Notts County’s wild bunch plan another FA Cup heist against Swansea

Kevin Nolan’s band of ageing former Premier League stars hope to pull off one more big job against top-flight opponents

There is a hint of The Wild Bunch about the Notts County squad managed by Kevin Nolan. Sam Peckinpah’s gritty 1969 western, a classic of the “one last big job” genre, tells the story of Pike Bishop and his eponymous gang of ageing outlaws plotting their final robbery in a world threatening to leave them behind.

On Saturday, several ageing but instantly recognisable faces from Premier Leagues past will be on show at Meadow Lane for what could prove their final centre-stage moment. Top-flight opposition provided by Swansea City, live on television, a full house. One last big job and then maybe – just maybe – a sequel.

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via Football | The Guardian

Sports quiz of the week: Alexis Sánchez, Kyle Edmund and Javier Mascherano

Who offered congratulations? Who won? And who knows nothing?

• Tennis quiz: identify the players at the Australian Open
• Football quiz: January transfer window

Complete the sequence: Alexis Sánchez, Memphis Depay, Ángel Di María, Antonio Valencia and …

Paul Scholes

Eric Cantona

David Beckham

Michael Owen

Where will sports fans see Croatia v Switzerland and Romania v Denmark this weekend?

European Rugby Champions Cup

Uefa Nations League

Rugby League Four Nations

Australian Open

Which of these statements about Kyle Edmund is not true?

He was born in Johannesburg and now lives in the Bahamas

He made £497,000 in prize money at the Australian Open

His father is Welsh and his mother is South African

He was born in the 21st century

Javier Mascherano is leaving Barcelona this summer. He has played 334 games for the club under five managers, winning 18 trophies in the process. How many goals has he scored for Barcelona?

None

One

Five

Nine

Who was the first person to congratulate LeBron James on scoring 30,000 points in the NBA?

Donald Trump

Michael Jordan

Barack Obama

LeBron James

Michael Carrick is planning to retire at the end of the season to become a first-team coach at Manchester United. Which of these trophies has he not won at the club?

Premier League

FA Cup

League Cup

Champions League

Europa League

Club World Cup

Community Shield

He has won the lot

Philippe Coutinho made his Barcelona debut on Thursday night. Which other Spanish club has Coutinho represented?

Sevilla

Celta Viga

Espanyol

Villarreal

Fletcher Cox will play for the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl next month. What did Cox say when this week asked if he has any special memories of previous Super Bowls?

“I won it last year. Do your research, idiot”

“I was a backing dancer for Justin Timberlake when he did the naughty on Janet Jackson”

“My first memory is seeing the Eagles play in the Super Bowl in 1980”

“Nah, man. You know, I don’t really watch football. I don’t watch sports”

Complete this quote from Mauricio Pochettino: “I am never going to be manager of Barcelona or Arsenal, because I am so identified with Tottenham and Espanyol. I would rather …”

“… manage Newport County”

“… be the England boss”

“… work on my farm in Argentina”

“… run a burger fan outside White Hart Lane”

Why did Bordeaux release their club captain, Jérémy Toulalan, this week?

They terminated his contract as he was pictured wearing a Toulouse shirt

He had asked to leave as he disagreed with the club’s decision to sack their manager

He resigned to take part in the Dakar Rally

He hadn’t played all season so asked to leave, saying “being a sub has been killing my buzz”

1 and above.

Rubbish

2 and above.

Rubbish

3 and above.

Meh

4 and above.

Meh

5 and above.

Not bad. But nothing to write home about either

6 and above.

Not bad. But nothing to write home about either

7 and above.

That’s a good score. You should be pleased. Enjoy your weekend

8 and above.

That’s a good score. You should be pleased. Enjoy your weekend

9 and above.

That’s a very good score. Savour it and enjoy your weekend

0 and above.

Rubbish

10 and above.

You are exceptional. Enjoy your weekend

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via Football | The Guardian

Érik Lamela: ‘My brother is in a wheelchair … you realise what is important’

Tottenham’s winger says he feared he might never play again but his brother’s swimming pool accident has put football in perspective

Érik Lamela felt his blood run cold. The call came in December 2016 and it was one of those that everyone dreads. The Tottenham Hotspur winger’s younger brother, Axel, had banged his head in a swimming pool in their native Argentina and the damage would be grave. Axel was paralysed.

“For a few months, he couldn’t move anything,” Lamela says. “Right now, he is getting some movement back and working day by day to return to a normal life. The doctors say that he may be able to walk again but it all depends on how the rehab goes. It’s going to be a slow process and we just need a lot of patience. He is wheelchair-bound.

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via Football | The Guardian

Phil Neville: TV bore scores own goal with sexist tweets

Reputation of new England women’s boss takes a hit after a career of monotonous success

In 2014, more than 440 viewers complained to the BBC that Phil Neville was too boring. His voice on commentary, they said, was turning them off the World Cup. Neville, controversially appointed as manager of the England women’s football team this week, must have wished a monotonous tone remained the severest criticism of him.

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via Football | The Guardian

Alexis Sánchez’s missed drug test was Arsenal’s fault, says Arsène Wenger

• Wenger admits club failed to inform FA the forward was absent
• Arsenal manager says Sánchez and club have ‘nothing to hide’

Arsène Wenger has said Arsenal were at fault for Alexis Sánchez missing a doping test but that the club and player have “nothing to hide”.

Arsenal’s manager confirmed the forward inadvertently missed the test on Monday while finalising a move to Manchester United. Sánchez fell foul of the Football Association’s ‘whereabouts’ rule by not being present. Wenger said the Chilean was with his agent, concluding the transfer, which was confirmed that evening.

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via Football | The Guardian