Press Association Albion announced on Monday they had parted company with Mel, who only took over as their head coach in January, by mutual consent. The Spaniard kept the Baggies up – they finished 17th in the Barclays Premier League, three points above the relegation zone – but he endured a troubled reign. His first victory in the job did not come until his eighth match, the team won just three games in total out of the 17 he was in charge for, and only one of those triumphs was at home. Among the difficulties he faced was striker Shane Long being sold to Hull around the time Mel arrived at The Hawthorns, and he also subsequently lost the services of Nicolas Anelka as a consequence of the ‘quenelle’ saga. In an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena SER, the 51-year-old former Real Betis boss nonetheless spoke of a “wonderful experience” managing in the English top-flight. But he also made it clear there had been issues with regard to the style he wanted West Brom to play in. Mel said: “I had talks and West Brom and I decided that the best thing was to part company. “It’s a wonderful experience (to coach in the Premier League). Anyone in their jobs should experience this, you learn lots of things. “Football is experienced differently here – it’s neither better nor worse than Spain, just different. “But I cannot betray the essence of what I consider football to be. I think it is best to end it here. “They invented football and have a certain style and culture of football that is not necessarily the idea that we have right now in Spain.” He added: “The situation at the club at the beginning of January was not stable. They had sold some players. We lost Anelka. “In a week I had lost my best two strikers. It was difficult, we had a very complicated calendar and that is why I’m very happy and proud that we had saved ourselves when everything looked ugly. “We are all happy. But I cannot continue in the same way because I cannot betray myself. They (the players) are more comfortable doing what they know, to play the way they play. “We, the coaches, depend on the players – they are the ones that give to you or take things away from you. If the players are comfortable on the pitch that is crucial. “I go back home calm, knowing that I’ve done what I was hired to do. I leave with all the affection of the people and the club. “The best for me and my future is to find another place.” Mel has been strongly linked with a return to the Primera Division with Malaga. Along with Chris Hughton and Malky Mackay, other names in the frame to succeed him include Celtic boss Neil Lennon, Tim Sherwood – relived of his duties as Tottenham boss on Tuesday – and former Baggies midfielder Derek McInnes, who is currently in charge of Aberdeen. West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster has suggested Mel’s level of English meant “it was always difficult” but has wished him well and stressed the need for the club’s players to reflect upon their own part in Albion’s poor campaign. Foster, quoted by the Express & Star, said: “As players we also need to have a long, hard, look at ourselves because we haven’t performed this year. “I think everyone would agree it’s been quite a lucky one and we’re all quite relieved that we’ve retained our status. “It’s always a bit of a shock when a manager leaves and I’d like to pass on my regards and best wishes. “It was a tough ask for him in the first place but, whoever we’d got in, everybody would have been really happy if they’d guaranteed us Premier League safety. “It was always difficult because of the language barrier.” Pepe Mel has indicated his unwillingness to “betray” his football philosophy was key to him leaving West Brom.
MORUCA continued their reign as athletics champions after surging to victory in the three-day Region One Inter-Zone Athletics Championships, held from Wednesday to Friday at the Mabaruma Settlement ground.Almost 300 athletes from the three sub-regions battled in road races, high jumps, throws, distance races and sprints.Moruca, who led from day one, were able to accumulate a whopping 768 points. Home team Mabaruma, who did relatively well in the road races and throws, finished second on 587 points, while Matarkai placed third with 303 points.After Day One of the event (10k road races and throws), Moruca athletes had already raced to 209 points, while the home team compiled 148 and Matarkai 42.In the second day, although Moruca and Mabaruma continued to dominate by reaching 427 and 351 points respectively, Matarkai were able to get themselves in the thick of things with 129 points.A few of their athletes were able to excel at the long jumps. Vanessa George was the first to gold, when she copped the top prize in the U-18 high jump on Thursday morning.Soon other Matarkai athletes joined in with Greg Revers U-18, little Zanavier Benjamin U-8 and Euclin Ashby U-18 dominating the long jumps. Aristol Gibson also won the U-10 cricket ball throw.Matarkai, who travelled with their largest side to date – 94 athletes and teachers – had also included an athlete from the Baramita Primary School.Both Moruca and Mabaruma were reportedly represented by 100 athletes each.The best athletes from the championships will now be selected to represent Region One at the National Schools’ Cycling, Swimming and Track and Field Championships (Nationals), billed for November 17-21 at the National Track and Field Centre in Leonora, National Park in Georgetown and National Aquatic Centre in Liliendaal.
Danish club FC Copenhagen have confirmed they have reached an agreement with Leicester for the transfer of Ghanaian Daniel Amartey.The former Inter Allies defender who can also be employed in midfield was heavily linked with a move to the Premier League side and the deal is now reaching completion”FC Copenhagen have reached an agreement with the English Premier League club, Leicester City FC, for the transfer of the Ghanaian midfielder, Daniel Amartey,” read a statement from the Danish club.”This transfer is of a size where we could not say no because, overall, it is the best for FC Copenhagen.”We have been pleased to have Daniel with us, but it’s part of our strategy as a club and business that we want to develop players to a level where they become so attractive that clubs in the big leagues will buy them for large sums.”Should the deal be completed, Amartey will become Claudio Ranieri’s second January signing after the arrival of Demarai Gray from Birmingham City. WHO IS DANIEL AMARTEY?Joy Sports put together a video profile of the 21 year old through the eyes of a man who knows him well. Delali Senaye, CEO of Inter Allies FC, a Ghanaian Premier League side, was key in the new Leicester man’s development.Gary Al-Smith had an interview with him on the Joy News channel. Click here to watch.– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports