David Squires on ... the hottest job in Australian football

Our cartoonist looks at the ongoing fallout from the sacking of Alen Stajcic as his successor Ante Milicic settles into the hot seatTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

21-02-2019



'The whole village is united': Warnock attends Emiliano Sala's funeral – video

The Cardiff City manager, Neil Warnock, has attended the funeral of Emiliano Sala in the town of Progreso, Argentina. Sala was killed when the aircraft he was flying in crashed on 21 January, en route to Cardiff from Nantes, the player having signed with the Premier League club days earlier Continue reading...

21-02-2019



Alysa Liu's remarkable rise: is 13 too young to be an elite athlete?

The figure skater is barely into her teens and is already the US champion. But some believe the mental and physical strain of elite sport should waitAlysa Liu covered her face and cried as the results were announced at the US ladies figure skating championship in Detroit, Michigan, last month. Her coach, Laura Lipetsky who has worked with her since she was five, hugged her.Liu had just won the national title at the age of 13, making her the youngest athlete to have done so, and with two triple axels no less. The weeks since have been a media frenzy. She appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and profiles on her meteoric rise have been published across the world. But for all the attention Liu has received, she won’t be able to compete in Worlds. She’s too young. A 1997 International Skating Union rule requires athletes to be at least 15 by 1 July preceding the season to participate in senior-level international events. Continue reading...

21-02-2019



The Fiver | Staring us in the face, in plain sight, giving us the big do-you-want-some

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Yesterday evening, Barcelona took 25 shots against Lyon but none of them went in, so they drew for the fourth time in five matches. At Anfield, Naby Keïta had a pass completion rate of 74%. But apart from those two examples of things that are brimful of pretty attacking promise but aren’t quite clicking at the moment, there was very little to talk about in Big Cup. The needle on the Fiver’s patented Entertainmentometer™© got stuck halfway between Mildly Diverting But Only Because There’s Nothing On Any Of The Other Channels and Intriguing But Only Because You’re Trying Way Too Hard. Bah. As a banner displayed in the Bayern end and applauded by the Liverpool fans noted, you had to pay £48 for a ticket to watch this stuff. One day a real rain will come. Continue reading...

21-02-2019



The Fiver | It was nice to see Diego Simeone bucking that trend

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The punditry career of Robbie Savage. The reboot of Magnum PI. The Independent Group extemporising philosophically on roundtable debate shows. There’s enough unnecessary, inexplicable, depressing nonsense on television to be dealing with these days without getting worked up about VAR. So hats off to Pep Guardiola for shrugging his shoulders last night and declaring himself “a big fan” of the much-maligned, pernickety officiating system which has only tarnished three Big Cup knockout matches and one World Cup final so far. “I trust VAR!” he trilled with the magnanimity one can only afford when your team has dodged a bullet and it might be best to keep your powder dry so you can properly kick off when the video ref awards Real Madrid a preposterous last-minute penalty in the next round. Continue reading...

21-02-2019



Where is Gordon Taylor’s PFA review? No doubt he’s beavering away | Marina Hyde

The world’s highest-paid union official promised a review in November but it appears to be moving at a glacial paceI don’t know the Latin for “look busy and it’ll die down” – but whatever it is, it could do with being carved above the lintel of the Professional Footballers’ Association’s office in Manchester.This is the stronghold of the organisation’s chief executive Gordon Taylor, who has been in charge for just the 40 years so far. That is slightly shy of someone like Cameroonian dictator Paul Biya, who has notched up 43 years of tireless service to his subjects. But as far as comparisons with other bosses in the humanitarian sector are concerned, there’s really no one to remotely touch him in terms of longevity. Certainly not since Mother Teresa left us. Continue reading...

21-02-2019



England pick Jack Nowell and Ben Moon to start against Wales

Eddie Jones makes only two changes to team that beat FranceJoe Cokanasiga set to make Six Nations debut off the benchJack Nowell and Ben Moon have been named to start for England against Wales on Saturday as Eddie Jones makes two changes to his side. Joe Cokanasiga, the 21-year-old winger who scored two tries in his first two England matches during the autumn, is also in line for a first Six Nations appearance having been named on the bench. Related: Welsh connection will not distract Billy Vunipola from England’s cause | Andy Bull Continue reading...

21-02-2019



Valencia v Celtic: Europa League last 32, second leg – live!

Live updates from the 5.55pm GMT kick-offYou can email Paul here or tweet him hereLive scoreboard: all the latest from Thursday’s matches 5.19pm GMT Valencia: Neto; Wass, Garay, Diakhaby, Lato; Torres, Soler, Parejo, Guedes; Sobrino, MinaSubs: Domenech, Gameiro, Cheryshev, Gaya, Lee, Coquelin, Cenetelles 4.59pm GMT Hello. You join us with Celtic on the verge of a historic achievement … or routine elimination from the Europa League. Having lost last week’s home leg 2-0, Brendan Rodgers’ team need to win handsomely in Spain, where they’ve won exactly zero of their previous 15 matches. Coincidentally, 15 is also the number of times that Valencia have gone into the second leg of a European tie with a lead – and they have lost that lead exactly zero times. So yes, Celtic have a mighty challenge on their hands. But Rodgers says that if they can nick the first goal and cut out the elementary mistakes that caused last week’s defeat, then something special could be on the cards. Those are two whopping big “ifs” but this potential triumph wouldn’t be worth getting excited about if Celtic were starting from an easy place. As things stand, this is a must-follow. At least for a while. Continue reading...

21-02-2019



Cheltenham: Clare and Paul Rooney tell trainers to resume entering runners at course

Leading owners Paul and Clare Rooney want their horses to race again at Cheltenham after previous concerns over injury rates.

21-02-2019



Trainers pull out of Lingfield over ‘horrendous’ prize money

• 20 trainers pull horses from Saturday’s Lingfield card• ARC cut prize money contribution by £3m in 2019Racing’s latest prize-money row has dramatically undermined Saturday’s Lingfield card, with one race drawing no runners at all and another attracting one. Trainers said they had taken their horses out because the £4,500 on offer for the races at the Arena Racing Company track was “horrendous” and there were more attractive options elsewhere.“This is trainers acting as individuals in protest at ARC’s derisory prize money,” said Ralph Beckett, one of 20 trainers who put horses in the Lingfield races at the initial entry stage but then decided against running when the final fields were declared. “Trainers by inclination do their own thing. This should indicate to ARC the depth of feeling. I’ll make a prediction: it won’t be the last time.” Continue reading...

21-02-2019