Sport In a stew: Downing is counting on a Cup win to build confidence

Being known as a "Cup team" is a mixed compliment, implying the ability to raise your game for one-off occasions, but never to sustain it. If Wigan Athletic, FA Cup winners relegated within a week, are newcomers to the genre, West Ham United have been at it rather longer.

The draw ceremony in Brazil

2014 World Cup draw: BBC sticks to script with bikinis, Blatter and back-heels

It was left to Sir Geoff Hurst to deliver the fatal blow in Fifa’s glorified game of battleships

WAYNE ROONEY: Once again provided England with breakthrough goal. Header before the break settled early nerves. 7

Wayne Rooney insists World Cup victory remains the aim for England

Few give Roy Hodgson's side a chance at next summer's tournament in Brazil

Roy Hodgson has confirmed that Rickie Lambert will miss Friday's match against Chile through injury

England v Chile: Rickie Lambert ruled out through injury as Roy Hodgson confirms Joe Hart will not start at Wembley

Daniel Sturridge is also likely to be rested as Hodgson keeps one eye on Tuesday's clash with Germany

Perfect evening. His run down the right made the first goal before his brilliant strike made the game safe.

The Calvin report: The making of Andros Townsend

Winger is a product of John McDermott’s outstanding Tottenham  Academy, where the emphasis is on the person as much as the skill

Stefan Kießling

Germany coach Joachim Löw refuses to bow to pressure to pick Stefan Kießling

Kießling is the in-form striker in the Bundesliga, but despite injuries, isn't given a chance

Matt Butler: World Cup hat-trick hero has his cerebral teeth pulled

View From The Sofa: Pointless Celebrities BBC1

Kevin Nolan celebrates scoring West Ham's second

Premier League: West Ham v Stoke City match preview

A look ahead to this weekend's Premier League fixture at Upton Park

The Olympic Stadium’s future is still not agreed

Kevin Nolan hopes Olympic Stadium move will see West Ham join 'the big boys'

The east London club will become the tenants of the Stratford based stadium

Rio Ferdinand bleeds during Sunday’s Manchester derby

James Lawton: The 'beautiful game' is at a crossroads: can anyone out there provide the answers?

Football is indeed teetering on the brink of being ungovernable

Helmut Haller: Footballer who scored against England in 1966

He played the game with a certain panache and a sense of theatre, which made him a star

A view of the facilities at St George's Park

An Oxbridge of football, for coaches rather than players

Over £100m has been spent on St George's Park but, Sam Wallace finds, the academy is about developing coaches, not players

David Cameron was just bluffing on Letterman's show, says Boris. And what would he know?

The Mayor of London has come to the rescue of his old comrade from Eton. Apparently, his difficulties on prime time US television were part of a masterplan

Lord of The Rings: Great Olympians, such as Lord Coe, are human too

DJ Taylor: Coe, the corporate reality softener

We should not be surprised if the former 1,500m world record holder now defends official high-handedness on the podium

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson in England talks - the reaction

Following the news that West Brom boss Roy Hodgson is in talks with the FA to take over as manager of England, players and pundits throughout the country have had their say on the decision.

Payback Season (12A)

Starring: Adam Deacon, David Ajala, Nichola Burley

Arts & Entertainment
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Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal