Rory Smith

Rory Smith is a football writer for The Independent.

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Harry Redknapp: 'They can have a Christmas party when they have a six week holiday in the summer'

Humbug Harry stands firm on Christmas ban

Spurs manager says golf trips, days at the races and festive nights out are old-fashioned and of little interest to most of his players

Massimilano Allegri won Milan the title last season, his first in charge

The glory that was Serie A may have faded - but beware

Italy's giants may fail this time, but they are getting a new act together, says Rory Smith

Luiz Suarez celebrates scoring against QPR on Saturday but faces an FA disciplinary commission today

Suarez to give testimony at Evra 'racism' hearing today

Luis Suarez is expected to appear today in front of the Football Association's disciplinary commission to offer his account of the clash with Manchester United's Patrice Evra at Anfield in October which led to the Liverpool striker being charged with issuing racist abuse at the Frenchman.

Chelsea are likely to want to sell Fernando Torres in the summer

Torres not being sold – until summer...

Fernando Torres will not leave Chelsea in the January transfer window but for the first time doubts over the long-term Stamford Bridge future of the most expensive player in British football history have emerged.

Brede Hangeland (left) and Aaron Hughes can hardly believe Fulham’s elimination

'Big blow' for Jol as Fulham Fall at last

Fulham 2 Odense BK 2

Lukas Podolski, FC Cologne: The German international is enjoying the most consistent campaign of his occasionally turbulent career and, at 26, still qualifies as a long-term signing. He returned to Cologne from Bayern Munich in 2009, but after seeing promises to build a competitive side around him fail to come to fruition, may be tempted away before his contract expires in 2013

So, who needs what come the winter sales?

Injuries and illness will force the six sides in the hunt for Champions League places to go shopping in January

Luiz Suarez celebrates scoring against QPR on Saturday but faces an FA disciplinary commission today

Suarez to give testimony at Evra 'racism' hearing today

Luis Suarez is expected to appear today in front of the Football Association's disciplinary commission to offer his account of the clash with Manchester United's Patrice Evra at Anfield in October which led to the Liverpool striker being charged with issuing racist abuse at the Frenchman.

Fernando Torres has scored just three goals since joining last January

Torres will not be sold – until the summer...

£50m misfit has until the end of the season to improve his game or Chelsea will offload him

Asamoah Gyan earns £125,000-a-week at Al Ain in the UAE

Pioneers head east in game's latest gold rush

From Siberia and the Middle East to China, Rory Smith follows the trail of new money

Juan Mata says the Chelsea squad are united behind their manager

We are a big happy family, insists Mata

Andre Villas-Boas has created a "family" atmosphere at Chelsea, according to Juan Mata, settling one of the Premier League's most fractious dressing rooms and helping every player at a club notoriously riven by factions feel as though they are involved.

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Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
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Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
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Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
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We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
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A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
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Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

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Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
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Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
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Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

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Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

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