The talk of Sky Sports
Last Updated: 25/01/13 4:02pm
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...
"In La Liga there are just eight non-Spanish bosses in charge, in the Bundesliga and Serie A there are only two non-native coaches managing clubs, while Italy's Carlo Ancelotti is the only foreign coach in France's Ligue 1. Perhaps the fact 12 out of 20 Premier League clubs are now foreign-owned plays a part. Roman Abramovich at Chelsea is a fine example: during his 10-year tenure at the London club they've not had a single permanent British manager. But who's to say a British manager wouldn't have matched or bettered the results of the foreign coaches he's brought in? I've no doubt Everton boss David Moyes would have done a better job than Luiz Felipe Scolari! The FA adopted a similar approach a few years ago with the appointments of Sven-Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello - at great financial expense. However, Roy Hodgson showed that on the international stage England are just as well off with an Englishman in charge."
Mauricio Pochettino's arrival at Southampton is a blow for young British managers, says Jamie Redknapp.
Taken from 'Opportunity blocked'
"Chelsea were 90 minutes away from a Cup final - one of the few remaining trophies available to them - and yet to my mind they showed no sense of urgency. Frankly, I thought that quite a few of the players just gave up in the last 15 minutes or so, even before Hazard put his foot in it, so to speak. They didn't seem to be straining every sinew to win that game. Too many players appeared to think it was a lost cause. Had John Terry been on the pitch it might have been different because he is that leader that they don't seem to have out there on the pitch at the moment - somebody to drive them on. His absence may well have been telling."
Chelsea did not deserve a League Cup final spot after an abysmal display at Swansea, says Jeff Stelling.
Taken from 'Rightly booted out'
"Stability and Birmingham have not often gone hand in hand. Blues used to be run by the Kumar brothers, when big investment never materialised due to their businesses going into receivership, and while there was relative normality for the club when under the stewardship of Davids Sullivan and Gold and Karren Brady, that trio were replaced by Carson Yeung, Hong Kong's version of Walter Mitty, who was arrested for money laundering, meaning the Blues are now haemorrhaging money, and have revealed that they will sell any of their first-team squad at the right price. Star strikers Bob Latchford and Trevor Francis have been sold in the past to balance the books and if a proposed takeover by former QPR chairman Gianni Paladini does not bear fruit, I think that will happen again this time."
Birmingham may be short of money, but Peter Beagrie says they should be faring better in the Championship.
Taken from 'Feeling blue'
"Jamie has always been a pretty good swinger of the ball but he appears to have his whole game in fine fettle now, perhaps due to being coached by Matt Belsham, who also aids Robert Rock, the 2012 Abu Dhabi victor. What impressed me especially last week, though, was Donaldson's long putting; when Luke Donald topped the money list on both sides of the Atlantic during the 2011 season, I never saw anyone roll in more 25-foot putts and Donaldson seems to have the same gift. If Donaldson keeps swinging and putting like he is I think he can have a really good go at getting into the 2014 Ryder Cup team, while he will also fancy his chances of making an impression at the Masters this spring."
Rob Lee says the next five years could be extremely fruitful for Abu Dhabi king Jamie Donaldson.
Taken from 'Welsh wizard'
"People may say that Kal is still young and learning his trade - though I would dispute that because I wasn't Sugar Ray Robinson and I was world champion at 24 - and, anyway, plenty of guys have been in big battles at an early age or in the opening stages of their career. Charlie Magri won the British flyweight title in his third pro fight at the age of 21, Leon Spinks beat the great Muhammad Ali in just his eighth bout, and Pete Rademacher fought Floyd Patterson for the World Heavyweight title in his first. Kal has achieved too much in his amateur days to make a tepid start to life in the pros, but his fights thus far have been pretty risk free and he now needs a test that goes a few rounds, just like my eight-rounder with Denroy Bryan early in my career."
Glenn McCrory says Kal Yafai must dodge the easy fights and hunt for some more challenging ones.
Taken from 'No simple pleasures'
"The draw with Spurs was only the seventh time in 795 Premier League games that Manchester United have conceded an injury-time goal that affected the final result of the match (so this doesn't include, for example, Craig Bellamy's 90th-minute equaliser for Manchester City at Old Trafford in September 2009 because Michael Owen then went on and scored the winner afterwards). This was the second time Tottenham have snatched an injury-time equaliser against Manchester United in the Premier League; the previous occasion was December 1998 when Sol Campbell struck late to salvage a 2-2 draw. Incredibly, Manchester United have only conceded ONE added-time winning goal in the history of the Premier League. That came from Arsenal's Thierry Henry in January 2007, as Arsenal battled back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 at the Emirates."
Martin Tyler's back with some incredible stats and facts after a late Spurs show stunned United.
Taken from 'Dempsey's late piece'
"The new proposed World Series Cycling seems all about building an elite premier division, but there is a danger that the sport becomes top-heavy. The small teams, with more sponsors on their jersey than notches on Hugh Heffner's bedpost, owe their survival to the odd appearance in a WorldTour event, or the possibility of a wild card to the Giro or Vuelta. Even as the new cycling season gets underway this week in Argentina and Australia, enthusiasm seems tempered, partly because of continuing Lance Armstrong-related reverberations, and the sense that professional cycling is on probation. But it is not just that. In a sport that is particularly vulnerable to the state of the economy - particularly in the Eurozone - there are other, possibly bigger problems than doping, though admittedly it can seem impossible to untangle the two."
Richard Moore wonders if plans for a new global world cycling series is the right tonic for the sport.
Taken from 'Wheels of fortune'
"Henderson is set to unleash a potential star in the opener on Saturday, the Triumph Hurdle Trial. I've been hearing rave reviews about Rolling Star and it looks like there's been money for him already for the Triumph itself as he's down to 12/1 with Sky Bet without jumping a hurdle in public as his sole racecourse appearance was winning a seven furlong contest at Deauville in August 2011. Henderson has a superb record in the Triumph and it sounds like Michael Buckley and the Vestey family have another star on their hands. The next two races look very trappy, though Walkon sorely deserves to get his head in front in the Murphy Group Chase at 1.15pm. Then it's time to sit back and enjoy the brilliance of Sprinter Sacre, before the key Gold Cup trial in the Argento Chase."
Ed Chamberlin shares his selections for Festival Trials Day...
Taken from 'Cold comfort coming'
"Leicester live to travel to Toulon; it looks a forlorn challenge on the face of it but I would not be rushing to write Leicester off. They are nowhere near their best form but they have scrapped their way through a pool with the champions of the French and Celtic Leagues. They have a pack that can stand up to Toulon as well as the cussed determination needed to thrive on the test awaiting them. If Manu Tuilagi is fit and raring the blunt attack of recent weeks can be rectified... no, this is not the obvious home win a few people were telling me in the immediate aftermath of a win that felt somewhat fortuitous. Toulon's aura of home invincibility was recently destroyed by Racing Metro. They are not invincible."
Stuart Barnes wouldn't be too surprised to see three English sides in the Heineken Cup semi-finals.
Taken from 'Signs of progress'