Why does it feel as if we are entering the final months of Gareth Southgate’s time as England boss?

Gareth Southgate has another two years on his contract after this World Cup. So why does it feel as if we are entering the final months of his time as England manager?

Perhaps because he is a smart guy. Perhaps because he will have sensed a change in the national mood. There was criticism after the European Championship last year.

Criticism that he was too cautious, that he froze in the final against Italy as victory slipped from his grasp.

This is not to say his critics are correct. Just that they are out there and growing in number and voice.

If England fail to emulate the last two tournaments under Southgate — and that is a distinct possibility — his final two years could be difficult. Southgate doesn’t need that. He could take a break, return as a club manager. He wouldn’t be short of options.

Then there is the optimistic view. Southgate emerges from Qatar victorious, puts the trophy on the sideboard. His standing will never be higher. Why spend the next campaign trying to recreate magic?

The last three World Cup-winning managers stayed on — Didier Deschamps of France will attempt to be the first since Italy’s Vittorio Pozzo in 1934 and 1938 to win it twice — but the five that preceded did not. From Franz Beckenbauer in 1990 to Marcello Lippi in 2006, every World Cup-winning manager, mission complete, stood down.

And let’s face it, Southgate does not have the 2010 Spanish team of Vicente del Bosque, or Joachim Low’s Germany, 7-1 conquerors of Brazil and South America in 2014. Deschamps, having won in 2018, still leads the tournament favourites in France. England are not of that stature.

If Southgate’s team won in Qatar it would be an unexpected glory. Their progress in Russia in 2018 was wholly surprising and helped by a kind route. There was more confidence at the next European Championship, and an impressive scalp in Germany, yet Qatar is different.

Success at tournaments often depends on avoiding the best teams until deep in the run. Italy got to the semi-finals in 2006 having played Ghana, United States, Czech Republic, Australia and Ukraine.

Brazil in 2002 played Turkey, China, Costa Rica, Belgium — before they got good — England and Turkey again, and then met Germany in the final.

In Qatar, if England win their group and the rest of the tournament goes to plan, the quarter-final opponents are France.

Unless Deschamps’ squad implodes in the coming months — and it is France, so there is always that possibility — it is likely England’s run ends there. And a last-eight exit will be seen as failure for a man whose previous campaigns went deeper.

And that is harsh. France are a good team, the world champions. Their penalty-shootout defeat by Switzerland in the last 16 at the Euros was arguably the shock of the tournament.

Yet it will also become the stick with which to beat Southgate. Switzerland did it — why couldn’t he? He has had more than six years and we are going backwards.

We have seen how it unravels for England managers. Every player he did not pick would have won the World Cup, every selection was out of misplaced loyalty or resistance to change. And why would Southgate hang around for another two years of that?

Begging, perhaps. Begging on the part of the Football Association. For if Southgate goes, who is there to replace him?

A foreign manager? There seems little appetite for that after watching an Englishman make a relative success of the job. Yet what are the options? Graham Potter is newly installed at Chelsea, Eddie Howe oversees a huge and exciting project at Newcastle, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard are stellar names but still getting to grips with management.

True, even the most appealing jobs in the Premier League might not have the same cache as managing England. Yet nothing can be presumed. Southgate leaving could cause the FA a massive headache. Southgate staying could cause one for him.

There really is no easy way out for either side, after Qatar.

Forgotten man Spence needs a new adviser!

Djed Spence started for England’s Under 21s in Italy yesterday. Remember him? Broke into the Middlesbrough side, fell out of favour with Neil Warnock, then had a storming loan spell helping to win promotion with Nottingham Forest.

He looked one of the brightest prospects in the country. Then he moved to Tottenham. The money aside, he might as well have moved to Hawaii.

The suggestion is Spence wasn’t Antonio Conte’s signing. He was a bright young player the club identified and recruited. Yet now he’s behind Emerson Royal and Matt Doherty for the right-back spot and has played a single minute of club football all season, as an 89th-minute substitute against Nottingham Forest.

Spence is 22. Someone advised him this was a smart move, just as someone advised Kalvin Phillips to sign for Manchester City. And those people are still in jobs. It’s just that Spence and Phillips no longer do theirs.

Beware Pep’s diabolical plan

Roberto De Zerbi, the new Brighton manager, is a friend of Pep Guardiola and says he can approach him any time for advice.

There may be trouble ahead. The desire to learn from the master appears to have encouraged most Premier League managers to demand their goalkeeper plays out from the back. The problem being there have only ever been about three goalkeepers capable of doing this and Guardiola has all of them.

That’s why the best attacking threat against Arsenal and Chelsea remains their own goalkeeper, with the ball at his feet in the six-yard box.

As plans go, it’s diabolical, but very effective. If Guardiola had a moustache, he’d be twirling it.

Nations League relegation won’t affect England’s Euro 2024 hopes

The match in Milan tonight is said to be significant because there is a genuine chance England could be relegated to Nations League B.

This would exclude them from Europe’s elite band and give England a harder draw for the 2024 European Championship. And a few years ago that would have mattered. Now UEFA have expanded the finallists to 24, it is almost harder to get eliminated at the qualifying stage.

England would have to deliver the most disastrous campaign in recent memory not to make it to Germany.

Indeed, it was only the fact that further expansion to 32 would make the qualifiers unwatchable and unpurchasable by broadcasters that stopped further UEFA bloating. Win or lose in Milan, relegated or safe, England will probably be all right.

WSL still isn’t a proper crowd-puller

There are more than 50,000 expected for the Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Tottenham tomorrow, breaking the record for a domestic game in England.

And that’s good news, obviously. It was a record crowd of 5,315 for Manchester United at their home in Leigh last weekend, and a record 3,006 for Liverpool at Prenton Park. Yet, as often happens, when gates disappoint in the WSL, the numbers are harder to find.

It was midweek before it was revealed West Ham played Everton in front of 1,118 and Leicester drew only 2,868 against Tottenham, despite playing at the 32,000-capacity King Power Stadium.

A picture in a national newspaper made it appear as if the ground was packed. It wasn’t. The camera focused on the one small part of it open to spectators.

So there is work to do. Arsenal got 3,238 at Boreham Wood — depicted as a sell-out, although Meadow Park’s capacity is 4,500 — and had shed 668 fans by the time they played Ajax there in the Champions League five days later.

This was always going to be the way even after the success of the European Championship. All the talk was of massive percentage increases in tickets sold but when the base is small that is often measured in hundreds or low thousands.

Then there is a marquee occasion, like the north London derby, heavily promoted and supported and trumpeted as an indicator of interest. The next week it is back to reality. Call it Anniversary Games syndrome.

After the 2012 Olympics, the next summer an athletics meeting at the London Stadium drew a packed house. The year after, too. Then, as the event grew less special, the numbers dropped. By the end, West Ham’s family fun day was better attended.

So it’s great the Emirates will break the record this weekend but it’s not the barometer. That can be found in places like Leigh, where interest in women’s football is growing, but still needs nurturing.

It cannot become a big day out once a year. The women’s game needs the weekly commitment that men’s football enjoys if the anticipated bounce is to become real: repeat business, not an annual jamboree.

Are the FA trying to kill their own Cup?

Sporting competitions have to make sense. The narrative has to proceed with established order.

It makes no sense, for instance, that the League Cup is a one-match knockout tournament in each round including the final, yet suddenly becomes a two-legged affair at the semi-final stage.

And it certainly makes no sense that in the FA Cup third round this year, some of the ties will go to replays in the event of a draw, while others will be concluded on the day. The decision on which ties fall into what category will be made after the draw. It’s nonsense.

Either every drawn tie is replayed, or every tie is decided in one game. Fans can follow that. If it transpired the FA were on a secret mission to kill their own competition, it would have more grounding in logic.

De Bruyne is spot on with international football criticism

Kevin De Bruyne is right. International football is becoming repetitive and boring. Wales played Belgium last night for the fourth time in 18 months and the ninth time since September 2012.

‘I think half my international career has been against Wales,’ said De Bruyne. An exaggeration, obviously, but not entirely unjustified.

Three of De Bruyne’s last six internationals have been against Wales, and that’s half.

Sometimes mere coincidence can throw teams together, but UEFA’s protectionist seedings and tournament expansions make regular match-ups more commonplace, too.

It’s little different in the Champions League, with the same clubs kept apart and thrown together.

De Bruyne may also notice that since arriving at Manchester City in 2015, he’s been drawn against Borussia Monchengladbach, Shakhtar Donetsk, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain six times each.

Let’s hope England land 2026 Hockey World Cup hosting rights

England are bidding to host the men’s hockey World Cup in 2026, with the final played at the 62,000 capacity Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

What a fabulous, perhaps transitional, moment for the sport that could be. Hockey is great.

Fast, skilful and utterly uncompromising in its bravery. It is also 11-a-side and shaped by defence, midfield and attack, so easy to pick up for those who follow football.

It’s hard not to be impressed by first sight of an elite hockey game and the idea of a full house watching a World Cup final featuring England is tantalising. Let’s hope it can happen.

Armband-wearing row is ludicrous

It now transpires the armband of empty protest England intend to wear in Qatar is yet to receive permission from FIFA or the hosts.

Technically, the European countries that have gathered together to make this hollow gesture could be excluded from the tournament.

That won’t happen, but how ridiculous this all seems now. They might as well have undertaken a protest that meant something.

Here’s a Super idea

As Todd Boehly will testify, everyone in football is looking for a way to increase existing revenue streams, or exploit new ones. Some ideas — like a North versus South game — are plain bad, others have potential.

The idea of expanding the UEFA Super Cup to a mini-tournament comprising the winners of the three European competitions — including the much-maligned Europa Conference League — and then adding the champions of Major League Soccer, however, has potential.

Half of European football decamps to America in the summer anyway, and this would at least be a pre-season tournament that genuinely meant something.

Presumably, the MLS Cup winners would be hosts, meaning the competition this season would have seen Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt and Roma from Europe, taking on New York City. Held in New York, that would be a good spectacle.

Exclusion of Gabriels shows Brazil’s depth

A lot is made of the favourites for the Qatar World Cup coming from Europe, but Brazil coach Tite has left out Arsenal trio Gabriel Jesus, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes from his most recent squad.

Any group strong enough to exclude the three Gabriels — particularly Jesus in his current form — must have a chance.

Cash-rich LIV golfers top whinging standings

If there is any truth in the old adage that money doesn’t make a person happy, it arrives with the band of LIV Tour golfers. Have you ever heard so much moaning in your entire life?

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  • 44 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will never be able to match master of grace Roger Federer

    Roger Federer exited the tennis stage in London in the early hours on Saturday to waves of heartfelt emotion and rightful acclaim. Professional sport is about winning of course. The Swiss great did plenty of that during his fabulous career but it is also about how the game is played and Federer played it with an elegance that bordered on the hypnotic.

    Has there ever been a sportsman who has made his world look more graceful? The numbers say Rafael Nadal, his doubles partner in the final act on Friday night, and Novak Djokovic both won more Grand Slams. They also say that both his great rivals won a greater percentage of their head-to-head battles with Federer.

    But there was always something intrinsically satisfying about watching Federer at the peak of his powers which the other two could never match. To sit at Centre Court and behold Federer in full dreamy flow was to watch the brushwork of a master artist.

    It was killer tennis delivered in carpet slippers. The highlights reel of the eight-time Wimbledon winner has been truly global. He stunned Paris in 2009 to interrupt Nadal’s French Open dominance and complete his career Grand Slam.

    He was magnificent in Melbourne in defying the odds to deliver his comeback win after a six-month absence at the Australian Open eight years later. But it was at Wimbledon where the purity of his tennis shone brightest.

    Djokovic is only one title away from matching Federer at the grass-court Grand Slam but the tournament may always be the Swiss’. Certainly he is the event’s favourite son.

    It was a shame the farewell could not have come at SW19 but even the greatest cannot write their own scripts. No matter. The memories he leaves will last a lifetime – and his tearful farewell alongside Nadal and Djokovic at the O2 was just one more of them.

    Federer said: “I enjoyed tying my shoes one more time … the match was great. I couldn’t be happier. It’s been wonderful. And of course, playing with Rafa on the same team and having the guys – everybody here, all the legends – thank you.

    “The last two days have been tough to say the least. Thankfully in moments I totally forgot about it, slept great, everything was wonderful, I could enjoy it, I feel. And because of that I think I will be able to have a better recollection of how it went.

    “Because if it’s all just stress throughout and I want it to be only perfect, I know I will remember half of it. Because I felt the way I felt, I feel like I have dealt with my retirement strongly for the last month.”

  • 44 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    England at risk of freefall if Gareth Southgate doesn’t scrap back three for World Cup

    Even Gareth Southgate’s fondest admirers would never claim England have been the greatest showmen during his reign but with under eight weeks to go to Qatar they have slipped into full-on corpse mode. The adrenaline that should be surging through the players’ veins with a World Cup coming fast into view has been replaced by embalming fluid.

    The goal drought which has afflicted the side in the Nations League and twinned them with San Marino as the only other team in the competition not to have scored in open play in the five matches so far speaks of a creative void of England’s own making. After reaching the semi-final of the World Cup in Russia and the final of the Euros, Qatar was supposed to be this team’s moment.

    But England are sleepwalking their way towards the date with their supposed destiny. Monday night’s game against Germany at Wembley – their last one before the tournament itself – has suddenly become critical. Southgate’s slumbering side needs a huge jolt of electricity sending through it to get it moving again before Qatar.

    For that to have a chance of happening the team needs to cast off its tactical reserve. The three-man central defensive set-up has to go. It has served Southgate well in specific situations – England used it against the Germans at the Euros to good effect – but now is not the time for caution.

    Dispensing with the system carries a risk given the fragile condition of England’s central defensive options but Southgate’s side, so insipid as a goal threat of late, have to switch the emphasis to attack. The wing-backs were deployed so deep in the San Siro on Friday night that they offered virtually nothing going forward – even Bukayo Saka.

    England need the creativity of players like him much further up the field. There is a balance to be struck but the numbers show how far away England are from striking the correct one at present. In trying to seal up the back door, they have gummed up the front one completely.

    The valid excuses of a summer of experimentation have gone. They have lost their way and have 90 minutes left to rediscover it. For Southgate, the impossible job he had made seem not only possible, but even enjoyable, is starting to weigh heavily.

    After the chants of ‘You don’t know what you’re doing’ in Wolverhampton as England slumped to a 4-0 home defeat by Hungary in June, he was forced to endure being booed by a section of England’s travelling support in Milan. It will be interesting to test the temperature at Wembley on Monday night.

    His default setting is measured, the watchword of his team’s caution but this is dogs off the leash time. After the emotion of a full house belting out ‘God Save The King’ England have to come out firing. To hear Italy manager Roberto Mancino hold court in the San Siro after Friday night’s match you might have thought England’s situation is being overblown.

    As he pointed out with a rueful grin, England are going to the World Cup after all – unlike his Italy team who failed to qualify. His view was that the Nations League defeat would have no impact on England’s World Cup chances which he continues to rate as good. Mancini still believes England are one of the sides that can win it.

    If it had been just one narrow loss on the road against a side England have not beaten away since the black and white era, the former Manchester City manager might have a point but five games without a win is starting to look serious. If the tide cannot be turned against the Germans, it will be hard to offer any sort of coherent argument that they will be at the sharp end punching in Qatar.

    England have a forgiving World Cup group but there is no switch marked belief which a side can simply flick on demand. Confidence has to be built up, not magically created. Omniously, the nature of the winter scheduling lays the supposed big guns open to ambush more than in a traditional World Cup.

    England will go into their opening game against Iran on November 21 straight off a Premier League weekend. They need to feel the ground beneath their feet again versus Germany because at the moment they are in danger of slipping into an irretrievable freefall.

  • 1 час, 32 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    NRL star Brandon Smith admits ‘I wish I could control what I say better’ ahead of move to Roosters

    Controversial NRL star Brandon Smith is Bondi bound in 2023 but his move was not an easy one – wishing he could control what he says better as the raging utility reveals he took $200,000 less to move north.

    The 26-year-old played his final game for the Storm in round one of the finals, bowing out to the Raiders in a shock elimination loss.

    Earlier in the year Smith entered hot water in a tell-all interview with YKTR, which jeopardised his position and loyalty to Melbourne.

    ‘The Cheese’ dropped the F-bomb 61 times throughout the podcast special and detailed how he was determined to take the Roosters to premiership glory upon his arrival.

    ‘I definitely regret it (the interview) but I can’t take it back,’ Smith told the Daily Telegraph.

    ‘My mouth just rambles. It’s who I am. It’s in my DNA.

    ‘I’m not perfect and people have seen that. I wish I could control what I say a little bit better and I will work on that.’

    The 2020 premiership winner says he took a $200,000 pay cut to join Robinson and his roster, saying the Dolphins were willing to confirm a massive salary beyond his negotiations with the Chooks and Storm.

    ‘No word of a lie, the Roosters’ offer was the lowest of all the clubs I spoke to. I promise you I’ve taken $200,000 less than the Dolphins and $100,000 less than the Storm offered,’ said Smith.

    He has been offered a starting hooker position with the tricolours, as current hooker Sam Verrills will head to the Titans on a two-year deal.

    The prankster insists his decision to move to NSW was not made lightly, but chose the Roosters; as his job security was not ensured while Harry Grant remained the no.1 pick at Melbourne.

    Under the radar in Melbourne, Smith knows he will have to silence his boisterous personality while in Sydney’s public view – which saw him dye his hair blonde with teammate Cameron Munster after the two arrived late at a club meeting.

    At the end of the 2021 season, Smith and Munster were investigated by the NRL integrity unit for partying in a hotel room with a white substance on the table.

    The star no.6 was forced to spend a month in rehab and abstain from alcohol for a year, while Smith was fined $15,000 and suspended for a match.

    The Kiwi international revealed coach Bellamy kissed him on the forehead after his last game with the club, where he cried and thanked him for the opportunity.

    Nine newspapers suggested last week that Bellamy and Smith had fallen out, but the fierce forward says those reports couldn’t be further from the truth.

    Smith said Bellamy has a ‘very soft side’ to him, where the two have formed an unbreakable bond and invaluable friendship.

  • 1 час, 32 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Annemiek van Vleuten wins UCI World Championship race in Wollongong with a BROKEN ELBOW

    Annemiek van Vleuten has recorded an amazing come-from-behind victory in the UCI Road World Championships in Wollongong – just three days after fracturing her elbow in a horror crash.

    The 39-year-old Dutch cycling legend won her second world road race title with an attack in the last 600m that caught the other eight leaders by surprise.

    On Wednesday, van Vleuten crashed during the mixed team relay and fractured her elbow, leaving many to think her chances of taking out Saturday’s big event were gone.

    Fortunately for van Vleuten, medical clearance came on Friday and after 164.3km racing, the Dutch rider stole an unlikely win in the Women’s Elite Road Race.

    The 2019 world champion and reigning Olympic world time trial winner claimed cycling’s triple crown this year when she landed the Italian, French and Spanish tours.

    But for the veteran, who will celebrate her 40th birthday in October, what she achieved on Saturday was something else.

    ‘Maybe this is my best victory. … I am still speechless. I still can’t believe it,’ she said.

    ‘It took me some time to realize I’d really pulled it off because I’m waiting for the moment that they tell me there was someone in front or it was a joke. I had the feeling it cannot be true.’

    The amazing win with a fractured elbow adds to the van Vleuten legend as one of the toughest riders in the world.

    ‘It was hell,’ she said of riding with the injury.

    ‘I could not go out of the saddle so I had to do everything seated and my legs were exploding on the climb.

    ‘Normally I really like to go out of the saddle and attacking. I had a so different plan. I want to attack.

    It was a game of cat and mouse in the final few kilometres of the race as no one in the peloton made a move.

    Then van Vleuten suddenly emerged from the rear of the group and began sprinting with the finish line not far away.

    The chasing peloton began closing in on van Vleuten ominously. However, the lead was just enough to reach the line first.

    ‘I felt like I was waiting for the moment,’ said van Vleuten.

    ‘The only thing I was thinking was ‘I need to attack from behind. That’s the only, only, only chance I have’.

    ‘I was waiting and waiting until they come with the sprint over me, but they didn’t catch me,’ she said.

    It’s the second time in as many years that van Vleuten has won at the UCI Road World Championships, claiming the 2019 title.

    Since 2016, the Dutch rider has experienced great hurdles in her career, riding the highest of highs and lowest of lows.

    The world’s number one rider in the women’s peloton has continued to set targets and achieve her outlandish goals despite these setbacks.

    The win means van Vleuten will spend what is likely her last full season wearing the iconic rainbow jersey.

    ‘It’s so beautiful to be able to wear the rainbow jersey. Especially, I had it in the COVID year and it was not the best year to have it, the rainbow jersey.

    ‘I still enjoyed it, but now I will fully enjoy it next year.’

    The UCI Road World Championships concludes on Sunday with the Men’s Elite Road Race from 10.15am.

  • 1 час, 32 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Geelong Cats water boy relishes 2022 Grand Final win over the Sydney Swans in heart-warming scenes

    Long-time Geelong water boy Sam Moorfoot was lifted over the fence by skipper Joel Selwood to celebrate with the team on the MCG in heart-warming scenes.

    The Cats won as much praise for their grace in victory than they did for their 81-point thrashing over the Swans in the grand final on Saturday afternoon.

    Players lingered on the hallowed MCG turf soaking up the atmosphere for some time after the final siren, before Selwood spotted an ecstatic Moorfoot on the boundary fence.

    Selwood, who the water boy describes as his ‘best friend’, insisted Moorfoot join in the celebrations, dragging him over the fence and onto the field with the help of teammate Jeremy Cameron.

    The 29-year-old, who has Down syndrome, was then given Cameron’s medal; eliciting one of the biggest smiles you are ever likely to see on a footy field.

    Moorfoot gleefully raised his medal to the fellow Cats fans watching from the fence, much to the delight of Geelong players and supporters; who are all well aware of the huge role he plays keeping up team morale.

    He’s been involved with the club since 2015, originally as a volunteer at Kardinia Park’s (now GMHBA Stadium) bistro.

    Now the club’s water boy, he can often be seen around the team during the week and on game days. Moorfoot is an iconic figure and much-loved member of the Cats family.

    The overjoyed Cats fanatic even made an appearance on Channel 7’s post-match coverage, with commentators Hamish McLachlan and Daisy Pearce interviewing Moorfoot in the changerooms.

    ‘I’m a training assistant and a water boy, and am very proud of my job,’ he said, when asked what his role was.

    Despite having Cats defender Sam De Konig’s arm around him, there was no surprises for guessing his answer to who his favourite player was.

    ‘Joel Selwood, 100 per cent … Joel is actually my best friend. He is a legend, and he’s just the best,’ Moorfoot said on Channel 7’s post-match coverage.

    ‘Best day of my life.’

    Moorfoot played in a grand final of his own earlier in the year, but his Geelong Dragons unfortunately went down to the Kananook Bulls in the Football Integration Development Association’s big dance.

    At the time, Selwood spoke about how close his bond was with Moorfoot.

    ‘We share a very special friendship, and I consider him like family. He has my back and I have his,’ he told the Age in August.

    No doubt wearing Jeremy Cameron’s AFL Premiership medal will have dulled that pain over losing his own grand final.

    Fans took the social media in droves to shower Selwood, who is the AFL’s Disability Inclusion Ambassador, in praise – and share their joy at viewing the heart-warming scenes.

    Chief of which was MP Bill Shorten, currently the Minister for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

    ‘Joel Selwood made a lot of dreams come true yesterday. This could be the sweetest,’ he wrote on Twitter.

    It wasn’t Selwood’s only act that sent social media into meltdown.

    He led his side through the banner prior to the game with his former teammate Gary Ablett Jr.’s son Levi.

    Three-year-old Levi was diagnosed in 2020 with a rare degenerative illness that leaves him with less resistance to naturally fight illnesses compared to healthier children.

    Levi was all smiles and waving his arms about gleefully as Selwood carried him through the banner, a touching nod for one of the club’s favourite sons.

    Selwood then delivered Levi back to Ablett, who won two flags with Geelong in his sensational 357-game career.

    After the game, the revered skipper not only handed over his grand final cap, as all players do to the pint-sized Auskickers who give them their medals – but his game-worn boots as well.

    A thrilled Archie Stockdale, who won the AFL’s Auskicker of the Year award at the Brownlow Medal, had been promised a visit by Selwood – and the Cat did not disappoint.

    In emotional scenes atop the presentation stage, Selwood told the elated youngster ‘I told you I was coming to see you’.

    He then passed on his white boots, and pointed to the camera so the pair could get a photo together – ensuring the memory of a lifetime for little Archie.

    Selwood showed more care and attention for those on the periphery than getting caught up in all the emotion and hype of a AFL grand final.

    Such grace and humility in victory.

  • 1 час, 32 минуты назад 25.09.2022Sport
    Aaron Judge frustrated over close check swing call in the slugger’s final at-bat of the day

    In his pursuit of a record-tying 61st home run, Aaron Judge has been stymied by tough pitches and tough calls.

    One of the toughest may have come Saturday afternoon in his game against the Red Sox.

    First-base umpire Chris Conroy saw Judge check his swing on a pitch from John Schreiber that went high and outside. He called Judge out on a third strike.

    Judge reacted by pointing his arm in the direction of Conroy, saying something in his direction, then waving back toward him in anger.

    It was Judge’s second strikeout in an 0-3 day that saw him fail to hit a home run for a fourth game in a row.

    Ever since he hit home run no. 60 in a game against the Pirates, he’s gone 3 for 13 with a pair of doubles, five walks, and six strikeouts.

    The lack of production has dropped his batting average down to .314, with Boston’s Xander Bogaerts’ average rising to .315 to take the lead in the American League.

    Combine Judge’s home run count with his league leading RBI count of 128 and he’s in the hunt for the first Triple Crown in baseball since Miguel Cabrera accomplished the feat with the Detroit Tigers in 2012.

    The Yankees won the game 7-5 thanks to Anthony Rizzo’s two-run homer hit right after Judge struck out.

    Judge has one more shot at tying the record against Boston. He’ll face Brayan Bello as the Yankees try and go for the sweep in the Bronx.

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Sport Why does it feel as if we are entering the final months of Gareth Southgate's time as England boss?