Gareth Farrelly: ‘It was a toxic, bullying culture for young players at Aston Villa’

19-12-2018 Midfielder turned lawyer claims coach Kevin MacDonald left a ‘dark shadow’ over players at Villa and says it drove him to suicidal thoughts“It was a culture of verbal and physical bullying, but there were no checks and balances; he operated with impunity … It was like a dark shadow came over.”Gareth Farrelly, now 43 and a qualified lawyer, with a Premier League and international career behind him, is recalling the bullying he says he endured as a young player at Aston Villa in the 1990s from the coach Kevin MacDonald. It was a “relentlessly negative” regime under him. Continue reading...

The Dozen: the weekend's best Premier League photos

19-12-2018 Our picture editors select their favourite images from around the grounds Continue reading...

Anastasia Dobromyslova loses to Ryan Joyce at world darts championship

19-12-2018 • Dobromyslova beaten 3-0 by debutant Joyce• Raymond van Barneveld shocked by Darius LabanauskasAnastasia Dobromyslova followed Lisa Ashton out of the PDC world championship as she lost to the Alexandra Palace debutant Ryan Joyce, while Raymond van Barneveld went out to Darius Labanauskas in Monday’s big shock.Ashton and Dobromyslova were the two multiple British Darts Organisation women’s world champions to qualify this year and Ashton lost to Jan Dekker on the opening night of the Professional Darts Corporation event last Thursday. Continue reading...

London Irish to leave Madejski and share with Brentford at new stadium

19-12-2018 • Brentford’s new west London ground will open in 2020• London Irish have played at Reading’s stadium for 18 yearsLondon Irish will play their home games at the new Brentford Community Stadium from 2020.The Championship leaders have reached an agreement with Brentford Football Club to play at the west London stadium, which is currently under construction and will have a capacity of 17,250. It is due to open in 2020. Continue reading...

Kelly Slater makes miraculous recovery after near-certain wipeout – video

19-12-2018 Kelly Slater produced a miraculous recovery to avoid a wipeout in Hawaii on Sunday. The 11-times former world champion surfer fell inside a barrel while competing at the season-ending Pipeline Masters event in Oahu, Hawaii. But Slater somehow managed to roll back on to his board and popped up into a standing position before squirting out of the barrel - much to the surprise of the American and those watching from the North Shore. Continue reading...

'Ecstatic. Wonderful news': Manchester United fans react to Mourinho's sacking – video

19-12-2018 Manchester United fans outside Old Trafford reacted positively to the news of José Mourinho’s sacking on Tuesday, saying it would give the team a boost on the pitchJosé Mourinho sacked: Manchester United to appoint caretaker – live!José Mourinho sacked by Manchester United after worst start in 28 yearsManchester United fans on Mourinho: the ‘serial winner’ who had to go Continue reading...

Whyte v Chisora & Warrington v Frampton: Warren & Hearn on PPV clash

19-12-2018 Promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren discuss why two pay-per-view fights are being shown at the same time on Saturday.

Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City (1-3 pens)

19-12-2018 Holders Manchester City edge through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals by beating Leicester City 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

What happened next? How the World Cup brought in a new era for Alex Scott – and women in football

19-12-2018 She had already earned 140 caps for England, but Scott became one of the breakout stars of the men’s tournament this year as the first woman pundit taken to a World Cup by the BBC. She reveals why it wasn’t all plain sailing Alex Scott is not alone in looking back at the long hot summer of 2018 with a pronounced sense of nostalgia. But for the former Arsenal right back, who herself won 140 caps for England, it holds particularly cherished memories: she became the first female football pundit ever taken to a World Cup by the BBC.The Champions League winner and six-time Premier League champion saw a fearless England side ride a wave of uncharacteristic national optimism to the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia. Continue reading...

Football transfer rumours: Real Madrid's Isco to Manchester City?

19-12-2018 Today’s fluff was a flight on the wings of a young girl’s dreams There is only one possible conclusion to be drawn from the way that Manchester City have excelled over the first 17 games of a Premier League season in which their outstanding midfielder, Kevin De Bruyne, has been unable to start a single match and missed all but four entirely. And that conclusion, it seems, is that they need to buy even more midfielders. According to AS, they have already made contact with the currently-disgruntled Real Madrid and Spain star Isco to see if he might be interested in a move. Apparently Madrid “will not consider selling for anything under €100m”, and it may take a sum in excess of the €117m they banked for selling Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, but given the player’s current unhappiness and the fact that the crowd have turned on him of late, “it would be no surprise to see Isco lining up at the Etihad next season”.Juventus have put aside £125m, says the Star, after their desire to sign Paul Pogba in January led them to ask Manchester United: how much is that Poggy in the window? They won’t like the answer, though, as “despite the player being at war with José Mourinho”, even though “Pogba is desperate to quit United”, and despite the fact that “he has been axed from United’s starting line-up in recent weeks and been publicly criticised by his manager”, his club “are not prepared to let him leave”. Continue reading...