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.

Yorke predicts a troubled, trophyless season for Villa

Aston Villa will struggle to finish in the top half of the Premier League this season according to former striker Dwight Yorke.

Stewart Downing 'not feeling the pressure'

Stewart Downing is determined not to let his hefty transfer fee weigh heavily on him as he prepares for his first season with Liverpool.

Aston Villa expect Charles N'Zogbia deal next week

Aston Villa expect to complete the signing of winger Charles N'Zogbia when they return from competing in the Barclays Asia Trophy final against Chelsea in Hong Kong.

Jordan Henderson ignoring Liverpool price tag

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is confident he can cope with the added expectations placed on him after his big-money move from Sunderland.

Aston Villa agree £9.5m Charles N'Zogbia deal

Aston Villa manager Alex McLeish is finally set to sign Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia in a £9.5 million deal at the third attempt.

Bent: I kept texting Ash 'One More Year', I was on his case all the time

Straight-talking Villa striker failed to persuade Young to stay, and admits he will miss his service this season

Parker in Aston Villa's sights while McLeish starts £20m spree with N'Zogbia

Alex McLeish hopes to persuade Scott Parker to join Aston Villa this week, when the new Villa manager looks to begin spending the proceeds of Stewart Downing's £20m sale on Charles N'Zogbia, Shay Given and the West Ham captain.

McLeish chasing £10m N'Zogbia

Aston Villa have stepped up their interest in Wigan's Charles N'Zogbia with a £10m bid. Manager Alex McLeish rates the France winger his top target to replace the Liverpool-bound Stewart Downing.

James Lawton: Watson again lights up Open in handing a timely reminder to golf's young pretenders

In the sunlight shining on a brilliant new generation of golfers there was another kind of glow here yesterday.

Aston Villa make £10m bid for Charles N'Zogbia

Aston Villa have stepped up their interest in Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia by submitting a £10m bid, Press Association Sport understands.

Dalglish spends big and buys British, but are they worth it?

Liverpool manager has clear policy as he rebuilds club with capture of Villa winger – taking spending to £100m

Newcastle maintain hunt for new striker

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew insists the cash to buy a top-class striker is still available as he attempts to push through a deal.

Third time lucky for Liverpool with £20m Downing

Villa agree fee for midfielder after rejecting two bids as Dalglish's side start Asian tour

Alex McLeish demands right attitude from Liverpool target Stewart Downing

Alex McLeish expects Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing to maintain the right attitude and professionalism if his hopes of a move to Liverpool fail to materialise.

Chelsea's £22m offer for Modric is ridiculous, says Redknapp

Tottenham manager says Croatian is training hard and must sort his problem out with chairman himself

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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker