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The Times Sports — 3 February 2018

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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
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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.
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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.
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