Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday ordered a Crime Branch probe into the electrocution of seven elephants in Dhenkanal district. Expressing concerns over the incident, Mr. Patnaik directed that appropriate action be taken in case of any criminal negligence.Subsequently, a team of the Crime Branch visited Kamalanga village in Dhenkanal where seven elephants had died after coming in contact with sagging live 11 kV electric wire on Saturday.“We have already constituted a probe team under the leadership of CID Superintendent of Police Madhkar Sandeep Sampat. He would personally supervise the case. The probe would detect lapses that led to such a tragic incident,” said Santosh Kumar Upadhyay, Additional Director General (Crime Branch).Meanwhile, the State Forest and Environment department on Sunday filed a complaint against five executives of CESU, the power distribution company, at the Kantabania police station under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Naresh Patnaik, the CESU’s circle manager of Dhenkanal, Nihar Panigrahi, executive engineer, and Artatran Nayak, assistant engineer, have been named in the complaint.CESU blamed State’s Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy had squarely blamed the CESU for the death of the elephants.“Due to non-rectification of sagging electric lines and non-cabling of transmission lines, the accident has occurred, claiming the lives of seven elephants in Meramundali section of the Dhenkanal forest division,” he said.The Divisional Forest Officer of Dhenkanal in November last year had written to the executive engineer of CESU to rectify sagging overhead transmission line of 11 kV from Kamalanga to Kalitalia of Meramundali section. But it was not rectified. As a result, the live wire were found sagging at a height of seven to eight feet.According to Ranjit Patnaik, a wildlife researcher, Indian Electricity Rules, 1955, mandates testing of all apparatus, cables and supply lines periodically. The same was decided at a number of coordination meetings between forest and energy departments. However, RTI information about inspection of power lines for the period from April 1, 2011 to December 15, 2016 (nearly six years) revealed no inspections, said Mr. Patnaik.
Italy Nantes will not stand in Ranieri’s way if manager is offered Italy job Harry West 00:33 2/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) AFP Italy Ligue 1 Nantes The club insists that there has been no formal approach yet from the Azzurri, but admitted they would not stop the trainer moving on Nantes would allow Claudio Ranieri to follow his dream and speak to Italy regarding the vacant manager’s job, should the Azzurri come calling.Gian Piero Ventura was sacked in November after the 1-0 play-off loss to Sweden meant the four-time World Cup winners failed to qualify for the finals for the first time since 1958.Luigi Di Biagio, the Under-21 boss, has been handed the reins on an interim basis while the Italian Football Federation seeks a permanent successor, with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte and Roberto Mancini reportedly in the frame. 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 Ranieri, who joined Nantes ahead of this season, said he will leave if offered the Italy job, and the Canaries’ president Waldemar Kita says the club will not stand in his way.”If the situation presented itself, which is not the case, I would discuss it with him of course because he is a gentleman who has a huge experience in international football,” Kita said, in quotes reported by L’Equipe.”And I would understand in some way that a high-level career ends on an opportunity that will not be presented twice.”So we would have to analyse it and see how we can organise it to not leave the club in a difficult situation on the day that it would be decided, but for now, that is not the case, there are several candidates. Claudio Ranieri pic.twitter.com/iKlWzbV0OU— FC Nantes (@FCNantes) February 19, 2018″Taking a team from his country is a dream for any coach and I don’t like to curb someone’s career. We would have to adapt, and do what we can do.”
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. 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.
2016?-11Oklahoma Year Final ScoreLineFavored Team 200749-17 OU-11.5Oklahoma 201438-35 (OT) OSU-19.5Oklahoma 200927-0 OU-7.5Oklahoma 200861-41 OU-10.5Oklahoma Oklahoma opened as a 13.5 point lead over the Oklahoma State Cowboys for 2016 Bedlam, a line that many Pokes fans felt was high. The line is down to -11 as of Monday, and may continue to fall as we get closer to the big game on Saturday.We know that in its last nine Bedlam games, OSU is 2-7. I picked 2007 because that is the year Mike Gundy really started to get all his own players on the field (and we could only find spreads going back to that year).You probably knew that OSU record already, because Boone Pickens made us all painfully aware of it. But what have the lines been compared to the final scores? Has OSU normally covered? Let’s take a look. 201144-10 OSU-3.5Oklahoma State 201558-23 OU-7.5Oklahoma 201251-48 OU-6Oklahoma 201047-41 OU-3Oklahoma State 201333-24 OU-9.5Oklahoma State Oklahoma has actually covered the spread six times out of the last nine Bedlam meetings, but only twice out of five times since 2011. Sure, they’ve won several close games, in 2010, 2012, and 2013 (Gilbert caught it), but recent history shows us there’s a decent chance the Cowboys will beat the line this week.Which they’ll need to substantially if they want to win the their second Big 12 title after playing for it for the fourth time in six years.Tough to see OU as a 2-TD favorite when #okstate has the better receivers, defense, special teams and much better QB.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguy) November 27, 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.
Parkway High School safety Israel Mukuamu cut his list in half on Friday, naming Florida State, Oklahoma State, Florida, Purdue, Indiana, Georgia State, Ole Miss, South Carolina and Louisville among his final nine schools.Top 9‼️#Blessed pic.twitter.com/cL9YxSS8HR— Israel Mukuamu2️⃣5️⃣ (@IsraelMukuamu) June 23, 2017Mukuamu made a visit to Stillwater last month where he came away impressed with the town and pitch the coaching staff gave him.AdChoices广告“When I went up there, Coach Gundy sat me in his office and told me he that he thinks I’m the guy for the program and that no matter what they’re going to keep a spot for me,” he told Pistols Firing. “They’re just waiting on me. Coach Hammerschmidt actually compares me to the safety there now, Tre Flowers. He said I could potentially come in early, play early and be the next him because he’s looking for another tall DB like him to play that strong safety position.”The Bossier City product is a 6-foot-5 ball-hawk at the strong safety who OSU has pitched for months now as the next Tre Flowers. Although he’s been a late-riser in recruiting circles, his size, frame and footwork indicate he’s primed to be a strong contributor at the Division I level—something OSU recognized early in the process.“One of the first schools to show interest in me when I first moved down here to Louisiana,” he told Scout of OSU. “They want me to come in and play a big-time role in that strong safety spot like their strong safety right now Tre Flowers is doing.”Late interest from Florida and Florida State along with other major players in the south could be a major factor for the one-time South Carolina native. 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.
2009Colt McCoyTexas OSUBig 12FRRB1320611425.56 2016Lamar JacksonLouisville 2003Eli ManningOle Miss 2004Jason WhiteOklahoma To the surprise of … nobody … James Washington and Mason Rudolph were placed on a list with 83 other college football players as candidates for the Maxwell Award. This award is presented annually to the college player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.OSU is one of just 17 schools in the country represented by multiple players on the list, including four from the Big 12 Conference. The Big 12 players nominated include:Shane Buchele (QB, Texas)Orlando Brown (OL, Oklahoma)Jacob Park (QB, Iowa State)Chris Warren III (RB, Texas)Connor Williams (OL, Texas)Jesse Ertz (QB, Kansas State)Justin Crawford (RB, West Virginia)Will Grier (QB, West Virginia)Kyle Hicks (RB, TCU)Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)Mason Rudolph (QB, Oklahoma State)James Washington (WR, Oklahoma State)AdChoices广告Past winners of the award align fairly closely with the Heisman. Barry Sanders won a Maxwell in 1988, but no OSU player has won it since then. Here are the last 17 winners. 2011Andrew LuckStanford 2013A.J. McCarronAlabama 2014Marcus MariotaOregon 2010Cam NewtonAuburn 2008Tim TebowFlorida 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. 2006Brady QuinnNotre Dame TCUBig 12JRRB1320310425.112 2002Larry JohnsonPenn State 2012Manti Te’oNotre Dame 2015Derrick HenryAlabama 2007Tim TebowFlorida 2000Drew BreesPurdue SchoolConfClassPosGamesRush AttRush YdsRush AvgRush TD YearPlayerSchool 2001Ken DorseyMiami (FL) 2005Vince YoungTexas WVUBig 12JRRB1316311847.34 Granted, Hicks catches a lot of passes, but Hill was just as good if not better on the ground last year. PFB got a vote for the preseason All-Big 12 team, and even though we’re more biased than a minivan full of soccer moms, we went with Hill and Crawford as our first team. To be honest, Hicks didn’t even come up.Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Oct. 30, 2017. Three finalists for the award will be unveiled Nov. 20, 2017. The winner of the 2017 Maxwell Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 7, 2017.No surprises here! Mason Rudolph and James Washington have been named to the watch list for the 2017 Maxwell Award! #okstate #MA2ON pic.twitter.com/qoen4zvUJR— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) July 10, 2017 Watch lists are the Whose Line Is It Anyway of college football to me, BUT how about Kyle Hicks and Justin Crawford being on here and not Justice Hill? Let’s look at their stats from last year.
Tottenham Hotspur Dembele ‘a genius of football’ like Maradona and Ronaldinho, claims Pochettino Ben Spratt 04:51 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Tottenham Hotspur Premier League Crystal Palace v Tottenham Hotspur Crystal Palace The Argentine manager played alongside both superstars, and he puts the former Fulham midfielder in the same bracket Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino believes Mousa Dembele to be “a genius of football” like Diego Maradona and Ronaldinho.Dembele has received rave reviews in recent weeks as Spurs emerged unbeaten from a run of fixtures that included clashes with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Juventus.The former Fulham man has been key to this fine form and his manager was in no mood to play down the midfielder’s talents ahead of Tottenham’s next Premier League match against Crystal Palace. 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 “I can talk about [Dembele] because I know very well him after nearly four years,” Pochettino told a pre-match news conference. “I have told you – and some people use my word to describe him – he is a genius of football.”He is this type of player I put next to Ronaldinho, Maradona, [Jay-Jay] Okocha – players that I was lucky to play with. For me, he is one of the unbelievable talents in the history of football.”For him, it was always difficult to be fit – he’s always fighting for his fitness – but now he’s in an amazing moment and he deserves all the praise people are giving him.”Pochettino is hoping Dembele can again stand out at Selhurst Park, where he is expecting a tough test against Roy Hodgson’s Palace.”It will be a big battle,” he said of the match. “Roy and his staff are doing a fantastic job. It will be good to see them again.Great fight by the team #UCL #COYS pic.twitter.com/qt5iYeV1CE — Mousa Dembélé (@mousadembele) February 13, 2018 “We need to match them in the areas of motivation and [being] ready to fight and then, of course, try to deliver our way and our game. It will be very tough.”It will be very important to win the three points, fighting for the top four. The idea is to win, the idea is to fight, to be ready. The three points are massive for us.”
Chelsea Kante and Chelsea taking confidence from Barcelona draw to Man Utd Nicholas McGee 19:22 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Chelsea UEFA Champions League Manchester United v Chelsea Manchester United Premier League Barcelona v Chelsea Barcelona The Blues were disappointed to be held in the Champions League, but attention has now switched to a challenge for second place in the Premier League N’Golo Kante believes Chelsea can take plenty of confidence from their performance in the Champions League against Barcelona. Chelsea largely controlled the first leg of their round-of-16 tie on Tuesday and appeared poised to take 1-0 lead into the return fixture at Camp Nou.However, a mistake from Andreas Christensen allowed Lionel Messi to net a crucial away goal for Barca, leaving the Spanish giants favourites to progress. 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 The Blues will look to build on that display when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, and midfielder Kante feels Chelsea can be buoyed by how they competed with the Blaugrana as they eye second in the Premier League.Kante said: “Second place is still possible, we have to fight for this and see what we can do at the end of the season. It’s very tight. We play in Manchester and if we win we will have the same number of points. “We have to keep winning and hopefully be in the Champions League next season.”For sure this kind of game gives us confidence for the second leg and also in the Premier League.”We played well. We were compact throughout the game, we tried not to give them a lot of chances and we did well in that. We hit the post two times, we scored and to finish 1-1 is a little bit disappointing.”But it’s like that, we have to go in two weeks and play to win. We showed we have the ability to do something against Barcelona.”The Premier League is another competition and this is another opponent but it’s important, we are fourth in the table and if we want to be at the top of the table and play Champions League next season we have to win these kind of games [against United].”
Ligue 1 The Young Lyon wanted in Liverpool and Barcelona – Meet Ligue 1 Rising Star Houssem Aouar Robin Bairner 20:00 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Getty Images Ligue 1 Caen v Olympique Lyonnais Montpellier v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais Coupe de France The multifaceted teenager still lives with his mother, but some of Europe’s top clubs are keen to ensure he moves out sooner rather than later Each season, Lyon seem to have one player to emerge from their academy to become a fixture in their first team. Houssem Aouar is the teenager to have broken through this term.Having debuted last term off the bench in a 2-1 defeat against Monaco in April, he has rapidly established himself as an important member of Bruno Genesio’s squad, pushing more experienced players such as Jordan Ferri, and even Memphis Depay, to the bench at times.Over the course of the next fortnight, though, this versatile performer will likely be given the role of Nabil Fekir, who faces a short spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury sustained during Sunday’s derby draw with Saint-Etienne. 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 It is a critical time of the season for Lyon, with their top-three challenge wavering after a run of five league matches without a win, and with a Coupe de France quarter-final away to Caen and a double header against CSKA Moscow looming in the Europa League.Aouar has already shown that he is up to the challenge, having amassed 17 Ligue 1 starts in 2017-18. He dazzled against PSG as Lyon stunned the champions elect 2-1 in January, while he even scored on his full debut, showing offensive nous to break from his position on the left wing to turn home a Kenny Tete cutback against Dijon.“When I was small, I dreamed of this,” he admitted to L’Equipe in November, having grown up in the era of Lyon dominance in Ligue 1, during which he held Juninho as a role model along with Zinedine Zidane, who is also of Algerian ancestry. But his success has not come naturally.“At training, I had to double my efforts,” he said. “I know that if I was going to play professionally, to take the place of one of my team-mates, I would have to be two or even three times better than them. That’s made the difference.”What has been most impressive about his breakout campaign, though, has been the ease with which he has slotted into a myriad of different positions. The 19-year-old, whose birthday is in June, has been asked to play off the left wing, as a No.10 and as a deep-lying box-to-box player. He has not failed in any of these tasks.“I’ve always played in the middle, so the role of hard-working midfielder is the one that I like the most,” he confessed. “But I like the left wing, too. It allows me to work and to develop other skills. I’ll adapt to anything.“It doesn’t matter where I play, I know it’s my chance and I’ll play anywhere to take it!”Aouar is a player who has long been on the radar of many top European clubs. Liverpool tried to sign him before he turned professional with Lyon, and he remains linked with the Anfield club, but so impressive have been his displays this season that Barcelona have been attributed with a keen interest.Like many of the players who have come through OL’s academy, though, he grew up in Lyon and retains a strong emotional attachment to the city, the kind of which kept Alexandre Lacazette with the Rhone club for so long. For Aouar, though, family is especially important.“I still live with my mum,” he confessed. “She’s done everything for me and I feel great at her place. She brings me equilibrium. “Playing in big matches and having cameras trained on me, afterwards to go back to her place, it allows me to keep my feet on the ground – that’s important.“I give a lot of importance to my family and the city of Lyon, and I’m happy I decided to stay.”Should Aouar continue to turn in the type of displays he has mustered in recent months, he will have more hard decisions to make in the very near future.
Transfers Tottenham target Sessegnon dreaming of Premier League Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 20:42 2/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Fulham Liverpool Tottenham Hotspur Championship Premier League Manchester United Real Madrid v Barcelona Real Madrid Primera División Crystal Palace v Manchester United Crystal Palace The Cottagers left-back wants to make the jump to the top-flight, having been linked with the likes of Tottenham, Liverpool and even Real Madrid In-demand teenager Ryan Sessegnon is dreaming of the Premier League, with Fulham battling to finish in the Championship’s play-off places.Sessegnon, considered one of the hottest properties in English football, has hit 13 league goals this season for Fulham, who sit fifth in the table.The 17-year-old has been linked with Real Madrid, as well as Premier League giants including Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United, with many comparing the versatile left-sided player to Gareth Bale. 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 Indeed, Goal understands that Fulham rejected a £25 million bid from Spurs for Sessegnon last year, prior to Sessegnon signing a new deal at Craven Cottage.And the youngster, who followed in the footsteps of Spurs duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli in claiming the Young Player of the Year prize at the London Football Awards, is focusing on helping Fulham get to the top flight as speculation over his future continues to mount.”It’s a great feeling for me, to win two awards is a brilliant achievement, but credit to the team,” Sessegnon told Perform at the London Football Awards. “The way the team plays is good and is helping me to become a better player.”I think for any young player playing outside the Premier League, the dream is to be in the Premier League. So I think winning this award makes me want to keep improving as a player.”If you look at those two young English players [Kane and Alli], they’ve done it at a young age and they’re doing it currently in the Premier League.”I’m no different to any other player, I just want to play at the highest possible level.”Congratulations for these deserved awards, @RyanSessegnon . There will be more if you keep working hard. A proud moment for the @FulhamFC academy. #LFA18 pic.twitter.com/HOmPPzosq6 — Slavisa Jokanovic (@Jokanovic) March 1, 2018 Bale made his name at Spurs before earning a move to Real Madrid, with Sessegnon accepting it is an honour to be likened to the Wales star.”I think ever since he was at Tottenham as a young left-back, I’ve watched him for many years,” Sessegnon added. “People compare me to him and it’s great to be compared to someone like him. I’m happy to be myself and keep pushing forward.”Right now I wouldn’t say I have a favourite position, I like to play anywhere on the pitch. But I’m enjoying my role at left wing at the moment.”The London Football Awards Manager of the Year! pic.twitter.com/oLmOxoKVNw — Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) March 2, 2018 Former Fulham boss Roy Hodgson won the Manager of the Year prize, having led Crystal Palace out of the Premier League’s relegation zone, and the 70-year-old feels Sessegnon has what it takes to make it at the top level.”He’s got enormous potential, he’s playing at a club that is very close to my heart,” said Hodgson. “A very, very great club and a club which has a great possibility this year of getting back into the Premier League, where they were when I was managing them and where I’d like to see them again.”Players like Ryan Sessegnon are going to help the manager [Slavisa Jokanovic], who has done an excellent job. They’re going to help him and the club, I hope, to achieve that goal.”It was very good to see him receive the award. I was impressed with the way he spoke, with the maturity he has shown and the humility with which he spoke.”It’s important he continues to play well between now and the end of the season because, like ourselves, everything will be decided in the next couple of months and we are playing for big stakes.”
Eden Hazard Hazard is entitled to ask himself: What am I doing at Chelsea? Peter Staunton Click here to see more stories from this author Chief Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 16:00 5/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Getty Images Eden Hazard Chelsea Manchester City v Chelsea Barcelona v Chelsea Manchester City Barcelona Premier League UEFA Champions League Opinion The jig appears to be up for Antonio Conte and the Blues have a summer of rebuilding ahead of them, meaning their playmaker might consider moving on The warning signs were there before kick-off. The presence of N’Golo Kante for Chelsea in a game like this is non-negotiable.Although he travelled with the squad – and was seen coming through the bowels of the Etihad Stadium with the rest of his team-mates afterwards – the France midfielder was unavailable to face Manchester City on Sunday through illness.With him in the side Chelsea can play both ways. Antonio Conte can ask his side to get on the ball and he can rely on the simple but tempo-setting passes of Kante in midfield. 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 If they decide to surrender the ball and play on the counter, well, Kante can be the ideal man for that too.Conte prepared a game plan for Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League last 16 and assumed that he could deploy a similar set up against Pep Guardiola’s side.That would make sense if Kante was available. He wasn’t.Danny Drinkwater and Cesc Fabregas are an inadequate pair for a side of Chelsea’s profile in a game of this circumstance. The ex-Leicester captain appears to be a forgotten Chelsea Sporcle quiz answer-in-waiting such has been his lack of impact at Stamford Bridge.His signing, and that of Ross Barkley and Olivier Giroud in January, as well as Antonio Rudiger, Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta in summer, hint at a much deeper problem. Transfers have not been on the required level.Chelsea were crying out for improvements last summer when Nemanja Matic, Diego Costa and John Terry were leaving. To that trio you can add David Luiz who has become persona non grata around West London under Conte. That is the heart and soul of a Premier League title-winning team.Chelsea’s recruitment department did not step it up and give their first-teamers something to think about. The Blues have regressed and regressed badly. Alarm bells should have been ringing as early as the Community Shield in August.Kante can do plenty to paper over the cracks as he is a one-man midfield. Without him this plan was doomed to fail.In it Eden Hazard is expected to work selflessly as a false centre forward. His role in an attacking sense is limited to instigating counter-attacks whenever possession-heavy opponents lose the ball.That might be fine if Chelsea had a little more ambition. But they were routinely coming forward with only three men – Hazard, Pedro and Willian – while a fourth in an off-key Victor Moses got forward only intermittently.Hazard’s best qualities are sacrificed in a team like this. He does not work well with his back to goal. Fans prefer to see him take possession somewhere high on the left, cut in and take shots or provide through balls.To willingly nullify your best attacking player requires the ultimate payoff of the result. It came against neither Barca – albeit unluckily – nor City.”I think the target was to be solid until the end and then try to put one in at the end,” Olivier Giroud said of the tactic. “Obviously, when you concede just after half-time, it is a kick in the leg a little bit but we still thought we could come back at the end. It was not enough but City deserved to win.”It is always easy to say that after the game but if Eden had an opportunity to score, we could have said it was the best choice. Obviously it was difficult today. I am not the coach and the coach makes the team. We have to respect that and give our best no matter who is on the pitch.”If the Barca draw convinced Conte that the system could be tried again then this disgrace of a showing should see it consigned to the dustbin unless they are playing Barca again. Even then it will come with no guarantees.This was a performance of such limited quality and ambition that Chelsea found themselves on the bad end of a couple of Premier League records. No team has ever completed more passes than the 902 City managed here. No player has managed more touches than the 174 by Ilkay Gundogan. How jealous Hazard must have been of those figures; he hit 20 passes on the day. Courtois, his goalkeeper, made 45. Some of those City passes and touches were delivered too easily. One unforgivable passage of play in the 75th minute saw Chelsea filter back into their defensive shape slowly, allow passes to be interchanged at will in front of them, before finally approaching their adversaries in possession at walking pace.Sky commentator Gary Neville raged against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup final last week for their walking football. He won’t be the only one unimpressed by Chelsea’s efforts on Sunday.Maybe that’s just how good Guardiola is. He reduces otherwise decent teams to the role of jobbers. No team has a good plan for City other than to dig in, soak it up and hope for the best. You’ll get lucky every now and again as Wigan proved recently. But it’s not enough. It’s certainly not enough for a team like Chelsea and a player like Hazard.He is 27 now and has a few more seasons at his peak. There remains significant disquiet at the Bridge over their playmaker’s new contract. What he was asked to do at the Etihad – and the standard of his team-mates at present – should have him think twice about his next move. Indeed he did not shake the hand of his coach Conte when finally replaced late on. There is clearly more upheaval and more new arrivals imminent at Chelsea this summer. It would be amazing if Conte lasted through to August at this rate while a clear-out on the playing side can be expected. Hazard might well look at that mess coming down the line and think his interests are better served elsewhere.Although he’s got a couple of league titles to his name, he has not been part of a dominant Chelsea team – an era-defining team like Jose Mourinho’s back-to-back title winners or the 2012 team that won the Champions League.He has played his part in their big recent successes but there is a lack of a plan, a lack of identity and a lack of promise at present. If Hazard decides to leave he will not be short of suitors. One thing is for sure, he would be forgiven for thinking that he deserves better.
Tottenham Hotspur Chiellini: It’s in Tottenham’s history to miss out Goal 07:05 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(22) Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Juventus UEFA Champions League The Juventus defender claimed he believed his club would rally against Spurs because of their respective experience in big competitions Giorgio Chiellini believed history was on Juventus’ side against Tottenham, as the Serie A champions battled back to advance past Spurs in the last-16 of the Champions League.Tottenham had snatched a 2-2 draw in Turin, and managed to further take a grip on the tie during the first half at Wembley Stadium with Heung-Min Son’s goal giving Spurs a 1-0 advantage on the evening.Juventus, however, would find the two goals they needed over a three minute span in the second half, with the Argentine duo of Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala finding the net in the 64th and 67th minute respectively. 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 Spurs came close late to equalising, with Harry Kane seeing a header that bounce off the inside of the post late on, but the Bianconeri did enough to hold on for the 4-3 win on aggregate and secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.Despite the difficulties Juventus faced, and the quality of the Spurs side they were up against, Chiellini said Spurs’ lack of history in the competition and gave them hope.”Tottenham have a lot of great players – Kane, [Christian] Erisken, [Dele] Alli – but we knew they always give up a lot of chances,” Chiellini told BT Sport. “It’s the history of Tottenham. They always create a lot of chances but they always miss out. We always believe in the history.Chiellini even referenced Real Madrid’s victory over PSG on Tuesday as further proof the history and mentality of a club can make the difference.Chiellini added: “You see in the game between Madrid and Paris, the history is important. We used our skill and arrived at the win.”Higuain also praised Tottenham after the game, but said Juventus knew the Premier League outfit would give up chances to get back on top in the tie — it was on Juventus to take them.“It was a very difficult match against a great side like Tottenham, who always give their best and are aggressive, but we know English teams always leave gaps at the back and would give us opportunities,” Higuain told Mediaset Premium.“We had to make the most of them and we did. I’m very happy with this win, as a comeback at Wembley is not easy.”
Manchester United Mourinho delivers stinging Shaw criticism after FA Cup win Jamie Smith 08:18 18/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Manchester United FA Cup José Mourinho Brighton & Hove Albion Manchester United v Brighton & Hove Albion The full-back was singled out by his manager despite helping United advance to the semi-finals of the cup competition at the weekend Luke Shaw does not have the required personality to play for Manchester United, manager Jose Mourinho claimed following Saturday’s FA Cup win over Brighton and Hove Albion. The United boss was angry with his side’s performance in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final against the Seagulls, despite a 2-0 win at Old Trafford seeing the hosts into the last four.Shaw was involved in the move that saw Nemanja Matic set up Romelu Lukaku for the opener, the Serbia international then heading in an Ashley Young cross to wrap up victory. 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 Young replaced Shaw at the half-time break and Mourinho – who was heavily criticised following the midweek Champions League loss to Sevilla – did not hold back in his assessment of the former Southampton full-back.”Luke – I cannot say much more,” said the Portuguese, who has gone on record with his criticism of the 22-year-old England player before. “It is a relation with personality. It is a relation to trust, it is a relation to class.”My reason [to withdraw Shaw] was we work on the pitch a certain kind of movements, the two full-backs need to be really aggressive and always in front to make space for Matic and Scott [McTominay] to play in front of the two central defenders.”And I didn’t have that with Luke or with Antonio Valencia. I didn’t change both because it was too aggressive to do it and then I have only one more change to 90 minutes.”And then if we go to extra-time I have the possibility of a fourth change. But to do 45 minutes with only one more change, I think that would have been too aggressive.”But to try to improve our offensive football and be more aggressive I have to change one. I decided Luke because at least Antonio, defensively, was capable of some good positioning.”Like in one of their more dangerous movements in the second half, [Jurgen] Locadia made a dangerous run inside Eric Bailly and Antonio is still capable of [defending] this.”Luke, in the first half, every time they went in his corridor the cross was coming and a dangerous situation was coming, so I was not happy with the performance.”Tonight’s star man Nemanja Matic spoke to #MUTV after the game to discuss the importance of our 2-0 win… #MUFC #FACup pic.twitter.com/MV1zk4u0xm— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 17, 2018Shaw moved to United in 2014, but injuries and poor form have limited him to just 39 Premier League appearances.
Our esteemed colleague Nancy at Getting Attention has a terrific nonprofit marketing carnival today with everything you ever wanted to know about social networking. (A carnival just means a bunch of bloggers writing on a theme.) She says:This traveling Carnival of Nonprofit Consultants brings you the best blog postings on nonprofit issues. For this week’s event, I asked bloggers to advise on how already over-taxed nonprofit communicators can handle the ever-expanding menu of communications channels, especially social networking tools, and what social media have the greatest potential for nonprofits. My post of last week is featured, along with work by bloggers smarter than I am on the topic! Highly recommended reading.
Transfers Xhaka commits long-term future to Arsenal with new contract Goal Last updated 1 year ago 00:11 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Arsenal Burnley Premier League The 25-year-old played a part in all 38 of the Gunners’ Premier League games last season and has been rewarded with a new deal Arsenal have announced midfielder Granit Xhaka has committed his future to the Premier League club by signing a new “long-term” contract.Switzerland international Xhaka featured in all 38 Premier League games in the 2017-18 season, starting 37 and making a single appearance off the bench.And Arsenal confirmed on Friday that Xhaka has agreed to extend his stay at Emirates Stadium, although the length of his contract remains undisclosed. 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 “Hi Gunners, it’s Granit, I’m happy and proud to sign a new contract here for Arsenal,” Xhaka said in a video message posted on social media. I hope for good results in the future.”Xhaka can #GunnerGranit pic.twitter.com/dwCp4KCG6c— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) June 15, 2018Xhaka shook off an injury scare before the World Cup and is set to be involved for Switzerland in their opening Russia 2018 clash with Brazil on Sunday.Arsenal’s new head coach Unai Emery, who has replaced Arsene Wenger at the club, is looking forward to working with the 25-year-old midfielder.”I’m delighted that Granit has extended his contract with us,” Emery told Arsenal’s website.”He’s an important member of the squad and is still young so will be able to develop even more.”I hope he has a successful World Cup with Switzerland and comes back fit and ready for the new season.”
Transfers ‘Napoli will not be pillaged’ – De Laurentiis yet to hear from Chelsea over Sarri Rob Lancaster 19:49 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Chelsea Newcastle United v Chelsea Napoli v Crotone Napoli Serie A Premier League The club have already replaced the Italian coach and are waiting to negotiate with the Premier League side, who have made him their top candidate Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has warned Chelsea he will not allow the Italian club to be “pillaged” as the uncertainty surrounding Maurizio Sarri’s future rumbles on.Sarri still has two years left on his contract with Napoli despite being replaced as head coach by Carlo Ancelotti in May.Amid uncertainty over Antonio Conte’s position, Chelsea have been strongly linked with a move for Sarri, but the £7 million ($9.4m) Napoli are demanding as compensation is proving a major stumbling block.. 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 However, De Laurentiis insists he has yet to have any contact with the Premier League club, even though he is ready to be “reasonable” in negotiations over his former coach.”I never received any calls from Chelsea, even if they are announced via the newspapers,” he said during an interview with Corriere dello Sport.”If that were to happen, I would sit politely and listen, reflect and then give the response that was best for Napoli.”I want to make one thing clear: this is not a club to be pillaged, this is not a club to be underestimated. I am here to discuss and have already said that, if called, I would be reasonable.”@ADeLaurentiis wishes @MrAncelotti many happy returns on his birthday! https://t.co/HJ9WxWbjHV#ForzaNapoliSempre pic.twitter.com/PvS3qHAGPd— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) June 10, 2018De Laurentiis also confirmed he has not spoken to Sarri either since the conclusion of the Serie A season, yet holds no grudge after their working relationship came to a rather abrupt end.”I’ve not spoken to Sarri since then and he never called either,” he added.”After the final match of the season against Crotone, I waited, but neither he nor his manager [Alessandro] Pellegrini made themselves heard.”I took that into consideration and thought about a phrase my father said: ‘In life you should never let yourself be surprised’.”I don’t reproach Sarri, as if anything I should’ve set the rules and objectives at the start of the season. But being great gentlemen is a characteristic in the behaviour of the De Laurentiis family.”
France Mourinho takes Pogba’s goal off him but hails ‘box-to-box’ display rarely seen at Man Utd Chris Burton 01:14 6/17/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty France Paul Pogba José Mourinho France v Australia Australia World Cup The Red Devils boss believes the midfielder’s winner for France against Australia was actually an own goal, but concedes that he played well Jose Mourinho believes Paul Pogba’s winner for France against Australia was actually an own goal, but concedes that the Manchester United put in a positive “box-to-box” performance.Those at Old Trafford have not been treated to too many displays from an £89 million asset that could fall into that category since he returned to England in 2016.Pogba was, however, to make a telling contribution for his country in their opening fixture at World Cup 2018, with the 25-year-old edging them to a 2-1 win with an 80th-minute effort. 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 Mourinho feels a strike which cannoned down off the crossbar and required goal-line technology to confirm it was valid should have been credited to unfortunate Socceroos defender Aziz Behich.The Red Devils boss is prepared to acknowledge, though, that a man he is still trying to get the best out of at club level impressed when given the freedom to get forward from midfield.Mourinho told Russia Today: “For me, it’s not about the goal. I think it’s an own goal, but it’s the action. It’s the determination of making it happen.”The majority of French players were too comfortable or not wanting to risk too much, or not confident enough to make things happen. [Kylian] Mbappe didn’t have a great game, nor Ousmane Dembele or Antoine Griezmann.”The midfield were very positional, Paul didn’t interfere a lot in the game, but then – this action is the action of a No 8.“That’s what people used to call the box-to-box midfielders. And in this case, that was the action of an attacking part of box-to-box.”It’s a pity it wasn’t a clean shot to make it a brilliant goal, but it got them the three points.”While Pogba got France over the line against Australia, Les Bleus were also grateful to VAR interference in a narrow victory.Antoine Griezmann was awarded a penalty after the on-field officials had waved away his protests following a challenge by Josh Risdon.The Atletico Madrid striker converted from the spot, with Pogba’s late intervention getting Samuel Umtiti off the hook after his inexplicable handball gifted Mile Jedinak the chance to restore parity from 12 yards.
World Cup World Cup’s oldest ever player saves penalty in Egypt v Saudi Arabia clash Ben Spratt Last updated 1 year ago 22:45 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty World Cup Egypt Saudi Arabia v Egypt Saudi Arabia Powerade African All Stars Faryd Mondragon’s record as the oldest player in World Cup history has been surpassed by 45-year-old Pharaohs goalkeeper Essam El Hadary Essam El Hadary, the oldest player in World Cup history, made a phenomenal penalty save in Egypt’s clash with Saudi Arabia on Monday.The goalkeeper appeared five times in qualifying and, at the age of 45, made his finals debut in Volgograd, and he soon grabbed the headlines for on-pitch reasons.With the score at 1-0 after Mohamed Salah’s opening goal, a penalty was awarded for Saudi Arabia. El Hadary, though, would not be beaten, and made a truly brilliant save, tipping Fahad Al Mulwallad’s spot-kick onto the bar and keeping his clean sheet intact. 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 Unfortunately for the veteran stopper, another penalty was awarded before half-time, with Salman Al-Faraj stepping up to score and sending the two sides into the interval level at 1-1.El Hadary takes the record of oldest player to appear at the tournament from Faryd Mondragon, who appeared in goal for Colombia in 2014 just three days after his 43rd birthday.There are three managers at Russia 2018 – Serbia’s Mladen Krstajic, Aliou Cisse of Senegal and Belgium boss Roberto Martinez – who are younger than the Pharaohs keeper.El Hadary began his professional career in 1993 with Damietta in his native country, but he is perhaps best known for his 12-year spell at Al Ahly between 1996 and 2008, during which time he made over 400 appearances. He currently plays for Al-Taawoun, a club based, ironically, in Saudi Arabia.Both sides are out of the competition – Saudi lost 5-0 to Russia, where Egypt fell to a 3-1 defeat, while each side were beaten by a solitary Uruguay strike.
Man City plot move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouarby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City are ready to move for Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar.The Sun says City boss Pep Guardiola is a massive fan of the 20-year-old after facing him in two Champions League games this season.He even waited in the tunnel at Lyon’s Groupama Stadium last month to congratulate Aouar on his performance after their 2-2 draw.Etihad scouts have made enquiries about the youngster as they look for a long-term successor to Fernandinho.Ajax star Frenkie De Jong is also on City’s wishlist.But the competition for the Dutch midfielder means there is no guarantee of landing him.And Aouar is one of the midfielders they are keeping a close eye on after his progress in France. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say