Tag Archives: perfect

Maria Sharapova launches partnership with Porsche in sexy photoshoot

Gentlemen, start your engines! Sharapova launches Porsche partnership with stunning photoshoot

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

13:57 GMT, 22 April 2013

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UPDATED:

15:03 GMT, 22 April 2013

Now, we definitely don't subscribe to the old adage of women and the inability to drive, but there was more than a eyebrow or two raised when Porsche chose their first ever global endorser as Mario Sharapova, especially when statistics claims 88 per cent of 911 buyers are men.

The powerful Russian tennis star, known for her deafening grunt on the court, will front up campaigns for the German car maker for the next three years.

Wheely nice view: Maria Sharapova has launched a new partnership with car maker Porsche

Wheely nice view: Maria Sharapova has launched a new partnership with car maker Porsche

Wheely nice view: Maria Sharapova has launched a new partnership with car maker Porsche

'Maria is the perfect choice,' said Porsche CEO Matthias Mueller. 'Her profile and charisma are an ideal fit for Porsche.'

Porsche join the likes of Nike, Evian, Tag Heuer and Samsung in partnering up with one of the most marketable sportstars in the world, taking Sharapova's revenue for endorsements alone beyond 20million a year.

Blonde ambition: The deal will take Sharapova's earnings from endorsement beyond 20million a year

Blonde ambition: The deal will take Sharapova's earnings from endorsement beyond 20million a year

Write caption here

Blonde ambition: The deal will take Sharapova's earnings from endorsement beyond 20million a year

As well as her tennis and multitude of
other endorsements, the Russian is currently keeping the money rolling
in with her Sugarpova sweets, which have sold more than 1.5 million bags
in six months.

To celebrate the latest launch, Sharapova, who previously had a deal with Land Rover in 2006, posed with the stunning vehicles in Stuttgart, where it is manufactured.

The event coincides with her arrival for the defence of her Porsche Tennis Grand Prix crown, which takes place in the city this month.

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Sweet spot: Sharapova has plenty of means of bring in extra cash beyond her work on the court

Spurs are competing with Fiorentina to sign Dutchman Jordy Clasie

Spurs eye Dutch talent Clasie but Fiorentina first to table offer

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

11:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

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UPDATED:

11:00 GMT, 30 March 2013

Tottenham will have to make their move soon if they want to sign Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie before Serie A outfit Fiorentina.

The 21-year-old, who has been called the Dutch Xavi by some, has been attracting interest from Europe's top clubs, but the Viola appear to have been the first to table on offer, according to the Metro.

Clasie has already played a handful of games in the national side, and could be a perfect fit next to Sandro in the heart of Spurs' midfield.

Wonderkid: Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie is one of Europe's rising stars

Wonderkid: Feyenoord playmaker Jordy Clasie is one of Europe's rising stars

Wanted: Feyenoord are realistic in their attempts to keep him in Holland

Wanted: Feyenoord are realistic in their attempts to keep him in Holland

If a move to White Hart Lane was successful, it could mean the end of Scott Parker's career in North London, with a switch to Fulham, or even QPR if they stay up, on the cards.

Feyenoord's technical directior Martin Van Geel said: 'We do not need to sell him, nor do we
particularly want to, but we have to think of the player’s ambitions and
evaluate the offers from other clubs.

‘There is an offer from Fiorentina, but
we’ll only discuss it at the end of the season. Right now the players
must focus only on Feyenoord.’

Getting on: Scott Parker could be on his way out if Clasie signs for Tottenham

Getting on: Scott Parker could be on his way out if Clasie signs for Tottenham

Caroline Wozniacki poses for photoshoot – PICTURE SPECIAL

At least she's in fine form! Struggling McIlroy's girlfriend Wozniacki poses in steamy shoot to launch underwear range

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

18:53 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:49 GMT, 19 March 2013

After apologising for storming off at the Honda Classic and struggling to get to grips with his new set of clubs, it's hardly been a stellar start to the golf season for Rory McIlroy.

But the world No 1 golfer's girlfriend, Caroline Wozniacki, has hit some fine form in this steamy photo shoot.

The 22-year-old tennis star, who was beaten by Maria Sharapova in the BNP Paribas Open final last week, has been in solid form on the court this year.

Scroll down for video

Stunner: Caroline Wozniacki models her new underwear range with Danish company JBS

Stunner: Caroline Wozniacki models her new underwear range with Danish company JBS

But now she's attracting attention outside the white lines too.

The former world No 1 has teamed up with Danish company JBS to launch her own line of underwear – and posed for a series of raunchy shots to promote her new product.

The new range Wozniacki has launched has been called 'this is me'.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki

Raunchy: Wozniacki launched he range which she says reflect who she is as a person

Caroline Wozniacki

Rory McIlroy

Under par: Golfer Rory McIlroy (right), Wozniacki's boyfriend, has struggled so far this season

Wozniacki's description of the 'sexy, durable underwear' says: 'What I wear reflects who I am.

'That’s why I chose to create my own underwear collection for the girl who wants the good looks from fashion, a perfect fit for her body, and a quality that’s hard to beat.'

The photoshoot was also filmed too for good measure. Click the link below to watch the Danish star in action.

In action: Wozniacki lost to Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Open last week

In action: Wozniacki lost to Maria Sharapova at the BNP Paribas Open last week

VIDEO Watch Caroline Wozniacki pose in her new underwear range

Caroline Wozniacki bares all for sexy underwear range advert

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Cristiano Ronaldo incredible hat-trick record for Real Madrid

Ronaldo has struck an incredible 19 HAT-TRICKS for Real Madrid since 2010… and his latest one is just perfect


August 28 – Zaragoza (A) League 24, 71, 87 (won 6-0) 63min
September 24 – Rayo Vallecano (H) 39, pen 51, pen 84 (won 6-2) 45min
October 22 – Malaga (A) 23, 28, 38 (won 4-0) 15min
November 6 – Osasuna (H) 23, pen 54, 58 (won 7-1) 35min
December 17 – Sevilla (A) 10, 41, pen 85 (won 6-2) 75min
February 12 – Levante (H) pen 45, 50, 57 (won 4-2) 12min
April 11 – Atletico Madrid (A) 25, 68, pen 83 (won 4-1) 58min

2012-2013
September 30 – Deportivo La Coruna (H) pen 23, 44, pen 84 (won 5-1) 61min
October 3 – Ajax (A) Champions League 42, 79, 81 (won 4-1) 41min
January 9 – Celta Vigo (H) Copa del Rey 3, 24, 87 (won 4-0) 84min
January 27 – Getafe (H) League 62, 65, pen 72 (won 4-0) 10min

How does Ronaldo's perfect hat-trick compare to these

Peter Crouch (Liverpool v Arsenal 2006/2007)

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea v Tottenham 2001-2002)

Joel Pohjanpalo (Perfect hat-trick in three minutes 19 seconds for HJK Helsinki)

WILL OLD TRAFFORD'S BOBBLY PITCH SLOW HIM DOWN

The inconsistent playing surface at Old Trafford has caused difficulties at times for Manchester United this season – so much so that Darren Fletcher has not been able to play on it.

But it could prove a blessing in disguise when Real Madrid – and ex-United star Cristiano Ronaldo – come calling in the Champions League next month.

The less-than-perfect pitch is coming towards the end of its lifespan – having been laid six years ago.

And it was again noticeable on Saturday, when large areas started cutting up during United's FA Cup tie with Fulham.

Muddy: The Old Trafford turf kicks up as Javier Hernandez shoots during the recent match with West Ham

Muddy: The Old Trafford turf kicks up as Javier Hernandez shoots during the recent match with West Ham

But it won't be re-laid until the summer – meaning Ronaldo and co will have to make the best of it as they try to get past United into the last eight.

Earlier this month, Sir Alex Ferguson said the surface had 'collapsed' and that it was so heavy, Fletcher, who was trying to make a return following a bowel condition, was unable to make progress.

Ferguson said: 'We have had six great years out of the pitch. Our groundsman, Tony Sinclair, has done a fantastic job. But it is looking tired now and I think we will have a new pitch in the summer.'

Players won"t fight for Rafa Benitez – Neil Ashton

Chelsea players are not fighting for Benitez and the fans have still not taken to him

By
Neil Ashton

PUBLISHED:

00:10 GMT, 28 January 2013

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UPDATED:

02:24 GMT, 28 January 2013

After the rucks and rows with opposition managers over the years, Rafa Benitez developed the skin of a rhino.

As manager of Liverpool he called it on with Jose Mourinho and Sir Alex Ferguson, engaging in hand-to-hand combat as they competed for the game’s highest honours.

At Chelsea, employed as the club’s interim coach until the end of the season, he faces a unique challenge.

Hard times: Rafa Benitez is struggling to get the Chelsea players to play for him

Hard times: Rafa Benitez is struggling to get the Chelsea players to play for him

Tough crowd: The Chelsea fans make their feelings clear

Tough crowd: The Chelsea fans make their feelings clear

Chelsea fans still haven’t taken to Benitez and he was getting on their goat again when they were in danger of being blown away by Brentford in the FA Cup.

There were only 1,800 Chelsea fans squeezed into the Brook Road Stand, but their message in the 79th minute came over loud and clear.

‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ was the chant as Benitez prepared to replace a right back with another right back.

Chelsea were 2-1 down when it turned hostile and the idea that Cesar Azpilicueta could provide the attacking thrust to bring Chelsea back into this game seemed improbable.

Benitez just brushes it off, insisting that he simply concentrates on the job in hand. ‘I don’t hear any of it, I am on the touchline, I am concentrating on trying to win the football match,’ is his standard response to the fans’ dissent.

Finding it tough: Even though he scored, Fernando Torres had a tough afternoon

Finding it tough: Even though he scored, Fernando Torres had a tough afternoon

Benitez deserves more respect than this after a career dedicated to the art of management.

He may not be the perfect fit for Chelsea, but he remains, in the words of Brentford manager Uwe Rosler, ‘a world-class coach’.

Twice named UEFA manager of the year, a European Cup winner with Liverpool in Istanbul in 2005 and a FIFA Club World Cup winner, his list of achievements is pretty impressive.

Going ahead: Brentford's Marcello Trotta puts his side 1-0 up

Going ahead: Brentford's Marcello Trotta puts his side 1-0 up

Chelsea fans will never take to him, that much is clear, but he could do with a bit of a breather when it comes to this club. They began the season under Roberto Di Matteo in seven competitions and are fortunate to still be in two after this escape at Griffin Park.

Benitez appeared to have it cracked when they steamrollered Aston Villa 8-0 in a Premier League fixture at Stamford Bridge.

Since then they have spluttered through games, beaten easily over two legs by Swansea in the Capital One Cup semi-final and somehow surviving yesterday’s fourth-round tie.

This is a team in transition. Ross Turnbull, in goal yesterday, is an accident waiting to happen and his clumsy performance against Rosler’s team, only his 18th appearance for Chelsea, should probably be his last.

Not going to plan: Oscar, Frank Lampard and Torres look on after conceding

Not going to plan: Oscar, Frank Lampard and Torres look on after conceding

The rest lack motivation, uncertain of their goals after landing the European Cup against Bayern Munich last season. A great side would be using the aura of that famous win to gobble up trophies.

Instead the only silverware left is the FA Cup — if they can get past Brentford in the replay on the weekend of February 16-17 at Stamford Bridge — and the Europa League will be on if they beat Sparta Prague. It seems beyond them, particularly if the body language of the players in recent weeks is anything to go by.

They don’t fancy it any more and the legendary fight to the finish, along with their match-winning mentality, is a thing of the past.

Benitez is battling on, but the lack of application will be getting right under his skin.

Andy Murray beats John Millman to reach Brisbane International quarter-finals

Murray pushed all the way by Aussie wildcard before progressing to Brisbane quarter-finals

PUBLISHED:

14:53 GMT, 3 January 2013

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 3 January 2013

Andy Murray started the new year with a scare as he was pushed to three sets yesterday by Australian qualifier John Millman at the Brisbane International.

Murray shrugged off a second-set slump to triumph 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 in two hours and five minutes against the world No 199, to set up a quarter-final meeting with Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan.

Murray said: ‘I wasn’t too disappointed with the way I played. For a first match of the year, that was a perfect match in many ways to go through some tough moments, a lot of long rallies, close games and important points.’

Villain of the piece: Andy Murray was heckled by the home fans against John Millman

Villain of the piece: Andy Murray was heckled by the home fans against John Millman

Fright: Murray survived a second-set scare

Fright: Murray survived a second-set scare

Wildcard: Millman put up a good show in front of his home crowd

Wildcard: Millman put up a good show in front of his home crowd

Battle: The US Open champion was pushed all the way in Brisbane

Battle: The US Open champion was pushed all the way in Brisbane

Murray raced through the opening set with three breaks of the Millman serve but was broken twice in the second as the 23-year-old, playing in only his fifth tour-level match, fought back to take the tie into a decider.

Murray claimed the solitary break in the third to wrap up the win.

Meanwhile, Heather Watson has withdrawn from the Moorilla Hobart International, just a week before the Australian Open.

The British No 1 suffered an elbow problem in Wednesday’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 defeat by world No 63 Kiki Bertens in the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland. Watson, 20, tweeted: ‘I have to withdraw from Hobart. Doing everything I can to get healthy.’

Struggling: Murray has been far from his best at the start of this season as he lost to Janko Tipsarevic in Abu Dhabi last week

Struggling: Murray has been far from his best at the start of this season as he lost to Janko Tipsarevic in Abu Dhabi last week

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts

Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts

Wounded: Murray looked in pain at times on Pat Rafter Arena

Last eight: The Scot will play Denis Istomin in the quarter-finals

Last eight: The Scot will play Denis Istomin in the quarter-finals

Dean Winstanley hits nine dart finish against Vincent van der Voort at World darts championship

Winstanley nets 15k bonus after hitting nine darter… but it is not enough to stop Van der Voort knocking him out

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UPDATED:

19:01 GMT, 23 December 2012

In a madcap half-hour at Ally Pally, Dean Winstanley experienced the ecstasy of throwing only the fourth perfect nine-dart leg in the history of the Ladbrokes.com PDC World Championship and then the agony of defeat.

A 15,000 bonus cheque and a more sumptuous Christmas dinner will be the material comforts to absorb a 4-2 second-round defeat by Vincent van der Voort, but the Yorkshireman will be able to dine out on his achievement for years to come.

Winstanley said: ‘No doubt about it, I’d rather have won the match than got the nine-darter but I’ve hit a nine-darter on TV and I still want to go out and scream as much as I want to go out and cry. I’m going to go back for Christmas and have the biggest, fattest turkey ever with gravy dribbling down my chin, the lot. I’m happy. Really happy.’

Cloud nine: Dean Winstanley shakes hands with Vincent van der Voort after scoring a 9 darter

Cloud nine: Dean Winstanley shakes hands with Vincent van der Voort after scoring a 9 darter

What made Winstanley’s perfect moment all the more remarkable in his first season on the PDC Tour was the fact he stood two sets down and had won just a single leg in the match at the time.

Sprinting manically across the giant stage to celebrate with his wife Lorraine, he initially used the adrenaline rush to draw level with Van der Voort before losing concentration as the game moved into its final stages. It turned out that his Dutch opponent had good reason not to panic among the pandemonium.

Van der Voort revealed: ‘The moment Dean hit it I thought: “I’ve had two nine-darters against me before in my life and I won both matches”. So that helped me a little bit.’ Van der Voort plays James Wade, a 4-2 winner over Steve Beaton, in the third round on Thursday.

Perfect darts: Winstanley on his way to his nine dart finish

Perfect darts: Winstanley on his way to his nine dart finish

It was sportsmanship of the highest order rather than technical brilliance which threatened to work against Mark Walsh in his encounter with Justin Pipe.

Leading 3-1 and requiring one more set for victory, Walsh saw his opponent snap a stem off his dart during a throw.

Not enough: Despite the nine dart finish Vincent van der Voort beat Winstanley

Not enough: Despite the nine dart finish Vincent van der Voort beat Winstanley

Unable to fix the problem initially, Pipe had left his spare darts at home and was forced to ask if he could borrow one of Walsh’s reserve set while former world No 1 Rod Harrington repaired his projectile.

Walsh agreed willingly, then watched as Pipe mounted a comeback and almost took the game into a deciding set before clinching a 4-2 victory.

Walsh said: ‘I didn’t want to claim the game by default. I’d rather beat him on merit than he couldn’t throw his darts any more or be timed out.

Held up: Referee Russ Bray tries to fix one of Justin Pipe's broken darts in his match against Mark Walsh

Held up: Referee Russ Bray tries to fix one of Justin Pipe's broken darts in his match against Mark Walsh

'I wouldn’t like anything like that. Not just to Justin, to any player. I haven’t got a nasty bone in my body.

‘Sid Waddell used to call me a hooligan because of my image, but I’m not. I’m a really nice guy. You ask any player. I’m probably the nicest person in darts.

‘It doesn’t matter who I play, I want to beat them on my own merits. I don’t want to beat them by default.’

Newcastle 1 QPR 0: Match report

Newcastle 1 QPR 0: Shola strikes to ruin Redknapp's run as Toon leave it late to take points

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UPDATED:

17:16 GMT, 22 December 2012

Local hero Shola Ameobi came off the bench to hand Newcastle a welcome three points and manager Alan Pardew the perfect Christmas present.

The 31-year-old striker produced an assured 81st-minute finish just as it looked as though the Magpies would have to settle for a draw in a game they knew was a must-win affair.

It was no more than they deserved on a day when they dominated throughout, but too often lacked the guile of injured duo Yohan Cabaye and Hatem Ben Arfa.

Toon hero: Newcastle's Shola Ameobi celebrates scoring his sides winning goal with James Perch

Toon hero: Newcastle's Shola Ameobi celebrates scoring his sides winning goal with James Perch

Match facts

Newcastle: Krul, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Santon, Anita, Tiote (Marveaux 77), Perch, Gutierrez (Obertan 60), Ba, Cisse (Shola Ameobi 61).

Subs Not Used: Harper, Bigirimana, Sammy Ameobi, Ferguson.

Booked: Tiote, Perch, Shola Ameobi.

Goal: Shola Ameobi 81.

QPR: Green, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Nelsen, Hill, Mackie, Mbia, Granero (Wright-Phillips 56), Faurlin (Derry 78), Taarabt, Cisse (Hoilett 64).

Subs Not Used: Murphy, Diakite, Traore, Onuoha.

Booked: Ferdinand, Hill.

Attendance: 50,180

Referee: Kevin Friend

Latest Premier League results, fixtures and table

However, thanks to Ameobi, they got there in the end to claim just their second Barclays Premier League victory in eight attempts and condemn Harry Redknapp to his first defeat as Rangers boss.

The match kicked off on a pitch soaked by persistent rain, which showed little sign of abating, but with referee Kevin Friend having had two looks at it and seeing no reason not to start.

As the first half unfolded, there was clearly surface water, but it did not affect the roll of the ball unduly as the Magpies set about the task of winning a game they simply could not afford to lose or even, in the eyes of their manager, draw.

Roared on by a crowd of 50,180, the majority of whom were well aware of what was at stake, they set about their task with relish and dominated the opening 45 minutes.

However, the lack of a final ball cost them dearly as they were simply unable to convert a wealth of possession into goals.

Left winger Jonas Gutierrez was particularly guilty of failing to produce a telling cross on the numerous occasions on which he took aim, while overlapping full-back Davide Santon got into some promising positions down the same flank, but repeatedly picked out a hooped, rather than a striped, shirt.

Leaving it late: Shola Ameobi scores to win the game for Newcastle

Leaving it late: Shola Ameobi scores to win the game for Newcastle

In the event, Rob Green was as under-employed as Tim Krul despite finding his penalty area repeatedly besieged by the Magpies.

The game started promisingly for the home side with striker Papiss Cisse heading into the side-netting from Gutierrez's cross, although he did so having nudged defender Fabio da Silva in the back first and it would not have counted anyway.

Stephane Mbia was in the right place at the right time to clear Mike Williamson's goal-bound header from a Vurnon Anita corner three minutes later, although the Dutchman's ball was the sole cross of note he or any of his team-mates delivered before the break.

Fight for the ball: Adel Taarabt vies for the ball with Newcastle's Mike Williamson

Fight for the ball: Adel Taarabt vies for the ball with Newcastle's Mike Williamson

Indeed, Green's only real save came with 31 minutes played when he plucked Cheick Tiote's shot out of the air, although there was more than a hint of a cross about the Ivorian's attempt.

At the other end, Krul was effectively a spectator and he was called upon for the first time to field Alejandro Faurlin's corner with 11 minutes of the half remaining before then collecting Djibril Cisse's 43rd-minute scuffed volley.

But in the meantime, Anton Ferdinand had blocked a well-struck effort from leading scorer Demba Ba, who later wasted two free-kicks in quick succession, blasting both high over the bar, much to the frustration of the home fans.

Midfield battle: Cheick Tiote is tracked by Esteban Granero

Midfield battle: Cheick Tiote is tracked by Esteban Granero

QPR produced more inside the opening three minutes of the second half than they had in the entire first with Cisse forcing Krul to turn his low drive around the post and Mbia heading the resulting corner high over.

But as the half settled down, the visitors packed men behind the ball to frustrate their hosts, and were content to try to hit them on the break, a ploy which prompted the introduction of Shaun Wright-Phillips as a 56th-minute replacement for Esteban Granero.

Pardew made a double change on the hour, replacing Gutierrez and, to the clear disapproval of the home fans, Papiss Cisse, with Gabriel Obertan and Ameobi in the search for a breakthrough.

Getting it right: Harry Redknapp gives instructions from the sidelines

Getting it right: Harry Redknapp gives instructions from the sidelines

But it was Anita who very nearly made the difference with a 63rd-minute free-kick which Green could only palm away, mercifully for him into a sea of blue, rather than black and white, shirts.

The Rangers goalkeeper had to scramble away Anita's near-post corner two minutes later and Ba saw a shot on the turn deflected for a corner before Ameobi completely mistimed a header as the Magpies made another concerted push.

Ba could not generate enough pace to trouble Green with his 73rd-minute header from Obertan's cross, but when Ameobi's big moment arrived, he was not found wanting.

Sylvain Marveaux slipped the ball into his path on the right side of the penalty area and he steadied himself before curling a left-foot shot across Green and into the bottom corner.

Substitute Marveaux might have added a second two minutes later after being denied by Green, but there was no way back for Redknapp's men.

Tiote will miss the Boxing Day trip to Manchester United after picking up his fifth booking of the season but even that could not take the smile from Pardew's face.

All smiles: QPR owner Tony Fernandes watches on at St James' Park

All smiles: QPR owner Tony Fernandes watches on at St James' Park

Sir Alex Ferguson"s Harvard management techniques analysed

Analysing Fergie's master class: Sportsmail takes a closer look at Sir Alex's blueprint for success

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UPDATED:

00:10 GMT, 20 December 2012

An in-depth study of Sir Alex Ferguson and his management techniques has revealed the Manchester United manager at his most candid.

Put together with Ferguson’s help by Harvard Business School in America, the study is entitled ‘Sir Alex Ferguson: Managing Manchester United’ and provides a genuine insight into how the 70-year-old has been so successful for so long.

Here, Sportsmail’s Ian Ladyman picks out his highlights and provides his own analysis of Ferguson’s methods…

University challenge: Sir Alex Ferguson opened up earlier this year for an essay at Harvard

University challenge: Sir Alex Ferguson opened up earlier this year for an essay at Harvard

Study: The front page of the Harvard Business School thesis

ON PLAYER POWER

Sir Alex Ferguson: Some English clubs have changed managers so many times that it creates power for the players in the dressing room. That is very dangerous. Football management in the end is all about the players. You think you are a better player than they are, and they think they are a better manager than you are.

Ian Ladyman: At one English club in the North West the captain tries to tell the manager what he is doing wrong. That wouldn’t happen at Old Trafford. Ferguson welcomes input from his players, but only when he asks for it.

ON HOW ANDREA BOCELLI INSPIRED A TEAM TALK

SAF: I once heard a coach start with: ‘This must be the thousandth team talk I’ve had with you,’ and saw a player respond with: ‘Yeah and I’ve slept through half of them.’ So I tell different stories and use my imagination. I remember going to see Andrea Bocelli, the opera singer. I had never been to a classical concert in my life. But I am watching this and thinking about the co-ordination and the teamwork — one starts and one stops, just fantastic. So I spoke to my players about the orchestra — how they are a perfect team. You can get help from some of the players. Bryan Robson, for example, was brilliant.

IL: To Ferguson, the team ethic is everything. He encourages and seeks out individual brilliance, but won’t tolerate anything or anyone who begins to feel they are bigger or better than anybody else. Several players have discovered this to their cost over the years.

Tenor for a team talk: United boss Ferguson revealed Andrea Bocelli has inspired him

Tenor for a team talk: United boss Ferguson revealed Andrea Bocelli has inspired him

ON MOTIVATING PLAYERS

SAF: There is no room for criticism on
the training field. For a player — and for any human being — there is
nothing better than hearing ‘well done’. Those are the two best words
ever invented in sports. Also, you can’t always come in (after a game)
shouting and screaming. That doesn’t work. No one likes to get
criticised. But in the dressing room, it’s necessary that you point out
your players’ mistakes. I do it right after the game. I don’t wait until
Monday, I do it, and it’s finished. I’m on to the next match. There is
no point in criticising a player forever. And I never discuss an
individual player in public. The players know that. It stays indoors.

IL: To hear Ferguson criticise a
player in public is rare. He did it with Rio Ferdinand after the
defender refused to wear a ‘Kick It Out’ T-shirt this season and
regretted it immediately. The issue was sorted in private at the
training ground the next day. Compare that with Roberto Mancini at
Manchester City, for example, who constantly seems to criticise Mario
Balotelli. Two different methods. Who is to say which one is best

ON MANAGING MILLIONAIRES

SAF: We fine them, but we keep it
indoors. You can’t ever lose control — not when you are dealing with 30
top professionals who are all millionaires. And if anyone steps out of
my control, that’s them dead.

IL: The speed at which United hustled
Roy Keane out of the door in 2005 shows how quickly Ferguson moves when
he feels one player has started to have a negative effect on the rest.
As for fines and internal discipline, you can be sure it happens at
United. It’s just that they never tell anyone.

Shifted: Roy Keane was shown out of the door at Old Trafford in 2005

Shifted: Roy Keane was shown out of the door at Old Trafford in 2005

ON UNITED’S YOUTH POLICY AND LETTING OLD PLAYERS GO

SAF: The first thought for 99 per cent
of new managers is to make sure they win — to survive. They bring
experienced players in, often from their previous clubs. But I think it
is important to build a structure for a football club, not just a
football team. You need a foundation. And there is nothing better than
seeing a young player make it to the first team. The idea is that the
younger players are developing and meeting the standards that the
older ones have set before. The hardest thing is to let go of a player
who has been a great guy. But all the evidence is on the football field.
If you see the change, the deterioration, you have to start asking
yourself what it is going to be like two years ahead.

IL: Players like Phil Neville and
Nicky Butt — founder members of the modern United — were both struck
dumb when Ferguson told them their time was up at Old Trafford. Did
their manager and mentor make the right decision, though Absolutely.

Is he talking about you, Scholesy

Sir Alex Ferguson says he would never try to coach the aggression out of his players, but, without naming him, he did pick out one who liked a tackle or two.

Paul Scholes has been hailed as the best English player of his generation, but the midfielder is not known for his tackling prowess.

Though he falls short of Patrick Vieira’s Premier League record of eight red cards, Scholes has four reds to his name and two in the Champions League. He is also third on the all-time Premier League yellow cards list, just five shy of a century.

PREMIER LEAGUE YELLOWS

Kevin Davies 99
Lee Bowyer 99
Paul Scholes 95

ON AGGRESSIVE PLAYERS

SAF: One of my players has been sent
off several times. He will do something if he gets the chance — even in
training. Can I take it out of him No. Would I want to take it out of
him No. If you take the aggression out of him, he is not himself. So
you have to accept that there is a certain flaw that is counter-balanced
by all the great things he can do.

IL: So who is Ferguson talking about
Almost certainly it is Paul Scholes. So much for the theory that all the
United midfielder’s tackles are merely ‘mistimed’

ON TALENT AND HARD WORK

SAF: I tell players that hard work is a
talent, too. They need to work harder than anyone else. And if they can
no longer bring the discipline that we ask for here at United, they are
out. I am only interested in players who really want to play for
United, and who, like me, are bad losers.

IL: Ferguson’s work ethic is
legendary. He is at United’s training ground at 7am every day. It’s his
club and he sets the mood and the standards. As for him being a bad
loser, well, there are referees across the land who will testify to
this.

Experience: Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes has not been tamed by Sir Alex

Experience: Veteran midfielder Paul Scholes has not been tamed by Sir Alex

ON JOSE MOURINHO

SAF: He is very intelligent, he has
charisma, his players play for him, and he is a good-looking guy. 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

IL: It’s nothing to do with being
Scottish, Ferguson is merely too cute to brag before he has achieved
anything. Ferguson has always liked Mourinho, ever since the two men
first clashed in 2004. He particularly admires and empathises with the
Portuguese’s ability to inspire and motivate players.

ON NAMING HIS TEAM

SAF: We never reveal the team to the
players until the day of the game. We think of the media and the
players’ agents. And my job is to give us the best chance possible of
winning the match, so why should we alert our opponents to what our team
is For a three o’clock game, we tell them at one o’clock.

IL: Ferguson is an obsessive man and
his obsession about his team line-ups leaking out has long been high on
the list. He got rid of one very high-profile player, for example,
because he suspected he had leaked the team to the opposition before a
big Champions League game.

Sparring partners: Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have had their fair share of battles over the years

Sparring partners: Ferguson and Jose Mourinho have had their fair share of battles over the years

ON DROPPING PLAYERS

SAF: I do it privately. It’s not easy,
but I do them all myself. It is important. I have been dropped from a
Cup final in Scotland as a player at 10 past two, so I know what it
feels like. I’m not ever sure what they are thinking, but I tend to say:
‘Look, I might be making a mistake here,’ — I always say that — ‘but I
think this is the best team for today.’ I try to give them a bit of
confidence, telling them that it is only tactical, and that there are
bigger games coming up.

IL: Some managers tell players they
are playing or not playing by text message. Sometimes the old-fashioned
ways really are the best.

ON GETTING READY FOR THE HALF-TIME TEAM TALK

SAF: There are maybe eight minutes
between you coming up through the tunnel and the referees calling you up
on the pitch again, so it is vital to use the time well. Everything is
easier when you are winning: you talk about concentrating, not getting
complacent, and small things you can address. But when you are losing,
you know that you are going to have to make an impact.

The last few
minutes of the first half I’m always thinking of what I’m going to say.
I’m a little bit in a trance. I am concentrating. I see other coaches
take notes, but I don’t want to miss any of the game. And I can’t
imagine going into the dressing room, looking at my notes, and saying:
‘Oh in the 30th minute, that pass you took…'. I don’t think it’s going
to impress the players.

IL: Managers and their bits of paper
can look ridiculous. What do they write on them ‘In the second half we
must try to score’ Each to their own, of course, and it’s certainly the
case that Ferguson’s coaches write things down. Sometimes, though, your
eyes are your best tool.

Getting ready for the break: Ferguson prefers not to take notes while watching

Getting ready for the break: Ferguson prefers not to take notes while watching

ON HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH DAVID GILL AND THE GLAZERS

SAF: My best relationship in this club
is with David. Sometimes we disagree, but we respect each other and we
know that arguments are just arguments. He’s very fair. The Glazers
decide (on transfers). They have generally been very supportive. The
Glazers are very low-key. If I owned United and they won the league, I
would be over the moon. I remember when I played with Rangers, when the
directors were under the shower with their clothes on, dancing about.
But the Glazers shook a few hands and had some photographs taken, that
was it.

IL: United fans feel uncomfortable
when they hear Ferguson talk so fondly of the Glazers and that’s
understandable. They don’t choose players, by the way, they merely
sanction, or otherwise, the spending. Ferguson’s relationship with Gill,
meanwhile, is the concrete on which the club is built. I have had
run-ins with both men but were it not for Ferguson and Gill’s combined
effectiveness, United would have sunk during the years of Glazer
ownership.

ON THE SHAPE OF THE SEASON

SAF: We don’t start the pre-season
training at one hundred miles an hour. We do a gradual build-up. And
we’re not normally the strongest in the early part of the season, but
October is usually a month where we get ourselves going again.

I always tell the players, every
season, that if we are within three points from the top come New Year’s
Day, we’ve got a great chance at the title.

IL: This is interesting because United
have tweaked pre-season routines in recent years to try and keep pace
with Chelsea and Manchester City, who tend to come out of the blocks at
lightning speed in August. Ferguson realised United were getting caught
cold and has tried to address it. Mind you, they lost their opening
game this season…

Mr Motivator: Sir Alex has his own ways of getting the best out of his players at Old Trafford

Mr Motivator: Sir Alex has his own ways of getting the best out of his players at Old Trafford

ON MOVING WITH THE TIMES

SAF: Some managers are ‘pleasing
managers’. They let the players play 8-a-sides — games they enjoy. But
here, we look at the training sessions as opportunities to learn and
improve. Sometimes the players may think: ‘Here we go again,’ but it
helps to win. The message is simple: we cannot sit still at this club.

IL: Ferguson admires managers like Sam
Allardyce, younger men who innovate to improve. He is happy to take
ideas from them. The club are currently building a ‘sleep room’ and have
installed tanning booths at the training ground so players can top up
their Vitamin D levels.

ON PRACTISING FOR FERGIE TIME

SAF: We practise for when the going gets tough, so we know what it takes to be successful in those situations.

IL: I have no idea how you can
replicate the pressure of added time but it clearly works. Look at what
happened in the Manchester derby recently.

ON TELLING THE REFEREE ABOUT FERGIE TIME

SAF: All I do is point at my watch to help the referee make the right decisions.

IL: Ferguson has always intimidated referees, sometimes on purpose and other times not. Has it worked Occasionally.

Watch it: Fergie time is usually a good time to grab a goal

Watch it: Fergie time is usually a good time to grab a goal

ON HOW HAVING BEEN A PLAYER HELPS HIM AS A MANAGER

SAF: Do you think Rooney cares He’ll
laugh at me and say: ‘Boss, it was so long ago, and in Scotland. Are
they still part-timers up there’

IL: Ferguson’s success debunks the old
myth that you need to be a successful player to earn respect as a
coach. It’s brains and not medals that get the job done.

ON MELLOWING OVER THE YEARS

SAF: Players live more sheltered
lives. They are more fragile than 25 years ago. I used to be very
aggressive. I am still very passionate and want to win but I have
mellowed. Age does that to you.

IL: Try telling this to Nani, David de
Gea and Alex Buttner, all of whom have been monstered by Ferguson in
the United dressing room this season.

The Fergie files

Revealed: The Fergie blueprint – Man United boss reveals secrets of his success to Harvard academics

I want to pass on my expertise to the next generation of bosses, explains Fergie on decision to reveal all to Harvard professors

Ferguson installed tanning booths so United players could top up their Vitamin D levels

ON LOSING THE TITLE TO CITY

SAF: Another day in the history of
Manchester United, that’s all it was. It created the drama that only
United can produce. I’ve still got a wee bit of anger in me, thinking of
how we threw the league away last season. My motivation to the players
will be that we can’t let City beat us twice in a row.

IL: This is slightly disingenuous. The
drama last May was largely created by United’s neighbours across town.
You can be sure of the anger he still feels, though. Very sure.

Agony: Ferguson was on the pitch at Sunderland on the final day of the season when Man City pipped United

Agony: Ferguson was on the pitch at Sunderland on the final day of the season when Man City pipped United

ON WINNING THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AGAIN

SAF: We are in a country where
tribalism is rife so that puts tremendous pressure on you to win your
league. But the European Cup is the biggest trophy. I made a mistake
last season in Europe. I played too many young players and we went out.
It was a shock.

IL: Ferguson is obsessed with winning
the Champions League again. Defeats by Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 hurt
him more than he ever really lets on. He still refuses to talk about
2009.

ON A GLASS OF WINE WITH THE OPPOSITION MANAGER

SAF: You have to get the game out of
your system quickly or it becomes an obsession. Win, lose or draw. We
show our face and keep our dignity. We are Manchester United.

IL: Some of Ferguson’s post-match TV
comments can lack the dignity he talks about, but he isn’t alone there.
He does always offer visiting managers a drink, though. One of the
reasons Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger is shown so little warmth by Premier
League bosses is that he has never embraced this tradition.

Unpopular: Arsene Wenger never sticks around for a drink with other bosses

Unpopular: Arsene Wenger never sticks around for a drink with other bosses

A few other choice cuts…

ON TACTICS

SAF: Tactics can change depending on whom we are playing I tend to concentrate on one or two players of my opponents—the ones that are the most influential. Who’s the guy who is taking all the free kicks Who’s the guy who’s on the ball all the time Who’s the one urging everyone on

The rest of the time I concentrate on our own team. On Friday we take our players through a video analysis of our opponents: their strengths, their weaknesses, their set-pieces, what their team is likely to be, and so on.

On Saturday, we might give them another, shorter version—just a recap of the previous day.

ON PEP GUARDIOLA

SAF: Guardiola is an impressive guy. He’s brought about change in Barcelona, urging the team to always work hard to get the ball back within seconds after losing it. They are gifted but work hard. It was a fantastic achievement. He elevated the status of his players.

Pep talk: United boss Ferguson was impressed by the way Guardiola transformed Barcelona

Pep talk: United boss Ferguson was impressed by the way Guardiola transformed Barcelona

ON THE HAIR-DRYER

SAF:
You can’t always come in shouting and screaming. That doesn’t work. No
one likes to get criticized. But in the football dressing room, it’s
necessary that you point out your players’ mistakes.

I
do it right after the game. I don’t wait until Monday, I do it, and
it’s finished. I’m on to the next match. There is no point in
criticizing a player forever.

ON HOW BEING A PLAYER HELPS HIM AS MANAGER

SAF:
Do you think Rooney cares He’ll laugh at me and say “Boss, it was so
long ago, and in Scotland. Are they still part-timers up there'”

The Queen"s horse Carlton House to be trained in Australia

The Queen's horse Carlton House to be trained Down Under in bid to revive fortunes

|

UPDATED:

17:06 GMT, 4 December 2012

The Queen is to have her first horse trained in Australia with Carlton House being transferred from Sir Michael Stoute to leading Australian trainer Gai Waterhouse.

Carlton House has ensured a disappointing season and failed to build on his third to Pour Moi in last year's Derby when he had an interrupted preparation and then lost a shoe in the final furlong.

The colt, whose biggest win came in last year’s Group Two Dante Stakes at York, will head Down Under after competing in Sunday’s Hong Kong Cup.

Down Under: Carlton House will now be trained in Australia by Gai Waterhouse

Down Under: Carlton House will now be trained in Australia by Gai Waterhouse

This season the son of Street Cry, who was a gift from Sheik Mohammed, won the Group Three Brigadier Gerard Stakes on his comeback at Sandown. Before putting up arguable a career best when second to So You Think in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

A failure to settle in the early stages of his races led Stoute to drop Carlton House back to a mile but on both occasions, most recently when fourth to Excelebration in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in October, he disappointed.

The Queen’s racing advisor John Warren said: ‘Carlton House looks the perfect candidate to race in Australia where there are a considerable number of options for an older horse.

‘The Queen is very enthusiastic about the prospect of having her first runner in Australia and Gai Waterhouse, who is one of Australia's leading trainers, will train the horse.

Change: Her Majesty will be hoping Carlton House's move will revive the horse's fortunes

Change: Her Majesty will be hoping Carlton House's move will revive the horse's fortunes

‘We will let Carlton House settle in and acclimatize before a race programme will be decided upon. It is an exciting plan and a wonderful opportunity for Her Majesty to have a horse that can participate in Australia where racing is top class.’

Waterhouse is a former actress and model who once appeared in The Young Doctors Down Under as well as making an appearance in Dr Who. She was born in Scotland.

She is one of Australian racing's most famous racing names and the daughter of TJ Smith, who was also a top racehorse trainer in Australia.