Tag Archives: life

Cardiff could move for Jamie Mackie

Cardiff eye Mackie, Ramsey and Ledley as they plan for life at the top

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

21:33 GMT, 21 April 2013

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UPDATED:

07:00 GMT, 22 April 2013

Premier League new boys Cardiff have put QPR striker Jamie Mackie on their wish list.

Ex-Cardiff players Aaron Ramsey and Joe Ledley have also been touted.

The Bluebirds sealed their return to the top flight for the first time since 1962 after a nervy draw at home to Charlton Athletic last Tuesday.

Fancy it Jamie Mackie (left) is likely to be relegated with QPR

Fancy it Jamie Mackie (left) is likely to be relegated with QPR

David Luiz pictured in his youth

Can you work out which Premier League star this is from his childhood snaps

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

12:09 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

01:05 GMT, 4 April 2013

Scroll down for the answer

Who is this

Clue: Look at the hair in the first picture

Improvement: David Luiz has impressed this season after making several mistakes last term

Improvement: David Luiz has impressed this season after making several mistakes last term

Yes, it's Chelsea defender David Luiz!

The
Brazilian centre back posted this picture on his Instagram account on
Wednesday morning, a digital collage of images from his youth in
Diadema, Sao Paulo.

He was released by Sao Paulo FC at the age of 14 and signed for Vitoria, helping them achieve promotion to the second division.

In January 2007 he moved to Benfica and, four years later, signed for Chelsea.

Joker in the pack: David Luiz (left) larks around with Eden Hazard during Chelsea training on Wednesday

Joker in the pack: David Luiz (left) larks around with Eden Hazard during Chelsea training on Wednesday

His time in England has been tumultuous to say the least, but this season he has cut the glaring errors of last season out and impressed both in defence and in a midfield role.

Barcelona have been linked with a summer move for him, although at 25 years old, Chelsea would be loathe to sell him.

Luiz captained Brazil during their recent friendly against Italy and has been touted as a potential successor to John Terry as Chelsea skipper.

Spring cheer: 'I met some inspirational friends at the hospital today @GreatOrmondSt support these kids if you can they touched my heart #life #perspective.' Luiz said on Instagram

Spring cheer: 'I met some inspirational friends at the hospital today @GreatOrmondSt support these kids if you can they touched my heart #life #perspective.' Luiz said on Instagram

Nicklas Bendtner banned and fined for drink driving

'The worst day of my life': Bendtner slapped with 100k fine and three-year ban for drink driving

European
Championships, Bendtner was fined 80,000 and banned for one
international match by UEFA for brandishing a pair of Paddy Power boxer
shorts after scoring for Denmark.

Happier times: Bendtner thrived during his time at the Stadium of Light

Happier times: Bendtner thrived during his time at the Stadium of Light

Jamie O"Hara: Anger at Wolves midfilder"s tweet bemoaning stress of his 35,000 A WEEK salary

'Things were so much easier when I earned 100 a week': Anger at Wolves star O'Hara's tweet bemoaning stress of 35K A WEEK salary

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UPDATED:

23:32 GMT, 5 December 2012

Wolves midfielder Jamie O'Hara sparked a Twitter fury on Wednesday after he wrote on the social networking site about his hard life as a professional footballer.

The former Spurs player – who is thought to be paid about 35,000 a week – posted a tweet where he appeared to bemoan his life situation, longing for 'easier' days on 100 a week.

O'Hara, 26, who is married to former Miss England Danielle Lloyd, 28, wrote: ‘Things were so much easier when I earned 100pound a week on wts #stress’.

Hard time: Jamie O'Hara, right, enraged his Twitter followers when he posted a tweet about the hard life of a footballer

Hard time: Jamie O'Hara, right, enraged his Twitter followers when he tweeted about the hard life of a footballer

Tough life: Jamie and Danielle O'Hara married in a lavish ceremony in May and she often posts tweets and pictures of their glam life together

Tough life: Jamie and Danielle O'Hara married in a lavish ceremony in May and she often posts tweets and pictures of their glam life together

The tweet referred to his days on the Youth Training Scheme, and it did not take long before his followers' angry reactions came flooding in.

And after an angry backlash from followers, he caused even more fury by hitting back with: ‘Why do people think cos I earn good money I don't have bills to pay we all pay tax an we have mortgages to pay, some people are deluded.’

Dozens of people bombarded Twitter with mocking tweets, accusing the footballer of being out of touch with the lives of ordinary people.

Christian Wainwright tweeted: 'Feel sorry for Jamie O'Hara, must be so stressful doing a few training sessions and playing 2 games a week for 1000s a week. #getagrip.'

Meanwhile Nick Daniels tweeted: ‘Must be so hard being Jamie O'Hara , great career, beautiful wife, nice family, rich, Saturdays off and still he is stressed! #prayforjamie.'

Tough life: The tweet from earlier today which caused a storm as it appeared Mr O'Hara complained about his lifestyle

Easier then: The tweet from earlier today which caused a storm as it appeared Mr O'Hara complained about his lifestyle

Tough life: The tweet from earlier today which caused a storm as it appeared Mr O'Hara complained about his lifestyle

Defence: The torrent of hateful tweets saw Mr O'Hara post further messages defending his original one

Defence: The torrent of hateful tweets saw Mr O'Hara post further messages defending his original one

JOBS WHICH EARN 35K IN A YEAR
Civil engineersArchitects, Town Planners, Surveyors Secondary education teaching professionalsDesign and development engineers Recycling and refuse disposal managersSecurity managers Transport and distribution managers Chartered and certified accountants Quantity surveyors Management accountantsSocial services managers

And Graeme Wallace tweeted: ‘Wish I had a hard life like professional footballer Jamie O'Hara.’

But O'Hara, who has two children
Archie, two, and Harry, one, with his wife Danielle hit back with
references to his charity work.

He tweeted: ‘I wonder how many people are
doing hospital visits this Xmas or giving clothing to the homeless this
winter, or setting up a charity to raise money for hospitals Southey
can buy equipment that save people lives, u can talk on here but what
are YOU doing.’

But his tweet further angered Twitter users who called him a spoiled millionaire.

Aaron Ingham tweeted: ‘I see Jamie O'Hara's banging on about how charitable he is….after his disgusting tweet about life being easier when he earned 100 a week.’

Later O'Hara continued his rant,
tweeting: ‘I'm not saying I'm not privileged I'm so lucky to have what
I've got but trust me when I was 17 on wts it was a lot more easier.

‘Many peeps hating about me earning good
money that show how jealous u are, instead of realising the tweet was
about how hard life gets.’

Glam WAG: Mrs O'Hara was pictured Christmas shopping in Liverpool city centre earlier today and was later seen enjoying a pampering session at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar

Glam WAG: Mrs O'Hara was pictured Christmas shopping in Liverpool city centre earlier today and was later seen enjoying a pampering session at Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar

Mr O'Hara posted that he wished he could reveal to his followers the real reason behind the original tweet but that there were 'too many a******** on twitter' and that 'people should worry about their own lives'.

The midfielder has been injured and unable to play for his team since August but returned to full training yesterday.

In July O'Hara was involved in a Twitter spat with Leon Knight after the ex-Chelsea player called his wife a ‘raging s**t bag’.

His own words: Jamie O'Haras twitter biography where he describes himself as a hard worker who will never 'forget where I've come from'

His own words: Jamie O'Haras twitter biography where he describes himself as a hard worker who will never 'forget where I've come from'

Enraged O'Hara retaliated: ‘If at @leonknight82 has got a problem he should give me a call instead of giving the bigun on twitter to a women with two kids.

‘And follow me and I'll direct message you my number, anytime mate, your a disgrace to your name go and do something with your life.’

Wolves were contacted by MailOnline but declined to comment.

West Ham anti-Semitic chants: Yossi Benayoun blasts fans as two arrested over vile songs at Tottenham

Israeli midfielder Benayoun blasts 'embarrassing' West Ham fans as two arrested over vile anti-Semitic chants at Tottenham

Football Association confirm probe into alleged chants referring to Adolf Hitler and attacks on Spurs fans in Rome last weekYossi Benayoun calls for club to punish 'minority' of fans
Society of Black Lawyers have reported incident to Metropolitan PoliceWest Ham vow to ban for life fans found guilty of sick chants

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UPDATED:

18:28 GMT, 26 November 2012

West Ham's Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun has slammed the anti-Semitic chanting from a section of the club's supporters during Sunday's London derby at Tottenham, calling their behaviour 'embarrassing'.

Two West Ham United supporters have been arrested following the chanting. The two fans have accepted police cautions reportedly for making Nazi salutes, while one of them, a season ticket holder at Upton Park, has already been issued with a life-time banning order by the club.

West Ham earlier today vowed to enforce life bans on any supporters found guilty of participating in vile anti-Semitic chanting that marred the 3-1 Spurs victory. The club are working with Tottenham in their investigation after references to Adolf Hitler, the Holocaust and last week's brutal attacks on Tottenham fans in Rome were reportedly heard during West Ham's 3-1 defeat at White Hart Lane.

Scroll down for video

Let down: West Ham fans hit a new low with their chants at White Hart Lane

Let down: West Ham fans hit a new low with their chants at White Hart Lane

Tweet from Sportsmail's Alex Kay

Lazio' chants have gone on for most of
first half. Not just a few people, hundreds. It's sad and pathetic. Ban
them all.' @Alex_Kay_DM

But Benayoun, who is on a season-long loan from Chelsea and in his second spell with the club, has spoken out publicly against the fans' behaviour and called on the club and FA to punish those guilty of the sick chants.

Benayoun, who missed the match on Sunday with a thigh problem, said on Twitter: 'I have a great relationship with the West Ham United supporters, from my first spell at the club and again now I am back on loan here.

'This why I was very disappointed to hear some of the songs yesterday and it was embarrassing.

'But we need to remember that it was made by a minority group of fans and I'm sure the FA together with West Ham United football club will do everything to find and punish them.'

Earlier on Monday, a Metropolitan Police spokesman said: ‘Two men were arrested during the football match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham on Sunday November 25 on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. The men accepted a police caution.’

West Ham this
morning issued a statement, which read: 'West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to
assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number
of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday's
match at White Hart Lane.

'West Ham United will take the
strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including
enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour
which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.

'During the 46 games in the
Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or
violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will
examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the
appropriate action.'

The FA also moved quickly and released a statement on Monday afternoon.

It read: 'The FA can confirm it has begun investigating reports of abusive chanting at the Tottenham Hotspur FC versus West Ham United FC fixture on 25 November 2011.

'The FA Governance Department has this morning contacted both clubs and will continue to make enquiries into the matter in the coming days.

'We note the statement issued by West Ham United FC and encourage Clubs to identify and ban for life any individuals involved in incidents of abusive chanting.

'There is no place for anti-Semitism or any form of discrimination in football. The FA is committed to working with the Clubs, Leagues, fans groups, the police, CPS and community stakeholders to play our part in addressing this unacceptable behaviour.'

Tottenham Hotspur also confirmed that five supporters were arrested during Sunday's match at White Hart Lane outside of the stadium for unrelated incidents.

The chairman of the Society of Black Lawyers Peter Herbert also confirmed his organisation had already notified police after some Hammers supporters appeared to mock the gassing of Jews in the Holocaust during the match at White Hart Lane.

VIDEO: Anti-semitic chants at Spurs Fan's video captures shouts in stands

DM.has('rcpv1989298019001','BCVideo');

Asked if he would take the issue to the police, Herbert told Sky Sports News: 'We've done so already.

'In
fact we were due to meet a borough commander of the Met Police either
later this week or early next week and it's one of the things that will
be on our agenda.

'As far
as we're concerned there has to be zero tolerance of this. If these
people can be identified on camera and prosecuted then that is something
we'd like to see.'

Meanwhile, a Tottenham club
spokesperson said: 'We are currently compiling a full report for the
Football Association and shall be submitting this with all our evidence
including relevant CCTV footage.'

Sportsmail
has learnt that FA officials are waiting to digest the referee's report
before launching a full probe – although off-the-field incidents
typically take longer to investigate
than those on the pitch.

Hundreds of West Ham supporters
chanted ‘Viva Lazio’ at numerous points during the game in a macabre
show of support for the hooligans who left at least 10 Spurs fans
injured and one needing emergency surgery.

Ashley Mills, 25, of Essex, had to be admitted to hospital for stab wounds to his head and groin after being set upon by a gang of masked thugs while in Rome for Tottenham’s Europa League match against Lazio. Two men have since been charged with attempted murder.

Italian flags were seen in the away section on Sunday and a red flare was also set off. After Tottenham had scored their second and third goals, ‘Lazio’ was chanted, bringing ironic cheers from the home crowd.

The most distasteful chants were saved for towards the end. In reply to Spurs fans chanting, ‘Can we play you every week’ West Ham fans sang: ‘Can we stab you every week’

Anti-semitic chanting, hissing and the references to Hitler then followed.

The FA said they would await reports from referee Andre Marriner and fourth official Mark Clattenburg before taking further action.

At the double: Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham cruised to victory over West Ham

At the double: Jermain Defoe scored twice as Tottenham cruised to victory over West Ham

Chance: Tottenham's Gareth Bale tries to score past West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) at White Hart Lane yesterday

Chance: Tottenham's Gareth Bale tries to score past West Ham's Mohamed Diame (left) at White Hart Lane yesterday

WEST HAM'S OFFICIAL STATEMENT

West Ham United are in contact with Tottenham Hotspur to assist them with their investigation into the conduct of a small number of supporters and alleged inappropriate chanting during yesterday's match at White Hart Lane.

West Ham United will take the strongest possible action against any of their supporters, including enforcing life bans from the club, that are found guilty of behaviour which is categorically not condoned by West Ham United.

During the 46 games in the Championship last season, West Ham United had zero arrests for racism or violence, so while we are surprised to see such reports today, we will examine any available evidence of such conduct thoroughly and take the appropriate action.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said he had not heard the chanting but agreed his fans ‘should not be doing that’. Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas branded the chants as ‘stupid’.

Allardyce said: ‘I don’t hear what the fans say or do when I’m concentrating on a game of football.

‘They shouldn’t be doing things like that, should they But it’s the least of my worries at the minute.’

Asked about the Hitler chanting, Allardyce said: ‘If I didn’t hear it, I can’t condemn it. I’ll wait and look at it myself and then I’ll comment after I’ve listened to what they’ve said. I don’t want to be a political animal. I’m in here to talk about football, not what fans are saying or singing.’

Villas-Boas said: ‘We know the animosity
there is between Tottenham and West Ham. As long as it doesn’t reach
stupidity, it is a great rivalry.

Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome were Spurs fans were attacked this week

Aftermath: The Drunken Ship pub in Rome were Spurs fans were attacked this week

‘I understand the whole situation is unavoidable although we can’t decipher the complete meaning of what they were singing.’

The two clubs have a long-standing history of abuse between supporters. Former West Ham striker Jermain Defoe, who was booed throughout, scored two of the goals in the win for Tottenham, a victory that takes them one place above the Hammers.

Spurs fans have been the subject of complaints by the Society of Black Lawyers who objected to the White Hart Lane supporters singing ‘Yid Army’ about themselves. Sportsmail has highlighted that this kind of disgraceful chanting is just as despicable as racist abuse, pointing out unacceptable behaviour such as vile abuse Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is subjected to at various grounds.

Sheffield Wednesday boss Dave Jones, who has been the victim of sustained abuse, said: ‘It is like a form of racism because it is every bit as bad.’

Spurs supporters rushed to condemn their West Ham rivals on Twitter.

Three and easy: Tottenham climbed above the Hammers with this win on Sunday

Three and easy: Tottenham climbed above the Hammers with this win on Sunday

Andrew Leason wrote: 'West Ham fans & their Lazio/Hitler chants showing what utter vile scum they are.'

West Ham fan Andrew Wiseman posted: 'The minority of hammers fans with the Lazio chants should hang their heads in shame. And I'm a Hammer. Pathetic.'

Ed Aarons commented: 'Not surprised at all by reports of moronic Lazio chants by West Ham fans at WHL. Not exactly known for their intelligence.'

West Ham fans were also accused of hissing in reference to the Jews who were slaughtered by the Nazis in concentration camps.

'Hissing, Lazio chants and (letting off) a flare. You classless bunch of p***** are really enjoying your cup final, aren't you West Ham,' posted Louise Page.

And Charlie Parrish added: 'Next to West Ham away fans. Lots of Lazio chants. Football's pretty grim sometimes.'

The anti-racism group Kick It Out also said it was looking into the reports of abuse.

Kick It Out chair Lord Herman Ouseley said: 'Kick It Out is following up with both clubs after the reports circulated concerning unacceptable chanting at White Hart Lane and is awaiting reports with further detail.'

The Board of Deputies of British Jews also moved to condemn the reported chanting.

They issued a statement which read: 'The Board of Deputies of British Jews utterly condemns and is dismayed by reports of antisemitic chanting by West Ham United fans at yesterday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur.

'Antisemitism has no place in football or society in general. For football fans to use Holocaust imagery and chants glorifying Adolf Hitler is grossly offensive to the Jewish community and is a stain upon the character of British football.

'This in the same week that Tottenham fans were attacked in Rome in an apparently antisemitic attack.'

Luis Suarez can"t win Footballer of The Year Award – Martin Samuel

Suarez is poetry in motion… but can he really be Player of the Year

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UPDATED:

01:47 GMT, 21 November 2012

And the days are not full enough And the nights are not full enough And life slips by like a field mouse. Not shaking the grass. Ezra Pound wrote that. Remarkable, isn't it

'Pound is more responsible for the 20th century revolution in poetry than any other individual,' said TS Eliot, and he would know. So here's one of his lesser known works.

'You let in the Jew and the Jew rotted your empire, and you yourselves out-jewed the Jew. And the big Jew has rotted every nation he has wormed into.' Pound said that in a pro-fascist radio broadcast in March 1942. He said plenty of other stuff, too, and was arrested for treason after the war.

Saint and sinner: Luis Suarez has been accused of diving during his time at Liverpool

Saint and sinner: Luis Suarez has been accused of diving during his time at Liverpool

Later, Pound renounced his anti-Semitism in public, but recollections of the private individual tell a different story. He would refer to people he disliked as Jews, and refuse to talk to psychiatrists with Jewish names.

He really wasn't a nice guy. Doesn't make Eliot wrong, though. Doesn't make the depth of emotional meaning conveyed in the sparse four lines of And the days are not full enough – that's the whole poem up there, by the way – any less astonishing. Same with Philip Larkin.

'I can hear fat Caribbean germs pattering after me in the Underground,' he wrote, disgusted, to Kingsley Amis on a visit to London. Then again, Larkin was disgusted by a lot of things; by himself, often enough. For Larkin in excelsis, however, read An Arundel Tomb. 'What will survive of us is love.'

We could go on. Through Chuck Berry to Miles Davis or Michael Jackson. We separate the man from his art. But not in football. In football, we want it all. Beauty and the blameless life. We can accept that poets, artists, musicians or writers can be despicable creatures redeemed by their work, but from our footballers we demand the exalted physicality of an athlete and the immaculate morality of an angel.

Luis Suarez

Luis Suarez

Light and shade: The Uruguayan striker is a match-winner for Liverpool but has also been accused of stamping on an opponent (above right)

More from Martin Samuel …

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20/11/12

Martin Samuel: Pietersen's 'reintegration' is complete… but now England need to see the destructive, swashbuckling KP of old
13/11/12

Chelsea 1 Liverpool 1: Suarez rescues point for Reds after goalscorer Terry is crocked on return
11/11/12

Chelsea 3 Shakhtar Donetsk 2: Moses works a miracle as Di Matteo's luck holds
07/11/12

Manchester City 2 Ajax 2: It's all gone De Jong as Euro exit looms for Mancini misfits
06/11/12

Chelsea 2 Manchester United 3: Crazy red card for Torres and Hernandez offside goal hand United victory at Stamford Bridge
28/10/12

Martin Samuel: Amid his Twitter row, Liverpool's Chang should know using the supporters as muscle is a dangerous abuse of power
23/10/12

Shakhtar Donetsk 2 Chelsea 1: Bad case of the Blues as holders feel pain in Ukraine
23/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

So could Luis Suarez be the Footballer of the Year this season Of course not. Should Luis Suarez be the Footballer of the Year this season Well, who else have you got

This is a crude calculation as it presumes no other player could have scored Suarez's goals, but the difference he has made to Liverpool this season equates to seven league points and, potentially, a place in the Europa League.

Goals from Suarez have changed Liverpool's dividend on seven occasions. He has been the difference between victory and a draw with Norwich City and a draw and a defeat against Manchester City, Sunderland, Everton, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

Without his goal at Anfield, the Europa League qualifier with Hearts would have gone into extra time. And in this season's Premier League, seven points is currently separating Liverpool and a place in the bottom three.

True, if Suarez had not been in the team, somebody else would have been and that somebody might have scored, too. So this isn't exact science.

Nobody can accurately evaluate Suarez's worth to Liverpool this season but, ball-park, seven points sounds about right. Maybe more. Is there any footballer in the country more influential

Last week, Jamie Carragher compared Suarez to Lionel Messi at Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Indeed, he placed him higher, because Suarez is not playing in a great team. But Footballer of the Year No chance.

This is bogeyman Suarez, remember, verbal debaser of Patrice Evra, alleged diver, alleged stamper, the man English football loves to hate and boo, even during the feelgood Olympic Games this summer when just completing the course got a standing ovation.

How can he sway a vote of journalists, some of whom believe their award winner must stand out as a role model, as much as a footballer How could he earn the votes of players, some of whom are black, ethically-minded or represent Manchester United Could you vote for him No. Could I It would be very, very hard.

On target: Suarez has scored more goals than any other player in the Barclays Premier League this term

On target: Suarez has scored more goals than any other player in the Barclays Premier League this term

A vote for Suarez would appear to send out the message that racism doesn't matter. Yet I'd have no hesitation in referring to Larkin as our greatest modern poet; no agonising over love for the music of the wife-beating Ike Turner either.

Maybe by the end of the season the Suarez dilemma will no longer exist. Different players go through purple patches at various times – Juan Mata was brilliant for Chelsea as Roberto Di Matteo's side topped the table early on – but few have been as consistent as Suarez, with no sign of relenting.

Left to fend for himself by an almost wantonly negligent series of executive choices in the transfer market, he has prevented Liverpool entering freefall. And he is not even a conventional striker.

If Liverpool had acted with coherence this summer, Suarez would be playing beside a prolific goalscorer, setting up as many as he scores, the burden on his shoulders relieved. For Uruguay, he most regularly played alongside Diego Forlan or Sebastian Abreu. These days Edinson Cavani is his regular foil. The idea of him leading a line unaccompanied would baffle his national coach, Oscar Tabarez.

Imagine: If Suarez was Footballer of the Year, they'd be uproar arguments and probably resignations

Imagine: If Suarez was Footballer of the Year, they'd be uproar, arguments and probably resignations

What he is doing at Liverpool is far removed from his comfort zone. And yet he is this season's peak performer: top scorer in the Premier League with two more goals than Robin van Persie and top scorer of any Premier League player in all club competitions, again two more than Van Persie.

The difference is, Van Persie has Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to take a load off, Suarez is in virtual isolation.

Carragher also placed Suarez alongside Robbie Fowler, Michael Owen and Fernando Torres among recent goalscorers at Liverpool, but in essence he is more like Steven Gerrard or Carragher himself, in his ability to influence matches sometimes with sheer will.

Yet, imagine if he was the Footballer of the Year. There would be uproar, protests, arguments, quite probably resignations. A breakaway black union without doubt, if he won the PFA vote, a very awkward few weeks for representatives of the media if he topped any poll of journalists.

Mock: Suarez celebrated in front of Moyes after the Everton boss accused him of simulation

Mock: Suarez celebrated in front of Moyes after the Everton boss accused him of simulation

An unrepentant horror as an example to the next generation, it would be fiendishly hard to justify his glorification, almost inexcusable. Yet is he the best player in the league This minute, by a mile.

Those crowned Footballer of the Year tend to be winners. It seemed incongruous two years ago when Scott Parker collected the prize in a season that ended in relegation for his club, West Ham United.

The case for Suarez would be different. It would be based on his contribution to a former member of the elite, Liverpool, and how far a great club might have tumbled without him.

There was certainly a similar case for Chris Waddle at Tottenham Hotspur one season, when the club could easily have slipped into the bottom three without his frequent interventions. Yet Suarez won't win and can't win, we know that.

He has been associated with too much of football's dark side – racism, simulation – to rise above the negativity. He refused to shake hands with Evra, at first, even though the wronged man made the first move, he openly mocked David Moyes when the Everton manager dared to suggest he went to ground too easily. And yet despite the opprobrium, Suarez stays strong.

If no-one likes him, see if he cares. Perhaps this is why, as well as being this season's best footballer he is also one that troubles the soul.

Suarez does not do sorry, he does not do contrition and, in this, demands to be considered only for his art. Will he care if recognition is not his at the end of the season Probably not. As Pound said on his release from a lengthy stint of hard labour: 'I've had it worse.'

Arrests: Crowd trouble in Germany is at a 12-year high

Arrests: Crowd trouble in Germany is at a 12-year high

Don't mention the arrests…

And more news just in from Germany, where tickets are cheap, stadiums are full, standing is tolerated and crowd trouble is at a 12-year high.

According to figures released to Reuters in Berlin, the 2011-12 season had the highest number of criminal proceedings this century, a sharp rise in the amount of injured fans from the previous season and a 20 per cent increase in police work hours.

'Criminal proceedings are up 70 per cent, work hours up 40 per cent and injuries up 120 per cent from the 12-year average,' said a police spokesman.

A total of 8,143 criminal cases against individuals were launched compared with 5,818 the previous year, while the number of injuries rose from 843 to 1,142.

Meanwhile, according to the Home Office, English football arrests are at an all-time low since records began in 1985, and there was a 32 per cent decline in Premier League arrests from the 2010-11 season. But keep this quiet. It doesn't fit the self-flagellating narrative.

And while we're at it… Unbuyable Try to lure him back, Sir Alex!

He is back, at a football ground near you, tonight. And while Cristiano Ronaldo can be guaranteed a hostile reception when he steps out for Real Madrid against Manchester City, there will not be a true football fan in the stadium who does not feel a frisson of excitement at the anticipation of seeing him play live again.

Because we miss him, of course we do. Even the blue lot, deep down. Manchester United miss him, English football misses him. We haven't had one quite as good since. Not a player whose talent is so immense he actually found a new way of kicking a football.

Welcome (back) to Manchester: Ronaldo touched down in England on Tuesday night ahead of Real's clash with City

Welcome (back) to Manchester: Ronaldo touched down in England ahead of Real's clash with City

Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Hydrodynamics Laboratory in Paris will test their theory about the way Ronaldo strikes his knuckleball at a scientific gathering in San Diego this week. They have been dropping steel beads into a tank of water and studying the trajectory. Nobody does that for Ashley Young.

So, when Sir Alex Ferguson says that he remains on good terms with Ronaldo but the player is 'unbuyable', the heart sinks. Try, Sir Alex. Have a go, for all of us. It doesn't matter if it makes life really hard for your rivals. We won't moan, even if you win the league by 25 points. Just get our guy back. Please.

Relationship: Ferguson has claimed the former Manchester Untied star is 'unbuyable'

Relationship: Ferguson has claimed the former Manchester Untied star is 'unbuyable'

Madrid is the love of Ronaldo's life, but he hasn't always felt loved back. Good. Use that. Tell him he's wasted there. Tell him the Spanish crowds have never taken to him as they have Lionel Messi. Massage his ego, play on his insecurities. Wasn't there a time when Madrid made him sad Didn't he refuse to celebrate his goals at the start of the season, because he felt unappreciated That never happened at Old Trafford, did it Hell, it's worth a try.

Unbuyable is such a miserable term. Unbuyable says he is Madrid's, for ever. Unbuyable means nights like this are one of the few chances you will get to see one of the world's greatest players at the height of his powers. If you can go, don't miss it. He's the one you'll tell the grandkids about.

Sacking Hughes might not add up

The problem for Tony Fernandes at Queens Park Rangers, and for all owners, is that the only way to build a club is to place faith in a coach and his vision. Invariably, this means an equal investment in players, staff and the remodelling of academies and training facilities.

In terms of results, there is no indication this season that Rangers are going to turn around under Mark Hughes, so continued support now is merely a leap of faith.

In training: Hughes puts his squad through their paces on Tuesday as his future hangs in the balance

In training: Hughes puts his squad through their paces on Tuesday as his future hangs in the balance

Yet the alternative, to remove Hughes and his entourage and start again, is fraught with expense and difficulty with no certainty of alleviating the crisis, either. West Ham United stuck with Avram Grant and went down, West Bromwich Albion sacked Roberto Di Matteo and stayed up.

Wigan Athletic kept Roberto Martinez and stayed up, Wolverhampton Wanderers dismissed Mick McCarthy and went down. The only concrete guarantee is that the cost of replacing the manager, his backroom boys and overhauling the squad twice in one season is horrific. This alone may be what buys Hughes the time to turn Rangers around.

Sergio Aguero races Mercedes with F1 star Nico Rosberg

Aguero: I could drive faster than F1 star Rosberg! (And it looks like he's going pretty flaming quick in this Mercedes…)

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UPDATED:

12:09 GMT, 20 November 2012

This might not thrill under-pressure Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini, but Sergio Aguero fancies himself as a Formula One star in the making.

With City struggling in Europe and only just starting to hit the heights of last season's Premier League title triumph, the last thing Mancini needs is his star striker risking life and limb on the track.

But, fear not Roberto, despite saying he could drive an F1 car faster than Mercedes ace Nico Rosberg, Aguero is not planning on a career change just yet.

Speed demons: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (right) with Mercedes star Nico Rosberg (left)

Speed demons: Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero (right) with Mercedes star Nico Rosberg (left)

The Argentina striker proved his F1
credentials by taking pole position on a grid of football stars
challenged to race a lap of the famous Monza circuit in a Mercedes AMG
Petronas simulator as part of the PUMA RACE OFF challenge.

Aguero left the likes of Nigel De Jong, Michael Carrick, Phil Jones, Cesc Fabregas and Bacary Sagna trailing in his dust to finish with the top lap time of 01:22:58, a second and a hlaf behind Rosberg's effort.

And he was then rewarded with a track session with Rosberg, driving a Mercedes C 63 AMG before being taken for a spin by the German ace in a Mercedes AMG DTM, a video of which you can see below.

'It was really good fun, I think some of the other guys who raced in the simulator will be really jealous when they see the footage,' said Aguero. 'I didn’t expect the ride with Nico to be so scary, I felt like I’d had a full workout and I wasn’t even driving!

'I had no idea beforehand how intense it would be, it was a fast car and when I got out I could hardly walk.'

Thumbs up: Aguero (left) in the cockpit before being taken for a spin by Rosberg (right)

Thumbs up: Aguero (left) in the cockpit before being taken for a spin by Rosberg (right)

Flaming quick: Rosberg takes Aguero on a spin as flames pour out of the car's exhaust

Flaming quick: Rosberg takes Aguero on a spin as flames pour out of the car's exhaust

He added: 'For sure I would be able to drive a real Formula One car.

'The simulator was accurate, and while it doesn’t move, I think my skills were there for all to see.

'Maybe I would not be quite as quick as Rosberg, but he has had more practise than me. In time, I might even be quicker.

'I think if I hadn’t become a professional footballer I would have liked to be a motor racing driver.'

Aguero was also treated to a display of keepy-ups by Rosberg, who will be Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes team-mate next season, and suggested the German could make a decent footballer.

'I was quite impressed actually, but I think his racing skills are far better,' said Aguero on Rosberg. 'It would be fun to play a match against Nico and swap the challenge around, bring him into my world and see if he has what it takes. I think with some coaching he would be a good player.'

The car's the star: Rosberg puts the Mercedes AMG DTM through its paces on the track

The car's the star: Rosberg puts the Mercedes AMG DTM through its paces on the track

Aguero sealed his spot in both City folklore and British sporting history by snatching the Barclays Premier League title from local rivals Manchester United in the dying seconds of last season with his brilliant winning strike against QPR.

This season is already shaping up to be another battle between the local rivals for the crown, with the champions knocking United off the top of the table after thrashing Aston Villa 5-0 last Saturday.

The Manchester derby – a match City crucially won twice last season – looms large, with the two sides set to go head-to-head on Sunday December 9.

And Aguero insists that City will again prove wrong Sir Alex Ferguson's blast that they are just 'noisy neighbours' by beating United at the Etihad Stadium.

'I’m feeling confident about the game against Manchester United,' said Aguero.

Hotshot: Aguero hot top form and scored twice as City beat Aston Villa 5-0 last weekend

Hotshot: Aguero hot top form and scored twice as City beat Aston Villa 5-0 last weekend

Hotshot: Aguero hot top form and scored twice as City beat Aston Villa 5-0 last weekend

'It’s a really big match for us and there’s a lot of pressure to repeat our success of last year, but I’m sure we will succeed.

'The team is really strong with so many great players right now, but the same is true of Manchester United and they are showing how competitive they are this year once again.

'Whatever the result, I think it will be close.'

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Papiss Cisse blames lack of Newcastle goals on no goat curry diet

Feed him goat and he will score! Cisse blames lack of goals on Newcastle canteen for taking his favourite curry off the menu

By
Colin Young

PUBLISHED:

12:49 GMT, 15 November 2012

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UPDATED:

13:52 GMT, 15 November 2012

Newcastle United striker Papiss Cisse says he is missing the special goat curry which turned him into a goal machine last season.

Cisse led Newcastle’s unexpected charge to a fifth place finish in the Barclays Premier League thanks in part to a traditional dish from his native Senegal, called Yassa.

It was introduced to the Newcastle staff canteen by international team-mate Demba Ba, but it seems the special dish has been taken off the menu at Newcastle’s training ground Darsley Park.

Hungry for more: Papiss Cisse chewed up Premier League defenders after his arrival at Newcastle last season

Hungry for more: Papiss Cisse chewed up Premier League defenders after his arrival at Newcastle last season

Goat curry: Cisse's dish of choice

Goat curry: Cisse's dish of choice

Manager Alan Pardew even said last season that the curry might have helped the striker’s incredible scoring record of 13 goals in 14 games.

‘I think I need to ask the kitchen why they still haven’t done it yet,’ Cisse told Sky Tyne and Wear.

By contrast to last season, Cisse has scored just three goals in 14 appearances this term.

In April, Newcastle held an ‘African Day’ at their training ground in a bid to continue Cisse’s slow integration into other aspects of life at the club.

At the time Alan Pardew, who relies on Ba as translator to communicate with his No 9, told Sportsmail: ‘We had curried goat and perhaps it fuelled him up,’ said Newcastle boss Alan Pardew. ‘It was lovely and it probably helped him a little bit.'

Cisse was bought from Wolfsburg for 9million and has become a cult hero at St James’ Park.

Newcastle are fighting for clearance to allow Cisse to play this weekend.

The Senegal FA are disputing Cisse's back injury which forced him to miss their game this week.
Cisse was forced off at half-time in Newcastle's home defeat to West Ham and did not travel.

Pardew confirmed the club and Senegal FA are trying to clarify the injury with FIFA so he is clear to face Swansea on Saturday.

Meanwhile, midfielder Yohan Cabaye is out of their weekend clash with Swansea City. The France international suffered a groin injury last week which forced him to miss Wednesday's game against Italy.

Although Chieck Tiote is back from suspension for Swansea's visit to St James's Park on Saturday, captain Fabricio Coloccini is still banned. Jonas Gutierrez is also out.

Want to score like Cisse Here's how to make a delicious goat curry…

Ingredients:

1 goat liver, cleaned and cut into chunks
400 g goat meat, from leg, chopped into chunks
1 tsp Jaffna curry powder
1 tsp roasted ground cumin
7 cardamom pods, crushed
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 stick cinnamon stick, broken up
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chilli powder, or more to taste
2 tsp roasted curry powder
2 tbsp tomato pure
200 ml coconut milk
2 garlic cloves
100 ml vegetable oil
100 g onions, diced
2-3 green chillies, sliced
2 slices fresh ginger, peeled and chopped finely
10 cm piece pandanus leaf (rampe), torn
1 sprig curry leaves, picked from stalks

Method

1. Place the chopped liver and goat meat
into a bowl, then add the Sri Lankan curry powder, cumin powder,
cardamom pods, a teaspoon of salt, fenugreek seeds, cinnamon, turmeric,
chilli powder, roasted curry powder, tomato paste and coconut milk.

2. Stir to combine and then leave to
marinade while you peel and crush the garlic with some coarse sea salt
using the back of your knife to make a paste.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan until
really hot – check by putting a curry leaf in and it’ll pop and spit if
it’s right. Add the garlic, onion, chillies, ginger, pandanus leaf and
curry leaves. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onions turn
translucent.

4. Add the marinated meat to the pan,
swilling out the bowl with a little water to get all the remnants of
marinade. Mix to combine, bring to the boil and then turn down to a
really low heat.

5. Cook for at least 30 minutes until the meat is tender and cooked through, or longer for a really tender result.

Source: UKTV.co.uk

And here's what goat curry can help you do on the pitch!

Alan Pardew on Demba Ba: His faith makes him perfect professional

Alan Pardew: Brilliant Ba's faith makes him the perfect pro

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UPDATED:

22:45 GMT, 2 November 2012

Signing Demba Ba in the summer of 2011 was a complete no-brainer for me and Newcastle United.

I still have contacts at West Ham, friends throughout the club who told me all about Demba. After watching his performances for West Ham, I was convinced he had the right attitude and characteristics. More importantly, he was a player who would score goals at this club.

One of the things I wanted to check out was his injuries. I had heard the rumours, and there was the failed medical at Stoke, but he trained every day at West Ham and they didn’t perceive it would be an issue.

Loving life: Alan Pardew enjoys working with Demba Ba

Loving life: Alan Pardew enjoys working with Demba Ba

Other than the fact there is a picture of his knee which doesn’t look very well, I wasn’t bothered. I’ve not even seen the picture. That’s not to say that at some time in his career it won’t have an effect on him, but he has trained every day with us, too. That is all I need to know.

As a man and a footballer he is strong, clear management material and a leader who tells you how it is. I like all of those attributes in a player.

He is a big leader in the dressing room and I want him here for years, to take the club forward.

Demba is one of a number of Muslim players at Newcastle United. We have as many as eight, and it is a very important part of our club.

Some don’t portray it openly, some do, and Demba is a strong believer who follows the traditions, perhaps more than others, and I respect that.

Their lifestyle makes for great professional footballers because they don’t drink, they live correctly and are absolutely perfect ambassadors for their religion. It is nice to listen to their opinions, too.

There are players who aren’t religious who live just as well. But this group’s focus on their life, career, profession and success is very important to them, and it is not just about how they live, eat, sleep or conduct their lives.

Perfect: Pardew hailed Ba's determination and professionalism

Perfect: Pardew hailed Ba's determination and professionalism

We have thought about building a prayer room for all faiths within St James’ Park which can be used on match days. It is right and we are still trying to nail a place down within the stadium and are investigating the issue to make sure we get it right.

Demba has shown great determination to get where he is today and I see that every day. I see it in negotiations with him. I think he has been hurt by the whole process and he wants to prove to people he is a top player.

I would like to think we have helped him do that at Newcastle United. We are one of the first clubs to offer him security. We all want Demba to stay at Newcastle and we’re working on trying to secure his future at the club.

Nigel Adkins still enjoying life at Southampton

Adkins insists he is enjoying the ride despite Southampton's struggles

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 2 November 2012

Southampton manager Nigel Adkins is thriving under the challenge of keeping the Saints in the Barclays Premier League.

Adkins takes his side to West Brom on Monday night still searching for an elusive away win.

The former Scunthorpe manager has come under increased media speculation regarding his future at St Mary's but revealed he is loving life at the wrong end of the table, with Southampton sitting 19th with only four points on the board.

Under pressure: Southampton have been on a woeful run of form

Under pressure: Southampton have been on a woeful run of form

'I'm loving the challenge, you only know once you're in a situation how you are going to react and face it,' he said.

'After the West Ham defeat there was a half-hour period which I didn't like but I'm loving the challenge that we are faced with, it is what you want to be in football for.'

Adkins feels he has been a marked man even before the Premier League season got under way but does not feel under any more pressure now than when he was guiding the Saints to back-to-back promotions.

He said: 'Before we even kicked a football I think I was the favourite to be sacked.

'So every week there is a question about that and it doesn't faze me one iota, I'm very, very ambitious and we are very ambitious here at Southampton – what will be in football will be.

'(The pressure) is exactly the same as when I joined. I put my comments out straightaway that I wanted to win the league and we got ourselves promoted, then we got ourselves promoted from the Championship.

Upbeat: Adkins is remaining positive

Upbeat: Adkins is remaining positive

'We are ambitious, we want to be winners and we are used to being winners – we are now faced with a different challenge but it is one that we embrace, we look forward to it. Nobody said it was going to be easy, this is what we are in football for, we are pushing ourselves to the limit.

'We can go one of two ways – we can either hide behind situations and crumble or we can face everything up, stick our chests out and we can be positive in what we do.'

Norwich set an example last season of a side who can sustain a place in the top flight following two consecutive promotions but Adkins is keen to stress the club are still in a transitional period after dropping into the third tier.

'We have come a hell of a long way in a short space of time, I think everyone is well aware of that,' he said.

'It is quite often the way that a newly-promoted side from a defensive point a view, a lot more questions are asked of you when you move up – especially if you have jumped up two divisions like we have gone and done.

Leaky: Southampton have the worst defence in the league

Leaky: Southampton have the worst defence in the league

Returning: Ramirez

Returning: Ramirez

'Everyone wants to the finished article straightaway, there is a great work in progress that is going on here at Southampton.

'There a lot of people from top to bottom throughout all of the different departments work very hard and are proud to be here at Southampton.'

Adkins feels a number of injuries to key personnel over the opening months of the season have also played a part in destabilising his side.

'I never want to harp on about injuries but it is fair to say that the back four has been unsettled more or less in every game for one reason or another,' he said. 'I'd like to think we can now put a consistent back four together and that will only add to the stability in the team.'

One player due to return from injury is club-record signing Gaston Ramirez.

The Uruguayan has been missing for five weeks with a thigh injury after his summer move from Bologna but Adkins is hoping he can unleash the 21-year-old at the Hawthorns on Monday night.