The Sports Matrix: Thursday 17 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Villas-Boas lined up at Liverpool as Dalglish shown exit

Liverpool have turned their attentions to former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas after dispensing with the services of Kenny Dalglish last night. The Scot departed Anfield after just 16 months in his second spell in charge, his success in Cup competitions not able to mask the club's inadequacies in the league, where Liverpool finished the season in eighth place, 37 points off the top, following a run of three wins in 10 matches.

"Results in the Premier League have been disappointing," chairman Tom Werner said. "To build on the progress that has been made we need to make a change." Managing director Ian Ayre will expand further on the reasoning behind Dalglish's departure today, with his poor record in the transfer market also a factor in his exit.

Villas-Boas is believed to be interested in a return to England after being sacked by Chelsea earlier this year. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, fresh from another recovery act to keep the Latics in the Premier League, has also been linked, along with former Reds coach Rafa Benitez, who won the Champions League with the club in 2005. MORE

Strauss content to take it one at a time

England captain Andrew Strauss has insisted he is not looking be-yond the current series with West Indies as he struggles for form. "It's dangerous to look too far ahead," the 35-year-old said ahead of the Lord's showpiece. "Things change so quickly." MORE

Murray wary of using bad language

Andy Murray has admitted he swears too often on court, after being censored for using a verbal obscenity at the Rome Masters. "It's a mistake and something I try not to do," he said. "Because what I say is in English we're always the ones to get the warnings." MORE

Terry convinced me, says Hodgson

England manager Roy Hodgson believes John Terry will be in the right frame of mind to play at Euro 2012, despite an upcoming court case. "I know how committed he is," Hodgson said. "I raised the issues I had and he assured me I needn't have concerns." MORE

Luiz primed for Chelsea comeback

A potential starring role in Saturday's Champions League final represents something of a turnaround in fortunes for Chelsea's David Luiz. The Brazilian, fit again after a hamstring injury, has struggled for form and concentration. MORE

Lancashire woes go on at Edgbaston

Champions Lancashire continued their poor start to the season with a blunt showing in the field against Warwickshire. The hosts ended the opening day on 289-4, Varun Chopra making his second century of the season, with Ian Westwood also impressing. MORE

IRB refute Betham player claim

The International Rugby Board have dismissed the claim of Samoa coach Stephen Betham that he was forced to omit Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu from his squad. "The player is not ineligible for, or banned from, any tournament," a spokesman said. MORE

Barton admits violent conduct

Queens Park Rangers captain Joey Barton has admitted a charge of violent conduct against Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero during Sunday's game. The midfielder has denied a second charge, against Vincent Kompany, requesting a personal hearing. MORE

So solid Crewe reach Wembley

Crewe last night reached next Sunday's Wembley final, holding Southend to a 2-2 draw for a 3-2 aggregate win. Ajay Leitch-Smith and Max Clayton twice put the visitors ahead only for Southend to twice reply. Crewe face Torq-uay or Cheltenham in the final.

Opinion: James Lawton

In omitting Rio Ferdinand, Roy Hodgson may have sanitised the problem which again threatened to drag England into the column of those deeply dysfunctional football nations who think they belong in the front rank. MORE