Just because other employees know they Reward your most prolific content creators. Originally published Jan 17, 2013 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 create guidelines they can follow contribute content, doesn’t mean they’ll feel comfortable doing so. This might stem from the misconception that they have to write like Shakespeare to get published on, say, your company blog. Let employees contribute to your blog in ways that best suit their talents. That could mean they create a video, an infographic, a SlideShare presentation, present data they’ve researched, or stick with the written blog post we all know and love. For instance, we work alongside a few extremely talented visual content creators, which is why fostered a content culture within their organizations. To create a company culture that celebrates content, it’s incumbent on leaders within your organization to communicate the benefits of being a published author. Explain to employees that having content published under their name will help establish themselves as thought leaders. That’s right, even hand I’ve found that the marketers who are most successful at sustaining a rapid pace of does Being a published thought leader helps them move upward within the company, and grow their careers. , this blog post is going to teach you how you can create a content culture within your company. If your employees can This blog post is written for those experiencing the latter. easily see for themselves how their content is directly contributing To make it easier for everyone to contribute, Creating content shouldn’t be reserved for just Marketing — or even just a couple people within Marketing. It’s natural to want Marketing to have a Encourage different content formats. to important company goals, like hitting Marketing’s leads goal, or Sales hitting their quota, you can bet people will be much more interested in creating content. I mean, how often does someone in, say, Support get to say they had a direct hand in generating new revenue? That’s a pretty good feeling. When I talk with inbound marketers about high quality content While fame is all well and good, sometimes a little friendly competition is all you need to get your company into the content creation spirit. For instance, let’s say you’re interested in getting more content about a particular subject matter on your blog to prepare for a product launch. Hold a contest to see who can write the blog post on that subject matter that gets, say, the most views, and reward the winner with a gift certificate. With a friendly competition like this, you’re winning on all fronts. You’ll get a higher volume of content, from a diverse set of people, on a subject matter that aligns with your goals; employees will get their name in flashing lights, some more thought leadership attached to their name, and maybe, a little moolah, too. In fact, we’ve seen this tactic work well in our favor to encourage contributions to this very blog! Poppycock. The content is a built-in online portfolio they can refer to years down the read. Reward these employees by highlighting their content and the specific results it achieved ( yesterday morning’s blog post was actually a SlideShare presentation Explain the benefit of being a published thought leader. ) in a public way. “Public” could mean your next marketing team meeting, your next company meeting, or even in an internal email or newsletter. Just be sure the content creator is present, and preferably some power players in your company, too 😉 you (Yes! You!) can be a thought leader! Here are a few benefits you can tell them to look forward to, the more they author and publish amazing content: Authoring content gets their name — and how wicked smart they are — visibility with important people, both inside and outside of your organization. ! Because the writer, Ryan Brown, totally rocks at creating visually compelling SlideShare presentations, why force him to write out a 1,000-word blog post when we have beautiful visual content at our fingertips that allows him to contribute to content creation? If they’re in a Sales or customer-facing role, it helps establish credibility with leads and customers. Topics: Finally, remember that your company culture comes from the top down. If you want to foster a culture that encourages content creation, that needs to come from the top down, too. Employees Communicate (and celebrate!) the bottom-line results can While enabling and encouraging content creation will help get people started, it won’t keep people going in the long term. To keep your entire company enthusiastic about the importance of contributing to content creation efforts, use numbers to communicate the impact it has on your business. Think about how much more meaningful it is to share that a blog post generated 10,000 page views, 50 inbound links, 20 new leads — two of which are poised to close this week — than to say, “Rachel wrote a really cool blog post last month. Good job!” content creation content drives. model executives’ behavior. So if the CMO isn’t blogging, some people might still blog; but if the CMO Content Creation If you’re starting your own business, growing your marketing department, starting a job at a new company, or just trying to motivate a shift in your company’s attitudes toward How do you foster a culture of content creators in your company? numbers are your friends here, marketers The first way is an exchange of tactics we’ve both employed to make content creation possible in the long term. The second way is detailing how difficult, sometimes nearly impossible, it is to keep up with the content creation pace they want to live up to. Play into people’s competitive spirit. in the content that goes out, but that doesn’t mean the entire burden needs to fall on your team’s shoulders. Instead, enable anyone in your organization to contribute content, from Sales, to Services, to Development. This is great because you’re getting content that highlights different perspectives and different areas of expertise, both of which make your content arsenal more well-rounded. Lead by example. Their content might lead to future opportunities, like speaking engagements, or being quoted as an expert in other publications. will Image credit: Some content is going to stand out among the rest — maybe it generates an unprecedented number of leads, maybe it gets picked up by a major publication, maybe it even goes viral! Reward the content creator for their innovation and brilliant execution, so you encourage other employees to strive to create this type of content. Enable anyone to contribute. create content on a regular basis, can you imagine how deep any other employee would have to dig to come up with the excuse for not also contributing? Pretty darn deep, I imagine. creation are the ones who have — specifically, how companies can create a sustainable internal content creation model — our conversations usually go one of two ways. content creation Kazarelth to make it more likely their content fits your publishing standards. You can even have content specialists on your team who train those extremely interested in contributing content on the types of editorial guidelines the marketing team follows. These folks — your marketing team’s “editors,” if you will — can be the ones who brush up the content you receive so everything that’s published aligns with the tone, style, and other guidelines you’ve established for your brand. Don’t forget to share this post! 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Topics: There are few feelings worse than knowing you’re missing out on something. Scientists have even given that feeling a name: FOMO (fear of missing out). Whether it’s missing out on an outing your coworkers are all going to or realizing you could have made that meeting if you only left five minutes earlier, we all get that same feeling of unrest in the pit of our stomachs when we miss out on something. Typically, FOMO has applied to events or actual things you could miss out on … but there are lots of other things that give us that same feeling, too. You know, like that time you realized if you had only done one more thing to your landing page, you’d get 30% more leads.That feeling sucks, so we want to help you steer clear of it, especially on your landing pages. Some of these could be two-minute fixes while others could be full-day projects, but each of these mistakes could be costing your business money.So save your company some moolah (and maybe get a pat on the back from your boss) and read the following about most egregious landing page errors. 1) It doesn’t pass the blink test. You have 50 milliseconds. Ready, set, go! Stop.The time it took you to read that last sentence is longer than you have to make a first impression on your landing page. A study by researchers at Carleton University found that people make judgments about a website within 50 milliseconds of viewing it. Yep, roughly the time it takes for you to blink once. Tough crowd, I know, but a crowd you’ve got to please if you want to improve your conversion rates.Make sure your landing pages are passing this blink test by following the guidelines here.2) It doesn’t have a clear value proposition. If someone has to do lots of thinking while they’re on your landing page, you’re doing it wrong. The value of downloading the piece of content you have hidden behind your form should be apparent from the get-go. That way, your landing page visitors aren’t spending time figuring out what the heck you’re offering — they’re actually filling out the form to get it. There are lots of ways to accomplish this — adding more descriptive copy or updating the landing page image to reflect what’s inside your offer could do the trick. Or maybe it’s as simple as clarifying what your offer is in your headline. If you’re having trouble figuring out if the value proposition is clear on your website, try sending it to someone within your buyer persona’s field (maybe a current customer of yours?) and give them zero context about what happens after someone would fill out the form. Then, ask them to tell you what they think they’ll get once they give over their contact information and if that exchange (content for their contact information) seems reasonable. If it’s not, you’ve got some tweaking to do!3) Your form is too long.One of the biggest mistakes people make on landing pages is to make a long form. It makes sense why you’d want to — you only have someone’s attention for a bit, so why not get all the information you can out of them … right? Not quite. A long form becomes a huge barrier to entry for your landing page visitors simply because it looks like it will take forever to fill out. Even though you know it’ll only take a minute or so, a minute seems like a long time to invest for your visitors — especially those on mobile.Those impatient visitors (aka, most of the people who’ll come to your site) want to get your offer and get out, so think about how you can make it easier for them to do that. Remove form fields that are “nice to haves” and also think about using progressive profiling to capture important, yet secondary information on the second time someone fills out a form on your site. 4) Your form is too short.On the flip-side, your form may be too short, which could very well mean you’re getting a bunch of unqualified leads flowing into your contacts database.If this is a big problem for you, consider adding a form field or two to the offers that keep sending you unqualified leads. You could also leave the initial form alone, but then use progressive profiling on future forms to collect more lead information — and the only rotate those leads to your sales team. 5) Your landing page isn’t ready for mobile.Like we said in number 3, landing pages with long forms aren’t really mobile-friendly — but that’s not the only thing that could deter mobile and tablet visitors. You might have a page that’s not responsive, making your mobile visitors swipe and swipe and swipe to scroll half an inch on the page. Or maybe your landing page image is huge, making it impossible for your visitors to access your form. Or maybe your CTA is below the fold, thus making it unclear how to submit the form. The point is you need to think about mobile traffic to your landing pages — engaging those visitors could mean the difference between hitting your monthly goal — and not. So, make sure you’re following the mobile marketing best practices outlined in this ebook.6) Your leads aren’t redirected anywhere after filling out a form. Someone wants to download your offer, so they fill out the form, hit submit, and then … nothing. They’re confused. Did their information get submitted? Will they get an email with the offer? What the heck just happened?!?!?You don’t want people to experience that confusion on your landing pages — it makes for a poor user experience that not many (if any) visitors want to go through again. Bonus: Having that type of experience on your landing pages means you’re missing out on more traffic, leads, and customers. The best way to fix this? A thank-you page. Basically, this is another page leads are redirected to after they’ve filled out the form on your landing page. There, leads can actually download or interact with the offer itself, share it with friends, and maybe even convert on another offer. It’s valuable real estate you shouldn’t miss out on. 7) Your “submit” button says “submit.”You know that phrase “you don’t know something until you know it”? While it is “duh”-inducing, it’s actually a great reminder for your landing page designs.For example, if someone’s filling out a landing page form for the first time — in other words, the majority of people you hope to be filling out the form — they have no idea what’s going to happen when they hit “submit.” What tangible thing will they be getting for handing over their information? What is going to happen when they push that bright red button? That’s a lot of anxiety that comes with filling out a form on a website … but it’s uncertainly like this that could affect your conversion rates.To reduce that uncertainty, be extra clear on what will happen when you hit “submit.” Customize the button to say something like “Download your Ebook” or “Get Your Free Guide.” Custom buttons will help assuage some of the anxiety your landing page visitors may have and convert them more readily into leads.8) Your page has text on text on text. In short: You need images on your landing page. They help convey information faster than a hundred words of text, so you can convert visitors faster to leads on your landing pages. Sounds like a good idea, right? So go on, add a relevant image to your landing page to help communicate what your visitors will be downloading. Need help finding or creating visual content for your landing pages? Check out these 10 free design tools.9) The images you do include on your landing page aren’t helping anything. Images can tell your story quickly and easily (they are worth 1,000 words after all) … but what if the ones you’re using on your landing pages are telling the wrong story? You can’t just throw up any old image on a landing page and expect people to convert just because there’s an image on it. You’ve got to be strategic: Check out this blog post on conversion-centered design to help you pick out the right images to use on landing pages.10) You still include a main navigation. When visitors get to your landing page, you want them there for one purpose and one purpose only: to convert to be a lead. Don’t distract them with anything — multiple CTAs, website footers, or even a top navigation. All of those elements seem like they’d be helpful, but they can actually reduce your conversion rates.So on pages where your main goal is converting people to become leads — you know, on landing pages — cut the main navigation. Then, feel free to bring the navigation back on the thank-you page and other supplementary web pages. 11) You’re asking for the same information over and over and over again.You know those people who ask for your name every single time you meet them, but you’ve met them several times before? And you know how annoying those people are? You just want them to recognize you!That’s exactly how people feel when they go to your landing pages and get asked the same questions on forms over and over and over again. So think about using smart forms and progressive profiling to reduce the number of fields people need to fill out — and thus make it easier for them to convert on your landing pages.Not only is it a delightful experience for your visitors, but it’s also it’s a way to increase your conversion rates. 12) You set your landing page and forget it. Like with any other part of your marketing, you can’t just set your landing page and forget it. Your conversion rates are never going to be perfect (and neither are ours), but you can always work toward more efficient and effective layouts and designs.Thus, it’s imperative you run A/B tests to see what works best for your visitors and your leads — what may be a tried and true best practice may not always work for your audience.So keep testing to find out what does! You never know what will work for your audience until you test it.These are just some of the landing page mistakes we see happen all the time. What other grisly landing page mistakes did we miss? Add your ideas to the comments below. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 12, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Landing Page Optimization
Originally published Jan 8, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Website Development Topics: Why Learn HTML?HTML and CSS are the basic programming languages for web development and design. They are beneficial to learn for developers, marketers, and people in many other disciplines. Learning HTML can be used for situations like formatting a blog or email, working with a CMS, embedding external content on your site, and creating usable content.I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I’m terrified of leaving something at home. I obsess over making sure I have enough T-shirts, jeans, shoes, travel-sized shampoos, earrings, books, magazines — because what in the world would I do if I didn’t have them, but needed them? And even if I over-pack, I know I’m prepared for any situation vacation will throw at me — a random fancy dinner out, a day at the pool, or just an afternoon out shopping with the family.In the same vein, knowing HTML is like making sure you’re fully prepared for a vacation. You may not end up using it every single day, but the times you do end up using it, you are so grateful that you had the foresight to figure it out. Knowing HTML can save you hours of frustration, precious time with your design team, or even money dealing with an external contractor.HTML has always been nice-to-have knowledge, but it’s becoming more than nice-to-have for the marketer trying to save a buck. (And that sounds like every marketer I’ve met.)In fact, there are a bunch of situations I’ve caught myself in in which handy HTML knowledge saved the day … and thus, this post was born. If you’re not quite convinced that you’d benefit from knowing basic HTML, keep reading. Here are seven* scenarios you might find yourself in that can be fixed with just a bit of HTML know-how. 1) When Formatting in Your Blog Post/Email/Landing Page Goes AwrySometimes, I swear my content has a life of its own — and a mean streak. That blog post that I worked on all day will suddenly have images with funky spacing, no text wrapping, and outrageous sizing, and, of course, all looks okay in my WYSIWG editor. Luckily, with some HTML knowledge, I can dig into the post to remove and tweak code that is causing the problem.HTML Pro Tip: If you find a bunch of funky tags you want to remove, copy the raw code and paste it into a raw text editor. Then, choose the Find and Replace option — you can search for offending snippets of code and leave the “replace” box blank. Once you’re done, you can paste it back into your HTML editor, and poof! De-bugged formatting. 2) When You Paste a Blog Post Into Your CMS From Word or Google DocsLots of people don’t know that writing a blog post in a typical word processing program — like Word or Google Docs — and then copying it into your CMS will give you lots of HTML headaches. Sometimes, when you do that, your CMS will add extra snippets of code to your piece that will mess up formatting.With some HTML knowledge and the pro tip above, you can easily remove any offending snippets when transferring content from Word or Google Docs to your CMS.3) When You Need to Tweak an Email TemplateI’m going to take a wild guess that you don’t want every email you send to look exactly the same. While sending consistent emails is a great thing most of the time, there will be specific campaigns you’re going to want to customize emails for. This could be as simple as right-aligning your images instead of left-aligning them or changing up the color of your text to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes.With HTML knowledge, though, you can make these changes yourself, instead of relying on an in-house designer or hired development shop. Seriously, it’s empowering to make the changes yourself and move on to more pressing marketing matters. 4) When You Need to Make Your Content Easy to ReadOne of your top concerns when creating content is to make it easy for people to consume. This means using formatting (bold, italics, headers, colors, etc.) to make your content scannable and digestible. And while most WYSIWG editors will let you easily apply those formatting options to your content without touching code, not all will. So take control of the way your content looks by souping it up with some and
Landing Page Design Originally published May 19, 2014 2:30:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 So you’re reading up on creating your first landing page, and everything seems like a no-brainer. Great headline? Check. Form that’s the proper length? Check. Customized “submit” button? Check, check, check. Then you see “trust seals.” You stop. You’re not sure what that means or if you need to include them on your landing page.The other suggestions seem simple — this one’s out of left field. So what do you do? Here’s what you need to know about trust seals (sometimes referred to as trust “symbols”) before slapping one on your landing page.What’s a Trust Seal?Turns out you’ve seen lots and lots of trust seals before, but you never realized you could use them in your marketing. Remember the last time gave over your credit card information on a website? Somewhere near the form fields where you put in your credit card information will usually feature one of these images:These are trust seals. They are there to help reassure you that your sensitive information is secure with the company and/or website you’re giving it to. In theory, once you see these on any landing page, you should feel much more secure giving over your information and converting on the form.But that’s not always what happens. Sometimes it might be successful … and other times, it might not. So you’ve got to figure out whether you should use one on your site or not. When Should I Use One?The best answer to this question is you don’t know if it’ll work until you try it. You’ve got to run A/B tests on your own landing pages to figure it out because your business is different from every other one that’s run this before. (Don’t know how to run an A/B test? We’ve got some simple instructions here.) If you wanted to get an idea of what you could expect out of the test before you run it, think about what kind of information you’re asking people to give up in the form. Is it sensitive information like credit card numbers, home phone numbers, or social security numbers? I’d venture a guess that a trust seal could work wonders. Are you just asking for an email, and nothing else? Adding a trust symbol could be overkill — people might wonder what you would’ve done if there weren’t a trust seal. Moral of the story? Trust seals can be great on your landing pages — or they can flop. It’s up to you to figure it out from here. 😉 Image credits: Arrested Development Wiki, Baymard Institute Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics:
We marketers seem to like rules. (And when none exist, we’ll settle for guidelines.) Those of us who write about the marketing space appear to recognize this tendency, which is why you’ll find so many benchmarking reports, how-to articles, and definitive lists for marketers.Some challenges, however, are too nuanced for a binary best practice.Download 195+ visual marketing design templates to use for social media posts, infographics, and more. Take the “Should I gate my content?” question, for example. Bloggers have looked at the topic through various lenses — from SEO to lead generation to channel-specific implications — yet nobody appears to have written a simple “gate this, don’t gate that” prescription. This is likely because the decision always comes down to a single question — Is the viewer’s identity a fair price to pay for this content? — and that’s difficult to answer universally. Yet considering elements like content quality, objectivity, utility, and format can help marketers make a more informed decision and avoid awkward choices like asking someone to fill out a form to see their own name on a list (true story!).I suppose this is a long way of saying that we’re here to help. HubSpot created a flowchart to help guide marketers’ gating decisions. While it might not be a hard rule — there are plenty of content types, objectives, and considerations that the chart doesn’t take into account — it’s hopefully a useful guideline. And at the very least, the next time your boss asks why you didn’t gate that blog post, you can blame your decision on us.193Save (Click to enlarge the flowchart.)193Save Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Dec 12, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated August 27 2017 Content Types Topics:
Eyebrows may have been raised when the Irani Cup was called off with Vidarbha needing just 11 runs for an outright win, but one of their senior players Sunday insisted that the decision was mutually taken.Rest of India skipper Ajinkya Rahane and his Vidarbha counterpart Faiz Fazal settled for a draw after the dismissal of Ganesh Satish on 87, when the hosts were 269 for five, in pursuit 280.Vidarbha became the third side after Mumbai and Karnataka to retain the Irani Cup for the second time, on the basis of their 95-run first innings lead.The decision, which seemed incomprehensible, left everyone wondering if the on-field umpires faltered in calling off the game, but the Vidarbha player, said nothing like that had happened.When asked by PTI whether it was the umpire’s mistake, the player replied in the negative.The player also claimed that the hosts decided to settle for a draw after Ganesh Satish failed to reach a three-figure mark.”No, no it was nothing like that. We (Vidarbha) had taken the first-innings lead. The mandatory overs had started and we were waiting for Ganesh Satish to get his hundred, but unfortunately he got out. So (after that) both the captains agreed and the game was called off,” the player said on conditions of anonymity.Asked specifically whether Rahane approached Vidarbha to settle for a draw, another source from the Vidarbha Cricket Association replied, “No, there were no talks (over it).”An experienced umpire, affiliated with a state cricket association, also said that after the mandatory overs start and if the two captains “mutually agree”, then the umpires cannot intervene.advertisementThe umpire, though, said that ethically the match should have continued.According to BCCI law 16.1.6, “On the final day, if both captains (the batsmen at the wicket may act for their captain) accept that there is no prospect of either side achieving a victory, they may agree to finish the match after (a) the time for the commencement of the last hour has been reached OR (b) there are a minimum of 15 overs to be bowled, whichever is later.”Also Read | Vidarbha, the new powerhouse of domestic cricketAlso Read | Vidarbha join elite company after defending Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup
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. What can you do in 15 minutes? Actually the question is probably, what can you not do in 15 minutes if you’re Oklahoma State? For Mike Gundy, this season, the answer is “practice.”Gundy has long been on the cutting edge of tapering practice time and limiting hits on Sunday-Friday to keep his teams fresh for Saturdays. It’s a big deal to him, and it has seemed to be something that works. He said on Saturday he has taken that to the next level this year.“Last year we got beat up and got a little tired,” said Gundy on Saturday. “But we also didn’t play very well. We got out of position last year. We got out of position against good teams which makes it really bad. We’ve adjusted our practice routine this year. We’re considerably less overall. I think it paid off for us today.“Actual on-field time … we’re about 14 hours less of actual on-field practice time cumulative now than we were this time last year. Now you say, ‘it doesn’t seem like a lot.’ Well it does if it’s 15 minutes a day, four days a week. You add it up give or take and we’re about 14 hours less on the field. Knock on wood, it’s helped us from an injury standpoint. And our players seem like they’re fresh. But their attitude is tremendous.”This is very smart, and it does seem like it has added up. Of course OSU is also facing fewer plays per game on defense this year than last year and not playing those insane 100-play games like it did in 2015. Through 11 games in 2016, OSU’s defense has faced 76 plays per game. Through 11 games in 2015, it had faced 79 a game.Combine this with the practice time with the fact that, let’s be honest, OSU has gotten a little lucky with injuries this season (and it is also a deeper unit on defense), and now you’re on the precipice of your second Big 12 title in six seasons.Mike Gundy: time-management guru. Who knew?
The 2017 recruiting class is nearing an end, with signing day just around the corner in February. It’s time to check in on where OSU ranks nationally, and how they may finish out the class over the coming months.National rankOklahoma State’s class ranks 32nd nationally, but that mark is good for second in the Big 12 behind Oklahoma. They are one spot behind Rutgers (!!), but notably ahead of Texas, UCLA, and Houston. Factor in the transfer addition of former five-star receiver Tyron Johnson, and the class ranking moves all the way up to No. 22.Here is the Big 12 standings.Headline recruitsThe 2017 recruiting class may be one of the best Gundy has put together in recent memory, with strength from top to bottom that should meet the Pokes needs right away. Tylan Wallace, a wide receiver from Fort Worth South Hills, is the highest rated recruit (a four-star, top 100 talent), and is the highest rated receiver since Dez Bryant to commit to OSU. The biggest need for this class is at running back, however. OSU loses Chris Carson, Barry J. Sanders, and Rennie Childs — but they’re bringing in two studs to supplement the losses. The first: Canadian speedster Chuba Hubbard. The second: Georgia tailback J.D. King, who has a powerful, downhill style of running. I think both will play as true freshmen.The Cowboys are also bringing in a 6-foot-7 quarterback from Ellenwood, Georgia, named Jelani Woods. He picked OSU over Michigan, South Carolina, and many others. He will be an early enrollee.Prospects to watchWith 19 commits in the class, Oklahoma State’s biggest needs are mostly addressed: namely at safety and running back. I think they could and maybe should look at adding a cornerback in this class, as well, but as it stands there are several prospects still being pursued.Evan Fields — safetyAnother running back — From what I understand, OSU won’t take another on top of Hubbard and King unless it’s an elite back a la Eno Benjamin or Travis Etienne Jr.Another offensive linemanDavid Anenih — defensive endOutside of those spots, the class is all but filled out, as far as I can tell.Where they will finishThis class only has one true “four-star” prospect with Tylan Wallace, so there’s only so high a class can rise with a bevvy of three-star recruits. If you’re taking into consideration the addition of Tyron Johnson, I think OSU will finish in the top 25. But not counting him, they should hover right around where they are now — anywhere from 30 to 35 nationally. 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.
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. You ready? I’m ready. The lead-in to bowl games is always so strange because there’s no rhythm to the month of December anyway. Nobody is working. Everybody is traveling. The days are disjointed and the weeks are all off. It feels bizarre to be covering a game tonight, but here we are. This video should at least start getting you ready.ONE. LAST. RIDE. It’s GAME DAY! #GoPokes #okstate @valeroalamobowl pic.twitter.com/6JqFXEhHj5— Mike Gundy (@CoachGundy) December 29, 2016
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.
A few weeks back, we highlighted Cade Bennett’s ridiculous film from early in his senior season, and that led us here.I got on the phone with Bennett Thursday, and we talked about what made him chose Oklahoma State over staying in his home state of Arizona, how he loved pummeling his foes before he loved football and a cool thing Arizona football is doing with its top eight teams regardless of class.I’ll let him get more into that, but I think Oklahoma should do something like it.Marshall Scott: You had offers to stay closer to home, so what sold you on Oklahoma State?Cade Bennett: I never was directly feeling connected to the in-state schools. They have good things going for them, but just overall, I never was fully there.Honestly, the whole recruiting process, I was just looking for what everyone talked about like when you go somewhere, you’ll just know if it’s your place. When I went to Oklahoma State, I visited probably dozens of schools before then, I showed up and I knew. I was like, ‘Welp, recruiting is done for me.’It’s just different people there. There’s a different kind of football played there than anywhere, in the Pac-12, as well. It has everything.Marshall Scott: Had you ever been to Oklahoma before?Cade Bennett: That was my first time ever, actually on that visit.Marshall Scott: What are some of the differences that you noticed just from people, environment between Arizona and Oklahoma?Cade Bennett: Obviously Stillwater is a lot smaller of a place, but everyone there is extremely nice. I actually went to Hawaii this summer, and some people just so happened to recognize me. They were wearing Oklahoma State stuff, and they recognized that I was Cade Bennett the recruit. It’s just different. The fans and the people there are extremely kind.Marshall Scott: OSU offered you after a lot of other schools, so how was Charlie Dickey able to do more in less time?Cade Bennett: Dickey is just a rare kind of coach. I have been in contact with many coaches throughout this whole process, and Dickey’s just got something special about him. You can tell he really cares about you. Before asking about football, he cares about the other stuff. He cares about how your family’s doing and real things. He’s a great man, a great coach. His resume is really impressive as well.Marshall Scott: Recruiting sites list you as a tackle, but you play right guard for Notre Dame Prep. Are you a guy that’s comfortable playing anywhere?Cade Bennett: Yeah, I could play any position on the line. Gimme a day snapping the ball, and I’ll be good. I can adapt to any position on the line. I played most of them. I basically played every position on the line besides left guard, but that’s the same thing basically as right guard.Marshall Scott: You’re one of four offensive linemen committed for OSU’s 2020 class, I talked with Eli Russ a few weeks ago, and he said you guys talk quite a bit. What’s that relationship been like with those guys, especially considering you probably didn’t know much about those guys before?Cade Bennett: It’s great. I’ve gotten to know them over the course of the past couple months, Eli, Trent (Pullen) and then recently Monroe (Mills) committed. They’re guys I’d love to play with. I’m excited to have them as my friends, and I’m excited to build that relationship more once we go up there.They’re the right type of people. They want to work hard. They want to compete. We have the same aspirations, so it’s good people to be around.Marshall Scott: How did OSU first get on your radar? Did Dickey reach out? Or were you reaching out? How’d that all work?Cade Bennett: Actually, Coach (Josh) Henson, when he was the offensive line coach, he came and watched me work out in, I want to say, December of last year. He was talking to me and all this stuff. I believe he had this resume where I needed to be a certain height. I’m like 6-4.5, and he needed me to be 6-5 or something. So he didn’t offer me, which kind of rubbed me the wrong way at first.Coach (Robert) Luce was following me throughout this whole time. I believe he’s the one who found my film and everything. So, even when Coach Henson was the coach, they were still in contact with me, sending mail.Then Dickey took over. About a month or two after he took over, they offered. I believe I was actually the first offensive lineman to be offered once he took the job.Marshall Scott: In a lot of your highlights, you end up on top of somebody. Where did you learn that nastiness or has it always been a part of your game?Cade Bennett: I think I actually loved that before I started loving the game of football, as weird as it sounds. As a kid, I wasn’t really into flag football. I played it, but it wasn’t my thing. I wasn’t really a fan of it and everything. But once I started playing tackle, I realized that my size and my strength could help me succeed in the sport.I just kind of use it as a way to vent. You’re not getting in trouble for hurting anyone on the football field. The name of the game is just mauling people as a lineman. I love it.Marshall Scott: If somebody only watched you play football, they’d probably think you’re a pretty mean dude. Is that who you are off the field?Cade Bennett: No, I don’t think so. I don’t think I’m that mean of a guy. I like to save all that up for Friday nights.Marshall Scott: Notre Dame Prep, you guys are unbeaten right now. What are some of your goals for your last year of high school football?Cade Bennett: We’re gonna try to take the conference championship. There’s a chance we could get put into the top eight, as well, the open division. It’s a new thing in Arizona this year. Either way, if we get in that or we’re in 5A still, I just want to win it all. We’ve gotten so close the past few years, I think it’s finally time. Our senior class is really something special. We’ve got four DI commits, so we’re a pretty good class, maybe one of the best classes to ever come out of Notre Dame.Marshall Scott: You mentioned that open division, can you kind of take me through that? Oklahoma doesn’t do anything like that.Cade Bennett: Basically in all divisions, the top eight teams based on power points, the top eight teams will be placed into this open division. The eighth team plays the first team in the first game, and whoever wins that basically wins it all.Marshall Scott: It’s like a super state tournament?Cade Bennett: Yeah, it’s pretty sweet. We’re a really small school. We’ve only got like 900 kids compared to other schools with 3,000, but we could compete with them. I wouldn’t be scared to do any of that. I’d be happy. It’s just better competition to be honest. 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.
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.
Posted on June 2, 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)The Averting Maternal Death and Disability Program (AMDD) cordially invites you to attend the launch of Under the Radar, At the Frontline. This interactive photo exhibition features the life-saving work of non-physician clinicians in Malawi. The launch will take place at the Women Deliver Conference (June 7-9) in Washington, D.C. and is open to all conference participants.Date: Monday, June 7, 2010Time: 10:35 – 10:55 a.m. (immediately following Opening Plenary)Location: Women Deliver Conference Registration areaInvited guests include Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Dr. Chisale Mhango, Director of the Reproductive Health Unit in the National Ministry of Health of Malawi.This work is generously supported by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Irish Aid, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
World Cup ‘Neymar is ready to shine for Brazil’ – Tite sounds warning to World Cup rivals Iain Strachan 01:56 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Brazil Brazil v Switzerland Switzerland Neymar Brazil coach Tite has said Neymar is yet to return to peak condition, but expects the forward to make an early impact at the World Cup. Neymar is yet to reach 100 per cent in his recovery from a broken foot but is poised to star for Brazil at the World Cup, according to head coach Tite.The 26-year-old forward, the world’s most expensive player following his €222 million (£194m/$258m) switch from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain last year, sustained a fractured metatarsal in February, placing his World Cup participation in some doubt.The former Santos attacker made a scoring return to action in friendly wins over Croatia and Austria prior to Brazil’s arrival in Russia, where they will take on Switzerland in their Group E opener in Rostov-on-Don on Sunday. 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 And while Neymar still has work to do to get back to his very best level, Tite believes he is still capable of exerting a decisive impact as Brazil go in search of a sixth World Cup triumph. “Neymar is not 100 per cent yet,” he told a news conference at Rostov Arena. “But he is very privileged physically, his sprinting capacity and his speed is really impressive, he hasn’t lost that. He’s not 100 per cent yet. But he’s good enough to play very well.”It remains to be seen who Tite chooses to play alongside Neymar in attack, with the coach refusing to confirm Chelsea’s Willian will be part of the expected three-man frontline. “Well, you’re going to see this on the pitch, it changes, it gets stronger, it shows itself,” he said of his preferred XI, as Gabriel Jesus, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino also vie to feature from kick-off. “With 23 top athletes, today yes [Willian could start], but I can’t say about tomorrow, I don’t know what could happen, if you have a physical problem… I would like him to play a lot but he has to prove himself.” After suffering a crushing 7-1 loss to Germany in the semi-finals of the previous World Cup on home soil, Brazil also underwhelmed in the Copa America, a group-stage exit in 2016 ending Dunga’s second spell in charge. The Selecao have flourished under Tite, though, and the focus of the 57-year-old, a Copa Sudamericana and Copa Libertadores winner with Internacional and Corinthians respectively, wants Brazil to sustain their excellence in the lead-up to the finals in Russia. “It was a challenge, it still is, to keep the standards [up],” he said. “We were challenging them [the players]. We want to have this expectation for ourselves. We want every game to reproduce this standard or even top it.”At the emotional level, there’s all this pressure. I feel like the world is looking at us… The [score at the] final whistle you can’t always control. Football is like that.”
World Cup ‘He can say what he wants’ – Aguero takes aim at Sampaoli after Argentina fiasco Goal Last updated 1 year ago 06:07 6/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(8) Gabriel Rossi World Cup Argentina v Croatia Croatia Argentina The striker was clearly unhappy when it was suggested that the coach had blamed his players for Thursday’s defeat to Croatia Argentina forward Sergio Aguero took aim at his manager Jorge Sampaoli following Thursday’s disastrous 3-0 defeat to Croatia at the World Cup.The Albiceleste stand on the brink of early elimination from the tournament after gaining just one point from their first two matches. While a 1-1 opening-game draw with Iceland wasn’t ideal, the crushing defeat to Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod was far more damaging and left Sampaoli to question his own game plan. 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 “Everything that happens to the team and the players’ drop in form is down to the management. The plan against Croatia did not work out,” the Argentina boss said after the game. “I was very hopeful, the defeat pains me a lot, but clearly I did not read the game properly.”Though Sampaoli blamed himself, a TyC Sports presenter told Aguero that his manager had said his players failed to adapt to his tactics, thereby shifting the blame onto them. When told about Sampaoli’s assertion, Aguero told TyC Sports: “He can say what he wants,” before storming out of the interview.While the coach’s words were slightly twisted, Aguero’s dismissiveness does not bode well for team unity ahead of a must-win match against Nigeria on Tuesday. Aguero played 54 minutes of Thursday’s match before being substituted for Gonzalo Higuain.
MLS MLS Review: New York City edge Toronto in Torrent’s first game Dejan Kalinic 09:24 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images MLS New York City v Toronto Atlanta United v Portland Timbers New York City Atlanta United Toronto Portland Timbers In the new manager’s first game at the helm, his side overcame the reigning champions at Yankee Stadium A Jo Inge Berget brace helped New York City to a 2-1 win over Toronto in Domenec Torrent’s first game in charge on Sunday.Torrent, who took over from Patrick Vieira earlier this month after the Frenchman’s move to Nice, led his side to a hard-fought win at Yankee Stadium.After David Villa came off injured for City approaching the half-hour mark, Victor Vazquez opened the scoring for Toronto. 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 Vazquez got on the end of a long pass from Auro before lobbing onrushing goalkeeper Sean Johnson.Berget equalised six minutes after half-time with a neat back flick, before the Norwegian scored the winner.The forward finished clinically from inside the area after being played in by Maximiliano Moralez in the 68th minute.What a ball from Moralez. Too easy for Berget. 2-1 to @NYCFC. #NYCvTOR https://t.co/haVo1mg6cE— Major League Soccer (@MLS) June 24, 2018City moved back into second in the Eastern Conference with the win, leapfrogging the rival New York Red Bulls, while struggling Toronto are 10th.In the day’s other game, Eastern Conference leaders Atlanta United were held to a 1-1 draw by the Portland Timbers.Larrys Mabiala put visiting Portland up in the 32nd minute, in a game that saw multiple chances for each side and both teams strike the woodwork.Julian Gressel would level the scoreline in the second half to add a point to Atlanta’s league-best record, though the Five Stripes were unable to find a winner.Meanwhile, Portland sits fifth in the Western Conference on 23 points.
Transfers Asensio not discussing Liverpool links until after World Cup Tom Webber Last updated 1 year ago 23:05 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Liverpool Spain v Russia Russia Spain Real Madrid World Cup Premier League Primera División David de Gea The 22-year-old has six years left on his Real Madrid contract, but would not dismiss the recent reports linking him to a summer switch to Anfield Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio plans to sort out his club future after Spain’s World Cup campaign, amid reported interest from Liverpool.Asensio started the 2017-18 season strongly, scoring in both legs of the Supercopa de Espana triumph over Barcelona, but struggled to retain a place in Zinedine Zidane’s star-studded side.The 22-year-old signed a six-year contract, which reportedly includes a €700 million (£616m/$816m) buyout clause, at the Santiago Bernabeu last September, but has been linked with a close-season switch to Anfield. 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 Asensio came off the bench in Spain’s World Cup win over Iran and the 2-2 draw against Morocco on Monday – a result that sent them through to the last 16 as Group B winners – and says the national team is his sole focus for the time being.Asked about Liverpool’s interest, Asensio said: “That’s something in the news but I’m very focused in the World Cup.”When it ends, we can talk about that kind of thing. I’m very focused here in Russia, on the national team and performing well here.”David de Gea has come under intense scrutiny after an error gave Cristiano Ronaldo his second goal in their opening draw, and has gone on to concede five goals from six shots on targets.However, Asensio is confident the Manchester United goalkeeper will prove why he is widely considered to be one of the best in his position.”I see him calm. He couldn’t do much more on the goals [against Morocco],” he said. “The national team keeper is a very demanding role, but he is more than prepared.”He is willing and he is calm and I’m sure we’ll see the sort of performances he has previously shown for the remainder of this World Cup.”Spain’s campaign was thrown into turmoil when they sacked Julen Lopetegui just two days before their opening match, the coach having agreed to join Madrid less than 24 hours beforehand.Fernando Hierro was installed as his replacement for the competition, and Asensio thinks the adversity has brought greater cohesion to the squad.”We went through a weird situation that nobody expected and that could have affected us a bit. But we talked it through, we had to remain united, a World Cup is only every four years and is very important for us,” added Asensio.”Every game is a new challenge, it is very difficult to beat any team and that is what we are seeing.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
New Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he will draw from the teachings of legendary Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and is confident he can handle the egos of the club’s top stars. The 45-year-old was appointed to a temporary role at the club on Wednesday following the sacking of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday .He finds the club sixth in the Premier League, nine points behind the top four, and in grave danger of missing out on the Champions League next season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘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 Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Norwegian turned out at Old Trafford as a player for 11 years during their most successful era under Ferguson and netted the decisive goal in the 1999 European Cup final.The Scot’s man-management skills were considered his major strength and Solskjaer says he has learned from it.Meanwhile, United’s campaign to date has been soured by reports of internal conflict, with Mourinho and World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba embroiled in persistent sniping. Indeed, the 25-year-old was regularly found on the bench in recent weeks and did not even take to the field during last weekend’s 3-1 defeat against Liverpool, which proved Mourinho’s swansong .Solskjaer, by contrast, became a fans’ favourite at Old Trafford due to his loyalty to the club, despite often being reduced to the role of super-sub.”My job is to help the players and make them grasp the opportunity now because they all want to be a part of Man Utd and I’m going to be here to help them of course, help the team,” he told the media.”It’s down to man-management. I had the best manager as a player and as a coach to learn how he dealt with people. It’s about communication.”Of course, I’ll sit down and speak to the ones who are not playing, what I expect from them.”When you’re at Man Utd there are a set of demands and standards we set and one of them to be a team player, and I don’t think anyone has been on the bench more than me!”Ferguson’s management style is one that Solskjaer says runs through his ethos.”He’s influenced me with everything, the way he’s dealt with people the way he was manager of the club, how he kept 25 international players happy and hungry wanting to improve but also the staff in and around the place,” he said. “He’s been my mentor but I didn’t understand early on he’d be my mentor.”Towards the last, maybe the injury in 2003, I was making all the notes what he did in certain situations and I’ve already been in touch with him, there’s no one to get better advice from.”Sir Alex spent 27 years in charge at Man Utd, but emulating that is not immediately in the thoughts of the new man in the hot seat.”When you get a job like this and you sign for six months, you say: ‘I’m happy to help out.’ My job now is to do as well as I can and move the club forward as well as I can,” he said.”I understand that there are so many managers that would love to be at this club. I am one of them. Staying longer is not something that we have talked about. “They are going to do their process for the next six months.”Settling in, however, is not proving to be a problem.He added: “I’ve been here as a player, 11 years, coach three and a half years, the best part of 15 years of my life – it’s a third of my life,” he said. “Nicky Butt was the first lad I met … You’re excited but it feels like home.”His first challenge will come against Cardiff City, the only British club that he has previously managed, in the Premier League on Saturday. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Arsenal forced into early kick-off for Europa League tieby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal will be forced to play their Europa League round of 32 at 5pm, UEFA have confirmed.UEFA regulations do not allow teams from the same city to play on the same day.With Chelsea receiving priority after winning the FA Cup, Arsenal have been given the early time slot.A statement from UEFA read: “Due to the city clash between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC, and in order to respect the sporting criteria of the competition (both teams are seeded and have to play the return leg of their respective round of 32 ties at home), one of the two return-leg matches will be played on a Wednesday.”In accordance with the principles set by the Club Competitions Committee, Chelsea FC have priority, having won the national domestic cup. Arsenal FC with therefore play their return leg in the round of 32 at home on Wednesday 20 February 2019, at 18.00 CET (17.00 GMT), irrespective of their opponents.”The Gunners have drawn BATE Borisov for the tie, while Chelsea will face Malmo. About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say