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Neville Neville arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Gary Neville's dad arrested on suspicion of indecent assault hours before England coach takes on Montenegro in World Cup crunch tie

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

15:54 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

16:17 GMT, 26 March 2013

The father of former Manchester United and England stars Gary and Phil Neville has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault.

It is understood that Neville Neville was arrested by Greater Manchester Police following an alleged incident in his home town of Bury in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The arrest comes only hours before Neville's son Gary – No 2 to England coach Roy Hodgson – will play a key role in helping England prepare to face Montenegro in their crunch World Cup qualifying tie against the group leaders at Podgorica.

Bailed: Neville Neville (L) has been bailed by Greater Manchester Police until May pending further enquiries

Bailed: Neville Neville (L) has been bailed by Greater Manchester Police until May pending further enquiries

Party time: Neville Neville, father of Gary and Phil, leads the songs at party for England players' families at the 2006 World Cup in Baden-Baden, Germany

Party time: Neville Neville, father of Gary and Phil, leads the songs at party for England players' families at the 2006 World Cup in Baden-Baden, Germany

A brief statement released by GMP today
said: 'Police are investigating a sexual assault which happened in early
hours of March 23 in the North Manor area of Bury.

'A 63-year-old man from Bury was
arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and has been bailed until May
pending further enquiries. Enquiries are on going.'

Neville Snr is a well-known figure on
the football scene in the north west, having served as a director at
Bury FC in the past and having also represented the professional
interests of both sons.

Phil is still playing at Everton
while Gary has gone on to make a name for himself as a respected Sky
pundit and newspaper columnist for the Mail on Sunday since retiring from the game two years ago.

More to follow…

Arrested: Neville Neville, the father of Gary and Phil, has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Arrested: Neville Neville, the father of Gary and Phil, has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault

Son: Gary Neville

Son: Phil Neville

Family: Neville Neville is the father of England coach Gary and Everton midfielder Phil (R)

Distraction: Son Gary is away on international duty as part of England's coaching staff for their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro

Distraction: Son Gary is away on international duty as part of England's coaching staff for their World Cup qualifier against Montenegro

Sacking Henning Berg makes sense for Blackburn with relegation now a prospect

Chris Wheeler: Bonkers Blackburn for once display some sign of sense in sacking Berg

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UPDATED:

12:27 GMT, 27 December 2012

From the sock to the sack.

When Henning Berg stomped out of Blackburn’s Christmas party last week after he was made to wear a stocking on his head and do a little dance, many people thought the madness at Ewood Park could not get any worse.

Never in the history of English football has one club appeared to be so utterly bonkers for so long.

Blackburn have slid sharply down the Championship table ever since Berg took the reins at the club

Singled-out: Blackburn have slid sharply down the Championship table since Berg took the reins at the club

From the arrival of Indian chicken farmers Venky’s and the snap decision to sack Sam Allardyce three years ago, to the fiasco of Steve Kean’s time in charge and now Berg’s ill-fated 10-game reign, this has been one long-running pantomime.

The bottom line is, however, that this morning’s decision to axe Berg and his coaching staff represented a rare outbreak of sanity.

Having been fiercely criticised for sticking with Kean for so long, Venky’s came to the conclusion that his replacement simply wasn’t working out.

On the day of his appointment it was announced that the 43-year-old Norwegian would be sacked if he failed to win promotion back to the Premier League.

After just one win in 10 games, and five defeats in six, he was sent packing with Rovers 17th in the Championship table. It was the logical outcome.

He had already been told to get rid of his backroom staff earlier this month. And then last week, Blackburn chief Shebby Singh revealed that they were looking at another candidate – probably former Blackburn boss Mark Hughes – who had not been available at the time of Berg’s appointment.

It wasn’t as if there were no warning signs, even before the Christmas party debacle.

After resisting calls to sack Steve Kean for most of last season the Venky's were less than loyal to Berg

Two months and gone: After resisting calls to sack Steve Kean for most of last season the Venky's were less than loyal to Berg

In fact, Berg would never have got the job in the first place had Blackburn been successful in their pursuit of several other candidates.

Tim Sherwood was the first choice, followed by Billy McKinlay. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was interested but not until next summer.

With the boardroom split over a move for Blackpool’s Ian Holloway, Berg got the final vote. He was always a somewhat awkward compromise.

He is a decent man and a Premier League title winner with Blackburn to boot. But his coaching record with Lyn Oslo and Lillestrom was not what you would call dazzling.

The team he inherited had taken Rovers to the top of the
table early this season and were third when Kean quit at the end of September,
so there is clearly potential.

We will never know how it would have worked out over time, but relegation – not promotion – was becoming the club’s main concern.

Seven years at the club as a player had no bearing as his team won just one match in his ten in charge

Henning Berg scores the first goal for Blackburn in their 4-1 win against Sheffiled Wednesday 1996/1997

Seven years at the club as a player had no bearing as his team won just one match in his ten in charge

No owners have gambled more heavily on going up than Venky’s. Jordan Rhodes, bought from Huddersfield for 8million in the summer, was one of a raft of signings designed to get Blackburn back in the top-flight.

Their team is the highest-paid in the division and it’s understood that dwindling home gates – up to 4,000 down on last season – do not even pay the week’s wages for one of their top players.

The consequences of failure would be catastrophic, and that is what drove discussions as Mrs Anuradha Desai and her brothers watched yesterday’s defeat at Middlesbrough on television in Pune and sealed Berg’s fate.

For all the insanity that has epitomised their tenure, it would have been madness to keep him.

Gary Neville: Manchester United success showed importance of Christmas parties

Party now and you may be celebrating in May… just like United in our amazing treble year of 1999

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 23 December 2012

I had not missed being a footballer
since quitting almost two years ago until this week, when I saw the
video clips of Shinji Kagawa singing Gangnam Style at Manchester
United’s Christmas party.

And of Robin van Persie singing ‘Glory, Glory Man United’. Like many former professionals, it’s the camaraderie in the dressing room that I miss. And never was the team spirit more tangible in my time at United than at the Christmas parties.

It’s a real shame that we’ve seen a lot of teams cancel their parties out of respect for the fans — sides such as QPR and Reading — and other clubs banning them because of the potential trouble they can cause if they get out of hand or the way they might be reported in the media.

Enlarge

Party Line: The United Christmas do in the days when Neville joined Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs cemented team bonds

Party Line: The United Christmas do in the days when Neville joined Wayne
Rooney and Ryan Giggs cemented
team bonds

More from Gary Neville…

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15/12/12

Gary Neville: The title is now a two-horse race and both are from Manchester
08/12/12

Gary Neville: Chelsea's players must be living on a knife-edge
24/11/12

Gary Neville: Brave, ruthless, relentless: Ronaldo redefined football
17/11/12

Gary Neville: Why Manchester City are still searching for their own identity
10/11/12

Gary Neville: Nine great reasons why RVP can become a Manchester United legend
03/11/12

Gary Neville: Why both Chelsea and Manchester United would accept a 1-0 win at the Bridge
27/10/12

Gary Neville: AVB deserves a second chance… good managers – and some great ones – have failed before
20/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

I understand why clubs and managers feel they have to take that step. When every phone is a camera, it’s almost impossible to allow yourself a night out. Even something relatively innocuous can cause problems for the club or the players in the media. And it’s always possible, as at any Christmas party across the country, that a serious incident might occur.

But when people pinpoint the moment they thought Manchester United would win the Treble in 1999, most analysts will point to the amazing FA Cup semi-final win against Arsenal or the comeback in the Champions League against Juventus. But no one in that squad would underestimate the importance of December 21, 1998, the date of the Christmas party.

As a squad, we would work hard all season, living disciplined lives, but would always have an eye on two events: the pre-season tour night out and the Christmas do. For years we would start the Christmas party in central Manchester for lunch and then move on to The Old Grapes pub by around five o’clock. An acoustic guitarist would be on stage and for two or three hours we would sing non-stop together as a group before going on to a private party which would go past midnight for as long as you could keep going.

And if you could give me back 15 days
of my life, then a good few of them would be in that pub singing those
songs with my team-mates. /12/1418450360_2039308730001_vs-50cde328e4b0d3ce95ea42cb-1206954750001.jpgpubId=1418450360″ class=”plcHlder” />

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And you got to
see people as you never normally would. We found out in 1998 that Dwight
Yorke could balance 25 cocktails on a tray on his head and walk round
the club serving every player. We heard Roy Keane deliver one of the
all-time funniest speeches that no one will ever forget.

Occasionally
comments would come out in anger and there would be arguments but even
that could break some of tension. When done properly that helped to
provide a level of accountability among the team that we needed.

And you would also have
conversations that broke down barriers. Peter Schmeichel gave me a
terrible time when I broke into the first team. And it was on a team day
out two years later that he sat me down and said: ‘Look, I’m sorry. I
thought you were a risk to our performance level and would make too many
mistakes.’ And then he shook my hand and said: ‘I was wrong.’ And he
would never have said that in the dressing room.

Robin Van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander Buttner celebrate at the Manchester United Christmas party

Robin van Persie, Rio Ferdinand and Alexander
Buttner all celebrated their success in the Premier League at Saturday's
Christmas party

At
the 1997 Christmas do, Eric Cantona sat down with a group of us younger
players and told us that we would win the European Cup that year. He
was a year off in his prediction but he gave us that belief that we
could. And we couldn’t have had that kind of conversation with Eric at
that stage outside of the Christmas party.

Not
everyone in that group got on. Famously, Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel
never did, nor did Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham. But to create a team
dynamic, there has to at least be a level of tolerance. They have to
all be wanting the same goal so that when you have disappointments you
can rally round each other. And there has to be accountability among the
players.

And
I genuinely believe that the Christmas parties were pivotal in creating
that. In 1998 we had been disappointing up to Christmas. We had lost
against Arsenal, Sheffield Wednesday, Spurs and to Middlesbrough at
home. But after Christmas we were unbeaten until the end of the season

Don’t
get me wrong. The main reason you have success on a football pitch is
down to what you do on the training ground. It’s down to dedication and
determination and concentration during a match. But just as important is
the mentality of the squad. And that means being able to call out your
team-mates when they’re not delivering. The best teams police
themselves.

Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel didn't get on but played massive roles in Manchester United's modern day success

Roy Keane and Peter Schmeichel didn't get on but played massive roles in Manchester United's modern day success

Sometimes those
exchanges among players after a match can be brutal. But hearing those
harsh truths becomes more acceptable when you understand each other
better as people and understand where they’re coming from. Once I
realised that Peter Schmeichel didn’t actually dislike me but merely
wanted what was best for the team, I appreciated why he had been hard on
me.

Times changed and we
had our watershed moment in 2008, when a party I had organised at a
hotel ended up with a player being arrested — though he was eventually
cleared. But it created a situation that made life difficult at the club
and parties were banned — though they have clearly made a comeback in a
more understated fashion

So
it’s much more difficult to create that kind of atmosphere now. And
it’s very lazy to suggest that you just need a few beers to bond.
Anyway, most elite footballers hardly drink now because if you do you’ll
quickly fall behind in the pecking order. The old school can’t work any
more.

Managers such as Sir
Alex Ferguson and Harry Redknapp have said recently that they have had
to mellow as they grew more experienced because footballers have changed
and don’t respond to blunt dressing downs. You need to find new ways to
motivate, to build a team and to make sure the players hold each other
to account.

Because, in an
era when all teams have taken advantage of the advances in sports
science, technology, statistics and training, where will you get that
added edge It has to be in the collective strength of the mentality of
the group.

Maybe sports
psychologists can help. The manager’s speeches and leadership will help
to build that. But ultimately it’s a difficult dynamic to impose. You
create it yourselves as a team and that means you have to make the
effort to go out together.

The
easy thing is to go out in your own groups but if you want to create a
team spirit then you have to make space for people to relax and get to
know each other as a team three or four times a season. I genuinely
believe that can give you the kind of edge you need when you’re 1-0 down
against Bayern Munich in a Champions League final with just three
minutes of injury time to play.

That unbelievable night: Gary and brother Phil celebrate European Cup glory at the Nou Camp in 1999

That unbelievable night: Gary and brother Phil celebrate European Cup glory at the Nou Camp in 1999

United and Real must focus on improving ahead of showdown

When I heard the Champions League draw on Thursday morning, my first thought was: ‘Ouch!’ That was quickly followed by: ‘What a game!’

Because it is the toughest draw United could have had, given that they finished top of their group. But it’s also a game in which you dream of playing, a fixture that evokes incredible memories and promises endless possibilities, with the added excitement of Cristiano Ronaldo coming back to Old Trafford with Jose Mourinho.

It’s less then eight weeks to go now until they meet and both clubs need to hit top form quickly. Usually you would talk about March, April and May being the crucial months of the season. Both Real Madrid and United can forget that now. Neither team will be competitive in February unless they’re absolutely at their peak.

United may be top of the Premier League but they haven’t been at their best yet, while Real have struggled in their league and will be focusing most of their energy on the Champions League now. And if they want to compete for the ultimate trophy, they will have to use the next two months to improve.

Old rivals: Jose Mourinho will once more come up against Sir Alex Ferguson

Old rivals: Jose Mourinho will once more come up against Sir Alex Ferguson

Blackburn boss Henning Berg storms out of club Christmas party

Bah humbug! Berg storms out of Blackburn's Christmas bash after being made to dance with a stocking on his head

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UPDATED:

22:58 GMT, 18 December 2012

Furious Blackburn manager Henning Berg stormed out of the club’s Christmas party after he was made to wear a stocking on his head and dance on stage.

The humiliating incident on Monday night is bound to cast more doubt over Berg’s future at Ewood Park just seven weeks after he returned as manager.

Blackburn have recorded only one win from nine games under Berg, leading to speculation he could be sacked by Indian owners Venky’s if results do not improve dramatically.

Struggles: Blackburn have dropped to 15th since Henning Berg took over

Struggles: Blackburn have dropped to 15th since Henning Berg took over

Struggles: Blackburn have dropped to 15th since Henning Berg took over

It was hoped the party for the players and more than 200 staff in a suite at Ewood would lift morale but it backfired spectacularly.

When the DJ decided to play some games, one of the club’s executives volunteered Berg to go up on stage. The 43-year-old Norwegian reluctantly wore the Christmas stocking but grew visibly angry and uncomfortable when he was made to dance as well.

The final straw came when someone attempted to put a Michael Jackson wig on his head. Berg ripped off the stocking and left the stage.

He then made his excuses to guests at his table before making an early exit. Berg, who won the Premier League and League Cup in two spells at Blackburn, is understood to have become increasingly disillusioned with the job he has taken on.

On the day he was appointed, it was revealed the ex-Manchester United defender would be sacked if he failed to win promotion back to the Premier League this season.

However, after picking up just six points from nine games, Blackburn have slumped to 15th and face a battle to even make the play-offs.

Last week Berg was told to find an entire new backroom team, although it has since emerged that his assistant, Eric Black, first-team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms may be given a stay of execution due to problems bringing in replacements.

No home comforts: Defeat to Cardiff at home left Ewood fans reeling

No home comforts: Defeat to Cardiff at home left Ewood fans reeling

There were suggestions of outside interference when he dropped former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson at Blackpool on Saturday, when his side suffered a fourth defeat in five games.

Robinson is one of several players expected to leave in January, with Tottenham’s Brad Friedel lined up to replace him.

Venky’s invested heavily in the summer, making Blackburn the highest-paid team in the Champ-ionship, and sources say failure to return to the Premier League at the first attempt would be a financial catastrophe.

The question is how long they will give Berg to turn the club round, though he may quit first.

Al Ahly 0 Corinthians 1: Club World Cup in Japan

Al Ahly 0 Corinthians 1: Chelsea to meet South American champions in Club World Cup final if they beat Monterrey

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UPDATED:

15:25 GMT, 12 December 2012

Corinthians booked a Club World Cup final meeting with Chelsea or Monterrey by surviving a spirited Al Ahly fightback in Toyota today.

Paolo Guerrero scored the only goal shortly before the half-hour mark but the Copa Libertadores winners found themselves firmly under the cosh for most of the remaining hour of play.

Strong start: Paolo Guerrero netted on the half hour mark

Strong start: Paolo Guerrero netted on the half hour mark

Al Ahly goalkeeper Sherif Ekramy was guilty of wasting precious time for the Egyptian champions in the second half, delaying his own inevitable substitution due to injury and disrupting his team’s rhythm as Ramy Rabia, Mohamed Aboutrika and Walid Soliman attempted to force extra-time.

Rabia had showed his promise in the early stages, racing onto Soliman’s free-kick to head just wide of Cassio’s goal, but Corinthians soon seized the initiative.

High hopes: Guerrero rises to beat the Al Ahly goalkeeper

High hopes: Guerrero rises to beat the Al Ahly goalkeeper

Danilo and Fabio Santos both conspired
to miss from close range but Guerrero had the ball in the back of the
net in the 29th minute, the Peruvian heading home Douglas’ lofted cross
to get the 15,000 travelling Brazilian fans in the party mood.

Al Ahly tried to squeeze in an equaliser before the break but Fabio Santos broke up a fine passing move between Soliman and Ahmed Fathi.

Home support: Fans in Sao Paulo celebrate the win

Home support: Fans in Sao Paulo celebrate the win

Home support: Fans in Sao Paulo celebrate the win

The Egyptians made a positive start to a second period that they would dominate, Soliman slightly over-hitting a pass to Geddo at the far post.

Ekramy soon slumped to the ground in his own penalty area, with medics tending to a suspected leg injury for several minutes, but the Al Ahly keeper decided to continue.

Under the cosh: Corinthians spent much of the game defending their lead

Under the cosh: Corinthians spent much of the game defending their lead

Rabia powered his way into a central position to fire narrowly wide of Cassio’s goal following fine work from substitute Aboutrika, but the heavy pressure soon dissipated as Ekramy decided to call time on his own contribution after all.

The protracted distraction over, Al Ahly got back into their groove but could not carve out the equaliser their creative play deserved.

Job done: Corinthians have booked their place in the final

Job done: Corinthians have booked their place in the final

Fathi struck the side netting from Aboutrika’s defence-splitting pass, before the veteran striker saw his own firm effort deflected behind for a corner ahead of Soliman’s long-range drive, which dipped wide.

With four minutes remaining, Rabia roamed into the box one final time, finding the space to clip home a late leveller but instead firing over the bar to hand Corinthians a first final appearance since 2000.

Wigan 2 QPR 2 match report: James McCarthy hits two as Harry Redknapp searches for first win

Wigan 2 QPR 2: McCarthy double ensures Rangers set record of 16 games without win

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UPDATED:

01:53 GMT, 9 December 2012

Queens Park Rangers created unwanted
history at Wigan’s DW Stadium — and even manager Harry Redknapp
admitted if they cannot gain their first win soon, there will be no
point trying to bring in new players during the January transfer window.

James McCarthy’s late equaliser for
Wigan confirmed Rangers have made the worst start to the season since
the Premier League was founded in 1992, their 16th game without a win
surpassing Swindon’s run in 1993.

Party time: James McCarthy scored twice as Wigan earned a point against Queens Park Rangers

Party time: James McCarthy scored twice as Wigan earned a point against Queens Park Rangers

MATCH FACTS

Wigan: Al Habsi, Boyce, Lopez, Jones (Maloney 76), Stam, McCarthy, McArthur, Beausejour, Gomez, Di Santo (Boselli 85), Kone.

Subs Not Used: Pollitt, McManaman, Fyvie, Golobart, Redmond.

Goals: McCarthy 19,74.

QPR: Green, Bosingwa (Da Silva 84), Nelsen, Hill, Traore, Diakite (Granero 77), Derry, Mbia, Wright-Phillips, Mackie, Taarabt (Cisse 58).

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Ferdinand, Hoilett, Faurlin.

Booked: Taarabt.

Goals: Nelsen 26,Cisse 71.

Att: 17,163

Ref: Phil Dowd (Staffordshire).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST PREMIER LEAGUE TABLE, FIXTURES AND RESULTS

As the Wigan player’s low shot nestled in the net, the QPR players slumped to the floor as if they had already been relegated, with defender Clint Hill beating the turf in frustration.

There could be no disputing QPR’s commitment to the cause as they slogged their way through driving rain to try to break and their duck. But the fact their goalkeeper Rob Green was man of the match with a string of outstanding saves indicated Rangers, who have drawn three of their four games since Mark Hughes was sacked, were second-best in terms of quality.

Redknapp, who has previously changed the fortunes of Portsmouth and Tottenham but failed to do the same with Southampton, admits he needs new blood in the next transfer window to have any chance of pulling off another Harry Houdini act.

But unless they beat Fulham, Newcastle or West Bromwich Albion in their next three fixtures, the manager doubts there will be any point in asking owner Tony Fernandes to put his hand in his pocket again because The Championship will already be a formality.

‘If we don’t win a game or two, I wouldn’t ask him to spend any money. We’d be too far adrift,’ said Redknapp. ‘We have to make sure we give the owners something to hang onto. We need to win the first game and get a little run going. Then I am sure we will have a go.’

Rifled: James McCarthy fired home to open the scoring for Wigan

Rifled: James McCarthy fired home to open the scoring for Wigan

Leveller: Ryan Nelson rises highest to nod home the equaliser for Harry Redknapp's side

Leveller: Ryan Nelson rises highest to nod home the equaliser for Harry Redknapp's side

With the honourable exceptions of
Green, captain marvel Ryan Nelsen and the veteran Hill, Redknapp isn’t
impressed by what he has inherited, despite nine arrivals during the
summer.

‘The owners have done everything that was asked of them last summer and
look what they have ended up with,’ he said. ‘You can’t go 16 games
without a win if you’re that good. You can’t fault the effort but we
need that little bit of something, knowhow perhaps.

‘It is hard to put your finger on it. The squad has no balance.’

QPR started brightly before their
frailty was exposed after 19 minutes. Jamie Mackie half-cleared a corner
and when neither he nor Adel Taarabt closed down McCarthy on the edge
of the box, the Irishman drove home the opening goal while the Rangers
players argued with each other over who was responsible.

Nelsen, 35, showed his strikers how to do it at the other end with a
powerful header to level after 26 minutes. ‘If we had 11 like him, we’d
have no problems,’ said Redknapp.

But after the interval, only Green stood between Wigan and a handsome
win, making incredible reflex saves to deny David Jones, Jordi Gomez and
Mauro Boselli. Gomez also hit the crossbar with a cross-shot as Rangers
funnelled back.

Pure delight: Ryan Nelson celebrates after scoring the equaliser for Queens Park Rangers at Wigan

Pure delight: Ryan Nelson celebrates after scoring the equaliser for Queens Park Rangers at Wigan

Wigan were missing seven regulars including a first-choice defence, and
that might have cost them when a loose pass from Adrian Lopez allowed
Shaun Wright-Phillips to tee up Djibril Cisse to give Rangers the lead
against the run of play after 71 minutes.

A stronger team than the visitors would have seen the game out. Instead,
Wigan were level three minutes later when Jean Beausejour centred for
McCarthy and he managed to score despite being surrounded by four red
shirts.

‘James McCarthy is a top, top player — he has the potential to play anywhere in the world,’ said his manager, Roberto Martinez.

The Spaniard persuaded McCarthy to sign for Wigan rather than Liverpool
and the move has paid off for the player, regular first-team football
advancing the 22-year-old’s development.

One day he will leave The DW, with Martinez admitting: ‘Even Manchester United lost Ronaldo.’

But not yet, he hopes.

Nicely done: Djibril Cisse climbed off the bench to score for the visitors

Nicely done: Djibril Cisse climbed off the bench to score for the visitors

In front: Djibril Cisse scored after coming off the bench to put the visitors in the lead


Brace yourself: McCarthy fires home through a crowded box to earn Wigan a point

Brace yourself: McCarthy fires home through a crowded box to earn Wigan a point

The last few minutes were incredible as the conditions worsened. Both sides opened up, looking for a late winner.

Jamie Mackie missed the best opportunity when he headed Esteban
Granero’s cross wide in injury-time, while Phil Dowd looked closely at a
Wigan penalty appeal for Nelsen’s challenge on Gomez.

Realising his new team had just set a record for prolonged awfulness, Redknapp was uncharacteristically downbeat afterwards.

But you can’t keep a good man down for long and as he contemplated a New
Year loan bid for Los Angeles Galaxy striker Robbie Keane, Redknapp was
already cheering himself up.
‘That one win could kickstart it,’ he said.

William Gallas in police probe: Wife taken to hospital after she "falls into bushes"

Gallas in police probe after row with wife who 'fell into bushes' and was taken to hospitalNadege Gallas, 31, was taken to local hospital by ambulance after incident outside their homePolice confirm inquiries continue but no arrests have been made

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UPDATED:

18:05 GMT, 7 December 2012

Police are investigating allegations that Tottenham defender William Gallas was involved in a public spat with his wife, who ended up in a hedge.

A witness has told the Metropolitan Police that the couple were having a bust-up outside their Hampstead home.

Nadege Gallas, 31, then fell in a bush and was treated by paramedics before being taken to hospital.

Row: William Gallas and wife Nadege had a row outside their home before she fell in a bush, witnesses said

Row: William Gallas and wife Nadege (pictured) had a row outside their home before she fell in a bush, witnesses said

The French international, who earns a reported 3.2million a year, followed behind in his Jeep.

Witnesses told The Sun that she had arrived at the mansion in her car and then shouted at her husband.

Gallas then emerged and yelled back several people watched on.

Peter Lenczuk, 38, said: 'They were arguing but I couldn't understand because it was in French. Then I saw her fall into the bushes.'

Star: William Gallas is one of Tottenham's top stars and is paid a reputed 3.5m a year

Star: William Gallas is one of Tottenham's top stars and is paid a reputed 3.5m a year

London Ambulance confirmed they had attended an incident in Gallas's street.

'We sent an ambulance and a responder in a car to the scene,' a spokesman said.

'Our staff treated the person at the scene before taking them to hospital.'

The couple later returned home from hospital together before the footballer drove off again.

Builders working on the house next door say they watched the row and
shouted to Gallas to make him stop, but he carried on. 'It was
horrible,' one said.

'Officers spoke to the alleged victim and no allegations were made to police,' a Met spokesman told MailOnline, adding they 'will be speaking the third party in due course to substantiate the allegation'.

Spurs players can have "2 or 3" Christmas parties – Andre Villas-Boas

Christmas parties are fine… have two or three! AVB tells Spurs players to get in the festive spirit

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UPDATED:

16:58 GMT, 5 December 2012

Manager Andre Villas-Boas has reversed predecessor Harry Redknapp’s ban on Christmas parties at Tottenham, insisting he is happy for the squad to have 'two or three' this winter.

Redknapp prevented his players from having a party three years ago after his team lost to Wolves just four days after Robbie Keane had organised a secret and raucous trip to Dublin.

Redknapp’s new team QPR will also not have a Christmas party this month, but Villas-Boas is happy for his players to let their hair down.

I wish it could be Christmas every day! Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas certainly appears to be in the festive spirit

I wish it could be Christmas every day! Spurs boss Andre Villas Boas certainly appears to be in the festive spirit

Party time: Spurs defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Walker in training in Enfield on Wednesday

Party time: Spurs defenders Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Kyle Walker in training in Enfield on Wednesday

'We will try to have two or three (parties),' Villas-Boas said. 'It’s normal. It’s part of our group spirit.

'I don’t think it will affect performances. We will try to gather the group, to have dinner together and go on from there.'

Villas-Boas has looked increasingly relaxed in recent weeks with his team playing some of their best football of the season.

The Londoners earned their third straight Barclays Premier League win on Saturday when they defeated Fulham 3-0 at Craven Cottage.

The win moved Spurs up to fourth in the table – behind Chelsea on goal difference – and tomorrow they have a very good chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the Europa League.

In training: Andre Villas-Boas

Feeling the cold, chaps AVB (above), Jermain Defoe and Clint Dempsey (below) wrap up warm on Wednesday

Jermain Defoe

Clint Dempsey

Having won the competition with Porto in 2010, Villas-Boas is determined to make sure Spurs progress by avoiding defeat against Panathinaikos.

UEFA are considering scrapping the competition and replacing it with an enlarged Champions League, but the Portuguese thinks that would be a crazy idea.

'It’s difficult for me (to accept),' Villas-Boas said. 'We lost the Cup Winners’ Cup and you miss it.

'Most clubs are in a difficult financial situation. Increasing the Champions League means you have to remove the name “Champions” out of it as it would not make any sense.

'I think it would be an unpopular decision, certainly for me it would be a disappointment.'

Glove affair: Tom Huddlestone in training ahead of their Europa League clash with Panathinaikos on Thursday

Glove affair: Tom Huddlestone in training ahead of their Europa League clash with Panathinaikos on Thursday

Spurs will be confident of overcoming Panathinaikos tomorrow.

The
Greek side snatched a lucky draw in the reverse fixture two months ago
and their current poor form means they sit 16 points adrift of domestic
league leaders Olympiacos.

Villas-Boas
intends to rotate his team for the final Group J clash, with No 1 Hugo
Lloris expected to make way for Brad Friedel, who has had to sit out the
last five games despite being first choice at the start of the season.

Villas-Boas rebuffed an attempt by Blackburn to sign Friedel as a player/coach after Lloris assumed the No 1 spot at Spurs, and made it clear today that he wants to hang on to the American for the rest of the season.

'Brad has been excellent, I spoke to him and he has been such an important player for us,' Villas-Boas said. 'Rotation has not been because of performances.

'Both goalkeepers’ performances have been excellent. It gives me the ability at any time to throw a different keeper into the game.

'I don’t know anything about (Blackburn’s bid). We are trying to hold onto our best assets and Brad is certainly one of them.'

The game has come too soon for long-term injury victims Scott Parker and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, but they could return for next weekend’s game against Swansea.

'They have both been out for some time but we have to be sensible with the situation,' the former Chelsea boss added. 'Parker is an amazing player and it is a big boost for us.'

Gareth Bale, who suffered a hamstring injury at Fulham, is out of Sunday’s game at Everton but should return for the match against the Swans.

Andy Carroll police probe after West Ham Christrmas party in Dublin

Carroll's Christmas bash: Police interview 35m West Ham striker over accusations of 'gouging' a photographer after night out that finishes at 5.30am… and where was his leg brace in Burger KingWest Ham striker accused of assaulting a photographerPremier League club back on-loan star amid the allegationsPolice in Dublin made no arrests after probing players

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UPDATED:

10:59 GMT, 4 December 2012

The Christmas party season has begun and Premier League footballers are already embroiled in trouble after Andy Carroll allegedly assaulted a photographer outside a nightclub.

West Ham were the first to get their festive celebrations in full swing as the players went on a weekend tour to Dublin following Saturday’s 3-1 win over Chelsea.

But Carroll, who is ruled out for eight weeks with a knee ligament injury, reportedly went berserk at snapper Paddy Cummins after he attempted to photograph the crocked England international leaving a popular nightspot without a leg brace he had been wearing earlier in the evening.

West Ham have released a statement backing the on-loan Liverpool striker amid the allegations and Carroll's team-mates are also ready to back him over the claims.

Christmas Carroll: Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan, striker Carroll, Carlton Cole and Matt Taylor pose with a female fan at a pub in Dublin dressed all in fancy dress white

Christmas Carroll: Hammers skipper Kevin Nolan, striker Carroll, Carlton Cole and Matt Taylor pose with a female fan at a pub in Dublin dressed all in fancy dress white

'Andy Carroll was in Dublin as part of a social trip with full permission of the management team,' a West Ham spokesman said:

'Andy agreed to have a number of
pictures taken at the request of a photographer who was waiting on the
street.

'Despite this, the photographer then carried on taking photos in
the close proximity of Andy and was politely asked to stop by the
private security team working on the trip.

'When he then continued taking more photos he was restrained by the security team for Andy’s safety.

'Eyewitnesses state at no point was there any physical contact between Andy and the photographer.

'The Garda took statements from the group back at the hotel and no further action was taken.'

Cummins, who is 5ft 8in, claims the 6ft
3in on-loan Liverpool striker gouged his right eye while trying to grab
his camera.

Cummins also claims the former Newcastle star went to bite him after knocking him to the floor.

The 33-year-old photographer was later admitted to hospital, where he offered a statement to the police.

‘He was like a wild animal,’ Cummins told The Sun.
Meal deal: Carroll - seemingly without his protective leg brace on - is pictured ordering food from Burger King at the end of his night out

Meal deal: Carroll – seemingly without his protective leg brace on – is pictured ordering food from Burger King at the end of his night out

Injured: Carroll was wearing a protective knee brace on Saturday at Upton Park

Injured: Carroll was wearing a protective knee brace on Saturday at Upton Park

‘I felt this terrible pain in my eye as he gouged me.

‘I was screaming, “My eyes!” but he kept it up. The pain was incredible.’

A spokesman for the Garda press office in Dublin said officers received a report of an incident at 2.30am yesterday.

Officers at the city's Pearse Street station are investigating the incident.

It is understood members of the West Ham football team were spoken to by gardai following reports of an assault.

No arrests were made, the Garda spokesman said.

Carroll’s agent Mark Curtis, who is
also the representative for Hammers boss Sam Allardyce, declined to
comment over the alleged assault.

Speaking about the disappearance of
the leg brace he said: ‘The leg brace was outside his trousers inside
the club because he wanted people to see it so they wouldn’t knock into
him. When he left he put it under the trousers.

Night out: Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan were part of West Ham's Christmas party weekend tour to Dublin, where they were pictured with Irish fans

Night out: Andy Carroll and Kevin Nolan were part of West Ham's Christmas party weekend tour to Dublin, where they were pictured with Irish fans

‘He can’t walk without it. He isn’t a daft lad and he wouldn’t be able to put weight on his leg without it.

'You can see from the shape of his trousers in the picture [published in The Sun] that it’s underneath.'

Allardyce’s side were staying at the
five-star Fitzwilliam Hotel and kicked-off their weekend in the Irish
capital’s Grafton Lounge before visiting the popular Coppers nightspot.

Spell on the sidelines: Carroll is out for eight weeks with a knee injury

Spell on the sidelines: Carroll is out for eight weeks with a knee injury

Carroll was one of several first-team
Hammers’ players spotted by fans at the Quays pub in Temple Bar in the
early hours of Sunday morning said to be downing pints of Guinness and
Jagerbombs.

According to the report in The Sun, Carroll refused to discuss the alleged spat with the photographer and insisted he’d had a ‘great night’.

West Ham told the newspaper that snapper Cummins was ‘restrained’ by security staff outside the nightclub in question but denied contact with the striker.

David Beckham pledges to continue MLS link after bowing out with LA Galaxy in style

Beckham pledges to continue MLS link after bowing out with LA Galaxy in style

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UPDATED:

01:46 GMT, 2 December 2012

David Beckham insists his personal involvement with Major League Soccer is not over after ending his five-year stay in the United States in style.

The former England captain bowed out after five years with the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup final, with his side seeing off the Houston Dynamo 3-1 to take the trophy for the second year in a row.

Fond farewell: David Beckham's American odyssey ended with silverware

Fond farewell: David Beckham's American odyssey ended with silverware

It was a triumphant finale to 37-year-old Beckham's American odyssey, though when he made the move from Real Madrid in 2007 he had claimed he was partly motivated by the chance to promote his sport in the USA.

He has yet to reveal where he will play next, though he has no shortage of lucrative offers awaiting his attention. But regardless of his destination, he claims the MLS will remain important to him.

'This is very special for us. To win at our own home is fantastic,' he said.

Glory boys: Beckham and Robbie Keane lift the MLS Cup

Glory boys: Beckham and Robbie Keane lift the MLS Cup

'I always said I was going to stick by it. When I'm committed to something I'm committed to the end.

'It's sad that it is the end; this has been a special place for me and continues to be special to me.

'I'm happy to have been part of this for nearly six years and to have been successful with this club for four years.

'I'm going to continue my commitment to this league, this country and this sport. My commitment stays the same to growing this league and growing the sport in this country.'

Party time: Beckham and his tam-mates begin the celebrations

Party time: Beckham and his tam-mates begin the celebrations

Asked where he would be playing next, Beckham responded by playing to the fans in California's Home Deport Center.

'I have no idea, what's more important is that I'm happy I'm wearing this (Galaxy) uniform today.'