“It was a bit tongue in cheek. Robbie just laughed”

Spring is in the air and wily old campaigner Sir Alex Ferguson is on the march. Mind games, Olympic Games, fun and games, this week’s compilation of sports and media quotes

“For Scholes to come back just shows a little bit of weakness in United, because they had to bring a player back who was 37” Patrick Vieira, Manchester City ambassador, lights the touch paper.

“If it’s desperation bringing back the best midfield player in Britain over the last 20 years, then I think we can accept that. If you’re talking desperation, they were playing a player the other night who refused to go on the pitch and the manager said he’ll never play again” Sir Alex Ferguson responds.

Odd couple: Mancini and Tevez

“It seems it was a bit tongue in cheek and there was a bit of fun there… Robbie just laughed, he just laughed. It’s not a problem to him. It’s not about him and it’s not about Sir Alex” David Platt, the City assistant manager, after Roberto Mancini refused to shake Stoke manager Tony Pulis’s hand and then snubs the press. Presumably he was laughing so much.

“It was just 11 great footballers in orange shirts. By the time the other teams had worked that out, the orange shirts had scored two goals” Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail, dismisses the myth of “total football”, recallng what Franz Beckenbauer said of the Dutch team of Cruyff, Neeskens et al.

“Not selected. Nothing I can do sitting on the bench. Obviously disappointed” Joey Barton, dropped by QPR, takes to Twitter to have a moan.

“Going to take a little twitter sabbatical before I say something I’ll end up regretting. Have a good few weeks people” Barton signs off from the Twittosphere.

“The fact that dear old Rivaldo is three weeks away from his 40th birthday may have played some small part in his calculations, but no matter. Charlton have rejected Rivaldo. Just when we thought the season could get no better!” Patrick Collins, Mail on Sunday.

“I know that Jade counts the days since he went away. Even when you have a minute where you’re not thinking about him, you’ll walk past a picture and it makes you smile or you’ll think: ‘Why isn’t he here?’” Billy Sharp, Southampton footballer, provides a poignant reminder of football’s place in the pecking order as he talks about the death of his baby son, Luey, to David Hytner of The Guardian.

Freight: Tanni Grey-Thompson

“I use the trains most week to commute and I have often been left on. The most recent one I was left on a train at midnight… I ended up having to get out of my chair, sit on the floor, which is not a terribly pleasant place to sit, throw my chair off the train and then crawl off” Baroness Grey-Thompson, 11-time Paralympic gold medallist, highlights the appalling treatment of wheelchair users on public transport.

“The first place to start on a project like this is to look at the Union flag. For me it is one of the most beautiful flags in the world and it is important for me to stay true to that iconic design but also to modernise it and present it in a contemporary way” Stella McCartney, designer of Britain’s Olympic kit, who decided that modernising the Union flag was to make it look Scottish by taking out the red.

“I think it’s nice, it’s got subtle bits, the colour stands out more when you have little bits of red. It is really exciting to wear it, it’s all clean cut, it’s just gorgeous” Jessica Ennis, sponsored by Adidas, gushes about the Adidas kit.

“Oh dear – the Olympic kit” Bradley Wiggins Tweeted straight after the launch, only to delete it shortly afterwards, presumably when the BOA’s PR machine had had a word with the double Olympic champion.

“Delighted that Phillips Idowu plucked up the courage to attend the adidas launch…It took guts for Idowu, who was so worried about security he wouldn’t compete at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi last year, to set foot in the Tower of London. Either that or no one told our triple jumper bad things happened there as recently as 1483” Oliver Holt of the Daily Mirror.

‘Tom was champing at the bit to get out there to prove he is comfortable with the amount of media he does and that’s what he’s done” Andy Banks, Tom Daley’s coach, after the young diver won his third World Series medal in a week after having his commitment questioned by British Diving performance director Alexei Evangulov.

“We’re not going to underestimate the Sri Lankan spinners” Andrew Strauss before left-armer Rangana Herath took 12 wickets in  the match to win the Galle Test.


Mon Apr 16: SJA Spring Golf Day, Surbiton GC. Click here for booking details.

Thu Apr 19: SJA Annual General Meeting, Fleet Street, 12.30pm. Click here for details.

Thu May 10: SJA Ladbrokes Lunch with former England cricket captain Alec Stewart. Booking details to be announced.

Mon Sep 24: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Booking details from Paul Trow at