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.

Football Nation, By Andrew Ward & John Williams<br />Englischer Fussball, By Raphael Honigstein

Football and Englishness are intimately connected, with a corpus of books now devoted to the history of the national game and what it tells us about this relationship. England fans have been made to confront unfortunate truths: the head-in-the-sand belief that we were still best in the world, which led to decades of underachievement, 1966 notwithstanding; a mistrust of pure talent allied to misplaced faith in workhorses; the rise of the thug; the process that began with the end of the maximum wage and was jet-fuelled by the Sky-based big bang which saw footballers mutate from lads-next-door to lads-in-mansions, and the Premiership become the world's most sought-after sporting brand.

I'd be happy if Rooney beat my record, says Charlton

Hero of 1966 believes there are 'a lot of goals' to come from England striker

Charlton happy for Rooney to surpass record

Sir Bobby Charlton would have no problem if Wayne Rooney overtook his record of 49 goals for England.

'If Capello leaves me out, I'll accept it' says Beckham

Will David Beckham make it to his fourth World Cup finals? Sam Wallace hears his plans to keep busy if he&rsquo;s forced to call time on his international career (and they don&rsquo;t involve a reunion with Sven)

To play Germany is just massive, says Noble

The Under-21 captain hopes to join a select band of men to have lifted a cup wearing the colours of England, writes Steve Tongue

Mark Cueto: 'There is more to my England career than <i>that</i> try'

He has battled injury and a loss of form but is now showing why he is ready for an international recall. Simon Turnbull reports

Between Ourselves: 'Geoff Hurst's historic moment is so gripping I missed the dancing'

You see them at the side of the road, and generally you just speed past. They are the modern form of remembrance, bunches of dead flowers, taped to lamp-posts where the cars go too fast to see what is written on the fading cards in the yellowing cellophane, and too fast, it seems, to stop when an unwary pedestrian steps into the road.

West Ham retire Moore's number six shirt

West Ham United will retire the number six shirt worn by former Upton Park and England great Bobby Moore, the Premier League club said on their website (www.whu.co.uk) today.

Deborah Orr: It is undeniably cruel to force 'cold turkey' on prisoners, but this legal action is wrong

It won't puncture the arrogance and self-pity that assist addicts in justifying their behaviour

Should we allow England captains to bend the rules like Beckham?

James Lawton: No... this is final straw in faltering leadership of the publicity king

Sharp-shooter Owen takes aim at the Swiss

Michael Owen is not the player he was. Discuss. People have done just that for several years now, whenever the one-time Boy Wonder suffers a dip in form or a particularly lingering injury. They frequently conclude this assertion to be true.

Conference: Howie restores Shrewsbury's status

Aldershot 1 Shrewsbury Town 1 after extra time Shrewsbury win 3-0 on pens
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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