Tag Archives: winning

Alex Ferguson sends Manchester United scouts to watch Radamel Falcao

Fergie steps up move for 47m Falcao as United send chief scout to watch Atletico striker score a double

By
Graeme Yorke

PUBLISHED:

10:50 GMT, 15 April 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:17 GMT, 15 April 2013

Manchester United watched Radamel Falcao score twice for Atletico Madrid on Sunday night as Sir Alex Ferguson ponders a summer deal.

Sportsmail revealed last week that Ferguson is considering a 47million deal – that could involve Javier Hernandez as part of a swap – to land the Colombia striker.

As United won 2-0 at Stoke, Ferguson sent his chief scout Jim Lawlor to watch Falcao strike a brace in their 5-0 thumping at home to Granada.

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Wanted: Radamel Falcao (left) in action during Atletico Madrid's victory over Granada

Wanted: Radamel Falcao (left) in action during Atletico Madrid's victory over Granada

Wanted: Radamel Falcao (left) in action during Atletico Madrid's victory over Granada

Wanted: Radamel Falcao (left) in action during Atletico Madrid's victory over Granada

Star man: Falcao struck a brace in the triumph for Atletico at the Vicente Calderon

Lawlor is likely to return with
glowing reports of a striker who is also interesting Chelsea and
Manchester City, along with Europe's big guns.

Manchester City and Chelsea have both
been strongly linked with Falcao, who has established himself as one of
the world's most prolific marksmen by scoring 56 goals for Atletico
since arriving in Spain from Porto in 2011.

But it is United have
now joined the bidding for the 27-year-old Colombia star and are prepared to
let striker Hernandez move to Madrid as part of the deal.

On his way Javier Hernandez in action against Stoke on Sunday - but he could be off

On his way Javier Hernandez in action against Stoke on Sunday – but he could be off

Give us a hug! Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates with Robin van Persie during the win at Stoke

Give us a hug! Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates with Robin van Persie during the win at Stoke

The Premier League leaders are ready
to meet the 47m buyout clause in Falcao's contract by offering Atletico
27m cash plus Hernandez, who they value at 20m.

If they were to land Falcao it
would be a bitter blow to Chelsea, who thought they were winning the
race to sign him, and City boss Roberto Mancini who believes Robin van
Persie's decision to choose Old Trafford over the Etihad Stadium last
summer has been a key factor in this season's title battle.

However,
any club wanting to sign Falcao will have to resolve an issue of
third-party ownership due to the fact that a company run by former
United and Chelsea chief executive Peter Kenyon and agent Jorge Mendes
has owned a stake in the player since helping to finance his 34m move
from Porto.

VIDEO: Watch Falcao do what he does best – goalscoring

Jane Mangan unseated by Oscar Delta yards from victory at Cheltenham Festival

Misery for Mangan as Oscar Delta unseats teenage rider… just yards from winning post at Cheltenham Festival

By
Mike Dawes

PUBLISHED:

16:55 GMT, 15 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

17:53 GMT, 15 March 2013

Teenage jockey Jane Mangan had victory snatched from her grasp in the Foxhunter Chase as Oscar Delta unseated her as they powered towards the finish.

In the amateur version of the Gold Cup, Oscar Delta jinked to the left, hitting
the rope where there was no permanent rail and the daughter of trainer
Jimmy Mangan was unshipped, leaving favourite Salsify to take advantage.

So far so good: Oscar Delta looked unbeatable approaching the line...

So far so good: Oscar Delta looked unbeatable approaching the line…

... but after jinking to the left he collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan....

… but after jinking to the left he collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan….

... but he jinked to the left and collided with the rail and there was no way back for Jane Mangan....

...and it was left to Salsify to claim the honours

…and it was left to Salsify to claim the honours

It was a cruel blow for punters who had backed Oscar Delta, 20-1 at the off, and Irish firm Paddy Power are refunding bets on the Mangan runner.

Creevytennant set the pace but continually jumped out to the right and he was still in front until the fourth-last where Oscar Delta took it up.

The 10-year-old pulled away from Salsify after the third-last fence and jumped the last with a handy lead.

He looked set for victory until it turned into defeat and agony for connections.

Colman Sweeney was able to coast his mount, trained by his father Rodger, over the line 20 lengths ahead of Divine Intavention with Cottage Oak a neck away in third.

Head in hands: Jane Mangan can't believe her bad luck after crashing off Oscar Delta in the Foxhunter Chase

Head in hands: Jane Mangan can't believe her bad luck after crashing off Oscar Delta in the Foxhunter Chase

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan just seconds after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

There, there: Mangan is consoled after bowing out of the Foxhunter Chase with victory in sight

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

Just her pride that's hurt: Mangan after the fall that cost her victory in the Foxhunter Chase

Salsify is the first back-to-back winner of the amateur riders' Gold cup since Double Silk in 193-94.

Sweeney jnr said: 'God was on my side, I feel sorry for Jane, though. I did feel he was going to rally but I probably wouldn't have got there.

'This horse is a different horse on decent ground, he didn't feel the same at all on soft.

'He can be very keen so I dropped him right out until I got settled and then he jumped into it.

'He does rally and stay on but I think Jane would have won.

'I'd like to dedicate this to John Thomas (McNamara) as everything we do we do for love. He was one of the senior boys when I first started and he still is. We're all thinking of him.'

Sweeney snr said: 'It was very lucky and I'm gutted for Jane who is a good friend of ours and a very polished rider.

'Our fellow didn't like the ground but he kept trying his best but Jimmy Mangan should have been the winner.'

Rafael Nadal beats David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 in Mexican Open final

Nadal crushes Ferrer to claim Mexican Open title… and he's raring to go for Indian Wells!

By
Steven Donaldson

PUBLISHED:

12:32 GMT, 3 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:44 GMT, 3 March 2013

A dominant Rafa Nadal dismantled fellow Spaniard David Ferrer 6-0 6-2 on Saturday to win his second Mexican Open title and continue his successful comeback from a long injury lay-off.

Nadal, ranked fifth in the world, needed just over an hour to dispatch top seed Ferrer and was delighted with his form.

'For me, I played almost perfectly,' said Nadal following the match. 'My knee responded well all week.'

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

King of clay: Rafael Nadal collects his trophy wearing a sombrero in Acapulco

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Moving on: The Spaniard will play in the Indian Wells Masters tournament next week

Nadal also confirmed he would play in next week's Indian Wells hard-court tournament, despite speculation he might skip the event to spare his knee.

'My heart tells me I should continue competing, that I need to move on to the next tournament,' he added.

Nadal had been sidelined for more than seven months due to a partially torn tendon in his knee. He made his return early last month at the Chilean Open, losing in the final to Argentine Horacio Zeballos. A week later he claimed the Brazil Open title.

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against David Ferrer

Easy: Nadal dropped just two games and was on court for little more than an hour against Ferrer

The former world number one charged out of the blocks and won the first eight games against three-time defending champion Ferrer, who saw his 19-match winning streak at the clay-court event come to an end.

'Rafa was just better than me today,' said Ferrer.

World No 4 Ferrer waited 44 minutes to win his first game of the final, the crowd erupting in applause as he put away a service winner to trail 2-1 in the second set.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Success: Nadal added the Mexican title to his triumph in Brazil and final in Chile since his return from injury

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

Crushed: Ferrer admitted his compatriot was the better man on the day

With Ferrer serving down 3-1, an extended rally in which both players scrambled back and forth from the net ended with a top-spin lob winner by Nadal, bringing the crowd to its feet and the score to 30-30.

Second seed Nadal, the 2005 Mexican Open champion, won the next two points to go up two breaks in the set and virtually put the match away.

Swindon appoint Kevin MacDonald as manager

Swindon announce former Aston Villa caretaker MacDonald as Di Canio replacement

By
Jonathan Veal, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:35 GMT, 28 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:35 GMT, 28 February 2013

Maiden voyage: MacDonald becomes a permanent manager for the first time

Maiden voyage: MacDonald becomes a permanent manager for the first time

Swindon have appointed former Republic of Ireland assistant Kevin MacDonald as their new manager.

The 52-year-old, who was caretaker manager at Aston Villa in 2010, has been handed the reigns at the County Ground after Paolo Di Canio resigned last week.

MacDonald inherits a Swindon side who are fourth in npower League One and just three points behind leaders Doncaster and will be in charge of Saturday's trip to Coventry.

'This is a hugely important appointment at a significant moment in Swindon's recent history and we are delighted to appoint a football man of Kevin's calibre as our new manager,' said chairman Jed McCrory, who took over the Wiltshire club this month.

'This is a clear message that the new board is determined to drive on for promotion this season and continue to try and bring success to Swindon.

'Kevin has fantastic football credentials as a double-winner with Liverpool during his playing days and he is an excellent coach.

Stuttering: Swindon were beaten by lowly Bury in midweek and have picked up just one point from their last two games

Stuttering: Swindon were beaten at home by lowly Bury in midweek and have picked up just one point from their last two games

'He has great connections with top players and he is a proper football man. We have every faith for Kevin now to lead Swindon from the front at a pivotal moment in the campaign.

'It is a new start for Kevin and for our new board of Directors and we move forward together with every confidence.'

MacDonald, a midfielder in his playing days, was a member of the 1986 double-winning side at Liverpool, while he was involved with the Ireland set-up during Steve Staunton's reign.

West Ham Bobby Moore tribute: Grandchildren lead teams out at Upton Park

'20 years gone, never forgotten': West Ham pay tribute to Moore as grandchildren lead teams out at Upton Park

By
Andy James

PUBLISHED:

17:56 GMT, 25 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:17 GMT, 25 February 2013

Bobby Moore's grandchildren led the teams out before West Ham entertained Tottenham in the Barclays Premier League at Upton Park on Monday night as his former club marked the 20th anniversary of his death.

Poppy, 21, Freddie, 16, and 13-year-old Ava placed the ball on the spot for the kick-off and fans of both clubs provided an impeccably-observed minute's applause for England's 1966 World Cup-winning captain who died of cancer aged 51 on February 24, 1993.

Emotional night: Moore's grandchildren Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) lead West Ham and Spurs out at Upton Park

Emotional night: Moore's grandchildren Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) lead West Ham and Spurs out at Upton Park

Emotional night: Moore's grandchildren Poppy (left) Freddie (centre) and Ava (right) lead West Ham and Spurs out at Upton Park

West Ham fans also held aloft cards making up a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'.

West Ham also made a special tribute to Moore on their shirts, with the words: ‘Bobby Moore OBE, 20 YEARS GONE, NEVER FORGOTTEN’ stitched on the front.

Hammers stars were seen training in shirts paying tribute to Moore last week.

Tribute: West Ham players wore a shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Tribute: West Ham players wore a shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Tribute: West Ham players wore a shirt paying respect to the late Bobby Moore

Six of the best: Fans lifted cards to unveil a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'

Six of the best: Fans lifted cards to unveil a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'

Six of the best: Fans lifted cards to unveil a mosaic reading 'Moore 6'

A 100-page programme was also on sale with 50p from each one sold going towards the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK.

Moore's family, club officials and
supporters gathered to pay tribute on Sunday with his former West Ham
and World Cup-winning team-mate Martin Peters and club co-chairman David
Gold attending a wreath-laying ceremony at the World Cup 'Champions'
statue near West Ham's ground.

Minute's applause: Fans and players remembered Moore before the start of the game

Minute's applause: Fans and players remembered Moore before the start of the game

Minute's applause: Fans and players remembered Moore before the start of the game

Watching brief: Moore's daughter Roberta and his grandchildren watch on from the sidelines

Watching brief: Moore's daughter Roberta and his grandchildren watch on from the sidelines

'He was our England World Cup-winning
captain, but also more personally for all of us here at West Ham, a
legend at our club and always will be,' Gold said.

'It
was great to see so many West Ham fans turn out in what was bitterly
cold weather. But they wanted to pay their respects to a man we hold
very dear at this club.'

Moore
played 646 times for West Ham between 1958 and 1974, leading them to
victory in the 1964 FA Cup final and 1965 European Cup Winners' Cup
final.

Tribute: Martin Peters laid a wreath at the 'legends' statue as Moore's family watched on

Tribute: Martin Peters laid a wreath at the 'legends' statue as Moore's family watched on

Tribute: Martin Peters laid a wreath at the 'legends' statue as Moore's family watched on

Club legend: Bobby Moore played over 500 games for West Ham

Club legend: Bobby Moore played over 500 games for West Ham

SIX NATIONS 2013: England XV to play France

Tuilagi recalled by Lancaster in one of three changes made by England for Le Crunch

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

10:45 GMT, 21 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

12:15 GMT, 21 February 2013

Stuart Lancaster has urged England to vary their attack against France after confirming his team for Saturday’s RBS Six Nations match at Twickenham.

As predicted by Sportsmail this week England’s head coach has decided to make three changes for the third match en route to a possible Grand Slam.

Following the win over Ireland, Lancaster this morning announced he had recalled centre Manu Tuilagi, hooker Dylan Hartley and flanker Courtney Lawes.

Centre of attention: Manu Tuilagi runs with the ball during England training at Pennyhill Park on Tuesday

Centre of attention: Manu Tuilagi runs with the ball during England training at Pennyhill Park on Tuesday

ENGLAND TEAM TO FACE FRANCE:

15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Manu Tuilagi, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Mike Brown, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Dylan Hartley, 3 Dan Cole, 4 Joe Launchbury, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Courtney Lawes, 8 Tom Wood, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain).

Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 David Wilson, 19 James Haskell, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 Danny Care, 22 Toby Flood, 23 Billy Twelvetrees.

All three were substitutes in the win
in Dublin and replace Billy Twelvetrees, Tom Youngs and James Haskell
who are all on the bench this time.

Lancaster is looking to use the
firepower of the trio to tackle a French team who have had endure a
disastrous Six Nations so far in losing to Italy and Wales.

Lancaster explained: ‘We thought long and hard about changing a winning team which did so well against Ireland.

‘But we believe that Dylan, Courtney
and Manu are ready for the opportunity and allow us to vary our play,
while the bench will add impact and energy as the game unfolds in the
second half.

‘The players are really looking
forward to getting back to Twickenham. The atmosphere in the stadium is
fantastic and hopefully the crowd can get behind us in what is sure to
be a great challenge against a motivated and physical French team.’

Meanwhile, France coach Philippe Saint-Andre has made eight changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's match.

Making way: Billy Twelvetrees will be on the bench at Twickenham despite his superb show against Scotland

Making way: Billy Twelvetrees will be on the bench at Twickenham despite his superb show against Scotland

FRANCE TEAM TO FACE ENGLAND:

15 Yoann Huget, 14 Vincent Clerc, 13 Mathieu Bastareaud, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Benjamin Fall, 10 Francois Trinh-Duc, 9 Morgan Parra;
1 Thomas Domingo, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 3 Nicolas Mas, 4 Christophe Samson, 5 Yoann Maestri, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 8 Louis Picamoles, 7 Thierry Dusautoir (captain).

Replacements: 16 Dimitri Szarzewski,
17 Vincent Debaty, 18 Luc Ducalcon,
19 Jocelino Suta, 20 Antonie Claassen,
21 Maxime Machenaud, 22 Frederic Michalak, 23 Florian Fritz.

Saint-Andre has opted for a new half-back pairing, with Morgan Parra and Francois Trinh-Duc replacing Maxime Machenaud and Frederic Michalak following Les Bleus' 16-6 defeat against Wales at the Stade de France 12 days ago.

Vincent Clerc returns on the right wing, with Wesley Fofana switching to his preferred role of centre for the Twickenham encounter.

Saint-Andre's team head to England after losing their opening two Five or Six Nations games for the first time since 1982.

Wales' success in Paris followed a 23-18 loss in Italy six days previously, meaning the wooden spoon has now become a distinct possibility for the pre-tournament favourites.

'After two defeats in the tournament, we wanted competition and freshness in the squad,' Saint-Andre said. 'We have to have the freshness and enthusiasm.

'We will prepare a lot of fight in Twickenham.'

Rafael Nadal wins Brazil Open, beating David Nalbandian 6-2 6-3 in the final

Back to winning ways! Nadal cruises past Nalbandian to seal first title since comeback

before he was sidelined by tendon trouble in his left knee after
an early exit from Wimbledon.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Victory: Rafael Nadal won his first title since his injury return in Sao Paulo

Rafael Nadal

Nadal made his long-awaited comeback at last week's clay-court event in Vina Del Mar but surprisingly missed out on the title after losing in three sets to Argentinian Horacio Zeballos the final.

The Spaniard struggled to find a rhythm in the beginning but was still able to break Nalbandian's serve twice to take the first set, then rallied from 3-0 down in the second to win six straight games to close out the match.

Nalbandian was playing in a final for the first time since he was disqualified for kicking an advertisement board and injuring a line judge at Queen's Club last June. The former world No 3 hasn't won a title since 2010 in Washington.

Too good: Nadal cruised past David Nalbandian in the Brazil Open final

Too good: Nadal cruised past David Nalbandian in the Brazil Open final

Nadal, who was coming off two three-set matches, still looked far from his best and didn't seem to be moving well. The knee appeared to be bothering him again and he left many balls unchallenged throughout the match.

But with the support from the local fans and with former Brazil star striker Ronaldo and mixed martial arts champion Anderson Silva in the crowd, Nadal took control of the match in the second set to secure the victory.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion admitted that the level of the competition in Brazil was not as high as in other tournaments but said that it wasn't bad either, giving him the perfect opportunity to give his knee a good test. The Spaniard will play another clay-court tournament in Mexico in two weeks.

Delight: The Spaniard celebrates after beating his Argentine opponent

Delight: The Spaniard celebrates after beating his Argentine opponent

Delight: The Spaniard celebrates after beating his Argentine opponent

Nadal had won four of his six career matches against Nalbandian, the last one a three-set victory in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells last year. Nalbandian's last victory over Nadal was in 2007 in the final of a Master Series tournament in Paris.

The 31-year-old Argentine made his season debut in singles at the Brazil Open. He was out of action for several months last season because of an abdominal injury.

Sao Paulo: Nadal signs autographs for the Brazilian fans

Sao Paulo: Nadal signs autographs for the Brazilian fans

DEL POTRO WINS FIRST TITLE OF YEAR IN ROTTERDAM

Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro clinched his first title of the year as he overcame Julien Benneteau 7-6 6-3 in the final of the World Indoor Tournament in Rotterdam on Sunday.

Del Potro, beaten in last year's final by Roger Federer, lost his serve in the first set but Benneteau had no answer to his solid baseline performance which earned him the tiebreak 7-2.

After an early break in the second set Del Potro never looked back against 39th-ranked Benneteau, still seeking a first title having lost all eight finals he has contested.

Juan Martin Del Potro

'It was so important to win the tie-break as I missed several opportunities through mistakes I made to clinch the first set sooner,” Del Potro told reporters.

Del Potro became only the second Argentine after Guillermo Vilas to triumph at the tournament.

'I had a great week and really enjoyed the tennis I played from the first round on,” added Del Potro.
Benneteau said he had fought with all his might to match the hitting and power of world number seven Del Potro.

'It was tough to stay in the first set as I was under pressure every game, as well on my own serve as his,' said the Frenchman, who beat Federer in the last eight.

Arsenal old boy and Lyon coach Remi Garde renews Tottenham in Europa league

Arsenal old boy Garde renews Spurs rivalry as coach of Lyon in Europa league tie

By
Paul Hirst, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

20:54 GMT, 13 February 2013

|

UPDATED:

20:54 GMT, 13 February 2013

Lyon boss Remi Garde admits he still harbours the same desire to beat Tottenham as he did during his playing days with rivals Arsenal.

The Ligue 1 side travel to White Hart Lane on Thursday in the first leg of their last 32 Europa League tie. It is their manager’s first competitive visit to the capital since he retired.

Garde joined Arsenal from Strasbourg on the same day as Patrick Vieira arrived from AC Milan in 1996, but both players’ careers then took very different paths.

Wenger boy: Current Lyon coach Remi Garde was part of Arsenal's double winning side of 1997-98

Wenger boy: Current Lyon coach Remi Garde was part of Arsenal's double winning side of 1997-98

Vieira went on to become a Gunners icon, winning three Barclays Premier League titles, but Garde left three years later having made just 27 starts.

Although he only had limited playing time at Arsenal, Garde remembers his years at Highbury fondly and he admits the fact that this game is against the Gunners’ biggest rivals adds an extra edge to the occasion.

'I can’t deny that when I wore the red shirt of Arsenal the matches against Spurs were important moments for me,' said Garde, whose team arrive in London on the back of two 3-1 defeats.

'It was important to beat Spurs and I suppose in truth those feelings are still there in my head now, even though that page in my career has turned now.'

Reflecting on the challenge at hand, Garde revealed he had been told about the talents of Gareth Bale by former Lyon youth director Georges Prost almost seven years ago, who held the same post at Southampton from 2002-2007 when the winger was at the south coast club.

Back then Bale was just a gangly left-back, but Prost was still convinced the wide man was set for stardom.

'Georges Prost worked with Gareth as a youngster at Southampton,' Garde said.

'He told me a few years ago about him, but he was about 16 at the time and he had already made his debut for Southampton. He was a young man but he was already expensive then, too expensive.

'Prost told me how quick he was then, how much skill he was blessed with even at that age, so it’s not a surprise to me to see the top form Gareth has been in. 'He is the sort of player that we do need to keep an eye on tomorrow.'

Warning: Garde has been warned about the talents of Gareth Bale by former Southampton coach Georges Prost

Warning: Garde has been warned about the talents of Gareth Bale by former Southampton coach Georges Prost

Homecoming: Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris moved from Lyon to Spurs in the summer but will be replaced by Brad Friedel

Homecoming: Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris moved from Lyon to Spurs in the summer but will be replaced by Brad Friedel

Bale has scored five goals in his last four matches to take his tally for the season to 19 – comfortably his best return since he made his bow in 2006.

Spurs and Lyon are also linked by goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who joined Andre Villas-Boas in a 12million move last summer.

Lloris has been in superb form of late, but Villas-Boas revealed today that Brad Friedel will start in goal ahead of the France captain, much to Garde’s disappointment.

'I suppose it’s kind of a regret (that Lloris is not playing).It is for all of us,' Garde said.

'He was very much loved at Lyon. He made a big impression.

'He was a great guy so it would have been nice to have the experience of coming up against him, rather than just seeing him in the corridor.'

Top of his game: Bale has now matured into one of the Premier League's most devastating performers

Top of his game: Bale has now matured into one of the Premier League's most devastating performers

Lewis Hamilton warned by Sir Jackie Stewart not to get carried away with own importance – F1

Don't get carried away with your own importance, Lewis! Legend Stewart fires warning to Mercedes star

By
Ian Parkes, Press Association

PUBLISHED:

15:48 GMT, 29 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

16:01 GMT, 29 January 2013

Sir Jackie Stewart has urged Lewis Hamilton not to get carried away with his own celebrity if he is to propel Mercedes forward this year.

Hamilton last week embarked on a new era in his Formula One career at Mercedes after six seasons with McLaren, a team he initially joined at the age of just 13.

There is no doubt Hamilton has taken a significant gamble, but the need to savour pastures new has been his driving force in signing up to the German manufacturing giant for the next three years.

Lewis Hamilton

Sir Jackie Stewart

In black and white: Lewis Hamilton must find the right balance to win titles, according to Sir Jackie Stewart

It is also almost certain Hamilton will enjoy greater freedom off track than was the case at McLaren, considering the emphasis placed on sponsorship commitments by the Woking-based marque on their drivers.

However, three-times champion Stewart feels Hamilton needs to make sure such liberty does not go to his head.

Hamilton can boast a pop-star girlfriend in Nicole Scherzinger and an array of friends from the music world, while there are suggestions he is planning on making his own music.

Bearing in mind Hamilton's desire to transform Mercedes into a winning team, Stewart is hoping the 28-year-old does not let his focus drift elsewhere.

New kid on the block: Hamilton ended his lengthy association with McLaren to join Mercedes on a three-year deal

New kid on the block: Hamilton ended his association with McLaren to join Mercedes on a three-year deal

Stewart said: 'Personally, if I'd been Lewis, I wouldn't have left McLaren. 'But as a 28-year-old, he should know what he is doing now.

'You just have to be damn careful you don't get carried away with your own importance, your own celebrity, or your own schedule outside of being in the cockpit. It can be quite intoxicating.

'What Lewis needs to do is have more consistently good drives, never mind the mechanical issues, and he shouldn't be distracted, something he should keep in the back of his mind.

'It's about who you hang out with, what you do in your off time, how you are committing your off time towards your real time – and your real time is being a racing driver.'

Famous faces: The British racer can boast a pop-star girlfriend in X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger

Famous faces: The British racer can boast a pop-star girlfriend in X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger

Such efforts will be noticed by team principal Ross Brawn, who has been accustomed to working with one of the greats in seven-times champion Michael Schumacher.

Although the last three years failed to produce the results hoped for by Schumacher prior to stepping back into retirement, the German was renowned for his meticulous and methodical nature in working with his engineers.

Stewart added: 'The Ross Brawn factor is important. 'He knows how to do it, and Lewis will have to work with him and depend on him, and Lewis, in time, will have to deliver.

'Ross has worked with drivers who have really delivered. He worked with Schumacher from Benetton all the way through, and he knows how much Michael put in.

'Therefore he will think Lewis will have to put as much into that team, time-wise, commitment-wise, not just race-time wise, as Michael did.

That's going to be quite demanding, but there's no reason why he shouldn't go straight in and be competitive up front, not at all.'

With just one victory in the last three years, though, since Mercedes returned to F1, the pressure is on both Brawn and Hamilton to deliver.

'Daimler (Mercedes' parent company), are only interested in being up front and being the best,' said Stewart.

'If they're not going to be that, it's a five-minute decision for the Mercedes-Benz board to withdraw from motor racing if there's another recession and they're not selling cars. 'In that respect, they're slightly vulnerable.'

Eden Hazard ball boy: Don"t let Charlie Morgan tarnish reputation, says former Arsenal ball boy

Inside the mind of a ball boy: Swansea lad wasn't doing it right… and I should know, it was my job at Arsenal for a season

By
Phil Duncan

PUBLISHED:

10:42 GMT, 24 January 2013

|

UPDATED:

11:40 GMT, 24 January 2013

'It is a fact,' Glenn Hoddle proclaimed. 'You will tell people who are instructing ball boys that if you're winning the game, don't get the ball back quickly.'

Well, sorry to disappoint you, Glenn. But that's not the case – fact.

I spent one season marshalling the Clock End for Arsenal Football Club and never was I ordered or told to influence play. We were simply under instruction to retrieve the ball and get it back on the pitch as soon as humanly possible.

There were no towels, no multi-ball system – other than games in the Champions League where this was compulsory – and certainly no instruction to treat one team differently from another.

On the ball: That's me on the left celebrating a Robert Pires strike against Charlton in the 2002-03 season

On the ball: That's me on the left celebrating a Robert Pires strike against Charlton in the 2002-03 season

Hoddle, speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports after last night's stunning events, also suggested that all home teams use the multi-ball system to their advantage on European nights.

Not in my experience. The message was clear: 'European officials are watching tonight, and they want you to retrieve and return the ball as quickly as you can. Don't mess it up.' As a 14-year-old representing Arsenal Football Club, I made sure I didn't.

What Eden Hazard did last night was wrong. He shouldn't have kicked out. But the self-proclaimed 'king of ball boys' Charlie Morgan hardly covered himself in glory either.

Before the game he hinted at
deliberately slowing down play under the hashtag 'timewasting'. As such,
there can be little sympathy.

Kick it out: Eden Hazard is ent off (below) after striking ball boy Charlie Morgan in last night's Capital One Cup match

Kick it out: Eden Hazard is sent off (below) after striking ball boy Charlie Morgan in last night's semi-final clash

Eden Hazard sent off

Social media hadn't been invented during my stint as a ball boy back in 2002. A 'hash' was a term which went before a figure, or used to determine the kind of telephone you were using during an automated call. But even in this era obsessed with Twitter and Facebook, I'd still be surprised if you found a current Arsenal ball boy gloating about his or her role. From the boardroom to the ball boys, the same strict rules apply to any employee of the north London club.

The act of a ball boy may seem like a menial task to most but we were under clear instruction to do our job professionally and properly. I wasn't paid but that wasn't the point. Watching Arsenal from the front row of the Clock End was payment in itself. We actually used to win things back then.

Wearing the Arsenal tracksuit, taking my designated seat for every game of the 2002-03 season – I was given the section nearest the away fans as I was one among the eldest of the group – and walking on to the hallowed Highbury turf to wave the Champions League flag on European nights are memories I will always cherish. As a defender who didn't like tackling or heading (and still doesn't) I knew this was the closest I'd get to playing for my childhood team. It was an honour.

Take your seat: A ball boy at WhTake your seat: A ball boy at White Hart Lane ite Hart Lane

Take your seat: Fans at White Hart Lane share a joke with a ball boy

Twenty of us between the ages of 12 and 16 were trialled and picked for one season, and one season only. There were clear rules. Don't celebrate an Arsenal goal (although, I must confess to ignoring that one). Don't kick the ball, or use your feet. And don't enter the field of play to retrieve the ball.

I remember one instance when Peter Schmeichel, who was playing for Manchester City, berated one of my colleagues for refusing to go on to the pitch to return the ball to him. He was simply obeying instructions. The Clock End responded by chanting 'ball boy give us a wave'. He did.

Speaking this morning, Pat Nevin, a former Chelsea player said, like Hazard, he too would have kicked the ball boy. And I'd have to agree. By smothering the ball, and then appearing to feign injury, the 17-year-old let himself down, he let Swansea down, and he called into question the integrity of ball boys across the country.

Nevin then suggested that ball boys should be banned. Nonsense. Retrieve the ball. Throw it back. Assume your position. Job done. Just do it the right way, the Arsenal way.