Tag Archives: midlands

Stephen Lee being investigated over match-fixing allegations

Lee has 'case to answer' as World Snooker Association investigate match-fixing allegations

is ongoing.'

The rules that Lee will face a hearing over relate to betting, specifically providing information that 'is not publicly available” and deliberately influencing “the outcome or conduct of a game or frame'.

FULL WPBSA STATEMENT

As a result of the referral by the Gambling Commission on 5th October 2012, Nigel Mawer the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee of the WPBSA, launched an investigation into alleged match fixing by Stephen Lee in relation to matches at the Malta Cup 2008, the UK Championship 2008, the China Open in 2009 and the World Championship 2009.

The WPBSA has gathered a large amount of material from the Gambling Commission, West Midlands police and third parties in relation to these allegations. This has been a complex investigation where the material has had to be traced, recovered and re-evaluated with regard to the WPBSA rules.

The available evidence has now been considered and in accordance with the Disciplinary Rules, the Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee has decided that there is a case for Stephen Lee to answer in relation to a breach of the WPBSA Members Rules. These alleged breaches relate to four matches at the Malta Cup 2008, two matches at the UK Championship 2008, one match at the China Open 2009 and one match at the World Championship 2009.

The case will be heard at a formal independent hearing arranged by Sport Resolutions UK at a date to be arranged.

Stephen Lee is currently suspended from competition and Jason Ferguson, the Chairman of the WPBSA, has decided that the suspension will remain in force until the conclusion of the hearing or hearings and the determination of this matter.

The investigation into the suspicious betting in relation to Stephen Lee's Premier League match with John Higgins on 11th October 2012 is ongoing.

1. WPBSA Members Rules and Regulations (2008-9): Section II

2.8 A Member shall not provide to any other person any information relating to snooker or billiards which that Member has by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available with the intention that it be used by the other person for or in relation to betting.

2.9 A Member shall not directly or indirectly:

2.9.1 solicit or attempt to solicit any person (whether a Member or not) to enter into any arrangement (whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit);

2.9.2 agree or attempt to agree any arrangement (whether or not in return for payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit); or

2.9.3 accept or receive or offer to receive or give or offer to give, payment or any other form of remuneration or benefit, in connection with influencing (in any way) the outcome or conduct of a game or frame (or any other part thereof) of snooker or billiards.

Alex McLeish"s position at Nottingham forest under threat

EXCLUSIVE: McLeish's position at Forest under threat after bust-up with Kuwaiti owners

By
Neil Moxley

PUBLISHED:

22:30 GMT, 30 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:54 GMT, 30 January 2013

Alex McLeish’s position at Nottingham Forest is unclear following a bust-up with the club’s new owners over transfer funds.

The former Scotland manager has had a row with the Kuwaiti owners of the east Midlands club after a tense five weeks since succeeding Sean O’Driscoll.

Matters have been bubbling under ever since O’Driscoll’s sacking with chief executive Mark Arthur, head of player recruitment Keith Burt and Forest ambassador Frank Clark all being asked to leave.

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

Plenty to ponder: Alex McLeish had a bust-up with Nottingham Forest's owners

After 14 years of service to Forest, Arthur was handed a letter informing him of his cessation of duties and Burt found out he was being axed after his wife read out a similar missive from the club while he was hosting a scouts’ meeting.

Forest were taken over by the Al-Hasawi family last summer and McLeish was appointed in bizarre circumstances after O’Driscoll was sacked following a 4-2 triumph over Leeds United on Boxing Day, a victory which left Forest just one point from the play-offs.

McLeish was promised a significant kitty to use during the transfer window. However, the club’s technical advisor Dr Tariq Aljalahmah, has held a series of meetings this week with several key figures including McLeish and the remaining members of the club’s scouting team.

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

In the market: McLeish wants to add to his Forest squad

The Scot was told that the club was reticent to sanction any cash deals, with Forest preferring instead to do business in the loan market.

McLeish stood his ground, asking for the money that he believed he was getting after agreeing to take on the job late last month.

The matter had been left in abeyance but some progress looked to have been made last night as Forest mounted a bid to swipe Peterborough United’s George Boyd from under Crystal Palace’s noses.

West Brom fan hunted by police after snowball attack on Aston Villa defender Joe Bennett

Police hunt West Brom fan after snowball attack on Aston Villa defender Bennett

By
Paul Collins

PUBLISHED:

13:31 GMT, 22 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:12 GMT, 22 January 2013

Police are trying to identify the fan who threw a snowball at Aston Villa's Joe Bennett and missed during the Midlands derby with West Brom.

Television cameras caught the supporter aiming his shot at the left back during their draw at The Hawthorns on Saturday evening.

Although the snowball missed its intended target, police have launched an investigation into the incident and are hoping to identify the culprit.

Scroll down for video

Swing and a miss: The snowball went nowhere near Joe Bennett as he prepared to take a throw

Swing and a miss: The snowball went nowhere near Joe Bennett as he prepared to take a throw

A spokeswoman for West Midlands Police told Sportsmail: 'We are making inquiries to identify the offender and deal with him appropriately.'

The incident was one of several similar 'attacks' over the weekend.

On Saturday, Blackburn Rovers' controversial owners were pelted by fans when they made a rare appearance at Ewood Park.

Jitendra Desai, husband of owner Anuradha, was hit in the face as the Venky's group got out of their limos at the entrance to Ewood Park before the defeat by Charlton Athletic, new manager Michael Appleton's first game in charge.

Paul Lambert says no offers for Darren Bent

No offers for Bent: Lambert says Villa have not had any inquires for out-of-favour striker

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UPDATED:

13:23 GMT, 30 November 2012

Paul Lambert confirmed Aston Villa have received no inquiries for out-of-favour striker Darren Bent and that the England international has not handed in a transfer request.

The Villa manager also denied there is a clause requiring the midlands club to make a 3million payment to Sunderland if Bent makes 50 league appearances for the club.

The 28-year-old has so far clocked up 47 and has not featured on the bench for the past two matches since returning from injury.

No inquiries: Darren Bent has been left out for the last two games

No inquiries: Darren Bent has been left out for the last two games

Christian Benteke is firmly established as the number one striker with rookie Jordan Bowery preferred as a substitute to Bent.

Lambert said: 'Have there been any enquiries for Bent No. Has he asked to be put on the transfer list No.

'Is there a clause That’s not true. I’m not sure where that came from.'

In limbo: Bent is has not been in the squad but has not had any interest, according to Lambert

In limbo: Bent is has not been in the squad but has not had any interest, according to Lambert

When asked why Bowery is being preferred as a substitute, Lambert said: 'I see what happens every day in training. I see with my own eyes what goes on.

'Jordan Bowery’s potential is extremely high and he is an unknown quantity which sometimes can work in your favour. I see every day what goes on.

'We’ve got 20-odd guys in the same boat together which I pick from.

'I answered about 105 questions (on Bent) the other night. The team I pick will be the team that will go and try win us the game and that’s the way I’ll always be.'

Barnsley 1 Burnley 1 – match report: Marcus Tudgay equalises

Barnsley 1 Burnley 1: Tudgay heads home to help Hill's hapless men pick up a point

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UPDATED:

22:30 GMT, 27 November 2012

Barnsley's winless run in the npower Championship shows no sign of ending, but they did at least show spirit in battling back for a point at Oakwell.

It looked like being another evening to forget for the hosts after Charlie Austin's fourth minute header put the Tykes on their way to a fourth successive home defeat.

But, despite a poor first-half showing, Keith Hill's men somehow went in at half-time on level terms when Marcus Tudgay also headed home from 12 yards shortly before the break.

Level terms: Marcus Tudgay scored the equaliser as Barnsley came back to draw

Level terms: Marcus Tudgay scored the equaliser as Barnsley came back to draw

MATCH FACTS

Barnsley: Steele, Cranie, Foster, McNulty, Golbourne, Noble-Lazarus, Greening, Buzsaky, Mellis (O'Brien 81), Davies (Sinclair 79), Tudgay.

Subs Not Used: Alnwick, Dawson, Wiseman, Cywka, Stones.

Goals: Tudgay 37.

Burnley: Grant, Trippier, Duff, Shackell, Mee, Bartley (Ings 46), McCann, Stock (Edgar 81), Wallace (Vokes 83), Austin, Paterson.

Subs Not Used: Jensen, Lafferty, Stanislas, Stewart.

Booked: Duff.

Goals: Austin 5.

Att: 8,610

Ref: Phil Gibbs (West Midlands).

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However, the draw made it eight games
without a win and unless something changes quickly a relegation battle
seems a certainty in the second half of the campaign.

For Burnley, their goal signalled the
end of a three-game scoring drought for hot-shot Austin, who took his
tally to 21 for season, and they could have been celebrating all three
points but Danny Ings' early second-half effort hit the post.

As it was it ended all square and they remain in mid-table.

The Reds were desperate to end their
barren run and boss Keith Hill made three changes to his side with
Stephen Foster, Akos Buzskay and Reuben Noble-Lazarus handed starts.

Burnley were fresh from an impressive
1-0 win at Hull on Saturday, but they were unable to call on matchwinner
Dean Marney, who was banned, and Sean Dyche made a further two changes,
recalling Kieran Trippier and Marvyn Bartley.

And it was Bartley that almost made an
immediate impact when his goalbound effort from Ross Wallace's cross
was deflected just the wrong side of the post.

But there was no reprieve for Barnsley
from the resulting corner as that man Austin stole in front of his
marker and powered a header home from 10 yards to end his mini-drought.

Both of the goals in the Reds' 2-0
defeat against Cardiff on Saturday came from set-pieces and the manner
of the defending will have done little to lighten Hill's mood.

But then out of nothing, Barnsley
hauled themselves level in the 37th minute. The ball fell to Scott
Golbourne on the left and he whipped in a delicious cross for Tudgay to
head home, leaving the sprawling Lee Grant helpless.

Any hopes that Barnsley had of
continuing their momentum after the break were misplaced as it was
Burnley who began on the front foot and twice went close to regaining
the lead.

First Wallace curled a 20-yard
free-kick that was well saved by Luke Steele and then five minutes later
Steele was beaten by Ings, who had come on as a half-time substitute,
but the right-hand post came to Barnsley's rescue from the drilled
20-yard effort.

The hosts weathered the storm and grew
back into the game with talismanic striker Craig Davies, who had been
unusually quiet, sending an effort from distance just wide and Akos
Buzsaky testing Grant from a similar range.

But they could not rally any further and the game petered out to a tame draw that did little to help Barnsley's plight.

New Zealand Haka terrifies Leicester Tigers

Is this the scariest Haka of all time New Zealand Maori terrorise the Leicester Tigers with war dance before kick-off

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UPDATED:

14:00 GMT, 14 November 2012

The New Zealand rugby team's pre-match Haka is one of the most iconic sights in sport. But when the All Black Maoris faced Leicester on Tuesday night they took the ancestral war dance to new heights.

The players were warned that the Maori version is a cut above the fearful routine the All Blacks perform before Test matches – but nothing could have prepared them for this.

The Tigers fans in a crowd of 17,206 were treated to a loud, explosive and prolonged version of the traditional pre-match war dance which serves to lay down a challenge to the opposition. While the performance motivated the Maori players, it evidently had the same effect on a young Leicester team, who went on to win 32-24.

Scroll down for video provided by Leicester Tigers TV

Kick off: The Maori All Blacks' perform their Haka before the game

Kick off: The Maori All Blacks' perform their Haka before the game

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The result ended the tourists’
eight-match winning streak dating back to 2007, when they lost narrowly
to England Saxons in the Churchill Cup Final.

The East Midlands club’s England No 8
Thomas Waldrom, who grew up in New Zealand and represented the Maori,
was hoping to make it back to Welford Road after training in time to see
the action first-hand. He knew what was in store for his Tigers
team-mates before kick-off.

‘Their Haka is a lot different
compared to the All Black one – it is a lot more passionate and there is
a lot more pride in the Maori Haka,' said Waldrom. 'I would tell the
(Leicester) boys to relax, enjoy it and have fun. It is probably only
once in your life you will play the Maori.’

Back to action: Leicester's Mathew Tait is tackled by Kade Poki of the Maori All Blacks

Back to action: Leicester's Mathew Tait is tackled by Kade Poki of the Maori All Blacks

Waldrom flew relatives over from New
Zealand to watch his home debut for England against Fiji at Twickenham
last weekend and they are staying long enough to see him start the
second QBE International against Australia on Saturday. Despite his Kiwi
accent and background – not to mention some alternative cultural
references – he insists he has been welcomed into the national squad.

‘I get a bit of stick because I don’t
come across sounding English,’ he said. ‘The boys give me stick for
watching Home & Away, so I have switched to Coronation Street!

Afterwards, Mat Tait has revealed he considered quitting the sport during his long recovery from a debilitating groin injury.

The
2007 World Cup finalist played his first full 80 minutes in 13 months
on Tuesday night and now hopes to rid himself the tag of England’s
forgotten back.

‘It crossed my mind a couple of times,’ he admitted when asked about whether he considered retiring.

‘Towards
the back end of last season I did a skills session and tried to kick a
ball and I felt someone had stabbed me in the groin again. I had to go
back (for surgery) to have a repair on a repair which had failed.

Try time: Charlie Ngatal beats Mathew Tait to score a try for The Maoris

Try time: Charlie Ngatal beats Mathew Tait to score a try for The Maoris

‘That
was a fairly bad time which just messes with your head, particularly
when it’s been a long old slog and you feel a bit embarrassed to be at
the club. When you are at a new club you want to be out on the park.’

Tait hopes his injury problems are
over after missing out on almost two years due to a shoulder injury at
Sale and this groin problem, only two months into his first season at
Leicester after he joined for the start of the 2011-12 season.

‘The groin injury was unlike anything I’ve had before, because there was no definitive recovery period,’ he explained.

‘I can’t remember the last time I managed 80 minutes – I played against Bath last season – but before then it was some 18 months ago near enough.

‘It’s been pretty bad. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the sport that at some point you are going to be injured.’

Paul Lambert wants more Aston Villa signings

Lambert already seeking new Villa additions despite summer spending spree

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UPDATED:

15:44 GMT, 2 November 2012

Big money move: Benteke cost Aston Villa 7million

Big money move: Benteke cost Aston Villa 7million

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert admits he needs to further bolster the strength of his squad.

Villa brought in nine new signings during the summer at a net outlay of 21.7million – the fifth-highest of any Barclays Premier League club during that transfer window.

It took the transfer outlay of the midlands club to a net 70million during the past five seasons under owner Randy Lerner.

But Villa are still stretched in certain departments and currently have four centre-backs on the injury list in Richard Dunne, Ciaran Clark, Nathan Baker and Chris Herd.

When asked about his transfer plans, Lambert said: 'The squad needs to get bigger as well. That is important as well. That's normal.

'Everyone has to have competition for places. That is vital.

'It is like the centre-halves situation. We lose Ciaran and Nathan and have to put Matt (Lowton) or Chris (Herd) back there.

'It shows you are short in certain areas and you have to improve the squad which we will try and do.'

Show me the money: Lambert wants to bolster his squad in January

Show me the money: Lambert wants to bolster his squad in January

Lambert is convinced Villa are heading in the right direction despite winning only one of their opening nine league matches.

He said: 'This was never going to happen overnight. A lot of people just expected us to come in and see a real change in fortunes.

'There is certainly progress, you can see that, but you want to keep going until you think “we're there”.'

Jack Butland on Everton and Southampton radar as Birmingham consider sale

Everton and Southampton on alert as Birmingham consider Butland sale

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UPDATED:

05:36 GMT, 18 October 2012

Everton and Southampton are ready to swoop for Birmingham goalkeeper Jack Butland.

The England youngster could be sold by the npower Championship club during the January transfer window to help ease their financial plight.

Birmingham are actively seeking a new owner and are in talks with two parties.

In demand: Southampton and Everton are interested in Butland (right)

In demand: Southampton and Everton are interested in Butland (right)

Former QPR chairman Gianni Paladini is among those interested in buying the Midlands club but his 25milllion offer is way below the 40m wanted by the Birmingham hierarchy.

Butland, 19, has emerged as one of the brightest prospects in English football, and although Birmingham insisted earlier this year that they didn't want to sell one of their most-valued assets, their hand could be forced in January.

Manchester City are also monitoring the situation.

Charles Green apologises after Aston Villa jibe

Rangers chief Green says sorry to Villa after calling them 'completely useless'

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UPDATED:

16:43 GMT, 14 October 2012

Rangers chief executive Charles Green has apologised to Aston Villa for remarks he made about the club last week.

Green was discussing the Ibrox side's potential involvement in a European League, which he believes will be formed in the future because 'big teams can't keep subsidising small teams.'

He was also quoted as saying: 'How can Manchester United's revenues be 320m and Aston Villa, who are completely useless, get 250m'

Sorry: Charles Green has held his hands up for the Villa comment

Sorry: Charles Green has held his hands up for the Villa comment

A statement from Rangers on Sunday read: 'Rangers chief executive Charles Green has apologised to Aston Villa following a press briefing last week in which he referred to the Midlands Club.

'Mr Green has sent an apology to Aston Villa saying there had been no intention to cause offence.'

Cristiano Ronaldo and other stars who sulked their way out

More money, transfer requests and training alone – sulking Ronaldo is in good company

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

15:22 GMT, 4 September 2012

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UPDATED:

15:26 GMT, 4 September 2012

Some people will never be pleased and it appears that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of them.

The Real Madrid forward, who forced through an 80m move to the Spanish capital from Manchester United in 2009, has claimed he is sad at the La Liga champions – alerting Chelsea and Manchester City to his future availability.

But as the Portuguese international counts the missing pennies he thinks he deserves, Sportsmail has compiled a list of six sulkers who also spat out their dummies before finally seeing their demands met.

Dwight Yorke

A long servant and a fan favourite, Yorke had become one of the Premier League’s most feared strikers during his nine-year spell at Aston Villa before it all came to an abrupt end in 1998.

Firing in 97 goals in 288 games for the West Midlands club had caught the attention of Sir Alex Ferguson, who was aiming to strengthen his Manchester United attack after losing the Premier League title the previous season.

Here today gone tomorrow: Dwight Yorke's poor performance in his last Aston Villa game led to his transfer to Manchester United

Here today gone tomorrow: Dwight Yorke's poor performance in his last Aston Villa game led to his transfer to Manchester United

Here today gone tomorrow: Dwight Yorke's poor performance in his last Aston Villa game at Everton in 1998 led to his transfer to Manchester United

Villa boss John Gregory categorically ruled out selling the Trinidad and Tobago hitman, but a very sloppy performance against Everton on the first day of the season left him with little choice but to offload his want-away striker in a 12.6m deal.

Gregory later stated that Yorke had handed in a transfer request and on hearing the demand claimed: ‘If I had a gun, I would have shot him.’ The Villa faithful were just as angry with the striker who had helped the club win the League Cup in 1996.

Nicolas Anelka

In just over two Premier League seasons at Arsenal between 1997 and 1999, Anelka went from being a promising youngster to one of the deadliest strikers in Europe.

Any hopes of the French striker rewarding the club that gave him his big breakthrough at the top level though were quickly extinguished when Real Madrid came calling.

Happier times: Nicolas Anelka (right) helped Arsenal win the Premier League title and the FA Cup in his first full season

Happier times: Nicolas Anelka (right) helped Arsenal win the Premier League title and the FA Cup in his first full season

Arsene Wenger signed Anelka as a 17-year-old from Paris St-Germain for just 500,000 and the youngster helped Arsenal win the double in his first full season, picking up the league’s Young Player of the Year award the following year.

But despite seemingly having a bright future in north London, Anelka felt he deserved a better salary and by the time Madrid stumped up 23m to sign him, Gunners fans, fed up of his poor attitude and lack of commitment, had already dubbed him ‘Le Sulk’ – a nickname that stuck like velcro.

Ashley Cole

Another star given his big breakthrough by Arsenal, but despite Cole giving five years more service to the Gunners than Anelka – his summer departure to Chelsea in 2006 left arguably a more sour taste in the fans’ mouths than the Frenchman’s.

Fuming at an extended contract offer of ‘only’ 55,000-a-week, the left-back quickly became disillusioned with the club.

Just one year after being caught discussing a move to Chelsea with their manager Jose Mourinho, he finally sealed a move to Stamford Bridge for 5m with William Gallas going the other direction to the Emirates Stadium.

Welcome back: Ashley Cole reacts after being tackled by former Arsenal team mate Cesc Fabregas

Welcome back: Ashley Cole reacts after being tackled by former Arsenal team mate Cesc Fabregas

Mock up: Arsenal fans printed fake bank notes with Cole's face on

Mock up: Arsenal fans printed fake bank notes with Cole's face on

Arsenal fans, keen on handing out nicknames, dubbed him ‘Cashley’ and greeted his first return to the club with banknotes that had his face replacing the Queen’s.

Dimitar Berbatov

Arguably one of Tottenham’s greatest signings in the Premier League era after joining from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006, but even after just one year the cracks were starting to appear in the relationship between the Bulgarian and the north London side.

In a Premier League match at Newcastle in October 2007, the striker, already in poor form, ignored calls from manager Martin Jol to warm up in the 3-1 defeat which culminated with the Dutch boss being sacked three days after.

Berbat-off: Dimitar Berbatov (left) started on the bench for Spurs' opening day Premier League defeat at Middlesbrough in 2008

Berbat-off: Dimitar Berbatov (left) started on the bench for Spurs' opening day Premier League defeat at Middlesbrough in 2008

Berbatov picked up his form after the arrival of Juande Ramos, but was soon causing unrest just under a year later when Manchester United reignited an earlier interest in signing him.

The Bulgarian’s disruption was enough to see him completely dropped from the Spurs squads to face Sunderland and Chelsea, before sealing a last hour switch on transfer deadline day to United for 30.75m.

Emmanuel Adebayor

The stats suggest that Adebayor gave just over three years of decent service to Arsenal after racking up 62 goals in 142 appearances for the Gunners.

Fans of the club will tell you otherwise. Following a 2007/08 season where the striker scored 30 goals, the Togo international caught the attention of Barcelona and AC Milan and was linked with a 30m move away from the Emirates.

Controversial: Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of Arsenal fans after scoring against the north London side playing for Manchester City

Controversial: Emmanuel Adebayor celebrates in front of Arsenal fans after scoring against the north London side playing for Manchester City

A transfer failed to materialise, but the following campaign he scored just over half the amount of goals as supporters registered their disapproval at the striker’s apparent lack of effort over the campaign.

It didn’t dent his value to much though as a 25m move to Manchester City followed in 2009. He soon showed Arsenal supporters his feelings on the matter when he faced his former side. Adeabyor ran the full length of the pitch to celebrate scoring a goal in front of them just weeks after leaving north London.

Fernando Torres

A fine example of how a perfect combination can quickly sour. After joining from Atletico Madrid in 2007 for 26.5m, Torres was unstoppable in his first couple of seasons playing for a Liverpool side strongly contending the Premier League title and the Champions League.

But once the Reds crashed out of Europe’s premier competition and the domestic top four in 2009, the Spaniard’s form soon suffered the same fate.

Bad start: Torres's Chelsea debut came against Liverpool in a 1-0 defeat

Bad start: Torres's Chelsea debut came against Liverpool in a 1-0 defeat

By the time January 2011 came around, Liverpool had slumped to mid-table and Torres was training on his own – with manager Kenny Dalglish desperate to remove any negativity in the Liverpool dressing room.

Chelsea thrashed out a 50m deal on transfer deadline day to sign the unhappy striker, who soon had a smile back on his face once pictured with a Blues shirt…this was before he found the net just once in his next 23 games.