Sport

Villa are relegation candidates

When Aston Villa lost 1-0 at home to Crystal Palace on Boxing Day, their manager’s reaction was telling. At least, said Paul Lambert, they had worked hard. Given that last season Villa had the seventh-highest wage bill in the league, owner Randy Lerner may feel entitled to more than hard work. After a lucky 1-1 draw against Swansea, Lambert said: “We are not in a relegation fight”. As they are four points off the drop zone and averaging less than a point a game at home, others may feel differently.

Bellamy 'not ready' to play for Wales

Craig Bellamy, the Wales captain, is at the centre of a club v country dispute after Alan Curbishley, West Ham's manager, pleaded with John Toshack to "allow sense to prevail". Bellamy, in the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Azerbaijan in Cardiff on Saturday and away to Russia on Wednesday week, scored on his first appearance of the season for the Hammers on Saturday. But the striker, who has been suffering from a hamstring injury, played only the last 20 minutes. Curbishley said, "He's not ready. He's been out for four weeks and started training with us only on Wednesday."

Way clears for Ferdinand exit

The anticipated return from injury of Wales centre-back James Collins could help speed the exit of Anton Ferdinand from West Ham after reports of a £6m bid by Sunderland.

West Ham Utd 2 Wigan Athletic 1: Ashton displays true talents

The timing could hardly have been better for Dean Ashton. With Fabio Capello, the England head coach, watching from the stand and enthusiasm rife among West Ham United supporters, Ashton provided evidence to suggest that the old-style English centre-forward is alive and well and ready to fulfil exaggerated expectations at Upton Park.

West Ham warn Green and close in on Behrami

West Ham were yesterday close to completing their first major signing of the summer, with the £5m acquisition of the highly-rated Swiss international Valon Behrami from Lazio. However the deal was over-shadowed by a public admonishment for Robert Green after the goalkeeper said he felt "completely undervalued" and intimated that he wanted to leave after not being awarded a pay rise.

West Ham agree Brown settlement

West Ham have agreed an out-of-court settlement to their legal dispute with former chairman Terry Brown.

Curbishley hurt by media agenda

Alan Curbishley has accused sections of the media of pursuing an "agenda" against him and "twisting" his words.

West Ham show support for struggling Curbishley

Alan Curbishley will fly to to Milan today to discuss the club's transfer plans for the summer with Gianluca Nani, who is to be West Ham United's first technical director. The meeting is a clear sign that Curbishley, despite being under pressure after a poor run of form, is expected to survive as the club's manager beyond this season.

Woodgate eager to avoid symptoms of 'Charlton syndrome'

For fans of Tottenham and West Ham who are concerned that the season is fast sliding towards a premature end, there is consolation of a sort to be found in today's London derby at White Hart Lane: they cannot both lose.

Newcastle unveil Wise and close in on £3m Barnes

On the day that Newcastle United confirmed Dennis Wise's appointment as "Executive Director (Football)", another new senior figure at St James' Park, Tony Jimenez, was busy on the telephone to Derby County attempting to buy the 19-year-old midfielder Giles Barnes. Jimenez offered £1.5m to Derby; they said no and want close to double that sum.

How Magnusson's spending spree hastened his departure

Eggert Magnusson's departure from West Ham United was partly caused by the club running up a loss of £18.8 million in the last financial year, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.

Mark Jones: Football makes poets of mere men

Men call it the Beautiful Game because all proper fans are aesthetes

Fortune favours Alonso after fiery Raikkonen attack goes up in smoke

Coming so soon after his emotional first triumph on his home ground, Fernando Alonso's first victory here yesterday afternoon must have seemed like another gift from the gods who keep smiling on him.

24 Hours On The Dingle Peninsula

Turn your watch back to Kerry time - life is enjoyed at a peaceful pace on Europe's most westerly point
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<p>Jonathan Ross</p>
<p>Jonathan Ross (or Wossy, as he’s affectionately known) has been on television and radio for an extraordinarily long time, working on a seat in the pantheon of British presenters. Hosting Friday Night with Jonathan Ross for nine years, Ross has been in everything from the video game Fable to Phineas and Ferb. So it’s probably not so surprising that Ross studied at Southampton College of Art (since rebranded Southampton Solent), a university known nowadays for its media production courses.</p>
<p>However, after leaving Solent, Ross studied History at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, now part of the UCL, a move that was somewhat out of keeping with the rest of his career. Ross was made a fellow of the school in 2006 in recognition of his services to broadcasting.</p>
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Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

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Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

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Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
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Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

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