CWG 2018: Mirabai Chanu, Gururaja denied physios, still deliver medals

first_imgIndian weightlifters opened India’s account on the first day of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) at Gold Coast Australia but the system let them down.Mirabai Chanu (48kg) smashed CWG and her personal records to win India’s first gold medal of the event on Thursday while P Gururaja (56kg) claimed a silver after overcoming really nervy moments.While the entire country celebrated their victories and saluted in unison upon seeing those medals around their neck and the Indian national anthem being played, the achievers did not have their physio around them all this time and delivered even with niggles and aches.Chanu, after winning the gold medal, said that her physio was not allowed to be with her and she did not get enough treatment coming into the competition.Commonwealth Games 2018: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu wins first Gold for India”I don’t have a physio with me here in the competition. He was not allowed here, I did not get enough treatment coming into the competition. There is nobody, we did tell officials but nothing happened,” Chanu said after her record-breaking gold-winning performance that earned her a massive ovation from the fans here. (Commonwealth Games 2018, Day 1: Medals Tally)”I had requested that my physio be allowed but he has not been allowed. But we are helping each other and managing so far,” she added with a smile.Gururaja, the soft-spoken wrestler-turned-weightlifter from Karnataka, also spoke about the problems he faced.”I’ve sustained multiple injuries. My physio is not here, so I haven’t been able to get the treatment that I need for my knee and sciatic nerve,” he said.advertisementCommonwealth Games 2018: India begin with gold and silver medals in weightliftingSciatic nerve begins in the lower back and runs through to the lower limb, making it the longest and widest single nerve in the human body.Despite repeated attempts, the Indian Chef-de-Mission Vikram Sisodia was unavailable for comment on the matter.The size of the contingent was a massive issue prior to the Games after the Sports Ministry ordered that the number of officials should not be more than 33 per cent of the number of athletes.CWG 2018, Day 1 highlights: India open with 2 medals, England on top with 11As a result, several athletes had complained about their preferred support staff not making the official contingent.Saina Nehwal was in the centre of a huge uproar where she complained about her father not getting accreditation to stay in the Games Village with her and even threatened to pull out of the event before IOA cleared her request.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

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Dropping shooting from 2022 CWG will affect young shooters: Rai

first_imgBy Amit Kumar Das New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) Impressed with the performance of the Indian shooting contingent in Gold Coast, ace marksmen Jitu Rai is worried about the adverse effect that non-inclusion of the sport in the 2022 Birmingham Games will have on young talents. “We win lot of medals in shooting (at the CWGs). Look at the kids who are doing so well and they will only do better as they go along. So it saddens me that shooting wont be a part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. It will affect young medal prospects of our country,” Jitu told PTI during an interaction organised by the Indian Army.”But it is not in our hands. We can only shoot and that is what we are doing. Whether to include the sport or not, is in the hands of government (organisers). But I am still hopeful that it would be included,” he said. The Indian Army today accorded a warm welcome to their sportspersons, who returned with medals for the 21st Commonwealth Games. Asked if he agrees with his parent body NRAI, who asked India to boycott the 2022 Games if shooting is not included as a discipline, Rai gave a defensive answer. “If NRAI has said, then it is right. I agree with them. If they are removing one sport, then boycott the Games completely because we are doing so well in this sport. We were winning so many medals in shooting. I support the NRAI and government.”The gold medal in the men?s 10m air pistol with record score of 235.1 may have brought smiles back but it is hardly a balm that will be able erase the sadness of a disappointing show at the Rio Olympics .advertisement “When you get result for your hardwork, that feeling is priceless. So I am very happy. I know it will never replace the pain of the Rio Olympics disappointment and I dont even think about it anymore but it does charges me up to do well in future,” Rai said.”In a sportsmans life, there are good times as well as bad times. Perhaps, it was a bad phase of my life and may be it was not in my luck that I didnt get a medal at the Olympics. But after that, I have won medals consistently before and after Rio,” added Indian Armys Naib Subedar. Asked about his next target, Rai replied:”World Championship and Asian Games are the next targets but the immediate next big event is World Cup. So that is the next step. “I am leaving for World Cup tomorrow. I am not thinking about gold though I have won at CWG but my target would be to just do my job, which is to shoot honestly and to the best of my ability.” The ISSF World Cup Stage 2 will take place at Changwon, Korea from April 20 to 30. The Indian shooting contingent had their biggest success at the recently concluded ISSF World Cup at Guadalajara, Mexico with a total tally of nine medals including four Gold, one Silver and four Bronze medals. PTI ATK KHS ATK KHS KHSlast_img read more

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WWE: John Cena beats Triple H, Braun Strowman wins Greatest Royal Rumble

first_imgNostalgia served up with a generous helping of good ol’ returns highlighted WWE’s first show in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at the Greatest Royal Rumble pay-per-view on Friday.As many as seven titles were defended and a historic 50-man Royal Rumble as the centerpiece at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium with WWE flexing their muscles in a show of strength and showing off their vast roster of Superstars.In the night’s first match saw ‘veterans’ John Cena take on Triple H. With both coming off from Wrestlemania defeats, Cena was the one who scored the win but not before dishing out three ‘Attitude Adjustments’.With the match over, Cena took centre stage in the ring and grabbed hold of a microphone, thanking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the “honour” and “privilege” of allowing him to compete at the Greatest Royal Rumble.The Undertaker defeated Rusev in a casket match and that too on ‘Rusev Day’. In the reaper’s first Casket Match in a decade, at the end both Aiden English and ‘Bulgarian Brute’ found themselves ‘resting in piece’.Braun Strowman may have only two of “These Hands,” but that was more than enough for him to take out 49 other Superstars and win the historic, in the titular first-ever 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble Match.Entering at No. 41, Strowman was a force of nature from the second he entered the match, not to mention an immediate threat for everybody else in the ring – a coalition of Randy Orton, Tye Dillinger, Baron Corbin, Titus O’Neil and Rey Mysterio tried to eliminate him, yet to no avail.advertisementThe Monster Among Men notched a record-breaking 13 eliminations, the most astonishing of which was a toss of Shane McMahon off the turnbuckle and through the commentary table just before The Prodigal Son could attempt a Coast-to-Coast on Kevin Owens.The final elimination came at the expense of Big Cass, who had brought an end to the night’s biggest Cinderella story of Daniel Bryan, who entered at No. 1 and became the other record-breaker of the night when he notched the longest Royal Rumble Match time in history.Other results:Brock Lesnar again defeated Roman Reigns, this time in a steel cage match, to retain his Universal Championship.The AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura ended in double count-out meaning that the phenomenal One retianed his WWE Championship.Seth Rollins beat out Finn Balor, The Miz and Samoa Joe in ladder match to still be the Intercontinental Champion.The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Usos to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, as the “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to be crowned the new Raw Tag Team Champions.Jeff Hardy or Brother Nero defended his United States Championship against Jinder Mahal.Cedric Alexander beat Kalisto to keep hold of his WWE Cruiserweight Championship belt.(With inputs from WWE)last_img read more

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Wary of mischief, Mirabai wants CCTV in room; IWF agrees

first_imgBy Philem Dipak Singh New Delhi, May 28 (PTI) World champion and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Mirabai Chanu has requested the Sports Ministry to install CCTV cameras in her room at the national camp as she fears that her food could be spiked to implicate her in a doping scandal, the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) said today. Mirabai has been subjected to an astonishing 45 dope tests in the last four years but has come out clean each time. In fact, the IWF has requested the ministry to install CCTV cameras at important locations like the training and dining halls as well as at other places where the weightlifters come in contact with outsiders. “We have written to the Sports Authority of India and Sports Ministry to install CCTV cameras at the national camp at NIS Patiala so that we can know what is happening there. We don’t want any doping case from our weightlifters,” IWF Secretary General Sahdev Yadav told PTI. “Mirabai has also written to the ministry through us to install CCTV cameras inside her room so that she can monitor who comes in and goes out of her room. “You never know somebody may just come in and put something inside her room or her food or drink while she is at the washroom or somewhere. She does not want to take a chance,” he added. Yadav said the Sports Ministry has agreed to install CCTV cameras at the training hall early next month. “The Ministry has told us that CCTV cameras will be installed at the training hall early next month. The weightlifters are currently training at the SAI Centre at Shilaroo (in Himachal Pradesh).advertisement “They are returning to NIS Patiala on June 3 and we are expecting the CCTVs to be installed at the training hall by then,” he added. Asked if the ministry will also agree to Mirabai’s request, he said, “Why would not the ministry agree to that? She is a world champion and what if any untoward incident happens to her, who is going to lose out? It will not only be her loss, it’ll be for everybody.” National chief coach Vijay Sharma, who wrote the letter to the sports ministry, said in the past two weightlifters had complained about suspicions of somebody spiking their food. “It is not a good atmosphere there (at national camp at NIS Patiala) and we have the fear that some outsiders may do something and spike food and drinks (with banned substances). We have to be careful,” he said from Shilaroo. “There was a case some time ago that two weightlifters tested negative initially but after five days they turned out positive for banned substances. These weightlifters had complained that their food could have been spiked,” he added. On Mirabai asking for CCTV cameras specifically for her, Sharma said, “She does not have any earlier incident of other people trying to do something with her food or drinks but she wants to be cautious.” The weightlifters will train for three weeks in Thailand as part of the preparations for the upcoming Asian Games (August 18 to September 2) in Indonesia. They will directly reach Jakarta from Thailand a few days in advance so that they can acclimatise with the conditions before the Games. PTI PDS PM PM PMlast_img read more

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World Cup 2018: Lionel Messi strikes as Argentina qualify for round of 16

first_imgLionel Mess’s Argentina qualified for the World Cup knockouts for the fourth consecutive time. A late goal by Marcos Rojo gave Argentina a dramatic 2-1 victory over Nigeria in Group D on Tuesday and sent the two-time champions through to the knockout stages of the World Cup.Croatia advance as winners of Group D with the maximum nine points after beating Iceland 2-1 and Nigeria were just minutes away from joining them before central defender Rojo superbly volleyed home a Gabriel Mercado cross from the right.Messi had put Argentina ahead in the 14th minute, with a fabulously taken goal but the Africans equalised through a Victor Moses penalty in the 51st minute and the twice World Cup winners struggled to respond to that setback with a ragged second half display.MATCH HIGHLIGHTSIn front of a massive following of passionate and loud Argentine fans, the game began in ideal fashion for Jorge Sampaoli’s side, who had managed just a point from their opening two games.A perfectly weighted diagonal ball over the top by Ever Banega was sublimely brought down on the outside of his thigh by Messi who then drove past Nigeria’s teenage keeper Francis Uzoho to open the scoring.The selection of Banega proved to be an inspired one by Sampaoli with the Sevilla midfielder providing the quality service that had been lacking in their opening two games.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEBanega almost inspired a second goal for the Argentines when he put Angel Di Maria clear, the winger being brought down by Leon Balogun and Messi struck the woodwork from the resulting free kick with a curler from the left against the far post.advertisementIt had been an impressive half from Argentina but the game was to take a twist shortly after the interval.WORLD CUP 2018 – FIXTURES | POINTS TABLEDefending a corner, Argentine defender Javier Mascherano jockeyed Leon Balogun inside the area and when the Nigerian fell to the floor, Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir awarded a penalty.After lengthy and impassioned protests from the Argentine players, Moses managed to keep his cool and slot past Franco Armani to level the scores.Nigeria wasted several chances to add a second and secure their place in the last 16 before the unlikely source of Manchester United central defender Rojo kept Argentina’s tournament alive and left Nigeria in despair.Argentina go on to face France in the next round while Croatia take on Denmark.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

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Adidas Creators Contest Day 21

first_imgTO WHOM IS THE ADIDAS GOLDEN GLOVE GIVEN IN THE WORLD CUP?Click here to answerWATCH CARNIBALL 2018, ONE QUESTION ON EACH MATCH DAYVIEWERS TO SEND IN THEIR ANSWERS AT indiatoday.in/sports/fifa-world-cup-2018SEND US YOUR ANSWERS ALONG WITH YOUR FULL NAME, ADDRESS & CONTACT NUMBERCONTEST FROM JUNE 14TH – 15TH JULY 2018, EACH DAY ONE WINNERWINNER WILL GET ADIDAS TELSTAR 18 FOOTBALLlast_img

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Virat Kohli retains top spot in ICC Test rankings for batsmen

first_imgVirat Kohli has retained the number one position in the latest ICC Test batsman rankings.Indian skipper Kohli, who bagged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award, has been having a phenomenal run in the Test format and he has a total of 922 points.Cheteshwar Pujara has also retained the number three position on the Test batsman rankings after a tremendous series against Australia. The batsman has 881 points.Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin are the only Indian bowlers to feature in the top ten of ICC Test bowler rankings. Jadeja holds the six position whereas Ashwin figures in the tenth place.India is the number one team in the Test format, closely followed by New Zealand who are at the number two position.Afghanistan scripted history on Monday when they defeated Ireland by seven wickets in a one-off Test match. Their batsman Rahmat Shah has advanced 88 places to reach the 89th position in the rankings after scoring 98 and 76 in the match.The player is now the highest-ranked batsman from his team, ahead of captain Asghar Afghan, who holds the 106th place after gaining 24 places.Fast bowler Yamin Ahmadzai and leg-spinner Rashid Khan have also made rapid progress in the bowler’s rankings. Yamin has gained 45 places to reach the 50th position, whereas Rashid Khan moved 50 places to reach the 67th position. Khan, in the match against Ireland, took his first-ever five-wicket haul in the Test format.Also Read | Ashes 2019 may see player names and numbers on shirts, a first in Test cricketadvertisementlast_img read more

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FIRE DAMAGES WESTSIDE APARTMENTS

first_imgFire caused major damage Sunday afternoon to a westside home that is sub-divided into apartments.Sioux City Fire Rescue responded to the fire at 1811 Isabella just before 1pm.Smoke and flames were coming from the second floor of the structure.No injuries were reported in the fire.The city has red tagged the structure.The cause of the fire remains under investigation.Photo courtesy George Lindbladelast_img

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY TO HOST OPEN HOUSE ON WASTEWATER PLAN

first_imgSouth Sioux City will host an open house Tuesday evening to give community members an opportunity to review findings and provide written comments on a draft strategy for long term wastewater treatment.The open house will take place at the South Sioux Fire Department’s Memorial Hall at 201 W. 16th Street from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.There will not be a formal presentation, but engineering consultants and city staff will be on hand to answer questions.The wastewater treatment study process was started in late 2018 due to the City of Sioux City providing notice of their plans to terminate the sewage treatment agreement with the city, and also the ceasing of operations by the Big Ox Energy Facility in April.last_img read more

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Notes on the OSU-Kansas State game

first_imgTyler Lockett and Kevin Peterson square off. (USATSI)Tyler Lockett and Kevin Peterson square off. (USATSI)I posted my 10 Thoughts earlier (there was fire) but here are all my leftover notes from what was a pretty disappointing night in Manhattan, Kansas.• How good was ABC’s editing in the pregame video? They made our offense look downright explosive!• Maybe I’m alone here but I think KSU’s holding hands and walking off the field together is the coolest. I’d also probably think it’s the least cool if a team other than Kansas State tried it.• Also the “FAMILY” glad their student section waves is tremendous. I’m all in on Kansas State.• Do people think the RG3 commercial where he’s serving papers to other Heisman winners because he “trademarked” his saying is cool? Or is he making fun of himself? I’m confused.• Gundy’s shirt was amazing. Tucked in, of course.Will pay a large sum of money to obtain. pic.twitter.com/zP957ZfLp1— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 2, 2014• Tyreek Hill reminds Matt Millen of LeSean McCoy? While we’re here, if you know the name and number of Millen’s agent, please email me.• To echo what 300 people on Twitter said — I’m not sure letting KSU run kickoffs back was Gundy’s idea of keeping OSU’s defense off the field.• I thought OSU ran more underneath routes on offense early on and then, inexplicably, went away from it even though it was working.• Kevin Peterson’s long black undershirt was tremendous. So was his defense on Tyler Lockett…in the first half.• I died.Gundy would tuck-in a trench coat. #okstate— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) November 2, 2014• Matt Millen said “caucus” during a live football game as if it was already Tuesday.• KSU had 58 current or former walk-ons going into the Auburn game. Did I hear that correctly. Speaking of, I want to write a blog for Bill Snyder.• Waters is a terrible thrower but he’s dang good at that run-pass option Tebow-ish play.• Who had November 1 as the date of Tyreek’s first career rushing TD? That’s egregious.• Daxx doesn’t slide like he can’t wait to see Mason Rudolph play too.• The GOAT… Matt Millan just tried to count seconds while a replay was in slow motion. #okstate— Aaron Schnautz (@HDR_Aaron) November 2, 2014• Speaking of Millen, I think Tyreek is his new Broderick Brown. Gun to your head, did Brown ever take out a restraining order against Millen?• Is it more likely that K-State is paying players or that Derek Jeter did steroids.• I saw some folks on Twitter calling for a push-off against Curry Sexton with Tre Flowers draped all over him. Hah, they ain’t gonna call a push-off on Curry Sexton against Tre Flowers.• Oh, cool. Big fan, I hear.This dude from the Bachelor is in the house tonight. Apparently went to K-State. pic.twitter.com/KjDvmMMh3H— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 2, 2014• This is boss. Nobody goes into Manhattan and torches Terrence Newman (except Rashaun Woods).Last time @ImFasterThanYa was in Kstate he broke Terrence Newman facility record in the 60m! GO POkES! Lets go guys! Osu veloz— Coach Diego Flaquer (@flaquer_diego) November 2, 2014• This hit though.• He’s so fun. All of the weaponry.• I promise I didn’t hit fast forward here. • He is such a monster.• This was roughing the passer? I get where you’re coming from, stripes, but that’s a rough call. Especially since Ryan Simmons intercepted that pass.• How does Kansas State’s offense not put its 75-year-old coach to sleep?• If you’re complaining about Tyler Lockett pushing off then you clearly have erased the Rashaun Woods era from your memory.• This ended at three but…yeah.Kendrick Perkins has 10 more points tonight than OSU. The end times are upon us.— Kevin DeShazo (@KevinDeShazo) November 2, 2014• Sadly I laughed at this.Saxx Garman 🙁— Southwell (@JustinSouthwell) November 2, 2014• The last time OSU scored 10 or fewer in three straight games was 2000. As in the turn of the century. Ramon Richards (of all people) saved us from a repeat.• Emmanuel Ogbah is now one of three OSU players this century with nine or more sacks in a single season (Greg Richmond, Victor DeGrate).• This seems bad. #okstate scored more points in every single game in 2011 than it has in the last three games combined this season.— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 2, 2014• (From Amilian — who helped with the 10 Thoughts): I have always been adamant about not busting out Christmas decorations, movies and music before Thanksgiving, but I’m changing things up at the house this year.Given the spirit of Christmas is starting early in the house, here’s Kevin McAlister’s thoughts on OSU’s offense:• (More from Amilian): The Pokes are at 5-4 with 3 games left and they will have a double digit win percentage probability in one of those: Texas in two weeks.  I’m not sure what a bye week between now and then does, but I don’t think it can hurt (although giving Yurcich tie to overthink things is scary).  • Weeeee!Yurcich putting up big numbers in at least one category. pic.twitter.com/lWOxgy99Da— Oklahoma State Stats (@OSUStats) November 2, 2014 If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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Arsenal vs Bournemouth: Team news & TV

first_imgPremier League Arsenal vs Bournemouth: TV channel, stream, kick-off time, odds & match preview Ryan Kelly Last updated 2 years ago 18:34 8/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mesut Ozil Arsenal Getty Images Premier League Arsenal Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth The Gunners are under pressure to deliver three points after going into the international break on the back of two disappointing defeats Arsenal will hope to jump-start their season when they welcome Bournemouth to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.The Gunners were left to stew over back-to-back defeats during the international break and they will be determined to come back with a vengeance, particularly after losing 4-0 to Liverpool in their last outing.Arsene Wenger’s side have picked up just three points from their opening three Premier League matches and they come up against a Cherries outfit who have lost all three league games thus far. Nevertheless, Arsenal will have to be wary of Eddie Howe’s men, who were unlucky not to get anything from their last game at home to Manchester City. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina 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 Game Arsenal vs Bournemouth Date Saturday, September 9 Time 15:00 BST / 10:00 ET TV CHANNEL & LIVE STREAM Alexis Sanchez Arsene Wenger ArsenalIn the UK, the match will not be broadcast live on television or online, but highlights will be available on BBC’s ‘Match of the Day’ programme, as well as the Arsenal Player. UK TV channel Online stream BBC (highlights only) Arsenal Player (highights only) However, in the US, the match will be available to watch live on television on NBCSN and by online stream using the NBC Sports App. US TV channel Online stream NBCSN NBC Sports App SQUADS & TEAM NEWS Position Arsenal players Goalkeepers Ospina, Cech, Iliev Defenders Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Holding, Monreal, Mustafi, Chambers, Bellerin, Kolasinac Midfielders Ramsey, WIlshere, Ozil, Cazorla, Rein-Adelaide, Xhaka, Maitland-Niles, Coquelin, Elneny Forwards Sanchez, Lacazette, Giroud, Walcott, Iwobi, Welbeck, Akpom The Gunners will run the rule over a number of players following their national team exploits, including Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina and Aaron Ramsey, but Wenger is positive they will be fit.Long-term absentee Santi Cazorla has resumed training, but the Spaniard is still deemed to be a number of weeks away from full fitness. Others such as Calum Chambers, Jack Wilshere and Alex Iwobi are expected to be available.Potential starting XI: Cech; Holding, Koscielny, Monreal; Bellerin, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Elneny; Sanchez, Ozil, Lacazette. Position Bournemouth players Goalkeepers Boruc, Ramsdale, Begovic Defenders Francis, S. Cook, Ake, Daniels, A. Smith, B. Smith, Mings, Wiggins Midfielders Gosling, Surman, Pugh, Arter, L. Cook, Stanislas, Hyndman, Mahoney, Fraser, Ibe Forwards Afobe, Wilson, King, Defoe, Mousset Simon Francis has recovered from a hamstring problem and has been declared fit to play. The Cherries will continue to monitor their players who were on international duty, but the early signs have indicated a clean bill of health.Callum Wilson remains out of contention, however, while Nathan Ake and Junior Stanislas are considered doubts, so may not be risked.Potential starting XI:  Begovic; Daniels, Francis, S. Cook, A. Smith, Mings; Arter, Surman, Gosling; Defoe, King.BETTING & MATCH ODDS HD Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal Premier LeagueArsenal are 4/11 favourites according to dabblebet, with Bournemouth priced at 7/1 to beat the Gunners. If you think that a draw is likely to occur at the Emirates, you can get odds of 17/4.Alexandre Lacazette is 12/5 to score first, with Alexis Sanchez slightly behind at 14/5, while Bournemouth’s Josh King and Jermain Defoe are both 8/1 to open the scoring.GAME PREVIEW Mesut Ozil Granit Xhaka Arsenal 082717Arsenal return to action following the international break with a point to prove and they have a busy month ahead as they get their Europa League as well as League Cup campaigns under way.The game against Bournemouth is followed by meetings with Koln and Chelsea, so Wenger will be keen for his team to gather some momentum in order to banish memories of their disappointing start to the 2017-18 campaign.However, a cloud of uncertainty still looms over the club following unsatisfactory dealings during the transfer window. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was sold to Liverpool, but the Gunners failed to land Thomas Lemar from Monaco as Alexis Sanchez’s proposed move to Manchester City fell through.Victory over the Cherries will by no means ameliorate the aforementioned struggles, but it will be a welcome start as Wenger attempts to restore stability to his floundering team. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

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‘Tell Jose I’m coming!’ – Zlatan steps up return

first_imgManchester United ‘Tell Jose I’m coming’ – Ibrahimovic sends message to Man Utd boss Mourinho Last updated 2 years ago 15:25 9/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United Getty Manchester United Zlatan Ibrahimović José Mourinho Premier League The Swedish striker has committed to a new deal with the Red Devils and is fast closing in on a return to action after undergoing knee surgery Zlatan Ibrahimovic is edging ever closer to making a Manchester United return, with the Swede telling Jose Mourinho to ready himself for a selection poser.The enigmatic frontman has been out of action since damaging knee ligaments during a Europa League meeting with Anderlecht in April.That injury problem forced the 35-year-old to undergo surgery, bringing his 2016-17 campaign to a close as a result. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina 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 Ibrahimovic was then released at the end of an initial 12-month deal at Old Trafford, but has since committed to a new short-term contract with the Red Devils and is looking forward to competing with Romelu Lukaku for regular minutes.Mourinho has maintained since handing fresh terms to Ibrahimovic that the experienced striker will not be ready for competitive action until January.He has, however, been included in United’s Champions League squad and there have been suggestions that he could come back into contention before the end of 2017.The return of a man who plundered 28 goals in all competitions for United last season will offer a timely boost to the Red Devils cause.They splashed out £75 million on Lukaku over the summer, but having another proven alternative – allowing for rotation or a tactical tweak to a two-man frontline – will give Mourinho useful options during what promises to be another hectic campaign.last_img read more

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SEA Games silver medalists called up by Vingada

first_imgAsian Cup Qualification SEA Games silver medalists called up by Vingada for DPR Korea, Hong Kong ties Zulhilmi Zainal Last updated 2 years ago 05:59 26/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Matthew Davies, Safawi Rasid, Malaysia U22, SEA Games, 14082017 MASOC Asian Cup Qualification Malaysia North Korea v Malaysia Hong Kong v Malaysia Malaysia U22 Southeast Asian Games PKNP FC’s Shahrel Fikri Fauzi has also received his second call-up, ahead of the Harimau Malaya’s two Asian Cup qualification matches. BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter The Malaysian FA (FAM) has released the call-up list for Malaysia’s coming 2019 Asian Cup qualification group matches; against DPR Korea on October 5 and Hong Kong on October 10.Head coach Nelo Vingada has included six Malaysia U22 squad members; who recently finished the 2017 SEA Games as runners up. They are Kedah goalkeeper Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim, Pahang’s Matthew Davies and Nor Azam Azih, JDT forward Safawi Rasid, Pulau Pinang midfielder Syamer Kutty Abba and Selangor defender Adam Nor Azlin. Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina 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 Among the players who have been retained from the previous outing, a 2-1 friendly defeat to Syria, a 1-0 friendly defeat to Myanmar and a 1-1 Asian Cup qualifiers home draw to Hong Kong is rising star Shahrel Fikri Fauzi. The 23 year old striker, who plays for PKNP FC in the Premier League, recently scored a hat-trick against Super League side Felda United in their first leg Malaysia Cup quarter-final tie. The youngster however did not play in any of the three matches.Felda United too will see one of their players return to the national team fray after a long absence. Winger Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor has recently found his scoring touch again, bagging four goals in total in their last two matches.According to FAM, the team will begin their training for the two coming qualifiers this Saturday, and will make their journey to Pyongyang beginning October 3.The complete list are as follows: NO NAME AGE POSITION CLUB 1. Baddrol Bakhtiar 29 Midfielder Kedah 2. Syazwan Zainon 28 Midfielder Kedah 3. Khairul Helmi Johari 29 Defender Kedah 4. Akram Mahinan 24 Midfielder Kedah 5. Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim 21 Goalkeeper Kedah 6. Fitri Omar 32 Defender Kedah 7. Ahmad Hazwan Bakri 26 Forward Johor Darul Ta’zim 8. Safiq Rahim 30 Midfielder Johor Darul Ta’zim 9. Amirulhadi Zainal 31 Midfielder Johor Darul Ta’zim 10. Darren Lok 26 Forward Johor Darul Ta’zim 11. Nazmi Faiz Mansor 23 Midfielder Johor Darul Ta’zim 12. Safawi Rasid 20 Forward Johor Darul Ta’zim 13. Hafizul Hakim Khairul Nizam Jothy 24 Goalkeeper Perak 14. Shahrom Abdul Kalam 32 Defender Perak 15. Nazirul Naim Che Hashim 24 Defender Perak 16. Amirul Azhan Aznan 24 Defender Perak 17. Kiko Insa 29 Midfielder Pahang 18. Matthew Davies 22 Defender Pahang 19. Nor Azam Abdul Azih 22 Midfielder Pahang 20. Khairulazhan Khalid 28 Goalkeeper Selangor 21. Adam Nor Azlin 21 Defender Selangor 22. Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor 26 Midfielder Felda United 23. Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi 23 Forward PKNP FC 24. Syamer Kutty Abba 20 Midfielder Pulau Pinanglast_img read more

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Why only Guardiola is better than genius Sarri

first_imgSince taking over in the summer of 2015, Sarri’s Napoli have played spell-binding football that has left spectators and neutrals drooling. “The best in Europe,” Man City midfielder Fernandinho enthused. The Azzurri have plundered 200 goals in 84 Serie A games during Sarri’s tenure – by contrast, six-year reigning champions Juventus have scored 173 goals during that time.Despite thus far failing to win a trophy, many experts feel that this could be the season that Napoli end Juve’s stranglehold on the Scudetto. Ahead of this weekend’s big top-of-the-table clash with Inter, Napoli have won eight games out of eight – with the best attack and defence in the division.“If Napoli don’t have too many injuries and can rotate a little bit, the way they play they can win the league this season,” Guardiola told Goal after his side’s slender win on Tuesday. “We played one of the best sides I have faced in my career, probably the best.”Sarri sets up his team in a 4-3-3 formation and demands that they dominate possession, averaging over 60 per cent of the ball. Like Guardiola, Sarri insists they move the ball quickly with short one-touch passes and triangles – with as little emphasis as possible on crossing and dribbling.Sarri v Man CityCallejon Mertens Insigne Napoli FeyenoordJorginho NapoliAlso like Guardiola, Sarri’s players interchange positions seamlessly. Centre-backs Koulibaly and Raul Albiol regularly split wide in possession, allowing the full-backs Faouzi Ghoulam and Elseid Hysaj to push up to form what is more akin to a 2-5-3 system. Insigne will often move in-field to gift Ghoulam the space to virtually play as a left winger.Another fascinating player to watch tactically is Jorginho. Sitting at the base of the midfield, every move goes through the Brazilian-born pass-master, who was rested versus City. He is to Sarri what Xavi was to Guardiola at Barcelona.Since Opta started collecting data in Serie A in 2004, Jorginho holds all nine of the top spots for most touches in any match. He also occupies nine of the top 10 for most successful passes played in a match.Under Sarri, Jorginho has become an expert at finding space for himself. When Napoli begin a move from the back, he tends to position himself just behind the opposition forward when calling for the ball. Like a cyclist in the blind spot of a car driver, Jorginho will rarely be noticed until it is too late.This will usually force one of the opposition midfielders to push up and close him down, thus creating a hole in front of the Napoli man for his team-mates to occupy. Should the forward instead mark Jorginho during the build-up, then this will allow Koulibaly or Albiol to bring the ball out of defence unopposed – thus effectively killing the chance of a high press.This is just a microcosm of the way Sarri’s team use space to dominate possession and why it is so difficult to take the ball off them.Jorginho GFX PassesSarri has also been responsible for turning Dries Mertens into a world-class striker. Following a serious injury to Arkadiusz Milik a year ago, Sarri came up with the seemingly crazy idea of deploying a 29-year-old, 5ft 5in winger as a ‘false 9’. Mertens has since been unstoppable – scoring 33 goals in his next 37 league games, as well as five in 12 Champions League matches.“Sarri really is a genius; he sees things others don’t see,” Koulibaly told Il Messaggero. “He helps you to think as a team and not as an individual.”And Napoli certainly play as a team. Sarri’s first XI, which cost only €74 million to construct, is virtually the same one that struggled to fifth position in Benitez’s last season in Campania in 2014-15.The way they press aggressively high up the pitch is reminiscent of not only Guardiola’s teams, but also Sacchi’s all-conquering Milan side which won back-to-back European Cups in 1989 and 1990. Just like Franco Baresi and Co., they smother the opposition and make it very difficult for them to escape from their own half.Asked by Goal whether Sarri can be considered a successor to Sacchi, the Milan legend was glowing in his praise: “[Sarri] tries to interpret football in a positive manner, to be a protagonist and not to follow others.“This lifts the value of the players and their self-confidence, and also the game. It produces spectacular football.” UEFA Champions League Guardiola may be the No.1 coach in the world, but genius Sarri is next best thing Carlo Garganese Last updated 2 years ago 16:15 10/21/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(26) Sarri & Guardiola Getty UEFA Champions League Napoli Manchester City Serie A Guardiola Opinion The Barca legend may have revolutionised the sport, but the Napoli coach is proving to be every bit as innovative as his side fight for the title This week in the Champions League we saw the two most innovative and entertaining coaches in world football, Pep Guardiola and Maurizio Sarri, go toe to toe as Manchester City beat Napoli 2-1 at the Etihad Stadium.It was a truly beautiful spectacle between two men who play the game the way purists want it to be played. The mutual respect between Guardiola and Sarri was palpable both before and after the game. Pep described Napoli as probably the best side he had faced in his career, while Sarri hailed the Catalan as the No.1 coach in the world.Napoli 10/11 to win the Serie A 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 Certainly, few would disagree with the latter comment. Pep revolutionised the sport with Barcelona, creating a beautiful tiki-taka brand of football in leading Lionel Messi and Co. to record-breaking success. He is now threatening to do the same with Manchester City.But in Sarri, the Catalan has a disciple who is proving to be every bit as inventive.On the surface, Sarri does not fit the profile of a footballing pioneer. An unremarkable and weathered-looking man, he is a chain-smoker, dons tracksuits instead of suits and sips espressos while enjoying a puff during training.Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri having a smoke and an espresso at training. Only in Italy! pic.twitter.com/7df78DAklY— Serie A News (@TransfersCalcio) July 19, 2015In many ways, he is old fashioned. He has a fiery personality and barks instructions at his players on the touchline. A tough task-master, his screams can often be clearly heard from as far as the car park at Napoli’s training ground at Castel Volturno.Sarri’s playing career progressed no further than amateur level and he worked as a banker until the age of 40. He coached 16 teams through Italy’s lower divisions until he finally got his big break in Serie A with Empoli in his mid-50s.But as Arrigo Sacchi – a man with whom Sarri has been repeatedly compared – once famously told journalists when asked how he could manage AC Milan having never played professionally: “A jockey doesn’t have to have been born a horse.”So forward-thinking is Sarri that he became the first ever coach to use drones that hover above the training pitch in order to study the movements of his players – a method since copied by multiple other teams. Sarri mostly deploys drones to work on the defensive line of his back four. One video filmed on a drone camera showed 27 different drills designed to ensure the Napoli defence always move as a unit. And this spectacular football is something that Sarri himself prides himself on. He is a true believer in playing football the right way and is bitterly opposed to what he deems to be negative anti-football deployed by the likes of Jose Mourinho and Diego Simeone.“Cholismo? If I saw my team defending and counter-attacking after 30 minutes I would get up and return to the bank because I would not be having fun,” Sarri sniped after Simeone’s Atletico Madrid had grinded their way past Bayern Munich in the 2016 Champions League semi-finals.Were he to return to the bank, football would be the big loser. Indeed, if Sarri does win Napoli their first Scudetto since the era of Diego Maradona, it will be a glorious day not just for Neapolitans but for all footballing purists – none more so than the purest of them all in Pep Guardiola.With additional reporting from Sergio Chesi, Goal’s Napoli correspondentlast_img read more

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Mou: Quarter of the planet are Man Utd fans

first_imgJosé Mourinho Mourinho: A quarter of the planet are Man Utd fans… I can’t meet all of them Robin Bairner Last updated 2 years ago 18:46 11/4/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jose Mourinho Manchester United Getty Images José Mourinho Manchester United Chelsea v Manchester United Chelsea Premier League The Portuguese has promised to “fight” to bring glory back to Old Trafford for the immense number of Red Devils followers around the globe Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has claimed that he holds a position of great responsibility as the leader of a club “quarter of the planet” supports. The Portuguese has been criticised for his defensive style of play when tackling top-six opponents, particularly away from home. These resurfaced again this season when United were held to a 0-0 draw at Liverpool, and even a 1-0 success over Tottenham at Old Trafford did little to quell criticism aimed in his direction.Man Utd to beat Blues 2/1 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 With such a sizeable fanbase, Mourinho is away of the pressure that is on him to bring success to the club, but he says that he will “fight” to do so.“I cannot meet how many millions [of United fans],” he said. “I think a quarter of the planet is Manchester United red, I cannot meet a quarter of the planet.“The only thing I can do is what I’ve done since day one – fight for the club, give everything I have, to get as much support as I can for my players – because we are fighting hard and working hard. That’s the only thing that I can do and that’s the only thing we can promise.”United presently lie second in the Premier League standing but trail Manchester City by five points and face a trip to Chelsea on Sunday to meet the defending champions.last_img read more

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Pickford proves he – not Hart – is England’s No.1

first_imgEngland Pickford produces the goods to prove he – not Hart – is England’s No.1 Tom Maston Last updated 2 years ago 06:06 11/11/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jordan Pickford England Getty Images England World Cup England v Germany Germany Friendlies Premier League Everton Opinion The Everton goalkeeper shone against Germany for Gareth Southgate’s side and should have done enough to ensure a World Cup starting berth Joe Hart has represented England on 74 occasions and very rarely let them down. For the last three major tournaments he has been the Three Lions’s undisputed No.1. The time for that run to end is now.Having booked their place at the World Cup and without a host of regulars through a combination of injuries and selection, Gareth Southgate gave those chosen to start against Germany a clear mandate – show me why you should be on the plane to Russia. Jordan Pickford went one step further and should now have secured himself a starting berth for the summer.13/5 for England and Brazil draw 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 Gareth Southgate EnglandJordan Pickford EnglandHanded his senior debut on Friday, the 23-year-old was called upon in the early stages to clear a woeful back-pass from Harry Maguire with Timo Werner bearing down on goal. First test passed, Pickford rarely looked back.Twice in the first half he pulled off superb low saves to deny Werner, and when he was beaten the crossbar and Phil Jones came to his rescue to stop Leroy Sane from breaking the deadlock. On another night England’s most inexperienced side for 37 years would have gone in at half-time 4-0 down. Pickford’s presence played a major role in ensuring they did not.Another fantastic save by Pickford on his @England debut denies Germans! pic.twitter.com/cNmSj1XHoA — ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 10, 2017 It is not only Pickford’s shot-stopping that sets him apart from Hart, Jack Butland or any other goalkeeper hopeful of a summer of tournament football. Twice against Germany he showcased his trademark side-volleyed clearance to create opportunities for England counter-attacks. Though Southgate’s side failed to take advantage, the likes of Raheem Sterling, Marcus Rashford and Jamie Vardy will be licking their lips in anticipation of what is possible come the summer.Eyebrows were raised when Everton forked out £30 million for the Sunderland goalkeeper during their busy summer of spending, but unlike most of those brought to Goodison Park by Ronald Koeman, he has excelled on Merseyside. If he can sustain his form and showcase his talents on the biggest stage of them all in June, the Toffees will make a tidy profit come the time when they are forced to sell.Since when #England creates goalkeepers !!!!#ENGGER #diemannschaft #ThreeLions — Michael Ballack (@Ballack) November 10, 2017 Elsewhere there were plenty of reasons for Southgate to be encouraged despite Germany too being without a host of regular starters. John Stones’s evolution into England’s defensive leader continues apace, particularly if a back three is going to be his manager’s preferred system, while Jones belied a groin injury that saw him last just 24 minutes to at least ensure himself a hotel room at England’s summer base in Repino.Ruben Loftus-Cheek EnglandBut the most eye-catching outfield performance was reserved for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with the Crystal Palace midfielder recovering from a frustrating opening 15 minutes to become England’s creative hub on his first senior outing. There may have been shock at his inclusion, but given Southgate’s lack of options in central midfield, the Chelsea loanee did his chances of further call-ups no harm whatsoever.Him starting in Russia remains unlikely, but the same cannot be said for Pickford. England’s chances of competing with the best at the World Cup are slim, but picking the most impressive and consistent goalkeeper in the country can only help their cause. Pickford, not Hart, is that man.last_img read more

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World Cup climax can be the catalyst for rugby league to take new direction

first_imgWho are the favourites?Australia have won 10 world titles including the last World Cup in 2013 (pictured). They are hot favourites to retain the trophy in Brisbane on 2 December, but are likely to face New Zealand in the first semi-final, also in Brisbane. England are seeking their first final appearance since 1995 and are expected to face surprise package Tonga in the second semi-final in Auckland. Facebook John Davidson New Zealand rugby league Australia rugby league Share on Messenger Sportblog Hide Quarter-finals (times local/GMT)Australia v Samoa Darwin, 17 Nov (7pm/10.30am)Tonga v Lebanon Christchurch, 18 Nov (5pm/5am)NZ v Fiji Wellington, 18 Nov (7.30pm/7.30am)England v PNG Melbourne, 19 Nov (4pm/6am) … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Photograph: Jon Super/AP Share on Pinterest Topics As the World Cup enters the knockout stages it is difficult to gauge the mood surrounding what should be the sport’s most important and prestigious tournament.While things have played out largely as expected, it is the feelgood stories that will live longest in the memory. Whether it is the way Papua New Guinea have proved to be such wonderful hosts, playing in front of sellout crowds in Port Moresby, Samoa and Tonga’s spine-tingling pre-game tête-à-tête or the encouraging progress of some smaller nations, there is much to sit back and smile about. Rugby League World Cup has been snubbed in NRL-obsessed Australia Share on Twitter Read more A much-improved Ireland side won two of their group games but were still eliminated. Photograph: Will Russell/Getty Images Read more Rugby League World Cup mismatches look bad but don’t belittle weaker teams Samoa rugby league team features Six northern hemisphere teams bowed out in the group stages – with the unluckiest of those undoubtedly Ireland. By far the weakest of the home nations in recent years, a swell in the number of heritage players putting up their hand to play for the Wolfhounds saw them win two of their three group games, yet they still failed to qualify from Group C.That is another gripe about the format. Try explaining to a casual Irish sports fan why their nation failed to qualify yet Samoa, who did not win a game in the group stages, play Australia in the first quarter-final on Friday. Thankfully, the increase to 16 teams for the 2021 World Cup will ensure this convoluted nonsense is a thing of the past. Scotland and Wales were much more disappointing, although the Bravehearts at least finished with a fine draw against Samoa before heading home.England, as expected, had enough to win against Lebanon and France to finish second behind the Kangaroos, with Papua New Guinea their opponents in Melbourne on Sunday. By the time they play, we will know the other three semi-finalists. Should Australia progress as expected, they will face the winners of New Zealand v Fiji. Since you’re here… Reuse this content Share on WhatsApp Rugby League World Cup 2017 But even here, on what ought to be the sport’s biggest stage, the first three weeks represent a microcosm of the wider problems rugby league faces. Not enough people have seen, heard or even know about the must-see moments the tournament has generated.Will the knockout stages, beginning on Friday when the hosts and world champions Australia face Samoa, change that? Perhaps. It is inevitable that as the final approaches there will be a pick-up in interest – even if the Kangaroos saunter their way through to Brisbane on 2 December as many expect.To only tune in now would mean you have missed those moments of encouragement that confirm what so many still believe – only with a stronger international game can rugby league begin to attract mainstream interest. The domestic game rules the roost in rugby league, and convincing the clubs more international windows are of paramount importance should be this tournament’s legacy, irrespective of the winner. Rugby league Show Before the tournament began, it was tipped that the traditional “big three” of Australia, England and New Zealand were about to be joined by a fourth powerhouse in Tonga. Did they deliver? You bet. Their victory against the Kiwis in Hamilton last weekend to win Group B and consign New Zealand to a likely semi-final against Australia suddenly throws the complexion of the knockout stages into uncharted, exciting territory. Share via Email Quick guide Rugby League World Cup: guide to the knockout stages Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn It will have raised a smile from England for sure, who now know they can avoid the Kiwis in the semi-finals, with either Tonga or Lebanon waiting if they see off PNG. That is surely good news, given their wretched record against New Zealand in recent times but Tonga’s emergence and England’s uninspiring performances means a first final appearance since 1995 is by no means a guarantee.That the six teams who have been eliminated all hail from the northern hemisphere is another telling sign, too. The player pool is significantly larger south of the equator and arresting that trend will take years, maybe even decades. More importantly, it will take financial investment and a change to a schedule in Britain where there is barely time to draw breath, let alone craft out an international break for a Six Nations-style tournament to try to grow the game where it desperately needs it most.Ironically, and not for the first time, rugby league’s biggest obstacle is none other than itself. What we have seen so far has been everything we should expect from a World Cup but the business end, on and off the field, starts here. Crucially, there could yet be a couple of twists and turns which serve as a wake-up call that maybe, just maybe, international rugby league is worth prioritising. Papua New Guinea rugby league team Was this helpful? Twitter Thank you for your feedback. Pinterest Support The Guardian England rugby league teamlast_img read more

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Wales must take opportunities against South Africa, says Warren Gatland

first_imgnews Scotland’s leap ahead shows the way forward for Wales and South Africa Read more Share on WhatsApp … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Messenger Share via Email Support The Guardian Another, the second-row Lood de Jager, attempted to stimulate interest in a match that, since New Zealand upped their asking price for appearing in a fourth international to such a level that even the Rugby Football Union baulked at it, struggles to attract a capacity crowd.“Wales have a lot of experience and some smart players,” De Jager said. “A guy like Alun Wyn Jones bends the rules a bit and gets away with a lot of it. He is a very good player I rate highly and it is going to be a good challenge.” Asked if he was intimating Jones was a cheat, he replied: “I’ll just say he’s a smart player who gets away with one or two things.”Wales have won their past two internationals against South Africa in Cardiff but in between were knocked out of the 2015 World Cup by the Springboks at the quarter-final stage at Twickenham. They are without 12 players who are injured, including seven who toured New Zealand with the Lions in the summer, and four who have had to return to their English clubs this week.The only new cap is the Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes, a 30-year-old New Zealander who qualifies for his adopted country on residency on the day of the game. Aled Davies starts at scrum-half with Gareth Davies injured and Rhys Webb on the bench having sustained a head injury against New Zealand last week.The side contain five first-choice players and after defeats in the series to Australia and New Zealand, together with an unconvincing win against Georgia, Warren Gatland is looking for a result and not just a performance. “All of us are aware of how important it is to get a result,” the Wales coach said.“We want to achieve that by playing as positively as we have been doing. We are expecting a hard encounter against a side that is developing some depth and we need to take the opportunities we created against Australia and New Zealand.” Since you’re here… Read more Share on Twitter Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union newscenter_img This time a year ago the South Africa coach, Allister Coetzee, was facing calls for him to be dismissed after the most unsuccessful year endured by the Springboks, with three victories and a first defeat to Italy. He survived and the record in 2017 is three defeats in 12 matches, although they have not beaten a side ranked above them.“The team is completely different from Cardiff last year,” he said. “The environment has changed a lot and there is a clear understanding of how we want to play. I am confident these players will take the opportunity to perform well and end the season on a high. No one is packing their luggage. The enthusiasm in training this week and vibe have been remarkable. The players understand it is the most important three days for them. If you want a good holiday, you must earn it by turning up and playing well.” Topics Share on Pinterest Share on Facebook Autumn internationals Rugby union Share on LinkedIn South Africa rugby team Wales and South Africa end the autumn Test series in Cardiff on Saturday in a match that, because it is outside the official window, is called a fourth international. In this case, it could refer to players who are not first or second or even third choice getting an outing with both sides badly disrupted by injury and unavailability.Only seven of the two starting lineups from the match between the sides a year ago remain, four in the red of Wales who have 313 of the team’s 451 caps: Leigh Halfpenny, Dan Biggar, Alun Wyn Jones and Taulupe Faletau. The South Africa captain, Eben Etzebeth, the only Springbok starter who has passed 50 caps, is one of their three survivors. 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Mike Pence to stop North Korea ‘hijacking’ Winter Olympics, aide says

first_img Read more “We are seeing unprecedented level of international cooperation on the maximum pressure strategy targeting the Kim [Jong-un] regime, and the vice-president will make clear that this maximum pressure campaign will only intensify.”Axios quoted another unidentified government source as saying: “North Korea wants to make this about cute photo ops. The vice-president is countering North Korea’s desire to control the message. “We’re not going to cede two weeks of world media to North Korea.”In January, Trump spoke approvingly of the Olympic rapprochement, for which he appeared to take credit.He said: “A lot of people have said and a lot of people have written that without my rhetoric and without my tough stance – and it’s not just a stance, I mean this is what has to be done – that they wouldn’t be talking about Olympics, they wouldn’t be talking right now.” Share on LinkedIn Winter Olympics 2018 Share via Email Read more Topics Winter Olympics North Korea criticises Trump’s ‘sinister’ State of the Union address Support The Guardian Trump takes credit for Olympics talks between North and South Korea North Korea South Korea Since you’re here… The vice-president, Mike Pence, will stop North Korea “hijacking” the Winter Olympics, an aide said on Sunday, by using his own presence at the Games to remind the world “everything the North Koreans do at the Olympics is a charade to cover up the fact that they are the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet”. Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter news US foreign policy Asia Pacific Such rhetoric contrasts with recent diplomatic exchanges between North and South Korea. The two countries will march under one flag at the Games, which begin in Pyeongchang on Friday. They will also field a joint women’s ice hockey team.Diplomacy around the Games has been hailed as a success, at odds with confrontational and inflammatory rhetoric from the White House and Pyongyang since Donald Trump became president last year.Kim Jong-un’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon deliverable to US soil has fuelled tension, as have Trump’s aggressive speeches and tweets on the subject. Last month, a false alarm of an incoming ballistic missile spread panic in Hawaii.Trump, who has repeatedly threatened military action, criticised North Korea in his State of the Union speech to Congress this week, at which a North Korean defector was a praised guest. A spokesperson for North Korea’s foreign ministry said on Sunday the speech reflected “the height of Trump-style arrogance, arbitrariness and self-conceit”.Pence is due to attend the Olympics opening ceremony and some early events, as part of an Asia tour.The Axios website quoted the unidentified aide to the vice-president as saying: “At every opportunity, the VP will point out the reality of the oppression in North Korea by a regime that has enslaved its people. We will not allow North Korea’s propaganda to hijack the messaging of the Olympics. Share on Pinterest … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Mike Pence Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can be the league’s top scorer, says Unai Emery

first_imgUnai Emery Share on Facebook Tottenham and Arsenal could face non-league opposition in FA Cup third round “I want him to continue improving, and his challenge is also collective and individual,” he said. “I want his challenge to be that he has the opportunity to be the best scorer in the Premier League. We want to help him achieve this and that is because, if he is scoring, he is helping us.”No player has matched Aubameyang’s top-flight total of 20 goals since he joined Arsenal from Borussia Dortmund on 31 January. He has been a spectacular success, especially given the sense that he has largely operated with his wings clipped. Although he played through the middle against Spurs and, the previous week, at Bournemouth, seven of his 12 league starts this season have come on the left wing rather than his favoured centre-forward role. It has raised questions about Arsenal’s best attacking balance but Emery believes his player can threaten from anywhere.“In his career he has played as a winger on the right, on the left and like a striker,” he said. “He [has] played with two strikers. I use with him in every position for us. And sometimes his best performance is starting the match on the bench and then playing 20 or 25 minutes. In the last two matches he has had a very big performance, working and scoring. Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Twitter “I want to say to him and also to everyone: ‘Don’t stop, continue with this commitment every match.’ It is also important that he takes confidence from matches like [Tottenham], not only from scoring but also from helping with pressing against them and [competing] well with the head against them. Now is the moment to say to him: ‘Don’t stop’.”Another player who will be vital to Arsenal’s hopes of a first Premier League win at Old Trafford since September 2006 is Lucas Torreira. The Uruguayan opened his goalscoring account for the club against Totenham and had already earned widespread praise for adding steel and tenacity to Arsenal’s midfield. Those qualities will be welcome against a United side that, according to José Mourinho, lacks “mad dogs”, and Torreira agrees that the “garra charrúa” fighting spirit of his homeland is fundamental to his style.“That’s something I carry inside of me,” he said. “That’s my way of playing and I try to bring that positive energy to the team. But the team is having a great moment all over.” Arsenal Share via Email news Topics Unai Emery wants Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to embrace the challenge of maintaining his hot streak to finish the season as the Premier League’s top goalscorer.Aubameyang leads the charts with 10 goals and, with an average of 104 minutes between each effort, comfortably claims the division’s best strike rate too. His latest contribution, scoring twice in the win over Tottenham on Sunday, ensured Arsenal go into Wednesday night’s match at Manchester United feeling buoyant and Emery is urging him to seize the opportunity to achieve on multiple fronts. Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content Share on WhatsApp Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: from ‘crazy kid’ to Arsenal’s cutting edge Read more Share on Messengerlast_img read more

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