* The bombings in Russia serve as a chilling reminder of what the Winter Olympics represent to terrorists: a high-profile target with more than 2,500 athletes waving the flags of nearly 90 nations. While many Olympic leaders called for calm the day after two bombings about 400 miles from Sochi killed at least 31 people,some of the athletes heading to Sochi spoke of a different reality — their security is never sure thing. U.S. speedskater Jilleanne Rookard said she was concerned but believes the Russians will have things locked down. Russian Olympic leader Alexander Zhukov said the bombings didnt spark a need for additional security measures because everything necessary already has been done.
* English Premier League strugglers Fulham have appointed former manager Ray Wilkins as assistant to new boss Rene Meulensteen to aid their battle against relegation. Meulensteen was only appointed manager at the start of December after stepping up from the role of head coach,which he held for a matter of weeks,to succeed the sacked Martin Jol. This addition follows the appointment of ex Charlton Athletic and West Ham United boss Alan Curbishley as technical director. I am delighted that the Chairman and the CEO have,again,backed my desire for further experience and support within the backroom staff, Meulensteen told the clubs website of Wilkins,who has managed Fulham before.
Sunderland swoop for Alonso
* English Premier League basement dwellers Sunderland have moved quickly to reinforce their frail defence by agreeing a loan move for Fiorentina fullback Marcos Alonso until the end of the season. The 23-year-old former Real Madrid,Bolton Wanderers and Spanish under-19 defender will officially complete his move to Wearside when the January transfer window opens on Wednesday. Marcos is a player that I have known well for a very long time, Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet told the clubs website on Monday. He was desperate to come and play for Sunderland and he is a player I am excited to work with. Poyet has made new signings a priority.
Last Christmas as Milan coach
* Beleaguered Massimiliano Allegri has spent his last Christmas as AC Milan coach,he said in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport on Tuesday. Allegri,in his fourth season at the club,has survived a dreadful four months against a backdrop of political manoeuvring at the club,and admitted he had no thoughts of continuing next term. This is certainly my last Christmas at Milan,but I have eaten Panettone here once again and to be honest I had no doubt that I would, he said,referring to the constant speculation about his future since early this season. I dont know who will be the next coach and its not really my problem, he added. Realistically,I dont know how far we can go in Europe,but we have a good chance of getting to the quarter-finals, said Allegri whose side face Atletico Madrid in the last 16. A lot can change between now and February.