“You need germ warfare to stop Tuilagi”

A week’s sporting action in quotes, including Ryan Babel and refereeing, Stratford Hotspurs and the Olympic Stadium, Zoe Smith on weight shifting, and world tennis No1 Caroline Wozniacki

Wozniacki: slow start

“‘It was like Mary Decker and Zola Budd” Harry Redknapp on the collision that led to Manchester United defender Rafael’s sending off at Tottenham.

“And they call him one of the best referees? That’s a joke” Ryan Babel‘s Twitter message after posting a mocked-up photo of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt after Liverpool’s 1-0 loss in the third round of the FA Cup.

“If they want to insult me by offering only £3.5 million for Charlie then they are barking up the wrong tree and messing with the wrong dog because I will bite them” Ian Holloway gets barking over the transfer price of  midfielder Charlie Adam.

“In the event that the current owners of Spurs take the club to Stratford, a new club will emerge. I will work with any new team, with the local authority, to ensure we retain the name Tottenham. They will have to take on a different name if they are to leave” David Lammy, Tottenham’s local MP, raises the prospect of Stratford Hotspurs if the club moves to the Olympic stadium.

“So the plan is to tear down a brand new Olympic stadium worth half a billion pounds after just three weeks of serious use and then build another ground on the same spot. That has nothing to do with the word ‘legacy’. That’s vandalism” Des Kelly in the Mail.

Prize-winner: Zoe Smith receiving her SJA award from Alec Stewart last month

“I find it quite upsetting and disturbing really that newspapers would be writing stuff like the Sun wrote. ‘Zoe must become a weightshifter’. I was like, ‘Oh brilliant’, especially as I had to go back to school and face my friends afterwards. It’s not really been too much of an issue as I suppose people can see I’m not obese or anything, but it’s not something I like to talk about much” Zoe Smith, the SJA’s international newcomer of the year after winning a Commonwealth Games weightlifting bronze medal, but was stopped funding in January by her governing body.

“It’s never serious, it starts and finishes in two minutes and in the dressing room afterwards everything is finished. Creative tensions. That’s why I’m not worried” Roberto Mancini, the Manchester City coach, after fining four of his players for involvement in training ground fights.

“Gordon should draw his office curtains, open his door and step out into the real world. To make a statement of this nature is not only irresponsible but shows a total lack of respect to the owners, chairmen and directors of clubs” Don Rowing, the Barnsley director, with some advice for Professional Footballers’ Association chief Gordon Taylor after his opposition to a wage cap.

“Just a thought! Woke up with Liverpool manager lying beside me! Twenty years since that happened!” Marina Dalglish, Kenny’s missus, Tweets her excitement, despite her husband curtailing their luxury cruise holiday to take over at Anfield.

“I don’t know if it is long ball or it is a rugby kick, but it worked for them” Cesc Fabregas laments Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to Championship side Ipswich in the first leg of their League Cup semi-final.

“I am not knocking them. They are top of the league and above where we are and want to be. But you can’t be as good a team as you were a year or two ago when you haven’t got Ronaldo and Tevez” Harry Redknapp offers the sort of acute assessment of Manchester United often missing from pundits.

Unstoppable? Alesana Tuilagi

“There have a been a lot of lies from David Haye and Adam Booth. We found a date, July 2, to fight him, but I don’t trust these guys any more” Wladimir Klitschko keeps his war of words with Britain’s heavyweight world champion going over their on-off-off again clash.

“I don’t know what the collective noun for a gaggle of athletics writers should be. A rabble? A shower? A cliché, perhaps?” Simon Turnbull, chairman of the British Athletics Writers’ Association, at their awards lunch last week.

“You would need germ warfare to stop Tuilagi” Mark Robson‘s excitable commentary on a Leicester try by Alesana Tuilagi against Llanelli in the Heineken Cup.

“We have the best defence in the league until we conceded these goals” Roberto Mancini offers a statement of the obvious after seeing his Manchester City team win 4-3 against Wolves.

“If there’s got to be a winner it has to be Aston Villa today” Gerard Houliier, after seeing his Villa team draw 1-1 at Birmingham.

“Last year I had the same start, so hopefully slow start, good finish” Caroline Wozniacki, the women’s tennis No1, who was beaten in the first round of the Sydney International tournament, ahead of the Australian Open.

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