Tag Archives: red

Wayne Rooney remains an England enigma, 10 years after his spectacular start

Decade of hit and miss: Rooney remains an England enigma, 10 years after his spectacular start

but was his
first goal at a major international tournament for eight years.

Red mist: Rooney was sent off last time he played in Montenegro

Red mist: Rooney was sent off last time he played in Montenegro

Heads we win: Rooney returned to the team after suspension to score against Ukraine

Heads we win: Rooney returned to the team after suspension to score against Ukraine

Samba beaten: Rooney also scored in last month's friendly victory over Brazil

Samba beaten: Rooney also scored in last month's friendly victory over Brazil

Unfortunately, the red cards against Portugal and Montenegro spring more readily to mind.

He compares well with Owen, another teenage prodigy. Rooney has seven fewer goals in 10 fewer games, a ratio he should be confident of boosting tomorrow against San Marino, ranked the world’s worst international team by FIFA.

Beyond this, Rooney’s contribution cannot simply be calculated by goals. He has been up front alone, in a pair, in the hole off the front man and, occasionally, wide. You can even throw in the odd cameo in midfield.

He craves involvement, ever willing to do a job in a different system. It is still the way at Manchester United. Picked against Real Madrid away, he was dropped at home. Is this evidence of his slow conversion from playmaker to workhorse

Workhorse Are Rooney's talents being wasted

Workhorse Are Rooney's talents being wasted

Superstar: Rooney was the sensation of the tournament at Euro 2004

Superstar: Rooney was the sensation of the tournament at Euro 2004

New hero: Rooney's emergence suggested England possessed a world beater

New hero: Rooney's emergence suggested England possessed a world beater

International awakening: Rooney also excelled a year before that, on his competitive debut against Turkey

International awakening: Rooney also excelled a year before that, on his competitive debut against Turkey

Time to celebrate: Rooney has been a regular for England since that star turn against Turkey

Time to celebrate: Rooney has been a regular for England since that star turn against Turkey

Fabio Capello perhaps came closer than others to unlocking the secret for England. Rooney scored half of his 24 competitive England goals for Capello. Nine of them came in nine qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup, playing up front with Emile Heskey.

But he travelled to South Africa with questions surrounding his fitness and, it would later emerge, his head in a spin from personal issues.

Under the pressure of comparisons to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, he cut an angry figure, swearing at a female linesman in a practice match, scrawling abusive messages on his golf shoes and sounding off into a TV camera about England fans who booed the team after a goalless draw against Algeria.

Rooney went a year without a goal for England while strike partners came and went: Bobby Zamora, Peter Crouch, Darren Bent, Kevin Davies, Ashley Young, Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck have all had a go since the last World Cup.

Out of form: Ashley Young

Out of form: Ashley Young

Good foil Danny Welbeck

Good foil Danny Welbeck

Forgotten man: Darren Bent

Forgotten man: Darren Bent

When Hodgson took the job last year, he was unequivocal about his star man. ‘We all know Rooney is best as a No 10,’ he said.

‘The fact he’s such a good player and can play in other positions, that’s another matter. From my conversations with him, from all the games I’ve watched him play, he’s extremely dangerous as a second striker.’

Last month, in a friendly against Brazil, Rooney was the spearhead in a 4-3-3 shape designed to accommodate Jack Wilshere. The experiment worked well and the most encouraging aspect of the 2-1 victory was the way that Wilshere, Rooney and Tom Cleverley combined.

Will Hodgson stick to this shape with Wilshere injured or take a step back In two qualifiers with Rooney available in this World Cup campaign, he played in tandem with Welbeck against San Marino and Jermain Defoe in Poland.

Missing link: England are to be without Jack Wilshere

Missing link: England are to be without Jack Wilshere

Again, his flexibility does not help Rooney stamp his identity on an England team.

Gerrard may sympathise — it has happened to him too — and will have his own views on why the 17-year-old who made such an impact on his full England debut did not break into the world elite where Messi and Ronaldo reside.

At 27, Rooney can still leave his mark on international football and paste new images over those red-mist moments with some unforgettable goals.

Where better to start than San Marino Where better to prove a point on Tuesday than Montenegro, scene of his last England meltdown Where better to make an impression than a World Cup in Brazil

VIDEO: SCOTT PARKER DISCUSSES ENGLAND V SAN MARINO

Emma Spencer on Channel 4 horse racing

Racing is waiting to judge me, I can't wake up with a hangover, says C4's Spencer

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 29 December 2012

Emma Spencer will be staying responsibly sober on New Year’s Eve. For the next day, she is part of the newly assembled team that will be placed under the microscope as never before when Channel 4 assumes exclusive coverage of horse-racing on British television.

‘It won’t be good to wake up with a hang-over after going to bed at 5am,’ said Spencer.

‘We know the racing world will be watching to see how we do, so I will definitely be spending New Year’s Eve differently from the way I usually would.’

Lady in red: Emma Spencer will help front Channel 4's racing coverage

Lady in red: Emma Spencer will help front Channel 4's racing coverage

To some, it is still a shock that the BBC has abdicated its decades-long association with the sport of kings. Last week, Sir Peter O’Sullevan, for more than 40 years the most recognisable voice of BBC Sport as he called the major races from the Derby to the Grand National, suggested with undeniable irritation: ‘I can’t believe this will go down terribly well with the monarchy.’

Yet the reality is that the BBC had reduced its live coverage of racing to a mere 13 days this year. In 2013, Channel 4 will televise 88 days’ racing; but the new production company awarded the contract have purged many of the faces familiar to the channel’s existing audience.

From the Old Guard, out go: John McCririck and Derek Thompson, who publicly expressed their grievances at being axed, along with presenters Alastair Down and Mike Cattermole. In addition, John Francome opted to walk away, while Lesley Graham had already chosen a career change by accepting the job of chief executive of Racing Welfare.

In comes Clare Balding, a national treasure after her performances at the Olympic Games in the summer. She will be joined by former BBC colleagues Mick Fitzgerald and Rishi Persad, but there is no place for Willie Carson. Instead, Fitzgerald will provide the perspective of an ex-jockey, with Graham Cunningham recruited from Racing UK to be the team’s analyst.

‘Change always divides opinion,’ said Spencer, 34. ‘I grew up listening to Sir Peter and I have the highest respect for him as a broadcaster. I can see why traditionalists might be upset at first.’

Plush: Spencer shares a house with her brother

Plush: Spencer shares a house with her brother

However, from her knowledge of production meetings, Spencer is confident Channel 4 can win over the sceptics. She said: ‘There is going to be a smart purpose-built studio, with touch-screens and new graphics. I’m sure there are an abundance of fresh ideas that will be done to the best of everyone’s ability.’

As a broadcaster, Channel 4 have some form at breaking the mould; after all, they won unreserved plaudits, against all expectation, for their Test match cricket coverage. ‘I also think it will be good for the public to know that from now on all racing in this country can be found on the same channel,’ said Spencer, who survives from the former Channel 4 team along with commentator Simon Holt, Alice Plunkett, Jim McGrath and Tanya Stevenson.

Like Balding, Spencer is the daughter of a racehorse trainer; or in her case, two as both parents, Jack and Lynda Ramsden, held training licences at one time or another.

Even so, to her disappointment, Spencer’s credentials are often overlooked by gossip diarists who refer to her as the ‘glamour puss’ of Channel 4’s racing output.

‘I do take umbrage at that,’ she admitted. ‘There’s part of me that thinks: “Hold on, I’m a serious career woman”. Anyone who has worked with me knows how much homework I do. In spite of people thinking you’re a girl, and therefore don’t know much about racing, I probably have quite a good background to understand the sport.’

Twice, she has been champion amateur lady jockey. ‘I’d love to have Clare’s brain,’ she said with a chuckle. ‘She’s amazing. She does radio, TV, and can broadcast on sport, politics and culture. She’s had an unbelievable year, and while she has a racing background she is also recognised outside of racing. Clare is an asset to us.

‘But I’ve a similar background. I grew up in the racing world and have known her family for a long time. Her brother, Andrew, now training at the yard where his father, Toby, trained, was an assistant to my parents when they trained in Yorkshire.

‘I was riding from a young age and my father had strong opinions on how horses are ridden. When you’re brought up listening to that, it’s a massive help. I’ve ridden in a few hundred races and I’d like to think that makes me more than just a girl who knows a bit about racing.’

She was married to Jamie Spencer, whose rise to champion jockey saw them labelled the Posh and Becks of racing. They lived in a 1.75million home in Newmarket, and had three children.

But Jamie’s affair with Hayley Turner, the leading woman jockey, precipitated a breakdown in their marriage and led to Emma filing for divorce three years ago. For a time, she refused to interview Turner in her role as a reporter for Channel 4. That is no longer the case. ‘It’s history, isn’t it Life goes on,’ said Emma.

Line up: Channel 4 have taken over all racing coverage from the BBC

Line up: Channel 4 have taken over all racing coverage from the BBC

She and her ex-husband — whose romance with Turner fizzled out — have an amicable relationship and he saw their children over Christmas. ‘While it was difficult at the time of our break-up, we get on well,’ said Emma. ‘Over the past three years, dealing with divorce, the children starting school and having a career, you do have difficult days. Just as you overcome one problem with one of the children, the next one develops attitude! Luckily, I can see light at the end of the tunnel; and thanks to the help I have it’s very manageable.

‘Jamie lives a couple of miles away. His season is so demanding, but he sees the kids whenever he can. Even now, at the races, people think we’re still married, which was awkward for both of us at first when I had to interview him after a race. But Jamie has always been very professional.’

Since moving out of the marital home, Spencer and her children have moved into an even more sumptuous Newmarket property with seven bedrooms, an indoor pool and a cinema — all built around a courtyard featuring a fountain and sunken garden. It reportedly cost 2.95m but had been on the market some time earlier for 7m. The house was bought by her brother, Anthony Ramsden.

‘Anthony was living in London when I found the house, and when he came and saw it, he fell in love with it, too,’ she explained. ‘Now he has one side of the house and we have the other; we are like passing ships in the night.’

Spencer juggles being a single parent with a career in television. She has also found the time to freshen her wardrobe for the advent of Channel 4’s takeover of racing. ‘You don’t want to know how many pairs of shoes I have,’ she said. ‘I am a shopaholic! I have a lot of clothes, too, let’s leave it at that.’

More pertinently, Emma Spencer has been investing heavily in doing her homework, as she knows that on New Year’s Day the racing community will be placing Channel 4’s coverage under greater scrutiny than ever.

Everton and West Ham appeal Darron Gibson and Carlton Cole red cards

Everton and West Ham appeal controversial red cards to Gibson and Cole

PUBLISHED:

12:48 GMT, 24 December 2012

|

UPDATED:

16:23 GMT, 24 December 2012

Everton and West Ham have confirmed they will appeal Darron Gibson and Carlton Cole's respective red cards at Upton Park on Saturday.

Gibson was dismissed by referee Anthony Taylor for a challenge on Mark Noble in Everton's 2-1 win at Upton Park in a game that also saw Hammers striker Cole controversially sent off for a challenge on Leighton Baines.

Scroll down for video

Appeal: Darron Gibson was controversially dismissed at Upton Park during Everton's 2-1 win over West Ham

Appeal: Darron Gibson was controversially dismissed at Upton Park during Everton's 2-1 win over West Ham

The paperwork needed to be submitted
to the Football Association by 1pm today but the appeal means Gibson
will be able to play in the Boxing Day match against Wigan Athletic,
with the case due to be heard on December 27.

The Hammers' next match is away to Reading, with the hearing for Cole's appeal scheduled for two days before then.

Seeing red: West Ham striker Carlton Cole was also controversially dismissed during the game

Seeing red: West Ham striker Carlton Cole was also controversially dismissed during the game

VIDEO. Moyes claims grounds for an appeal…

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv33164','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-thinArticle”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_sport&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv33164”,
'videoPlayer' : “2053879220001”,
'width' : 470,
'height' : 264,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2252819/Everton-West-Ham-appeal-Darron-Gibson-Carlton-Cole-red-cards.html”

});

Sam Allardyce calls for instant replays

Big Sam calls for instant replays after referee blunders mar Everton clash

|

UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 23 December 2012

Seeing red: Allardyce

Seeing red: Allardyce

Sam Allardyce has called for technology allowing managers to appeal decisions instantly during matches to be introduced and blasted senior figures in football for their ‘antiquated’ approach to the game.

West Ham and Everton will on Monday appeal against the straight red cards given to Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson by referee Anthony Taylor for similar challenges on Saturday.

Both players were sent off for raised feet but neither Allardyce nor David Moyes agreed with the decisions.

The referee’s actions were considered so poor even the home fans booed when Gibson was shown the second red card in injury time.

But it had a much greater impact on West
Ham who went ahead through Cole’s early strike but lost him in the 67th
minute. Three minutes previously Victor Anichebe had headed Everton
level and the numerical advantage helped the away side nick the game
through Steven Pienaar’s scrappy winner.

When asked if he would like a system similar to cricket or tennis where they can appeal decisions instantly and have replays looked at and decisions overturned, Allardyce replied: ‘Yes – the technology today means it’s done in less than two minutes at the absolute most. We used to have two TVs in the dugout. It used to be a big help with referee decisions.

Harsh call: Carlton Cole is given his marching orders

Harsh call: Carlton Cole is given his marching orders

‘The only way to make it better for us all is to bring technology into it. I’ve always said two or three challenges would be in our favour if we were allowed it. Forget about Platinis who are antiquated. I know they’re in strong positions and they affect the game, but they’re not doing us any favours by not allowing technology into the game. They affect the result. There’s 65million coming next year [if we stay in the Premier League].’

Allardyce spoke to Taylor after the match, an official he complained about to Premier League referee chiefs in 2010 when he was managing Blackburn Rovers in a match against Fulham. The Hammers boss watched replays of the incidents on a laptop straight after the match but Taylor could not review his decisions.

And Allardyce said: ‘Unfortunately [the referee] hasn’t got that privilege so it’s hard for him. He can only go from what he can remember from a split decision. It’s very difficult for him to explain why he did it and what he saw.

Double trouble: Taylor also sent off Everton's Gibson

Double trouble: Taylor also sent off Everton's Gibson

‘The referee’s should have their own laptop in their room. Then he could have a better discussion about decisions. And then move. But at the end of the day you can go and see him and it’s not going to make any difference.’

West Ham were already short of options in attack before the match and Allardyce is now relieved their Boxing Day fixture against Arsenal is postponed due to a planned Tube strike.

The 58-year-old added: ‘I haven’t got a team to play Arsenal, so it’s worked out all right in the end. We’ll count up the bodies [today], do no training and see how packed the medical room is. Losing Cole him for three games would be a severe blow which we can’t cope with.’

THE APPEALS PROCESS

HOW IT WORKS IN TENNIS…

Players can make three unsuccessful
appeals per set and get an extra one if it goes into a tie-breaker. They
have to appeal straight away to the umpire and Hawk-Eye replays
accurately a virtual version of what happened. If an appeal is
successful, it does not use up their quota. Out of the four major
tournaments only the French Open does not adopt the system because the
ball leaves marks in the clay.

HOW IT WORKS IN CRICKET…

The umpire Decision Review System was
first introduced in 2009 and allows both teams to make two unsuccessful
reviews of incidents per innings. A third umpire then watches video
replays and has access to technology, including Hawk-Eye, to make a
decision. Regardless of appeals the umpire can also refer to the third
umpire at any time for assistance.

HOW IT COULD WORK IN FOOTBALL…

Each manager could be allowed three
unsuccessful appeals per match, with an added appeal if a game goes into
extra time. A manager would have to appeal the decision straight after
it happened and the referee – who is already connected to the other
officials in the match with microphones and headsets – could refer to
another official with access to video replays and technology.

West Ham injury crisis: Sam Allardyce bans full-contact training over Christmas

Allardyce bans injury-hit Hammers from full-contact training over Christmas

|

UPDATED:

14:03 GMT, 23 December 2012

West Ham's injury crisis has become so bad that Sam Allardyce has been forced to ban full-contact training over Christmas.

Hammers boss Allardyce insisted he could not risk losing any more players during the festive period as he faced up to the prospect of Carlton Cole being banned for three matches after Saturday's controversial 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat to Everton.

Referee Anthony Taylor infuriated Allardyce and West Ham's fans by sending off Cole for catching Leighton Baines with a raised boot while making what appeared an innocent attempt to control a dropping ball.

Down to the bare bones: Sam Allardyce is suffering an injury headache at West Ham

Down to the bare bones: Sam Allardyce is suffering an injury headache at West Ham

Taylor completed his conversion to pantomime villain by dismissing Everton's Darron Gibson for a similar offence in stoppage-time, Hammers supporters pouring scorn on what looked to them an obvious attempt to even up the score.

Allardyce and opposite number David Moyes confirmed they would appeal their players' red cards but the former was equally concerned about how to manage the rest of his depleted squad.

Andy Carroll, Mohamed Diame, Yossi Benayoun and Ricardo Vaz Te were joined on the sidelines by the ill Guy Demel yesterday, with Allardyce forced to select an 80 per cent fit Gary O'Neil in his starting line-up and long-term injury victims Alou Diarra and Jack Collison on the bench.

Seeing red: Carlton Cole was controversially sent off by Anthony Taylor during West ham's 2-1 defeat by Everton

Seeing red: Carlton Cole was controversially sent off by Anthony Taylor during West ham's 2-1 defeat by Everton

'We had 10 players who were fit and one was about 80 per cent fit and that was all we had,' Allardyce said.

'We had Jack Collison, who hasn't kicked a ball since the play-off final and Alou Diarra, who hasn't kicked a ball in three months, that is how bare bones we are at the moment.'

West Ham's Boxing Day match at Arsenal has been postponed because of a planned tube strike, with their next game at Reading on Saturday, and

Allardyce added: 'Medical staff are busier than us as coaches at the moment.

'We can't afford any more contact or any more injuries, so we can't even do any training.

'If we try to do any training and try to do any shape or build-up for Reading, we will get contact between players and, if you get contact between players, you risk injury and we can't do that.

'We can't even get out on the field and do a bit of coaching at the moment.'

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

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

|

UPDATED:

17:10 GMT, 20 December 2012

FRIEND OR FOE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

VIDEO Reaction to the draw

Play Video

Loading video…

DM.has('rcpv32944','BC',
'renderConfig' :

'css' : “videoplayer-thinArticle”,
'autoplay' : false,
'muted' : false,
'adUrl' : “http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/gampad/adssz=8×8&iu=%2F7023%2Fdm.video%2Fdm_video_homehp&ciu_szs=&impl=s&gdfp_req=1&env=vp&output=xml_vast2&unviewed_position_start=1&url=[referrer_url]&correlator=[timestamp]”,
'playerId' : “1989148206001”,
'playerKey' : “AQ~~,AAAAAFSL1bg~,CmS1EFtcMWELN_eSE9A7gpcGWF5XAVmI”,
'objId' : “rcpv32944”,
'videoPlayer' : “2047986049001”,
'width' : 470,
'height' : 264,
'linkBaseURL' : “http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2251107/Sir-Alex-Ferguson-jokes-hell-need-good-red-wine-Jose-Mourinhos-visit-Real-Madrid.html”

});

Brian McDermott refused entry at Bournemouth reserves

Who are ya Bottom of the league and snubbed at Bournemouth reserves… new low for Reading boss McDermott

|

UPDATED:

08:50 GMT, 20 December 2012

Snubbed: Royals boss McDermott

Snubbed: Royals boss McDermott

Things went from bad to simply ridiculous for Reading manager Brian McDermott on Tuesday when he was denied entry to watch his reserve side at Bournemouth.

The day after his struggling Royals had been beaten 5-2 by Arsenal, keeping them rooted to the foot of the Barclays Premier League table, McDermott headed down to Dorset to watch his second string in a friendly held behind closed doors.

But a steward at the ground refused to allow him to enter as he could not prove his identity, according to The Sun. The blunder was later realised, but not before the embarrassing incident had left both McDermott and the steward red-faced.

McDermott's reserves went on to win the game 3-0, but he must be wondering when his luck is going to turn with his side already six points adrift of safety.

Bottom of the pile: Reading conceded five against Arsenal on Monday night

Bottom of the pile: Reading conceded five against Arsenal on Monday night

Sebastian Vettel to start Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from back of the grid

Hamilton can turn the heat on relegated championship leader Vettel in Abu Dhabi

|

UPDATED:

21:40 GMT, 3 November 2012

Lewis Hamilton is perfectly placed to disrupt Sebastian Vettel's hopes of a hat-trick of world championships in Sunday's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton took pole position from the Red Bulls of Mark Webber and Vettel at a circuit on which he has never been off the front row in the race's four years.

After qualifying, Vettel's car was found to have insufficient fuel, infringing F1's technical regulations.

Ditched: Sebastian Vettel could not steer his car back to the pits on his out-lap

Ditched: Sebastian Vettel could not steer his car back to the pits on his out-lap

The German's times were cancelled and he starts from the back of the grid.

Either Vettel or Ferrari's Fernando Alonso will finish the year as a triple F1 world champion.

Hamilton made it clear he thinks
Alonso would be more deserving. Vettel's Red Bull is the latest in a
succession of superb cars from British design genius Adrian Newey and
Hamilton says: 'Lots of people wish they could have Adrian's car so they
could show they're just as competitive as Sebastian.

Pole vault: Hamilton beat the Red Bulls for speed

Pole vault: Hamilton beat the Red Bulls for speed

'I don't really get to race against him. He puts his car on to the maximum engine setting and he's gone.

'Fernando, for me, is more accurate,' Hamilton added.

'He hits all the apexes. Sebastian
misses four apexes on a single lap and still goes quickest. His car is
just that far ahead of everyone else's.'

There may be trouble ahead: Vettel stands next to his car after qualifying

There may be trouble ahead: Vettel stands next to his car after qualifying

Of their respective merits Hamilton
says: 'I have my own opinion. That just confirms it, when you miss all
those corners . . . '

Vettel would no doubt be affronted, particularly after suffering a nightmare day.

He missed the last session of
practice with a brake problem and was playing catch-up during
qualifying, clipped the wall and then fell foul of the rules.

Repeat performance: Lewis Hamilton stopped his car on the track in Barcelona

Repeat performance: Lewis Hamilton stopped his car on the track in Barcelona

After nearly five hours of
deliberation race stewards discovered that there was insufficient fuel
in the car for sampling purposes.

The thinnest of silver linings for Vettel was that Alonso qualified seventh – now sixth – in a Ferrari that struggled for pace.

Yet with double DRS overtaking zones, he will aim to exploit Vettel's misfortune and finish on the podium at the very least.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Live: 1pm, Sky Sports F1 & BBC1. Highlights: 7pm, BBC3

Phil Neville: It"s hard to stay calm in heat of Merseyside derby (… he should know he"s been sent off twice)

Neville: It's hard to stay calm in heat of Merseyside derby (… he should know he's been sent off twice)

|

UPDATED:

21:36 GMT, 27 October 2012

Phil Neville does not need statistics to know how spiky the Merseyside derby can get. While the record books show that Everton-Liverpool has produced 20 red cards in the past 15 years, more than any other Premier League fixture, the Everton captain also has personal experience to draw upon.

Twice he has been sent off against the red mob from across Stanley Park in comparison to just one other dismissal in 288 games for Everton.

Red mist: Phil Neville has been sent off twice in Merseyside derbies

Red mist: Phil Neville has been sent off twice in Merseyside derbies

Aged 35 and one of the most experienced campaigners in the country, Neville will be asked by manager David Moyes to lead by example at Goodison Park today, ensuring passions do not boil over into something more sinister.

The only problem is that Moyes and his counterpart Brendan Rodgers have already cranked up the pressure on referee Andre Marriner. Moyes suggested on Friday that he was worried about the antics of Luis Suarez and that his history of 'diving' was turning supporters off football, while the Liverpool boss has urged the official to 'stay calm and not get excited'.

As Neville candidly admits, there are absolutely no guarantees when the tackles start flying in between the two great local rivals.

'You sometimes get these messages on the dressing-room wall and one of them is, “The most important thing today is to keep 11 men on the field”,' said Neville.

'You think to yourself, what a stupid thing that is to say. But it is true. Discipline is key. I've been sent off twice in derby games so I've suffered that. It's funny how you go over that white line and the message on the wall just vanishes!

Heat of the battle: Neville admits it's hard to keep calm

Heat of the battle: Neville admits it's hard to keep calm

'You can drum things into players all you want, but when something happens on the pitch, it's like the blue touchpaper being lit, you just get carried along by all the emotions and it's win at all costs.

'I can't have any complaints about my red cards against Liverpool. The first was for two stupid tackles, the second I made a great save on the line from Lucas!'

Certainly, Everton suffer more than Liverpool in league derbies when the red mist descends. Liverpool have won the past 10 when a man has been sent off.

Cup competitions can be different. Moyes preached discipline to his team before an FA Cup fourth-round replay against Liverpool in 2009 and benefited when Lucas was sent off and Everton scored a late winner through teenager Dan Gosling.

But Liverpool famously gained revenge in last season's semi-final at Wembley when they came from behind with goals from Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll.

Since then, Liverpool have changed managers and are a team in transition, with new boss Rodgers letting Carroll and other Kenny Dalglish signings leave, while bringing in younger players like Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen.

In contrast, the spine of Everton's team is vastly experienced with players like Tim Howard, Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman and Neville himself, even though Steven Pienaar is suspended.

Esteban Granero of Queens Park Rangers goes past Phil Neville of Everton

Esteban Granero of Queens Park Rangers goes past Phil Neville of Everton

It means Everton are in the rare position of being favourites this afternoon – they are the 6-4 favourites with Ladbrokes for this fixture for only the second time since 2004 – and Neville makes no apologies for saying that his team should go out and grab the chance of becoming top dogs on Merseyside.

'We probably shade it in terms of experience now,' he said. 'Liverpool are coming into a derby with a new manager, building a new journey, whereas our development has probably been more consistent.

'This is a time when our team are at their peak and we have to produce. There are no excuses for us. It's now or never if we want success.

'We have a lot of players at their peak years like Jags [Phil Jagielka] and Baines. In the past, Liverpool have always had that one individual who could win them the game, like Steven Gerrard or Fernando Torres. Luis Suarez made the difference with his equaliser at Wembley, but we have those types of players now.'

International strikers Nikica Jelavic and Kevin Mirallas spring to mind, so too Marouane Fellaini if he's recovered from a knee injury.

Neville was spoilt for success at his first club Manchester United, winning multiple titles and cups and sitting on the bench when the team won the Champions League in Barcelona in 1999.

He came to Everton in 2005 to play regular first-team football, and though the move has been successful in many ways, the lack of a trophy still haunts him. Qualifying for the Champions League would be a terrific consolation, though, given the restricted budget manager Moyes has to work under.

'I want it so bad, not just for myself but for the gaffer and the supporters,' said Neville. 'I said last year – and people weren't happy – but I do feel if I leave at the end of this season and I haven't won a trophy or had some kind of success, I'd see myself as a failure.

'At United, there was usually a trophy to show for your hard work in a season. If you didn't win, you'd have an empty feeling in your stomach, and it's that empty feeling that motivates me and keeps me going.

'It's a horrible feeling going on that lap of honour at the end of the season without being successful, I hate it.'

For once, Everton are the more fancied team going into the derby. They are above Liverpool in the table and most people will expect them to win to continue their surprise challenge for a top four place.

Neville has been around too long to be complacent, though. 'The formbook goes out of the window,' he stressed. 'It's a one-off and it sounds awful, but it's all about having the balls to play.'

On a personal note, Neville wants to continue playing beyond the end of his current contract in the summer. Whether that is at Everton or elsewhere remains to be seen.

The priority is to stay on the field for 90 minutes today and lead his club to a famous victory. is Premier League's 'dirtiest' game always to stay seen red twice

lf Manchester United beat Chelsea today, Ladbrokes will refund all losing first goalscorer, scorecast and correct score stakes as a FREE bet. Phil Neville is a best price of 22-1 to score at any time against Liverpool. For more information, go to www.ladbrokes.com/football

Indian Grand Prix: Sebastian Vettel on pole position

Vettel takes pole for Indian Grand Prix in bid to tighten grip on championship top spot

|

UPDATED:

09:59 GMT, 27 October 2012

Sebastian Vettel continued his dominance of the Indian Grand Prix weekend by securing the 35th pole position of his Formula One career.

After winning the last three races to take up the lead in the world title battle, Vettel is on course to extend that advantage should he score a second successive victory at the Buddh International Circuit.

The 24-year-old German, quickest in all three practice sessions, edged out Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber by just 0.044 seconds, nailing his second flying lap in the top-10 shoot-out after making an error on his first run.

It is the first time in Red Bull's history they have managed to lock out the front row of the grid for three consecutive races.

Behind the Red Bulls will be the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, the former a quarter of a second behind Vettel.

Leading the way: Sebastian Vettel flanked by Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber

Leading the way: Sebastian Vettel flanked by Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber

Food for thought: Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull was quickest in all three practice sessions in Delhi

Food for thought: Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull was quickest in all three practice sessions in Delhi

Food for thought: Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull was quickest in all three practice sessions in Delhi

Indian Grand Prix grid

1. Vettel (Red Bull)
2. Webber (Red Bull)
3. Hamilton (Mclaren)
4. Button (McLaren)
5. Alonso (Ferrari)
6. Massa (Ferrari)
7. Raikkonen (Lotus)
8. Perez (Sauber)
9. Maldonado (Williams)
10. Rosberg (Mercedes)

For Fernando Alonso, trailing Vettel by six points in the standings, the Spaniard will have to fight his way through as he starts fifth in his Ferrari followed by team-mate Felipe Massa.

Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen, still in with an outside chance of the title, lines up seventh in his Lotus, with Sauber's Sergio Perez a superb eighth.

Pastor Maldonado, who was fastest at the end of the first session in his Williams, starts ninth, with Nico Rosberg 10th for Mercedes.

A slight mistake in Q2 cost Romain Grosjean dear as the Frenchman missed out on a place in the top 10 by 0.025secs to Massa.

The Lotus driver will start 11th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India, with team-mate Paul Di Resta a lowly 16th, his worst grid slot since last year's Belgian Grand Prix.

In between the duo are Williams' Bruno Senna, Michael Schumacher in his Mercedes and Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo, whilst Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi finished a staggering 1.2secs down on team-mate Perez and starts 17th.

Jean-Eric Vergne, out-qualified by Toro Rosso team-mate Ricciardo for the 14th time this season, will start 18th ahead of the Caterhams, Marussias and HRTs.

Vitaly Petrov will line up in front of Heikki Kovalainen, the Finn beaching his Caterham in the gravel at the death in Q1 as he attempted to at least get ahead of the Russian.

Marussia duo Timo Glock and Charles Pic will start 21st and 24th, sandwiching HRT pair Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan, the latter in his home grand prix and avoiding the final grid slot.

Improving: The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton (above) and Jenson Button (below)

Improving: The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton (above) and Jenson Button (below)

Improving: The McLarens of Lewis Hamilton (above) and Jenson Button (below)

Vettel hailed his weekend as 'great' so far, but knows his work is far from done going into the race.

'We've had no problems with the car, the boys have been pushing hard, and we've had lots of feedback from the factory from yesterday to today,' said Vettel.

'The best chance of doing well is focusing on every single step. Today was qualifying, we got a good result and now we concentrate on the race.'

With title rival Alonso four places behind him, Vettel added: 'We know a lot of things can happen in the race, so it doesn't mean a lot. I'm just very happy to start on pole.'

Webber knows he missed out on an opportunity for pole, but lacked pace on his second run as he failed to get heat into his tyres.

In the zone: Vettel is seen inside the cockpit during Saturday's session

In the zone: Vettel is seen inside the cockpit during Saturday's session

Webber said: 'As Seb mentioned, it
wasn't the smoothest session for him, and the same for me, with the last
lap not being the cleanest, which was disappointing.

'I did my best, and it was a close run thing between Seb and I, but I am surprised to end up second so I'll take that.

'It's very good for us, and the way
the factory has helped us has been incredible. Even though they're not
here in person, they're here in terms of work ethic.'

Hamilton believes he can push the Red Bulls in the race, despite lacking the pace to beat them in qualifying.

'The team did a great job with trying
to set up the car,' said Hamilton. We were not quick enough to be ahead
of these guys today, but we can definitely challenge them in the race
because our race pace is definitely as good as them.'

Keeping cool: Ferrari star Fernando Alonso looked relaxed despite his title worries

Keeping cool: Ferrari star Fernando Alonso looked relaxed despite his title worries

Not far behind: Mark Webber is hot on the heels of his Red Bull team-mate after final practice

Not far behind: Mark Webber is hot on the heels of his Red Bull team-mate after final practice