So Wayne Rooney’s elbow was a figment of the Press’s imagination (according to Sir Alex), Surrey’s wicketkeeper is gay, England have not yet won rugby’s Six Nations and the French don’t like the English. The past week’s sport, in quotes, by IAN COLE
“It was next to nothing but there will be pressure put on the FA to do something, as there always is regarding Rooney. The Press will raise a campaign to get him hung by Tuesday or electrocuted or something like that. Watch the Press. It will be interesting to see it” Sir Alex Ferguson, the Manchester United manager, blames the media for Wayne Rooney’s off-the-ball cuffing of Wigan’s James McCarthy.
“If it was one of my players it would have been different. If it was a Wigan player he would have been lucky to stay on the pitch. The disappointing thing is that the referee has seen it but just gave a free-kick” Roberto Martinez, the Wigan manager, can’t understand why Rooney went unpunished.
“We knew if we could get in their faces we could get the result. There’s a lot of belief in that dressing room. Such a long time the fans have been waiting for this. It will make their year, maybe their lives” Stephen Carr, the Birmingham City skipper, lifts the Carling Cup after victory over Arsenal.
“It’s ridiculous to talk about the Grand Slam. There’s no point. We can talk about it after the job’s done. To talk about it before is simply setting ourselves up for a fall” Martin Johnson keeps his feet on the ground after seeing his England rugby team’s 17-9 Six Nations victory over France.
“We don’t like them and it’s better to say that than be hypocritical. We appreciate our Italian cousins, with whom we share the same quality of life. We appreciate the Celts and their conviviality. But this insular nation, who drape themselves in their flags, their hymns, their chants, their traditions… We all have one thing in common. We don’t like the English” Marc Lievremont, the France rugby coach.
“Games like those define a team. We won ugly, but the win is all that matters against a team like France. We’re now more than capable of going on and winning the Six Nations. But we must focus and not believe the job is done” Ben Foden, the England try scorer.
“The record is not really a big deal to me. It was more important to get straight into the game when I came on, to get my hands dirty” Jonny Wilkinson, whose first act as replacement was to kick a 49-yard penalty to reclaim the world points-scoring title.
“I have taken the discipline of the English player. We are Latin and sometimes we are woo-ooh. But I am not so much a wild man now” Sebastien Chabal, who spent five years with Sale, who committed more than his fair share of penalties at Twickenham.
“Since two weeks ago, yes” Martin Johnson when asked if the France game was the biggest one since he had been in charge.
“If there is pressure on me to keep West Ham up I don’t feel it. At the end of the day, football is only a game. There are far worse things in life than fighting relegation” Demba Ba, new West Ham hero, has not yet caught the mood of the fans at Upton Park.
“It’s something I’ve lived with for a long time. I’m nervous about coming out. It’s the biggest decision I’ve had to face and by far the toughest – bigger even than facing Brett Lee in the middle” Steven Davies, the Surrey and England wicketkeeper, announces that he his gay.
“I regret it a lot, especially the last month, which didn’t go as planned. I had three good years there. I hope the way I left won’t tarnish the fans’ view of me” Gabriel Heinze, playing for Marseille against old club Manchester United, recalls a falling-out with Sir Alex Ferguson.
“It’s an Irish thing that we don’t talk much” Alan Gaffney, Ireland’s Australian-born backs coach, blaming a lack of communication from No9 to 15 after their defeat to France two weeks ago.
“It was miserable sitting there, watching chance after chance go begging. What can you do when the ball is dropping on your striker’s head four or five yards out and he fails to score?” Harry Redknapp on Spurs’ 3-1 defeat at Blackpool.
“I have no issues with how people celebrate. Sometimes you don’t realise where you are going. Look at Jose Mourinho. Sometimes you lose your bearings” Billy Davies, the Nottingham Forest manager who found Preston boss Phil Brown and his assistants jumping up and down inside his technical area after a stoppage time equaliser.
“In Italy?” Colin Charvis, as a BBC pundit, gives the obvious answer when asked where an unconvincing victory in Rome leaves Wales.
UPCOMING SJA DATES
Mon Mar 7: 2010 SJA British Sports Journalism Awards, at The Brewery. Click here to book your tickets
Thu Mar 31: Tour of London’s Olympic Park. Click here for details of how to apply
Tue Apr 5: The SJA Olympic Question Time. Ticket booking to be launched in March.
Wed Apr 13: SJA 2011 Annual Meeting, at offices of UK Sport, Russell Square. Strictly SJA members only.
All details subject to alteration. Keep checking sportsjournalists.co.uk for updates