Tag Archives: source

Sergio Aguero in line for Manchester City return against Fulham

Aguero boost as City striker is back in training… and he could play against Fulham

By
Ian Ladyman

PUBLISHED:

16:08 GMT, 16 January 2013

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UPDATED:

17:24 GMT, 16 January 2013

Manchester City have been boosted today by the return to training of star striker Sergio Aguero and he has an outside chance of playing against Fulham on Saturday.

Aguero has not featured for the Barclays Premier League champions since injuring his hamstring against Stoke City on New Year’s Day.

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

Training day: Aguero was pictured in his kit at Carrington on Wednesday

But it is understood that the Argentine – who spent time with a specialist in Italy in a bid to make a quick recovery – took part in a light session today and has an outside chance of being ready for a return to action at the Etihad on Saturday.

A City source said: 'Sergio is back and looks good. He didn’t train fully with the first team so we won’t know until maybe Friday whether he will make the Fulham game yet.

On the mend: Aguero limped off against Stoke on New Year's Day

On the mend: Aguero limped off against Stoke on New Year's Day

'But he came through everything okay today and the signs are good.'

City manager Roberto Mancini will not want to rush Aguero back in to action, especially given that his team have tougher games than the Fulham one on the horizon.

Kauto Star leaves Paul Nicholls" stables to begin new career in dressage

Nicholls saddened after Kauto Star leaves his stables to begin new career in dressage

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UPDATED:

18:47 GMT, 11 December 2012

Paul Nicholls admitted his 'sadness' after Kauto Star's time at his Ditcheat yard came to an abrupt end on Tuesday.

The winner of five King Georges and two Cheltenham Gold Cups had been officially retired in late October and was expected to remain at Manor Farm Stables in Somerset until Boxing Day, when he was due to parade at Kempton.

Owner Clive Smith had announced on Monday that the 12-year-old would be moving away to be prepared by European bronze medalist eventing rider Laura Collett and long-time Great Britain manager and coach Yogi Breisner for a new career in the world of dressage – a decision not popular with Nicholls and his staff.

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

Leap of faith: Kauto Star has left Nicholls' stables for the final time

The winner of 19 races for the champion trainer, including four Betfair Chases and two Tingle Creeks, Kauto Star had been with Nicholls for eight years and was invariably ridden by his head lad Clifford Baker.

'It is with great sadness that I have to report that Kauto Star has left the yard for the last time,' Nicholls told his Betfair column.

'It has been no secret that Kauto's future has been a great source of debate since we announced his retirement.

'And, to be brutally honest, this morning I felt the time had finally come for me to take control of the situation, and to start making the decisions.

'Now, I am fully aware that Kauto is Clive's horse and he can do as he wishes, even though I would personally have loved Clifford to have looked after him for the rest of his years.

'But what upset me and my team here is
when Clive announced that he had spoken to experts about the horse's
future – but failed to consult and listen properly to the team that had
looked after him here for the past nine years. That really upset us.'

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Crowd favourite: Kauto Star is set to begin a new life in dressage

Nicholls went on: 'So we had a team meeting here this morning. And after listening to everybody involved – there were about six of us in the meeting – I rang up Clive, said I don't want to fall out, but we think it is in the best interests of everybody concerned to take Kauto to Yogi Breisner's this afternoon so that he could start his new career in the dressage field as soon as possible.

'Which we did with the saddest of hearts. But I like to think with a lot of dignity, too. And, yes, there were plenty of tears too. He was a member of the family here at Ditcheat, and we will all miss him so much.

'I would just to like say that it was a privilege for us here at Ditcheat to train the horse. Good luck, old boy. You were the best – and deserve the best.'

Collett, 22, who is an aspiring Olympian based at the Membury Estate in Wiltshire, will be helped by Breisner to assess the gelding's suitability for the discipline in the coming weeks.

She tweeted: 'I feel very privileged and extremely honoured to have been asked to ride Kauto Star. I will be working closely with Yogi to give Kauto Star the best chance of a second career in dressage.'

Members of the Ditcheat team expressed their sadness at the horse's departure, with Nicholls' travelling head girl Donna Blake, tweeting:

'Farewell to our dear Kauto Star, sad day that he is leaving those who genuinely care and respect him. Undeserved.'

Smith is currently abroad, but at a lunch to promote the William Hill King George VI Chase in London on Monday, he had said: 'A lot of very good chasers have gone on to do very well at dressage, like Garrison Savannah and Neptune Collonges and I wanted him to have an interest – he's just too good to be a hack or to be out in a field.

'I wanted him to do something else and he's going to be down at the other side of Lambourn and Laura Collett and Yogi will be working with him. We'll know in a very short time (if it is a possible option).'

Scott Harrison sentenced to four years in prison

Harrison sentenced to four years in Spanish prison after brothel brawl

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UPDATED:

08:51 GMT, 6 November 2012

Shamed former world champion Scott Harrison has been sentenced to four years in a Spanish jail after being convicted of assault.

The Scotsman, 35, returned to the ring in June after almost seven years in the wilderness and had hoped to fight for another world title.

But Harrison, who intends to appeal the verdict, was found guilty of assaulting three men at a brothel after a trial in Malaga.

Return: Scott Harrison (right) in action against Joe Elfidh in September

Return: Scott Harrison (right) in action against Joe Elfidh in September

He received two years each for the two most serious assaults and a fine for the attack on the third victim.

Harrison's dad Peter told the Daily Record: 'Scott will be appealing this, 100 per cent.

'He has already said he is innocent and that remains the case. He’s down but determined to clear his name.

'Scott is a victim here – and I’m not just saying that because I’m his dad.'

Harrison was only released from a Spanish prison in September last year after spending 30 months behind bars for an assault in 2005.

But despite the sentence, Harrison hopes that by appealing, he can continue his comeback in the ring by fighting John Simpson in Glasgow on December 1.

Guilty: Harrison in a Spanish court

Guilty: Harrison in a Spanish court

He has also set his sights on a Scottish showdown with WBO world champion Ricky Burns.

Lead judge Julian Cruz said: 'Harrison is not a first-time offender and his criminal record reflects a prior assault conviction.

'We’re also taking into account the dangerous nature of this attack, the serious injuries inflicted and the fact one of the accused was a professional boxer with extensive experience in fighting.'

Harrison, from Cambuslang near Glasgow, was warned it could take up to a year before his appeal is settled.

But a Spanish legal source said: 'For the appeal to be successful, Harrison will have to show the other witnesses, or victims, lied. Because there is an appeal, everything will be frozen until the appeal is heard.'

Harrison looked sluggish when fighting on the undercard of Burns' stunning victory over Kevin Mitchell in September when he struggled to a points win over Joe Elfidh.

That followed a knockout win over Gyorgy Mizsei Jnr earlier on his return, a far cry from his glory days as a featherweight world champion.

Wayne Rooney"s a one-man title machine… no wonder Manchester City would love to have him

Rooney's a one-man title machine… no wonder Man City would love to have him

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UPDATED:

21:43 GMT, 27 April 2012

He remains the most accomplished
footballer in Manchester and last weekend his two goals edged him past
the tally of Old Trafford legend George Best.

Intriguingly, though, Wayne Rooney also remains the English player most coveted by Manchester City.

Happy days: Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney claim they have a strong bond

Happy days: Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney claim they have a strong bond

This week – in an interview in France – Roberto Mancini described Rooney as a 'champion'. What he didn't say, though, was that he would very much like him to be his champion. City's efforts to prise Rooney from their neighbours United may have failed two autumns ago but he remains very much on their radar.

Neither club will ever talk officially about how close Rooney came to leaving Old Trafford for the Etihad Stadium when he deliberated over signing a new contract at United at the start of last season. Suffice to say, though, that at one stage City thought they were extremely close to landing him.

Last summer, too, another move for Rooney was discussed around the City boardroom table and, given the slightest encouragement from the England striker's camp, the world's richest football club would be back.

Asked earlier this season where Rooney would play in a team so full of offensive talent, one well-placed City source said: 'It doesn't matter. We would get him in the team. Every week.'

It is easy to understand why Mancini covets Rooney so much.

While City's season has wobbled and swayed in recent weeks – prior to three recent victories they had taken only five points from five games – the Italian has missed a player of Rooney's character, a footballer who brings more to a team than his ability.

Wonder man: Rooney (centre) scores with an overhead kick against City

Wonder man: Rooney (centre) scores with an overhead kick against City

At the Etihad in Monday's derby, the 26-year-old will represent the biggest threat to City's chances of victory. He has been in rampaging form recently, having raised his game as United began to sense weakness and frailty in the City ranks.

City do have strong characters such as Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Micah Richards. They do not, however, have an individual capable of hauling Mancini's team to victory almost on his own. This is what Rooney brings.

At United he is central to everything that manager Sir Alex Ferguson does. On Match of the Day last weekend, Alan Shearer suggested Rooney had guided United through this season single-handedly.

That may be an exaggeration but nevertheless, Rooney's influence on Ferguson's team is profound. He does not wear the captain's armband but he doesn't need to. He leads by deed. Only this week, Ferguson spoke of Rooney's partnership with Danny Welbeck and a growing understanding that was so evident during last week's 4-4 draw with Everton at Old Trafford. It is clear that he sees the two players as fundamental to his club's future.

Ferguson said: 'I think last week we saw something special.

Love it: Rooney is a champion, says Roberto Mancini

Love it: Rooney is a champion, says Roberto Mancini

'I know there was a lot of reference to the (Dwight) Yorke and (Andy) Cole thing and I think there are similarities to that.

'I thought Welbeck's movement was fantastic last week. He did really well. Attacking-wise we were terrific in the second half.

'Wayne is 26 now and Danny is 21. I would think over the next few years it (the partnership) can only get better. I hope so.'

Rooney has scored 36 goals this season, including a run of 16 in his last 14 games.

Dropped after a night out after Christmas, he has responded by playing the best football of his campaign.

At City, though, they observe Rooney's relationship with his manager closely; they wonder if there are cracks.

Both Rooney and Ferguson have spoken this season of their bond. Indeed, a newspaper that suggested their working relationship had broken down just after the forward was dropped in December were forced into a retraction.

Love it: Rooney is a champion, says Roberto Mancini

Promise: Rooney and Danny Welbeck

Nevertheless, City remain watchful and even within the playing ranks at the Etihad there is clear and unlimited admiration for a player who took last October's 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford harder than anyone.

City captain Kompany said this week: 'He is one of the best strikers in the world, no doubt about that. He has all the qualities of the top strikers – he is quick, powerful and is a goalscorer.

'He is also a leader for his team, and that makes him a special player.'

City's transfer activity will be restricted by the impact of UEFA's financial fair play rules this summer and indeed next but they do expect to shift players like Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and Emmanuel Adebayor over the coming weeks. There will be room on the payroll for new players.

For Rooney to ever make the switch across Manchester there would have to be clear intent on his behalf. It is the only way such a transfer could ever get off the ground.

For now, Rooney bleeds red, in more ways than one. He has his eyes on his fifth Barclays Premier League title.

City, however, have not completely given up.

Peter Crouch"s Cheshire home targeted by burglars

Crouch”s 4.5m Cheshire mansion raided by thieves
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE

Burglars have again targeted the footballer enclave of Alderley Edge striking at the home of Stoke striker Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy.

The 30-year-old and his wife discovered the break-in at their 4.5m home when they returned from a day out.

A burglar had broken into their home through a kitchen window and then turned the house upside down looking for valuables.

Victims for a second time: Abbey and Peter Crouch

Victims for a second time: Crouch”s home has been targeted by burglars

The house – the former mansion of England cricketer Freddie Flintoff – is located on millionaire’s row in Cheshire.

The thief had broken in and made off with a number of rings, thought to belong to the 25-year-old model, a watch and a laptop computer.

The couple, who have an nine-month-old daughter, Sophia, only moved into the six-bedroom property a couple of months ago.

The mansion boasts a gym, a cinema room and a swimming pool and located in Prestbury – an area popular with many footballers.

Luxurious: The 4.5million mansion was given an

Luxurious: The 4.5million mansion was raided by thieves

In fact the Premiership footballer and his wife live just yards from Wayne and Coleen Rooney and Rio Ferdinand also lives nearby.

A police source said: ‘The couple discovered the break-in after they returned to the house at around 7.20pm on Tuesday night.

‘The house had not been ransacked but had been given a pretty untidy going over and there were several items missing.

‘We have no value on the missing items as yet but it was obviously an unpleasant thing to come home to and police have launched an investigation.’

Recent move: Peter Crouch relocated from London to the north of the country following a transfer to Stoke City

Recent move: Peter Crouch returned to Cheshire following transfer to Stoke City

It is not the first time Peter Crouch has been targeted by burglars – he was raided in 2006 at his previous home in Alderley Edge.

On that occasion raiders targeted the England striker as he played for his country in the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Thieves trashed his house stealing football memorabilia, champagne and jewellery and his exclusive Aston Martin car worth a total of 200,000.

He was just one victim of a gang that repeatedly targeted the homes of Premiership footballers, including Steven Gerrard, Emile Heskey and Roque Santa Cruz, in the North West.

James Birch, 20, who raided six footballer’s homes – timing his break-ins to coincide with football games when he knew players would not be at home – was jailed for two and a half years in 2006.

Andy Hooper: image of the week… Zara Dampney

Andy Hooper: My favourite image of the week… Zara Dampney

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Sportsmail”s top snappers Andy Hooper, Graham Chadwick and Kevin Quigley will be showcasing their favourite image of the week.

Award-winning photographer Andy Hooper chooses this stunning capture of Team GB beach volleyball ace Zara Dampney as his standout selection…

Life

This image of Zara Dampney shows the graceful movement of one of our beach volleyball players.

Zara is one half of the pairing hoping to fulfil their dream of competing at London 2012. Beach volleyball is one of the fastest growing Olympic sports and at London 2012 will take place on Horse Guards Parade in London.

They train in Bath and I photographed them in a local studio near the university campus. I was using Kino-flo lighting, which is a continuous light source that enables you to shoot at high speeds without resorting to using flash to freeze the action. This technique produces a softer feel to the lighting on her body.

It was primarily a fashion shoot and was used on page three of the paper but I also wanted to use my time with the girls to get some athletic sports images. This one shows Zara in mid-air about to serve.

Nikon D3

50mm lens

Exposure

1/640th of a second

Aperture F4

ISO 400