Tag Archives: unerring

Paris Masters: David Ferrer beats Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to reach semis

Ferrer confidently strides past Tsonga to reach Paris Masters semis



23:52 GMT, 2 November 2012

Power play: David Ferrer was excellent

Power play: David Ferrer was excellent

Fourth seed David Ferrer marched into the semi-finals of the
Paris Masters with a comprehensive straight sets victory over Jo-Wilfried

The home favourite, a finalist here last year and champion
in 2008, had no answer to the on-song Spaniard's unerring accuracy and crashed
out 6-2 7-5 in 80 minutes.

Sixth seed Tsonga gamely fought off two break points in his
second service game but could not stop the Spanish juggernaut from taking the
next four games.

The decisive break in the second set came in the 12th game
when Ferrer, seeking back-to-back titles after triumphing in Valencia last
week, wrapped up the win with his only match point after Tsonga miscued a
forehand wide.

Tsonga may have the opportunity to gain revenge with both
players qualifying for next week's ATP World Tour Finals while Ferrer, the
highest seed left in the draw, will face Michael Llodra for a place in the
showpiece event.

Llodra is the only Frenchman left in the draw after he
battled past Sam Querrey 7-6 (7/4) 6-3.

The left-hander knocked out Juan Martin Del Potro on Friday and is yet to drop serve in his four matches this week.

Andy Murray's conqueror Jerzy Janowicz continued his
spectacular run by ousting eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic to become the first
Polish player to reach a Masters semi-final.

Qualifier Janowicz was leading 3-6 6-1 4-1 before his
Serbian opponent withdrew citing illness – perhaps not wanting to worsen his
condition with the World Tour Finals in mind.

Taken apart: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was not on top form

Taken apart: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was not on top form

Nearly there: Ferrer has reached the semis

Nearly there: Ferrer has reached the semis

Tomas Berdych can also start focusing on his preparations
for London after he suffered an upset 6-4 6-4 defeat by France's Gilles Simon.

The Czech fifth seed opened up a 3-0 lead in the second set
but Simon stormed back to take six of the next seven games and claim his fifth
win over Berdych from seven meetings.

Move over Moses, Kone the Ivorian tank has arrived at Wigan

Move over Moses, Kone the Ivorian tank has arrived at Wigan



21:10 GMT, 26 August 2012

Arouna Kone: built to last

Arouna Kone: built to last

Arouna Kone proved on Saturday there can be life after Victor Moses for Wigan. The Ivorian scored on his full debut as Roberto Martinez saw his side get their season up and running with a 2-0 win over Southampton at St Mary's. SAMI MOKBEL runs the rule over Kone.


At 6ft and built like a tank, Kone has the attributes to cope with the physical demands. He singlehandedly kept Southampton centre backs Jos Hooiveld and Jose Fonte occupied for 90 minutes.


Quick! He caused the entire Saints rearguard problems and once he got away for Wigan's second there was no catching him.


Kone worked Saints' back four well, cropping up in different areas of the attacking third.


Took his 88th minute strike with unerring accuracy, drilled in low to Kelvin Davis's right.


'He holds the ball up well and sees a pass,' said Martinez.

He certainly does. The way he protected the ball before bringing midfield runners into play was excellent against Nigel Adkins's side.

Impressive: Kone seals Wigan win

Impressive: Kone seals Wigan win

Roberto Mancini"s card trick is a farce – Des Kelly

Mancini's card trick is a farce

Unless you live in a cave, you will
be aware by now of the controversy over two-footed tackles involving a
couple of Manchester City players. And if you do happen to live in a
cave, I’m guessing you were backing Roberto Mancini’s protests all the

There is a great deal to like about
the Italian manager.

He is emotional, passionate, outspoken, and his
team have started to produce the stylish, swashbuckling football
everyone hoped he would be able to fashion from the lavish resources at
his disposal.

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Hypocritical: Mancini tried to get Skrtel dismissed but as annoyed when Foy sent off Kompany

Hypocritical: Mancini tried to get Skrtel
dismissed but as annoyed when Foy
sent off Kompany

But the man has the unerring ability to contradict himself in the same sentence. I can only assume he has been an amnesiac for as long as he can remember, which at the going rate appears to be less than a week.

For having wildly danced up and down the touchline waving an imaginary card in the air as if it was a winning lottery ticket (not that he needs one) in an attempt to encourage the referee to dismiss Martin Skrtel as recently as January 3, guess what happened five days later

More from Des Kelly…

Des Kelly: Mancini says City are in need Now that IS rich!

Des Kelly: My vision for 2012 Boris Johnson in a bowler hat with sparklers

Des Kelly: When it comes to crass protest, Kenny's been there, done that… and got the T-shirt

Des Kelly: Fernando Torres is for life, not just Christmas

Des Kelly: Have a look at King Canny, Andre… That's the way to do it!

Des Kelly: Applaud, cheer or chant…just don't judge Gary Speed

Des Kelly: No, Rob. YOU are as low as it gets for English rugby…

Des Kelly: Send in the clown Don't bother, Sepp Blatter is here


Mancini went apoplectic with rage
because Wayne Rooney waved a hand in the air and questioned if Vincent
Kompany would receive a red card in the FA Cup tie against Manchester

Anyone can see the obvious problem here. But Mancini’s memory operates like an Etch A Sketch, wiping itself clean and starting afresh after every match.

Roll on three days to Wednesday and another challenge was at the core of the argument. This time Mancini was furious when Liverpool’s Glen Johnson escaped sanction for a two-footed leap at Joleon Lescott, one that was comparable to Kompany’s, albeit from the side rather than head on.

Mancini even threw his packet of Fruit Pastilles to the floor. And there was me thinking he’d prefer to buy his sweets from the Pick ’n’ Mix counter, as this seems to be from where he selects his laws of the game.

How can he seriously complain about inconsistency when his own argument flip flops every few days Managers demand a steady, uniform response from referees, but rarely exhibit the same quality themselves. Nor do the howling mobs of fans baying for ‘justice’.They only want their justice.

Steven Gerrard was absolutely right to confront Mancini in the tunnel after their fractious Carling Cup tie in midweek. It was a beautifully timed encounter too, coming in the midst of Mancini’s interview with a BBC journalist.

Pick 'n' mix: Mancini

Pick 'n' mix: Mancini

Pointing an accusing finger, Gerrard told the City boss: ‘You said to the press that Wayne Rooney tried to get Kompany sent off — and then you try to get Johnson sent off.’

He was right, of course. This sort of hypocrisy makes a mockery of managers’ endless whining about officials.

There will always be an argument about a decision, no matter how many slow-motion television replays are studied. Most incidents are subjective judgment calls. Sometimes there is no ‘right’ decision.

Gather a dozen people in a room, put any game on the TV and when the first contentious moment occurs, the chances are there will be bedlam.

It was there for all to see on Twitter last weekend as Kompany trudged off. Almost half thought he deserved a red card. Almost half did not. The remainder confined themselves to expletives. Amazingly, the split usually correlated to the club allegiances. Funny that.

In the aftermath, I read and heard some inventive but misguided ‘solutions’ being offered up to erase so-called errors.


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One was the return to replays for
fourth officials, which would obviously clear up some debate, but mostly
do nothing except add a variable to many more judgment calls. Another
was that a manager should be allowed to ‘challenge’ such an incident on
the touchline, calling for a review in the manner reminiscent of NFL
American football games or tennis. That would be entertaining, but

Video reviews are for straight line calls — was the ball in, or was it
out — end of debate.

Add an element of interpretation to the equation
and it becomes messy.

Surely we might try something more grown-up, like respecting a referee’s call on the day, or is that beyond football now

For all the hullabaloo that accompanies any controversial televised incident, the game is anything but dirty.

Appeal: Nigella Lawson

Appeal: Nigella Lawson

There is more violent conflict within the confines of Nigella Lawson’s blouse as she whips her egg whites into stiff peaks than you’ll find on the average Premier League pitch these days. It’s not a blood and thunder game any more.

There is blocking and jostling in the penalty area, the occasional tackle, a lot of rolling around, and that’s pretty much it. The use of the elbow, once a routine and cynical ploy, has all but been eradicated, as has the tackle from behind.

The same will happen to the two-footed lunge.

After his appeal against the red card, Kompany himself was remarkably dignified about it all.He asked, quite reasonably: ‘I wonder if we are now going to see an unprecedented wave of red cards on match days because we sanction “ifs” and “maybes”’

But ifs and maybes should have nothing to do with this issue. Law 12 addresses the issue of serious foul play and it states that if a player lunges at an opponent with one or both legs, and is guilty of endangering the safety of the other player, he should be dismissed. It doesn’t matter whether he ‘won the ball’ or not. It doesn’t matter whether a toothless old pro moans that ‘great defending has been outlawed’ in a bout of misplaced nostalgia.

The defender is not going to get the benefit of the doubt, as Johnson did, they will get their marching orders like Kompany. On that basis Chris Foy got it right in the United match, even thought it seemed harsh at the time, and Lee Mason was undeniably wrong in the Liverpool game.

But this is going to happen on occasion. Officials often have to put up with 22 players trying to cheat their way through 90 minutes so they will make mistakes.

I’ll take all those managers’ complaints more seriously when they see the fouls and crimes committed by their own players — and they cut out their own ‘inconsistency’. I’m not holding my breath, mind you.

Treated shabbily: Neil Warnock

Treated shabbily: Neil Warnock

Rotten Rangers

Mark Hughes was in the QPR job so
quickly one of the Sky Sports News presenters blundered: ‘The paint is
hardly dry on Neil Warnock’s sacking.’

There were a lot of people prepared to slap their own brand of whitewash on events.

It surprised me that so many people concluded halfway through the season
that Warnock was incapable of managing a club in the top flight.

There were three clubs in a worse position and, if QPR remain fourth
from bottom at the end of the campaign, that survival will represent a
major achievement for such a club, whoever’s in charge.

So I think Warnock was treated shabbily. It’s certainly lame to find the
club’s owner had his ear bent by a couple of habitual moaners in the
squad whining about ‘training methods’.

Going overboard: Tony Fernandes

Going overboard: Tony Fernandes

However this decision is dressed up, there is no avoiding the conclusion that on his very first encounter with football’s stormy waters, Tony Fernandes threw his man overboard.

The sacking did inspire my favourite quote of the week as Warnock responded to his exit: ‘I take full responsibility for where we are,’ he said. ‘We are in the Premier League.’

Quite. He deserved some gratitude, patience and loyalty for that. He didn’t get it.

Hughes, Warnock’s successor, is a bright man. I admired him as a player and respect him as a manager.

But when he said: ‘I will stay at QPR — even if we go down’, I think he missed the point somewhat. That wasn’t why he was brought in. He might also find the club owner has other ideas.

Jewell is not a sexist, his comment has been sexed up

Paul Jewell found himself caught in the most pointless fuss of the week after he was accused of being ‘sexist’.

The Ipswich Town boss was denied a penalty in a 2-1 defeat at Birmingham and then the following exchange took place at the post-match press conference. Journalist: ‘Everyone to a man thought that was a penalty.’

Jewell: ‘Every man — but not a woman,’ he replied, in reference to the female assistant closest to the action, Amy Fearn.

The last time I looked Fearn was indeed female. Jewell had merely pointed out that the nearest official was not a man, as the questioner had said, but a woman.

Now it might have been a clumsy correction, perhaps. But at no point did he imply she made a mistake because she was female. There was no sneer that she should go back to get on with the ironing, or learn the offside law, or anything approaching idiotic condescension.

Not sexist: Paul Jewell

Girl power: Amy Fearn

Pointing out a fact: Paul Jewell (left) was not being sexist about Any Fearm (right)

We even hear Fearn herself was not
offended by the remark; after all, why should she be She’d probably be
more offended if someone said she was a man.

But that did not stop people either wilfully misinterpreting Jewell’s
comment or just proving determined to find a reason to take offence.

Needless to say, rent-a-gob Alan Leighton, billed as the ‘referees’ union chief’, took umbrage on Fearn’s behalf.

‘Jewell’s comments are clearly sexist and there is no place for them in
football,’ he said. I’d argue we would all be better off if there was
no place for Leighton in football.

There are undoubtedly many reasons to be offended by what goes on in and
around the game, but this particular incident wasn’t one of them. Man
up, people, if you’ll forgive the phrase.