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Good Week/Bad Week: Sports Round-Up

Posted on 9th November 2009. 8 Comments

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Tom Brown looks back at the winners and losers of the past seven days…


Nikolai-Valuev86• The Haye vs Valuev fight promoters: When some guy called David fights a seven foot giant, the ‘David vs Goliath’ tagline writes itself. And it’s even better for the promoters when the outcome remains the same as David beat Goliath, sorry Nikolay, at the weekend in Nuremberg. Looking at the pre-fight photos, it was easy to feel distinctly worried for the relatively tiny (albeit six foot three) David Haye, as the enormous, 22 stone Valuev towered above him. But Haye had a game plan, he stuck to it, and for the first time since Lennox Lewis retired in 1993, Britain finally has a new world heavyweight champion. Let’s see which Bible story the promoters use for Haye vs Klitschko.

• Andy Murray: six weeks out with a wrist injury, down to number four in the rankings, and relegated in Davis Cup; it hadn’t been a great few months for Andy Murray. But he returned to the court with a bang at the weekend as he won his first tournament back in Valencia. Since reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon, Murray’s season had gone off the boil a bit but this victory should mean he’ll be full of confidence coming into the ATP World Tour Finals, the last event of the season, in London later this month.

• Arsenal’s scouting team: Cesc Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Robin van Persie….many people wonder just how Arsene Wenger manages to bring such talent to Arsenal. Well the tactics of his scouting team may have something to do with it. It was revealed this week that one of their scouts hid up a tree so he could watch Thomas Vermaelen in a training match for Ajax. He liked what he saw, recommended Wenger sign him, and the Belgian defender is already looking like one of the best buys of the season. After this news came out, Rafa Benitez was allegedly seen up a tree in Spain trying to find the next Fernando Torres…*

• Wayne Riley: foreign owners, mountains of debt, stadium names beingdraft_lens2152141module11404951photo_1220897733northwich-victoria-logo sold; any romance left in football seems to be decreasing more and more each year. But just when we need it most, one competition always manages to reaffirm our love of the beautiful game: the FA Cup. Last weekend it was the first round proper of arguably the world’s greatest domestic cup competition and with it came plenty of ‘cupsets’. The most notable being Northwich Victoria’s 1-0 victory over League One side Charlton; 18 year old Wayne Riley was the hero of the day after coming on as a substitute and scoring the winner with just nine minutes remaining.

• The England cricket team: the England team proved this week that they are good enough to beat a team no one has ever heard of before. It’s difficult to see how well crushing some team called Warriors will prepare England for their up-coming Test series against the world’s number one ranked side….but maybe after they were crushed 6-1 in the post-Ashes one day series against Australia, the ECB just thought they were in need of a confidence boost.
*NB/ this almost certainly isn’t correct


_41276950_lewis_moody• England’s rugby union side: I feel a little bit harsh calling them all ‘losers’; they had a lot of injuries and, in the first half especially, didn’t play that badly at all. But the fact is they lost, and whilst this in itself isn’t too much of a problem, the score line alone doesn’t tell the whole story. England’s best two players were generally seen as being Jonny Wilkinson and Lewis Moody; these two players were also two of England’s best performers six years ago. Whilst it’s a credit to them that they’re still doing the business for England, it says little about the players coming through since that World Cup victory. Martin Johnson’s England lost all three Tests against southern hemisphere sides last autumn, they’ve already lost one this year; it’s clear there’s plenty of work to be done.

 Anyone listening to a Newcastle match: ‘now let’s go live to our reporter at St James’ Park’. Fantastic; it doesn’t take too long to say and we can immediately get on with listening to the Newcastle game. Unfortunately it’s just not that simple any more. Now, by the time the commentator has finished saying sportsdirect.com@St James’ Park it’ll be half time already. You know your club has problems when you’re not sure whether you’ve got a stadium name or an email address.

• Daniel Agger: as if conceding a last minute equaliser in Lyon to leave your hopes of Champions League glory hanging by a thread wasn’t bad enough; Daniel Agger’s legs must really have been aching by the end of the game. The defender’s back injury was reportedly so bad he had to stand for the entire duration of the flight to France, before Liverpool’s injury problems meant he had to play the whole game. All in all a painful night for the Dane.

Tom Brown


  • Stevie said:

    YES to the Northwich Vics. What an epic team. Well, an alright team. But still… YES!

  • Jimbo said:

    Valuev is a hot piece of ass.

  • Sarah said:

    Valuev looks like the worlds biggest candle, melted.

  • James said:

    The Northwich Vics are crap. I don’t think D21 should be in the hands of a vics fan…

  • Stevie Martin (Editor) said:

    I’m not a vics fan, I am in fact a Liverpool fan which is, currently, similarly upsetting. Either way though, get bent etc.

  • Stevie Martin (Editor) said:

    I hate how it says author. Must change this.

  • James said:

    thats even worse. i didn’t even know durham as a university allows scousers… you mustn’t have mentioned this in your interview.

  • Uncle Party said:


    Uncle party here…


    Having “read” the article I thought to myself: goodness, I hope I’m not a loser like Daniel Agger or the Newcastle stadium. What did Tom Brown do to make him a loser? Please elaborate.

    I love talking about football – I support Wembley (even though I grew up NOWHERE NEAR Wembley… oops!)

    In honour of all* sports I will be holding a ‘sports party’ next week at my place (finally, a party where trainers ARE the dress code!!!!!). I’ve already got 3 squash balls but can anyone else bring water?

    Let me know ASAP (what does the second ‘A’ stand for?)

    Uncle Party

    * = mainly water polo