‘I’m so happy I’m like a pig in Chardonnay’

IAN COLE’s weekly round-up of the best sporting quotes includes darts, F1, Test cricket, rugby and cycling, plus the build-up to the football World Cup

“We’ll be ready for penalties if they come. We know how to play without fear now ” in all situations” Fabio Capello, the England manager, before Frank Lampard missed a penalty in the friendly against Japan.

“I’m so happy I’m like a pig in Chardonnay” Stephen Fry on being allowed to co-commentate with Sid Waddell on Sky’s coverage of the final of Premier League darts.

“I know the words but I do not feel it is correct for me to sing an anthem which is not part of my country. I always feel very strong emotions when God Save The Queen is sung or played. It always gives me goosebumps” Capello

“To play at this club with so many great players and to have so many great days has been awesome. The players and the guys you meet along the way will always stick with you. That’s why you play rugby, for your mates” Lewis Moody lifts the Premiership trophy for Leicester Tigers then, after 14 years, 224 matches, seven League titles and three Heineken Cups, heads into the sunset with Bath.

“I’ve been there. I’ve had that talk, that conversation, saying you’re not experienced enough, not good enough, however they want to dress it up” Rio Ferdinand sympathises with the seven players who will get a call from Capello to say they are not going to the World Cup.

“I’ll just do my thing. Wake up, have breakfast, and away we go. What will be will be” Joe Cole, hoping not to get that call.

“A lot of guys get so stressed, it is life or death for them. All right, when you are climbing it can feel like someone is holding your head under water. We go out and do a job, but that’s all it is. At home, I pass blokes on building sites and know that, without cycling, I’d be with them” Bradley Wiggins is taking his preparations for another assault on the Tour de France (fairly) seriously.

“We would never countenance any notion of borrowing against the club to create a phoney wealth for some ‘jam today’ spending splurge,” David Moores, the former Liverpool owner, in his 3,000-word letter to The Times complaining about the stewardship of the club under the men he sold it to, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, for £88 million.

“Not a day goes by when I don’t think about the England experience. I worked hard to get into that position. I did not take the opportunity and I paid the consequences. It is something that spurs me on” Steve McClaren, a flop as England coach, continues his rehabilitation by taking over as manager of Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg.

“Benni McCarthy’s body fat measurement is 24.2 per cent. Mine is 25.4. Benni McCarthy is nearly as fat as me. I try to do aerobics in the morning but I’m 61. The one West Ham player I want to go to the World Cup is Benni McCarthy because he might just come back fitter” David Sullivan, the West Ham co-chairman, on a £2.5 million signing that went wrong.

“Even in my own house I have not felt as loved as at Arsenal. I will say only one thing. I have massive respect for Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Football Club and the Arsenal fans” Cesc Fabregas seems to be preparing the ground for his departure to Barcelona.

“Not bad for a pub team from Essex. The Dog and Duck, that’s what people have called us” Tony Roberts, 40-year-old goalkeeper, once retired through injury, celebrates Dagenham & Redbridge’s League Two play-off final victory over Rotherham in only their third season as a Football League club.

“It’s fantastic what he has achieved, but he’s been manufactured. How many people from seven years of age have been given £2.5 million to go karting. When last year, for the first time, he started having it tough, he didn’t handle it too well” Nigel Mansell offers his opinion on Turkish Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton’s status.

“He is very good at just getting up to the line where he knows he might get charged, but then holds back. He is passionate about his sport, but then so was I. As a fast bowler you need to get under the batsmen’s skins. You must be at them all the time ” and he is spicy and competitive” Chris Broad, the former England Test batsman, now an ICC referee, defends England all-rounder son Stuart, whose on-field aggression has brought him close to censure.

“I was watching TV last night when I saw him commenting that Bangladesh should not play Test cricket. I felt so bad I couldn’t sleep until 1am. It made me determined to do something to show him. We really deserve some support from a person like Mr Boycott” Tamim Iqbal, pictured right, responds to Geoffrey Boycott’s opinion of his team’s credentials by scoring an impressive century at Lord’s.

“I can’t make excuses because it was the same for both players. But the ball was brown by the end and covered in clay. They had put a lot of clay down and it was slippery beyond the baseline” Andy Murray bows out of the French Open to Tomas Berdych with a few… excuses.

“The girls have been taken to a place, a dark place, and have come out exhausted but very proud” Captain Erik Nielsen RM, who looked after Britain’s women’s hockey squad as they ventured into a commando training centre in Devon.

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