Tag Archives: departure

January transfer window is open for business: Who will your club buy?

Open for business! As football's manic month begins, Sportsmail looks at the possible movers and shakers in January

|

UPDATED:

08:46 GMT, 1 January 2013

While the January sales may have started on Boxing Day on high streets up and down the country, football clubs have had to wait patiently until the first of the month to begin their spending spree.

But finally the 31-day transfer window is officially open for business and clubs all over the country look set to ‘splash the cash’, ‘open their chequebooks’ and ‘break open their war chests’ (as well as other outdated methods of payment) in a bid to challenge for the Premier League, grab a European spot or avoid relegation.

The names most likely to attract the most interest are Arsenal’s hat-trick hero from the weekend, Theo Walcott who is out of contract in the summer, just like Chelsea’s match-winner from Sunday’s game against Everton, Frank Lampard.

Scroll down for our comprehensive club-by-club guide to the window

Will he stay or will he go Theo Walcott could leave Arsenal this month

Will he stay or will he go Theo Walcott could leave Arsenal this month

Franks for the memories: Chelsea are prepared to let Lampard leave at the end of his contract and he could leave this month

Franks for the memories: Chelsea are prepared to let Lampard leave at the end of his contract and he could leave this month

Liverpool have long been admirers of Walcott while a move abroad looks to be the most likely option for Lampard, unless of course he fancies helping his uncle Harry (Redknapp) out down the road at QPR.

One transfer that should be concluded early on, is Daniel Sturridge’s move from Chelsea to Liverpool after Rafa Benitez revealed the striker had a medical on Merseyside last weekend.

Where will he go Demba Ba can leave Newcastle for 7m this month

Where will he go Demba Ba can leave Newcastle for 7m this month

Demba Ba’s imminent departure from
Newcastle looked to be one of the most straight forward moves of the
window when it was revealed that his advisors were in talks with Chelsea
on Sunday. Those talks broke down, however, and now it seems those people charged with helping him look
like making the Senegal striker’s move anything but straight forward.

The Football League has been the breeding ground for many Premier League stars in the past, and clubs could look to boost their squads with another star of the future.

Wilfred Zaha

Will Hughes

Young stars: Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and Derby midfielder Will Hughes could be on the move

Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha and
Derby’s England Under 21 midfielder Will Hughes could be two names looking to
make the step up. Manchester United are among Zaha's admirers while Fulham and Tottenham are just two of the clubs keen on Hughes.

Clubs will also look overseas to try
and snap up a bargain, and two of the biggest names in European football
could be heading to the Premier League, with Inter Milan midfielder
Wesley Sneijder and Barcelona striker David Villa both available for
moves.

Heading to England Wesley Sneijder could be on his way out of Inter Milan

Heading to England Wesley Sneijder could be on his way out of Inter Milan

London calling: David Villa is attracting interest from Chelsea and Arsenal

London calling: David Villa is attracting interest from Chelsea and Arsenal

Spurs and Liverpool are believed to be keen on Sneijder while London duo Arsenal and Chelsea are keeping tabs on Villa, who could be in line to link up with Spain strike partner Fernando Torres at Stamford Bridge.

Money will be spent and players will
come and go, but anyone hoping for a repeat of the January window of two
years ago will be left disappointed.

Fernando Torres

Andy Carroll

Be warned: Not all January moves go to plan, as Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll found out in 2011

In January 2011, a record 225m was
spent with moves that included Torres swapping Liverpool for
Chelsea at a cost of 50m, Aston Villa signing Darren Bent for 18m,
Edin Dzeko making a 27m switch to Manchester City and, perhaps most
remarkably, Liverpool replacing Torres with Andy Carroll for 35m.

There are bound to be some surprises
in 2013 winter window, but it is unlikely there will be any as big and
as costly as Carroll.

DON'T LEAVE IT ALL TO THE LAST DAY AND JIM WHITE'S WITTERING

White off queue: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White (left) offers his transfer deadline day 'insight' with Natalie Sawyer, Dave Bassett and Iain Dowie

White off queue: Sky Sports News presenter Jim White (left) offers his transfer deadline day 'insight' with Natalie Sawyer, Dave Bassett and Iain Dowie

WILL YOUR CLUB BE BUYING OR SELLING

We assess the potential arrivals and departures at each of the 20 clubs in the top flight.

ARSENAL

Manager Arsene Wenger is looking to strengthen across the board to breathe fresh life into Arsenal's push for a top four finish. A striker tops Wenger's shopping list, with David Villa a possible target.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Marouane Chamakh, Andrey Arshavin, Andre Santos, Johan Djourou, Sebastien Squillaci.

ASTON VILLA

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert spent 23million during the summer, placed his trust in youth and fielded the youngest ever Premier League side this season with an average age of less than 24. Manchester City's 20-year-old striker John Guidetti is a possible loan target while Dnipro's 2million-rated midfielder Derek Boateng is also on Lambert's radar.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Darren Bent, Charles N'Zogbia.

Darren Bent

CHELSEA

Interim manager Rafael Benitez has all but confirmed Chelsea are trying to sign a new striker but it remains to be seen whether they will spend big on the likes of Radamel Falcao or look for a cut-price alternative, such as Demba Ba, David Villa or Alvaro Negredo. A new midfielder could also arrive.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Daniel Sturridge, Florent Malouda, Yossi Benayoun.

EVERTON

Financial constraints mean David Moyes does not expect to be busy in the window but he would ideally like to add some more firepower if he can and has been looking at Paris St Germain striker Kevin Gameiro.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

John Heitinga.

FULHAM

The departures of Mousa Dembele and Clint Dempsey late in the summer window have left Fulham light, meaning a central midfielder and centre-back are vital additions.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Pajtim Kasami, Brede Hangeland, David Stockdale, Csaba Somogyi and Mickael Tavares.

LIVERPOOL

Manager Brendan Rodgers has admitted he does not have much to spend in January and a deal for Chelsea forward Daniel Sturridge, which is virtually done, will take up the vast chunk of his budget. Blackpool winger Tom Ince is the other signing the club are hopeful of wrapping up early on while Rodgers continues to be linked with Birmingham's Jack Butland despite saying he would not be signing a goalkeeper in January.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Joe Cole, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Sebastian Coates.

Joe Cole

MANCHESTER CITY

Roberto Mancini has repeatedly played down speculation he could dip into the market but it will not go away and there is a feeling fresh blood could add impetus to City's title challenge, although some high earners might have to be moved on first.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko, Kolo Toure, Joleon Lescott.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Sir Alex Ferguson says he is happy with his squad and January is not a time when he does a lot of business. But don't discount a new signing, even if the actual player does not arrive until the summer.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Angelo Henriquez, Federico Macheda.

NEWCASTLE

Alan Pardew knows he needs at least one, if not two or three additions to a squad ravaged by injuries during the opening half of the campaign with Marseille striker Loic Remy, Lille full-back Mathieu Debuchy and FC Twente defender Douglas among his major targets, although much will depend on whether or not Demba Ba remains on the books at the end of January.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Demba Ba, Xisco, Nile Ranger.

NORWICH

Norwich could look to add another striker to their squad as they have managed only 20 goals so far in the league. A move for a goalkeeper is a possibility with England international John Ruddy sidelined following a groin operation.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Elliott Ward, Marc Tierney, Simon Lappin, Steve Morison.

QPR

Where do we start QPR's miserable season is due in no small part to their completely unbalanced squad. Nicolas Anelka is being targeted to fill the large void in attack, while central defence is another area requiring improvements.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Jose Bosingwa, Esteban Granero, Hogan Ephraim, Rob Hulse, Jay Bothroyd.

Jose Bosingwa

READING

The realisation at Reading that they failed to strengthen sufficiently during the summer may have come too late. Manager Brian McDermott is looking for two to three players with top-flight experience. Expect Andrey Arshavin to be one of them.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

None.

SOUTHAMPTON

Saints' defence may have improved recently but a centre-back is still a high priority. A new goalkeeper could be a wily addition, while more attacking options would not go amiss with survival in mind.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Danny Fox, Tadanari Lee, Danny Butterfield, Steve de Ridder, Sam Hoskins, Ryan Dickson and Jonathan Forte.

STOKE

Boss Tony Pulis has made it clear he has no intention of letting any of his key players – such as skipper Ryan Shawcross or goalkeeper Asmir Begovic – leave in January, while indicating he will be looking to “bring one or two in”.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Wilson Palacios, Cameron Jerome, Rory Delap.

SUNDERLAND

Martin O'Neill has made no secret of his desire to strengthen further in January. Striking a permanent deal for on-loan Tottenham full-back Danny Rose could be a focus, and he has also been linked with a move for Genoa defender Andreas Granqvist, while extra physicality in central midfield is something he feels he needs to add.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Titus Bramble, Matthew Kilgallon, Fraizer Campbell, Ji Dong-won.

SWANSEA

Swansea manager Michael Laudrup is keen to bring in a striker to allow top scorer Michu to return to his favoured attacking midfielder role. Celta Vigo's Iago Aspas and Sporting Braga's Ederzito Lopes are thought to be at the top of the Dane's wishlist.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Danny Graham, Luke Moore, Mark Gower, Leroy Lita, Jazz Richards, Alan Tate.

Danny Graham

TOTTENHAM

Manager Andre Villas-Boas says he will not be active in the transfer market, but he only has two recognised strikers and could therefore make a move for Shakhtar Donetsk forward Willian, Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente or Loic Remy of Marseille.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Carlo Cudicini, Heurelho Gomes, David Bentley, Jermaine Jenas, Danny Rose, Tom Huddlestone.

WEST BROM

Baggies boss Steve Clarke has constantly made it clear he is happy with the squad at his disposal for the remainder of the season after climbing into the top six of the Barclays Premier League and any additions are likely to be only loanees.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Chris Wood.

WEST HAM

Manager Sam Allardyce has already been linked with big-name players such as David Beckham and Nicolas Anelka but knows the club's wage structure could scupper such deals. A loan move for an attacking player could go ahead following Yossi Benayoun's return to parent club Chelsea.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

None.

WIGAN

The January transfer window is a welcome arrival for Wigan boss Roberto Martinez, who has been contending with an injury crisis. Midfielder Roger Espinoza's transfer from Sporting Kansas City has already been completed while a loan deal for Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez is almost a done deal. The Latics have also been linked with former Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou, now at Lille, and Manchester City midfielder Abdisalam Ibrahim.

POTENTIAL DEPARTURES

Franco Di Santo.

Ryan Shawcross could leave Stoke City

City consider Shawcross bid as Stoke skipper stalls on signing new deal

|

UPDATED:

23:48 GMT, 29 December 2012

Stalling: Shawcross has been offered a six-year deal

Stalling: Shawcross has been offered a six-year deal

England defender Ryan Shawcross may be a shock departure from Stoke in the transfer window if he doesn’t sign a six-year deal offered recently.

The club are unhappy at the prospect of the 25-year-old running down the last 18 months of his deal. Manchester City like him, and could be tempted to make a move for the former Manchester United man.

Shawcross, who made his England debut in November, has earned rave reviews this season as Tony Pulis' side have gatecrashed the top half of the Premier League.

Demba Ba can make 2.5million from Newcastle exit

Newcastle will receive just 5m for Ba as it emerges Liverpool and Arsenal target will pick up whopping 2.5m cut of clause fee

|

UPDATED:

08:35 GMT, 28 December 2012

Alan Pardew's hopes of persuading Demba Ba to ditch his release clause look doomed after it emerged the Newcastle striker stands to pocket an incredible 2.5million from it.

Angered by the constant speculation caused by the 7.5m exit clause in Ba’s contract, Pardew challenged him to drop it and negotiate a new deal or be put up for sale.

The ultimatum looks like having only one outcome, following news of the windfall awaiting Newcastle’s top scorer once the contractual agreement kicks in.

Sign up or leave: Alan Pardew wants to rid Demba Ba of his 7.5million transfer clause

Sign up or leave: Alan Pardew wants to rid Demba Ba of his 7.5million transfer clause

Anyone offering the stipulated amount
will not only land one of the Barclays Premier League’s most
accomplished finishers but make him 2.5m richer, according to The
Sun, with just 5m going to Newcastle.

It is a nightmare scenario for
Pardew, who already feared he would be ill-equipped to recruit an
adequate replacement with 7.5m at his disposal. With the figure
trimmed to 5m, he will find it even harder to fill the boots of
the Senegal marksman, who now seems certain to be heading out of
Tyneside when the window opens next week.

Ba has stubbornly resisted all
efforts to draw him to the negotiating table, and the reasons why are
now evident after it transpired a third of the fee will go directly to
him.

Final plea: Newcastle boss Pardew doesn't want Ba's transfer situation to drag on

Final plea: Newcastle boss Pardew doesn't want Ba's transfer situation to drag on

A free transfer from West Ham 18
months ago, the 11-goal marksman has attracted strong interest from
Arsenal, QPR, Liverpool and Paris St Germain, who will all be alerted to a
development that signals his imminent departure.

The 27-year old is thought to favour a
move to The Emirates, but Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has
reservations over his 80,000-a-week wage demands, particularly given
the knee problems that deterred other clubs from moving for him when he
arrived from the Bundesliga.

Pardew is already making plans for life without Ba and is lining up a move for Marseille’s Loic Remy.

In demand: Ba is wanted by a host of top European suitors including Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain

In demand: Ba is wanted by a host of top European suitors including Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain

Euro 2020: Michel Platini"s flight of fancy will give fans travel sickness – Des Kelly

Platini's flight of fancy will give fans travel sickness while greedy UEFA swell their coffers at YOUR expense

|

UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 7 December 2012

The EasyJet 2020 European Championship has a certain ring to it. The Ryanair-miles 2020 Nations Cup is not beyond the bounds of possibility.

Don’t scoff. The plan is already at the departure gate. UEFA chief Michel Platini has helped himself to Duty Free and he is now wheeling his latest idiotic idea through the Nothing To Declare But My Greed channel at airports across Europe.

The new UEFA wheeze is to take what is widely regarded as a fantastic international tournament of concentrated excellence and dismantle it; ruining the format by scattering Euro 2020 games throughout the continent, having already diluted the quality for the 2016 tournament by increasing the number of competing nations from 16 to 24.

Greed: UEFA president Michel Platini (below) wants to rip up a superb football tournament for his new vision

Greed: UEFA president Michel Platini (below) wants to rip up a superb football tournament for his new vision

Greed: UEFA president Michel Platini (below) wants to rip up a superb football tournament for his new vision

DM.has('rcp',”twitter”);

Twitter Avatar

Loading tweets…

There has been no great clamour from supporters for this. No fans’ groups have lobbied for change, demanded more teams, or more travel. But there is money to be had and the souvenirs are already on the drawing board. Top of the list is the ‘UEFA travel mug’ — because that’s how they see you.

Sponsors, advertisers, television executives, marketeers, travel operators, hoteliers and, crucially, UEFA delegates are rubbing their hands with glee at his proposed tournament. But, as ever, one key part of football is forgotten in the ‘exciting, new format’. The supporters.

The paying public are expected to shut up, cough up and be downright grateful for the chance to watch a first-round game in Dublin and then fly to Berlin and Istanbul for the remaining group matches.

When Platini was asked in a press conference how he thought an England supporter could afford to go from one airport to another, he shrugged: ‘As you know, there are budget airlines.’

If there was enough money on the table, I wouldn’t put it past football’s arrogant little Napoleon to play the first half of a match in one city and the second in another.

No matter that the new Euro format will cost you a fortune. Forget that it will be a logistical nightmare, even if games are grouped in smaller geographical regions. Abandon the thought that the competition might have the feel of a national festival with its own character, cuisine and quirks. That will all be lost — and you have no say in it.

You are considered no more than sheep. You are herded from one place to another with little consideration and treated with the kind of like-it-or-lump-it contempt Michael O’Leary reserves for his Ryanair passengers. But at least he usually has the nous to keep the ‘ordeal’ cheap. Not that it will stay that way when the fixtures are announced. Those budget airlines will cash in like everyone else.

Remember these glorious Euro moments Stuart Pearce after scoring his penalty against Spain in 1996

Paul Gascoigne celebrates his stunning goal against Scotland

Who can forget these golden Euro moments Stuart Pearce (left) and Paul Gascoigne (right) celebrate in 1996

Boy wonder: Wayne Rooney celebrates his second goal in England's 4-2 win over Croatia in Lisbon in 2004

Boy wonder: Wayne Rooney celebrates his second goal in England's 4-2 win over Croatia in Lisbon in 2004

Danny boy: England striker Welbeck (left) scores against Sweden with a brilliant backheel

Danny boy: England striker Welbeck (left) scores against Sweden with a brilliant backheel

More from Des Kelly…

Des Kelly: Bridge boo boys should be careful what they wish for… or Roman might end up giving them their old Chelsea back
30/11/12

Des Kelly: I'm sorry, but Chelsea are an utter disgrace
23/11/12

Des Kelly: Ibrahimovic's goal was NOT the greatest ever scored
16/11/12

Des Kelly: Just man up like Rod and let your teardrops explode
09/11/12

Des Kelly: No Chelsea player heard Terry abuse Ferdinand… now they're blessed with the hearing of a piano tuner
02/11/12

Des Kelly: The finger of blame will only point at you, Roberto
26/10/12

Des Kelly: Now it is time for football's three monkeys to wise up
19/10/12

Des Kelly: Really, what are these people who support Armstrong on
12/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Football is one of the few mass entertainment industries that does not put its paying audience first. Fans are fleeced every season as clubs owned by billionaires and oligarchs hike up ticket prices.
A new first, second and even third strip appears in the ‘megastore’ every season. Kick-off times are designed to suit TV schedulers, or set for the convenience of viewers in the growing markets of the Far East.

The Football Supporters’ Federation told me the number of away supporters attending matches in this country is falling because of unrealistic ticket prices and punishing travel costs.

But despite that backdrop of economic hardship, Platini thinks it is the right time to launch another pan-European flight exodus. I’m not sure how this sits with UEFA’s green initiatives. During this summer’s European Championship I was actually sent a press release for UEFA’s ‘eco-friendly fan camp’.

It said: ‘In the middle of a big city we will show how easy it is to take care of the environment — you will find eco-tips on how each of us can have a positive impact for the benefit of the environment.’

I didn’t quite make it to UEFA’s ‘Eco fan camp’, but one tip I might suggest is not to ask armies of football supporters to zig-zig across Europe on a jetplane for no discernible reason other than greed and political brokering.

But then I remembered Platini was a key backer in Qatar’s 2022 World Cup bid.

If he can melt the ice caps with all those Euro flights, the Middle East might be quite habitable by the time the tournament comes around.

We could all just stay at home, of course.

Sinking without trace

British Swimming has finally issued its overdue report into the 25million failures at the London Olympics pool. I think Rebecca Adlington summed up the conclusions rather well.

‘It’s an absolute mess,’ she said. ‘It told us nothing we didn’t already know. I feel insulted, disheartened and saddened by the way they have ignored us, the swimmers, in all of this.’

Highlights included the fact that British Swimming had delivered a lot of fifth-place finishes, as if that was going to justify massive public funding.

Let down: Rebecca Adlington has spoken out about her disappointment with British Swimming

Let down: Rebecca Adlington has spoken out about her disappointment with British Swimming

The panel’s chairman, Craig Hunter, said: ‘Systems and processes in place did not function as well as they should, particularly over the final period of the quadrennial cycle.’

What that gobbledegook actually means is ‘they completely cocked it up in Olympic year’.

Having a performance director that lived in Australia didn’t help. But the year ahead is shaping up as another shambles, since the nation’s swimmers are currently unable to plan their training programmes because they have not been told when the world championship trials will be.

Meanwhile, top 200 metres swimmer Ellen Gandy, a poster girl for the 2012 Games, has decided she has more chance of success with Australia at the next Olympics.

About time too…

Queens Park Rangers have cancelled their
Christmas party. Asked why this had happened, a club spokesman
announced: ‘Have you seen the league table’

And in that moment there
was a sign that sanity was finally taking hold in west London.

At least performance chief Michael Scott and senior coach Dennis Pursley had the decency to resign in the wake of all this turmoil. British Swimming chief executive David Sparkes is still in place.

He said: ‘If you look at all the results, across all the disciplines, I don’t think there’s any justification for me to consider my position at this time.’

Interesting. Aside from the one silver and Adlington’s two bronzes in the pool, it seems Sparkes believes a bronze medal in diving, a single match won between both the men and women water polo teams, a fifth by the synchronised swimmers, and Paralympic successes are enough for him to cling on. So well done the Paralympic team. You saved British Swimming’s chief executive.

Adlington, the most successful British swimmer of the modern era, said of the current state of the sport: ‘It’s stupid . . . it’s a mess . . . people needed guidance.’

In doing so, the 23-year-old spoke more sense in an angry plea for her sport than I’ve ever heard from the defensive, self-preserving suits running around on expense accounts.

In fact, if the proud Adlington ever decides to quit competitive swimming, I’ll join any campaign to make her chief executive.

Cook's recipe for success leaves a sweet taste

Tennis, golf, cycling and athletics have all provided the nation with sporting icons this year, but surely cricket’s finest batsman deserves to take a bow, too.

England’s Alastair Cook somehow combines understated modesty with supreme assurance. He scores runs when it matters, and does it with the unhurried artistry of a true master.

At the age of 27, Cook is already shattering records. But there are no displays of ego, no celebrity magazine shoots, no tattoos, no fraternising with the enemy, no mercenary dashes to collect dollars or rupees and no doubts about his loyalty or intent. Cook is just quality and class.

Brilliant and modest: England captain Alastair Cook is breaking batting records while staying grounded

Brilliant and modest: England captain Alastair Cook is breaking batting records while staying grounded

It’s open season if you fancy threatening the ref

It's
official. From now, it is perfectly possible to justify violent and
threatening behaviour against a referee. You just have to claim that you
thought you heard them say something nasty.

John
Mikel Obi was handed a fine of around five days’ wages and told he was
not allowed to play football for three matches in response to the crime
of launching himself into the officials’ dressing room in a fury.
Reports allege that he shouted at referee Mark Clattenburg that he would
‘break his legs’.

Ox is a stand-up guy

If his football talents desert him, Alex
Oxlade-Chamberlain might care to hone his obvious gift for comic timing.

As the Arsenal player accepted the Best International Newcomer award
from the Sports Journalists’ Association at the Tower of London ceremony
this week, he opened an eloquent chat with the ever-professional Jim
Rosenthal with a fine quip.

The Gunners’ Ox said: ‘It’s an honour to
win… well, anything really.’

But the FA were able to understand
why: ‘At the time he threatened the referee, the player genuinely
believed that the referee had racially abused him. But for that factor,
the suspension would have been significantly longer.’

What
absurd tosh. Just because some player was running around with a
misplaced sense of grievance, it doesn’t give him licence to boot in
doors or issue warnings of grievous bodily harm.

This
insipid, pathetic sanction is another nail in the coffin of the
Football Association’s increasingly limp ‘Respect’ campaign. It is not
the message that the game should be sending out during a week when
amateur players in Holland beat a linesman to death.

Clattenburg
abused nobody and the FA itself said he had no case to answer. Had
Mikel been involved in an incident like this in a Sunday league match,
the punishment would have been significantly greater.

Remember,
Clattenburg missed four games — and he hadn’t done a thing. Mikel will
miss three games after being found guilty. What a joke.

Newcastle v Bordeaux preparations disrupted by heavy snow

Snow joke! Heavy downfall disrupts preparations for Pardew's young Newcastle side in Bordeaux

|

UPDATED:

19:57 GMT, 5 December 2012

Newcastle United's young squad were left stranded by heavy snow for more than five hours at the city's airport as Alan Pardew's plans for his team's final Europa League qualifier suffered major disruption on Wednesday.

The Newcastle manager was forced to cancel his pre-match press conference in Bordeaux late on Wednesday night after his players were forced to sit in their plane on the runway for more than three hours.

Newcastle eventually arrived in the French port five hours later than anticipated, although they had made the decision last week to train at their own training ground in Tyneside before departure rather than at the Chaban-Delmas Stadium.

Delayed: Alan Pardew and his players trained in the heavy snow on Wednesday

Delayed: Alan Pardew and his players trained in the heavy snow on Wednesday

Although Pardew and his opposite number Francis Gillot have taken independent decisions to field weakened teams, the delays are still a setback for the Newcastle manager who wanted a trouble-free journey to France for his younger players.

Striker Adam Campbell was among the squad members who tweeted from the departure lounge and then the Newcastle plane throughout Wednesday afternoon as more than five inches of snow hit the North East and forced the pilot to postpone departure.

Newcastle need to win on Thursday to top Group D, and perhaps avoid the bigger names dropping out of the Champions League. But Pardew has made no secret of his desire to blood his fringe players to face a Bordeaux side they defeated 3-0 at St James's Park in October.

One-time Academy striker Campbell, former Coventry City teenager Gael Bigirimana, youngsters James Tavernier and Shane Ferguson and striker Sammy Ameobi are among those expected to start.

There is also an unlikely recall for Nile Ranger.

Sammy Ameobi, the younger of the two brothers, has already grabbed his opportunity in the Europa League this season.

He was outstanding in the home and away legs against FC Bruges and the winger, who is likely to start with brother Shola, has relished his opportunity to shine in Europe. He says all the young players have to perform for Pardew.

How long The young Newcastle side were stuck on the runway for three hours

How long The young Newcastle side were stuck on the runway for three hours

Larking about: But the likes of James Tavernier took the time to have a laugh during training

Larking about: But the likes of James Tavernier took the time to have a laugh during training

NEWCASTLE'S POSSIBLE STARTING XI TO FACE BORDEAUX

Elliot; Simpson, Tavernier, Perch, Ferguson; Marveaux, Bigirimana, Amalfitano, Sammy Ameobi; Shola Ameobi, Ranger

Ameobi said: 'Growing up here as a Newcastle fan, I already kind of knew what was expected. It means that much more to me and I've only just come in. I'm hoping for better things now.

'Europe has been enjoyable. It's not the same as the Premier League but it's a tough competition and great for experience. We've played against different types of football and that sort of thing just pushes you on.

'We're through now but we want to go on and win the Group and get as far as we possibly can now.

'The young players are here for the long haul, in my opinion. When we were young kids we could make mistakes and no-one came down on us but now we're starting to learn that we have to affect games and be an effective part of the squad.'

Fun and games: The players seemed to be enjoying the snow

Fun and games: The players seemed to be enjoying the snow

Fun and games: The players seemed to be enjoying the snow

Fun and games: The players seemed to be enjoying the snow

Real Madrid consider David Beckham approach

Coming back to Madrid! Real consider approach for Beckham when star leaves Galaxy

|

UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 21 November 2012

Real Madrid are plotting a shock move to bring David Beckham back to Spain.

The idea of re-signing the superstar as a club ambassador has been floated by the La Liga giants, with president Florentino Perez known to be a huge admirer of Beckham's global appeal.

What next David Beckham could be approached by one of his former clubs, Real Madrid

What next David Beckham could be approached by one of his former clubs, Real Madrid

What next David Beckham could be approached by one of his former clubs, Real Madrid

Upon confirming his imminent departure from the LA Galaxy, the former Manchester United midfielder said he wanted 'one last challenge', suggesting he wants to continue playing.

But Real hope the magic of Madrid will be enough to convince him to hang up his boots.

Even if Beckham continues playing, it is understood Perez will not give up on his attempts to take the veteran back to the Bernebeu in a non-playing role in the future.

Beckham has a host of options when he leaves the MLS after December 1, with Paris St Germain, Flamengo, Corinthians, as well as a number of Chinese, Australian and Middle Eastern clubs all vying for his signature.

London 2012 Olympics: Athlete exodus begins at Heathrow airport

Goodbye London, you've been great! Athlete exodus begins at Heathrow after Games close

|

UPDATED:

10:31 GMT, 13 August 2012

A special Games terminal at Heathrow airport was made to resemble a London park to give Olympic athletes a good send off after the ending of the Games.

Plants, park benches and trees were on display at the terminal in west London as the first of around 6,000 athletes arrived for flights home.

The walls of the special terminal displayed London’s skyline and the park is filled with iconic London designs such as the red telephone box and the double-decker Routemaster red bus.

Next stop... Grandma's house! Ireland Gold medallist Katie Taylor is looking forward to seeing her family

Next stop… Grandma's house! Ireland Gold medallist Katie Taylor is looking forward to seeing her family

Some Heathrow staff were dressed like park wardens for the day and a bearskin guard was stationed at ticket presentation.

Athletes were invited to record their favourite memory of the Games and hang it on a tree which will be displayed at Heathrow.

Athletes’ comments will be collated into books that will be presented to the 1,300 Heathrow volunteers who have helped with arrivals and departures.

Departing athletes were expected to leave with more than three bags per person, including outsize sporting equipment.

To make departures easier and to cope with the large number of bags, athletes used check-in and bag-drop facilities at the Olympic Village on Sunday.

Admiring the elaborate make-up of the
make-shift terminal, Irish boxing gold medal-winner Katie Taylor said
she was looking forward to seeing her grandmother, Kathleen Cranley.

Shortly before boarding a flight to Dublin, Taylor said: 'My grandmother
has just turned 80. I'm very keen to see her and the whole family
again. The atmosphere when I fought was tremendous. It’s been an incredible Games and I have been privileged to be part of it.

Lift off! Athletes wait in the specially designed departure lounge at Heathrow airport

Lift off! Athletes wait in the specially designed departure lounge at Heathrow airport

Lift off! Athletes wait in the specially designed departure lounge at Heathrow airport

'It's all going to be a bit mad when I get home (to Bray in County Wicklow). I’m looking forward to celebrating.'

Gold medal winner Chris Brown, of the Bahamas, said: 'I have been tremendously well looked after here in London.'

Brown, 33, who ran the first leg as
the Bahamas won the men’s 4×400 metres relay, had been competing in his
fourth Olympics, having picked up silver in Beijing in 2008 and bronze
at Sydney in 2000.

Proudly showing off his gold medal, he
said: 'These Games in London have been great. London has staged a
fantastic Olympics. Everything has worked out well today and this
special terminal is a bit of fun.'

Kate Reisinger, the manager of the US women's hockey team, had less success than Brown but enjoyed London just as much.

Her team came 12th and last in the
hockey, but Ms Reisinger, flying home to Colorado Springs in Colorado
today, concentrated on the positive.

She said: 'London has been so
welcoming and everything has been so well organised. I have seen some of
the tourist attractions in London and even found some nice, quiet
places to relax in.'

Two more gold medal-winners – Courtney
Mathewson and Tumua Anae of the USA water polo team – checked in for a
flight home to California.

Magic moments: Competitors have been asked to leave a note of their favourite Olympic moment to be hung on a tree in the departure lounge

Magic moments: Competitors have been asked to leave a note of their favourite Olympic moment to be hung on a tree in the departure lounge

Magic moments: Competitors have been asked to leave a note of their favourite Olympic moment to be hung on a tree in the departure lounge

Anae, 23, said: 'The Games were
awesome. The people were so good to us. All the volunteers were so
friendly and gave us a lot of support. I have to say to Britain – you
guys did a great job.'

Mathewson, 25, said: 'I loved London. Everything was perfect. I was very impressed.'

Carmelina Moscato, a member of the
Canadian team which took bronze in the women’s football, experienced the
hospitality not just of London but also of Coventry, Manchester and
Newcastle upon Tyne during her Olympics.

Due to fly to Toronto, Moscato, 28, said: 'We enjoyed playing at all three cities and the hotels were good.

'This has been one of the best
experiences I could have wished for. It’s like being in dreamland. I
could not have asked for more.'

Heathrow operator BAA said that more than 5,000 bags were successfully collected at the Olympic Village and processed through Heathrow’s baggage system overnight to relieve the pressure on the airport today.

The temporary terminal is part of Heathrow’s 20 million investment in handling London 2012 passengers. Equivalent in size to three Olympic swimming pools, the terminal has 31 check-in desks and seven security lanes to help deal with the high number of departures.

Inspiring: Just two of the greatest memories which have been hung on the tree

Inspiring: Just two of the greatest memories hung on the tree

Inspiring: Just two of the greatest memories which have been hung on the tree

After three days of operation the terminal will be decommissioned and the site returned to its original use as a staff car park.

No aircraft depart from the Games terminal. Instead, athletes were being taken on an airside coach to their final departure point where they mingled with regular passengers as they waited for their flight.

Athletes were be clapped into each terminal by a guard of honour made up of Heathrow volunteers.

BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said: 'We want to continue the feel-good factor of the Games at the airport on our busiest day for departing athletes. I hope our Games terminal park will bring a smile to passengers’ faces and contribute to final happy memories of London.'

He went on: 'Olympic Village check-in went according to plan yesterday with thousands of bags being processed at Heathrow overnight.

'The departures present a fresh challenge with new facilities like the Games Terminal being used for the first time. We have been preparing for seven years to deliver a farewell of which Great Britain can be proud.'

Sonny Bill Williams to join Japanese and Australian rugby league

Sonny Bill Williams says he is 'trapped by a debt of honour' after moving to Japanese rugby league

|

UPDATED:

09:29 GMT, 9 July 2012

Sonny Bill Williams may have anticipated a fan backlash from his decision to quit the All Blacks rugby team to pursue more lucrative opportunities in Japanese rugby and Australian rugby league.

At a news conference on Monday at which he announced his imminent departure for Japan – where he will earn $1.2 million for 12 matches with the Panasonic Wild Knights – and Australia's National Rugby League, Williams portrayed himself as a man trapped by a debt of honour.

Williams told reporters he agreed on a handshake several years ago to eventually return to NRL and now had no choice but to honor that pledge. Showing every sign of regret he said 'I've chosen my path, now I've got to walk it.'

New start: Sonny Bill Williams will move to Japan to play rugby league

New start: Sonny Bill Williams will move to Japan to play rugby league

Williams said “in a perfect world” he would remain in New Zealand with the All Blacks and his current Super 15 team the Waikato Chiefs where, he said, 'I kinda felt like I'd found my place.'

'But it just goes back to (the fact) I've given someone my word,' he said.

'This was a while ago and I've had to go on with it even though it was tough.'

Williams' regret may be somewhat allayed by the possibility that, with the largest-ever contract awarded to a foreign player in Japan and the $800,000 he is expected to command in his first season in the NRL, he will become the first Australasian rugby player in either code to earn $2 million in a year.

/07/09/article-2170838-0F12262700000578-833_468x332.jpg” width=”468″ height=”332″ alt=”Switching codes: Williams will move to rugby league” class=”blkBorder” />

Switching codes: Williams will move to rugby league

Williams declared his interest in playing for the All Blacks while at Toulon and in 2010 he was signed to a contract by the New Zealand Rugby Union which saw him make his test debut, against England, within months. Few players in the 107-year history of the world's most successful rugby team have earned a jersey more easily or tossed it away more casually.

Williams won admirers for his raw athleticism, his speed and power. But he won little affection from many All Blacks fans. His refusal to sign more than a one-year contract emphasized the fact, proved on Monday that he was always open to better offers.

He seemed not to understand the enormous value New Zealanders place on the All Blacks jersey and he brought the polarizing nature of celebrity to a team that is also a national institution.

Williams was never far from the spotlight: pursuing his nascent professional boxing career – he holds the New Zealand professional heavyweight title – or dating the 18-year-old daughter of a former New Zealand rugby league star. He always gave the impression that playing for the All Blacks was a station in his career, not its destination.

Fans were always ready to celebrate his ability, though he grappled for a long time for rugby's complexity after league's simplicity. He was a member of the New Zealand team that won the Rugby World Cup last year, though he made most of his appearances from the bench.

Jack of all trades: Williams has tried his hand at boxing

Jack of all trades: Williams has tried his hand at boxing

His 15th and final test for the All Blacks, against Ireland last month, was also likely his best: he scored two tries and showed an ability, absent for much his career, to create play for others.

But his departure was anticipated. Much as New Zealand rugby would like to have kept him, it recognized that he would leave as soon as his price was found.

Famous shirt: Williams won't play for the All Blacks again

Famous shirt: Williams won't play for the All Blacks again

'They came to me and gave me an offer and at first I turned it down,' Williams said of the offer from Japan. “But they came back with an offer that I pretty much couldn't refuse.'

He stressed that he took a pay cut when he left Toulon to play in New Zealand.
'If it was about the money then I would have just stayed in France where I was getting pretty good coin,' he said.

The New Zealand Rugby Union sought to make the best of Williams' departure and said he would be welcomed back if he ever chose to return. Williams suggested that was unlikely.

'If things work I'd like to one day come back. But I'm not going to hold my breath because there are good players coming up,' he said. 'In a perfect world, yes but it is a pretty difficult situation and I just have to make the most of it.'

All Blacks flyhalf Dan Carter, who has turned down a number of large offers to remain in New Zealand, showed no bitterness at Williams' departure.

'It's a real shame,' Carter said. 'Watching his progression over the last couple of years, he'd turned into an awesome rugby player. It's sad to see him go but I'm sure he'll be successful in whatever he does and I wish him well.'

Euro 2012: Theo Walcott trains with England

England boosted as Walcott heads to training ground ahead of Ukraine game

|

UPDATED:

09:56 GMT, 18 June 2012

Theo Walcott travelled to England's training ground ahead of his team-mates on Monday morning as he battled to get himself fit for Tuesday's crunch European Championship clash against Ukraine.

Walcott left the team hotel in a car, which is understood to have been headed for the Hutnik Stadium, while the rest of the squad's outfield players boarded the team bus.

Manager Roy Hodgson revealed on Sunday that winger Walcott was a doubt for England's Group D decider after pulling out of training with a 'tightness in his hamstring'.

Hoping to be fit: Theo Walcott is struggling with a hamstring injury

Hoping to be fit: Theo Walcott is struggling with a hamstring injury

Crunch game: England manager Roy Hodgson leaves for training ahead of flying to Donetsk

Crunch game: England manager Roy Hodgson leaves for training ahead of flying to Donetsk

The Football Association were not commenting on the reasons behind Walcott's early departure this morning but it would appear likely he was undergoing treatment in a bid to get him fit enough to train.

The Arsenal winger did appear to tweak his hamstring during Friday's 3-2 win over Ukraine but was able to continue what was a game-changing display that saw him come off the bench to equalise and set up the winning goal.

Returning Roo: Wayne Rooney is available to play

Time to shine: Ashley Young leaves for training

Ready to go: Wayne Rooney is available for England and could line-up along side Ashley Young in the starting XI

Match winner: Danny Welbeck, who scored England's third goal against Sweden heads to training

Match winner: Danny Welbeck, who scored England's third goal against Sweden heads to training

That put him in contention to start on Tuesday but Hodgson hinted yesterday he would not take a chance with
Walcott unless he could be sure the 23-year-old would not break down
during the game.

Hodgson told BBC Radio Five Live:
'Whether he is a real contender for a starting position will depend upon
what the medical people can tell me and how much guarantee they can
give me that if I do start him he won't be leaving the field after five
minutes, forcing us to have 13 men rather than the 14 I would rather
count on.'

Left back: Ashley Cole

Heading to training: Glen Johnson

Wide boys: England full-backs Ashly Cole and Glen Johnson

Hoping to start: Andy Carroll scored the opener against Sweden will hope to keep his place in the starting XI

Hoping to start: Andy Carroll scored the opener against Sweden will hope to keep his place in the starting XI

Hodgson also confirmed the affected hamstring was the same one that forced Walcott to miss the climax to Arsenal's season.

With England training behind closed
doors this morning, it was impossible to glean whether Walcott played
any part, although he was expected to travel with the team to Donetsk
this afternoon.

Captain: Steven Gerrard

Leader: John Terry

Leaders: Captain Steven Gerrard and former skipper John Terry head to training

Hodgson's men were forced to conduct
today's final session before Tuesday's game in Krakow rather than at
the Donbass Arena, with the stadium's pitch having taken a battering
during the thunderstorm that briefly called a halt to France's 2-0 win
over Ukraine on Friday.

this.bcSetup =
bcMods:
experience: null
, videoPlayer: null

, bcExperience: null
, hadFirstPlay: false
};
function onTemplateLoaded(experienceID)
this.bcSetup.bcExperience = brightcove.getExperience(experienceID);
this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience = this.bcSetup.bcExperience.getModule(APIModules.EXPERIENCE);
this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer = this.bcSetup.bcExperience.getModule(APIModules.VIDEO_PLAYER);
this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer.addEventListener(BCMediaEvent.BEGIN, this.onMediaBegin);
this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer.addEventListener(BCMediaEvent.PROGRESS, this.onMediaProgress);
this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience.addEventListener(BCExperienceEvent.TEMPLATE_READY, this.onTemplateReady);

function onTemplateReady(evt)
if(this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience.getPlayerParameter(“_adMuteToggled”) == “true”)
this.setPlayerVolume(0.0);
else
this.setPlayerVolume(this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience.getPlayerParameter(“_initialPlaybackVolume”));

if(this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience.getPlayerParameter(“_autoPlay”) == “true”)
this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer.play();

}
function setPlayerVolume(level)
if(level == “mute”)
this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer.mute(true);

else
this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer.setVolume(level);

}
function onMediaBegin(event)
if(this.bcSetup.hadFirstPlay == false)
if(this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience.getPlayerParameter(“_adMuteToggled”) == “true” && this.bcSetup.bcMods.videoPlayer.getVolume() == 0.0)
this.setPlayerVolume(1.0);
this.setPlayerVolume(this.bcSetup.bcMods.experience.getPlayerParameter(“_initialPlaybackVolume”));

this.bcSetup.hadFirstPlay = true;
}
}

Harry Redknapp sacked: Transformation of Spurs is airbrushed out of history

Martin Samuel: Redknapp's amazing transformation of Spurs is airbrushed out of history

|

UPDATED:

07:11 GMT, 14 June 2012

Turns out it was all an accident. Champions League football, that night against Inter Milan, Gareth Bale becoming one of the greatest wide players in Europe, the best sustained sequence of league finishes in 48 years. Fluked, the lot of it.

Harry Redknapp was never any cop as Tottenham manager. Says so right here on this messageboard.

Not since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United and previously rational human beings took to the airwaves to announce he would not be missed has there been a greater act of collective revisionism.

Star in the making: Gareth Bale (right) gives Inter the runaround in 2010

Star in the making: Gareth Bale (right) gives Inter the runaround in 2010

The celebrations greeting Redknapp’s impending departure from White Hart Lane – this reaction is not universal but it is certainly not a minority, either – appear to wilfully disregard almost four years, focusing instead on a highly unusual four months.

From appearing on the steps of Southwark Crown Court an innocent man, through the intense speculation surrounding his candidacy as England manager, to the collapse of Tottenham’s league form resulting in a fourth-place finish, to the final kick in the guts of Chelsea’s win in Munich to deny Tottenham Champions League football next season – this is a passage of time quite unlike that endured by any manager in English football.

Yet it is Redknapp’s performance in such
unique circumstances that has become the focus of attention rather than
the evidence of what the man achieved with life on an even keel.
Tottenham’s capitulation is the stick with which to beat Redknapp, as if
no other club have ever surrendered a position of advantage.

Cleared: Redknapp outside Southwark Crown Court in February

Cleared: Redknapp outside Southwark Crown Court in February

For the record, Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United also fell with the finishing line in sight: perhaps he is tactically nave, too

That is the main criticism levelled at Redknapp. No football brain, apparently. Just slings 11 players out there and hopes for the best.

Sometimes he gets fortunate and it works but this season his luck just ran out. His old school methods are outdated, outmoded. He needs replacing with a younger man, a smarter thinker.

Roberto Martinez of Wigan Athletic is one of the names on chairman Daniel Levy’s shortlist and seems to have a high approval rating among supporters.

So cast your mind back to a match at White Hart Lane on November 22, 2009. Final score: Tottenham Hotspur 9 Wigan Athletic 1. Now consider that it is the manager whose team scored nine goals who is being depicted as the tactical ignoramus and could be replaced by the other fellow. Do you know how many times a team have scored nine in 20 years of Premier League football Twice. Manchester United beat Ipswich Town 9-0 on March 4, 1995, and, more than 14 years later, Tottenham beat Wigan.

Backward step Levy (below) is considering replacing Redknapp with Roberto Martinez, who presided over Wigan's 9-1 defeat at the hands of Redknapp's Spurs in 2009

Backward step Levy (below) is considering replacing Redknapp with Roberto Martinez, who presided over Wigan's 9-1 defeat at the hands of Redknapp's Spurs in 2009

Backward step Levy (below) is considering replacing Redknapp with Roberto Martinez, who presided over Wigan's 9-1 defeat at the hands of Redknapp's Spurs in 2009

No team should get beaten by nine. No manager should be unable to stem that flood. Martinez is an excellent young coach but if Redknapp is being condemned for a lack of cunning, his is not the first name that springs to mind as an example of a calculating superior.

A manager does not defeat AC Milan 1-0 in the San Siro, as Redknapp did in 2011, by making it up as he goes along. He does not play tight and tidy to draw goalless in the return if his only thought is to attack witlessly.

And this was not a weak Milan side, either. They were on their way to winning the Serie A title. It was pretty much the side that took Arsenal apart at the same stage of the tournament this season.

Unprecedented: Redknapp led Spurs into the Champions League, where they famously beat Milan (below)

Unprecedented: Redknapp led Spurs into the Champions League, where they famously beat Milan (below)

Unprecedented: Redknapp led Spurs into the Champions League, where they famously beat Milan (below)

In that same campaign, Redknapp gave English football one of its greatest nights in recent memory, defeating Inter Milan 3-1 at White Hart Lane. It was a game that changed reputations, not least that of Bale, who announced his arrival as the player now coveted by Barcelona. Maicon, Inter and Brazil’s right back, went from being regarded as the greatest in his position to a figure for fun.

They still sell T-shirts commemorating the chant ‘Taxi for Maicon’ outside White Hart Lane.

Redknapp gave them that. There are not too many managers who would have been brave enough to assault the Italians with pure pace as he did that night. Would David Moyes, another on Levy’s radar and now being talked up by fans who have clearly tired of watching some of the best football in the league

Roasting: Bale tormented Maicon (right) in the San Siro

Roasting: Bale tormented Maicon (right) in the San Siro

Put it this way. Moyes has done a superb job on a tight budget at Everton and clearly deserves a bigger opportunity but, if he has rampant cavalier instincts, he has managed to keep them well hidden. Give neutrals the choice and nobody would watch Everton ahead of Redknapp’s Tottenham for fun.

Yet, even the tutoring of Bale, one of Redknapp’s greatest achievements, is now being stolen from him. He was going to be shipped out on loan if injury to Benoit Assou-Ekotto had not intervened. So what Most players get their break this way. A senior player is hurt or his form dips and the understudy is promoted.

Bragging rights: Spurs beat Arsenal at the Emirates in 2010

Bragging rights: Spurs beat Arsenal at the Emirates in 2010

Joleon Lescott, scorer of England’s goal against France on Monday, was in the team for only one reason: Gary Cahill got injured. Does this make Roy Hodgson lucky Not really. He still oversaw the set piece that gave Lescott his goal.

The team still played his way. Fate may have provided Bale’s chance but the confidence he then showed was a result of Redknapp’s man-management. Yet the entries in his credit column are, one by one, being stripped away. Luka Modric’s form is not the work of Redknapp but the insightful transfer acumen of Levy.

This ignores the fact that Modric arrived before Redknapp and was playing like a drain until the manager shaped the team to get the best from him. It was Redknapp who made Levy’s 16.5million investment pay.

Mentor: Redknapp got the best out of Luka Modric (right)

Mentor: Redknapp got the best out of Luka Modric (right)

He has taken the club as far as they can go. How many times have you heard that since Tottenham’s campaign faltered Indeed, how many times have you heard it said about managers and clubs that, having overachieved, are struggling to live up to high expectations

Martin O’Neill had taken Aston Villa as far as they could go, Alan Curbishley had done the same at Charlton Athletic, Sir Bobby Robson at Newcastle United, Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, Redknapp at West Ham United: except it turned out that wasn’t as far as those clubs could go at all.

It isn’t easy maintaining relative success in the modern Premier League. Just look at Liverpool.

So for Redknapp’s successor, the mission is clear. To improve on his record of two fourth-place finishes. The new man – tactically astute, playing breathtaking football and completely in tune with the two-tier continental management style that worked so well for Juande Ramos and Jacques Santini – merely has to take Tottenham to their highest position since 1990, before the Premier League was formed.

You may think times have changed but on May 23, 1984, Keith Burkinshaw led Tottenham to UEFA Cup victory against Anderlecht and 33 days later he lost his job. How many European trophies have Tottenham won since None. Now that’s nave.

Harry Redknapp