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Last Update: January 23, 2020 - 3:30 pm
Manchester United’s Ed Woodward: admired by Glazers, despised by fans
Manchester United’s Ed Woodward: admired by Glazers, despised by fans

Frontman for the unpopular Glazer family is target for hateful chants now the manager no longer doubles as a human shield

On Wednesday night Ed Woodward discovered another problem with the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjær as Manchester United’s manager. The Norwegian, the hero of the Camp Nou in 1999, is all but unimpeachable even if his team play lumpen football and a series of ill-conceived decisions have exposed an unsuitability for top-level management.

And so United’s fans’ ire must be directed elsewhere, and while the club’s executive vice-chairman has been in the firing line for much of his near-seven years running the club, Solskjær is not David Moyes, Louis van Gaal or José Mourinho, a hired hand who doubles as a human shield for Woodward. “He’s gonna die, Ed Woodward is gonna die”, as sung during the 2-0 home defeat by Burnley, is a repurposed chant historically aimed at Manchester City, less a threat than a vivid, unseemly expression of hatred.

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The psychology of football rivalries
The psychology of football rivalries

Why does supporting one club mean you have to hate another?

By Paul Hyland for The Blizzard

Everyone reading this probably has a favourite football team. I’d also be willing to bet that all of you have at least one football club that you hate. Maybe it’s because their star player is a diver, or because they once broke your hearts in a season-defining, must-win game. Though probably it’s because you have to. Being a fan of one club means being expected to hate at least one other. But isn’t it just a little bit arbitrary? Who told you that you have to hate United or City? Arsenal and not Spurs? Then again, who told you that you have to hate anyone at all? Why does supporting one football club even have to mean hating another? In other words, why do we as football fans choose our rivals? And more to the point – how?

Our motivations for choosing rivals are an interesting psychological phenomenon, one which the work of the Austrian psychoanalysts in the early 20th century can help to explain. The contemporaries Otto Rank and Sigmund Freud might go a long way to explaining why rivalry is meaningful, why it is that we’re so viscerally connected not just to seeing our local team do well, but also to cheering on just about anyone who crosses paths with rival clubs.

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The Breakdown | Saracens scandal may spell end of a way of rugby life
The Breakdown | Saracens scandal may spell end of a way of rugby life

The affair has shown the regulations are ineffective as a deterrent and clubs stoke their own inflationary pressures

The end of an era was how Mark McCall described Saracens’ relegation to the Championship but will it also mark the end of a way of life? Will a club that has in the last 10 years based its squad around a core of English players it has either produced or signed young look to recruit from outside and minimise the financial impact of a player quickly going from a paltry wage to a substantial one after being capped by England?

Two months after protesting they had not breached the Premiership’s salary cap regulations and would appeal against the fine and loss of points, Saracens accepted they were over again this season and, given that they anticipated a not guilty verdict, took no steps to ensure they would comply this season as the leak of the 103-page report shows. Rather than wait for another hearing and the unlimited points deduction next season a panel would have had the power to impose on a repeat offender, they accepted demotion: it remains to be seen whether they receive the parachute payment of some £2m or whether it is forfeited in lieu of another fine.

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Solskjær understands ‘disillusionment’ after Manchester United’s defeat
Solskjær understands ‘disillusionment’ after Manchester United’s defeat

• Fans chanted against Glazers and Woodward in Burnley loss
• ‘We’ve got to stick to our values and beliefs,’ says manager

Ole Gunnar Solskjær admitted to understanding the disillusionment felt by Manchester United’s supporters following the team’s insipid 2-0 defeat by Burnley.

It was Burnley’s first win at Old Trafford for 58 years and home fans chanted against the club’s owners, the Glazers, and the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward. It was also United’s eighth league defeat of the season and Solskjær was asked how fans could be convinced United can turn their form around.

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Klopp: Henderson’s game lifted by Liverpool’s Champions League success
Klopp: Henderson’s game lifted by Liverpool’s Champions League success

• Liverpool captain now playing at much higher level
• ‘His natural quality was always there,’ says Jürgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp believes greater confidence and the prestige of lifting Liverpool’s sixth European Cup have elevated Jordan Henderson’s game this season.

The Liverpool captain has been in fine form for the runaway Premier League leaders, who visit Wolves on Thursday seeking a 14th successive league win, with his contribution receiving wider acclaim inside Anfield of late.

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The Fiver | Carlo Ancelotti's eyebrow arching towards the heavens
The Fiver | Carlo Ancelotti's eyebrow arching towards the heavens

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The Arco da Rua Augusta in Lisbon, Munich’s Siegestor, the Roosevelt Arch in Montana and the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Élysées in Paris are among the world’s best known arches. But when it comes to perfectly curved symmetry, none could hold a candle to the famous left eyebrow of Carlo Ancelotti as it headed towards the heavens while its owner watched Everton surrender a two-goal lead to Newcastle in the fourth and fifth minutes of added time at Goodison Park on Tuesday night.

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Football transfer rumours: Agüero and David Silva to Inter Miami?
Football transfer rumours: Agüero and David Silva to Inter Miami?

Today’s fluff is good at construction

Inter Miami have not played a competitive game in MLS yet. In fact, they have only had two training sessions in their history. But that’s not stopped the club’s co-owner, David Beckham, from dreaming big when it comes to his plans for assembling a winning team from scratch. Becks has taken on harder challenges – such as the time he stayed up till 3am to build a 4,000-piece Lego castle – so creating a competitive MLS club in a few months shouldn’t be a problem.

Which is why he’s batting his eyelids in the direction of David Silva and Sergio Agüero. Hot air doing the rounds suggests Agüero might prefer to see out his career on the same continent as his son, while Silva’s already said he will leave City at the end of the season and Miami’s not a bad place to spend your downtime. They could be South Beach’s most famous double act since Crockett and Tubbs. Mind you, the City empire includes New York City FC, so any move Stateside for either player could cause a family rift.

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The Fiver | Pardew and Powell attempting to bust Den Haag out of the slime
The Fiver | Pardew and Powell attempting to bust Den Haag out of the slime

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Speaking on TalkSport once, Dean Ashton revealed that Alan Pardew’s nickname during his time at West Ham was “chocolate” because the notoriously confident manager held himself in such high regard that “he would eat himself if he could”. Had supporters of Pardew’s new club ADO Den Haag known that before devising the giant Ghostbusters-themed tifo with which they greeted Pards and assistant Chris Powell for their first game with the Dutch side on Sunday, they might have mocked up their new boss as the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man which wreaks havoc on New York City, rather than one of the Ectomobile-driving, boiler-suited parapsychologists sent to stop it by flying in the face of proton-pack protocol and reversing the particle flow through the portal between dimensions by crossing the streams.

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Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action
Premier League: 10 talking points from the weekend’s action

Grealish, Saka and Chalobah shine in draws, while Newcastle are ready for reinforcements after a late win

Arsenal’s injury problems at left‑back have led them to explore signing Layvin Kurzawa from Paris Saint-Germain. But what if the solution lies closer to home? Bukayo Saka is 18 and earlier this season was being rightly lauded for his rich promise as a flying winger. But he has filled in at full‑back four times in the past month, most recently against Sheffield United on Saturday, and looks the part. Saka is tenacious, diligent, has speed and energy to burn and a knack of picking out teammates with his deliveries. “I think he could,” Mikel Arteta said when asked if Saka could carve out a long-term future in the role. “He is someone that’s never played there before but he’s really trying to do it as well as possible. You can see that he’s got many strengths to play in that position.” Club and manager might have hit upon something far more exciting than they expected. Nick Ames

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Sports quiz of the week: Conor McGregor, cows, cricket and a crash
Sports quiz of the week: Conor McGregor, cows, cricket and a crash

Who keeps scoring? Who keeps driving? Who keeps playing?

Conor McGregor is back in action this weekend in Las Vegas. When did he last win a fight (in UFC or boxing)?

2019

2018

2017

2016

JS Saint-Pierroise are playing in the last 32 of the French Cup this weekend. They are an amateur team and have never made it this far in the competition. How far do they have to travel for the game?

0.6 miles

6 miles

600 miles

6,000 miles

Even though they are top of the league in Spain, Barcelona decided to sack their manager this week. They played 69 home games under Ernesto Valverde and only lost one of them. Which manager got the better of him in that game?

David Moyes

Quique Setién

Jürgen Klopp

Unai Emery

Why was a referee given medical attention at the Masters snooker tournament in Alexandra Palace?

He tripped over a rest and sprained his ankle

An angry player punched him and split his lip

He was stung by a wasp

He had an allergic reaction to one of the player’s aftershave

The England cricket team are playing South Africa in Port Elizabeth this week. It is their 500th Test on foreign soil. What percentage of their previous 499 Tests did England win?

15%

30%

45%

60%

Sergio Agüero is now the top scoring foreign player in Premier League history. But he is still below three Englishmen on the all-time goals list: Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and …

Frank Lampard

Andy Cole

Jermain Defoe

Michael Owen

Aston Villa have bid £10m for the Genk striker Mbwana Samatta. If he signs for Villa, Samatta will become the first footballer from which country to play in the Premier League?

Tanzania

Togo

Trinidad and Tobago

Tunisia

When the Dakar Rally was launched in the 1970s, the race started in Paris and ended in Dakar – hence the name. However, the course has gone nowhere near Dakar in recent years. Which country has been hosting the event this week?

Portugal

Saudi Arabia

Canada

Australia

Why was the rally started?

Ford organised the first race to show off the durability of their cars

A motorbike racer got lost in the desert and thought it would make for a great race

Senegal’s tourist board launched the race to showcase their capital city

It was set up to honour a man called Philippides, who was sent from Paris to Dakar in 490BC to announce that a battle had been won.

Fernando Alonso, the former Formula One driver, entered the rally this year. He did fairly well, finishing 13th overall, but he had a tough day on Wednesday. He crashed his car, flipped it twice and had to drive for 532km ...

… without a windscreen

... with his horn beeping every few seconds

… with a broken arm

... with his hazard lights flashing

Complete this sentence: “Yesterday, I was walking around my home town with cows around me and now I’m here …

… at Barcelona managing the best players in the world”

… ready to fight for the world heavyweight title”

… playing at the Australian Open”

… winning the Masters at Ally Pally”

1 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a great weekend

2 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a great weekend

3 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a great weekend

4 and above.

That's a respectable score. Have a great weekend

5 and above.

That's a good score. Have a great weekend

6 and above.

That's a good score. Have a great weekend

7 and above.

That's a fine score. Have a great weekend

8 and above.

That's a great score. Have a great weekend

9 and above.

That's a great score. You (nearly) know it all. Have a great weekend

10 and above.

That's a great score. You (nearly) know it all. Have a great weekend

11 and above.

That's a great score. You know it all. Have a great weekend

0 and above.

Ah well. You tried. Have a great weekend

12 and above.

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Goalscoring NHL goalies, village cricket and handball magic | Classic YouTube
Goalscoring NHL goalies, village cricket and handball magic | Classic YouTube

This week’s roundup also features steeplechase drama and an astronaut being brought back down to Earth with a bump

1) Nashville Predators’ Pekka Rinne joins the short list of NHL goaltenders with an eye for finding the opposing net thanks to this effort against Chicago Blackhawks. He’s the first since 2013, when Mike Smith just beat the buzzer for Phoenix Coyotes.

New York Islanders’ Billy Smith, back in 1979, is credited with the earliest example, as the last player on his team to touch the puck before Colorado Rockies’ Rob Ramage passed to empty ice and watched forlornly as it made its way to an unguarded net. However, Ron Hextall shot and scored for Philadelphia Flyers in 1987 – and also contributed the next on the list, in the 1989 play-offs against the Capitals. New Jersey Devils’ Martin Brodeur has three goals to his name, with one sterling full-rink effort, followed by two Ramage-like pieces of charity from Daymond Langkow and Jordan Staal respectively. Leaving the technicalities aside, three more managed the feat from their own sticks: Chris Osgood, Evgeni Nabokov and Jose Theodore, whose 9-iron-style swing is arguably the pick of the bunch.

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Quique Setién at Barça, Mata's magic and Love Island – Football Weekly Extra
Quique Setién at Barça, Mata's magic and Love Island – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Jonathan Wilson and Jon Brodkin discuss Juan Mata’s slow march to a one-on-one, Christian Eriksen’s farewell tour, Harry Kane and England’s Euro inevitability, Love Island and Vera

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email.

We start by discussing Manchester United’s 1-0 win over Wolves - just a single goal in three hours of football, which Wolves fans had to pay £20 more to watch than United supporters.

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Which footballers have suffered injuries playing other sports? | The Knowledge
Which footballers have suffered injuries playing other sports? | The Knowledge

Plus: top-flight careers over four decades, more big non-league gates and Garth Crooks presenting a politics show on BBC2

“After seeing Rory Burns miss an England cricket match because of an injury caused playing football, which footballers have missed matches playing other sports?” tweets Mattskating.

“Rangers’ Marco Negri suffered a serious eye injury playing squash with Sergio Porrini,” tweets Jono Bolton. “Before that, he’d scored 33 goals in 26 games.” Ah yes, February 1998 in Glasgow, with Rangers battling for a 10th consecutive league title. Negri takes up the story: “He was the wrong choice of playmate for squash because it should not have been a game in which winning became everything and yet with Sergio that was impossible … At a speed that felt like 100mph that sphere of hard, hot rubber cannoned off the concrete and straight into the centre of my eye.”

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‘This is my adrenaline fix’: Jamie Chadwick, F1’s first female hope in 43 years
‘This is my adrenaline fix’: Jamie Chadwick, F1’s first female hope in 43 years

No woman has raced in a Formula 1 grand prix since the 1970s. Does the 21-year-old Williams driver have the talent and ambition to change all that?

Even if you’re one of the most promising young racing drivers of your era, you still have to take your driving test. Shortly after she turned 17, Jamie Chadwick thought she’d better get on with it. She had been driving competitively since she first raced a go-kart, when she was 11. “Obviously I knew how to drive a car,” she says. “But driving on roads, knowing everything about road driving, is very different.” She’d planned to have lessons, but only managed “sort of one and a half” before a cancellation meant she had a chance to take the test. “I was, like, I’ll just do it and if I fail, I might never live it down, but I just have to give it a go.” To her great relief, she passed. “Somehow. But I was never taught to park, so I still can’t. Then I found myself as designated driver and I was, like, this isn’t worth it either.” She laughs. “So a lot of regret in that whole situation.”

Chadwick might not be able to park, but in Formula 1, she’s not going to need to. If all goes to plan, that is exactly where she’ll end up, breaking a 43-year dry spell for women on the starting grid. Last year, she won the inaugural W Series, an all-female championship that ended at Brands Hatch in August. She is gathering firsts at quite a rate: at 17, she was the first woman and youngest driver to win the British GT Championship. In 2018, she became the first woman to win a British F3 race. Last February, she became the first female winner of the MRF Challenge series in Chennai. She is competing now in the Asian F3 Championship.

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