After Extra Time: January 8 2013

So, after the excitement of the Christmas break, things seem to be getting back to normal and settling down. Well, unless you’re in Manchester it seems.

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

It was handbags at dawn between Roberto Mancini and Mario Balotelli as a training session overheated seeing the two Italians clash. Photos of the incident at City’s Carrington training ground, show both men having to be restrained by fellow players and staff. The bust-up occurred after Mancini deemed Balotelli made a wild tackle on team-mate Scott Sinclair and challenged him. It will be interesting to see if Balotelli is still at the club by the end of the season, or even by the time the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

The transfer window has been open now for over a week, and there has been a frenzy of activity with Chelsea scoring an absolute bargain in Demba Ba from Newcastle. Ba had a clause in his contract that allowed clubs to buy him after a certain date for only £7million. Ba has proven to be worth considerably more than that, and has been one of Newcastle’s best players this season so he will be sorely missed at St James’ Park.

Ba, who has already scored two goals for Chelsea since his arrival, replaces Daniel Sturridge who leaves Chelsea for a move to Liverpool. Newcastle have signed Mathieu Debuchy from Lille for an undisclosed sum. There is still no word on where David Beckham will end up, but the gossip is that he and Posh have been house hunting and finding schools.

The weirdest story of the week is that Victoria Azarenka ruled herself out of a semi final with Serena Williams in Brisbane because of a bad pedicure. Apparently the pedicure caused a foot infection, which she did not want to aggravate. Also she wanted to give it a chance to heal ahead of defending her Australian Open title at the end of the month. Alternatively, maybe Azarenka read last week’s AET and feels intimidated by Williams’ declaration of dominance for the season ahead.

Ross Hutchins

Ross Hutchins

Andy Murray had a more successful time than Azarenka in Brisbane, by defending his title at the Brisbane International with a straight sets win over Grigor Dimitrov. In an emotional speech during his victory presentation Murray said, ‘I’d like to dedicate this victory to one of my best friends. He’s back home watching – you’re going to get through it.’

Although Murray did not say who this was directed at, Davis Cup team mate Ross Hutchins announced he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Hutchins tweeted, ’Unfortunately I will be away from tennis for a while as I was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma’. We at So So Gay would like to wish Hutchins a speedy recovery and hope to see him back on court soon.

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