Tag Archives: nice

Paul Lambert still has backing of Aston Villa

Players and fans still back me, insists Lambert despite another Villa loss


He said: 'When you are looking for players and trying to find the secret ingredient for your team, it’s not always easy for players to come and fit in as they did in the first half.

'I was a little bit surprised myself if I’m honest. I don’t think we would have won the game without Sissoko. That’s how important I think that signing was.

'Sissoko really grabbed the game by the horns and that’s what we needed.

Consolation: Benteke halved the deficit for Villa

Consolation: Benteke halved the deficit for Villa

'With Demba Ba departing from a team that hasn’t been winning, it was a big blow for us and we really needed him for this game.'

Pardew added: 'We have worked really hard on integrating the new players into things.

'They are not here to save us, they are here to help us. That was my message to the established players.

'We had a nice night in the hotel the night before the game, a nice meeting, and you sensed there was a good feeling amongst them all.

'It was a terrific day for us because we were under a lot of pressure to win at Villa.'

Arsene Wenger chants: Idiots should be banned

Clubs must ban these idiots responsible for Wenger chants



22:44 GMT, 4 November 2012

Vile chants: Wenger was on the receiving end

Vile chants: Wenger was on the receiving end

We’ve seen a lot of progress dealing with racism in this country but the vile obscenities Arsene Wenger has had to put up with are unacceptable.

Wenger is one of the nicest men on the planet and the accusation that he is a paedophile is, of course, absurd. It’s an embarrassment.

Like most players and managers who are abused, Wenger ignores it and remains professional but it is not easy. I know from being the subject of chants that inside your blood is boiling, you are seething, but you have to get on with it. I used it as motivation to make sure the opposition didn’t score against me, but what can Wenger do

He’s standing on the touchline with no-one to turn to. It has an impact on your family too. They have to sit through it while people are giggling. It is demeaning. There are lots of good people out there but there are idiots too. That kind of abuse makes you question your belief in the human race.

Mr Nice Guy: Wenger is one of the most respected men in football

Mr Nice Guy: Wenger is one of the most respected men in football

What can be done It’s difficult as Sir Alex Ferguson has been commendable in writing to Manchester United fans in the past but it doesn’t seem to have had the desired effect. Most United fans – and those at West Ham a month ago – must have felt embarrassed listening to those around them.

It is time to ban offenders. Clubs should encourage people to hit back in a calm way by taking seat numbers and contacting the club. The FA should look at ways to combat the problem – even if it means banning fans en masse.

Aaron Hughes signs new one year deal at Fulham

Fulham defender Hughes signs new one-year deal at Craven Cottage



17:55 GMT, 14 September 2012

Aaron Hughes has signed a one-year contract extension with Fulham.

The Northern Ireland defender will remain at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2014.

The 32-year-old joined Fulham from Aston Villa in 2007, having come through the ranks at Newcastle.

Staying put: Aaron Hughes will be at Fulham until the summer of 2014

Staying put: Aaron Hughes will be at Fulham until the summer of 2014

Hughes said: 'I am obviously delighted as I have enjoyed my time here so far and to know that I'll be around for another couple of years is a nice thing for me.

'I've had a lot of good experiences so far and hopefully I'll have more between now and 2014.'

London 2012 Olympics: Adam Gemili vows to beat 10sec barrier

Gemili ready to take on Bolt and Co as world's quickest teenager believes he can run sub-10sec



23:01 GMT, 22 July 2012

Adam Gemili thinks he can run sub-10sec in the Olympic 100 metres and is undaunted about running against the likes of defending champion Usain Bolt.

Earlier this month, the 18-year-old from Dartford, in Kent, confirmed his status as the quickest teenager on the planet by claiming the 100m world junior title in Barcelona in a championship record time of 10.05sec.

Quick as a flash: Adam Gemili (centre) believes he can run the 100m in under 10-sec

Quick as a flash: Adam Gemili (centre) believes he can run the 100m in under 10-sec

It meant he overtook Dwain Chambers as Britain's fastest junior and is now the best prospect of becoming the nation's first 100m Olympic finalist since Chambers finished fourth in Sydney 2000.

Gemili, who is aiming to reach the final on August 5, said: 'I'm just going there to enjoy myself. Hopefully, I can run my quickest time ever but the main thing is just to savour every moment of it. I know I'll never get the opportunity to go to a home Olympics again.

'A final is not out of the question. It's very possible if I perform well and get the right circumstances.

'I'd like to make it to the semi-final at least and then hopefully do well there.

Medal hope Gemili has his work cut out for him if he is to get a place on the podium on August 5

Medal hope Gemili has his work cut out for him if he is to get a place on the podium on August 5

'I'm getting closer and closer (to that 10-second barrier).

'It could potentially come at the Olympics. Obviously every sprinter wants to do it one day.'

Gemili said how at the start of the year he had been planning on watching the 100m on TV at home, adding: 'I might have even been on holiday. The fact that I'm in it is unbelievable.

'It's been very overwhelming. It's been very nice, everyone's been really lovely. Some people will occasionally be, “Oh, are you that sprinter Can we have a picture” It's nice people are familiar with you.'

Stale Solbakken has difficult job at Wolves – The Midlander

Solbakken faces uphill struggle to restore Wolves' fortunes



12:04 GMT, 18 May 2012

As far as the media is concerned, the appointment of Stale Solbakken will be very good news.

Within 30 minutes of his arrival at Wolverhampton Wanderers, he claimed that a combination of 'Jesus and Jose Mourinho' would not have been successful in his last job at Cologne.

He then said, as a combustible character himself, that he was looking forward to sharing a touchline with the likes of Neil Warnock next season.

New arrival: Stale Solbakken has taken over the reins at Wolves

New arrival: Stale Solbakken has taken over the reins at Wolves

More from Neil Moxley…

The Midlander: Council are the only ones who can revive Coventry

The Midlander: No more Mr Nice Guy if Villa want bums on seats

The Midlander: Wolves fans seem to have an over-blown sense of entitlement

The Midlander: Player power would be recipe for disaster at Leicester

The Midlander: Villa failed to muster up a single shot at Arsenal… that's shameful

The Midlander: Trio of under-achievers face big questions ahead of another summer of upheaval

The Midlander: Relegation will not be end of the world for Wolves

The Midlander: If Harry says 'no' then Hodgson is the perfect fit for England


But then he admitted he wouldn't take on Sam Allardyce, should West Ham not make it tomorrow, because 'he is way too big.'

He finished off by challenging yours truly to ten races to prove his fitness following the heart condition that caused his premature retirement and almost cost him his life. No problem. (But you won't win a typing test against me, Stale!)

But while his media skills should be a consideration, particularly at a club like Wolves, I wonder if he has stopped to consider the size of the job in hand.

Taking over a relegated club is always a tough ask.

There are players who will be coveted by others. There are players who think they should be coveted by others.

Inevitably, football matches have been lost. I think it was Gordon Strachan who pointed out that once a player has been a part of a team that has been relegated that you can smell it on them.

Solbakken doesn't turn up for work until July 1. Presumably because of contractual issues with his last club.

But it's a big ask for him to come in, assess what he has, try and guess the strength of the Championship, make a couple of signings and put together a winning team for the slog of that particular division.

Up against it: Solbakken with Wolves chairman Steve Morgan

Up against it: Solbakken with Wolves chairman Steve Morgan

And he's got to weigh all this up within six weeks of the next campaign kicking-off.

Having said that, it was important for the club for a fresh pair of eyes to look at the situation.

Terry Connor stepped in at a difficult time, with no forethought to the downside, should it happen and did his best in ridiculously trying circumstances.

But he remains too closely associated to the Mick McCarthy regime to make objective judgements.

Steve Morgan will give Solbakken time. 'It could be considered a left-field appointment,' he said, 'but we wanted to think outside the box.

'If you look at anyone else out there, then of course they have much more experience in English football but they have nothing like his success rate.

Bad experience: Solbakken at Cologne

Bad experience: Solbakken at Cologne

'And all appointments are a gamble. But there's no-one out there with a track record that comes anywhere near his.'

Well, winning the Superliga with Copenhagen five times on the spin is something, but haven't Copenhagen won eight of the last 12 competitions anyway

And relieving Lukas Podolski of the captaincy at Cologne not only alienated the press and public, it looks like the dressing-room disintegrated too. How else do you explain a fall from mid-table to relegation (Morgan's justification was that Cologne was an unstable football club and 25 managers in 26 years pointed to that.)

Of course, at the moment, Solbakken's arrival can be greeted as a bold and inventive appointment. But he's got a hellava lot to get to grips with. And quickly.

As ever, participation in football matches will decided how his arrival is viewed by the end of the coming year.

Morgan's first appointment then is from left-field. Solbakken may need to hit the ground running. Or else Wolves could be left behind.

An eye for detail

One of the hallmarks of Roy Hodgson's spell at West Brom was his organisational skills.

They may be hackneyed in the eyes of some, but clearly they have served him well over the years.

It wasn't unknown for the old boy to stop his 11-a-side practice matches and move players one foot in either direction, to improve their positional sense. As a result, West Brom became a far more rigid team.

But as evidence to Hodgson's tactics, you only have to look at the reigns of Tony Mowbray and Roberto Di Matteo.

The Baggies lost so many goals, particularly at home, on the counter-attack. That rarely happened with Hodgson's side.

Eyes on the prize: Roy Hodgson's organisational skills are impressive

Eyes on the prize: Roy Hodgson's organisational skills are impressive

I respected him for that reason. He was an old-fashioned manager who showed that you could make a difference through teaching.

I firmly believe players want to learn. Some will be open to it. Others won't.

It was therefore heartening to pick up a little snippet from St Andrew's this week. Chris Hughton's coach, Paul Trollope, spotted that Chris Burke wasn't at all bad on his left foot.

The former Rangers' trainee did not, however, take aim too many times after cutting in. Trollope encouraged Burke and the pair have practised shooting after coming back onto his left-foot relentlessly throughout the season.

The results are there for all to see. I have not checked this, but my contact reckons that Burke found the net six times in such a fashion. It could have made the difference between qualifying for the play-offs and not.

And while it obviously reflects well on Trollope and Burke it just goes to show that the benefits of good coaching can have tangible reward on the training pitch.

No way back for Eck

Finally, a word about Alex McLeish.

This job was a big opportunity. He was beset by a couple of untimely injuries, most notably to Jermaine Jenas and Darren Bent.

But to those who say he never stood a chance Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Aston Villa's supporters gave Alex McLeish a chance. The only way he was going to win them over though was by producing a brand of attacking football. Not by deploying tactics similar to those he used at St Andrew's.

Gone: Alex McLeish faces an uncertain future after being sacked by Aston Villa

Gone: Alex McLeish faces an uncertain future after being sacked by Aston Villa

Statistically, the two seasons were almost identical and the fact that Villa drew 17 matches showed they were competitive. Yet they would have earned more points winning just six of them.

He never grasped that fact. In doing so, he bought himself no time and could not escape the downwards spiral.

The fact is, if Villa were to finish 16th, they might as well have done so with a few spills and thrills.

That way, McLeish might have bought himself some time and not given the fans a stick to beat him with.

As it is, his reputation now has been damaged. Perhaps beyond repair.

Bradley Wiggins retains yellow jersey after fourth stage of Paris-Nice race

Wiggins heads into fifth stage of Paris-Nice race with yellow jersey still on his back

Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins still has the yellow jersey after four stages of the Paris-Nice race.

Wiggins finished 10th as the riders contested the 178km stage between Brive-la-Gaillarde and Rodez, enough to keep him six seconds clear at the top of the standings with an overall time of 13 hours, 30 minutes and 52 seconds.

Leader of the pack: Bradley Wiggins retained the yellow jersey going into the fifth stage of the Paris-Nice race

Leader of the pack: Bradley Wiggins retained the yellow jersey going into the fifth stage of the Paris-Nice race

Lotto-Belisol rider Gianni Meersman won the fourth stage, heading the peloton in 4hrs, 21 minutes and 1sec as he edged in front of Grega Bole and Lieuwe Westra on the line.

Levi Leipheimer, of Omega Pharma Quick-Step, remains in second place, six seconds behind Wiggins, with BMC's Tejay van Garderen 11 seconds back.

Man in the middle: Wiggins rides in the pack between Brive-la-Gaillarde and Rodez

Man in the middle: Wiggins rides in the pack between Brive-la-Gaillarde and Rodez

Alejandro Valverde is in possession of the green jersey, with 52 points to his name.

Steve Eyre sacked by Rochdale

Eyre sacked as Rochdale manager after miserable run in League One

Out of a job: Rochdale sacked Steve Eyre

Out of a job: Rochdale sacked Steve Eyre

Rochdale have sacked manager Steve Eyre and his assistant Frankie Bunn.

Eyre, a former youth coach at Manchester City, undertook his first managerial role at Spotland after Keith Hill”s summer departure to Barnsley.

However, Dale have won just four matches this term and lie two points from safety in League One.

Saturday”s goalless draw with fellow strugglers Yeovil stretched the club”s current poor run of form to a solitary win in 10 league matches.

Youth team manager Chris Beech has been placed in caretaker charge.

In a statement on Rochdale”s official website, chairman Chris Dunphy said: “This has been a very difficult decision for my fellow directors and I because Steve and Frankie are really nice people and we have enjoyed working with them.

“Unfortunately we haven”t got the results we had all hoped and worked for. I genuinely want to sincerely thank Steve and Frankie for their services to Rochdale Football Club”