Australia The Covert Agent: Fox Sports shake-up – Bosnich, Slater downgraded while Rudan is chopped The Covert Agent Last updated 2 years ago 10:29 11/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Australia A-League Goal’s exclusive spy can reveal Australia’s premier sports network has made significant budget cuts and axed a regular panellist Change is in the air at Fox Sports with high-profile football pundits Mark Bosnich and Robbie Slater having their salaries cut, while Mark Rudan has been told his contract won’t be renewed.The Covert Agent can reveal Bosnich and Slater have both accepted the decision, made by Fox Sports’ head of live sport Steve Crawley, to have their contracts reduced by 25 percent of the value.It is believed Bosnich and Slater were expecting to have their wage decreased, but Rudan has been blindsided by his axing. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing It is said Crawley is keen to add more female presence to their football coverage — like he has done with other sports telecast by the network.Head of football Murray Shaw is apparently fuming after not being consulted in the decision-making process.
Transfers Arsenal held Howedes talks before defender’s Juventus switch Matt Dorman 03:05 14/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Bongarts Transfers Arsenal Juventus Leicester City Roma A transfer to the Italian champions was always the Germany international’s preference, despite interest from the Premier League Germany international Benedikt Howedes held talks with Arsenal, Leicester and Roma before sealing a ‘jackpot’ move to Juventus, according to the defender’s agent.The 29-year-old signed for the Italian champions on a season-long loan after being stripped of the captaincy at Schalke by new boss Domenico Tedesco.Howedes’ agent Volker Struth claims the World Cup winner had been lined up by Arsenal as a potential replacement for compatriot Shkodran Mustafi. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing But Mustafi’s mooted move to Inter Milan failed to materialise, leaving Howedes to settle on his favoured destination.”We held talks with Roma, Leicester and Arsenal because we heard that Inter wanted Mustafi,” Struth told Sport Bild.”[But] it was soon clear that if he [left Schalke], it would be Turin. That was Benni’s favourite from the very beginning.”With all due respect to Schalke, even if things had gone super there, you want to join a club like Juve when you get the chance. Juventus are the jackpot.”Howedes’ departure from Schalke ended a 16-year stint at the Bundesliga club, where he progressed through the youth ranks.Juve have the option to sign the 44-time international on a permanent basis for €13 million, a fee they will be required to pay if he makes a minimum of 25 appearances throughout the season.
Brisbane Roar 0 Central Coast Mariners 0: Strugglers stay winless Dejan Kalinic 16:06 11/5/17 Getty Images The Central Coast Mariners and Brisbane Roar played out a 0-0 draw in the A-League. Brisbane Roar and the Central Coast Mariners remain winless in the A-League this season after playing out a 0-0 draw on Sunday.Both teams are without a victory through five games after they were unable to find a goal at Suncorp Stadium.Brisbane looked the more likely throughout the first half, but they created few clear-cut chances. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player They gifted the first huge opportunity of the game to the Mariners shortly after the break.A poor giveaway presented a chance to Danny De Silva, but the attacking midfielder’s effort was too narrow and palmed away by Roar goalkeeper Jamie Young.Mariners shot-stopper Ben Kennedy was forced into a low save from Jade North in stoppage time to earn the visitors a point.That was as close as either team came as the Mariners moved up to seventh and Brisbane off the bottom.FULL TIME | After 24 games we have our first 0-0 draw of the 2017/18 season. #BRIvCCM #ALeague pic.twitter.com/P1Onvd4YD1— Hyundai A-League (@ALeague) November 5, 2017
Chelsea Conte: I don’t know if Luiz has a future at Chelsea Ben Spratt Last updated 2 years ago 03:45 11/6/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Getty Images Chelsea David Luiz Antonio Conte Chelsea v Manchester United Premier League The defender missed out on the squad for Chelsea’s win over the Red Devils and the Blues boss cannot guarantee he will stay Antonio Conte admitted he did not know if David Luiz has a future at Chelsea after ditching the Brazil international against Manchester United.Chelsea 6/10 to beat West Brom Luiz lost his place in the starting line-up to Andreas Christensen for the clash with second-placed United, with the defender not even making the bench as 17-year-old Ethan Ampadu was preferred. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Without Luiz, the Blues went on to take all three points, as Alvaro Morata’s header sealed a 1-0 win.And, when asked about the defender after the game, Conte could not guarantee his continuity at Stamford Bridge.“Luiz’s future? I don’t know. He has to work really hard otherwise he will be on the bench or in the stand,” the manager explained to the BBC.Prior to the game, Conte was adamant there is no issue with Luiz, who started the midweek 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Roma, simply saying Christensen and Ampadu deserve their opportunities.”It is a tactical decision,” the manager told Sky Sports. “There is Andreas Christensen in good form and we have Ethan Ampadu who is a good, young player at the club.”We are conceding many goals so you have to find stability and solidity. We have to be patient with the team and defend in the right way.”In his post-match news conference, Conte attempted to clarify the state of affairs by reverting to his pre-game position that Luiz had been dropped for tactical reasons.He added: “It’s only a tactical decision, only a tactical decision, only a tactical decision. It’s normal. This can happen to every one of my players, if I see that they are not in good form. It’s normal.”Asked if he meant to sound uncertain about David Luiz’s future at the club in the previous interview, Conte appeared to go back on his comments.”No… [checks with press officer]. I think that I have a squad. I have a squad with 16 senior players, and five young players.”I have these players, and then I repeat I have to make the best decision for the team. I try to do this.”
Tom Brady fed Rob Gronkowski repeatedly to set up Dion Lewis’ go-ahead eight-yard touchdown with 56 seconds remaining and Ben Roethlisberger was intercepted in the end zone with five seconds left.The Patriots (11-3) gained the inside track for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs by ending Pittsburgh’s eight-game winning streak. Brady threw for 298 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Gronkowski, fresh off a one-game suspension, finished with nine receptions for 168 yards, including four on the winning drive.It briefly looked like it wouldn’t be enough. Share via Email Since you’re here… The Steelers (11-3), who played most of the game without injured star wide receiver Antonio Brown, appeared to take the lead when Roethlisberger connected with tight end Jesse James for a 10-yard touchdown with 28 seconds to left. The play was overturned on review, with official Tony Corrente saying the ball did not “survive” the completion of the catch.Roethlisberger hit Darrius Heyward-Bey for a short gain, whp but stayed in bounds. With the clock running and no timeouts, rather than spike it to set up a short kick that would have sent the game to overtime, Roethlisberger tried to win it. Topics Pinterest Share on Facebook NFL Week 15: Patriots stun Steelers in instant classic Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Twitter Read more Reuse this content NFL Panthers’ Jerry Richardson’s exit from ownership ranks is a sign of the times Share on Messenger … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. 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Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Share on Twitter Play VideoAdvertisementPlayCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%FullscreenMuteThis is a modal window. news Instead, he lost it. His pass to Eli Rogers was batted into the air, and New England safety Duron Harmon came down with it. One kneel down later, the Patriots had their fifth straight victory over the Steelers.Brown, the NFL’s leading receiver, went to a hospital having his left calf injury examined.Jaguars 45, Texans 7The Jacksonville Jaguars are returning to the playoffs for the first time in a decade thanks to a 45-7 drubbing of rival Houston on Sunday.Once the NFL’s poster child for futility and a punchline for potential relocation, the Jaguars (10-4) are now one of the league’s top turnaround stories.Blake Bortles threw three touchdowns passes, including two to a reserve receiver who slept in his car earlier this season. The Jaguars won for the seventh time in eight games to clinch a postseason berth for the first time since 2007.Bortles finished with a season-high 326 yards and the best QB rating (143.8) of his career, including 186 yards and a touchdown to rookie Keelan Cole. Primary punt returner Jaydon Mickens, who stepped in for injured starter Marqise Lee in the first quarter, caught four passes for 61 yards and two scores against the Texans (4-10).The Jaguars were an NFL-worst 22-74 over the previous six years, more a laughingstock than a postseason contender.Rams 42, Seahawks 7Todd Gurley rushed for 152 yards and scored four total touchdowns in just 2½ quarters, and the Rams moved to the cusp of their first division title since 2003.The matchup to determine first place in the NFC West was completely one-sided. Los Angeles (10-4) was dominant, embarrassing Seattle into the worst loss during Pete Carroll’s eight seasons in charge.Taking advantage of field position, the Rams scored on six of seven first-half drives, including a 21-point blitz in the second quarter capped by a 57-yard TD run by Gurley on third-and-20 with less than a minute remaining in the first half to take a 34-0 lead at the break.Gurley had 144 yards rushing in the first half, twice scoring from the 1. He added a 14-yard TD reception midway through the third quarter for a 40-0 Rams lead and spent the rest of his day watching. The 152 yards rushing were the second best of his career.The Rams don’t have the division wrapped up, but have a two-game lead with two weeks to play. A win against either Tennessee or San Francisco is enough for their first division title in 14 years.49ers 25, Titans 23Jimmy Garoppolo led one final scoring drive in the closing seconds to cap a fantastic first home start and Robbie Gould kicked a winning 45-yard field goal as time expired.Garoppolo threw for a career-high 381 yards and a touchdown to give the 49ers (4-10) a three-game winning streak in a lost season. And Tom Brady’s former backup showed he could do it at home as well as on the road — and against a playoff contender, no less — outdueling Marcus Mariota down the stretch as the teams traded field goals.Gould kicked three of his six field goals over the final nine minutes: 50, 48 and 45 yards, and has now gone 20 consecutive without a miss.Gould put the Niners out front on a 48-yarder with 3:08 remaining. Mariota then drove the Titans (8-6) to a lead as Ryan Succop kicked a 50-yard field goal with 1:07 to play, then Garoppolo and the San Francisco offense got one last shot.Vikings 34, Bengals 7Eric Kendricks had an interception return for a touchdown, Case Keenum passed for 236 yards and two scores, and the Vikings clinched the NFC North over the depleted and disinterested Bengals.Running backs Latavius Murray and Jerick McKinnon combined for 37 touches and 242 yards from scrimmage for the Vikings (11-3), who were given quite the reprieve on the schedule a week after their eight-game winning streak ended at Carolina in the last of three consecutive road trips. They were never challenged the Bengals (5-9), missing more than half of the starting defense to injuries, and met with a morning report by ESPN that head coach Marvin Lewis will not return next season .The game went so smoothly that Teddy Bridgewater even made his grand entrance, his first live action in 16 months since a massive knee injury. Bridgewater’s first pass was intercepted, a high throw that bounced off McKinnon’s hands and into the arms of strong safety Shawn Williams deep in Vikings territory. That set up a short touchdown run by Giovani Bernard to keep the Bengals from being shut out for a second time this year.Keenum completed 20 of 23 passes, including seven easy tosses to McKinnon for 114 yards in the first 100-yard receiving game for a Vikings running back since Onterrio Smith on Sept. 26, 2004, against Chicago.Lewis who lost to a former assistant (Mike Zimmer) for the first time in eight matchups. Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Bengals from 2008-13.Eagles 34, Giants 29Nick Foles threw four touchdown passes in his first start replacing the injured Carson Wentz, and the Eagles secured a first-round playoff bye.Foles hit 24 of 38 passes for 237 yards and no interceptions. The NFC East champion Eagles (12-2) made a late stand on first-and-goal in the final minute in edging the Giants (2-12) for the second time this season, spoiling a three-touchdown, season-high 434-yard passing game by Eli Manning.Foles hit Alshon Jeffery, Zach Ertz, Trey Burton and Nelson Agholor on scoring passes ranging from 3 to 13 yards in filling in for Wentz, who tore an ACL last week and was lost for the season after a brilliant year.The Eagles also got two field goals from Jake Elliott and three blocked kicks from their special teams, foiling an extra point, a punt and field goal. The block on the punt set up a touchdown.Manning finished 37 of 57 and hit Tavarres King on two touchdowns and Sterling Shepard on one. It was Manning’s ninth career 400-yard game and his first since last season.Panthers 31, Packers 24Cam Newton threw for 242 yards and four touchdowns, and the Panthers spoiled Aaron Rodgers’ return from a broken collarbone.Damiere Byrd had two touchdown catches, and Christian McCaffrey had 136 yards from scrimmage, including a 7-yard touchdown reception as the Panthers (10-4) won their fourth straight home game.Greg Olsen had his most productive game since returning from a broken foot, catching nine passes for 116 yards and a TD, and the Panthers kept pace with the first-place New Orleans Saints in the NFC South.Rodgers, making his first appearance since 15 October, threw for 290 yards with three touchdowns, but was intercepted three times as the Packers’ playoff hopes took a critical blow.Green Bay (7-7) had a chance to send the game into overtime for a third straight week. But cornerback James Bradberry stripped wide receiver Geronimo Allison of the ball with 1:48 remaining. Mike Adams recovered to finish off the Packers.Saints 31, Jets 19Mark Ingram ran for two touchdowns and gained 151 yards from scrimmage, including a late 50-yard TD run, and the Saints overcame three turnovers.Michael Thomas became the second NFL player with at least 90 receptions in his first two seasons. He caught nine passes for 93 yards, including a pivotal fourth-quarter touchdown on a short slant for New Orleans (10-4), which retained its tenuous hold on first place in the NFC South heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.Alvin Kamara turned a short catch into a 10-yard TD in his return from a concussion that knocked him out of the Saints’ loss at Atlanta a week earlier.Bryce Petty made his first start at quarterback this season for the Jets (5-9), who were eliminated from playoff contention. Petty completed 19 of 39 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice — once on a tipped pass and once on a long, inconsequential throw as the game ended.His 2-yard touchdown pass to rookie Elijah McGuire cut New Orleans’ lead to 24-19 with 1:51 left. But the Jets’ onside kick failed and Ingram broke loose for his long score while the Saints were trying to run down the clock.Drew Brees completed 26 of 36 passes for 285 yards and two touchdowns, but also was intercepted deep in his own territory to set up a Jets field goal at the end of the first half.Ravens 27, Browns 10Joe Flacco threw a touchdown pass, ran for a score and beat Cleveland again as the Ravens stayed on track for the AFC playoffs.With victories at home over Indianapolis and Cincinnati in its last two games, the Ravens will return to the postseason after a two-year absence.The Browns are two losses from becoming the NFL’s second 0-16 team.Flacco scored on a 2-yard run and threw a 33-yard TD pass to Benjamin Watson as the Ravens (8-6) took control with two touchdowns in the final 3:01 of the first half.Defensive tackle Brandon Williams recovered a fumble and rolled in for a TD in third quarter to put the Ravens up 24-10.The Browns (0-14) went 0-8 at home – 0-7 in Cleveland, 0-1 in London – for the second time and must win at either Chicago or Pittsburgh to avoid joining the 2008 Detroit Lions in the notorious 0-16 club. Last season, the Browns avoided infamy by winning their final home game and finishing 1-15.Cleveland is 1-29 in two seasons under coach Hue Jackson, who is expected to be back despite his .033 winning percentage.Bills 24, Dolphins 16LeSean McCoy scored twice and surpassed 10,000 career yards rushing, while helping the Bills stay in the thick of the AFC playoff hunt.Tyrod Taylor also scored on a 9-yard touchdown run and Shareece Wright and Jordan Poyer intercepted Miami’s Jay Cutler on consecutive drives to start the second half. Buffalo never trailed. Rookie Tre’Davious White sealed the win by intercepting Cutler with 28 seconds remaining — and one play after Miami punter Matt Haack recovered an onside kick at Miami’s 37.The Bills have won three of four and improved to 8-6 to match the team’s best record through 14 games during Buffalo’s 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America’s four major professional sports. The Bills were 8-6 in both 2004 and 2014, but missed the playoffs with 9-7 finishes.Buffalo also finished 6-2 at home to match its best finish at Orchard Park since 1999.Buffalo must now hit the road to continue its playoff pursuit, closing the season at New England, then at Miami on Dec. 31.The loss all but mathematically eliminated the Dolphins (6-8) from playoff contention.Washington 20, Cardinals 15Anthony Lanier sacked Blaine Gabbert and forced a fumble that Preston Smith recovered and Washington held on to beat the Cardinals in a comedy of errors for each team.Smith also intercepted Gabbert and Lanier batted down three passes and had two sacks as they gave Washington (6-8) a glimpse of their potential as significant pieces of the defense for years to come.Gabbert was 16 of 41 for 189 yards with the interception and a fumble he recovered himself in the fourth quarter. Arizona (6-8), which got all its points on field goals by Phil Dawson, went 0 for 6 in the red zone and 4 for 19 on third down as it was eliminated from playoff contention.Washington’s Kirk Cousins was 18 of 26 for 196 yards with touchdown passes to Jamison Crowder and new running back Kapri Bibbs. Washington were booed at times in the second half by fans in the announced crowd of 71,026. Share on WhatsApp US sports Facebook
Jürgen Klopp has declared Manchester City the strongest team in Europe but believes their recent defeat at Anfield is proof Liverpool have no reason to fear anyone in the Champions League.Liverpool play their first knockout game in the competition for nine years at Porto on Wednesday and in confident form judging by the appearance of Klopp and Roberto Firmino at the pre-match press conference. “I don’t know if Porto are going to be afraid,” said the Brazilian forward at Estádio do Dragão, “but we are going to make their life difficult and make them suffer.” Marcano, however, has declared himself fit. “I am ready if the coach decides I’m going to play,” said the Spanish defender, who described Liverpool as “a complete team”. The Porto manager, Sérgio Conceição, claimed last month it was a boost to see his Champions League rivals sell Philippe Coutinho but played down the significance of the transfer on Tuesday. “They have also bought some more great players so they are still a very strong side,” he said. It is stretching it to say Liverpool are as strong without the player Barcelona bought for £142m last month but the threat posed by Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané has not diminished in his absence.Firmino said: “Coutinho is a great player and when he left that put a greater responsibility on everyone else to perform but it is our job to deal with that responsibility.”Only Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar and Edinson Cavani have been more prolific as a pair this season than Firmino and Salah, who are responsible for 49 Liverpool goals between them, compared to 56. Only Cristiano Ronaldo, with nine, has scored more Champions League goals than Firmino this term, the Brazilian’s seven including one in the qualifying round against Hoffenheim.Klopp said: “I don’t think Roberto has stepped up but maybe it is more obvious [what he contributes] because his situations are not overshadowed by Phil Coutinho’s situations. He’s a very important player and he doesn’t always have to be the standout player. I don’t think he is underrated, not anymore. People with a football brain judge him right. That’s how it is.” Share via Email PSG’s Unai Emery focuses on Real Madrid a year after painful exit Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Topics Jürgen Klopp casts further doubt on Simon Mignolet’s future at Liverpool news 0:34 Liverpool Liverpool will fight for everything against Porto, says Klopp – video Klopp bridled at a suggestion that Liverpool, the highest-scoring English team ever in a Champions League group stage this season, could emulate Rafael Benítez’s side of 2005 and win the trophy for a sixth time. “I don’t like talking about the round after the round you are playing, in fact I hate it,” he said. “I only answer nicely now because I am friendly and we are in public, but if someone asked me about the round after the round in private I would leave the room.”The Liverpool manager was more bullish, however, on his team’s ability to compete with every formidable foe remaining in the competition. He said: “I know already we can compete with them. Probably the strongest team in Europe at the minute is Manchester City. We’ve played them twice and that was at the highest level. PSG is a little bit different but I don’t look at them, I only know already that if we meet them we could beat them.“That’s how it is but it’s not important. We are here in Porto, that’s the only thing. We can make one big mistake in life – of course, we as a team would never do that – but I know when the draw came out it was like: ‘Thank God, Porto’. But now Porto is here and it’s quite a hurdle, a nice hill we have to go over. It’s interesting. We are confident because of playing good football through the group stage and now we are here; the last 16.“Everything is good about being here; the planes are better, the stadiums are better, the cities are better, even the food is better. So it is cool. You feel it when you come to the press conference – usually I don’t like it but in a press conference in the Champions League I think it’s a little bit nicer. It’s really exciting and a strong side – I met Iker Casillas a few minutes ago and you think: ‘Oh yes! The goalkeeper is not too bad as well!’”The Portuguese league leaders have won 12 of 14 games since their last appearance in the Champions League, a 5-2 win over Monaco, with their only defeat in that sequence coming on penalties against Sporting Lisbon in the cup. Their main concern before Liverpool’s visit is the disruption to the defensive unit that would usually be charged with containing Klopp’s attack. Ivan Marcano has not played since 24 January owing to a thigh injury, his central defensive partner Felipe is suspended and the defensive midfielder Danilo is out with a calf problem. Share on Messenger Champions League Read more Share on Facebook Play Video Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Read more Jürgen Klopp Porto Reuse this content
Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Read more José Mourinho Reuse this content Manchester United Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter news Luke Shaw has been left unhappy at José Mourinho’s public criticism of him but the left-back will not be forced out of Manchester United this summer against his wishes.Shaw is understood not to have made a final decision on his future and may choose to see out the final season of his contract and leave on a free in summer 2019. He could then expect a wider pool of clubs to choose from and be able to agree a lucrative signing-on fee.Mourinho replaced the 22-year-old defender at half-time of United’s 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final victory against Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on Saturday. The move came despite Shaw having played a key role in the creation of Romelu Lukaku’s 37th‑minute opening goal. Jamie Jackson Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Shaw may play long game despite his perplexing treatment by Mourinho Afterwards the United manager said: “Luke in the first half – every time they come in his corridor, the cross was coming and a dangerous situation was coming so I was not happy with his performance.”This was the latest in a series of public admonishments of Shaw by Mourinho. The United manager has praised him, too, but at least once that has led to confusion.On 19 January Mourinho described Shaw as near‑peerless in his position then dropped him the following day for a 1-0 victory at Burnley, preferring to start Ashley Young. On Monday, United triggered a one-year option to keep Young for next season. Topics
Tottenham Hotspur Share on Twitter Pinterest “For sure it is important, it is a fact,” said Klopp on the significance of beating their main rivals. “It is not that you go to Tottenham and have an average day and still get something. You get nothing for an average day at Tottenham. We need to be on our top level. Two seasons ago we had a fantastic record [in big-six matches] and last year we didn’t have such a good record, especially away from home.“Can we mix it up? I don’t know what that would exactly mean – imagine we had a fantastic away record against the top five or six but not at home – but we need to be ready.“It is Tottenham, a top team in Europe and not only in England. It is a tough place to go and tough job to do, that is all we can think about. It will be very interesting not just about how can we pass but how can we play? Mauricio Pochettino demands Spurs find killer instinct as Liverpool await | David Hytner Share on Messenger Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool must improve their away record against other members of the so-called big six and be prepared for “a proper fight” with Tottenham at Wembley.Four of Liverpool’s five league defeats last season were away at leading rivals – Manchester City, Spurs, Manchester United and Chelsea – with October’s 4-1 loss to Mauricio Pochettino’s team a low point in terms of performance. The Liverpool manager believes Wembley witnessed a rare example of defensive disorganisation among his players, one that sparked significant improvement in the months that followed, and says there will be no repeat from his league leaders on Saturday. Improving results at Spurs, City and others will, he admits, be an important factor in sustaining a challenge at the top. Dejan Lovren was hauled off at Wembley last season as Liverpool lost 4-1 to Spurs. Photograph: Andy Hall/The Observer Share via Email “It’s not that Tottenham had 10 chances in the game, or even seven or eight, it was the four they scored and maybe one or two more as far as I remember it. Afterwards we talked about doing the right things and how the little things can kill a game or can turn it in your direction. The message was we had to be much better in these details, then we could win at Tottenham.”Klopp has admitted Dominic Solanke is in a difficult situation at Liverpool but at the right club to fulfil his potential. The striker, who turned 21 on Friday, has not featured in the Premier League this season and his lack of playing time was highlighted as a concern by Gareth Southgate and Aidy Boothroyd, manager of England and England under-21s respectively, during the international break.“It’s not a perfect situation, that is clear,” the Liverpool manager said. “He is a young striker and a young striker generally needs longer in a big club, that’s how it is. If you’re a young striker at another club and you don’t perform and you don’t score then it can be career-threatening because no one in this world is patient enough. But it is all fine for Dom. He didn’t play as often as he wished, I can imagine that, but he is still developing and still improving.” Share on LinkedIn Read more Share on Facebook Facebook news Topics Read more Share on Pinterest Twitter Share on WhatsApp “It must be a proper fight for both teams. The Tottenham manager knows that as well. Last year we made it too easy for them because we lost the ball and they only had to play one pass behind our lines. We should be much better organised this time, we were much better organised than that in the other games [afterwards], so we should use that and we can get something.”Klopp insists defeat at Spurs did not prompt a fundamental change in Liverpool’s defensive approach last season, but did impress on his players the importance of minor details in a game. He explained: “Before Dejan [Lovren] missed the header we had a situation where somebody could play a pass which should not be possible. It showed how different a game can be because of two situations where we are not concentrated. A few days before we won 7-0 at Maribor and it’s a big relief. This relief you take into the next game and it is Tottenham – completely different job. In this moment we were not ready for that. We showed that. Jürgen Klopp Liverpool Reuse this content Tottenham v Liverpool: match preview
The Observer Topics Sunday Times Reuse this content Anyone who sat alongside McIlvanney at the multitude of world title fights he covered would confirm he suffered over facts to the point of maddening intrusion. “Excuse me for interrupting, wee man,” he began one such whispered inquiry while Mike Tyson was telling us how he was going to rip Bruno’s head from his shoulders in their world title rematch in Las Vegas in 1996, “but Ingemar Johansson, is it with one S or two?”McIlvanney brought a breathtaking level of comprehension and expertise to his work without the benefit – or encumbrance, he might say – of a university education. He did not need paper to lend weight to his words. He was his own toughest examiner. It became obvious watching him at close quarters that the perfection he admired in others who strove for it, from Gabriel García Márquez to Muhammad Ali, was buried in his own soul from a young age. He was born in the Ayrshire town of Kilmarnock to William, a miner, and his wife, Helen (nee Montgomery), parents who gave him, his sister and two brothers, one of whom was the future crime writer William McIlvanney, a priceless grounding in the arts of expression. Hugh began on his hometown paper, the Kilmarnock Standard, after impressing during a debate at his school, the Kilmarnock academy, and moved briefly to the Scottish office of the Daily Express before joining the Scotsman. That newspaper’s outstanding editor, Alastair Dunnett, introduced him to the collected essays of AJ Liebling, perhaps the pivotal intervention in his long career. McIlvanney had not even considered becoming a sportswriter, but that moment fixed the path of his calling.To his surprise McIlvanney loved Liebling’s defining book on boxing, The Sweet Science. Like the New Yorker with the Sorbonne education, he was originally an accidental tourist in the under-lit suburb of sport. “I was a bit reluctant at the start,” he admitted. He was petrified of ending up “a fitba writer” obsessing about Celtic and Rangers. Self-doubt did not often haunt him thereafter.While his heart never left Scotland, the core of McIlvanney’s working life was played out on the pages of the Observer, where he began work in 1962 as deputy sports editor. In surroundings that were unremittingly Dickensian, peopled by literary mavericks to whom he would quickly cleave, McIlvanney impressed. But he knew that his editing and subediting work was no more than an entree to a more fulfilling line as a writer. He had a piece in the paper within a fortnight and there was no doubt he had found his metier. His style, he accepted, had an undeniable Scottish flavour to it. “I think it can be said without pomposity,” he wrote, while straying in that very direction, “that I have a recognisable voice in my writing. I would be surprised if there wasn’t some Scottishness there, and certainly an attitude to language. The feeling that you could be quite strongly expressive and still very accurate relates in a way to how I was brought up, listening to a lot of people who were very eloquent – although they might not have been very well educated, but who had a great respect for language, especially in the west of Scotland.”Allied to his great style was McIlvanney’s huge admiration for the characters of sport, and he never lost faith in his heroes, however flawed. Nobody gave George Best more rope. And Ali stood tallest for him, even when palsied after a boxing career that lingered too long. There was no doubt in McIlvanney’s mind that Muhammad (as he insisted on calling him) was The Greatest, as a human being and an athlete.“His boxing was totally idiosyncratic,” he said, “and technically at a level much lower than that of Sugar Ray Robinson. Muhammad was in a sense the eternal amateur, but he was God’s amateur, because the will was so magical, the imagination so magical, that he found a way to beat people.”It was the perfect metaphor for McIlvanney’s career: the raw yet refined genius from the north who invariably finished in front, sometimes despite himself. His writing – his reporting, as he would have it – was a triumph of the imagination.He is survived by his third wife, Caroline (nee North), whom he married in 2014, and by two children, Conn and Elizabeth, from his first marriage, to Sarah Kenmuir. It ended in divorce, as did his second marriage, to Sophie.• Hugh McIlvanney, journalist, born 2 February 1934; died 24 January 2019• Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this article said Hugh McIlvanney had three brothers. He had a sister and two brothers. The article was corrected on 26 January 2019. Share on LinkedIn Since you’re here… Sign up to the Media Briefing: news for the news-makers Read more Newspapers & magazines Hugh McIlvanney, doyen of sportswriting, dies aged 84 … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Newspapers Sport and journalism in the UK could not have asked for a better champion than the man who insisted he was a reporter rather than a “writer”, a title he felt conveyed too much grandiloquence in the circles in which he moved easily, from ringside to the track and, when the mood took him, the bar.His searing intelligence and an old-fashioned regard for accuracy, embroidered by a gift for verbal musicality, lifted his work to sometimes operatic heights. Others might have been more concise; none was more precise. He cared with monk-like zeal about the layered subtext of his narrative, as well as hitting the right tone and rhythm in his prose, and packaged it all as Beethoven might put together a symphony. If his work was too labyrinthine for some tastes, perhaps the fault lay with the listener rather than the composer.Always at the forefront of his thinking was accuracy, and he would not compromise the truth for a soft landing with celebrity athletes. He once wrote of an underwhelming performance by the British heavyweight Frank Bruno: “[He] was no more competitive than a sheep in an abattoir.” Cruel, certainly – but, in context, on the money.Honesty was his shotgun, and he fired it without fear or favour. “How many caps have you got?” the venerated England manager Sir Alf Ramsey asked him after he had criticised the team’s performance. “None,” McIlvanney replied, adding, “but if I send a turnip around the world, it doesn’t return an expert on geography.” The boxing promoter Harry Levene once demanded to know why McIlvanney was “flogging a dead horse” by complaining about the quality of a useless Canadian heavyweight imported to stand politely in front of local hero Billy Walker. “Why put a dead horse under starter’s orders?” came the counterpunch. Guardian Media Group Hugh McIlvanney’s life as a sports journalist resembled one of his perfectly crafted sentences: long, lyrical and rich with surprises. He was a scrupulous and perceptive witness to what he regarded with reverence as the “magnificent triviality” of sport, and his death, at the age of 84, will be the more keenly felt in a climate of concern about the dwindling integrity of the printed word. He leaves behind a fading image of an era that was more forgiving of boisterous behaviour than the one from which he retired in 2016 after nearly 60 years of excellence.There might be dissenting, scattered voices, but the consensus among his peers was that McIlvanney was the best sportswriter of his era. It is hard to find argument with that conclusion. His friend and rival, Ian Wooldridge, pushed him close – and was probably more willing to cede first place to him than McIlvanney was the other way around – while near contemporaries such as Dudley Doust and James Lawton kept him honest. Now they are all gone, Lawton only last September.During 30 years at the Observer and a concluding stint of 23 years at the Sunday Times, McIlvanney accumulated a swag of accolades at home and abroad: journalist of the year on a brief sabbatical from sport, when he returned to hard news for the Daily Express at the height of the Troubles in Northern Ireland; sports journalist of the year seven times; made OBE in 1996; a lifetime achievement award at the Scottish Press Awards in 2004; and induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2009. Read more Share on Twitter Sport Share via Email Share on Facebook Support The Guardian obituaries Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp National newspapers
Support The Guardian Lewis Hamilton’s hunger remains as he targets a record sixth British GP Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Topics Share via Email Pinterest Lando Norris drove superbly in the Austrian Grand Prix, finishing in sixth place. Photograph: Valdrin Xhemaj/EPA Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Motor sport Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Read more Since you’re here… This momentum has translated into a solid fourth in the constructors’ championship in front of the Renault team who supply their engine. Even their opponents’ driver, Daniel Ricciardo, has recognised the achievement. “Looking at the McLarens, they’re the benchmark now,” he said. “They’ve really come on, they’re the ones with that kind of package that we’re looking for.”It is a package being wielded well by both drivers but Norris in his rookie season has been outstanding. He has out-qualified Sainz, who is now in his fifth season in F1, by six to three. As well as turning in some confident, impressive performances he has proved to have the makings of the full driver. He dealt well with compromising his race in Monaco to help Sainz; remained cheerful in adversity after mechanical failure in Canada and fought like a demon in France to try to hold his place with an ailing car. At the last meeting in Austria he was in the mix from the off and fearless. He took third from Hamilton on the opening corner at the Red Bull Ring. Then later battled valiantly with the race winner, Max Verstappen, and made a breathtaking pass on Kimi Räikkönen through the hairpin to ensure sixth place.Lewis has worked with him at McLaren since his season in F2 in 2018 and is not surprised by his performances. “It’s impressive that somebody that young can be so mature in this sport,” she says. “The way he acts, holds himself and interacts with engineers is not that of a typical 19-year-old at all. He is so mature beyond his years. It is only when he gets out of the car and he is joking round, you realise he is a teenager. He is a different guy when he puts on the helmet.” Formula One McLaren Twitter Sign up to The Recap, our weekly email of editors’ picks. The 26-year-old from Nottinghamshire is at the heart of McLaren’s rebuilding process. Always interested in engineering and a fan of F1, she made up her mind to pursue a career in the sport when McLaren gave a talk and brought one of Hamilton’s cars to the University of Bath where she was studying mechanical engineering. “I remember being completely mesmerised by it,” she says. “Then I thought: ‘Oh my God, I am in the perfect position to work in motorsport.’ Before then it had been a far off dream, a fantasy.”Taken on as part of the team’s graduate scheme, she is now a full-time performance engineer, putting Norris and Sainz through their paces before every race. Her enthusiasm is obvious as is the sense that this is a team now pulling together.“The really nice thing about working in McLaren is that there is one clear goal that everybody is pushing for; you are always trying to make the car go faster,” she says. “It is much more collaborative than anything else. People are just raring to go. It’s really nice to see how there is always that passion and now it is amplified. At the moment we are keeping that momentum going, keeping focused and keeping moving forward. There is real optimism here. The drivers carry that with them as well.” features Read more Share on Twitter Ferrari face reality while McLaren’s progress is starting to be noted Fine weather or foul, McLaren have done little but ride out storms at recent British Grand Prix meetings. The team return to the race this weekend, however, in their best shape for some time. From their young drivers to the very heart of the team in Woking there is now a palpable sense that they are back on track in their attempt to return to the front of the grid.Better still, fans at Silverstone can enjoy their resurgence in the hands of a homegrown talent, Lando Norris. He is rated by those who work with him closely as mature beyond his years and destined for great things. This week McLaren reasserted their confidence in him by extending the 19-year-old’s contract by three years. … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Facebook There is work for him to do at McLaren. The once mighty team, winners of 12 drivers’ championships and eight constructors’, have been on a downward curve for some time, even before their switch to Honda engines dropped them to the back of the field. They have not won a race since 2012, the year Lewis Hamilton left for Mercedes.Peter Revson took the team’s first victory of 12 at Silverstone in 1973. But after Hamilton’s departure their best result was Jenson Button’s fourth here in 2014 but they have fallen away even further on the old airfield since, with Fernando Alonso’s eighth last year their highest finish.There is every sign this year will be different. Amelia Lewis is a performance engineer in the team’s simulator department, working closely with Norris and his Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz. She joined McLaren in 2016, when the team was sinking fast, but harboured no doubts they would fight back.“You walked into the building and felt like it was impossible not to succeed,” she remembers of that year. “You realise how much knowledge and passion there is and you think: ‘Well we are going to get back to winning ways.’ How could we not when we have these people with this passion. For me it was a case of not if but when.” Formula One 2019 McLaren have seen this before when Hamilton made such an impression in his opening season, demonstrating a fearlessness of the then world champion Alonso, and that feels familiar with Norris. “In Austria seeing him in third position going toe to toe with Hamilton is not something you expect from someone in their rookie year,” says Lewis. “But he wasn’t phased by it; he knew he was good enough to be there and that is really great to see.”Norris’s chances of taking it to the world champion this weekend are slim, Mercedes will expect to be strong at Silverstone again but McLaren will at least be able to take pleasure in their home grand prix for the first time in years. British Grand Prix
Share on WhatsApp Manchester United Share on LinkedIn The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. Although United earned a Champions League slot through winning the Europa League in 2017, Solskjær prefers to keep his selection options open in the knowledge that wholesale changes can be a risk. “We have a big squad, and I think we ought to use it,” he said. “In this competition we’ll keep checking on who we have available and who we play in the next game. Nothing is set in stone at this stage – we will make decisions along the way.”Victor Lindelöf has signed a new contract to 2024, with United having an option to extend it by a further year. Share on Facebook Reuse this content Topics Chelsea open talks with Abraham and Tomori over new five-year contracts news Share on Twitter Read more Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Marcus Rashford came through early as a result of being blooded through necessity in the Europa League under Louis van Gaal, and Solskjær is confident Greenwood can follow Rashford’s example. Greenwood’s first start for the club came at Cardiff at the end of last season, and in coming on against Paris Saint-Germain in March he became United’s youngest European debutant since Norman Whiteside.“He’s still very young but he’s been maturing in the last six months,” the United manager said. “When I first came here I found a kid who just wanted to play with his mates in the under-18s, but now he’s knocking on the first-team door and his appetite is growing. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him at this stage, I just want him to go out there and enjoy himself. He’ll be all right when the ball lands at his feet because he’s one of the best finishers I’ve seen, but the game is all about working hard and closing down when you don’t have the ball.“Finishing might look as if it comes naturally to Mason, but I don’t actually believe you get gifts like that from birth and I’ve seen how hard he works in training. His technique is brilliant, and that is a result of constant practice and repetition.” Share on Pinterest Ole Gunnar Solskjær has described Mason Greenwood as one of the best finishers he has seen and is ready to give the 17-year-old a first senior start of the season in the Europa League group game against Astana on Thursday.The Manchester United manager intends to make several changes, with one or two regulars nursing injuries and a testing game at West Ham in the Premier League on Sunday. Daniel James has joined Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial on the sidelines after picking up a knock in the last league match against Leicester, and Solskjær hinted that Axel Tuanzebe, Diogo Dalot, Jesse Lingard and Fred are likely to face the Kazakh champions at Old Trafford.“It’s a process at this club: some of the younger players need to grow and take their first steps,” Solskjær said. “If you don’t throw them in at some point you don’t know what you’ve got. I’ve always done this wherever I’ve been, and if you have good young forward players they will win you games.” Share via Email Share on Messenger
BIG BIG CUP SPACE FILLERIt was a bad evening for England in Big Cup. Liverpool’s defence of their title lasted all of 82 minutes, while the youthful manifesto set out by trendy acid-jazz collective The Frank Lampard King’s Road Youth Revolution! has been immediately exposed as a tissue of lies, bum notes and pipe dreams. That’s if The Fiver has parsed all of Wednesday’s hot takes correctly. Now then, which other hopes can be blithely written off in mid-September?How about Tottenham Hotspur? Spurs came within touching distance last season; if only they’d remembered to turn up for the final, eh. If recent history is any guide, Spurs have a great chance of at least taking another pop in Istanbul: during the last decade, both Bayern Munich and Liverpool have bounced straight back from misery to ecstasy, while Manchester United, Atlético Madrid and Juventus have all followed up losses with another final visit in short order. But even Mauricio Pochettino admits that “no one will make us one of the contenders to be in the final” this time. So should they fail at Olympiakos, expect the analysis to make grim reading. Next! Pinterest Reuse this content Fernando Ricksen after scoring against Motherwell during the 2005 Scottish League Cup final. Photograph: Action Images/Reuters Facebook Liverpool might be the best but the rest have done their homework Share on Pinterest Obviously, this. Photograph: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images Read more Share on WhatsApp Twitter Ah, Manchester City. Like Spurs, things look promising for City on the face of it. They travel to Shakhtar Donetsk, having beaten the Ukrainians 3-0 and 6-0 last season. Pep Guardiola will fancy it: while boss of Barça, he won four out of five games against Shakhtar; at Bayern he beat them 7-0. He’s got their number. And if all that wasn’t promising enough, John Stones is out for a month, so everything appears to be falling back into place after that blip against Norwich. But group success in this competition is always a double-edged sword for City, and you don’t need us to explain why. Lump on whoever they draw in the quarters. Unless it’s PSG.But even if there are more English defeats, or City only manage to win 5-0, we should keep a level head. Spurs and Liverpool didn’t do so badly last season after slow starts, while City are bound to win this thing at some point, they just have to. In other words, what’s happening right now really, really, really doesn’t matter. At all. It’s almost as though we don’t need to bother with Big Cup until the knockouts start in February. Yes, there’s an idea, perhaps we should seriously start thinking about doing that.LIVE ON BIG WEBSITE!Join Paul Doyle from 5.55pm for hot MBM coverage of Olympiakos 1-2 Tottenham, while Scott Murray will be on hand for PSG 1-1 Real Madrid and Simon Burnton will be all over Shakhtar Donestk 1-3 Manchester City, both at 8pm.QUOTE OF THE DAY“The tenacity he had as a player was mirrored in how he took on his disease. He fought it right to his dying day and that was the mark of the man. It made me think that if I was struggling, then how was Fernando feeling? I spent some time with him, which was great because even though his body was deteriorating, his mind was really sharp. His wit was still as brilliant as it always had been and I had a real laugh with him. We didn’t speak about his illness, we just had a carry-on and it was like being back in the dressing room all those years ago” – Alex Rae pays tribute to former teammate Fernando Ricksen after the former Rangers and Netherlands player died aged 43, six years after revealing that he had motor neurone disease. Will Palmer. Photograph: Andy Palmer A Liverpool fan has been released from hospital after being assaulted in a bar hours before kick-off.Frank Lampard’s Chelsea fancy a bit more of Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, hoping the pair will agree new five-year deals. Meanwhile, Ross Barkley still fancies penalty duty after arguing with Willian before his costly miss from the spot in Frank Lampard’s Chelsea’s Big Cup defeat to Valencia. “If there was another penalty in the game I would have been confident of taking it,” he cheered. “You can miss penalties. It’s not the end of the world. We’ve got five more group games to go that we’re aiming to win. Today just didn’t go our way.”Inter boss Antonio Conte is lamenting the style of Big Cup football after their 1-1 draw at home to Slavia Prague. “This is not the kind of football we train for,” he parped. “I’m the one to blame because I didn’t make the right choices before the game and I didn’t correctly understand the type of match I was going to play.”Without a broadcaster for the next four seasons, the French Coupe de la Ligue has been binned off until further notice.And Chesterfield defender Anthony Gerrard has apologised after becoming embroiled in a spat on Social Media Disgrace Twitter. “I accept that I was wrong to respond to messages sent to me,” said Gerrard. “It was not my intention to bring the club into disrepute.”STILL WANT MORE?Marina Hyde on a grotesque tragedy unlikely to shame Fifa into action over Iran’s ban on female fans. Facebook Share on Twitter Twitter Facebook Soccer Pinterest Topics The Fiver It’s Diego Simeone in his own words.Barney Ronay on Liverpool.The mighty Erling Braut Haaland. By Marcus Christenson.Ed Aarons looks ahead to PSG v Real Madrid.Shakhtar have 12 Brazilian imports but which should City fear most, wonders Nick Ames.Which World Cup ‘98 players are still playing competitively? The Knowledge has the answer.The state of Stoke City. By Ben Fisher.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!THIERRY MAGIC Share on Facebook Pinterest Share on LinkedIn FIVER LETTERS“Saddened to read about Jim Jefferies having a heart attack. Despite him being loved all round at Hearts, my most enduring memory of him was finding his number in a phone book and calling him from a payphone with my friend when we were 12 years old. His wife made him speak to us and we spent hours every week talking about football. He was a true gent and even got us lots of free tickets for Kilmarnock games. Get well soon, Jim” – James Grieve.“Tumbleweed (yesterday’s Fiver letters). Really?! I know you received at least one letter, and you’ve published worse. I know, because I wrote some of them” – Steve Allen.“Ross Barkley can’t catch a break right now. He’s messing up, annoying those who used to be fans, and generally causing a right stink. Any vacancies at Fiver Towers you could proactively send to him?” – Craig Fawcett.“I’m surely not the only one to have thought that a certain pie manufacturer is missing a trick by not sponsoring Teemu Pukki with a view to introducing a special edition ‘Pukki Pie’?” – Robert Smith.Send your letters to email@example.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our prizeless letter o’the day is … James Grieve.NEWS, BITS AND BOBSThe FA is examining claims that a promising deaf player was abused and goaded about his disability during an FA Youth Cup game. Will Palmer, who is 17 and one of the few deaf footballers to have played at a semi-professional level, was allegedly told by an opponent to “watch it you deaf [cee]” during Stamford’s 6-0 victory over Lincoln United on Tuesday. “I was in shock,” said Palmer. “Five minutes later I was talking to a teammate and he continued on this deaf theme by saying ‘speak up mate I can’t hear you’, while he was cupping his hand to his ear.” Share on Messenger Twitter features Share via Email
Russia doping scandal Sport sponsors should help fund the fight against the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to the head of the UK’s anti-doping agency. Nicole Sapstead, chief executive of UK Anti-Doping (UKAD), also urged them to ask what steps the teams and events they were sponsoring were taking to tackle doping.Her call came amid concerns about a fresh doping scandal emerging in Russia. “I would ask sponsors who get behind massive major events or teams, shouldn’t some of that sponsorship be carved out and put into promoting clean sport or challenging that sport as to what due diligence they have done about their anti-doping programme?” said Sapstead. “Do you really want to put your brand with somebody who may be found wanting?”Sponsors could not rely on UKAD, which is funded by government, or its counterparts in other countries, to tackle the issue on their own, she suggested. “For too long sports have turned round and gone ‘it’s OK, UK Anti-Doping are there, they get a load of public money and they should just do the job, and we’ll keep our television and sponsorship deals, all the money that we generate commercially for ourselves and our investors. Enough already, they need to put their money where their mouths are.”Lengthy legal battles that arise when athletes fight their bans drain anti-doping organisations, Sapstead argued. “There is something to be said for a contribution coming from the sports and those involved in sport. I don’t see any issue with a sponsor saying we’ll give you X, but a percentage of this should go into an integrity pot to ensure you are taking the necessary precautions to ensure that your sport is fit for purpose.” Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest The Observer Share on Facebook Topics news Do you really want to put your brand with somebody who may be found wanting?Nicola Sapstead Share on Twitter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Reuse this content Drugs in sport Share on LinkedIn Sport Her call for greater resources to fight doping underlines the significant threat the problem presents to sport at a time of heightened concern about state-sponsored drug cheating.Yesterday it emerged that Rusada, the Russian anti-doping agency, which has been suspended for non-compliance in the past, is under scrutiny amid reports that data from a Moscow drug-testing lab were manipulated before being delivered to the World Anti-Doping Agency, Wada, earlier this year.Wada’s compliance review committee is expected to present the information to the agency’s executive committee when it meets tomorrow in Tokyo. “There’s a big fat question mark over how this is going to play out,” said Sapstead, who told the Observer that she had learned in the spring that there was a tranche of data coming out of Russia that was proving problematic for compliance officials.“Depending on what happens next week will determine whether Rusada may be declared non-compliant again,” she said. “When you have a national anti-doping organisation which is non-compliant you are back into the question of how do you get them back into the fold?”Rusada has been meeting independent benchmarks for its testing programme, raising the question of who could have manipulated the data. “Somebody will have had to get into that laboratory,” Sapstead said. “If it was people in the lab or IT experts, they would have received that order from somewhere. Where did it come from?”Tomorrow UKAD publishes a report highlighting the role it played in 2015, when Wada asked it to fill the gap left by Rusada’s previous suspension following allegations Russia was engaged in state-sponsored doping.Trevor Pearce, UKAD’s chair, said the organisation had agreed to step in to ensure British athletes were competing on a level playing field.“The message we get from our athletes and sports-governing bodies is: how do we make this a fair process for our people, wherever they compete, wherever they train?“If you’ve got Russian athletes complying with a national anti-doping organisation that must mean, one hopes, that there will be fair competition for our athletes going to Tokyo in 2020,” he said. UKAD’s report reveals the challenges that would arise in the run-up to Tokyo if Rusada were to be suspended again. Over a 17-month period while Rusada was suspended, UKAD conducted nearly 5,000 tests on more than 600 Russian athletes, of which 79 produced an “adverse analytical finding” – revealing a prohibited substance. A further 21 “non-analytical findings” were issued for offences including tampering with, and evading, tests.Most positive results were for Meldonium, a performance-enhancing drug, prohibited in 2016, that led to Maria Sharapova’s temporary ban from world tennis. UKAD also issued 240 “whereabouts failures” against athletes for failing to be at a specified location to provide a sample.“There were a number of times we tried to gain access and were turned away,” Sapstead said. “The people we were using were threatened and told ‘come back here again and there will be consequences’.”Further scandals lay ahead, she suggested. “I’ve always said Russia is not alone in this,” she added. “They are certainly not the only ones who have got a significant, serious problem. It’s just a matter of time before something else is exposed.”
Transfers Werner: World Cup no Liverpool & Real Madrid audition Chris Burton 16:19 5/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Robert Michael Transfers Liverpool Barcelona Real Madrid RB Leipzig Bundesliga Primera División Premier League The RB Leipzig striker has been heavily linked with moves to England or Spain, but he is not looking to catch the eye with Germany this summer RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner insists he will not be looking to use World Cup 2018 as an audition to secure himself a switch to Barcelona, Real Madrid or Liverpool.The Germany international has been heavily linked with sides across Europe ahead of the summer transfer window.The 2017-18 campaign saw the 22-year-old record another 21 goals across all competitions, allowing him to match his efforts from the previous season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now It is those exploits, along with his potential for future growth, which have made Werner such a sought-after asset.He is, however, adamant that he has no intention of using a global stage in Russia as a shop window, telling Socrates magazine: “The World Cup is not about auditioning for Barcelona, Madrid, Liverpool or whoever.“I want to become world champion and then I want to attack again with RB Leipzig.“I’m not dealing with any thoughts of making a change.”While remaining adamant that a summer switch is not part of his plans, Werner concedes that anything could happen when the window re-opens.Big-money bids would test the resolve of RB Leipzig, with a club that has spent just two seasons among the Bundesliga elite having already been raided for several prized assets.Naby Keita is among those destined to depart this summer, as he prepares to head to Liverpool, and it could be that Werner joins him at Anfield at some stage.The highly-rated forward added: “You never know what will happen in football in the future – that is not just a phrase, that’s a fact.”Werner is currently tied to a contract with RB Leipzig until 2020.He has earned 12 caps for Germany to date, netting seven goals, and will be hoping that his efforts over the coming weeks allow them to defend the World Cup crown they recaptured in Brazil four years ago. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
The Australian Government and the Australian Sports Commission provide travel and accomodation assistance for elite indigenous athletes. This program is for Indigenous sportspeople who have been selected for a state team to compete at national championships or an Australian team to compete at an international event. It is for travel and accommodation expenses only. Information and an application form is attached for anyone who is interested in the program. Elite Indigenous Assistance Form
The 19th annual First Contact Sports and Cultural Festival will take place at Whites Hill Reserve, Brisbane on Saturday, 24 and Sunday, 25 November 2012. It will be a big two days of Touch Football as well as other entertainment, with plenty of additional aspects of the festival taking place alongside the Touch Football tournament. As well as the Men’s and Mixed Touch Football competitions, there will also be a number of exhibition games, including an Australian indigenous versus New Zealand Maori game and an invitational Papua New Guinea Men’s team versus an invitational Indigenous Men’s team. There will be plenty to see and do throughout the weekend, with free kids rides, cultural stalls and entertainment, while on the field the teams will be battling it out for $30,000 in prizes and trophies. For more information about the event, please visit the First Contact website:http://www.firstcontact.asn.au/festival.htm Related LinksFirst Contact
In addition to the appointment of Jamie O’Connor to the role of Chief Operating Officer, TFA is pleased to be able to confirm key appointments to the Commercial Team, which will be based out of Rugby League Central in Sydney.Michael O’Grady – Head of CommercialMichael comes to TFA with over 10 years’ experience in the sporting sector, most recently as Manager of Corporate Partnerships and Sales at the Melbourne Rebels Rugby Union Club. He has a demonstrated history of successfully delivering commercial outcomes for sporting organisations particularly through B2B sales processes.As Head of Commercial, Michael will grow the commercial capacity of the organisation nationally with a focus on the acquisition of new partnerships, marketing and sales. He will be tasked with identifying new inventory and opportunities while looking to improve the commercial operations of TFA.Michael will start with TFA on Monday 27th November.Alice Ellis – Marketing & Communications ManagerAlice brings with her a wealth of knowledge built from over 10 years working in the industry. Most notably is her tenures at Women’s Health (WH) Magazine, with her latest posting being Deputy Editor.Alice is a strong advocate for women’s sport and has been the driving force behind WH’s Women in Sport campaign, building relationships with national sports women and teams such as Katie Brennan (AFLW), The Matilda’s, and Women’s Aussie Sevens.Alice will start with us on Monday 4th December.Stacey Speer – Digital Content ProducerCurrently working with Gridiron NSW in the marketing and media portfolio, Stacey is a passionate story teller with a knack for uncovering and capturing those behind the scenes emotional moments that are rarely seen.Stacey will work with us to produce unique and compelling content to capture our audience. Her work will see her travel across the country, attending events, catching up with affiliates and working with our elite athletes.Stacey will start with us on Tuesday 5th December.For more information on the above, click here.
Everton take Idrissa Gueye off marketby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton have taken Idrissa Gueye off the market.A target for PSG, it had been claimed Everton would be willing to sell the midfielder for a set price of €45m.However, Foot Mercato says Everton have informed the player’s agent that Gueye is not for sale this month.Indeed, it’s been revealed Everton and PSG have broken off negotiations for the past week. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Southampton midfielder Romeu: We must bounce back against Portsmouthby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton midfielder Oriol Romeu says they must bounce back from defeat to Bournemouth.Two first-half goals left Saints with it all to do after the interval and despite James Ward-Prowse’s penalty in an improved second-half display, it was not enough and Callum Wilson sealed things in stoppage time.Attentions now turn to the south coast derby on Tuesday night at Portsmouth, something which Romeu is relishing.“We have a massive one now ahead and we’re all very excited about that game to get back to winning feelings and sensations and to start building something good again.“There has to be a reaction surely now. We want to prove that we’re not a team that loses and does nothing about it.“We know how important it is, we know how tough it will be also over there but we players like those matches and we’re ready for it.“We want to get that very important win for us, for the fans and also for the club.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Watford boss Sanchez Flores: We must be careful with Welbeckby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveWatford boss Quique Sanchez Flores won’t rush Danny Welbeck’s comeback.Welbeck, who has recovered from a broken ankle, scored his first Hornets goal in the 2-1 Carabao Cup win over Swansea on Tuesday night.He has played the full 90 minutes in both of Watford’s cup matches this term but made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League.“I said two weeks ago we have a plan for him,” said Sanchez Flores. “We are taking care with him and we are very passionate about him coming back to the team.“I just want the fans to see the good version of Danny, not the kind of Danny who goes to the pitch with some pain. I want Danny 100 per cent so we can enjoy this Danny.”