Posts tagged ‘Ivan Lendl’
“I don’t want to go to Chelsea” was a song from the eighties by Elvis Costello, but it may soon be an anthem for professional footballers, as despite the money they may receive it is club where players appear to sink to a standard of behaviour that means they will be remembered more for their actions, than their football. Spoilt little boys are nearly always judged by their actions.
Chelsea’s charge sheet in recent years does not make good reading. In February 2011 Ashley Cole shoots and wounds a student on work experience at Chelsea’s training ground while he was “larking about” with an air rifle. In September 2012 John Terry is banned for four matches by the FA and fined £220,000 after he was found guilty of racially abusing QPR defender Anton Ferdinand. An incident for which Terry was cleared at Westminster magistrates court. In October 2012 Chelsea players accuse referee Mark Clattenburg of using “inappropriate language” towards John Obi Mikel and Juan Mata. Later Chelsea are forced to admit “regret” at their handling of the case when the referee is cleared. InDecember 2012 the FA ban Mikel for three games and fine him £60,000 after he admits using threatening words in the referee’s room after the game with Manchester United.
Now in January 2013 we have Eden Hazard kicking a ball boy, for which he received quite rightly a red card. It matters not as many apologists for Hazard state, that the ball boy Charlie Morgan is the son of Swansea City director Martin Morgan himself worth GBP42million and may have been blatantly guilty of gamesmanship in holding onto the ball, and possibly milking the extent of his pain. The clear and unarguable fact is a professional footballer should not be kicking a ball boy!
Hazard will be fined, but what damage will that do to his life and how much will it hurt him personally? Any fine should be given to a young team for their development and maybe Hazard should be forced to be a ball boy for their games, to learn some humility.
There can be no possible excuse for his actions, and it is time that footballers learned their place in society. Yes they are human beings, yes they may lose their tempers, they may get provoked, but the reason they earn as much as they do is not just because they are talented entertainers, it is because whether they like it or not, they are heroes to many, and with that heroic status comes a responsibility. A responsibility to behave off the pitch and often on it as well, in a way that is inspiring to many young children. Whether you like it or not, whether you are comfortable with it or not, when you signed up to be a professional footballer or play any sport professionally, you are in a privileged position, being to be paid to do a job that is the envy of many, a job which sees you feted and adored, you also signed up to be a role model with a responsibility to behave in a sensible and mature way.
Ball boys have been a part of many sports for more years than most of us can remember, and many end up fulfilling their dream and one day running out onto the pitch or the court, emulating those heroes that they once served. Former World number one tennis player Ivan Lendl, now coach of Andy Murray was himself once a ball boy at a national tennis tournament in Ostrava in 1969. In the same year Kenny Stroud was a ball boy at the League Cup Final when Swindon Town defeated Arsenal 3-1, two years later he was signed by Swindon and in 1977 was a finalist in the Goal of the season in England.
Often ball boys – who rarely receive any financial reward for their time – are the players of the future, and if the players of today fail to respect their contribution then the sport is heading down a vary dark path.
Eden Hazard should be severely punished for his actions. Ball boys, like referees should never be subjected to such aggressive behaviour and any player who carries out such an act, irrespective of their status and salary, should be severely censored and punished.
At the same time Chelsea Football Club needs to have a long hard look at itself and the behaviour of players honoured to wear their club shirt. This is a club with a proud history, and despite the success the club has had, most true fans and former players will not want to see the club tarnished by such actions. Just as a team is only as good as its last game, so too is a club’s reputation. It is time for Chelsea to clean up its act, and they can start by giving Hazard the severest of punishments. Set the tone now for the future, and let us see if the Manager really is the gaffer!
It was Queen Elizabeth the second’s silver jubilee in 1977 and Britain celebrated her 25 years on the throne in style as only the British can. To make the year all the more memorable Virginia Wade nine days before her 32nd birthday beat Betty Stove to win Wimbledon. It was the first time the queen had attended Wimbledon in quarter of a century. It was also the last time a Briton won a Grand Slam Singles title.
Today Andy Murray will look to change that statistic when he meets Roger Federer on Centre Court in this her majesty the Queen’s 60th year on the throne. As in 1977 Great Britain has been celebrating the Queen’s milestone and it would be the ideal way to add to what has been a memorable year of celebration if Murray can overcome a man regarded by many as one of the greatest players of all time.
Federer has been a Wimbledon favourite, but he has never had to play a Briton in the final, as it has been 74 years since the host nation has had a player in the Mens Singles final. Henry ‘Bunny’ Austin being the last Briton to contest the Wimbledon final in 1938, unfortunately he could not follow Fred Perry’s victory in 1936, when he was the last male Briton to win the famed title.
Murray is one of the few male players to have the edge over Federer with eight wins to seven losses in their previous meetings, a crucial edge going into such a big match.
Also in his corner looking to be a part of a special Wimbledon victory will be his coach, former world number one Ivan Lendl who will be looking to see Murray lift the one Grand Slam trophy he himself failed to claim despite making the final in ’86 and ’87.
To add to the occasion her Majesty Queen Elizabeth is expected to attend Wimbledon once again. The BBC already expect an audience in excess of 20million and should Murray be heading for victory they could in fact break a viewing figures record for the final.
There were many things to be happy about in the Men’s final of the Australian Open.
First of all what a superb game of tennis, played by two true gentlemen and sportsman, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. The match went five hours and 53 minutes and was almost an hour longer than the previous longest match in a grand slam final. That was the four hours and 54 minutes Mats Wilander took to beat Ivan Lendl at the 1988 US Open.
The second plus was that Channel Seven showed the game live in Perth. What a welcome change it was to be able to watch a major sporting event life as it was happening in Perth.
As mentioned both men were respectful of each other after the match, and the organizers, sponsors and all who made the vent the success it is each year.
Now maybe we are becoming slightly grumpy as we get older, but do the post game speeches have to be so long? It was abundantly clear that both players were spent forces, cramping up and struggling to stay on their feet. It took a while for chairs to be brought out for them so that they could sit through the speeches and the relief on both players’ faces when they did arrive was immediately evident.
We know that the sponsors want their money’s worth of air time at the end of the tournament, and to be fair the gentleman from Kia, the official sponsor spoke superbly, and eloquently, but is it necessary to have the head of Tennis Australia waffle on so long?
Fans and players alike really are not that interested in hearing from sports administrators at such events, they want to hear from the victor and the vanquished. Let us hope that the one thing to come out of this fantastic final is that the post match speeches need to be shorter.