Desmond Kane

  • Time for Murray to prove he is no Monty

    Andy Murray looks to the sky after reaching his fourth Wimbledon semi-final

    Muzza and Monty have lived curiously similar lives in separate sports. Andy Murray's semi-final against the strapping Jo-Wilfried Tsonga today at Wimbledon is akin to the moment his fellow Scot Colin Montgomerie stood in the middle of a fairway on the 72nd hole of the 2006 US Open golf championship clutching a six iron and the lead. Murray knows what needs to be done. He knows what lies between him and home. He knows he is fit and able to complete the assignment. He knows it, we all know it.

    Most pertinently, Murray knows he is capable of usurping Tsonga, a Frenchman he has brought to heel in

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  • Candid Keane hardly a pain in the a***

    Roy Keane has been in excellent form as a pundit

    "Keano, there's only one Keano" as the chant used to ring out back in the day. When Roy Keane was being touted for a move to Celtic from Manchester United in the early part of the last decade, Noel Gallagher, the one-time Oasis star who like Keane has been sounded out in Poland and Ukraine over the past week, conceded he had mixed emotions about what the United captain meant to him.

    With leanings towards City and the Glasgow club with Irish roots, Gallagher commented: "I personally can't wait for Roy Keane to sign for Celtic, so I can officially have my picture taken with him and shake his

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  • Scotland fared worse than Engelbert on Saturday

    The last summery Saturday of May seemed to be an evening ripe for ritual humiliation. The ongoing English crooner Engelbert Humperdinck finished second from last in the Eurovision song contest, the previously undefeated Romanian-Canadian Lucian Bute was obliterated by Carl Froch in their world super-middleweight boxing bout in Nottingham and Scotland were abused 5-1 by the USA in Jacksonville, Florida in a truly forgettable game of soccerball.

    Out of the three humpings, it is difficult to argue that Scotland's pumping in a friendly gone wrong was the most "embarrassing" as the

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  • Di Matteo blueprint based on Sacchi vision

    Roberto Di Matteo gazes at Arrigo Sacchi during Euro 96

    Roberto Di Matteo seems to have lived a lifetime in the past four years. The majority of hoary old managers will not live long enough to lift the FA Cup. Nor will they work in the Champions League. Nor will they work in the Premier League, the Championship or League One. It sounds like the stuff of which dreams are made, but there may yet be one more significant step on 'Dima's' journey to self fulfilment.

    Before the last European Championship finals in Austria and Switzerland, Di Matteo looked likelier to be working on his chipping rather than a Champions League final against Bayern Munich.

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  • Celtic manager Neil Lennon lifts the Scottish Premier League trophy

    There was a picture in The Scotsman newspaper this morning with Charles Green, the new Rangers owner, addressing a feverish hack pack. A caption underneath explained that "Charles Kennedy was announced as Rangers' new owner on Sunday..." As far as one knows, Charles Kennedy has not been fronting anything beyond a bottle of Glenlivet since he departed his role as Liberal Democrat leader in 2006, but it is fair to say he remains a face well worn in public life.

    Charles Green, the bloke leading a consortium that has purchased Rangers FC, does not. With the Yorkshire businessman/venture

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  • John Higgins and family celebrate a fourth world title

    A 50kg German bomb once penetrated the terrace roof of London's Royal Automobile Clubhouse - the upholstered scene for the press launch of this year's World Snooker Championship - during World War II, causing a fire that took hours to extinguish.

    It was a £261k News of the World stink bomb that splintered the whiter-than-white shell of the sport's world champion John Higgins two years ago. It sparked a fire that the player himself concedes has yet to be fully doused.

    Like the slightly snooty committee room of the RAC club in Pall Mall where we are standing, Higgins has lived to tell the tale,

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  • SPL needs Rangers, old or new

    The Scottish Premier League cannot afford to lose fans

    One of the constants in an ever-changing world, or at least in the somewhat ravaged constituency of Scottish football, is the sight of those darned buses departing towns up and down the land bound for Celtic Park and/or Ibrox Stadium every week. It remains one of the great legends of Scottish football, probably up there with Ally MacLeod's vision of lifting the 1978 World Cup as the national team's manager in Argentina.

    Such a notion was being trotted out long before the days when Alex Ferguson was posted in Aberdeen. Astonishingly, Ferguson remains the last manager working away from Glasgow

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  • Salmond risks political own goal with Rangers intervention

    Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond during a speech

    The issue of sectarianism and its effects on the general populace are never far from bubbling away at the surface in the main thoroughfare of everyday Scottish life. Politics, law, religion and football remain four strands of the country's unique culture and history that divide opinion and provoke debate like nothing else out there. In some people's minds, they remain inextricably intertwined.

    These are certainly topics best avoided at your average dinner party in Scotland's Central Belt, especially when the drinks are flowing. When the drink is in, the wit is out. Over the past few days, the

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  • Killie not Willie burned Celtic’s treble bid

    Referee Willie Collum shows Adil Rami the red card

    A few days before the much-maligned Willie Collum oversaw a rousing Scottish League Cup final between Celtic and Kilmarnock on Sunday, the young Scottish referee could be found officiating a Europa League match between PSV Eindhoven and Valencia in the Netherlands.

    Compared to a contest that wound up with Collum being singled out as the man who had sabotaged Celtic's push for a first domestic treble since 2001, the more liberal environs of the Philips Stadion probably seemed like a straightforward assignment. Valencia won the match - a 1-1 draw carried them through to the last eight 5-3 on

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  • Why does Neil Lennon bother speaking to local press?

    Celtic manager Neil Lennon speaks to player Victor Wanyama

    Neil Lennon seems to be forever surrounded by loaded devices in Glasgow. They range from the homemade letter bombs addressed to the Celtic manager that wound up with him giving evidence in Glasgow High Court yesterday to the questions he has to handle on a weekly basis from a smattering of dazed hacks struggling to digest what is going on elsewhere in the city.

    The story of the day in Scottish football has nothing to do with Lennon nor his employers, but there remains an astonishing thirst to attach Celtic to items relating to Rangers, whether or not it is in the public interest.

    The ability

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