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The Sunday Stroll: 12 June, 2011

June 12, 2011

Greetings folks. You know the summer is here – there’s talk of British success in a grass court tournament, the motorbikes are at Silverstone, and – no surprises here – rain has been interfering with the cricket. Some things never change. Nonetheless, here’s your weekly Sunday Stroll

Usain Bolt reckons he’s good enough to play for Manchester United. Enough said…

Carlos Tévez is never returning to Manchester City apparently. The city itself, he says, is small and wet, he bemoans the poor choice of restaurants and the fact his family and friends can’t do anything or go anywhere (not even to the cinema) because they don’t speak English. Well, fair play to most of those complaints… but the last one – plain ridiculous. So much for being the face of Manchester eh…

Mind you, he’s not the first footballer to slag off the city in which they live. Here’s Mohamed Diamé’s thoughts on Wigan… ‘The truth about life in Wigan is that there is nothing to do. It is a crappy place. The town is tiny, and there is no atmosphere.’ Another happy bunny.

Big news this week has been the massive transfer fees being spent on the likes of Jordan Henderson [who we’ve written in further detail on here] and Phil Jones. Jones is set to move for around £17m, and Henderson in a deal worth £20m. Add that to the fees paid for Andy Carroll (£35m) and Darren Bent (up to £24m) in January and that’s quite some expenditure. Monstrous fees, but that’s what you have to pay for young and promising British footballers these days. Bet Man United and Liverpool are hoping they avoid injury in the U21s eh…

In the managerial realms of Premier League football, Maarten Jol took over from Mark Hughes at Fulham, whilst Wigan’s Roberto Martínez turned down the opportunity to manage at Aston Villa. Quite some statement that Martínez turned down a club with seven top flight league titles, seven FA Cups and one European trophy to their name in favour of ‘tiny, crappy’ Wigan (Diamé’s words, not ours…). Still, a few canny birds have been suggesting that this might all just be a smokescreen and that Mark Hughes (who technically is still contracted to Fulham and as such can’t talk to other clubs) will get the job in the end. Wouldn’t surprise us.

Anyways, to amuse you all here’s a reminder that Maarten Jol has two brothers, one called Dick, the other called Cock. You couldn’t make it up…

Into tennis and quite a week it has been at Queens. Andy Murray spanked four-time winner Andy Roddick in the semis yesterday (Roddick asked Murray to ‘keep it social’ at one point, such was the hammering), but the real story was British wild card James Ward who put out last year’s winner Sam Querrey en route to a remarkable semi-final appearance against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga; he’d also put current world #14 Stanislas Wawrinka out in the second round. Sterling effort Mr Ward…

After the delights of iconic motorsport events at Monaco and Indy last weekend, this weekend features the Le Mans 24 hours endurance race. Allan McNish remarkably walked away from this monster shunt unscathed. Head of Audi motorsport Wolfgang Ullrich had this to say: ‘To see that the cars are so strong is good, but that’s not the way we like to demonstrate it.’ Quite.

In the two-wheeled racing world it is the British round of the MotoGP this weekend. Sadly for Brit fans, home hero Cal Crutchlow crashed in qualifying, breaking his collarbone and suffering concusion, thereby putting himself out of Sunday’s race. A gutter for him, and for the home fans. In the junior Moto2 category there was at least some joy, with British youngster Scott Redding qualifying second on the grid. Bradley Smith suffered electrical issues and starts from 28th…

Isle of Man TT continued this week… John McGuinness won the main race. Kudos to him. Here’s some on-bike footage of his endeavours during practice…

And here’s TT hero Guy Martin showing everyone how to have a crash and come out unscathed…

Into cricket and England drew with Sri Lanka at Lords earlier this week. Fans were treated to the very public spectacle of what has since been dubbed ‘window-gate’, after keeper Matt Prior broke a window and showered spectators below with glass after having been run out whilst batting. Two conflicting press-releases from the ECB only confused matters – flying gloves or bats… who knows? Here’s Matt Prior’s subsequent comments…

That wasn’t the only drama on offer at Lords last week. Esteemed commentary guru Jonathan Agnew (Aggers to those that know him) put his foot in it whilst attempting to describe the changing of a bat rubber (or grip) by England’s Kevin Pietersen. Innuendo-based laughter naturally took over (and then some); got to love TMS…

F1, Vettel on pole once again (what else did you expect), this time in Montréal. Achieved it despite losing running time in Friday practice after becoming the latest victim of the infamous Wall of Champions. Most Champions usually crash into it during the race however, so team principal Christian Horner casually remarked that he was getting it out of the way early. Smooth moves, Seb. Unlike the marshall who tried to come to your rescue…

As ever, thanks for reading folks. All the best…

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