Tag Archives: medicine

Jessica Ennis becomes TV interviewer in park – VIDEO

Which Olympic champion turned TV interviewer with an impromptu workout in the park (she's not really a blonde)

and a dazzling gold medal winner, but she wasn't easily recognised when she put on a wig and took a microphone into Hyde Park.

For regular morning fitness fanatics the last thing you expect is to bump into Sheffield's finest, Jessica Ennis. But one runner got more than he was expecting when she stopped him for a chat – and then offered an impromptu workout.

Scroll down to watch the video

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Disguise: Jessica Ennis has a wig fitted as she prepares to undercover and surprise runners in London

Ennis initially donned a wig, grabbed a microphone and film crew and questioned runners in London's Hyde Park about their training habits.

Then, having revealed herself to one unsuspecting participant, the 27-year-old Olympic heptathlon gold medallist spent an hour showing him ways to improve his fitness.

Using equipment ranging from a medicine ball to a park bench, the amateur athlete is put through
his paces.

The video was shot as part of a new Powerade campaign: ‘You Have More Power Than You Think'.

And with Sunday's London Marathon fast approaching, what better time to pick up some last-minute tips

For more information and to download the training tips, click here.

Up close and personal: Ennis stopped unsuspecting runners to quiz them on their fitness regimes

Up close and personal: Ennis stopped unsuspecting runners to quiz them on their fitness regimes

Surprise: Ennis reveals her true identity to one runner before taking him through a workout

Surprise: Ennis reveals her true identity to one runner before taking him through a workout

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Working out: Ennis takes the amatuer athlete through a session involving a variety of exercises

Olympics success helps the healing between FIFA and FA – Charles Sale

Games success helps the healing between FIFA and FA

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UPDATED:

23:30 GMT, 21 November 2012

FIFA president Sepp Blatter was roundly booed by the capacity Wembley crowd at the Olympic football final at London 2012.

But yesterday he cited football’s part in the Games’ success as the catalyst for the greatly improved relationship between FIFA and the FA since the nadir of the 2018 World Cup vote.

‘The Olympic spirit had done a lot of good for football,’ said Blatter.
And the bridge building has resulted in FIFA donating $500,000 (almost 314,000) from their Goal Programme for the development of the sports science and medicine facility at St George’s Park.

Friends again: FIFA president Sepp Blatter visited St George's Park

Friends again: FIFA president Sepp Blatter visited St George's Park

Partners: Sepp Blatter and FA chairman David Bernstein

Partners: Sepp Blatter and FA chairman David Bernstein

More from Charles Sale…

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Charles Sale: Cricket pundit Hughes on a sticky wicket in love match
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Charles Sale: No way back Liverpool chief Chang return in doubt following Twitter storm
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Charles Sale: Soccer Saturday tour scrapped… but no-one will say why
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Sports Agenda Extra: We needed troops to step in yet G4S could WIN gong for 2012 Olympics work
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It is a bizarre decision considering the FA’s huge wealth and the fund being designed by Blatter mainly to aid third world football countries and in the process shore up his election support.

But FA general secretary Alex Horne said: ‘The money goes back into developing football, so any contribution that is eligible, why not take it’

Nevertheless, the FIFA sweetener does not make much of a dent in the 18million spent on England’s doomed 2018 bid.

Bernstein shows his funny side

FA chairman David Bernstein — said to have had a humour by-pass by his FA board colleague Roger Burden — showed a jocular side to his character during a friendly tour around St George’s Park with FIFA president Sepp Blatter, not least in greeting the old rogue with a bear hug when he arrived at the National Football Centre, as did SGP chairman David Sheepshanks.

Blatter added to Sheepshanks’ credentials for succeeding Bernstein in the FA post next June by giving him ‘special merit’ for the success of the 100m SGP project.

Revie honoured

Don Revie is still best known as the England manager who betrayed his country by quitting in the middle of a World Cup qualifying campaign for a big-money move to the United Arab Emirates. Yet now there is a Don Revie room at St George’s Park in which the FA entertained FIFA president Sepp Blatter for lunch yesterday.

History forgotten: Don Revie has been honoured at St George's Park

History forgotten: Don Revie has been honoured at St George's Park

Scudamore shines

FIFA have resolved to take increasing action against third party ownership of footballers following a presentation in Zurich by Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore. The PL have led the way in banning third party involvement in transfers following Carlos Tevez’s move to West Ham in 2006. Scudamore was asked to give the talk to FIFA’s new football committee, on which he sits, by UEFA president Michel Platini. Chelsea target Falcao is part-owned by a football fund co-managed by ex-Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon.

Viagogo still on the go

Secondary ticket site Viagogo are shamelessly claiming it will be business as usual in their busy selling of Twickenham seats after the Supreme Court ruled they must tell the RFU who used the website to sell rugby tickets in 2010 and 2011 in breach of RFU regulations.

Viagogo’s Ed Parkinson said: ‘The RFU may have run off with a handful of names but I can assure you this will not happen again. Our rugby business is now bigger and our data protection is better.’

Controversy: Viagogo insist is business as usual with England rugby tickets

Controversy: Viagogo insist is business as usual with England rugby tickets

RFU chief commercial officer Sophie Goldschmidt called Viagogo’s response ‘misleading’, adding that they were in no position to make guarantees to customers. The RFU, armed with the landmark Supreme Court judgement, are chasing Viagogo’s 2012 Six Nations suppliers and will be taking action over the seats being advertised online for the current autumn series.

No Elleray conflict

It has emerged that FA councillor David Elleray, chairman of the FA referees committee, has an eight per cent shareholding in First Class Cars, the chauffeur company which ferries around elite referees, England players and Premier League and FA officials. An FA spokesman said there was no conflict over the shareholding with Elleray’s FA roles.

Rights boom

The latest money-laden Premier League TV deal for the next three seasons has seen agents IMG secure the rights for Vietnam for treble the price of the current contract, Japan, where there has been a significant rise also on the back of Shinji Kagawa signing for Manchester United, and Mongolia.

Arsene Wenger"s taste of his own medicine – Martin Samuel

Wenger's taste of his own medicine

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UPDATED:

22:35 GMT, 8 July 2012

Arsene Wenger has an economics degree from the University of Strasbourg, so let's keep this simple. Let's put what is happening at Arsenal in terms he will understand. It's Schumpeter's Gale.

No How about creative destructionist theory, then Still nothing All right, Le Professeur can skip this part. He already knows what it is coming. Joseph Schumpeter was an Austro-Hungarian born economist whose 1942 work Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy offered a much-admired treatment of Marxist economic theory.

Schumpeter saw capitalism as moving relentlessly forward through innovation propelled by entrepreneurial investment. In turn, this new capitalism destroyed established companies and monopoly powerhouses, propped up by previous economic regimes.

Schumpeter's Gale: Arsenal are reaping what they sow

Schumpeter's Gale: Arsenal are reaping what they sow

More from Martin Samuel…

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Martin Samuel: Come to see the gongs, not the gangs in Stratford
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Martin Samuel: Wimbledon sexism row… it's 50 Shades of Grey
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Martin Samuel: Unlucky Heather… or simply not up to it Watson's failings are exposed
29/06/12

No, minister, you are not up to the job: Why the inexperienced Chloe Smith deserved Paxo's grilling

29/06/12

Psycho Pearce He's not as mad as he seems (Still as brave, though)
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He called this process Creative Destruction, although through his writing it has subsequently become known as Schumpeter's Gale: one form of capitalism blowing away its predecessor.

Schumpeter used the example of the Illinois Central railroad, bringing new business and new cities to the Midwest, while simultaneously destroying old agricultural companies and communities.

If he was alive today, he could equally cite the boom in internet sales businesses impacting on high street retail, or how cassette machines were outstripped by CD players and CDs by MP3 players, and why Arsenal keep losing all their best players to Manchester City.

It is Schumpeter's Gale that is blowing right up Wenger's passage and has been for several years. Football's new money, most particularly at Chelsea and City, is wreaking creative destruction on established businesses such as Arsenal and Liverpool, the way iPods have overtaken Walkmans.

The difference is that in football, unlike any other industry, this is perceived as unfair. If Robin van Persie is the latest to depart Arsenal for City there will no doubt be a fresh round of outrage that foreign wealth is messing with the fabric of the English game.

Yet Chelsea and City do not poach players from Manchester United; not even from Tottenham Hotspur in the past year. Schumpeter's Gale most drastically affects Arsenal, because Arsenal have fallen behind.

Indeed, why should Arsenal's monopoly – a Champions League appearance for 15 consecutive seasons and counting – be artificially protected Nobody saved Sony when their technology was overtaken by Apple. Nobody rushed to protect Polaroid as it was being swept away by Nikon and Minolta.

The reality is that Arsenal's sustainable business model is not as special and altruistic as they would have us believe.

'Sometimes your work is destroyed by
others,' said Wenger at the weekend. 'I am a victim of that. I lost
Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and Cesc Fabregas at an age when they should
have been playing their best football.'

Pastures new: Arsenal have lost many of their best players in recent seasons

Pastures new: Arsenal have lost many of their best players in recent seasons

Pastures new: Arsenal have lost many of their best players in recent seasons

Yes, but those players were the product of other clubs. The raw talent was already there; Arsenal polished it up and sold it on. They were middle men. They got their cut. Ashley Cole was the last entirely home produced player who Arsenal lost to a major club and that was six years ago.

Since then, the most controversial departures have all been players who were given their biggest break by Arsenal, but were schooled elsewhere: Fabregas (Barcelona), Nasri (Marseille), Kolo Toure (AS EC Minosas), Clichy (Cannes), Emmanuel Adebayor (Metz) and Van Persie (Feyenoord).

What Manchester City have done to Arsenal is only what Arsenal have done to smaller economic entities. One form of entrepreneurial capitalism consumes the other. It is a tough world, but not unfair.

It is said that Theo Walcott could be the next to leave, making further protest ironic. For if you want to look at a genuine victim of capitalist economics, try Southampton. One might argue that – the often beautiful football aside – Arsenal are not holding their end up in terms of innovation.

Their ideas are not winning trophies and their most precious commodities are largely imported, repackaged and resold. Yet Luke Shaw, a 16-year-old yet to start in Southampton's first team, is believed to be the subject of a 4m bid from Chelsea.

If this is acceptable, he will be the
latest in an impressive line of talent produced by the club dating back
to 2003. Over the past decade, Southampton have been consistently
responsible for some of the finest young footballers in the country: yet
in that time they have fallen, and risen, through three divisions, gone
into administration and flirted with bankruptcy.

Patience of Saints: Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bale left St Mary's in recent years

Patience of Saints: Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bale left St Mary's in recent years

Patience of Saints: Oxlade-Chamberlain and Bale left St Mary's in recent years

They remain at the cutting edge of innovation, yet are crushed by creatively destructive forces just the same. Wayne Bridge left Southampton for Chelsea in 2003; Walcott was 16 when he joined Arsenal for an initial 5m in 2006; in 2007 the same figure took Gareth Bale to Tottenham; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain moved from Southampton to Arsenal in 2011 for 15m; now Shaw.

He is unlikely to feature in Southampton's first team next season and has only played 13 minutes of an FA Cup fourth-round tie with Millwall, but already he is regarded as the most promising left back in the country.

What's in a name

Bob Diamond's daughter is called Nell. No, really, she is.

But did you know Danny Welbeck’s father is a famous bomb disposal expert Stan.

Chelsea see him as the long-term successor to Cole – although where that leaves Champions League winner Ryan Bertrand is a mystery – and Arsenal are also interested.

If a bid from Wenger was successful, Shaw would become the third Southampton protege to migrate to the Emirates in six years, a fact that does not seem to carry the same weight with those who would wish Arsenal protection from Schumpeter's Gale, through UEFA's financial fair play rules.

Not for the first time, president Michel Platini has missed the point. If anything, it is those below who are most wickedly exposed to the prevailing wind; and, for them, nothing changes.

Robin and Rooney threat for City

All the talk is of Robin van Persie going to Manchester City, but it is
surely at Manchester United where he could prove most devastating.

Imagine a forward partnership with Wayne Rooney: two No 10s, who could also operate as No 9s, constantly switching, alternating, dragging their markers out of position, always thinking, always posing questions.

If Arsenal decide they have no option but to sell, this could be Manchester
United’s best chance of matching City’s firepower. Whether it is wise for
Arsenal to create a second rival that they cannot get close to is entirely another matter.

Roo's the best Van Persie could link-up well with Wayne

Roo's the best Van Persie could link-up well with Wayne

Serena's hectic schedule

Further to last week's column about the differences between men's and women's tennis, here is Serena Williams' schedule for the second week of Wimbledon.

Monday: Ladies Singles, fourth round. Tuesday: Ladies Singles, quarter-final; Ladies Doubles, second round. Wednesday: Ladies Doubles, second round (carried over); Ladies Doubles, third round. Thursday: Ladies Singles, semi-final; Ladies Doubles, quarter-final. Friday: Ladies Doubles, semi-final. Saturday: Ladies Singles final, Ladies Doubles final.

The athletic achievement is incredible and the Williams sisters are exceptional competitors. Serena is among the greatest tennis players of all time, male or female, and has revolutionised her sport.

Even so, the same demand while playing five sets in the men's game would be impossible. Andy Murray was right. No man can attempt more than one Grand Slam title at an event these days.

Financially, this places them at a disadvantage. It will be intriguing to see how this issue is resolved.

Keeping busy: Serena was battling on two fronts for glory at SW19

Keeping busy: Serena was battling on two fronts for glory at SW19

It's hard being you, Charles

Charles van Commenee, head coach of UK Athletics, is predicting an enjoyable time for his charges at the Olympics.

'We are doing sport,' he said. 'Something fun. A lot of people in athletics make it sound as if they are living a hard life, as if they have to go to the coal mines in Azerbaijan every morning or maybe work for the Daily Mail. That's what I call tough.'

Well, thank you, Charlie. Nice of you to notice. We do put the hours in here, although unlike your place we don't seem to speak to each other through lawyers as much, if you talk at all, in the case of Phillips Idowu.

How is he, by the way, or are you still at that awkward 'don't ask, don't tell' stage Never mind. No doubt it will work itself out and you'll have as much fun together as we do at the Daily Mail every day.

In fact, as you may be able to tell, we're laughing right now.

Playing is a fact for Mata

Juan Mata will not be available to play for Chelsea until the middle of September. The club are giving him time off after the Olympic football tournament, where he will represent Spain.

This means Mata has played the 2008-09 season for Valencia, 2009 Confederations Cup, 2009-10 season for Valencia, 2010 World Cup, 2010-11 season for Valencia, 2011 European Under 21 Championship, 2011-12 season for Chelsea, 2012 European Championship, 2012 Olympic tournament and will then embark on the 2012-13 season for Chelsea.

Can you imagine if he was English His coaches would be on trial for attempted murder. Now, obviously, Mata does not play every game for Spain and has often been a bit-part player at tournaments.

But he trains with the team each day, travels, is ready to participate in every game and was hardly underused by his clubs in the interim.

So why isn't he tired Why isn't Mata dead on his feet It's that passing to each other thing again, isn't it

All action: Mata has played constantly in recent years without showing fatigue

All action: Mata has played constantly in recent years without showing fatigue

Sarah's split loyalties

Reflecting on the controversy around taekwondo No 1 Aaron Cook's failure to make the Olympic team, Great Britain's medal hope Sarah Stevenson said: 'What I think has happened here is that a lot of people who don't know much about our sport have become fixated on the fact that Aaron is world No 1 and should be the automatic pick when that is not necessarily the case.'

Of course, it could equally be argued that what has happened here is that a sports personality, Stevenson, has been given the space to write a newspaper column and has used it to defend a highly dubious decision taken within her sport, without mentioning the fact that her husband, Steve Jennings, was part of the five-man committee that made it.

British Taekwondo did not even want to publish the panel's names initially, until they were revealed in a newspaper.

Perhaps Stevenson felt that full disclosure of her husband's involvement would have made taekwondo's hierarchy appear insular and self-preserving. Not that an outsider would know, obviously.

Best foot forward: Stevenson will represent Team GB this summer

Best foot forward: Stevenson will represent Team GB this summer

Harry's record stands the test

Now Andre Villas-Boas has been installed at White Hart Lane, some are already comparing his record favourably to that of predecessor Harry Redknapp.

'At 34, Villas-Boas has won more silverware than Redknapp has in his entire career,' sniffed one commentator.

Yes, indeed, there is a difference in taking over a club that had won the league in 12 of the previous 16 seasons and had finished third in the last campaign (Porto, before the arrival of Villas-Boas) and one that had not finished in the top two since 1963 and were bottom of the league (Tottenham Hotspur before Redknapp).

'A man who could bring Juan Mata to London offers something far beyond Redknapp's ken,' our expert continued. Even if this were true, Villas-Boas didn't bring Mata to Chelsea. He had been linked with them since before the end of the 2010-11 season, when Villas-Boas was still managing Porto.

A more fitting example of insight would be the transition in a player like Luka Modric: signed by Juande Ramos and utterly ineffectual, transformed by Redknapp and now to be sold for 35million.

The same old arguments are made by those desperate to rewrite history. Redknapp's achievements are a myth, propped up by his friends in the media (funny how the critics are never referred to as his enemies but any praise is apparently biased).

Achiever: Redknapp had a fantastic record at Tottenham

Achiever: Redknapp had a fantastic record at Tottenham

And, of course, unlike Villas-Boas, he is tactically naive. Yet it wasn't Redknapp who conceded five goals at home to Arsenal playing a high-line back four that did not suit his best defender John Terry. That was Villas-Boas.

The world is full of tactical geniuses who would all run rings around poor old Harry. It's a pity so few of them finished above him, given the chance, in any of the last three seasons.

Out For A Curry With Andy Murray

On the Couch With Peter Crouch is apparently a new chat show on Sky. What came first, do you think, the title or the concept And why stop there This could open up a whole new area of media exposure for sports stars.

Just think of it: On A Chair With Dusty Hare; Across A Futon With Eddie Newton; In A Car With Demba Ba; Out For A Curry With Andy Murray; Back Of A Cab With Bob McNab; On A Swing With Ledley King; In A Hole With Martin Jol; Waist High In Mud With Toby Flood; Niagara In A Barrel With Owen Farrell.

Indeed, this is an idea that could expand through so many areas. Travel (Christ, It's Hot With Jonathan Trott), cooking (What's For Tea With Francis Lee), the arts (In A Tutu With Adrian Mutu), comedy (Having A Lark With Ji-sung Park), science (What's That Pong With Nigel de Jong), even fashion (In A Caguole With Younes Kaboul).

And as for Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck – (that's enough shows. Ed.)

Next TV sensation: It's unlikely Murray will host his own chat show

Next TV sensation: It's unlikely Murray will host his own chat show

Hollow victory for Roy's boys

When Roy Hodgson took the England job, among the list of credentials read out by Football Association chairman David Bernstein was the fact he took Switzerland to third in the FIFA world rankings.

Now we see the ridiculousness of that boast. Next month, England, too, will be third in the world when Uruguay surrender their place in the top four.

Bernstein will surely not be claiming that achievement with any confidence and Hodgson would find it embarrassing if he did. He is not one for rash claims.

Hodgson did an excellent job with Switzerland, but as he said of that FIFA ranking, 'we were no more third in the world than I was a Chinaman'. Sensible chap.

Do not expect him to switch nationalities to commemorate England's elevation, either.

Euro 2012: England success made at home, not Italy – Des Kelly

A victory made only in England

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 23 June 2012

There is a scene during Monty Python's Life Of Brian where the bungling People's Front of Judea gathers to plot the overthrow of the occupying Roman army.

JOHN CLEESE'S CHARACTER REG, CRIES: 'They have bled us white – and what have the Romans ever given to us in return'

ACTIVIST I: The aqueduct.

REG: Oh yeah, they gave us that. Yeah. That's true.

ACTIVIST II: And sanitation!

MATTHIAS: And the roads.

REG: Well, yes, obviously the roads. The roads go without saying. But apart from the aqueduct, the sanitation and the roads…

OTHER VOICES: Irrigation. Medicine. Education. Health. And the wine.

FRANCIS: That's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.

REG: All right. All right. But apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order, what have the Romans done for us'

Full Monty: Hodgson's England is fashioned by his rules - not those of his predecessor Capello

Full Monty: Hodgson's England is fashioned by his rules – not those of his predecessor Capello

More from Des Kelly…

Des Kelly: The FA forced Levy to do the dirty on Harry… and Redknapp deserved better
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Des Kelly: England don't stand a chance, right So just enjoy Euro 2012
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Des Kelly: This Anfield farce is like a reality show… welcome to Kop Idol!
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Des Kelly: Enjoy the big finish, this could be as good as it gets…
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Des Kelly: Roy's good for more than hotel bookings
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Des Kelly: Torture by TV for the duelling duo
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Des Kelly: I don't pay to see the BBC become part of history
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It's a marvellous joke, because it is essentially true. But football isn't on the achievement list. The Italians can't claim that one. They might have had a say in the design of our stadiums, but not the game itself.

Prior to England's quarter-final showdown with Italy on Sunday, however, a hasty revision of history is under way. The Italians are laying claim to a little piece of England. The Azzurri camp have declared that England are only performing on the international stage at Euro 2012 because they are pretending to be Italian.

What's more, the true architect of the revival is not English yeoman Roy Hodgson, despite the available evidence. It's actually thanks to ex-boss Fabio Capello, along with fellow imports Roberto Mancini, Roberto Di Matteo and every other Italian boss waving his arms about on our touchlines.

Defender Leonardo Bonucci said: 'England have become more like the Italians thanks to Capello and all the Italian managers in the Premier League.'

And Manchester City boss Mancini joined the bout of Italian self-congratulation: 'Hodgson followed the work of Capello – at the end of the day, he is an English-Italian coach'.

Attributing England's current tournament feelgood factor to Capello is a bit of a stretch. England admittedly breezed through the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign under the Italian grouch, but his 2010 South Africa campaign was mostly an embarrassment.

Capello's tenure in charge at the World Cup finals is now held up as an example of how not to do it. This did not prevent another report claiming Capello was actively helping his friend, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, by providing the inside track on the England squad before the match.

Head-to-head: Prandelli and Hodgson face each other on Sunday ngiht

Head-to-head: Prandelli and Hodgson face each other on Sunday ngiht

Head-to-head: Prandelli and Hodgson face each other on Sunday ngiht

But what secrets could Capello betray That the players didn't understand him That many actively disliked his methods and haughty approach That they didn't want to play for him It's ridiculous to believe that he has a great deal to offer England's rivals beyond stating the bleedin' obvious.

Regardless of the Italian preening, Hodgson has succeeded to date because he has brushed away many of the Italian's peculiarities.

Hodgson's not exactly an 'English- Italian' coach either, as Mancini claims. Yes, he did spend time in charge of Inter Milan. But he was appointed to the San Siro job because his Switzerland outfit defeated and drew with the Azzurri in two World Cup qualifiers. His methods were already in place.

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Under him, England are now playing a recognisably similar, organised, defensive system. Hodgson is not copying Capello or offering up some dish of Italian Lite, it has always been his preferred approach.

What's more, England are playing with confidence because they are recognisably English. There is a collective will and determination on view that is the epitome of the so-called 'Bulldog spirit'. The players are united in purpose. They work for each other. They make up for any deficiencies with bloody-minded determination.

Thankfully, those strengths have countered an alarming inability to retain the ball that has tested that resolve to near breaking point. Against Sweden and Ukraine, it was just enough.

England could concede 58 per cent of the possession against Ukraine and escape the consequences. Maybe they will be lucky and do it again against Italy. But to follow that with results against Germany and Spain Nobody is that fortunate.

Swiss role: Hodgson left the national role to take over at Inter Milan

Swiss role: Hodgson left the national role to take over at Inter Milan

For years, England have looked at other nations and tried to magpie the shiniest aspects of their play, ignoring the fact that those national sides have grown up together reading the same coaching manual.

This England are still years away from that cohesive tactical approach, although the FA's national coaching centre at Burton will help. It is why England usually fall at this point. Hard work is not enough.

Put aside the World Cup win in 1966 and the march to the semi-finals at Euro 96 and the uncomfortable truth is no England team have ever beaten one of football's leading international powers at the knockout stage of a major competition when deprived of home advantage.

Maybe it can change on Sunday. Maybe one more serving of the full English will be enough.

Sepp Blather (cont)

Sepp Blatter is not one of the great thinkers of the game. The FIFA president spends so much time chasing popularity he rarely stops to consider the implications of his babbling.

No sooner had the final whistle blown after England's Euro 2012 victory over Ukraine, helped in part by the fact that officials missed Marko Devic's shot crossing the line, than Blatter was starting up the bandwagon.

He declared goal-line technology had to be introduced as 'a necessity'. Pandering to the nearest available audience, Blatter said what the co-hosts were demanding to hear. But he failed to address the fact that the goal was created from an offside position.

So his goal-line technology would correct one injustice but ignore another.

Unless TV reviews on appeal are allowed for all decisions, goal-line technology just moves the argument elsewhere.

Better late than never: Blatter's finally come round to idea of goal-line technology

Better late than never: Blatter's finally come round to idea of goal-line technology

Drogba goes missing in China

Didier Drogba has joined the Chinese Super League, but there is very little 'super' about it aside from the ridiculous salary he will collect.

The former Chelsea striker spurned an opportunity to move to Real Madrid and instead joined former team-mate Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua on a 220,000-a-week deal. It will earn him close to 30million over the course of his two-and-a-half-year contract.

For that, Drogba will find himself lost in a league that serves up dismal football amid a shocking culture of corruption. Two former heads of the Chinese Football Association were sent to prison earlier this month for accepting bribes along with an array of leading players.

Flash in the pan Reality of football in China will shock Drogba

Flash in the pan Reality of football in China will shock Drogba

Drogba's new club are also mired in an unhappy 12th place out of 16. And, as is customary, Anelka is sulking again, after being appointed player-manager only to be quickly replaced by Argentine coach Sergio Batista.

The trouble was, nobody bothered to inform Anelka, prompting him to threaten to quit. Once the novelty of his celebrity appearance fades, Drogba will encounter poor attendances usually numbering a few thousand and a level of widespread disinterest in the domestic game.

It is not played in schools and remains a minority sport. The game in China will grow in time, but not at the pace to warrant 30m deals for any player.

Not when there are only 80 football pitches in the whole of Beijing, a city of 20 million people.

Don't be fooled by old Bernie

The story screamed: 'Revealed, F1's Olympic Stadium Bid', and claimed Bernie Ecclestone was 'interested' in holding a London Grand Prix in and around the new arena after the 2012 Games.

It's an ambitious idea that caught the imagination. I'm sure the timing had nothing to do with Ecclestone also being 'interested' in ensuring events at a German court case were edged to the margins of the page.

This other tale related to allegations that the promoter bribed a banker with 28million following the sale of F1 to the company where Ecclestone is now chief executive.

Ecclestone admits he paid the banker and was 'stupid', but says the money was for something else. The case continues. Meanwhile, look! There might be a race at the Olympic Stadium!

Wembley way: Ecclestone's making plenty of headlines

Wembley way: Ecclestone's making plenty of headlines

Mountainous effort

This time last year I was in Tanzania almost 20,000 feet up on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It took me five days to reach the summit.

I only mention this because Spencer West, a 31-year-old from Toronto, also scaled the highest peak in Africa this week. He did it in seven days.

That slightly slower progress is explained by the fact that Spencer had to drag himself across the scree and volcanic rock using only his hands, because his legs have been amputated below the pelvis. It is an extraordinary achievement from an extraordinarily determined man.

Why sprint to print

Physicists have demonstrated that the fastest animal on the planet is a pig dropped out of an aeroplane.

Unfortunately, this is not yet an Olympic sport, so we have to make do with the 100 metres race. And in the global sprint stakes, Britain is nowhere.

The top 20 sprinters in the world in 2012 hail mostly from Jamaica, the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.

The UK ambles in at the back somewhere wearing carpet slippers and coughing like an asthmatic. Dwain Chambers didn't even make the top five British runners before last night's race. So why so much coverage

Oh yes, it's because he's a former drug cheat.

Coming up short: Chambers isn't even Britain's best sprinter

Coming up short: Chambers isn't even Britain's best sprinter

The official line…

The most pointless things in the world: leaf blowers, the Braille keys on the drive-in cash machine I once used in Florida, men's nipples, Nick Clegg and, of course, those ridiculous extra officials that stand behind the goal-line at football matches.

A victory made only in England

A victory made only in England

|

UPDATED:

23:12 GMT, 22 June 2012

There is a scene during Monty Python's Life Of Brian where the bungling People's Front of Judea gathers to plot the overthrow of the occupying Roman army.

JOHN CLEESE'S CHARACTER REG, CRIES: 'They have bled us white – and what have the Romans ever given to us in return'

ACTIVIST I: The aqueduct.

REG: Oh yeah, they gave us that. Yeah. That's true.

ACTIVIST II: And sanitation!

MATTHIAS: And the roads.

REG: Well, yes, obviously the roads. The roads go without saying. But apart from the aqueduct, the sanitation and the roads…

OTHER VOICES: Irrigation. Medicine. Education. Health. And the wine.

FRANCIS: That's something we'd really miss if the Romans left, Reg.

REG: All right. All right. But apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order, what have the Romans done for us'

Full Monty: Hodgson's England is fashioned by his rules - not those of his predecessor Capello

Full Monty: Hodgson's England is fashioned by his rules – not those of his predecessor Capello

More from Des Kelly…

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Des Kelly: I don't pay to see the BBC become part of history
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VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

It's a marvellous joke, because it is essentially true. But football isn't on the achievement list. The Italians can't claim that one. They might have had a say in the design of our stadiums, but not the game itself.

Prior to England's quarter-final showdown with Italy on Sunday, however, a hasty revision of history is under way. The Italians are laying claim to a little piece of England. The Azzurri camp have declared that England are only performing on the international stage at Euro 2012 because they are pretending to be Italian.

What's more, the true architect of the revival is not English yeoman Roy Hodgson, despite the available evidence. It's actually thanks to ex-boss Fabio Capello, along with fellow imports Roberto Mancini, Roberto Di Matteo and every other Italian boss waving his arms about on our touchlines.

Defender Leonardo Bonucci said: 'England have become more like the Italians thanks to Capello and all the Italian managers in the Premier League.'

And Manchester City boss Mancini joined the bout of Italian self-congratulation: 'Hodgson followed the work of Capello – at the end of the day, he is an English-Italian coach'.

Attributing England's current tournament feelgood factor to Capello is a bit of a stretch. England admittedly breezed through the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign under the Italian grouch, but his 2010 South Africa campaign was mostly an embarrassment.

Capello's tenure in charge at the World Cup finals is now held up as an example of how not to do it. This did not prevent another report claiming Capello was actively helping his friend, Italy coach Cesare Prandelli, by providing the inside track on the England squad before the match.

Head-to-head: Prandelli and Hodgson face each other on Sunday ngiht

Head-to-head: Prandelli and Hodgson face each other on Sunday ngiht

Head-to-head: Prandelli and Hodgson face each other on Sunday ngiht

But what secrets could Capello betray That the players didn't understand him That many actively disliked his methods and haughty approach That they didn't want to play for him It's ridiculous to believe that he has a great deal to offer England's rivals beyond stating the bleedin' obvious.

Regardless of the Italian preening, Hodgson has succeeded to date because he has brushed away many of the Italian's peculiarities.

Hodgson's not exactly an 'English- Italian' coach either, as Mancini claims. Yes, he did spend time in charge of Inter Milan. But he was appointed to the San Siro job because his Switzerland outfit defeated and drew with the Azzurri in two World Cup qualifiers. His methods were already in place.

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Under him, England are now playing a recognisably similar, organised, defensive system. Hodgson is not copying Capello or offering up some dish of Italian Lite, it has always been his preferred approach.

What's more, England are playing with confidence because they are recognisably English. There is a collective will and determination on view that is the epitome of the so-called 'Bulldog spirit'. The players are united in purpose. They work for each other. They make up for any deficiencies with bloody-minded determination.

Thankfully, those strengths have countered an alarming inability to retain the ball that has tested that resolve to near breaking point. Against Sweden and Ukraine, it was just enough.

England could concede 58 per cent of the possession against Ukraine and escape the consequences. Maybe they will be lucky and do it again against Italy. But to follow that with results against Germany and Spain Nobody is that fortunate.

Swiss role: Hodgson left the national role to take over at Inter Milan

Swiss role: Hodgson left the national role to take over at Inter Milan

For years, England have looked at other nations and tried to magpie the shiniest aspects of their play, ignoring the fact that those national sides have grown up together reading the same coaching manual.

This England are still years away from that cohesive tactical approach, although the FA's national coaching centre at Burton will help. It is why England usually fall at this point. Hard work is not enough.

Put aside the World Cup win in 1966 and the march to the semi-finals at Euro 96 and the uncomfortable truth is no England team have ever beaten one of football's leading international powers at the knockout stage of a major competition when deprived of home advantage.

Maybe it can change on Sunday. Maybe one more serving of the full English will be enough.

Sepp Blather (cont)

Sepp Blatter is not one of the great thinkers of the game. The FIFA president spends so much time chasing popularity he rarely stops to consider the implications of his babbling.

No sooner had the final whistle blown after England's Euro 2012 victory over Ukraine, helped in part by the fact that officials missed Marko Devic's shot crossing the line, than Blatter was starting up the bandwagon.

He declared goal-line technology had to be introduced as 'a necessity'. Pandering to the nearest available audience, Blatter said what the co-hosts were demanding to hear. But he failed to address the fact that the goal was created from an offside position.

So his goal-line technology would correct one injustice but ignore another.

Unless TV reviews on appeal are allowed for all decisions, goal-line technology just moves the argument elsewhere.

Better late than never: Blatter's finally come round to idea of goal-line technology

Better late than never: Blatter's finally come round to idea of goal-line technology

Drogba goes missing in China

Didier Drogba has joined the Chinese Super League, but there is very little 'super' about it aside from the ridiculous salary he will collect.

The former Chelsea striker spurned an opportunity to move to Real Madrid and instead joined former team-mate Nicolas Anelka at Shanghai Shenhua on a 220,000-a-week deal. It will earn him close to 30million over the course of his two-and-a-half-year contract.

For that, Drogba will find himself lost in a league that serves up dismal football amid a shocking culture of corruption. Two former heads of the Chinese Football Association were sent to prison earlier this month for accepting bribes along with an array of leading players.

Flash in the pan Reality of football in China will shock Drogba

Flash in the pan Reality of football in China will shock Drogba

Drogba's new club are also mired in an unhappy 12th place out of 16. And, as is customary, Anelka is sulking again, after being appointed player-manager only to be quickly replaced by Argentine coach Sergio Batista.

The trouble was, nobody bothered to inform Anelka, prompting him to threaten to quit. Once the novelty of his celebrity appearance fades, Drogba will encounter poor attendances usually numbering a few thousand and a level of widespread disinterest in the domestic game.

It is not played in schools and remains a minority sport. The game in China will grow in time, but not at the pace to warrant 30m deals for any player.

Not when there are only 80 football pitches in the whole of Beijing, a city of 20 million people.

Don't be fooled by old Bernie

The story screamed: 'Revealed, F1's Olympic Stadium Bid', and claimed Bernie Ecclestone was 'interested' in holding a London Grand Prix in and around the new arena after the 2012 Games.

It's an ambitious idea that caught the imagination. I'm sure the timing had nothing to do with Ecclestone also being 'interested' in ensuring events at a German court case were edged to the margins of the page.

This other tale related to allegations that the promoter bribed a banker with 28million following the sale of F1 to the company where Ecclestone is now chief executive.

Ecclestone admits he paid the banker and was 'stupid', but says the money was for something else. The case continues. Meanwhile, look! There might be a race at the Olympic Stadium!

Wembley way: Ecclestone's making plenty of headlines

Wembley way: Ecclestone's making plenty of headlines

Mountainous effort

This time last year I was in Tanzania almost 20,000 feet up on top of Mount Kilimanjaro. It took me five days to reach the summit.

I only mention this because Spencer West, a 31-year-old from Toronto, also scaled the highest peak in Africa this week. He did it in seven days.

That slightly slower progress is explained by the fact that Spencer had to drag himself across the scree and volcanic rock using only his hands, because his legs have been amputated below the pelvis. It is an extraordinary achievement from an extraordinarily determined man.

Why sprint to print

Physicists have demonstrated that the fastest animal on the planet is a pig dropped out of an aeroplane.

Unfortunately, this is not yet an Olympic sport, so we have to make do with the 100 metres race. And in the global sprint stakes, Britain is nowhere.

The top 20 sprinters in the world in 2012 hail mostly from Jamaica, the United States and Trinidad and Tobago.

The UK ambles in at the back somewhere wearing carpet slippers and coughing like an asthmatic. Dwain Chambers didn't even make the top five British runners before last night's race. So why so much coverage

Oh yes, it's because he's a former drug cheat.

Coming up short: Chambers isn't even Britain's best sprinter

Coming up short: Chambers isn't even Britain's best sprinter

The official line…

The most pointless things in the world: leaf blowers, the Braille keys on the drive-in cash machine I once used in Florida, men's nipples, Nick Clegg and, of course, those ridiculous extra officials that stand behind the goal-line at football matches.

Euro 2012: England"s footballers could be at risk of painkiller abuse

Pain timebomb: Health at risk as top-flight players 'abuse medicines'

|

UPDATED:

22:47 GMT, 5 June 2012

England's footballers could be among those putting their careers and their health at risk at the European Championship over what has been described as painkiller ‘abuse’ by FIFA’s chief medical officer.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine has labelled it ‘potential disastrous practice’ but the Football Association refused to be drawn on the issue, even though the comments made by Dr Jiri Dvorak apply to all 16 nations in Poland and Ukraine.

In a study Dvorak found that 39 per cent of players at the 2010 World Cup were taking pain medication prior to every game; in particular anti- inflammatories that enable a footballer to play with an existing injury.

Putting his body on the line: John Terry often plays through the pain barrier

Putting his body on the line: John Terry often plays through the pain barrier

Ahead of Euro 2012, Dr Dvorak has called for football to address the issue amid fears that younger players are imitating their senior colleagues and taking painkillers far too often.

Former England and Manchester United centre half Gary Pallister has spoken in the past of his concerns; that during his injury-ravaged career he took anti-inflammatories far too frequently just to play. It is also clear that today’s players like John Terry are playing regularly with injuries.

During the 2010 World Cup in South Africa FIFA’s medical staff asked team doctors to provide a list of medications that players were taking ahead of each game.

Speaking out: Gary Pallister has spoken in the past about the use of anti-inflammatories

Speaking out: Gary Pallister has spoken in the past about the use of anti-inflammatories

Previous surveys at tournaments had revealed that many players were using large numbers of pain killing and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).

But the results, published recently in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, show the use of such drugs is on the increase. The BJSM said that ‘during the tournament 71.7 per cent of the 736 players took medication and 60.3 per cent took painkilling agents at least once’.

It concluded: ‘The use of medication reported by the team physicians in international football competition is increasing. Systematic use — medication for every match — appeared to be the norm in certain teams. This has implications for player health.

Missing out: Kyle Walker played on at the end of the season with a pain killing injection after breaking his toe against Bolton

Missing out: Kyle Walker played on at the end of the season with a pain killing injection after breaking his toe against Bolton

These data encourage efforts to better understand, and to address, this potential disastrous practice in professional sports.’

The survey showed that some countries were issuing more than three medications per player per game.

‘I think we can use the word abuse — because the dimension is just too much,’ Dr Dvorak told the BBC. ‘Unfortunately, there is the trend to increase the intake of medication. It is something that we have to take seriously and ask what is behind it’

Dr Hans Geyer, deputy director of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s anti-doping laboratory in Cologne, said: ‘This is an alarming signal.’

Dr Dvorak added: ‘Football has to wake up because the youngsters are mimicking the older ones. We have NSAID abuse in the under-17 age competitions by something like 16 to 19 per cent of players. This for me is even more alarming.’

Steve Harmison has no regrets

From world's best to Durham's second team… but Harmison has no regrets

|

UPDATED:

23:25 GMT, 3 June 2012

The image at Sabina Park is synonymous with the shift in supremacy in Test cricket between England and West Indies: an eight-strong slip cordon poised as the nastiest fast bowler on the planet pounds into the crease.

It was March 14, 2004, and the man providing the West Indians with a dose of their own medicine was a 25-year-old called Steve Harmison.

He was the bowler batsmen least liked facing. There is no greater compliment.

A picture no-one expected to see: After years of being battered by West Indian attacks, this was the moment, in March 2004, that the roles reversed and Harmison started terrifying their batsmen

A picture no-one expected to see: After years of being battered by West Indian attacks, this was the moment, in March 2004, that the roles reversed
and Harmison started terrifying their batsmen

Here was a once-in-a-generation cricketer destined to rule the world.

He did so, but all too fleetingly.

For Englishmen of a certain age his Test-best figures of seven for 12 healed 36 years of hurt in the Caribbean.

Despite its historical and symbolic significance it is not the display that the man dubbed Grievous Bodily Harmison – now in what is likely to be his penultimate season as a professional and thankful just to get onto the field after a recent catalogue of misfortune – looks back on with great fondness.

'Colly's in that picture, and until recently I didn't realise that,' he says, with his gaze from one of the hospitality boxes at the Emirates ICG fixed on his ex-England colleague Paul Collingwood, batting in the middle.

Pace ace: Harmison terrorised opposing batsmen

Pace ace: Australia's Phillip Hughes fends off a ball from Steve Harmison

Pace ace: Australia's Phillip Hughes (right) fends off a ball from Steve Harmison

'It doesn't go through my mind as much as people might think. That was a great day and although I enjoyed it, it probably didn't mean as much to me as the five for 43 against Australia at Lord's in the 2005 Ashes.'

The damage Harmison inflicted manifested itself not only on the scorecard but physically – no more vividly than the gash on Ricky Ponting's cheek – and psychologically on the Australian players.

'Glenn McGrath then came on and made my figures look like five for 150,' jokes Harmison.

'But that meant more to me because there was more on it. Whatever people think of me, I always enjoyed competing when the cricket was at its toughest.

'That seven for 12 more or less started everything off for me. But I have never been somebody interested in personal gain and my best bowling performance probably came in a game that we lost. So I don't dwell on it.'

Brutal bowling: Australia's Michael Clarke hit on the head by a Harmison bouncer

Brutal bowling: Australia's Michael Clarke hit on the head by a Harmison bouncer

Reminiscing about the good times provides an unshakable feeling that Harmison's career of 226 wickets in 63 Tests was one unfulfilled.

In mid-2004, he was the top ranked Test bowler. Thereafter, too often the promise outweighed the performance.

'You have times in your career where you go through a great patch, and there are others where you go through a kind of second-season syndrome. Do people work you out The honest answer is, I don't know,' he says.

'All I can say is that every time I played I tried everything. At one point I was the world's No 1 bowler. People say I wasn't there for long. But while I was pleased to be recognised, I was happier that England were doing well.'

Now he admits he takes huge pleasure from watching Andrew Strauss's world No 1 side and dismisses comparisons with that Ashes team.

'Jimmy Anderson is the best, most skilful bowler I've met,' he added.

'He is a good snooker player, a good darts player, he could play football. He could bat, he's an unbelievable fielder. And it is quite a skill to swing it both ways at his pace.'

Harmison's agenda these days is more modest. With less than half of a lucrative four-year contract remaining with his native county, he wants to pay back Durham.

He has played only eight County Championship matches since the start of 2011. There have been some freakish interruptions: last April against Hampshire, a drive from Phil Mustard struck Harmison, at the non-striker's end, and broke his wrist.

Struggling on his return, he requested to play a tour game against Sri Lanka A and turned his ankle playing football in the warm-up.

Last November he pulled himself out of a dark place by starting a fitness regime and in January appeared on Freddie Flintoff's TV programme about depression.

Glory days: Harmison with the Ashes urn at the Oval

Glory days: Harmison with the Ashes urn at the Oval

'I've had some issues,' he says. 'People used to say my problem was homesickness and that was convenient for me as I've always had other issues mentally.'

On February 2, the second day of pre-season, he tore ligaments in his ankle during a fielding session.

'I lay on the floor thinking, “Why the **** did I bother”'

Frustration has continued.

Restricted to 18.3 overs across five matches for Durham's second XI, he asked about going out on loan and even lined up a match for former club Bedlington.

It was a wash-out.

It is a far cry from his England swansong – the Ashes-clinching victory at The Oval in 2009.

Typical pose: Harmison celebrates Ashes victory over Australia in 2009

Typical pose: Harmison celebrates Ashes victory over Australia in 2009

'I knew during that game it was the end because I didn't bowl much in the first innings and then in the second I was a bit of a last resort,' he says.

'There was a little bit of a lack of trust.'

However, there is an acceptance that the man in the famous photograph now leads a different life.

'I loved those days,' he reflects. 'Regrets What regrets. I played 63 Tests for England, so I ain't going to regret anything.'

Kenny Dalglish: It"s an exciting time for us

It's an exciting time for us, insists Liverpool boss Dalglish

|

UPDATED:

20:59 GMT, 11 May 2012

Kenny Dalglish has launched a staunch
defence of his record this season as he waits to discover whether he
will be told to carry on after his first full term under Liverpool's
current owners.

The ruthless reshaping of the club's
backroom staff by Fenway Sports Group continued yesterday when
director of communications Ian Cotton was axed after 16 years at the
club.

The only way is up: Kenny Dalglish is taking the positives from Liverpool's season

The only way is up: Kenny Dalglish is taking the positives from Liverpool's season

He has been part of a cull that has included director of football Damien Comolli and Peter Brukner, the club's former head of sports science and sports medicine.

Many are now wondering whether Dalglish will suffer a similar fate.

Liverpool's manager remains relaxed going into the final game at Swansea on Sunday, but he hopes answers will be provided soon to allow the rebuilding for next season to begin.

Dalglish said: 'I think we are excited about a lot of the things that have gone on here. When you consider (where we were) last January, the year before (I came back). We were four points off relegation, so I don't think this has been too bad a return this year.

Finding his form: Andy Carroll his shown his best form in recent weeks

Finding his form: Andy Carroll his shown his best form in recent weeks

'To get a trophy back after six years,
to get into Europe at the first time of asking, it's not a bad ask is
it We have already started (planning). If we want to do something, we
have got plans in place to do what we have got to do.'

Dalglish will have to provide a written report to John W Henry and Tom
Werner at the end of the campaign that has seen Liverpool reach two
major finals but he also remains in regular contact with them.

He said: 'We sit down and talk with them throughout the whole season.
Nothing has changed, there is nothing new. It's just the same every
time.

'We have always said we will do our business behind closed doors but then people expect you to discuss your business in public.'

Getting better: Liverpool former Director of Sports Strategy Damien Comolli says Andy Carroll has improved in his time at the club

Getting better: Liverpool former Director of Sports Strategy Damien Comolli says Andy Carroll has improved in his time at the club

San Francisco Giants pitcher Guillermo Mota handed 100-game ban

Giants pitcher Mota slapped with 100-game ban after failing dope test

|

UPDATED:

19:21 GMT, 8 May 2012

San Francisco Giants reliever Guillermo Mota, 38, has been banned for 100 games, becoming just the third Major League Baseball player to be penalised twice for positive drug tests.

The pitcher tested positive for clenbuterol, which his agent said was taken in cough medicine.

In 2006, while with the New York Mets, Mota was suspended for 50 games.

Suspended: Guillermo Mota has failed a doping test for the second time

Suspended: Guillermo Mota has failed a doping test for the second time

Nick Harris: Dalglish in a screen test for good, bad and ugly Anfield

Dalglish in a screen test for good, bad and ugly Anfield

|

UPDATED:

21:50 GMT, 28 April 2012

Liverpool's decision to open up the
inner workings of the club to an American fly-on-the-wall documentary TV
crew is being greeted with caution by some Anfield insiders as the Fox
Soccer channel promises to show 'things no one outside the inner sanctum
has seen or experienced before'.

Senior officials are taking a 'suck
it and see' approach to how manager Kenny Dalglish, who has had a
fractious relationship with the media this season, will cope with being
trailed by cameras most days.

The potential for embarrassing on-screen
bust-ups is also obvious, bearing in mind the recent upheaval at the
club, including Liverpool's faltering league form and the sacking of
senior personnel.

Pressure point: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish

Pressure point: Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish

Owner John W Henry fired director of football Damien Comolli and head of sports medicine Peter Brukner in private face-to face meetings, and some at Liverpool are wondering whether a TV project that by definition needs access to such moments could backfire.

Nobody from Henry's organisation has given Dalglish any cast-iron guarantees about his own long-term role, for example. 'Imagine if further dismissals become necessary between now and when filming ends in September,' said one source.

David Nathanson, executive vice-president of FOX Soccer, tells me that Liverpool are 'partners' on the project and will be consulted on content.

'But the ownership and management understand for this to be compelling television we need to document everything that happens – the good, the bad and the ugly,' he says. 'This is not a soft promotional piece. This is the inner workings revealed for the first time.'

The show, Our Liverpool: Never Walk Alone, will be a six-part series, screened in the autumn and will take in the end of this season, the summer break, including Liverpool's North American tour to Toronto, Boston and Baltimore, the transfer window and the start of the 2012-13 campaign. Fox Sports chairman David Hill has said Dalglish's contributions will probably be subtitled so that American viewers can understand his Scottish accent.

Liverpool's chairman, Tom Werner, briefed reporters in the US that he will be asking the team to let camera crews into their homes – something not all the squad will welcome – especially after a spate of burglaries at players' homes over the past few years. Camera crews will start filming on a daily basis within weeks.

Chelsea gag Nou Camp heroes

Chelsea seem so worried that their
staff or players might say something mildly controversial that they are
banning interviews even about one of their greatest nights in football.

One senior figure wanted to retell
the 'miracle of the Nou Camp', as the Champions League triumph is now
known around Stamford Bridge, sharing the extraordinary story of what it
felt like before, during and after the match in Barcelona.

Put his foot in: Chelsea captain John Terry

Put his foot in: Chelsea captain John Terry

But a club mandarin, citing a
'riskaverse' media strategy, said the person in question was not allowed
to talk, 'in case he says something that makes a headline'.

Chelsea are thought to be especially
sensitive because captain John Terry has been allowed to put his foot in
it so often, including when making his risible initial excuse for
kneeing Alexis Sanchez amid the drama at the Nou Camp.

While limiting what fans hear from the
players, Chelsea have at least been working to get as many tickets as
possible for the Champions League final on May 19.

They support UEFA's live screening of
the match for 65,000 fans at 4 a head in Bayern's former home, the
Olympic Stadium, while the game is played across town in Bayern's
Allianz Arena.

Snooker's Eastern promise

Snooker's courting of the massive Chinese audience continues apace with the appointment during the world championship at The Crucible of referee Ivy Zhu.

The 30-year-old is a pin-up in her own country with hundreds of thousands of followers on social networking sites. China had five players in this year's main draw – more than ever before – and top players including Mark Williams and Matthew Stevens are among those endorsing moving the world championship to China.

The sport's 'owner', Barry Hearn, says 'Beijing would pay a king's ransom to stage it' but foresees no move before 2016 at least – and longer if the BBC keeps paying the rights and committing air time.

Talk is…

A growing number of British sports personalities linked to the Olympics are signing up to hire themselves out as public speakers, with one agency, JLA, quoting Lord Coe and cycling supremo Dave Brailsford at between 10,000- 25,000 per event. Active athletes need to be careful, as under Lottery funding rules, they can earn only 60,000 a year from commercial sources before cash over that amount is deducted on a pound-forpound basis from any UK Sport grants.