Thursday, November 30, 2006
Dr David James, from Sheffield Hallam University, was asked to produce a figure by the E.ON Energy Experience initiative. He looked at a player’s oxygen uptake and the ratio of low to high intensity work.
Players make more than 1,000 changes in activity over 90 minutes — altering their speed of movement every four to six seconds — and they cover ten to 12 kilometres, sprinting more than 2km.
He concluded that players produce 6,700 kilojoules, which equates to 1.86 kilowatt hours. If it were possible to convert that energy into electricity, over a full game, a player could light an average house for 90 minutes, run a television for 6½ hours and boil enough water for the squad to enjoy a half-time cuppa.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Adieu Adu ?
He's a young kid and he needs matches," said Peter Nowak, the former Poland captain who has been Adu's manager since he signed for the Washington club as a 14-year-old sensation in November 2003. "I think he should go to PSV or Ajax or somewhere they have a tradition of raising young players. At a place like Ajax the young kids come through together and they grow up together; the team is shaped around them. In the biggest environment at the club with the biggest budget it will be hard for them to wait for him to develop. I still feel he needs the minutes and the experience."
Dave Kasper, DC United's technical director agrees : "Does Freddy want to have to go to Watford on a rainy Wednesday where he'll have 6ft 4in goons on his back all night? The Dutch league is a very technical league and he will be better suited for that at his age."
Kasper and Nowak also cast doubts on Adu's mental and physical readiness for a team as big as United. Not only is he just 17, he is physically slight and, they maintain, susceptible to poor advice.
God bless her
The Queen gives her verdict on the beautiful game to Premier League chairman Sir David Richards.
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Rummenigge blames the Russian billionaire's spending on players and sky-high television rights deals for opening up a gap, even among Europe's top clubs. And, in a separate attack, he opened up a split in the ranks of the G14 group of elite clubs by branding the English, Italian and Spanish members as 'selfish'.
Rummenigge, whose side lost Michael Ballack to Chelsea this year, told Kicker magazine: 'I doubt whether in the next 10 years there will be a German club in the final of a European competition. 'Given what Abramovich does every summer in the transfer market, how can German clubs stay competitive? 'If Bremen get past Barcelona in the Champions League, that would be the eighth wonder of the world.
Theories are many, with people blaming the pitches, boots, studs, inadequate warm-ups and what players do in their spare time. Manuel Pellegrini, the Villarreal coach, said: “These knee injuries are very worrying. This just isn’t normal and it’s time we all sat down together and tried to figure out what’s going on.”
Genaro Borras, who heads the Spain medical team, believes that there are three key factors. “We don’t pay enough attention to minor injuries that then trigger more serious ones, the sheer number of fixtures and the reluctance of referees to punish strong tackles,” he said. Guillén attributes the rise of knee injuries to shortcomings in training. “They’ve got too much muscle,” he said. While it is possible to build up muscles, the ligaments do not get any stronger, creating an imbalance. “I’m experimenting with an elastic knee bandage and a series of preventative exercises in the hope of ending the epidemic of this type of injury.”
Monday, November 27, 2006
Lurking in the Villarreal area, the Brazilian controlled a lofted pass from Xavi with his chest, swivelled round with his back to goal and then fired a stunning bicycle kick over the head of keeper Mariano Barbosa and high into the net. 'I didn't really think too much about it because it just happened on the spur of the moment,' said the 26-year-old who had scored Barca's opener from the penalty spot.
'When I controlled the ball it stood up just right and everything else worked out perfectly. 'Ever since I was a young boy I've dreamed of scoring a goal like that. 'I'm never going to forget this goal. Now I have to try for my other dream goal which is to score from the halfway line.'
Sunday, November 26, 2006
The French striker missed an 89th-minute spot-kick that would have fired United into the next stage of the Champions League.
Ferguson yesterday poured scorn on Celtic midfielder Neil Lennon’s claims that United right-back Gary Neville predicted Saha’s miss.
Fergie scoffed: “I think they got a bit excited after the game.”
But it is clear Saha cannot be risked so soon after his dramatic miss at Parkhead.
On Sunday, United owners the Glazers will make their first Old Trafford appearance this season.
Malcolm Glazer’s three sons Avi, Joel and Brian are due to attend.
But then Kanu always did have that timeless quality. Many would hazard a guess that the Nigerian is a lot older than the 30 years he admits to, but this season he has looked as sprightly as a first-year pro in making an eight-goal contribution to Portsmouth's cause that was about as unlikely as his new club's third place position in the Premiership table.
His manager at Portsmouth, Harry Redknapp, said: "I couldn't say that I had any backing when I brought him here. Everybody sort of said: 'He's finished', but I had a feeling he could still do it. He can do things that other people can't. If you're not going to be a championship-winning team at least we can entertain and bring in some players that the fans will enjoy watching play. That's important – it is for me. It's what keeps me going."
While Stephen Hunt remains deeply upset over Petr Cech’s injury sustained in their “freak accident”, the Reading midfielder is taking everything else thrown at him with a large pinch of salt.
“I looked over my shoulder and there were so many people around him. I didn’t know what to do.
“I could hear their bench — Mourinho in particular — shouting at me. But I could not afford to listen to him. I had my own agenda. I had to get on with the game.
“To be fair to Chelsea’s players, they did not say anything. Mourinho though, straight away, was saying I had gone in there deliberately. That’s up to him. That’s how he felt.
“But I could not afford to go into my shell and even though we lost 1-0, that was probably my best game.
“It was not until the Sunday when I saw on TV that Petr Cech had fractured his skull. I thought ‘Jesus, what do I do?’.
Questioning the timing of Kenyon's remarks, as if suspicious that the Chelsea chief executive was trying to undermine United before the biggest game of the domestic season so far, Ferguson's response was laced with sarcasm. "We're going to quake and tremble with that," he said. "It was a nice time for him to bring that out, wasn't it? But it certainly won't bother me. I know Peter, remember."
Saturday, November 25, 2006
More than three years after Roman Abramovich's acquisition of Chelsea signalled a new era for English football, any new owner is now subject to discreet checks on his financial background and business history.
Eggert Magnusson and his main backer, Landsbanki chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, will become the latest overseas businessmen to be looked into by the Premier League following their successful £108 million takeover of West Ham United earlier this week.
However, with Magnusson well regarded in Uefa's corridors of power and Gudmundsson the head of Iceland's oldest bank, the League are not expecting to unearth any major skeletons.
The new process is part of the fit and proper persons test introduced by the Premier League in the summer.
It is thought Randy Lerner, the new owner of Aston Villa, was the first new investor to undergo the checks after his £62.6 million takeover of the Midlands club in August.
Friday, November 24, 2006
Saha’s 89th-minute spot-kick was saved as Celtic won Tuesday’s Battle of Britain encounter 1-0.
The French international was inconsolable at the end of the showdown as Manchester United blew their chance to book a place in the Champions League knockout phase.
And Saha, 28, said: “I can’t believe I missed the penalty.
“It is like a nightmare and I just want to wake up.
“I’ve apologised to my team-mates but then what’s the use of that? A thousand sorrys won’t change anything.
“It will not change the fact that I have missed. I feel really sorry for our fans. And I am sorry for my performance.”
The penalty was given after Shaun Maloney had handled. But, incredibly, Gary Neville predicted the miss.
The United skipper told his Hoops counterpart Neil Lennon before the kick was taken that Saha’s ‘head had gone’.
It is likely United spot-kick duties will now be handed to Wayne Rooney.
Red Devils boss Alex Ferguson was left seething at his flops after the defeat.
And the infamous Ferguson hairdryer was going full pelt.
A Celtic source said: “Everyone in the vicinity of the changing rooms could hear him. He was clearly furious.”
The Wales international is alleged to have assaulted 19-year-old Sophie Palmer and 20-year-old Holly Smith during a night out in Cardiff city centre during the early hours of February 5 this year.
Prosecutor Mike Hammett told Cardiff magistrates court that the alleged altercation happened as Bellamy was walking in a corridor at the No 10 nightclub at about 2am. Mr Hammett said Bellamy collided with Miss Palmer as she walked in the opposite direction, and "words were exchanged". Bellamy is said to have then grabbed Miss Palmer's friend, Holly Smith, by the wrist and called her a "c*nt".
Chairman Chris Roberts introduced the initiative after he was left "disgusted" by players diving and feigning injury during the World Cup. He said: "It's only getting worse and I sincerely believe clubs have to stand up and take reponsibility for the conduct of their players. "I want to win football matches but I want to win matches without cheating."
The new initiative works on the 'three strikes' system. Players found guilty of clearly trying to gain an advantage by diving or feigning injury will be warned on the first two occasions, then placed on the transfer list or dismissed if they transgress a third time.
Thursday, November 23, 2006
"Lee Chapman was playing for us at the time," recounts Redknapp. "All through the first half some tattooed skinhead behind me was giving Lee terrible stick. At half-time I turned to this bloke who had West Ham etched on his neck and asked 'Can you play as good as you talk?' He looked totally confused. So I told him he was going to get his dream to play for West Ham. We sent him down the tunnel and he reappeared 10 minutes later all done out in the strip. He ran on to the pitch and a journalist from the local Oxford paper sidled up and asked 'Who's that Harry?' I said 'What? Haven't you been watching the World Cup? That's the great Bulgarian Tittyshev!'
The fella wasn't bad - actually, he scored!"
The fella in question was a 27-year-old called Steve Davies who had given up park football six years earlier. The West Ham board were obviously impressed with Harry's idiosyncratic decision-making: they made him manager a month later.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Blatter said world soccer's governing body needed the help of governments to help police the way in which the investors were becoming attached to European clubs, especially those in England.
'There exists a system in football at the moment that if we don't stop it will do serious damage,' Blatter told a news conference after being made an honorary member of Real Madrid. 'There are investors who buy clubs, especially in England which happens to be the most attractive but not the best league. There are investors from Iran, Russia, the United States, Georgia all involved there.
''There are a number of organisations that are not transparent, many of which are based in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands, Gibraltar and the Cayman Islands. It is a very delicate matter and we need the help of the judicial authorities in all countries to deal with it.'
Nike is sacking its main manufacturer of hand-stitched balls, a Pakistani company called Saga Sports, because of concerns about "significant labour compliance violations".
The US multinational said that a six-month investigation had concluded that Saga was outsourcing many of the balls to casual workers who sew them together in their homes around the city of Sialkot, near the Indian border.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
A small number behind the dugout chanted “Sit down, tumour boy” when the Toon boss got up to shout out instructions from his technical area on Saturday.
The incident echoed what happened when former West Ham boss Roeder returned to Upton Park in September.
Arsenal make it clear in their club programme they will not tolerate any form of foul language or racist chanting and they will take action through the courts if necessary to stamp out unacceptable behaviour.
For a start, he rides a folding bicycle to home matches and, if that was not enough to mark him out in his chosen profession, the 23-year-old German spends his spare time taking A levels and watching Sunday League football.
Monday, November 20, 2006
"Oh my God, they bit Kenny"
How Brazilian soccer players get their names
Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, is known to all by his nickname, Lula. Clergymen, doctors, and other professionals are frequently known by an informal name. The phone book for the town of Claudio even lists inhabitants by their nicknames rather than their surnames.
Some scholars speculate that the use of single names could have its roots in the slave system. (Slavery was abolished in Brazil in the late 19th century.) When they were documented, slaves would be referred to either by their first name only—say, Joao—or by their first name and country of origin—say, Joao Congo.
When the English introduced soccer to Brazil in the 1800s, Brazilians referred to players in the English manner, by their surnames. But as the sport grew in popularity, nicknaming took over. When the Brazilian national team played its first match in 1914, the squad featured a forward called Formiga, which means "ant" in Portuguese. Players with the same first name often change their moniker to differentiate themselves. In recent decades, there have been several Ronaldos at the national level. One became known as Ronaldao, meaning "big Ronaldo." Another became Ronaldinho, meaning "little Ronaldo." When another Ronaldinho came along in the late 1990s, he was called Ronaldinho Gaucho—that is, "little Ronaldo from Rio Grande do Sul." Eventually, the first Ronaldo left the Brazilian national squad, so Ronaldinho became Ronaldo. Ronaldinho Gaucho became Ronaldinho.
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Nancy, 47, has been spotted in Rome on a date with Italian TV star Michele Cucuzza, 53.
Sven's new love is blonde Katarina Huss (pictured), 43. They met at a party in Stockholm just a few days after Portugal defeated England in last summer's World Cup.
Mother-of-three Katarina, who works as a PR executive for Swedish airline SAS, joined Sven, 58, in Tel Aviv, Israel, after he jilted Nancy.
Now LuaLua, whose life was shattered by the death of six-month son Jesus from pneumonia in January, has had enough.
He said: “I do not mind if people criticise me for my football but people who are supposed to support me have said they are glad my son is dead, and that I am a wife-beater and a playboy.
“I do not deserve that and my family do not deserve that.“It has been the worst year of my life and I cannot wait for it to end.
“I am hurt and confused by what the fans have been saying.
“I read newspapers and internet message boards and a lot of what has been said about me has deeply affected me. It has become personal.
“I love playing for Pompey but when my own supporters have a go at me, maybe it is time to move on and go to somewhere where I will be appreciated.”
Capello confirmed on Friday he did not give the midfield ace permission to leave Madrid ahead of Cruise’s showbiz wedding to actress Katie Holmes tonight.
Club officials later claimed Beckham’s trip had been approved but Capello clearly had no idea and will not take kindly to being exposed.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
"It was from a bizarre idea one evening. I sent an email off to them and they came back and said it was a great idea. They were totally up for it," explained the team manager Gary Weight, a former roadie.
"I knew Lemmy years ago and for him, I think, the thought of a football team running out with the Motörhead logo made him chuckle a bit."
The team now run out to the Ace of Spades and wear an all-black strip emblazoned with the band's skull logo.
"They play better than I ever have!" laughed Lemmy, who, with the rest of the band, will join the youngsters for a team photograph ahead of their gig in Nottingham this Sunday.
Just how close English football came to disaster is shown by the FA's accounts for the 12 months to last December, which lay bare the precariousness of Wembley National Stadium Limited (WNSL), a wholly owned subsidiary of English football's governing body. So serious was the situation that the auditor Deloitte & Touche refused to sign off the stadium company as a going concern.
More on the Paddy Kenny eyebrow incident ...
But the midfielder, who has an intolerance to the foodstuff, accidentally swallowed some cheese with his meal at a posh Stockholm awards do and was left vomiting into a bin.
He told stunned kitchen staff: “Either I’ll be OK or you’re going to have to call me an ambulance in 40 minutes and take me to hospital.”Luckily, he recovered and travelled with the Sweden squad for their midweek friendly against the Ivory Coast in France.
Friday, November 17, 2006
Republic of Ireland keeper Kenny is often the subject of jibes about his weight from rival fans and Warnock joked: "He takes a lot of pressure off me because of the chants he gets during a game. "You asked is he big enough, I think the answer to that would be yes!"
Thursday, November 16, 2006
So far, so relatively simple. Things get a bit trickier when it comes to deciding which team gets relegated, though. At the end of the season, the team with the lowest points-per-game-ratio over the last three seasons (six tournaments) gets relegated.
And so, in 2001 Atlante topped their group in the clausura tournament, but due to their poor form over past seasons were staring relegation in the face. Luckily for them, the league introduced a relegation play-off that season, which they won and their survival was ensured.
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Enter Matthew Connolly, who happened to be on the site to train with Arsenal’s reserves but ended up with three lions on his chest and with the chance to train with Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney et al, albeit as a “ringer”, to use Sunday League parlance.
"The food is truly catastrophic, and it rains all the time. When there's no training or match, it's a DVD under the quilt to keep warm."
But the Frenchman insists he is happy at Old Trafford. He added: "Each day I thank God to be playing in a club like this."
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The MLS board of governors have approved the rule change, which will allow clubs to sign big-name players without breaking the competition's salary cap.
The cap is set at $1.9 million (£1 million) and covers 18 players' wages. However, MLS will now pay up to $400,000 (£209,000) towards the salary of the designated player, with any additional cost becoming the responsibility of the club. Each club will receive one designated player slot, which can be traded between clubs, although no club is allowed to have more than two such players in their squad.
The introduction of the rule means that players of the calibre of Beckham, 31, who is in the final year of his contract at Real Madrid, will now have the opportunity to play in the top tier of club soccer in the United States.
Although looking frail and walking with a limp, the former England manager retained all of his renowned enthusiasm.
Robson, 73, resumed his job as assistant to Steve Staunton, the Ireland manager, after a four-match absence, during which he underwent brain surgery. He will assist Staunton and Kevin MacDonald, the first-team coach, for the European Championship qualifying match against San Marino at Lansdowne Road on Wednesday evening.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Newell was unhappy that female assistant referee Amy Rayner awarded a corner rather than a goal-kick during the match against QPR and from it Dexter Blackstock scored the winner in the visitors' 3-2 victory.
"She shouldn'tbe here," said Newell of Rayner, a second year national list assistant referee. "I know it sounds sexist but I am sexist and I'm not going to be anything else. It's a token effort for the politically correct idiots."
Rooney - Moyes rift
The shock move has infuriated the Rooney camp, who are now prepared to fight the Everton boss in court, rather than surrender a matter of principle.
Moyes is incensed by comments made by Rooney in his autobiogrpahy My Story So Far and last night a source close to the player confirmed: "Wayne was served with the writ, along with the publishers and the author and it looks like it could go all the way.
"Wayne, the publishers and the author totally stand by the book and see no reason why they should be worried.
"It is virtually unprecedented to learn that a manager is taking action against a football player and the decision to serve the writ has not been welcomed by fellow managers. It is something we will fight in court if that's what it comes to."
Terry in the money
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Monday’s team-bonding session turned to agony for Frank Lampard after Claude Makelele shot him SIX times from point-blank range.
Lamps was left with bruises when the France midfielder hit him in the back.
Now Makelele and the other French lads could be forced to surrender their weapons — unless they start playing fair.
Lamps said: “You’re not supposed to shoot from less than six yards. But Maka shot me six times from point-blank range and left me with bruises on my back!"
What the Frenchman needs to remove now are the obstacles holding back his team at their impressive new ground. The deterioration of Arsenal's home results means victory there against Liverpool tomorrow looks important for reasons beyond retaining a realistic title chance.
The striker, 23, was facing eviction from the property in Wickford, Essex, because Basildon Council said it was built on green belt land without planning permission. A council spokesman said yesterday that a planning inspector had ruled that the mobile home could stay where it was until an alternative site was found.
Eastwood, who has Romany roots, scored the goal that knocked Manchester United out of the Carling Cup at Roots Hall on Tuesday.
"Sometimes," the 17-year-old Ghanaian-American once said of his performance in training, "I impress even myself."
Later this month, Adu will need to do a lot more than impress himself. According to his fan website, the "American Soccer Phenom" is "set to take the British Premier Soccer League by storm". This is an optimistic reading of a contentious, disputed, evidently problematic offer of a two-week trial at Manchester United.
At the end of it, we will begin to have an idea of where Adu stands in world football. Which is he: one of the most exciting talents to emerge in a generation? Or the over-hyped product of a commercial engine that is increasingly seeking to drive football?
Is he the next Cesc Fabregas? Or is he simply a second Calum Best, who was once put through the trial motions by a reluctant Sir Alex Ferguson simply because of his connections?
Saturday, November 11, 2006
The new licensing condition was imposed by council chiefs after a Newcastle United shirt was burned in front of cheering fans at Idols Bar in August.
The police had wanted a ban on opening before all home games, but the council decided a partial ban was appropriate.
The bar owners, J I Entertainment, apologised for the incident.
A spokesman described the shirt-burning as a "moment of exuberance unsanctioned by the company."
Police wanted Idols in the city centre to stay closed during every Sunderland home match for the rest of the season, after what was described as a "dangerous and irresponsible act."
The hearing heard that the shirt was doused in paraffin and burned in the packed bar.
Fire brigade officials told Sunderland's licensing committee that an inspection after the August bank holiday incident found fire extinguishers at the pub did not work.
J I Entertainment said disciplinary action had been taken and experts brought in to deal with fire safety issues.
The former England captain's contract at Real Madrid expires at the end of the season, and he will be allowed to speak to other clubs from 1 January if he does not sign a new deal by then.
The Los Angeles Galaxy have confirmed their interest in signing the 31-year-old, whose protracted contract negotiations with Real remain ongoing.
The MLS commissioner, Don Garber, says officials are working out if the league would get a return - in sponsorship and ticket sales - on any potential investment in Beckham.
"We're doing analysis and we should complete that in the next 30 days,"Garber said. "We'd certainly like to see him here. Beckham is a cultural world icon - and if we can get him in this league, people will care and they'll come out and see our games. If we could have him here we think it would be terrific."Garber acknowledges Beckham would serve as a great marketing tool but says the former Manchester United player still has a role to play on the pitch.
The original allegations were made by a former employee of the Gibraltar-based bookmaker, Victor Chandler, and included a claim that one manager gambled £12m on a variety of sports bets in one year alone, racking up losses of £415,000.
Keane being not-so-nice
The Manchester United legend believes things have got so bad that he is relieved he has hung up his boots.And the Irish hardman claims he is now too embarrassed to watch some of the top-flight antics on TV.
Keane being nice
Friday, November 10, 2006
Thursday, November 09, 2006
FA Cup goes flying
After the parade, the trophy was placed on a table at the side of the pitch, before Stanley Bowles ... well, let's hear it straight from the horse's mouth: "There were a couple of us who had a bet on who could knock it off the table with the ball first," he recalls. "With the ball at my feet I tear off straight across the park. Everyone on the pitch is just staring at me - and then, bang! The FA Cup goes shooting up in the air."
The whole ground knew that I'd done it on purpose - then the Sunderland fans go ape. They want my balls in their sandwiches. I wound up their fans even more by scoring a couple of goals and in the end there was a pitch invasion. At least I got my tenner, and my picture on News at Ten. And all because I was just having a bit of a laugh."
Beckham back in January ?
Beckham has not started a home game for Real since the opening day of the season and has still not signed a proposed two-year extension to his current deal, which runs out next summer.
With the January transfer window just seven weeks from opening, the club's sporting director, Pedrag Mijatovic, said yesterday: "We want to renew his contract and we have had several meetings with his people. On our part there is no problem, but we have to listen to the player, too."
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Nicolas Anelka is settling in well at Bolton. There's a surprise.
However, I'm betting that Ferdinand's weekly salary is a hell of a lot higher than Tilson's.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sheffield United's Neil Warnock talking about Sir Alex Ferguson
Beckham to L.A. ?
Out of contract in Spain at the end of the season and no longer a first-team regular, the 31-year-old midfielder is believed to be considering a move.
"There are thousands of clubs out there that would love to have a player of his calibre," said Galaxy boss Alexi Lalas.
Beckham has already expressed an interest in moving to the U.S. when he was interviewed in April :
"I want to be part of a country that is passionate about sport. And I've got my academy in LA, which is important to me because that is my life after the game."
Of course this means that he's really in trouble now
“It’s difficult for me to say though. I love football — it’s all I’ve ever done.”
Monday, November 06, 2006
It is understood that in his official submission to the FA, Graham Poll, the referee, has reported that he was harassed by four Chelsea players after booking Michael Ballack for dissent during the champions’ 2-1 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur, a stormy match in which John Terry, the Chelsea and England captain, was sent off.
Chelsea have been fined sums ranging from £10,000 to £15,000 for failing to control their players three times in the past two seasons, but could face a far larger penalty if found guilty of intimidating behaviour. FA regulations state that when a match official reports that he was harassed or intimidated by three or more players, a club can be fined up to £250,000.
When the West Ham boss celebrated Marlon Harewood's late winner in front of the Arsenal bench, Wenger responded by repeatedly shoving Pardew in the chest and allegedly said: "F***ing disgrace".
The angry Arsenal manager appeared ready to exchange blows with Pardew before they were separated by their staff and fourth official Andy D'Urso.
Players picked up on the bad atmosphere, too, and as they went off at the end, Arsenal goalkeper Jens Lehmann squirted water into Teddy Sheringham's face and mocked the West Ham striker by slapping him on the back several times. Then Hayden Mullins squirted water down Cesc Fabregas's back.
McGrath and Sir Alex Ferguson had a fractious relationship during three years together at the club, but have since become friends.
On his arrival at United in 1986, Ferguson was determined to rid the club of its drinking culture.
McGrath was one of the biggest drinkers and, after numerous run-ins, Ferguson sold the defender to Aston Villa.
"Since I left football he's been nothing but generous to me. He showed a big heart when he didn't need to.
"For example, he invited me and my wife to his testimonial dinner in London a few years ago and sat us on the table next to him."
They will press Scudamore and their fellow Premier League chairmen to take steps to end what they regard as the damaging speculation and innuendo surrounding the Stevens probe into transfer dealings over the past two years.
Bolton and Newcastle are among those clubs asked to co-operate further with the inquiry, being carried out by Stevens’ company, Quest.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
The £350,000 - enough to fund Michael Owen's rehabilitation for the best part of a month - that finds its way into the club's coffers from Sky TV for live coverage of this evening's Premiership visit of Sheffield United is the plus point.
A 43-and-a-half-hour turnaround following the Uefa Cup victory over Palermo is the considerable downside, as Newcastle approach the second of four games in 10 days.
The Austrian daredevil gets his kicks diving out of planes and throwing himself off bridges tied to elastic.
But he is under orders from Latics boss Paul Jewell to keep his feet firmly on the ground.
Scharner, 26, plans to return to his love of extreme sports when he hangs up his boots.
But he said: “Playing for Wigan is how I get my thrills now. It’s in my contract to be careful and I had to spend all summer on the beach.
The Old Trafford boss, who celebrates 20 years in charge this weekend, admitted: “I had a bust-up with Schmikes once.
"He was towering over me and we’re eye to eye. I’m looking up and thinking ‘If he hits me, I know I’m dead’. The other players were almost covering their eyes.”
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Becks got a sarcastic round of applause from team-mates when he ran from the changing rooms.
The night before the former England captain was spotted chatting to tennis ace Maria Sharapova at the Bernabeu after Real’s 1-0 win over Steaua Bucharest.
This latest blunder was the second time Becks, 31, has failed to turn up on time this season.
The midfielder missed an entire team session on August 16 because a flight from England was delayed — and boss Fabio Capello is not happy.
World Cup bid
Sports Minister Richard Caborn said yesterday that it was Chancellor Gordon Brown's hope that a successful bid would result in matches taking place "all over the country, which would bring Scotland, Wales and the whole of England into play."
A spokesman for Caborn later stressed that the Minister did not mean matches would be played in Wales or Scotland, and David Will, the Fifa vice-president who represents the four British nations on the world body, said:
" If England win the right to stage the 2018 Cup, it would be impossible for matches to be played in Scotland and Wales. As far as Fifa is concerned Scotland and Wales are, in footballing terms, as much a foreign country as England and France are."
Friday, November 03, 2006
Longest-distance fixture in European competition history
The US billionaire was so impressed with Villa's support at Leicester last week that he has pledged to cover the cost of the coach fare to west London for all the fans with tickets for the fourth-round Carling Cup tie against Chelsea on Wednesday.
Aggie MacKenzie, from television programme 'How Clean Is Your House?', has some words of advice for Jose Mourinho after he slid across the Nou Camp turf in his suit to celebrate Drogba's goal.
"Grass stains are really hard. You need a biological washing powder that contains enzymes that will break down the proteins in grass stains."