September 27th, 2006
I am currently a student at university studying for a journalism PG Diploma. I write for a few websites as well as iBlog, mostly writing news articles. My aim is to build my experience and improve my writing style alongside my course. In my spare time I enjoy a variety of sports, notably football, but also skiing and tennis as well. I sometimes dabble in creative writing, from short stories to screenplays. I have become interested in photography in recent months, which could be useful for journalism in future. You can check out what else I've been up to and ready my own blog at my website, www.stever.co.uk.
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Steve Robinson: When Sam Allardyce parted company with Newcastle United on Wednesday he became the eighth Premier League manager to lose their job in just five months of the current season. His removal has prompted outcries from the media and fellow managers alike that managers at Premier League clubs are under far too much pressure to produce results. The trend began in earnest in September when legend Jose Mourinho shocked English football by leaving high-fliers Chelsea, with the media touting poor relations between the club’s owner Roman Abramovich to blame. In the following months, Tottenham parted company with Martin Jol, Billy Davies left struggling Derby, and Birmingham, Bolton, Fulham Wigan all lost their managers. This latest management change has left many fans wondering how many more displacements there might be in this turbulent season.
"If you were put into a job in the city, the first thing you would ask for is time. It takes a while to gel. "In Sam's few months at Newcastle he might not have even found out the correct strength of the reserve side. He might have players injured that he doesn't know much about. "But with football, it's absolutely out of hand. It's so crazy now."Many have asked why football managers have been under so much pressure this year. With a massive surge in money from advertising and TV revenue this season, Premier League clubs are all keen to avoid relegation and continue to reap the benefits of the extra cash. Unfortunately, this added competitiveness has meant that teams are under extra pressure to perform. Inevitably, pressure builds on the manager, with whom the buck stops, it appears. Allardyce took over from previous boss Glenn Roeder in May 2007, but saw a new regime in place within a month, as new owner Mike Ashley upped his stake and Freddy Shepherd stood down as Chairman. From then Allardyce was constantly under pressure from a new boss and from expectant Newcastle fans. However, Allardyce’s departure is a classic example of the lack of time now given to managers to settle into the role and develop the team. Allardyce was in charge for just 8 months and oversaw just 24 games, taking Newcastle to 11th in the division. Surely 8 months is not enough time to judge a manager? The departure leaves Newcastle searching for their seventh manager in 11 years. Many toon fans will hope that former Newcastle player Alan Shearer gets the role, although he is reported to be happy with his job at Match of the Day. Whoever gets the nod, it will be a tall order to impress a club with such lofty expectations. Whether we have seen the last management casuality of the Premier League 2007/8 season, however, remains to be seen. For those who are interested in football and need a sports grant then a new scheme called Cash 4 Clubs may be of some use. Image: WikipediaMartin O’Neil, Aston Villa Manager, speaking to BBC Sport
Steve Robinson: A stomach virus that causes vomiting and diarrhoea is currently infecting more than 100,000 people in the UK each week, doctors have warned. They have urged infected people to remain at home for at least 48 hours after the symptoms of the illness – often called winter vomiting disease – have disappeared, in an attempt to stem the rate of new infections. The illness is caused by an infectious agent called a norovirus (or Norwalk Virus). Infection causes sudden and acute diarrhoea within just 12 hours, along with projectile vomiting. Flu-like symptoms can also occur, hence its nickname ‘Stomach Flu’. It is estimated that around a million people are infected with the stomach bug each year, but the Health Protection Agency have confirmed that the current wave of infections sweeping the nation is at its highest since 2002.
"Surgeries and hospitals have been swamped with people wanting advice. Wash your hands regularly so you don't infect anyone else and stay at home two days after the symptoms have gone.
Professor Steve Field, Royal College of GPs Quote: BBC News
Steve Robinson: Fabio Capello was made England manager yesterday, a move that should give England fans a renewed sense of hope following the disappointing failure to qualify for Euro 2008. The former Real Madrid manager has signed a four-and-a-half year deal, with an option to terminate after the 2010 World Cup.
"I am delighted that Fabio Capello has agreed to become England Manager. When we set out to recruit the new manager, we said we were committed to appointing a world-class candidate. In Fabio Capello we have that man.Capello had been touted as firm favourite since Mourino ruled himself out last week. The FA were keen to stress however that Capello was their number one choice, and the appointment was unanimously agreed by the FA Board on Thursday. The appointment comes only three weeks after Steve McClaren’s reign came to an end with the defeat at Wembley to Croatia. The new manager begins work on Monday 7 January with his first game scheduled for 6 February, a home friendly against Euro 2008 hosts Switzerland. Capello has an impressive CV. The Italian started his playing career with SPAL before moving to Roma, Juventus and AC Milan. He was part of the Italian national side for four years, gaining 32 caps and scoring 8 goals. In 1991 he became coach at AC Milan, with whom he won Serie A four years out of five, culminating in the UEFA Champions League victory over Barcelona in 1994. He later coached Roma and Juventus, winning the league with both, before returning to Real Madrid where he again won the Spanish league title. Although he has never coached at international level, Capello has worked with the top players in Europe, as well as being a former international player himself, and so is well qualified to lead England forward. The FA announced they would scour the world for contenders, and take as long as they deemed necessary to find the right man, given the next competitive game is not until September 2008. Yet, England were without a manager for just three weeks, a move that has been rightly called into question. However, the FA singled out their man and went for him, a decisive trait they lacked when searching for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s replacement. In Capello, the FA have found an extremely capable manager. Put simply, the FA deserves praise, despite their previous failings, and England fans should look forward to the future. To read more about this and other Footballing stories - go to TalkFootball.co.ukBrian Barwick, FA Chief Executive