Tag Archives: expert

Martin O"Neill tells Sunderland winger James McClean to forget about Twitter

Sunderland players given social media lesson after McClean's latest Twitter row

Colin Young


16:31 GMT, 1 March 2013



00:13 GMT, 2 March 2013

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has called on a technology expert to teach his players the pitfalls of Twitter and other social networking sites.

The briefing follows James McClean’s latest Twitter row, which led to the Republic of Ireland winger deleting his account this week.

Last Friday, McClean professed his love for The Broad Black Brimmer by the Wolfe Tones. The song tells of a boy whose father is killed while fighting for the IRA, with the title referring to the wide-brimmed hat worn by many of the group’s members in the 1920s during the Irish War of Independence and Civil War.

Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble

Ill-advised: James McClean's controversial tweets have got him into trouble

One DUP MP called for McClean to be sacked but O’Neill, who has repeatedly warned his players about Twitter, is hoping the midfielder’s decision to stay off the site can help him concentrate on re-establishing himself in the Sunderland team after losing his place following Danny Graham’s arrival.

O’Neill said: ‘We have had someone in to talk to the younger boys about the social media thing and he’s going to have a chat with the senior boys for them to keep an eye on it.

‘He can tell you all the ills and woes and the possibility of what might happen if you were sending out a normal message to your friend, how people can log into these things, and it goes global. It will be a real eye-opener for me because I want to be in the meeting.

Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football

Unhappy: Martin O'Neill wants McClean to forget about Twitter and concentrate on his football

‘It’s just getting back to trying to be a bit more responsible for your own actions. I’d never have believed even five years ago that we’d be having this conversation.’

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet will open talks on a new contract, just days after his agent claimed he would have to quit Sunderland to enhance his international career.

Captain Lee Cattermole has had an injection in his knee but still faces a lengthy lay-off.

Mohamed Diame has hamstring injury which could last 12 weeks

West Ham's key man Diame set for 12 weeks out after hamstring injury



19:24 GMT, 9 December 2012

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce is fearful he could be without midfielder Mohamed Diame for up to 12 weeks after he suffered a hamstring injury in the 3-2 defeat to Liverpool.

Diame has been a key player for West Ham this season but was forced off after 73 minutes.

He had been central to the action before his injury and after his withdrawal Liverpool scored twice to take the three points.

Blow: Mohamed Diame will be a big miss for West Ham in the next three months

Blow: Mohamed Diame will be a big miss for West Ham in the next three months

The Senegal international was stretchered from the pitch after pulling up near the touchline and Allardyce did not give a positive early prognosis.

'Not good, it does not take a medical expert to know it is a serious hamstring tear when he falls and stopped the way he did,' he said.

'I would expect, in medical terms, for it to be a grade 3 (injury) and that could be anything up to eight, 10 or 12 weeks.'

With the likes of Alou Diarra, Ricardo Vaz Te, Jack Collison, Yossi Benayoun and Andy Carroll already out injured Diame's absence is a big loss to Allardyce.

'For us he is about the start and build-up of most of the creative side of our game – he runs at them (defenders) with pace and ability that puts them on the back foot,' he said.

'That is what we have lost and what we will be missing for a number of weeks so we are going to have to be a bit more dogged and resilient with the players we have got available, rather than have the more creative side we have had from Mo.'

Diame's performances for the Hammers
have seen him linked with a number of clubs, especially given that he
has a release clause in his contract, but Allardyce reckons he would
rather deal with bids for his player in the transfer window than have
him sidelined.

'I would sooner have that aggravation
in January where people trying to get him than lose him for the period
of time, eight-12 weeks,' he said.

Stretchered off: Diame is taken from the field for treatment

Stretchered off: Diame is taken from the field for treatment

'In my experience, I have had a
number of hamstring injuries myself in my time, when you go down like
that you know you have really got (a bad) one.

'We will wait until it has settled
down and then scan it, we will find out exactly how big the damage is
and move on from there.'

World Cup match fixed, says FIFA security expert

World Cup match between Nigeria and Greece 'fixed', says former FIFA man



22:09 GMT, 6 August 2012

A former FIFA security expert sparked new fears that match-fixing and corruption are rife in international football last night by claiming at least one World Cup match has been investigated.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, Chris Eaton, FIFA’s former head of security, also claimed a player from the Championship had reported concerns to the corruption unit.

The World Cup game under scrutiny, according to Eaton, was a Group B fixture between Nigeria and Greece at South Africa 2010.

Kicking off: Nigerian midfielder Sani Kaita (right) was sent off during the match

Kicking off: Nigerian midfielder Sani Kaita (right) was sent off during the match

Nigeria midfielder Sani Kaita was sent off in the 33rd minute after kicking out at an opponent. His side were 1-0 up at the time but Greece won 2-1.

FIFA deny investigating any games from the tournament and Channel 4 News were unable to get a comment from Kaita or his agent.

UEFA are investigating evidence that suggests a Europa League match was fixed last month. They say their betting fraud monitoring system ‘detected suspicious betting patterns’ in Albanian club Tirana’s 5-0 defeat by Aalesund of Norway.

Wimbledon 2012: Expert view on the final

The expert view: Murray missed his big chances



21:24 GMT, 8 July 2012

They all sat on Centre Court analysing every forehand and backhand, enjoying every point of a great match.

Sportsmail put the key questions to Andy Murray's former coach Brad Gilbert, 1977 Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade and former British No 1 Tim Henman.

Brad Gilbert

Brad Gilbert

Virginia Wade

Virginia Wade

Tim Henman

Tim Henman

Slowed: Wade says Murray was mentally tired

Slowed: Wade says Murray was mentally tired

Why did Murray lose the match

GILBERT: There are a lot of peaks and valleys in a match. He got off to a good start for the first time in a Grand Slam final but missed break points at 2-2 and 4-4 in the second, which were vital.

You then sensed Federer was gaining momentum.

Then in the third set, a simple game that Murray was leading 40-0 turned into a 20-minute ordeal that he lost. It changed the match.

Federer won the key points, seized the momentum and that was the difference.

WADE: He played really well and it was extremely close throughout.

Federer was a little tight in the first set but halfway through the second he just began to loosen up and Murray began to get a bit tired mentally.

Murray hit some unbelievable shots but there were more from Federer.

On top of that, Murray's serve wasn't quite as good in the final two sets.

HENMAN: You cannot accuse Murray of losing it. He got off to a great start and did such a good job at the beginning, getting that break of serve to win his first set in a Grand Slam final.

Then, at 5-6 in the second set, Federer played two great points at 30-30, finishing off with that great drop shot.

But in the first set Andy took his chances, whereas in the second set he didn't take any of four break points.

Federer was really looking to run round Murray's second serve and target it.

Once Federer starts dominating with his forehand you think you've got to keep going for more and it's like a vicious circle.

That's why he's so difficult to play against.

Cover up: Murray (right) serves to Federer under the roof

Cover up: Murray (right) serves to Federer under the roof

Did the roof change the match

GILBERT: Yes. Federer averaged five miles per hour more on his serve under the roof.

He played more aggressively and did a great job of then coming into the net more, playing attacking tennis.

WADE: I don't think the roof changed the game – it's just an excuse some people use.

The momentum of the match had already changed by then. If anything you could have argued that Federer's momentum would have been disrupted by the rain break.

HENMAN: Yes. It was probably as good a time as you could have a rain delay, with it being one set all, but under the roof Federer's ball-striking and timing was just immaculate.

His third and fourth sets were faultless.

What has Murray learnt from this Wimbledon campaign

GILBERT: He did a great job of managing himself, not getting down on himself and not losing it on court. He had a cry but that was after the match.

Ivan Lendl and he will now study the match, because you learn from winning but you really have to learn from losing.

Learning curve: Ivan Lendl will look at the tape

Learning curve: Ivan Lendl will look at the tape

WADE: One thing that has been noticeable is that he doesn't look as afraid to make errors as he used to.

I think that has come from Ivan Lendl. Murray used to play a bit safe and got angry with himself when he made errors – he doesn't like making mistakes – but he's more aggressive now and that means hitting more winners.

He has also learnt not to be too high or low emotionally on court.

Again, that has come from Lendl.

HENMAN: I think it's much better he tried to play the big points on his own terms. If he hadn't, you would have said he wasn't aggressive enough.

But that's where the pressure is – playing someone like Federer you know you have to take every opportunity – and Andy will learn from that.

Can he ever win a Slam and what does he have to improve to take that final step

GILBERT: The three guys in front of him have won 29 of the last 30 Grand Slams.

Nadal is 26, Djokovic is 25 and Federer is the youngest almost 31-year-old ever.

But Kim Clijsters lost her first four and then won four. Ivan Lendl lost his first four and won eight.

So I believe that whenever he wins the first one, the floodgates will open.

He's closer than ever but winning that first one is so difficult.

A couple of times after losing Slam finals, he's had dips in form.

He can't have that now because it's the Olympics and the US Open.

I'm sure Ivan will make sure that doesn't happen.

Trio of greats: Murray unlucky to play in the same ear as Djokovic (left), Nadal (right) and Federer

Trio of greats: Murray unlucky to play in the same ear as Djokovic (left), Nadal (right) and Federer

Trio of greats: Murray unlucky to play in the same ear as Djokovic (left), Nadal (right) and Federer

WADE: I don't know what more he can do. He was brilliant.

It is so, so tough when you have Roger, Nadal and Djokovic in front of you.

If you play tennis at a time when there is one phenomenal player, you can accept it.

Two is unlucky but three is just so tough. But he should still make more finals and each time he will have more experience.

He just has to hope it is not against one of those guys.

HENMAN: Yes, he will win one. We all believe that but the key thing is it's important that Murray does, too.

It's going to be very difficult for him in the short term but he's doing the right things and playing the right way and if he keeps doing that, he'll have more opportunities in the future.

But this will be a tough loss, a devastating loss.

Devastating loss: Murray may find it difficult to bounce back

Devastating loss: Murray may find it difficult to bounce back

Age no barrier: Federer can achieve more

Age no barrier: Federer can achieve more

How much more can Federer go on to achieve

GILBERT: Andre Agassi blossomed in his early thirties. I have a feeling Federer is going to play great until he is 35.

He's never injured, he knows how to manage his schedule and it is not unrealistic he could win 20 Grand Slams.

The last eight winners of Wimbledon have been No 1 at the end of the year.

He will be determined to make it nine.

WADE: Federer looked as fresh as a daisy when he came off court. I know how much he wants to win again at the Olympics and how great would that be

It would be an unbelievable achievement but I don't think it is possible.

HENMAN: His achievements in the game are just phenomenal.

A lot of people were trying to write him off because he had reached the age of 30 and the list of people who have won after that is very small.

You also felt that Djokovic and Nadal were separating themselves from him, but he's had other ideas.

I think he's still the player to beat.

I wouldn't be surprised if he came back to Wimbledon in 12 months' time and that was still the case.

I think he's going to be No 1 for quite some time.

Euro 2012: Italy are playing for pride against England – Ruud Gullit

Italy are playing for pride… and it is everything they have



23:07 GMT, 22 June 2012

Sportsmail columnist Ruud Gullit played in Italy for eight years and
understands their players and supporters better than most. Here the
Euro 1988 winner casts his expert eye on England’s next opponents.

Italy are playing well – they are better than I thought they would be, especially considering the match-fixing crisis in their country. But then the Italians know how to play a tournament, especially when they are under pressure.

In 1982, they had recently had the match-fixing controversy and won the World Cup. It was the same again in 2006. They know how to win. So now it has happened again and they are playing for pride. Their pride is everything they have.

Class act: Pirlo will be the biggest threat to England on Sunday

Class act: Pirlo will be the biggest threat to England on Sunday

Andrea Pirlo in midfield is the biggest threat to England. I like him very much. Everything goes through him, he's their captain and dictates games. He's a very good playmaker and Scott Parker will have to be at his best to stop him.

As for Mario Balotelli, I hope he learns from all his mistakes because he is such a talent, but after a while you have to stop talking about him because he enjoys the attention.

He will have had plenty of attention in Italy. When I was at AC Milan, I couldn't walk around the streets. During my time at Chelsea I could sit in a cafe in the King's Road and relax but in Italy I had to go out back entrances and run as fast as I could because there were so many people wanting to talk to me. Italians are not ashamed of showing their emotions and that is nice.

Centre of attention: But Balotelli must do his talking on the pitch

Centre of attention: But Balotelli must do his talking on the pitch

Euro 2012 email button

The most important thing you need to know about Italians is that they are very proud. So when the Italians play football, they are playing for pride and they will defend that with everything they have. They will defend their goal at any cost.

They like all the aesthetic things in life, all the beauty: food, fancy cars, nice clothes – they appreciate them all. For that reason, defending is an art form for them. And because it is considered art, it is so difficult for strikers to score goals. If you get one chance as a forward, you must score and therein lies their strength. They know they have to score. If you score, you're good. If you don't, you're not.

Milan was a serious group of players. Everything was all about winning. With that group of Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi, they wanted to win every game. If we drew a game, hell broke loose with people screaming.

Italian job: Gullit describes his period at AC Milan as the best of his career

Italian job: Gullit describes his period at AC Milan as the best of his career

Arrigo Sacchi screamed, Fabio Capello screamed, so we had to stay at the top. Silvio Berlusconi was the same. Almost every week he would fly into the training ground in his helicopter – landing on one of the astro pitches. He was very close to us.

When he came we were all so smart, everybody wore a tie. I had to adapt immediately, particularly with clothes. My fashion sense was terrible and as soon as the other players saw me, they said, 'You can't wear that'. We had a moveable skeleton in the changing room and if somebody had something strange on, they would dress it with your clothes. That's when you knew not to wear them ever again. The first thing I had to do was get rid of my white socks.

Everything was so professional at the club and when you arrive at the training ground Milanello, you can sense the smell of winning. As a player you have nothing to worry about except football. If you have a gas pipe that is broken, they'll fix it for you; if your car breaks down, they will deal with it. You just have to think about playing well.

Defending is an art form for the Italians… it is so difficult for strikers

The diet was so healthy too. You had salads, beans, ham and then afterwards pastas, risottos or fish. Everything was good for you and I was used to Holland, where we ate steaks and salty soup before a game. When I tried to change the food at Chelsea they all just laughed at me and asked for their food back. 'We want our gravy back,' they used to say to me.

When I arrived in Italy, I weighed 89kg (14 stone) and Maldini was 82kg (13 stone). We were the same height and they couldn't figure out why I weighed so much more. So I had to go on the scales every day and they tried to measure the fat on my hips, arms and back. In the end they realised it was all muscle.

Playing there was the best period of my life – I owe everything to the Italian league. And back then you had Inter, Juventus, Napoli, Roma – so many top clubs competing, just like the Premier League now.

The biggest problem in Italian football now is the stadiums. They are old and people don't want to go there. Juventus's attendances were poor and then they opened a new stadium and all of a sudden it was packed. The seats are nice, the facilities are good and they are proud of it. Other clubs need to do the same. Win Euro 2012 and the attendances might creep up again.

Brendan Rodgers saved Liverpool money – Charles Sale

Rodgers kicks off Anfield career with a great save



22:25 GMT, 6 June 2012

Brendan Rodgers has saved Liverpool a six-figure agent’s fee on his Anfield contract by using the League Managers’ Association to negotiate his deal.

Rodgers was represented by LMA chief executive Richard Bevan and their retained employment expert Paul Gilroy QC — thus saving the club the hundreds of thousands of pounds they would have had to pay on his behalf had a middle man dealt with the three-year package.

The union, who intervene in almost all managerial disputes after a sacking, now want to increase their influence by being the preferred choice when managers sign for a club as well, although that will cause a lot of tension with agents.

Good work: Brendan Rodgers saved Liverpool money

Good work: Brendan Rodgers saved Liverpool money

But despite the LMA’s deal-making experience and legal set-up, Harry Redknapp currently has two high-profile agents working on his behalf.

The Tottenham manager, who like Roy Hodgson would have used the LMA had he been offered the England job, has signed a two-year contract with Wayne Rooney’s advisor Paul Stretford for his Triple S agency to be his sole representatives. Redknapp still has First Artists looking after his existing commercial agreements, which included a De Vere golf event this week.

Richards is back for more

More from Charles Sale…

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Charles Sale: Hodgson encourages England to open up after hard-nosed Capello

Charles Sale: FA tell Bernstein 'life begins at 70' as chairman hopes for extended stay



Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, whose conflict of interests when he was also at the helm of Club England was well documented, is back in a lead role in the England party at Euro 2012. Richards has remained chairman of the FA’s international committee and is one of four representatives from that group who will be in Krakow as long as the team are in the tournament. Richards’ presence in Poland will make for an interesting dynamic as FA chairman David Bernstein, who took his place as boss of Club England, will also be there. The pair have their differences on the conflict issue.

Humphrey changes tack

Jake Humphrey, one of the BBC presenters involved in the Corporation’s castigated coverage of the Diamond Jubilee, has switched agents to Peter Powell’s light entertainment specialist James Grant management. Humphrey, who has made his reputation as an accomplished F1 host, wants to do more TV work outside sport. However, BBC athletics commentator Paul Dickenson, who made such a mess of the royal pageant commentary, should certainly stick to track and field.

Sponsor Power

It says something about the power of sponsors that the England party stopped off en route to Luton airport for their flight to Krakow at the nearby HQ of team backers Vauxhall, where the whole squad had a photo with 200 of the company staff. Unfortunately for Vauxhall, the players arrived in Krakow in a bus emblazoned with Kia Motors, who are UEFA sponsors.

Message: Vauxhall made sure their brand was spotted with the England squad...

Message: Vauxhall made sure their brand was spotted with the England squad…

... but the coach was emblazoned with Kia Motors

… but the coach was emblazoned with Kia Motors

From bad to verse…

UK Athletics went into meltdown when Sportsmail’s Olympics Correspondent Jonathan McEvoy challenged Michigan-born GB captain Tiffany Porter to prove her British credentials before the World Indoor Championships by reciting the opening lines of God Save The Queen.

Purely as a result of that furore, UKA head coach Charles van Commenee will now ensure that all athletes who have switched allegiance know the words of the National Anthem.

Fat issue: The ludicrous debate was turned on its head by the retraction of the initial supposed accusation

Fat issue: The ludicrous debate was turned on its head by the retraction of the initial supposed accusation

To add to the confusion at UKA, Jessica Ennis’s coach Toni Minichiello, who started a witch-hunt by claiming a leading UKA official had ludicrously asserted that the heptathlete is fat, has retracted the accusation following a chat with Van Commenee. It is understood Minichiello told the coach nobody from UKA had used the F-word.

Parry exit… again

Controversial broadcaster Mike Parry, who left talkSport after the arrival of Richard Keys and Andy Gray, has now parted company with Sports Tonight Live, the online TV talk station that has just received Sky and Freeview platforms. Outspoken Parry had a major falling-out with his bosses following the sending of late-night text messages described as ‘abusive’. Parry said: ‘We had issues about the company.’

Pat Rice Arsenal exit confirmed – Arsene Wenger pays tribute

Wenger pays tribute to retiring Rice as Arsenal boss prepares to welcome Bould



11:03 GMT, 10 May 2012

Arsene Wenger has called Pat Rice 'a true Arsenal legend' after confirming the departure of his assistant this summer.

Rice is to leave the club at the end of the season after a 44-year association with the Gunners.

Steve Bould has won the race to become Arsenal's new No 2 with Wenger plotting the biggest shake-up to his coaching set-up of his 16-year reign.

Thanks for the memories: Pat Rice is quitting as Arsenal assistant manager

Thanks for the memories: Pat Rice is quitting as Arsenal assistant manager

Wenger said: 'Pat is a true Arsenal legend and has committed almost his whole life to Arsenal Football Club, which shows huge loyalty and devotion to this club.

'Pat has been amazing for me over the past 16 years. When I first arrived at Arsenal, Pat was always there and taught me so much about this great club.

'I will always be indebted to him for his expert insight into Arsenal and football as a whole.

'On the training pitches and on matchdays, Pat has always been a passionate, loyal and insightful colleague, who we will all miss.

'Thank you Pat, we'll miss you and all of us wish you and your family the best of health and happiness for the future.

'Although, we'll still see Pat a lot, as I know he's planning to come to all the home matches as a supporter!'

London 2012 Olympics: Randall and Federici spearhead British bid for synchronised swimming medals

Randall and Federici spearhead British bid for first medals in synchronised swimming



13:52 GMT, 8 May 2012

Jenna Randall and Olivia Federici are
among the nine synchronised swimmers who have been officially selected
to compete for Team GB at this year's Olympics.

Randall and Federici will take part
in the duet event in London, the second time they have represented
Britain after they finished 14th in the last Olympics in Beijing.

Sister bliss! Jenna and Asha Randall

Sister bliss! Jenna and Asha Randall

The seven other athletes, including Jenna's younger sister Asha, will make their Olympic debuts as Great Britain enters a full synchronised swimming team for the first time.

Much is expected in London as the duet and the team are both now ranked inside the world's top 10s.

'It's fantastic knowing that I will be going to the Olympics this year,' said Jenna Randall. 'I can't wait to hear the home crowd and know that everyone is behind us. We got a taste of it at the test event and to think that was only a quarter full is really exciting.

'The Olympics is going to be a great opportunity for us to show the British public how great our sport is and hopefully get more young children joining in and experiencing the diversity of synchronised swimming.'

With the marathon, boxing, canoe slalom, sailing and swimming squads all decided, Tuesday's announcement means 76 athletes have now officially been selected to compete for Team GB in London.

Chef de mission Andy Hunt added: 'We are delighted to welcome a full complement of nine synchronised swimmers to Team GB for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

'The synchronised swimmers train incredibly hard and, under the expert guidance of Biz Price, have demonstrated consistent progress over the last four years.

'This group of athletes have recorded some impressive results in both the duet and team events recently and I am sure they will grasp the opportunity offered by the London 2012 Games with both hands and demonstrate their presence at the top table of the sport with their performances.'

Team GB's synchronised swimming team: Yvette Baker, Katie Clark, Katie Dawkins, Olivia Federici, Jennifer Knobbs, Vicki Lucass, Asha Randall, Jenna Randall, Katie Skelton.

MASTERS 2012: BBC criticised for using Michael Vaughan for golf coverage

Vaughan admits having Masters stinker as BBC face backlash for bumbling Woods interview



10:23 GMT, 9 April 2012

The BBC have come under fire from golf fans for having former England cricket captain as one of their reporters in Augusta for the Masters.

Vaughan admitted he had a stinker on the final day and suffered a backlash from fans, in particular for the handling of his interview with Tiger Woods.

The former cricketer – who adds expert analysis to BBC Radio's Test Match Special – was used as the corporation’s interviewer to the stars as they came off the course during the four days.

Different ball game: Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan interviews Masters winner Bubba Watson on the BBC

Different ball game: Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan interviews Masters winner Bubba Watson on the BBC

But he has been heavily criticised by viewers after mentioning in his chat with Woods that the American had only won three Masters titles.

‘Four actually,’ was Woods’ response to Vaughan’s inaccuracy and the 37-year-old Ashes-winning hero later took to Twitter to write: ‘Poor day at the office #hadastinker’

Lee Westwood, who finished tied for third at Augusta, aimed a friendly jibe at his pal, saying: ‘So how many masters has tiger won Heard about your mistake already Vaughny!’

Vaughan replied: 'Ha ha.. School boy error… What is one major among friends Nice play today.'

Doing what he does best: Michael Vaughan winning the Ashes

Winner: Woods with one of his four Masters titles

Winners in their field: Vaughan lifting the Ashes and Woods with one of his FOUR Masters titles

Viewers also cringed when the 37-year-old made Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia repeat their on-course hug live on TV.

The BBC, which is battling to keep hold of its sports rights, is under pressure for its heavy use of former sports stars in place of experienced journalists.

On Twitter, Masters fan Chris Lindley said: ‘Michael Vaughan doesn’t deserve to do golf, a golf EXPERT should.’

In his natural environment: Vaughan with Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special

In his natural environment: Vaughan with Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special

Mark Sugden added: ‘Still can’t quite get why michael vaughan was on the masters If he was quirky or asked good questions fair enough. But he did neither.’

And Graham Thomas joked: 'Don’t worry Michael Vaughan, Tiger Woods is probably unsure of how many Test hundreds you scored.'

Fabrice Muamba news: Khalilou Fadiga knows what Muamba is going through

I collapsed in Spurs v Bolton match and I know what Fabrice is going through, says Fadiga



10:31 GMT, 20 March 2012

The sight of Fabrice Muamba collapsing on the White Hart Lane pitch brought back disturbing memories for a former Trotters star, who suffered a similar ordeal back in 2004.

Former Senegal international Khalilou Fadiga, now retired, has not slept since hearing of Muamba's cardiac arrest at White Hart Lane.

The ex-Inter Milan midfielder was also playing for Bolton against Tottenham when he collapsed on the pitch after suffering a cardiac arrhythmia as he warmed up for a Carling Cup clash.

Fadiga expressed to The Sun that he was glad the incident happened in England due to the expert medical care available.

Heart scare: Khalilou Fadiga is stretchered off in 2004

Heart scare: Khalilou Fadiga is stretchered off in 2004

He said: 'At the same time that I’m sad, I’m glad because it was in England and people are very, very professional when something like this happens.

'I was so happy it happened to me in Bolton, if it was somewhere else other than England I was not going to be like that. I would not be here.

'That is why I am always thankful for Bolton and England. It’s the same in England everywhere where you play professional football.'

Fadiga speaks highly of Bolton medics Richard Freeman and Mark Taylor, who helped save him, while he also praised his then-manager Sam Allardyce.

'I remember it very well, you cannot forget something like that,' he said.

'I was in the warm-up with El Hadji Diouf, Fernando Hierro, Ivan Campo and all the guys, we were laughing.

Painful memories: Muamba is stretchered off on Saturday

Painful memories: Muamba is stretchered off on Saturday

'Then I just felt hit from toes to head. I was in the dressing room when I woke up and I saw the doctor next to me.

'Bruno N’Gotty wasn’t playing and he was there too. Richard Freeman tried to explain to me but I wasn’t really conscious.

'I felt better when I went from the stadium to hospital, and Sam Allardyce came to visit me.'

Fadiga also took time to praise the support Muamba has received form the football community: 'He is a young player I know and it was against the same opponent. So I feel more affected than many do.

'People are so concerned, you saw that at Tottenham. You feel the concern from the fans, maybe in other countries they feel that too but it is definitely there in England.'

Eerie similarities: Fadiga also collapsed in a cup game against Spurs

Eerie similarities: Fadiga also collapsed in a cup game against Spurs

Fadiga, who now lives in Belgium, was
watching his son play when he heard the news of what was happening to
Muamba, he admitted: 'I haven’t slept since it happened.

'I know if he’s conscious he probably would not want me sending messages, as that is not what I wanted.

'But of course, I will be praying for him and I’m not the only one who will be.

'You can never give up in life and it is a fight, so we wish him the best with the fight.

'I just want him to know I am thinking about him, he is an honest, good boy. And Bolton will help him like they helped me.'

Public outpouring: Muamba has received support from all over the country and the footballing community

Public outpouring: Muamba has received support from all over the country and the footballing community

Fadiga, who retired last year, was the first footballer in Europe to play with a fitted defibrillator, added that Muamba will be in the best place should he pull through.

The 37-year-old said: 'At Inter Milan I had problems but no one was there. But Bolton, they gave me confidence. I had problems but they still made me feel very good.

'It will be tough for Fabrice because after a couple of months it is always in your head. You think about what can you do – and think “this is my career”.

'You have to fight every day to improve yourself. I know Bolton won’t let him down. It is that help that pushes you through these times.'