Can Franck Ribéry not have his gold-leaf steak and eat it? | Barney Ronay

18-01-2019

The Bayern Munich forward has been vilified for his display of wealth in Dubai but that ire would be better directed at the excesses of the game rather than those who play itIn his book This One’s On Me Jimmy Greaves describes the pre-match meals of his playing days in the 1960s. At West Ham it was all down to Moody’s cafe for a full roast dinner and apple crumble for pudding. As an England player Greaves records, with some reverence, the pre-match habits of Gordon Banks, who in line with the sports science of the day would prepare himself for a game with a huge steak served with both boiled and roast potatoes, all washed down with “a large bowl of rice pudding”.Looking back now it is probably a good thing social media wasn’t around in the mid-60s. It isn’t hard to imagine the wider response to such wanton displays of starch-based excess. Banks Flaunts Roast Riches. Soccer Ace in Boiled AND Roasted Shame. Potato Bae: Gloveman Rocked By Double-Spud storm. Continue reading...



Andy Murray pulls out of Marseille tournament as he weighs up hip surgery

18-01-2019

Murray’s team deny he has already decided to have operationMarseille statement said Scot would ‘undergo further surgery’Fevered speculation about Andy Murray’s retirement plans refuses to die down just days after his early exit from the Australian Open, and his team on Friday were forced to deny that he has already committed to having surgery on his hip.The former world No1 probably will have an operation to resurface the hip bone, using a metal implant, but organisers of the Marseille tournament from which he has withdrawn made the false assumption in an announcement that he had already decided to do so. Continue reading...



The Fiver | Something to tell their children about. And their children's children

18-01-2019

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!There was a point in the game between Blackeye Rovers and Newcastle United when Isaac Hayden, who had come on for the injured Jamaal Lascelles, who had come on for the injured Ciaran Clark, went down injured. For a while the crowd held their breath. They were, it seemed, about to witness the substitution of a substitute’s substitute. This was something they could tell their children about, and their children’s children. Continue reading...



The Fiver | Pontificating about the Corinthian spirit of fair play

18-01-2019

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!One of the few benefits of being related to this tea-timely email’s book-writing, cricket-playing, pyramid-inverting, tactics-obsessed Wearside cousin Mackem Lobanovskyi 4-2-3-1 False Nine Wilson Fiver, is that we’ve been looped in on the whole Marcelo Bielsa phenomenon since before it became fashionable on Wednesday. While Proper Journalists were taking time out from trying to procure and publish sneak previews of England team-sheets to pontificate about the Corinthian spirit of fair play, our cousin took time out of boring us with his batting average and bowling figures to regale us with stories about the man they call El Loco. Continue reading...



Altior faces just two runners in smallest British Grade One chase since 2014

18-01-2019

• Best chaser in training faces easy task on Saturday• Ground not soft enough for main danger Un De SceauxFox Norton, the second-favourite for the three-runner Clarence House Chase at Ascot on Saturday, is expected to go to post for the Grade One event even if the ground dries out to good, Colin Tizzard, the chaser’s trainer, said on Thursday.Un De Sceaux, the winner for the last three seasons, was taken out at the final declaration stage on Thursday morning, leaving just Fox Norton and Paul Nicholls’s Diego Du Charmil to take on the outstanding Altior, who is expected to set off as one of the strongest favourites for a Grade One jumps event for many years. Continue reading...



Masters 2019: Ding Junhui beats Luca Brecel 6-5 - best shots

18-01-2019

Ding Junhui beats Luca Brecel in a thrilling match to set up a Masters semi-final against Ronnie O'Sullivan.



Premier League predictions: Lawro v NBA star Mario Hezonja

18-01-2019

BBC Sport football expert Mark Lawrenson takes on New York Knicks basketball star Mario Hezonja to predict the weekend's Premier League results.



Football transfer rumours: Arsenal to secure James Rodríguez for £3m?

18-01-2019

Today’s fluff is living its best lifeWith transfer guru Sven Mislintat heading for the hills, Stan Kroenke slamming shut the war chest and £350,000-a-week man Mesut Özil marooned on his sofa, Arsenal fans have gone into meltdown mode. But wait! James Rodríguez could be about to jet in and calm the tensions.Colombia’s 2012 World Cup hero is in the second season of a two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich but the Bundesliga champions are not too fussed about making the move permanent for £39.5m, and he would happily pack his bags for London if Arsenal can cover the remaining £3m of the £11.5m loan fee Bayern agreed with Real Madrid. Continue reading...



Martin O’Neill boards the Nottingham Forest train and wants express start

18-01-2019

O’Neill won two European Cups with the club as a player and is targeting promotion to the top flight after a 20-year hiatusAs Martin O’Neill reflected on what it was like to be the new manager of Nottingham Forest, back at the club where he won two European Cups and once spoke of it being “like getting on a train and never getting off”, he made it clear why the idea of following in Brian Clough’s footsteps – albeit 20 managerial changes further down the line – had been so attractive.“Firstly, just the name: Nottingham Forest,” he said. “It’s an extraordinarily brilliant name for a football club. Really, it’s not like you can attach a ‘United’ or a ‘City’ to it and, for me to be part of it, especially in successful times, was great. Continue reading...



Max Parrot: Canadian Olympic snowboarder diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma

18-01-2019

Canadian snowboarder Max Parrot - who won Olympic silver in 2018 - has been diagnosed with a rare cancer.



The unapologetic feminism that turned Andy Murray into a global icon | Jacob Steinberg

18-01-2019

Murray’s views on equality and the women’s game have had huge impact, exemplified by his decision to hire a female coach in Amélie Mauresmo in 2014Once the empty feeling subsides and the lump at the back of his throat stops threatening to leap from his mouth, perhaps it will console Andy Murray to consider how much he means to people from all walks of life. Even at this early stage of the healing process, with the emotions swirling and his heart shattered as he contemplates how brutally his body has given up on him in the past two years, it might raise his spirits to know he is showered with affection not only for his achievements on a tennis court but also for what he represents on a human level. Related: 'He’s an idol': Dunblane reacts to Andy Murray's impending retirement Continue reading...



Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

18-01-2019

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.



David Squires on ... the Socceroos' progress at the Asian Cup

18-01-2019

Our cartoonist reflects on Australia’s late win over Syria – and the tournament’s outrageously large accreditation lanyardsTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...



Eddie Jones says Jack Nowell can become a forward for England

18-01-2019

• Coach believes back will be ‘the new breed of player’• ‘There is no reason why you can’t play nine forwards’Eddie Jones has made the remarkable claim he may break from convention and select nine forwards in his England side. Jack Nowell is also now seen as an option at openside flanker for the Six Nations as Jones considers ripping up the traditional playbook, predicting the emergence of a “new breed of player” equally adept as a forward and a back. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...



Masters 2019: Best shots as Ronnie O'Sullivan beats Ryan Day

18-01-2019

Watch five of the best shots from Ronnie O'Sullivan's 6-3 quarter-final victory over Welshman Ryan Day at the 2019 Masters.



Rafael Nadal beats Alex De Minaur: Australian Open 2019 – live!

18-01-2019

Game-by-game report of the round-of-32 match on Rod LaverConfident De Minaur unruffled by prospect of facing Nadal againEmail [email protected] | Tweet @JacobSteinberg 10.40am GMT Alex de Minaur walks off to a big ovation. The 19-year-old Australian left everything on the court and will hopefully be stronger for the experience, even though he’s just received an almighty thrashing from Rafa Nadal. 10.38am GMT Serving for the match, Nadal makes it 15-0 with yet another forehand winner. A big, bouncing, swinging serve gets De Minaur’s backhand in a tangle. 30-0. Then Nadal plonks another forehand winner down the line to earn three match points. But De Minaur saves the first and then Nadal double-faults. Are we about to witness an incredible choke? Nadal misses another first serve. A dramatic rally ensues. After 24 shots Nadal sends a forehand wide for deuce! The crowd go wild, enthralled with De Minaur’s fight. Nadal restores calm with an ace. De Minaur saves a fourth match point with a brilliant forehand winner. Nadal earns a fifth chance; De Minaur comes up with another stubborn forehand. Nadal earns a sixth chance with a solid serve. Then Nadal’s given a time violation by Carlos Ramos, an umpire he’s rarely seen eye to eye with in the past. It doesn’t matter, though. De Minaur finally cracks, sending a forehand long. Continue reading...



'I'm glad I'm the underdog': Adrien Broner ready for showdown with Manny Pacquiao – video

18-01-2019

Manny Pacquiao, boxing’s only eight-division world champion, says his title defence against Adrien Broner will be a ‘once in a lifetime’ fight. The WBA welterweight champion, who turned 40 last month, knows he will have his hands full when he battles the hard-hitting American in Las Vegas on 19 January and is not lining up fighters down the road.Meanwhile Broner, who is seeking his first victory since a split decision win in February 2017, says: ‘I’m glad I’m the underdog.’Pacquiao angers opponent Broner after discussing Mayweather at press conference Continue reading...



Toby Price rides through 'pain and torture' to Dakar Rally victory

18-01-2019

Australian suffering from broken wrist during raceNasser Al-Attiyah wins car category for the third timeDealing with a broken wrist and punishing conditions in the Peruvian desert, Australia’s Toby Price defied the odds to secure victory in the 2019 Dakar Rally and win a second motorcycling crown in the gruelling endurance race.Qatar’s Nasser Al-Attiyah became a three times winner in the car category, taking no risks on the last stage to Lima and finishing with a 46-minute lead, while Russian Eduard Nikolaev secured his third successive Dakar title, and fourth in total, in the truck category with Kamaz. Continue reading...