The Sweeper: Shrinks leaving Saints to sink

SOUTHAMPTON'S RELAPSE this season would appear to be all in the mind. Last season, when they were riding high in the Premiership (well, mid-table anyway) and handing out beatings to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea they were being aided by the senior sports psychologists of the Roehampton Institute. This season, however, Dave Jones, the Saints' manager, has, to a large extent, shunned their support.

While a graduate from the Institute is based at The Dell, the club are no longer receiving the hands-on assistance they did last season from Craig Mahoney, the head of sports studies at Roehampton.

"It's unfair and inappropriate to say that Roehampton is involved with the club at the moment," Mahoney said, distancing the Institute from the struggling club. "Last year was a very good season, lots of things came together very well. The players were quite cohesive but there have been a few changes - players sold and lots of others purchased - dynamics change when this occurs."

Asked whether he thought the signing of too many players who were past their best was responsible (Mark Hughes, Stuart Ripley and David Hirst), he replied: "I think when you question individuals you find they still have some level of aspiration/inspiration but, of course, they're not young bucks any more, they're not out to impress in the way that someone starting out in a career does, who sees himself going higher, further and further.

"The request for my support didn't come from David [Jones] initially. But, now he's more in control of the club, he probably feels he wants to stamp his opinion more closely on what goes on at the club rather than bringing in outside support. I understand that, but I don't say I agree with it."

MONDAY WILL be the first anniversary of Billy Bremner's death but his memory lives on in the hearts of his many friends and former colleagues. Few, though, can have made quite as poignant a tribute to the former Scotland and Leeds midfield dynamo as Ian Snodin, the ex-Leeds midfielder and now Doncaster Rovers' player-manager, who has named his newly-built house "Bremner Lodge".

"Without him, it wouldn't have been built," said Snodin, who was signed by Bremner at Belle Vue as a 14-year-old and later also played under him when the latter made his ill-fated return to Elland Road.

John Gregory, the Aston Villa manager, has likewise named his house after the boss, though in his case that is Bruce Springsteen rather than his mentor, Terry Venables. It was a toss-up between three of the Boss's major hits, "Thunder Road", "Glory Days" and "Rosalita", and Gregory eventually opted for the latter. Of course, he could have just called it The Villa.

Given his close association with Elton John over the years, one would have thought that Gregory's predecessor at Villa Park, Graham Taylor, would have called his house "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" (after his England experience) or even "Rocket Man" (after his firing by Wolves). But, no, it's "Poacher's Retreat". So, the one-time full-back is really a frustrated striker.

IT'S BEEN a rough week for John Gregory's opposite number today, Alex Ferguson, what with the loss of his right-hand man Brian Kidd to Blackburn Rovers and his son forced to run for his life in Italy. Darren Ferguson must have thought Molineux was a pretty intimidating place to play at until he arrived at Cosenza, in southern Italy, for the first day of a week's trial with the Serie B club. Training had only just begun when angry fans invaded the pitch, forcing Ferguson and his new team-mates to flee. They were protesting over the sacking of the club's coach, Juliano Sonzongni. What Mark McGhee would have given for such a show of loyalty.

"Darren was going to fax me with details of Cosenza's terms, " Wolves' new manager, Colin Lee, said, "but since I haven't heard from him, I can only assume he is on his way home."

YOU CAN blame Tony Blair for escalating health costs. During Leicester's game against Chelsea recently, Robbie Savage had to depart from the field suffering from concussion. The doctor asked the player the usual questions to see how bad the blow had been, but when the Welsh international was unable to tell him who the Prime Minister was, he was sent to hospital for observation overnight.

When Savage awoke next morning he was asked the same questions: Who is Chelsea's manager?"

"Vialli" replied Savage quick as a flash.

"Who's the Prime Minister?"

"Er, er, er..." at which point Savage's girlfriend leapt in with the answer. "It was on the tip of my tongue" said Savage, "same as it was last night."

ANY SPURS fans wondering why they cannot get a ticket for the derby against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 19 December should know that, when their 2,000 allocation was sold out, they were offered a further 1,600 tickets - but Tottenham turned them down. I don't suppose the fact that they are showing the match on their big screens at White Hart Lane at pounds 10 a time for adults had anything to do with the rejection.

IT WOULD seem that Cyrille Regis, the former West Bromwich Albion striker and born-again Christian, has been reincarnated as a French winger-cum- central defender just a few miles down the road from the Hawthorns, at Walsall. The Albion coach was, after all, French-Guyana born.

Included among the squad for today's FA Cup second-round tie against Preston North End at Deepdale are the Saddlers' two recent signings - Cyrille L'Helgoualch and, yes, you've guessed it, Regis Garrault. Well, they always said he had the strength of two players.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Suited and booted in the Lanvin show at the Paris menswear collections
fashionParis Fashion Week
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
News
An asteroid is set to pass so close to Earth it will be visible with binoculars
news
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project