Tag Archives: shocker

Mark Halsey referee Callum McManaman tackle Massadio Haidara pulled from Premier League

Ref Halsey DROPPED to League One after Haidara horror tackle at Wigan

By
David Kent

PUBLISHED:

01:43 GMT, 26 March 2013

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UPDATED:

07:59 GMT, 26 March 2013

Mark Halsey, the official who did not send off Callum McManaman for his high tackle on Massadio Haidara, has not been given a Barclays Premier League game to referee this weekend.

Halsey did not issue a red card to Wigan striker McManaman during his side's 2-1 win over Newcastle on March 17 because, he said later, his view of the challenge on Haidara was blocked.

Shocker: Halsey failed to punish Wigan's Callum McManaman for this 'challenge' on Massadio Haidara

Shocker: Halsey failed to punish Wigan's Callum McManaman for this 'challenge' on Massadio Haidara

Dropped: Halsey will take charge of Friday's League One clash between Coventry and Doncaster

Dropped: Halsey will take charge of Friday's League One clash between Coventry and Doncaster

Because of the international break, this weekend will be the first round of Premier League fixtures since the incident, and Halsey's only top-flight outing will be as the fourth official for Reading's trip to Arsenal.

McManaman's tackle was greeted with outrage, but could not be punished in retrospect by the Football Association because one of Halsey's two assistants saw the incident, provoking a debate about the merits of disciplinary system.

Halsey will referee Friday's npower League One game between Coventry and Doncaster.

Anthony Taylor West Ham Everton poor performance – Graham Poll

West Ham and Everton unite in disappointment at abject performance by ref Taylor

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UPDATED:

23:34 GMT, 23 December 2012

The season of goodwill to all men started this weekend and referees tested that sentiment with a number of baffling decisions. Red cards and penalties were the main bones of contention but one assistant referee standing up to be counted in the battle against the holding and blocking at set pieces looked at odds with the rest of his colleagues.

Referees know that they will seldom drive home with praise ringing in their ears but it is unusual to incur the wrath of both managers and all 35,000 fans in attendance. However, Anthony Taylor managed exactly that after a poor display of officiating at Upton Park.

The red cards shown to Carlton Cole and Darron Gibson were, at very best, extremely harsh, particularly that of the West Ham striker who watched the ball through the air. Whilst his foot was high I could not see any reason to dismiss him. I think Taylor reacted too quickly to what he thought he saw rather than wait and reflect; the best referees, rather like the best players, appear to have more time than others.

Kicking up a stink: Darron Gibson and Carlton Cole were both sent off

Kicking up a stink: Darron Gibson and Carlton Cole were both sent off

Kicking up a stink: Darron Gibson and Carlton Cole were both sent off

Shocker: Few agreed with Anthony Taylor's decision to send them off

Shocker: Few agreed with Anthony Taylor's decision to send them off

More from Graham Poll…

Graham Poll: Clattenburg returns to the middle… and he'll be under extra scrutiny
20/12/12

Graham Poll: Halsey's poor positioning to blame for missing Fellaini's butt, elbow and slap combo on Shawcross
16/12/12

Graham Poll: How much are referees influenced by Ferguson
15/12/12

Graham Poll: Barry derby spat highlights Clattenburg's sensitivity after Mikel row
14/12/12

Graham Poll's official line: Ferguson might have felt he was playing against 12 men
09/12/12

Graham Poll: Diving Cazorla should be banned for three games, just like Wenger wanted
09/12/12

Graham Poll: Referees are at risk over Platini's proposed Euro 2020 plans
07/12/12

Graham Poll: Bale is not yet in Ronaldo's class (for diving) but he should have been sent off at Fulham
02/12/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

Taylor is a good referee who had a bad day and should look at his more experienced colleagues and learn from them – in particular Howard Webb, who is excellent at taking his time to give himself the best possibility of getting decisions correct – as he did at St Mary’s when waving away the home team's penalty appeals.

Mike Dean is another excellent referee enjoying a good season but he angered Reading boss Brian McDermott at the Etihad on Saturday. I had a little sympathy for McDermott who's team had battled well at the home of the Champions and deserved a penalty. McDermott wanted the kick for a block on Jay Tabb but I felt the penalty should have been awarded for handball by a City defender before contact was made with Tabb.

Of course, McDermott’s mood was not helped by conceding the only goal of the game to a Gareth Barry header. There was nothing wrong with Dean’s judgement with that goal despite McDermott’s insistence that Barry had climbed on Nicky Shorey’s shoulders. Barry was merely more determined to win the ball, which disappointingly Shorey made no attempt to play.

As usual the claim was made that the
referee was favouring the 'big team', a view which was unfounded at the
Etihad but did hold water up the road at Wigan. Roberto Martinez has
often complained about rough justice and after having a soft, but
correct, penalty awarded against him he was denied two, clearer
penalties for handball by referee Jon Moss.

High hopes: Gareth Barry rises to beat Nicky Shorey to the ball

High hopes: Gareth Barry rises to beat Nicky Shorey to the ball

Martinez is an intelligent manager who knows the laws and perceptively stated that neither Kieran Gibbs nor Thomas Vermaelen had their arms in natural positions when they blocked Wigan shots – exactly the phrase referees are asked to consider at possible hand ball situations.

Finally, we return to Upton Park, where the first decision of the game probably set the tone for the match when after just four minutes Everton had a goal disallowed for a block on the West Ham keeper. The offence by Victor Anichebe was a minor infringement and apparently given by assistant Gary Beswick, who was almost 50 yards away and looking through players and a goal post. Worse holding offences happened all over the country and went unpunished and Beswick must realise that a consistent approach is required.

Let’s hope that our beleaguered match officials get what they are hoping for tomorrow before returning to action on Boxing Day.

Ilombe Mboyo penalty miss – the worst ever?

Is this the worst penalty ever Spot-kick miss so bad that Belgium striker resigns captaincy of his club

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UPDATED:

15:33 GMT, 11 December 2012

Belgian football is having something of a renaissance recently, with a surge of hugely gifted players including Eden Hazard, Marouane Fellaini and Vincent Kompany shining in their national team.

Unfortunately though, the consensus remains that their national league remains short of quality, and this woeful penalty by AA Gent striker Ilombe Mboyo will do little to change that perception.

The now former Gent captain (we'll get on to that later) strolled forward coolly to take the penalty with an air of nonchalance. He sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, but his casual roll appeared to hit a divot around the penalty spot to send the ball skewing wide of the goal.

Scroll down to watch the video of the penalty…

Shocker: Mboyo talks to the press on Monday

Shocker: Mboyo talks to the press on Monday

It proved pivotal for Gent; as they went on to lose the game 2-0 to Waasland-Beveren. Mboyo’s side sit in 11th place in the Belgian Jupiler Pro League table, but have now gone seven games without a victory and it is not difficult to see why with penalties like this on show.

The drama did not end there, however, as the 25-year-old – who has two Belgium caps – lost his cool and confronted fans at the end of the match.

And during an unscheduled press conference on Monday Mboyo then apologised to Gent's fans, alleged his post-match outburst had been provoked by racist comments from a few supporters, and resigned the captaincy.

Mboyo told the supporters: 'I am the club captain. I want respect. I play all the time at 100 per cent. I missed a penalty but it happens. I did not mean to. I wanted to score.

'Maybe I would not have reacted if I wasn’t captain. To show that I shouldn’t have done so, I will no long wear the captain’s armband.'

Toby Flood: What a shocker… England were second-best in every area

Toby Flood: What a shocker… England were second-best in every area

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 17 November 2012

I can 't remember the last time I felt this frustrated after a Test match.

A win was there for the taking. Instead we lost, and we deserved to lose, because they were better than us in many areas: from a skills point of view; from decision-making and, most of all, with how they managed the game.

You can talk about positives but you have to be honest in rugby and the truth is this is a big blow. We came into this game full of confidence after drawing with South Africa last June, and then putting 50 points on Fiji last week.

Going over: Nick Cummins goes past Toby Flood to score

Going over: Nick Cummins goes past Toby Flood to score

It hadn't been the perfect performance but it laid a good foundation. Instead we came second because we just weren't good enough on the day.

There are a number of factors why Australia won.

We had issues at the breakdown and we had issues holding on to the ball and we had issues with some of our skills but that's because we were always trying to force the issue, rather than be patient, and that led to mistakes.

I guess people will highlight some of the penalties spurned.

Our scrum-halves are both instinctive players like all good scrum-halves should be, and although I would have backed myself to have kicked those three points at the end of the first half, Danny Care's decision to take a quick tap led to Manu Tuilagi's try.

It didn't quite work out the same though when Ben Youngs also tapped quickly and went with 11 minutes remaining.

Best men won: Wallaby Nick Cummins celebrates his try with Kurtley Beale

Best men won: Wallaby Nick Cummins celebrates his try with Kurtley Beale

Perhaps that was a time when the context of the game has to be taken into account and, although you never want to curb the instincts of an attacking No. 9, we need to work on our collective composure.

Australia came off a really bad performance and result last week against France and on Saturday they threw caution to the wind and were aggressive in their attack.

Add to that an Australian pack who won more penalties than any other Southern Hemisphere side in the recent Four Nations Championship, and we had our hands full.

We should know how to deal with a situation like this but we are still making far too many mistakes under pressure and being caught out by sides who are taking their chances much better than us.

If you drop even by five percent at this level you almost always have to pay for it, and that's what happened against Australia.

So what now We face South Africa in six days' time and it is fair to say that we will have a hard week trying to eradicate quite a few failings that reared their head against Australia.

Then the All Blacks come to Twickenham the week after. It's clearly a tough couple of Test matches but if we can compose ourselves and start taking the chances that we continue to create then, of course, we can win them.

I'll accept yesterday is not a great platform. We have to start learning right now because I don't want to feel like this again for a long time.

Good read helps give me a kick…

Some of the London-based boys were able to get away for the night on Tuesday to go back and see their families.

But for those of us living further afield, we'll spend the majority of our time at the England squad's base at Pennyhill Park.

Of course, it can get a little claustrophobic at times but it's a fantastic facility and there are far worse places to be stuck.

When we're not training, I've been catching up on my reading with Tom Wolfe's novel, I Am Charlotte Simmons.

Happy with kicking: England's Toby Flood boots a penalty

Happy with kicking: England's Toby Flood boots a penalty

I was pretty happy with how my goal-kicking went against Fiji.

Goal-kicking is a pretty hard thing to quantify and sometimes it's a very individual art. When I'm with England I have help from kicking coach Jon Callard and I work with Paul Burke back at Leicester.

But quite often I just like to take myself away and work on my own in order to refine the processes and ensure I'm happy with the way I'm striking the ball.

My aim is 2k for hair-raising feat

The moustache I've been growing for the Movember campaign to raise awareness over men's health issues is coming along pretty well.

I'm copping a lot of abuse for it from the rest of the boys, although so far I've managed to escape landing a new nickname.

I'm not taking anything for granted though. I've raised about 800 now and it would be great to make it 2,000 by the end of the month.

At least that would make up for all the dodgy looks I'm getting whenever I walk along the street.

Rangers plan return to stock exchange

Rangers plan return to stock exchange as fallen giants look to raise 20m

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UPDATED:

07:27 GMT, 11 October 2012

Rangers are to seek admission to the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

The Irn Bru Division Three club hope the move can raise up to 20million as they continue to re-order their finances following the liquidation of the 'oldco' club and the acquisition of its assets by Charles Green's consortium in the summer.

The club hope their admission to the AIM can be completed by the end of the year.

Money matters: Ally McCoist could develop his squad if Rangers raise 20m

Money matters: Ally McCoist could develop his squad if Rangers raise 20m

In a statement on Thursday morning, Rangers said the money raised would be invested in the development of the club as they aim to move through the Scottish Football League and reclaim the top-flight place they lost during this year's financial turmoil.

'The funds raised will be used for strengthening the player squad, improving and developing the club's properties and facilities, as well as providing additional working capital,' the statement said.

Green, the club's chief executive, said the listing would give fans the opportunity to be part of Rangers' rebirth.

'From the time we acquired the business and assets of Rangers FC, we indicated our intention to list the company and provide our fans with the opportunity to invest in their club. I am delighted that our plans are coming to fruition,' he said.

Shocker: Rangers were beaten by Stirling Albion last time out

Shocker: Rangers were beaten by Stirling Albion last time out

'Rangers is debt-free and a huge club with enormous support and a 140-year track record of success on the domestic and international arenas. Our aim is to return the club to its glory days whilst ensuring it is run efficiently and profitably.'

Chairman Malcolm Murray added: 'Charles has done a great job to bring the club back from the brink of extinction. We now move on to the next stage which is full recovery and growth.

'The fans' loyalty has been instrumental in getting the Club on its feet and the IPO gives them the chance to have a say on club matters.'

Wasps 10 Worcester 6: Simon McIntyre scores only try

Wasps 10 Worcester 6: Woeful hosts hold on but Hill apologises for shocking match

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UPDATED:

18:20 GMT, 7 October 2012

Worcester head coach Richard Hill said sorry for a ‘shocker’ of a game that saw Wasps stagger to their third win of the season thanks to Simon McIntyre’s first-half try and a tremendous stint of late defending.

Hill said: ‘I apologise for inflicting that on you. That was a shocker. Neither team played particularly well and we were marginally worse.’

Worcester, who cut Wasps’ 10-0 half-time lead through a penalty and drop goal from Andy Goode, engineered a chance to win in the final five minutes but Goode’s cross kick bounced out of the reach of wing Jon Clarke.

Flying start: McIntyre crosses for Wasps

Flying start: McIntyre crosses for Wasps

Flying start: McIntyre crosses for Wasps

Wasps then stopped two attacking
line-outs through some stern defence and good tackling, culminating in
man of the match Joe Launchbury forcing substitute flanker Ben Cowan to
knock on.

Launchbury, a member of the England Saxons squad, is tipped to be a full international.

The 21-year-old started this match at
blindside flanker but Dai Young, Wasps’ director of rugby, predicted
his best position will be at lock.

‘People talk about him as a star of
the future, but he’s already here. England see his long-term future as a
second row, but with his mobility and skills he can play in both
positions.’

Young also criticised his team’s performance. ‘I don’t think we would have beaten many teams. We know we have to be better.’

High hopes: Marco Wentzel rises to take gather lineout ball

High hopes: Marco Wentzel rises to take gather lineout ball

Wasps started strongly with a try
after only three minutes. Billy Vunipola and Joe Launchbury made big
inroads into the Worcester defence and good ball retention saw prop
Simon McIntyre drive over for the try which Stephen Jones converted.

Worcester then had their first
opportunity for points but Andy Goode failed to take it as his 35-metre
penalty attempt rebounded back off a post.

Back
came Wasps to put the visitors' defence under sustained pressure in
their own 22 and when the Warriors were offside, Jones made no mistake
with an angled penalty to give his side a 10-point advantage.

After that bright opening, the second quarter of the game was a huge disappointment as both sides made frequent unforced errors which prevented any real flow to the game. There were frequent turnovers as the score deservedly remained at 10-0 to the home side at the interval.

Too Goode: Former England international Andy Goode (right)

Too Goode: Former England international Andy Goode (right)

Early in the second half, a handling
error by Andrea Masi allowed Worcester a position in the Wasps' half and
when the hosts were penalised, a Goode penalty gave Warriors their
first points.

Almost
immediately Jones was presented with a chance to nullify that score but
his 45-metre penalty attempt sailed narrowly wide.

With half an hour remaining, Goode reduced the arrears to only four when he fired over a splendid drop-goal from close on 50 metres.

Stung by the two penalties, Wasps resumed their earlier dominance with Launchbury and McIntyre again to the fore with their driving runs. They should have gone further ahead when a clever chip ahead from Simpson should have resulted in a try for Christian Wade but the wing knocked on with the line at his mercy.

Hands off: Joe Launchbury evades a tackle

Hands off: Joe Launchbury evades a tackle

Jones missed another angled penalty
for the Wasps, allowing the Warriors the possibility of an unlikely win.
Inventive play by Paul Hodgson and David Lemi put the visitors into the
Wasps' 22 but Aleki Lutui knocked on and the home side were able to
relieve the pressure.

With three minutes to go, Simpson made the best break of the game, with a sniping run from a ruck on halfway but the supporting Chris Bell was hauled down narrowly short.

This allowed Warriors one final chance but Jon Clarke failed to collect a Goode cross-kick for the winning try before the Wasps withstood four minutes of huge pressure to hang on for a nail-biting win.

World Twenty20 2012: England capitulate against India

England in a spin as Colombo capitulation gives India momentum heading into Super Eights

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UPDATED:

17:01 GMT, 23 September 2012

England were comprehensively beaten by India in their World Twenty20 Group A match in Colombo on Sunday.

Having been set an achievable 171 to win, Stuart Broad's side capitulated against spin as they were skittled out for just 80 runs.

Shocker: Hales (above) and Morgan (below) are both clean bowled

Shocker: Hales (above) and Morgan (below) are both clean bowled

Shocker: Hales (above) and Morgan (below) are both clean bowled
SCORECARD

Click here for the full scorecard from Colombo

Rohit Sharma passed 50 for India, whose leading wicket-taker was Harbhajan Singh with four.

More to follow…

Plenty to ponder: Luke Wright trudges back to the pavilion

Plenty to ponder: Luke Wright trudges back to the pavilion

Liverpool return to training under Brendan Rodgers as Steven Gerrard admits shock

Back to the drawing board! Rodgers bids to revive Liverpool troops in training after opening shocker at West Brom

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UPDATED:

11:54 GMT, 20 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers got back to work on Monday morning as they absorb the opening-day humiliation at West Brom.

In his first match in charge, Rodgers looked on in horror as they slipped to a comprehensive defeat against the team managed by Steve Clarke – sacked as Kenny Dalglish's No 2 in the summer.

The players – including captain Steven Gerrard, who admitted he was 'shocked' by the result – returned to Melwood on Monday in a bid to finesse their tactics.

Look, come here: Brendan Rodgers shows youngster Jack Robinson how he wants it done on Monday

Look, come here: Brendan Rodgers shows youngster Jack Robinson how he wants it done on Monday

Listen up: Rodgers speaks to his players as they attempt to bounce back from the defeat

Listen up: Rodgers speaks to his players as they attempt to bounce back from the defeat

Rodgers was animated in training, appearing to drill into his players eaxctly what is needed as they launch another bid to keep pace with the Barclays Premier League title chasers.

Gerrard urged his team-mates not to panic, but conceded the Liverpool players were left stunned by their surprise opening-day defeat at West Bromwich.

The Reds had Daniel Agger sent off as they lost 3-0 at The Hawthorns but Gerrard believes it is essential everyone looks beyond the result.

'The feeling after was one of total shock with the result. It was never a 3-0 game,' said the England international. 'I fancied us to go there, dominate and win but things didn't work out that way. In football you can be left feeling hard done by.

'It's not the start we wanted but
it's no time for panic. It's only the first game and it was one bad day
at the office. We've got to look at the bigger picture. There's been so
much hope around the place and rightly so.'

Pointing the way: Andy Carroll looks glum as Rodgers dishes out instructions

Pointing the way: Andy Carroll looks glum as Rodgers dishes out instructions

Gerrard
added in the Liverpool Echo: 'After a 3-0 defeat everyone is going to
be concerned. It's important that the likes of myself and the other
experienced players take responsibility for a poor defeat.

'We
have to put it behind us. We've got to dust ourselves down and bounce
back against Hearts (in the Europa League) on Thursday night.

'We have to react in the right manner and look to put things right in the coming games.'

Midfielder Charlie Adam has dismissed speculation about his future at Anfield by insisting he is determined to stay and fight for his place.

The Scotland international, signed last
summer by former manager Kenny Dalglish, has fallen down the pecking
order after the return to fitness of Lucas Leiva and the arrival of Joe
Allen from Swansea.

He has already been linked to a number of clubs but said he was committed to staying.

'I am happy at Liverpool and why would I leave after a year There is no point,' he said. 'I am open enough to say I have had a conversation with the manager but for me I'm not going anywhere.

'I am playing with some of the best players in the world, I have a good coach, good manager, and I am learning every day from what he is doing.

'I want to play this year and hopefully I get the opportunity to do that. For us at Liverpool it is a big season, we have got the Europa League and we want to improve on what we did last year in the league.'

Things can only get better for Brendan Rodgers

Don't worry Brendan, it can only get better after this shocker: Rodgers can't believe it as new club crash 3-0

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UPDATED:

22:55 GMT, 18 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

New Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was taunted with chants of 'You're getting sacked in the morning' after a 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich Albion – the worst start his club have ever made to a Premier League season.

Rodgers, who replaced Kenny Dalglish in the summer and is charged with getting Liverpool into the Champions League, could only watch as defender Daniel Agger was sent off for pushing Shane Long and goals from Zoltan Gera, Peter Odemwingie and Romelu Lukaku had Albion's new manager, Steve Clarke, celebrating.

Why so serious Brendan Rodgers (right) was jeered by West Brom fans as Liverpool were well beaten 3-0

Why so serious Brendan Rodgers (right) was jeered by West Brom fans as Liverpool were well beaten 3-0

Victory was sweet for Clarke, who was also fired by Liverpool as Dalglish's assistant.

And to make Rodgers's day even worse, his former club, Swansea, won 5-0 at QPR.

On a day when football was challenged to improve its behaviour following the sportsmanship widely praised at the London Olympics, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew got off to a false start when he was sent to the stands for pushing referee's assistant, Stuart Burt, in the back as he disputed a decision during his side's 2-1 defeat of Tottenham 2-1 in the first game in charge of Spurs for former Chelsea boss Andr Villas-Boas.

Pardew said: 'I was stupid and I've been in to see the linesman to apologise.

'All week I've been preaching good behaviour in the best Olympian spirit to the players.

'They showed that – I didn't. I don't know whether it will be taken any further but obviously I would have to take my punishment.

Get in there: Zoltan Gera (right) celebrates his goal with team-mat Shane Long (left)

Get in there: Zoltan Gera (right) celebrates his goal with team-mat Shane Long (left)

It gets worse: Liverpool's Daniel Agger was sent off for a push on Long after going 1-0 down

It gets worse: Liverpool's Daniel Agger was sent off for a push on Long after going 1-0 down

'The linesman was standing right in front of me when he made his decision and I just reacted instinctively.'

While Pardew can expect a disciplinary comeback for making contact with an official, Liverpool's defeat was the day's big talking point.

Rodgers claimed the loss of Agger, when the score was 1-0, was the turning point and he may appeal against the Dane's red card.

'The sending-off killed us,' said Rodgers. 'In the first half, we controlled the game.

'The players will be hurting. It is all very well talking about patience but we have to win games.

'The reality is we need to score more goals if we're going to affect the top half of this League. Hopefully, we won't have too many days like that.'

Things may not get better very soon, though. Next up for Liverpool in the League are champions Manchester City, with Arsenal and Manchester United due at Anfield in September.

Cheer up: Luis Suarez and his fellow Liverpool players were unable to make an impact on the game

Cheer up: Luis Suarez and his fellow Liverpool players were unable to make an impact on the game

As for Albion, it was a hugely satisfying day for Clarke, who might have been celebrating an even greater winning margin had Long not fluffed the penalty awarded to him for the incident which saw Agger's dismissal.

Rodgers's successor in charge at Swansea, Michael Laudrup, celebrated a crushing win over QPR.

Former England goalkeeper Rob Green was at fault for Michu's opener and the Spaniard added a second goal after half-time.

Nathan Dyer scored twice and Scott Sinclair grabbed the fifth in what was a devastating day for Rangers manager Mark Hughes and the team he has assembled this summer.

Elsewhere: Arsenal got off to an underwhelming start by drawing 0-0 with Sunderland at home

Elsewhere: Arsenal got off to an underwhelming start by drawing 0-0 with Sunderland at home

Across London, the pressure increased on Arsene Wenger as Arsenal fired a blank against Martin O'Neill's Sunderland battlers.

Following Robin van Persie's 24million departure to Manchester United, new boys Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud failed to find the net.

Wenger may now have to reinforce his midfield after confirming the transfer of midfielder Alex Song to Barcelona for around 15million.

Wenger said: 'Sometimes you lose players when they are at their peak. We may bring somebody in to compensate.'

London 2012 Olympics: Tomas Berdych crashes out

Darcis bounces Berdych out of singles as Czech's Wimbledon woe continues

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UPDATED:

13:16 GMT, 28 July 2012

Tomas Berdych's miserable summer on the Wimbledon grass continued as he was knocked out in the first round of the Olympics by Belgium's Steve Darcis.

The Czech sixth seed lost his opener on Centre Court at the Championships to Ernests Gulbis, and it was deja vu as he slumped to a 6-4, 6-4 defeat against world No 75 Darcis.

Shocker: Belgium's Steve Darcis was too good for Tomas Berdych in the first round of the men's singles

Shocker: Belgium's Steve Darcis was too good for Tomas Berdych in the first round of the men's singles

Berdych reached the final of Wimbledon two years ago, losing to Rafael Nadal, and had been expected to provide a challenge to home favourite Andy Murray in the quarter-finals here.

Seventh seed Janko Tipsarevic had no such problems against Argentina's David Nalbandian, the Serb coming through 6-3, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Germany's Philipp Petzschner, while Darcis next faces Santiago Giraldo of Colombia.

More to follow…

Down and out: Tomas Berdych's bid for singles glory at the Olympics is over after a first-round defeat

Down and out: Tomas Berdych's bid for singles glory at the Olympics is over after a first-round defeat