IAN COLE on a week in sport through quotes, including the latest Ashes Test, Shane Warne’s non-comeback, Sam Allardyce’s sacking, AP McCoy, Jessica Ennis’s bottom, and the darts world championship
“If we lose three, four or five wickets in a session, it’s hard to get back in the game. The batsmen take responsibility. The guys need to stand up and deliver rather than leave it for somebody else” Andrew Strauss points the finger after England’s capitulation in Perth levels the Ashes series at 1-1.
“Outstanding start for Australia, given we were nought for three in Adelaide” Jim Maxwell BBC Test Match Special’s “tame” Aussie, looks on the bright side as England have the hosts 28-3 on the first morning of the Perth Test.
“Pietersen asked for my phone number but I certainly didn’t give it to him. I don’t think he was being friendly. I think he was being a bit of a smart arse” Mitchell Johnson, Perth man-of-the-match, enjoys the sledging as Australia fight their way back into the series.
“I must admit it did cross my mind, but when I woke up in London and it was snowing I realised I was only dreaming. Sorry to disappoint you all out there” Shane Warne on rumours he would come out of retirement at 41.
“If you have done nothing wrong why would you not take a lie-detector test to say you have done nothing wrong? We can’t make it compulsory but if players want to take one to show they have done nothing wrong, then why not?” Steve Waugh is dedicated to eliminating corruption in cricket.
“Last time I saw Michael Beer, he was unpacking bats for me to sign at the Puma warehouse” Adam Glichrist on the rapid promotion of Australia’s 12th man.
“My father once told me that out of 10 decisions, you must get at least seven right. You can get two or three wrong – we’re not gods. But to get nine or 10 wrong is not good and things have been going wrong with transfers, that’s a fact” Anuradha Desai, chairwoman of new Blackburn Rovers owners Venky’s, tries to justify the sacking of manager Sam Allardyce.
“When you make a monumental decision like that – the biggest a club can make – you like to think there’s a back-up plan. We, as players, know nothing about what’s going on. It would be nice, when you’re in the trenches fighting, to get a bit of communication” Ryan Nelsen, the Blackburn captain, voices the dismay of the dressing room.
“I’ve never heard of such a stupid decision in all my life. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I don’t know what they’re doing up there” Sir Alex Ferguson’s take on the Allardyce dismissal.
“It could be my last game on Saturday but don’t worry about me. My life won’t crumble if I lose my job. I’ve another life outside football” Roy Keane.
“Well, who wants to see a football match like that? In Sweden they would rather go skiing than watch that. The game was broadcast worldwide but if I was watching in a bar in Australia I would have switched off for sure” Sven-Goran Eriksson is caught in a blizzard in Ipswich. His Leicester team lost 3-0.
“At his best, Beckham was a very good player, with some fairly obvious weaknesses. He was also a good pro, admired by his peers. These are not negligible qualities, and his career, which effectively ended when he went to America, is worth two cheers.
“Nevertheless an award for lifetime achievement invites people to consider a career in more detail and, in Beckham’s case, the details are not always flattering” Michael Henderson savages the BBC’s decision to give 35-year-old David Beckham a “lifetime” achievement award.
“You can’t compare this one with Jim Montgomery’s. His won an FA Cup final for Sunderland and will never be forgotten. It’s in this club’s folklore. Mine just helped us on the way to three points” Craig Gordon, the Sunderland goalkeeper, on his entry for save-of-the season.
“I haven’t said anything wrong about him. But I think there is a discrepancy between what I see in training and what I see in a game” Gerard Houllier gives up on midfielder Stephen Ireland.
“What can you do? I don’t know what they’re doing. They’ve all got big houses. They could have the biggest party in the world if they wanted” Harry Redknapp is victim of football’s Christmas party culture.
“Is it difficult? Yes. Is it possible? Yes. Barcelona are certainly favourites for the competition and a famous team but they did not want to play us either, because they know they will get a game” Arsene Wenger on Arsenal’s Champions League draw.
“We do not want to leave this team by themselves. I believe there will be one more team to join them” Avram Grant, West Ham’s laugh-a-minute manager, is not concerned at being bottom of the Premier League at Christmas. Only West Brom have escaped relegation from that position.
“Do you think the decision to plug the sport in the most-watched 15-minute slot between the lifetime achievement and SPOTY awards had anything to do with the £250 million spent on the rights?” Matt Scott, in the Guardian, questions the BBC’s objectivity in dishing out its televised awards.
“Everyone feels a bit awkward when someone says you have a nice bum. It’s a bit cringeworthy. But I enjoy dressing up. I like that side of it. I spend a lot of time in tracksuits not looking very glamorous” Jessica Ennis.
“I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been taken off in an ambulance. The more it happens, the better your pain threshold becomes. The first time I broke my leg I thought I was going to die, but as long as it’s not the head or spine I accept it as part of the job” Tony McCoy.
“If anyone felt aggrieved I apologise. But the PDC and Sky Sports tell us to show our emotions. That’s not me and not what I’m about. I let it get to me and this is how much this tournament means to every player” Colin Lloyd is in trouble at the World Darts Championships after punching the dart board.
“Current champions Nottinghamshire will travel to Abu Dhabi for the traditional season curtain raiser against the MCC” England and Wales Cricket Board press release, announcing the 2011 county cricket fixtures, and stretching the traditional definition of the word “traditional” about a match which traditionally was staged at Lord’s.