Tag Archives: mate

Fernando Alonso wins Chinese Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen finishes second and Lewis Hamilton third

Alonso wins Chinese GP: Flying Fernando claims Ferrari victory as Hamilton finishes third in Shanghai

PUBLISHED:

08:41 GMT, 14 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

08:41 GMT, 14 April 2013

Fernando Alonso stormed home to win the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday as British star Lewis Hamilton finished in third place.

The Spaniard started on the second row but soon passed pole-sitter Hamilton on his way to earning 25 World Championship points in Shanghai.

Mercedes' Hamilton fought bravely with Kimi Raikkonen for second place before eventually succumbing to the Lotus driver.

World champion Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, finished fourth but his Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber was forced to retire midway through the race.

More to follow

On top: Fernando Alonso earned his first victory of the season as he came home to win the Chinese Grand Prix

On top: Fernando Alonso earned his first victory of the season as he came home to win the Chinese Grand Prix

Podium: Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, was made to settle for third in his Mercedes

Podium: Lewis Hamilton, who started on pole, was made to settle for third in his Mercedes

All action: Hamilton led into the first corner but was soon reeled in and passed by both Ferraris

All action: Hamilton led into the first corner but was soon reeled in and passed by both Ferraris

Wayward wheel: Red Bull's Mark Webber was forced to retire after losing a rear tyre

Wayward wheel: Red Bull's Mark Webber was forced to retire after losing a rear tyre

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Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs and lows in sport

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs (and lows) since the micro-blogging site changed the way we interact with sports stars

Olympics.
267,200 tweets per minute after Juan Mata scored for Spain in the Euro 2012 final victory Italy.
13.7m tweets during the Super Bowl when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.
184,535 tweets per minute when Fernando
Torres equalised against Barcelona to send Chelsea heading towards the
2012 Champions League final.

Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets


Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets

Seven Twitter controversies

Joey Barton v Dietmaar Hamann

Joey Barton seems to be ranting and raving every hour of every day, giving his outspoken opinions on everything from The FA to the Israel-Palestine dispute. But his most controversial exchange came when a row erupted with Dietmaar Hamann, after Barton tweeted about QPR’s attempt to hijack Newcastle’s bid for Loic Remy in the January transfer window.

Barton was chided by Hamann for getting involved in ‘club politics’ and he responded viciously with a string of insults and allegations about the former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City player. The pair hammered out a total of over 50 messages and Barton repeatedly told Hamann, 39, to get his ‘life in order’ and claimed the German was unprofessional.

The volatile midfielder also made reference to a gambling problem which Hamann revealed he had, in February 2012, and his family life.

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including with former team-mate Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Ashley Cole v Rio Ferdinand

After Ashley Cole reportedly gave court evidence defending Chelsea team-mate John Terry against allegations of racism towards Anton Ferdinand last summer, Rio Ferdinand, disappointed by the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict sent a tweet suggesting that Ashley Cole was a ‘Choc ice’.

Rio was subsequently fined by The FA but the controversy re-emerged in December when Ferdinand was the was left bleeding after being hit in the face with a two pence coin as he celebrated Manchester United’s winning goal against Manchester City at Eastlands.

The family of Ashley Cole took to Facebook to declare their pleasure in seeing Ferdinand hurt, with the Chelsea star’s brother Matthew is said to have posted on Facebook: ‘So happy Rio got hit in the face today when he tried to give it kissing his badge!! Straight in the eye!! Made my day.’ Cole’s mother Sue later added her own comment: ‘Give the fan that threw it a medal!!’

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Ashley Cole slams The FA

Ashley Cole was fined 90,000 after admitting a Football Association charge in relation to foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter.

The Chelsea and England full-back labelled the FA a 'bunch of t***s' on the social networking site after an independent regulatory commission of the governing body investigating the John Terry racial abuse case had cast doubt on Cole's evidence.

His comments were swiftly removed but the FA reacted quickly and charged Cole, whose furious outburst was retweeted more than 19,000 times and provoked large condemnation from the footballing world.

Referee Mark Halsey receives Death Threats

Referee Mark Halsey called the police in over sick Twitter taunts following his handling of the explosive clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

A number of tweets referred to Halsey's well-known battle against cancer and sickeningly referred to his wife, Michelle, who has also been fighting the disease.

Two of the most offensive comments came from a John Wareing who posted ‘I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies’ (@johnwareing1) and a John Hughes who tweeted ‘Mark Halsey should’ve died of cancer’ (@lfcjohn259).

Within minutes of the game finishing in a 2-1 defeat for Liverpool, messages were being posted on social media websites following a number of controversial refereeing decisions including a first-half red card for Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey for a rash tackle on United defender Jonny Evans.

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

10 Year Old Boy 'blacks up' as El Hadji Diouf

A ten-year-old Leeds United fan became embroiled in an online race row after he blacked up to pose with his hero El Hadji Diouf.

The child posted a series of pictures on his Twitter account provoking a backlash from users who said he was racist.

But the primary school child said he did not realise it would be offensive and did it as a tribute to his footballing hero. The boy’s father was forced to take to his son’s Twitter account to defend him from accusations of racism.

He wrote: 'I want to apologise if (my son) dressing up has caused offence.'

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player - Diouf

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player – Diouf

Ryan Babel Mocks up Howard Webb in a Man United shirt

In January 2011, Liverpool winger Ryan Babel became the first professional footballer to be censured for comments made on the social networking site Twitter after the Football Association fined the Dutch international 10,000 for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

Carlton Cole Fined for Anti-Immigration tweets

Carlton Cole was fined 20,000 by the FA for his Twitter comments during England’s match against Ghana in March 2011.

Cole tweeted: ‘Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha. The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George’s flag!’

He later deleted the tweet and said it was a ‘joke’.

Bobby Barnes, deputy chief executive of the PFA, said: ‘The commission fully accepted the mitigation put forward on Carlton’s behalf and his apology for any offence caused, however unintentionally.

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

SIX NATIONS 2013: Brian O"Driscoll returns for Wales v Ireland

O'Driscoll, Kearney, Best and O'Brien all return to take on Wales in Ireland opener

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

14:20 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 29 January 2013

Ireland have restored Brian O'Driscoll, Rob Kearney, Rory Best and Sean O'Brien to their XV for Saturday's RBS 6 Nations opener against Grand Slam champions Wales in Cardiff.

The experienced and influential quartet missed the entire autumn schedule through injury but return at outside centre, full back, openside and hooker respectively.

For the first time since succeeding Keith Wood as captain in 2004, O'Driscoll is relieved of the leadership duties following coach Declan Kidney's decision to appoint No 8 Jamie Heaslip skipper.

It's good to be back: Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland training at Carton House in Co. Kildare on Tuesday

It's good to be back: Brian O'Driscoll in Ireland training at Carton House in Co. Kildare on Tuesday

The 34-year-old resumes his centre partnership alongside Leinster team-mate Gordon D'Arcy for a record 48th time with Jonathan Sexton and Conor Murray selected at half-back.

Kearney forms an exciting back three that features Craig Gilroy and Simon Zebo on the wings after the inexperienced duo impressed throughout the autumn.

'It was a tight call because there's so much competition. Fergus McFadden and Keith Earls have been playing well, so it's testament to the way Craig and Simon have been playing that they're selected,' Kidney said.

Show of strength: Rob Kearney will also be back in Ireland colours at the Millennium Stadium

Show of strength: Rob Kearney will also be back in Ireland colours at the Millennium Stadium

Ireland team to face Wales at Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on Saturday, (KO 1:30pm)

R Kearney (Leinster); C Gilroy (Ulster), B O'Driscoll (Leinster), G D'Arcy (Leinster), S Zebo (Munster); J Sexton (Leinster), C Murray (Munster); C Healy (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), M McCarthy (Connacht), D Ryan (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), S O'Brien (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster, capt).

Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster),
D Kilcoyne (Munster), D Fitzpatrick (Ulster), D O'Callaghan (Munster), C Henry (Ulster),
E Reddan (Leinster), R O'Gara (Munster),
K Earls (Munster).

In total there are four changes in
personnel to the side that thumped Argentina 46-24 in the climax to a
mixed November, among them Chris Henry's demotion to the bench.

O'Brien was assured of a spot in the back row once he had returned to fitness, but Henry is unfortunate to have made way with Peter O'Mahony preferred at blindside.

'We felt that in terms of a mix in the back row this was the best combination, but there was certainly plenty to talk about following Chris' performances in the autumn,' Kidney said.

Ireland, the bookmakers' third favourites to win the Six Nations, have lost their last three matches to Wales, including a 23-21 loss on the opening day of the championship last year.

But while the injury-hit Welsh enter the tournament as champions, they have endured seven successive defeats including a whitewash during a troubled autumn.

Brendan Rodgers arrives at court to support son Anton charged with sexual assault and voyeurism

Liverpool boss Rodgers arrives in court to support son charged with sexual assault and voyeurism

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 21 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 21 January 2013

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers was at the Old Bailey today as his son Anton arrived to face trial accused of sexual assault and voyeurism.

The offences are alleged to have taken place at the Jury’s Inn hotel in Brighton, East Sussex, in July 2011.

Brighton and Hove Albion players Rodgers, 19, Lewis Dunk, 21, George Barker, 21, and former team-mate Steve Cook, 21, who now plays for Bournemouth, deny the charges.

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

Trial: Anton Rodgers has arrived at the Old Bailey on charges of sexual assault and voyeurism

The players are alleged to have assaulted a woman at the hotel. Rodgers, Barker and Cook are on bail.

The trial is not due to open in front of a jury until tomorrow.

Strolling: Rodgers walks to the court

Anton Rodgers, 19

Brighton defender Ben Sampayo, 19, has been told no further action will be taken against him over the alleged incident after he was arrested.

A sixth player, Seagulls midfielder Tommy Elphick, 24, was released without charge following the original arrests in January.

The charges come after a four-month investigation by Sussex Police.

The Footballers" Football Column – Craig Lindfield: I meet at a Little Chef for a lift, have breakfast in a pub and then discover at training…

CRAIG LINDFIELD: I meet at a Little Chef for a lift, have breakfast in a pub and then watch a team-mate do a 'Klinsmann' through a freezing puddle in his underwear!

PUBLISHED:

12:54 GMT, 16 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:38 GMT, 16 January 2013

Craig Lindfield

As Sportsmail's Footballers' Football Column continues to lift the lid on the lives of those who play, coach and administer the game, Accrington Stanley midfielder takes us through his typical week. A product of the famed Liverpool Academy, 24-year-old Lindfield has scored five times in 73 appearances for Stanley. Here's his take on life in League Two…

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THURSDAY
(Sportsmail asked Lindfield to start his diary on December 13)

TRIBUTE: STANLEY'S MOST FAMOUS FAN… DAVID 'BUMBLE' LLOYD

Bumble

'Craig is enjoying his second spell
with us and is a midfielder who has filled in really well at full back in
emergencies.

'He's a real team player who would do anything for this club,
including playing out of position if that's what we need.

David Lloyd Accrington Stanley U18s

'We are in a really
difficult situation at the moment and need committed players like Craig.

'He's a
good lad and we are in safe hands with the likes
of him in our colours.'

Bumble is a cricket columnist for Sportsmail and played for Accrington Stanley Under 18s (second picture) before embarking on his cricket career.

8.45 am My day starts by meeting at the Little Chef to share a lift to training. In League Two, money is tight and finding a ‘car school’ is vital to save petrol.

It is my turn to drive and the lads hate my car, a Renault Megane convertible, with zero leg room in the back. I wouldn’t mind but Charlie Barnett is about four-feet tall. It’s a 45-minute journey and today I receive 45 minutes of abuse about my car.

9.30 am The lads arrive in their ‘car schools’, the usual banter about people’s choice of clothing is rife. The same old faces wearing the same embarrassing clothes.

Dean Winnard is the main culprit,
wearing his Diesel jeans with his Asics running shoes. Then it’s over to
the pub for breakfast, the owners are paid a monthly sum by the players
to provide us with breakfast and lunch.

I
have a bowl of Alpen, whereas some of the more adventurous members of
the squad have Nutella on toast, mainly Rommy Boco our Benin winger,. He
often tries to be different from us British lads with such acts.

Breakfast
is followed by a game of darts for Charlie Barnett, Padraig Amond and I
that ends in a rare win for Charlie, who only needs two darts at double
18. The dartboard is one of the perks, of having breakfast in a pub.

Youth club: Lindfield (left) with Adam Hammill celebrate Liverpool's 2006 FA Youth Cup victory over Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium

Youth club: Lindfield (left) with Adam Hammill celebrate Liverpool's 2006 FA Youth Cup victory over Manchester City at the City of Manchester Stadium

How they stand in npower League Two

How they stand in npower League Two

11am Training today is indoors, the temperature is minus-three. We start with a possession circle and Peter Murphy has a season ticket as a chaser, as he’s constantly giving the ball away.

Then we have possession games, these got a bit ‘tasty’ and there is a real competitive edge, fuelled by some dodgy refereeing decisions from the staff.

The highlight was when Toto Nsiala, our 6ft 2in centre half, squealed like a girl when he got his little toe stood on.

1pm Back to the pub for our lunch and we are having pasta bolognese, I think Emma, the cook, may have got our food mixed up with their dogs today.

Some lads are rationed on food because yesterday there wasn’t enough to go round. Marcus Carver, a first year pro, ate a whole tray to himself. This didn’t go down well with some of the senior pros, to say the least.

2.30pm The gaffer (Leam Richardson) has called for a fitness session for the lads who have not played as much football recently. Unfortunately, as I share a lift, I have to wait in the Starbucks with Peter for our third member Charlie to be put through his paces.

4.30pm Arrive back to the meeting point after a journey of our creative midfielder Charlie Barnett rapping to 50 Cent, sometimes I think he’s in the wrong business.

RECENT RESULTS

Jan 12: Aldershot 2-0 Accrington

Jan 5: Accrington 0-2 Dag & Red

Jan 1: Accrington 1-0 Chesterfield

Dec 29: Rotherham 4-1 Accrington

Dec 26: Bradford 2-1 Accrington

Dec 22: Accrington 1-1 Plymouth

Dec 18: Oxford 2-0 Accrington
(FA Cup 2nd rnd)

Dec 15: Accrington 0-2 Wycombe

FRIDAY

11am Today I had a lie-in as we didn’t have to report for training until 11am, this was to let the Astroturf thaw out to train outside.

Firstly we had a team meeting to take us through some clips showing the strengths and weaknesses of tomorrow’s opponents Wycombe.

Our physio Les Parry controls the laptop and as usual starts the session with a funny picture to lighten the mood.

Today it is as rude as ever – his banter is usually far more intelligent – but we don’t have the brightest of squads so he has to stoop to a very immature level to give the likes of Will Hatfield a chance to understand the joke.

Will is possibly the dumbest lad in football. One evening Padraig Amond said he was thinking about placing a bet on the horses, Will asked: 'It’s eight o’clock at night how can the horses see where they are going'

12pm The lads arrive for training at the local college, getting up there quickly is a must as parking spaces are limited and today Peter Murphy reversed into a grass verge when attempting a three-point turn after arriving last.

The starting XI is named by the gaffer and they are taken separately to go through set pieces while the remaining lads, who often call themselves the ‘bomb squad’, have a game of possession which is taken by coach, Paul Lodge.

Lodgey gets the short straw as he has to put up with the grumpy faces of us players who are not starting this week and today I’m unfortunately in this group.

It is freezing cold today and the southern softies, mainly Matty Whichelow, are really feeling the pain.

The Watford winger was heard on many occasions this morning saying: 'You can’t be serious, bruv'

All in the timing: Accrington's Craig Lindfield has kept his League Two diary for Sportsmail's Footballer' Football Column

All in the timing: Accrington's Craig Lindfield has kept his League Two diary for Sportsmail's Footballer' Football Column

The bosses: Accrington manager Leam Richardson (left) and player-coach James Beattie share a joke before the match at Northampton earlier this season

The bosses: Accrington manager Leam Richardson (left) and player-coach James Beattie share a joke before the match at Northampton earlier this season

Third choice: Stanley's Padraig Amond (left) and Luke Joyce sport Accrington's new third away kit

Third choice: Stanley's Padraig Amond (left) and Luke Joyce sport Accrington's new third away kit

1pm The lads have never been as grateful for the Accrington Stanley shower facilities as they are today, rushing to get our wet kit off and get the first places in our four available slots.

The worst part of the day has to be queuing for a shower and in today’s temperatures I made sure I was one of the first four. Whichelow decides to offer 50 to any player who is brave enough to provide the lads with some entertainment by performing a ‘Klinsmann dive’ on the pitch in the ice cold rain, the catch being they have to do it in just their undies.

Toto Nsiala has very little common sense and quick as a flash he’s out of the door, all the lads run out to see our big centre half slide head first straight through the biggest puddle on the pitch.

Everyone’s buzzing including Toto, until he realises that he is not getting his 50 as the lads back Matty up when he says he had his fingers crossed, Toto’s not happy and now has to queue back up for the showers!

SATURDAY

11am It’s Saturday morning, game day, as it’s a home match I am only just waking up. I have my usual match-day breakfast of poached eggs on toast with brown sauce, made by my girlfriend as my cooking skills stretch to a piece of toast.

I watch Soccer AM, then put my tracksuit on, grab my wash bag and I’m on my way to meet the ‘car school’.

12.15pm
Meet the lads at the Little Chef and get into Charlie Barnett’s car
today, he has little legs so there is no fighting about getting the
front seat, because you have just as much room sat behind the little
man.

1pm
My ‘car school’ usually arrives at the ground at 1pm on the day of a
home game, we don’t have to meet until 1.30pm, but we always allow some
time for traffic.

We
go on two of the quietest motorways, the M58 and M65, so delays are rare
but it’s better to be cautious. Good preparation is a vital ingredient
to success and I feel that it is important to have a routine on match
days.

Not everyone has
the same preparation, I like to watch the early kick-off on the TV in
the home dressing room, read the match programme, and get changed pretty
early.

I hate the
time between arriving at the ground and going out to warm-up, usually I
am one of the first changed and desperate to get out on the pitch.

Others
are far more relaxed and take their time getting changed, Charlie
Barnett, Rommy Boco and Toto Nsiala are examples of this.

Stanley standards: Linfield's revelations show life in League Two is hard, fun and extremely professional

Stanley standards: Linfield's revelations show life in League Two is hard, fun and extremely professional

I’m usually kit on, boots and all, and then look to my left to see Charlie still in his tracksuit. We have the music on the speakers, James Beattie has his tunes on, occasionally we let the captain Luke Joyce have his music on, but he plays it very safe with a lot of David Guetta and for some reason won’t let the lads put his iPod on shuffle – we all know he has some awful songs though so it’s probably for the best.

I can’t imagine the boys being motivated for the game by listening to The Kooks or Take That. Some of the lads get pre-match massages, Murph must be the stiffest 23-year-old around because he gets one every game.

Some people have superstitions such as Podge (Padraig Amond) who has a picture of his girlfriend on his shin pads and wears a bobble of hers round his wrist, but each to their own and all that…

2pm Gaffer names the team and subs, usually we know the starting XI from the day before. Then he gives information such as which people are to mark from set pieces, once the opposition’s team sheet is in.

2.15pm Go out for the warm up. Match-day warm-up is taken by Lodgey and is the same for every game, jog, stretches, passing drill, possession and five minutes of individual work.

3pm Kick-off, all the work and preparation during the weeks training is geared to the next 90 minutes and this is where we have to earn our money and keep our shirt.

We don’t get the biggest gates but Stanley Ultras are the best and most loyal fans you could ask for and it’s a great feeling to walk out onto the pitch for the start of the game.

Unfortunately the team have a bad day at the office and concede two first-half goals without reply. In the second half Wycombe are reduced to 10 men, but despite some late pressure, the ball just would not fall to a Stanley man inside the oppositions penalty box.

We lose the match 2-0 and the lads are very down.

Head boy: Lindfield climbs high to beat Dagenham's Luke Wilkinson to the ball

Head boy: Lindfield climbs high to beat Dagenham's Luke Wilkinson to the ball

5pm Gaffer has his full-time team talk, some managers like to go into detail straight after games, but Leam Richardson prefers to keep this initial assessment very brief and watch the video before he speaks to us at more length in the following days.

One of the worst feelings in football is a defeat, especially a home defeat and the sound of silence in our changing room in comparison to the loud music and laughter coming from the visitors changing room is a sound that makes you sick to the stomach.

5.15pm After the race for the showers comes the race for some food, the pizzas are brought into the changing room, and if you’re not quick you may not get many slices.

As a general rule of thumb the lads know to make sure the starting XI have all eaten a slice before they tuck in. Then it's tracksuit back on and depart in our separate ‘car schools’.

SUNDAY

9.15am Meet the lads at the Little Chef and pile into Murph’s car, I think he’s the worst driver out of our ‘car school’ so I make sure I keep my eyes open for the duration of today’s trip.

10am The day after a game we generally do one of two things either go to the gym and split into two groups, lads who play cool down and the rest of the lads do some fitness work or we come to the ground for some video analysis.

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11/01/13

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FRANK McPARLAND: What does it take to be a Liverpool player Personality… We had one German lad who said: 'I've had a look at my wage slip and I want to opt out of this tax thing!'
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CAROLYN RADFORD: Suarez a cheat I'd like to think one of my players would own up but football's not like that… And the secret to a swinging Mansfield party: Elvis and Bob Marley (of course)
07/01/13

THE FOOTBALLERS' FOOTBALL COLUMN – KEVIN BETSY: Why my boss Hill is the non-league Harry Redknapp… And these lads are hot – the best lower league talent available this transfer window
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THE FOOTBALLERS' FOOTBALL COLUMN – MARTIN ALLEN: I can't believe people pay 70 for Premier League football, it's like watching chess… Diving I did it all the time, 'course I did
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THE FOOTBALLERS' FOOTBALL COLUMN – EDGAR DAVIDS: Players are predators that's why Benitez may struggle at Chelsea… And sometimes the best players are not the most talented – just look at Roy Keane
20/12/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Today we meet at the ground and watch the DVD of yesterday’s match. It’s never enjoyable to relive defeats and as a player it has to be one of the hardest things to do but it is important that you can take criticism the right way and learn from the mistakes, because watching it again is all geared to improving and not repeating the same errors in the next game.

It’s a common name in football: ‘video nasty’ but we do watch DVD’s of positive results too, analysis and statistics are vital components of the modern game.

Different gaffers have their own way of approaching these sessions, some like to just dictate to the players but our gaffer Leam likes the players to have their say and is very open to our opinions.

Today it isn’t pleasant viewing but a lot of issues are addressed and with a massive FA Cup fixture coming up on Tuesday night it’s good to clear the air and stick together and be positive.

A short memory is a must in football, as you don’t have time to sulk after setbacks as the games come thick and fast.

12.30pm We go out on to the pitch to do some light training. We do a warm-up and a circle of keep ball, a passing drill and finish with some crossing and shooting.

It’s an enjoyable session, Luke Clark is ‘on fire’ crossing with his weaker left foot but James Gray blasts two out of the ground, the stand behind the goal is only 10-rows deep, but it still takes some doing to clear it.

1.30pm Leave training and with it all the negative thoughts from the weekend.

MONDAY

8.45am Meet the lads at the usual meeting place and put some diesel in as it’s my drive today. We decide to treat ourselves today and get a coffee for the journey.

9.30am Just arrived with the ‘car school’ to training in my Megane, surprisingly not much moaning about the lack of leg room today.

Over to the pub for breakfast, the mood among the lads is a positive one, the weekend defeat is a forgotten occurrence now. No darts today, a shorter breakfast as there is a team meeting at 10.30 in preparation for the biggest game of our season so far.

10.30am The reward for a victory is a lucrative tie in the FA Cup third round at home to Sheffield United and a sum of money that will keep the club away from financial trouble for the next 12 months at least.

The gaffer takes the meeting and talks us through the shape that we will be playing.

11.15am We then go out on the pitch and put it into practice what has been said. Some of the lads struggle to understand on a screen and find it easier when stood on the pitch in the positions this is the reason for the two methods being used.

We then play an 11 v 11 match on the pitch and the side in bibs are set up in the same formation that the manager expects the opposition to play tomorrow.

Then we play freely until a situation occurs where the manager or coach feels a coaching point is necessary to help should it arise in the game the next day.

This is tough for a player on the bibs team because it usually means you are not starting the game, but you are very important to help the lads who are starting as you will be instructed to play like the opposition and help prepare the starting team for what they are to expect to come up against.

In a football squad we win together and we lose together and everyone is behind one another. We finish by taking penalties. Obviously you cannot replicate the pressure involved on the night, but Beatts (James Beattie) of all people was one of the few to miss in practice. Today though there is no messing about, everyone is focused on the importance of tomorrow’s match.

1.30pm Cottage pie for lunch with peas and gravy, at least this is what it was meant to resemble, I think. Then once the gaffer passes a couple of sheets with the squad to travel and details of times and meeting points, its time to go home and prepare for the biggest game this season to date.

The club that wouldn't die: Players of Accrington Stanley and Fulham walk out ahead of their 2010 FA Cup tie

The club that wouldn't die: Players of Accrington Stanley and Fulham walk out ahead of their 2010 FA Cup tie

TUESDAY

1.15pm Meet the coach on the M6 junction 19 at the Windmill pub, pay 5 to park and jump on the bus. Today is FA Cup day and an away fixture with Oxford United.

Usually the lads take their own pre-match meal, but today we are stopping at a hotel near to Oxford’s stadium to have pre-match laid on for us.

2.30pm Been on the bus an hour now and most people are doing different things: Will Hatfield is listening to his iPod and tweeting the world, he loves his Twitter account and never puts his phone down; Peter Murphy is trying to win promotion back to the Premier League and is concentrating all his focus on this (on Football Manager of course); Rommy Boco is spending hours on the phone talking French, him and Ian Dunbavin usually play cards together but Bavo is injured and I think Rommy is a bit lost without him. The majority of the other lads are watching DVDs, Beattie never buys his own he’s always lending them off Luke Joyce.

No bad food (e.g. sweets and chocolate) are allowed on the trip only healthy snacks such as fruit and yoghurts, but the odd chocolate bar is usually knocking about, I’m not going to grass anyone up though…

5pm Pre-match at the hotel, some lads eating more than others, but everyone having the standard chicken, pasta and vegetables, I usually have a coffee too.

6pm Once we have all eaten we have a brief meeting about the game, where the Gaffer runs through some small details, then we all pile back on the coach to the ground.

By now everyone’s mind is totally focused on the game, all the individual bits and bobs are placed away and the majority of lads have headphones in listening to music and visualising what they are going to do on the pitch.

This is usually the time that sees a lot of water being drunk to keep hydrated, our bottles are like shot glasses so Naz the kit man is usually up and down passing them round every two minutes.

Old struggles: Mrs Sarah Dewhirst taking away the washing machine from the Peel Park ground at Accrington after the club was forced to resign from the league in 1962

Old struggles: Mrs Sarah Dewhirst taking away the washing machine from the club's former Peel Park ground at Accrington after the club was forced to resign from the league in 1962

6.30pm Arrive at the Kassam Stadium, all the players go out to inspect the pitch and see what type of stud you are going to wear. It’s a chance to stretch our legs after the journey, and gives the kit man a chance to lay the kit out.

7pm We have been listening to Joycey’s rubbish music now for too long and everyone is about ready to get out the changing rooms to warm-up.

Beatts likes to do some stretching before we go out, I like to get changed quickly then sit and relax before I go out, others like Dean Winnard get fired up and loud even at this early stage, everyone has different routines.

7.45pm After a quick run through set pieces and some final words of advice from the coaching staff and manager, we are sent out to battle, this is our livelihood, this is what makes all the training and hard work worthwhile, we now have 90 minutes to win a football match.

All the preparation has been geared towards this moment and this is the best part of being a footballer at any level.

10pm We lost the game 2-0 and we are out of the Cup. We had some injuries to key players and it’s a bitter pill to swallow, this results in a very disheartened and quiet bus journey home.

The lads tuck into the pizzas that are on the bus and the journey drags on much longer than on the way there.

The bus has a very different atmosphere after a win, loud music lots of laughter and banter, but tonight is unrecognisable to the likes of that.

Ugo Monye claims he has had 10,000 stolen from his bank account

England Saxons winger Monye claims 10,000 was stolen from bank account

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

17:41 GMT, 9 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:49 GMT, 9 January 2013

Ugo Monye claims he had 10,000 stolen from his bank account – just hours after being named in the England Saxons squad.

The Harlequins winger took to Twitter to reveal the news, saying: '10k nicked outta my account! Brutal. Cheers Lloyds TSB for being so on the ball… Naaaat.'

He later revealed he spent 75 minutes on the phone fixing the problem.

Theft: Ugo Monye claims to have had 10,000 stolen from his account

Theft: Ugo Monye claims to have had 10,000 stolen from his account

His team-mate Mike Brown responded by admitting he had suffered the same fate.

'Mate that's too weird that mine was done few weeks ago as well! 6k!,' he said.

British Lions centre Jamie Roberts said: 'had that much in your account did you #sorryaboutthat.'

Matt Prior phone call to Kevin Pietersen built bridges for reintegration

Prior: My phone call built the bridges for Pietersen's England reintegration

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

At the height of last summer’s textgate affair, Kevin Pietersen’s phone had never rung colder.

Few in English cricket were prepared to call a man many believed had, by sending a string of derogatory messages to ‘close friends’ in the South Africa dressing room, betrayed captain Andrew Strauss and severely undermined the team’s carefully fostered morale.

While several England players were minded to wash their hands of the side’s most talented but highest maintenance player, wicketkeeper Matt Prior saw the bigger picture and called his troubled team-mate in an effort to thrash out the seismic differences few in the dressing room had seen coming.

Old friends: Prior (right) and Pietersen (left) patched things up over the phone

Old friends: Prior (right) and Pietersen (left) patched things up over the phone

It was a move that showed Pietersen he was still valued by his team-mates and cemented Prior’s position as the most inclusive – and, arguably, most important – member of the team.

‘If that situation arose another 100 times, I would phone Kev another 100 times,’ Prior said. ‘It wasn’t done for any other reason than that I saw a team-mate struggling and, as far as I’m concerned, that becomes the responsibility of the players.

‘If someone isn’t happy in the dressing room then you have to go out of your way to find out what the issue is and do as much as you can to make it right.

‘That might be a case of seeing a person’s point and saying: “You know what, mate You’re right”. Or it might be a case of being honest and saying: “You need to sort a few things out”.

‘Kevin and I are both pretty straightforward and honest guys who don’t mince our words. I think he was pleased to hear from me and, from what I’ve heard him say, I think he was pleased someone made the call.

Reintegrated: Pietersen was dropped following the Headingley Test last summer

Reintegrated: Pietersen was dropped following the Headingley Test last summer

‘It was a case of “what’s up buddy You
tell me and I’ll tell you”. It was a refreshing way to have a
conversation. Sometimes, you need to say tough things to your mates in
order for them to improve and, more importantly, for the team to move
forward.

‘We’d worked extremely hard under Strauss and Andy Flower to build the team culture and we got to a good place, No 1 in the world. But what last summer proved was how fragile that team spirit can be if you don’t look after it.’

Prior’s intervention saw England’s players begin a dialogue that eventually led to Pietersen being reintegrated after he was dropped for the final Test of the summer on disciplinary grounds.

The appointment of Alastair Cook as Strauss’s successor, after the decision of England’s most successful captain of all time to resign at the end of the South Africa series, also provided an opportunity to bring Pietersen back into the fold for the tour of India.

England were rewarded with a sublime innings of 186 in the series-altering second Test win in Mumbai and an overall contribution of 338 runs at 48.28 in the series.

Down Under: Prior is currently playing in the Big Bash tournament in Australia

Down Under: Prior is currently playing in the Big Bash tournament in Australia

But it was Pietersen’s off-field contribution which impressed Prior most.

‘Kevin was absolutely sensational,’ he said. ‘The public will see he hit 180 in Mumbai, which showed his class, but we all know how good he is and that he can play those match-winning innings.

‘He was fantastic talking to the young players and passing on his experience. Because he’d been to India more than anybody else, he also knew where to go and what restaurants to eat at. Little things like that are incredibly important on a tour to somewhere like India.

‘It wasn’t just Kev who had to make changes, everyone had to. We did that well and proved we’re again a tight unit and can move forward without having to talk about it any more.’

England’s one-day squad, minus the rested Pietersen and the out-of-favour Prior, leave for their five-match tour to India on January 2.

Prior, widely acknowledged as the world’s finest wicketkeeper batsman, remains desperate to reclaim both his one-day and Twenty20 shirt and is spending his time away from the Test team honing his skills in Australia’s Big Bash tournament.

Newcastle"s Jonas Gutierrez shares yerba mate tea with Colin Young

VIDEO: Fancy a cuppa mate, mate When Colin met Jonas for tea… with a difference

|

UPDATED:

01:34 GMT, 14 December 2012

Jonas Gutierrez drinks his yerba mate tea from South America in his traditional calabash gourd cup from a silver bombilla straw.

Mate is the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, it was first drunk by the indigenous Guarani people and is now a common daily social habit throughout Latin and South America.

Sportsmail reporter Colin Young drinks his Ringtons tea with milk and one sugar from a Cheshire cat mug.

Ringtons
is a Newcastle-based firm, established close to the club’s training
ground in 1907, who still carry out daily deliveries to households
throughout the north east and the UK.

Setting the world to rights: Jonas Gutierrez (left) introduces Colin Young to the world of mate

Setting the world to rights: Jonas Gutierrez (left) introduces Colin Young to the world of mate

Describing the event, Colin says: 'Jonas put the tea leaves in, tipped the gourd and created a small hole on one side in the leaves. He then poured in a good measure of hot water from his small, thin flask and placed the bambillo in the base of the gourd. Then he handed it over to suck through the silver straw.

'It was very hot, and warmed the lips through the silver pipe, but the mate didn’t burn the mouth.

'As for the taste, it was quite bitter and very strange, woody aftertaste. I can see the benefit of adding sugar to lose the bitterness. It was certainly not as unpleasant as Ryan Taylor has made out but it’s hard to see it replacing my daily brew.

'Going head-to-head with Argentina’s most popular drink with Jonas Gutierrez, of course I had to bring the tea from Newcastle-based Ringtons.

'And, as I told Jonas, sorry mate, but you just can’t beat a good old English cuppa.’

VIDEO: Watch highlights of the photoshoot for Jonas and Colin's tea party

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Gaston Ramirez can be the next Cristiano Ronaldo, claims Jose Fonte

Fonte: If he works hard enough Saints' Ramirez can be the next Ronaldo

|

UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 7 December 2012

Southampton defender Jose Fonte watched Cristiano Ronaldo develop from a teenage team-mate at Sporting Lisbon to one of the greatest talents in the world today.

And he recognises similar traits in Southampton's record 12million signing Gaston Ramirez.

Fonte was 17-years-old when he started playing and training with 16-year-old Ronaldo.

The next big thing Jose Fonte claims Gaston Ramirez could be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo (above)

The next big thing Jose Fonte claims Gaston Ramirez (above) could be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo

The next big thing Jose Fonte claims Gaston Ramirez (right) could be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo (left)

He used to kick him in training because he was so quick and was startled by the desire from this teenager to be better than all of the older players.

The teenage Ronaldo wanted to be stronger and faster than everyone else and he was prepared to work harder to do it.

Fonte said: 'I've seen it with my own eyes – him doing press ups in the shower. I know he worked very hard to get where he is and I'm very pleased for him because he deserves it.

'He was the youngest but he wanted to be the best all the time.

'I'm fortunate to have worked with him and I saw his progress and he inspired me to be honest because of the way he always drives and wants to be the best at everything.

'I'm very pleased for what he has achieved and he'll achieve more because he has that mentality. He never stops.'

When Ronaldo was at Manchester United and Fonte moved over to England to play for Crystal Palace the pair used to exchange messages. But they have lost contact since, as Fonte said: 'he's too big now.'

Yet when 22-year-old Ramirez joined Southampton in the summer he started to spot similar ability and is sure with a similar work-rate to Ronaldo he can be up there with the best.

Whereas he used to kick Ronaldo off the park – he can't get anywhere near the Uruguyan in training.

Friend of the stars Fonte (right) used to play with Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon

Friend of the stars Fonte (right) used to play with Ronaldo at Sporting Lisbon

Boost: Ramirez is likely to start against Reading despite spending the past week in Uruguay

Boost: Ramirez is likely to start against Reading despite spending the past week in Uruguay

And Fonte added: 'Ability-wise he's up there with the best I must say. His technique, creativity and vision of the game and understanding are better than everyone else in the team at the moment.

'He gives us something else. Creativity-wise Ramirez is up there, no doubt about it.

'Listen, you can have all the talent in the world but if you don't work sooner or later you're going to start going down in your career.

'You have to maintain that and keep improving. And that's what Ronaldo did. That's what I try to pass on the message, for example Ramirez is 22 he knows if he wants to go even higher he has to keep working.

'He has the talent but it doesn't mean anything if you don't work.'

Spurs striker Jermain Defoe is a deadly finisher like Robbie Fowler, says Brad Friedel

Spurs striker Defoe is a deadly finisher like Fowler, says Friedel

|

UPDATED:

22:41 GMT, 7 December 2012

Jermain Defoe rivals Robbie Fowler for finishing ability, according to the man who faces him every day in training.

Brad Friedel believes the Spurs
striker is as good as his former Liverpool team-mate when it comes to
putting the ball in the net.

Deadly: Jermain Defoe scores past Panathinaikos goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis

Deadly: Jermain Defoe scores past Panathinaikos goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis

Defoe was not a consistent starter last year but has scored 15 goals in 26 games for club and country this season and the American thinks his talents deserve recognition.

'He reminds me a lot of Robbie Fowler in his finishing,' said Friedel. 'He has a really short back lift. When you have that sometimes keepers can't get their feet set. On top of that he's got some power behind his shot.

'But then he can also disguise it and do what he did against Panathinaikos and dink it over the keeper. He's an exceptional finisher and he really comes on fire when he gets in the box.'

Asked how he compares to Premier League greats including Alan Shearer the 41-year-old replied: 'He's got a finish just as good as all them.

Goalkeepers have an immense amount of respect for his finishing capabilities. I've never heard a player not mention his name when they talk about great goalscorers.

'Last year we played a little bit different system. When we have played with two up front recently I think Jermain really thrives on that and then he can save his energy for inside the box, where it really matters for us.

'He always plays on the shoulder so if the defence wants to push high up the pitch he's going to keep them honest. The goal he scored on Thursday – he was on side but just, he was on the edge all the time.

Defenders always have to keep an eye on him.'

Tottenham travel to Everton on Sunday for a key game as each side battles for a Champions League place and Friedel would not bet against Defoe netting again.

'I think all strikers when they're getting goals on a run their confidence builds and builds, they feel like they're going to score no matter where they are on the pitch. He's definitely in that vein of form at the moment.'