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.

Malbranque hat-trick piles on frustration for ragged Charlton

Fulham 3 Charlton Athletic 0

Half-Term Report: Charlton

Devlin spot on for Bruce

Birmingham City 1 Charlton Athletic 1

Foé puts the brakes on flying Charlton

Charlton Athletic 2 Manchester City 2

Valley high, Houllier low

Charlton Athletic 2 Liverpool 0

Radzinski shows Everton dizzy heights

Everton 1 Charlton Athletic 0

Rufus steals thunder from Cole and Co

West Ham United 0 Charlton Athletic 2

Network: New Media - Help! We need an angel to rescue our hard drives

APOLOGIES TO regular readers for the absence of a column last week, but the demon of hard drives decided it was time to strike my long- suffering lap-top. And what a hellish experience it was; I'm still trying to get the damned thing fixed. The repair people took away my lifeline, twiddled with her insides and spat her back out at me with no software at all, and years of hard work gone for ever.

Football: Gregory refuses to take vow of silence

JOHN GREGORY has declined a request to write to the Football Association promising not to repeat making adverse comments to match officials in the future.

Football: That was the weekend that was: RUMOURS: Sutton 'to be sacrificed'

CHELSEA COULD be about to lose two members of their star-studded squad, one by their own design. The Sunday Mirror says Chelsea are ready to cut their losses on striker Chris Sutton after his abysmal run of two goals in 17 matches, with plans to sell the former Blackburn Rovers man for half the pounds 10m they paid if he fails to click by Christmas. Meanwhile, according to the Mail on Sunday, the frustration of being left out is testing Roberto Di Matteo's patience. They say he will look elsewhere if manager Gianluca Vialli does not give him a role against former club Lazio in the Champions' League tomorrow.

Football: Curbishley plea for the defence

ALAN CURBISHLEY, the Charlton Athletic manager, is urging his side not to neglect their defensive duties after Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at home to Blackburn Rovers denied them a chance of going top of the Nationwide League First Division.

Football: Ward raises Rovers' profile

Charlton Athletic 1 Blackburn Rovers 2

ELEVEN ASIDES

Sharp shooters: The fastest goal in England yesterday was scored by Andy Hessenthaler of Gillingham after 16 seconds, as they won 2-1 at Cardiff. Watford's Michel Ngonge netted the first goal in the Premiership, although Sunderland won 3-2 at Vicarage Road.
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There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
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Bianca Miller and Katie Bulmer-Cooke are scrutinised by Lord Sugar's aide Nick Hewer on The Apprentice final
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Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

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Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

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The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

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Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

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The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

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The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

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Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

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Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

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From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

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A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

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