19-01-2019 The Fiver | A kind of softly moving statue by which to remember Arsène Wenger

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The big January transfer news continues to roll in, after Oumar Niasse, a player famously deprived of a locker at Everton by Ronald Koeman, left Goodison Park to join Cardiff City. Then Yohan Benalouane, a player stored in a locker for almost two years by Claude Puel, did one from Leicester to hurry into the warm embrace of Nottingham Forest’s new manager, Martin O’Neill, who confirmed he hopes to swell the good vibes at the City Ground by bringing along, as his assistant, that most eminent graduate of the Wealdstone Raider School of Motivational Discourse, Roy Keane. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’

The Leinster coach on the bruising aftermath of his 2015 England exit, finding fulfilment in Dublin and the pain of his father’s death‘Pretty much everything has been given to Leinster and, indirectly, to Ireland,” Stuart Lancaster says when he considers how the knowledge he gained during seven years at the heart of English rugby has been jettisoned by his own country. The Leinster coach speaks without bitterness and, having reflected movingly on the recent death of his father and the bruising aftermath of being sacked by England after the 2015 World Cup, he sounds philosophical. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...

19-01-2019 World sport: 10 photos we liked this week - 22-28 October

A selection of the most striking sports photographs from around the world this week.

19-01-2019 'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?

19-01-2019 Which football teams doctored their playing surface to hinder opponents? | The Knowledge

Plus: top-scoring defenders, non-league double delight and strange middle names. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Pep Guardiola says he didn’t leave the Etihad grass long against Liverpool. But which teams or managers have used this tactic to help their own side or hinder an opponent?” asks George Jones.Let’s start with the Poundland Machiavelli, former Cambridge and Lincoln innovator John Beck. Everyone in football knows about the infamous Beck and the stunts he used to pull at Cambridge. He brought in statisticians to lecture his players about how few passes were needed to score. He had the grass grown several inches long in the corners to hold up the ball when his players knocked it over the top. During the week they would rough up the pitch so anybody who tried to play football against them was at a disadvantage. “We just used to boot it upfield, so it didn’t really matter to us,” Steve Claridge recalls in his autobiography. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 'I belong at the top': José Mourinho plots return after United sacking – video

A bullish José Mourinho insisted he will return to club management at the elite level despite his underwhelming spell at Manchester United. In his first major interview since leaving the club in December, he also claimed last season’s second-place finish was one of his ‘best achievements in football’. At 55, he said he was too young to retire from club managementJosé Mourinho says Manchester United not ready for modern football Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Andy Murray: from gangly kid to genuine sporting grownup

Widely loved and politically progressive, the Scot will retire as arguably the greatest individual British sports person of the modern ageStop all the green and yellow Timex clocks. Put away that union jack tea towel. Stow the Pimms-sodden crash barriers at the foot of the Aorangi Terrace.Andy Murray may yet play another Wimbledon this summer, depending on the state of his chronic, career-capping hip injury. But in the wake of a raw and tearful press conference on Friday morning it seems highly likely that next week’s Australian Open will be the final appearance of a stellar, transformative, broadly-sketched tennis career. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Lleyton Hewitt says Bernard Tomic 'won't play Davis Cup again' – video

Lleyton Hewitt has responded to Bernard Tomic's astonishing broadside, accusing Tomic of threatening him and his family for more than 12 months and saying Tomic will never play Davis Cup tennis while he is involvedLleyton Hewitt accuses Bernard Tomic of threatening him and his family Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Henrik Stenson & Thomas Bjorn star in comedy golf sketch

Some of golf's biggest names star in a brilliant comedy sketch where they try to come up with viral video ideas for the year ahead.

19-01-2019 Djokovic advances at Australian Open but shows irritability on and off court

• No 1 seed beats Shapovalov in four sets after lights complaints• Serbian later insists he is not trying to oust ATP’s KermodeNovak Djokovic will be among the favourites to win every tournament he enters this year – including this Australian Open, where he has been champion six times in 14 visits – but the world No 1 showed signs of irritability on and off the court here on day six that suggest he needs quickly to find some tranquillity.Djokovic snapped after dropping the third set against the young Canadian hustler Denis Shapovalov copping a code violation for swearing, before finishing in an angry flourish to win 6-3, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 on a warm Saturday afternoon on Rod Laver Arena, to book a fourth-round match against Andy Murray’s Brisbane conqueror, Daniil Medvedev, who made short work of David Goffin, 6-2, 7-6 (3), 6-3. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Laurent Koscielny’s unusual goal seals victory for Arsenal over Chelsea

This was a defeat to leave all Chelsea’s frailties brutally exposed and the head coach reverting to his native tongue to make clear the depths of his dissatisfaction. Overwhelmed as Arsenal ripped into them through a one-sided first half, Maurizio Sarri’s team had no incision of their own with which to muster anything approaching a riposte. A side lacking a focal point to their front-line limped away in defeat attempting to recall what had constituted their solitary shot on target, and with the gap to fifth and sixth place trimmed to a precarious three points.Their efforts had been feeble. They are a team treading water at present and Gonzalo Higuaín, a short-term fix at 31 and a striker with no previous experience of the helter-skelter of this division, cannot arrive on loan from Juventus soon enough. How they could have done with the Argentinian in his pomp here as they attempted to retrieve the deficit shipped in that furious opening period, though that lack of firepower was only one aspect of the problem. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Saracens into Champions Cup last eight as top seeds after beating Glasgow

• Pool 3: Saracens 38-19 Glasgow• Form of Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola gives England a liftOn the day Saracens announced the latest blow for England with the loss of Owen Farrell, they duly gave English rugby the sort of fillip only they are qualified to administer. A bonus-point win at home to Glasgow means Saracens qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions Cup as unbeaten top seeds. And the form of their remaining England players is cause for celebration, never more so when three of them, forwards all, combined sweetly with an Aussie to score the bonus-point fourth, Maro Itoje galloping clear to claim the try and the man-of-the-match award.“It’s been a really good squad effort,” said their director of rugby, Mark McCall. “We’ve won games, including all three away, without some big names. To get 28 points [out of 30] in a competition like this is a big achievement.” Continue reading...

19-01-2019 The Breakdown | Concentration of Ireland rugby talent leaves English trailing in Europe

Leinster – and the fast-rising Scottish sides – are packed full of internationals while Test players are spread more thinly across their Premiership and Top 14 rivalsThe Premiership goes into the final round of the European Champions Cup group stage this weekend hunting a first victory over an Irish province in this season’s tournament. Its clubs have three opportunities: Ulster travel to Leicester, Leinster are away to Wasps and, in the one contest that has an outcome for both teams, Exeter have to become the fourth team to topple Munster at Thomond Park in the competition.The Chiefs’ task is even more demanding because of the bonus point Munster secured at Gloucester last Friday. It means Exeter not only have to win but deny their opponents a bonus point, unless they score at least four tries. For all the impact they have made in the Premiership in recent seasons, reaching the last three finals, they have yet to find the formula in Europe where a gameplan based on retaining possession is more hazardous because of the extra latitude given to the defending side at the breakdown. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Ronnie O'Sullivan: 'The Rocket' beats Ding to reach Masters final - Best Shots

Watch the best shots as Ronnie O'Sullivan reaches a record-extending 13th Masters final with a thrilling 6-3 victory over Ding Junhui.

19-01-2019 The unapologetic feminism that turned Andy Murray into a global icon | Jacob Steinberg

Murray’s views on equality and the women’s game have had huge impact, exemplified by his decision to hire a female coach in Amélie Mauresmo in 2014Once the empty feeling subsides and the lump at the back of his throat stops threatening to leap from his mouth, perhaps it will console Andy Murray to consider how much he means to people from all walks of life. Even at this early stage of the healing process, with the emotions swirling and his heart shattered as he contemplates how brutally his body has given up on him in the past two years, it might raise his spirits to know he is showered with affection not only for his achievements on a tennis court but also for what he represents on a human level. Related: 'He’s an idol': Dunblane reacts to Andy Murray's impending retirement Continue reading...

19-01-2019 David Squires on … football spying and Neil Warnock's Brexit views

Our cartoonist looks at the off-field stories dominating the headlines at Leeds, Derby, Cardiff … and NewcastleTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

19-01-2019 David Squires on ... the Socceroos' progress at the Asian Cup

Our cartoonist reflects on Australia’s late win over Syria – and the tournament’s outrageously large accreditation lanyardsTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

19-01-2019 Australian Open: Halep to meet Serena Williams in last-16 clash worthy of final

• World No 1 beats Venus Williams for loss of five games• Serena Williams makes short work of Dayana YastremskaA fourth-round collision on Monday that will rip the 2019 Australian Open wide apart brings the official world No 1, Simona Halep, and the best player in the history of the game, Serena Williams, together for the ninth time.The American has an 8-1 grip on that rivalry, but the Romanian comes into the match after beating her sister, Venus, fairly convincingly on day six, 6-2, 6-3 in a little more than an hour-and-a-quarter. However, the younger Williams sister has been in equally awesome form in the first week, taking just over an hour to beat the Ukrainian teenager Dayana Yastremska for the loss of just three games. Continue reading...

19-01-2019 'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.