The Sport Matrix: Tuesday 29 October 2013


Wenger claims  Mourinho rivalry has calmed

Arsène Wenger said yesterday that he had made his peace with Jose Mourinho and put aside the deep grievances from the Chelsea manager’s first spell at the club, when the Arsenal manager was close to taking legal action against his counterpart.

Wenger (above) faces Mourinho for the first time in six years in the Capital One Cup tonight and the Arsenal manager was conciliatory when he described how the past had healed wounds.

“With all competitors there are ups and downs, because we put our whole heart into every game,” he said. “Sometimes we go overboard. It always settles.”

This time eight years ago, relations between the two were about to hit their lowest ebb when Mourinho accused Wenger of being a “voyeur”, because of what he perceived as Wenger’s constant criticism of Chelsea. Legal action was only averted when it was made clear that Mourinho had not intended any sexual innuendo.

Wenger said he intended to “absolutely go for this game” against Chelsea, in spite of his playing a “mixture” of first-team and younger players.  MORE

Zaha set to leave United on loan

Manchester United midfielder Wilfried Zaha is likely to leave the club on loan in January, especially if the 20-year-old fails to play a part in tonight’s League Cup tie with Norwich. The former Crystal Palace man has made just one appearance for United - back in August.

Spurs seek ways to increase fervour

Tottenham Hotspur are working with supporter’s groups as they seek to find ways of improving the atmosphere inside White Hart Lane. Manager Andre Villas-Boas criticised the fans during Sunday’s win over Hull. Flags and banners may be introduced at future games. MORE

Crofts strike keeps Watford waiting

Watford remain a place outside the play-off zone in the Championship after being held to a 1-1 draw at Brighton & Hove Albion last night. Sean Murray put the visitors ahead on four minutes only for Andrew Crofts to equalise early in the second half to secure a share of the spoils.

Broad: England will ignore jibes

Stuart Broad insists England will do their talking on the pitch following criticism from former Australian bowler Shane Warne. “We are not listening to what he says,” the bowler said ahead of the opening tour match. “It’s like a big fight – all the trash talk that goes before it.”

Ireland campaign begins with defeat

Ireland opened their World Cup campaign with a 32-14 loss against Fiji in Rochdale last night. Akuila Uate scored a hat-trick as Fiji ran in six tries to go top of Group A, with only two late Irish tries bringing a modicum of respectability to the final scoreline.

Phillips to begin legal action

Mike Phillips’ acrimonious departure from Bayonne worsened when the scrum-half announced he would take legal action against the club after his sacking. The player has allegedly been sacked for turning up to training under the influence of alcohol.

Lancaster: Aussies still pose a threat

England coach Stuart Lancaster has insisted his side will not underestimate Australia this weekend. “The Wallabies are improving massively in terms of their quality of performance,” he said. “We know they’re a threat.” MORE

Inglot dreaming of Slam success

Dominic Inglot retains ambitions of winning a Grand Slam title as he seeks to reach next month’s World Tour Finals. “I believe I can win a Slam,” he said. “The thing Treat [Huey] and I need to improve on is maintaining form through six matches.” MORE

Vettel keeps feet firmly on ground

Newly reinstalled as world champion, four-time winner Sebastian Vettel kept himself grounded by helping his Red Bull team pack away their paddock after Sunday’s Indian Grand Prix. MORE

Ian Herbert

It was hard not to observe Channel 4’s Jon Snow going to work on Sir Alex Ferguson without being fortified in the belief that there can be another way. Diplomacy is part of this job, too.