Ellie Downie: ‘My foot is very, very sensitive but I’m happy to be back’

21-10-2018 The European all-around gold medallist is ready for the gymnastics world championships in Doha after 18 months of painThe Lilleshall National Sports Centre is buried in Shropshire woodland. It has the flavour of a public school crossed with an army base and is operated by Serco. It is also home to British Gymnastics and, in one of the satellite buildings on the campus, where Ellie Downie has been going through boot camp.Last year, at the age of 17, Downie became the first British gymnast ever to claim an all-around title at a major tournament when she won gold at the European championships. Then, just as she was taking off, the Nottingham teenager was grounded. A persistent ankle injury, through which she had competed at the Europeans, required surgery. Then, after the operation, the foot did not get better. Downie went back to training but things felt the same, as if the surgery had not made a difference. Continue reading...

Owen Farrell is an England certainty. But where he plays is less clear

21-10-2018 Eddie Jones may play England’s new co-captain at fly-half or inside-centre next monthEddie Jones smiles when he is asked if he is anxious as he approaches next month’s encounters with the southern hemisphere’s big three and the team he coached in the last World Cup, Japan, given England’s chronic injury list. The Australian is one of the few head coaches around who enjoys sparring with the media, a relic of the amateur era.“No. You can only play with the cards you are dealt,” he says. “You can talk about season structure, rugby, club versus country but it does not matter at the end of the day. You can only do what you can and for me that is selecting the side and getting the players organised and in the right attitude to play. Continue reading...

Usain Bolt's agent says he has been offered Mariners deal, coach is unaware

21-10-2018 Ricky Simms says former sprinter has been offered dealMike Mulvey: ‘I don’t know anything about it’Usain Bolt’s agent Ricky Simms has said that the eight-time Olympic sprint gold medalist has received an A-League contract offer from the Central Coast Mariners however the club’s manager, Mike Mulvey, said he knew nothing about it.“In response to the media stories, yes, Usain has been offered a contract. I do not want to make any further comment at this stage,” Simms said. Continue reading...

Football fans’ great expectations: why they should lower them by 10% | Greg Wood

21-10-2018 Master statistician Nate Silver has crunched football’s numbers and found managers are paying price for supporters’ blind faithHow well do you know your football team? And how do you think they will get on next weekend? Because my bet would be that however well you think you know your team, no matter how dispassionately you feel you can assess their chances after season upon season of occasional highs and abundant lows, there is a database in the United States that knows a great deal more about your club’s performance than you do.In fact, there are quite a few databases which contain more wisdom about the nitty-gritty of how and why football teams succeed or fail than any human could ever hope to learn. But the vast resource of sporting information and analysis on the website FiveThirtyEight.com is of particular interest for two main reasons. The first is that they give it all away for free. The second is that it was founded by the statistician Nate Silver, who can fairly claim to have written the book when it comes to using statistics, data and probability to predict what will happen in sporting events, elections and much more besides. Continue reading...

Is Keisuke Honda alone in managing internationally while still playing? | The Knowledge

21-10-2018 Plus: prolific first-half goalscorers, sticking peppers where the sun don’t shine, and more. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Recently Keisuke Honda signed for my hometown club Melbourne Victory in the A-League,” writes Karan Dhamija. “A few days later, he was also announced as manager of the Cambodian national team. Has a player been a manager of another team while playing? Even better if there has been a case of a player managing a national team like Honda?”The Knowledge has been close to this subject before, in 2010, when we found a few examples of footballers turning out for their international teams while player-managers at club-level. These include Graeme Souness, who captained Scotland at Mexico 1986 shortly after being appointed to the dual role at Rangers; Jim Platt, who turned out for Northern Ireland while player-manager at Coleraine; and Gunnar Gren, who played for Sweden in the World Cup final against Brazil in 1958 while managing and turning out for Orgryte. But none of these ever managed an international team. Continue reading...

Barcelona thump Sevilla but fractured arm rules Lionel Messi out of clásico

21-10-2018 Lionel Messi will miss next week’s clásico against Real Madrid with a fracture in his right arm, Barcelona have announced.Messi was injured when he fell awkwardly in the first half of Saturday’s 4-2 win over Sevilla, and the Argentinian now faces three weeks out. Continue reading...

José Mourinho's record against his previous clubs – video

21-10-2018 José Mourinho's Manchester United face high-flyers Chelsea in the early kick-off on Saturday. His side currently sit eighth in the table, seven points behind his former club. Throughout his career Mourinho has managed some of the world's biggest clubs. How has he fared against his former employers? Continue reading...

Chelsea 2-2 Manchester United: Maurizio Sarri's assistant very impolite - Jose Mourinho

21-10-2018 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho says Chelsea's technical assistant Marco Ianni was "very impolite" after celebrating in front of him.

Real Madrid: How bad does it look for manager Julen Lopetegui?

21-10-2018 A fourth defeat in five games leaves Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui under mounting pressure - a week before they face rivals and La Liga leaders Barcelona.

Dominant Taylor retains world titles with unanimous points win over Serrano

21-10-2018 Ireland's Katie Taylor defends her IBF and WBA world titles with a unanimous points win over Cindy Serrano in Boston.

England stun Spain, no Khan do and Gibraltar's rocks – Football Weekly Extra

21-10-2018 Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, John Ashdown and Hayley McQueen discuss the Nations League, Wembley, José Mourinho’s latest Chelsea return – and how to do a fitba cornerJoin the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.Max Rushden is joined by Barry Glendenning, John Ashdown and Hayley McQueen to run through all the biggest talking points from the Nations League, including England’s stunning first-half performance in Seville, which led to a 3-2 victory. Attention also has to be given to the behaviour of some away fans in the city. Continue reading...

Brighton’s Beram Kayal scrambles home to send abject Newcastle rock bottom

21-10-2018 Mike Ashley does not really do regrets but in a rare moment of introspection Newcastle’s owner did recently offer Chris Hughton a public apology for sacking him eight years ago.It was a particularly harsh dismissal and only served to deepen the affection of Tynesiders for the leftwinger they dubbed “Comrade Chris”. Continue reading...

England fans’ stag-do mentality deserved a snub not players’ applause | Daniel Taylor

21-10-2018 England’s away following is neither as racist nor as violent as it used to be but the scenes in Seville did the country down and Gareth Southgate and co could have taken a standWe appear to be in that period now that could probably be described as the backlash against the backlash. Social media have certainly been a frothy place since a few of my journalistic colleagues had the temerity to write about England abroad and how, in short, it can be a bit wearing treading through the broken glass or watching brave lads in expensive trainers trying to pick fights with stationary cars.The people who make it their business to cause offence seem to be offended that anyone could possibly be offended, though I am not entirely sure they will get the irony bearing in mind a lot of the ones who have inserted the words “no surrender” into the national anthem and sing about the pope – more than they sing about, say, their own captain – also make the Irish pub their first port of call when visiting some of Europe’s more vibrant cities. Continue reading...