Tag Archives: horse

Beach volleyball initiative launched by Zara Dampney

Give it a go! Team GB star Dampney gets behind new beach volleyball initiative

Olympics, the British public are being given the chance to try it for themselves.

The sport was one of the highlights of the Games as crowds flocked to the Horse Guards Parade last summer.

And Team GB star Zara Dampney is hoping a new initiative can encourage more people to take the fast-paced, action-packed discipline.

Zara Dampney

Zara Dampney

Best of British: Zoe Dampney was part of Team GB and the beach volleyball squad at London 2012

The Go Spike Big Weekend, which runs from May 25-27, offers the chance to take part in beach, indoor, outdoor and sitting volleyball at various venues across England.

'I’m incredibly excited about the Go Spike Big Weekend and think it will be a fantastic showcase of everything volleyball has to offer,' Dampney said. 'Everyone from kids to retired people should experience the enjoyment and the health benefits of volleyball.

'People don’t realise just how accessible volleyball is – there are facilities for all versions of the sport right across the country, and I hope that once people give it a go they will join up and make volleyball a regular part of their lives and enjoy it just as much as I do.'

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

For further information on the Go Spike Big Weekend and details of events across England visit www.gospike.net

Michael Owen defence: Why is he hated so much?

In defence of Michael Owen… what has the striker done to deserve such loathing

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:09 GMT, 2 January 2013

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UPDATED:

11:09 GMT, 2 January 2013

There are few players who provoke such abuse as Michael Owen, but why is that

The same Michael Owen whose dazzling goal for England in France 1998 thrust him on to every back page and every child’s bedroom wall.

He was the hero of the nation – the schoolboy whose pace and finishing prowess, already well known on Merseyside, was now announced to the world.

Twitter row: Michael Owen (above left) responded to abuse by posting a picture of his trophy cabinet (below)

Twitter row: Michael Owen (above left) responded to abuse by posting a picture of his trophy cabinet (below)

Michael Owen trophy cabinet

OK, he became a Liverpool striker who then played for Manchester United. He has a terrible injury record and earns a lot of money, so that adds up to the money for old rope argument.

But he was overplayed as a junior and it’s not his fault that he is injured so often.

It’s not his fault clubs have wanted to pay him so much money… and it’s pretty wise business practice to invest money in a business you know about.

Owen likes horse racing and has invested in stables, but what is wrong with that

VIDEO: Owen's goal against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup

We can all get the normal football tribalism. West Ham fans will abuse Jermain Defoe because he asked for a transfer the day after being relegated and now plays (and scores regularly) for Spurs. It might not excuse some of what is said, but supporters abusing a striker who plays for the locals rivals is nothing new.

While you would have to understand the religious splits in Scottish football to fully appreciate the hate directed at Mo Johnston, the former Scotland striker knew what he was getting into when he became the first catholic to play for Rangers. And he was a former Celtic idol.

But what did Owen do to deserve such loathing

Can't hear you: Michael Owen made his name at Liverpool but scored goals at each of his subsequent clubs

Can't hear you: Michael Owen made his name at Liverpool but scored goals at each of his subsequent clubs

Michael Owen

Michael Owen

VIDEO: Owen scores winner in 4-3 derby win for Manchester United

He’s been a very good striker – he scored 40 goals in 89 England games – and has regularly hit the target for all his clubs.

Even though he career has tailed off, because of his injuries, he is still a box office name.

He’s barely played for Stoke, but is on a pay-as-you-play deal so that won’t be proving too taxing for them.

So get off his back and let’s allow him to drift into retirement at his own pace. Not as quick as he used to be, of course, but not making enough noise to offend.

Another one for the collection: Owen (centre) finally won the Premier League with Manchester United

Another one for the collection: Owen (centre) finally won the Premier League with Manchester United

VIDEO: Owen wins the FA Cup for Liverpool against Arsenal

Frank Lampard has plenty to offer Chelsea – Neil Ashton

To be Frank, Lampard still plenty to offer

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 23 December 2012

With both ankles heavily strapped in gauze and white tape, Frank Lampard made a late run for the East Stand reception a few minutes before kick-off on Sunday.

He was clutching match tickets for friends, arriving just in time for them to take their seats to watch his 500th start in the Barclays Premier League. He marked the occasion with another trademark finish, arriving unannounced – as is the norm – on the edge of Villa’s penalty area.

It was Chelsea’s fourth goal, prompting the captain’s immediate substitution to save those aching limbs ahead of the Boxing Day trip to Norwich City.

Landmark: Lampard made his 500th Premier League start on Sunday

Landmark: Lampard made his 500th Premier League start on Sunday

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Trademark strike: Lampard fires home from 25 yards out

‘I’m proud of what I’ve done in my Chelsea career and I will just continue working game by game because I believe I still have a lot left in me,’ said Lampard. ‘When the fans sing my name, it means everything because they are the club – and I love them.’

Back in 2010, after Chelsea had won the title under Carlo Ancelotti, the Italian told Lampard he could prolong his playing career at the club ‘until you are 38 or 39’.

They had mapped him in pre-season, bringing the techniques used at the famous MilanLab – the ones that kept Paolo Maldini going like an old shire horse until he retired at 41 – to Chelsea.

Since Lampard made his 11.5million move from West Ham in 2001, he has been one of the most distinguished and disciplined players in the Premier League. Even at his statesmanlike age, options are still emerging for him.

With every touch in his refined position just in front of Chelsea’s back four, Lampard has Victor Moses, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Torres in his field of vision.

Holding role: Benitez has been deploying Lampard in front of his back four

Holding role: Benitez has been deploying Lampard in front of his back four

Off the pitch, he is being seduced by his former coach Claudio Ranieri, now at Monaco, and by LA Galaxy after David Beckham left at the end of the MLS season.

Although Monaco, now in French Ligue 2, cannot match his 130,000-a-week salary, they can offer him a huge tax free income.

It is appetising, as is the offer to replace Beckham as one of the marquee signings in MLS.

Although LA Galaxy’s season does not get under way until March, Lampard will wait until his contract ends before moving to another club.

His young children live in London and he has always made it clear they are his priority, but it is understood a move abroad is no longer out of the question.

Holding role: Benitez has been deploying Lampard in front of his back four

Decision time: The veteran has plenty of options

As he ticked over in Chelsea’s midfield alongside David Luiz on Sunday, it has become clear that the countdown is on.

It is incredible to think Chelsea have allowed this situation to develop after Lampard’s 11 amazing years at Stamford Bridge.

Just days after they lifted the European Cup in May, chief executive Ron Gourlay publicly claimed that Lampard’s contract would be extended ‘by September’. At the time, it appeared to be nothing more than an administrative issue, a matter for Gourlay’s in-tray as Chelsea became accustomed to their new status as champions of Europe.

Instead, it is still pending, put off until the owner Roman Abramovich decides one way or the other.

‘The club’s position is the club’s position,’ added Lampard. Undoubtedly, Chelsea are leaving it a bit late.

Charlotte Dujardin breaks world record at London International Horse Show

Olympic star Dujardin strikes again with world record display at Olympia

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UPDATED:

00:48 GMT, 18 December 2012

Double Olympic dressage champion Charlotte Dujardin delivered a stunning world record display to win the Reem Acra FEI World Cup qualifier at the London International Horse Show.

The 27-year-old British star guided her brilliant London 2012 horse Valegro to an emphatic grand prix victory at Olympia.

Their score of 84.447 per cent broke the previous world-best (84.08 per cent) set by Dutch star Edward Gal and black stallion Totilas at the 2009 European Championships in Windsor.

And it means she now holds world records in two of dressage's three disciplines – grand prix and grand prix special.

Fine fettle: Great Britain's Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro smashed the world record

Fine fettle: Great Britain's Charlotte Dujardin riding Valegro smashed the world record

It was their first competitive outing since the Olympics more than four months ago, and once again they proved a class apart despite Dujardin being treated by a doctor for bronchitis earlier in the day.

'The horse is amazing, I am just so lucky to have him,' she said.

'I had the worst headache this morning. I rode a bit safer than I would normally.'

Dujardin and Valegro won individual gold at Greenwich Park and they were also part of Great Britain's Olympic title-winning team alongside Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer.

Hester, who was among those left in her wake tonight, said: 'That was an incredible test. She just keeps notching up the percentages.'

Playing it safe: Dujardin was treated for bronchitis earlier in the day

Playing it safe: Dujardin was treated for bronchitis earlier in the day

Dujardin won by a landslide margin of more than eight per cent from Germany's Isabell Werth (Don Johnson FRH), with Gal (Glock's Undercover) third. Hester and his Olympic horse Uthopia finished sixth.

Dujardin and 14 other qualifiers will now contest the World Cup freestyle to music class in front of a capacity crowd on Tuesday night.

Her routine will be a repeat of the London 2012 showcase that featured strains of Land of Hope and Glory, interspersed with Big Ben chimes, on what could prove an emotional occasion.

And Gal's world record of 92.30% might come under serious threat from Dujardin, whose personal best on Valegro is 90.65% set just before the London Olympics.

Tied down: Dujardin says she hopes she can keep Valegro

Tied down: Dujardin says she hopes she can keep Valegro

Dujardin said last week that attempts are being made to form an owners' syndicate aimed at buying Valegro and keeping it in Britain.

The horse, co-owned by Hester and Roly Luard, would comfortably command a seven-figure sum, and speculation has raged about a potential sale since the Olympics.

Dujardin hopes she can keep the ride, but whether she will contest summer's European Championships in Denmark aboard Valegro remains clouded by uncertainty.

Performances like this, though, can only help in finding potential new backers.

David Moyes wants a winner at Cheltenham

Moyes chasing Cheltenham double as Everton boss eyes Festival winner

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UPDATED:

11:44 GMT, 15 December 2012

Everton manager David Moyes hopes to be celebrating in Cheltenham next month in the FA Cup – and again at the Festival in March.

The Scot, whose side face Stoke in the Premier League this afternoon, owns Desert Cry who ran at Cheltenham this year.

And Moyes the town will prove a happy hunting ground both on the pitch and on the track.

Winning feeling: David Moyes has Everton flying high in fourth place

Winning feeling: David Moyes has Everton flying high in fourth place

'I would like at least one winner at Cheltenham next year. Horse racing remains a hobby for me,' he told the Daily Express. 'My horse, Desert Cry, is at Donald McCain’s stables and he has gone on to the jumps this year.

'On a day off, I’ll go along and watch them on the gallops and I like seeing the horses train. Being a trainer and a manager are different but there are some similarities. You are out there every day with the horse or the players, making sure you get the best out of them. You have the same thoughts, I suppose. “How’s he going Is he at his level”.

Track days: Moyes hopes his horse Desert Cry can win at Cheltenham

Track days: Moyes hopes his horse Desert Cry can win at Cheltenham

'Desert Cry ran at Cheltenham last year and Everton will be going there next month in the FA Cup. I saw them beat Hereford on Tuesday in the replay. Managers are much more liable to take a gamble in an FA Cup game because the points at stake in the Premier League mean everything. But the FA Cup provides strange, strange results and we have to make sure we are not on the wrong end of them.

'We went to the semi-final last season and we want another good cup run.'

Either Manchester City or United will win the Barclays Premier League title: Gary Neville

The title is now a two-horse race and both are from Manchester

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UPDATED:

23:19 GMT, 8 December 2012

My gut feeling assessing the Manchester derby on Sunday is to say that this is just another three points in a long season.

I want to argue that, in my years of
fighting for titles and having watched several races unfold, Sunday's
result will not have a pivotal influence on the eventual outcome.

I would add that it is far too early to judge and that there are too many twists and turns to come.

Golden touch: City forward David Silva celebrates scoring in the 6-1 derby win at Old Trafford last season

Golden touch: City forward David Silva
celebrates scoring in the 6-1 derby win
at Old Trafford last season

Either of these sides are capable of
putting a 10- or 15- game unbeaten run together. And either team could
be struck down with injuries.

There is so much more to be played out. Remember, it was just over a year
ago, in October 2011, that Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1 at
Old Trafford and the headlines the day after were 'Power Shift' and
'This Will Herald A New Era'.

More from Gary Neville…

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Gary Neville: Why both Chelsea and Manchester United would accept a 1-0 win at the Bridge
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But seven weeks later, when City lost at Chelsea, another headline read: 'Title Race Blown Wide Open'. Normally I would use those examples to demonstrate how quickly our perceptions of the title race can change.

But then my mind goes back to that
dramatic last day of the season, to Sergio Aguero's injury-time goal, to
the United players looking bemused and downcast at the Stadium of Light
and to City's ecstatically celebrating the title – on goal difference.

I said in April last year, before that climax to the season, that it would be Sir Alex Ferguson's worst nightmare to lose a title race on goal difference and that he had always emphasised to us the importance of winning a game 3-0 or 4-0 once we were in control, precisely because of that possibility. And I remember Sir Alex congratulating City immediately after they had won the title, but then saying: 'This will never happen again.'

On Sunday, those United players that were at the Stadium of Light, who experienced the bitterness of losing the title, will be reminded of that: it can never happen again. Because although we can overstate the importance of individual games, when it came down to it, the goal difference City accrued in October last year at Old Trafford proved crucial.

And those United players will receive another reminder from Sir Alex that, were they to lose at the Etihad Stadium, they would again be knocked off the top spot by City – on goal difference. And that's why this game has become the most important fixture in English football.

Low point: United manager Sir Alex Ferguson leaves the pitch after losing 6-1 against City

Low point: United manager Sir Alex Ferguson leaves the pitch after losing 6-1 against City

I've seen both United and City nine times this season and there is nothing to choose between them.

The title race is between these two. I don't see any other team with the mental strength, durability and character that these clubs possess. They haven't been at their best yet and if there's one thing I would want to see on Sunday it's a step up in quality so that it is a magnificent game that befits the Premier League's strongest clubs, with exciting attacking cancelled out by concentrated defending.

But make no mistake, these are the best teams in England right now.

United have been better in attack, they have had more creative play and are more unpredictable.

But City have been more resolute defensively, grinding out results without the flair of United but with more stability. So Roberto Mancini will want to see that spark again to ignite his team. He would want to see Edin Dzeko, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasir firing again.

And Sir Alex, with most of his defenders fit, would want to start keeping clean sheets, to see his side become difficult to beat and pick up 1-0 wins rather than the 4-3 victories.

No love lost: Ferguson clashes with City manager Roberto Mancini (right)

No love lost: Ferguson clashes with City manager Roberto Mancini (right)

But do I think that if United win, City will have suffered a crucial blow in retaining their title No.

And if City win, does that mean they will go on and win the League No.

The reason why it's impossible to call between these two is because of that mentality they now show.

Last season, City made good the mental deficit they had always had when competing against United, that feeling that they would always fail at the last. The 6-1 win at Old Trafford, the crucial 1-0 win at the Etihad in April which put them back on top of the table and finally winning the League has given them a psychological strength that only a title win can provide.

Now both sides have a level of mental strength unmatched by the teams around them. You can see it in the early-season form. Whether it be in United's ability to
come from behind or City's knack of winning when not at their best, they
have demonstrated courage to stay in games and ability to grind out
results.

Who will have the edge: Ferguson (right) does not need to remind his players they lost the title on goal difference

Who will have the edge: Ferguson (right) does not need to remind his players they lost the title on goal difference

Even when City have suffered disappointments in the Champions League, they have been able to bounce back in the Premier League. So when they lost in the final minutes at Real Madrid, they were able to draw against Arsenal that Sunday. When they went down 3-1 at Ajax, they beat Swansea the following Saturday.

Both of these sides are capable of withstanding a setback on Sunday and coming back to win the title. But at the same time, the race is likely to be so close that this result could be significant.

Anyone who says they know who will win this is guessing. And if anyone tells you they know who will be champions after Sunday, you can ignore them.

All that we can say for sure is that last season showed these Manchester derby games have the potential to be decisive – even if it's impossible to say exactly how at this point.

Give him a hand: UEFA president Michel Platini has a plan

Give him a hand: UEFA president Michel Platini has a plan

Plantini's big idea has potential

UEFA president Michel Platini has suggested that the Euro 2020 Championship will be in a multitude of countries rather than in one or two host nations.

I think we need to hear the details before we form a fixed view as to whether it can be a success or not.

Because if it's a tournament that takes place in six different cities within an hour's flight of one another, then it could be incredibly successful.

Imagine London, Cardiff, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and Dortmund being the host cities.

That would be easier to manage for all fans and for teams than the tournaments we've been at recently in South Africa or the Ukraine and Poland and certainly more condensed than the Brazil 2014 World Cup.

But if, for political reasons, Platini ends up giving games to Istanbul, Moscow, London, Reykjavik, Lisbon and Rome, you are talking about a fad.

All of those cities would be perfectly good hosts on their own.

But the geographical spread would make it a nightmare for players and fans.

I know what I expect to happen. But let's hope that UEFA can salvage a good idea out of this.

Roberto Mancini claims Khaldoon Al Mubarak is happy despite crashing out of Champions League

Mancini claims money men are happy with performance at Etihad despite European failure

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UPDATED:

00:23 GMT, 1 December 2012

Roberto Mancini insisted he has been reassured about his future, despite Manchester City once more being forced to deny claims they have approached candidates to replace him.

After a second Champions League failure, there were reports that Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola had been lined up for next season.

Both claims were flatly rejected by well-placed City sources, while Mancini backed up his belief that he will be given more time by revealing the club's owners have told him they were 'disappointed but understanding' about another early Champions League exit.

Happy: Roberto Mancini insists the Manchester City hierarchy are happy with him

Happy: Roberto Mancini insists the Manchester City hierarchy are happy with him

'We didn't do well and for this reason, they are disappointed,' he said. 'But they said they understood it takes time to succeed in the Champions League.

'When you are new to it, you have to work at it and that is what we will do.'

Mourinho's availability is meant to have been discussed with City's director of football Txiki Begiristain, according to one report, while FIFA registered agent Francois Gallardo told a Spanish radio station that Guardiola had signed a pre-contract agreement at The Etihad.

City were dismissive of the claims, with Mancini adding: '(The chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak) is happy with the way we are going in the Premier League and there is still the FA Cup to come.'

He waved away suggestions that the title is already a two-horse race and argued there could yet be a silver lining to City's latest Champions League flop.

Looking up: Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League goal of the season against Wigan

Looking up: Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League goal of the season against Wigan

Looking up: Mario Balotelli scored his first Premier League goal of the season against Wigan

'It is difficult to describe it that way, because the season is long and in February, when the Champions League starts again, everything can change,' said Mancini.

'Who else can win it Chelsea, I think. In this moment, I think it is a three-horse race. But we have another 20-odd games to go.

'The finishing line is too far away to say. Last season, in six games, we recovered eight points.

'United are already through in the Champions League. I hope Chelsea stay in it as well, because it could benefit us.

Get in: James Milner also scored as City won 2-0 away in midweek

Get in: James Milner also scored as City won 2-0 away in midweek

'The Premier League is too long and it would mean they would both play more games and that when the Champions League starts again in February, it could all change in the Premier League.'

And after winning only one of his last six meetings with today's opponents Everton, Mancini is tipping David Moyes' side to make next season's Champions League.

'Last year, they were so-so, but Everton have started this season really well,' he said. 'They could end up with a Europa League place, but they have the quality to finish fourth.'

Sexy managers calendar: Roberto Mancini, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson drawn in compromising poses

Cheeky chaps! Fergie, Mancini and Wenger (plus Fabio and Sven) pictured as you've never wanted to see them before…

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UPDATED:

13:37 GMT, 30 November 2012

You won't see these cheeky chaps on Match of the Day… The world's top football managers drawn in 'sexy' poses – many inspired by Hollywood films – for a new calendar.

And it's proved so successful that the website selling the calendar has had to re-stock, so
popular has the saucy picture collection been.

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas can be pleased with his
depiction. Bare-chested and riding a white horse along the beach, the Portuguese looks every inch the Old Spice hunk.

Others do not fare quite so well. New QPR boss Harry Redknapp is pictured riding a bucking bronco clad only
in a tight pair of black leather riding chaps. He fails to quite capture the sexiness
of Kylie Minogue in the original Agent Provocateur advert.

White Horse Lane: Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is riding up the Premier League with his in-form team

White Horse Lane: Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas is riding up the Premier League with his in-form team

VIDEO: The Old Spice advert, which inspired the Villas-Boas image above…

Meanwhile ex-England manager Fabio Capello can be seen
rolling seedily on a bed covered in money bills, in an image reminiscent of
Demi Moore in Indecent Proposal.

Sven Goran-Eriksson doesn’t quite manage to reproduce the
image that had female bond fans drooling over Daniel Craig. Strolling out of
the surf wearing only a pair of light blue ‘budgie-smugglers,’ the Swede
appears happy but ever-so-slightly pot-bellied as he saunters onto the beach.

Roberto Mancini strikes an authoritative pose in his own
picture, which was inspired by Jim Morrison. Lit from behind by the moon, his
Manchester City scarf hangs gracefully between the Italian’s legs as he holds
open the doors to his balcony.

The usually affable Martin Jol looks less than friendly in
his own depiction, but is set to play the hero, clutching a life-board and
peering out from his post in search of swimmers to save.

Ghosting into the box: Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson recreate the famous Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze scene from the film Ghost, as drawn by James Husbands for a new calendar

Ghosting into the box: Kenny Dalglish and Sir Alex Ferguson recreate the famous Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze scene from the film Ghost, as drawn by James Husbands for a new calendar

Film stars: Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze (left) have got nothing on King Kenny and Fergie (above)

Film stars: Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze (left) have got nothing on King Kenny and Fergie (above)

Maid in France: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, as drawn by Husbands, dusting the Gunners' empty trophy cabinets

Maid in France: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, as drawn by Husbands, dusting the Gunners' empty trophy cabinets

Mancini

Harry Redknapp

Yee-haw: Roberto Mancini wears his trademark scarf to just the right length (left) – Jim Morrison, anyone – and new Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp (right) recreating Kylie's Agent Provocateur advert… and no we can't show it here because it was banned!

SO, WHO IS MR JANUARY

January – Arsene Wenger
February – Harry Redknapp
March – Roberto Mancini
April – Pep Guardiola/Jose Mourinho
May – Fabio Capello
June – Sven Goran Eriksson
July – Andre Villas-Boas
August – Martin Jol
September – Rafa Benitez
October – Ian Holloway
November – Alex Ferguson/Kenny Daglish
December – Roy Hodgson

Chelsea man Rafa Benitez channels Antonio Banderas’ flair as
he passionately flamenco dances, while Ian Holloway strikes a classic Marie
Antoinette pose, complete with fan and stockings.

Alex Ferguson shares an intimate spot with Kenny Daglish as
they mould clay together, replicating the romantic moments of Patrick Swayze
and Demi Moore in Ghost. Also cosying up is Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as
they hold each other in a tender embrace on Brokeback Mountain.

Arsene Wenger is in pictured in a lonelier position,
forlornly looking for some trophies to polish whilst dressed in his French maid
outfit, but finding none.

Roy Hodgson brings the year to a close with a festive image.
With only a flickering candle and some strategically placed baubles hiding his
modesty, the England manager looks strained as he puckers up for a Christmas
kiss under the mistletoe.

James Husbands is the cheeky creator. The London-based
artist is a full-time illustrator and storyboard maker, and has worked with a
number of broadcasters, including the BBC and E4. Sports stars such as Joe
Calzaghe and Ian Wright are listed as owners of his work.

Rafa Benitez

Spanish waiter Newly installed interim Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez lives up to national stereotype, pictured here as a flamenco dancer. Ole, Rafa…

Martin Jol

Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola

Craven Cottage, by the…. seaside: Martin Jol (left) as a Baywatch lifeguard, while Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola recreate the Broke Back Mountain scene

David Hasselhoff

Broke Back Mountain

Art imitating life (sort of): Baywatch star David Hasselhoff (left), the inspiration for Jol (above) and the Broke Back Boys (right), who were recreated by our Spanish friends

He has shown a particular interest in sporting heroes. His
exhibition ‘Sporting Greats,’ featuring Ryan Giggs and Eric Cantona among
others, was on display in Canary Wharf’s Cabot square last year.

The managers may be unhappy to hear that the artist does not
consider himself a caricaturist. Instead he tries to ‘catch the essence of the
person’s character.’

‘I usually draw them from photographs,’ Husbands told The
Wharf last year. ‘Because people don't usually get up close to these sports
stars it was important to ensure they are recognisable, so they have to be good
likenesses.’

Want one for your bedroom wall The calendar costs 10 and is available at www.jameshusbands.com

Show him the money: Former England boss Fabio Capello enjoys a lie-in with a case full of cash

Show him the money: Former England boss Fabio Capello enjoys a lie-in with a case full of cash

James Bond Played by Daniel Craig

Sven

Spot the difference: Daniel Craig as James Bond emerges from the surf (left), smiling ex-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson as Daniel Craig (right)

Palace fan club: Ian Holloway posing in the Blackpool dressing room, presumably before he made the move to Selhurst Park

Palace fan club: Ian Holloway posing in the Blackpool dressing room, presumably before he made the move to Selhurst Park

Holloway's pose was inspired by the 2006 film Marie Antoinette (above)

Ollie, Ollie, Ollie: Holloway's pose was inspired by the 2006 film Marie Antoinette (above)

Roy Hodgson

Christmas cracker: Husbands signs off the calendar with a bit of festive cheer for football fans with England manager Roy Hodgson… Ding dong merrily on high

Year full of fun: The front cover of Husbands' calendar

Year full of fun: The front cover of Husbands' calendar

St Nicholas Abbey beaten in quest for second Breeders" Cup win

St Nicholas Abbey beaten in quest for second Breeders' Cup win

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UPDATED:

23:59 GMT, 3 November 2012

St Nicholas Abbey failed in his attempt to win back-to-back runnings of the $2million Breeders' Cup Turf.

The Aidan O'Brien-trained
five-year-old had been fancied to produce his best, and bounced back from
his 11th place in the Arc back on his favoured fast ground and racing
on the permitted US medication Lasix.

But, although close enough when he launched his challenge for the lead at the crown of the home turn, St Nicholas Abbey never looked like pegging back half-length winner Little Mike.

So close: But St Nicholas Abbey (left) couldn't beat winner Little Mike

So close: But St Nicholas Abbey (left) couldn't beat winner Little Mike

Second was the leading US hope going into the race – Point of Entry – with St Nicholas Abbey a further three-quarters of a length back in third.

O'Brien said: 'He didn't quite pick up like he did last year but he had a tough enough race in the Arc on heavy ground for a horse who wants fast ground.

'He ran a fair race and I didn't think that anything went wrong.

'He had a nice position and came with a good run. We had said to Joseph not to chance the inside rail but come out. We wanted to be safe.'

French filly Shareta finished fifth and O'Brien's other runner Treasure Beach ninth in the 12-horse line-up.

Little Mike was the winner of this year's Arlington Million in August but had been beaten almost 30 lengths by Point of Entry on his last run.

Earlier O'Brien had won the Juvenile Turf for the second year running with Ryan Moore-ridden George Vancouver. O'Brien's Turf Sprint contender Starspangledbanner faded into 10th of 14 after leading for much of the six and a half furlong race.

Female jockey Rosie Napravnik became only the second girl to ride a Breeders' Cup winner when successful on Todd Pletcher-trained Shanghai Bobby in the Juvenile.

The Coolmore Stud partners had bought a half share in the colt earlier in the week.

The only previous female winner is Julie Krone, successful on Halfbridled in the 2003 Juvenile Fillies.

Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United must beat Chelsea to stay in title race

I need to end Bridge blues: It's a three-horse race already… and we have to beat leaders, warns Fergie

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UPDATED:

23:46 GMT, 26 October 2012

Usually Sir Alex Ferguson waits until after his birthday on New Year’s Eve to declare the runners and riders he believes are capable of challenging Manchester United for the Premier League title.

It is an indication of the magnitude of Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge that he has whittled this season down to a three-horse race by late October.

United have already lost to Everton and Tottenham, the fourth and fifth-placed teams, and face another difficult game against Arsenal at Old Trafford next Saturday.

Tight at the top: Sir Alex Ferguson says the title race is already between Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs

Tight at the top: Sir Alex Ferguson says the title race is already between Chelsea and the two Manchester clubs

But when it comes to the rivals he
expects to be pushing United down the home straight in May, Ferguson is
looking no further than the champions of Europe and England.

‘I think Chelsea, Manchester City and ourselves seem to be creating that little gap from the rest,’ he said. ‘It’s difficult to be dead certain but I would be surprised if one of us didn’t win it.’

The little gap unbeaten leaders Chelsea have created will be extended to seven points over United if Ferguson’s side lose the biggest game of the season so far.

Victory in both Manchester derbies proved decisive when City snatched the title in May, and the United boss does not needing reminding about the importance of Sunday’s clash between first and second.

No room for slips ups: Ferguson knows his side cannot afford to fall too far behind Chelsea

No room for slips ups: Ferguson knows his side cannot afford to fall too far behind Chelsea

‘It could be a league in which you will
suffer if you lose bad ones,’ said Ferguson. ‘We couldn’t afford to lose
to Tottenham the way we did. We gave two goals away and you cannot do
that at this level. If we get any more of that we’ll be in trouble.

‘Chelsea are undefeated and that gives you an idea of the level of consistency they have produced. There are a lot of big games to come, of course, but I think it will be close. The game will be important to us, there is no doubt about that.’

On the face of it, history does not favour United. They have failed to win at Stamford Bridge in 10 Premier League visits going back more than a decade.

Yet, Ferguson’s side have prevailed in four of the past five games between the two clubs — including a Champions League quarter-final victory in west London in 2011 — and a dramatic 3-3 draw there in February, when they recovered from three goals down, must have felt like a win.

A twist of fate in the Capital One Cup fourth-round draw means United are back at the Bridge on Wednesday night.

‘Our record down there is amazing,’ said Ferguson with an air of disbelief. ‘It will change sometime — hopefully Sunday.

Comeback kings: United came from 2-0 down in the Champions League to beat Braga 3-2

Comeback kings: United came from 2-0 down in the Champions League to beat Braga 3-2

‘We’ve had a couple of horrible refereeing decisions that have cost us points down there.

‘Apart from last season, the previous six or seven seasons have been us and Chelsea for the League, so that gives you an idea of how we approach this game. It’s going to be a hard one.’

There is little doubt that Chelsea’s 57million investment in Eden Hazard and Oscar has been a factor in a flying start to the season under Roberto Di Matteo. But Ferguson believes the 24m he spent on Robin van Persie could yet prove to be the best business of the summer. The Dutchman has scored six goals in his first eight League games for the club.

‘Van Persie’s performances are getting better all the time now,’ said Ferguson. ‘Hopefully it does make a difference. We bought him for that reason — to make a difference.

Bad night: Chelsea were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk

Bad night: Chelsea were beaten by Shakhtar Donetsk

‘When we realised he wasn’t going to sign for Arsenal we really did our very best to get him and we succeeded. The signs have been terrific and he has made an impact immediately. It’s very difficult bedding in new players but the thing at any big club is that you don’t stand still.

‘Chelsea have brought in Oscar and Hazard, two similar type players, I think. They’re adapting to having these players with (Juan) Mata also.

Ready for battle: Chelsea's Fernando Torres prepares for game with Manchester United

Ready for battle: Chelsea's Fernando Torres prepares for game with Manchester United

‘They’re in behind the front player all the time and it’s not an easy system to deal with. It’s an interesting formation and we just have to find a way.

‘With (Didier) Drogba they always had that alternative route. They could play it long or through midfield, but now it’s straightforward. It’s midfield all the time.

‘Strong squads, particularly Chelsea and ourselves in terms of recent history, will always guarantee we will be able to handle the number of games you have to play.’

Not falling for it: Chelsea's Roberto Di Matteo is ignoring any of Ferguson's mind games

Not falling for it: Chelsea's Roberto Di Matteo is ignoring any of Ferguson's mind games

Ferguson’s 50th top-flight meeting with Chelsea is also his first with Di Matteo in charge at Stamford Bridge. The Chelsea boss, asked how he would respond to the Scot’s well-rehearsed mind games as the title race begins to take shape, suggested that he might well follow the example of another Italian coach.

‘It didn’t work on (Roberto) Mancini
last season, did it’ said Di Matteo. ‘You make more out of it than it
is. As manager I have to prepare the team as well as I can and then the
players have to perform what we’ve been working on.

‘I’ve
had contact with him before but not since I’ve taken this job. He’s at
the top, a very successful and experienced manager who has won many
trophies. But I’ll be focusing my energy and my team on what we need to
do to beat United.’

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Di Matteo