Archive for November, 2011

Ally McCoist is hoping sectarianism which remains a problem in Scottish football will not drive Kyle Lafferty away from the club. The player had been targeted after his car window had been smashed in a petrol station last week.

Celtic striker Anthony Stokes also had been targeted recently, where previously Neil Lennon was sent an explosive device earlier in the year and Niall McGinn and Paddy McCourt  were sent bullets in the post.

Speaking about the sectarian attacks, McCoist said; “I think we are all sick of it (sectarian attacks). So Kyle’s no different from the rest of us,” he said.

“Anthony Stokes’ window gets panned in, and Kyle gets his car done. It’s a sad reflection on society but I still think we are getting better.

“But I don’t think what has happened would stand in the way of Kyle signing a new deal. I would certainly hope not anyway.”

Kyle Lafferty aired his frustration at being targeted by thugs during in what should be a special moment in his life.

“I’m doing okay, but I’m sick of all this nonsense – there’s no need for it,” he said.

“All I want to do is concentrate on my football with Rangers  and my relationship with Nicola, and I can’t wait for the birth of our baby in three weeks’ time.

“These are exciting times for me and I don’t need them ruined by incidents like this.”

It had been rumoured that David Haye could be coming out of retirement to fight Vitali Kiltschko in March, it was thought that Haye’s management team had been in negotiations with Vitali’s team to make the fight happen between the two.

Vitali Klitschko’s management team has today confirmed that they have made David Haye an offer to fight and have insisted that the ball is now in Haye’s court.

“Team Klitschko is in negotiations with Haye and has made him an offer,” a management official for the Ukrainian brothers told Reuters on Tuesday. “Now the ball is in Haye’s court.”

David Haye lost a points decision to Vitali’s brother Wladimir in July, citing a broken toe the reason he could not perform on the day.

The Londoner tried to get Wladimir to agree to a rematch, but the calls fell on deaf ears.
The Hayemaker officially retired from boxing on his 31st birthday in October, something the fighter always suggested he would do.

Haye has claimed after retiring that he merely retired from fighting anyone without the Klitschko name, Vitali has always said that he would like the opportunity to fight Haye and do what his brother failed to do, which was knock the Hayemaker out.

Joey Barton has revealed why the Newcastle board forced him out of the club. The former Newcastle man was bombed out of the club during the transfer window to Queens Park Rangers.

Barton moved to West London in August after being placed on the transfer list by Newcastle following a Twitter rant in which he criticised the club’s board and how club was being run.

The midfielder has always publicly spoken out against owner Mike Ashley and managing director Derek Llambias. The 29-year-old has now claimed that other big-name players left the North East club after a bonus dispute.

Barton claimed he is not bitter after leaving the club and is happy see Newcastle performing well on the pitch this season.

Speaking on QPR’s podcast Open All R’s, he added; “Newcastle, as a playing squad, were the only club in Premier League history not to sign a bonus sheet. It was unprecedented,”

“We refused as a playing staff (to sign) as they tried to railroad the players into signing a bonus sheet.

“In their opinion we were a paid workforce. They thought we were Sports Direct and we should do what the subordinates at Sports Direct do, forgetting they were dealing with 20-odd egos, probably 10 self-sufficient men in a position to make a number of different judgements.

“Myself and the bigger-name players at the time advised the playing staff because we were head of the playing committee not to sign the bonus sheet and that filtered back to boardroom level.

“It’s no coincidence that I was given away.

“It’s all about power and control. They are running the football club and it’s going really well for them at the minute but that’s more a testament to the players and the fans, and also the manager (Alan Pardew ). The manager has been different class.”

Alan Shearer has spoken for the first time about the death of his close friend Gary Speed, the former Newcastle and England striker has been left feeling numb since the news that his former team-mate had committed suicide while at home yesterday morning with various news sources revealing the player hung himself.

Alan Shearer was with Gary Speed on Saturday on television before he headed off to Old Trafford to watch Manchester United play Newcastle, which is now the last time he saw Gary Speed.

Shearer said: “We were arranging next weekend. He was coming up to stay at my house with his wife and we were going up to various charity dinners on Friday and Saturday.

“We left the studio at half past two and I walked over to Old Trafford  to go and watch Newcastle.  I shook his hand and said, ‘see you next weekend’ – and unfortunately I won’t.

“It’s incredible. I’m still numb and still shocked like everyone else. You read things in the newspaper and it doesn’t happen to one of your best mates.

“I’m just so sad and shocked and feel for (Speed’s wife) Louise and his two boys and mum and dad.”

Recalling his last moment with his close friend Shearer added: “I was with him and he was happy and joking and we were having a normal mickey-take like we do out of each other, and having a laugh and a joke about our golf trips and holidays that we went on together last year, and planning our next holiday in Portugal next summer with our families and kids.”

Shearer became close friends with Gary Speed when Kenny Dalglish signed the Welshman at Newcastle, with Shearer describing his team-mate as “a great footballer and a model pro”.

Shearer added: “You’re bound to have arguments along the way in football, but no-one ever did with Gary – no-one had a bad word for him.

“He was an incredible guy who you could rely and depend on. Everyone loved him… he was loved because that’s the type of guy that he was – he got on with everyone and everyone respected him.”

The family of Gary Speed has today released their first statement through his agent Hayden Evans, who was also the best man at the 42-year-old’s wedding where the family stated they are “overwhelmed by the support“ by the received following the death of the former Welsh manager.

Gary Speed committed suicide at his home in Huntingdon yesterday morning leaving it a mystery as to why the 42-year-old felt that he needed to take his own life, tributes have been flooding in for the former Wales, Leeds, Everton,  Newcastle,  Bolton and Sheffield United  midfielder from across the world.

Hayden Evans said: “Gary’s family would sincerely like to thank all the people that have sent messages of condolence and tributes in what is a very difficult time.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support and it really has helped.

“We would ask that the family are now given the respect of some privacy to just grieve on their own.”

Earlier Gary McAllister who is deeply shocked by the death of Speed, insisted after they appeared on television together at the weekend that “there were no signs” that Speed had troubles.

“Alan Shearer  broke the news to me (yesterday) and it turned me to jelly,” said the Scotsman on Monday.
“I couldn’t believe what he was saying. It shook me to the bones; I was in shock for most of the day.

“Twenty minutes before we went on air on Saturday, he was the normal Gary Speed to me.

“He was very excited about the prospects of the Welsh national team and was upbeat, looking class, immaculately presented. He was a movie star in my eyes.

“With no competitive Wales games until February, we were talking about getting some golf organised.

“There were no signs, nothing to suggest he was troubled. He looked well and things are going well for him at the moment. I could never have thought that 10-12 hours after I saw him I’d be getting that news. It’s a nightmare.”

“I couldn’t see anything in Gary that suggested he was depressed or had any feeling of anxiety. He was just the Gary Speed that I know.”

By Paul Amico
Were they even trying? After last night’s 50-0 stomping by cross town rival USC, UCLA Coach Rick Neuheisel’s time in Los Angeles is numbered. Last night’s annihilation marks Neuheisel’s 4th loss to USC in 4 years of being coach, and its biggest margin of defeat by USC since 1932.

Even though UCLA will be playing in the first ever PAC-12 championship against Oregon on Friday since USC is ineligible due to past violations, most if not all expect the same result next week: an uninspired team led by a coach who looks lost and confused about how to be competitive in a game.

You can defend Neuheisel as much as you want, but the fact of the matter is, when you’re the head coach of a prestigious team like UCLA, your expected to do two things: win and beat USC. Neuheisel has done neither while being in charge since the end of 2007.

UCLA is 21-28 under Neuheisel and has had a winning record only one year while he’s been there (7-6), and has a 3-25 record against teams with a winning record at the end of the year. Plus, when it comes to playing their biggest rival USC, Neuheisel hasn’t even been close in defeating them, losing by 21+ in 3 of the 4 years.

In years past, the UCLA-USC game was a cherished rivalry where people would be full of anxious anitcipation weeks before the game. Now, you’re lucky not to be asleep by the end of the first quarter. It may take 3, maybe even 4 or 5 more years until UCLA can take a step forward and be prominent again, but until they fire their mediocre coach, they will forever live in mediocrity.

The Welsh FA has today confirmed the sad news that Gary Speed has passed away.  No official details have been released regarding the cause of death and the Welsh FA has called on respect to be shown to Speed’s family at this sad time.

Initial reports claim that the former Leeds, Everton and Newcastle star was found hanged at his home, according to a statement from Cheshire Police.

“At 7.08am this morning, Sunday 27 November, police were informed of an incident at Aldford Road, Huntington. Officers went to the scene where a 42-year-old man was found dead. There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death and next of kin have been informed,” the statement added. It looks very much as if the cause of death may be determined as suicide.

Speed helped guide Wales to three successive victories in his short spell as manager. Initial reports claim that the former Leeds, Everton and Newcastle star was found hanged at his home, according to a statement from Cheshire Police.

The FA of Wales confirmed the news in a statement.

“We extend our sympathies and condolences to the family. We ask that everyone respects the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”