The talk of Sky Sports

Last Updated: 14/03/13 6:00pm

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For the best in up-to-the-minute sports analysis, look no further than skysports.com, your online home for expert opinion.

Whatever your sport, our team of pundits, columnists and bloggers are here every week to bring you the sharpest views and the shrewdest comments on the latest developments.

Some of the most respected names in the business, including Jamie Redknapp, Stuart Barnes, Stevo and Paul Merson deliver their views with their expert columns, while we also have blogs from the likes of David Lloyd and Jeff Stelling.

Here's a snapshot of what the experts have been saying over the last seven days...

For the best in up-to-the-minute sports analysis, look no further than skysports.com, your online home for expert opinion.

Whatever your sport, our team of pundits, columnists and bloggers are here every week to bring you the sharpest views and the shrewdest comments on the latest developments.

Some of the most respected names in the business, including Jamie Redknapp, Stuart Barnes, Stevo and Paul Merson deliver their views with their expert columns, while we also have blogs from the likes of David Lloyd and Jeff Stelling.

Here's a snapshot of what the experts have been saying over the last seven days...

"Wales will have to play infinitely better than they did in Edinburgh if they are to spoil the English party. Whatever failings some may have identified with the England team a loss of character and nerve is no-one's idea of a flaw - or it wasn't until the desperate effort on Sunday when they muddled their way to their worst performance of the 2012/13 season. They played as if training and when they realised Italy were for real it was too late to get their game into gear. Matches of this sort are driven by complacency. It was a rotten effort but they will be different, sharper, focussed, in Cardiff."
Stuart Barnes says that the Six Nations decider between Wales and England must be won in the right way.
Taken from 'Pressure to perform'

"Most players are in an aggressive state and it doesn't take much for the fuse to be lit. When does a skirmish become an incident that warrants a red card? It used to be said that retaliation is worse than the original offence, but I am not sure I agree with that. It is possible that a team could deliberately attack an opposing player with the intention of getting him sent off. If he fights back when attacked, he could be given a red card. I know that I am supposed to have an 'expert opinion' on issues like this but I am more confused now than when I began to write this article!"
Super League has cleared itself up in recent years, but Phil Clarke wants less fighting and more action!
Taken from 'Fighting talk'

"Hopkins is now having to use his skills to compensate for the fact he's slowing down because of his age. Yes, he's got the world title but he has to think carefully about his next opponent and ask 'are there any big fights out there for me?' He can't fight everybody and anybody because there are people out there who can beat him. That doesn't mean they're better than him, it means they're faster, sharper and younger than him. A lot of fighters, when they reach a certain age, get caught out by less-talented but younger fighters. So he has to be smart about what he does next and the legacy he wants to create."
Bernard Hopkins is an example to young boxers - but should avoid Nathan Cleverly, says Johnny Nelson.
Taken from 'B-Hop on top'

"If Tiger and Rory are at their best, Luke cannot compete with them; he has a tremendous mind and when he is on, his iron game and putting are fantastic - but he hits considerably shorter off the tee than Woods and McIlroy and that disadvantage will eventually tell. Graeme McDowell went toe-to-toe with Tiger for a period at the WGC-Cadillac Championship last week, but an unspectacular final round saw him finish in a four-way tie for third place as Woods won the event, for a seventh time, by two strokes from Steve Stricker. The Northern Irishman will be pleased with his performance, though, as, like Donald, he has not figured in too many tournaments in 2013."
Rob Lee says Luke Donald cannot compete with an in-the-zone Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy.
Taken from 'Just two good'

"Why has such a densely populated area, which includes the second largest city in England, full of teams with substantial heritage and supporter-base, had so little to shout about for the last 30 years? Local rivalries spur sides on, although they can also be an unhealthy obsession if the competition isn't good enough. Sir Alex Ferguson had the incentive and made it his raison d'etre to knock a great Liverpool team off their perch when he took the reins at Old Trafford. And with Everton also winning at home and abroad, there was plenty of competition in the North-West back then."
Johnny Phillips mulls over the current struggles faced by the one-time high-flying West Midlands clubs.
Taken from 'Midlands in a muddle'

"Gone will be the days of twenty 11-year-olds chasing the ball around a full-size pitch with goalkeepers who can't get near to touching the crossbar. The progression from five-a-side through to seven, nine and 11-a-side will be gradual and as the kids grow so will the pitches and the goals. By the time young players reach their teenage years, so the idea goes, all will be comfortable in possession and possess excellent technique. From there our top academies, enriched by the Premier League's all singing and all dancing Elite Player Performance Plan, will have their pick of masses of more talented youngsters ready for their final nurturing before becoming professional players. And in 10 years' time, when all these improvements bear fruit, the England team will be the envy of the world. Can it really happen?"
David Jones considers whether new plans for youth football could end England's World Cup woes.
Taken from 'A new approach'

"BJ Holmes was immense and did what the Sharks have failed to do against the Riders this season - hit the three-ball. The MVP award was a no-contest in my mind, yes plenty of Sharks played well, but he stood head and shoulders above them all. His early triples set the tone for Sheffield and showed that even without the injured Micah Williams they were going to be a threat from behind the arc. Holmes equalled the record for most threes in a trophy final and only really missed one long range effort, I'm discounting the halfway line heave on the half-time buzzer."
BJ Holmes was in superb form as Sheffield won the BBL Trophy final, says Daniel Routledge.
Taken from 'Holmes cracks it'

"There's no doubt in my mind that Manchester United were playing better than Real Madrid before Nani's sending off. That was very pleasing to see because there is always a question mark whether United can cope tactically with Spanish teams - or, to put it another way, if they can be solid enough for long enough. Take, for example, the 2011 Champions League final when United lost their shape when Barcelona changed their tactics after 10 minutes. This time, though, the answer this time was 'yes' - United answered the question until the sending off changed the complexion of the game. The matter of whether Nani deserved a red card has been discussed extensively but here's my view: if you endanger a player you don't need to include intent in your conclusions, so I agree that it was a red card."
Guillem Balague blogs on Manchester United's improved form against Spanish sides.
Taken from 'Mour to come'

"Arsenal return to Premier League action this weekend five points off fourth place and I expect them to use their performance in Munich as a springboard for the rest of the domestic season. If you look at their remaining fixtures - Reading, Norwich, Everton, Manchester United and Wigan at home and Swansea, West Brom, Fulham, QPR and Newcastle away - they are not bad at all. I saw enough at the Allianz to suggest that they will finish very close to the top four, even without Jack Wilshere. I wouldn't rule them out of qualifying for next season's Champions League just yet."
Don't rule out the idea of Arsenal playing Champions League football next season just yet, says Jeff Stelling.
Taken from 'Still all to play four'

"Alvarez looks like a Hollywood heartthrob but he fights just like the great Mexican boxers of yesteryear; he wants to get at his opponents and pick up wins, but most of all he wants to impress his passionate boxing nation and knock people out. The WBC light-middleweight champion will meet unbeaten WBA counterpart Austin Trout in a unification bout on April 20 - and I would love him to face Floyd Mayweather should he come through that match in Texas unscathed. It would be a perfect match for both men as it would allow us to see whether Alvarez is all he is cracked up to be."
Unbeaten Mexican starlet Saul Alvarez can skyrocket to the very top of world boxing, says Glenn McCrory.
Taken from 'Saul looking good'

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