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The Sport Matrix: Wednesday 22 May 2013

Pulis departure puts Neville in coaching frame

Tony Pulis departed as manager of Stoke City yesterday after seven years in charge following talks with chairman Peter Coates. Pulis, whose position was put under pressure last season after disappointing results on the pitch, was told the club felt the time was right for him to leave after two separate stints.

The 55-year-old Welshman was appointed as manager for a second time in 2006, and two years later guided the club to the top flight for the first time in 23 years. Stoke’s 1-1 draw at Southampton on Sunday confirmed a 13th place finish, but many fans thought the club had been taken as far as it could with Pulis in charge.

Meanwhile, former Everton captain Phil Neville is in the frame for a senior coaching role at the Britannia Stadium following Pulis’ departure.

Interest in Neville, who is out of contract at the end of June, is understood to come from Coates’ contacts at the Football Association, where he has served on the board. MORE

City and Yankees team up for MLS

Manchester City have announced they are to co-own a new Major League Soccer franchise with the New York Yankees. New York City FC will become the MLS’ 20th club, with City hoping the move will increase their global revenue and Premier League power. MORE

Murray to look at back injury today

Britain could be without a men’s singles player at the French Open for the first time since 1994 if Andy Murray fails to appear next week. The Scot will decide today whether to risk his back injury after retiring at the Rome Masters last week. MORE

Intxausti wins as Nibali holds lead

Spaniard Benat Intxausti won stage 16 of the Giro d’Italia, outsprinting Tanel Kangert to claim victory. Italian Vincenzo Nibali kept the overall race lead, as his closest rivals lost time with five stages remaining. MORE

Safe standing trials could come soon

The Football League is facing pressure to back trials for safe standing after all but one of the Championship clubs voted in February for tests. A motion could be included in June’s Football League meeting, and would be expected to receive unanimous backing. pages MORE

Bell return could give England boost

England batsman Ian Bell has been passed fit for the second and final test against New Zealand, which starts at Headingley on Friday. Bell suffered from tonsillitis during much of the first test victory at Lord’s, but registered 31 in the first innings.

Belly putter to be banned from 2016

The US Golf Association and the R&A have banned the use of the belly putter from January 1, 2016 after criticism from throughout the golfing world. The two ruling bodies’ plans to reduce the use of the putter last year were backed by the European Tour but not the PGA Tour. MORE

Excrement joker spurred Palace on

Crystal Palace manager Ian Holloway has thanked whoever left excrement in his side’s dressing room before Wilfried Zaha’s brace earned them a 2-0 play-off semi-final win at rivals Brighton. “I didn’t have to gee the players up at all,” he said.

Opinion: Sam Wallace

The manager who took Stoke from the Championship is gone, and with him one of the most divisive, and often reductive, playing styles seen in the English top flight in modern times. MORE

West Ham agree fee for Carroll

West Ham have agreed a fee with Liverpool for Andy Carroll, thought to be around £15million, after interest from Newcastle cooled. The striker has yet to decide if he wants to join the Hammers, with the 24-year-old unsure about the move ahead of a World Cup year. MORE

Dembele’s ruthless Spurs assessment

Mousa Dembele has warned Tottenham they need to be more ruthless against the smaller clubs next season if they want to finish above their rivals. “If there is a bottom team here, maybe we are too relaxed and think ‘OK, are going to win,’” he said.

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