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Leeds v Tottenham live

FA CUP LIVE: Leeds v Tottenham – the fourth round action as it happens from Elland Road

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

04:00 GMT, 27 January 2013

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UPDATED:

13:49 GMT, 27 January 2013

Follow Sportsmail's coverage of the FA Cup as Leeds host Tottenham at Elland Road to continue the day's fourth round action. The Championship side will be hoping for an upset when they take on Spurs who are flying high in the Premier League in an attempt to secure a Champions League spot.

Leeds United v Tottenham Hotspur

Leeds United: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf, McCormack

Substitutes: Kenny, Pearce, Tonge, Norris, Somma, Hall, Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

Substitutes: Gomes, Walker, Townsend, Livermore, Dembele, Dawson, Obika

Referee: Kevin Friend (Leicestershire)

1.40pm It's been a wonderful weekend so far for upsets in the Cup. In case you missed any of yesterday's headlines:

Non-league Luton Town stunned Premier League Norwich City with a late Scott Rendell goal at Carrow Road.

Milton Keynes Dons destroyed a much-changed QPR at Loftus Road.

At Griffin Park, however, it's now level again as Fernando Torres makes it 2-2.

Whoever makes it through, you can see the draw for the fifth round live here on Mail Online shortly before 6pm – after the Oldham Athletic v Liverpool match at Boundary Park.

1.35pm While there may be a seismic upset at Griffin Park, Tottenham appear very confident in their belief that Premier League class will prevail at Elland Road.

Michael Dawson, on the bench today, is already dreaming of another Wembley appearance, while former Spurs favourite Steffan Freund stuck the boot in, saying Spurs will never go bankrupt and tumble to the third tier like Leeds did.

1.30pm Brentford have just re-taken the lead against Chelsea, courtesy of a Harry Forrester penalty. You can follow the closing stages here.

1.20pm Stat pack: These two famous old clubs have met on five occasions in the FA Cup before today, with Leeds winning just one of them (a sixth round tie in 1972, when they went on to win the Cup).

The most recent meeting was in 2010, also in the fourth round, when Leeds earned a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane (YouTube highlights), only for Spurs to beat them 3-1 in the replay – Jermain Defoe scoring a hat-trick.

Spurs have kept three clean sheets in their last four away FA Cup games, but have failed to score in three of the four themselves.

Leeds have been eliminated by North London clubs in each of the last three FA Cups, losing to Tottenham in 2010 and Arsenal in 2011 and 2012.

At Elland Road, Leeds have lost just one of their last eight games (W6 D1), although that defeat came against another Premier League side, Chelsea, 5-1 in the Capital One Cup.

Andre Villas Boas's Tottenham side are now unbeaten in eight games, winning five and drawing three. After no goals in his first 13 games in the competition, Gareth Bale has scored in three successive FA Cup games.

A large crowd is expected at Elland Road this afternoon, but a few of them may get their toes wet. This was the scene in the car park ahead of the match as heavy rain and melting ice caused flooding.

A car drives across the flooded car park at Elland Road

1.15pm Kick-off is at 2pm for this one. In the meantime, you can follow Dan Ripley's live blog of the Brentford-Chelsea match here. Oscar has just levelled for Chelsea, so the latest score is 1-1.

1.12pm The big news for Leeds fans is that Luciano Becchio isn't involved at all after the Argentine handed in a transfer request during the week.

Where does the future lie Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request to Leeds last week

Where does the future lie Luciano Becchio handed in a transfer request to Leeds last week

1.10pm Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to our live coverage of the weekend's penultimate FA Cup fourth round tie between Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road.

It promises to be a cracker and here are the two starting line-ups for the match:

Leeds United: Ashdown, Byram, Peltier, Lees, White, Green, Brown, Austin, Varney, Diouf, McCormack

Substitutes: Kenny, Pearce, Tonge, Norris, Somma, Hall, Dawson

Tottenham Hotspur: Friedel, Naughton, Caulker, Vertonghen, Assou-Ekotto, Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Bale, Sigurdsson, Dempsey

Substitutes: Gomes, Walker, Townsend, Livermore, Dembele, Dawson, Obika

Away day blues Tottenham will aim to record their first win on the road in 2013

Away day blues Tottenham will aim to record their first win on the road in 2013

Rivalry with Rory McIlroy can drive on Tiger Woods, says Jack Nicklaus

Rivalry with McIlroy can drive on Woods like Watson battle boosted me, says Nicklaus

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UPDATED:

08:04 GMT, 18 December 2012

Never underestimate the value of a
young rival. It worked for Jack Nicklaus when Tom Watson came along and
starting beating him on a regular basis and it will be good for Tiger
Woods that Rory McIlroy has wiped the floor with him this year.

Who says so None other than the great
man Nicklaus himself. 'I think the force that was pushing Tiger for so
long was my major record but that might get stale during a period of
time,' said the Golden Oldie Bear, now 73.

Rory McIlroy has put Tiger Woods in the shade

Rivals: Rory McIlroy has overtaken Tiger Woods to be world No 1

'Now Rory has come along and it will definitely be helpful for Tiger. He probably needs somebody to pop him a few times so he gets a chance to go pop him back. It's kind of good for you to get drummed a couple of times and then all of a sudden he says: “I'm not getting drummed anymore. I'm going to drum that guy back.” That's what rivalries are all about. The competition is fierce, and that's good.'

In an unusually long blog on his website, Woods was full of praise for what McIlroy has achieved this year but was more circumspect when it came to the rivalry part. Well, you never talk up an opponent too much, do you

'Rory had a wonderful year and my hat is off to him, he deserved Player of the Year,' declared Woods. 'Whether we develop a rivalry remains to be seen. Let's just play it out and see where it takes us.'

Where it will take them first of all is to Abu Dhabi in a month's time, which will be the first of around 15 tournaments next year where the pair will both be part of the same field.

This year they went at it for the first
time down the stretch at the Honda Classic in March, where McIlroy not
only emerged the winner but became world number one for the first time
at the age of just 22. They played together on a number of occasions
during the four tournament FedEx Cup series in the summer, where McIlroy
won two events and finished second behind Brandt Snedeker.

Classic rivalry: Jack Nicklaus (left) and Tom Watson at the 1977 Open

Classic rivalry: Jack Nicklaus (left) and Tom Watson at the 1977 Open

Now the year has ended with the Northern Irishman picking up all the end of season awards that used to be the preserve of Woods. The latest was being named European Tour Golfer of the Year on Tuesday.

As for Tiger, he might not have had a year that lived with McIlroy's but he will be quietly pleased about a season of solid progress that saw him win three times to move up 20 places in the world rankings and re-establish himself in the top three. Woods will be 37 at the end of this month, which was exactly the age Nicklaus was when Watson beat him at Turnberry to win the 1977 Open.

Nicklaus's response was to take back Watson's Open crown the following year, and add three more majors to his glittering collection in the years to come. Could Woods respond to McIlroy's challenge by doing something similar

'Looking ahead to next year, I'm just trying to win those big four tournaments and obviously try to use other events to prepare for them and try to win them as well,' wrote Woods. 'I have had to alter my practice schedule because my kids come first. It takes a little better time management on my part but I expect to play a similar number of events to this year.'

Regarding the season just ended, Woods concluded: 'Golf-wise, there's really no comparison between this year and last year. This year I got a chance to play a full season, compete and win three tournaments, whereas last year I was hurt most of the time. Being able to compete as much as I did was very exciting. I could actually go out and practice and prepare and play and not have a limited ball count or rehab training, and recording nine top ten finishes in 19 starts shows my game is back on track.'

But is it back enough to live with the ever-improving McIlroy Roll on 2013.

Lionel Messi"s record-breaking 2012 – month by month, game by game

Month by month, goal by goal… The diary of Messi's extraordinary record-breaking year

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UPDATED:

21:27 GMT, 9 December 2012

He's done it! Lionel Messi needed just 25 minutes of Barcelona's match at Real Betis to surpass Gerd Muller's long-standing record for goalscoring in a calendar year.

The Argentine magician needed to reach the magic number of 86 strikes for club and country and he wasted little time in achieving it.

In this Sportsmail special, we take a look back at a wonderful year for the little wizard.

Record breaker! Messi celebrates scoring against Real Betis, on the night he beat Gerd Muller's 40-year-old goalscoring record

Record breaker! Messi celebrates scoring against Real Betis, on the night he beat Gerd Muller's 40-year-old goalscoring record

JANUARY

Goals for Barcelona – 7

With 27 club goals already under his belt in the first half of the season, Ballon D’Or winner Messi entered 2012 in irresistible form and officially the best player in the world. And he wasted little time in finding the net in the New Year, with a double against Osasuna in the Copa Del Rey.

Barcelona weren't exactly struggling to make an impact in the tie, but Messi was introduced for Pedro on the hour. The tempo was cranked up and up after his introduction and he scored first with a header after ghosting into the six yard box and then with a left-foot curler from just inside the box.

He scored five times in La Liga during the month as Barca kept snapping at the heels of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but didn’t manage to net in the two-legged Cup Clasico.

ACCOLADE! Messi collected the Ballon D'Or for the third consecutive year at the start of the year.

Officially the best: Lionel Messi started 2012 on a high after being voted the FIFA Ballon D'Or winner for the third consecutive year. Here, he parades the trophy before the Copa Del Rey match with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp

Officially the best: Lionel Messi started 2012 on a high after being voted the FIFA Ballon D'Or winner for the third consecutive year. Here, he parades the trophy before the Copa Del Rey match with Real Madrid at the Nou Camp

JANUARY GOALS AND APPEARANCES

4th – Two goals vs. Osasuna in Copa Del Rey (4-0)

8th – vs. Espanyol (1-1)

12th – vs. Osasuna in Copa Del Rey (2-1)

15th – Two goals vs. Real Betis (4-2)

18th – vs. Real Madrid in Copa Del Rey (2-1)

22nd – Three goals vs. Malaga (4-1)

25th – vs. Real Madrid in Copa Del Rey (2-2)

28th – vs. Villarreal (0-0)

FEBRUARY

Goals for Barcelona – 7 Goals for Argentina – 3 Running total – 17

Another prolific month, which saw ten goals for club and country. The highlights included a four-goal haul in a 5-1 win over Valencia and a hat-trick for Argentina in a friendly match against Switzerland.

His quartet against Valencia was masterful – first, he squeezed the ball in from a seemingly impossible angle to bring Barca level, then a couple of poacher's finishes delivered him a hat-trick. The best, however, was saved until last with a burst clear and delicious chip.

LANDMARK! The 5-1 win over Valencia was Messi's 200th La Liga appearance.

The match against Switzerland showed that Messi is equally adept in front of goal for his country as for his club. He created and finished his first goal, running diagonally towards the penalty area, exchanging passes, and then finding the bottom corner.

The second saw Messi drive at the heart of the Swiss defence, work a shooting position and chip in off the crossbar, with the third a perfect penalty.

Four-some! Messi celebrates one of his quartet of goals in the La Liga match against Valencia

Four-some! Messi celebrates one of his quartet of goals in the La Liga match against Valencia

FEBRUARY GOALS AND APPEARANCES

1st – vs. Valencia in Copa Del Rey (1-1)

4th – One goal vs. Real Sociedad (2-1)

8th – vs. Valencia in Copa Del Rey (2-0)

11th – vs. Osasuna (2-3)

14th – One goal vs. Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League second round, first leg (3-1)

19th – Four goals vs. Valencia (5-1)

26th – One goal vs. Atletico Madrid (2-1)

29th – Three goals vs. Switzerland (3-1)

MARCH

Goals for Barcelona – 13 Running total – 30

Messi started March in magnificent style, scoring five goals in the second leg of Barcelona’s Champions League second round match with Bayer Leverkusen as part of a 7-1 rout.

Two of his goals were sumptuous chips which left the Bayer goalkeeper red-faced, while the last of his five was a great blast into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

RECORD! The feat meant he was the first player to score five goals in a Champions League match since the tournament’s re-branding in 1992.

Five stars: Messi destroyed Bayer Leverkusen with five goals in the second leg of their Champions League meeting in March

Five stars: Messi destroyed Bayer Leverkusen with five goals in the second leg of their Champions League meeting in March

It was a phenomenally prolific month in La Liga too, as Barcelona tries to keep pace with Real – he scored eight goals in just five matches and the only time he failed to hit the target was in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final in Milan.

MARCH GOALS AND APPEARANCES

7th – Five goals vs. Bayer Leverkusen in Champions League second round, second leg (7-1)

11th – Two goals vs. Racing Santander (2-0)

17th – One goal vs. Seville (2-0)

20th – Three goals vs. Granada (5-3)

24th – One goal vs. Real Mallorca (2-0)

28th – vs. AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-final, first leg (0-0)

31st – One goal vs. Athletic Bilbao (2-0)


APRIL

Goals for Barcelona – 9 Running total – 39

He made amends for the blank in the first leg by scoring a double at the Nou Camp as Barcelona reached the last four 3-1 on aggregate.

His first was a testament to perseverance, initially stealing the ball to sprint clear on goal and then turning sharply to win a penalty, which he converted. The reasons for the second spot-kick were less clear but again Messi made no mistake.

RECORD! This took his Champions League tally to 14 goals in the season, enough to make him the competition’s top goalscorer for a fourth consecutive season.

Low point: Barcelona's hopes of retaining the Champions League ended in April when they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Chelsea

Low point: Barcelona's hopes of retaining the Champions League ended in April when they were beaten 3-2 on aggregate by Chelsea

He didn’t, however, score in either leg against Chelsea, who dumped Barcelona out 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final with Bayern Munich.

As the league season reached crunch time, Messi netted seven goals but, importantly, he didn’t convert any chances in the 2-1 home defeat by Real which practically handed Jose Mourinho’s side the title on April 21.

APRIL GOALS AND APPEARANCES

3rd – Two goals vs. AC Milan in the Champions League quarter-final, second leg (3-1)

7th – Two goals vs. Real Zaragoza (4-1)

10th – One goal vs. Getafe (4-0)

14th – Two goals vs. Levante (2-1)

18th – vs. Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, first leg (0-1)

21st – vs. Real Madrid (1-2)

24th – vs. Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final, second leg (2-2)

29th – Two goals vs. Rayo Vallecano (7-0)

MAY

Goals for Barcelona – 8 Running total – 47

The last month of the 2011-2012 saw another sackful of goals and records, but just one trophy to add to the 13 he already had in the Pep Guardiola era – the Copa Del Rey. Barcelona didn't do enough however to prevent Real Madrid winning the La Liga title.

RECORD! His hat-trick against Malaga on May 2
meant Messi surpassed Gerd Muller’s single season goalscoring record
from 1972-1973 with three matches left to play.

Muller scored 67 in that campaign for Bayern Munich, while Messi now had 68. In doing so, he became the highest goalscorer in a European season in history.

End of an era: Pep Guardiola left Barcelona in May, having won 14 honours in four years at the club

End of an era: Pep Guardiola left Barcelona in May, having won 14 honours in four years at the club

RECORD! This then became a world best when a remarkable four goals in the Catalan derby with Espanyol took his tally to 72 and leapfrogged Archie Stark, who scored 70 for Bethlehem Steel in the 1924-1925 American Soccer League.

He showed his set-piece prowess in this one, converting two penalties and a 25-yard free-kick.

TROPHY! His goal in the 3-0 Copa Del Rey final win over Athletic Bilbao helped deliver Barcelona the Cup for the 26th time.

TOTAL! In the 2011-2012 season, Messi managed 73 goals and 29 assists in all competitions. This included 50 goals in La Liga, making him the Golden Boot winner. He was also the league's second highest provider of assists with 16, one shy of Real Madrid's Mesut Ozil.

MAY GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – Three goals vs. Malaga (4-1)

5th – Four goals vs. Espanyol (4-0)

12th – vs. Real Betis (2-2)

25th – One goal vs. Athletic Bilbao in the Copa Del Rey final (3-0)

JUNE

Goals for Argentina – 4 Running total – 51

The club season may have finished but Messi was still in the goalscoring groove for Argentina – and June also brought great personal news.

BABY! When he scored in the 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Ecuador, his 23 rd goal for Argentina, he celebrated by placing the ball up his shirt, suggesting his girlfriend Antonella Roccuzzo was pregnant.

She later confirmed the news on Twitter.

International class: June was a month in which Messi showed his class for Argentina

International class: June was a month in which Messi showed his class for Argentina

A week later, Messi's season ended in trademark superlative style with a hat-trick in a friendly thriller with Brazil, capped with an outstanding curling shot into the top corner.

JUNE GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – One goal vs. Ecuador in World Cup qualifier (4-0)

9th – Three goals vs. Brazil (4-3)

AUGUST

Goals for Barcelona – 6 Goals for Argentina – 1 Running total – 58

If anyone thought Messi's predatory instincts had been dulled by a couple of months off, they were very much mistaken.

He started the 2012-2013 season in the same red hot form as before, scoring two against Real Sociedad on the opening weekend, two at Osasuna in the second game and another two across the legs of the Super Cup contest with Real Madrid.

Against Sociedad, he wasted little time getting started afresh, scoring on 11 and 16 minutes, but against Osasuna, he was required to score twice late on to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

Barca brothers: Messi celebrates with Alexis Sanchez after scoring against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, first leg at the Nou Camp

Barca brothers: Messi celebrates with Alexis Sanchez after scoring against Real Madrid in the Super Cup, first leg at the Nou Camp

RECORD! Messi's goal in a losing cause in the Super Cup second leg with Real made him Barcelona's all-time top scorer in Clasico matches. In the overall contest, he is behind only Alfredo Di Stefano.

AUGUST GOALS AND APPEARANCES

15th – One goal vs. Germany (3-1)

19th – Two goals vs. Real Sociedad (5-1)

23rd – One goal vs. Real Madrid in the Super Cup (3-2)

26th – Two goals vs. Osasuna (2-1)

29th – One goal vs. Real Madrid in the Super Cup (1-2)

SEPTEMBER

Goals for Barcelona – 4 Goals for Argentina – 1 Running total – 63

/12/04/article-2242647-1622780F000005DC-428_634x499.jpg” width=”634″ height=”499″ alt=”From Russia with Love: Messi scored twice against Spartak Moscow on matchday one of the Champions league group stage” class=”blkBorder” />

From Russia with Love: Messi scored twice against Spartak Moscow on matchday one of the Champions league group stage

SEPTEMBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – vs. Valencia (1-0)

8th – One goal vs. Paraguay in World Cup qualifier (3-1)

12th – vs. Peru in World Cup qualifier (1-1)

15th – Two goals vs. Getafe (4-1)

19th – Two goals vs. Spartak Moscow in the Champions League (3-2)

22nd – vs. Granada (2-0)

29th – vs. Seville (3-2)

OCTOBER

Goals for Barcelona – 7 Goals for Argentina – 3 Running total – 73

October was a barnstorming month for Messi, who scored seven goals for his club and three for his country, and was the crucial difference in some thrilling games.

On the 7th, the sixth Clasico of the year, ended in a personal duel between Messi and his nemesis Cristiano Ronaldo. Honours finished even, with both superstars scoring twice in a 2-2 draw.

Nemesis: Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been engaged in a personal duel to be the best player in the world all year

Nemesis: Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been engaged in a personal duel to be the best player in the world all year

Biggest stage: Messi scored twice in the sixth El Clasico of the year, as Barcelona and Real drew 2-2 in La Liga at the Nou Camp

Biggest stage: Messi scored twice in the sixth El Clasico of the year, as Barcelona and Real drew 2-2 in La Liga at the Nou Camp

Then, after his three strikes against Uruguay and Chile helped Argentina a little further along the path to Brazil 2014, he shrugged off the jetlag to bag a hat-trick in a 5-4 rollercoaster with Deportivo.

Barcelona were 3-0 and cruising at the Riazor, but Deportivo fought back to within one goal. Messi then took control, his goals negating the dismissal of Javier Mascherano and ultimately proving the difference.

OCTOBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

2nd – vs. Benfica in the Champions League group stage (2-0)

7th – Two goals vs. Real Madrid (2-2)

13th – Two goals vs. Uruguay in World Cup qualifier (3-0)

17th – One goal vs. Chile in World Cup qualifier (2-1)

20th – Three goals vs. Deportivo La Coruna (5-4)

23rd – vs. Celtic in the Champions League group stage (2-1)

27th – Two goals vs. Rayo Vallecano (5-0)

NOVEMBER

Goals for Barcelona – 9 Running total – 82

BABY! The month started with another moment of joy for Messi, presumably far greater than any of his goals, as his girlfriend gave birth to baby Thiago on November 2.

And Leo clearly wasn't suffering from too much lost sleep as he continued to bang in the goals at a rate of knots.

RECORD! On the 11th, his double against Real Mallorca took him past Pele's long-standing benchmark of 75 goals in a calendar year set in 1958.

The goals came two-by-two for the rest of the month as he closed in on Muller's world record of 85 goals within 12 months.

NOVEMBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

3rd – vs. Celta Vigo (3-1)

7th – One goal vs. Celtic in the Champions League (1-2)

11th – Two goals vs. Real Mallorca (4-2)

14th – vs. Saudi Arabia (0-0)

17th – Two goals vs. Real Zaragoza (3-1)

20th – Two goals vs. Spartak Moscow in the Champions League (3-0)

25th – Two goals vs. Levante (4-0)

DECEMBER

Goals for Barcelona – 4 Running total – 86

So, with 82 goals in the calendar year and Muller's record tantalisingly close, Messi made the perfect start to December with another double in the 5-1 home win over Bilbao on Saturday.

RECORD! His two goals also drew Messi level with Cesar Rodriguez as Barcelona's all-time leading league goalscorer.

Closer and closer: Messi moved to within one of Gerd Muller's record with two goals in the 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend

Closer and closer: Messi moved to within one of Gerd Muller's record with two goals in the 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao at the weekend

STAT ATTACK! Messi has 21 La Liga goals already this season, which would have been enough to give him the Golden Boot in 2001/2002 (Tristan, 21), 1990/1991 (Butragueno, 19) and 1984/1985 (Hugo Sanchez, 19). It also means he has personally outscored 16 of the 19 La Liga teams this season.

RECORDS! His goals against Real Betis on December 9 meant Messi surpassed Gerd Muller's record for goals in a calendar year and he also became Barcelona's leading all-time goalscorer in La Liga, moving ahead of Cesar Rodriguez.

DECEMBER GOALS AND APPEARANCES

1st – Two goals vs. Athletic Bilbao (5-1)

9th – Two goals vs. Real Betis

THE MAN MESSI HAS BEATEN

Gerd Muller scored 85 goals in 60 matches for Bayern Munich and West Germany in 1972 – a record for the highest number of goals scored in a calendar year that has stood for 40 years.

This is how Muller's record breaks down:

BAYERN MUNICH

Bundesliga: 42 in 34 games

European Cup: 10 in 4

Cup Winners Cup: 1 in 2

DfB Pokal: 7 in 6

DfB Ligapokal: 12 in 5

GERMANY

Euro 72: 5 in 4

Friendlies: 8 in 3

Best scoring run: 16 in 8

Longest drought: 3 games


Swarmed: West Germany's Gerd Muller trying to find a way through the Holland defence during the 1974 World Cup final

Swarmed: West Germany's Gerd Muller trying to find a way through the Holland defence during the 1974 World Cup final

Roberto Mancini ditches "unlucky" purple tracksuits – Charles Sale

No purple patch for quirky Mancini as Manchester City boss ditches unlucky colour

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UPDATED:

09:54 GMT, 20 October 2012

Manchester City manager Roberto
Mancini’s many quirks now include him declaring purple to be an unlucky
colour.

This has led to the Italian not wanting his players travelling
to away games in their track suits, which have purple piping.

So City’s
kit staff have had to sort out a load of new clothing for away travel
that doesn’t include the offending hue.

Mancini’s squad were in blue
when they set off for Saturday’s match at West Bromwich.

No purple: Roberto Mancini does not want his players wearing the colour

No purple: Roberto Mancini does not want his players wearing the colour

Halsey barred from Jose tribute show

Premier League referee Mark Halsey has been prevented from taking part in an ITV tribute programme marking Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho’s 50th birthday in January.

Halsey, who describes the Special One as a ‘wonderful, wonderful person’, was keen to contribute to the show because of a close friendship with Mourinho forged while the referee was battling throat cancer.

Mourinho was one of the first to contact Halsey after his illness was made public. During his recovery, he was invited to Milan and Madrid to spend time with Jose, who ‘looked after me fantastically’, according to Halsey.

Issue: Mark Halsey was not allowed to talk about Jose Mourinho (above)

Issue: Mark Halsey was not allowed to talk about Jose Mourinho (above)

However, Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, who manage the referees, have refused permission for Halsey to be interviewed, nor have they allowed ITV access to his wife Michelle, despite a number of requests.

A PGMOL spokesman said: ‘It’s standard practice that referees don’t do media during the season unless it relates to the promotion of referees and we can’t make an exception in this case. The referee contracts also include family members in this respect.’

McGrath set to bow out

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Why the blazers ousted FA chairman Bernstein
18/10/12

Charles Sale: No extra time for FA chief Bernstein's regime
17/10/12

Charles Sale: England's hot date with Brazil at the new Maracana
16/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool PR man Chang faces internal probe over Duncan Jenkins claims
15/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool see red over Chang bullying claims
12/10/12

Charles Sale: Tottenham back on Olympic track in bid to solve stadium problem
11/10/12

Charles Sale: New power move for Scudamore
10/10/12

Charles Sale: Sir Dave will give his FA vice-chairman post to Gill
09/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

BBC commentator Jim McGrath is likely to be calling his last big race in Frankel’s Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, with C4’s Simon Holt the choice to be lead commentator when the network start their exclusive terrestrial coverage next year. However, McGrath’s BBC colleague Rishi Persad will be part of the new-look C4 team along with the omnipresent Clare Balding.

Meanwhile, the Beeb are understood not to be looking back in too much detail at their rich racing history in their Ascot programme because they still have one day left of their doomed racing contract, at Chepstow on December 27. But that meeting is often a victim of the weather.

FA councillors plot Club England move

The Club England set-up is going to find itself under increasing pressure after the FA council prevented chairman David Bernstein from remaining in office past his age-limit 70th birthday next May and rejected proposed governance reforms.

FA councillors, having discovered they still have influence, don’t want a small group of FA executives in charge of the England team. And some of the most influential members of the council want a return to the FA international committee having the final say on England matters.

Mac’s FA ballot blues

FA company secretary Alistair Maclean is seen as not having helped David Bernstein’s chances of staying on as chairman with the way he organised the FA council ballot — especially arguing that proxy votes should be included because they count in a chairman’s election.

Former FA board member John Ward had to point out that the vote was about retaining Bernstein, not appointing him. Maclean is also seen as personalising the issue, to Bernstein’s detriment, by putting his name on the ballot question about the chairman’s period of office.

Thanks for nothing: David Bernstein (right) was not helped by Alistair Maclean

Thanks for nothing: David Bernstein (right) was not helped by Alistair Maclean

FA vice-chairmen Roger Burden and David Gill will lead the hunt to find a successor, with the expectation that they will want candidates in their fifties who can serve at least two four-year terms for much-needed continuity.

Yet Burden was on the nominations group that recommended Bernstein knowing he could stay in the job for less than three years because of his age. The same Burden remarkably described Bernstein as having a ‘humour bypass’ at the FA council meeting this week.

R's swoop for Donnelly

QPR, whose heavy spending needs bringing under control, have appointed Mark Donnelly, who was the FA’s chief finance officer, as their chief operating officer. This is another blow to FA general secretary Alex Horne, who loses his chairman David Bernstein in May.

Mark Halsey barred from Jose Mourinho TV show by referee managers – Charles Sale

Halsey barred from Jose tribute show by refereeing management body

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 19 October 2012

Premier League referee Mark Halsey has been prevented from taking part in an ITV tribute programme marking Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho’s 50th birthday in January.

Halsey, who describes the Special One as a ‘wonderful, wonderful person’, was keen to contribute to the show because of a close friendship with Mourinho forged while the referee was battling throat cancer.

Mourinho was one of the first to contact Halsey after his illness was made public. During his recovery, he was invited to Milan and Madrid to spend time with Jose, who ‘looked after me fantastically’, according to Halsey.

Issue: Mark Halsey was not allowed to talk about Jose Mourinho (above)

Issue: Mark Halsey was not allowed to talk about Jose Mourinho (above)

However, Professional Game Match Officials Ltd, who manage the referees, have refused permission for Halsey to be interviewed, nor have they allowed ITV access to his wife Michelle, despite a number of requests.

A PGMOL spokesman said: ‘It’s standard practice that referees don’t do media during the season unless it relates to the promotion of referees and we can’t make an exception in this case. The referee contracts also include family members in this respect.’

McGrath set to bow out

More from Charles Sale…

Charles Sale: Why the blazers ousted FA chairman Bernstein
18/10/12

Charles Sale: No extra time for FA chief Bernstein's regime
17/10/12

Charles Sale: England's hot date with Brazil at the new Maracana
16/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool PR man Chang faces internal probe over Duncan Jenkins claims
15/10/12

Charles Sale: Liverpool see red over Chang bullying claims
12/10/12

Charles Sale: Tottenham back on Olympic track in bid to solve stadium problem
11/10/12

Charles Sale: New power move for Scudamore
10/10/12

Charles Sale: Sir Dave will give his FA vice-chairman post to Gill
09/10/12

VIEW FULL ARCHIVE

BBC commentator Jim McGrath is likely to be calling his last big race in Frankel’s Champion Stakes at Ascot on Saturday, with C4’s Simon Holt the choice to be lead commentator when the network start their exclusive terrestrial coverage next year. However, McGrath’s BBC colleague Rishi Persad will be part of the new-look C4 team along with the omnipresent Clare Balding.

Meanwhile, the Beeb are understood not to be looking back in too much detail at their rich racing history in their Ascot programme because they still have one day left of their doomed racing contract, at Chepstow on December 27. But that meeting is often a victim of the weather.

Mancini's purple snub

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini’s many quirks now include him declaring purple to be an unlucky colour. This has led to the Italian not wanting his players travelling to away games in their track suits, which have purple piping. So City’s kit staff have had to sort out a load of new clothing for away travel that doesn’t include the offending hue. Mancini’s squad were in blue when they set off for Saturday’s match at West Bromwich.

No purple: Roberto Mancini does not want his players wearing the colour

No purple: Roberto Mancini does not want his players wearing the colour

FA councillors plot Club England move

The Club England set-up is going to find itself under increasing pressure after the FA council prevented chairman David Bernstein from remaining in office past his age-limit 70th birthday next May and rejected proposed governance reforms.

FA councillors, having discovered they still have influence, don’t want a small group of FA executives in charge of the England team. And some of the most influential members of the council want a return to the FA international committee having the final say on England matters.

Mac’s FA ballot blues

FA company secretary Alistair Maclean is seen as not having helped David Bernstein’s chances of staying on as chairman with the way he organised the FA council ballot — especially arguing that proxy votes should be included because they count in a chairman’s election.

Former FA board member John Ward had to point out that the vote was about retaining Bernstein, not appointing him. Maclean is also seen as personalising the issue, to Bernstein’s detriment, by putting his name on the ballot question about the chairman’s period of office.

Thanks for nothing: David Bernstein (right) was not helped by Alistair Maclean

Thanks for nothing: David Bernstein (right) was not helped by Alistair Maclean

FA vice-chairmen Roger Burden and David Gill will lead the hunt to find a successor, with the expectation that they will want candidates in their fifties who can serve at least two four-year terms for much-needed continuity.

Yet Burden was on the nominations group that recommended Bernstein knowing he could stay in the job for less than three years because of his age. The same Burden remarkably described Bernstein as having a ‘humour bypass’ at the FA council meeting this week.

R's swoop for Donnelly

QPR, whose heavy spending needs bringing under control, have appointed Mark Donnelly, who was the FA’s chief finance officer, as their chief operating officer. This is another blow to FA general secretary Alex Horne, who loses his chairman David Bernstein in May.

London 2012 Olympics football: Mark Clattenburg to referee Wembley final

Premier League ref Clattenburg to take charge of Olympic final at Wembley

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UPDATED:

10:09 GMT, 9 August 2012

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Mark Clattenburg has been chosen by FIFA as the referee for the Olympic men's final between Brazil and Mexico on Saturday.

It will be the most prestigious match so far of the 37-year-old's refereeing career. Clattenburg's assistants will be Stephen Child and Simon Beck.

taking charge: Mark Clattenburg will ref Saturday's Olympic men's football final at Wembley

taking charge: Mark Clattenburg will ref Saturday's Olympic men's football final at Wembley

Clattenburg, from Gosforth, became a FIFA official in 2006, and has refereed in the Champions League, qualifying games for Euro 2012, and this year's Carling Cup final.

He also acted as an additional assistant referee during Euro 2012 in a team with Howard Webb.

David Elleray, chairman of the FA referees' committee, said: 'The appointment of Mark Clattenburg to referee the Olympic final with his English assistants Steve Child and Simon Beck is wonderful news and is in keeping with the outstanding achievements of so many people from Great Britain in these Olympics.

Going for gold: Brazil will take on Mexico for the honours in London

Going for gold: Brazil will take on Mexico for the honours in London

'Match officials in all sports make an important contribution to the success of sport and the appointment of the English referee team to the final match should be seen as another 'gold' for Team GB.

'This appointment means that English officials have controlled the World Cup final, Champions League final and Olympic final in the space of two years – a remarkable achievement which reflects well on the health of refereeing in this country.

'As with Howard Webb's World Cup final appointment, this will be an inspiration to our young referees and will mean that the 2012 Olympics will have a lasting legacy in refereeing.'

Wimbledon 2012: Martin Samuel – Give respect to Andy Murray

Pay attention and give respect to the man from nowhere

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UPDATED:

23:02 GMT, 6 July 2012

Do you know the most wonderful thing
about Andy Murray He’s Scottish. Now a lot of people don’t agree with
that. They think Murray’s monotone brogue, his roots, his loyalties, are
absolutely the worst of him.

They think it makes him dour and
chippy and they are convinced by this myth that he hates the English.
They drink it all in and then they hate him back, because they genuinely believe he is as small-minded and petty as they are.

Relief: Andy Murray points to the sky after winning the match

Relief: Andy Murray points to the sky after winning the match

Battle: The fourth set was an epic tussle

Battle: The fourth set was an epic tussle

And they do not understand, and never will understand, that it is precisely Murray’s otherness, his uniqueness, his outsider status, that has taken him to where he will be on Sunday: the men’s singles final at Wimbledon.

If he was typical, if he was the standard issue British tennis player, he would not be where a fellow national has not stood since 1938.

Bunny Austin was the name. He was a bit of a rebel, too — he played in shorts rather than in clothes better suited to the set of Brideshead Revisited.

Even so, that cognomen is a bit of a giveaway. Bunny. There are not too many get called Bunny in Murray’s part of the world.

Applause: Murray laps up the adulation of the fans

Applause: Murray laps up the adulation of the fans

Tough luck: Murray and Jo-Wilfried Songa in conversation after the match

Tough luck: Murray and Jo-Wilfried Songa in conversation after the match

Austin was a Cambridge man and a public
schoolboy. He would have had a lot in common with many of the
ineffectual characters that followed him, to little purpose, at
Wimbledon; less with the strangely driven Murray brothers from Dunblane.

In picturing how Murray got to Centre Court on Sunday, one first has to
imagine the two of them, Jamie and Andy, as proteges on the junior
circuit.

‘Every competition seemed to take place about six hours from where we
lived,’ Andy once told me. ‘We were outsiders all the time, so we became
our own little team.

‘There was nothing in Scotland. No tournaments and no players. That is
very unusual in tennis, to have someone come through from a country
without pedigree. I had Tim Henman to look up to and that definitely
helped, but nobody with my background.

Crucial: Andy Murray celebrates winning a vital game

Crucial: Andy Murray celebrates winning a vital game

Good start: Murray got off to a fine opening

Good start: Murray got off to a fine opening

ROGER FEDERER v ANDY MURRAY

7 Head-to-head 8

30 Age 25

Birthplace

Basel, Switzerland Dunblane, Scotland

6'1″ Height 6'3″

187lbs (85 kg) Weight 185lbs (84 kg)

1998 Turned Pro 2005

39/6 This year Won/Lost 26/9

846/192 Career Won/Lost 349/116

74 Career Titles 22

46m Career Prize Money 13.3m

Now do you understand Now do you get why Murray’s Scottish roots are so
important They made him the man he is. They made him this weird little
exception.

‘Somebody from nowhere’ was how the playwright Joe Orton described
himself, becoming the toast of West End theatre from his origins in a
Leicester council house.

That is Murray, too. Can you conceive how hard it is to become one of
the world’s great tennis players, starting in Dunblane Can you imagine
what the summer season must have been like, the travelling, the sense
of isolation

It is a miracle, a bloody miracle, that of all the British tennis
players to try and fail to reach the final at Wimbledon, the one that
should then do it originates from the heart of Scotland.

To put Murray’s achievement into further perspective, do you know what
happened to the last player to lose to a British opponent in a men’s
singles semi-final at Wimbledon He died in the Battle of Stalingrad on
December 3, 1942.
Henner Henkel was his name and, four years after losing to Austin, he was killed while fighting for the German Sixth Army.

This is ancient history Murray is rewriting here, in sporting terms at
least. We are so used to the now, to the immediacy of modern sport, the
advances in technology and training, that we can barely comprehend an
achievement that has stood since a time when the average house price in
Britain was 545.

Chamberlain met Hitler in 1938. Errol Flynn played Robin Hood. Len
Hutton made 364 against Australia. And Bunny Austin lost in straight
sets in the final to Don Budge. Who knew that would be as good as it got
for 74 years; and what calibre of man it would require to break the
curse

In other times, a player of Murray’s ability would already have trod
this path. He is good enough, he has the game, he has the shots, he has
the determination, he has the stamina. He also has three of the greatest
players in history in a blocking formation before him: Roger Federer,
Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The mighty Federer now stands in his way tomorrow.

New balls please: Tsonga was hit in a delicate area by a Murray shot

New balls please: Tsonga was hit in a delicate area by a Murray shot

Rally: Murray and Tsonga in action

Rally: Murray and Tsonga in action

Federer did for Djokovic and Nadal exited at an earlier stage, but do
not be fooled. The cynics who claim Murray has had it easy at Wimbledon
so far greatly underestimate the strength in depth of the men’s tour.

Not one opponent has been a pushover and if Murray has made his progress
appear comparatively straightforward that is not to his detriment.

If Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was tamed yesterday, kudos to Murray. He dropped
two points on his service game in the entire second set. Tsonga did not
hold one service game to love.

Against a player whose serve on grass was claimed to be his strength,
Murray’s defence was quite brilliant. If he suffered a third set wobble,
it merely confirmed the danger he faced.

History: Tsonga beat this year's finalist Roger Federer in a thriller last time around

History: Tsonga beat this year's finalist Roger Federer in a thriller last time around

Tumble: Murray reacts to a fall during the match

Tumble: Murray reacts to a fall during the match

Of course, Murray would rather have played Tsonga than Nadal, but having
had the misfortune to share his time with men of such exceptional
ability, is it not about time that he caught a break

‘I’m so happy to be there,’ Murray told the BBC after the match,
without so much as breaking into a smile at the thought of a fourth
Grand Slam final. And no doubt some at home will have curled their lips,
too, at this sight. It is they who are the miserable ones, though, they
who need to find the joy in the moment. Murray has already done his
bit.

There are people who did not think they would see this in their lifetime; take Murray away and they probably wouldn’t.

He has become the greatest British tennis player since the year Judy Garland was cast in The Wizard of Oz.

Onlooker: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears

Onlooker: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears

Oops: Tsonga was making several unforced errors

Oops: Tsonga was making several unforced errors

Murray, the Lawn Tennis Association must hope, will inspire a
generation the way winning the Ashes in 2005 turned their older brothers
back onto cricket.

Capering around like a buffoon, cracking wise, bouncing up and down like
an excited schoolgirl is not part of the deal. The journey has been too
long and has taken too much out of him to worry about striking poses.

Just watch the man play and remember where this started. It is not part
of nature’s deal, Dunblane to SW19. This is against all conception of
how it should be done. Credit where it is due. This is the Wimbledon
men’s final: and somebody from nowhere’s here.

Bunny Austin

Rafael van der Vaart: I still love Hamburg

Van der Vaart set for Hamburg Spurs ace admits he's still in love with former club

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UPDATED:

09:22 GMT, 26 June 2012

Rafael van der Vaart has stoked speculation he could be set for a move to his former club Hamburg after revealing his 'love' for the Bundesliga outfit.

The Tottenham playmaker spent three successful seasons with the German club before moving to Real Madrid in 2008.

Water view: Van der Vaart is enjoying a holiday with his wife, Sylvie

Water view: Van der Vaart is enjoying a holiday with his wife, Sylvie

Van der Vaart, who is on holiday with his wife Sylvie in Saint Tropez following Holland's early exit from Euro 2012, has also been the subject of a 10million bid from Schalke.

Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Van der Vaart said: 'I am happy and I am surprised myself how much I still love Hamburg, currently however there is no contact.

Dutch a disappointment: Holland crashed out at the group stage

Dutch a disappointment: Holland crashed out at the group stage

'I spent three years living in Hamburg and had a wonderful time at HSV. My wife Sylvie works there and we have many friends who live in your country. 'In football you never know.'

Van der Vaart scored 13 times for Tottenham last season.

Meanwhile, investor Klaus-Michael Kuehne is ready to bankroll the deal, telling Bild: 'I am an investor for new players and am definitely available.'

Euro 2012: Give Mario Balotelli a break, says Inter Milan president Massimo Morati

Give Balotelli a break, says Inter chief Moratti as City striker is told to 'grow up'

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UPDATED:

14:28 GMT, 21 June 2012

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti believes Italy international Mario Balotelli should be accepted the way he is.

The Manchester City forward is playing in his first major international competition at the European Championship.

The temperamental 21-year-old has been making headlines in Poland and Ukraine and not just for his talent, something that also happened when he was an Inter player.

Italian job: Balotelli has been urged to grow up and fulfill his potential

Italian job: Balotelli has been urged to grow up and fulfill his potential

Euro 2012 email button

'I am always ready to forgive everything,' Moratti said to Italian newspaper Il Giorno.

'I have an idea of what he (Balotelli) is like because I know Mario since he was a boy.

'He has a wonderful family, who adore him and protect him and he repays that affection.

'But there is something in him that makes him distrustful of everyone, even those that appreciate him, as is the case of (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli, who called him up to the national team.'

On target: Balotelli scored in the win over Ireland

On target: Balotelli scored in the win over Ireland

Balotelli had an angry outburst after scoring in Monday's 2-0 triumph over the Republic of Ireland. Prandelli did not start Balotelli in that game but he came off the bench and scored his first goal in the tournament.

However, rather than celebrate, he looked into the direction of the Italian bench and shouted a few words before team-mate Leonardo Bonucci put his hand over the striker's mouth.

'You only have to look at the goal against Ireland,' Moratti said.

'You need a lot of interior strength to repress that joy that you naturally get when you do such an important act (to score for your country).

Sign him up: Balotelli has been at Manchester City for two seasons

Sign him up: Balotelli has been at Manchester City for two seasons

'Balotelli is like that. 'You have to take him as he is without pretending to want to change him.'

Moratti does not regret selling Balotelli in the summer of 2010 to City.

'His transfer It was the thing to do at the time, even for his own interest,' Moratti said.

Balotelli came under heavy criticism from Inter fans after he publicly wore an AC Milan jersey on an Italian television show, leading to an apology on the club's website.

The Italian forward has nevertheless been linked in recent months with a return to Inter.

However, Moratti, whose club made a 21 million euros profit on Balotelli's transfer to City, believes that even if Inter wanted him back, they could not afford him.

'To bring him (Balotelli) back We are constructing a young squad,' Moratti said.

'With the (financial) problems we have in Italy, there are certain investments that you simply cannot make.'