Thursday, 20 October 2011

Pearce and Powell take charge Duo chosen to lead Britain's football teams in the 2012 Olympics

  • Stuart Pearce: The former Manchester City boss has been in charge of England's Under-21 team since 2007
  • Hope Powell: Has competed in European Championships and World Cup Finals during her time in charge

Stuart Pearce and Hope Powell will manage the British football teams for the Olympic Games in London next year.

Pearce, the current England Under-21 boss, and Powell, who led the England women's team to the quarter-finals of the 2011 World Cup, will each put together an 18-player squad.
The rules indicate that there must be no more than three players over the age of 23 named in the squads and they can select players from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Pearce has also been involved with Fabio Capello's senior England set-up in recent years and feels he has been given a unique chance.
He explained: "I am extremely proud to have this opportunity and I'm very much looking forward to getting started.
"I was fortunate to be part of Euro 96, so I know how special it can be to play for your country on home soil at a major tournament.
"I'm sure this group of players will relish being part of not only a huge tournament in this country, but a unique one competing together and representing the UK."
David Beckham has already expressed his desire to play for Britain in the Olympics and may be on Pearce's radar.
But the former Nottingham Forest captain believes every player who is eligible to play should be aiming for selection.


He said: "Take the role model of, for example Lionel Messi, who went to court to fight his club to get released to go to the Olympics.
"With the announcement, it sparks it off and certainly puts it into the players' minds that there is less than a year to go until kick-off so I think it will be very exciting.
"If I was a player, I'd certainly be looking at this tournament and doing everything I could to be up for selection."
By the time the Olympics begin in July 2012, Powell will have been in charge of England women's side for 14 years.
She said: "The attendances at the games during Euro 2005 were a sign of progress for Women's football in this country, and it helped provide a platform for what has happened since then.
"From those finals where the players were playing against the best teams in Europe and in front of huge crowds, there was a real surge of enthusiasm. I think with the exposure and interest in the Olympics in this country we could see a similar impact from the tournament next summer.
"I'm delighted to be in the position to be able to take a team into such an illustrious tournament, I just wish it was starting tomorrow."

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Cleverly does just enough Welshman hangs on to his belt after 12 gruelling rounds in Liverpool Last Updated: October 16, 2011 2:52pm

Image text here
Nathan Cleverly: Got the nod on two of the judges' scorecards, with the other scoring it a draw

Nathan Cleverly did just enough to retain his WBO light-heavyweight title on points at the end of a real war with Tony Bellew.
Liverpudlian Bellew produced the fight of his life in front of his home fans at the Echo Arena, proving he's more than just a big puncher with a tremendous display of boxing skills that pushed the champion to the limit.
However Cleverly semed to land the cleaner stuff throughout 12 gruelling rounds, meaning he got the nod on a majority verdict.
The Welshman had it 117-112 and 116-113 in his favour from two of the judges at ringside with the third not able to split the pair, marking it 114-114.
They certainly did not disappoint after all the hype in the build-up, which included them nearly coming to blows at a press conference before their scheduled first fight, one which Bellew had to pull out of due to weight issues.


The extra wait proved worth it though and even referee Richie Davies was ready for fireworks from the moment the first bell sounded, warning the challenger within a minute for using his head.
The telling off did not bother Bellew though, and in the second round he loaded up with some big right hands that had his vocal supporters on their feet to cheer him on.
Cleverly responded to the onslaught with a show of defiance, both to his opponent and the crowd, sticking out his tongue and doing a little jig to suggest none of the punches had caused any damage.
Still, he was again on the wrong end of a few in the third, Bellew surprisingly out-jabbing a man who was supposed to have the superior talent of the two.
But by the seventh it appeared Cleverly's work to the body was beginning to slow down his rival - only for 'Bomber' Bellew to get a second wind and pour forward, including landing a straight right in the 10th that would have floored many a man.
In the end, though, Cleverly's champion pedigree saw him come on strong at the finish, and it was he who looked much the more confident over the outcome when the final bell sounded to end a sensational Anglo-Welsh battle that will leave many calling for a second instalment.

Pakistan cricket trial: Salman Butt 'betrayed by agent'

Mohammad Asif (left) and Salman Butt
Former Pakistan cricketers Mohammad Asif and Salman Butt 
are on trial at Southwark Crown Court

 Former Pakistan cricket captain Salman Butt has told a court he was betrayed by an ex-friend and agent who claimed he was part of a match-fixing scam.

After hearing evidence that the agent arranged to rig games against England in 2010, Mr Butt said he had misjudged Mazhar Majeed, 36, "completely".The cricketer told Southwark Crown Court he knew nothing about an alleged agreement to bowl intentional no-balls. Mr Butt, 27, and fast bowler Mohammad Asif, 28, deny corruption charges. 

'Took his word'.
He told the court that Mr Majeed asked him to rig parts of certain matches but insisted he ignored the requests.
Mr Butt admitted he had a suspicion that Mr Asif and another fast bowler, Mohammad Amir, 19, might have been involved in the betting racket.
He said in court about Mr Majeed: "I didn't realise what kind of a man he was. I thought I knew him better.
"But now, with the things that have come out and I've seen and heard, I think I have misjudged somebody completely.
"I just took his word and trusted him. I knew him for that long but I never thought there would be another side to him like this that could be this bad."
'Play with passion'
Asked about match-fixing, Mr Butt told the court: "It is a terrible thing to do, not good for the game, not good for the country, and it speaks to the character of the man."
He added: "I would never do that. With my passion I play for my country - that is all I have done since I grew up."
Mr Butt said Mr Majeed gave him £2,500 in cash on the night of 26 August as part-payment for the cricketer to attend the opening of the agent's new ice cream parlour in Tooting, south London.
Under cross-examination, Mr Butt said he did not realise how lucrative match-fixing was until he heard the evidence given to the trial by the former head of the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit, Ravi Sawani.
Prosecutor Aftab Jafferjee QC said to Mr Butt: "You were in this conspiracy to make as much money as you could out of the game that you profess to love. That's the sad truth, isn't it?"
The cricketer replied: "That's what you think."
Lord's Test
Jurors have been told that Mr Majeed accepted £150,000 in cash, as part of an arrangement to rig games, from an undercover News of the World reporter investigating cricket-fixing.
Prosecutors allege Mr Majeed, from Croydon, south London, conspired with Mr Butt, Mr Amir and Mr Asif to deliver three deliberate no-balls during the Test match between Pakistan and England at Lord's, from 26 to 29 August last year, in return for bribes.
The jury has heard that the agent told the undercover journalist that two no-balls would be bowled by Mr Amir and one by Mr Asif at pre-arranged points during the Lord's Test.
Mr Butt and Mr Asif, who are standing trial, deny conspiracy to cheat and conspiracy to accept corrupt payments.
The trial was adjourned until Wednesday.

One-day international series: Bangladesh v West Indies Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at Chittagong

One-day international series: Bangladesh v West Indies
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 at Chittagong
Bangladesh beat West Indies by 8 wickets
Bangladesh won the toss and decided to field
61 all out (22.0 overs)
62 for 2 (20.0 overs)

West Indies 1st Innings - All out
Hyatt c Kayes b Nazmul Hossain
17 0 0
b Nasir Hossain
36 4 0
Samuels c Shuvo b Shafiul Islam
15 0 0
DM Bravo c Mushfiqur Rahim b Shafiul Islam
3 0 0
Pollard c and b Nasir Hossain
1 0 0
Sammy lbw b Shakib
5 0 0
b Shakib
8 0 0
C Brathwaite lbw b Shakib
20 1 0
Russell c and b Shuvo
5 0 0
Roach not out
18 0 0
b Shakib
4 0 0
5w 3lb 8
all out 61 (22.0 ovs)

Shafiul Islam 7.0 1 21 2
Nazmul Hossain 5.0 0 16 1
Nasir Hossain 2.0 0 3 2
Shakib 5.0 0 16 4
Shuvo 3.0 1 2 1

Fall of wicket
10 Hyatt
33 Samuels
34 Powell
34 Pollard
36 DM Bravo
38 Sammy
45 Ramdin
48 Russell
56 C Brathwaite
61 Martin

Back to top

Bangladesh 1st Innings - Close
Tamim Iqbal not out
62 3 0
Kayes c Pollard b Roach
15 0 1
b Samuels
4 0 0
Mushfiqur Rahim not out
39 1 0
3lb 3
for 2 62 (20.0 ovs)

Roach 5.0 0 18 1
Sammy 2.0 0 12 0
Samuels 8.0 1 15 1
Martin 5.0 1 14 0

Fall of wicket
25 Kayes
30 Nafees

Back to top

Umpires: Enamul Haque, P R Reiffel, A J Pycroft
Bangladesh: Tamim Iqbal, Kayes, Nafees, Shakib, Mushfiqur Rahim (C/W), Hom, Naeem Islam, Nasir Hossain, Shuvo, Shafiul Islam, Nazmul Hossain
West Indies: Powell, DM Bravo, Samuels, Hyatt, Ramdin (W), Pollard, Russell, Sammy (C), Martin, C Brathwaite, Roach

Man City 2 - 1 Villarreal

Menchester City as they came from behind to claim their first Champions League win. Roberto Mancini's side looked set for more frustration after Villarreal belied their poor La Liga form to leave City on the brink of a third game without victory in the group stage. Cani had set the tone for an uncomfortable evening when he gave Villarreal the lead after only four minutes and City's only response was an own goal from Carlos Marchena just before the interval. But deep into stoppage time, and with what turned out to be almost the final kick of the game, substitute Aguero arrived at the far post to turn Pablo Zabaleta's cross past Diego Lopez to revive City's hopes of reaching the knockout phase. A draw would not have been fatal for City, but it would have left them with a tough task after drawing with Napoli at the Etihad and losing to Bayern Munich in Germany. And it was left to Argentine Aguero, on as a second-half substitute, to come to City's rescue with a poacher's finish that left Villarreal devastated that such a fine performance had left them empty-handed. It also came as sweet relief to Mancini after City's off-colour display saw him replace Adam Johnson with Gareth Barry after only 39 minutes, much to the player's obvious displeasure. Mancini had to deal with Edin Dzeko's unhappiness at being substituted and the Carlos Tevez affair in Munich - but this just appeared aames.
Cani scored the opener for Villarreal Cani scored the opener for Villarreal       
City made the worst possible start, however, as they fell behind in the fourth minute. The normally impeccable David Silva conceded cheap possession and when keeper Joe Hart could only push out former Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi's shot Cani was able to turn in the rebound.The goal was greeter in virtual silence, a mixture of stunned City fans and the fact that Villarreal had only brought a tiny band of travelling fans to Manchester. City attempted to build momentum with Aleksandar Kolarov prominent, forcing Lopez into a smart save from an angled free-kick and sending another long-range effort flashing across the face of goal. As the home fans grew more impatient, Mancini illustrated the scale of his concern by making the tactical substitution six minutes before the interval - a decision that saw the England winger depart shaking his head.The mood of discontent was swiftly replaced by delight as City drew level after 43 minutes. Kolarov was again involved with a cross that was destined for Dzeko, only for Marchena to get their first and turn the ball into his own net. Dzeko's performance had left much to be desired, but he could have made amends two minutes after the restart when Zabaleta found him unmarked in the area. He found the target but Lopez made a fine diving save.Sergio Aguero scored five goals in only eight appearances versus Villarreal for Atletico Madrid in La Liga Rossi had looked a class act throughout and  gave Hart another moment of anxiety after 51 minutes when he could only push his shot away and fortunately for City there was no-one from Villarreal on hand to take advantage.Mancini made another change after 62 minutes when Aguero, now recovered from a groin injury, came on for Nigel de Jong.Villarreal were keeping City at arm's length with very few alarms, comfortable in possession and with a simple approach that was serving them well.City were unable to build up any pressure, although they did carve out a clear chance with four minutes left, only for Dzeko to direct Kolarov's inviting cross tamely wide.Zabaleta also wasted a headed chance but then played a crucial part in that dramatic climax. His cross was touched on by Silva and Aguero arrived to score.There was barely time to kick-off and a scene of total frustration had been instantly transformed into one of celebration.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

No ill effects for Gerrard

Kop hero now determined to push on towards maximum fitness

Last Updated: October 16, 2011 10:30am

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Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard felt no unexpected adverse reactions to his first 90 minutes of competitive action in seven months. 
The England international scored his club's goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United and it marked his return to the starting line-up in style.

Due to a groin injury, which required surgery and then became infected, Gerrard had not played a full match since the 3-1 win over United last March.The England international scored his club's goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United and it marked his return to the starting line-up in style. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard felt no unexpected adverse reactions to his first 90 minutes of competitive action in seven months.

And, having previously made just thee substitute appearances this season, the 31-year-old was therefore happy to come through with nothing but some inevitable aches.
Due to a groin injury, which required surgery and then became infected, Gerrard had not played a full match since the 3-1 win over United last March.The England international scored his club's goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Manchester United and it marked his return to the starting line-up in style.Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard felt no unexpected adverse reactions to his first 90 minutes of competitive action in seven months.

Gerrard told Liverpool's official website: "I'm stiff and tired, but that's to be expected. The physios and medical staff knew that (would happen).
"That's what I've got to do to push on and gain maximum fitness.

Great feeling

"I still need two or three 90s under my belt to get back to 100 per cent, but I am very pleased at how my groin held up and how my body felt for the first 90. Really pleased."
Gerrard put Liverpool in front against United with a 68th minute free-kick before Javier Hernandez equalised with nine minutes left to play at Anfield.
Kop hero Gerrard has previously admitted his disappointment at failing to hold on for the three points, but his goal did at least banish half-a-year of irritation.
He said when asked how it felt to score: "It was a great feeling. The last six months have been really frustrating.
"To watch the lads from the stands is not what I like doing - I like to be out there where I can have an impact on games.
"To be out there against United experiencing the emotions against Manchester United - the biggest game against our big rivals - was very enjoyable for me."

England bowler Jade Dernbach wary of Mahendra Dhoni

Second one-day international: India v England

  • Venue: Delhi (Feroz Shah Kotla)
  • Date: Monday, 17 October
  • Start time: 1000 BST
  • Coverage: Live Test Match Special commentary on BBC 5 live sports extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave & BBC Sport website (UK users only); live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles; watch live on Sky Sports (subscription required)
Jade Dernbach says England must contain Mahendra Dhoni for success in the One Day International at Feroz Shah Kotla. 
Jade Dernbach says there should be no excuses about India's pitches. Bowler Jade Dernbach says containing India captain Mahendra Dhoni is crucial to England's hopes of winning the one-day international series.Dhoni struck an unbeaten 87 off 70 balls in the home team's 126-run victory in the first match of thefive-gamecontest in Hyderabad on Friday.England have been told by captain Alastair Cook that they must improve ahead of Monday's second game in Delhi."We need to find a way of being better than him [Dhoni]," said Dernbach.

Barclays Premier League table

Barclays Premier League : Table
Sunday, 16 October 2011 17:56 UK

| Home | Away
1 Man City 8 4 0 0 13 1 3 1 0 14 5 21 22
2 Man Utd 8 4 0 0 16 3 2 2 0 9 3 19 20
3 Chelsea 8 4 0 0 12 4 2 1 1 8 5 11 19
4 Newcastle 8 2 2 0 7 4 2 2 0 4 2 5 16

5 Liverpool 8 2 2 0 7 4 2 0 2 4 5 2 14

6 Tottenham 7 2 0 1 7 6 2 1 1 6 6 1 13
7 Stoke 8 2 2 0 4 1 1 1 2 2 7 -2 12
8 Aston Villa 8 2 2 0 6 2 0 3 1 4 7 1 11
9 Norwich 8 2 1 1 6 4 1 1 2 4 7 -1 11
10 Arsenal 8 3 0 1 6 3 0 1 3 6 14 -5 10
11 QPR 8 0 3 1 2 6 2 0 2 4 8 -8 9
12 West Brom 8 1 1 2 3 3 1 1 2 4 7 -3 8
13 Swansea 8 2 2 0 5 0 0 0 4 2 12 -5 8
14 Fulham 8 1 3 0 9 3 0 1 3 1 6 1 7
15 Everton 7 1 1 2 5 6 1 0 2 2 5 -4 7
16 Wolverhampton 8 1 0 3 3 7 1 1 2 3 5 -6 7
17 Sunderland 8 1 1 2 7 5 0 2 2 3 5 0 6

18 Bolton 8 0 0 4 4 15 2 0 2 8 7 -10 6
19 Wigan 8 1 1 2 5 6 0 1 3 1 8 -8 5
20 Blackburn 8 1 0 3 5 10 0 2 2 4 8 -9 5