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The Times Sports — 20 January 2018

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sport
Saturday January 20 2018
Tribute
today for
Regis
Black armbands
and applause
at all Premier
League matches
page 7
On top
Down
Under
Joe Root leads England
to ODI victory in Brisbane
as Kyle Edmund triumphs
in Melbourne
1,000
games
not out
Sam Allardyce
reaches landmark
and looks back
with Oliver Kay
pages 88-99
Crunch
time in
Europe
C i k pages 2-3
Cricket,
23
Tennis, pages 4-5
Ben Kay on a
make-or-break
set of games for
English
teams
pages 18-19
2
2G S
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Cricket
Root shines with bat and
Steve James
second odi scoreboard
Brisbane
Australia v England
Brisbane (Australia won toss) : England beat Australia
by four wickets
It is some exchange of positions.
England look as far ahead of Australia
in one-day cricket now as Australia
were superior to England in the recent
Ashes series.
In parts, England did not play
particularly well here and yet they
strolled to victory with 5.4 overs to
spare as Joe Root played a typically
calm and assured innings of 46 not out
to see them home and to put them 2-0
up in the five-match series.
Australia may have been missing Pat
Cummins and Josh Hazlewood, but the
gap between the two sides in this form
of the game looks vast at the moment.
Do not be fooled by the four-wicket
margin of victory. This was a hiding.
England’s game plan, with roles so
crystal clear and aggression coursing
through veins everywhere, just looks so
vastly superior. They even found a sixth
bowler, as Root took advantage of a
Gabba surface that spun just enough to
take two wickets, including Steve
Smith, the captain, in a seven-over spell
that surprised and befuddled Australia.
England were sharp in assessing the
pitch, using Moeen Ali in the first
powerplay and then ensuring that 24
overs of spin were bowled in total, with
five wickets taken. Ali might have
bowled more than seven overs, but
overall Eoin Morgan had a fine game as
captain. Adil Rashid was expensive
again, but he did take two wickets.
Australia looked on in dismay
as England’s spinners prospered,
because they had omitted theirr
specialist spinner, Adam Zampa,
relying instead on some parttime stuff from Travis Head
and Aaron Finch. It has
raised the very obvious
question of why Nathan
Lyon is not considered
in this format. Nobodyy
appears to have thee
answer to that. Australia
really do need to find
some answers in general. Mitchell Starc, who
took four wickets,
cannot carry their
bowling attack alone.
Finch had scored a
century again, just as
he had in the first
match at Melbourne.
It was his fifth — outt
of ten in total in
ODIs — against
England and it
was made with
typically impressive power. Onee
pulled four off
Mark Wood
early on was
simply
thunderous.
But
even
he
could
Australia
(balls)
D A Warner c Root b Ali....................... 35 (40)
A J Finch c Roy b Plunkett............... 106 (114)
*S P D Smith lbw b Root....................... 18 (25)
T M Head c and b Root............................7 (18)
M R Marsh st Buttler b Rashid......... 36 (43)
M P Stoinis c Buttler b Rashid.............4 (6)
C L White not out......................................15 (21)
†A T Carey run out..................................27 (24)
M A Starc c Roy b Woakes.....................3 (6)
A J Tye run out............................................ 8 (4)
Extras (lb 2, w 8, nb 1)..............................11
Total (9 wkts, 50 overs) ................ 270
J A Richardson did not bat.
Fall of wickets 1-68, 2-110, 3-124, 4-209,
5-213, 6-216, 7-255, 8-261, 9-270.
Bowling Wood 9-0-55-0; Woakes 9-0-37-1;
Plunkett 8-0-43-1; Ali 7-0-31-1; Rashid
10-0-71-2; Root 7-0-31-2.
England
(balls)
J J Roy c Finch b Starc............................ 2 (4)
J M Bairstow c Warner
b Richardson......................................... 60 (56)
A D Hales b Richardson....................... 57 (60)
J E Root not out.......................................46 (58)
*E J G Morgan b Starc........................... 21 (27)
†J C Buttler c Carey b Starc.............. 42 (32)
M M Ali b Starc.............................................1 (2)
C R Woakes not out...............................39 (27)
Extras (lb 1, w 5)..........................................6
Total (6 wkts, 44.2 overs)............. 274
A U Rashid, L E Plunkett and M A Wood
did not bat.
Fall of wickets 1-2, 2-119, 3-129, 4-157,
5-225, 6-227.
Bowling Starc 10-0-59-4; Richardson
10-1-57-2; Head 7-0-55-0; Tye 9-0-47-0;
Finch 3-0-17-0; Stoinis 4.2-0-34-0;
Marsh 1-0-4-0.
Umpires K Dharmasena (Sri Lanka)
and S Nogajski (Aus).
TV umpire C Gaffaney (NZ).
T
Series details: First ODI England
won by five wickets (Melbourne).
Third Tomorrow (Sydney).
T
Fourth Friday (Adelaide).
F
Fifth Jan 28 (Perth).
not
n go on to make a definitive
score and, though he put on 85 with
Mitchell Marsh — having shared a
partnership of 118 with him at the
MCG — again they departed in
close succession, just five balls, in
fact.
That was it for the Australia
innings.
It never really recovered,
i
and they lost six wickets for
62 in their
last
11
Smith trudges off
disconsolately after
becoming one of
two victims of
Root’s off breaks in
the second ODI
Can they
win it?
England aim to take an
unassailable 3-0 lead.
Tomorrow, 3.20am
Live BT Sport 1
overs, despite a hugely promising debut
innings from Alex Carey, the debutant
wicketkeeper, after a late summons in
place of Tim Paine, who was ill. The
South Australia left-hander made an
inventive 27 from 24 balls before being
run out after some silky footballing
skills from Chris Woakes.
Carey looks like the sort of cricketer
that Australia could do with. By contrast the 34-year-old Cameron White,
replacing Zampa, had a bit of a shocker,
scratching around for 15 not out from 21
balls.
Both sides ended up bowling
spinners in the first powerplay, but the
differing attitudes of the batsmen
playing them essentially summed up
the difference between the teams.
When Ali was introduced, you might
have expected David Warner and
Finch to go after him, but only two runs
were conceded from that ninth over of
the innings. When Head was used in
the seventh over of England’s innings,
nine came from it as Alex Hales took
two fours. Yes, Head is not Ali, and it
seems strange to be placing Ali on a
pedestal after his Ashes woes, but you
get the drift.
The wicket of Smith will have
especially pleased Root. It was one of
those low-arm slingers we sometimes
see from him, and Smith looked to
whip away on the leg side a ball that
pitched outside off stump but turned a
little.
Smith was adjudged leg-before and
reviewed, on the advice of Finch, but it
was in vain. And there was more from
Root as he persuaded Head to chip a
tame return catch, after labouring over
just seven runs from 18 balls.
Liam Plunkett took his 100th ODI
wicket when persuading Finch to hit a
flat catch to mid-on, and Woakes, who
ran out Andrew Tye from the last ball of
the innings, also deservedly snared
Starc to confirm that he is back as a
bowler of quality at this level after a
moderate beginning in the early overs
at Melbourne.
Jason Roy could not repeat his
Melbourne heroics, which was hardly
surprising. He chipped Starc to short
mid-wicket in the first over, but
Jonny Bairstow and Hales put on 117,
with Hales bringing up his fifty with a
hoisted six over long on from Finch’s
filthy left-arm spin.
Hales had made 57 when Jhye
Richardson, showing good pace and
some swing on his ODI debut, returned
and the batsman chopped on. Bairstow
had made 60 when he fell to the same
bowler, hitting to cover.
To think that one of Roy, Hales and
Bairstow may have to make way once
Ben Stokes returns to this side is quite
remarkable. It does show some cavernous depth.
Morgan looked in nice touch, helping
a short ball from Richardson for six, but
he also chopped a ball on, this from
Starc, so that England were 157 for four
in the 28th over. Jos Buttler played
exceptionally well for his 42, putting on
68 with Root, but Starc returned for one
last roll of a dice — indeed the last over
of his allocation — to induce an edge
behind.
Ali arrived and was yorked second
ball. Starc had his fourth wicket and
suddenly the crowd were alive. England
were 227 for six in the 38th over.
Was there any concern? None at all.
Yes, the review of this match may mention the lack of an England centurymaker, but they just bat so deep.
Woakes came in and deposited
Richardson over mid-wicket for six and
continued to play a superb cameo of 39
not out from just 27 balls.
He made it look easy. It was.
root likes bowling against australia
Of Root's 20 ODI wickets he has more against Australia
than any other side
Australia
Ireland
West Indies
New Zealand
Pakistan
Sri Lanka
Scotland
7
5
4
1
1
1
1
And he's got some impressive scalps
Steve Smith
18 runs
Travis Head
7
Michael Clarke
17
Shaun Marsh
55
David Warner
65
George Bailey
4
Phillip Hughes
30
January 19, 2018
January 19, 2018
January 17, 2014
January 17, 2014
January 12, 2014
September 16, 2013
June 8, 2013
Australia planning to
Steve James
Australia look likely to reunite their
Ashes fast-bowling attack of Mitchell
Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat
Cummins for tomorrow’s third one-day
international in Sydney.
Only Starc played in Brisbane, and
while Cummins accompanied him in
Melbourne, Hazlewood, who has had a
virus over the past few days after being
rested for the first match, has not yet
featured in the series.
“I think all three will be available,”
Steve Smith, the captain, said. “We’ve
obviously got to get ourselves back into
the series. It is a do-or-die clash for us
and we have to play some better oneday cricket.”
Australia went 2-0 down in the fivematch series after sloppy batting again
squandered a promising position, as in
the first match in Melbourne, which
they lost by five wickets.
“It was frustrating as we got ourselves
into a reasonable position with 11 overs
to go, and everything fell to pieces
again,” Smith said. “Scoring 60 off the
last 11 overs and getting to 270 isn’t good
enough against a quality batting lineup like England’s.”
Australia have now won only one of
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
3
2G S
Sport
ball as England show class
JASON O’BRIEN/GETTY IMAGES
Second court
appearance may
further delay
Stokes’ return
How he trapped Smith
Elizabeth Ammon
Root’s off spin did not turn much but it was enough to beat Smith’s
inside edge. Despite a review from the Australia captain, the replay
showed that the ball would have just clipped the leg bail
He’s starring with the bat too
17.46
Root’s batting average
against Australia in one-day
internationals before this
series. He had a highest score
of 69 in 13 innings
51.71
His average in 99 ODIs
137
Runs scored by Root against
Australia this series having
scored 91 and 46 and being
not out on both occasions.
He hit only one four in
yesterday’s
innings
Root operates
as a highly
effective
sixth bowler
at the Gabba
reunite Ashes pace trio for ‘do-or-die’ clash
their past ten one-day internationals.
“Why? I don’t know the answer to that,”
Smith said. “I wish I did. But we have
actually got ourselves into some
reasonable positions. We just haven’t
been able to take advantage of them.
“If we get 320 to 330 it’s a completely
different ball game. It’s just about
executing our skills better in those key
moments to ensure we get the scores
we need to play against quality opposition like England and India.”
Australia decided to omit the spinner
Adam Zampa and were made to pay as
England’s spinners, Moeen Ali, Adil
Rashid and the surprise package, Joe
Root, were the key to their bowling
success.
“We went in without the spinner on
this occasion and tried to make the batting deeper but it didn’t work as well as
we would have liked,” Smith admitted.
“So we’re still trying to find the right
balance. I didn’t think we played Joe as
well as we could have done.
“There were probably a few soft dismissals in there and the wicket was
probably stopping a little bit. It wasn’t as
easy as it can normally be playing spin
out here [at the Gabba]. He [Root]
bowled really well, great lengths, not
much width and was looking to hit the
stumps. He did all the things you want
a spinner to do.”
Root also made 46 not out to add to
his two wickets and was understandably named man of the match. “It was
ugly batting but I just needed to make
sure I got the job done and was there at
the end,” he said.
“I quite enjoyed my bowling. I was
pretty pleased with it. Eoin [Morgan]
just turned to me. Moeen came on quite
early and we saw there was some grip
and hold. I was just trying to sneak
some overs in and it went a little better
than we all anticipated.
“That’s quite smart captaincy from
Eoin to be able to juggle things round;
to make sure you had plenty of options
at the death was crucial.”
For Root, this one-day series will
never be a consolation for the Ashes
defeat, but it is serving a purpose.
“I was desperate to win that Test
series and I’m desperate to win this
white-ball series,” he said. “It’s an
important time for us against good
opposition in their home conditions
leading into a really important World
Cup in a year and a half’s time. These
games are crucial for us, a great way to
gather momentum and keep pushing
ourselves in the right direction.”
Ben Stokes’s return to the England team
may be delayed until the Test series
against New Zealand in March because
of two potential court appearances.
Stokes has been charged with one
count of affray and given a date of
February 13 for an initial plea hearing
— the day when the New Zealand leg of
the Twenty20 tri-series starts. It had
been thought that the player could
apply to enter his plea in absentia but it
is understood that he will need to
appear in person at Bristol magistrates’
court, alongside the two other men
charged over the incident.
There is a possibility of an additional
hearing shortly after the first, further
delaying the date he can depart. The
ECB board took the controversial decision this week to allow Stokes to return
to the team after the CPS had charged
him, and said that they expected him to
return in time for the New Zealand leg
of the T20 tri-series.
In theory, Stokes could have flown
out to New Zealand after that hearing
with time to prepare for England’s fivematch ODI series against New Zealand,
which starts on February 25. However,
the prospect of a second hearing will
push his departure date back.
While the England coaching team
are welcoming his return, they are
mindful of ensuring that he has some
preparation time before playing and
with the uncertainties around the legal
process, they are preparing for the possibility that he will not be available for
any of the remaining limited-overs
matches of this tour.
The ECB is content to be flexible
about Stokes’s availability and work
around any court appearances he may
have to make but there is concern about
how to ensure he has enough preparation time before going straight back into the pressure of international cricket.
Stokes may have further court appearances before the end of England’s
winter tours which could mean that the
all-rounder takes the 24-hour flight
home and back again. The ECB and
Stokes will need to weigh up whether
that would take such a toll on him physically and emotionally that it would not
be worth hurrying his return, but no
decision will be taken until it becomes
clear whether there will be any further
hearings during February and March.
England are due to return home at
the beginning of April, although Stokes
himself is likely to need to head straight
to India to join whichever Indian
Premier League franchise buys him in
next weekend’s auction, and he is
expected to fetch a record price. The
opening match of this year’s IPL is on
April 4.
“It is out of our hands. Nothing we
can do about that,” Joe Root said of
Stokes’s appearance in court, after the
ODI win in Brisbane. “When you’ve got
guys like Ben Stokes missing out and
still to come back in it’s a great place to
be as a side. It’s a great way to keep
encouraging guys to work at their game
and keep pushing because there’s going
to be some difficult decisions for Trevor
[Bayliss] and Morgs [Eoin Morgan]
down the line.”
4
1G S
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Australian Open
Edmund passes brutal
test of body and mind
Stuart Fraser
the route to the semi-finals
Fourth round
Tennis Writer
Melbourne
Quarter-finals
Semi-finals
R Nadal (Sp, world No 1)
Nadal or Schwartzman
D Schwartzman (Arg,26)
Kyle Edmund did not need a reminder
of what he had put his body through
after an Australian Open third-round
match that lasted three hours and
34 minutes in 40C heat, but he was
given one nonetheless when he entered
the locker room and took off his
sweat-soaked shirt.
“I’m quite a salty sweater,” Edmund
said. “You can see on my shirt it had
white lines on it. That’s the salt drying.
I sweat a lot of salt, so when I eat food
I always put a lot of salt on it, especially
after matches like this, because you’ve
got to replace it.”
Edmund will probably have been
tucking into a salt-covered meal, then,
at about 8pm last night when he found
out the identity of the player standing
in the way of a first grand-slam
quarter-final appearance. Tomorrow,
the 23-year-old Yorkshireman will face
Andreas Seppi, the world No 76 from
Italy, who overcame Ivo Karlovic, the
big-serving Croat, in five sets.
What an opportunity this is for
Edmund. During his only previous run
to the last-16 of a major tournament, he
came unstuck at the hands of Novak
Djokovic. This time, his section of the
draw has opened up like the Red Sea,
and he has taken full advantage.
As Edmund celebrated his 7-6 (7-0),
3-6, 4-6, 6-0, 7-5 victory yesterday
against Nikoloz Basilashvili, the world
No 61 from Georgia, he looked up
towards those in his coaching box and
flexed his muscles. It was reminiscent
of a certain Andy Murray in the fourth
round at Wimbledon in 2008.
That defining Murray moment came
after he fought back from two sets down
to defeat Richard Gasquet, of France,
and you could not help but feel a sense
of déjà vu after witnessing Edmund dig
deep into his physical and mental
reserves at the Melbourne Park
furnace. The mercury reached a peak of
40.2C at 2.25pm, just as Edmund was
serving at 3-3 in the deciding set.
Overall, this was not a match of high
quality — the players produced 132
unforced errors between them — but
that was more than understandable in
P Carreño Busta (Sp, 11)
Carreño Busta or Cilic
M Cilic (Cro, 6)
G Dimitrov (Bul, 3)
Dimitrov or Kyrgios
N Kyrgios (Aus, 17)
K Edmund (GB, 49)
Edmund or Seppi
A Seppi (It, 76)
Seppi overcomes Karlovic in five sets
italian challenge next
Edmund
Seppi
Age
23
49
S Africa
Bahamas
6ft 2in
0
4th rnd
2018
£1.5m
1
Ranking
Born
Lives
Height
33
76
Italy
Italy
6ft 3in
Career titles
3
Australian
4th rnd
Open
2013, 15,
record
17, 18
Career earnings £6.2m
Head to head
0
such brutal conditions. A remarkable
20-minute game at the start of the
fourth set will be long remembered,
featuring 36 points, 15 of them at deuce,
before Edmund, the world No 49,
eventually converted his eighth break
point and kick-started his greatest
comeback.
Watching on television in the middle
of the night at his Surrey home was
Murray, who was suffering from jet lag
after arriving back from Australia about
16 hours earlier. He tweeted: “Physical
test passed . . . mental strength passed
. . . I reckon that’s [the] biggest win of
Kyle Edmund’s career! Well done
Kedders.”
Edmund’s father, Steven, also
watching from his home in Yorkshire,
replied: “Certainly our most stressful.”
Although it was not the best win of
Edmund’s career by ranking — that was
earned by defeating Kevin Anderson,
the world No 12 from South Africa, over
five sets in the first round — it is hard to
argue with Murray. This was a gruelling
test of body and mind, which Edmund
passed.
“It’s definitely up there,” Edmund
replied, when asked for his own assessment of where it ranked. “For sure, the
physical test was a great, great win for
me to come through like that in a grand
slam, the best of five sets in that kind of
heat. It’s really good for my career and
my confidence going forward,” he said.
“On paper, it’s not, but it still doesn’t
mean it’s any better or worse, that type
of win. The fact that I was down like
that and came through a lot of tough
moments in the match is really good for
me. I showed good character to come
through that. Two five-set wins this
week against two good players is
pleasing for me.”
Edmund’s career has been one of
steady progress. His powerful groundstrokes — particularly his blistering
forehand, up there with the fastest in
the world — always had experts
predicting a bright future for this levelheaded Beverley boy. But that alone is
not enough to take you to the top.
An area of significant improvement
through the years is his stamina. Only
two years ago here, he suffered cramp
towards the end of a five-set defeat in
the first round by Damir Dzumhur, of
Bosnia. Yesterday’s match showed that
he has come a long way since then.
John McEnroe, the former world No
1, told Eurosport: “Having seen him in
the past struggle physically in these big,
long matches, it looks like he’s made a
huge step forward. He’s looking better
than I’ve ever seen him. Bouncing back
from two sets to one down in two
matches is extremely impressive.”
Since bringing the Swedish coach
Fredrik Rosengren on board towards
the end of last year, Edmund has been
encouraged to assert himself more
through the use of positive body language. Rosengren is an animated figure
on the practice court and in the stands,
and Edmund has fed off that.
“He is definitely intense and he is
always about doing the right work and
hard work,” Edmund said. “No point
doing the stuff if you’re not working
smartly. He’s very passionate for sure,
you can see the way he is on the
sidelines. He is always right into it.
That’s the way he works.”
One positive omen for Edmund is
that he defeated Seppi to reach his first
ATP tour semi-final at the 2016 European Open in Antwerp. Another milestone — the biggest of his career — will
be achieved if he wins tomorrow.
“He [Seppi] is a guy who works off
timing,” Edmund said. “He doesn’t have
a huge amount of firepower but in these
conditions the ball flies through, so he
really likes to time the ball and get it
through the court. He likes it here.”
exclusive to members
For last night’s action and
to find out at what time
Edmund plays next, go to
thetimes.co.uk/sport
‘I wanted Will Smith to think I’m coolest person ever’
Stuart Fraser
The courtside attendance of the actor
Will Smith was felt by Nick Kyrgios
as he claimed a thrilling win at the
Australian Open to set up a blockbuster
showdown with Grigor Dimitrov in the
last 16.
Kyrgios, the Australian No 1, beat
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 32-year-old
2008 runner-up from France, 7-6 (7-5),
4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5) in a match that
lived up to expectations. While both
have never fulfilled their potential — in
the case of 22-year-old Kyrgios, he has
time on his side — they rarely fail to
deliver entertainment on the court.
Smith could not have been sitting
any closer to the action unless he had
been in the umpire’s chair. Attending
his first grand-slam tournament, he
was given one of the luxury seats on
court level towards the edge of the Rod
Laver Arena surface.
“When I saw him out here, I was so
nervous,” Kyrgios said. “No joke. People
think I’m cool but I just wanted him to
think I’m the coolest person ever.”
There were moments of frustration
for both players during this enthralling
third-round match that lasted three
hours and 17 minutes.
Kyrgios was first to lose his temper
after dropping his serve in the second
set. “Why the f*** did I play doubles?”
he yelled, having partnered Matt Reid
in a two-hour match on Thursday.
Later, a furious Tsonga challenged a
member of the crowd for interrupting
his service motion.
“In between the first serve and the
second, the guy was talking to me and
Kyrgios turns on the style to impress
Smith, but said afterwards that he was
nervous in the presence of the actor
telling me, ‘You are under pressure
now’, when I was bouncing my balls. I
lost it and was a bit crazy,” Tsonga said.
“It’s not fair. The guy was feeling safe
because he was upstairs [in the stands].
I just told him, ‘Come now to see if you
feel the pressure or not.’ That’s it.”
The tennis was also captivating. A
fifth set looked inevitable when Tsonga
took a 5-2 lead in the tie-break, but
Kyrgios hit back by reeling off five
straight points to take the match. It was
his first professional win on the main
show court here — he landed the junior
title on it in 2013 — as he often requests
to play on his preferred court, the
Hisense Arena.
A return for Kyrgios to the Rod Laver
Arena is certain tomorrow, when he
faces Dimitrov, the No 3 seed from
Bulgaria.
How he has made giant
strides in Melbourne
Edmund’s key stats during
this championship are up on
his averages on hard courts
in 2017
First serve in
2018
(Aus Open)
2017
58%
63%
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
5
1G S
Sport
Leon Smith on Briton’s
massive improvements
Positive energy
If you look at Kyle’s body
language now compared with
six, 12 months ago, it’s
different. Because of his
personality, he’s probably had
to go through a stage where it
doesn’t feel natural and it feels
a bit forced to do it. It doesn’t
have to be “vamos” after every
point, that’s not necessary. But
at the right times, when he’s
realising it’s a big moment in
the match, he is turning to his
team and doing that. I see him
sometimes jogging after the
change of ends. It’s little things
like that which are different.
Serve and return
What are the most important,
most frequent things to get
better at? Serve and return.
Those two areas are what Kyle
has improved. You can see the
improvements in his serve: the
rhythm, timing and
momentum. A slight technical
adjustment is paying
dividends. On the return, he is
getting more balls back in play,
by sometimes chipping or
blocking, not always going for
the full swing.
Belief
Kyle has matured a lot, he has
worked hard, but you have to
put your body through it —
and he did that yesterday. I
thought the first-round match
against Kevin Anderson was a
massive step, because he had
lost quite a few close matches
against top-15 opponents,
against Grigor Dimitrov the
other week [in Brisbane] and
Rafa [Nadal, last year in Monte
Carlo]. He is getting a belief
where he belongs.
New coaching team
Kyle has got really good
momentum with his new
coaching set-up. You have got
Freddie [Rosengren] who has a
real high intensity and has a
wealth of experience working
with a lot of top-ten players.
Then he has Hilts [Mark
Hilton], who did a terrific job
with Evo [Dan Evans], getting
him to the ranking he was, and
is very well organised. Ian
Prangley, the fitness trainer,
has been with Kyle for a
number of years now. He has
got a great set-up.
6 Leon Smith is the Great Britain
Davis Cup captain, who led his
team to victory in 2015
GAME
SET
MATCH
By Stuart Fraser
Nadal strolls through again
Despite concerns over the fitness of
Rafael Nadal coming into the Australian
Open, the world No 1 has dropped only
21 games in three matches. He swept
aside the challenge of Damir Dzumhur,
the No 28 seed from Bosnia, in one
hour and 50 minutes with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-1
victory. “I needed hours on court, hours
of practice, hours of playing sets with
different players.” Nadal said. “Here I
am. I am in the fourth round. That’s
because I am doing the right things.
Let’s see how far I can go.”
Cornet collapses in heat
Alizé Cornet, below, struggled in
extreme heat of 40C during her 7-5, 6-4
defeat by Elise Mertens, of Belgium, in
the third round. The Frenchwoman fell
to the court in distress and had her
blood pressure taken by medical staff.
Australian Open officials admitted that
the WetBulb Globe temperature of 31.1C
“came close” to the threshold for the
extreme heat policy to be implemented,
and said they would review the rules at
the end of this fortnight.
Kostyuk given ‘free’ lesson
The run of Marta Kostyuk — the
15-year-old Ukrainian who is the
youngest player to reach the third
round here since Martina Hingis in 1996
— came to an end with a 6-2, 6-2 defeat
by her compatriot, Elina Svitolina, the
fourth seed. Kostyuk was asked what
she took as a positive from the
59-minute match. She replied: “How
much do you have to pay Svitolina to
have a one-hour lesson? I got it free.”
Agassi: I’m not paid to coach
First-serve
points won
75%
Second-serve
points won
Service games
won
84%
78%
52%
Average aces
per match
First-serve return
points won
Second-serve return
points won
89%
2018
(Aus Open)
57%
52%
13.1
57%
Ostapenko crashes out
25%
28%
6.1
2017
2017
2018
(Aus Open)
2017
2018
(Aus Open)
2017
2018
(Aus Open))
Andre Agassi has again insisted that he
is not being paid to be head coach of
Novak Djokovic. He said: “I’m not doing
it for any personal gain. Not even for
expenses, to be quite frank. If I can’t
help him, then I’m in the way and I’ll be
gone. If I can help him, I’ll do that.” The
American will, however, be receiving
substantial pay in his role as a global
tennis ambassador for Lavazza coffee,
for whom he is performing promotional
duties here.
2017
2018
(Aus Open)
2017
2018
(Aus Open)
Yet another high-profile player bowed
out in the women’s singles as Jelena
Ostapenko, the French Open champion,
lost 6-3, 1-6, 6-3 to Anett Kontaveit, the
No 32 seed from Estonia. Only two
grand-slam champions remain in the
draw, and one of them is guaranteed
to exit the tournament today when
Maria Sharapova faces Angelique
Kerber.
6
3GS
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Football
Guardiola: Sánchez demands
would have destabilised club
Wenger hails
Wilshere for
being ‘much
more mature’
STUART MACFARLANE/GETTY
Paul Hirst
Gary Jacob
Pep Guardiola has defended Manchester City’s decision to pull out of the
running for Alexis Sánchez, claiming
that the club’s financial stability would
have been put in jeopardy had they
given in to the Chilean’s wage demands.
Sánchez’s transfer to Manchester
United appeared to be edging closer
last night. It emerged that Henrikh
Mkhitaryan, the midfielder involved in
the swap deal for the Arsenal forward,
had bade a tearful farewell to staff at
United’s Carrington training ground,
while Sánchez was reported to have left
the Arsenal team hotel after being told
of a breakthrough in negotiations..
Sánchez had returned to first-team
training with Arsenal yesterday after
being made to train with the youth
team on Thursday. Arsène Wenger had
suggested that he would feature in the
game against Crystal Palace today.
Mkhitaryan has been left out of
United’s squad for today’s match away
to Burnley and José Mourinho hopes
that the deal will go through this
weekend so Sánchez will be able to
make his debut against Yeovil Town in
the FA Cup on Friday.
City had been favourites to sign
Sánchez, but after a meeting between
Guardiola, Khaldoon Al-Mubarak, the
chairman, Txiki Begiristain, the
director of football, and Ferran Soriano,
the chief executive, on Monday, they
ended their interest. They decided
against signing Sánchez because they
were worried about paying the forward
£14 million a year after tax in wages.
“Normally we try to be stable with
the wages of the players because it is
good for the team and stability of the
club,” Guardiola said. “I’ve never put
pressure on a club when they believe it
is too much. Immediately I accept that
decision. The stability of the club is
the most important thing.”
Another factor in City’s
withdrawal was that Fernando Felicevich, the player’s
agent, was demanding
between £5 million and
d
£10 million for himself as well as a
£20 million signing-on fee for his
client. Sánchez could have waited
d
until the summer to sign for City on a
free transfer, but Guardiola suggested
d
that Felicevich persuaded his client to
join United.
“I’m not the guy with the mathematics, with the numbers,” the City head
coach said. “What I know right now is
that he is still an Arsenal player. He is
going to United so congratulations to
them. At the end, the players, when
they have contenders, they decide
where they want to play. Their managers [agents] decide where they want to
play.”
Guardiola did, however, concede
Jack Wilshere is playing consistently
well for Arsenal because he has finally
understood how to protect his body
between matches, according to Arsène
Wenger. The midfielder, who turned 26
on New Year’s Day, expects to agree a
new contract with the club after
establishing himself back in the first
team over the past five weeks.
Wenger says that Wilshere’s renaissance at Arsenal is the product of a
more mature attitude to his fitness and
lessons that he learnt last season on
loan at Bournemouth. Asked how he
had changed, the manager said: “He is
much more patient and mature. He
analyses better.
“Before, his desire to play was the
only thing that mattered. Today he can
analyse better. Is he fit or not fit? What
is he to do? He has a lot of prevention to
do and he does that religiously now.
Before he was a bit more, ‘My body can
take that,’ like we all are when we are 20
years old.”
Wenger said he hoped that Wilshere
would sign a new contract and could
become club captain for the long term.
“I see him here because he is an Arsenal
10
League goals involving
Sánchez this term (seven
goals, three assists).
Mkhitaryan has six
(one goal and five
assists)
staying power
Wilshere’s present run is already his
fifth-longest sequence of successive
league appearances for Arsenal
The last goodbye: Sánchez, right, battles with Jack Wilshere on his return to first-team training with Arsenal yesterday
but is set to sign for United this weekend with the midfielder Mkhitaryan, below, heading in the opposite direction
that City could buy up to four
players
in the summer even
p
though
he has spent more than
t
£220 million this season.
City are looking to sign
at least one midfielder to replace Yaya
Touré, who is
expected
to
leave at the
end of his
contract,
and the
club
want a full back and
centre
half.
c
“We feel we need to
invest
in the summer, with
i
three or four,” he said. Although he would not
speak about him yesterday, Guardiola is still intent
on
signing
Jonny Evans,
the
West
W Brom-
wich Albion defender, before the
window closes as Vincent Kompany is
still out with a calf injury. Fabian Delph,
the stand-in left back, is also out for “a
while”, according to Guardiola, with a
knee injury that he suffered in the
defeat by Liverpool.
Mourinho had hoped the Sánchez
deal would go through by noon yesterday so he could have made his debut
against Burnley, but the finer details of
the transfer, principally around the
£8 million to £12 million fee Arsenal
want in addition to Mkhitaryan, are yet
to be agreed.
United are usually reluctant to sign
anyone in January, but Mourinho
insists that their pursuit of Sánchez is
not a sign of weakness. “The point of
the January transfer window is to help
the clubs that didn’t work well in the
summer and they feel they have to do
something to help what they didn’t do
well before,” Mourinho said.
“It’s because of that, we don’t like to
[sign anyone] in January because it
shows that we didn’t give our best [in
the summer], we didn’t try our best and
we don’t like to do it.
“But if you have the chance to do
some special players, in special circumstances, you do it now. If it happens, it
happens, and we are sure that it is for
the good of the team. If it doesn’t
happen, it doesn’t happen.”
Mkhitaryan has been ruled out of
United’s game at Turf Moor over fears
that an injury would jeopardise the
deal. “He is not selected,” Mourinho
said. “But he is in very good condition.”
Mourinho has ruled out a move for a
left back because he has seen a vast
improvement in the performances of
Luke Shaw, who has started five
consecutive games for the first time
under him. “Luke is playing very well,”
said Mourinho, who has been openly
critical about the left back.
“He is good, solid. Physically he is
much better, mentally much stronger,
tactically understanding the game
much better. I can say that in this
moment I don’t see many left backs
better than this Luke Shaw.”
Carrick agrees role to coach United’s first team
Paul Hirst
Michael Carrick has accepted José
Mourinho’s offer to join his backroom
staff at Manchester United. The United
manager expects the 36-year-old to
assume the role of first-team coach
next season.
Mourinho appointed Carrick as
United captain after the sale of Wayne
Rooney to Everton last summer, but he
has started only one game this season
due to a heart problem. Carrick
underwent a cardiac ablation, a
procedure designed to correct an
irregular heartbeat, after he felt dizzy
following the 4-1 Carabao Cup win over
Burton Albion in September.
Mourinho offered Carrick a place on
his staff after learning of the procedure.
When asked whether the former
England midfielder, who has played
460 games for United, had told him
whether he would accept his offer,
Mourinho said last night, “Yes, he wants
[to]”, and confirmed that the coaching
role would be with the first team.
The fact that Mourinho took Carrick
to Dubai with the rest of the squad for
a warm-weather training camp last
week indicated that he was being
considered for first-team selection
again. When it was put to him that
Carrick could play again for the club,
Mourinho agreed. “I think so,” he said.
“He had a few months without even
training, but now he is in his second
week of training with the team.
“He is a very important player for us.
I think the decision to join [the
coaching staff] will be at the end of the
season and not last week, I think it is a
good decision for the team and a good
decision for him.
“We are all happy and at the end of
the season I expect him to join, unless
he changes his mind, but the club would
be very happy for him to do that.”
Date of last
game in run
Mar 3, 2013
Aug 21, 2010
Apr 17, 2011
Nov 19, 2016
Jan 14, 2018
Consecutive
starts
15
14
13
8
7*
* Present run
man. He was here at the age of ten and
he’s not only been here for a long time
but he has some leadership qualities,”
he said.
“He has a football brain. He is
completely focused on Arsenal. The
fact that he has been away and come
back, he realises as well that life here is
not so bad maybe. That is something
that is important. He can be one of the
leaders in the future.”
Earlier in the season, when Wilshere
was being confined largely to Europa
League appearances, Roy Hodgson
wondered whether he might be able to
tempt him to Crystal Palace, who play
Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium today.
Hodgson admits that idea is now a
fantasy. “We couldn’t afford him,” he
said. “Jack has moved into a wage
category way above what I am certain
Crystal Palace could pay.
“Obviously if Jack wanted to come
here and play for the wages that Crystal
Palace could offer, I would be delighted.
But it is not going to happen so there is
no point me going to bed dreaming of
that, is there?”
An England recall in time for the
World Cup finals is also on Wilshere’s
radar and the midfielder was a regular
international pick under Hodgson
when available.
“I would like to see him available for
selection,” Hodgson said. “I am not
saying for one minute that the current
England manager should select him.
That is totally up to him. It will be nice
if he had that option, at least, of having
a Jack Wilshere playing in the form that
he is playing in at the moment.”
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
7
2G S
Sport
All top-flight clubs to honour Regis
DARREN WALSH/CHELSEA FC VIA GETTY IMAGES
Martyn Ziegler
Chief Sports Reporter
premier league tributes
A minute’s applause will be held at
all Premier League matches this
weekend to mark the death of Cyrille
Regis, the first time for five years that
such a tribute has been organised
across all the top-flight clubs.
All players will wear black armbands as part of the commemoration
of Regis, who died on Sunday aged 59
after a heart attack.
The Premier League usually leaves
it up to individual clubs to decide on
such commemorations, but there
had been calls for a league-wide
tribute and, after a request from the
Professional Footballers’ Association, it announced that all matches
will honour the former England,
West Bromwich Albion, Aston Villa
and Coventry City striker, who
helped to lead the way for black
players in English football.
It is the first such tribute since the
death of Nelson Mandela, the former
South Africa president, in 2013 and
the first for a footballing figure since
Sir Bobby Robson’s death in 2009.
Earlier in 2013, the football authorities turned down calls from two club
chairmen to have a minute’s silence
for Margaret Thatcher, the former
prime minister.
All clubs held a minute’s silence for
George Best in 2005 but at many of
the matches the fans turned the
occasion into a spontaneous minute
of applause instead and that practice
has become standard.
The tribute to Regis is a mark of his
place in the game as a pioneer for
black players. His breakthrough into
top-flight football in the late 1970s at
West Brom alongside Brendon Batson and Laurie Cunningham was a
turning point for black players in the
English game. By 1992, 16.5 per cent
of players were from black and ethnic
minority backgrounds and 33 per
cent at the start of this season.
Regis also won respect for the
Cyrille Regis ................................ 2018
minute’s applause
Nelson Mandela......................... 2013
minute’s applause
Bobby Robson...........................2009
minute’s applause
George Best................................2005
minute’s silence
Holly Wells and
Jessica Chapman......................2002
minute’ss silence
minute
The Premier League will pay tribute to Regis, right, mirroring the minute’s applause after the death of Mandela in 2013
dignified way he dealt with racist
abuse from rival fans. Viv Anderson,
the first black player to win an
England cap, was among those who
had urged the Premier League to
organise a tribute.
“The Premier League recognises
the important career of Cyrille Regis,
and his special role as a trailblazer for
black players in modern English
football,” officials said in a statement.
Regis’s widow, Julia, said: “We
are overwhelmed by the love and
support we have received following
the loss of Cyrille.
“Every message has been important to us and this gesture from the
Premier League is deeply moving
and appreciated. We were always so
proud of Cyrille and it is comforting
to know that the wider game and
public feel the same way.”
Gordon Taylor, the PFA chief
executive, added: “Cyrille Regis was
such a legend and we felt that football
should recognise his contribution to
the game and particularly everything he did to help black players.”
West Brom will pay tribute at their
next home game, against Southampton on February 3, while Aston Villa
and Coventry are also planning to
honour their former player.
6 The funeral will be held on Tuesday, January 30, with a public service
at The Hawthorns at 11am preceded
by a private family service. West
Brom will announce next week how
supporters can attend the public part
of the service.
Pedro dived ‘because he was tired’
Ian Winrow
Antonio Conte has said that Pedro
dived in Wednesday’s FA Cup replay
with Norwich City because he was
fatigued.
The Spain forward was one of
three Chelsea players booked for
simulation during the penalty shootout win, meaning that Conte’s squad
have received five yellow cards for
simulation this season, two more
than Manchester City, the top-flight
club with the next highest total.
Pedro, who was also cautioned for
diving in the Premier League meeting with Stoke City at the end of last
month, was subsequently dismissed
after collecting a second yellow card
and will miss today’s game away to
Brighton & Hove Albion. Álvaro
Morata, who was sent off after contesting the decision of Graham Scott,
the referee, to book him when the
forward went to ground in the Norwich penalty area, is also suspended.
While Conte continued to dispute
the booking of Willian, the third
Chelsea player to be cautioned for
the same offence, and questioned
whether Morata had been fouled, he
accepts Pedro was guilty as charged.
“For Pedro, we must be honest and
accept Pedro dived,” the head coach
said. “The player is clever, he’s intelligent to understand when you make a
mistake. I think, during the game, the
player can be tired, a bit tired, but
Pedro’s reaction was to stand up
quickly. I think the player understood, at that moment, the mistake.”
Chelsea are yet to win in 2018,
drawing each of their five games, but
Conte will not use his side’s recent
difficulties as an opportunity to
create a siege mentality.
“We have to create a strong
mentality and not because you have
to feel under attack,” he said. “This is
a stupid thing. I have to transfer to my
players, ‘Oh, we are under attack
from the referees, from the journalists and the other teams’? This is not
the right way.”
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8
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
3GS
Sport Football
‘I’m addicted to
management,
I couldn’t turn
this job down’
On the day of his 1,000th game,
Sam Allardyce
tells Oliver Kay
why he is not yet
ready to retire
S
am Allardyce still has them somewhere:
the rejection letters from Kidderminster
Harriers, Telford United and Tamworth.
“If a job came up, anywhere, I would
apply for it,” he says. “My wife, Lynne,
typed out all these job applications for me. Most
of them, I didn’t even get a reply.”
He is sitting in his office at Everton’s training
ground — the final stop, he is sure, in a
managerial career that has surpassed his every
expectation since those days when Lynne was
typing out begging letters on his behalf. Today’s
match against West Bromwich Albion at
Goodison Park will be his 1,000th as a manager
in English football — including, of course, that
solitary game in charge of the national team.
That, too, was supposed to be his final job. As,
indeed, was Crystal Palace. But these days
clubs come looking for him. “I’m addicted,” the
63-year-old says.
He was certain that he would not come back
this time, however. After leaving Palace last
May, he spoke of getting out of management
“with my head held high” and wanting to “enjoy
all the things you can’t really enjoy with the 24/7
demands of managing a football club”. He and
Lynne started going through their bucket list.
They had a wonderful time in Hawaii (“her
childhood dream”) and had booked to spend the
new year in Dubai, with a safari trip to South
Africa next on the agenda. He had turned down
other jobs. Not interested. “But I had to take this
one. I just had to,” he says.
Why? “Because it’s Everton,” he says.
“Because of the ambition, but also the history. If
you’ve worked in football all your life, you know
what Everton is like, but all the lads I know who
played for Everton — Peter Reid, Andy Gray,
Paul Bracewell, Inchy [Adrian Heath], Sharpy
[Graeme Sharp], Joe Royle — the way they talk
about the club, you’re desperate to be a part of
that. I couldn’t have turned Everton down. I just
couldn’t.”
It is a far cry from the early days of
Allardyce’s coaching career — joining Brian
Talbot’s staff at West Brom, only to be sacked
after a humiliating FA Cup defeat by
non-League Woking in 1991. “I had retired as a
player and I knew I wanted to manage, but
you’ve still got to earn a living, pay the
mortgage, pay the bills and bring the kids up. I
couldn’t get a job and it was getting to the point
where I was going to have to work behind my
bars with Roy, my business partner. I knew I
would have to go wherever it took to get a
management job. Limerick was the only job I
could get, so I went.”
In totting up Allardyce’s 1,000 games, the
League Managers’ Association did not include
his season as player-manager of Limerick. He
believes, though, that the experience was
invaluable, not least that of collecting
door-to-door with Father Joe Young, the
chairman and parish priest, to raise funds to
keep the club afloat. “Somehow we won the title
[the First Division, earning promotion to the
Premier Division],” he says, “and it gave me the
confidence that, if I could get a bunch of players
together — half from Dublin, half from
Limerick — and win the league by a big margin,
then I could do it.”
A coaching job at Preston North End followed,
but Allardyce — interestingly, given the longball tag that would later follow him everywhere
— felt marginalised and dismayed by what he
called the “brain-dead” football philosophy of
John Beck. He got an interview at Blackpool in
1994. He changed into his suit in the car park
outside before listening to the club’s directors
outline the restrictions on the incoming
manager. “They said the salary was 18 grand a
year, plus a bonus if we got promoted,” he says.
“I asked about the contract. ‘Well we don’t really
want to give a contract. We’ll see how it goes
first.’ I said, ‘I can start tomorrow.’ I wanted it so
badly and the only way I could get it was to be
desperate and cheap. And it worked.”
In his second season in charge, Blackpool
narrowly missed out on promotion to the
second tier — finishing third, one point behind
Oxford United, and then losing to Bradford City
in the play-offs. He was sacked by the chairman,
Owen Oyston, who was in prison at the time.
Redemption came at Notts County, who he
led to the Third Division title with six games to
“
Everyone knows by now that I
was shafted with England. It’s
still not easy to take, the way it
was dealt with, but I can’t
do anything about that
spare, still one of his fondest memories, but it
was not all plain sailing. “It was the politics, the
expectations, the derogatory comments from
the chairman, almost bullying tactics at times,”
he says. “The following season, after promotion,
we were struggling and my job was on the line.
“We were playing Luton away and we bought
a lad from Brentford, Kevin Rapley, for 50
grand. He joined up with us at the ground, the
first time we had met him. He scored on his
debut — a handball, the ref never saw it — we
won 1-0 and we managed to stabilise, stay up.
We started really well the next season, but I
didn’t ever forget that. When Bolton came in for
me, I was off.”
Allardyce calls the Bolton years “amazing”. In
his first season he took them from 12th in the
second tier, now the Championship, to the
semi-finals of the FA Cup, League Cup and
promotion play-offs. He was forced to sell Eidur
Gudjohnsen, Claus Jensen and others “to satisfy
the bank”, but they were promoted the next
season and survived their first two years in the
Premier League. They finished eighth (also
reaching the League Cup final), sixth, eighth
Sam
Allardyce’s
348
Losses
999
games
389
Wins
262
998 games with
English clubs and
one with England
Draws
Who he’s managed
24 Newcastle
90 Blackburn
371 Bolton
181 West Ham
31 Sunderland
146 Notts Co
11
108 Blackpool
24 C Palace
teams
managed
12 Preston
Total attendance
11 Everton
Teams faced
22,243,749
104
99 teams beaten at least once
Exceptions: Marseilles, Seville,
Besiktas, Vitoria Guimaraes,
Aldershot – drew with all of those
apart from Aldershot
Highest 78,523
Allardyce’s West Ham v Blackpool
Wembley, Championship play-off final, 2012
Lowest 888
Hartlepool v Allardyce’s Blackpool
Football League Trophy, Nov 1995
Faced the most
Most wins against
Man City
W6, D5, L23
Most defeats against
Tottenham
Newcastle
Arsenal
W6, D8, L19
33
Man City
12
34
Aston Villa
W10, D9, L12
1 England
23
12
Arsenal
Fulham
19
11
31
Man Utd
Portsmouth
18
11
469
players have appeared for Allardyce
Most goals for Allardyce
K Nolan
G Jones
M Ricketts
T Ellis
K Davies
Most games for him
73
37
37
35
31
Most common country by birth
England
France
Ireland
Spain
Scotland
Senegal
258
35
14
13
12
12
K Nolan
J Jaaskelainen
R Gardner
B N’Gotty
M Noble
434
371
214
172
150
Games during reigns of
prime ministers
Major
Blair
Brown
Cameron
May
and seventh, an unlikely cast of players
reinvigorated and inspired under a regime that
combined old-school British values, imported
flair and cutting-edge sports science.
Quite apart from the way that they helped to
reinvigorate Jay-Jay Okocha, Youri Djorkaeff
and others, Bolton’s sports science staff helped
to cure Allardyce of his touchline rage.
“Transcendental meditation,” he says,
improbably. “We talked about my
hot-headedness and angry outbursts and we
came up with meditation to help me stay calm
and not get so worked up. I became calmer, able
to make better decisions, tactical changes.”
What does the meditation involve? “You just
make the time to switch your mind off for a
period and relax and focus on your mantra,” he
says. What is your mantra? “It’s your word,
which you can’t tell anyone else.
“Those years were special. The talent in that
side was such a pleasure to work with. Jay-Jay
— breathtaking flair and skill, but with
accountability. Fernando Hierro was
magnificent. He was a bit too old to play and too
slow at centre back in England, but we found a
position for him in that pivotal role in front of
the back four. He could pass it 60 yards better
than most can pass it 30. There was Ivan
Campo, Nicolas Anelka, so many others I could
mention. The really important one was Youri.
His goals kept us up and then it became, ‘If
Youri Djorkaeff can go to Bolton, so will I’. It
was wonderful, upsetting the big boys, getting
into Europe, until it all stopped, sadly, because I
142
495
95
231
36
realised the club had no ambition to go further
than we had got to at that point.”
The early years of Allardyce’s managerial
career were about surviving and, eventually,
thriving. His eight years at Bolton were about
building a club up and up. The past decade has
been something different: his tenure at
Newcastle United cut short in its infancy, after a
slow and difficult start, and, apart from West
Ham United, whom he took from the
Championship to three mid-table finishes in the
Premier League, a succession of short-term
assignments: troubleshooting, firefighting,
steering Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland and
Palace away from relegation.
There was the England job, which he coveted
for so long, only to leave office in a state of
shock and humiliation after 67 days and one
game (a 1-0 win away to Slovakia) in charge as a
result of the comments he made — awkward,
rather than scandalous — to undercover
newspaper reporters in an attempted “sting”
operation. “I think everyone knows now that I
was shafted on that one,” he says. “It’s still not
easy to take, even now, the way it was dealt with,
but I can’t do anything about that now.
Thankfully Palace and Everton came along.”
His impact at Everton was immediate. A team
who had been shipping goals at an alarming rate
stabilised, going eight games unbeaten in all
competitions, conceding just two goals. Since
then they have lost four in a row, the latest of
them a 4-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur. The
statistics from those games have been troubling.
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
9
2G S
Sport
TONY MCARDLE/EVERTON FC VIA GETTY IMAGES
‘I still want to be in
charge of Everton, I
got us out of trouble’
David Unsworth tells
Paul Joyce that he
looks back on his time
in interim charge at
Goodison with pride
“When you come into a new club, even at
Everton, you’re talking about preaching the
basics of stability to get results,” he says,
“because somewhere along the line, people have
lost sight of what those basics are. They’re not
as sexy as flair and skill, but without those
fundamentals, you won’t win a game.
“We started so well and I’m disappointed in
myself really because I felt we were ready to
start doing a little bit more in possession, to
start making a better impression with the ball,
and on reflection I’m not sure they were quite
ready for that. I wanted us to take our best game
to Tottenham, but we had a complete reverse,
dreadful. That set us back. Thinking about our
progress, thinking about how these lads
psychologically handle these games, they still
need a lot of encouragement to be mentally
stronger. The job is to build a team going
forward, as the club look towards the new
stadium, but right now it’s about stabilising.”
His contract at Everton runs until the end of
next season. “But it doesn’t matter how long a
contract is,” he says. “It’s only as long as you
keep winning. Or it’s as short as you keep losing.
Irrespective of whether it was 18 months or four
and a half years, you’ll only see the end of that
contract if you keep winning.”
Allardyce’s appointment at Everton in a
season in which Palace, West Ham, West Brom
and Stoke City have turned to the experience of
Roy Hodgson, David Moyes, Alan Pardew and
Paul Lambert, has led some to accuse the clubs
of a lack of imagination or ambition. Is this
Allardyce says he
has not changed
since his first job
as a manager at
Limerick in 1991,
and while some
people like his
personality and
others do not, it
is too late for
him to change
reliance on the tried and trusted holding
younger managers back? Where will the next
Allardyce come from? “I look at Chris Wilder at
Sheffield United, Lee Johnson at Bristol City,
Paul Hurst, who is performing miracles at
Shrewsbury, and several others,” he says. “Chris
played for me at Notts County and he has taken
a similar path; he has trudged up through the
lower divisions and dragged Sheffield United
upwards. I hope he gets them promoted. He will
if the owners back him.
“It’s the same as it has been for years: that the
only way for a British manager to start
managing in the Premier League is by getting a
team promoted. Moyesy went from Preston to
Everton, Roy worked all over Europe, but in the
vast majority of cases it’s the only way you do it.
“It was the same with Peter Reid, Bryan
Robson, Steve Bruce, Alan Curbishley, me. Same
with Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew, Paul Lambert,
Brendan Rodgers, Sean Dyche, Eddie Howe,
Chris Hughton. Chris got Newcastle promoted,
got harshly sacked, had to get Brighton
promoted to get back into the Premier League.
That shows what a good manager he is, yet
people rarely mention his name. Why? Is it just
about how you sell yourself? It seems it’s not
enough to do what you do behind the scenes
and what your team does on the pitch. You have
to come across the right way.”
How does Allardyce believe he comes across?
“Ha, I’m just me,” he says. “I’ve never changed.
Some people like it. Some don’t. It’s too late for
me to change now, isn’t it?”
Once his days as an interim had been
curtailed, David Unsworth needed a
break. A breather to, as he put it, “plug
himself back in”.
Five weeks in the spotlight at Everton
had culminated in the giddy high of a
thumping 4-0 victory at home to West
Ham United at the end of November,
yet the constant peaks and troughs of
his brief tenure had taken their toll. His
had been a crash course in coaching at
elite level.
Another period of readjustment has
been required since returning to his
role as manager of the club’s under-23s,
the coach cast back into familiar
surroundings, although Monday’s win
over Tottenham Hotspur suggests
that Unsworth and Everton are safely
ensconced back in the old routine.
“To begin with I just observed for a
few weeks because I felt I needed a
period of quiet reflection,” he said.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t initially
find there was a comedown because,
when you are in front of 40,000 people
at Goodison Park and there’s that
pressure —a good pressure — it is
exciting. It is what I wanted to do.
“The under-23s is a wonderful job but
it is different in that it is about developing young talent. So it was like getting
back on the bike again, but normal
service has been resumed because we
won the other day and it was a great
performance.”
Unsworth’s time in the first-team
dugout, sandwiched between Ronald
Koeman
and
the
Dutchman’s
permanent successor Sam Allardyce,
opened his eyes to plenty and served to
fuel his ambition. It was crushing one
moment, challenging the next but,
ultimately, invigorating.
Whatever steps he now takes in his
coaching career, he will be better for the
experiences crammed into a packed
programme when he took over a team
immersed in a relegation battle, whose
European aspirations had flatlined and
with confidence shot after a run of two
wins in 16 matches.
There are aspects of the job that
Unsworth would have done differently if he had his time again.
He listens to the opinion he
was, at times, too offensive
in his outlook, but counters by saying that his
method has always
been to attack, thatt
Everton’s predicamentt
o
meant that they had to
try to win matches and that, by
the end, he and his assistant
John Ebbrell, a fellow former
Everton player, had hit upon a
formula that best suited the
players.
He passed over the
question of whether some
players took advantage of the
sense that he would not be a
long-term solution, pointingg
out that only those in the
Unsworth took charge of a
side who were in 17th place
dressing room can answer, but it is not
unfair to assume that one or two will
not be given their number of chances
again as they had during what amounted to a frenzied eight-game run.
Interestingly, Allardyce’s patience
snapped after last weekend’s supine
surrender away to Tottenham, which
extended a winless run to six games.
Overall, Unsworth, whose credentials
had been pushed by the chairman Bill
Kenwright, looks back on a steep
learning curve with satisfaction. “We
were in a difficult period,” he said.
“It was a real case of in at the deep
end. We were third from bottom and
then, when I stepped back, we were
13th. Having spoken to the chairman
and Farhad [Moshiri, the majority
shareholder] it was job done because
they had asked to get us out of trouble.
“In Sam’s first game against Huddersfield Town three days after West Ham,
he won and we have gone to tenth.
People can have their opinions, but that
is job well done no matter what anybody says, no matter if Pep [Guardiola]
or José [Mourinho] was manager.
The most revealing aspect came with
the rat-a-tat-tat of matches and the
“game-recover-train-game” schedule
that would have felt like a whirlwind
compared with the under-23s.
“The bit that didn’t sit comfortably
with me was almost dismissing results
because the next game comes round so
quickly,” he said. “I didn’t like that, but it
has not put me off. To stand on that
touchline as Everton manager was
brilliant. I don’t know if that will ever
come again. If I will have to go and
manage elsewhere and then be able to
come back, I don’t know.”
Seeing Southend United place Phil
Brown on gardening leave on Wednesday, making him the 23rd managerial
casualty of the season, was a reminder
that Unsworth did not need of the
precarious nature of his profession.
“There is a burning desire to manage,”
he said. “But it would have to be
something really exciting, with an
owner, chairman and board who are
honest and who want to do it the right
way, to even tempt me to leave.”
Unsworth did nothing to disguise
that he wanted the job permanently but
he understands why, after a 4-1
defeat away to Southampton in
which Everton’s defensive
ffragility was evident again,
Moshiri opted to pursue someone with more experience.
Allardyce was in the
directors’ box on the
night that West Ham
were swatted aside,
Unsworth having
sent out a more
robust-looking
4
4-5-1
formation
i which Wayne
in
R
Rooney
was
recalled and struck a
hat-trick.
“A few days earlier we
lost to Southampton and
that was upsetting,”
Unsworth said. “Then, I
am dancing down the
touchline at Goodison.
Do I have ambitions to
one day be Everton
manager? Absolutely, I
h
have
never hid that. But
the important thing was
getting out of trouble
and we did that.”
10
2G S
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Football
CARL COURT/GETTY IMAGES
Ashley is real
time-waster
at Newcastle,
not Staveley
George
Caulkin
Comment
“Did you get the feel that she’s really
genuine?” The question, imperfectly
put, arrived by text and was posed by a
former Newcastle United player. It is a
question that a lot of people have been
asking about Amanda Staveley, the
businesswoman who has been attempting to buy the club and who spoke to
The Times on Thursday night. It is
asked, in part, because Mike Ashley has
bent the debate that way.
There is no definitive answer, but
there is a context. Can you ever make a
rounded judgment on another human
based on three or four hours with a
newspaper deadline approaching,
words to write and one eye upon the
clock? Of course not. That home, that
office around the corner from Hyde
Park, felt substantial — grand, if not ostentatious — but that does not mean
very much.
Except the room we were talking in
— grey, wood-panelled walls — was
where Theresa May based her leadership campaign for the Conservative
Party. Staveley is not really political,
she says, but she has the prime minister
on speed-dial and counts her as a
friend. Does the PM think that Staveley
is really genuine? We’ll probably never
know one way or the other, but there is
some evidence and it looks pretty solid.
What of Staveley’s pursuit of Newcastle? “It is only right to let the fans
know that there is no deal on the table
or even under discussion with Amanda
Staveley and PCP,” a source — apparently sanctioned by Ashley — told Sky
Sports this week. “Attempts to reach a
deal have proved to be exhausting,
frustrating and a complete waste of
time.”
Staveley countered that. “I’m very
much still interested in buying Newcastle,” she said. “And our bid remains on
the table.”
Another source — or perhaps the
same one — told Sky yesterday: “We
are not aware of any bid that doesn’t
contain relegation clauses and we are
not considering any further talks with
PCP Capital Partners.”
That was interesting because The
Times is aware of a £250 million bid —
payable in full on completion — made
for Newcastle on November 17, which
doesn’t contain relegation clauses. And
they can consider what they want, but
Staveley is not going away.
Her three bids are there in black and
white and so, too, now, is her vision for
the club. Can we make a judgment on
that? Perhaps not; not unless or until
she buys the club and gets on with it, but
this is not an idle fantasy.
She has held meetings
etings with
people who matter in
n Newcastle, with businesses,
sses,
bodies and leaders. She
he
would invest her own
n
money but says she
is also backed by
“sovereign wealth
funds”.
There is an insidious suggestion
that she is flimsy.
That she is courting
publicity, in spite off
this being the onlyy
time she has mentioned
ned
Newcastle in public.
c. In
spite of not doing television.
levision.
And nobody ever explains
xplains why
publicity about an attempt to buy a
Find out what
Benítez thinks
The Newcastle United
manager joins Times
writers for a Game
podcast live at the
Tyneside Cinema on
Thursday, February 8
Buy your tickets online today
at mytimesplus.co.uk
Benítez fails
to clarify his
future again
George Caulkin
Rafa Benítez’s future at Newcastle
United remains uncertain after the
collapse of takeover talks between
Mike Ashley and Amanda Staveley,
with the manager rejecting repeated
opportunities to clarify his position
beyond this summer.
As The Times reported yesterday,
Benítez has held a conference call with
Ashley and Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s
managing director, in which the club’s
owner promised to clear the logjam
that has prevented progress in this
month’s transfer window.
While Benítez described their conversation as “really positive”, Newcastle
have failed to act on the Spaniard’s
demands to strengthen a first-team
squad threatened by relegation. “We
have three or four positions we want to
improve,” he said. These include a
striker, a goalkeeper and a left-sided
player.
Retaining Benítez and securing him
to a new contract were a fundamental
part of Staveley’s three bids to buy the
club, the last of which — for £250 million — is still on the table. There have
been suggestions that the manager,
who has 18 months of his deal left,
would consider other options if Ashley
failed to sell.
Benítez batted away that question
yesterday. “My future is against
How The Times
reported
Staveley’s
£250m bid for
Newcastle
yesterday
S
Staveley,
left, has made three bids for a club Ashley
has led from one controversy to another since 2007
h
football
club
footba
which has
h not (yet)
come off makes you
look
She
look more credible.
c
would never say this and almost certainly does not believe it, but is it
because she is a woman? A woman and
photogenic? A woman in football?
But there is another point, too,
because some judgment does not have
to be deferred. A time-waster?
You might argue that Ashley has
wasted the past 11 years. Two relegations. Yet another skirmish with it now.
A horrific record in the cups. The renaming of the ground, the employment
of Joe Kinnear, the abysmal treatment
of legends and good men such as Kevin
Keegan, Alan Shearer and Chris
Hughton. A club who make less money,
commercially, than a decade ago. All
that time. All that waste.
Exhausting and frustrating? Like the
past three transfer windows? Like Rafa
Benítez warning that Newcastle would
be in trouble if they did not strengthen
last summer and Newcastle not
strengthening and then being in trouble? Frustrating, like their inability to put
two good decisions together?
It feels like an endless list: Jonás Gutiérrez, HMRC, Wonga, written warnings to managers for talking about
transfers, the truncation of ambition,
the 52,000 souls who troop to matches
with their yearning deadened, hope
flickering only because of Benítez
I do not know Staveley, but I’ve met
her. I don’t know Ashley, either, and the
only way I’ve got in front of him was by
buying shares in Sports Direct (with my
own money), and asking questions at a
general meeting, one of the most excruciating experiences of my life.
I cannot judge Staveley, but I will
judge Ashley and I do. Ask yourself the
question: do you get the feeling that he’s
really genuine?
Manchester City [whom they play
today] and that is the main thing for us,”
he said. Would he look at his future at
the end of the season? “My future is
Manchester City now and after Chelsea
and then Burnley and Crystal Palace
and so on.” Would he have a decision to
make this summer? “That is too late. It’s
Manchester City for now.”
The Spaniard was told “two or three”
weeks ago that any takeover would not
be completed in time to influence signings this month.
“As soon as I knew that you need
some time to do all the paperwork,
that’s it, it won’t affect my January
window,” he said. “So I have to carry on
doing exactly the same things.”
He reported no progress in his loan
bid for Kenedy, the Chelsea winger, but
exerted pressure on Ashley to invest.
“I don’t know if anything is closer, but
we have the green light to bring players
in,” Benítez said. “It is positive that
there will be some money spent this
month.”
Walcott blames post-match clash with Wenger for Everton move
Paul Joyce
Theo Walcott has said that Arsenal’s
defeat by Crystal Palace nine months
ago was the moment he realised that his
time at the club was up, but insisted he
had not taken a step back in his career
by moving to Everton.
Walcott, 28, was admonished by
Arsène Wenger for criticising the 3-0
reverse last April, when he claimed to
have sensed even before kick-off that
Palace were more motivated. Wenger
described the comments from Walcott,
who was stand-in captain on the night,
as “unacceptable”. Walcott has highlighted the fallout as one of the reasons
that pushed him towards this week’s
£20 million transfer to Everton, after a
12-year stint at Arsenal.
“There was a period last season when
the starts weren’t coming any more,”
Walcott — whose departure was so
rushed he had to collect his belongings
from the training ground in bin bags at
night — said. “We had that game at
Crystal Palace and I think it was after
that.
“The conversations between me and
the manager will always stay in the
room . . . but I have respect for him and
he had respect for me and how my feelings were developing.
“That’s why I felt it was time to go. I
wish the club all the best, I want them to
develop, I want them to improve; obviously there has been quite a lot of negativity around the place at this moment
in time, but I am an Everton player now
and my main concern is being here.”
Sam Allardyce was in charge of Palace that night and will now look to
revive Walcott’s fortunes. Walcott is
hoping for an instant debut against
West Bromwich Albion — which is set
to be watched by Gareth Southgate, the
England manager — as Everton seek to
end a run of six matches without a win.
“I feel like Everton can really push on
and reach the top six and try to make
the Champions League,” Walcott said.
Walcott trained with Everton for the
first time yesterday: he hopes to make
his debut against West Brom today
“The players they can attract, the new
stadium, everything seems to be in
place for the club to push on. I want to
be a part of that.”
Allardyce has said that the club must
cut a bloated squad and trim the wage
bill before he can bring in a new left
back. “We have to balance off wages by
moving some players on,” Allardyce
said. “We can’t go too high in terms of
ratio of wages to turnover.”
That process began with Aaron
Lennon closing in on a move to
Burnley. The 30-year-old was out of
contract in the summer and Walcott’s
arrival has blocked his path to the first
team.
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
11
3GS
Sport
The future with VAR: a game of
few goals and referees as the stars
Alyson Rudd imagines how
the football world may look
in 20 years judging by recent
events at Stamford Bridge
CLIVE ROSE/GETTY IMAGES
January 17, 2018
Here’s how it
should work
January 20, 2038
Mark Clattenburg explained
on The Game podcast what
officials should be doing to
make VAR clearer for fans
Luton Town 0 Manchester United 0
Referee S Peterson
Capacity 17,500 Attendance 17,500 (9,008 present)
Listen for free at thetimes.co.uk
T
his was the Top Tier Premier League’s
24th goalless draw of the month and it
leaves the TTPL on course for its
highest number of games without a
single goal in a season and has
prompted renewed calls for penalty shoot-outs
in all matches.
Last night’s game was officiated by Sloane
Peterson, the winner of Ref School 2037, and in
her post-match interview, Peterson smiled and
tapped her nose when asked if she had any idea
how many fans had turned up or tuned in to see
her rather than the players. “VAR is the star, not
me,” she said, but her blemish-free skin, coiffed
hair and her forthcoming role in Coronation
Street paint a different story.
It was considered a stroke of ratings genius for
ITV to screen Ref School in the hour before the
Friday Night Big Match but there is a burgeoning
backlash against the cult of the referee which
some pundits feel has helped to fuel the
increasing sterility in the game. The video
assistant referee (VAR), of course, is the root
cause of the rise of referees in the mould of
Peterson, chosen for their charm, good looks
and excellent hearing. A few retired referees
have muttered darkly this week about how
game management has turned into an ability to
compère a sporting light entertainment show.
How did it come to this? The game has
evolved over the decades but it might be argued
that the referee-centric form of football can be
pinpointed to an exact time and place. On
January 17, 2018 at Stamford Bridge in the nowdefunct FA Cup, the crowd, pundits, players and
one manager all bayed for VAR blood and were
denied it. Willian, then a Chelsea player, now
chairman of Corinthians, fell in the penalty area
and was booked for diving.
Antonio Conte, the Chelsea manager, made
the signal for a TV screen but the referee,
Graham Scott, refused to return the gesture.
This was the beginning of the end of the desire
from the Professional Game Match Officials
Limited (PGMOL) for video assistant referees to
be a gentle voice in the headpiece. As Scott had
not made a clear and unambiguous error, he
was under no obligation to take a second look at
the incident. As the match referee, his decision
was final and could not be overturned.
This week’s incident at Stamford Bridge when referee Scott booked Chelsea’s Willian for diving and
then refused the call by Conte to use VAR was the decisive moment in the way the game changed
The overwhelming reaction was so negative
that VAR changed in character and yet another
realm of life became Orwellian. There used to
be interpretations of what happened on the
pitch, now there is only one truth.
Last night three goals were disallowed that
would, in all likelihood, have been given 20
years ago. All three were scored as the satellite
tracking system concluded that two players were
offside by 3cm and the third by 0.01mm. Twenty
years ago, all three players would have
celebrated wildly until noticing the assistant’s
flag but such is the frequency with which offside
rules out goals, none of them even grinned.
Goalscoring has become an inhibited process,
like watching regularly-beaten dogs flinch when
someone tries to pat them or give them a treat.
It is worth pointing out that referees used to
be the ones treated like animals. Disgruntled
managers would storm into their dressing rooms
and accuse them of bias or call for them to be
shot. Now, theirs is a blissful and lucrative life.
Last night, for example, Peterson indicated,
with the customary flourish that led to her Ref
School triumph, for a 90th-minute free kick
against Manchester United. The incident was
shown on all eight Reviewdomes and was, to
this observer and probably most inside New
Kenilworth Road, bafflingly inconclusive.
Peterson beamed beatifically, emanating faith in
the system that used to rely on a highly
qualified official watching replays but now, of
course, uses only computer modelling.
At the tail end of his career, five years ago,
José Mourinho attempted to rage against the
machine when his Arsenal team lost a Super
Champions League tie against Bayern Munich
but was so ridiculed for it that the Portuguese
resorted to blaming his players’ short-term
moisturising cream contracts.
Dr David Fletcher, sports psychologist at
Loughborough University, was the first
academic to predict the potential of VAR to
result in the banality of post-match interviews.
“If technological feedback is instantaneous, then
I suspect you would see a shift in what
managers say after the game,” Dr Fletcher told
The Times in 2018.
“It would be ridiculous to argue against
detailed analysis. Currently, it is more subjective.
Managers are contracted to speak to the media
so it is interesting to wonder what they will fill
the time discussing. I suspect managers who
dwell on referees and things they can’t control
will go on to talk about something else like the
weather or the pitch.”
Twenty years ago, few in the game worried
about the long-term impact of VAR. The
concerns were, mainly, about communication
with fans and transparency as to how much
information was being relayed to the referee.
Within a few years of its introduction, those
officials who attempted to display autonomy, to
use their own wits rather than a new TV angle,
were roundly castigated as egomaniacal and
dropped from the rota. Football turned to
compliant, demonstrative and good-looking
referees instead.
When Luton Town’s Vigo Temple was sent off
in the 76th minute, not one home supporter,
either physically present or in hologram form,
jeered or barracked the officials. For over ten
years we have had all cards decided by what was
briefly called the “computer committee” until
the game became more used to the system that
sees any new bookable offence fed into a
computer system which then relates it to all
other fouls ever committed on camera.
As the database now contains ten years’ worth
of fouls immune to human interpretation, there
are some lone voices worrying that the system is
becoming too rarefied, too inbred, that some
degree of human insight and human error needs
to be reintroduced in order to ensure accuracy.
And, dare one say it, some form of lively debate.
Tottenham favourites to sign Malcom Pelé recovering after collapse
Ian Baker
Tottenham Hotspur have moved into
pole position to sign Malcom after
Arsenal withdrew their interest in the
Bordeaux forward.
Arsène Wenger has prioritised the
purchases of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan after
being put off by the French club’s
£50 million asking price for Malcom.
That has alerted Spurs, who believe
that they can bring in the 20-year-old
Brazilian, who has scored seven league
goals this season, for an initial £30 million with incentive-based add-ons.
Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham
manager, does not deny the club’s
interest. “Yes, but he has been linked
with different clubs,” he said yesterday
when it was pointed out that the player
was available. “I don’t want to speak
about players that are in other clubs.”
Pochettino reiterated he would not
be unhappy if his club failed to make a
signing this month. “We are here and
relaxed,” he said. “To be honest it is
difficult, but always at some point you
dream. If it happens, it happens.
“I’m not a specialist in the market. I’m
a specialist in football. It is difficult to
predict and know what is going on. The
most important thing is to be focused
and ready.”
Tottenham will assess the fitness
of Hugo Lloris, their goalkeeper,
for tomorrow’s Premier League
match away to Southampton after he
missed training yesterday because of
illness.
But there was better news on Toby
Alderweireld, who is due to return to
training today with a view to playing
against Newport County in the FA Cup
next week, after nearly three months
out with a hamstring problem.
“We need to wait and assess Hugo,”
Pochettino said. “I think it is flu or a
virus. If all goes well with Toby he will
warm up with the team and will be
integrated gradually.”
caused by ‘severe exhaustion’
Pelé is receiving treatment in Rio de
Janeiro after suffering from “severe exhaustion”. The Brazilian, 77, regarded by
many as the finest player of all time, had
been due to fly to London for a tribute
event tomorrow night, organised by the
Football Writers’ Association (FWA).
“In the early hours of Thursday
morning Pelé collapsed. He has undergone a series of tests, which appear to
point to severe exhaustion,” the FWA
said. “Thankfully, there is no suggestion of anything more serious than
exhaustion and everybody at the FWA
wishes Pelé a swift and full recovery.”
The FWA originally said that he was
being treated in hospital but Pelé’s
spokesman said he is resting at home.
The forward was part of Brazil’s
World Cup-winning team in 1958, 1962
and 1970. He scored 1,281 goals in 1,363
appearances during a career spanning
21 years, including 77 goals in 92
appearances for his country.
Pelé has become increasingly frail in
recent years. He was unable to light the
flame at the opening ceremony of the
2016 Olympic Games because of ill
health and arrived at the draw for the
2018 World Cup in a wheelchair.
12
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Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Football
The reluctant icon on
his way to becoming
Asia’s answer to Messi
James Gheerbrant talks
to those who have
followed the
incredible
rise of Son
n
Heung-min
It wasn’t the finish that caught Soner
Uysal’s attention. Standing on a
touchline in Seoul, South Korea, in
2008, the Hamburg youth coach’s eye
was instead drawn by the extra-sensory
intuition of the player’s run. “I played in
the Bundesliga and I’ve seldom seen a
player give such an impression of
having a picture of the pitch situation in
his head,” he recalls.
“A midfielder received the ball and
broke forward, and this boy had already
set off, making a run in behind the defence with absolutely perfect timing.
All the midfielder had to do was chip it
over the defence and he was one-onone with the ’keeper. The other players
were not as far advanced as him
between the ears.
“The runs he made were not normal
for a 16-year-old, in terms of his timing
and feel. That was what made me say, I
absolutely want to take him with me.”
The player Uysal had spotted would go
on to be the finest Asian footballer of
his generation, and his name was Son
Heung-min.
These days, Son (Son is his family
name; Heung-min his given name) is
on the cusp of establishing himself as a
genuinely elite player. Since December
1, he has been involved in ten Premier
League goals — a total bettered by no
other player. With eight goals this
season, he has outscored team-mates
Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen.
But if the image of Son celebrating a
goal is familiar, it feels like the player
himself is a little less so. Behind his rise
is a fascinating story that testifies to his
perseverance and personality.
Also standing on that Korean touchline that day was Thies Bliemeister,
now Son’s agent and friend. “I found
him a positive, open young man,”
Bliemeister says. “Very unguarded,
very friendly and funny.” Bliemeister
accompanied Son to Germany, along
with two other young Korean players,
Kim Min-hyuk and Kim Jong-pil (who
are now playing in the Japanese second
and third tiers respectively).
Son already had a good technical
grounding, largely because of the influence of his father, Son Woong-jung, a
former professional footballer.
“He learnt and trained football under
his father until 15 years old,” explains
the Korean football journalist Seo
Hyung-wook. “His father focused on
improving his son’s basic skills. That’s
totally different from how players are
usually trained in Korea. School football has its own tournament system, so
most young players learn how to win,
not how to play good football.”
Naturally, Son’s early months in Germany — 5,000 miles from home, away
26
Premier League goals
scored by Son since he
joined Tottenham, the
most by a Korean in
the competition’s
history
4
Assists already this
season from the
Tottenham forward,
only two short of his
entire haul last
season
Son has shone
at Spurs after
a slow start to
his Premier
League career
from his family — were difficult. Initially he lived in a boarding-house in the
club’s academy. But those who knew
Son during that period speak of his
relentless, unbreakable positivity.
“It was a difficult period for him but
he was always positive,” remembers
Uysal. “He never stopped laughing, he
always radiated a lot of joy.
“One morning we turned up for
training in the snow, and the pitch was
unplayable. So I said, ‘OK, let’s go for a
run.’ Son was right at the back, he tried
and tried but he couldn’t keep up with
the rest, but when I looked back to communicate with him, he was still laughing. Dead last and he was still laughing.”
If Son’s demeanour was light, his
work ethic was serious. “Every time I
visited, he was on the training ground,”
Bliemeister remembers. Son also mastered German with remarkable speed,
speaking it within three months.
Off the pitch, fashion is one of Son’s
interests. “He doesn’t have what I
would call a typical footballer’s style,”
Bliemeister says. “Most footballers all
dress the same: Gucci, Prada and all
that. He has his own very individual
style. That’s something he had even
when he first stepped off the train in
Frankfurt and didn’t have any money.”
Bliemeister tells a story of the time he
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
13
3GS
Sport
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR FC/GETTY IMAGES; HANDOUT
Matt Hughes Football Notebook
Son, right, went to Germany with Kim Min-hyuk and Kim Jong-pil
Son’s father, Son Woong-jung, was also a professional footballer
How Son shoots from all angles
Son has shown his versatility with
his past 50 shots, trying to score
from all parts of the pitch
Left foot
Right foot
Goal
Clubs weigh
up one-week
window for
next January
been told he will have to sell before
he can buy this month, with Jonny
Evans the most likely departure.
The Premier League’s short-term
cost-control measures are designed to
prevent the clubs squandering their
television income, although there are
exemptions for an overspend above
£7 million for clubs who can
demonstrate the money comes from
increases in commercial or match-day
revenue, or player sales.
he timing and length of the
transfer window is expected
to return to the agenda at
the Premier League’s annual
meeting in June even
though the clubs only agreed to close
this summer’s window early last
September.
The motion to shut the window
before the start of next season, on
Thursday, August 9, was carried by 14
votes to five, with Burnley abstaining,
but those clubs who voted against
remain adamant that they will be at a
competitive disadvantage compared
to their European rivals and will push
for the old system of an August 31
deadline to be reinstated for the 201920 season. Most clubs are likely to see
how this summer pans out before
committing either way.
Another argument being used by
some clubs is that the principle of
preserving the integrity of the
competition by closing the window
early is incompatible with having a
31-day window in January, which
many find hugely disruptive. As a
result, there have been informal
discussions about restricting the
January window to one week for
emergency signings, an idea that
may also be discussed at the next
annual meeting.
Mata delay true to form
T
Wages limit West Brom
W
took the three Koreans grocery-shopping for the first time after they moved
into an apartment in Hamburg. “I said
to them, ‘Is there anything in particular
you want to eat?’ But the very first thing
they made a beeline for, all three of
them, was a hair-colouring product.
They came back with no food in their
trolleys, just this packet of hair dye.”
But beneath the coiffed exterior, Son
also has a tough streak. He once told
FourFourTwo that he made a point of
learning German swearwords before
he left Korea, because “you can’t have
people calling you names while you just
look at them, smiling politely”.
“His greatest strength was his mental
stamina,” Uysal says. “If something
didn’t come off first time, he’d do it
again.”
Son needed that quality when, after
his first season at Hamburg, the club
decided not to offer him a professional
contract and sent him back to Korea —
“He was an average player,” Uysal said.
Son had trials at Blackburn Rovers
and Portsmouth before playing at the
Under-17 World Cup in 2009. Six
months later, Hamburg’s under-19
team, coached by Uysal, needed a
forward. “He came in and scored in
practically every game,” he says.
Son soon found himself promoted to
Hamburg’s senior team, and after three
seasons, moved to Bayer Leverkusen.
“He was really focused in what he was
doing,” remembers Bristol City midfielder Jens Hegeler, who played with
him there. “His finishing was outstanding, and it was obvious that Leverkusen
wouldn’t be the last club he’d go to.”
Son moved to Tottenham Hotspur in
August 2015, but struggled to establish
himself in his first season, starting only
13 games, scoring just four goals, and
taking criticism in the media.
“I met him in the mixed zone after
one match and said, ‘Son, are you OK
these days?’” remembers Sungmo Lee,
a journalist at Goal.com Korea. “He
smiled at me and said, ‘I’m fine, don’t
you worry about me.’”
Son’s resolve has also been tested by
some tough experiences with his
national team. After South Korea’s defeat in the quarter-finals of the 2016
Olympic tournament, he “cried all day”
and “didn’t even eat”, according to
coach Shin Tae-yong. Failure to win a
medal denied the entire squad an
exemption from the mandatory
21-month military service all South
Korean men must start before they turn
28. The spectre of conscription still
stalks Son’s stellar performances —
unless he can win a gold medal at this
year’s Asian Games, World Cup or win
next year’s Asian Cup, he will have to
enlist.
At Tottenham, Son is a universally
popular figure. He has a different handshake for each team-mate, and has been
known to order in platters of food for
everyone from his favourite Korean
restaurant. He lives in a modest apartment with his parents.
The paradox of Son is that this humility belies an enormous commercial
potential. “Currently he is the biggest
sports personality in Korea,” says Seo
Hyung-wook. “Lots of people watch the
Spurs game every weekend.”
Seo lived in Liverpool between 2003
and 2004 and believes Son is bigger in
Korea now than Wayne Rooney was in
England then. “He is the best player in
the Korean national team, young and
handsome. He socialises with famous
actors and singers.”
A good performance at this summer’s
World Cup would cement Son’s status
as one of Asia’s biggest, most marketable sports stars, but despite his stylishness, Son is a reluctant icon.
“I’m sure Son himself would not want
to be compared with David Beckham or
Lionel Messi,”Sungmo Lee says. “He is
such a humble guy, and he would say,
‘That’s too much!’”
est Bromwich Albion’s
attempts to strengthen
their squad during the
transfer window are being
hindered by Premier League
rules that prohibit clubs from
increasing their wage bill by
more than £7 million each
season.
West Brom’s signings
included Gareth Barry, Jay
Rodriguez and Kieran Gibbs
on big money last summer,
and they also took over
loan signing Grzegorz
Krychowiak’s contract
at Paris SaintGermain, so have
little room for
manoeuvre this
month. Alan Pardew
has yet to sign a single
player since being
appointed manager at the
Hawthorns in
November and has
J
uan Mata should not panic yet
about Manchester United’s failure
to trigger their option to extend
his contract by a further season as the
club do not always keep their players
informed about such matters. The
first that Ander Herrera knew about
United’s willingness to trigger his own
12-month option this season, for
example, was when he received an
updated contract and letter from the
club informing him that the clause
had already been activated. As it
stands, Mata is out of contract at
Old Trafford at the end of the season
and therefore free to sign a precontract agreement with foreign
teams this month, but his club may
know differently.
City Sánchez confusion
M
anchester City’s decision to
pull out of the race to sign
Alexis Sánchez on financial
grounds is at odds with recent noises
from the boardroom at the Etihad
Stadium, where one senior executive
was recently boasting of the club’s
spending power to a visiting guest
from a fellow Premier League club.
“Money is like air to us, we have an
inexhaustible supply,” the executive is
reported to have said when asked
about the club’s financial backing
from their Abu Dhabi owners. Hot
air, presumably.
Fuel for Benítez
R
afa Benítez received
an unwanted
reminder of
Newcastle United’s
parsimony in the
transfer market from
his opposite number,
Carlos Carvalhal, after
his side’s 1-1 draw with
Swansea City last
Saturday. In Benítez’s
office after the game,
Carvalhal said that all of
Newcastle’s starting XI had
played against his Sheffield
Wednesday side in the
Championship the previous
season, a fact that the
Spaniard will no doubt have
passed on to Mike Ashley,
the owner.
Mahrez will stay, says Puel
Tim Nash
Claude Puel believes that Riyad
Mahrez will remain at the King Power
Stadium this month. The 26-year-old
Leicester City winger has been linked
with moves to Liverpool and Arsenal.
Liverpool have significant spending
power after selling Philippe Coutinho
to Barcelona for £142 million. But Puel,
whose side are set to entertain Watford
today, is confident that the Algeria
player will stay.
“He’s enjoying playing for Leicester
with his team-mates,” he said. “We have
this good feeling that the player wants
to stay with us. It is important for us to
keep a good feeling with our player.”
Another key to Leicester’s hopes is the
determination of their chairman, Vichai
Srivaddhanaprabha, to keep his best
players; a resolve that has seen Jamie
Vardy, the striker who was a target for
Arsenal, and Kasper Schmeichel stay.
Mahrez captained Leicester in their
FA Cup third-round replay victory over
Fleetwood, and Puel was delighted with
his attitude. “You can see he’s enjoying
it. He was a good captain,” he said.
Leicester are set to sell at least one
forward this month. Islam Slimani has
been linked with Besiktas to replace
Cenk Tosun, who joined Everton for
£27 million. “We have six strikers. It will
be important in this transfer window to
find a good balance,” said Puel.
14
3GS
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Football
CARL RECINE/ACTION IMAGES
Jerome denied
late penalty as
City stop rot
Derby County
Bristol City
0
2
1
0
Sky Bet Championship
Steve Madeley
Bristol City completed their preparations to face Manchester City on
Tuesday by ending their five-game
losing run but Lee Johnson, their head
coach, admitted that fortune had
smiled on his team.
Derby County could be in hot water
after they pushed stadium rules to the
limit by screening replays of Cameron
Jerome, their new signing from
Norwich City, going down in the area
after tangling with Aden Flint late on. It
looked a penalty, but Jerome was
booked for simulation.
Johnson, whose team host Pep
Guardiola’s Premier League leaders in
the second leg of the Carabao Cup
semi-final on Tuesday, was angry that
the incident involving Flint and Jerome
was shown to a packed and angry Pride
Park, but conceded that his side had got
away with a poor decision and that he
Jerome goes to
ground under a
challenge from
Flint, but Derby’s
appeals for a
penalty were
turned away and
the striker was
yellow-carded for
simulation as
Bristol City hung
on for a 0-0 draw
championship top seven
P
Wolves.................27
Derby....................28
Cardiff..................27
Bristol City...........28
Aston Villa...........27
Sheff Utd ............. 27
Leeds....................27
W D L F
19 5 3 50
15 8 5 44
15 5 7 40
13 9 6 40
13 8 6 39
13 4 10 40
13 4 10 37
A
20
23
25
32
24
31
29
GD Pts
30 62
21 53
15 50
8 48
15 47
9 43
8 43
would have been furious had roles been
reversed. “Damn right I would,”
Johnson said. “It wasn’t a dive.
“When I first saw it I thought it was a
dive, but I looked to the replay, which
was an illegal move from the Rams TV
editors, because you’re not allowed to
show the replays, but it was a penalty.
“It was a bit cagey in the first half,
with both teams showing a bit too much
respect to each other. But in the second
half it opened up, both teams had some
good chances and Luke Steele had to
pull off two very good saves.
“You could say we were lucky to get
away with a point but we worked very
hard. It’s a good point for us and it stops
the mini rot. Our goalkeepers kept us in
it — and a bad decision.”
Darren England, the referee, played a
key role in earning Bristol City their
point but Johnson was also grateful to
two goalkeepers.
Frank Fielding, his No 1, made a
smart first-half save to thwart Matej
Vydra while Johnny Russell struck the
crossbar and Flint cleared a Curtis
Davies header off the goalline.
After half-time, with Fielding
succumbing to a groin injury, it was
Steele’s turn to shine, with saves from
Vydra and Tom Lawrence.
It was considered two points dropped
for Derby, who are second in the Sky
Bet Championship and well-fancied
for promotion, but it gave Johnson’s
team a boost before facing Manchester
City, who won the first leg of their
semi-final 2-1.
Flint said: “It [the penalty] was one of
those; sometimes you get it, sometimes
you don’t. I think we got a bit of fortune
but we did well, we could have scored a
couple of goals. We had to stop the
rot. It was vital that we got a point,
minimum. We’ve got a good clean sheet
and a point.”
For second-placed Derby, a failure to
win all three points has left them nine
adrift of Wolverhampton Wanderers,
the Championship leaders who host
Nottingham Forest today.
Gary Rowett, the Derby manager,
said: “I’ve seen it three or four times and
it’s an absolute stonewall penalty.
“It was our own big-screen trial of
VAR. I spoke to the referee afterwards.
He hasn’t done it on purpose but it cost
us the chance to win the game at the
end. If you showed 1,000 people, 1,000
people would think it was a penalty. I
thought we were by far the better team
and we created by far the better
chances.”
Despite last night’s setback, Derby
have gone nine league games without
defeat. “We’re not conceited enough to
think we’re just going to catch Wolves,”
Rowett added, “but that’s our aim.”
Derby County (4-2-3-1): S Carson — A Wisdom,
R Keogh, C Davies, C Forsyth — G Thorne,
T Huddlestone — J Russell, M Vydra (sub: C Jerome
76min), T Lawrence (sub: A Weimann 76) — D Nugent
(sub: S Winnall 76). Substitutes not used J Mitchell,
C Baird, A Pearce, J Hanson. Booked Jerome.
Bristol City (4-4-1-1): F Fielding (sub: L Steele 46) —
B Wright, A Flint, N Baker (sub: F Diedhiou 46),
H Magnusson — J Brownhill, M Pack, K Smith, J Bryan
— J Paterson — B Reid. Substitutes not used L Kelly,
N Eliasson, L Walsh, R Kent, G Engvall. Booked Bryan.
Referee D England.
Attendance 26,525.
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
15
3GS
Sport
Oliver Kay
Chief Football Correspondent
United can learn from shrewd Bayern
ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES
A
mid the madness of the January
sales, as Chelsea were switching
their attention from Andy Carroll to
Peter Crouch and as Arsenal and
Manchester United continued to
dance to the tune of not just one super-agent
but two, Bayern Munich quietly pulled off
another masterstroke yesterday.
Leon Goretzka, one of the stars of the
Bundesliga who has scored six goals in his first
12 appearances for Germany, signed a deal that
will take him from Schalke to Bayern at the end
of the season. The Bayern chairman, Karl-Heinz
Rummenigge, talked of having won the battle
for Goretzka despite “big-name international
competitors”. It is a win-win; not only signing a
richly talented 22-year-old who was wanted by
leading clubs across Europe — Arsenal and
Liverpool among them — but also, in classic
Bayern style, weakening a domestic rival, a
Schalke team making impressive progress under
their 32-year-old coach, Domenico Tedesco. Oh,
yes, and it is a free transfer too, since Goretzka’s
contract expires at the end of June. Make that a
win-win-win.
Bayern’s dominance of German football is far
from healthy; you could not imagine
Rummenigge’s message that “this way Leon
Goretzka remains in the Bundesliga” bringing
reassurance at Schalke (who lost Manuel Neuer
to Bayern in 2011), Borussia Dortmund (Mario
Götze in 2013, Robert Lewandowski in 2014,
Mats Hummels in 2016), Hoffenheim (Niklas
Süle, Sandro Wagner and Sebastian Rudy last
summer) and the rest. There is, though, a
grudging admiration of Bayern. As great as their
financial advantage is, nobody could accuse
them of failing to use it.
It is striking that Bayern are not rushing to
pay £20 million, £30 million or whatever else it
might take to get Goretzka to Bayern now, for
an extra four months’ work, as per United with
Alexis Sánchez. Neither does Bayern’s
desperation to weaken their rivals extend to a
desire to rival Arsenal for the signature of
Dortmund’s goalscoring machine
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. And they do not
find themselves trawling the bargain basement
for the German equivalent of Carroll or Crouch
— Carsten Jancker is long retired — because at
the Allianz Arena they are far too sensible to be
reacting to short-term anxieties.
Those short-term anxieties rarely arise, the
autumn defenestration of Carlo Ancelotti aside,
because Bayern’s plans for this season, next
season and the season after are in place.
Because that is how well-run clubs, with a clear
football strategy, work.
The Premier League elite do not have the
luxury of operating within a monopoly —
Bayern are 13 points clear just after the halfway
stage of a season that started so badly that they
sacked Ancelotti — but let us not pretend that
this is the only difference. Manchester United’s
willingness to meet whatever demands are made
by Arsenal, Sánchez and his agent, was not
about competing with Manchester City in the
Premier League this season. Trying to secure a
Bayern have
pulled off a
masterstroke
in their signing
of Goretzka
top-four place, yes; competing in the Champions
League and FA Cup, yes; but by any standards,
paying £20 million, or £30 million, with or
without Henrikh Mkhitaryan thrown in as a
makeweight, plus wages, is an extraordinary
premium to pay for four months’ additional
work from a 29-year-old who will be available
on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Bayern would not do that. City, whatever their
excesses in the transfer market, decided they
would not do it either. High-level sources at the
Etihad Stadium told The Times that they ruled
out a January move for Sánchez because there
was no financial case to do so if, as they strongly
suspected, he was going to allow his contract at
Arsenal to run down with a view to joining City
on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Bringing in Sánchez would potentially unsettle
the balance among City’s attacking players.
Unless something dramatic happened, City
would wait. That was the sensible view to take.
It is what Bayern would do.
City’s sense of urgency increased when
Gabriel Jesus was injured during the 0-0 draw
Goal-shy Brighton sign Dutch striker for record £14m
Brighton & Hove Albion have broken
their transfer record for the fourth
time since June, signing Jürgen
Locadia, the former Holland Under-21
forward, from PSV Eindhoven for
£14.1 million (Nick Szczepanik writes).
Locadia, 24, has scored nine goals in
15 games this season for the Dutch
Eredivisie leaders and Brighton, the
Premier League’s second-lowest
scorers with 17 goals in 23 games,
would settle for a similar return over
the rest of this season.
“He is a player we have been aware
of for some time,” Chris Hughton, the
Brighton manager, said. “We have
wanted to add a striker of his type. He
is a strong, powerful and quick centre
forward with a real eye for goal and
will increase our attacking options.”
Locadia’s deal runs until June 2022
but he is recovering from a hamstring
injury that he suffered last month. He
has been in the full Holland squad
three times, most recently in 2016, but
has yet to win a cap.
with Crystal Palace on December 30. They
contemplated paying £20 million to bring
forward the deal. Arsenal said that was not
enough — a gamble that, unlike their previous
attempts to extract £60 million for Sanchez last
summer, appears to have paid off. Sánchez and
his agent, Fernando Felicevich, had their heads
turned, not unreasonably, by United’s eagerness
to do whatever it took to sign him now. City
found themselves in an auction and walked
away, leaving United to hammer out a deal with
Arsenal, Sánchez, Felicevich and indeed
Mkhitaryan and his agent, Mino Raiola. By the
time transfer fee, wages, signing-on fee and
commission have been taken into account,
United’s outlay is likely to be £180 million for a
player whose qualities are clear but whose
appeal, at that kind of price, is rather less
obvious at the age of 29, but owes much to the
desperation to put one over on City.
This is not really about City and United,
though. It is far easier to walk away from the
negotiations for Sánchez when you are 12 points
clear at the top of the table and far more
6 George Best had it. Sir Tom Finney had it.
So did Sir Bobby Robson, Graham Taylor, Tom
Finney, Alan Ball and Gary Speed. And now,
after a disappointing initial oversight by the
Premier League, Cyrille Regis is to be
honoured by a minute’s applause before
this weekend’s matches.
Quite right too. It is just strange that
someone somewhere initially seemed to
decide that Regis, who passed away this week,
did not quite merit that special treatment —
that the tributes being paid by his former
clubs were quite enough.
Status within football should not come down
to objective criteria — number of goals,
international caps, medals, offices attained.
Regis’s legacy goes far beyond his excellence
on the pitch for West Bromwich Albion,
Coventry City and elsewhere. As a pioneer in
the game’s battle against racism, an
inspiration to so many, he is one of the most
significant figures in English football over the
past four decades, and indeed one of the most
loved. At least now, after some welcome
lobbying by fans, journalists and former
players via social media, this weekend’s
tributes will reflect that.
important to flex your financial muscles when
you are 12 points adrift. While signing Sánchez
on a free transfer has an obvious appeal, though,
a £30 million transfer fee, plus all the other
additional costs, would seem to make little sense
for either of the Manchester clubs now. As what
might be described as an inside-forward,
naturally inside-left rather than inside-right,
Sánchez seems certain to strengthen United’s
attacking options without transforming a team
in which Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford
are already competing for one starting place.
If we are talking about what adds up, at least
United’s interest in Sánchez makes more sense
than Chelsea’s willingness, at least until news
emerged of his latest injury, to consider paying
£20 million for Carroll to meet the most fleeting
of requirements when Antonio Conte appears to
be on the way out. It also makes more sense
than Liverpool’s attempts to pay an extra
premium, on top of the one they already paid
last summer, to bring forward the signing of
Naby Keïta from RB Leipzig. As for Arsenal’s
apparent willingness to contemplate a future
that includes Mesut Özil and Mhkitaryan
together in the No 10 position and Alexandre
Lacazette and Aubameyang together up front,
the mind boggles.
What is certain is that Bayern are content to
leave the Premier League elite to their willywaving contests. They were offered Sánchez last
summer and found the figures to be wholly
unjustifiable. Uli Hoeness, the German club’s
president, said last year that they had deemed
Sánchez’s wage demands to be “probably not
feasible”. They had already set their sights on
younger, cheaper, more sensible targets, such as
Goretzka. There should be little doubt who gets
the better deal this month.
Silva backs Richarlison
Karius must take chance to prove he’s No 1, says Klopp
Marco Silva, the Watford head coach,
has vowed to help Richarlison after
admitting that interest in the 20-yearold from Arsenal and Chelsea has
affected his form. The forward has
not scored since November 19 after
five goals in his first 12 Premier
League games and Silva said: “What
we can do is be smart with him and
take care of him. I don’t want to put
all the pressure on him. He had a
fantastic impact on Watford and we
need to support him.”
Loris Karius will be given a chance to
prove that he can be Liverpool’s
first-choice goalkeeper in the long
term as Jürgen Klopp prepares to give
him a prolonged run in the side (Paul
Joyce writes).
After confirming that Karius would
start ahead of Simon Mignolet
against Swansea City on Monday, the
Liverpool manager said that he would
prefer to find a solution for a problem
position from his present squad.
Klopp is expected to recruit a
goalkeeper in the summer, with
Roma’s Alisson a target, but he
effectively ruled out any interest in
Jack Butland, suggesting that the
Stoke City player was not better than
the options he already had.
“I only saw the [Manchester
United] game. Fantastic goalkeeper
but was he perfect? No,” Klopp said.
“It is not nice for Simon but a big
chance for Loris. Loris has to deliver.”
Mignolet has said he will consider
his future after being dropped.
16
2G S
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Football
The ultimate Premier League guide 2017-18
How they stand
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
P
Man City...................23
Man United..............23
Liverpool..................23
Chelsea.....................23
Tottenham...............23
Arsenal.....................23
Burnley......................23
Leicester .................... 23
Everton......................23
Watford..................... 23
West Ham.................23
Crystal Palace .......... 23
Bournemouth...........23
Huddersfield ........... 23
Newcastle................23
Brighton...................23
Southampton..........23
Stoke.........................23
West Brom...............23
Swansea...................23
W D L
20 2 1
15 5 3
13 8 2
14 5 4
13 5 5
11 6 6
9 7 7
8 7 8
7 6 10
7 5 11
6 7 10
6 7 10
6 6 11
6 6 11
6 5 12
5 8 10
4 9 10
5 5 13
3 10 10
4 5 14
F
67
48
54
41
46
41
19
34
25
33
29
21
24
19
21
17
23
23
18
14
A
17
16
28
16
21
30
20
32
38
42
41
33
35
39
31
29
34
50
30
35
GD
50
32
26
25
25
11
-1
2
-13
-9
-12
-12
-11
-20
-10
-12
-11
-27
-12
-21
Pts
62
50
47
47
44
39
34
31
27
26
25
25
24
24
23
23
21
20
19
17
Top Scorers Harry Kane (Spurs) 20, Mohamed Salah (Liverpool) 18, Raheem
Sterling (Man City) 14, Sergio Agüero (Man City) 13, Romelu Lukaku (Man Utd) 11,
Álvaro Morata (Chelsea) 10, Wayne Rooney (Everton) 10
Underrated Ox just
the man to beef up
your fantasy team
Charlie Scott
Paddy von Behr
The Sweeper
Now that the dust has
settled from Liverpool’s
thrilling 4-3 win against
Manchester City, we
thought it was worth
looking at Jürgen
Klopp’s Invincible-killers
and seeing where —
beyond the must-own
Mohamed Salah
(£10.2 million, owned by
53.5 per cent of
managers) and the en
vogue Roberto Firmino
(£9.2 million, 38.5 per
cent) — there might be
value going forward.
Philippe Coutinho’s
decision to jump ship to
Barcelona means that
Salah and Firmino
need greater support
and in recent weeks,
particularly against City
at Anfield, Sadio Mané
(£9.3 million) and Alex
Today
12.30pm
Brighton v Chelsea
Oxlade-Chamberlain
(£5.6 million) have
excelled.
Mané has 21 points in
his past three
gameweeks (6pts, 8pts,
7pts) and is owned by
just 7.4 per cent of FPL
managers. OxladeChamberlain is an even
more enticing prospect
and appears to be
thriving under Klopp’s
management.
His price would enable
you to channel valuable
resources elsewhere in
your team, and he has
30 points in his past six
gameweeks, including a
team-leading haul of
12 against City. He’s a
decent differential
option too, with a
low ownership of 2.9
per cent.
6 For free weekly FPL
advice, sign up at
thetimes.co.uk/
fantasyfootball
BRIGHTON
Injured Brown, Sidwell
(4-4-1-1)
Ryan
Duffy
Bruno
Dunk
Bong
Gross
Batshuayi
Alonso Bakayoko
Rüdiger
Willian
Kanté
Moses
Courtois
Saturday 3pm highlights available at 5.15pm
Highlights of Uefa Champions League, Europa
League and the FA Cup
v
Dale Stephens
Brighton
Away win
8/13
(3-4-3)
Referee J Moss (16.7 games)
Chelsea
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 10%
D 19%
A 71%
Christensen Azpilicueta
59 Last 5 Bri WLDDL
2
Che DWWDD
Today
3pm
Arsenal v Crystal Palace
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Radio talkSPORT 2 Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
ARSENAL
Injured Giroud, Cazorla
Doubt Özil, Monreal
(3-4-2-1)
Cech
Chambers
Bellerín
Mustafi
Koscielny
Wilshere
Xhaka
MaitlandNiles
Welbeck
Ramsey
Lacazette
Sako
Zaha
Benteke
Cabaye Milivojevic McArthur
Van
Aanholt Tomkins
FosuMensah
Kelly
CRYSTAL PALACE
Injured Sakho, Schlupp, Dann,
Loftus-Cheek, Puncheon,
Wickham Doubt Townsend
138 Combined age of these
managers (Hodgson 70,
Wenger 68); average in the
other nine top-flight fixtures
is 101
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 70%
D 17%
A 12%
Hennessey
Home win
8/15
(4-4-2)
Referee C Kavanagh (8 games)
0
30
Ars DWDDL
CP DLDWW
Today
3pm
Burnley v Manchester United
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
BURNLEY
Injured Heaton, Brady, Ward,
Walters
(4-4-1-1)
Pope
Bardsley Tarkowski
Arfield
Defour
Mee
Taylor
Cork
Nkoudou
MANCHESTER UNITED
Injured Bailly, Blind,
Ibrahimovic
Hendrick
1.68 Burnley average goals per
home league game (scored
and conceded combined)
since start of 2017 (19 games)
Barnes
Lukaku
Martial
Lingard
Pogba
Shaw
Mata
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 22%
D 27%
A 51%
Matic
Smalling
Jones
Valencia
1
55
Bur LDDLLL
MU DDDWW
Today
3pm
Everton v West Brom
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
EVERTON
Injured Stekelenburg, Baines,
Coleman, Funes Mori
(4-3-3)
Pickford
Holgate
Jagielka
Martina
Gueye
Schneiderlin
Rooney
Walcott
Tosun
Sigurdsson
Rodriguez
Rondón
Phillips
Brunt
Barry
Livermore
Gibbs
Evans
Hegazi
Foster
Referee S Atwell (9 games)
WEST BROM
Injured Morrison
Doubt Dawson
5 Seasons since a Premier
League club last owned a
Turkish player (before
Everton’s Cenk Tosun)
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 43%
D 30%
A 27%
Dawson
Home win
23/20
(4-3-3)
1
32
Eve DDLLL
Brighton’s Dale
Stephens, 28, is
on course to be
the oldest
English
outfielder since
Swindon Town’s
Shaun Taylor in
1993-94 to play
every minute of
a Premier League season having
never previously appeared in the top flight
Stephens’s league games before this season
1st tier
Draw
11/4
(4-2-3-1)
Referee M Dean (15 games)
Kenny
Watch every Premier League
goal first on The Times
phone app. Get goal video
clips and highlights of
every big match
1 Goal conceded by Chelsea
before the 90th minute in their
past 11 games
Murray
Hazard
N’Golo Kanté
CHELSEA
Injured Cahill, Fàbregas
Suspended Morata, Pedro
Knockaert Stephens Pröpper Izquierdo
De Gea
Don’t miss
a goal this
season
Head
to head
TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Live updates
WB LDDLW
2nd tier
0
168 (Charlton, Brighton)
ghton)
3rd tier
96
4th tier
15 (Bury, Rochdale)
(Oldham,
on,
Southampton,
Charlton)
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
17
2G S
Sport
In association with
By Bill Edgar
Today
3pm
Leicester v Watford
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
N’Golo Kanté, the
Chelsea and France
midfielder, has tended
to finish on the
winning side during his
two and a half years in
England
(4-4-1-1)
Simpson Dragovic Maguire
Mahrez
Ndidi
Chilwell
James Albrighton
Okazaki
Deeney
Richarlison
Won
62
Cleverley
Watson
Wagué
Janmaat
Gomes
Draw
19
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 55%
D 23%
A 22%
Collins
Ogbonna
Referee L Probert (9 games)
2
11
Lei DLLWD
Wat LWLLD
Cresswell
Kouyaté Noble
BOURNEMOUTH
Injured Mings, Defoe
Doubt Stanislas
Obiang
Zabaleta
Masuaku
Lanzini
5 London clubs in Premier
League – all are next to a city
rival in the table;
Chelsea-Spurs-Arsenal; West
Ham-Palace
Arnautovic
Wilson
King
Fraser
Arter
L Cook
Ibe
Daniels
Aké
S Cook
Francis
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 48%
D 24%
A 28%
Begovic
Home win
5/6
(4-2-3-1)
Draw
12/5
(4-4-1-1)
Referee M Atkinson (16 games)
4
53
WH LDWDW
Bou LDWDW
Team performance compared to performance
expected for a team of their player wages
Man City
Brighton
Huddersfield
Burnley
Liverpool
Tottenham
Chelsea
Man United
Bournemouth
Leicester
Arsenal
Watford
Crystal Palace
Newcastle
Everton
West Ham
Southampton
West Brom
Stoke
Swansea
-20%
Today
3pm
Stoke v Huddersfield
TV Live, BT Sport 1, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Live updates
(4-2-3-1)
(4-3-3)
STOKE
Injured Shawcross, Pieters,
Johnson
Lost
Zouma Martins Indi Wimmer
Bauer
Fletcher
Diouf
Allen
Shaqiri
Sobhi
15 Years since Stoke’s previous
mid-season managerial
change, before Mark Hughes
to Paul Lambert this month
Crouch
Depoitre
Pritchard
Lolley
Mooy
Malone
M
Ince
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 56%
D 22%
A 21%
Zanka
Lössl
Smith
Referee M Oliver (19 games)
Sto WDLLL
Hud DDDLL
Answer in The Game on Monday
?
4
70
N
Name the season
C you work out which
Can
sseason this table is from? P
1
2
3
4
5
21
22
Everton
Leeds
Chelsea
Derby County
Liverpool
Sunderland
Sheffield Wednesday
Walker
Stones
42
42
42
42
42
42
42
W
29
21
21
22
20
6
8
D
8
15
13
9
11
14
9
L
5
6
8
11
11
22
25
F
72
84
70
64
65
30
40
A
34
49
50
37
42
68
71
Pts
66
57
55
53
51
26
25
Otamendi
De Bruyne Fernandinho
Sterling
Pérez
Lascelles
Darlow
(4-2-3-1)
Cédric
Romeu
Son
Bertrand
Hojbjerg
Ward-Prowse Davis
Boufal
Alli
Tomorrow
4pm
Dier
6%
Sánchez
TOTTENHAM
Injured Rose, Winks
Doubt Alderweireld
Aurier
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 18%
D 21%
A 61%
Lloris
Draw
3/1
(4-2-3-1)
63%
New WLDWD
20 Kane’s Spurs league goals
this term, five times as many
as anyone at West Brom,
Burnley, Palace, Newcastle,
Stoke and Swansea
Eriksen
Dembélé
6%
25%
MC WWDWL
SOUTHAMPTON
Injured Austin Doubt Cédric
Stephens Hoedt
Away team 1-goal half-time lead
12%
23
Forster
Davies Vertonghen
93%
0
TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio talkSPORT, Times app Live updates
win
Home team 2-goal half-time lead
Home win
1/7
(4-2-3-1)
Southampton v Tottenham
Kane
17%
Yedlin
Referee P Tierney (8 games)
S
Such
is football’s low-scoring nature that even a one-goal
half-time lead tends to prove decisive
h
Home
Draw Away
P
Premier League in past ten seasons
77%
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 85%
D 10%
A 5%
Diamé
Long
win
Ritchie
Merino
Dummett Clark
NEWCASTLE
Injured Lejeune, Gámez,
Mitrovic Doubt Gayle
3 Games in row where City
have shipped opening goal to
Englishmen: Liverpool’s
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bristol
City’s Reid, Burnley’s Barnes
Sané
Joselu
Bill Edgar’s weekend numbers
B
Home team 1-goal half-time lead
Danilo
D Silva
Agüero
Away win
16/5
(4-2-3-1)
MANCHESTER CITY
Injured Jesus, Delph, Mendy
Doubt Kompany
Ederson
Atsu
Hogg
Schindler
HUDDERSFIELD
Injured Cranie, Kachunga
Doubt Quaner
Today
5.30pm
Manchester City v Newcastle
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights, 5.15pm
Butland
11
WATFORD
Injured Femenia, Britos,
Kaboul, Cathcart, Hughes,
Chalobah
WEST HAM
Injured Reid, Fonte, Antonio,
Fernandes, Carroll Doubt
Hernandez, Byram
Adrián
Carrillo
Doucouré
Zeegelaar Kabasele
(3-5-2)
5 Leicester points advantage
over Watford, yet Watford led
Leicester by nine points in
mid-October
Vardy
Kanté in Premier
League (Leicester,
Chelsea)
TV Highlights, BBC One, 10.30pm, Times app Highlights 5.15pm
LEICESTER
Injured Morgan
Doubt Huth, James
Schmeichel
Today
3pm
West Ham v Bournemouth
Referee K Friend (12 games)
0
30
Sou DLDLD
Tot WWWDW
Away team 2-goal half-time lead
9%
89%
37%
Monday
8pm
Swansea v Liverpool
Level at half-time
38%
25%
TV Live, Sky Sports PL, Radio BBC 5 Live, Times app Live updates
(4-2-1-3)
Naughton
SWANSEA
Injured Rangel
Doubt Abraham, Sanches
Fabianski
Van der
Hoorn
Ki
Narsingh
Mawson
Olsson
LIVERPOOL
Injured Clyne Doubt Lovren,
Klavan, Moreno
Clucas
Carroll
Fer
4 Liverpool one-goal wins in
row, yet their previous ten
victories were all by at least
three goals
Ayew
Firmino
Salah
Mané
Wijnaldum
Robertson Van Dijk
Can
OxladeChamberlain
Matip
Gomez
FINK TANK PREDICTION
H 13%
D 20%
A 67%
Karius
Away win
3/10
(4-4-1-1)
Referee N Swarbrick (13 games)
0
30
Swa DLWLD
Liv DWWWW
Teams that have
replaced managers
midseason
-10%
0%
10%
20%
City success shows
that Guardiola is
best money can buy
Daniel Finkelstein
Fink Tank
If I was asked for one
graph that summarised
football, I would draw
one that goes straight up
to the right and curves at
the end. It is the
relationship between the
wage bill and points.
Essentially, the more
you pay, the more points
you can expect to get.
But, at the very top, it
becomes hard to gain
more points; because
you’ve got so many
already, and because the
amounts of money that
others are paying to gain
an edge are so large.
One way of measuring
manager performance is
to look at how much
better a team do than
you would expectt
them to with the
sort of money
that they are
spending.
Which is hard
on those
managing the
top clubs,
because once thee
money is taken into
nto
account, there isn’t all
that much room for
improvement.
Which is what makes
it so impressive that,
when Henry Stott, Mark
Latham and Dinesh
Vatvani conducted Fink
Tank’s half-season
review, they found that
the manager who had
most outperformed the
money was Pep
Guardiola.
The same study also
suggests that the
achievements of Chris
Hughton and his
Brighton & Hove Albion
side have not had as
much credit as they
deserve, with some
pundits and supporters
perhaps not appreciating
how low their wage bill
is, and therefore how
remarkable the season
has been so far.
A different way of
looking at the first half of
the campaign is by
observing where teams
are, compared with our
model’s expectation
when we calculated
that at the beginning of
the season.
The model takes into
account goals and shots
on goal over the previous
two years, and then
calculates probabilities
using a measure that
gives more weight to
recent games. Its
predictive record is
strong.
Employing this
comparison, Sean Dyche
and Burnley are doing
extraordinarily well. At
the beginning
of
be
the season we
expected them
ex
to get 37
points, while
p
now we
n
expect them
ex
to finish with
points, a
52 p
difference of 40
differ
per cent.
Huddersfield Town
could still be relegated,
but we nonetheless
expect them to gain 16
per cent more points
than we originally
anticipated.
At the halfway point
Harry Kane, above, is the
best performing player in
the Premier League, and
the second-best
performer in Europe,
after Lionel Messi. Hot
on Kane's heels comes
Mohamed Salah and
then Nicolás Otamendi,
the third and fourth-best
performers in Europe.
Encouragingly for the
Premier League, it now
features 13 of Europe’s
top 20 players, with six
of them playing for
Manchester City.
18
2G S
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Rugby union
English clubs face darkest
Ben Kay
breakdown of european quarter-finalists
This would be the first time since 1998-99, when English clubs did not play in
Europe, that none qualify for the quarter-finals, if the top eight stay as they are
Prediction La Rochelle to win with a
bonus point and top the pool; Ulster to
qualify.
Pool two
Who would have thought at the start
of the season that Saracens, the
France
Scotland
Wales
Teams
5
4
3
2
1
0
-18
17
-17
16
-16
15
-15
14
-14
13
-13
12
Pool one
I would expect La Rochelle and Ulster
to win tomorrow and for both to qualify
for the quarter-finals, but which team
progress as the pool winners could well
come down to which of the two English
clubs put up the weakest fight.
Wasps are technically not out of
contention and, if their team selection
is anything to go by, they will not roll
over for Ulster at the Ricoh Arena. I
doubt we will see Harlequins play in La
Rochelle, where the atmosphere will be
hostile, with the same passion and drive
that saw them defeat Wasps last week.
There was some age-old rivalry
behind that match, though. I cannot see
them rousing themselves in the same
way this week. It is a tough challenge
too for Marcus Smith, who will have the
similarly inexperienced James Lang
alongside him at inside centre, but also
a good day for Lewis Boyce to show
what he can do on the loose-head
against the monstrous Uini Atonio
after being called up by England.
Ireland
12
11-11
10
-10
09
9
-0
08
8
-0
07
7
-0
06
6
-0
05
5
-0
04
4
-0
03
3
-0
02
2
-0
01
1
-0
00
0
-0
99
It will be embarrassing for the Aviva
Premiership if only one or, for the first
time in the history of English clubs
competing in Europe, none of them
qualify for the quarter-finals of the
Champions Cup this weekend.
Round six of the pool matches is the
most open that I can remember and the
hardest to predict. It shows that the
tournament, which was relaunched
after pressure from the English and
French clubs, is delivering exciting
fixtures and even pools.
But there is a lot of animosity within
the Celtic nations about how that
chance came about and I know plenty
of people who would take great
pleasure in the irony of English clubs
failing to make the knockout stages of a
tournament that was their creation.
It is too early to know whether the
struggles experienced by the English
clubs this season are just one of those
things or whether there is a fundamental issue. I have written before that
English clubs have struggled at the
breakdown in Europe because the
emphasis has shifted in the Premiership to teams keeping more players on
their feet and competing in midfield.
The clubs will not be waiting two
years before there is a body of evidence
that confirms whether or not English
teams are on the slide; they will be
studying closely tactical issues, such as
the breakdown or an inability to adapt
in the face of the different styles of
opponents, particularly in France
where teams want to slow the game.
Mind you, that style of play did for
Guy Novès as the France coach and
Bernard Laporte, the head of French
rugby, is determined to change that;
you can see the shift already in the
youthful squad that Jacques Brunel has
selected for the Six Nations.
The wider analysis, though, will be
for another day. All that matters for
those Premiership clubs still in with a
shot of qualification is somehow finding their way to the quarter-final draw.
England
champions cup: how they stand
As pool leaders
Ulster, Clermont, Leinster,
Munster, Toulon
As best three runners-up
Scarlets, La Rochelle,
Ospreys
Eighteen points is the magic number.
Reaching that mark gives you a
chance of qualifying.
Keep an eye on pools one and four.
If Ulster, La Rochelle, Racing 92 and
Munster all win, there will definitely
be two runners-up with a minimum of
19 points. The more of those four who
lose, the better for Exeter, Saracens
and Bath, and the more likely it is that
18 points could be enough.
Wasps are the only English side
who can win their pool, but they
need to beat Ulster with a bonus
point, deprive their opponents of any
bonus points and hope that La
Rochelle lose. If La Rochelle win, 17
points is unlikely to be good enough
for the Coventry side to qualify as
runners-up.
Saracens need a bonus-point win to
reach 18 points, but they cannot win
the group. If Ospreys beat Clermont
Auvergne, Saracens would finish third.
A bonus-point win for Exeter would
give them 19 points, while Montpellier
are limited to 18. Even without the
winning bonus point, Exeter would
finish second on head to head.
Bath need to win with a bonus
point to reach 18 points. This is
enough for second place if either
Scarlets or Toulon lose without a
bonus point.
Words by Elgan Alderman
back-to-back champions, would be
entering the final round of the pool
stage reliant on results elsewhere?
Saracens were undone by that woeful
performance at home to Clermont
Auvergne, which damaged them
mentally. They have since lost over
there and drawn with Ospreys.
Today they face a Northampton
Saints team who are on the rise again.
That said, Saracens should win with a
bonus point — they have put 50 on
Northampton twice this season — and
they will have the advantage of knowing how Exeter Chiefs, who are on the
same competition points, have done.
Do not write off Ospreys. Clermont
are still full of quality players but they
have lost 13 backs to injury and they do
not have the same swagger about them.
Pool one
P W D L F A T B Pts
Ulster
5 4 0 1 125 92 14 1 17
La Rochelle 5 3 0 2 140 114 16 4 16
Wasps
5 2 0 3 128 114 17 4 12
Harlequins 5 1 0 4 99 172 14 3 7
Fixtures: Tomorrow (3.15pm): La
Rochelle v Harlequins; Wasps v Ulster.
Pool two
P W D L F A T B Pts
Clermont
5 4 0 1 141 97 14 2 18
Ospreys
5 2 1 2 145 124 17 5 15
Saracens
5 2 1 2 143 132 17 3 13
N’hampton 5 1 0 4 101 177 14 2 6
Fixtures: Today (3.15pm): Clermont v
Ospreys; Saracens v Northampton.
Pool three
P W D L F A T B Pts
Leinster
5 5 0 0 153 79 19 3 23
Exeter
5 3 0 2 117 89 15 2 14
Montpellier 5 2 0 3 116 140 16 5 13
Glasgow
5 0 0 5 100 178 14 2 2
Fixtures: Today (1pm): Glasgow v
Exeter; Montpellier v Leinster.
Pool four
Aaron Shingler, Scarlets’ Wales flanker, swats aside Chris Cook, the Bath scrum
P W D L F A T B Pts
Munster 5 3 1 1 119 84 12 2 16
Racing
5 3 0 2 105 85 12 3 15
Castres 5 2 1 2 108 113 13 2 12
Leicester 5 1 0 4 98 148 11 2 6
Fixtures: Tomorrow (1pm): Leicester v
Racing; Munster v Castres.
Glasgow Warriors. Exeter must get the
balance right between trying to win the
game, but knowing they need a bonus
point. Teams can come unstuck if they
get that wrong, or if the points are slow
in coming they can get impatient and
panic.
Pool five
P W D L F A T B Pts
Toulon 5 4 0 1 132 95 14 2 18
Scarlets 5 3 0 2 132 96 16 5 17
Bath
5 3 0 2 104 93 9 1 13
Benetton 5 0 0 5 69 153 8 3 3
Fixtures: Today (5.30pm): Benetton v
Bath; Scarlets v Toulon.
Prediction Clermont to qualify as
the pool winners; Saracens to be
eliminated
Pool three
The best three teams in Europe are all
in the same pool. Leinster are already
through to the quarter-finals and are
favourites for the title this year. It is a
shame for the competition that Exeter
Chiefs and Montpellier could bow out
in the group stage.
Leinster are purring under Stuart
Lancaster and Leo Cullen but I believe
Exeter are the team they would fear
playing the most in the final, despite
having beaten them twice because they
have a style that can nullify the Irish
province. But to even contemplate that
showdown Exeter need to win away to
Prediction Leinster
Exeter to join them.
are
through,
Pool four
This has been a very embarrassing
tournament for Leicester Tigers. The
former kings of Europe were effectively
out of contention after four games and
fielded a second string who were beaten
39-0 in Castres last weekend.
They have to deliver a performance
for their fans and for everyone else this
weekend; if they don’t lift the cloud then
it will hang over Welford Road because
the next two weekends are AngloWelsh Cup.
Matt O’Connor has picked a
first-choice team for tomorrow and I
expect a humdinger of a game because
Racing 92 need the win desperately to
make sure they qualify. It’s not a done
deal that they will and at the end of a
poor campaign, Leicester could be
kingmakers for who goes through.
Munster have been through a
rebuilding period and they are recapturing the qualities that made them so
dangerous in this competition. Their
passion and aggression suits European
rugby and Thomond Park is an intimi-
dating place to go. I doubt Castres will
go there with any belief they can win.
Prediction Munster the only qualifiers
from this pool.
Pool five
The Scarlets have been the great entertainers of the Champions Cup and they
are a real threat. If things fall right for
them they could go on and win the
competition. Even when they were in a
hole, trailing late in the game away to
Benetton, they found a way to get out of
it because of their ability to pull a rabbit
out of the hat.
What has led to Wales’s change of
tactics? How much of it is a realisation
they don’t have the players to play how
they did, and how much of it is a revolution sparked by the attacking rugby
played by the Scarlets? Seán O’Brien’s
wonder try for the Lions in the first Test
against New Zealand was made at Parc
y Scarlets with Liam Williams and
Jonathan Davies counterattacking
from their own 22. The Parc will be
packed for the visit of Toulon, who are
good but not the force of old.
Bath face Benetton and are not out of
it but they are another team who could
finish on 18 points and will need both
the bonus point and a boost to their
points difference.
Prediction Scarlets to win and top the
group, Toulon sneak through as final
qualifiers.
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
19
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Sport
day in Europe
DAN MULLAN/GETTY IMAGES
big workload in england
Lions players at Premiership clubs
have in general played more domestic
minutes than their counterparts in the
Pro14 and French league, who are held
back for European games
Premiership
half, during the Champions Cup meeting at the Recreation Ground last week
Courtney Lawes
Anthony Watson
Jonathan Joseph
Dan Cole
James Haskell
George Kruis
Owen Farrell
Mako Vunipola
Maro Itoje
Jamie George
Justin Tipuric
Kyle Sinckler
Leigh Halfpenny
Joe Marler
Finn Russell
Dan Biggar
Taulupe Faletau
Jack Nowell
Elliot Daly
Ken Owens
Iain Henderson
George North
Alun Wyn Jones
Ben Te'o
CJ Stander
Conor Murray
Rhys Webb
Peter O'Mahony
Jack McGrath
Greig Laidlaw
Liam Williams
Jonathan Davies
Tommy Seymour
Jonathan Sexton
Robbie Henshaw
Tadhg Furlong
Rory Best
Stuart Hogg
Sean O'Brien
Allan Dell
Ross Moriarty
Jared Payne
Sam Warburton
PRO14
TOP14
Mins
played
815
793
777
736
656
654
607
590
569
562
560
532
516
500
493
488
472
466
432
430
423
422
421
412
400
369
368
314
307
293
288
251
251
246
240
240
147
80
61
22
0
0
0
Newcastle in third winding-up threat
exclusive
Alex Lowe
Deputy Rugby Correspondent
Newcastle Falcons were served with a
winding-up petition over an unpaid tax
bill on December 12. The Aviva
Premiership club paid the majority of
the bill on receipt of the legal threat
from HMRC but The Times understands that there was still around
£100,000 outstanding until the start of
this week.
Newcastle sources say that the club
paid the final balance on Wednesday,
hours after details of the winding-up
petition and the court date had been
published on the London Gazette. The
club now believe that the case, scheduled to be heard on February 7 at the
Royal Courts of Justice in London, will
be annulled, although there was no
record yesterday of a dismissal notice
having yet been lodged.
It is the third recorded occasion in
two years that Newcastle have flown
close to the wind with the tax authorities. The Newcastle Chronicle reported
in April 2016 that the club had faced
two winding-up orders in the space of a
few months, but paid the outstanding
balance on both occasions.
Newcastle Rugby Ltd recorded losses
Gary Graham, the Falcons flanker, is
part of the England Six Nations squad
of £2,651,515 in their last set of accounts,
published in June 2016. The strategic
report described the financial results as
“satisfactory in light of conditions” and
said that the club were “optimistic
about the long-term prospects for continued growth on and off the pitch”.
Newcastle generated a 17.7 per cent
increase in turnover in that period. The
Falcons’ performances on the field
have carried them to sixth in the Aviva
Premiership and attracted sell-out
crowds to Kingston Park for the first
time in almost a decade.
The report said: “Investment in the
group’s infrastructure, playing/coaching staff and academy/youth programmes has continued which is critical to the continued progression of the
club. The group has seen growing
match day attendances which is anticipated to continue as a result of strong
relations with supporters, sponsors, the
local community and an exciting match
day experience.”
Newcastle, who play Enisei-STM in
the European Challenge Cup this
weekend, declined to comment. The
team arrived in Tblisi, Georgia, for the
game, which is part of a Challenge Cup
double-header that includes Krasny
Yar against London Irish, but only after
encountering some bus trouble. Their
coach got stuck in a ditch in Istanbul.
Leinster’s success
points the direction
forward for Ireland
Brian O’Driscoll tells
John Westerby that the
increased strength in
depth bodes well for
their Six Nations hopes
While Eddie Jones contends that club
performances in the European
Champions Cup have little relevance to
the forthcoming NatWest Six Nations
Championship, in Ireland they are
understandably inclined to a different
view.
All three of the Irish provinces in the
Champions Cup go into this weekend
on top of their pools, with Leinster the
outstanding team of the first phase, the
only unbeaten side in the competition,
while Munster and Ulster are looking to
clinch quarter-final places tomorrow.
In the second-tier Challenge Cup,
Connacht are top of their pool and
unbeaten.
Any knock-on effects for the
national team should not be taken for
granted, but Brian O’Driscoll feels that
strong performances across the board
are indicative of the greater depth that
has been developed. “There’s definitely
more depth than there’s been before,”
the former Ireland captain said. “You
only have to look at the amount of
players Leinster have used in Europe
this season, Munster as well. There’s
more strength in depth than when I was
playing.”
For Joe Schmidt, developing greater
depth has been something of a holy
grail. The Ireland head coach sits at the
top of a smoothly run system, built
around the requirements of the
national team, but he can never boast
the sheer number of players available to
Jones with England.
The focus on depth in Irish rugby
usually intensifies when injuries begin
to whittle away their options at a World
Cup. For the quarter-final defeat by
Argentina in Cardiff in 2015, Ireland
found themselves without Paul
O’Connell, Jonathan Sexton, Seán
O’Brien and Peter O’Mahony, leaving
gaping holes that they were unable to
plug. But O’Driscoll feels that the real
benefits of greater depth can ripple
across the game at provincial level as
well as in the national team.
“It’s not just for Ireland, you see
the importance in any country,
look at Stephen Donald kicking
the winning goal in the 2011
World Cup final [for New
Zealand] when he was
fourth-choice fly half,”
O’Driscoll, a BT Sport pundit, said. “Having that depth
h
is not just about coping with
injuries. It’s about drivingg
o
standards. Everyone has to
raise their game, in training or
in a match, when they’ve seen
someone coming up in theirr
d
position. Strength in depth and
the competition it brings helps
a country to optimise the
resources you’ve got.”
It is six years since an Irish
province won Europe’s premier
n
club competition, or even
featured in a final. In 2012,
Leinster lifted the trophy for the
Larmour’s eye-catching
displays for Leinster have
earned him an Ireland call
third time in four years and their performances in a strong pool that features
Exeter Chiefs and Montpellier have
made them firm favourites to open a
new chapter of potential Irish success.
O’Driscoll appeared in all of those
victories, on each occasion playing
under the captaincy of Leo Cullen, now
the Leinster head coach. A former lock,
Cullen went straight into coaching
Leinster’s forwards on retiring as a
player in 2013 and, after the unexpected
departure of Matt O’Connor in 2015, he
became head coach, at 37, rather sooner
than he might have expected.
It was a year later, after Leinster had
finished bottom of their Champions
Cup pool in the 2015-16 season, that
Cullen had the idea that has helped to
transform the province’s fortunes.
Recognising that he needed more
coaching experience alongside him, he
suggested recruiting a more mature
coach to work under him and Stuart
Lancaster was duly appointed.
“Leo was the one that suggested it,”
O’Driscoll said. “He was big enough to
recognise that it was right to bring in
someone of Stuart’s experience. He
deserves huge credit for that.”
A year on from the bitter disappointment of Lancaster’s World Cup experience, there was widespread fascination
with how the new role would work for
the former England head coach, and
also how the relationship with Cullen
would pan out. Still the head coach,
would Cullen’s authority survive the
arrival of a more experienced assistant?
Lancaster’s job title was senior coach
but he was still below Cullen in the
pecking order. The two had not worked
together before, either, so there was an
experimental element to the set-up.
“Leo was always going to get there as
a coach, but the job came earlier than
he’d envisaged and it’s been the unit of
him and Stuart that has worked particularly well,” O’Driscoll said. “And it’s
worked because there are no egos on
either side of the relationship, they’ve
both realised the benefits of having the
other one involved. No one is having to
look over their shoulder. I don’t think
there have been many coaching units
that have worked like that.”
The success of the arrangement has
been clear in the Champions Cup, with
Leinster’s qualification for the quarterfinals assured before their game away
to Montpellier this afternoon. Jordan
Larmour, the 20-year-old, moves from
full back to the wing after being named
in Schmidt’s Six Nations squad this
week, amid much discussion
over whether his eye-catching
displays for Leinster should
be rewarded with a first
i
international
cap in the
n
next
few weeks.
“He’s still incredibly
r
raw,
but he’s scaring a few
p
people,”
O’Driscoll said.
“
“He
picks things up quickly
a he’s got a good understandand
i of the game. His defence will
ing
c
come
along in time.”
Whether Larmour’s chance for
I
Ireland
comes sooner or later, his
emergence is further illustration of the
increasing wealth of talent bolstering
Schmidt’s resources at national level
and Cullen’s hopes of reviving
Leinster’s European glory days.
6 Watch the final round of this
season’s European rugby pool
stage this weekend live on BT
S
Sport.
For more information visit:
b
bt.com/sport
20
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Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport
‘I’d have had a neck transplant
to carry on. Retiring hits you’
Former Leicester and England
star Tom Croft tells Owen Slot
how he is adapting after calling
time on his career in October
T
wo days after Tom Croft retired, he
went back for a gym session with his
old Leicester Tigers team-mates. Back
with the boys, as though nothing had
changed. He had not even told most of
them that it had changed and, if they did not
know, well, life almost seemed normal.
Now, nearly three months later, Croft has
moved on. But not far. He has edged into
acceptance. He has come so far that he can just
about reflect on those weird, delusional gym
days for what they were, “a way of me burying
my head in the sand” as he puts it, “and keeping
normality as much as possible”.
This is in many ways an extraordinary
interview because Croft is so frank about how
he struggled with the end of his rugby career.
“You are in a dark place,” he says. He calls it a
bereavement, adding: “A huge part of your life
has suddenly stopped. You have lost something;
I have lost my rugby.” And yet he knows, in
telling the story of the end of his career, that his
is the story of many.
The back-rower was 31 but did not retire on
his own terms. That is part of the story. He won
40 England caps, went on two Lions tours, won
four Premiership titles with Leicester and yet,
for all that this is a CV heavy with success, there
remains a sense that if injury had not so heavily
preyed on the last seven years of his career,
there would have been so much more.
People, he says, “are never quite sure what to
say. They say, ‘congratulations and
commiserations.’ ”
He is not bitter, though. If anything, the
opposite. This is an age where the danger and
health risk are part of rugby’s daily debate, yet
Croft is a staunch defender. “I’ve been through
the mill, to some extent,” he says, with typical
understatement, “and I want the game to stay
the same.”
Really, he just misses it. You could reminisce
with him all day. The early days: being schooled
in Leicester hardness by Louis Deacon, not
being quite sure if he could look Martin Johnson
in the eye. “The 2009 Lions will always be the
pinnacle,” he says; “23 years old, surrounded by
guys I used to watch when I was growing up.”
And the places he will always treasure:
“Dressing rooms after big games, regardless of
who you’ve been playing for, hanging out of
your arse, knowing you’ve put in a good
performance. The relief.”
What he missed immediately, though, was far
more basic. He just did not know what to do
next. Due mainly to a neck injury, he had not
played for Leicester since March; he managed
three league games all last season. Then, one
day in late October, he was asked to go to see
Matt O’Connor, the Leicester director of rugby,
and that was where it all ended.
“I thought he wanted to discuss how I was
getting on,” Croft says. “I’d had numerous
injections into my neck. I don’t like needles at
the best of times. Having needles being shoved
into the front and back of your neck to try and
relieve it was frustrating. I’d just come off the
back of another set. I thought we were going to
talk about that.”
O’Connor did not tell Croft it was over.
“Instead, it was a good dose of reality: that you
can’t keep shoving needles in your neck to get
back on the pitch. Be sensible. Because I would
have carried on, trying to force the issues,
Photograph:
Marc Aspland
“
The biggest thing
was: what do I do
tomorrow?
Structure is
suddenly taken
out of your life
and I did
break down
Bogey-free McIlroy and
Golf
John Huggan Abu Dhabi
Tommy Fleetwood was given quite a
treat for his 27th birthday. Playing
alongside Dustin Johnson and Rory
McIlroy, Europe’s No 1 player in 2017
shot what would normally have been
regarded as a commendable 68, four
under par, in the second round of the
Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.
Normally.
Instead, Fleetwood’s five-birdie, onebogey effort was eclipsed by an
amazing display of powerful and
accurate ball-striking from each of his
companions. Between them, Johnson
and McIlroy made 12 birdies, one eagle
and not a single bogey.
Their best-ball score added up to an
astonishing 59 that could — and should
— have been even lower. Johnson’s 64,
the lowest round of the day shared with
Branden Grace of South Africa and
Spain’s Jorge Campillo, and McIlroy’s
66 were marked by numerous missed
chances from short-range.
“DJ could have shot 58,” his manager,
a suitably breathless David Winkle,
said. And he was not wrong. Only on
the last two holes did the world No 1
knock in birdie putts from outside
eight feet.
McIlroy was equally frustrated —
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
21
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Sport
Croft admits that
he has struggled
to move on to a
second career
Fury’s licence
returned by
boxing board
Boxing
Ron Lewis Boxing Correspondent
keeping getting more injections. Neck
transplants aren’t available but I’d have gone for
one. You are never going to admit you need
to retire — until you are told. Or nudged.”
Croft walked out an ex-professional
rugby player. He drove straight round
to the house of his best mate, Ben
Youngs. Two more of his closest
team-mates, Tom Youngs and
Matt Smith, were already there;
O’Connor had tipped them that it
might help if they were there too.
In their company, Croft says, “I broke
down. The biggest thing was: what do I do
tomorrow? I had been at Leicester from 16, at
the academy, then straight out of school,
straight into being a professional, being told
what time I need to be in a certain place,
being told what kit I need to be wearing
every day. That structure is suddenly taken
out of your life and you are: what do I do?”
So Croft just carried on doing what he had
done before. He went to the gym with the
boys; almost all of them thought he was still
their team-mate. A fortnight later, Simon
Cohen, the Tigers chief executive, pulled him
to one side, to ask about how life was going
post-Tigers. “I said, ‘I haven’t organised a
great deal, I’ve probably improved my
bench press PB.’ He said, ‘You need
to take yourself away from this
environment.’ ”
That was the catalyst. It was
another two weeks before he
felt capable emotionally of
standing up in front of the
rest of his former team-mates
and telling them that he was
done. However, he was
starting the slow process of
finding a life beyond them.
“I never planned on retiring,”
he says, “so I never had a target
other than end of the season and
winning a trophy.”
Now he is trying to work out what his
Croft won 40 England caps and four
Premiership titles with Leicester in a
career cruelly hampered by injuries
new targets should be. He says he is a “fairly
driven person” (more understatement) but
wishes that he had put more thought and work
into his second career while he was on his first.
He shares a small coffee business with Ben
Youngs. He loves shooting and has started
studying digital marketing online and wonders if
he can combine the two. He is tentatively
enjoying new challenges. “I’ve not had to learn a
new skill set for a long time,” he says. “I’ve
learnt new calls, but never a new skill set.”
He cannot and will not break away, though.
He is still on the Tigers’ players admin
WhatsApp group — logistics, meeting times etc
— and knows that he should disconnect.
The day after he retired, he found that he had
been added to another group — Droglite, an
anagram for Old Tiger. He then got invited to
the Droglite Christmas do. “I wasn’t quite in the
frame of mind for that,” he says. “I went to the
one with the current lads instead.”
His latest challenge is his Twitter profile. It
still says Tom Croft: Leicester Tigers, England.
Another dilemma: “Do I need to change that?
Do I need to put ‘former’ or ‘retired’?”
Johnson put on show for birthday boy Fleetwood
until a 15-footer for that lone eagle
found its way to the bottom of the cup
on the final green — by his inability to
make the most of his sparkling play
from tee to green.
But nine under par for 36 holes,
bogey-free and only three shots behind
the overnight leader, Belgium’s Thomas
Pieters, the Northern Irishman is nicely
primed for what would be a remarkable
victory after more than three months of
competitive inactivity. Certainly, his
rivals will be well aware of his presence
close to the lead.
“I hit the ball very well,” McIlroy, who
has four times finished second in this
event, said. “I drove it well. I hit most of
my iron shots very well. I gave myself
plenty of chances, which is what I’m
going to have to do over the next couple
of days if I want to win this tournament.
There just weren’t many fireworks
apart from the putt on the last.
“I was rewarded for the patience I
displayed. It was nice to get a couple of
shots closer to Thomas going into the
weekend. It’s a very bunched leaderboard.”
Indeed, things are far from clear. Five
men remain ahead of McIlroy —
including Fleetwood and Ross Fisher
on ten-under the card — and as many
as 20 are within five shots of the leader.
Plenty will fancy their chances of
picking up the winner’s cheque for
$500,000 (about £360,000), although
those with Ryder Cup ambitions have
perhaps even more incentive to do so
than others.
One of those with taking on America
in Paris on his mind is Paul Casey, the
winner here in 2007 and 2009. The
40-year-old Englishman’s 65 hoisted
him to nine-under par alongside
McIlroy, a score that he feels is not even
halfway to a winning one.
“Guys these days just keep going,”
Casey said. “You used to be able to take
the first-round leading score, double it,
then add a couple more to calculate the
winning score on Sunday. That being
said, 14-under would [normally] get the
job done. But that number isn’t going to
work this week. I see nothing less than
20-under being enough.
“There is a lot of firepower on top of
the leaderboard. I know they are not all
going to back down. So for me today it
was ‘foot down’. I was trying to get to
double digits. Didn’t quite make it, but
I’m very happy with the day. It was
great.”
Fleetwood too, left happy. At the end
of their round, McIlroy presented him
with a birthday cake that he claimed to
have baked himself. Just one last
unbelievable aspect to a memorable
day.
Tyson Fury could return to the ring
billed as “the real world heavyweight
champion” after the British Boxing
Board of Control (BBBC) yesterday
agreed to return his boxing licence.
Fury, who has not boxed since
winning the WBA, WBO and IBF
heavyweight titles from Wladimir
Klitschko in November 2015, attended
the BBBC’s headquarters in Cardiff for
an interview and was informed that his
licence would be returned, provided he
passes a medical.
The 29-year-old has been working
with his new trainer, Ben Davison, and
could be back in the ring by mid-April,
although he is likely to have one or two
warm-up fights before stepping up to
12-round level as he attempts to get
some momentum back into his career.
Fury is still regarded as champion by
The Ring, the influential American
magazine, and is also seen as the sport’s
lineal champion, having never lost the
titles in the ring or officially retired.
This could lead to him effectively competing as a rival champion to the likes of
Anthony Joshua, the WBA and IBF
champion, who faces Joseph Parker, the
WBO champion, in Cardiff in March 31.
He would not be the first world
heavyweight champion to effectively
ignore boxing’s governing bodies.
Michael Spinks and George Foreman
continued to be considered lineal
champions in the 1980s and 1990s
respectively despite being stripped of
titles.
The BBBC decision had always
seemed likely after Fury agreed to a
backdated suspension from UK AntiDoping last month, after elevated levels
of nandrolone were found in a sample
from February 2015.
Billy Joe Saunders will defend his
WBO middleweight title against
Martin Murray on April 14 at The O2
arena, London. Terry Flanagan aims to
become a two-weight world champion
on the same bill as he faces Maurice
Hooker for the vacant WBO lightwelterweight title, having vacated the
WBO title at lightweight.
It will be 35-year-old Murray’s fifth
attempt to win a world title, having
previously drawn with Felix Sturm and
lost to Sergio Martínez, Gennady
Golovkin and Arthur Abraham. “I’ve
fought everyone and in my opinion at
middleweight I have only one genuine
loss which is against Golovkin, who is
the best out there,” Murray said.
Terms are understood to have been
agreed for rematch in Las Vegas in May
between Golovkin and Saúl ‘Canelo’
Álvarez, whose world middleweight
title bout in September ended in a
disputed draw.
abu dhabi championship
Leading second-round scores
(Par 72, GB and Ire unless stated)
132: T Pieters (Bel) 67, 65.
133: J Campillo (Sp) 69, 64.
134: A Levy (Fr) 69, 65; R Fisher 67, 67;
T Fleetwood 66, 68.
135: A Sullivan 70, 65; R McIlroy 69,
66; P Casey 70, 65; B Wiesberger
(Austria) 67, 68; S Brazel (Aus) 67, 68.
136: D Johnson (US) 72, 64; R Fox (NZ)
70, 66; A Johnston 68, 68; F Zanotti
(Par) 67, 69; B Grace (SA) 72, 64;
C Paisley 69, 67; D Frittelli (SA) 69, 67.
Selected others: 138: R Ramsay
68, 70; P Dunne 68, 70; M Fitzpatrick
68, 70. 142: J Rose 71, 71. 143:
L Westwood 74, 69; I Poulter 75, 68.
22
3GS
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport Racing
Surgery rules risk ‘tainting’ horses
HUGH ROUTLEDGE/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Mark Souster Racing Writer
Early last Saturday morning, shortly
before his wedding in Scotland, Nicky
Henderson received a text message
from Barney Clifford, the clerk of the
course at Kempton. The gist of it was:
“Sorry you’re not here today for racing,
but in your absence we’ve allowed the
bulldozers in this morning and started
work on the housing development.”
Henderson chuckled to himself. In
his absence from the track as he
married Sophie Waddilove, his partner,
he still sent out three winners at his
beloved Surrey course, plus a fourth for
good measure at Warwick. Not a bad
present to himself.
The champion trainer enjoys a cause.
Kempton is one about which he is
passionate, with his views well documented — not least the fact that he
would chain himself to the railings in
the manner of a suffragette if he got
warning of moves to dig it up.
Wind operations are another issue
that Henderson has strong opinions on
— at least the publication of such information on racecards, which began this
week. He cautions whether every procedure, even the most routine soft-palate cauterisation, should be included
under the one heading.
Wind operations have been a sensitive issue for Henderson with regard
to Altior, the country’s outstanding
two-mile chaser. But the air has now
cleared. Altior is progressing well after
his procedure last November, and remains on course for the Champion
Chase at Cheltenham. It is likely that he
will have a couple of racecourse gallops
first, rather than make the Game Spirit
Chase at Newbury on February 10.
The wedding was a roaring success;
50 guests, with Barry Hills his best man,
and a big celebration. With no time for
a honeymoon he was back at Seven
Barrows first thing on Monday
morning ready to plot this week’s
runners. Among them on Wednesday,
somewhat appropriately, was Morning
Vicar who obliged at 5-1 at Newbury.
This afternoon Jenkins, who completed
4
Number of times
Henderson has won the
Clarence House Chase. Today
he can equal the record of
five, held by Paul Nicholls,
his nearest challenger
in the trainers’
championship
Brain Power represents Henderson at Ascot today but he faces a tough task in beating the two-times winner, Un De Sceaux
his Saturday four-timer, is set to make
a swift reappearance, with the in-form
teenager James Bowen claiming 5lb.
Most intriguing of all is Henderson’s
decision to send out Brain Power to
challenge Un De Sceaux in the Royal
Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase,
the feature race at Ascot. Brain Power is
still a novice, with two starts over fences
behind him, and unseated his rider at
Sandown in his previous outing. He will
be one of four rivals to Un De Sceaux as
Willie Mullins’s ten-year-old bids for
a record-breaking third successive
victory in the race. Under the
circumstances, is that not a lost cause?
“It’s a bizarre thing to be doing and
everyone is asking the same question:
why?,” Henderson, who believes the
likely strong pace of the race will play to
his horse’s strengths, says. “A, there’s an
awful lot of prize money and B,
he has got to get some good experience
of jumping at pace and he will have to
settle. He did too much early on in the
Champion Hurdle [last season]. He has
got to get switched off. “
Back to wind operations. “A hobday,
which Altior underwent, is declarable
anyway.” he says. “If it’s been hobdayed
and you put it in a sales ring and don’t
declare it, that’s returnable.
“There are a lot of procedures, such
as cauterising of a soft palate which are
carried out on thousands of horses. But
all horses with ‘WS’ are now tainted for
life. It’s in every stud book throughout
the world. It becomes a very complicated issue for breeding. Bringing cauterising into that [declarable] bracket is
wrong. You are potentially completely
contaminating the stud book.
“How many does it make any difference to?” he asks. “Two out of ten
maybe. I’ve got a horse here, Percy
Street. He ran two stinkers, had an op
and he’s run two more stinkers. It’s
made sod-all difference.”
Un De Sceaux
can make it
three in a row
Rob Wright Racing Editor
Un De Sceaux could become the first
triple winner of the grade-one Royal
Salute Whisky Clarence House Chase
(3.35) at Ascot today.
Willie Mullins’s brilliant performer
has won 19 of his 25 starts under rules,
including two Cheltenham Festival
victories and seven successes at the
highest level over fences, and looked as
good as ever when making a winning
return to action at Cork last month,
beating Top Gamble by 25 lengths.
Un De Sceaux sets a clear standard
here, rated at least 11lb higher than his
rivals, and will be hard to beat.
There have been a host of promising
conditional jockeys catching the eye
this jumps season and Jonjo O’Neill,
who has impressed, can claim the
biggest win of his fledgling career on
Crossed My Mind in the Ascot Spring
Garden Show Holloway’s Handicap
Hurdle (2.25).
O’Neill rides mainly for his father,
the former champion jockey-turnedtrainer of the same name, but is getting
ever more support from other yards
and will have his first ride here for the
veteran Irish handler Arthur Moore.
Crossed My Mind is lightly raced and
just lacked the pace to challenge when
third to A Hare Breath in a listed handicap over two miles at Sandown Park
last time out. A combination of
this stiffer test of stamina and the 7lb
allowance that O’Neill receives can
make the difference here.
Richard Johnson, the champion
jockey, can make the trip to Haydock
Park worthwhile by landing the Peter
Marsh Handicap Chase (3.15) on board
Rock The Kasbah. This progressive
chaser is unexposed given a real test
of stamina and stayed on powerfully
when winning over slightly shorter
at Chepstow on his reappearance. A
winner on his only previous visit here,
Rock The Kasbah relishes testing
conditions and will be tough to beat.
Fixtures
Today
Football
Kick-off 3.0 unless stated
Premier League: Arsenal v Crystal Palace;
Brighton v Chelsea (12.30); Burnley v Man Utd;
Everton v West Brom; Leicester v Watford; Man
City v Newcastle (5.30); Stoke v Huddersfield;
West Ham v Bournemouth.
6 Table on page 16
Sky Bet Championship: Aston Villa v Barnsley;
Bolton v Ipswich; Fulham v Bolton; Leeds v
Millwall; Norwich v Sheff Utd; Preston v
Birmingham; QPR v Middlesbrough; Reading v
Brentford; Sheff Wed v Cardiff (5.30);
Sunderland v Hull; Wolves v Nott’m Forest.
P
Wolves...................27
Derby......................28
Cardiff....................27
Bristol City.............28
Aston Villa.............27
Sheff Utd ............... 27
Leeds......................27
Fulham...................27
Middlesbrough.......27
Preston...................27
Brentford ............... 27
Ipswich...................27
Norwich..................27
QPR ........................ 27
Nottm Forest.........27
Millwall..................27
Sheff Wed..............27
Reading..................27
Barnsley.................27
Hull.........................27
Bolton.....................27
Burton....................27
Birmingham...........27
Sunderland.............27
W
19
15
15
13
13
13
13
11
12
10
10
12
10
8
10
7
7
7
6
5
6
6
6
4
D
5
8
5
9
8
4
4
9
5
11
10
3
7
9
2
10
10
8
9
10
7
6
5
10
L
3
5
7
6
6
10
10
7
10
6
7
12
10
10
15
10
10
12
12
12
14
15
16
13
F
50
44
40
40
39
40
37
40
35
31
41
40
27
31
33
29
30
30
27
39
25
21
15
29
A
20
23
25
32
24
31
29
34
27
27
35
39
31
37
43
30
34
35
37
44
45
46
38
47
GD Pts
30 62
21 53
15 50
8 48
15 47
9 43
8 43
6 42
8 41
4 41
6 40
1 39
-4 37
-6 33
-10 32
-1 31
-4 31
-5 29
-10 27
-5 25
-20 25
-25 24
-23 23
-18 22
Sky Bet League One: AFC Wimbledon v
Blackpool; Bristol Rovers v Bradford; Charlton v
Walsall; Fleetwood v Blackburn; Northampton v
MK Dons; Oxford v Bury; Peterborough v Oldham;
Plymouth v Wigan; Rochdale v Southend;
Rotherham v Portsmouth; Scunthorpe v
Gillingham; Shrewsbury v Doncaster.
P
Wigan.....................26
Shrewsbury............26
Blackburn...............26
Scunthorpe.............27
Bradford.................27
Charlton ................. 27
Portsmouth............27
W
17
16
15
14
15
12
13
D L
6 3
6 4
7 4
8 5
3 9
7 8
3 11
F
50
34
48
38
43
34
34
A
12
18
24
23
36
32
31
GD Pts
38 57
16 54
24 52
15 50
7 48
2 43
3 42
Rotherham.............27
Peterborough.........27
Oxford Utd.............28
Fleetwood .............27
Doncaster...............27
Plymouth................28
Gillingham..............27
Walsall...................26
Blackpool................28
Bristol Rovers........27
Southend................28
MK Dons.................27
Oldham...................28
Northampton.........28
AFC Wimbledon.....26
Rochdale.................26
Bury........................27
12 5 10 45 36 9 41
11 7 9 43 37 6 40
10 8 10 43 41 2 38
10 6 11 38 41 -3 36
9 8 10 30 29 1 35
9 8 11 30 35 -5 35
8 10 9 29 30 -1 34
8 9 9 33 35 -2 33
8 9 11 34 38 -4 33
10 3 14 36 43 -7 33
8 7 13 32 47 -15 31
7 9 11 28 38 -10 30
7 8 13 40 50 -10 29
8 5 15 25 48 -23 29
7 7 12 22 31 -9 28
4 10 12 26 37 -11 22
4 5 18 19 42 -23 17
Sky Bet League Two: Accrington v Port Vale;
Barnet v Lincoln; Colchester v Grimsby;
Coventry v Swindon; Crewe v Wycombe; Forest
Green v Cambridge; Luton v Morecambe;
Mansfield v Cheltenham; Notts County v Exeter;
Stevenage v Carlisle; Yeovil v Chesterfield.
P
Luton......................27
Notts County ......... 27
Accrington .............26
Wycombe...............27
Newport County .... 28
Exeter.....................26
Lincoln City............27
Mansfield...............27
Coventry.................27
Swindon.................26
Colchester..............28
Cambridge..............27
Carlisle...................27
Crawley..................28
Stevenage..............27
Cheltenham............28
Grimsby..................28
Port Vale................28
Morecambe............27
Crewe.....................27
Yeovil.....................27
Chesterfield...........28
Forest Green..........27
Barnet....................27
W D L F A GD Pts
16 6 5 62 27 35 54
14 9 4 46 28 18 51
14 4 8 44 30 14 46
13 7 7 49 36 13 46
12 9 7 39 32 7 45
14 3 9 36 32 4 45
12 8 7 37 26 11 44
11 11 5 38 29 9 44
13 5 9 28 19 9 44
14 2 10 39 34 5 44
11 8 9 37 34 3 41
10 8 9 25 31 -6 38
10 7 10 38 37 1 37
10 6 12 28 33 -5 36
9 7 11 37 40 -3 34
9 7 12 37 41 -4 34
9 7 12 27 38 -11 34
9 5 14 30 36 -6 32
7 8 12 27 37 -10 29
9 2 16 29 42 -13 29
7 7 13 37 48 -11 28
6 6 16 28 51 -23 24
6 5 16 26 48 -22 23
5 5 17 26 41 -15 20
Vanarama National League: Sutton Utd v Dag
and Red (12.30); AFC Fylde v Macclesfield;
Aldershot v Ebbsfleet; Boreham Wood v
Dover; Chester v Gateshead; Halifax v Leyton
Orient; Guiseley v Barrow; Hartlepool v
Wrexham; Maidstone v Eastleigh; Solihull
Moors v Woking; Torquay v Bromley; Tranmere
v Maidenhead.
P
Macclesfield...........29
Aldershot...............29
Sutton United........29
W
16
14
14
D
7
9
7
L F A GD Pts
6 38 26 12 55
6 46 30 16 51
8 42 34 8 49
Wrexham ............... 28
Tranmere ............... 29
Boreham Wood......29
Dover Athletic ....... 29
Dag & Red .............. 29
Bromley..................29
Ebbsfleet Utd.........29
AFC Fylde...............28
Maidenhead Utd .... 29
Maidstone Utd.......28
Eastleigh................29
Woking...................28
FC Halifax .............. 29
Hartlepool..............28
Gateshead..............26
Leyton Orient.........29
Barrow ................... 29
Chester...................28
Solihull Moors........29
Guiseley ................. 28
Torquay..................29
13
13
12
11
12
12
10
11
9
9
8
10
8
8
7
8
7
5
6
4
4
9
8
11
12
9
8
12
9
11
11
13
5
10
9
11
8
10
11
6
10
8
6
8
6
6
8
9
7
8
9
8
8
13
11
11
8
13
12
12
17
14
17
31
43
40
38
46
46
41
45
37
35
42
38
31
31
32
35
36
25
26
26
24
22
26
29
23
35
37
33
38
40
40
43
44
38
38
28
42
40
44
45
52
47
9
17
11
15
11
9
8
7
-3
-5
-1
-6
-7
-7
4
-7
-4
-19
-19
-26
-23
48
47
47
45
45
44
42
42
38
38
37
35
34
33
32
32
31
26
24
22
20
Vanarama National League North: Telford v
Nuneaton; Alfreton v Leamington; Blyth
Spartans v FC Utd of Manchester; Bradford
PA v Gainsborough; Curzon Ashton v
Kidderminster; Darlington v Chorley; North
Ferriby v Boston; Salford v Harrogate;
Southport v Stockport; Tamworth v Brackley;
York v Spennymoor. South: Bath v Concord
Rangers; Bognor Regis v Wealdstone; Braintree
v Hemel Hempstead; Chippenham v Dartford;
East Thurrock v Oxford City; Eastbourne v St
Albans; Hampton and Richmond v Hunderford;
Havant and Waterlooville v Gloucester; Poole v
Welling; Weston-Super-Mare v Chelmsford;
Whitehawk v Truro.
William Hill Scottish Cup: Fourth round:
Aberdeen v St Mirren (12.15); Albion v St
Johnstone; Alloa v Dundee Utd; Ayr v Arbroath;
Celtic v Brechin; Dundee v Inverness;
Dunfermline v Morton; East Fife v Brora
Rangers; Kilmarnock v Ross County; Livingston
v Falkirk; Motherwell v Hamilton; Queen of
South v Partick.
Ladbrokes Scottish League One: Stranraer v
Raith. League Two: Berwick v Elgin; Montrose v
Clyde; Stirling v Edinburgh City.
Rugby union
Kick-off 2.0 unless stated
European Champions Cup: Pool two (3.15):
Clermont Auvergne v Ospreys; Saracens v
Northampton. Pool three (1.0): Glasgow v
Exeter; Montpellier v Leinster. Pool five (5.30):
Benetton v Bath; Scarlets v Toulon.
European Challenge Cup: Pool one: Dragons v
Bordeaux-Begles
(3.0);
Enisei-STM
v
Newcastle (10.0). Pool two (5.0): Lyons v
Cardiff Blues; Toulouse v Sale. Pool three: Zebre
v Agen. Pool four: Krasny Yar v London Irish
(1.0). Pool five (2.30): Brive v Worcester;
Connacht v Oyonnax.
British and Irish Cup: Bedford v Nottingham;
Leinster A v Doncaster (3.0); Newport Dragons
v London Scottish; Yorkshire Carnegie v Jersey;
Richmond v Ealing; Cornish Pirates v Hartpury;
Scarlets v Ulster A.
National League One: Caldy v Darlington MP;
Hull Ionians v Blackheath; Old Elthamians v
Cambridge; Ampthill v Bishop’s Stortford
(2.15); Moseley v Old Albanian (3.0); Coventry
v Esher (3.0); Plymouth Albion v Loughborough
Students (3.0); Rosslyn Park v Fylde (3.0).
National League Two North: Blaydon P
Luctonians P; Leicester Lions v Macclesfield;
Sheffield Tigers v Hinckley; Wharfedale v
Sheffield; Sale v South Leicester (2.15);
Sedgley Park v Tynedale (2.30); Chester v
Stourbridge (3.0); Huddersfield v Otley (3.0).
South: Barnstaple v Canterbury; Redruth v
Taunton Titans; Wimbledon v Bury St
Edmunds; Broadstreeet v Henley (2.30);
Cinderford v Redingensians (2.30); Old
Redcliffians v Clifton (2.30); Chinnor v
Worthing (3.0); London Irish Wild Geese v
Tonbridge Juddian (3.0).
Women: Tyrrells Premier 15s: Darlington
Mowden Park v Harlequins (2.0); Wasps v
Saracens (2.0); Worcester v Richmond (Sixways
stadium, 2.0); Gloucester-Hartpury v Bristol
(Hartpury College, 2.30); Firwood Waterloo v
Loughborough (Memorial Ground, 4.45).
Tomorrow
Snooker
Snooker
Alexandra Palace, London: Dafabet Masters.
Alexandra Palace, London: Dafabet Masters.
Bristol 68 Cardiff Blues 0; Connacht A 3
Rotherham Titans 27.
Quarter-finals: J Trump (Eng) bt S Murphy (Eng)
6-4; J Higgins (Scot) bt R Day (Wales) 6-1.
Cricket
Tennis
Second one-day international, Brisbane:
Australia v England: scoreboard on page 2
Fifth one-day international, Wellington: New
Zealand 271-7 (M J Guptill 100, L R P L Taylor 59;
Rumman Raees 3-67); Pakistan 256 (Haris
Sohail 63, Shadab Khan 54; M J Henry 4-53,
M J Santner 4-30). New Zealand won by 15 runs
and won five-match series 5-0.
Tri-series, Dhaka: Bangladesh 320-7 (Tamim
Iqbal 84, Shakib Al Hasan 67, Mushfiqur Rahim
62; N L T C Perera 3-60); Sri Lanka 157 (N L T C
Perera 29; Shakib 3-47, Rubel Hossain 2-20).
Bangladesh won by 163 runs.
Australian Open, Melbourne
Third round (seeds in brackets): Men: K Edmund
(GB) bt N Basilashvili (Geo) 7-6 (7-0), 3-6, 4-6,
6-0, 7-5; (10) P Carreno-Busta (Sp) bt (23) G
Muller (Lux) 7-6 (7-4), 4-6, 7-5, 7-5; (3) G
Dimitrov (Bul) bt (30) A Rublev (Russ) 6-3, 4-6,
6-4, 6-4; (24) D Schwartzman (Arg) bt A
Dolgopolov (Ukr) 6-7 (1-7), 6-2, 6-3, 6-3;
A Seppi (It) bt I Karlovic (Cro) 6-3, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7
(3-7), 6-7 (5-7), 9-7; (1) R Nadal (Sp) bt (28) D
Dzumhur (Bos-Herz) 6-1, 6-3, 6-1; (17) N
Kyrgios (Aus) bt (15) J-W Tsonga (Fr) 7-6 (7-5),
4-6, 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5); (6) M Cilic (Cro) bt
R Harrison (US) 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).
Women: P Martic (Cro) bt L Kumkhum (Thai)
6-3, 3-6, 7-5; D Allertova (Cz) bt M Linette
(Pol) 6-1, 6-4; E Mertens (Bel) bt A Cornet (Fr)
7-5, 6-4; (4) E Svitolina (Ukr) bt M Kostyuk
(Ukr) 6-2, 6-2; (19) M Rybarikova (Slovakia)
bt K Bondarenko (Ukr) 7-5, 3-6, 6-1; C Suarez
(Sp) bt K Kanepi (Est) 3-6, 6-1, 6-3; (32) A
Kontaveit (Est) bt (7) J Ostapenko (Lat) 6-3,
1-6, 6-3; (2) C Wozniacki (Den) bt (30) K
Bertens (Neth) 6-4, 6-3.
Football
Premier League: Southampton v Tottenham (4.0).
William Hill Scottish Cup: Fourth round:
Fraserburgh v Rangers (12.0); Hearts v
Hibernian (2.05).
Rugby union
European Champions Cup: Pool one (3.15): La
Rochelle v Harlequins; Wasps v Ulster. Pool four
(1.0): Leicester v Racing 92; Munster v Castres.
Results
Football
Sky Bet Championship
Derby
(0) 0
Bristol City
(0) 0
26,525
Sky Bet League Two
Newport Co
(2) 2
Crawley Town (0) 1
Amond 40
Demetriou 44 (pen)
Smith 48
5,741
Rugby union
European Challenge Cup: Pool three
Gloucester
24 Pau
34
Gloucester: Tries: Thrush, Braley, Polledri.
Conversions: Twelvetrees 3. Penalty goal:
Twelvetrees. Pau: Tries: Armitage, Halai,
Adriaanse, Ramsay. Conversions: Slade 4.
Penalty goals: Slade 2. HT: 7-13.
Pau
Gloucester
Agen
Zebre
P W
6 6
6 4
5 1
5 0
D
0
0
0
0
L
F
A BP Pts
0 207 125 5 29
2 253 139 5 21
4 118 182 2 6
5 95 227 3 3
British and Irish Cup: Munster A 27 Ospreys 0;
Golf
PGA Tour: CareerBuilder Challenge, California,
United States: Leading first-round scores (par
72, US unless stated): 62: J Rahm (Sp). 63: J
Kokrak; A Landry; A Cook. 64: A Wise; B Hossler;
B Harkins; M Piller. 65: B Harman; T Gooch;
W Bryan; J Vegas (Ven); N Watney; G Murray.
Snooker
Alexandra Palace, London: Dafabet Masters:
the times | Saturday January 20 2018
23
2G S
Sport
138
Lizzie Kelly (3)
6 110-02 NIGHT OF SIN 30 (S) N Williams 5-10-11
140
A Tinkler
7 O-1146 WHATMORE 19 (H,G) H Daly 6-10-11
140
T Humphries (7)
8 6-2310 JABULANI 49 (D,S) N Twiston-Davies 5-10-6
146
9 416-33 CROSSED MY MIND 42 (BF,S) A Moore (Ire) 6-10-3 Jonjo O'Neill (7)
411201
140
THORPE 19 (T,P,D,G,S) Miss L Russell 8-10-3
B Campbell (5)
10
142
M Bastyan (5)
11 32-221 OXWICH BAY 33 (D,S) E Williams 6-10-3
146
S Houlihan (7)
12 223255 MAN OF PLENTY 28 (T,V,D,G) Mrs S Leech 9-10-2
146
A Coleman
13 0-1203 VIVAS 25 (T,D,G,S) C Longsdon 7-10-0
126
R Patrick (5)
14 4-3305 MONTY'S AWARD 14 (H,G) C Longsdon 6-10-0
4-1 Jenkins, 6-1 Crossed My Mind, Le Breuil, Oxwich Bay, 9-1 Night Of Sin, 12-1 Air Horse One,
Burbank, 14-1 Jabulani, 16-1 Man Of Plenty, Thorpe, 20-1 Caid du Lin, Vivas, 25-1 others.
Ascot
Rob Wright
12.40 Nayati
3.00 Minella Daddy
1.15 Crievehill
3.35 Un De Sceaux
1.50 Graceful Legend
4.05 Santini
2.25 Crossed My Mind (nb)
Thunderer: 1.50 La Bague Au Roi (nap). 2.25 Oxwich Bay.
Going: soft (good to soft in places)
Racing UK
12.40
Horse Comes First Juvenile Hurdle
Wright choice: Crossed My Mind lacked the pace to land a blow when third
at Sandown and this stiffer test will suit Dangers: Oxwich Bay, Le Breuil
(4-Y-O: £6,758: 1m 7f 152y) (6 runners)
1 NAYATI 21 (D,S) A King 11-4
W Hutchinson v122
1
41 OISTRAKH LE NOIR (S) B Pauling 11-4
-D Jacob
2
-ET
MOI
ALORS
G
L
Moore
10-12
Josh Moore
3
0 LEORO 31 (T) C Mann 10-12
70
N Fehily
4
F4 SPECIAL RELATION 21 H Morrison 10-12
109
D Crosse
5
-HARMONISE 85F (H) Sheena West 10-5
M Goldstein
6
5-4 Nayati, 6-4 Oistrakh Le Noir, 6-1 Et Moi Alors, 12-1 Special Relation, 25-1 Harmonise, Leoro.
1.15
3.00
1.50
olbg.com Mares' Hurdle
132
135
134
127
136
128
v141
Wright choice: Minella Daddy, off since striking into himself in grade one
company at Kempton, goes well here Dangers: Acting Lass, Tenor Nivernais
3.35
(Grade II: £28,475: 2m 7f 118y) (6)
Wright choice: Un De Sceaux is an outstanding chaser and will be hard to
beat as he bids for a third win in this race
Danger: Brain Power
4.05
Rob Wright’s choice: Graceful Legend stayed on well at Cheltenham and
has been crying out for this stiffer test
Danger: La Bague Au Roi
Ascot Spring Garden Show
Holloway's Handicap Hurdle
40-430
41-001
242-06
11P-52
310220
AIR HORSE ONE 28 (CD,G,S) H Fry 7-11-12
JENKINS 7 (B,G,S) N Henderson 6-11-8
BURBANK 31 (P,BF,G,S) N Henderson 6-11-7
LE BREUIL 42 (D,BF,S) B Pauling 6-11-4
CAID DU LIN 28 (T,P,D,G,S) Dr R Newland 6-11-0
N Fehily
J Bowen (5)
J McGrath
D Jacob
C Hammond (7)
Lingfield Park
Rob Wright
12.20 Kreb’s Cycle
12.50 Court House
1.25 Venetian Proposal
2.00 Ginger Lady
Going: standard
Draw: no advantage
2.35 Lawless Secret
3.10 American Gigolo
3.40 Cosmic Love
4.10 Secret Strategy
At The Races
12.20 Handicap (£5,531: 1m 1y) (9)
1 (4) /004- CHESTER STREET 98 (H,D) R Charlton 5-9-9
A McNamara (3)
2 (7) 000-3 MR BOSSY BOOTS 3 (P,C) Mrs A Perrett 7-9-7 J Haynes
3 (5) 45-54 PEARL SPECTRE 3 (P,CD) Phil McEntee 7-9-7
Nicola Currie (5)
J Duern (3)
4 (6) 400-0 KADRIZZI 15 (H,C) D Ivory 5-9-4
M Harley
5 (3) 0405- GOTHIC EMPIRE 38 R Rowe 6-9-2
Jane Elliott (5)
6 (8) 2104- INTENSE STYLE 64 L Eyre 6-9-2
7 (2) 2010- BRISTOL MISSILE 38 (B) R Hannon 4-9-0 T Marquand
O Murphy
8 (9) 4200- BRIYOUNI 113 (D) R Beckett 5-8-13
S Donohoe
9 (1) 2020- KREB'S CYCLE 35 I Williams 4-8-11
3-1 Chester Street, 4-1 Intense Style, 5-1 Mr Bossy Boots, 6-1 others.
12.50 Handicap (3-Y-O: £7,246: 1m 1y) (4)
T J Murphy
1 (3) 1231- MOTOWN MICK 31 (C,D) R Hannon 9-7
R Havlin
2 (4) 62-1 COURT HOUSE 16 (D) J Gosden 9-1
S A Gray
3 (2) 100-5 BUNGEE JUMP 16 K A Ryan 8-4
4 (1) 6012- CRISTAL PALLAS CAT 20 R Ingram 8-3 Rhiain Ingram (5)
Evens Court House, 5-2 Motown Mick, 3-1 Cristal Pallas Cat, 20-1 Bungee Jump.
1.25
Handicap (£3,105: 1m 2f) (11)
135-1 ROCK ICON 7 (H) J Hughes 5-9-13
H Burns (7)
514-3 BROUGHTONS STORY 12 (D) P McBride 4-9-8 S Donohoe
54-01 BETSALOTTIE 7 (CD) J Bridger 5-9-8
M Godwin (3)
0336- ATTAIN 21 (CD) A Watson 9-9-7
E Greatrex
3036- BLOODSWEATANDTEARS 21 W Knight 10-9-6
K Fox
6105- ESTIBDAAD 21 (T,CD) P Butler 8-9-5
C Shepherd (3)
2/60- MONDAY CLUB 35J (B,D) D Ffrench Davis 5-9-3
Nicola Currie (5)
8 (6) 1000- UNSUSPECTED GIRL 56 (T,D) J M Bradley 5-9-3 L Morris
9 (8) 333-6 VENETIAN PROPOSAL 14 (P) Miss Z Davison 4-9-1
K O'Neill
10 (3) 000-0 SHARP OPERATOR 9 (H) C Wallis 5-8-8 C Bennett (3)
11 (9) 655-0 TILSWORTH LUKEY 17 J Jenkins 5-8-8 Gina Mangan (7)
3-1 Rock Icon, 9-2 Broughtons Story, 5-1 Attain, Betsalottie, 6-1 others.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
(5)
(10)
(2)
(4)
(7)
(1)
(11)
2.00
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
(4)
(3)
(8)
(1)
(7)
(5)
(10)
Handicap (£3,105: 1m 2f) (10)
3063- ZEPHYROS 21 (D) D Bridgwater 7-9-10 P Bridgwater (7)
064-1 KARAM ALBAARI 7 (V,CD) J Jenkins 10-9-8
M Harley
2032- RELEVANT 21 (H,T) S C Williams 4-9-8
A Jones (3)
046-4 PIVOTAL FLAME 14 (D) P Phelan 5-9-6 Paddy Bradley (5)
640- GINGER LADY 38 M Tompkins 4-9-5
J Haynes
0/00- EPICURIOUS 253 (P) B Meehan 4-9-5
O Murphy
000-0 EMBANKMENT 7 (CD) M Attwater 9-9-3
R Havlin
Rosling King British EBF Novices'
Hurdle (£6,758: 2m 5f 141y) (9)
1-1 SANTINI 50 (S) N Henderson 6-11-8
N De Boinville v131
1
11 VINNDICATION 48 (G,S) K Bailey 5-11-8
127
S Bowen
2
12- CHAMP 329 (BF,S) N Henderson 6-11-2
-A Coleman
3
122
Doubtful
4 0-F425 IMPERIAL ELOQUENCE 49 (S) F O'Brien 6-11-2
11-23 JUST A STING 42 (BF,S) H Fry 6-11-2
125
N Fehily
5
100
L Aspell
6 F-4300 LORD GETAWAY 17 (S) H J Evans 6-11-2
16/ MERE IRONMONGER 644 (BF,G) B Powell 6-11-2
-B Powell
7
118
8 21-304 OVERWORKDUNDERPAID 42 (S) C Longsdon 5-11-2 Paul O'Brien (5)
1/ QUARRY LEADER 643P (S) A Hales 7-11-2
-K K Woods
9
11-8 Santini, 4-1 Just A Sting, Vinndication, 5-1 Champ, 20-1 Mere Ironmonger, 25-1 others.
ITV4
(Grade III: £28,475: 2m 3f 58y) (14)
1
2
3
4
5
Royal Salute Whisky Clarence
ITV4
House Chase (Grade I: £85,425: 2m 167y) (5)
162
N De Boinville
1 105-1U BRAIN POWER 42 (C,D,G,S) N Henderson 7-11-7
156
N Fehily
2 2554-P KYLEMORE LOUGH 63 (D,BF,G,S) H Fry 9-11-7
164
N Scholfield
3 3-2245 SAN BENEDETO 42 (T,P,CD,F,G,S) P Nicholls 7-11-7
148
S Bowen
4 11-121 SPEREDEK 14 (P,D,S) N Hawke 7-11-7
P Townend v172
5 1112-1 UN DE SCEAUX 41 (CD,G,S) W Mullins (Ire) 10-11-7
4-7 Un De Sceaux, 5-2 Brain Power, 11-1 Kylemore Lough, 16-1 Speredek, 20-1 San Benedeto.
ITV4
N Fehily v153
1 061-11 LA BAGUE AU ROI 54 (D,G,S) W Greatrex 7-11-4
149
W Hutchinson
2 32-22F DUSKY LEGEND 50 (G,S) A King 8-11-0
146
K K Woods
3 1-3613 GRACEFUL LEGEND 35 (P,C,G,S) B Case 7-11-0
140
L Aspell
4 110-33 HITHERJACQUES LADY 14 (G,S) O Sherwood 6-11-0
22-211
141
MIDNIGHT
TUNE
24
(T,S)
A
Honeyball
7-11-0
A
Coleman
5
143
S Bowen
6 U4-1U2 SAINTE LADYLIME 17 (D,S) K Bailey 7-11-0
Evens La Bague Au Roi, 11-4 Dusky Legend, 6-1 Graceful Legend, 7-1 Midnight Tune, 12-1 others.
2.25
145
143
144
146
v148
S Donohoe
8 (6) 0060- BEAST 74 (T,V) J Farrelly 4-9-1
Jane Elliott (5)
9 (2) 000-0 ROYAL RETTIE 10 (H) P Butler 6-8-8
M Godwin (3)
10 (9) 6000- FAIRY MIST 21 (V,C) J Bridger 11-8-8
3-1 Karam Albaari, Relevant, 9-2 Zephyros, 6-1 Pivotal Flame, 13-2 others.
2.35
Handicap (£11,828: 1m 4f) (6)
1 (5) 5030- FIRE FIGHTING 252 (B,D) M Johnston 7-9-11 F Norton
Fran Berry
2 (6) 1224/ GWAFA 461J (D) P Webber 7-8-13
K Shoemark
3 (4) 5122- AL HAMDANY 20 (D,BF) M Botti 4-8-13
L Morris
4 (3) /023- BURCAN 58 (CD) M Botti 6-8-12
5 (2) 4410- GRAND INQUISITOR 25 (P) I Williams 6-8-9 S Donohoe
R Powell
6 (1) 320-3 LAWLESS SECRET 18 (H) S Crisford 4-8-4
2-1 Al Hamdany, 11-4 Burcan, 3-1 Lawless Secret, 6-1 Fire Fighting, 12-1 others.
3.10
Maiden Stakes (£3,752: 1m 4f) (8)
AMERICAN GIGOLO 77J (H,T) H Fry 6-9-8
Fran Berry
1 (5)
GIVE HIM TIME 71J (T) N Gifford 7-9-8
T J Murphy
2 (1)
HAAFAPIECE 30J Mrs P Sly 5-9-8
C Shepherd (3)
3 (2)
REEDWAY Mrs L Mongan 5-9-8
O Murphy
4 (6)
4- BARRSBROOK 21 G L Moore 4-9-5
H Crouch (3)
5 (8)
T Marquand
6 (7) 3333- FEARSOME 94 N Littmoden 4-9-5
J Mitchell
7 (3) 2243- GAKKU 53 (V,BF) R Varian 4-9-0
6- KERRE 100 W Jarvis 4-9-0
C Bishop
8 (4)
11-8 Gakku, 11-4 American Gigolo, 9-2 Fearsome, 8-1 Barrsbrook, 12-1 others.
3.40
ITV4
161
1 43120- TENOR NIVERNAIS 287 (CD,G,S) Miss V Williams 11-11-12 A Coleman
161
M Bastyan (5)
2 P-5PP2 SHANTOU FLYER 19 (T,P,D,G,S) R Hobson 8-11-8
156
N Fehily
3 124-11 ACTING LASS 9 (T,D,S) H Fry 7-10-12
155
Mr Z Baker (5)
4 0-PU11 ROBINSHILL 54 (T,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 7-10-12
161
S Bowen
5 2112P- MINELLA DADDY 390 (B,C,G,S) P Bowen 8-10-8
158
R Day (3)
6 222101 GUITAR PETE 35 (D,G,S) N Richards 8-10-8
J McGrath v163
7 50-236 KILCREA VALE 35 (D,BF,G,S) N Henderson 8-10-6
159
D R Fox
8 13-111 FOREST DES AIGLES 36 (T,D,S) Miss L Russell 7-10-2
158
L Aspell
9 -53510 FORTUNATE GEORGE 28 (V,CD,G,S) Miss E Lavelle 8-10-2
5-2 Acting Lass, 5-1 Guitar Pete, 11-2 Robinshill, 6-1 Shantou Flyer, 8-1 Kilcrea Vale, 9-1 others.
Thames Materials Amateur Riders'
Handicap Chase (£9,608: 2m 2f 175y) (7)
Mr D Maxwell (3)
1 213651 CHEF D'EQUIPE 14 (H,S) P Hobbs 6-11-12
Mr Z Baker
2 0-0132 CRIEVEHILL 21 (S) N Twiston-Davies 6-11-8
Miss Aine O'Connor (3)
3 25B-01 DRUMCLIFF 58 (T,S) H Fry 7-11-8
4 33-214 FLAMING CHARMER 43 (T,D,S) C Tizzard 10-11-6 Mr J L Thomas (7)
5 4-0326 RED DEVIL STAR 28 (T,C,S) Miss S Smith 8-10-13 Mr A Ferguson (3)
Mr H Nugent (5)
6 424U-3 UHLAN BUTE 14 (S) Miss V Williams 10-10-12
7 03P/4- RUSSBOROUGH 624 (D,G) Miss V Williams 9-10-10 Miss L Turner (7)
11-4 Drumcliff, 100-30 Chef D'Equipe, 5-1 Crievehill, 6-1 Flaming Charmer, 13-2 others.
bet365 Handicap Chase
(£46,920: 2m 5f 8y) (9)
Fillies' Novice Stakes
(3-Y-O: £3,752: 1m 1y) (9)
1 (7) 5-1 MORNING HAS BROKEN 14 D Elsworth 9-7 Hollie Doyle
H Crouch (3)
2 (2) 01U- INDISCRETION 59 (D) J Portman 9-4
AIGLETTE L Dace 9-0
K O'Neill
3 (6)
6- CHLORIS 52 J Gosden 9-0
R Havlin
4 (5)
CORALIE W Muir 9-0
M Dwyer
5 (9)
2COSMIC
LOVE
31
W
Haggas
9-0
Georgia
Cox (3)
6 (4)
4 DOLLY MIXTURE 14 John Best 9-0
Nicola Currie (5)
7 (3)
5- FLORA TRISTAN 36 (H) M Botti 9-0
L Morris
8 (1)
0- NESS OF BRODGAR 77 M Tompkins 9-0
J Haynes
9 (8)
6-4 Morning Has Broken, 7-4 Cosmic Love, 4-1 Chloris, 14-1 others.
Rob Wright
12.55 Reverant Cust
3.15 Rock The Kasbah (nap)
1.30 Testify
3.45 Lake Field
2.05 Lostintranslation
4.15 Apollo Creed
2.40 Ch’tibello
Going: heavy
Racing UK
6 Inspection 8am
12.55
Jockey Club Haydock Park Racing Club
Handicap Hurdle (£6,498: 1m 7f 144y) (12)
D Cook
1 6-6215 JOKE DANCER 28 (CD,S) Mrs S Smith 5-11-12
H Cobden
2 0422-5 BRYNMAWR 11 C Tizzard 8-11-12
S Coltherd (5)
3 P-3245 GRAYSTOWN 18 W S Coltherd 6-11-12
F O'Toole (3)
4 133-06 REVERANT CUST 52 (T,D,S) P Atkinson 7-11-7
R Johnson
5 -54316 CHOZEN 56 (H,S) T Vaughan 6-11-5
H Skelton
6 4-6F05 ATLANTIC STORM 13 (T,S) D Skelton 6-11-4
J Best
7 -00U46 LORD FENDALE 17 (H,D,G) T Vaughan 9-11-2
3-43 LE FRANK 18 (T) Miss L Russell 6-11-2
T Scudamore
8
A P Cawley
9 3-5U20 AKULA 9 (P,D,G,S) B Leavy 11-10-11
D R Fox
10 66P033 BINGO D'OLIVATE 59 (H,D,S) G Anderson 7-10-10
D England
11 1-000 WESTERN MORNING 16 (T,G) O Greenall 5-10-10
Ryan Winks (5)
12 006F34 HARTSIDE 9 (T,D,S) P Winks 9-10-2
11-2 Le Frank, 6-1 Brynmawr, 13-2 Joke Dancer, Reverant Cust, 7-1 Chozen, 8-1 others.
1.30
2.05
4-411 FIRST FLOW 21 (D,S) K Bailey 6-11-4
D Bass v144
1
201 LISDOONVARNA LAD 24 (D,S) C Longsdon 6-11-4
131
J J Burke
2
4-221 LOSTINTRANSLATION 50 (D,S) C Tizzard 6-11-4
141
H Cobden
3
21-51
127
MCGOWAN'S
PASS
29
(D,S)
A
Thomson
7-11-4
H
Brooke
4
138
D Cook
5 20-122 MIDNIGHT SHADOW 42 (D,S) Mrs S Smith 5-11-4
140
W Kennedy
6 42/611 WATERLORD 21 (CD,G,S) D McCain 7-11-4
2-1 Waterlord, 5-2 First Flow, 11-4 Lostintranslation, 9-1 Midnight Shadow, 10-1 others.
Handicap (£3,752: 6f 1y) (12)
1 (1) 5601- SECRET STRATEGY 151 Miss J Feilden 4-9-7
Shelley Birkett (3)
2 (6) 241-3 INDIAN AFFAIR 7 (T,B,CD) J M Bradley 8-9-7
Kerrie Raybould (7)
T J Murphy
3 (4) 6300- PICKET LINE 134 (D) G Deacon 6-9-6
4 (5) 3406- YORKEE MO SABEE 43 (H,T,D) S C Williams 5-9-6
A Jones (3)
C Bennett (3)
5 (2) 3021- GOLD CLUB 20 (CD) L Carter 7-9-5
Doubtful
6 (11) 240-0 DUKE COSIMO 16 (D) M Herrington 8-9-4
7 (12) 000-0 ANONYMOUS JOHN 7 (D) D Ffrench Davis 6-9-4 L Keniry
8 (3) 502-2 STRATEGIC HEIGHTS 10 (V,D) J Osborne 9-9-3
D C Costello
L Morris
9 (10) 5661- MET BY MOONLIGHT 20 (C) R Hodges 4-9-3
10 (9) 001-0 COMPTON PRINCE 10 (B,CD) J M Bradley 9-9-0 F Norton
K Fox
11 (7) 0005- MOSSGO 28 (T,C) John Best 8-9-0
C Bishop
12 (8) 035-1 BRIDGE BUILDER 10 (V,CD) P Hedger 8-9-0
4-1 Strategic Heights, 9-2 Bridge Builder, 5-1 Gold Club, 7-1 others.
2.40
Unibet Champion Hurdle Trial
Hurdle (Grade II: £42,713: 1m 7f 144y) (4)
Novices' Hurdle (£5,458: 2m 3f) (7)
Novices' Handicap Chase
C Ring (3)
1 2F556 THE GIPPER 28 (D) E Williams 8-11-13
2 R4655 MASTER OF VERSE 17 (D) Miss V Williams 9-11-8 R Dunne
H Bannister
3 6-201 ENOLA GAY 23 (D) Miss V Williams 5-11-5
C Poste
4 0-212 VOCALISER 9 (D) R Dickin 6-10-12
5-4 Vocaliser, 5-2 Enola Gay, 9-2 The Gipper, 5-1 Master Of Verse.
Handicap Hurdle(£11,574: 2m 3f) (6)
Bryony Frost (5)
1 F36-2 IRVING 49 (C) P Nicholls 10-11-12
G Sheehan
2 003-2 BOITE 25 W Greatrex 8-11-2
1/111
MONBEG
LEGEND
177
(D)
N
Henderson
8-10-10
N Curtis (5)
3
H Bannister
4 51P3- COLD MARCH 278 (D) H Whittington 8-10-7
N P Madden
5 /0-03 GENERAL GINGER 61 (T,D) H Fry 8-10-0
P Brennan
6 44P6/ KINGS LAD 641 (T,D) C Tizzard 11-10-0
7-4 Monbeg Legend, 11-4 Boite, 3-1 Irving, 7-1 General Ginger, 10-1 others.
Novices' Handicap Chase
630-4 GEORDIE DES CHAMPS 70 (BF) Miss R Curtis 7-11-8
N P Madden
A Johns
2 03-F4 DADSINTROUBLE 31 (D) T Vaughan 8-11-6
R McLernon
3 3445P MATORICO 70 Jonjo O'Neill 7-10-12
4 -2033 CAPTAIN BUCK'S 25 (T,P,C,D) P Nicholls 6-10-12
Mr L Williams (7)
6-4 Captain Buck's, 5-2 Geordie Des Champs, 3-1 Dadsintrouble, 5-1 Matorico.
1
Novices' Hurdle
(£5,458: 2m 104y) (10)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
ITV4
1 4-1422 THE NEW ONE 25 (CD,G,S) N Twiston-Davies 10-11-10 S Twiston-Davies
H Skelton
2 5132-4 CH'TIBELLO 35 (CD,S) D Skelton 7-11-4
R Johnson
3 23-232 CLYNE 28 (CD,BF,S) E Williams 8-11-4
Matt Griffiths
4 10-105 UNISON 24 (D,G,S) J Scott 8-11-4
Evens The New One, 7-4 Ch'Tibello, 4-1 Clyne, 33-1 Unison.
(£6,758: 2m 12y) (4)
3.25
ITV4
152
S Twiston-Davies
1 2-0430 PTIT ZIG 28 (B,D,G,S) P Nicholls 9-11-10
135
2 0/20-0 CAROLE'S DESTRIER 49 (D,G,S) N Mulholland 10-11-6 T Scudamore
153
R Johnson
3 4126-1 ROCK THE KASBAH 98 (C,G,S) P Hobbs 8-11-6
157
C Deutsch (3)
4 41-P36 YALA ENKI 28 (C,D,S) Miss V Williams 8-11-4
P2-361
156
CAPTAIN
REDBEARD
28
(C,G,S)
W
S
Coltherd
9-11-1
S
Coltherd
(5)
5
157
A E Lynch
6 0-3320 FINE RIGHTLY 20 (H,D,S) S Crawford (Ire) 10-11-0
158
J Best
7 00-513 WALK IN THE MILL 28 (S) R Walford 8-10-12
D Cook v161
8 135-P1 HAINAN 56 (C,D,S) Mrs S Smith 7-10-11
157
H Brooke
9 P/2P-3 HIGHLAND LODGE 42 (P,C,D,S) J Moffatt 12-10-9
156
J Bargary (3)
10 -2F4U1 TINTERN THEATRE 24 (S) N Twiston-Davies 7-10-9
160
H Cobden
11 220-26 THE DUTCHMAN 36 (T,BF,S) C Tizzard 8-10-6
157
D R Fox
12 13-111 FOREST DES AIGLES 36 (T,S) Miss L Russell 7-10-4
160
D Bass
13 526-23 KNOCKANRAWLEY 21 (P,D,S) K Bailey 10-10-4
5-1 Tintern Theatre, 11-2 Rock The Kasbah, 7-1 Hainan, Walk In The Mill, 15-2 Yala Enki, 8-1 others.
Wright choice: Rock The Kasbah made a pleasing reappearance at Chepstow
and will relish this test
Dangers: Tintern Theatre, Knockanrawley
3.45
Watch Racing UK In HD Handicap Chase
R Johnson
1 15-043 TORNADO IN MILAN 33 (D,S) E Williams 12-11-12
H Skelton
2 121136 AZZURI 7 (T,D,G,S) D Skelton 6-11-12
W Kennedy
3 P-P531 UBALTIQUE 28 (T,B,CD,S) D McCain 10-11-8
D Bass
4 00-211 LAKE FIELD 23 (D,S) K Bailey 9-11-2
T Kelly
5 311-24 HALCYON DAYS 32 (P,D,G,S) R Menzies 9-10-13
11-8 Lake Field, 9-4 Ubaltique, 6-1 Halcyon Days, 7-1 Azzuri, Tornado In Milan.
124
123
130
v132
126
Peover Handicap Hurdle
(£8,123: 2m 6f 177y) (8)
123
H Skelton
1 2-2235 SHELFORD 62 (BF,S) D Skelton 9-11-12
138
D Cook
2 310-03 DE VOUS A MOI 28 (D,S) Mrs S Smith 10-11-2
138
T Scudamore
3 F0-PP2 SOUTHFIELD ROYALE 28 (G,S) N Mulholland 8-11-1
C Bewley (3) v139
4 44/U4- DONNA'S DIAMOND 427 (D,S) C Grant 9-11-1
133
S W Quinlan
5 5-5532 TANARPINO 32 (P,BF,G,S) J Candlish 7-10-12
128
6 35-133 THE HOLLOW GINGE 35 (S) N Twiston-Davies 5-10-11 S Twiston-Davies
136
H Brooke
7 0541-2 BRUICHLADDICH 18 (S) I Jardine 6-10-6
62-31 APOLLO CREED 57 (S) E Williams 6-10-5
133
R Johnson
8
5-1 Apollo Creed, De Vous A Moi, Southfield Royale, The Hollow Ginge, 11-2 Shelford, 13-2 others.
Wright choice: Lostintranslation improved for a switch to front-running
tactics at Newbury and can handle this higher grade Danger: Waterlord
(£9,357: 2m 7f 3y) (4)
4.10
Peter Marsh Handicap Chase
(Grade II £42,713: 3m 1f 125y) (13)
4.15
(Grade II: £17,085: 1m 7f 144y) (6)
1 2-166 DIAMANT BLEU 43 N Williams 5-11-12 Mr C Williams (7)
2 1-441 DAN MCGRUE 21 (T,CD) P Nicholls 6-11-8 Bryony Frost (5)
5 COTSWOLD WAY 31 P Hobbs 5-11-2
T O'Brien
3
0/ DRAMA KING 658 D Pipe 7-11-2
D Noonan
4
40 FARMER BOY 57 N Hawke 5-11-2
B Hughes
5
T Cannon
6 -4462 NOTRE AMI 25 N Gifford 7-11-2
0 TELSON BARLEY 73 G McPherson 5-11-2
C Shoemark
7
15-8 Notre Ami, 2-1 Diamant Bleu, 3-1 Dan McGrue, 13-2 others.
2.50
149
150
v157
Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington ITV4
Main Novices' Hurdle
1.05 Dan McGrue
2.50 Captain Buck’s
1.40 Vocaliser
3.25 Brianstorm
2.15 Cold March
3.55 Kauto Riko
Going: soft (heavy in places)
Racing UK
2.15
S Mulqueen
R Johnson
W Kennedy
3.15
(£9,747: 2m 67y) (5)
(Grade II: £18,224: 2m 3f 203y) (3)
1 26-313 LAKE VIEW LAD 28 (D,S) N Alexander 8-11-0
2 1333U1 POSITIVELY DYLAN 7 (D,G,S) E Williams 7-11-0
3 120-11 TESTIFY 28 (C,S) D McCain 7-11-0
8-13 Testify, 11-4 Positively Dylan, 9-2 Lake View Lad.
Rob Wright
1.40
114
109
103
113
108
99
111
100
108
112
93
v115
Altcar Novices' Chase
Taunton
1.05
Wright choice: Ch’tibello was hampered approaching the last when fourth
to My Tent Or Yours at Cheltenham and can do better Danger: The New One
Haydock Park
-5624 ANOTHER CRICK 19 (H) N Williams 5-11-2
/6U-P BLUE SIRE 19 (T,V) N Hawke 7-11-2
-5323 BRIANSTORM 31 (H) W Greatrex 6-11-2
3 DJIN CONTI H Whittington 5-11-2
1F EY UP ROCKY 25 (D) Jonjo O'Neill 5-11-2
055 IRISH PRINCE 21 D Pipe 5-11-2
P OFF THE SCALE 54 Sarah Robinson 6-11-2
T Garner (3)
T Cannon
G Sheehan
H Bannister
R McLernon
D Noonan
L Edwards
v162
161
154
133
Course specialists
Ascot: Trainers W Mullins, 4 from 12 runners, 33.3%; H Fry, 11
from 48, 22.9%; N Henderson, 24 from 120, 20.0%. Jockeys N De
Boinville, 13 from 50 rides, 26.0%; A Coleman, 13 from 81, 16.0%.
Haydock Park: Trainers P Nicholls, 12 from 51, 23.5%; T Vaughan,
3 from 13, 23.1%. Jockey C Deutsch, 4 from 12, 33.3%.
00 VOODOO DOLL 51 E Williams 5-11-2
C Ring (3)
8
C Shoemark
9 4-30P BALLINA LADY 25 G McPherson 7-10-9
6P BOMBAY RASCAL 59 R Walford 5-10-9
H Teal (7)
10
2-5 Brianstorm, 6-1 Djin Conti, Ey Up Rocky, 10-1 Another Crick, 20-1 others.
9-2 Poetic Imagination, 5-1 Mount Victoria, Short Head, Sweet Symphony,
11-2 Kath's Lustre, 6-1 No More Thrills, 12-1 others.
7.15
Maiden Fillies' Stakes
(£5,175: 1m 2f) (12)
3.55
Handicap Chase (£9,357: 2m 12y) (5)
-1420 SPACE ODDITY 50 (H,C,D) H Fry 7-11-12
K Edgar (3)
3-223 UT MAJEUR AULMES 17 (T,P,D) V Dartnall 10-11-7
C Gethings (3)
T O'Brien
3 13P-0 SANDY BEACH 11 (C,D) C Tizzard 8-11-0
B Hughes
4 123-1 KAUTO RIKO 28 (D) T Gretton 7-10-11
J Davies
5 2P-04 MR FITZROY 33 (T,D) Jo Davis 8-10-7
13-8 Kauto Riko, 3-1 Space Oddity, 100-30 Ut Majeur Aulmes, 11-2 others.
1
2
Chelmsford
Rob Wright
6.15 Berryessa
7.45 Spinning Melody
6.45 Sweet Symphony 8.15 Dor’s Law
7.15 Menuetto
8.45 Olive Mabel
Going: standard
At The Races
Draw: 5f, low numbers best
6.15
Apprentice Handicap
(£4,399: 5f) (9)
1 (3) 6150- BERRYESSA 43 (D) Rae Guest 4-9-7 Sebastian Woods (5)
E Greatrex
2 (5) 4550- ZIPEDEEDODAH 23 (T,CD) J Tuite 6-9-7
3 (7) 1146- ENTERTAINING BEN 28 (P,CD) A Murphy 5-9-6
Nicola Currie (3)
C Noble (5)
4 (6) 5205- FAST ACT 36 (P,CD) K A Ryan 6-9-6
5 (8) 1121- SWENDAB 24 (B,D) John O'Shea 10-9-4 Rossa Ryan (3)
6 (2) 04-00 AWESOME ALLAN 7 (V,D) P D Evans 4-9-1
Katherine Glenister (5)
H Crouch
7 (9) 4050- SANDFRANKSKIPSGO 28 (D) P Crate 9-9-0
8 (1) 623-0 RED STRIPES 11 (B,CD) Mrs L Williamson 6-8-13
G Malune (5)
9 (4) /050- GO CHARLIE 20 (H,D) Mrs L Williamson 7-8-7
Keelan Baker (7)
100-30 Swendab, 9-2 Fast Act, 5-1 Red Stripes, 11-2 Berryessa, 7-1 Awesome
Allan, 15-2 Zipedeedodah, 8-1 Entertaining Ben, 12-1 others.
6.45
Fillies' Novice Stakes
(£5,434: 6f) (12)
Hollie Doyle
1 (2) 00- CRAZIE MAISIE 31 B Barr 3-8-11
S W Kelly
2 (4) 02- KATH'S LUSTRE 20 R Hughes 3-8-11
MARIETTA ROBUSTI M Channon 3-8-11
C Bishop
3 (3)
Fran Berry
4 (5) 00- MARILYN M 31 (V) G Scott 3-8-11
6- MISS MOLLIE 24 J Given 3-8-11
L Morris
5 (8)
T Eaves
6 (10) 206- MOUNT VICTORIA 224 J Given 3-8-11
T Marquand
7 (11) 36- NO MORE THRILLS 85 R Hannon 3-8-11
8 (7) 0245- POETIC IMAGINATION 29 (B) J Gosden 3-8-11 R Havlin
E Greatrex
9 (6) 40- RENNY'S LADY 20 P D Evans 3-8-11
Nicola Currie (5)
10 (9) 00- SEAQUINN 108 John Best 3-8-11
4
SHORT HEAD 14 (BF) W Haggas 3-8-11
O Murphy
11(12)
12 (1) 5-2 SWEET SYMPHONY 14 (BF) M Botti 3-8-11
M M Monaghan (3)
03/ IDYLLIC 536 B Barr 5-10-0
Rossa Ryan (5)
3- CRUMBLECREEK 33 Clive Cox 4-9-13
H Crouch (3)
3-0 FROWN 10 R Beckett 4-9-13
O Murphy
46- MUNDERSFIELD 38 D Simcock 4-9-13
L Keniry
33- BEAUTIFUL MEMORY 107 (H) S bin Suroor 3-8-5
W Cox (5)
G Malune (7)
6 (8) 0-5 BLAME ME FOREVER 16 M Botti 3-8-5
BRIGHT SAFFRON G Scott 3-8-5
E Greatrex
7 (4)
0-0
CULTURE
SHOCK
14
(P)
R
Hannon
3-8-5
Hollie Doyle
8 (2)
N Mackay
9 (12) 623-3 HEATHER LARK 15 (BF) J Gosden 3-8-5
MENUETTO C Appleby 3-8-5
K O'Neill
10 (5)
4- MISS MILLA B 36 E Vaughan 3-8-5
L Morris
11(10)
0- THAMA 31 (H) Mrs I G'-Leveque 3-8-5
P P Mathers
12 (1)
3-1 Beautiful Memory, Heather Lark, 100-30 Menuetto, 10-1 others.
1
2
3
4
5
(9)
(7)
(6)
(3)
(11)
7.45
Fillies' Handicap (£7,310: 1m 2f) (5)
1 (1) 12-11 TITAN GODDESS 9 (C) Mike Murphy 6-9-12
Nicola Currie (5)
2 (3) 06-03 COILLTE CAILIN 5 (CD) D M Loughnane 8-9-7 D C Costello
3 (5) 134- SPINNING MELODY 30 (V,CD) S Crisford 4-9-6 K Shoemark
C Lee (3)
4 (4) 065-6 DAISY BERE 16 (P,D) K Burke 5-9-3
L Morris
5 (2) 066-0 INDIGO PRINCESS 12 M Appleby 5-8-7
13-8 Titan Goddess, 2-1 Spinning Melody, 4-1 Coillte Cailin, 13-2 others.
8.15
Handicap (£3,429: 1m) (10)
1 (5) 11112 SPARE PARTS 2 (C,BF) Phil McEntee 4-10-7
Nicola Currie (5)
J Duern (3)
2 (3) 524-1 DOR'S LAW 14 (P,D) D Ivory 5-9-8
W A Carson
3 (10) 645- LUNAR MIST 34 Rae Guest 4-9-7
4 (8) 4325- SATCHVILLE FLYER 22 (C) P D Evans 7-9-5 Fran Berry
O Murphy
5 (9) 005-0 STEEL HELMET 16 (P) H Bethell 4-9-4
T Eaves
6 (7) 000-3 SIMPLY CLEVER 17 (D) D Brown 5-9-0
Hollie Doyle
7 (6) 002-4 TOUCH THE CLOUDS 10 W Stone 7-9-0
L Morris
8 (1) 0604- MOWHOOB 30 (P,CD) B Barr 8-8-12
T Marquand
9 (2) 2004- LUDUAMF 37 (B) R Hannon 4-8-12
P P Mathers
10 (4) 650-0 EMIGRATED 6 (V) D Shaw 5-8-12
5-2 Spare Parts, 5-1 Dor's Law, 6-1 Lunar Mist, Satchville Flyer, 8-1 others.
8.45
Handicap (3-Y-O: £3,429: 1m) (11)
R Havlin
1 (3) 5004- GLOBAL WONDER 36 (H) E Dunlop 9-9
C Bishop
2 (10) 500-5 THE NIGHT KING 8 M Channon 9-7
O Murphy
3 (7) 650-2 AUTHENTIC ART 16 (B,BF) R Beckett 9-7
L Morris
4 (6) 33-46 WATCHING SPIRITS 8 M Appleby 9-6
C Shepherd (3)
5 (4) 600-6 BE MINDFUL 15 C Hills 9-5
J Duern (3)
6 (8) 660- OLIVE MABEL 199 D Ivory 9-3
T Marquand
7 (5) 000- BELOVED KNIGHT 31 Mrs L Mongan 9-1
Fran Berry
8 (2) 0040- CHERUBIC 123 P D Evans 8-12
9 (1) 400-0 DRAGON TATTOO 10 (P) H Palmer 8-11 Nicola Currie (5)
P P Mathers
10(11) 600-0 POLITICAL SLOT 6 (H) D Shaw 8-10
K O'Neill
11 (9) 0060- PAMMI 37 A Carson 8-7
2-1 Authentic Art, 9-2 Be Mindful, 11-2 The Night King, 13-2 others.
Yesterday’s racing results
Lingfield Park
Going: standard
12.55 (6f 1yd) 1, Quick Recovery (Charlie
Bennett, 5-1); 2, Red Snapper (9-2); 3, Summer
Thunder (8-11 fav). 6 ran. 1Nl, nk. J Boyle.
1.25 (5f 6yd) 1, Sir Hector (William Carson,
7-1); 2, Avon Green (15-8 jt-fav); 3, Hornby
(10-1). 6 ran. NR: Cool Baby. 1Nl, Kl. C Wallis.
2.00 (1m 2f) 1, Cayuga (Callum Shepherd, 20-1);
2, Jumping Jack (7-1); 3, Native Fighter (14-1).
8 ran. Nk, Kl. B Johnson.
2.30 (6f 1yd) 1, Kachy (R Kingscote, 3-1);
2, Magnus Maximus (16-1); 3, Shamsaya (8-1).
9 ran. 1Ol, 3Nl. T Dascombe.
3.05 (1m 4f) 1, Oregon Gift (Fran Berry, 12-1);
2, Malt Teaser (3-1); 3, Ban Shoof (2-1 fav).
6 ran. NR: Sanches. Nk, 1l. C Mann.
3.40 (1m 2f) 1, Roundabout Kitten (S Donohoe,
20-1); 2, Native Appeal (4-9 fav); 3, Shakour
(4-1). 8 ran. Kl, ns. D Lanigan.
Placepot: £1,732.80.
Quadpot: £203.40.
Chepstow
Going: heavy
1.05 (2m 3f 100yd hdle) 1, Scorpion Sid (G
Sheehan, 11-8 fav); 2, Snuff Box (4-1); 3, North
West Wind (7-2). 8 ran. 15l, 18l. J Snowden.
1.35 (2m 7f 131yd hdle) 1, Jammin Masters (R
Johnson, 4-7 fav); 2, Rocco (4-1); 3, Frankly
Speaking (12-1). 6 ran. 27l, 3Nl. W Greatrex.
2.10 (2m 7f 131yd ch) 1, Ramses De Teillee
(T Scudamore, 11-8 fav); 2, Rons Dream (7-4);
3, Impulsive Star (11-4). 4 ran. 7l, 3Nl. D Pipe.
2.45 (2m 3f 100yd hdle) 1, Naranja (G Sheehan,
13-8 fav); 2, Lerichi Belle (9-2); 3, Carnspindle
(4-1). 6 ran. 9l, 5l. J Snowden.
3.20 (2m 7f 131yd ch) 1, Back To The Thatch
(R Johnson, 11-4 fav); 2, Catching On (12-1);
3, Paddy The Oscar (7-1). 10 ran. NR: Only
Gorgeous. 11l, 10l. H Daly.
3.50 (2m 3f 98yd ch) 1, Becauseshesaidso
(Charlie Deutsch, 4-1 fav); 2, Kings Cross
(17-2); 3, Badilou (12-1). 13 ran. 14l, 1Kl. Miss
V Williams.
Placepot: £17.10.
Quadpot: £14.90.
Musselburgh
Going: soft
12.40 (2m 3f 81yd hdle) 1, Spectator (Alan
Johns, 9-2); 2, Morning With Ivan (10-3); 3,
Royal Mandate (10-1). 7 ran. NR: Oromo, Red
Ochre. Nk, 2Kl. T Vaughan.
1.15 (2m 7f 170yd ch) 1, Misfits (D R Fox, 11-2);
2, So Satisfied (17-2); 3, More Madness (17-2).
11 ran. 1Ol, 14l. Miss Lucinda Russell.
1.45 (1m 7f 124yd hdle) 1, Toboggan’s Fire
(W T Kennedy, 9-2); 2, Northern Beau (16-1);
3, Tokaramore (9-2). 7 ran. NR: Shipwreck. Ol,
9l. D McCain Jnr.
2.20 (1m 7f 124yd hdle) 1, Treshnish (Danny
Cook, 3-1); 2, Asum (5-1); 3, Je Suis Charlie
(2-1 fav). 7 ran. 2l, hd. Mrs S Smith.
2.55 (2m 3f 193yd ch) 1, Nefyn Bay (B Hughes,
9-4); 2, Boy’s On Tour (13-2); 3, Swing Hard
(2-1 fav). 6 ran. NR: Rancher Lass, Running In
Heels. Sh hd, 2Ol. D McCain Jnr.
3.30 (2m 7f 180yd hdle) 1, Jump For Dough
(Thomas Willmott, 6-5 fav); 2, Fraser Canyon
(7-2); 3, Tap Night (13-2). 6 ran. NR: Apachee
Prince. 6l, 19l. Miss Lucinda Russell.
6.45 (5f) 1, Nearest Green (Kevin Stott, 4-1);
2, Choice Encounter (6-5 fav); 3, Mayfair Rock
(14-1). 6 ran. 2l, 1Nl. K Ryan.
4.00 (1m 7f 124yd flat) 1, I’m To Blame (B
Hughes, Evens fav); 2, Dr Hooves (5-1); 3, Star
Of Lanka (7-1). 8 ran. NR: Accost, Sueno Toms.
2Nl, 6l. K Dalgleish.
7.15 (1m 5yd) 1, Plansina (Cam Hardie, 22-1);
2, Odds On Oli (9-4 fav); 3, Barbara Villiers
(10-3). 6 ran. Nk, 2l. R Fell.
Placepot: £342.50.
Quadpot: £47.70.
Newcastle
Going: standard
5.45 (7f 14yd) 1, Completion (J Fanning, 6-4
fav); 2, Chingachgook (5-1); 3, Evince (13-8). 8
ran. 2Nl, Kl. W Haggas.
6.15 (6f) 1, Lady Lintera (J Fanning, 9-2);
2, Cherry Oak (9-4 fav); 3, Peas On Earth (12-1).
8 ran. Ol, 7l. Mrs A Duffield.
7.45 (7f 14yd) 1, Joyful Star (A Mullen, 15-2);
2, Thorntoun Lady (7-1); 3, Picks Pinta (5-1).
11 ran. 1Ol, 4Kl. F Watson.
8.15 (7f 14yd) 1, Dandy Bird (Callum Rodriguez,
7-1); 2, Jessie Allan (7-1); 3, Tagur (7-1). 10 ran.
Ol, hd. Miss J Camacho.
8.45 (5f) 1, Windforpower (Barry McHugh, 7-2);
2, Little Kingdom (14-1); 3, Star Cracker (3-1
fav). 9 ran. NR: Kirkby’s Phantom, Roman
Times. 1Nl, nk. Miss Tracy Waggott.
Placepot: £187.10.
Quadpot: £72.10.
24
1G S
Saturday January 20 2018 | the times
Sport
Giles Smith
Calm down, Russia,
our media criticise
every tournament
T
hat’s a deeply troubling accusation
from Maria Zakharova. Russia’s foreign
ministry spokeswoman accused the
British media this week of colluding in
a government-led campaign to run
down Russia in the build-up to its hosting of the
World Cup this summer.
Her claim is that newspapers have come
under pressure from the highest quarters to find
negative angles on the tournament before it
even kicks off. “We learnt,” Zakharova said,
“that reporters from the United Kingdom — not
just one media outlet, but a number of them —
received, in the truest sense of the word, a state
order to launch a smear campaign for holding
the World Cup in Russia.”
She went on: “Talking points were developed
and offered to the UK media to be used in their
materials. Among these subjects and stories, I
can name the following: Russia’s alleged lack of
the necessary infrastructure and conditions to
hold the championship, the aggressive
behaviour of Russian fans, a lack of
professionalism among local law enforcement
officials and the inability to guarantee tourists’
safety. The western media will be actively
pumping out this story in the run-up to the
World Cup in Russia.”
Maria, may we introduce you, somewhat
belatedly, to Fear Factor 2018? This column’s
prize for recognising the very best of the
western media’s efforts at doom-mongering
before the upcoming footballing festival has
been scouting for worthy contenders since early
last year. As a consequence, the BBC’s Panorama
on Russian hooligans and their training
programmes sits narrowly behind the Daily
Mirror’s “World Cup squad to get rabies jab”, a
response to the ghastly possibility of infected
squirrels and hedgehogs roaming in the woods
near England’s proposed base.
Meanwhile, off the pace, but still in with a
shout, is The Independent’s “England fans
warned to limit drinking at World Cup to one
pint per game”, a sorrowful warning that
Russian police may not look entirely kindly on
any supporter under the influence of more than
three units of alcohol.
All of which, you could argue, rather supports
Zakharova’s point. Except that it doesn’t.
Because, as loyal readers will be well aware, this
column also ran Fear Factor 2014, before the
World Cup in Brazil and, in a golden year for
negative pre-publicity, had no hesitation in
awarding the top prize to “Giant hornets may be
an unexpected problem for Roy Hodgson” (Daily
Mail), despite strong support across the panel for
“Dengue fever threat to fans” from the BBC
News website and “Rio police to be armed with
Couch potato’s
guide to the
weekend’s TV
6 Grammar corner: “As we’ve entered the
dressing room after the game . . .” (Mike Dean,
describing his confrontation with a vexed
Arsène Wenger after the match between
Arsenal and West Brom). Note here how the
use of the perfect tense — or “footballers’ past
tense” as grammarians sometimes refer to it
— has somehow, unconventionally, entered
the realm of the referee’s written report.
A further indication of the dissolving barrier
between referees and players (at least in
referees’ heads)? It’s one to keep an eye on.
MIKE EGERTON/PA
Big moment blown: the VAR somehow missed Willian being tripped by Klose, the Norwich defender
Time to celebrate the impact of VAR . . .
I
t was the moment that changed a game —
and changed a sport. Now celebrate it again
and again in the comfort of your own home
with our exclusive, hand-curated range of
memorabilia, designed to honour the first
VAR-assisted goal in English football.
deluxe-framed artwork
Wenger was banned for his comments to Dean
grenades that disorientate and maim”, again
courtesy of the Daily Mail.
This is why Fear Factor exists. Every time a
top sports meeting appears on the calendar,
media outlets compete to make it look the worst
idea anybody had, and to make the prospect of
going to it look utterly foolhardy. And then the
event happens, and pretty much everything is
fine and everybody has a great time. But that’s
just the natural and established rhythm of it.
There’s nothing personal or selective going
on, either. Rio or Repino, it makes no difference.
Which is why Fear Factor 2018 is up and
running, but also why we have already opened
Fear Factor 2024, for the Olympics in Paris,
following some staggeringly early work on
funding shortfalls by the France-based ESSEC
international business school on the day of the
hosting announcement. Indeed, as we wrote in
September last year, “If anyone wants to clatter
one in from distance and rubbish the Los
Angeles Olympics of 2028, we’re listening.”
This is not state-led propaganda, then, even
assuming the state could be bothered. On the
contrary, it’s what we, here in the sports
departments of the western media, mean by
“build-up”. Conspiracy theories down, Maria.
And get with the beat.
Today 6am Cricket, Under-19 World Cup, New
Zealand v South Africa, Sky Sports Main Event, Sky
Sports Cricket. Tennis, Australian Open, Eurosport 2
and Eurosport 1. 7.45am Tennis, Australian Open,
Eurosport 2 and Eurosport 1. 8.30am Golf, European
Tour, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Sky Sports
Golf and Sky Sports Main Event. 8.45am Golf,
European Tour, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Sky
Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event. 11.30am
Football, Premier League, Brighton v Chelsea, Sky
Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Premier League.
12pm National League, Sutton United v Dagenham
& Redbridge, BT Sport 1. 12.30pm Rugby union,
European Rugby Champions Cup, Montpellier v
Leinster, Sky Sports Action. 1pm Snooker, The
Masters, Eurosport 2. 1.15pm Snooker, The Masters,
Magnificent canvas photographic print, in full
colour with a gilt frame, 6ft by 4ft, showing the
moment that Kelechi Iheanacho, of Leicester
City, was flagged offside in an FA Cup replay
against Fleetwood Town — only for Michael
Jones, in a cupboard somewhere near Heathrow,
to use film footage to overturn the decision and
make history. Also available as a king-size duvet
cover, an all-over vinyl car-wrap and a quilted
cat bed.
commemorative chinaware
Limited edition, artisanal ten-inch plate with the
time, date and location of English football’s first
VAR goal engraved around the rim and, at its
centre, a delicately inlaid image of the referee
Jon Moss with his finger in his ear. One
hundred per cent dishwasher-friendly. Giant
teapot also in production.
var baby bibs
Messy mealtimes are a hoot with this
three-pack of towelling newborn coveralls,
cutely emblazoned with the slogans, “It’s clear
and obvious!”, “My decision isn’t final!” and
“Trust me: I’ve seen the replay!” Cotton/
polyester mix. Not remotely inflammable.
scaled replica of stockley park
Comprising 34,000 individual pieces for
self-assembly, our beautifully detailed model of
the Premier League match centre, complete
with miniature Neil Swarbrick, will be the proud
BBC One. 1.30pm Horse racing, Live from Ascot,
ITV4. 3pm Rugby union, Saracens v Northampton,
BT Sport 2. 4.30pm Snooker, The Masters, BBC Two.
5pm Football, Manchester City v Newcastle United,
BT Sport 1. 5pm Rugby union, Scarlets v Toulon, Sky
Sports Action. 5.15pm Football, Championship,
Sheffield Wednesday v Cardiff City, Sky Sports Main
Event. 5.30pm Football, Bundesliga, Hamburg v
Cologne, BT Sport 2. 6.45pm Snooker, The Masters,
BBC Two. 7pm Snooker, The Masters, BBC Two.
7.30pm Rugby union, Treviso v Bath, BT Sport 2.
7.40pm Football, La Liga, Las Palmas v Valencia,
Sky Sports Main Event. 8pm Golf, PGA Tour, The
CareerBuilder Challenge, Sky Sports Golf. 9.45pm
Golf, PGA Tour, The CareerBuilder Challenge, Sports
Main Event.
centrepiece of any amateur modeller’s collection
and a guaranteed conversation starter. Requires
glue, paint and one or two further instructions.
mini-var home play-set
Perfect for the kids, our ready-to-use kit has
everything you need to bring the magic of VAR
to your own back garden. Arrange the blue,
Velcro-backed strips in a grid on your lawn,
stream the GoPro footage to your remote
monitor and away you go. “Offside!” No! Not, in
fact! Not at the point of contact!’ And so on, for
hours. Note: earpiece not suitable for children
under 12. Football, goal, boots, etc. not included.
squeaky lino rubber dog chew
Loads of fun for Fido with this highly tossable
assistant referee figurine, flag wrongly aloft.
Suits most jaw-sizes and is individually formed
in our own factories from ethically-sourced,
slobber-absorbent Isoprene. Go get him, Fido!
“you aren’t the ref” quiz book
Test your wits against the professionals using
our bumper collection of refereeing brainteasers, many of them based on real in-game
situations, and in which the answer is always,
“Haven’t got a Scooby. Hoping the Stockley
Park boys can tell me.”
Stop press!! New in!!
giant willian barrage balloon
Inflating to fully 40 feet in height, this hardwearing dirigible shows the Chelsea winger
being tripped up in the penalty area by Timm
Klose, of Norwich City, on Wednesday night.
The referee missed it, VAR missed it — but
that’s where the rot stops because nobody else
will miss it with one of these bad boys tethered
to your chimney! Hey, even VAR makes
mistakes, right?
Tomorrow 3am Cricket, Third one-day international,
Australia v England, BT Sport 1. 8.30am Golf,
European Tour, Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Sky
Sports Golf and Main Event. 11.25am Football, Serie
A, Atalanta v Napoli, eir Sport 1. 11.30am Football,
Serie A, Atalanta v Napoli, BT Sport 2. Football,
Scottish Cup, Fraserburgh v Rangers, Sky Sports
Main Event. 12.45pm Rugby union, European Rugby
Champions Cup, Munster v Castres, Sky Sports
Action. 1pm Snooker, The Masters, BBC Two. 1.30pm
Snooker, The Masters, Eurosport 2. 1.45pm Football,
Lazio v Chievo, BT Sport 1. 1.55pm Football,
Sampdoria v Fiorentina, eir Sport 1. 2pm Football,
Hearts v Hibernian, Sky Sports Main Event. Football,
Ligue 1, Nice v St Etienne, BT Sport/ESPN. 3pm
Rugby union, La Rochelle v Harlequins, Sky Sports
Action. Rugby union, Wasps v Ulster, BT Sport 2.
3.30pm Football, Premier League, Southampton v
Tottenham, Sky Sports Premier League. (Sky Sports
Main Event 4pm). 4pm Football, Monaco v Metz, BT
Sport/ESPN. 4.55pm Football, Cagliari v AC Milan,
eir Sport 1. 5pm Football, Cagliari v AC Milan, BT
Sport 1. 6.45pm Snooker, The Masters, Eurosport 2.
7pm NFL, AFC Championship Game tbc, Sky Sports
Main Event, Sky Sports Action. 7pm Snooker, The
Masters, BBC Two. 7.30pm Football, Inter Milan v
Roma, BT Sport 1. 7.45pm Football, Lyons v PSG, eir
Sport 1. 8pm Golf, PGA Tour, The CareerBuilder
Challenge, Sky Sports Golf. 8.30pm Basketball, NBA,
Los Angeles Lakers v New York Knicks, BT Sport 2.
11pm Ice Hockey, NHL, Carolina Hurricanes v Vegas
Golden Knights, eir Sport 1.
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