Tag Archives: skills

Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez back behind the wheel

Tevez back behind the wheel just days after court bans him for six months…

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

13:09 GMT, 8 April 2013

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UPDATED:

16:33 GMT, 8 April 2013

Carlos Tevez has been driving officials at Manchester City round the bend recently.

And Roberto Mancini will no doubt be fuming to discover his star striker is back behind the wheel just days after admitting to a court that he was caught without insurance while disqualified.

But the Italian need not worry, because while Tevez serves a six-month ban from driving on the road, he was been getting his vehicle fix around the golf course.

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy

Are you sure you're allowed to do that, Carlos Just days after being banned from driving, Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez was back -behind the wheel. Luckily for his legal team, it was only a golf buggy


Carlos Tevez

The 29-year-old
was found guilty at Macclesfield Magistrates’ Court in Cheshire last
week and was ordered to pay 1,145 in court costs, as well as a fine, on
top of the driving sanctions and added punishment of community service,
which he started on Friday.

Tevez was on the golf course 24 hours after starting his sentence, for which he must complete 250 hours.

Court in the act: Tevez was banned from driving after an appearance in front of Macclesfield magistrates on Wednesday... but he'll be back in action tonight in the Manchester derby

Court in the act: Tevez was banned from driving after an appearance in front of Macclesfield magistrates on Wednesday… but he'll be back in action tonight in the Manchester derby

Court in the act: Tevez was banned from driving after an appearance at Macclesfield Magistrates Court on Wednesday... but he'll be back in action tonight in the Manchester derby

The Argentine arrived for his
cleaning duties in a 100,000 Porsche, chauffeur-driven to the site in
Cheshire where he was soon informed that he would be cleaning a 30ft
storage container owned by the Probation Service, according to The Sun.

He worked for two hours cleaning
equipment including brushes, wheelbarrows, lawnmowers and spades. Maybe
that's why he thought it was a good idea to scrub up on his golf skills,
too.

VIDEO: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina stars as Roman soldier in new film

VIDEO: All hail Reina as Liverpool keeper stars as Roman soldier in new film

By
Dave Wood

PUBLISHED:

13:15 GMT, 19 March 2013

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UPDATED:

19:35 GMT, 19 March 2013

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina took time out from preparing for crucial World Cup qualifiers to show off his acting skills.

The Spaniard, who is in line to make a rare appearance for the Roja after first choice Iker Casillas was ruled out of the upcoming matches against Finland and France, donned classic Roman garb to star as a soldier in a new short-film called 'Invictus, el correo del Cesar.'

Scroll down for video

Film star: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina

Film star: Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina

Hot seat: Cesc Fabregas (centre) and David Villa (right) were at the premiere

Hot seat: Cesc Fabregas (centre) and David Villa (right) were at the premiere

The film is directed by Javier Fesser, who has won three Baftas including Best Director and Best Original
Screenplay for 'The Way' in 2008 and Best Live Action Short Film for
'That ritmillo' in 1995.

The film's premiere was held in Madrid on Monday and Spanish stars David Villa, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas and Jordi Alba were among the audience.

The film is being bankrolled by insurance company Plus Ultra Seguros, who also use Reina to front their advertising campaigns.

Reina also used his trip to Spain to reiterate his commitment to Liverpool after being linked as a potential replacement for wantaway Victor Valdes.

'[A move to Barcelona] is not in my hands and the rumour mongering is part of that,' Reina told Spanish newspaper AS. 'They're such a great club, but I'm happy at Liverpool.'

Video: Reina the actor

Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina dons Roman gear for advert

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Jamie Redknapp: Arsenal should pay Theo Walcott what he wants

Weekend Watch: Walcott is the real deal, just pay him and play him

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UPDATED:

22:34 GMT, 30 December 2012

Star Man: Theo Walcott

There were some typical frustrations from Theo Walcott on Saturday and I'm told some Arsenal fans were shouting 'sell him.' Are they mad Don't get wrapped up in a debate of where he plays, just let him play. And get him that new contract. Pay him what he wants.

Star attraction: Theo Walcott holds the match ball after scoring a hat-trick for Arsenal against Newcastle United on Saturday

Star attraction: Theo Walcott holds the match ball after scoring a hat-trick for Arsenal against Newcastle United on Saturday

Ba a bad loss

Newcastle have a lot of injuries and Cheick Tiote seems to have lost his hunger. Demba Ba has been carrying them. Take away his 13 league goals and they are in deep trouble. But with that get-out clause, no wonder Chelsea are interested. He'll be a great buy for them.

In the window: Demba Ba, scoring here for Newcastle against Arsenal at the weekend, is attracting interest from Chelsea ahead of the transfer window

In the window: Demba Ba, scoring here for Newcastle against Arsenal at the weekend, is attracting interest from Chelsea ahead of the transfer window

Impossible Bale

Did he dive, or didn't he I get six re-runs at Sky to make up my mind, our commentary team might get a couple working live. The referee gets one and I think they are guessing, as if tossing a coin. This time, referee Martin Atkinson was wrong. But Gareth Bale is so fast, they have my sympathy.

Frustration: Martin Atkinson books Bale for diving, earning him a one match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season

Frustration: Martin Atkinson books Bale for diving, earning him a one match suspension for accumulating five yellow cards this season

Sure on Shawcross

The saying in football that you can sometimes have your best games when you are not playing was prevalent at Stoke. They missed the organisational skills and ability to sense danger of their captain Ryan Shawcross. He's a good defender who will improve, too.

Commanding presence: Ryan Shawcross (centre) has impressed for Stoke so far this season

Commanding presence: Ryan Shawcross (centre) has impressed for Stoke so far this season

Keep cool with Paul

I like Paul Lambert, but he will need cool heads all around him now. The Aston Villa board need to back their manager in the window and the supporters have to hold their nerve. Most importantly, the players need to liven up and stop using their age as an excuse.

What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday

What now It was a case of it never rains but it pours for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert as they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat by Wigan on Saturday

Osman's the man

He’s 31 and he’s English — and wasn’t it delightful to see Leon Osman going toe to toe with Juan Mata yesterday I was looking forward to seeing the Spaniard, who is having a wonderful season. But Osman (right) was every bit as good. He’s terrific for Everton.

Great season: Leon Osman of Everton is starting to realise his massive potential

Great season: Leon Osman of Everton is starting to realise his massive potential

Why sell Frank

It’s not because he’s my cousin, more that he makes such a difference to Chelsea . . . what are they doing letting Frank Lampard go Like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are symbols of Manchester United’s success, Frank (right) is such a top pro in that dressing room.

Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer

Food for thought: Lampard's double in an excellent performance at Goodison Park may prompt the Chelsea hierarchy to rethink not offering him a new contract in the summer

Team of the season (so far…)

4-3-3: Begovic (Stoke, right); Zabaleta (Man C), Williams (Swansea), Shawcross (Stoke), Baines (Everton); Carrick (Man U), Michu (Swansea), Mata (Chelsea); Bale (Spurs), Suarez (Liverpool), Van Persie (Man U). No Cazorla or Fellaini, but I couldn’t fit them in. Sorry!

James Anderson praises Alastair Cook"s leadership skills

Anderson praises captain Cook for leading by example with the bat to put England on brink of series win

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UPDATED:

11:21 GMT, 9 December 2012

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

Relaxing after the win: Jimmy Anderson raises a glass after the win

England paceman James Anderson praised the leadership skills of captain Alastair Cook after leading the side to a seven-wicket win over India in the third Test in Kolkata.

Cook's 190 in the first innings helped set the tourists on their way at Eden Gardens before the bowlers took over to dismiss India for 247 on their second turn at the crease.

That left England with a victory target of 41 runs and, despite a last-minute wobble, Ian Bell and Nick Compton settled nerves to move the team 2-1 ahead in the series with one match to play.

It followed an impressive performance in the second Test in Mumbai last week, and Anderson admits they could not have done it without captain Cook.

'The first Test we saw how it was going to be tough for us,' he told BBC Five Live's Sportsweek.

'We bounced back last week but to come here and put in an equally good performance was something special.

'Cook has been brilliant. The amount of runs he's got in the last three games have been incredible and he's crucial to the team. His first-innings score was a huge factor in us winning the game.

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

In form: Anderson had a good Test with the ball

'He's the sort of guy who likes to lead from the front, lead by example, and he just wants to go out there and show what he can do and hopes everyone follows him. And we're certainly doing that.'

Anderson finished with six wickets in the match, but thinks spinners Graeme Swann (three wickets) and Monty Panesar (five) also deserve credit for the part they played.
'(Swann and Panesar) have been fantastic in the last two games,” said Anderson.

'Monty especially, having not played much international cricket over the last 12 months.
'He's settled back in brilliantly and got us crucial wickets at crucial times, and he's done that throughout the game.

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

In it together: Anderson says Cook has been a good leader on the tour

'With Swanny, we know what we're going to get with him. As in this game, getting the crucial wicket of (Virender) Sehwag which started off that run for us in that session yesterday.'

Anderson is already turning his attention to the fourth Test in Nagpur next week, where England have the chance to secure a 3-1 series win.

But the paceman sounded a note of caution, saying: “We've got a lot of improving to do.

'We're really pleased with the last two wins, but going into the fourth Test we want to win the series outright and put in a really good performance to finish with.

'We really want to focus on the last game and if we can win that and win the series outright we can celebrate after that.'

Chris Robshaw may lose Lions place, says Warren Gatland

Tough ruck for Robshaw: Lions skipper He's struggling to make the squad, says Gatland

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UPDATED:

01:02 GMT, 29 November 2012

As if Chris Robshaw hasn't suffered enough already this week, the England captain was dealt another hammer blow on Wednesday: to his Lions hopes.

The 26-year-old Harlequins flanker has had to endure criticism and scrutiny after England's defeat by South Africa last Saturday.

His decision to go for goal from a late penalty was questioned on the field and has been widely debated ever since.

Tough ruck: Chris Robshaw could lose his Lions place in the Lions squad

Tough ruck: Chris Robshaw could lose his Lions place in the Lions squad

For Robshaw, it has been an uncomfortable peek into the downside of captaincy but now his playing credentials have been called into question – by a man he would be hoping to impress.

Warren Gatland named Robshaw as a Lions captaincy contender when he became head coach in September but the Kiwi suggested that, far from being a potential skipper for the Australia tour, Robshaw may lack the specialist skills to be selected at all.

After England's defeat by the Wallabies on November 17, when visiting No 7 Michael Hooper put in a man-of-the-match display, there was fresh talk about England's lack of an out-and-out openside.

Gatland continued that theme: 'Sometimes they struggle for a genuine No 7. I know Chris (Robshaw) has been doing that role and people speak really strongly of his leadership qualities.

Hard week: Robshaw has endured a great deal of criticism this week

Hard week: Robshaw has endured a great deal of criticism this week

'The hard thing about the English game now is the way it's being very dominantly refereed towards the attacking side, which often makes it difficult for a genuine No 7 to get himself in the game.

'So you can go in there with sixand- a halves or sixes. We saw that with Leicester playing (Thomas) Waldrom at seven as well and being able to get away with it. Just watch how quickly referees are calling “ruck, hands off, leave it alone”.

'I think if they get that balance and allow the sevens to be more aggressive and compete legitimately, that's going to help develop more No 7s.

'You need genuine sevens going to Australia. You need sevens who are competing hard on the ball and being effective. It's not just about Pocock – it's Hooper and Gill as well (Wallaby opensides). They are all three quality No 7s.'

Wrong call: Robshaw had a tough decision to make during England's defeat against South Africa

Wrong call: Robshaw had a tough decision to make during England's defeat against South Africa

Wrong call: Robshaw had a tough decision to make during England's defeat against South Africa

Another factor working against Robshaw is that Wales skipper Sam Warburton, the early frontrunner for the Lions captaincy, is a No 7 with a poacher's instinct.

While the Cardiff player has been striving for form in a difficult summer tour Down Under and on into this season, Gatland yesterday offered him words of encouragement after an improved showing against New Zealand.

'I was pleased last week with Sam,' he said. 'He had been under a bit of criticism and I thought he was outstanding against the All Blacks. I thought he carried strongly in the second half.

'I spoke to Sam after the game and told him, “I thought you did a really good job on McCaw”.

'He said, “I didn't feel McCaw was a real threat at the breakdown. He was just a real nuisance in terms of slowing down the game, how quickly he gets back to his feet”.

'He said (David) Pocock is a different animal – he floats around the back, sees an opportunity and competes really hard on the ball. That was a pleasing conversation – Sam identified the difference in sevens he was playing against.'

Gatland has to appoint his assistant coaches, to be unveiled on December 12 in Edinburgh. Then comes a reconnaissance trip to Australia, to assess training venues and other logistics.

'The captaincy issue is the tough one at the moment,' he said at the launch of the adidas Lions shirt.

Bouncing back England are hoping to recover from defeat against the Springboks

Bouncing back England are hoping to recover from defeat against the Springboks

'Ideally, you are saying it is someone guaranteed selection for the Test side, but you are looking at the strength in certain positions; there is no guarantee in that.

'Someone like Jamie Heaslip has captained Ireland in the last couple of games – that puts him in the frame as well. There are a lot of potential options. It's a really interesting debating point but I don't think it's something we should get too hung up about.'

One issue Gatland is avoiding is the home nations' poor results against the southern hemisphere.

'We might not be as strong as we can be,' he said, 'but we'll be ready when we need to be.'

Meanwhile, England's reserve fly-half Owen Farrell is a shock nomination for the International Rugby Board player of the year award, with France No 10 Frederic Michalak and New Zealand's McCaw and Dan Carter.

Neil Ashton previews tonight"s midweek mayhem in the Barclays Premier League – Video Special

VIDEO: Neil Ashton previews Wednesday's matches… and tips Fulham to shock Chelsea in the derby

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 28 November 2012

Neil Ashton

It's midweek mayhem tonight in the Baclays Premier League – and Sportsmail is right in the thick of it.

With every game tonight a belter, Daily Mail Football News Correspondent Neil Ashton (right) talks us through all the big clashes and offers his predictions for MailOnline.

MailOnline's Ash Wednesday columnist doesn't hold back, reckoning on a shock result in tonight's west London derby at Stamford Bridge and a predicting outcomes which are sure to prove unpopular in certain areas of Merseyside.

Ashton said: 'After a last week's managerial sackings and a period of off-field controversies, it's great to get back to the football this midweek.

'I'm looking forward to a glut of goals and silky skills in all eight matches. But I'll be watching with interest from the Stamford Bridge press box.'

WATCH NEIL ASHTON'S VIDEO PREVIEW HERE…

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VIDEO: Neil Ashton previews tonight's Premier League matches

Click HERE for his verdict on Chelsea v Fulham (7.45pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Everton v Arsenal (7.45pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Southampton v Norwich (7.45pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Stoke v Newcastle (7.45pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Swansea v West Brom (7.45pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Tottenham v Liverpool (7.45pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Manchester United v West Ham (8pm)

Click HERE for his verdict on Wigan v Manchester City (8pm)

Barcelona field La Masia team for first time in La Liga game… but how does the Premier League compare

The La Masia Dream Team: Barcelona field a homegrown side for the first time… but how do the English leagues compare

By
Adam Shergold and Liv Lee

PUBLISHED:

12:50 GMT, 26 November 2012

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UPDATED:

13:48 GMT, 26 November 2012

Any 4-0 victory away from home is satisfying, but the Barcelona coaching staff would have been more glowing than usual last night.

For the first time, Barca fielded an entirely homegrown eleven for much of the match at Levante, so this was as much a triumph for the club’s fabled La Masia academy as anything else.

The historic moment came in the 14th minute when the only outsider, Dani Alves, went off injured and was replaced by Martin Montoya.

Production line: For the first time, Barcelona fielded a side entirely made up of players from their famous La Masia academy (pictured), which produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta

Production line: For the first time, Barcelona fielded a side entirely made up of players from their famous La Masia academy (pictured), which produced the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta

And so the La Masia XI read: Victor Valdes, Martin Montoya, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Pedro, Lionel Messi and Cesc Fabregas.

Not too bad, is it

Of course, not every one of those players was born in the shadow of Camp Nou – Messi was born 6,500 miles away in Rosario, Argentina and Iniesta’s home village is geographically closer to Madrid.

Prodigy: Cesc Fabregas in action for Barcelona's youth team against Athletic Bilbao in 2003. The La Masia product was sold to Arsenal in 2003 before returning to Barcelona eight years later

Prodigy: Cesc Fabregas in action for Barcelona's youth team against Athletic Bilbao in 2003. The La Masia product was sold to Arsenal in 2003 before returning to Barcelona eight years later

And, as we know, many of them flew the nest after their football education – Gerard Pique to Manchester United, Cesc Fabregas to Arsenal and Jordi Alba to Valencia – only to return to familiar and friendly surroundings.

But the common thread is that their football skills were honed and their talent nurtured at La Masia.

For over 30 years, La Masia, which was an 18th-century country farmhouse, has been the heart of Barcelona’s legendary academy production line.

Aside from the current generation, previous graduates include Jordi Cruyff, Pepe Reina, Mikel Arteta and Thiago Motta.

Top class: former Manchester United defender Pique (back row, left), Arsenal's Fabregas (back right) and Messi (front right) during their time at La Masia

Top class: former Manchester United defender Pique (back row, left), Arsenal's Fabregas (back right) and Messi (front right) during their time at La Masia

Sing song: Bobby Robson, then Barcelona manage, next to young goalkeeper Pepe Reina and (second left) Andres Iniesta

Sing song: Bobby Robson, then Barcelona manager, next to young goalkeeper Pepe Reina and (second left) Andres Iniesta

While the operation has long since outgrown the dormitories of the farmhouse – there are 15 different squads beneath the B team and more than 300 talented hopefuls from all around the world – La Masia remains the spiritual home.

As Pep Guardiola, the manager who reaped the benefits most from La Masia’s magical conveyor belt of prodigies, said: ‘The player who has passed through La Masia has something different to the rest – it’s a plus that only comes from having competed in a Barcelona shirt from the time you were a child.’


THE PREMIER LEAGUE HOMEGROWN SHORTAGE

Sportsmail took at look at the homegrown talent on display in last weekend's Premier League clashes. Most teams had only one or two on the pitch.

Manchester United and Newcastle led the charge with four each, while six teams, including Chelsea and Manchester City, failed to turn out a single academy player.

None came close to rivalling the full house that Barca bred from its own esteemed training facility.

Still running: Paul Scholes was perhaps the most famous graduate of Manchester United's academy in the team that beat QPR on Saturday

Still running: Paul Scholes was perhaps the most famous graduate of Manchester United's academy in the team that beat QPR on Saturday

The full list:

Manchester United (4)

Jonny Evans, Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher, Danny Welbeck

Newcastle United (4)

Tim Krul, Steven Taylor, Shane Ferguson, Sammy Ameobi

Aston Villa (3)

Ciaran Clark, Gabriel Agbonlahor, Marc Albrighton

Liverpool (2)

Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling*

Southampton (2)

Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana

Tottenham Hotspur (2)

Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore

West Ham United (2)

James Tomkins, Mark Noble

Arsenal (1)

Kieran Gibbs

Everton (1)

Leon Osman

Reading (1)

Hal Robson-Kanu

Stoke City (1)

Ryan Shotton

Sunderland (1)

Jack Colback

Swansea City (1)

Ben Davies

Chelsea, Fulham, Manchester City, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion, Wigan Athletic (0)


Flying start: Liverpool have bright hopes for Raheem Sterling, one of two homegrown talents in the side that drew at Swansea

Flying start: Liverpool have bright hopes for Raheem Sterling, one of two homegrown talents in the side that drew at Swansea

*Sterling was on the books of Queens Park Rangers between 2003 and 2010, when he was signed by then Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez for 600,000. Sterling spent two years in Liverpool's youth teams.


Factory of football: The Nou Camp complex in Barcelona, comprising the main and B team stadiums and a number of training buildings and pitches

Factory of football: The Nou Camp complex in Barcelona, comprising the main and B team stadiums and a number of training buildings and pitches

Dwarfed: Despite being the oldest part of the Nou Camp site, La Masia is tiny compared to the high stands of the main stadium

Dwarfed: Despite being the oldest part of the Nou Camp site, La Masia is tiny compared to the high stands of the main stadium

THE CHAMPIONSHIP HOMEGROWN PLAYERS

In the Championship match-ups there was an even poorer show of youth academy players. Six teams fielded three, but not a single club managed any more than that.

Like the Premier League there were six teams without a single homegrown player on show.

Hot shot! Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is being courted by a number of top flight sides after a blistering start to the season

Hot shot! Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha is being courted by a number of top flight sides after a blistering start to the season

The full list:

Wolverhampton Wanderers (3)

Carl Ikeme, Anthony Forde, David Davis

Blackburn Rovers (3)

Martin Olsson, Adam Henley, Grant Hanley

Bristol City (3)

Louis Carey, Joe Bryan, James Wilson

Derby County (3)

Mark O’Brien, Will Hughes, Jeff Hendrick

Leeds United (3)

Tom Lees, Dominic Poleon, San Byram

Middlesbrough (3)

Jason Steele, Seb Hines, Stuart Parnaby

Huddersfield Town (2)

Alex Smithies, Jack Hunt

Charlton Athletic (2)

Chris Solly, Danny Green

Watford (2)

Tommie Hoban, Sean Murray

Brighton (2)

Lewis Dunk, Dean Hammond

Burnley (1)

Chris McCann

Birmingham City (1)

Jack Butland

Crystal Palace (1)

Wilfried Zaha

Ipswich Town (1)

Luke Hyam

Leicester City (1)

Jeffrey Schlupp

Barnsley (1)

Reuben Noble-Lazarus

Cardiff City (1)

Ben Nugent

Peterborough United (1)

Joe Newell

Millwall, Blackpool, Bolton, Hull City, Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday (0)

QPR players have to "be at it" against Sunderland, warns Harry Redknapp

QPR players have to 'be at it' against Sunderland, warns new boss Redknapp

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UPDATED:

23:49 GMT, 24 November 2012

Harry Redknapp watched his new club
QPR slump to defeat at Manchester United just hours after
accepting the biggest challenge of his career.

Redknapp agreed a two-and-a-half year
contract to replace the sacked Mark Hughes and then travelled north to
sit glum-faced in the rain as defeat left Rangers five points from
Premier League safety and without a win this season.

Watching brief: Harry Redknapp (right) in the stands at Old Trafford

Watching brief: Harry Redknapp (right) in the stands at Old Trafford

Redknapp considers the challenge far tougher than the job he took at Spurs in 2008, when they were bottom with two points from eight games.

He did not take charge of yesterday’s game, sitting instead next to chief executive Philip Beard, but warned the club’s highly paid stars he expects a massive improvement, starting at Sunderland on Tuesday night.

‘The players have to be at it. The buck stops with them. I know Mark lost his job, but it’s down to the players,’ said 65-year-old Redknapp, who will reportedly earn a 1million bonus on top of his 3m salary.

‘He could only do what he could do. There are some good players here and they really need to step up and start performing.

‘They are man enough to know they’re to blame for the position we are in.’

Hopeful moment: Jamie Mackie celebrates his goal for QPR

Hopeful moment: Jamie Mackie celebrates his goal for QPR

‘We can’t get any lower. We are rock
bottom. We have to try to get up that table. I remember when I was at
Portsmouth and we stayed up with a game to go at Wigan — it was the most
fantastic feeling.’

Chairman Tony Fernandes claimed the club had no option but to appoint
Redknapp after Hughes’s more remote style seemed to leave the QPR
players cold.

‘Harry’s man-management skills are second to none and we are confident
he is the right man to lead us away from the bottom of the table,’ he
said.

Redknapp claimed he was ready to take up a job managing England’s World
Cup qualifying opponents Ukraine before getting the offer from Rangers.

Yesterday was the first Premier League match he had attended since being
sacked by Spurs in the summer and being beaten to the England job by
Roy Hodgson.

Good to be back: Darren Fletcher scored on his return for Manchester United

Good to be back: Darren Fletcher scored on his return for Manchester United

‘I hadn’t wanted to go to Premier League games in case people wondered what I was doing there,’ he said.

Redknapp’s mere presence seemed to lift Rangers when they took a shock
lead through Jamie Mackie but United hit back with three goals in eight
minutes through Jonny Evans, Darren Fletcher and Javier Hernandez.

No team have ever made a worse start to a Premier League season than
QPR’s four points in 13 games and he will make signing Spurs centre-half
Michael Dawson his top priority in January.

Redknapp will hold talks with Hughes’s assistants Mark Bowen and Eddie Niedzwiecki this week.

They picked the team yesterday but Bowen said: ‘I don’t know what Harry’s plans are.’

Both are expected to leave the club.

In tandem: Manchester United's Javier Hernandez (right) and Anderson celebrate the third goal

In tandem: Manchester United's Javier Hernandez (right) and Anderson celebrate the third goal

ATP World Tour Finals 2012: Juan Martin Del Potro beats Janko Tipsarevic in front of Sergio Aguero

Del Potro off the mark in front of his mate Aguero as Tipsarevic is brushed aside

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UPDATED:

23:29 GMT, 8 November 2012

Juan Martin Del Potro boosted his hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals with a crushing 6-0 6-4 victory over a below-par Janko Tipsarevic in front of his close friend Sergio Aguero.

So comfortable was Del Potro's victory that he even had time to have a hit with Manchester City striker Aguero – a fellow Argentine – after the match.

Exhibition stuff: Aguero comes down and has a hit with Del Potro after the match on Thursday night

Exhibition stuff: Aguero comes down and has a hit with Del Potro after the match on Thursday night

Exhibition stuff: Aguero comes down and has a hit with Del Potro after the match on Thursday night

Putting the boot in: Del Potro showed off his football skills alongside the Man City striker

Putting the boot in: Del Potro showed off his football skills alongside the Man City striker

Putting the boot in: Del Potro showed off his football skills alongside the Man City striker

Putting the boot in: Del Potro showed off his football skills alongside the Man City striker

Serbian Tipsarevic has been struggling with illness and, after managing only four games against Roger Federer on Tuesday, he was clearly still less than 100 per cent as he was brushed aside by Del Potro.

Del Potro lost to David Ferrer in his first match so badly needed a good win to keep him in contention, and he will reach the semi-finals if he beats Federer in two days' time.

The defending champion secured his progress from Group B earlier on Thursday with a straight-sets win over Ferrer.

Del Potro had never lost a set against
Tipsarevic in three previous meetings and immediately set about
maintaining that record with a run of six straight games.

Easy does it: Del Potro brushed aside Tipsarevic (below) in no time

Easy does it: Del Potro brushed aside Tipsarevic (below) in no time

Easy does it: Del Potro brushed aside Tipsarevic (below) in no time

Tipsarevic at least stopped the rot in the opening game of the second set but he was constantly under pressure on his serve and cracked again in the fifth game.

To the 28-year-old's credit, he continued fighting to the last and forced Del Potro to serve it out, but that proved to be no problem for the Argentinian, who wrapped up victory in an hour and 16 minutes.

The defeat ended Tipsarevic's hopes of making the semi-finals at the tournament for the first time, but he was grateful for small mercies, saying on Twitter: 'Passed the one hour mark one more time baby!!!!Wooooohooooo!!!;)'

Del Potro, meanwhile, gave the crowd a little bit of extra entertainment after the end of the match as he Aguero knocked up on the O2 court.

Stick to the day job: Aguero looked far less at ease with a racket in his hand than he does with a football at this feet

Stick to the day job: Aguero looked far less at ease with a racket in his hand than he does with a football at this feet

Stick to the day job: Aguero looked far less at ease with a racket in his hand than he does with a football at this feet

Deacon Manu will captain Fiji against England

Fiji name Manu as captain for England clash at Twickenham

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 6 November 2012

Scarlets prop Deacon Manu has been confirmed as captain of Fiji for Saturday's QBE international against England at Twickenham.

The 33-year-old, who has 12 caps to his name, led Fiji on their 2010 tour of Europe and in last year's Rugby World Cup.

Skipper: Manu (left) will lead Fiji out against England on Saturday

Skipper: Manu (left) will lead Fiji out against England on Saturday

'Manu has led the team before and has shown good leadership skills,' said Fiji coach Inkike Male.

'With his experience and the respect the boys have in him, I am confident that he has the qualities in him to not only lead the front row, but the whole team.'