Sportsday Live - 4 March 2013

Build-up to Aston Villa v Man City, reaction to Tottenham's win over Arsenal, plus Real Madrid arrive in Manchester.

4 March 2013 Last updated at 22:09

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As it happened


    That's the end of Sportsday for today, and we'll be back at 7am tomorrow, but the BBC Sport website has full coverage of tonight's Aston Villa v Man City game. The text commentary is already up and running, and you can hear the full game on BBC 5 live from 8pm.

  2. 1848: 

    Rafael Nadal is encouraged with by state of his knee following his win in the Mexican Open, and intends to test it further on the hard courts at Indian Wells.

    "I started to feel free to run to every ball," Nadal said at a news conference Monday. "That's fantastic for me. `Today I know I can play on clay; that's a very important thing to know for me."

  3. 1843: 

    While United v Real is delicately poised, Celtic have a mountain to climb, writes BBC Sport's Thomas McGuigan.

    "Celtic's version of The Italian Job would've made Michael Caine think twice about leaving Dover.

    "Trailing Juventus 3-0 after the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, the challenge is more daunting than a lung-bursting run up through the Alps with a backpack full of gold."


    Jay on Twitter: "Real Madrid, starting without Ronaldo, just beat the best team ever (Bar). How can Manchester United even stand a chance?"

    Barry Redknapp on Twitter: "Best way to stop Ronaldo is not to let him in the middle of the park running at goal. Stay tight and keep him wide."

    Nick Jehan on Twitter: "Will be better than the first leg as Madrid have to score at least once to stay in and United never end with 0 at OT."


    Jose Mourinho is promising that Real Madrid will go on the attack in Tuesday's Champions League clash at Old Trafford. How do you see United v Real? Let us know at #bbcsportsday.

  6. 1825: 

    Jose Mourinho on the current strength of English football: "English football is English football. Everyone knows that at this moment Spanish football is dominating in terms of national team and clubs but at the moment all the Spanish teams in the Champions League are in difficult positions. If the Spanish teams are out of the Champions League by next week it doesn't mean Spanish football is collapsing.

    "Manchester City were out because the draw gave them a difficult group, Chelsea were also in a difficult group. That is football. The results sometimes don't reflect the situation."

  7. 1821: 
    Jose Mourinho

    Jose Mourinho on what tomorrow night's game means to him: "It means the same as it did [when he managed Porto v Manchester United nine years ago] but I live the situation with a different approach and different emotions.

    "To win a big match is the same now as nine years ago and to lose a match is the same now as nine years ago but the approach is completely different.

    "That was my first season playing Champions League football. Now I have more than 100 matches and I think I can control my emotions in a different way. If we lose tomorrow I don't cry and if we win I don't run 100m for sure."

  8. 1816: 

    Jose Mourinho on Man United: "Manchester United are on a fantastic run, better than ever this season - reaching the FA Cup quarter-final and winning the Premier League already in March.

    "We are also in good form in 2013, 12 or so matches with one defeat is quite a good result, but it is still the million dollar question, who knows what will make the difference?

    "Nobody knows and that means tomorrow the world will stop to watch this tie. I doubt that expectations can be bigger than for this one."

  9. 1813: 

    Jose Mourinho has also confirmed that goalkeeper Iker Casillas will not play against Manchester United on Tuesday.

  10. 1812: 

    Jose Mourinho on Manchester United: "The last time I came here I lost with Inter in the Champions League, but I played here with Porto, Inter and Chelsea many times.

    "I have won, drawn and lost here. I don't care about records, what I care in this moment is that tomorrow is the kind of match where anything can happen. I know football well enough and big matches well enough that we can go through or can go out tomorrow."

  11. 1810: 

    Jose Mourinho on Sir Alex Ferguson managing into his 70s: "It is the kind of job where the older you are the better you are. The experiences you live makes you better.

    "I would love that God gives me health so I can do it [manage into my 70s]. Sir Alex is unique, I don't have any words that can add to what everyone thinks about him and the respect he deserves from everyone."

  12. 1810: 

    Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is unconcerned about having two players one yellow away from suspension.

    "No problems, I would rather get through and face up to them having yellows than having no yellows and getting knocked out."

  13. 1806: 

    Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho wishes the game against United was tonight: "We are sorry we had to travel yesterday, we don't like to wait, so it is a pity the match is not now rather than tomorrow."

  14. 1804: 

    Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho: "I think they will be very defensive when we have the ball and I think it will be the same for us when we have the ball.

    "They are a strong attacking side and we will have to defend stoutly and well when they have the ball. It is 1-1 and we will have to attack when we have the ball.

  15. 1803: 

    Jose Mourinho is speaking to the press at Old Trafford ahead of Tuesday's Champions League second leg.

    Keep across Sportsday for the Special One's comments.

  16. 1747: 

    Former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica will compete in the 2013 World Rally Championship as he continues to recover from injury sustained in a rally crash.

    The Pole, who is targeting a return to Formula 1 after the accident in 2011, has limited movement in his right arm.

    "I can't wait to start racing, but I haven't set myself any specific target," said Kubica. "I still have a lot to learn in rallying and to improve I will need to rack up the miles on the stages."

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Ben Aitkenhead on Twitter: "ManU vs RM. Is 1-1 a temptation for Utd to be cautious? Would be a mistake I think. RM defence is weak link."

    Arjun Kukadia on Twitter: "Rafael will take care of that boy Ronaldo! #bbcsportsday #BELIEVE"

    Andrew Rayner on Twitter: "CR is one of the best players ever, but RM have played 44 games this season and he's scored in 23, 21 stopped him.. why not us?"

    What have Man United got to do to stop Ronaldo on Tuesday night? Where are Real Madrid's other threats likely to come from? Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  18. 1726: 

    Today's final #QSTeaser was: Which sport has provided the most @QofS_Official full time captains, 4 in total, and who are they? #1000notout

    The answer is: Rugby Union, and the captains are Cliff Morgan, Gareth Edwards, Bill Beaumont and Matt Dawson #1000notout

    A Question of Sport reaches 1,000 programmes at 8.30pm on BBC 1 tonight, and presenter Sue Barker has chosen some of her favourite moments from the programme's history. #1000notout

  19. 1724: 

    Ahead of tonight's Premier League fixture between Aston Villa and Man City, OptaJoe inform us that: "Manchester City have scored four or more goals in three of their last five league games against Aston Villa. Riotous."

    BBC Radio 5 live will have live commentary from Villa Park ahead of kick-off at 8.00pm GMT.

  20. 1707: 

    Leicester flanker Tom Croft is joining the England 6 Nations squad. He's now fully recovered from a neck injury and will be considered for selection for the match against Italy.

    "The indications last week were that it might be a bit early for Tom to get involved in this Six Nations," said England coach Stuart Lancaster. "But having played back to back games he has now had the all clear from the specialist and Leicester's and our medics."

    Owen Farrell is still recovering from his quad injury and will not be fit to play against Italy. Lancaster is confident the fly half will be fit for selection against Wales in Cardiff on the final weekend.


    Andy Gleeson on Twitter: "How to stop Ronaldo? Stick him on the Eccles tram. He won't make it back for full time"

    Graham Goldie on Twitter: "Rafael man marking Ronaldo?? oh dear. I see Ronaldo ending someones career tomorrow"

    Jamie Matthews on Twitter: "Cut off the supply in the middle and he'll have to drop deeper to get the ball. Worked for Dortmund, could work for us."

    What have Man United got to do to stop Ronaldo on Tuesday night? Where are Real Madrid's other threats likely to come from? Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  22. 1656: 
    Rory McIlroy

    BBC Golf correspondent Iain Carter says that world number one Rory McIlroy has questions to answer, both on and off the course, at this week's WGC event in Miami in the wake of his recent toothache-induced walk-off.

    "Rory McIlroy is facing the toughest week of his career. He has to perform on and off the golf course to turn around a season that currently appears in free-fall."

  23. 1646: 

    Denmark suspend Niklas Bendtner from the national side for six months after a drink-driving arrest.

    The Dane, currently at Juventus on loan from Arsenal, was stopped by police in his home city of Copenhagen after reportedly being caught driving on the wrong side of the road.

  24. 1637: 

    Ryan Giggs believes Manchester United's meeting with Real Madrid could be similar to the last time the two sides met in Europe in 2003.

    3-1 up from the first leg at the Bernabeu, the second leg saw Ronaldo single-handedly wreck Manchester United's Champions League dreams with a virtuoso display at Old Trafford, despite United coming out 4-3 winners on the night.

    "It was two great sides and there were so many goals. It could be similar tomorrow," said Giggs. "When you have that much firepower on the pitch, undoubtedly there are going to be chances and goals."

  25. 1632: 

    Dundee United striker Johnny Russell could miss the rest of the season after revealing he has suffered a leg break.

    The Tannadice player limped off during last Wednesday`s 0-0 Clydesdale Bank Premier League draw with Inverness after he was challenged by Caley Thistle defender Josh Meekings.

    Johnny Russell on Twitter: "Absolutely gutted got an x-ray this morning on my injury and I have fractured my fibula."


    Emmanuel Amanor on Twitter: "Ronaldo is just unstoppable at the moment. If you block one road, he'll use the other. He'll score so think of scoring."

    Luke on Twitter: "Jones marked Ronaldo and Bale superbly, going to be hard to find anyone to do it, it's going to be a game full of goals."

    Tom Halpin on Twitter: "Best way to stop Ronaldo? Put Valencia at right back and fight fire with fire."

    How do you stop Ronaldo? And if you do, who else poses a threat for Real? And what of United's threat to Jose Mourinho's side? Get involved #bbcsportsday

  27. 1619: 

    Scotland squad for Six Nations match against Wales:

    Backs: Alex Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), Max Evans (Castres), Tom Heathcote (Bath Rugby), Stuart Hogg, Peter Horne, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Kennedy (all Glasgow Warriors), Greig Laidlaw (Edinburgh Rugby), Sean Lamont, Sean Maitland, Peter Murchie, Henry Pyrgos (all Glasgow Warriors), Matt Scott, Tim Visser (both Edinburgh Rugby), Nikki Walker (Worcester Warriors) and Duncan Weir (Glasgow Warriors).

    Forwards: John Barclay (Glasgow Warriors), Johnnie Beattie (Montpellier), Kelly Brown (Saracens), Geoff Cross (Edinburgh Rugby), Alasdair Dickinson (Sale Sharks), Ross Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), Richie Gray (Sale Sharks), Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall (both Glasgow Warriors), Jim Hamilton (Gloucester), Rob Harley, Alastair Kellock, Moray Low, Pat MacArthur (all Glasgow Warriors), Euan Murray (Worcester Warriors), Tom Ryder (Glasgow Warriors), Alasdair Strokosch (Perpignan), Jon Welsh and Ryan Wilson (both Glasgow Warriors).

  28. 1617: 

    Euan Murray and Alasdair Strokosch return to the Scotland squad for Saturday's Six Nations match against Wales at Murrayfield.

    Murray was unavailable for reasons of his Christian faith for Scotland's last game, while Strokosch has been sidelined since the facial injury he suffered against England at Twickenham on 2 February.

    The Scotland team is due to be announced tomorrow.

  29. 1614: 

    Wales assistant coach Shaun Edwards says his side face "two huge weeks" in the Six Nations as they try to retain their title - though England's superior points difference makes it seem an improbable task.

    "It's all systems go for two huge weeks," said Edwards. "These lads have been absolutely fantastic over the last few years."

    Wales will meet Scotland at Murrayfield on Saturday, with their final game - against England - on 16 March.

  30. 1601: 

    France recall hooker Guilhem Guirado to the squad for Saturday's Six Nations match against Ireland.

    Sport 24 says Guirado will replace the injured Dimitri Szarzewski, reports BBC Monitoring.


    Adam on Twitter: "The only way they can 'deal' with Ronaldo is to put a man on him the whole game maybe two. Also they need to score A LOT."

    Dieu's Prince on Twitter: "Rafael man-mark Ronaldo, I laugh... He'll end the young boy's career tomorrow night."

    Henry Walmsley on Twitter: "Only way to nullify Ronaldo is to score more goals than he does!"

    How would you stop Ronaldo? And can it be done tomorrow? Get your views in #bbcsportsday

  32. 1542: 

    Sandy Park, home of Premiership Rugby side Exeter Chiefs, is added to the list of match venues for Rugby World Cup 2015.

    The news comes after Bristol City's announcement of redeveloping Ashton Gate was deemed to make it unlikely the stadium would be available for 2015.

    Debbie Jevans, England Rugby 2015 Chief Executive, said: "We want to ensure that Rugby World Cup 2015 is a truly national event, and Sandy Park, located in the rugby heartland of the South West, gives us the option to take the Tournament as far and wide as possible."

  33. 1537: 

    Wales legend Jonathan Davies says Scotland Six Nations boss Scott Johnson has yet to prove himself in a top job.

    Davies rates ex-Wales caretaker coach Johnson as a "great motivator", but claims "there is still a question mark over him".

    Wales go to Murrayfield on Saturday with some Welsh players expecting mind games from former boss Johnson.

    But Davies told Scrum V: "I don't think that he's actually proven anything as a head coach yet."

  34. 1529: 

    Football fans criticise the Scottish Premier League (SPL) for awarding their directors an "inflation-busting" pay deal.

    The latest SPL accounts show directors pay and benefits increased by 16.5%, despite a 6% fall in revenues.

    The SPL said a new five-year television deal was a sign of improved finances.

    But SPL Fans United questioned how the pay and benefits increase could be justified as a time when income was falling in harsh economic times.

  35. 1523: 

    Michael Dawson believes Tottenham team-mate Gareth Bale is the best player in the world on current form.

    "Bale is up there with Ronaldo and Messi in terms of ability - he's one of the best players in the world at the moment, and probably the best in the world for me right now," said Dawson. "Some of the things he does would have Ronaldo blush."


    Nabil Dhala on Twitter: "Rafael will man mark Ronaldo, and will not go forward to attack, Fergie may tell Giggs to stay deep as well."

    Dave Hadfield on Twitter: "While shutting down CR7 is all well and good, should focus on extinguishing Ronaldo's supplier, Xabi Alonso."

    Benjamin Lee on Twitter: "Easy to stop Ronaldo, injure him, problem solved & hobbling down the tunnel. Not much else you can do."

    How do you think United can stop Ronaldo? Tweet your views #bbcsportsday

  37. 1512: 

    Police confirm they have launched an investigation after an Arsenal supporter threw a banana at Gareth Bale during Sunday's north London derby at White Hart Lane.

    A Met Police spokesperson said: "Police are investigating after a banana was thrown on to the pitch from the away section of supporters during the Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal match at White Hart Lane on Sunday, March 3. There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue to try to identify the suspect."

    Arsenal have vowed to ban the culprit for life.

  38. 1507: 

    Ireland deny the decision to omit Ronan O'Gara from their extended squad for the 6 Nations clash with France signals the end of his international career.

    For the first time in 13 years, O'Gara's name was absent from the 32 called to the squad's training camp, with Leinster pair Jonathan Sexton and Ian Madigan and Ulster's Paddy Jackson the three fly-halves present.

    "Ronan continues to provide value whenever he's around the camp. I have every faith that he will put his hand up and say 'I'm still part of this picture'," said assistant coach Lee Kiss.

  39. 1502: 

    Rangers finance director Brian Stockbridge claims the club were never expected to make a profit in the first year after posting losses of £7m for the last seven months of 2012.

    Interim results to 31 December show revenue of £9.5m, with operating expenses of £16.6m.

    Stockbridge told Radio Clyde: "Nobody expects the club to be making a big profit in the first year.

    "We are not about trying to make profit at the expense of everything else."

  40. 1458: 

    Frankel has had his first mare scanned in foal at Juddmonte Farms' Banstead Manor Stud in Newmarket.

    The mare is the former David Wachman-trained Chrysanthemum, a dual Group Three winner and third in the Group One Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh in 2011.

    Frankel, who retired at the end of last season undefeated after 14 races and became the highest-rated horse in the world, has an outstanding book of mares in his first season as a stallion.

  41. 1453: 

    Fernando Alonso believes he is far better equipped to challenge for this season's Formula 1 world title compared to a year ago.

    "Last year was the best year of my career and I was very happy with the performance, but I think this year will be better," said Alonso. "We have a better starting point and I have learned from some of the mistakes from last year."

    Alonso and Ferrari concluded the final pre-season test at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday by posting the second quickest time at the track over the eight days in which it was used.

  42. 1448: 

    How do you stop Cristiano Ronaldo? BBC Sport spoke to former Reading right-back Graeme Murty, who gave one piece of advice:

    "Before my first game against Ronaldo, I spoke to Darren Fletcher at United, who was my team-mate with Scotland at the time," he writes. "He just gave me one piece of advice: don't kick him. If you do that, you'll make him angry and he'll try to make you look as bad as possible for the rest of the game. He'll react by tormenting you and making you wish you never had to play football again!"

    You can read all of Murty's thoughts on the BBC Sport website.

  43. 1440: 

    A group of curlers from Dumfries are once again world record holders after playing the longest continuous match.

    The group played for 73 hours 6 minutes and 52 seconds, beginning on Friday night and completing their game on Sunday.

    Ten competitors beat the previous record, set by a Canadian rink, by 11 and a half hours.

    The mammoth game, at Dumfries Ice Bowl, also raised funds for the club and to develop curling in the area.

  44. 1436: 

    Oxford will hold a weight advantage of just over 21kg (46 pounds) in the annual Boat Race against Cambridge later this month.

    The heaviest crew member will be Oxford's Malcolm Howard, a Canadian double Olympic medallist who weighed 109.2kg (241 pounds).

    The 159th edition of the race will be held on March 31.

  45. 1429: 

    Cricket Ireland (CI) announce they will meet Australia 'A' in a four-day game at Stormont in Belfast from 14 June in a warm-up game for Australia ahead of the Ashes.

    The Ashes is due to begin at Trent Bridge on 10 July.


    Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken of the counter attacking threat of Real Madrid. How will Manchester United stop Real and, specifically, Cristiano Ronaldo? Tweet your opinions to #bbcsportsday

  47. 1417: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson on what Manchester need to do to defeat Real Madrid: "If you're preparing for a game of football at our level you have to pay respect to the strengths of the other team which we do for every team - the shape, tactics, who the best players are, etc.

    "You're doing your job and that applies tomorrow, but we know about the strengths of our team anyway. We know our strengths, our pattern and how to go about these games and hopefully that will help us tomorrow."

  48. 1415: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson on Shinji Kagawa, who scored a hat trick against Norwich on Saturday: "I think that we were always aware of his talent.

    "He was off for three months and it's taken him a while to come back but gradually he is coming back, doing very well now, and he'll be much better next year but with the composure of his goals on Saturday, we've got a really top player there."

  49. 1414: 

    More from Sir Alex Ferguson: "I think that both teams are in form. Real put in two fantastic performances against Barcelona. I was there on Tuesday and they were superb. They've found form at the right time for a game of this nature but we've been consistent for quite a while.

    "As a European night I don't think you get better than this one, they're clubs with two great histories and it's set up to be a marvellous game and I don't think it will be a disappointment."

  50. 1411: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson on Real Madrid's attacking strength: "As we know Real Madrid are one of the best counter attacking teams in Europe and that showed against Barcelona, we have to find a way of coping with that but also have our own threat in an attacking sense."

  51. 1409: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson on Ryan Giggs: "Tomorrow he will be involved at some point, whether starting or on the bench I am not sure yet. His experience in the occasions will be vital to us."

  52. 1408: 

    Sir Alex Ferguson is now in his pre-match press conference, alongside Ryan Giggs, ahead of tomorrow's game with Real Madrid.

    He confirms Phil Jones has not recovered from his ankle injury in time, and will miss the game.

  53. 1405: 

    Here's another #QSTeaser Which sport has provided the most @QofS_Official full time captains, 4 in total, and who are they? #1000notout

    Answer to follow later.

  54. 1359: 

    Coventry are closing in on the appointment of a new manager, which could happen next week.

    Keith Curle, Paul Dickov and former Sky Blues boss Eric Black are understood to be among the names on the shortlist.

  55. 1354: 

    Louis Smith is a "competitive animal" and should not be ruled out of the Rio Olympics despite taking a break from the sport, according to coach Paul Hall.

    Smith claimed pommel horse silver and team bronze at London 2012 and returned to his gym in Huntingdon last week. However, the 23-year-old was not resuming a full-time training regime in a bid to get back into competitive shape.

    "I think he intends to come back and get to a level where he can swing on the pommel horse again," says Hall. "If he takes six months and trains properly and efficiently he could get back to his Olympic silver medal winning level."

  56. 1347: 

    Ahead of Tuesday's Champions League game with Real Madrid at Old Trafford, a news conference with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is coming up at 1400GMT. Keep across on Sportsday Live for his comments.

  57. 1345: 

    Former England manager and current Russia coach Fabio Capello denies suggestions he has been sounded out about the possibility of replacing Rafael Benitez at Chelsea.

    He tells Radio Anch'io Sport: "No offer has arrived from Abramovich, none of it is true. I'm happy in Russia."

  58. 1339: 

    Draw for the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup: Hibernian v Falkirk; Dundee United v Celtic

    The ties will be played at Hampden Park on the weekend of 13 and 14 April.

  59. 1335: 
    Real Madrid Ronaldo

    The last time Real Madrid visited Old Trafford, they knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League, despite losing to Sir Alex Ferguson's side 4-3 on the night.

    Brazilian Ronaldo was United's tormentor in that game as his hattrick ensured a 6-5 aggregate win for Real Madrid. You can read the report on that classic match on the BBC website.

    Will it be a Ronaldo who once again ends United's dream of Champions League glory? Let us know your thoughts #bbcsportsday.

  60. 1326: 

    Earilier we posed this Question of Sport teaser: Ex @QofS_Official captain Ian Botham is one of seven men to score a Test hundred for England since 1980 whose surname begins with B. - who are the others?"

    The answer is: "Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Geoff Boycott, Chris Broad, Stuart Broad and Mark Butcher."

    Well done to all who got it right, keep an eye out on Sportsday Live and @BBCSport for the next teaser, and remember the 1,000th episode of Question of Sport is on Monday night, BBC One at 8.30pm. #1000notout.


    Steve Gravil: "Best captains, Parrot and McCoist, enough said."

    Georgia May: "A Topless Mark Foster is definitely up there!!"

    Gary Wood: "Main memory as a kid of QoS was Emlyn Hughes every week in trademark high-pitched scouse "Oh I know this one David"!"

    To mark the 1,000th episode of Question of Sport, we want to hear your favourite @QofS_Official captains, guests & moments - let us know via the hashtag #1000notout.

  62. 1315: 

    An International Olympic Committee evaluation commission starts its four-day visit of Tokyo with Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe pledging his "fullest support" as the capital attempts to land the 2020 Olympics.

    Tokyo hosted the 1964 Games and Abe believes the success of that event means they are well placed to stage it once again, four years after Rio de Janeiro. Having lost out to Rio for 2016, Tokyo this time finds itself up against Madrid and Istanbul.

    Abe says: "Tokyo, in 2020, will inspire many others, just as Tokyo did before in 1964."

  63. 1306: 

    Manchester United host Real Madrid on Tuesday night with the two sides battling for a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

    El Mundo says that after 27 years in charge, United boss Sir Alex Ferguson can still spring a surprise on his opponents with his team selection, reports BBC Monitoring. The paper describes his rotational policy as a game of "English roulette".

  64. 1259: 

    Wolves manager Dean Saunders is adamant he will get the victories to prove his critics wrong after results at the weekend saw his side drop into into the Championship's bottom two.

    "All my career I have set about proving the doubters wrong and I am going to do that here as well," he tells the Birmingham Mail.

  65. 1249: 

    The European Tour backs the suggested ban on the anchoring of long putters, saying almost all of their player representatives supported the change to golf's regulations.

    In November, the rule-making Royal and Ancient (R&A) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) proposed to outlaw the controversial process of anchoring a long-handled putter to the body during the swing - a technique employed by three of the last five major winners - from 2016.

    The US PGA Tour disagrees with the suggested change, citing a lack of data detailing specific advantages in anchoring and the 40-year history of long putters as the main reasons not to back the proposal.

  66. 1243: 

    Former Queens Park Rangers manager Iain Dowie believes Arsenal's lack of a game changer has been their undoing this season.

    Arsene Wenger's side lost 2-1 to North London rivals Tottenham on Sunday, and Dowie tells BBC Radio 5 live: "Arsenal were dominating on Sunday, the goals they conceded will have been a real disappointment, other than there are lot of positives but there is not the same potency as they had before. They have not got a game changer and if you keep selling your best players, you won't have that."

  67. 1237: 

    West Ham join chairman David Gold says he hopes to be informed of a decision on the Premier League club's move to the Olympic Stadium on 16 March.

    The approval process has taken longer than expected, with a deal initially expected to be ratified last month.

    But in response to a query by a fan, Gold tweeted: "I have now been promised a decision on the OS on the 16th of March."

  68. 1231: 

    Formula 1 is poised for an intensely competitive season according to McLaren sporting director Sam Michael.

    Michael says all but two teams have cars within a second of a lap of each other.

    "You've got nine teams within a second," he says. "That is going to make it close. It will make it extremely tight through the qualifying sessions in Melbourne."

  69. 1225: 

    Now for our next Question of Sport teaser: Ex @QofS_Official captain Ian Botham is one of seven men to score a Test hundred for England since 1980 whose surname begins with B. - who are the others?" #QSTeaser

    Send in your answers via #1000notout, and we will reveal the six names shortly.

  70. 1220: 

    St Johnstone are set for a double selection boost ahead of their Scottish Premier League game against Hearts.

    Callum Davidson has recovered from illness ahead of Tuesday's clash, while Murray Davidson returns from suspension. Boss Steve Lomas does not have any fresh injury worries ahead of the visit to Tynecastle.

  71. 1215: 

    Earlier we posed the following Question of Sport teaser: Which @QofS_Official regular guests are these anagrams of… VAST DEVISE / ROMANCES RAT / A KNOTTY RICH?

    Here are the answers: Steve Davis, Sam Torrance and Ricky Hatton.

    Keep an eye on Sportsday Live for the next teaser, and don't forget the 1,000th episode of @QofS_Official is on Monday night, BBC One at 8.30pm. #1000notout.

  72. 1207: 

    Former Formula 1 driver Robert Kubica will compete in the world rally championship's WRC2 category this year for Citroen, as he returns to racing after a career-threatening injury.

    Kubica will compete at the European rally championship's Canary Islands rally on March 21-23 before starting his WRC2 program at Rally Portugal on 11-14 April.

    Kubica had his right hand partially severed and fractured his elbow, shoulder and leg in a heavy crash while racing in the Ronde di Andorra rally two years ago.

  73. 1203: 

    George Groves becomes the latest fighter to link up with Matchroom Boxing - one day after his split with promoter Frank Warren was announced.

    The highly-rated Commonwealth super-middleweight champion was due to compete on 16 March for the vacant European title against Mohamed Ali Ndiaye but that bout was scrapped when he parted company with Warren on Sunday.

  74. 1157: 

    Australia reach 74-2 in their second innings at stumps on Monday's third day in the second Test against India and need another 192 runs to make the home side bat again in Hyderabad.

  75. 1151: 
    Manchester United Manchester United players in training

    BBC Radio 5 live football reporter Juliette Ferrington: "Definitely a good mood amongst the players at training this morning. #MUFC"

  76. 1148: 

    "We have top players and, I am sorry if this is a bit arrogant, but we have a top manager. I think I am a Special One."

    BBC Sport looks back at Jose Mourinho's greatest quotes from his time in England, as he returns for Real Madrid's last-16 Champions League second leg against Manchester United at Old Trafford. Watch on the BBC Sport website.


    We have been asking for your thoughts on Tottenham pulling seven points clear of Arsenal with their 2-1 win at White Hart Lane. Are Arsenal out of the race for the top four? And what is your view on reports that Arsenal could be subject to a £1.5bn offer from a Middle East consortium?

    Jamie Hardesty: "I just hope Arsene Wenger doesn't use the, 'we have ten cup finals' cliche on his players. That way they wouldn't win another game!"

    PK: "Sources for AFC takeover? Sounds like testing the fans to see how they'd take to it. All made up in my opinion."

    Have your say, #bbcsportsday

  78. 1131: 

    Four officials - three from the Middle East and one from Thailand - are nominated to run for president of the Asian Football Confederation.

    Worawi Makudi of Thailand, Hafez Ibrahim al-Medlej of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa of Bahrain and Yousuf al-Serkal of the United Arab Emirates will all be vying for the top post.

  79. 1124: 

    Salford chief executive Ed Farish says Australia coach Tim Sheens is on their list of possible replacements for Phil Veivers, who was sacked on Sunday.

    Sheens, 62, left NRL outfit Wests Tigers at the end of the 2012 season. However, it is unlikely that he would be available to take the job until after the World Cup later this year.

    "We haven't discussed anything with Tim at this stage, but Tim's a great coach so I'm sure he'll be on the list," Farish tells BBC Radio Manchester.

  80. 1118: 

    Here is another Question of Sport teaser for you: Which @QofS_Official regular guests are these anagrams of… VAST DEVISE / ROMANCES RAT / A KNOTTY RICH?

    Let us know on Twitter via #1000notout and we will give you the answer at 1215 GMT.

  81. 1114: 

    Bristol City manager Sean O'Driscoll says he is more concerned by the way his side is performing than whether they are getting points on the board.

    Following Saturday's 0-0 draw at Blackpool, O'Driscoll's side lie bottom of the Championship, two points away from safety with a game in hand.

    "It's about performances, not about points," he tells BBC Radio Bristol.

  82. 1109: 

    A pay dispute between Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and its 23 centrally contracted players comes to an end with the cricketers signing new contracts and making themselves available for the two-Test series against Bangladesh, starting on Friday.

    The SLC and Sri Lankan sports minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage had threatened to drop the 23 senior players if they did not sign the new contracts by Monday.

    "Twenty two out of 23 players have signed the contracts which makes them available for the selection for Bangladesh test series," SLC chief executive officer Ajith Jayasekera says.

  83. 1104: 

    Lincoln City have terminated the contract of club captain Gary Mills by mutual consent.

    The 31-year-old midfielder has not played since seriously injuring his knee in the first half of the 1-1 draw with Gateshead in December.

  84. 1100: 

    John McHero: "My favourite memory of @QofS_Official has to be Chris Eubank trying to guess what happened next by giving sensible answers."

    James Cooper: "Frankie Dettori getting an anagram of his own name wrong."

    Tom Westrop: "The outtakes special with Sam Torrance taking nearly 10 minutes to answer a home question. Hilarious every time."

    To mark the 1,000th episode of Question of Sport, we want to hear your favourite @QofS_Official captains, guests & moments - let us know via the hashtag #1000notout.

  85. 1057: 

    Hearts midfielder Scott Robinson is to undergo knee surgery which will keep him out for the remainder of the season.

    Robinson, 20, picked up the injury in the Edinburgh derby on 3 January.


    Steve Ruggles: "Why is everyone talking about arsenal, what about how good Spurs were? should have been three or four goals."

    Mark Sandham: "Everyone is talking about Real Madrid dumping out Man United from the Champions League but imagine United being victorious a treble surely."

    Jon Murray: "If the takeover goes through: cheaper tickets, bigger wage bill, money to buy 3 or 4 quality signings we need. Win Win for me."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday.

  87. 1050: 

    The Daily Telegraph's Mark Ogden at open Manchester United training: "Jonny Evans doing jogging away from main group of #mufc squad at training."

  88. 1048: 

    Former Formula One driver Robert Kubica will drive a Citroen in the European and world rally championships this year as he continues his comeback from a near-fatal rally accident.

    The Pole, who last raced in Formula One in 2010, has decided on a programme that will include seven rounds of the world championship in the WRC2 category, starting in Portugal next month.

  89. 1044: 
    Manchester United players training Manchester United players training

    BBC Radio 5 live's Juliette Ferrington confirms Rio Ferdinand is training this morning after missing the 4-0 win over Norwich with flu. She said: "Giggs in gloves, Carrick, Rio, Rooney and RvP wearing woolly hats. Plenty of laughter and banter. Can't see Phil Jones out there, he's got an ankle injury that's kept him out of the last two games."

  90. 1040: 

    The Daily Mirror's David McDonnell at Manchester United training: "No Phil Jones involved in Man Utd training this morning. At least in the 15mins open to the media..."

  91. 1037: 

    Australia are now 56-2 in their second innings, with David Warner and Phil Hughes out for 26 and 0 respectively. They trail India by 210.

  92. 1035: 

    Here is the first of today's #QSTeaser from @QofS_Official. Watch this video of stars in action and guess the number of Olympic medals won by the guests in total. The answer will follow later.

  93. 1030: 

    BBC Radio 5 live's Juliette Ferrington at Manchester United's training ground ahead of their Champions League meeting with Real Madrid: "Ridiculously cold and busy at MUFC training ground this morning.

    "Carrington packed with camera crews and cold fingers."

  94. 1029: 

    Nathan Cleverly's WBO world light-heavyweight title defence against Robin Krasniqi has been delayed.

    The Welshman was due to face mandatory challenger Krasniqi on 16 March, but the bout will take place on 20 April.

  95. 1024: 

    West Brom keeper Ben Foster says the more relaxed atmosphere under Roy Hodgson contributed to his decision to end his international exile.

    He revealed last week he is once more available for selection, having quit England duty in Fabio Capello's reign.

    "It was very, very serious with Fabio Capello," said Foster, 29. "From talking to a few of the lads, since Roy took over he's so much more relaxed. Under Fabio it seemed to be a little bit too negative."

  96. 1020: 

    Presenter Sue Barker has been selecting some of her favourite moments from Question of Sport as the show prepares for its 1000th episode. Here is a selection of comments from that feature:

    "The show with Princess Anne is my favourite. Her sense of humour came through. Princess Anne and Emlyn Hughes were such a good double act."

    "I have watched for years and it is still a favourite."

    "When Bill Beaumont had Victor Ubogu on his team and Victor gave the wrong answer to which Bill turned to Victor and said: 'What did you read a university? The Beano?'"

  97. 1014: 

    Birmingham striker Marlon King will undergo surgery later today to cure a knee problem that has ruled him out for the rest of the season.

    Manager Lee Clark told the club's website: "Of course it is a massive blow. As well as losing goals, we'll also lose his leadership in the dressing room."

  98. 1009: 

    Borussia Dortmund are hoping that central defender Mats Hummels will recover from the flu in time for Tuesday's Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk with the score at 2-2 ahead of the second leg in Germany.

  99. 1005: 

    Caterham have appointed a head of aerodynamics less than two weeks before the start of the the new Formula One season.

    Hari Roberts worked at Jordan, Renault and Lotus prior to joining Leafield-based Caterham where he will work closely with technical director Mark Smith and performance director John Iley.

  100. 1000: 

    Ian Robbins: "Bill and Emyln were the ones that grabbed my attention as a youngster, great show, never get tired of it."

    Kevin Loud: "Favourite guests? Dickie Bird and Peter Alliss. Proper funny guys!"

    Craig Glover: "Ally Mccoist. The greatest captain there's been on that show."

    To mark the 1,000th episode of Question of Sport, we want to hear your favourite @QofS_Official captains, guests & moments - let us know via the hashtag #1000notout.

  101. 0957: 

    Taiwan golf sensation Tseng Yani admitted she would almost be glad to be toppled from the "very lonely" spot of world number one and held out sympathy for her besieged men's counterpart Rory McIlroy.

    Tseng said: "I don't care if I lose (world number one). I don't really care about world number one now -- I just want to have fun.

    "World number one, I know it's good and people like it, but I want to care about myself more and I just want to enjoy (myself). If I lose (it), I'll get back one day too."

  102. 0952: 

    Guus Hiddink has not ruled out extending his time at Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala despite saying that he would quit at the end of the season.

    "Yes, I've said indeed that I was set to quit my career at the end of this season, it's true," he was quoted as saying by the Sport Express daily. "But if Anzhi stay ambitious in their aspirations for the future, everything is possible."

  103. 0948: 

    Colin Graves has been nominated over Nigel Hilliard for the nomination for the role of ECB deputy chairman.

    Graves won a ballot of chairmen of the FCCs and MCCs and will now be put forward to the 41 members of the ECB to succeed Dennis Amiss.

  104. 0946: 

    Middlesbrough manager Tony Mowbray has praised Sammy Ameobi for his contribution to Saturday's 2-1 win against Championship leaders Cardiff.

    The 20-year-old marked his debut for the Teessiders following a loan move from Newcastle with an individual goal.

    "It was a brilliant goal - it's what he's been doing on the training ground all week," Mowbray told BBC Tees. "He's been dancing past people with his quick feet and smashing it in the back of the net."

  105. 0941: 

    QPR recently rejected a "massive offer" from a Russian club for Chris Samba, according to manager Harry Redknapp.

    Samba arrived from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala for a club-record fee of £12.5m in January, but was subject to an even bigger bid before the Russian transfer window closed on 27 February.

    "We had an offer for Samba right on the deadline and the chairman turned it down," said Redknapp. "We had an offer of more money than what we paid for Samba."


    Alastair Temple: "Hoping Arsenal don't get taken over. They still have a soul and I don't want them to join the growing list of plastic clubs."

    Tom Spray: "Villa have scored in their last 5 league games, but I think City will simply outscore them tonight."

    What do you think? Let us know your view at #bbcsportsday.

  107. 0935: 

    Michael Laudrup has no plans to increase the size of Swansea's squad to cope with the demands of European competition, as he follows the example of former club Barcelona.

    He said: "You won't have 27 players who are at the same level, so you will still have five or six who never play.

    "If you take all the games this season, even the two-and-a-half months when we played every three days and had injuries, we always had a competitive team."

  108. 0931: 

    China has named former England captain David Beckham as its first global soccer ambassador to revive the game's image which has been hit by a match-fixing scandal and an exodus of international stalwarts from the country's premier league.

    "I am honoured to have been asked to play such an important role at this special time in Chinese football history," Beckham said in a statement released by IMG.

    "I'm excited by the prospect of promoting the world's greatest game to Chinese sports fans as I've seen firsthand the growing interest in football there."


    Shaun Hunter: "The next six games are crucial for the Champions LEague spots. Don't rule out Arsenal yet. Spurs have four big teams in the next six."

    Chris Richards: "I 100% agree with @SiHawkes comments, I'm really worried about the direction Kroenke and the directors are taking Arsenal."

    Freitman: "Arsenal are going through a difficult season, but yet we are fifth. The season is not over. Support the team!"

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday.

  110. 0922: 

    Rafael Nadal comfortably beat David Ferrer in the Mexican Open final to win his second tournament since recovering from a serious injury to his left knee.

    The Spaniard spent seven months out of tennis but has now won two events in three weeks after also claiming the Brazil Open title in February. Nadal, 26, defeated 30-year-old countryman Ferrer 6-0 6-2 in Acapulco.

    "I've had some difficult months, especially during my time away from tennis, but I feel good," said Nadal.

  111. 0917: 

    Charlie Cochrane: "Emlyn Hughes calling Princess Anne 'mate'. Or thinking Bryan Robson was Gillian Gilks?"

    Andrew Green: "I was always a fan of Ally McCoist."

    Theo Elliott: "Tuffers trying to spell Muralitharan. Still cracks me up just thinking about it!"

    To mark the 1,000th episode of Question of Sport, we want to hear your favourite @QofS_Official captains, guests & moments - let us know via the hashtag #1000notout.

  112. 0913: 

    The Ospreys have announced a new two-year contract for their back-row forward Joe Bearman. The former Newport Gwent Dragons player joined the Ospreys two years ago.

  113. 0910: 

    Former Reading defender Graeme Murty on facing Cristiano Ronaldo: "Before my first game against Ronaldo, I spoke to Darren Fletcher at United, who was my team-mate with Scotland at the time.

    "He just gave me one piece of advice: don't kick him. If you do that, you'll make him angry and he'll try to make you look as bad as possible for the rest of the game. He'll react by tormenting you and making you wish you never had to play football again!"


    Steve Grubb: "Arsenal fans looking for investment to buy players - is a cash reserve of £123m not enough?"

    George Price: "So, Arsenal fans, often the first to condemn Chelsea and City for 'buying success', now crying out for a takeover."

    Let us know your thoughts on the weekend's Premier League action at #bbcsportsday. Who do you think will be relegated? And who do you think will make the top four?

  115. 0905: 

    India have been bowled out for 503 against Australia and lead by 266 runs at tea on the third day.

  116. 0905: 

    Blackburn manager Michael Appleton believes Rovers need an "exorcism" following their 3-2 defeat to Peterborough.

    He told the Lancashire Telegraph: "It is almost as though the football club needs an exorcism. In terms of a real clean slate, get to the bare bones of what we need to do, get to basics, the fundamental aspects of how we get this football club back in a place where everyone can be delighted to come and watch the team.

    "You can't live off your past, you can't live off what you might have done before, you have to live in the present."

  117. 0903: 

    Andrew Webb: "Favourite QofS memory has to be Emlyn Hughes getting the picture Board wrong with Princess Anne as the answer."

    As Question of Sport celebrates its 1000th episode, we want your memories of favourite captains, guests and moments you remember fondly from over the years using the hashtag #1000notout.

  118. 0900: 

    Ever wondered what it is like to mark Cristiano Ronaldo? Ahead of the Portuguese's first return to Old Trafford since leaving Manchester United for Real Madrid in 2009, you can read former Reading defender Graeme Murty's experiences of facing the forward on our football page.

  119. 0856: 

    Hull coach Peter Gentle has pledged to ring the changes for the visit of Castleford on Friday after angrily condemning the players involved in their 36-16 defeat by Widnes.

    "We keep on making the same mistakes and it's time to get some people out there who will carry out the job," he told the club's website "The players out there aren't getting the message so it's time to bring in some players that will."

  120. 0849: 

    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes Aston Villa have "good players" who will make it "difficult" in Monday's Premier League game at Villa Park.

    The Italian admits that any further dropped points will make it hard for the champions to catch leaders Manchester United.

  121. 0846: 

    West Brom head coach Steve Clarke believes England counterpart Roy Hodgson faces "a nice problem" now that goalkeeper Ben Foster is back available to represent his country.

    Clarke said: "For sure Ben is international class. He has already represented his country and proved that in the past. Now he is available for selection again, I'm sure he will prove that in the future."

  122. 0842: 

    Cardiff Blues have confirmed the signing of Samoa international lock Filo Paulo from Auckland.


    Vijay Tyagi: "Arsenal definitely deserved a point but very unlucky! Yes, yes and yes for £1.5bn if it happens. Then we can buy some good players."

    Vinay MP: "Spurs v City 21 April will decide who ends up as Pl runner up. If Spurs finish second they might just keep Bale."

    Do you agree? Let us know at #bbcsportsday.

  124. 0837: 

    World lightweight champion Ricky Burns's WBO title fight against Miguel Vazquez has been called off.

    The boxers were due to meet in London on 16 March but Coatbridge boxer Burns confirmed the news on his Twitter page. "Absolutely gutted this fight isn't happening, another training camp and it's fallen through," he said.

  125. 0834: 

    Rangers have posted a loss of £7m for the last seven months of 2012. Interim results to 31 December show revenue of £9.5m, with operating expenses of £16.6m.

  126. 0830: 

    Liverpool Echo reporter James Robson on Twitter: "LFC accounts in today's Echo: Debts up by £21.8m as LFC make annual loss of £40.5m for period Aug 11 to May 12."


    Si Hawkes: "The cynic in me says the takeover talk, the statues, the odd press conferences, are all to distract from the way AFC is being run. To stop people asking the right questions. There's a lot wrong at Arsenal behind the scenes, and it's destroying the club."

    What do you think? Get in touch at #bbcsportsday.

  128. 0827: 

    A Question of Sport celebrates a very special landmark today as it reaches #1000notout. To mark the occasion, @QofS_Official are welcoming back some very special former Team Captains - and re-living some classic moments. So please join Sue Barker, Phil Tufnell and Matt Dawson together with Ally McCoist, Bill Beaumont, Willie Carson and John Parrott to see what happened next… tonight on BBC One at 8.30pm.

    We want your memories of favourite captains, guests and moments you remember fondly from over the years using the hashtag #1000notout.

  129. 0823: 

    American Michael Thompson won his first PGA Tour title at the Honda Classic after Englishman Lee Westwood fell away in the final round.

    Westwood started the day two shots off the lead but had to settle for a share of ninth after shooting four over par.

  130. 0820: 

    The first woman to take part in NFL trials managed only two kicks before aggravating a thigh injury, apparently ending her hopes of earning a professional contract.

  131. 0819: 

    New Zealand fast bowler Doug Bracewell is a doubt for the first Test against England with a cut foot and will have a fitness test on Tuesday.

    Seam bowler Ian Butler has been called up as cover ahead of Wednesday's game in Dunedin and New Zealand manager Mike Sandle has started an investigation into the how Bracewell suffered the injury, after reports it was sustained at a party.

    "I am aware of some allegations that have been levelled," Sandle said.

  132. 0816: 

    Ex-Tottenham captain Gary Mabbutt tells BBC Radio 5 live that Arsenal's defensive failings were decisive in Spurs' 2-1 victory: "Last season there was a 10-point gap and Arsenal still managed to get above us.

    "The problem Wenger has is defensively they were sloppy, trying to play a high line and you don't play offside when it's not obvious."

  133. 0815: 

    Former Arsenal player Perry Groves tells BBC Radio 5 live that Arsene Wenger's job is in in doubt despite Sunday's defeat to Tottenham: "There's no serious threat because he's done such a good job financially.

    "He is under pressure from the fans because they've seen the best players leave season after season, they pay the dearest season ticket prices in European football and all they care about is what happens on the pitch."


    What did you make of Tottenham pulling seven points clear of Arsenal with their 2-1 win at White Hart Lane? What do you think of reports that Arsenal could be subject to a £1.5bn offer from a Middle East consortium?

    Get in touch with your view at #bbcsportsday.

  135. 0810: 

    Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admitted his side would struggle to claim a top-four Premier League place after their 2-1 defeat at rivals Tottenham.

    The Gunners are seven points behind third-placed Spurs and five behind Chelsea in fourth with 10 league games left.

    "We have to fight and it will be difficult now, because we dropped points that we couldn't afford to drop but we will fight and we will keep our spirit."

  136. 0809: 

    ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 chairman James Strong has died.

    ICC Cricket World Cup chief executive John Harnden said: "He has made a massive contribution to corporate and sporting life in Australia and New Zealand.

    "We extend our sincere condolences to his family and many friends. We will continue the work he began on the World Cup and deliver a tournament in 2015 that would make him proud."

  137. 0805: 

    Former Norwich and Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington has been appointed as the new York manager following the dismissal of Gary Mills over the weekend.

  138. 0803: 

    We start things off with the three top stories from our latest transfer gossip column:

    QPR turned down the chance to make a profit on defender Chris Samba, who only moved to Loftus Road for £12.5m from Anzhi in January, when Zenit St Petersburg moved for the Congo-Brazzaville defender, 28, before the Russian transfer deadline last week. (Daily Mirror)

    Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke maintains they will let Poland striker Robert Lewandowski leave for nothing when his contract ends in 2014 if they do not receive the right offer this summer. The 24-year-old has been linked with both Manchester United and Bayern Munich. (Die Welt)

    Bolton boss Dougie Freedman wants Fulham's Turkish midfielder Kerim Frei, 19, to fill in for the injured Mark Davies. (Daily Mirror)

  139. 0800: 

    Good morning and welcome to Monday's Sportsday Live. Stay with us for all of the breaking sports news and build-up for Manchester United's Champions League clash with Real Madrid throughout the day.

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