19-12-2018 Mauricio Pochettino plays it cool but dance with United has already begun | David Hytner

The Tottenham manager has been in Manchester United’s sights before and has enhanced his CV since – will the stars align this time?Mauricio Pochettino has been here before – with Manchester United and Real Madrid – and it is tempting to suggest that he has now perfected the tap-dance.On one side of the fine line, the Tottenham manager talks up the respect he has for his employer; his happiness in north London; his focus on the job in hand; his professionalism. And on the other, there are a series of expansive shrugs. Who knows what the future might hold? It is known as showing a bit of ankle. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 The Breakdown | England’s dilemma: undermine Eddie Jones or risk scramble for a top coach

Looking for a successor could be a distraction in World Cup year but waiting could mean the talent is snaffled up and Wales and Ireland have already made their moveThe start of the World Cup is nine months away but countries are already thinking about their next coach. Wales are sorted, appointing Wayne Pivac in the summer knowing Warren Gatland would be off after his side’s final match in Japan, as are Ireland, with Andy Farrell to take over from Joe Schmidt.In New Zealand, Steve Hansen is due to announce this evening UK time as to whether he will seek a new contract after the World Cup. Rassie Erasmus has told South Africa he will not be carrying on after Japan, focusing on his director of rugby role instead. Australia’s Michael Cheika may not last that long after taking part in a performance review this month after the Wallabies’ worst year, in terms of results, for 60 years. A decision is expected before Christmas. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 McCann case may put bookies’ treatment of winning punters in the spotlight

• Teenager not paid after winning bets totalling nearly £1m• Remote Gambling Association denies ‘cartel-like’ behaviourThe legal case in which Megan McCann, a young punter from Northern Ireland, is suing the online bookmaker Bet365 for more than £1m in unpaid winnings promises to put the entire betting industry’s treatment of successful punters in the spotlight . Her legal team have submitted an amended statement of claim that is understood to allege “cartel-like” activity by major online operators.McCann’s case took another step towards a full hearing last Friday, when Bet365 was granted four weeks to consider whether it will continue with an attempt to strike out key parts of McCann’s claim. The parties will reconvene at the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast on 18 January when it is possible that a date will be set for a full hearing of the case in the spring. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Leicester City 1-1 Manchester City (1-3 pens)

Holders Manchester City edge through to the Carabao Cup semi-finals by beating Leicester City 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

19-12-2018 Where next for José Mourinho as Real Madrid have an itch to scratch?

China has the money but not the prestige while Bayern Munich are another option José Mourinho may sound outMourinho still has a big reputation in China even if it is not as esteemed as it once was. However, Mourinho in China would make for thrilling viewing. Guangzhou Evergrande failed to make it eight out of eight league titles this year and Fabio Cannavaro has not been able to convince everyone at the club. Mourinho has the stature to follow Marcello Lippi and Luiz Felipe Scolari at Guangzhou and the club have the money and ambition to be interested. Fans and media would love his combative style, something that has not been seen in Asia before, although few think he would come so far east. John Duerden Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Wingate & Finchley fail to score in epic goalmouth scramble with Dulwich Hamlet – video

Some heroic defending on the Dulwich Hamlet line prevented Wingate & Finchley from scoring during an epic scramble when the two sides met in the FA Trophy. Wingate & Finchley eventually won 2-0. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Man Utd to confirm interim manager after website post

Former Manchester United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is set to be named the club's interim manager on Wednesday.

19-12-2018 Anastasia Dobromyslova loses to Ryan Joyce at world darts championship

• Dobromyslova beaten 3-0 by debutant Joyce• Raymond van Barneveld shocked by Darius LabanauskasAnastasia Dobromyslova followed Lisa Ashton out of the PDC world championship as she lost to the Alexandra Palace debutant Ryan Joyce, while Raymond van Barneveld went out to Darius Labanauskas in Monday’s big shock.Ashton and Dobromyslova were the two multiple British Darts Organisation women’s world champions to qualify this year and Ashton lost to Jan Dekker on the opening night of the Professional Darts Corporation event last Thursday. Continue reading...

19-12-2018 Carabao Cup: Burton Albion win 1-0 at Middlesbrough to reach semi-finals

Burton boss Nigel Clough says reaching the Carabao Cup semi-finals for the first time after beating Middlesbrough is "absolutely remarkable".

19-12-2018 Alan Shearer: Q&A on Jose Mourinho's sacking by Manchester United

BBC Sport pundit Alan Shearer answers questions about Jose Mourinho's sacking as Manchester United manager on Tuesday.

19-12-2018 Jacob Stockdale: ‘We went after the All Blacks with confidence’

The Ireland wing on his memorable try against New Zealand, his World Cup ambitions and talking to prisoners at Northern Ireland’s highest security prisonJacob Stockdale might be the deadliest finisher in European rugby but he reflects on his remarkable year with a light touch. The Ulster wing was the player of the tournament while setting a Six Nations record by scoring seven tries as Ireland sealed the grand slam. Stockdale also made the difference with the only try of the game when Ireland beat New Zealand last month to complete a year in which they could claim to be the best side in the world.Stockdale has already told me about going into jail with his father, the chaplain at Maghaberry prison in Belfast, so he could talk to inmates who have been locked up after committing violent crimes. He has also confirmed his love for Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan and proved himself an assured 22-year-old who is different to many of his contemporaries. It is striking that, before we discuss his try against the All Blacks, Stockdale has a laugh about himself as he remembers missing the first time Ireland beat New Zealand – in a momentous match in Chicago in November 2016. Continue reading...