Quotes of the week: 5Dec2007

The retirement of Jason Robinson, London 2012’s “over-capacity”, Paula Radcliffe, Ricky Hatton, even more on the England football manager’s job, and “Britain’s most wanted”, also known as Harry Redknapp

“Probably the most respected rugby player in the world” – Shaun Edwards on Jason Robinson (pictured) ahead of his farewell game for the Barbarians against South Africa

“Why I couldn’t just have had a phone call asking me to pop down to the police station for a chat about this, I really don’t know. I was particularly disappointed that the police should come knocking on my door at six o’clock in the morning with photographers from a well-known tabloid newspaper. They searched my house and took away a computer that I bought my wife two years ago for Christmas. I think she learned to turn it on four weeks ago. There’s absolutely nothing on it. If you can tell me that’s the way to treat anybody – well, I’m afraid that’s not the society I was brought up in” – Harry Redknapp, after the Portsmouth manager was one of five football figures subject to dawn raids by the police

“How on earth can an inquiry for allegedly giving a player money lead to 28 officers storming my house with my family inside? It’s incredible… It was like a terrorist operation. It was like something out of a film” – football agent Willie McKay, whose home was also part of the raids

“A bunch of muppets led by a joker” – Marvan Atapattu, former Sri Lanka captain, is unimpressed by his country’s selection committee

“I think it will be recognised that even for the Olympic Games attendance drops from full capacity for most Olympic events although they are extraordinarily well supported when one normally expects only about 25,000 people at athletic events and in the Olympic Games it is more than double that” – Government minister Lord Davies, claiming that Stratford’s Olympic Stadium does not need complete roof cover since demand for tickets will rarely see the venue’s capacity met, thus demonstrating a convenient ignorance of the Olympics

“We may not agree with some player selections or tactics, but this man is the nearest we are ever going to get to Shanks or Sir Bob” – a leaflet distributed by supporters’ group on the Kop backing Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez

“We do not want to be hit by golf balls” – Paula Radcliffe on one of the problems for distance runners of training on a local golf course at Britain’s Olympic holding camp in Macau

John Plunkett’s review of the launch of Setanta Sports News, comparing it to its rival on Sky
“Setanta have gone for a similar approach, right down to the male/female co-presenting team, except the league tables are on the left, not the right; the info-bar is at the top, not the bottom, and the logo is top left, not top right. A bit like watching Sky Sports News in the mirror”

“They need to find a guy who knows what he wants, who has the right philosophy, and then let him have what he wants. Don’t second-guess him. Don’t mess with him. Don’t get in his way. Don’t create a circus around him” – Richard Scudamore, chief executive of the Premier League, on the England manager’s appointment

“Mourinho would not butter a piece of toast without first planning what he was going to do next week with the knife” – Paul Hayward, in the Daily Mail

“You have to win every game and have nothing in your private life and are hopefully not earning too much money. If you have those, you can do it” – former England coach Sven Goran Eriksson on the perfect man for the England job

“In the past, when they retired, footballers went into management because they needed the money (or because they didn’t much fancy being a pub landlord). Now, with finance not an issue, they prefer to pass judgment on others’ efforts rather than put their own reputations on the line. Who can blame them? The stress of appearing on live television is significantly less than that involved in pacing the technical area, even if your fellow pundit is Ian Wright” – Jim White, writing for the Daily Telegraph, on the paucity of English candidates for the England manager’s job

“Spin was not his speciality” – Monty Panesar joins the criticism of former England cricket coach Duncan Fletcher

“Hatton has had nothing but complimentary things to say about Mayweather. The face of modern boxing is harsh, loud, drained of dignity. Yet Hatton’s response to the cartoon insults seeping like bile from the juvenile Mayweather entourage was unpremeditatedly measured: ‘I’m not really bothered’.” – the Observer‘s Kevin Mitchell sums up the clash of personalities in Saturday’s big fight in Las Vegas

“If Barry Bonds were subject to the rules of track and field… his home run records would be ‘going, going, gone’, as famed announcer Mel Allen used to say as the ball sailed out. There would be no asterisk–Bonds’ record would be annulled. Henry Aaron would be given back his hard-fought 1974 record of 755—and that’s just what baseball should do” – former White House spokesman for National Drug Policy Office, Robert Weiner, writing in Honolulu’s Star-Bulletin

“Look at the calibre of players over the last 10 years since Kevin Keegan was manager — the Kluiverts, Jenases and Parkers — and this crowd has been vicious enough to eat them up. Unless the fans change that mentality, and support the side through poor results, then things won’t change” – Joey Barton ensuring a warm welcome from the Gallowgate end at Newcastle

“How come most of the celebrity interviews Gabby Logan does for Inside Sport are conducted in the back of a car? We can all appreciate that things are tight with the BBC’s budget right now, but is it really the case that they can’t afford studio space any more?” – Jim White, again, in the Telegraph

Simon Barnes, in The Times, on Christine Ohuruogu
“She has done her porridge. She saw out her year; not, like Ferdinand, doing only eight months on full pay. She kept the faith, stayed in training, won her gold medal, kept up with the testers and has never tested positive. Me, I’d say the punishment was about right and her record of error neither should nor could be expunged. Now let’s move on”

“The legacy of Audley Harrison in Sydney and Amir Khan in Athens has made our boxers wake up to the fact that if you’re going to turn pro without going to an Olympic Games then your stock is not that high. The way to push your stock up and earn money at this game is to be an Olympian and get on that world stage. After all, the Olympics is the biggest show on earth” – British amateur boxing coach Terry Edwards

Join the SJA today – click here for details and membership application form