While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The PFB team discussed our feelings on the coaching rumors surrounding Mike Gundy, our thoughts on what’s going on behind the scenes, and more.Boone (me): Why do you think his name popped up in coaching rumors?Cox (contributor): Because he wanted it to.Caleb (intern): Wait, he’s still around?Sam (hoops guru): Money talks. Gundy Badger deserves a raise, even if this is an awful time to bring it up after Bedlam :grimacing:Cox: I think the constant frustration/passive-aggressive turmoil between he and T. Boone and Holder is just going to be something that we are all going to have to live with.Southwell (uniform expert): Gundy Hundy. Athletic directors want a winnerCox: Agreed. Makes sense financially, even if it doesn’t for fans/football/whatever. I think the timing with this Bedlam fiasco is just coincidental.Caleb: Also, who doesn’t want a coach willing to rock a mullet? Besides like Harvard and Yale and all them fancy-types. And they aren’t worth Gundy’s time anyways.Thomas (X’s and O’s): I think if bedlam didn’t go the way it did , his name wouldn’t have been thrown out so much.Caleb: I think he truly is one of the better coaches in the nation, but the “bedlam curse” is hanging over him and it’s probably annoying. He doesn’t necessarily have a problem (ok maybe he does), but it’s probably just more of a hastle than anything. If you can get buckets of cash elsewhere without annoyance…..Sam: I don’t believe Baylor ever had a legitimate shot at himBoone: This happens to a lot of coaches, though. Holgerson’s name popped up for the Houston job — then got an extension and raise several days later. Is he doing what coaches do to get a raise or is it something more?Thomas: Yeah sometimes I get the sense that he’s using it as leverageSam: I have no doubt Gundy is frustrated with Holder/Boone though.. and that played a partCox: I’m sure it’s to get a raise and to make a point.Caleb: It’s tough to say if it’s a bluff for a raise or true interest. I would say the jobs connected are the best indicators, so Baylor seems like a bluff, but something like Oregon or equivalent could be an issue if it were real#Sources say Holder is considering trading Gundy to Oregon for a return of the grey unisCox: it’s a win-win for him… why not talk to them? raise here or more money there.Caleb: @kylecox that’s a good point. I mean, what is his downside to talking to others? Is OSU going to call his bluff and fire their winningest coach ever? Over rumors of him talking to other schools? Really?Cox: he’s got all the dominos and has earned them.Boone: I just feel like its a 100 percent leverage play. The downside, to Caleb’s point, is that he could be fired. It wouldn’t be smart — but I think OSU is tired of him playing the game.Sam: Holder and T Boone aren’t in control and they hate it. Caleb is rightSouthwell: Boone: He hasn’t earned a right to act this way, at least IMO. Do you see Bob Stoops pushing OU’s hand in public every year? What about Nick Saban? Their pay is different, but I don’t think he’s above it. No one is untouchable.Thomas: I just want a coach who’s going to coach wth kahunesIs that too much to askCox: Not saying I agree with it. He could talk to 15 schools and it doesn’t get out unless he wants it to… I was speaking in terms that he is pretty much untouchable at OSU. If they fired him, it would not only be a huge mistake it would make them look ridiculous.Caleb: I think the atheltic department is probably very frustrated with his actions/attitude. I would guess they’ve been hesitant to even consider firing the golden child for years, but with the rising expectations of Cowboy fans and the growing list of quality coaches, as well as the solid footing the program is on as a whole now, I would think they are no longer considering him completely off-limits. Especialy if they think fans are frustrated with the bedlam recordBoone: One final question “to get you out of here on this” (shoutout K-Port): Would you be OK if Gundy moved on this offseason, either by termination or from walking away?Thomas: I would quickly get over itEspecially if we got monkenBut no way holder hires that fireball of a coach because he couldn’t control himBoone: To me: I think I would be OK with it. Depending on who we could get in his place. I am on the #Fuente2Stilly train if it were to happen.Sam: Depends on the replacement- if we get a Fedora, Fuente? I think we’d be just fine. I don’t want no scrubs.Caleb: Totally depends on who we could get. Quality coach comes in and it’s a lot easier to look to the future, but it’s a HUGE gamble for Holder. Like, Dwarfs-Travis -Ford-Extension gamble…Cox: It all depends on who comes in… Look at Texas. The grass is not always greener and it’s a lot harder to win in Stillwater than in Austin. Who really knows if any of those guys will do any better? Charlie Strong was the hottest coach in the country four years ago.Southwell: It would be a weird time to leave. He’s got a really good shot at going to the CFB Playoff next year. To do that for your alma mater is even better. Legendary status.So I don’t think I would be ok with that. I’d feel let down. I would get behind whoever replaces him, but I’d want Gundy over all of the other coaches mentioned.Cox: agreed. this part of coaching isn’t fun but he’s not the only coach that does it. I’m sure UNC fans don’t love Fedora’s name in everyone’s mouth.
The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap, catching you up to speed with the latest scoop with an ear to the ground for what’s to come.OL coach visits top targetOn the first day of open recruiting, offensive line coach Greg Adkins made a stop in the Houston area to make an in-home visit with 2017 OL Eleseah Anderson.https://twitter.com/eleasahanderson/status/819748684116226057Anderson is an Alief Taylor High School prospect. The 6-foot-4, 280-pound mammoth is also considering offers from Baylor, TCU, Houston, Kansas, K-State and OSU.2017 defensive tackle commitment making official visit to TCUI mentioned this was happening earlier last week, but the date is officially set: 2017 defensive tackle commitment Fua Leilua is visiting Fort Worth for an official to TCU this weekend.Despite his commitment, which would be considered a “soft verbal”, Leilua is still hearing pitches from OSU coaches. He hosted defensive line coach Joe Bob Clements for an in-home visit earlier on Thursday.https://twitter.com/jlei44/status/819753453740322816He’s narrowed it to OSU and TCU, so the visit this weekend could go a long ways as to whether the Cowboys can hang on to his pledge.OSU commitments get visits from coachesOSU coaches on the trail yesterday paid several visits to commitments. Here’s 2017 safety pledge Trey Sterling:Great home visit with OSU tonight! Can’t wait to be a poke ? pic.twitter.com/isxkJ5cwvw— Tre Sterling (@sterling__trey) January 13, 2017And Gundy and Kasey Dunn visiting Tracin and Tylan Wallace.@OfficialTylan2 @TracinWallace @kasey_dunn @CoachGundy The only Picture taken last night…Thanks for making the process so easy and fun! pic.twitter.com/YCYuA3vp1Y— Mandi Moore (@mandimoore74) January 13, 20172017 WR commit LC Greenwood.https://twitter.com/lc_greenwood/status/819704437929312256And finally, 2017 FB/TE commit Sione Finefeuiaki.https://twitter.com/sione_9/status/819775036638662657With the live period now in full swing, coaches will be on the trail hard over the next few days working to close the deal with recruits already committed, and trying to bring in the last few into the fray before signing day the first of February. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
League Cup No defence, no fight, no leaders – the same old story for Wenger in Wembley humiliation Chris Wheatley Arsenal correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 02:43 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Julian Finney League Cup Arsenal Arsenal v Manchester City Manchester City Opinion Arsenal’s defence was dismantled once again in a dismal second half showing against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final It started so well and ended with young supporters in tears. Arsenal’s Carabao Cup final against Manchester City presented an opportunity of winning silverware midway through the season, a trophy that Arsene Wenger has yet to get his hands on throughout his two decades at the club.Quite simply, Arsenal weren’t at the races for much of Sunday’s showpiece Wembley match and the second-half performance bordered on embarrassing. Despite the Gunners starting impressively and looking composed on the ball, it took Sergio Aguero just 18 minutes to score the opening goal, latching on to a goal kick from Claudio Bravo which Shkodran Mustafi couldn’t deal with.Mustafi’s decision to appeal what looked like a shove in the back from Aguero was one that cost him extra seconds in recovering from the mistake and drew criticism from his former Valencia coach Gary Neville, who labelled the German’s defending as “pathetic”.Aguero has scored in each of his past five games in all competitions against Arsenal and he terrorises the Gunners defenders every time he comes up against them. Mustafi wasn’t the only culprit for the goal, though, with captain Laurent Koscielny ball watching and slow to react to Aguero’s run.The aged old quip of ‘Arsenal lacking leaders’ could not have rung more true at Wembley. They looked lost for ideas as Vincent Kompany struck City’s second from the edge of the box, once again exposing Arsenal’s defensive deficiencies and inability to assert themselves in games against elite opposition.Koscielny may have been captain but there was certainly no visible leadership on the pitch from him. Only the fired up Jack Wilshere, who won four fouls in the match, looked like he wanted to take the game to City along with the returning Aaron Ramsey, who was impressive before City’s dismantling of the defence.Arsenal’s team imbalance can be tracked back to the summer of 2015 when Petr Cech was the only player signed by Wenger despite the team clearly needing reinforcements across the pitch. The January arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borussia Dortmund was an excellent piece of business but clearly not a priority for a team who leak goals on a week by week basis.Per Mertesacker is set to retire at the end of the season, Koscielny is injury and error prone, Calum Chambers proved again that he is not good enough to play for a top Premier League side, and 20-year-old Konstantinos Mavropanos and Rob Holding undoubtedly need some time out on loan. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp A solid spine is the cornerstone of any successful football team and that is something Arsenal don’t have right now. City managed to overcome the Gunners through simple route one football on Sunday and that is damning on Wenger’s management nous more than anything.The Europa League remains Arsenal’s only realistic chance of winning a trophy this season and with a trip to the San Siro against AC Milan awaiting them, Wenger’s chances of salvaging a final year at the club are beginning to look slimmer with every match.
UEFA Champions League Stop the Neymar show! The spotlight is now on Mbappe Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 16:00 6/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images UEFA Champions League PSG v Metz PSG v Real Madrid Metz PSG Real Madrid Ligue 1 Neymar Kylian Mbappé Opinion The injury sustained by Neymar means all eyes will be on the young French superstar, who has been thrust again into the limelight ahead of schedule Paris Saint-Germain’s signing of Neymar last summer for €222 million gave cause for concern to the club’s Qatari higher-ups. Uefa, not long after the deal, announced an investigation into how PSG intended to meet break-even requirements as stipulated by Financial Fair play regulations.Spending so much money without the relevant revenue streams elsewhere to cover it is always going to bring a club onto the financial radar and it was reported — post Neymar — that PSG’s squad was to split in two; transferables and untransferables.Among those to ship out in order to balance the books were Lucas Moura and Blaise Matuidi. Also in the transferrable pile was Angel Di Maria until an intervention by coach Unai Emery offered the winger a stay of execution. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Now he will get his chance to play from the start in the Champions League for the first time this season against the team with whom he won the cup in 2014 – Real Madrid. His place in the team comes at the expense of Neymar, convalescing following his high-profile foot injury suffered against Olympique Marseille a couple of weekends ago.That injury, combined with first-leg defeat to Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu, is reckoned to have brought a certain amount of doom and gloom around Parc des Princes. Overturning a two-goal deficit against Zinedine Zidane’s team – so at home in the Champions League despite their domestic troubles – is a tough ask under any circumstance. But doing so without the world’s most expensive player and flagship signing is another thing altogether.But PSG’s band of transferables and untransferables will now come together in an attempt to prove they are capable of achievement without the preening Brazilian in their ranks. It’s no secret that Neymar has been indulged by PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi since his arrival from Barcelona. He enjoys extended breaks between matches — one incident last month saw the 26-year-old given two days off for his lavish birthday party while his team-mates sweated it out in a Coupe de France game against Sochaux. Di Maria, for the record, got a hat-trick that night.Neymar put Edinson Cavani’s nose out of joint earlier in the season by demanding primacy for penalty kicks. Tensions have been smoothed over in that regard but Neymar upset local fans by denying the Uruguayan the chance to achieve PSG’s all-time goalscoring record from the spot in a laughably one-sided game against Dijon in January. For better or for worse, there is no chance of Neymar taking any spot-kick away from Cavani this week.PSG in ordinary circumstances could be reasonably assured of a positive outcome. They have not lost a match in Paris’s 16th arrondissement in about two years. They are defending a run of 19 consecutive wins at home and their Champions League form in their own surrounds is formidable.Their last four games — a run stretching back to last season’s last-16 first leg against Barcelona — have yielded 19 goals and four victories. Barca, and Bayern Munich for that matter, have been swept aside. Di Maria was the architect of that brilliant night against Barca, scoring twice, and will relish the chance to restore his reputation in the competition’s highest-profile fixture.Much too will depend on the man opposite him on the other flank. Kylian Mbappe, whose permanent signing from Monaco was deferred lest PSG suffer further at the hands of Uefa, is already earning a sterling reputation across the continent. Now touted as the world’s finest attacking prospect, Mbappe has wasted no time in demonstrating his potency on the biggest stage.The 19-year-old has scored 10 goals in 17 Champions League games — being the youngest man to reach that 10-goal landmark in the process. Neymar was signed for the here and now with Mbappe marked out for a starring role in the future but he has made a habit of overcoming obstacles ahead of schedule. Now he is carrying the big burden.If it were a race between them to see who might win the Ballon d’Or first, well, it could be seen as neck-and-neck. Not many prospects have ever begun their top-level careers with this kind of hype but the boy from Bondy is justifying it.Madrid missed out on both Neymar and Mbappe at various points along their development path with options ultimately sought by their fathers and advisers elsewhere. Neymar missed his chance two weeks ago to show what he could do but now the onus will fall on Mbappe.He, too, is not in the rudest of health. He missed the routine dismissal of Troyes in Ligue 1 as a few days before an ankle injury befell him. He asked Emery for a substitution at half-time after receiving a knock against Marseille – the very team against who Neymar suffered four days prior. That weekend rest should see him fit enough to start and to attempt to lead the comeback against the defending champions.Last year it was Di Maria shining in the home leg against Barcelona while Neymar was very much the protagonist in the second leg comeback. Now is the time for Mbappe to show that he too can be the leader, the talisman, the spark, and that nasty Uefa business can wait until the end of the season.
Liverpool 0 Porto 0 (5-0 agg): Low-key Reds book quarter-final spot Guy Atkinson Last updated 1 year ago 05:41 7/3/2018 Getty Images Liverpool booked their spot in the Champions League last eight despite an underwhelming performance against Porto. Liverpool booked their Champions League quarter-final place with an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Porto at Anfield.The Reds’ lacklustre performance hardly mattered, though, after a devastating 5-0 win in Portugal three weeks ago all-but secured a first appearance in the last-eight since 2008-09.That first-leg cushion enabled Jurgen Klopp to make five changes to the side that beat Newcastle United 2-0 on Saturday, with leading goalscorer Mohamed Salah dropping to the bench for Adam Lallana, who was making his first start in two months. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sadio Mane had two clear chances to open the scoring in the first half, the second of which crashed against the post, while Dejan Lovren headed over.James Milner and Roberto Firmino also squandered opportunities in the second period and Lovren blocked a late effort from Oliver Torres to ensure the Reds remain one of three unbeaten sides in this year’s competition alongside Tottenham and Barcelona.Liverpool were a long way from their swashbuckling Premier League form and Klopp will hope they have not lost any impetus ahead of the crunch clash against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.#UCL last eight awaits. pic.twitter.com/2dbbpYr5VX— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 6, 2018After a sluggish opening, the hosts burst into life midway through the half with Mane inches away from opening the scoring. The Senegal forward – who scored six goals in his previous three Champions League games – met Joe Gomez’s fizzed cross with an acrobatic volley, which flashed agonisingly over. Mane went even closer just after half-hour mark when he pulled Milner’s pass out of the sky and drove a low half-volley against the inside of Iker Casillas’ right-hand post. Milner was the architect again soon after, whipping in a teasing free-kick that Lovren could only head just high of the target.32: Casillas beaten but Mane’s shot strikes the post and is cleared away. Brilliant pass from Milner.[0-0]https://t.co/5rVaVEyNIn pic.twitter.com/bRmReWi66c— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 6, 2018Milner had a chance of his own two minutes after the restart, but he failed to make a clean connection with Lallana’s cross and the ball bobbled harmlessly wide.Porto finally carved out an opening when Majeed Waris shrugged off the attention of two Liverpool defenders to fire a low shot towards goal, which was kept out by the under-worked Loris Karius. Firmino saw a goal-bound effort blocked by Porto captain Felipe moments before being withdrawn for Danny Ings.Salah was brought off the bench with 16 minutes remaining and, unsurprisingly, went close to adding to his 32 goals this season, though Casillas was equal to his drilled attempt.Oliver almost spoiled Liverpool’s outing late on, while Ings should have scored his first Champions League goal with a looping header that Casillas did well to paw away and keep the Reds off the scoreboard. Key Opta facts:- Iker Casillas made his 167th appearance in the Champions League, 16 more than any other player in the history of the competition (Xavi next on 151).- This was the first Champions League game this season with no first-half shots on target.- Liverpool failed to score at Anfield for the first time in their last nine games in all competitions, since a 0-0 draw against West Brom in December.- The Reds have kept five clean sheets in their last six games in the Champions League, only conceding against Sevilla in November (3-3). read more
Manchester United Mourinho hails ‘humble’ McTominay following maiden Scotland call-up Dom Farrell 20:39 13/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Manchester United Premier League Manchester United v Sevilla UEFA Champions League Scotland The Manchester United manager has paid tribute to an emerging midfield star who has seen his domestic efforts recognised at international level Jose Mourinho believes Scott McTominay’s humble nature and willingness to learn is behind the Manchester United midfielder’s rapid rise.The 21-year-old has enjoyed an impressive breakthrough season at Old Trafford this season and was rewarded with a maiden call-up into the Scotland squad on Monday for forthcoming friendlies against Costa Rica and Hungary.McTominay, who was born in Lancaster so is also eligible to play for England, played a key role in United’s recent matches against Sevilla, Chelsea and Liverpool. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Ahead of the return against the LaLiga side in the Champions League, Mourinho praised the youngster’s studious approach to his profession”He’s playing well. He is using every minute on the pitch and outside the pitch to learn,” said the United boss, whose side shared a 0-0 draw at Sevilla in the first leg of the last-16 tie.”He’s humble, he wants to learn. He doesn’t want headlines or flashes. He just wants to work, improve and be useful for his team”He was progressively getting chances to play. He got the injuries of Michael Carrick, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Paul] Pogba and [Ander] Herrera – basically all of the midfield players I have.”He was getting minutes and getting experience and the best way to improve is to be on the pitch. He is a good learner.”Mourinho added: “I remember his beginning when he was not always on the bench but I was taking him with the team as an extra player.”I remember him clearly in the dressing room, in the meetings eating every word, listening to everything.”I think his humble nature is what is making him a good player for us.”
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. This is how close OU was to recovering an onside kick to potentially force OT or win the game… pic.twitter.com/E8QvwlJYoj— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 26, 2019Watch how Kansas won just their sixth Big 12 game this decade (not a typo, they’re really 6-79 since 2010 … of course Tech showed below why they’re 29-56).This is why Kansas just won. Unbelievable mistake by Texas Tech after the blocked kick. Jayhawks kick again and win on 32-yard FG. pic.twitter.com/gI2uYSfanS— Max Olson (@max_olson) October 27, 2019Add it all up and somehow Baylor is sitting at home chuckling like Kevin at what transpired on Saturday. The Bears have a 1-3 WVU team coming to Waco on Thursday night, and are two wins over the right teams from locking up a Big 12 title appearance.As for the Pokes? Well, it looks more condensed than it did a week ago, but I’m not sure it necessarily looks a lot better. If they take care of TCU next week, that’s when it starts to get a little optimistic.Beat TCU and then you have two of those one-win teams (Kansas and WVU) left plus OU at home. We can start to dream a little bit then, I suppose. Although I don’t know if an Alamo Bowl appearance counts as dreaming. The Tech loss hurts. Don’t lose to Tech, and all of a sudden you’re third in these standings with all the opportunity in the world.I’m not convinced all is well after OSU’s statistical outlier of a game (more defensive INTs than penalties in a single game has only happened one other time in the Gundy era), but as Saturday proved, you get wins however you can get them in the Big 12.Lastly, I thought this from Carson was good. The Big 12 isn’t the best league or the most talented. But it’s definitely the fairest, which — ironically? — hurts you when it comes to both national perception and playoff appearances.Today is a reminder The Big 12 is really hurt by the round robin, 9-game conference schedule. The last team to go undefeated in the regular season? 2009 Texas, before the round robin schedule. Other conferences can avoid playing the best teams in a given year & less conf. games.— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) October 27, 2019The Big 12 cannibalized itself on Saturday as four dogs beat four favorites on one of the weirdest slates in recent memory (and it’s not as if there haven’t been weird slates!).The fun part here is that we haven’t even reached November yet.So now it’s Baylor …. and then OU … and then everybody else pelting each other with rocks trying to sniff third place with a shot at second down the stretch. I’m thankful for a day of madness because it included Oklahoma State, which is still one of those teams lingering in the middle. After what transpired on Saturday in Ft. Worth, Manhattan, Lawrence and Ames — and given how this season has gone — that’s about all anyone could ask for.*Depending on where you wager on CFB Four underdogs* on Saturday. Four Big 12 wins. Chaos, honestly.OU’s early tilt with Kansas State ended with a video review about whether a corkscrewing onside kick hit a player before it went 10 yards and whether that player was blocked into the ball or whether he ran into it himself. And that was the second weirdest ending of the day in the conference … in the state of Kansas.A review.• Kansas State was a 21.5-point dog at home (won by 7)• Oklahoma State was a 10.5-point dog on the road (won by 7)• TCU was a 1.5-point dog at home (won by 10)• Kansas was a 4-point dog at home (won by 3)That’s 37.5 points piled up on four outright winners. The Sooner tears after getting smoked in the Little Apple — I might add — were tasty.“There’s a lot of parity week to week,” said Mike Gundy after his team won for the 10th time as a road underdog since he took over in 2005.“A lot of times it comes back to those three things we talked about (turnovers, penalties and big plays). That’s the one thing that college football has going for it right now is parity week to week. The fans love it, people that come to the games love it, TV networks love it.”This is true. We all do kind of love it. The OSU and TCU wins were fairly straightforward (as far as this nutty conference goes anyway), but K-State was wild, and then Kansas was a fever dream. [whispers] I have no idea how this call was overturned for Kansas State, and I don’t really care.
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 20, 2010July 21, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) On June 7th, 2010, the University of Oxford will be launching ‘Global Voices for Maternal Health’, a crowd-sourcing project to give maternal health care providers around the world a direct global voice in identifying and solving the barriers to providing evidence-based maternal health care. This ground-breaking project is supported by the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. To view other projects supported by the MHTF, click here.Global Voices for Maternal Health will have two elements:● an online survey (in 9 languages) of over 10,000 maternal health care providers in developing countries about the barriers preventing the implementation of safe, effective and affordable treatments for complications related to pregnancy in their settings.● an online discussion forum for health care providers, program managers and policy makers who are seeking new and innovative solutions for overcoming barriers to providing evidence-based maternal health care.The website will give new weight and force to the views of people who are actually delivering medical care, providing them with a stronger voice to determine where the global community’s future efforts should be focused.Visit www.globalvoices.org.uk to find out more and take part in the project.Please help us to spread the word about the project and reach people working on the ground. For information on how to help, please contact email@example.com.Share this:
Posted on July 22, 2010July 14, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)NEW YORK, July 22—The Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth announced today that it has awarded eight new grants supporting innovative maternal health projects across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The projects, which will be carried out by local organizations in developing countries, will lead to national policy recommendations for improving maternal health.Each project will evaluate an ongoing effort to advance maternal health in places where too many women still die from preventable complications of pregnancy and childbirth. Examples of such projects include integrating maternal health care with HIV prevention and treatment, organizing support groups for pregnant mothers, and outfitting health workers in rural communities with cellular phones to facilitate emergency care for pregnant women. Following are summaries of the new grants:In Bangladesh, scientists and nonscientists will collaborate at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research in Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) in translating new and existing knowledge about maternal health into proposals to improve government policies and practices. They will seek consensus on identifying key questions raised by three recent research programs, ensure access to the findings, reach out to national policymakers, and build ICDDR,B capacity and visibility for future work in knowledge translation.In India, the Centre for Development and Population Activities (CEDPA) will combat India’s high maternal mortality and morbidity rates by demonstrating the value of integrating maternal health programs into HIV and AIDS programs. Using forums, workshops, and consultations, CEDPA will evaluate existing programs of the government’s National Rural Health Mission, the National AIDS Control Programme, and the National Health Policy Administration in the Rajasthan area, to compile best practices and build consensus on a set of recommendations for policymakers.In Malawi, the MaiMwana project will be a pilot effort to strengthen the current inadequate Maternal Death Review (MDR) system with a village-level program of maternal death audits. Kamuzu Central Hospital and the Mchinji District Hospital will support the formation of three-member MDR teams in each village to conduct a verbal autopsy (a structured interview) among relatives and neighbors within two days of every maternal death. Improved data will allow better analysis and service improvements and will contribute to recommendations to the Ministry of Health for a national audit procedure.In Mexico, the Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropologia Social (CIESAS) is conducting an assessment of the Ministry of Health’s Advanced Life Support for Obstetrics Program (ALSO), which manages delivery emergencies in Oaxaca. CIESAS will determine whether ALSO courses improve the technical skills and professional morale of health care providers enough to justify expanding the program nationwide.In Peru, Future Generations, in partnership with the Peruvian Ministry of Health, will field test promising methods of reducing maternal and newborn mortality by organizing groups of pregnant women to share their pregnancy histories and experiences. In a controlled trial involving 500 pregnant women, health workers will guide the discussions, document benefits, develop a training manual and materials for possible nationwide use, hold workshops on the materials, and advocate for policy change.In South Africa and Kenya, the mothers2mothers program, which offers education and emotional support to pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV, will field test “active client follow-up” to increase the number of HIV-positive pregnant women who return to a health care facility for care after an initial visit. In much of Africa, the return rate is low, posing a major obstacle to preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. Mothers2mothers will use peer “mentor mothers” to send text messages or cell phone calls to previously contacted pregnant women to urge them to make return visits. Best practices will be collected for integration into the mothers2mothers standard model used continent-wide.In Sri Lanka, the Department of Community Medicine at Rajarata University will work to improve the collection of data on the impact of maternal death and postpartum illness, a process that is now limited to hospital reports. University researchers will develop a survey questionnaire for field testing among a sample of expectant mothers in the resource-poor Anuradhapura District, where maternal mortality rates are high. Researchers will analyze the frequency and prevalence of health events and their direct and indirect economic impacts on families, to contribute to national service delivery planning.In Tanzania, the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) will seek to improve emergency care for pregnant women and newborns by providing free cellular phones and business-related services for mid-level health care providers, to allow better communication with distant emergency obstetric specialists. Cooperating with district councils and a local telecommunications company IHI will evaluate the cost, feasibility, and implementation issues that arise if health workers at the district level have better access to long-distance counseling, faster referrals and resupply services, and emergency clinical support.EngenderHealth is a leading international reproductive health organization working to improve the quality of health care in the world’s poorest communities. EngenderHealth empowers people to make informed choices about contraception, trains health care providers to make motherhood safer, promotes gender equity, enhances the quality of HIV and AIDS services, and advocates for positive policy change. The nonprofit organization works in partnership with governments, institutions, communities, and health care professionals in more than 20 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.engenderhealth.org. The Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth brings together existing maternal health initiatives and engages new organizations to facilitate global coordination of maternal health evidence, programs, and policies. Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Maternal Health Task Force convenes stakeholders and creates an inclusive setting to engage in dialogue, build consensus, foster innovation, and share information. For more information, visit www.maternalhealthtaskforce.org.Contact:Tim Thomas, Maternal Health Task Force/EngenderHealth646-436-6555, firstname.lastname@example.org Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on August 5, 2010November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Later this month, Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force will host the Young Champions of Maternal Health Change Summit in Delhi, India. The Change Summit will take place between August 29th and September 6th—and is being held in conjunction with the Global Maternal Health Conference 2010.The several-day event will bring together the Young Champions of Maternal Health (marking the beginning of their 9-month fellowships), the Changemakers prize winners, the Maternal Health Blog Contest winner, Ashoka Fellows, and numerous maternal health experts from around the world. The Young Champions will engage in a number of networking activities and training sessions.Summit highlights:Training through case-studies in innovation and problem solving for maternal healthTraining in “Telling Your Story” with traditional and social mediaNetworking lunch to introduce the Young Champions to leading experts in maternal healthSite visit to local maternal health projects in nearby communitiesThe Young Champions will also be attending sessions at the Global Maternal Health Conference—as well as presenting on a panel at the conference where they will share their winning innovative ideas for improving maternal health in communities around the world. Their panel presentation will take place on August 31st from 15:30 to 17:15 (Delhi time) and will be live-streamed.Stay tuned for blog posts from the Young Champions of Maternal Health as they embark on this journey to hone their skills in health innovation and develop the next generation of ideas for improving global maternal health!Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Cristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo is still priceless for Real Madrid and Portugal, says Salgado Nizaar Kinsella Click here to see more stories from this author Chelsea correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 18:45 6/15/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Spain Portugal World Cup Portugal v Spain Lionel Messi The Santiago Bernabeu legend is backing a talismanic forward to continue his starring role for both club and country in the years to come Michel Salgado says Cristiano Ronaldo is unsellable for Real Madrid, while he worries about the threat that the Portuguese superstar will pose to Spain in a crunch World Cup clash on Friday.The 33-year-old won the Champions League for a fifth time as Madrid overcame Liverpool 3-1 in May, but it was Gareth Bale who proved to be the match winner on that occasion as he scored twice off the bench.Immediately after the match, Ronaldo shocked the world by casting his future into doubt as he referred to his time with the Blancos in the past tense. Salgado, though, who played for 10 years at the Santiago Bernabeu, believes that Ronaldo is still the best player on Real’s books and will be kept on this summer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “After what I have seen in the last season, why would they move Ronaldo out of Real Madrid? He is still there in the key moments,” Salgado told Goal during the Betfair Road to Russia preview. “We are talking about scoring always in quarter-finals, semi-finals, and knockout stages. When you need him he is there.”To be honest, he is performing fantastically, he knows to save his energy for the big moments. He knows his body, he knows his head. He is a real professional guy. He is working hard to be the best. “Cristiano is a guy who has to work hard every day to be in there and he is doing it. He is an example in terms of professionalism and, for me, obviously he has to stay in Real Madrid for as long as he wants. He is so much for us.”I wanted to see Real Madrid without him for one big game in the Champions League because we never miss him. Obviously it would be really, really different. When he is in there, the opposition defenders are shaking, they know he is in there. It is stupid to say he is too old or whatever.”Obviously he is getting mature, he is 33 years old. The physicality is dropping of course. The speed, the pace but he has got something that I don’t think right now that any other player has got. This is the smell to score goals. He has got something special when it comes to the goal.”He always puts the ball, at the right time, at the right moment into the goal. That’s something that is priceless right now in football.”Salgado won four league titles and two Champions League trophies during his time with Real Madrid and is considered to be a club legend. He also played 53 times for Spain, including in the 2006 World Cup, but missed out in 2002 due to injury.The 42-year-old says this World Cup represents Ronaldo’s last chance to win the highest honour in international football, though he thinks the Portugal star’s great rival may have a shot at playing in 2022. “It is going to be difficult for Cristiano Ronaldo to get there in the next World Cup,” Salgado said. “Maybe [Lionel] Messi has one more, probably yes. It is one of the last chances they have got to win the World Cup. That’s what the World Cup is all about.”Messi and Ronaldo, they know it. They know they have got their last chance to try to win it and that’s why it is going to be an amazing World Cup.”Spain’s opening game against Portugal will see six Spanish Real Madrid stars possibly facing their club team-mate. Salgado thinks both sides will be desperate not to lose in their opening match and that fear could therefore creep into each side’s play.”To be honest [Ronaldo] is unlucky that we have got our first game against Portugal,” Salgado added. “There is a rivalry because we are neighbours. There has always been a big rivalry in there and Cristiano Ronaldo is in there. He is our main player in Real Madrid. He is our soul so, for us, it is difficult to see us playing against Cristiano Ronaldo.“At the same time because it is a tricky group, whoever loses this game will have a lot of pressure for the second and third game. I see this game with more fear to lose it than action and belief and passion to win it. It is the first game, we know it is difficult and the first game is always important in the World Cup for the way you are going to progress.”Let’s see what happens but I am going to tell you, if you lose the first game in this group, it is not going to be easy because you have got Iran and Morocco in the second and third games. I know both teams and to be honest, they are going to make our lives complicated.”
Rhian Brewster ‘I know what I want to achieve’ – Rhian Brewster opens up on Liverpool ambitions Neil Jones Click here to see more stories from this author Last updated 1 year ago 16:34 6/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Liverpool Real Madrid v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Premier League Opinion The 18-year-old talks about his dream of playing for Jurgen Klopp’s first team at Anfield as he hopes to follow Trent Alexander-Arnold to stardom Edgeley Park, Stockport. The archetypal ‘old school’ football ground, hidden away among a cluster of tight-knit terraced houses in the heart of a community.It’s seen better days, of course. It could do with a lick of paint here and there, and the pitch has been ripped up to be re-laid ahead of next season. “Much needed,” says the guard on the gate.At one end of the ground, the 31st Stockport Beer & Cider Festival is in full swing. Pies and pints are keeping the patrons happy, while a local Ska band will take to the stage later in the evening. For £2, it’s a decent day out. “A proper community event,” says one happy customer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Goal, though, is here for something else. Over in the Danny Bergara Stand – named after the man who guided tiny Stockport County to four Wembley finals in the 1990s – one of English football’s brightest young prospects is waiting to speak to us.He’s got plenty to talk about, too. Rhian Brewster may only have turned 18 in April, he may not have made a senior club appearance yet, but as interviewees go he’s as eloquent, thoughtful and interesting as they come. The boy has things to say, and he knows how to say them.He’s here for a fashion shoot, promoting Lyle & Scott’s latest range, but over the course of our chat he speaks with great maturity about issues ranging from racism to transfer rumours to the difficulties English football has in bringing through young talents. Eighteen years old? You sure?The obvious place to start is with Brewster’s own situation, which at the time of the interview remained uncertain. Interest from Germany, in the shape of Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig, had been widely reported. Liverpool were desperate to keep their young star, but had yet to convince him to sign a professional contract at Anfield.The scene has changed since, which is good news for the Reds. Though Brewster’s deal is still, as we speak, unsigned, the understanding is that he will be staying on Merseyside, having been convinced by the club’s plans for him. It’s a big call, but one Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are very happy with.So what does the man himself make of it all, then? “At the moment, I just want to be playing regular professional football for the first team,” Brewster tells Goal. “Whether that was at Liverpool or somewhere else, yeah it was uncertain. “But hopefully in 12 months’ time I’ll be sat here saying I made the right decision in what I chose to do. I want to be able to reflect positively on that.”It is clear that this was not to be a decision motivated by money, but by opportunity. Brewster’s desire to play senior football, even at such a tender age, shines through in just about everything he says. He wants to go to the top, and he’s not shy of saying so.He has already made one big call in his young career, leaving Chelsea at the age of 15 to move to Liverpool because he felt the pathway was clearer. He’s a smart boy who knows what he wants.But with Premier League clubs finding it harder and harder to bring through youth graduates to their first team – Chelsea, in particular, have become emblematic of the struggle – alternative options have been emerging. The Bundesliga has already tempted English players across, with Reece Oxford and Ademola Lookman enjoying loan spells of differing success, and Jadon Sancho swapping Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund.Sancho’s case is particularly instructive. He and Brewster were born a week apart, both in London, and have grown up together through the England youth system. They were both members of the U17 World Cup winning squad last year, and both are tipped for big, big things.So was Brewster tempted to follow his pal to Germany?“Sure, I look at people like Jadon,” he says. “But then I look at people like Trent [Alexander-Arnold].“You can do it both ways. You can go down the road of staying, waiting for a chance and then taking it, like Trent did, or you can look at it like Jadon did, and think maybe I won’t get my chance here, so I can go somewhere else, abroad maybe. I look at it both ways.“I’m going to do what’s best for me. If that meant going Jadon’s way, I’d go Jadon’s way. If it means staying and doing what Trent did, then I’ll do a Trent!”‘A Trent’ it is then. Like Alexander-Arnold, Brewster certainly has the talent to make an impact on Liverpool’s first team, and the club’s reluctance to sign a striker this summer shows exactly what they think of him. He will be fast-tracked towards the first team under Klopp, who is as big a fan as anyone. It is perhaps unusual to hear a player, and especially one so young, speak so clearly about their ambitions, but if strikers are supposed to be single-minded and driven, then Brewster ticks all the boxes.“I just know what I want in life,” he says “I know what I want to achieve.“People say ‘follow your dream’ and that’s what I want to do. But there are others who try and put you down.“Those people, they only inspire me. If they hate on me for doing something good, then it makes me want to do even better and stay at that level.“I love it, to be fair. If you play football and fans are booing or saying negative stuff, it makes me play better. All I want to do is put the ball in the back of the net and say, ‘what are you gonna say now?’ If I have a centre back giving me stick, I want to score and say, ‘shut your mouth!’ It makes me strive, man.”That ambition and that work ethic will be needed if he is to complete the journey from talented prodigy into established professional. When we meet, he is still using crutches, recovering from a serious ankle and knee injury suffered playing for Liverpool’s U23 side in January. It is expected that he will be out of action until late-August.In the meantime, he has been using his time wisely. He is a regular at Anfield, an avid football watcher. He was in Kiev for the recent Champions League final, watching Alexander-Arnold, watching Sadio Mane, watching Roberto Firmino. His eyes, naturally, are drawn to those he wants to emulate – or to overtake.“I don’t switch off,” he says. “I like to watch the games, and watch what I am missing. It makes me want to be out there even more.“Being injured gives you the chance to reflect on the players who play in your position, too. You see things you can do, things you can maybe do better. It’s about doing everything you can to get to the top, so any little advantage you can take, you should do it.“I do it off my own back. The staff at the Academy will sometimes invite me to games, but it’s more something I like to do myself. I like to watch Firmino and the rest. It’s about being the best I can be, and if that means learning stuff off other people, then I’ll do it.”He’s warming to the theme now, his eyes lighting up as he discusses the strikers he admires from around the world – past and present.“If I was building an ideal striker?” he smiles. “Ooh, it’d be a bit of Firmino, a bit of Suarez, and a bit of Thierry Henry.“Growing up, Henry was my idol. He’s the reason I wanted to play football. If you could put all those three together, you’d have some player!”And what about himself? Where do Rhian Brewster’s strengths and weaknesses lie?“Obviously you want to be the perfect player, so you have to always work towards that aim,” he says. “If that’s working on my left foot, scoring goals with both feet, then that’s what I’ll work on. Or if it’s my first touch or my physical attributes, I’ll work on those. You can’t stop working.“Mentally and tactically as well, you have to develop. You could play for different managers, who want different things, so you need to be able to adapt to everything. If you do that, you will play.“You don’t want to be just a big striker that only plays one way or under one manager, you want to be able to do everything, whatever a manager needs from you.“I speak to a lot of people, to get their advice and their thoughts. But ultimately, you have to do what you want to do. What’s in your head? If you want to be at the top, be at the top. If that means making sacrifices, then that’s what I am going to do.“No, it’s not easy! I still have my friends, and they’re wanting to go out places and stuff. I can’t. I train and I rest and I play. Even when I’m off, I have to be careful, I still have to do the right things. For me, it’s about being careful and sensible. You make big sacrifices, staying in, eating the right things, but that’s what you have to do to get to the top – and I want to get to the top.“Of course it’s been hard. Your friends are chilling while you’re training, but what would you rather do? Go to their house and chill, or go training? My rewards will come.“At the end of the day, I’m doing something I love. In the future, that may lead to money, but the main thing is that you don’t want to be in a job that you don’t like. You want to be in a job that you love, where it doesn’t feel like work.”How refreshing to hear, especially from someone who has already seen both sides of ‘The Beautiful Game’. World Cup wins, golden boots and eye-catching performances are one thing, but Brewster – still a teenager remember – has already felt compelled to speak up about one of the game’s big issues; racism. An interview given to The Guardian in December detailed seven separate instances where he has suffered abuse playing for club and country.One of those was during a UEFA Youth League game for Liverpool against Spartak Moscow at Tranmere Rovers’ Prenton Park ground. Brewster reported the incident to UEFA, but saw the case dropped three months later due to ‘insufficient evidence’. He was not surprised.“No, not at all,” he says. “I just wanted to put my voice out there and be heard. No it doesn’t surprise me the way the ruling went, but hopefully it does change at some point in the future, and that it helps bring the rubbishness out of football.“With the World Cup being in Russia, I hope no-one gets abused over there. I think it happened recently with France, but my hope is that something can be done about it and we can change it, to be honest.“You hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else, but if it does then my advice is to follow the rules. Control yourself, as hard as that is, tell people and speak up. It’s not easy, but it’s the best way.”Of course speaking out about such issues is important, but for one so young to do so was striking. Brewster’s courage struck a chord within football; the reaction to his interview was huge, elevating him into the public eye perhaps more so even than his exploits at the U17 World Cup a few months previously.He is thankful for Liverpool’s support during that period. Klopp made a point of mentioning Brewster in a speech given to the Football Writers’ Association at their annual awards dinner last month, praising the youngster’s “power, command and composure” in going public on such an important issue.“It’s a really close-knit club,” Brewster says. “The feedback and the vibe I got off them was that we are a family. Everyone was behind me, nobody said I shouldn’t do it.“Even the fans, I got lots of messages and I really appreciate that. No-one was against what I did. It was a bad time, but people were there for me. I won’t forget that.”Of course having a public profile comes with its own risks; scrutiny of footballers is huge, whether they are 18 or 30. The social media age means fame is instant, but so is judgement. Every move is analysed, debated, criticised.Can Brewster, a Londoner born and raised in Chadwell Heath, handle all that? Is he spotting the looks from strangers in the street?“Yeah man, I see it!” he smiles. “When people look at me, I look at them back like ‘what you looking at?’ but I have to be careful now! They know my face!“It happens when I’m out and about at home or in Liverpool, I get asked to take pictures and stuff. It can be a good and a bad thing, but for me it’s more good than bad. It shows that people are recognising you and that you are progressing.“Where I’m from, you have to grow up quickly. That’s a fact. I just want to be a footballer and a big face in the game. I want to be an idol to young children. It’s starting to happen now, and I hope it continues.”It will do so at Liverpool, for now at least. But wherever that first-team chance comes, you can be sure Rhian Brewster will do everything he can to take it. It’s just who he is.“You have to stamp your mark,” he says. “You have to get the chance and you have to take it.“My hope now is to be playing regular football, so I can play at the highest level for club and country. The next World Cup or even the next Euros, I want to be in with a shot of being picked. That’s what I strive for, to be the best I can be, to hopefully give me the best opportunity to get there.“The only way you can do that is by getting a chance in club football. I can’t wait for mine.”Lyle and Scott are delighted to announce Rhian Brewster as their new ambassador. Rhian launches the new World World Cup campaign focusing on Rhian and his rise to U17 World Cup Champion and Golden Boot winner. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
England Loftus-Cheek ready to replace injured England star Alli Stephen Creek Last updated 1 year ago 17:45 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images England World Cup England v Panama Panama The Chelsea midfielder said he is ready to be called upon for Sunday’s clash with Panama after the Spurs star suffered a thigh injury Ruben Loftus-Cheek said he is ready to start England’s second Group G match at the World Cup against Panama if Dele Alli is ruled out through injury.Alli picked up a thigh strain in England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia on Monday and his fitness is being monitored ahead of the trip to Nizhny Novgorod on Sunday.Chelsea midfielder Loftus-Cheek played the last 10 minutes of England’s opening match, during which period Harry Kane scored a stoppage-time winner, and he said he is ready to be part of Gareth Southgate’s starting line-up if called upon. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “I am happy if I start or if I don’t,” Loftus-Cheek said in an interview on England’s official YouTube channel.”I will be ready to come on again if I get the opportunity.”Reflecting on his positive, attacking approach to his World Cup debut, the 22-year-old said he did what came naturally to him.”It was a natural instinct when the game is like that, with not long left, to go and be direct and try to make things happen,” he said.”It felt good. When you’re playing you don’t think about it but after you let it sink in and it’s like ‘I just played in a World Cup’ – it’s crazy.”The appearance was Loftus-Cheek’s fifth for the Three Lions, having made his debut last November in a friendly against Germany.Even before Alli’s injury news, there have been calls for Loftus-Cheek to be included in Southgate’s starting XI, with former England international Joey Barton believing he could be this year’s Paul Gascoigne.“I was really impressed by Loftus-Cheek when he came on,” Barton told talkSPORT. “He looked lively and had that ability to go past a player from midfield.“I just had a funny feeling, and I’m not comparing them by any stretch, but my first World Cup as a kid was Italia 90 and Gascoigne obviously started that tournament as a squad player – he had the number 19 on his back and by the end of the tournament he’d really been taken into the country’s hearts.”
World Cup Video: Croatia vs Denmark – Head-to-Head World Cup 2018 last 16 match preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 17:30 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy World Cup Videos Croatia v Denmark Croatia Denmark Goal previews the clash between the Group D table-toppers and a side led by the talents of Christian Eriksen, as well as three other last 16 matches
World Cup Belgium players raring to go after England rest – Martinez Iain Strachan 00:27 7/2/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Belgium v Japan Japan Belgium The Red Devils boss has a hungry squad ready to face Japan in the last 16 after giving many of his key men a break in a final group stage fixture Belgium coach Roberto Martinez says all of his players are desperate to be on the pitch ahead of the World Cup round-of-16 clash with Japan in Rostov-on-Don.Having sealed passage from Group G with a match remaining, Martinez made sweeping changes to his starting XI for the 1-0 win over a similarly fringe England team in Kaliningrad.Finishing top with a 100 per cent record earned Belgium a meeting with the Samurai Blue at Rostov Arena, where a host of first-choice stars, including Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku, are likely to return for kick-off. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “The group is in a very good moment mentally and physically, the players are desperate to be on the pitch,” Martinez told a news conference.”The ones who played against England had a really good experience. And the ones who were rested are waiting to get back on the pitch. “The players are ready to get the rhythm as fast as they can.” Belgium defeated Japan 1-0 in a friendly in November, but Akira Nishino has since replaced the sacked Vahid Halilhodzic at the helm of the team.”The biggest difference is the change of coach,” Martinez said of his team’s opponents.”In essence they are exactly the same, great energy, organised. “This Japan team shows there is a generation with a very good age. A lot of experience, they’ve played in Europe’s big leagues for a long time. “They know what it takes to win. [Takashi] Inui had a fantastic time in Eibar. They know what they’re doing on the pitch. “We’ll have to be concentrating at all time because of their dynamic approach and the amount of players they can accumulate in both boxes.”Martinez confirmed Belgium have been practising penalties, but should the game go down to a shootout, the Spaniard knows no amount of training can replicate the pressure his players will be under.”I think you have to be prepared for everything,” he said.”It’s important not to underestimate the occasion. “The players have been practicing but nothing will prepare you for taking the penalty that will get you through to the next phase in the knockout stages of the World Cup.”
Transfers Man Utd goalkeeper Johnstone completes £6.5m West Brom transfer Ronan Murphy Last updated 1 year ago 00:07 7/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Transfers West Bromwich Albion Manchester United Championship Premier League The 25-year-old spent has been with the Old Trafford club for seven seasons, but never played a minute for the Red Devils and now leaves permanently Manchester United goalkeeper Sam Johnstone has completed a £6.5 million transfer to West Brom.The 25-year-old spent last season on loan at Aston Villa, helping the midlanders to the Championship play-off final, and returns to the second tier to join their local rivals.Johnstone spent seven seasons at United, but never played a single minute for the Red Devils, instead being loaned out to a number of clubs, including Yeovil, Doncaster and Preston. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar He played 45 times for Villa last season and is looking forward to returning to the Championship, having signed a four-year deal with the Baggies.”I’m happy to be here. I’ve spoken to a lot of people about the club and heard nothing but good things,” he told the club’s official website .”It’s good to get through the door. I’ve played Championship games and won a promotion from League One with Preston but always seemed to end back at Manchester United or going somewhere else.”Now it’s time to settle down and take my game up to the next level which I believe I can do here.”West Brom boss Darren Moore believes the signing is indicative of what the club intend to achieve in the 2018-19 season, having finished rock bottom of the Premier League in 2017-18 .Moore took charge of the Baggies in April following the departure of Alan Pardew and has been trusted to guide Albion back to the top flight at the first time of asking. He feels the addition of Johnstone is the first part of the process in getting West Brom back to the Premier League.”Sam is young and determined to be the best keeper he can possibly be – he’s hungry to do that with us at Albion,” Moore said.”We’ve had him targeted from the outset and we’re all delighted to have him on board.”He buys into exactly what we are trying to achieve and will hopefully represent the shape of things to come.”Johnstone’s arrival is likely to be the precursor to Ben Foster leaving the Baggies, with Manchester City and Watford having been linked with the England international.