Hold The Back Page: 05/03/2011
Saturday 05 March 2011
It's a big weekend for...
If he overcomes a thigh injury to make his Newcastle United debut today, Stephen Ireland will start what might be his last chance.
His spell at Aston Villa was rendered even more disastrous yesterday by the publication of a So Foot interview in which he called Birmingham a "crap city". He was finished at Villa anyway, but the interview further revealed a self-destructive side that has already cost him his international career. Newcastle could be the making of him – he revels in popularity and 50,000 cheering Geordies could help. But, if he does not discover the set of circumstances that allow him to perform, tactically, personally and emotionally, his future as a top- flight player will be unclear.
We applaud you wholeheartedly
An Irish sportsman rather more comfortable with himself. The "Dublin Sehwag" struck an innings that would have been shocking and historic – 115 runs from 63 balls – in the most banal context, never mind a World Cup victory for Ireland over England. The question now is what he will do next. England's recruitment pool for batsmen has diversified in recent years to include not just South Africa but also the Emerald Isle. Ed Joyce and Eoin Morgan have both been tempted across the Irish Sea, with fairly mixed results, but there is certainly a vacancy in England's limited-overs middle order. He could not possibly do a worse job than Michael Yardy, surely?
Plus the stories you may have missed
Ecclestone plays god
If ever there was a man who demanded to decide the weather by personal fiat, it was Bernie Ecclestone. It is not a shock, then, to read that he intends to introduce "artificial rain" this season in Formula One, sprayed from sprinklers, to make races exciting. As Mark Webber said, Ayrton Senna would be "turning in his grave".
Two-match ban for bird killing
Luis Moreno, who plays for Deportivo Pereira in the Colombian league, has been banned for kicking to death an owl that was the mascot of an opposition side, Atletico Junior. Sir Alex Ferguson, if found guilty of criticising a referee, will likely be banned for longer.
Latest in Sport
Arsenal and Puma unveil world's first left-footed football
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?
Liverpool's best XI of the season so far: Raheem Sterling should play in the front three while Steven Gerrard remains on the bench
WWE Raw results: Brock Lesnar suspended for post-Wrestlemania 31 rampage after losing title to Seth Rollins
Ryan Mason tattoo: Tottenham and England midfielder trolled by Twitter user who compares him to 12-year-old boy
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...