'Balotelli said: I don't mark corners... I can't! It was hard to manage mad Mario, but he made me smile. That wasn't the case with Diouf.' GERRARD REVEALS ALL IN THE FOOTBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR

Steven Gerrard reveals how he ran the rule over every new Liverpool signing in their first

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: I reminded myself that I had always allowed every new player to come into the club with a clean slate. Mario Balotelli's reputation tested that resolve but I tried my best to be open-minded. He made an immediate impression when we were doing work on our defensive set pieces and Balotelli said to Brendan Rodgers: 'I don't mark on corners. I can't.' I nearly fell into the goalpost. I was thinking, 'What are you? Six foot three, and one of the strongest men I've ever seen on a football pitch? And you can't mark on a corner?' Brendan was very firm. He said to Balotelli: 'Well, you can now - and if you can't then you're going to learn.'

GERRARD ON... His dream to manage Liverpool (with Carragher or Alonso)

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard (R) and defender Jamie Carragher kiss the European Cup after Liverpool won the European Champions League final against AC Milan on May 25, 2005 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.  
UEFA Champions League Final - AC Milan v Liverpool (3-3 a.e.t.-Liverpool won 3-2 on pens).
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 25:  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: If, totally hypothetically, I was going to become Liverpool manager one day I know who I'd love to have as my assistant: Xabi Alonso or Jamie Carragher.

GERRARD ON... How he tried to lure Kroos and Willian to Anfield with texts

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 17:  (SPAIN OUT) Toni Kroos poses for photographers in his new Real Madrid shirt during his official unveiling at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on July 17, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. Toni Kroos who won the World Cup with Germany in Brazil is Real Madrid's first signing in the new season.  (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: I had an unofficial role at the club, trying to persuade some great players to join Liverpool. It was the same ritual every summer.

GERRARD ON... How Coutinho could go (and Suarez's parting demand)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04:  (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool celebrate the fourth goal of Luis Suarez during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Norwich City at Anfield on December 4, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: Before Luis Suarez left Liverpool's training ground for the last time he spoke to me about Philippe Coutinho. 'Make sure you look after him,' Luis said of Philippe.

Perfect 10: Djokovic celebrates landmark career grand slam triumph after beating rival Federer in a thrilling US Open Final in New York

Novak Djokovic wins US Open 2015 final after beating Roger Federer

MIKE DICKSON IN NEW YORK: Novak Djokovic celebrated an emphatic victory over rival Roger Federer to land a stunning 10th grand slam career title. The world No 1 conquered the world No 2 after four incredible sets at Flushing Meadows in New York, winning 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4. Victory for the Serbian saw him win the US Open for only the second time, adding to his impressive haul of the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2015.

Mourinho's furious 'f-word' rant at Martinez: Under-fire Chelsea boss clashes with Everton boss after defeat

***NOT INCLUDED IN ONLINE/DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION. FEES APPLY*** Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA and Premier League restrictions apply inc. no internet/mobile usage without FAPL license - for details contact Football Dataco
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 Everton Manager, Roberto Martinez and Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho
 Everton v Chelsea, Great Britain - 12 Sep 2015

DOMINIC KING: Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez were involved in a furious bust-up as the under-pressure Chelsea manager's frustrations boiled over.

Liverpool boss Rodgers is back in the firing line after Old Trafford defeat

Football - Manchester United v Liverpool - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford - 12/9/15
 Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks dejected
 Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
 EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

Brendan Rodgers knows how quickly a sense of optimism can evaporate after seeing Liverpool's promising start to the season brought to a halt by West Ham and Manchester United.

Martial ran at defenders... that's something United haven't done for TWO YEARS, says legend Yorke


Anthony Martial's impressive debut for Manchester United gave the fans something they haven't seen for two years, according to Old Trafford legend Dwight Yorke.

Aguero is major Man City injury doubt for crunch Juventus clash

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini hopes to have David Silva and Raheem Sterling available against Juventus - but Sergio Aguero is a major doubt for the Champions League clash on Tuesday.

GRAHAM POLL: Clamp down on goalkeepers... they shouldn't have a licence to clatter into players

GRAHAM POLL: While Nathan Dyer and Ryan Mason's bravery was rewarded after being battered by opposition goalkeepers, I wonder if their assailants should have been punished.

SPECIAL REPORT: Mourinho's feuding with Diego Costa, he's upset the club over Dr Eva row and the team are unhappy with his style. Have Chelsea stars given up on Jose?

Jose Mourinho upset Chelsea staff over Eva Carneiro treatment, is feuding with Diego Costa

NEIL ASHTON: As Jose Mourinho stomps around the training ground, Chelsea employees dive into side rooms or peek around corners to avoid their temperamental manager. Nobody wants to come into contact with him these days. Not when the mood is black and the atmosphere oppressive. Mourinho will not speak about the moment he shouted 'filha da puta' at the club's popular doctor Eva Carneiro during the 2-2 draw with Swansea City on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season. Privately, employees at the club are firmly on her side.

JAMIE REDKNAPP: This is no time for Liverpool to panic... Top four can still be target for Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers is the man to solve Liverpool's issues and his new players deserve time to

JAMIE REDKNAPP: It is always damaging when Liverpool lose to Manchester United. Yes, it was a bad performance but this is no time to panic. Brendan Rodgers is under pressure and there are problems in that team. They are fragile at the back and I still feel they lack a creative central midfielder. But Rodgers has to be the man to try and solve those issues.

'It's the saddest day of my life': Owen grieves after his stellar racehorse Brown Panther is tragically put down

Owner Michael Owen with his King George V stakes winning horse Brown Panther during Day Three of the 2011 Royal Ascot Meeting.

MARCUS TOWNEND: Michael Owen lost his best racehorse when Brown Panther had to be put down after suffering a fatal injury in Sunday's Irish St Leger at the Curragh.

Back four need help! Ivanovic deflects the blame after early Chelsea woes

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12:  John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic and Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea look dejected after the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on September 12, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

DOMINIC KING: Branislav Ivanovic carefully considered the question. After five games, three defeats and 12 goals conceded, what is wrong with Chelsea's defence?

Axed Adebayor to decide his future on holiday in France after Togo striker is finally released by Tottenham

Emmanuel Adebayor will decide his future whilst on holiday in France after he finally departed Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. The Togolese hasn't started a senior game for Spurs since January.

Miserable return for Mario as Inter win Milan derby battle at San Siro after Guarin goal

Inter Milan 1-0 AC Milan: Fredy Guarin proves the difference for Roberto Mancini's men as

Inter Milan beat local rival AC Milan 1-0 to move top of Serie A on Sunday, as Mario Balotelli failed to make an immediate impact against his old club on his second debut for the Rossoneri. Fredy Guarin celebrated his 100th league appearance with a stunning goal after Milan had wasted a number of chances.

PICTURED: Martial geared up for dream Man United debut with shopping trip to Dorothy Perkins and Boots... plus a visit to Wetherspoons!

Manchester United striker Anthony Martial geared up for stunning debut with shopping trip

Anthony Martial might be the world's most expensive teenage footballer, but that didn't stop him from visiting the modest setting of a Wetherspoons - a nationwide pub chain famed for its bargain prices.

REVEALED: Manchester United security staff scan team hotel for 'bugs' and listening devices

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05:  (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Louis van Gaal of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on August 5, 2015 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Manchester United have been sweeping their team hotel for bugs in a bid to stop Louis van Gaal's team talks being listened in on. Security staff checked over the Lowry Hotel before the 3-1 win over Liverpool.

United have a new hero in Martial but there's still plenty of cause for concern

12th September 2015 - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Anthony Martial of Man Utd celebrates after scoring their 3rd goal - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

CHRIS WHEELER: Anthony Martial's goal can't mask United's problems and some of them were evident in a turgid first half against Liverpool.

Liverpool winger Ibe tells Nigeria he would rather play for England

DRAMMEN, NORWAY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Jordan Ibe and James Ward-Prowse of England U21 in action during the U21 International match between Norway and England at Marienlyst Stadium on September 7, 2015 in Drammen, Norway.  (Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images)

Liverpool winger Jordon Ibe has decided to shun interest from Nigeria's national team as he is keen on representing England, according to Super Eagles coach Sunday Oliseh.

Don't hang up the gloves yet, Floyd: After toying with Berto, unbeaten Mayweather stands by claim that he will now walk away

Floyd Mayweather toyed and tormented Andre Berto both verbally and physically... So why is

JEFF POWELL: The clamour for Floyd Mayweather to perform a U-turn as deft and speedy as his manoeuvres in the ring is coming to a crescendo in the wake of the most entertaining cameo of his phenomenal career. The final two rounds of what he insists will be his last fight saw Mayweather show-boating like Muhammad Ali in his pomp. He shed his cloak as the greatest defensive boxer to light up the Las Vegas Strip with dazzling punch combinations.

JEFF POWELL: The best ever? 'Money Man' Floyd doesn't make my top 10 of all-time boxing icons

Floyd Mayweather may call himself The Best Ever... but he doesn't even make my top-10

Sportsmail's Jeff Powell give his Top 10 boxers of all time as Floyd Mayweather calls time on his career following 49th and final victory against Andre Berto in Las Vegas

Burgess poised to be named among England replacements for Fiji opener amid rugby league return rumours

CHRIS FOY: Sam Burgess is poised to be named among England's replacements for the World Cup opener against Fiji, as Bath are fending off speculation linking him with a rugby league return.

KO king Joshua eyes European title after destroying Cornish in 97 seconds

Match room Boxing. Heavy Duty. 
Anthony Joshua v Gary Cornish
12/09/15: Picture Kevin Quigley/solo syndication 
Anthony Joshua wins

The tattoo on Anthony Joshua's huge right shoulder says 'Wisdom', but he must wonder how much he can learn when he keeps making his lessons so brief.

Groves battles to rise again after defeat by WBC champion Jack

JEFF POWELL: The world championship future for George Groves now seems to depend upon his arch London rival James DeGale still wanting to avenge that narrow defeat by him four years ago.

Van Gaal celebrates win over Liverpool with visit to his favourite Manchester restaurant (the clue is on the chauffeur-driven Bentley)

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal arrives at favourite restaurant in a Bentley 

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal enjoyed a celebratory dinner out on the town on Sunday night - and he certainly arrived in style. Just hours after seeing his side beat Liverpool, the Dutch manager was being whisked off to footballers' favourite restaurant Wings, along with his wife Truus and a family friend. All three arrived in a stunning Bentley - complete with personalised W1 NGS number plate - which was sent by the restaurant for Van Gaal.

After celebrating his first-ever goal at Old Trafford in win over Liverpool, United ace Blind enjoys day off with his girlfriend

Manchester United defender Daley Blind enjoys stroll with partner Candy-Rae Fleur after

Manchester United defender Daley Blind scored his first goal-ever goal at Old Trafford against Liverpool and his smile was still clear to see as he enjoyed a leisurely stroll on Sunday afternoon.

Blatter 'sold World Cup TV rights to FIFA crook Warner at just 5% of value'

FIFA president Sepp Blatter sold off television rights for the 2010 and 2014 World Cups to disgraced former FIFA vice-president Jack Warner at a knockdown price, Swiss media claim.

Walcott has 11 goals in 11 starts... he CAN be centre of attention at Arsenal

Image:  39385510 (150913) -- LONDON, Sept. 12, 2015 (Xinhua) -- Theo Walcott of Arsenal celebrates after scoring during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium in London, England, Sept. 12, 2015. Arsenal won 2-0.
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MATT BARLOW: Eight years have passed since Theo Walcott's hat-trick in Zagreb and it remains no clearer if he is a prolific centre forward or a flying winger with a decent goal return.

Newcastle to revive Austin interest as McClaren reveals interest in QPR star

Queens Park Rangers' Charlie Austin during the Sky Bet Championship match between QPR and Nottingham Forest played at Loftus Road, Shepherd's Bush, London

Newcastle will revive their interest in Charlie Austin after being put off by Queens Park Rangers' £15million asking price. The Magpies have been short of goals after failing to land the striker.

Hat-trick hero Naismith wanted to quit Everton after £8m Norwich bid snub

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12:  Steven Naismith of Everton celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea at Goodison Park on September 12, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images) ***BESTPIX***

Steven Naismith admitted he felt frustrated when Roberto Martinez rebuffed Norwich's bid to sign him as he reflected on his best day at Everton.

Berahino saga is over... thanks to dressing room banter, says Fletcher

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 12:  Saido Berahino of West Bromwich Albion during the Barclays Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Southampton on September 12, 2015 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom.  (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)

JACK GAUGHAN: Saido Berahino's behaviour on deadline day had Darren Fletcher scratching his head, but the West Brom captain revealed dressing-room ribbing has smoothed the situation over.

Water farce! Brazilian rivals get wet and wild as clash continues despite torrential rain

Brazilian second tier match not abandoned in spite of ludicrously waterlogged pitch 

When one thinks of Brazilian football it is usually the abiding beauty of seeing the likes of Pele, Socrates, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Neymar embarrassing defenders which crystallises in the mind. But when a brazen referee allowed Oeste to take on Boa Esporte at their Estadio Municipal dos Amaros on Saturday, he had no such respect for the beautiful game which Brazil has come to be renowned for.

Kane only had three touches inside the Sunderland box, but boss Pochettino says Spurs star will start scoring soon

Harry Kane is a slow starter... but the goals will soon arrive, insists Tottenham manager

CRAIG HOPE AT THE STADIUM OF LIGHT: Mauricio Pochettino has reminded those who are doubting Harry Kane that the striker did not score a Premier League goal until November of last season. The 22-year-old went on to hit 21 in the top flight, 31 in all, but has yet to find the back of the net in five Tottenham games this season and was again out of sorts at Sunderland.

Magic Mason eclipses £22m Son to sneak Tottenham's first win of season against gloomy Sunderland

Football - Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Barclays Premier League - Stadium of Light - 13/9/15
 Ryan Mason scores the first goal for Tottenham
 Reuters / Andrew Yates
 EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

SUNDERLAND 0-1 SPURS - MATT LAWTON: With the standard of debuts already rather high over the weekend, a sense of excitement accompanied the appearance of some fresh new faces.

'I've never felt this bad. Ever' Villa boss Sherwood distraught after late defeat

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13:  Tim Sherwood the Aston Villa manager during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City v Aston Villa at the King Power Staduim on September 13, 2015 in Leicester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

LAURIE WHITWELL AT THE KING POWER STADIUM: Tim Sherwood claimed last-minute defeat at Leicester plunged him to depths never before experienced in his career.

£22m Son fails to shine in low-key debut for Asia's most expensive player

CRAIG HOPE AT THE STADIUM OF LIGHT: Spurs could lose Heung-Min Son to national service in the coming years and his debut was more foot soldier than penalty-box sniper.

Watford boss Sanchez Flores backs goal-shy striker Deeney to score soon

RIATH AL-SAMARRAI: Troy Deeney has so far failed to do this season what he does best and has taken a vow of silence until he finally breaks his duck but Quique Sanchez Flores is not worried.

Brave 5ft 5in Dyer sticks his neck on the line to head dramatic winner, but gets wiped out by 6ft 4in Guzan in Leicester's win over Villa

Leicester 3-2 Aston Villa: Ritchie De Laet, Jamie Vardy and Nathan Dyer complete stunning

LEICESTER 3-2 ASTON VILLA - LAURIE WHITWELL AT THE KING POWER STADIUM: Ritchie De Laet, Jamie Vardy and Nathan Dyer scored second-half goals to complete a stunning comeback for Leicester City in their Midlands derby with Aston Villa. Jack Grealish and Carles Gil had scored either side of half-time to leave Villa in a dominant position, but the home side produced a marvellous late fightback.

No Sterling, no Silva and no Aguero... but Man City finally have a kid who can cut it in teen Iheanacho

Manchester City had no Raheem Sterling, David Silva or Sergio Aguero... but 18-year-old

KIERAN GILL: No Raheem Sterling, no David Silva, no Sergio Aguero, no problem. Not even the attacking trio's absence could deny Manchester City, who were given an added incentive by Chelsea's earlier defeat, their fifth consecutive win.

Jarvis eyes England call up for Euro 2016 after scoring on Norwich debut

Matt Jarvis celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Norwich City and AFC Bournemouth played at Carrow Road, Norwich

SAM CUNNINGHAM: Matt Jarvis is hoping to use his loan move to Norwich to propel himself back into the England reckoning. The winger scored on his debut in a convincing win over Bournemouth.

Antonio's mum stopped new West Ham star from joining Spurs at 14

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Michail Antonio faces the assembled media during a press conference at Chadwell Heath on September 11, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

West Ham are less than a year away from moving to the 54,000-seat Olympic Stadium, but Michail Antonio can still remember playing in front of 25 fans. And even they had left by the end.

Nolan admits he was 'very miserable' towards end of time with West Ham

Leyton Orient Training Ground,Chigwell Essex - \nKevin Nolan training with the O's(with Alan Dunne)

Kevin Nolan says he was 'very miserable' in his final days at West Ham as the free agent considers his next move after quitting Upton Park last month. Nolan is weighing up his next career move.

Get in my way and I will run you over: Watch out, England... Fiji's 20-stone wing Nadolo is plotting a huge World Cup upset on Friday

Nemani Nadolo is rolling towards Twickenham and England, full of momentum and feeling

CHRIS FOY: He calls himself a 'softie' and a 'big teddy bear', but England won't see that side of Nemani Nadolo at Twickenham on Friday. Instead, the hosts will see a giant threat to their World Cup hopes. Fiji are renowned for their fancy footwork and the Pacific islanders will bring their dancing shoes for the tournament opener, but Nadolo is built for the route-one approach.

England end summer on low note as Australia dish out beating in final ODI

SPT_GCK_130915_ Cricket, ODI  5th in the series England v Australia Old Trafford. Picture Graham Chadwick. Stand in captain James Taylor at the end of the game

PAUL NEWMAN AT OLD TRAFFORD: The rapid changes of fortune prevalent throughout Australia's tour remained to the last when England blew their big chance to stay unbeaten in all series.

SPECIAL REPORT: How stars from the Pacific Islands are 'poached' by rivals

RORY KEANE: New Zealand have the sensational Fiji-born winger Waisake Naholo in their squad, while France have their very own Fijian flyer with Noa Nakaitaci.


Season at a glance

  • Premier League
  • Premier League
  • Championship
  • League One
  • League Two
  • Scottish Premiership
  • Scottish Div 1
  • Scottish Div 2
  • Scottish Div 3
  • Ligue 1
  • Serie A
  • La Liga
  • Bundesliga


STEVEN GERRARD: 'I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers. Apart from one of them. Rafa is the exception'... Read latest EXCLUSIVE extract from Kop idol's book

'I can pick up the phone and speak to all of my previous Liverpool managers. Apart from

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: I don't think Rafa Benitez liked me as a person. I'm not sure why, but that's the feeling I got from him. It probably started even before he spoke to me, when he met my mum. Rafa was appointed as Liverpool's manager in June 2004 - and I was playing for England in the Euros in Portugal that summer. Even though he was being replaced by Rafa, Gerard Houllier still loved Liverpool and he remained very close to me. He and my mum flew out to Portugal to watch me play for England against Croatia - and they bumped into Rafa.

'I felt my studs sink into his flesh': Liverpool hero on THAT Herrera tackle and why it was always personal against Man United

'I felt my studs sink into his flesh just above the ankle' Steven Gerrard on THAT tackle

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: On the morning of the game, I felt like a caged animal. As I warmed up on the afternoon last March, the United fans opened their throats. They pelted me with abuse.

STEVEN GERRARD Q&A;: The one question I would ask Ferguson? ... Do you really think I am average?

CARSON CA - AUGUST 9: Steven Gerrard #8 of the Los Angeles Galaxy drives the ball against Brad Evans #3 of the Seattle Sounders during the first half at StubHub Center August 9, 2015, in Carson, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Here, the former Liverpool captain reveals his dream dinner party, his favourite super hero and more...

'Liverpool were looking for a new No 2, or No 3 or No 4. I would have been tailor-made to fill one of these roles...'

STEVEN GERRARD EXCLUSIVE: I might have stayed if Liverpool offered me the right job,

LEE CLAYTON: This swashbuckling commander of Anfield is now 35 and has left his Liverpool roots for a new adventure in America's emerging league where he has played 624 minutes for LA Galaxy so far...

GERRARD: The day Pearce dumped me as England captain in the toilet... and gave the job to Parker 

England Caretaker Manager Stuart Pearce and and injured Steven  Gerrard

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: There are moments behind the public face of English football, when players are not always handled in the best way. Stuart Pearce taught me that in 2012.

GERRARD: Some England players came to me to complain that they had to walk 50 yards for a massage

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: I avoided all the bitching among England players. As captain for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, I couldn't quite believe it when I heard some of the complaints.

The clubs that tried to sign me in my last year... Spurs, PSG and Monaco, plus a £10m deal for a club in Qatar 

CARSON, CA - JULY 17: Steven Gerrard #8 of Los Angeles Galaxy celebrates his first goal for the Los Angeles Galaxy during Los Angeles Galaxy's MLS match against San Jose Earthquakes at the StubHub Center on July 17, 2015 in Carson, California.  The LA Galaxy won the match 5-2  (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: In Day One of his explosive new book Steven Gerrard reveals the long list of clubs that approached him when it became clear that he was to leave Liverpool.

There was plenty of blood. I needed four stitches... Gerrard on the moment he REALLY got hurt in the 'tackle'


STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: The magic of the FA Cup was bloodied on the day my penis was cut and then stitched shut on an unromantic afternoon in Bournemouth last year. There was plenty of blood.

GERRARD: For me, the ideal situation would obviously have been for Mourinho to have managed Liverpool


STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: Chelsea fans are not my people. We've all worked that out over the years. I belong to Liverpool. Jose Mourinho understood my reasons despite being persuasive.

That slip killed me, I couldn't stop crying... Gerrard recounts horror against Chelsea

STEVEN GERRARD - MY STORY: In Day One of his explosive new book, Steven Gerrard speaks about the tears that followed his slip against Chelsea and the numbing pain suffered in his darkest career moment.

It'll be all-white! England's World Cup stars line up for their official team photo with just eight days until Fiji curtain-raiser at HQ

England stars line up for team photo ahead of Rugby World Cup 2015 bid

England rugby stars lined up for an official team photo at the squad's Pennyhill Park training ground ahead of their bid to bring back the Rugby World Cup title they memorably won in 2003. The 31-man squad, featuring the likes of captain Chris Robshaw, fly-half George Ford and crossover centre Sam Burgess, posed for pictures wearing their full strip and official suits ahead of their opening game against Fiji on September 18. While Stuart Lancaster's evolving side may not have the same established world class players as the 2003 winners, they do have some emerging talents as well as the advantage of playing on home soil in a pool that also includes two-times world champions Australia, Wales and Uruguay.

South Africa welcome party continues as Springboks arrive in Eastbourne ahead of Rugby World Cup opener with Japan

South Africa welcome party continues as Springboks arrive in Eastbourne ahead of Rugby

South Africa have arrived in Eastbourne for their Rugby World Cup welcome ceremony as the Springboks continued their preparations for the opening Pool B game against Japan this Saturday. The southern hemisphere nation had plans for their first weekend in the UK scuppered by the weather, as organisers were forced to move the greeting session from the Bandstand on the sea front.

SAM WARBURTON: Why I will not be defined by THAT red card four years ago...

SAM WARBURTON: I will not be defined by red card against France in 2011

Sam Warburton has accepted the 'what if?' question will haunt him until the day he dies. 'I'll be doing a Q&A; session when I'm 60 and someone will ask me about that red card,' says the Wales skipper.

'Big teams hate England, Twickenham is vindictive... it will be a dark day if they win it', blasts All Blacks legend


Former All Blacks star Ali Williams has hit out at England in a bizarre attack before the start of the Rugby World Cup, branding the team a relic of the British Empire.

2015 World Cup will be the most expensive sporting event in history 

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  Rugby World Cup 2003 winning captain, Martin Johnson, shows off the ticket design for the Rugby World Cup 2015 at Twickenham Stadium on June 26, 2015 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

The 2015 Rugby World Cup will be the most expensive sporting event in history, with the average price of a normal ticket more than £104.

Rugby World Cup 2015: Download our ultimate fixtures guide 


The 2015 Rugby World Cup is on the horizon and to get you in the mood, you can download this brilliant fixture wallchart from this weekend's Mail on Sunday.

SIR CLIVE WOODWARD: England in a pool of death? With Australia, Wales and Fiji, it's a pool of opportunity 

England's rugby team captain Chis Robshaw, right, with teammate Ben Morgan walk past a line of Army officer cadets for the arrival ceremony for the Rugby World Cup at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, England, Saturday Sept. 12, 2015. The Rugby World Cup starts on Friday, Sept. 18, with England playing Fiji, and ends with the final on Oct 31. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

England might find themselves in the dreaded Pool of Death but I prefer to call it the Pool of Opportunity. being drawn against Wales, Australia and Fiji.

Burgess can be a game-changer, says fellow league-convert Robinson

File photo dated 22-11-2003 of Jason Robinson celebrates his try for England against Australia during the Rugby World Cup Final at the Telstra Stadium, Sydney, Australia. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday September 9, 2015. World Cup winner Jason Robinson believes Sam Burgess will have every intention of making England's starting line-up when the tournament starts next week. See PA story RUGBYU England Robinson. Photo credit should read David Davies/PA Wire.

England are just a week away from kicking off their Rugby World Cup campaign against Fiji at Twickenham, and exitement is building in and outside the camp.

World Cup 2015 fixtures guide: Dates, times, groups and knock-out games

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  A general view of Twickenham Stadium on July 6, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England will kick off the Rugby World Cup on Friday 18 September when they take on Fiji at Twickenham, looking to win a second title. Sportsmail brings you every game.

Rugby World Cup Pool A Guide: All you need to know about England, Australia, Wales, Fiji and Uruguay

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 05:  (L-R) Courtney Lawes, Kieran Brookes and Tom Wood of England celebrate after their victory during the QBE International match between England and Ireland at Twickenham Stadium on at Twickenham Stadium on September 5, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by David Rogers - RFU/The RFU Collection via Getty Images,)

The toughest of the four pools. Wales, without injured Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb, have a point to prove, while Australia and England won't tolerate anything but the title.

Rugby World Cup Pool B Guide: All you need to know about South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, Japan and the USA

epa04917996 Springbok player Bismarck du Plessis (L)trains with the rest of the Springbok team as they prepare for the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015, Johannesburg, South Africa, 07 September 2015.  EPA/KIM LUDBROOK

South Africa are clear favourites to emerge as winners from arguably the weakest of the four pools. Scotland will target their St James' Park clash with Samoa in the final round of pool games in October.

Rugby World Cup Pool C Guide: All you need to know about New Zealand, Argentina, Tonga, Georgia and Namibia

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 11:  Sonny Bill Williams of the New Zealand All Blacks meets fans following their RWC 2015 Welcome Ceremony at the Tower of London on September 11, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

This looks the most physically demanding of the four pools, and New Zealand's rivals will hope the toll taken in qualifying catches up with the favourites as the tournament wears on.

Rugby World Cup Pool D Guide: All you need to know about France, Ireland, Italy, Canada and Romania

France's centre Mathieu Bastareaud (C) is tackled by Scotland's fly-half Finn Russell (2nd L) and Scotland's prop Gordon Reid (R)  during the rugby union test match between France and Scotland at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on August 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LOIC VENANCELOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images

Ireland's poor form in the warm-up games is cause for concern, but they should still qualify from a pool containing weak links Canada and Romania. Italy will provide their usual physical test.

MARTIN JOHNSON: Sacrifice? Shut up and get on with it... there are worse things you could be doing! 

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 22:   Martin Johnson the captain of England hold aloft the William Webb Ellis trophy after England's victory in the Rugby World Cup Final match between Australia and England at Telstra Stadium November 22, 2003 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Dave Rogers/Getty Images)

OLIVER HOLT: It is 10 years now since he retired as a player but Johnson has not changed. Not one jot. England's World Cup-winning captain is, and always has been, happy in his own skin.

Get behind us! Lancaster urges the nation to back England like they did during Euro 96


OLIVER HOLT: Stuart Lancaster sees the fervour that the competition could generate as the weapon that might win England the World Cup. Lancaster's vision for this World Cup is not just an English victory.

De Bruyne and Martial enjoyed bright starts but who else shone on their weekend bows?

Kevin De Bruyne made a bright start to life at Manchester City while Anthony Martial made

On a day when a number of players begin life at their new clubs, Anthony Martial stole the show with his late solo strike against Liverpool. Manchester United's teenage sensation announcement himself to Old Trafford with a sublime strike against Liverpool. Meanwhile, Manchester City's £54million man Kevin De Bruyne made his debut while Everton's new defender Ramiro Funes Mori got 20 minutes of action against Chelsea. Here, Sportsmail's writers rate the performances of the Premier League debutants.

Get the beers in, Fergie! Former United boss toasts his return to Old Trafford (no, not that one) with a pint

Sir Alex Ferguson enjoys a beer on his return to Old Trafford (not that one!) as legendary

Free of the pressures of managing Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson appears to be enjoying his retirement as he had a beer with friends while watching the cricket.

West Ham sign Serbia U19 striker Belic to boost development squad

West Ham complete signing of Serbia U19 striker Luka Belic from OFK Beograd to boost

West Ham have completed the signing of Serbia Under 19 striker Luka Belic from OFK Beograd on a permanent deal. The move, which is subject to international clearance, sees Belic move away from his native Serbia to join Terry Westley's development squad at Upton Park on a one-year deal. Speaking to the Hammers' official website, Belic said: 'It's a dream come true for me and I'm looking forward to playing games and scoring a lot of goals. I'm already loving it here. 

'It just doesn't work!': Rodgers blasted by Liverpool legends Carragher and Souness after Old Trafford defeat

Sept 12th 2015 - Manchester, UK - MAN UTD V LIVERPOOL -
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers at half time.  
PIcture by Ian Hodgson/Daily Mail

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers came under attack from two club legends after his side's disastrous defeat to Manchester United.

England 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Springett dies, aged 80

England's 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Ron Springett has died aged 80, former club Sheffield Wednesday have said. Springett was England No 1 at the 1962 World Cup in Chile.

RIO FERDINAND: It would be tough to join United now... you want trophies!

ROB DRAPER: Manchester United's return to the Champions League this week represents something of a conundrum for Rio Ferdinand.

Mourinho: 'I am champion, my players are the champions, the way they are playing is not as bad as the results'

Defiant Jose Mourinho refused to blame his players after Chelsea's worst start to a Premier League season since 1988 was compounded by a 3-1 defeat by Everton at Goodison Park.

Pellegrini: Pogba still has plenty to learn to be in same class as Yaya

JOE BERNSTEIN: Manuel Pellegrini does not think £60 million-rated Juventus star Paul Pogba, 22, compares with his own powerhouse midfielder Yaya Toure.

Ogbonna wants West Ham to take feel-good factor into Newcastle game

Angelo Ogbonna is hoping to take the feel-good factor from West Ham's historic win at Liverpool into Monday night's game against Newcastle.

Kelechi who? All you need to know about Man City's new goal-den boy Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho: All you need to know about Manchester City's new goal-den boy

A team boasting Yaya Toure, Kevin De Bruyne, Wilfired Bony and Samir Nasri, among others, and Manchester City's winner was scored by a little-known 18-year-old Nigerian. Kelechi Iheanacho, taking his chance after injuries to Raheem Sterling, David Silva and Sergio Aguero, was in the right place at the right time at Selhurst Park.

Fulham 2-1 Blackburn: Rovers robbed by awful decision not to award Hanley goal

Fulham 2-1 Blackburn: Rovers robbed after Grant Hanley's late header is disallowed

JACK GAUGHAN AT CRAVEN COTTAGE: The arguments will carry on long into the night, and quite right too. Blackburn Rovers were robbed. Six minutes from time and 2-1 down, Grant Hanley's shoulder looked to have produced an equaliser.  Over the line it flew, only for Jamie O'Hara to hook clear.

FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED IN THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE: Slade finally proving doubters wrong at high-flying Cardiff

Russell Slade proving doubters wrong at high-flying Cardiff City - Five things we learned

The Championship action returned following the international break and it added to plenty of action in League One and Two over the weekend. Here, Sportsmail's James Restall takes a look at the five most important things we've learned from the Football League.

Gillingham manager Edinburgh puts path to glory down to Amiens 6-1 loss

Gillingham's Doug Loft (top) is congratulated after scoring

JAMES RESTALL - ON THE ROAD: If Gillingham are still chasing promotion to the Championship come May, manager Justin Edinburgh will surely point to a week in Le Touquet as the key to their success.

West Brom boss Pulis will speak to winger McManaman about diving

Football - West Bromwich Albion v Southampton - Barclays Premier League - The Hawthorns - 12/9/15
 West Brom's Callum McManaman appeals for a penalty after a challenge from Southampton's Matt Targett
 Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Darren Staples
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West Brom head coach Tony Pulis has criticised Callum McManaman for diving to try to win a penalty against Southampton during their Premier League match on Saturday.

Rangers' wait for major silverware is going to end this season, vows Law

Nicky Law (right) is congratulated by his team mates James Tavernier and Martyn Waghorn (centre) after scoring to give Rangers a three-goal lead

Rangers haven't been further than the semi-finals of the two main cup competitions since beating Celtic in the 2011 League Cup Final - but Nicky Law thinks that's about to change.

Former Blackburn star Dunn named Oldham manager after Kelly sacking

Editorial use only. No merchandising. For Football images FA and Premier League restrictions apply inc. no internet/mobile usage without FAPL license - for details contact Football Dataco.. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Matt McNulty/JMP/REX Shutterstock (4949289az).. David Dunn of Oldham Athletic warms up.. Oldham Athletic v Middlesbrough, Great Britain - 12 Aug 2015.. ..

Oldham Athletic have appointed David Dunn as their new manager - less than 24 hours after sacking Darren Kelly.

De Boer blasts Ajax after losing 100 per cent record ahead of Celtic clash

FC Twente Enschede's Jerson Cabral (R) vies for the ball with Ajax Amsterdam's Daley Sinkgraven (C) during a Football league match between FC Twente Enschede and Ajax Amsterdam on September 12, 2015 in Enschede. AFP PHOTO / ANP / OLAF KRAAK

Frank de Boer laid into his Ajax players after a spirited comeback against FC Twente on Saturday failed to preserve their 100 per cent start to the season.

Don't panic and Celtic will fix things against Ajax, says Mackay-Steven

Celtic's Gary Mackay-Steven celebrates scoring during the Scottish Championship match at Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland. 

PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Saturday March 21, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire. 

Gary Mackay-Steven admits under-fire Celtic now have to 'stand up and be counted' in their daunting Europa League clash with Ajax.

Pennetta and Vinci's US Open success can inspire Watson, Robson and Konta to glory 

Flavia Pennetta and Roberta Vinci's US Open success can inspire Heather Watson, Laura

MIKE DICKSON IN NEW YORK: After a fortnight of shocks and upheavals in women's tennis came the surprise retirement announcements. US Open women's champion Flavia Pennetta revealed hers straight after being handed the trophy, and now Serena Williams' father, and inspiration, Richard has come out with his. 'I am not going to go to another tennis tournament, ever,' Williams told the New York Times. 'I am completely retired. I don't need to be there anymore. I just think sometimes you've put in enough time to whatever you're doing.

Jamie Murray suffers US Open heartache after he and Peers are beaten in men's doubles final

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France celebrate after defeating Jamie Murray of Great Britain and John Peers of Australia during their Men's Doubles Final match on Day Thirteen of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 12, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

MIKE DICKSON AT FLUSHING MEADOWS: Jamie Murray's dreams of emulating brother Andy and winning a US Open title were left blowing in the breeze after defeat in men's doubles final.

Federer has got back his wow factor, claims Wawrinka

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a shot to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland during their Men's Singles Semifinals match on Day Twelve of the 2015 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 11, 2015 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Stan Wawrinka has warned Novak Djokovic that Roger Federer is back to his best for Sunday's US Open men's final. Wawrinka was thrashed in the semi-finals by his fellow Swiss.

US OPEN 2015 results: Men's and women's singles at Flushing Meadows

Keep track of all the latest results from the men's and women's singles at the US Open. Stick with Sportsmail for the best coverage from New York.

Now put her down gently, Tom! Diving hero Daley displays his impressive lifting power

Tom Daley shows off his strength as he bench-presses fellow Great Britain diver Georgia

Tom Daley has not been taking too long to celebrate his gold medal won with Rebecca Gallantree at the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan in July. The 21-year-old posted a video updating fans of his latest training efforts - and this footage contained an amusing twist. Instead of bench-pressing weights, Daley was pushing up Georgia Ward, a fellow Great Britain diver.

'The worst boxing era is over!' Legend De La Hoya reignites Mayweather feud as Golden Boy lays into 'boring' old rival

Oscar De La Hoya reignites feud with Floyd Mayweather as he labels old rival's 49-0 record

Oscar De La Hoya has hit out at old rival Floyd Mayweather Jnr, as he took to Twitter to dismiss the Money Man's 49th professional victory as the end of 'the worst boxing era'. Mayweather equaled Rocky Marciano's long-standing record after defeating Andre Berto by a wide points decision at the MGM Grand.

Way to go, Ko! Teen sensation,18, wins Evian Championship to become youngest female major winner

Lydia Ko wins Evian Championship to become youngest female major champion 

Lydia Ko became the youngest major champion in LPGA Tour history at the Evian Championship on Sunday. The South Korean-born New Zealander closed with an eight-under 63 for a six-stroke victory over Lexi Thompson at the final major of the season. Ko is 18 years, four months and 20 days old. She eclipsed the previous record set by American Morgan Pressel, who was 18 years, 10 months and nine days old when she won the 2007 Kraft Nabisco Championship.

England captain Morgan suffers concussion after nasty blow to head

Eoin Morgan of England gets hit on the head from a ball by Mitchell Starc of Australia during the Fifth Royal London One Day International match between England and Australia at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester

England captain Eoin Morgan retired hurt in the deciding one-day international against Australia after suffering a nasty blow to the helmet.

Britain and Ireland win Walker Cup in record-breaking fashion at Lytham

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13:  Cormac Sharvin of The Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup Team celebrates his sides victory with a bottle of champagne during day two the 2015 Walker Cup at Royal Lytham and St Annes Golf Club on September 13, 2015 in Lytham St Annes, England (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)

Britain and Ireland claimed the Walker Cup in record-breaking fashion on Sunday, as the oldest team trophy of all joined the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup on this side of the Atlantic.

Tour of Britain won by Boasson Hagen after controversial final stage 

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 13:  Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway and MTN-Qhubeka celebrates with champagne on the podium after wininng the 2015 Tour of Britain, an 86.8km  stage around central London, on September 13, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

The Norwegian MTN-Qhubeka rider Edvald Boasson Hagen maintained his 13-second lead over Team Sky's Wouter Poels to taste victory.

Farah storms to victory in Great North Run to defend his half-marathon title

Mo Farah's superb recent form continued on Sunday as he successfully defended his Great North Run title. The 30-year-old became the second British man to win the half-marathon event twice.

Huddersfield 48-10 Warrington: Giants seal Super League play-off spot

Rugby League - Huddersfield Giants v Warrington Wolves - First Utility Super League Super 8s - John Smith's Stadium - 13/9/15
 Jermaine McGillvary scores the eighth try for Huddersfield Giants and his fourth of the game
 Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Ed Sykes

Jermaine McGillvary crossed four times to jump to the top of the First Utility Super League try-scoring charts as Huddersfield confirmed their place in the semi-final play-offs.

Russell pens new two-year deal with Glasgow Warriors before World Cup 

Finn Russell trains at Scotstoun with Scotland.

Finn Russell has given Scottish rugby a major pre-World Cup shot in the arm by agreeing a contract extension at Glasgow Warriors.

Treve odds-on favourite to win historic third Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe

Treve (Thierry Jarnet) wins the Prix Vermeille..Longchamp 13.9.15 Pic: Edward Whitaker

Treve is odds-on favourite to win an historic third Prix de L'Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp on October 4 after blitzing her rivals in the Group One Prix Vermeille.

SAM TURNER'S RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Monday, September 14

Paul Hanagan on Muhaarar (L) on his way to winning the 3:45 Darley July Cup Horse Racing - Newmarket July Festival - Newmarket Racecourse in Suffolk, England

- 11/7/15

 Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Matthew Childs

Daily Mail racing expert Robin Goodfellow (Sam Turner) brings his hottest selections for Monday's meetings at Wolverhampton, Stratford and Brighton.

How John Stones went from being a frail Barnsley youngster to the £35m defender who got away from Chelsea boss Mourinho

How John Stones went from being a frail Barnsley youngster to the one who got away from

JOE BERNSTEIN: Jose Mourinho will be interested to learn that John Stones's only flaw as a stand-out talent for Barnsley Under 18s was a low pain threshold that meant the team's physio was regularly called on to the pitch to treat him. Fortunately for Stones, one of the biggest stories of the last transfer window following four failed bids from Chelsea, the 'injury issue' was dealt with by his hometown club before you could shout 'Eva Carneiro'.

JAMIE CARRAGHER: Rodgers knows victory against United changes everything, but until he wins a trophy, fans will be sceptical


The biggest rivalry in English football resumes but this game has a different feel: this is a showdown when the scrutiny on two managers has replaced the focus on two clubs.

OLIVER HOLT: Paula's ordeal is proof that athletics is now being destroyed

paula 1.jpg

The ordeal that Paula Radcliffe faced this week was not evidence of a media witch-hunt. It was the clearest sign yet that, at this point in athletics's history, the cheats are winning.

JEFF POWELL: Sir Bobby Charlton was Roger Federer to Rooney's Stan Wawrinka... he is still England's No 1


JEFF POWELL: My occasional encounters with Wayne Rooney have been meetings to cherish. There is a gentleman inside this Mersey boy, too. It is just that he is not Bobby Charlton.