Tag Archives: sheen

Tattooed Leeds fan still sad even though his team beat Spurs

Afraid Spurs will nick a draw Tattooed Leeds fan is a picture of nerves in dying stages of FA Cup shock

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

01:09 GMT, 28 January 2013

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UPDATED:

16:09 GMT, 28 January 2013

This Leeds fan looks as if he is used to a bit of needle but his pained expression shows his nerves in the final stages of the win over Tottenham at Elland Road.

The heavily tattooed supporter, who has a Leeds badge inked on the top right of his forehead, looked as if he expected Spurs to come back and grab a 2-2 draw.

Fortunately, this man did not have to face up to that as the hosts did manage to hold on and inked their name in the fifth round of the FA Cup.

A bit of needle: This tattooed Leeds fans watches the final stages of their win over Tottenham

A bit of needle: This tattooed Leeds fans watches the final stages of their win over Tottenham

DO YOU KNOW THIS FAN

We would like to get in touch with this Leeds fan before the next round against Manchester City. Is it you Do you know him Get in touch with us at: [email protected]

Maybe we'll be seeing this expression again as an away tie with the champions of England, Manchester City, awaits in the
next round.

But after knocking three Premier League sides out of cup competitions this season, he might be going to the Etihad full of optimism.

And if Leeds do win there, tat would be amazing.

Into the fifth round: Leeds will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City

Into the fifth round: Leeds will travel to the Etihad Stadium to face Manchester City

Sam Allardyce charged by FA after comments about referee Phil Dowd

West Ham boss Allardyce CHARGED by the FA after 'homer ref' comments

By
Tom Sheen and Laura Williamson

PUBLISHED:

16:16 GMT, 18 January 2013

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UPDATED:

18:02 GMT, 18 January 2013

Sam Allardyce has been charged by the Football Association for the remarks he made in the wake of West Ham's defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Allardyce alleged that referee Phil Dowd favoured the hosts as he failed to award West Ham a penalty but then awarded one at the other end moments later for a similar incident in the FA Cup third-round replay.

A statement from the FA read: 'West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce has been charged with misconduct in relation to media comments following this week’s FA Cup with Budweiser Third Round replay against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Charged: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is expected to face charges after accusing Phil Dowd of bias during Wednesday night's loss to Manchester United

Charged: West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is expected to face charges after accusing Phil Dowd of bias during Wednesday night's loss to Manchester United

'The charge is in relation to an
alleged breach of FA Rule E3 concerning media comments which questioned
the integrity of the match referee and/or match officials in general
and/or implied that the match referee and/or match officials in general
are motivated by bias and/or brought the game into disrepute.

'Allardyce has until Wednesday 23 January to respond to the charge.'

Speaking on Wednesday, Allardyce said: 'The one difference between Rafael’s handball and Spence’s was that Jordan plays for West Ham away against Manchester United and Rafael plays at home at Old Trafford.

'It's got to be that simple. Phil Dowd was in the perfect position. Rafael pushes the ball away with his left arm. No penalty. Go to the other end and the ball hits Jordan’s hand. If you give one you have to give both, simple as that.'

West Ham have a London derby on
Saturday against strugglers QPR. But under new manager Harry Redknapp, Rangers have found some improved results.

Accusation: Allardyce (pictured) blasted Dowd after the referee failed to award West Ham a penalty but gave one to United for a similar incident

Accusation: Allardyce (pictured) blasted Dowd after the referee failed to award West Ham a penalty but gave one to United for a similar incident

'Harry knows full well that, should QPR survive, it will be one of the biggest achievements of his managerial career,' said Allardyce.

'In fact he will be only be only the second manager in the history of the Premier League to have guided his team to safety after being bottom of the table at Christmas.

'Bryan Robson was the only man to have accomplished that, when at West Brom.

Disruption: QPR manager Harry Redknapp (pictured) prepares his side to face West Ham in deep snow

Disruption: QPR manager Harry Redknapp (pictured) prepares his side to face West Ham in deep snow

'As an achievement, it would not be something that will be lauded in quite the way as when Spurs qualified for the Champions League under Harry but, believe me, if it happens, it will be right up there and proof he can handle things at either end of the spectrum.'

Allardyce, who has signed Marouane Chamakh, Joe Cole, Sean Maguire and Wellington Paulista so far in the transfer window also expects new signing Loic Remy to be a hit at Loftus Road.

'I expect new signing Loic Remy to be in their squad,' Allardyce added in his column with the Evening Standard.

Welcome to London: Allardyce expects new QPR new boy Loic Remy (centre) to be a hit

Welcome to London: Allardyce expects new QPR new boy Loic Remy (centre) to be a hit

'From what I've seen of him, he's quick and can play anywhere across the front three.

'He was linked with us at one stage but he was too expensive – we don't have that kind of money.

'It remains a massive task for QPR and Harry – but it can be done.'

Arsenal target David Villa scores two great goals

Are you watching, Arsene Villa shows Arsenal what they are missing with two great goals in 5-0 Barca romp

By
Tom Sheen

PUBLISHED:

00:06 GMT, 11 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:46 GMT, 11 January 2013

David Villa showed Arsene Wenger exactly what he was missing as he scored two goals of real quality in Barcelona's 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba on Thursday night.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with the 31-year-old forward, but Wenger is believed to have reservations over a move for the Spaniard, as Villa is likely to be costly in both transfer fee and wages.

See what your missing: Arsenal target David Villa (foreground) scored two excellent goals in the 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba

See what you're missing: Arsenal target David Villa (foreground) scored two excellent goals in the 5-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba

Earlier this month Arsenal were quoted a price of 16million to bring Villa to the Emirates but Wenger does not usually spend big on players over 30, and has added concerns over Villa's long-term fitness as he suffered a broken leg last season.

Villa would also likely expect wages of at least 130,00-per week, which could be another stumbling block in any potential deal for the player.

His first goal tonight saw him beat two players on the byline before a neat chip over the Cordoba keeper, while his second was a very smart low drive down to the keeper's left.

One: Villa's first saw him beat two men before cheekily dinking the ball over the goalkeeper

One: Villa's first saw him beat two men before cheekily dinking the ball over the goalkeeper

Despite his high price tag and injury concerns, bringing Villa to England may not be as risky as it sounds.

In limited playing time this season he has seven goals in all competitions, while he has 53 in 85 appearances for Spain and 28 league goals in 61 games for Barcelona.

Villa himself is reported to be desperate for the move to go ahead, but Barca president Sandro Rosell ruled out a move just this week.

Two: The Barcelona striker's second was an expertly driven low shot into the corner

Two: The Barcelona striker's second was an expertly driven low shot into the corner

Speaking to Catalan radio station RAC1 on Tuesday, Rosell said: 'I completely rule out the transfer of Villa during the winter market.

'He is ours and we need him, there is a lot of the season left.'

Villa's two goals, as well as goals from Thiago Alcantara and two from Alexis Sanchez, sealed a 7-0 aggregate win over Second division Cordoba that sent Barcelona into the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey.

Reservations: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (pictured) has concerns about paying a reported 16m for a 31-year-old

Reservations: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (pictured) has concerns about paying a reported 16m for a 31-year-old

Wayne Rooney must follow Lionel Messi"s dedication -Neil Ashton

Messi's dedication is what you need for greatness, Wayne

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UPDATED:

23:01 GMT, 28 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Two years ago, Wayne Rooney was a good World Cup away from being named the best player on the planet.

Rooney was the man, scoring 34 goals for Manchester United and had been named PFA player of the year just weeks before the tournament.

He had it all, but his depressing performances at the tournament in South Africa took the sheen away from the England striker.

/08/28/article-2194724-14A0EA68000005DC-140_468x363.jpg” width=”468″ height=”363″ alt=”Tough times: Wayne Rooney has often cut a frustrated figure” class=”blkBorder” />

Tough times: Wayne Rooney has often cut a frustrated figure

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Lionel Messi won it for the first time in December 2010, beating his Barcelona’s club mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi to the coveted trophy.

A year later, Messi was named the best player in the world for a second time and he is expected to make it a hat-trick of titles later this year.

After scoring a 82 goals last season for club and country, Messi deserves to be in a category all of his own.

Messi scored a record 14 goals in the Champions League last season, five of them against Bayer Leverkusen before they were eventually beaten by Chelsea in the semi-final.

He has dedicated his life and his career to his chosen sport, standing out from the crowd with his classy performances in red and blue of Barca. His desire remains undiminished, carrying the baton for club and country again this season.

He barely had time for a close season break after his hat-trick for Argentina against Brazil in America on June 9.

There were goals in Barcelona’s tune-up games against Raja Casablanca, Paris St Germain and Dinamo Bucharest before the real action got underway.

Top of his game: Lionel Messi has retained a real hunger for the game

Top of his game: Lionel Messi has retained a real hunger for the game

He opened his account for the season with a goal in Argentina’s impressive victory over Germany in a friendly in Frankfurt.

The Barca striker scored twice on the opening day of La Liga season in Barcelona’s demolition of Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp.

He added another against Real Madrid in the Super Cup and then scored two decisive goals in the victory in Pamplona against Osasuna.

Messi is on it, aware that he is the centre of attention after a mesmerising season playing for Barcelona.

Scoring goals is his life’s work, committing himself to his career and seemingly oblivious to the temptations that come the way of every professional footballer.

He has the desire to remain at the top, something that has been absent from Rooney’s game since he moved to Old Trafford for 26.5million in 2004.

Rooney returned from that depressing 2010 World Cup to be confronted by lurid allegations about his private life.

He was later photographed urinating in a street and smoking a cigarette during the close season break.

Sublime: Cristiano Ronaldo remains one of the world's best players at Real Madrid

Sublime: Cristiano Ronaldo remains one of the world's best players at Real Madrid

That image is not becoming of a player who wants to reach for the stars and take his place among the greats of the global game.

In Rooney’s mitigation, he remains an exceptional player, capable of turning matches for Manchester United.

After the disappointment of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, he recovered to score 11 times in the Premier League and help take the team to the Champions League final.

Last season he scored 27 goal in the top flight, only three short of Robin van Persie’s exceptional return for Arsenal.

Those kind of statistics confirm that Rooney remains a top-class player, but it is still sad that he has not been able to break into the top bracket of the game.

Those elite spots are occupied by Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Iniesta, continuing to churn out the performances despite winning all the individual accolades that the game has to offer.

At 26, Rooney remains a cornerstone of the United team, a crucial member of a side beaten to the Premier League title last season on goal difference.

Time to change: Rooney is young enough to alter his path

Time to change: Rooney is young enough to alter his path

His injury is unfortunate, keeping him out of some crucial Barclays Premier League games and England’s World Cup qualifiers against Moldova and Ukraine next month.

Of more concern is the decision by Sir Alex Ferguson to drop him from the Manchester United team to face Fulham at Old Trafford.

Although rotation is a regular occurrence at the top level, dropping Messi is almost unthinkable for a La Liga game.

He plays week in week out because he wants to, demanding a starting role even when Barcelona are likely to roll over the opposition.

After Frank Rijkaard walked away from the Catalans in 2008, Pep Guardiola put his total faith and trust in the little maestro.

He is closing in on Cesar Rodriguez’s all-time record number of goals for Barcelona in La Liga. Rodriguez scored 192, Messi has 173.

It is only a matter of time before Messi races clear of that target, but there will be no time to reflect on those records during his career. In time he will be able to look back on his career and accept that he made the most of his unique talent.

Sadly, Rooney will not be able to say the same.

Des Kelly: Kenny Dalglish is wrong

Fact is Kenny, you're wrong about Liverpool's season

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UPDATED:

01:49 GMT, 24 March 2012

'Actual data means more than individual perception and belief' – John W Henry

Kenny Dalglish believes people need to look beyond the bare statistics if they are to gain the true measure of Liverpool’s season. The trouble is his owners don’t agree. Or at least they never have done before.

The Anfield manager sneered that anyone who dared question how a club could be seventh in the table after shelling out 113.5 million on players needed an IQ test.

‘People should take an intelligence check,’ he said. ‘Judging our performance by league position alone is disrespectful. There’s a bigger picture.

Point to prove: Kenny Dalglish remains convinced Liverpool's performance this season has been admirable

Point to prove: Kenny Dalglish remains convinced Liverpool's performance this season has been admirable

'In 30 years' time it will be recorded that Liverpool won the Carling Cup — and maybe the FA Cup — in 2012. If that happens the league position will be overlooked.'

That is an interesting argument. I’m not sure I can recall last year’s League Cup winners, never mind go back 30 years, but then I haven’t had my intelligence checked lately.

Let’s see, who did win the League Cup in 1982 Was it Luton Town (No, that was 1988); Oxford United (1986); Norwich City (1985). Ah, here it is.

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Liverpool won the League Cup 30 years ago in the days when the pot was something they used to prop open the door of their trophy cabinet while they filled it with title silverware and European Cups.

But like me, you’d probably forgotten that.

There is no doubt a cup double would add a sheen to this disappointing Premier League campaign, but the concept that Liverpool should be judged on more than their league placing is odd coming from Dalglish of all people.

He is exactly the sort of old school, been-there, got-the-league-medals-to-prove-it type of manager who has wearily trotted out the line that ‘the table doesn’t lie’ in countless spiky press conferences.

Do you think Dalglish would have complained it was ‘disrespectful’ to judge Liverpool on their league position when they were finishing in first place Of course not.

Even so, he challenged the media directly at Melwood the other day, saying: ‘If anyone thinks that the return we’ve had is a true reflection of the way we’ve played then speak up now.’ According to the Liverpool Echo, ‘the silence was deafening’.

I wonder if there will be a similar silence in the boardroom at the end of the season if the Liverpool boss tries to offer up a similar plea in mitigation

The Scot has a problem, you see. While he might view his Liverpool world through rosy-red-tinted spectacles and demand a subjective, broader analysis of his performance, his bosses are known for advocating something different.

Cup runs are fine; chatter that the academy is about to bear fruit is encouraging and maybe the match-day catering has improved too, who knows But I doubt John W Henry will feel he requires an ‘intelligence check’ if he prefers to measure success by the essential numbers.

The principal owner of Liverpool and head of the Fenway Sports Group made his considerable fortune that way. He stopped listening to ‘gut instincts’ in the stock market.

Done enough Liverpool ended a six-year trophy drought with a penalty shootout win over Cardiff

Done enough Liverpool ended a six-year trophy drought with a penalty shootout win over Cardiff

Done enough Liverpool ended a six-year trophy drought with a penalty shootout win over Cardiff

He stripped away any sentiment and ignored the received wisdom of the old guard to apply rigorous statistical analysis to all his decisions. It paid off.

In Michael Lewis’s book Moneyball, which charts the story of the Oakland A’s general manager Bill Beane as he builds a record-breaking outfit on a low budget, JW Henry is described as a ‘new kind of rich person’.

It says: ‘He had an instinctive feel for the way statistical analysis could turn up inefficiencies in human affairs.’

I’ll bet he curses himself every day for not studying the Andy Carroll numbers a little more closely for potential ‘inefficiencies’.

Hollywood ending: Brad Pitt as Billy Beane

Hollywood ending: Brad Pitt as Billy Beane

Henry also saw parallels between stock market ‘beliefs’ and sporting dogma. He said: ‘People in both fields operate with beliefs and biases. To the extent you can eliminate both and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.’

So I’m not sure Dalglish can shrug off the data so easily or claim the League placing is not a fair measure. The bizarre assertion that he wouldn’t swap a cup run for a top-four finish and a seat among European football’s elite is hardly going to endear him to the statisticians, either.

At this point, let me expand Henry’s quote at the top of the article where he set out his principles and approach to the business of sport in a letter to an ESPN reporter.

‘Many people think they are smarter than others in baseball and that the game on the field is simply what they think it is through their set of images/beliefs. Actual data means more than individual perception/belief. The same is true in baseball.’

Now go back and replace baseball with football and you’ll see Dalglish and Henry are bound to be singing from different songsheets, which might explain some of the manager’s more eccentric public pronouncements of late.

But set aside what Henry would regard as Dalglish’s ‘perception/ beliefs’ and look at some of that ‘actual data’ he will be presented with:

January 8, 2011: Dalglish returns to Anfield.June 2011: Transfer market outlay hits 133.5 million.Mar 14, 2011: Liverpool’s league position seventh. They are 28 points behind Manchester United and 12 points away from fourth place.In 2012, Liverpool have won just two of 10 League games and lost four of the last five.Revenue lost by missing out on Champions League — approximately 30m.Stewart Downing, a 20m signing, has recorded precisely no league goals and no assists either. According to OPTA he has created 47 chances — at a cost of 425,321 per chance.Andy Carroll, a 35m signing, has made only 20 starts, at a cost of 1.75m per game. He has scored five goals, at 7m each. OPTA say his shooting accuracy is 42.6 per cent.I’m not sure we can review 16m Jordan Henderson’s numbers without medication.On the plus side, Liverpool’s defensive record has improved. They have conceded fewer goals (29) than every Premier League club bar the top two.
But they have also scored only as many goals as Roy Hodgson’s West Brom (35) and fewer than Blackburn, Norwich, Fulham and seven other Premier League clubs.

So overall, it is fair to say the numbers sitting on Henry’s desk are fairly grim.

There seems no appetite to replace Dalglish right now and Henry and Co are too smart to make rash public pronouncements. But the Scot will be under extraordinary pressure from here on in.

Must do better: 20m Stewart Downing has struggled since his summer move to Anfield

Must do better: 20m Stewart Downing has struggled since his summer move to Anfield

This was a season when Chelsea were weak and Arsenal faltered and yet Liverpool never looked capable of taking advantage.

Now there are reports that Dalglish is lobbying for another 50m to buy seven players in the summer. That might not be such a straightforward deal in the circumstances.

I spoke to the American sport legend Beane this week (played by Brad Pitt in the Moneyball film). He told me he still talks to Henry, but hasn’t discussed Liverpool directly with him. However, as he made clear previously, he is certain throwing money at a sporting problem doesn’t always work.

‘What you don’t do is what the New York Yankees do,’ said Beane. ‘If we do what the Yankees do, we lose every time because they’re doing it with three times more money than we are.’

You will not be surprised to hear Henry once tried to lure Beane to run the Boston Red Sox end of his sporting empire. But you might be surprised to hear Beane is in contact with Liverpool’s director of football Damien Comolli and the two are friends.

Keeping you interested John W Henry knows his investment deserves more than a League Cup...

Keeping you interested John W Henry knows his investment deserves more than a League Cup…

... like the World Series, for example, which his Boston Red Sox won in 2007

… like the World Series, for example, which his Boston Red Sox won in 2007

Henry has no appetite for chasing Manchester City, United or Chelsea in terms of cash spend, more so now Liverpool have missed out on Champions League revenue for the third year in succession. He described the need for a ‘sound financial landscape’ as ‘critical’.

To make things more uncomfortable for Dalglish, Liverpool sit just three points ahead of Swansea City, who are essentially the Premier League’s living embodiment of the Moneyball philosophy — where rejuvenated rejects and bargain discoveries operate in a low-wage environment and yet punch way above their weight.

Brendan Rodgers assembled his side for about the same price as one of Carroll’s legs.

If Liverpool beat Wigan on Saturday they will still be seventh. If they don’t there will be an outcry, but Dalglish will survive. Next season he will have to finish in the top four, or he’ll be out, because the table doesn’t lie now and it won’t next season either.

Get your kit on: The Team GB outfit

Get your kit on: The Team GB outfit

It's job done when people tear a strip off the new kit

The new England football kit was ‘too red’.

Now the new Team GB Olympic outfits are ‘too blue’.

They have both had the desired effect then – which is to get talked about.

Kit manufacturers love a good squabble, since this gives their product plenty of free publicity.

You only need look back at England’s all black rugby union strip at the last World Cup Finals for proof.

But the Olympic kit is stylish enough.

If any of the competitors win a medal they will drape themselves in the Union Flag anyway. If they don’t, the outfits mean we can pretend they’re French.

In the meantime, Nike and adidas will bicker over slogans, advertising straplines and other twaddle all the way through the Olympics.

So what

Every time I read this nonsense, my yawn grows large enough to require a hurricane name.

Tevez return is nothing to celebrate

Carlos Tevez is back. He ran about. He even fed through the pass for the winning goal. But he is no hero.

He refused to do what he was told, flounced out of the country, sulked for months and is only back at Manchester City to patch up some of his battered reputation before he disappears in the summer.

I had a lot of respect for Roberto Mancini for the way he would not bend to the Argentine prima donna and to City as well for backing their manager.

But they’ve all climbed down, expediency and amorality is the order of the day and, whether it works or not, I regard it as a great shame.

Glory, glory

Rio Ferdinand says he has noticed more glory-hunting Manchester City fans have been coming out of the woodwork lately. This is probably not an area of debate that a Manchester United player should ever wander into.