‘I prefer to speak with players, not journalists’

IAN COLE’s weekly round-up of the world of sport through the things people have said includes Fabio Capello on understanding, Tom Watson on Tiger Woods and Tom Daley on defeat

“I want to speak about this question, but first I want to speak with Rio and the other players. Usually I prefer to speak with players, not journalists. I understand you, but you have to understand me” Fabio Capello, the England manager, dead-bats every attempt to extract a meaningful comment on the John Terry affair.

“We were the better team from the first minute. They were focused only on defending and didn’t go forward at all” Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, after defeat at Chelsea, confirming once again that he never sees anything that happens on the pitch.

“Watching Arsenal is like going to the funfair. You devour lashings of candy floss but you don’t take home any coconuts” Mike Ingham sums up Chelsea 2, Arsenal 0 for Radio 5Live.

“It’s a quieter life over there, you’ll be surprised to hear, which I quite enjoy. It’s a daily routine of wake up, train, go home, relax, explore Paris” James Haskell, pictured right, now based in France and feeling really in the pink after England’s Six Nations rugby defeat of Wales, in which the flanker scored two tries.

“I have a very relaxed mind when it comes to tennis. I’ve always had a clear vision of how my life is. It has helped me to go through the tougher phases because I know this is an incredible trip I’m on” Andy Murray in philosophical mood returning home from his Australian Open defeat to Roger Federer.

“We’re going back to basics. No prima donnas and all the stories on the front pages. This is real football” Neil Warnock, the Crystal Palace manager, getting carried away by Danny Butterfield’s six-minute hat-trick (previous form: one goal in six years) in the FA Cup win over Wolves.

“I feel he has not carried the same stature in the game as other great players like Jack, Arnold, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan. I think he needs to clean up his act and show the respect for the game that others before him have shown” Tom Watson joins the attack as golf gangs up on Tiger Woods

“It isn’t like the No9 shirt at other clubs. You have to earn it. You can’t just walk in and take it. There is so much history here that I don’t want it” Leon Best decides he isn’t fit to follow the likes of Shearer, Macdonald and Milburn at Newcastle.

“At this stage of the season it’s not about winning, it’s about performing and having something to build on. We haven’t got too much to build on next week and that’s my concern” Brian McDermott, the Harlequins Rugby League coach, after a 58-0 thrashing at Warrington.

“I’m sure the world champion is meant to win the British championship, but that’s why diving is an on-the-day sport” Tom Daley apologises for finishing only second behind Pete Waterfield in the National Cup.

“I had a choice: to say ‘It’s not what they promised and I’m going’ ” and I don’t think one person could blame me for that. But I decided I would do my best to keep this club up” Avram Grant stays at the helm of Portsmouth after a 5-0 defeat at Manchester United.

Click here for more recent articles on journalism, sport and sports journalism

SJA members can cast their votes for the best in sports broadcasting by clicking here