Tag Archives: improvements

Big Sam has big plans for Hammers, but new rules could mean it takes a while…

Big Sam has big plans for Hammers, but new rules could mean it takes a while…

Laurie Whitwell


21:03 GMT, 5 April 2013



21:03 GMT, 5 April 2013

Sam Allardyce has declared his desire to build the ‘best ever’ West Ham team – but warned supporters that Financial Fair Play rules mean it will be a long process.

Allardyce, in negotiations over the finer details of a new three-year contract, is already contemplating the calibre of player required when the club move into the 54,000-seat Olympic Stadium in 2016. But, he says, vast improvements will not come rapidly.

To the skies: Allardyce has big plans for West Ham, but holds fears at the same time

To the skies: Allardyce has big plans for West Ham, but holds fears at the same time

The West Ham boss, who was yesterday sporting four stitches above a bruised right eye after falling into a marble work surface at home, said: ‘There is a big motivation for everybody to get West Ham to be the biggest club it’s ever been.

'When you’ve decided to move into a fantastic venue the size of the Olympic Stadium, that demands you try and get the best you possibly can.’

But he added: ‘The days of huge money thrown at transfers look like they might be restricted. So the growth of West Ham might not be as quick as we would all like.

Grounds for optimism: The Hammers' move to the Olympic Stadium has brought new hope for the future

Grounds for optimism: The Hammers' move to the Olympic Stadium has brought new hope for the future

Grounds for optimism: The Hammers' move to the Olympic Stadium has brought new hope for the future

'Certainly me. We have to be very aware that we might not be able to be as free spending as perhaps we’d want.’

Premier League rules, voted in earlier this year, will limit the total amount of television money clubs can spend on players’ wages to 60million by 2016, as well as capping losses at 105million for three-year cycles.

Allardyce added: ‘What we’re telling the fans now is that it might be a problem, because we can’t spend it (the TV money).

'We’re not allowed to. In the end the fans will take a while to understand that. I certainly know the players and the agents will.’

Tenure: Allardyce has been in charge at West Ham since June 2011

Tenure: Allardyce has been in charge at West Ham since June 2011, and hopes for a healthy future at the club

Lord"s to undergo 2m facelift

Lord's to upgrade media centre and sight screens as part of 2m facelift



13:25 GMT, 13 March 2012

Lord's will undergo a 2million refurbishment this year.

Work includes a two-month project to
upgrade and renew the JP Morgan Media Centre, improvements to the public
announcement systems in three of the stands and new sight screens at
both ends of the ground.

New look: Lord's to get a 2m facelift

Upgrade: Lord's to get a 2m facelift

MCC head of cricket John Stephenson, said: 'MCC is determined to maintain the reputation of Lord's as the best cricket ground in the world for players, members and spectators, and during the last 25 years over 50 million has been invested in the infrastructure of the ground to make sure that this is the case.'

Andy Flower: Deal with spin and we can win in Sri Lanka

Deal with the spin and we can win, warns Flower as England jet off to Sri Lanka



10:54 GMT, 10 March 2012

Lift-off: Andy Flower speaks at Heathrow

Lift-off: Andy Flower speaks at Heathrow

England can expect to do well in Sri Lanka if they can deal with the amount of spin they will have to face, according to team director Andy Flower.

The world`s leading Test side were given a dramatic wake-up call in the United Arab Emirates earlier this year, when they were whitewashed by Pakistan in a three-match series.

An inability to handle spin was their downfall, with Saeed Ajmal in particular dismissing batsmen at will.

There were evident green shoots of recovery in the subsequent one-day series, though, with England`s leading names dealing with the slower delivery better as they enjoyed a 4-0 whitewash of their own.

And, if they can continue the improvements they showed in the 50-over game, Flower believes they will hold their own in Sri Lanka over the next six weeks.

'The biggest lesson we have had to learn is the skill against spin,' he told a media conference at Heathrow Airport on Saturday morning.

'This is going to be crucial as to how we do. If we can show what we learned from two months in the UAE, we can expect to do well.

'It`s going to be tough. Sri Lanka are a good side and have just played some good cricket in Australia. They're hardened from having played good cricket and are in their home conditions.'

Several respected critics have suggested
England`s claim on the world`s top spot can only be truly validated if
they enjoy success on the subcontinent.

 Alastair Cook

Stuart Broad

Next challenge: Alastair Cook (left) and Stuart Broad at Heathrow on Saturday

Their failings against Pakistan did not help their case but, with a tour to India also booked into this year`s diary, Flower knows the opportunities are there to prove the critics wrong.

'It`s a tough challenge, it`s one of the hardest places to go and win,” he said ahead of the departure to Colombo.

'But that is the challenge for us now. We knew going into this year that we had a lot of subcontinent cricket. I`d like to see us improve our skills in that part of the world.

'It's exciting for our experienced cricketers to prove that they can adapt. We also have a very important tour to India this year and the lessons we learn in Sri Lanka will be crucial there.

'I am confident we will perform better than we did in the Tests against Pakistan. It was really good to see how we responded after the Test series. There were obvious signs that our batsmen had learned something'

England play their first warm-up game against a Sri Lankan board XI on Thursday, with the first Test starting on March 26.

Ian Poulter answers Nick Faldo criticism on Twitter

Poulter answers Faldo criticism with postman promising to deliver when it matters

Ian Poulter says he is working harder than ever on his game and believes it will not be long before he delivers.

Ironically enough, the colourful Englishman used his Twitter account to answer criticism from Sir Nick Faldo in this week’s World of Golf column that he spends too much time on the social networking site when he should be putting in quality time on the practice range.

Hitting back: Poulter

Hitting back: Poulter

Barely had the piece been posted on this website than Poulter was busy on Twitlonger, issuing this response: ‘i’m honoured that people are talking that I’m not working hard enough on my game. I have to answer that question, though. I have never worked harder than I am right now, not only on my game but on my health and fitness. There are areas of my game which we have looked at, and are making big improvements on. It’s just a case of them coming together. This game has a funny way of showing hard work sometimes but it is showing and it will show very soon. Trust me, I will deliver like I promised in the Ryder Cup and like I always do. The day to start worrying is when I do. That is no time soon. I will deliver (the postman).’

Poulter then spoke to Faldo who claimed he was misquoted, prompting a follow-up tweet from the former: ’Don’t panic complete false alarm I spoke to Faldo last night and he was totally misquoted, as per normal the papers can write what they like.’

Never let the facts get in the way of a good tweet. The truth of the matter is not only was there a voice recorder sitting on the table between Faldo and myself but also a photographic witness to the whole conversation.

Given that, perhaps it wasn’t surprising that Faldo put out a tweet of his own, correcting Poulter and saying he wasn’t misquoted, adding: ‘Spoke with IJP and my advice is same – if postman believes he’s giving 100% let’s see if he delivers.’

In other words, he was sticking by his original thoughts, which is fair enough given that it was only ever Faldo’s intention for his criticism to be seen in a constructive light.

But he did predict that Poulter wouldn’t be happy. When I asked him why he didn’t tell Poulter face-to-face he said: ‘I don’t feel it is my place, it’s only my opinion. In any case, he’ll read it in the newspaper and no doubt tweet his disapproval.’

Constructive criticism: Poulter and Faldo, pictured during the 2008 Ryder Cup

Constructive criticism: Poulter and Faldo, pictured during 2008's Ryder Cup

In an interview with Sportsmail
last December, Poulter admitted that last season hadn’t lived up to
expectations because of distractions caused by building a massive new
house in Orlando. He vowed to put them behind him and was as good as his
word with a brilliant victory to end the year in Australia.

Only he knows whether his slow start to this campaign, culminating with a heavy first round defeat in the Accenture Match Play Championship last week, was a result of him taking his eye off the ball or, as he says, a case of being patient as some game improvements bed in.

The one thing we can all agree upon is let’s hope we see the best of Poulter as the season progresses, and more exciting chapters are written in his remarkable journey from humble beginnings as an assistant pro to become one of the top players in the world.

Meanwhile, one man who enjoyed Poulter’s Twitlonger response and particularly his closing line about being the delivery man was Rory McIlroy, who showed off his impish sense of humour. ‘Hey postman, love the new IJP [Poulter’s clothing company] range!’ he tweeted.

Underneath was a picture of Postman Pat.

Becky Gallantree reaches springboard final

Looking good, Becky! Gallantree storms into springboard final

Becky Gallantree reached her first global 3metre springboard final at the FINA World Cup in London on Friday.

Gallantree continued her recent career-best form to take seventh with a score of 315.30 – just below the personal best she set in the British Diving Cup last month.

The 27-year-old Leeds diver had been third with two rounds to go and ahead of world champion Wu Minxia.

Looking good: Becky Gallantree in action on Friday in London

Looking good: Becky Gallantree in action on Friday in London

'It's my first world final on three metre so I am chuffed to get that,' she said.

'I was pleased with my position. There are still improvements I could make, but overall I was really pleased.'

Gallantree booked Great Britain an Olympic springboard place on Thursday by reaching the semi-final at the Olympic Aquatics Centre.

Water performance: Gallantree competes in the springboard semi-final on Friday

Water performance: Gallantree competes in the springboard semi-final on Friday

She will, however, have to qualify herself for a second Olympics at the British Championships in June where she will go up against promising teenagers Hannah Starling, who missed today's action by a single place, and Alicia Blagg.

'They are very, very talented. As they improve that sort of spurs me on to improve,' she said. 'I don't want them to catch me.'

Fulham send council plans for Craven Cottage capacity increase to 30,000

Fulham send council plans for increasing Craven Cottage capacity to 30,000

Fulham have submitted a planning application to increase Craven Cottage's capacity to 30,000.

The ground has been the Barclays Premier League club's home since 1896 and in October they ended talk of a move away by revealing plans to overhaul the stadium.

Increase: Fulham hope the council approves their plans

Increase: Fulham hope the council approves their plans

Fulham plan to develop the Riverside Stand in order to increase capacity up to 30,000, as well as undertaking wider facility improvements at the venue.

Having undergone a consultation process, the club has now submitted a planning application to Hammersmith and Fulham Council for permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand.

A statement on the club website read: 'Fulham Football Club today submitted an application to the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, for the redevelopment of the Riverside stand at its Craven Cottage home.

Home: Craven Cottage has been Fulham's home since 1896

Home: Craven Cottage has been Fulham's home since 1896

'The application will take the club's current capacity to 30,000 seats and, further significant funds will be invested to open up the Thames River walk from Hammersmith to Putney for the first time in recent history.'

Fulham will hold exhibitions on January 25 and 28 to showcase the final design submitted and provide feedback from the second consultation.

Bolton must develop mean streak says Zat Knight

Bolton must find mean streak to avoid the drop, claims defender Knight

Defender Zat Knight believes Bolton have to rediscover their “horrible” side and make opponents fear them again.

Wanderers slipped to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League with a home defeat – their 12th of the season – against Aston Villa at the weekend.

Results since last April have been poor and manager Owen Coyle publicly questioned the attitude of some of his players at the weekend.

Down and out: Bolton players look dejected as Aston Villa celebrate

Down and out: Bolton players look dejected as Aston Villa celebrate

Knight accepts there are plenty of improvements to be made in all areas.

“We have to do better all over the park – in defence, midfield and up front,” he told the club”s official website.

“There”s no point doing the work on the training ground and then not putting that into place in the games.

“We need to fight because we don”t want to be down there.

“We have to go out and grind out results, even if it is just starting with a point.

Plenty to ponder: Bolton boss Owen Coyle has seen his side slip to bottom spot

Plenty to ponder: Bolton boss Owen Coyle has seen his side slip to bottom spot

“That would give us something to build on and some confidence, but first of all we have to fight.

“If we are resilient and hard to beat then there is every chance you can win games.

“We need to get back to the nitty-gritty and be horrible, hard-to-beat Bolton.

“We need to be a team that others fear and when the time comes to play us for them to know they have been in a game.”