The Sport Matrix: Friday 17 October 2014


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The Independent Online

Balotelli: bad form is due to tactics

Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has blamed Brendan Rodgers’ tactics for the fact he has struggled to make an impact at Anfield. “I have never been a real, out-and-out striker – I have always been someone who goes around the pitch,” Balotelli said. “If it was my choice, I would always go with two strikers. It’s the way I like to play, but Brendan asked me to play as the first striker.”

Wenger vows to try and buy defender

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger said he would “try to buy” a defender in January after being confronted at the club’s AGM by fans and shareholders demanding to know why he had not done so during the summer. Wenger admitted: “We could have bought one more player but we didn’t find one. We will try in January to rectify that because we are a bit short because of the injuries that we had.”

Blind has belief to succeed at United

Manchester United’s Daley Blind insists his Amsterdam self-confidence will enable him to stand up for himself in a dressing room of stars and that he will not be “shy” with Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao. Blind said: “I’m not a player United [paid a fortune for] like Di Maria, but that doesn’t make me a shy boy… thanks to Amsterdamse bluf, we Ajax players have a natural self-confidence.”

Saint’s sin of swearing earns him fine

St Helens player Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook has  been punished by the Rugby Football League for swearing  in the immediate aftermath  of his club’s Grand-Final triumph.

Sky Sports were forced to apologise to viewers after an excited McCarthy-Scarsbrook accidentally let slip a swear word during a live interview just moments after he had helped his side to a surprise 14-6 win over Wigan at Old Trafford last Saturday.

He was yesterday fined £250 after being found guilty of misconduct, although the fine is suspended until the end of next season.

McDowell and Gallacher lose

Defending champion Graeme McDowell suffered just his third defeat in the Volvo World Match Play Championship, losing 2&1 to Mikko Ilonen. Stephen Gallacher lost to Pablo Larrazabal, making it 10 straight singles defeats across six different match-play competitions.