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.

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Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee