Tag Archives: dangerous

Birmingham striker Marlon King arrested on his birthday after a Porsche involved in serious smash

Birmingham striker Marlon King arrested on his 33rd birthday after a Porsche involved in serious smash

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

23:48 GMT, 26 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:48 GMT, 26 April 2013

DM.has('shareLink', 'shareLinks',
'id': '2315575',
'title': 'Birmingham striker Marlon King arrested on his birthday after a Porsche involved in serious smash',
'url': 'http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2315575/Birmingham-striker-Marlon-King-arrested-birthday-Porsche-involved-smash.html',
'eTwitterStatus': 'Birmingham%20striker%20Marlon%20King%20arrested%20on%20his%20birthday%20after%20a%20Porsche%20involved%20in%20serious%20smash%20http:[email protected]'
);

Birmingham City striker Marlon King was arrested on his 33rd birthday after a Porsche was involved in a serious road smash which left one man in hospital.

Nottinghamshire police said King was questioned on suspicion of dangerous driving after a three-car crash in Winthorpe on Friday.

Road smash: Birmingham striker Marlon King was arrested on Friday

Road smash: Birmingham striker Marlon King was arrested on Friday

A Porsche, a Volkswagen Polo and a Vauxhall Astra were involved in the crash at 2:50pm.

The driver of the Polo, 35, was air-lifted to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre with serious injuries, while others suffered minor injures.

The former Middlesbrough, Coventry and Watford striker was later released on police bail.

King had recently got his career back on track after he was jailed for 18 months in October 2009 for groping a woman in a nightclub and breaking her nose after she spurned his 'disgusting' advances.

King was last month ruled out for the season after being forced to undergo knee surgery.

Arsene Wenger hails Gervinho after Arsenal beat Reading

Wenger hails Gervinho as Arsenal stay in the hunt for Champions League place

By
Jim Van Wijk, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:44 GMT, 30 March 2013

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed the confident display of Gervinho after the Ivory Coast forward set the Gunners on the way to a 4-1 win over relegation-battlers Reading which kept them in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Gervinho has often cut a controversial figure among supporters following a string of frustrating displays following an 11million move from Lille in July 2011.

However, the 25-year-old was on the money this afternoon, opening the scoring on 11 minutes and having a hand in everything positive as Arsenal eventually broke the Royals stubborn resistance again at the start of the second half when Santi Cazorla sweeping home. Olivier Giroud added a third following a quick break by Gervinho.

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Key role: Gervinho was praised by Arsene Wenger following his performance against Reading

Hal Robson-Kanu headed in a consolation for Nigel Adkins' men, but there was to be no recovery to mark their new manager's first match in charge as Mikel Arteta's penalty made sure Arsenal closed up on Chelsea in the race for fourth-spot and also remained within striking distance of Tottenham, on whom they hold a match in hand.

'Gervinho's performance was very strong. He was always dangerous, always looked like he could score, gave assists and scored himself,' Wenger said.

'I believe that sometimes Gervinho has lost confidence because he played in a very negative atmosphere during a period. Strikers need confidence, and [with] his game, even more.

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

Winning feeling: Gervinho celebrates with team mate Bacary Sagna after the 4-1 victory

'He was always taking the ball and going forward, and provoking. When you lose confidence, that is a very dangerous game then.

'When he has found the confidence back, he's a very dangerous player.

'At the African Nations Cup, for me he was the best striker there. He is the type of player who is difficult to find, because they always go at people.'

Wenger was pleased with the final result for his side, who have now won six of their last eight league games and also won 2-0 away over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, although still bowing out of Europe.

'I enjoyed our technical side, our creative side, our spirit and how disciplined and focused we were,' said Wenger.

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

Mind the gap: Arsene Wenger fighting for Champions League qualification

'The regret you have is that there were more goals in this game than the number of goals we scored.

'Overall, it's a good basis to finish the season well. Let's just keep that spirit, that attitude and play the football we want to play.'

Wenger called for his side to keep their performances high over the run-in, with little margin for error if they are to gatecrash the top four once again.

'What we do is we look at the table and we are still behind Chelsea and Tottenham. We are not in a calculation mode,' he said.

'We can just win our next game and continue to do what we do at the moment.

'We are on a run so let's take care of the quality of our game and that run. After, we'll see where we stand.

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

On target: Gervinho was on the scoresheet

'It (Champions League qualification) will be less predictable than it was predicted. We have a word to say in that and we want to give our best to do it.'

For Reading, meanwhile, the outlook is not so positive as the defeat sent them bottom of the table on goal difference, some seven points adrift of safety.

However, with a home clash against former club Southampton, Adkins is not about to throw in the towel just yet.

He said: 'We have had a bit of a fragmented week with the change, and players away on international duty, trying to get to grips with where we want to go and what to do is going to be challenging.

'We wanted to get something here, but didn't. Arsenal kept the ball very well.

'We will analyse it now, debrief back with the players, take the lessons from it and work very hard on the training ground for the next one.

'You can't change everything straight away, but we will all work hard together to give us a chance in the next game.'

Adkins added: 'The spirit is there in the group, and all we can do is take it one match at a time – there here and now is putting this one to bed, working hard over the course of the week for the next one.'

New footage of Webber cutting up Vettel in dangerous move AFTER the race. Watson says ban Vettel

Fresh footage shows fuming Webber cutting up Red Bull team-mate Vettel in dangerous move after Malaysia mayhem

By
Phil Duncan

PUBLISHED:

13:23 GMT, 25 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:34 GMT, 25 March 2013

Dramatic new footage has emerged revealing just how serious the feud is between Red Bull team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber after the Australian pulled a shockingly dangerous maneouvre after the Malaysian Grand Prix had finished.

Red Bull are in turmoil today after Vettel ignored their clear instruction not to challenge Webber at the climax of the race, and the German was forced to issue an apology for undermining the order which has left his colleague considering his Formula One future.

VIDEO: Scroll down to watch the astonishing footage

Chequered flag: Sebastian Vettel slows down after crossing the finishing line in Malaysia

Chequered flag: Sebastian Vettel slows down after crossing the finishing line in Malaysia

Who's that coming up Mark Webber's car zooms into the corner of the camera

Who's that coming up Mark Webber's car zooms into the corner of the camera

Dangerous: Webber steers into the path of Vettel at a furious pace as the German slows down

Dangerous: Webber steers into the path of Vettel at a furious pace as the German slows down

Best of enemies: Webber then speeds off into the distance leaving Red Bull red-faced

Best of enemies: Webber then speeds off into the distance leaving Red Bull red-faced

New footage reveals just how angry
Webber was in the aftermath of the race as he dangerously cuts across
Vettel at high speed to display his fury, only missing his team-mates
car by a matter of inches.

Former McLaren driver John Watson, a
winner of five grands prix, believes Red Bull must take immediate action
against their three-time world champion.

‘The question is, what are the team
going to do to sanction Sebastian Vettel And the only solution I would
find is suspending him for next grand prix,’ Watson told BBC Radio 4.

Dangerous: Mark Webber (left) swerved in front of Sebastien Vettel to show his anger

Dangerous: Mark Webber (left) swerved in front of Sebastien Vettel to show his anger

Punishment: Sebastian Vettel deserves a one-race ban, claims John Watson

Leading the way: Webber was ahead of Vettel until his team-mate's late surge

Leading the way: Webber was ahead of Vettel until his team-mate's late surge

VIDEO: Watch Webber's dangerous move

Out of options: Watson says a fine would do nothing and removing the points is not viable

Out of options: Watson says a fine would do nothing and removing the points is not viable

‘You can’t take the points away from
him and give them to Mark Webber, a fine would be irrelevant, so the
only purposeful way to bring him to book is to say “you will stand out
one race”.’

‘I know that if other drivers in other teams disobeyed a team order they would be suspended or even fired.’

Red Bull cancelled their victory photo
in the aftermath of yesterday’s controversy while it has been reported
that Webber needed to be persuaded to participate in the podium
ceremony.

Usurped: Mark Webber would have won the race had Vettel not disobeyed team orders

Usurped: Mark Webber would have won the race had Vettel not disobeyed team orders

Watson says Red Bull team principal Christian Horner must take action or risk his position being undermined by Vettel.

‘If Christian Horner doesn’t reassert his authority in the team – because he has been totally subjugated by Sebastian Vettel yesterday – then his position in the team is not exactly the role it is designed to be,’ added Watson.

‘The only conclusion I can reach is that Vettel should be suspended for the next grand prix.’

Hatem Ben Arfa has been ruled out of the rest of Newcastle"s season with a hamstring injury

Hamstring injury rules Newcastle star
Ben Arfa out for the season

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

13:47 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:55 GMT, 15 March 2013

Hatem Ben Arfa is out for the season.

The Newcastle United midfielder needs a hamstring operation.

Ben Arfa missed two months of the season and returned for the goalless draw in Moscow last week.
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew said: 'He needs a hamstring operation and that will probably leave him missing for the rest of the year.

Big loss: Hatem Ben Arfa will be unavailable as Newcastle chase Europa League glory

Big loss: Hatem Ben Arfa will be unavailable as Newcastle chase Europa League glory

'It is the news we didn't want to hear. The priority now is to get fit for pre-season.

'He gives us that x-factor which was missing from a game like last night but the team has responded well in his absence.'

Newcastle's stand-in captain Yohan Cabaye, however, could be fit to travel to Wigan Athletic on Sunday.

Optimistic: Yohan Cabaye, however, could recover in time to face Wigan

Optimistic: Yohan Cabaye, however, could recover in time to face Wigan

The France international limped off in the first-half of last night's Europa League win over Anzhi with a groin injury.

Pardew added: 'The good news is he has half a chance for Sunday. It is international week and he has to get through to be available for that and I am.'

He will be assessed by Newcastle medical staff in the coming weeks.

Ben Arfa tore his hamstring during a 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Fulham on December 10 and spent a frustrating three months on the sidelines.

Talented: Ben Arfa is often Newcastle's most dangerous player

Talented: Ben Arfa is often Newcastle's most dangerous player

He was thrown straight in at the deep end at the Luzhniki Stadium last Thursday night when he was asked to play as a lone striker, and he had a glorious second-half opportunity to snatch victory.

However, he was unable to take his place in the squad for Sunday's 2-1 win over Stoke, and was ruled out of last night's return against Anzhi, which saw the Magpies book their place in the quarter-finals, by Pardew on Wednesday.

Now it appears his season could be over, and a man who spent all but four games of his first campaign on Tyneside recovering from an horrific double leg fracture, may have to turn his attention to August.

'X-factor': Pardew rates Ben Arfa highly

'X-factor': Pardew rates Ben Arfa highly

Pardew said: 'That's the priority for him now because he's been a huge miss for us.

'He gives us that X-factor. In a game like last night's where he could open the door for us, we haven't got that luxury.

'Unfortunately for Hatem, that's the news that he didn't want to hear. But as far as we are concerned, the team has responded well in his absence and hopefully, we do that until the end of the year.'

Fran Halsall vows to bounce back in Rio – Laura Williamson

I'll make waves in Rio, vows Halsall after flopping at home Olympics

|

UPDATED:

22:09 GMT, 30 December 2012

Fran Halsall has made an important New Year’s resolution. The British swimmer never again wants to feel the way she did in the summer of 2012 after finishing the Olympic Games without a medal.

She has written it all down, just in case she ever needs a reminder, because Halsall is determined she will never feel like that again; so low she did not attend the post-Games parade because she ‘didn’t think she should enjoy it’.

While 2012 was an unforgettable year of sport for so many, there are those for whom 2013 and beyond promises far better things.

Gutted: Fran Halsall struggled to perform at the London Olympics

Gutted: Fran Halsall struggled to perform at the London Olympics

More from Laura Williamson…

Laura Williamson: Farewell to Plucky Brit syndrome, and good riddance
23/12/12

Laura Williamson: Pity 2012 feelgood factor has faded so quickly
16/12/12

Laura Williamson: Wake up Gary, or Match of the Day's old boys' club may close for good
09/12/12

Laura Williamson: Booth and Co aim to end golf's old school traditions
02/12/12

Laura Williamson: I won't be fighting in Rio but you could as taekwondo seeks new stars
25/11/12

Laura Williamson: Dangerous message that strong isn't sexy for women
18/11/12

Laura Williamson: As Sportsmail enters the ring with an Olympic star, Jonas shows being a warrior woman is worth fighting for
11/11/12

Laura Williamson: Kids have no chance when vile chants are treated like nursery rhymes
06/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

A silver medal in the 50-metre freestyle at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul earlier this month ‘was never going to make up for the Olympics’, but it has helped Halsall get her spark back. She has a new coach — James Gibson, who guided France’s Florent Manaudou to Olympic gold in the men’s 50m freestyle in London. But, most importantly of all, her confidence has returned.

‘Knowing I’m still a fast swimmer feels really good,’ she says. ‘I gave myself a little pat on the back, if you like. I’m really happy.

‘It took me a couple of months to get over the Olympics. There was a lot of upset and blame; of thinking I’m not good enough. I couldn’t deal with the fact I wasn’t good enough and it wasn’t a very nice feeling.

‘But I took ownership of it and I swam fast again. That was all me. It’s not an Olympic medal but I had to differentiate between Fran the swimmer and the person. You can’t live your life like that.’

Halsall was tipped to star in the pool at London 2012 but did not win a medal in any of her five events. She was not the only one to disappoint, of course: Britain’s swimming team came away with only a silver and two bronze medals at their home Games and have lost 4million of funding as a result.

British Swimming conducted a review into what went wrong in London, which largely blamed the leadership of coaches and the timing of the national trials, which were held 13 weeks before the Games in March.

Bouncing back: Halsall has vowed to return to form for Rio in four years

Bouncing back: Halsall has vowed to return to form for Rio in four years

Head coach Dennis Pursley and performance director Michael Scott also quit, prompting Rebecca Adlington to call the situation ‘an absolute mess’.

Halsall, though, has conducted her ‘own review’ and has a much simpler explanation: she over-trained. Working under Ben Titley, who has since moved to Canada, at Loughborough University, she says she was an ‘Olympic keeno’.

Halsall picked up a shoulder injury in mid-May, which kept her out of the pool for ‘a few weeks’.

‘Trials weren’t the problem,’ adds Halsall. ‘I have always swum faster in the summer: this was the first year I didn’t. You have to swim fast for the trials, wherever you put them.

Back on track: Halsall in Turkey

Back on track: Halsall in Turkey

‘The issue for me was I did too much. I was an Olympic keeno. I probably overdid it and ended up picking up an injury. I tried to do more than I had ever done before.

‘I didn’t want to talk about my shoulder problem (before the Games). It’s an excuse and I didn’t want that. My focus was on swimming as fast as I could and I didn’t want to have that distraction. I still fought for every 10th of a second in every race.’

Halsall, though, is already a veteran of two Olympic Games, despite being only 22 years old.

She is determined not to make the same mistakes third time around.

‘I’m not too old just yet,’ she says. ‘I’m looking forward to Rio in four years’ time.’

Fran Halsall uses Multipower Sportsfood: www.multipower.co.uk

What they said

It's little wonder David Weir described the New Year Honours list as ‘a bit strange’ after Sarah Storey became a Dame but Weir, who also won four Paralympic gold medals in London, was given a CBE.

‘Sometimes it seems that Paralympians have to win lots and lots of medals to get a damehood or a knighthood,’ Weir told the Daily Telegraph.

Here's what I've been doing this week

Chugged around the country for the feast of festive football. Clubs might whinge about fixture congestion, but I love the tradition of it all. It works in other sports, too: just look at the record 82,000 people at Twickenham for Saracens’ win against Harlequins on Saturday.

Watched Superstars and revelled in the sheer naffness and rain-sodden Britishness of it all. I can cope with only having shooter Peter Wilson on my television screen every four years, but I enjoyed Mo Farah’s attempts at kayaking, the Brownlee brothers’ rivalry and being proved wrong by Helen Glover’s prowess on the track. And there was I thinking rowers are not always the most co-ordinated of athletes on dry land.

Back on our screens: Olympians took part in the BBC show Superstars

Back on our screens: Olympians took part in the BBC show Superstars

According to Fulham’s programme for their 1-1 draw with Southampton, I ‘swooned’ when I wrote about Dimitar Berbatov’s ‘style and swagger’ in his side’s 2-1 victory against Newcastle this month. That made me laugh, but not as much as the striker’s handwritten ‘Keep Calm and Pass Me the Ball’ T-shirt, which suggested Berbatov is not averse to ‘swooning’ about himself, either.

Performance of the week

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert continues to predict that ‘Aston Villa will be fine’ despite his side suffering a 15-0 deficit over the festive period. That’s some crystal ball he got for Christmas.

Laura Williamson: Farewell to Plucky Brit syndrome, and good riddance

Farewell to the 'Plucky Brit' syndrome… and good riddance

|

UPDATED:

23:22 GMT, 23 December 2012

With all the hoo-hah over the Olympic and Paralympic sports that missed out on funding for the next four years, one very significant detail seems to have been overlooked.

As UK Sport announced a record 347million investment in British sport last week, they also revealed an ambitious target to beat 2012’s haul of 65 Olympic medals and 120 Paralympic medals in Rio de Janeiro.

We have just experienced the most incredible year of British sport and now we want to get even better That should surely be celebrated.

Golden year: UK Sport a investing record amount into sporting excellence in Britain in 2013

Golden year: UK Sport a investing record amount into sporting excellence in Britain in 2013

More from Laura Williamson…

Laura Williamson: Pity 2012 feelgood factor has faded so quickly
16/12/12

Laura Williamson: Wake up Gary, or Match of the Day's old boys' club may close for good
09/12/12

Laura Williamson: Booth and Co aim to end golf's old school traditions
02/12/12

Laura Williamson: I won't be fighting in Rio but you could as taekwondo seeks new stars
25/11/12

Laura Williamson: Dangerous message that strong isn't sexy for women
18/11/12

Laura Williamson: As Sportsmail enters the ring with an Olympic star, Jonas shows being a warrior woman is worth fighting for
11/11/12

Laura Williamson: Kids have no chance when vile chants are treated like nursery rhymes
06/11/12

Laura Williamson: Wit is the only way to counter football's vile chants
04/11/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

So too should UK Sport’s ‘no compromise’ approach to funding the British Olympic and Paralympic team. The organisation will only support genuine medal prospects, meaning some Olympians and Paralympians have been cast out in the cold.

The basketball, handball and wrestling squads, for example, which will not receive a penny unless they can show they’ve bucked their ideas up at their annual review.

Harsh Yes, certainly. But fair Definitely. This is sport we are talking about here. It isn’t reality television. It is brutal and it hurts like hell if you lose. That is why it’s such a delicious feeling to win.

And British sport is about winning these days, after all.

We’re being fanciful if we think we still exist in a sporting utopia in which every contest ends with the schmaltzy climax of a Disney film and the nice guys always get the gold. Elite level sport is not a pastime, it’s a profession. It’s about British Cycling’s much-applauded ‘marginal gains’ and a pragmatic, analytical pursuit of success.

In the past it has too often seemed our athletes have achieved success in spite of the system, but now it is because of it.

I feel for the people who missed out. I know how hard the women’s indoor volleyball team have worked and seen the strides the men’s basketball team have made.

I was upset when I realised I had broken the news to a goalball athlete on Twitter that the men’s team would not be receiving any future funding.

There was a long conversation with the father of a table tennis player who felt badly let down and confused as to the next step, having spent the last decade looking for bargain budget flights to far-flung corners of Europe so his son could try to win peanuts in prize money.

These athletes have every right to feel slighted and disappointed; to wonder about the next step in their careers. But they should not be surprised.

Benefits: British Cycling's approach to success has been a shining example to other sports

Benefits: British Cycling's approach to success has been a shining example to other sports

Their governing bodies have let them down if they thought it would be any other way.

Many of them experienced London 2012 purely because we were the host nation and their chances of making it to Rio are remote, to put it kindly.

We were utterly abysmal at most team
disciplines at London 2012, don’t forget. Why should UK Sport divert
cash from the sports that did deliver to allow people to spend another
four years chasing an impossible dream

It is far better to cut our losses and
concentrate on helping the next generation to build an Olympic
legacy, hence the 493m of money that Sport England will invest in
grassroots sport over the next four years.

Olympic table tennis, for instance,
had all of its elite level funding cut on Tuesday, yet its governing
body still claimed the ‘future for English table tennis is assured’
after a sport played regularly by almost 100,000 people received a 20
per cent increase in support for building participation.

Be inspired: Luol Deng is the stand-out star in a Team GB basketball team soundly beaten at the Games

Be inspired: Luol Deng is the stand-out star in a Team GB basketball team soundly beaten at the Games

This is not about class, as some have tried to make out. Cutting basketball’s elite level funding for the next four years will make little difference to the inner city kids who are basketball’s primary target audience. There is still potentially 6.75m of funding to come from Sport England for their benefit, including 1.54m to support young, emerging talent.

I realise these future stars need to see a pathway to success and have role models to follow, but I fail to see how watching a British basketball team getting regularly hammered would have more influence than a teenager seeing Luol Deng do his thing for the Chicago Bulls.

Neither do I automatically buy the claims about all the ‘sacrifices’ people made to reach London 2012, either. They could have been working from nine until five in a dead-end job they hated instead of pursuing their dream of being a full-time athlete.

The ‘Plucky Brit’ – eternally hopeless but emotionally heart-warming – has, thankfully, been consigned to history.

The UK Sport formula works. Elite level British sport is no longer about making up the numbers and celebrating getting to finals. We want to be on top of the podium now, thank you very much. It may be a brutal approach but it is also brilliant.

Transition: Gary Neville showed Laura behind the scenes at Monday Night Football

Transition: Gary Neville showed Laura behind the scenes at Monday Night Football

…AND THIS IS WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING THIS WEEK

Spent the day behind the scenes at Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. Interested to see Gary Neville agonise over whether to call Reading 'naive' during their 5-2 defeat by Arsenal. He thought it reflected badly on the manager, Brian McDermott, which was not his intention, deciding to highlight Nicky Shorey's 'poor' game instead.

Small steps

At UK Sport's funding announcement on Tuesday there were three female executives alongside Sports Minister Hugh Robertson. On the same day, UK Athletics announced Jenni Banks as their new wheelchair racing coach, reporting to Paralympics head coach Paula Dunn. Small steps…

Taking the mic
Sitting behind the dug-out during Tottenham’s dull draw against Stoke I noticed fourth official Stuart Attwell taking off his microphone when speaking to the managers. Did he not want the man in the middle to hear

Performance of the week

Double Olympic champion Charlotte Dujardin and her horse Valegro ended a remarkable 2012 with dressage victory at the World Cup freestyle event at London’s Olympia. They scored 87.975 per cent, which is rather good.

Robin van Persie could have been killed, says Sir Alex Ferguson over Ashley Williams kick

Van Persie could have been killed! Furious Fergie calls on FA to BAN Swansea skipper Williams after booting ball at striker's head

|

UPDATED:

17:04 GMT, 23 December 2012

TODAY'S POLL

Should Williams be banned for his kick at Van Persie

Yes

No

VOTE

Ashley Williams

POLL RESULTS

Close

All polls
Click to view yesterday's poll results

DM.has(“rcp”, “poll”,
pollId: '1033814',
channelId: '3',
questionId: ''
);

Outraged Sir Alex Ferguson has urged the FA to take action following Robin van Persie's clash with Swansea defender Ashley Williams which the Manchester United boss believes could have killed his striker.

Fergie fumed after Williams punted the ball into the back of the Van Persie's head while he lay prone on the floor during the clash at the Liberty Stadium.

The Dutchman reacted angrily and squared up to Williams with referee Michael Oliver electing to book both players.

After the match Ferguson said: 'The Van Persie situation you can clearly see that he could have been killed.

Pain in the neck: Van Persie feels the force of Ashley Williams' kick

Head case: Williams lashes the ball against the neck of floored United striker Van Persie

Lashing out: Floored Manchester United striker Robin van Persie feels the force of Ashley Willaims' kick

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

Ref rage: An angry Sir Alex Ferguson complains to fourth official Lee Probert after the incident

'The FA has got to look into it regardless that he has been given a yellow card. He should be banned for a long time because that was the most dangerous thing I've seen on a football field for many years.

'It was absolutely deliberate. The whistle has gone, the game has stopped and he has done that right in front of the referee, he could have killed the lad.

'It was a disgraceful act by the player, he should banned for a long time.'

Williams defended his actions following the match, claiming his attempted clearance wasn't meant to hit the United striker.

He said: 'I just cleared the
ball with frustration and unfortunately it hit him in the head and he
got a bit angry about it.

Seeing red: Van Persie leaps up to retaliate with Williams after the incident

Seeing red: Van Persie leaps up to retaliate with Williams after the incident

Head-to-head: A furious Van Persie leaps up to vent his rage to Williams after the incident

Head-to-head: A furious Van Persie leaps up to vent his rage to Williams after the incident

Pulled apart: The pair had to be separated by their team-mates

Pulled apart: The pair had to be separated by their team-mates

'Everything got a bit heated but it was alright in the end.'

Patrice Evra had given the visitors a 16th minute lead before Michu equalised just before the half hour mark.

Ferguson was angry with Mr Oliver for not awarding his side a free-kick for what he thought was a foul on Van Persie in the build-up to what was Michu's 13th goal of the season.

'It was foul on van Persie, a clear foul,' he said. 'The referee had one of those days where we didn't get anything out of him.

'It was a shocking performance. I know he is a young referee but I was disappointed with that performance.'

In the book: Referee Michael Oliver booked Williams but Ferguson is calling for the defender to be banned

Yellow peril: Van Persie was also booked by Oliver for his part in the bust-up

In the book: Referee Michael Oliver booked Williams but Ferguson is calling for the defender to be banned, while Van Persie also received a yellow card for his part in the bust-up

Ferguson was less critical of his
players and felt they did more than enough to take claim the three
points which would have put them six points clear of rivals Manchester
City at the top of the table.

'Thrown
two points away really,' he added. 'We absolutely battered them. It was
a great performance in the second half. It is unbelievable we didn't
win the match.

'My only criticism is that the final ball at times let us down. “No criticism of the performance, it was very good.'

Come back safely! Glover"s wish as partner Stanning heads out to Afghanistan

Come back safely! Glover's wish as partner Stanning heads out to Afghanistan

|

UPDATED:

00:46 GMT, 23 December 2012

The tears flowed when Helen Glover and Heather Stanning won Team GB's first gold medal of the London Olympics.

But it will be emotional for another reason when our first champion women's rowing partnership is forced apart by a different British calling.

Duty calls: Helen Glover resumes training - without friend Heather Stanning

Duty calls: Helen Glover resumes training – without friend Heather Stanning

For Glover is certain her tears will flow again when 27-year-old Stanning sets off for what is intended to be a year's break from the rowing lake to head for Afghanistan and do her duty at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province while serving as a captain in the 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery.

Not only will Glover, 26, be fretting over the welfare of the woman who has become her close friend these past two years, she will also be concerned for the future of the partnership that was to win the London 2012 women's pairs gold.

'Heather is like a sister to me and I'll be worrying until the day she returns,' said Glover in a break during gruelling solo sessions at British rowing HQ at the Pinsent-Redgrave Lake.

Don't mess with her: Captain Heather Stanning off to Afghanistan

Don't mess with her: Captain Heather Stanning off to Afghanistan

'I've never had a family member going away as part of the armed forces on what is potentially a dangerous mission, but this feels like it.

'I'll miss her. I'm very proud of her and I'll probably cry the last time I see her, which will be very soon. I'm sure she'll be fine, of course, but I'll still worry about her and be relieved when she's back home safe.

'I also know that while we're apart for a year, our rivals will be training as pairs. Heather and I want to defend our title at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, but with her unable to practise with me until effectively 2014, we've handed the others a year's head start.'

Striking gold made both women switch plans dramatically.

Golden girls: Glover (left) and Heather Stanning pose with their gold medals

Golden girls: Glover (left) and Heather Stanning pose with their gold medals

Originally, Stanning envisaged London as both the beginning and end of her Olympic career, then it would be back to full-time Army commitments.

Glover, who had started to row only in 2008 after she joined the 'Sporting Giants' programme, could not see beyond 2012.

But after they were paired in 2010, their sights shifted after winning two silver medals in back-to-back world championships.

'Months before the Games, Heather and I talked about her returning to the Army and serving in Afghanistan because we didn't want it to become an issue in the final lead-up,' added Glover.

'She had no intention of carrying on in the sport, but as we got better and started winning medals – and then realising we stood a good chance of winning in London – she told me she was having too much fun to stop.

'I hadn't looked beyond August 1 and the Olympic final, but I realised afterwards that we were still a relatively new pair who could improve and I wanted to defend my title in Rio. So it's decided, assuming our coaches select us as a pair in 2016.'

Which makes 2013 a difficult prospect for Glover, both from a personal and professional viewpoint as she resumes her gruelling training schedule.

Double trouble: Glover (right) and Stanning on their way to victory

Double trouble: Glover (right) and Stanning on their way to victory

She added: 'Unusually for a pair, Heather and I are very close friends who have never fallen out. From a professional point of view I haven't needed to say anything to her about what being away means in terms of our partnership.

'I know she's been questioning herself about it enough. But I know how strong a person she is and how much she believes in what she's doing.

'It's not a decision she's taken lightly. Heather is confident she can spend a year with the Army, train on a rowing machine in Camp Bastion and then resume our partnership a year behind our rivals.

'That's how much she believes in what she is doing and in us as a pair.'

In the meantime, Glover has no idea how her year will pan out, with whom and in what.

Oarsome: Helen Glover and rowing partner Capt Heather Stanning, sporting her gold medal, after their success at London 2012

Oarsome: Helen Glover and rowing partner Capt Heather Stanning, sporting her gold medal, after their success at London 2012

'It's up to [women's chief coach] Paul Thompson to decide what to do with me. I'll have the challenge of a new partner in the pairs and aiming for the 2013 world championships in South Korea. Or I might even be in a different boat.

'It will keep me fresh, but I definitely want to get back with Heather after that, whatever happens.

'When Heather and I were teamed up in 2010, we just clicked. We produced times much faster than we should have and it was all on raw speed, not technique. That's what was so exciting. We knew that with technique we could become so much better.

'To be the first British female rowers ever to win an Olympic gold, the first by Team GB in 2012, was a huge bonus. Whatever else happens in the future, that can never be taken away from us.'

Manchester derby: Roberto Mancini"s decisions made the difference as City"s weaknesses are exposed

Where's the team spirit, Mancini Details and decisions made the difference in derby clash as City's weaknesses were exposed

|

UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 9 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has been in Manchester long enough to recognise the signs. Manchester City making life difficult for themselves. He has seen this before.

As City have grown under the ownership of Abu Dhabi, we began to think we had seen the last of this. Not yet, it seems. A fraction of the DNA remains unchanged.

Despite the drama and the compelling nature of the football, this was not a game that the champions of the Barclays Premier League should have lost. Not after they had come so far to recover from two wounding United thrusts in the first half.

Seen it all before: Sir Alex Ferguson could recognise the signs of weakness in Roberto Mancini's City team

Seen it all before: Sir Alex Ferguson could recognise the signs of weakness in Roberto Mancini's City team

Afterward, Wayne Rooney said that ‘something special’ had won United this remarkable game. He was referring to Robin van Persie’s free-kick.

A terrific strike though it was, the United striker’s shot would not have found the corner had Carlos Tevez not moved from the end of the wall as Van Persie began his run-up. Nor would it have gone in had Sami Nasri not half-hidden behind Edin Dzeko.

Indeed, the free-kick would not have been conceded in the first place had Joe Hart and Gael Clichy communicated properly as they endeavoured to deal with a rather overhit through-ball.

Granted, these are small details. But it’s often the small details that make the difference at this level.

So, United celebrate a terrific and vital victory. In one swish of Van Persie’s left boot, Ferguson’s persistently dangerous team moved six points clear at the top and demolished an unbeaten City home record that had stood for 37 games and a few days shy of two years.

You see, the small details really do make the difference.

It is hard to argue, as Ferguson did, that United were the better team over the whole piece. They had their moments on the counter but a draw would have ultimately reflected the game pretty well.

Flare players: Robin van Persie (left) scored United's winner in stoppage time to cap a memorable Manchester derby

Flare players: Robin van Persie (left) scored United's winner in stoppage time to cap a memorable Manchester derby

However, there was a relative serenity about much of United’s football, even amid the frantic action that characterised the closing moments of the game. On days like this, when the temperature rises above normal levels, this can sometimes be very important.

Certainly there was an absence of the unpredictability that currently seems to hover around the fringes of Roberto Mancini’s City.

Before kick-off yesterday, Mancini shocked us. Mario Balotelli started ahead of Carlos Tevez. Then, when captain Vincent Kompany left the field with an injury, he was replaced not by England’s Joleon Lescott but by the previously out of favour Kolo Toure.

Breaking point: Mario Balotelli glares frostily at his manager Mancini after being substituted and walked straight down the tunnel

Breaking point: Mario Balotelli glares frostily at his manager Mancini after being substituted and walked straight down the tunnel

ROONEY AT THE DOUBLE

Wayne Rooney scored twice to become the youngest player to reach 150 Premier League goals.

He leapfrogs Michael Owen in the all-time standings and is now joint sixth with Les Ferdinand.

1 Alan Shearer 260
2 Andy Cole 187
3 Thierry Henry 175
4 Robbie Fowler 163
5 Frank Lampard 153
6 WAYNE ROONEY 150
= Les Ferdinand 150
8 Michael Owen 149
9 Teddy Sheringham 147
10 Jimmy F Hasselbaink 127

…AND HERE’S HOW THEY’VE GONE IN

Right foot 115
Left foot 20
Header 15
Inside the area 134
Outside the area 16
Penalties 14
Home 80
Away 70

Mancini is paid to make these decisions, of course. He won the FA Cup and Premier League in his first two full seasons at the Etihad so he must have got a good many of them right. These, though, were perplexing, even more so in the light of a Balotelli performance that was so insipid he was withdrawn just a few minutes into the second half.

Mancini suggested: ‘It’s easy to look at these decisions at the end of the game. I thought Balotelli could trouble their defenders but I was wrong.

‘Kolo came on for Vinny because we couldn’t have two left-footed central defenders together.’

What will perhaps irritate Mancini this morning is his team could have won. With clearer heads they certainly wouldn’t have lost. Their recovery from two goals down was as admirable as it was thrilling and in the wake of Pablo Zabaleta’s wonderfully taken equaliser, the hosts looked the more likely to score again. Momentum was with them and, as the City boss will have noted, there was no sign of the lamentable, pedestrian football they had served up against Dortmund five days earlier.

Whether they were playing for their
manager or their supporters or themselves, they were playing for someone
and that was all that mattered.

Turnaround: Pablo Zabaleta had dragged City back to 2-2 by scoring the second goal

Turnaround: Pablo Zabaleta had dragged City back to 2-2 by scoring the second goal

DERBY DELIGHT

Rooney’s double means he equalled Eric Cantona’s record of seven Premier League goals in the Manchester derby:

Rooney (Utd) 7
Cantona (Utd) 7
Scholes (Utd) 5
Kanchelskis (Utd) 4
Quinn (City) 4

United goalkeeper David de Gea — who had a very good game on the whole — made a couple of late saves and was forced to hack a bouncing ball away from the edge of his own six-yard line.

That City didn’t score, though, will not surprise too many people who have watched them recently. They have won games late on this season — most notably at West Brom and at home to Tottenham — but recently they do not seem to have United’s conviction and that looks crucially important as we head towards Christmas.

On the touchline, Mancini continues to look pained. He yelled at Balotelli after Rooney had scored United’s first goal and then sent Carlos Tevez to warm up. We had only been playing 15 minutes.

Pure vitriol: Wayne Rooney is heckled by City fans as he takes a corner

Pure vitriol: Wayne Rooney is heckled by City fans as he takes a corner

Hitting the mark: But the England striker responded by scoring twice for United

Hitting the mark: But the England striker responded by scoring twice for United

When Balotelli eventually did leave the field five minutes after the break, his manager didn’t even look at him. His replacement then spurned a chance. More yelling.

None of this will soothe the nerves of the more reasoned City followers who sense fraying nerves at the Etihad Stadium.

There was a time last season when this City team moved steadily forwards without even disturbing the surface of the water. Currently the ripples carry the wrong messages.

Mancini will believe the momentum can shift and it certainly can. The events of last April and May are fresh in the mind. The lead must come from him, though. He, as the manager, sets the mood.

In Manchester, City may still have the better players. They do not, however, have the best team.

Match of the Day is an old boys" club – Laura Williamson

Wake up Gary, or Match of the Day's old boys' club may close for good

|

UPDATED:

23:00 GMT, 9 December 2012

The BBC website features a page called ‘How to watch Match of the Day’. Increasingly, however, the answer is quite simple.

Record it and fast-forward past the ‘analysis’ between games or risk water intoxication (or a nasty hangover) by putting the kettle on or topping up your wine glass every time the Three Wise Men come on to your screen in their smart-casual, open-necked shirts.

On Saturday night, for example, Alan Hansen delivered the following gems during the 15 minutes we were not watching match action or plugs for Sports Personality of the Year.

Old boys club: (from left-right) Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson

Old boys club: (from left-right) Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Alan Hansen, Mark Lawrenson

More from Laura Williamson…

Laura Williamson: Booth and Co aim to end golf's old school traditions
02/12/12

Laura Williamson: I won't be fighting in Rio but you could as taekwondo seeks new stars
25/11/12

Laura Williamson: Dangerous message that strong isn't sexy for women
18/11/12

Laura Williamson: As Sportsmail enters the ring with an Olympic star, Jonas shows being a warrior woman is worth fighting for
11/11/12

Laura Williamson: Kids have no chance when vile chants are treated like nursery rhymes
06/11/12

Laura Williamson: Wit is the only way to counter football's vile chants
04/11/12

Laura Williamson: After Twenty20 World Cup we must now start taking women's cricket seriously
07/10/12

Laura Williamson: Don't use women's sport just to plug a gap, please Auntie…
23/09/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Sunderland ‘have got to stop leaking bad goals early’, three defeats in a row for West Brom is ‘enough’ and, my personal favourite, QPR ‘have got to get victories’. Funny that, as they are bottom of the table having just set a record for the longest winless Premier League start.

Hansen, though, delivers these insightful nuggets with the explicit authority of a father talking down to his eight-year-old son. ‘How are babies made, dad’ ‘They just are.’ End of conversation.

On the rare occasions host Gary Lineker deigns to probe his pal a little further, Hansen frowns and squirms in his seat, visibly affronted. There was a similar, almost embarrassed, reaction from Lineker after reporter Damian Johnson asked Martin O’Neill about self-doubt after Sunderland had slipped into the bottom three.

Ah, those pesky journalists asking former footballers questions. How dare they

Match of the Day too often seems like the comfy old boys’ club we should be honoured to visit for 80 minutes every Saturday night. Relaxed and matey is fine, but it is not conducive to forthright opinions or illuminating punditry.

Dan Walker, who will present next week’s show in Lineker’s absence, may help here. The programme has also tried, to its credit, to shake things up by including current players such as Vincent Kompany and Phil Neville in recent weeks.

It is a very difficult ask, however, for an active footballer to be anything other than diplomatic — particularly when three ex-pros are fawning over your every word.

The programme misses Lee Dixon, while Mark Lawrenson is infinitely better on the radio. Alan Shearer was perfectly fine on Saturday, although he got himself in a twist trying to explain how Chelsea are playing more to Fernando Torres’s strengths.

Effort: Vincent Kompany (right) appeared on the show - but there was only so much he could say

Effort: Vincent Kompany (right) appeared on the show – but there was only so much he could say

Missed: Lee Dixon (right) added something to the show when he was there

Missed: Lee Dixon (right) added something to the show when he was there

But at least Shearer had a go; at least he was enthusiastic and animated. Hansen was also right to highlight Jack Wilshere’s display for Arsenal against West Brom but he simply talked us through what happened and not how or why.

What did Arsene Wenger’s side do differently to their 2-0 defeat by Swansea City And what about Santi Cazorla’s blatant dive to win Arsenal’s first penalty

Little evolution: Lineker (centre) with Hansen and Lawrenson in 2001 and below in 2006

Little evolution: Lineker (centre) with Hansen and Lawrenson in 2001 and below in 2006

Familiar faces: Lawrenson, Lineker and Hansen

Familiar faces: Lawrenson, Lineker and Hansen

Oh, they all had a good laugh about that one, while singularly failing to discuss or expand on one of the main talking points. Are foreign players more culpable than home-grown ones How do we stamp it out Alan, did you ever dive to win a penalty

This is the main problem with the modern Match of the Day. There were highlights of six matches delivered from the shiny new set in Salford on Saturday, not one definitive game.

But then Match of the Day is not definitive any more. That happens on a Monday night on Sky with Gary Neville and his interactive white board. MotD is now occupying a beige middle ground of irrelevancy.

Is it a light entertainment show or a sports programme

It needs to make up its mind before a much-loved television institution is fast-forwarded out of existence.

Blast from the past: Lineker took over hosting duties of the show in 1999

Blast from the past: Lineker took over hosting duties of the show in 1999

What they said

Harry Redknapp teed up his first meeting with QPR chairman Tony Fernandes by announcing: ‘I’ve said it a million times that they’re nice people. I’m not saying that because I need the job. If I thought they were tossers I would say so.’

I wonder if January transfer targets will be on the agenda

Not tossers: Harry Redknapp defended his new bosses

Not tossers: Harry Redknapp defended his new bosses

…And this is what I've been doing this week

In Athens with Arsenal on Monday, Arsene Wenger was noticeably disdainful of any suggestion his club are experiencing a crisis. The admirable belief in his principles is nothing new, but the scornful tone felt different and unnecessary from a manager who has achieved as much as Wenger.

Arsenal are not a club in meltdown — they are still fighting in all competitions, after all — but they are certainly not one in ‘fantastic shape’, whatever the Frenchman may say.

Balance: Arsenal are not falling to pieces, but nor are they in fantastic shape

Balance: Arsenal are not falling to pieces, but nor are they in fantastic shape

Meeting new UK Athletics coaches Rana Reider and Terrence Mahon at Loughborough University, both of whom are American. We Brits have a tendency to self-deprecate, but the way the pair talked up our funding system, personnel and facilities suggested we are doing something right. It also means, of course, there are no excuses for athletes who fail to deliver.

Impressed by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s easy, eloquent manner at the Sports Journalists’ Association British Sports Awards on Thursday. The Arsenal midfielder picked up the Best International Newcomer award and quipped: ‘Thank you, it’s nice to win something.’