Tag Archives: riddle

Barnsley check players" cars in bid to solve injury crisis

Driven mad! Barnsley boss Hill probes players' cars in bid to solve injury riddle

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UPDATED:

15:44 GMT, 31 August 2012

Barsnley manager Keith Hill is being driven so mad by his team's injury crisis that he has checked the cars they are driving.

Hill will be without 11 players for the second weekend running at home to Bristol City and has had just 12 senior players in training this week.

Hill said: 'To legislate for the type of injuries we’ve got, you must have really seriously good finances, which unfortunately we haven’t got.

Injury crisis: Championship club Barnsley have been rocked by a host of sidelined stars

Injury crisis: Championship club Barnsley have been rocked by a host of sidelined stars

Football League blog

'We’ve looked at every possible reason for the injuries. We’ve even gone so far to look at the type of car the players are driving and the distance they are travelling each day.

'Especially for those with hamstring problems where we’ve sought advice from sports science departments at Premier League clubs and they are coming up with types of cars for hamstring injuries and seating positions for the duration of the journey.

'We’ve been assured everything we’ve been doing on the training pitch is correct and we just can’t find the reason why we are picking up so many injures other than the possibility of travelling and the type of car they are driving.'

Driven mad: Barnsley boss Keith Hill is desperate to find a solution to his club's injury problems

Driven mad: Barnsley boss Keith Hill is desperate to find a solution to his club's injury problems

London 2012 Olympics: Taoufik Makhloufi in the clear over injury riddle

Makhloufi in the clear after Olympic chiefs refuse to probe injury riddle

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UPDATED:

23:32 GMT, 8 August 2012

Algerian Taoufik Makhloufi will not
be the subject of an International Olympic Committee investigation into
his 1,500 metres triumph which came the day after he pulled out of an
800m heat.

Makhloufi ran less than 150 metres of his 800m race on Monday morning before stopping.

He was initially disqualified from
the Olympics for not providing what Games chiefs called 'a bona fide
effort' but then reinstated after being seen by a doctor, and he won the
1,500m gold by an impressive distance on Tuesday night.

Shock: Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi (right) celebrates winning the 1500m

Shock: Algeria's Taoufik Makhloufi (right) celebrates winning the 1500m

The 24-year-old's victory was described as 'surprising' by Steve Cram, Britain's former 1,500m world record holder, but the IOC said the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) were happy with what had taken place.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said: 'Obviously the IAAF is happy with the procedure that happened.'

Cram had said on the BBC: 'He was entered in both events, you can't now do the classic 800m and 1,500m double so his federation made a bit of a mistake, they should have withdrawn him from the 800m.

'He decided to jog off the line, run 100m and stopped and he was considered not to have put in a bona fide effort, a bit like the badminton players last week.

'The doctor's note they got said he was injured and that was the reason he stopped but he didn't look very injured (in the 1,500m) so it was a bit of a manipulation but it was a surprising win nonetheless.

'He has come from almost nowhere. He has run some quick times this year and has come in and almost completely dominated the Olympic final.'

Injury: Taoufik Makhloufi was reportedly hurt before blitzing the field

Injury: Taoufik Makhloufi was reportedly hurt before blitzing the field

John Terry charged by FA over Anton Ferdinand racism row

Terry charged as Chelsea captain faces FA ban over alleged Ferdinand racism row

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UPDATED:

17:15 GMT, 27 July 2012

John Terry has been charged with using alleged racist language towards Anton Ferdinand by the Football Association.

A fortnight after being cleared in court of racially abusing QPR defender Ferdinand, Chelsea captain Terry faced being sanctioned by the FA over the same incident.

Terry, who is away in Miami on Chelsea's pre-season tour of America, immediately denied the charge and has requested a personal hearing, saying: 'I deny the charge and I will be requesting the opportunity to attend the commission for a personal hearing.'

John Terry, who is in Miami with Chelsea on the club's pre-season tour, has been charged by the FA over his spat last October with Anton Ferdinand

John Terry, who is in Miami with Chelsea on the club's pre-season tour, has been charged by the FA over his spat last October with Anton Ferdinand

Terry was found not guilty of calling Ferdinand a “f****** black c***” during a five-day trial that ended two weeks ago, with District Judge Howard Riddle ruling there was reasonable doubt whether the words were intended as an insult.

A statement from the FA read: 'After
seeking advice from an external Independent QC, and having considered
the evidence and Magistrates' Court decision in the John Terry case, The
FA has charged the Chelsea player following an alleged incident that
occurred during the Queens Park Rangers versus Chelsea fixture at Loftus
Road on 23 October 2011.

'It is alleged that Terry used
abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour towards Queens Park
Rangers’ Anton Ferdinand, contrary to FA rules.

Case for the defence: Terry was was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand earlier this month at Westminster Magistrates' Court

Case for the defence: Terry was was cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand earlier this month at Westminster Magistrates' Court

'It is further alleged that this included a reference to the ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race of Anton Ferdinand.

'This charge is the result of The
FA’s long-standing enquiries into this matter, which were placed on hold
pending the outcome of the criminal trial, and relates to rules
governing football only.

'During this period John Terry remains available to play for England.

'Terry has until 3 August 2012 to respond. The FA will make no further comment during this time.'

Row: Terry and Ferdinand came to blows during a fiery west London derby at Loftus Road last October

Row: Terry and Ferdinand came to blows during a fiery west London derby at Loftus Road last October

John Terry back at Chelsea but could still face charge

Terry's back in blue but Chelsea skipper may still be facing an FA charge

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UPDATED:

22:20 GMT, 18 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

John Terry found no shortage of well-wishers at Chelsea’s training ground on Wednesday after returning for the first time since he was found not guilty of a racially aggravated offence.

The Chelsea skipper left the country for a holiday in Portugal after the court case.

Now, after returning to training at Cobham, he is expected to join his Chelsea team-mates in Seattle at the weekend after taking extended leave because of Euro 2012.

/07/18/article-2175636-12EBDF5A000005DC-825_468x588.jpg” width=”468″ height=”588″ alt=”Feeling Blue: John Terry was back at Chelsea training on Wednesday ” class=”blkBorder” />

Feeling Blue: John Terry was back at Chelsea training on Wednesday

An independent QC is considering the 15-page court judgement from chief magistrate Howard Riddle and is expected to make recommendations to FA bosses this week.

Terry could still be charged under Rule E3, which concerns foul and abusive language. A sub-section relates to racial comments.

He has maintained throughout that he used the words ‘f****** black c***’ at Loftus Road last October only in a rhetorical sense.

He has been interviewed by Jenni Kennedy, the FA’s head of off-field regulation, and warned there is no place for such language in football. Terry is prepared for another fight to clear his name if charged.

Meanwhile, Birmingham are set to sign Chelsea left back Ben Gordon, 21, on a six-month loan deal.

John Terry NOT GUILTY: Chelsea captain cleared of racially abusing Anton Ferdinand

Terry cleared of racially abusing Ferdinand as Chelsea captain is found not guilty in race trial

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UPDATED:

14:55 GMT, 13 July 2012

John Terry has been found not guilty of a racially aggravated public order offence involving Anton Ferdinand.

Terry was charged after he was seen mouthing the words 'f****** black c***' in Ferdinand's direction during Chelsea's defeat against QPR at Loftus Road on October 23 last year.

When the verdict from Senior District Judge (Chief Magistrate) Howard Riddle arrived, Terry
simply nodded in response.

He soon left the court expressionless and did not make any comment before being taken away in a waiting car.

Dan Morrison, Terry's lawyer, said outside court: 'The court has today acquitted John Terry of all charges. He has consistently explained his position to the FA, the police and to the court.

Free man: John Terry walks out of court after being cleared of the charges

Free man: John Terry walks out of court after being cleared of the charges

Free man: John Terry walks out of court after being cleared of the charges

Judgement day: John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon

Judgement day: John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court on Friday afternoon

 John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court

 John Terry arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court

Read the full ruling…

Click HERE for the 15-page document

'He did not racially abuse Mr Ferdinand
and the court has accepted this. John would like to thank his legal team
for their hard work and his family, friends and Chelsea Football Club
for their support.'

Giving his verdict, Mr Riddle said the case was not about 'whether Mr Terry is a racist in the broadest sense of the word'

He said he had heard a great deal of
evidence to show that he is not. 'It is understandable why Mr Terry
wants to make this point, his reputation is at stake,' he said.

A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service read: 'The very serious allegation at the heart of this case was one of racial abuse. It was our view that this was not “banter” on the football pitch and that the allegation should be judged by a court.

'The Chief Magistrate agreed that Mr Terry had a case to answer, but having heard all of the evidence he acquitted Mr Terry of a racially aggravated offence. That is justice being done and we respect the Chief Magistrate’s decision.'

Result: Chelsea fans celebrate Terry's not guilty verdict outside the courthouse

Result: Chelsea fans celebrate Terry's not guilty verdict outside the courthouse

Spotlight: Anton Ferdinand was at Heathrow Airport on Friday for QPR's flight to the Far East

Spotlight: Anton Ferdinand was at Heathrow Airport on Friday for QPR's flight to the Far East

Arriving at Westminster Magistrates Court, Terry received shouts of encouragement as well as boos from members of the public gathered outside.

He entered the dock at just before
2pm wearing a grey suit with a grey tie. Family members of both Terry
and Ferdinand were in a packed gallery to hear the verdict delivered.

Terry is now expected to fly away on holiday with his family before returning for pre-season training with Chelsea ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season.

Speaking outside the court, Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck – who has been in court every day – said: 'Chelsea Football Club notes and, of course, we respect the decision of the magistrate today. We are pleased that John can now put his mind to football and go back to training and do what he's done for many years.'

A club statement read: 'Chelsea Football Club notes and respects Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle's decision to clear John Terry of the charge against him. We are pleased that John can now focus on football and his pre-season preparations with the team.'

Explaining his verdict, Mr Riddle said: 'There is no doubt that John Terry uttered the words 'f****** black c***' at Anton Ferdinand. When he did so he was angry. Mr Ferdinand says that he did not precipitate this comment by himself, accusing Mr Terry of calling him a black c***.

Big day: Terry and his team arrive at court by a scrum of photographers

Big day: Terry and his team arrive at court by a scrum of photographers

'Even with all the help the court has received from television footage, expert lip readers, witnesses and indeed counsel, it is impossible to be sure exactly what were the words spoken by Mr Terry at the relevant time.

'It is impossible to be sure exactly what was said to him at the relevant time by Mr Ferdinand. It is not only that all of this happened in a matter of seconds. For a small part of the relevant time the camera's view of Mr Terry was obstructed. We do not have a clear camera view of Mr Ferdinand, sufficient to pick up exactly what he said.

'No matter how serious the incident looks now, and how crucial the exact wording is now, at the time it was secondary to the key witnesses. They are professional footballers in the final minutes of a game where the result mattered to them both. They would naturally concentrate on the game more than on exactly what had been said to them or by them.

'There was the noise of the crowd. There is the fact that towards the end of a game players are not only physically tired they are also mentally tired. I don't need evidence to tell me that.

'It is a crucial fact that nobody has given evidence that they heard what Mr Terry said or more importantly how he said it. He has given effectively the same account throughout. Insofar as there are discrepancies in his account, they are understandable and natural.

'He says that he was himself wrongly accused by Mr Ferdinand on the pitch of calling him a black c***. He has maintained that from the beginning. (Terry's team mate) Mr Ashley Cole has corroborated that it was mentioned to him during the game.
Clash: Terry (right) and Anton Ferdinand exchanged words when Chelsea visited QPR

Clash: Terry (right) and Anton Ferdinand exchanged words when Chelsea visited QPR

'There is no doubt that reasonably soon after the game he made the accusation to Mr Ferdinand. He confirmed that basic account in a statement on the evening of the match.

'He gave a very detailed account to the FA and later to the police. He gave evidence to that effect in this court. There have been minor discrepancies in the account. It seems likely that his belief that he was wrongly accused on the pitch has strengthened as time goes by, and I have discussed that above.

'However, his account has been subject to the most searching and thorough questioning on at least three occasions. Nobody has been able to show that he is lying. The lip readers do not provide evidence that categorically contradicts his account.

'What may at first sight have seemed clear to the non-expert, is less clear now. There are limitations to lip reading, even by an expert. I have assessed John Terry as a credible witness. Weighing all the evidence together, I think it is highly unlikely that Mr Ferdinand accused Mr Terry on the pitch of calling him a black c***. However, I accept that it is possible that Mr Terry believed at the time, and believes now, that such an accusation was made.

'The prosecution evidence as to what was said by Mr Ferdinand at this point is not strong. Mr Cole gives corroborating (although far from compelling corroborating) evidence on this point. It is therefore possible that what he said was not intended as an insult, but rather as a challenge to what he believed had been said to him.

'In those circumstances, there being a doubt, the only verdict the court can record is one of not guilty.'

Leaving court, Ferdinand's parents, Julian Ferdinand and Janice Lavender, who attended every day of the trial, declined to comment. Mr Ferdinand said: 'I have nothing to say to you at all.'

Jonny Wilkinson – Why I had to quit England

EXCLUSIVE: Jonny Wilkinson – Why I had to bow out

When the announcement came earlier this month it appeared to be a bolt from the blue, but that certainly wasn’t the case for Jonny Wilkinson. Test retirement had been on his mind for two years.

Playing for England had always been a pleasure, he’d always treasured it as an honour. But in recent times it had also served as a bewildering riddle which drove the fly-half icon to distraction in the search for answers and renewed peace of mind.

In the immediate aftermath of the national team’s ill-fated World Cup campaign, Wilkinson had expressed his desire to keep playing for his country. Despite the shattering manner of the quarter-final defeat against France and his own helplessness among the replaced players on the bench, the veteran seemingly retained the drive to carry on.

Taking it easy: Jonny Wilkinson can now focus on other things having retired from international rugby

Taking it easy: Jonny Wilkinson can now focus on other things having retired from international rugby

While his employment at Toulon meant he would be prey to the RFU’s new edict against selecting overseas-based players, Wilkinson had spoken of proving his form again in France and trusting in fate.

Yet, deep down there were doubts which were nothing to do with this thorny issue. So when he came to consider retirement, the union restrictions didn’t really enter the equation.

What convinced him was the nagging feeling that it hadn’t been right for him, with England, for long enough.

‘After the World Cup I wanted to make things better and make things right but I realised that knee-jerk reaction (to carry on) had been lasting about two years,’ he said. ‘I was thinking about my future in terms of righting wrongs for myself and the team. That feeling had been going on for a long time and was affecting me in quite a profound way.

‘There was one period, coming off the back of the Australia tour last year, when I had questions about coming back into the England set-up again.

Iconic: Wilkinson

Iconic: Wilkinson”s match-winning contribution to the World Cup Final in 2003 will forever ensure he has a place in English hearts

‘I wondered if that was the right time (to quit), but the way I was going at Toulon, there was no way I was ready to let go. I kept thinking, “Next game it will all come good, next game it will all be amazing”.’

What particularly troubled Wilkinson was the contrast between club and country — the sense of fulfilment with Toulon which wasn’t being matched by his increasingly frustrating experiences with England.

Up for the cup: Wilkinson was the most devastating kicker of his generation at his peak in 2003

Up for the cup: Wilkinson was the most devastating kicker of his generation at his peak in 2003

He struggled to fathom what was wrong, especially as he could see Toby Flood (below) make an impact after usurping him in the starting XV.

‘With the right conditions and set-up at Toulon I knew I could get the best out of myself,’ he said. ‘I waited a long time for those conditions with England but it just didn’t happen.

“It’s difficult to pinpoint what the problem was, but it just wasn’t right. I was unable to rediscover the environment that I thought could bring the best out of me. I was trying everything to turn it around. I would go back to Toulon and it felt like it all just happened for me. Everything there made sense.

‘With England it just didn’t happen and I’m not pointing the finger at anyone, but that was the situation.

‘In the Six Nations I was coming off the bench so I was seeing what Toby Flood could do for the team — he brought out the best in those around him and had a real connection with them. Whatever I felt capable of doing on the pitch it didn’t matter because it just didn’t happen.’

Once Wilkinson had spoken to his girlfriend, Shelley Jenkins, his family and others such as his long-term coach and mentor from Newcastle days, Steve Black, he decided it was the right moment to end a Test career which had yielded a staggering 1246 points, a World Cup triumph and two Lions tours.

He spoke to new England head coach Stuart Lancaster and was grateful for his supportive response. Yet, having made his mind up, he admits there is a tinge of regret that the glorious, sometimes tortuous story finished in dejection and defeat.

‘I can try to lie and say it doesn’t matter but it does matter,’ he said. ‘I always wanted to go out on a high, but it can’t matter too much because it’s not all about celebrating a player’s career.

‘Lewis Moody is another guy in the same position — he is someone else who has given everything to the cause. You can’t choose the outcome, all you can do is choose how much you put into it.’

Looking back over a stellar career, Wilkinson treasures the 2003 World Cup success and the build-up, the time spent with players such as Mike Catt and Richard Hill, the memory of Jason Robinson taking rugby union by storm, and all the epic victories.

Bowing out: It was a difficult end for the iconic No 10 in New Zealand

Bowing out: It was a difficult end for the iconic No 10 in New Zealand

Naturally, he savours the moment he returned in 2007 after more than three years in enforced exile. He also looks back fondly on the Six Nations success this year and the honour of knowing that the World Cup in New Zealand was his fourth.

But as an indication of his enduring team ethic, Wilkinson cites a brutal trip to face the Springboks in 2007 as one of his fondest occasions.

‘I really enjoyed the tour even though we took a weakened squad and got hammered,’ he said. ‘There were a lot of young guys out there and we were up against it but the spirit was phenomenal. They fought for what really mattered and it was all about playing for your country.’

Changing of the guard: Toby Flood is now likely to take up the flyhalf role permanently

Changing of the guard: Toby Flood is now likely to take up the flyhalf role permanently

For all the angst and unrest generated by the recent tournament, Wilkinson is adamant that England are in good shape. ‘There is such a wealth of talent,’ he said. ‘So many players who will be involved have now had great experience of what immense pressure really is — not autumn internationals or Six Nations deciders but bigger than that. You need people who can stand up to that.

‘In terms of the No 10 position, there are guys like Owen Farrell coming through and Fordy (George Ford) too. The right person to mentor these guys as they develop is Toby Flood, because he has the experience now.’

In time, Wilkinson has a desire to coach and his passion lies in the concept of acting as a mentor. ‘Coaching the skills side of rugby really appeals to me,’ said Wilkinson who, despite his international retirement, has just signed a new sponsorship deal with Gillette.

‘I have worked so hard on my game over the years, so to do nothing with all that information I’ve taken onboard would be a waste. One-on-one coaching really appeals. I like being able to affect a person’s confidence and help them bring out the best in themselves. Dave Alred has been phenomenal like that for me.’

All that can wait though. First, he is driven to bring success to Toulon and last night was captain for their Top 14 encounter with Lyon. Today he will fly back to the North East for a family Christmas and on Boxing Day he will return to the Cote d’Azur, to resume his quest for improvement and fulfilment.

His England career is over but that had become an unsolvable puzzle. What’s left is the fun part.

Jonny Wilkinson is a Gillette ambassador — visit facebook.com/GilletteUK for exclusive content, competitions, and features.