Tag Archives: temper

Montenegro stick boot into England over long balls and weak defence

England are SCARED of us! You complain about the pitch when you play long ball. You should forget about our fans and worry about your 'weak' defence instead, blast Montenegro

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Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Passion: Montenegro fans react after the Euro 2012 qualifier against England in Podgorica in 2011

Meanwhile, the president of Montenegro’s football association has begged his own supporters to behave during England’s crunch World Cup qualifier tomorrow night.

Dejan Savicevic awarded Mirko Vucinic with the Montenegro Player of the Year award at Podgorica but took the opportunity to appeal for good behaviour from his own fans.

The Montenegro FA were fined 30,000 for a pitch invasion the last time England visited Montenegro.

He said: ‘I would like our journalists in Montenegro to appeal to our fans to cheer on the team in a sporting manner.

‘During
the last year and a half, our association has to pay penalties for up
to 90,000 Euros we had to bear for the behaviour of our supporters on
this ground.’

Vucinic
himself said he did not believe there would be any crowd trouble
tomorrow night, saying: ‘I expect a beautiful, wonderful atmosphere.

'Our
audience is great and they lift us and carry us on their wings like a
12th player. I am only sorry the stadium is not larger.’

Asked
whether Montenegro will try to play on Rooney’s temperament and wind
him up to get him sent off, Vucinic said: ‘It will not be our tactics to
make him lose his temper.

‘It
will be in our favour if he is given a red card but we will not be
doing anything to provoke him or make him lose his temper.’

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott (above) is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling (below)

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Doubts: Joleon Lescott is expected to marshal the England defence alongside Chris Smalling

Vucinic added: ‘We feel well considering we played a difficult game in Moldova which we won with 10 men. This victory inspires us with self-confidence and hope against strong opponents like England who we are not scared of at all.

‘From the moment I run onto the field I think of victory. That is my way of thinking when I play in Italy and this is the way I think now. What I can say about tomorrow evening is that we keep fingers crossed for Montenegro to win but what we can say is that it will not be as big a thing as it will be if England fail.

'If England fail, it will cost them more. If I’m not wrong, they will be five points behind if they lose tomorrow.’

Inter Milan 1 AC Milan 1: Mario Balotelli misses several chances

Inter Milan 1 AC Milan 1: Balotelli misses raft of chances and his side are made to pay by supersub Schelotto

PUBLISHED:

21:40 GMT, 24 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:51 GMT, 24 February 2013

Mario Balotelli only had himself to blame as AC Milan were pegged back by fierce rivals Inter in Serie clash at the San Siro.

The striker missed several opportunities as Milan dominated the first half, opening the scoring through Stephan El Shaarawy.

Inter fought back in the second period, substitute Ezequiel Schelotto equalising with a powerful header.

Whoops: Mario Balotelli can't make the contact with the ball he desires and Samir Handanovic collects it

Whoops: Mario Balotelli can't make the contact with the ball he desires and Samir Handanovic collects it

Temper temper: Balotelli argues with Inter stalwart Javier Zanetti

Temper temper: Balotelli argues with Inter stalwart Javier Zanetti

How about that Inter came from behind when Ezequiel Schelotto powered in a header

How about that Inter came from behind when Ezequiel Schelotto powered in a header

More to follow.

Harry Redknapp says Roberto Mancini dealt with Mario Balotelli wrong but brands the striker "difficult"

I would never do what Mancini did: Redknapp scolds City boss but brands Balotelli 'difficult'

By
Duncan Bech, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

23:31 GMT, 4 January 2013

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UPDATED:

23:31 GMT, 4 January 2013

QPR manager Harry Redknapp has questioned the wisdom of managers confronting players after reflecting on the training ground clash between Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli.

An argument erupted during Manchester City's practice session yesterday that saw the Italians grapple with each other and Mancini today admitted he lost his temper for 'one or two seconds'.

Redknapp insists such incidents are rare in the modern game and believes there is little to be gained from reading players the riot act.

Redknapp agrees Balotelli is a handful but thinks Mancini got it all wrong

Why always him Redknapp agrees Balotelli is a handful but thinks Mancini got it all wrong

'You shouldn't get in those situations, what can you win It can't happen with players now. Shouting and screaming at players doesn't get you anywhere,' he said.

'Years ago it used to happen. Years and years ago some managers would be throwing cups around. Those days are long gone.

'You lose their respect if you behave like that, you have to talk to them.

'Roberto Mancini's a top manager but I'm sure Balotelli can get you like that. He's difficult.'

Balotelli and Mancini were back in training on Friday morning aftere their bust-up

Glassy eyed: Balotelli and Mancini were back in training on Friday morning aftere their bust-up

On Thursday the two had to be pulled apart as Mancini completely lost his temper

Feud: On Thursday the two had to be pulled apart as Mancini completely lost his temper

There was little danger of Redknapp dueling with any member of QPR's squad yesterday after the 1-0 midweek victory over Chelsea had sent spirits soaring at Loftus Road.

The 65-year-old hopes the club's first win at their west London rivals for 30 years will provide the turning point in their battle against relegation from the Barclays Premier League.

'That win brings the pack back a bit now. We're still adrift but at least we have half a chance. If we can put back to back wins together anything can happen,' Redknapp said.

'Everyone's buzzing on the back of Chelsea, the whole place feels better. There's nothing like it.

'I've been through it so many times before when that big win can change everything. Hopefully it can do that for us now.

'Because of the situation we're in we'll have to claw out results, get some results and nick a 1-0 where we can. We're not going to smash teams up.'

Nelson, Onuoha and Hill celebrate as QPR finally won again against Chelsea

Relief: Nelson, Onuoha and Hill celebrate as QPR finally won again against Chelsea

QPR host West Brom in the third round of the FA Cup tomorrow and Redknapp will give the competition the respect he feels it deserves.

'I often wonder why clubs in the middle of the table put weakened teams out,' he said.

'The only chance you've got of winning something in this country unless you're one of the big four or five is the FA or Capital One cup.

'I don't know why clubs don't have a go for it. Going to Wembley is fantastic.

'Winning's a good habit to get into. I thought we could have taken something out of our recent game against West Brom.

'If you ask the four teams in the semi-finals of the League Cup, they'll all want to be in that final.

'Chelsea might be a bit blasi, but Swansea, Aston Villa and Bradford would love it.'

Robert Huth: Ryan Shawcross dived when Marouane Fellaini headbutted him

Shawcross shouldn't have dived when Fellaini headbutted him, jokes Huth

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UPDATED:

13:25 GMT, 16 December 2012

Robert Huth made light of the Marouane Fellaini headbutt on Ryan Shawcross by sarcastically telling his Stoke colleague he shouldn't have dived.

The morning after the incident the German defender tweeted: 'Hate to see diving in the Prem. Stay on your feet Shawcross.'

Everton drew 1-1 with Stoke on Saturday in a game which was marred by the moment in which the Belgian midfielder viciously headbutted Shawcross.

Combative: Both Robert Huth and Marouane Fellaini like to throw themselves around

Combative: Both Robert Huth and Marouane Fellaini like to throw themselves around

Heads, you lose: Fellaini should be banned, according to his manager David Moyes

Heads, you lose: Fellaini should be banned, according to his manager David Moyes

Heads, you lose: Marouane Fellaini should be banned, according to his manager David Moyes, after he appeared to headbutt Ryan Shawcross

Following the match, Toffees boss
David Moyes admitted the headbutt was 'not acceptable' and Fellaini
issued an apology on the club's official website and on Twitter.

'I apologise completely to Ryan Shawcross, my team-mates and to our fans at the game,' said Fellaini.

'There was a lot of pushing and
pulling going on inside the Stoke penalty area and I didn't feel I was
getting any protection from the officials.

Grounded: Shawcross was left in a heap clutching his face after the clash

Grounded: Shawcross was left in a heap clutching his face after the clash

'Nevertheless I know I shouldn't have done what I did.

'I have also apologised to the manager
and the staff. I have no excuses, I was disappointed with the way I was
being treated and I lost my temper, which was unprofessional of me.'

Moyes said after the game that Everton
would accept any punishment, with referee Mark Halsey's failure to act
allowing the FA scope to hand down retrospective punishment.

Retrospective action: Fellaini could face an FA charge after this incident

Retrospective action: Fellaini could face an FA charge after this incident

Chelsea on alert as Hulk casts doubt over Zenit future with strop at late substitution

Don't make him angry! One-time Chelsea target Hulk casts doubt over Zenit future with strop at late substitution

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UPDATED:

00:25 GMT, 5 December 2012

They say you shouldn't make Hulk mad for fear he might turn green and rip his clothes off.

But that was the risk Zenit St Petersburg manager Luciano Spalletti took during his side's Champions League win over AC Milan. And it could spell the end of a desperately disappointing stint in Russia for the Brazilian.

The powerful striker was substituted with 10 minutes left at the San Siro but greeted his boss' decision with a monstrous strop which left Spalletti fuming.

Scroll down for video of the exchange between Hulk and Spalletti

Temper temper: Hulk refused his manager's handshake and then gestured angrily towards him after being substituted late on in Zenit's win at AC Milan

Temper temper: Hulk refused his manager's handshake and then gestured angrily towards him after being substituted late on in Zenit's win at AC Milan

Temper temper: Hulk refused his manager's handshake and then gestured angrily towards him after being substituted late on in Zenit's win at AC Milan

After first ignoring his manager's offer a handshake, Hulk then made a crossing action with his arm repeatedly, suggesting that he would not tolerate any more at the club.

Spalletti responded with a cutting stare, shake of the head and finger waving while the player continued his protests.

And afterwards, the player said: 'If situation with Spalletti is not solved, in January I will leave .'

Hulk has endured a torrid time at Zenit since his 39.5million switch from Porto in September.

His arrival sparked an angry reaction from the first team squad, angry at the wages being lavished upon the 26-year-old. So unpopular was the move that captain Igor Denisov went public and earned a demotion to the youth team.

The episode in Italy could reignite Chelsea's interest the player, who was tracked closely by the Premier League giants before he opted for Russia.

Hulk, who also interested Tottenham during the summer, moved to Porto from Japanese side Tokyo Verdy in 2008, grabbing 54 goals in 103 league matches. He has 13 Brazil caps.

Tough times: Hulk is having a torrid spell in Russia since his 39m switch

Tough times: Hulk is having a torrid spell in Russia since his 39m switch

Zenit's 1-0 win secured a place in the Europa League.

Manager Spalletti said: 'The lads played well and deserved to win even though it was a bit of a nervous game. I'm happy to have qualified and happy with tonight's game as in the past two years we haven't won away from home, even when we've played well.

'I'd like to say a huge thank you to our fans tonight, as even I was stunned at the number who were here. Their number and enthusiasm tonight gives us extra responsibility.

'We have to work hard for them as they deserve it. Maybe a draw would have been a fairer result as we had to defend a lot, but we have to be happy, we're through. We'll try to do better.'

Mario Balotelli bobblehead tour of Coronation Street and Manchester

Bobble on the cobbles! Balotelli drops into Rovers Return in a visit to Coronation Street

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UPDATED:

12:24 GMT, 15 November 2012

Mini me: Mario Balotelli poses with his bobblehead figuerine at Manchester City's training ground

Mini me: Mario Balotelli poses with his bobblehead figuerine at Manchester City's training ground

With rumours abounding that Luis Suarez could be heading down the M62 from Liverpool in January, it looks increasingly likely that troubled Mario Balotelli could be on his way out at Man City.

But while the Premier League will miss his terrific goals and temper tantrums, it seems the blue half of Manchester will miss the man himself even more, having taken Super Mario to their hearts.

It's a shame, because this Man About Town seems to be right at home and knows all the Mancunian landmarks, from the cobbles of Coronation Street to the Castlefield canals.

To mark the launch of the Ballotelli bobblehead figurine, out just in time to be the perfect Christmas stocking filler for any young (or old) City fan, mini Mario's been on a little tour.

He's been spotted outside the Rovers Return, the famous pub in ITV soap Coronation Street, on the Lowry bridge in the city centre and grabbing a bite to eat at San Carlo, the award-winning restaurant.

And his 'Why Always Me' t-shirt was appropriate when forced into battle with some Daleks at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Rovers return: Balotelli boblehead on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street

Rovers return: Balotelli boblehead on the famous cobbles of Coronation Street

Read all about it: Balotelli waits outside Corrie's famous corner shop The Kabin

Read all about it: Balotelli waits outside Corrie's famous corner shop The Kabin

Neighbourhood watch: Balotelli seems to be waiting for a kickabout with Kev Webster

Neighbourhood watch: Balotelli seems to be waiting for a kickabout with Kev Webster

THE HAMMERS BOBBLEHEADS…
See how West Ham immortalised their co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold HERE

The wacky figurines are part of a set
of six, priced at 15 apiece, with Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero, Vincent
Kompany, Joe Hart and boss Roberto Mancini also available.

The real Balotelli found it hilarious
when he came face-to-face with his plastic alter ego at the club's
Carrington training ground this week.

No doubt he's added it to his Christmas wish list.

Bobbleheads seem to be enjoying a
surge in popularity this year, with the City figurines hot on the heels
of a West Ham collection featuring owners David Gold and David Sullivan,
and Hammers star Mark Noble.

Bite to eat: Balotelli pops into his favourite restaurant San Carlo

Bite to eat: Balotelli pops into his favourite restaurant San Carlo

Road block: Balotelli posing alongside his favoured Bentley Continental GT

Road block: Balotelli posing alongside his favoured Bentley Continental GT

Love story: Balotelli once scribed the word City onto a promotional 'I love Manchester' warm-up t-shirt he wore at the Etihad Stadium

Love story: Balotelli once scribed the word City onto a promotional 'I love Manchester' warm-up t-shirt he wore at the Etihad Stadium

Roberto Mancini rages after being asked about Manchester City future

Raging Mancini feeling the pressure ahead of City's crunch Champions League clash

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UPDATED:

11:43 GMT, 5 November 2012

A furious Roberto Mancini demanded more respect after being asked if he could understand supporters' unease at the revelation he talked to seven or eight clubs last season.

The Italian was agitated and burst into a rant ahead of Manchester City's crucial Champions League game against Ajax on Tuesday.

'Why do you keep asking me about last month and last season Why do you keep asking me about last year' he raged.

Respect: Roberto Mancini was agitated by a question about his future

Respect: Roberto Mancini was agitated by a question about his future

'I stayed here, my work is here. I
believe in the future of this team. I built with the chairman and the owner.

'For 50 years the club won nothing
and now we've won the Premier League and FA Cup in two years.'

The Premier League triumph in the 2011-12 season was the club's first title in 44 years and he was rewarded for that success with a five-year contract.

He added: 'People should have more respect for me and the players at the club.'

Mancini was more jovial on Friday when he made light of the idea that he could be replaced by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola at the Etihad.

But after an agonising goalless draw against West Ham at Upton Park on Saturday and with the hours ticking down before his side fight to stay in the Champions League, he was in no mood for frivolity.

Mancini banged the table with his hand and continued: 'I come here and I am
polite and I answer your questions.

'Every year I may have one or two
situations where I could leave the club but I want to stay here and work
here.

'In the future it will be easy, but what I've had for the first three years is a new team. That's not so easy.'

Two big wins: Mancini has won the Premier League and the FA Cup while at Man City

Two big wins: Mancini has won the Premier League and the FA Cup while at Man City

Mancini's temper was made more
understandable with the news that five players will be out for the visit
of Frank de Boer's talented Ajax side.

The defence has been hit particularly hard, with Joleon Lescott, Maicon, Micah Richards and Kolo Toure all missing.

Jack Rodwell and David Silva will also
be absent from the midfield that struggled to create anything of note
against the Hammers.

City have collected just one point from their opening three games and face an uphill task to reach the knockout stages.

Victory over Ajax is crucial to maintaining any interest but Mancini has again responded to critics by pointing out his team are novices in the competition.

The club are playing in the Champions League for only the second time and, like last year, they have been handed a particularly difficult group, with Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid all domestic champions.

Mancini said: 'In the Champions League there are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Milan, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Manchester United that have more experience than us.

Worries: Man City have several injured players at the moment

Worries: Man City have several injured players at the moment

'True or not It is true. Perfect. We play Champions League for the second year, probably we need to work more for this.

'But sometimes you also need to be
lucky when there is a draw, because if you take a softer group maybe you
have more chance. In these six games you can get more experience for
the February stage.

'This time we again took a difficult
group and you need to work hard. When you are in a group with Borussia
Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax, you can go out. It is possible.'

A little respite came in the news that dynamic midfielder Yaya Toure says he plans on staying in Manchester until he retires.

He told French football paper L'Equipe: 'I want to make history with this club, I want to end my career here.

'I'm pretty sure and I hope that when I'm an old man, sat around, they will still talk about me here.

'Of course there are rows at big club, with all the people with different egos, including mine.

'But we will be okay. I am still confident.'

Jock Stein remembered

The tearful night a giant died: Shock and sorrow after the passing of Jock Stein

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UPDATED:

23:07 GMT, 9 October 2012

'Every manager dies a little during a game. I’d rather die in a dug-out than moulder away in a director’s box.'

Jock Stein, speaking in 1978

From within Ninian Park, across the Welsh valleys and beyond, the news spread fast. There were no mobile phones and no internet connections, merely television bulletins and word of mouth. On a seismic night in Cardiff, Scotland’s national football team had taken a major step closer to qualifying for their fourth successive World Cup Finals.

Yet the celebrations did not last long. Like revellers being doused down by a water hose, the Tartan Army fell silent as the news passed along the line in dribs and drabs. Jock Stein, the colossus of a man who bestrode the Scottish football scene for the best part of three decades, was dead.

Around Scotland, from the highlands and islands to the sprawling conurbations of the central belt and southwards, small and large groups alike had gathered around analogue television sets. Stein’s injury-stricken Scotland needed a solitary point against an up and coming Welsh side, to reach their Holy Grail of a play-off spot against the winners of the Oceanic group.

When Wales struck an early lead, a nation’s faith was tested. The temperament of late substitute Davie Cooper, striking a critical penalty kick nine minutes from time, proved the answer to five million prayers. Stein, the modern day Midas of the Scottish game, had prevailed once more.

Poignant: Jock Stein sitting in command on the bench in Cardiff - shortly after the final whistle, he suffered a fatal heart attack

Poignant: Jock Stein sitting in command on the bench in Cardiff – shortly after the final whistle, he suffered a fatal heart attack

As the final minutes played out, a commotion commenced. Medics and bodies crowded around the Scotland manager just seconds after a rogue photographer had been man-handled from the same area, the final victim of Stein’s volcanic temper.

The tale of Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond, an avid supporter of the national team, echoes that of so many watching that evening.

‘I was sitting in my front room in Linlithgow and what I remember most was the complete contrast of emotions,’ he said. ‘I had been sitting there with my nose to the television revelling in the qualification for the play-off. At the final whistle, I got up to make a cup of tea as reports were coming over, in a slightly garbled manner, that Jock Stein had collapsed.

‘In truth, the initial reports didn’t especially convey the seriousness of it all.

‘It was unbelievable because Jock Stein was always like a rock. He was all pervasive in Scottish football and seemed almost indestructible.’

No one cared to believe, then, as he crumpled to the trackside watched by millions across the UK, that Scotland’s manager already had one foot in the grave.

In football, as in life, hindsight is the only perfect science. Scotland had lost to Wales in Glasgow earlier in the same qualifying campaign, a damaging 1-0 defeat to an Ian Rush goal, placing a manager unaccustomed to public criticism in an uncomfortable position.

Unchecked claims surfaced that the Scotland manager suffered a mild stroke after that game. What was never in doubt was that he was on medication to mediate the dangers of heart failure, yet had opted against taking his pills in the hours leading up to the Cardiff return; ostensibly, in order to remain focused and unencumbered by possible side effects.

Mentor: Stein stands with his No 2 Alex Ferguson before kick-off

Mentor: Stein stands with his No 2 Alex Ferguson before kick-off

Accounts vary on whether Stein was entirely himself in the approach to the Wales game.
Former Celtic manager Gordon Strachan played on the left of midfield that night, before being replaced by Cooper in Stein’s last major managerial decision.

‘Physically, he didn’t look so well,’ recalled Strachan on the 20th anniversary of Stein’s death in 2005. ‘I’d never seen him like that before.

‘He was a bit grey. I understand now, as a football manager, how you can go a bit that way. But he was perspiring.

‘He was a big man, I know that, but it was just a thought that went in and out of my head very quickly, “Jock’s no’ well today”, and I came back to that thought later when I sat down. “Aye, he wasnae well.”’

When an experienced Wales team, forged by Mike England, triumphed in Glasgow, the Scotland team found themselves being physically bullied. At Ninian Park, Stein was determined to avoid a similar fate.

Richard Gough was detailed to pay extra attention to the rumbustious Manchester United striker Mark Hughes. Roy Aitken and Alex McLeish also played, with Willie Miller sweeping behind. Within three minutes, McLeish was booked for his second clash with Hughes in a demonstration of the no-nonsense approach which would typify this turbo-charged encounter. Yet, in a bustling first half, the Scots could barely contain the Old Trafford striker and Hughes duly claimed his sixth goal on his 10th cap for his country in the 13th minute — Peter Nicholas out-muscling Aitken and Steve Nicol before his low cross was thumped into the net.

Stein had been hampered by the absence of Kenny Dalglish through injury, while midfield anchorman Graeme Souness and Liverpool defensive team-mate Alan Hansen were also missing. To compound the problems, goalkeeper Jim Leighton famously lost a contact lens in the first period and carried no spares with him. The matter proved a source of consternation to Alex Ferguson, Scotland’s assistant manager and Leighton’s club manager with Aberdeen. Later, Ferguson reported to having no idea that the taciturn Leighton even wore contacts.

‘At that stage, the players realised nothing,’ stated Maurice Malpas, at the time a young full-back with Dundee United. ‘To this day, I don’t know if he just forgot to bring a spare pair, but Alan Rough went on anyway. There was mayhem in the dressing room when this emerged, but in terms of big Jock there was no indication that he was poorly. To my recollection, he performed the half-time team talk for a start. But like all the players, I was engrossed in the game, that’s just what you do as a player.’

Later, Ferguson would describe some rare and highly unusual signs of confusion within Stein at the interval; the first true indication something might be going awry. In the past, Stein would have commanded his half-time dressing room like a prowling bear, urging, cajoling and rebuking the likes of Leighton for their lack of foresight. Not this time.

Grim news: Ferguson tells Scotland players of Stein's sudden death

Grim news: Ferguson tells Scotland players of Stein's sudden death

As the second half began, Wales remained comfortable. After an hour Stein acted decisively — introducing enigmatic Rangers winger Cooper for Strachan on the left flank.

Cooper effectively changed the game, injecting urgency, trickery and pace into Scotland’s attacking efforts. Suddenly, the Welsh looked vulnerable. In the 80th minute, a Nicol cross was nodded down by Graeme Sharp to David Speedie, whose attempt on goal was handled by Welsh defender David Phillips. It was, by any reckoning, a harsh award. No match, perhaps, for the Joe Jordan ‘handball’ which had robbed the Welsh in similar fashion in 1977, yet Dutch referee Johannes Keizer pointed immediately to the spot in any case.

Cooper’s composed and exemplary penalty, in the circumstances, prompted a volcanic eruption in the Scotland fans packed dangerously close together in terracing behind the goal.

In some respects, the goal served to increase and compound, rather than reduce, the tension. Ernie Walker went to the boardroom in search of alcoholic relief, only to be told firmly that the bar was closed until after the final whistle.

He and squad captain Souness were directed to another VIP room where the pouring of large gin and tonics was a shaky, nervy affair.

Back on the touchline, meanwhile, Stein was rising to his feet to remonstrate with a photographer.
‘There was a bit of a commotion, then it all calmed down again,’ Strachan recalled. ‘Then, next minute, there were a lot of people around.

‘I looked over and thought: “What’s going on here” And that was it. The words I remember are: “Jock’s no’ well. There’s something wrong with his heart.”’

Stein was captured on camera being carried down the wood-panelled, cramped tunnel by four uniformed policemen.

Jubilant, the players thronged back to the cramped dressing room of the old stadium to be met with the immediate sense of displacement. Something, they instinctively sensed, was wrong. Willie Miller was caught by ITV interviewer Martin Tyler in the tunnel, his facial expression visibly altering as the broadcaster confirmed the news of Stein’s collapse.

‘Bizarre is the only word to describe it really,’ recalled Malpas. ‘I was absolutely elated because, to all intents and purposes, we had qualified and, for me, it would be my first World Cup. But, right away, we sensed something wasn’t right.

Giant of the game: Stein

Giant of the game: Stein

‘The backroom staff would normally be there waiting to pat you on the back, but they had all disappeared. Someone, I think it was Alex Ferguson, came in to tell us Jock had suffered a heart attack and everything fell silent. I remember seeing Jimmy Steele, the masseur, who was really close to Jock and he was absolutely distraught.’

In the treatment room, Walker and SFA
director Bill Dickie held Stein upright while Doctor Stewart Hillis
administered a jag to ease his distress. Stein’s last words to Walker
were: ‘I’m alright Ernie.’ Seconds later, the ambulance men, trying to
move the vast figure onto a stretcher, reported he was dead.

‘We
went from one extreme to the next,’ Malpas said. ‘During the game we
had no idea what was happening. Other people were prepared for the news
by watching it unfold on television, not us. I was as high as a kite
and now, suddenly, we were brought back to earth by life. Or by the end
of a life, as it transpired.

‘All we had been preoccupied with was qualifying and now, suddenly that seemed totally immaterial. It didn’t matter a damn.’

Journalists
learned the grim extent of Stein’s collapse when Souness emerged into
the corridor, eyes glistening to state baldly: ‘He’s gone.’

Later, at Edinburgh Airport, an early morning hush descended over the party of players, officials and press men who collected their belongings before making for home.

As the last holdall was lifted from the baggage carousel, a solitary item of luggage remained, spinning forlornly on the belt.

An appeal from an airport handler found no takers. A cursory scan inside revealed a book, some pills, a bottle of white wine and a letter addressed to ‘J Stein esq’.

These days, the record books show Stein to have the second best record of any Scotland coach. A run of 68 games brought 30 wins, 13 draws and 25 defeats; statistics bettered only by Craig Brown. Craig Levein can but aspire to that kind of record.

Ninian Park, where Stein collapsed, is no more. The old home of Cardiff City was bulldozed to make way for the soulless new arena across the road where Scotland will play on Friday night. Yet, Stein’s memory and legacy have stood the test of time and continue to outlive mere bricks and mortar.

Extracts taken from: Ten Days That Shook Scotland (Fort Publishing).

Stuart Broad: Losing Andrew Strauss means we all have to step up

Losing Strauss means all the England players have to step up

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UPDATED:

22:38 GMT, 30 August 2012

A captain of substance

It was a complete shock when Andrew Strauss called me on Tuesday to say he was retiring. I just didn't see that one coming. Yes I knew after Lord's that it had been a turbulent time but I thought he still had the hunger and desire to carry on leading the England side. There were no clues as to the captain's thinking.

There is obviously a lot of sadness because Andrew Strauss has been a special part of this team and he means an awful lot to us. I have played the bulk of my Test cricket with him as captain and had most of my success under him. I will always remember how he backed me ahead of the Oval Test in 2009 when I was under the pump and some were calling for me to be dropped. Hopefully I repaid him in that game against the Australians.

Happy days; Andrew Strauss celebrates Ashes glory

Happy days; Andrew Strauss celebrates Ashes glory

Straussy has always been a calm, level-headed leader who took everything in his stride and I can't really recall him ever losing his temper. But I do remember him calling us together on the field during the Lord's Test of that 2009 Ashes series when we had become ragged and had lost our discipline a bit. He just said 'let's pull ourselves together and up the tempo' which had the desired effect.

He has been a captain who always listened to his bowlers and backed them with the fields they wanted to set, giving you confidence for the task in hand. It was always about the team with Straussy, never about him, and any hint of anyone just thinking about themselves when they pulled on the shirt was completely abolished once he took charge. He urged us all to take responsibility and with that came the strong team ethic that has served us so well.

Maybe the last straw for him was losing to me at golf before the Headingley Test. That must have been a real kick in the teeth for Straussy! I'm sure now he will improve his already pretty impressive golf and enjoy being with his family and spending more time at home. What comes next for him I don' t know but he's the sort of bloke who will want challenges in his life. We all wish him well.

A new era

With that sadness comes excitement because this is very much a new era for us now. Alastair Cook is another calm, solid man who has played an awful lot of Test cricket for someone who is still so young. The experience that he and the other senior men in the dressing room have gained will be vital as we might well head to India with a young batting line-up in October.

Past and present: Strauss (left) and Alastair Cook

Past and present: Strauss (left) and Alastair Cook

There will be extra responsibility now not just for Cooky but for all of us and I'm sure those of us with a fair bit of experience can help him as he settles in to his new role. We are a strong unit and that's important moving forward.

There were three England captains and now there are two but I don't expect anything to change as far as my role is concerned. Nothing has been said as yet about the vice-captaincy so I don't know if I am in the frame for that or not but it's not an issue because Cooky and I work closely anyway with our limited-overs cricket. The senior players cover any extra responsibility that the side needs so the vice-captain is only really required to step in when the captain has to leave the field to be honest.

Hitting the gym

Stuart Broad of England

I wasn't at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday to receive my letter from Straussy – my post has been playing up so I haven't received mine yet – because I have been rested during this one-day series. Andy Flower and I talked about it and it was felt that I should have a break and concentrate on the Twenty20 cricket we have coming up. It's hard to say if I've felt fatigued as such but we all know how much cricket we have coming up and I fully understand the decision. It's sensible. I have been hitting the gym and mentally getting away from cricket and I' m sure 10 days without bowling will do my body some good. We're very fortunate to have a management that looks after us.

Sri Lankan mission

I'm very excited about captaining England at the World Twenty20 and I think we have a squad that can do well in Sri Lanka as we attempt to defend our title. We are all buzzing about it. People have said we might be weakened by the absence of Kevin Pietersen but you have to remember that Alex Hales came into his place against West Indies earlier this summer and immediately scored 99. Our plans haven't changed because KP will not be there and I'm honoured to be the captain.

The future

It was an honour, too, to be named in the ICC Test team of the year, particularly as there were two other England players there in Alastair Cook and Matt Prior. I know we have had some difficult times this year but that shows you that it has not all been doom and gloom and that we have much to look forward to. We are starting again under a new captain but we are doing so with a firm base. It's not like 2009 when it was almost like starting from scratch. I am really looking forward to the challenges that await this England team and I am very confident that we will rise to those challenges. The future starts now.

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew may have to face music despite apology to assistant referee

Pushy Pardew may have to face music despite apology to assistant referee

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UPDATED:

22:23 GMT, 18 August 2012

Alan Pardew will be hoping that a
public apology spares him from Football Association disciplinary action
following a touchline bust-up with an assistant referee on Saturday.

The Newcastle manager's temper flared
in the 58th minute of the 2-1 victory against Tottenham at the Sports
Direct Arena. He was ordered out of the technical area by referee Martin
Atkinson after he had pushed linesman Stuart Burt in the back.

Flashpoint: Pardew (right) is ticked off by the ref

Flashpoint: Pardew (right) is ticked off by the ref

Pardew protested vehemently against Burt's failure to award a throw-in in Newcastle's favour after Benoit Assou-Ekotto seemed to drag the ball back into play from beyond the touchline.

'I was stupid and I've been in to see the linesman to apologise,' said a chastened Pardew later. 'All week I've been preaching good behaviour in the best Olympian spirit to the players. They did that – I didn't.

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

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

View point: Pardew looks on from the stands

View point: Pardew looks on from the stands

Pardew's problems did not end there. After fourth official Lee Mason ushered him into the stand, the United boss's attempts to communicate with his assistant John Carver were abandoned because of a faulty walkie-talkie.

But the opening day ended well for him with Newcastle getting off to a winning start thanks to Hatem Ben Arfa's 80thminute penalty, awarded by Atkinson for Aaron Lennon's trip on the France winger.