Tag Archives: loser

Bernie Ecclestone says Sebastian Vettel was right to overtake Mark Webber in Malaysian Grand Prix

Vettel was right to pass team-mate Webber, says Ecclestone after Malaysia controversy

By
Sunni Upal

PUBLISHED:

18:46 GMT, 27 March 2013

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UPDATED:

23:40 GMT, 27 March 2013

Formula one chief Bernie Ecclestone has backed three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel and said the German was right to ignore team orders and pass Mark Webber to win the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Webber led his Red Bull team-mate Vettel on Sunday before being told to turn his engine down, save his tyres and coast to victory in Sepang.

But world champion Vettel defied team orders and squeezed past Webber on the pit straight in the dying stages to win the race.

Tight: Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders and squeezed past Mark Webber to win in Malaysia

Tight: Sebastian Vettel ignored team orders and squeezed past Mark Webber to win in Malaysia

Authority: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone

Authority: Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone

Vettel later admitted he was wrong to
pass Webber, but Ecclestone disagreed and claimed that the German did
not undermine team principal Christian Horner by ignoring the radio
messages.

He told Sky Sports News:
'If I was Sebastian Vettel, having won three world championships with
the team, and somebody came on the radio to me and started giving me
instructions I’d probably do exactly the same as Kimi Raikkonen did when
he came back when they gave him some instructions the other day and say
“I know what I’m doing”.

'I don’t think he’s (Vettel) undermined
Christian’s authority at all because Christian knows exactly what should
have happened and didn’t happen.

'Put yourself in Christian’s
position. What should he now do Did he give orders in the first place
and if he did how could he then give more orders

'I think what you have to do is think
very carefully and I always say “show me a good loser and I’ll show you
a loser”. Sebastian is not a loser. Sebastian is a winner.'

Stare: The tension between Webber and Vettel on the podium was clear for all to see

Stare: The tension between Webber and Vettel on the podium was clear for all to see

Ecclestone also laughed off any suggestions that Red Bull would suspend Vettel from racing in the next grand prix in China.

He said: 'Leave Sebastian out No I
don’t think I’d give that any consideration! I’d say to Sebastian,
“Sebastian – just don’t make me look an idiot”.'

The Formula One boss does, however,
believe Vettel and Webber can race as team-mates again after speculation
that the Aussie was considering his future with the team.

Ecclestone said: 'Yes, of course they will, obviously they will. I don’t know about (beyond 2013).'

Tension: Webber refused to celebrate with his team-mate on the podium

Tension: Webber refused to celebrate with his team-mate on the podium

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole loses Rafa Benitez"s bowling game in Japan

Cheque please! Ashley Cole becomes team waiter after losing Rafa's bowling trip

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UPDATED:

08:13 GMT, 13 December 2012

One week after being skittled out of the Champions League, Rafa Benitez organised a ten-pin bowling expedition for his Chelsea players with Ashley Cole among those to suffer in the unforgiving lanes of Yokohama.

Benitez hatched the Japanese bowling trip to help his players bond and fight the jet-lag ahead of their debut in the FIFA Club World Cup. Players and staff split into small groups with the worst bowlers being made to wait on tables for their team-mates.

'It wasn’t really about who won, it was about who lost,' revealed Gary Cahill, who performed better than left-back Cole. 'Whoever lost had to serve the dinner at the hotel. It was Ashley in our group.'

Loser: Ashley Cole was forced to wait on his teammates after losing the bowling tournament

Loser: Ashley Cole was forced to wait on his teammates after losing the bowling tournament

He added: 'There were about six of us and he was waiting on us. I have to say, he’s a better left-back than a waiter. I think the only tip anyone gave him was: “Don’ t do it again”.

'Everyone played, including the manager. There were a few strikes and the standard was alright, actually. I’d describe myself as an average bowler. It was a bit of team bonding, a chance to get the lads together and then we had some food.

'It was good because aside from that, we’ve just been preparing for the games. This has given us an opportunity because we’re all away together for a few days and once you’ve trained, there’s nothing on.

'That’s been the only thing really. We’re not here on holiday. We’re here for a reason. We’re here to prepare for the game. But we’ve had a bit of down time when we first came and it was good to get out for an hour instead of going stir-crazy in the hotel.'

Chelsea will get down to business on Thursday when they face Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final

Chelsea will get down to business on Thursday when they face Monterrey in the Club World Cup semi-final

Benitez also wanted to guard against jet-lag and feared if the players had free time in the evening they would spend the evening snoozing, settling into the wrong sleep patterns for a team who will launch their campaign on Thursday against Monterrey, of Mexico.

'I was here in 2005 and we knew we had to do something to keep the players busy because if not they go to sleep,' said Benitez, the first manager to lead three different teams into the Club World Cup.

'When they are thinking they need to go to sleep, we had to organise some activities to keep them ready. The majority understand they have to do it. Each person is different. For most people it is not the main thing but for a player who has to compete, sleep is really important.'

Relaxed: Juan Mata and Frank Lampard have some fun in training at the Yokohama International Stadium

Relaxed: Juan Mata and Frank Lampard have some fun in training at the Yokohama International Stadium

English teams have suffered similar problems in the past. When Liverpool were in Tokyo for the Toyota Cup final against Flamengo in December 1981, some players were struggling to sleep on the eve of the game and they went to a nearby driving range for 30 minutes to hit some golf balls. It did not help as they were beaten next day by the Brazilians.

Despite their early exit from this year’s Champions League, this tournament has rekindled memories of Chelsea’s victory in Munich in May, as did Didier Drogba’ s decision to buy “Superbowl” style commemorative rings for his team-mates and staff at a personal cost thought to be around 800,000.

'It was an amazing surprise,' said Cahill. 'I had no idea when he came in and called us all together. I was very touched. It was extremely generous for a start because it was his idea and no-one needs to go out and do that. Not just for us for the staff as well.

'It shows what his character is. He is a great lad. It reminds us of what a great achievement it was. He said that's why he did it, so that none of us forget what a huge achievement it was.

'It’s something I'll keep for the rest of my life but I’m not sure it’s a ring I’d wear. I'm not flashy. It’s more of a memento. It's personal and individual to every player and something you want to save.'

Ronnie OSullivan set for Crucible comeback

Rocket's return: O'Sullivan set for re-entry at the worlds after break

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UPDATED:

23:44 GMT, 4 December 2012

Ronnie O’Sullivan is considering an early return to defend his world snooker title at The Crucible.

‘The Rocket’, who is 37 on Wednesday, withdrew from the rest of the current campaign last month, citing personal issues.

However, since then, O’Sullivan has held more talks with World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn and the governing body will give him until February to sign up for April’s blue-riband event.

Comeback Ronnie O'Sullivan could return for the world Championships

Comeback Ronnie O'Sullivan could return for the world Championships

Hearn said: ‘I have said to Ronnie that the only tournament for us if he wanted to change his mind — and that is not unknown — is the world championship.

‘One thing that will not have escaped Ronnie’s attention, because he loves his sport, is how uncompetitive Ricky Hatton was on his return.

‘He is not going to play for first-round loser’s money, or come back to the stage he has graced and given so much pleasure to get embarrassed.’

Martin O"Neill stayed at Tony Pulis" house after last season"s game

O'Neill sleeping with the enemy: Pulis gave Sunderland boss a room for the night during snow storm

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UPDATED:

22:03 GMT, 26 October 2012

Martin O’Neill and Tony Pulis make very unlikely flatmates.

But Sunderland boss O'Neill has revealed that the managerial pair were forced to share the Stoke manager’s house after last season’s clash at the Britannia Stadium because snowstorms blocked his route to his family in London.

Sunderland won the game thanks to James McClean’s winner, so perhaps it is no wonder Pulis refused to watched Match of the Day with his opposite number. The pair had also clashed on their different interpretations of a David Meyler tackle in Sunderland’s 1-0 win.

Looking for a win: Martin O'Neill is hoping Sunderland can repeat last season's result and beat Stoke

Looking for a win: Martin O'Neill is hoping Sunderland can repeat last season's result and beat Stoke

O’Neill said: 'I didn't mean to stay at
his house. Do you really think I wanted to, particularly after we’d won
the game If it wasn’t for my dodgy knee, I’d have walked home.

'I was heading to London to see my daughters and I was getting a lift with his coach Gerry Francis his coach, who said he would take me to the station, but we couldn't get out of the snow and were stuck for about two hours so we trudged back to the ground and Gerry and I stayed with Tony. We didn’t get there until late because of the snow.

'We didn't entertain ourselves very well. Tony's not a great loser so we didn't watch Match of the Day together. Would I be sat there shouting at the TV as we won the game as McClean skipped in and put the ball in the net No. The TV was conveniently switched off.

Come in: Tony Pulis put a roof over O'Neill's head last season

Come in: Tony Pulis put a roof over O'Neill's head last season

'Tony's ok but that length of time with him is too much for me, however much I like him. I do have a lot of time for him because he's done very well at Stoke.

'It's a tough old job. He got them promoted and they were expected to struggle but he kept them up and got them to a cup final and the Europa League. It's been a great time for them in the last couple of years, and they'll be ok regardless of the set of results they get.’

O’Neill would take a repeat of that scoreline as he looks for his side to find some form and momentum after an unconvincing start to the season which has seen them lose only one game, to champions Manchester City, but score just six goals – five from Steven Fletcher.

Battle: James McClean and Sunderland fought back from a goal down to earn a draw against Newcastle in their last game

Battle: James McClean and Sunderland fought back from a goal down to earn a draw against Newcastle in their last game

He has a full strength squad for the first time this season and automatic choices Adam Johnson, Stephane Sessegnon and James McClean are under pressure to start producing after an unexpectedly quiet start to the season.

The form of 10million England winger Johnson is the biggest mystery but O’ Neill is certain the 25-year-old will start to find his feet and his form on Wearside soon.

The Sunderland manager added: `When he arrived his opening game against Morecambe was fantastic then we travelled down to Swansea and he couldn't really get into it. Since then he's been away with England, got injured, came back with a niggling thigh injury and missed games.

'There's nothing more annoying to have those kind of injuries and that's had some sort of effect but once he has a run of games, he'll be fine.

'Coming here and maybe feeling that he's expected to win games on his own could have affected him. That's a thought, it's not necessarily something he'd believe but that's something he should concern himself less with if it is.

'You come here and you want to do well for yourself and the club and prove that he's a really good player. I'll always want to have flair players in my side if I can.

'Trevor Francis did it when he arrived at Forest for 1m. He was a great player but still very anxious when he arrived to prove to everybody that he was worth the money and he just turned out to be brilliant.

'I think all of those things will happen. I genuinely don't have a major problem with it. When I'm talking about anxiety I'm talking about the fact he wants to please and do well. He's a favourite here with the fans.'

Anne Keothavong loses to Marina Erakovic in first round of Texas Open

First round defeat in Dallas sends British No 2 Keothavong packing

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UPDATED:

09:34 GMT, 21 August 2012

Anne Keothavong bowed out to New Zealand's Marina Erakovic in the first round of the Texas Open after losing a final-set tie-break.

The British No 2, 80th in the world rankings, looked poised to earn a fine win over the 54th-ranked Erakovic in Dallas after leading by a break of serve in the deciding set.

But she gave the break back and Croatia-born Erakovic, who at 24 is four years Keothavong's junior, edged through 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (11/9).

Out: Keothavong had looked in control in the deciding set

Out: Keothavong had looked in control in the deciding set

Erakovic later teamed up with British No 1 Heather Watson in doubles and the pair got the better of Elizabeth Lumpkin and Yasmin Schnack, overcoming the little-known American pair 6-2, 2-6, 10-8.

Britain's Emily Webley-Smith was handed a late call for the tournament, entering as a lucky loser when German top seed Angelique Kerber withdrew today due to a minor shoulder injury.

Webley-Smith did not last long though, beaten 6-1, 6-2 by Croatian qualifier Mirjana Lucic.

London 2012 Olympics: Beach volleyball crowd need drug testing – Des Kelly

Olympic diary: Drug testing needed for hyperactive beach volleyball crowd

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UPDATED:

21:30 GMT, 29 July 2012

What the sport of beach volleyball needs to introduce if it wants credibility is a vigorous programme of drug testing. Not for the competitors, but for everyone else in the stadium.

I went along to the magnificent Horse Guards’ Parade location half expecting the audience to be dotted with potential candidates for the sex offenders’ register, wearing bottle- bottom glasses and with anoraks on their laps.

Instead, I found a wild-eyed crowd behaving as if they had simultaneously overdosed on E-numbers, caffeine, anti-depressants, beer and more beer.

Spectacle: Dancers perform in the stands during a beach volleyball match

Spectacle: Dancers perform in the stands during a beach volleyball match

More from Des Kelly…

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27/07/12

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Des Kelly: I swear, it should not have come to this
13/07/12

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There is no doubt, if you want noisy, almost inexplicable levels of happy-clappy glee from a paying public then this is the place to be. When the British teams were on court this weekend, the place was a permanent Mexican wave. At times it made darts night at Alexandra Palace look serene.

But beach volleyball should really be classified as an endurance event, since the main challenge is to endure the endless SHOUTING from the stadium announcers.

Even when a point is being played the people on the public address seem to regard this as an unwelcome interruption in the true business of the day —which is listening to them yell at eardrum bursting volume.

The male announcer bellows: ‘LONDON! ARE YOU READY’

Crowd: ‘Yay!’

Announcer: ‘I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LONDON, ARRRRE YOOO READY’

This happens approximately every minute, so I assume the announcer is only unable to hear because he is deaf from his own shouting. But I am certainly ‘ready’. Ready to rip the PA man’s larynx out with my bare hands and feed it to the swans on the nearby Serpentine.

Incredibly, the female co-announcer is worse. Between points someone called ‘Charlie’ shrieks about ‘TEEEM GEEE BEEE’ with a dead-eyed smile that suggests an inner loathing, before trying to coerce the crowd to start a conga. But they are far too busy doing their endless Mexican Wave.

With the Benny Hill theme playing and young dancers writhing up on the sidelines, the whole beach scene resembles a nightmare spin off of ‘Take Me Out’ on ITV2. And when the PA man encourages the crowd to ‘Get the clap going’, I wondered if Paddy McGuinness had missed his true vocation.

But rather than storm the commentary
booth and beat the announcers to death, the crowd buy into this,
possibly because they know it will be the only time they will experience
the ‘sport’, or because they are all drugged up on Nurofen. Either way,
they cheer absolutely everything.

Best of British: Zara Dampney (left) and Shauna Mullin got the host nation off to a good start

Best of British: Zara Dampney (left) and Shauna Mullin got the host nation off to a good start

Announcer: ‘Let’s hear it for THE FIRST OFFICIAL!’

Crowd: ‘Yay.’

Announcer: ‘Here come the GUYS THAT RAKE THE SAND!’

Crowd: ‘Yay.’

Announcer: ‘LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE RAKE!’

The game itself doesn’t need the forced ‘atmosphere’. Although it remains ludicrous that this is an Olympic sport rather than some Californian holiday activity, beach volleyball can be entertaining.

The men’s game is more athletic and competitive than the women’s. And although the Team GB — sorry, TEEEM GEEE BEEE! — duo of John Garcia Thompson and Steve Grotowski lost to Canada, the din was such it was almost possible to ignore the fact that Britain’s men had just been defeated at a beach sport by a nation that mostly consists of glacial ice sheets.

They were even times in the first set when GB looked like they had a shout. It was just never as loud as the announcer’s.

The men are rarely mentioned because the women wear bikinis and that’s all anyone appears to care about. I might find that exciting, too. But not right now. I’m afraid I have a headache.

LYCRA LADS' NEW RECRUIT

Mark Cavendish might have failed to deliver gold on Saturday, but Lizzie Armitstead brought home silver 24 hours later to ensure the country’s love affair with two-wheels will continue to grow.

Some estimates claim the number of people cycling in London is up by 150 per cent since 2002. But is the host city of the 2012 Games genuinely ‘cycle friendly’

The best way to find out was to climb on a ‘Boris Bike’ and ride from east London to the road race
finish on The Mall. So I pulled on some unnervingly tight cycling shorts, a Team GB shirt and a
cycle helmet. Improved aerodynamics boost speed, which is why you never see a hairy Formula One car, but I drew the line at shaving my legs to reduce wind resistance like the professionals.

Contrasting fortunes: Mark Cavendish was out of luck (above) but Lizzie Armitstead won silver (below)

Contrasting fortunes: Mark Cavendish was out of luck (above) but Lizzie Armitstead won silver (below)

Britain's Elizabeth Armitstead holds her silver medal during the victory ceremony for the women's cycling road race

I can only assume this body hair explains why I was unbelievably slow. Or it could have been the
Boris bike, a brilliant innovation that you can hire for 1 a day from docking stations all over
the capital. But to ensure the contraptions are never stolen, they have been made entirely of lead and weigh more than a steam locomotive.

Inconveniently, there are no bike docking stations near the Olympic Stadium. Probably because the bank that sponsors the scheme are not part of the Olympic ‘family’.

I rode in from nearby Victoria Park instead, taking in the sights, carbon monoxide, choking black diesel fumes and dodging vans when a bus wasn’t inches from my rear mudguard.

On the way, I was pleased to note New Cavendish Street has a cycle lane and a specialist shop. And I can confirm London is getting better for bikes. It truly is a cycling city when the centre of the city is closed off entirely for the Olympics.

DAILY X-RAY

My five-inch replica of the Big Ben clock tower makes it through the scanners. This pointy souvenir could be used to poke politicians out of glad-handing photographs with any British medal winner.

Long wait: The media queue to get through security at the Olympics

Long wait: The media queue to get through security at the Olympics

DAILY MOAN

Beach volleyball players say squirrels are causing problems by burying acorns in the sand at Horse Guards Parade. They should give thanks they aren’t playing on an actual beach near London. The dogs bury far worse at Southend. Then they’d have a real problem.

Let"s hear it if you"re British – Des Kelly

Let's hear it if you're British

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UPDATED:

22:46 GMT, 27 July 2012

Let's get this straight. Everyone representing Great Britain during this Olympics is participating in a form of national service, whether they like it or not.

It’s not military duty, of course, and I wouldn’t be so crass as to draw a direct parallel, not when men and women fresh from postings in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere are around us at the Olympic Park helping the spectacle of the 2012 Games to take place.

But the phrase 'national service' has meaning and relevance in a sporting context too, since every single one of the athletes draping themselves in the Union flag over the course of the next 16 days is representing this nation. And that honour carries with it certain expectations and responsibilities.

Silent minority: Neil Taylor (left) and Ryan Giggs (right) stay mum as Jack Butland belts it out

Silent minority: Neil Taylor (left) and Ryan Giggs (right) stay mum as Jack Butland belts it out

More from Des Kelly…

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15/06/12

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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

The first is to show some respect for the flag they are here to represent. And one of the ways to do that is to sing the anthem.

The sight of Welsh players standing there tight-lipped as the camera panned along the line of the British football team at Old Trafford on Thursday night was embarrassing. It was rude, dispiriting and out of keeping with the Olympian spirit.

This is a quite simple scenario. If you’re British enough to wear the Team GB badge and represent Britain at the Olympic Games then you should be British enough to sing the National Anthem.

That just happens to be God Save The Queen. So sing it. Of course, if any Welshman or woman, any Scot or Northern Irish soul decides in a private capacity they are unwilling to do this, they are perfectly entitled to that view. One of the great freedoms this country offers is the freedom to say parts of it stink. I actually think the anthem is a bit of a dirge. See

But when you elect to represent the United Kingdom of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the world stage any claim to be ambivalent about the concept of Team GB disappears.

I’m staggered the Welsh players — and Ryan Giggs in particular —even put themselves in such an ignoble position. Their little gesture of silent protest was clearly pre-planned. So if coach Stuart Pearce knew in advance Giggs and Co had some kind of ‘issue’ with the anthem, then the Manchester United player should never have been chosen to captain the side in the first place.

As for the skipper, if the anthem really is such an ordeal to him, perhaps Giggs might also like to review the honour he received from the Queen in December of 2007 and stick his OBE in the post back to Mrs E Windsor c/o Buckingham Palace, London.

The idea that anyone is turning up for the Olympics on sufferance or with conditions attached to their participation is infuriating. Appearing at the London Olympics for Britain is an extraordinary privilege.

What on earth was the point of
standing there like a dummy while the anthem played anyway As gestures
of dissent go, it was fairly puerile. It was hardly a Black Power salute
circa 1968. And, the last time I checked, the Welsh were not an overtly
oppressed race these days. If that were the case, Robbie Savage would
not be allowed on television.

The posturing from our women
footballers was equally preposterous. Two Scots, Kim Little and Ifeoma
Dieke, refused to join in with God Save The Queen before their midweek
victory over New Zealand.

Little told a radio interviewer: ‘I
personally probably won’t sing (the National Anthem) but we’ll be
standing there proud to represent the country. It’s just a personal
choice for me.’

For whom the Bell tolls: The Liverpool striker bagged the goal for Team GB

For whom the Bell tolls: The Liverpool striker bagged the goal for Team GB

For whom the Bell tolls: The Liverpool striker bagged the goal for Team GB

Someone should explain to Little that she has already made her personal choice. She could have stayed away; she could have chosen to stick with her Scottish allegiance rather than see it subsumed into Team GB. But, no, Little chose to be part of the team. So she should behave like part of the team.

This doesn’t often happen in other sports. The Welsh members of the women’s hockey team have no issue with the anthem. I cannot recall any dissent among the Scots in the cycling. Is football unique in its tribal arrogance

Backing up Becks

Did you see what Paul McCartney had to say
about the absence of David Beckham from the Olympic football team

The 70-year-old ex-Beatle complained: 'Some
person somewhere said: “so-and-so's playing better” – like it matters. I thought Beckham would be first choice. But some idiot decided otherwise.'

And so a showbiz star, that used to be in a decent team but has since left their best days behind them, stood up for another showbiz star, that used to be in a decent team but has since left their best days behind them. It’s the circle of celebrity life.

Yes, there are English footballers who
have declined to sing the anthem in the past. But Roy Hodgson has
changed that and even a reluctant Wayne Rooney joined in at the European
Championship.

Pearce should follow suit. No doubt some individual members of Team GB arrived at the athletes’ village under the impression they are running, jumping or throwing only for themselves. They are soon disabused of that notion.

They discover they are competing on behalf of all the proud and enthusiastic people who lined the streets for a fleeting glimpse of the Olympic torch as it passed by, regardless of wind, rain or blazing sun.

They find they are at London 2012 for the ordinary people who have scrimped and saved to buy a ticket to an event — ANY event — just so they can share in the greatest sporting occasion these isles will host in our lifetimes.

They are doing it for the tens of thousands in front of the big screens in the parks of London, Cardiff, Swansea, Edinburgh, Belfast and right across the UK; the tens of thousands in the stadia; the millions tuning in across the nation and the billions more watching around the globe. That is why the British public will cheer on competitors they might not know, in sports they don’t fully comprehend, as if they were rooting for a member of their family.

They are a part of Team GB too. That is the burden the lucky 541 who make up our Olympic team must bear.

Pegged back: Senegal left it late to equalise and share the spoils at Old Trafford

Pegged back: Senegal left it late to equalise and share the spoils at Old Trafford

Pegged back: Senegal left it late to equalise and share the spoils at Old Trafford

But football is often too bloated with its own importance to look beyond its own interests. The whole backdrop to assembling this Team GB football squad has been a story of unashamed insularity and committee-seat-saving pettiness. It is reprehensible that the football associations of Scotland and Northern Ireland turned their backs on this opportunity.

It is also quite pathetic that Gareth Bale played for his club in a pre-season tour match rather than represent Britain at the Games.

Alive and kicking

Quite how Senegal managed to finish the 1-1 draw against Team GB with all 11 players on the field was quite a puzzle.

I hear the International Olympic Committee plan to apologise to Stuart Pearce’s men for the relentless kicking they received.

The explanation is they accidentally sent a referee to Old Trafford who was supposed to be in charge of the taekwondo.

No doubt he was pressured by his club,
and Tottenham’s huffy statement that he merely recovered from a back
injury a bit earlier than expected did nothing to quell the general
shabbiness of it all.

Bale was happy to parade in the Team GB kit before the tournament. When the crunch came, he was in America kicking a ball for his club and missing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win an Olympic medal on British soil. It’s his loss. Truly.

There will be heroes at London 2012. There will be inspiring stories. For a couple of weeks, let us hope the football becomes an integral part of the spectacle that unites so much of Britain, rather than a sideshow that makes us cringe.

A billboard slogan on the way to the Olympic Park summed it up rather well for me. It is a message Giggs and the rest might like to remember. It said: ‘The eyes of the world are on London. Try to look good.’

It certainly does look wonderful. The park is stunning. The arenas are magnificent. Lord Coe has fashioned a wonderful stage for the Olympics. Now it is up to the athletes and the competitors of Team GB to make the 2012 Games a success. And give us plenty to sing about along the way, too.

Battle of Old Trafford: Team GB were on the end of some robust challenges from Senegal

Battle of Old Trafford: Team GB were on the end of some robust challenges from Senegal

Oh no, not the working class

One broadsheet columnist had a severe attack of the vapours this week.

The panic attack was induced by a worry that last night's Opening Ceremony was – and allow me to quote directly – 'in danger of becoming a little too, well, working class'.

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Click her for more musings: @DesKelly

Thankfully, I hear his servants were on hand. They swiftly carried the correspondent to his 16th-century giltwood fainting couch, where he was fed chilled chamomile tea through a pipette and fanned vigorously until his senses were becalmed.

For heaven’s sake, who let the working class into east London

And why didn’t they warn the Daily Telegraph first The great unwashed appear to be swarming all over the Olympic Park (which was something they took great care to avoid in Beijing). Many of the interlopers may not be Oxbridge graduates either. Some have ‘community college’ written all over them.

Other ‘working class’ types are here in military uniform; others provide first aid or serve food and drink. They’re everywhere. How is this delicate soul going to survive Do intravenous drips of antiseptic hand gel exist

East End heroes: Some people claimed the Opening Ceremony would be too working class

East End heroes: Some people claimed the Opening Ceremony would be too working class

Give her gold now

The Malaysian woman, Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi, makes her Olympic debut this weekend in one of the shooting competitions. I mention this because there is a significant detail to add. She is eight months pregnant.

Does anyone else think it might be unwise to hand a heavily pregnant woman a firearm I’m no expert in this field, but at the eight-month stage it is an established scientific fact that around 97 percent of a female’s bloodstream consists of neat hormones.

Rational discussion is not an option. It is like negotiating with a grizzly bear. Random demands are issued, such as ‘I want a lemon curd, anchovy and toothpaste toastie — and I want it RIGHT NOW!’, often while sobbing, laughing and throwing a plate at the wall at the same time. And we’re still going to allow this woman to wander around London 2012 with a gun

Mum's the word: Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi is eight months pregnant

Mum's the word: Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi is eight months pregnant

Eddie Izzard becomes Crystal Palace associate director

Heard the one about the comic and the football team Izzard named Palace associate director

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UPDATED:

15:39 GMT, 16 July 2012

Crystal Palace have made the funniest signing of the summer after stand-up comedian and actor Eddie Izzard became an associate director of the Championship club.

Izzard has been a Palace fan for over 40 years and is relishing his new role at Selhurst Park.

'I am very happy to lend my support to Crystal Palace FC by becoming an associate director of the club,' said Izzard.

Loyal: Associate director Eddie Izzard has supported Crystal Palace since 1969

Loyal: Associate director Eddie Izzard has supported Crystal Palace since 1969

'With Dougie Freedman as our manager and the new young players coming up through our academy – I hope that Crystal Palace will be pushing forward to new heights with all of them succeeding to the best of their ability – and further.

'All I really want is for Crystal Palace to win every game from now until the end of time. That's all. I know that's a tough thing to ask but that really is what I want.

'You see, I've been a fan or a supporter of Palace since 1969. At times I've been a fan and at times I've been just a supporter because I'm afraid I'm a bad loser and if we don't win games – I don't deal with it well.

The man in charge: Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman

The man in charge: Crystal Palace boss Dougie Freedman

'I tend to swear in front of children and shout at televisions in pubs. I know everyone has to deal with this and I've tried to mature my behaviour as my life has progressed, but in this one area I am still like the teenager I was in the 70s, living and dying every week for the football games I was playing myself or watching Palace play.

'So I have circled the idea of trying to do something to help Palace for years and now I'm in. What I can actually do – I'm not sure. But if you know anything about me, I am a determined b****** and I don't like to give in.'

Phil Alexander, chief executive of the Eagles, said: 'I am delighted that Eddie has signed up to be an associate director at Palace. He is an iconic entertainer and we hope that he can find enough time during his busy year to attend as many games as possible.'

Wimbledon 2012: Josh Goodall beaten by Grega Zemlja in first round

First Brit crashes out as Goodall is beaten by Zemlja in first round

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 25 June 2012

Josh Goodall suffered the disappointment of becoming the first British player to exit Wimbledon this year as he slipped to a first-round defeat against Grega Zemlja.

The 26-year-old from Basingstoke was the first of five home hopes to take to the grass on the opening day of this year's Championships but, despite moments of promise, left Court Three as the first loser, going down 6-4 3-6 7-6 (7/3) 6-4.

Playing on a wild card for the fourth time in his career, Goodall had the chance to prove there is more to the British game than Andy Murray against an opponent who had only made the second round once prior to today.

Brave fight: Britain's Josh Goodall went down in four sets to Slovenia's Grega Zemlja

Brave fight: Britain's Josh Goodall went down in four sets to Slovenia's Grega Zemlja

But he fell short, especially after losing a third-set tie-break.

This was his first appearance at the tournament, and came after a three-year absence. With a healthy crowd behind him, Goodall would have been forgiven for starting tentatively. He was anything but, though, serving with aggression and not losing a point on his delivery until the fifth game.

However, Zemlja was proving durable at the other end, especially when it came to rallying, and he broke in the ninth game when Goodall netted and duly served out the set.

The second set started as the first had, with both men serving hard – with the only early chance being Zemlja spurning two third-game break points. Having stayed in the set, Goodall then struck a blow, breaking in the eighth game when he forced Zemlja to spoon a forehand wide, before serving out himself.

Buoyed by his second-set performance, Goodall was impressive at the start of the third, breaking early thanks to a fine service return, only to concede the advantage in the very next game. Serve then held sway through to a tie-break, in which Zemlja was given a welcome leg-up by two Goodall double faults.

After his early promise, it seemed Goodall's spirit had been broken in the tie-break and that showed at the start of the fourth set, with Zemlja taking an early 2-1 lead with a break teed up by a looping forehand winner.

Goodall did his best to force a way back in but, with Zemlja having earned the chance to win he was not going to squander it easily and served the match out.

French Open 2012: Laura Robson loses to Anabel Medina

Robson becomes latest British casualty at French Open after Medina Garrigues defeat

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UPDATED:

10:55 GMT, 28 May 2012

Laura Robson could not make the most of her second chance at the French Open as she was beaten 6-2 6-1 by 29th seed Anabel Medina Garrigues in the first round.

The 18-year-old Londoner lost from match point up in the final round of qualifying on Friday but was given a place as a lucky loser when Silvia Soler-Espinosa pulled out with an ankle injury.

She could certainly have been put into the draw in an easier spot, though, with Medina Garrigues one of the best players around on clay. Indeed, the 29-year-old's 10 titles on the surface are the most of any active player.

Over and out: Laura Robson lost to Anabel Medina Garigues in Paris

Over and out: Laura Robson lost to Anabel Medina Garigues in Paris

The first three games got away from Robson, playing her first French Open as a senior, pretty quickly but she dug in well and began to match her opponent.

The 18-year-old's natural power must be the envy of many players ranked significantly higher and she pushed Medina Garrigues, twice creating chances to retrieve the break. But she could not take them and another break gave the Spaniard the first set.

End of the road: Robson was unable to take advantage of being a lucky loser

End of the road: Robson was unable to take advantage of being a lucky loser

Robson needed a steady start to the second set but again she was broken early and, after missing two more break points in the third game, she began to get a little bit wild.

She at least avoided a love set, holding serve at 5-0 down, but the end was swift in coming, Medina Garrigues repeating her straight-sets victory over Robson in the second round of the US Open last year.