Tag Archives: histrionics

I"m a Celebrity: Eric Bristow"s arrows at Helen Flanagan put darts legend in line for the chop – Edge of the Box

Bristow's arrows at Helen and co put darts legend in line for the chop

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UPDATED:

16:35 GMT, 23 November 2012

Is it me, or has it all got just a little bit genteel in the jungle since it hasn’t been 'The Helen Show' Suddenly, I find myself hankering for the drama and the histrionics surrounding her and the bushtucker trials.

Instead, we have the plucky and straightforward Pussy Cat Doll Ashley nailing her task and winning the camp a Thanksgiving feast, no fuss, no bother.

Mind you, even though she wasn’t the main attraction, Helen still managed to get herself involved and generate a thin lather of soap opera by nicking Ashley’s clean towel when the poor girl returned to the camp coated in goo.

Game for a laugh: Eric Bristow shares a joke with former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts in the jungle

Game for a laugh: Eric Bristow shares a joke with former Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts in the jungle

So as she nipped off for a well earned shower, Helen was left to complete a task she’d never done before, which was to clean a towel – a task she told the gathered throng, she normally outsources. Which caused David Haye to cry in consternation ‘who sends a towel to the dry cleaners!’.

Of course the whole point of the jungle is to bring together a whole bunch of opposites and see what fits, and what rubs up against each other.

If you want that kind of contrast, look no further than Eric and Hugo walking off into the trees together to listen to records. With treats at stake, the pair had to find numbers hidden in songs they played on a wind up gramophone.

Eye-opener: David Haye was flabbergasted by some of Helen Flanagan's behaviour

Eye-opener: David Haye was flabbergasted by some of Helen Flanagan's behaviour

The music selection totally dumbfounded the young Old Harrovian, but Eric new them all! ‘This was No 1’, he told his posh (Mister Bristow’s word) partner as he sang along to ‘Shaddup You Face’. ‘It was late eighties…loads of c**p records were No 1 then’, before going on to explain the subtle intricacies of ‘The Birdie Song’ .

If Danny Baker ever needs a break from his forthcoming BBC 4 music programme, we’ve got his replacement right here.

Eric was actually in a chirpier mood than he had appeared to be in the last couple of days. He’d recently had a pop at Helen, and last night it was Rosemary’s turn. Yet he remains defiant. ‘I keep taking the mickey’, he told us from the diary room, ‘but if you’re easily upset, you shouldn’t be here’.

Face it Helen, it's not going to get any easier: Bristow has vowed to keep taking the mickey out of Flanagan

Face it Helen, it's not going to get any easier: Bristow has vowed to keep taking the mickey out of Flanagan

Of our trio of sports-connected celebs, I think that ‘take no prisoners’ approach could see Eric the first to take the long walk off a short rope bridge.

But for now, he’s still very much there as it was Limahl – who only turned up, like, two days ago! – proving that, in fact, not all stories are never-ending.

Which means at least Ant, Dec or me don’t get to pun on either of his two hits anymore.

Harry Gregg testimonial: Manchester United stars put aside title despair for Fergie"s hero

Gregg's tribute: Manchester United stars put aside title despair for Fergie's hero Harry

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UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 15 May 2012

Some 48 hours after losing the Premier League title to the last kick of the last day, Manchester United pulled on their boots again.

Their angst at that sporting drama is still around but United were at Windsor Park, Belfast for an occasion — Harry Gregg’s testimonial — that justified cliches about perspective.

Although it is a description that Gregg, 79, feels has come to dog him, he was the hero of the Munich air crash in 1958 which killed 23 people including eight of Gregg’s United teammates, the Busby Babes. Given his role in United’s history, that Gregg had never had a testimonial shocked many.

Gregg’s heroism alone merited Sir Alex Ferguson’s lengthy, passionate appreciation in the programme. Ferguson described Gregg as ‘beyond legendary’ but also as ‘a most reluctant hero’.

Line of honour: Jonny Evans and the United team meet club legend Harry Gregg

Line of honour: Jonny Evans and the United team meet club legend Harry Gregg

Ferguson’s respect extended to United sending a near full-strength squad. Rio Ferdinand started, as did Phil Jones.

Ferdinand played 45 minutes on a day of no little disappointment. Roy Hodgson had called to say the defender was not going to Euro 2012. Ferdinand confirmed as much as he walked through Windsor Park’s foyer afterwards. No histrionics, it would not have been appropriate.

Wayne Rooney, Ashley Young and Paul Scholes were on the bench. Early on, Michael Owen missed a sitter but Patrice Evra quickly made amends with the opening goal. This was no B-list. Rooney and Young both scored in the second half as United won 4-1.

After the anti-climactic final seconds at Sunderland on Sunday, some players may have felt this was a game too far. But Ferguson understands the significance of Harry Gregg. He called him ‘my hero’.

Meeting your hero: Sir Alex Ferguson poses with Gregg in Belfast

Meeting your hero: Sir Alex Ferguson poses with Gregg in Belfast

The man himself, who had a stroke recently, ‘didn’t ask for this’ and the bulk of the proceeds will go to various charities. But even Gregg, a character who admits to a stubborn streak ‘as long as the strand’ at Portstewart that he walks daily, felt ‘humbled’.

‘Manchester United mean a lot to me, it was a great part of my life and still is,’ said Gregg before kick-off. ‘That’s why I feel very emotional, very moved that they have remembered an old carpenter like me.’

United’s opponents were an Irish League XI managed for one night by Martin O’Neill, another indication of Gregg’s status.

Gregg’s career had begun here at Windsor Park with Linfield. He had been an apprentice joiner. He was transferred to Doncaster and from there to Old Trafford. When Gregg joined Matt Busby’s team in 1957, for 23,000, he became the world’s costliest goalkeeper.

Disappointment: Rio Ferdinand will not be going to Euro 2012

Disappointment: Rio Ferdinand will not be going to Euro 2012

Just four months after Munich, Gregg played for Northern Ireland at the World Cup in Sweden. He was taken by land and sea and was voted goalkeeper of the tournament, ahead of Russia’s Lev Yashin.

Those are the facts that Gregg wants recalled. Ten years ago he at last agreed to write his life story and stated immediately: ‘Munich shaped my destiny, of that there is no doubt. But Munich is not my life.’

Gregg was 25 at the time of the crash. His plain prose when describing what happened on February 6, 1958 makes it all the more charged. Gregg does not admire embroidered recollection. He also does not forget. He crawled back into a burning fuselage and, as he noted, others did not.

Gregg has received deserving praise for rescuing a Yugoslav mother and baby, but he did much more than that. He pulled out Bobby Charlton and Dennis Viollet even though he thought they were dead. He helped Busby and great friend Jackie Blanchflower. He saw other friends die.

In action: Gregg playing for United against Wolves in 1966

In action: Gregg playing for United against Wolves in 1966

Somehow, 13 days later, Gregg was in goal for United against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup. ‘Of the Busby Babes who beat Red Star Belgrade, only two, Bill Foulkes and myself, walked down the tunnel.’

Gregg’s courage was staggering. Playing again so soon might seem odd; he said it saved his sanity. He started to suffer headaches and took some pills. ‘Finally, I asked to see a neurosurgeon. He told me I had a fractured skull.’

Self-pity is not part of Gregg’s vocabulary but he is entitled to our sympathy. Three years after Munich, his wife Mavis died of cancer. He said he lost his religious faith and who could blame him

George Best wrote the forward to the book. Best had arrived at Old Trafford in 1961 and Busby attached Gregg to his new Belfast waif. Best cleaned Gregg’s boots. ‘I considered it an honour,’ Best wrote. Of Munich, Best added: ‘Bravery is one thing but what Harry did was about more than bravery. It was about goodness.’

Still got it: Giggs

On the chase: Jones

Young and the old: Ryan Giggs (left) and Phil Jones featured

Lionel Messi gets the glory but beware Alexis Sanchez

Messi gets the glory but beware lethal weapon Sanchez

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UPDATED:

21:00 GMT, 16 April 2012

Lionel Messi is the genius everyone watches but this season Barcelona have uncovered his perfect foil, Alexis Sanchez.

Before they bought Sanchez, Barcelona were probably the best team in the world – now they are even better. David Villa has been injured for much of the season but the 23-year-old Chilean would keep him out of the side on this form.

He stalks the back four, running on the shoulder of the defensive line before darting into the box, pulling defenders out of the way and creating channels for Messi to run into. If defenders stay with Messi, Sanchez will punish you instead.

Point made: Sanchez has proved a wise buy for Barca

Point made: Sanchez has proved a wise buy for Barca

Up against it: John Terry will have to be on top of his game

Up against it: John Terry will have to be on top of his game

He swoops along the edge of the line waiting for that killer pass and, if the pass does not come, he quickly readjusts to find the next decisive run. He stands sideways on so he is always going to be favourite, lining himself up to make the run while keeping his eye on the ball.

Even if a team-mate does not make the pass he wants and he has to cover another 20 or 30 yards at high intensity, you never see those histrionics that come from some forwards. He just keeps running.

So much of his work goes unseen and he is lethal in front of goal. His acceleration from a standing start is the best you will see.

He reminds me of Marc Overmars, he travels so quickly it is like somebody has picked him up and put him there.

Barcelona play three up front, but they are only the starting positions.

Watching footage just shows him popping up all over the place. He has the intelligence to recognise where to slot in around these top players. He is on the same wavelength and instantly understood the fluid movement of the Barcelona way.

Now Andre Villas-Boas has gone, the Chelsea high line has all but disappeared. The back line lie deeper to absorb pressure and they have to against Barca. Even if John Terry was the quickest defender in Europe he would still struggle to deal with the movement. The only way to counteract it is to play a little deeper. John Mikel Obi has a big defensive role to play, too.

When Arsenal beat Barcelona last season, they sent their central defenders after Messi and that created a problem for Barcelona. But now, with Sanchez, they have someone who will run into the space from where the defender has come. You just wouldn’t want to be playing against him.

Arsene Wenger hits out at divers

Stop all the playacting, says Wenger as Arsenal boss hits out at divers

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UPDATED:

22:02 GMT, 11 March 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at the game’s cheats who try to con referees.

The issue of diving has been under the microscope this season after a string of bookings for simulation.

Tottenham forward Gareth Bale was again accused of taking a deliberate tumble under a challenge from Leon Osman in the 1-0 defeat at Everton on Saturday.

Accused: Leon Osman berates Gareth Bale

Accused: Leon Osman berates Gareth Bale

Wenger feels his players were also the victims of some histrionics in their previous league outing when Luis Suarez earned Liverpool a penalty in Arsenal’s 2-1 win at Anfield.

He said: ‘It annoys me. For example, Suarez got the penalty last week. It was no penalty. Nobody touched him but he goes overboard. I can understand if they push the ball too far but when no-one touches him…

‘But then when they roll down the sock, take the shin- pad out like he has been kicked like mad, it’s a bit overboard. Everyone who has played football can understand they try to win the penalty but what he does afterwards to get a bit more, we don’t need that.’

Pointing the finger: Arsene Wenger has hit out

Pointing the finger: Arsene Wenger has hit out

Arsenal can move to within a single point of Tottenham with victory over Newcastle on Monday night. The Gunners have won their previous four Barclays Premier League games – but have been forced to come from behind in three of those victories.

‘It’s better not to come back, but you do what you have to to win the game and Newcastle are a team with offensive strength so a good defensive performance will be needed,’ added Wenger.

‘For consistency of top results, this is the best it has been for a long time. We scored seven against Blackburn, five against Tottenham, three against Milan and they are good teams.

‘So overall we have a flow in our game because the confidence is higher.’

In the dock: Luis Suarez was accused of diving against Arsenal at Anfield

In the dock: Luis Suarez was accused of diving against Arsenal at Anfield

Newcastle’s faint hopes of Champions League qualification are over if they lose, says manager Alan Pardew.

His vastly improved side are five points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal and Chelsea in fifth. A more realistic target is the Europa League but Pardew may field an attacking line-up against Arsenal.

He said: ‘It’s a mini-season for us now and this is an important game in terms of the Champions League because, if we win we are going to be given a shout.

‘If we lose, really it’s over and then we can focus on 10 games and the Europa League.’