Tag Archives: misses

Great Britain v Russia – Davis Cup: Dan Evans and James Ward both lose singles matches in five sets

Britain's Davis Cup hopes in tatters after two five-set defeats… and rebel Evans admits he doesn't try hard enough

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

18:17 GMT, 5 April 2013

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 5 April 2013

Great Britain's Davis Cup hopes are close to being extinguished for another year after two epic near-misses against Russia on Friday and a disarming admission from No 2 player Dan Evans.

Having come so close to producing another heroic performance for GB, the 22 year-old did not hold back on why his ranking remains so stubbornly low, conceding that he simply does not put enough effort into his tennis.

He played far above his world ranking of 325 to push world number 67 Dmitri Tursunov desperately close before succumbing 6-4 6-7 6-4 5-7 6-4 in just under four hours, and later was blunt about his stalling career.

Dejection: Great Britain's Dan Evans lost in five sets to Dmitry Tursunov

Dejection: Great Britain's Dan Evans lost in five sets to Dmitry Tursunov

Marathon: Russian Tursunov prevailed in just under four hours in Coventry

Marathon: Russian Tursunov prevailed in just under four hours in Coventry

'It's because I don't train hard
enough and don't work hard enough day in and day out. I know that's the
reason. I'm obviously pretty bad at my job,' he said, amid various moans
about the costs associated with playing the tour, and an admission that
he gets 'distracted' at more obscure events.

'There are other things in life. I'm from a pretty working class background and I just go out. It's nobody else's fault.'

His defeat was compounded by James
Ward going down 4-6 4-6 7-5 6-3 8-6 to world No 80 Evgeny Donskoy. Both
matches were far closer than rankings predicted but ultimately only a
win in Saturday's doubles will keep Euro/Africa Zone tie at Coventry's
Ricoh Arena alive.

Try harder: Evans, who was called up to the squad at late notice, admits he doesn't work hard enough

Try harder: Evans, who was called up to the squad at late notice, admits he doesn't work hard enough

In the absence of Andy Murray, British
captain Leon Smith originally picked national No 3 Jamie Baker for this
tie, only to dump him on Wednesday evening for the errant 22 year-old
Evans, source of so much frustration for a variety of British coaches
over the years.

Yet when Evans gets in front of a
crowd and, crucially, has the guidance of Smith at every changeover, he
is transformed into someone in the tradition of Tim Henman, an elegant
all-court player with wonderful touch at the net. You hope one day he
will get his kicks from winning.

While some in the British game felt
that picking Evans, who has been stuck in a constant revolving door in
and out of official LTA training programmes for years due to his
questionable commitment, sent the wrong messages out to other players it
was clear why Smith took the gamble – and it nearly paid off.

Blown: James Ward let a two-set lead slip in his defeat to Evgeny Donskoy

Blown: James Ward let a two-set lead slip in his defeat to Evgeny Donskoy

Blown: James Ward let a two-set lead slip in his defeat to Evgeny Donskoy

Big-serving Tursunov won the first
set with relative ease but Evans took the next 7-5 in the tie-break and
levelled for 2-2 when he snuck in a late break.

Ultimately his lack of a single big
shot to gain cheap points hurt him, as did a tendency to throw in
untimely double faults. An anxious Tursunov finally asserted his class
to serve it out once he had made the key break for 4-2 in the decider.

Against the highly-rated but initially
nervous Donskoy, world No 214 Ward led 2-0 in the third set but could
not sustain his early level of serving and consistent depth, losing
after being broken at 6-6 in the decider.

Joy: Russia celebrate a perfect first day as they took a 2-0 lead

Joy: Russia celebrate a perfect first day as they took a 2-0 lead

Wayne Rooney to stop taking penalties for Manchester United

Spot of bother: Rooney hands over penalty duties to Van Persie after series of misses

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

10:22 GMT, 2 February 2013

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UPDATED:

11:59 GMT, 2 February 2013

Wayne Rooney has announced will stop taking penalties for Manchester United and hand the responsibility over to strike partner Robin van Persie.

The England striker admitted his form from 12 yards has not been good enough and feels it is time to allow Van Persie to become the designated penalty taker.

Rooney’s record from the spot during his Old Trafford career is poor with 17 goals from 28 attempts and his most recent miss against West Ham in the FA Cup proved to be his last.

Over it goes: Wayne Rooney misses from the spot against West Ham

Over it goes: Wayne Rooney misses from the spot against West Ham

Ryan Giggs stepped up to take the spot kick against Fulham in the FA Cup last week – and scored – despite Rooney being on the pitch.

And Rooney said: 'To be honest, it was my choice. At a club like this, to miss two penalties the way I have and not hit the target was not good enough.

'I went in to speak with the manager and said, 'I spoke with Robin van Persie and said he can take them'.’

Rooney has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks with former United captain Roy Keane saying the miss against West Ham would be the 'last penalty' Rooney would take.

Over it goes: Rooney sees his effort go over the bar

Over it goes: Rooney sees his effort go over the bar

Meanwhile, Sir Bobby Charlton has hailed Rooney and backed the Manchester United striker to join the growing list of players to reach a century of England caps.

Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole is set to become the seventh player to make 100 England appearances when Brazil visit Wembley on Wednesday, and Charlton fully expects Rooney – who has 78 caps at the age of 27 – to follow suit.

That's it: Rooney decided to stop taking penalties after this miss

That's it: Rooney decided to stop taking penalties after this miss

Charlton, England's record goalscorer with 49 goals in 106 internationals, said in the new book England Centurions: 'Wayne Rooney has the potential to reach 100 caps and much more. He is a great talent, an automatic choice when we have a shortage of top international talent.'

Cole will follow in the footsteps of Peter Shilton (125), David Beckham (115), Bobby Moore (108), Charlton, Billy Wright (105) and Steven Gerrard (100) in reaching the milestone if he takes the field against Brazil.

Charlton said of the 32-year-old: 'Ashley Cole is a good player, and no-one could not be considered top quality to reach 100 caps, and also in top condition because it does demand stamina to play on for so long.

'So I would wish all those reaching 100 caps 'good luck'.'

Adel Taarabt will stay with QPR after missing Africa Cup of Nations

Huge boost for Redknapp in relegation scrap as QPR star Taarabt misses Africa Cup of Nations

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UPDATED:

13:58 GMT, 26 December 2012

Adel Taarabt has not been included in the Morocco squad for the Africa Cup of Nations – answering QPR boss Harry Redknapp’s prayers.

Last week the playmaker defiantly announced he would travel in the event of being picked, despite Redknapp’s pleas for him to stay and help QPR avoid relegation.

No go: Adel Taarabt will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations

No go: Adel Taarabt will not be travelling to the African Cup of Nations

But Taarabt, 23, appears to have now asked to be overlooked for the tournament which will take place in South Africa from
January 19 to February 2.

He can now be called on for games against
Spurs, West Ham, champions Man City and Norwich.

Just days ago he sent an impassioned appeal to Rachid Taoussi, the Moroccan coach who took charge in the summer.

‘I will do everything I can to prove to him that I deserve to be there,’ he told the African football blog on lequipe.fr.

Taarabt, who has recently advertised
himself to both AC Milan and Barcelona, also admitted his club manager
had asked him to make himself unavailable.

‘[Redknapp] came to see me to ask me
not to go, but I told him, “if they call me, I can’t refuse, boss. I
love my country, I love the Moroccan people and football means a lot to
them.”

‘I warned him that the only solution
was that the coach doesn’t call me up. The coach isn’t obliged to take
me. I hope to be at the African Nations Cup but even if I’m not there,
and that would be painful, I will be the biggest Morocco supporter.’

QPR take on West Brom this afternoon and face Liverpool on Sunday at 4pm.

Boost: Harry Redknapp will be delighted the midfielder is not going

Boost: Harry Redknapp will be delighted the midfielder is not going

Hastings goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford delight at reaching FA Cup third round

My best night in football! Hastings goalkeeper delight at reaching FA Cup third round

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UPDATED:

00:04 GMT, 14 December 2012

Hastings goalkeeper Matt Armstrong-Ford spoke of his “best night in football” as the non-league minnows booked an FA Cup third-round trip to Middlesbrough.

The Isthmian League Premier Division side went all the way against Harrogate Town tonight, going to penalties and winning 5-4 in front of over 4,000 fans at the Pilot Field.

Armstrong-Ford was not called upon in the shoot-out as Harrogate`s misses – from Lee Elam and Tom Platt – were wild hacks over the bar, but that did not stop him savouring the moment.

Joy: Hastings players celebrate their dramatic win over Harrogate on penalties

Joy: Hastings players celebrate their dramatic win over Harrogate on penalties

'It`s my best night in football, this makes it all worth it,' he told ESPN.
'It`s the best thing that has happened to me in football. It doesn`t get any better.'

The keeper`s 90th-minute error – he misjudged a cross which allowed Platt to cancel out Lee Carey`s penalty – may well have been costly, but Dee Okojie kept his cool to put them through from the spot.

'It was hard work,' Carey said.

'I dreamed about scoring last night. I told the boys in the car I was going to score. When we go behind, we still believe we can win the game.'

Winning moment: Dee Okojie scored the decisive penalty for Hastings to send them to the third round

Winning moment: Dee Okojie scored the decisive penalty for Hastings to send them to the third round

The Isthmian League minnows will face Championship side Middlesbrough in January

The Isthmian League minnows will face Championship side Middlesbrough in January

Player-manager Sean Ray was a rock-like presence for his side, and he is now dreaming big.

'The character of the players and the desire… Every game we have played we deserved to win. You can`t question their character,' he said.

'This is my first time as a manager in the FA Cup. Only another five rounds to go and we`ll be at Wembley!'

Marouane Chamakh virus: Arsenal striker misses Morocco match

Arsenal misfit Chamakh misses Morocco clash after being struck by mystery virus

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UPDATED:

12:33 GMT, 7 September 2012

Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh was unable to link up with Morocco for their African Nations Cup qualifier in Mozambique because of a virus.

The 28-year-old had been recalled to his national team for the first time since being dropped during the 2012 African Nations Cup finals in Gabon.

Chamakh did not travel because of illness, however it is understood reports the player had contracted malaria are inaccurate.

Laid low: A virus has forced Marouane Chamakh to miss Morocco's forthcoming Africa Nations Cup qualifier

Laid low: A virus has forced Marouane Chamakh to miss Morocco's forthcoming Africa Nations Cup qualifier

Despite the sale of captain Robin van Persie, Chamakh – who joined Arsenal from Bordeaux in May 2010 – has yet to feature for the first team this season.

Meanwhile, midfielder Chuks Aneke, 19, has joined npower League One side Crewe Alexandra on a one-month loan deal.

London 2012 Olympics: Dai Greene replaces Nigel Levin in relay

GB skipper Greene named in relay team as Levine misses final

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UPDATED:

18:27 GMT, 10 August 2012

Dai Greene will race for Great Britain in the 4×400 metres relay final.

Team captain Greene missed out on a medal in the 400m hurdles, coming home fourth, and will be looking to make up for that disappointment by helping the quartet on to the podium.

The Welshman will run the third leg, with Conrad Williams running the first, Greene's fellow 400m hurdler Jack Green the second and Martyn Rooney the anchor.

Nigel Levine has been left out.

Final showdown: Dai Greene will run in the 4x400m relay for Great Britain

Final showdown: Dai Greene will run in the 4x400m relay for Great Britain

Scott Parker blow for Spurs as midfielder misses start of season after achilles op

Parker blow for Spurs as midfielder misses start of season after achilles op

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UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 9 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Tottenham midfielder Scott Parker has
undergone successful achilles surgery and is expected to return to
training after the international break in September, the club have
confirmed.

Parker started all four of England's
match at the tournament but it is thought he picked up an achilles
injury while representing his country.

Hard knock: Scott Parker played through the pain barrier at Euros

Hard knock: Scott Parker played through the pain barrier at Euros

The former Charlton, Chelsea and Newcastle midfielder was a key man for Spurs in the middle of the park last season making 34 appearances for the White Hart Lane club after moving from London rivals West Ham the previous summer.

Tottenham say the surgery has gone well but is unlikely to play for at least six weeks. A statement on the club website read: 'Scott Parker has undergone successful surgery to his right Achilles.

'The midfielder is expected to return to training after the international break in September.'

London 2012 Olympics: Darren Fletcher would have been in Team GB squad, says Ryan Giggs

Crocked Fletcher would have made Team GB squad, claims United pal Giggs

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UPDATED:

08:38 GMT, 16 July 2012

Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United team-mate Darren Fletcher would have been a major contender for Team GB had it not been for the chronic bowel condition that threatens his career.

No Scotland player has been included in Stuart Pearce's 18-man squad, which instead is made up of Englishmen, with the addition of five from Wales.

Leader of the pack: Giggs will captain Team GB at the London Olympics

Leader of the pack: Giggs will captain Team GB at the London Olympics

Giggs is one of that number, as is another overage player, Craig Bellamy. But Giggs feels Fletcher would have been in with a chance too had he now not been fighting a far more serious battle, having failed to make his anticipated return to training after taking an indefinite break from the game last December.

'Fletch is concentrating on trying to get fit for United so I don't think he would have been thinking too much about missing out on this,' said Giggs.

Crocked: Fletcher is fighting a serious bowel condition

Crocked: Fletcher is fighting a bowel condition

'Hopefully he will just start training and playing again because he is a talent and a really important player for both United and Scotland.

'But I'm sure if he had been playing regularly then Stuart (Pearce) would have had a decision to make because he definitely would have been in the reckoning.'

Whilst Fletcher can only hope his symptoms ease sufficiently to play for United again, over the next month Giggs has the opportunity to complete the empty chapter in his career. English football's most decorated player never got closer to a major tournament than a couple of near misses with Wales.

As part of that famed “Class of 92”, it hurt to spend his summers watching when David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and the Neville brothers were part of the action. Now he is experiencing it for himself.

And, after a week in Spain, he already sees the differences.

'My career for my country has obviously been the total opposite to the one for my club,' said the 38-year-old.

'I've been so successful with United but not so with Wales.

'I would always watch the other lads, especially those ones I grew up with, go away on international tournaments and wish that I could do the same.

'Unfortunately I never got the chance. 'But now I have even in the first few days together I've seen things that I haven't seen in my career. “It's been an eye opener, and really enjoyable as well.'

And, unlike those who have rejected the tournament, purely on the basis of the British aspect of a sport traditionally split across the Home Nations, Giggs insists victory would rank alongside anything he has won before.

'Right up there,' he said. 'I don't like to prioritise medals because every single one means something special.

'But of course, this would be different because you never thought you'd be competing in an Olympics. To win a gold medal would be special.'

Euro 2012: England have improved, says Mesut Ozil

England have improved, says Ozil, but Germany just get better and better

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UPDATED:

14:39 GMT, 25 June 2012

Mesut Ozil refused to be drawn on whether England's European Championship defeat to Italy simply spared them another thrashing by his Germany side.

England crashed out of Euro 2012 on penalties, denying them the chance to try to avenge their 4-1 World Cup hammering by Germany in this week's semi-finals.

But the manner of the two sides' performances in Poland and Ukraine have led some to suggest England were at risk of another hiding in Warsaw had they managed to progress.

Too hot to handle: Germany's Mesut Ozil skips round the challenge of Greece's Kostas Katsouranis in the Euro 2012 quarter-final

Too hot to handle: Germany's Mesut Ozil skips round the challenge of Greece's Kostas Katsouranis in the Euro 2012 quarter-final

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Asked if he believed that and if he also felt Germany were a better team than two years ago, midfield star Ozil said: 'Yes, we have improved. We're on a very good track.

'We've reached the semi-final, with just a few inches to go until the big final.

'As far as England are concerned, I think they've played a very good tournament.

'They were slightly inferior against Italy and I think that was visible during the game.

'But they, too, as a team definitely have improved and have developed further.'

Paying the penalty: England again came up short in the shoot-out against Italy

Paying the penalty: England again came up short in the shoot-out against Italy

Last night's defeat was England's sixth in seven shootouts, as their hoodoo on spot-kicks continued with decisive misses from Ashley Young and Ashley Cole.

Their record had been lost one, won one, when they last faced Germany on penalties during the Euro 96 semi-finals.

Germany goalkeeping coach Andrea Kopke was his country's hero that night, saving Gareth Southgate's weak sudden-death strike.

Kopke was at a loss today as to why England were still so bad at penalties.

He said: 'It was all in their own hands. They were up one penalty and hitting the crossbar was just unlucky.

'Cole had a stinker when he took that penalty.

'England are tragically unlucky in many respects but why that is, I don't know.'

Heartache: Kopke famously saved Gareth Southgate's spot-kick as Germany beat England in the semi-final of Euro 96

Heartache: Kopke famously saved Gareth Southgate's spot-kick as Germany beat England in the semi-final of Euro 96

A big deal has been made out of the importance of practising penalties, with many believing that to be behind Germany's historic shootout success.But Kopke said: 'It's near impossible to 'practise' penalty shootouts in training.

'In training, players just whack it in and they do different things when it really counts.

'It makes precious little sense to practise penalties during training.'

Mario Balotelli misses Italy training

Balotelli misses Italy training again but Azzurri boosted by Barzagli

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UPDATED:

11:34 GMT, 5 June 2012

Mario Balotelli has missed Italy's training session before they fly out to Krakow, Poland, ahead of Euro 2012.

The Manchester City striker picked up a minor muscle problem in his right leg on Monday, and didn't return to the main group for the rest of the day.

Elsewhere in the squad, defender Andrea Barzagli hopes to recover from a calf problem to feature at some point in the European Championship.

Concerns: Mario Balotelli has missed training again ahead of Euro 2012

Concerns: Mario Balotelli has missed training again ahead of Euro 2012

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Barzagli suffered the injury during Friday's 3-0 friendly defeat to Russia and tests have revealed a strain to his left calf.

The Juventus defender could need up to 20 days to recover and the Azzurri have not ruled out the possibility of replacing the 31-year-old before the tournament begins this weekend.

But Barzagli retains hopes of recovering in time to play.

'Let us hope it all works out,' Barzagli told Gazzetta dello Sport. 'I don't know how long I will be out for, the doctors will know that.

Fighting to be fit: Andrea Barzagli hopes to play some part in Euro 2012

Fighting to be fit: Andrea Barzagli hopes to play some part in Euro 2012

'The problem occurred in the last few minutes of the game against Russia on Friday when I stretched for the ball. At the time it didn't seem like a big issue, but I was limping the day after.

'The calf is a big muscle and if the medical staff are optimistic about my recovery then I am even more optimistic than they are. I feel better now, but we'll have to wait and see.'

Barzagli will undergo further tests on Friday before Italy coach Cesare Prandelli decides whether to replace the experienced centre-back.

Italy take on defending champions Spain in their Group C opener on June 10.They will also play against Croatia and the Republic of Ireland in the group stages.