James Mariner

James Mariner is a journalist who has been boring The Independent sports desk with mindless statistics since June 2007. Helping with various, wide-ranging desk duties (I made the tea once), supervising workies and the endless researching of panels, James has an unnatural love of all things football, and in particular the Europa League, being a Tottenham Hotspur supporter. He cites Brian Sears and Ledley King among his heroes and can even find something interesting in Burnley v Hull City. On a good day.

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Emmanuel Adebayor is in the Tottenham squad to face Sheriff on Thursday
Gus Poyet ‘I learnt a lot about my players,’ he said after a 4-0 defeat

Round-Up: Gus Poyet targets derby day to turn his new Sunderland side around

The Sunderland manager, Gus Poyet, insisted he would take a lot of positives from his first match in charge, despite the 4-0 defeat at Swansea City on Saturday.

JOE HART: Relatively little to do in first half but suffered couple of scares as Poland improved after the break. 6/10
Toulon’s Jonny Wilkinson was forced off with an injured hand
Tottenham Hotspur striker Jermain Defoe celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Capital One Cup against Aston Villa

Anzhi v Tottenham team news: Jermain Defoe given opportunity to break club record in Europa League

The England striker selected to start the match in Russia

<b>Joe Hart </b><br/>
Under fire of late, the England man was barely tested until beaten by Rooney’s perfectly placed free-kick. 6/10

Indyplus gallery: Manchester City v Manchester United player ratings

Man-for-man marking for the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium

<b>Joe Hart </b><br/>
Under fire of late, the England man was barely tested until beaten by Rooney’s perfectly placed free-kick. 6/10

Manchester City v Manchester United player ratings

Man-for-man marking for the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium

Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate together

Champions League round-up: Gareth Bale provides assist as Cristiano Ronaldo scores hat-trick for Real Madrid

A look around the rest of the action in Europe

Andy Goode scored 16 points in Wasps' 30-26 defeat at Exeter

Round-up: Baxter relief as Exeter almost let 18-point lead slip

Rob Baxter, the Exeter coach, was relieved to hear the final whistle at Sandy Park on Saturday as his side came perilously close to throwing away the points against Wasps.

Andy Forsyth crosses for Sale to help them to a win at Gloucester

Round-Up: Robshaw relief after Goode misses with last kick

Chris Robshaw admitted his relief at Harlequins’ narrow opening day victory over Wasps after seeing Andy Goode miss a penalty with the final kick at Twickenham on Saturday.

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Day In a Page

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
Sports Quiz of the Year

Sports Quiz of the Year

So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect