Hold The Back Page: 16/04/2011

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The Independent Online

It's a big weekend for...

Owen Coyle's self-improvement

Even after this afternoon, there will still be a Cup final berth remaining. Owen Coyle (left) takes his Bolton to Wembley tomorrow knowing that a win could provide a further foothold on his ascent towards the peaks of big-club management. He has already propelled Bolton into the serious part of the league table. The momentum for this comes from him synthesising the best of authentic Bolton simplicity with a more attractive version of the game. It is a synthesis that has so far evaded Tony Pulis's Stoke, whose disdain for the game reminds people just how far Coyle has taken Bolton; like a "Before" and "After" advert for a dieting firm. Coyle can further improve himself with a final.

We applaud you wholeheartedly

Cricketers of Berlin

A story to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood of every Englishman: the authorities in Berlin are expelling the city's cricket league from the Kornerplatz ground on which the sport has been played since the 1940s. Cricketers from the world over have been playing there ever since, and until their expulsion there were nine clubs and more than 100 players involved. But an inflated threat from stray balls has led to their expulsion. They have been offered the use of a polo field until 10 August, but this is insufficient. All those who hope to retain the ground as a corner of a foreign field that is for ever England (and India, Pakistan, Australia, and so forth) ought to join their vigorous online campaign.

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Moreno moves on to humans

Luis Moreno has, at least, started bullying those his own size. The defender who kicked an owl to death two months ago has moved on to opponents. Pablo Escobar was his victim this week. This seems like a less wicked act than the owl killing but the Colombian FA feels differently: this time a seven-game ban, rather than two.

Let's hear it for Timber Joey

Who says the MLS does not have an authentic fan culture of its own? The Portland Timbers have a new mascot: Timber Joey. Bearded, with a helmet and chainsaw, Joey saws through a log when the Timbers score.