The talk of Sky Sports

Last Updated: 21/12/12 9:55am

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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...

"There has been a seamless transition from Andrew Strauss to Alastair Cook. Joe Root has settled into the team instantly at number six and should be around for a long time, while Nick Compton has done well. All in all it was a wonderful performance. People say that if you want to be a top team in world cricket then you need to be able to win away from home. They came up short in the UAE against an absolutely brilliant Pakistan, but they've won in Australia (by an innings three times) and now in India. That tells me that this England team is a flipping good side."
Bumble names England's star performers in India and looks at the shape of the team for New Zealand.
Taken from 'Cook-a-hoop'

"Ian Poulter is my 'man of the year'. This lionhearted Englishman single-handedly took the Ryder Cup to the United States team at Medinah in September. Down 4-10, late on Saturday afternoon, Poults produced some of the finest golf I have had the honour of watching. It was beyond the call of duty, it was enthralling, exceptional, inspirational and brilliant. It gave his team a foundation on which to build and his team mates grasped that opportunity with open arms. The rest we know and many of you will relive that amazing weekend in Chicago with us on Sky Sports on Christmas Day."
Ewen Murray reflects on a fine year for the European Tour and Colin Montgomerie's Hall of Fame call-up...
Taken from 'Year to remember'

"I love Bradley Wiggins to death for his humour, character and what he achieved this year, while Jessica Ennis also had a fantastic 2012, but what Carl has accomplished over the last 12 months has been phenomenal. The Cobra, a three-time world champion, went 12 rounds with Andre Ward, the greatest fighter on the planet, in December 2011 and then in May of this year destroyed a 30-fight unbeaten world champion in Lucian Bute. Carl is a great role model, too."
Glenn McCrory says Carl Froch should have won SPOTY and David Price will become a world champion.
Taken from 'Split personality'

"Kilmarnock boss Shiels has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks and his behaviour on the touchline has earned him a ban. But the Northern Irishman has now gone a step further by branding fourth official Andrew Dallas, son of former head of referees Hugh Dallas, as being manipulative and devious. These are serious allegations to make against any referee and the only guarantee is that there's much more to come on this developing story. And it's a great pity that events off the park are taking the gloss off what could be another memorable season for the Ayrshire men."
Kenny Shiels' antics are in danger of tarnishing Kilmarnock's achievements, says Andy Walker.
Taken from 'Calm down, Kenny'

"The methodology of Jose Mourinho is so demanding and exhausting he needs to recycle the players a bit earlier than anybody else. You could see him stay a long time at a club if he gets players sold every two or three years - but he won't be able to do that at Real because that would mean getting rid of Iker Casillas or Sergio Ramos and Real president Florentino Perez doesn't feel Mourinho is popular enough to hand those heads to Mourinho. Mourinho has said it is 'practically impossible' to win the league but the chairman said 'we never give up' - he feels strong enough to contradict the manager, which is interesting."
Guillem Balague reports the latest twist in the Los Blancos managerial pantomime ...
Taken from 'Simply the best?'

"Saracens and Munster not only provided a flinty finale to round four of this season's Heineken Cup, they restored a semblance of rugby sanity. The best laid plans of mice, men and coaches (not to mention broadcasters who prematurely plot their travels for the next round) went astray with results and expectations turned upsides down in the space of seven days or less. Less in the case of those sides; the previous Sunday Munster won 19-13 in Limerick. The bonus point Saracens gained despite playing well was typically, well, Munster. In Watford Saracens, the team with home advantage on this occasion, prevailed; the margin an identical 19-13."
Stuart Barnes rounds up the winners and losers from the Heineken Cup and reveals his wish for 2013.
Taken from 'Classy Clermont'

"I suspect many Indian fans are busy brushing the 2-1 Test defeat under the carpet in the hope of vastly-better things in t20 and 50-over cricket, so it will be a major blow to them - and Indian cricket in general - if England can round off this section of the tour with victories in Pune and Mumbai. Those guys who have been hanging around the edges of England's Test team in recent weeks without getting the opportunity to impress - Morgan included - will be desperately keen to lay down a marker ahead of a remarkably busy 2013. I, for one, hope Jos Buttler gets an opportunity higher up the order in both t20 and 50-over cricket because he is a special talent."
Bob Willis says England must go all out in the t20 series to keep the pressure on India ahead of the ODIs.
Taken from 'Hit where it hurts'

"When Lovie Smith got the job at the press conference he said, 'we are going to beat the Packers', and of late they haven't been able to do that. That's the thing they need to get in order. As for the Packers, if they win they win the division, it's as simple as that. If they get the win they get a two-game lead in the division with two games left. They haven't been incredible because they've been dealing with a lot of injuries. It is what happens when you start taking your top players away like Charles Woodson - a future Hall of Famer - and Clay Mathews, who have both been out for a big part of the season."
Kevin Cadle thinks the Bears need to to make more things happen on offence to overcome the Packers.
Taken from 'Spread the love'

"What really worries me, though, is that Arsenal have looked vulnerable on their travels - not just this season in the Champions League, but in past seasons too, and I just don't see them going to Germany and getting anything. That means they HAVE to win their home leg and win it emphatically, but we saw what Schalke did to Arsenal in October (winning 2-0 at the Emirates) and Schalke are not a patch on Bayern. Who knows - Arsenal might have strengthened their squad by the time February rolls around, but as I mentioned last week, where do you go to buy a quality player in January who is eligible and good enough to play in the Champions League?"
Celtic and Arsenal have to play a Champions League blinder in the transfer window, says Jeff Stelling.
Taken from 'This is the real deal'

"Too often, by not securing players on long-term deals, Arsenal have allowed the players to boss situations. When players only have six months on their contracts - as Theo Walcott does now - they hold all the cards. I've heard lots of Arsenal fans say it doesn't matter if they lose him - well it does matter. Being forced into selling Walcott at a cut-price because his deal has run down will set the wrong example once again. Walcott's a good player, he gets a lot of unfair criticism but he's quick, he scores goals, he makes goals and he showed with his left-foot finish against Reading what he can do."
Jamie Redknapp is pleased to see five Arsenal young guns commit - but says Theo Walcott must be next.
Taken from 'Waiting on Walcott'

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