sport Saturday April 7 2018 Atherton watches McIlroy Battling second round puts him in contention Pages 14-17 Cipriani and his mum Rugby star opens up to Matthew Syed Pages 18-19 I was offered Pogba in January, says Pep Guardiola’s surprise claim as City look to win the title in derby today, pages 2-7 Farewell to a darts legend Giles Smith on the man who changed a sport Page 24 2 2G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Manchester derby United star was offered by agent, Guardiola claims 6 Pogba tweets his surprise at City manager’s revelation before key clash Paul Hirst Man City v Man United On the eve of what could turn out to be the sweetest victory of his managerial career, Pep Guardiola yesterday made the shock claim that he was offered the chance to sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United in January. Guardiola’s Manchester City will clinch the Premier League title this evening in record time and in the most satisfying of circumstances if they beat their local rivals at the Etihad Stadium. José Mourinho used to trade heavy blows with Guardiola during their intense rivalry in Spain but the United manager has given up digging at his adversary, conceding that City fully deserve to have opened up a 16-point gap on their neighbours. “The table is always the reflection of the season,” Mourinho said, almost resigned to his fate. And now he has another problem on his hands. Mourinho and his squad have no doubt been unsettled by Guardiola’s claim that Pogba, along with his former player Henrikh Mkhitaryan, was offered to City by Mino Raiola, the players’ agent, in January. “Two months ago he [Raiola] offered me Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us,” Guardiola said. “I’m surprised because I am a dog.” The second sentence, delivered in a sarcastic tone, was a reference to a recent interview in which Raiola described Guardiola as a “fantastic coach [but] as a person he’s an absolute zero, a coward, a dog”. Sir Alex Ferguson famously said that it was like “oil and water” when he and Raiola clashed, and it seems that Guardiola also has a combustible relationship with the agent. Raiola has never forgiven Guardiola for offloading Zlatan Ibrahimovic from Barcelona to AC Milan in 2010, thus denying his client the Champions League winner’s medal that still eludes him. Guardiola refused to take Raiola’s barb lying down and unleashed a lengthy response dripping with sarcasm. “I agree with him,” Guardiola said. “I am a bad guy. I am a dog. “He was interested in bringing Mkhitaryan and Pogba to play with us [but] he has to protect his players. He has to know he cannot bring the players to a guy like me. And comparing [me to] Etihad Stadium, kick-off 5.30pm TV Live Sky Sports Premier League Radio BBC 5 Live Live updates and highlights on Times app Referee M Atkinson Man City (probable; 4-3-3) Ederson Walker Stones Delph Laporte De Bruyne Fernandinho Gündogan B Silva Jesus Sterling Lukaku Sánchez Pogba Young Bailly Lingard Mata Matic Smalling De Gea Valencia Man United (probable; 4-2-3-1) a dog is bad. He has to respect the dogs. He deserves his players to play with better guys. But he knows as well I am a top manager, [so] thank you.” So was Guardiola tempted to bury the hatchet with Raiola and say “yes” to his offer? “I said, ‘No’. We don’t have the money enough to buy Pogba because he is so expensive. He is an incredible player. A top, top player.” Soon after Guardiola’s comments became known, Pogba responded on Twitter with a post that read: “Say what?” Senior United sources were quick to stress that they would not have sold Pogba to City or any other club in January, and that stance will not change this summer. But perhaps the most worrying aspect of this whole situation for Mourinho is that, when asked about Guardiola’s claims yesterday, Raiola did not deny offering Pogba to City. The Italian, who also has United’s Romelu Lukaku and Sergio Romero on his books, claimed that he had never spoken to Guardiola about Pogba or Mkhitaryan, who joined Arsenal in a swap deal with Alexis Sánchez in January. “I never spoke to Pep Guardiola,” Raiola said. “I offer players not to him but to Manchester City, which is a fantastic club with a fantastic manager. Who I talk about, I will not comment. That I leave to the club’s responsibility and account.” Pogba was not popular with Mourinho in January. The manager was annoyed with the midfielder’s lack of focus and duly dropped him the next month. But it was never Mourinho’s intention, nor that of Ed Woodward, the executive vice-chairman, to sell Pogba, so what was Raiola doing hawking his players to their rivals? Both of their positions have been undermined here. There was always an acceptance at United that doing the deals with Raiola to bring Ibrahimovic, Lukaku, Pogba and Mkhitaryan was a risk given the agent’s poor relationship with Ferguson and other managers. “Maybe Ed got in too deep with the devil,” one source said. Mourinho will suffer further embarrassment today if City beat United to clinch the title with six games to spare, beating United’s record of securing the trophy with five games to go in 2000-01. The United manager tried to downplay the significance of a defeat. “I won the title at Chelsea against Manchester United,” he said. “We beat United 3-0 and we won the title at Stamford Bridge in 2005-06. But it was not the end of the world, Manchester United didn’t finish. It was just football.” Guardiola insisted that he would not take any extra satisfaction from winning the Premier League against the man with whom he feuded for two years during their time in charge of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. “I have many rivalries, especially with agents,” Guardiola said. “I have respect for José. When we arrived here it was, ‘Pep arrives and they are both together here.’ But it’s two years and nothing happened in a special way.” Guardiola believes that United and the other top teams in the table will run City closer next season. “This [margin], is it going to happen again? Never,” he said. “Are we going to win 18 games in a row again? No way. Impossible.” Given his team will have six more matches to win the league if they slip up today, Guardiola will rest several players as he thinks his team can overcome a three-goal deficit on Tuesday and knock Liverpool out of the Champions League. City would not receive trophy until May 6 Paul Hirst While Manchester City will win the title if they beat Manchester United today, they will have to wait almost a month to get their hands on the trophy. City will open up an unassailable 19point gap on their neighbours in second place if they defeat them at the Etihad Stadium and this would be a hugely embarrassing moment for United and one of great pride for City, who would have clinched the title in record time. But Pep Guardiola’s team will not get to increase the humiliation by lifting the trophy on the pitch after the match. Premier League convention dictates that the presentation takes place towards the end of the season, usually after the final home game. City’s last match at the Etihad is against Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday May 9 but, given that it is a midweek fixture, the trophy is likely to be presented three days before when Guardiola’s men host Huddersfield Town on May 6. City fans may be annoyed at the rule, but it is common practice in the Premier League. Leicester City and Chelsea both won the title early in the past two seasons and had to wait until their final home game to get the silverware. Away fans are usually kept behind 20 minutes after the game but, on this occasion, the gates will be opened straight after the final whistle so United fans can make a quick exit, as if their team lose there are fears they could be antagonised by the celebrating home crowd. De Bruyne has got real bite but the times | Saturday April 7 2018 3 2G S Sport this is how United can stop Pep’s men by Tom Clarke VICTORIA HAYDN/MAN CITY VIA GETTY IMAGES premier league table as it stands P Man City..............31 Man United.........31 Liverpool............32 Spurs....................31 Chelsea................31 Arsenal................31 Burnley................31 Leicester..............31 Everton...............32 Bournemouth....32 Watford...............32 Newcastle ........... 31 Brighton..............31 West Ham............31 Swansea..............31 Huddersfield......32 Crystal Palace....32 Southampton.....31 Stoke...................32 West Brom..........32 W 27 21 19 19 17 15 12 11 11 9 10 9 8 8 8 8 7 5 6 3 D 3 5 9 7 5 6 10 10 7 10 7 8 10 9 7 7 9 13 9 11 L 1 5 4 5 9 10 9 10 14 13 15 14 13 14 16 17 16 13 17 18 F 88 60 75 62 53 58 29 47 38 39 41 31 28 39 25 25 31 29 29 25 A 21 23 35 26 30 41 27 43 53 51 57 40 42 57 44 53 50 47 61 51 GD Pts 67 84 37 68 40 66 36 64 23 56 17 51 2 46 4 43 -15 40 -12 37 -16 37 -9 35 -14 34 -18 33 -19 31 -28 31 -19 30 -18 28 -32 27 -26 20 A feature of Manchester City’s play this season has been an attack in which the ball moves from one side of the pitch to the other before being crossed back into the box. So Manchester United must have a plan to stop City getting space on either wing —and this season José Mourinho has already shown how he can do that. In the derby at Old Trafford in December, United played 4-2-3-1. This can become 6-3-1 when opponents have the ball, with the two holding midfielders helping to defend central areas and ensure that the full backs do not get dragged out of position. Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay offer reliable options alongside ROJO V SMALLING V Nemanja Matic in central midfield and it will be interesting to see whether Mourinho, the United manager, adapts his system to accommodate Paul Pogba. City won the previous derby 2-1, but both goals came from set pieces and United generally managed to stop their rivals’ fluid attack from open play. YOUNG V MATIC V HERRERA V 6 Games to spare City will have if they win the title today — more than any other side in top-flight history VALENCIA V The first image shows City starting their attack with Leroy Sané down the right wing. Not only have United got their four defenders, Antonio Valencia, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young, in position but Matic and Herrera — the two holding midfielders — have already tracked back to the edge of the penalty area to provide additional cover. 3 RASHFORD V Guardiola could join Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti by winning title plus two other big European leagues De Bruyne gets to grips with the Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo in training ahead of today’s Manchester derby LINGARD V MARTIAL V City work the ball to the left wing, and the second image shows that not only are United’s six defensive men evenly covering the penalty area and just outside it, but attackers Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford have tracked back to make sure City’s threat on either flank is thwarted. Fabian Delph, the City left back, is on the ball and puts in a cross from distance that results in Sané having a shot saved by David De Gea. U YOUNG VALENCIA HERRERA V V SMALLING V JONES V MKHITARYAN V U MATIC MARTIAL V U DARMIAN watch how it works Tactical video guide to how United will attempt to shut down Guardiola’s City On mobile, tablet and at thetimes.co.uk In the 0-0 draw against Liverpool in October, we again saw Mourinho’s 6-3-1 defensive system. In this image the central midfielders Herrera and Matic are in the box as part of the defence and the attackers Young, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Anthony Martial are behind the ball. Again, a full back is on the ball — in this case Joe Gomez — and he crosses for Emre Can, who misses. So United may stop interchanges out wide and around the box but must beware City defenders crossing from deep. Warning for away fans in hospitality exclusive Paul Hirst Any Manchester United supporters who sit in the Tunnel Club hospitality seats at the Etihad Stadium this evening have been warned that they could be ejected if they antagonise home fans or wear United shirts. City introduced a new hospitality section in the Colin Bell Stand last summer where supporters can pay up to £15,000 a year to watch Pep Guardiola’s team. As part of the package, members get to watch the match from padded leather seats in the lower tier directly behind the dugouts. But on a number of occasions it has become clear that opposition fans have been seated in the new hospitality area. In August, when the Tunnel Club was launched, a number of Everton fans were warned by stewards to calm down and take their seats when they jumped up and celebrated Wayne Rooney’s opening goal. City accept there may be some United fans in these seats today. Some members bought additional tickets at the start of the season for entertaining purposes and could bring guests who do not support City. Other hospitality suites across the country also contain away fans. But there is a higher than usual risk of flashpoints occurring given the rivalry between the two clubs and how much is at stake on the pitch. A pamphlet issued with tickets, which is sent to every member regardless of the game, has reminded them about the code of conduct. It reads: “You have purchased tickets in the areas which seat home supporters only. We therefore expect all supporters to behave in a manner appropriate to their surroundings. “No away colours are to be worn. Failure to comply could result in you being asked to leave the stadium.” City are confident that the match will pass off without incident but stewards will be watching for anyone who defies the warning. City fans, meanwhile, will be asked not to invade the pitch as the club are worried that it could damage the surface before Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg against Liverpool. Watch all the goals See in-game clips, goals and post-match highlights from the Manchester derby on the Times app Download now from the App store and Google Play 4 2G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Manchester derby I did it my way: how Guardiola Manchester City’s spectacular success has justified manager’s belief that possession-based football is the only way to win, Oliver Kay explains P ep Guardiola likes to ask questions. He fires them off, rat-a-tat-tat, even when he is 99 per cent sure that he knows the answer. During his years at Bayern Munich he would pick the brains of Xabi Alonso and others who had played or coached in England. “Could a team play out from the back like this in the Premier League?” “Would the players accept it?” “Would their opponents allow them to?” He would listen to their answers, but he was sure he knew — 99 per cent sure, at least. He was warned that the Premier League is different. Alonso no doubt told him the story of his bruising introduction to English football with Liverpool at a windswept Reebok Stadium on a late-summer day in 2004. “It was wild,” the Spanish midfielder recalled years later. “Long ball, second ball, big physical players — Kevin Nolan, Kevin Davies up front, Sam Allardyce chewing gum and shouting orders from his technical area. When Bolton won a free kick, the army from the defence moved forward and the ground began to shake.” That remains the cerebral outsider’s view of English football — the “wet Wednesday night at Stoke” theory as seen from outside the prism. Guardiola listened to everything that he heard from Alonso, as well as from Rafael Benítez, Mikel Arteta and others, and he concluded that, whatever the accepted wisdom, whatever the weather, whatever the attempts to reduce every match to a war of attrition, the same rules could apply — that possession could be not just nine-tenths of the law, but the whole law. For Manchester City, this season’s Premier League title has long been a matter of when, not if. Beat Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium this evening and they will be confirmed as champions with six games to spare. That would be unprecedented not just in the Premier League era but in English football history — three teams, most recently United in 2001, have done it with five games to spare — and just short of the German record of seven games, which Guardiola’s Bayern set in 2014. City’s has been an extreme performance and should they maintain their present rate for the next seven games, they will comfortably surpass the record number of points (95) and goals (103) in a Premier League season. Even more extreme, though, is the way they have done it. Among the past eight Premier League champions, spanning the years in which detailed data is available from Opta, the average share of possession per game was 53.9 per cent. For the first five of those seasons, the figures were broadly similar, with the highest share (56.9 per cent) recorded by Chelsea in 2009-10. Chelsea won the title in 2014-15 with the lowest such figure then recorded over that period (54.1 per cent), but the following season fo Leicester City did it L with an average of w just 44.7 per cent ju possession. p Guardiola arrived in Manchester at a ttime when possession football, never truly fo ssynonymous with English tastes, was E out of fashion. o ““Possession is not rrewarded like it was before,” Arsène b Wenger, the Arsenal W manager, reflected in m late 2015. That, as la much as their 27 m wins and d 88 goals l in 31 games, is the remarkable thing about City’s impending title triumph. They have done it in a way that not just bucks the trend but flies in the face of English football orthodoxy. Their average share of possession per game is 66.6 per cent. The five teams below them range from 58.7 per cent (Tottenham Hotspur) to 53.6 per cent (United). And while some like to equate possession stats with sterile, cautious football, City’s football, built around the creativity of David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne and the speed and skilful wing play of Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sané, has been the opposite. As Guardiola said a few years back: “You have to pass the ball with a clear intention, with the aim of making it into the opposition’s goal. It’s not about passing for the sake of it.” Some like to suggest that Guardiola has succeeded this season precisely because he diluted his possession-based principles — that he has, after all, had to adapt to the Premier League, just like he was warned he would have to. The evidence contradicts that. During a challenging first season, in which City finished third, they had an average of 60.9 per cent possession and 510 successful passes per game with a completion rate of 85.5 per cent. This season it is 66.6 per cent possession, 662 successful passes per game and an 88.9 per cent completion rate. Guardiola, his staff and his players have been more zealous, not less, in their desire to pass their way to the title. Guardiola always insisted that it could be done — but not with Joe Hart, the goalkeeper he immediately jettisoned, and not with any of the four ageing full backs (Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gaël Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov) that he inherited from Manuel Pellegrini. He has spent an enormous amount of money (£191.7 million in his first summer and £284.2 million this season, albeit raising more than £100 million in sales), but to depict this as purely a triumph of chequebook-management would be absurd. If anything, his record in the transfer market has been hit and miss. Of the players he has signed, only Ederson, Kyle Walker and Sané have been regular starters this season. John Stones (14 Premier League starts), Gabriel Jesus (14), Bernardo Silva (11), Danilo (nine), IIkay Gündogan (nine) and Oleksandr Zinchenko (five) have played their part, but the times | Saturday April 7 2018 5 2G S Sport bent the English game to his will LLUIS GENE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES Guardiola is hoisted in the air by his Barcelona players after his first league title in 2009 and, left, he examines the trophy after winning the Bundesliga with Bayern in 2014 Road to winning his first title with each club BARCELONA 2008-09 Previous season: Third under Frank Rijkaard Money spent that summer £81m Points won title by 9 Goals scored 105 Goals conceded 35 Cup success: Won Champions League and Copa del Rey BAYERN MUNICH 2013-14 Previous season: Champions under Jupp Heynckes Money spent that summer £54m Points won title by 19 Goals scored 94 Goals conceded 23 Cup success: Won German Cup, Uefa Super Cup, World Club Cup MANCHESTER CITY 2017-18 Previous season: Third under Pep Guardiola Money spent that summer £255.7m Points ahead by 16 Goals scored 88 Goals conceded *Man City 21 stats so far Cup success: League Cup winners this season Guardiola’s two most expensive acquisitions, Aymeric Laporte and Benjamin Mendy, have started just four games apiece, the former a midseason arrival and the latter sidelined by injury. Sané, at 22, has added another dimension to the attack. Walker has brought the speed and intensity that an ageing Zabaleta and Sagna could not. Ederson has done what Claudio Bravo could not — impressing not only as a shot-stopper but with his superb distribution, which has made the last line of defence the first line of attack. Ederson is prepared to kick the ball long as a get-out-of-jail card and as a genuine creative option, though again talk of a Guardiola conversion, to pragmatic football, is overstated. City’s proportion of long passes (6 per cent of their total passes, which includes those sublime raking balls from De Bruyne), is far lower than any other Premier League team Shay Given compares the No 1s Distribution This is Ederson’s greatest strength, the Manchester City goalkeeper is the best in the world when it comes to having the ball at his feet. I’m not sure if any goalkeeper in the game’s history has been so calm and so clever when passing the ball and initiating attacks. David De Gea is quite strong in De Gea this area too, but is not at the same level as Ederson. He clearly works very hard on it, and indeed lower than last season (8.8 per cent). The inescapable conclusion is that, rather than adapt to the Premier League, as so many were convinced he would have to do, Guardiola has, through relentless work on the training ground, made his players better at playing his way. Their longer-serving players, from Fernandinho to David Silva, from Nicolás Otamendi to Sterling, from De Bruyne to Sergio Agüero, some of whom faced uncertain futures this time two years ago, have all raised their game to quite spectacular effect. Guardiola was warned that he would not be able to do it this way in the Premier League: demanding creativity even when penned back in their own penalty area, even from the goalkeeper, playing with two buccaneering full backs, a box-to-box midfielder and two playmakers, plus three forwards. As well as though, and his long-range kicking can be excellent. Reflexes If Ederson is the No 1 with his feet, De Gea is the best with his reactions. There have been so many instances of him saving United in the past few seasons, getting a hand or a foot out to stop a shot that looks destined to be a goal. While we knew that Ederson was fantastic with his feet, we’ve learnt that he is very good with his hands too, and maybe it gets overlooked because of his passing ability. Physicality When De Gea arrived at United being the most talented squad in the Premier League, they are the smallest (average height 5ft 10in). United, in second place, are the third tallest — and José Mourinho is not alone in feeling that the key to success in English football is to build a team with a strong, powerful core. “Every single team that has won the league, barring none, has had power and strength at the heart of them, that spine,” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports towards the end of last season. “I just wonder whether City can play that way. Can you play that way, with those players, and win this league? That will be the real test.” It was — and it is a test that Guardiola and his players are about to pass with distinction. The greatest triumph of his glorious decade in management? No, because what he created with Barcelona, not just the trophies but the style in which they were won, will be remembered as a there were questions about his ability from crosses and getting to the ball, but he has become much more commanding. While City’s dominance of games has made it seem like Ederson has less to do, he has still shown he is strong when it comes to the physical side of the game. From corners he is very impressive, looking to set his teammates on the attack immediately. Leadership Neither is in the same league as Peter Schmeichel when it comes to barking out orders but the game has evolved and they are very good leaders. De Gea is more vociferous than Ederson but even then mostly inspires with his actions — an improbable save can also serve as a wake-up call to defenders. Ederson’s calmness, particularly when in masterpiece. And also because winning two Champions Leagues in five seasons, reaching the semi-final on the other three occasions, sets a standard that he is struggling to reach with City, as at Bayern previously. A trouncing at Anfield in Wednesday’s quarter-final first leg was a reminder that there are imperfections in his squad and his game plan, even if Liverpool have seemed like the only Premier League team with the tools and the belief to exploit it. No, the true nature of Guardiola’s triumph in Manchester is something else. It is the way that he has bent English football to his will, when everyone else was suggesting that he was the one who would have to adapt. This has been, to quote the title of Guillem Balagué’s biography of the former Barcelona coach, a different way of winning. To Guardiola, though, it is not just the right way. It is the only way. possession of the ball, is a real asset because it relaxes City’s defenders. get better as they are still quite young — De Gea 27, Ederson 24. De Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world. After that, Bayern Munich’s Reading opponents Manuel Neuer deserves a mention, while Gianluigi Buffon’s longevity Most goalkeepers in one-on-one keeps him near the top, although he situations now tend to stay on their is now 40. As for Ederson, this is the feet and while the approach first season that people here have differs depending on who the seen him properly. I have a good attacker is — Mohamed knowledge of goalkeepers across Salah may try to go around k the world but when Ederson arrived you, Harry Kane would look I had to consult Google because I to finish first time — they didn’t know much about him. are very good at making Based on this season, though, themselves big. De Gea perhaps he deserves to be spoken stands out, though, because he about among the world’s saves so many low shots with best. Overall, though, De his feet. Gea reigns supreme. 6 Shay Given was speaking Overall Ederson as part of his work with TAG Heuer to promote the It is hard to pick T TAG Heuer Premier League out any weaknesses T Pressure Test. and both are going to o 6 2G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Manchester derby The dream factory: behind the scenes at United academy Henry Winter on how the youth coaches are ensuring that a proud and historic production line continues to be highly prolific Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard still dart back across to the Manchester United academy at Carrington and practise shooting at the targets on the wall where they once learnt their game. Academy prospects chasing the same dream notice such enduring commitment to self-improvement. Scott McTominay still leaves his car round the front at Carrington, rather than in the first-team car park at the back. Academy hopefuls note this too. They also see Paul Pogba strolling over to greet his old coaches. They understand the dedication and humility required to make it at Manchester United. The focus will be on these four today, playing some part in the Manchester derby, but the head of the academy, Nicky Butt, and head of youth development, John Murtagh, are concentrating on the next generation, extending a remarkable record. “October 1937,” says Murtagh proudly of the last time that United did not have a home-grown player in their match-day squad. Teenage talent continues to emerge, such as Angel Gomes, who made his debut in the FA Cup against Yeovil Town, Aliou Traore, brought in from Paris Saint-Germain, Jim Garner, a commanding Birkenhead-born midfield player who looks a natural leader, and a potential gem in Mason Greenwood, only 16 but happily converting penalties with either foot. On a glorious Thursday morning at Carrington, Garner can be found striking the ball smoothly and unerringly and, to the approving gaze of Butt, tackling with timing and a streak of steel. Butt wandered over to have a chat with Kieran McKenna, the highly regarded under-18s coach, pausing to curl a loose ball into the net from an implausible angle. The kids notice. Garner tries a similar shot when the session breaks. Returning to their changing rooms, Garner and company walk along a corridor adorned with the image of Butt and all the glittering graduates from Best to Beckham, Charlton to Giggs and Rashford. “They obviously know Marcus and Jesse and, with the dinosaurs like myself and the other lads, they know about the history,” Butt says. By chance, United’s under19s happened to be playing in Belgrade on the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster. “We went to the hotel where they had the last meal,” Butt continues. “You’re thinking, ‘How will this work out, they’re only young kids, they won’t know anything about it.’ But it was heartwarming, touching. They had the menu [from 58] in the hotel. They got the video out. “Even the 15 and 16-year-olds went to the memorial and some of the lads visited the graves and laid wreaths. They have to know the history of the club. It’s important. I remember going to Old Trafford at least once a week for work experience. We’d walk past Sir Matt’s [Busby] office when he was alive. We knew straightaway who that was. I was made to know him by Sir Alex.” From babes to fledgelings, the history of Manchester United is greatly shaped by youth development. “The academy is massively thriving,” Butt says. “If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be in the job.” Which is why Butt can absorb the frustration of United’s under-23s enduring a wretched season. “The three biggest developers in football are Southampton, Tottenham and United. Southampton aren’t in the league. Tottenham are near the bottom and we’re near the bottom. That speaks for itself.” Butt is dismissive of the concept of Butt, left, and McKenna oversee training. ‘Everyone wants to be a No 10 now, a Messi. That’s good because they all want to play the right football, but people can’t forget how good Roy Keane and Steven Gerrard were’ u under-23s football. “If players are not in or around the first team by 20, 21, they won’t make it here,” he says. t Pogba is a case in point; not quite good enough for the first team under g Ferguson, he was far too good for F the t reserves. “When he was here it was [Paul] Scholes, [Michael] w Carrick and [Darren] Fletcher [in C midfield]. They weren’t exactly m average players. a “He went for whatever the money was — it doesn’t really m matter — and became probably m the t best midfielder in the world at the t time at Juve. If he’d stayed here and stagnated [in the h reserves], he might never have r been a name on the wall here. We b were lucky enough to get him w back. He’s a feather in our cap.” b The academy’s cap. “Our foundations stay solid whether fo it is David Moyes, Louis van Gaal G l or José Mourinho as manager,” Butt continues. “The board, the owners and [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward have told us that ‘the academy is ring-fenced, you do it how you wish’.” Butt remains very aware of Manchester City’s investment in youth, their young stars, such as Phil Foden, and contribution to England age-groups, but how many will feature this evening? “I don’t know what City’s drive is, I don’t really care,” Butt replies. “I know they have an unbelievable facility, I know what they’ve done over the last ten years and no one can take that away from them, they’ve been fantastic. “But for us, it’s about getting players into the first team and the proof will be in the pudding when we walk out in the derby, with possibly three starting. The the times | Saturday April 7 2018 7 2G S Sport TIMES PHOTOGRAPHER BRADLEY ORMESHER Below, an image of Messi cleaning his football boots keeps the youngsters grounded demand from the owners and the board is, ‘You’ve got to get players in the first team.’ We’re doing that.” He loves Mourinho’s use of academy alumni. “The funds we’ve got are the biggest in the world and we can go and get anyone we want. We are the highest developer of players and doing it at the club with the highest transfer budget, I’d guess. He came to me and said, ‘I’m the manager of the first team. You’re the manager of the academy. I’m selfish. I want to get them into winning ways. We will speak about players coming up.’ I can’t ask for any more than that. I look at what he’s done with Scott. And others. The manager rang me this morning to send a player over to him. “José Mourinho has this tag that he doesn’t give kids a chance but, if those kids are good enough, he’s going to because it’s beneficial to him. He talks to us about the academy. Sometimes he can be moody but that’s his busy side. “He sat down with the under-14 kids for half an hour before they went over to Portugal and asked them about their beliefs. He’s the manager of the biggest club in the world. For me, he’s as good as you could ask for. “He’s not Sir Alex. Sir Alex had a vision. He’d know my name when I was 13. He had a 10 to 15-year plan with the board and Mr [Martin] Edwards. This manager probably doesn’t. He has to get into the top four, get United back to winning ways and, added to that, he has the parrot in his ear saying, ‘You’ve got to pick academy players, everyone plays academy players here.’ “That’s great for us but for him it must be a nightmare. It is a pat on the back for the academy staff that people like Scott and Marcus are going up there and we’re not seeing them again. “It’s up to us to give him good players. Scott, when he first went up there, he [Mourinho] might have been a bit unsure about him. We all were, let’s be honest.” McTominay’s strength of personality, work rate and height [a Mourinho love] won the manager over. “Scott’s not fazed, he’s United through and through. “I can moan about the under-23s being bottom of the table but ultimately, what is best, bottom of the table with the under-23s and having four players involved in the derby or the other way round? I know which one I’d take and which one the club would take. We develop first-team players better than anybody. We also develop players for others’ first teams better than anybody. “There’s 64 in the top two tiers. Many didn’t quite make it here, like Danny Drinkwater and Michael Keane, and that’s no shame because to make it here is few and far between, but we give them tools to make a career elsewhere and be good human beings. We teach them to become a good human being, to go and speak to the canteen lady, Sarah. Take your plate back, so you can go into any walk of life and be a successful person.” On the wall of the academy is a small photo of Lionel Messi after Argentina played Croatia at Upton Park in 2014. Messi cleans his own boots. The message is as clean and clear as Messi’s boots; greats don’t lose their grounding. Murtagh takes up the narrative. “We have the footballing values here of attacking, free-flowing, exciting football and, as people, you want humility, an honest, hardworking person, someone who’s respectful,” he says. “We’re custodians of the jersey and we want them to be aware what the responsibilities of being a Manchester United player are. On the Hong Kong trip with a group of 15 and 16-year-olds, they coached kids who live in the big high-rise areas. All those experiences are part of helping them grow. We get emails praising the kids. “I was talking to a parent who said even if his lad didn’t make it, he’d been to eight countries, which was more than he had. We had six teams out of the country last week: two in Spain, one in LA, one in Italy, one in Dallas and one in Scotland. We want to make sure if they’re lucky enough to go with José it’s not a shock.” Butt continues: “We try not to put too much pressure on them. A 13-year-old boy going to his school, that’s pressure straightaway because people look at him and say, ‘That’s the boy who plays for Manchester United, that’s the boy who’s going to be a footballer, that’s the boy who’ll be a multimillionaire.’ ” To help them deal with pressure, Chris McCready, formerly of Tranmere Rovers, and the sports psychologist Dan Ransom are upstairs in a classroom inviting the under-13s and 14s to write down “three moments when they felt under pressure” and then discuss them, tackling the issues. After watching footage of the 1999 and 2008 Champions League finals and the 2016 FA Cup final, they take it in turns to role-play individuals such as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Carrick and Lingard in press conferences. The boy playing Carrick deals tactfully with a question of whether he has any sympathy for his England team-mate, John Terry, for slipping in Moscow. The diplomat is 13. Some youngsters hail from deprived backgrounds, and recently one mother quietly gathered up sandwiches from the parents’ area to take home for the hungry siblings of her talented son. Offspring get caught between warring parents. Naive youngsters post risky content on Instagram. “You could call it a bit of social work as well,” Butt says of his role. “We talk to them about what it takes to become a Manchester United player. We tell them they have to sacrifice things, they have to work hard. One player tossed training [with the first team] off a little bit. I went mad at him. I said, ‘That might be the last time you get in front of this manager [Mourinho].’ “I said, ‘That training session was more important than any game you’ll play this season, under-23, under-19, under-18. To get in front of the manager and show how good you are is invaluable.’ The next time he was in front of the manager, the manager was raving about him.” Butt worries about elements of the academy system. “Everyone wants to be a No 10 now, a Messi. That’s good because they all want to play the right football but people can’t forget how good Roy Keane and Steven Gerrard were; these box-to-box players that aren’t the modern academy [product now]. Academies are developing too many similar players.” It is one reason why United take their youngsters out of the English games programme and develop them overseas. “I was speaking to Kieran about the Dallas Cup,” Murtagh recalls. “He said, ‘Where else can I recreate a situation where one minute they are playing in front of 20,000 in the Dallas Bowl, and the next round of games was in a park area where the pitches were crap, the referee appalling and the Mexican team were scratching you, poking you in the eye, and falling on the floor?’ “This is one of the things that is against us in the academy system. Is it too pure? Every now and then, playing on a bad pitch is not a bad thing. They may get drawn in the third round of the FA Cup somewhere and it’s a little bit bobbly. They’ll remember.” United leave nothing to chance with their education. “We instil belief in them,” Butt concludes. “You have to be able to express yourself on the big stage. If you can’t, you won’t be a Manchester United player.” Matt Hughes Football Notebook Wembley pitch to be replaced for Euro 2020 T he Wembley pitch will be dug up and completely replaced next winter for the first time since 2010, with the FA eager to ensure a pristine playing surface at the national stadium when it hosts the latter stages of the 2020 European Championship. Certain areas of grass are relaid regularly throughout the season at Wembley, but the work planned for this winter will involve the installation of a completely new hybrid pitch. The present Desso Sports Systems pitch installed in June 2010 is guaranteed for 10 years, but with Wembley due to stage seven matches of Euro 2020, including two semi-finals and the final, the FA has brought forward its replacement. The process will take approximately two weeks and, with Wembley due to host several Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift concerts this summer, it has been scheduled to take place in November after England’s final match of the year, a Uefa Nations League group game against Croatia. The first match to be played on the new pitch is likely to be the 2019 League Cup final. Evans set for £3m exit J onny Evans will be able to leave West Bromwich Albion for an initial payment of just £1.5 million this summer if the club are relegated to the Sky Bet Championship. The Northern Irish defender’s contract contains a release clause of £3 million to be triggered in the event of relegation, with its terms stating that the buying club can pay the fee in two instalments. Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United are all interested in the defender, who would prefer to return to the North West if possible, having spent the first nine years of his career at Old Trafford. Southgate’s Alli doubts D ele Alli has more work to do to win his place back in England’s starting XI despite responding to being dropped for last month’s friendlies against Holland and Italy by scoring twice in a match-winning performance for Tottenham Hotspur against Chelsea last weekend. Gareth Southgate rates Alli highly and will take him to the World Cup, but has concerns about his habit of giving the ball away, an area of his game that needs to improve if he is to fully gain the England manager’s trust. Strikers’ pay safe Andy Carroll and Javier Hernández will have the least to lose if West Ham United do not gain the two wins they are likely to need to stay in the Premier League. The strikers are the only members of David Moyes’s firstteam squad whose contracts do not contain a clause stipulating a mandatory pay cut in the event of relegation. Southampton China trip S outhampton will demonstrate the growing influence of their new majority owner, Gao Jisheng, by holding a training camp and promotional tour in China this summer in an attempt to increase their fan base. The trip will take place irrespective of whether Southampton start next season in the Premier League or the Championship, with the club in the process of arranging two fixtures, one against a Bundesliga side and the other against a team from the Chinese Super League. Southampton plan to base themselves in Hangzhou, 110 miles south of Shanghai, and play the games in two different cities to maximise their exposure to the Chinese market. Dismay over test’s value T he value and rigour of the Owners’ and Directors’ Test (OADT), a mandatory requirement for all investors in English clubs, is being questioned after the Solihull Moors director Mike Turl was fined just £1,000 after admitting an FA charge of providing a false declaration. Turl effectively admitted to lying when asserting in an OADT declaration dated May 19, 2017 that he had not held a position as an officer in a football club in the previous five years, when in fact he had acted as chief executive of the National League club. Turl was charged by the FA after it was tipped off that he was working for Solihull while serving a two-year ban issued by the British Horseracing Authority for fraudulent practice for his part in a sting that led to jockey Eddie Ahern being banned for 15 years. The FA’s investigations team are understood to have been dismayed by Turl’s light sanction, which took place after a paper hearing that he was not compelled to attend. Conte upset over Vialli claim Chris Hatherall Antonio Conte has dismissed a claim from Gianluca Vialli that he is desperate to leave Chelsea, and insists that he plans to be at the club next season. The Italian’s future has been a topic of debate all season but especially now with his side eight points adrift of fourth in the Premier League as they prepare to host West Ham United tomorrow. Comments from Vialli, the former Chelsea player and manager, saying: “Conte can’t wait to leave Chelsea; he can’t stand that they sell or buy players without consulting him,” have left Conte feeling let down by a former teammate who now works as a pundit for Sky Italia. He said: “With Gianluca, we played together at Juventus . . . and I consider him a friend. But we haven’t spoken in a year. “I can be disappointed on one side, but I respect him because he is a journalist, and he is doing his job. He is trying to give his opinion. But this is his opinion. It is not my opinion. The people who stay very close to me they know very well my intentions — to stay, to stay here, to continue my job here.” Speaking about Chelsea’s season, he said: “Those who know me well, they know that in this moment I am very angry. I am very sad for this situation. “When I go to my house, I know that I gave everything . . . for this club — 120 per cent. Sometimes it is difficult to sleep with these types of problems.” 8 3G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Football Warnock rages as Nuno revels in Wolves win Cardiff Wolverhampton Neves 67 0 2 1 Sky Bet Championship Alyson Rudd This was one of the most incredible finales of any Sky Bet Championship game of this or any other season. In the dying minutes of added time Cardiff City missed not one but two chances to equalise from the penalty spot and Neil Warnock, their manager, accused Nuno Espírito Santo, his opposite number, of lacking etiquette, manners and class. Espírito Santo, instead of shaking hands with Warnock at the final whistle, ran to hug John Ruddy, his goalkeeper. The Cardiff manager was livid and was heard swearing live on television. “He’s totally out of order,” Warnock said. “You shake the manager’s hand after. I went to shake his hand and he ran off.” When he was told that Nuno planned to apologise, Warnock said that he was not interested. “Why will I be speaking to him?” he said. “I’m talking about etiquette, manners and class. He does not have to run off and rub your noses in it, it’s a disgrace.” The Wolves manager glowered upon being told that Warnock had accused him of failing to understand British manners and stressed that he has managed in the Champions League and no one could doubt his education. Somewhere in the midst of all this acrimony was a crucial victory for Wolves which means that if results go their way this weekend, they could be promoted on Tuesday evening. Cardiff have not been steered too far off course by this first defeat in 14 games but points dropped and the manner in which they squandered the penalties will encourage Fulham and Aston Villa that it is worth going all out to avoid the play-offs and replace Cardiff in the second automatic promotion spot. The Cardiff City Stadium recorded its biggest attendance for a league match since 1976 and the extra noise contributed to a game of clattering tackles, hard running and audacious strikes at goal. On the day that Warnock won a record tenth manager of the month award, having been named manager of the Championship team of Penalty miss one Penalty miss two Madine and then Hoilett miss chances from the penalty spot in injury time for Cardiff to leave Wolves nine points clear the season, it was a game that showcased his pragmatism. Cardiff do not feel the pressure to dominate possession as the home team nor to dictate style. They harass and bully and break with confidence and should have taken an early lead when Sol Bamba met Junior Hoilett’s corner. This prompted a spate of chances for both sides. Rúben Neves went close for Wolves with a long-range effort that Neil Etheridge saved and the goalkeeper was busy again a few moments later when Diogo Jota rifled in. Kenneth Zohore and Joe Bennett should have scored for Cardiff but pulled their shots wide. A blistering free kick from Yanic Wildschut almost beat Ruddy and the second half began with Leo Bonatini shooting from a tight angle, his effort striking the near post. This was not a game in which to judge the teams’ preparedness for the top flight but it did showcase how unflappable Wolves’ defending can be and the boisterous confidence of Cardiff. In the 68th minute, Neves fired home from a free kick, one of too many conceded by the hosts in dangerous areas. Then, in added time, Anthony Pilkington was flattened by Conor Coady and Ruddy saved the subsequent penalty taken by Gary Madine. A minute later Cardiff won another penalty, after Aron Gunnarsson was fouled by Ivan Cavaleiro and this time the spot kick was missed by Hoilett, his effort striking the woodwork. Warnock said that he could tell Hoilett was not in the frame of mind to take it but the player — probably Pilkington — who he expected to step up did not do so. Wolves had lost four of their past five Championship matches against Cardiff. The timing of this victory was impeccable, if the manner was surreal. Cardiff City (4-4-1-1): N Etheridge — L Peltier, S Bamba, S Morrison, J Bennett — C Paterson (sub: N MendezLaing 51min), A Gunnarson, C Bryson, Y Wildschut (sub: G Madine 71) — J Hoilett — K Zhore (sub: A Pilkington 84). Substitutes not used B Murphy, B Manga, L Damour, A Traoré. Booked Peltier, Morrison. Wolverhampton Wanderers (3-4-3): J Ruddy — R Bennett, C Coady, W Boly — M Doherty, R Saiss, R Neves, B Douglas — B Afobe (sub: A N’Diaye 78), L Bonatini (sub: H Costa 58), D Jota (sub: I Cavaleiro 67). Substitutes not used W Norris, D Batth, M GibbsWhite, K Hause. Booked Saiss, Neves, Costa. Referee M Dean. Attendance 29,317. P Wolves ....................... 41 Cardiff ........................ 40 Fulham ....................... 40 Aston Villa ................. 40 Derby..........................39 Middlesbrough...........40 Bristol City.................40 W 27 24 21 21 17 18 16 D L F 8 6 74 8 8 62 12 7 70 10 9 64 14 8 57 9 13 56 14 10 56 A GD Pts 36 38 89 34 28 80 41 29 75 37 27 73 38 19 65 39 17 63 45 11 62 Title run-in Wolverhampton Wanderers April 11: Derby County (h); April 15: Birmingham City (h); April 21: Bolton Wanderers (a); April 28: Sheffield Wednesday (h); May 6: Sunderland (a). Cardiff City April 10: Aston Villa (a); April 14: Norwich City (a); April 21: Nottingham Forest (h); April 24: Derby County (a); April 28: Hull City (a); May 6: Reading (h). the times | Saturday April 7 2018 9 2G S Sport ‘Ashamed and embarrassed’ Angry Klopp says Liverpool fans’ attack on City coach tarnished Champions League victory ROBBIE JAY BARRATT/AMA/GETTY IMAGES Paul Joyce Northern Football Correspondent Liverpool supporters should no longer be allowed to “welcome” sides to Anfield, Jürgen Klopp said yesterday as he angrily condemned the attack on Manchester City’s team coach. The unsavoury incident had left him embarrassed and ashamed, he said. The Liverpool manager plans to speak to Pep Guardiola at the Champions League quarter-final, second leg on Tuesday and added that, if it was up to him, Wednesday’s scenes would be the last time that crowds were allowed to gather outside the ground in vast numbers to meet the players. Thousands of Liverpool fans lined the streets around Anfield before Wednesday night’s tie, but the gathering turned sinister when the bus ferrying Guardiola’s side came under attack from a barrage of objects, including beer cans, bottles and firecrackers. Klopp called those fans responsible for the unrest — which has led to Liverpool being charged by Uefa — idiots who had abused what should have been a wonderful spectacle. “We [Klopp and Guardiola] haven’t spoken, but I will when we meet again on Tuesday,” Klopp said. “I feel really embarrassed, ashamed. It is like, ‘What?’ I cannot understand how you give this opportunity to the people to create something wonderful, like this usually is, [and it ends this way]. “It was already on the edge with the flares, or whatever, which are illegal, but it is nice and special. But the people do not understand the rules and if I was to make the decision I would say it is not allowed anymore. It is not possible. You had the chance, didn’t use it, sorry. “It was a historical moment because I was part of the last time it happened. I don’t have the words. It is idiots in this situation. How can you do that? It is not a little bit funny. It is dangerous. It feels bad. “I was on a bus once and a rock was thrown and we had a hole. It was against Cologne and someone threw it through the window. You think if that hits my head, what happens? It is not funny. It is actually the complete opposite and I am really angry about it.” Klopp’s dismay was as genuine as his praise for City’s conduct after the 3-0 defeat, with their replacement bus stopping at the same scene as it had come under attack for 25 minutes to allow Gary Jacob Smoke from flares and firecrackers engulfs the City coach, which came under attack on its way to Anfield on Wednesday club medics to assist a female Liverpool fan injured in a suspected hit and run. “A perfect example for how it should be,” Klopp said. “You can’t take things for granted. The medical staff of Man City did what they did, but it is an outstanding thing to do and leaves us even more in a situation where we think ‘Ooof, it was all strange.’ ” The fallout has overshadowed Liverpool’s build-up to the Merseyside derby, with the absence of Mohamed Salah and others limiting the manager’s options. Liverpool yesterday registered squad numbers with the Premier League for academy prospects Herbie Kane, Curtis Jones, Rafael Camacho, Adam Lewis, Nat Phillips and Liam Millar in addition to Conor Masterson, who was on the bench against City. However, Klopp is not inclined to use them unless in an emergency and added: “It’s good to be a talent but the next level is another one. If I can avoid it I will try not to use them.” He expects Everton to adopt an aggressive approach in keeping with recent seasons. Two years ago Ramiro Funes Mori was sent off for challenge that sidelined Divock Origi for the remainder of the season, while last season Ross Barkley was fortunate not to seriously injure Jordan Henderson with a late tackle. Yet Klopp observed Premier League protocol by refusing to discuss referee Michael Oliver, claiming that Everton manager Sam Allardyce would label him a “soft German” again, a comment that originated when they clashed during the latter’s time at Sunderland. “You know the answer, but if I say it now then we will have someone not too far from here saying I am a soft German who is asking for help from somebody else,” Klopp said. “If you want to write it, write it, you don’t need me to say it. “You saw them [the tackles] as well. None of them were from our side if I am right. It is a derby and there are a lot of people out there who love this part of the game. I hated it my whole life. It is a fact that I never understood it. It is as silly as throwing something at a bus.” Tosun well acquainted with derby-day mayhem Paul Joyce Cenk Tosun had brought up the subject of headbutts and moved on to brawls before his attention turned to more conventional ways of making a mark. The Turkey forward has only been at Everton for four months but is acutely aware of what is at stake when tribal rivalries are roused in today’s Merseyside derby. “I believed in myself before, but I feel a lot better now and the goals I scored have made the bond between me and the supporters better,” he said. “God willing, I will score this weekend and become a true Evertonian. “I know the importance of this game and I know what it means to the supporters. Every time I am in the city and I come across Everton supporters . . . the last thing they always say is, ‘You have to score against Liverpool’.” Tosun followed the fixture from afar while at Besiktas but a crash course in protocol and etiquette is forever close at hand in the guise of Duncan Ferguson, Pochettino: Levy’s rise is no problem for players the Everton first-team coach. It was on a team bonding trip to Dubai in February that Tosun was finally able to put in the hard yards during training, Ferguson working closely with the striker. Four goals since returning have gone some way to highlighting why Everton paid more than £21 million to sign the 26-year-old during the last transfer window. “He [Ferguson] is a legend,” Tosun said. “He is very well known and he proved himself. He was a kind of crazy player but I am not sure that I am that crazy. I heard that he headbutted a few . . . is that right? I like that. I like players who give everything for the team and the supporters.” Clarification is forthcoming that Ferguson also throttled and punched the occasional Tosun says that scoring will make him a “true Evertonian” opponent before mellowing and embracing his coaching role with obsessive zeal. Tosun smiles. “Nice.” The disarming response is perhaps fuelled by his experiences in Istanbul derby matches. He scored in the last one he played — Everton v Besiktas’s 3-0 victory over GalLiverpool atasaray in DeSky Sports cember — but is Premier League reminded of a Today, kick-off game against Fen12.30pm erbahce in September when five players were sent off. “In Istanbul, when there is a derby game, life stops,” Tosun says. “Everyone has that ambition to win and players sometimes forget that it is sport. You have many, many red cards. There h are bad injuries and the games can stop for long periods of time. You do not have that here. In comparison, the English derbies are calm.” A record 27 players have been sent off in Merseyside derbies, although it is another piece of unwanted history that Tosun is hoping to end today. Everton’s most recent win over their neighbours came in 2010 and the sequence of 16 matches without victory since represents their longest barren spell. Everton’s season was flawed from the moment that Romelu Lukaku was not adequately replaced last summer. The weight of expectation has been shunted Tosun’s way and he knows that beating the familiar foe would represent a sliver of consolation. “It was a difficult time when I signed as maybe some people saw me as a saviour. I was trying to do my best and take that role,” he added. “I accept that you can say that we did not meet expectations this season. “So we are looking at this and, God willing, this will be the game that is the highlight for the club and supporters, for the players, for the club.” Mauricio Pochettino claims that his Tottenham Hotspur players were happy with their wages when they signed their contracts as he defended his chairman’s increased salary. Tottenham’s accounts, published this week, showed that Daniel Levy earned £6.01 million last year at a time when the club have been trying to keep a lid on the wage bill while negotiating new contracts with a host of players. In the most publicised example, Tottenham have refused to meet Toby Alderweireld’s demands to treble his £53,000-aweek wages and effectively accepted that the centre back, who has not travelled with the squad to play Stoke City today, is likely to be sold this summer. Tottenham have stressed that a remuneration committee decides the amount paid to Levy, whose earnings jumped from £2.84 million in the previous year owing to a backdated pay rise, as well as bonuses, which all came on the back of record revenue for the club. Pochettino claimed that his players should not take the rise into account. “If I am happy, I sign my contract and then I cannot complain because no one put a gun against my head,” he said. “I am happy with my salary. I’m not comparing my salary with any others. It’s like what happens with a player or with us, the coaching staff, with the manager. “OK, we are doing a fantastic job but when we sign a contract it was to deliver a fantastic job. OK, if the club after decided to reward our job, fantastic. But, inside today Do you wonder what footballers really talk about? Meet Eric Dier Magazine if they don’t, fantastic too because we signed a contract to deliver that work. “I am very happy for Daniel. My genuine feeling is he deserves it because he is working so hard for the club. It’s not a problem for the players or for us.” About eight Spurs players could be given new contracts in the next six months and Pochettino is also in line for another deal. The Argentinian’s contract runs until 2021. He added: “This business, the principal actors are the players. We have to push the big cake onto the players. After that there is the manager and coaching staff. If one agent from one transaction can earn a lot of money to be in the middle between two clubs, people like our chairman [can].” Alderweireld has started just twice and been an unused substitute once since he returned from a serious hamstring injury in February. Pochettino denied that his decision not to use the Belgium player was related to a contract dispute and that Alderweireld may not be at the club next season. In the past Kyle Walker, Andros Townsend and Nabil Bentaleb may have felt they were sidelined after disagreements with Pochettino. “You cannot think about next season, we need to achieve the objective this season,” he said. “It is not about personal feelings or emotion, it is about providing the team with the best tools to win.” 10 1G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Football ‘A lot of people live on the streets. It’s unacceptable in a place like England’ ATHENA PICTURE AGENCY Carlos Carvalhal explains to Alyson Rudd how his love of philosophy is st helping in his quest to keep Swansea up what a difference 11 games make Dec 28 when he took over . . . P 15 Newcastle ........ 20 16 Crystal Palace...20 17 West Ham.........20 18 Bournemouth..20 19 West Brom.......20 20 Swansea..........20 C arlos Carvalhal is admonishing a player. Yes, that Carlos Carvalhal — the one who has endeared himself to Swansea City fans by hauling the team out of the relegation zone in style, who has spread joy through the Premier League with his upbeat demeanour and twinkling smile and entertained the media with his marvellous metaphors while handing out Portuguese pastries. “You are a very tough player,” Carvalhal says. “You are a fighter, very strong but you don’t have the technical quality to play in my team.” Ouch. Actually, the former Sheffield Wednesday manager is explaining why he never won a senior cap for his country. Those are the words he would have uttered if he had been the coach of his younger self. The point, though, is still valid. Carvalhal is a chameleon. He would not be paternalistic and jolly unless he felt the team would respond. The 52-year-old would not change his personality, he says, but he would, and has, led differently depending on circumstances. In some countries an egg tart and a riddle would go down rather badly. “I am a very adaptable person,” he says. “I know what is leadership. In some environments you have to act different. I acted different in Besiktas to how I act here. In Turkey and Greece, the chief is really the chief, they respect the teachers and authorities. In England, sometimes the leaders do not have to be in front of the group, you can be behind them. If you do D 3 6 6 5 9 4 GD Pts -11 18 -14 18 -16 18 -13 17 -13 15 -20 13 W 8 8 7 5 6 3 D 7 7 9 13 9 11 GD Pts -19 31 -28 31 -19 30 -18 28 -32 27 -26 20 . . . Now P 15 Swansea............31 16 Huddersfield.....32 17 Crystal Palace .. 32 18 Southampton ... 31 19 Stoke.................32 20 West Brom.......32 ‘In England, sometimes the leaders do not have to be in front of the group, you can be behind them. If you do that in Turkey and Greece, you don’t have any chance’ that in Turkey and Greece, you don’t have any chance — they will fire you in one week.” The buzz around the training ground before today’s trip to The Hawthorns centres on speculation that he is in talks to extend his contract beyond the end of the season. Carvalhal never signs long-term deals, and a glance at his CV reveals a nomadic existence. He has managed at 17 clubs but says that this is not because he is fidgety but because he started at the bottom and had to take lots of small steps to prove himself, sometimes at clubs in Greece and Turkey where the average lifespan of a coach is six months, so, of course, his CV is busy. “Nobody gave me nothing,” he says. “I was not a big player. I started in the [Portuguese] third division.” He arrived in Sheffield in June 2015. It was his first job in Britain and what surprised him the most is that elderly people will go to the pub or a restaurant. “It looks like life is longer than in my country,” he says, “because in my country they get to an age and look like they are preparing for death.” He is also captivated by how the British care about football and not just the clubs they support. In Portugal, fans’ ardour is limited to one team. He is less impressed that we have a homelessness problem. “A lot of people live on the streets, especially in Sheffield,” he says, “and in a country like England it made a massive negative impact [on me]. It’s unacceptable in a country like England.” Carvalhal wanted to study sports science at W 5 4 4 4 2 3 Swansea City were at the foot of the Premier League table when Carvalhal took charge in December university but as he did not have the necessary qualifications in maths and biology, he enrolled as a philosophy student while taking the subjects that he needed in his spare time. Rather than set him back a year, the extra study defined him as a coach. “Philosophy is the science of why,” he says. “I was not comfortable with the way the managers [on his course] prepare the team. I put very hard questions to them. Sometimes I was boring, asking questions.” He simply loves philosophy so I reach for my phone in order to show him footage of The Philosophers’ Football Match, arguably Monty Python’s cleverest sketch. Germany, led by “Nobby” Hegel, are up against Greece boasting a ball-juggling Archimedes but, once the final begins, the ball remains on the centre circle as the philosophers wander around deep in thought. Martin Luther, the Germany manager, opts for “all-out attack” by bringing Karl Marx off the bench with two minutes to go, but the Greeks win with a goal that Kant claims only exists in the imagination. Carvalhal chuckles, he knows the sketch well but, being very patriotic, refuses to pick his favourite philosopher from those described by the match commentator, Michael Palin, as none are Portuguese. It is his patriotism allied to his philosophical thinking that defines him as a coach. Does he, like his compatriot José Mourinho, want to manage the national team one day? “We are very proud about our country,” he says. “When I hear the anthem I feel very emotional; I can cry if I hear the hymn of Portugal being sung. If you ask me if I would like to be national team coach, I would like it of course but it’s not in my plans. I prefer shorter plans like trying to win the next game. “The Portuguese are very strong in emotional intelligence. It is the Portuguese way. The best you can achieve is to connect people.” He recalls crying when France beat Portugal 3-2 in that dramatic semi-final of the 1984 European Championship and he says emotion and connection were factors in Portugal winning Euro 2016 as epitomised by Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, the president, speaking to the team beforehand. The nation felt, Carvalhal explains, that for the first time such a visit was not done out of political expediency because De Sousa had just won the election by a huge margin, but because he knew what success would mean while there was an economic slump and a pension crisis. “He felt it was important to the country, to its self-confidence,” the Swansea manager explains. It is this kind of overt passion that the British lap up in foreign coaches but Carvalhal argues that there is a more pertinent reason why coaches from a country as small as Portugal are embraced here. “We work very hard, we learn and study very hard to reach this level. It’s not just intuition or if you are strategic. We are very well prepared.” He says that if he popped back to Portugal and tried to prepare a team only in terms of physical training, “they would not accept you”. They demand detail in Portugal. There is little money and the clubs are small so “all the pressure is on the coaches” to find a way to maximise what is available. He continued to ask lots of questions when he arrived in Swansea. “Why is the team losing the ball? Why is the team conceding goals? Why not scoring goals? And we tried to arrange a strategy to solve the problems.” He accepts that it may look from the outside as though he has entered the second phase of his stint at the club, that his first aim of giving the club a chance of evading relegation has been achieved and now he has to ensure that they stay out of the bottom three. When he took over, the team were five points adrift of safety and considered a hopeless cause but they remain only three points above the relegation zone. Mourinho’s assertion last weekend that his friend is the true manager of the season was jumping the gun. Should there be a few wobbles in the coming weeks, his last two games are, at least, at home and against struggling Southampton and Stoke City. His aim, though, is not to need those two final games. You can only understand football if you accept it is complex, he says, and you can only do that by accepting “the complexity is simple”. Nobby Hegel, eat your heart out. the times | Saturday April 7 2018 11 3G S Sport Oliver Kay Chief Football Correspondent Reminder of the despair managers cut adrift can feel O f all the many moving tributes paid this week to Ray Wilkins, two stand out. One was from Nigel Quashie, who was 17 when Wilkins, as manager of Queens Park Rangers, handed him a daunting Premier League debut at Old Trafford. Quashie thought he had just been taken along for the ride until Wilkins passed him a shirt before kick-off. He played on adrenaline and when, still on a high, he borrowed his manager’s phone after the game to tell his mother what had happened, she told him she was waiting outside. Wilkins had tipped her the wink and made sure that she was there, even paying for her train ticket to Manchester. Quashie’s tribute, “a real human being with such class”, was echoed by others, not least Ian Holloway. Wilkins’s former QPR team-mate was close to tears on Wednesday afternoon as he told talkSPORT about a “unique human being”, but he sounded saddest when he touched on the final years of Wilkins’s life. “I think deep down there was a sadness sometimes in him because he wanted to be involved in the game and he missed it,” Holloway, now QPR’s manager, said. “Ray dedicated his life to the game and, without it, I feel there was a sadness in him that nobody, maybe not even his wonderful wife, Jackie, could quite reach. I don’t know if he ever realised how we all felt about him. I hope he felt it.” The next day brought another profoundly sad football story. An inquest into the death last November of Dermot Drummy recorded a verdict of suicide, citing the 56-year-old’s “low mood” after his loss of employment as manager of Crawley Town six months earlier. There is a significant difference between the two cases — Wilkins died from a heart attack — but there is also, beyond their time together on Chelsea’s coaching staff, a link between two much-loved football men who had a smile and a Wilkins, left, and Drummy were much-loved football men who felt a deep sense of solitude when they lost the jobs they treasured so much kind word for everyone but felt a sense of solitude when they found, after years doing a job they loved, that their faces did not fit any more. Drummy’s was a success story. Released by Arsenal as a teenager, he became a taxi driver, playing nonLeague football and briefly managing Ware Town, before joining Arsenal’s youth academy as a part-time coach. He climbed the coaching ladder at Arsenal, his reputation enhanced by his role in the development of Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs, before joining Chelsea in 2009. He was hugely popular at Chelsea, coaching the youth team and then the reserves, but he always fancied management and, at the age of 55, Crawley gave him the chance. “If you sit behind José Mourinho,” he said on taking charge, “you get to a point where you want to taste it yourself.” Management is a tough gig, though. Crawley did not have a training ground when he arrived and were expecting another season of struggle in League Two. Drummy started well but progress was hard to maintain. They finished 19th, clear of relegation, but he was sacked at the end of the season. He hoped to get another management job, but various applications did not yield so much as a reply. He was now on the outside looking in and, according to one friend, a sense of isolation, rejection and worthlessness hit him extremely hard. Success story or not, Drummy felt like a failure. Football management can be like that. It can feel like, as Holloway put it, “the greatest job in the world”, but it can eat you up and spit you out. The highs and lows experienced within professional sport can be extreme. The lows experienced by people who suddenly find themselves exiled from it, confronted with a feeling of failure, are often even more so. Wilkins told the Daily Mail in 2014 that he had struggled with depression, for the third time in his life, after losing his job at Chelsea four years earlier. Depression drove him to drink, which made things worse. “I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning,” he said. “I would be moping about, feeling like dirt. It’s hard being out of work. That’s the same for any man. We have to accept sometimes that we are fragile.” There can be few jobs that expose those fragilities quite like football management, where judgment is so public and so frequent, in such a pressurised environment, where the threat of the sack is omnipresent. Yes, many managers are paid handsomely, which can include multimillion-pound payouts after losing a job, but it is an unforgiving business. A key function of the League Managers Association is to raise awareness of mental health issues and to offer support for those, both in and out of work, who feel they might be at risk. As football fans, and certainly as a football media, we should be more sensitive to that. Alan Pardew was sacked by West Bromwich Albion this week having failed to arrest their slump, but this does not make him a failure or someone who, as some would have it, is now unemployable. David Moyes has done a decent job in difficult circumstances at West Ham United but his reputation continues to be defined by his struggles at Manchester United and Sunderland. His much-admired work at Preston North End and Everton barely gets a mention. Then there is Arsène Wenger, who these days finds himself characterised as a “specialist in failure”, as Mourinho called him, or accused of “killing our club” when in reality he has done Arsenal infinitely more good than harm. And then, at the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those such as Wilkins and Drummy, the first a former England captain, the second an excabbie, who found themselves marginalised or even cut adrift from the game that was their obsession. The assistant coroner told Drummy’s family at Thursday’s inquest that it was clear he was “tremendously loved”. The warmth and the sincerity of this week’s tributes show that this was equally true of Wilkins. As Holloway said, you just hope they felt it. The Samaritans can be contacted free on 116123. Determined Wales deny England to spoil Neville’s home debut England Wales 0 2 1 0 Women’s World Cup qualifying Molly Hudson Phil Neville’s home debut as manager of England ended in frustration last night as a Wales team comprising a number of part-timers pulled off a draw, leaving them group leaders in the race for World Cup qualification. The visiting side required an outstanding display from the goalkeeper Laura O’Sullivan, while Neville may have been correct to observe that a draw was the result Wales came for. In front of more than 25,000 at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, Wales, the world’s 34th-ranked team, came within millimetres of taking a shock lead as early as the ninth minute. Carly Telford, surprisingly handed the start in goal for England, was under pressure as Wales whipped a corner that England failed to clear as panic set in among the defence. Natasha Harding’s shot took two deflections, the second off Steph Houghton, before Lucy Bronze cleared off her line. Wales, who have scored just three times in five qualifiers, claimed that the ball had gone over line. Television replays were inconclusive. Jayne Ludlow’s side showed all their undoubted underdog qualities to hold on to a point that leaves England needing to win their game in hand in Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday to return to the top of the group. “It wasn’t the result I was looking for,” Neville said. “We were sloppy in possession and that’s not like us. We didn’t play with any speed or intensity. Their game plan worked in the first half, I thought we were fantastic second half. “We looked like the only team that England (4-3-3): C Telford Chelsea — L Bronze Lyons, A McManus Manchester City, S Houghton Manchester City, D Stokes Manchester City — K Walsh Manchester City, J Nobbs Arsenal, F Kirby Chelsea — N Parris Manchester City (sub: M Lawley Manchester City 54min), J Taylor Seattle Reign (sub: E White Birmingham City 54), T Duggan Barcelona (sub: B Mead Arsenal 80). Booked Houghton, McManus. Wales (4-3-3): L O’Sullivan (Cyncoed Ladies) — L Dykes (Bristol City), S Ingle (Liverpool), R Roberts (Doncaster Belles), N Harding (Reading) — A James (Everton), K Green (Yeovil Town), J Fishlock (Seattle Reign) — R Rowe (Reading), H Ladd (Birmingham City), C Estcourt (Reading). Booked Ingle, Harding. How they stand England scramble the ball clear but Wales maintain that it crossed the goalline was looking to win the game. They were celebrating like it was a victory but we were the team that were dominant. As an opposing manager you’ve got to hold your hands up and say they played really well. “The job I knew was going to be tough. Nobody comes and knocks on your door and hands you three points but I think we have to persevere with the philosophy of playing football, rather than just chip the ball into the box and give them the ball back.” A late flurry of chances fell England’s way, with Fran Kirby having an effort tipped over the bar and White heading Group A Wales England Russia Bosnia & Herz Kazakhstan P W 5 3 4 3 3 1 4 1 4 0 D 2 1 1 0 0 L 0 0 1 3 4 F 3 15 6 3 0 A 0 0 7 11 9 Pts 11 10 4 3 0 just wide, but it was not to be as Ludlow’s well-drilled team deservedly held on. “World Cup qualification is a toughy,” the Wales manager said. “Realistically we get second place and we may not qualify from the play-off. But that’s not our focus, we just want to be better than the game before.” 12 2G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Football The ultimate Premier League guide 2017-18 How they stand 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 Man City Man Utd Liverpool Tottenham Chelsea Arsenal Burnley Leicester Everton Bournemouth Watford Newcastle Brighton West Ham Swansea Huddersfield Crystal Palace Southampton Stoke West Brom P 31 31 32 31 31 31 31 31 32 32 32 31 31 31 31 32 32 31 32 32 W 27 21 19 19 17 15 12 11 11 9 10 9 8 8 8 8 7 5 6 3 D 3 5 9 7 5 6 10 10 7 10 7 8 10 9 7 7 9 13 9 11 L 1 5 4 5 9 10 9 10 14 13 15 14 13 14 16 17 16 13 17 18 F 88 60 75 62 53 58 29 47 38 39 41 31 28 39 25 25 31 29 29 25 A 21 23 35 26 30 41 27 43 53 51 57 40 42 57 44 53 50 47 61 51 GD 67 37 40 36 23 17 2 4 -15 -12 -16 -9 -14 -18 -19 -28 -19 -18 -32 -26 Pts 84 68 66 64 56 51 46 43 40 37 37 35 34 33 31 31 30 28 27 20 Leading scorers: 29 M Salah (Liverpool). 24 H Kane (Spurs). 21 S Agüero (Man City). 16 R Sterling (Man City). Salah injury hands managers dilemma over Kane’s return Paddy von Behr Charlie Scott The Sweeper Mohamed Salah was at his imperious best again on Wednesday, scoring one and setting up another for Liverpool against Manchester City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final at Anfield, but a groin problem ended his night early. How long will the Egypt forward be out? We don’t know. The solution, therefore, is to wait and see. He will probably not feature in the early kick-off against Everton at Goodison Park today, but that is exactly why we have been telling you all season to make sure you have a solid bench. After the weekend, and before the first double Today 12.30pm Everton v Liverpool gameweek, you can decide whether to hang on to FPL’s standout player or to reinvest those funds, perhaps allowing you to afford Harry Kane. The Tottenham Hotspur striker is the other huge question mark for managers. Do you bring him in now? Do you wait until the double gameweek? Or do you tackle the run-in without him? The simple answer is probably to save your free transfer this week and consider him for the double. However, if you have the means, you could do worse than get him now. His record against Stoke City, who Spurs visit today, is exceptional and, in Salah’s absence, he would be a good choice for captain. TV Live, Sky Sports PL Radio talkSPORT Times app Live updates EVERTON Injured Sigurdsson, Mangala, McCarthy (4-3-3) Pickford Coleman Jagielka Keane Baines Davies Gueye Rooney Walcott Tuson Bolasie Watch every Premier League goal first on The Times phone app. Get goal video clips and highlights of every big match Sat 3pm highlights available at 5.15pm Highlights of Uefa Champions League, Europa League and the FA Cup 1 Wins for Everton in past 22 league meetings with Liverpool Ings Solanke Mané Milner Henderson Wijnaldum Moreno Van Dijk Lovren Clyne 91 Last 5 Eve LLWWL 5 Leicester v Martin Dubravka Newcastle Home win 3/1 (4-3-3) Referee M Oliver (25 games) Riyad Mahrez FINK TANK PREDICTION H 21% D 23% A 56% Karius Liv WWLWW Today 3pm Bournemouth v Crystal Palace TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pmTimes app Highlights, 5.15pm BOURNEMOUTH Injured Mings (4-2-3-1) Begovic Fraser S Cook Aké L Cook Daniels CRYSTAL PALACE Injured Wickham, Ward, Dann, Puncheon, Sorloth Doubt Benteke Gosling A Smith Ibe Pugh Wilson 6 Successive matches in which Bournemouth have scored in the 89th minute or later Benteke Zaha Townsend McArthur Cabaye Van Aanholt Sakho WanBissaka Tomkins Hennessey 2 82 Bou DDLWD (4-3-3) Ryan Kayal Dunk Bong Pröpper Izquierdo Locadia Murray Mounié Mooy 15 1 Shaqiri Stoke HUDDERSFIELD Injured Kachunga 7 Zanka Hadergjonaj Gross Brighton 0 77 5 FINK TANK PREDICTION H 55% D 24% A 20% Home win 10/11 (4-2-3-1) Referee A Taylor (22 games) Bri DWWLL 8 Rooney Everton Hud WLDLL 10 Today 3pm Leicester v Newcastle TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm Radio talkSPORT 2 Times app Highlights, 5.15pm (4-4-1-1) LEICESTER Injured James, Amertey Suspended Ndidi Schmeichel Simpson Morgan Mahrez Silva Maguire Chilwell Iborra Albrighton Okazaki Gayle Pérez Diame Dummett Lejeune NEWCASTLE Injured None 6 90th-minute goals scored by Leicester this season − no one has scored more (along with Watford and Man City) Vardy Kenedy Ritchie FINK TANK PREDICTION H 49% D 25% A 26% Shelvey Lascelles Dubravka Referee S Attwell (12 games) 6 Quaner Hogg Kongolo Schindler Vardy Leicester BRIGHTON Injured Brown, Sidwell Doubt Stephens Suspended Knockaert 18 Games in which Huddersfield have failed to score this season, the most so far Gross Van la Parra Pritchard 8 Today 3pm TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm Radio talkSPORT 2Times app Highlights, 5.15pm Duffy Assists 10 CP LLLWL Brighton v Huddersfield Schelotto Goals Draw 12/5 (4-2-3-1) Referee J Moss (23 games) Riyad Mahrez has been involved in the most Premier League goals this season (goals and assists) of players not with a ‘big six’ club Mahrez Leicester FINK TANK PREDICTION H 45% D 24% A 31% Milivojevic Lössl Don’t miss a goal this season LIVERPOOL Injured Gomez, Matip, Lallana Doubt Can, Salah Head to head Yedlin Draw 12/5 (4-2-3-1) 1 43 Lei LDDWW New WDLWW 2 the times | Saturday April 7 2018 13 2G S Sport In association with By Bill Edgar Today 3pm Stoke v Tottenham TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm Radio BBC 5 Live Times app Highlights, 5.15pm Since keeping Manchester United at bay on his Newcastle debut, Martin Dubravka has the best clean sheet ratio of all goalkeepers to play at least twice in the Premier League (4-3-3) Johnson Zouma Shawcross Pieters Bauer Ndiaye Allen Shaqiri Sobhi Crouch Son Alli Sánchez Davies Vertonghen Trippier 31 Sto DDLLL Today 3pm Watford v Burnley Karnezis Mariappa Holebas Prödl BURNLEY Injured Defour, Walters, Brady Doubt Mee, Gudmundsson Doucouré Capoue Femenia Hughes Pereyra 6 Goals conceded from penalties by Watford, the most in the Premier League. Burnley are the only team yet to be awarded a penalty Deeney Wood Nkoudou Hendrick Cork Ward Lennon Westwood Long Tarkowski Lowton Pope Caballero Chelsea 2 games 50% 50% FINK TANK PREDICTION H 38% D 28% A 34% Referee P Tierney (12 games) 0 31 Wat WWLLD 1 2 3 4 18 19 20 Chelsea Manchester United Arsenal Tottenham Burnley Hull City Portsmouth* 38 38 38 38 38 38 38 A Ayew Carroll Answer bottom of page D 5 4 6 7 6 12 7 L 6 5 9 10 24 20 24 F 103 86 83 67 42 34 34 (4-3-3) 2 46 A 32 28 41 41 82 75 66 ? Pts 86 85 75 70 30 30 19 Stones Laporte Away win 23/10 WB LLLLL Swa WLWDL Today 5.30pm Delph MANCHESTER UNITED Injured Blind, Romero De Bruyne Fernandinho Gündogan B Silva Jesus Sánchez Lingard 20 Times that Mourinho and Guardiola have faced each other, most either manager has faced another. Guardiola has won 9 drawn 7, lost 4 Sterling Lukaku Mata Matic Bailly FINK TANK PREDICTION H 61% D 22% A 17% Smalling Valencia Referee M Atkinson (24 games) 5 84 MC WWWWW TV Live, Sky Sports PL Radio BBC 5 Live, talkSPORT Times app Live updates ARSENAL Injured Mkhitaryan, Ospina, Maitland-Niles Cech Bellerín Mustafi Chambers Monreal Elneny SOUTHAMPTON Injured Davis, Yoshida Wilshere Iwobi 150 If Arsenal win it will be their 150th Premier League victory at the Emirates. They will be the only side to have won 150-plus games at two different stadiums Welback Özil Austin Gabbiadini Tadic Hojbjerg Bertrand Hoedt Lemina Redmond Stephens Cédric 43 Darren Moore Run ended 11 May 2008 FINK TANK PREDICTION H 73% D 16% A 11% McCarthy 30 Kenny Miller Run ended 11 May 2008 29 Home win 4/7 (4-4-2) 31 Alan Hutton Run ended 07 May 2016 MU LWWWW Tomorrow 2.15pm Arsenal v Southampton Aubameyang Aston Villa, Middlesbrough Away win 14/5 (4-2-3-1) (4-2-3-1) Rudy Gestede Run ended 26 Apr 2017 Derby County Middlesbrough MANCHESTER CITY Injured Stones, Mendy Ederson Young West Brom will try to avoid their ninth successive league defeat today against Swansea City. Their caretaker manager Darren Moore failed to win any of his last 31 Premier League matches as a player, but even his winless streak is left in the shade by Rudy Gestede Aston Villa 3 Goals scored by Salomon Rondon in this fixture last season - all headers Manchester City v Manchester United Bill Edgar’s weekend numbers Derby County Promotion through play-offs (3-5-2) Referee R East (14 games) De Gea Referee A Marriner (22 games) 2 55 Ars LLLWW Sou LDDLL Tomorrow 4.30pm Chelsea v West Ham TV Live, Sky Sports PL Radio BBC 5 Live Times app Live updates CHELSEA Injured Luiz, Ampadu (3-4-3) Courtois Azpilicueta Christensen Moses Willian Kanté Rüdiger Hazard WEST HAM Injured Lanzini, Collins, Carroll Alonso Fàbregas Arnautovic 3 West Ham have lost all three Premier League game played on a Sunday this season, 8-1 on aggregate Morata Mário Zabaleta Kouyaté FINK TANK PREDICTION H 79% D 14% Ogbonna Rice A 7% Masuaku Fernandes Noble Cresswell Hart Answer:2009/10 46% Derby FINK TANK PREDICTION H 41% Fernández Van Der Hoorn D 31% A 28% * deducted 9 points for entering administration Karius Liverpool 13 games Direct promotion King Pogba Bur LDWWW Name the season W 27 27 23 21 8 6 7 Aston Villa Fabianski Walker Fulham Bristol City Naughton Draw 21/10 (4-2-3-1) Can you work out which season this table is from? P Ospina Arsenal 2 games WATFORD Injured Kabasele, Cleverley, Chalobah, Kaboul, Deulofeu, Success Cardiff SWANSEA Injured Sanches, Fer, Bony Suspended J Ayew TV Live, Sky Sports PL Radio BBC 5 LiveTimes app Live updates TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm Times app Highlights, 5.15pm Janmaat Abraham Mawson Tot WWWWW Wolves Brunt Rondón Away win 3/10 (4-2-3-1) (4-2-3-1) Gibbs Rodriguez Clucas FINK TANK PREDICTION H 13% D 19% A 68% Lloris 1 Evans Olsson Dier Referee G Scott (16 games) 52% Hegazi Livermore Yacob Eriksen Dembélé 60% De Gea Man United 31 games Foster 4 Successive league games against Stoke won by a four-goal margin by Tottenham - a top-flight record Kane WEST BROM Doubt Barry, Field, Chadli, Sturridge (4-2-3-1) Dawson TOTTENHAM Injured Winks Championship teams most likely to get promoted TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm Times app Highlights, 5.15pm McClean Clean sheet ratio this season (minimum 2 games) Dubravka Newcastle 5 games STOKE Injured Chupo Moring, Grant, Stafylidis Suspended Adam Butland Today 3pm West Brom v Swansea Referee K Friend (16 games) Home win 1/4 (3-5-2) 0 38 Che WLLWL WH WLLLW Millwall Preston Brentford Sheffield United As of April 1 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Why promotion is all but sealed for Wolves and Wigan Daniel Finkelstein The Fink Tank With Manchester City set to win the Premier League at any moment, and the top four practically settled (Chelsea still have a chance, but it’s only 7 per cent) how are the battles shaping up at the top of the other divisions? Henry Stott, Mark Latham and Dinesh Vatvani used the Fink Tank Predictor to model the rest of the season after last week’s run of games. This involved using a weighted measure of shots and shots on target and then simulating the season’s end repeatedly. So, to give an example, if a team ended up in the direct promotion slots 43 times out of every 100 times we simulated the season end, we would say they had a 43 per cent chance of automatic promotion. Wolverhampton Wanderers were nearly home after last weekend. They had a 99.4 per cent chance of direct promotion and a further 0.2 per cent of going up through the play-offs. Cardiff City had a total promotion chance of 79 per cent, with a 68.8 per cent shot at direct promotion. It will be interesting to see if last night’s showdown between the top two alters their prospects. Also in the hunt were Fulham (48.7 per cent total, 23.1 per cent direct), Aston Villa (27.7 per cent total, 8.1 per cent direct) and Derby County (23.8 and 0.7). Middlesbrough (8.9 per cent), Bristol City (4.3) and Millwall (2.5) had realistic, if small, chances of promotion through the play-offs, but not of going up automatically. After last weekend, Wigan Athletic had a 97.1 per cent chance of going up from League One (94.3 per cent automatically) and Blackburn Rovers a 94.9 per cent chance (90.8 per cent automatically). The only other team who may go up directly are Shrewsbury Town (14.9 per cent and 30.9 per cent altogether). Then there are six other clubs with a shot at promotion through the play-offs — Rotherham United (26.1 per cent), Charlton Athletic (16.0), Peterborough United (15.3), Portsmouth (11.5) Scunthorpe United (5.0) and Plymouth Argyle (3.0). Finally, there is the state of play in League Two: Accrington Stanley ended last weekend with a 99.5 per cent chance of going up and Luton Town with a 98.1 per cent chance of entering the third tier. Wycombe Wanderers had a 74.7 per cent chance of direct promotion and an 84.3 per cent overall chance of moving up. Other clubs with a good deal to play for are Coventry City (30.8 per cent overall chance of going up, 8.9 per cent shot at automatic promotion), Lincoln City (24.1, 4.8), Exeter City (21.0, 7.1), Notts County (20.0, 6.0), Mansfield Town (10.7, 1.7) and Swindon Town (9.8, 0.5). 14 3G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Sport The Masters Woods rallies to avoid the cut as Reed pulls clear Alasdair Reid Augusta As Marc Leishman and Patrick Reed began to pull away from the field last night, some of the top players in the world seemed grimly determined to kick their own prospects of winning the 82nd Masters deep into the long grass. Or rather, as long grass doesn’t actually feature at Augusta, deep into the woods that line this famous course. Between the regular ripples of polite applause and the very occasional roars of acclaim, the soundtrack of the day was provided by the sickeningly distinctive thwack of Titleist against tree trunk that hackers everywhere know so well. Those sounds were probably ringing in the ears of Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Phil Mickelson as they retired to bed last night. All three did serious damage to their cards with their arboreal excursions, Spieth, the first-round leader, did well to make up some of the ground he lost, but Mickelson and Woods, who did produce a mostly solid back nine to finish on four-over, enough to make the cut, look too far back to have much chance of adding to their combined collection of seven Green Jackets. Leishman and Reed are firmly in the hunt for their first. As the second day moved towards its conclusion, the 34-year-old Australian and the 27year-old American pushed hard over the back nine. Leishman hit a superb, drawing approach to thee par-five 15th to set up the eagle thatt moved him to seven-under, while Reed’s back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 nudged him two ahead. Reed was a force of nature at the Ryder Cup 18 months ago, but his play at Augusta has mostly been n free of the pyrotechnics. Instead, hee has run up some impressive statisticss as far as driving accuracy and threeputt avoidance have been concerned, both of which are key to doing well here. Leishman’s approach play has been the key to his success over the past two days. He has experience of leadingg majors, too, so he will not be troubled by his position. There is no suspicion n that he will wilt under pressure, so Rory McIlroy, Spieth and Henrik Stenson, who are tucked in behind, will have to play catch-up rather than wait for the leaders to fall. Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Justin Rose are lower down the leaderboard and will have to push even harder. Reed was a force of nature at the last Ryder Cup, but his game was more measured yesterday Woods, meanwhile, has won a lot of admirers with his demeanour on his return to competitive action at the Masters. In his pomp, Woods crushed the par-fives at Augusta, but when he came to the 8th, the second of the course’s long holes, he was one of just two players in the field who had yet to record a birdie at one. But it was the par-four 5th that hurt him most yesterday. Woods pushed his tee shot off to the right and then flew his second past the green. Worse still, he was deep in the forest at that point, his ball settled in the undergrowth amid a tangle of branches, forcing him to declare it unplayable. After his penalty drop, he did well to punch it out to the edge of the green, from where he took another two strokes to get it in the hole. History, as much as plain arithmetic, conspires against players who make such grave mistakes. Only three of the past 21 Masters winners have had a double-bogey on their cards in any of their rounds. Which is not to say that it cannot be done, simply that there is a fiendishly inconvenient trend in play. Spieth, after a round of 74, might fancy his prospects of bucking the pattern, Having led by two shots at the end of the first round, the Texan talked about achieving an average of threeunder-par for each day of the tournament. A noble aim, but one that didn’t look very likely after two holes yesterday, by which point he was threeover for his round. As with Woods, it was Spieth’s follies amid the foliage that had done the damage. On the par-four 1st hole he sent his drive far off to the right and ended up with a six, then put the same number on his card at the second after pulling two shots off to the left. By the time he left the seventh green, the 2015 cchampion had dropped ffour shots, but he undid some of that damage over tthe remaining 11 holes, converting birdie opportunities at the par-five 13th and 15th holes on his way to a 71. “Early in the round, I jjust hit it everywhere that you can’t hit it,” Spieth said. “I typically don’t do that out here. d Even when I make mistakes my errors are in tthe right locations. I jjust got a little brain dead to start, which is ffrustrating. But to still be in the tournament b after two rounds is nice.” Mickelson, who shot 779, had threatened early in his round, but then began to unwind, most b spectacularly when he came to the 9th. At that stage of the day, a log jam had formed at the top of the leaderboard — at one point eight players shared the lead at three-under — and he looked well placed to Masters dissected Watch Nick Dougherty demonstrates the three shots needed to tame one of the most challenging courses in golf On the Times app, tablet and at thetimes.co.uk/sport Tiger’s mixed day: Woods dropped two shots at the 5th, when he struggled to find his ball in the pine needles, below; he showed his frustration after narrowly missing a birdie at the 14th, above and main image. He began the round by bogeying the 1st hole, top right, but also found reason to laugh with playing partner Marc Leishman, bottom right, after birdies at the 13th and 15th on his way to a three-over round of 75 Tiger Woods +3 Birdies Pars Bogeys D Bogeys Out Par Score In Par Score 1 4 5 10 4 4 2 5 5 11 4 4 3 4 4 12 3 4 4 3 3 13 5 4 5 4 6 14 4 4 6 3 3 15 5 4 7 4 4 16 3 4 8 5 5 17 4 4 9 4 4 18 4 4 Par 72 Out 39 In 36 Total 75 make a charge through the field. Instead, like a startled deer, he scarpered into the forest instead, his tee shot flying far off to the right and coming to rest among the pines. As a golfing escapologist, Mickelson has gifts that would once have had him burnt at the stake for sorcery, but they deserted him when his hit a tree, shot off at a silly angle and put him even deeper into trouble. As with Woods, the lie was unplayable, so he had to drop and pitch out, a sequence of events that ended with a messy hole-out for a triple-bogey seven. Mickelson squeezed through to what looks likely to be a wet weekend. Among those who didn’t were Danny Willett and Sergio García, the past two champions, and 2008 winner Trevor Immelman. Host’s García jibe backfires Alasdair Reid Rich Lerner, a US golf host, thought that he was making a light-hearted joke, but it went down like a lead balloon with Sergio García and his wife. The 2017 Masters champion and his wife, Angela, named their first child, born this year, Azalea after the 13th hole and the flower for which Augusta is famous. Lerner, who presents on the Golf Channel, joked on Twitter that García would not be calling his next child Firethorn, the name of the par-five 15th hole where García took 13 shots in the first round, five of which landed in the water. He finished with a round of 81, nine over par. But Angela said on Twitter: “Hey @RichLernerGC, the next time you decide to tweet about my future child why don’t you use your brain and not do it? Don’t be an idiot.” Lerner issued an apology for his “poorly-timed attempt to lighten the mood” that he said had “missed the mark” with his “flippant comment”. But García himself also responded: “What happened on 15 @TheMasters yesterday was unfortunate for me and it hurt but I tried to handle it like a Masters champion should. That same hole gave me that green jacket last year so we might end up naming our next kid Firethorn after all, funny man!” García’s 13 on Thursday was the joint worst score on a single hole in the tournament’s history, alongside Tom Weiskopf, who made 13 on the 12th in 1980, and Tommy Nakajima, who shot 13 on the 13th in 1978. the times | Saturday April 7 2018 15 3G S Sport Sport BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS; DAVID CANNON/GETTY IMAGES; NEWSCOM / ALAMY LIVE NEWS; PATRICK SMITH/GETTY IMAGES Leaderboard Early second-round leaders R1 R2 R3 R4 Total augusta diary by alasdair reid closely with the fans this week — and not just by hitting the ball into the galleries. Alerted by a social media post to the plight of Shane Caldwell, a spectator who is being treated for lung cancer, Woods sought out Caldwell on the practice range and handed him a signed glove. “Stay strong”, he wrote on the palm. corset helps to ease couples’ pain Fred Couples has been troubled by back problems for almost as long as he has been playing golf — which is to say, a very long time indeed. However, the 1992 Masters champion is a stubborn soul, and the fact that his old injuries were playing up was never going to stop him from taking part in the event for the 33rd time. To help him round, the 58-year-old wore a corset-like brace around his waist. “He’s got a lot of pride,” said Davis Love III, Couples’ friend and old rival. “He’d grind it out even if everyone told him not to play.” mercedes alarm stirs media Biggest stir in the media centre yesterday was caused by a public address announcement. “There is a Couples wore a brace to help him with back pain black Mercedes in the press lot with the engine running and the lights on,” it said. It was not clear whether any of those who rushed towards the door actually owned the thing. woods supports cancer sufferer Tiger Woods continues to impress for reasons beyond the state of his game. In his prime, Woods was an aloof figure, but he has been engaging more eclectic mix highly undesirable A course’s eclectic score is the aggregate total of the lowest scores recorded at each of its 18 holes. Augusta’s, remarkably, is just 32 shots. But after Sergio García’s epic 13 at the 15th on Thursday, what is the worst eclectic, the total of all the highest scores? The frightening answer is 172. It’s not a card you would be in any rush to hand in. M Leishman (Aus) -7 70 67 - - 137 R McIlroy (N Ire) -4 69 71 - - 140 J Spieth (US) -4 66 74 - - 140 D Johnson (US) -3 73 68 - - T Finau (US) -2 68 74 - - 142 R Fowler (US) -2 70 72 - - 142 L Oosthuizen (SA) -2 71 71 - - 142 J Rose (Eng) -2 72 70 - - 142 C Smith (Aus) -1 71 72 - - 143 M Kuchar (US) -1 68 75 - - 143 J Rahm (Sp) -1 75 68 - - 143 141 B Wiesberger (Austria) -1 70 73 - - 143 J Walker (US) E 73 71 - - 144 H Matsuyama (Japan) E 73 71 - - 144 Z Johnson (US) E 70 74 - - 144 T Fleetwood (Eng) E 72 72 - - 144 Li Haotong (China) +1 69 76 - - 145 R Henley (US) +1 73 72 - - 145 R Cabrera-Bello (Sp) +1 69 76 - - 145 V Singh (Fiji) +1 71 74 - - 145 S Kodaira (Japan) +1 71 74 - - 145 F Couples (US) +2 72 74 - - 146 R Moore (US) +2 74 72 - - 146 J Vegas (Ven) +2 77 69 - - 146 F Molinari (It) +2 72 74 - - 146 K Stanley (US) +2 72 74 - - 146 B Grace (SA) +2 73 73 - - 146 C Reavie (US) +3 76 71 - - 147 K Kisner (US) +3 72 75 - - 147 B Harman (US) +3 73 74 - - 147 D Berger (US) +3 73 74 - - 147 M Kaymer +3 74 73 - - 147 T Woods (US) +4 73 75 - - 148 Kim Si-woo (S Kor) +4 75 73 - - 148 D Ghim* (US) +4 72 76 - - 148 B Langer (Ger) +4 74 74 - - 148 A Scott (Aus) +4 75 73 - - 148 B DeChambeau (US) +4 74 74 - - 148 I Poulter (Eng) +5 74 75 - - 149 W Simpson (US) +5 76 73 - - 149 X Schauffele (US) +5 71 78 - - 149 T Hatton (Eng) +5 74 75 - - 149 P Mickelson (US) +5 70 79 - - 149 Other scores US unless stated * denotes amateur 149: M Fitzpatrick (Eng), K Aphibarnrat (Thai), P Casey. 150: S Lyle (Sco), C Schwartzel (SA), J M Olazábal (Sp), J Dufner. 151: P Cantlay, S Sharma (India), T Pieters (Bel), T Potter Jr, B Steele, D Frittelli (SA), D Willett (Eng). 152: R Fisher (Eng), W Bryan, P Perez, P Kizzire. 153: T Immelman (SA), J Niemann* (Chile), Y Ikeda (Japan), A Noren (Swe), K Chappell. 154: G Woodland, Y Miyazato (Japan), A Cook. 155: B Horschel, I Woosnam (Wal), M Weir (Can). 156: L Mize. 159: A Cabrera (Arg), Lin Yuxin* (China), M O’Meara. 160: M Parziale*. 166: H Ellis (Eng) 16 3G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Sport The Masters McIlroy able to cope with Mike Atherton Augusta “Every player must find the balance between ambition and sanity. Were Major Championships my focus? Yes they were. Were they the only focus in my life? No. My family always came before that. Could I have worked harder and won more Majors? Probably. Could I have driven myself crazy doing it? Absolutely.” Jack Nicklaus It was late on Thursday evening, the sun sending shadows from the tall pines across the fairways, and Rory McIlroy was striding down the 15th fairway, alongside one of his playing partners, Adam Scott. They were side by side, chatting amiably, grinning, all the way. It was quite a contrast from watching Tiger Woods, who had finished earlier in the day. McIlroy looked a picture of content- ment and it begged the question, how do you cope with the pressure of wanting to join golf’s most select group? How does the overpowering desire to have your name uttered alongside Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Woods, as winners of the career slam, affect you? In sport you can want things too badly, or not badly enough. Balance? Well, that’s hard to find. In the past, McIlroy has admitted to struggling to cope around Augusta, and with the pressure of the slam. Until the opening day, when he birdied the first and ended three shots off the lead, he has usually started slowly. Even when he didn’t in 2011, when he led from starting tape to finishing turn, he had blown up badly. He wasn’t certain quite how aggressive to be. “Sometimes I think I’ve shown this golf course a little too much respect,” he said in practice. Before the tournament, Nicklaus said that McIlroy is swinging better than he has ever seen him. McIlroy’s driving on the first day backed up that assertion: he ranked third for driving accuracy, and 15th for distance. His putter, too, was hot: he ranked fifth on the greens, and did not three-putt once. With his game in good order, it was all about how he would cope with the enormity of what lay before him. At the start of the second day, on another gorgeous Augusta morning, with the breeze gentle enough at the start to send the cigar smoke wafting across the fairways, the signs were mixed. The solid, error-free round of the day before was replaced by a yo-yo start: his first par came on the 5th, after a brace of bogeys and birdies that were filled with signs of tension, and inspiration. While his driving had been so true on the first day, he was wayward at the start of the second. He drove left at the 1st, into the fairway bunker on the 2nd, and into the pine needles at the 7th. His putting, too, was inconsistent. He opened with his first three-putt of the tournament, with a tentative roll from 48 feet on the 1st. Then he sank a treacherous downhill putt on the second, to bring the first roar of the day. He failed to get up and down at the short par threes, the 4th and the 6th. He was battling for a one-over-par front nine. McIlroy appears to be one of those players who likes to know what’s going on and there were furtive glances to the mini scoreboards that dot the greens, which told him that those around him were finding things equally tough. With Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Matt Kuchar immediately ahead and Jordan Spieth and Louis Oosthuizen immediately behind, these groups played pass the parcel with the leader’s position all morning, and through the McIlroy, who finished on four under, has to rescue his ball from a spectator’s chair on the 7th hole, left early afternoon, but largely through default. The course was not laughing at them, but with the breeze up in the afternoon and the greens slicker than an advertising man’s patter, it was winning. Fowler holes monster 66-foot putt for par Rickie Fowler missed the green with his tee shot at the 180-yard par-three 6th and his chip ran down the hill away from the hole, leaving him with a mountain to climb, but he saved par by holing this monster putt to stay in contention near the top of the leaderboard. It was indicative of a mixed round for the American, who hit a twounder-par 70 on Thursday. Yesterday, he dropped a shot at the 1st, but picked one up at the 5th and, thanks to his putting skill, stayed level par for the round at the next. He finished with a HOLE 6 66 feet par 72, leaving him well placed at two under for the tournament. The 29-year-old has come close to major glory several times, but has never seriously challenged at Augusta. His best finish was tied for fifth in 2014 and he finished 11th last year. the times | Saturday April 7 2018 17 3G S Sport Sport Augusta’s unique pressures Rory McIlroy -1 1 Pars for McIlroy in his first six holes yesterday, to go alongside three bogeys and two birdies Birdies 50 McIlroy’s percentage driving accuracy yesterday, compared with 85.7% in the first round character. He said that he had to concentrate on “steadying the ship” after the 6th hole. He hung in, and reaped eventual rewards. It was about 1.30pm, the day having turned overcast, that McIlroy got to the THE HOME OF LIVE FOOTBALL TODAY’S COMMENTARIES holes that, historically, he has found most difficult, having played the 10th and 11th in 24 over par between them in his nine appearances, and only ever having birdied the 12th twice. Three solid pars followed, a sign that the ship had been steadied. Outwardly, though, through the initial grind and then with opportunities made and missed on the inward nine, his demeanour did not change until he flipped his putter in his hand after missing a final Bogeys Out Par Score In Par Score 1 4 5 10 4 4 2 5 4 11 4 4 3 4 3 12 3 3 4 3 4 13 5 4 5 4 4 14 4 3 6 3 4 15 5 5 7 4 4 16 3 3 8 5 5 17 4 4 9 4 4 18 4 4 Par 72 In the context of that indifferent start, what followed for McIlroy, with Amen Corner safely negotiated, birdies at the 13th and 14th and missed opportunities at the last two holes, was deeply impressive for its show of patience and Pars Out 37 In 34 Total 71 birdie opportunity from 11 feet on the last. Followed by his father Gerry, a large Irish contingent including AP McCoy, the former Champion jockey, and with his mate, Harry Diamond, on the bag, he looked like a man enjoying his golf and with his life in balance. He said he felt “relaxed and good” and was trying to “stay in the present, taking one shot at a time”. The group of players, of which he is one, who came a generation after Tiger Woods and certainly no longer fear him, seemed to have learnt from the best and worst of Woods’s experiences: many have copied his physical regime — McIlroy looks in great shape — benefiting from the extended break he took last year and aggressive play but avoiding hurting their bodies to the same extent and becoming defined by the game to the point at which it damages them. There are two sides to obsession in sport, something McIlroy touched on before the tournament when he said: “If someone was to say, ‘You can have 14 majors and 70 wins but have to deal with that [Tiger’s life] or nine majors and 40 wins and stay the way you are’, I’d take the second option all day.” He has won four majors, looks relaxed; had to battle and stay patient on the second day, and, as he went to the clubhouse, he was right in the hunt for a fifth and a place in the history books. PR MIER LEAGUE PRE CHAMPI MPIONS ON HIP I PREMIER LEAGUE EVERTON NORWICH LEICESTER V V V LIVERPOOL ASTON VILLA NEWCASTLE Exclusive coverage today from 12pm on talkSPORT Exclusive coverage today from 12pm on talkSPORT 2 Exclusive coverage today from 2.30pm on talkSPORT 2 1089/1053AM • DAB Radio • App • talkSPORT.com 18 3G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Rugby union ‘My achievements don’t compare to Mum’s. She is the inspirational one’ Matthew Syed admires the remarkable driving force behind a deeply misunderstood Danny Cipriani S he was left in hospital at three days old and brought up in a Dr Barnardo’s home. She had no brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles. As an adult, her marriage broke up when her young son was six years old. But Anne Cipriani did not buckle. Instead, she did what she has always done: worked hard, poured her soul into life and brought up a son who would go on to be one of the finest English rugby players of his generation. “I always knew at 16 nobody was going to do anything for me, and that’s what has driven me all my life,” she says when we and Danny meet in southwest London. “When you hit the wall, you either fall over or you stand up and walk. And I have said that to Daniel since he was this high. And you were going to walk, Daniel,” she says, turning towards her son. Anne is one of the most extraordinary people I have met. She is wearing a blue cardigan, blue trousers and red shoes. She has just parked her black cab outside after another long shift. She joshes on arrival, criticising a column I wrote about Danny towards the end of last year which led, in a roundabout way, to this meeting — a subject to which we shall return. But a few moments after sitting down with Danny and myself, it is as if I have known her all my life. She is fluent, eloquent, and bitingly funny, but it is her strength of character that shines like a beacon. As she opens up about her backstory, and the daunting challenges she has faced, Danny looks at her intently, as if hearing the detail for the first time. But there is also compassion in his eyes; compassion and admiration. He knows, for he says it often, that there is nobody he respects more. “I thought I’d love pregnancy and be cool about being a mum, but I hated pregnancy,” she says. “That all changed the very moment I saw him. He turned my life upside down. And I knew for the first time what unconditional love was. And it was so powerful that I would have thrown myself under a bus for him. I would have cleaned toilets with a toothbrush for the rest of my life to give him opportunities. Opportunities I never had.” Anne met Jay, Danny’s father, on a once-in-alifetime holiday in Tobago and he came to live with her in London. Danny was born a couple of years later, in 1987. When the couple split, Anne, desperate to stand on her own two feet, decided to do the Knowledge, the formidable test for aspiring black cab drivers. She passed the test and purchased a hackney carriage. When she drove off from their small flat in Putney for the first time, she was one of the first female cab drivers in the city. “If you work seven hours a day, you will end up renting your flat. If you work 16 hours a day, you can buy your own flat,” she says. “I have always believed in self-reliance. Quite a few people I knew growing up took the easy option of living on benefits and handouts. I didn’t want to take that route. I didn’t take holidays, so I could save for Danny’s school fees. I put him into Our Lady of Victories, a little Catholic school in Putney. It was No 1 in the grade tables for state schools. It was excellent, but there was only 20 minutes of PE per week. the outside, his journey looked as lucrative as it “I heard one of the other mums talking about was glamorous. In addition to a superlative a Catholic prep school in Wimbledon, where sporting career, he was also a style icon. He they played cricket, rugby and football. It was found himself not just on the sports pages, but £3,000 a year, which was a huge amount back then, but I decided that I wanted Daniel to go. It in the gossip columns, not least because of his relationship with Kelly Brook (the former model meant I had to save up. I used to take him to and actress whom he dated). But Cipriani was school at quarter to nine, drop him off and then unprepared for the scrutiny or criticism. He work for six hours. I would pick him up at made mistakes, inevitable for a young man in quarter to three, then take him up to Richmond the spotlight, but discovered an unforgiving Park. He used to love it there. I would find a hill world. His anxiety grew in direct proportion to and then throw a ball. He would run up and his fame, and he felt ever more trapped. down while I caught a tiny bit of shut-eye.” At 22, he started to suffer with “So, you treated me like a dog,” Danny depression. interjects, teasing gently. “I went to Australia to get Anne smiles. “I knew that if I away from the media attention. could get you to sleep at 7pm, it It was overwhelming. was job done. That was when my Try assists provided Paparazzi outside my house 70-year-old neighbour, who I every day when I was with adore, who has just died at the by Cipriani in the Kelly,” he says. “I was only 20, age of 92, used to take over. And past two seasons and I just didn’t have the at 7.30pm I would go back out in in the Premiership — emotional maturity to cope. the cab and work until between more than any Everything I said, everything I midnight and 3am . . . It was tough, did, seemed to be misinterpreted. but it was worth it. Danny went to other fly half I never really drank alcohol in my great schools, sometimes on teens but I used to drink in Australia, scholarships, but there was always a need just to escape the feelings of helplessness. I to pay for extras. The financial demands were went through depression when I was 22, I was constant.” quite badly depressed. I went to see a When Anne tells of Danny’s school reports, psychiatrist. he smiles. When she talks about some of the “Looking back, I think a key problem is that I tougher moments of working in a black cab in a didn’t have a father figure. Mum was amazing big city, his eyes shut briefly. Above all, during and couldn’t have done more. But I didn’t have this interplay, one glimpses the bond between these two remarkable people, so close and yet so anyone to teach me about how to be a man. “I would lean on coaches, hoping for that different. The famous son who rose to become relationship. I had it great with Shaun Edwards one of the nation’s most creative fly halves and and Brian Ashton, two legends of the game. But the mother whose indomitability provided the when I moved away, I was reaching for that foundation upon which his career was built. intimacy. As soon as a coach doesn’t give you that feeling, your reaction is, ‘I don’t want to first met Danny after I wrote a column last know’. It feels like rejection. I am not saying that year critiquing his attitude. My thesis was is how it was, but there were moments when that Danny didn’t reach his potential it felt like that. Then you do feel terribly because he lacked focus. Cipriani alone. For a time, I just didn’t see the got in touch to say that he felt point of tomorrow.” the analysis was unfair. The Cipriani smiles reassuringly as he correspondence was courteous and notices my surprise. “I think it is illuminating, so we met for a coffee in important to be honest about mental central London. After an hour or two difficulties,” he says. “It helps to overcome discussing sport and psychology — as the stigma.” Did psychiatry help, I well as love and life — we met again. wonder? “It helped a bit, but Then again. He is fascinating what helped most was when I company, combining curiosity with started praying at night. All humanity. “People are often the anxiety started to surprised when they get to drain away. It helped me know me face to face,” he to find stillness and said. meaning. It also helped His sporting story is well to meet Steve Black [a known: brought up on a renowned mentor, who council estate in Putney also worked with Jonny (Anne bought her flat Wilkinson]. He has during the Thatcher rightbeen a massive to-buy policy), and then influence. We read finding a huge affinity for books together, rugby while at prestigious discuss what it means schools such as the Oratory to be a man. Today, it and Whitgift. His potential has turned around. I was so palpable that he was couldn’t love life more.” hailed as a future England The more that Cipriani player in his early teens. He talks, the more I realise made his first-team debut how deeply he is for Wasps at 17 and has misunderstood. The now played more than supposedly inflated ego is 200 times in the top conspicuous by its absence. He flight. He has also won asks about my life, my family, my 14 caps for England and anxieties. He listens attentively would have won more when I open up, offering with more favourable encouragement and advice. This selectors. is not a loose cannon who What is less well squandered his talent but a young known, however, is the man who was given a chance inner story of through the sacrifice of an Cipriani’s career. From 13 I I would have cleaned toilets with a toothbrush for the rest of my life to give him opportunities I never had extraordinary mum, but who found fame a little too soon. He made mistakes. He would certainly do things differently. But he has learnt plenty along the way. “When you look back at the man I was at 20, and the man I am today, they are two completely different people. I have learnt selfawareness,” he says. “If you ask my team-mates at Wasps, they would call me a leader. At least I hope they would. I am on hand to offer advice and to help everyone reach their potential. I have looked to improve myself in multiple ways. I work on my speed with Margot Wells [wife of the Olympic gold-medallist sprinter Allan], the best speed coach in the country. I work with the best physio. I look to work with anyone who can give me an edge. “I still hold out for a chance with England. I think I have the ability and mindset to help the team.” A s the sun drops beneath the horizon, Anne reveals more about her remarkable story, one that would make a fascinating film: her mother picking her up from the Dr Barnardo’s home at six before placing her back into care at 12; the racism she endured for marrying a black man in the 1980s; the trials and tribulations of working as a woman in a male-dominated industry. She also talks about the anxiety of being the mother of a rugby player. Danny became so badly concussed as a teenager during a game in the times | Saturday April 7 2018 19 3G S Sport JON ENOCH FOR THE TIMES Axe Anglo-Welsh Cup to help clubs and England team Ben Kay B Danny Cipriani with his mother, Anne, who drove a cab for 16 hours a day to help him to build his career with Wasps, below, and England South Africa that he was incoherent when he talked to Anne, in London, from his hospital bed. “It was terrifying, listening to him. He thought I was in the next room and kept asking me to come and see him. A few days later, my hair fell out [stress-related alopecia]. “As a mother, you never really get used to the risks. I only went to a game or two each season, because I couldn’t afford the time off. But there was one game I went to where his ankle broke and you could hear this scream, like a wolf, all around the stadium. My heart nearly stopped beating. It is only in the last two years that I have become a little more relaxed.” I ask Anne whether she is starting to take things a little easier at work. After all, doesn’t she deserve a bit of peace and relaxation? “I am still out of the house at quarter to six every morning,” she says proudly. “But I am not working 16 hours a day any more. I’ve cut it to eight. I quite enjoy it, to be honest.” As the interview comes towards an end, Danny looks contemplative. “She has been an incredible influence. People often tell me that I am successful, but I wouldn’t have got off the starting line without Mum,” he says. “That is true, I think, of most people who have excelled, in sport or life. They may look like they have done it on their own, but if you look closer you find an incredible mentor or parent working tirelessly in the background. My achievements don’t compare to Mum’s. She is the inspirational one in our family, not me.” cipriani knocked out as wasps lose at sale Danny Cipriani was taken off the pitch on a stretcher last night after it appeared that he had been knocked unconscious in the closing stages of Wasps’ Aviva Premiership match against Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium. Cipriani had needed about ten minutes of treatment after a heavy collision with Faf de Klerk, the Sale scrum half, near the tryline, above. The Wasps fly half had earlier been sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on. Marland Yarde won the game for Sale with a try in the final minute to make the score 28-27 and lift his side up to fifth in the table. y a number of different measures, the Aviva Premiership can be considered to be in particularly rude health. We heard this week that the league is on the verge of agreeing a new title sponsorship with Arthur J Gallagher, an insurance company based in the United States, which will improve the Premiership’s ability to reach into new markets. Add to that the size of the crowds attracted to the previous round of Premiership fixtures a fortnight ago, when Newcastle Falcons pulled in more than 30,000 to a game staged at St James’ Park, Saracens and Harlequins played in front of 56,000 at the London Stadium and Leicester Tigers had almost 26,000 inside Welford Road for the Midlands derby against Wasps. More television money is coming into the club game and armchair audiences are growing, with live Premiership games on Channel 5 this season and Channel 4 due to screen the European Champions Cup next season. And yet, despite all these positive signs, The Times revealed this week that Saracens, European champions for the past two years, are to lose the support of one of their principal backers, the South African billionaire Johann Rupert. Whatever the reasons behind the decision, his withdrawal has turned the spotlight on a situation in which a handful of teams are up for sale and every club except Exeter Chiefs is declaring losses. No matter how rich your benefactor, there may come a time when they grow tired of writing off the losses. Even someone as wealthy as Bruce Craig, the Bath chairman, must begin to question how much longer he can keep supporting a club financially if the results on the pitch are not materialising. As with Nigel Wray, who has reclaimed full control at Saracens by buying Rupert’s share in the club, there is no reason to doubt that Craig is in it for the long haul at the Recreation Ground. Success at a Premiership club is not measured in the same way as most businesses, where it’s all about making a profit. Most owners, I’m sure, would be content to keep making small losses if they were winning trophies. But nobody can continue to write off up to £5 million a season indefinitely. It all makes me wonder whether the time is approaching for the Premiership clubs to be holding serious discussions with the RFU again and consider how best to make their relationship work for the good of the game as a whole. After the disappointment of a fifth-placed finish for England in the Six Nations, the RFU must be worrying about the workload of their international players when compared with that of the Irish and Welsh players. Ireland’s grand slam and Leinster’s victory over Saracens in the Champions Cup quarter-final last weekend have drawn attention to the benefits of the player management system employed by Ireland. English players are under too much pressure to play. To persuade the clubs to rest their stars more often, the RFU would need to increase the compensation it pays for the players’ services. Would it consider doing that? This is where the arrival of Ian Ritchie as the new chairman of Premiership Rugby this month could be an advantage. As the former chief executive of the RFU, he has an intimate knowledge of where the governing body may be able to find the extra money. And his successor at the RFU is Stephen Brown, who previously worked as chief financial officer under Ritchie. The two men are now serving different bodies, but they have worked together before. The RFU clearly has an interest in reducing the workload of its England players, and the Premiership clubs, as we know, are on the lookout for ways of generating more income. So there may just be an opportunity to be seized if the powers-that-be can show the vision. Ritchie’s RFU experience should help him in his role at Premiership Rugby With player welfare in mind, it may be that creating additional space in the playing calendar would come under consideration during any discussions and, to my mind, it would be worth contemplating scrapping the Anglo-Welsh Cup. It may be run largely as a development competition for younger players, but it still places a strain on a club’s resources and, at a time when squad sizes have been shrinking as a result of rising player wages, something has to give. Once again, there would be a need for compensation for clubs who would be losing the revenue from the home games they host in the cup at present. As for the development of younger players, Nigel Melville, the RFU’s director of professional rugby, has suggested the creation of “buddy” clubs, strengthening links between Premiership and Championship teams, with younger players from the top tier going on loan to the Championship to further their education. This must be worth considering. As ever, there would be a vast number of moving parts in any discussion between the union and the Premiership clubs and no single issue can be treated in isolation. But right now — given the RFU’s interest in better management of its England players and the Premiership clubs’ need to improve their finances — would seem like a good time for them to be getting their heads together. 20 3G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Hamilton team in threat to quit as spending cap is confirmed Formula One Rebecca Clancy Motor Racing Reporter Bahrain The sight of Toto Wolff and Maurizio Arrivabene sitting in the Mercedes hospitality suite yesterday morning said it all. The Mercedes and Ferrari bosses had just emerged from a meeting in Bahrain — the venue for this weekend’s grand prix — between F1’s new owners and every team principal, in which Liberty Media set out its vision for the sport for 2021 and beyond. The two top teams have made it clear that they do not support many of the plans, which aim to make the sport more competitive and, while they may be rivals for the world championship, they appear to be allies in this battle. Liberty Media yesterday revealed its five-point plan, which confirmed for the first time that a cost cap of $150 million (about £106 million), would be introduced. That is the maximum that all teams would be allowed to spend, including development, testing, build and staff costs but excluding driver contracts. For the top teams that is more than half of their current budget. Ferrari are yet to comment, but with yesterday’s fivepoint plan similar to one announced at the end of last year it is unlikely the Scuderia’s feeling will have changed from their threat to quit the sport. Wolff, the Mercedes executive director, yesterday refused to commit his team to race in Formula One beyond 2021. “I think we are 2018 today and there is a set of ideas and concepts for 2021 that need refinement, that need understanding of the detail and only then it is the right moment for the teams to decide if this is something we like and wish to participate in,” he said. Ferrari and Mercedes spend more than $300 million a year to develop the fastest racing cars but the lower teams cannot afford that outlay to produce a car that can compete. “How you spend the money must be more decisive and important than how much money you spend,” F1 said. Neither Ferrari nor Mercedes want a more level playing field. When they go to their boards at the end of each year, they want to show that they are dominant. But this is to the detriment of the sport and needs to change — which is something that the new owners are trying to do. Their plans also include a “more balanced” revenue distribution “based on meritocracy of the current performance” while “recognising historical franchise and value”. This is an area that has frustrated Ferrari as the team receive a historical bonus payment for being the team that has been in the sport since the championship started in 1950, meaning that they receive the most money even if they do not win the championship. This is something that they do not want to lose. F1 also wants “more raceable” cars, to increase overtaking opportunities and a simplified and streamlined governance structure. Finally, it wants cheaper, simpler, louder engines, to make F1 more attractive for new manufacturers. This, too, is something that Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Honda are unhappy with given the millions that they have invested to develop the complex engines in use this season. However, Aston Martin, which has been exploring the possibility of entering the sport as an engine provider to Red Bull, immediately welcomed the proposals. “We are extremely pleased to hear today’s news regarding the future of Formula One,” Andy Palmer, the president and chief executive, said. Bob Fernley, the deputy team principal at Force India which has finished fourth in the constructors’ championship for the past two years on a budget of about $130 million, said that he was encouraged, while Claire Williams, deputy team principal at Williams, said that she was “extremely positive” after the meeting.“For a team like ours, it was an extremely good day,” she said. While these changes are intended for 2021 and beyond, the FIA, the governing body, is meeting the team technical directors this weekend to try to find a more urgent fix to the lack of overtaking in Australia two weeks ago Sebastian Vettel, who starts his 200th grand prix in Bahrain, will be looking for his second win of the season, with Lewis Hamilton aiming to stop him without having to worry about preserving his engine, as he did in Melbourne. Nadal sets Davis Cup record Tennis Rafael Nadal returned to action with a victory in the Davis Cup yesterday, setting a record for the longest winning streak in the competition’s history. In his first match since he retired from his Australian Open quarter-final against Marin Cilic in January because of a hip injury, Nadal made light work of Philipp Kohlschreiber, winning 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 to draw Spain level at 1-1 with Germany in their World Group quarter-final tie in Valencia. The victory gave Nadal, the world No 1, the longest Davis Cup winning streak in combined singles and doubles rubbers, with 23 matches in a row. After Alexander Zverev beat David Ferrer 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 to put Germany in front, Nadal hardly put a foot wrong on his return, producing 14 of his 30 winners in the opening set of a onesided contest. Kohlschreiber also went down tamely in the second before putting up more of a fight at the start of the third, but Nadal wrapped up the match in two hours and 33 minutes. “It’s positive winning in straight sets, it was a solid match. I feel comfortable back on the clay,” said Nadal, who has not lost a singles match in the Davis Cup since his debut in 2004. “Coming back from injuries is always difficult but it’s great to be in front of my crowd on a very memorable day.” Ten English players do battle as IPL starts again Cricket Elizabeth Ammon The Indian Premier League starts today with the largest ever contingent from these shores as ten Englishmen will take part in the 11th edition of the Twenty20 domestic tournament. The eight IPL franchises will play 60 matches at nine venues over 51 days and the tournament begins with Mumbai Indians, the champions, taking on Chennai Superkings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, where the final will take place on May 27. Format The teams play each other twice, home and away, with the top four teams progressing to the play-offs. In the knockout stage, the top two teams play each other with the winner qualifying for the final and the loser taking on the winner of the eliminator match, which is held between the teams who finished third and fourth, to decide the other finalist. Grid girls followed by grid penalty in contravention of the policy introduced this season by the sport’s owner, Liberty Media. Hamilton put a picture of grid girls, whose equivalents have been phased out in several sports, on Instagram and added the comment: “Thank you Jesus” along with an emoji of praying hands. Hamilton’s hopes of L ewis Hamilton deleted a social media post after praising the decision of the Monaco Grand Prix to have grid girls victory tomorrow were hit last night by a five-place grid penalty. The defending champion was bidding to get his title charge back on track after losing out to Sebastian Vettel in Melbourne a fortnight ago, but he will be penalised after an unscheduled gearbox change on his Mercedes. BAHRAIN SAKHIR Bahrain International Circuit 4 TV 4.10pm tomorrow, live coverage Sky Sports F1 Channel 4 Race 2 (out of 21) Circuit length 5.4km Laps 57 Race distance 308.2km Lap record 1min 31.447sec P De La Rosa (2005) 13 5 6 12 7 DRS zone 9 11 8 3 Start/finish 14 15 1 How they stand 1. S Vettel 2. L Hamilton 3. K Raikkonen 4. D Ricciardo 5. F Alonso Ger GB Fin Aus Sp 25 18 15 12 10 6. M Verstappen 7. N Hulkenberg 8. V Bottas 9. S Vandoorne 10. C Sainz Neth Red Bull Ger Renault Fin Mercedes Bel McLaren Sp Renault 8 6 4 2 1 1. Ferrari 2. Mercedes 3. Red Bull Racing 4. McLaren 5. Renault 40 22 20 12 7 England lose last-over thriller Women’s cricket India gained revenge for their World Cup final defeat by England, beating them by one wicket in a thrilling one-day international in Nagpur. Chasing 208 for victory in the first game of a three-match series yesterday, India looked well on their way after the opener Smriti Mandhana hit 86, but Sophie Ecclestone, England’s 18-yearold left-arm spinner, took four wickets as the hosts slipped from 166 for three to 190 for nine. However, Ekta Bisht and Poonam Yadav saw their team home with five balls to spare. England’s total had been underpinned by the opener Tammy Beau- Chennai Superkings Odds 7-1 (Coral) Captain MS Dhoni Coach Stephen Fleming Overseas players Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, *Mark Wood, *Sam Billings, Imran Tahir Delhi Daredevils 8-1 Captain Gautam Gambhir Coach Ricky Ponting Overseas Chris Morris, Trent Boult, Glenn Maxwell, Colin Munro, Dan Christian, *Jason Roy Kings XI Punjab 8-1 Captain Ravi Ashwin Coach Brad Hodge Overseas Andrew Tye, Aaron Finch, Marcus Stoinis, David Miller, Chris Gayle Captain Dinesh Karthik Coach Jacques Kallis Overseas Andre Russell, Chris Lynn, Mitchell Johnson, Cameron Delport, *Tom Curran Winner 2017 S Vettel (Ferrari) Constructors Ferrari Mercedes Ferrari Red Bull McLaren The franchises have squads of between 18 and 25 players with a maximum of eight overseas players, of which only four are allowed to play in each match. * denotes English player Kolkata Knight Riders 6-1 10 2 The franchises mont’s 37, Fran Wilson’s patient 45 off 78 balls and 33 by Danielle Hazell, who scored briskly at No 8. However, it was not to be for the touring team even though they fought back after Mandhana, who struck five fours and four sixes, initially dominated India’s run chase. “It was a brilliant and tight game,” said Anya Shrubsole, England’s standin captain — who took six for 46 in that Lord’s final last July which England won by nine runs. “For a long time we looked like we were out of it. We showed a tremendous amount of fight to drag ourselves into the game.” The series continues with matches on Monday and Thursday, also in Nagpur. Mumbai Indians 4-1 Captain Rohit Sharma Coach Mahela Jayawardena Overseas Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis, Pat Cummins, Ben Cutting, Mustafizur Rahman, Mitchell McClenaghan Rajasthan Royals 8-1 Captain Ajinkya Rahane Coach Paddy Upton Overseas *Ben Stokes, Ben Laughlin, Jofra Archer, *Jos Buttler, D’Arcy Short Royal Challengers Bangalore 7-2 Captain Virat Kohli Coach Daniel Vettori Overseas AB de Villiers, Tim Southee, *Chris Woakes, Brendon McCullum, Quinton de Kock, *Moeen Ali Colin de Grandhomme Sunrisers Hyderabad 6-1 Captain Kane Williamson Coach Tom Moody Overseas Rashid Khan, *Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, *Chris Jordan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi 6 All games live on Sky Sports Cricket the times | Saturday April 7 2018 21 3G S Commonwealth Games Sport Fast, feminist and gunning for gold Dina Asher-Smith tells Rick Broadbent that women’s sprinting can match the excitement generated by the men For someone who makes a living from running the shortest distances, Dina Asher-Smith is adamant that there is a long way to go. The fastest ever British woman wants to be first among equals, so she talks Time’s Up as well as bringing down her times. Her words are in sync with these Commonwealth Games’ billing as the most equal ever. This is the first time in either Commonwealth or Olympics history that women will receive the same number of medals as men. It is a significant step, but one area where women are still viewed as supporting acts is in elite sprinting. That may be about to change. With Usain Bolt’s era of dominance now a fond memory, Asher-Smith wants women to reclaim the spotlight. After all, the most exciting sprinter in the world is now a Jamaican woman, a tattooed star called Elaine Thompson who also does Olympic sprint doubles. Asher-Smith is due to face her next week. “I’m a feminist,” Asher-Smith says of the wider picture. “Say that and some people look at you in a weird way which I don’t really understand — unless you have something against people being equal irrespective of where they come from or what they are born with.” There is no rational reason why women should not have parity or more in the post-Bolt void; not when the most dominant man is a lightning rod for public revulsion. Justin Gatlin is both the 100m world champion and the antihero who failed two drug tests. “I definitely think we have a long way to go in our sport and in others,” AsherSmith says the day before the athletics programme gets under way here. “It’s better than it used to be but that does not mean the job is finished. “Talk to guys within the sport and they are just as excited to watch women race, but the wider media spend most of their time looking at men. I think that is a big part of it.” Asher-Smith is only 22 but she has a history degree, so knows how history can be manipulated, sparking an aside about the respective public images of the jazz stars Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong. “I look at the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements and I think we are at a pivotal moment in our history. As a historian I look back for those big events that influence the course of the future and I am really hopeful that this is one of those times.” Photograph by Marc Aspland How to follow it The 200m heats are on Tuesday, followed by the semi-finals on Wednesday and the final on Thursday games lowdown What’s happened overnight? Nile Wilson will have won or lost the men’s individual all-round gymnastics final while we will have seen whether the Brownlee brothers can revitalise themselves for the mixed triathlon with Jess Learmonth and Vicky Holland. What’s on today? Gymnastics The women’s individual all-round final takes place as you are waking up (7.41am). Swimming Adam Peaty’s 100m breaststroke gold is all but assured (10.48am). Lizzie Simmonds goes in the 100m backstroke (11.03am) Sexual assault is obviously a world away from better billing for female sprinters, but respect and equality are common factors. So just why is the men’s 100m deemed the blue riband event anyway? Asher-Smith accepts it was different with Bolt, that unique mix of class and charisma, but now? The Orpington athlete has the potential to help female sprinters catch Gatlin and Co. In 2015 she became the first British woman to dip below the 11second barrier for 100m and then clocked 22.07 to better Kathy Cook’s 31year-old British record for 200m. The world junior champion at 100m in 2014, she was fifth in the longer sprint at the World Championships in 2015 and at the Olympic Games in 2016. Then, last year, she made a Lazarus leap from breaking her foot to finishing fourth in the World Championships 200m in London in the space of five months. She was just 0.07sec off a first sprint medal for a British woman at that level since 1983. There was a silver lining in the relay to go with the Olympic bronze. Only 13 women have run 200m faster this century and only seven in the past five years. Back in 2012 she was a kit carrier on Super Saturday, and it is interesting that she says the inspiration gleaned from that experience did not come from Mo Farah or Jessica Ennis-Hill. “I was five metres away from one of the most golden nights in British sport, but what struck me was not them winning but the way, all around, people who did not know them were genuinely happy, crying and involved. “I thought, ‘What a job!’ That was the power of sport. It was euphoric. Imagine, even for a minute, the ability to make people happy. In life we should all want to do that.” The perma-grin faded last year when she caught her foot while doing plyometrics. “I was embarrassed to stand up and thought, ‘Oh it’ll be fine’. She texted her physiotherapist, Martin Wilson. ‘Please, you have to see me today.’ One look and he said, ‘I can’t fix this’.” It took surgery, two screws and time. She was told that she would need a year but only had five months. “As elite athletes we are in the business of doing things that aren’t normal,” she said. There will be some good athletics on the Gold Coast — Jamaica, Kenya, Caster Semenya, Yohan Blake and Isaac Makwala are all here. The highlight, though, is likely to be the women’s 200m. As well as Thompson, the field will include Blessing Okagbare, the fastest woman in the world this year, and Shaunae Miller-Uibo, the Olympic 400m champion. Being equal to that task will take something very special. diary from australia by rick broadbent Another win for Hursey, 11 Anna Hursey, the 11-year-old table tennis prodigy, has won a second match. She partnered Chloe Thomas to a doubles victory against a Sri Lankan pair that helped Wales to the team semi-final, where they lost to Australia. She has the singles to come. epic,” he said after beating John Archibald, of Scotland, in the final yesterday. Archibald’s sister, Katie, won the 3,000m individual pursuit. purs Tanfield can now expect to be fast-tracked on to full funding as he looks to fu tthe next Olympics. His time of 4min 15.952sec ti was faster than Bradley w Wiggins’s Olympic gold Wi medal-winning runs in 2004 meda 2008. “The results just keep and 2008 on coming i and it’s so good to keep on proving myself on the world stage,” Tanfield said. Australia 14 9 13 36 England 9 6 3 18 England’s inexperienced gymnastics team took silver in the women’s team event behind Canada, while Nick Matthew and James Willstrop both moved into the squash quarter-finals. Both England’s beach volleyball teams had victories. Canada 2 4 5 11 Dubler’s fears for tear Scotland 2 4 4 10 India 2 1 1 4 South Africa 2 0 1 3 Cedric Dubler, the Australian who became a social media sensation when his wayward javelin nearly speared a cameraman in Rio, has not trained for seven weeks because of a torn elbow ligament. “I’ll live with what happens,” he said ominously. l ta To ze on Br er lv Charlie Tanfield’s gold medal in the 4,000m individual pursuit will leave all those talent ID experts scratching their heads. The 21-year-old Englishman has been riding outside the British Cycling system in a team with three friends. This home-made success, fuelled by their own engineering nous, had already reaped dividends when Tanfield won the gold medal in the team pursuit after ter being drafted into the British h tteam ffor the Track World Championships in the Netherlands last month. “It was ld Adam Peaty cruised into today’s final of the 100m breaststroke with a Games record time of 58.59sec but had to play second fiddle as his England training partner Sarah Vasey won the 50m breaststroke. Alice Tai won the S9 100m backstroke. Gymnasts beaten to gold medal tally (after day two) Si Home-made gold puts Tanfield on track for full funding Go Peaty upstaged by Vasey 22 Saturday April 7 2018 | the times 2G S Sport Racing GREEN DOOR 135 (P,D,F,G,S) R Cowell 7-8-10 J Fisher (7) BOWSON FRED 56 (D,F,G,S) M W Easterby 6-8-10 N Evans TARBOOSH 189 (C,D,F,G,S) P Midgley 5-8-9 O Murphy GEORGE DRYDEN 14 (D,F,G) C Wallis 6-8-8 L Morris COMPAS SCOOBIE 23 (H,T,V,C,D,BF,F,S) S C Williams 5-8-6 P J McDonald P P Mathers 10 (6) 512501 DYNAMO WALT 8 (V,CD,F,S) D Shaw 7-8-4 3-1 A Momentofmadness, 5-1 Jumira Bridge, Tomily, 8-1 Compas Scoobie, 10-1 Bowson Evergate, Tarboosh, 12-1 Dynamo Walt, 14-1 George Dryden, Green Door. 5 6 7 8 9 Kempton Park Thunderer 1.30 Dixieland 3.50 Model 2.05 Jumira Bridge 4.25 Kings Shield 2.40 Pipers Note 5.00 Gwafa 3.15 La Figlia Going: standard Draw: 5f-1m, low numbers best 1.30 Racing UK (1) (9) (5) (10) (7) 036300423-0 15113-62136 340332 110 119 97 118 115 112 Fred, Thunderer’s choice: Jumira Bridge won first time out last season and may stage a repeat for stable that does well with sprinters Danger: Tomily Novice Stakes (2-Y-O: £5,822: 5f) (10) 2.40 Betfred “Supports Jack Berry House” Handicap (£15,563: 6f) (8) ITV4 6 ARBUCKLE 8 M Madgwick 9-2 -L Keniry 1 (3) -DISRUPTOR P D Evans 9-2 J Egan 2 (2) -DIXIELAND R Hannon 9-2 T Marquand 3 (5) 0 GINGERSDUNTHELOT 14 D Loughnane 9-2 -Rossa Ryan (5) 4 (7) 2 JOHN BETJEMAN 8 W G M Turner 9-2 -Jason Watson (7) 5 (4) -KINKS M Channon 9-2 C Bishop 6 (8) 4 LIHOU 14 P D Evans 9-2 -Fran Berry 7 (6) -SIR OX R Cowell 9-2 L Morris 8 (9) -LUCHADOR A Watson 8-11 O Murphy 9 (1) -VENA D'AMORE D Ivory 8-11 J Duern (3) 10 (10) 3-1 John Betjeman, 7-2 Lihou, 5-1 Luchador, 6-1 Disruptor, Kinks, 8-1 Dixieland, 12-1 Sir Ox, 14-1 Vena D'Amore, 25-1 Gingersdunthelot, 100-1 Arbuckle. 128 R Winston 1 (7) 14-141 TROPICS 23 (H,C,D,F,G,S) D Ivory 10-9-7 G Wood (3) v130 2 (5) 33206- MAZZINI 129 (P,CD,F,S) J Fanshawe 5-9-3 -B McHugh 3 (2) 20500- PIPERS NOTE 172 (D,F,G,S) Mrs R Carr 8-9-2 119 J Crowley 4 (6) 40000- RAUCOUS 175 (D,F,S) R Cowell 5-8-13 115 5 (1) 212056 SWIFT APPROVAL 8 (E,F,G,S) S C Williams 6-8-11 P J McDonald 109 A Atzeni 6 (8) 1134-2 RAVEN'S LADY 93 (C,D,F,G,S) M Botti 4-8-9 109 P Hanagan 7 (3) 12113- BOUNDSY 161 (D,F,G,S) R Fahey 4-8-8 114 P P Mathers 8 (4) 014421 HAMMER GUN 11 (V,D) D Shaw 5-8-6 3-1 Tropics, 4-1 Mazzini, 5-1 Boundsy, Raven's Lady, 7-1 Raucous, 10-1 Swift Approval, 12-1 Hammer Gun, Pipers Note. 2.05 Thunderer’s choice: Pipers Note looks well treated on his best form and jockey has good strike rate for stable Danger: Mazzini Betfred Mobile Handicap ITV4 (£15,563: 5f) (10) 1 2 3 4 Hollie Doyle (4) -43311 TOMILY 7 (C,D,G,S) R Hannon 4-9-7 J Crowley (2) 32020- JUMIRA BRIDGE 172 (D,F,G) R Cowell 4-9-0 (3) 2465-3 A MOMENTOFMADNESS 14 (H,CD,BF,F,G) C Hills 5-8-12 W Buick T Marquand (8) 15302- EVERGATE 182 (D,F,S) R Cowell 4-8-12 Thunderer 1.55 Hartside 2.30 Secret Legacy 3.05 Commodore 3.40 War Sound Going: heavy 1.55 4.15 Late Romantic 4.50 Clondaw Rigger 5.25 Easter Gold At The Races Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (£3,119: 1m 7f 168y) (10) C Ring (3) 1 6-0PP RADICAL ARCHIE 51 E Williams 7-12-1 R Hawker (3) 2 3624P JAUNTY THOR 42 (CD) O Greenall 8-12-1 C Gethings 3 560P0 DARTAGNAN LE DUN 14 (T) A Hales 5-12-1 4 F62P3 WHISPERING HARRY 23 (T,D) H Oliver 9-11-12 J Dixon (10) S Houlihan 5 03364 AKULA 9 (T,P,CD) B Leavy 11-11-10 H Reed 6 -05UP GLIMPSE OF GOLD 71 (T,CD) T Vaughan 7-11-9 T Broughton (7) 7 44153 HARTSIDE 13 (T,V,D) P Winks 9-11-6 8 40045 CATCHIN TIME 9 (T,P,CD) Miss L Hurley 10-11-6 C Hammond (3) 9 34443 FLANAGANS FIELD 48 (T,P,D) B Llewellyn 10-11-5 R Williams (3) H Teal (3) 10 645/5 HELAMIS 24 (D) B Leavy 8-10-6 3-1 Hartside, 7-2 Whispering Harry, 11-2 Flanagans Field, Akula, 10-1 others. 2.30 Maiden Hurdle (£2,599: 2m 4f) (10) 422 ALWAYS ON THE BALL 69P C Longsdon 5-11-2 J J Burke 1 C O'Farrell 2 P-412 EMERALD CHIEFTAN 15 R Menzies 8-11-2 T Dowson (3) 3 14P33 HANGARD 23 P Kirby 6-11-2 A Coleman 4 23/53 HURRICANE DYLAN 27 K Frost 7-11-2 0 LARCH HILL 45 N Twiston-Davies 5-11-2 J Bargary (3) 5 6 4-350 LOOKFORARAINBOW 140 (H,W) S Hollinshead 5-11-2 N P Madden A Wedge 7 13/55 MY LIEGE 24 E Williams 7-11-2 J Davies 8 31-04 POWERSTOWN PARK 31 S Thomas 5-11-2 N Scholfield 9 5-232 SCOTTSHILL 85 Jonjo O'Neill 6-11-2 T O'Brien 10 33F33 SECRET LEGACY 17 (D,BF) I Williams 7-11-2 2-1 Secret Legacy, 7-2 Hurricane Dylan, 5-1 Always On The Ball, 7-1 Emerald Chieftan, 8-1 Scottshill, 14-1 Hangard, My Liege, 20-1 others. Betfred Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes ITV4 (Listed: £25,520: 1m) (10) 1 2 3 120 108 3.05 Uttoxeter 3.15 v129 -- (9) -22142 CAROLINAE 8 (C,D,F) C Fellowes 6-9-0 (5) 510-31 HUNAINA (T,D,S) H Devin (Fr) 4-9-0 24- LA FIGLIA 190 J Noseda 4-9-0 (2) S Donohoe A Badel James Doyle 118 v120 88 J Duern 4 (1) 1-1153 LUCYMAI 8 (C) D Ivory 5-9-0 S W Kelly 5 (7) 4/435- PACO'S ANGEL 273 (G,S) R Hughes 4-9-0 S Levey 6 (8) 15020- PEAK PRINCESS 162 (B,C,F,G,S) R Hannon 4-9-0 A Atzeni 7 (4) 62112- SHENANIGANS 182 (D,BF,G) R Varian 4-9-0 J Crowley 8 (10) 40460- SMART CALL (D,G) Sir M Stoute 7-9-0 O Murphy 9 (6) 04-215 SOUL SILVER 8 (C,D,F,S) D Simcock 4-9-0 C Bishop 10 (3) -16226 SUMMER ICON 8 (F) M Channon 5-9-0 5-2 Smart Call, 4-1 La Figlia, 5-1 Hunaina, 6-1 Shenanigans, 10-1 Carolinae, 12-1 others. Thunderer’s choice: La Figlia fourth to Muffri’Ha in a Newmarket Listed in September, has a group one entry in the Lockinge Danger: Hunaina 3.50 Betfred Fillies’ Conditions Stakes (3-Y-O: £15,563: 1m) (4) 1 (2) 04112- DATHANNA 191 (H,BF,S) C Appleby 9-5 2 (1) 2120- CROWN VALLARY (G) K Burke 9-2 3 (3) 1200- MODEL 161 (S) R Hannon 9-2 4 (4) 3423- DANCE ME 113 (BF) S Kirk 8-12 6-4 Dathanna, 7-4 Model, 3-1 Crown Vallary, 14-1 Dance Me. 4.25 5.00 (£7,408: 2m 4f) (4) 1 /0-1P ALLYSSON MONTERG 24 (T,D) R Hobson 8-11-8 J J Burke J E Moore 2 4U11F TOWN PARKS 45 (CD) K Lee 7-11-3 T O'Brien 3 22342 WAR SOUND 49 (BF) P Hobbs 9-11-0 -3P23 BALLYARTHUR 66 (T,D,BF) N Twiston-Davies 8-10-9 4 J Bargary (3) 9-4 Ballyarthur, War Sound, 5-2 Town Parks, 4-1 Allysson Monterg. 4.15 Handicap Hurdle (£4,094: 2m 7f) (12) 12-62 LOCH LINNHE 12 (T,P) M Walford 6-11-13 A Coleman 2-U11 LATE ROMANTIC 27P (T) O Greenall 8-11-12 Mr E Glassonbury (7) 3 52625 ALLTHEGEAR NO IDEA 23 (P) N Twiston-Davies 11-11-12 J Bargary (3) 532 I'M ALWAYS TRYING 66 (P) D Pipe 5-11-11 T Scudamore 4 J E Moore 5 P-P0P KAYF MOSS 23 (T,B) J Flint 10-11-9 A Wedge 6 54203 FILLE DES CHAMPS 27 (T) E Williams 7-11-7 N Fehily 7 -P203 ARDEN DENIS 28 (C) N Mulholland 9-11-7 J Davies 8 /5034 FRANKLY SPEAKING 33 T Symonds 8-11-6 T Cannon 9 32-21 FIZZLESTIX 21 C Gordon 6-11-5 A Nicol 10 PP60F ANIKNAM 25 (H) P Kirby 8-10-10 B Poste 11 -3224 SCARTARE 11 Mrs R Gasson 7-10-0 1-004 SILVER DRAGON 96 (B,C,D) M Sowersby 10-10-0 12 L Murtagh (5) 3-1 Silver Dragon, 6-1 Loch Linnhe, 13-2 Arden Denis, 7-1 Fille Des Champs, 8-1 Allthegear No Idea, 9-1 Fizzlestix, 11-1 Aniknam, 12-1 others. 1 2 1 (8) -03226 CURBYOURENTHUSIASM 8 (F,G) D Simcock 7-9-10 J P Spencer Handicap Chase (£4,494: 3m) (6) Mares’ NH Flat Race DUNSTALL DOLLY T George 5-11-0 C Gethings 1 ORCHARD MOON N Twiston-Davies 5-11-0 M D Grant 2 23 ROSY WORLD 26 (BF) Miss S Smith 5-11-0 J Sherwood (3) 3 BLUE BALLERINA O Greenall 4-10-8 T O'Brien 4 EASTER GOLD Mrs L Wadham 4-10-8 A Coleman 5 SLAINE G Maundrell 4-10-8 H Reed (5) 6 2-1 Rosy World, 5-2 Orchard Moon, 9-2 Easter Gold, 5-1 Dunstall Dolly, 12-1 Blue Ballerina, 14-1 Slaine. Fakenham Thunderer 2.15 Excellent Team 4.35 Step Back (nb) 2.50 Heresmynumber 5.10 Templehills 3.25 Act Of Valour 5.40 Before Midnight 4.00 Nikki Steel Going: good to soft, soft in two dips At The Races 2.15 1 2 3 4 v113 108 105 95 98 Betfred Queen's Prize Handicap H Teal (7) 1 201P3 BIG MEADOW 21 (P,CD) N King 7-12-3 A Coleman 2 31132 NEWBERRY NEW 18 (P,C) H Bethell 6-11-12 3 P3PPP SAINT JOHN HENRY 47 (B,D) D Pipe 8-11-11 T Scudamore 4 P06-P KATENKO 17 (D) Miss V Williams 12-11-9 Mr H Nugent (7) T O'Brien 5 13025 LUNAR FLOW 46 (T,B,CD,BF) J Snowden 7-11-1 B Poste 6 02152 CLONDAW RIGGER 30 (T) K Price 6-10-6 5-2 Lunar Flow, 100-30 Big Meadow, 9-2 Newberry New, Saint John Henry, 6-1 Clondaw Rigger, 10-1 Katenko. Novices’ Handicap Chase Fakenham: Trainers N Henderson, 11 from 27 runners, 40.7%; Dr R Newland, 4 from 10, 40.0%; O Murphy, 15 from 46, 32.6%. Kelso: Trainers K Dalgleish, 7 from 16, 43.8%; T George, 3 from 7, 42.9%; N Richards, 24 from 107, 22.4%; B Ellison, 4 from 18, 22.2%; I Jardine, 8 from 43, 18.6%; D McCain, 21 from 116, 18.1%. Kempton: Trainers A Watson, 14 from 44, 31.8%; J Noseda, 32 from 112, 28.6%; C Appleby, 58 from 207, 28.0%; J Gosden, 58 from 250, 23.2%; J Fanshawe, 50 from 261, 19.2%. Uttoxeter: Trainers K Price, 4 from 12, 33.3%; M Walford, 8 from 33, 24.2%; C Longsdon, 23 from 104, 22.1%. Wolverhampton: Trainers S Crisford, 15 from 61, 24.6%; E Vaughan, 7 from 30, 23.3%; R Varian, 28 from 122, 23.0%. (£15,563: 1m 7f 218y) (13) (£2,274: 1m 7f 168y) (6) 3.40 Course specialists (3-Y-O: £15,563: 1m) (5) 4.50 5.25 ---v85 D Muscutt 1 (3) 012-21 JELLMOOD 35 (H) M Botti 9-5 1- KINGS SHIELD 143 J Gosden 9-2 O Murphy 2 (4) 1-22 LAWN RANGER 31 (D) M Attwater 9-2 K Fox 3 (1) 1 ONE COOL DADDY 17 (CD) D Ivory 9-2 R Winston 4 (5) 1- RAJAAM 137 (H,D) R Hannon 9-2 J Crowley 5 (2) Evens Kings Shield, 7-2 Rajaam, 6-1 Jellmood, Lawn Ranger, 7-1 One Cool Daddy. Handicap Hurdle -0P1P TRANSIENT BAY 40 (P,CD) P Kirby 8-11-12 A Nicol 1-264 BILLY HICKS 23 (D,BF) S Drinkwater 7-11-11 Mr J Drinkwater (7) J Davies 3 04FU0 MR FITZROY 17 (T) Jo Davis 8-11-10 A Coleman 4 -P042 COMMODORE 23 Miss V Williams 6-11-10 5 31135 LORD COUNTY 17 (P) O Greenall 4-11-8 Mr E Glassonbury (7) H Teal (7) 6 PP321 SACKETT 11 (D) N King 7-11-6 3-1 Sackett, 4-1 Billy Hicks, Mr Fitzroy, 9-2 Commodore, Transient Bay, 8-1 Lord County. W Buick P J McDonald T Marquand O Murphy Betfred Conditions Stakes (£4,094: 2m 4f) (6) 1 2 120 D Probert 2 (1) 0606-5 PORT DOUGLAS 33 (F,G) P Cole 5-9-5 -S Donohoe 3 (5) 50/40- OOTY HILL 161 (S) C Fellowes 6-9-4 134 Hollie Doyle 4 (13) 0000-0 FIRST MOHICAN 26J (H,D,S) A King 10-9-3 -S W Kelly 5 (9) 20004/ CAYIRLI 537 (G) S Durack 6-9-2 129 Doubtful 6 (4) 224/62 GWAFA 54 (F) P Webber 7-9-0 125 7 (11) 23101- DOMINATING 166 (C,D,F,G,S) M Johnston 4-8-13 P J McDonald 129 J Crowley 8 (12) 3131-3 SUNBLAZER 91 (T,CD,F) K Bailey 8-8-12 133 L Morris 9 (3) 31-111 AUTHOR'S DREAM 35 (V,D) W Knight 5-8-11 133 10 (7) 03522- CHAMPAGNE CHAMP 21J (D,G,S) B Millman 6-8-11 O Murphy 128 T Marquand 11 (2) 20-111 INN THE BULL 7 (C,S) A King 5-8-10 C Shepherd v136 12 (6) 66535- GAVLAR 183 (CD,F,G,S) W Knight 7-8-7 -Nicola Currie (5) 13 (10) 10346- SEE OF ROME 200 (S) R Hughes 4-8-5 4-1 Author's Dream, 5-1 Inn The Bull, 11-2 Dominating, 8-1 Champagne Champ, Gavlar, 9-1 Sunblazer, 10-1 Curbyourenthusiasm, 14-1 First Mohican, Ooty Hill, 16-1 others. 117 105 115 101 -114 117 Handicap Hurdle (£4,159: 2m) (8) 2215 ASHKOUL 61 (T,D) D Skelton 5-12-4 F Gregory (7) P42F1 GREGARIOUS 23 (H,D) Mrs L Wadham 5-11-12 M Tissier (5) 6F660 CAPITOUL 86 (D) Dr R Newland 6-11-11 S Twiston-Davies 32153 WALSINGHAM GRANGE 23 (V,D) Mrs P Sly 5-11-11 K K Woods 125 12035 POLLY'S PURSUIT 43 (H,D,BF) N Henderson 6-11-10 N De Boinville 6 3-P04 DINSDALE 123 (T,P,W,D) M Scudamore 5-11-8 J Kington (3) G Sheehan 7 04013 ARDMAYLE 33 (D) Ali Stronge 6-11-7 H Skelton 8 4150P EXCELLENT TEAM 26 (T,D) D Skelton 6-11-6 3-1 Ashkoul, 4-1 Gregarious, 5-1 Ardmayle, Walsingham Grange, 7-1 Polly's Pursuit, 8-1 Excellent Team, 12-1 Capitoul, 16-1 Dinsdale. 5 2.50 Handicap Chase (£5,458: 2m 5f) (5) H Skelton 1 3PP63 CKALCO DES LOGES 21 D Skelton 6-11-12 2 PP033 ROYALS AND REBELS 33 (T,B) C Mann 8-11-11H Bannister T Whelan 3 3P1P2 LITTLE WINDMILL 40 (T,P,CD) N King 8-11-9 4 -0331 HERESMYNUMBER 22 (T,P,CD) Ali Stronge 8-11-3 G Sheehan 5 63232 GLOBAL DOMINATION 24 (T,P,CD) Mrs C Bailey 10-10-5 S Bowen 9-4 Heresmynumber, 3-1 Global Domination, 7-2 Ckalco Des Loges, 9-2 Royals And Rebels, 6-1 Little Windmill. 3.25 Novices’ Hurdle (£4,549: 2m) (6) 2-101 PACIFIC DE BAUNE 14 (D) N Henderson 5-11-11 N De Boinville D Jacob 2 41212 OISTRAKH LE NOIR 14 (D,BF) B Pauling 4-11-5 3 1520 ACT OF VALOUR 24 (D) P Nicholls 4-10-13 S Twiston-Davies T Whelan 4 40050 CHIMES OF DYLAN 57 N King 5-10-13 B Powell 5 /PP-0 RELIGHT THE FIRE 12 D Quinn 7-10-13 00 BY RAIL 44 (H) N Littmoden 4-10-7 J Quinlan 6 5-4 Pacific De Baune, 6-4 Act Of Valour, 3-1 Oistrakh Le Noir, 50-1 others. 4.35 Novices’ Chase (£5,458: 3m) (6) F42P5 SAM RED 41 (T,P,CD) D Skelton 7-11-10 H Skelton 22513 REMIND ME LATER 133 G L Moore 9-11-4 Josh Moore 33220 CAPTAIN BUCK'S 23 (T,P) P Nicholls 6-10-12 S Twiston-Davies 4 BU1/P ISKRABOB 135 Mrs D Grissell 8-10-12 Mr O Wedmore (7) L Edwards 5 /1-33 NATIVE GAMUT 29 A Ralph 8-10-12 6 10-23 STEP BACK 50 (D,BF) M Bradstock 8-10-12 N De Boinville 15-8 Step Back, 2-1 Captain Buck's, 100-30 Sam Red, 9-2 Remind Me Later, 33-1 Native Gamut, 50-1 Iskrabob. 1 2 3 5.10 Handicap Chase (£8,187: 2m 5f) (5) PP-24 TEMPLEHILLS 56 (H,T,CD) N Twiston-Davies 7-11-12 S Twiston-Davies S Bowen 2 -4P44 CROSSPARK 51 (D,BF) Mrs C Bailey 8-11-12 H Cobden 3 4-5F3 MONSIEUR CO 102 P Nicholls 5-11-6 4 -P322 PRINCETON ROYALE 50 (B,D,BF) N King 9-11-6 T Whelan R Dunne 5 1462P MOVIE LEGEND 28 (P,C) Mrs L Wadham 8-11-6 2-1 Princeton Royale, 100-30 Templehills, 7-2 Monsieur Co, 5-1 Crosspark, Movie Legend. 1 1 4.00 Handicap Hurdle (£7,213: 2m 4f) (7) N De Boinville 1 P-520 LE BREUIL 24 (D) B Pauling 6-11-12 D Jacob 2 1101P INDIAN HAWK 28 N Henderson 6-11-8 3 16P66 SIR MANGAN 13 (D) D Skelton 10-11-5 Bridget Andrews (3) D England 4 P/00- ORDO AB CHAO 385 (D) O Murphy 9-11-3 H Skelton 5 131-2 THEATREBAR 164 (T,D,BF) D Skelton 10-11-2 M Tissier (5) 6 03512 ICONIC SKY 26 (P,C) Mrs L Wadham 5-10-4 S Bowen 7 3212- NIKKI STEEL 584 (BF) Dr R Newland 8-10-0 5-2 Indian Hawk, 7-2 Le Breuil, 9-2 Nikki Steel, 5-1 Ordo Ab Chao, 13-2 Theatrebar, 10-1 Iconic Sky, 14-1 Sir Mangan. 5.40 NH Flat Race (£2,274: 2m) (8) 13 BEFORE MIDNIGHT 45 (D) N Henderson 5-11-7 N De Boinville 300 TANKERTON BOY 57 N King 5-11-0 T Whelan 2 EARLOFTHECOTSWOLDS N Twiston-Davies 4-10-8 3 S Twiston-Davies 4 ECLAIR DE GUYE Mrs L Wadham 4-10-8 M Tissier (5) 4 ESPALION T Vaughan 4-10-8 A Johns 5 RISK AND CO J Snowden 4-10-8 G Sheehan 6 SMACKWATER JACK O Murphy 4-10-8 D England 7 6 MIDNIGHT MONSOON 50 B Case 5-10-7 K K Woods 8 11-10 Before Midnight, 11-2 Earlofthecotswolds, 7-1 Tankerton Boy, 15-2 Eclair De Guye, 11-1 Smackwater Jack, 14-1 others 1 Blinkered first time: Kelso 2.25 Golden Jeffrey. Kempton 2.40 Swift Approval. Wolverhampton 6.15 Precious Silk. Fixtures Today Football Kick-off 3.0 unless stated Premier League: Bournemouth v Crystal Palace; Brighton v Huddersfield; Everton v Liverpool (12.30); Leicester v Newcastle; Man City v Man Utd (5.30); Stoke v Tottenham; Watford v Burnley; West Brom v Swansea. Sky Bet Championship: Barnsley v Sheff Utd (12.15); Birmingham v Burton Albion; Brentford v Ipswich; Derby v Bolton; Hull v QPR; Leeds v Sunderland; Middlesbrough v Nottm Forest; Millwall v Bristol City; Norwich v Aston Villa (12.30); Reading v Preston; Sheff Wed v Fulham. P Wolves................41 Cardiff.................40 Fulham................40 Aston Villa..........40 Derby...................39 Middlesbrough....40 Bristol City..........40 Millwall...............40 Sheff Utd ............ 40 Preston................40 Brentford ............ 40 Ipswich................40 Leeds...................40 Norwich...............40 QPR ..................... 40 Sheff Wed...........40 Nottm Forest......39 Hull......................40 Reading...............40 Bolton..................40 Birmingham........40 Barnsley..............39 Sunderland..........40 Burton.................40 W 27 24 21 21 17 18 16 16 18 15 15 15 15 13 13 11 13 9 9 9 11 7 6 7 D 8 8 12 10 14 9 14 14 8 15 13 8 8 13 11 14 7 14 12 12 6 13 13 10 L 6 8 7 9 8 13 10 10 14 10 12 17 17 14 16 15 19 17 19 19 23 19 21 23 F 74 62 70 64 57 56 56 50 53 49 56 49 52 42 49 48 43 55 45 34 30 39 43 29 A 36 34 41 37 38 39 45 39 45 42 47 51 56 50 57 54 56 61 60 59 57 58 72 71 GD Pts 38 89 28 80 29 75 27 73 19 65 17 63 11 62 11 62 8 62 7 60 9 58 -2 53 -4 53 -8 52 -8 50 -6 47 -13 46 -6 41 -15 39 -25 39 -27 39 -19 34 -29 31 -42 31 League One: AFC Wimbledon v Scunthorpe; Blackburn v Southend; Blackpool v Bradford; Bristol Rovers v Charlton; Gillingham v Doncaster; Oxford Utd v Oldham; Plymouth v Peterborough; Rochdale v Portsmouth; Rotherham v Fleetwood Town; Walsall v Bury; Wigan v Milton Keynes Dons. P Blackburn............39 Shrewsbury.........40 Wigan..................38 Rotherham..........40 Peterborough......40 W D L F 24 10 5 74 24 9 7 55 24 8 6 72 20 6 14 65 16 13 11 63 A 36 33 25 49 49 GD Pts 38 82 22 81 47 80 16 66 14 61 Charlton .............. 39 Portsmouth.........40 Scunthorpe..........40 Plymouth.............39 Bristol Rovers.....40 Bradford..............38 Southend.............40 Fleetwood Town.40 Doncaster............38 Gillingham...........39 Blackpool.............40 Oxford Utd..........39 Walsall................39 Oldham................38 AFC Wimbledon..39 MK Dons..............40 Rochdale..............38 Northampton......41 Bury.....................40 17 19 15 17 16 16 14 14 12 12 11 12 11 11 11 10 9 10 7 10 4 15 9 6 5 11 9 13 13 14 10 11 10 9 12 14 10 9 12 17 10 13 18 17 15 17 13 14 15 17 17 17 19 18 15 21 24 53 51 57 51 56 49 49 53 47 43 46 55 47 52 37 40 40 36 32 47 48 48 47 60 56 59 57 45 47 52 61 58 66 50 54 46 69 61 6 3 9 4 -4 -7 -10 -4 2 -4 -6 -6 -11 -14 -13 -14 -6 -33 -29 61 61 60 60 54 53 53 51 49 49 47 46 44 43 42 42 41 40 30 League Two: Barnet v Forest Green; Cambridge Utd v Exeter; Cheltenham v Morecambe; Colchester v Accrington Stanley; Grimsby v Chesterfield; Mansfield v Crewe Newport County v Stevenage; Notts County v Coventry; Port Vale v Crawley Town; Swindon v Carlisle; Yeovil v Luton. P Accrington ..........39 Luton...................41 Wycombe............41 Exeter..................40 Notts County ...... 41 Lincoln City.........40 Coventry..............40 Mansfield............40 Swindon..............40 Colchester...........41 Carlisle................41 Newport County . 39 Crawley...............41 Cambridge...........40 Cheltenham.........41 Stevenage...........40 Yeovil..................38 Crewe..................41 Port Vale.............41 Morecambe.........39 Forest Green.......40 Grimsby...............41 Chesterfield........38 Barnet.................41 W 25 22 21 21 18 18 19 16 19 16 16 13 15 14 12 12 12 13 10 9 11 9 9 8 D 5 11 11 6 13 13 8 15 5 13 12 15 9 12 12 12 9 5 13 15 7 11 7 9 L 9 8 9 13 10 9 13 9 16 12 13 11 17 14 17 16 17 23 18 15 22 21 22 24 F 66 84 75 54 61 57 50 57 61 51 57 49 51 42 59 54 53 52 45 38 48 33 41 37 A 40 43 55 45 43 42 38 43 60 45 50 50 58 52 60 57 59 67 57 48 69 63 68 63 GD Pts 26 80 41 77 20 74 9 69 18 67 15 67 12 65 14 63 1 62 6 61 7 60 -1 54 -7 54 -10 54 -1 48 -3 48 -6 45 -15 44 -12 43 -10 42 -21 40 -30 38 -27 34 -26 33 Vanarama National: AFC Fylde v Sutton Utd; Aldershot v Maidenhead Utd; Bromley v Gateshead; Chester v Tranmere; Dag & Red v Woking; Dover v Torquay; Eastleigh v Wrexham; Ebbsfleet United v Macclesfield (12.15); Halifax v Boreham Wood; Guiseley v Maidstone Utd; Hartlepool v Solihull Moors; Leyton Orient v Barrow. P Macclesfield...........41 Sutton United........40 Boreham Wood......41 Wrexham ............... 41 Aldershot...............41 Tranmere ............... 39 AFC Fylde...............41 Dover Athletic ....... 41 Ebbsfleet ...............39 Bromley..................39 Dagenham & Red...40 Eastleigh................40 Leyton Orient.........40 Gateshead..............38 Maidenhead .......... 39 Hartlepool..............41 Halifax....................40 Maidstone..............41 Woking...................41 Barrow ................... 39 Solihull Moors........40 Torquay..................40 Chester...................41 Guiseley ................. 39 W 24 21 18 17 18 19 18 17 15 16 16 12 13 11 12 12 11 11 12 9 10 9 6 6 D 9 9 15 17 14 10 11 13 15 11 10 16 11 16 13 12 14 13 8 14 11 10 13 11 L 8 10 8 7 9 10 12 11 9 12 14 12 16 11 14 17 15 17 21 16 19 21 22 22 F 58 60 54 47 60 65 76 54 51 63 59 58 49 51 52 48 42 48 50 44 40 38 34 34 A 43 45 37 32 47 40 52 37 44 47 52 62 51 40 58 59 51 62 68 53 53 63 67 72 GD Pts 15 81 15 72 17 69 15 68 13 68 25 67 24 65 17 64 7 60 16 59 7 58 -4 52 -2 50 11 49 -6 49 -11 48 -9 47 -14 46 -18 44 -9 41 -13 41 -25 37 -33 31 -38 29 Vanarama North: AFC Telford v Chorley; Alfreton Town v Spennymoor Town; Blyth Spartans v Kidderminster; Bradford PA v Leamington; Curzon Ashton v Brackley; Darlington v Boston Utd; North Ferriby Utd v Stockport Co; Salford City v Gainsborough; Southport v Nuneaton; Tamworth v FC United of Manchester; York v Harrogate Town. South: Chelmsford v Poole Town; Concord Rangers v Hampton & Richmond; Dartford v Weston-s-Mare; Gloucester v Bognor Regis Town; Hemel Hempstead v Chippenham; Hungerford Town v Braintree Town; Oxford City v Eastbourne Borough; St Albans v Whitehawk; Truro City v East Thurrock; Wealdstone v Bath City; Welling v Havant and W. Evo-Stik Premier Division: North: Ashton Utd v Whitby; Barwell v Sutton Coldfield; Buxton v Workington; Grantham v Mickleover Sports; Hednesford v Stourbridge; Lancaster City v Altrincham; Marine v Witton Albion; Matlock Town v Coalville Town; Nantwich Town v Warrington Town; Rushall Olympic v Shaw Lane; Stafford Rangers v Halesowen. Stalybridge v Farsley Celtic. South: Banbury v Biggleswade Town; Dorchester v Bishop’s Stortford; Dunstable v Kettering; Farnborough v Tiverton; Gosport Borough v St Ives Town; Hereford v Chesham; Hitchin v Frome Town; Kings Langley v St Neots Town; Kings Lynn Town v Merthyr Town; Redditch v Weymouth; Royston Town v Basingstoke; Stratford Town v Slough. Bostik Premier: Brightlingsea Regent v Harrow; Burgess Hill Town v Dulwich Hamlet; Enfield Town v Billericay; Folkestone Invicta v Leiston; Hendon v Worthing; Leatherhead v Staines Town; Margate v Harlow; Needham Market v Dorking Wanderers; Thurrock v Met Police; Tooting & Mitcham v Tonbridge; Wingate & Finchley v Kingstonian. Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: Hearts v Aberdeen; Partick v Kilmarnock; Rangers v Dundee; Ross County v Hibernian; St Johnstone v Motherwell. Championship: Brechin v St Mirren; Dumbarton v Dundee Utd; Falkirk v Dunfermline; Livingston v Morton; Queen of South v Inverness CT. League One: Airdrieonians v Ayr; Albion v Forfar; Alloa v Stranraer; Arbroath v Raith; Queen’s Park v East Fife. League Two: Annan Athletic v Elgin; Berwick v Peterhead; Cowdenbeath v Clyde; Edinburgh City v Stenhousemuir; Stirling v Montrose. Cricket MCC University matches (first day of three, 11.0): Fenner’s: Cambridge MCCU v Essex. Ageas Bowl: Hampshire v Cardiff MCCU. Hazelgrave Ground: Loughborough MCCU v Lancashire. Merchant Taylor’s School, Northwood: Middlesex v Durham MCCU. The Parks: Oxford MCCU v Northamptonshire. Headingley: Yorkshire v Leeds/Bradford MCCU. Rugby league Betfred Super League: Salford v Warrington (3,15); Catalans Dragons v Wigan (5.15); Hull KR v Widnes (6.0). Championship: Toulouse v Barrow (2.0). Rugby union Aviva Premiership: Bath v Leicester (2.0); Northampton v Saracens (2.0); Harlequins v London Irish (3.0); Worcester v Newcastle (3.0). Guinness Pro 14: Cheetahs v Cardiff Blues (2.0); Leinster v Zebre (2.0); Scarlets v Glasgow (4.15); Benetton v Newport-Gwent Dragons (5.0); Southern Kings v Munster (6.35). Greene King IPA Championship: Doncaster v Ealing Trailfinders (2.30); Hartpury v Bedford (2.30); London Scottish v Rotherham (3.0). Women: Tyrrells Premier 15s: Semi-finals, first leg: Wasps v Harlequins (Twyford Avenue, 1.0); Gloucester-Hartpury v Saracens (Hartpury College, 4.15). Other sport Basketball: BBL Championship: Leicester v Manchester (7.30); Sheffield v London (7.45). Ice hockey: Elite League, play-offs: Cardiff v Fife (1.0); Sheffield v Nottingham (5.0). Castleford; Wakefield v Leeds. Championship: Batley v Toronto Wiolfpack; Featherstone v Dewsbury; Halifax v London Bronchos; Leigh v Rochdale; Swinton v Sheffield (4.30). Tomorrow Football Premier League: Arsenal v Southampton (2.15); Chelsea v West Ham (4.30). Checkatrade Trophy Final: Lincoln City v Shrewsbury (Wembley Stadium, 3.0). Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership: Hamilton v Celtic (12.30). Aviva Premiership: Exeter v Gloucester (3.0). Greene King IPA Championship: Cormish Pirates v Richmond (2.30); Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey (3.0). Other sport Rugby league Kick-off 3.0 unless stated Betfred Supert League: Rugby union Huddersfield v Basketball: BBL Championship: Plymouth v Leicester (4.0); Cheshire v Surrey (5.30). Results Football Sky Bet Championship Cardiff 29,317 (0) 0 Wolves (0) 1 Neves 67 8.77sec; 2, E Cole (Aus) 1:11.51, 3, Ashleigh Mcconnell (Aus) 1:15.93 Weightlifting: Men: 69kg: 1, G Evans (Wales) 299kg; 2, I D Mudiyanselage (Sri Lanka) 297. Hockey: Women: England 5 Wales 1. Netball: England 74 Malawi 49. Women’s World Cup qualifying: Group One: England 0 Wales 0. Group Three: Ireland 2 Slovakia 1. Rugby league Commonwealth Games Rugby union Gold Coast, Australia (selected) Gymnastics: Women: Team final: 1, Canada 163.075pts; 2, England (G-M Fenton, L Stanhope, A Kinsella, K Simm, T James) 162.650. Also: 4, Wales; 5, Scotland. Track cycling: Men: 4,000m Individual pursuit: Gold-medal race: 1, C Tanfield (Eng) 4min 15.952sec; 2, J Archibald (Scot) 4:16.656. Keirin final: 1, M Glaetzer (Aus); 2, L Oliva (Wales) at 00.35sec behind. Women: 3,000m Individual pursuit: Gold-medal race: 1, K Archibald (Scot) 3min 26.088sec; 2, R Wiasak (Aus) 3:27.548. Swimming: Men: 200m Freestyle final: 1, K Chalmers (Aus) 1min 45.56sec; 2, M Horton (Aus) 1:45.89; 3, D Scott (Sco) 1:46.30. S9 100m Freestyle final: 1, T Disken (Aus) 56.07sec; 2, L White (Eng) 56.77. 400m Individual medley final: 1, C Lewis (Aus) 4min 13.12sec; 2, M Szarek (Scot) 4:13.72. 4x100m Freestyle relay final: 1, Australia 3min 12.96sec; 2, England 3:15.25, 3 Scotland 3:15.86. Women: 50m Breaststroke final: 1, S Vasey (Eng) 30.60; 2, A Atkinson (Jam) 30.76; 3, L Pickett (Aus) 30.78. S8 100m Backstroke final: 1, A Tai (Eng) 1min Aviva Premiership: Sale 28 Wasps 27. Guinness Pro14: Edinburgh 20 Ulster 32; Ospreys39 Connacht 10. Greene King IPA Championship: Nottingham 17 Bristol 60. Betfred Super League: St Helens 26 Hull FC 12. Snooker China Open: Beijing: Quarter-finals (England unless stated): N Robertson (Aus) bt S Bingham 6-0; K Wilson bt J Lisowski 6-5; M Selby bt M Williams (Wales) 6-2; B hawkins bt T Ford 6-5. Tennis Davis Cup: World Group quarter-finals Genoa: Italy tied with France 1-1 (Italy first): F Fognini bt J Chardy 6-7 (6-8), 6-2, 6-2, 6-3; A Seppi lost to L Pouille 3-6, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3, 1-6. Valencia: Spain tied with Germany 1-1 (Spain first): R Nadal bt P Kohlschreiber 6-2, 6-2, 6-3; D Ferrer lost to A Zverev 4-6, 2-6, 2-6. WTA International Monterrey: Second round: Selected: T Babos (Hun) bt N Broady (GB) 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5. the times | Saturday April 7 2018 23 3G S Sport Embarrassed DeGale vows to Jockey’s injury raises new regain world title or walk away questions about insurance Racing Boxing Ron Lewis Boxing Correspondent James DeGale is finished with kidding himself. Tonight he expects to regain his world title in Las Vegas from the American Caleb Truax, who took it away from him in December in one of the biggest upsets in recent memory. He also knows that if he fails, it is the end of his career. “If I can’t beat Truax, then I’m going to have to call it a day,” DeGale said. “If I can’t beat him, that means I am shot. But I know for a fact what I’ve got left. “I’m 32, I have had two hard fights in my life. But some of the things I’ve read and I am hearing are pathetic. It’s madness, but all my life I have proved people wrong and I am ready to do it again.” Prior to defending his IBF supermiddleweight title against Truax, DeGale had one eye on a unification fight, possibly with the winner of the World Boxing Super Series (WBSS). It was assumed that Truax, a 34-yearold who only took up boxing as a way to pay off his student debt, was just there to make up the numbers, but he brought energy and aggression, while DeGale remained stuck on the ropes. The American claimed the title by a majority points decision. DeGale said that he was not fit, having rushed his comeback after shoulder surgery. But it was his first fight in Britain in more than three years, since before he had won his world title, and he was keen to go through with it. “I can only blame myself, I chose to box,” the 2008 Olympic gold medalwinner said. “I had reconstructive Kelso Thunderer 1.50 Acdc 2.25 Taxmeifyoucan 3.00 Yala Enki 3.35 Eminent Poet Going: heavy 1.50 4.10 Caraline 4.45 Champagne To Go 5.20 Cultram Abbey Racing UK Novices’ Handicap Chase ITV4 (£8,837: 2m 7f 96y) (4) R Day (3) 1 4-322 TEDDY TEE 40 (D,BF) N Richards 9-11-8 B Hughes 2 3-112 HILLS OF DUBAI 17 D McCain 9-11-5 D Cook 3 2U613 JUST GEORGIE 17 (D) Mrs S Smith 8-11-4 4 441U2 ACDC 29 (H,T,C,D,BF) C Grant 8-11-3 Mr Liam Quinlan (7) 15-8 Acdc, 5-2 Teddy Tee, 11-4 Hills Of Dubai, 9-2 Just Georgie. Thunderer’s choice: Acdc won for today’s jockey here in January and step up in trip should suit Danger: Teddy Tee 2.25 totescoop6 Handicap Hurdle (£25,024: 2m 51y) (11) ITV4 50163 MIRSAALE 7F (CD) K Dalgleish 8-11-12 C Bewley (3) 6-413 KEYBOARD GANGSTER 17 (H,T,D) D Whillans 7-11-3 C Whillans (3) H Brooke 3 3-600 NIETZSCHE 56 (D) B Ellison 5-11-2 W Kennedy 4 31134 UBALTIQUE 28 (T,B,C,D) D McCain 10-10-13 5 20506 GOLDEN JEFFREY 13 (B,C,D) I Jardine 5-10-12 Mr B Lynn (7) 1U1 TAXMEIFYOUCAN 51 (P,CD) K Dalgleish 4-10-11 B Hughes 6 J Hamilton 7 34-32 CARD GAME 294 (D) R Jefferson 9-10-10 R Patrick (5) 8 03430 GASSIN GOLF 28 (T,B,D) K Lee 9-10-9 D Cook 9 21310 TRESHNISH 48 (D) Mrs S Smith 5-10-9 10 62612 REVERANT CUST 42 (T,D) P Atkinson 7-10-8 F O'Toole (3) C Nichol 11 01333 MONFASS 18 (H,D,BF) Mrs R Dobbin 7-10-4 3-1 Taxmeifyoucan, 6-1 Nietzsche, 15-2 Gassin Golf, 8-1 Reverant Cust, 9-1 Card Game, Mirsaale, 10-1 Keyboard Gangster, 12-1 others. 1 2 Thunderer’s choice: Taxmeifyoucan beat subsequent grade three winner here last time Danger: Reverant Cust 3.00 Liz Adam Memorial ITV4 H’cap Chase (£31,280: 3m 2f) (10) C Deutsch 1 64F16 YALA ENKI 25 (CD) Miss V Williams 8-11-12 R Day (3) 2 3F531 BAYWING 42 N Richards 9-11-9 A P Heskin 3 -1FRU WILD WEST WIND 23 (T,D) T George 9-11-4 4 13212 LAKE VIEW LAD 29 (BF) N Alexander 8-10-13 S Mulqueen (3) surgery. The surgeon said you can come back after six months, and I had to come back then as soon as I heard that. Nothing was going to stop me. “I wasn’t healthy, my injury was fixed but not healed. I knew it wasn’t right. Everything was rushed. The way I was thinking, I thought I could beat him with one shoulder working, but that was the wrong way of thinking. “Truax is not on my level. It was one of the biggest upsets in boxing in the last 20 years. All I wanted to do was get the rematch as soon as possible and make it right. ” The return takes place at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, on the undercard of a WBA and IBF lightmiddleweight title fight between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd. DeGale had long dreamed of boxing in Las Vegas but says the venue is irrelevant. “I don’t care about this show or where I am boxing,” DeGale said. “When Al [Haymon, his American adviser] said, ‘You’re boxing in Vegas,’ I wasn wasn’tt really fussed, I could be boxing in my back garden. I didn’t care. I just wanted d to get back the title and look good. If I get in and I don’t look as good as I DeGale said that his performance against Truax was “shocking” -5323 SELDOM INN 51 (B,C) A Thomson 10-10-13 B Hughes 50216 SMOOTH STEPPER 42 Mrs S Smith 9-10-12 D Cook 1P6P/ SAMSTOWN 1085 (W,C,D) A Whillans 11-10-6 C Nichol 10-35 CHIC NAME 24 (H) R Hobson 6-10-4 J Bowen (3) 256-6 BLAKEMOUNT 9 (D) Mrs S Smith 10-10-3 S W Quinlan 40-13 HARRY THE VIKING 98 (P,C,D) A Thomson 13-10-1 Rachael McDonald (7) 7-2 Baywing, 9-2 Yala Enki, 5-1 Wild West Wind, 7-1 Chic Name, 8-1 Lake View Lad, Seldom Inn, 10-1 Smooth Stepper, 12-1 others. 5 6 7 8 9 10 Thunderer’s choice: Yala Enki loves mud and can repeat last year’s win off 6lb higher mark Danger: Chic Name 3.35 Edinburgh Gin Handicap ITV4 Hurdle (£25,024: 3m 1f 170y) (10) 4-110 DONNA'S DIAMOND 23 (C,D) C Grant 9-11-12 C Bewley (3) 12601 KRIS SPIN 21 (D) K Lee 10-11-6 R Patrick (5) 13061 EMINENT POET 18 (D) Miss V Williams 7-11-3 C Deutsch 1-P13 LASTBUTNOTLEAST 74 (BF) D McCain 8-11-1 B Hughes 2F421 TAKINGRISKS 28 (C,D) N Richards 9-10-6 R Day (3) 43421 WESTERN RULES 29 (P) N Richards 8-10-2 C Nichol -2532 TOTAL ASSETS 51 (CD) S Waugh 10-10-2 Miss A Waugh (7) -0022 ARTHURS SECRET 22 (P) A Thomson 8-10-0 Rachael McDonald (7) 9 02615 LANDECKER 51 (CD) N Alexander 10-10-0 Lucy Alexander R Chapman (3) 10 6111U LETEMGO 7 (CD) A Hamilton 10-10-0 5-1 Takingrisks, 11-2 Lastbutnotleast, 6-1 Eminent Poet, Western Rules, 7-1 Arthurs Secret, 15-2 Donna's Diamond, 9-1 Kris Spin, 10-1 others. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Thunderer’s choice: Eminent Poet has won six times on heavy ground including last start Danger: Takingrisks 4.10 Handicap Chase (£4,614: 2m 1f) (8) 13232 CARALINE 9 (T,P,CD) M D Hammond 7-12-2 Miss B Smith (5) 2 P0126 BOBBIE'S DIAMOND 29 (D) A Hamilton 8-11-12 Mr B Lynn (7) 3 14625 VENGEUR DE GUYE 46 (T,CD) Miss L Russell 9-11-8 B Campbell (5) B Hughes 4 12U23 MARTILOO 63 (T) Pauline Robson 8-11-2 T Kelly 5 1-24P HALCYON DAYS 77 (P,D) R Menzies 9-11-2 6 14-45 CRAIGANBOY 106 (H,T,D) N Alexander 9-10-13 G Cockburn (3) 7 20131 OAK VINTAGE 15 (CD) Mrs A Hamilton 8-10-7 R Chapman (3) 8 P251P CHARLIE SNOW ANGEL 15 (T,D) Miss S Forster 9-10-2 J Hamilton 3-1 Oak Vintage, 4-1 Caraline, Vengeur De Guye, 15-2 Halcyon Days, 8-1 Bobbie's Diamond, Charlie Snow Angel, Martiloo, 10-1 Craiganboy. 1 should, I’m going to have to consider what I do next. That’s how serious it is. “Let’s be real. If I get in there and get back my title but it’s a hard, gruelling fight, I will have to think about whether I should carry on. I know what’s left in me. Me, 100 per cent injury-free, healthy, I believe I am still the best 168 [lb boxer] out there. I know I can mix it with all of them and beat all of them.” Last year proved a tough one for DeGale. He began with a unification fight against Badou Jack in New York, which ended in a draw. He had then expected to defend the IBF title against Callum Smith, the Liverpudlian, but shoulder surgery put paid to that as well as his chance to take a place in the WBSS. “I should have had a year out, I was only punching for five weeks before I faced Truax,” he said. “I thought I would just get through it and then move on. I found out boxing can be a cruel sport. “It feels like this has gone under the radar, but that’s fine by me, I didn’t want tthis to be hyped. I’ve b been k keeping it very, very low I’ because I feel embarrassed. The b performance was shocking. “There have been a lot of fighters in the same position as me. Lennox Lewis was knocked out by Hasim Rahman and came back in his very next fight and knocked Rahman out. I have a feeling this is going to be a similar thing.” 6 TV: Truax v DeGale is live on BoxNation from 3am tomorrow 4.45 Handicap Hurdle (£4,289: 2m 4f 189y) (10) 1 35-P5 ROAD TO GOLD 47 (C) N Alexander 9-11-12 Lucy Alexander D Cook 2 U4FP6 BARRYS JACK 47 (D) B Ellison 8-11-9 3 3-2PP CHAMPAGNE TO GO 110 R Menzies 8-11-8 N Moscrop (5) 4 4P043 ANOTHER MATTIE 29 (T,C,D) N Alexander 11-11-7 Mr K Alexander (5) S Coltherd (5) 5 45506 GRAYSTOWN 29 W S Coltherd 6-11-5 J Hamilton 6 -P534 ONLY ORVIETO 27 (P) R Jefferson 7-11-4 B Campbell (5) 7 62211 HAUL US IN 23 (D) Miss L Russell 6-11-3 B Hughes 8 P6603 XPO UNIVERSEL 25 (P) R Menzies 9-10-9 9 -P05P MARAWEH 110 (P) Miss L Russell 8-10-5 S Mulqueen (3) 10 00552 LASTIN' MEMORIES 18 (P,BF) Miss S Forster 6-10-0 T Willmott (7) 5-2 Haul Us In, 6-1 Only Orvieto, 13-2 Lastin' Memories, Xpo Universel, 7-1 Another Mattie, 9-1 Barrys Jack, 10-1 Graystown, 12-1 others. 5.20 Hunters’ Chase (£2,808: 3m 2f) (5) 21111 DUHALLOW TORNADO 31 (D) C Pimlott 6-12-0 Mr T Strawson (7) 2 P1222 CULTRAM ABBEY 30 (BF) N Richards 11-11-12 Mr J Dawson 3 5-F12 LEAVETHELIGHTON 41P J Dawson 11-11-12 Miss C Crane (7) Miss C Dun (7) 4 -4431 NINE ALTARS 14P Mrs E Dun 9-11-12 Miss C Walton 5 /P03P PLAY PRACTICE 7 James Walton 8-11-5 1-4 Cultram Abbey, 15-2 Duhallow Tornado, 12-1 Nine Altars, 18-1 Leavethelighton, 20-1 Play Practice. 1 Wolverhampton Thunderer 5.45 Madrinho 7.45 Cape Banjo (nap) 6.15 Porrima 8.15 Stonific 6.45 Masaarr 8.45 Prancing Oscar 7.15 Sayesse Going: standard At The Races Draw: 5f-1m, low numbers best 5.45 Apprentice Handicap (£3,105: 6f 20y) (7) 1 (4) -2033 MADRINHO 15 (D,BF) A Carroll 5-9-9 Poppy Bridgwater (3) 2 (6) 210-5 MIAMI SUNSET 33 (D) P McBride 4-9-9 Alice Bond (7) 3 (3) 1-434 MET BY MOONLIGHT 22 R Hodges 4-9-7 W Carver (5) Mark Souster Racing Writer Last week Paul Mulrennan fell at Newcastle races and suffered concussion. According to a tweet by his friend Jamie Spencer, the jumps jockey ended up in hospital next to two prisoners handcuffed to their beds while a third man crying out all night kept him awake. This was because of the poverty of the health insurance policies provided by the Professional Jockeys Association, Spencer suggested. He added that it was why he had left the PJA a year ago and bought his own insurance. As is often the case, not everything is as it seems, not least the fact that the PJA does not provide access to health insurance, only to a policy that covers the premature end of a career. But Spencer’s comment did throw light on a debate about whether the wants of an individual jockey should compromise the greater collective good. It threatens to become a divisive issue with, on one side, a handful of high-profile jockeys such as Spencer and Silvestre de Sousa, and on the other about 390 others, many of whom barely scratch a living. The focus is on a 32 square inch space emblazoned on the jockey’s bottom on the outside of his breeches. This promotes the transport company Stobart, who pay a substantial undisclosed sum for the rights. This prominent “posterior site” was created in 2011 purely for welfare purposes and the commercial rights to it vested to the PJA by the British Horseracing Authority. The income from that sponsorship, believed to be hundreds of thousands of pounds, goes to fund that career-ending policy with Royal Sun P-L Jamin 4 (1) 060-1 GRECIAN DIVINE 26 (D) J Tuite 4-9-6 T Ladd 5 (5) 23020 BERLIOS 10 R Bastiman 5-9-5 6 (2) 3000- PERFECT WORDS 155 (P,C) Mrs M Fife 8-9-4 Faye McManoman (3) 7 (7) -2035 THORNTOUN LADY 10 (P,CD) J Goldie 8-9-0 A Breslin 13-8 Grecian Divine, 7-2 Met By Moonlight, 6-1 Berlios, Madrinho, 10-1 Perfect Words, Thorntoun Lady, 16-1 Miami Sunset. 6.15 Fillies’ Handicap (3-Y-O: £3,752: 7f 36y) (9) G Lee 1 (6) 1005- MISS DD 239 I Jardine 9-8 2 (7) 42-22 I WAS ONLY JOKING 39 (P,BF) R Fahey 9-7 P Hanagan Cal Rodriguez (3) 3 (3) 453- ZAHRAA 168 M Dods 9-6 R Da Silva 4 (2) 04166 PRECIOUS SILK 16 (V) J Santos 9-5 A Kirby 5 (9) 4-030 MISS MILLA B 22 E Vaughan 9-5 6 (1) 0620- ONEFOOTINPARADISE 182 P McBride 9-5 S De Sousa C Hardie 7 (5) 0326- PUCHITA 171 (BF) A Brittain 9-3 L Keniry 8 (8) 6266- ISABELLA MAYSON 194 W S Kittow 9-3 Fran Berry 9 (4) 3-21 PORRIMA 35 B Haslam 9-2 11-4 Porrima, 7-2 I Was Only Joking, 4-1 Onefootinparadise, 6-1 Zahraa, 9-1 Precious Silk, 12-1 Miss Milla B, 14-1 Puchita, 16-1 Isabella Mayson, Miss Dd. 6.45 Novice Stakes (£3,752: 7f 36y) (8) QATAR GLORY M Botti 4-10-0 M M Monaghan (3) 31- MASAARR 140 R Varian 3-9-7 A Atzeni 5-2 GLORIOUS ARMY 23 E Walker 3-9-0 L Keniry HONEY MAN (H) S Crisford 3-9-0 S De Sousa 62- SHA LA LA LA LEE 204 (H) T Dascombe 3-9-0 R Kingscote TIMSSAAH G Peckham 3-9-0 K O'Neill 6 (1) 13 SWISS BELLE 33 (C) R Fahey 3-8-13 P Hanagan 7 (6) 8 (4) 0-6 CAN CAN SIXTY TWO 10 M Channon 3-8-9 G Downing 8-15 Masaarr, 9-2 Glorious Army, 13-2 Sha La La La Lee, 10-1 Honey Man, 20-1 Qatar Glory, 25-1 Swiss Belle, 33-1 Timssaah, 100-1 Can Can Sixty Two. 1 2 3 4 5 (5) (8) (3) (2) (7) 7.15 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Handicap (£3,752: 7f 36y) (9) (6) 4-162 BALTIC PRINCE 17 (CD) A Carroll 8-9-8 Rossa Ryan (5) M Harley (8) 62-02 FIRE DIAMOND 22 (P,CD) T Dascombe 5-9-7 Fran Berry (3) -1023 ENERGIA FLAVIO 10 (P,C) P Morris 8-9-6 F Norton (2) 33-22 NICK VEDDER 25 (B,BF) M Wigham 4-9-6 K Stott (4) 3040- ROCK WARBLER 102 (H,T,D) O Greenall 5-9-5 A Atzeni (9) 04314 SAYESSE 19 (D) M Channon 4-9-5 R Da Silva (7) 0011- TUSCANY 133 (CD) P Cole 4-9-4 (1) 6-350 MR CHRISTOPHER 44 (P,CD,BF) T Dascombe 6-9-1 R Kingscote Alliance. It pays out a fixed sum of between £10,000 and £100,000. Last year, to guarantee an uplift in the deal from Stobart, it became mandatory for all PJA members to wear branded breeches. It prompted the likes of Spencer and De Sousa to leave the union, claiming the money they saved on subscriptions would pay for a better policy. PJA members pay 3 per cent of their riding fees to the union for membership and another 75p per ride to cover other insurances such as legal and travel. For a jockey who may have 800 rides a season, that soon adds up. Nicholas Whittle, commercial agent for Spencer and De Sousa, questions the commercial acumen of the PJA, whether they have got the best deal. “The posterior site is a valuable one for jockeys and it is unfair that the PJA has an exclusive agreement for that site,” he said. “The BHA should open it up to non-members. They should be able to earn an income off that site.” The counter argument is that in the event of a commercial free-for-all it may end up rendering the sponsorship worthless and the scheme redundant. In the past six years, more than £1.6 million has been paid out to more than 20 jockeys. It is a high-risk, expensive insurance scheme, which is free to PJA members. The best jockeys are toprate tax payers and, even if their subscriptions are high, up to 42 per cent can be set against their tax bill. Any change would only benefit those already at the very top of the sport, one source said. “It is where you place the value of the collective interest versus the value of the individual interest,” he added. Neither the BHA nor the PJA wanted to comment. C Hardie 9 (5) 51550 LUCKY LODGE 24 (V,CD) A Brittain 8-8-9 11-4 Nick Vedder, 7-2 Tuscany, 7-1 Baltic Prince, 15-2 Sayesse, 8-1 Fire Diamond, Mr Christopher, Rock Warbler, 10-1 others. 7.45 Handicap (£3,752: 1m 4f 51y) (9) 1 (5) 5-102 DREAM MAGIC 24 (CD) D M Loughnane 4-9-8 A Mullen 2 (3) 21216 LUV U WHATEVER 11 (C,D) Mrs M Fife 8-9-8 Hollie Doyle M Harley 3 (9) 3103- CRUSHED 86J (BF) A King 4-9-7 A Kirby 4 (2) 0-061 CAPE BANJO 21 (CD) N Mulholland 5-9-5 5 (7) 242-0 BROADWAY DREAMS 45 M Blake 4-9-5 M Godwin (3) 6 (1) 11461 STAR ASCENDING 11 (V,CD) J Candlish 6-9-5 J Fanning Fran Berry 7 (8) 40-52 TIDAL WATCH 21 Jonjo O'Neill 4-9-4 8 (6) 1206/ BLENHEIM WARRIOR 24J (D) P Webber 6-8-13 A Atzeni C Hardie 9 (4) 10-63 HUSSAR BALLAD 10 (CD) A Brittain 9-8-13 2-1 Cape Banjo, 5-1 Dream Magic, 6-1 Crushed, Luv U Whatever, 7-1 Star Ascending, 15-2 Tidal Watch, 12-1 Hussar Ballad, 25-1 others. 8.15 Handicap (£3,752: 1m 1f 104y) (8) A Kirby (7) 313-1 SEVEN CLANS 5 (B,CD) N Mulholland 6-9-10 D Tudhope (4) 0-662 STONIFIC 13 D O'Meara 5-9-9 Doubtful (8) 64111 ARLECCHINO'S LEAP 16 (C) M Usher 6-9-8 (5) 5-315 DEREK DUVAL 17 (H,T,C,BF) S C Williams 4-9-7 D Muscutt J Fanning 5 (6) 303-4 SAXO JACK 25J (T) Mrs S Leech 8-9-4 6 (1) 00-63 ROMAN DE BRUT 26 (CD) I Furtado 6-9-2 C Bennett (3) 7 (3) 4-310 BROUGHTONS STORY 28 P McBride 4-9-0 S Donohoe 8 (2) 00-00 SPES NOSTRA 46 (B,CD) R Mike Smith 10-9-0 Fran Berry 2-1 Seven Clans, 7-2 Roman De Brut, Stonific, 5-1 Derek Duval, 7-1 Broughtons Story, 25-1 Saxo Jack, Spes Nostra. 1 2 3 4 8.45 Handicap (£3,752: 1m 142y) (9) J Fanning (6) 03-30 EBBISHAM 56 (C) J Mackie 5-9-7 D Tudhope (5) 35-06 ZESHOV 25 (P) R Bastiman 7-9-7 R Da Silva (2) 4/0-0 CARAMURU 17 (P) J Santos 4-9-7 (1) 000-0 TEE IT UP TOMMO 17 (C,D) D Steele 9-9-6 Hollie Doyle (7) 413-6 PRANCING OSCAR 42 (CD) B Haslam 4-9-5 T Marquand (9) 40/40 THE THIRD MAN 42 (C) H Spiller 7-9-3 Nicola Currie (5) S De Sousa (3) 060-4 FOIE GRAS 16 (B,C) C Dwyer 8-9-2 (8) 3d522 SCRIBNER CREEK 16 (CD,BF) I Furtado 5-9-1 C Bennett (3) S A Gray 9 (4) 0-001 MAN OF VERVE 30 (H) P Kirby 4-9-0 5-2 Man Of Verve, 7-2 Prancing Oscar, Scribner Creek, 8-1 Ebbisham, 10-1 Caramuru, Foie Gras, Zeshov, 20-1 The Third Man, 33-1 Tee It Up Tommo. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Yesterday’s racing results Fontwell Park Going: soft (heavy in places) 2.05 (2m 1f 162yd hdle) 1, Hollywood Ken (Mr M Legg, 20-1); 2, Be Daring (7-2 fav); 3, Goldslinger (13-2). 11 ran. 12l, 5l. Mrs F Shaw. 2.35 (3m 1f 210yd ch) 1, Wizards Bridge (Harry Cobden, 3-1 jt-fav); 2, Leo Luna (7-2); 3, Morney Wing (3-1 jt-fav). 5 ran. Hd, 22l. C Tizzard. 3.10 (2m 3f 49yd hdle) 1, Larry (J E Moore, 6-4); 2, Duke Of Kilcorral (11-8 fav); 3, Illtellmema (7-2). 8 ran. 2l, 40l. G L Moore. 3.40 (2m 1f 165yd ch) 1, Clondaw Westie (Aidan Coleman, 11-10 fav); 2, Atlantic Roller (9-4). 3 ran. Only two finished. 26l. Mrs L Hill. 4.15 (2m 5f 164yd hdle) 1, Norman The Red (Matthew Batchelor, 6-1); 2, Hit The Highway (6-1); 3, Camron De Chaillac (8-1). 11 ran. 1l, ns. J E Long. 4.50 (2m 3f 104yd ch) 1, Burgess Dream (P J Brennan, Evens fav); 2, Very Live (9-2); 3, Wish In A Well (7-1). 6 ran. Kl, 46l. Miss A NewtonSmith. 5.20 (1m 5f 159yd flat) 1, Dandolo Du Gite (N D Fehily, 13-8 jt-fav); 2, Gwalia (4-1); 3, Helioblu Bareliere (25-1). 5 ran. NR: Corsecombe. 6l, 14l. N Mulholland. Placepot: £36.90. Quadpot: £9.80. Lingfield Park Going: standard 2.20 (1m 1yd) 1, Accomplice (Charles Bishop, 13-2); 2, Bold Prediction (2-1 fav); 3, Presence Process (9-2). 8 ran. 1l, sh hd. M Blanshard. 2.50 (6f 1yd) 1, Spring Romance (Jack Duern, 3-1 jt-fav); 2, Royal Household (3-1 jt-fav); 3, Naval Officer (5-1). 7 ran. NR: Jaalboot. Sh hd, 2Nl. D Ivory. 3.25 (1m 5f) 1, Cayuga (Rossa Ryan, 6-4 fav); 2, Ceyhan (7-1); 3, Fanoulpifer (5-2). 7 ran. NR: Yes Daddy. 1l, Ol. B Johnson. 3.55 (5f 6yd) 1, Just That Lord (L Morris, 3-1 jt- fav); 2, Zac Brown (3-1 jt-fav); 3, September Issue (10-1). 7 ran. 2Ol, 1l. M Attwater. 4.30 (7f 1yd) 1, Poet’s Society (J Fanning, 6-1); 2, Pepita (6-1); 3, Medici Banchiere (8-1). 9 ran. NR: Arnarson, Sea Fox, Siege Of Boston. Ol, Ol. M Johnston. 5.05 (6f 1yd) 1, Zamjar (S De Sousa, 5-2 fav); 2, Jashma (6-1); 3, Aguerooo (9-2). 9 ran. 1Kl, nk. R Cowell. 5.35 (1m 2f) 1, Albizzia (R Kingscote, 15-8 fav); 2, Juneau (13-2); 3, Qaswarah (8-1). 7 ran. Kl, Kl. R Beckett. Placepot: £31.50. Quadpot: £12.60. Chelmsford Going: standard 6.10 (1m 2f) 1, Miniature Daffodil (Rossa Ryan, 6-4 fav); 2, Arlecchino’s Arc (7-4); 3, Banjo’s Voice (20-1). 6 ran. Nk, 1Ol. P D Evans. 6.40 (1m 2f) 1, Rustang (J P Spencer, 6-4 fav); 2, Finisher (6-1); 3, Dream Point (100-30). 5 ran. NR: Verstappen. Ol, 1Kl. R Hughes. 7.10 (1m 2f) 1, Oasis Charm (W Buick, 5-4 fav); 2, Maratha (9-4); 3, Fire Fighting (7-2). 6 ran. NR: Rock Icon. 1l, 7l. C Appleby. 7.45 (1m) 1, Andalusite (P McDonald, 20-1); 2, Satchville Flyer (4-1 Co fav); 3, Freddy With A Y (8-1). 8 ran. Ol, 3l. J Gallagher. 8.15 (7f) 1, Mosalim (James Doyle, 13-8 jt-fav); 2, Lord Vetinari (4-1); 3, Mont Kinabalu (10-1). 10 ran. NR: Motajaasid. 1Nl, 2Kl. W Haggas. 8.45 (7f) 1, Showdance Kid (C Lee, 11-4 fav); 2, Harry Beau (16-1); 3, Prazeres (7-1). 9 ran. NR: Jack Nevison. Kl, nk. Kevin Frost. 9.15(7f) 1, Geetanjali (J Fanning, 4-1); 2, Inuk (7-1); 3, Olive Mabel (5-1). 10 ran. 1Nl, Kl. M L Bell. Placepot: £40.00. Quadpot: £19.70. 6 Today’s totescoop 6 races are: 2.05 Kempton; 2.25 Kelso; 3.00 Kelso; 3.15 Kempton; 3.35 Kelso; 5.00 Kempton. 24 2G S Saturday April 7 2018 | the times Sport Giles Smith Farewell Eric — hustler, bully and star who took darts to the masses E ric Bristow — dead at single 20, double top. It’s too small and too uncomplicated a finish for someone fixed in the national mind as a cocky kid, sent to reinvent an old man’s game: that gap between the teeth, that fancy hair, that chin always slightly tipped up in superiority or defiance, or some potentially explosive mixture of the two. A hustler, a bully, a star. And then, by contrast, there was that slightly effete, “praying mantis” style, with fingers lightly curled the length of the barrel, and which saw the dart virtually vertical at the beginning of the throw. A 1986 ITV documentary about him was titled Arrogant, Irresponsible Genius, which came quite close to summing it up, as did Sid Waddell’s famous encapsulation: “Bristow reasons, Bristow quickens — ah, Bristow.” He arrived when the sport was steeped in drink and wreathed in smoke, larging it under the strangely brown lights at the News of the World darts championship. Best way to beat Bristow in those days? Jocky Wilson knew: “Hide the bastard’s fags.” And then he drove that sport into the sitting rooms across its televised Eighties heyday, and set it on the way to the rock megadomes where it now resides. When Bristow collapsed this week he was working in hospitality at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, where 9,000 people had paid to watch people play darts, a concept that would have been next to unthinkable when he was plugging away in pubs at the start of his career, and that is in no small measure his legacy. As, of course, is his bequeathing of Phil “The Power” Taylor to the game, mentoring and sponsoring him through his early years. Latterly, post-dartitis (another public first), he was an uncomplicated presence in the commentary box, where his contributions ranged from the comfortingly anodyne (“120 is a nice finish for a darts player”) to surprisingly conversational exchanges with his commentator (“You off home tonight are you?”). Bristow never had trouble speaking his mind but did sometimes have trouble switching that mind on before he spoke. He fell foul of the distinction between an honest opinion and a thought-about opinion and learnt the hard way that Twitter and alcohol don’t mix. All of which, unfortunately, besmirched a reputation that, until that point, was only charismatically dogeared. Better, perhaps, to remember the more cheerful controversialist who, in 2012, became the first darts player to enter the jungle for I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out of Here! Bristow was serious enough about it to go into training and, in the weeks before the show, he went without drink, ate a lot of rice and (here was exquisite attention to detail), took off his jewellery to get used not wearing it. He finished fourth, but the posters for the Masters of Darts event at the Circus Tavern that year declared him “King of the Jungle” in any case. Quite right. Hell, though: Jocky Wilson, Sid Waddell, Dave Lanning, Eric Bristow … I’m not sure darts, and those of us who love it, can weather many more of these premature blows to the founding fabric. How are you feeling, Bobby George? Tell us you’re feeling OK. The breast is yet to come for Match of the Day viewers C Obituary, main paper, pages 78-79 Finau sets golf celebrations back ten years N o harm done, then. Having dislocated his ankle, Tony Finau very quickly located it again. And by the end of the following day, with both his feet pointing in the conventional directions, the American was tied for second place at four under par in the Masters. But make no mistake, there was underlying damage here — deep, systemic damage. When Finau knocked in a hole-in-one during Augusta’s preliminary par-three competition and ignored long-established conventions regarding etiquette and decorum to go steaming up the fairway with his arms raised, you felt that history itself was in play. Here was someone (unignorably, at 6ft 4) breaking the glass ceiling on shot-celebration that golfers have been bursting to do for a few years, but haven’t quite felt able to. Now, though, there was a trailblazer, and ahead of the game lay emboldened access to wheel-aways, knee slides, baby-cradlings, Ninja leaps, Couch potato’s guide to the weekend’s TV flag-kickings, thumb-suckings — the whole viewer-friendly catalogue of sporting joy. Then, 20 yards down the course and amid no little pathos, the trailblazer went and painfully trashed himself, risking his Augusta debut — and, right there, restraint re-took the reins, practically guaranteeing the future of the low-risk wave and the deathly tug on the sun-visor. At a conservative estimate, that momentary ankle trauma set golf celebration back by at least ten years. Today 6am Commonwealth Games, BBC2 (BBC1 from 10am, Swimming on Eurosport from 10.30am). 12pm Ebbsfleet v Macclesfield, National League, BT Sport 1. 12.30 Everton v Liverpool, Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event. 1.30pm, Rugby union, Bath v Leicester, Aviva Premiership, Channel 5. 1.30pm Horse racing from Kelso, ITV4. 1.45pm Rugby union, Cheetahs v Cardiff Blues, Pro14, S4C. 3pm Formula One, Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying, Sky Sports F1 and Channel 4. 3pm, Cricket, Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings, Indian Premier League, Sky Sports Cricket. 4pm Rugby union, Scarlets v Glasgow Warriors, Pro14, Sky Sports Action. 4pm Motorsport, Argentinian MotoGP qualifying, BT Sport 2. 5.30pm Manchester City v Manchester United, Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event. 7pm Golf, The Masters, Sky Sports Golf (BBC2 7.30pm). 7.30pm Sampdoria v Genoa, Serie A, BT Sport 1. Tomorrow 6am Commonwealth Games, BBC2. Bristow’s death marks the departure of another member of darting royalty to that oche in the sky. His legacy, however, will live long in a sport now watched by tens of thousands in sold-out arenas up and down the country hiefly it was wild derision that accompanied Iranian television’s censorship of Roma’s badge during its Champions League coverage this week. And, yes, the decision to blur out the nipples on the drawing of the Capitoline she-wolf as it suckles Romulus and Remus in accordance with the city’s 3,000year-old founding myth, did seem to represent a radical widening of the debate on public breast-feeding. At the same time, let’s not be too smug iin our certainties. You can say this kind of thing would never happen on Match of the Day, but it’s easy for them, to an extent, as none of the fauna on the badges of today’s Premier League sides (Tottenham’s cockerel, Brighton’s seagull, Watford’s moose which is actually a hart) is shown in the potentially controversial act of rearing human twins. Leicester’s fox is as close as Premiership heraldry gets to a formally lupine figure, but Leicester have defused likely sensitivities in this area by depicting only its head. West Brom’s throstle is on a branch, which could be interpreted as a nest or breeding ground, but no eggs are visible and the scenario is, in the main, cheerfully bucolic so there is very little to worry about unduly. Arsenal just have a big gun, and nobody ever takes exception to those. Also, it doesn’t seem to be the case that Iran’s Voice and Vision organisation were insisting that there is no place for wolf ’s teats in football broadcasting. So far as we are aware, they didn’t go to the trouble of pixelating the badges on the Roma shirts, which, apart from anything else, would have been fiddly. They only toned down the nipples on the giant reproduction of the badge used as a b backdrop behind the b host. In which case their h point was merely that there is no place ffor wolf ’s teats as wallpaper. In that contention, they may have a point. Our suspicion is that even the MotD producers would think carefully about the possible inferences of placing giant teats behind, say, Danny Murphy. Either way: each to his own. 7am Athletics, Paris Marathon, Eurosport 2. 10am Cycling, Paris-Roubaix, Eurosport 2. 10.15am Motorsport, British Touring Cars, Brands Hatch, ITV4. 10.30am Motorsport, World Touring Cars, Morocco, Eurosport 1. 11am Motorsport, World Rally Championship, France, BT Sport 2. 11.25am Cricket, Delhi Daredevils v Kings XI Punjab, IPL, Sky Sports Cricket. 12pm Hamilton v Celtic, Scottish Premiership, BT Sport 1. 1.30pm Arsenal v Southampton, Premier League, Sky Sports Main Event, 1.45pm Formula One, Bahrain Grand Prix, Channel 4. 2pm Napoli v Chievo, Serie A, BT Sport/ESPN. 2.45pm Rugby union, Exeter v Gloucester, Aviva Premiership, BT Sport 1. 3pm Cricket, Kolkata Knight Riders v Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL, Sky Sports Cricket. 3.15pm Motorsport, Argentinian MotoGP race, BT Sport 2. 4.15pm Chelsea v West Ham, Sky Sports Main Event. 5pm Udinese v Lazio, Serie A, BT Sport 1. 6pm Golf, Masters, Sky Sports Golf (BBC2 from 6.30pm). 7.30pm AC Milan v Sassuolo, Serie A, BT Sport 1.