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Author Archive for John Ashdown

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The alternative sport review of 2018, from Kanté’s curry to Salah’s statue

A look back at the oddest stories in a year of improvised VAR, drunken curlers and top, top canine goalkeeping“If the boy thinks I’ve farted he’s 1,010% wrong” – Gary Anderson, upset by talk he used “a fragrant egg smell” to throw rival Wesley Harms at…

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The Fiver | A weekend with more big matches than bonfire night in Brobdingnag

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Sweaty palms for days beforehand, that growing sense of nausea, brief moments of calm followed by sudden pangs of anxiety, dread creeping in like cold air under the door – no, The Fiver doesn’t relish …

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Manchester derby, Sheffield derby and FA Cup: football countdown – live!

Live updates as we approach a big weekend of actionPremier League: 10 things to look forward to this weekendDrop John an email or tweet @John_Ashdown 9.23am GMT Ahead of this evening’s FA Cup first-round opener, Nick Ames wandered along White Hart Lane…

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Football transfer rumours: West Ham to make a move for Samir Nasri?

Today’s fluff isn’t worried at all. Definitely notThis week the Mill had to face one of its greatest fears – it was time to replace the bulb on the cooker hood. The last bulb change, a good few years ago now, had resulted in a pretty nasty electric sho…

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The forgotten story of … Luton Town’s Manager Idol

Primetime TV would prove the inspiration for one of the most shambolic managerial appointments in football historyBack before X Factor, Strictly and Britain’s Got Talent dominated the Saturday night schedules, there was Pop Idol, the Simon-Cowell-backe…

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Sri Lanka v England: first ODI – live!

Live updates as the five -match ODI series starts in DambullaHow Sri Lanka’s magical 1996 cocktail paved way for Morgan’s menSend John an email | Tweet @John_Ashdown 10.11am BST 2nd over: England 7-0 (Roy 6, Bairstow 1) Pradeep, returning to the Sri L…

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Brighton v West Ham: Premier League – live!

Updates from the 8pm BST kick-off at the Amex StadiumSign up for The Fiver, our free football email. Here’s today’sAnd feel free to email John or tweet @John_Ashdown 7.15pm BST Brighton: Ryan, Saltor, Duffy, Dunk, Bong, Knockaert, Propper, Kayal, March…

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Football transfer rumours: James Milner to Leeds United?

Today’s fluff is for medicinal purposesTottenham manager Martin Jol has been handed £30m to spend and is eyeing up Louis Saha! Barcelona are planning to spend £35m on Arsenal’s Thierry Henry, and are also keen on Spurs goalkeeper Paul Robinson! Sir Ale…

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Tour de France 2018: stage 10 takes race into the Alps – live!

Le Tour heads from Annecy to Le Grand-BornandVan Vleuten retains La Course title after thrilling finishAny comments? You can email John or tweet @John_Ashdown 1.59pm BST So, one down, three to go. It’s a long steady decent to the foot of the Montée du …

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La Course 2018: action from the Alps – live!

Wiggins stirs pot with warning of leadership battle at SkyDeignan will lead Trek’s new women’s cycling teamAnd feel free to email John or tweet him @John_Ashdown 11.02am BST So with 25km to go – and what a 25km they are – the winner of the La Course 20…

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Quiz: World Cup mascots

Do you know your Goleo from your Zakumi? Test your knowledge of the weird and wonderful history of mascots• Try more World Cup quizzes: managers, pictures and teamsWho is this striking figure hanging out with Bobby Robson?GolazzoCiaoCalcioNovantaFuleco…

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Quiz: spot the missing England player in the World Cup squad

Did Les Ferdinand play in 1998? Who was No 5 in 1986?• Try more World Cup quizzes: managers, pictures and ballsWho is missing?Tom CleverleyAndy CarrollRickie LambertJermain DefoeWho is missing?Michael DawsonPhil JagielkaJoleon LescottWes BrownWho is mi…

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What is ‘shithousery’? And why it’s the World Cup’s biggest problem

It’s become the talking point of the tournament but where does the term come from? And what are its worst examples?Shithousery is a fairly nebulous term, taking in as it does pretty much all the dark arts employed on a football pitch – everything from …

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Quiz: how well do you know your World Cup balls?

Do you know your Telstar from your Jabulani?• Try more World Cup quizzes: England, line-ups and picturesThe ball for the 2018 tournament is the latest iteration of the Adidas Telstar – the actually-pretty-smart-looking Telstar 18. When was the Telstar …

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Quiz: what happened next at the World Cup?

Can you deduce the brilliance from the blunders? • Try more World Cup quizzes: photos, hat-tricks and playersWhat happened next?Rivellino smashes the ball into the top corner, one of the great free-kicks in World Cup historyRivellino lays the ball off …

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Quiz: what happened next at the World Cup?

Can you deduce the brilliance from the blunders? • Try more World Cup quizzes: photos, hat-tricks and playersWhat happened next?Rivellino smashes the ball into the top corner, one of the great free-kicks in World Cup historyRivellino lays the ball off …

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Quiz: it’s all about that (World Cup training) base

The 23 squads are staying various training camps and hotels. Do you know your woodland retreats from your city spas?• World Cup quiz: guess the tournamentUruguay’s home town for the tournament is one for fans of nominative determinism. Where are they b…

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The Fiver | That distinctive spiralling trajectory many clubs are all too familiar with

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!As if Aston Villa fans haven’t been through enough of late. Lumbered with one of the most dismal sides ever to stay in the Premier League under Alex McLeish. Subjected to nearly three whole seasons of …

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Football transfer rumours: Caglar Soyuncu to Liverpool or Arsenal?

Today’s fluff has been bitten by somethingThe Mill loves the World Cup. The history, the colour, the stories, the triumphs, the disasters … they’re all very well. But the best thing about the World Cup, of course, is that it’s Football’s Biggest Shop W…

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Exeter Chiefs v Saracens: Premiership final – live!

Premiership final updates from Twickenham, 3pm BST kick-offSign up to the Breakdown, our weekly rugby union emailAnd feel free to email John or tweet him your thoughts 2.25pm BST One subplot today – it’s Schalk Brits’s final game as a rugby player befo…