product of 101 all
out in the 19th over, and just the Windies' second International Cricket
Council global trophy since the 1979 World Cup.

But the match had started ominously
badly for them. Their famed big-hitters were simply nowhere to be seen
for the first half of their innings, as initial caution went to extremes
– and Ajantha Mendis (four for 12) took most advantage.

Delight: Sunil Narine celebrates with teammates after the run out of Jeevan Mendis

Delight: Sunil Narine celebrates with teammates after the run out of Jeevan Mendis

Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekera
used the new ball well, but it was still bizarre that the West Indies
should take until the fifth over to reach double-figures.

Their achingly slow start was under
way with four dot-balls from Mathews to Johnson Charles, who reacted to
the fifth by mistiming a catch to mid-off. After that wicket-maiden –
number three Samuels let the sixth ball, his first, go – there was not a
run on the board until Kulasekera bowled a wide halfway through the
second over.

All smiles: Denesh Ramdin celebrates with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle after running out Thisara Perera

All smiles: Denesh Ramdin celebrates with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle after running out Thisara Perera

Around 40 was probably par in
powerplay. But after Gayle took nine balls to get off the mark, with a
scampered single to mid-off – and was eventually lbw pushing forward to
Ajantha – the Windies could muster only 14 for two in their first six
overs.

They had a solitary boundary at that
point, punched past cover by Samuels off Kulasekera. It was not until
the 12th over, after Kulasekera had dropped Samuels at long-off on 20
off Jeevan Mendis, that birthday boy Dwayne Bravo added a first six to
go with the four – over midwicket off Akila Dananjaya.

Hitting out: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batting in Colombo

Hitting out: Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene batting in Colombo

But Samuels clubbed consecutive sixes
off the returning Lasith Malinga, over midwicket and extra-cover, and
then a third in the over, beyond long-on. The 13th over therefore cost
21 runs.

Bravo was to go to lbw, even though
bat might have been involved, pushing forward to Ajantha to end a
third-wicket stand of 59. Yet when Samuels brought up his 50 with his
fourth six, over long-on off Jeevan, West Indies were at last striking
to their potential.

Bowled: Tillakaratne Dilshan loses his wicket in Colombo

Bowled: Tillakaratne Dilshan loses his wicket in Colombo

It seemed too much had been left too
late, though, an impression underlined after Ajantha put himself on a
hat-trick – Kieron Pollard cutting, and well-held at backward point, and
Andre Russell lbw sweeping.

Samuels was eventually sixth out,
caught in the leg-side deep off Dananjaya, but captain Darren Sammy gave
his team a late lift by taking 16 off Kulasekera's final over. That
feelgood continued for the Windies when Ravi Rampaul produced an
excellent first delivery, knocking out Tillekeratne Dilshan's off-stump
to see him off for a duck.

Cheer we go: Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell

Cheer we go: Sri Lankan bowler Ajantha Mendis celebrates after taking the wicket of West Indies batsman Andre Russell

The early breakthrough was a
necessary starting point for Sammy's men, but scoreboard pressure
appeared minimal while home captain Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar
Sangakkara were sharing a second-wicket stand of 42.

Not until Sangakkara picked out deep
midwicket with a pull at Samuel Badree did the Sri Lanka wobble kick in.
Mathews somehow managed to be bowled round his legs, off-stump, trying
to sweep Sammy.

Having a go: Kieron Pollard in batting action for the West Indies

Having a go: Kieron Pollard in batting action for the West Indies

The lynchpin himself, Jayawardene,
had already been dropped twice but could not make it count when he
reverse-swept Sunil Narine into Sammy's hands. Then the collapse went
into overdrive as Jeevan and then Thisara Perera were both haplessly
run-out.

There was no way back – despite some
late hitting from Kulasekera – after Lahiru Thirimanne, the last
specialist batsman, also bowed to the pressure by holing out in the
deep. A shell-shocked home crowd of 35,000 capacity had assembled to
cheer Sri Lanka all the way to their first 'World Cup' success since
1996.

Instead, they witnessed the
unlikeliest of denouements as West Indies got their hands on some
silverware to add at last to the Champions Trophy of 2004.

Showpiece: Sri Lanka face West Indies in the final

Showpiece: Sri Lanka face West Indies in the final

Hair we go: Sri Lankan fans cheer on their side at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo

Hair we go: Sri Lankan fans cheer on their side at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo