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Live Reporting

By James Gheerbrant and Andy Cryer

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Anyway that is all from a busy Sportsday for today. Thanks a lot for your company and see you again from 08:00 GMT tomorrow for more Premier League news conferences and breaking news.

    If you need a bit of a football fix this evening, you can listen to Maidstone v Stevenage's FA Cup first round replay on BBC Radio 5 sports extra.

    Enjoy.

  2. Filly sold for £1.45m

    Horse racing

    A filly foal of the legendary racehorse Frankel has sold for 1.8 million euros (about £1.45m) at the Goffs sales in Ireland.

    The horse, a daughter of Finsceal Beo, was bought by bloodstock agent Dermot Farrington on behalf of an unnamed Irish client.

    It is believed to be a record amount paid for a foal at auction in Ireland.

    Frankel was retired in 2012 after winning all 14 of his races, while Finsceal Beo (which means 'Living Legend' in gaelic) won the 1,000 Guineas in England and Ireland in 2007.

  3. Falcao reassures United fans

    Some good news for Manchester United fans as Colombian striker Radamel Falcao refutes media reports he is struggling with a long-standing knee injury.

    He told MUTV: "I am getting better, I feel well and I hope to come back to the pitch soon. It is disappointing that I can't play but I have to be calm and recover because that is important to help the team when I return to the games."

    Quizzed on the media reports about his knee, he continued: "It is a bit frustrating. Well, it is more than frustrating actually and it detracts from the credibility of the media that there is so much speculation and that so many falsehoods have been written about it.

    "I think with an audience of so many millions of people, it is not right. I did take a small injury to my calf, which is something that I need to be careful with, but there are a lot of stories circulating that are pure speculation."

  4. Africa Cup of Nations

    Football

    BBC

    The Africa Cup of Nations won't just affect the Premier League either. Plenty of Football League players missing to play in the tournament as shown in graphic above.

  5. Africa Cup of Nations

    Football

    BBC

    The Premier League could be a lonely place during the Africa Cup of Nations early next year. See the list above for who is likely to be involved. Full story here.

  6. Stat attack

    Stats

    So does this table above of the average number of fouls and red cards per game in Europe's top leagues mean the Bundesliga is fair or dirty? The German top flight has less red cards on average but more fouls.

  7. Malky Mackay latest

    Lancashire kitchen appliance company Premier Range on withdrawing their sponsorship from Wigan after the appointment of Malky Mackay:

    "Unfortunately, their recent appointment of Malky Mackay has put us in a position that we find untenable.

    "Mr Mackay is currently under investigation by the FA for sending text messages that are at odds with the general ethos here at Premier Range - and, it would seem, Cardiff and QPR feel the same as us.

    "The texts Mr Mackay has admitted to sending are wholly unacceptable - and the thoughts expressed within them are a shocking reminder of a past we thought football had left behind.

    "A team that would employ a man who expresses views such these is not the kind of team Premier Range wish to deal with."

  8. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Wigan sponsors Premier Range withdraw from their contract with the club after the appointment of Malky Mackay as manager.

  9. Espinoza denies 'homesick' claims

    Football

    Wigan midfielder Roger Espinoza has denied claims made by former Latics boss Uwe Rosler that he wanted to leave the club because he was homesick.

    The 28-year-old Honduran has been at Wigan since signing from Kansas City in January 2013 and was part of the the team that won the FA Cup in 2013.

    "I'm definitely not homesick, that's the truth," he told the club website.

    "I can say I've never been homesick, I've been away from home since I was 17 years old."

  10. Daley Blind update

    Football

    So clarification on the Daley Blind situation after the chaos caused very much by Manchester United.

    Louis van Gaal said: "First he needs to rest for 10 days, then we will have a better idea.

    "At the moment, I can't put a timescale on it. I can't say it will be six to eight weeks. I can't even say it will be 10 to 12 weeks.

    "But it is definitely not six months."

  11. Get involved

    #stateofthegame

    Michael Wood: The loan system benefits lower league teams atm, B Teams would help national side. Is there way where all levels can benefit

    Tony Wood: Problem is not lack of English players in EPL but lack of English players in Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga etc...

    What do you make of the state of the game? Tweet #stateofthegame, post on BBC Sport Facebook or text 81111 (UK users only)

  12. Post update

    Daley Blind

    Manchester United defender Daley Blind on Twitter: Wow, all of a sudden a lot of messages! Still working hard guys, but don't worry; I'll be back stronger!

    I wonder if Blind is aware of the chaos that Manchester United's Twitter feed caused. Ruling him out for six months for a few minutes before changing their minds. Bizarre stuff.

  13. Wolves could be without goal-scoring duo

    Football

    Bakary Sako (left) and Nouha Dicko

    BBC WM 95.6 report that Wolverhampton Wanderers could be without star players Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko for up to three weeks early in the new year, after Mali qualified for the African Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Algeria last night.

    The forward pair have both suffered injury setbacks this season but scored a combined total of 31 goals in all competitions in the last campaign.

  14. Marshall beaten at Worlds

    Boxing

    Savannah Marshall

    Britain's Savannah Marshall has been beaten in her opening bout at the Women's World Championships in Jeju, Korea.

    Defending champion Marshall lost 2:0 to Russian Yaroslava Yakushina in the 75kg class.

    But there was better news for Sandy Ryan and Lisa Whiteside who reached the 64kg and 51kg quarter-finals respectively.

  15. Game on?

    American Football

    Buffalo Bills

    If you are in the Buffalo area and have a spade handy why not pop along to the Ralph Wilson Stadium...

    American Football team Buffalo Bills are staging an "around-the-clock" plan to dig their stadium clear of snow ahead of Sunday's match against the New York Jets

    Bills spokesman Andy Major says 220,000 tons of snow needs to be removed from the complex before Sunday. Get digging.

  16. Preston sign Bolton striker Beckford

    Football

    Preston North End have signed Bolton Wanderers striker Jermaine Beckford on loan until the end of the season.

    The 30-year-old will join initially on loan until January, but a deal is in place for that to be extended.

    Beckford links up again with manager Simon Grayson, who he worked with at Leeds United and Huddersfield.

  17. Ipswich unsure on Williams return

    Football

    Jonny Williams

    Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy is doubtful midfielder Jonny Williams will feature again during his current loan spell.

    The 21-year-old is recovering from a groin injury with his parent club Crystal Palace, with his Town deal set to expire at the end of December.

    "It might be four weeks to get him back training," McCarthy told BBC Radio Suffolk. "It will probably take him to the end of his loan."

  18. Manchester United news conference

    Football

    Confusion at Old Trafford as Manchester United appear to have removed their tweet stating defender Daley Blind could be out for six months with a knee injury.

    Manager Louis van Gaal has said on their website: "Blind is not ready, he has a brace on his knee. He needs 10 days' rest. Then we'll have another scan and say more about his injury. It's not as bad as the doctors thought after the match, but it shall be a long story, I believe, not six months or something."

    Good use of Twitter from United there... Or maybe not.

    Still the good news United fans is Blind is NOT out for six months.

  19. Saturday sport marathon on 5 live

    Searching for something to do this Saturday? Armchair sports fan? Well then, you could do a lot worse than tune into BBC Radio 5 live.

    There are 12 hours of live sport on 5 live this Saturday from noon including:

    13:00 Qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    15:00 Chelsea v West Brom (plus all the live updates and scores)

    17:30 Wales versus New Zealand Rugby Union

    19:00 England versus Samoa Rugby Union (straight after Wales game)

    21:00 Live international boxing including Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew (George Groves, James De Gale, Scott Quigg and Antony Joshua also in action).

  20. Lambert rebukes Switzerland over Senderos

    Football

    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has criticised the Swiss national team after defender Philippe Senderos picked up an injury on international duty.

    The 29-year-old suffered a calf injury, having only just recovered from a thigh problem, and is now out for up to a month.

    Lambert said: "That one I'm not happy about at all, Philippe. It's mismanagement from the FA in Switzerland."

  21. Manchester United news conference

    Football

    Daley Blind

    Louis van Gaal on Blind, who suffered a knee injury on international duty with Holland:

    "He has a brace on his knee. After 10 days' rest, he'll have another scan that will say more about the injury."

    Van Gaal adds that Luke Shaw is doubtful for the trip to the Emirates but expects Michael Carrick to be available.

  22. Manchester United news conference

    Football

    Manchester United manager is speaking at a news conference now, where he will speak more on Daley Blind's absence. We will bring you what he has to say on Sportsday ahead of Saturday's match against Arsenal.

  23. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Blind could be out for six months

    Manchester United defender Daley Blind could be out for six months with a knee injury, according to the club.

  24. Argy bargy

    Football

    Argentina's Premier League XI

    The team behind the State of the Game study have come up with this neat graphic showing how Argentina could field an entire team of Premier League players.

    The question is: could they beat England? Let us know what you reckon on Twitter at #stateofthegame and via the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  25. Post update

    Owen Farrell and George Ford

    England hooker Dylan Hartley on Twitter: These two reuniting at 10 & 12 this weekend #lads ago.

    George Ford and Owen Farrell haven't changed at all have they?

  26. Question of Sport

    We gave you a bit of extra time on today's Question of Sport teaser to solve those fiendishly difficult anagrams, but the time has come to reveal the answers.

    They were 1.) Phil Mickelson 2.) Laura Trott 3.) Usain Bolt.

    How many did you get? We were tied at 1-1 on the Sportsday desk and await tomorrow's Teaser to settle the score.

  27. Khedira 'agrees Bayern deal'

    Latest gossip

    Sami Khedira

    There are reports coming from Spain that Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira has already agreed to join Bayern Munich.

    Spanish radio station Cadena Ser claims Khedira, 27, has already informed manager Pep Guardiola that he's willing to join Bayern on a free next summer.

    Won't stop a number of Premier League clubs being linked with him in the coming months I'm sure...

  28. Blackstock rejects Blades loan move

    Football

    Dexter Blackstock

    Nottingham Forest striker Dexter Blackstock has turned down a loan move to League One side Sheffield United.

    The 28-year-old has only played one game this season after a missing most of last term with a knee injury.

    But manager Stuart Pearce said that Blackstock is still part of his plans and expects him to go out on loan.

    "He had an option to go but didn't feel it was right. If something does come up then it might be the way forward," Pearce told BBC Radio Nottingham.

  29. England out for revenge - Cook

    Cricket

    England captain Alastair Cook says England are out for "revenge" in the upcoming one-day international series against Sri Lanka.

    Sri Lanka beat England in both the Test and ODI series in England this summer, amid rumours of bad blood between the teams over a controversial run-out by Sachithra Senanayake in the ODI series.

    Moeen Ali will open the batting with Cook in tomorrow's first warm-up match; Alex Hales is dropped.

    Cook says it's "tough" for Hales, but "not the final decision".

  30. QPR eye Alvarez

    Latest gossip

    QPR are taking a look at Argentine defender Pablo Alvarez ahead of a possible move, reports the Daily Mail.

    The 30-year-old free agent is reported to be training with Rangers in the hope of securing a contract over the coming days.

    He was released by Catania in the summer.

  31. Get involved

    #stateofthegame

    We've been asking you for your thoughts on the state of the game in England...

    Catchwords: I agree with Terry Venables that the influx of foreign players is HELPING English players to raise their game.

    Duncan McKay: More money in the Championship means that league is going the same way as well. An important league for developing players.

    Iannish Posooa: If we want the best football league in the world, how can we expect most of the players to be from England? Isn't this arrogant?

    Keep them coming at #stateofthegame on Twitter and via the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  32. Sneijder dampens transfer talk

    Football

    Wesley Sneijder

    Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder has told the club's in-house TV station that he has no intention of leaving.

    The Dutchman has been consistently linked with a move to Manchester United, as well as Italian club AC Milan.

    But he told Galatasaray TV: "I feel good with the team and with the guys and I am not thinking of leaving here at any time."

  33. Bulgaria sack coach Penev

    Football

    Luboslav Penev

    Bulgaria have sacked coach Luboslav Penev after a poor start to their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign.

    A 2-1 loss to Norway and a 1-1 draw with Malta in the latest qualifying rounds proved the final straw for Penev.

    If nothing else, that coat has to be a sackable offence.

  34. West Brom news conference

    Football

    Alan Irvine

    Here's more from West Brom manager Alan Irvine.

    He talks about the challenge of facing Chelsea at Stamford Bridge: "We have a chance; the players believe that. We can't be passive".

  35. West Brom news conference

    Football

    News conferences galore at the moment. The latest man in front of the microphone is West Brom manager Alan Irvine, who's talking about his side's visit to Chelsea on Saturday.

    Irvine reveals that left-back Sebastien Pocognoli remains an injury doubt for the game, while fellow defender Jonas Olsson is still out. All other players who were involved in internationals over the break have returned fit.

  36. Swansea news conference

    Football

    Here's more from Swansea City manager Garry Monk:

    On opponents Manchester City: "There's always pressure on teams going for major honours. It's a challenge playing a squad five times more than you're worth, but that doesn't dictate games on the pitch."

  37. Leicester news conference

    Football

    Nigel Pearson

    More from Leicester boss Nigel Pearson ahead of Saturday's visit of Sunderland:

    "We have to find a way of winning games and I am sure we will do. You have to be able to deal with criticism but we have to keep some perspective.

    "We have had a start where we would prefer to have more points and the run we are in is not the best reading. Having said that, there are going to be plenty of opportunities to continue our improvement.

    "I have been asked questions about strikers not scoring goals. I accept we have not created enough opportunities but still scored more goals than a number of teams."

  38. Swansea news conference

    Football

    Swansea City manager Garry Monk is also speaking to the media ahead of his side's game against Manchester City on Saturday:

    On players returning from international duty: "They are all back in one piece with no injuries which is good. It wasn't as intense as the last break so it's good."

    On losing Wilfried Bony to the African Cup of Nations in January: "It's bittersweet. I'm happy for him, he's playing for his country to qualify for major tournaments but it's disappointing to lose him for a period. We have other players who can step in."

    He adds that Bony's new deal is a "clear indication" that the striker wants to remain at Swansea.

  39. Leicester news conference

    Football

    Leicester boss Nigel Pearson speaks to the media ahead of his side's home match against Sunderland on Saturday:

    "Sunderland are a good side with quality players. They are a side that people can underestimate.

    "We need to find a way of getting the right result. I can't tell you how the game will pan out, but we're in need of a result."

  40. Barcelona news conference

    Football

    Messi and Mascherano

    Javier Mascherano is speaking at a news conference ahead of Barcelona's weekend match against Sevilla.

    "I don't see any problem with Messi at Barca or with the Argentine team. He's in good form.

    "It's impossible to discredit one of the best players in history. You can't have any doubts about Messi.

    "Defeats always cause doubts, for that reason it's always important to win. Our idea is to win everything in the end. We want to finish the year in the best possible way."

  41. Samoa announce team for England match

    Rugby Union

    Samoa have named their team to face England on Saturday. It contains eight England-based players, including Wasps centre Johnny Leota and Northampton full-back Ken Pisi.

    Here's the team in full:

    K Pisi, A Leiua, R Lee-Lo, J Leota, D Lemi (captain), T Pisi, K Fotuali'i; O Treviranus, J Lam, M Fa'asavalu, K Thompson, Teofilo Paulo, C Johnston, Ti'i Paulo, S Taulafo.

    Replacements: M Leiataua, V Afatia, A Perenise, F Lemalu, D Leo, T J Ioane, P Cowley, M Stanley.

  42. Get involved

    #stateofthegame

    Duncan McKay: More money in the championship means that league is going the same way aswell. An important league for developing players.

    Iannish Posooa: If we want the best football league in the WORLD how can we expect most of the players to be from England.Isnt this arrogant.

    Mark Hampson: I've been feeling disconnected with English football for years. It's so bad now, I'm giving up on it. Anyone for tennis?

    Let us know your thoughts on the state of the game via #stateofthegame, on BBC Sport Facebook or text 81111 (UK users only).

  43. Post update

    Anthony knockaert

    Leicester midfielder Anthony Knockaert on twitter: It's a Nice birthday present . I love this jumper, cheers @OfficialFOXES.

    Liking your style Leicester City...

  44. Pakistan seize the initiative

    Cricket

    Pakistan have moved into the ascendancy in the second Test against New Zealand at Dubai. They've reduced the tourists to 167-6 at stumps, a lead of 177 in their second innings.

    Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah have shared three wickets apiece, while Ross Taylor is unbeaten for New Zealand on 77.

  45. Ireland change 13 for Wallabies

    Rugby Union

    Here's the full Ireland team for the match against Australia at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday:

    R Kearney (Leinster), T Bowe (Ulster) R Henshaw (Connacht), G D'Arcy (Leinster), S Zebo (Munster), J Sexton (Racing Metro), C Murray (Munster); J McGrath (Leinster), R Best (Ulster), M Ross (Leinster), D Toner (Leinster), P O'Connell (Munster), P O'Mahony (Munster), R Ruddock (Leinster), J Heaslip (Leinster).

    Replacements: S Cronin (Leinster), D Kilcoyne (Munster), R Ah You (Connacht), D Foley (Munster), T O'Donnell (Munster), E Reddan (Leinster), I Madigan (Leinster), F Jones (Munster).

  46. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Ireland change 12 for Wallabies

    Ireland have made 12 changes from the side that beat Georgia for Saturday's match against Australia. Prop Mike Ross, centre Gordon D'Arcy and wing Simon Zebo are the only players to keep their places.

    Captain Paul O'Connell, fly-half Jonny Sexton and Lions back-three players Tommy Bowe and Rob Kearney are among those to return.

  47. Post update

    Russell Fuller

    BBC tennis correspondent

    Roger Federer says he's "really pleased" that he will be able to play in Switzerland's Davis Cup Final against France, but admits he will only find out how fit he is during his opening match.

    Federer will play Gael Monfils tomorrow afternoon at the end of a week in which he's grown gradually more positive about the back injury which forced him to withdraw from the World Tour Finals.

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will play Stan Wawrinka in the opening match of the final, which will be staged on an indoor clay court at Lille's football stadium.

  48. Dan Walker's bathroom XI

    dAN wALKER

    Every week BBC Sport's Dan Walker asks for your suggestions for players to take their place in a themed team. Here are his answers from this weeks Tuesday Team News.

  49. Vote result

    It seems most of you aren't confident of England winning any silverware if they were in the Premier League then.

    In a vote on where you think Roy Hodgson's men would finish if they were in England's top flight, the largest percentage share went to a Europa League place, with 32.4%. Only 4.8% think they will win the title.

    For full results see on the right of this page.

  50. Question of Sport

    Here, slightly later than planned, is today's Question of Sport teaser. It's a tricky one today:

    Try and solve these sporting anagrams... 1.) ECHO PINK MILLS 2.) RAT TO ULTRA 3.) SULTAN BIO

    Good luck! We'll reveal the answers later.

  51. Newcastle news conference

    Football

    Alan Pardew

    News conference klaxon. Newcastle boss Alan Pardew is speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's home game with QPR.

    He said: "We've suffered some injuries, managed to repair the squad a bit, but are still missing one or two players.

    "There'll be a bit more expectation on us this weekend than in recent weeks and therefore a different type of hurdle to overcome.

    "We've done really well and the mood in the camp is buoyant. Our young players deserve a lot of credit, as do our senior guys."

  52. Chelsea fans call for 'Safe Standing'

    Football

    The Chelsea Supporters' Trust calls for the introduction of 'Safe Standing' areas to improve the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho recently complained it felt like his team were "playing in an empty stadium" when they beat QPR 2-1 at home three weeks ago.

    And a survey by the CST shows Chelsea fans share the Portuguese's concerns. Atmosphere was listed as one of the top concerns in the findings of the survey, along with ticket prices.

    "Atmosphere continues to be a major concern for supporters and the manager," the report reads.

  53. Moyes wins admirers in Spain

    Football

    It seems David Moyes already has won a few friends in Spain ahead of his first match as Real Sociedad boss against Deportivo Coruna on Saturday.

    Defender Inigo Martinez said: "Above all it is the intensity he brings to training, in the aggression he demands. He is really on top of everything, he pressures you constantly from the side of the pitch and this is something that motivates players.

    "The intensity we are seeing now was not there before and we need to learn everything he knows and then put it to use at the weekend."

  54. Post update

    Stoke City striker Peter Crouch on Twitter: Can we have the premier league back now please.

    Don't worry Peter, it is on its way, and we have all the managerial news conferences to prove it. Burnley boss Sean Dyche will be talking about his side's trip to the Potteries on Saturday at 13;15 GMT. Perhaps tune in Crouchie?

  55. McIlroy shares lead

    Golf

    Rory McIlroy

    Rusty after a lay-off? Not Rory McIlroy.

    The world number one made light of a six-week lay-off to claim a share of the lead in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. He carded six birdies and no bogeys in a flawless 66 to finish alongside Ireland's Shane Lowry.

    That took the 25-year-old to an 80 under par for his 21 rounds to date in this event, after previous finishes of third, fifth, 11th, first and fifth.

    Get the feeling he likes it there?

  56. Blackpool's Clark ready for 'Big One'

    Football

    The Big One

    Blackpool manager Lee Clark has promised he will overcome his fear of rollercoasters and ride 'Big One' if they avoid relegation.

    The Seasiders currently sit bottom of the Championship and are 10 points from safety under 42-year-old Clark.

    When Blackpool's 'Big One' opened in May 1994 it was the tallest and steepest rollercoaster in the world, climbing to a height of 235ft (71m).

    "I'm terrified, but I'm ready to do it, I hope I've got to do it," he told BBC Radio Lancashire. "I'll have to have a few glasses of beer before I get on it."

  57. Pat Nevin State of the Game Q&A

    Football

    Jonathan Watkins on Facebook: There are bigger issues than the number of foreign players in the Premier League. Inc the number of quality English coaches & national team mentality.

    Pat Nevin: I would be wary of saying that. Fifteen years ago, I suspect David Silva, Xavi and Iniesta would not have made it through the system in Egland. We had a long period of looking for power and pace. I hope we have beaten that now. What I would say though is don't ape another system because then you are 15 years out of date straight away. We have to be thinking further ahead than that. That is why it is not easy."

  58. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Football

    Good news Arsenal fans.

    Striker Olivier Giroud is available for Saturday's match against Manchester United, almost a month ahead of schedule after breaking his leg in August.

  59. Scotland team to face Tonga

    Rugby Union

    Here's the full line-up:

    S Hogg (Glasgow Warriors) T Seymour (Glasgow Warriors), S Lamont (Glasgow Warriors), A Dunbar (Glasgow Warriors), T Visser (Edinburgh Rugby), F Russell (Glasgow Warriors), G Laidlaw (Gloucester, c); A Dickinson (Edinburgh Rugby), R Ford (Edinburgh Rugby), G Cross (London Irish), R Gray (Castres), J Gray (Glasgow Warriors), R Harley (Glasgow Warriors), B Cowan(London Irish), J Beattie (Castres).

    Replacements: F Brown (Glasgow Warriors), G Reid (Glasgow Warriors), R Grant (Glasgow Warriors), K Low (London Irish), A Strokosch (Perpignan), C Cusiter (Sale Sharks), D Weir (Glasgow Warriors), D Taylor (Saracens).

  60. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Scotland team announced

    Scotland have made four changes for their match against Tonga on Saturday.

    Tight-head prop Geoff Cross and number eight Johnnie Beattie come into the pack for Euan Murray and Adam Ashe, who miss out through thigh and neck injuries respectively.

    In the backs, Sean Lamont replaces Mark Bennett at centre and Tim Visser comes in for Sean Maitland on the wing.

  61. Lennon visits job rival - aged 9

    Football

    Neil Lennon and Thomas Fielding

    Neil Lennon, the new manager of Bolton Wanderers, has visited one of the applicants he beat to land the job - a nine-year-old season-ticket holder.

    Thomas Fielding and his team-mates from Oxford Grove under-10s were training when former Celtic manager Lennon dropped in.

    Fielding's application letter said the players were "unfit and overweight" adding, "I know I am young but I am cheap".

    "His letter was very similar to the one I sent in - it's just his had better handwriting!" said Lennon.

  62. Get involved

    BBC Sport Facebook

    Clive Silvester on Facebook: The Premier League is at it's worst right now! 1993-99 was when it was at it's best, back then there was an acceptable balance of English and foreign talent which complimented one another perfectly! Gone are the days when we would see 5-6 of the top ten scorers being English, in fact as of right now only 2 of the top 10 are eligible to play for England!!

    I remember having intense debates with friends in the pub about who should make the England squad and why but nowadays you're practically guaranteed a cap if you're English and have played in the Premier league at any point ever!!.... I also think the influx of foreign owners with their endless amounts of cash have seriously damaged the English game because titles are simply just bought (Fingers crossed Southampton with the league as they grow/produce their own.

    Share your views on the State of the Game via #stateofthegame, on the BBC Sport Facebook page or via text on 81111 (UK users only)

  63. Falcao 'doubtful' for Arsenal clash

    Football

    Radamel Falcao

    Radamel Falcao is a doubt for Manchester United's clash with Arsenal according to the Colombia team doctor, the International Business Times is reporting.

    Carlos Ulloa reportedly told Colombian media: "He is ending his last phase of recovery, we expect that may be in eight days."

    Falcao, 28, has missed United's last three Premier League games with a calf problem.

  64. Mackay appointment 'makes mockery' of FA inquiry

    Football

    Leroy Rosenior believes Malky Mackay's appointment as Wigan Athletic manager "makes a mockery" of an FA inquiry.

    The Football Association is looking into allegations Mackay sent "sexist, racist and homophobic" text messages during his time as Cardiff manager.

    Former Brentford manager and Football League Show pundit Rosenior feels Wigan are "gambling on their reputation".

    "People have made a decision without finding out what's actually happened," he told BBC Radio 5 live.

  65. Stevens to make F1 debut

    Formula 1

    Will Stevens

    Caterham have announced that Britain's Will Stevens will make his Formula 1 debut in this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, partnering Kamui Kobayashi.

    Caterham missed the last two races because of financial problems, but will compete at the season-ending race thanks to a crowdfunding project.

    Stevens was previously part of the Caterham Racing Academy and has twice tested for the Formula 1 team.

  66. Get involved

    Vote

    All morning we've been asking you where England would finish in the table if they were a Premier League team. Now we're going to make it official and put it to a vote.

    You have six options: champions, Champions League places, Europa League places, top half, bottom half, relegation zone.

    The vote will appear shortly on the right hand side of this page and you'll have just under an hour to make your choice.

  67. Pat Nevin State of the Game Q&A

    Football

    We asked for your questions to Pat Nevin about BBC Sport's State of the Game study.

    Phil Davison on Twitter: Should the Premier League do more for grassroots?

    Pat Nevin: They can try as much as they like, and they are, but it is very difficult. Particularly because the Premier League is a akin to a world league. They have to be more creative and one thing they have managed to understand is if players are to be reach the very top level they need to be playing pro football at the age of 17, 18 and 19. It took a long time to find that out.

    "It is difficult to say to clubs put your youngsters in, that is not going to happen. The loan system seems to be used more than ever and that is a good thing. It will help each player maximise their potential, and that is all we are trying to do."

  68. A tale of two divisions

    Football

    UK players in the Premier League

    It's not all doom and gloom in today's State of the Game study. The number of British players in the Premier League has actually risen significantly since last season.

    UK players in the Championship

    In the Championship however, the news is not so encouraging.

  69. Federer fit for Davis Cup final

    Tennis

    Roger Federer

    Roger Federer is fit to face France in the Davis Cup final, which starts tomorrow.

    The opening singles rubbers will see Federer take on Gael Monfils after Stan Wawrinka faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

    Saturday's doubles match provisionally pits Michael Lammer and Marco Chiudinelli against Richard Gasquet and Julien Benneteau.

  70. Stat attack

    Formula 1

    The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has decided only one World Championship: In 2010 Sebastian Vettel claimed the title over Fernando Alonso.

    That will change when Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg go head-to-head for the title on Sunday.

  71. Post update

    Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen on Twitter: "Been off Twitter for a while, but couldn't stay off when I heard about today's announcement re drop off in cricket participation over here.

    "We've got a fantastic pool of talent here in UK & thought of kids dropping out & not fulfilling potential is frightening & needs changing. Any school cricket coaches or after school clubs doing winter training, tweet me and I'll pick a couple next week to join you...?

    "We need to encourage people of all ages to take part."

    Ready, steady, get tweeting...

  72. Norway back

    Football

    Brede Hangeland

    England's Premier League contingent may have fallen sharply, but there's always someone worse off than you are, and in this case, it's Norway.

    There were around 20 Norwegians playing in the top flight during the early days of the Premier League, but these days, Brede Hangeland is all on his own.

    Hangeland told BBC World Service: "It's sad for Norwegians and Norway. Half the country still watches at 4pm on a Saturday. the market for the Premier League is much more global, now clubs are looking everywhere. Also football in Norway has stood still, we need to step up our game."

  73. Get involved

    #stateofthegame

    This morning, we are asking for your thoughts on the #stateofthegame and where England would finish in the table if they were a Premier League team?

    Will Marks: England would be in far better shape if more 'top' BPL clubs took a sustainable & academy focused approach like #saintsfc.

    Sam Agolini: We pay highest ticket prices in the world to see the best players in the world, not the best in the country.

    Lewis: If you are English and good enough you will play, if Messi and Ronaldo were English wouldn't they play every week ?

    Keep your thoughts coming to #stateofthegame, on the BBC Sport Facebook page and text via 81111 (UK users only).

  74. Cheshire Phoenix sign world's tallest player

    Basketball

    Paul 'Tiny' Sturgess

    In what may be Sportsday's favourite story of the day, British Basketball League side Cheshire Phoenix have signed the world's tallest basketball player, Paul 'Tiny' Sturgess.

    The 7ft 8in, 26-year-old centre is originally from Loughborough and is the second tallest living Englishman. He also wears size 20 boots.

    Here he is posing next to the world's smallest roadworthy car. Obviously.

  75. Buffon signs three-year deal at Juve

    Football

    Gianluigi Buffon

    He may be 36, but Gianluigi Buffon isn't slowing down just yet. The Juventus goalkeeper has just signed a new three-year deal at the Serie A club.

    "I want to continue performing to a high level, so that I can be an asset and a point of reference for the club," he said.

    Defender Giorgio Chiellini has also extended his contract, signing on until 2018.

  76. Van Gaal's award shock

    Football

    Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has reportedly admitted his surprise that he has been nominated for Fifa's coach of the year award.

    He is quoted in the Daily Star as saying: "When you see the results of Manchester United it is unbelievable that I'm on the coach of the year shortlist."

    To be fair he did take the Dutch to the World Cup semi-final in the summer but, yes Louis, your performance at Old Trafford so far is certainly not award worthy... Plenty of time for that to change mind.

  77. Awford 'angry' after Pompey FA Cup exit

    Football

    Portsmouth boss Andy Awford has vowed to make changes to his squad after their "embarrassing" FA Cup first-round replay exit to Conference side Aldershot.

    Awford said Wednesday's 1-0 defeat was his lowest moment in management, adding he felt "let down" and "angry".

    "From one-to-11, I need to look at everything. I won't go to bed, I'll be searching [for loan players]," Awford told BBC Radio Solent.

    "I'm very hopeful there will be changes before the weekend."

  78. Post update

    Russell Fuller

    BBC tennis correspondent on Radio 5 live sports extra

    Davis Cup

    "Davis Cup final draw starts soon with a bit of help from the trophy (which is hard to lift even without a bad back)"

    That is some trophy. You would need some trophy cabinet for that monster.

  79. Post update

    Salgado

    Former Real Madrid and Spain defender Michel Salgado on Twitter: Congrats for your five years in Ferrari the best Scuderia of the World. See you on Sunday my friend.

    Michel Salgado, Fernando Alonso and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Glamour anyone? One of those boats in the background one of yours guys?

  80. If only English scorers counted...

    Football

    Top six if only English scorers counted

    Allow us to indulge in a little make-believe for a moment. If you've ever wondered how the Premier League would look if only English goalscorers counted, then wonder no longer. BBC Sport's finest minds have done the calculations as part of our State of the Game study, and it makes good reading for Arsenal and Swansea fans.

    Bottom six if only English scorers counted

    Not such joyous news for Chelsea and Hull fans, however...

  81. Moussi to donate wages to charity

    Football

    It is not often Guy Moussi can be mentioned in the same breath as David Beckham, but he can now.

    Moussi is to play for Birmingham City for nothing - after deciding to give every penny of his wages to charity.

    The French midfielder, 29, has signed on a two-month contract for Gary Rowett's side, and has chosen four charities to benefit.

    Beckham donated his wages to charity when he was playing for Paris St-Germain.

  82. Pakistan keep in touch with NZ

    Cricket

    An update for you from the second Test at Dubai between Pakistan and New Zealand, and it's a tight old affair this one.

    We're in the third day, and Pakistan have made 393 in reply to New Zealand's 403 in the first innings. Sarfraz Ahmed hit his third Test century of the year in a record last-wicket stand of 81 with Rahat Ali.

    New Zealand are now into their second innings, and are currently 54-1 at tea.

  83. West Ham news conference

    Football

    More from Sam Allardyce's news conference ahead of West Ham's trip to Everton on Saturday:

    "We don't know if Diafro Sakho will be ok for Everton yet. He will be assessed today but we will wait until Saturday morning if need be.

    "Stewart Downing came off with a knee problem in the England game too so we need to assess that as well.

    "Andy Carroll is ready to start but I wouldn't say he is 100% match fit. He's eager, as is Carlton Cole and we have Valencia too."

    That is it from Big Sam. The next managerial news conference in the Premier League is Burnley's Sean Dyche at 13;15 GMT.

  84. Norwich appoint Phelan

    Football

    Mike Phelan (right) and Sir Alex Ferguson

    Championship side Norwich City have appointed former Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan as their new first team coach.

    The 52-year-old was Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man for five years until the Scot's retirement in 2013.

    Phelan, who won three Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at Old Trafford, made 194 appearances in four years as a player with the Canaries.

  85. West Ham news conference

    Football

    West Ham boss Sam Allardyce has been chatting to the media ahead of Saturday's visit to Everton. Unsurprisingly he was in a chipper mood with his Hammers side flying high in fourth in the Premier League.

    He said: "I think it's too early to be thinking we're going to finish in the top five or six of the league. We're showing signs that we're capable but the consistency of your team has to be so good and this is the big test now - November and December.

    "I think sustainable growth is what you want to do and Everton have been very, very good at that. Roberto has carried on what David Moyes built over his time there and it's a good model to follow."

  86. Vettel joins Ferrari

    Formula 1

    Sebastian Vettel

    The move comes after Vettel confirmed his exit from Red Bull earlier this season after six seasons with the team.

    Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci said: "Ferrari has decided to put its faith in the youngest multiple champion in the history of Formula 1. Sebastian Vettel is a unique combination of youthfulness and experience and we aim to be front-runners again as soon as possible."

    Vettel said: "The dream of a lifetime has come true. The Scuderia has a great tradition in this sport and I am extremely motivated to help the team get back to the top. I will put my heart and soul into making it happen."

  87. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Vettel joins Ferrari

    Ferrari confirm Sebastian Vettel has signed a three-year deal with them and will partner Kimi Raikkonen next year.

  88. Latest podcasts from 5 Live

    A couple of great podcasts from Radio 5 live to tell you about.

    There's an International Football Review in '5 live's Football Daily', where Mark Pougatch is joined by football writers Jonathan Northcroft, Henry Winter and Sam Wallace to dissect England and Scotland's performances, discuss Malky Mackay's controversial return to football, and look at the state of the game for English players trying to break into top-flight football.

    You can also listen to Michael Vaughan's special 'Inside the Dressing Room', where among other things, Sean Dyche explains how he deals with so-called 'assassins' within the team, Lawrie Sanchez tells us what happened in the 'Crazy Gang', and Matt Dawson opens up on being assaulted by a cactus leaf.

  89. Alonso to leave Ferrari

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso leaves Ferrari at the end of this season, after a five-year period which, with one race remaining, saw him score 1186 points, 44 podiums and 11 wins. He finished second in the championship three times but never won the title.

    Ferrari Team Principal, Marco Mattiacci, said: "Everyone at Scuderia Ferrari thanks Fernando for his great contribution on both a personal and professional level.

    "In the Scuderia Ferrari roll of honour of great drivers, Fernando Alonso will always occupy a special place. I am sure that a great driver like Fernando will always hold the Prancing Horse dear to his heart and I also expect the Ferrari fans will continue to hold him in high regard in his future endeavours."

  90. Alonso to leave Ferrari

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso

    Fernando Alonso on the news he will leave Ferrari at the end of the season after five years with the team:

    "Today is not an easy one for me, because even if I always look to the future with great enthusiasm and determination, at the end of this season my journey as a Ferrari driver will come to an end.

    "It was a difficult decision to take, but a carefully considered one and from start to finish, my love for Ferrari was a prime consideration. I have always been lucky enough to make my own decisions about my future and I have that possibility now too.

    "When I had to take important decisions about my future, I did so with Ferrari in my heart, driven by my love for the team. I am very proud of what we have achieved together."

  91. QPR news conference

    Football

    Harry Redknapp

    A couple more lines from QPR manager Harry Redknapp's news conference:

    On Malky Mackay: "He's made a big mistake. You can't do what he's done. But he's working under a good man in Dave Whelan and I think he's a decent person. I'm not condoning what he's done, but he's got a second chance. Whenever I've met Malky I've found him to be a decent man and a good football manager."

    And a bit more on Charlie Austin: "I see a real spring in Charlie's step now he has scored against some top sides in the Premier League. If Charlie ends up being as good as Les Ferdinand, then we'll have one of the great strikers in English football."

  92. QPR news conference

    Football

    More from QPR manager Harry Redknapp:

    On facing a resurgent Newcastle on Saturday: "Alan Pardew has come in for some stick but I feel he's doing a really good job at Newcastle. I'm pleased for him but hopefully we can go up there and get a result."

    More on QPR's recent form: "We've had four good performances in a row now, which is good. It's taken a bit of time but I'm happy with the way we are playing and we keep improving."

  93. QPR news conference

    Football

    More from QPR manager Harry Redknapp:

    He weighs in on QPR's fine for protesting the referee's decision to disallow Charlie Austin's goal against Manchester City: "I think that's a harsh fine. I don't think our players were overzealous in their appeals."

    On QPR's recent form and Charlie Austin's claims to an England call-up: "I think we've been playing well, which is good. Charlie's played a handful of games now in the Premier League, but he's got to keep performing and scoring goals. We'd all love to see him in the England squad."

  94. QPR news conference

    Football

    Here's QPR's Harry Redknapp, facing the media ahead of their trip to Newcastle on Saturday.

    On player availability: "Leroy Fer's fine; we're just waiting for the two Chilean boys to get back from international duty."

    On Alejandro Faurlin's injury prognosis: "It's a long job for Ale. Hopefully he'll be back and I'm sure he will, but I wouldn't like to put a date on it."

  95. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Ferrari announce Alonso departure

    Ferrari have announced that Fernando Alonso will leave the constructor at the end of this season.

  96. Hamilton and Rosberg's teenage rivalry

    Formula 1

    If you're a Formula 1 fan, chances are you'll already be looking forward to this weekend's championship showdown between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

    But their rivalry stretches back way before their Formula 1 days, as BBC Sport's Lawrence Barretto explores in this fascinating feature.

    As teenage karting competitors, the pair were competitive in everything they did, including, we discover, unicycling and eating pizza.

  97. Hourly headlines

    BBC Sport's #stateofthegame study is taking a lot of our attention this morning but here is a quick reminder of the other big stories making our website this morning:

    Football: Fifa whistleblower Phaedra Al-Majid fears for her safety.

    Rugby Union: Owen Farrell's move to inside centre for England is backed by Tim Horan.

    Football: England manager Roy Hodgson has confirmed that members of his senior squad will be available to under-21 boss Gareth Southgate for Euro 2015.

  98. France gears up for Davis Cup

    Tennis

    L'Equipe front page

    It's not all football this morning. Oh no. Especially not if you live in France. Sports daily L'Equipe is already turning its sights on the Davis Cup final, which begins tomorrow in Lille.

    But the paper says today could be equally significant: the headline '12.30 - the moment of truth' refers to the time when France finds out whether Roger Federer will be fit to play for their opponents Switzerland, after pulling out of the final at London's World Tour Finals.

  99. Rakitic's trophy lust

    Football

    Mundo Deportivo

    We continue our look at this morning's papers with a glance at what's making the headlines in Europe. Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is on the front page of Spain's Mundo Deportivo with a clutch of trophies and a chilling message: 'We want it all.'

  100. Get involved

    #stateofthegame

    This morning, we're asking you where England would finish in the table if they were a Premier League team...

    Ben Smith: It depresses me to say but I don't think a current England 11 would make it into the top 6 of the Premier League.

    Joe: England would struggle to make top 4, something needs to be done, the English game is in a mess.

    Tough Tackler: Well, they would still have Roy Hodgson, so about midtable.

    Keep your guesses coming in via Twitter at #stateofthegame, and also via the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  101. On this day

    MacDougall hits nine

    Ted McDougall

    Yes, it was on this very day in 1971 that one of the great FA Cup records was set. Bournemouth's Ted MacDougall cracked an incredible nine goals past Margate in the first round of the FA Cup - the most ever goals scored in one match of the competition proper.

    And you can read a fascinating BBC Sport feature on that historic day here.

  102. Everton news conference

    Football

    More from Roberto Martinez from his morning news conference ahead of Saturday's visit of in-form West Ham:

    "West Ham have been the most consistent team in the Premier League and it wasn't by accident. The way they play is very brave, they have a lot of attacking players. They are going to throw one of the biggest challenges we have had towards us.

    "It is still early days but we still have four teams challenging for the title and eight teams looking for Europe. West Ham are one of the big challengers for those places without a doubt.

    "This can be a really successful year for Sam [Allardyce] and West Ham."

    West Ham are fourth in the Premier League with Everton four points back in 10th. The Hammers in Europe? Big Sam would love that. That's that from Roberto. We will be hearing from Sam Allardyce in a few minutes.

  103. Everton news conference

    Football

    Everton boss Roberto Martinez is asked about his thoughts about Malky Mackay's appointment as manager at his former club Wigan:

    "Wigan is an exceptional football club. What they have achieved from a dream of a chairman is incredible. I hope the new manager can settle in and get a winning streak going.

    "Malky Mackay is a man who is going to enjoy the challenge. I think if there is an investigation, whatever the talk is unnecessary."

  104. Everton news conference

    Football

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez is speaking to the press ahead of his side's visit of West Ham on Saturday:

    "We're checking Leighton Baines on a daily basis - we're not sure if he'll be fit for West Ham but you can never rule him out. We are also not sure if Gareth Barry will be ready."

  105. France and Spain lead the way

    Football

    Top 5 Premier League countries

    So which countries make up the most Premier League minutes? Well, England aside, it's France who are out in front with a healthy 7.74% of minutes played this season.

    In just the first six games of this season, an impressive 31 players from across the Channel turned out for Premier League sides.

    Not far behind were Spain, who account for 5.94% of playing time. 22 Spanish players were used in the first six weeks of this season.

    Scotland are fourth, with Argentina in fifth, having overtaken Wales.

  106. Get involved

    Ask Pat Nevin

    As we mentioned earlier, we're giving you the chance this morning to put your burning questions on the State of the Game to former Scotland international and BBC pundit Pat Nevin.

    Simply post your question via Twitter using the hashtag #stateofthegame, or text it to 81111. Pat will answer a selection of your queries just after midday.

  107. Mackay defiant

    Football

    Malky Mackay

    The Telegraph also leads on the Mackay story this morning. with Mackay's protestation 'I'm no racist' forming the headline.

    There's also an interesting line on Sir Bradley Wiggins, who may not make the GB team for Rio 2016, according to British cycling's new boss.

    The youthful face in the top-right corner belongs to rugby union player George Ford, who is set to make his first England start against Samoa on Saturday.

  108. Mackay's controversial return

    Football

    Daily Express

    Before all that though, a customary glance through this morning's back pages.

    The Express leads on Wigan's controversial appointment of Malky Mackay, asking 'How can you give him a job?', with Mackay still under investigation for sending text messages of a discriminatory nature.

    The paper also reports that England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate is set to be given his pick of the country's senior stars for next summer's European under-21 Championships.

  109. Get involved

    #stateofthegame

    As always, we want to know what you think. Are foreign players an obstacle to homegrown talent, or just a convenient excuse?

    And here's a question for you: with top clubs increasingly turning their noses up at English talent, we're asking you - if England were a Premier League team, where would they finish in the table? Read what the experts think here. (It's number 5.)

    As if that wasn't enough, we've also got a Q&A for you this morning where you can put your questions on the State of the Game to BBC pundit Pat Nevin. More details on that later.

  110. Are foreign players hurting England?

    Football

    Oscar, Mario Balotelli and Cesc Fabregas (left to right)

    Foreign players are seemingly here to stay, in the Premier League at least, but are they damaging the prospects of England's national team?

    Former Chelsea player Michael Woods - who was signed by Jose Mourinho in 2006 but never made a Premier League appearance - believes that they are and says there should be an English player quota, but BBC pundit and ex-Premier League midfielder Robbie Savage says that if English players are good enough, they'll still get the chance.

    Still undecided? Have a read of Dan Roan's excellent iWonder guide, which uses the data to give a clickable overview of the question.

  111. Shots shock Pompey

    Football

    Ricky Holmes and Kieron Forbes

    There were no shortage of homegrown players on the pitch in last night's FA Cup clash at the iconically named Electrical Services Stadium.

    Aldershot produced one of the results of the round as they stunned 2008 champions Portsmouth with a late winner from Mark Molesley.

    It was, according to the BBC Sport match report, "an incredibly scrappy goal". Lovely stuff...

  112. 'One third English'

    Football

    Vincent Kompany, Frank Lampard and Pablo Zabaleta

    It's not all bad news. The State of the Game study has found that the amount of Premier League playing time given to English players has actually risen slightly, from 32.36% last season to 36.08% this term - about one in every three players.

    It is quite bad news, however. That increase is almost entirely down to newly promoted Burnley, who have used just one non-UK player.

    Take away the Clarets and it's the same old story of limited opportunities for homegrown players. Chelsea and Manchester City have used just three UK players each, while a quarter of the 373 foreign players in the top flight played fewer than 10 games last season.

  113. Hello

    Welcome to a special edition of Sportsday. We'll be bringing you the top lines, plus the latest reaction and analysis from the State of the Game study, but if you're here for your daily fix of sports news, never fear.

    We'll also have reaction from last night's FA Cup, live updates from today's Premier League press conferences, and as ever, all the latest news and gossip from football and beyond.

    Ready for all that? Then let's gets started...

  114. State of the Game

    Football

    Gary Pallister (left) and Alan Cork

    When the Premier League first kicked off back in August 1992, when men were men and centre forwards looked like Alan Cork (above), 73.1% of players were English. Today, a new BBC Sport study has found, that figure is just 36.08%.

    In the increasingly multicultural top flight, Frenchmen and Spaniards outnumber Scots and Argentines have overtaken Welshmen.

    So is the influx of foreign players an inexorable trend? Is it holding back the England national team? We'll be asking you those questions and more in today's special State of the Game Sportsday.