“The days of being a laughing stock have gone”

The past week in sport and journalism, in quotes from Andrew Strauss, Graeme Swann, Harry Redknapp, Arsene Wenger and Brian Moore, compiled by IAN COLE

Andrew Strauss, proud captain of the England cricket team

“The days of England cricket being a laughing stock have gone, hopefully for good. English cricket has been through a long evolutionary cycle and since the introduction of central contracts the rate of improvement has gone up significantly” Andrew Strauss, England captain, collects the Pataudi Trophy after a 4-0 whitewash of India to confirm England as the No1 Test side in the world.

“There were only about 12 pairs of eyes near the wicket, but it’s not exactly the brains trust in there. I’m just surprised Matt Prior didn’t appeal – he goes up for everything” Graeme Swann lures Sachin Tendulkar fractionally out of his ground, but England didn’t appeal for a stumping – and replays show the Indian batsman  would have been out.

“What an irony that is – me not appealing. I’m never going to not appeal again” Matt Prior makes his peace with Swann.

“I’ve been through the mill a bit. It’s not the good times that make you the player and person you are, it’s the bad times. I got a ridiculously rough time when I first came into the England team. I got chewed up and spat out” Prior, once told he’d never make an international wicketkeeper, now rated as the best keeper-batsman in the world.

“We reckon that the worst pay in what used to be known as Fleet Street is The Independent, where £85 is paid for the Sunday report and another £80 for the Monday – although if you know differently, we would of course be interested to hear your experiences” Norman Giller,  in his weekly column for this website, looks at deteriorating pay rates for sports reporters covering football.

“We will seek views from the management and the fans. This is a club for everyone” Tony Fernandes becomes principal shareholder in Queens Park Rangers.

“This is the first time in my career I’ve had money to spend and I’m going to enjoy every single minute. I am in Utopia. This man is like a dream come true” Neil Warnock, QPR manager, welcomes Fernandes’ arrival.

“We start every season at the bottom of the league because of the alphabet, so our league position doesn’t bother me. I’ve never been top of this league before, so how would I know how to celebrate it? I’ll go home, have a bite to eat and a bottle of beer, and watch the game on TV – if I don’t fall asleep. That’s how exciting it’s going to get. Sorry if I’m not looking delighted, I just know how quickly this league can bite you on the backside” Mick McCarthy, Wolves manager, shares the Premier League top spot after an opening two wins.

“He is Dutch. They don’t need picking up” Brendan Rodgers, Swansea manager, on goalkeeper Michel Worm, whose penalty save against Wigan earned the club’s first Premier League point.

“It’s difficult for Scottish teams because resources are so different. It’s a different level, the gulf is plain to see. When I played, every great club had great players from Scotland, but things have changed an awful lot. When you look at wages and transfer fees there has to be a gulf” Harry Redknapp is diplomatic after Spurs beat Hearts 5-0 in the first leg of their Europa League tie.

“Listen, if he comes here and his head is on and he wants to play then he could be fantastic. He fell out with Arsenal. Arsenal fans hate him, so Tottenham fans will love him” Redknapp again on the possible arrival of Emmanuel Adebayor.

Arsene Wenger: good buys or goodbye?

“People feel I’m stubborn. I’m not. I just want to do the best for the team and buy the right players. If I have shown one thing in the past 15 years it’s that I have brought good players here” Arsene Wenger, Arsenal manager, under pressure to spend after a 2-0 home defeat to Liverpool.

“Mourinho is destroying  Spanish football. There is talk about the Catalans but the problem is with Madrid. I think it’s going too far. This will all end very badly” Gerard Pique, Barcelona defender, after another bad-tempered clash with Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid.

“If there has been a fascinating tome by any footballer, or sportsman for that matter, with a similar level of non-achievement and youth, then can somebody please point it out because I cannot name one” Brian Moore, former England hooker, uses his Daily Telegraph column to pan Theo Walcott’s autobiography.

Sir Clive Woodward at last week's SJA lunch

“I have promised people – not least my family – that I will not be chief executive of the RFU, or anyone else for that matter. It’s just not in my skill set” Sir Clive Woodward at last week’s SJA lunch rules himself out of the top job at Twickenham.

“Danny was in great shape, in a good place mentally, too. I know how much he wanted this trip. There’ll be a period of grieving but he’ll come back. The boys here at Quins will pick him up, if only by knocking him down as soon as he comes in. That’s the sort of humour he’ll appreciate” Conor O’Shea, Harlequins director of rugby, as injury rules scrum half Danny Care out of England’s World Cup plans.

“I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be picked. It’s got me flabbergasted. If they don’t get on, one of them needs to grow up” Andrew Slack, captain of Australia’s 1984 Grand Slam rugby side, on coach Robbie Deans’ omission of Matt Giteau from his World Cup 30.

“I wouldn’t want to run if I was a cheat. I believe in the purity of sport. I’d never be involved in sport if I had the slightest doubt. It does get to me quite hard. The worst thing is when somebody says my improvements this year are down to changing my prosthetic legs. My prosthetic legs have stayed the same for seven years, down to the bolts and the lining” Oscar Pistorius, the South African amputee who is to compete in athletics’ world championships in Daegu.

“It would be great if he decided to play in any European Tour event. It would be great for Tiger, it’s a change of scene for him and he has so many friends on the European Tour who are respectful of what he does for the game” Colin Montgomerie, chairman of the Johnnie Walker Championship, tries to entice Tiger Woods into entering…the Johnnie Walker Championship.


  • Mon Sep 12: SJA Autumn Golf Day, Muswell Hill GC. Click here for more details and to book yourself in for the day.
  • Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – Booking now open. For more details, click here.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates