The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 27 May 2014


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The Independent Online

Tottenham close in on Pochettino appointment

The Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino is poised to take over at Tottenham Hotspur with the London club believing that the Argentine is the best option to fill their coaching vacancy.

The Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy, has been told that Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti is not an option, while Frank de Boer, the Ajax manager, remains a back-up candidate, but Spurs went cold on him after he spoke publicly about their approach.

Taking over at White Hart Lane will cap a remarkable 16 months for Pochettino, who joined Southampton in January last year. Spurs hope the former Espanyol coach will work in tandem with a director of football, the position currently held by Franco Baldini.

Pochettino is regarded as a prime candidate to coax the best out of fellow Argentine Erik Lamela, the club’s £30m record signing, who endured a terrible first season. Pochettino, who guided Southampton to eight last season, is expected to bring his own staff. His predecessor at Spurs, Tim Sherwood, would be one of the options to replace him at Southampton.

Hodgson eager to give strikers time

England manager Roy Hodgson hopes to give Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge playing time together during the three upcoming World Cup warm-up matches. “They haven’t had a lot of time to play together,” he said. “We haven’t seen enough of it. Now’s our chance.” MORE

Fleetwood gain crack at big time

A fortunate free-kick was enough to take Fleetwood into the third tier of English football for the first time in their history after they beat Burton 1-0 in the League Two play-off final. Antoni Sarcevic’s looped effort deceived the opposing goalkeeper to settle the match. MORE

Stan loss clears  the way for Murray

The Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka crashed out in the first round of the French Open yesterday to leave Andy Murray as the leading seed in his quarter of the draw. The Scot begins his campaign against Andrey Golubev this afternoon. MORE

Lancaster refuses to change policy

England coach Stuart Lancaster is unlikely to call up French-based Steffon Armitage for the tour to New Zealand, despite his fine form. “I agree with the policy,” Lancaster said. “It’s important for the development of the English game to have leading players here.” MORE

England kids beaten by Brazil

England’s Under-20 side fell to defeat in their second match in the Toulon tournament, losing  2-1 to Brazil. The Group B leaders went in front through goals by Alisson and Lucas Silva, before James Ward-Prowse’s reply. England are third in the group. MORE

Rejuvenated Rory eyes world top spot

Rory McIlroy is ready for a renewed assault on the world No 1 spot after his Wentworth win. “The game is waiting for one or two guys to kick on,” he said. “This is a springboard. Even though we’re nearly halfway through the season, mine’s just beginning.” MORE

Root: England were embarrassing

Joe Root has admitted England’s embarrassment at their pitiful defeat to Sri Lanka on Sunday. “It just wasn’t a good enough performance,” he said. “We’ve got to hold our hands up and say it’s not good enough. It’s quite embarrassing.” MORE

David Tremayne

The fascination will be seeing what Nico Rosberg has left in his locker so that he can counter-attack. And that’s how it will now be all season. We should be thanking the gods of sport for this gift. MORE