Tag Archives: jersey

Adrian Durham: Useless Liverpool need Jamie Carragher, make Arsenal play at Stoke on Boxing Day

Keepers make mistakes so back off England's undisputed No 1 Hart… Useless Liverpool need Carragher… And make Arsenal play away on Boxing Day (at Stoke)

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UPDATED:

09:52 GMT, 27 December 2012

I hope Joe Hart didn’t bother looking at Twitter on Boxing Night. According to some tweeters, he became the first top class goalkeeper to ever make a mistake. Every goalkeeper in history has made mistakes.

From a Manchester City point of view I’d be more worried about Aguero and Tevez failing to score again. From an England point of view the question is whether Joe Hart has been dislodged from his position as the number one keeper

The only realistic contender is Fraser Forster (who made a mistake earlier this season against Kilmarnock). I rate Forster very highly and I've always been puzzled why he never received an Under 21 call-up.

Jeepers keepers: Joe Hart was caught out of position for Adam Johnson's winner for Sunderland at the Stadium of Light

Jeepers keepers: Joe Hart was caught out of position for Adam Johnson's winner for Sunderland

Hart hurts: The Manchester City No 1 was consoled after the defeat

Hart hurts: The Manchester City and England No 1 was consoled after the defeat

Follow Adrian Durham on Twitter – @talkSPORTDriveCLICK HERE TO READ ADRIAN'S DEBUT COLUMN FOR SPORTSMAIL

Thankfully, his ability has now been recognised by Roy Hodgson and he's now in the England squad, although yet to make his debut.

I first noticed Forster when he had a season on loan at Norwich and helped them win the League One title in 2010.

He broke records for keeping clean sheets and was voted player of the season by his Norwich team-mates. He was superb that season.

Able deputy: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster provides competition for Hart's England jerseyAble deputy: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster provides competition for Hart's England jersey

Able deputy: Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster provides competition for Hart's England jersey

He was also sent off against Gillingham,
and gifted Leeds a last-minute winner when the two sides met. I’m not
criticising Forster, I’m just highlighting the fact that all goalkeepers
will make mistakes.

I hope Hodgson gives Forster some minutes on the pitch when England meet Brazil in a friendly at Wembley in February.

But let's keep it real – Joe Hart is the undisputed No 1 with the current English champions. England fans should be proud of him.

USELESS LIVERPOOL NEED CARRAGHER

I see Liverpool were useless again. There has been a lot said about Brendan Rodgers being short of firepower, with Luis Suarez the only recognised striker at the club.

But I’m wondering what’s happening at the other end of the pitch Liverpool have conceded eight goals in their last four games, and the goals Stoke scored on Boxing Day were cheap to say the least.

Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are the preferred partnership but they’re not doing their jobs properly and it’s costing Liverpool points.

Get back: Defender Jamie Carragher watched Liverpool's Boxing Day defeat by Stoke from the bench

Get back: Defender Jamie Carragher watched Liverpool's Boxing Day defeat by Stoke from the bench

Perhaps it’s time for Jamie Carragher to come back into the first team. Liverpool clearly need leadership at the back, and Carragher would provide that.

He celebrates his 35th birthday next month, so he’s not the long term answer. But stability at the back would help Liverpool right now, and give some of the younger players another respected pro to look up to in the dressing room.

MAKE ARSENAL PLAY AWAY ON BOXING DAY… AT STOKE!

I still can’t quite get my head round Arsenal Football Club's inability to stage a Premier League game on Boxing Day because of a tube strike.

They talked to the police and others before taking the decision, saying the 'paramount concern was always the duty of care towards the Arsenal supporters, West Ham supporters, matchday employees and everyone who was planning to attend the game.'

I went to Craven Cottage on Boxing Day
and had no problem getting to or from the game by car. Just up the road,
Queens Park Rangers also had a home game – combined crowd at the
Cottage and at Loftus Road was just over 43,000.

Capital gains: Fulham and Southampton managed to defy the London tube strike and play out a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage

Capital gains: Fulham and Southampton managed to defy the London tube strike at Craven Cottage

Happy shoppers: Westfield Shopping Center was full to the rafters despite the tube strike

Happy shoppers: Westfield Shopping Center was full to the rafters despite the tube strike

Then throw in the thousands who packed Westfield shopping centre literally round the corner from QPR's ground and you start to realise the enormity of Boxing Day in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

It doesn’t reflect well on Arsenal that they couldn't stage their game. They've had extra rest time, and the fixture will be played at the end of January when the Gunners may already have made signings in the transfer window.

The Gunners got what they deserved with Spurs, Everton and West Brom all winning and going above them.

The best way around this in the future (Arsenal also postponed this fixture last season) is to force Arsenal to play away on Boxing Day. Ideally at Stoke.

HODGSON MUST FOLLOW FERGIE'S LEAD AND KEEP FAITH IN CARRICK

I've always been an admirer of Michael Carrick and have struggled to understand why Sir Alex Ferguson has faith in him but no England manager over the past ten years has felt the same way.

Fergie has been successful, all those England managers failed miserably. You do the maths.

So I watched Carrick at Swansea put in his usual display of world class passing, and regularly breaking up play. Then in the 4-3 win over Newcastle, Carrick was roasted by his critics for giving the ball away in the build up to Newcastle's opener.

Keep the faith: Michael Carrick was instrumental in Manchester United's 4-3 victory over Newcastle

Keep the faith: Michael Carrick was instrumental in Manchester United's 4-3 victory over Newcastle

Those same critics were strangely quiet when Carrick found Hernandez with a precision pass for the winner. And, indeed, they said nothing when he poked an instinctive ball to set up Robin van Persie for his goal.

England have always struggled to keep possession, and yet one of the best passers of the ball in the Premier League has consistently been overlooked.

People only want to talk about Carrick's mistakes. That's probably why he rarely gets talked about.

Follow Adrian on Twitter – @talkSPORTDrive… Adrian hosts talkSPORT's Drivetime Show on weekdays between 4pm–7pm alongside former England cricketer Darren Gough

Kevin Pietersen thanks England team-mates for support after Test win over India

KP thanks England team-mates after match winning century levels series with India

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UPDATED:

07:54 GMT, 26 November 2012

Kevin Pietersen thanked the England players, management and fans as he firmly re-established himself in the line-up with a match-winning century in the second Test against India.

Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann took 19 wickets between them – 11 of them going to the left-armer – to ensure England only had to chase 57 this morning, something they achieved with a minimum of fuss.

But the victory was built on the first-innings centuries from Alastair Cook and, in particular, man of the match Pietersen, whose 186 was his first major contribution since his return to the team following the much-publicised troubles of the summer.

Man of the match: Kevin Pietersen celebrates his match winning innings in the England dressing room

Man of the match: Kevin Pietersen celebrates his match winning innings in the England dressing room

'Thanks to the guys in the dressing room and the management for sorting everything out,' he said.

'Every day you put on an England jersey is a special day.

'We are so privileged as England cricketers with the spectators that travel around the world with us, they are purely magnificent.

'Without their support we can't achieve things.'

Pietersen said he thought his innings was his best for England.

Asked where he placed the ton among his record-equalling haul of 22, he said: 'Now that we've won, probably at the top.

'Yesterday I said we needed to win the match and Test hundreds feel a lot better when you win.

'Panesar, Swann were outstanding in that second innings. Cookie is a magnificent cricketer – he'll break every England record for Test hundreds and career runs.

'What a difference a week makes. The boys came to Mumbai, they worked hard, they trained hard, they backed themselves and there's a good united spirit in that dressing room which is magnificent.'

It was an impressive way for England to bounce back from the nine-wicket defeat in Ahmedabad in the first Test.

Chipping in: Swann was able to support Panesar with his wickets

Chipping in: Swann was able to support Panesar with his wickets

Captain Cook said: “It was a tough week at Ahmedabad and the character we showed today and these last three days has been fantastic. I just can't fault the effort from the lads and the performance they've put in these last four days.'

Cook was visibly frustrated after losing the toss and being asked to bat, and he said: 'It was an important toss but the way we bowled that first day was fantastic.

'And the way Kevin batted, the way he took the game away from India – to get an 80-odd run lead was vital on that wicket.

Main man: Panesar bowled very well in both innings

Main man: Panesar bowled very well in both innings

'It was a fantastic innings, great to watch from the other end. We almost could have got more of a lead in the end.

'The way Swanny and Monty bowled when the pressure was on, not to let India get away was fantastic.'

He added: “It's been an interesting two weeks, both ends of the spectrum.'

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni singled out Panesar as England's matchwinner.

'Monty bowled really well,' he said. 'If you see all the other spinners, all of them looked effective, all of them were getting a bit of turn and bounce, but they were not really uncomfortable for the batsmen, but Monty, the pace he bowled at, he made sure the batsmen were coming on to the front foot and playing him so I think the major difference was him.'

Roy Hodgson ready to pick Jack Wilshere

Hodgson ready to disobey Wenger and pick Arsenal's Wilshere for Sweden clash

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UPDATED:

23:19 GMT, 7 November 2012

Roy Hodgson is set to defy Arsene Wenger on Thursday by naming Jack Wilshere in his squad to face Sweden next Wednesday.

The Arsenal midfielder has played only three first-team games since returning from 15 months out with ankle, foot and knee problems.

Wenger recently warned Hodgson against picking his 20-year-old midfielder for the friendly in Stockholm.

I want you: Roy Hodgson is ready to pick Jack Wilshere again after his injury

I want you: Roy Hodgson is ready to pick Jack Wilshere again after his injury

'Jack should skip that,' said Wenger after their 1-0 win over QPR last month.

'What is important now is that he gets back to full fitness for this team. Once he is back he will play for England again.'

But having identified the 20-year-old as a key figure, Hodgson is keen to work with Wilshere as soon as possible.

Although admitting he cannot wait to pull on an England jersey again, Wilshere took a diplomatic view of his potential selection.

He said: 'It's up to the England manager and I'm sure he will speak to the boss here and they'll decide what's best for me.

'If they want me to play, I'll play. But if they decide it's best to rest then I'll rest.'

Wilshere has a long way to go to recapture the form that made him such an exciting prospect before his injury.

'You wonder whether you can come back to the level you were at before,' said the young midfielder. 'I feel better as the weeks go on.'

Long road: Wilshere (left) has some ground to make up after a lengthy layoff

Long road: Wilshere (left) has some ground to make up after a lengthy layoff

Twitter trouble for footballers – a short history

You twit! Cole joins long list of footballers who have fallen foul of Twitter

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 5 October 2012

Ryan Babel, January 2011

The Liverpool winger was fined 10,000 by the FA for posting a picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt following his side’s FA Cup exit at Old Trafford.

'And they call him one of the best referees That’s a joke,' Babel wrote. He later apologised and manager Kenny Dalglish said the Dutchman wasn't 'clever enough' to have drawn the image himself.

Reffing hell: Ryan Babel tweeted a mock-up of Howard Webb in a United shirt

Reffing hell: Ryan Babel tweeted a mock-up of Howard Webb in a United shirt

Carlton Cole, April 2011

The West Ham striker was fined 20,000 by the FA for inflammatory tweets during England’s friendly with Ghana.

'Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha,' said Cole. 'The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face with the St George’s flag!'

Cole later deleted the tweet and said it was a 'joke'.

Darron Gibson, April 2011

Perhaps encouraged to join the site by team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney, the Irish midfielder set up an account. Two hours later he had shut it down without a single tweet, unable to deal with a torrent of abuse.

All in a twit: Rio Ferdinand

All in a twit: Rio Ferdinand

One read: '@dgibbo28 hasn't tweeted yet. Seems somewhat fitting after the countless anonymous performances we've seen from the “footballer”.'

Liam Stacey, March 2012

The 21-year-old Swansea student was jailed for 56 days after pleading guilty to racially aggravated harassment in the moments after Fabrice Muamba’s heart attack on the White Hart Lane pitch during a Spurs-Bolton game.

Stacey tweeted: 'LOL [Laughing out loud], F*** Muamba. He’s dead!!! #haha.' He responded to criticism of that message with more racist tweets.

Wayne Rooney, June 2012

England's striker and Jack Wilshere were censured for passing off an advert for Nike as a personal comment on their Twitter accounts.

The Advertising Standards Authority banned any repeat of the tweets and warned the sports firm. To his 4.37m followers, Rooney tweeted: ;My resolution — to start the year as a champion and finish it as a champion.'

Rio Ferdinand, August 2012

Ferdinand escaped a ban but was handed a 45,000 fine for a tweet aimed at Ashley Cole. The Chelsea player gave evidence in support of John Terry, prompting the Manchester United defender to post a follower's suggestion: 'I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic hahahahahaha!!'

'Choc ice' is a slang term meaning black on the outside and white on the inside.

Mark Cavendish "non-existent" chance of World title repeat

World champ Cavendish says chances of repeat title are 'non-existent'

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UPDATED:

18:59 GMT, 22 September 2012

Mark Cavendish has played down his chances of retaining his world road race title in Holland, insisting they are 'non-existent' due to the gruelling nature of the Cauberg course.

Cavendish claimed the world champion's prestigious rainbow jersey by winning last year's race over a much more favourable course in Copenhagen, but is realistic about his hopes this time around.

End of the rainbow: Mark Cavendish says there's no chance of retaining the rainbow jersey

End of the rainbow: Mark Cavendish says there's no chance of retaining the rainbow jersey

Cavendish told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad: 'The chances of retaking my world title are non-existent. Ten times around the Cauberg is just too much for me. We have to be realistic.

'I can't win, but I'm here out of respect for the jersey and because I'll be wearing race number one. I always enjoy racing in the colours of the national team.

'The Tour means a lot to my career, but as world champion you wear the most beautiful jersey ever for a year. The rainbow stripes have something magical. All great champions have worn them.'

The Great Britain team are expected to focus on trying to push recent Tour of Britain winner Jonathan Tiernan-Locke into medal contention.

Tiernan-Locke is better suited to the course, but still inexperienced over the 267km distance.

Ben Foden blow for England after full-back told he needs surgery on ankle injury

Foden blow for England after full-back told he needs surgery on ankle injury

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UPDATED:

17:55 GMT, 20 September 2012

Ben Foden will miss England's QBE autumn internationals after it was confirmed he requires surgery on damaged ankle ligaments.

The Northampton full-back suffered the injury playing against Bath last Friday night and he is expected to be sidelined for between 10 and 12 weeks.

Crocked: Foden receives treatment to his ankle on Friday night

Crocked: Foden receives treatment to his ankle on Friday night

Mike Brown and Alex Goode both
started Tests at full-back on the summer tour of South Africa and will
be the leading contenders for the 15 jersey.

England open their autumn campaign
against Fiji before tackling Australia, South Africa and New Zealand on
consecutive Saturdays at Twickenham.

Foden has become an integral member of the England set-up since making his international debut in 2009, appearing in 27 of the last 28 Test matches.

'It is unfortunate for Ben who has had a good run in the side and is a valuable leader,' Lancaster said.

'But we have a number of back three players who are playing well and this offers a chance for them.'

Two of Foden's last three appearances
came on the wing in South Africa as Lancaster looked to counter the
Springboks' kicking game with two specialist full-backs.

Brown
started the first Test defeat before being ruled out of the tour with a
broken hand, opening the way for Goode to make his full debut in the
drawn third Test in Port Elizabeth.

Blow: Foden has been ruled out of autumn internationals

Blow: Foden has been ruled out of autumn internationals

If Foden is sidelined for 12 weeks, he could also miss the first four of Northampton's Heineken Cup group matches against Glasgow, Castres and the back-to-back fixtures with Ulster.

'Ben had been playing well at the start of this season and to lose him to injury is obviously disappointing,' said Northampton director of rugby Jim Mallinder.

'But we know that he is a dedicated professional and will work his hardest with our performance team to come back as a better and fitter player.

'In the meantime Ben's injury will give opportunities for the other back three players like James Wilson, Scott Armstrong and Noah Cato to show what they can do in the Saints first team.'

England captain Chris Robshaw hopes the loss of Foden – and any other injury absences – could have long-term benefits for England's bid to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup on home soil as it will give opportunities for other players to show they can step up to the plate.

Tom Croft, Ben Youngs and Alex Corbisiero are also injury doubts for the four-match autumn series.

And Robshaw believes if England are to topple reigning champions New Zealand in the World Cup, they will need to match the All Blacks' strength in depth.

'Unfortunately, injuries are something that happens in our sport and we have to be able to react and have faith in the players coming in, not just to do a good job but do a great job and put pressure on another player to get back in the side,' Robshaw said.

'That's what you want in the squad. If you look at New Zealand, if they have a couple of injuries they might go two players deep and still have world-class players in that position who come in and do a great job.

'That's where we want to be as a national side – to have two or three quality international players in every position, so that if someone has to come in, you know they're going to do an excellent job.'

Mark Cavendish pleased with backing from Team Sky during Tour of Denmark

Cavendish pleased with backing from Team Sky after winning final stage in Denmark

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UPDATED:

16:36 GMT, 26 August 2012

Mark Cavendish was grateful to receive the full backing of Team Sky as he claimed victory on the final stage of the Tour of Denmark.

Cavendish was put to fore by his team and set about chasing the day's breakaway, finishing strongly with a powerful sprint to take top honours on stage six in Frederiksberg.

The 27-year-old, back from an extended break following a disappointing Olympic experience, held off the attentions of Matteo Pelucchi (Europcar) and Andre Griepel at the line.

All smiles: Team Sky's Mark Cavendish before the start of the second stage of Tour of Denmark

All smiles: Team Sky's Mark Cavendish before the start of the second stage of Tour of Denmark

And after sealing his 12th victory of the season, Cavendish said: 'The team controlled the race the whole way.

'The lads had great faith in me and delivered me to the line perfect.

'I'm really happy to get the win and repay their hard work, especially as I haven't been in the best form recently.

'I won here in 2007 as well as winning the rainbow jersey in Denmark and it's great to come back here and win here again.'

Showing his form: Cavendish recovered from a disappointing Olympics to perform well in Denmark

Showing his form: Cavendish recovered from a disappointing Olympics to perform well in Denmark

The sprint finish allowed Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) to safely hold on to his overnight lead, the Dutchman clinching the yellow jersey by 19 seconds over nearest rival Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp).

Team Sky also took away the team classification award for their efforts over the Tour.
Sports director Servais Knaven said: “It was the perfect way to finish off the race.

'The team were incredibly strong and controlled the race the whole day. After 25km we started riding and chased down a small breakaway.

'We are really happy with the performance here.'

Sports pictures of the day: June 5 2012

Sports images of the day: Our picture editor's selection

UPDATED:

14:09 GMT, 5 June 2012

Each day, MailOnline sports picture editor Dave Muir will choose his favourite photographs from around the world in the past 24 hours.

Enjoy today's selection right here…


Jumping for joy: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates victory in his men's singles fourth round match against Stanislas Wawrinka at the French Open

Jumping for joy: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates victory in his men's singles fourth round match against Stanislas Wawrinka at the French Open

Head for heights: Croatia's Eduardo da Silva heads the ball during a training session in preparation for the upcoming Euro 2012 championships

Head for heights: Croatia's Eduardo da Silva heads the ball during a training session in preparation for the upcoming Euro 2012 championships

It's behind you! Kansas City Royals' Jeff Francoeur breaks his bat during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins

It's behind you! Kansas City Royals' Jeff Francoeur (left) breaks his bat during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (right) celebrates a dunk

It's behind you! Kansas City Royals' Jeff Francoeur (left) breaks his bat during a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins as Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (right) celebrates a dunk

Sea of colour: Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils players stand at attention during the national anthem before Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup final

Sea of colour: Los Angeles Kings and New Jersey Devils players stand at attention during the national anthem before Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup final

Mouritz Botha proud to represent England

South African Botha insists there are no split loyalties playing for England

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UPDATED:

16:03 GMT, 3 June 2012

Proud: Mouritz Botha

Proud: Mouritz Botha

Mouritz Botha feels proud to be representing two nations on England's three-Test tour of South Africa.

But the Saracens lock insists there will be no split loyalties when hostilities erupt between Stuart Lancaster's men and the Springboks.

Botha, who hails from the northern cape, forged his professional rugby career in England after moving to Bedford eight years ago, when he juggled rugby with a part-time job removing asbestos.

The dreams Botha once held of representing the Springboks have been left behind, replaced by a fully-fledged commitment to the red rose.

When Lancaster took charge, his first task was to restore a sense of pride in the England jersey.

Each player had to consider what it meant to them.

'I am very proud of where I come from, proud of my heritage but I have had a long road to walk and I have had to work really hard to get to where I am today,' Botha said.

'I have more invested in playing for England. I spent the majority of my adult life forging a living and trying to achieve and realise my dream.

'It makes it all the more special. Playing a Test match is something not a lot of people can say they have done.

'Being a teenager, being a little boy you always had that dream to do it. Realising that dream is immensely special. It is emotional when you get out there.

'It is a moment, a feeling you cherish every time you do it.

'I am very proud of what I have achieved and the path I have walked to get to where I am today.

Ready for big Test: Botha (right) knows he will come in for some stick

Ready for big Test: Botha (right) knows he will come in for some stick

'In a way I feel like I am representing two nations and the best way to do it is for me to perform well and to play with pride.'

While Brad Barritt joined Saracens having played Super Rugby and represented junior Springbok sides, Botha never made it at representative level in South Africa.

He was signed by Saracens after one meeting, and before Brendan Venter had ever seen him play, on the basis of his desire to reach the top.

'I have grown up (in the eight years I have been in England),' Botha said. 'I know myself much better as a person, as a player. I have learned a lot in life and in rugby.

Sideshow: Botha facing his compatriots

Sideshow: Botha facing his compatriots

'I think I am much more equipped to deal with challenges that either life or rugby throws at me.'

There are few bigger, certainly in rugby terms, than a three-Test series in South Africa.

England have never attempted one before.

'Springbok rugby is based around forward domination and the backs scoring tries, a good kicking game and a massive defensive game,' Botha said.

'We will have to be ready for it.'

Botha is acutely aware of the stick that awaits him through the course of England's five-match tour, the jibes that he was not good enough to be a Springbok.

He won't be the first.

Kevin Pietersen famously withstood a barrage of abuse when he returned to South Africa as part of the England cricket team.

Mike Catt, now England's backs coach, walked the same path and he sat down with Botha to warn him what lies ahead.

'I definitely expect to get some stick. I am prepared for it, I am ready for it,' Botha said.

'That is part of the side-show. My job is to prepare well, make the side and do whatever I can to help us win.

'Catty has been there, he has done it. He has experienced all the good and bad about going back and playing in South Africa.

'I have picked his brains already. I will do some more. That is part of preparing myself for what we are about to face.

Point to prove: Botha will tread the same path as cricketer Kevin Pietersen

Point to prove: Botha will tread the same path as cricketer Kevin Pietersen

'You have got to be humble, respect people and don't get ahead of yourself. I just want to go out and try and win rugby games. That is what it boils down to.

'I am playing for England now. I am going out there to win a Test series. With the group of players we have, and with the team spirit that exists, we can do it.'

I want Great Britain to rule the cycling world: Joanna Rowsell

It's fantastic to win… now to be invincible

By
Joanna Rowsell

PUBLISHED:

21:52 GMT, 5 April 2012

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UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 5 April 2012

I am so thrilled to have pulled on the rainbow jersey and to wear that gold medal around my neck. That is the moment when our win really sank in.

It feels like a long time since I was last a world champion, back in 2009.

We missed out in 2010 to Australia, the worst feeling of my career. Then I was injured and ill last year — breaking my elbow in a freak training accident and contracting glandular fever.

It meant I had to watch the girls reclaim the title, but really I wanted to be back in there myself. That is one reason why this win means so much to me.

Pride: Joanna Rowsell and the other members of the Women's Pursuit team celebrate their gold medals

Pride: Joanna Rowsell and the other members of the Women's Pursuit team celebrate their gold medals

Everyone will see our victory in the context of the London Olympics and, yes, it has certainly given us a boost. But we are aware that the rest of the world is catching us up. They are doing really, really fast times.

Before the World Cup in London in February people were around the 3min 20sec mark, but not now. So we have to maintain our focus — nothing has changed in that regard.

We’ve always said that we were looking at the 3min 15sec mark — our winning time yesterday — to win gold at the Olympics but we now need to set our target a bit higher. It may take as much as two or three seconds’ improvement but we won’t know until we get there and everybody is fully tapered.

Another pleasing aspect of our win was that we were controlled — the opposite of the way we raced at the London World Cup.

On track for success: Great Britain's trio race to a world record

On track for success: Great Britain's trio race to a world record

I went out super-fast then because of the inspiration I drew from the crowd. We died in the last few laps. We knew we could do far better than that.

In training we’ve done far more disciplined rides.

Last week we did world record pace but that was only over 2k — rather than the full 3k — so we didn’t know whether we could carry it on.

Paul Manning, our coach, is very strict. He keeps us on precisely the right pace. To begin with, it’s weird holding yourself back in training but obviously it pays off at the end of the race. That’s where it is won, as we showed.

Different style: Rowsell, who suffers from alopecia, has previously worn a wig to collect her medals

Different style: Rowsell, who suffers from alopecia, has previously worn a wig to collect her medals

I have suffered from alopecia, or hair loss, since I was 10. I had auburn hair until then.

I have twice worn a wig to collect medals, but I didn’t yesterday.

When I first bought wigs I thought I’d give it a go on the podium. I do enjoy wearing them and the way they make me feel. But it wasn’t really me. Without a wig represents me on a bike. It is me as an athlete.

I am going home to my parents in Surrey at the end of the championships and then the training starts again in earnest.

By the time the Olympics come around the aim is to be invincible.