Tag Archives: legends

Ian Wright says Arsenal fans trusting in Arsene Wenger are deluded

If you trust in Arsene you're deluded! Wright joins other Gunners legends and turns on Wenger

|

UPDATED:

17:44 GMT, 14 December 2012

Ian Wright has labelled Arsenal fans 'deluded' if they still support Arsene Wenger as manager, joining a host of Arsenal legends in rounding on the Gunners' boss.

Speaking on Absolute Radio, the former Arsenal striker said: 'There’s a lot of deluded Arsenal fans, who are out in the wilderness, still saying “In Arsene We Trust” and all that.

'It is a unique position that Wenger is in – I think that any other manager in any country, in any world, with a record like this and no prospect of light at the end of the tunnel – they would have been gone by now.

Speak your mind: Ian Wright blasted Arsenal fans who still backed the sentiment of 'In Wenger we trust'

Speak your mind: Ian Wright blasted Arsenal fans who still backed the sentiment of 'In Wenger we trust'

And Wright, one of Arsenal’s greatest ever forwards, has called on Arsenal and their manager to start being honest with their supporters.

'When you hear him do interviews after a game and say that he has a great team with a good spirit – well, hang on a minute, we really are not seeing that.

'He may be seeing something in training that we aren’t seeing but he doesn’t tell the truth and say what is happening. And what I’ve said for years and years is that I want some transparency.

'I just want to know, what is going on Have you (Wenger) got any money to spend or haven’t you Is it the board not giving you the money to spend or is it the case that the board are giving you money to spend but you aren’t spending it

'Is that too hard a question to answer Arsenal, with the size of that club that I love, should not be in the predicament that it finds itself in right now.'

However, Wright does not believe that Wenger will choose to leave the club out of his own volition, telling presenter Christian O’Connell replied: 'No. He won’t step down. I don’t think he’s that kind of person.'

The former England striker is the latest in a series of former Arsenal heroes who have blasted Wenger since Arsenal’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Bradford in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

Pressure: Arsene Wenger is under the cosh at the moment with fans and former club legends turning on him

Pressure: Arsene Wenger is under the cosh at the moment with fans and former club legends turning on him

Former Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit, who spent three years at the club in the 1990s, has this morning claimed that Arsenal are now seen as a stepping stone to greater things and fears that the club will struggle to attract top-name signings given their current form.

Petit, 42, said: 'The big worry today is that even if Arsenal have the money who are they going to get to join the club now

'The idea they have been giving off for seven years is that it’s a club which doesn’t win trophies and at the end of the season their best players will leave.

'The feeling is that Arsenal are creating a generation of players who will leave in the hope of going to another club in order to win something.'

Meanwhile, Wenger has also come under fire from former Arsenal boss George Graham, who has criticised the manager and the board for their lack of ambition in the transfer market, and does not believe that the club are capable of winning another Premier League title.

Graham, who also managed Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, told The Sun: “I don’t think Arsenal are ever going to compete with Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.

Struggle: Emmanuel Petit (left) said big name players might not want to join the club

Struggle: Emmanuel Petit (left) said big name players might not want to join the club

'I thought they could have competed with United because they don’t spend the money the other two do, but Arsenal are not going to compete with them either.

'They have got a structure at the club on transfers and wages. They are very strict on those. They have more or less said to fans that is the way they are going to run the club.

'They can still pick up cups and qualify for Europe, but will they win the Premier League title again I can’t see it.'

However, former Gunners’ midfielder Ray Parlour has defended Wenger, explaining that Wenger will be dealing with the issues behind the scenes.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he explained: 'I played under Arsene Wenger and thought he was a great manager when I was there. He was always one of those managers you could talk to.'

Silverware: George Graham (right) and Tony Adams at the end of the 1990-91 season in which Arsenal won the title and the former picked up the manager of the year trophy

Silverware: George Graham (right) and Tony Adams at the end of the 1990-91 season in which Arsenal won the title and the former picked up the manager of the year trophy

'Arsene Wenger is one of those sort of guys who will always try to stick up for his players.

'We would have meetings after games and it would all come out in the dressing room, which (is how) it should be. It is a private matter between the players, the manager and the staff.

'It was quite embarrassing to lose to Bradford, there is no doubting that, but I think he is one of those guys who does criticise people behind the scenes instead of in the press.'

Stiliyan Petrov continues recovery from leukaemia

Petrov thanks Villa fans as midfielder continues battle with leukaemia

|

UPDATED:

10:09 GMT, 20 November 2012

Stiliyan Petrov has thanked the Aston Villa fans for their support as he continues down the 'long road' to beat acute leukaemia.

The Villa supporters have taken to singing the Bulgarian's name in the 19th minute at each match – Petrov wore the No 19 shirt.

And the former Celtic man, who attended a charity match between a Petrov XI and a Villa Legends XI at Halesowen at the weekend – admits their backing is helping him through an awful time.

Recovery: Stiliyan Petrov (centre) at a charity match at the weekend

Recovery: Stiliyan Petrov (centre) at a charity match at the weekend

Recovery: Stiliyan Petrov (centre) at a charity match at the weekend

He told the Birmingham Mail: 'I'm on the edge of starting crying every single time (they sing and applaud). I really appreciate it.

'The fans have been very supportive from the start until now. It's already been eight months I've been on treatment.

'I still get cards and messages and the turnout at the charity game was just unbelievable. But that's Villa fans for you. They love the club and the players.'

Petrov tries to attend as many Villa matches as possible but admitted: 'I've got another priority at the moment. I'm in remission and had quite a lot of chemotherapy.

Long road back: Petrov has not played for Villa since March

Long road back: Petrov has not played for Villa since March

'I'm in a consolidation phase at the moment. I've got a few more cycles to go. It's been a long road and it's been tough.

'From the start, I knew it was going to be hard. I didn't know it was going to be that hard. At the end of this road, you become an even better person.'

Petrov added: 'People say 'live every day as if it is your last' and I enjoy seeing my family, wife, kids, mum, dad, brother.

'I am battling hard. So far it's going well which is a positive thing.'

Leon Osman proved he was international class for England – Mersey Beat

After years in the shadows, Osman finally emerged to prove his international class

|

UPDATED:

15:51 GMT, 16 November 2012

It was a game he will remember forever more. A capacity crowd, a sparkling new stadium and a goal fit to grace any occasion.

But while the world and his wife were left speaking about Zlatan Ibrahimovic following the staggering strike on Wednesday evening, Leon Osman was able to come away from England’s contest with Sweden feeling equally content.

Of course, the Everton midfielder’s efforts were not as spectacular, or as game-changing, as the enigmatic Ibrahimovic but, in his own, understated way, Osman proved a point in Stockholm’s twinkling new Friends Arena.

Stepping up: Leon Osman eased into the England team against Sweden

Stepping up: Leon Osman eased into the England team against Sweden

More from Dominic King…

Mersey Beat: Rodgers must overcome the curse of Goodison Park
26/10/12

Mersey Beat: Once a Blue… once more a Blue Rooney's Everton career might not be over
19/10/12

Mersey Beat: Owen ready for another uncomfortable afternoon back at Liverpool
05/10/12

Mersey Beat: Everton have blown glorious opportunity to win silverware with Leeds defeat
28/09/12

Mersey Beat: The lure of the English Clasico
21/09/12

Mersey Beat: Legends like Rush, Fowler, Hunt, Liddell… but now there's no Liverpool No 9
07/09/12

Mersey Beat: Has the first major shift in power since 1937 happened on Merseyside
24/08/12

Mersey Beat: Rodgers can talk the talk… now he must deliver results at Liverpool
18/08/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Many had wondered why, at the age of 31, Roy Hodgson had called Osman into his squad. This is a transitional period for the national team and the emphasis is on blooding new, young players who will potentially be the mainstays for major tournaments in 2018 and 2020.

Good footballers, however, never go out of fashion, not matter how old they are. And, that, in a nutshell is precisely what Osman showed on Wednesday night. Dovetailing well with Steven Gerrard, Osman kept England’s engine room ticking over with his assured range of passing.

Those who have been watching him over the last two years will not have been surprised that he fitted in so neatly but to see him make a contribution to the best football England have played under Roy Hodgson was nonetheless so pleasing.

‘We were all genuinely made up when we heard that he had been picked,’ said Leighton Baines, Osman’s Everton colleague and a man whose performances mean that Ashley Cole has genuine competition for his left-back spot.

‘The manager (David Moyes) had pulled me and Jags (Phil Jagielka) before he got everyone together to say he’d heard there was a chance Ossie had been called up but he didn’t want to say too much in case it never worked out.

‘But when he called us around to tell us, everyone was over the moon for him. It’s brilliant and fully deserved. He has had to wait a long time for this and some people will be wondering why he has been called up but he is a footballer’s footballer.

Fitting right in: Osman did not look out of place on England duty

Fitting right in: Osman did not look out of place on England duty

‘He’s so skilful and his passing is brilliant. He has got goals in him too. He has definitely got the talent to stay in the squad and he is someone who won’t look out of place. He doesn’t get lots of headlines but footballers and people within the game appreciate the role he plays and the things he does.’

That may be true but there is a feeling that Osman would have made his England debut long before Wednesday night, had he played for a more 'fashionable' club. This is not being detrimental to Everton. Far from it.

Yet there are players who have played for southern based sides in recent years that have lacked Osman’s technical and tactical proficiencies. Put it another way, had he spent his career at Tottenham, say, he would not be one of England’s oldest debutants.

Stuck at the Toffees: Everton have enjoyed Osman's talents for years

Stuck at the Toffees: Everton have enjoyed Osman's talents for years

Encouragingly, though, there are signs from Roy Hodgson that Osman will not join the ranks of players such as Mark Walters, Kevin Richardson, Michael Ricketts and David Nugent, who wore Three Lions on their chest once but never again.

‘It’s very good for me to know that a player like Osman, someone I’ve thought a lot of for a number of years since coming back to English football, can be brought in relatively late in his career and do the job he did,’ mused Hodgson.

‘The next time I put a squad together I can’t make guarantees but one thing is for sure: I believed in him and gave him a chance and he took the chance. He’s certainly a name we will be discussing very seriously the next time we get together.’

And there, if Osman needed any, was the proof he could be comfortable being referred to as an international class footballer.

NFL at Wembley should just be the start, says St Louis Rams legends

NFL legends claim expansion must continue beyond Wembley and into Europe

|

UPDATED:

19:08 GMT, 25 October 2012

NFL legends Torry Holt and Jackie Slater have called for the game to expand beyond Britain and into the rest of Europe.

Wembley will, for the sixth year running, on Sunday play host to an competitive match between two of the powerhouses of American Football, the St Louis Rams and New England Patriots.

And Holt, a Rams wide receiver for more than a decade, believes that London should merely be a starting point for the NFL.

Speaking at NikeTown London this week, he said: 'I think it would be great [to expand], I really do. I think it’s good for the guys to get out of the States to see the world and see the respect the fans have for American Football.

Legends: (L-R) Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk and Jackie Slater are in London for Sunday's NFL showpiece

Legends: (L-R) Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk and Jackie Slater are in London for Sunday's NFL showpiece

Legends: (L-R) Torry Holt, Marshall Faulk and Jackie Slater are in London for Sunday's NFL showpiece

'So if they can go all across Europe and different places, I think it would be great.'

Slater, who represented the Rams for almost two decades, is equally enthused by the overseas reach.

He explained: 'I think these games are incredibly important and I think there is a lot more that can be done. 'I think it could be done at a much faster pace. The world is ready for it.'

NFL has been well received in Britain since it first came to these shores in 2007, and this year has been no different.

Marshall Faulk, a Rams running back between 1999 and 2006, admits he has been bowled over the level of support in the UK.

He said: 'There’s a lot of culture in London. I came last year for the game and I was impressed by the fans, just how many jerseys, how many people actually have teams that they route for.

'It was hard to find a seat with a person without a jersey on, I was impressed by that.'

NFL is certainly a hard sell to a country used to the fast paced and equally physical rugby.

Popular: Wembley has hosted an NFL match on five previous occasions to great success

Popular: Wembley has hosted an NFL match on five previous occasions to great success

In the spirit: Rams cheerleader

In the spirit: Rams cheerleader

Faulk, though, is confident the more American Football people are able to see, the more they will develop an affiliation to a team.

He added: 'It’s not about selling it. Men look at it and think, “Wow, I’d love to play something so physical”. That’s the element of the game that attracts people's attention because you have these massive athletes moving fast.

'It's a short season, you only get 16 games. If you get into the play-offs it's sudden death, you lose, you go home, it doesn’t matter how good you are. It’s exciting.

'The hard part is getting people to understand the difference in all the rules, the nuisances of the game. That's any game, whether it’s rugby, or soccer.

Looking towards the match at Wembley, Faulk concluded: 'Tom Brady [New England] should come here and take advantage of this young team.

'But I’ve watched now for the last three or four weeks, I’ve watched the Patriots get leads, lose leads, find themselves in a dog-fight with teams that are less talented them.

'The Rams are a hungry team. I expect a very close and competitive game.'

Marshall Faulk, Torry Holt and Jackie Slater were speaking at NikeTown London ahead of the NFL International Series this weekend between the St Louis Rams and New England Patriots. Visit the Nike's Flagship Oxford Street store for more information as Nike continue to deliver the ultimate International football experience.

Juan Mata says he wants to be a Chelsea legend

Mata believes Di Matteo can make him a Chelsea legend like Terry and Lampard

|

UPDATED:

18:36 GMT, 22 October 2012

Juan Mata hailed Roberto Di Matteo as the 'perfect manager' for Chelsea after the Italian helped them shrug off the latest crisis at the club and stay on course for another glorious season.

Di Matteo's near eight months in charge of the Blues have been arguably the most turbulent in their history but he has somehow managed unprecendented success while at the helm.

Having ended Chelsea's agonising wait for Champions League glory, Di Matteo has led them to a four-point lead at the top of the Barclays Premier League and transformed them into one of the great entertainers of the game.

Happy: Juan Mata is loving live at Chelsea under Roberto Di Matteo

Happy: Juan Mata is loving live at Chelsea under Roberto Di Matteo

His success is all the more remarkable considering he took charge of a dispirited squad, which was on course to record the club's worst season of the Roman Abramovich era, and has since had to contend with the fallout from the John Terry racism scandal.

Chelsea managers have crumbled under far less pressure than that which has been piled on Di Matteo.

And Mata, who has been the club's star of the season and arguably the best player in England on current form, could not praise the former Stamford Bridge midfielder highly enough.

He said: 'Robbie knows very well the team, Robbie knows very well the club as well. He is a legend here.

'And now, as a manager, he connects very well with the team, in every meeting, in every speech, he does deep inside every one of us, talking about every game.

'I think it's very important to be ready for every competition, for the Premier League and now for the Champions League.

'He knows how important it is for the club to play these kinds of games, to win again the Champions League like last season.

'So, I think for us, he's the perfect manager.'

Chelsea are not short of 'legends' in the current squad, with Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole, Petr Cech and Terry firmly in that category.

Ashley Cole

Frank Lampard and JT

Legends: Mata hopes to be revered in the same way Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry are

Mata may be only in his second season at Stamford Bridge but he will surely join those ranks if he maintains the kind of form that has seen him score six goals – and set up many more – in his last five games.

'We have three or four players who are very, very important for us,' Mata said.

'They are legends now at the club because of what they did during eight, nine, 10 years.

'And they are our captains as well, so they are the present and still the future of Chelsea.

'On the other hand, we have young players, for example like me, who want to be as good as them in the history of Chelsea.

'I wish I will be like Frank Lampard or like John Terry in the next years. This is my second year at Chelsea. I really enjoyed the first one.

'It was one of the best in the history of Chelsea. But I think the best is still to come, hopefully.

Club man: Di Matteo did not need to win over Chelsea's fans

Club man: Di Matteo did not need to win over Chelsea's fans

Ryan Bertrand escapes from Victor Moses

Mata in the middle

Tough task: Chelsea players train ahead of an extremely difficult away Champions League tie

'We are now enjoying (life) with young and with experienced players and I think there is a balance that we have in the dressing room.'

That balance will be offset slightly while Terry serves a four-match domestic ban but he will be back for tomorrow night's crunch Champions League Group E clash at Shakhtar Donetsk.

The 31-year-old will captain the side after Chelsea controversially refused to strip him of the honour over the language he used towards Anton Ferdinand a year ago.

And in timing that could hardly be more ironic, the defender will also wear an armband bearing the slogan 'Unite Against Racism' as part of a Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) campaign scheduled for this week.

The Rammer: Ramires flourished alongside John Obi Mikel against Tottenham

The Rammer: Ramires flourished alongside John Obi Mikel against Tottenham

If Terry has shown the unacceptable face of Chelsea, Mata has been the complete opposite but he was modest on Monday when it was suggested he was the 'face' of Di Matteo's new-look side.

The Spaniard was more interested in how the Blues were performing as a team than his own individual exploits and predicted a 'fight for the ball' in Tuesday's match against a Shakhtar side who are in even better form.

He added: 'We're going to try to play our football, as we did the last two months, enjoying ourselves, enjoying the team, enjoying the level that we're playing with and that's what we want for tomorrow.'

London 2012 Olympics: Britain"s beach volleyball men lose to Brazil

Britain's male beach volleyball duo put up strong performance but lose to Brazil

|

UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 30 July 2012

.olympicStats1038148 background:url(http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2012/07_04/bckg308x110.jpg) no-repeat top left; display:block; width:308px; height:110px; padding:0; font-weight:bold
.olympicStats1038148 ul width:98%; padding:2px; list-style:none; position:relative; top:86px; left:6px; font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif
.olympicStats1038148 ul li a padding:0 2px; font-size:11px; color:#0cac0c; text-decoration:none
.olympicStats1038148 a:hover text-decoration:underline
.olympicStats1038148 ul li float:left; list-style-type: none; padding: 0;

LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Britain's Steve Grotowski and John Garcia-Thompson suffered a second straight defeat at Horse Guards Parade but not before putting on a valiant performance against a strong Brazilian team.

The pairing of Ricardo Santos and Pedro Cunha simply had too much power and experience for the British duo, who now must win their final Pool F match against Norway on Wednesday and hope other results go their way if they are to avoid elimination.

The customary boisterous crowd at the 15,000-seater Westminster arena inevitably did their bit to help the British players, but the Brazilians nevertheless wrapped up a 2-0 (21-17 21-12) win that sees them through to the knockout stage.

Valient effort: Steven Grotowski (left) and Juan Garcia-Thompson could not overcome Brazil

Valient effort: Steven Grotowski (left) and Juan Garcia-Thompson could not overcome Brazil

Grotowski and Garcia-Thompson were going up against a team boasting one of the legends of the game in Ricardo, who has three Olympic medals to his name – including a gold from Athens in 2004.

Nevertheless the British pair began well, surging into a 3-1 lead only to see the seventh seeds rattle off six straight points to establish a commanding edge.

Brazil continued to pull clear but Garcia-Thompson had the crowd on their feet with a superb diving dig that sailed over the heads of the South Americans to bring the set back to 12-7.

Samba boys: Brazil's Pedro Cunha (right) and Ricardo Santos

Samba boys: Brazil's Pedro Cunha (right) and Ricardo Santos

Another superb retrieval by the 33-year-old had Horse Guards jumping again as the Britons closed to within three.

But despite staying in touch, the home team were unable to bridge the gap and Brazil did enough to take the first set despite a valiant effort by the Britons on set point.

Brazil took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second, however, as Ricardo's dominance at the net and on serve began to tell.

Last chance: The team must win and hope other results go their way

Last chance: The team must win and hope other results go their way

A little of the fire seemed to have gone out of the belly of the British duo, and when the scoreboard read 12-5 to Ricardo and Cunha, even the crowd became subdued.

An ace by Ricardo brought up 10 match points, and though the Britons delighted the crowd by saving two of those, defeat was not much longer in coming.

David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton and Peter Shilton honoured by UEFA

Ton-up England legends to receive UEFA honour

|

UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 24 May 2012

David Beckham, Peter Shilton and Sir Bobby Charlton will all be presented with a special cap by UEFA ahead of England's friendly with Belgium on June 2.

European football's governing body want to honour every player across the continent who has reached the milestone of playing more than 100 times for their country and the Wembley encounter – Roy Hodgson's first game in charge – has been chosen as the designated game for England.

Honoured: David Beckham (above), Peter Shilton (below left) and Sir Bobby Charlton (below, right)

Honoured: David Beckham (above), Peter Shilton (below left) and Sir Bobby Charlton (below, right)

Honoured: David Beckham (above), Peter Shilton (below left) and Sir Bobby Charlton (below, right)

Honoured: David Beckham (above), Peter Shilton (below left) and Sir Bobby Charlton (below, right)

In addition, the widows of both Bobby Moore and Billy Wright will be present to accept the honour on behalf of their late husbands.

England in a fine mess: KP punishment riles players but Strauss focused on series win

England in a fine mess: KP punishment riles players but Strauss focused on series win

|

UPDATED:

22:39 GMT, 24 May 2012

It is hardly ideal to risk alienating your star batsman and upsetting his team-mates on the eve of a Test but England managed just that with their ill-judged disciplining of Kevin Pietersen.

England do not get much wrong these days but fining Pietersen for his mild Twitter criticism of Nick Knight’s commentating as they prepared for their attempt at defeating West Indies and winning the Wisden Trophy at Trent Bridge is a rare error.

Andrew Strauss distanced his team from the move by making it clear it was an ECB decision to fine Pietersen what is believed to be 5,000 with half suspended, and privately the players are disappointed and concerned it sets a worrying precedent.

Shocked: Kevin Pietersen must pay for criticising Nick Knight

Shocked: Kevin Pietersen must pay for criticising Nick Knight

There are enough anodyne comments made by sportsmen without the ECB encouraging more by punishing an opinion which did not offend the amiable Knight. The biggest irony of the whole affair is that he is hardly the most provocative of Sky pundits.

The players see Twitter as a valuable way of communicating with their supporters but they will be worried that even the most innocuous views may be frowned upon by Lord’s after this.

There are no plans for the ECB to stop them using social networking sites but clearly the players will only be talking about ‘bowling in the right areas’ and being ‘delighted with my hundred’ now.

Pietersen was taken aback by the size of the fine but made light of it as he walked off Trent Bridge after England practice. ‘Just so you know, Botham, Gower, Hussain, Atherton and Bumble are legends. I love them,’ he said, smiling.

Playing it with a straight bat: Andrew Strauss in the nets at Trent Bridge

Playing it with a straight bat: Andrew Strauss in the nets at Trent Bridge

Strauss was more serious as he found questions about his own form ahead of his century at Lord’s last week being replaced by an interrogation around a very modern communications phenomenon.

‘This is a difficult one. Twitter is a great way for individuals to express opinions and it can garner positive publicity for the game,’ said a man who considers himself ‘too boring’ to have a Twitter account.

‘But we have conditions of employment that don’t allow us to talk about anything and everything. We can’t criticise the ICC, nor umpires and in this case the board wasn’t happy with Kevin’s comments with regard to our broadcaster.

‘This is an issue between the board and Kevin more than the players. We’ve not been particularly involved with it. But you can understand that the board are concerned with making sure their broadcasters and sponsors are happy.’

Handy Andy: Strauss speaks to Flower ahead of the second Test at Trent Bridge

Handy: Strauss speaks to Andy Flower ahead of the second Test

The England players have their own Twitter code of conduct and Strauss was not even sure that this ‘offence’, which was first highlighted by Charles Sale in Sports Agenda on Tuesday, contravened that.

‘That’s a tough one,’ admitted Strauss. ‘It’s a shade of grey but the fact is the board were unhappy about it.’

All of which took attention away from the prospect of a second Investec Test starting today at sun-baked Trent Bridge which should perfectly suit the swing of Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad.

West Indies looked much happier with the sun on their backs yesterday but they will be even bigger underdogs here than on the flat Lord’s wicket where they took the first Test to a fifth day.

Picture perfect: Trent Bridge in Nottingham will play host to the second Test

Picture perfect: Trent Bridge in Nottingham will play host to the second Test

Michael Holding launched a passionate attack on the inadequacies of the modern West Indies in Sportsmail but captain Darren Sammy defended the attempt by himself and coach Ottis Gibson to create a new, more professional outfit.

‘Everybody is entitled to their opinion but coach Gibson and I are trying to build something here for the future,’ said Sammy. ‘Everybody might not like it but the team have been responding in the last few series.

‘Ottis came on board with new ideas about working hard for ourselves and the team. We are trying to build a brand of cricket where Caribbean fans can see our determination and passion. So far we’ve been able to compete against the higher-ranked teams and anyone who comes into this set-up has to abide by what we are doing. We just need that first victory to get our dressing room pumped up.’

It will be a surprise if West Indies get that elusive victory here, even though they have never lost a Test nor even a first-class game at Trent Bridge.

Mind the windows: The ebullient Tino Best has replaced Shannon Gabriel

Mind the windows: The ebullient Tino Best has replaced Shannon Gabriel

West Indies were joined by the colourful Tino Best as a replacement for the injured Shannon Gabriel, who turned up for breakfast at the team hotel wearing a Chelsea shirt with ‘Drogba’ on the back. There really is no accounting for taste.

Best will not play today but spinner Shane Shillingford will and Ravi Rampaul is pressing hard for a place, meaning West Indies may leave out their one real swing bowler, Fidel Edwards. The obvious candidate to stand down, as Holding was saying, is Sammy but the captain can hardly drop himself.

Pietersen is too professional to be distracted by ‘Skygate’ but at least his nemesis will not be at Trent Bridge to upset him again.

Former England batsman Knight was instead at Hove commentating on a CB40 game for Sky and was never due to work at Trent Bridge. Instead the commentators Pietersen does approve of will almost certainly be talking about another England victory.

AC Milan old boys bow out in tears

AC Milan begin new era as club legends Gattuso, Seedorf, Inzaghi and Nesta bow out in tears

|

UPDATED:

01:06 GMT, 14 May 2012

The end of an era at AC Milan was greeted with tears from the players who will no longer wear the famous black and red shirt.

A host of established stars will move on from the club since summer after years of loyal service, with one such individual Filippo Inzaghi bowing out the match-winning goal in a 2-1 over Novara.

Gennaro Gattuso

Gennaro Gattuso

Alessandro Nesta

Alessandro Nesta

Mark van Bommel

Mark van Bommel

Dry your eyes, mate: Gianluca Zambrotta was one of several players to break down as he saluted the fans on his final game for AC Milan

Dry your eyes, mate: Gianluca Zambrotta was one of several players to break down as he saluted the fans on his final game for AC Milan

Perfect send off: Filippo Inzaghi scored the winner as a substitute late on

Perfect send off: Filippo Inzaghi scored the winner as a substitute late on

The 38-year-old, who has played 11 seasons at the San Siro, is yet to decide on his future and leaves with the likes of Gennaro Gattuso, Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Mark van Bommel and Gianluca Zambrotta.

Nearly of those who are waving goodbye to Milan, especially tough-tackling Gattuso who departs after 13 seasons, left the San Siro pitch in tears.

Milan, who won the title last year, finished second and four points behind unbeaten Juventus.

Thanks for the memories: Clarence Seedorf is also set to leave the club

Thanks for the memories: Clarence Seedorf is also set to leave the club

Thanks for the memories: Clarence Seedorf is also set to leave the club

Elsewhere in Italy, Udinese clinched third place and a spot in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League, the same stage they reached last year where they were beaten by Arsenal.

Lazio took fourth despite going behind to Inter when Diego Milito scored from a penalty, the Argentine's 24th Serie A goal of the season, on the stroke of half-time.

Giorgio Chinaglia found dead

New York Cosmos great Chinaglia found dead in his Florida house

|

UPDATED:

23:35 GMT, 1 April 2012

Former Italy and Lazio striker Giorgio Chinaglia has died aged 65.

Chinaglia, who was born in Italy but grew up in Wales and began his professional career with Swansea, was found dead by his adopted son Anthony at the home they shared in Florida.

He had suffered complications after treatment for a heart problem.

pele

pele

Legends: Giorgio Chinaglia with Brazilian superstar Pele

chinaglia

chinaglia

Sad: He was found dead by his adopted son Anthony

Chinaglia, who represented Italy at the 1974 World Cup and played in a star-studded New York Cosmos team in the late 1970s, leaves a wife, Angela, and five children.

Charlie Stillitano, who hosted a sports programme on satellite radio station Sirius XM alongside Chinaglia and who has been asked to speak on behalf of the family, said: 'This morning I heard from his son and we had confirmation that he had passed.'

More to follow.

Celebration: Chinaglia in action for the Cosmos

Celebration: Chinaglia in action for the Cosmos