Tag Archives: keith

Alex McLeish"s position at Nottingham forest under threat

EXCLUSIVE: McLeish's position at Forest under threat after bust-up with Kuwaiti owners

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 30 January 2013

Alex McLeish’s position at Nottingham Forest is unclear following a bust-up with the club’s new owners over transfer funds.

The former Scotland manager has had a row with the Kuwaiti owners of the east Midlands club after a tense five weeks since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll.

Matters have been bubbling under ever since O’Driscoll’s sacking with chief executive Mark Arthur, head of player recruitment Keith Burt and Forest ambassador Frank Clark all being asked to leave.

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

After 14 years of service to Forest, Arthur was handed a letter informing him of his cessation of duties and Burt found out he was being axed after his wife read out a similar missive from the club while he was hosting a scouts’ meeting.

Forest were taken over by the Al-Hasawi family last summer and McLeish was appointed in bizarre circumstances after O’Driscoll was sacked following a 4-2 triumph over Leeds United on Boxing Day, a victory which left Forest just one point from the play-offs.

McLeish was promised a significant kitty to use during the transfer window. However, the club’s technical advisor Dr Tariq Aljalahmah, has held a series of meetings this week with several key figures including McLeish and the remaining members of the club’s scouting team.

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

The Scot was told that the club was reticent to sanction any cash deals, with Forest preferring instead to do business in the loan market.

McLeish stood his ground, asking for the money that he believed he was getting after agreeing to take on the job late last month.

The matter had been left in abeyance but some progress looked to have been made last night as Forest mounted a bid to swipe Peterborough United’s George Boyd from under Crystal Palace’s noses.

Nottingham Forest have sacked Frank Clark, Mark Arthur and Keith Burt

Ruthless Forest owners wield axe with long-serving Clark shown exit alongside Arthur and Burt

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

19:45 GMT, 17 January 2013

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UPDATED:

20:23 GMT, 17 January 2013

Nottingham Forest have sacked chief executive Mark Arthur, director of recruitment Keith Burt and club ambassador Frank Clark from their roles at the club.

Clark featured in Forest's 1979 European Cup-winning side during his four years as a player, and then returned to manage at the City Ground in 1993.

In 2011 he was appointed chairman of the club, and he has described the decision to get rid of him as 'a real shock.'

Frank Clark (right) had spent many years involved with Nottingham Forest

Shocked: Frank Clark (right) had spent many years involved with Nottingham Forest

Burt ends a seven-year association with the Championship outfit, having played a key role in Sean O'Driscoll's extensive summer recruitment drive.

O'Driscoll was dismissed as manager following Forest's 4-2 Boxing Day victory over Leeds, making way for Alex McLeish.

When contacted to confirm reports of his exit, Clark said: 'Yes that's true, yes. I don't want to say any more about it, for obvious reasons, but that is true.

'It's a shock, it's certainly a shock. Right out of the blue – a real shock.'

Forest have had a big clear-out since sacking Sean O'Driscoll

Wholesale changes: Forest have had a big clear-out since sacking Sean O'Driscoll

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

Schwartzel on course for successive victories after opening up 10-shot lead

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UPDATED:

15:48 GMT, 15 December 2012

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Out in front: Charl Schwartzel

Charl Schwartzel, an 11-shot winner in Thailand last weekend, takes a 10-stroke lead into the final round of the Alfred Dunhill Championship in his native South Africa tomorrow.

But if the week is belonging to the 28-year-old from Johannesburg then the 192-yard 12th at Leopard Creek is compatriot Keith Horne's property – incredibly, he holed-in-one for the second day running.

/12/15/article-0-1686E1D3000005DC-518_634x393.jpg” width=”634″ height=”393″ alt=”Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one ” class=”blkBorder” />

Sealed with a kiss: Keith Horne of is presented with a BMW after his second hole-in-one

'I just want to keep playing with no expectations. Tee it up, hit the ball down the fairway, hit it on the green, make the putt and see where it leads me.

'In the back of your mind you know what you want to achieve. We all want to win golf tournaments, but I can't be thinking about wanting to win because that's not how I'm actually going to win.

'I have to just stay right where I am and plod along. If I play the best I'll win – that's the way I see it.'

Nasser Hussain: Fletch told me "This lad will be a great…" I just couldn"t see it!

Nasser Hussain: Fletch told me 'This lad will be a great…' I just couldn't see it!

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UPDATED:

21:08 GMT, 6 December 2012

The first time I saw Alastair Cook was
during one of my many spells when I was struggling to score runs as
England captain. I wanted to clear my head, get back to basics, so I
asked my former coach Keith Fletcher if I could play for Essex seconds.

I turned up at Colchester and was
quickly dismissed so I went for a walk round the boundary edge with
Fletch, the wise old ‘Gnome’, to ask him what I could do to get my game
right. Suddenly Keith stopped, pointed to the middle and said: ‘That lad
is going to be one of the greats.’

I couldn’t see it to be honest. All I
saw was a left-hander whose head fell over when he played his shots and
was full of nudges and nurdles. His name was Alastair Cook and
he scored his 23rd Test hundred, more than any other Englishman. At the
time I just said to Keith: ‘That’s all very well, Fletch, but I’m
worried about my game here, not him!’

Eye on the ball: Alastair Cook takes a catch at the launch of the Under 15 World Cup at Lord's in 2000

Eye on the ball: Alastair Cook takes a catch at the launch of the Under 15 World Cup at Lord's in 2000

That reminded me of the time a
young off-spinning opponent of ours walked into the England dressing
room after taking a few wickets for KwaZulu Natal in a tour match in
Durban and plonked himself down next to me, asking if I knew of any
English teams he could play for.

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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

I
thought he meant club cricket and almost gave him my brother’s number
and told him to try Fives and Heronians but it turned out he had bigger
ambitions than that. His name was Kevin Pietersen and in the second Test
he scored his 22nd Test hundred for England. All of which goes to show
how much I know about spotting a good young player.

Fast
forward a few months after my first meeting with Cook and I bumped into
him again when I went to the indoor school in Chelmsford for a bit of
practice —yes, you’ve guessed it, I was searching for form as England
captain.

When I got there, Cook, who had just
been named England Under 19 skipper, was with a local TV crew, I think
they might have been from Look East.

The
interviewer saw me and asked if the England captain might like to say a
few words about this young star from my county. I looked at Cook, back
at the interviewer and said, ‘Not now, son’, before going off to the
bowling machine.

Cook still
reminds me of that one every time I speak to him. There are plenty of
words to say about him now. He was brilliant here, brilliant in
scoring his record hundred, brilliant in reaching 7,000 Test runs
younger than anyone in history and brilliant in scoring his fifth
century in five Tests as captain.

Truly, this innings has to be right up there with his best. It is as good if not better than all those hundreds he made in Australia and the 294 he scored against India at Edgbaston. It was special because Cook was so fluent.

Ever since Cook scored that potentially career-saving hundred against Pakistan at The Oval in 2010, he has been an absolute run machine. And what really impresses me is that he has worked so hard on improving the areas of his game that, a couple of years ago, weren’t his best. He has never said: ‘This is how I play, it works for me.’ He has kept his strengths and improved his weaknesses.

Special innings: Cook answered his critics at The Oval with a gutsy 110

Special innings: Cook answered his critics at The Oval with a gutsy 110

Not too long ago Cook relied heavily on his cut, pull and nudge off his hips. But now he is playing far more shots down the ground and is sweeping much more effectively. He may not have the flair of Pietersen or the shot selection of Graham Gooch, but he is becoming almost a complete batsman.

Cook keeps himself so well grounded. A lot of players might have been tempted to be a bit flashy after scoring hundreds in the last two Tests but he plays every innings with the same application as the last and at the same tempo. And how mentally strong must he be to score each of those hundreds after he has lost the toss and spent all that time in the field as a young and inexperienced captain

It’s good, too, that he has interests outside the game, in particular the family farm. /12/06/article-0-14214923000005DC-331_634x414.jpg” width=”634″ height=”414″ alt=”Hot on his heels: Kevin Pietersen (right) will be keen to match Cook's milestone” class=”blkBorder” />

Hot on his heels: Kevin Pietersen (right) will be keen to match Cook's milestone

I’m sure Cook’s team-mates will be inspired by him. Pietersen will want to quickly catch him up after falling one Test century behind him and Jonathan Trott will have been prodded after a relatively lean spell of his own. What will please Cook most of all is that his hundred has put his team in a potentially decisive position in this third Test and the series.

India were not very good on the second day, even though I cannot fault the effort of their four bowlers. They were flat and looked an old side in the field. If England can run them ragged they really will be on the verge of something special.

Ian Holloway becomes new Crystal Palace boss

Olly's heading to the Palace! Holloway swaps seaside for Selhurst

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UPDATED:

12:03 GMT, 3 November 2012

Crystal Palace have confirmed Ian Holloway as their new manager on a four-and-a-half-year contract.

The 49-year-old has left fellow Championship side Blackpool to fill the vacant position at Selhurst Park, with the Eagles having allowed Dougie Freedman to join Bolton last month.

The move brings an end to Holloway's three-and-a-half-year stay with Blackpool, with his greatest achievement having been overseeing their promotion to the Premier League in 2010.

On the move: Ian Holloway has joined Crystal Palace after leaving Blackpool

On the move: Ian Holloway has joined Crystal Palace after leaving Blackpool

Relegation followed a year later, but not before the former QPR midfielder and his players had made a sizeable impression on the top flight.

Last season, their first back in the Championship, Holloway guided them to the the play-off final where they were beaten by West Ham. They are currently 12th in the table, eight places and six points adrift of Palace.

He has taken coach Keith Millen with him as part of the deal.

Holloway's first duties will be to attend today`s game with Blackburn, but he will not be taking charge of team affairs.

It will be his sixth managerial position, having first taken to the dugout at Bristol Rovers 16 years ago, and he admitted to being sad to leave Blackpool.

Incoming: Crystal Palace made an official approach for Holloway on Thursday

Incoming: Crystal Palace made an official approach for Holloway on Thursday

Speaking to Palace's official website, he said: 'This is a fantastic opportunity for myself and a fresh start.

'It is sad to leave Blackpool as my time there was the best trip I have been on and leave very proud of what was achieved and I would like to wish them all the best. I just see this as too good an opportunity to turn down.

'I got great energy when I met the club's owners and just can't wait to get going.

'I am bringing in Keith Millen as my assistant who is a Croydon boy and he is as excited as I am about the opportunity.'

The move represents a significant coup for co-chairman Steve Parish, who last week had to come to terms with Freedman leaving despite the club being so well placed in the league.

No 2: Keith Millen will join as Holloway's assistant

No 2: Keith Millen will join as Holloway's assistant

'The board and staff of Crystal Palace are delighted to welcome Ian to south London,' he said.

'He's a manager I have long admired and one I believe will bring something fresh and new to our club.

'I am sure the supporters will be as excited about this appointment as I am and will get fully behind him.'

Blackpool also confirmed the switch on their official website, with chairman Karl Oyston expressing his thanks to the man he gave a chance to following a year out of the game after his departure from Leicester.

'We understand the reasons behind Ian's decision to leave and he departs with our best wishes,' Oyston said.

Replacement: Old Eagles boss Dougie Freedman left for Bolton Wanderers

Replacement: Old Eagles boss Dougie Freedman left for Bolton Wanderers

'I'd like to place on record my thanks to Ian for all he has achieved at Bloomfield Road, he's played a massive part in our recent success and will go down in history as one of our most successful managers.

'The process of finding a replacement for Ian has now started and we'd like to make an appointment as soon as possible.'

Steve Thompson has been placed in caretaker charge of Blackpool.

Mido to sign for Barnsley

Mido to complete move to Barnsley after agreeing one-year deal with Championship club

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 17 June 2012

Mido is expected to move to Barnsley on Monday.

The 29-year-old will have a medical ahead of signing a one-year deal.

Meanwhile, Norwich manager Chris Hughton has joined Bolton in the chase for Leicester defender Matt Mills, 25. while Bolton are in talks for West Brom’s Keith Andrews, 31.

Welcome back: Mido is set to sign for Championship side Barnsley

Welcome back: Mido is set to sign for Championship side Barnsley

West Brom coach Keith Downing says club have improved under Roy Hodgson

England will improve under Hodgson… if they listen to him, says Baggies coach Downing

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UPDATED:

13:59 GMT, 12 May 2012

Keith Downing believes new England boss Roy Hodgson has improved the quality and performance level of every West Brom player during his 15 months in charge at the Hawthorns.

Hodgson will bring down the curtain on his spell with the Baggies at Sunday's home Barclays Premier League clash with Champions League-chasing Arsenal.

Albion number two Downing feels Hodgson is the ideal appointment for England on the evidence of his work in establishing West Brom in the top flight.

Right man: Keith Downing says England have the right man in Roy Hodgson to lead the country

Right man: Keith Downing says England have the right man in Roy Hodgson to lead the country

Downing said: 'Roy has brought structure, discipline, organisation, just a purpose to every day that he trains.

'You hear people talking about 'is it laborious, is it too drilled'

'But I'm sure any player at this football club will say the moment Roy walked in he has improved their performance individually and collectively as a unit.

'Every time we go out on the field there is a purpose to our play. There are no grey areas. People know exactly how they should play. He makes you a better player.

'If you are a proper footballer and listen on a daily basis, you can't help but improve and that will apply with England as well.'

Chance to shine: Downing says England will improve under Roy Hodgson

Chance to shine: Downing says England will improve under Roy Hodgson

Downing added: 'In my opinion, Roy is the best man for England. I haven't worked with Harry Redknapp but I know what Roy will bring them.

'I'm sure England will go into each game with a structure and a game plan.
Obviously football is down to players but he will give them the best chance to win those games.'

Downing has seen Hodgson help to stabilise the Baggies since his arrival in February 2011 after being sacked by Liverpool.

He said: 'I don't think it has come by chance. It has come by hard work.

'Statistics can be looked at whatever way but ultimately to finish mid-table – and when he came in we were sliding – it just shows the work he has done.'

Downing has seen no signs of Hodgson struggling to cope with the demands of his two roles since being confirmed as Fabio Capello's replacement 10 days ago.

Well done: Hodgson shakes hands with goalkeeper Ben Foster after getting the England job

Well done: Hodgson shakes hands with goalkeeper Ben Foster after getting the England job

He said: 'I think it's been tough but he's not shown any signs of it. He's handed things over to myself and Dean Kiely (goalkeeping coach) on certain days.

'He's then come in on the more serious days, the ones nearer to the game. He's shown no difference in his work to what he has done in the last 15 months.

'Equally on his days off, he's got other things to think about and he's got certain things to sort out with the England side.'

Downing is hopeful Albion can give Hodgson a winning send-off but knows the Gunners will be highly motivated given what is at stake for Arsene Wenger's side.

He said: 'It's Arsenal, they have some quality all through the team and we respect that, but equally we are in a good run ourselves.

'We are four games undefeated and have done well at home.

'We've only lost one in the last five at home. We are confident and want to make it a good send off for Roy and the supporters.'

Albion striker Peter Odemwingie is fit after recovering from a hamstring injury but winger Jerome Thomas (virus) is likely to be unavailable.

Andrew Strauss in trouble if England flop again

Another England flop in second Test against Sri Lanka and captain Strauss is in trouble

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 1 April 2012

England did their best on Sunday to
insist Tuesday's second Test is 'just another match' but the stakes
could barely be higher for a once all-conquering team suddenly in
desperate need of a win.

Defeat and another batting failure
for Andrew Strauss at the historic P Sara Oval here would have immense
repercussions for an England side who were supposed to conquer their
final frontier this winter but instead are close to being back to square
one.

Testing time: Strauss is in need of a score but he looked good in the nets

Testing time: Strauss is in need of a score but he looked good in the nets

Testing time: Strauss is in need of a score but he looked good in the nets

If Sri Lanka win or even draw at the ground where their very first Test was staged against Keith Fletcher's England 30 years ago then England's hard-earned world No 1 status will have gone and serious questions will be asked of Strauss's longevity as leader.

Strauss looked good in the nets on Sunday, sweeping regularly and productively, but then he has looked in decent nick all winter without coming close to that elusive century that would remove any doubts about his right to carry on for at least this summer.

This is a similar situation to the one Strauss found himself in four years ago when he approached the second innings of the final Test against New Zealand in Napier needing a big score to save his career.

He had been dropped for the tour of Sri Lanka that preceded it and found life in New Zealand very tough until, just when he needed it most, he made a glorious return to form with the most important century of his life.

Strauss has rarely looked back since. Until now.

Backing his captain: Jonathan Trott

Backing his captain: Jonathan Trott

It is not accurate to say that he is again batting for his future now, not least because he retains the full support of Andy Flower, Hugh Morris and the ECB and every member of his team, including heir apparent Alastair Cook.

There is not a single player who does not respect Strauss as a leader of immense stature and integrity who has taken them to the top of the world.

'I don't think this is any more important a game for Andrew Strauss than any other,' insisted Jonathan Trott, the one batsman to do his job properly in the first Test defeat at Galle, after his extended net on Sunday.

'He is our captain and that's the way it is. I don't think we see a situation where he's not our leader.

'Everyone has their ups and downs in cricket and you can look at when Alastair Cook struggled before scoring all those runs on an Ashes tour. Cricket can be cruel but that little bit of luck will soon come Andrew's way and everyone will then be very happy for him.'

Yet it is the doubts that may build in Strauss's own mind that will threaten the long-term future of one of the most successful captains in England's history if he and his team fail again now.

The first problem that England face is one of their more tricky selection posers, complicated by the return home injured of Stuart Broad, whose control and penetration alongside Jimmy Anderson has allowed England to field just two seamers all winter.

Gamble: Steve Finn has not had much experience

Gamble: Steve Finn has not had much experience

Steven Finn, much improved and unlucky not to have played more Tests, is the natural replacement for Broad, but his lack of experience and, at times, control increase the sense of a gamble that his inclusion in a two-seamer, two-spinner attack would represent.

Tim Bresnan is a strong candidate to join Anderson and Finn, not least because England have won each of the 10 Tests he has played in and that sense of the Yorkshireman being a lucky charm is just what England need now after four straight Test defeats.

Needs to find form: Matt Prior

Needs to find form: Matt Prior

My preference would be to leave out Samit Patel, while assuring him that it is no reflection on his debut in Galle, and play both Finn and Bresnan in a proper five-man attack, backing a top six which would again include Matt Prior finally to come good.

Yes, there has been little wrong with England's bowling from a fourman attack all winter and the batting has been the problem.

However, in a must-win game England need every attacking resource at their disposal and Bresnan is perfectly capable of batting at seven.

England are more likely to just bring Finn in for Broad or, if the bit of bounce that seemed to be in the P Sara wicket on Sunday remains, add Bresnan too but leave out Monty Panesar instead of Patel.

No option is ideal but a difficult call has to be made.

Whatever England do at this intimate little ground the onus will be on the under-performing batsmen to get it right, starting with Strauss winning the toss and then going out to prove that his game really is not in decline.

An awful lot may depend on it.

TV: Tuesday, Sky Sports 1, 5am (match starts 5.30am).

Macclesfield sack Gary Simpson

League Two Macclesfield sack Simpson after failing to win single game in 2012

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UPDATED:

18:24 GMT, 18 March 2012

Macclesfield have parted company with manager Gary Simpson.

Axed: Gary Simpson

Axed: Gary Simpson

The npower League Two outfit are yet to taste victory in 2012 and Saturday's defeat to fellow strugglers Dagenham stretched their winless run to 16 matches in all competitions.

Simpson took over as manager at the Moss Rose two years ago following the death of Keith Alexander, who he worked under as assistant, and he leaves with the Silkmen outside the League Two relegation zone on goal difference.

A statement on Macclesfield's official website read: 'Following a sequence of results that has left Macclesfield Town without a win in 2012, the club's board has asked Gary Simpson to step down from his role as manager.'

Football League blog

Chairman Mike Rance added: 'It is with great regret that we've had to make this decision.

'We've been through an immense amount together over the last two years and we owe Gary a real debt of gratitude for the dignity and commitment he has shown through a difficult time.'

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers wants five players

Andrews on Rodgers” radar as Swansea manager chases five players

Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers wants up to five players when the transfer window re-opens.

In addition to moves for Preston forward Jamie Proctor, 19, Cliftonville”s Rory Donnelly, also 19, and NEC midfielder John Goossens, 23, he would like to sign Blackburn”s Keith Andrews, 30, on a free.

Wanted: Andrews (right) is among a number of players wanted by Rodgers

Wanted: Andrews (right) is among a number of players wanted by Rodgers