Tag Archives: north

Romelu Lukaku racism case: Sunderland fan swears at cameras on way out of court

Sunderland fan accused of racist gesture at Lukaku swears as he leaves court

By
Tom Wilkinson, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

12:12 GMT, 22 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:35 GMT, 22 April 2013

The Sunderland fan who denies making a racist monkey gesture at Romelu Lukaku swore and threatened to spit at photographers after a court hearing on Monday.

Liam Jones, 21, of East Vines, Sunderland, was charged following an alleged incident in the stands of the Stadium of Light last November.

Offensive: Liam Jones swore at photographers and threatened to spit (below)

Offensive: Liam Jones swore at photographers and threatened to spit (below)

Liam Jones

West Brom striker Lukaku, on loan from Chelsea, scored a goal against the north-east club as his side won 4-2, and in the aftermath Jones allegedly made the gesture.

He was arrested after the match and was charged last month with racially aggravated harassment.

Sunderland Magistrates adjourned the case for trial on June 26.

Jones was granted bail on a number of conditions, including that he does not go within 300 metres of the Stadium of Light or 500m of St James’ Park – the home of rivals Newcastle – on match days.

Bail: Jones is not allowed near the Stadium of Light or St James' Park until the trial

Bail: Jones is not allowed near the Stadium of Light or St James' Park until the trial

Gareth Bale says Tottenham team spirit will help Premier League and Europa League campaigns

Spurs' spirit will see us bid for glory on two fronts until the end of the season, says Bale

By
Charlie Skillen

PUBLISHED:

19:53 GMT, 1 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 1 April 2013

Gareth Bale has said Tottenham can keep fighting on two fronts until the end of the season, claiming Champions League football for next season and challenging for the Europa League.

Spurs sit in third in the Premier League, five points ahead of north London rivals Arsenal in fifth, but have played a game more than the Gunners.

They also host Basel in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, but talisman Bale believes the togetherness in the squad will see them through.

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Ready to go: Gareth Bale said Tottenham can use their team spirit to compete on two fronts

Bale

'We are a very close group as a team. At some places there's little groups here and little groups there but we have got a great team spirit and we want to take that into the rest of the season,' Bale told Eurosport.

'The main thing for us is that we don’t get carried away. We're comfortably able to finish fourth in the league and competing for third – we've got to take it game by game.

'We can push on in the Europa League as well against Basle. Our away form has been very good – we showed that against Lyon. We want to do as well as we can in both competitions.'

Bale's stunning strike against Swansea in Spurs' 2-1 win at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday was his 22nd for Spurs in all competitions this season, prompting some to brand him as one of the best in the world.

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

Flying high: Bale scored his 22nd goal of the season for Spurs against Swansea on Saturday

But for the man himself, two giants of the Spanish League are still the ones to beat.

'Ronaldo and Messi have set the standard as the best players in the world, and everyone wants to play like them' said Bale.

'Year by year I'm improving and I can still improve.'

Gareth Bale has banana thrown at him during Tottenham v Arsenal

Bale strikes back after Arsenal fan throws banana at him in north London derby

By
Rik Sharma

PUBLISHED:

17:09 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:09 GMT, 3 March 2013

Gareth Bale had a banana thrown at him by an Arsenal fan as he went to take a corner in Sunday's north London derby.

The linesman removed it from the pitch and no further action was taken after the incident.

Bale got his own back soon after, being
played in by Gylfi Sigurdsson and prodding the ball past Wojciech
Szczesny to open the scoring for Spurs against their arch-rivals at White Hate Lane.

Incident: The linesman holds the banana thrown at Gareth Bale as he went to take the corner

Incident: The linesman holds the banana thrown at Gareth Bale as he went to take the corner

When bananas are thrown on to football pitches they are usually in incidents with a racial connotation.

Inter Milan fans recently racially abused AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli by bringing inflatable bananas to the San Siro for their recent derby.

North London derby scores highest in Premier League games

Back of the net! North London derby averages most goals per game of ANY Premier League match… and here's some recent classics

By
Gerard Brand

PUBLISHED:

12:24 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:57 GMT, 28 February 2013

Goals, dismissals, comebacks, bust-ups – the north London derby has had plenty of all of these over the years.

Now Sportsmail can reveal that the battle between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal provides the most goals per game in the Premier League when at least 10 matches have been played.

Of the 41 league games fought between the two sides, 121 goals have been scored, or 2.95 goals per game.

Scroll down for video

And another: Robert Pires scores in Arsenal's 5-4 win at White Hart Lane in November 2004, just one of the classic games between the side's over the years

And another: Robert Pires scores in Arsenal's 5-4 win at White Hart Lane in November 2004, just one a number of classic games between the side's over the years

LAST SIX WHITE HART LANE MEETINGS

October 2011: Spurs 2-1 Arsenal

April 2011: Spurs 3-3 Arsenal

April 2010: Spurs 2-1 Arsenal

Feb 2009: Spurs 0-0 Arsenal

Sep 2007: Spurs 1-3 Arsenal

April 2007: Spurs 2-2 Arsenal

In the last five games alone, a staggering 28 goals have been scored. That's even before you get to belters like Tottenham's comeback in the 4-4 draw at the Emirates in November 2008 and Arsenal's 5-4 win at White Hart Lane in 2004.

With Arsenal going for broke for fourth place and Tottenham playing their best football of the campaign (helped by the scintillating form of Gareth Bale), there could be goals galore on Sunday afternoon.

The Gunners may be short on firepower at the moment, but Theo Walcott will be looking to add to his four goals in the last four north London derbies.

On the other side of the divide, Bale has netted four PL goals against Arsenal, the equal-most for a Tottenham player alongside Rafael van der Vaart.

Coming in a close second on average goals per game is Manchester United against Everton, with 121 goals scored in 42 Premier League games, or 2.88 goals per game.

This means that if a single goal is scored on Sunday afternoon, the contest will become the highest-scoring match in the Premier League era.

The argument over which English derby is the fiercest, most entertaining and most important has been running for years, with each and every fan in the country convinced their special rivalry is the one and only.

Fierce: North London derbies aren't just full of goals, with plenty of scuffles over the years, while Spurs have come out on top at White Hart Lane in recent years

Fierce: North London derbies aren't just full of goals, with plenty of scuffles over the years, while Spurs have come out on top at White Hart Lane in recent encounters

Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker and teammates Luka Modricand Gareth Bale celebrate after scoring a goal against Arsenal in 2011
PREMIER LEAGUE DERBIES

Liverpool v Everton: 92 goals in 41 games (2.24 goals per game)

Man City v Man Utd: 88 goals in 31 games (2.83 gpg)

Sunderland v Newcastle: 55 goals in 21 games (2.61 gpg)

But in comparison with the Merseyside, Manchester and Tyne-Wear derbies, North London's finest come out on top.

In the 41 Premier League games between Liverpool and Everton, 92 goals have been scored, equalling 2.24 goals per game.

Meanwhile, the Manchester derby has produced 82 goals in 31 games (2.83 goals per game), while Premier League encounters between Newcastle United and Sunderland have seen 55 goals in 31 games (2.61 goals per game).

VIDEO: North London derby classics from the past decade

The Footballers" Football Column – Rohan Ricketts: Globetrotter how he moved from England to Ecuador via India

ROHAN RICKETTS: Cows in the road and Twitter row meant my Indian adventure ended early… but I went back in time to live the dream in South America

PUBLISHED:

08:20 GMT, 18 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

14:06 GMT, 18 February 2013

Rohan Ricketts

Rohan Ricketts started his football career playing for Arsenal and was part of the hugely successful side that won the FA Youth Cup in 2000 and 2001. But a year later he made the move that only four players before him had and crossed the north London divide to join Tottenham. After 30 appearances for the White Hart Lane club, Ricketts began his football journey playing for Wolves, Coventry, QPR, Barnsley before he opted to move abroad and to join MLS side Toronto FC. Since then he has played in Hungary, Moldova, Germany, Ireland and India. He is now playing in South America, in Ecuador. Before you read his first Footballers' Football Column, watch his video.

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv37260','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-large”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv37260”,
'videoPlayer' : “2167751012001”,
'width' : 636,
'height' : 358,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/index.html”

});

I’ve often been called a ‘journeyman’ in my football career and in late 2012 I made my biggest journey to date when I signed for Dempo SC in Goa, India. It doesn’t sound like the most obvious move to make but, as they say, football is a funny old game.

Last summer I was really keen to return to the UK, after a stint at Shamrock Rovers in Ireland so I returned to London to see what I could find.

But it is such a tough market and there were so many players looking for a club. There’s a fine balance between holding your nerve and waiting to find a club or signing somewhere to ensure financial security for your family.

Getting to know the locals: Ricketts enjoyed his short spell in India, despite his issues on the pitch

Getting to know the locals: Ricketts enjoyed his short spell in India, despite his issues on the pitch

There were many players who were still looking for a club even after the season started. It’s easy to assume that players are being choosy about which club they sign for and ruling out lower league clubs but for me that wasn’t the case.

I love playing football, it’s what I was born to do. I may have been nearing 30 but I had no plans to give it up just yet.

After much deliberation with my family and friends, I made the decision to sign for Dempo SC. India isn’t really known for its football, I knew it would be different to Europe but the challenge of living in another country and helping them to build up the reputation of football really appealed to me.

I did it before when I signed for Toronto FC in MLS and I found it really rewarding to help educate a new generation about the sport.

First move abroad: Ricketts moved to MLS and joined Toronto

First move abroad: Ricketts moved to MLS and joined Toronto

I was told how serious Dempo SC were about growing football in India and I was excited to join them so I signed until May 2013.

It
certainly was a world away from London. It gets so hot there that we
were doing all our training sessions and practice matches early in the
morning before it got too unbearable.

It was fascinating to live in such a different culture, I was late for training on a couple of occasions due to cows in the road which was certainly something I had not experienced before and was I confronted with severe poverty in certain areas, which was difficult to see.

On the pitch, it was great to taste victory on the first day of the season after such a long break away, but it really was a different game to the one I am used to. It was the tactics that were lacking, rather than the players' skill level, so I was confident we would improve as the team gelled.

Rohan Ricketts

Mobbed: Ricketts helped Shamrock Rovers win the Irish League

Luck of the Irish: Ricketts enjoyed his spell with Shamrock Rovers and helped them win the Irish league

Unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to see if that would be the case. I had joined the team under the impression that they wanted me to play as I do and that they wanted to develop a passing style.

However the coach soon made it clear that he was expecting me to adapt to the way they played. It didn’t help that he was trying to play me as a striker rather than an attacking central midfielder.

I had some discussions with him about this in the early days and he did start to play me in the
right position.

Young stars: Rohan Ricketts was part of the Arsenal Youth team that included Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant and Jay Bothroyd

Young stars: Rohan Ricketts was part of the Arsenal Youth team that included Steve Sidwell, Moritz Volz, Jermaine Pennant and Jay Bothroyd

Ricketts playing for Spurs

Rohan Ricketts

Crossing the divide: Ricketts moved to Spurs after starting his career in the Arsenal youth team

var NREUMQ=NREUMQ||[];NREUMQ.push([“mark”,”firstbyte”,new Date().getTime()])Server Issue An exception occurred processing JSP page /WEB-INF/jsp/channel-items/standardMod.jsp at line 56

53:
54:
55:
56:
57:
58:
59:

Stacktrace: production 75-build-399

Sorry…

We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with this section of our site. We are doing everything we can to resolve this as soon as possible.

Other sections of the site are not affected by this. You can continue to navigate through other pages.

Back to Mail Online home
Back to the page you came from

var GOOG_FIXURL_LANG = 'en_GB';
var GOOG_FIXURL_SITE = 'http://www.dailymail.co.uk/';

if (!NREUMQ.f) NREUMQ.f=function() NREUMQ.push([“load”,new Date().getTime()]);var e=document.createElement(“script”);e.type=”text/javascript”;e.src=((“http:”===document.location.protocol)”http:”:”https:”) + “//” + “d1ros97qkrwjf5.cloudfront.net/42/eum/rum.js”;document.body.appendChild(e);if(NREUMQ.a)NREUMQ.a();;NREUMQ.a=window.onload;window.onload=NREUMQ.f;};NREUMQ.push([“nrfj”,”beacon-2.newrelic.com”,”b94e1c1896″,294505,”ZARTYUcDCkJSVRBQDF1Oe2ZlTTN0cRstdyUcC0JFGgEMUF1YAVU8A1EDUVwWAVxAGRdNAl0FUEdRLwtVHVwXSQ==”,0,54,new Date().getTime(),””,””,””,””,””]);

I mentioned everything that was happening on my Twitter account, something the coach was not happy about. When the Indian press asked him about the things I was saying he denied it and said that I had misunderstood.

I knew that I hadn’t, although I do recognise that talking about it in 140 characters on Twitter was perhaps not the best forum. I was just frustrated because I wanted the team to do well.

As a result of my comments I was put on the bench for the next four games, in both the Goa and
I League.

The team did not do as well as we had been doing and it was really hard to sit and watch, but I remained professional and trained hard. It was a big plus to have moral support from a lot of the key members of the squad. This is something that can be rare being a player in a foreign country.

Eventually after keeping my focus and positive spirit, I was re-instated in the starting XI against Salgoacar FC. The game was tough but we ended up winning 2-1, and I scored my first I League goal and then set up the winnner.

After the game the coaches and players were in a good mood and we had gone two points clear at the top of the table. I had hoped that was the turning point for me but unfortunately things didn’t improve with the head coach.

It was a really uncomfortable situation with him and again I spoke out about the difficulties I was having on Twitter. After my first tweets I had spoken with the President of the club, who is a great guy, and he was supportive but obviously I understood that he needed to run the club successfully and for that he needs a united team.

I wasn’t trying to unsettle things with my later tweets but I couldn’t stay silent.

After further discussions with the President it became clear that my position at the club was untenable.

I can’t talk about everything that happened there but suffice to say that I have the utmost respect for the President and my team mates at Dempo SC along with the many fans who I met while I was there. I wish them every success this season.

Fortunately for me, when I knew that I was leaving Dempo, I was able to sign very quickly for a new club – 10 hours back in time at Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador.

Playing in South America has always been a dream of mine so when my agent told me about this opportunity, I jumped at the chance.

A new excuse for being late: Ricketts was later for training due to cows in the road (file picture)

A new excuse for being late: Ricketts was later for training due to cows in the road (file picture)

Fans' favourite: Ricketts is surrounded by fans as he leaves training

Fans' favourite: Ricketts is surrounded by fans as he leaves training

I have been here for a month now and am settling in well. My team-mates have been very welcoming and I have joined in pre-season, which is refreshing after my last couple of moves where I have joined mid-way through and struggled to get to the same fitness level.

We played our first game of the season at the end of January against the Champions and biggest club in Ecuador Barcelona SC. Before the game I could feel the hype surrounding the game and for me it felt like I was involved in a Premier League fixture back home against Manchester United.

Fans all over our city, Quevedo, were stopping me daily to let me know how big the game was for them.

Talk about pressure on your first game.

This pressure was not new to me but I could still feel the anticipation and excitement all around. I'm grateful to be part of such moments. This is no doubt the stuff of dreams for others but for me it is reality.

I knew I was starting in the game a week before, so I did not have the annoying waiting game surrounding team selection.

On the move: Ricketts left India to move to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador

On the move: Ricketts left India to move to Deportivo Quevedo in Ecuador

Once the game day arrived and we got to the stadium and the energy around the ground was almost tangible. Salsa music was playing and the people were chanting an hour ahead of
kick-off.

I just tried to remain cool as I did not want to lose energy. Good thing I did because the game turned out to be a real scrap due to the bad weather which turned the pitch into a mud bath.

I was hoping to get on the ball and play our passing game, but it was not to be for either side.

ROHAN RICKETTS

Follow Rohan on Twitter: @RohanRicketts

It was all about winning the second ball and playing on the counter attack. We adapted really well to the conditions and took the lead early on but the referee seemed to have his own agenda, in the second half when he gave Barcelona as penalty which was never a penalty and then didn't give us a penalty for a blatant handball in their box.

I won't go too much into the incident as I may get myself in trouble, but the game ended 1-1. A good point for us against the champions and a good team performance.

I was relatively pleased with my performance but I know the conditions limited my chances of being more active in dangerous areas.

I'm adapting quickly and learning the lingo, which will only speed up the settling in process and help me get the most out of my latest football adventure.

Arsenal fans call for Arsene Wengerto resign after FA Cup defeat to Blackburn

Worst ever for Wenger: Fans call for Arsenal boss to resign after FA Cup shocker

By
Andrew Warshaw and Joe Bernstein

PUBLISHED:

21:07 GMT, 16 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

23:56 GMT, 16 February 2013

Despondent Arsene Wenger rued another devastating defeat as the worst season in his 16-and-a-half-year Arsenal reign plumbed new depths amid a torrent of abuse at the Emirates.

With Bayern Munich visiting north London in the Champions League on Tuesday, Wenger made seven changes for yesterday's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Championship side Blackburn but suffered another humiliation as his team were again humbled by lower league opposition.

Colin Kazim-Richards's 72ndminute winner not only extended Arsenal's trophyless drought to eight years but was the first time under Wenger's tenure that the Gunners had lost in the FA Cup to a team outside the Premier League.

Tought to take: Arsene Wenger reacts as Arsenal slumped to defeat against Blackburn

Tought to take: Arsene Wenger reacts as Arsenal slumped to defeat against Blackburn

With Arsenal's board set to review
their manager's position at the end of the season – and Wenger himself
understood to be considering his position – Everton manager David Moyes
last night emerged as a shock contender to take over next season.

Elsewhere, seven arrests were made as
a heavy police presence at Luton's FA Cup clash with Millwall ensured
there was no chance of a repeat of the hooliganism that erupted when the
sides met in 1985.

Three hundred Bedfordshire police
were on duty in the Kenilworth Road area as a 'small minority' of fans
were involved in a tense stand-off after Millwall's 3-0 victory.

Barnsley striker Marlon Harewood was
alleged to have been abused by a fan during his side's 3-1 win over MK
Dons, with the home side's manager, David Flitcroft, intervening.

Decider: Colin Kazim-Richards fires past Wojciech Szczesny to dump the gunners out of the FA Cup

Decider: Colin Kazim-Richards fires past Wojciech Szczesny to dump the gunners out of the FA Cup

At the Emirates, Wenger's postmatch
press conference lasted barely five minutes as he was bombarded with
questions about his side's continuing frailties in a season now in
danger of going into freefall.

'It's very painful and very disappointing,' said Wenger, whose
side were knocked out of the League Cup by League Two Bradford in
December.

Even when he brought on first-choice players Theo Walcott,
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, they failed to find a way through
Michael Appleton's resolute side and were booed off.

Lifelong Arsenal
fan and Ryder Cup golf hero Ian Poulter tweeted: 'Utter crap Wenger
that's your lot you have to go, take a bow you've done an amazing job
over the years but enough is enough …'

Down and out: A dejected Jack wilshere reacts to Kazim-Richards' goal

Down and out: A dejected Jack wilshere reacts to Kazim-Richards' goal

'We had 11 international players
on the pitch at the start of the game,' said Wenger, whose side had 26
shots – 12 on target – and totally dominated possession.

'But we made a
massive mistake on the goal.'

Asked if the current season was his
worst, Wenger hit back: 'It is not over yet. For you maybe, but not for
me. It's important to focus on our next game. It's a good opportunity to
show we have character.'

Famous victory: Michael Appleton (left) congratulates Jason Lowe after victory at the Emirates

Famous victory: Michael Appleton (left) congratulates Jason Lowe after victory at the Emirates

Wenger's contract runs out in 2014
and he has so far refused to discuss a new one. If he leaves at the end
of the season, he may look to return to France.

Aware of Wenger's perilous position,
Moyes has told Everton he is unlikely to discuss his own future until
the summer when his current deal runs out.

Despite his close relationship with
owner Bill Kenwright, there is irritation inside Everton at Moyes's
tactics, which they regard as a form of blackmail to push for new
signings.

Into the last eight: Blackburn claimed a morale-boosting win, continuing Appleton's fine start as boss

Into the last eight: Blackburn claimed a morale-boosting win, continuing Appleton's fine start as boss

Lukas Podolski shares London day-trip with Twitter followers

Learning London with Podolski: Arsenal star shares day trip around capital with fans

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 12 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

15:25 GMT, 13 February 2013

After joining Arsenal from Cologne last summer, Gunners fans soon took to Lukas Podolski who has quickly adapted to life in the Premier League.

It isn’t just on the pitch where the striker is settling in fast though, the German international has been just as keen to soak up the London atmosphere around him.

Here we go: Lukas Podolski started his London tour by taking 'a real black cab' from the Highbury district

Here we go: Lukas Podolski started his London tour by taking 'a real black cab' from the Highbury district

Stop seven: Lukas Podolski poses outside of Trafalgar Square

Stop nine: Podolski stops outside Buckingham Palace

Short trip: Podolski poses with a lion outside of Trafalgar Square before visiting Buckingham Palace, where after seeing the Royal Standard flag happily tweeted that 'the Queen is home!!!'

With Arsenal not due to play in the Champions League until next week, the 27-year-old used his spare time to go sight-seeing around the capital, including a trip to Trafalgar Square as well as nearby Buckingham Palace.

Podolski shared his day-trip around London with his Twitter followers under the hashtag #learninglondon showing his knowledge of where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married as well as recognising how the Queen was in residence.

Thumbs up: Lukas Podolski stops outside St Pauls

Stop five: Podolski tweets #weddingcakechurch

Thumbs up: Podolski gives his approval after visiting St Paul's Cathedral (left)

The German’s interest in learning about London comes just months after a video was released showing the striker taking rhyming slang lessons off former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour in a bid to help him to adapt to life in north London.

It seems to have worked so far as Podolski has been a regular feature at the Emirates Stadium, scoring 12 goals in 31 games.

Lukas Podolski's tour was the latest in a series of Learning London features the German international has filmed with Arsenal Media, available to watch on player.arsenal.com from the weekend.

Eden Hazard ball boy incident dragged Chelsea into gutter once more

Hazard incident poses the question… when will Chelsea rise from the gutter

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

01:13 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

07:31 GMT, 24 January 2013

Chelsea players demanded answers from Eden Hazard in the dressing room at the Liberty Stadium – and they had every right to do so.

They are furious with the 32million man after he dragged the reputation of this club – champions of Europe remember – into the gutter again.

Forget the FA and the lengthy ban that will follow for the red card. This time Chelsea must act. They must take their own action, make an example of a player who has embarrassed and humiliated the club in front of a worldwide TV audience.

Hazard warning: The Belgian's team-mates are furious with him

Hazard warning: The Belgian's team-mates are furious with him

This Capital One Cup semi-final second leg was beamed all over the world, across north Africa and the Middle East, as Swansea City set off in pursuit of their first major final – a fairytale date with Bradford City at Wembley next month.

They got there, but the enduring memory of last night will be of the moment Hazard lost the plot behind Gerhard Tremmel’s goal. Losing a match is one thing, booting a ball boy something else.

Chelsea’s official twitter feed – which boasts nearly 1.8 million followers around the world – was one-eyed in its immediate response. Seconds after the incident, the club’s verified account tweeted: ‘Has football gone mad Hazard is sent off for kicking the ball under a ball boy attempting to smother the ball rather than return it.’

They apologised for those remarks an hour after the match. Presumably, someone at last saw some sense. But frankly, the club’s lack of self-discipline is alarming. Hazard’s flash of anger is a new low, a despicable act that has brought the great name of Chelsea into disrepute again.

Foolish: Hazard reacted when the ball boy tried to keep the ball away from him

Foolish: Hazard reacted when the ball boy tried to keep the ball away from him

What a year it’s been for them. Earlier in the season, John Terry was banned for four games by the FA after they found him guilty of racially abusing QPR’s Anton Ferdinand last season.

In October, the club accused referee Mark Clattenburg of racially insulting John Mikel Obi after their fiery 3-2 defeat by Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League. Clattenburg was cleared by an FA investigation.

This isn’t conduct becoming of European champions, a club with so much positive recent history on its side after winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, as well as the Champions League, during the Roman Abramovich era.

With fans revolting against the regime of interim manager Rafa Benitez following some indifferent results, Chelsea’s billionaire owner returned early from St Barts to sort out the mess at Stamford Bridge last weekend. But he will struggle to know where to start after this.

We've been here before: The club reported Clattenburg (left) to the FA

We've been here before: The club reported Clattenburg (left) to the FA

Hazard has to be accountable for his actions, sent off by referee Chris Foy after this extraordinary incident late in the second half. Charlie Morgan, son of Swansea director Martin Morgan, certainly played his part in an incredible moment.

Morgan started the day by boasting to his 11 twitter followers that ‘the king of all ball boys was back for one final appearance’. By 10.30pm more than 50,000 were following him and the comments from football fans around the world were a mixture of sympathy and abuse.

Earlier in the day he had tweeted that he intended to waste time to help Swansea hold on to their precious 2-0 advantage from the first leg. With about 12 minutes left, he did just that, holding on to the ball and refusing Hazard’s requests to return it quickly for a Swansea goal-kick.

No choice: Chris Foy gives Hazard his marching orders

No choice: Chris Foy gives Hazard his marching orders

Hazard could have remonstrated with the officials so that they added on time. Instead, what happened next should never be seen on a football field again, a shocking and shameful act by one of the most high-profile names in the game. Booting a ball boy in the ribs was unforgivable. Initially, Hazard seemed unrepentant as he left the field, but Chelsea were left frantically trying to defuse the volatile situation.

Young Morgan, after receiving treatment on his ribs in the Swansea dressing room, was eventually taken to see Hazard. The winger apologised for losing control, but that will not be enough to get him off the hook, with the FA sure to throw the book at him.

His team-mates have had Hazard down as flash and flighty for a while, and it will take time to repair the damage in the dressing room. After this, it will take even longer to restore Chelsea’s battered image around the world.

Robin Van Persie reveals family rift after move from Arsenal to Manchester United

'Seeing you in United colours makes our baby sick!' Van Persie's wife reveals family rift in spoof video

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

11:41 GMT, 2 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:41 GMT, 2 January 2013

The sight of Robin Van Persie moving to Manchester United in the summer made many an Arsenal fan feel a bit sick.

But it appears the Dutch star's 24m move north has had an nauseating effect on his life at home too.

A tongue-in-cheek programme by a Dutch television channel filmed inside the Van Persie family home, and translated by talkSPORT, has revealed that his young daughter and 'lifelong Gooner' Dina regularly spews up at the sight of her daddy playing in a United shirt.

Scroll down for video

Goal machine: Robin van Persie has already scored 19 goals across all competitions for Manchester United since his 24m move from Arsenal in the summer

Goal machine: Robin van Persie has already scored 19 goals across all competitions for Manchester United since his 24m move from Arsenal in the summer

Not impressed: In the tongue-in-cheek Dutch TV programme, Van Persie's wife Bouchra jokes how young daughter Dina didn't like his move to Manchester

Not impressed: In the tongue-in-cheek Dutch TV programme, Van Persie's wife Bouchra jokes how young daughter Dina didn't like his move to Manchester

And the prolific striker, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions so far this season, said that he laughed at Arsenal's offer of a new contract in the summer and threw it in the bin.

The clip starts with Van Persie talking about how difficult it was to leave Arsenal and shows pictures in his living room wearing an Arsenal tracksuit while cradling baby Dina.

He says: It wasn't easy to leave the Gunners, I didn't want to, but this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. My kids are both Gooners, so it was tough.

'But I've more than doubled my wages, which is ace. That gives my two little ones a better chance in life.'

Nauseating: Bouchra tells the presenter that Dina feels sick thinking about her daddy playing in United colours

Nauseating: Bouchra tells the presenter that Dina feels sick thinking about her daddy playing in United colours

Traitor! Right on cue, Dina spews up on the kitchen floor and Van Persie has to clean up the mess

Traitor! Right on cue, Dina spews up on the kitchen floor and Van Persie has to clean up the mess

His wife Bouchra and baby daughter then take centre stage.

Speaking in the kitchen, Bouchra says: 'I must admit the move was very stressful for the baby. As a lifelong Gooner, she was disgusted by her old man.

'It still makes her feel sick just talking about it. She saw a photo of daddy with Fergie…'

Right on cue, Dina throws up on the kitchen floor and Robin has to mop it up as his wife jokingly calls him a 'traitor.'

Time to go: Van Persie talks in the clip about how the move was right for him

Time to go: Van Persie talks in the clip about how the move was right for him

Not good enough: Van Persie then says he dropped Arsenal's contract offer in the bin and walked out

Not good enough: Van Persie then says he dropped Arsenal's contract offer in the bin and walked out

Later, she says: 'The baby told me she has lost all respect for her old man.'

The programme may be intended to be light-hearted, but Gunners fans might take offence at these comments at the end: 'I know the baby is upset, but I had to leave.

'It still makes me laugh to think about the new contract I was offered by them. I said 'Oh really' Then I dropped it in the bin and packed my bags.'

VIDEO: Van Persie explains family rift after his move to Man United

Gareth Bale will not leave Tottenham in January, says Andre Villas-Boas

Bale's going nowhere! Villas-Boas digs heels in over winger as Real step up chase

|

UPDATED:

12:49 GMT, 29 December 2012

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas says Gareth Bale will not be leaving White Hart Lane for Real Madrid in January.

Bale, who scored an imperious hat-trick in Tottenham’s Boxing Day win over Aston Villa, has been the subject of interest from the Spanish champions, with Jose Mourinho’s side wanting the Spurs winger for 33million.

But Villas-Boas insists Bale will not be sold for any price in the upcoming transfer window, and believes the 23-year-old will remain in north London.

Going nowhere: Andre Villas-Boas claims Gareth bale will not be sold in January

Going nowhere: Andre Villas-Boas claims Gareth bale will not be sold in January

‘I have no concerns at all about the possibility of Bale going in January,’ Villas-Boas told The Sun.

‘It’s very difficult because in England there are no release clauses and a player of this dimension has a market value that is not obtainable to most of the clubs.’

The Portuguese coach also said it is unlikely Tottenham will make a move for anyone in the January transfer window, effectively ruling out any move for wantaway Inter midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

He added: ‘It’s very unlikely we will do anything in the window.'

Earlier this week, Spanish newspaper Marca claimed a bid for 40million euros was in place from Real for Bale and that Mourinho will not rest until his top transfer target has been secured.

Villas-Boas had already dismissed the chances of landing Bale following Luka Modric to Madrid last week, and insisted it was 'completely impossible' that the lightning-quick midfielder would be allowed to leave any time soon.

That will not deter Mourinho, who is willing to wait until the end of the season to add Bale's pace
and finishing to Real's attack.

As
a measure of Real's determination to take the 23-year old to the
Spanish capital, Marca recently revealed that 56million had been set
aside to cover the overall package required to make the deal a reality.

Bale
has also been linked with Real’s rivals Barcelona, and Spurs team-mate
Sandro believes he is more than capable enough to play in a Brazil
line-up – despite being Welsh.

'He is good enough to play for Brazil, and it is a shame he was born in Wales,' said the Tottenham midfielder.

Strength to strength: Bale netted a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Boxing Day

Strength to strength: Bale netted a hat-trick against Aston Villa on Boxing Day

Determined: Jose Mourinho wants to add bale's pace to his Real Madrid side

Determined: Jose Mourinho wants to add bale's pace to his Real Madrid side

‘I’ve played with a lot of good players but Bale is one of the very best. He is so good. It’s easy to talk to him because he is a great player and a great guy as well.

‘He has everything. He is comfortable with the ball, he’s quick and he’s clever. He’s also strong too. Now he’s a dad he’s in a good place personally too. He’s got more responsibility and that has made a difference on the pitch.’

Follow in his footsteps Luka Modric left Tottenham for Real in the summer

Follow in his footsteps Luka Modric left Tottenham for Real in the summer