Sport on the BBC: Best of this week's TV & radio coverage

18-02-2019 This week's sport on the BBC includes snooker's Welsh Open, Premier League football and the Alpine Ski World Championships, plus much more.

Ryan Giggs: ‘It didn’t work for United but Van Gaal was brilliant for me’

18-02-2019 The Wales manager discusses the loneliness of his job, what Manchester United should do next and why he turned to a psychologist“I think every manager feels that loneliness,” Ryan Giggs says as he identifies the usually unspoken difficulty at the core of his work. The manager of Wales since January 2018, Giggs has had nine games to get used to the isolation.“I’m lucky to have great staff around me and, during the week, you’re constantly in meetings and on the training ground. But it’s that hour before the game, when the coaches take the lads out to warm up, that you feel it. You’re alone in the dressing room and you’ve done everything you can. That’s a lonely time. There’s nothing left to do. You’re on your own.” Continue reading...

Maurizio Sarri must be given more time to adapt Chelsea, says Gianfranco Zola

18-02-2019 Stamford Bridge assistant gives backing to his manager as they prepare to face Manchester United in the FA CupMaurizio Sarri has made subtle adjustments to his preferred style of play in an attempt to adapt to the demands of the English game with Chelsea and, according to his assistant, Gianfranco Zola, should be granted the same patience afforded Pep Guardiola at Manchester City.Chelsea go into Monday’s FA Cup fifth-round tie with Manchester United still in three cup competitions and only a point off the top four in the Premier League. Yet results and performances have been wildly unpredictable of late, with Sarri’s apparent intransigence in terms of adapting his favoured philosophy prompting discontent within the club’s fanbase scrutiny of his position. The board recruited the now 60-year-old from Napoli last summer knowing he would stand by the concept of “Sarri-ball”, and duly signed Jorginho from his former club to act as an on-field lieutenant to impose the tactical approach. Continue reading...

FA Cup: Chelsea v Man Utd - watch best goals

18-02-2019 Watch the best goals from the last 20 years of Chelsea v Manchester United FA Cup ties, including strikes from David Beckham and Eden Hazard.

Thomas Hitzlsperger makes swift impact at struggling Stuttgart | Andy Brassell

18-02-2019 Though there is no heavy-handedness about the new head of sport, he is already having an influenceThere was, at last, a feeling of partial satisfaction and some optimism. A sixth defeat in seven games for lowly VfB Stuttgart is no reason for breaking out the party bunting but the manner, if not the result, felt like it might be a departure in the right direction.To an extent, it’s an indication of just how bad it’s been around the place in recent months. On the final day of last season, as they gleefully threw cake, jelly, and whipped the tablecloths off at Bayern Munich’s title party with a 4-1 win, Stuttgart had positioned themselves at the gates of Europe. But then a late summer flounder became a full-blown autumnal panic, coach Tayfun Korkut was replaced by Markus Weinzierl, and the former Schalke boss had been unable to bring any sense of calm in nearly four months. Continue reading...

Colin Kaepernick wants NFL return and Patriots may be interested, says lawyer

18-02-2019 Former 49ers quarterback settled case with NFL on FridayMark Geragos says his client is still staying in shapeColin Kaepernick’s lawyer says his client still wants to play in the NFL, and believes he would fit in well at the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.On Friday, Kaepernick and his former teammate Eric Reid settled a complaint of collusion against the NFL. Reid and Kaepernick claimed the league’s owners blackballed them because they had protested against social injustice by kneeling during the national anthem. The terms of the agreement are confidential. Continue reading...

Is Tottenham's run of 30 league games without a draw a record? | The Knowledge

18-02-2019 Plus: Old Trafford’s mysterious semi-final snub, back-to-back penalty misses and unused subs. Mail us or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU“Tottenham have currently played 30 consecutive Premier League games without drawing one,” notes Wouter van Dael. “What is the longest ever such league run?”The short answer is that Spurs are Premier League record-breakers, Wouter, but only just. “Bolton previously held this title with a run of 28 games between March and December 2011,” writes James Clarke. “But in the wider context of English league history, Spurs have a long way to go yet. Twenty-nine clubs have had longer streaks without a draw at some point – and seven have gone more than 40 consecutive league games without a stalemate: Birmingham (43 games), Walsall (44), Leicester (44), Bradford Park Avenue (44), Stoke (46), Sunderland (46) and Aston Villa (51). Although it is probably worth noting that Sunderland’s is the most recent of these, coming comparatively recently in 1908-09. The slightly interesting quirk here is that five of these seven draw-less clubs are midlands teams.Season 2017-1830 Apr Spurs 2-0 Watford5 May West Brom 1-0 Spurs9 May Spurs 1-0 Newcastle13 May Spurs 5-4 Leicester Continue reading...

The breakdown will be a key to who gets into the fast lane at Cardiff | Nick Evans

18-02-2019 England will miss Mako Vunipola on Saturday but they have enough ball-carriers to turn on the power against WalesIt is not uncommon to introduce themes every now and then – we often use them at Harlequins – and one we’ve used recently is called decapitation strike. It’s a military term and it’s all about targeting the key individuals of an organisation and taking advantage of the knock-on effect – watching everything else fall away if you can eliminate their leaders. It could well be a key theme for Wales to target England’s half-backs in a similar fashion on Saturday.Owen Farrell is so influential in terms of how he organises England’s attacking and territorial shape, and he and Ben Youngs would be the two Wales targets. That may look like the Wales scrum-half coming hard off the defensive line, making sure that Farrell has to pass early, negating the ability to bring Billy Vunipola and Manu Tuilagi into the game thus winning the gainline battle. If Wales make him play early then they can bring their defensive line up and shut down England’s options. Continue reading...

Fear and loathing without Aspas as 'pathetic' Celta drift towards the rocks | Sid Lowe

18-02-2019 Their talisman is injured and Celta Vigo are slumping badly at the wrong time, just as others are arresting their slidesCelta de Vigo’s fans saw hope disappear before their eyes. An hour had gone and José Luis Morales had just scored Levante’s third but it wasn’t only what was happening on the pitch that brought the fatalism flooding back at Balaídos, it was what was happening alongside it. There had been applause and anticipation when Iago Aspas, their captain and their everything, stepped into the sunlight and began warming up, tracksuit off ready to return after six weeks away; now there was silence as he ducked into the shadows and sat down again, worry and resignation written across his face and theirs.Back on the bench, boots off, mission aborted, Aspas watched powerless as the fans clapped Morales and whistled everyone else. He watched team-mates argue over an irrelevant 88th-minute penalty to make it 1-3, the tiniest flicker of life immediately extinguished when Borja Mayoral scored Levante’s fourth seconds later. He listened to supporters call for the president to resign – which is exactly what Carlos Mouriño, pointedly ignoring the mayor up in the directors’ box, would do if he could find someone to pay him enough to buy the club. And he watched another defeat and more disillusion, the final whistle blown to emptying stands. While he watched, he occasionally reached down and rubbed his calf. Continue reading...

FA Cup: Neal Maupay misses a fantastic chance for Swansea against Brentford

18-02-2019 Brentford's Neal Maupay misses a glorious opportunity, firing over from close range during Brentford's 4-1 defeat by Swansea in their fifth round FA Cup tie at the Liberty Stadium.

FA Cup: Daniel James gives Swansea lead against Brentford

18-02-2019 Swansea City's Daniel James scores "a wonderful solo goal" to give them the lead against fellow Championship side Brentford in the FA Cup fifth round.

Arjen Robben: ‘If you ask what is the worst stadium for me, it’s Liverpool’

18-02-2019 In his tenth and final season at Bayern Munich the Dutchman talks about his extraordinary decade in Bavaria and burning desire to avenge Champions League traumas at Anfield“‘Enjoy it, enjoy it,’ that’s what you say to young players.” Arjen Robben is wrestling with the question of whether, across two decades of dedication to his art, he has managed to practise what he preaches. “But then you ask yourself: ‘Are you also enjoying it?’ Maybe it’s good, also, for yourself to enjoy it.”It comes to be a recurring theme during a lunchtime at Bayern Munich’s training ground that finds Robben in mellow, reflective mood. Outside, the snow is melting and the sky getting brighter but, with every lengthening day, the winter of his career with the German champions creeps in a little more. In June he will draw a line under 10 years’ service and he fully admits the scale of what he has achieved takes some working through. Continue reading...