CPI(M) allies against pact with Congress

first_imgThe constituents of the Left Front are going to turn on the heat on the Communist Party of India (Marxist) during a meeting scheduled on Friday to decide on its alliance with the Congress. Senior leaders of three major constituents of the Left Front — All India Forward Bloc (AIFB), Revolutionary Socialist Party ( RSP) and Communist Party of India (CPI) — told The Hindu that they are going to raise strong objections on the ongoing talks on electoral understanding with Congress. “We will not have any alliance with the Congress. The AIFB will contest three Lok Sabha seats and on the remaining seats with support CPI(M) and other allies,” Naren Chatterjee, State secretary of AIFB, said. RSP general secretary Kshiti Goswami said: “The CPI(M) has no right to force the alliance with the Congress on the Left Front. We have all seen the result when the Left and Congress came together in the 2016 Assembly polls.”last_img read more

Report: Leicester 3 Huddersfield 0

first_imgLeicester City 3 Huddersfield Town 0: Mahrez and Slimani help stop the rot for Puel Ryan Benson Last updated 1 year ago 00:56 1/2/18 mahrez-cropped Getty Images Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani produced decisive moments as Leicester City defeated Huddersfield Town 3-0 to end their recent woes. Two instances of individual brilliance from Riyad Mahrez and Islam Slimani helped Leicester City to a 3-0 win over Huddersfield Town at the King Power Stadium on Monday, ending the hosts’ four-match winless run.Leicester struggled over the festive period and went into 2018 on the back of successive league defeats, but Mahrez and Slimani scored excellent goals early in the second half to stop the rot in their first New Year’s Day home game since 2013, when they beat Huddersfield 6-1 in the Championship.Marc Albrighton, who provided the assist for Mahrez’s opener, added a third late on, after Adrien Silva had been introduced for his belated Leicester debut. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player A scrappy first half provided little entertainment for either set of supporters, but it was a completely different story after the break as two moments of high class sent Leicester on their way to what ultimately proved a straightforward win.7 – Riyad Mahrez has scored seven goals in 22 Premier League appearances this season, one more than he netted in 36 games in 2016-17. Reboot. pic.twitter.com/Ocor50Z53d— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 1, 2018Mahrez got the first with a sublime volley, before then setting up Slimani – making his first Premier League start since September due to Jamie Vardy’s groin injury – for a fine goal of his own.Leicester appeared understandably reluctant to push men forward towards the end, but David Wagner’s men simply failed to break them down and conceded a third in injury-time.There was a lack of quality on display in the early stages, with Huddersfield happy to sit back and Leicester failing to apply pressure.Huddersfield did threaten in the 20th minute thanks to a simple long ball down the middle of the pitch, but Danny Williams was barged over by Harry Maguire just outside the box when he looked to be in on goal, and no free-kick was awarded.That perceived injustice seemed to fire Huddersfield up and they went close to the opener shortly after – Williams racing on to Steve Mounie’s cut-back on the edge of the area and sending a first-time effort wide of the bottom-left corner.Leicester suffered a blow just before the half-hour mark as captain Wes Morgan was forced off through injury, though they nearly broke the deadlock a few moments later, Slimani putting an effort wide from 12 yards after a scramble in the area.Puel’s men began the second half with renewed focus and went close soon after the restart, with Slimani sending a header from Daniel Amartey’s cross into the hands of Jonas Lossl.The Mahrez Magic #LeiHud pic.twitter.com/udu2XUzbVM— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 1, 2018The Huddersfield goalkeeper was helpless in the 53rd minute, though, as Albrighton picked out Mahrez on the right side of the area and he opened his body up before producing a cushioned volley into the bottom-left corner.Mahrez then turned provider after an hour, slipping a pass into the Huddersfield half on the counter-attack for Slimani to run on to. The striker charged clear before chipping Lossl with an exquisite finish.Wilfred Ndidi almost added a third seven minutes from time when he headed against the crossbar, but Huddersfield were not so lucky at the death when Albrighton smashed in from close range to round off an easy win for Leicester, who also gave Silva his belated debut as a substitute late on.Final change…Welcome to #lcfc, @adrien_silva23!Huge round of applause from the crowd for the new man on his debut as well as a standout performance from James, who he replaces.SilvaJames#LeiHud pic.twitter.com/3pTkLLg1JT— Leicester City (@LCFC) January 1, 2018 Key Opta Facts: – Riyad Mahrez has now been directly involved in 14 goals (seven goals, seven assists) after 22 Premier League games this season; nine more than he had managed after as many games in 2016/17 (five – three goals, two assists).- Leicester are unbeaten in 14 Premier League home games against newly-promoted opposition (W9 D5 L0) since losing 0-5 to Bolton Wanderers in August 2001.- Slimani’s goal was his first from outside the box in a league match since March 2016, when he was at Sporting CP.- Huddersfield have now failed to find the net in eight of their 11 away fixtures in the Premier League – no side has failed to score more often on the road this season. read morelast_img read more

Midseason Position Grades: Secondary

first_imgIf the poor play continues for these three upperclassmen, it may be time to give a younger corner such as Harper or Williams a shot at some playing time. We’ll learn a lot in a few weeks against Tech in Stillwater.SafetiesThis group, for my money, has played a bit better than the corners. Tre Flowers has been solid, especially lately, racking up eight tackles against Iowa State, to go with two breakups. He continues to be a physical presence at 6’3 and 200 lbs., and will be much needed in the upcoming Big 12 tilts.Senior Jordan Sterns has been a monster in the secondary and helping the running game, with an astounding 39 tackles (12 against Texas!), even missing the Iowa State game. The 2015 All-Big 12 second-teamer is well on his way to an all league honor this year, and the Cowboys will need him to be healthy and at his best if they are to have any shot at the Big 12 title, playing the slew of impressive QB’s they’ll see to end the year.The Pistols Firing Blog staff gave the secondary an aggregate grade of C+, which is the lowest for any positional group on the team. This looks to be the weakest link on the team, and if they play anything like they did the first six games of the season, this Cowboys team will lose several more games, no matter how many they score.2016gradesI’m concerned about this group but if they can find a way to pull it together and tighten things up, this defense will look completely different and could keep the Cowboys in the Big 12 title race well into November.Secondary Grade: C Alright, take a deep breath and grab an ice cold Coop… because we need to talk about the secondary. Six games in, and I don’t think there’s any doubt which of the positional groups has struggled the most in 2016. The Cowboys, for the most part, roll with two redshirt senior cornerbacks, a junior corner, a RS junior safety, and a senior safety, so lack of experience is not an excuse. Let’s start with the corners, the guiltiest party.CornerbacksComing into this season, I think the combination of a healthy Ashton Lampkin, Ramon Richards in his third season, and grad transfer Lenzy Pipkins (fun to say) seemed like a potentially solid group. They’ve had a boatload of starts between the three of them, and we even had two promising newcomers getting praise from Gundy himself behind them, in Rodarius Williams and Madre Harper.But through six games, this group ranks 103rd nationally in passing yards allowed, at 270 per game, and 14.34 per attempt. Yuck. This is a stat that Glen Spencer may be losing sleep over, because West Virginia, Texas Tech, TCU, and Oklahoma remain on the back end of this schedule. It’s also a group that has just four picks in six games.Lampkin, Richards, and Pipkins have all had their share of the blame, but perhaps the most jarring game of the season was Baylor. Ish Zamora continued his 2016 lifestyle theme of beating anything alive within 50 yards of him to a pulp for the world to see.Additionally, Lampkin and Richards both got beat multiple times on fairly basic double moves, which was kind of shocking for two guys that had multiple years of starting experience in the Big 12. Here’s one of them, with Chris Platt leaving Lampkin in his dust. 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.last_img read more

Behind Enemy Lines: Get To Know Kansas

first_imgOverviewProgress is the goal for 2nd year coach David Beaty and the Jayhawks as they continue to undertake what the Kansas City Star called “college football’s greatest challenge”. The last two trips to Lawrence have required a 99 yard return by the Cheetah and JW Walsh holding off a late KU surge for a couple of close wins.  Through the first half of the year, 2016 hasn’t been great to KU losing a heartbreaker to TCU and getting blown out by Baylor and the Memphis Tigers. While KU has some talented players, points per drive is often an good indicator of team performance, and KU is 115th in the country with -1.47 net points per drive (meaning they are outscored on a regular basis).  OffenseThe Jayhawks bring a familiar spread offense this week, most often splitting four wide receivers out and at times bringing in a tight end. Not a particularly potent group, the passing attack has been stronger as they’re nearly in the top third of the country (45th) averaging 255 yards per game (8th in the Big 12). The rushing attack hasn’t been quite as prolific where they average under 85 yards per game in conference play. Ultimately, the power in the offense lies in a couple of playmakers on the perimeter who are counted on to do the heavy lifting.  For the third straight week, OSU faces the possibility of another two-quarter back attack as sophomore Ryan Willis took over the starting position in game 5 for the veteran dual-threat Montell Cozart who couldn’t get things going. Willis is more of a pocket passer while Cozart doesn’t have a problem making plays with his feet. Willis has the arm to make a lot of good throws but a couple of things have plagued him: Coach Beaty talked recently about how he’s still learning the offense and having trouble interpreting defenses as a result, and thrown six interceptions (and lost a fumble) in his past two games. To highlight this, the Jayhawks are 127th (out of 128) in the FBS for turnover margin with 12 interceptions and 10 fumbles lost on the year giving the other team nearly two extra possessions a game (-1.83 margin). Cozart hasn’t played a snap since he was benched against Texas Tech but could make an appearance as KU searches for a spark. Whoever is throwing the ball has a couple of quality receivers that Lawrence hasn’t seen in a while in junior transfer LaQuvionte Gonzalez and sophomore Steven Sims, Jr. who has three 100 yard games this year. Gonzalez returns kicks, punts and plays out wide where they put him in motion, hit him on quick hitches and run him downfield. Sims, Jr. has five scores on the year and is averaging 16.18 yards a catch, on pace for a solid season. The Jayhawks throw it around some with five receivers with double digit catches and tight end Ben Johnson has been a part of the gameplan at times.  At running back, Ke’Aun Kinner returns for his senior season after leading the team last year but the backfield is a committee with sophomore Taylor Martin and the freshman Khalil Herbert. Martin is perceived as the fastest, most explosive back and Herbert had an awful slippery run against Baylor last week.  The rushing attack hasn’t been that strong as Kenner leads the team with 264 yards rushing. The offensive line has contributed it’s fair share to the offensive struggles (as we understand far too well). The returning starter at left tackle prematurely retired as a result of concussions and the next man up was a true freshman in Hakeem Adeniji. Senior D’Andre Banks at right tackle is the elder statesmen in the group, but there’s not a lot of experience across the board for a unit often perceived as a weakness. DefenseThe defense is definitely the stronger side of the ball for the Jayhawks, evidenced by how they held the prolific Seth Russell to 144 yards on 9/22 passing for the game (worth noting that he was pulled before halftime). While the Bears were able to run the ball well, gashing the unit for 250 yards, the defense is constantly put in tough positions with the offense’s tendency to turn the ball over frequently and seems to be more solid than the numbers would show. The Jayhawks did a solid job at home slowing down a prolific TCU offense that averaged 43.4 points per game to only 24. Even more impressive was the nine tackles for loss the Jayhawks tallied; this defense can be aggressive. KU is 14th in FBS with 51 tackles for loss. Ends Dorace Armstrong, Jr. and Cameron Rosser are one of the most productive pairs in college football and experts at dragging down ball carriers behind the line of scrimmage, combining for 13 tackles for loss. Armstrong averages a sack each game and is really the standout on this defense. These stats are made possible by tackle Daniel Wise, who made the ESPN Mid-Season All Big 12 team where he was noted as one of the more disruptive players in the conference.Senior linebacker Marcquis Roberts, a transfer from South Carolina, was productive last year with 71 tackles and a pick-six, giving some leadership to the defense. Courtney Arnick has filled in well for injured captain Joe Dineen, Jr., pulling down four tackles for loss and seems to be nearly always around the ball.  Another leader is team captain Fish Smithson, the perennial leading tackler for the team. The senior safety has a couple of interceptions and leads the team with 32 tackles. True freshman corner Mike Lee is an impact player who was a late qualifier and the four star recruit left behind offers from Georgia, Texas, A&M, Mizzou and Texas Tech to come help the KU secondary right away. The key to this game could be turnovers. If KU continues at an FBS leading rate and OSU continues to force turnovers at a rate near the top of the conference, the odds are slim the Jayhawks pull the upset. A few sophomores on the roster (Sims, Jr., Armstrong, Wise, Rosser, Martin) look to be impact players and building blocks for Jayhawk teams of the future. Overall, former Texas high school football coach Beaty and the Jayhawks are trying to rebuild a losing culture with an influx of talent from Texas high schools (more than half of 2016 class was from TX) and solid team speed. Nobody expects the Jayhawks to be ranked but getting out of ESPN’s weekly “Bottom 10” would be progress. Beaty should have at least another year or two to do that unless he very unfortunately hits the most popular person in Kansas with his car. 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.last_img read more

Notes On Mike Gundy’s Texas Tech Press Conference

first_imgCoach had a lot to say this week! Spends some time on Dak Prescott, Patty Mahomes, talks pass coverage, reveals some information (finally) on Ateman, and talks virtual reality!Opening Remark• “We had a good practice last night and the players have recovered from the win. So we’re back at it.”Previewing The Raiders• “Next week we’ve got a good challenge with Texas Tech to try and minimize their scoring and continue to play well on offense.”• On Patty Mahomes…“Their quarterback’s a really, really good player, as we all know, I’m not saying anything everybody doesn’t know. I think he’s a potential first-round pick. He reminds me a lot of Dak Prescott. We played Dak when he was at Mississippi State. He was younger at that time but the style of play, body, strength, speed, ability to run, throw it, in different positions reminds me a lot of him.”• “So, we’ve got a great challenge. We’re a pretty healthy football team. Attitude of our players is really good. So, we need a good week, get a lot of good work in, and be ready to go on Saturday.”• Playing Tech, how hard is it to balance knowing you can score a lot of points against your frustrations with your defense? “Well, you can’t look at this game any different than any other game. We have to try and minimize big plays on defense. On offense we have to execute and be sound in our game plan. We need to improve on special teams from last week. And then you just have to get into the flow of the game.”• Is controlling the clock with your ground game part of your plan with Tech? Great answer: “If you could run the ball and eat the clock and score, it works good. But if we’re not scoring, it doesn’t work good.”• Trying to talk Gundy’s language here: How good is No. 9, wide receiver Jonathan Giles? “They have a number of guys – always have, for years and years – players that can make plays. They understand the system and they’re really talented players. There’s a number of those guys that can do it and Mahomes makes it go.”• This is so great! The question is being asked, ‘Mahomes was great against OU…’ and someone walked in unexpectedly… “Who was that? I thought it was like, a Secret Service guy or something. I know the election’s tomorrow and I thought maybe everybody’s getting nervous. Sorry about that…”• Anyway, back to the question. What can we learn from the OU game? “With about ten minutes to go in the game, it looked like there was just complete exhaustion on the field. When that happens, college football players get out of place a lot. And, just from an outsider lookin’ in, I think that’s what happened a lot in that game.”• “The Xs and Os part of defending these spread offenses with good quarterbacks is not very complex. You either rush three, four or five; you either play two-deep, three or man; you can do a little zone blitzing. Then you have to rally to the ball and defeat blocks to get pressure on the quarterback and you have to tackle well in space.” Seems like a lot to me!On Senior Day• Talk about your two-year guys: “We’ve not brought as many in as we had years ago. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of evaluating them, their character, and how they will fit into our program – whether they’ll make that adjustment with the structure we have. We’ve had a really good percentage of success. Like Chris (Carson) this year, once he got back from his injury, up to this point he’s been really good for us. It’s a little bit of a risky business just based on our system and how we are with accountability and our structure. We don’t vary much here.”• Talk about these seniors: “Fortunately we’re graduating a group that won a lot of football games and has been involved in a lot of success. Out APR numbers, once we got fourth and fifth year seniors under control, guys that were going to try out for the NBA – not the NBA, the NFL – I was thinking about the Thunder playing well last night…our APR’s gone through the roof. So, they’re doing everything right. They’re very loyal to this program. We’ve been loyal to them and that’s what’s created this environment.”• On Devonte Averette, in particular: “He’s a pretty unique individual. We don’t get a lot of players from Detroit down here. He led the nation in junior college in tackles his last year there. His first six months wasn’t as smooth as what you’d want to be just because of the different environment here. Since then he’s been great. He’s very loyal, he’s an extremely hard worker and he’s been a tough, competitive athlete for our team.”• Grant Newell, a walk-on, is going to be celebrated on Senior Day: “We should’ve used him earlier. We put him out there (on special teams) and he’s been very effective. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for guys who were willing to walk on and do it for free. There’s a tremendous price that has to be paid to play on our team and it’s year-round. Some guys do it because they love the game, like Grant. Some guys do it because they love the game, but they also do it for the free money – the scholarship.” Careful talking about “free money” there, Coach. We’ll be seeing Thayer around…• And on Ateman’s redshirt: “We could practice him this week some on about a 75 percent basis, then we could work him next week, and there would be a good chance he could play. But, there’s the chance he might not feel like playing. So we got to this conclusion…everything’s fine, but you could still set yourself back. I don’t think the number of games he could play full-speed compared to the future he has in this game is worth it.” Absolutely!About the Offense…• Are you worried about Justice Hill hitting that freshman wall? “I think he’s already gone through it. He got hit (Saturday) from a couple different angles, and then the weight on his shoulders pushed him backwards, so I think it scared him. That’s fairly common in that situation. He’s doing really well.“His practice habits are great. He didn’t break loose Saturday, but I still think he’s in a really good physical condition right now and that that could happen at any time. Good question though. I was wondering the same thing when he came out.”• Having Carson back has helped: “He’s helped us. I mentioned that when Chris came back – we needed him to take 12-14 carries away and Chris is running good. Chris is playing good. Those runs he had in that last drive were pretty impressive.”About the Defense…• Where is your level of confidence with your team’s pass coverage? “I think we’ve given up more big plays over the top than I would’ve wanted this year. If you eliminate those and play in the intermediate part of the field, we’ve been ok. In playing these guys you have to be sound in 3-man, 4-man and 5-man pressure, in my opinion.” Isn’t that the case with everybody we play?• On creating turnovers: “They’ve gotten turnovers at key times. When their backs were against the wall, they’ve played pretty well. We need more consistency throughout the middle part of the game. 65 percent of the game is played under normal circumstances, so we need to play better in those situations.”• “Playing against Tech and Mahomes, we have to be consistent in our pass rush.” This is awesome: “We also have to understand that, it may seem like your biological clack is going off as a pass rusher, but it may not be over, with his ability to move around and extend plays.”• What’s up with Vili Leveni? “He has an Achilles injury. You know, they repair it and move forward. He’s had two of them now, so I would say at this time, he’s going to repair it and start to rehabilitate it and move forward. In 4-5 months he will have to make a decision on what he wants to do with his future.” That’s too bad.This…on using Virtual Reality in Recruiting…• “That was our social media people, myself, our recruiting office – we have meetings in the off season and try and look way out into the future and see what would be something new. It’s been really good for us.”• “It allows you to take a setting from campus, from everyday lifestyle – where our players live, everything that we use in recruiting, game day, The Walk, the fans – and put it into a story and people that may not be able to get here and see it, they can see it. It gives them a good feel of what it’s like to be in that environment.”In Closing…on the 2:30 Kick and NO Night Games• “2:30’s a good time, now. You get a lot of television audience. It is unusual, but television dictates a lot of what happens. We have the big Fox contract, right, and they had the World Series. That played a big role.”• “The 2:30 kick is usually really, really good for Stillwater. Most everybody can get here in time for The Walk. It gives them a chance to tailgate for a couple hours. It also allows the families that have to travel an hour, hour and a half, a chance to get home before it’s too late when they have little kids. So, I think it’s a good starting time for us.”• Did you have a kick time preference when you were a player? “Honestly, I can’t remember that far back.” 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.last_img read more

Watch: Chris Carson the Tank Engine

first_imgWhile 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. Our photo/video guy Chris Knox put together this awesome video of Chris Carson set to the lyrics of a Biggie Smalls/Thomas the Tank Engine mashup. I of course had no idea what in the world the song was, but I have to say it’s pretty awesome.We tried our best to edit out all the expletives, and I think we got them all, but you might want to keep the volume down just in case.Also, if you missed it, you should read Kyle Cox on Carson’s renaissance.last_img read more

WATCH: Here Are The Best Plays of The Alamo Bowl

first_imgOklahoma State scored seemingly at will on Thursday evening in the Alamo Bowl and pummeled Colorado on defense. Mike Yurcich called one of the best games of his career. Glenn Spencer pushed every correct button. The result was one of the best wins of the last few years over a top 10 team in a bowl game.Here is a look back at some of the best plays from Thursday night. El Presidente. pic.twitter.com/iR21SdKgbB— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016 What a hit. What a night. pic.twitter.com/QH6hbhSlEq— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016 Joe Bob loves that 4th down stop. https://t.co/WlPi30cWnJ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016center_img Dimes on dimes on dimes. pic.twitter.com/Z2cggctOOA— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016 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.last_img read more

Big Board: Oklahoma State’s Defensive Line Targets

first_imgOur big board series featuring some of OSU’s top targets on a position-by-position basis continues today with a look at who is floating on the radar for the Cowboys along the defensive front — both at defensive tackle and defensive end.Tyler Lacy sealed one spot of need as an edge rusher when he became one of the many who committed over the last month, and the Sachse defensive end likely won’t be the last one Joe Bob Clements hauls in before signing day.Let’s have a look at the remaining targets for now, but based on this list and how Clements has recruited in the past, I’d also keep an open mind for names to emerge on this list later in the summer and into fall. He has a knack for unearthing hidden gems under big boulders.Quarterback | Running back  | Wide Receiver | Linebacker |Israel Antwine — Defensive tackleLocal defensive tackle Israel Antwine of Millwood High School is a solid option at defensive tackle for 2018, and perhaps one of the biggest high school names still available that might be a viable option. He’s a late riser on the recruiting trail but at 6-foot-3 and 286 pounds he’s a legit target and a local area kid.The downside with Antwine is that he’s getting the full court press elsewhere. He told Pistols Firing that Texas, Ole Miss, Missouri and Memphis are currently recruiting him the hardest.Tate Wildeman — Defensive endWildeman was a bit of a wild card when OSU offered him a scholarship. The Colorado native is a 6-foot-5 edge rusher who, at the time of his OSU offer, was a relative unknown. Iowa, Arizona State, Nevada, and Nebraska have all offered since — and he’s a current Nebraska pledge.At this point with Lacy in the fold, I think OSU and Wildeman will likely cool. The 2018 class won’t be big on defensive ends, perhaps two at the most, so OSU might file this offer away for now until signing day gets closer and the staff reassesses their scholarship count. Wildeman doesn’t seem to me to be a must-get prospect — and OSU might have the luxury to be picky here.Tayland Humphrey — Defensive tackleThe self-proclaimed best defensive tackle in the country is Tayland Humphrey, a 6-foot-5, 350-pound run-stuffer who is a beast of a prospect. Humphrey, who is with Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, is originally from Klein Oak, Texas, and has been on the OSU radar for quite some time. He has offers from nearly 25 schools that includes OSU, Texas A&M, Arkansas, Louisville, Alabama, Florida State and others. Because Humphrey is a junior college prospect, he’d be an immediate plug-and-play guy in the middle where OSU has had success with a long line of junior college guys like Mote Maile, Calvin Barnett and Ofa Hautau.As a freshman last season for Hutch, Humphrey had 32 tackles, 1.5 sacks and eight tackles for loss. He’ll be done with his two-year degree in December, so he could be an early enrollee at his next destination. He will have three years to play two following the 2017 football season.Alton Robinson — Defensive endRobinson is a former Texas A&M signee who failed to qualify and is eligible to jump back up to Division for 2018. He’s a hard-hitting pass-rusher from NEO in Miami (Miam-uh) and to this point, has garnered surprisingly little interest. His offers include OSU, Colorado State and Kentucky.Robinson collected 67 tackles at NEO and 14 sacks to lead the Southwest Junior College Football Conference last season. Should he qualify, OSU might have the inside track. He’s already made an unofficial visit to Stillwater during last football season. But the cat might be out of the bag if he puts up similar production as he did as a freshman for NEO last season again as a sophomore. 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.last_img read more

Oklahoma Safety Will Sunderland Charged With Felony Burglary; Pleads Not Guilty to Misdemeanor

first_imgSooners junior safety Will Sunderland was charged with felony burglary on Wednesday for a robbery of two baseball players’ dorm room in March, according to a report from The Oklahoman.A warrant for his arrest was issued Wednesday.Sunderland was already serving an indefinite suspension from the team after being charged with concealing stolen property—a misdemeanor —after CDR Electronics in Oklahoma City discovered he sold them a stolen XBOX One and PlayStation 4 gaming systems the same day he allegedly stole the gaming systems back in March. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge and posted a $2,000 bond on Wednesday.AdChoices广告Sunderland was recruited by both OU and OSU as a standout out of Midwest City but chose the Sooners early in his senior year.Entering his junior season in Norman, Sunderland was projected as the starting free safety for the Sooners. But with the latest developments off the field, it could seriously put his future with the program in doubt and force Oklahoma to rely on a very inexperienced secondary. 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.last_img read more

Patrick McKaufman Breaks Down Why he Committed to Oklahoma State

first_imgWhile 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. In OSU’s inaugural junior college prospect camp earlier this month, the Cowboys came away with a commitment from a sleeper prospect at one of the team’s deepest positions.NEO wide receiver Patrick McKaufman, just days after picking up an offer from the Cowboys, shut down his recruitment and committed after his standout camp performance earned him a scholarship process. It was a wham-bam recruitment process. And the familiarity between the two parties had a lot to do with how it all transpired so rapidly.“Andre Sexton was a coach my first summer at NEO, and he left within days of us going into summer. He’s been at OSU for awhile now, and in February, he gave me a call and encouraged me to be working out, doing extra routes, stuff like that so I could show out at camp in June,” McKaufman explained. “But it actually goes back to high school when I was at Douglass, coach Duffie recruited me heavily out of high school. So they’ve kept tabs on me ever since then. Coach Yurcich also recruited me, too. He recruited me as a quarterback. Duffie wanted me as a defensive back. So yeah, they were aware of me as a prospect and I’d been on their radar for awhile.”AdChoices广告McKaufman’s whirlwind recruitment, which saw him pick up an offer, commit, and make plans to join OSU later this summer, is an interesting story. He went from sifting between offers from the likes of Northern Illinois to planning his class schedule starting in July. In the days that followed his offer and subsequent commitment, he says he’s talked with his family and he intends to redshirt next season with hopes of making a splash in 2018 when Marcell Ateman and James Washington take their talents to the next level.At 6-foot-5, he’s got the tangibles to make a big impact from day one. Even if he’s not planning to play right away, his presence on the practice field will only increase the competition among the most talented position group on campus. It’s a dream come true for the OKC-area native who fell in love with OSU at an early age.“Growing up, my dad was recruited heavily by OSU out of high school. When he decided to make a decision about school and his ACT scores weren’t quite up to par, he had to settle for a Division II school. Ever since I’ve known about football, my dad’s liked the Dallas Cowboys and the Oklahoma State Cowboys—he even named my first little league team we had the Cowboys. Pretty much I’ve been ready to be a Cowboy since I was young.He continued: “I actually fell in love with OSU around my ninth grade year. I went to Cowboy camp all the time, and I had the most fun at Oklahoma State. When I look back on my times and memories at Oklahoma State, you know, I mean even as a kid coaches were always engaging with me. Whether it was how to hold the ball or how to line up, they’ve always been engaging with me. And Gundy has always emphasized stuff with recruits that’s opposite of football, you know like how to treat your parents with respect, how to act in public—he was always interested in teaching you life outside football. When he said he doesn’t like a player who is uncoachable, it won my parents over. So anyone who can win my parents over, can win me over.”McKaufman plans to move in July 5, start classes July 10, and begin his summer weight training program under Rob Glass. He’s weeks away from a life-changing opportunity, and he’s still taken aback by it all.“It all happened very quickly,” he said. “Coach Dunn said he really liked me, said he’d try to pull a few strings, then next thing I know I was on the phone with Coach Gundy trying to determine when I needed to move in. Under Coach Gundy and Coach Dunn, I feel like they’re going to give me hard discipline. That’s what I like. That’s what I want. It’s always been a dream school for me.”last_img read more

Ranking Oklahoma State’s Chances to Land College Gameday

first_imgWhile 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. College football will return in just a few weeks, and with it comes everyone’s favorite way to start their Saturday: ESPN’s College Gameday.It’s always fun to start your football Saturday with Rece Davis, Herbie, Desmond, and of course Corso. What makes the show most fun is that they broadcast live from college campuses. It’s always a big deal to have Lee Corso pick your team and throw on the mascot’s head (or pick against you.)Who doesn’t love seeing this?AdChoices广告So far, Oklahoma State has hosted Gameday five times, with the last coming in 2015 for Bedlam. Gameday also aired from Stillwater in 2004, 2008, and 2010 for Bedlam, and in 2013 for the match-up with Baylor. They were also at Oklahoma State’s 2014 opener against Florida State at AT&T Stadium.So that got me to thinking, with expectations what they are in Stillwater this year, and with Gameday completely skipping the Big 12 last season, there’s a good chance the ESPN crew makes a stop in Stillwater this season. With that in mind, which game would be OSU’s best chance?Let’s look at six of OSU’s home games to decide which one is most likely to lure Gameday:#6: Tulsa — August 31, 2017You’d think I’d pick Kansas in this spot, but nope. OSU opens the season at home on a Thursday night in what is now being called the Bank of Oklahoma Turnpike Classic. This isn’t out because it’s on Thursday or because OSU is playing Tulsa, it’s because we already know that Gameday is going to be at Ohio State at Indiana the same night.Other options: Ohio State at Indiana#5: Kansas — November 25, 2017There’s the Jayhawks. This is OSU’s final regular season game. Unless both teams are somehow undefeated, this isn’t happening. Kansas has only ever appeared in one other Gameday; When the 2nd-ranked Jayhawks faced No. 3 Missouri in Kansas City.other options: let’s be honest, we all know it’s going to be Alabama at Auburn#4: Baylor — October 14, 2017I just can’t see Gameday rewarding Baylor with an appearance whether it’s at their stadium or another. Plus, this team isn’t winning the Big 12 this year (and might not beat Duke for that matter).Other options: Utah at USC, Arkansas at Alabama, OU vs Texas, Ohio State at Nebraska#3: Kansas State — November 18, 2017While I do think KSU is going to have a good season, it’s going to take a match-up of top-10 teams for this one to happen. It’s also more likely Gameday shows up for Bedlam two weeks prior to this one. All that being said, there’s not a great selection of options this week, so it might only take one of the two teams being top-10, and the other in the top 15 to make this happen. Of course, ESPN could chose this to be the week they head off to an FCS game like they’ve done the past few years.Now, if Snyder announces this is his final season the week before this game happens, move this game to the top of the list!Other options: UCLA at USC, Michigan at Wisconsin#2: Oklahoma — November 4, 2017You’d think this would be number one on the list. Nope. While there is a good chance that both teams are in the top 15, I have a sneaky suspicion that both will have lost a game by now. Yes, that includes OSU. (That October stretch just looks more and more brutal every time I glance at it.)Now, there is a good chance that both teams are top-10. If that’s the case, this happens, if for no other reason than this game isn’t the last of the season like it has been the past few years.Other options: Penn State at Michigan State, LSU at Alabama, Auburn at Texas A&M, Texas at TCU#1 TCU: September 23, 2017Yep. Texas Christian. Hear me out. There is a very good chance that when the Cowboys and Horned Frogs meet, both teams will be 3-0. Granted, both will have to escape difficult road games in the first three weeks of the season for that to happen; OSU at Pittsburgh in week 3 and TCU at Arkansas in week 2. If that happens, both teams should be ranked with Oklahoma State likely in the top 10.I realize this is a bit of a gamble, as Oklahoma State has only hosted one, non-Bedlam Gameday, but the Big 12 is due, and if the league can get some Power-5 wins to start the season, they’ll be rewarded.Other options: Notre Dame at Michigan, Arkansas vs. Texas A&M, Washington at Colorado, Penn State at Iowalast_img read more

Five Potential Breakout Stars for 2017

first_imgFirst things first, there will be no Justice Hill this season. With so much talent on the Oklahoma State roster, there just shouldn’t be any opportunity for anyone to “break out” like Hill did last year. With that said, I’m not considering Tyron Johnson. We know he is good. We have known he is good. There will be no surprises.However, there will undoubtedly be a few youngsters who will have opportunities to earn a few stripes. Here are my top five going into the season.1. Tylan Wallace – Receiver – FreshmanIt should come as little surprise OSU’s top recruit in the 2017 class is at the top of my list.AdChoices广告Wallace has the athleticism to compete right now. He is a mix between Josh Stewart and Jalen McCleskey, with (as he would probably tell you) a lot more swagger.He probably won’t catch 30 balls but he could definitely finish in the top six among the receivers, which doesn’t sound impressive but actually is phenomenal given who is on this team.“You got to have a wildcard guy like that,” Gundy told the Tulsa World recently about Wallace. “Because we have to keep three-deep and then somebody’s going to get sick or get dinged, you’ve got to throw somebody in there.”2. Chuba Hubbard – Running Back – FreshmanWhen you have an Olympic track star on your football team, big plays are always possible.Chuba finished fourth in the Youth World Championships with a 100-meter time of 10.55. Usain Bolt’s fastest time was quicker by less than a second.Hubbard will have to compete with a deep group of unproven running backs behind Hill, but he should get touches and should make plays.A true home run hitter.3. A.J. Green – Cornerback – SophomoreAt this point, Green is one of the favorites to start at corner in 2017. Little is known about him which makes him a perfect candidate.I’ve worn the cornerback position dry to this point with talk about how inexperienced the group of young talent is. But from what we have heard from the coaches, Green has all the potential to make me look like an idiot.Green intercepted seven passes over his last two years at DeSoto High School and defended 25 more, according to Max Preps. He was a guy who held offers from Oklahoma, Wisconsin and 15 others, so clearly he can play.You just have to hope he can play at this level.4. Keenen Brown – Cowboy Back – Redshirt JuniorAfter waiting behind Blake Jarwin as the top receiving option at cowboy back, Brown could be the quietest, most important piece to the OSU offense in 2017. The X-factor.Cowboy backs coach Jason McEndoo said there will be a role for the cowboy backs to play this season, despite the overload in receiver talent. He said he didn’t know how big of a role they would play, but whatever role that is, Brown could and probably will fill it. For a player of his size, he has the skill and athleticism of a four-star receiver (because he was coming out of high school). That’s dangerous.Brown, to me, is much like Martellus Bennett (in his prime). OSU will use him differently by moving him to the backfield for protection, lead blocking and flat routes, but the skillset is similar.And that makes sense because Brown and Bennett both graduated from Alief Taylor High School in Houston.5. JD King – Running Back – FreshmanPart of this feels like obligation because I put Chuba No. 1, but King might supply more of an immediate impact.Coming from Fitzgerald High School in Georgia, King has the makeup of a starting running back. He is about 20 pounds heavier than Justice but ran track as a prep athlete and looks excellent on tape. It’s unclear what his role will be this season, but if he can lock down the No. 2 job, he easily could run for more than 300 yards this season.Honorable Mention:Calvin Bundage – Linebacker – SophomoreRodarius Williams – Cornerback – Redshirt FreshmanKris McCune – Safety – FreshmanSione Finefeuiaki – Cowboy Back – JuniorThabo Mwaniki – Safety – Freshman 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.last_img read more

Report: Swansea 2 Sheff Wed 0

first_imgSwansea City 2 Sheffield Wednesday 0: Ayew and Dyer see Swans into quarters Dom Farrell 06:00 28/2/2018 NathanDyerJordanAyew - cropped Getty Images Swansea won a third consecutive FA Cup replay as second-half goals from Jordan Ayew and Nathan Dyer put paid to Sheffield Wednesday. Jordan Ayew came off the bench to help Swansea City past injury-hit Sheffield Wednesday 2-0 and into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.Following a goalless initial encounter at Hillsborough, Tuesday’s return was another cagey encounter and Swansea boss Carlos Carvalhal saw his Premier League side create little of note during the first half versus his former employers.But Swansea’s top scorer Ayew came on at the interval and poached his ninth of the season before Nathan Dyer quashed Wednesday’s dwindling hopes 10 minutes from time. 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 A 4-1 thrashing at Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday put Swansea back in the Premier League relegation zone and they were arguably second best in the first half at the Liberty Stadium.Kristoffer Nordfeldt parried Jacob Butterfield’s swerving shot from outside the area just before the half hour and the Swansea keeper reacted sharply to keep out Jordan Rhodes’ diving header from Lucas Joao’s cross.Sam Clucas’ improvised overhead kick was as close as Swansea came before the break and they were grateful for Nordfeldt’s assured handling after the marauding Joao cut inside Kyle Bartley9 – Swansea City are unbeaten in the previous nine competitive games in which Jordan Ayew has scored for them (W7 D2 L0). Charmed. pic.twitter.com/mPPHy1e23Q — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 27, 2018 Carvalhal elected to send on Martin Olsson and Ayew in a double change that paid dividends when Tom Carroll’s 55th-minute drive remarkably struck both posts, leaving the Ghana international to snaffle the rebound.Dyer ensured a home tie against either Tottenham or Rochdale in round six when he sprung the Wednesday offside trap – a VAR referral fell in the winger’s favour – to slide home Tammy Abraham’s pass.last_img read more

Why world-class Dembele has been compared to Ronaldinho

first_imgUEFA Champions League Why world-class Dembele has been compared to Ronaldinho and Maradona Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 16:00 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(9) Ronaldinho Dembele Getty UEFA Champions League Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Newcastle United Premier League Opinion The 30-year-old has taken his time in coming to prominence in central midfield but his performances have been at an outstanding standard this year Mauricio Pochettino said last month that if he and his coaching team had got hold of Mousa Dembele when he was 18 or 19 he would have gone on to become of one the best footballers in the world.He compared the midfielder to Jay-Jay Okocha, Diego Maradona, Ivan De La Pena and Ronaldinho – all ex-teammates of the Tottenham manager – describing him as one of the five “genius” players he has had the pleasure of encountering in his career.Dembele’s ability on the ball has never been in doubt but it has been other factors limiting his potential. As an attacker, when he first came to England, he was not productive enough. He played throughout his time in the Netherlands with AZ as a No. 10 or a wide attacker and was signed with that in mind by Fulham. 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 Futhermore, long-standing ankle problems were only rectified with surgery last summer and a long ban impeded his start to that campaign.But gradually his development into a deep-lying player – who often comes into contact with the ball – has taken place over the course of the last three seasons under Pochettino. This calendar year in particular Dembele has found himself as the focus of an increasing appreciation society.Spurs had a run of tough fixtures a few weeks back in which four of five games came against Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus – in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16.Dembele was arguably man of the match in all four. At the Juventus Stadium he ran the show, leaving Sami Khedira memorably trailing in his wake with one second-half shimmy.Pochettino, and Roberto Martinez, his Belgium manager for that matter, have no qualms about trusting Dembele in that position in tough away encounters like that, as evidenced by his selection for a qualifier against Greece in Piraeus in September.Mousa Dembele TottenhamOne thing he gives his teams – and what he could give any midfield – is a unique ability to tilt the pitch at will. Most deep midfielders take possession of the ball in the middle third and look to circulate the ball quickly.Dembele will quite often draw opponents in and seek to dribble. If he goes by one opponent, just one, then that is enough to ensure Spurs have a numerical advantage elsewhere on the field.The next pass may go to Christian Eriksen – in space outside the opposition box – or to one of the full-backs on the overlap. But it is unquestionable that initial instigation with a dummy, a feint or a dribble puts rivals on the back foot.Not only that but he is tough as nails. A strong lower body gives him the balance and the resilience to protect the ball and hold off opponents no matter what situation he finds himself in.A youth spent playing small-sided court football gives him that extra advantage, according to those who know his qualities well. He is also brave in possession and always looks for the ball.Marcelo Real Madrid Mousa Dembele TottenhamA video was doing the rounds on social media recently where a number of Spurs players were asked to name the best player at the club. Dele Alli, Victor Wanyama, Danny Rose and Harry Winks all plumped for Dembele.That’s because he’s the type of player that can be trusted in possession and his good-natured personality mean he is respected as a silent leader in the dressing room.His presence allows teams to dictate the tempo of the play – particularly important for sides like Spurs and Belgium who demand most of the possession – and is incisive and penetrative with his passes in the final third.As Spurs are more likely to encounter well-structured defensive units given their improvement in possession under Pochettino, Dembele becomes an increasingly influential figure. Every single Spurs player we’ve interviewed says Dembele is the best player at the club!Is he the most underrated player in the Premier League? pic.twitter.com/McPrmButGZ — Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) February 20, 2018 His colleagues in an attacking sense appreciate his constant availability – and presence of mind to find space – as well as his ability to run games in-play.It can be hard to get attention in this Spurs team given the goal-scoring exploits of Harry Kane and the focus that goes on Dele Alli. Son Heung-Min, too, is in the form of his life, while the consistency of Eriksen is rarely overlooked.That means Dembele is free to work relatively unencumbered by expectations on scoring goals or giving assists. He is not harassed from the outside in going about his midfield work.It may have taken a while but the time to sing Dembele’s praises has come.last_img read more

VAR set to ruin World Cup after Australian fail

first_imgWorld Cup VAR set to ruin World Cup after Australian experiment fail Kieran Francis @kieran_francis Last updated 1 year ago 21:04 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) VAR fail World Cup GFX Getty/Goal composite World Cup A-League Opinion The Video Assistant Referee will feature at the World Cup but it will be a complete disaster if its trial in Australia is anything to go by Dear The World,Trust us – the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is going to ruin the World Cup in Russia.Love, Australia. 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 The A-League wouldn’t mean much to the regular football fan worldwide. Some may know it as where Alessandro Del Piero landed after Juventus, or the league where Dwight Yorke and Robbie Fowler migrated to in their late 30s.But the Australian domestic league was the first professional competition to use the VAR in a competitive match in April 2017, with a trial of the technology being adopted for the A-League since it’s introduction.After announcing that VAR is set to be part of the World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said the technology is ‘almost perfect’.”I would say to the fans, players and coaches that it will have an impact, a positive impact. That is what the results of the study show,” Infantino said.”From almost 1,000 live matches that were part of the experiment, the level of the accuracy increased from 93% to 99%. It’s almost perfect.”Clearly the Swiss-Italian administrator didn’t take much notice of the reaction to the VAR trial Down Under in Australia.In fact, you will struggle to find a positive word about the trial from any fan, player, coach or journalist involved in Australian football.Yes, some incorrect decisions have been overturned. But the issue is with the process – firstly with the length of time it takes when the VAR is used.Regularly a VAR intervention has caused a break in play for minutes, causing fans to become frustrated and restless, but also meaning a team can lose pressure and momentum it had been building against its opposition.Just on the weekend we saw Argentine star Ezequiel Lavezzi miss a penalty for Chinese side Hebei China Fortune after a three minute, 45 second break caused by the VAR.In addition to time issues, the VAR is also causing angst with the type of decisions it is making.Obviously clear-cut offsides and fouls are easy for the VAR to adjudicate on, but what about decisions that require interpretation? Isn’t the game just being re-refereed in this case?Central Coast Mariners coach Paul Okon made his feelings clear on the system after two of his players were sent off by it during a match in December.”If you came to this game tonight and you left here no longer in love with football, who could blame you?” Okon said post-match.”I think it’s probably what everyone is talking about and that’s not the reason why people are turning up watching – it’s not why we turn up to play and coach.”The sentiment was echoed, with a little less emotion, by Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino at the start of this month.After there were three VAR interventions in the first half of Spurs FA Cup victory over Rochdale, Pochettino warned the VAR in its current form will not help football and that the fans are not happy about it.Video Assistant Referee“The first half was embarrassing for everyone. I am not sure that the system [VAR] is going to help,” the Argentine said in his post-match press conference.”We love the game that we know. Football is about emotion, we want to keep the emotion. The fans are not so happy about what they have seen today.”But if my opinion is important, there is a lot of work to do [with the VAR]. We need to talk, to explain. Because today every one of us was confused.”This will not help the football. If we use this system we need to be sure.”Unfortunately for the football world, Infantino and other football administrators seem to be so sure, while the majority of other stakeholders are wary.Imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo is sent off in a World Cup semi-final for a borderline challenge deemed by the officiating referee to be a yellow card, but a red card by the VAR?Imagine a World Cup final blighted by four or five lengthy, confusing VAR stoppages?From the wave of critics in Australia to esteemed personalities such as Pochettino to countless examples of fan frustration to headline-grabbing issues – all the evidence points to a VAR system that is not even close to perfect.So why is it going to be used at football’s showpiece event?last_img read more

Pep slams ‘really, really poor’ Man City

first_imgManchester City Guardiola slams ‘really, really poor’ Man City after Basel loss Goal Last updated 1 year ago 06:32 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Manchester City Guardiola Manchester City v Basel Basel UEFA Champions League Videos Despite taking an early lead the Premier League outfit fell to the Swiss side at home, and the Spanish manager was not pleased with their play Pep Guardiola took aim at his Manchester City side’s second-half performance against Basel, as the club fell to a 2-1 defeat in the second leg  of their Champions League last-16 tie. While City still cruised into the quarter-finals on the strength of a 4-0 win in the first leg, the Spanish boss was not pleased with how his side performed in a second half that saw them surrender a 36-game unbeaten run at Etihad Stadium .The Premier League leaders were largely dominant in terms of possesion on the night, completing 978 passes – the most recorded in a Champions League match since Opta began keeping the stats during the 2003-2004 season – but even that wasn’t good enough for the former Barcelona boss.  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 “We are happy to be in the quarter finals, we are so happy for that,” he said.”Second half we didn’t attack and forgot to even pass the ball… the second half was really really poor.”Guardiola singled out just one player, 17-year-old Phil Foden, who broke a Champions League age record by starting the match , for praise during the second period, which the manager believes lacked any form of aggression from his team.  “Phil was good and in the second he was perhaps the only one who tried to be aggressive,” he said. “It’s good for the rhythm of the future.”With the job done in the last 16, City will now turn their attentions to the Champions League quarter-finals, and Guardiola knows the next round will be much tougher on his team. “The difference in the quarter-finals, in that level all the teams will be so, so tough and demanding,” he continued.”We will try to be ready and to come back because we did it in the recent games.”City hold a commanding lead in the Premier League and will find out who they will face in the Champions League quarter-finals on March 16, with Juventus, Real Madrid and Liverpool the three other teams to have already confirmed their place in the last eight.last_img read more

College GameDay Crew Picks Oklahoma State to Best Kansas State

first_imgIn a clean sweep last weekend, the ESPN College GameDay pickers chose Texas to top Oklahoma State.They were right. OSU fans will hope they are right again this week, as Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Kirk Herbstreit picked that the Cowboys would beat Kansas State on Saturday night in Boone Pickens Stadium. Celebrity guest pickers Dwayne Wade and Gabrielle Union took the Wildcats.Howard said he didn’t think K-State could score enough to keep up with the Pokes. Union said she and Wade are friends with former K-State player Jaime Mendez, and that’s why they backed the Wildcats.Corso didn’t give much of a reasoning. Herbstreit praised the Cowboys’ three-headed attack of Spencer Sanders, Tylan Wallace and Chuba Hubbard and said OSU will outscore K-State. 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.last_img read more

Recruiting for MHTF Staff Positions

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on April 7, 2009November 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)We are now actively recruiting for two important positions at the Maternal Health Task Force. These positions are posted on EngenderHealth’s web site:Maternal Health Task Force ManagerMaternal Health Task Force Program AssistantSee the job descriptions for how to apply via EngenderHealth’s Human Resources department, who are handling the process (thank you!).Share this:last_img read more

MERCHANDISE FROM NTL FOR SALE

first_imgIf you were at the 2006 NTL and missed out on grabbing some of the merchandise, or you weren’t at the event but would like to see what’s still on offer…check out the following flier for what’s on sale now and how to order and purchase: MERCHANDISE FROM THE NTLlast_img

‘Neymar playacting is absolutely pathetic’

first_imgWorld Cup ‘I wouldn’t like to see him after a flu injection!’ – Neymar branded ‘absolutely pathetic’ by O’Neill Robin Bairner 00:57 7/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(23) Neymar Brazil Mexico World Cup 2018 020718 Getty World Cup Brazil Brazil v Mexico Mexico Neymar The attacker might have led his side to victory on Monday, but he won few friends for what has been perceived as gamesmanship Neymar has been branded “absolutely pathetic” by Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill, who has accused the Brazil star of playacting and detracting from his own abilities.The Paris Saint-Germain forward scored one and set up the other as the Selecao progressed to the quarter-finals of the World Cup at the expense of Mexico , but he has once again come under the spotlight due to his reaction to being fouled.One incident in particular caught the attention, with Neymar reacting dramatically after apparently having his foot trodden on by Miguel Layun when the ball was dead. 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 O’Neill, speaking to ITV, did not hold back on the matter and questioned why he needed to make such a big deal of every bit of contact.“Neymar’s reaction is pathetic. It’s absolutely pathetic,” the former Celtic and Aston Villa manager said. “Honestly, it’s a red card nowadays because they’ve spotted standing on his foot. But I mean the pain threshold of Neymar is just incredibly low, I must admit. I wouldn’t like to see him coming out of the doctor’s surgery after getting a flu injection. “He’s a top-quality player, he’s a top-quality actor. “He hasn’t really hit it yet… part of that thinking is to do with this playacting. He’s been down dozens and dozens of times, he gets up again. He’s completed four games, he hasn’t done too badly out of it.”The moment overshadowed a commanding performance from the Brazilians and Neymar, who netted his sixth goal in World Cup finals. In doing so, he achieved the mark in quicker time than either Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi .Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio was furious with officiating in the last 16 tie in Samara, claiming that the referee was biased towards the 2014 World Cup semi-finalists .Tite’s side have now won all of their last three matches after being held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland in their opening game.Next up for Brazil will be a quarter-final date with either Belgium or Japan, potentially followed by a semi-final with France or Uruguay.last_img read more