Tag Archives: old

Laura Robson loses to Alize Cornet in Miami

Robson forced to wait for No 1 sport after losing three-set battle to Cornet in Miami

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

11:59 GMT, 23 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:59 GMT, 23 March 2013

Laura Robson passed up the chance to become British No 1 on Friday night, beaten in three sets in the second round of the WTA Sony Open by Alize Cornet.

The 19-year-old started well but, in a match which lasted two hours 36 minutes but was stretched over seven hours due to rain delays and power cuts in Miami, the 32nd-seeded Frenchwoman eventually emerged a 5-7 7-5 6-1 winner.

World No 36 Cornet, who wrapped up the win with a run of five straight games, will face American Lauren Davis in round three.

Beaten: Laura Robson lost to Alize Cornet in Miami

Beaten: Laura Robson lost to Alize Cornet in Miami

Beaten: Laura Robson lost to Alize Cornet in Miami

Beaten: Laura Robson lost to Alize Cornet in Miami

Carlos Tevez facing jail threat after arrest on suspicion of driving while disaqualified

City striker Tevez could face jail after arrest on suspicion of driving while disqualified

Tevez was banned from the roads for six months in January

Police confirm a 29-year-old man was arrested on ThursdayMaximum penalty is six months in prison and 5,000 fine

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Reliable: But the forward is a consistent performer when selected

Reliable: But the forward is a consistent performer when selected

Newcastle United target Bastia"s Florian Thauvin

Newcastle look to French teen Thauvin to kick start disappointing season

By
Simon Jones

PUBLISHED:

22:50 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 7 January 2013

Newcastle are considering a move for Bastia’s attacking midfielder Florian Thauvin.

The 19-year-old has appeared 16 times for his club this season, scoring twice, while he has also represented his country at Under-20 level.

Thauvin has 18 months remaining on his contract with the struggling club.

Reinforcements needed: Florian Thauvin (right) is a target for struggling Newcastle

Reinforcements needed: Florian Thauvin (right) is a target for struggling Newcastle

Leicester 17 Gloucester 12: Anthony Allen scores against former club

Leicester 17 Gloucester 12: Tigers leap up to second as Allen crosses against former club

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UPDATED:

20:04 GMT, 29 December 2012

Leicester fought off a rousing finish from Gloucester to win a thrilling match 17-12 at Welford Road and jump two places to second in the Aviva Premiership.

Trailing by five points Gloucester threw everything at Leicester in the final few minutes and were twice thwarted by the Tigers' last ditch defence on the line.

Anthony Allen scored the only try of the match against his former club seven minutes after half-time following intense pressure from a Leicester pack that dominated a match in which four players were yellow carded.

Try-time: Anthony Allen goes over for the game's only five-pointer

Try-time: Anthony Allen goes over for the game's only five-pointer

Leicester's other points came from fly-half George Ford, who kicked three penalties, and Geordan Murphy who added another. Fly-half Freddie Burns slotted four for Gloucester.

The withdrawal of England fly-half Toby Flood through illness deprived a capacity 24,000 crowd of a shoot-out with Gloucester's rising star Burns, who made his England debut as a replacement against the All Blacks.

It did, however, lead to a battle of the young pretenders for the England No 10 spot, with 19-year-old Ford called up to replace Flood. On a pitch made heavy by recent rain their kicking was more important than usual.

Burns won the battle in the first half, slotting two penalties out of three to Ford's one from three, giving Gloucester a 6-3 half time lead.

They would have been more than happy with that after spending most of the 40 minutes on the back foot, especially in the scrums where they were continuously marched backwards as if on wheels.

Mismatch: Gloucester No 8 Ben Morgan is tackled by George Ford

Mismatch: Gloucester No 8 Ben Morgan is tackled by George Ford (right)

Leicester dominated that set piece so much that referee Andrew Small eventually lost patience in the 24th minute and showed Gloucester tight head prop Shaun Knight a yellow card.

Leicester, however, were unable to take advantage and around the half-hour mark they opted for four successive scrums near the Gloucester line instead of taking the three points from a penalty and came away with nothing.

Gloucester were awarded a penalty at the fourth scrum, escaped their own half and saw Leicester reduced to 14 men when scrum-half Ben Youngs was sin-binned for killing the ball. It was his second yellow card in successive games.

Burns missed the 45-metre penalty but he had already succeeded with penalties in the eighth and 27th minutes, while Ford's only success came in the fifth minute. He missed penalties in the 21st and 29th minutes, and he topped the second one so badly it hardly got off the ground.

The second half started with a bang and within seven minutes Burns had kicked his third penalty, and Leicester had scored a try and seen another player sin-binned.

High hopes: Manu Tuilagi performs acrobatics for the home side

High hopes: Manu Tuilagi performs acrobatics for the home side

Burns' penalty came after Ford was yellow carded for killing the ball in front of his own posts as he attempted to make amends for a move which went horribly wrong, his pass to Manu Tuilagi going to ground and allowing Burns to hack the ball upfield.

As Ford trooped off Youngs came back on and he provided the scoring pass from a ruck on the line for former Gloucester centre Allen to score in the corner after intense pressure from the Tigers pack.

Murphy, who took over the kicking duties from Ford, missed the conversion but slotted a penalty after Gloucester lock Will James became the fourth player to be binned.

That put Leicester 11-9 ahead and Burns missed a chance to restore Gloucester's lead when he was wide with a difficult 57th minute penalty.

Ford made it 14-9 with a penalty shortly after returning to the pitch as Leicester continued to dominate but Burns put Gloucester back in the game with a long range penalty 11 minutes from time.

Ford kicked his third penalty to make it 17-12 and while Gloucester staged a grandstand finish Leicester held on.

Kevin Kilbane column: time for Shay Given to get in the Villa team

12 goals in two games shows it's time for my old mate Shay to take back the gloves at Villa

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UPDATED:

21:05 GMT, 28 December 2012

Aston Villa conceded 12 goals in two games over Christmas.

It’s time for Paul Lambert to play Shay Given.

Shay Given should be Villa’s No 1, and he should come back to play for the Republic of Ireland and fight Keiren Westwood for the right to play for his country again.

It has been a difficult 2012 for my old Ireland team-mate who struggled with injuries, and by his own admission didn’t match his own high standards in the Euro 2012 finals, probably because he wasn’t fully fit.

Time for a change: Kevin Kilbane (left) thinks it's time for his old Republic of Ireland team-mate Shay Given (centre) to return to action for Aston Villa

Time for a change: Kevin Kilbane (left) thinks it's time for his old Republic of Ireland team-mate Shay Given (centre) to return to action for Aston Villa

He then gave up playing for Ireland, with the backing of new manager Paul Lambert, to concentrate on his Villa career, only to lose his place to Brad Guzan.

Shay is fully fit now, and still hungry to play.

Brad Guzan is not in his league as a keeper and it is time the Villa boss realised it and brought Shay’s brilliance, determination and experience back to his team.

He needs him.

Number two: Villa boss Paul Lambert (right) has preferred Brad Guzan this season, with Given only making two appearances in the Premier League, right at the start of the season

Number two: Villa boss Paul Lambert (right) has preferred Brad Guzan this season, with Given only making two appearances in the Premier League

Lambert did a good job at Norwich City and he deserved the chance to make a step up in his career and manage a bigger club with a history like Villa’s.

But it was always going to be difficult taking over a squad which has been constructed by three managers in a short space of time.

International return: Kilbane would also like to see Given make a return to the national side

Kilbane would also like to see Given make a return to the national side

He has turned to youth and Shay is not the only experienced player who is out of the team.

Darren Bent, Stephen Warnock and Alan Hutton are all out of favour and I can’t help thinking there must be an agenda.

They are all high earners and can presumably leave the club.

But the horrific 8-0 defeat at Chelsea, which could easily have been 11 or 12, exposed the lack of experience in the Villa team.

It is easy for younger players when things are going well and they are winning and playing with confidence.

Lambert, and his young players, need help from lads who have been there before and can take defeats and setbacks.

After a 4-0 defeat like the one suffered at home to Tottenham just days later, older players would normally go round and speak to the younger players on a personal level and try to help them cope.

Realistically no manager can talk to a player on a personal level in the dressing room straight after a game and he needs the old-heads to deal with any issues.

That’s hard when the team is so young. Who can they turn to That’s where a man like Shay Given comes into his own.

He performed brilliantly for Ireland for more than a decade and earned his 100 caps with world class performances.

We lost count of the number of crucial saves or moments of magic he pulled off to keep us in games, and win them like he did against Iran to get us to the World Cup.

Added to that he was an important character in the dressing room. He had 50 caps by his mid-20s and over time found his voice which comes with experience and respect for the things he did between the sticks.

New blood: Sunderland's Kieren Westwood is the current Republic of Ireland no. 1 but hasn't made a league appearance this season

New blood: Sunderland's Kieren Westwood is the current Republic of Ireland no. 1 but hasn't made a league appearance this season

Now I have heard Shay babbling some awful rubbish in dressing rooms and team meetings over the years, but you always listen to him.

And when he shouts during a game, he sort of screeches – it’s the most ear-splitting noise you will hear – but if you hear it, it doesn’t half make you alert.

It’s no coincidence that Aston Villa have had a good run in the Capital One Cup and reached the semi-finals.

Shay has played and it’s time Paul Lambert got his best keeper back in the side and used his experience in the Barclays Premier League.

He has been one of the best the world’s toughest league has seen, and he can reach those heights again.

Which is why he should also come back into the Ireland squad. He has actually played more games than Keiren Westwood who has been unfortunate to lose his place to Simon Mignolet at Sunderland but is realistically not going to oust the impressive Belgian unless he gets injured.

And a lack of experience behind him means Martin O’Neill is unlikely to let the new Ireland number go.

Experience: Kilbane (top row, third from left) and Given (bottom row, right) each earned more than 100 caps at international level

Experience: Kilbane (top row, third from left) and Given (bottom row, right) each earned more than 100 caps at international level

He has played more games for Ireland than Sunderland this season and that has to be a concern with the vital qualifiers against Austria and Sweden coming up in March.

Keiren might not like the idea, but competition from a keeper like Shay could only help him while he is not playing.

Even if Shay is not playing regularly by then, Giovanni Trapattoni should consider recalling him, just to have him around at an important time.

It comes down to experience again. And it’s time Shay’s was put to proper use for club and country.

The future looks grim…

If I was a Liverpool fan I would be very worried about the future of Luis Suarez.

Without him at Stoke City the other night, Liverpool had virtually nothing.

I don’t know if Daniel Sturridge is the answer, but I’ve always liked him and he can certainly help ease the burden on Suarez who worked himself into the ground at the Britannia Stadium.

Worry: Kilbane would be worried about losing Luis Suarez (front) if he was a Liverpool fan

Worry: Kilbane would be worried about losing Luis Suarez (front) if he was a Liverpool fan

But there were just signs that he was getting frustrated with the limitations of the individuals who are supposed to be helping him and creating chances, and perhaps with Liverpool’s standing in the Premier League at the moment.

He is a world class striker in a pretty average team and if a Champions League team from anywhere in Europe comes in with a silly bid, Liverpool might still have the power to turn it down, but you wonder if Suarez’s head would be turned by any interest.

Brendan Rodgers claimed before Christmas his team were still in Champions League contention but on Wednesday’s evidence they are a long way off.

Sadly Suarez looks like he is starting to realise his only chance of immediate Champions League action might be away from Anfield.

The Good and The Bad

Thumbs up

Jon Walters

I don’t think I have seen work-rate like Jon’s against Liverpool. He did everything at a sprint and mad life hell for the Liverpool defenders.

He got two great goals and his interaction with Kenwyne Jones was outstanding.

He’s the same with Peter Crouch and has a reading of their knockdowns and flick-ons which reminds me of Kevin Phillips and Niall Quinn at Sunderland.

All good news for Ireland.

Form: Jon Walters' form can only be a good thing for his country - the Stoke striker scored two against Liverpool on Boxing Day

Form: Jon Walters' form can only be a good thing for his country – the Stoke striker scored two against Liverpool on Boxing Day

Thumbs down

Stats

I said on BBC Radio 5 live at Stoke that I felt they dominated Liverpool and deserved their win.

Then I was reliably informed on Twitter that the stats showed Liverpool had something like 60 per cent possession compared to Stoke’s 40.

That’s all very well but unless you’re going to create any chances, stats are a waste of time.

Liverpool set to sign Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea

Liverpool set to sign 12m Sturridge after agent cash row is resolved

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UPDATED:

16:21 GMT, 22 December 2012

Liverpool believe they have resolved the cash wrangle over Daniel Sturridge’s proposed move to Anfield and expect to confirm that a deal has been agreed in the next 48 hours.

The 12million-plus transfer was in danger of collapsing after Liverpool took exception to agents’ demands over sell-on fees and threatened to pull out.

Heading north: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge looks set to complete a move to Liverpool next month

Heading north: Chelsea's Daniel Sturridge looks set to complete a move to Liverpool next month

But Sportsmail understands agreement has been reached over the terms of the 23-year old Chelsea frontrunner’s departure from Stamford Bridge to reinforce a depleted Liverpool strike force.

Sportsmail first revealed Liverpool’s pursuit of Sturridge at the end of August.

Sir Alex Ferguson jokes he"ll need to good red wine for Jose Mourinho"s visit with Real Madrid

I'll get some good red wine for Jose! Fergie's thrilled with Ronaldo's return with Real in the Champions League

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UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 20 December 2012

FRIEND OR FOE

From that celebration at Old Trafford to sharing cups of tea… how Mourinho and Ferguson swapped fury for friendship

Sir Alex Ferguson has joked he will need to order a new supply of good red wine for Jose Mourinho’s visit to Old Trafford.

Manchester United drew Real Madrid in the pick of the ties in the Last 16 of the Champions League and the United manager is famous for inviting rival managers to his office for a glass of red wine after the game.

The two managers had a tradition of sharing a glass of red after their teams' encounters in the Premier League – though Ferguson described the first wine Mourinho ever provided him as being 'like paintstripper'.

Mourinho made amends with a 300 bottle of Portuguese red the next time around, and the last-16 match in the Champions League should be as mouthwatering as the wine.

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho

Up for the cup: Sir Alex Ferguson is up against his old friend Jose Mourinho

The game will also bring former United winger Cristiano Ronaldo back to Old Trafford for the very first time since his 80million move to the Bernabeu in 2009.

Reacting to the draw Ferguson told United’s official website: ‘Well, it’s the tie of the round. It’s a great opportunity for our fans to see Cristiano again and also for me to meet up with Jose again – I’ll need to order some good wine!’

Ferguson and Mourinho enjoy a warm relationship of mutual respect and rivalry.

Jose Mourinho famously first made his mark on Europe’s top competition at Old Trafford a decade ago when Porto knocked the Red Devils out en-route to winning the title.

Recently Ferguson said: ‘He is very intelligent, he has charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good looking guy.

Golden boy is back: Mourinho brings with him Cristiano Ronaldo, visiting Old Trafford for the first time since his record-breaking 80m move to Spain in 2009

Golden boy is back: Mourinho brings with him Cristiano Ronaldo, visiting Old Trafford for the first time since his record-breaking 80m move to Spain in 2009

'I think I have most of those things, too, apart from his good looks. He’s got a confidence about himself, saying “We’ll win this,” and “I’m the Special One”.

‘I could never come out and say we’re going to win this game. It’s maybe a wee bit of my Scottishness’

United will play the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 13 with the return at Old Trafford on March 5.

VIDEO Reaction to the draw

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Rio Ferdinand may leave Manchester United in 2013

Ferdinand could leave United in 2013 with interest from US and Middle East

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UPDATED:

23:47 GMT, 17 December 2012

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand will decide on his football future in the new year.

Ferdinand is expected to be offered a one-year extension to the United contract that runs out in the summer after overcoming back problems to play regularly for the last 18 months.

However, the 34-year-old has interest from the Middle East and America and is attractive to other clubs in the Barclays Premier League as well.

On his way Rio Ferdinand may leave Manchester United in 2013

On his way Rio Ferdinand may leave Manchester United in 2013

Ferdinand has not given any indication about whether he will stay at Old Trafford or continue his career at all, despite United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stating publicly that he hopes he will delay his retirement.

It is understood that the veteran defender wants to see how his body copes with the rigours of the winter programme before making a decision.

Wigan want Manchester United starlet Angelo Henriquez as cover for striker Aruna Kone

Wigan want Man United starlet Henriquez as cover for striker Kone

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UPDATED:

23:10 GMT, 14 December 2012

Wigan are hoping to tie up a loan deal for Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez.

The 18-year-old Chilean moved to Old Trafford in the summer for 3.5million but has yet to figure in the first team.

Loan move: Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez

Loan move: Manchester United striker Angelo Henriquez

Wigan want cover for their striker Aruna Kone, who is due to join up with the Ivory Coast for the Africa Cup of Nations next month.

Henriquez scored for Chile on his debut last month against Serbia.

David Beckham on Manchester United, Paul Scholes and leaving LA Galaxy

Beckham has the last word: Former England skipper talks about retirement, United and his dream to own a clubScholes retired too early, I won’t do thatClubs flash cash but United have historyI want to own a team not manage one…

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UPDATED:

08:28 GMT, 1 December 2012

Standing in the midst of a group of reporters with his back against a wall at the Home Depot Center in Los Angeles, David Beckham suddenly seems struck by his longevity as a footballer.

‘It’s amazing isn’t it’ he laughed. ‘Twenty years we’ve all been doing this. But I’m just thankful I’m still playing.

‘You guys are the same. You’re still reporting on games. You are probably thinking: “Oh sh*t, not again”. But this game never gets old for me. I never get tired of it.’

Still going strong: Beckham has made it clear that he wants to play on

Still going strong: Beckham has made it clear that he wants to play on

Still going strong: Beckham has made it clear that he wants to play on

Beckham

At 37, Beckham still hasn’t changed much. From Manchester to Madrid to Los Angeles (with a pit stop in Milan), Beckham’s career has been more eclectic than anybody would have imagined, but it’s clear the fire has not yet gone out.

He will play in the MLS Cup Final for LA Galaxy against Houston at lunchtime local time today – his final game for the club – and then quickly turn his head to stare down the next challenge.

Despite the aches and pains of an ageing athlete, retirement isn’t an option. Not yet. Events across the pond at Old Trafford in the first month of this year convinced him of that. ‘I saw what happened with Scholesy,’ he said, referring to Paul Scholes’s decision to reverse his retirement.

‘I plan to keep playing as long as I can because I know when Scholesy stepped away he came back and regretted stopping.

Old friends: Beckham in his United days with Scholes (centre) and Giggs (left)

Old friends: Beckham in his United days with Scholes (centre) and Giggs (left)

Old friends: Beckham in his United days with Scholes (centre) and Giggs (left)

‘You know when it’s time and obviously Scholesy realised it wasn’t his time at that moment and I’m the same. It’s not my time. It’s nice to see him and Giggsy still playing at Man U. They’ve had successful careers there and to see them playing like they do now is great. We grew up together and, like them, I want to play as long as my legs will take me.’

Thursday was pretty much ‘Beckham day’ at Galaxy training. A conditioning session in the Californian drizzle at 10am and then media commitments ahead of his final game after six seasons in the States. After all this time, he remains the MLS’s biggest media draw. They will miss him.

Beckham wasn’t due to speak to English journalists but, as usual, he found the extra time.

Although his plans were off limits, he did admit that he harbours ambitions to play in the Champions League again. ‘I think that because I always loved it,’ he said. ‘I still miss playing in it; they are the games you love playing in.

Centre of attention: Beckham took the time out to speak to English journalists

Centre of attention: Beckham took the time out to speak to English journalists

Beckham with a hat in training

‘We’ll see where I go next. If it’s a team that’s in the Champions League then it will be nice to be back. Wherever I’ve gone it’s been a big deal throughout my career. Whether it’s been going on loan to AC Milan or leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid or Real to here, it’s always been big news. This next move will be a move that is about the football. That has never been any different for me.

‘People say some of the moves have been about money but my answer is always the same, that my career has never been about money. I’m not money motivated, I just want to play for the best team and with the best players.’

It is remarkable to think it is almost a decade since Beckham left United.

‘I couldn’t have stayed, it wasn’t an option obviously,’ he said with a smile. Since that time, little has changed in England. United were top of the Premier League when he left and are top again ahead of this weekend’s games. ‘I’m not surprised by that, I don’t know why anybody is surprised by that,’ he said.

Up for the cup: Beckham will line up alongside Robbie Keane (right) for LA Galaxy for the last time

Up for the cup: Beckham will line up alongside Robbie Keane (right) for LA Galaxy for the last time

Up for the cup: Beckham will line up alongside Robbie Keane (right) for LA Galaxy for the last time

‘I’ve always said that money at football clubs is OK sometimes, but it doesn’t last forever. I think Manchester United are a club about history. Other clubs might have the money and might be able to pay players more but when Man United come calling it’s impossible to turn them down.

‘You see a player like Robin van Persie has spent the years he has at Arsenal but when Man United come knocking it’s impossible to say no. It doesn’t matter what other clubs are interested and what money is being thrown around.’

Beckham will one day take up an ambassadorial role at Old Trafford. ‘I’m sure that will happen in some way,’ he confirmed.

For now, though, he is looking forward to owning one of the MLS ‘development franchises’ (essentially one of the smaller, newer clubs) in the near future and keeping retirement at bay that little bit longer.

Mum's the word: Beckham did not discuss his future

Mum's the word: Beckham did not discuss his future

‘I wouldn’t say I’m scared of retiring,’ he said. ‘But I know I will miss it when I finish playing, of course. Every player and every professional person who walks away from a job misses it.

‘I’d like to be an owner because I don’t want to be a manager. Management has never interested me. I love playing and coaching but I would rather be an owner. In the MLS.’

Beckham is expected to spend Christmas in England. Indeed his wife Victoria and their four children have already left America for the UK.

It won’t be long before his next move becomes clear. Meanwhile he will have time to watch his best friend Gary Neville’s TV career blossoming.

‘He’s always loved to talk so it doesn’t surprise me,’ he laughed. ‘Sometimes he makes sense and sometimes you just have to ignore him.’