Jimmy Anderson warns of West Indies’ big incentive to beat England

• ‘You can see it in the players’ eyes,’ says Anderson• England must be ‘on top form’ on Caribbean tourJimmy Anderson acted as England’s speaker in Barbados over the weekend and, on the subject of how much West Indian desire there is to beat the tourists in their upcoming Test series, apparently the eyes have it.As the sole survivor from the last successful excursion to these parts, when an unused squad player during the 3-0 win in 2004 under Michael Vaughan, Anderson was asked why subsequent visits have returned just one Test victory from nine matches. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Chelsea players are 'extremely difficult to motivate', says Maurizio Sarri

Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri launched a scathing attack on his players after they laboured to a 2-0 defeat at Arsenal in the Premier League.An irate Sarri, who opted to speak Italian in his press conference to properly execute his message, accused his squad of being ‘extremely difficult to motivate’.First-half goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Laurent Koscielny allowed the Gunners to move within three points of fourth-placed Chelsea, who have failed to find their rhythm in 2019.Sarri insists the mentality of his players must improve, hinting at personnel changes before the January transfer window is over.Arsenal 2-0 Chelsea: Premier League - as it happened! Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Wimbledon chairman criticises 'nonsense' tournament scheduling

Philip Brook is worried by scheduling that will see two important tournaments clashPhilip Brook, who retires in December after nearly 10 years as Wimbledon chairman, has made a rare foray into tennis politics, describing as, “nonsense” scheduling that will pit the Davis Cup against the new ATP world team competition.The competitions have already divided loyalties, with most of the leading players abandoning the 119-year-old Davis Cup – relaunched by the ITF in a fortnight-long team format in November in Madrid - in favour of more money, as well as ranking points, in the ATP’s World Team Cup, which will be held in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney ahead of the 2020 Australian Open. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Maria Sharapova rebuffs questions on meldonium and booing after Australian Open exit – video

Maria Sharapova declared Ashleigh Barty could win the Australian Open after having her own title ambitions crushed by the big home hopeful.But a surly Sharapova was in no mood to answer questions about her controversial seven-minute toilet break between the second and third sets of her 4-6 6-1 6-4 fourth-round loss to Barty.The five-time grand slam champion was jeered by the Rod Laver Arena crowd after leaving Barty waiting, but Sharapova refused to answer whether or not the booing rattled her.The Russian also took exception to a question about her no longer being able to take meldonium, a drug she used for a decade before being suspended for 15 months after continuing to use the substance once it was banned by authorities.Sharapova's defeat, as well as the shock exit on Sunday of second seed and fellow former champion Angelique Kerber, has blown Barty's bottom half of the draw wide open.If the Australian can topple two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in Tuesday's quarter-finals, then she will face either Kerber's surprise conqueror Danielle Collins, unseeded Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or world No5 Sloane Stephens for a place in the title decider. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

21-01-2019



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

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

21-01-2019



Masters Snooker 2019: Ding denied 147 despite thrilling attempt

China's Ding Junhui agonisingly misses out on a maximum 147 break during his Masters semi-final against Ronnie O'Sullivan.

21-01-2019



The Breakdown | Concentration of Ireland rugby talent leaves English trailing in Europe

Leinster – and the fast-rising Scottish sides – are packed full of internationals while Test players are spread more thinly across their Premiership and Top 14 rivalsThe Premiership goes into the final round of the European Champions Cup group stage this weekend hunting a first victory over an Irish province in this season’s tournament. Its clubs have three opportunities: Ulster travel to Leicester, Leinster are away to Wasps and, in the one contest that has an outcome for both teams, Exeter have to become the fourth team to topple Munster at Thomond Park in the competition.The Chiefs’ task is even more demanding because of the bonus point Munster secured at Gloucester last Friday. It means Exeter not only have to win but deny their opponents a bonus point, unless they score at least four tries. For all the impact they have made in the Premiership in recent seasons, reaching the last three finals, they have yet to find the formula in Europe where a gameplan based on retaining possession is more hazardous because of the extra latitude given to the defending side at the breakdown. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



The Fiver | A kind of softly moving statue by which to remember Arsène Wenger

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The big January transfer news continues to roll in, after Oumar Niasse, a player famously deprived of a locker at Everton by Ronald Koeman, left Goodison Park to join Cardiff City. Then Yohan Benalouane, a player stored in a locker for almost two years by Claude Puel, did one from Leicester to hurry into the warm embrace of Nottingham Forest’s new manager, Martin O’Neill, who confirmed he hopes to swell the good vibes at the City Ground by bringing along, as his assistant, that most eminent graduate of the Wealdstone Raider School of Motivational Discourse, Roy Keane. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Maurizio Sarri says slamming Chelsea’s players was not a risky move

• Manager says they lacked ‘ferocity’ in their defeat at Arsenal• Adds he is ‘a straight talker’ not worried about bruising egosMaurizio Sarri does not believe it was a risky move to accuse his Chelsea players of being “extremely difficult to motivate” and lacking “ferocity” in their game after the tame defeat at Arsenal.Sarri struggled to contain his anger after a result which means fourth-placed Chelsea’s lead over Arsenal and Manchester United has been cut to three points and the Italian made it clear he views the problem as mental rather than tactical, saying there will be no drastic changes for the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur on Thursday. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Chelsea have a good manager and players – so why are they in a mess? | Jonathan Wilson

With no long-term strategy at Stamford Bridge, Maurizio Sarri is trying to impose his rigid style on players unsuited to itIn September 2016, after Chelsea had lost limply away to Arsenal, Antonio Conte laid into the “bad attitude” of his players. They went on to win their next 13 league games and by the end of the season were Premier League champions. Perhaps Maurizio Sarri hopes for something similar after his attack on the “mentality” of his players following Saturday’s limp defeat away to Arsenal which was, if anything, even more ferocious. Perhaps there will be a reaction. But at half-time in that 2016 defeat, Conte also made a major tactical shift, adopting the back three Chelsea would play for the rest of his tenure. Sarri seems unlikely to change anything. Related: Maurizio Sarri says Chelsea’s players are ‘extremely difficult to motivate’ Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Manny Pacquiao calls out Floyd Mayweather after dominating Broner

‘If Mayweather wants to challenge me, I’m a champion’Filipino defends WBA regular welterweight championshipPacquiao beats Broner by unanimous decision – as it happenedManny Pacquiao showed on Saturday night he still has plenty of fight in a dominant win over Adrien Broner – and called out Floyd Mayweather in his post-fight press conference.With Mayweather watching from ringside in Las Vegas, Pacquiao showed flashes of his old speed in winning a unanimous 12-round decision over Broner to easily defend his piece of the welterweight title. It was the 61st win of a remarkable career in which Pacquiao has won titles in eight weight classes. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



Rams beat Saints in overtime to make Super Bowl after 'missed' call

Greg Zuerlein’s 57-yard field goal clinches game for LASaints felt they should have got call late in regulationLos Angeles Rams 26-23 New Orleans Saints (OT)Greg Zuerlein kicked a 57-yard field goal in overtime and the Los Angeles Rams, helped by a huge missed call by the officials, advanced to the Super Bowl with a 26-23 victory over the New Orleans Saints in the NFC championship game on Sunday.The stunning finish came after New Orleans got the ball first in the extra period. Under pressure, Drew Brees fluttered up a pass that was picked off by John Johnson III, who was able to hang on to the interception while falling onto his back. Continue reading...

21-01-2019



José Mourinho must bin blame game and learn from his failings at United | Daniel Taylor

Manchester United’s former manager fails to show any hint of humility or to acknowledge he made mistakes at Old TraffordThe people who used to work with Sven-Göran Eriksson tell a story about the former England manager, going back to the European Championship in 2004, when he did something that was totally out of character. He almost lost his temper.England had just been knocked out by Portugal. Inside the dressing room was a scene of desolation and the Football Association’s staff saw something in his face that day they had never seen before: fury. A bad refereeing decision had denied Sol Campbell a late winner and Eriksson wanted to know where the official was. He was puce with anger. He left the dressing room to rap on the referee’s door and, when it swung open, there were a few interminable moments when nobody could quite be sure how far he was willing to take it. At which point Sven, once again, reverted to being Sven. “Mr referee,” he said, holding out his hand. “I wanted to say thank you for a good game.” Continue reading...

21-01-2019