April 28th, 2011
09:18 AM ET

No way Jose, you've gone too far this time

Mourinho gives an ironic thumbs up to officials after Pepe was sent off.
Mourinho gives an ironic thumbs up to officials after Pepe was sent off.

For broadcasters across the globe, this is Royal Wedding week - but the love hasn't spread to Spain. And another night of histrionics from Jose Mourinho can't hide the fact that his Real Madrid side are simply not as good as Barcelona.

Regular Mourinho watchers are used to seeing him hog the limelight. It's a managerial tactic, alleviating the pressure on his team, and is part of the reason why he's won cabinet-bursting numbers of trophies in Portugal, England and Italy. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 26th, 2011
04:52 PM ET

Is Nadal's clay domination good for tennis?

Rafael Nadal gets his teeth into his sixth Barcelona Open crown.
Rafael Nadal gets his teeth into his sixth Barcelona Open crown.

Another clay-court tournament, another win for Rafael Nadal.

This part of the tennis season is becoming all too predictable, with the world number one hoovering up titles in Monte Carlo and now Barcelona with imperious ease for the loss of just one set.

It was his seventh straight title in Monaco, a record which will take some beating, and sixth in seven years in the Catalan capital. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
April 25th, 2011
11:35 AM ET

Has time run out for Arsene Wenger?

Arsene Wenger has led Arsenal to Champions League qualification in all of his 15 seasons.
Arsene Wenger has led Arsenal to Champions League qualification in all of his 15 seasons.

So, another season, another disappointment; a thought that will be meandering around the minds of many Arsenal fans following the Gunners' capitulation to Bolton Wanderers on Sunday and the realistic end to their title challenge.

Manager Arsene Wenger, dubbed "The Professor" such is the reputation of his cerebral powers, will have more to mull over than most. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 18th, 2011
04:29 PM ET

Is Real Madrid's Mourinho the master of mind games?

Mourinho (right) will be looking to get the better of Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola (left) in their next three meetings.
Mourinho (right) will be looking to get the better of Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola (left) in their next three meetings.

Love him or hate him, but you certainly can’t ignore him. Jose Mourinho commands attention wherever he goes. He loves to be the center of attention and he proved it again before and after Saturday’s El Clasico against Barcelona.

Leading up to the game, he decided not to talk to the media prompting journalists to walk out of a press conference by assistant Aitor Karanka. Following the battle at the Bernabeu, Mourinho refused to talk to reporters from the newspapers who had boycotted his colleague.

Most people may believe Mourinho says and does controversial things just to grab the headlines. That is not the case. Those who think he is a loose cannon would have it all wrong. There is definitely method to his madness.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 14th, 2011
10:13 AM ET

Is Sharapova back as a real contender?

Former women's No. 1 Maria Sharapova is back in the top-10 for the first time in more than two years. (Getty Images)
Former women's No. 1 Maria Sharapova is back in the top-10 for the first time in more than two years. (Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova’s driving forehand doesn’t really fill me with wonder and excitement, but I am full of admiration for her drive to succeed.

She burst onto the tennis scene as a 17-year-old in 2004, beating two-time defending champion Serena Williams in the Wimbledon final, but having reached the top of the rankings herself, her career went into decline from late 2008 after a long absence due to injury. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
April 11th, 2011
03:44 PM ET

Ancelotti in troubled waters at the Bridge

Carlo Ancelotti has persisted with Fernando Torres, despite the £50m striker being short of form.
Carlo Ancelotti has persisted with Fernando Torres, despite the £50m striker being short of form.

All is not well at Stamford Bridge. As the most important match of their season looms large, Chelsea’s dressing room looks to be in disarray.

Carlo Ancelotti’s failure to manage his strikers since the signing of Fernando Torres means the team is not in the right frame of mind to battle Manchester United at Old Trafford in a crucial Champions League quarterfinal.

FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
April 11th, 2011
12:10 PM ET

McIlroy must conquer the mental minefield

Rory McIlroy saw his game disintegrate in dramatic fashion in the final round of the Masters in Augusta.
Rory McIlroy saw his game disintegrate in dramatic fashion in the final round of the Masters in Augusta.

Poor old Rory McIlroy. Any golfer with a modicum of emotion, from club hackers to seasoned pros, would have had a sympathetic thought for the young maestro from Northern Ireland, as his game crumbled in dramatic fashion in the final round of Sunday's Masters in Augusta.

Golf is a pursuit that demands mental strength and positive thinking for success - it's played 90% between the ears as the cliche goes - even at the very lowest levels of the games. If there is a player alive who has not experienced the exasperation and frustration of a how a duff shot can ruin a perfectly enjoyable day on the fairways I would like to meet him. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
April 10th, 2011
11:24 AM ET

McIlroy leads international charge at Augusta

McIlroy moved further ahead with a fine third round at Augusta.
McIlroy moved further ahead with a fine third round at Augusta.

It is one of the most international leaderboards ever at the Masters. Fittingly, on the 50th anniversary of the first-ever win by an international player; the odds are certainly in the favor of an overseas victory here at Augusta National.

South Africa’s Gary Player won the first of three Green Jackets in 1961 and on Monday, he told me that his pick of bunch this week was none other than Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
April 9th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Moving and shaking at Augusta National

Tiger Woods is back on the prowl at Augusta.
Tiger Woods is back on the prowl at Augusta.

Saturdays in professional golf are traditionally called "moving day," but it all took off in the second round here at Augusta National as the tournament stepped up several gears. And how!

Rory McIlroy slept on the joint overnight lead and came out of the blocks perfectly on Friday here at the Masters, racing to 10-under par with the ease of a veteran. That his putter didn’t reward him on the back nine is an issue, for he could not have struck the ball better. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
April 8th, 2011
11:55 AM ET

The Mozart of golf hits the high notes at Augusta

Rory McIlroy has made an impressive start to the 2011 Masters at Augusta.
Rory McIlroy has made an impressive start to the 2011 Masters at Augusta.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve known Rory McIlroy since he was a little kid but I haven’t, well not really.

When I first saw him play as a 13-year-old (one-handicapper) at the Hermitage Golf Club outside Dublin, in the Irish Boys Championship, it struck me that although small in stature and very boyish in looks, he was actually a man in a boy’s body, playing with the authority of a seasoned veteran and clearly destined for bigger things.

It’s not often that Mozart returns in the shape of a boy golfer from Holywood (pronounced Hollywood) in County Down. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
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