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SPORTS AGENDA: Pochettino pays a surprise visit to the Emirates and watches Manchester City U23s

An interested observer at the recent game against Arsenal v Manchester City Under 23 in the Emirates was none other than former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who took the action with sidekick Jesus Perez and other coaches.

Some attendees wondered if he was looking at the prospective players of his next club, with City known as time-honored admirers of the Argentine.

The visitors recovered from a second minute goal to claim a 4-2 win in the Premier League 2 clash.

Ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was a spectator at an Arsenal Under 23 game

Ex-Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was a spectator at an Arsenal Under 23 game

LTA’s casual mistake when handing out the bike

The delivery of stationary training bikes to the homes of 23 of the country’s elite seniors and junior players by the Lawn Tennis Association has not gone well overall.

Non-recipients and busy base coaches who are currently out of work included those who were unhappy at this latest display of greatness by the governing body.

One of those taking advantage of the bike leasing program is Dan Evans, who has already made £ 450,000 in prize money this year.

Dan Evans (above) is one of the players who benefits from the bike lease program

Dan Evans (above) is one of the players who benefits from the bike lease program

Dan Evans (above) is one of the players who benefits from the bike lease program

Former GB No 1 turned commentator Mark Petchey was representative of those who felt it was typical of the UK game’s incorrect approach and tweeted, “Too much focus on too little across the age groups.”

In exchange for lending the bikes, players were instructed to send weak, insane messages on their social media, thanking the MJA for their support.

Premier League tackles contract headaches

The Premier League has asked clubs to give heads-up to players they believe may have problems extending contracts beyond their expiration date this summer.

Clubs were told to contact the top flight legal department to raise possible headaches prior to last week’s FIFA-led meeting on contracts and transfer windows.

Lord Coe would like to help Tokyo

Lord Coe has rightly received praise for his apparent willingness to shift the World Athletics Championships next year to make way for a planned Olympics.

Coe has sent a letter to the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, saying publicly that the organizers are open to discussion.

A potentially positive spinoff for Coe, if the World Championship is pushed back 12 months, would be a delay in the more uncomfortable questions about how Oregon won hosting rights.

Lord Coe has assisted the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach

Lord Coe has assisted the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach

Lord Coe has assisted the President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach

In April 2015, Loe Diack, Coe’s predecessor at World Athletics, awarded the championships to Eugene – Nike’s home – without a formal bidding process in a move reportedly under investigation by French financial prosecutors.

Coe cut ties with Nike in November 2015 and insisted that he do not lobby anyone about Eugene’s offer.

The positive PR of a switch to continue the Tokyo Games next summer would also look great at Nike headquarters.

Reuben keeps cricket sharp

LAST years ago, Sports Agenda revealed that the Australians had failed in a brutal, post-Ashes bid to snatch England’s highly acclaimed communications officer Danny Reuben.

At the time, cricket journalists on these banks raised a glass to the Yorkshireman and did it again last week after he brought the ECB to the fore during the Corona virus crisis.

Because content is scarce, Reuben has regularly made players from England available for newspaper interviews to keep cricket relevant and stay ahead of the game during the lockdown. Bravo.

Hearn shoots Brady over “wrong” call

Baroness Brady may have thought she had heard the latest criticism for her suggestion that the Premier League season be annulled – and West Ham avoided relegation.

Step into former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn, who previously spoke to Hammers as vice president of London Stadium.

“Karren Brady was so wrong, it’s impossible to be mistaken, if only a word,” Hearn told Unofficial Partner’s podcast.

Baroness Brady (above) has previously interacted with former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn

Baroness Brady (above) has previously interacted with former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn

Baroness Brady (above) has previously interacted with former Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn

“You don’t start a new season until the old season has ended,” he added. Otherwise, you will lose the credibility of the sport in the heart and mind of the people who follow it.

“So Karren, bless her cotton socks, which is a very smart young lady – well, a very smart lady – was totally wrong and should have kept her mouth shut.”

Au. At least Hearn was honest. “How can I tell someone to shut up when I’ve made a living by opening mine too often?” he continued. “So I’m a hypocrite too.”

The new British athletics chef’s own goal

An example of not doing PR came this weekend when new UK Athletics CEO Joanna Coates alienated the majority of those who practice the sport.

Coates made the mistake of giving an exclusive first interview to the Sunday Telegraph, rather than sitting down with all the papers.

Coates is only in the post because her future predecessor Zara Hyde Peters lost the job before she started following an explanation from another newspaper (not The Telegraph).

And Coates used the interview to battle West Ham, whose support she needs when the Anniversary Games take place this summer at London Stadium as planned. She has a big job on her hands at UKA and seems to have stumbled out of the blocks.

Holiday request for F1 staff

Formula 1 has told workers to take 80 percent of their vacation before the season starts again so that if that is the case, staff are available.

They’ve already brought the sport’s summer break – usually a two-week idle period in August – to three weeks in March and April.

While many see the logic of the move, there are plenty of employees who work non-stop to get the season back on track, and since no one can leave the country, some haven’t fared well.

A football boss, whose seven-figure annual salary would pay an army of doctors and nurses, has started signing messages saying “God bless the NHS.”

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