Tag Archives: curse

Olympic medallist Joanna Rowsell is knocked off her bike

Olympic cycling curse strikes again, as golden girl Rowsell is knocked off her bike

Peter Scott


22:53 GMT, 6 April 2013



22:53 GMT, 6 April 2013

Joanna Rowsell, who won a gold medal for Britain at the London
Olympics, has been knocked off her bike by a car, the latest of several
British Olympians to have accidents on the road.

Rowsell told her 25,000 Twitter
followers that she been knocked off her bike on Saturday morning, the
first time it had happened to her in 9 years of cycling.

She told said: 'I am OK. No serious injuries, just cuts and bruises. Bike came off worst.'

Golden girl: Joanna Rowsell poses with Olympic gold

Golden girl: Joanna Rowsell poses with Olympic gold

She also thanked her followers for their messages of support.

Rowsell, was part of the team that won pursuit gold at the London Olympics, alongside Laura Trott and Dani King.

Other Olympians have also been knocked off their bikes since the Games.

Sir Bradley Wiggins was hit while training last year, and then coach Shane Sutton was involved in a crash the following day.

Newcastle"s Yohan Cabaye talks about his battle with depression

Cabaye reveals battle with depression and how words from Wilkinson and Nadal helped him bounce back

. It was then depression caught up with him.

Cabaye told L’Equipe: ‘Depression I am not afraid to say that. It was that.

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

‘I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing. They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.

‘Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.

‘My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat. I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

'Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.

‘On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.’

Cabaye believes that rather than a curse, his groin injury at the end of last year helped reignite his time at Newcastle.

‘I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience it (depression) you cannot understand. But I was not worried.

‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.’

Jack Rodwell ruled out for up to four weeks

Mancini set to be without Rodwell for up to FOUR weeks after hamstring injury recurs to haunt City midfielder yet again

John Curtis, Press Association


20:37 GMT, 4 March 2013



01:28 GMT, 5 March 2013

Roberto Mancini's relief at Manchester City keeping their slim hopes alive of retaining their Barclays Premier League title was tempered by another injury setback to Jack Rodwell.

A first half goal from Carlos Tevez was sufficient to earn City a 1-0 win at Aston Villa and cut the gap on leaders Manchester United to 12 points.

But midfielder Rodwell suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury midway through the opening period and will be sidelined for 'three to four weeks'.

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Mancini said: 'We are very sorry for Jack, because he is a good guy, a good player, but he is unlucky. It is his hamstring.

'I think it is impossible to resolve
his problem after six or seven months because he's had this problem for
five or six years and we need maybe more time.

'How long will he be out Maybe he will be back after the international break, three or four weeks. It is the same injury.

'I am very sorry because he is a
young player. He needs to improve but he has played very well against
Chelsea and was playing very well tonight.'

Mancini repeated his determination
that City will not give up on the title without a fight but admits they
probably have to win their 10 remaining games.

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

He said: 'It is difficult because we have 30 points to play for and we need to try to win.

'At the end, we will see what happens. In football everything can happen right up to the last second.

'We probably need to win all 10 matches that are left. We need to win all the matches.

'If they (United) lose three or four or five games…..it is difficult because they are too strong for this.

'When you have to win always, it is difficult to win every game. But last year we did this. Why can't we do it this year'

Sergio Aguero was also ruled out with
a knee injury and will also miss the weekend FA Cup tie with Barnsley
but Mancini is hopeful he will be available for the next league clash
with Everton.

Villa remain in the bottom three and
manager Paul Lambert admitted a mistake by defender Ciaran Clark proved
crucial in the build-up to Tevez's decider.

Not again: Rodwell looked disappointed after the recurrence of his hamstring complaint

Not again: Rodwell looked disappointed after the recurrence of his hamstring complaint

Lambert said: 'I thought we were well
in the game. The goal is a mistake. I wouldn't have minded if someone
had put one in the top corner with a bit of skill.

'But it's a mistake by us. It is easy
to be critical of Ciaran. The lad has been excellent all season. He
will learn from it, he won't make the same mistake again.'

Midfielder Fabian Delph will be
suspended for the next two games against Reading and QPR after
collecting his 10th booking of the season for handball.

Lambert said: 'He's playing extremely
well, really well. You are pressing forward, to try and get a goal back
and things like that happen.'

The Villa boss knows the significance of the next two matches.

He said: 'The next two games are massive for us. If we play like that, we will give teams a fright, that's for sure.'

Jack Rodwell suffers injury in Manchester City game at Aston Villa

Rodwell injury curse strikes again after Man City midfielder limps off at Villa Park

Alex Horlock


20:37 GMT, 4 March 2013



20:58 GMT, 4 March 2013

Jack Rodwell suffered yet another setback in his injury-plagued Manchester City career after hobbling off the pitch at Villa Park this evening.

Little over 20 minutes into City's match against Paul Lambert's Aston Villa, Rodwell pulled up after letting fly with a powerful shot on Brad Guzan's goal.

The midfielder, who made his first start for City since September during their 2-0 win
over Chelsea last weekend, was tonight making his 11th appearance for the champions
this season, but was replaced by the club's top scorer Edin Dzeko
having limped off clutching his hamstring and holding his head in his hands.

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

Injury curse: Jack Rodwell was marking his 11th appearance for Manchester City since his summer arrival from Everton

The 21-year-old, who joined City in a
12million move from Everton last summer, spoke just last week about his
belief that he had put his injuries behind him.

The England international added that
he had harboured doubts about his ability to withstand the rigours of a
career in football having seen his short spell in the professional game marred
repeatedly by injury during his time on Merseyside and in Manchester.

Rodwell said ahead of City's clash against Chelsea: 'At Everton
last season I doubted whether I was built for it.

'To be honest, I did
think the worst but I had to take the positives and think I'm still
young and in a great position at one of the best teams in the world.

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

Blow: Rodwell was replaced by Edin Dzeko after suffering an apparent hamstring injury

'I had between five and 10 setbacks,
and that's not just from the original injury. It's mentally hard. There
are times when you're set back again and you don't know what to do.

'Before the last five or six weeks I
used to go into training and was never confident. I was just praying I
got through it and that's just not the way to be at all.'

Chelsea raise concerns with microchip ball ahead of goal-line technology experiment

Is the curse of the Jabulani back Chelsea concerned with microchip ball ahead of goal-line technology trial



07:01 GMT, 13 December 2012

Chelsea will become the first Premier League team to trial goal-line technology against Monterrey in the FIFA Club World Cup semi-final in Yokohama but the Blues have already raised concerns over the adidas ball.

Both GoalRef and Hawk-Eye goal-line systems are being used at the tournament and Chelsea will trial the GoalRef system, which requires a microchip to be placed inside the ball.

Chelsea have been training with the microchip GoalRef adidas ball since Monday and the players’ first reaction was that it was hard and difficult to caress, similar to the reaction to the controversial adidas Jabulani ball at the 2010 World Cup. There are even concerns over the ball’s flight.

Rafael Benitez during training today in Yokohama Petr Cech inspects the goal line technology

Petr Cech during training today in Yokohama Goal line technology

Cech-ing it out: Petr Cech has a look at the goal-line technology that FIFA are trialing in this tournament

‘It’s different because it has the microchip and more difficult,’ said Chelsea’s interim manager Rafa Benitez. ‘On the first day, the players thought it was too hard but on the second day they didn’t say anything. We will see. It won’t be a problem and it won’t be an excuse. It’s the same for everybody.’

Gary Cahill agreed it was unusual. 'They’ve felt harder, more solid,' said Cahill. 'It just felt heavy. But they’re alright. We’ve played with them for the last few days and everyone is fine with them now.'

Others within the Chelsea camp thought the balls had been behaving strangely, moving and wobbling more than ever, but Adidas and GoalRef insist it is no different and that extra hardness may be down to the cold weather.

Chelsea trained at the Yokohama Stadium on Wednesday ahead of their semi-final against Monterrey

Ready for battle: Chelsea trained at the Yokohama Stadium on Wednesday ahead of their semi-final against Monterrey

Corinthians await the winner of the Chelsea v Monterrey clash in the final after they beat Al Ahly in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Toyota

Corinthians await the winner of the Chelsea v Monterrey clash in the final after they beat Al Ahly in the first semi-final on Wednesday in Toyota

Chelsea v Monterrey

For consistency, the microchip ball is being used in all Club World Cup games, even those in Toyota where the Hawk-Eye technology will make any goal-line calls using cameras and video technology.


There is a microchip inside the ball
which sends an alert to the referee on a vibrating wristband when it
breaks the magnetic field across the goal-line. GoalRef claim it will
take 0.3 seconds for the referee to receive the information. This system
is being used in the Yokohama games and is thought to be the favoured

Some players have said they have found the black netting in the goals, which is required to make the Hawk-Eye work accurately, are disconcerting because they have lost their “white box” shooting target.


Those games in Toyota are also played
using the GoalRef balls but the system in use at the tournament’s second
venue is Hawk-Eye, familiar to cricket and tennis fans, which
determines whether the ball has crossed the line by way video graphics
on TV. It requires black netting in the goals and some players have
complained that they have lost their 'white box' target. FIFA realise
that if this is introduced, they will have to share the images with fans
in the ground, which adds expense.

'I don’t like video technology during the game,' added Benitez. 'You can change too many things and then you lose something. I remember a final in rugby where there was three minutes to make a decision with the technology. Three minutes!

'In football they say it is very quick but I remember playing for Liverpool against Charlton with Jerzy Dudek as ‘keeper and Darren Bent as the striker.

'There was a penalty against us and we can see four replays. In three it was a penalty. The fourth, he didn’t touch him. Who will analyse this How long will it take to analyse every single angle

'Goal-line technology is different. It’s a crucial decision for a game. If you have the technology and you can guarantee it is fine then you have to see it.'

Two and a half years after his World Cup goal that wasn’t in Bloemfontein, Frank Lampard will finally witness FIFA’s belated introduction of goal-line technology.

'It’s been quite a long time coming,' said Lampard. 'We’re all well aware, not just of my goal or non-goal but especially so many crucial goals over the last few seasons in club and international football.

'It’s too important an issue to let it go any more. It’s a no-brainer to bring it in and make the calls correctly.'

England’s World Cup history is entwined with disputed line calls. In 1966 it was Geoff Hurst and in 2012 it was Lampard who was stunned to find a shot which cannoned off the crossbar, bounced well over the line and spun out had not been spotted by the officials. It would have made the score 2-2 but Germany went on to win 4-1.

'It was such a high-profile game in the World Cup, England against Germany and such a blatant case,' said Lampard. 'It made everybody sit up and take notice.

'Whether it’s close or not asking the human eye to make that quick decision isn’t always possible. We need to get it. With the business we’re in, it’s too crucial.

'I can’t say we would’ve won it but it would’ve been a different game. We talk about an emphatic defeat but if it had been 2-2 at half-time we would’ve had the momentum and we could’ve played without having to chase another goal straight away.

'It was painful that summer but not anymore. Football changes and I’ve moved on. It still catches the nerves a bit when I see it but I can’t dwell on that.”

Frank Lampard of England looks on during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa

Manuel Neuer of Germany watches the ball bounce over the line from a shot that hit the crossbar from Frank Lampard

At long last: Lampard is happy that goal-line
technology has finally been introduced to the game after his 'goal'
against Germany in the 2010 World Cup was ruled out even though the ball was a
metre over the line

Decisions made here by goal-line technology will be relayed solely to the referee on a wristband within 0.3 seconds but officials retain the authority to make the final decision.

Goal-line technology was finally voted in at the International FA Board meeting in July. This is its debut and, if it goes well, FIFA will expand it to other tournaments, like next year’s Confederations Cup and the World Cup in 2014.

'I think it will add magic,' said Lampard. 'I’m a big cricket fan and it’s added magic to cricket. We all want calls to be 100 per cent right, whether it goes for or against your team. It will clarify what has happened and it will be pretty exciting.

'But it should stop with this, with goal-line decisions. You need to respect the referee with every decision. We’re asking for a clear decision on goals, the most important part of the game. With the speed of the game at this level, you can’t ask any human to make that call correctly every time.'

Benitez won the European Cup at Liverpool with the help of Luis Garcia’s 'goal' against Chelsea which did not cross the line in the second leg of their semi-final.

'For example,' he grinned, when the memory was inevitably raised. It was the start of the intense rivalry between the two clubs, which is the reason Chelsea fans have protested against his appointment to succeed Roberto Di Matteo.

Luis Garcia scored the only goal of the 2005 Champions League semi-final tie between Liverpool and Chelsea

Dubious: Luis Garcia scored the only goal of the 2005 Champions League semi-final tie between Liverpool and Chelsea but there was huge doubt whether the ball crossed the line


'The referee will have a vibrating watch,' Benitez added. 'If it is quick, it will be fine.'

Hawk-Eye is also being used for the games in Toyota, where Corinthians beat Al-Ahly 1-0 yesterday to clinch a place in Sunday’s final.

Alan Pardew suffers eight-year hitch at Newcastle after penning long-term deal

Pardew suffers eight-year hitch at Newcastle after penning long-term deal



23:09 GMT, 29 November 2012

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew must feel he has suffered a curse since signing his eight-year deal at the end of September.

His struggling side have won just one
of their nine Barclays Premier League matches since he penned the
extraordinary deal.

On top of that Newcastle, who have secured a place
in the knock-out stages of the Europa League with two wins and a draw,
have suffered horrendous injury problems.

Tough times: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Tough times: Newcastle boss Alan Pardew

Key players such as Yohan Cabaye and Steven Taylor are out until February, while playmaker Hatem Ben Arfa has been sorely missed in their last three matches, which have all ended in defeat.

Newcastle have another gruelling week ahead. They face Wigan at St James' Park on Monday then travel to Bordeaux for their final European group match, which they need to win to top Group D.

Midfield enforcer Cheick Tiote, speaking after the 2-1 midweek defeat at Stoke, said: 'If you play well like we did, then you expect to win the game so, if we continue to play like this, we will get three points again very soon.'

Meanwhile, Newcastle have revived their interest in versatile Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate.

Anderlecht value the Senegalese at 8.5million, which may prove too expensive for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.

Leon Osman proved he was international class for England – Mersey Beat

After years in the shadows, Osman finally emerged to prove his international class



15:51 GMT, 16 November 2012

It was a game he will remember forever more. A capacity crowd, a sparkling new stadium and a goal fit to grace any occasion.

But while the world and his wife were left speaking about Zlatan Ibrahimovic following the staggering strike on Wednesday evening, Leon Osman was able to come away from England’s contest with Sweden feeling equally content.

Of course, the Everton midfielder’s efforts were not as spectacular, or as game-changing, as the enigmatic Ibrahimovic but, in his own, understated way, Osman proved a point in Stockholm’s twinkling new Friends Arena.

Stepping up: Leon Osman eased into the England team against Sweden

Stepping up: Leon Osman eased into the England team against Sweden

More from Dominic King…

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Many had wondered why, at the age of 31, Roy Hodgson had called Osman into his squad. This is a transitional period for the national team and the emphasis is on blooding new, young players who will potentially be the mainstays for major tournaments in 2018 and 2020.

Good footballers, however, never go out of fashion, not matter how old they are. And, that, in a nutshell is precisely what Osman showed on Wednesday night. Dovetailing well with Steven Gerrard, Osman kept England’s engine room ticking over with his assured range of passing.

Those who have been watching him over the last two years will not have been surprised that he fitted in so neatly but to see him make a contribution to the best football England have played under Roy Hodgson was nonetheless so pleasing.

‘We were all genuinely made up when we heard that he had been picked,’ said Leighton Baines, Osman’s Everton colleague and a man whose performances mean that Ashley Cole has genuine competition for his left-back spot.

‘The manager (David Moyes) had pulled me and Jags (Phil Jagielka) before he got everyone together to say he’d heard there was a chance Ossie had been called up but he didn’t want to say too much in case it never worked out.

‘But when he called us around to tell us, everyone was over the moon for him. It’s brilliant and fully deserved. He has had to wait a long time for this and some people will be wondering why he has been called up but he is a footballer’s footballer.

Fitting right in: Osman did not look out of place on England duty

Fitting right in: Osman did not look out of place on England duty

‘He’s so skilful and his passing is brilliant. He has got goals in him too. He has definitely got the talent to stay in the squad and he is someone who won’t look out of place. He doesn’t get lots of headlines but footballers and people within the game appreciate the role he plays and the things he does.’

That may be true but there is a feeling that Osman would have made his England debut long before Wednesday night, had he played for a more 'fashionable' club. This is not being detrimental to Everton. Far from it.

Yet there are players who have played for southern based sides in recent years that have lacked Osman’s technical and tactical proficiencies. Put it another way, had he spent his career at Tottenham, say, he would not be one of England’s oldest debutants.

Stuck at the Toffees: Everton have enjoyed Osman's talents for years

Stuck at the Toffees: Everton have enjoyed Osman's talents for years

Encouragingly, though, there are signs from Roy Hodgson that Osman will not join the ranks of players such as Mark Walters, Kevin Richardson, Michael Ricketts and David Nugent, who wore Three Lions on their chest once but never again.

‘It’s very good for me to know that a player like Osman, someone I’ve thought a lot of for a number of years since coming back to English football, can be brought in relatively late in his career and do the job he did,’ mused Hodgson.

‘The next time I put a squad together I can’t make guarantees but one thing is for sure: I believed in him and gave him a chance and he took the chance. He’s certainly a name we will be discussing very seriously the next time we get together.’

And there, if Osman needed any, was the proof he could be comfortable being referred to as an international class footballer.

Cal Crutchlow faces fitness fight for British MotoGP

Crutchlow injury curse strikes again on eve of British MotoGP



22:53 GMT, 16 June 2012

Cal Crutchlow will have further medical checks on an ankle injury on Sunday morning to decide if he can ride through the pain in the British MotoGP.

The 26-year-old from Coventry missed last year's race after breaking his left collarbone and the curse struck again on Saturday when he suffered a sprained left ankle following a high-speed crash in practice.

Ankle injury: Cal Crutchlow facing fitness battle

Ankle injury: Cal Crutchlow facing fitness battle

Britain's leading MotoGP rider was
unable to take part in qualifying, which means he would start the 20-lap
race from the back of the grid if he competes.

Crutchlow, fifth in the standings with four top-five places, had hoped to claim a maiden podium.

Team manager Herve Poncharal said:
'I'm really sorry for Cal, but even more sorry for the crowd. There is a
spell on British riders.'

Alvaro Bautista took a surprise first MotoGP pole position in the rain-affected qualifying session.

Despite the blow Crutchlow and his team are confident he will be cleared to race by medics at the circuit.

Scans revealed there was no break and he is already able to put weight on his left foot after doctors reduced the swelling around his heel and ankle.

Yamaha Tech 3 manager Herve Poncharal said: ‘We are very optimistic that Cal will be able to participate. We obviously hope he will be able to ride after the disappointment of last year when he was unable to start the race because he was injured. I know what it means for him to race in front of his home crowd.’

British bobsleigher faces two year ban after failing drugs test

Bobsleigh Brit fails dope test and faces two-year ban from sport



23:22 GMT, 25 April 2012

The curse of drugs has fallen on the Olympics again with a British bobsleigher suspended for taking a banned substance.

Just days after Sportsmail revealed that sprinter Dwain Chambers will be cleared to compete at the London Games in a landmark court ruling, the news served as a further reminder that the fight against doping has yet to be won.

The bobsleigher, who will not be named prior to a hearing, faces a two-year ban, though mitigating circumstances could reduce the punishment.

Ban: An unnamed bobsleigher has failed a drugs test

Ban: An unnamed bobsleigher has failed a drugs test

If it is reduced, the athlete, who was told of the failed test on February 28, will be eligible for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi as a direct consequence of the Chambers case.

That is because the anticipated Chambers verdict, due next week, will serve to rob the British Olympic Association of a controversial bylaw that excludes serious drugs cheats from Olympic Games for life.

‘Everyone would agree with the stance, ethics and principle of the bylaw,’ GB Bobsleigh performance director Gary Anderson told the BBC.

‘However, it should be applied internationally to ensure a level playing field.’

Dave Chisnall beaten by Andy Hamilton at Darts World Championships

Chisnall is hammered! Taylor”s conqueror crashes out to Hamilton at Ally Pally

He was the man who dethroned the king but Dave Chisnall has experienced his own power failure at Alexandra Palace.

The curse of beating Phil Taylor on the Ladbrokes World Championship oche struck again as Chisnall joined a long list of players who have failed to repeat the wonderful highs of beating the greatest.

The 31-year-old from St Helens was nailed 4-0 by Andy ‘The Hammer’ Hamilton in the last 16.

Off target: Dave Chisnall throws against Andy Hamilton

Off target: Dave Chisnall throws against Andy Hamilton

Only Dennis Priestley 20 years ago has managed to beat Taylor in the early rounds of the worlds and then emerge triumphant in the final.

Hamilton, the No 17 seed, now faces Belgium’s Kim Huybrechts in the first quarter-final this afternoon.

But Chisnall, the former BDO world finalist, denied that the expectation created after he beat Taylor 4-1 in the second round put too much pressure on him.

He said: “I missed a few doubles early on and after that the darts were slipping out of my hands. Andy played well and he deserved to win. I cannot say anything bad about his game.

“He hit the right scores. I just didn’t get going, that’s all. I don’t think the Taylor match played any part at all in this defeat. If I had hit those early doubles, I might have got going. When he is banging in 180s or 140s, what can you do about that

“I beat Phil Taylor. It was a good achievement for me. I haven’t got much experience on stage but it will come in the future, I hope.”

Hammer time: Hamilton celebrates beating Chisnall at Alexandra Palace

Hammer time: Hamilton celebrates beating Chisnall at Alexandra Palace

James Wade eased into the last eight, and a quarter-final clash with John Part.

There is nothing like a good nicknameto liven up the show at Ally Pally and now it is “Darth Maple” — aka Part — who stands in the way. The Canadian is a huge Star Wars fan; he is also a triple world champion, and used his experience to beat Kevin Painter 4-2.

He now meets Wade after “The Machine” rattled past Steve Farmer 4-0.

“I really need a game to push me to the limit,” said Wade. “I need a scrap to see what I can do. I need to be pushed.”

Part beat Painter and Wade during the charge to his last world title in 2008 and said: “I know that Kevin is not happy. And James may not be happy. I am the bogey guy.”

Painter, said: “Every time I’ve played recently I’ve hit my doubles but they were all on the wire today.If I’d hit my doubles I’d have rubbed him out, probably 4-1. It’s a kick in the teeth because, with all due respect, John wasn’t my threat.”

Australia’s No 5 seed Simon Whitlock was pegged back to 3-3 by Michael van Gerwen, having led 3-0, but came through in the deciding set.