All posts by Joe London

La Liga: Ferguson told Moyes to take Sociedad job

David Moyes has revealed how he took the Real Sociedad job after advice from Sir Alex Ferguson.

Moyes was dubbed the Chosen One after Ferguson selected the then-Everton manager to take over at Manchester United when he retired last year.

That move failed in spectacular fashion after Moyes was sacked just 10 months into a six-year contract at Old Trafford, with United floundering in seventh in the Premier League table.

Moyes was announced as Sociedad manager on Thursday and revealed that Ferguson told him to take the opportunity to rebuild his reputation abroad.

“I phoned Sir Alex about coming out and he spoke about the job and the opportunity, which he thought was a great one for me,” he told the Daily Mail. “He thought it would be a good chance and something very few British managers get the opportunity to do.”

The revelation would suggest Moyes harbours no ill feeling towards Ferguson after his dismissal from United, even after an updated version of the latter’s autobiography contained passage that were less than complimentary about his successor’s time at Old Trafford.

Moyes however, still insists he was the right man for the job at United, claiming he was not given enough time to shape the squad in his image.

He called on club officials to offer that time to his replacement, Louis van Gaal, who has presided over United’s worst start to a season since 1986.

“I still stand by what I said at the time that I was not given enough time at United to succeed or fail,” Moyes said. “I think there was nothing wrong with how we worked and everyone can see that whoever is in charge at Manchester United, it is quite a long job to do things. Nine months would never be enough time for any manager.

“I do think that most real football people understood that there would be a period of transition at Manchester United when you take over from Sir Alex. I always believed I was the right person for the job and I still believe that is the case. But Van Gaal now has to be given the time to do the job.”

Read more at ESPN

Premiership: Origi wants Liverpool debut in January

Divock Origi has told Liverpool he wants to start playing for them ahead of schedule in January.

The striker signed for the Anfield club from Ligue 1 side Lille in July in a £9.5 million deal. As part of the agreement, he was loaned back to the French side for the season, during which he has scored four goals in 17 appearances so far.

However, Lille – who finished third in France last season – have slumped to 14th in the top flight after picking up one point from their last five matches. They are also on the brink of Europa League elimination after failing to win any of their four group matches, losing 3-0 at Everton on November 6.

Origi, who scored for Belgium as they beat Iceland 3-1 in a friendly in Brussels on Wednesday, has made clear he would love to bring forward his Liverpool debut if possible.

“Maybe January, who knows?” he said. “It’s not me who makes the decisions, but if the club choose to let me go in January, I would go. I would like to join Liverpool then.

“Although I agreed to stay with Lille until the end of this season, if there was that chance of joining Liverpool sooner, I would take it.

“I said that I would stay for the whole season and I wish to remain honourable in that, of course.

“But if there was a decision by the clubs, I would not say that I would not like to go to Liverpool in January. I would love to move sooner rather than later.

“I am here at Lille, it is fine, they are a good club and they have helped me. But it is also frustrating. It is French football. I can’t wait to be playing in the Premier League because I can now see that it will suit me better.”

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers last week revealed that the club are in regular contact with Origi as they monitor his progress in France.

“That makes me feel very good and wanted,” Origi added. “Also the medical staff, they stay in touch for the same reason, telling me they are looking forward to me coming to the club.”

Read more at ESPN

Tennis: ATP Finals: Andy Murray knocked out by Roger Federer

Roger Federer thrashed Andy Murray 6-0 6-1 to end the Briton’s ATP World Tour Finals hopes in humiliating fashion.

The 17-time Grand Slam champion needed just 56 minutes to win his third Group B match and reach the semi-finals.

Murray required a straight-sets win to qualify but won only eight points in the first set and did not win a game until 6-0 5-0 down.

The result is Murray’s worst since he lost 6-1 6-0 to Novak Djokovic in Miami seven years ago.

Japanese world number five Kei Nishikori qualifies behind Federer after his earlier 4-6 6-4 6-1 victory over Spaniard David Ferrer – a replacement for the injured Milos Raonic.

“Clearly, I’m very happy to play a good match today,” Federer said. “I knew I was qualified so maybe I went in a bit more relaxed.

“It’s not the way I thought it was going to go, but there’s always next year for Andy and hopefully he can have a good season.

“At the end I was happy I didn’t win the second to last game to be quite honest.”

After 24 minutes, Murray’s progress in the tournament was over as he suffered his first 6-0 set loss in four years.

“It was a tough night,” Murray said.

“I’ve lost Grand Slam finals, which have been very tough, but in terms of the way the match went it was not ideal from my side of the court – far from it.

“He played exceptionally well, that’s for sure. I can say I’m disappointed with my level tonight but if I played well, he probably still would have won anyway.”

A tight, tense encounter had been anticipated with the Scot needing a fast start, and Federer keen to win the group and so probably avoid top seed Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals.

In the event, only one player brought anything like his best game.

The 17,000 spectators packed into the O2 must have thought they were in a for classic when Murray won the opening two points on Federer’s serve, before the Swiss won an epic 34-stroke rally on the third.

From that moment on it was one-way traffic as Murray struggled to find first serves and Federer produced some sublime tennis.

Read more on BBC Sport

Championship: Wigan sack manager Uwe Rosler after poor start to season

Wigan have sacked manager Uwe Rosler after less than 12 months in charge of the Championship side.

Ex-Brentford boss Rosler, 45, replaced Owen Coyle in December 2013 and guided the Latics to the FA Cup semi-finals and Championship play-offs last season.

But Wigan lie 22nd in the second tier this term with three wins in 17 league games, and they lost to League Two side Burton in the Capital One Cup.

“I have thought long and hard about this,” said chairman Dave Whelan.

Assistant manager Graham Barrow has been put in charge in a caretaker capacity, assisted by first-team coach Eric Black.

“It’s a decision I had to make and it was really, really difficult,” Whelan told BBC Radio Manchester.

“I still rate him as a very, very good manager and I think he’ll get another job very quickly and I wish him good luck.

“At Bolton last week we played well for 20 minutes and then we fell away. We didn’t show any fight, determination, grit, and that upsets me and our supporters.”

Wigan were 14th in the table when Rosler took control, but the Latics ended the season in fifth place.

Read more on BBC Sport

Football: Garcia attacks report on own corruption investigation

FIFA ethics investigator Michael Garcia has attacked the report on his investigation into the bidding processes for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, saying he will appeal against it.

Garcia said the 42-page report, written by Joachim Eckert – the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee – “contains numerous materially incomplete and erroneous representations of the facts and conclusions detailed in the investigatory chamber’s report.”

“I intend to appeal this decision to the FIFA Appeal Committee,” the former US Attorney said.

FIFA issued a short statement in response, in which it said only: “We take note of reports mentioning a statement issued by Michael Garcia.

However, for the time being Fifa has not been officially notified of this statement and is therefore not in a position to further comment on this matter at this stage. We will follow up in due time.”

FIFA had previously said the Garcia report could not be published in full for legal reasons.

His intervention means he has effectively dismissed the conclusions that FIFA has drawn from his two-year investigative process.

Britain’s FIFA vice president, Jim Boyce, said it increased the case for as much of his report “as is legally possible” to be made public.

Boyce told Press Association Sport: “In view of the fact Michael Garcia has now stated he is not happy with the findings and is to appeal, I await with interest to see what further disclosures will be made.”

Eckert’s report cleared Russia and Qatar of corruption in their winning bids for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. The document said no proof was found of bribes or voting pacts in an investigation that was hampered by a lack of access to evidence and uncooperative witnesses.

The FA hit back at the report, which heavily criticised England’s bid to host the 2018 World Cup, saying it does “not accept any criticism regarding the integrity of England’s bid or any of the individuals involved”.

The report turned much of its fire on England’s conduct, saying it had “damaged the integrity of the ongoing bidding process.”

However, former England 2018 chief operating officer Simon Johnson dismissed the conclusions as a “politically-motivated whitewash.”

“I am not sure how we can have confidence in the outcome of this report,” he said. “The headlines today end up being about the England bid when it should be about how it has exonerated Qatar.

“In relation to England’s bid, I was satisfied at all times that we complied with the rules of the ethics code. We also gave full and transparent disclosure to the investigation, which many others did not do.”

Read more at ESPN

F1: McLaren’s Honda engine to make track debut

McLaren will run Honda’s new V6 turbo engine for the first time at a filming day at Silverstone on Friday.

Honda will join forces with McLaren in F1 next year, reuniting a partnership that won four titles in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Honda returns to the sport one year after its rivals switched from V8 engines to V6 turbos and has been eager to put some track mileage on its new power unit.


McLaren has been working on an interim car designed to house the new engine – known as the MP4-29H – and is now ready to hit the track. The Silverstone filming day will only offer limited mileage but a further opportunity to run the car will come at the post-season Abu Dhabi test in two weeks.


Running at filming days is limited to 100km and should be used “purely for marketing or promotional purposes”, according to the sporting regulations.

Read more at ESPN

Cricket: James Tredwell: Kent agree new deal with England spinner

England spin bowler James Tredwell has signed a contract extension with Kent prior to departing for the one-day international series in Sri Lanka.

The 32-year-old has been with Kent throughout his career and was captain for the 2013 season.

However, he also played Championship cricket for south-coast rivals Sussex during a loan spell last season.

Tredwell has played 39 one-dayers and 17 T20 matches for England, and also won a Test cap in Bangladesh in 2010.

The length of Tredwell’s new deal at Canterbury has not been disclosed.

He has now set his sights on retaining his place for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next February and March.

“The first step is to be on the plane to Sri Lanka and press your claim for a place in the team before the World Cup,” he told the Kent website.

“I’ll take it one series at a time and you have to take the chance to show what you can do.”

Read more at BBC Sport

Tennis: ATP Finals: Novak Djokovic destroys Stan Wawrinka

Novak Djokovic produced another scintillating performance to beat Stan Wawrinka at the ATP World Tour Finals.

The world number one recovered from losing the first two games to win 12 of the next 13 in a 6-3 6-0 win.

He has not lost at the O2 Arena since 2011 and is now unbeaten in 29 matches indoors.

Djokovic remains top of Group A with his final round-robin match against Tomas Berdych to come.

The Serb will guarantee the year-end number one ranking with another win on Friday, and it is hard to see who can stop him claiming a hat-trick of ATP World Tour Finals titles on Sunday.

“I swung through my shots and he made a lot of unforced errors,” Djokovic said. “He wasn’t close to his best and I succeeded very well with what I wanted to do.”

“On my side, I just played very solid from all over the court. I think I covered the court very well, got a lot of balls back, mixed up the pace, got him off the comfort zone. That’s something that was part of my game plan.

“After I lost the first two games, obviously I didn’t start so great. I thought he played very well the first two games. But I wasn’t frustrated, I kept my calm.

“After that, it was a really amazing performance.”

Read more on BBC Sport

BTCC: Clio Cup Champion Mike Bushell Joins can today confirm that it has agreed terms with newly-crowned Renault Clio Cup champion Mike Bushell to spearhead its challenge on the 2015 Dunlop MSA British Touring Car Championship.

The 25-year-old from Tunbridge Wells joins the team on the back of an impressive 2014 season, where he secured four wins and four further podiums en-route to the Clio Cup crown.

Having made clear his intentions to move into the BTCC as soon as the title was secured, moved quickly to agree a deal with Mike, who will be at the wheel of the team’s Ford Focus for his first full season in the series.

Although classed as a rookie, Mike has one previous outing in the BTCC to his name at Knockhill in 2013 where, in a one-off outing in a Chevrolet Cruze, he qualified within eight-tenths of a second of pole and only missed out on scoring debut points when he was taken out of race three.

He also recently tested with the Motorbase Performance team in its Ford Focus as part of his prize for winning the Clio Cup.

Mike’s debut for will come at Brands Hatch in early April 2015, with the team keen to try and put a full testing programme in place for the off-season.

“Winning the Clio Cup this year was a massive achievement for me, and I can’t believe that I’m now sat here knowing that I’ll be in the BTCC next season,” he said. “I’ve been speaking to Shaun for a while and it’s fantastic to have agreed a deal so early in the off-season.

“I actually feel quite humbled to be joining the BTCC as there is no other championship like it out there. You only have to look at the grid this year to see it is full of drivers who have won championships, and I’m under no illusions about the challenge that lies ahead.

“Early on, my focus will simply be on finishing races and building on the experience I gained when I did my one event in 2013, but I’m confident of quickly getting up to speed. The Ford is a proven package and it felt quite suited to my driving style when I sampled the Motorbase car. The team has a skilled group of people working on it, so there is no reason why I can’t be competitive and push for some strong results as the season goes on.

“I’m hoping that Vital Software and, who were two of my main backers in Clios, will be involved again next year and I just want to thank Shaun and for giving me this chance.

“I’m very excited and can’t wait to get started!”

Team boss Shaun Hollamby said he was delighted to welcome Mike into the team having been impressed with his performances in one of the BTCC’s most competitive support series in recent seasons.

“We’re delighted to be able to agree a deal with Mike for 2015, and it is ideal for both parties to have an agreement in place so soon,” he said. “It’s given us time to work on finalising our sponsorship plans for next year, and we are keen to speak to people who want to support a young British driver who we believe can do big things in the BTCC next year.


Premiership: Daniel Sturridge: Liverpool striker returns to training

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge has returned to full training for the first time since damaging his hamstring while on England duty in August.

Brendan Rodgers’s side have won only four times in 14 matches without him.

Sturridge, who scored 21 goals in 29 league games last season, was nearing a return to action last month before picking up a calf-strain.

Reds boss Rodgers expects Sturridge to be available for the next league game, away to Crystal Palace on 23 November.

Rodgers criticised England’s handling of the 25-year-old after he was originally ruled out for up to three weeks.

He has played only three Premier League games this season, scoring in the 2-1 home win over Southampton on 17 August.

Liverpool are 11th in the Premier League table, 15 points behind leaders Chelsea, and without a top-flight win in their last three outings.

They are also fighting to stay in the Champions League after three straight Group B defeats.

Read more on BBC Sport