sport Saturday February 3 2018 ‘Jeremy Hunt’s a cabbage’ Neville Southall shares his views on the NHS and gay rights pages 4-5 Norrie’s five-set thriller We’re being battered Briton triumphs on Davis Cup debut — his first match on red clay pages 16-17 Sterling demands more protection from referees for Manchester City’s stars, page 7 Upside down in Korea Snowboarder Billy Morgan reveals dizzying Olympic dream pages 14-15 2 Saturday February 3 2018 | the times 2GS Sport Football Tottenham’s visit a true test of Paul Joyce Can Kane help Spurs improve away record? Northern Football Correspondent After a week in which so much of the focus has been on what Jürgen Klopp has not done, a visit from Tottenham Hotspur might feel rather less alluring for him than for the neutral. Yet, while the angst continues over whether Liverpool should have replaced Philippe Coutinho, and whether they are strong enough to thrive in his absence, the tête-à-tête with the Londoners actually serves to highlight the depth of his work. Klopp’s first Premier League game came against Tottenham, in October 2015, and his squad from that clash makes interesting reading. Gone from the starting line-up are Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Lucas Leiva and Coutinho, while it is conceivable that Emre Can, Divock Origi and Simon Mignolet are going this summer. Of the 13 players involved in a goalless draw high on energy but low on quality, only Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno, James Milner and possibly Nathaniel Clyne are likely to remain in situ next season. For those concerned about strength in depth, scrolling down the names on the substitutes’ bench is not advisable. Evolution has brought Liverpool to a point where they are seeking to qualify for the Champions League in successive seasons for the first time in nine years. Victory over Tottenham will establish a cushion of five points with 12 games remaining. Defeat and Mauricio Pochettino’s side will leapfrog into the top four and signal what they hope will be a shift in momentum. The nip and tuck underlines the importance of tomorrow’s fixture, given what now constitutes success for two clubs shorn of silverware in recent times. Liverpool’s latest trophy was the League Cup in 2012, while Tottenham’s barren spell goes back to 2008 when they won the same competition, but sleepless nights for Klopp and Pochettino will only follow if they miss out on qualification for Europe’s elite competition. “When you start a season you can dream of something and you have to make a realistic target as well,” Klopp said. “Dreaming of being champion is probably the dream not only at Liverpool, but especially at Liverpool. “Because of the season [Manchester] City is playing, that is quite difficult. I would prefer to be second, to be honest, if you cannot be first, but if you are second, third or fourth at the end of the season when you look back, then all three positions are good and similarly difficult to reach.” Just how both teams kick on from here and turn challenging for the upper echelons into sitting astride the summit remains the perennial problem. Pochettino acknowledged yesterday Tottenham’s failure to scale the peak ahead of Leicester City in 2016 — they eventually came third — and the reason they finished behind Chelsea last season was essentially down to their away form and an inexperienced squad lacking a little knowhow. “That is why maybe we miss a title, why we don’t win the Premier League,” he said. “Maybe [the away form is] because we are the younger team in the Premier League. Maybe we need time to mature. If we win more games away from home, I’m sure that we would win the title. But we miss something.” The Argentinian builds teams. Study Pochettino’s Tottenham v rest of big six Home Away 1 3 P 18 F 32 A 13 Pts 35 5 10 Win The deal for Van Dijk, right, was a sign of Liverpool’s intent in the transfer market premier league table Man City Man United Liverpool Chelsea Tottenham Arsenal Burnley Leicester Everton Bournemouth Watford West Ham C Palace Newcastle Brighton Stoke Huddersfield Southampton Swansea West Brom P 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 25 W 22 16 14 15 14 12 9 9 8 7 7 6 6 6 5 6 6 4 6 3 D L 2 1 5 4 8 3 5 5 6 5 6 7 8 8 7 9 7 10 7 11 6 12 9 10 8 11 6 13 9 11 6 13 6 13 11 10 5 14 11 11 F 73 49 57 45 49 46 20 37 28 28 33 31 23 23 18 25 19 25 18 19 A 18 18 29 19 22 34 22 34 40 36 44 43 38 35 34 50 44 36 36 34 GD Pts 55 68 31 53 28 50 26 50 27 48 12 42 -2 35 3 34 -12 31 -8 28 -11 27 -12 27 -15 26 -12 24 -16 24 -25 24 -25 24 -11 23 -18 23 -15 20 how they lined up Klopp’s first game at Liverpool was a 0-0 draw with Spurs in October 2015 Lloris Alderweireld Walker (4-2-3-1) Vertonghen Dembélé Lamela Rose Alli Eriksen Chadli Kane Origi Coutinho Lallana Can Moreno Leiva Sakho Milner Skrtel Clyne Mignolet (4-3-2-1) Tottenham’s line-up from the day Klopp made his bow and it highlights how Pochettino’s knack of developing talent has underpinned the strides they have made as a club. Harry Kane has gone on to prove the one-season wonder tag he was saddled with back then was horribly ill-fitting, and players such as Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen marry potential and productivity. The stark reality is that it has had to be this way. Until their 62,000-capacity ground opens in 2018-19, and new revenue streams are generated —the ten-year deal to host two NFL games each season is one source — there is little prospect of Tottenham spending like the Manchester clubs in order to try to rub shoulders with them consistently, even if a 2-0 win over United at Wembley on Wednesday night showed they can compete on any given day. Pochettino alluded to as much, having captured Paris Saint-Germain cast-off Lucas Moura for £25 million as City splashed out a club-record £57 million on Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte. “If you compare Liverpool or City or United or Arsenal or Chelsea, they sign the players that they want,” Pochettino said. “[If I am City] and I want the centre back from Bilbao, I go and pay the buyout clause. I don’t care about the money. [Virgil] Van Dijk, or [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang [too]. “I told you, we sign opportunities. We are competing with them, of course [but] to compare outside of the pitch, it’s not fair.” Those comments will resonate on Merseyside, although Liverpool’s transfer philosophy has shifted under their owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), over time. Since the summer Liverpool have secured deals for arguably one of the best players in Serie A (Mohamed Salah), what observers say is the Bundesliga’s best midfielder (Naby Keïta) and, judging by the competition for his signature, one of the Premier League’s best centre backs (Van Dijk). The change in strategy is being overseen by the sporting director Michael Edwards, who joined Liverpool from Tottenham in 2011, and is more selective. Klopp suggests that more big-money buys will be made this summer. “In the long term we will do a lot,” he said. Alisson, Roma’s Brazilian goalkeeper who is likely to cost more than £40 million, is a target. Yet it is one thing reeling in Tottenham and quite another the leaders, City. Liverpool are not transformed because Salah, Van Dijk and Keïta will have arrived in three different transfer windows, while the focus which falls on FSG revolves around net spend, with three club-record outlays offset by the £142 million banked for Coutinho. Tottenham’s sales policy is something that Klopp seems to admire. In recent years, they have only lost players they could just about stomach losing and the German did not hide his admiration for that, even in overlooking Kyle Walker’s departure to City. “That they can keep their squad together for so long is a big sign,” said Klopp, who cites Tottenham’s 4-1 dismantling of his side in October as a wake-up call, which became a catalyst for improvement. “The whole world buys players from everywhere, but no one buys one player from Tottenham. Maybe they don’t want to go. You can imagine working together helps a lot.” But the test is coming. The futures of Kane and Pochettino will come under scrutiny this summer and Liverpool know from Barcelona’s successful pursuit of Coutinho (and Luis Suárez in 2014) how difficult it is to fend off unwelcome advances. Whichever club better cracks how to stop rivals from pilfering their top players can remain on an upward curve. However, it will still take more to bring down the ceiling created by City’s dominance on and off the pitch. 11 P 18 F 15 A 35 Pts 9 Draw Loss Tottenham’s malaise in matches at the homes of their biggest rivals stretches further back than Pochettino’s tenure. In 114 games since February 1994, they have won only 12 - eight of those against Manchester City. Win Draw Loss 1 9 0 8 1 7 3 2 Overall played 114 16 15 8 8 3 12 14 19 30 72 6 the times | Saturday February 3 2018 3 2GS Sport how far Klopp’s side have come TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC VIA GETTY IMAGES ‘Van Dijk does not need to lose weight’ Paul Joyce How long they’ve been in charge Jürgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions from Jamie Carragher, the former Liverpool defender, that Virgil van Dijk needs to lose weight. The Liverpool manager said that he expected the £75 million signing to endure teething troubles after his move to Anfield. Klopp could recall Van Dijk for tomorrow’s Premier League game with Tottenham Hotspur having rested the centre back for the midweek win over Huddersfield Town. Van Dijk’s lack of match fitness — caused by a serious ankle injury in the first half of 2017 and a lack of game time for Southampton before his January transfer — was cited by Klopp as the reason for his absence. Carragher agreed on that point, but in an interview with Sky Sports said that Van Dijk “needs to get fit and lose a bit of weight. He looks too big.” The critique was put to Klopp, who responded by saying: “Wow. I am sure Jamie needs [to lose] a little bit of weight, but for Virgil it is not the case. He is a big and tall player. We have the best nutrition department and no one came to me and said we need to work with him. It is not an issue, not at all.” Klopp expects Van Dijk to be at his best next season and said the need to J Klopp 2yrs 3mths M Pochettino 3yrs 7mths How long title-winning managers took to win their first trophy League Cup Premier League J Mourinho (Chelsea) FA Cup 8mths M Pellegrini (Man City) 8mths C Ranieri (Leicester) 11mths A Conte (Chelsea) 11mths C Ancelotti (Chelsea) 11mths R Mancini (Man City) 1yr 5mths A Wenger (Arsenal) 1yr 10mths A Ferguson (Man Utd) 3yrs 7mths K Dalglish (Blackburn) 3yrs 8mths *Premier League era only adapt to Liverpool’s high defensive line was also a factor in the 26-yearold’s early performances. “[I am] very happy,” Klopp said. “A few ups and downs and we will see Virgil van Dijk at his best after the summer, but we don’t have the time to wait until then and why should we? “He can bring in a lot of things already. We’ve had a lot of talks but it is quite difficult because our defending style — and I know how this sounds — is different to Southampton or to Holland. It feels like a long time but he has only been here a month. He has played most of the time. Giving him all the information step by step and not, ‘Here is the Liverpool book, read it and then you should be ready for it.’ “That is not how it is. All of the information goes here [points to head], but he needs to play from here [points to feet]. That means it takes a little bit of time. It’s different, that’s obvious.” In Liverpool’s last meeting with Tottenham Hotspur, the 4-1 loss at Wembley in October, Dejan Lovren was substituted after 31 minutes following a passage in which he was at fault as the hosts swept into an early lead. Lovren has recovered since and Klopp said: “It was all outside, ‘he’s not good enough’, ‘he’s that, he’s that’. He played a few fantastic games since Tottenham and before as well. Tottenham was a very bad game for the whole team and he was good that day, that is true but if you remember after the game I said I could have changed five or six players at least in that moment. “We decided for Dejan. It was not an easy moment. It causes a story. He has been fantastic, so all good.” Pochettino: Moura has to earn place Jon West Lucas Moura has arrived at Tottenham as a £25 million squad player who needs to prove himself in England rather than as a ready-made superstar, Mauricio Pochettino said yesterday. The Brazil winger, 25, was Tottenham’s only signing during the January transfer window and was recruited to add pace and guile to a forward line that relies upon Harry Kane for the majority of its goals. The Tottenham manager was surprisingly eager to play down Moura’s arrival however, pointing out that fans who expected him to be on a par with Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Neymar were being unrealistic. Indeed, Moura did not start a single league game for Paris Saint-Germain after Neymar’s arrival last summer cost him his place in the team. That lack of competitive action also means that he is unlikely to make his debut away to Liverpool tomorrow. Asked whether Moura’s arrival was exciting, Pochettino replied: “Exciting? No. We have signed a player who has not competed in the last six or seven months. “Lucas Moura is an exciting name for our fans and he came from a big club like PSG. But it is different to signing Neymar, Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo. My expectation is that the player can help us in the next three months but we cannot put too much pressure on him. He needs to adapt. “He needs to get to know the players, the league, a new philosophy, a new team. There are plenty of examples of players who needed time here — Son Heung-min, Érik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko. Many players with a lot of quality struggle for six months, a year, to adapt to a team, a club, a league. “For me, you have to prove every day that you deserve to play or to be in a club like us. He is not going to come here and say, ‘Oh, because he is Lucas Moura and came from Paris Saint-Germain, he is going to play.’ “He needs to show that he is better than our players. If you are in Paris Saint-Germain and Neymar arrives, if he is better than you, then he plays. Lucas Moura must compete with Lamela, with Sonny, with Eriksen.” Harry Winks and Serge Aurier are available again after recovering from ankle and calf injuries respectively. Aurier is a former PSG team-mate of Moura, and said: “I’m really happy to have him here. I spoke a lot to him before his arrival and I reassured him. I think he made the right decision. I think it’s the best choice for him and for his career.” Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose are still regaining fitness but could return. Be first to see your new signings Watch all today’s Premier League debuts hours before Match of the Day. Highlights of 3pm kick-offs are available from 5.15pm on The Times app, while clips from early and late kick-offs can be viewed almost immediately Plus Goal clips and highlights tomorrow from Crystal Palace v Newcastle United and Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur Download from the App Store and Google Play Moura joined Spurs for £25 million 4 2GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Football What’s the best way to change politics? Electrify seats on Question Time The outspoken Neville Southall has gone from star on the pitch to a cult hero off it, writes Alyson Rudd J eremy Hunt, the health and social care secretary, is, he says, a complete cabbage. With just one phrase, Neville Southall sums up all the frustration that he feels over the way the NHS is being run. The former Everton and Wales goalkeeper does not waste nor mince words. Indeed, he cannot bring himself to name the prime minister, so badly has she disappointed him. Southall had hoped that Theresa May would be sensible and maternal. She let him down by saying that she would look after those “just about managing”. He says: “She should look after the people who can’t manage. She seems to be so cold, nothing like any of the women I’ve ever known.” Southall is nothing like any of the footballers we have ever known. He is a cult figure on Twitter, cutting through political expediency, championing the rights of those marginalised by society. The reason he thinks of Hunt as a cabbage is because “he is trying to privatise the NHS and the problem is they are playing games and people are dying. Why are they trying to privatise it? Because they can’t afford it and if they can’t afford it then find a way of paying for it. “If people earn lots of money fine, but there has to be a way for those who earn lots to help those who don’t.” The government has its priorities wrong, he says. The professions that we need most are the ones that are poorly paid. “The people who run towards the shit we get in our lives get treated the shittest by the government. The Grenfell Tower. The firefighters did not back off and yet she could not even talk to them properly.” It is so obvious that he should appear on BBC’s Question Time that I am not the first one to mention it. The BBC even phoned him for a preliminary chat that came to nothing but Southall, right, would still be keen if approached again, even though he calls it “Dodge the Question Time”. He suggests electrifying the seats on David Dimbleby’s show with the audience pressing a button if it thinks that a panellist has not answered the question. “That would f***ing change politics, wouldn’t it?” he says. “MPs go on the same bollocks courses as football managers.” And, yes, he does know that he would not be able to swear on the telly. More impressive than his Twitter life is his real life. Southall works in a small school tucked away in Ebbw Vale, off Steelworks Road. It is a school for children who struggle in the education system and have nowhere else to go. When Southall rails against teaching methods, he does so from a position of knowledge. He knows that it takes one year for a pupil’s mental health condition to be assessed. In the meantime an underfunded system copes as best as it can. Southall does all manner of tasks. He drives the children to where they need to be, he finds them work experience. He raises funds. He breaks up fights. He can spend eight weeks convincing a local employer to give a child a job placement “and then they don’t turn up. Having been a footballer, I’m used to defeat”. It can be uplifting, though. He praises a local garage owner who has “never refused any kid, ever, no matter what their circumstances. This is one of the most deprived places anywhere. “They had lots of jobs when the mines were here and lots of jobs when the steel was here. You take those two big things away, what’s left?” It is tempting to suppose that Southall spent all those years as one of the most highly regarded goalkeepers of all time — winning two league titles, two FA Cups and the European Cup Winners’ Cup — quietly railing against injustice but he admits to having been selfishly insular. “Football was all-consuming, nothing else mattered,” he says. “I didn’t give a shit about anything else. Looking back, it was the wrong approach in some ways but it got me to where I wanted to get to.” He was probably rather irritating. He would avoid team talks, take match preparation at his own pace. Howard Kendall, his manager at Goodison Park, complained that Southall was trying to be too perfect. These days he would like to save the world. If he can’t save the world, then he would like to raise money so that his school can afford a psychologist and a mental health nurse. This is where Twitter comes in. Southall checks almost every follower, even though he has 119,000 of them, in case they are people who can help the school. He is also intrigued that so many of his followers have little or no interest in football. A friend set up his Twitter account. He found that he liked it because “people reply straightaway and you can talk to anyone around the world” and he is immune to Twitter abuse. “I stood in goal in front of people giving me abuse for years. If someone comes on Twitter who is a proper knob, then I’ll just j retweet it and someone else gives them stick so I don’t have to. s If I I was bothered about what people said about me w I’d d be b dead by now.” He is a little baffled by how his tweets have given him a different kind of fame. “People think I have k an agenda on Twitter, but there’s no campaign,” he says. “It’s nice for me c to t listen to other people. I can find “ The game has to reflect people on the terraces. They want to see the players run through a brick wall for the team southall on twitter On Tory policies Save money on burials Make your nan’s skeleton into a coffee table and your uncle into a lamp Saving the country money I have lived a blue I will die a blue But on the 8th of June I want the country red Get rid of poverty Vote @jeremycorbyn @WelshLabour Why are the Tories trying to reduce the fire service to 2 people with a glass of water Killing me softly with your love Don’t think so Cuts kill people Fund them properly You donuts We put a £100 million footballer on a perfect pitch But a priceless human we leave sleeping on a street Roberto Martínez Donald trump Napoleon Roberto Mad or genius Discuss Grassroots football Saturday morning kids football pouring down 1 game off already Why don’t they just raise all pitches in Wales 3 feet? I am getting webfeet The game that’s off is on old school pitch New school has 3G pitch Not allowed on that in case it gets ruined Grassroots dying why? Transgender rights I find it funny that if I tweet something about LGBT stuff people ask me if I am gay but if I tweet about animals they never ask if I am a tiger. Why? Lesbian, gay, bi, trans skeletons sat on a cloud No one gives a f*** Heaven Pity not same on earth stuff out. The way I tweet is the way I think. People think I’m writing poetry but it’s just the way I think. There’s no mystery, I read the news and if there’s somebody I want to take the piss out of, I do it. “I started tweeting about the LGBT community because I know sod all about it. A lot of kids here have issues with who they are and, if they asked me questions, I did not have a clue so I got to understand a lot more.” He did not grow up in a political household and wasted his final year at school because they suddenly raised the leaving age to 16. Although infamous for being a binman before joining Everton, it is his hod-carrying job that had most impact. It built up his strength and kept him fit. If he was not training on a Sunday morning he would go on to the building site and set up the bricks so that Monday morning could be more efficient. It is where he found his work ethic. His most treasured football memory is the second leg of the Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final Southall sparked anger in 1990 when he stayed on the Goodison pitch alone at half-time annoyed with his display against Leeds against Bayern Munich in 1985, which Everton won 3-1 after the first leg had finished goalless. “Everyone I’d ever met in Liverpool was at the game,” he says. “Must have been 400,000 people in the stadium. We went 1-0 down and smashed them second half, physically and mentally. It’s the only game where I’ve known the crowd make a difference. For me, as a player, they made a difference that night. The club and the fans and the stadium just came together. The performance mirrored the city.” The best he ever played, though, was, he insists, for Wales in a 7-1 defeat by Holland in 1996. The team were a mess, preparation had been a joke but he is proud that he kept on trying. “It would have been easy to give up,” he says, which leads us nicely to his view of how the game has developed since he stopped playing 16 years ago. He watches all of Everton’s matches but finds a lot else boring and avoids the preamble for televised games because, “what’s the point?” He is not much of a fan of the post-match offering either. “Managers are not proper football people any more because they’re frightened to death of losing their job,” he says. “They think they can cling on a bit longer by talking complete bollocks. “The Premier League is so much up its own arse it’s ridiculous. They don’t seem to grasp it’s about the people who watch every week.” Unsurprisingly, he is not a fan of VAR. A lack of computer analysis never cost anyone the title, he says, and he worries about the future, about the game becoming like American football and the times | Saturday February 3 2018 5 2GS Sport MURRAY SANDERS/DAILY MAIL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK Puel: players will welcome back good man Mahrez Steve Madeley Claude Puel says that Leicester City’s players will welcome Riyad Mahrez back if he ends his self-imposed exile, and the manager has urged the club’s supporters to do the same. Mahrez will miss today’s Premier League game at home to Swansea City to “clear his head” but Puel insists that the Algerian is a “good man” who will be embraced by his team-mates when he returns to work. Some players were understood to have been unhappy with Mahrez’s decision to miss three successive training sessions and Wednesday’s Premier League defeat by Everton. Puel, however, believes that they will put the saga behind them once Leicester begin to reintegrate Mahrez into the squad. The timescale for that process was no clearer last night, with Puel refusing to say when he expects him back in training — or if the midfielder will be involved next weekend against Manchester City, the club whose bids on Tuesday and Wednesday triggered the stand-off between player and club. “Of course, [there will be] no problem when he will come back with us, with a good feeling for all the people,” Puel said. “Riyad is a good player but he is a good man also. I respect him. It’s important to manage this with calm inside the club.” Asked how Mahrez has missed three successive training sessions being dictated to by adverts. Soon, he says, teams will be able to bring on specialist corner-kick takers and then take them off again. The rift between what fans like and what they are offered could be healed if the chairmen went on the pitch at the start of the season and told fans what they planned to do. “Why do they hide behind all that political bullshit?” he asks. I do not dare mention prawn sandwiches. Southall sits with his mates in the stands at Goodison and rarely ventures into the posh seats. The last time that he was in the directors’ box they complained that he was wearing tracksuit bottoms. “I don’t think we have a magnificent relationship, to be fair,” he says. “I don’t think Bill Kenwright [the Everton chairman] particularly likes me because I say what I think. But whatever I say is what the fans are thinking. “I hope Everton take a real good look at their new ground and be the first community ground where they have a homeless shelter on the side.” He has little time for players who cannot last 90 minutes given they have access to best the physios and dieticians. “They’ve taken everything away from a footballer that he has to worry about and they still can’t perform. “Pitches have to be perfect, everything has to be perfect. Why? You’re fit. Run. The game has to reflect the people on the terraces. They work their bollocks off to go to the games. “They don’t want to see players with their socks over their knees in pink boots. They want to see people run through a brick wall for the advice to premier league goalkeepers “I’d like to mentor some goalies so they could phone up and talk to me. But somebody has got to want you to do it and I’m not with a club. I could change a goalkeeper on the phone as well as I could change them on the training ground. It’s 90 per cent mental and 10 per cent physical.” So, who might be on the line? slow in picking things up, he’s too slow in the game. He came in and made a few mistakes so now he’s got that reputation of being shit but over time, when he gets the speed of the Premier League, he’ll be OK. wayne hennessey, right I look at him and think he could be ten times better if he could just move quicker. jordan pickford He can learn a lot. He kicks the ball miles and really hard all the time. Why? You have to vary your service. Play it into feet sometimes. loris karius You look at the Liverpool pair and think . . . no. With Karius, his decision-making is not bad. He’s just too joe hart At times he overconcentrates, at times he lets his emotions get the better of him, at times he goes for the ball with two hands when it’s better to go with one. team. You might be shit or have a bad game, but the least you can do is run.” This is why he has time for Pep Guardiola, who may have the most expensively assembled team but makes sure that Manchester City work hard and compete intensely. Southall has less time for Guardiola’s “stupid” complaint last week that his players needed protection from Cardiff City’s tackling in their FA Cup fourth-round tie. “If I’m playing against Kevin De Bruyne and I’m not as good as him, then I’m going to smash him because that’s my job for the team,” he says. “I don’t give a shit how much he cost because my loyalty is to my team. It’s no good whingeing. What would he do in the same position? Say, ‘I ain’t going to tackle him because he’s better than me?’ I’m surprised there weren’t more tackles from Cardiff.” Southall believes in a more equitable society — “I thought the idea of a state was to treat everyone as family”— and his views are an amalgam of his experiences. “What these kids have had all their lives is people shouting at them,” he says. “I’ve been in enough dressing rooms where the manager is shouting and seen people switching off.” He looks at the world and sighs. We discuss why there are so many houses left without adequate flood defences. Why are the roads in a mess? Why have double glazing when we have global warming? “Why can’t we get the old double-decker buses, put beds in them and drive around to the homeless people?” he asks. He would go down a storm on Question Time. supporters should react to Mahrez’s actions, Puel said: “He is a valuable and crucial player for us who gave his best for Leicester — for the fans and the team. “I am sure he can come back with the same feeling. In the beginning we need to understand and after help him to come back quickly. All the staff, especially all the squad, they are his friends.” Puel refused to be drawn on whether Mahrez will be fined or disciplined for his actions, but those decisions are expected to be put on hold while the club attempt to smooth over the problems of the past few days. Leicester refused City’s highest offer of £50 million for Mahrez plus an unnamed player, valued by the Etihad Stadium hierarchy at £15 million. Leicester valued Mahrez at a minimum of £80 million, and City’s decision to end the bidding left Mahrez stuck at the King Power Stadium and informing club officials that he was not in the right frame of mind to train or play. Puel confirmed: “Riyad will not be available for this game [against Swansea]. I think the club took this decision in the best interests of Leicester. We need to respect this decision. It is the best decision for the squad. We will reassess Riyad when he has cleared his head. “It’s a tough situation for us and we need to manage it, but after this transfer window it is important to move on and keep our focus on the game. All of this is a situation we need to manage but all of the details will stay inside the club. “It will be dealt with inside the club and not in public. I hope he can come back happy and he can find the smile with his team-mates.” 6 2GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Football West Ham sack recruitment director Nick Szczepanik West Ham United sacked their director of recruitment yesterday over his reported criticism of the attitude of African players. It had been claimed that Tony Henry had said in a leaked email to an agent and club official that West Ham were no longer interested in signing African players because they “can have a bad attitude” and “caused mayhem” if they were not in the side. A club statement read: “West Ham United have today terminated the contract of director of player recruit- ment, Tony Henry, with immediate effect following his unacceptable comments that were widely reported in the press. Our action follows a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination. “The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.” Henry reportedly said that the allegations were “nothing racist at all”, but the FA will investigate the matter. David Moyes, the West Ham manager, had described the allegations as “a massive shock” and denied any suggestion that Henry’s comments reflected his own attitude. The proof, Moyes insisted, was that he had been trying to sign Cameroonian-born Ibrahim Amadou from Lille and Algeria striker Islam Slimani from Leicester City before the transfer window closed on Wednesday night. Henry, he said, had been involved in discussions in which the two were targeted. “If we were signing two African players on deadline day, you would have to say, ‘Well, it’s incorrect and wrong.’ ” Moyes said. “You can see the players we have signed, the club has signed over the years. We sign good quality players, the best we can get. It doesn’t matter where they are from.” Moyes and Henry go back a long way. Henry had been Everton’s chief scout when Moyes was manager at Goodison Park, leaving in 2013 and joining West Ham in 2014. But Moyes defended his own track record of signing and playing African footballers at Everton. “Yakubu, [Joseph] Yobo, [Steven] Pienaar, we signed a boy, [Magaye] Gueye, Victor Anichebe — they were all very much part of our environment and very important players for me,” he said. “I signed Steven Pienaar three times.” After the transfers this week of Diafra Sakho, of Senegal, to Rennes and André Ayew, of Ghana, to Swansea City, West Ham have only two African-born players in their first-team squad in Cheikhou Kouyaté, of Senegal, and Arthur Masuaku, of DR Congo. However, others are of African descent and Moyes said that he had approached some of them in an attempt to clear the air before today’s match away to Brighton & Hove Albion. “I had a frank conversation with them, but it will remain private,” Moyes said. “The players have worked really well. I’ve spoken to one or two of them and hopefully we can move on.” He admitted that the reports had been an unwelcome distraction while the team attempt to move further away from the relegation places. “We’ve got some good results in the last month or two, we’re trying to be positive, we’re trying to give everybody at the club a real lift and we’re trying to show the supporters that we’re doing things the right way and I think in the main most of them would agree with that. And we want to try and do that, we want to keep it going. But obviously we don’t need incidents that have happened recently.” origin of signings in premier league era British and European African South American Others Arsenal 79% 10.6% 7.8% 2.1% 78.2% 80% 8.6% 0% 0% 10% 13% 10% Burnley 89.7% 2.5% 0% 7.6% Chelsea 76.9% 7.8% 12.9% 2.2% Crystal Palace Bournemouth Brighton 88.2% 7.4% 2.1% 2.1% Everton 84% 7.9% 2.4% 5.5% Huddersfield 70% 20% 0% 10% 3.8% Leicester 87.5% 5.7% 2.8% Liverpool 80.6% 8.5% 9% 1.7% Manchester City 75.5% 5% 15.2% 3.9% Manchester United 77.2% 5.45% 10.9% 6.36% Newcastle 80.1% 85.7% 9.31% 6.4% 6.83% 5% 3.72% 2.85% 77% 83.3% 13.5% 2.7% 6.75% 4.54% 6.81% 4.54% 5.68% Southampton Stoke Swansea Tottenham 76.7% 7.5% 10.79% Watford West Brom 83.6% 81.25% 8.19% 3.75% 8.19% 5% 0% 10% West Ham 77.89% 7.89% 5.78% 8.42% Walcott bond eased move Paul Joyce Northern Football Correspondent Theo Walcott’s strong relationship with Arsenal enabled Everton to recruit him at a discounted fee of £20 million in a January market in which prices for other players continued to spiral. The winger returns to the Emirates Stadium today assured of a warm welcome having ended a 12-year stay last month to get regular firstteam football. Walcott, right, has hit the ground running at Everton with an assist on debut in a 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion and two goals on Wednesday sealing a 2-1 win over Leicester City. The challenge for the 28-yearold is to maintain that impact, but his price tag sits favourablyy alongside the £18 million thatt Swansea City paid West Ham United for André Ayew and the £21 million Everton paid Besiktas for Cenk Tosun, thee Turkey striker who was an unused d substitute in midweek. Sam Allardyce, the Everton manager, believes that the fee was, in part, due to Walcott’s bond with Arsenal and Arsène Wenger. “There are no easy negotiations with Arsenal, but the insistence for the first time ever from Theo that he wanted to leave, plus the respect they have for each other and the service he gave probably was a factor,” Allardyce said. “He was not a troublesome player who would throw the toys out of the pram. That respect between him and p the club resulted in the move.” Meanwhile, Davy Klaassen saw a proposed loan move to Napoli scuppered by a dispute over image rights on deadline day. Klaassen, the Dutch midfielder, will continue tto train with Everton’s ffirst-team squad. 6 Oxford United have been given permission to speak to David Unsworth, the Everton Under-23 coach, about their U vvacant managerial position. The League One club want Th Unsworth, who had a spell in interim U charge of Everton before Allardyce’s appointment, to replace Pep Clotet. the times | Saturday February 3 2018 7 2GS Sport PAUL JENKINS/GETTY IMAGES Teams want to butcher us, says Sterling Paul Hirst Raheem Sterling has launched an angry tirade against referees by claiming that they are allowing Manchester City’s players to be “butchered” on the pitch. Sterling added his name to the list of City players angry at what they believe is a brutal and unfair campaign to stop them in their tracks as they look to clinch an unprecedented quadruple. Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva have already criticised Bobby Madley’s failure to send off Matt Phillips for a studs-up challenge on Brahim Díaz during City’s 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday. That incident came three days after Leroy Sané was ruled out for between six and seven weeks with ankle ligament damage caused by a reckless challenge by Joe Bennett, the Cardiff City defender. Pep Guardiola said that his “artists” needed more protection from such challenges and Sterling echoes his manager’s thoughts. “I feel that we haven’t been protected enough in certain situations,” Sterling said. “Some of the challenges have been awful. It’s not what I expect to see in a top-flight football match — especially when teams are losing and just go out to kick players. “There are going to be challenges that are badly timed and probably not all of them are intentional, but at the same time if it’s a dangerous tackle, it’s a dangerous tackle, and I think the referees and officials need to cut these tackles out because as you can see some of the players are getting butchered out there and it’s sad to see. I feel we need to try and cut this out of the game.” James McClean was booked for a cynical attempt to hack down De Bruyne as he sprinted towards goal for City’s second on Wednesday. Allan Nyom escaped punishment for a sliding tackle on Kyle Walker, the City full back, and Sterling fears that one of his Sané feels the pain of being hacked down by Bennett in the FA Cup city’s wounded men Leroy Sané Suffered ankle ligament damage after a high tackle by Joe Bennett, of Cardiff City, in the FA Cup. He could miss seven weeks of action. Ilkay Gündogan Forced off after a heavy challenge by Claudio Yacob, of West Brom, in his first start of the season. Missed the next game and did not start another until seven games later. Ederson Needed eight stitches in his face after taking a boot to the face from Sadio Mané, of Liverpool. Wore protective headwear in training and was praised for his bravery by Pep Guardiola, the head coach. Kevin De Bruyne Was taken off on a stretcher in City’s 0-0 draw away to Crystal Palace after a late challenge by Jason Puncheon. After initial concerns he recovered in time for the next game. team-mates could be ruled out of the World Cup if referees do not clamp down on such tackles. “We’ve got a World Cup coming up and the majority of the players in the top flight and in our team will be playing in it and it would be sad to see someone miss the tournament due to a silly tackle and someone get away with it,” he said. “These tackles can happen — but it can’t be every game we’re getting two players coming in with injuries. “The tackle on Brahim was really harsh. It needs to be cut out, especially if it’s a high tackle, when the studs are up. Some of the tackles in the last few games should have been straight reds. Maybe the refs didn’t see it at the time but it can’t continue for the rest of the season.” City opened up a 15-point gap over Manchester United with the win over West Brom and Sterling insists that he and his team-mates can also win the Carabao Cup, the FA Cup and the Champions League this season. “We are going out to win every game and if that wins the quadruple then that’s what it does,” he said. Sterling has told opposition fans, including those from Liverpool, his former club, to carry on booing him because he is not affected by it. “The Liverpool one, I understand,” he said. “I’m a player that came through [the club] and they were massive for me. There is no love lost from my side towards them. But when I go to other grounds, I get booed and I think, ‘Why are you lot getting involved?’ “Sometimes you see it as a laugh. I don’t take it all seriously. But the one with hard feelings is with Liverpool. It’s a club I respect hugely for what they’ve done for me as a young player.” City will be given three days off after today’s match against Burnley. “From Saturday afternoon until Wednesday afternoon the doors of the CFA [City Football Academy] will be closed,” Guardiola said. “We need to not see each other.” Mourinho happy with referees Paul Hirst José Mourinho has contradicted Pep Guardiola over the standard of refereeing in England. The Manchester City head coach had said that his players do not get enough protection from officials after Joe Bennett, the Cardiff City defender, clattered into Leroy Sané with a sliding tackle that caused the German winger to suffer ankle ligament damage last weekend. Mourinho has had his grievances in the past but has no problem with this season’s performances. “I am happy with the level of performance I am having this season from the referees,” Mourinho said. “They made mistakes but I am happy. Man City and Pep comment about Man City. I am happy with the level of performance I am having with referees.” City can move 18 points clear of Manchester United with victory over Burnley this lunchtime. With City needing to win eight games to lift the title, Mourinho says the race is over. “They are doing so well they are not letting the others come close,” he said. “The fight is open for second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth but closed for first.” Mourinho has started thinking about how to overcome his old adversary next season. He said that there is a gulf between the two teams similar to that between his old Chelsea team and Sir Alex Ferguson’s United 12 years ago. Mourinho’s Chelsea beat United to the title by eight points in 2006 only for Ferguson to win the title three years in a row. “I remember when Sir Alex said at the end of the 2005-06 season, ‘We need to improve a lot’ because they have raised the bar,” Mourinho said. “Chelsea won two titles, and then the biggest manager in the league said Man United needed to improve a lot.” Mourinho will be without Marouane Fellaini for “a few weeks” because of the knee injury he suffered against Tottenham Hotspur. “I told him,” he said. “Don’t gamble. Sign the contract before you know the extent of the injury.” Simeone snubs Chelsea as search goes on for new coach exclusive Matt Hughes, James Gheerbrant Chelsea have suffered a blow in their pursuit for a successor to Antonio Conte, with Diego Simeone making it known that he does not want to be considered for the head coach’s job at Stamford Bridge. The Times revealed last month that the Atletico Madrid coach had emerged as Chelsea’s preferred option as they made contingency plans, with the Premier League champions and Conte expected to part company this summer. Yesterday, though, Conte reaffirmed his intention to see out the remaining year and a half on his contract. Simeone has made it clear through intermediaries that he does not see his future at Chelsea. He has two and a half years left on his contract with Atletico and will either stay to undertake what is expected to be a big rebuilding operation in the Spanish capital this summer or seek a move to Italy, where he has long been courted by his former club, Inter Milan. The main reason for Simeone’s rejection of Chelsea is his preference for a Latin lifestyle and reluctance to put in the work required to improve his English, which is limited. The 47-yearold would consider an approach from Manchester United because of the stature of the club, but José Mourinho signed a contract last month until 2020 — coincidentally when Simeone’s deal with Atletico is due to expire. The Times has learnt that Simeone held talks with United about replacing David Moyes in 2014 on the eve of Atletico’s Champions League semi-final with Chelsea. He was unwilling, though, to commit to them at that stage of the season, leading the club to turn to Louis van Gaal. Chelsea were already considering alternatives and will readdress their shortlist given Simeone’s unavailability. They are likely to focus on coaches who are out of work, avoiding the need to pay compensation. Luis Enrique, the Batshuayi’s brace Michy Batshuayi scored twice on debut for Borussia Dortmund last night, three days after joining on loan from Chelsea, as they beat Cologne 3-2. André Schürrle, the former Chelsea winger, also scored. former Barcelona coach, fits into that category because he is enjoying a sabbatical after leaving the Nou Camp last year, as does Carlo Ancelotti, their former manager, who would welcome the opportunity to return to the club. Conte signed a new deal last summer taking him up until July 2019, but this week Alessandro Costacurta, Conte’s former international team-mate who is now vice-commissioner of the FIGC, Italian football’s governing body, said that he would go to London to talk to the Chelsea coach about reprising his role as Italy coach. But Conte denied any interest in such overtures yesterday, saying: “My intention, my will, my desire is to respect this contract. Costacurta is a friend, but maybe he forgot that I still have 18 months of contract with Chelsea.” A 3-0 defeat by Bournemouth on Wednesday — Chelsea’s joint-worst loss under Conte — increased the scrutiny on him, but he said that he relished the pressure. “This season, the situation has always been a lot of pressure around me,” Conte said. “Maybe it is because this is Chelsea. For me the pressure is life. If I stay without pressure, I don’t like it. It’s no good for me or the players. When the situation is too calm, you risk being relaxed and to lose the anger, the fire.” The head coach confirmed that Andreas Christensen would miss Monday’s match against Watford with a hamstring injury and said that Álvaro Morata was no closer to returning from a back injury. “Álvaro is still out,” he said. “I hope to be able to solve his situation. For a problem in his back, he’s missing a lot of games, and this is not a good situation for me or the team. I hope that the medical department is able to solve this situation.” Conte said that he would not rush Emerson Palmieri or Olivier Giroud, his new signings, into the starting XI. “You have to try and make the best decisions to bring these two players to the best physical condition, and then work with them. It’s important to adapt them to our idea of football,” he said. 8 1GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Football ‘Eight midfielders but no left back For the first time since he left Swansea, Paul Clement opens up on management to Henry Winter T his has been the season of the shock managerial sacking. Eight and counting in the Premier League, starting with Frank De Boer after only four league games, then Craig Shakespeare, Ronald Koeman, Slaven Bilic, Tony Pulis, Paul Clement, Mark Hughes and Marco Silva. There are websites dedicated to the sack race, bookies have lists updated at the drop of a point, and banner headlines scream P45. Antonio Conte, head coach of the champions, Chelsea, could conceivably be next. “It’s not easy being a manager now,” Clement reflects in his first big interview since leaving Swansea City in December. “You fatigue a lot, mentally. As well as tactics and training, and the media looking for performers in press conferences, you’re counsellor to players and dealing with chairmen and owners. “With the demands of the Premier League, the importance of staying in it, how big every game is, the scrutiny, and analysis around every game, there is noise everywhere and there’s the keyboard warriors. Everyone has an opinion. It’s like that with owners and with fans. It’s an opinion that’s not based on deep knowledge of the profession, is it? “Defeats hurt me more than anybody, more than any fan, more than any player, more than any owner. You put all that effort in, all that planning, all that emotional time, physical effort, to get what you want and when you don’t get it, it’s hard. “I was under no illusions; the reason I got the sack was because the results weren’t good enough. One win in ten, bottom of the table. But the atmosphere around the training ground was good, my relationship with the players was good. “It’s interesting what’s happening now with [Carlos] Carvalhal [Clement’s successor] because it’s almost a carbon copy of what happened when I went in one year ago. I got that new manager bounce. I went four wins out of six, and he’s three out of five, almost identical. He’ll probably get manager of the month. I got manager of the month for January.” Clement kept Swansea up last season and was shortlisted for manager of the year. “Because they beat Arsenal and Liverpool [under Carvalhal], the perception is straightaway, ‘Oh maybe it wasn’t a problem with the players, the problem was me.’ Perception is unbelievable, how it can be shaped in people’s minds without knowing really the details behind everything.” Like recruitment. “The chairman [Huw Jenkins] is very passionate about the club,” Clement continues. “His idea of selling the club [controlling interest to the Americans Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien] was to get other people to take it on with further investment. Maybe that’s not happened at the level everyone thought. “The Swansea model is interesting. They got a lot of success and admirers for the football they played, and the way they did their business. But people catch you up. Other clubs are investing in a really high level now. Swansea’s investment is clear over the past five or six years — it is the lowest [in the league]. They have even got a [positive] net spend [this season], which is incredible for the Premier League, compared to other clubs. Other people are investing. Other people are doing really good stuff behind the scenes. You can’t stand still. “I felt the fans’ nervousness. At the time the results weren’t going well, they were more angry with the ownership, the chairman, the recruitment and the Gylfi Sigurdsson/Fernando Llorente situation. We lost two players who created and scored, and we replaced them with someone [Wilfried Bony] who had not played football for the last two years and was going to be a big gamble. There were mistakes made.” One mistake was the 36 days between Everton starting to woo Sigurdsson and his leaving the Liberty Stadium, a delay that ruined Clement’s hopes of bringing more significant talent in. “It was a big frustration,” he says. “It went on too long. I understand from the owners’ point of view they want to maximise revenue because he’s an asset, but at the same time you are eating away at time and potential targets are slipping through your fingers. From my point of view, that was a mistake. “I’d be lying if I said I had a player forced upon me at any point. But at the same time there was one player that I really wanted [Nacer Chadli, of West Bromwich Albion], and we didn’t get it over the line, and if we’d got him it would have made everything so much better. “We ended up with the squad that was not balanced. Take the left-back position. We sold [Stephen] Kingsley to Hull to get [Sam] Clucas, and ended up with one left back [Martin Olsson] and then he gets injured. For me that’s not a sensible way of planning your job strategically.” Swansea signed three central midfielders— Clucas, Roque Mesa and Renato Sanches — in the summer when they were well-stocked there. “So you have eight midfielders, three spots and a management headache.” He was hoping to build around Sanches, who arrived on loan from Bayern Munich. “I thought that was a massive coup for us, to attract a player of that level after what he’d done a summer earlier in the Euros [with Portugal],” Clement says. “I knew it would take some time. I was with him the first six months at Bayern [as assistant to Carlo Ancelotti], and he hadn’t played regularly. His physical condition was down. His confidence was down. When I called Bayern, [the chief executive Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge initially said to me, ‘There are ten other clubs in,’ and I left it. “It was only a couple of weeks later when I spoke to Carlo and asked, ‘Have you got any players for me?’ Tongue in cheek really, and he went, ‘Renato Sanches.’ Bayern really supported it. They thought he was going to a club who played football, and to a coach who would care and give him the attention he needs. “He wasn’t so keen initially. He thought he was going to go to Man United, Chelsea or Paris Saint-Germain. Bayern were saying, ‘You’re not going there, it would be the same situation, you’re not going to play.’ When he came, he was far more damaged than I thought. It was really sad. He was a boy who had almost got the weight of the world on his shoulders. “In training, when that pressure is not there, he was the best player. He could do things no one else could do. He’s got power, can go past people, got a shot on him. But then in games, I looked at the choices he was making, shooting from 45 yards on the angle, and he kept making those mistakes. “He had a desire to please and a desire to prove everybody wrong. He got in a vicious cycle of poor choices. The other players were saying, ‘He’s playing like that and you’re not picking me,’ so it became difficult to pick him.” Having worked, as Ancelotti’s assistant, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale at Real Madrid and Philipp Lahm and Robert Lewandowski at Bayern, Clement found himself trying to accentuate the skills and minds of lesser players, first at Derby County and then Swansea. “It was frustrating,” he says. “I liked the lads. They were good groups of professionals but that was a big thing for me: I went from Real Madrid to Derby and then from Bayern Munich to Swansea. “I have a really clear idea of how I’d like to play, and then you hear criticism that ‘the tactics are negative’. Well, OK, I was dealing with the players I have. They talk about ‘the Swansea way’, possession-based football. OK, then you open up and — whoosh — you get cut through by the big teams.” Clement has worked now under two systems: the Americans and Jenkins at Swansea and Mel Morris at Derby, where he lasted only 33 games, being dismissed with the team only five points off the top of the Sky Bet Championship. “At Derby, the chairman was very, very hands-on. One game, we’d drawn 1-1 with Reading, were still second, but we’d played really poorly and he [Morris] was really angry. “He’s gone into the dressing room and was shouting at the players, about spirit and playing for the shirt. We had a trip to Dubai organised for the following week, and on the way out, he said, ‘And you can forget that trip to Dubai, you can train here on the muddy pitches.’ The next game we got beat 3-0 at home by Birmingham. “His answer to me was along the lines of ‘create a siege mentality with the players, “we’ll show you” ’. It was bizarre. I don’t think that was a good combination at the time, a first-time manager, and he’s just taken ownership of the club. If you’re going to have a first-time manager, have an owner who’s got experience.” Gary Rowett is doing well with Derby, but Clement has a broader warning for homegrown coaches. “English coaches don’t have a good reputation and for me they never will until somebody, whether it is Gareth [Southgate] with the national team or whether it is one of the English coaches in the Premier League, goes and does something really special,” he says. “There’s big responsibility on Gareth. If he manages to crack it, which is really tough, then and only then will we start to get that reputation, like the Dutch have had in the past, the French, the Spanish, now the Germans. “I want to better myself as a manager. I’m going to see some other managers, people I really like and respect. I had a chat with Paul Lambert [the Stoke City manager] yesterday. I’m going to go and see Pep Guardiola at Man City. I will probably go back into the academy at Chelsea. I’ve got a visit to see Sir Alex [Ferguson] next month. I’m going to go with him to the Man United-Chelsea game. “I really hope I get another chance soon. I believe I have the ability to work at the top level. I’d consider working abroad again. Ideally it would be back in the Premier League, but it’s really tough now.” the times | Saturday February 3 2018 9 1GS Sport – it was a headache’ REUTERS/GETTY IMAGES Matt Hughes Football Notebook Wenger gets boost as key ally stays put A rsène Wenger has received a boost in the struggle for control of transfer policy at Arsenal, with Dick Law, the club’s chief negotiator, agreeing to stay on to provide advice during this summer’s transfer window before what is expected to be the Frenchman’s final season as manager. Raul Sanllehi is joining from Barcelona in the new role of head of football relations this month, and it was thought that he would be given sole charge of the summer window, but Law will also provide advice. The American is a long-term ally of Wenger, who has grudgingly been forced to accept changes to Arsenal’s recruitment model pushed on him by Ivan Gazidis, the chief executive. In addition to Sanllehi’s impending arrival, Sven Mislintat joined from Borussia Dortmund as chief scout in November after Huss Fahmy’s recruitment from Team Sky to deal with player contracts last summer. Law had been expected to sever ties with Arsenal after last month’s transfer window, but will instead help to plan Wenger’s final season in charge. Brighton cut betting link T “ Sanches was far more damaged than I thought. It was really sad. He got in a vicious cycle of poor choices Change of fortunes: Clement enjoyed a superb start to life at Swansea, but few things went his way this season, including the signing of Sanches, below left who’s best equipped to stay up Goal Threat Players with seven goals Defensive Change at top Fit squad Fixture woe Experience Stability New manager Five or more Facing four or 4+ seasons in Six clean sheets this season players injured more of big six present PL run Bourn’mouth.28pts Yes Wilson, seven No Five No Eddie Howe No Three No Three No Two Watford...........27pts Yes Doucouré, seven Yes Six Yes Javi Gracia Yes Six Yes Five No Two West Ham.....27pts No Arnautovic, six Yes Six Yes David Moyes Yes Five Yes Five Yes Five Crystal Palace.26pts No Milivojevic, five No Five Yes Roy Hodgson Yes Five Yes Four Yes Four Newcastle......24pts No Joselu, four No Five No Rafa Benítez No Two Yes Five No Zero Brighton.........24pts Yes Murray, seven Yes Eight No Chris Hughton No Three Yes Five No Zero Stoke.................24pts No Diouf, five No Four Yes Paul Lambert No None Yes Four Yes Nine Hudd’sfield...24pts No Depoitre, five Yes Seven No David Wagner Yes Five Yes Five No Zero So’ton...............23pts No Austin, six No Five No M Pellegrino No One Yes Four Yes Five Swansea.......23pts No Ayew, five Yes Seven Yes C Carvalhal No Three No Three Yes Six West Brom...20pts No Rodriguez, four Yes Seven Yes Alan Pardew No Two Yes Four Yes Seven ony Bloom, the Brighton & Hove Albion owner, has relinquished his stake in Starlizard Consulting, the UK’s biggest gambling syndicate, through which he built up much of his multibillion pound fortune. Marc Sugarman, a Brighton director, resigned his position as a Starlizard director last month after the resignation of Adam Franks as company secretary last summer, with the club seeking to cut its formal links to the gambling industry after promotion to the Premier League. Bloom remains a client of Starlizard and uses the data and modelling that it generates to bet on football, although not on games involving Brighton. Lower league lift T he record £454 million spent by Premier League clubs during the January transfer window will generate a bumper £18.1 million contribution to the pensions of players in the lower divisions. Under the little-known Premier League Transfer Levy, 4 per cent of total transfer fees are taken from the selling club and given to a fund that provides pensions for players in the Premier League and Football League. Palace turn to Moody I ain Moody, the former Crystal Palace sporting director who resigned four years ago after allegations that he sent sexist, racist and homophobic messages to Malky Mackay, the manager, during their spell at Cardiff City, has been advising the club on signings during the transfer window. Sapienza Football Consulting, Moody’s company, has extensive contacts and scouting expertise in Europe with Steve Parish, the Palace chairman, willing to give him a second chance and welcoming his involvement in their ultimately unsuccessful attempts to sign Ibrahim Amadou, the French centre back, from Lille this week. The trilingual Moody was also instrumental in Palace signing Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool last summer. After a lengthy investigation the FA took no action against Moody or Mackay on the grounds that they were sharing messages privately. TV deal coming soon P remier League clubs have been told to expect the outcome of the next auction of domestic TV rights the week after next. Broadcasters have been invited to submit sealed bids to the Premier League for the right to televise matches in the UK for three years from the start of the 2019-20 season by Monday, February 12, with the result to be published later that week. Sky Sports and BT Sport will bid to maintain their packages, which will increase to cover 200 live matches per season from 2019-20, but it is not yet known whether Amazon or Google, the internet giants, will bid. Premier League clubs are hoping for an increase on the £5.14 billion that they received for the present three-year deal, although are not expecting the growth to match the 71 per cent growth in value that they gained last time. Spurs spot on T ottenham Hotspur’s desire to preserve memories of White Hart Lane at the club’s new stadium will extend to marking the site of the old halfway line. Spurs plan to install a golden spot in the stadium’s South Stand to mark the position of the old centre circle. Pardew protects Sturridge Steve Madeley West Bromwich Albion will give Daniel Sturridge a reduced training schedule to try to ensure that their on-loan forward is fit to play matches in the rest of the Premier League season. Alan Pardew, the Albion head coach, says Sturridge will be treated with kid gloves in an effort to prevent the injury problems that have beset his career spoiling his time at The Hawthorns. Sturridge joined the Premier League’s bottom club on loan from Liverpool this week and hopes to make his first start against Southampton today, having made his debut as a second-half substitute away to Manchester City on Tuesday. “In the short term here he won’t be pushed in training. We will protect him and make sure he gets to the games,” Pardew said. “He will slowly build his stamina over the games. “He also knows he has a better chance of starting most games than at Liverpool. His focus is stronger as well. “We will be managing him maybe a bit more carefully in terms of everything. He has the World Cup and, if he is fresh and he hasn’t had a lot of game time, he could be a rare player who Gareth Southgate has who is fresh for the World Cup.” 10 2GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Football The ultimate Premier League guide 2017-18 How they stand 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 P Man City...................25 Man United..............25 Liverpool..................25 Chelsea.....................25 Spurs ........................ 25 Arsenal.....................25 Burnley......................25 Leicester.................. ...25 Everton......................25 Bournemouth .......... 25 Watford.....................25 West Ham.................25 Crystal Palace.......... 25 Newcastle................25 Brighton...................25 Stoke.........................25 Huddersfield...........25 Southampton..........25 Swansea...................25 West Brom...............25 Burnley v Manchester City W 22 16 14 15 14 12 9 9 8 7 7 6 6 6 5 6 6 4 6 3 D 2 5 8 5 6 6 8 7 7 7 6 9 8 6 9 6 6 11 5 11 L 1 4 3 5 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 10 11 13 11 13 13 10 14 11 F 73 49 57 45 49 46 20 37 28 28 33 31 23 23 18 25 19 25 18 19 A 18 18 29 19 22 34 22 34 40 36 44 43 38 35 34 50 44 36 36 34 GD 55 31 28 26 27 12 -2 3 -12 -8 -11 -12 -15 -12 -16 -25 -25 -11 -18 -15 Pts 68 53 50 50 48 42 35 34 31 28 27 27 26 24 24 24 24 23 23 20 Top scorers Harry Kane (Tottenham) 21, Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 19, Sergio Agüero (Man City) 17, Raheem Sterling (Man City) 14, Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd) 11, Jamie Vardy (Leicester) 11, Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) 11 Fantasy football tips: Walcott could prove a bargain at £7.2m The transfer window has shut, but what does it mean for Fantasy Premier League managers? Well here are two deals we like and two we don’t. the good Theo Walcott (Everton, midfielder, £7.2 million). Two goals and an assist in his two games since moving plus five shots on target, four more than any other Everton player. Desperate to impress Gareth Southgate. Islam Slimani (Newcastle, forward, £6.6m). One of the best headers of the ball, the 6ft 2in striker should thrive on the set-piece prowess of Matt Ritchie. With Joselu and Dwight Gayle offering little, he should get his chance. the bad Daniel Sturridge (West Brom, forward, £7.9m). We all know what he can do, but how can you trust a player with such a history of injuries? When he is fit, Sturridge is a potential threat to the game time of Jay Rodriguez (£5.5m). Emerson Palmieri (Chelsea, defender, £5.5m). Marcos Alonso (£7.4m) has been an FPL hero since October 2016, getting forward, scoring free kicks and keeping clean sheets. This could mean rotation for FPL’s most dangerous defender. 6For free weekly FPL advice sign up at the times.co.uk/fantasy football Don’t miss a goal this season BURNLEY Injured Heaton, Defour, Brady, Walters, Marney Doubt Wood (4-4-1-1) Pope Bardsley Long Mee Taylor Gudmundsson Cork Westwood Hendrick Agüero B Silva Gündogan Fernandinho De Bruyne Zinchenko Laporte Stones Sat 3pm highlights available at 5.15pm Highlights of Uefa Champions League, Europa League and the FA Cup Burnley v Raheem Sterlingg 13 City have won their past 13 domestic games against teams with a B initial Barnes Sterling Phil Bardsley MANCHESTER CITY Injured Mendy, Delph, Foden, Sané, Jesus Doubt D Silva Arfield Walker FINK TANK PREDICTION H 12% D 20% A 69% Ederson Away win 2/7 (4-3-3) Referee M Atkinson (17 games) 4 57 Last 5 Bur DLLLD Manchester City Years between Phil Bardsley completing a loan oan spell at Burnley (in 2006, 6, while hester owned by Manchester United) and joining ng Burnley permanently last summer MC DWLWW Bournemouth v Stoke Today 3pm TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm BOURNEMOUTH Injured B Smith, Mings, Defoe (4-2-3-1) Begovic Francis S Cook Aké Gosling Ibe STOKE Doubt Jesé, Johnson Daniels L Cook King 2 Josh King goals for Bournemouth in 20 league games this season, yet he scored 14 in past 20 games last term Stanislas Wilson Adam Shaqiri Allen Pieters Shawcross Fletcher Zouma FINK TANK PREDICTION H 49% D 23% A 27% Bauer Butland Referee P Tierney (9 games) 0 24 11 Goals per game for Sterling in the he Premier League ague Away win 3/1 (4-3-3) Bou WDWDW Sto LLLWD Brighton v West Ham Today 3pm Before this season: 0.19 (31 goals in 159 games) TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Radio talkSPORT 2, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm BRIGHTON Injured Brown, Locadia, Sidwell (4-4-1-1) Ryan Duffy Schelotto Dunk WEST HAM Injured Arnautovic, Lanzini, Obiang, Fernandes, Carroll Doubt Reid Suspended Masuaku Bong Stephens Pröpper Izquierdo March Gross 7 West Ham league games in a row in which they have scored and conceded Murray Hugill Hernández João Mário Noble Kouyaté Zabaleta FINK TANK PREDICTION H 34% Collins D 28% A 38% Cresswell Ogbonna Rice Adrián Draw 2/1 (5-3-2) Referee R East (11 games) 1 35 Bri DDLLD Leicester v Swansea WH WDWDD Today 3pm TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm LEICESTER Injured Morgan (4-2-3-1) Schmeichel Simpson Dragovic Maguire Watch every Premier League goal first on The Times phone app. Get goal video clips and highlights of every big match Head ead to head TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Live updates Choupo-Moting Diouf Charlie Scott, Paddy von Behr The Sweeper Today 12.30pm James Gray SWANSEA Injured McBurnie, Sanches Doubt A Ayew Ineligable King Fuchs Ndidi Albrighton Okazaki 4 Years since Andre Ayew (just joined brother Jordan at Swansea) played in same team (for Marseilles, Nov 2013) Vardy J Ayew Clucas Ki Fer Olsson Van der Mawson Fernández Hoorn Dyer FINK TANK PREDICTION Naughton H 53% D 26% A 21% Fabianski Away win 19/5 (5-4-1) Referee A Taylor (16 games) 0 64 Lei LWDWL Swa WLDWW ason: This season: 0.611 als in (14 goals mes) 23 games) Ra Raheem aheem Sterling, the Manchester City M forward, fo orward, has improved his scoring rate h cconsiderably this sseason the times | Saturday February 3 2018 11 2GS Sport In association with By Bill Edgar Manchester United v Huddersfield Today 3pm TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm (4-2-3-1) De Gea Valencia Smalling Rojo Matic Lingard Shaw Pogba Depoitre Pritchard Van La Parra Billing (4-2-3-1) HUDDERSFIELD Injured Cranie, Stankovic, Kachunga, Williams, Löwe Bellerín FINK TANK PREDICTION H 82% D 12% A 6% Mooy Schindler Malone MANCHESTER UNITED Injured Bailly, Blind, Ibrahimovic Doubt Fellaini 1 Huddersfield first-half goal difference since they met United in October; second-half figure in that period is minus 22 Lukaku Zanka Hadergjonaj Lossl Referee S Attwell (10 games) 1 35 MU DWWWL Hud DLLLL West Brom v Southampton Today 3pm TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm Foster Dawson McAuley Hegazi SOUTHAMPTON Injured Austin Nyom Rodriguez Sturridge Long Gabbiadini 7 Years since a top-flight team ended in top half then went down next season (Birmingham); West Brom can repeat that Boufal Davis Hojbjerg WardProwse Bertrand Hoedt Stephens Cédric FINK TANK PREDICTION H 42% D 29% A 29% Referee M Oliver (20 games) Re WB DLWDL Sou DLDDD Answer in The Game on Monday ? 4 72 Na Name the season Can you work out which sea season this table is from? P Manchester United Chelsea Arsenal Liverpool R Reading B Birmingham City D Derby County 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 Iwobi W 27 25 24 21 10 8 1 D 6 10 11 13 6 11 8 L 5 3 3 4 22 19 29 F 80 65 74 67 41 46 20 A 22 26 31 28 66 62 89 Pts 87 85 83 76 36 35 11 Bill Ed Edgar’s weekend numbers Harry Maguire M has pushed his case to play for England at this summer summer’s World Cup with an outstanding season for Leicester City Most com completed Premier League dribbles this season by players who w normally play in centre back pairing Mkhitaryan Özil Sigurdsson Davies Rooney Walcott Jack Stephens Southampton 12 FINK TANK PREDICTION H 69% D 18% A 13% Gueye Martina Jagielka Keane Kenny Pickford Home win 3/10 (4-1-4-1) Referee N Swarbrick (15 games) 0 38 Ars DDLWL Crystal Palace v Newcastle (4-3-3) Hennessey Tomkins Sakho Van Aanholt McArthur Cabaye Milivojevic Townsend Benteke Zaha Eve LLLDW Tomorrow 2.15pm Pérez FINK TANK PREDICTION H 45% D 26% A 29% Shelvey Clark NEWCASTLE Injured Lejeune, Gámez Doubt Slimani Murphy Diamé Dummett CRYSTAL PALACE Injured Schlupp, Dann, Loftus-Cheek, Puncheon, Sako, Wickham 15 Age of Newcastle manager Rafael Benítez when Palace’s Roy Hodgson began his first managerial job Joselu Lascelles Darlow Yedlin Draw 9/4 (4-2-3-1) Referee A Marriner (17 games) 2 45 CP DWWLD Liverpool v Tottenham New DWDLD Tomorrow 4.30pm TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Live updates (4-3-3) LIVERPOOL Injured Klavan, Clyne Doubt Lallana Karius Gomez Lovren Van Dijk Robertson OxladeChamberlain Henderson Can Salah Firmino Mané Son Alli Eriksen Dembélé Dier Sánchez Davies Vertonghen TOTTENHAM Doubt Aurier, Alderweireld, Winks 3 Alli goals in past 21 league games for Spurs, after 14 in his previous 21 Kane 33 14 74% Live Premier League games this season that have featured at least one “big-six” team Niasse Harry Maguire Leicester Ahmed Hegazi West Brom EVERTON Injured Baines, Funes Mori, McCarthy, Stekelenburg Lacazette Home win 31/20 (4-4-2) Monreal Ramsey Kenedy McCarthy 1 2 3 4 18 19 20 Xhaka FosuMensah Brunt Phillips Krychowiak Barry Koscielny Mustafi TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio BBC 5 Live Sports Extra, Times app Live updates WEST BROM Injured Chadli, Morrison Doubt Gibbs, Evans (4-4-2) ARSENAL Injured Welbeck, Cazorla Doubt Aubameyang, Wilshere Cech Away win 18/1 (4-2-3-1) Today 5.30pm TV Live, BT Sport 1, Radio talkSPORT, Times app Live updates Rashford Sánchez Ince Arsenal v Everton Trippier FINK TANK PREDICTION H 47% D 25% A 29% Lloris Draw 27/10 (4-2-3-1) Referee J Moss (18.7 games) 2 69 Liv WWWLW Watford v Chelsea Tot WDWDW Monday 8pm TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Live updates (4-2-3-1) WATFORD Injured Gomes, Kiki Femenia, Britos, Kaboul, Cathcart, Chalobah Doubt Hughes Suspended Ndong Karnezis Mariappa Prödl Kabasele Holebas Cleverley Deulofeu CHELSEA Injured Christensen, Morata Capoue Doucouré Richarlison 5 Top-flight clubs for Moses (Chelsea’s Nigerian), the most for any present foreign top-flight player (also Wigan, Liverpool, Stoke, West Ham) Deeney Willian Hazard Alonso Bakayoko Rüdiger Pedro Kanté Luiz Moses FINK TANK PREDICTION H 10% D 17% A 73% Azpilicueta Courtois Home win 9/2 (3-4-3) Referee M Dean (17 games) 1 65 Wat LLDLD Che WDDWL Percentage chances of Southampton's Premier League finishing position 1 Start of the season 2 Now 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% Why Southampton’s decision to sack Puel was bonkers Daniel Finkelstein The Fink Tank Why do you fire a manager? The end comes when the board feels that performance has fallen below the level to be expected of a club of that stature. Often one excellent season persuades a club that they are better than they really are, and in the next campaign, when results return towards the mean, the manager pays the price. Last season, Claude Puel did so for a Southampton campaign that was lumpy, with a long tail-end of defeats. But he had already won enough that his side — who he had also taken to a Wembley cup final — finished eighth. A hard look at the data suggests that the decision was, to use the sort of technical term of which the Fink Tank is fond, bonkers. The modelling done by Henry Stott, Mark Latham and Dinesh Vatvani shows that, at the end of Puel’s term, Southampton’s underlying class ranking, reflecting a weighted measure of goals and shots on target, was eighth. And now it is 14th. The ranking that Puel achieved was the stable position that Southampton reached after a burst of improvement after the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino. The pattern of his last season repeats that of Ronald Koeman in both 2014-15 and 2015-16, in other words a strong start and a weak finish. The decision that this time that outcome was not good enough is mystifying. Just to give an idea of the scale of the decline, Southampton have been better than Crystal Palace for almost the whole of the past decade but our underlying measure now has Palace overtaking them. There isn’t one obvious area of deterioration. For the past five years, the defence and attack of Southampton have been ranked about the same as each other. This remains the case; it’s just that both have got worse. They are firing fewer shots at goal and getting fewer of them on target but the conversion rate between shots on target and goals remains the same. Southampton had better hope that, this time, under Mauricio Pellegrino, their poor season start is accompanied by a great season’s end, in an inversion of their recent pattern. Having started the campaign with a 1.7 per cent chance of a Champions League spot and a 1.2 per cent chance of relegation, they now have effectively a zero chance of the top four and a 35.3 per cent chance of relegation. We are now expecting them to gain 36 points while at the beginning of the season we expected 53 points. That is the biggest drop of any club in the Premier League. So well done everyone, it has all worked out fine. 12 3G S Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Football Oliver Kay Chief Football Correspondent Forget Sánchez, let’s hear it for Hugill R arely, outside of match day, will you see a footballer looking so excited. Standing on the touchline at an empty London Stadium, left arm outstretched in selfie mode, he pressed “record”. “Hi, I’m Jordan Hugill,” he shouted, wide-eyed. “Can’t wait to walk out here with . . . all the bubbles! Come on you Irons!” West Ham United posted that video on their Twitter feed at 11.33pm on Wednesday, 33 minutes after the transfer deadline passed. For many of their fans, it was the first glimpse of their new £10 million signing from Preston North End. Most responded by posting supportive messages, welcoming him, but plenty of others reacted with a combination of derision and dismay, eager to let the club — and thus also the player — know that this was not acceptable on a day that Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur had signed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Olivier Giroud and Lucas Moura respectively. It was a snapshot that said something about English football in 2018: the clamour for transfer business but, with it, the certainty that a guy whose CV features Seaham Red Star, Whitby Town and Gateshead, as well as Port Vale, Tranmere Rovers, Hartlepool United and Preston, is not good enough. Other West Ham supporters sent Hugill tweets to tell him to ignore the noisy minority, saying that he was merely being caught in the crossfire directed at an unpopular board, but then again there had been a similar social media reaction a few days earlier to Liverpool’s announcement of a £200,000 deal to sign Tony Gallacher, an 18-year-old full back, from Falkirk. “Announce Mahrez or Lemar,” was a popular retort. At the same time as West Ham were announcing the Hugill deal, Sky Sports News, its yellow “breaking news” ticker still going strong, launched a poll to ask who was the best Premier League acquisition of the January transfer window. More than 111,000 votes were cast, just over half of them for Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal, £55.4 million). Next came Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal to Manchester United, player-exchange deal), then Virgil van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool, £75 million) and Moura (Paris Saint-Germain to Tottenham Hotspur, £25 million). Manchester City supporters demanded to know why Aymeric Laporte (£57 million from Athletic Bilbao) was not an option. Chelsea laughed at the omission of Giroud (£18 million from Arsenal). These, of course, are the deals that make the big noise, the ones that are given the overblown treatment on social media, regarded not as a means to an end but, increasingly, as an end in themselves. United gave the impression in the summer of 2016 that they spent more time thinking about how they were going to announce the world-record signing of Paul Pogba than what they were going to do to optimise his talents on the pitch once they had got him there. A season and a half on, certain questions persist about the wisdom of that £89 million deal, so you might have to forgive this correspondent a little scepticism about the signings of Sánchez, Van Dijk, Aubameyang and the rest while hoping that Hugill, a rare example these days of a player plucked from the second tier, let alone those below, proves his doubters wrong. Apart from Van Dijk, Laporte and Aubameyang, the list of the top ten most expensive deals in Premier League history contains Pogba, Romelu Lukaku (Everton to United, £75 million, potentially rising to £90 million), Ángel Di María (Real Madrid to United, £59.7 million), Álvaro Morata (Real to Chelsea, £58 million), Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg to City, £55 million), Benjamin Mendy (Monaco to City, £52 million), Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, £50 million). Plenty of those are a work in progress, but it is fair to suggest that Di María and Torres were immensely disappointing and that, of the remainder, the only deal that is so far looking like an inspired, intelligent piece of business is that for De Bruyne, which also happened to be the one that attracted least noise at the time — except, that is, for the noise of pundits such as Paul Merson calling it a “joke” that City were spending so much on a player who was “out of his depth at Chelsea”. The point is that it is not just about the size of the talent, the profile or the price tag. So many other factors determine the success or otherwise of an acquisition. Aubameyang was a prolific goalscorer during his four and a half years at Dortmund and should, in theory, thrive on the service of Mesut Özil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Arsenal, but there is no guarantee for an unpredictable character joining a squad in a state of flux; Sánchez will bring United qualities that they lack, but adding another right-footed, left-sided forward to the squad would seem to throw up more questions than answers; Van Dijk has already demonstrated the truth of what Jürgen Klopp said in September about how Liverpool’s frailties in defence would not be solved simply by adding another player; Moura is an extravagant talent but one who could just as easily infuriate Mauricio Pochettino, who does not like mavericks, as invigorate Tottenham. Always, though, the clamour is for big-name signings. “Spend some f***ing money”, “Announce Mahrez or Lemar”. That is both understandable and inevitable when Premier League clubs, with so L much wealth at their m disposal, have a duty to Hugill’s signing caused some derision but he is young and hungry and fits in to Moyes’s new culture at West Ham invest in the best talent they can find, but it does not mean that spending will bring improvement, let alone success. It needs to be well thought out. Adding the wrong player, one whose talent is not matched by application, can be more damaging than doing nothing at all. Returning to where we began, West Ham sold two of their senior centre forwards in the January transfer window (Diafra Sakho to Rennes and André Ayew to Swansea City) and signed Hugill, totally untried at Premier League level, to replace them. The subject is complicated by the emergence of those alarming reports of an email in which Tony Henry, the club’s head of player recruitment, told an agent that “we don’t want any more Africans” because “we find that when they are not in the team, they cause mayhem”. Those comments, for which Henry has been sacked, are so egregious and so wildly misguided as to be beneath contempt. If you were going to make a list of West Ham’s “difficult” players over recent years — or even over the three and a half years in which Henry has been overseeing their transfer operation, with little success — it would certainly not start or finish with those of African origin. It has looked a dysfunctional squad, but then again it is an increasingly dysfunctional club, playing under aloof ownership, in front of disenfranchised supporters at a soulless new stadium. It has not looked like an environment in which many players will thrive. David Moyes is trying to change the culture of that squad — not with the type of racial profiling that Henry’s comments call to mind, but by bringing in younger, hungrier players. Hugill, who has fought his way up from non-League football, through the divisions with Port Vale and Preston, is part of that. “You are going to get nothing less than 100 per cent from me week in, week out,” he told the supporters in his first interview. “It’s a new challenge for me, playing in the Premier League, but they are going to get nothing less than 100 per cent.” That should come as standard in the Premier League, but it doesn’t — not often enough, anyway. Nobody can state with supreme confidence that Hugill, 23 goals in 100 appearances in the Sky Bet Championship for Preston, will rise to the challenge at West Ham, but what is certain, according to some of those who have worked with him, is that his attitude and his commitment to selfimprovement will give him a chance. He was far from the most talented player to move clubs on transfer deadline day, but talent and reputation alone do not guarantee success, as the litany of disappointing big-money signings in the Premier League indicates. Ameobi lifts Bolton and deepens Bristol City’s despair Bolton Ameobi 71 Bristol City 1 0 2 1 0 Sky Bet Championship Ian Whittell Sammy Ameobi’s superb counterattack goal continued Bristol City’s woes since their Carabao Cup victory over Manchester United in December and lifted Bolton Wanderers out of the relegation zone. Lee Johnson’s side have won just two of eight league games since that victory, the latest blow to their promotion hopes coming after 70 minutes when Derik broke up a City attack on the edge of his area, found Ameobi on the halfway line and the striker advanced before finishing expertly from 25 yards. The sale of their leading scorer, Gary Madine, to Cardiff City, for £6 million on deadline day, was a major gamble for Bolton yet, long before his heroics, Ameobi gave them hope as he curled an early shot just wide of the goal. “There is no doubt Sammy can replace Gary,” Phil Parkinson, the Bolton manager, said. “He’s played in the Premier League and has been great for us since he’s been here. “People have written us off all season; before the start, after our bad start, and again after selling our top scorer. Tonight, I felt people were patting us on the back, saying ‘Unlucky Phil!’ We’ve just got to prove them wrong again.” Bristol City could point to a strong early penalty claim, after the Bolton goalkeeper Ben Alnwick clashed with Bobby Reid, and two missed chances for Famara Diédhiou. But the scoreline might have been worse if the Bolton substitute Zach Clough, making his second “debut” after signing on loan from Nottingham Forest, had not blazed over from 15 yards. “Our run is not a concern, apart from the performance today,” Johnson said. “I was disappointed. Dare I say it, it looked like they wanted it a little bit more than us. We played like we were posing. That’s what annoys me.” Table, page 19 Bolton Wanderers (3-4-3): B Alnwick — D Dervite, D Wheater, M Beevers — M Little (sub: F Morais 79min), Derik, K Henry, A Robinson — T Walker (sub: Z Clough 57), S Ameobi, J Vela. Substitutes not used M Howard, A Taylor, A Le Fondre, W Buckley, J Flanagan. Booked Dervite, Ameobi. Bristol City (4-1-3-2): L Steele — K Smith, A Flint, B Wright, J Bryan — M Pack (sub: L Diony 65) — J Paterson (sub: H Magnusson 65), J Brownhill, R Kent — B Reid, F Diédhiou (sub: G Engvall 86). Substitutes not used J Wollacott, L Kelly, L Walsh, N Eliasson. Booked Bryan, Brownhill. Referee A Madley. Blackpool replace Oyston Karl Oyston was replaced as chairman of Blackpool last night by his sister Natalie Christopher, 32, a publisher. A club statement said he is also no longer director of the club or any other Oyston Group company. The club are being linked with a takeover by a British businessman. Benteke can fill Sako void Roy Hodgson says Christian Benteke will fill the void at Crystal Palace after Bakary Sako, the club’s leading goalscorer, was ruled out for the rest of the season because of a broken ankle. He said: “Only in the last two weeks we have seen [him] fully fit. The goals will come.” the times | Saturday February 3 2018 13 2GS Cricket Sport SAEED KHAN/GETTY IMAGES Lyon mauled as Willey hits 34 in an over Prime Minister’s XI v England Canberra (England won toss): England beat a Prime Minister’s XI by eight wickets Twenty20 warm-up match Steve James Canberra Nathan Lyon? Integral part of the Australia attack that so befuddled England in the Ashes? Pah! Lyon went for 34 in an over here in Canberra. David Willey hit the first five balls for six only to then receive loud boos around the ground when the last ball of the over was driven crisply through cover for four. Of course, this was only Twenty20 cricket and some pretty lighthearted T20 at that, as a Prime Minister’s XI, captained by Lyon, that looked strong on paper with seven internationals, turned out to be anything but strong on grass. They were defeated by eight wickets with a whopping seven overs and two balls remaining. That is an almighty thrashing. And as Willey said: “That’s Twenty20 cricket; anything can happen. Sometimes you can bowl well and go the distance; other times you can bowl poorly and pick up wickets. “There is no doubt he [Lyon] is an unbelievable bowler and his record and success show that. I managed to get hold of him today but another day it could go differently.” Lyon did not appear thatt distraught. The Ashes havee long passed and with it hiss souped-up menace. Beforee that series he dropped some unexpected bombs about “ending careers” into a press Lyon did not appear too dejected by the battering conference. Before the match here we might have been speaking to a librarian. However, this was still a reminder of how powerful England are in the shorter formats, as well as notice to those calling for Lyon’s inclusion in the Australia one-day side (yes, guilty, your honour) that maybe the Australia selectors do know what they are doing. And all this with four players rested from the England side with niggles. Alex Hales (finger), Jason Roy (stiff back), Liam Plunkett and Chris Jordan (both with hamstring twinges) all missed out but are expected to be fit for England’s opening match in the T20 triangular series against Australia in Hobart on Wednesday. The absence of Hales and Roy allowed Willey to open the innings with James Vince. He often bats up the order in domestic T20 cricket, coming in at No 3 for Yorkshire last season and opening for Perth Scorchers in the Big Bash League recently, but as Willey said: “I can barely get it off the square in an England shirt usually.” u Here he did for sure, making 79 off 36 balls, with m another six to add to those five off Lyon. “I got a chance at tthe top of the order because of a couple of b niggles to others and I had nothing to lose,” he said. “So I just went h out there with a bit of a free rein and managed to clear the ropes a few times.” As with much of this game, unfortunately, it will probably make little difference. Willey will be back down w tthe order in Hobart. scoreboard How he humiliated Ashes star 6 6 Straight over long-on Huge hit that nearly clears the deep mid-wicket stand 6 Makes room to hit over extra cover 6 6 4 Copies the previous shot to great effect Just clears rope over deep mid-wicket Pierces the field through extra cover Willey goes on the attack during the devastating over against Ashes hero Lyon that launched England towards a comprehensive warm-up victory in Canberra “I think I will be sliding back down to No 9 or No 10 for the first game,” he said. “That was my one chance and I’ve got a few runs. You look at the guys that are above me and I don’t think I can walk in there and say I should be batting higher up the order. I do that job back home but my job is different here for England.” Vince might have more chance of batting at No 3 in place of the rested Joe Root, although Dawid Malan made 21 not out in that position in this match and we should not forget that Malan’s last T20 international — his only T20 international — was when he made the rapid 78 against South Africa at the Swalec Stadium last year that persuaded England’s management that he had the temperament for Test cricket. Vince is actually a fine T20 player. The pretty 30s and 40s that he gets in the longer game can be very useful because he makes them quickly. He made a pretty 26 off 14 balls here. But Willey will probably be opening the bowling in Hobart. He did that here and took three wickets. You feel that he is some way down the pecking order now in ODIs, mainly because at his pace he needs to open the bowling to make best use of the swing, BRIGHTON V WEST HAM ARSENAL V EVERTON Exclusive national commentary from 3pm on talkS SPORT 2 Exclusive national commentary from 5:30pm on ta alkSPORT Get stuck in! 1089/1053AM • DAB Radio • Mobile • talkSPORT.com m Prime Minister’s XI (balls) †P M Nevill b Willey..............................6 (6) N J Maddinson c Rashid b Willey......................................................8 (9) P S P Handscomb b Dawson ....... 43 (29) J P Faulkner c Billings b Rashid...... 2 (9) K R Patterson c and b Dawson..... 11 (15) D P Hughes st Buttler b Dawson.............................................. 11 (12) S E Gotch c T K Curran b Wood.............................................. ... 22 (22) G S Sandhu b Willey........................... 19 (14) S A Abbott not out................................ 5 (3) *N M Lyon not out.................................. 1 (1) Extras (w 2, lb 6) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..... 8 Total (8 wkts, 20 overs). . . . . . . . . . 136 Fall of wickets 1-18, 2-23, 3-49, 4-74, 5-79, 6-90, 7-122, 8-135. Bowling Willey 4-0-32-3; Wood 4-0-30-1; T K Curran 3-0-23-0; Rashid 3-0-14-1; S M Curran 2-0-15-0; Dawson 4-0-16-3. England J M Vince b Swepson ........................ 26 14 D J Willey c Abbott b Swepson ...... 79 36 D J Malan not out................................. 21 22 *E J G Morgan not out........................ 8 5 Extras (w 4, nb 1)..................................... 5 Total (2 wkts, 12.4 overs)........... 139 S W Billings, †J C Buttler, L A Dawson, S M Curran, A U Rashid, T K Curran and M A Wood did not bat. Fall of wickets 1-87, 2-127. Bowling Sandhu 3-0-27-0; Lyon 2-0-43-0; Faulkner 2-0-20-0; Abbott 2-0-16-0; Swepson 3.4-0-33-2. Umpires D M Koch and D Shepard. and England already have Mark Wood and Chris Woakes doing that so well, but in this format a left-armer has many attractions. Willey has not been at his best in the past year but has been doing some good work with Chris Silverwood, the new England fast-bowling coach, and looks as if he is now swinging the ball back into the right-hander regularly again. That is vital. As is a good start for England in Hobart. They then play Australia in Melbourne before travelling to New Zealand for two matches against the hosts in Wellington and Hamilton before the final in Auckland. New Zealand, second in the world rankings behind Pakistan, look formidable opposition but England have won four of their five T20 internationals in New Zealand. In Australia, England have won only one of their six T20 internationals, but the last of them was in 2014 and that was before the revolution. Lyon and Australia know that things are very different these days. In the shorter forms at least. HOW TO LISTEN: DOWNLOAD THE APP 14 1GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Winter Olympics ‘It’s getting scarier not easier. I get Sporting body Billy Morgan talks to Matt Dickinson about the psychological toll that snowboarding takes on him Picture Exclusive Marc Aspland T he dangers of tumbling through the air from a height of ten metres can easily be underestimated when you watch the world’s best snowboarders on television. They make it look so simple, as if humans were built to fly, twisting and flipping on carbon planks. It is a misconception quickly corrected in conversation with Billy Morgan, one of Team GB’s leading hopes for the Winter Olympics, when talk turns to ruptured ligaments, concussions and, above all, the fear as you “fall out of the sky on to sheets of ice”. Morgan is captivating company because, while his chat is full of the gnarly dude-talk — frontside triples, quad corks, Yolo flips — you might expect from a cool, affable boarder heading into the Games next week, he is also willing to open up about the psychological challenge, the sheer bloody terror, of his chosen sport. These insights and admissions of vulnerability are all the more pertinent now that “big air” has been introduced to the Olympic programme for the first time, with snowboarders set to soar off giant ramps in Pyeongchang, spinning dizzyingly like Tom Daley, except he gets to land on water. In South Korea, with a reliance on man-made snow in temperatures as low as -20C, they will land on concrete-hard ice. As well as introducing spectacular leaps and youth appeal for Olympic audiences, it brings a jeopardy for boarders such as Morgan who, at 28, is happy to accept that he is at the limit exclusive video Watch Billy Morgan in action, see him explain his unusual training methods and his favourite scars thetimes.co.uk/sport and The Times app of what seems sensible. There is no bravado when he explains how it feels to prepare for these huge jumps. “Running into the last Olympics [in Sochi], I had a problem where I started getting scared,” Morgan says. “It happens to everyone at some stage when you are doing scary stuff. “I had to break through that, remember that I calculate my risks. But it’s getting scarier not easier. The last couple of years I’ve got dizzier quicker. I don’t know if that’s just getting older.” Once, Morgan was taking the sport to new places with the first triple backside rodeo 1260, and the quad cork 1800. He was pushing the limits, chalking up huge YouTube views with his spectacular jumps. These days, he looks at Marcus Kleveland, the 18-year-old Norwegian prodigy, and shakes his head. “He did his first triple cork at 14. I hadn’t even seen a snowboard at 14. It’s mental.” Morgan says that he has “hit the limits of what I am driven to do”, but trusts that it is still enough to put him in contention for medals in Pyeongchang where he will compete in slopestyle, over a variety of obstacles including rails and jumps, plus the spinning contortions of a single move on big air. If his way of thinking and sense of selfpreservation have changed over the years — as it does for most of us — he can rationalise it. “You need the fear to keep you safe,” he says. Still, there is no hiding from risk. Morgan missed almost a month of preparation for these Games after tweaking a knee just before Christmas, and has had to ride with a brace in training. He must hope that it has not hampered his chances too much in South Korea when he will hope to improve on his tenth place in slopestyle in Sochi. Morgan has been doing daredevil stuff since he was a kid, a gymnast who moved into acrobatics. “Every day after school until I was 14, and Saturdays,” he says. “So, from a young age, I was very fit. “I was in a men’s four, standing on each other’s shoulders. I was the kid who did all the flips, the little ninja kid. The others were big, strong ones. “We won the British Championships twice. I didn’t realise at the time but it was intense. A lot of conditioning too. I loved it.” To a point. At 14, he had enough of the regime. “I rebelled. But that’s what brought me to snowboarding. It wasn’t regimented like gymnastics. There was a lot more freedom. The first time I did it was with school. I was skiing but a mate persuaded me to snowboard. I was instantly addicted.” At home in Southampton, Morgan lived a ten-minute bike ride from an indoor slope. “I got friendly with the manager and he would let me on and pretty soon I was there all the time. We had free rein, a bunch of kids experimenting, trying different jumps and tricks.” His real breakthrough came at 18 with the first of three winter seasons in the French Alpine town of Morzine, driving transfers to Geneva airport, chalet work, scraping enough money to be able to get out on his snowboard. “We were learning all the time. We’d do a 540, then work out how to do the 720,” he says. One day someone mentioned that the British Championships were on in Laax, Switzerland, and there was a spare space in the car. “So I went, ‘I’ll give it a go.’ I can’t even remember what year it was but I think I came second in big air. They were like, ‘Who is this kid?’ It was never planned to be an elite athlete.” His gymnastic background was clearly one advantage, as one glance at his ripped torso shows. It gave him an understanding of intense physical training and discipline, as well as aerial awareness. “It’s knowing where you are when you are upside down on the big jumps,” he explains. “Take my first frontside triple. The first one I did I felt reasonably lost. I didn’t know which direction the ground was coming at me from. But, after three more, I can see the ground coming and you start to work it out. “Physically a lot of it comes down to core strength, keeping yourself in a ball. The more you spin, the more your limbs can fly around so it’s like diving, keeping it tight. That protects you too when you are falling out of the sky.” Over the years, ramps have been built ever bigger, and more daring. “They built one jump in a resort in Australia and one snowboarder hit it and then no one rode it after because it was ridiculous,” he says. “They are maxing out on the size of jumps. “We are ten metres off the floor at the high point of big jumps. You can fly 30 metres-plus the times | Saturday February 3 2018 15 1GS Sport SANDRA MAILER/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK dizzier faster’ snowboarding jargon explained Billy Morgan Age 28 Height 5ft 11in Weight 11st 5lb Men’s slopestyle qualifying Sat Feb 10 Boned out To straighten one or both legs during an aerial for extra style Butter Leaning on the nose of the board and swinging the tail of the board to the front Caballerial (Cab) A halfpipe trick which begins fakie, spins 360 degrees and lands riding forward Carve A perfect turn where the edge of the board digs into the snow, and the rider gains speed with each turn Fakie Riding backwards or with non-dominant foot forward. Also referred to as ‘riding switch’ Haakon flip Inverted switch 720. A halfpipe trick in which the rider approaches the backside wall riding fakie and rotates in the backside direction while going upside down Indy grab Grabbing the toe edge of the snowboard with your rear hand while in the air Method air With knees bent and heels rising toward the rider’s back, the front hand grabs the heel edge and the board is pulled to head level Ollie Getting air by lifting the front foot, springing off the back foot, then landing on both feet Nollie An ollie, but the rider springs off the nose instead of the tail Shifty air Upper torso and lower body twist in opposite directions, then return to normal. Usually the front leg is boned and no grab is involved Stacked it A term that describes a fall. As in: “He attempted the Haakon flip but stacked it badly” through the air which, when you walk it out, is a long way to go. “It’s knowing you can make the downslope on your landing. Land on a flat bit and you’re in all sorts of trouble.” If Morgan’s journey into the British team was unconventional, these days he is part of a multimillion-pound programme under British Ski and Snowboard. Jenny Jones’s bronze in slopestyle in Sochi, the first British medal on snow at the Winter Olympics, attracted significant funding. It has paid for coaches, such as Morgan’s mentor Hamish McKnight, and for a giant air bag in Livigno, the Italian resort, allowing aerial skiers and snowboarders to increase how much time can be spent in the air without taking too many risks. Strength and conditioning has been enhanced, necessarily in Morgan’s case after he badly injured a knee before Sochi. “I was at a snowdome doing a front flip, just messing about. My knee folded inwards, cruciate ligament snapped. I rode for 18 months over the Olympics without an ACL because I didn’t have time to get it sorted.” Surgery fixed that problem, but concussions are another issue. “They are becoming more of a concern in the sport, with more research,” he says. “A helmet obviously offers protection but you can still get concussed.” With all these different challenges for mind as much as body, it would surely make sense to talk to a sports psychologist? “The support is there if we want it. But I am never quite sure about going down that rabbit hole.” For now, he is just trying to live in the moment and enjoy Pyeongchang, not overloading himself with expectations of medals. There is no point dreaming too big when, as he says, “Anything can happen in this sport. One bad landing.” From the way he talks, these will be his last Olympics. He thinks that he will need a rest physically and mentally before turning to the future, perhaps coaching for Team GB as it seeks to push on to become a serious wintersports nation. Winning medals is key to that growth and Morgan will be doing his bit when the Games begin on Friday, flying through the air, spinning his dizzying rotations. And then? “Some day soon,” he says, “I want to go to Japan, just to ride, enjoy the great outdoors and the soft powder.” FenlatorVictorian, below right, and Russell are trailblazers Groundbreakers aiming to inspire smaller nations Jamaica’s first female bobsleigh team can go further than famous ‘Cool Runnings’ men, writes Rick Broadbent It is 30 years since a band of Jamaicans lit up the Winter Olympics by debunking cultural clichés and crashing at 90mph. Now for the groundbreaking sister act — as two women and a sled called Mr Cool Bolt become the island’s first female bobsleigh team to appear on the same stage. This time it is no Disney hoot. Jazmine Fenlator-Victorian is an uplifting figure. In Sochi four years ago she competed for the United States but now this dual national is Jamaica’s pilot. It may be a better fit given the divisiveness of modern America. “My great grandmother came to the US from Latvia through Ellis Island,” she says. “My mom is US-born. My dad emigrated from Jamaica. I come from New Jersey. What I love about Jamaica is it is a melting pot where nobody says they are Indian-Jamaica or CaucasianJamaican — we’re just Jamaican. “In the US we have got away from that and are creating our own segregation but, hey, if you’re there and have a green card you’re American. That’s being lost and it’s not helped when you hear what comes from our leader.” Fenlator-Victorian wants these Olympics to show small nations that they do not need to pander to prejudice or prophecy. Competing for Jamaica was always a dream. Her own story should convince even the most apathetic pessimist that anything is possible. The year 2011 was a bad one. It began when her mother, Suzie, had a heart attack. She needed a quadruple heart bypass. The next few months proved an avalanche off trauma. Her mother had a stroke and her lupus came out of remission. Then Hurricane Irene struck New Jersey. Fenlator-Victorian saw the devastation on television while at the US Olympic training centre in Lake Placid; she was doing three jobs and a masters degree. “The house I grew up in was destroyed. Mom was confined to her room as the water rose for three days. Then she slept in her car. Our whole life was reduced to some water-damaged furniture and a couple of buckets of stuff. It was devastating. Now, when I find myself thinking, ‘Oh my God, I have no stuff,’ I thank God my family is here. I am a nomad. Home for me is the comfort of family.” The 32-year-old has no physical home and sold her car to pay for her Olympic odyssey. She has never stayed in the same place for more than three months in the past five years. “An Olympic medal often means a huge sponsorship deal, but for us it would be a lot bigger,” she says. “You will never get rich from bobsleigh, but when it happens Jamaica will be unstoppable. People will realise they can do more than sprint and play soccer. I want to encourage other Caribbean and small nations to have confidence in their abilities. Take risks. We are an underdog nation and qualified taking the last spot. It is possible for us to medal. Wherever we land we will know we gave blood, sweat and tears.” Her partner in South Korea is Carrie Russell, who won gold in the 4x100m relay at the 2013 World Championships. Sprinters have long been converts. Back in the US, Lauryn Williams, a summer Olympic relay champion at London in 2012, won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Games. Fenlator-Victorian piloted the third bobsleigh there with Lolo Jones, who would have won Olympic gold in 2008 but for clattering the penultimate hurdle. Tyson Gay, the second fastest man in history, tried to make the US team for Pyeongchang. Ryan Bailey, an Olympic 100m finalist, has done. With a fast start vital, you might think the greatest sprint nation could become a top bobsleigh one. FenlatorVictorian tweeted an offer to ShellyAnn Fraser-Pryce, Jamaica’s two-times 100m Olympic champion, after the Rio Games but only got a wink in return. “It’s hard work,” Fenlator-Victorian says. “It is more than drills, physio and naps. It’s 15 to 18-hour days, carrying our own equipment, driving the truck.” There has been no contact with the greatest of all — winter and summer Olympians tend to be in Jamaica at different times — but the Mr Cool Bolt moniker is a nod to Usain and the 1988 trailblazers. The pilot of the latter, Dudley Stokes, has been travelling with the duo and third member Audra Segre. The Cool Runnings team crashed in 1988 but were 14th by 1994. This team could go better, helped by Jo Manning, the former manager of Team GB who is high-performance director. The times are already changing with Nigeria sending Africa’s first bobsleigh team. For Fenlator-Victorian these Olympics could be seismic. “I idolised women like Shelly-Ann and Serena Williams, who did not start out with much and were characterised by their race and background, but made it and gave a lot back. I want to show people they can do the coolest sport on ice. My message is do something amazing, not half-assed.” 16 2GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Norrie’s amazing comeback lifts Davis Cup hopes Tennis Stuart Fraser Tennis Writer, Marbella The 1,000-strong travelling Great Britain support turned up at Marbella’s Puente Romano Club yesterday morning looking forward to watching some clay-court tennis in the pleasant February sunshine, albeit with little expectation of seeing their team win a set, never mind a match, against Spain. But, over the course of a remarkable afternoon, they witnessed one of the greatest Davis Cup upsets by a British player making his debut in the history of this 118-year-old competition. In his first professional match on red clay, Cameron Norrie, the 22-year-old ranked No 114 in the world, somehow fought back from two sets and a break down to defeat Roberto Bautista Agut, the world No 23, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 in four hours and one minute. Norrie’s stunning victory levelled this first-round tie at 1-1 after Albert Ramos Viñolas, the world No 21, had earlier defeated another Briton making his competition debut, Liam Broady, 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6). All of a sudden, the prospect of inflicting a rare defeat on Spain on this surface, on their own soil, does not feel like mission impossible, with Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot more than capable of defeating Pablo Carreño Busta and Feliciano López in this afternoon’s doubles rubber. Once again, under the shrewd guidance of the team captain, Leon Smith, a British player has risen to the occasion and performed at a level that belies his ranking. But this was a victory so unexpected that Smith and other members of his coaching staff were in sheer disbelief at Norrie’s display. “I think it’s astonishing,” the captain said. “We’ve had some amazing moments and this is obviously right up there with any of them. “You can’t write the script of what just happened then. To play a guy who’s order of play Today, 1pm Pablo Carreño Busta and Feliciano López (Sp) v Dominic Inglot and Jamie Murray (GB) Tomorrow, 10am Albert Ramos Viñolas (Sp) v Cameron Norrie (GB) Roberto Bautista Agut (Sp) v Liam Broady (GB) 6 Scores level at 1-1 history made 1 Norrie was playing his first professional match on the red clay. His previous match of any sort on the surface was a first-round defeat in the boys’ singles at the 2013 French Open 0 Norrie had never before played a match longer than three sets. His only previous best-of-fiveset win was at last year’s US Open against Dmitry Tursunov, who retired after two sets Norrie, the world No 114, celebrates his remarkable five-set victory over Bautista pretty much a top-20 player, a great clay-courter, to be two sets and a break down and win away from home, I just think it’s absolutely astonishing. “He’ll hear enough from me tonight but he should be so, so proud because that is one hell of an effort to dig that deep and do that. I can’t speak highly enough of him, I think it’s utterly brilliant.” Watching from afar was Andy Murray, who himself has produced his fair share of special Davis Cup moments through the years. “That’s one of the most amazing wins/results/ upsets I’ve seen in a long time on a tennis court,” the three-times grandslam champion tweeted. Also watching on television was Norrie’s Scottish father, David, and his Welsh mother, Helen, from their home in Auckland. That is where he spent most of his childhood — after moving from his birth city of Johannesburg because of the high crime rate before becoming a British citizen when he moved to London at the age of 16. Norrie’s victory becomes even more exceptional when you consider that he only became a full-time professional last May after three years of playing American college tennis while studying sociology at Texas Christian University. His rise since then has been rapid. “I think I’ve turned around a lot, been Okolie steps up to settle local grudge Boxing Ron Lewis Boxing Correspondent Rugby. Tackled. Read expert analysis from Alex Lowe, Lawrence Dallaglio and Owen Slot throughout the Six Nations. Pick up your copy of The Times and The Sunday Times Lawrence Okolie could be excused for thinking that boxing was easy. He qualified to box at the 2016 Olympic Games after just 24 amateur bouts, is promoted by Anthony Joshua and he tops the bill at the O2 arena in London tonight in his eighth professional fight. Fortunately, Okolie knows that he has a lot of hard work ahead. Okolie, 25, has only once been taken beyond three rounds but Isaac Chamberlain, his latest opponent and also a fellow London cruiserweight, is also unbeaten. They have known each other for nearly a decade since they first met in a try-out session at the Frank Bruno Boxing Academy. They have never liked each other and that sort of rivalry, stoked on social media, sells well. A crowd of about 8,000 is expected tonight, incredible for novice professionals. “I was looking at this as a fight for York Hall [capacity 1,200],” Eddie Hearn, the promoter, said. “Then I saw the reaction on social media and, when the tickets went on sale, it just grew and grew.” Okolie fought at heavyweight at the Olympics and was beaten in his second bout, and while his fight against Chamberlain is for a WBA “Continental” title, ensuring the winner a top-15 world ranking, Okolie is not fooling himself into thinking he is anywhere near world class yet. “As much as the hype has built this up, I see it for what it is, which is a good step-up learning fight for me,” he said. “I expect to beat Isaac comfortably but there is a lot to learn.” Okolie has the chance to settle a grudge, though, against a rival he dislikes. “I never respected his personality,” he said. “I always thought he was a good fighter but I don’t like people who talk rubbish and don’t back it up.” Chamberlain’s feelings are similar. “Being around AJ [Joshua], he probably thinks he’s AJ as well,” he said. “Like Coke and Diet Coke, it’s AJ and diet AJ. The people around him keep talking and he likes to talk himself.” the times | Saturday February 3 2018 17 2GS Sport JULIAN FINNEY/GETTY IMAGES Gloves are off in Eagles’ quest to deny Brady his sixth ring American football super bowl lii in 60 seconds Charles Walford Minneapolis Agut, which gives Great Britain a good chance of victory in the Davis Cup tie so professional, stuck with my team and worked so hard, so I think I deserve the success I had,” Norrie said. “I’m just really, really happy and can’t be more thankful and more grateful to get this opportunity and get the win today.” At two sets and 3-1 down to Bautista Agut, who had won five consecutive Davis Cup matches, it was not looking so good for Norrie. Even when he claimed the third set with a deft drop volley, it felt like a well-earned consolation for his efforts. Looking at both players in the fourth set, you would never have been able to tell that it was Norrie who had never played a match of more than three sets before. Bautista Agut began to labour in his movement and received treatment on his thighs. Norrie dominated the rallies during the deciding set and gave himself the cushion of a 5-2 lead with a double break. As a Bautista Agut forehand hit the net on match point, Norrie raised both arms in the air and Kyle Edmund, sitting at courtside after deeming himself not fit enough to play on the opening day, uncharacteristically charged forward from his seat in celebration. “I saw in the fourth set he [Bautista Agut] was struggling a little bit physically and just backed myself physically and mentally from then,” Norrie said. “I just used my momentum to get over the line. I can’t be happier.” The Black Glove. It could be the title of a John Dickson Carr murder mystery. But this week it has been one of the narratives of Super Bowl LII, to which many believe they already know the ending. Tom Brady removes the aforementioned article from his injured throwing hand; leads the New England Patriots to his sixth Super Bowl success; glove is replaced by a more familiar manual accoutrement — a championship ring; the end. For full dramatic potential, he goes up against a familiar cast of villains: spurned gunslinger with a point to prove, former sidekicks who have deserted him, and of course — that true Hollywood villain — an Englishman. But what will unfold in Minneapolis tomorrow is no simple clash of good and evil. For most of America’s NFL fans it is a battle of evil and the lesser of two evils. Which side is which may depend on your political affiliation (the Patriots are, apparently, Donald Trump’s team) or distaste for a team whose fans once threw snowballs at Santa and whose old stadium had a courtroom and jail to deal with rowdy spectators: the Philadelphia Eagles. As one observer in the New York Times put it: “America really is about to get thee pathetic wll Super Bowl that it deserves.” re But for those who are choosing to focus on Brady and his tilt at history, there is much about the game that will be far from pathetic. Love him or hate him, there is no one doing what he does quite as well as he does it. In the regular season he threw for a league-leading 4,577 yards. At the age of 40. If New England win he will become the first player to win six NFL titles, and the first to win one into his 41st year. Which partlyy explains the focus on Brady, left, chasing his sixth Super Bowl, comes up against the London-born running back Ajayi tomorrow US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota Kick off 11.30pm GMT. TV Sky Sports Main Event, from 10pm; BBC One, from 11.20pm. Radio talkSPORT, from 10pm; BBC Radio 5 Live, from 11pm. Half-time show Justin Timberlake What to look out for Tom Brady, if he guides New England to victory, he will win his sixth Super Bowl ring — the most by a single player. Don’t be alarmed if In the event of an upset you see players celebrating in dog masks. It is how Philadelphia have embraced the underdog status that has been attached to them ever since their star quarterback, Carson Wentz, suffered a season-ending torn ACL. Super Bowl titles Patriots 5 (from nine appearances) Eagles 0 (from two) Déjà vu? The two sides contested Super Bowl XXXIX 13 years ago, with Brady leading the Patriots to a 24-21 win. tthat glove. Four d days before the A AFC Champions ship game against t the Jacksonville Ja Jaguars it was reported that Brady missed training after he required 12 stitches in h his hand. Come the Sunday he tthrew two fourth-quarter Barba bewilders Castleford in runaway revenge victory St Helens Castleford Tigers 46 0 2 6 1 Betfred Super League Christopher Irvine After the agony of succumbing to Castleford Tigers in golden point extra time in last year’s semi-final, St Helens justified some of the hype around them by exacting handsome revenge. Castleford, last year’s runaway League Leaders’ Shield winners, have not won in the league at St Helens since 1990. Few of their defeats have been more tormenting than this one last night, as their defence, so miserly in 2017, leaked eight tries. Ben Barba opened Saints’ account with a long-range try after four minutes and ran the Tigers ragged. Mark Percival, the England centre, owed a sparkling hat-trick to his dazzling full back. In a tour de force, Barba popped up across the pitch, setting up three tries before the break as well as his own. “It’s only round one but I’m wrapped with that performance,” Justin Holbrook, the St Helens head coach, said. Castleford, beaten Grand Finalists last October, were bewildered by Barba, who served a 12-match drugs suspension before starting his St Helens career towards the end of last season. His vision helped to create a stroll in for Zeb Taia, before the former NRL player of the year chipped on the last tackle and Alex Walmsley, the England prop, who had earlier agreed a new four-year deal with the club, kept the ball alive for Jonny Lomax to dab down. Either side of half-time, Barba’s combination with Percival produced a brace of tries for the Englishman. The Australian’s soft hands set him up on the left twice to put the result beyond doubt. Paul McShane pulled a try back on the hour after the home side had Kyle Amor sent to the sin-bin for a professional foul, but even with a player down the ubiquitous Barba plundered his second try, moments after he had unceremoniously dragged Greg Eden, last year’s league top tryscorer, in to touch. “We had a shocking attitude and I don’t know why,” Daryl Powell, the Castleford head coach, said. “There’ll be a lot of soul-searching.” Elsewhere, Wigan Warriors thumped Salford Red Devils 40-12 and Wakefield Trinity beat promoted Hull Kingston Rovers 28-6. Scorers: St Helens: Tries Barba 2, Taia 2, Lomax, Percival 3. Goals Richardson 7. Castleford: Try McShane. Goal Gale. St Helens B Barba; T Makinson, R Morgan, M Percival, R Grace; J Lomax, D Richardson; K Amor, J Roby, L Thompson, D Peyroux, Z Taia, J Wilkin. Interchange T Fages, A Walmsley, L McCarthy-Scarsbrook, M Knowles. Castleford Tigers B Roberts; G Minikin, J Webster, M Shenton, G Eden; J Trueman, L Gale; J Moors, P McShane, J Green, O Holmes, M McMeeken, N Massey. Interchange G Millington, A Milner, J Sene-Lefao, M Cook. Referee J Child. touchdowns to help to overturn a 20-10 deficit. The stitches came out last weekend, but in a bid to shield the extent of the injury — or to increase the mystique around it — Brady has appeared before the media this week wearing a glove. “It’s not quite where I want it to be, so I’m just trying to protect it the best way I can,” was the official line on Tuesday. When it came to practice the following day, tape was applied to cover the wound; the glove was back in place on Thursday. How fit Brady is will not truly be known until tomorrow, but the Eagles will be looking for any weakness to exploit. It is what they do; their defence led the league in quarterback pressure and they have not given up more than ten points in any of the past four games. As the cliché goes, offence wins games, defence wins championships. Not long ago their offence was feared too, but their young star quarterback, Carson Wentz, was struck down by a knee injury in December. Nick Foles has stepped in capably but, in Wentz’s absence, the Eagles were cast as underdogs in the play-offs. The slight was felt so keenly that among the celebrations after their two play-off victories have appeared German shepherd masks, the brainchild of Lane Johnson, their offensive lineman. He decided that if his side were going to be repeatedly cast in the role of underdogs, there was nothing to do but embrace it. “It’s been fun, but it’s not an act,” Johnson said this week. “We see what people write and what people say about who they think will win. “I see where people are coming from. We lost our starting quarterback, but that’s disrespect to the other 21 guys playing. It’s not just a one-guy game.” It is a fair point. Alongside him, he has match-winners in the form of the London-born running back Jay Ajayi, as well as players who know how to win a championship. LeGarrette Blount, another running back, won two titles as a Patriot, including last year’s dramatic comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in a side that also featured Chris Long, who too is now an Eagle. Long, who donated his entire 2017 salary to charity, and his fellow defensive linemen hold the key to this Super Bowl. They will be charged with putting pressure on Brady. “You can’t take it easy on him,” Long said. “He’s not going to take it easy on us.” Johnson was less reverential. “I’m not scared of Tom Brady,” he said. “Seeing the Patriots in the Super Bowl is like watching the same episode of Friends every night. You get tired of it.” The gloves, for the Eagles at least, are already off. Coetzee leaves Springboks Rugby union Allister Coetzee has left his position as coach of South Africa. Coetzee, 54, took up the role in April 2016 but the Springboks were beaten by Ireland on home soil in his first game in charge and have since suffered landmark losses to Argentina and Italy. South Africa Rugby aims to have his successor in place before the end of this month. “SA Rugby has reached an agreement with Allister Coetzee to part ways with immediate effect,” the governing body said in a statement. Coetzee said: “I have always held Springbok rugby dear to my heart and will continue to do so and for that reason I think now is the time for the team and me to strike out in new directions. I wish Springbok rugby every success in the future.” 18 2GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Racing J E Moore 2 6-3112 GINO TRAIL 28 (P,D,G,S) K Lee 11-11-8 H Cobden 3 2-2013 DOLOS 43 (T,D,G,S) P Nicholls 5-11-2 C Deutsch (3) 4 1F33-2 CEPAGE 70 (D,S) Miss V Williams 6-11-0 D Sansom (7) 5 13-0P5 SOMCHINE 21 (T,D,G,S) J S Mullins 10-10-4 S Twiston-Davies 6 1/6-51 BIG JIM 21 (D,S) A Hales 9-10-0 100-30 Gino Trail, 7-2 Cepage, Top Gamble, 9-2 Big Jim, 5-1 Dolos, 9-1 Somchine. Sandown Park Rob Wright 12.40 Ainchea 3.00 Topofthegame 1.15 Gino Trail 3.35 Ballydine (nap) 1.50 Buveur D’Air 4.10 Miss Adventure 2.25 Terrefort Thunderer: 2.25 Terrefort. 3.00 Melrose Boy (nap). Going: soft, good to soft in places (heavy in places in home straight on hurdles course) Racing UK 12.40 1.50 1 111-11 BUVEUR D'AIR 39 (CD,G,S) N Henderson 7-11-6 2 0F-116 JOHN CONSTABLE 49 (T,D,G,S) E Williams 7-11-4 0 CAP'N 8 (T) Miss C Dyson 7-11-0 3 1-6 Buveur D'Air, 6-1 John Constable, 33-1 Cap'N. Betfred Novices’ Hurdle (£6,498: 2m) (6) 2.25 J Bowen (3) 3.45 Musselburgh 12.55 Another Stowaway 3.15 Missed Approach 1.30 Barney Dwan 3.45 Starplex 2.05 Sir Chauvelin (nb) 4.20 Wonderful Charm 2.45 Marracudja Going: good to soft, good in places Racing UK Maiden Hurdle (£4,159: 2m 3f) (4) 2-U22 ANOTHER STOWAWAY 74 (W,T,BF) T George 6-11-4 A P Heskin 2 2-262 COUP DE PINCEAU 25 (P,BF) P Nicholls 6-11-4 N Scholfield P Brennan 3 -F425 IMPERIAL ELOQUENCE 63 F O'Brien 6-11-4 4 10-53 TOKARAMORE 15 (H) I Jardine 6-10-11 Ross Chapman (5) 6-4 Coup De Pinceau, 7-4 Another Stowaway, 11-2 Imperial Eloquence, 6-1 Tokaramore. 1 1.30 Novices’ Chase (£8,058: 2m 4f) (5) 6-121 KEEPER HILL 49 (D) W Greatrex 7-11-8 A P Heskin 0-221 ALZAMMAAR 46 S England 7-11-4 J England 20-31 BARNEY DWAN 58 (D) F O'Brien 8-11-4 B Hughes 36-01 PETER THE MAYO MAN 50 (D) P Nicholls 8-11-4 N Scholfield H Brooke 5 212U2 MARTILOO 31 Pauline Robson 8-10-11 11-10 Barney Dwan, 3-1 Peter The Mayo Man, Keeper Hill, 10-1 others. 1 2 3 4 2.05 bet365 Scottish County Handicap Hurdle ITV4 (£19,494: 1m 7f 124y) (5) 12153 AMOUR DE NUIT 49 (H,D) P Nicholls 6-11-12 Bryony Frost (5) W Kennedy 2 1154F DEAR SIRE 33 (H,C,D) D McCain 6-11-11 J J Burke 3 5-43P FORTH BRIDGE 50 (CD) C Longsdon 5-11-9 C Bewley (3) 4 130/1 SIR CHAUVELIN 33 (CD) J Goldie 6-11-7 3F441 CRACKDELOUST 23 (B) B Ellison 6-10-11 B Hughes 5 2-1 Amour De Nuit, 11-4 Sir Chauvelin, 3-1 Dear Sire, 11-2 Crackdeloust, 8-1 Forth Bridge. 1 Wright choice: Sir Chauvelin was impressive over course and distance and can follow up Danger: Amour De Nuit 2.45 bet365 Scottish Champion Handicap Chase (£13,256: 1m 7f 182y) (7) 2-235 MARRACUDJA 63 (T,D) P Nicholls 7-11-12 Bryony Frost (5) 1-F10 BABY KING 63 (W,T,D) T George 9-11-7 A P Heskin 50504 KING'S WHARF 33 (D) A Thomson 9-11-4 Rachael McDonald (7) W Kennedy 4 36005 INK MASTER 23 (H,T,D) D McCain 8-10-12 H Brooke 5 5113- CONTRE TOUS 285 (T) B Ellison 6-10-11 D Crosse 6 62252 SOLAR IMPULSE 31 (B,D) C Kellett 8-10-9 23-31 CHAIN OF BEACONS 84 (T,D) Katie Scott 9-10-0 B Hughes 7 2-1 Marracudja, 3-1 Baby King, 5-1 Solar Impulse, 13-2 Contre Tous, 8-1 Ink Master, 12-1 Chain Of Beacons, King's Wharf. 1 2 3 3.15 Handicap Hurdle 2.00 bet365 Edinburgh ITV4 National Handicap Chase (£25,024: 4m 176y) (12) -3313 DELUSIONOFGRANDEUR 39 Mrs S Smith 8-11-12 H Brooke -403P SOUTHFIELD THEATRE 33 (T,B) P Nicholls 10-11-7 Bryony Frost (5) 3 6P216 RELENTLESS DREAMER 25 (T,P) Miss R Curtis 9-11-6 B Hughes 4 0-P63 MISSED APPROACH 21 (B,BF) W Greatrex 8-11-6 G Sheehan 5 P0-10 DANCING SHADOW 56 (P,CD) V Dartnall 9-11-3 N Scholfield P Brennan 6 105-5 BELLS 'N' BANJOS 98 F O'Brien 8-11-0 126-0 LOOKING WELL 244 N Richards 9-11-0 R Day (3) 7 8 -13R3 BALLYMALIN 33 (V) N Twiston-Davies 8-11-0 Mr Z Baker (5) A Tinkler 9 20-05 GONALSTON CLOUD 23 (P) N Kent 11-10-10 J J Burke 10 4-16P AZURE FLY 76 (T,B) C Longsdon 10-10-3 L Murtagh (5) 11 22201 MISTER DON 50 (P) Mrs R Dobbin 8-10-2 12 44-03 FULL JACK 31 (B,C,BF) A Thomson 11-10-0 Rachael McDonald (7) 11-2 Full Jack, 6-1 Missed Approach, 13-2 Southfield Theatre, 7-1 Mister Don, 15-2 Delusionofgrandeur, 8-1 Ballymalin, Looking Well, 10-1 others. 1 2 Wright choice: Missed Approach should relish this marathon trip Dangers: Gonalston Cloud, Looking Well 32455 GRAYSTOWN 14 W S Coltherd 6-11-12 S Coltherd (5) 63-62 KALANITI 48 (P,C,D) C Grant 7-11-10 P Brennan 0-034 SCORPION PRINCESS 26 (T,D,BF) C Longsdon 7-11-8 J J Burke 4 -1604 VINO'S CHOICE 47 (T,D) Miss L Russell 6-11-8 B Campbell (5) C Bewley (3) 5 5410- STARPLEX 20F (D) K Dalgleish 8-11-6 6 54361 NINEPOINTSIXTHREE 39 (P) S England 8-11-6 J England 5F2 CHARACTER ONESIE 31 D McCain 6-11-5 B Hughes 7 A Tinkler 8 63-00 THE GRINDER 64 N Kent 6-11-3 1-634 KELPIES MYTH 31 (C,D) Miss L Russell 5-11-3 D R Fox 9 10 0-5P0 SILVER BULLION 31 (D) Pauline Robson 7-11-3 W Kennedy J Kington (3) 11 -605P ANGUINO 39 P Holmes 5-11-2 Lucy Alexander 12 53/50 TITUS BOLT 33 (D) J Goldie 9-11-1 13 1-112 MORNING WITH IVAN 15 (T,CD) S Corbett 8-10-11 J Corbett (5) H Brooke 14 343 JAMACHO 33 B Ellison 4-10-11 4-1 Character Onesie, 6-1 Kalaniti, Morning With Ivan, 8-1 Ninepointsixthree, Scorpion Princess, 10-1 Graystown, Jamacho, Kelpies Myth, 14-1 others. Hunters' Chase (£2,998: 3m 2f 139y) (6) U61-6 GALLERY EXHIBITION 278 (T) K Bailey 11-12-4 Mr G Disney (7) 120-3 WONDERFUL CHARM 239 (T,P,CD,BF) P Nicholls 10-12-4 Mr S Waley-Cohen 3 P3-13 WINGED CRUSADER 20 (D) Miss A Waugh 10-12-1 Miss A Waugh (3) 4 P5135 FOR YES 223 (T,V) Mrs L Coltherd 9-11-12 Mr T Hamilton 5 323-4 NINE ALTARS 275 (BF) Mrs E Dun 9-11-12 Miss C Dun (7) Mr K Alexander 6 26654 THOMOND 20 (T) N Alexander 10-11-12 Evens Wonderful Charm, 5-2 Gallery Exhibition, 6-1 Thomond, 8-1 Winged Crusader, 14-1 others. 1 2 Lingfield Park Rob Wright 12.50 Rose Tinted Spirit 3.05 Victory Bond 1.25 City Dreamer 3.40 Aiya 2.00 Kachy 4.15 American Gigolo 2.35 George Dryden Going: standard At The Races Draw: 5f-1m, low numbers best 12.50 Handicap (3-Y-O: £3,752: 1m 1y) (9) Nicola Currie (5) 1 (6) 32-10 FELISA 10 (CD) P D Evans 9-8 M Dwyer 2 (9) 165- GREENEYEDAFGHAN 139 W Muir 9-8 P McDonald 3 (5) 0445- AUSTIN POWERS 71 M Johnston 9-7 O Murphy 4 (4) 053-0 ROSE TINTED SPIRIT 10 R Beckett 9-6 T Marquand 5 (7) 140-3 EL BORRACHO 8 (D) S Dow 9-5 K O'Neill 6 (3) 51-60 POWERFUL SOCIETY 10 T Vaughan 9-4 001-0 PAPARAZZI 22 (T,B,D,BF) J P O'Brien (Ire) 9-3 A Kirby 7 (8) R Da Silva 8 (1) 35-0 PRECIOUS SILK 24 J Santos 9-1 S Donohoe 9 (2) 000-0 VICE MARSHAL 22 C Fellowes 8-12 100-30 Paparazzi, 9-2 Felisa, 11-2 El Borracho, 6-1 Austin Powers, 7-1 Rose Tinted Spirit, 8-1 Precious Silk, Vice Marshal, 12-1 others. 1.25 Handicap (£3,752: 1m 7f 169y) (8) 65-13 JACK BEAR 13 (C,BF) R Teal 7-9-13 O Murphy 431-1 AUTHOR'S DREAM 24 (V,CD) W Knight 5-9-12 M Harley 454-4 AYR OF ELEGANCE 30 (CD) P Hide 6-9-10 R Kingscote /641- CAGED LIGHTNING 50 (P,D) S Gollings 8-9-10 P McDonald A Kirby 5 (7) 05-43 ARDAMIR 18 Mrs L Mongan 6-9-10 S Donohoe 6 (4) 600-2 RETRIEVE 22 (T,B,C) J Farrelly 11-9-6 P Bradley (5) 7 (2) 5644- MAZALTO 189 P Phelan 5-9-5 R L Moore 8 (6) 0/05- CITY DREAMER 49J A King 4-8-12 11-4 City Dreamer, 3-1 Author's Dream, 9-2 Ardamir, 7-1 Caged Lightning, 8-1 Retrieve, 10-1 Ayr Of Elegance, Jack Bear, 20-1 Mazalto. 1 2 3 4 ITV4 161 158 -151 v162 3.00 Betfred Heroes Handicap Hurdle -2FF33 /054-0 42-214 142-F4 5-5111 /0-0P1 21P-02 301F11 23-131 F-5126 04-061 200-14 13 14 15 16 17 4/40-0 3123-4 532-F1 653-01 00-000 18 232554 BEAT THAT 56 (D,S) N Henderson 10-11-12 N De Boinville UBAK 42 (S) G L Moore 10-11-11 Josh Moore PRIME VENTURE 21 (D,S) E Williams 7-11-7 T O'Brien TOPOFTHEGAME 21 (T,S) P Nicholls 6-11-7 S Twiston-Davies FLEMCARA 28 (T,D,S) Miss E Lavelle 6-11-4 P Cowley (7) TAJ BADALANDABAD 8 (T,V,D,S) D Pipe 8-11-3 T Scudamore THELIGNY 35 (G,S) T Vaughan 7-11-2 A Johns GOLAN FORTUNE 39 (P,C,G,S) P Middleton 6-11-2 D Sansom (7) MELROSE BOY 13 (S) H Fry 6-11-0 N Fehily KRIS SPIN 21 (D,S) K Lee 10-11-0 J Bowen (3) BUYWISE 28 (C,D,G,S) E Williams 11-10-12 L Aspell FOLSOM BLUE 69 (T,P,D,S) G Elliott (Ire) 11-10-11 B J Geraghty OKOTOKS 50 (S) F O'Brien 8-10-9 S Bowen KING OF FASHION 91 (T,D,S) K Lee 8-10-8 R Patrick (5) DASHING PERK 28 (S) Dr R Newland 7-10-6 J E Moore FOURTH ACT 13 (T,F,S) C Tizzard 9-10-3 H Cobden DOESYOURDOGBITE 39 (P,G,S) Jonjo O'Neill 6-10-2 R McLernon MAN OF PLENTY 14 (T,G) Mrs S Leech 9-10-2 S Houlihan (7) Betway Cleves Stakes (3) (8) (5) (1) Handicap (£5,531: 5f 6y) (6) Betway Winter Derby Trial Stakes (Listed: £25,520: 1m 2f) (9) L Morris 1 (4) 6421- PETITE JACK 42 (B,CD) A Watson 5-9-3 2 (1) 316-4 BATTLE OF MARATHON 21 John Ryan 6-9-0 P Mulrennan 3 (6) 030-5 FIRE FIGHTING 14 (B,D) M Johnston 7-9-0 P McDonald Fran Berry 4 (7) 2034- INTERN 42 D Simcock 4-9-0 A Atzeni 5 (2) 0235- RED LABEL (P) M Botti 4-9-0 R Havlin 6 (5) 3403- UTMOST 42 J Gosden 4-9-0 R L Moore 7 (8) 012-1 VICTORY BOND 26 (D) W Haggas 5-9-0 O Murphy 8 (3) 0620- ELBERETH 127 (D) A Balding 7-8-9 S Donohoe 9 (9) 0432- MIA TESORO 42 (H,D) C Fellowes 5-8-9 9-4 Victory Bond, 5-1 Petite Jack, 6-1 Elbereth, Mia Tesoro, 7-1 Utmost, 8-1 Intern, Red Label, 20-1 Fire Fighting, 25-1 Battle Of Marathon. 3.40 Handicap (3-Y-O: £3,752: 1m 4f) (6) O Murphy 1 (5) 004-1 AIYA 29 (H) A Balding 9-8 2 (4) 64-1 ROUNDABOUT KITTEN 15 (C) D Lanigan 9-7 S Donohoe L Morris 3 (2) 630-3 YAMUNA RIVER 17 (P) J Tate 9-6 J Fanning 4 (6) 33-23 BARBARA VILLIERS 15 M Johnston 9-1 M Cosham (3) 5 (1) 501-2 MOUCHEE 21 (BF) P D Evans 8-13 T Marquand 6 (3) 20-03 SOTOMAYOR 8 (T,B) R Hannon 8-11 2-1 Aiya, 9-4 Roundabout Kitten, 9-2 Yamuna River, 8-1 others. 4.15 Maiden Stakes (£3,752: 1m 4f) (10) 2 AMERICAN GIGOLO 14 (H,T) H Fry 6-9-7 Fran Berry (8) 0- FAHEEM 35 Lydia Richards 7-9-7 T J Murphy (6) GIN AND TONIC 12J M Wigham 8-9-7 R Havlin (7) 3 GIVE HIM TIME 14 (T) N Gifford 7-9-7 R Winston (9) INSOMNIAC D Simcock 4-9-5 M Harley (5) (2) 2222- MASTER ARCHER 44J (V,BF) J Fanshawe 4-9-5 D Muscutt ALIZEE JAVILEX 11J Mrs L Wadham 8-9-2 P Mulrennan 7 (4) CANOODLE 25J H Morrison 6-9-2 C Bennett (3) 8 (3) LADY PERSEPHONE 573J A King 7-9-2 T Marquand 9 (10) 6-6 KERRE 14 (H) W Jarvis 4-9-0 C Bishop 10 (1) 7-4 Master Archer, 9-4 American Gigolo, 6-1 Insomniac, Canoodle, 8-1 others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Wetherby Rob Wright 1.00 Northern Beau 3.20 Florrie Knox 1.35 Mercian Prince 3.55 Top Wood 2.10 Robin Waters 4.30 Norman Stanley 2.40 Vintage Clouds Going: heavy, soft in places Racing UK 1.00 Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle (£4,224: 2m) (6) Blinkered first time: Kempton 5.45 Trust Me Boy. Leopardstown 3.30 Jezki. Lingfield 2.00 Princess Asta. 4.15 Master Archer. Musselburgh 3.15 Ballymalin. 4.20 For Yes. 1 2 3 4 v146 v146 141 v146 145 122 v146 Wright choice: Topofthegame has been crying out for this step up in distance and remains unexposed Dangers: Melrose Boy, Golan Fortune 1 (5) 00-62 GEORGE DRYDEN 13 C Wallis 6-9-10 Jason Watson (7) K Fox 2 (4) /320- JUST THAT LORD 273 (D) M Attwater 5-9-7 O Murphy 3 (6) 016-0 UNION ROSE 13 (P,D) R Harris 6-9-5 4 (3) 4113- YOU'RE COOL 51 (D,BF) J Balding 6-9-2 L Edmunds (3) Fran Berry 5 (1) 602-2 BROTHER TIGER 20 (CD) D Griffiths 9-9-0 6 (2) 23-01 RED STRIPES 14 (B,D) Mrs L Williamson 6-8-7 L Morris 5-2 George Dryden, 3-1 Brother Tiger, 100-30 You're Cool, 6-1 Union Rose, 13-2 Just That Lord, 10-1 Red Stripes. 3.05 141 145 144 143 138 140 140 142 144 144 v146 5-1 Topofthegame, 11-2 Melrose Boy, 9-1 Dashing Perk, Golan Fortune, 10-1 Flemcara, King Of Fashion, 12-1 Prime Venture, 14-1 Folsom Blue, Taj Badalandabad, 16-1 others. 1 (6) 405-1 CASPIAN PRINCE 32 (H,T) Tony Coyle 9-9-0 B A Curtis R L Moore 2 (1) 5214- DOUBLE UP 39 (T,CD,BF) R Varian 7-9-0 3 (8) 511-0 GRACIOUS JOHN 32 (C,D) P D Evans 5-9-0 Fran Berry 4 (10) 1102- GULLIVER 39 (T,P,C,D) H Palmer 4-9-0 Josephine Gordon C Bishop 5 (7) 1113- ICE AGE 126 (D) E Houghton 5-9-0 M Harley 6 (12) 421-4 INTISAAB 32 (P,D,BF) D O'Meara 7-9-0 R Kingscote 7 (11) 202-1 KACHY 15 (CD) T Dascombe 5-9-0 P Hanagan 8 (5) 0400- KIMBERELLA 39 (CD) R Fahey 8-9-0 9 (3) 0150- LANCELOT DU LAC 140 (H,CD) D Ivory 8-9-0 R Winston P Mulrennan 10 (2) 023-1 MYTHMAKER 24 (CD) B Smart 6-9-0 A Jones 11 (9) 02-42 ROYAL BIRTH 24 (H,T,C) S C Williams 7-9-0 12 (4) 1204- PRINCESS ASTA (B,D) M Hofer (Ger) 5-8-12 A Pietsch 3-1 Kachy, 5-1 Lancelot Du Lac, 7-1 Double Up, Intisaab, 10-1 others. 2.35 ITV4 (Grade III: £56,270: 2m 7f 98y) (18) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 (Listed: £25,520: 6f 1y) (12) 1 2 3 4.20 v172 159 94 Wright choice: Terrefort looked a terrific prospect when cruising to success at Huntingdon and can handle this rise in class Danger: Cyrname 148 (£5,198: 1m 7f 124y) (14) Rob Wright 12.55 Betfred TV Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (Grade I: £31,323: 2m 4f 10y) (5) S Bowen 1 6-0121 CYRNAME 38 (H,T,G,S) P Nicholls 6-11-4 N Fehily 2 04-121 KALONDRA 49 (T,D,G,S) N Mulholland 7-11-4 11022NO COMMENT 282 (H,D,BF,S) P Hobbs 7-11-4 T O'Brien 3 T Scudamore 4 P-1313 WEST APPROACH 39 (D,G,S) C Tizzard 8-11-4 D Jacob 5 -13131 TERREFORT 22 (D,S) N Henderson 5-11-1 11-8 Terrefort, 2-1 Cyrname, 4-1 Kalondra, 8-1 No Comment, 12-1 West Approach. Betfred Handicap Chase 46-P24 TOP GAMBLE 33 (T,D,BF,G,S) K Lee 10-11-12 B J Geraghty L Aspell B Powell Rob Wright’s choice: Buveur D’Air has looked as good as ever in winning both starts this season and the Champion Hurdle victor is hard to oppose (£18,768: 1m 7f 119y) (6) 1 ITV4 (Listed: £17,085: 1m 7f 216y) (3) 131 Kevin Jones (5) 1 -11221 ARTHINGTON 58 (D,G,S) J S Mullins 5-11-10 212 AINCHEA 33 (CD,S) C Tizzard 5-11-6 134 H Cobden 2 1-260 DESIREMOI D'AUTHIE 51 (H,S) A King 5-11-0 96 N Fehily 3 240 IT'S GOT LEGS 50 G L Moore 5-11-0 89 J E Moore 4 B J Geraghty v135 5 211-21 COUNTISTER 49 (D,F,G,S) N Henderson 6-10-13 -LIGHTLY SQUEEZE 116F (H,P) P Hide 4-10-4 L Aspell 6 13-8 Countister, 11-4 Ainchea, 4-1 Arthington, 8-1 Desiremoi D'Authie, 9-1 Lightly Squeeze, 16-1 It's Got Legs. 1.15 Betfred Contenders Hurdle 154 140 153 136 v155 3F/F BLUE VALENTINE 63 (W) H Whittington 7-11-0 H Bannister 0-054 FLEUR DU POMMIER 16 G Maundrell 5-11-0 T Cannon 66 HIJRAN 16 H Oliver 5-11-0 J Davies 1-12 NORTHERN BEAU 15 M Scudamore 5-11-0 R Dunne 3.35 149 C Deutsch (3) 1 1-P364 YALA ENKI 14 (BF,S) Miss V Williams 8-11-12 149 R Patrick (5) 2 03P-2P BISHOPS ROAD 28 (C,S) K Lee 10-11-12 149 H Cobden 3 0P-235 QUITE BY CHANCE 33 (W,T,G,S) C Tizzard 9-11-11 148 A Coleman 4 1F6-23 FINAL NUDGE 28 (D,S) D Dennis 9-11-10 S Twiston-Davies v151 5 21/233 SAMETEGAL 33 (T,G,S) P Nicholls 9-11-9 144 Paul O'Brien (5) 6 1-P345 LOOSE CHIPS 28 (B,CD,G,S) C Longsdon 12-11-5 150 J Bargary (3) 7 22-1P2 COGRY 21 (P,D,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 9-11-4 150 8 164141 HOLLY BUSH HENRY 12 (P,C,D,G,S) P Middleton 7-10-13 J Bowen (3) 144 N Fehily 9 3-1P41 WICKED WILLY 25 (D,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 7-10-11 150 S Bowen 10 120/23 BALLYDINE 23 (S) C Longsdon 8-10-11 148 L Aspell 11 633U22 SHANROE SANTOS 27 (B,CD,G,S) Mrs L Wadham 9-10-7 144 J E Moore 12 P1/54U VINO GRIEGO 28 (CD,G,S) G L Moore 13-10-4 9-2 Final Nudge, 13-2 Ballydine, Sametegal, 8-1 Cogry, Yala Enki, Holly Bush Henry, 10-1 others. Wright choice: Ballydine has been showing promise over shorter and is now up to a more suitable trip Dangers: Holly Bush Henry, Quite By Chance 4.10 Handicap Chase (£12,512: 2m 3f) (8) 1 5-451 KNOCKGRAFFON 33 (T,P,D) O Murphy 8-11-12 F Gregory (7) J Quinlan 2 3-301 MERCIAN PRINCE 21 (D) A Murphy 7-11-8 3 22-62 SPECIAL CATCH 39 (D) R Jefferson 11-11-4 J Hamilton (3) 5-1U4 GREY GOLD 28 (D) K Lee 13-11-4 D Cook 4 H Skelton 5 11F42 SAM RED 25 (T) D Skelton 7-11-2 T Kelly 6 -02U4 PAIN AU CHOCOLAT 31 R Menzies 7-11-2 C Nichol 7 4P-2F TAKINGRISKS 20 N Richards 9-10-11 K K Woods 8 2F232 KAYF BLANCO 21 (C) G McPherson 9-10-7 4-1 Kayf Blanco, Knockgraffon, 5-1 Sam Red, 11-2 Mercian Prince, 6-1 Takingrisks, 7-1 Grey Gold, 9-1 Special Catch, 12-1 Pain Au Chocolat. 2.10 Novices’ Hurdle (£4,224: 2m 5f) (4) 12 CONINGSBY 33 T Lacey 5-10-12 Mr T O'Brien (5) 1 T Phelan 2 12/0- LOCH GARMAN ARIS 348 G Hanmer 8-10-12 133 ROBIN WATERS 43 D Skelton 5-10-12 H Skelton 3 J Hamilton (3) 4 /5-P5 ONLY ORVIETO 90 R Jefferson 7-10-5 4-7 Robin Waters, 9-4 Coningsby, 10-1 Only Orvieto, 16-1 Loch Garman Aris. 2.40 totesport.com Towton Novices’ Chase ITV4 (Grade II: £19,933: 3m 45y) (6) T Bellamy 1 -5124 BALLYOPTIC 39 (D) N Twiston-Davies 8-11-3 K K Woods 2 1-11P AMI DESBOIS 33 (T,C,D) G McPherson 8-11-0 F-611 CAPTAIN CHAOS 66 (B,CD) D Skelton 7-11-0 H Skelton 3 4 2P-5R SHADES OF MIDNIGHT 35 A Thomson 8-11-0 H Bannister 5 0-124 VINTAGE CLOUDS 28 (C,D,BF) Mrs S Smith 8-11-0 D Cook T Cannon 6 221-1 PEARL ROYALE 39 N Hawke 6-10-7 11-4 Ballyoptic, Captain Chaos, 3-1 Ami Desbois, 4-1 Vintage Clouds, 13-2 Pearl Royale, 33-1 Shades Of Midnight. Wright choice: Vintage Clouds was a good fourth in the Welsh National and should go close Danger: Ballyoptic 3.20 Handicap Hurdle (£6,888: 3m) (7) H Skelton 1 1-312 RED RISING 33 (D,BF) D Skelton 7-11-12 S W Quinlan 2 5-544 BRYDEN BOY 28 (P,D) J Candlish 8-11-10 R Hogg (7) 3 2050- MYDOR 185F (P,D) K Slack 8-11-10 J Colliver 4 PP006 DEDIGOUT 10 (T,P,D) M D Hammond 12-10-11 H Bannister 5 -3343 FLORRIE KNOX 34 A Hales 5-10-11 J Davies 6 2-634 FISCAL SPACE 47 T Symonds 6-10-8 K K Woods 7 -2P52 RIO BRAVO 35 (T) G McPherson 7-10-7 11-8 Red Rising, 4-1 Fiscal Space, 9-2 Florrie Knox, 7-1 Bryden Boy, 8-1 Rio Bravo, 14-1 Mydor, 20-1 Dedigout. 3.55 Hunters’ Chase (£2,371: 3m) (5) 2P-65 AULDTHUNDER 231 (W) T Reed 11-12-4 Mr N Orpwood (5) 1P2-1 GALWAY JACK 263 (CD) G Bailey 13-12-4 Mr T McClorey (5) 3 42-11 TOP WOOD 36P (T,P,D) Miss K Morgan 11-12-4 Mr S Davies-Thomas (3) 4 3165- WELLS DE LUNE 375 (H,T,C) M Bowen 7-12-4 Mr P Bryan (7) 5 14-54 TREAT YOURSELF 245 (D) Miss M Bentham 11-12-0 Mr R Collinson (7) 7-4 Galway Jack, Top Wood, 3-1 Wells De Lune, 10-1 Treat Yourself, 25-1 Auldthunder. 1 2 4.30 Novices’ H’cap Hdle (£6,498: 2m 3f 173y) (7) 31-14 PALMERS HILL 70 (BF,S) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-12 114 B J Geraghty 1 J Bowen (3) v120 2 021-32 COLONIAL DREAMS 25 (G) N Henderson 6-11-8 114 J McGrath 3 60-125 LANDIN 47 (D,G) J S Mullins 5-11-8 4-60 KAPCORSE 64 P Nicholls 5-11-6 111 S Twiston-Davies 4 114 D Sansom (7) 5 32-252 MISS ADVENTURE 27 (H) P Middleton 6-11-5 118 A Coleman 6 3223/1 JUST SO COOL 22 (D,S) D Dennis 7-11-3 114 L Aspell 7 4-U325 HOLDBACKTHERIVER 25 E Williams 6-10-12 3-1 Colonial Dreams, 9-2 Palmers Hill, 5-1 Kapcorse, 11-2 Just So Cool, Landin, 10-1 others. 03 TROOBLUE 39 Mrs S Smith 6-11-0 D Cook 5 1 SHAMBRA 24 (H,D) Mrs L Wadham 4-10-11 M Tissier (7) 6 15-8 Northern Beau, Shambra, 11-4 Blue Valentine, 12-1 Trooblue, 16-1 Hijran, 25-1 Fleur Du Pommier. 1.35 Betfred Mobile Masters Handicap ITV4 Chase (£31,280: 3m 37y) (12) NH Flat Race (£2,599: 2m) (14) 1- BLACK PIRATE 403P J Ewart 6-11-3 C O'Farrell 1-2 BURNS CROSS 30 N Mulholland 6-11-3 H Reed (7) 1 COURT MASTER 83P M Scudamore 5-11-3 R Dunne DETTE DE JEU H Whittington 5-11-3 H Bannister F-4 DOC PENFRO 34 K Frost 6-11-3 W Hutchinson FROZEN OUT T Easterby 5-11-3 Mr W Easterby (7) 2 INFORMATEUR 35 Mrs S Smith 5-11-3 D Cook 64 MULTITALENTED 35 T Tate 5-11-3 K Wood (5) 3 NORMAN STANLEY 72 G McPherson 6-11-3 K K Woods 0 SKA RIDGE 32 R Menzies 6-11-3 T Kelly P-2 SUPREMELY LUCKY 62P D Skelton 6-11-3 H Skelton TUPOLEV A Murphy 5-11-3 J Quinlan P30- WHOSTOSAY 292 (H,T) M D Hammond 6-11-3 H Thompson Brown (10) 0 WOR VERGE 65 S Corbett 5-11-3 Mr D Hurst (7) 14 4-1 Supremely Lucky, 5-1 Norman Stanley, 6-1 Tupolev, 7-1 Doc Penfro, 8-1 Burns Cross, 10-1 Black Pirate, Court Master, Informateur, 12-1 others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Kempton Park Rob Wright 5.45 Runaiocht 7.15 Morning Has Broken 6.15 Ripp Orf 7.45 Humbert 6.45 Bungee Jump 8.15 Intermodal Going: standard Draw: low best Racing UK 5.45 Handicap (£2,588: 7f) (14) 00-06 PACO FILLY 10 Mrs N Evans 4-9-7 G Downing 00-30 RUNAIOCHT 8 (B) P Burgoyne 8-9-6 O Murphy 2500- TRUST ME BOY 61 (B,D) John E Long 10-9-5 R Havlin 000-0 CHECK 'EM TUESDAY 29 (C) I Furtado 5-9-5 P McDonald 0040- INNSTIGATOR 109 (BF) R J Smith 4-9-4 P Bradley (5) 00-64 MONARCH MAID 10 P Hiatt 7-9-4 W A Carson 4000- CAIUS COLLEGE GIRL 109 A Wintle 6-9-4 Nicola Currie (5) 000-6 ONLY TEN PER CENT 10 (V,C,D) J Jenkins 10-9-2 A Rawlinson T Marquand 9 (3) 0530- ARYA STARK 344 A Carroll 4-9-2 10 (7) 360-5 WHALEWEIGH STATION 10 (V,CD) J Jenkins 7-9-2 Josephine Gordon C Bennett (3) 11(14) 004-3 DIVINE CALL 10 (CD) C Wallis 11-9-2 Jane Elliott (5) 12(11) 000-4 LESANTI 21 E De Giles 4-9-2 R Winston 13 (6) 300-0 ASSERTOR 24 A Carroll 4-9-2 L Morris 14(10) 4400- SHE'S ZOFF 65 Mrs L Williamson 4-9-2 5-1 Paco Filly, Runaiocht, 6-1 Monarch Maid, 7-1 Innstigator, 10-1 others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (5) (1) (8) (4) (13) (2) (12) (9) 6.15 Novice Stakes (£3,881: 7f) (9) Fran Berry 1 (9) 350-0 SEA FOX 7 P D Evans 4-10-4 R L Moore 2 (8) 342/2 RIPP ORF 10 D Elsworth 4-10-0 3 (2) 4-0 COMPTON ABBEY 28 B Johnson 4-9-9 C Shepherd (3) O Murphy 4 (7) 40-12 PAPA STOUR 25 (D,BF) A Balding 3-9-4 3 MICHAEL CORLEONE 13 M Meade 3-8-11 P McDonald 5 (4) NIGHT CASTLE C Appleby 3-8-11 T Marquand 6 (6) L Morris 7 (5) 60- TRIBAL WARRIOR 52 J Tate 3-8-11 SETTING SUN R Hannon 3-8-6 Hollie Doyle 8 (1) K O'Neill 9 (3) 0-5 WOGGLE 28 G Deacon 3-8-6 3-1 Ripp Orf, 7-2 Papa Stour, 4-1 Michael Corleone, Night Castle, 8-1 others. 6.45 Handicap (3-Y-O: £3,752: 6f) (4) J Fanning 1 (4) 3-341 THE BRITISH LION 3 M Johnston 9-11 R L Moore 2 (2) 241-5 BEZOS 8 (P) R Hannon 9-7 O Murphy 3 (3) 20-5 ELITE SHADOW 16 Miss G Kelleway 9-2 C Noble (5) 4 (1) 0-531 BUNGEE JUMP 8 K A Ryan 9-1 7-4 Bungee Jump, 2-1 The British Lion, 5-2 Bezos, 8-1 Elite Shadow. 7.15 Handicap (3-Y-O: £9,338: 7f) (4) T J Murphy 1 (2) 231-2 MOTOWN MICK 14 (D) R Hannon 9-7 2 (1) 5-11 MORNING HAS BROKEN 14 (CD) D Elsworth 9-3 R L Moore P Hanagan 3 (3) 34-14 WINDSOR CROSS 3 (V,D,BF) R Fahey 9-0 T Marquand 4 (4) 3611- OJALA 34 (D) S Dow 8-12 Evens Morning Has Broken, 3-1 Ojala, 5-1 Motown Mick, Windsor Cross. 7.45 Handicap (£6,469: 1m) (7) P McDonald 1 (3) 111-4 MALASPINA 17 (P,D,BF) I Furtado 6-9-12 2 (5) 6/1-1 HUMBERT 19 (CD) H Palmer 4-9-11 Josephine Gordon S W Kelly 3 (2) 4364- DR JULIUS NO 125 M McGrath 4-9-11 G Downing 4 (1) 025-0 POETIC FORCE 18 A Carroll 4-9-7 M Dwyer 5 (6) 1404- CYRUS DALLIN 168 (D) W Muir 4-9-3 Nicola Currie (5) 6 (7) 546-5 ATHASSEL 31 (C) P D Evans 9-8-12 7 (4) 0005- DEREK DUVAL 101 (W,H,T) S Williams 4-8-11 A Jones (3) 5-4 Humbert, 5-1 Cyrus Dallin, Derek Duval, 7-1 Malaspina, 8-1 others. 8.15 Handicap (£3,105: 1m 3f 219y) (14) 1 (1) 402/0 SWORD OF THE LORD 30 (P) Mrs N Evans 8-9-7 Nicola Currie (5) T J Murphy 2 (3) 1240/ AUSTIN FRIARS 411 S Best 6-9-7 S W Kelly 3 (8) P05-0 KATH'S LEGACY 24 R Hughes 5-9-7 R P Walsh (7) 4 (10) 0000- FREUD 39 (P) I Williams 8-9-6 E Greatrex 5 (11) 1314/ BOUTAN 25J (P) G Harris 5-9-5 P Bradley (5) 6 (12) 34-50 ICONIC BELLE 21 M Channon 4-9-5 O Murphy 7 (5) 0653- INTERMODAL 57 (C) J Tuite 4-9-5 L Morris 8 (14) 001-1 SKY MARSHAL 17 (D) E Walker 4-9-3 J Haynes 9 (4) /5-32 BOGARDUS 7 (C) P Holmes 7-9-2 C Shepherd (3) 10 (2) 052-2 RAKEMATIZ 8 (BF) B Johnson 4-9-1 K O'Neill 11(13) 0510- BUSHEL 44 (D) A G Newcombe 8-9-0 Hollie Doyle 12 (7) 05-05 ESTIBDAAD 8 (T,C,D) P Butler 8-8-12 13 (9) 000-4 LORD FRANKLIN 16 Andrew Crook 9-8-10 P McDonald K Fox 14 (6) 5000/ WALLY'S WISDOM 586 J Jenkins 6-8-10 7-2 Rakematiz, Sky Marshal, 4-1 Bogardus, 8-1 Intermodal, 10-1 others. Yesterday’s racing results Catterick Going: good to soft (soft in places) 1.20 (1m 7f 156yd hdle) 1, Alohamora (A Coleman, 13-2); 2, Hazy Manor (66-1); 3, The Lady Rules (9-1). 6 ran. NR: Shine Baby Shine. 10l, 2Kl. J Nash. 1.50 (2m 3f 66yd hdle) 1, Sam’s Gunner (S Quinlan, 85-40); 2, Scheu Time (9-1); 3, What’s The Scoop (6-1). 5 ran. 1Nl, 1Ol. M W Easterby. 2.25 (1m 7f 145yd ch) 1, Oak Vintage (R Chapman, 7-4 jt-fav); 2, Peppay Le Pugh (7-4 jtfav); 3, Where’s Tiger (5-1). 5 ran. 7l, 13l. Mrs A Hamilton. 2.55 (3m 1f 71yd hdle) 1, Planet Nine (C Nichol, 11-2); 2, Kansas City Chief (4-6 fav); 3, Tomkevi (20-1). 6 ran. 1Nl, 7l. Mrs R Dobbin. 3.30 (3m 1f 54yd ch) 1, Same Circus (B Hughes, 15-8); 2, Sheneededtherun (8-1); 3, Timon’s Tara (13-8 fav). 4 ran. 1l, 4Kl. D McCain Jnr. 4.05 (3m 1f 54yd ch) 1, In The Hold (B Hughes, 9-1); 2, Iskabeg Lane (15-8); 3, Mount Oliver (6-4 fav). 6 ran. 4l, 70l. Evan Williams. 4.35 (2m 3f 66yd hdle) 1, Toarmandowithlove (J Corbett, 9-2); 2, Derrynane (10-11 fav); 3, Perseid (3-1). 6 ran. 2Nl, 18l. S Corbett. Placepot: £538.40. Quadpot: £12.30. Chepstow Going: heavy (soft in places) 1.10 (2m 11yd hdle) 1, Billingsley (L Edwards, 8-1); 2, Don’t Ask (Evens fav); 3, Marley Firth (9-4). 10 ran. NR: Desque De L’isle. Ol, 1l. A Ralph. 1.40 (2m 7f 131yd ch) 1, Thomas Patrick (R Johnson, 6-1); 2, Step Back (11-4); 3, Rolling Dylan (5-2 fav). 7 ran. 4Kl, 18l. Tom Lacey. 2.15 (2m 7f 131yd hdle) 1, Rock My Style (R Johnson, 11-10 fav); 2, This Is It (9-2); 3, Pauls Hill (6-1). 7 ran. Nk, 37l. W Greatrex. 2.45 (2m 3f 98yd ch) 1, Market Road (Miss I Williams, 7-2 fav); 2, Arquebusier (4-1); 3, Caprice D’anglais (5-1). 8 ran. NR: Fear Glic. 1Ol, 16l. Evan Williams. 3.20 (2m 3f 100yd hdle) 1, Daisy De Sivola (Mr C Williams, 12-1); 2, Mountain Of Mourne (16-1); 3, Quiz Master (17-2). 13 ran. Kl, Kl. Nick Williams. 3.55 (2m 7f 131yd ch) 1, Paddy The Oscar (C Ring, 7-1); 2, Thedrinkymeister (7-1); 3, Alf ‘n’ Dor (9-2 fav). 9 ran. NR: Allchilledout. 11l, 8l. Grace Harris. 4.25 (2m 11yd flat) 1, Remastered (T Scudamore, 10-11 fav); 2, Kateson (7-4); 3, Kauto The King (12-1). 5 ran. NR: Potters Tale. 3Kl, 12l. D Pipe. Placepot: £58.30. Quadpot: £24.70. Lingfield Park Going: standard 1.30 (1m 1yd) 1, Miss Minuty (J Watson, 15-8 fav); 2, Assanilka (9-4); 3, Hipz (14-1). 6 ran. NR: Mississippi Miss. Ns, 2Kl. J Scott. 2.00 (7f 1yd) 1, Outer Space (W Cox, 4-1); 2, Captain Lars (11-4); 3, Varsovian (5-2 fav). 6 ran. 2Nl, nk. J Flint. 2.35 (1m 2f) 1, Broderie (T Marquand, 9-4); 2, Craving (7-4 fav); 3, Sociologist (9-2). 6 ran. 2Nl, 1Ol. C Appleby. 3.05 (1m 7f 169yd) 1, Watersmeet (J Fanning, 1-4 fav); 2, St Mary’s (13-2); 3, Curbyourenthusiasm (8-1). 6 ran. 2l, 2l. M Johnston. 3.40 (5f 6yd) 1, Nomorecalls (J Fanning, 15-8); 2, Reiffa (2-5 fav); 3, Taurean Gold (100-1). 4 ran. 2Kl, nk. R Cowell. 4.15 (1m 2f) 1, Easy Tiger (Georgia Cox, 9-2); 2, Dutch Uncle (7-2); 3, Lawless Secret (6-4 fav). 6 ran. Ol, Kl. M Saunders. Placepot: £36.90. Quadpot: £9.60. Wolverhampton Going: standard 5.45 (1m 1f 104yd) 1, Ravenhoe (O Stammers, 18-1); 2, Top Offer (8-1); 3, Sunshineandbubbles (6-1). 11 ran. NR: New Abbey Angel. Kl, Kl. M Johnston. 6.15 (2m 120yd) 1, Mambo Dancer (F Norton, 7-2); 2, Suegioo (9-1); 3, Seaport (5-1). 9 ran. 1Kl, 2Nl. M Johnston. 6.45 (1m 4f 51yd) 1, Dream Magic (A Mullen, 6-4 fav); 2, Akkadian Empire (7-1); 3, Frozon (16-1). 7 ran. 10l, 5l. D M Loughnane. 7.15 (1m 142yd) 1, Petruchio (P McDonald, 5-2); 2, Stealth (17-2); 3, Glorious Player (5-1). 12 ran. 2l, ns. E Walker. 7.45 (1m 142yd) 1, Gone With The Wind (J Hart, 10-1); 2, Outlaw Torn (2-1 fav); 3, Mossy’s Lodge (16-1). 12 ran. NR: St James’s Park. Nk, nk. Rebecca Bastiman. 8.15 (7f 36yd) 1, Herm (F Berry, 17-2); 2, Jumping Around (11-2); 3, Ad Vitam (10-1). 10 ran. 1Ol, 1l. P D Evans. 8.45 (7f 36yd) 1, Lucky Lodge (C Hardie, 8-1); 2, Chaucer’s Tale (5-4 fav); 3, Joey’s Destiny (7-1). 9 ran. Hd, Kl. A Brittain. Placepot: £152.00. Quadpot: £20.10. 6 North Yorkshire trainer Malcolm Jefferson, who saddled Tindari and Dato Star to win at the Cheltenham Festival has died aged 71 after a long illness. the times | Saturday February 3 2018 19 3G S Sport At The Races to lose Irish coverage RYAN BYRNE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK Rob Wright Racing Editor The At The Races television channel was dealt a severe blow yesterday when it was revealed that it is to lose the rights to cover Irish racing. Its rival satellite broadcaster Racing UK is taking over. At The Races has made a significant commitment to Irish racing in recent years, making much of the fact that it has the exclusive rights. However, those rights run out at the end of this year and it appears to have lost out in the next round of bidding. Irish racing will move to Racing UK for a minimum of five years. It is understood that the deal will not be confirmed until a meeting with the Irish racecourses on Tuesday, but no problems are envisaged. While At The Races has a theoretical reach of about ten million viewers, being “free” to those who have paid a satellite subscription, Racing UK is a standalone channel that charges £24.98 a month. However, At The Races usually averages fewer than 50,000 viewers for its coverage. The news was met with a mixed response from viewers on social media, with some claiming that it took racing away from the man on the street but others praising the “more professional presentation” and high-definition pictures offered by Racing UK, which has 50,000 subscribers. There will be days when the race times in Ireland clash with British meetings covered by Racing UK, but that is unlikely to be much more of an issue than it has been for At The Races, with the two channels covering a similar number of meetings in Britain. Of the 1,500 meetings in Britain each year, Racing UK covers about 800, compared with 700 on At The Races. At The Races will be expecting above-average viewing numbers for the inaugural Dublin Festival, with seven grade-one races in two days at Leopardstown this weekend. All eyes today will be on Faugheen as he attempts to bounce back to form in the BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle. Leopardstown Faugheen, the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner, runs today at Leopardstown Going: soft, yielding in places on chase course Grade-one races At The Races and RTE2 1.10 Nathaniel Lacy & Partners Solicitors Novice Hurdle (£52,212: 2m 6f) (7) D J Mullins 1 06-13 CARTER MCKAY 21 (C) W Mullins 7-11-10 2 F1-41 DICEY O'REILLY 36 (T,C) H De Bromhead 6-11-10 D Robinson 3 12311 FABULOUS SAGA 36 (T,D) W Mullins 6-11-10 P Townend R M Power 4 31234 JETZ 27 Mrs J Harrington 6-11-10 S W Flanagan 5 4-110 MOYROSS 27 (D) N Meade 7-11-10 D N Russell 6 -1611 DORTMUND PARK 13 (T,D) G Elliott 5-11-8 J J Slevin 7 -1104 TOWER BRIDGE 37 (T) J P O'Brien 5-11-8 15-8 Dortmund Park, 3-1 Fabulous Saga, 4-1 Carter McKay, 6-1 Dicey O'Reilly, 7-1 Jetz, 14-1 Moyross, 33-1 Tower Bridge. 2.20 Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase (£52,212: 2m 1f) (5) U-222 ANY SECOND NOW 39 T Walsh (Ire) 6-11-10 M P Walsh 43-11 FOOTPAD 39 (CD) W Mullins (Ire) 6-11-10 P Townend 113-1 PETIT MOUCHOIR 108 (C,D) H De Bromhead 7-11-10 D N Russell J Kennedy 4 45-21 TYCOON PRINCE 38 (T,CD) G Elliott 8-11-10 D J Mullins 5 13111 DEMI SANG 27 (D) W Mullins 5-11-5 8-11 Footpad, 15-8 Petit Mouchoir, 12-1 Any Second Now, 16-1 Demi Sang, 20-1 Tycoon Prince. 1 2 3 3.30 BHP Insurance Irish Champion Hurdle (£75,000: 2m) (8) P Townend 1 11/1P FAUGHEEN 36 (CD,BF) W Mullins 10-11-10 2 U460- IDENTITY THIEF 281 (C,D) H De Bromhead 8-11-10 S W Flanagan M P Walsh 3 5-125 JEZKI 37 (B,CD) Mrs J Harrington 10-11-10 D J Mullins 4 22-13 MELON 49 (H,CD,BF) W Mullins 6-11-10 D N Russell 5 1-351 MICK JAZZ 36 (H,CD) G Elliott 7-11-10 6 12-32 SUPASUNDAE 37 (CD) Mrs J Harrington 8-11-10 R M Power 31-23 BAPAUME 37 (CD) W Mullins 5-11-9 Ms K Walsh 7 R Johnson 8 111-4 DEFI DU SEUIL 70 (D,BF) P Hobbs (GB) 5-11-9 Evens Faugheen, 7-2 Defi Du Seuil, Melon, 14-1 Mick Jazz, Supasundae, 20-1 Bapaume, 25-1 Jezki, 40-1 Identity Thief. For a couple of years Faugheen was untouchable, twice winning at the Cheltenham Festival, where he followed a 15-length success in novice company in 2014 with an easy victory in the 2015 Champion Hurdle. Now a ten-year-old, Faugheen missed last season through injury and, after making a winning return to action at Punchestown in November, problems resurfaced when he was pulled up at Leopardstown the next month. “It was head-scratching what happened at Christmas and frustrating,” Willie Mullins, his trainer, said. “I just hope it doesn’t happen again. “I was relieved once he came back in with no physical evidence of any legs problems. Well then it might be wind, lungs, heart or a muscle problem, but we haven’t seen any evidence of that. “He has had an ECG scan done and had his wind checked. Something must have choked him on the day, or something like that.” At his best Faugheen would brush today’s rivals aside, but he cannot afford to be too far from his peak. His stablemate Melon, who was the runner-up in last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, and the British raider Defi Du Seuil, the Triumph Hurdle winner, head the opposition. There will be no shortage of Cheltenham Festival clues on offer and the clash of Footpad and Petit Mouchoir in the Frank Ward Solicitors Arkle Novice Chase will be fascinating. Petit Mouchoir finished ahead of Footpad when the pair were third and fourth in the Champion Hurdle last March and they have both taken well to fences, comfortably winning all three starts between them. Footpad is the favourite to take his revenge here but, if the front-running Petit Mouchoir is allowed to dominate from the outset, he will be tough to peg back. The highlight of the four top-flight races at Leopardstown tomorrow is the Unibet Irish Gold Cup, with last year’s commanding winner of the Irish Grand National, Our Duke, heading the betting. Perhaps the best horse on show, though, is Samcro, who puts his unbeaten record on the line in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle. Ballydine can capitalise on lenient mark Rob Wright Ballydine is open to plenty of improvement over fences and is fancied to make the most of a light weight to land the Betfred Mobile Masters Handicap Chase (3.35) at Sandown Park. This gelding was a smart performer in novice hurdles two seasons ago, making the classy Barters Hill pull out all the stops in grade two company at Doncaster. He picked up a leg injury when well fancied for a grade one hurdle at Aintree and missed last season. Ballydine has shaped as though retaining plenty of ability since switched to fences this term, though, making the frame on both starts despite racing over an inadequate trip. A first try over three miles in this sphere seems sure to suit Ballydine well and, running off a stone lower handicap mark than he would over hurdles, he holds plenty of appeal. Last year’s Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air faces a simple task as he warms up for a repeat bid against just two rivals in the Betfred Contenders Hurdle (1.50). He starts at mightily cramped odds, though, and a better betting proposition is Terrefort in the Betfred Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (2.25). Nicky Henderson’s French import could not have been more impressive when making a winning start in Britain at Huntingdon and he can claim a first success at the highest level. The progressive Topofthegame looks the one to beat in the Betfred Heroes Handicap Hurdle (3.00). He stayed on strongly when fourth at Kempton Park last time and this stiffer test of stamina should help him to find the necessary improvement. At Musselburgh, Sir Chauvelin will be tough to beat in the bet365 Scottish County Hurdle (2.05). He had a good season on the Flat last year and carried that form back to the jumps when easily winning over this course and distance last time. He still looks well treated. Fixtures Results Today Football Kick-0ff 3.0 unless stated Premier League: Bournemouth v Stoke; Arsenal v Everton (5.30); Brighton v West Ham; Burnley v Man City (12.30); Leicester v Swansea; Man Utd v Huddersfield; West Brom v Southampton. Sky Bet Championship: Aston Villa v Burton Albion; Derby v Brentford; Fulham v Nottm Forest; Leeds v Cardiff; Norwich v Middlesbrough; Preston v Hull; QPR v Barnsley; Reading v Millwall; Sheff Wed v Birmingham; Sunderland v Ipswich; Wolves v Sheff Utd (5.30). P Wolves...................29 Derby......................29 Aston Villa.............29 Cardiff....................28 Bristol City.............30 Fulham...................29 Sheff Utd ............... 29 Middlesbrough.......29 Preston...................29 Leeds......................29 Brentford ............... 29 Ipswich...................29 Norwich..................29 Millwall..................29 Nottm Forest.........29 Sheff Wed..............29 QPR ........................ 29 Reading..................29 Bolton.....................29 Barnsley.................29 Birmingham...........29 Hull.........................29 Sunderland.............29 Burton....................29 W 20 15 15 15 14 13 14 13 11 13 11 12 11 8 11 7 8 8 7 6 7 5 5 6 D 5 9 8 6 9 9 4 6 12 5 10 4 7 11 2 12 9 8 8 9 6 11 10 6 L 4 5 6 7 7 7 11 10 6 11 8 13 11 10 16 10 12 13 14 14 16 13 14 17 F 51 44 43 40 42 49 42 38 35 40 42 41 29 33 35 30 31 33 27 29 19 39 31 22 A 22 23 25 25 33 35 33 27 28 33 36 41 33 33 46 34 42 37 46 43 40 45 50 55 GD Pts 29 65 21 54 18 53 15 51 9 51 14 48 9 46 11 45 7 45 7 44 6 43 0 40 -4 40 0 35 -11 35 -4 33 -11 33 -4 32 -19 29 -14 27 -21 27 -6 26 -19 25 -33 24 League One: Bristol Rovers v Shrewsbury; Bury v Blackpool; Charlton v Oxford Utd; Fleetwood Town v Scunthorpe; Northampton v Rochdale; Oldham v Bradford; Peterborough v Southend; Plymouth v Blackburn; Portsmouth v Doncaster; Rotherham v AFC Wimbledon; Walsall v Milton Keynes Dons; Wigan v Gillingham. P W D L F A GD Pts Wigan..................27 18 6 3 53 13 40 60 Blackburn............29 17 8 4 54 27 27 59 Shrewsbury.........28 17 7 4 37 20 17 58 Scunthorpe..........30 14 9 7 42 30 12 51 Bradford..............30 15 3 12 44 45 -1 48 Rotherham..........29 14 5 10 48 36 12 47 Charlton .............. 28 Peterborough......28 Portsmouth.........29 Gillingham...........29 Bristol Rovers.....29 Oxford Utd..........29 Plymouth.............30 Doncaster............30 Fleetwood Town.29 AFC Wimbledon..28 Southend.............29 Walsall................28 Blackpool.............29 Northampton......30 MK Dons..............28 Oldham................30 Rochdale..............26 Bury.....................28 13 7 8 37 33 4 46 12 7 9 46 37 9 43 13 3 13 34 33 1 42 10 10 9 34 32 2 40 12 3 14 42 45 -3 39 10 8 11 44 43 1 38 10 8 12 33 39 -6 38 9 10 11 34 35 -1 37 10 6 13 40 45 -5 36 9 7 12 28 31 -3 34 9 7 13 35 49 -14 34 8 9 11 35 41 -6 33 8 9 12 34 40 -6 33 9 6 15 28 50 -22 33 7 9 12 29 40 -11 30 7 8 15 41 55 -14 29 4 10 12 26 37 -11 22 5 5 18 21 43 -22 20 League Two: Accrington Stanley v Stevenage; Chesterfield v Crawley Town; Colchester v Newport County; Forest Green v Coventry; Grimsby v Cheltenham; Lincoln City v Swindon; Luton v Exeter; Mansfield v Barnet; Notts County v Crewe; Port Vale v Morecambe; Wycombe v Carlisle; Yeovil v Cambridge Utd. P Luton...................30 Wycombe............29 Notts County ...... 29 Exeter..................28 Coventry..............29 Mansfield............29 Swindon..............29 Accrington ..........28 Lincoln City.........29 Newport County . 30 Colchester...........30 Crawley...............30 Carlisle................29 Stevenage...........30 Cambridge...........29 Cheltenham.........30 Grimsby...............31 Port Vale.............30 Yeovil..................29 Morecambe.........30 Crewe..................29 Chesterfield........30 Forest Green.......30 Barnet.................29 W 18 15 14 16 15 13 16 15 13 12 11 12 11 10 10 9 9 9 8 7 9 7 7 5 D 6 7 9 3 5 11 2 4 9 10 10 6 8 8 8 8 8 6 7 9 2 6 5 7 L 6 7 6 9 9 5 11 9 7 8 9 12 10 12 11 13 14 15 14 14 18 17 18 17 F 66 55 48 40 34 43 45 48 41 41 40 32 39 38 28 40 28 34 41 29 34 30 31 28 A 30 40 32 33 21 32 40 34 28 36 37 35 37 41 39 45 43 41 50 41 49 53 53 43 GD Pts 36 60 15 52 16 51 7 51 13 50 11 50 5 50 14 49 13 48 5 46 3 43 -3 42 2 41 -3 38 -11 38 -5 35 -15 35 -7 33 -9 31 -12 30 -15 29 -23 27 -22 26 -15 22 Vanarama National: AFC Fylde v Eastleigh; Halifax v Dag & Red; Guiseley v Wrexham; Torquay v Barrow; Tranmere v Ebbsfleet. P Macclesfield........31 Aldershot............31 Wrexham ............ 31 Sutton Utd..........30 Tranmere ............ 31 Dover Athletic .... 31 Bromley...............31 Boreham Wood...31 AFC Fylde............31 Dagenham & Red 31 Ebbsfleet 31 Eastleigh.............31 Maidenhead ....... 31 Gateshead...........30 Woking................31 Maidstone ..........31 Leyton Orient......31 Hartlepool...........31 Halifax.................31 Barrow ................ 29 Solihull Moors.....31 Chester................31 Guiseley .............. 29 Torquay...............31 W 16 15 14 15 14 13 14 13 13 12 10 10 10 9 11 9 9 8 8 7 8 5 4 4 D 8 10 11 7 9 12 8 11 9 9 13 13 11 13 6 11 8 10 10 10 6 12 10 9 L 7 6 6 8 8 6 9 7 9 10 8 8 10 8 14 11 14 13 13 12 17 14 15 18 F 39 49 35 44 48 43 53 45 54 48 41 49 42 38 40 38 39 35 32 36 32 27 27 25 A 33 32 24 35 30 26 37 32 39 40 36 48 43 31 48 48 46 45 43 40 46 51 54 52 GD Pts 6 56 17 55 11 53 9 52 18 51 17 51 16 50 13 50 15 48 8 45 5 43 1 43 -1 41 7 40 -8 39 -10 38 -7 35 -10 34 -11 34 -4 31 -14 30 -24 27 -27 22 -27 21 North: Curzon Ashton v Gainsborough; Darlington v Blyth Spartans; North Ferriby Utd v Leamington; Nuneaton v FC United of Manchester; Salford City v Bradford PA; Southport v AFC Telford; Tamworth v York. South: Bath City v Hampton & Richmond; Bognor Regis Town v Truro City; Chelmsford v Chippenham; Concord Rangers v Oxford City; Eastbourne Borough v Hungerford; Gloucester v Poole Town; Havant and W v Braintree Town; St Albans v Dartford; Whitehawk v Weston-sMare. FA Trophy: Third round: Brackley v Sutton Utd; Dover v Leyton Orient; Harrogate Town v Billericay; Maidenhead Utd v Stockport County; Maidstone Utd v Gateshead; Spennymoor Town v East Thurrock; Wealdstone v Warrington Town; Workington v Bromley. FA Vase: Fifth round: 1874 Northwich v Chichester City (at Witton Albion); Coleshill Town v Bracknell Town; Marske Utd v Bradford Town; Melksham Town v Tring Athletic; Stockton Town v Stourport Swifts; Thatcham Town v Bromsgrove Sports; Windsor v Hamble Club; Wolverhampton SC v Leighton Town. Evo-Stik Premier Division: North: Altrincham v Mickleover Sports; Barwell v Buxton; Coalville Town v Nantwich Town; Farsley Celtic v Hednesford; Grantham v Witton Albion; Marine v Stafford Rangers; Matlock Town v Lancaster City; Rushall Olympic v Ashton Utd; Stalybridge v Sutton Coldfield; Whitby v Halesowen. South: Banbury v Gosport Borough; Biggleswade Town v Basingstoke; Bishop’s Stortford v St Ives; Dorchester v Kings Langley; Farnborough v Hereford; King’s Lynn Town v Dunstable; Merthyr Town v Weymouth; Redditch v Hitchin; Royston Town v Kettering; St Neots Town v Chesham; Stratford Town v Frome Town; Tiverton v Slough. Bostik Premier: Burgess Hill Town v Hendon; Dorking Wanderers v Harrow Borough; Dulwich Hamlet v Met Police; Folkestone Invicta v Brightlingsea; Kingstonian v Tooting & Mitcham; Leiston v Worthing; Margate v Lowestoft Town; Needham Market v Tonbridge; Staines Town v Merstham; Thurrock v Enfield Town; Wingate & Finchley v Leatherhead. Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: Aberdeen v Hamilton; Dundee v Ross County; Hearts v St Johnstone; Kilmarnock v Celtic (12.30); Motherwell v Partick; Rangers v Hibernian. Rugby union Football Six Nations: Wales v Scotland (2.15); France v Ireland (4.45). Women: France v Ireland (8.0). Anglo-Welsh Cup: Exeter v Saracens (3.0); Newcastle v Gloucester (3.0). British & Irish Cup: Pool five: Cornish Pirates v Hartpury (2.30). Welsh Principality Premiership: Bedwas v Merthyr (11.30); Llandovery v RGC 1404 (12.0); Swansea v Bargoed (12.0). Sky Bet Championship P Celtic...................25 Aberdeen.............25 Rangers...............24 Hibernian ............ 25 Hearts.................25 Motherwell ......... 24 Kilmarnock..........22 St Johnstone.......22 Dundee................24 Hamilton Acad ...23 Partick Thistle....24 Ross County........25 Football W D L F A GD Pts 18 6 1 54 17 37 60 15 4 6 40 29 11 49 14 4 6 45 26 19 46 11 8 6 34 29 5 41 8 10 7 26 23 3 34 8 4 12 30 35 -5 28 6 8 8 26 31 -5 26 7 5 10 22 33 -11 26 7 4 13 25 34 -9 25 6 5 12 31 39 -8 23 6 5 13 23 40 -17 23 4 5 16 24 44 -20 17 Championship: Dumbarton v Brechin; Falkirk v Livingston; Inverness CT v Dundee Utd; Morton v Dunfermline; St Mirren v Queen of the South. League One: Arbroath v Albion; Ayr v Alloa; Forfar v Airdrieonians; Queen’s Park v Raith; Stranraer v East Fife. League Two: Annan Athletic v Cowdenbeath; Clyde v Edinburgh City; Peterhead v Montrose; Stenhousemuir v Berwick; Stirling v Elgin. Rugby league Betfred Championship: Toulouse v Swinton (2.0). Ladbrokes Challanmge Cup: Round one: Shaw Cross v Beverley. Other sport Basketball: BBL Championship: Leicester v Manchester (7.30). Ice hockey: Elite League (7.0): Belfast v Cardiff; Braehead v Fife; Dundee v Edinburgh; Manchester v Coventry; Milton Keynes v Guildford; Sheffield v Nottingham. Tomorrow Premier League: Crystal Palace v Newcastle (2.15); Liverpool v Tottenham (4.30). Rugby league Kick-off 3.0 Betfred Super League: Widnes v Catalans Dragons. Betfred Championship: Featherstone v Halifax; Leigh v Toronto Wolfpack; London Broncos v Barrow; Rochdale v Batley. Rugby union Six Nations: Italy v England (3.0). Women: Italy v England (5.30). Anglo-Welsh Cup: Wasps v Leicester (1.0). Welsh Principality Premiership: Newport v Ebbw Vale (2.30). Other sport Basketball: BBL Championship: Leeds v Worcester (4.0); Plymouth v Sheffield (4.0); Manchester v Newcastle (5.0); . Ice hockey: Elite League: Nottingham v Dundee (4.0); Sheffield v Manchester (5.0); Coventry v Guildford (5.15); Edinburgh v Milton Keynes (6.0); Fife v Braehead (6.30). Bolton (0) 1 Ameobi 71 Bristol City (0) 0 14,172 Cricket First Test: Bangladesh v Sri Lanka Chittagong (third day of five): Bangladesh 513 (Mominul Haque 176, Mushifiqur Rahim 92, Mahmudullah 83 not out, Tamim Iqbal 52). Sri Lanka 504-3 (B K G Mendis 196, D M de Silva 173, A R S Silva 87 not out). Golf Maybank Championship: Kuala Lumpar Leading second-round scores: 133: P Khongwatmai (Thai) 68, 65; N Bertasio (It) 68, 65. 134: M Warren (GB) 68, 66; Y Ikeda (Japan) 70, 64; C Paisley (GB) 65, 69; L Westwood (GB) 72, 62. Rugby union Anglo-Welsh Cup: Cardiff Blues 21 London Irish 42; Dragons 33 Worcester 27; Northampton 36 Harlequins 10; Ospreys 19 Bath 32; Scarlets 18 Sale 45. Six Nations U-20s: Italy 17 England 27; France 34 Ireland 24; Wales 36 Scotland 3. Women’s Six Nations: Wales 18 Scotland 17. Snooker German Masters, Berlin: Second round (GB unless stated): R Day bt M Davis 5-4; S Murphy bt M Joyce 5-1; G Dott bt Mei Xiwen (China) 5-4; Xiao Guodong (China) bt Liang Wenbo (China) 5-2. Tennis Davis Cup: World Group first round Marbella: Spain and Great Britain level at 1-1 (Spain names first): R Bautista Agut lost to C Norrie 6-4, 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 2-6; A Ramos-Vinolas bt L Broady 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 (8-6). Other scores: Croatia lead Canada 1-0; US lead Serbia 2-0; Belgium lead Hungary 2-0 Netherlands level with France 1-1; Australia level with Germany 1-1; Japan level with Italy 1-1; Switzerland lead Kazakhstan 2-0. 20 2GS Saturday February 3 2018 | the times Sport Giles Smith Like next door’s cat, Becker’s cups will turn up safe B oris Becker, we hear, has mislaid five of his six grand-slam trophies and an Olympic gold medal and, according to the BBC website, is “seeking the public’s help to find them”. Happy to pitch in. Because we’ve all done it, haven’t we? We’ve all lost things at home and then gone nearly bonkers looking for them. Plus this column has spent some years raising children and has therefore automatically accumulated vast reserves of expertise in the field of lost property. OK, it’s normally keys or bus passes rather than substantial items of silverware marking someone’s elevation to the very pinnacle of their sport, but it’s the same problem. And it yields, we are sure, to the same approach, which, for Boris and those who want to help him, we outline here. 1 Try to remember when you last had it This is so often the key question in a successful search for lost property, because, once you have confidently established the time and location of the item’s last sighting, you can retrace your steps, mentally, since then, and maybe jog your memory. So, in the case of Becker’s 1996 Australian Open trophy, we know that he had it on court in Melbourne Park on January 28 that year, after defeating Michael Chang in four sets. All Boris now needs to do is proceed in his mind, as calmly as possible, stage by stage, through the ensuing 22 years. Experience suggests that somewhere along this trail of recollection will lie the eureka moment: “Of course! I tucked it behind the jar on the mantelpiece last night so that I wouldn’t forget where it was!” However, experience also suggests that he might not remember some of the stages and get cross. 6 This week’s T20 footage from the UAE has to be seen to be disbelieved. In scenes already under scrutiny by the ICC’s anti-corruption unit, the Dubai Stars, pursuing a total of 136 set by the Sharjah Warriors, are all out for 46, including five stumpings and three leisurely run outs. Watch the batsmen meet halfway down the pitch in “confusion” as the ball rolls gently to leg slip. See the panicked runner “scramble” to ground his bat — while staying upright. Suspicious betting patterns? These are, first and foremost, suspicious batting patterns — and, surely, it would never happen if teams only took the trouble to employ an acting coach. 2 Is there any chance that your brother has gone off with it by mistake? It’s possible (though by no means certain) that a simple mobile phone call exhausts this line of inquiry, one way or the other. It’s certainly not beyond the bounds of reason that one family member might, in a hurry, snatch up another’s 1992 Olympics men’s doubles gold medal in mistake for his own. Yet does Boris even have a brother? We don’t believe so. Indeed, when you Google “Boris Becker, brother”, almost the first thing that comes up is a picture of the eccentrically coiffed German tennis legend with Boris Johnson, the eccentrically coiffed foreign secretary, who can’t possibly be Becker’s brother. Can he? 3 Have you put it down somewhere, like maybe in the bathroom? PHIL COLE/GETTY IMAGES Treasure hunt: given that Becker claims to have mislaid the Australian Open trophy from 1996, maybe finding the whereabouts of the cuddly kangaroo toy that accompanied it could assist in its recovery the house. Under the seats, in the door bins . . . It turns out there are many places in a car in which a credit card or a purse can become invisible. Ditto, no doubt, some of the biggest prizes in tennis. 5 I expect it’s exactly where you left it Far from being helpful, this remark tends to suggest rising irritation, and is generally an indication that the search is going badly and that the mood may be about to turn ugly, if it hasn’t already. Best not to say this. 6 Hey, it’s not my fault if you can’t look after your own things Again, unhelpful. Avoid. Or, if you feel you really must say it, do so later, after the key/bus pass/Wimbledon singles trophy has been found. Happens quite a lot. 7 Have you checked the broom cupboard? 4 Did you look in the car? OK, you can ask Boris that question if you like, but it’s not the kind of easy satire that a column such as this goes in for. Again, long and weary experience insists that, in any top-to-bottom hunt for elusive property, it’s best to regard the car as just another room in Still no joy, after all of the above? Then you might consider printing a flyer and sticking it to lampposts in the neighbourhood. And there would be no harm in putting a copy through some doors, too, explaining that a number of key mementoes from a luminous career in tennis haven’t been seen for a while, and asking people to keep an eye open. You might also politely urge them to check their sheds and outhouses, or other places where a 1991 Australian Open trophy can easily get shut in. And don’t despair. Grand-slam trophies are extremely robust and you’d be surprised how often they go missing for quite long periods before suddenly turning up safe and sound. Our neighbours had a really lovely Wimbledon singles trophy that was gone for almost the whole of the summer one year, causing them to fear the worst, because it wasn’t like that trophy to wander off at all. And then, when they had all but given up hope, lo and behold, in it walked, blithe as you like, looking none the worse for wear. Oh, hang on, no: actually, that was a cat. But the message is the same: things turn up — eventually. Locusts swarm into contention for World Cup Fear Factor prize hey thought it was all over. It isn’t, yet. Our Fear Factor 2018 contest, designed to honour the very best in pre-World Cup doom-mongering, seemed to have devolved into a simple face-off between the BBC’s Panorama on elite Russian hooligan squadrons and a Daily Mail report on the threat to Gareth T Southgate’s plans of rabiescarrying squirrels and hedgehogs in the forest surrounding England’s rustic base in Repino. We were happy enough with that. But consider the competition blown wide open again, thanks to this week’s Mail Online stunner, “World Cup pitches could be destroyed by locusts”. Herein Couch potato’s guide to the weekend’s TV news broke that the famously voracious insect might be heading in swarms for Russia’s designated stadiums this year to shame the host nation by feasting ruinously on the turf — or, more accurately, we should probably say, on the SISgrass hybrid surface, although, knowing locusts, they’ll probably munch down the Today 8am Cricket, Trans-Tasman triseries, Australia v New Zealand, BT Sport 2. 11.30am Football, Premier League, Burnley v Man City, Sky Sports Premier League. 12.15pm Football, Scottish Premiership, Kilmarnock v Celtic, BT Sport 1. 12.45pm Snooker, German Masters, Eurosport 1. 1pm Tennis, Davis Cup, BBC Two. 1.30pm Horse racing, Sandown, ITV4. 1.45pm Rugby union, Six Nations, Wales v Scotland, BBC One. 4.15pm Rugby union, Six Nations, France v Ireland, BBC One. 5pm Football, Premier League, artificial bits, too, given half a chance. In any case, a member of Russia’s agriculture ministry is quoted, deathlessly predicting “an international locust scandal”. Now, the Russia 2018 organising committee has swiftly dismissed this threat as fantastical, but we don’t need to worry about that Arsenal v Everton, BT Sport 1. 5.15pm Football, Championship, Wolves v Sheffield United, Sky Sports Main Event. 5.15pm Football, Bundesliga, Borussia Monchengladbach v RB Leipzig, BT Sport 2. 6.45pm Snooker, German Masters, Eurosport 1. 7pm Golf, PGA Tour, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Sky Sports Golf. 7pm Boxing, WBA Continental cruiserweight title, Lawrence Okolie v Isaac Chamberlain, Sky Sports Action. 7.30pm Football, Serie A, Inter Milan v Crotone, BT Sport 2. here. Indeed, “fantastical” is a badge of honour where Fear Factor is concerned, so, instead of arguing the toss about plausibility, we’re left wondering whether, four months out, we have just found our winner. Don’t forget, the Fear Factor judges have looked kindly on insectrelated peril before — hence the proud victor in our 2014 Tomorrow 2.30am Golf, European Tour, Maybank Championship, Sky Sports Golf. 7.55am Cricket, one-day international, South Africa v India, Sky Sports Cricket. 8am Cricket, Big Bash League final, Adelaide Strikers v Hobart Hurricanes, BT Sport 2. 12.30pm Rugby union, AngloWelsh Cup, Wasps v Leicester, BT Sport 1. 12.45pm Snooker, German Masters, Eurosport 1. 1.30pm Football, Premier League, Crystal Palace v Newcastle Utd, Sky Sports Premier League. 2.15pm Rugby union, Six Nations, Italy v England, ITV. contest, before the World Cup finals in Brazil: “Giant hornets may be a problem for England boss Roy Hodgson” (Daily Mail). Never mind the SISgrass; could plague-ready grasshoppers be about to devour the prize that their wasp-based brethren acquired in a sting four years ago? Stay tuned. 2.30pm Football, Bundesliga, Augsburg v Eintracht Frankfurt, BT Sport/ESPN 4.15pm Football, Premier League, Liverpool v Spurs, Sky Sports Main Event. 5pm Football, Bundesliga, Hamburg v Hannover, BT Sport 1, 6pm Golf, PGA Tour, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Sky Sports Golf. 6.45pm Snooker, German Masters, Eurosport 1. 7.30pm Football, Serie A, Benevento v Napoli, BT Sport 1. 11.15pm American Football, Super Bowl LII, NE Patriots v Philadelphia Eagles, BBC One, Sky Sports Main Event at 11pm.