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.

Bent looks an England hit after forgetting about the misses

Villa striker shrugs off Redknapp jibe and is a firm favourite with Capello after three goals in three games

Ashley Young focusing on England despite uncertainty over future

Aston Villa forward Ashley Young has vowed to focus fully on England's Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland on Saturday despite uncertainty over his future and that of his club.

Liverpool and Tottenham in race to sign Brad Friedel

Liverpool are facing competition from Tottenham in the bid to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel, Press Association Sport understands.

Stewart Downing refuses to enter Aston Villa talks

Aston Villa winger and player of the year Stewart Downing is refusing to commit to a new contract with the midlands club.

Dalglish rues lost Europa spot

Aston Villa 1 Liverpool 0

Arsenal misery continues with defeat by Villa

Arsenal 1 Aston Vila 2

Aston Villa open contract talks with Stuart Downing

Aston Villa have opened talks with winger Stewart Downing over a new contract - and the player has intimated he would like to stay at the midlands club.

Emile Heskey fortunate after row with referee

Aston Villa 1 Wigan 1

Downing aims to boost Houllier recovery

Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing has targeted three points against Stoke tomorrow in a bid to provide a boost to absent manager Gerard Houllier.

Houllier finds the humour in Villa's relegation battle

Everton 2 Aston Villa 2

Houllier denies there's an attitude problem at troubled Villa

Manager claims there is no need for crackdown on indiscipline and says break has done club good

Jack Wilshere plays down burn-out fears

Jack Wilshere has played down fears of him suffering footballing burn-out if plays for England's Under-21s in this summer's European Championships.

Fabio Capello team selection proves overhaul promise says James Milner

James Milner has claimed Fabio Capello's team selection for England's 1-1 draw with Ghana proves he is keeping his promise to overhaul his squad in the wake of their World Cup debacle.

Carroll's emphatic finish masks a hesitant display

Andy Carroll is learning to live with the pressure of expectation, following his £35m transfer from Newcastle United to Liverpool in January. His well-taken goal in the 43rd minute was his first since December, and completed what will be seen as a promising second cap for the young Geordie.

Bent and Lampard snuff out Wales fire

Wales 0 England 2: Raucous home support quickly silenced as early goals make it easy for England
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
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No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor