Issue 304 | May 10 2013
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YOUR GIF T T hi s S p o r t s b a g i s you r s with the p u rch a s e of a ny I s s ey Miyake m e nâ€™s f r a g r a n c e, 50 ml o r l a rge r.
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Issue 304, May 10 2013 Radar 05 Chelsea’s year in numbers We chart the Blues’ season with the stats that matter. Whatever you think of Benitez, it’s been a special one
06 The Matthews Final Jon Henderson takes us through the day a 38-year-old man who wasn’t Ryan Giggs tore apart a top side
08 Sir Chris rides again The living Olympic legend Hoy has taken the Boardman route and released his own line of bikes oFeatures this coming week
Lewis Hamilton Talks exclusively about his career to date, his life in the limelight and his desire to make his mark at Mercedes
23 The FA Cup ﬁnal Ric Turner from bluemoon-mcfc. co.uk and Martin Tarbuck from Wigan’s Mudhutter fanzine preview their biggest game of the season
26 Glen Johnson
This page: Paul Gilham/Getty Images, Richard Heathcote/Getty Images, Michael Regan/Getty Images
On his Open University maths course, this season at Anfield and the probability of improvement under manager Brendan Rodgers
Extra Time 40 Gadgets
The best headphones to ensure you ignore fellow commuters while you read Sport and listen to Taylor Swift
42 Grooming Start your engines with Kiehl’s Facial Fuel range, Diesel’s new fragrance and a new motor from Braun
44 Layla Anna-Lee The Brazilian-born TV presenter not only has a new onlie blog for Sport – she’s taken two pages in here, too
JJ Abrams continues to revitalise the decks of the Starship Enterprise with Star Trek Into Darkness | May 10 2013 | 03
All stats correct up to May 5. Sport went to press before Chelsea’s midweek tie with Tottenham
p06 – Flashback: to 1953, and the Matthews Final
p08 – Sir Chris Hoy launches his own range of bikes at Evans
The Europa League final will be a record 67th game for Chelsea this season, across 8 competitions. If you had gone to every away game and back, you’d have travelled more than 55,000 kilometres – enough to circle the planet – while tickets to each of their 31 home games would have set you back at least £955. Only 9,800 Chelsea fans will actually get to go to the final – that’s their ticket allocation in the 53,000 capacity Amsterdam ArenA, with the most expensive ticket at £117. That pales in comparison to the £3.2m the club have paid Florent Malouda for his 0 appearances this season. They have used 25 other players, though, from 13 different countries. Branislav Ivanovic has played 55 times, more than any other outfield player, for a total of 4,707 minutes. The 16th minute of some of those matches has been dedicated (by the fans) to Roberto di Matteo, who lasted 21 games into the season before being replaced by Rafa Benitez – Chelsea’s 9th boss of the Abramovich era. A victory on Wednesday night would be the Russian’s 11th major competition win – with the £2bn he’s invested in the club, that’s an eye-watering average of more than £181m per trophy. And he’s reportedly willing to give another £100m to the Special 1 to spend – if José Mourinho returns to the club next season. | May 10 2013 | 05
Described by Jon Henderson, author of The Wizard: The Life of Stanley Matthews
06 | May 10 2013 |
A divinely scripted, ripping yarn, the 1953 FA Cup final raised what was then the working man’s entertainment into a truly national sport. Blackpool’s 4-3 win over Bolton was a match no one could ignore, however far removed they felt from the Woodbine-puffing masses who inhabited the terraces long before the first prawn sandwich had been sliced, buttered and chomped in a corporate box. As if to emphasise the game’s broad appeal, the still-to-be-crowned Queen Elizabeth II turned up – the first time a reigning British monarch had attended a football match. And down on the pitch was another uncrowned monarch, the king of football – Stanley Matthews. Now 38, he was the one footballer seen as a national figure, destined to receive a knighthood before his professional career ended at the age of 50. Everyone knew the Matthews story: a beaten
The Matthews Final
cup finalist with Blackpool in 1948 and 1951, he was confronting what was almost certainly his last chance to win the game’s oldest competition. Yet another frustrating defeat beckoned as Bolton opened a 3-1 lead that they held until the final quarter of the match. But with Matthews putting ever more pressure on the rapidly tiring left side of the Trotters’ defence, the game changed dramatically. With just over 20 minutes left, Matthews once again swept majestically past Bolton’s left-back Ralph Banks. He pressed on a few more paces before lifting a cross to the far post – where Stan Mortensen, despite the close attention of two defenders, hooked the ball just inside the upright. Mortensen struck again three minutes from the end, this time with an exquisitely struck free-kick. Three-all, and Matthews exhorted teammates to feed him the ball whenever possible. “We were
all crying,” recalls Jean, Matthews’ daughter, who was sitting with family in the stands. In time added on for injury, the crampstricken Banks offered as much resistance as a well-oiled revolving door when Matthews advanced on him one last time. Matthews then carried the ball to the edge of the six-yard box, before pulling back a cross for Bill Perry to bury the most famous winning goal in FA Cup history. It was indisputably the Matthews final, despite misguided attempts to rename it the Mortensen final because the centre forward had scored a hat-trick. But did he, though? Study the footage to see why the TV commentator described Mortensen’s first goal thus: “It’s a goal! [Bolton inside left Harold] Hassall! Hassall has scored!” The Wizard: The Life of Stanley Matthews is out now from Yellow Jersey Press
May 2 1953 Blackpool 4-3 Bolton
Knight riders O
lympic champion Sir Chris Hoy might have retired from competitive cycling, but he’ll still need to get on a bike from time to time – to power down to the shops and pick up some Bran Flakes, for example. That’s why he’s launched a range of bikes, coming at the end of the month through Evans Cycles. Not designed for the jowl-rippling speed of the velodrome, the HOY range of city and road bikes instead offers reliability and toughness, much like the man himself. From £550 at Evans from June
three speed reads
hree is something of a magic number at McLaren – it’s often the number of wheels Jenson Button has left after a pit stop. This trio of official coffee table books, however, harks back to less calamitous times for the British racing team. The Drivers is a beautifully illustrated introduction to the talented men behind the wheel who have represented the team across the spectrum of motorsport, from IndyCar racing in America to Formula 1. It follows The Cars and The Wins – each an equally slick production detailing the other aspects (can you guess which ones?) of the McLaren team. £100 for three, £50 each from McLarenStore.com
08 | May 10 2013 |
Radar Editor’s letter Gareth Bale: one reason so many of us have found a place in our hearts for football once more
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Football reborn The national game faced a huge challenge to overcome an Olympic-sized hangover...
Editor-in-chief Simon Caney @simoncaney
This year was always going to be crucial for football. After the unbridled joy of last year’s Olympics, there were plenty – me included – who wondered how the sport would respond. After all, as a nation we had embraced the likes of Ennis, Farah, Wiggins and Rutherford in 2012. We had been astonished by the ability and bravery of the Paralympians. We had also felt what it’s like to be on the winning team. And we did not have high hopes that football could win back our hearts. Its values seemed a world away from those we had seen at London 2012, while the national team – for so long also-rans on the world stage – showed no real signs of being able to compete. Yet football did not curl up and die. We didn’t stop going to watch. Indeed, attendances at Premier League matches have been the highest for five years, despite it being far from a vintage season in terms of quality on the pitch. And it might be me, but there seems to have been a refreshing sea-change in our attitude towards the England
team (with apologies to the other home nations, although you got to this place some time ago). Finally, the penny has dropped that England are not good enough to win tournaments. We are capable, but fall some way short of the best in the world. And, having accepted that, we should enjoy watching England that bit more. Takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? It was always going to be tough for football to get past the memories of the Olympics. Yet as a sport, it is so ingrained in our national psyche that we could never turn our backs on it. It may infuriate and appal us at times. But, quite simply, we love it. And we always will. I’m not entirely sure what some people want from Ronnie O’Sullivan. Yes, he’s an oddball, but he’s also a wonderful sportsman to watch. Yet there are plenty who want him to fail. Instead, why not appreciate a wonderful talent, the like of which we will wait a long time to see again? Speaking of which, he may be no Frankel, but few can fail to have been deeply impressed by the way in which Dawn Approach won the 2,000 Guineas last weekend. Not many sports match horse racing for unearthing new heroes.
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nd so another football season comes to a close over the course of the next week and a bit, when plenty of dreams, with the odd nightmare thrown in, will come true.
Colour reproduction: Rival Colour Ltd Printed by: Wyndeham Group Ltd
Flats on Friday
Very superstitious, Bovril on the toast
had a mate as a kid who was part of a local football team so dominant that, around our little town at least, its players were revered as sporting gods. Looking back, they were a decent side, with a future Chelsea left back in their ranks in Jon Harley. I’d love to tell you that Chopper Harley and I grew up playing together. Actually, we went to different schools and I played against him only once. He ran at me three times, I never touched him and he scored three of the easiest goals of his career. So this mate, Little Ricky, used to meet us at the park and offer us snippets from inside the camp. They were invariably qualifying for the final stages of one tournament or another, and Ricky’s hushed tales of his teammates’ pre-match routines felt like our first insight into the minds of the elite. There was Danny Showbiz, the striker who scored more than 50 goals in a single season; Posh Rich, the centre back who, through a gleaming grin, promised to run all of his studs down an attacker’s Achilles tendon if he even thought about taking him on; and Ozzy, all class, with the skills on the pitch and the girl-pleasing tan off it. These boys had the world at their feet. So it came as a shock when Ricky told us of their pre-match nerves. In fact, some would be so nervous that only strict adherence to a long list of superstitions would keep them calm. These revelations are surely what sparked in me a fascination with the pre-match rituals of
12 | May 10 2013 |
fellow players. Sometimes these to-do lists are a weekly thing, but often they became more extreme come the knockout stages of any competition. Danny Grewcock, probably England’s most fearsome ever player, used to clip his fingernails seconds before running out. Paul Wallace, a British Lions tighthead prop, simply used to vomit with nerves before big games. This was amusing when you heard him going for it in the gents; less so when he was sat six inches from me and all of my clothes. I was once told by a former flatmate, England scrum half Martyn Wood, that the key to winning a semi final or final was to eat four pieces of toast smothered in Bovril and six poached eggs, all swilled down with a mug of builder’s tea. “You’ll not lose with that lot in you, son,” he claimed. And do you know what? He was bang wrong. However, I repeated that approach in exact detail for years afterwards – it felt too risky not to. This weekend, as our four best teams prepare to do battle, Matt Stevens will be playing music and dancing around the changing room. Ben Foden will be doing the same. Dan Cole will be motionless with focus, while Dylan Hartley’s intensity will visibly rise as the minutes tick by – when the referee knocks on the door, he will appear ready for war. I needed to be silent and terrified, and any smile was false. Tomorrow, as you watch them run out, know that they’ve all prepared in their own way. It’s what makes weekends like this unmissable. @davidflatman
It’s like this…
et’s get one thing straight. Five-time world snooker champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is not a ’troubled star’. If he’d been paid £1 for every time he had been called that, he wouldn’t need to play snooker for a living – but that’s what he does. He plays snooker for a living. It’s a job. It’s his job. And he’s very good at it. He has f**k-you talent up there with the best ever. And that irritates seasoned snooker watchers. How very dare he take a year off, transcend the sport and return to wipe the floor with the lumpy, characterless individuals who have been spending hour after hour in windowless halls practising their not-up-to-muster breaks. Christ, that must be irritating. It’s like Liam Gallagher walking on stage at Wembley, announcing “hello Manchester” and then chuckling to himself as the audience catcall. He’s doing it just because he can. There you are, working away, doing everything by the book and going through chalk like a bad-tempered teacher with an alcohol problem. And there’s Ronnie, the reigning world champion, who just swans by and says: ‘World title… oh, go on then.’ Fans who would not have been in Sheffield for the final had he not been in it included comedians Stephen Fry and Damien Hirst*, and Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor. Ronnie has a life outside snooker, and that is the point. He has a life. Deal with it. When Muhammad Ali returned for the Rumble in the Jungle, he had to train like he had never trained before. Ronnie had been training this year, of course he had, but he turned up in South Yorkshire giving the impression that someone had just hauled him out of an amusement arcade. Cooler than Ali – who else can say that? The first time I interviewed him, we played pool in Islington. Which was a mistake, because I tried too hard and he wasn’t bothered, but I’d like this to go on the record – I potted the first ball. It may have been white and straight from the break, but that’s neither here nor there. After the interview I received a call from his dad. From prison. On his prison phone card. He wanted to know if I’d got all the facts right. I’ve just reread this and, at the time of going to press, everything is correct. Ronnie O’Sullivan is the best snooker player in the world. @billborrows
* I’m aware he is usually recognised as an artist, but if you don’t think he’s laughing every time he checks the balance at the ATM, you’re kidding yourself
Plank of the Week Chelsea fans, mostly west London You want Mourinho like you ‘want’ a a promiscuous ex-girlfriend. You’ve forgotten that she used your razor to shave her pits and not tell you. You’ve forgotten that she flirted with your best mate behind your back. You’ve forgotten that she has shit taste in clothes. You deserve each other. Go for it.
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Frozen in time
14 | May 10 2013 |
For a man who makes it look so easy, Ronnie O’Sullivan has an uneasy relationship with his sport. Yet, no matter what he says or how he acts, watching him ply his trade is the most magnificent sight in snooker. Just take a look at the delighted Crucible crowd as he’s crowned Emperor of Potting for a fifth time. Notably absent is Barry Hearn, who is probably just off camera and wearing a scowl so big that you’d swear somebody had just curled one out in his koi pond.
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n o e n g a p m a hC Lewis Hamilton
nd a e n o s I h d y e r m I g a n l u c h e s hIs h n I e a c n m I e s r s n r a Is hamIlto s sport of e y e v I f t s It Is almorold tItle, butelIenwtervIew, he tewllIth mercedes only w, In an exclusIv p of the podIum â€“ and to reach the to desIre prix a n Gr and aniSh ya, BarCelo p S y a Sund de Catalun ne 1pm o it CirCu rtS F1 & BBC o Sk y Sp
16 | May 10 2013 |
n o s e y e s y a l T r o p d s e d e n m i u T o T r s r r u i s f The amilTon, he’s oung women. el wis ho of beauTiful y i r T a by A typical situation for a Formula 1 star, you might assume – but not one of them is paying even the slightest attention to Hamilton. Rather, their focus is entirely on his bulldog Roscoe, the handsome pup who makes a welcome addition to the party as we sit down to talk to his owner at his management’s offices in London. In Hamilton’s case, appearances can often be deceptive. For example, despite the pedigree chum, famous girlfriend and
megawatt smile, he is anything but your standard F1 driver. “The toughest challenge I’ve overcome? Well there’s been so many,” he tells us, but the 28-year-old isn’t referring to a blown engine or an untimely spin-off. “The fact that I came from a family that had no money – that was a challenge. The fact that I was quick! That was an issue. And since I’ve been in Formula 1, it’s understanding the media. That’s been my real challenge, trying to understand the game. Because the driving side of it, I can do. I can do that all day, all night, no problem. Dealing with the media, dealing with 800 different people in a team, understanding how each of them works within the team – that can be a challenge.” Reverse for a moment there, Lewis. Exactly how can being quick ever have been a problem for a young, aspiring racer? “People hate on you because you’re fast and you’re competitive,” he says, without a shred of annoyance. “People don’t like being overtaken. I don’t like being overtaken, so I can imagine that other people didn’t like being overtaken by me. Then when I got to Formula 1, immediately I was at the top [driving for McLaren]. Other people had > | 17
Paul Gilham/Getty Images
been there for years and hadn’t won a Grand Prix, so understandably they were a little bit peed off with me. They saw it as: ‘How the hell has he all of a sudden just come in, thinking he’s the nuts?’ And I didn’t handle it that well at the time, either. But as people began to see that I’ve also gone through struggles in F1, I think the respect has come back.” Hamilton’s background – growing up in a council house in Stevenage, his family working hard to pull together the money for his early racing career – is markedly different from the other drivers on the track. Many of them grew up around wealth, attended private schools, and had relatives or connected family friends who could help facilitate their path into Formula 1. “I think I get on well with everyone, but I definitely have a different outlook to a lot of drivers,” he says when asked if he feels different to his F1 colleagues. “That’s probably why I’m successful. I’ve had to really perform, I’ve had to really work. Not that they haven’t, but it is different. “For example, I remember one driver saying to me: ‘I’m going to make it to Formula 1 anyway.’ If I finished badly in one race, I’d be thinking: ‘Oh shit, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I might lose my sponsorship with McLaren.’ I was constantly thinking about that pressure, knowing I had to perform. They’d finish in just as bad a position as me and say: ‘Oh well, it doesn’t matter, I’m going to make it to F1 all the same.’ I’ve always known I’ve had that hunger that some others didn’t.”
Fast and Furious
When that hunger saw Hamilton make it on to the Formula 1 track in 2007, aged just 22, he became a phenomenon. He came agonisingly close to winning the Drivers’ Championship in his very first season, eventually finishing second – by a single point – to Kimi Räikkönen 18 | May 10 2013 |
but above his McLaren teammate and double world champion Fernando Alonso (below). In his second year, he won the title on the last lap of the last race of the season. As Hamilton removed his helmet at Brazil in 2008, the new world champ looked overwhelmed, as much in shock as he was overjoyed. What was going through his mind? “Well, I remember losing the championship the year before and the pain that I was in,” he says now. “It was indescribable how difficult that was to deal with. You’re thrown in front of the cameras and you have to put on a brave face, but it was just heart-wrenching. In that second year [pictured, right], I went through the same turbulent experience during one race. I had to finish fifth, and when I dropped to sixth my heart sank – exactly as it did in my first year. At the end, I was absolutely exhausted, mentally and physically. Winning was a great thing, but it was a difficult time for me, trying to absorb it.” Looking back now, Hamilton admits he struggled under that initial glare of fame; going from virtual unknown to global star at a speed faster than even he was used to travelling. “It wasn’t the nicest experience,”
Going the distance: Hamilton is thrust into the spotlight after becoming world champion in Brazil in 2008 (below); and a fresh-faced Lewis with teammate Alonso in 2007
he says on reflection. “I was plunged into the deep end – and there were lots of pitfalls I fell down and had to climb my way out of. I’m glad I went through those experiences, because I’m all the better for it today. But it was very surreal, you know? No one knew me, then all of a sudden cameras are in your face – you don’t know how to react.” How different a character does Hamilton feel he is now to the one he was five or six years ago? “I think it’s night and day,” he says. “Obviously, I still have the same values, but hopefully I’m a lot smarter and wiser than I was. I also have a greater understanding of how to get the maximum from myself and from everything around me. As a driver, I’m probably less risky than I was back then. I was just all out... and I still am, in a way. But then, there were no limits, whereas now I’m more consistent.”
A contender in his first F1 season, a champion in his second and widely regarded as the most gifted driver of his generation – yet since 2008, Hamilton hasn’t finished higher than fourth in a championship season. “A lot of it has been the car not quite being there, although one particular season was down to me,” he admits of four often frustrating years. “2009 was a disaster. I didn’t have a chance because the car wasn’t right. In 2010, the car wasn’t good enough again. > Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
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In 2011... if I had been 100 per cent on it, I possibly could have won – but I wasn’t. So I regret that a little bit, but there’s nothing I can do now. It wasn’t like I was out drinking and partying. I was just affected by a lot of things that were surrounding me in my life. And in 2012, the car was okay – but it just wasn’t quite a winner, and we were racing against a dominant force in Red Bull.” A concise summary of four eventful seasons that have featured indisputable drives of thrilling brilliance: chasing down Sebastian Vettel to win the 2011 Chinese Grand Prix, for example, and doing the same to both Vettel and Alonso to win in Canada last year. But they have also featured mistakes, run-ins with stewards and officials, plus problems off the track. In 2011 – the only year in which Hamilton has finished behind his teammate in F1 – he was handling both a brief split in his love life (one quickly mended) and the personal ramifications of his 2010 decision to no longer be managed by his father, Anthony. At the time, Hamilton told Autosport magazine: “What I am really, really excited about now is having my dad just as my dad... I want to go for a beer with my dad. I want to go bowling with my dad. I want to go on holiday with my dad.” Hamilton clearly doesn’t regret the decision, but it’s understandably a subject he doesn’t relish discussing. To his credit, he doesn’t shirk an honest answer to Sport’s question about whether things with his father have progressed in the way he envisaged. “It definitely has been a real challenge,” he admits. “But we’re in a good place now. We’re in a better place, and it 20 | May 10 2013 |
seems to work well for us.” Does he think his dad will ever understand the decision? “I don’t know, you’d have to ask him. Time is a real healer, though.”
Last year, Hamilton made another deeply personal decision: namely, to leave McLaren. The British team had signed him to their young driver programme at the age of just 13, but after six seasons of driving for them in F1, Hamilton chose to move to Mercedes for 2013. Some criticised him for moving to what appeared to be a less competitive car (although results this year have indicated quite the opposite), but he has always insisted that it was about more than that. Hamilton saw in Mercedes a chance to replicate what Michael Schumacher did when he joined Ferrari in 1996: to revive one of the great names of motor racing. “It was a big part of my decision,” says Hamilton. “The greats have managed to do things like that, particularly Michael. But people talk about Michael as if he did it by himself; he did it with a group of people in a team. I want to be the catalyst for the success as part of the team, and I really hope that can happen at Mercedes. “At McLaren, they had won a ton of championships, and they’d always had the best drivers. It’ll never be a case of: ‘Lewis went to McLaren and went on a journey with them to a great place.’ They’re already there. But I can have that at Mercedes, because they’ve not had the success I think they can have – but they mean business.
Mercedes has such a great history in motorsport. I’m really proud to be a part of it now. “And I have a different role at Mercedes in that I’m not just a driver. I’m an important component and contributor to the success. The guys are listening out for every little detail. So when I come in for my debriefs and say ‘this is happening’ or ‘please can you check that?’, it gets done immediately.” A pair of podium positions from four races, plus a pole position in China, indicate that Hamilton is settling well into a team that wasn’t expected to challenge for the championship this season. It’s also been said that the cooler conditions in the European races, which begin this weekend in Spain, could help Mercedes with their tyre-wear problems. The crucial question is whether Mercedes can deliver a car to help Hamilton continue his proud record of winning a Grand Prix in each of his F1 seasons. “I feel like if we improve in areas, we can do,” he says brightly. “We’re already qualifying so high up, but we’re not strong enough in race conditions because we don’t look after our tyres well enough. So we’ve got some improvements to make there, but I’m really confident the team are on to it. I think it’s only a matter of time until we get a win. We’ve just got to keep pushing.” As Roscoe issues forth a meaty yawn, we realise our time is coming to a close. But before we go, a final question: when Hamilton broke though six years ago, there seemed little doubt that this luminous talent was destined to be the finest, fastest driver of his generation. Many would argue he still is – but with Vettel riding his unbeatable Red Bull to three successive championships, and Alonso driving the wheel nuts off his Ferrari in 2012, it seems less clear now – especially because Hamilton himself admits he’s “less risky” than he once was. So, has he compromised, or is Lewis Hamilton still the fastest driver on the F1 circuit? “That’s for people to have an opinion about,” he says after a pause and a flash of a grin. “I know how quick I am. I don’t need to tell anyone about that. I’ll just do what I do.” It’s a diplomatic response from Hamilton, even if the glint in his eye suggests that he knows the answer – and that it’s probably the easiest question he’s been asked all afternoon.
Alex Reid @otheralexreid
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FA Cup Final
The league title has slipped away from one of them, while just staying in the league is the priority for the other. But Man City and Wigan head to Wembley tomorrow with the common goal of silverware on their minds. Ahead of the 132nd FA Cup ﬁnal, then, we got the lowdown from each camp
The FAVourITeS Ric Turner, from bluemoon-mcfc.co.uk
I like the style of football Roberto Martinez has Wigan playing, and was impressed with their performance at the Etihad recently (they were unlucky not to get anything from the game). However, league tables don’t lie, and they look in a perilous position. Martinez has done admirably on a limited budget, and has had them punching above their weight for a couple of seasons.
The FA Cup
For some, the FA Cup has been devalued – the decision to play the game at 5.15pm, despite the inconvenience to both sets of fans, hasn’t helped – but it’s still hugely important. After the league, the FA Cup is the most prestigious domestic trophy to win, and City have a long tradition in it. We first won it in 1904, before Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal (no history? Pah). Winning the cup for the second time in three years will help salvage the season, and could be pivotal to Mancini’s future. Speaking of which...
Yaya Toure seems to be a man for the big occasion, and has been excellent in our past three visits to Wembley. On his day, he is unplayable – I can’t think of another midfielder with the same mix of power, pace and touch. Some scoffed when City paid Barcelona £25m for his services (he was dismissed by many in the media as a holding midfielder), but few are laughing now.
There’s plenty of speculation about Mancini’s future, and it’s difficult to say if he will remain. He’s only one year into a five-year contract, but that counts for little these days. The majority of fans are still behind him, and are grateful for the trophies he has delivered – he is the second most successful manager in our history after Joe Mercer. However, his habit of alienating players and his man-management skills are questionable. Ultimately, his future depends on his willingness to work with new director of football Txiki Begiristain.
— predICTIon —
Staying up is Wigan’s overwhelming priority, and I think the cup final is just a bonus for them this season, whereas it is our only chance of salvaging something from an otherwise disappointing year. As such, I think City will win 2-0 – but it will be a hard game for the Blues. >
| May 10 2013 | 23
All pictures Getty Images, Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The SeASon So FAr
Relatively disappointing. Second place and hopefully an FA Cup triumph should represent a good season, particularly given the paucity of success City have endured over the years. But expectations were high in August, and the lacklustre defence of the league was a disappointment. The damage was done in the summer transfer window, when we missed out on Mancini’s main targets (de Rossi, Hazard, van Persie) and instead recruited substandard back-ups such as Maicon, Javi Garcia and Scott Sinclair.
FA Cup Final
Martin Tarbuck, editor of Mudhutter fanzine (www.mudhutter.co.uk)
THE SEaSON SO FaR
The FA Cup has been amazing, but the league campaign has been dreadful. To be fair, we’ve been moaning about wanting a cup run for years – but all it’s done is create an injury pile-up that has left us on the verge of relegation. We have reverted to typical Wigan in most league fixtures – bright, enterprising, easy on the eye but all too eager to roll over and get our belly tickled when put under any serious pressure. We’ve lost so many soft points that we’re left needing a miracle with only a few games left to stay up.
All pictures Getty Images
So strong, it’s scary. We can often match the top four teams for effort, endeavour and even possession – but we learnt from that first ever Premier League game, when Hernan Crespo fired in a late thunderbolt, that the best sides have players all over the field who can hurt you. With City, it’s often not the obvious ones like Aguero, Toure and Silva who do the damage against us – it’s usually Tevez, Milner or Barry. Basically, we’d have to be very good on the day and they would have to be appallingly bad to stand even a sporting chance. Dreams do come true sometimes, though.
THE Fa CUP
We’ve been saying in jest for a while that we would take a cup win and relegation. But now it’s getting close to reality, we obviously want two cakes and a big fork. The gap between the rich and (relatively) poor is getting wider in the Premier League, and you have to ask what we can hope to achieve. An FA Cup win and then a change of scenery and [hopefully] winning a few more games in the Championship might be pleasant. Make no mistake, though – the shock impact of relegation would still be an absolute disaster.
We need them all to play well, but if there’s one who makes us tick further up the field, it’s Shaun Maloney. Unlike some of our younger protégés, he’s been there and done it, seems to be settled at Wigan and bang up for the cause rather than looking for a move. He can also unlock the best of defences when he’s on his game.
He’s more likely to leave if we stay up, because he might feel (as Steve Bruce and Paul Jewell did before him) that he has taken the club as far as he can. Maybe our more demanding fans will realise some day that it’s the club and not the manager that has limitations. He’s been more than loyal to us, and he might feel that way again should we go down. But I still feel that he is destined for a top job in the future, albeit maybe on the continent. If he achieves league safety and an FA Cup win, I don’t see how we could top it. He can stay forever for me, but not all fans share that sentiment.
— PREDiCTiON —
Head says 3-0 City. Heart says we’ll ‘Everton’ them: 3-0 Wigan.
Saturday FA Cup FinAl: MAn City v WigAn | itV & ESpn 5.15pM
25 | May 10 2013 |
Pu fo 26 | May 10 2013 |
rainy Thursday lunchtime at Melwood, Liverpool’s renowned training complex, and Glen Johnson is in reflective mood.
The season is drawing to a low-key close for his club, and training is over for the day. An afternoon of childcare awaits – one reason, perhaps, why his mind goes back to the days of his own youth. “The thing was that at school I didn’t have any interest,” he tells Sport. “You know, once I started playing football, that was the only thing I ever wanted to do – so I devoted everything to that. I knew I could have been good if I’d wanted to be, but half of my lot didn’t even turn up for our exams because we were playing football over the park. We’d be playing and then suddenly it was like: ‘Shit, we’re meant to be there in 10 minutes.’ But we just wouldn’t bother.” Compare and contrast the teenage Johnson with his 28-year-old equivalent, who less than a month from now is due to sit the final exam of a second Open University course in mathematics. A full degree is the eventual aim. “This is much harder than what I would have been doing at school, obviously,” he continues. “But it’s about a change in mentality. I’ve always liked to challenge myself and see how far I can push things. “And yeah, it’s going alright. The bit we’re doing now, on chance and probability, is quite interesting. I lost interest a bit when it was all about trigonometry and things like that, but you’re never going to enjoy the whole course. You’ve just got to get your head down and get through the weeks when you don’t care as much about what you’re studying, because you’ll soon come to another part where you do.”
An education A fascination with probability doesn’t necessarily correlate with the stereotype of a professional footballer, but Johnson is a relaxed character who speaks with the freedom of a man who has navigated his way through a decade of Premier League football without ever truly exposing himself to the glare of an intrusive media. The first signing of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea and an experienced England international with almost 50 caps, Johnson has quietly profited from playing under some of the biggest names in football – we remind him, as if he didn’t already know, that his career with club and country has seen him work with Messrs Ranieri, Mourinho, Redknapp, Benitez, Dalglish, Hodgson, Capello and Eriksson. “Yeah, there are obviously some fantastic names on that list, but every single manager is different,” he says. “The only thing they all have in common is that they all want to win, so it’s hard to really compare any of them.” Do any from that aforementioned list stand out as different from the rest, though? “Everyone knows what Harry’s like,” says Johnson, smiling. “He’s a top man and it > | 27
Mark Thompson/Getty Images
With a frustrating season coming to an end for Liverpool, defender Glen Johnson insists things are looking up at Anfield – and looks ahead to a summer of highlevel mathematics
Glen Johnson really is like going to work with your mate. He just puts you in the best mood possible and then you end up playing well. There are more people who love him than hate him, that’s for sure. “I think the biggest change I encountered was with José Mourinho, though, just in terms of the way he does things – and specifically how he dealt with the press. How he spoke to them was something people weren’t used to; it came as a surprise, and was entertaining. Some managers go to a press conference knowing what they have to say and what they can’t say. People keep bowling them questions and they just keep batting them back, and you’re all sat there thinking: ‘We know this isn’t really what you’re thinking or what you want to say, but you feel like you have to say it.’ Mourinho didn’t do that.” What does Johnson make, then, of the man he currently calls boss: Brendan Rodgers? “Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, he’s most similar to Mourinho,” he reveals. “Obviously they worked together at Chelsea, and a lot of the training we do now is similar, if not quite the same as it was back then. But he’s been brilliant with all the players, and the backroom staff would probably say the same. He has openly said that he works for Liverpool Football Club, and that doesn’t just mean the team; it means everybody, and I think it’s important for a manager to think like that because there are a lot of people here who are busting their balls without getting the recognition for it. But we are all fighting for the same thing, and Brendan makes that very clear.”
John Powell/2012 Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Positive steps On the pitch, at least, that fight hasn’t always been won in a season during which Liverpool have once again flattered to deceive. They look set to end the season in seventh, behind neighbours Everton for a second consecutive year and way adrift of the Champions League qualification they aspired to back in August. “Of course, the higher you finish in the league the better,” says Johnson. “But the difference between seventh this year and eighth last season isn’t much, and obviously we picked up a trophy [the League Cup] and got to another final [the FA Cup] last year. The aim before the season was always to get into the top four, but I think we are taking positive steps and going in the right direction as a whole. “The football we’ve played this season is definitely better than last season, 100 per cent, and on our day we are absolutely battering teams. But I don’t think we’ve picked up the points we have arguably deserved – like Reading the other week, when it was just attack versus defence and the keeper’s probably had the game of his life. And that’s the perfect example of needing that first goal, because then a team has to come out and play – they leave a bit more space and then you can kill them. On another day, we’d have won that game 6-0.” 28 | May 10 2013 |
“The football we’ve played this season is definitely better than last, and the way Brendan wants us to play suits my game” They didn’t, however, and Liverpool have now racked up five goalless draws in this season’s Premier League – including three in their last five fixtures, most recently at home to Everton on Sunday. It’s a failing that Rodgers will need to address over the summer, but in Johnson he has a full back more than ready to set an attacking example. “The way Brendan wants to play certainly suits my game,” he says. “And the way we play at Anfield, I’m almost a winger when we’re building from the back anyway. I sometimes think people are still a bit rigid in the way they think about a solid back four, and in thinking about full backs only as defenders. It’s not like that any more – the way the game is now, it’s important for a full back to be as good in attack as you are in defence.”
A case for the defence This is a subject on which Johnson is keen to expand. He was arguably England’s best defender at Euro 2012, yet continues to be labelled as an attacking full back who can struggle with the defensive side of the game. “I think it’s ridiculous when I hear that,” he says. “I wouldn’t have been around for as long as I have or done what I’ve done if I can’t defend, and managers wouldn’t have you in their first team. If you can’t defend, you can’t play at the back – plain and simple. I think
sometimes people get something in their heads and then it’s set in stone. They just don’t want to change their mind about it.” Whatever people’s opinions of Johnson are, they can’t deny him a full complement of domestic medals – he is the only member of the Liverpool squad with a Premier League winner’s medal (earned while at Chelsea), featured for Portsmouth in their now distant-past FA Cup win of 2008, and added a League Cup with his current club at Wembley last year. It’s an obvious question, but which of the three means most to him? “Any medal you win is brilliant, it’s what you dream of as a kid,” he says. “But I’d have to say the Premier League title. Not many people do it in their careers, but it’s what everyone wants and why you play every Saturday. It’s what you fight for, and any team that wins the Premier League deserves it. To have that on my CV is special.” Johnson is now 28 years old, a player at his peak, but the club at which he has spent the past four seasons is without a title win in more than 20 years. Can he possibly envisage a situation in which his CV includes a Premier League winner’s medal with Liverpool? “Yeah, that would be a dream come true,” he answers thoughtfully. For this student of probability, his use of the word ‘dream’ seems very well chosen. Tony Hodson @tonyhodson1 Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
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7 Days OUR PICK OF THE ACTION FROM THE SPORTING WEEK AHEAD
HIGHLIGHTS » Football: Premier League Preview » p34 » Rugby League: Huddersfield Giants v Leeds Rhinos » p36 » Tennis: Rome Masters » p36 » Athletics: Doha 2013 Diamond League »p36 » Rugby Union: Leicester v Harlequins » p37
CHeLSeA v beNFICA | AMSTeRDAM AReNA | ITV 7.45PM
Consolation cup ﬁnal
a chance at a trophy they didn't want, overseen
the near-£50m garnered from Chelsea's purchases
by a manager the fans still don't want. Standing in
of Luiz and Ramires well, refilling their squad with
their way are Benfica, who will have approached the
talented South Americans such as the clever Nicolás
competition with much more enthusiasm – it's been
Gaitan. They will also go into the final as Portuguese
more than 50 years since they last won a continental
champions if they beat Porto on Saturday night.
cup of any kind (the abolished Iberian Cup aside). In a turbulent season of transitio, Thursdays have
Former Benfica stopper David Luiz has played
The sides met in the Champions League quarter finals last season – Chelsea winning 3-1 on aggregate
become nights of solace at Stamford Bridge.
a big part in helping Chelsea to the final, turning
on their way to winning the trophy – and we expect
Chelsea's European home record, unblemished by
Gary Neville's disparaging description of him as a
a repeat this time. Rafa Benitez, a man with a wealth
defeat since 2011, was not enough to defend their
'PlayStation defender' on its head by smashing in
of experience in European finals, has already let
Champions League title. It has, however, seen them
a semi-final goal that wouldn't have looked out of
one piece of silverware slip through his fingers this
safely through four easy-on-paper knockout ties for
place in a video game. The Portuguese side spent
season. He is unlikely to let that happen again.
32 | May 10 2013 |
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
WEDNESDAY FooTbALL | eURoPA LeAGUe FINAL:
MAY 10-MAY 16
saturday aston villa v chelsea | villa park sky sports 2 12.45pm
As the action gravitates away from the sharp end of the table, the big games this week involve the teams in fourth, ﬁfth, 14th and 15th. And, as ever, Wigan... sunday sunderland v southampton | stadium of light | 3pm
Aston Villa should be safe. Should be. But their two final games, against Chelsea then away to a Wigan side fighting for their lives, are not what they would have hoped for. But in Gabriel Agbonlahor, who has seven goals in his past 10 games, they have one of the league’s in-form strikers. As for Chelsea, all eyes are now on 2013-14 – when, according to Rafa Benitez, he will not be at the Bridge any more. Blues fans are already jigging for joy.
sunday stoke v tottenham | britannia stadium sky sports 1 1.30pm
This little area of our Premier League preview is
half, while 40 points does not make you safe. In other
Stoke fans won’t be sleeping easy
hallowed ground: the equivalent of the first game on
words, it’s quite the mess.
in their beds just yet (mainly
Match of the Day, if you will. And it’s safe to say that
Southampton really should have made themselves
neither Sunderland nor Southampton have been over
safe by now, having dispatched Liverpool, Chelsea and
They probably won’t get another
here too often this season.
Reading in swift succession, but a meagre two points
point this season, but will still stay
– and just one goal – from their past four games mean
up. This is all about Tottenham, and
they have been sucked into the mire.
their neverending quest to get the
But this weekend, supporters of both will pitch up at the Stadium of Light armed with calculators; Saints are a point ahead and a goal to the good, but the reality is that
Sunderland, conversely, have done well to haul
because they’re Stoke fans! LOL!).
better of north London rivals
neither can get themselves mathematically safe just yet
themselves as high as 15th, that 6-1 tonking at the hands
Arsenal in the chase for fourth place.
(unless Wigan lost to Swansea on Tuesday, a game played
of Aston Villa notwithstanding. A goal from John O’Shea
That man Gareth Bale once again
after Sport went to press – in which case Southampton
(pictured) against Stoke earned them a vital point on
rescued them last weekend against
can). Such is the unseemly scramble for points at the foot
Monday, and it looks as if certified madman Paolo Di
Southampton; it’s really about time
of the table, that 43 points currently sees you in the top
Canio will, by hook or by crook, keep them up.
that someone else pitched in.
34 | May 10 2013 |
SUNDAY FULHAM v LIVERPOOL | CRAVEN COTTAGE | 3PM
SUNDAY NORWICH v WEsT bROM | CARROW ROAD | 3PM
SUNDAY QPR v NEWCAsTLE | LOFTUs ROAD | 3PM
A case of what might have been for
While plenty of teams still have
Chris Hughton might have been
“It’ll never replace football,”
Everton this season: they have lost
something to play for (safety, in
right to suggest that Norwich were
cracked Harry Redknapp to
four games in 2013. One of them was
most cases) it’s quite something to
unlucky last weekend against Aston
Reading boss Nigel Adkins after
to Manchester United, but the other
find a game with precisely nothing
Villa, but the fact is that a desperate
their two sides had relegated each
three were against Norwich, Wigan
at stake. Liverpool still – still! – have
run of form – one win in their last
other in possibly the worst match of
(in the FA Cup) and Sunderland –
one eye on the Fair Play League, but
nine games – has left the Canaries
the season. The same might be said
results that (we imagine) had David
when your hopes rely on your boys
deep in trouble. They just don’t
of QPR all season long, though it
Moyes literally frothing at the mouth
not getting booked, it’s a sorry end
score goals: when six-goal Grant
would not be the biggest surprise
in abject rage. Three of the last
to the season. Still, Fulham, fresh off
Holt is your most prolific marksman,
in the world if they were to send
four games between these two at
the back of a 4-2 reverse at home to
there are problems. West Brom have
Newcastle back up the A1 with their
Goodison Park have ended all
Reading, are unlikely to get involved
let their season slide somewhat, but
tail between their legs. Were it not
square. Like every other game this
in any physical stuff. Even two-goal
supporters must just be delighted
for the fact they all use private jets
weekend, so will this one.
Bryan Ruiz may not be enough.
not to be involved in a dogfight.
and not luxury coaches any more.
SUNDAY MANCHEsTER UNITED v sWANsEA OLD TRAFFORD | sKY sPORTs 1 4PM
TUESDAY READING v MAN CITY | MADEJsKI sTADIUM | 8PM
TUESDAY ARsENAL v WIGAN | EMIRATEs sTADIUM | sKY sPORTs 1 7.45PM
It’s a final, valedictory stroll in the
Finally, a game that has significant implications at both ends of the
Bang in-form Reading, fresh from
Old Trafford sun for Man Utd this
league table. Arsenal are all out for a Champions League spot, while Wigan’s
hammering Fulham, will fancy
weekend. The crowd will go wild
ongoing quest for survival continues. The home side are in rude health and
their chances of an upset against
(well, what passes for wild in those
might in future consider that being knocked out of all cup competitions as early
high-flying Man City this weekend.
corporate boxes) as 54-year-old
as possible is a sound tactical move: since going out of the Champions League,
Diminutive Welshman Hal Robson-
“unique freak” Ryan Giggs probably
they are unbeaten in eight league games. Theo Walcott has blasted out of the
Kanu, who knocked in a brace last
bosses yet another game. Swansea
blocks with early goals in the Gunners’ last two games, and if he does the same
weekend, is quickly making a name
are unlikely to put up much of a fight
here then it’s hard to see Wigan – who contest the FA Cup final this weekend
for himself as quite the handful, and
for United’s last home game of the
– getting a foothold.
may well get among the goals again.
season, their main concern now
That said, all hope is not lost. Victory last weekend kept them alive, and in
All of which would be lovely, had
being how to persuade the injured
midfielder Callum McManaman, perpetrator of the season’s worst tackle, they
Reading not been atrocious all
Michu that south Wales is the
have a player among the goals. Indeed, his gaffer Roberto Martinez is tipping
season and been relegated a
coming hotbed of British football.
him for England honours. Good lord.
long, long time ago.
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand | 35
All pictures Getty Images
SUNDAY EVERTON v WEsT HAM | GOODIsON PARK | 3PM
7 Days Saturday Rugby League | ChaLLenge Cup 5th Round: huddeRsfieLd giants v Leeds Rhinos John smith’s stadium | bbC one 2.30pm
Monday > tennis | inteRnazionaLi bnL d’itaLia | foRo itaLiCo, Rome | sky spoRts 1 10am/bRitish euRospoRt 10am
Yorkshire beef The pick of this weekend’s Challenge Cup fifth-round ties sees Huddersfield, currently second in the Super League, host Leeds, who are just one point behind them in fourth. The Rhinos have appeared in the past three Wembley finals, losing all three, but are on an eight-match unbeaten run and will fancy their chances against a Giants side fresh from a 34-12 defeat at home to Challenge Cup holders Warrington last Sunday. It could come down to a battle of the kickers, with two of the best on show in Huddersfield’s Danny Brough and Leeds skipper Kevin Sinfield (pictured). Elsewhere in the last 16, the London Broncos, who have won their last two home games, could spring a surprise when they meet the Bradford Bulls at The Stoop on Friday night. When they met in the Super League a month ago, four second-half touchdowns from Jarrod Sammut gave the Bulls victory despite a first-half hat-trick from the Broncos’ Kieran Dixon.
Friday athLetiCs | doha 2013 diamond League | QataR sC stadium | 3.25pm
36 | May 10 2013 |
Saturday Rugby union | AvivA PRemieRshiP semi FinAl: leicesteR v hARlequins | WelFoRd RoAd sky sPoRts 1 3Pm
Lions and Tigers and Care, oh my! Joe Marler and Mike Brown will both feel hard done by for not
Clay on, maestro
making the recently named Lions squad, but it's Harlequins
The relentless march towards Roland Garros and the French
of merry backs will love the hard
Open continues next week, when both the men's and
ground, but it's Care's quick thinking
women's tours decamp from the dust of Madrid to the more
around the fringes, boosted by the
glamorous clay of the Italian capital. And that means yet
returning Robshaw, that could
more tournament defences for Rafael Nadal and Maria
cause Leicester some problems.
and England duo Chris Robshaw and Danny Care (pictured) whose exclusions were the real surprise. While injury forced Robshaw to watch last week's regular-season closer against Northampton from the sidelines, Care – since named RPA Player of the Season – put in a man-of-the-match performance to show Warren Gatland just what he's missing. And so to this Premiership semi final, which sees the pride-restoring mission continue against a Leicester Tigers team featuring no fewer than six Lions. Nick Evans and his band
The home side have been in eight
Sharapova, both of whom followed up victories in Rome
consecutive Premiership finals,
last year with Grand Slam wins in Paris.
however, and were in scintillating
Nadal (pictured) may not be quite as strong a favourite as is the tradition, however – his record in Rome isn't as
form in last week's win over London
formidable as it is elsewhere on the clay courts of Europe
Irish. They've lost only two home
(just the six wins), and his defeat to Novak Djokovic in Monte
games all season, although one
Carlo last month suggested he isn't yet back to his all-
of those was against
conquering best. Between them, however, the pair have
taken this title every year since 2005 – so a new champion
very much on.
for 2013 would still come as a huge shock. For Sharapova, meanwhile, a return to Rome represents another chance to reinforce her newfound love for her supposed weaker surface. She arrived in Madrid last weekend on a 16-game unbeaten run on clay – a third
A message to you, Rudi
meeting. One of the stars of London 2012, the Kenyan is perhaps the single most dominant athlete in world athletics right now (and yes, we are including Mr Bolt). The message from organisers
These are troubled times for the Diamond
desperate to woo potential new sponsors
League. The IAAF's flagship series of elite
will be a clear one: win your race (the gun
meetings kicks off in Doha today (Friday),
for which goes off at 5.27pm our time),
but at the time of writing no headline
and win it well.
sponsor had been found to replace the
Rudisha isn't the only star name on show,
recently departed Samsung, and there was
however. Olympic 200m champion Allyson
no evidence as to whether the event would
Felix steps up to 400m to take on world
even be screened live anywhere in the UK.
champion Amantle Montsho in a race also
Now would be a good time for a big
featuring London silver-medallist Christine
performance, then – so it can only be good
Ohuruogu (6.37pm), while Justin Gatlin,
news that 800m world-record holder David
a bronze-medallist from last summer,
Rudisha (pictured) is in Doha for today's
headlines the men's 100m (6.27pm).
Alex Livesey/Getty Images, David Ramos/Getty Images, David Rogers/Getty Images, Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images
straight title here would set her up beautifully for Paris.
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Sturdily built for the urban environment, these are designed as a simple upgrade from the headphones that come packaged with your iPods or MP3 player. The good doctor delivers again. £90 | beatsbydre.com
4. aCS t1
For serious music lovers only, these. The custom-made earbuds are part of the best headphones money can buy. So don’t go and sully them by listening to One Direction or Taylor Swift. Too much. £649 | acscustom.com
5. aCS Custom Fit Earphone Sleeves
Made from a mould, these will always fit your ears perfectly for ultimate noise isolation and sound quality. They work with the headphones below, and a huge range of others. £120 | acscustom.com
40 | May 10 2013 |
Soft, flexible earbuds block background noise, allowing the sound quality to shine through. It’s a small price to pay for a bit of quiet – and way more sophisticated than putting a box on your head. £541 | shure.co.uk Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
James Lincoln, jameslincoln.co.uk
6. Shure SE535 Sound isolating Earphones
Fuel your grooming regime with Kiehl’s new range, Diesel’s new fragrance and a new engine courtesy of Braun
Kiehl’s Facial Fuel
Used daily, this invigorating box of tools will invigorate dull, tired-looking skin and give you a fresher, healthier appearance. From left to right, then: the Sky Flyin’ Foaming Multi-Gel (£14 for 142g) is a shaving gel and cleanser enriched with caﬀeine and vitamin C that minimises any potential chaﬁng redness; the non-oily formula Energising Moisture Treatment (£21 for 75ml) reawakens and protects as well as controlling shine; and the menthol and citrus Energising Face Wash (£17 for 250ml) is vitaminenriched and helps resist the eﬀects of environmental stress. kiehls.co.uk
The electric razor Braun 7 Series
For a more eﬃcient engine, meet the 7 Series: the most advanced shaver ever by Braun – with, they claim, more computing technology than the ﬂight computer of the Apollo 11 spacecraft. It automatically adjusts to the density of your stubble, while 10,000 micro-vibrations in every stroke gently stimulate hairs, making them easy to cut and thus ensuring a closer shave in fewer strokes. Automatically keeps itself clean, too, so no MOT required. £299.99 | boots.com 42 | May 10 2013 |
The fragrance Diesel Fuel For Life Spirit
“Are you ready,” Diesel asked Sport, “to explore the unexplored and plunge headlong into a world that’s sexy and deﬁantly masculine?” Yes, we lied. We totally are. Only then would they tell us of their new edition’s fruity grapefruit top note, which gives way to spicy bergamot and cinnamon. A heart of orange blossom then hands the monkey wrench to a woody base. £56.50 for 125ml | boots.com from June Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
hen last Sport brought you Layla Anna-Lee, she was the voice of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony. Like so many where we are concerned, however, Layla has moved on – even if we haven’t. The British-born Brazilian is, she says, already looking forward to the World Cup in Brazil. “You know it!” she chirps with trademark enthusiasm when we ask about her plans for 2014. “I’m ﬂuent in English and Portuguese, so I’ve kind of got the golden ticket.” That’s not to say she has forgotten good ol’ Blighty. Layla will be feature-reporting for the Premier League’s YouTube channel next season, and is continuing to host her weekly The Rumour Mill show on KickTV. She will also host some British road cycling races for Eurosport. Most importantly, though, Layla will send some of her “spectacularly served dialogue” our way as a blogger for the very magazine you hold in your hand. Look out for her on our website and our app in the near future. And we should mention her debut in FHM’s top 100 this month. We can’t tell you what number she’s in at, but we can tell you she is “happy as Larry” to be there. We’d never stoop so low as to actually rate anyone who appears on this page in any sort of order. But, if we did, we’d have Layla a lot higher than that other lot. After all, she has the golden ticket, remember?
Golden ticket Extra time Layla Anna-Lee
44 | May 10 2013 |
Star Trek director unleashes the lens ﬂares for another sci-ﬁ masterpiece, while a band of vampires make our weekend
Modern Vampires of the City Vampire Weekend
Anyone who wants to know why JJ Abrams has been tasked with directing the new Star Wars ﬁlms need only take a look at the masterful job he’s done in revitalising another sci-ﬁ series. Ignore the title: the second in his new Star Trek franchise is once more a ﬂashy, buoyant, action-packed thriller that makes full use of the charms of a terriﬁc cast. Benedict ‘Sherlock’ Cumberbatch brings theatrical menace as a mysterious terrorist who blows up bits of London
Fringe Complete Series
Yep, it’s a JJ Abrams love-in, as the latest Star Trek ﬁlm is quickly followed by the release of his sci-ﬁ TV drama in boxset form. It is centred around an FBI division that pokes its nose into bizarre phenomena on the ‘fringes’ of science – so basically The X-Files with a blockbuster sheen and a sense of humour. Crucially, it also has a far better ending than Lost. Out Monday 46 | May 10 2013 |
and then tries to do the same to the Starship Enterprise. However, the ﬁlm’s main strength is the bromance between Chris Pine’s cocky Kirk and Zachary Quinto’s wry Spock – a bond tested to breaking point when the latter dobs in his captain for pulling him out of an erupting volcano (breaking Star Fleet regulations in the process). The ﬁlm isn’t perfect – at times the warp-speed pace feels just a little too relentless – but it’s an amusing, exhilarating adventure. Out now
When he’s not sleep-suaving his way through bland romcoms, Matthew McConaughey can be a captivating actor. Mud sees him in superb form as a Mississippi drifter discovered by two teens who he asks for help in his elaborate plan to escape bounty hunters and rescue his lost love. But can they believe all that their charismatic new pal tells them? Out today
Volume 3 She & Him
As easy on the ears as she is on the eyes, Zooey Deschanel steps away from the camera to record more of her breezy, summery indie-pop as part of duo She & Him. The swooning strings and Phil Spector-style arrangements are provided by her musical partner Matt Ward, and oﬀer an ideal backing to Miss Deschanel’s warm, California-kissed vocals. Out Monday
Inferno Dan Brown
Get used to this cover, because it’ll be seen on even more Tube trains than your super, soaraway Sport from next week. Yes, it’s a fourth Robert Langdon book – one that sees the symbologist “drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces”. Mr Greedy, we assume. Or Dante’s Inferno. Out Tuesday
Download the free Sport iPad app from the Apple Newsstand
Alex John Beck
Star Trek Into Darkness
We’re so used to current indie bands making one promising album, then fading away that Vampire Weekend’s new release – their third, no less – comes as a surprise. From the languid pop perfection of Step to the mix of piano, drum march and warped falsetto vocals of Ya Hey, much of what the band do shouldn’t gel together, yet somehow does. The album is packed with catchy melodies and diverse ideas, while Ezra Koenig’s lyrics are both impassioned and playful at the same time. Frankly, these New York bloodsuckers need to quit it: they’re making other guitar bands look (and sound) bad. Out Tuesday