by Patrick O’Connor
THE gift of the gab has always been a vital component in sport and never has this been more evident than over the last few days.
Just listen to British heavyweight boxer Dave Haye, talking after losing his title fight to Wladimir Klitschko on points in Hamburg.
Despite being well beaten, Haye wants a rematch against the Ukrainian, hence: “Once he realises there’s no other fighter in the heavyweight division that can generate as much interest as me, maybe he’ll come back and say OK.”
Mind you Haye doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to being honest about his readiness to be quoted and the problems that can bring.
“When someone hypes the fight up, when someone talks as much trash talk as I do, when it doesn’t go your way you’ve got to expect people to put the boot in. Feel free to have a pop at me. I give it the big talk, I talk the talk, and on Saturday night I didn’t walk the walk.”
Tennis player Andy Murray has also been pretty vocal, hitting back at criticism from former Davis Cup captain David Lloyd who said that Murray should be more “clean-shaven” on court if he wanted to win a Grand Slam event,
“I used to actually practise at one of his clubs, in Renfrew I think. He’s entitled to whatever his opinion is, but I think he should stick to what he does best and that’s building leisure clubs.”
And the BBC has been forced to apologised after viewers complained about “over-talking” by its commentary team during Wimbledon.
In a statement the BBC said that views on commentary were subjective but that “we do appreciate that over-talking can irritate our audience.”
The TV company’s commentary team included ex-players Tin Henman, John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Boris Becker, Lindsay Davenport and Greg Rusedski. So in this instance it looks as if the public wanted less gab and more tennis.
On a much more positive note, praise has been pouring in for left-arm spinner Arul Suppiah who achieved the best Twenty20 bowling figures recorded in world cricket when he took six wickets for five runs in 22 balls as Somerset beat Glamorgan.
Preparations for the forthcoming football season are well underway now with professional teams throughout the land back in full-time training.
Supporters, too, are eagerly looking forward to the next campaign and two Manchester City fans have nailed their colours to the mast by spending £50,000 on customising a Chevrolet convertible car so that they can travel to matches in style.
The 1975 Chevy has the club crest on the bonnet and pictures of star players, past on present, on the doors.
The face of City owner Sheikh Mansour is on the spare wheel case and a FA Cup replica trophy on the back of the car.
A glittering football career could be on offer for one seven year old after he was offered a trial with Spanish giants Barcelona.
Kai Fifield, from Northampton, was spotted by scouts as he played with some local youngsters near to the Nou Camp Stadium in Barcelona.
His father Delaney said: “We didn’t know who the lads were representing but Kai managed to get a game and held his own in a good standard. The game finished and I asked the boys who they played for.
“I was shocked when they said ‘Barcelona’. As we were going a coach came up and said the last trial of the season for the September intake was the next day and could we come.
“I explained we were leaving tomorrow but they were persistent. So we cancelled the flights and I took him back.”
Barcelona will make their decision over whether to offer Kai a place at the academy in the next couple of weeks.