sport Saturday January 6 2018 Conte goes on attack Chelsea coach and Mourinho hit out in bitter war of words ppages g 4-7 Atherton - the Test verdict England attempt to finish poor Ashes series on a high in Sydney pages 14-17 V for victory Virgil van Dijk scores FA Cup winner against Everton on Liverpool debut but Firmino and Holgate in ‘racism’ row Pages 2-3 ‘I’ve not felt pain like it’ Maro Itoje on his return from injury and his leadership roles pages 18-19 2 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport FA Cup Van Dijk scores on debut to settle ill-tempered derby Liverpool Milner 35 (pen), Van Dijk 84 Everton Sigurdsson 67 The heated confrontation ANDREW POWELL/LIVERPOOL FC/GETTY IMAGES 2 0 2 1 Lallana went down under minimal contact from Holgate Oliver Kay Chief Football Correspondent As the final whistle was blown, signalling a dramatic Liverpool win, all eyes were on the £74 million man. Virgil van Dijk, the most expensive defender in world football, had just scored the winning goal on his debut, but even amid the wild celebrations, thoughts turned to the fallout from this fierce, frenetic FA Cup third-round tie. This was far from the “friendly derby” of Merseyside football legend. Long before Van Dijk’s 84th-minute goal, there was an ugly flashpoint between Mason Holgate, the Everton defender, and Roberto Firmino, the Liverpool forward. After a flare-up on the touchline, Firmino reacted angrily to being pushed into an advertising hoarding and shouted something at Holgate. The Everton defender was furious and, judging by the television pictures, appeared to claim he had been racially abused. Television footage did not support the claim, but Bobby Madley, the referee, is obliged to include it in his report to the FA. By 11pm, Liverpool were issuing a statement that they and their player would “co-operate with the relevant authorities to ensure the facts are established in a thorough manner”. It was a chastening evening for Madley, the youngest of English football’s Select Group referees, who took no action against Holgate or Firmino. Six minutes earlier Liverpool had taken the lead through a James Milner penalty on 34 minutes after Adam Lallana, feeling Holgate’s hands on his shirt, fell to the ground in a theatrical manner. Jürgen Klopp acknowledged it was a penalty just as soft as that from which Everton equalised when the teams met in the Premier League last month, and felt magnanimous enough to suggest that Liverpool were lucky this time. Sam Allardyce was less appreciative of the parallel. He was frustrated that Everton’s performance, an improvement on last month’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, did not earn a replay. Everton equalised midway through the second half, a crisp shot from Gylfi Sigurdsson after the home team were caught cold on the counterattack, but Van Dijk’s goal, headed home from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s corner at the Kop end, extended Liverpool’s unbeaten run over their neighbours to 16 matches in all competitions, the longest such sequence in the history of this fixture. More importantly, it took Liverpool through to the fourth round and ended Everton’s hopes of silverware for another season. One of the ditties of the night revelled in pointing out that Everton have not won a trophy since 1995. It is true, but Liverpool’s cabinet has also been bare in recent years. Since 2006, they have a solitary League Cup success to show for their efforts under five different managers and Klopp knows that, for all the progress made under his management, the supporters yearn for more than top-four finishes and Champions League qualification. Victory last night, against the backdrop of Philippe Coutinho’s expected transfer to Barcelona, was crucial. Klopp’s team selection reflected that. In the absence of Jordan Henderson (hamstring), Mohamed Salah (groin) and Coutinho (Barcelona-itis) he named the strongest line-up available, including Van Dijk for the first time since his record-breaking arrival from Southampton. Allardyce turned to two older heads, Phil Jagielka and James McCarthy, and was rewarded with fine performances from both. The derby started out with some forceful tackles and, unusually these days, a willingness to dust themselves down afterwards. The exception was a wild, dangerous challenge from Wayne Rooney on Joe Gomez in the seventh minute. It left Rooney to walk a tightrope that he was in danger of falling off when substituted early in the second half. He looked aggrieved, but his frustrating evening could have been a lot worse had Madley taken a less lenient view of that early foul. It was certainly fast and furious, but the most pleasing aspect was that Everton were willing to have a go. Yannick Bolasie’s threat down the right made for an entertaining duel with Andrew Robertson. Sigurdsson and even Jonjoe Kenny pushed forward to join the attack, but Everton could not quite get the final ball right. Little was seen of Liverpool as an attacking force until the 26th minute, when Gomez picked out Milner, whose side-foot volley flew across the face of goal. That was a warning for Everton, but perhaps not for what followed seven minutes later. From Emre Can’s first-time pass, Lallana controlled the ball just inside the penalty area and was looking to turn. He was held by Holgate and responded — as so many players do these days — by throwing himself to the ground. Klopp felt it should not have been a penalty, but Milner brushed aside the protests to put Liverpool ahead. Liverpool went in search of a second goal early in the second half, threatening when Oxlade-Chamberlain sent Lallana clear but, with Jagielka at his heels, the midfielder shot just wide. Just like last time, though, Liverpool were caught cold by an Everton counterattack. Bolasie carried the ball forward and Ademola Lookman kept it moving before picking out the unlikely figure of Jagielka, who was charging forward. Jagielka’s layoff was perfect and so was Sigurdsson’s shot, hit first time, in his stride, beyond a wrongfooted Loris Karius. Van Dijk, though, was to have the last word, rising above Jagielka and Jordan Pickford to score from Oxlade-Chamberlain’s corner. The celebrations were fervent, but now Liverpool must wait for the fallout from what is alleged to have happened earlier. As they know from experience, these allegations are to be taken seriously. Liverpool (4-3-3): L Karius 5 — J Gomez 7 (sub: D Solanke 77min), J Matip 6, V van Dijk 8, A Robertson 6 — A Lallana 6 (sub: G Wijnaldum 70), E Can 6, J Milner 7 (sub: T Alexander-Arnold 77) — A Oxlade-Chamberlain 7, R Firmino 6, S Mané 6. Substitutes not used D Ward, D Lovren, R Klavan, D Ings. Booked Solanke. Everton (4-4-1-1): J Pickford 5 — J Kenny 6, M Holgate 7, P Jagielka 8, C Martina 6 — Y Bolasie 7, J McCarthy 7 (sub: T Davies 86), M Schneiderlin 6, G Sigurdsson 7 — W Rooney 4 (sub: A Lookman 52, 7) — D Calvert-Lewin 5 (sub: O Niasse 82). Substitutes not used J Robles, A Williams, B Baningime, N Vlasic. Booked Rooney, McCarthy. Referee B Madley. Attendance 52,513. Team changes Liverpool Everton 65 Is he any good? In the first of our series profiling the big January transfer dealings, Paul Joyce explains why Cenk Tosun, the £27 million forward, can be the answer to Everton’s attacking problems Online at thetimes.co.uk and on The Times app FA may act Paul Joyce The FA is set to launch an investigation into allegations made by Mason Holgate in which the Everton defender claims that he was racially abused by Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino during last night’s Merseyside derby. Holgate reacted angrily following a first-half flashpoint between the pair, which began when he pushed the Brazilian in the back, sending him over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd. Firmino veered towards the England Under-21 defender as he ran back on to the pitch and it was then that Holgate exploded in response to something that was allegedly said. He had to be restrained by his teammates Phil Jagielka and Morgan Schneiderlin before appearing to complain to Bobby Madley, the referee, who the times | Saturday January 6 2018 3 2G S Sport that marred frenetic Merseyside duel CLIVE BRUNSKILL/GETTY IMAGES £74m man finds perfect way to be instant hero said. He was, from the outset, cajoling those around him, betraying the notion that here was the new boy as he made There was no Mohamed Salah or his presence felt even without the ball Philippe Coutinho. No Ross Barkley or at his feet or in aerial duels. Cenk Tosun either. But with so much At Southampton, he was only conattention drawn to who wasn’t playing tent at the final whistle if his voice had and the reasons why, the world’s most gone hoarse from barking out orders to expensive defender took to the pitch those alongside him, and one of the having found himself curiously over- attractions for Liverpool will have been shadowed. his ability to lead and to organise. From now on, Virgil van Dijk and the With a sprinkling of those qualities, spotlight will be inseparable bedfellows Jürgen Klopp will believe his defence and in the white heat of a Merseyside can cut out the glitches that check derby which, at times, carried a sinister progress just when it seems his team edge, he showed it is a focus that he is has finally shaken off bad habits. Yet, not about to shirk. even without so much as kicking a ball, For a spell, as the neighbours went at Van Dijk would have come to realise it hammer and tongs, the centre back the fervour — some would call it aggrawith “Virgil 4” emblazoned across his vation — which is part of life at Anfield. back might have been weighed down A week ago he stood as a statement of not by his price tag but by the reality Liverpool’s intent. Now, with the club’s that he had spurned the opportunity to stance over Coutinho’s future no longer make himself feel right at home. as trenchant, the landscape has In the 63rd minute, Alex shifted and the debate swirls Oxlade-Chamberlain curled over ambition again. a pinpoint free kick on to It is strange to say after a Van Dijk’s head only for the 16-match unbeaten run, Van Dijk’s goal was unmarked £74 million but Klopp, who revealed his first since last signing to direct a weak he was not going to pick season’s FA Cup header at Jordan Pickford, Van Dijk but changed his third round, for the Everton goalkeeper, Southampton against mind yesterday morning, from eight yards. Having needed a victory — even a Norwich City waited so long for his arrival, hard-fought and gritty one. the Kop would have forgiven him Coutinho’s departure would — though, in the end, they did not need weaken Liverpool in two positions, to. midfield and the attacking triumvirate, Time was running out when the and for a team ensconced in the top four same combination linked up from a set of the Premier League and in the last 16 piece and, with Pickford enticed off his of the Champions League, there line and into no man’s land, Van Dijk remains plenty at stake. The manner in glanced an effort into an empty net. His which Liverpool struggled to penetrate knee-slide celebration in front of the behind Everton’s back line suggests it is Kop was a moment from his dreams. a risk to take Barcelona’s cash and, with “What a night,” he said. “It felt Salah also absent with a groin problem, amazing to be out there, the goal is very the sense of toil was at times magnified. special for me and my family. Playing at Van Dijk was getting back into posiAnfield for Liverpool is a dream for tion when Everton launched the counevery player. To score a goal is even terattack from a Liverpool corner that more special.” briefly earned them parity. A first win Everton manager Sam Allardyce’s here since 1999 remained out of reach. pre-match mission statement — “the There was a time last summer when one thing we won’t be doing is playing Everton, flushed with the millions of open, expansive football; Liverpool Farhad Moshiri, the majority sharewould play through us” — indicated holder, thought that they had a chance this was never likely to turn into a of recruiting Van Dijk and teaming him searching examination of Van Dijk’s up with Ronald Koeman, who had defensive qualities. brought him to Southampton. Indeed, what struck initially was not Koeman has long gone. Van Dijk so much what Van Dijk did, but what he looks here to stay at Anfield. Paul Joyce Northern Football Correspondent 1 The game’s main flashpoint came after Mason Holgate pushed Firmino, sending him crashing over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd, top and centre. The Brazil striker reacted angrily and Bobby Madley, the referee, came between the players, main image. But Firmino made a comment that incensed the Everton defender, who tugged at Madley’s arm, above, as he tried to confront Firmino. after Holgate accuses Firmino of racism was close to the incident, that he had been the victim of a racist insult. Madley immediately spoke to Jon Moss, the fourth official, and, after Liverpool’s 2-1 success in the FA Cup third- round tie, spoke to Holgate again. He will now submit his match report from the game, including the incident, to the FA who will decide whether to look into it or not. A Liverpool spokesman said afterwards: “The club and player [Firmino] will fully co-operate with the relevant authorities to ensure the facts are established in a thorough manner if deemed necessary or requested. While the process is ongoing we will not be making any other comment.” Sam Allardyce, the Everton manager, refused to become embroiled in the controversy afterwards. “I’m only interested in the football, not want happened with Firmino and Mason,” he said. “I will definitely ask him [what happened] and we will see where it goes from there. “I’m telling you nothing until whatever systems are used to find out what happened. I’m here to talk about football. Football is my life and anything outside that has to be dealt with by the authorities. “Even if I had or I hadn’t [spoken to Holgate], I wouldn’t tell anyone in the press conference. That is for other areas of the football club. I have told the director of football [Steve Walsh] to sort that out.” Walsh was in discussions with Everton’s media team in the tunnel after the match, but they left without commenting on the fallout that overshadowed the 230th meeting between the clubs. Firmino was not asked to give a statement afterwards but the FA is certain to launch an investigation. “I heard about something but I can’t say anything so far,” Jürgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, said. “I haven’t spoken to anybody. “From now on, the club will answer. I don’t really know anything about it. I misjudged that situation completely. I thought it was about Holgate’s foul. At the end there was no foul, no yellow card, nothing. I didn’t get it. “I didn’t understand the whole situation but I got information after the game that something obviously happened. “The fourth official said something to me. I never heard the words so I thought they were going to investigate the foul. That’s how I understood it. “Then after the game the fourth official informed me, but it wasn’t that I really got it [what was happening].” Holgate also deleted his Twitter account after the game. TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER BRADLEY ORMESHER With six minutes left, Van Dijk rose highest to head home a corner from OxladeChamberlain — a goal the Dutchman was able to celebrate in front of the Kop 4 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Football Mourinho comes out fighting after late win Man United Lingard 84, Lukaku 90 Derby County SHAUN BOTTERILL/GETTY IMAGES 2 0 2 0 1 FA Cup third round Paul Hirst José Mourinho shed no tears over Antonio Conte as he delivered a stinging rebuke to the Chelsea head coach’s accusation of hypocrisy. After Manchester United defeated Derby County to reach the FA Cup fourth round, Mourinho was asked to give his opinion on Conte’s claim that he suffered from “senile dementia”. Conte had made those comments earlier yesterday because he was annoyed at the idea that the United manager had called him “a clown” in his pre-match press conference on Thursday for overzealously celebrating goals. However, Mourinho insisted last night that his criticism was not aimed at Conte. “Honestly, I think the press should apologise to me and him,” he said. “I was speaking about myself and then the question to the Chelsea head coach was that I said he behaved like a clown. I was saying I don’t need to behave like a clown.” It appeared for a moment that peace had broken out between the two managers but Mourinho then had a controversial dig at Conte by bringing up an old match-fixing charge. Conte was cleared of wrongdoing in May 2016 relating to a match-fixing investigation while he was in charge of Siena during the 2010-11 Serie A season. “What has never happened to me is match fixing and it will never happen,” Mourinho said. His comments are likely to infuriate Conte, particularly as the former Italy head coach was acquitted. They will also do little to stem the flow of bad blood between Chelsea and the United manager, who have endured a rocky relationship since Mourinho was sacked by the London club in 2015. Chelsea fans branded Mourinho “Judas” when he returned to Stamford Bridge with United last season. “Judas is still No 1” Mourinho replied at the time, pointing out that he is the club’s most successful manager having won the league three times. Lukaku, who missed United’s previous game through concussion, sealed victory in the 90th minute with his 15th goal of the season after coming on at half-time FA Cup on your phone Watch all the best moments from the third round, including highlights of last night’s match at Old Trafford and all today’s 3pm kick-offs On The Times phone app and tablet There was also a flare-up between the two clubs last summer when Mourinho persuaded Romelu Lukaku to join United instead of Chelsea. The £75 million striker scored the second goal in last night’s win to send United through to the fourth round. The victory was far from routine, though, with Jesse Lingard’s stunning opening goal not arriving until the 84th minute. United had a remarkable 28 shots at goal, but converted only two. Derby, who are second in the Sky Bet Championship, played well and Scott Carson, the goalkeeper, performed superbly, denying Paul Pogba and Juan Mata from their respective set pieces with acrobatic saves. Marcus Rashford struck the woodwork twice and also missed an easy header while Lukaku, Ander Herrera and Pogba were also guilty of missing straightforward chances. Lingard’s strike, a fierce shot from the edge of the area, ended Derby’s hopes of a replay, however. It was his 11th of the season and his fourth in his past four games. “He is in a clear evolution,” Mourinho said of the attacking midfielder, who was once on loan at Derby. “He’s comfortable in the position he plays, improving with the progressive style of the team which makes him feel even more like a fish in the water. “He’s the opposite of Marcus because Marcus scores unbelievable goals in training and missed unbelievable chances in games. I’m not worried with Marcus because his moment will arrive. Jesse won’t lose his stability. He’s mature. He understands the game better.” Lukaku had refrained from celebrating in recent weeks after becoming the subject of criticism from supporters following a series of below- Tony Cascarino on where to look for FA Cup upsets has been alarming of late, and he knows that victories in the Premier League are far more important. Fulham are a very dangerous team — they have several flair players and remind me of Southampton a few years back. Shrewsbury Town (League One) v West Ham United (Premier League) Newcastle United (Premier League) v Luton Town (League Two) Shrewsbury are having a great season in League One, lying second in the table with ten home wins behind them, and they have every chance tomorrow. West Ham had a very tiring night against Tottenham on Thursday, having also played on Tuesday, and David Moyes will put out a reserve team. Fulham (Championship) v Southampton (Premier League) I think Mauricio Pellegrino will see the FA Cup as a hindrance today. His Southampton side’s form Nathan Jones’s Luton team have scored seven goals or more three times this season and are the kind of team who could cause a shock, after recovering from last week’s 4-0 defeat away at Port Vale by beating Lincoln on Monday. par performances, but the Belgian flung his arms in the air after turning home Anthony Martial’s pass in injury time. “He celebrated like that because everybody wants to go to Dubai,” Mourinho said, referencing next week’s warm-weather training camp that would have been truncated had a replay been added to United’s schedule. “We want a week of good training and good facilities. We go on Monday.” Henrikh Mkhitaryan seemed to do little to help his long-term prospects at United with another poor display that involved one woeful cross and two misplaced passes, one of which resulted in a counterattack for Derby which Sam Winnall nearly finished. Mourinho said that he was too harsh on Mkhitaryan by replacing him at half-time with Lukaku. “It was unfair,” Mourinho said. “I didn’t like what I did. He played well. My feeling was that Rashford is not going to score a goal and because of that I’m not going to lose time and I needed Romelu so sacrificed Mkhitaryan.” Derby showed why they are fighting for promotion by applying a considerable amount of pressure to the United goal in the first half. Sergio Romero, the United goalkeeper, had to fling himself up in the air to tip Marcus Olsson’s headed effort over the bar and Alex Pearce put a free header wide from the resulting corner. Tom Huddlestone’s deflected shot only just flew over the United net after the restart. “The lads worked incredibly hard and had to against a star-studded lineup,” Gary Rowett, the Derby manager, said. “When we exerted pressure I thought we caused Manchester United uncomfortable moments. “I think it was a more important game for Man Utd than it was or us. We’re second in our league and that’s our only focus really.” 6 Conte goes on the attack, pages 6-7 Manchester United (4-2-3-1): S Romero 7 — V Lindelof 7, C Smalling 6, D Blind 6, L Shaw 7 — A Herrera 7, P Pogba 6 — J Mata 7 (sub: A Martial 67min, 7), H Mkhitaryan 5 (sub: R Lukaku 46, 5), J Lingard 6 — M Rashford 5 (sub: M Fellaini 80).Substitutes not used J Pereira, M Darmian, M Rojo, S McTominay. Derby County (4-2-3-1): S Carson 8 — A Wisdom 7, R Keogh 7, A Pearce 7, M Olsson 7 — G Thorne 7, T Huddlestone 7 — J Russell 7 (sub: J Hanson 78), T Lawrence 8 (sub: M Bennett 81), A Weimann 7 — S Winnall 7 (sub: M Vydra 67, 7). Substitutes not used J Mitchell, R Martin, C Baird, D Nugent. Referee K Friend. Rescue act: Lingard helped to spare This could be tricky for Newcastle today even though they are at home. Three-match ban for Wolverhampton Wanderers (Championship) v Swansea City (Premier League) Gary Jacob Wolves are a division below but a win for them today wouldn’t be much of a surprise. It’s hard to see how Swansea will progress — they were very lucky to beat Watford last Saturday. Wolves have such a big lead in the Championship that you would hope they will play a strong team. The excitement at Molineux is the highest it has been for years. Arsène Wenger has been given a threematch touchline ban for his conduct towards match officials and will have to sit among Chelsea supporters during Arsenal’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday. The Arsenal manager’s punishment is more severe than the one-match stadium ban that he might have expected after he admitted a charge of abusing match officials and questioning the integrity of referee Mike Dean after Sunday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion. Dean awarded an 89th-minute penalty after Kieran Gibbs kicked the ball into the arm of Calum Chambers from a yard away. The Frenchman, who was also fined £40,000, did not request a personal hearing yesterday. Wenger responded to the charge on Thursday hoping that any punishment might be served in its entirety against Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup third round tomorrow. However, the touchline ban will include the game against Chelsea and the league match away to Bournemouth a week tomorrow. It will be the second consecutive season that Wenger will have to sit among Chelsea fans in a block beside the corporate area at the top of the East Stand at Stamford Bridge, having served the third of a four-match ban there in February. Usually a manager would sit in the directors’ box in such circumstances, but those seats are on the opposite side of the ground to the dugouts and dressing rooms, meaning it would be impractical for Wenger to walk around the stadium after he gives his pre-match and half-time talks. the times | Saturday January 6 2018 5 2G S Sport PHILIP OLDHAM/BPI/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK Matt Hughes Football Notebook Van Dijk fee will not lead Southampton to spend big Team changes Man Utd Derby 56 S outhampton fans hoping for a spending spree this month after the £74 million sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool are going to be disappointed as the club’s initial windfall from their record transfer deal will be less than £17 million. Although Southampton are guaranteed to receive £70 million for Van Dijk, with a further £4 million due in bonus payments if the Holland defender meets certain performance targets, the way the transfer has been structured means that Liverpool’s payments will be made in three equal instalments over the next three years beginning with a £23.3 million downpayment this month. Southampton’s cash flow will be further limited by the fact that Celtic’s sell-on fee for Van Dijk — 10 per cent of Southampton’s profit on a player they paid £11.5 million for three years ago — is due immediately, so almost £6 million of Liverpool’s initial payment will go to Celtic Park. In addition agent fees must also be settled immediately, leaving Southampton with a limited transfer kitty as Mauricio Pellegrino aims to overhaul a squad that is only above the relegation places on goal difference. Southampton are planning to reinvest all the Van Dijk money into the playing squad, but will have to do so over several transfer windows. Wilshere’s terms J United’s blushes and broke Derby’s resistance with a fine late strike last night, against the club he once played for on loan ack Wilshere will have to accept a contract with a significant performancerelated element if he wants to stay at Arsenal. The 26-yearold’s basic salary is around £100,000 a week and the club are unwilling to award him an increase given his injury record, although they will give him the opportunity to boost his earnings with additional appearance and bonus payments in the new deal that they are preparing. Arsenal have yet to open talks with Wilshere over a new contract, but with the midfielder having impressed Arsène Wenger enough to play every minute in Arsenal’s past six Premier League games, the club are expected to speak to his representatives after this month’s transfer window. Tosun rise costs Everton E verton’s desperation to sign Cenk Tosun at the start of the transfer window saw them increase their offer for the Turkey striker by almost 50 per cent during the course of the negotiations. The club thought that they had agreed a deal with Besiktas of an initial £18 million plus £4 million in add-ons last month, but the fee for the 26-year-old had risen to £27 million by the time the transfer was completed this week. Parish stuck in traffic S teve Parish would be advised to review his travel arrangements before Crystal Palace’s FA Cup tie away to Brighton & Hove Albion on Monday evening. The Palace chairman spent 90 minutes trying to get out of the car park at the Amex Stadium after the club’s Premier League meeting in November, which is somewhat ironic given the complaints that he has received from away fans over the years about Selhurst Park’s supposedly poor transport links. Paying tribute to Pelé S teve Hunt, a little-known winger with the distinction of being one of few Englishman to have played alongside Pelé, will pay tribute to the game’s greatest player when he is honoured by the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) at the Savoy Hotel on January 22. Hunt, a former Aston Villa and Coventry City winger who spent two seasons with Pelé at the New York Cosmos in the Seventies, has been booked to speak along with Cliff Jones, the former Tottenham Hotspur winger whose Wales team were beaten by Pelé’s Brazil in the 1958 World Cup quarter-finals, former England goalkeeper Gordon Banks and Gareth Southgate, the England manager. The FWA has chosen Pelé as the recipient of its annual tribute award to mark the 60th anniversary of his first World Cup appearance in Sweden in 1958. Wenger after abusing match officials Home is where Hart is Forest offer Arsenal manager hospitality Nottingham Forest FC @NFFC Mr Wenger, if you’d like to upgrade your stand ticket to a hospitality package then you can do so by following this link. #NFFC Wenger could be hit by two further charges in relation to comments made in the press conferences before and after Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea in the league. He suggested that it was not the first time Arsenal had been unfairly penalised this season and that Dean “saw what he wanted to see and we have to deal with that”. After the match, Wenger was incensed about a penalty awarded to Chelsea when Eden Hazard went down after being kicked by Héctor Bellerín. He has been asked by the FA to explain his comments that “statistically it’s built on the fact that when it’s repeated, it’s not coincidence”. Speaking yesterday before his ban, Wenger insisted that Hazard made the most of the challenge and conceded that Jack Wilshere could have been booked for diving on the edge of the area. “I respect everybody’s opinion but I think it was a yellow card for Hazard, 100 per cent,” he said. “Yes, maybe [Wilshere] did but why should that change my opinion on the penalty? It’s got nothing to do with it. Every situation is different and has to be assessed by the referee. After that, you have your opinion and I have mine. I’ve been in the game long enough to know that everybody can have a different opinion.” He said that he also stuck by his comments about Dean’s decisions. “I maintain what I said in the press conference, 100 per cent,” he said. “I have nothing to change in that. Nothing has changed. “I’ve been in England for 21 years and I’ve tried to serve this game with honesty, integrity — and when I have something to say, I say it. On that front, nothing will change. Never.” Alyson Rudd For Joe Hart, it will be the rebirth he never expected being required of him. Tomorrow the West Ham United goalkeeper will return to his home town of Shrewsbury, reinstated to first-team duties for the third round of the FA Cup. The narrative was supposed to be very different. Had Hart maintained the form that prompted West Ham to sign him on loan last summer, he might have been rueful, if understanding, that David Moyes opted to rotate his goalkeepers and use Adrián in a rejigged XI to face Shrewsbury Town, of League One. Instead, having been dropped by Moyes, the England goalkeeper is the one grasping at the chance to prove his worth against the club with whom he began his career. Moyes attempted to play down the significance of his team selection but as soon as he did so, issued a reminder that Adrián was once again superb against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday. The message may be that the West Ham manager will turn again to Hart, and not just in the cup, but it is increasingly difficult to see why Moyes would drop the impressive and confident Adrián. “Joe will play on Sunday, but Joe will play a lot of Premier League games this season as well,” Moyes said. Asked how Hart was coping with life as a No 2, Moyes revealed that he was, understandably, far from content. “I am sure he is not overly happy with it, but Joe is a top professional,” Moyes said. The cup tie has extra significance for Moyes, who lost to Shrewsbury while manager of Everton in 2003. “I have got to say it was certainly one of my darkest nights,” Moyes admitted. 6 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Football Conte goes on the attack 6 Chelsea head coach says ‘old’ Wenger should accept refereeing decisions 6 Distances himself from the £15 million signing of midfielder Barkley James Gheerbrant Will Barkley fit in at Chelsea? After weeks of docile, drowsy press conferences in which he has largely borne the insults of other managers and the pressures of a faltering title defence with good grace, Antonio Conte finally snapped yesterday. In an astonishing scattergun attack, Conte implied that José Mourinho was going senile; called Arsène Wenger an “old coach” who needs to accept refereeing decisions with more grace; distanced himself emphatically from the signing of Ross Barkley and the pursuit of Andy Carroll; and declared himself “ready to fight” anyone who criticises him or his squad. It was a measure of the extraordinary volatility of Conte’s broadside that, in a conference ostensibly to preview Chelsea’s FA Cup tie away to Norwich City today, the word “Norwich” was not mentioned once. Earlier this season, Gary Neville warned The Times of “something simmering . . . a potential volcano waiting to blow” among the managers at the top of the Premier League. It looks like Stromboli just erupted. On the day that Chelsea announced the £15 million signing of Barkley from Everton on a five-and-a-half-year deal, that news was shunted spectacularly from the top of the agenda. Most explosive were Conte’s comments about Mourinho, who on Thursday criticised coaches who “behave as a clown on the touchline” in remarks that were widely interpreted as an attack on Conte and Jürgen Klopp. “I think he has to see himself in the past, maybe he was speaking about himself in the past,” Conte said. “Sometimes I think someone forgets what they said in the past . . . his behaviours.” Lapsing into Italian and tapping his head to illustrate his point, he then said: “Sometimes I think there is demenza senile [senile dementia] when you forget what you do in the past.” Although Chelsea later insisted he had intended to say “amnesia”, the meaning was clear. Conte then trained his sights on Wenger, irked by the Arsenal manager’s assertion that Chelsea benefited from a “farcical” penalty decision in the 2-2 draw between the clubs on Wednesday and that Eden Hazard dived. “I think if Arsène Wenger watched the game again, [he’d] understand he was very lucky during the game for ref- The system Conte used to win the title. Would give him a free role, but he’d have to force out Willian and Pedro Courtois (3-4-2-1) Azpilicueta Moses Christensen Fàbregas Cahill Alonso Kanté Hazard Barkley Morata Used in big European and league games. But, for defensive reasons, Bakayoko or Drinkwater are likely to be preferred Courtois (3-5-2) Azpilicueta Moses Christensen Fàbregas Kanté Cahill Alonso Barkley Morata Hazard Barkley would be either one of three forwards or a wide man – not his strongest positions Courtois (3-4-3) Azpilicueta Christensen Moses Bakayoko Hazard Kanté Morata Cahill Alonso Barkley ereeing decisions,” Conte said. “Wenger tries to find this way like other coaches and it is not good. You have to accept the decision. He is an old coach. He has experience, he won a lot, but he has to continue to do what he did in the past.” Days ago Conte was extolling the calming benefits of yoga, but it became evident that no amount of downwardfacing dog had been able to defuse the frustration that has been building at the behaviour of other managers. “I am not prepared like other persons to make a cinema,” he said. “There are other persons who prepare to have a cinema in the press conference, before the game and during the game. I’m not this type of person. In my one year and a half [at Chelsea], I never talk about other coaches or if I did, only to make compliments. But I am starting to be a bit annoyed. People who know me well in Italy [know] if you want to go fight with me, I am ready. I’m ready to fight for me, my players, the club — with everyone.” Barkley’s fee is a sizeable saving on what Chelsea would have paid Everton last summer, when they had agreed a £30 million deal plus add-ons, though the player Conte described as “complete” would have been out of contract in July. It is understood the midfielder will earn between £150,000 and £200,000 a week. “He has it all,” Conte said. “He has stamina, strong physically, good technique. He is a modern footballer.” But Conte also delivered a thinly disguised swipe at the club’s transfer business, implying that some of their other targets are “last . . . on the list” of desirable signings, amid rumours linking the club with Carroll, the West Ham United striker. “I gave my opinion to the club but the club then decide the players we can buy or we can sell,” he said. “Recruitment is not my job. The club try to do the best to improve this team. I am a coach and I give my opinion if the club ask me, but it is the club who decide if the players arrive here. “Sometimes the club can make you happy, sometimes not, but it doesn’t change for me. I like to tell the club which role we can improve, which is the prospect and the characteristics of the players I need. Then the club try to help me and there is one list, two lists, three lists and sometimes you can take the first name and sometimes the last name on the list. But, for sure, when you take a player that is the first on the list the improvement will be better.” Conte also played down — but did not entirely dismiss — reports that he could leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. “I think that we are living a lot of stories about myself this season, but as you know very well this is the history here,” he said. “This season [there is] a lot of speculation about myself but it is normal when you are an important coach.” Barkley, 24, has not played a game this season because of a hamstring injury. He will take the No 8 shirt at Chelsea, previously worn by Frank Lampard and Oscar. “To be given a fresh start at a new club like Chelsea, it’s unbelievable for me,” Barkley said. “I’m looking forward to continuing where I left off at the end of last season and hoping to improve and add more goals to my game.” Chelsea hit by fresh stadium delay Matt Hughes Deputy Football Correspondent Chelsea’s stadium redevelopment plans have been hit by a further delay, with the projected date for moving out of Stamford Bridge being put back to 2021. The club were hoping that their rebuilt stadium would open for the start of the 2021-22 season when the design was revealed three years ago, but delays in their planning application and infrastructure work mean that it will not be ready until 2024 at the earliest. Chelsea officials told a fans’ forum in November that the club would spend “at least two further seasons here [at Stamford Bridge] after this one” and it is understood that they are now planning to stay at their present home for another three years. The Times revealed in May that Chelsea’s movingout date had slipped to 2020 and it has since been put back by another year because of the complex nature of the pre-demolition work required, which involves acquiring small pieces of land next to the ground and obtaining a succession of planning permissions. The delay will not necessarily affect the construction phase of the process as Chelsea are planning to begin demolition work while still playing at Stamford Bridge. Under the terms of the planning permission granted by Hammersmith & Fulham Council in January 2017, the club have three years from that date to begin demolition. Chelsea estimate that the building work will take three years, but the scale of the project means that it could take four, leaving the summer of 2024 or 2025 as the most likely opening dates. The club have spent much of the past 15 years under Roman Abramovich attempting to expand Stamford Bridge or relocate to a new site, a process that has been fraught with difficulty. An independent study in 2012 concluded that it was “not feasible or viable” to redevelop the existing stadium, so it was a surprise when Herzog & de Meuron’s plans were unveiled three years later. The project has run into problems, with The Times revealing last month that the cost has spiralled from an initial estimate of £500 million to more than £1 billion. Chelsea have yet to finalise where they will play during their absence from Stamford Bridge, with Wembley their preferred option ahead of Twickenham and the London Stadium. 84 Ross Barkley created more chances than any other English player in the Premier League last season Making a new start: Barkley signed for Chelsea yesterday on a five-and-a-half Palace keen to buy Loftus-Cheek Jon West Roy Hodgson wants Crystal Palace to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek permanently if Ross Barkley’s arrival at Chelsea means that the midfielder is for sale. Loftus-Cheek, 21, is on a season-long loan at Palace and the signing of Barkley from Everton may further block his path to Chelsea’s first team. Speaking before Barkley’s £15 million transfer on a five-and-a-half-year contract, Hodgson said: “The way Ruben has been playing for us, he is a player we would like to have at our club. “We are very impressed with him, and delighted with the way he has developed as a player during his time here. I am pretty sure if he were available for sale, we would be in there with our hands up as a potential buyer. But it could well be that Chelsea would want both Ross Barkley and Ruben LoftusCheek in their team. I wouldn’t mind both of them in my team.” The Palace manager, who is also keen on a £4 million deal for the Ipswich Town goalkeeper, Bartosz Bialkowski, reiterated that Wilfried Zaha, who has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal, is not for sale. “People who make offers for Wilf are basically wasting their time,” Hodgson said. “I have it on very clear authority from the chairman and the owners of the club that we have no interest in selling Wilf Zaha. Quite the opposite. “So I would advise people who are thinking about making offers to save it because they are going to be turned away. They might just be wasting the price of a phone call.” the times | Saturday January 6 2018 7 2G S Sport against ‘senile’ Mourinho DARREN WALSH/CHELSEA FC VIA GETTY IMAGES Everton were outmanoeuvred – now Barkley must grasp his opportunity Henry Winter Chief Football Writer year deal and will take the No 8 shirt, previously worn by Lampard and Oscar Everton have been spectacularly ambushed. Even with his contract running out, and probably a month from full fitness, Ross Barkley is an absolute steal at £15 million, even with handsome add-ons. This is a deal that seems to have no potential downside for Chelsea. Having acquired the England midfielder on a five-and-a-half-year contract, they could flip him this summer and laugh all the way to the bank. If their new No 8 settles and contributes, demonstrating his undoubted talent consistently, Chelsea are laughing anyway. Everton will doubtless debate internally why they didn’t get Barkley to re-sign, or sell him with two years remaining on his deal, and not allow themselves to be outmanoeuvred by the player, his agent and then Chelsea. That delayed signing after his hamstring injury in the summer has alone cost the club about £20 million. Even when Everton endured a difficult visit to Stamford Bridge in August, they weren’t as outplayed as this. Antonio Conte’s comments yesterday, seemingly distancing himself from the signing, saying that it is the club who decide “who to sell or who to buy”, caused a stir. Could Barkley be swapping the physios’ table at Finch Farm for the substitutes’ bench at the Bridge? Yet such is the turnover of coaches at Chelsea that players tend to sign for the club, as much as the man in the dugout. Even if Barkley is not to Conte’s tastes, the player has to train so hard, concentrate ceaselessly and deliver in games that the Italian has to pick him. At his best, and fit, Barkley is an entertainer who possesses a fearlessness, touch and ability to dribble through the middle not seen by an English player since Paul Gascoigne’s days. Conte’s squad needs deepening anyway, and the team needs the particular quality that Barkley brings, running with the ball and shooting Puncheon to stand trial for assault Alyson Rudd Jason Puncheon’s season went from bad to worse after he was ordered to stand trial in June for an alleged assault on a security guard at a nightclub. The Crystal Palace midfield player, already sidelined for the rest of the season because of the damage that he sustained to his cruciate knee ligament during his side’s draw against Manchester City on New Year’s Eve, entered notguilty pleas to charges of causing fear or provocation of violence, common assault and a section-four public-order offence when he appeared at Guildford magistrates’ court yesterday. Puncheon, 31, had to attend court on crutches because of the injury he suffered when fouling Kevin De Bruyne in the closing stages against City. The prosecution told the court that he was captured on CCTV swinging his belt outside a nightclub in Reigate, Surrey, on December 17. “At that stage it doesn’t appear the belt connects with anybody,” Darren Matravers, prosecuting, told the court. “By committing that act he effectively is causing the fear of immediate violence and hence the section-four public-order charge against him. “He walks away, then returns to the group still with the belt in his hand and again he swings the belt and the second time the belt buckle is at the free end and that connects with the back of the victim’s head who has been identified as Paul Mendy, a member of the security staff at the location. “Fortunately he wasn’t injured after receiving the blow to the head.” Police officers attending the incident reported that the player continued to use “aggressive behaviour”, Matravers added. Gary Bloxsome, defending, told the court that the full picture of the events had not been presented and that it had not seen “the defendant being picked upon”. “What we are being given is a snapshot as to what the Crown said was his conduct,” Bloxsome said. “What we need to look at is what was happening immediately prior.” Puncheon remains on conditional bail until the court case, which is due to begin on June 4 at Staines magistrates. Puncheon arrived at the court on crutches, after suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury on Sunday from range, especially as Tiémoué Bakayoko has been disappointing to date. Conte’s 3-5-2 system suits Barkley, as he can fit into a three-man central midfield with N’Golo Kanté and Danny Drinkwater (or Cesc Fàbregas if Conte is being ultra-attacking). He can fill in behind Álvaro Morata when Eden Hazard needs a rest. What should also help Barkley is that he will not be burdened by a hefty transfer fee. Barkley needed to move. He was stagnating, as much his fault as that of managers such as Ronald Koeman, who didn’t understand the best way to motivate a sensitive individual. The promise seen in a lively debut against QPR at Goodison Park in 2011, prompting David Moyes to observe that “Ross should be proud of the way he played today, the way he took responsibility on the ball”, showed his potential. So did a vibrant display away to Arsenal in 2013, a fabulous goal against Newcastle United in 2014, running from his own half, and a strike from 25 yards against Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final in 2016. “We’ve got a diamond called Ross Barkley,” Everton fans used to sing, “a Toffee who comes from Wavertree,” although yesterday’s updated version from local lyricists is rather less glowing. But the diamond called Ross Barkley needs to sparkle more often. That is why he has to seize this new opportunity, playing with better players, learning from the likes of Hazard. Conte talked of showing “great patience” with Barkley partly because he is returning from a serious hamstring injury, and also because of he was “young”. He’s not, though. Barkley is 24, and this is a huge moment for him to take charge of his career again, which has been drifting, by taking charge of games. This move in the January transfer window provides an overview on modern football. It must hurt Everton fans, among the most passionate and loyal in the land, to lose “one of their own”. It is the type of occurrence that fans can never fully understand, leaving their boyhood love. Depicted as a warm celebration, the “one of our own” song is one of the most poignant laments in football, an elegy to a distant age. Does Barkley owe the club that nurtured him? Should he recall the time when he suffered that double leg break on England Under-19 duty, and Moyes went to his house, gave his support and then a new contract? Does Barkley have any responsibility to the fans in Gwladys Street holding up a banner saying “Here’s to you Ross Barkley, Everton loves you more than you will know”? Professionals swap allegiances, fans don’t. It’s nothing new. Chelsea offer greater wages and a greater chance of trophies. He must, though, realise that Cobham is different to Finch Farm, Stamford Bridge different to Goodison. Everton are more of a family club, far less political than Chelsea. Emotionally, a better fit for Barkley would have been Totteham Hotspur and a man-manager of the calibre of Mauricio Pochettino. He will need an inner strength, although he can expect a rapturous reception from Chelsea fans, especially if he scores. Goals are a diamond’s best friend. He received a warm welcome from one of the most influential Chelsea fans, David Johnstone, of the cfcuk fanzine. “With players being bought and sold for seemingly crazy money, I suppose the purchase of Ross Barkley for £15 million can be considered a bargain,” Johnstone said. “It’s understandable that, considering their high hopes for the player, Evertonians are upset that a player they consider ‘one of their own’ has left, especially to join a club like Chelsea. The club have been chasing him for a long time and have finally ‘got their man’ and Antonio seems to think that Barkley has potential. “But, like the Italian, I think many Chelsea supporters have nagging doubts about the injury that has kept him on the sidelines for the last few months. Another concern is Chelsea seem to have a surfeit of midfielders and I wonder how Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be feeling right now and, for that matter, Danny Drinkwater who deserves to start more games than he has so far. “One definite positive for Chelsea is the fact that he’s English and therefore — in theory at least — should understand the mentality of the supporters, especially when it comes to his new side playing the ‘big’ games against our Premier League rivals.” It’s down to Barkley now to shine bright like a diamond. Wednesday announce replacement for Carvalhal Sheffield Wednesday have appointed Jos Luhukay as their new manager. The 54-year-old Dutchman replaces Carlos Carvalhal, who left the club by mutual consent on Christmas Eve. Luhukay has spent his whole managerial career in Germany and was most recently in charge of Stuttgart in the Bundesliga 2. But his spell there lasted only five games and he left in September 2016 after a dispute with the club’s chairman. He has been out of management since. “Sheffield Wednesday is exactly the exciting challenge for which I have been waiting,” he said. Sheffield Wednesday are 16th in the Sky Bet Championship having lost their past two games, including the shock 3-0 home defeat by Burton Albion on New Year’s Day. They face Carlisle United in the FA Cup today. 8 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport FA Cup Wimbledon 1988 Ipswich 1978 Coventry 1987 Do one-time winners still The famous old trophy has created new heroes and a lifetime of memories, writes George Caulkin D ave Beasant apologises in advance, because what flashes through his mind is a flush. “It’s not the best of images,” he says, “but what I remember most is making the last of several visits to the toilet and hearing Abide With Me outside. On the loo, a few minutes to go, listening to the traditional FA Cup final hymn, goose pimples rising on my skin.” Somehow, this feels like the perfect beginning. Three decades on, Wimbledon are back at Wembley in the cup. The circumstances are different; the third round, not the final, a consequence of Tottenham Hotspur, their opponents, rebuilding their ground and, as a club, they too are reformed, remoulded. Less crazy after all these years, but still the outsiders who have confounded the natural order to clamber through the leagues. Like them, the FA Cup is altered, the same beguiling metal pot, but more weathered. When football is ruled by fear, driven by the financial imperative of reaching the Premier League, of staying there, of qualifying for the Champions League, dreams melt under pressure. The competition endures, but to a soundtrack of priorities, weakened teams and fixture overload. There is meaning, though, if you look for it. Stories still bud and blossom, like Lincoln City last season. At Arsenal, winning the cup halted a slide into chaos. And for clubs like Wimbledon, who do not hoard trophies, nothing can supplant it, even now. After beating Manchester City in 2013, Wigan Athletic were relegated, but as Shaun Maloney puts it: “That moment, that one moment, will never be forgotten.” The night before Wimbledon played Liverpool in 1988, there was aggro. “We were staying at a posh hotel in Wimbledon Village and we were misbehaving, so Bobby Gould, the manager, told us to clear off up the pub,” Terry Gibson says. “It was the eve of the cup final and not a single person recognised us.” This was “the borstal of football,” as Dave Bassett, Gould’s predecessor, called them — a top-division club with an average attendance of 8,000, where Gibson says “the stadium, the facilities, the training ground, were still nonLeague”. Ron Yeats, the Liverpool scout, went to watch them and winced. “The ball must have been screaming for mercy,” he said. On the morning of the final, there was a discomforting realisation. “It was a shock to read the papers and realise how disliked we were,” Gibson says. “We knew we weren’t loved because of the way we played, but we thought of ourselves as being plucky underdogs.” Beasant recalls one headline: “Something like, ‘For the sake of football, Liverpool must win.’ ” Beasant was the first goalkeeping captain to play in the final and the first man to save a penalty in the final. “Aside from that, it wasn’t a wonderful game,” Gibson says. “God’s honest truth, aside from the kick-off, I don’t think I received a single pass. It was chasing lost causes, chasing flick-ons, man-marking Alan Hansen.” Yet the Crazy Gang beat the Culture Club, as John Motson said in his commentary, and their 1-0 victory still resonates. “We knew it would be a memorable day, but I found it so emotional,” Gibson says. “There was relief in not getting thrashed — Liverpool could do that to you — and the knowledge that whatever happened from that point in your career, you’d got a medal, a trophy.” The next day, they cavorted on an open-top bus. “We drove for about five miles before we saw anybody,” Gibson says. “And then we pulled into the town centre and thousands were waiting.” Their moment, etched in history. “Maybe we disappointed the purists,” Beasant says, “but there was euphoria from those who liked to see the little guy come to terms with the big guy. That was the romance.” Ipswich Town were shattered. When Roger Osborne plundered the only goal against Arsenal in 1978, he collapsed. It took smelling How they did after cup success 20 Ipswich Town 1978 winners 16 15 11 10 6 5 4 0 R1 1 1 R2 R3 R4 R5 QF SF Coventry City 1987 winners 10 15 11 10 5 4 2 R1 2 1 R2 R3 R4 R5 QF 0 SF Wimbledon 1988 winners 5 0 R1 R2 0 10 5 3 0 0 5 2 1 0 R3 R4 R5 QF SF Wigan Athletic 2013 winners 5 1 R1 0 R2 1 1 R3 R4 0 R5 0 QF 1 SF 0 salts to revive him. “It was the emotion of scoring and exhaustion,” George Burley says. “It was a hot day. Sapping. It went very quickly. For the whole month beforehand, the whole of Ipswich, the shops, everything, was blue and white. Everybody was talking about the final.” Ipswich were not Wimbledon. They had won the title under Sir Alf Ramsey in 1962, ushering their manager towards the England job, and then rose again under Sir Bobby Robson. Regulars in Europe, they would finish second twice and win the Uefa Cup in 1981, but it was Wembley that changed everything. “We played West Bromwich Albion at Highbury in the semi-final,” Burley, the right back, says. “All the way home to East Anglia, fans were everywhere, on the bridges, scarves out, celebrating. That was just getting to the final. People knew about us, but winning the cup put us on the map. It made us a big outfit in the world of football. Wherever you were, everybody watched the cup final. “It was different then. When the season started, you looked forward to the cup. It was always special. If you were drawn away, you took your full allocation of tickets. You’d play your strongest team. Everyone wanted to have a good run to generate income, to get more money into the club. The bigger teams wanted to win it to qualify for Europe.” Burley returned to Portman Road as manager in 1994. He secured promotion to the Premier League in 2000, but says: “The cup still meant something to me. I looked forward to it, always picked my best side. It was big. We wanted to go far.” Ipswich have not been to another FA Cup final. Burley, 61, lives in the town and, “people still talk about 1978”, he says. “It will always be in their memories, no matter what. It might never happen again.” Yet the atmosphere will be diluted for today’s home tie against Sheffield United. “It doesn’t mean as much,” Burley says. “It doesn’t earn money. There isn’t quite the same excitement. “In the Premier League and the Championship, around 50 per cent of teams will feature lots of reserve players. They’re saving themselves. It’s completely changed. When you get to the quarter-finals, it starts to become serious business, but the league comes first and the cup trails behind and that was never the the times | Saturday January 6 2018 9 2G S Sport BOB THOMAS/GETTY IMAGES; ALAN WALTER FOR THE TIMES; STEWART FRASER/COLORSPORT Wigan 2013 Wimbledon hoping to reward fans with upset Alyson Rudd case when I was a player or manager. It’s lost something.” Success snuck up on Wigan. It had enveloped Maloney, a veteran of five Scottish Premier Leagues and five Scottish Cups with Celtic. “I didn’t sign for Wigan expecting to win anything,” he says. “At Celtic there was an expectation that you’d win things every year and if you didn’t, the likelihood was that your rivals would. There was a real pressure because of that.” When Ben Watson’s header flew past Joe Hart (Maloney had whipped in the corner), when the final whistle shrilled, the feeling was “completely different”, Maloney says. “It was just pure joy, utter elation. And it still feels like that. In reality, for a club our size, it was almost impossible to win a trophy.” Few had considered it; not in this era. “With the financial incentives of staying in the Premier League, there are probably ten to 12 teams who have that as their main goal,” Maloney says. “At the start of that season, Wigan weren’t any different — stay up, finish as high as possible. The cup run materialised. We beat Everton 3-0 away from home in the quarter-final and it was suddenly ‘this is happening’. It became serious. It wasn’t a dream any more.” As it transpired, Roberto Martínez’s team would go down that season. “I understand the money and missing out on the Premier League, but I wouldn’t change it for a minute,” Maloney says. “League status comes and goes. Winning the FA Cup can never be taken away. Wigan isn’t a big place. It was momentous.” Maloney, 34, is back at Celtic Park, in a coaching role. “In Glasgow, it’s all about the intensity between the two clubs,” he says. “I’ve got history with Celtic and I work for them, but people ask me about winning the FA Cup. “There used to be loads — at Liverpool and Manchester United — but there aren’t many Scottish players who have won silverware down south. It’s a real proud thing for Scotland.” At Wigan, Maloney discovered another Paradise. Steve Ogrizovic was in goal when Coventry City beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-2 in 1987. “There’s “ We knew we weren’t loved because of the way we played football, but we thought of ourselves as being plucky underdogs barely a day goes by without somebody stopping me and wanting to recall their stories,” he says. “They’ll call it ‘the greatest day of my life’ and I’m thinking, ‘Hold on, what about your wedding day or when your kids were born?’ But that’s what football can mean.” Recent years have entailed struggle, a grapple for survival, but Coventry will always have what Motson called the “finest cup final”, when Keith Houchen equalised with a diving header and Spurs were bested in extra time. The clamour was so great then and Coventry so consumed by it that Clara, Houchen’s daughter, came home from school a few days later and asked, “Dad, are you Keith Houchen?” “It’s amazing where time goes,” Ogrizovic says. “In those days, the FA Cup meant so much. There was no thought of resting players, it was the thing to win. Coventry people still remember it. For months beforehand and afterwards, houses were decorated with memorabilia, ticker tape all over the place, car aerials decorated with ribbons. It was a great place to be. I remember thinking, ‘Right, can we build something?’ ” As with Wimbledon and Wigan, it remains Coventry’s only meaningful trophy. As the third round plays out, we will hear about the withering of tradition, but tomorrow’s match at Wembley is a reminder that although the game allowed a club to be franchised and something died because of it, something else was born. There is always hope, always possibility. There is proof: Liverpool lost. “We ruffled feathers, but people look back on us now with a bit of affection and it’s quite endearing,” Gibson says. “It’s great to see AFC Wimbledon, the new Wimbledon, back at Wembley, doing it against the odds like us. It continues the story.” Beasant is Reading’s goalkeeping coach. “I’m still involved in the game, going around football grounds and I’m always signing photos, whether of the penalty save or lifting the trophy itself,” he says. “It’s unbelievable. It was 30 years ago. You’re constantly reminded of it because it was a big event, a big shock, in people’s lives.” Nothing can do that like the cup. Even if what stands out for Beasant is sitting down. Do you know the other teams to have won the cup only once? Take our quiz 1. Three league titles but just one cup triumph in 1972. Who are we? 5. Who won a final that is now named after a famous England winger? 2. Winners of the first final to be decided by a penalty? 6. Lost to Portsmouth in 2008 final but had won it in 1927. Who are we? 3. Who beat Manchester United 1-0 to claim the cup in 1976? 7. Who has two league titles from the 1970s but one cup win in 1946? 4. Who needed a replay to win their only major trophy in 1911? 8. Which team flying high in League Two won the cup in 1894? 9. We lost a final to Tottenham in 1962 but beat Liverpool 1-0 in 1914. Who are we? 10. Battling away in League One today is a far cry from our 1947 glory. Who are we? 11. Which Championship club will be hoping new ownership can help them repeat the glory of 1912? Answers 1. Leeds United, who beat Arsenal 1-0 2. Huddersfield Town — Billy Smith scored from the spot as they beat Preston 1-0 in 1922 3. Southampton thanks to Bobby Stokes’ goal 4. Bradford City, beating Newcastle United 1-0 at Old Trafford 5. Blackpool beat Bolton Wanderers 4-3 in the Stanley Matthews final in 1953 6. Cardiff City beat Arsenal 1-0 thanks to a Hughie Ferguson goal in 1927 7. Derby County who beat Charlton Athletic 4-1 in first final since the start of World War Two 8. James Logan scored a hat-trick for Notts County as they beat Bolton 4-1 9. Burnley, thanks to a Bert Freeman goal 10. Charlton, who beat Burnley 1-0 after extra-time 11. Barnsley, who beat West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in a replay Only including current Premier League/Football league clubs love the cup? Andy Barcham is reflecting on how the AFC Wimbledon fans reacted when Lyle Taylor, his team-mate, missed a penalty in September. The supporters did not jeer, they sang Taylor’s name instead. The point is that AFC Wimbledon are as intimately connected with their fans as any club in the land. The more subtle but fascinating point is that Barcham chose not to say who the penalty was against. There are three syllables never uttered by the club who travel to Wembley tomorrow to face Tottenham Hotspur: MK Dons. In 2002, AFC Wimbledon were created in response to the relocation of the original Wimbledon club to Milton Keynes. For a long while the animosity towards the relocated club was wrapped up in ownership of the FA Cup final victory over Liverpool in 1988. Who won the cup, MK Dons or AFC Wimbledon? Now that AFC are an established club in their own right such existential angst is less important. “Drawing Spurs in the cup is a great occasion,” Barcham says, “but nothing compared to getting back to Plough Lane.” Last month the club signed a deal with Merton Council which allows the construction of a new stadium and a return to their spiritual home. The hope is that the ground, on the site of Wimbledon greyhound stadium, will be completed at the same time as a Hollywood film about the rise of AFC. Barcham, who came through the Spurs academy and made one appearance, in the League Cup, for them, finds an interesting way to deal with the question of whether AFC are defined by not being MK Dons. “I can’t talk about them,” he says. “At this club we don’t talk about them. That’s something that’s bred into you.” The answer, then, is that yes, they are still defined by not being MK Dons. The antipathy stretched far enough for the name MK Dons not to appear on the front of the matchday programme when Robbie Neilson’s side visited Kingsmeadow four months ago. AFC are determined to snub their rivals even though they share an intimate history. “If you don’t know about it [the history] before you come to the club, when you do, you know about it,” Barcham says. “Everyone is so passionate. The people are volunteers, they are here for the love of the club. We are always the underdogs, we are always overachieving. It doesn’t matter what is put in front of you, it’s not going to be as hard as what this club has been through.” Playing at Wembley is, he says, like getting married. He was warned that if he was not careful he would let his wedding day become a blur and when he first stepped out at Wembley, in the League Two play-off final for Gillingham in 2009, he was unprepared and, although his team won, he wished he could have enjoyed it more. Fortunately, he returned to the national stadium in 2016 with AFC Wimbledon for their League Two play-off victory over Plymouth Argyle and enjoyed every minute. “We’re playing against one of the best teams in the Premier League,” the 31-year-old says of the tie against Spurs, “so we’re excited about that. We’re playing at Wembley, so we’re excited about that. It’s the FA Cup, so we’re excited about that. There’s so much to be excited about so one of the big challenges is not getting over-excited and failing to give a good account of ourselves.” It is not just teams from League One who feel privileged to be at Wembley, which explains, in part, why Tottenham have struggled to make it feel like home. “People are so excited to play there,” Barcham says. “They raise their game. I’m sure that was difficult to adjust to [for Spurs] but hopefully that will play to our advantage.” On reflection, Barcham thinks he should have left Spurs earlier. “You get caught up in the bubble of being at a big club. It was only when I went on loan [aged 22] to Leyton Orient and Gillingham that I experienced FA Cup games, games on TV, games that affected people’s livelihoods. I should have taken that path sooner,” he says. His family support Tottenham but will be at Wembley to cheer him on. “On occasions like this we can give back to the people who love the club and why not overachieve again and enjoy it?” he says. “At other clubs you have the connection with fans but here it’s more natural. Lyle Taylor missed a penalty and it was an important penalty and the crowd didn’t stop singing his name. Everyone’s in it together.” 10 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Football Oliver Kay Chief Football Correspondent Empty seats are no reflection on City I t still comes as an occasional surprise, upon opening The Times, to see an advertisement for an upcoming match at the Etihad Stadium. By consensus, Pep Guardiola has got Manchester City playing the best football the Premier League has seen for years, every match offering the prospect of a masterclass, yet the national advertising campaigns tell you there are tickets to be had for the hottest show in town. To some rival fans, it is a source of hilarity. They may feel unable to enjoy City’s football, but offer them a screengrab of some empty seats in the background and they are rolling in the aisles. “All that talent and they still cannot sell out, eh?” Except that City almost always do. They have had 49 Premier League matches since expanding the capacity to 55,097 and, almost without exception, the only tickets unsold have been in the away end. Cup competitions have been a different matter. While watching City’s 3-1 win against Watford on Tuesday, fans were bombarded with reminders on the big screen about ticket availability for today’s FA Cup third-round tie against Burnley, Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final first leg against Bristol City and even the Champions League match against Basle in March. Yet it transpires that today’s game is now a sell-out too. Tuesday night is another matter; adult tickets cost from £15 (members) or £20 (nonmembers) and under-18s can get in for just £5, but their third home game in eight days, a televised evening kick-off, is proving a hard sell at a time when so many are feeling the economic pinch. Older City fans will tell you, though, that it has not been easy to embrace excellence. Indeed there have been times in their history, particularly in the later years at Maine Road, when they seemed to revel in adversity. In 1995-96, which ended in relegation, their average league attendance was 27,869, their highest in five years. The humiliating 1997-98 season, when they were relegated from the second tier to the third, saw that figure climb to 28,196, their highest in 16 years. It rose again to 28,261 the following season, a grim but ultimately successful battle for promotion from the third tier. And it is when recalling these times that City’s supporters must laugh at the frequent taunts — quite at odds with the “Emptihad” stuff — asking “Where were you when you were shit?” We all know that City have been transformed beyond recognition since then, first by the move across town and then by the largesse from Abu Dhabi. They won the Premier League title in 2012 and 2014 and, after a relatively unfulfilling few seasons, are now threatening not just to win it but to break countless records by doing so, with David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Agüero, Gabriel Jesus and the rest of them playing the type of football that even the Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs recently described as “brilliant to watch”. The difficulty is to go from being, in José Mourinho’s terminology, a “big football team” to being an elite club with a vast global fanbase. That enormous, FFP-busting sponsorship deal with Abu Dhabi’s national airline may suggest that they are one of the most powerful brands in the sport, as does the £265 million investment they received from a Chinese consortium for a stake in the City Football Group in 2015, but in the broader sense of winning hearts, minds, website subscriptions and marketing data, turning fans into customers and all that, they lag far behind Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool, never mind United. For City, even now, sell-out crowds are a weekby-week objective, rather than something to be taken for granted. Their corporate facilities have been continually upgraded — to the point where a United-supporting friend said after sampling City’s much-hyped “Tunnel Club” recently that the “prawn sandwich” suites at Old Trafford now feel like a roadside diner by comparison — but filling those seats is, again, a challenge, hence the regular adverts in national newspapers, appealing to a different clientele, perhaps beyond the North West. A thought occurred yesterday, though, while listening to City’s thoughtful and highly articulate captain Vincent Kompany on BBC Radio 5 Live, urging Premier League clubs to lower ticket prices in order to improve atmosphere. Drawing on conclusions arrived at while earning his MBA from Manchester Business School, Kompany suggested that clubs should focus not on maximising revenue but on maximising the appeal of their product by filling their stadiums with “the people in the right place”. These, he said, are “probably not always the guys who can afford it,” but “those that live for the club and are probably more attached to it than anyone else.” Kompany is right, but most leading Premier League clubs have gone so far in pursuit of a more affluent fanbase that there seems no going back. City are in a unique position among English football’s modern heavyweights — and not just because their ownership model leaves them far less reliant on matchday revenue. As other clubs continue to change the demographic of their home crowd, seemingly at the expense of atmosphere, City keep prices lower in order to make sure there are bums on seats. They have an opportunity to be that rare thing: an elite club that retains a distinctly local feel. That may not suit their owners’ global version, but would be something worth treasuring. Whatever the jibes about empty seats every now and then, that would be a great selling point. Wenger is not j wrong but just getting tiresome n top of his continuing insinuations about some kind of refereeing conspiracy against Arsenal — the imagined motive behind which is not entirely clear, given that his team rarely need outside help to make life hard for themselves — Arsène Wenger has declared that the fixture scheduling over Christmas and new year was “completely unfair”. “Some of the teams have had six days to prepare,” he said yesterday, adding that the situation was indefensible. Wenger was talking about the six-day rest that Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United were able to enjoy between their games on Boxing Day and January 2. This is because their derby match, originally scheduled for December 30, was moved to January 4 for live television coverage. This in turn meant that their rearranged game on Thursday night was their second in three days, which may go some way towards explaining why the teams lacked energy and inspiration in their 1-1 draw at Wembley. At least Tottenham and West Ham were in the same boat, as both managers acknowledged. David Moyes was also decent enough to admit that the earlier six-day break had benefited his West Ham team before their January 2 fixture against West Bromwich Albion, who had played against Arsenal two days earlier. There are simply too many matches played over the festive period; it is an anachronism, while the remainder of Europe rests. The best that managers can really hope for is to have games spread out as evenly as possible, without having to play twice in three days. Nine teams, including Manchester City and Manchester United, were required to play four times in ten days. Only five were lucky enough to avoid playing twice in three days. Only three had the good fortune to see their four games spread over 13 days. Only one team was able to enjoy both of those best-case scenarios. To point out that this team happens to be, yes, Arsenal, is not to suggest some kind of collusion in their favour. That would be as tediously risible as the alternative conspiracy theory that Wenger keeps hinting at. It is simply to illustrate that, when certain managers (not just Wenger) rail about injustices, whether about the fixture schedule or about refereeing decisions, you get a very selective spin on things. Alan Pardew’s West Brom, who submitted a complaint to the Premier League about theirs, had four clear days before their match against Arsenal, who had just two. It is swings and roundabouts, all of it. Like the refereeing, it is far from perfect, but this continual bleating is tiresome enough when a club and a manager have a genuine grievance, let alone when they don’t. O Sterling and his team are producing some of the best play seen for many years Guardiola: I will stay only if I deserve to Battle of Ferguson’s saviours Paul Hirst Pep Guardiola will only sign a new deal with Manchester City if he thinks that he deserves it. Senior figures at the club are optimistic about Guardiola extending his contract, which expires at the end of next season, but the head coach feels that he has to earn a new deal by winning multiple trophies first. “There is no doubt about my commitment for one more year,” Guardiola said. “After, we will see. It depends if we win and if I deserve to extend my contract. If you want to extend your contract at big clubs you have to win, and if you don’t win, you don’t deserve to continue.” Given that his team are 15 points clear of second-placed Manchester United, it is highly likely that Guardiola will end the season with the Premier League title. He is determined to add the FA Cup to his collection too, which means that he will resist the temptation to start a number of young players in today’s third-round tie at home to Burnley because he wants to avoid the possibility of a replay at Turf Moor. “We are going to try to play the best team possible because when we play against Burnley and against Huddersfield Town [last year], we needed a replay,” Guardiola, whose side lost 2-1 to Arsenal in extra time in the semi-final last season, said. Sergio Agüero is expected to start and, unless City sign Alexis Sánchez from Arsenal, Agüero will be Guardiola’s only striker for two months because Gabriel Jesus is out with the knee injury that he suffered against Crystal Palace on New Year’s Eve. Agüero may be rested for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg at home to Bristol City on Tuesday because he is concerned that the forward could suffer from burnout before the Premier League encounter away to Liverpool a week tomorrow. Steve Madeley Mark Robins says that the presence of Mark Hughes helped to force him out of Manchester United as a player. Now, a quarter of a century on, Robins could play his part in driving his former Old Trafford team-mate out of his job as Stoke City manager. Robins, now manager at Coventry City, who host struggling Stoke in the FA Cup third round this afternoon, alleges no malice on Hughes’s part. The former Wales forward’s superior ability simply meant that Robins admitted defeat in his battle for a firstteam place and moved to Norwich City. “He was a top, top striker, strong and powerful,” said Robins, who scored a third-round winner for United from a Hughes cross away to Nottingham Forest in 1990 to reputedly keep Sir Alex Ferguson in his job. “He had gone to Barcelona and Bayern Munich and come back when I came through,” Robins said. “Him and Brian McClair were never injured. That’s why I had to leave.” While Hughes is clinging on to his position at Stoke, Robins says that his Sky Bet League Two side are his only concern. “For me it’s another game and the primary thing for us is to put on a worthy performance,” he said. the times | Saturday January 6 2018 11 1G S Sport PHOTOGRAPHS: NEWS GROUP NEWSPAPERS LTD; BBC How video referees would have changed cup’s key moments March 8, 2008: Man Utd 0 Portsmouth 1 FA Cup quarter-final. Referee Martin Atkinson What happened Portsmouth’s Sylvain Distin crashes into Cristiano Ronaldo in the penalty area after the United forward had knocked the ball beyond the defender. A Video Assistant Referee (VAR) will officiate at a competitive match in England for the first time on Monday when Brighton & Hove Albion meet Crystal Palace in the FA Cup. We look at how the system might have altered FA Cup history had it existed previously. Referee’s decision No offence, play on VAR verdict Penalty April 23, 1932: Newcastle 2 Arsenal 1 FA Cup final. Referee W P Harper What happened All of the ball is beyond the right-hand byline when Newcastle’s Jimmy Richardson crosses for Jack Allen to head in the equaliser. Referee’s decision Goal VAR verdict Goal kick May 18, 1991: Tottenham 2 Nottingham Forest 1 FA Cup final. Referee Roger Milford What happened Early on Tottenham’s Paul Gascoigne plants his studs violently into the chest of Garry Parker. Referee’s decision Free kick but no further punishment for Gascoigne (shortly afterwards Gascoigne tore his cruciate ligaments while hacking at Gary Charles’s shins, leading to a 16-month layoff. He was not booked for that either) VAR verdict Red card (for both incidents) April 23, 2017: Arsenal 2 Man City 1 FA Cup semi-final. Referee Craig Pawson Assistant Steve Child What happened With the game goalless, Leroy Sané’s left-wing cross for City is volleyed home at the far post by Sergio Agüero. Referee’s decision No goal — Sané’s cross sent the ball beyond the byline and out of play VAR verdict Goal — All of the ball did not go beyond the byline Why all-conquering City have just 28% chance of lifting FA Cup Daniel Finkelstein The Fink Tank inning the FA Cup is about the order of your results, not just their quality. Let’s say you are a team who win nine out of ten of your games. In the league, you gain the same number of points whichever of the games you lose, so the order doesn’t matter. But in a knockout competition, if you lose the last of your ten games you would already have won the cup and be part way through the next season; but if you lose the first of them you are ignominiously knocked out. The FA Cup is thus much less predictable than the Premier League. Manchester City have W nearly arrived at a 100 per cent chance of winning the title, but, while favourites for the FA Cup, their chance of lifting that trophy is 28 per cent. Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are each on 17 per cent. These figures come from the modelling work of Dr Henry Stott, Dr Mark Latham and Dr Dinesh Vatvani. They do assume that each club care about the cup in the same way that they care about the league, and while this seems dubious, it has proven an acceptable working assumption in previous years. The reason why Spurs, who are not as strong as Chelsea, have an equal chance of winning the trophy rather makes the point about the order of games. They have a 99 per cent chance of getting past AFC Wimbledon, making them the side most likely to be in the fourth round. Chelsea’s chance of joining them, by knocking out Norwich City, is 89 per cent. Teams most likely to win the FA Cup at start of third round Percentage chance of winning FA Cup 0 5 10 Man City Tottenham Chelsea Man United Arsenal Liverpool Leicester Everton Newcastle Southampton Aaron Ramsey holding the cup for 2017 winners Arsenal 15 20 25 30 The chance of one of the top-six clubs winning the FA Cup is 91 per cent, making it more likely that an outsider will lift the trophy than that Arsenal will or that Liverpool will. However the chance of any individual outsider team winning is very small. The chance of the winner coming from the Premier League is 97.3 per cent, while there is a 2.5 per cent probability of them coming from the Championship. The largest chance for an act of giant killing (defined as a team knocking out a side from at least one division above them) is that Wolverhampton Wanderers make their way past Swansea City. Indeed there is a 68 per cent chance that they will. There is also a 61 per cent probability that Blackburn Rovers will eliminate Hull City. The chance of there being at least one giant killing in the third round is 99.9 per cent and the chance of there being at least four is 90 per cent. 12 2G S Sport FA Cup The ultimate third-round guide 2017-18 Shrewsbury Town v West Ham Wolves v Swansea City Premier League v Premier League 1 Swansea place higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Man City v Burnley Home win 7/10 31 West Ham places higher Away win 19/20 Head d to head Kick-off: tomorrow, 2pm Ref P Tierney Ref A Taylor Wolves have Danny Batth suspended but Rafa Mir may make his debut after signing from Valencia. Swansea have Wilfried Bony and Kyle Bartley fit again but Kyle Naughton is suspended. Ki Sung-yeung and Tammy Abraham are doubts Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris, the pair on loan from Norwich, may return for Shrewsbury. West Ham’s Joe Hart is expected to face his former club. Marko Arnautovic, Michail Antonio and Aaron Cresswell are doubts Jayden Stockley ockley FA Cup best Wolves winners 4 times, latest in 1960. Swansea semi-finals twice, latter in 1964 FA Cup best Shrewsbury 6th round twice, latter in 1982. West Ham winners 3 times, latest in 1980 Gareth McAuley cAuley FA Cup best Man City winners 5 times, latest in 2011. Burnley winners 1914 Played for both clubs Emlyn Hughes, Sam Ricketts Played for both clubs Jimmy Quinn, Joe Hart Played for both clubs Kevin Reeves, Joey Barton Stat These clubs both dropped from top to bottom tier between 1983 and 1986 (Wolves in three seasons, Swansea in four) Stat Shrewsbury have conceded only three goals in their past 15 home games in all competitions Norwich City v Chelsea Tottenham Hotspur v Wimbledon 6 Home win 1/6 Man City places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Ref G Scott City have Vincent Kompany, Gabriel Jesus and Benjamin Mendy injured; David Silva may be absent for personal reasons. Scott Arfield is a Burnley doubt while Chris Wood and Stephen Ward are out Stat City’s next games in three cup competitions are against Bs: Burnley (FA Cup), Bristol City (Carabao Cup), Basle (Champions League) Brighton v Crystal Palace 2 Brighton places higher Draw 2/1 Ref A Marriner Kick-off: Monday, 7.45pm Steve Sidwell is Brighton’s only injury absentee. Connor Goldson and Beram Kayal are expected to play. Palace are without Scott Dann, Jason Puncheon, Mamadou Sakho, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Joel Ward 30 Away win 1/2 Chelsea places higher Kick-off: today, 5.30pm Ref S Atwell Kick-off: tomorrow, 3pm Ref D Coote Tottenham are still without Toby Alderweireld while Danny Rose is a doubt with a knee problem. Juan Foyth may play. Wimbledon hope Jon Meades, Cody McDonald and Barry Fuller can overcome injury to play FA Cup best Norwich semi-finals 3 times, latest in 1992. Chelsea winners 7 times, latest in 2012 Played for both clubs Andy Townsend, Chris Sutton Played for both clubs Eric Young, Glenn Murray Stat Chelsea and Arsenal have won 62 per cent of FA Cups since 1997 (Arsenal 7, Chelsea 6, out of 21) Bolton Wanderers v Huddersfield 29 Draw 21/10 Huddersfield places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Nottingham Forest v Arsenal 28 Premier League v Championship Ref R East Karl Henry and Darren Pratley are injured for Bolton and Josh Vela is a doubt. Huddersfield have Philip Billing fit again and Terence Kongolo, the new signing, may play but Chris Löwe is out injured. Joel Coleman will play in goal FA Cup best Bolton winners 4 times, latest in 1958. Huddersfield winners 1922 Away win 8/15 Arsenal places higher 13 Home win 15/8 Kick-off: today, 3pm Ref M Oliver Floyd Ayité is a Fulham doubt but Lucas Piazon should make his first start after a broken leg. Charlie Austin’s ban for Southampton is over but he is still injured. Jérémy Pied, Wesley Hoedt and Cédric Soares are also out FA Cup best Coventry winners 1987. Stoke runners-up 2011 Stat In Arsenal’s past 21 games there have been ten result-changing goals from the 83rd minute onwards Played for both clubs Gerry Daly, Micky Gynn Away win 4/7 Kick-off: today, 12.45pm Ref S Hooper Paddy Madden, Fleetwood’s new signing from Scunthorpe, is cup-tied. Jamie Vardy, once of Fleetwood, is a serious doubt for Leicester with a groin problem. Wes Morgan and Danny Simpson are out but Adrien Silva may make his first start Played for both clubs Kevin Moore, Chris Baird Stat These teams reached the final in successive years as second-tier clubs: Fulham in 1975, Southampton in 1976 Stat Leicester’s previous visit to a “Highbury” came in May 2004 when Arsenal completed an unbeaten league season Watford v Bristol City Bournemouth v Wigan Athletic Kick-off: today, 3pm Ref C Pawson 29 Draw 5/2 Bournemouth places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Jayden Stockley (Exeter) 5 Christian Doidge (Forest Green Rovers) 4 Matt Godden (Stevenage) 4 Stat This is Coventry’s first FA Cup tie against a team three league tiers above them Jack Midson (Leatherhead) 4 Danny Rowe (AFC Fylde) 4 Tommy Rowe (Doncaster) 4 Exeter City v West Brom Played for both clubs Iain Hume, Jamie Vardy Draw 7/2 Most FA Cup goals this season (first and second rounds) ds) Ref M Atkinson Played for both clubs Viv Anderson, Tony Woodcock FA Cup best Fleetwood 3rd round twice, latter in 2017. Leicester runners-up 4 times, latest in 1969 Watford places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm FA Cup best Forest winners twice, latter in 1959. Arsenal winners 13 times, latest in 2017 Leicester places higher Jayden Stockley, the Exeter City striker, has struck five goals in three FA Cup appearances this his season Away win 7/10 Stoke places higher Jordan Maguire-Drew, on loan from Brighton, could appear for Coventry. Stuart Beavon and Josh Barrett are doubts. Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi are injured for Stoke while Erik Pieters, their fellow defender, is a doubt FA Cup best Fulham runners-up 1975. Southampton winners 1976 14 Premier League v League Two 53 48 West Brom om Stat If Tottenham win the FA Cup they will have played at least half the six rounds at Wembley: here, the semi-final and final Daryl Murphy is a Forest doubt after missing Monday’s draw against Leeds United. Granit Xhaka has joined an Arsenal injury list that also features Sead Kolasinac, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, Nacho Monreal and Santi Cazorla Fleetwood Town v Leicester City Southampton places higher v Played for both clubs Neil Sullivan, Dean Parrett Coventry City v Stoke City Stat These two clubs reached the most FA Cup finals in the 1920s – three each Fulham v Southampton FA Cup best Tottenham winners 8 times, latest in 1991. Wimbledon winners 1988 (third round twice as AFC Wimbledon, latter in 2017) Kick-off: tomorrow, 4pm Ref J Moss Premier League v League One Played for both clubs Frank Worthington, Sam Allardyce Home win 2/15 Tottenham places higher Norwich have Harrison Reed and Marco Stiepermann injured. David Luiz is expected to start for Chelsea after injury and Charly Musonda could also play after a groin problem but Eden Hazard is a doubt with a calf knock FA Cup best Brighton runners-up 1983. Palace runners-up 1990, 2016 Stat These clubs have reached a combined three finals, losing to Manchester United each time 60 Exeter Ref A Madley Watford have Troy Deeney back after a ban but Kiko Femenía, Will Hughes, Younès Kaboul, Miguel Britos, Craig Cathcart, Nathanial Chalobah and Isaac Success are out. City, with a Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday, will rest key players Bournemouth have Ryan Fraser fit again but Josh King, Jermain Defoe, Junior Stanislas and Tyrone Mings are injured. Alex Bruce is a Wigan doubt with a back problem but Ryan Colclough is over a shoulder injury FA Cup best Watford runners-up 1984. Bristol City runners-up 1909 FA Cup best Bournemouth 6th round 1957. Wigan winners 2013 Played for both clubs Sean Dyche, David James Played for both clubs Joe Parkinson, Liam Ridgewell Stat Watford can become the first top-flight side to exit both main domestic cup competitions at home against the same lower-division team in one season Stat In the past 30 seasons Wigan have been winners once and semi-finalists once but otherwise not gone beyond round four 56 West Brom places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Away win 7/10 Ref L Mason Jordan Moore-Taylor, the Exeter captain, is an injury doubt. West Brom have Matt Phillips, Nacer Chadli and James Morrison injured. Kane Wilson has returned from a loan spell at Exeter and may be in the squad FA Cup best Exeter 6th round twice, latter in 1981. West Brom winners 5 times, latest in 1968 Played for both clubs Kwame Ampadu, Don Goodman Stat Manchester City have won 25 games (plus two penalty shoot-outs) since West Brom last won in all competitions Newcastle United v Luton Town 56 Newcastle places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Home win 1/2 Ref N Swarbrick Newcastle have Chancel Mbemba, Florian Lejeune, Jesus Gámez and Rob Elliot out injured. Aleksandar Mitrovic is a doubt with a back problem. Luton are without the suspended Alan Sheehan and injured Scott Cuthbert FA Cup best Newcastle winners 6 times, latest in 1955. Luton runners-up 1959 Played for both clubs Malcolm Macdonald, Mick Harford Stat Luton won their most recent leading domestic trophy 33 years after Newcastle’s latest one (1988 League Cup; 1955 FA Cup) Saturday January 6 2018 | the times the times | Saturday January 6 2018 13 2G S Sport In association with By Bill Edgar Television Blackburn Rovers v Hull City Championship v Championship Today Fleetwood Town v Leicester City 6 live 12.45pm, BBC One Middlesbrough v Sunderland Norwich City v Chelsea 16 live 5.30pm, BT Sport 2 Highlights of today’s games 10.30pm, BBC One Kick-off: today, 1pm Home win 4/7 Ref C Kavanagh Promotion-chasing Middlesbrough have no injury concerns but are likely to make several changes. Sunderland’s Darron Gibson could be out for ten weeks with a groin problem. Paddy McNair and Aiden McGeady are doubts Tomorrow Newport County v Leeds United live noon, BBC One Wales Shrewsbury Town v West Ham United live 2pm, BBC One Nottingham Forest v Arsenal FA Cup best Middlesbrough runners-up 1997. Sunderland winners twice, latter in 1973 Played for both clubs Brian Clough, Lee Cattermole live 4pm, BT Sport 2 Highlights of tomorrow’s games, 10.30, BBC One Monday Stat This derby has produced more away wins than home wins over the past 27 meetings Kick-off: today, 3pm live 7.45pm, BT Sport 2 Birmingham City v Burton Albion 1 Radio Today 12.45pm: Fleetwood Town v Leicester City, BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT. 3pm: Coventry City v Stoke City, BBC 5 Live; Exeter City v West Bromwich Albion, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra; Manchester City v Burnley, talkSPORT 2. 5.30pm: Norwich City v Chelsea, BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Tomorrow Noon: Newport County v Leeds United, BBC 5 Live. 2pm: Shrewsbury Town v West Ham United, BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT. 3pm: Tottenham Hotspur v AFC Wimbledon, BBC 5 Live Sports Extra. 4pm: Nottingham Forest v Arsenal, BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Burton place higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Draw 21/10 Ref J Simpson Birmingham are still without Tomasz Kuszczak, their injured goalkeeper, and Che Adams is not quite ready to return to the starting line-up. Nigel Clough, the Burton manager, says he will make very few changes FA Cup best Birmingham runners-up twice, latter in 1956. Burton 4th round 2011 Bill Edgar’s weekend numbers Ipswich Town v Sheffield United There are no non-league teams in the FA Cup third round for the first time since 1950-51 How non-league clubs disappeared from FA Cup this season First round 22 non-League v League ties 5 wins Non-League 17 wins League Second round 10 non-League v League ties Non-League 0 wins 10 wins League Gareth Garet McAuley, the centre back, has scored sco most of his goals for West Brom w with his head at set-pieces 5 Kick-off: today, 3pm Head 12 Ref M Jones Aaron Drinan, a new signing, could make his debut for Ipswich, who are without the injured Gavin Ward and Adam Webster. United may bring in Jake Wright, Daniel Lafferty, Caolan Lavery and Samir Carruthers FA Cup best Ipswich winners 1978. Sheffield Utd winners 4 times, latest in 1925 Played for both clubs Brian Gayle, Georges Santos Ref D Bond Tom Elliott may return for Millwall having been out injured since Boxing Day. Barnsley are still without the injured Andy Yiadom and Ryan Hedges. Angus MacDonald and Adam Jackson are doubts FA Cup best Millwall runners-up 2004. Barnsley winners 1912 Played for both clubs Mick McCarthy, Trevor Aylott Stat Millwall’s eight wins in all competitions this season have all come at home Championship v League One Aston Villa v Peterborough 27 Home win 8/11 Aston Villa places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Ref R Jones Home win 11/4 Ref B Toner FA Cup best Stevenage 5th round 2012. Reading semi-finals twice, latter in 2015 Played for both clubs Alan Fettis, Keith Andrews Played for both clubs Jobi McAnuff, Kevin Lisbie Stat Hull have conceded the most Championship goals yet only four teams have scored more Stat Reading have advanced farthest of all lower-division teams in two of the past three seasons QPR v Milton Keynes Dons Wycombe W v Preston North End 26 Home win 3/4 QPR places higher 43 Preston places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Ref J Linington Away win 19/20 Ref P Bankes Jamie Mackie is out for QPR with a back injury that requires surgery. Grant Hall is a doubt. Ike Ugbo could play for MK Dons after joining on loan from Chelsea. Aidan Nesbitt is fit again Adam El Abd is likely to return for Wycombe after a calf problem and Matt Bloomfield is fit but Dominic Gape is a doubt. Billy Bodin is not cup-tied so could make his debut after joining from Bristol Rovers FA Cup best QPR runners-up 1982. MK Dons 5th round 2013 FA Cup best Wycombe semi-finals 2011, latter in 2001. Preston winners twice, latter in 1938 Played for both clubs Andros Townsend, Jason Puncheon Stat MK Dons bridged a two-division gap to win 4-2 away to QPR in the FA Cup in 2013 39 Brentford places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Home win 1/2 Ref T Robinson Brentford’s Alan Judge could make his first appearance in 20 months after a broken leg. Emiliano Marcondes is expected to make his debut after signing from Nordsjaelland. Shola Ameobi should be fit to return for County FA Cup best Brentford 6th round 4 times, last in 1989. Notts Co winners 1894 Played for both clubs Tommy Lawton, Graeme Hogg Stat Brentford are on course to finish in the top half of their division for the tenth season in a row (tiers 4, 3 and 2) 51 Home win 4/7 Cardiff places higher Played for both clubs Gareth Ainsworth, Paul Hayes Stat Wycombe are one of two clubs in the past 20 years to have reached the semi-finals when in the third tier Newport County v Leeds United Brentford v Notts County Kick-off: today, 3pm Home win 10/11 Reading places higher FA Cup best Blackburn winners 6 times, latest in 1928. Hull runners-up 2014 Millwall v Barnsley Milwall places higher 45 Kick-off: today, 3pm Cardiff City v Mansfield Town 4 Stevenage v Reading Tom King could play in goal for Stevenage after arriving on loan from Millwall on Thursday. Terence Vancooten is a doubt. Reading are still without Joseph Mendes and Stephen Quinn with knee injuries Stat Sheffield United have won one of their past nine games having won ten of their previous 13 Kick-off: today, 3pm McAule McAuley league goals for West Brom Away win 5/4 Sheffield Utd places higher Ref O Langford Championship v League Two Played for both clubs Gary Rowett, Lloyd Dyer Stat Burton’s average league attendance, 4,745, is less than half the next lowest in the Championship (Brentford, 10,098) Monday 7.45pm: Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace, BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Away win 12/5 Blackburn are still without the on-loan Marcus Antonsson because of an ankle injury, while Joe Nuttall is a serious doubt with illness. David Marshall will replace the first-choice Allan McGregor in the Hull goal Kick-off: today, 3pm Brighton & Hove Albion v Crystal Palace Feet 3 Middlesbrough places higher Hull City places higher 53 Kick-off: tomorrow, 12pm FA Cup best Cardiff winners 1927. Mansfield 6th round 1969 Away win 5/6 Ref M Dean Paul Hayes could make his debut for Newport, who have Mark O’Brien back after suspension. Ronaldo Vieira and Stuart Dallas could return after injury for Leeds, who will assess Luke Ayling’s ankle FA Cup best Newport 5th round 1949. Leeds winners 1972 Played for both clubs Mark Aizlewood, Nathan Blake Stat Leeds have only once exceeded four goals in a cup game in the past eight years: 5-1 v Newport in this season’s Carabao Cup League One v League One Doncaster Rovers v Rochdale Ref L Probert Cardiff are missing the injured Lee Peltier, Matthew Connolly, Aron Gunnarsson, Sean Morrison, Danny Ward and Kadeem Harris. Zander Diamond, the Mansfield captain, is still out but Danny Rose may be back Leeds places higher 12 Home win Evens Doncaster places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Ref A Woolmer Doncaster have extended Jordan Houghton’s loan from Chelsea but Ben Whiteman has been recalled by Sheffield United. Joe Rafferty and Steve Davies are doubts for Rochdale Played for both clubs Phil Stant, Nicky Platnauer FA Cup best Doncaster 5th round 4 times, latest in 1956. Rochdale 5th round twice, latter in 2003 Stat Cardiff’s Neil Warnock has overseen 1,444 games as a manager but not a final of FA Cup or League Cup Played for both clubs Ernie Moss, Neil Redfearn Carlisle United v Sheffield Wed 45 Sheffield Wed places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Draw 5/2 Stat Doncaster’s Darren Ferguson has never reached the fifth round; his father Sir Alex did so 19 times League One v League Two Ref D Webb Kelvin Etuhu is a serious doubt for Carlisle because of an ankle problem. George Boyd is expected to make his first Wednesday appearance since September after two shoulder operations but Keiren Westwood and Jack Hunt are out Yeovil Town v Bradford City 39 Bradford places higher Kick-off: today, 3pm Away win 7/10 Ref J Brooks John Terry will start for Villa after missing the past ten games, but Scott Hogan is out with an ankle problem. Peterborough are likely to have Jonathan Bond in goal after he extended his loan spell from Reading FA Cup best Carlisle 6th round 1975. Sheffield Wednesday winners 3 times, latest in 1935 Played for both clubs Tommy Craig, Steve Harkness FA Cup best Aston Villa winners 7 times, latest in 1957. Peterborough 6th round 1965 Omar Sowunmi and Connor Smith are suspended for Yeovil, who will be without the injured James Bailey for three months. The on-loan Jared Bird could make his debut. Bradford have Tyrell Robinson, Adam Thompson, Matthew Kilgallon and Dominic Poleon back Stat Wednesday are the latest team to have lost an FA Cup final replay – to Arsenal in 1993 FA Cup best Yeovil 5th round 1949. Bradford winners 1911 Played for both clubs Derek Dougan, Vic Crowe Stat Villa’s John Terry has received only one card in his past 25 games: a red at home to Peterborough in last year’s third round with Chelsea Played for both clubs John McGinlay, Nicky Law Stat Ten third-round ties feature a fourth tier team, the most since a fourth division was introduced in 1958-59 14 1G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Sport The Ashes Khawaja delivers as England’s rookies survey task ahead Mike Atherton scoreboard from sydney Chief Cricket Correspondent England: First Innings (overnight 233-5) D J Malan c Smith b Starc........................62 M M Ali c Paine b Cummins................... 30 T K Curran c Bancroft b Cummins..... 39 S C J Broad c Smith b Lyon...................... 31 M S Crane run out.......................................... 4 J M Anderson not out..................................0 Extras (lb 2, w 2).............................................. 4 Total (112.3 overs)................................ 346 Fall of wickets 1-28, 2-88, 3-95, 4-228, 5-233, 6-251, 7-294, 8-335, 9-346. Bowling Starc 21-6-80-2; Hazlewood 23-4-65-2; Cummins 24.3-5-80-4; Lyon 37-5-86-1; M Marsh 7-0-33-0. Australia: First Innings C T Bancroft b Broad....................................0 D A Warner c Bairstow b Anderson...56 U T Khawaja not out................................... 91 *S P D Smith not out...................................44 Extras (b 1, nb 1)................................................2 Total (2 wkts, 67 overs)...................... 193 S E Marsh, M R Marsh, T D Paine, M A Starc, P J Cummins, J R Hazlewood and N M Lyon to bat. Fall of wickets 1-1, 2-86. Bowling Anderson 14-4-25-1; Broad 10-2-28-1; Ali 17-3-51-0; Curran 8-2-26-0; Crane 17-0-58-0; Root 1-0-4-0. Umpires H D P K Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and J S Wilson (West Indies). TV umpire S Ravi (India). Series details: First Test Australia won by ten wickets (Brisbane). Second Test Australia won by 120 runs (Adelaide). Third Test Australia won by an innings and 41 runs (Perth). Fourth Test Match drawn (Melbourne). Australia v England Sydney (second day of five): Australia, with eight firstinnings wickets in hand, are 153 runs behind England Seven years ago, on this ground against England, Australia picked a side containing both Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith for the first time. Khawaja batted in the key position at No 3 and was talked up as the coming man, while Smith batted at No 7 and was derided as all that was wrong with Australian cricket at that point. Given that, it is a fair assumption to make that Australia’s selectors have been taken aback by Smith’s and Khawaja’s relative career trajectories since, with the former ensconced now as if not the best, then as among the best players in the world and the latter still seemingly playing for his place every time he walks out to bat, his technique analysed incessantly and his languid, laid-back appearance fodder for amateur psychologists. They came together again just before tea on the second day with the match tantalisingly poised, England having advanced their first-innings score to the kind of total that ought to be competitive but, given their recent history, was not sure to be. Cameron Bancroft, karma having done its best work after Brisbane, had been bowled through a mighty gate for a duck, and David Warner’s ominous stay (he had scored three hundreds in consecutive Tests on this ground before today) had been ended by an off-cutter from the ever-excellent James Anderson. There was everything to play for. For Khawaja the stakes were higher. After difficulties on the sub-continent, this was supposed to be an easier assignment, at home where he has always done well, but hitherto he had made a couple of barely memorable half-centuries and had struggled to assert himself at the crease, or really make an impact on the series. With South Africa looming and the local media agitating, he needed a score. For a while after tea, they faced the greenest combination England have put on the park for a long time. Tom Curran, yet to take a five-for in the first division of the County Championship, at one end and the 20-year old leg spinner, Mason Crane, at the other. Crane had been given an early pre-tea fiveover spell by Joe Root and, after a nervy first ball that landed halfway down the pitch, had not looked overawed despite aborting his runup from time to time, which engendered some barracking from the Bairstow marked 20 years since his father’s death crowd. Curran is unlikely to have a long Test career, but he is a trier and earlier he had shown some backbone in helping the lower order to add more than a hundred in the morning session for the last five wickets. It was a madcap two hours, with a brilliant catch, two dollies dropped, some unintelligent Australian fast bowling, and batting that veered between focused and responsible and devil-may-care. The upshot was 113 runs, five wickets and England done by lunch, a bizarre two hours only bettered by the sight later in the day of Bob Hawke, the former prime minister, necking a beer in one for his usual new year’s party trick. The standout catch belonged to Smith, spring-heeled as he was when diving to his left and taking Dawid Malan’s edge just off the ground. The dollies belong to, first, Pat Cummins, who shelled Curran on 22 at mid-on off Nathan Lyon and, then, Josh Hazlewood who put down an even easier catch at mid-on, when Moeen Ali had made 22. In fact, Hazlewood did not handle the ball at all, as it slipped between his chest and cupped hands. The focused batting belonged to Ali, who put the horrors of Melbourne behind him and played properly, until a short, fast, rising ball from Cummins flicked his glove. The devil-may-care belonged to Stuart Broad, who greeted the inevitable barrage of bouncers with a variety of unorthodox pull shots, sometimes eyeing the ball, sometimes not, and sending two mighty sixes soaring into the Victor Trumper Stand. England’s innings had ended without a hundred and that was surely Khawaja’s aim as he settled down after tea with his captain, especially since he had yet to post one in Ashes cricket. Khawaja’s play against spin has a particular rhythm, the occasional big shot interspersed with lots of blocking, and it was a lofted six off Ali that took him to a half-century. Root gave Crane a lengthy second spell of ten overs after tea, to give us a first prolonged look at the young leggie. There was nothing wrong with his action: a brisk run up of six or seven paces, plenty of energy through the delivery and enough spin on the ball to cause the occasional problem. When Khawaja had 65, Crane induced an edge that went between Jonny Bairstow, wearing a black armband on the 20th anniversary of his father’s death, and Root at slip. He also found the edge of Smith’s bat, a rare enough occurrence in this series. More of a criticism would be aimed at his strategy. He bowled a lot at left-handers, Warner and Khawaja in his first spell, Khawaja in his second — not an easy task — but his line throughout was a little too straight, being at middle stump or the leg side of middle, rather than spinning the ball back on to off stump. Nevertheless, for a 20-year-old it was quite a thing to get through 17 overs of a Test at the SCG and, despite the odd bad ball, not look intimidated. When Smith flat batted a high full toss to the leg side, briefly a memory flickered of his doing the same to another debutant spinner, Simon Kerrigan, at the Oval in 2013, but Crane’s selection feels more justified and more long term than that, despite the absence of a maiden, never mind a wicket. Khawaja is the kind of player who keeps you on the edge of your seat, not necessarily out of excitement but because you feel he is liable to do something silly at any moment. Another nervy aspect to his game is his running, which is occasionally lethargic, and with a hyperactive Smith at the other end, held possibilities for England. Smith’s blade was looking as broad as ever. He went past 6,000 Test runs in the evening session, the joint second fastest in terms of innings to Bradman. In everything he does at the moment, Smith seems to be mentioned second only to Bradman, although tomorrow he has the chance to equal you know who with his fourth hundred of an Ashes series. By the close, Khawaja was only nine short of his own, and Australia 153 shy of England’s first-innings total. Should he get there, it will be his sixth Test hundred, a small matter of 17 fewer than Smith since they first played together against the old enemy in that match at Sydney seven years ago. Sometimes you can’t guess how things will pan out, but yesterday, at least, it was not all about Smith. Smith and Khawaja put Australia in a position of command at the SCG Online: how England got on last night 6am In-play: read analysis on the opening sessions At stumps Simon Wilde’s close of play report from the SCG 9am Analysis from Mike Atherton & Gideon Haigh 6pm Graeme Swann’s verdict on the day’s play Read at thetimes.co.uk/sport and on The Times smartphone app the times | Saturday January 6 2018 15 1G S Sport Sport WILLIAM WEST/AFP/GETTY IMAGES How two Australians compare Test runs per year Khawaja Smith 2011 263 72 2012 00 2013 711 Mike Brearley 114 2014 1,146 Former England captain 0 2015 504 1,474 2016 753 1,079 2017 1,305 DIGEST DOWN UNDER Like a Hawke As is now traditional, the former Australian prime minister Bob Hawke downed a schooner of beer for the cameras in the hospitality suites at the SCG. Hawke, right, is 88 and not quite as swift skulling a beer as he once was; when at Oxford University he broke a record by downing a yard of ale in just 11 seconds. Each year at the Test match, the camera pans to Hawke holding a beer and he kindly does the decent thing. Wood signs up for IPL Mark Wood will join the growing number of England players to dip their toe in this month’s Indian Premier League auction for the first time. Wood, 256 to remember what they are actually meant to be singing and have pestered the rest of the crowd on day two of each Test by dressing up as Richie Benaud. On their website they have a code of conduct. It says, “What would Richie do? Let’s honour him respectfully.” It is hard to imagine Benaud would have had much time for the constant chanting of “Broad is a wanker” when the England bowler was stationed in front of them. Fortunately Broad is a phlegmatic sort and used to such nonsense, but it was not a great look — at least they do not constantly sing about convicts. By Will Macpherson who does not have a central ECB contract for Test cricket (though he does for one-day internationals), has received clearance from his county, Durham, to enter the auction. Jonny Bairstow’s name is set to join his on the auction card, but Joe Root is yet to decide if he will enter. Richie dishonoured The Richies are essentially a tedious, pound-shop Australian answer to the Barmy Army who require song sheets Did Root’s mother tell him to eat up only half his dinner? Billy and the Barmies Speaking of the Barmy Army, they found themselves a new member on the second day. Billy Root, left, brother of Joe and a batsman for Nottinghamshire, has been kicking around for the past couple of Tests — along with his parents and grandfather — and popped down for a singalong with the Barmies as his brother pondered how to get Steve Smith out. E arly in the 1960s, I met an old Kent cricketer in a hospitality tent during the Canterbury week. His name was Les Todd. He asked an innocuous question of some of the Middlesex players: “Did you have a particular score that you kept getting out on? What was your unlucky score?” People said things like “seven” or “16”. “And what about you, Les?” “A hundred and seventy-four,” he said. I feel something of the same about Joe Root’s conversion rate of fifties into hundreds. A nice problem to have, to get so many fifties that you average 53, and yet . . . Root has a conversion rate of 26.5 per cent, compared with his two main rivals to the accolade of best batsman in the world, Virat Kohli (57.1) and Steve Smith (51.1). Most of the top players of past decades are nearer to Kohli than to Root. The differential invites the question: why? What happens in Root’s head or body to result in his turning only half as many of his fifties into hundreds as these two? One thing is clear. If such a pattern becomes known, even notorious, it’s likely to become a problem, an issue, even if there has been no evidence of a psychological factor until then. Doubt creeps in, tension increases, questions intrude and alter one’s approach: how can I break the pattern, how can I play differently this time? As Hamlet puts it: “Why then, ’tis none to you, for there is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” Thinking there’s a problem creates one, or intensifies it. Yet apart from this line of thought, how could one possibly know about a particular individual? Each dismissal seems to have its explanation in itself or its immediate context. If Root were to lie on my couch five times a week for a few years, might I be in a better position to know? To be completely wacky, did his mother require him to eat up only half his dinner? Does Root have a traditional (or clichéd) Far Eastern, perhaps Korean, attitude (as described by a long-term resident in that part of the world), that tall grass gets scythed first, so one must not stand up above one’s peers? It seems unlikely, from what I see of him. Perhaps I could start from my own much more humble experience, if only to rule out some factors in whatever is going on with Root. I scored nine fifties in Test cricket, but no hundreds. It is a fact that I still find galling. Not one conversion out of a meagre nine. In my case, I understand why this was so: mainly it was my limitation in ability, combined with anxiety. I had too little time to take a stride forward against quick bowlers, which was one reason for my lacking the ability to dominate even when set. And often I was too tense at Test level. Yet even given this, I still torment myself with the thought that had I scored a century against India at Bombay in 1977 in my seventh Test match, when I was stumped for 91, things might have been different. I might have walked taller at the crease, and scored one or two others. Having taken a long time to make a first County Championship century (173 not out at Cardiff against Glamorgan in 1974), I scored a second in my next match, against Yorkshire at Lord’s (163 not out). But Root is not a limited player, nor unable to dominate. In fact he is temperamentally more like Viv Richards and Rohan Kanhai in his approach to an innings. He likes to get going with a few early strokes, feel the ball in the middle of the bat, hit a couple of fours, adrenaline driving him forward. After the first 15 or 20 minutes, this early aggression often modulated into a steadier style. My impression has been that over the past months, Root has succeeded in curbing such early impetuosity. In general though, once he feels set, he has a jaunty air at the crease. He seems far from weighed down by selfdoubt or inhibition. I think feeling he’s “on the go” helps him. If anything, one might wonder if he becomes overconfident later in the innings, and perhaps careless. But I have no real grounds for such a theory. And now, perhaps all-too conscious of the statistic and of the opinion of the pundits, suffering the permanent pain of watching Smith bat on and on and on, he seems more likely to risk becoming laboured than being frivolous, more Smith, one might say, than Richards. The fact is, it’s impossible to know, especially from a spectator’s distance, how such a habit such as not making many really big scores when appearing perfectly placed to do so develops, and how much the batsman’s psychology contributes to it. Luck plays its part. Moreover, we should factor in the reality that during this series Smith’s task, facing England’s bowlers, has been less taxing than Root’s facing Australia’s. Certainly one can’t conclude much from studying, however closely, the moments of dismissal. Root had just driven Mitchell Starc through mid-off for what one commentator called “the shot of the day”. The ball he got out to in this Test was of full length, slightly leg side, certainly a ball to score off, and he clipped it well. Perhaps the bounce of the new ball was crisper than during most of Root’s innings, with the result that it struck the bat fractionally higher. Perhaps he himself was a little too eager. Often the ball would have gone either side of square leg for four and that it was in the air would have been given barely a second thought. This Ashes series has been a painful one for England, not least for Root as captain. Perhaps the discomfort of being on the receiving end of Smith’s remorseless determination, his willingness and ability to go at different tempos over long periods of time at the crease, and his remarkable obduracy, will imprint themselves on Root’s brain, and increase his hunger and appetite for batting for days rather than hours. Maybe this pain will gain him the wisdom or shrewdness that he needs to approach the records of Kohli and Smith. But his main task may be not to get a complex about it all, and to keep a clear mind. 16 1G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport The Ashes Sport Fresh-faced Crane gives glimmer Gideon Haigh What were you doing at the age of 20? Maybe you were tackling your first menial job, waiting tables or pulling beers, and still taking your washing home to your mother. Perhaps you were at university, attending the odd lecture, cramming for exams, and wondering whether this degree in media studies with an elective in Norwegian death metal would be good enough to get you a gig in a call centre. Or backpacking, or playing in a band, or penning bad poetry, or thinking about a tattoo. Mason Crane is bowling leg spin for England. Two years ago he was at school. A year ago he was a spectator at the Sydney Test, while playing local grade cricket. Two days ago he posted photographs of himself on Instagram with his proud parents, Harbour Bridge in the background, and with his new team-mates, receiving a Test cap from Graeme Swann: “This is my favourite and proudest moment ever!! Truly honoured, I hope we can have a great 5 days. Living my dream.” Plus an emoji or two, which I’m too old to translate. After a day’s dressing-room duties, Crane emerged yesterday morning for his first Test hit. First impressions? With his compact physique and long sleeves, back-and-across step and bat gesturing towards point, he bore a striking resemblance to Steve Smith — not a bad model, all things considered, even if he was not to last long, after a tailend mix-up. Second impressions? He might bowl a bit like Steve Smith, too. Beckoned by Joe Root to deliver the 15th over of Australia’s reply, Crane started with a drag-down to Usman Khawaja, a ball directed down the leg side to David Warner, and a slightly strained glance at his captain, himself only 27 and learning his own set of ropes. This particular rope Root must have known already. Crane’s first-class Proud England new boy Crane in Sydney with his parents in one of the pictures he posted on Instagram strike rate of 68.2 is barely inferior to Nathan Lyon’s of 67.9, but his wickets are almost 10 runs costlier. He will probably always leak runs; captains will have to hope for wickets along the way. Crane cupped and blew into his right hand — a habitual, possibly superstitious gesture — before landing his third ball on a length. There was a burst of sympathetic applause. Nobody expected Crane to turn the series on its head, England trailing 3-0, already being buried up to their necks. But his selection had already provided relief from a tour of demoralising defeat and a veritable covfefe of negative press. The hope now was not so much about what might go right but that too much should not go wrong. In the final Test of two of the past three Ashes series, England have blooded a slow bowler — neither Simon Kerrigan nor Scott Borthwick was re-blooded. As far as leg spin is concerned, England can look back on Chris Schofield and Ian Salisbury, capped at 21 and 22 respectively, for a cumulative 20 wickets in 17 Tests. On the evidence here, although it may not be saying much, Crane already looks a better bowler than all four. He bustles up, whirling busily, rolls his shoulders and rips it. With the initial challenge of two left-handers to tackle, he maintained a tidy length and game loop. There was the exhalation of an appeal, as a leg break hit Khawaja just outside the line, and the glimpse of a wrong ’un, which Warner dead-batted off the back foot. Sweepers on both sides excused his errors of length. With Moeen Ali bowling at the other end, it was possible to enjoy the improbability of the spectacle: a fresh-faced lad bowling leggies and a bearded Muslim purveying offies to a batsman in a baggy green (Warner) before a packed Test house. Which decade were we in again? The romance of leg spin is that its purveyors can cause themselves as much difficulty as their opponents. It is a craft lived in the head and felt in the fingers — and at 20, of course, mind and body are still maturing. Crane ended up bowling 102 deliveries (plus one no ball) at batsmen during the day, and probably almost as many again to Alastair Cook at cover, rehearsing and visualising. He struggled to get consecutive deliveries at the same batsman, conceding 30 singles. From one particular challenge, Crane emerged well. In his tenth over, he came nearest to a wicket so far, when an edge from Khawaja bisected wicketkeeper and slip. Then, twice, he bustled up, only to keep hold of the ball, as though coming up to a neighbourhood door on which he was afraid to knock. When he did, the occupant was hostile: Smith pasted a full pitch through mid-wicket for four. Crane followed his poorest with his best, be continuing to attack in his 11th over ov when defence must have seemed tempting: Smith edged a leg break just te short sh of slip, and Khawaja gloved just out ou of the reach of both short leg and the th on-rushing bowler. Nor is this, at least lea not yet, a surface on which to judge him: in 72 overs of spin these ju first fir two days, just one wicket has fallen. fa As shadows crossed the field after the th close, Crane’s day concluded with a televised boundary-side wi interrogation by Swann, Mike Husin sey se and Geoffrey Boycott, nearly 250 25 Test caps between them. He must have been pinching himself m throughout. There’s another aspect th of Crane’s being 20 that should prove unusual — he’ll be able to pr remember it. re 6 Gideon Haigh is a columnist for The Th Australian Where leg spinner bowled To lefthanders MAN CITY V BURNLEY FA Cup 3rd Round commentarry from 2pm on talkSPORT T2 NORWICH V CHELSEA FA Cup 3rd Round commenta ary from 5pm on talkSPOR RT 108 89/1053AM • DAB Radio • Mobile • talkSPORT.com To righthanders Balls faced % Balls faced % 6.6% 11.1% Full 43.4% 33.3% Full Good 44.7% 40.7% Good Short 5.3% 14.8% Short First ball Dot FLEETWOOD V LEICESTER CITY FA Cup 3rd Round commentary from 12pm on talkSPOR RT Crane was fairly consistent on his first day of bowling in Test cricket — his worst ball was his first Runs Boundaries HOW TO LISTEN: DOWNLOAD THE APP the times | Saturday January 6 2018 17 1G S Sport Sport of hope for future DEAN LEWINS/AAP IMAGE VIA EPA Debutant hails MacGill’s influence after solid start Will Macpherson Sydney Mason Crane, all of 20 years old and performing leg spin, cricket’s ficklest art, credited a composed Ashes debut with the support of Stuart MacGill, the former Australia spinner, and some low-key previous experience of the Sydney Cricket Ground last year when playing for New South Wales. Crane’s 17 overs went wicketless but, at times, he troubled Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith and he was not too expensive, going for 58 runs. “I am pretty happy,” he said. “You’d like a couple of wickets but that’s the game. It came out nicely and it’s something to build on. There were periods we had inside edges that didn’t get to short leg, edges that didn’t get to slip, but that happens, that’s the game. “It felt different [from playing for New South Wales], but some things were quite similar. I’m in the away dressing room, it’s a packed house, there’s a lot more hype than the [Sheffield] Shield. Turning up a few days before it felt familiar. That experience has stood me in good stead. “Stu [MacGill] has been awesome. He was a great bowler and a great coach. I love working with him.” Crane has a calmness and a dry wit. He had been padded up ready to bat in the first innings when Jonny Bairstow — who on the second day wore a black armband in honour of the 20th anniversary of his father’s death — chose to do the job himself. Crane has been nightwatchman for Hampshire, but he has a highest first-class score of just 29. Did he volunteer? “I was asked if I’d volunteer,” he smiled. He eventually got a go on the second morning, only to be run out by James Anderson for four. Was it fun, facing Australia’s fearsome attack? “I love batting, I wish I was better at it. I enjoyed all seven balls.” When his chance came with the ball, Crane began with a half-tracker but felt he settled “after 10 or 11 balls”. He has a habit, which riled sections of the crowd, of aborting his run-up if anything did not feel quite right. “I try to stop myself if I think I’m about to bowl a ball that’s not as good as I can give,” he said. He was aware that Shane Warne’s Test debut came on this ground in 1992 and things did not quite go to plan. Warne, who was two years Crane’s senior, took one for 150. One of the two wickets to fall was David Warner, who was impressed with the way England bowled at him. “The way Jimmy [Anderson] dismissed me, it was a fantastic spell by him; that’s twice he’s got me out in the same way,” Warner said. Day 2 in Sydney, session by session Morning A session with an end-of-term feel if you are being generous, slapstick if you are not. Moeen Ali played himself in — a break from the recent norm — and Dawid Malan was first to go, caught brilliantly by Steve Smith at second slip. Australia’s fielding then collapsed, with Tom Curran and Ali dropped by Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood respectively. Cummins eventually got both, with Ali done by bounce and Curran popping to short leg. Stuart Broad hit two sixes then top-edged a sweep before Mason Crane was run out in farcical fashion. Score England 346 all out. Runs 113. Wickets 5. Run rate 3.6. Crane showed on his first day of bowling leg spin in the Test cauldron that he can give the ball a real rip Quigg to challenge Valdez for world title Boxing Ron Lewis Boxing Correspondent Scott Quigg flies to Los Angeles for a training camp with a difference this month. When he next returns home to Bury in March, he plans to be a world champion again. Terms have been agreed for Quigg to challenge Óscar Valdez, of Mexico, for the WBO featherweight title at the StubHub Centre in Los Angeles on March 10 and Quigg hopes to sign a contract before he leaves. It has been nearly two years since he lost the WBA superbantamweight title to Carl Frampton and the 29-year-old remains hungry to be a world champion again even though he faces, in Valdez, one of the hottest talents in world boxing. Quigg now Quigg has been reinvigorated by his switch to a Hollywood gym trains under Freddie Roach at the Wild Card gym in Hollywood, where ring legends such as Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto could be on the next punchbag. It was a change he felt was necessary to enable him to move on with his career. “The biggest difference is I’m walking into the gym every day with a smile on my face,” Quigg, who has won 34 of his 37 fights, said. “I’m loving my boxing again because I was starting not to enjoy it and, going over there, I have benefited loads, not just in my mood, but I feel like I am developing my skills.” The Wild Card has become a celebrity hangout under Roach, with some movie stars training there and others just popping in to watch or chat. Sylvester Stallone, Mark Wahlberg and Mario Lopez are among those Quigg has bumped into during a workout. But Los Angeles remains a place of work. “I’ve got an apartment within walking distance of the gym and all I do there is train,” Quigg said. “I’ve been working under the radar since the Frampton fight. I have had three fights, but nothing big. I feel at home in LA now. But Bury will always be my home.” Quigg had a frustrating night against Frampton at the Manchester Arena in February 2016 as his lack of early work rate allowed the Northern Irishman, who was defending his IBF title, to build a big lead that he never looked like losing. “I’ve got over the fight,” Quigg said. “We got the game plan wrong. This is the fight that will bring me back above water, a chance to show what I can do.” Valdez has a growing reputation, but Quigg, who will be boxing in the United States for the first time, believes he can derail the unbeaten champion. “They are building Valdez as a future star and he has had some spectacular knockouts,” he said. “But I am fully confident that I can get the job done.” Afternoon The perfect start for England as Broad barged one straight through Cameron Bancroft’s ugly, unlatched gate. David Warner moved to his third straight half-century in a stand of 85 with Usman Khawaja, who settled after a flaky start. Crane’s first Test delivery was a half-tracker but thereafter poor balls were rare. With tea approaching, James Anderson tempted Warner into nibbling a cutter outside off stump. Score Australia 96-2. Runs 96. Wickets 2. Run rate 2.82. Evening Khawaja and Smith nestled in as Crane and Ali clocked up overs, occasionally drawing edges that did not carry to slip or bat-pad. Khawaja moved past 50, never looking totally at ease but never slowing up, either. Smith was not at his best, but that is still plenty good enough, and he passed 6,000 Test match runs. Score Australia 193-2. Runs 97. Wickets 0. Run rate 2.9. Willmott set for Gold Coast Lord’s stands to be rebuilt Commonwealth Games Aimee Willmott, who won two silver medals in Glasgow four years ago, will make her third Games appearance in April at the Gold Coast in Australia after she was among 24 swimmers selected by Team England yesterday to join the 15 named in October. Wood steps down as CEO Rugby league Nigel Wood is to stand down as Rugby Football League chief executive this month after ten years in the role. Brian Barwick, the chairman, said: “Nigel has been a superb administrator, innovator and advocate for the sport of rugby league in this country.” Latifi signs for Force India Formula One Sahara Force India, the Silverstone-based team, have named Toronto-born Nicholas Latifi, 22, as their test and reserve driver for the 2018 season. Latifi, who finished fifth in the Formula Two standings last year, will back up Sergio Pérez and Esteban Ocon. Cricket The architects responsible for refurbishing Battersea Power Station have been appointed to rebuild the Compton and Edrich Stands at Lord’s. WilkinsonEyre, famous for designs including the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, were selected from a shortlist of five by MCC. 6 Dale Steyn marked his return after 14 months out with a shoulder injury by dismissing Shikhar Dhawan for 16 as India closed day one of the first Test in Cape Town on 28 for three in reply to South Africa’s 286. Gallagher left out of squad Winter Paralympics Kelly Gallagher, who with her guide Charlotte Evans won Britain’s first gold medal on snow in Sochi four years ago, has been omitted from the squad for the Winter Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, starting on March 9. Britain’s two allocated places for visually impaired skiers have gone to Millie Knight and Menna Fitzpatrick, although Gallagher could earn a place when spare slots are reallocated later this month. 18 1G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Rugby union ‘Fracturing my jaw was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt’ A fit-again Maro Itoje is on a quest to learn as much as possible about leadership, he tells John Westerby A player can learn more in one defeat, the wise men say, than from any number of victories. But when, like Maro Itoje, you have the enviable problem of finding defeats hard to come by, wisdom must instead be gleaned from mistakes made along the way. It is almost two years now since Itoje burst into the broader sporting consciousness, a 21-year-old England lock of rare athletic gifts, emerging seemingly word perfect in the harsh language of international rugby. But it had not always been so. Itoje had merely shown a striking capacity to learn from formative experiences, such as the time he prepared to launch into one of his first pre-match speeches as the young captain of Saracens’ LV= Cup team in 2014. “I was 20, that’s relatively young in captaincy terms, and there were a lot of older players in the side,” he said. Itoje does not, as we know, do things by halves and the speech had been diligently crafted and rehearsed. And then, with the older players looking on expectantly, came the new leader’s moment to take a deep breath and announce himself. “I totally messed up my speech,” he said. “I stood there and I was very embarrassed. But as soon as it was over, a number of the senior players came up to me, saying, ‘Come on, it doesn’t matter, you’ll be good.’ I needed that. And I knew then that I had their backing, no matter what.” In a secondary domestic competition, Itoje had been made captain at such a young age for that very reason: to harness his natural leadership skills for the good of the team — but also to accelerate his own development. After that false start, Saracens went on to win the competition. “I learnt a lot,” he said. “That experience made me better from a speaking point of view and it hasn’t happened since. At certain times, you have to go through those uncomfortable moments in order to grow. Like with muscles, you have to break them down before you build them. There’s always a little bit of damage when you want to grow further.” Itoje will be back in the second row for Saracens this weekend, the recent damage to his jawbone repaired well ahead of schedule, and he is fit to play his first game for a month away to Wasps tomorrow. Even before a return to match fitness, Eddie Jones, the England head coach, placed him in the thick of preparations for the NatWest Six Nations Championship at England’s training camp in Brighton last week, directing operations at the lineout. Itoje may have won only 14 England caps, to which he added three more for the British & Irish Lions, but those natural leadership qualities make him one of the team’s guiding lights. At a time when the debate over Dylan Hartley’s position as captain rages on, it is a curiosity that England are probably more certain of their captain for the 2023 World Cup in France than for the tournament in Japan next year. Itoje, almost certainly, will become captain in the next World Cup cycle and, once he has taken on the job, he can be expected to keep it for a while. Captaincy is not a role he covets, but leadership is a subject that animates him. The first guest on his dream dinner party invitation Itoje has spoken to people in the military and the business world about their leadership skills list, as he disclosed in an interview with The Times last year, would be the late Kwame Nkrumah, leader of Ghana’s independence movement; a nod to the pride in his own African roots (his family is Nigerian) and his studies in African politics, but also to his reverence for leaders of stature. “I’ve never heard it said of a team that there are too many leaders,” he said. “Leadership for me is not about being captain of the side. It’s more about understanding your role within the side and magnifying that to make it something more beneficial to the team. The more leaders you have, the better, whether that’s playing five-a-side football, playing rugby for Saracens, or playing for England.” Given his famous presence and poise, it might be assumed that Itoje has captained every team he ever played in. As a teenager, though, he was less sure of himself. When he joined Saracens at 14, as a boarder at the nearby St George’s School in Harpenden, he would not have been a natural captain. “I was a really nervous player, in fact I was pretty nervous about anything back then,” he has said. “I was a lanky 14-year-old in the background just trying to find his way. Slowly but surely I came out of my shell.” As a result, the captaincy roles came as his confidence burgeoned. “I wasn’t captain of my school team, although I had leadership roles within it, the same with my academy,” he said. “It was only in the [England] Under-20s when I was made official captain of the team.” His powerful performances were instrumental Six Nations preview Subscribers can join us in London on Tuesday, January 30, when a panel of rugby experts from The Times and The Sunday Times will discuss how the Six Nations teams are shaping up. To redeem tickets, simply visit: mytimesplus.co.uk in leading England to victory in the Under-20 World Championship in New Zealand in 2014. “On the back of that, Mark McCall [Saracens’ director of rugby] made me captain of the second team,” Itoje said. Saracens Storm went on to win the Aviva A League that year, so McCall extended the job to the LV= Cup team, during which he made his fateful speech and recovered to lift yet another trophy. “That was really special,” he said. “I still look back at photos and think, ‘Wow, that was a cool time.’ ” The run of success has continued, of course, since his promotion through the ranks, with two Premiership titles, two Champions Cup successes, a Lions series and 13 victories in his first 14 appearances for England. He has not been captain for a while — he has led Saracens’ senior team only once from the start of a game — but he has continued to develop his leadership skills. “I’ve spoken to people in the military, people in business, the CEOs and owners of some pretty big firms,” he said. “Of all the people I’ve spoken to, if you break down what they’ve said, take the specifics of their environment out of it, a lot of them are saying more or less the same thing. “And having a broader perspective on life does help. In a squad of 40 players, you’ll have 40 different attitudes, mindsets, different environments in which they were raised. As a result, they have different triggers, different ways of thinking about life. You need to find a way to get them all to buy into a set of values, a culture and an identity.” Itoje could never be accused of having a narrow outlook on life, but tomorrow he will relish a return to the visceral thrills of combat at the Ricoh Arena, the start of a heady period encompassing two vital Champions Cup fixtures and the Six Nations to follow. A month out of action has sharpened his appetite after a wincingly painful injury sustained when his jaw was fractured in a collision with Mike Brown. He now has two metal plates in his chin and two more on the left side of his jawbone. “That was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced,” he said. “At first I thought, my jaw hurts, then I tried moving it and it hurt a bit more. Two or three minutes later, the pain hit me. I can’t think of anything more painful. Fortunately, I was able to have an operation that same day and I was able to start the recovery.” He packs down at lock tomorrow alongside Nick Isiekwe, having spent the season shuffling between lock and blind-side flanker for both club and country. “I genuinely don’t mind which I play,” he said. “The real differences are with where you start in the scrum and maybe you have slightly different roles on attacking maps. You have slightly more opportunities to carry at No 6, more licence to roam in outside channels.” Ball-carrying is one area of Itoje’s game that is a work in progress, as he continues his quest for perpetual self-improvement. And he is still developing those leadership skills, too. “I want to be the most rounded individual and player I can be,” he said. “There are improvements in terms of leadership I feel I can make.” Any specifics? He pauses and chuckles. “Yeah, there’s a few, but I’ll leave that one open.” He will not seek the captaincy of club or country, but inevitably the roles will find him. “I’ve never gone up to a coach and said, ‘I want to be captain,’ ” he said. “It just kind of happened.” Things keep kind of happening for Itoje. And it is no coincidence that, since his coming of age for club and country, so many extraordinary things have happened. 6 Maro Itoje was speaking on behalf of Ricoh. Go to rugby.ricoh.co.uk to find out more about The Business of Rugby England have won 13 of their 14 games in which Itoje has played 1.31 Turnovers per 80 minutes that Itoje has won in the Premiership this season — the most of anyone who has played 300 minutes 75 Saracens’ win percentage when Itoje is playing since his debut (39 out of 52). Without him it is 62 per cent (21/34) the times | Saturday January 6 2018 19 1G S Sport TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER MARC ASPLAND Jones must unleash his young guns sooner rather than later Ben Kay A ccording to Eddie Jones, Marcus Smith is still “miles away” from playing international rugby. But Jones also said that he hoped to bring Smith up to speed in time for the World Cup in Japan next year, which means that Harlequins’ precocious 18-year-old fly half can’t really be all that far away. The opportunities for giving players new to international rugby a decent amount of international experience before the World Cup are running shorter now. Starting with the NatWest Six Nations Championship next month, England have 12 matches in 2018 before we go into World Cup year. If a player is not yet seen as ready even to play at international level, can he realistically be expected to compete with the world’s best next year, as part of a squad with high hopes of winning the World Cup? Every player matures at a different rate, clearly, but with the players Jones is carefully cultivating in and around his squad, I can see there being at least a couple of names figuring prominently at the World Cup of whom we haven’t yet seen much at international level. Even though he does not turn 19 until next month, Smith is one of those. The other who looks to be travelling quickly towards the World Cup squad is Nick Isiekwe, the 19-year-old Saracens lock, who has already won a couple of caps from the bench. I like the way Jones is bringing through the handful of talents that have caught his eye and he is clearly using training camps like the one in Brighton last week to see what they can offer. Gary Graham was a leftfield selection, but Jones or one of his coaches had clearly seen a little bit of something they liked in the Newcastle Falcons flanker. Smith, along with Zach Mercer, has been assigned “apprentice” status, but Jones would not involve them if he didn’t think they have a chance of developing in time for the World Cup. The head coach obviously likes the idea of getting hold of players early, while they can still be moulded, before too many bad habits creep in amid the weekly grind of club rugby. Jones can then get to know them as characters, to know what makes them tick. Smith and Isiekwe seem to be the players who have responded best to the situation into which Jones has thrown them. It might have been seen as a real long shot when Smith was first picked in an England squad this season, but many of the game’s best fly halves start young. Jonny Wilkinson was 18 when he watching Smith’s decision-making was given his first cap by Clive closely. Woodward, Matt Giteau had just Given his ability in broken play, it turned 20 when he made his debut may be that Jones is eyeing up the for Australia. Owen Farrell was 20, so Harlequins youngster for a role as a was George Ford. finisher, but that will depend on the The question is how much longer balance of the rest of the matchday Jones holds Smith back. If Farrell or squad. Both Smith and Ford will Ford were to be injured, would he be make their tackles, but, because of considered the third-choice No 10? their size, Jones would probably not He looks the next best option to me, want both on the field at the same although Piers Francis would perhaps time. Smith’s chance of a be preferred in the shorter place on the bench could term as he has the greater come if Farrell moves experience. In terms of to fly half, with Ben skills, though, Smith Te’o or Manu appears to have the Tuilagi in lot; the hands, the midfield, leaving boot and a razorSmith and Ford sharp running Jonny Wilkinson’s age to fight for a game. Experience when he made his England finisher’s role. is the one thing he debut in April 1998 against Isiekwe lacks and this is a Ireland at Twickenham. probably has a gap that can be Marcus Smith is stronger chance of bridged in the next 18 years and 326 days making the starting year if Jones believes today XV before the World he is a quick learner. Cup, even though he In particular, the area plays in a position of real that Jones will be looking for strength for England. Funnily him to develop is his decision-making enough, Isiekwe has probably and game management. However benefited from the jostling for places dazzling your skills, a bedrock of experience brings that extra 5 per cent ahead of him among four of the best locks in the game: Maro Itoje, of value in knowing when to do things, that makes all the difference at Courtney Lawes, George Kruis and Joe Launchbury. As a result, England international level. When is a risk do not have a settled pairing and the worth taking? When is the risk too game’s evolution this season towards great? Experienced players still make the No 6 being a strong lineout option mistakes with those decisions, of rather than a second breakdown course, but the England coach will be expert — a 5½ rather than a 6½ — means that Jones can consider ‘I really like the look of playing Lawes or Itoje at blind-side flanker. Isiekwe. Despite his I really like the look of Isiekwe. tender years, he seems Despite his tender years, he already seems physically mature, even in a physically mature’ position where players have often developed later. l His lineout skills aare excellent and ex he is a genuine h leader. I watched le aan England training session and was se impressed to see him bossing im Chris Robshaw around. I was Ch pleased to read in The Times last week about the work Dean Ryan is doing in developing leadership among younger players, but Isiekwe does not seem to be lacking in this. He is also being given game time by Saracens and he starts in the second row alongside Itoje against Wasps tomorrow. So much of international rugby is about opportunity and taking your chances when they come. It’s worth remembering that Smith would probably not have made such progress this season if Demetri Catrakilis, Harlequins’ first-choice fly half, had not been injured early in the season. As a consequence, Smith has started plenty of games and his learning has been accelerated by the exposure to regular top-flight rugby. He has taken his chance with Harlequins and it will be fascinating now to see how Jones goes about getting him up to speed in time for the World Cup. 18y 314d Harlequins have given Smith, the 18-year-old fly half who is very much part of Jones’s England plans, plenty of game time this season 20 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Rugby union Bath back to best in six-try romp ANDREW BOYERS/ACTION IMAGES 25 0 2 46 1 Worcester Bath Opening the floodgates: Grant scores the first of Bath’s six tries Aviva Premiership John Westerby In recent weeks, Bath have been struggling to solve something of an identity crisis. Are they the side who had performed with such vigour against Toulon in back-to-back Champions Cup games last month, memorably winning the home leg at the Recreation Ground? Or the team that came into this game having lost three consecutive Aviva Premiership games? This was a performance much closer to those rousing European displays, built around passion in defence and tenacity at the breakdown, then garnished with a few shafts of brilliance from Anthony Watson, relishing the firm footing provided by an artificial surface. Bath scored six tries at Sixways, to three from their opponents, clinching a comprehensive bonus-point win that lifted them level on points with fourth-placed Gloucester. All of which was achieved with an injury list full of star names, including how they stand Exeter Saracens Wasps Gloucester Bath Newcastle Harlequins Sale Leicester Northamptn Worcester London Irish P 12 12 12 12 13 12 12 12 12 12 13 12 W 10 8 8 8 7 7 6 5 6 4 3 1 D 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 L 2 4 4 4 6 5 6 7 6 8 10 11 F 345 382 347 275 341 226 325 296 277 275 252 204 A 196 221 283 298 307 278 319 266 291 343 379 364 B Pts 10 50 8 40 7 39 5 37 9 37 4 32 6 30 9 29 4 28 6 22 7 19 5 9 Taulupe Faletau, Semesa Rokoduguni, Sam Underhill, Charlie Ewels and Francois Louw. Worcester Warriors will not want to play Bath again when those players are back in the ranks. “We took on board the lessons we’d learned in the last couple of weeks,” Todd Blackadder, the Bath director of rugby, said. “It was a great response.” For the home side, this was a thoroughly sobering evening, a reminder that, although they had eased relegation fears with a victory over London Irish in their previous home game, they are still a country mile behind the teams in the top half of the table. From the outset, Bath dominated in terms of possession and territory, even if it took them some time to convert their superiority into points. Their half-time lead of 13-6 was not an accurate indication of the balance of power, reflecting in part the successes that Worcester enjoyed at the scrum, in which they matched Bath’s front-row triumvirate of Beno Obano, Tom Dunn and Henry Thomas, all of whom had been involved in England’s recent training camp in Brighton. This gave them no more than a toehold in the game, though, as Bath began to go through the gears. Watson had provided the brightest early moments in the game from full back, gliding through the Warriors defence from 40 metres out, stepping beautifully off his right foot, then flipping out a pass that was gratefully intercepted by Sam Olver, the Worcester fly half. Eventually, the first score came when Ben Tapuai made a ramrod-straight incision, the Australia inside centre thrusting his side on to the front foot and into the Warriors’ 22. Into his slipstream came Obano and Zach Mercer, both of whom made short, purposeful carries, creating the platform from Don’t miss a try Watch highlights of every Aviva Premiership match this weekend, including last night’s game at Sixways Watch now at thetimes.co.uk which Paul Grant accepted a smart reverse pass from Chris Cook, the excellent scrum half. Josh Adams, the Worcester wing, was aiming to extend a remarkable tryscoring run of six consecutive Premiership games, quite a feat in a side lan- guishing so low in the table. Adams was watched, too, by Rob Howley, the Wales attack coach, who is pondering how to cover the recent injuries to George North and Hallam Amos. There was one exciting early break for Adams, but few scoring chances came his way. Once they had made the initial breach, Bath simply began to pour through. Jonathan Joseph made ground down the left, the ball was moved swiftly right as Worcester scrambled to reorganise and Matt Garvey regained his footing to score after Donncha O’Callaghan had failed to cling on to him in the tackle. Then it was Watson’s turn, as Worcester were opened up down the left once again. This time Cook was the provider, rolling a pass inside that gave Watson a clear run, cantering home from 35 metres. “It was great to see Anthony getting some ball and good to see that attacking brand of rugby that he plays so well,” Blackadder said. James Phillips barged through Chris Pennell’s tackle to seal the bonus point and, as Worcester began to chase the game, there was a late flurry of tries for both sides. Kahn Fotuali’i helped himself to two and Worcester scored three of their own, through David Denton, Joe Taufete’e and Perry Humphreys. But Bath were out of sight by now, looking rather more sure of themselves before they return to Champions Cup action over the next fortnight. Scorers: Worcester Warriors: Tries Denton (58min), Taufete’e (72), Humphreys (79). Conversions Pennell 2. Penalty goals Pennell 2 (28, 40+1). Bath: Tries Grant (34), Garvey (44), Watson (53), Phillips (60), Fotuali’i 2 (68, 77). Conversions Priestland 3, Burns 2. Penalty goals Priestland 2 (8, 15). Scoring sequence (Worcester first): 0-3, 0-6, 3-6, 3-13, 6-13 (half-time), 6-20, 6-27, 13-27, 13-34, 13-41, 20-41, 20-46, 25-46. Worcester Warriors C Pennell (rep: P Humphreys 77); B Heem, J Willison, R Mills, J Adams; S Olver (rep: J Shillcock 53), F Hougaard (rep: M Dowsett 62); E Waller (rep: R Bower 58), J Singleton (rep: J Taufete’e 58), G Milasinovich (rep: S Kerrod 53), D O’Callaghan, W Spencer (rep: D Barry 58), D Denton (rep: A Faosiliva 62), S Lewis, G-J van Velze. Bath A Watson; J Wilson, J Joseph, B Tapuai, A Brew (rep: J Wilson 60); R Priestland (rep: F Burns 57), C Cook (rep: K Fotuali’i 59); B Obano (rep: L Noguera 49), T Dunn (rep: M van Vuuren 68), H Thomas (rep: M Lahiff 53), J Phillips (sin-bin 72), E Stooke (rep: L Douglas 68), M Garvey (rep: J Bayliss 60), P Grant, Z Mercer. Referee J P Doyle. Attendance 8,225. matt cotton’s guide to the weekend’s aviva premiership matches Leicester Tigers v London Irish (Today, 3pm) On their worst run since 1965, Leicester have the perfect opportunity to stop the rot against the division’s basement club. Leicester have an outside chance of moving back into the top half and make just one adjustment to their starting XV as Brendon O’Connor returns from injury to start at openside flanker at the expense of Luke Hamilton. Manu Tuilagi has another chance to impress Eddie Jones, the England head coach, in his 100th appearance for the Tigers. London Irish seem destined for the drop, yet they are unchanged from the home defeat by Newcastle last weekend, so Arno Botha and Piet van Zyl, the new signings, must wait for their debuts. Northampton Saints v Gloucester (Today, 3pm, BT Sport 3) The last time these two sides met, in early October, Northampton, incredibly, were top of the table, until they were beaten at Kingsholm. Now Saints are without a win in a leading competition since September and only London Irish have conceded more points this season. The hosts make one change from last weekend’s mauling by Harlequins, with Ken Pisi coming in for Piers Francis, forcing Harry Mallinder to move to fly half. Gloucester extended the gap to fifth-placed Bath after edging out Sale last Saturday and welcome back Willi Heinz, the captain, at scrum half, to partner returning fly half, Owen Williams, as Johan Ackermann makes seven changes. Sale Sharks v Harlequins (Today, 3pm) Harlequins sit a point and a place above Sale in the table but have the second-worst away record in the Premiership, whereas the Sharks have won four of six league matches at the AJ Bell Stadium this term. Steve Diamond makes one alteration to his Sale team with the injured Josh Strauss being replaced in the back row by Cameron Neild, and Jon Ross moving to No 8. Marland Yarde, who controversially left Harlequins in November, is not in the Sale squad. John Kingston also makes a single switch to his XV with Ross Chisholm coming in at full back after Mike Brown sustained a minor knock during last Saturday’s thrashing of Northampton. Newcastle Falcons v Exeter Chiefs (Tomorrow, 3pm) Newcastle’s play-off push has been reignited by three wins on the spin but they face a severe test against Exeter, who are ten points clear at the top. Dean Richards makes four alterations to the Newcastle XV that beat London Irish last weekend with Sinoti Sinoti starting on the wing having recovered from a head knock. Chiefs make nine changes after Jack Nowell, Luke Cowan-Dickie and Harry Williams all limped out of their win over Leicester. Jack Yeandle comes in to captain the side at hooker, with Tomas Francis at tight-head. Mitch Lees and Ollie Atkins form a fresh lock pairing, while Matt Kvesic, Sam Simmonds, James Short, Ian Whitten and Nic White also start. Wasps v Saracens (Tomorrow, 3pm, BT Sport 1) Second host third as two of English rugby’s powerhouses collide at the Ricoh. Wasps, who have won six consecutive matches, rest Joe Launchbury so James Gaskell takes his place at lock, while Ashley Johnson captains the side at hooker with Ben Harris in at loose-head. Saracens are boosted by the returns of Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola from a broken jaw and knee injury respectively. Richard Wigglesworth returns at scrum half for his 200th Saracens appearance and Chris Wyles, the wing, and Duncan Taylor, the outside centre, also come into the backs. Mako Vunipola, Christopher Tolofua and Vincent Koch form a new front row. the times | Saturday January 6 2018 21 2G S Tennis Sport SAEED KHAN/CHRIS HYDE/GETTY IMAGES; EUROSPORT GAME SET MATCH Stuart Fraser Snow-go for injured Agassi A snowboarding accident means that Andre Agassi will not sit in the coaching box of Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open. Agassi, left with Steffi Graf, was due to take part in an exhibition in Adelaide next week. However he may not be missed if Djokovic fails to recover from his right elbow injury in time to participate. Court makes her excuses Down, but not out: The British No 2 collapsed to the ground after rolling his ankle, prompting Dimitrov to jump over the net and check on the welfare of his opponent. Edmund got to his feet, albeit gingerly, but went on to lose the deciding set against the world No 3 ‘Curse’ strikes Edmund Stuart Fraser Tennis Writer Brisbane As Kyle Edmund fell to the court of the Pat Rafter Arena and clutched his right ankle in pain, even the British supporters must have wondered if they would make it out of Brisbane without picking up an injury. This first week of the 2018 season has been a rough one for Britons in the Queensland city. Andy Murray arrived back home yesterday in a despondent mood after aborting his comeback; Johanna Konta travelled to Sydney yesterday uncertain whether her right hip will allow her to defend her title there; and Edmund rolled his ankle just two games from victory in his quarterfinal at the Brisbane International. Thankfully, Edmund reported after the 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 defeat by Grigor Dimitrov, the 2017 ATP Finals cham- pion, that no serious damage had been sustained. He is confident that he will be fully fit for the Australian Open in nine days’ time, and is still even hopeful that he can take part in his final warmup event in Auckland this week. “I just basically rolled my ankle,” Edmund said. “Obviously the ligaments don’t like to be overextended, so it will be sore for a couple of days and then it will die down. “In a week’s time it will be fine. Melbourne will be fine. Auckland next week is sooner, so hopefully by Tuesday it will settle down enough to feel OK.” It was only the fifth day of 2018 yesterday, but already we may have the winner of the best sportsmanship moment of the year. As Edmund let out a loud shriek at 4-4 in the third set and tumbled to the court, Dimitrov immediately hurdled the net and sprinted towards his opponent, before helping him back to his courtside seat for treatment by the physio. “I would have reacted like this whoever I was playing against,” Dimitrov said. “This is just my instinct, my reaction, to do that right away. “It was just such an instinct for me that I didn’t think, ‘OK, I’m just going to go around the net, or I’m going to go to that post or this post’. “I hope he gets better. I think that’s the most important thing leading up to the Aussie Open.” Edmund did not even realise until told during his post-match press conference that Dimitrov had taken a running jump over the net to assist him. “It’s really nice-guy sportsmanship and it’s good to have someone like that,” Edmund said. “But Grigor has always been like that. He’s been a good guy on and off the court.” With Murray likely to be absent from the tour for at least another five months if he opts to undergo surgery on his hip, Edmund, ranked No 50, is the only British male player in the top 100 at the moment, after Dan Evans’s drugs ban and Aljaz Bedene’s decision to revert to representing Slovenia. At some point, probably in April or May, Edmund will take up the status of British No 1 for the first time, replacing Murray as he plummets down the rankings (again, if his absence extends that long). On the evidence of the 22-year-old’s performance yesterday, though, the passing of the torch may happen sooner. Edmund’s blistering forehand drew gasps from the Brisbane crowd as he smacked winners for fun. With encouragement from his new coach, Fredrik Rosengren, he is also actively making an attempt to become more vocal and animated on the court, pumping himself up on several occasions. It was just a shame the match was to end in such a sad way. “From my side of things, there were a lot of positives,” Edmund said. “A lot of stuff I’m working on that really showed against a top player, ranked No 3 in the world.” Konta will hold a practice session this weekend before making a decision on her participation at the Sydney International, held at Olympic Park, the venue at which the Australian-born 26-year-old trained as a child. “My medical team has been assessing the injury again today and we will have a clearer idea when I next practise,” Konta said. Margaret Court, whose name is the title for the second main show court at Melbourne Park, will be another absentee. The all-time grand-slam title record-holder, below, aged 75, has turned down an invitation saying that she will be catching crabs instead. Her views on gay marriage have angered a number of players, and she said it would be “childish” if some of them boycotted the court named after her. Teenager living the dream Australian media are understandably talking up the prospects of Alex de Minaur, the 18-year-old who has reached the semi-finals of the Brisbane International. “I reckon the best way to describe this at the moment is I’m in this really good dream and I really don’t want to wake up,” De Minaur said. Sharapova back in top 50 Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the Shenzhen Open semi-finals by the champion, Katerina Siniakova, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3. The Russian, below, has still done enough, though, to return to the top 50. She will return to Melbourne Park in the coming days for the first time since her failed drugs test in 2016. Williams opts against defending Australian Open title Stuart Fraser The all-time grand-slam record of Margaret Court will stand alone for at least another few months after Serena Williams announced that she was not quite ready to defend her Australian Open title. Williams is just one short of Court’s total of 24 grand-slam tournament victories, and the prospect of wiping it from the record books is part of the motivation for the 36-year-old American to eventually return to the tour after giving birth to her first child hil ild last September. But Williams’s performance against Jelena Ostapenko, the reigning French Open champion, in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi — she lost in i a deciding tie-break — last Saturday did not convince her that she could challenge for an t eighth Australian Open title in Melbourne. A return in March, possibly in Miami, is now likely. p Williams had initially intended to play in Melbourne despite giving birth four months ago “After competing in Abu Dhabi I realised that although I am super close, I’m not where I personally want to be,” Williams said. “My coach and team always said, ‘Only go to tournaments when you are prepared to go all the way.’ “I can compete — but I don’t want to just compete, I want to do far better than that and to do so, I will need a little more time.” Bellucci’s five-month ban Thomaz Bellucci, the world No 112 of Brazil, has received a five-month ban, backdated to September 1, after testing positive for a banned diuretic. The ITF, however, said that he was not guilty of any “significant fault or negligence” after Bellucci claimed it was due to a contaminated vitamin supplement. 22 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Racing Al Shaqab rushed four mares to sales in France Mark Souster Racing Writer Al Shaqab sent four mares to the Deauville sales at the last minute in December. The entries were received after the catalogue had gone to print, suggesting a degree of urgency in the decision by the racing empire of Sheikh Joaan al-Thani, the brother of the Emir of Qatar, to send the horses from its stud in France. Three of the mares — Selyl, Al Nofor and Shahah — were sold at the Arqana sale for €770,000 (about £680,000) and one — Al Anqa — went unsold. The revelation will support the supposition that Al Shaqab’s problems are not confined to England. Chepstow Rob Wright 12.30 The Sweeney 1.00 Another Venture 1.35 We Have A Dream 2.05 Wild West Wind (nb) Going: heavy At The Races 12.30 2.45 Flemcara 3.20 Pressurize 3.55 Mount Rushmoore Coral Download The App Maiden Hurdle (£4,159: 2m 3f 100y) (16 runners) R Dunne 1 2-5304 ATOMIC RUMBLE 19 (T) P Bowen 5-11-0 T Scudamore 2 /315-0 CADEYRN 62 (C,S) M Scudamore 6-11-0 M D Grant 3 PP065 DIABLO DE ROUHET 16 J Hughes 5-11-0 35/5 FRANKLY SPEAKING 28 T Symonds 8-11-0 J E Moore 4 06/ GOLDEN SANDSTORM 781 D M Loughnane 9-11-0 L Heard 5 4P-1 HILLARY VIEW 55P (S) P Bowen 6-11-0 J Bowen (5) 6 0-4 HUGO'S REFLECTION 15 B Case 6-11-0 D Jacob 7 G Sheehan 8 1222-2 JAMMIN MASTERS 64 (S) W Greatrex 7-11-0 31-542 JAUNTY FLYER 43 (G) T Vaughan 6-11-0 A Johns 9 D Crosse 10 55-50 JIMMY BELL 67 John O'Shea 7-11-0 A Coleman 11 F/1-3 JUST DON'T ASK 49 (S) C Longsdon 6-11-0 05 ONE LEADER 40 T Vaughan 7-11-0 M Nolan 12 0P0 SARTENE'S SON 22 N Twiston-Davies 5-11-0 S Twiston-Davies 13 5-P4 SUBCONTINENT 28 Miss V Williams 6-11-0 C Deutsch (3) 14 3-63 THE SWEENEY 28 Miss E Lavelle 6-11-0 N Scholfield 15 Miss B Hampson (5) 16 S066 CELER ET AUDAX 67 John O'Shea 6-10-7 5-2 Jammin Masters, 7-2 Jaunty Flyer, The Sweeney, 11-2 Just Don't Ask, 12-1 others. 1.00 97 82 114 102 ---v128 123 -113 79 112 118 120 -- Coral Yourcall Novices’ Limited Handicap Chase (£11,956: 2m 7f 131y) (6) 139 1 220-42 SCOTCHTOWN 28 (G,S) N Twiston-Davies 6-11-8 S Twiston-Davies 117 2 033-45 SURTEE DU BERLAIS 17 (B,D,G,S) O Sherwood 8-11-3 T Garner (3) 136 B J Geraghty 3 241-F1 PURE VISION 43 (T,D,S) A Honeyball 7-11-2 66 J Bowen (5) 4 5-1104 SOURIYAN 28 (V,D,G,S) P Bowen 7-10-11 M Hamill (5) v141 5 10-526 ANOTHER VENTURE 29 (BF,S) K Bailey 7-10-10 139 P Brennan 6 6131-1 SOCKSY 68 (T,S) F O'Brien 7-10-9 3-1 Socksy, 7-2 Scotchtown, 4-1 Pure Vision, 9-2 Another Venture, 6-1 Souriyan, 7-1 Surtee Du Berlais. 1.35 Coral Future Champions Finale Juvenile Hurdle ITV4 (Grade I: 4-Y-O: £28,475: 2m 11y) (5) 0-1 MERCENAIRE 41 (D,S) N Williams 11-0 123 Lizzie Kelly 1 32 STAFF COLLEGE 33 H Spiller 11-0 109 A Coleman 2 11 SUSSEX RANGER 29 (D,G,S) G L Moore 11-0 140 J E Moore 3 D Jacob v141 4 5-4411 WE HAVE A DREAM 21 (D,G,S) N Henderson 11-0 21 FAMOUS MILLY 28 (T,D,S) G Cromwell (Ire) 10-7 138 R Dunne 5 4-5 We Have A Dream, 7-2 Sussex Ranger, 9-2 Famous Milly, 11-2 Mercenaire, 100-1 Staff College. Rob Wright’s choice: We Have A Dream was an impressive ten-length winner of a grade two at Doncaster last month Danger: Sussex Ranger 2.05 Coral Welsh Grand National Handicap Chase ITV4 (Grade III: £85,425: 3m 5f 110y) (20) 1 2 3 4 5 6 60F1-2 1104-1 2051-1 2/01-0 11F6-2 /115-0 VICENTE 49 (H,F,G,S) P Nicholls 9-11-12 S Twiston-Davies BEWARE THE BEAR 35 (G,S) N Henderson 8-11-10 J McGrath CHASE THE SPUD 42 (S) F O'Brien 10-11-9 P Brennan SILSOL 42 (T,B,G,S) P Nicholls 9-11-8 Bryony Frost (5) FINAL NUDGE 56 (S) D Dennis 9-11-6 A Coleman POBBLES BAY 56 (C,S) E Williams 8-11-5 A Wedge 154 154 149 130 152 149 The Times revealed on Wednesday that several leading trainers here were owed more than £1 million in unpaid fees. Khalifa al-Attiya, Al Shaqab’s general manager, admitted that there had been delays in settling invoices. He said this was due to a restructuring of the business, which also necessitated selling “a few horses”. J E Moore v156 7 403P-2 BISHOPS ROAD 35 (S) K Lee 10-11-5 153 A P Heskin 8 /113-1 WILD WEST WIND 28 (T,C,S) T George 9-11-3 147 J Bowen (5) 9 P0-F22 RAZ DE MAREE 32 (G,S) G Cromwell (Ire) 13-11-1 155 D Cook 10 3F0-12 VINTAGE CLOUDS 42 (BF,S) Mrs S Smith 8-11-1 1101-1 153 ASK THE WEATHERMAN 60 (P,G,S) J Barber 9-10-13 N Scholfield 11 150 R Dunne 12 /1P12- MYSTEREE 294 (G,S) M Scudamore 10-10-13 143 B J Geraghty 13 /PPP6- O'FAOLAINS BOY 252 (C,G,S) Miss R Curtis 11-10-12 152 D Jacob 14 200-11 BUCKHORN TIMOTHY 44 (G,S) C Tizzard 9-10-12 153 T Whelan 15 PPP-63 MILANSBAR 28 (P,S) N King 11-10-9 153 R Patrick (5) 16 140-P2 ALFIE SPINNER 28 (T,P,C,S) K Lee 13-10-7 150 T Scudamore 17 11P-3P RATHLIN ROSE 28 (B,G,S) D Pipe 10-10-7 154 M Bastyan (5) 18 2111-2 ON THE ROAD 43 (T,S) E Williams 8-10-5 -C Ring (3) 19 PP0P-3 FIREBIRD FLYER 55 (G,S) E Williams 11-10-5 154 20 P5P-31 EMPEROR'S CHOICE 7 (P,CD,S) Miss V Williams 11-10-3 C Deutsch (3) 7-1 Mysteree, 8-1 Chase The Spud, Wild West Wind, 9-1 Beware The Bear, 10-1 Ask The Weatherman, Vintage Clouds, 12-1 Bishops Road, Final Nudge, 14-1 Milansbar, 16-1 others. Wright choice: Wild West Wind goes well here and could improve for a first try at a marathon trip Dangers: Ask The Weatherman, Vintage Clouds 2.45 Coral Bet 5 Get 20 Handicap Hurdle (£11,394: 2m 7f 131y) (10) 138 T Greatrex (7) 1 215-04 SHANTOU BOB 22 (T,P,CD,S) W Greatrex 10-11-12 143 C Deutsch (3) 2 13-051 EMINENT POET 14 (D,S) Miss V Williams 7-11-2 142 R Patrick (5) 3 5F-512 KRIS SPIN 41 (D,S) K Lee 10-11-2 136 P Cowley (7) 4 25-511 FLEMCARA 29 (T,S) Miss E Lavelle 6-10-11 142 T Whelan 5 23P-56 ZEROESHADESOFGREY 41 (B,D,G,S) N King 9-10-10 135 T Scudamore 6 42-031 BATTLE OF IDEAS 33 (S) C Tizzard 5-10-8 141 J E Moore 7 3112-0 LATE SHIPMENT 41 (P,S) Mrs N Evans 7-10-6 138 J Bowen (5) 8 11P5-6 COURT FRONTIER 58 (P,C,D,S) C Williams 10-10-4 A P Heskin v158 9 1F3-0P CHEF D'OEUVRE 39 (B,BF,S) W Greatrex 7-10-4 135 Mr B R Jones (7) 10 2-0045 DRIFTWOOD HAZE 43 (S) P Dando 10-10-3 5-1 Eminent Poet, Shantou Bob, 6-1 Flemcara, Kris Spin, 7-1 Battle Of Ideas, Chef D'Oeuvre, Court Frontier, 10-1 Zeroeshadesofgrey, 14-1 Driftwood Haze, 22-1 Late Shipment. 3.20 Coral Bet And Get Club Handicap Chase (£18,990: 2m 3f 98y) (7) -J E Moore 1 1P5-1U GREY GOLD 11 (C,D,S) K Lee 13-11-12 138 J Bowen (5) 2 431111 PLAY THE ACE 28 (T,P,D,F,G,S) P Bowen 9-11-9 1F1PP142 TEMPLEHILLS 298 (H,T,D,F,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 7-11-7 D Crosse 3 138 A P Heskin 4 54112- BALLINVARRIG 302 (B,D,S) T George 11-11-4 T O'Brien v143 5 32-163 KAYF ADVENTURE 37 (BF,S) P Hobbs 7-11-3 120 C Deutsch (3) 6 51/4P- PRESSURIZE 286 (CD,S) Miss V Williams 12-10-13 141 7 -40422 ROCK ON ROCKY 14 (T,P,C,S) M Sheppard 10-10-12 S Sheppard (3) 7-2 Play The Ace, 4-1 Rock On Rocky, 9-2 Ballinvarrig, 11-2 Grey Gold, Kayf Adventure, 7-1 Templehills, 8-1 Pressurize. 3.55 National Hunt Flat Race Thunderer 12.15 We Have A Dream 12.45 Dusky Legend 1.20 Masterplan 1.50 Speredek Going: heavy, soft in places Racing UK 12.15 Thunderer’s choice: Western Ryder, a smart bumper, is even better over hurdles and can justify the step up to group one level Danger: Sussex Ranger 2.25 Western Ryder 3.00 O’Faolains Boy 3.35 Hurricane Hollow 3.00 32Red Casino Juvenile Hurdle 1231 CRUCIAL MOMENT 30 (D,S) W G M Turner 11-8 115 S Houlihan (7) 1 D Jacob v133 2 5-4411 WE HAVE A DREAM 21 (D,G,S) N Henderson 11-8 13 LEVEL OF INTENSITY 45 (T,D,S) N Hawke 11-4 104 S Bowen 3 1 ECHO WATT 19 (D,S) R Hobson 10-12 -C Hammond (7) 4 -MISTER CHOW 36F G L Moore 10-12 Josh Moore 5 10236 GLORVINA 32 (BF,S) C Mann 10-11 107 R Johnson 6 1-4 We Have A Dream, 11-1 Echo Watt, 12-1 Mister Chow, 14-1 Glorvina, 22-1 Crucial Moment, Level Of Intensity. 32Red.com Mares’ Hurdle (Listed: £12,529: 2m 3f 173y) (5) 139 D N Russell 1 23142 ANGELS ANTICS 14 (S) N Twiston-Davies 5-11-0 W Hutchinson v149 2 32-22F DUSKY LEGEND 36 (G,S) A King 8-11-0 2110-3 139 HITHERJACQUES LADY 42 (D,G,S) O Sherwood 6-11-0 L Aspell 3 148 K K Woods 4 1220-6 MIDNIGHT JAZZ 31 (P,D,G,S) B Case 8-11-0 146 R Johnson 5 P12-13 POPPY KAY 35 (S) P Hobbs 8-11-0 11-8 Dusky Legend, 5-2 Poppy Kay, 5-1 Angels Antics, 11-2 Midnight Jazz, 11-1 Hitherjacques Lady. 1.20 (£9,384: 2m 4f 10y) (11) 32Red Casino Handicap Chase ITV4 (£18,768: 1m 7f 119y) (5) N Fehily v153 1 416-1F OVERTOWN EXPRESS 16 (D,BF,S) H Fry 10-11-12 150 H Skelton 2 16-311 GINO TRAIL 21 (P,D,G,S) K Lee 11-11-10 152 S Bowen 3 111-12 SPEREDEK 43 (P,CD,S) N Hawke 7-10-11 149 4 -40422 ROCK ON ROCKY 14 (T,P,CD,S) M Sheppard 10-10-4 S Sheppard (3) 149 N De Boinville 5 1-252P PEARLS LEGEND 21 (CD,F,S) J Spearing 11-10-3 7-4 Overtown Express, 11-4 Gino Trail, 7-2 Speredek, 4-1 Rock On Rocky, 14-1 Pearls Legend. Thunderer’s choice: Speredek has been in good form over hurdles and looks well treated on his return to chasing Danger: Overtown Express 32Red Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle ITV4 (Grade I: £28,475: 1m 7f 216y) (6) Blinkered first time: Chepstow 2.45 Zeroeshadesofgrey, Chef D’oeuvre. Lingfield 1.45 Eltezam, Towerlands Park. 2.55 Nomorecalls. Kempton 8.15 Lord George; 9.15 Conkering Hero, Freedom Fighter. Wincanton 1.40 Crank Em Up. 1 2 3 4 1-11 2-1F1 1223 231 KALASHNIKOV 35 (D,S) A Murphy 5-11-7 MONT DES AVALOIRS 28 (D,G,S) P Nicholls 5-11-7 SUMMERVILLE BOY 22 (S) T George 6-11-7 THE RUSSIAN DOYEN 29 (D,S) C Tizzard 5-11-7 155 PERFECT CANDIDATE 49 (P,D,G,S) F O'Brien 11-11-12 C Shoemark 157 GAS LINE BOY 28 (V,D,S) I Williams 12-11-4 B Hughes 157 THIRD INTENTION 55 (T,B,G,S) C Tizzard 11-11-1 R M Power 155 DOUBLE ROSS 35 (D,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 12-11-0 Mr Z Baker (5) HOUBLON DES OBEAUX 28 (P,CD,G,S) Miss V Williams 11-10-13 158 N Fehily 161 C Gethings (3) 6 1P25-P NO DUFFER 83 (T,CD,G,S) T George 11-10-12 161 R Johnson 7 204252 FOX APPEAL 34 (T,V,D,F,S) Miss E Lavelle 11-10-10 140 Paul O'Brien (5) 8 51-P34 LOOSE CHIPS 34 (B,CD,G,S) C Longsdon 12-10-10 156 J Bargary (3) 9 34-041 BENBENS 28 (C,D,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 13-10-8 157 L Aspell 10 P04-06 BUYWISE 28 (G,S) E Williams 11-10-8 148 B J Geraghty 11 /PPP6- O'FAOLAINS BOY 252 (D,G,S) Miss R Curtis 11-10-7 155 J J Burke 12 155-41 PETE THE FEAT 29 (T,CD,G,S) C Longsdon 14-10-0 H Brooke v162 13 43-603 CLOUDY TOO 42 (D,G,S) Mrs S Smith 12-10-0 152 B Powell 14 0-6F33 THEATRICAL STAR 29 (G,S) C Tizzard 12-10-0 148 Jonjo O'Neill (7) 15 0P1/54 VINO GRIEGO 32 (CD,G,S) G L Moore 13-10-0 9-2 Gas Line Boy, 7-1 Benbens, 8-1 Perfect Candidate, 9-1 Double Ross, 10-1 Cloudy Too, Houblon Des Obeaux, Pete The Feat, 12-1 Third Intention, 14-1 Theatrical Star, 16-1 others. 1 2 3 4 5 P1P-01 445-F1 0F4-02 53-4UP 040-16 Thunderer’s choice: O’Faolains Boy has had a wind operation and the 2014 RSA Chase winner may bounce back to form Danger: Houblon Des Obeaux 3.35 32Red.com Handicap Hurdle J Quinlan S Bowen N Fehily R M Power 135 133 136 128 1 5111-3 CALL ME LORD 53 (CD,BF,G,S) N Henderson 5-11-12 N De Boinville v143 141 N Fehily 2 11-210 BRILLARE MOMENTO 21 (T,G) M Keighley 7-11-6 138 J Banks 3 P-2210 RAVEN'S TOWER 22 (D,G,S) B Pauling 8-11-1 -H Skelton 4 41030/ HURRICANE HOLLOW 54F (D,G,S) D Skelton 8-10-13 140 Jonjo O'Neill (7) 5 -6U111 OUR MERLIN 23 (D,S) R Walford 6-10-6 133 B Hughes 6 25F0-0 GASSIN GOLF 63 (T,P,D,S) K Lee 9-10-5 132 R Johnson 7 10-021 DROPS OF JUPITOR 16 (H,D,G,S) A Honeyball 6-10-4 138 Josh Moore 8 /2-041 CLAYTON 32 (T,D,S) G L Moore 9-10-3 0-4056 104 DARTAGNAN LE DUN A Hales 5-10-2 H Bannister 9 138 J J Burke 10 14-330 MONTY'S AWARD 10 (H,D,G) C Longsdon 6-10-0 3-1 Call Me Lord, 9-2 Our Merlin, 11-2 Clayton, 7-1 Brillare Momento, Hurricane Hollow, 10-1 others. Thunderer’s choice: Hurricane Hollow, running in grade three company when last seen over hurdles, is fit from the Flat Danger: Call Me Lord Course specialists Chepstow: Trainers T George, 14 from 52 runners, 26.9%; P Hobbs, 24 from 111, 21.6%; N Henderson, 5 from 24, 20.8%; P Nicholls, 22 from 106, 20.8%. Jockey A P Heskin, 5 from 19 rides, 26.3%. Kempton: Trainers C Appleby, 56 from 201, 27.9%; W Haggas, 26 from 133, 19.5%; J Fanshawe, 48 from 253, 19.0%; N Mulholland, 13 from 76, 17.1%. Jockey D Tudhope, 8 from 41, 19.5%. Lingfield: Trainers W Haggas, 56 from 166, 33.7%; H Palmer, 16 from 73, 21.9%; Sir M Prescott, 29 from 137, 21.2%; R Varian, 28 from 136, 20.6%. Jockey D Tudhope, 8 from 39, 20.5%. Sandown: Trainers F O'Brien, 7 from 15, 46.7%; N Henderson, 28 from 104, 26.9%; K Lee, 3 from 12, 25.0%; A King, 10 from 42, 23.8%. Jockey T Bellamy, 3 from 8, 37.5%. Wincanton: Trainers P Nicholls, 66 from 193, 34.2%; K Bailey, 7 from 27, 25.9%; P Gundry, 4 from 18, 22.2%; T George, 9 from 41, 22.0%. Jockeys H Cobden, 27 from 79, 34.2%. Fixtures Results Today Rochdale ............. 25 Bury.....................25 Football League Two: Accrington v Chesterfield; Colchester v Cheltenham; Forest Green v Port Vale; Grimsby v Morecambe. Kick-off 3.0 unless stated FA Cup: Third round: Ipswich v Sheff Utd; Watford v Bristol City; Birmingham v Burton Albion; Coventry v Stoke; Bolton v Huddersfield; Brentford v Notts County; QPR v Milton Keynes Dons; Doncaster v Rochdale; Middlesbrough v Sunderland (1.0); Cardiff v Mansfield; Man City v Burnley; Wolves v Swansea; Stevenage v Reading; Newcastle v Luton; Millwall v Barnsley; Fulham v Southampton; Wycombe v Preston; Norwich v Chelsea (5.30); Aston Villa v Peterborough; Yeovil v Bradford; Bournemouth v Wigan; Exeter v West Brom; Blackburn v Hull; Fleetwood Town v Leicester (12.45); Carlisle v Sheff Wed. Sky Bet League One: Charlton v Oldham; Northampton v Southend; Oxford Utd v Blackpool; Plymouth v Bury. P Wigan..................25 Shrewsbury.........25 Blackburn............25 Scunthorpe..........26 Bradford..............26 Portsmouth.........26 Rotherham..........26 Peterboro............26 Charlton..............25 Oxford Utd..........26 Doncaster............26 Fleetwood Town.26 Blackpool.............26 Bristol R..............26 Gillingham...........26 Plymouth ............ 26 Southend.............26 Walsall................25 MK Dons ............. 26 Oldham................26 AFC Wimbledon..25 Northampton......26 ITV4 (£15,640: 1m 7f 216y) (10) 32Red Handicap Chase 126 L Aspell 1 30-33B THEO'S CHARM 14 (B,BF,S) N Gifford 8-12-3 126 Mr D Maxwell (7) 2 -21365 CHEF D'EQUIPE 29 (H,S) P Hobbs 6-11-12 129 N De Boinville 3 0124-1 PERFECT PIRATE 37 (D,G,S) B Pauling 6-11-11 115 C Gethings (3) 4 U1-60P LORD BALLIM 41 (T,D,G,S) N Hawke 8-11-10 128 T Bellamy 5 35P-55 LITTLE JON 35 (P,D,S) N Twiston-Davies 10-11-8 -H Skelton 6 3012/6 BEKKENSFIRTH 36 (D,S) D Skelton 9-11-8 110 B Powell 7 /6-050 LE CURIEUX 88 (S) B Powell 6-11-8 H Brooke v130 8 3-214P NEVER UP 14 (D,S) Mrs S Smith 7-11-2 129 J J Burke 9 6561-2 MASTERPLAN 22 (P,D,F,G,S) C Longsdon 8-11-1 121 A Tinkler 10 2-40UP GO WEST YOUNG MAN 14 (D,G) H Daly 10-11-0 127 B Hughes 11 111P-6 AMBER GAMBLER 65 (D,G,S) I Williams 8-10-12 4-1 Perfect Pirate, Theo's Charm, 5-1 Masterplan, 13-2 Bekkensfirth, 8-1 Chef D'Equipe, Little Jon, 10-1 Never Up, 14-1 Amber Gambler, Lord Ballim, 20-1 Le Curieux, 25-1 Go West Young Man. 2.25 32Red Veterans’ Handicap Chase ITV4 (£61,900: 3m 37y) (15) (4-Y-O: £6,498: 1m 7f 216y) (6 runners) 12.45 er backed away from what he described as a “nuclear option”. Another trainer indicated that he had been prepared to sell the Al Shaqab horses he trained to get what he was owed. He decided against it because he thought Tattersalls might itself be owed money. It is believed that all accounts at the sales house have been settled. 132 R Johnson 5 53-U11 WESTERN RYDER 22 (D,G,S) W Greatrex 6-11-7 11 SUSSEX RANGER 29 (CD,G,S) G L Moore 4-10-9 J E Moore v145 6 7-4 Western Ryder, 2-1 Kalashnikov, 5-1 Mont Des Avaloirs, 7-1 Sussex Ranger, 12-1 others. Sandown Park 1.50 (£2,599: 2m 11y) (8) 1 GOOD BOY BOBBY 59 (H,CD,S) N Twiston-Davies 5-11-7 S Twiston-Davies v113 -BIG FRED B Llewellyn 7-11-0 D Crosse 2 0-0 COURT DUTY 59 J Flint 6-11-0 88 I Popham 3 5 CUL DE POULE 217 (T) M Keighley 6-11-0 108 A Tinkler 4 3-P2 EQUUS FLIGHT 62P P Bowen 5-11-0 -J Bowen (5) 5 2 GWALIA 51 E Williams 5-11-0 112 A Wedge 6 0- MISTER RAINMAN 299 (H) A Wintle 6-11-0 67 Mr L Williams (7) 7 1 MOUNT RUSHMOORE 34P (S) C Tizzard 6-11-0 -T Scudamore 8 11-8 Good Boy Bobby, 9-4 Mount Rushmoore, 5-1 Gwalia, 13-2 Equus Flight, 14-1 others. 1 Since then The Times has also learnt that one trainer in this country was so angered by the failure of Al Shaqab to pay his bills that he contemplated asking the British Horse-racing Authority to consider trying to put the Qataris on the forfeit list, which would prevent their horses from racing here until the debts were paid. In the event, the train- W D L F A GD Pts 17 5 3 50 12 38 56 16 6 3 33 15 18 54 14 7 4 45 23 22 49 14 7 5 37 22 15 49 15 3 8 42 34 8 48 13 2 11 33 30 3 41 12 4 10 44 35 9 40 11 6 9 43 37 6 39 10 7 8 32 32 0 37 9 8 9 41 39 2 35 9 7 10 29 28 1 34 9 6 11 36 40 -4 33 8 8 10 34 37 -3 32 10 2 14 36 43 -7 32 7 10 9 27 29 -2 31 8 7 11 26 34 -8 31 8 7 11 30 42 -12 31 7 9 9 31 34 -3 30 7 8 11 28 38 -10 29 7 7 12 39 48 -9 28 7 6 12 22 31 -9 27 6 5 15 20 46 -26 23 P Luton...................26 Notts County......26 Coventry..............26 Wycombe............26 Lincoln City.........26 Mansfield............26 Exeter..................25 Colchester...........26 Swindon..............25 Accrington ......... 24 Newport County . 26 Cambridge...........26 Carlisle................26 Grimsby...............26 Stevenage...........26 Crawley...............26 Cheltenham.........26 Port Vale.............26 Crewe..................26 Yeovil..................26 Morecambe.........25 Chesterfield........26 Barnet.................26 Forest Green.......25 4 10 11 25 35 -10 22 4 5 16 19 38 -19 17 W D L F A GD Pts 16 6 4 62 25 37 54 14 8 4 44 26 18 50 13 5 8 28 18 10 44 12 7 7 46 35 11 43 12 7 7 35 24 11 43 11 10 5 38 29 9 43 13 3 9 35 32 3 42 11 8 7 35 27 8 41 13 2 10 38 34 4 41 12 4 8 38 30 8 40 10 9 7 35 30 5 39 10 7 9 25 31 -6 37 9 7 10 37 37 0 34 9 7 10 26 34 -8 34 9 6 11 36 39 -3 33 9 6 11 25 31 -6 33 8 7 11 33 38 -5 31 9 4 13 29 34 -5 31 9 2 15 29 41 -12 29 7 6 13 36 47 -11 27 6 7 12 24 36 -12 25 5 6 15 26 47 -21 21 5 5 16 26 39 -13 20 5 5 15 25 47 -22 20 Vanarama National: Barrow v Tranmere; Bromley v AFC Fylde; Dagenham & Red v Hartlepool; Dover v Aldershot; Eastleigh v Guiseley; Ebbsfleet United v Chester; Gateshead v Sutton Utd; Leyton Orient v Boreham Wood; Macclesfield v Solihull Moors; Maidenhead Utd v Halifax; Woking v Maidstone Utd; Wrexham v Torquay. P Macclesfield........28 Aldershot............28 Sutton United.....28 Dover Athletic .... 28 Wrexham ............ 27 Bromley...............28 W D 16 6 13 9 13 7 11 12 12 9 12 8 L 6 6 8 5 6 8 F 38 44 40 37 27 46 A 26 29 34 21 22 36 GD Pts 12 54 15 48 6 46 16 45 5 45 10 44 Tranmere ............ 27 Boreham Wood...27 Dagenham & Red 27 Ebbsfleet 27 Maidenhead........28 Maidstone ..........26 AFC Fylde............25 Woking................26 Hartlepool...........27 Halifax.................28 Gateshead...........25 Eastleigh.............27 Leyton Orient......28 Barrow ................ 28 Solihull Moors .... 28 Chester ...............26 Guiseley..............26 Torquay...............27 12 11 11 9 9 9 9 10 8 8 7 6 8 7 6 4 4 4 7 10 9 12 10 10 8 4 9 9 11 13 7 9 5 10 10 8 8 6 7 6 9 7 8 12 10 11 7 8 13 12 17 12 12 15 41 37 40 39 37 30 41 34 29 31 32 36 35 35 26 23 23 23 25 27 30 31 40 34 36 39 34 38 26 40 42 39 45 43 46 41 16 10 10 8 -3 -4 5 -5 -5 -7 6 -4 -7 -4 -19 -20 -23 -18 43 43 42 39 37 37 35 34 33 33 32 31 31 30 23 22 22 20 Vanarama North: AFC Telford v Curzon Ashton; Blyth Spartans v Gainsborough; Boston Utd v Tamworth; Bradford PA v Spennymoor Town; Chorley v Harrogate Town; Darlington v York; Leamington v Kidderminster; North Ferriby Utd v Alfreton Town; Nuneaton v Brackley; Stockport County v Salford City. South: Bath City v Truro City; Braintree Town v East Thurrock; Concord Rangers v Dartford; Gloucester v Weston-S-Mare; Hampton & Richmond v Hemel Hempstead; Havant and W v Wealdstone; Hungerford Town v Oxford City; Poole Town v Chippenham; St Albans v Chelmsford; Welling v Eastbourne Borough; Whitehawk v Bognor Regis Town. Evo-Stik Premier: North: Ashton Utd v Marine; Coalville Town v Sutton Coldfield; Farsley Celtic v Altrincham; Halesowen v Grantham; Matlock Town v Barwell; Nantwich Town v Hednesford; Rushall Olympic v Stafford Rangers; Stalybridge v Witton Albion; Stourbridge v Mickleover Sports; Warrington Town v Buxton; Whitby v Lancaster City; Workington v Shaw Lane. South: Banbury v Hitchin; Basingstoke v Kettering; Biggleswade Town v Frome Town; Kings Langley v St Ives Town; Kings Lynn Town v Dorchester; Merthyr Town v Dunstable; Redditch v Farnborough; Royston Town v Gosport Borough; Slough v Hereford; St Neots Town v Stratford Town; Tiverton v Chesham; Weymouth v Bishop’s Stortford. Bostik Premier: Billericay v Margate; Dorking Wanderers v Wingate & Finchley; Dulwich Hamlet v Folkestone Invicta; Harlow v Tooting & Mitcham; Harrow Borough v Needham Market; Kingstonian v Thurrock; Leiston v Leatherhead; Merstham v Hendon; Met Police v Brightlingsea Regent; Tonbridge Angels v Lowestoft; Worthing v Enfield Town. FA Vase: Fourth round: Blackfield & Langley v Bracknell; Cogenhoe Utd v Wolverhampton Sports; Desborough Town v Stourport Swifts; Eastbourne Town v Windsor; Horley Town v Chichester City; Leighton v Norwich CBS; Marske Utd v Hinckley AFC; Newcastle Benfield v Coleshill; Newport (IOW) v Bradford Town; Stockton Town v West Auckland; Thatcham Town v Biggleswade Town; Tring Athletic v Hullbridge Sports; Westfields v Hamble Club; Melksham Town v Crowborough; Wisbech Town v Bromsgrove Sporting. Women’s Super League: Bristol City v Everton (5.30); Liverpool v Yeovil (5.30); Sunderland v Birmingham (6.0). Ladbrokes Scottish Championship: Brechin v Morton; Dumbarton v Dunfermline; Falkirk v Dundee Utd; Livingston v Queen of South; St Mirren v Inverness CT. League One: Airdrieonians v East Fife; Alloa v Albion; Ayr v Arbroath; Queen’s Park v Stranraer; Raith v Forfar. League Two: Annan Athletic v Montrose; Cowdenbeath v Edinburgh City; Elgin v Clyde; Stenhousemuir v Peterhead; Stirling v Berwick. Rugby union Kick-off 3.0 unless stated Aviva Premiership: Leicester v London Irish; Northampton v Gloucester; Sale v Harlequins. Guinness Pro14: Benetton Treviso v Cheetahs (1.15); Leinster v Ulster (5.35) Munster v Connacht (7.45) Ospreys v Cardiff Blues (3.15) Zebre v Glasgow (3.30). Women: Tyrrells Premier 15s: Worcester v Loughborough (Sixways Stadium, 2.0). Other sport Basketball: BBL Championship: Bristol v Newcastle (7.30); Leicester v Worcester (7.30). Ice hockey: Elite League: Guildford v Cardiff (6.0); Belfast v Sheffield (7.0); Dundee v Edinburgh (7.0); Milton Keynes v Coventry (7.0); Nottingham v Manchester (7.0); Fife v Braehead (7.15). Tomorrow Football FA Cup: Third round: Newport County v Leeds (12.0); Nottm Forest v Arsenal (4.0); Shrewsbury v West Ham (2.0); Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon (3.0). FA Vase: Fourth round: 1874 Northwich v Pontefract Collieries (3.0). Vanarama North: FC United of Manchester v Southport (3.0). Women’s Super League: Chelsea v Arsenal (2.0); Reading v Man City (2.0). League Two: Oxford Utd v Durham (12.0); Aston Villa v London Bees (2.0); Millwall v Sheffield FC (2.0) Tottenham v Brighton (2.0); Watford v Doncaster (3.0). Rugby union Aviva Premiership: Newcastle v Exeter (3.0); Wasps v Saracens. Other sport Basketball: BBL Championship: Leeds v Bristol (4.00); London v Sheffield (4.0); Plymouth v Cheshire (4.0); Glasgow v Manchester (5.0). Ice hockey: Elite League: Coventry v Milton Keynes (5.15); Braehead v Fife (6.0); Cardiff v Nottingham (6.0); Edinburgh v Dundee (6.0). Football FA Cup third round Liverpool (1) 2 Milner 35 (pen) Van Dijk 84 Man United Everton (0) 1 Sigurdsson 67 52,513 (0) 2 Derby Lingard 84, Lukaku 90 73,899 (0) 0 Cricket First Test: South Africa v India Cape Town (First day of five: South Africa won toss): South Africa 286 (73.1 overs: AB de Villiers 65, F du Plessis 62; B Kumar 4 for 87). India 28-3 (11 overs). Big Bash League Brisbane: Brisbane Heat 191-6 (20 overs). Perth Scorchers 142 (19 overs; B Doggett 5 for 35, M T Steketee 3 for 28): Brisbane Heat won by 49 runs. Rugby union Aviva Premiership: Worcester 25 Bath 46. Guinness Pro14: Scarlets 47 Newport Gwent Dragons 13; Edinburgh 37 Southern Kings 7. Tennis ATP TATA Open Maharashtra Pune, India: Semi-finals: G Simon (Fr) bt M Cilic (Cro) 1-6, 6-3, 6-2; K Anderson (SA) bt B Paire (Fr) 6-7 (6-8), 7-6 (7-2), 6-1. Brisbane International Man: Quarter-finals: G Dimitrov (Bul) bt K Edmund (GB) 6-3, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4; A De Minaur (Aus) bt M Mmoh (US) 6-4, 6-0; N Kyrgios (Aus) bt A Dolgopolov (Ukr) 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; R Harrison (US) bt D Istomin (Uzb) 7-6 (8-6), 4-2 ret. Women: Semi-finals: E Svitolina (Ukr) bt Karolina Pliskova (Cz) 7-5, 7-5; A Sasnovich (Bela) bt A Sevastova (Lat) 7-6 (7-3), 6-4. WTA Shenzhen Open Semi-finals: K Siniakova (Cz) bt M Sharapova (Russ) 6-2, 3-6, 6-3; S Halep (Rom) bt I-C Begu (Rom) 6-1, 6-4. the times | Saturday January 6 2018 23 2G S Sport Wild celebrations just getting started Fergal O’Brien is an up-and-coming trainer with a big personality, Mark Souster writes Coming home has been the making of Fergal O’Brien. Two and a half years after returning to his roots at Grange Hill Farm and a yard he leases from his mentor, Nigel Twiston-Davies, the ever smiling, ever popular O’Brien is enjoying the time of his life. Winners are plentiful, numbers are up and a notable first grade one was achieved at Newbury last Saturday. That success provided what will surely be some of the abiding images of the season captured by ITV as O’Brien, Sally Randell, his assistant, and his two daughters — Fern, 12, and Daisy, 10 — stood in the parade ring at Newbury watching the Challow Hurdle unfold on the big screen. As Poetic Rhythm, under the artful Paddy Brennan, reeled in Mulcahys Hill, the long-time leader, the four of them experienced almost every emotion. O’Brien couldn’t bear to watch the run-in as his horse, having hit the front, then idled only to rally in time to win by a short head. He turned away at the death, asking Randell: “Is he still in 2.40 O Maonlai 3.15 Bill And Barn 3.45 Edvardo Racing UK Smarkets Novices’ Handicap Hurdle (£4,094: 1m 7f 65y) (6) 1/503 D'ARCY'S SOUND 22 Miss V Williams 8-12-2 Mr H Nugent (7) D Bass 2 41F0/ JAUNE ET BLEUE 660 D Dennis 6-12-2 3 2-4P0 RAINY DAY DYLAN 29 (H,T) N Mulholland 7-11-12 T O'Brien M Goldstein 4 52-43 MULTIGIFTED 32 (T) M Madgwick 5-11-9 H Cobden 5 P33-6 IRONDALE EXPRESS 45 F J Brennan 7-10-6 J Best 6 00000 RUN DON'T HIDE 16 (T) P Henderson 7-10-2 5-2 D'Arcy's Sound, 3-1 Multigifted, 7-2 Jaune Et Bleue, 9-2 Irondale Express, 10-1 Rainy Day Dylan, Run Don't Hide. 1 1.40 Smarkets Novices’ Handicap Chase (£4,614: 3m 1f 30y) (10) H Cobden 1 -2113 CUCKLINGTON 23 (T,B,CD) C Tizzard 7-12-3 D Bass 2 5-53P CRANK EM UP 15 (B,BF) D Dennis 7-12-3 3 3P3U3 TALK OF THE SOUTH 19 (D,BF) P Henderson 9-11-12 J Best 4 544-4 DANCING CONQUEST 16 J S Mullins 8-11-11 D Sansom (7) 5 P2-05 AMBION LANE 29 (T,V) V Dartnall 8-11-11 J Sherwood (3) Kevin Jones (5) 6 -5030 GOWELL 39 (T) J S Mullins 7-11-2 D Noonan 7 60-05 ULVA FERRY 32 C Gordon 6-11-2 8 -431P GOOSEN MAVERICK 20 (D,BF) J G Cann 7-10-11 T O'Brien 9 /PP0P GOODNIGHTIRENE 6 (H,T) Mrs L Young 8-10-0 T Cheesman (5) Mr S Quinlan (7) 10 2P-52 BOBONYX 26 Dai Williams 8-10-0 100-30 Cucklington, Talk Of The South, 5-1 Crank Em Up, 6-1 Goosen Maverick, Gowell, 9-1 Bobonyx, 12-1 Ulva Ferry, 16-1 Ambion Lane, 22-1 others. 2.10 Smarkets Novices’ Hurdle (£4,159: 2m 5f 82y) (4) T Cheesman (5) 1 -3P06 BIG TIME FRANK 16 P Gundry 7-11-2 T Cannon 2 220-2 CRIQ ROCK 250 (BF) A King 7-11-2 H Cobden 3 532-F DASHING PERK 70 Dr R Newland 7-11-2 121 RHAEGAR 28 K Bailey 7-11-2 D Bass 4 5-4 Rhaegar, 15-8 Criq Rock, 11-4 Dashing Perk, 100-1 Big Time Frank. 2.40 Smarkets Handicap Chase ITV4 (£12,512: 2m 4f 35y) (6) 114-2 ANTARTICA DE THAIX 58 (T,CD) P Nicholls 8-11-12 H Cobden J Bowen (5) 2 31111 PLAY THE ACE 28 (CD) P Bowen 9-11-9 J Best 3 P45-P O MAONLAI 35 (T) T George 10-11-5 T O'Brien 4 2-163 KAYF ADVENTURE 37 (D,BF) P Hobbs 7-11-3 1/4PPRESSURIZE 286 (C,D) Miss V Williams 12-10-13 5 C Deutsch (3) 6 424U- UHLAN BUTE 254 (P,D) Miss V Williams 10-10-6 Mr H Nugent (7) 9-4 Antartica De Thaix, 7-2 Play The Ace, 5-1 Kayf Adventure, Pressurize, 13-2 O Maonlai, Uhlan Bute. 1 Thunderer’s choice: O Maonlai has twice followed a pulled-up with a win and is on a good mark Danger: Antartica De Thaix 3.15 Smarkets Novices’ ITV4 Handicap Chase (£7,798: 2m 4f) (5) Mr J King (5) 1 32-43 WALT 28 N Mulholland 7-11-8 H Cobden 2 4-651 BILL AND BARN 28 P Nicholls 7-11-7 W Hutchinson 3 42-1P HOLBROOK PARK 17 (T,D) N King 8-11-6 T O'Brien 4 216-F SILVERHOW 19 C Tizzard 7-11-5 J Best 5 1U/32 LE BOIZELO 5 (D) R Walford 7-11-2 7-4 Bill And Barn, 3-1 Le Boizelo, 7-2 Walt, 6-1 Silverhow, 13-2 Holbrook Park. Thunderer’s choice: Bill And Barn, who dead-heated over hurdles last time, is a dual point-to-point winner Danger: Walt 3.45 1 2 Davies as head lad, and then assistant, in 1992. He spent 18 years there before branching out on his own, only then to return to Naunton, in Gloucestershire, to train out of the Upper Yard. “I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing if it wasn’t for Nigel,” O’Brien said. “Without him none of it would have been possible. I learnt everything I know there. “We are very different — polar opposites in character. He is very reserved whereas I shout from the rooftops a little bit. He taught me never to change what you are doing, even when things aren’t going right. Stick to your routine. It is not a fluke, what we are doing at the minute.” O’Brien hopes the upswing will continue at Chepstow this afternoon, when he sends out Chase The Spud in the rescheduled running of the Welsh Grand National. The ten-year-old, who won on his reappearance this season in heavy conditions at Haydock in November, will relish the conditions and has been backed into a general 9-1 shot for the Coral-sponsored contest. “It will be testing and hard work but we are looking forward to it. He will love the ground and will go well on it,” he continued. “The trip won’t be a problem. We can only hope he gets a bit of luck in running and if so he won’t be far away.” 3P-56 ZEROESHADESOFGREY 41 (B) N King 9-11-12 W Hutchinson -1144 MON PALOIS 32 K Bailey 6-11-9 D Bass P/P-0 DUBAWI ISLAND 44 (P,D) Miss V Williams 9-11-8 Miss L Turner (7) J Best 6 36-24 WINNING SPARK 21 J Plessis 11-11-6 7 U3/F2 MONBEG THEATRE 22 (T,P) J Snowden 9-11-6 G Sheehan 24-65 HEAD TO THE STARS 28 (D) H Daly 7-11-5 Mr H Nugent (7) 8 9 -422P WATERLOO WARRIOR 45 (T,B) C Tizzard 6-11-0 H Cobden 10 10-03 BALLYHEIGUE BAY 39 (T,D) C Gordon 11-10-11 T Cannon 11 04-31 LAGAVARA 30 (D) N Twiston-Davies 6-10-8 T Humphries (7) M Nolan 12 060-2 EDVARDO 41 (D) R Woollacott 8-10-4 13 4-412 DAYTIME AHEAD 30 (C,BF) R Hodges 7-10-0 N Curtis (5) 11-2 Mon Palois, 8-1 Lagavara, Monbeg Theatre, 9-1 Daytime Ahead, Edvardo, 10-1 Ballyheigue Bay, Head To The Stars, Taj Badalandabad, 12-1 others. 2.20 5- MORNING HAS BROKEN 24 D Elsworth 3-8-10 6 (1) Hollie Doyle R Hornby 7 (3) 64- MRS BENSON 45 M Blanshard 3-8-10 SHARP INNTAKE H Candy 3-8-10 Fran Berry 8 (7) SHORT HEAD W Haggas 3-8-10 Georgia Cox (3) 9 (2) 5- SWEET SYMPHONY 72 M Botti 3-8-10 R Tate 10 (5) 0- WOGGLE 17 G Deacon 3-8-10 K O'Neill 11 (8) 11-4 Short Head, Sweet Symphony, 9-2 Morning Has Broken, 13-2 Mrs Benson, Sharp Inntake, 7-1 Culture Shock, 20-1 others. 4 5 Thunderer 1.05 O’Brien has been praised by rivals 3 Wincanton 1.05 Multigifted 1.40 Goosen Maverick 2.10 Criq Rock Going: heavy front?” The girls were dancing around like dervishes, screaming: “Come on Paddy!” When the line came they all jumped into one anothers’ arms. The agony and the ecstasy summed up perfectly why people get involved in the sport. “I couldn’t watch because it had looked like he was going to win easy, then he idled in front a little bit and I thought, ‘Aargh no,’ ” O’Brien said. “It cringes me watching it back because I didn’t know there was a camera on me. But it made for good television. At least my mother knows I’m still alive.” Not only alive, but thriving. O’Brien has already saddled 46 winners this season, with total prize money approaching £500,000, and is well on target to surpass last year’s career-best mark of 60. He has Brennan to call on more frequently, now that he is no longer first rider for Tom George, and between the entire team, including his faithful head lad Kevin Brown, there is a sense of fun and enjoyment mixed with a serious eye for the job. He has been lauded by some of his contemporaries as one to watch in the training ranks. Having come over from Ireland at 16 to the British Racing School, he spent three years at Captain Tim Forster’s yard, then a year with a private trainer before landing with Twiston- Smarkets Handicap ITV4 Hurdle (£9,495: 2m 5f 82y) (13) 1/0-0 TAJ BADALANDABAD 22 (P) D Pipe 8-12-1 15-54 BRYDEN BOY 22 (P) J Candlish 8-12-0 M Heard (5) S W Quinlan Thunderer’s choice: Edvardo separated two subsequent winners on his first run for the stable at Exeter Danger: Lagavara Lingfield Park Thunderer 12.05 Dream Mount 2.20 Arcanada 12.40 Craving 2.55 Queen Of Desire 1.15 Presumido (nap) 3.30 Pivotal Flame 1.45 Towerlands Park Going: standard At The Races Draw: 5f-1m, low numbers best 12.05 Handicap (3-Y-O: £5,531: 1m) (5) T Marquand 1 (4) 0213- ZALSHAH 9 (P) R Hannon 9-7 L Morris 2 (2) 2151- GUVENOR'S CHOICE 11 (T) K Burke 9-6 3410JOE'S SPIRIT 100 (H,BF) Michael Bell 9-6 C Noble (5) 3 (5) D C Costello 4 (1) 411- RUSPER 24 (CD) J Osborne 9-6 5 (3) 0015- DREAM MOUNT 67 (CD,BF) M Botti 8-12 G Malune (7) 5-2 Guvenor's Choice, 11-4 Dream Mount, 7-2 Rusper, 4-1 Zalshah, 13-2 Joe's Spirit. Conditions Stakes (£11,828: 1m) (6) O Murphy 1 (5) 5304- STRAIGHT RIGHT 38 (H,D) A Balding 4-9-6 M Harley 2 (3) 2001- ARCANADA 49 (P,CD) T Dascombe 5-9-3 T Hamilton 3 (1) 5053- GABRIAL 49 (D) R Fahey 9-9-3 T Marquand 4 (6) 0000- IN THE RED 50 (B,D) M Smith 5-9-3 A Kirby 5 (4) 4450/ MAN OF HARLECH 570 (C,D) J Boyle 7-9-3 F Norton 6 (2) 0000- MY TARGET 6 (CD) M Wigham 7-9-3 5-4 Arcanada, 3-1 Straight Right, 4-1 Gabrial, 7-1 My Target, 10-1 Man Of Harlech, 50-1 In The Red. 2.55 Novice Stakes (3-Y-O: £3,752: 5f) (6) L Morris 1 (6) 000- ARGON 8 (H) Sir M Prescott 9-2 3- GALLOWAY HILLS 42 D Elsworth 9-2 S Levey 2 (3) 3- NOMORECALLS 213 (V) R Cowell 9-2 D Tudhope 3 (4) Georgia Dobie (7) 4 (1) 041- FAS LE FIOS (D) J Moore 8-11 PURPLE DRAGON Mick Quinn 8-11 F Norton 5 (5) 5- QUEEN OF DESIRE 36 R Varian 8-11 J Mitchell 6 (2) 11-8 Queen Of Desire, 11-4 Galloway Hills, 7-2 Nomorecalls, 10-1 Fas Le Fios, 12-1 Purple Dragon, 20-1 Argon. 3.30 Fillies’ Handicap (£3,752: 1m 2f) (10) L Morris 1 (4) 4460- ASSANILKA 17 (P) H Dunlop 4-9-11 2 (2) 3426- NURSE NIGHTINGALE 17 (P,BF) Michael Bell 4-9-10 C Noble (5) 3 (10) 0001- MISS MINUTY 24 (CD) J Scott 6-9-10 Jason Watson (7) 4 (7) /434- ICONIC BELLE 132 (BF) M Channon 4-9-7 P Bradley (5) K Fox 5 (9) /630- TABLA 329 (C) D Steele 6-9-5 Hollie Doyle 6 (1) 0600- THE YELLOW BUS 15 D Steele 5-9-3 Sebastian Woods (7) 7 (8) 5340- DOSE 15 R Fahey 5-9-0 S W Kelly 8 (3) 6046- PIVOTAL FLAME 29J (D) P Phelan 5-8-12 W Cox (5) 9 (5) 4624- TOPMEUP 11 (V) Miss G Kelleway 4-8-11 10 (6) 0333- VENETIAN PROPOSAL 30 (P) Miss Z Davison 4-8-9 K O'Neill 3-1 Nurse Nightingale, 4-1 Miss Minuty, 11-2 Assanilka, 6-1 Topmeup, 9-1 Venetian Proposal, 10-1 Dose, 12-1 Iconic Belle, The Yellow Bus, 14-1 others. 12.40 Novice Stakes (3-Y-O: £3,105: 1m) (11) Kempton Park J Mitchell 1 (10) 252- AMBIENT 37 R Varian 9-2 BOBBY K S Crisford 9-2 R Powell 2 (8) T J Murphy 3 (2) 4223- CRAVING 19 S Crisford 9-2 M Harley 4 (4) 00- FORRICHERFORPOORER 17 W Knight 9-2 R Havlin 5 (7) 46- HASANOANDA 19 (P) J Gosden 9-2 5- KNIGHT ERRANT 22 W Jarvis 9-2 T Marquand 6 (11) 0PACO STYLE 17 M Attwater 9-2 W A Carson 7 (3) K Fox 8 (9) 30- PASSING CLOUDS 17 M Attwater 9-2 0- PASTORAL DREAMS 17 S Dow 9-2 P Bradley (5) 9 (1) S W Kelly 10 (5) 000- RAGSTONE SAND 14 G L Moore 9-2 ROUND THE BUOY W Haggas 9-2 D Tudhope 11 (6) 9-4 Craving, 5-2 Ambient, 11-4 Hasanoanda, 8-1 Round The Buoy, 16-1 others. Thunderer 1.15 Handicap (£3,752: 7f) (9) Shelley Birkett (3) 1 (7) 2662- MAAZEL 89 Miss J Feilden 4-9-7 2 (3) 4002- JUAN HORSEPOWER 9 (P,C) R Hannon 4-9-6 K O'Neill A Kirby 3 (6) 0000- PRESUMIDO 61 (CD) S Dow 8-9-6 J Duern (3) 4 (9) 0014- VARSOVIAN 9 (CD) D Ivory 8-9-6 L Keniry 5 (4) 0020- ALKASHAAF 24 (T) D M Loughnane 4-9-5 T Marquand 6 (8) /000- TORIANO 24 (CD) N Littmoden 5-9-4 N Garbutt (3) 7 (5) 0025- SAMARMADI 57 (P) H Palmer 4-9-4 8 (1) 01/5- FOOTSTEPSINTHERAIN 24 (D) D Steele 8-9-0 O Murphy R Powell 9 (2) 0000- GOLD FLASH 20 (D) R Ford 6-8-13 7-2 Varsovian, 4-1 Juan Horsepower, Samarmadi, 9-2 Presumido, 7-1 Maazel, 8-1 Toriano, 16-1 Footstepsintherain, 20-1 Alkashaaf, 33-1 Gold Flash. 1.45 Handicap (£7,246: 1m 2f) (7) A Kirby 1 (3) 1555- MING DYNASTY 14 M Botti 6-9-7 D Tudhope 2 (2) 1310- FAYEZ 35 (CD) D O'Meara 4-9-6 3 (1) /303- TOWERLANDS PARK 35 (V,BF) Michael Bell 5-9-2 C Noble (5) Hollie Doyle 4 (5) 6400- CAPTAIN CAT 98 (C) A Carroll 9-9-2 5 (6) 0511- GENERAL HAZARD 24 (P,CD) A Watson 5-9-0 E Greatrex L Keniry 6 (4) 2632- EASY TIGER 24 (C) M Saunders 6-8-10 J Haynes 7 (7) 2025- ELTEZAM 17 (E) Mrs A Perrett 5-8-7 5-2 Towerlands Park, 4-1 Ming Dynasty, 5-1 Fayez, General Hazard, 6-1 Eltezam, 15-2 Easy Tiger, 14-1 Captain Cat. 5.45 Sweet Symphony 7.45 Titan Goddess 6.15 Promising 8.15 Cliff Face 6.45 Lord Murphy 8.45 Choice Encounter 7.15 Golden Image 9.15 Victoriously Going: standard to slow Draw: 5f-1m, low numbers best Racing UK 5.45 Fillies’ Novice Stakes (Div I: £3,881: 7f) (11) 1 2 3 4 5 4- COMPTON ABBEY 24 B Johnson 4-10-0 C Shepherd (3) (11) S W Kelly (10) 0/0- MAARIT 337 D Coakley 4-10-0 C Bishop (6) 00- PACO FILLY 47 Mrs N Evans 4-10-0 0- CULTURE SHOCK 15 R Hannon 3-8-10 S Levey (4) S Donohoe (9) 00- INCH PINCHER 32 Rae Guest 3-8-10 6.15 Fillies’ Novice Stakes (Div II: £3,881: 7f) (10) O Murphy 1 (10) 32- PEACE TERMS 21 (BF) R Beckett 4-10-0 S Levey 2 (6) 32/3- PROMISING 259 R Hannon 4-10-0 BE MY ANGEL H Candy 3-8-10 Fran Berry 3 (3) 2- COSMIC LOVE 17 W Haggas 3-8-10 Georgia Cox (3) 4 (8) DOLLY MIXTURE John Best 3-8-10 J Haynes 5 (5) D C Costello 6 (9) 55- LA MERNANCIA 10 J Osborne 3-8-10 0- LULU STAR 109 Miss J Feilden 3-8-10 Shelley Birkett (3) 7 (7) S Donohoe 8 (4) 05- NOW SAY YES 14 D Lanigan 3-8-10 SAYF SHAMAL C Appleby 3-8-10 T Marquand 9 (1) 0- TOUGH LASS 17 G Peckham 3-8-10 L Morris 10 (2) 4-7 Promising, 9-2 Cosmic Love, 7-1 Peace Terms, 8-1 Sayf Shamal, 16-1 Be My Angel, 33-1 La Mernancia, Now Say Yes, 66-1 others. 6.45 Handicap (£3,105: 1m) (14) 1 (14) 0000- AMERICAN PATROL 39 N Mulholland 4-9-7 P J McDonald L Keniry 2 (6) 0300- LORD MURPHY 11 (T) D M Loughnane 5-9-6 3 (10) 0063- ST PATRICK'S DAY 16 (V,D) J Jenkins 6-9-6 T J Murphy A Kirby 4 (7) 0000- TORCH 194 (P) J Butler 5-9-6 R Tate 5 (5) 0000- ST JAMES'S PARK 66 Ralph J Smith 5-9-6 P Bradley (5) 6 (2) 0500- MUNSARIM 257 (B,C,D) L Carter 11-9-6 Hollie Doyle 7 (13) 0600- HENRY GRACE 29 (B,CD) J Fox 7-9-5 Nicola Currie (5) 8 (1) 3040- PEAK HILL 32 A Wintle 5-9-5 Fran Berry 9 (11) 4325- SATCHVILLE FLYER 8 (C) P D Evans 7-9-5 R Hornby 10 (4) 2524- DOR'S LAW 29 (P,BF) D Ivory 5-9-4 11(12) 4151- COOKIE RING 20 (T,CD) K Stubbs 7-9-4 Faye McManoman (7) C Bishop 12 (8) 2064- TARSEEKH 24 (B) C Gordon 5-9-4 W A Carson 13 (3) 0100- ALTAIRA 79 (B) A Carroll 7-9-4 0632LIVING LEADER 7 (CD) G Harris 9-9-2 L Morris 14 (9) 7-2 Dor's Law, 6-1 Cookie Ring, 8-1 Living Leader, Satchville Flyer, Torch, 10-1 Peak Hill, 12-1 Henry Grace, Lord Murphy, Tarseekh, 14-1 others. 7.15 Handicap (3-Y-O: £3,752: 1m) (7) Hollie Doyle 1 (1) 003- PHYSICAL POWER 38 R Hannon 9-5 L Morris 2 (3) 302- GOLDEN IMAGE 15 (BF) J Portman 9-4 D C Costello 3 (2) 1014- CARP KID 6 (D) J Osborne 9-4 J Duern (3) 4 (6) 306- CLASSIC CHARM 17 D Ivory 9-4 S Levey 5 (5) 1006- STRAIGHT ASH 50 (P) R Hannon 9-3 P J McDonald 6 (4) 040- BLACK MEDUSA 24 P Cole 9-2 A Kirby 7 (7) 6065- SHERIFF 51 Michael Bell 9-2 11-4 Golden Image, 7-2 Physical Power, 5-1 Carp Kid, Sheriff, 6-1 Black Medusa, 7-1 Straight Ash, 16-1 Classic Charm. trust the mud-lover Wild West Wind has a fine record at Chepstow when the mud is flying and can make the most of his favoured conditions to land the Coral Welsh Grand National (2.05) there today (Rob Wright writes). This improving chaser has had just four starts over fences since graduating from the smaller obstacles 12 months ago, winning three of them, and appeared to have something up his sleeve when winning over three miles on heavy ground at this track last month. Chepstow provides a unique test, as not only is the course unusually undulating but the heavy ground here seems unlike anywhere else and few horses truly seem to relish the testing conditions. That is to the advantage of Wild West Wind, who has won two of his three starts in such circumstances and looking likely to win when falling at the last on the other attempt. Usually a good jumper, the Tom George-trained nine-year-old seems likely to appreciate this first try at a marathon trip and he rates good value at the 8-1 generally on offer. 7.45 Fillies’ Handicap (£12,450: 1m) (6) 1 (5) 1420- VENTURA BLUES 94 (P,CD) R Hannon 4-9-7 T Marquand 2 (6) 51d1- STELLAR SURPRISE 10 (T,D) S C Williams 4-9-6 P J McDonald W Cox (5) 3 (2) 5155- HIDDEN STEPS 50 (H,D) A Balding 4-9-6 L Keniry 4 (3) 6211- DANCE TEACHER 17 (CD) D Elsworth 4-9-1 T Hamilton 5 (4) 6356- NORMANDIE LADY 95 R Fahey 5-8-13 6 (1) 3012- TITAN GODDESS 16 (D) Mike Murphy 6-8-5 Nicola Currie (5) 5-2 Dance Teacher, 11-4 Stellar Surprise, 4-1 Ventura Blues, 5-1 Titan Goddess, 7-1 Hidden Steps, 10-1 Normandie Lady. 8.15 Handicap (£15,563: 1m 7f 218y) (10) (4) 0424- LORD GEORGE 21 (V,C) J Fanshawe 5-9-13 D Muscutt Fran Berry (10) 1224/ GWAFA 447J P Webber 7-9-9 W Cox (5) (5) 1605- HAINES 28 (CD) A Balding 7-9-9 D C Costello (8) 5600- SAM MISSILE 120 (C) J Osborne 5-9-8 T Eaves (3) 0036- COSMELLI 21 (B) Miss G Kelleway 5-9-7 (7) 1414- CLOWANCE ONE 123 (B,CD,BF) K Stubbs 6-9-7 T Hamilton 7 (6) 0121- VELVET REVOLUTION 28 (CD) M Botti 5-9-5 M Harley A Kirby 8 (2) 3131- SUNBLAZER 24 (T,CD) K Bailey 8-9-5 D Tudhope 9 (1) 2301- ROYAL RESERVE 9 (C,D) D O'Meara 5-9-4 L Morris 10 (9) 0024- CLIFF FACE 24 (B,C) Sir M Prescott 5-9-2 100-30 Velvet Revolution, 9-2 Lord George, 5-1 Royal Reserve, 6-1 Sunblazer, 7-1 Clowance One, 10-1 Cliff Face, Sam Missile, 14-1 Haines, 16-1 others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 8.45 Handicap (3-Y-O: £6,469: 6f) (6) 1523- MONTAGUE 7 J Osborne 9-7 D C Costello 1215- OUR MAN IN HAVANA 17 (D) R Price 9-5 W Cox (5) 2422- CHOICE ENCOUNTER 30 Michael Bell 9-4 C Noble (5) 624- MUSICAL THEATRE 49 D Simcock 8-13 O Murphy 4300- FALCON'S VISION 98 D Simcock 8-11 D Muscutt 232-4 MOTHER OF DRAGONS 4 Phil McEntee 8-8 Nicola Currie (5) 11-4 Choice Encounter, Musical Theatre, 7-2 Montague, 4-1 Falcon's Vision, 13-2 Our Man In Havana, 14-1 Mother Of Dragons. 1 2 3 4 5 6 (6) (5) (2) (3) (1) (4) 9.15 Handicap (£3,105: 1m 2f 219y) (14) 0035- THAQAFFA 16 (H) A Murphy 5-9-7 M Harley 6035- DOLPHIN VILLAGE 11 (H) Shaun Harris 8-9-5 A Mullen 6400- CONKERING HERO 22 (V) J Tuite 4-9-5 O Murphy /566- FREEDOM FIGHTER 98 (T,B) T Pinfield 8-9-2 A Beech (7) 6066- TYRSAL 38 (C) C Lines 7-9-2 Hollie Doyle 2/00- DIAMOND REFLECTION 7 (T) A Dunn 6-9-2 D C Costello /102- VICTORIOUSLY 11 (P) A Brown 6-9-2 L Morris 00/5- BOGARDUS 19J (C) P Holmes 7-9-1 C Lee (3) 3600- GEE SIXTY SIX 86 M Tompkins 4-8-12 J Haynes 1254- BETSALOTTIE 24 (D) J Bridger 5-8-12 W A Carson 0600- THE GAY CAVALIER 11 (T,CD) John Ryan 7-8-12 P J McDonald 12(13) 4005- ROWLESTONERENDEZVU 24 A Carroll 5-8-7 W Cox (5) 13 (8) 4600- GARCON DE SOLEIL 28 M Blanshard 5-8-7 Nicola Currie (5) K O'Neill 14 (1) 0000- CLANDON 42 B Johnson 5-8-7 7-2 Victoriously, 9-2 Thaqaffa, 13-2 Betsalottie, 10-1 Dolphin Village, Rowlestonerendezvu, The Gay Cavalier, Tyrsal, 12-1 others. 1 (12) 2 (6) 3 (4) 4 (7) 5 (5) 6 (2) 7 (14) 8 (10) 9 (3) 10 (9) 11(11) Yesterday’s racing results Southwell Going: standard 12.55 (4f 214yd) 1, Magic Pulse (D C Costello, 2-1 fav); 2, Snaffled (5-2); 3, Cool Baby (7-1). 9 ran. NR: Tea Rattle. 1Nl, 3Nl. D C Griffiths. 1.30 (1m 13yd) 1, One More Chance (A Mullen, 4-1); 2, Love Rat (13-2); 3, Heather Lark (7-4 fav). 10 ran. NR: Dawn Dancer. 2l, nk. D H Brown. 2.05 (1m 13yd) 1, Aiya (Oisin Murphy, 5-2 jt-fav); 2, Far Dawn (5-2 jt-fav); 3, Going Native (9-1). 7 ran. 1l, 3Nl. A Balding. 2.40 (6f 16yd) 1, Kody Ridge (B A Curtis, 16-1); 2, Monte Cinq (33-1); 3, Amazing Grazing (40-1). 10 ran. NR: Crosse Fire. Nk, 1l. R Fell. 3.10 (6f 16yd) 1, Declamation (R Winston, 8-15 fav); 2, Blistering Dancer (50-1); 3, Caledonian Gold (6-1). 13 ran. NR: Poppy May. 5l, 1Ol. J Butler. 3.40 (1m 6f 21yd) 1, Serenity Now (Miss A McCain, 7-2); 2, Best Example (11-2); 3, Hewouldwouldnthe (14-1). 9 ran. NR: Tynecastle Park. 2Kl, 1Nl. B Ellison. Placepot: £599.30. Quadpot: £253.20. 6 Yesterday’s meeting at Wetherby was abandoned due to waterlogging. Kempton Park Going: standard/slow 5.45 (6f) 1, Istanbul Pasha (Fran Berry, 81); 2, Summer Thunder (13-8 fav); 3, Inuk (5-1). 8 ran. NR: Harvest Day. Kl, 1N. P D Evans. 6.15 (6f) 1, New Rich (Edward Greatrex, 61); 2, Rapid Rise (6-1); 3, Dalness Express (25-1). 12 ran. Kl, 1N. Eve Johnson Houghton. 6.45 (6f) 1, Pulsating (Edward Greatrex, 21); 2, Olaudah (11-8 fav); 3, Burauq (14-1). 10 ran. NR: Tally’s Song. 1l, 4l. Archie Watson. 7.15 (1m 3f 219yd) 1, Night Of Glory (Oisin Murphy, 30-100 fav); 2, Firmage Burg (152); 3, Arctic Chief (100-1). 4 ran. 2l, 2Nl. A M Balding. 7.45 (1m 3f 219yd) 1, Flight Of Fantasy (K T O’Neill, 3-1 fav); 2, Sonnetist (12-1); 3, Top Beak (6-1). 12 ran. 5l, Ol. H J L Dunlop. 8.15 (6f) 1, Shamsaya (R Havlin, 7-1); 2, Eljaddaaf (9-2); 3, Excellent George (9-1). 11 ran. Kl, Ol. S Crisford. 8.45 (1m) 1, Happy Escape (T J Murphy, 12-1); 2, Exit Europe (7-2 fav); 3, Steal The Scene (9-1). 13 ran. NR: Magic Mirror. 1l, ns. N P Mulholland. Placepot: £32.80. Quadpot: £6.60. 24 2G S Saturday January 6 2018 | the times Sport Giles Smith Revealed: farcical training diary of angry Mr Wenger “O nce again, we got a very bad decision against us. We have to account in our preparations for that’s what we have to face.” (Arsène Wenger, speaking after Chelsea were awarded a penalty in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal on Wednesday.) Exclusive extracts from Wenger’s training diary: Thursday morning The new drills seem to be going well. Adapt and survive, they say. Well, we’re doing our best. This morning the team warmed up as usual but then, instead of breaking into units for rondos, we did 15 minutes on farcical decisions. This was essentially a six-a-side game with Boro Primorac refereeing and giving arbitrary and inexplicable penalties — all the while dressed as a vicar with his trousers around his ankles, just to emphasise the farcical aspect. Tomorrow Boro has agreed to wear stockings and suspenders, just to mix it up a bit. Meanwhile, to convey that the world is an unfair place where bad and unreasonable things happen, Steve Bould went out to the car park with a baseball bat and battered a few headlights. Then we sent the squad off to find out whose cars had been damaged, brought them back in and got Tony Colbert, our fitness coach, to measure their recovery time. Some room for improvement there, but it will come. Then we worked on set plays before concluding with some light credulity-stretching. Thursday afternoon Opened the session with a team meeting. Across the top of the whiteboard, I wrote in big letters nervously. “Well, you know . . . swings and roundabouts?” I exploded. The bottle of water I was holding hit the wall behind Mustafi’s head and burst, soaking everyone in the vicinity. “Wrong!” I screamed. “Weren’t you listening? Not swings and roundabouts! Not for Arsenal! Only the Manchester clubs and Chelsea can afford swings AND roundabouts. For us, it’s only ever swings. It’s only. Ever. Swings.” I was trembling with anger. I stopped the meeting and sent the players out to run round the pitch ten times and instructed Bould and Primorac to trip them up randomly while they were doing it. But especially Mustafi. Friday morning Our next game is away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup, so, in the video analysis room, we went over the Zapruder film of the Kennedy assassination. “So, now you’ve had the chance to have a look at it,” I said, “who was at fault?” Alexandre Lacazette was first to reply. “It’s got to be Lee Harvey Oswald from the book depository for me. All day long.” At that, Ainsley Maitland-Niles let out a sigh and said, “Honestly, Laco, you’ll be saying Americans actually went to the moon next!” Everybody laughed. “No,” Maitland-Niles continued. “The angles are all wrong. Plus the extent and direction of the blood spatter doesn’t support the lone assassin theory. All the visual evidence points to a supplementary shooter on the grassy knoll, and that, in turn, raises the whole question of Mafia involvement, not to mention the possibility of government collusion. It wouldn’t be prudent to rule out Mike Dean at this point, either.” Bright lad, that Maitland-Niles. Reckon I’ll start him against Forest. Friday afternoon Wenger’s mood Someone has smashed up my has not been car. Thought I made it clear helped by the to Bould: not the big silver reaction to his Volvo. But maybe it wasn’t conspiracy Bould. Maybe this goes theories much deeper . . . the heading “Concerning Coincidences.” Then, using pins and coloured string, I gathered the overwhelming evidence of the entirely premeditated campaign against us by referees: the decisions against us away to Stoke City, Watford, Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion and now at home to Chelsea. By the end of my two-hour lecture I had not only demonstrated that Eden Hazard should have been given a yellow card after Héctor Bellerín kicked him, I had also conclusively linked Mike Dean, not just to the scene of the crime at The Hawthorns, but also to the Illuminati, an elite cabal of reptilians in human form, led by David Elleray and the Kardashian family, who rule the world according to their dark, anti-Arsenal desires. Then I asked if there were any questions. After a long silence, Shkodran Mustafi put his hand up. “To be fair, boss, I was marginally offside for that goal against Tottenham. And West Brom should probably have had a pen at our place. And we got a really soft one, late doors, at Burnley. And if the ref spots Jack’s dive the other night, it’s a second yellow and he’s not on the pitch to score our equaliser. So . . .” I was furious. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My voice was low but I was struggling to control it. “What exactly is your point?” The room had gone very quiet. Mustafi looked around at the other players who shifted Mourinho crisis appeal gathering pace Weary travellers W lose moral compass e cried out, and you responded. We’re thrilled to announce that, following last week’s major launch in this space, our José Aid campaign totaliser now stands at £2.20 on its way to our declared target of £75 million to boost Manchester United’s insufficient (according to José Mourinho) transfer coffers. On top of the £1.20 that we personally pledged to get the ball rolling, we were moved to receive a promise of 50p from an anonymous Chelseasupporting donor, whose anonymous brother-in-law Couch potato’s guide to the weekend’s TV has generously pledged to match that donation, thus making a guaranteed £1 in total and nudging us tantalisingly closer to our goal. And, yes, a Chelsea supporter: heart-warming signs, there, of the football community setting partisanship to one side and coming together in the interests of making United financially competitive again. Our next move: a bucket collection outside football grounds. We’ll get back to you. Today 8am Tennis, Hopman Cup from Perth, Eurosport 2. 8.25am Cricket, first Test second day, South Africa v India (Cape Town), Sky Sports Cricket/Main Event. 9.30am Racing preview, from Sandown and Wincanton, ITV4. 11.30am Football, Serie A, Torino v Bologna, BT Sport 1. 12.45pm Football, FA Cup third round, Fleetwood v Leicester, BBC One. 12.45pm Darts, BDO Lakeside World Professional Championship, Channel 4. “W e have to show them respect,” Jürgen Klopp said, referring to his decision to allow Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané to fly all the way to Ghana and back for the Confederation of African Football’s annual awards ceremony just 24 hours 3pm Rugby union, Pro14, Ospreys v Cardiff Blues, Sky Sports Main Event/ Action. 3pm Tennis, Qatar Open, Eurosport 2. 5pm Football, FA Cup, Norwich v Chelsea, BT Sport 2. 5.15pm Football, Serie A, Roma v Atalanta, BT Sport 1. 5.30pm Rugby union, Pro14, Leinster v Ulster, BBC Two Northern Ireland, Sky Sports Main Event/Action. 7.30pm Football, Serie A Cagliari v Juventus, BT Sport 1. 8pm Golf, Sentry Tournament of Champions, Hawaii, Sky before Liverpool were due to play Everton in the third round of the FA Cup. Klopp’s respect was karmic, you could argue, in the sense that, at Thursday evening’s glittering event, Salah received the African Player of the Year award, and Mané was voted runner-up. Whether his players then flew back, invigorated by the love, to run rings around Everton last night or fell asleep with jet lag before the kick-off, we write too soon to know. But that’s all irrelevant. It’s the principle. Because, frankly, Klopp was wrong. The respectful thing to do (in the sense of respectful to the Sports Golf. 11pm Cricket, fifth Test fourth day, Australia v England (Sydney), BT Sport 1. Tomorrow 2am Tennis, Sydney International, BT Sport 2, and 6am on Eurosport 2. 8.25am Cricket, first Test third day, South Africa v India, Sky Sports Cricket/ Main Event. 9am Tennis, Brisbane International, Eurosport 2. 12.30pm Darts, BDO Lakeside World Professional Championship, Channel 4. 1.40pm sport of football as a whole) would have been to explain to Salah and Mané that they play a team game, with its own in-built annual honours system, and that swanning around in lounge suits at awards ceremonies at any point in the season — and even after it — is unacceptable, and continues to be unacceptable whether the ceremony is seven hours away in Accra, two hours away in Park Lane or just up the road in Knowsley. There was an important stand to be taken here. Disappointingly, Klopp, who is usually unerring in these larger moral areas, sat down. Football, FA Cup, Shrewsbury v West Ham, BBC One. 2.30pm Rugby union, Premiership, Wasps v Saracens, BT Sport. 3.15pm Football, La Liga, Barcelona v Levante, Sky Sports Main Event. 3.30pm Football, FA Cup, Nottingham Forest v Arsenal, BT Sport 2. 11pm Golf, Sentry Tournament of Champions (Hawaii), Sky Sports Golf. 11pm Cricket, fifth Test final day (Sydney), Australia v England, BT Sport 1.