Tag Archives: pace

Newcastle"s Yohan Cabaye talks about his battle with depression

Cabaye reveals battle with depression and how words from Wilkinson and Nadal helped him bounce back

. It was then depression caught up with him.

Cabaye told L’Equipe: ‘Depression I am not afraid to say that. It was that.

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

Back to his best: Yohan Cabaye has struggled to recapture his brilliant first year, until now

‘I was reassured reading the books of Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal, who both talked about the same thing. They talked about post competition depression and the need to have a break.

‘Euro 2012 was the first big international competition I had played. It is completely different than what you could experience in daily life with your club.

‘My season was long in a league where the pace is higher than in Le Championnat. I started with Newcastle early in July 2011 and finished late in June 2012 and, for the very first time, I didn’t have any winter break so then to resume in July 2012, it was very difficult.

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

Fatigue: Cabaye suffered the effects of the domestic season when he joined up with France for Euro 2012

'Maybe it is difficult to start again after a big competition such as the Euros, but my body didn’t allow me to do what I wanted to do.

‘On a morning when I woke up, I could still feel tiredness. I wanted to think about something else rather than football.’

Cabaye believes that rather than a curse, his groin injury at the end of last year helped reignite his time at Newcastle.

‘I am lucky to earn a living with my passion, but it was the right moment for a break. So my groin injury at the end of the year was finally not such a bad thing. Maybe that is why I was back earlier than expected.

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

Help: Books by Jonny Wilkinson and Rafael Nadal helped Cabaye combat his depression

‘I asked myself a lot of questions. As long as you didn’t experience it (depression) you cannot understand. But I was not worried.

‘My injury allowed me to have some rest, meet my family and friends in Lille. When I was back in Newcastle in December I knew I felt better.’

Tottenham"s Mousa Dembele on why he is not the new Luca Modric

I like to play the beautiful game but I'm not the new Modric, says Spurs star Dembele

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UPDATED:

23:09 GMT, 28 December 2012

Mousa Dembele is explaining why he does not score many goals — just six in the Barclays Premier League since joining Fulham in August 2010.

The Tottenham midfielder takes his time and chooses his words carefully, exhibiting the same calm, unhurried manner and balance with which he plays.

It’s not a lack of confidence, he says, but a desire to score the right kind of goal; to ‘do it nice and beautiful’. Welcome to the relaxed, laid-back world of Planet Dembele, where time seems to tick at a different pace and style is everything.

Relaxed: Mousa Dembele was confident he would make an impact in England

Relaxed: Mousa Dembele was confident he would make an impact in England

‘I just like to play, to pass the ball and dribble,’ says the Belgium star. ‘When I was young I never shot. I always wanted to dribble the ball in the goal. I don’t want to shoot because I don’t like to, but it’s different now. You have more experience and you think more.

‘Is it about scoring the perfect goal Yes, maybe. Before I always played on the street with two lampposts that were like a basketball pitch, and we could not shoot. You had to dribble and touch the ball on the posts to score. We never shoot the ball.

‘So maybe it’s because I always played on the street and I liked to do it nice and beautiful.’ He smiles, before saying ‘boom’ and mimicking a driving shot from distance.

‘I know now it’s important to shoot and have the combination,’ he adds, ‘not only to dribble but to shoot a lot as well. I try to do this more and more.

Making an impression: Dembele has impressed since making the move across London from Fulham to Tottenham

Making an impression: Dembele has impressed since making the move across London from Fulham to Tottenham

‘It’s true that I have to improve my hunger to score goals and I think in the last two years I have concentrated more on this. I don’t score a lot of goals but before I only thought about playing nice football. Now I try to be more important for the team by trying to score goals as well.’

This is just one of the reasons Dembele (below) believes we have not yet seen the best of him. Since a 5million move to Fulham from AZ Alkmaar, his rise in English football has been swift and he attracted interest from the likes of Real Madrid and

Manchester United before moving to Tottenham for 15m last August.

He is also part of an exciting Belgium team which boasts Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Thomas Vermaelen and Jan Vertonghen, Dembele’s team-mate at White Hart Lane, who he has known since he was 11.

International talent: Dembele is part of the highly rated Belgium squad

International talent: Dembele is part of the highly rated Belgium squad

Although a ‘frustrating’ hip injury has limited Dembele’s appearances so far, Spurs have lost just one of the 10 Premier League games he has started.

‘I know where my career will go,’ he says. ‘When I came to England I had the confidence to do something and I’m happy now that I play for a big club.

‘If you hear big clubs are interested it’s always nice to know people appreciate what you do but when Tottenham said, “We want him”, I didn’t have to think twice. I didn’t think about anything else.

‘You have a lot of players here who like to play football and, for me, it’s important that I can play my game as well. I’ve always had a good feeling with Tottenham, for a long time. We have the calibre to play in the Champions League. I believe in our teams and I believe we can do something special.’

Talking a good game: Dembele gets his views across to Sportsmail's Laura Williamson

Talking a good game: Dembele gets his views across to Sportsmail's Laura Williamson

Dembele is a player who works on intuition, he says, for whom it is important to have a ‘good feeling’, but the more dynamic side of this footballer emerges when the name of Luka Modric is raised.

The current Spurs playmaker is adamant he does not feel like a replacement for the diminutive Croat, who moved to Real Madrid last summer.

‘I never saw myself as the replacement for Luka,’ says Dembele. ‘I feel like I’m a totally different player. For me I like to touch the ball as much as possible. I like to do defensive work and attack from midfield. I think I can do both.

‘If you had asked me who were the best five players in England last season he would have been in my top five. I’m very much impressed by him. But he’s a different kind of style. I don’t feel like his replacement.’

At 6ft 1in Dembele has the physical attributes to be a midfield powerhouse, yet his football education at Germinal Beerschot in Antwerp, a club who work closely with Ajax, and from playing football in the street has given him the technique and close ball- control of a creative playmaker.

You get the distinct impression,
however, that Dembele is still learning. He thinks he can improve ‘in
every aspect’ and has ‘a feeling that I’m not at my top yet’. Football
still seems new to this 25-year-old, who is certainly not a football
‘freak’, as he puts it. Far from it, in fact.

He
cannot name a footballing hero because he never used to watch his sport
on television. Even now, he can usually suffer just 30 minutes at a
time — and then it has to be a ‘top team’ featuring a player or team the
midfielder knows well.

He
prefers going to the theatre or to watch a musical in the West End.
Jersey Boys is his favourite and he knows all the Frankie Valli and the
Four Seasons songs because he has seen it three times. ‘I never watched
football,’ says Dembele.

Not prolific in front of goal: Dembele has not scored many goals since arriving in England

Not prolific in front of goal: Dembele has not scored many goals since arriving in England

‘I could not watch a game for 10 minutes. But in the last three years I’ve started watching football more and more, and now I watch quite a lot. I find it more interesting. Before, I just wanted to play football. Now I can watch it.

‘I like to watch the top teams in
different countries, like Spain or Bayern Munich in Germany. The rest I
don’t watch. I have nothing to do with that.

‘I’m not a freak. I know guys who watch every game. I’m not like that. I need to know someone or have a bit of history.

‘Ninety
minutes Impossible. Maybe 30 minutes, then 10 minutes doing something
else, then another 20 minutes. Ninety minutes is too long.’

Game face on: Dembele taking part in the EA Sports Games console challenge

Game face on: Dembele taking part in the EA Sports Games console challenge

He also found it nerve-racking watching Spurs play while he was injured and would change channel if Andre Villas-Boas’s side were winning — just in case he brought them bad luck.

‘It was strange because normally I’m very relaxed,’ he says.

‘But I was nervous because sometimes we were winning and then I would think, “If I keep watching they’re not going to win”. And I would turn the TV over and keep an eye on the live scores. I’m not really superstitious but with this, yes, I was.

‘I’m usually quite relaxed but it depends how we lose a game as well. I’m always very disappointed but sometimes it’s a bit more difficult. After the game against Everton (when Spurs conceded two late goals and lost 2-1) it took me a while to be relaxed.

‘But even more with this team because you have a feeling you can beat every team there is, so if you don’t play good or we don’t win it’s more difficult to accept it. But it’s OK, it’s life.’

Mousa Dembele was speaking at the Need for Speed Most Wanted Pro Player tournament. Need for Speed Most Wanted is out now for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Playstation VITA, PC, iOS and Android.

Australia rip apart Sri Lanka in Boxing Day Test in Melbourne

Aussies run riot on Boxing Day to rip apart Sri Lanka in Melbourne opener

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 26 December 2012

A brilliant display of pace bowling allowed Australia to assume control of their second Test with Sri Lanka on its opening day in Melbourne.

Having been asked to bowl first in the traditional Boxing Day encounter, Michael Clarke's men skittled their visitors for just 156 midway through the afternoon session, before closing up just six runs shy of that total for the loss of three wickets.

Festive fun: Mitchell Johnson celebrates taking the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan

Festive fun: Mitchell Johnson celebrates taking the wicket of Tillakaratne Dilshan

In the swing of things: Matthew Wade and Mitchell Johnson mark the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara

In the swing of things: Matthew Wade and Mitchell Johnson mark the dismissal of Kumar Sangakkara

A reinvigorated Mitchell Johnson was the standout performer in the Baggy Green, with the often-maligned quick taking a four for 63 that was ably supported by two each from Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon and debutant Jackson Bird.

David Warner then smashed a 46-ball 62 to get Australia up and running in their pursuit of a first innings lead, something that now looks a certainty, despite Sri Lanka taking three wickets before the bails were flicked.

Had their own score been a better one that would have been respectable but, with such a failure on the board, they already look up against it, but only have themselves to blame.

The Australia pace attack got a bit of movement out of the pitch during the first session, but Sri Lanka were let down by a series of poor shots and Kumar Sangakkara was the only batsman to look comfortable.

Day to remember: Aussie fans enjoyed the action on a balmy day in Melbourne

Day to remember: Aussie fans enjoyed the action on a balmy day in Melbourne

Day to remember: Aussie fans enjoyed the action on a balmy day in Melbourne

That was until Wade combined with Johnson to pull off a brilliant catch with the veteran on 58.
Sangakkara had not played a false shot all day, but was tempted into hooking a short Johnson delivery that bounced higher than expected and could only collect the top edge.

The ball flew straight over Wade's head, but the wicketkeeper kept his eyes on the ball and sprinted over 30 metres towards the sightscreen, before producing a dive to pull off a tremendous catch that dismissed the man who became the 11th in history to register 10,000 Test runs earlier in his innings.

Sangakkara's patience at the crease and ability to punish anything loose was the only highlight of a poor batting performance from the tourists as questionable shot selection led to many of his team-mates' demise.

Bird (two for 32) had his first Test victim with the 22nd delivery of the morning when Dimuth Karunaratne (five) came forward to a ball on a good length, but was only able to edge one through to Wade behind the stumps.

The usually reliable Tillakaratne Dilshan (11) was guilty of the worst shot of the day as he attempted to hit a booming straight drive off Johnson, only to inside edge it onto his off stump to reduce Sri Lanka to 19 for two.

Siddle (two for 30) made it 37 for three shortly after when Mahela Jayawardene (three) nicked one through to Wade, before Sangakkara combined with Thilan Samaraweera to take the score through to 79 for three at lunch.

Gone: Phillip Hughes is run out by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara

Gone: Phillip Hughes is run out by Tillakaratne Dilshan and Kumar Sangakkara

Bird, who had bowled intelligently during his first stint in the morning, had his second wicket with the third ball after lunch when Samaraweera (10) lofted a short one and Angelo Matthews (15) came and went moments later as the wickets continued to tumble around Sangakkara.

A Prasanna Jayawardene (24) cameo gave Sri Lanka some hope, but when he got a ripper from Johnson and Dhammika Prasad fell the very next ball for a duck, the tourists were 134 for seven and in all sorts of trouble.

Lyon (two for 23) came in to clean up the tail with ease and Australia – with captain Michael Clarke having passed a fitness test before the start of play – set about making hay.

Warner and Ed Cowan raced out to 95 before the former found the hands of Prasad at mid-wicket off the bowling of Andrews, with Phil Hughes then doing little to enhance his credentials as a number three by getting caught out of his ground by Dilshan when on 10.

Another wicket followed when Cowan nicked Prasad to Mahela Jayawardene at second slip, and Australia looked to be reeling when Shane Watson edged the same man to Prasanna Jayawardene, only to see a one-handed attempt at a catch go to ground.

The reprieve stopped the slide and Watson (13no) and Clarke (20no) saw things through to the finish.

Sight for sore eyes: A view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground on day one of the second Test

Sight for sore eyes: A view of the Melbourne Cricket Ground on day one of the second Test

Mario Balotelli will not be sold – Roberto Mancini

Mancini rules out Balotelli sale after striker earns City win

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UPDATED:

00:52 GMT, 29 November 2012

Roberto Mancini insisted that Manchester City have no intention of selling Mario Balotelli in the January transfer window after the Italian made the breakthrough against Wigan.

Mancini kept faith with Balotelli when he took off Sergio Aguero in the 68th minute, and the Italian responded immediately by scoring his first Premier League goal of the season less than 60 seconds later.

Substitute James Milner ensured that City kept pace with Manchester United at the top of the Premier League with a spectacular second goal to seal a 2-0 victory.

Main man: Mario Balotelli put Manchester City in front against Wigan

Main man: Mario Balotelli put Manchester City in front against Wigan

Asked if City will allow Balotelli to leave next month, Mancini said: 'No it's not true. It's his first goal this season and I hope he can improve after this game.

'We thought of bring Mario off but we thought he was fresher than Aguero.

'We have four top strikers but we've had some difficulty scoring goals like we did last season. I hope we can move on from this. The season is very long, and if a lot of teams are playing in the Champions League in February it can change everything.

'We are at the top with United at the moment but I think Chelsea can fight for the title as well.'

Wigan can count themselves unlucky not to have taken anything out of the game. They have now lost all six games against City since Mancini took over, failing to score a single goal.

Keeping pace: City beat Wigan to stay in touch with Manchester United

Keeping pace: City beat Wigan to stay in touch with Manchester United

They had their chances on this occasion, not least when Arouna Kone headed wide in the second half when James McCarthy's cross found him unmarked 10 yards from goal.

Roberto Martinez admitted that it was the turning point of the game.

'We edged the game for 60 minutes,' said Martinez. 'We were so good off the ball and frustrated City. We kept them to one shot on target in the first half – we had 16 shots and they had one.

'In the end we couldn't be ourselves. We couldn't find a way to get that goal. We had a great chance and it goes up the other end and Mario gets a bit of luck on the rebound. Normally you get the ball going to a defender and get it cleared away.

'It's very hard to lose a game after the manner in which we played.'

Alan Shearer open to Blackburn approach

Shearer open to Blackburn approach as search for Kean's successor goes on

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UPDATED:

13:01 GMT, 6 October 2012

Alan Shearer has admitted he is open to the possibility of taking up the vacant manager's role at Blackburn.

The former Rovers striker, who had a short spell in management with Newcastle, spent 10 years at Ewood Park as a player.

When asked about his interest in the job, the 42-year-old told BBC's Football Focus: 'I've not spoken to the Blackburn owners. If they approached me I would speak to them.'

Call me: Alan Shearer has admitted he's keen to replace Steve at Blackburn

Call me: Alan Shearer has admitted he's keen to replace Steve at Blackburn

The npower Championship outfit have been without a manager since Steve Kean's decision to resign at the end of September, saying in a statement that his position had become 'untenable'.

Owners Venky's have attracted criticism for their running of the club but Rovers are among the early pace-setters in the Championship, occupying a play-off place ahead of today's home match against Wolves.

Shearer's spell in charge of Newcastle ended in relegation from the Barclays Premier League after they took just five points from his eight games at the helm.

Cal Crutchlow close to earning first MotoGP pole

Crutchlow so close to earning first MotoGP pole of career

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UPDATED:

19:48 GMT, 29 September 2012

Britain's Cal Crutchlow was denied the first pole of his career in a dramatic finish to qualifying for Sunday's Aragon race in Spain.

With just three minutes left, Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa upped their pace and demoted the Coventry rider to third.

He said: 'Hopefully another time.'

Going close: Cal Crutchlow powers round a bend during qualifying

Going close: Cal Crutchlow powers round a bend during qualifying

Another Hazard for defences as Eden"s nurturer says 16-year-old Kylian can be a world-beater

Another Hazard for defences as Eden's nurturer says 16-year-old Kylian can be a world-beater

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UPDATED:

21:12 GMT, 13 September 2012

Eden Hazard has a brother who is even more talented — and it is not 19-year-old Thorgan, who has joined him at Chelsea.

It is 16-year-old Kylian who could yet turn out to be the star turn among the Hazard boys.

Star in the making: Kylian Hazard (second left) is tipped for big things

Star in the making: Kylian Hazard (second left) is tipped for big things

Fathi Ennabli, youth co-ordinator at Tubize, insists Kylian could scale greater heights, with just one reservation.

‘Kylian has the same natural attributes as Eden and is every bit as good, if not better,’ he said.

An eye for talent: Fathi Ennabli of AFC Tubize says there is a new Hazard on the horizon

An eye for talent: Fathi Ennabli of AFC Tubize says there is a new Hazard on the horizon

Oh brother: Thorgan has joined Essevee on loan from Chelsea

Oh brother: Thorgan has joined Essevee on loan from Chelsea

‘He has the same explosive pace that
takes him past players, and he can turn a game with something no-one
else could do. But there was always a problem with his attitude. He had
no concept of discipline or applying himself.

‘There was one youth game here where, midway through the second half, the coach realised he was a player short.

‘It was Kylian, and he had just wandered off. We found him sitting in a tree, and when we asked why, he just shrugged his shoulders and said he was fed up of playing.

‘He is at Lille’s academy at the moment and I hear there are signs of improvement. But he’s not there yet. If he doesn’t mend his ways it’s going to be a huge waste.’

Manchester United confirm Angelo Henriquez signing

United at last! Fergie delight as Chilean hotshot Henriquez finally confirmed in 4m deal

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UPDATED:

13:50 GMT, 5 September 2012

Manchester United have finally confirmed the signing of 18-year-old Angelo Henriquez.

The Chilean striker underwent a medical with the club in August ahead of his 4million move, but only now have the Premier League giants reacted to the capture.

The South American moves to Old Trafford from Universidad de Chile, where he scored 11 goals in 17 league games in 2012 on-route to helping his team to the national title.

United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a 4m deal

United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a 4m deal

United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a 4m deal

United he stands: Angelo Henriquez has officially been unveiled by Manchester United in a 4m deal

Of the transfer, Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'Angelo has made a tremendous impact on the game in his short career so far. His pace is a great asset and he reads the game really well for someone of such a young age.

'We have a proud record of developing young talent and Angelo fits the profile of a United player – skilful, attacking and someone who plays the game with real flair.'

Watching brief: Henriquez has been around the club for the best part of a month

Watching brief: Henriquez has been around the club for the best part of a month

The player himself added to Manchester United's official website: 'I am thrilled to be joining the biggest club in the world. Manchester United is a great team and has a great manager.

'To be able to be part of that is a huge honour and I can’t wait to get started. I hope I can be part of many successful years with United.'

The club also confirmed Henriquez will wear the No 21.

Chris Froome slips back in Vuelta a Espana as Joaquin Rodriguez strengthens lead

Froome slips back in Spain as Rodriguez strengthens lead with stage win

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UPDATED:

17:34 GMT, 30 August 2012

Joaquin Rodriguez landed a psychological blow on his closest rivals Alberto Contador and Britain's Chris Froome as he won the 12th stage of the Vuelta a Espana to extend his lead on Thursday.

Rodriguez, who began the day a single second ahead of Contador, was left in a head-to-head with his fellow Spaniard after they broke away from the peloton in the closing stages of the 12th stage.

Leading the way: Rodriguez extended the gap back to Contador

Leading the way: Rodriguez extended the gap back to Contador

It was the red jersey holder who pulled away, however, to secure a potentially decisive success and increase his lead to 13 seconds – albeit with with nine stages still remaining.

Team Sky’s Froome saw his bid suffer a setback as he crossed in fifth which, while good enough to keep him in third overall, saw him slip 51secs off the pace.

The riders will enjoy a sedate day in the saddle on Friday with the relatively flat 173km trip from Santiago de Compostela to Ferrol before three crucial mountain stages.

Froome to manouevre: The Brit is back in third place

Froome to manouevre: The Brit is back in third place

Move over Moses, Kone the Ivorian tank has arrived at Wigan

Move over Moses, Kone the Ivorian tank has arrived at Wigan

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UPDATED:

21:10 GMT, 26 August 2012

Arouna Kone: built to last

Arouna Kone: built to last

Arouna Kone proved on Saturday there can be life after Victor Moses for Wigan. The Ivorian scored on his full debut as Roberto Martinez saw his side get their season up and running with a 2-0 win over Southampton at St Mary's. SAMI MOKBEL runs the rule over Kone.

Strength

At 6ft and built like a tank, Kone has the attributes to cope with the physical demands. He singlehandedly kept Southampton centre backs Jos Hooiveld and Jose Fonte occupied for 90 minutes.

Pace

Quick! He caused the entire Saints rearguard problems and once he got away for Wigan's second there was no catching him.

Movement

Kone worked Saints' back four well, cropping up in different areas of the attacking third.

Finishing

Took his 88th minute strike with unerring accuracy, drilled in low to Kelvin Davis's right.

Awareness

'He holds the ball up well and sees a pass,' said Martinez.

He certainly does. The way he protected the ball before bringing midfield runners into play was excellent against Nigel Adkins's side.

Impressive: Kone seals Wigan win

Impressive: Kone seals Wigan win