Tag Archives: dancing

Luke Campbell signs for Eddie Hearn Matchroom

First Hull, then the world! Campbell sets sights on titles after turning professional

, beating Ireland's John Joe Nevin in the final to win the gold medal.

He was awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List and will make his debut in his home city of Hull in July, possibly at the KC Stadium.

Sign on the dotted line: Luke Campbell has tuned professional with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom

Sign on the dotted line: Luke Campbell has tuned professional with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom

Sign on the dotted line: Luke Campbell has tuned professional with Eddie Hearn at Matchroom

'I've been an amateur boxer for 13 years and won medals at every elite tournament,' Campbell said.

'I've had time out after the Olympics to rest my body and mind and the passion burns inside me for this new journey.

'I've got the best team around me and I'm confident we an go all the way together.'

Campbell, who will fight at super featherweight or lightweight, is excited to be making his debut in his home city.

'I've never stopped training; I had five weeks off after the Games then I was back in the gym ticking over. It's a sport i thrive to be the best at; champions never rest.

'I'm training in different gyms. I'm still learning; I might be Olympic champion but I've got lots to learn.

Hidden talents: Campbell starred on Dancing on Ice following his Olympic success

Hidden talents: Campbell starred on Dancing on Ice following his Olympic success

Hidden talents: Campbell starred on Dancing on Ice following his Olympic success

'There is going to be a massive show in the first or second week of July and it is going to be an outdoor stadium event.

'This is going to be huge. I'm doing it for the people of Hull, and hope I can make them proud again.

'I love to entertain the fans and put
on a good show. I think the fans will bring an electric atmosphere and
it will be a night to remember.

'I am the most successful amateur
boxer in British history and now it is time to turn the page and move
into the pro game. The aim is to be world champion'.

Promoter Hearn, who revealed Kell Brook could make his return on the Hull show, was delighted to have secured Campbell's signature.

'We've finally got a real chance to have a crossover star in Luke Campbel,' he said.

'He's impressed me not just with his ability but also his determination and popularity in Hull.'

Main man: Campbell (right) in the final at the London Olympics and with his gold medal (below)

Main man: Campbell (right) in the final at the London Olympics and with his gold medal (below)

Golden boy: Luke Campbell celebrates his Olympic success last year

British Amateur Boxing Association
performance director Rob McCracken said: 'Luke has been a great servant
to the World Class Performance Programme for a number of years and an
excellent role-model to other members of the squad in both his
medal-winning performances and the way he conducts himself inside and
outside of the gym.

'It is a disappointment for us that
Luke has decided his future lies away from the GB Boxing squad but he
departs with our best regards and we wish him every success in his
future career.

'As we enter the Rio cycle, the majority of the boxers that competed in London remain part of our squad and we have some excellent talents coming through so the programme has a strong nucleus to work with and a good opportunity to add to the success we have enjoyed in recent years.'

Campbell, who joined the GB Boxing squad in 2007, will join Anthony Ogogo and Tom Stalker from Britain's 2012 squad in the paid ranks.

England"s rugby stars play with Flavia Cacace from Stricly Come Dancing

Strictly scrum dancing: TV queen Flavia joins England trio at training

By
Thom Drake

PUBLISHED:

12:49 GMT, 12 February 2013

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UPDATED:

16:16 GMT, 13 February 2013

England may have found their rhythm in the Six Nations but there were some more impressive dancing feet on show yesterday.

Flavia Cacace, the recent winner of Strictly Come Dancing with gymnast Louis Smith, swapped the ballroom for a rugby ball as she waltzed through a training session.

Brad Barritt, Alex Goode and Mike Brown took a break from England's attempts to win their first Grand Slam since Martin Johnson's heroes were triumphant in 2003, to join forces with the dancing star at the launch of O2 National Touch Rugby campaign at Ely's Yard.

Scroll down for video

Eyes on the prize: Brad Barritt looks on as Strictly star Flavia Cacace dives for glory

Eyes on the prize: Brad Barritt looks on as Strictly star Flavia Cacace dives for glory

Handling: Flavia gets a good feel of the ball as she lines up alongside the England stars

Handling: Flavia gets a good feel of the ball as she lines up alongside the England stars

The trio were in good spirits just days after England battled to a superb win in Dublin on Sunday, and will hope to lead France a merry dance in their next eye-catching clash in two weeks' time.

England had not won in Ireland in 10 years, and that victory has given the rugby world another noticeable reminder what this young side has to offer.

But judging by these pictures, they are ready to be this year's movers and shakers…

Twirl: Flalvia shows the England boys a couple of moves

Twirl: Flalvia shows the England boys a couple of moves

Flying high: England are on a roll now with the Grand Slam within their grasp

Flying high: England are on a roll now with the Grand Slam within their grasp

VIDEO: Flavia Cacace tries out touch rugby with England stars

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DAVID LLOYD – BUMBLE TEST DIARY: I woke up dreaming of Monty Panesar and Bruno Tonioli (but Ian Botham is wrong, it had nothing to do with Timothy…

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: How I nodded off and woke up dreaming of Monty and Bruno (but Beefy's wrong, it had nothing to do with Timothy Taylor)

|

UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 5 December 2012

PANESAR'S SEXY DANCE DESERVES FULL MARKS

A word for Monty Panesar who is
revelling in the job he is doing and the contribution he is making. Cook
goes to him first, ahead of Swann, and he is bowling more overs but
they are brilliant in tandem, attacking all the time. I'm not too sure
about Monty's new celebration though – it seemed to have a bit too much
hip action and sexual innuendo – I'm not sure what Strictly judge Bruno
Tonioli would have made of it.

Monty Panesar

Bruno Tonioli

Dancing shoes: Monty Panesar (left) danced a new jig to celebrate the wicket of Pujari. It would doubtless have impressed Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli (right)

PICTURE DISPUTE: We are unable to carry live pictures from the third Test in Kolkata 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.

Eccentric: Brian Bolus

Eccentric: Brian Bolus

COOK IS THE WORLD'S MOST TERRIBLE TOSSER

An excellent day for England, especially after losing the toss. Alastair Cook is a world-class batsman but a terrible tosser! That's five times he's called heads and five times it's landed tails. Maybe he needs to take a leaf out of the book of former Notts captain Brian Bolus (right), who used to practise the toss in the dressing room on a green towel. He was a touch eccentric…

FORK-IN HELL, WHAT A PAINFUL STORY

It was great fun to see the
83-year-old groundsman. He'd had a sign made saying 'Mr Mukherjee,
Curator.' What a formidable character. He reminded me of a slightly
bonkers groundsman we had at Accrington, who was forking the pitch one
day when some lads came on to play football. He tried to shoo them off and promptly threw the fork through his foot, impaling himself on the pitch!

For fork's sake: Accrington Stanley groundsman Harry Nash with his dog Patch and Margaret Mayren on the Peel Park Pitch in 1962 (FILE IMAGE)

For fork's sake: Accrington Stanley groundsman Harry Nash with his dog Patch and Margaret Mayren on the Peel Park Pitch in 1962. It was Mr Nash with the fork, but we just love this picture (FILE IMAGE)

CAPTAIN'S JIMMY HUNCH PAYS

Jimmy Anderson was absolutely
magnificent. Earlier in his career it was suggested that unless it was
seaming and swinging he was hopeless. But he stuck two fingers up at
the critics with a great display of skill and experience.

And a massive
tick for Cook, who had a hunch that the new ball would work near the
close and was rewarded with that final wicket from Jimmy.

SACHIN THE MEMORY MAN

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar (right) somehow got 76 through
true grit but he was playing from memory.

It's now the perfect scenario
for England who have a golden opportunity to knock over India and then
build a first-innings lead.

DREAM ON BEEFY, IT WAS NOTHING TO DO OLD TIM

Finally, you may have noticed this picture of me catching 40 winks yesterday. The suggestion I'd had five pints of Timothy Taylor is scandalous – it's just these early mornings catching up on me!

Timothy Taylors beer on bar

Sleeping beauty: Ian Botham captures Bumble grabbing 40 winks this morning and posts it on his Twitter account

Jokes on tap: Sir Ian Botham posted the picture (right) on Twitter and alleged it had something to do with five pints of yummy Timothy Taylor beer (left). Not true, Beefy sir!

More from David Lloyd…

BUMBLE TEST DIARY: Rolling Stones fan Bumble says – It's only an England Test victory in India… but I like it, like it, yes I do!
26/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Atherton is right, KP is a genius… but Monty and Co proved England can beat India at their own game
25/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Why Monty bowling on this pitch is 'Satisfaction' guaranteed… but unlike that old rocker Beefy, 'Wild Horses' can't drag me away from the cricket

23/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: Drop Trott, it's time to wield the axe because India are having England for breakfast
19/11/12

Bumble's diary: Cook doesn't perspire and never changes his gloves, magnificent
18/11/12

Bumble's Test diary: England finally wake up and join the Test series
18/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: How the utter madness of England sending in Jimmy left me calling for Sunny and Cher
16/11/12

BUMBLE'S TEST DIARY: England have picked the wrong team… but why I'm in a tizz over Chas
15/11/12

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Oscar Pistorius golfing at Dunhill Links: Sprinter terrified by dancing

Gold-winning sprinter Pistorius picks up the clubs and reveals dancing terror

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UPDATED:

17:54 GMT, 3 October 2012

Oscar Pistorius said the most petrifying three minutes of his life had nothing to do with the Olympics or Paralympics.

The 25-year-old amputee sprinter, who has switched to golf in Scotland this week as one of the celebrities at the Dunhill Links Championship pro-am, said: 'I had to do a 'Dancing with the Stars' thing last year in Italy.

'I would like to have two left feet, but I have no feet at all! That for me was by far the most nerve-wracking thing I've ever done.

Challenges: Oscar Pistorius revealed his dancing ordeal

Challenges: Oscar Pistorius revealed his dancing ordeal

'It was 157 seconds of absolute torture – but a lot of fun.'

Pistorius partners Paul McGinley at Carnoustie on Thursday alongside Colin Montgomerie and Sir Steve Redgrave and has warned them not to expect too much.

'My golf is rubbish at the moment and I've got quite a dodgy game as it is. Yesterday I shot 88 or 89 and today (in his final practice round) I shot closer to triple digits.'

Building: Pistorius is trying to improve his golf game

Building: Pistorius is trying to improve his golf game

Pistorius, who had a double below-the-knee amputation as a baby after being born without a fibula in either leg, was bought his first set of clubs as a teenager, but running soon took over his life.

He competed in the London Olympics in both the 400metres and 4x400m relay and then won two golds at the Paralympics to take his career total to six.

The man known as 'Blade Runner' is aiming for the 2016 Games in Rio and then possibly one more year of competition after that.

One more shot: Pistorius wants to compete in Rio

One more shot: Pistorius wants to compete in Rio

He added: 'I'll be 30 then, so it's fairly early for a sprinter, but I've been running since I was 17 and internationally since 2007.

'It's a very demanding career and I would like to get involved in other aspects of my life, in humanitarian work and family life.'

US OPEN 2012: Victoria Azarenka beats Maria Sharapova to reach final

Azarenka dances with delight after sinking Sharapova to set up US Open final date

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UPDATED:

00:07 GMT, 8 September 2012

World No 1 Victoria Azarenka repeated her Australian Open triumph over Maria Sharapova to reach her first US Open final.

The Melbourne victory, which gave Azarenka her first grand slam title, had been one-sided as the Belarusian lost only three games but this was a titanic struggle between two of women's tennis' biggest fighters.

Azarenka finally came out on top 3-6 6-2 6-4 after two hours and 42 minutes and will meet Serena Williams on Saturday night.

Dancing queen: Victoria Azarenka celebrates her win over Maria Sharapova with a jig on court

Dancing queen: Victoria Azarenka celebrates her win over Maria Sharapova with a jig on court

Dancing queen: Victoria Azarenka celebrates her win over Maria Sharapova with a jig on court

The 23-year-old said: 'I was just trying to grab the first opportunity that I had. Maria is such a great player. I knew she would come out firing and she did. I tried to find my rhythm and just fight.

'I tried to give whatever it takes. I knew my opponent was going to play hard so I had to play harder. I gave it my all. I guess it worked. It's my first final and I'm so excited.'

In the Australian Open final, it had been Sharapova who had made the better start before Azarenka took control and won 12 of the last 13 games.

The Russian again was the more solid in the early stages here, and this time she kept it going, turning a 3-0 lead into 5-1 and the opportunity to serve for the set.

At her best: Azarenka showed the form that helped her win the Australian Open earlier this year

At her best: Azarenka showed the form that helped her win the Australian Open earlier this year

Sharapova wobbled and looked like she would lose her advantage completely when Azarenka had two chances to reduce the deficit to 5-4, her opponent throwing in two double faults in the windy conditions.

But the world No 1, who hit only one winner in the opening set, could not take her opportunity and Sharapova clinched it with her first ace of the match.

Azarenka's superior movement had taken her opponent out of the game in Melbourne but here Sharapova was powering away winners and winning plenty of points with her serve.

At full stretch: Sharapova returns a shot to her Belarusian opponent at Flushing Meadows

At full stretch: Sharapova returns a shot to her Belarusian opponent at Flushing Meadows

The third seed had survived real battles against Nadia Petrova and Marion Bartoli to make it to the last four, while Azarenka prevailed in a third set tie-break against defending champion Sam Stosur in the quarter-finals.

This match did not look like it would be close when the Belarusian hooked a forehand well wide to be broken again at the start of the second set but from there things turned around.

Sharapova dropped serve twice in succession, with Azarenka now giving her opponent a lot fewer free points, and the top seed was clearly extremely pumped up as she powered away a forehand to level things up.

Maybe next year, Maria: Russian star Sharapova shows her frustration during her defeat to Azarenka

Maybe next year, Maria: Russian star Sharapova shows her frustration during her defeat to Azarenka

Because of the heat, the players took a 10-minute break, but something had to give in the final set.
Sharapova was unbeaten in 12 three-set matches this year and Azarenka 11, and the shrieking and intensity increased as they traded blows.

The first two sets had been too error strewn to really captivate but the start of the decider was on another level, particularly in a lengthy third game where Sharapova eventually held serve.

The third seed was certainly under the most pressure but she continued to cling on and the deciding set had been going for more than an hour when she served to stay in the match at 4-5.

It was a game too far. Azarenka missed with a forehand down the line on her first match point but a second one followed and this time Sharapova drilled a forehand long.

Roy Hodgson discovers England"s strength in reserve: Matt Barlow

Hodgson discovers strength in reserve as England's second string strike a chord

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UPDATED:

22:50 GMT, 15 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Roy Hodgson, in that round-about way of his, aired fears on the eve of this game that some of his England players might not see much first-team football this season.

So here was a friendly with a reserve-team atmosphere to get them accustomed to what lies ahead. Inside the half-empty Stade de Suisse, with chatter from the pitch audible in the stands, it was far removed from the carnival expected in Brazil in 2014.

Handing first caps to five players, Hodgson added new blood at the start of the road to Rio, and with his selection, posed questions to others about their plans for the future.

In a flap: Italy go ahead as Daniele De Rossi (fourth left) heads in

In a flap: Italy go ahead as Daniele De Rossi (fourth left) heads in

Players like Andy Carroll, Tom Cleverley and Adam Johnson were picked to start for England but are uncertain of starting for their clubs when the Barclays Premier League kicks off this weekend.

The same applies to Gary Cahill and England’s match-winner Jermain Defoe knows Tottenham are trying to add a couple of strikers to their squad.

Where does the arrival of Robin van Persie at Manchester United leave Ashley Young Probably not in his preferred central role, behind Wayne Rooney.

But take Johnson (I wish you would, thinks Roberto Mancini). He has started as many games for England as he has for Manchester City in the last six months.

Almost two years ago, in another Swiss city, the young winger came on, dazzled with his old-fashioned trickery and scored as Switzerland were beaten.

Rare start: adam Johnson (left) takes on Stephan El Shaarawy and Federico Balzaretti

Rare start: adam Johnson (left) takes on Stephan El Shaarawy and Federico Balzaretti

With dancing feet and an eye for goal, he looked a dangerous alternative to the pace of Theo Walcott and the industry of James Milner. Since then, Johnson has barely moved on.

Fabio Capello, having decided not to include him in the squad for the World Cup in 2010, recalled him and seemed to settle on his role as that of an impact substitute.

He was someone to send on when all else failed, in the hope that one of those snake-hipped dribbles might unlock a defence.

Like Capello, Hodgson had him on standby but opted not take him to this summer’s tournament.
At City, Mancini seems to have given up. Johnson has not started a Premier League game since March after a series of warnings from the manager about his late-night lifestyle.

The kids are alright: Roy Hodgson's faith in England's youth was rewarded

The kids are alright: Roy Hodgson's faith in England's youth was rewarded

England’s youngest ever goalkeeper Jack Butland spoke with great maturity ahead of his international debut about his determination not to become ‘big time’.

Johnson is one of those who plunged into that trap after his transfer from Middlesbrough in January 2010. The 25-year-old started on the right wing and finished on the left. His stooping stroll makes him appear uninterested at times. He can be wasteful and he can be creative. Natural ability is not in question. Application sometimes is.

He had England’s first shot on target, collecting a pass from Frank Lampard, shifting the ball onto his left foot and driving it low. But it was not a difficult save for Salvatore Sirigu.

Italy left back Federico Balzaretti, so commanding when the countries met in Kiev in June, did not contain him well and was replaced at half-time. Johnson accelerated past Balzaretti on the outside to earn the corner from which Phil Jagielka equalised.

Level pegging: Phil Jagielka (floored) made it 1-1 with a superb diving header

Level pegging: Phil Jagielka (floored) made it 1-1 with a superb diving header

After 90 minutes, the winger can leave Switzerland satisfied with his contribution. Now what Is it back to City and the strongest squad in the country for occasional cameo role It is hard to imagine how he can make the team ahead of Samir Nasri or David Silva but the wages are probably very good.

Or does he seek a transfer A possible move to Everton has been mooted. He has to play if he wants an invitation to the party in Brazil. Only then can Hodgson tell if a lack of action has killed his progress or if he has simply reached his limit.

Cleverley is not at his limit. Nor is Carroll, who finished last season in terrific form but laboured through 45 minutes here like a striker in desperate need of time on the pitch.

It is not a new dilemma. The shrinking pool of talent for England managers has been a running theme in the Premier League era.

Promising future: Tom Cleverley (second left) celebrates Jermain Defoe's winner

Promising future: Tom Cleverley (second left) celebrates Jermain Defoe's winner

England will always need this second tier of players when the tournaments come around because those limping out of a 50-game campaign are hitting the wall, physically and mentally.

It should not be a surprise to see bodies ailing, as with Lampard and Gareth Barry ahead of Euro 2012. It will happen again in Brazil.

Hodgson claims there is enough depth.

But are the players sharp and dedicated and hungry The England manager must hope so. Otherwise the road to Rio will end in more frustration.

London 2012 Olympics: Picture special as Games burst into life

And we're off… Olympic venues throw open their doors for sports bonanza (and the Queen pops in for the swimming)

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UPDATED:

12:47 GMT, 28 July 2012

London 2012 has burst into life at sports venues across the capital and beyond. On another historic day for the country,
the nation woke up to a flood of sports hitting their television
screens – while hundreds of thousands headed to venues for their first taste of the action.

The Queen, who attended the Opening Ceremony on Friday night, was back at the Olympic Park for a tour – and she popped in to the Aquatics Centre to take in some of the swimming.

Diving in for success: Ryan Lochte of the United States starts the 400m Individual Medley at the Aquatics Centre

Diving in for success: Ryan Lochte of the United States starts the 400m Individual Medley at the Aquatics Centre

Loving it: The Queen and Prince Phillip were shown around the Aquatics Centre by Lord Coe (left)

Loving it: The Queen and Prince Phillip were shown around the Aquatics Centre by Lord Coe (left)

Watching over: The Queen takes in the sights during a tour of the Olympic Park

Watching over: The Queen takes in the sights during a tour of the Olympic Park

Shooting was the first event to take place with the women's 10m air rifle qualifying at the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich.

Badminton was next up at Wembley Arena, while there were early British casualties in the archery at Lord's cricket ground.

The men's team of Larry Godfrey, Simon Terry and Alan Wills were beaten 223-212 by their opponents from Ukraine in the bid for a team medal. The home team shot just five maximums in their 24 attempts, compared to their opponents' 11.

Got a table A view of the Table Tennis at the ExCeL centre in east London

Got a table A view of the Table Tennis at the ExCeL centre in east London

Dancing shoes: British duo Sophie Troiano and Natalia Sheppard take part in the Women's Foil Individual at the ExCeL

Dancing shoes: British duo Sophie Troiano and Natalia Sheppard take part in the Women's Foil Individual at the ExCeL

At the Olympic Park in Stratford, there was swimming at the Aquatics Centre, basketball at the Basketball Arena and handball at the Copper Box.

Elswhere, fans were packed into the stands for the rowing at Eton Dorney near Windsor for a sport that Great Britain has historically excelled at.

Helen Glover and Heather Stanning confirmed their status as gold medal favourites as they stormed into the final of the women's pair in a new Olympic record time.

Roared on by a packed crowd at Eton Dorney, Glover and Stanning won the opening heat of the Olympic regatta in a time of six minutes and 57.29 seconds, beating the previous best by over four seconds.

Basket cases: Canada took on Russia on day one of London 2012 at the Basketball Arena

Basket cases: Canada took on Russia on day one of London 2012 at the Basketball Arena

Judo first: France's Sofiane Milous (R) competes with Japan's Hiroaki Hiraoka at the ExCel

Judo first: France's Sofiane Milous (R) competes with Japan's Hiroaki Hiraoka at the ExCel

Glover and Stanning controlled the race from the outset, leading the field by a half a length at the 500 metre time-check before pulling smoothly clear to beat the United States crew by a length.

At Horse Guards Parade in central London, the beach volleyball competition got underway with spectators hoping for sunny weather.

That is also right next to the cycling road race that started at 10am – with Mark Cavendish in the hunt for a gold medal.

The ExCel in Docklands, east London, hosted several sports – with fencing, judo, boxing, weightlifting and table tennis all taking place.

Huge draw: The peleton makes it way up The Mall towards Buckingham Palace at the start in the men's road race cycling race

Huge draw: The peleton makes it way up The Mall towards Buckingham Palace at the start in the men's road race cycling race

Big crowd: There were around 25,000 at Eton Dorney to cheers on the British rowers

Big crowd: There were around 25,000 at Eton Dorney to cheers on the British rowers

Power game: South Korean gymnast Kim Hee-hoon performs on the parallel bars in the Artistic Gymnastics at the North Greenwich Arena

Power game: South Korean gymnast Kim Hee-hoon performs on the parallel bars in the Artistic Gymnastics at the North Greenwich Arena

Meanwhile, London 2012 organisers are investigating why there were noticeable numbers of empty seats at the start of the swimming events on Saturday morning. Every session at the Aquatics Centre is a sell-out but some people had not showed up.

London 2012 communications director Jackie Brock-Doyle said: ;The public have turned up, it looks like they were accredited seating [for officials or media]. We are looking into who should have been sitting there and why they were not.'

Sight for sore eyes: A view of the beach volleyball taking place at Horse Guards Parade in central London

Sight for sore eyes: A view of the beach volleyball taking place at Horse Guards Parade in central London

Take that: China's Zhang Lei serves during the women's volleyball at Earls Court in west London

Take that: China's Zhang Lei serves during the women's volleyball at Earls Court in west London

Euro 2012: Wayne Rooney must turn up against Italy – Jamie Redknapp

It's Rooney time… England can't keep relying on Gerrard

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 22 June 2012

This is a 50-50 game. Both teams came
to the competition with low expectations, but England are in slightly
better shape – all fit and free of bans.

I didn't expect much from Wayne
Rooney against Ukraine, but I'm expecting more here. He should be
fitter, sharper and with a better touch. Rooney needs to make his mark,
England can't keep relying on Steven Gerrard.

Wayne's world: England can't keep relying on Gerrard

Wayne's world: England can't keep relying on Gerrard

Euro 2012 email button

Leaving a big hole

You want your big players fit for these games and Italy will miss Giorgio Chiellini. Their best defender, he's old-school Italian with all the tricks and plays for Juventus, who went the whole Serie A season unbeaten as Italy's Invincibles. He's a huge loss for them and his absence is a mighty boost for England. Italy are without their main defensive warrior. Let's see how they cope without him.

Formation dancing

I do like my formations and it's been fascinating to see Italy turn up in these championships with a 3-5-2 line-up. They played that way for the first two games and then returned to 4-4-2 for the Ireland game.

I expect them to go back to 3-5-2 against England, which will give them an extra man in midfield. If that happens, England's spare men will be their full backs.

Centre of attention: We need to see more of Cole and Johnson going forward

Centre of attention: We need to see more of Cole and Johnson going forward

The Italian wing backs will have to deal with England's wingers, so it will mean space and time for Glen Johnson and Ashley Cole. Steven Gerrard will keep on shovelling the ball out to them and they have to use it wisely, attacking the space and looking to overlap the advanced wide players.

We haven't really seen the best of our full backs going forward yet because they have concentrated on defending. But we know the damage they can do.

Paolo Di Canio sings with Toploader at Swindon promotion party

Stick to the day job, Paolo… Di Canio sings with Toploader at Swindon promotion party

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UPDATED:

12:46 GMT, 8 May 2012

If proof was ever needed that Paolo Di Canio can do no wrong in Swindon supporters' eyes (and ears) then this is it.

The Italian has become an instant fan favourite at the Robins after winning the League Two title and earning promotion to League One in just his first season managing the club.

In tune: Di Canio

Toploader's Joseph Washbourn

In tune: Di Canio joins Toploader on stage for a rendition of their hit 'Dancing in the Moonlight'

In tune: Di Canio

But judging by his musical skills, he may want to stick to the world of football – coaching or otherwise.

Swindon celebrated their promotion by staging a concert at their County Ground, inviting the band Toploader to perform.

But while the band played their biggest hit 'Dancing In The Moonlight', they invited the 43-year-old on stage to sing over the chorus.

The ex-West Ham striker, who was often very outspoken throughout his playing days, is surprisingly found wanting in the vocal department.

But the band, the fans and even Di Canio didn't care at a time of high celebration – although we hope the Robins boss does not attempt a falsetto comeback this time next year.

Arsenal defenders mauled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Ibrahimovic mauls Arsenal defenders and delivers slap in the face to his critics

Zlatan Ibrahimovic slapped Napoli
defender Salvatore Aronica around the face 10 days ago and was sent off,
leaving the Rossoneri to ruminate as to whether his petulance and
three-match ban would end AC Milan's title hopes.

On Wednesday night, Ibrahimovic gave three central defenders the mauling of their lives with a performance which
ought to banish the well-worn argument that he never turns up against
English teams or in the big Champions League games.

He was, quite simply, immense. England must hope he is not in this bullying form when they meet Sweden at Euro 2012 in June.

Bully boy: Arsenal could not handle Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Bully boy: Arsenal could not handle Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Thomas Vermaelen has never looked so uncomfortable in an Arsenal shirt, Laurent Koscielny did not survive the first half and Johan Djourou fared no better. Djourou was bamboozled by the striker's dancing feet when giving away the penalty which Ibrahimovic converted to complete the scoring.

Arsenal might feel the referee's decision was harsh but if ever a striker deserved personal reward for a night's work it was Milan's No 11.

This was an individual display far more emphatic than the two-goal performance he produced for Barcelona in a 2-2 draw at the Emirates two years ago. It was full of swagger and decorated with beautiful touches and exquisite control of the ball and the game as he recorded his first victory against an English club.

After driving his spot-kick low into the net, Ibrahimovic stood with both fists clenched and roared, soaking up the frenzy of the Curva Sud. They adore him here and he gives them everything. Milan were four up in stoppage time when the Swede chased Bacary Sagna half the length of the pitch in an attempt to retrieve lost possession.

Foul play: Ibrahimovic is brought down by Johan Djourou for a penalty

Foul play: Ibrahimovic is brought down by Johan Djourou for a penalty

When the final whistle blew, he swapped shirts and embraced Thierry Henry in the centre of the San Siro pitch.

It was humiliation for Arsenal and English football as the Serie A champions gave the Italian game something of which to be proud after some difficult years.

Milan have fallen to Barclays Premier League opponents at this stage of their last three Champions League campaigns but it is safe to assume they will make the quarter-finals this time around. Adding to the air of revenge was the fact that the goals were shared among two players who failed to establish themselves in the Barclays Premier League properly and a man with a winless record in games against English teams.

At this stage of last season's competition, the Gunners were beating Barcelona, having fought back from behind to win on a night of great optimism at the Emirates. Little has gone as Arsene Wenger would have hoped in 12 months since and this crushing defeat, the club's heaviest in any European competition, will do nothing for confidence which is painfully brittle.

Cool head: Ibrahimovic scores from the spot

Cool head: Ibrahimovic scores from the spot

Milan tore apart a defence close to full strength, with central defenders in the centre and genuine full backs outside them, even if Kieran Gibbs was playing for the first time in four months.

Alex Song and Mikel Arteta, Wenger's first-choice screeners, sat deep in midfield but Milan's high tempo and mobility ripped them apart on the San Siro's patchwork carpet. Perhaps Wenger was responsible for planting doubt in his players' minds with his pre-match complaints about the surface, parts of which were relaid on Monday. Milan did not seem to be struggling to move the ball around. Black and red shirts spun patterns around Ibrahimovic and picked holes in the line of yellow supposedly offering protection to Wojciech Szczesny.

Defensively, Wenger's team were awful. Nobody tracked Kevin-Prince Boateng as he lashed a volley into the net off the bar in the 15th minute.

The fact it was a former Tottenham player, albeit one who failed to prosper at White Hart Lane, will only have added to Arsenal's pain as they reflected on the first 45 minutes.

Heads up: Ibrahimovic and former Barcelona team-mate Thierry Henry

Heads up: Ibrahimovic and former Barcelona team-mate Thierry Henry

Arsenal were overwhelmed by the speed and aggression of Milan and failed to threaten on the break.

'Powerless,' said Wenger. Earlier in the day, Dennis Bergkamp had suggested his former club were designed to pass not to win but last night they did neither. Perhaps Bergkamp was being nice.

Arsenal have not been pretty for a while and Milan ruthlessly exposed their frailties. Ibrahimovic was the focal point of everything, creating the second for Robinho, spinning into the inside left channel, surviving an offside call and picking out the Brazilian, who headed in at the near post. They linked up again as Robinho made it 3-0 before Ibrahimovic's penalty.

Whether Per Mertesacker might have made any difference is open to question but Wenger admitted on the eve of the game he could not afford to suffer more damage to his defence. Koscielny suffered a knee injury and others limped away with battered bodies and minds.

The fear is that this experience has a lasting impact on the players as they attempt to salvage their season in the FA Cup and the quest for the top four.

At the very least, it is likely to prey on Robin van Persie's mind as he considers his future in the summer.