Steven Gerrard: ‘If I text, call or see him, Jürgen’s always got time for me’

The Rangers manager on why his club is like Liverpool, his craving for pressure and what he thinks now about rejecting Chelsea“It’s a serious business,” Steven Gerrard says with familiar intensity when he is asked about laughter and football. The former Liverpool captain and enduring icon, who is carving out an impressive new career as the manager of Rangers, considers a memory that belongs to his mother. In Make Us Dream, a feature-length documentary about Gerrard’s 27 years at Liverpool, from the age of eight, his mum remembers how he laughed often as a little boy.Since then there has been glory and pain, loyalty and agony. I know Gerrard pretty well and, in 2015, just as his emotional final season as a Liverpool player approached the end, we spent a memorable few months working on his autobiography. He was much warmer than his slightly morose public image – and he smiled a lot when recalling the sweetest times. But, with Gerrard also facing his darkest days, laughter was limited. Continue reading...

15-11-2018



Claudio Ranieri fastens in for Premier League homecoming at Fulham | Amy Lawrence

The new manager cannot expect to repeat the success of his Leicester days but will hope his experience helps elicit a quick reaction from the struggling west London sideHi Claudio. Welcome back to a place you loved, and where you were loved. The Ranieri of the Premier League, regarded in different moments as a gentleman, a tinkerman, a caricature joker, a miracle worker, an expert at somehow maintaining composure when form has faltered and the axe has lurked, returns with the words “risk free” ringing around him. Ranieri has seen enough in 32 years of management across five countries to smile wryly at such notions before he gets to work.Preconceptions have followed Ranieri around for long enough – way longer than the infamous reaction to his supposedly left-field appointment at Leicester City (and we all know how that turned out). A certain amount of optimism from the Fulham hierarchy, who chose Ranieri to follow Slavisa Jokanovic, is understandable. But there is no sense jumping to the question of whether Ranieri can recreate something resembling the phenomenon he oversaw at Leicester in his new role at Craven Cottage. Continue reading...

15-11-2018



Talking Horses: Jerry McGrath aiming to right a wrong at BetVictor Gold Cup

Rather Be presents Nicky Henderson’s jockey with a shot at the biggest success of his career on SaturdayThe chance to right an old wrong is presented to the jockey Jerry McGrath on Saturday, when he gets a shot at the biggest success of his career in the BetVictor Gold Cup aboard the favourite, Rather Be. The pair were edged out in a photo at the Cheltenham Festival in March but the betting market fancies their chance of revenge over Mister Whitaker.“They keep showing replays of the Cheltenham run on TV,” said McGrath between races at Bangor on Wednesday. “I still can’t let that go. But hopefully we’ll try and make amends for it. Continue reading...

15-11-2018



Rory McIlroy delighted with Dubai form amid European Tour membership stir

• McIlroy makes 69 in DP World Tour Championship first round • World No 7 undecided on retaining full membership in 2019A welcome 69 for Rory McIlroy in Dubai, which he assessed as “the best I have played in a while”, was immediately overtaken by another subject. It has been that kind of week.Proof that McIlroy remains nothing if not single-minded arrived when the topic of his 2019 schedule was raised again. On Tuesday, the Northern Irishman suggested he might not retain full European Tour membership next year; a day later Paul McGinley, McIlroy’s former Ryder Cup captain, was among those to offer criticism, saying that he was “finding it hard to understand” and found McIlroy’s thinking “very disappointing”. Continue reading...

15-11-2018



VAR: Video assistant referees set to be used in Premier League next season

Video assistant referees are set to be used in the Premier League next season, after clubs agree in principle to the move.

15-11-2018



'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

15-11-2018



'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

15-11-2018



Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder: Ricky Hatton and Freddie Roach to work Briton's corner

Former world champion Ricky Hatton and trainer Freddie Roach will work in Tyson Fury's corner when he meets Deontay Wilder.

15-11-2018



LeBron James scores 44 points to pass Chamberlain on all-time scoring list

Lakers star now has fifth-most points in NBA historyJimmy Butler’s 76ers debut spoiled by late Magic comebackLeBron James’ presence has already been felt in his first few weeks in Los Angeles. His most impressive game yet for the Lakers included a bit of history when he passed Wilt Chamberlain on the NBA’s career scoring list. James had a season-high 44 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists, roaring past Chamberlain for fifth place on the scoring chart and leading the Lakers to a 126-117 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. Continue reading...

15-11-2018



Lewis Hamilton’s F1 vision suggests bid to match Michael Schumacher

Champion wants the sport to develop in established nations and overhauling Schumacher’s records appears part of the planLewis Hamilton believes Formula One should be looking to the European heartland if it is to add new races. It is an understandable viewpoint given he takes huge pleasure in racing on classic circuits packed with fans but much less so in front of empty grandstands. Yet that he should express his feelings having recently claimed a fifth title suggests a possible subtext. Hamilton is considering F1’s future and therein lies his final challenge: matching or beating Michael Schumacher. Related: Mercedes tribute to ‘exceptional’ Lewis Hamilton after F1 constructors’ title win Continue reading...

15-11-2018



Ryan Giggs likens Wales’ Nations League game with Denmark to cup final

• Victory in Cardiff would secure promotion to Group A • Wales manager wary of Christian Eriksen threatRyan Giggs has likened Friday night’s Nations League game against Denmark to a cup final and urged his players to get the win that would put Wales within 180 minutes of qualifying for Euro 2020 and enable them to be “among the big boys” in Group A when this tournament starts again in two years’ time. Related: Nations League and international football: 10 things to look out for Continue reading...

15-11-2018



F1 finally admits concern over woman jailed for Bahrain Grand Prix protests

• Najah Yusuf jailed for three years over 2017 protests• F1 says it is making ongoing enquiries in BahrainFormula One chiefs have admitted for the first time that they are “concerned” that an activist who protested against the Bahrain Grand Prix on Facebook was jailed for three years by the country’s authorities.F1 has traditionally been reluctant to intervene on politics and human rights cases but has made a rare exception in the case of Najah Ahmed Yusuf, who claims she was beaten, sexually abused and imprisoned following a series of posts in April 2017 that were critical of the race and the regime. Continue reading...

15-11-2018



Race to Dubai: Francesco Molinari leads rival Tommy Fleetwood

Francesco Molinari finishes the opening round of the DP World Tour Championship a shot ahead of Race to Dubai title rival Tommy Fleetwood.

15-11-2018



Joe Cokanasiga: Why Eddie Jones picked Bath winger for England debut

England head coach Eddie Jones explains why Bath's 21-year-old winger Joe Cokanasiga will make his international debut against Japan.

15-11-2018



No shock in Federer scheduling claims but Laver Cup row more problematic | Kevin Mitchell

Everyone knows Roger Federer gets to play when and where he wants in every tournament he enters but Laver Cup issue is a sign of turbulent timesIt is rare to see Roger Federer flustered or short-tempered but both those sides of his personality were on show in London this week, and how revealing they were.Everyone knows (including the man himself) that he gets to play when and where he wants in every tournament he enters. He has earned it. He is not only the biggest draw in tennis, he has been one of the genuinely major stars of international sport for nearly two decades. Continue reading...

15-11-2018