Wales’s win, England’s exit, Rooney’s red, Romero’s retirement, Tiger Woods gets hot-dogged and Wellington’s a winner again: IAN COLE with this weeks bumper sports and media quotes
“I feel sorry for the Irish, they are great players. But we were superb. We’ve worked our socks off for this and we deserved to win” Mike Phillips, Wales’ man-of-the match in the Rugby World Cup quarter-final victory over Ireland.
“I had my nose flattened. I’m not sure if it’s broken but it has ruined my good looks. My big fear is that it makes me look like Mike Tindall. At least I’ve got my hair” Jamie Roberts, Wales centre.
“The curfew is still in place. The boys know they’ve got the biggest game of their lives next weekend. So we’re not about to undo all that hard work with one night out. The first thing said on the pitch after the game was that we haven’t won anything yet” Sam Warburton, Wales captain, says the team will not be celebrating in late night bars just yet.
“At the moment, I don’t think it would matter what opposition was put in front of them” Shaun Edwards, defence coach for Wales, looks forward confidently to Saturday’s World Cup semi-final against France.
“They have been fantastic throughout the competition and are without doubt the fittest side in the World Cup. If you give youth a chance, you will get the rewards. I played when I was 19 and I know that young players have no fear. That’s how they are playing” JPR Williams on his successors in the Wales team.
“It is the biggest game certainly I have been involved in and certainly for the players and the same for Welsh rugby history” Neil Jenkins, Wales’s record points scorer during his career, looks ahead to the semi-final.
“I definitely thought we could beat France but we weren’t there. We were ghosts. Looking back now at the Scotland game, we were lucky to get through that, so it could have been even worse. We scraped through by the skin of our teeth and were not playing the rugby we played in the Six Nations” Chris Ashton, the England wing, offers a brutal assessment of England’s World Cup performances.
“England need to get on the scoresheet if they want to win” Phil Vickery, in ITV commentary at the Rugby World Cup quarter-final with France leading 16-0, demonstrating the insight only a former England captain can offer. Not.
“We’d let ourselves down. We’d let our fans down. They’d come in their thousands and spent a lot of money getting here. They deserved better but we weren’t able to give it to them. That’s a regret I’ll have to my dying day. You’re in a World Cup< to be successful, not to pat yourself on the back if you get a few things right. We’ve been knocked out in the quarter-final. That’s not a success story, is it?” Nick Easter, the England and Harlequins No8.
“I’m absolutely livid. We had a massive opportunity and we’ve blown it. I’m frustrated by the team performance and by my personal performance. I don’t think we stepped up to the mark. The French were there for the taking. We’ve only ourselves to blame. We underachieved and the French weren’t brilliant by any standards” Ben Foden, England full back, after the 19-12 World Cup defeat.
“You put all the preparation, thought, effort and training into it, get it wrong for a 20-minute period – and you’re out. That’s the brutality. Certainly, we think the team is in a better place than it was three years ago” Martin Johnson, England manager.
“After three years he has taken this team backwards. He had never managed or coached any team. It was a crazy idea” Stuart Barnes, former England fly-half turned TV pundit, is fiercely critical of Johnson.
“The social media praise of the management by players is worthless self-interest; I have never known an incumbent player not to back a manager publicly” Brian Moore, the former England hooker, writing in the Telegraph, questions whether Martin Johnson ought to be retained as manager.
“We played some difficult matches there but we’ve played some good football. There is a fearlessness about them which gives me a great deal of encouragement” Craig Levein, the manager of the Scotland football team, tips his side to beat Spain, the world and European champions, in their final Euro 2012 qualifier in Alicante tonight.
“Fabio Capello has ensured that England will be at next summer’s European Championships in Poland and Ukraine – and now begins the start of the long goodbye” Matt Barlow, writing in the Daily Mail after England’s 2-2 draw in Montenegro secured their place in next summer’s finals.
“I don’t know whether anyone has considered releasing the Geoff Shreeves-Fabio Capello dialogues as a CD or some other form of home entertainment, but I am sure those of us who remember the Theatre of the Absurd, so fashionable in the 1960s and 70s, would welcome the intellectual challenge of picking through them again to try to divine some deeper meaning” Martin Kelner, in his weekly sport on TV review, tries to fathom meaning from Sky’s post-match interview.
“I’m not happy, absolutely. I spoke with him. He made a silly mistake and he said sorry. More than that I can’t do. I can’t enter into the head of Wayne Rooney when he plays. I can speak before, I can sub him, I can find different solutions. But you cannot understand, during the game, why things happen” Capello.
“The most disappointing thing about his red card is that it distracts from the major issue. With England, we’re always looking for an excuse; we’re always caught up in the minor rather than the major. The real issue is that the spine of the team is not good enough, as it stands, to take on Spain, Italy, France or Germany at Euro 2012” Gary Neville, the former Manchester United and England defender, is providing more answers as a pundit in print and on TV.
“There has been a substantial decline in advertising revenue in the regional press. They have been the worst effected by the pressures of the digital age. It has lost 40 per cent of its workforce in the last five years” Claire Enders, media analyst, in comments this week.
“Some guy just came running on the green and he had a hot dog, and evidently … I don’t know how he tried to throw it, but I was kind of focusing on my putt when he started yelling. Next thing I know, he laid on the ground, and looked like he wanted to be arrested because he … put his hands behind his back and turned his head” Tiger Woods after being the target of flying fast food at the Frys.com Open. Woods failed to hole his birdie putt.
“For sure the third set was some of the best tennis I have played against him. I need to keep up the wins and hopefully I’ll get the No3 ranking. It’s not the ultimate goal but it’s the target I’ve set for the last few tournaments of the year” Andy Murray, after winning the Japan Open by beating Rafa Nadal 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the final.
“Our bylaw reflects the fact that the Olympic Games are the pinnacle of sporting achievement. It embraces the Olympic ideal and the fundamental importance of fairness and clean sport. The bylaw continues to support those athletes who tragically never made it to an Olympics or on to the podium because their team mates decided to cheat them out of that opportunity” Lord Moynihan, chairman of the BOA, who wants to up[hold its lifetime ban bylaw for drug cheats, despite the Council of Arbitration for Sport overturning an IOC rule that would prevent those caught using drugs from competing at the next Games.
“The jet-lag is fearsome, the weather capricious and the ailing pound is pitifully weak against the dollar. But the city is stunning, the people are warm and endlessly welcoming and a boundless passion for the oval ball game comes surging through every conversation.
“At this mesmerising stage of rugby’s World Cup, Auckland is the place that every lover of great sport would wish to be. But that’s enough gloating from me. So tell me, Wayne: how’s your week been?” Patrick Collins‘ notes on the week’s sport in the Mail on Sunday.
“Having suffered several setbacks at crucial points, I believe I’m no longer on a pathway which will see me fulfil my Olympic ambition to win a second Olympic gold medal” Rebecca Romero, an Olympic rowing silver medal-winner in 2004 and Olympic cycling champion in 2008, decides at 32 that there will be no London Games for her in 2012.
“I am dreading retirement. I have the best job going; it’s what makes me tick. Racing may be a minority sport, but I wouldn’t swap it for all the money in the world. I am intelligent enough to realise that it isn’t going to last forever, and that there’s a lot more behind me than ahead of me. But at the same time, I probably appreciate my job more now, knowing I won’t be doing it forever” AP McCoy, the 2010 SJA Sportsman of the Year.
“The hardest victories are definitely the sweetest but to be crowned Ironman world champion is the greatest honour. I had to dig so deep. I had to have faith in my body, There were times I thought it was going to give out on me” Chrissie Wellington wins the Hawaii Ironman for the fourth time in five years .
“Football has a hang-up with people’s ages. When age hits you and you can’t run any more it becomes a big issue. But that hasn’t happened to me yet. I certainly feel I’m a better player than I was 10 years ago. I can deal with things better, too, because I have 10 years more experience” Scott Parker, enjoying a renaissance in the England team at 30.
“If your manager’s not good enough, that’s your country’s fault. Get a better manager. Do the coaching qualifications better. I think it’s a form of cheating at international level and it’s embarrassing” Jamie Carragher, former England defender, believes the England manager should be English.
“He thinks I played a hundred years ago when footballers were rubbish. He wonders how I could have been quick when I can’t even get up the stairs” Mark Chamberlain, former England winger, on his son, Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who became the youngest English Champions League goalscorer at 18 and then hit a hat-trick for England Under-21.
- Follow news of the SJA British Sports Award on Twitter with the hashtag #SJA2011
- Mo Farah’s historic claim on your votes By Randall Northam
- Mark Cavendish keeps his promise in his race of his life By Richard Williams
- England’s Ashes-winning cricket team are top of the world. By Ian Cole
- Laura Davies gets back on song with Solheim. By Patrick Kidd
- Alastair Cook’s tour helped drag England from the brink. By Ian Cole
- Chrissie Wellington is an Iron Lady who deserves your vote. By Steven Downes
- SJA members can cast their votes by clicking here.
- The awards will be presented at our gala annual lunch in London on December 7. Don’t miss out on being there – click here for a ticket booking form, with SJA members entitled to buy two tickets at half the usual price..