20-02-2019 Gordon Banks on ‘the greatest save ever made’ – video obituary

England's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81. Banks played 73 times for England and was a key figure in Sir Alf Ramsey's legendary 1966 side. However it's Banks's twisting save from Brazilian superstar Pelé that he is often best remembered for, a save deemed 'one of the greatest feats of goalkeeping'Gordon Banks, World Cup winner with England in 1966, dies aged 81 Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Leroy Sane: How the Schalke schoolboy became a Premier League star at Manchester City

Leroy Sane's former teachers and coaches tell the story of his "amazing rise" from Schalke's youth academy to starring for Manchester City.

20-02-2019 Fifty seconds for a one-foot putt: Is slow play killing golf?

JB Holmes frustrated fans and fellow pros with a five-and-a-half hour round on Sunday. Many believe slow play is affecting the growth of the gameThe video says it all: as JB Holmes paced a 15-foot putt at the Genesis Open, he checked his yardage book thoroughly, presumably looking over notes that he had taken during a practice round. Then he plum bobbed with his putter, stepped away and plum bobbed again, stared down the line of the putt as if he were hunting prey, stood over the ball, then finally hit a shot. Which he missed. It got worse: he then took 50 seconds to hole the one-footer that remained, an age for something even amateurs would consider a tap-in.Thoughts? pic.twitter.com/ZUrqTMb6M3 Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Is Tottenham's run of 30 league games without a draw a record? | The Knowledge

Plus: Old Trafford’s mysterious semi-final snub, back-to-back penalty misses and unused subs. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Tottenham have currently played 30 consecutive Premier League games without drawing one,” notes Wouter van Dael. “What is the longest ever such league run?”The short answer is that Spurs are Premier League record-breakers, Wouter, but only just. “Bolton previously held this title with a run of 28 games between March and December 2011,” writes James Clarke. “But in the wider context of English league history, Spurs have a long way to go yet. Twenty-nine clubs have had longer streaks without a draw at some point – and seven have gone more than 40 consecutive league games without a stalemate: Birmingham (43 games), Walsall (44), Leicester (44), Bradford Park Avenue (44), Stoke (46), Sunderland (46) and Aston Villa (51). Although it is probably worth noting that Sunderland’s is the most recent of these, coming comparatively recently in 1908-09. The slightly interesting quirk here is that five of these seven draw-less clubs are midlands teams.Season 2017-1830 Apr Spurs 2-0 Watford5 May West Brom 1-0 Spurs9 May Spurs 1-0 Newcastle13 May Spurs 5-4 Leicester Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Joe Marler has no regrets over England absence despite pull of Wales tussle

• Prop has had no call from Eddie Jones despite Vunipola injury• Marler happy out of England fray but Wales is ‘incredible’ gameJoe Marler has admitted he would love to be playing for England against Wales on Saturday but insists he has no regrets over his international retirement despite Mako Vunipola’s injury-enforced absence.England head to Cardiff light on experience at loosehead prop after Vunipola was ruled out for the rest of the Six Nations with an ankle injury, leaving Eddie Jones to choose between Ben Moon and Ellis Genge, who have five Test starts between them. Marler revealed Jones has not been in contact about coming out of retirement and, while he did not completely close the door on doing so in the future, he said adding to his 59 England caps was “highly unlikely”. He did concede that England versus Wales was his favourite fixture to play in because of the hostility of the Welsh supporters. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 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...

20-02-2019 Maurizio Sarri: Chelsea manager says winning is 'only solution'

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri says winning matches is the "only solution" and describes criticism of his system as a "false problem".

20-02-2019 European Athletic Indoor Championships: Richard Kilty given special place

Double reigning 60m champion Richard Kilty will compete in next month's European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, it is confirmed.

20-02-2019 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ribs Alan Shearer about 1999 FA Cup final defeat

Manchester United's caretaker boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reminds Alan Shearer about the 1999 FA Cup final in which both men played, when the Red Devils beat Newcastle United 2-0.

20-02-2019 Is defending making a comeback after the gung-ho attacking years?

Liverpool’s draw with Bayern followed a Champions League last-16 pattern so far – and the phenomenon runs deeperIt’s early days yet, of course. Nobody should be getting carried away. There’s plenty of time for the second legs or subsequent rounds to make a mockery of the thought but, after a few years in which the big clubs have treated caution as something laughably old-fashioned, a quaint affectation like a waxed moustache or a pocket-watch, might defending be making a comeback?There were no goals in Tuesday’s two Champions League ties. As yet, nobody has scored a goal in the first half of a Champions League knockout tie this season. Goals per game in the last 16 (with all the obvious caveats about sample size) are at less than two as opposed to five in the knockout phase last season. It’s as though the collective thought has gone round that after last season’s chaos of three-goal comebacks and nearly comebacks, getting the defence right is where teams can gain an edge. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Why the future of the World Club Challenge must be secured

Sunday night was a big success. The Super League and NRL should be working together to ensure this contest lives on By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets RequiredAnyone doubting the status of the World Club Challenge should have seen the evidence in Wigan on Sunday evening. Giant flags, a serious burst of fireworks, and the NRL and Super League trophies greeted the players as they walked out at the DW Stadium. Amid all the ceremony, it felt as if there were more people on the pitch before kick-off than have been in the stands at some League One games this season. Wigan’s hotels were full and there were even half-and-half scarves for sale outside, for goodness’ sake.Yet after an interminable wait to collect their medals from Martin Offiah – looking like Cluedo’s Reverend Green in an extraordinary outfit - the victorious Roosters players seemed faintly embarrassed to be on stage after a ‘trial game’, looking at the strategically-placed bottles as if to say, “Champers, after that - really?”. But their achievement sunk in and they were still in their dressing room celebrating 80 minutes after the final hooter. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Manchester City hail purchase of Chinese club as ‘exciting new chapter’

• Sichuan Jiuniu FC are the seventh club to be part of CFG• Ferran Soriano says China is an ‘extremely important market’Manchester City’s parent company has announced the joint-purchase of a seventh club, Sichuan Jiuniu FC, who play in China’s third tier.City Football Group (CFG) have bought the Chengdu side together with China Sports Capital and Ubtech. It is the next step in CFG’s involvement in China, having previously opened offices in Shanghai and Shenzhen. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Jürgen Klopp ready for dangerous threat of Bayern Munich – video

Liverpool host five-time Champions League winners Bayern Munich on Tuesday. Speaking before the game, Jürgen Klopp discussed the 'outstanding' atmosphere he's anticipating at Anfield. Bayern travel to Merseyside with five key players missing, however Liverpool aren't without their own issues, with Virgil van Dijk suspended Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Football transfer rumours: Zidane to replace Sarri at Chelsea?

Today’s fluff is the vicinityChelsea are already lining up replacements for Maurizio Sarri, who could receive 1,000 Nicorette patches as compensation for being sacked less than a year into his contract. The Italian is likely to be sacked after his team’s 17-0 defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final this weekend and Chelsea are thinking about which unfortunate sap to appoint next, with Zinedine Zidane and Frank Lampard’s Derby County manager Frank Lampard the early frontrunners. Let’s just hope the west Londoners know they’ll be legally obliged to change their name to Chelsea Legend Frank Lampard’s Chelsea if they go with the latter. Continue reading...

20-02-2019 Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.

20-02-2019 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...

20-02-2019 Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.