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Sport by RadeSoliman


                           | pdf edition | Monday November 5 2012                                                         Sport
                                                                                                                          Downloaded 22:46 GMT

Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini
demands respect on eve of Ajax game
Roberto Mancini has angrily demanded ‘respect’ as the Italian
offered an impassioned defence of his tenure as Manchester City
manager ahead of Tuesday’s must-win Champions League visit of
Ajax Page 2

Andy Murray draws on his Raging Bull to
turn heat on Tomas Berdych
Andy Murray came from a set down to beat Tomas Berdych at the
ATP World Tour Finals Page 3

Craig Levein leaves post as Scotland
Craig Levein has been removed from the post of Scotland manager,
with Gordon Strachan the likely candidate to replace him Page 4

Bradley Wiggins                              Nick Compton gets                            Ryan Jones ruled out            Andy Murray survives
memoir: ‘If I doped I                        ahead of Joe Root in                         of Wales Test against           Tomas Berdych test in
could lose everything’                      battle for Test opener                       Argentina due to                ATP World Tour Finals
Page 5                                       slot Page 7                                  injury Page 9                   opener Page 11

England’s Stuart                            Jenson Button says                           Ghizao maintains
Lancaster demands                            2012 McLaren car is                          good run of in-form
attacking ruthlessness                       worst since he joined                        trainer Paul Nicholls
against Fiji Page 6                          F1 team Page 8                               at Kempton Page 10 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                        
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page 2 G24 Sport                                                                Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

                                                                    there are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Milan,
                                                                    Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Manchester United – [all] have
Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini                                   more experience than us. We play in the Champions League for
demands respect on eve of Ajax game                                 the second year. We probably need to work harder at this but
                                                                    sometimes you also need to be luckier in the draw.”
• ‘I don’t understand why you continue to                               Asked if expectations were too high on City, Mancini said:
ask me about last year’                                             “We have the same team. We scored 36 goals by this stage last
                                                                    year and now we have scored 18. We have lost important players
• ‘You should have more respect for me, the
                                                                    but we are still two points behind Manchester United after 10
club, for the players’                                              games [in the Premier League].”
Jamie Jackson                                                           Mancini’s record in the competition is modest, with the
                                                                    furthest he has reached the quarter-finals when in charge of
                                                                    Internazionale. Does the Italian find the Champions League
                                                                    difficult? “No, for me it is the same, it doesn’t change this. I said
                                                                    after West Ham [on Saturday] that if we said we are ready to win
                                                                    the Champions League, this is not true because we do need to
                                                                    improve,” Mancini said.
                                                                        Yaya Touré admitted to French newspaper L’Equipe that
                                                                    there can be dressing-room clashes, though these do not
                                                                    concern him. The Ivorian said: “I want to make history with
                                                                    this club, I want to end my career here. I’m pretty sure and I
                                                                    hope that when I’m an old man, sat around, they will still talk
                                                                    about me here. Of course there are rows at big clubs, with all the
                                                                    people with different egos, including mine. But we will be OK. I
                                                                    am still confident.” Mancini was also relaxed. “I don’t have any
‘I think you should have more respect for this, for me, for
                                                                    problem with this. As a manager I have had a lot of players like
the club, for the players,’ says the Manchester City manager
                                                                    this – top players – and I was the same as a player,” he said. “But
Roberto Mancini. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images
                                                                    this is normal in a top squad when you have 14-15 players at this
Roberto Mancini has angrily demanded respect as the Italian         level. It’s normal that you can have this problem but we don’t
offered an impassioned defence of his tenure as Manchester          have any problems.”
City manager ahead of Tuesday’s must-win Champions League               Of Touré receiving a new contract, the manager added: “I
visit of Ajax. City have only one point from their opening three    think so because he is a very important player for us. He is one
group games and are conscious that if other results go against      of the best players in Europe and in my life I have seen a lot of
them even victory in the final three would not be enough.           big players and Yaya is one of those.”
    On Friday Mancini admitted that last season he spoke to             For the Ajax game Mancini’s injured list numbers six – Joleon
Monaco about becoming their manager, then on Saturday               Lescott, who has a back injury, James Milner and David Silva
evening the 47-year-old said City were not yet equipped to          (hamstring), Micah Richards (knee), Jack Rodwell (groin), and
win the Champions League. Asked to clarify these comments,          Maicon who is training but not ready following his foot injury.
Mancini interrupted and said: “I don’t understand why you           Kolo Touré is ineligible as he is not in the competition squad.
continue to ask me about last month, last year. It’s finished, so
why? For which reason, why do you continue to ask me: ‘Last
year you had another chance to go.’ I stay here because my work
is here. I worked for two years. I built with the chairman, with
the owner, this team. We won three trophies in two years. For
50 years we didn’t win [the title, actually forty-four]. Never.

    “You should have respect for the people sometimes. I don’t
understand why you have to ask me this, why? You ask me
one question, I’m polite because I answered your question
and the other questions. I’m polite because I answer: ‘It’s true’
[regarding Monaco]. Every year I can have two or three new            From Beirut to Big Brother,
situations where I can go, I want to stay here because I work
hard. I am not saying the future will be easy but when you have
                                                                      Murdoch to Millionaire,
a new team the strong work is the first two years and we have         discuss the hot topics in the media
won three trophies. I think you should have more respect for          on not one, but two blogs Organ
this, for me, for the club, for the players.”                         Grinder and Greenslade
    Mancini’s squad have vastly experienced internationals
who include the Champions League winner Yaya Touré, and
the currently injured David Silva, who has won the World Cup
and European Championship. When it was suggested, then,
that City should be able to progress beyond the group stages,
a calmer Mancini said: “I said that in the Champions League © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page  G24 Sport                                                                 Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

                                                                      match-points in three recent defeats concentrated his mind in
                                                                      the final moments on Monday.
Andy Murray draws on his Raging Bull                                      “I was thinking the reasons why that had happened,” he
to turn heat on Tomas Berdych                                         said. “The match against Djokovic in Shanghai [when he lost
                                                                      in the final after holding five match-points], I didn’t feel like I
• Scot wins ATP World Tour Finals opener                              did loads wrong. The one last week [losing to the 69th-ranked
in three sets                                                         Pole Jerzy Janowicz in Paris], I said I was disappointed with.
                                                                      I rushed, didn’t concentrate and focus as hard as I needed to.
• ‘I focused on every point. I got myself
                                                                      That was why I got broken. So today I focused on every point. I
pumped up’                                                            got myself pumped up. I took my time and served it out well.”
Kevin Mitchell at the O2 Arena                                            If there was cause to celebrate, there was room, too, for
                                                                      pause to analyse. While Murray’s first-serve accuracy of 55%
                                                                      dipped below the accepted norm, he still managed to win every
                                                                      point on that first delivery in the deciding set, as Berdych’s
                                                                      spirit and focus faded. Perhaps more significantly, 11 of Murray’s
                                                                      clean winners came on the forehand, his new knockout punch,
                                                                      and only two from his trusty backhand.
                                                                          The first of those backhands arrived on his opening strike of
                                                                      the match, a devastating howitzer down the line off a second
                                                                      serve, and most of the subsequent signs in the early exchanges
                                                                      pointed to a routine win, as Murray’s Czech opponent
                                                                      scrambled to save five break points in the first 25 minutes. But
                                                                      the switch went off in Murray’s head. He dropped serve in the
                                                                      sixth game with a limp forehand into the net and let Berdych
                                                                      escape to 5-2 before regrouping, then coming again in the
Andy Murray celebrates his 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 win against Tomas
                                                                      second set.
Berdych at the ATP World Tour Finals. Photograph: Kieran
                                                                          The mood and tempo (but not the temperature) changed
                                                                      radically as Berdych cranked his power up in a mild panic and
The intensity painted on Andy Murray’s face as he served to           blew a couple of break points in the first two games. “The
wrap up the opening match of the 2012 Barclays ATP World Tour         biggest moment,” Berdych said later, “was at 1-1 when I had
Finals in three sets of varying quality against Tomas Berdych         break point and hit a forehand just out. Who knows? An early
was, according to perspective, either mildly disconcerting or         break after winning the first set …”
cause to celebrate.                                                       It was that indiscretion that revived Murray, who moved
    From the Czech’s side of the net, Murray – bouncing from          with conviction to 4-1. After 45 minutes, eight minutes longer
foot to foot, swivelling his torso side to side in mid-air, eyes      than the torpor of the first set, he had drawn level. The numbers
blazing, nostrils flared – must have looked like the original         suggested Berdych might be favoured to close it out in the
Raging Bull. But it is a fair bet that his coach Ivan Lendl, court-   third; coming into the tournament, he was 12-6 this year in
side for the first time since the US Open and inscrutable as ever,    deciding sets, compared with Murray’s 9-7 (2-3 since the US
will have viewed Murray’s body language with all the affection        Open). Counterbalancing that statistic, this was also Murray’s
Al Silvani reserved for Jake LaMotta on those nights in the           12th win this year from a set down, “comebackability” matched
Garden when all was straight.                                         only by Roger Federer.
    Murray has not been this pumped up since the fifth set at             But this game is not all about numbers. The rhythm,
Flushing Meadows this summer when he bullied an exhausted             disjointed as it was, favoured Murray’s adaptability, invoking
Novak Djokovic from tramline to tramline to win his first slam        memories of how he made subtle shifts of power and placement
title. He has faltered here and there since in less glamorous         to control the howling gale that roared through their semi-final
surroundings, but, in sight of the season’s end, the adrenalin        at the US Open. There was not a whisper of a breeze inside the
looks to be flowing again.                                            humid cauldron here, yet no lack of sweat-making moments.
    In a packed arena hotter than a desert tent, Murray was a ball    When Murray broke to go 2-1 up a quarter of an hour into the
of pugnacity when it mattered. If the crowd did not sustain the       third set, Berdych’s ever-solemn features told a tale of missed
energy of the standing ovation they afforded their new hero on        opportunities. He never got back into the fight.
his entry, it was partly due, surely, to the warm air pumped into
the room to kill the November chill.

    He took two hours and eight minutes to knock out Berdych,
3-6, 6-3, 6-4, starting fast, losing his way, then finishing
strongly, a pattern familiar to his caravan of chroniclers. If he
wins on Wednesday, he is guaranteed a semi-final place. Murray
plays on Wednesday against Djokovic, who beat Jo-Wilfried
Tsonga 7-6 (4), 6-3 in the evening match. It was tight most of
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    Murray conceded after beating Berdych that blowing eight © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page 4 G24 Sport                                                                Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

                                                                        “The view of the board is that we are not bottom of the
                                                                    group material,” said Regan. “We are better than that. There are
Craig Levein leaves post as Scotland                                shades of grey in decisions. It’s easy to say decisions like this are
manager                                                             black and white; they are not.”
                                                                        Billy Stark, Scotland’s current Under-21 coach, will name the
• Levein reluctant to go and lobbied to stay                        squad for next week’s friendly in Luxembourg and take charge
• Gordon Strachan leads list of likely                              of the team for that encounter. The squad announcement was
                                                                    initially scheduled for Tuesday but will now be put back 24
Ewan Murray                                                             Levein’s record showed only three wins from 12 competitive
                                                                    outings. The manager’s constant preaching of progress from
                                                                    the national team was undermined by performances and
                                                                    results during his tenure; Levein’s victories came against lowly
                                                                    Liechtenstein and Lithuania during the Scots’ ill-fated Euro
                                                                    2012 qualifying campaign.
                                                                        “Craig has worked hard to bring success, and has been
                                                                    thoroughly professional in his approach to the job,” added
                                                                    Regan. “He has achieved a great deal with the team and in other
                                                                    areas, such as the performance strategy. However, he would be
                                                                    the first to agree that football is a results-driven business. For
                                                                    that reason we have relieved Craig of his duties with immediate
                                                                        A consistent theme throughout Levein’s spell was the public
                                                                    support and private respect he always retained from his playing
Scotland’s former manager Craig Levein keeps tabs on at
                                                                    squad. Charlie Adam continued that trend in the immediate
Saturday’s Sunderland v Aston Villa game, but his fate was as
                                                                    aftermath of Levein’s exit by tweeting: “On my way back from
good as sealed. Photograph: Graham Stuart/AFP/Getty Images
                                                                    [training] to hear Craig Levein has gone. Unbelievable. Can’t
Gordon Strachan is the heavy favourite to become the next           believe the Scottish papers got what they wanted.”
Scotland manager, after the axe finally fell on Craig Levein on         In reality, Adam’s scenario represented one of Levein’s
Monday evening.                                                     inconsistencies. The Stoke City midfielder was not even
    Levein’s three-year spell in charge was fatally damaged         stripped for Scotland’s defeat in Prague October 2010 – the
by a poor start to the side’s World Cup qualifying campaign.        match in which Levein deployed his infamous 4-6-0 formation –
Scotland lie at the bottom of Group A, having collected a mere      and appeared as a half-time substitute during a subsequent loss
two points from four matches; Levein was never fully embraced       to Spain. From then on, Levein hailed the previously marginal
by the Scotland support.                                            Adam as a key performer and “quarterback” in his team.
    Levein will continue to be paid the full value of the               Levein was damaged in the eyes of the Scottish public, too,
remaining 20 months of his contract, about £700,000, despite        by his stand-off with Steven Fletcher. The striker was only
his sacking. Strachan, who has been out of work since leaving       recently reintroduced to the Scotland set-up after an absence
Middlesbrough in October 2010, is expected to be uppermost          triggered by Fletcher declaring his unwillingness to be called
in the thoughts of the Scottish Football Association and the        up for a friendly match, via text message. Pressure on Levein
early soundings are that the 55-year-old would be keen on a first   to make amends with Fletcher only intensified with the
international management role. Yet other out-of-work Scottish       player’s £14m move to Sunderland given Scotland’s struggle for
coaches, including Joe Jordan and the ex-Scotland manager           competitive goals.
Alex McLeish, will also inevitably be considered.
    “We will give ourselves time, given our fixture schedule,
to find the right person for the job,” said Stewart Regan, the
SFA’s chief executive. “The key matches for us are the World

Cup qualifiers, which restart next March. This is not a knee-jerk
    “The challenge for the squad now is to improve our position
in Group A and, subsequently, improve our position in the
Fifa rankings. We also must begin preparations for the Uefa
European Championship in France in 2016, which for the first
                                                                      The Guardian digital edition
time will have 24 qualification places available.”                    Read the Guardian on the web
    Regan added that Levein’s dismissal was carried out “with         exactly the way it was printed.
real sadness” after the manager had confirmed his intention to
leave at the end of the World Cup qualifiers.
                                                                      With award-winning Guardian
    Before turning its full attention to Levein’s successor, the      photography accessible from
SFA must handle legitimate criticism over its handling of the         anywhere in the world.
sacking. It took 20 days from the time of Scotland’s loss to
Belgium in Brussels for Levein to leave his post amid apparent
indecision between the seven-man board. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page  G24 Sport                                                                   Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

                                                                        Olympic medals, my world titles, the CBE I was given. I would
                                                                        have to take my children to the school gates in a small
Bradley Wiggins memoir: ‘If I doped I                                   Lancashire village with everyone looking at me, knowing I had
could lose everything’                                                  cheated, knowing I had, perhaps, won the Tour de France but
                                                                        then been caught.All my friends in cycling are here, and my
In the second exclusive extract from his                              extended family. My wife organises races in Lancashire. I have
autobiography, the Tour de France winning                               my own sportif, with people coming and paying £40 each to
                                                                        ride. Cath’s family have been in cycling for 50 years, and I would
cyclist explains why he gets angry if he’s
                                                                        bring shame and embarrassment on them: my father-in-law
accused of cheating. Drugs would mean                                   works at British Cycling, and would never be able to show his
risking his whole life – his reputation, his                            face there again. It’s not just about me: if I doped it would
livelihood, his family and his home                                     jeopardise Sky – who sponsor the entire sport in the UK – Dave
                                                                        Brailsford and all he has done, and Tim Kerrison, my trainer. I
Bradley Wiggins
                                                                        would not want to end up sitting in a room with all that hanging
                                                                        on me, thinking, “Shit, I don’t want anyone to find out.” That is
                                                                        not something I wish to live with.The problem with the
                                                                        accusations is that they begin that whole process of
                                                                        undermining what I have achieved. That’s why I get angry
                                                                        about them.This is only sport we are talking about. Sport does
                                                                        not mean more to me than all those other things I have.
                                                                        Winning the Tour de France at any cost is not worth the risk.
                                                                        That boils down to why I race a bike. I do it because I love it, and
                                                                        I love doing my best and working hard. I don’t do it for a power
                                                                        trip.At the end of the day, I’m a shy bloke looking forward to
                                                                        taking my son rugby training after the Tour. If I felt I had to take
                                                                        drugs, I would rather stop tomorrow, go and ride club 10-mile
                                                                        time trials, ride to the cafe on Sundays, and work in Tesco
Bradley Wiggins … ‘It’s not just about me’ Photograph: Tim De         stacking shelves.I haven’t followed all the ins and outs of the
Waele/TDW                                                               Lance Armstrong case, but I know the broad lines: he’s not
I get incredibly angry when I’m accused of doping, or even              contesting the doping charges against him (although he’s still
when it’s merely implied. That accusation is like saying to             protesting his innocence); as it stands, his Tour titles have been
someone else: you cheat at your job; you cheated to get to              taken away from him; there is Tyler Hamilton’s book, which is
where you are now.I made a particular effort to explain it to           pretty damning; the Usada (United States Anti-Doping Agency)
Hervé Bombrun, a journalist from l’Equipe. I’m good friends             report on the case of the US Postal team makes it clear that he
with him, so fortunately I was able to make my point without            was doping in a sophisticated way. Regardless of what I’ve said
him punching me in the face.He asked me: “What is that anger            over the years, I have always had my suspicions about him.
all about? It’s all right you saying all this kind of stuff but         When the news broke it was like when you’re a kid and you find
…””Have you got kids?””Yeah, I’m married with kids.””What if            out Father Christmas doesn’t exist. It’s shocking still, but not a
I said to you they’re not your kids?””What do you mean?””What           huge surprise. When he made his comeback in 2009, it became
if I said, your wife had an affair at the time, so she got pregnant     more relevant to me because I was actually racing against him.
by someone else?””No, it was definitely me. I know they’re my           By 2009 it had become clear that many of the top guys weren’t
children.””Well, no, I don’t think they are.”So he started getting      clean at the time Lance was at his best – a lot of the guys who
upset, and I explained: “Look, it makes you angry, doesn’t it? It       finished second to him were subsequently caught, and quite a
makes you want to come out fighting. It’s like people telling me        few of those who finished third, fourth or fifth – but when he
I’m cheating at what I’m doing; it gets me angry.””Ah oui, oh           came back to the sport I quite liked him. He seemed much more
gosh.”As time has gone on, the reasons why I would never use            relaxed, he seemed to be returning for reasons other than
drugs have become far more important. It comes down to my               winning. He was quite gracious in defeat in some of those races;
family, and the life I have built for myself and how I would feel       he was quite respectful, encouraging of what I was trying to do.
about living with the possibility of getting caught.The question        I thought whatever had happened in the past had happened; it
that needs to be asked is not why wouldn’t I take drugs, but            hadn’t affected me in those years.At the time I stuck to my line
why would I? I know exactly why I wouldn’t dope. To start with,         that Lance’s return was a good thing for the sport. Without
I came to professional road racing from a different background          Lance’s achievement in the Tour, Livestrong, his cancer charity,
to a lot of guys. The attitude to doping in the UK is different to      wouldn’t have such a high profile and perhaps wouldn’t be able
on the Continent, where a rider such as Richard Virenque can            to do the work it does. Without Lance, cycling mightn’t be as
dope, be caught, be banned, come back and be a national hero.           popular – he made it cool in a way. The fact alone that he was
There is a different culture in British cycling. Britain is a country   coming back to the sport had raised cycling’s profile; he
where doping is not morally acceptable. I grew up in the British        announced his comeback on the cover of Vanity Fair, not a
environment, with the Olympic side of the sport as well as the          cycling magazine, which shows how he had given the sport its
Tour de France.If I doped I would potentially stand to lose             current broad appeal.I didn’t know, of course, that eight or nine
everything. It’s a long list. My reputation, my livelihood, my          months down the line I was going to go toe-to-toe with him for
marriage, my family, my house. Everything I have achieved, my           a place on the podium in the Tour de France. With hindsight, © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 
Page 6 G24 Sport                                                                 Monday November 5 2012                 22:46 GMT

I’m glad I never criticised him. I had to go and race with the guy
and everyone around him. I know what Lance is like if you
make an enemy of him. We’ve seen it in the past. He could have
                                                                      England’s Stuart Lancaster demands
made my life very difficult.But if it were confirmed that he was      attacking ruthlessness against Fiji
doping in 2009–10, then he can get fucked, completely. Before,
he wouldn’t have been alone in what he was doing, but the             • ‘We want high-quality attacking,’ says
sport has changed since he retired the first time. After 2009,        head coach
what Lance was or was not doing directly affected everybody,
                                                                      • Joe Launchbury called up as cover for
because the sport was making a real effort; Garmin and other
teams were being pretty vocal about riding clean. Ultimately I
                                                                      Tom Palmer
finished fourth in the Tour that year, by 38 seconds to               Robert Kitson
Armstrong who was in third place; getting on the podium of the
Tour might have been my only chance. *On a personal level, the
way I look at it now is that, as the yellow jersey, the pressure is
on me to answer all the questions about doping – even though
I’ve never doped. I was asked the questions in the Tour and I
gave the answers I did.So I’m pissed off that Lance has done
what he did; it feels as if he’s disappeared and I have to answer
all the questions. That really, really annoys me. And where is
he? Halfway around the world, doing this, that and the other.
But we are the ones in this sport today who have got to answer
all the questions.It feels like Lance has dumped on the sport
and we’ve got to clean it up because he’s not around any more:
he’s not managing a team, he’s not at the races like other riders
from the past – Sean Kelly, Eddy Merckx – he’s out there
                                                                      Stuart Lancaster, the England head coach, issues instructions
carrying on as he was before. He’s still giving statements saying
                                                                      to his squad at a training session in Bagshot. Photograph:
he’s standing by this, it’s a vendetta, everything that’s been said
                                                                      David Rogers/Getty Images
out there is all rubbish. But as things stand today, I’ve won more
Tours de France than he has.If I’m asked what I feel about it,        Every international coach will tell you success requires several
there is a lot of anger. We are the ones here, in this sport, right   different ingredients. Some teams have talented individuals
now, who have to pick up the pieces. We are the ones trying to        but lack the necessary dedication, others labour like Trojans
race our bikes, the ones sitting there in front of the press trying   without possessing the necessary attacking spark. England
to convince them of our innocence, continuing to do things in         are familiar with both those scenarios but Stuart Lancaster is
the right way; they’ve trashed the office and left; we’re the ones    sounding more confident about his side’s prospects than at any
trying to tidy it all up. I’m doing what I do. I just hope that by    stage in his 11-month tenure.
conducting myself as I have done this year, by winning the races          It would, of course, be an unusual national coach who
I have and doing what we’re doing clean, we’re creating a legacy      predicts a looming shambles but Lancaster chose his words
for the next lot of riders who come along. * Since this memoir        deliberately as he stressed his desire for England to take a
was written, Lance Armstrong has been disqualified from the           significant leap over the next four weekends. “I’ve said to the
2009 Tour de France and Wiggins ranked third                          players it’s production time now,” he revealed, fresh from a
                                                                      sunny morning on the training ground at Bagshot. “We’ve
                                                                      got some continuity, we’ve got some consistency in terms of

                                                                      selection and the coaching team and we’ve spent some time
                                                                      together. The foundations are strong. Now we want to deliver.”
                                                                          As calm statements of intent go it could not have been much
                                                                      clearer. For the first few months, amid the continuing fallout
  Eat right                                                           from the ill-fated World Cup campaign, Lancaster was mostly
                                                                      firefighting. Despite some promising Six Nations results and a
  Join the Guardian’s health and                                      character-laden draw against South Africa in Port Elizabeth in
  dieting club, Eat Right and we’ll                                   June the management team has often been paddling frantically
  design you a personalised healthy                                   below the surface. Finally, for the first time since he succeeded
                                                                      Martin Johnson, Lancaster has most of his jigsaw pieces where
  eating plan from just £2.99 a week.                                 he wants them.
  Membership includes shopping                                            There are one or two frustrations, as there always will be.
  lists, menus, expert advice and 24                                  The hugely promising young Wasps’ forward Joe Launchbury
  hour support to help you achieve                                    is the latest injury call-up as cover in case Tom Palmer suffers
                                                                      a recurrence of the calf problem which prevented him from
  your health and fitness goals.                                      training last week, while Jonathan Joseph is definitely out of                                             the reckoning for Saturday’s game against Fiji because of an
                                                                      ankle strain. Courtney Lawes of Northampton also remains at
                                                                      least a fortnight away from full fitness.
                                                                          On the plus side the Harlequins’ prop Joe Marler is back © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                               Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

in training and England’s other highly rated loosehead, Alex
Corbisiero, hopes to return for London Irish at the weekend.
James Haskell is available, too, having received only a written
                                                                    Nick Compton gets ahead of Joe Root in
warning and a retrospective yellow card for his tackle on           battle for Test opener slot
Saracens’ Alistair Hargreaves on Sunday. With Freddie Burns
and Billy Twelvetrees also summoned to impress Lancaster in         • Somerset batsman makes an undefeated
a 15-a-side practice session on Monday afternoon, there is no       65
room for complacency among those set to be confirmed in the
                                                                    • England and Mumbai A match ends in
starting XV on Thursday.
    That team looks all but certain to include the Exeter
flanker Tom Johnson and the Saracens full-back Alex Goode,          Mike Selvey in Mumbai
neither of whom have previously started a full international at
Twickenham, as Lancaster seeks a flying start against a Fiji team
boosted by Gloucester’s Akapusi Qera, arguably the stand-out
back-row in the Premiership at present. Qera has answered
an emergency call to join the injury-hit Fijian squad, as has
Exeter’s Sireli Naqelevuki. Anyone running into those two
invariably knows about it.
    Lancaster, though, is conscious of the need for his own
players to start finishing with the same consistent ruthlessness
as New Zealand. An expected sell-out 80,000 crowd will also
expect some seasonal fireworks.
    Ugo Monye and Charlie Sharples are poised to be the starting
wings in the absence of the suspended Chris Ashton but neither
can light the blue touchpaper single-handed. “We need to get
                                                                    Joe Root walks past Nick Compton and heads for the pavilion
our fundamentals right otherwise it doesn’t matter who you’ve
                                                                    after being dismissed by Shardul Thakur of Mumbai A.
got on the wings,” cautioned Lancaster. “That’s been a big
                                                                    Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
focus this week. We want to deliver a high-quality attacking
performance in its entirety.”                                       Think of the sliding doors syndrome, where the one split
    The fact remains, however, that the absent Ashton has not       second it takes for such to remain open or shut can change
scored a try for England since for over 13 months while Monye       a life, and there is some idea of the knife edge on which a
has crossed the line just once in 13 Tests for his country and      batsman, particularly one who is making his way, exists. One
Sharples has yet to do so.                                          moment – a catch dropped or a miracle one taken; a poor
    “There aren’t many world-class finishers around and,            umpiring decision that condemns or reprieves – can, in some
unfortunately, one of them isn’t available this weekend,”           cases, make or break a career.
agreed Lancaster, revealing that he had spoken to Ashton                In the afternoon in Navi Mumbai, Nick Compton had eked
about his tackling technique and discipline. “I’ve had a chat       his way painstakingly to 19 when he prodded forward to the
with him about both areas. One of Chris’s real strengths is his     seamer Shardul Thakur and appeared to edge to the keeper. The
competitiveness but it’s about tempering that to ensure we get      keeper thought so, vehemently; the bowler even more so, such
the best out of him. He’s more disappointed than anyone that        that he could scarcely contain himself when the umpire ruled
he’s not available.”                                                in favour of the batsman. Maybe there was no edge, but the
    The head coach also dealt briskly with comments from one        indications suggested otherwise.
of his predecessors, Sir Clive Woodward, that his autumn squad          Perhaps this will prove to be Compton’s sliding doors
selection has been overly conservative. “I’ve always worked on      moment. By the time the players shook hands with 15 overs of
the principle that everyone’s entitled to their opinion but very    the match remaining, he had, over the course of more than four
few people know all the information,” he retorted. “It’s not as     hours, and 162 deliveries taken his score to an unbeaten 64. The
simple as just picking names out of a hat.” Lancaster’s England,    last time a Compton made a half-century for England, it was his
it is safe to say, will not be lacking for motivation.              grandfather Denis, over New Year in Cape Town 55 years ago,
    Probable England starting XV v Fiji Goode (Saracens);           and, after two previous failures, this has possibly sealed junior
Sharples (Gloucester), Tuilagi (Leicester), Barritt (Saracens),     his place for the first Test in Ahmedabad in nine days’ time.
Monye (Harlequins); Flood (Leicester), Care (Harlequins);               As far as England were concerned there really was only one
Marler (Harlequins), T Youngs (Leicester), Cole (Leicester),        show in town on the final day of a nailed-down drawn match.
Botha (Saracens), Parling (Leicester), Johnson (Exeter),            First dibs in such matters would normally go to the preferred
Robshaw (Harlequins, capt), Waldrom (Leicester).                    man, and it was Compton rather than Joe Root, on performance
                                                                    last summer rather than the potential of someone whose
                                                                    progress has been monitored from a young age, who played in
                                                                    the first match, and in his only opportunity lasted three balls.
                                                                    Such tells us little about form, though, and since all the talk has
                                                                    been of an elimination contest between Compton and Root for
                                                                    the right to accompany Alastair Cook to the crease. Neither had
                                                                    succeeded in the first innings, Compton cheaply again and Root
                                                                    lacking rhythm and not taking advantage. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                                Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

    As Compton began his entrenchment, Root played with
more fluency this time around, moving nicely into the ball,
until suckered into shouldering arms and lbw by the old
                                                                     Jenson Button says 2012 McLaren car is
swing bowler’s favourite outer-outer-inner three-card trick.         worst since he joined F1 team
His misjudgment may have cost him. It left Compton with a
conundrum. He had by this stage barely crawled into double           • ‘This has been the worst year,’ says the
figures but would the departure of one of his rivals (Jonathan       British driver
Trott remains a possibility although this would have impact
                                                                     • Lewis Hamilton talks of ‘four hardcore
further down the order) take away the pressure of watching him
at the other end, or would it add to it knowing that here was a
                                                                     difficult weekends’
chance only he could take now?                                       Paul Weaver in Abu Dhabi
    Maybe he was able to remind himself (and almost certainly
Trott, at the other end now, would have done so) the reasons he
is here. England saw qualities in him last summer – particularly
in the early part of the season when the ball talked incessantly,
and he found a way of scoring while others simply gave up and
teed off – that could serve them well: diligence, application,
tenacity, and a voracious appetite for spending time at the
crease bolstered by an unflagging confidence in his own game.
They have picked him for what he is, and what he is is what he
intends to remain. If he, Cook and Trott can play the long game,
and others such as Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell can be more
expansive around that, then England can enjoy this series.
    It took England 90 minutes of the morning session to take
the remaining six Mumbai A wickets, the last five picked off by
                                                                     McLaren’s Jenson Button before the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Monty Panesar and a more fortuitous Samit Patel. The first went
                                                                     in which he finished fourth. Photograph: Sutton Images/
to Graham Onions, who, with the second ball not yet one over
old overnight, opened with Jimmy Anderson.
    Stuart Broad was on the field, though, to captain, his scan of   Jenson Button, the Formula One world champion three years
the previous evening showing a bruised left heel. Had it been        ago, has described his McLaren car as the worst he has had in
serious it is hard to believe he would have been allowed out         three years at the team.
rather than undergoing the sort of intensive therapy that might          The 32-year-old British driver, who finished fourth in
be needed to get him fit for the Test.                               Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, said: “This car hasn’t suited me
                                                                     as well as McLaren’s last two. Since I’ve been here this has been
                                                                     the worst year. It’s been tricky, even on good weekends. We’ve
                                                                     had a problem pretty much every weekend, lately. We need to
                                                                     stop it. I don’t get it.”
                                                                         Button has been just as frustrated as his departing team-
                                                                     mate Lewis Hamilton as McLaren have failed to match the
                                                                     performances of Red Bull – or even Ferrari, who now look likely
                                                                     to relegate the British team to third place in the constructors’
                                                                         Red Bull are certain to nail the team title, probably in Texas
                                                                     on Sunday week, while the drivers’ crown is a two-way fight

                                                                     between Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso of
                                                                         Last year Button was the world championship runner-up,
                                                                     with 270 points; in 2010, his first year with the team, he finished
                                                                     fifth with 214 points; this year he is sixth with 153 points – 102
                                                                     behind Vettel – and in the unlikely event of him winning the last
  Are you getting the best deal on                                   two races he will finish with only 203 points.

  your mortgage?                                                         Button denied that there were issues with his DRS or Kers
                                                                     systems in Sunday’s race. “The weekend was weird. Friday was
  Compare over 8500 mortgages                                        good, Saturday morning was good but qualifying and the race
  online to find the best deal for                                   wasn’t amazing. It wasn’t horrendous but it wasn’t amazing.
                                                                     We’ve got to try a few new things with the set up. I’m not happy
  you.                                                               with where it is at the moment. But hopefully next year will be                                              perfect.
                                                                         “Next year is exciting but we’ve still got two races where
  compareandbuy                                                      we want to do well in. We still want to get Ferrari in the
                                                                     constructors, but it’s 22 points [behind] now, which is quite big.
                                                                     We need some good points in the next two.” © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                                     Monday November 5 2012                22:46 GMT

    Button said that McLaren had held more talks with him
about next year’s car since Hamilton’s decision to quit the
team for Mercedes. “The car is quite unusual in the way that it
                                                                         Ryan Jones ruled out of Wales Test
works,” he added. “It works really well for Lewis, and works             against Argentina due to injury
really well for me at times. But the consistency isn’t there.”
    But it only works well for Hamilton when it does not break           • Back-row to miss Saturday’s match with
down. Hamilton has often been outstanding this season but has            shoulder injury
been frustrated by pit-lane mistakes and, more recently, poor
                                                                         • Uncapped Aaron Jarvis in line to take
    He dominated the weekend in Abu Dhabi and stormed away
                                                                         Jones’s place
from his 25th pole position into a comfortable lead, only to pull        Paul Rees
out before the halfway stage because of an electrical problem,
evoking memories of his gearbox failure in Singapore, when
again he was running away with the race.
    “It’s twice in the last five races,” he said. “And the cars, apart
from India, have had problems in all five. In Singapore we had
the gearbox failure, at Suzuka a rear rollbar malfunction, before
qualifying and in the race, and in Korea a rear rollbar failure.
Then we had India, which was fine, and then here. So that’s four
hardcore difficult weekends.”
    Hamilton added: “I’ve been on pole position seven times
this year. I have only won three times. In the other ones we’ve
had failures and issues with pit stops and so on. If my car was
as reliable as Sebastian’s or Fernando’s I would be right up with
them now. But the team is strong and they will always bounce
                                                                         Ryan Jones will miss Wales’s Test against Argentina on
                                                                         Saturday but is expected to face Samoa the following week.
                                                                         Photograph: David Davies/PA
                                                                         Wales have lost a third member of their grand slam-winning
                                                                         pack with Ryan Jones’s shoulder injury ruling him out of
                                                                         Saturday’s Test against Argentina at the Millennium Stadium,
                                                                         but the back-row is expected to be fit to face Samoa the
                                                                         following week.
                                                                             After sending Jones back from their training camp in Poland
                                                                         last week to have his left shoulder examined, Wales had feared
                                                                         that he would follow the prop Adam Jones and the flanker Dan
                                                                         Lydiate and be ruled out of the four-match series.
                                                                             “Happily that was not the case,” said the Wales forwards

                                                                         coach, Robin McBryde, who said various permutations for the
                                                                         back row were being considered in the absence of Jones and
                                                                         Lydiate, including moving the Wales captain, Sam Warburton,
                                                                         from the open side to accommodate Justin Tipuric.
                                                                             Wales, who announce their team on Tuesday, are weighing
                                                                         up their options in the front row, where the uncapped Aaron
  Mystified by mortgages?                                                Jarvis is the specialist tight-head in Jones’s absence. They could
                                                                         move the Bath loosehead prop Paul James to the other side
  Perplexes by pensions?                                                 of the scrum, as they have done in the past, with the Pumas
  Confused about your consumer                                           renowned for their scrummaging.

  rights?                                                                    But Argentina’s loosehead prop Rodrigo Roncero, a
                                                                         fiendishly awkward scrummager, has retired from international
  Our experts are on hand to                                             rugby, and while his replacement, Leicester’s Marcos Ayerza,

  answer all kinds of financial                                          is hardly short of experience he would be a more orthodox
                                                                         opponent for the 26-year-old former Bath prop Jarvis.
  and legal questions, so you                                                If Wales start with Jarvis, James would be the form choice at
  don’t need to be baffled any                                           loosehead prop ahead of Gethin Jenkins, who has spent most of
                                                                         the season on the Toulon bench. Club or regional form, though,
  more. Read their advice, or put                                        is rarely a concern for the Wales management, who place a
  a question to them, at                                                 premium on how players perform in national squad training
                                                                         sessions.                                                       The selection of the props will help determine whether the
                                                                         former Wales captain Matthew Rees starts at hooker or Richard
                                                                         Hibbard. In the second row, Alun Wyn Jones and Ian Evans look © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                               Monday November 5 2012                  22:46 GMT

ahead of Bradley Davies and Luke Charteris.                              “Last year he took a run before he won, then he only just
    “I want to get my place back,” said Evans, an ever-present       won and then he improved massively,” Skelton recalled.
in the Six Nations who lost his place on the three-Test tour to      “Whether that’s part of his profile, wanting his first run, we’ll
Australia in the summer after missing the first match in the         see tomorrow, but we’ve done as much as we can with him,
series because he was getting married. “Poland was cold and          bearing in mind there is a long season ahead.”
bleak, early starts and late finishes, but the hard work paid            Perhaps a more significant runner for Nicholls on Tuesday
dividends and I feel refreshed.”                                     is Hinterland, a 16-1 shot for the Arkle, who makes his fencing
    Wales’s other major selection decision will be at outside-half   debut. The trainer says he has schooled well.
where the incumbent, Rhys Priestland, is being challenged by             It was a good day for professionals from other sports here, as
Dan Biggar.                                                          Golden Hoof, part-owned by the golfer Lee Westwood, won the
                                                                     opener and the Leicester Tigers prop Martin Castrogiovanni has
                                                                     a share in the promising Lisheen Hill, fourth in the second race.
Ghizao maintains good run of in-form                                     Westwood, who could not hold on to his lead in the WGC
trainer Paul Nicholls at Kempton                                     Champions event in China over the weekend, was represented
                                                                     by his agent, Chubby Chandler, who shares in the golfer’s
                                                                     ownership of various horses. “We’re very much mug punters,”
• Chaser starts to make up for last term’s                           he said. “We get put into the right horses because of who Lee
disappointments                                                      is, so when Nicky [Henderson, the trainer] finds us a couple of
• Winner helped by early departure of rival                          horses, you’re pretty certain they’re going to be all right. We put
Kumbeshwar                                                           10 or 15 grand into bits [of horses] and we always think we own
                                                                     them anyway. It’s good for us to have a hobby.
Chris Cook at Kempton
                                                                         “We’ve not had many winners but we had one in South
                                                                     Africa on Saturday. They come along like London buses.”
                                                                     Chandler appears to expect another good showing when
                                                                     Ballyalton, given by Westwood to his father for Christmas,
                                                                     makes his hurdling debut at Southwell next Monday.
                                                                         Chandler made a point of praising Tony McCoy, one of the
                                                                     beaten jockeys in Golden Hoof’s race, just for turning up, his
                                                                     face still heavily plastered after being kicked by a horse at
                                                                     Wetherby on Friday. “That just shows what he’s like,” Chandler
                                                                     marvelled. “Just amazing, absolutely amazing. If he was a
                                                                     golfer, he’d be a winner as well. He looks like a duck.”
                                                                         Rosie Napravnik, who became only the second female jockey
                                                                     to ride a Breeders’ Cup winner when Shanghai Bobby won on
                                                                     Saturday night, may make her British debut next August.
The runners set off for the Weatherbys Foreign Exchange                  The 24-year-old is being targeted by the organisers of
National Hunt Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton on Monday.                 Ascot’s Shergar Cup and is said to be “keen” on the idea. “If she
Photograph: Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images                              wants to come, she’s in,” said Nick Smith, the course’s head of
Paul Nicholls sustained the momentum he established at the
weekend when Ghizao won the feature race here on Monday,
following the trainer’s four Graded-race victories on Saturday.
In contrast to those strongly contested events, however, this
was a bloodless coup, Ghizao easily beating one other finisher
after his main rival, Kumbeshwar, had fallen early on.
   On this day last year Ghizao was well fancied for the Haldon
Gold Cup at Exeter but performed disappointingly and fared no
better thereafter. He was achieving his first success in almost

two years, having started third-favourite for the 2011 Arkle.
   “It’s just what that horse wanted. He had a few issues last
year,” said Dan Skelton, Nicholls’ assistant. “It was to do
with recauterising his palette and then he had a vein/arterial
problem. Life was very complicated for him for a while. This           Follow the ups and downs of the
turned into a bit of a non-event, we still don’t know what sort of     housing market
level of form we’re at and we haven’t really got a plan.”
   Ghizao is one of eight Nicholls entrants in the Paddy Power
                                                                       and get details of the latest
Gold Cup at Cheltenham a week on Saturday but Skelton would            mortgage deals in our Property
not be drawn on whether he was likely to run.                          section.
   The yard’s other runner on this card, Black Thunder, faded as
though in need of the run and there is just a suspicion that the
same might be true of Edgardo Sol, Nicholls’ representative in
Exeter’s big race on Tuesday. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             

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