Thursday, 30 October 2014

Ghouls and goals

  • Each mammoth gourd weighs in at a whopping 15kg and McMinnis spent a total of 25 hours whittling the orange flesh into the likenesses of Louis van Gaal and Manuel Pellegrini.
    We think there is something of Lord of the Rings creep Gollum about Pellegrini's pumpkin though. And a lot of Hollywood actor John Goodman in the Van Gaal effort
  • Football

    Lambert - 'We will be better'
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    Paul Lambert has told Sky Sports News that his Aston Villa team can't yet be judged because they've had so many difficult games.
    "In our first nine games we've played the top five and it's been really tough," said the boss. "But we will (this season) be a lot better than we were last year, that's for sure."
    Villa, who host Tottenham on Sunday, are 15th in the table with three wins from nine games.
  • Tennis

    Murray time approaching
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    Andy Murray and Amelie Mauresmo
    British number one Andy Murray can finally nail down his place at London's ATP World Tour Finals today.
    The Scot, sitting fifth in the 2014 rankings, is best placed to secure one of the four spots still up for grabs.
    His participation at the O2 will be confirmed today if he beats Wimbledon quarter-final conqueror Grigor Dimitrov in Paris, or if Kei Nishikori, Tomas Berdych or Milos Raonic lose.
    So far it is looking like Murray will have to do the business himself. Bedych has beaten Feliciano Lopez 7-5 6-3 in the opening match on court in the French capital.
    Murray v Dimitrov will follow Kevin Anderson v Stan Wawrinka, which is the next match on court. There will be live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and this website with some live text words as well.
  • Cricket

    Tea at the Test
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    Pakistan have batted solidly despite losing both their openers to reach 158-2 at tea on the opening day of the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi.
    Younis Khan was unbeaten on 49 and Azhar Ali was on 26, having added 62 runs for the third wicket after Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat on a flat pitch.
    Younis is bang in form, having scored twin hundreds in the first Test in Dubai.
  • Keane's I'm A Celebrity offer

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    Roy Keane
    Aston Villa and Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane says he turned down the chance to become a reality TV star.
    "I've had the Celebrity Big Brother offers and the jungle stuff (I'm A Celebrity…). I met the jungle people, but I thought, Nah, not for me,'" he told ShortList magazine.
    What a pity, would have been a hell of a watch...
  • Football

    Ince joins Forest on loan
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    Hull City winger Tom Ince has joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of December.
    England Under-21 international Ince left Blackpool to sign for the Tigers during the summer.

    Blackpool appoint new manager
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    Blackpool have named Lee Clark as their new manager, three days after Jose Riga was sacked.
    Clarke, fired by Birmingham on 20 October, has agreed a one-year rolling contract.
    He has a tough job on his hands - the Seasiders are bottom of the Championship and already seven points from safety.
  • Cricket

    Flintoff disappointment at KP
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    Former England cricketer Andrew Flintoff says he is disappointed that Kevin Pietersen chose to focus on bullying in his recently-released autobiography.
    "I feel sad that his book isn't a celebration of being a fantastic cricketer," he told the Flintoff and Holcroft podcast.
    "I think people want to read about how he felt when he walked out to bat and scored all those runs...instead it is about being bullied in the dressing-room."
  • Basketball

    Deng warming up with the Heat
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    Luol Deng playing for Luol Deng
    Great Britain's Luol Deng got off to a solid start in Miami Heat's NBA season-opener, scoring 12 points in a 107-95 win over the Washington Wizards.

    Falcao 'to make Man United move permanent'
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    Radamel Falcao celebrates his goal against Everton
    Striker Radamel Falcao will make his loan move to Manchester United permanent at the end of the season, according to
    They report that United executives have "already agreed and shaken hands on a £44 million deal to sign Radamel Falcao permanently" from Monaco.
    The Colombian, 28, has scored one goal in five games for United since arriving at Old Trafford.
  • Football

    Fixture changed to honour shooting victim
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    South Africa have moved their Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan on 15 November from Nelspruit to Durban, the hometown of goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa, in honour of the former national team captain.
    Meyiwa, 27, was shot and killed in what appears to have been a botched robbery at his girlfriend's house on Sunday.
  • Basketball

    Stars in the Garden
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    karlie kross, Taylor Swift and Ben Stiller
    "I got a colour TV, so I can see, the Knicks play basketball," boasted the Sugarhill Gang.
    No such armchair action for supermodel type Karlie Kloss, pop siren Taylor Swift and actor Ben Stiller, though, who were up close and personal at courtside for the New York Knicks' opening game of the NBA season last night.
    They may have had A-list support, but the Knicks, who play the Milwaukee Bucks in London in January, delivered a D-grade performance, losing 104-80 to the Chicago Bulls.
  • Ant and Dec salute Taylor

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    Ryan Taylor
    Big Newcastle fans Ant and Dec told their 4 million Twitter followers how happy they were to see Ryan Taylor back on a football pitch during last night's win over Manchester City.
    "Just brilliant to see @TaylorR1984 back in action tonight," the pair tweeted. "It's been a long time coming. Welcome back 'Over The Wall'!"
    Here, here, for it is indeed terrific to see Taylor return after 26 months on the sidelines due to two horrible cruciate ligament injuries.
  • Cricket

    Strike duo deny bullying claims
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    England fast bowlers Stuart Broad and James Anderson have had their say about Kevin Pietersen's claims of a bullying culture in the England dressing room.
    The pair says they are saddened and disappointed by the allegations, and also denied any involvement in a Twitter account that set out to parody the former batsman.
    Broad said: "The bullying word has not crossed my mind in eight or nine years of playing international cricket."
    Anderson said a bullying culture was "certainly not something I remember".
  • Transforming Sport conference

    BBC Sport's Anna Thompson at Transforming Sport conference at Lord's:
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    Judy Murray
    British Fed Cup team captain Judy Murray, and mother of Andy and Jamie, tells the Transforming Sport conference:
    "When Jamie and Andy were six and seven, I applied for a personal coaching award scheme organised by the LTA. There were 20 places available and two women were given places. A man complained asking "what on earth has she got to offer in performance coaching when she had two young kids.... Funny how it's never mentioned now!"
  • Burgess cool on England talk

    Rugby Union
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    Sam Burgess
    New Bath signing Sam Burgess was a guest on BBC Radio 5 live Breakfast earlier and was even surprised live on air with a call from his mother, Julie, in Sydney.
    Presenter Rachel Burden quizzed him on his chances of playing for England, but the former South Sydney Rabbitoh would not be pushed in to any commitment.
    "Everyone's asking me whether I'll play for England," he said.
    "I've spoken to him (Stuart Lancaster) very briefly, nothing about being picked in his side or nothing like that, just generally seeing how I'm going.
    "He's a very busy man, doing his job."
  • Football

    Mario Super - Sturridge
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    mario Balotelli with Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling
    Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has defended Liverpool team-mate Mario Balotelli after the Italy international's slow start to life at Anfield.
    Sturridge, who admitted during the recent World Cup that he was "not on texting terms" with former strike-partner Luis Suarez, says that he gets on well with Balotelli.
    "Mario's a great guy, and he's misunderstood sometimes," Sturridge told Talksport.
    "We get on well off the field and in the changing rooms. We're always laughing and joking."
    "It's not hugely important to be friends to have a great [football] relationship with somebody, and if you're not friends you can still have a great partnership, but you can also be friends and have a great partnership."
  • Football

    Allardyce press conference
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    Big Sam on striker Andy Carroll: "Andy has to go through what for him is the final part of a pre-season after recovery, and ease himself slowly into games."
    Carroll has been out all season with an ankle injury but is back in training.
    Allardyce added: "James Tomkins is back and Matt Jarvis is back in the squad and the others we're waiting patiently for."
  • Football

    Allardyce press conference
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    Diafra Sakho
    Allardyce says man of the moment Diafra Sakho - who scored for the sixth straight league game to help earn West Ham victory over Man City last weekend - is "touch and go" for the Stoke trip.
    "We will see what he's like tomorrow and make a decision from there," said the boss.
    Speaking about Saturday's opponents, Allardyce said: "Sparky (Mark Hughes) is looking for the consistency level at Stoke that we've found and the goalscorers in our team allow us to go and win games."
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