Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Van der Vaart signs for Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur have signed Dutch international Rafael van der vaart from Real Madrid, this deal came as one of the biggest deal on transfer deadline day and when van der vaart was left out of Madrid friendly against Mallorca the other night and much speculation rose that the Dutchman won't be a part of Mourinho's plan this season.

Spurs tried to rush the deal through last minute as Van der Vaart value dropped to eight million pounds within the last two hours of deadline time last night. It was thought that the Dutchman would be heading to the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich for eighteen million pounds but this move never materialised and Spurs capitalised when his value changed and this deal has now been ratified by the Premier League.

Tottenham released a statement on their official site saying, "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Real Madrid for the transfer of Rafael Van der Vaart."

The player himself said,
"Four years at Spurs, for €11 million (£9m), I can hardly believe it myself," Van der Vaart said.

"It's a pity I cannot now play against Ajax in the Champions League but I will get to face FC Twente."

"The interest from Tottenham came very quick and I did not have much time to think. But I want to play football again and if possible every week, with a beautiful club. I'm totally happy," the 83-times capped star added.

Blackpool sign DJ Campbell

Blackpool have signed DJ Campbell, the striker spent most of last season on-loan with Blackpool and is now back joining from Leicester City, Holloway has publicly stated that he still searching for a striker and has chased Campbell all summer after he notched 11 goals in 17 games to help the Tangerines clinch promotion.

"I'm over the moon, I'm delighted," Campbell told the club's official website.

"It feels like he I've got unfinished business, everyone knows how much I love Blackpool.

"I wanted to come back and I'm just delighted it's been made possible."

Sunderland sign Asamoah Gyan

Sunderland have signed Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan, the striker will go straight into the team and form a formidable partnership with Darren Bent. Sunderland have been monitoring Gyan for sometime and have finally appeared to have got their man for thirteen million pounds which will be a club record.

Robinho signs for AC Milan

Brazilian forward Robinho has joined AC Milan from Manchester City on a permanent deal, City loaned out Robinho to Santos last season after after failing to settle at the Eastlands. Robinho has now secured a permanent move to the San Siro.

A statement issued by the club said, "AC Milan announces it has acquired player Robinho on a permanent deal from Manchester City.

"The Brazilian player has signed a four-year contract with the Rossoneri club."

Earlier Robinho said, "I am very happy," he said. "Milan is an excellent club."

Eidur Gudjohnsen to join Stoke

Eidur Gudjohnsen has joined Stoke City on a permanent deal, the Monaco striker, no stranger to the Premier League having played for Bolton, Spurs and Chelsea will get another spell in England with Stoke City. Talks were underway yesterday to beat the transfer deadline and manager Tony Pulis was seen showing Eidur around the training ground.

Also today Stoke City managed to sign Jermaine Pennant right on the deadline at six o'clock beating off competition from Ajax.

Kevin Pietersen dropped from T20

Kevin Pietersen has been dropped from the England's T20 squad, Kevin Pietersen form has been lacking in the recent test matches only scoring fifty out of 8 innings, failing to make big runs consistently and Pietersen sent a message to his twitter account earlier today before it was deleted. It said, "Yep... Done for rest of summer!! Man of the World Cup T20 and dropped from the T20 side too... It's a f--- up!! Surrey have signed me" at which is where his tweet ended.

Spurs sign Pletikosa on loan

The Croatia goalkeeper, 31, began his career with Hajduk Split and was a member of their league championship winning side of 2001.

He also lifted two Croatian Cups during more than 172 appearances for his hometown club and scored six goals from the penalty spot. His performances during the 2001/02 campaign earned him the Croatian Player of the Year accolade.

Pletikosa moved to Spartak in 2007, following four years with Shakhtar Donetsk, and appeared against us in our UEFA Cup Group match in December 2008 at White Hart Lane.

Capped at every international level from Under-15 upwards, Pletikosa has gone on to win 80 caps for the senior national side including appearing in the World Cup Finals of 2002 and 2006 and the 2008 European Championships.

Monday, 30 August 2010

Harry Redknapp Videos

Check out these Harry Redknapp videos I found on you tube, colourful to say the least.

The wheeler and dealer:

In the fucking reserves:

Lets go to Elland Road:

Sunday, 22 August 2010

William Gallas joins Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur has completed the signing of William Gallas, the Frenchman has signed on as a free agent and has put pen to paper on a one year deal. The former Arsenal defender will join up with his new team-mates on Monday morning and will go straight into their squad. Harry Redknapp is delighted to have got his man, this signing will no doubt bolster the Spurs defence.

The French international was part of the Chelsea side that won back-to-back Premier League titles as well as the League Cup in 2005. Gallas left Stamford Bridge after five seasons, during which he made 213 appearances and scored 14 goals, and decided to leave for Arsenal in September 2006. Gallas captained the side during the 2007/08 campaign and went on to make 145 appearances, scoring 17 goals before leaving at the end of last season.

Saturday, 21 August 2010

100 Greatest Sports Stars - Number 97 - Chris Evert

The lady whose graceful postered form plastered the bedroom walls of many a teenage boy back in the 1970s, Chris Evert is a former World Number 1 tennis player.  From the US, she won an incredible eighteen Grand Slam singles championships.  She holds a number of records, too - six wins at the US Open and a Magnificent Seven at the French Open.  She was the world number one in at least five years (75 -- 77, 80-81) and according to some people she should have that title for 74 and 78 in to the bargain.  As such, she makes number 97 on our list of the 100 Greatest Sports Stars - Ever!

Young Christine Marie (later to be called Chris) was born on December 21 1954 and comes from notable tennis lineage. Her father was Jimmy Evert who by the time Chris was born was a professional tennis coach but who had won the Men's Singles at the Canadian Championships in 1947.

It was inevitable that Chris would chose tennis, then - drag racing was hardly going to be an option in the Evert family home!

In 1971 she made her Grand Slam tournament debut at the ripe old age of 16 - after she had won the national sixteen-and-under tournament.

It was a walk in the park at first - straight sets over Edda Buding.  However, she then had a much harder task against the more experienced Mary Ann Eisel and Leslie Hunt.  However, she lost out to the then indestructible Billie Jean King.  This meant an end to a fantastic 46 match winning streak but she was playing with the big girls now.

1974 was a good year when she won her first Grand Slam singles title (beating her previous winning streak with a remarkable 56 matches unbeaten.  As much focus was placed at the time on her relationship with fellow tennis professional Jimmy Connor as her victory - although this particular love match would prove to be a short live one.

She played with him in the mixed doubles finals that year but as her career progresssed Evert spent more time concentrating on her singles career.

Chris Evert wins the 1980 US Claycourt Championships.

Evert dominated the women's game for the next five years, defeating the likes of Evonne Goolagong enough times to secure her place in the annals of tennis as the best female player of that era.  She was a very cool player - receiving an ice maiden reputation, but then someone came along who would challenge her composure.

Although good friends off the court it was Martina Navratilova who would prove to be Evert's on court nemesis.  Their rivalry on the tennis court would become the stuff of sporting legend and while Evert bested Navratilova (seen together left) during their early encounters, Navratilova would ultimately prove the superior player in the 1980s.

Evert was a great player on all surfaces but it was on clay where she was most at home.  From August 1973 she won an unbeaten 125 consecutive matches on clay - and only lost seven sets.  This remains to this day a record.  Incidentally, this streak was broken by Tracey Austin at the Italian Open in 79.  She then went on to win a further 72 matches on clay before Hana Mandlikova beat her in the 81 French Open.

In one of their all-time greatest barn-burners, Chris & Martina went to 7-6 in the 3rd set in the '87 Houston final.

Chris Evert retired from professional tennis in 1989.  After all, 157 singles titles was not a bad amount on which to leave - neither were her eight doubles titles.

Even her semi-finals history is staggering - out of the 303 tournaments she entered she got through to the semis in no less than 273 of them.

All in all, Evert won at a minimum of one Grand Slam singles title each year for thirteen consecutive years.

What is Chris Evert doing now?  She is currently operating a tennis academy (which bears her name) in the town of Boca Raton in Florida.  She also contributes to Tennis magazine.

A tennis legend, she will continue to be one of the role models that young players look up to for many decades to come.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Nemanja Vidic signs new contract

Nemanja Vidic has signed a new contract with Manchester United, the Serb has committed himself to Old Trafford until 2014. The news comes after Manchester United issued a statement expressing the clubs desire for Vidic to remain at Old Trafford. Vidic, who has been a key member of the United squad and has made 188 appearances since joining United in January 2006,

The Serbian defender said, "I am very happy to sign this contract. I came to this club when I was young and have developed enormously with the help of the manager, coaching staff and my team-mates.

"During my time here we have had a lot of success and I look forward to continuing that success in the coming seasons."

Ferguson speaking of his delight with Vidic signing the extension, he said "This kills all the silly speculation over the past few months," he added. "Nemanja has developed into one of the best centre-halves in Europe and we are pleased he will be here for many years to come."

Alastair Cook scores a century

Under fire batsman Alastair Cook has scored a century for England against Pakistan in the third test match, Cook has come under fire recently follow his lack of runs while at the crease and it is thought that he could lose his place in the England team should his lack of runs continue. But the Essex batsman has responded in good fashion hitting a century while still at the crease as England are leading by 69 runs as they continue their fight back.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Amazing Remi Gaillard

Perhaps if the French World Cup Soccer team had had Rémi Gaillard on their side they would not have left the tournament so shamelessly early.  The thirty five year old prankster has gained a massive reputation as a football trickster over the years and his awesomely accurate footwork might have come in handy for the French team a month or so ago! 

This video shows his full capacity and amazing ability to hit a target from a great distance - if these were nets here then the French would have won the World Cup!

Over the years Gaillard has infiltrated French football, including disguising himself as a Lorient player, taking part in the celebrations when the team won and being greeted by the French President, Jacques Chirac.  He also makes a lot of TV appearance and has never, despite the occasional humourlessness of the French authorities, been arrested for his pranks.

Go Gaillard!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Milner deal finally agreed

Manchester City have finally agreed a deal with Aston Villa to take James Milner to Eastlands with Stephen Ireland going the other way, this transfer deal saga has dragged on long enough have now been agreed with both parties and this deal can finally be confirmed. City have made no secret of their desire to sign James Milner this summer, but with former manager Martin O'Neill leaving his post at Villa, the move was going to be delayed.

Villa star James Milner is ready to stun Manchester City and pull the plug on his £26million move to Eastlands unless a deal is completed within the next 48 hours. After months of negotiations Manchester City have finally got their man

Bellamy joins Cardiff on loan

Craig Bellamy has found a new home.  The striker will be joining Cardiff City on loan which is where he has always intimated he would be happiest.

The Manchester City striker has always maintained that he would most like to finish his playing career with the club based in the Welsh capital.  So, wishes do come true and now Bellamy will be joining Cardiff on a season long loan.

Bellamy has been cruelly frozen out by Manchester City without any good reason offered by the club and even had to resort to a television interview to effectively sell himself last week.  However, despite offers to remain in the Barclays Premier League, he has now opted to drop down to the Championship.

Celtic and Tottenham were leading the chase for Bellamy, with a number of other clubs in the running, including so rumour had it, Everton, Bolton and Fulham.  Bellamy's family is based in South Wales and so the player has now opted for returning to the green, green grass of home.  The pond is smaller in Cardiff, but Bellamy will be a big fish there, that's for sure.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Murray eases past Nalbandian

Andy Murray is through to the Toronto Masters Semi-Final after beating David Nalbandian, Murray who has never beaten Nalbandian, put in a performance straight out of Roger Federer book of playing. Murray put in a self reliant contest in crushing Nalbandian 6-2 6-2.

The Scot secured a vital break in the third set, Andy Murray never looked back taking the first set with an ace. He broke Nalbandian again in the opening game of the second set as he took charge of the match with a run of five games in a row across the sets.

Murray's next opponent will be Rafael Nadal or Phillipp Kohlschreiber.

Ramires signs for Chelsea

Chelsea have just confirmed the signing of Brazilian midfielder Ramires, the Blues have been tracking the player for most of the summer and Carlo Ancelotti has finally got their man. Ramires who is thought to be the future of Brazilian football will go straight into contention for this weekend game and now the Ramires work permit has been sorted out, they can now get down to the proper business of playing football.

Monty confident on Westwood's fitness

European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie says he is encouraged by news of Lee Westwood's fitness battle ahead of the contest in October.

The world number three was forced to pull out of this week's USPGA Championship because of a calf injury and has been advised to rest.

"He will be hitting balls in four weeks, which is great news for everybody in Europe," said Montgomerie.

"Our team will be greatly weakened if he didn't make it, so I'm delighted."

"That gives him still another couple of weeks to prepare," said Montgomerie.

"He wants to play in the preceding event (The Vivendi in Paris on September 23-26) and I would be glad to see him there.

"But if he doesn't I'm sure three practice rounds around Celtic Manor will be good enough for Lee."

Mario Balotelli signs for City

Manchester City have just confirmed the signing of Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli, negotiations have been going on all week to sign the Italian forward and City have their man at last. Mario join a host of stars to sign for the Eastlands so far, with Balotelli signing for 24 million pounds on a five year deal.

"With Balotelli we will improve the squad. I am very happy," said Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini.

"We chose Balotelli because he is young. I will speak with him in the coming days. He is an investment that is a guarantee.

"He is still 20-years-old and his behaviour is of a 20-year-old guy. He still has to grow, just like anyone at his age."

James Beattie signs for Rangers

James Beattie has today completed his move to Glasgow Rangers from Stoke City and will go straight into the team to face Kilmarnock this weekend, Beattie has signed a two year contract with Gers.

Beattie's current £35k-a-week salary could of proved to be a stumbling block but Rangers were hopeful of clinching a deal for the 32-year old. Stoke City yesterday shelled out a club record £8million for Sunderland's Kenwyne Jones and with Beattie now off to Rangers they were able to balance their books.

James Beattie added, "I'm delighted to sign for a club like Glasgow Rangers and it was quite a quick deal as far as I'm concerned,"

"I came to Ibrox on Thursday morning and was met by the gaffer and (chief executive) Martin Bain.

Beattie said, "They showed me around the stadium, which was magnificent and you can see it is a club steeped in history. I then walked out on to the pitch, which was magnificent. The walk out, even when the stadium was empty, was something so I'm looking forward to walking out when it's full.

"There was interest from other clubs but when you come here and speak to Walter Smith and have a look around, the decision was easy."

Wenger keen to sign new deal

Arsene Wenger in mulling over a new deal offered to him by Arsenal, the 60 year old embarks on a new campaign starting at Liverpool this weekend is looking for their first trophy since 2005 and first Premier League title for seven seasons has stated he has a commitment to the Gunners and will be sorting out the finer details before signing. Wenger who successfully managed to keep hold of his captain Cesc Fabregas this summer who was subjected to numerous offers from Barcelona is looking to commit long term.

Wenger has announced before that he would like to finish his career off at Arsenal and now having been offered a longer deal, Arsene looks set to sign the contract within the next few weeks. Wenger also wouldn't be drawn in on whether he will make another offer for Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, having his initial bid being rejected by the Cottagers.

Fabio Capello Makes Big Mistake

England Manager Fabio Capello has made a massive mistake when announcing in a TV interview that England role model David Beckham will never play a competitive game for England ever again. He did this without even thinking of calling Beckham or speaking man to man to explain his views.

Instead he chose to announce it live on TV instead. Football insiders think that Capello is trying to orchestrate himself in to getting the sack, which in return will give the Italian a big pay off if he is given the old heave ho.

Capello said, "I am changing everything and we are going forward."

"David Beckham is a fantastic man and a fantastic player. My relationship with him is really good. I am 100% sure he will play the next friendly game if he is fit."

"But we need young players and we need talented players and the players we used against Hungary are young and they have talent."

"The players are the important thing. They are the ones I work with. If they believe in me we can win. When we win the fans will be with us."

"My relationship with the players is good. I have never had any problems and I am looking forward. We have to evaluate what happened this summer but then quickly forget."

"It is not easy but this is a new adventure and I have to find new players."

David Beckham's spokesman has confirmed that Becks has no desire to retire from international football and will continue to work to regain fitness. When Beckham is fit and raring to go he will be available if needed.

Check out the interview below with Fabio Capello.

Fulham Boss Keen to Sign Bellamy

Fulham Manager Mark Hughes has confirmed his interest in signing Wales and Manchester City forward Craig Bellamy. Hughes originally signed the Welshman while in charge at Manchester City and the 31-year-old has been left out of City's squad for next week's Europa League clash against Timisoara and is expected to leave Eastlands.

With both Celtic and Fulham announcing an interest in getting the Welshman's signature, it looks likely that Bellamy will re-join up with Mark Hughes.

"If he comes on the market, and if we're in the position where we can conclude a deal for Craig Bellamy, then yes we would be very interested.

"It seems that Manchester City won't be using Craig at Premier League level, so from his point of view it is very important that he makes the right decision for his career.

"A wrong decision at this point in time could hurt him, so I wish him well in what decision he takes."

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Ricardo Carvalho Madrid bound

Chelsea have tonight agreed to sell Portuguese defender Ricardo Carvalho to Real Madrid in deal worth £6.65 million pounds, the move to Spain would see the 32-year-old reunited with his former coach and mentor Jose Mourinho who orginally signed Carvalho during his spell at Chelsea.

"Ricardo is a good player, but he is of that age where if someone is looking to build a team for the future, he cannot think of him," Mourinho said.

"Ricardo is a man for the current moment, he is a man with a great professional and private life so he has no problem playing at a high level at the age of 32.”

Giovanni Trapattoni in hospital

Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has been admitted to Mater Hospital this morning after feeling unwell since returning from Italy last Sunday,

Trapattoni has been “suffering from nausea which he believes may have been caused by shellfish he ate before in Italy” said FAI,

The Italian has been looked after by the FAI team doctor and as a precautionary measure took him to the Mater Hospital at 3am after vomiting.

“He is in a stable condition and undergoing some tests this morning. Assistant manager, Marco Tardelli will take charge of the squad today for training, allowing Giovanni to rest throughout the day.”

Martin O'Neill resigns

Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill has resigned as manager, O'Neill's patience have finally run out after being told that he will now have access to funds that will be received from the sale of James Milner to Manchester City which is due to be completed this week. O'Neill had been at the helm for four years with Villa, steadly building up his team each season but with being told he will not have access to funds to improve the squad and with five days before the start of the season this will come as a big blow for the fans.

But it now seems that Villa are selling off their best players with Gareth Barry leaving for Manchester City last season and both James Milner and Ashley Young look likey to be on their way out with Tottenham leading the chase for Young, Chairman Randy Lerner will be flying back to the UK today to hold a meeting with the first team players hoping to convince the players to stay. Martin O'Neill has always been a man about principle so it is safe to assume that he did not walk out on Aston Villa because he was not offered a pay rise.

Former England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has been installed as bookies favourite to take over at Villa and Eriksson as always expressed his desire to return to the Premier League.Sven currently not in charge of a club after leaving his post as Ivory Coast manager after the World Cup could be tempted to join Villa.

Sources close to the 62-year-old said: "Of course, Sven would be interested in this job.

"He has always said that he would like to go back into the Premier League. It is a big target for him."

Friday, 6 August 2010

Tyson Gay beats Usain Bolt

Tyson Gay beat Usain Bolt today in the 100m at a Diamond League meeting in Stockholm, Usain Bolt finishes in an unfamilar position of second while Tyson Gay stormed home. Gay crossed the line in 9.84seconds and Usain Bolt finished on 9.97seconds in the battle of track titans. The start of the race had two false starts as the runners were forced restart their routine and Usain was modest saying Gay was the better man on the day.

The triple Olympic champion said, "It's just one of those days for me today,"

"I need to work on my shape. I got a good start but there was no power. I was ready, I was focused."

While Tyson Gay added, "Deep down I knew he wasn't 100%. I know what his limitations are, it's his off-year, and I know he has a lot more left in the tank," he said, adding that his aim now was to beat Bolt when both men were in top form. "I'm still waiting for the day when we are both 100% and Asafa is also on the line,"

Watford win Championship opener

Watford have beaten Norwich City in the first game of the NPower Championship tonight, newcomers Norwich struggled to break down Watford with the Hornets taking a 2-0 lead in the first half after goals from John Eustace and man of the match Danny Graham.

Norwich manager Paul Lambert team-talk done the trick as just after the second half had started Norwich pulled a goal back on 52 minutes through midfielder Andrew Crofts, the game was an electric spectacle played with fast pace and clincal counter-attacking, two of the goals were top draw with Watford's second and Norwich's first goal. Later in the game the Hornets extended their lead to 3-1 with Danny Graham hiting his second of the game and Watford dominated most of the game. But right on the 90th mintue Norwich pulled a goal back through Michael Nelson for the game to finish up 3-2 at Carrow Road.

Lee Westwood pulls out of PGA

Golfer Lee Westwood has been forced to pull out of WGC Bridgestone invitational & next weeks USPGA Championship with an injured ankle, Westwood had been closing on the no 1 ranking spot after Tiger Woods recent lack of form.

Westwood current no 3 in the world finished runner-up at the Masters and the British Open this year, suffered a calf injury at the French Open in July. Westwood had swelling on his right ankle and it reached a breaking point Friday.

Lee Westwood released a statement saying, "I will be out for as long as it takes to get better,"

"I am just hoping that it will be in time for me to play in the Ryder Cup."

FOOTBALL: Cesc Fabregas commits to Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas has today confirmed that he will be staying at Arsenal this season, after much speculation surrounding Cesc's future and Arsenal have already rejected two offers from Barcelona for their captain. The Catalans launched a last-ditch bid of forty two million pounds.

Manager Arsene Wenger had been desperate in recent days for Fabregas to commit himself to Arsenal before the season and Cesc has today issued a statement saying,

"Firstly I would like to apologise to all the Arsenal fans for not speaking sooner about my future but I have not known what I was going to do until this moment.

"I cannot deny that joining a club like Barcelona was not an attractive move for me.

"This was the club where I learnt my football, it is my home town where my friends and family are and a club where I have always dreamed of playing.

"There are not many players in the world who would not want to play for Barcelona.

"I have had many conversations with Arsene Wenger both in person and over the phone over the last few months and although the content of those conversations will remain private, the conclusion is that Barcelona have had two formal offers rejected by Arsenal.

"I am a professional and I fully understand that it is Arsenal's prerogative not to sell me.

"I owe a lot to the club, manager and the fans and I will respect their decision and will now concentrate on the new season ahead with Arsenal.

"I can assure all the fans that now the negotiations have ended I will be 100 per cent focused on playing for Arsenal.

"I am an Arsenal player and as soon as I step out on to the pitch, that is the only club I will be thinking about.

"I am looking forward to the start of the season and putting this speculation behind me."

Thursday, 5 August 2010

FOOTBALL: Pompey win case against HMRC

HMRC has lost its case against Portsmouth at the high court, HM Revenue & Customs were seeking an order blocking a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) put together by the club's administrators to help them out of administration. Portmouth had struggled to agree a settlement with the taxman ahead of the court hearing

The troubled club were granted an adjournment of a HM Revenue & Customs winding-up petition at the Companies Court on condition that they lay bare the extent of their financial troubles to revenue officials within a week. But today's ruling will bring much delight to Pompey, its fans and the people who live within the area and with HMRC losing their case, it is thought they would appeal. But HMRC has just confirmed that they will not be appealing.

HMRC was seeking an order which would block a proposed Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA) put together by the club's administrators.

The High Court has ruled in favour of the administrators, with Mr Justice Mann saying: "I propose to find in favour of the company administrators and dismiss the application of HMRC

Great news for Portsmouth.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

FOOTBALL: Mark Hughes up beat on Fulham's future

Mark Hughes was today officially unveiled as the new Fulham manager, Mark is taking over after Roy Hodgson had jumped ship to Liverpool. Hodgson was offered anything he wanted by Fulham chairman Mohammed Al-Fayed in a bid to keep his then manager. But Roy decided to take the Liverpool offer and now the Cottagers new manager has said he will take Fulham further than Roy did. Hodgson managed to guide Fulham to Europa League final last year and finishing 12th in the Premiership.

Mark Hughes added, “We want to make Fulham a top 10 club on a regular basis and we want to build on what happened last season rather than it becoming just a stand-out season,” he said. “We don't have the distraction of European football and can concentrate our minds. With the quality I have already seen then I can say we can finish better than 12th.

“The job Roy has done was magnificent. He maximised the results with the group he had. I don't think it is a situation where my abilities won't enable them to do disimilar things to what Roy did. The way I work will be benefitted by the system that is already in place.”

CRICKET: Flintoff ruled out for the season

Andrew Flintoff has today been ruled out for the season due to injury, Freddie has been fighing back to fitness in a bid to return to action. But Flintoff today received a major setback after being told he will miss the rest of Lancashire's season. Freddie has been missing for the last 12 months after recovering from two knee operations and had to withdraw from Lancashire XI limited overs game on Monday.

"Whist Andrew has made significant progress, the combined opinion is that he is not quite ready for a return to cricket," Lancashire cricket director Mike Watkinson added.

"He will continue his rehabilitation into the winter months and we will constantly monitor and review his progress so that he is better equipped for a return to action."

Monday, 2 August 2010

FOOTBALL: Torres returns as Chinese tycoon bids for Liverpool

Spanish striker Fernando Torres was back training at Liverpool's Melwood training ground today after returning home from a holiday having played in the World Cup final, much speculation about Torres future was gaining momentum. But while Torres was away, Roy Hodgson was confident the Spanish striker would remain at Liverpool and today Torres was back training with other World Cup stars Dirk Kuyt and Spanish team-mate Pepe Reina.

Also Chinese tycoon Kenny Huang, a former Wall Street Broker made a bid to take control of Anfield should American owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks be willing to sell up. Most of, if not all fans are turned againist the owners after failed promises of money to bring players in. Liverpool struggled to maintain challenge for honours last season, only qualifying Europa League football. Liverpool finished in their lowest position of recent seasons and a change of owners could play a part in keeping Liverpool's star players and pushing on for sliverware.

FOOTBALL: Southend United avoid administration

Southend United football club have avoided going into administration by the skin of its teeth after reaching an agreement with the Inland Revenue. Southend were in the brink off collapse for most of the summer and feared going into administration could be the only option. But after weeks of intense talks, Southend have finally agreed a deal with HRFC.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

FORUMLA ONE: Schumacher Almost Kills Barrichello - Penalised 10 Grid Places

Michael Schumacher, never a stranger to controversy on the Formula 1 circuit, today stooped to a new low in the Hungarian Grand Prix.  Barrichello was almost pinned against the pit wall as he tried to overtake Schumacher - Barrichello was later to call this move the most dangerous he had seen in his Formula 1 career.

This is the latest in a series of spats between the two, pictured left in happier days.  When it spills over on to the track, however, things can become dangerous.

The whole thing took place as Wiiliams driver Barrichello looked to take advantage of a mistake that Schumacher made around Turn 14.   Schumacher went wide and this enabled the Brazillian to close up to him and get a run on his former team mate.

He pulled to the right and pulled alongside Shcumacher who, seeing that he might lose the race, forced Barrichello right up against the wall of the pit.

Good job that the wall ended before Barrichello hit it.  If it hadn't been for the wall finishing that would probably have happened.  The judges recognise this and Schumacher has been penalised 10 grid places.

Perhaps this was punishment for that party where Barrichello sang. The song consisted of the rather childish claim that Schumacher is viado - a derogatory term meaning gay in Brazilian Portuguese. Or perhaps not.  Whatever caused Schumacher to do this, it won't help his Christmas card list much, that's for sure.
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