TALKING SPORT - Thanks Cech, mate, but draw was no fluke

Petr Cech
Petr Cech
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PETR Cech says he was responsible for Chelsea’s 1-1 draw with Wigan.

How noble of you, Petr.

But maybe there was another reason.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact the 11 opponents turned up and played out of their skin, and with a fair share of skill, too.

It was no fluke, and it was certainly not down to a single error on the Chelsea keeper’s part.

How pleasing to see Roberto Martinez get the rewards for brave decision-making.

At 1-0 down, he could have shut up shop, knowing a slender and credible defeat to such a cashed-up outfit would build – not dent – their confidence, even if it didn’t provide any much-needed points.

But by bringing two strikers, Franco Di Santo and Hugo Rodallega, off the bench, he risked leaving the team vulnerable to a heavier scoreline in his pursuit of a result.

The point was thoroughly well-earned.

HOW barmy that Roy Keane was refused a home ticket to see Wigan Athletic take on Arsenal.

He wasn’t on the database, but he was hardly going to cheer for the Gunners!

Still, it was nice to see Martinez defuse a potentially prickly situation by joking: “Roy is a footballing legend and I’ll make sure he knows he is always welcome here at Wigan Athletic.

“But we only accept a certain number legends here to enjoy our football. We don’t want it too over-crowded.”

IT would be remiss of me not to pass note on the death of the world’s greatest ever golfer.

State media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, who died this week, shot an amazing 11 holes-in-one to achieve an unprecedented 38-under-par game on a regulation 18-hole golf course – on his first try at golf.

I know, I know. The cynics inside us all must be thinking, ‘Yeah right, of course he did. Where’s the proof.’

But it must be true, because each of the dictator’s 17 bodyguards verified the record-breaking feat!

WHISPERS among the rugby league hacks is that Dave Hadfield is to leave The Independent.

Dave is a bear of a man with a kind word for all, and a thirst for rugby league that is rivalled only by his thirst for beer.

It’s sad that he will no longer be providing his insights to the nation. Even sadder that, with two other broadsheets – The Telegraph and The Times – also operating without specialist rugby league writers these days, coverage of the sport will only diminish further.

RFL chief executive Nigel Wood says he was “not at all surprised” that several thousands fans called for Wigan legends Andy Gregory and Jim Sullivan to be added to the short-list for a Wembley statue.

So why, then, were they not on the list in the first place!?

Merry Christmas!