“They betrayed me and they betrayed the French shirt”

IAN COLE rounds up the week’s sport and sports journalism in quotes, including two particularly perturbed Frenchmen, Arsene Wenger and Marc Lievremont

“I’m not a horse racing man. I only go once or twice a year. I’m a heating engineer – well, I was. I’m not married – I can’t afford to be!” Steve Whiteley wins £1.5 million for a £2 stake on the Tote Jackpot at Exeter races.

Marc Lievremont: losing the blame game

“I watched the boys in the later stages against Bangladesh and I felt sorry for them. The fact is, they are all knackered. Three nights at home since the end of October? It’s insane. Something had to give. It has” Steve Harmison after seeing England’s World Cup defeat to Bangladesh.

“They betrayed us, they have betrayed me and they have betrayed the French national team shirt. Do you really think I told them to play like that? They weren’t asked to walk on the moon. I did not ask for complicated things” Marc Lievremont, the France rugby coach, who may have “lost the dressing room” after seeing his side lose 22-21 to Italy.

“Two kinds of people can be unhappy: those who love Arsenal and those who love football can be frustrated with the referee’s decision. It’s very difficult to understand his attitude. How can you kill a football game like that?” Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, after Robin van Persie is sent off against Barcelona.

“It’s a total joke. How can I hear the whistle? Please explain that to me. One second between the whistle and me shooting. We feel betrayed because we worked so hard. The referee killed the game” van Persie.

“A bit more humility would do UEFA some good. To apologise for what happened would be much better than to charge people who have done nothing wrong” Wenger, charged with making improper remarks to referee Massimo Busacca.

Off focus: Binocular, ridden by AP McCoy, a winner at Cheltenham 12 months ago

“If you’d had to single out one horse that would be the biggest kick in the solar plexus for punters if it came out, it would have been Binocular” Simon Clare, a spokesman for Coral bookmakers, on the withdrawal from the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham of last year’s winner, apparently because he risked failing a post-race drugs test.

“That’s not Raggy Arse Rovers we’ve just beaten. That’s AC Milan. I’m just looking forward to getting home, having a bacon sandwich, a cup of tea and taking my dogs out” Harry Redknapp, whose Spurs team went through to the last eight of the Champions League.

“The owners have delegated fan communication to myself, the team and to Alex Ferguson… We don’t take it lightly” David Gill, Manchester United’s chief executive, addressing the Commons Select Committee into governance of football, in the week when his club manager decided to boycott the club’s own television channel, MUTV.

“Everyone was saying were going to win easy, but Scotland came to fight for their lives. I’m happier going to Dublin having won like that than having scored a load of points and thinking we are going to win easy” Martin Johnson, the England rugby coach.

“I have a family, I am divorced and it’s hard. If you’ve been divorced with kids then you would understand.” Tiger Woods is still in turmoil, struggling to regain his form.

“Change is healthy. I want more transparency in FIFA” Mohamed bin Hammam, the Qatari sheikh who has announced he will run against Sepp Blatter for the presidency of FIFA.

“I found it hurts less when you tackle hard than tackling like a queen” Hugh Grant, movie star and former Latymer Upper centre, watching the Calcutta Cup at Twickenham.

“Things do not go our way at present. We have lost three big challenges in a strange way. One in the last minute with a goal from nowhere; one under very strange circumstances in Barcelona; and now in a match where we were not outplayed but were punished by a team that was more clinical than us” Wenger, after defeat at Manchester United in the FA Cup meant Arsenal have gone out of three competitions in 13 days.

“An FA Cup winner’s medal means a lot, despite what I have won. It will be nice to finish at my peak. I don’t hate retirement – I’m looking forward to it. Everybody doubts themselves. Every writer, every artist, every footballer. That’s what certain players thrive on” Edwin van der Sar, the Manchester United goalkeeper.

“I think about it every year when the FA Cup comes around. You dream about it as a young boy and I was only a young boy then really. From an Englishman’s point of view, as someone who is still waiting for a major honour, it’s still the one to win” Kevin Davies, the Bolton captain who, at 34, heads for a Wembley FA Cup semi-final, still remembering a near miss with Chesterfield 14 years ago.

“What happened  with Tomkins was more like Bushido than football” Avram Grant sees West Ham’s James Tomkins wrestled to the ground inside the penalty area by Stoke’s Jon Walters, who wins a free-kick from referee Mike Jones.

“Our legal advisers have been very reassuring. From what they have told me, this is nothing like the Tevez situation” Neil Warnock, the QPR manager, who believes he would still be a Premier League manager if West Ham had been docked points for signing Carlos Tevez four years ago, now caught in a web of transfer irregularities at Loftus Road.

“Everyone is human and wrong calls are made all the time. That was a hugely illegitimate try which has made all the difference between winning and losing” Brian O’Driscoll after Ireland lose to Wales with a try scored with “the wrong ball”.

Thu Mar 31: Tour of London’s Olympic Park.
Click here for details of how to apply

Tue Apr 5: SJA Olympic Question Time. Click here to find out more

Wed Apr 13: SJA 2011 Annual Meeting, at offices of UK Sport, Russell Square. Strictly SJA members only.

Wed Dec 7: SJA 2011 British Sports Awards – note the date in your diary now.

All details subject to alteration. Keep checking for updates