That was the weekend that was

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Kendall puts his faith in Beagrie

Everton's memories of Saturday's defeat by Aston Villa are unlikely to be good ones, but for one blue-shirted participant the occasion can be viewed with some satisfaction.

In a 23-minute appearance as a substitute, Peter Beagrie was unable to steer the relegation-threatened Merseysiders away from defeat but his very presence represented something of a triumph for the 32-year-old winger, whom Howard Kendall has taken back to one of his former clubs on loan until the end of the season.

The one-time England under-21 international - reknowned for his somersaulting goal celebrations - made such an impression in his first spell at Goodison that Manchester City were persuaded to pay pounds 1.1m for him four years ago.

However, his Maine Road career was wrecked when a hairline shin fracture began a sequence of injuries that threatened to put him out of the game, restricting him to barely half a dozen games in two seasons.

His future looked bleak until his then-manager, Chris Kamara, offered him the chance to join Bradford City last summer, since when Beagrie has defied his doubters with a remarkable rehabilitation, completing 32 matches for the Valley Parade side and showing more than a glimpse of his former prowess.

Indeed, he has established himself as Bradford's most potent attacking weapon, although the chance to dust off that somersault routine has yet to come. In fact, he has not scored in senior football since November 1994.

But that has not put off Kendall. "Peter can still provide more ammunition than most wide players in the country," he said. "Should we want someone to supply crosses for Duncan Ferguson or Mickael Madar, I cannot think of anyone more capable of providing them."

FAMILY

TREE

Even at 28, Mark Cooper still has the watchful eye of his father monitoring his progress. Given that Dad - the former Leeds and England left-back Terry - has signed him three times, perhaps it is hardly surprising. "I still speak to him nearly every night," Mark says. "He likes to keep up with how I'm going."

Cooper senior, now assistant to David Jones at Southampton, took his son to Exeter twice and Birmingham once when he managed those teams. "I'm just waiting for the call to go to The Dell," Mark said, tongue firmly in cheek.

Now with the ambitous Vauxhall Conference side Rushden & Diamonds after changing clubs for the eighth time, he knows the advantages and disadvantages of a father-son relationship.

"Opportunities-wise it helped," he said, "although I had to work twice as hard as other players to impress him. I developed a bone disease when I was 14 which set me back three years and it took until I was nearly 21 to fully get my strength back. But Dad took me to Exeter from Bristol City and we won promotion as Fourth Division champions.

"There are always going to be difficulties with playing for your father. I would always make myself scarce if I heard him being criticised and there would be some players who resented you. But most accepted the situation and were very good."

PREMIERSHIP TEAM OF THE WEEK

PAUL JONES

SOUTHAMPTON

GARY CHARLES

ASTON VILLA

CHRIS PERRY

WIMBLEDON

TONY ADAMS

ARSENAL

GARY BREEN

COVENTRY

NEIL REDFEARN

BARNSLEY

GEORGE BOATENG

COVENTRY

MOUSSA SAIB

TOTTENHAM

KARLHEINZ RIEDLE

LIVERPOOL

DENNIS BERGKAMP

ARSENAL

MARC OVERMARS

ARSENAL

Le Tissier continues to haunt Dalglish

If Kenny Dalglish finds himself haunted by demons within as Newcastle slip perilously close to the bottom of the Premiership, they will probably be chanting a painfully familiar name.

Matt Le Tissier's winning penalty kick on Saturday confirmed the enigmatic England man as the troubled Tyneside club's bete noire. The goal brought his tally against Newcastle to six in 10 matches, four of them match-winners and another a last-gasp equaliser.

Three of the six - costing Newcastle eight points in total - have come since Dalglish took over from Kevin Keegan. He also scored five against Blackburn during Dalglish's time at Ewood Park.

Dalglish can't say he wasn't warned. "I like playing against Newcastle," Le Tissier said ahead of Saturday's match. "I've scored important and spectacular goals against them.

"People particularly remember the two goals I scored against them after being dropped by Ian Branfoot. Such moments certainly give you confidence before a game and hopefully I can keep up my record against them."

And so he did, following on from the equaliser that spoiled Dalglish's first Premiership match in charge in January last year, after Newcastle had led 2-0 with three minutes left. Two months later, he converted another winning penalty as Southampton left St James' with an unlikely 1-0 triumph.

The run-in with Branfoot came in the 1993-94 season, when Le Tissier scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Keegan's side at The Dell in October and popped up with the decider when Southampton repeated the scoreline on Tyneside three months later.

In fact, Newcastle would not be too distressed never to have to cross Southampton's path again, especially at The Dell, where they have not won in 12 visits in a dismal run that stretches back to 1972.

GOOD BOYS . . .

Andy Cole 22

(Manchester United)

John Hartson 21

(West Ham United)

Chris Sutton 19

(Blackburn Rovers)

Dion Dublin 19

(Coventry City)

Michael Owen 19

(Liverpool)

Dennis Bergkamp 19

(Arsenal)

THE PREMIERSHIP'S

LEADING SCORERS

. . . and BAD BOYS

THE SEASON'S RED AND YELLOW CARDS

Bolton

Everton

Chelsea

Arsenal

Crystal Palace

Missing...

Lee Sharpe

(Leeds)

The former Manchester United wide man held the dual distinction of being Howard Wilkinson's final Leeds signing and a club record buy after switching to Elland Road for pounds 4.5m in August 1996. The move has been ill-fated, however. Injuries restricted him to 30 games last season, when he was sidelined for the whole of January and February, while this season Sharpe has yet to begin a game following ligament damage suffered in a friendly. Now considered fit enough to resume playing, he will test his recovery in a series of reserve games and may be back in senior contention next month.

Craig Bellamy

(Norwich)

A year after making his Norwich debut with a 90-second appearance against Crystal Palace, the Cardiff-born midfielder has a record of nine goals in 30 games for the East Anglian club this season and marked his rapid progress by winning his first full cap for Wales against Jamaica last week. At 18 years and 233 days he is the third youngest to achieve that honour after Ryan Giggs (17 years, 321 days) and John Charles (18 years, 72 days).

At last the real reason Terry Venables gave up the England job can be revealed - and it had nothing to do with court appearances (unless you include Deirdre's). In fact, it was to shoot episodes of Coronation Street, in which he stars as Mike Baldwin, the Weatherfield wheeler-dealer rumoured to be the inspiration for El Tel's business career.

Rumours

Fact and ction from the Sunday papers

Alan Shearer could yet become a Manchester United player - and he might have Andrei Kanchelskis, John Hartson and Ruud Gullit as teammates in a reconstructed Old Trafford line-up next season.

The Sunday Mirror reckons Shearer, the subject of increasing speculation as Newcastle's crisis deepens, does not favour a move abroad should he leave St James' Park, opening the way for United to move in with a pounds 20m offer.

And the People tips Kanchelskis to make a shock summer return to the club he left controversially for Everton three years ago, reporting sources in Italy as saying that United could tempt the Ukrainian winger to leave the Serie A club Fiorentina.

The People also names West Ham's Hartson as an Alex Ferguson target. He could replace Teddy Sheringham, who the Mirror predicts will leave before next season after Tottenham had a pounds 1m deadline-day bid turned down but were told to try again in the summer.

Meanwhile, Ferguson's link-up with Gullit as part of ITV's World Cup team leads the Mirror to speculate that the Dutchman might join United on a short-term playing contract.

Elsewhere, the Express reports that United want to sign Denmark's under- 21 goalkeeper, Jimmy Nilson, a 6ft 4in Peter Schmeichel lookalike valued at pounds 1m, and that Lazio have joined Roma and Barcelona in the chase for Liverpool's Steve McManaman.

The Mirror says Arsenal are ready to rival Liverpool in pursuit of West Ham's pounds 5m-rated Israeli midfielder Eyal Berkovic and battle with Newcastle for the signature of the similarly valued Auxerre striker Stephane Guivarc'h.

The News of the World says Nottingham Forest's Pierre van Hooijdonk wants to join a top Premiership club, while the Mirror claims Aston Villa will pay Steve Staunton pounds 20,000 a week to keep him at Villa Park.

The First XI

The Premiership's 11 busisest referees

Gary Willard 77 yellow 7 red

Graham Poll 69 - 7

Mike Reed 63 - 1

Jeff Winter 57 - 2

Graham Barber 62 - 3

Uriah Rennie 60 - 3

Paul Durkin 54 - 3

David Elleray 56 - 4

Steve Dunn 44 - 2

Martin Bodenham 52 - 0

Alan Wilkie 52 - 2

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