The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 8 February 2011

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Chelsea have to solve tactical issue

Fernando Torres admitted that Liverpool’s formation surprised Chelsea on Sunday. “We were not expecting that and maybe they took advantage,” he said. Chelsea need a plan that accommodates Torres and Didier Drogba without sacrificing width.

Jenkins defends under-fire duo

Neil Jenkins has given his support to Welsh half-backs Mike Phillips and Stephen Jones following England’s victory. “When we don’t win it always seems to be No 10’s problem,” he said. England have called up Alex Corbisiero and James Simpson-Daniel. MORE

Packers delight but fears for NFL future

Fans lined the streets of Green Bay yesterday to welcome the victorious Packers after their first Super Bowl win for 14 years. But there are fears that a labour dispute may disrupt next year’s NFL season. MORE

Albion consider Appleton full time

West Bromwich are keen for Roberto di Matteo’s replacement as head coach to work under a director of football. Caretaker Michael Appleton is a possible permanent replacement, as is current St Johnstone manager Derek McInnes. MORE

Orr ambitious after Castleford return

Half-back Danny Orr is hoping to lead Castleford to glory against Wakefield on Saturday as the new Super League season kicks off. Orr has returned to his hometown club signing a one-year deal following spells at Wigan and Harlequins. MORE

Carragher praises new Anfield unity

Jamie Carragher has hailed the impact of Kenny Dalglish since he became Liverpool’s caretaker manager. “What Kenny’s done has got all the club as one, supporters are behind everything and it helps that the players and supporters are together.” MORE

Trott the lone star of one-day defeat

England’s 6-1 defeat in the one-dayers in Australia was their first series defeat in 14, dating back to late 2009. While Jonathan Trott was the obvious success of England’s series, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell and Eoin Morgan all disappointed with the bat. MORE

Speed’s Wales to open Nations Cup

The Nations Cup starts this evening as the Republic of Ireland host Wales at the Aviva Stadium. The tournament is a revamp of the old Home Nations championship, albeit without England. Tonight will be Gary Speed’s first game as Wales manager. MORE

Kubica out of coma after rally accident

Robert Kubica was yesterday awakened from an induced coma following his accident on Sunday. The Renault F1 driver fractured his right arm and leg as well as partially severing his right hand, and will likely take a year to recover from his injuries. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Liverpool’s psychologically stunning victory on Sunday was the clearest evidence that Kenny Dalglish has re-established a founding principle of the club – that if the players are trusted their self-belief will grow. MORE

Walcott: draw at Newcastle was a decent result

Theo Walcott spoke yesterday of how news of Manchester United’s defeat lifted the mood after Arsenal’s surprise draw at Newcastle. United lost their first game of the season just hours after Arsenal threw away a 4-0 lead to draw 4-4. “It changed the mood,” said Walcott, “the boss’s mood as well. It’s a point gained. None of us wanted to look the boss [Arsène Wenger] in the eye [after the game], that’s for sure. It was such a disappointment, when you are 4-0 up and want to win the league, it shouldn’t happen.” Walcott will start for England against Denmark tomorrow night along with fellow Arsenal youngster Jack Wilshere who is likely to play in defensive midfield. “Jack’s an absolute dream to play with especially when you play on the right-hand side – he has got an absolutely gifted left foot,” Walcott said. “He can just ping it over to you. He spots the ball that no one else would – apart from Cesc [Fabregas], I suppose. But he breaks down the play very well as well and I’m sure, given the role, he will grab it with both hands because he’s the kind of player who plays with no fear.”

Cole upset with ‘personal’ booing

Ashley Cole said booing at Wembley had hurt him “even more” because it was personal. “But every time I put on an England shirt I try my hardest,” said the man who will become England’s most capped full-back if he faces Denmark tomorrow. MORE

Klitschko brands Haye ‘liar, loser’

Wladimir Klitschko has rubbished David Haye’s threat to retire soon without fighting him, branding him “a liar and a loser”. Haye said he would retire in October, but Klitschko said “he is bluffing, just as he always has been” after a July fight fell through. MORE