Tag Archives: maloney

Goal of the season – Premier League contenders so far

After wonder goals from Lowton and Remy, Sportsmail picks the contenders (so far…) for the Premier League's goal of the season

PUBLISHED:

10:49 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 8 April 2013

Forget the title race or the fight to avoid relegation, here's one competition that pretty much all football fans can enjoy – goal of the season.

It may only be the first week of April, but screamers from Matthew Lowton and Loic Remy at the weekend will definitely be contenders.

Super strike I: Matthew Lowton fires home his volley for Villa at Stoke

Super strike I: Matthew Lowton fires home his volley for Villa at Stoke

Super strike II: Loic Remy crashes home the ball in QPR's draw with Wigan

Super strike II: Loic Remy crashes home the ball in QPR's draw with Wigan

Lowton's sumptuous late volley at Stoke breathed life into Aston Villa's battle to stay up on Saturday.

And Remy fired home a rocket from the edge of the box to give fellow strugglers QPR hope before Shaun Maloney's equaliser at the death.

Let's hope there are further contenders in the climax to the season – but, for now, Sportsmail's team of experts nominate their favourite of the campaign so far.

*Who would you vote for Explain your choice at the bottom of the article…

NEIL ASHTON

Gareth Bale – West Ham 2 TOTTENHAM 3 (February 24, 2013)

Special players score goals at important moment, living with the pressure and winning games for their team with top class finishes when others are fading. Bale did just that when he won this fixture for Spurs at West Ham with a top quality strike from outside the area. His celebrations with Andre Villas-Boas on the touchline were even better.

SAMI MOKBEL

Gareth Bale has got quite a collection to choose from this season – but this is right up there. Final minute. 30 yards. Left foot. Bang. Three points.

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas

Rocket: Gareth Bale scores at West Ham before celebrating with Andre Villas-Boas
DOMINIC KING

Leighton Baines – Newcastle 1 EVERTON 2 (January 3, 2013)

An absolute humdinger from the best left-back in the country, his effort from 30 yards dipped, swerved and sped past Tim Krul before he realised what had happened. Great technique and phenomenal power. Eclipses Luis Suarez's stunning control and deft finish against the same opponents at Anfield in November.

Rocket: Leighton Baines crashes the ball home from 30 yards at Newcastle

Rocket: Leighton Baines crashes the ball home from 30 yards at Newcastle

SIMON CASS

Luis Suarez – LIVERPOOL 1 Newcastle 1 (November 4, 2013)

Luis Suarez’s equaliser against Newcastle back in November will take some beating. The Uruguayan plucks Luis Enrique’s long ball out of the air, holds of Fabricio Coloccini before taking a touch to go past Tim Krul to roll it into the net. Genius.

Control: Luis Suarez bamboozles the Newcastle defence to score this wonder goal

Control: Luis Suarez bamboozles the Newcastle defence to score this wonder goal

SAM CUNNINGHAM

Dimitar Berbatov – FULHAM 1 Stoke 0 (February 23, 2013)

This goal was everything that sums up the nonchalant Bulgarian – class, quality, precision, technique, grace. He was standing just inside the box on the right when a defensive header dropped from the sky. The ball plummeted 20-30 metres, a distance your average armchair fan would struggle to even control the ball from, and Berbatov stroked it into the top corner from just inside the box on the right.

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

Eyes on the ball: Dimitar Berbatov volleys home against Stoke at Craven Cottage

CHRIS WHEELER

Cameron Jerome – STOKE 3 Southampton 3 (December 29, 2012)

Jerome's blockbusting 90th-minute equaliser was stunning – if it wasn’t for the net, this one would still be travelling now.

Salute: Cameron Jerome celebrates his stunning last-minute goal for Stoke

Salute: Cameron Jerome celebrates his stunning last-minute goal for Stoke

JOHN EDWARDS

Loic Remy – QPR 1 Wigan 1 (April 7, 2013)

It has to be Remy, for one simple reason. While Lowton’s goal was spectacular, Remy’s had an air of wonder, bordering on mystique, about it. We’ve had any number of brilliantly-executed volleys down the years, but never, as far as I can recall, a first-time side-foot shot on the run from 20 yards hit with such power, it was past the keeper before he could move. Like Paolo Di Canio’s airborne effort against Wimbledon, it left you shaking your head and wondering exactly how he did it.

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ADAM SHERGOLD

Robin van Persie – MANCHESTER UNITED 3 Fulham 2 (August 25, 2012)

What a way to introduce yourself. A cross in from the left, a step in front of the defender and, in one fluid movement and without even looking at the goal, the ball is swept home. It was a goal that said: ‘I’m worth every penny and I’m here to get your title back.’ And how he has.

Touch: Robin van Persie directs the ball home in United's win over Fulham

Touch: Robin van Persie directs the ball home in United's win over Fulham

MIKE ANSTEAD

Papiss Cisse – NEWCASTLE 4 Southampton 2 (February 24, 2013)

Cisse has now scored a few belters for Newcastle. He likes to drop the odd cracker in among his finishes inside the six-yard box. This goal reminded me of Alan Shearer in his Newcastle pomp, lashing it home from 25 yards.

Sealed with a kiss: Cisse celebrates his stunner against Southampton

Sealed with a kiss: Cisse celebrates his stunner against Southampton

MATT FORTUNE

Theo Walcott – ARSENAL 7 Newcastle 3 (December 29, 2012)

It's not the tidiest, the most sweetly struck, or skilful, but for the befuddlement I still feel when watching it back, Walcott's hat-trick goal saw him tie two players in knots by the touchline, trip over his own feet on entry to the box, somehow slide on his knees practically through the legs of another, take out a fourth, jump to his feet and scoop the ball from a narrowing angle into the top corner.

Joyous: Theo Walcott wheels away after completing his hat-trick against Newcastle

Joyous: Theo Walcott wheels away after completing his hat-trick against Newcastle

ALEX KAY

Michael Kightly – Manchester United 4 STOKE 2 (October 20, 2012)

The former Wolves man doesn’t always get a game for Stoke but his run from the halfway line at Old Trafford was phenomenal and one he will remember for the rest of his career. There was a slightly lucky bobble along the way but the finish was excellent.

LUKE BENEDICT

Matthew Lowton – Stoke 1 ASTON VILLA 3 (April 6, 2013)

For the patience to wait for the ball to drop on to his foot despite two Stoke players closing down fast, for the vision to shoot on goal given the magnitude of the match and just how far out he was, then finally for the technical ability to actually pull it off. Can you imagine the fuss if Messi had scored it

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QPR 1 Wigan 1 – match report

QPR 1 Wigan 1: Dramatic Maloney strike denies 10-man hosts after Remy's wonder goal

PUBLISHED:

17:05 GMT, 7 April 2013

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UPDATED:

17:19 GMT, 7 April 2013

Shaun Maloney's stunning late free-kick earned Wigan a dramatic draw against 10-man QPR as Harry Redkannp's men were denied a crucial three points in their bid to beat the drop.

The home side were reduced to 10 men in the first half when Bobby Zamora was sent off for a high kick on Jordi Gomez but French striker Loic Remy looked to have won the game for QPR when he produced produced a sublime finish at the end of an 85th-minute counter-attack.

But Maloney's free-kick in injury time rescued a point for Roberto Martinez's men.

More to follow

Drama: Shaun Maloney's late free-kick rescued a draw for Wigan at Loftus Road

Drama: Shaun Maloney's late free-kick rescued a draw for Wigan at Loftus Road

MATCH FACTS

QPR: Julio Cesar, Bosingwa, Samba, Hill, Traore (Onuoha 46), Townsend, Jenas, Mbia, Hoilett (Taarabt 56), Remy (Mackie 88), Zamora.

Subs Not Used: Green, Park, Granero, Ben Haim.

Sent Off: Zamora (21).

Booked: Remy, Samba.

Goals: Remy 85.

Wigan: Robles, Alcaraz, Scharner, Figueroa (Espinoza 88), Boyce, McCarthy, Gomez, Beausejour (McArthur 61), McManaman (Di Santo 67), Kone, Maloney.

Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Caldwell, Henriquez, Stam.

Booked: McCarthy, Alcaraz, Figueroa.

Goals: Maloney 90.

Att: 16,658

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

Click for the latest Premier League table, results and fixtures

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez

High: Bobby Zamora was sent off in the first half for this kick on Jordi Gomez


Uproar: QPR players surround referee Phil Dowd after Zamora's challenge

Uproar: QPR players surround referee Phil Dowd after Zamora's challenge


Red: Dowd shows Zamora the exit after sending the striker off

Red: Dowd shows Zamora the exit after sending the striker off


Ahead: Loic Remy celebrates his late goal with team-mate Stephane Mbia after putting QPR 1-0 up

Ahead: Loic Remy celebrates his late goal with team-mate Stephane Mbia after putting QPR 1-0 up


Delight: The QPR bench celebrate Remy's late goal

Delight: The QPR bench celebrate Remy's late goal

Remaining Premier League fixtures

QPR

Apr 13 Everton (A), 3pm
Apr 20 Stoke (H), 3pm
Apr 28 Reading (A), 1.30pm
May 4 Arsenal (H), 3pm
May 12 Newcastle (3pm)
May 19 Liverpool (A), 4pm

WIGAN

Apr 17 Man City (A), 7.45pm
Apr 20 West Ham (A), 3pm
Apr 27 Tottenham (H), 3pm
May 4 West Brom (A), 3pm
May 7 Swansea (H), 7.45pm
May 12 Arsenal (A), 3pm
May 19 Aston Villa (H), 4pm

Celebrity Big Brother: Frankie Dettori joins house

That's one way to serve your ban! Shamed jockey Dettori joins Celebrity Big Brother

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

21:19 GMT, 3 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 3 January 2013

Frankie Dettori has found a novel way to fill his time while he serves a drugs ban – by appearing in Celebrity Big Brother.

The 42-year-old is suspended until May after being sidelined following a failed test in September.

Dettori will be competing against the likes of X Factor star Rylan Clark and Steps singer Claire Richards.

Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori

Change of scenery: Frankie Dettori joined fellow contestants in the Celebrity Big Brother house

Entering to a series of cheers from
the audience, the jockey admitted he was worried his fiery
Italian personality would land him in trouble in the house.

He
said: 'I don't know if I'm going to be a good housemate. I'm very
Latin, I blow hot and cold. I get on with people, I just don't know if
they get on with me.

'I'm looking forward to 2013, it's a new
start. I'll miss nothing about the outside world. I want to win!'

Lacey Banghard

Ryan Maloney

Pleased to meet you: Lacey Banghard and Ryan Maloney (aka Toadie) have also entered the famous house

Dettori's decision to join the programme comes as a surprise after his agent ruled the jockey out last month.

Pete Burrell, who has acted for
Dettori for many years, said: 'Frankie has no plans to appear on this
show. We have not discussed it and I do not imagine we will be
discussing it.

'Frankie is out of the country for the next two months and is already looking forward to riding again in May.'

Broadcaster and former jump jockey John Francome expressed surprise that Dettori's name had been linked with the show.

He said: 'Frankie will undoubtedly benefit from a proper break from racing after more than 20 years as a jockey.

'The last thing he needs is to be locked away for ages with a load of idiots on this show.

Graham Poll verdict on Ferguson, Mancini, Redknapp moaning managers

It was a bad day for moaning managers NOT for referees (apart from two shocking decisions at QPR and Everton)

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UPDATED:

10:50 GMT, 27 December 2012

Boxing day was not a bad day for referees but an embarrassment for managers.

There were mistakes, as there always will be but only two referees were clearly at fault and yet the two top managers had outbursts which were ill-informed, incorrect and insulting.

Sir Alex Ferguson is the best and most successful manager in Premier League history and yet does not know seem to know the laws of the game. I can accept that he does not agree with them, a lot of referees don’t either, but they know them and have to apply them.

Robert Green punches the ball into his own goal after being 'fouled' on the line by Marc-Antoine Fortune

Robert Green punches the ball into his own goal after being 'fouled' on the line by Marc-Antoine Fortune


Green remonstrates with ref Chris Foy at full time after QPR lost 2-1

Green remonstrates with ref Chris Foy at full time after QPR lost 2-1

Roberto Mancini aimed a personal attack on referee Kevin Friend,
suggesting that 'he ate too much at Christmas'. This pathetic attempt to
mask Manchester City's deficiencies was about Friend’s failure to
detect a foul on Pablo Zabaleta on the touchline. That’s right – a free
kick.

In 90 minutes of play Mancini blames the referee for missing one
minor foul and does so by getting personal. I trust the FA will act and
give him a touchline ban – but don’t expect them to. Had Joe Hart made a
routine save from Adam Johnson’s shot then the free kick would have
been forgotten.

The scenes at the start of the second half at Old Trafford were less
edifying as Ferguson, clearly livid at the second Newcastle goal being
allowed to stand queried the decision with Mike Dean, then vented his
fury at Neil Swarbrick, the fourth official and finally ranted at
assistant Jake Collin.

Wigan players are furious with referee Lee Mason as he fails to award their side a penalty

Wigan players are furious with ref Lee Mason as he fails to award their side a penalty after a trip on Shaun Maloney (left)

These scenes do the game no good at all but I doubt if the FA can act
as they were clearly seen and heard by all three match officials who
did nothing. Dean was absolutely correct to allow the goal due to the
law and its mandated interpretation defined by FIFA in 2005. That is not
my opinion but a fact. Whether Dean or I agree with that interpretation
is irrelevant and everyone in football needs to see that and accept it.

It is hard to discipline Ferguson, especially at Old Trafford, when
you believe that by doing so you will probably not referee at the
biggest venue for the foreseeable future. The FA and Premier League must
look at this as nobody should be above sanction.

One manager who I had sympathy for was Harry Redknapp who was careful
to describe Chris Foy’s decisions as ‘scandalous’ rather than make a
personal attack. And he was right!

Mike Dean feels the force of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaint... even though he made the right decision for Newcastle's second goal

Mike Dean feels the force of Sir Alex Ferguson's complaint… even though he made the right decision for Newcastle's second goal

Foy incredibly missed such an obvious foul on Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Rob Green. How did that happen

As the ball headed towards his goal Green was clearly impeded by West
Brom Striker Marc-Antoine Fortune who not only blocked Green but then
backed into him preventing him from reaching the ball which was then
knocked into the net.

Foy stood nonchalantly on the edge of the penalty area and glanced
across at his assistant before awarding the goal. Late in the second
half Foy then denied Rangers a penalty after Liam Ridgewell handled the
ball. If you could excuse him missing that one or accepting that his
opinion was that the offence was not deliberate you still go back to
that second goal and shake your head at such poor officiating.

...and so does assistant referee Jake Collin

…and so does assistant referee Jake Collin

However, there was far more good officiating than bad including good
detection by Phil Dowd of Chris Baird’s hand ball to secure Southampton a
point at Craven Cottage and the same offence spotted by Mike Jones when
Reading’s Adam Le Fondre knocked the ball into the net with his arm.

Howard Webb also did well and was sharp when awarding Liverpool their
first penalty of the season. Brendan Rodgers has been bleating about
his team not getting one and that was finally correctly in just the
first minute at The Britannia stadium by Howard Webb.

It was correctly awarded for a Ryan Shawcross pull on the shirt of
Liverpool’s Luis Suarez; commentators highlighted that the offence
started outside the area, which it did but that is irrelevant.

Well done Webb: Ref Howard Webb got this decision right after Shawcross fouled Suarez

Well done Webb: Ref Howard Webb got this decision right after Shawcross fouled Suarez

If the offender still has hold of his opponent when he gets into the
area then a penalty is the right decision. It is a completely different
decision when a player is tripped as there is only one point of contact
and that dictates the position of the free kick or penalty.

There was some criticism of Phil Dowd for cautioning Dimitar Berbatov
after he scored and then showed an amusing message on his undershirt.
Had he merely lifted his shirt to reveal it there would have been no
card but referees hands are forced when the shirt is taken off. Mind you
law also insists they dismiss when abused but they ignore that one!

Finally, for the second consecutive game in a row Roberto Martinez’
Wigan were denied a clear penalty, this time by Lee Mason after a trip
on Shaun Maloney. Wigan do appear to be having a rough time with
referees decisions and will be hoping that they are evened out as the
season enters a new year.

So overall, considering some very tough calls it is a big well done
to Webb, Dean, Dowd, Jones and Mark Clattenburg who continues his
‘reintegration’ into the select group appointments. And whilst Foy and
Mason will review the DVD’s of their incidents and accept their errors
it should be Ferguson and Mancini who are the ones in the dock.

Mancini looked bemused at referee Kevin Friend, who he said had too much to eat at Christmas

Mancini looked bemused at referee Kevin Friend, who he said had too much to eat at Christmas

Tyson Fury to return to ring at Madison Square Garden, New York

Fury puts Price clash on ice as heavyweight announces New York return to ring in March

|

UPDATED:

20:56 GMT, 5 December 2012

Tyson Fury will return to the ring on March 17 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Fury’s uncle and trainer Peter Fury took to Twitter tonight to confirm the date and claimed world-ranked heavyweights Tomasz Adamek, Chris Arreola, Bermane Stiverne and Johnathon Banks were possible opponents, as well as former WBO champion Shannon Briggs.

Peter Fury tweeted: ‘Tyson next out Madison square Garden march 17th. Training camp Canada starts jan 14th. Poss opponents Adamek” Arriola Stiverne Banks. Briggs.’

On ice: Tyson Fury will fight in New York on St Patrick's Day 2013

On ice: Tyson Fury will fight in New York on St Patrick's Day 2013

Fury maintained his unbeaten record with a straightforward points win over Kevin Johnson in a WBC eliminator last Friday and has since resumed hostilities with British and Commonwealth champion David Price.

Price’s manager Frank Maloney offered 650,000 to make the fight, but Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy described the bid as a ‘joke’.

Fury’s Madison Square Garden date will come exactly a year after his proposed debut at the ionic venue fell through.

David Price and Tyson Fury negotiations stall

Price and Fury still miles apart as negotiations between Britain's heavyweights stall

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UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 3 December 2012

The latest round of negotiations to make a fight between David Price and Tyson Fury has reached a standstill.

The heavyweight pair both maintained their unbeaten records with straightforward wins at the weekend and hopes are high for a domestic blockbuster in the new year.

But a 650,000 offer from Frank Maloney, Price’s manager, was today laughed off by Mick Hennessy, who promotes Fury.

Unbeaten: Tyson Fury won on a unanimous points decision against Kevin Johnson

Unbeaten: Tyson Fury won on a unanimous points decision against Kevin Johnson

‘If David Price doesn’t step up to the plate on our terms, the fight won’t happen,’ Hennessy told the Daily Star. ‘I don’t think it will happen soon because he doesn’t want any of Tyson Fury really. Without Tyson there’s no story with David Price.

‘He’s just trying to get publicity by calling out Tyson. If Price and Maloney are going to put out offers, they need to make the offers serious.’

Fury has come under fire recently for a series of foul-mouthed rants and tweets about British and Commonwealth champion Price, while earlier this year Maloney enraged Fury’s camp by branding the 24-year-old a ‘coward’ after separate talks to make a fight failed.

Winning in style: David Price beat Matt Skelton with a second round knock out on Friday night

Winning in style: David Price beat Matt Skelton with a second round knock out on Friday night

Both men have moved towards a world title shot in the past year, with Fury in line for a crack at Vitali Klitschko’s WBC belt after winning an eliminator against Kevin Johnson on Saturday.

Price, meanwhile, maintained his unbeaten record on Friday by demolishing Matt Skelton on Friday.

Row: Price's promoter Frank Maloney called Fury a 'coward'

Row: Price's promoter Frank Maloney called Fury a 'coward'

Hennessy added: ‘Tyson has said he will do the fight but he doesn’t want anything to do with Frank Maloney after he called him a coward.

‘If the fight is to happen, Price needs to accept it will not be 50-50 because Tyson has a much higher ranking and profile.’

Freddie Flintoff to fight Richard Dawson in Manchester Arena boxing debut

REVEALED: Flintoff set to fight American novice Dawson in debut boxing bout

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UPDATED:

16:00 GMT, 9 November 2012

Andrew Flintoff is expected to make his professional boxing debut against two-fight novice Richard Dawson, Sportsmail can exclusively reveal.

The 23-year-old heavyweight from Oklahoma remains undefeated but has fought just five rounds in total since his first bout in February.

The American’s promoters expect to receive the contract later on Friday ahead of the fight on November 30 at the Manchester Arena.

One on one: Mike Tyson offers advice to Andrew Flintoff as he prepares for his boxing debut

One on one: Mike Tyson offers advice to Andrew Flintoff as he prepares for his boxing debut

Dawson’s first opponent Jimmy Lane
retired on his stool after the first of four scheduled rounds before he
was declared the unanimous winner against Jamell Williams in August.
Both boxers were deducted points for holding in what was a dull contest
which should give Flintoff hope.

The former England cricket captain
announced in September that he would be trained by Irish boxing legend
Barry McGuigan and his son Shane and his since lost over three stone in
weight during a gruelling regime.

The 34-year-old was granted a licence
by the British Boxing Board of Control but has come in for some fierce
criticism, particularly from promoter Frank Maloney who claimed Flintoff
will ‘shame the fight game’.

Flintoff, meanwhile, had a pep talk from former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, who paid a visit to his gym.

Watching brief: Tyson with Flintoff's trainer Barry McGuigan

Watching brief: Tyson with Flintoff's trainer Barry McGuigan

‘It was amazing to meet Tyson because
as a kid he was one of my heroes,’ Flintoff said. ‘So to have him come
down to the gym – not only that, but to talk to me about it all was
amazing.

‘He spoke a lot about the emotion of
boxing and it was all relevant to how I was feeling. So to hear it from
Mike Tyson made me realise it was okay for me to feel like that too.

‘He
talked a lot about what he went through pre-fight and in the run up to a
fight; the emotional states he was in and the nerves he experienced
before he fought.

‘He
is obviously one of the best boxers ever, so hearing what he had to say
gave me a lot of inspiration. I went on the pads in the front of him
which was a pretty surreal experience.

Dream team: Tyson and Flintoff pose after the former world champion paid a visit

Dream team: Tyson and Flintoff pose after the former world champion paid a visit

‘I have really taken his comments on
board and I’ve just got my head down and am working hard to make small
improvements each and every day.’

Meanwhile, Denton Vassell will make
the third defence of his Commonwealth welterweight title against Ronnie
Heffron on the undercard in Manchester.

Bradley Saunders will face Peter McDonagh while Matthew Hall, Liam Williams and Lewis Rees will also be in action.

Frank Maloney dismisses Andrew Flintoff"s boxing debut as a "stunt"

Maloney accuses Flintoff of TV stunt saying bout will 'shame fight game'

|

UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 5 November 2012

Andrew Flintoff posed for photos with a real heavyweight on Monday but then left the media conference when he learned that his attempt to become a boxer was about to be ridiculed.

The former England cricket captain was pictured with David Price, the British champion and world-title contender, as part of his build-up for a professional debut in the ring.

But Price’s promoter, Frank Maloney, poured scorn on what he described as a ‘stunt which should never be allowed to happen’.

Not boxing clever: Flintoff will just be a punch bag, says Frank Maloney

Not boxing clever: Flintoff will just be a punch bag, says Frank Maloney

Maloney went on: ‘Giving Flintoff a professional licence with no experience of boxing is a joke. It gives our sport a bad name.’

Price and Flintoff appear on separate bills in the north of England on the same night, November 30. Price defends his British and Commonwealth titles against Matt Skelton at Aintree. Flintoff makes his bow in Manchester as the climax of a TV reality show.

Flintoff is being trained by Irish legend Barry McGuigan, who insists it is a serious exercise but Maloney says: ‘They asked if we could be on the same bill but I would never be involved in promoting something like this. This is nonsense but in our sport it’s dangerous nonsense.

Behind the ropes: Flintoff has been training to be a professional boxer

Behind the ropes: Flintoff has been training to be a professional boxer

‘Olympic rower James Cracknell did something similar, went into a pro heavyweight fight and was knocked out in seconds. They haven’t named an opponent for Flintoff yet but even if they find some guy who’s lost his first four pro fights, he will still be in against someone with amateur experience. It will be a terrible shock when he gets hit on the chin by a heavyweight.’

Both the November 30 bouts are to be screened live on BoxNation but Maloney is insisting that Price goes on air first, saying: ‘If the evening starts with Flintoff’s fiasco the viewers would be switching off.’

The real deal: Frank Maloney (centre) promotes the David Price and Matt Skelton fight which is on the same night as Flintoff's debut

The real deal: Frank Maloney (centre) promotes the David Price and Matt Skelton fight which is on the same night as Flintoff's debut

Flintoff was due to share the media podium with Price and Maloney but left quickly with McGuigan when he sensed the mood.

Maloney was also deeply critical of the British Boxing Board of Control, saying: ‘It is a disgrace they have given Flintoff a licence. I told the chairman, Charles Giles, that he should be sacked for approving this scandal.’

Price expects to come through a tough physical test against the aging fitness-fanatic Skelton and move closer to a world heavyweight title shot against one of the Klitschko brothers in autumn next year.

Andre Villas-Boas rues Tottenham"s "worst performance of the season"

Villas-Boas rues Tottenham's 'worst performance of the season'

|

UPDATED:

19:16 GMT, 3 November 2012

Andre Villas-Boas admits his team put on their worst performance of the season as Tottenham slumped to a shock 1-0 defeat to strugglers Wigan at White Hart Lane.

Tottenham went into this game having won five of their previous six Barclays Premier League matches, but they struggled throughout the clash with the Lancashire minnows.

Not so hot Spurs: Ben Watson helped Wigan to a famous and well-earned win over Tottenham

Not so hot Spurs: Ben Watson helped Wigan to a famous and well-earned win over Tottenham

Not so hot Spurs: Ben Watson helped Wigan to a famous and well-earned win over Tottenham

Wigan goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi was a
spectator for much of the encounter in north London, and Villas-Boas'
men were very fortunate that Ben Watson's strike was the only goal they
conceded.

Spurs' passing was poor, they failed
to create any meaningful chances, and overall they looked a pale
imitation of the side that had held on courageously at Southampton last
weekend.

The performance, which drew an outcry
of anger from the home fans – who also disagreed with Villas-Boas'
decision to substitute Jermain Defoe – was way below what the Portuguese
expects.

'It was maybe our worst performance
of the season,' said Villas-Boas, who saw his team booed off against
Norwich and West Brom earlier in the campaign.

'We didn't manage to keep the ball or pass well. We couldn't recognise ourselves today.

'Wigan were superior. Our chances weren't clear cut. There are various reasons why we played like this.

Shame no-one saw it: Wigan, who once lost 9-1 at White Hart Lane, bought a handful of fans

Shame no-one saw it: Wigan, who once lost 9-1 at White Hart Lane, bought a handful of fans

'The opponents were sharp and aggressive. We kept making mistakes. We played more with the heart rather than the head.'

Spurs keeper Brad Friedel had already
pulled off two top-drawer saves to deny Shaun Maloney before the
American's goal was breached in the second half.

Friedel flapped at Maloney's corner under the bar and the ball fell straight to Watson, who drove in from close range.

Yard short: The scoreline wasn't flattering to Wigan, who more than matched Spurs everywhere

Yard short: The scoreline wasn't flattering to Wigan, who more than matched Spurs everywhere

Yard short: The scoreline wasn't flattering to Wigan, who more than matched Spurs everywhere

The home support, who were already
angry at their team's showing in the first half, turned on their team's
manager moments after the goal went in when Villas-Boas took off Defoe
and brought on Emmanuel Adebayor to partner Clint Dempsey up front.

The Spurs fans booed the decision and
chanted Defoe's name as he sauntered off the pitch before grabbing his
coat and disappearing down the tunnel.

Chances: Jan Vertongen and Gareth Bale worked well on the left, but failed to make a breakthrough

Chances: Jan Vertongen and Gareth Bale worked well on the left, but failed to make a breakthrough

Chances: Jan Vertongen and Gareth Bale worked well on the left, but failed to make a breakthrough

Villas-Boas explained the decision to the in-form striker afterwards, and insisted he understands the fans' angst.

'We understand that they can show their frustrations,' the 35-year-old said.

'We don't do things to punish them or for the fans to show revolt. We do things for the benefit of the team.

Wing men: On the opposite flank, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker got little change from Wigan

Wing men: On the opposite flank, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker got little change from Wigan

Wing men: On the opposite flank, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker got little change from Wigan

'They want the win, but we want the win as much as them. We respect them.'

Defoe has scored seven goals for club and country this season, but looked poor on this occasion.

'We (Villas-Boas and Defoe) spoke briefly afterwards,' the Spurs boss said.

'It was obviously disappointing for
him to come off since he has been on a good goal-scoring run, but the
team is also important.

'We don't make the change to punish him. We make the change to improve things.'

The Latics had gone six Barclays Premier League games without a victory before their 2-1 win against West Ham last weekend, but they performed superbly again.

They passed with finesse, looked dangerous on the counter-attack, and Arouna Kone made life difficult for Steven Caulker and William Gallas throughout.

'Many people watching will say Spurs had a bad day, but I wouldn't agree with that at all,' Martinez said.

'We had to work very hard today. We were brave, we stopped Spurs from playing and we played high up.

'That opened up space for players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon but the concentration and partnerships all over the park helped us to stop Spurs from having a say on the ball.'

Martinez's men usually leave it until the spring before they go on a run that preserves their top-flight status, but having achieved wins over West Ham and Spurs, the Spaniard is confident that a season-defining sequence is in the making for his side.

'To have that belief and that arrogance to go anywhere and be yourself makes you very proud of the team,' Martinez said.

'We have that winning mentality now and I'm proud of the team.'

Sam Allardyce blames West Ham"s midfield for defeat at Wigan… and it"s Manchester City up next

Allardyce blames West Ham's midfield for defeat at Wigan… and it's Manchester City up next

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 28 October 2012

There may be trouble ahead for West Ham if they turn in many more performances like the lamentable effort at Wigan on Saturday.

Sam Allardyce’s side were abject – a fact acknowledged by the Hammers manager – in their 2-1 defeat at the DW Stadium and with the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham coming up in November, they cannot afford to be as poor.

Allardyce offered no excuses for the loss, so bad were his team, with the midfield especially shambolic as James McArthur, James McCarthy and Shaun Maloney allowed to play among themselves at times.

Painful viewing: West Ham were dismal at Wigan

Painful viewing: West Ham were dismal at Wigan

James Tomkins’ added-time header
afforded the scoreline a veneer of respectability but a goal has barely
been less deserved and Allardyce admitted: ‘The overall team performance
was disappointing. The defence had to deal with situations on a
constant basis and if you allow that to happen it’s going to be a
difficult day. The rest of the players are not doing their job in front
of them to protect them.

‘That was down to us as a unit not doing enough in possession – not keeping the ball, playing the ball in the right areas, not taking the ball and playing quality balls to our front three.

‘It just never happened today, the quality wasn’t good enough.’

Disappointing: Kevin Nolan congratulates Wigan's James McCarthy after the final whistle

Disappointing: Kevin Nolan congratulates Wigan's James McCarthy after the final whistle

One slight complaint Allardyce did have was that referee Jon Moss did not give Andy Carroll much protection.

Carroll still has not scored for West Ham but Allardyce is more concerned about the treatment meted out to his striker by defenders, saying: ‘Referees aren’t giving him enough free kicks when he is manhandled by central defenders who, let’s face it, are having a difficult job coping with the quality that he’s got.

Firing blanks: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham

Firing blanks: Andy Carroll is yet to score for West Ham

'Because he is 6ft 5in they don’t give
the free kicks they would perhaps give to players who are 5ft 2in.
Perhaps it is a subconscious thing.

‘Andy knows all that, he’s been there and has to be patient with it. The amount of balls he’s brought down on his chest to try and build up attacks and then getting nudged at the time he’s bringing it down and not getting the free kick makes it look like he’s giving possession away when it’s not really his fault.’

What would have been galling for Allardyce is that Wigan’s first goal was scored by a former West Ham target, Ivan Ramis.

The Hammers boss is not too perturbed by not getting the Spanish defender, however, saying: ‘The bottom line was he wasn’t quite sure whether he really wanted to come or not. It was Wigan this and Wigan that. We wondered what was happening, left it and brought James Collins in instead.’