His passion for the game of football is no secret, but India’s cricket captain Virat Kohli wants to go further with his love for the beautiful game and wishes to involve himself on a larger scale in improving the standard of the game in India post-retirement.Co-owner of FC Goa in the Indian Super League, Kohli feels the game has a lot of potential in the country and can actually reach the next level. And he wants to help in this endeavour once he hangs his boots.”Football has always intrigued me. I love it. I see myself being involved more, and at a larger scale. Football has huge potential in India and I want to see it grow to a great level. That would be amazing,” he told FIFA.com.With the number of countries in the 2026 edition of the World Cup increased to 48, quite a few teams will be looking to make it to the showpiece event. And Kohli believes the day isn’t far when the Indians will also be playing in the football World Cup.”Honestly, not far off. We have improved drastically in our football over the last three-four years. With new talent coming in to make the difference, and our skipper Sunil Chhetri leading the team with amazing composure and inspiration, I see us qualifying very soon for the World Cup,” he said.The cricket captain feels it is a shame that someone as talented as Chhetri hasn’t been able to play on the greatest stage.advertisement”It’s a sad fact to realise, especially after all that he’s done for the nation. If anyone deserves it, it’s him. And the team should rally behind that motivation and qualify, and dedicate it to him. He’s an absolute champion and an inspirational human being,” the batsman said.Also Read | Virat Kohli gives his verdict on Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi debateAlso See:
THERE’S THAT KID’S TURKEY LEG! RT @JWilOKC: From the BPS field post #Bedlam: pic.twitter.com/RvYf577qFO— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 7, 2013But let’s not act like there was a murder committed.This is incorrect. No beer bottles on field. Also don’t sell beer at BPS. “@DeanBlevins: Some fans throw beer bottles at players”— Adam Minihan (@minihan8) December 7, 2013And as OSU fans let’s not act like this is shocking. Kids gonna kids — especially after a super emotional loss. Everybody just needs to step back a little bit and appreciate the hilarity of that turkey leg begin on the field, hopefully courtesy of this guy:8. Has an OSU QB ever suffered two more brutal losses at the hands of OU than Clint Chelf? I know he wasn’t elite today but he was spectacular on that final drive (sort of the inverse of 2012, actually) and I thought he’d cemented his legacy in Oklahoma State history. Alas, it was the defense, THIS defense, that couldn’t shut the door at the end.Pending the bowl I’ll remember Chelf as a good, certainly not great, QB who showed me two things:1. This offense doesn’t need an elite QB for this team to be elite.2. What the epitome of a college athlete looks like.Hope he’s had as much fun as we have.9. John Saunders opened the postgame on ABC by saying “that was a $6 million loss for Oklahoma State!” [Jesse Palmer shakes his head and straightens his skinny tie, pistolsguy wants to die].We were then gently reminded by OU’s compliance department about how costly this L was for Gundy and Co.So that was all kinds of fun.I don’t know what this loss means for OSU’s bowl chances. I think it probably ends up in the Cotton Bowl somehow even though I didn’t think that was possible last week. It’s also amazing that OU is probably going to a BCS game. You OU fans just keep clamoring for him to get canned. No, really, keep clamoring.I’d take a Big 12 title over everything but I’m going to be extremely excited if we do, in fact, as CBS is predicting, get Lester in the Cotton. Ohhhh boy that’s going to be fun. There will be infinity GIFs.10. Not sure enough will get made of this but OSU going prevent for the final drive was disastrous. I know it hasn’t been in a close game since Kansas State but why do you neuter the conference’s best defense when it has a chance to win you the Big 12 title? If you’ve danced with that D all year, why not let it seal the deal? I’ll look back on that, maybe more than anything, as the decision that cost OSU the 2013 title.11. Speaking of defense, OU’s was spectacular, I thought. The goal line stands, the pick, and keeping OSU to four scores in 14 drives. That’s big-boy stuff and one huge reason OU walked out of BPS with another Bedlam.12. For a team that doesn’t consider OSU its rival, I sure saw a lot of “this is our all-time record against OSU” graphics on Twitter after the game. Just throwing that out there.13. This, my Oklahoma State friends, is true.10 and 2 and am pissed….weve come so far since oh my god the insight bowl!— wherever Dez Bryant plays next year fan (@Pokelahoma) December 7, 2013This is a fun place to be even if the wins mean less and the losses hurt more.Plus, as by buddy Quade pointed out, it’s pretty silly to let what a bunch of kids do with a football affect your Saturday beyond “man, that really sucked” for a few hours.I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog this year and that I’ve always conveyed that spirit — that this is fun and entertaining and not something in which identity should be found.Enjoy your Saturday night, I’ll have tons more coverage tomorrow.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! Photo Attribution: USATSIBOX SCOREI don’t know how else to say this so I’ll be forthright:Bob Stoops owns Mike Gundy.How else do you explain the winningest coach in the history of Oklahoma State having a worse winning percentage against OU than all of his predecessors combined?Somebody on Twitter said it quite well when he said that Stoops is the king of mediocre 10-2 seasons. He takes your jabs and your critiques and takes three QBs who couldn’t even play backup on 80 percent of his teams and goes out and beats an 11-point favorite in its own house with the Big 12 title on the line.OSU was clearly the better the team in Bedlam today. That was obvious from Desmond Roland’s first 74-yard run that was called back because of a penalty. And if you don’t believe me ask the guy dialing up fake field goals and running trick plays in a one-possession game.OU went 59 minutes and 41 seconds without a true offensive score before Blake Ball found Jalen Saunders in the northwest corner of Boone’s house for the dagger. A punt return, a fake FG, and two regular field goals kept OU hanging around until then.It wasn’t Sooner Magic but it sure felt like sleight of hand at the highest level.Not that OSU played all that great, either. Chelf had a pretty Chelf-y day — 19/35 for 202, one and one — but wasn’t himself until the final drive.Coincidentally that’s when it felt like the real game actually started. It all happened so fast. Stewart, Chuck, Tracy, Tracy, Desmond, Desmond, TD. Wait, there’s 1:46 left?Oh, that’s fine, we have the best defense in the Big 12 and OU’s on its third (or fourth, depending on how you look at it) QB. Wait, Glenn Spencer running prevent defense with a buck forty left in Bedlam? That sounds like the worst decision ever.It was. A couple of passes and a Justin Gilbert drop for the ages later and somehow OSU and OU ended 2013 with the exact same record.It wasn’t because of a specific playcall or even a botched timeout or personnel decision. It’s just an overall indictment of the two coaches.And I think I’ll OKC Dave take the ending:https://twitter.com/okc_dave/status/409421024766078976On to the rest of my thoughts…1. This was just utterly crushing. Partly because OSU was clearly better, partly because it was for the Big 12 title, and partly because time and time again the Cowboys could (and probably should) have put the game away. It was the most devastating Bedlam loss of the Gundy Era.Here’s my quick short list (and I know I shouldn’t have 2004 on there but I’ll leave it because Gundy was the OC):Most crushing Bedlam losses of Gundy Era, in order:1. 2013 (lost B12)2. 2012 (never trailed) 3. 2010 (lost B12)4. 2004 5. 2008— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 7, 20132. One thing that always gets blown way out of proportion on Twitter is the officiating. The refs were awful, yes, but when they’re that bad it’s almost impossible for them to favor one team.OU got some horrific spots and probably a pass interference or two that was missed. OSU got the block in the back and a couple of obvious holds (the Vine below being one) that didn’t go its way but let’s not act like either team actually got hosed.Also, the Gilbert pick wasn’t a pick but Gundy saying “I didn’t challenge it because I didn’t think I would win it” seems like the apex of arrogance as a coach. There are 25 seconds left, who cares, challenge it!3. One sneaky subplot of this game is that it wasn’t really that great until the fourth quarter. The first 45 minutes were marred by below average QB play, tons of penalties, and way too many punts for my liking.But man, that ending.It was a lot like the 2013 Masters in that regard. Boring, bad, boring, semi-boring, HOLY CRAP IS THIS REAL LIFE AM I WATCHING ACUTAL THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW WHERE DID THIS SPIRIT DREAM COME FROM?!So, there was that.4. The weirdest part of the game to me was how it never really felt in doubt as an OSU fan until OU finally took its first Bedlam lead in regulation since 2010 with 10 minutes left.Maybe I let my guard down or maybe I just wasn’t impressed by OU’s offense but I texted a friend in the third and said “I feel really confident about this game” even though OSU was only up 17-10 at the time.The other weird thing is that I think if Trevor Knight hadn’t gotten injured OSU probably would have won. The strange advantage you have of not having a QB is that you get to go to whoever gets hot in any given game. There’s no loyalty card. So you can go from Thompson to Bell and back to Thompson to Hunnicutt and back to Bell finally and nobody cares. Usually that doesn’t work but in a crazy game like this I guess it does.5. The two coaching decisions that left me most perplexed: Gundy not calling timeouts at the end of the first half with two minutes left as OU was trying to punch it in. It’s not like they’re going to come down to the gun with it — preserve some time so you can maybe get in field goal range before halftime.After the 99-yard drive that was heavy on the run OSU came back in the next drive and went pass-pass-pass-punt. Maybe something flipped and Yurcich was trying to exploit it but it was questionable at the time. To say the least.6. The cold made Desmond Roland look like he was trying to score Fat Guy Touchdowns all day instead of trying to score Mike Alstott touchdowns. He has to be one of the slowest RBs in OSU history. As somebody on Twitter said, he’s a patient runner because he kind of has to be.Also, I wasn’t at the game but you could tell how cold it was on the TV screen. You know how the Big 10 game comes on after GameDay and you accidentally watch 10 seconds of it because you forgot to change the channel and it looks like the cameras are frozen and everyone wants to die? That’s how today in Stillwater looked.7. I believe it was the northwest endzone portion of the stands that lost its collective mind at the end of the game — throwing stuff on the field (including the famous kid’s turkey leg!!) and I’m certainly not a proponent of this.
Just days after TCU head coach Gary Patterson deemed star wide receiver Josh Doctson “probable” for this weekend, he announced today that Doctson will now miss the remainder of the season.Doctson suffered a wrist injury in the contest in Stillwater last weekend after linebacker Jordan Burton dealt a blow from behind to finish off the play.Doctson was believed to be a Biletnikoff Award frontrunner who will now finish his TCU career as the Horned Frogs leader in receiving yards, and touchdown catches.(Update: 1:22pm) #WristGateStraight from Patterson: TCU WR Josh Doctson NOT out for the year. Patterson meant Doctson would be gone AFTER these next four games.— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 12, 2015 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!
This tweet got me thinking the other day about what the most perfect corporation-Big 12 school marriages would be. Which companies could proved the best synergistic experience to Big 12 schools by sponsoring them on their football jerseys. Obviously this is not how real business works (and team sponsors are not a thing at all), but it’s still July so you’ll have to forgive me for having a little fun.If we could pair Big 12 football teams with Fortune 500 companies and get these logos on their football jerseys, this is who we would pick.Baylor-Fannie Mae: The bubble has burst.OU-WalMart: Powerful, useful, impressive in size and ability to manufacture products/wins. But not cool. Not in any way. Actually quite boring and unexciting (to the tune of 10 wins/$10B every year … but still).West Virginia-Burlington Stores: I have no idea why, but this just fits.TCU-IBM: You’re not totally sure what they do or how they do it, but they seem to be unquestionably successful.Texas-Goldman Sachs: Still think they’re the best. Are clearly not the best. Every year is their year. No leadership. Got too high on the hog in times of excess and got housed when they weren’t looking.Oklahoma State-Southwest Airlines: I’m going to ignore their recent technology failure and go with their ability to think outside the box and perform differently from every other school. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. Never going to be Delta or American Airlines in terms of size but have a real ability to beat them some quarters/seasons.Iowa State-Honda: Not a U.S. Fortune 500 but Sam A. suggested this one, and for some reason it’s perfect. He said, “they’re just kind of out there” which is true. Also, lots of succeeding because of transfers/imports for both.Texas Tech-Disney: Always fun. Never Pixar.[1. I know Disney bought Pixar. Don’t @ me.]Kansas-Circuit City: I know this is not a Fortune 500 company either (or a company at all anymore). That’s sort of the point.Kansas State-Microsoft: Just a bunch of boring white guys who somehow created something incredibly impressive.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!
Juventus Juventus star Howedes ruled out for four weeks with thigh injury Guy Atkinson Last updated 2 years ago 23:59 24/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Twitter (@juventusfc) Juventus Serie A The Germany defender’s wait for his Juventus debut goes on after he was ruled out for up to a month with a muscle problem Juventus defender Benedikt Howedes will be out of action for four weeks after picking up a thigh injury in training on Thursday. The Germany international, who is yet to make his debut following his loan move from Schalke in August, has aggravated a previous injury in his left leg. Juventus 18/1 to win Champions League 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 A statement on Juve’s website read: “Initial examinations suggest it is a grade one-two strain and the estimated recovery time is around four weeks.”A more precise recovery time will be established in due course following daily monitoring of the player and further diagnostic tests.”The injury ruled Howedes out of Saturday’s 4-0 derby win over Torino.
UEFA Champions League Nainggolan: Roma were the better side against Chelsea Sacha Pisani Last updated 2 years ago 07:38 10/19/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images UEFA Champions League Chelsea v Roma Roma Chelsea The Belgian midfielder felt his side deserved more from their 3-3 draw with the Blues in Champions League action Radja Nainggolan believes Roma were superior to Chelsea in Wednesday’s six-goal thriller in the Champions League.Former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko scored twice as Roma rallied from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 with Premier League champions Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.Roma 10/3 to win Group C 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 Aleksandar Kolarov struck before half-time to give Roma some hope after David Luiz and Eden Hazard had put Chelsea in control against the Italian visitors, who were ahead with 20 minutes remaining thanks to Dzeko’s quick-fire double.Dzeko netted a stunning volley to equalise before Hazard ensured the points were shared in Group C, though Roma midfielder Nainggolan felt his side deserved more from their London trip.”I think we had a great performance and it was so strange to concede the equaliser for 3-3, as we felt that we were the better side,” Nainggolan told Mediaset Premium.”We should’ve hung on to the lead a bit longer. It’s a good point, nonetheless.”We’ve conceded a few too many unfortunate goals lately. We gave the ball away too easily, we can certainly do better in some things, but we created a lot and I thought we played much better than Chelsea.”We lost against Napoli, even if we could’ve equalised, so we tried to build on that second-half performance and attacked Chelsea from the start. I think we gave it our all and deserved the victory.”Belgian star Nainggolan — who turned down the chance to join Antonio Conte at Chelsea previously — added: “I’ve always been convinced of what I want. I think winning at Roma would be unforgettable. I stayed because I am happy here, I received a lot from this club and want to give back. I’ve rarely changed clubs in my life, so I don’t feel the need to move often.”
Poland 0 Mexico 1: Hosts struggle again as Lewandowski sits out Matt Dorman Last updated 2 years ago 05:42 11/14/17 Getty Images Mexico added to their encouraging draw with Belgium last week by comfortably accounting for a sub-par Poland. Poland fired a second successive blank in the absence of captain Robert Lewandowski as Mexico eased to a 1-0 friendly win in Gdansk on Monday.Adam Nawalka’s men piled on 13 goals over their final three World Cup qualifying matches but, with Lewandowski resting an injured thigh, were held to a 0-0 home draw by Uruguay on Friday.And further questions over the team’s attacking depth were raised by a second toothless display. 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 Raul Jimenez’s 13th minute goal proved the difference in a muted affair as both managers looked to experiment with their options for the World Cup.Poland had caught the eye in collecting eight wins from 10 in qualifying, but it was El Tri who finished the international window the happier of the two teams as they registered a first clean sheet in five matches.Se acabó el último partido del año ¡Victoria en campo ajeno para cerrar la gira por Europa!@Citibanamex presenta el Marcador Final:#SoyMéxico pic.twitter.com/3aC58ga8uI— Selección Nacional (@miseleccionmx) November 13, 2017Match-winner Jimenez spurned an early chance to open the scoring when he headed straight at Wojciech Szczesny from Jonathan dos Santos’ cross, but the striker made no mistake with his next opportunity.Javier Aquino’s dribble into the area ricocheted off a defender and broke kindly for the Benfica man, who lashed a thumping first-time strike into the top left corner.Poland saw a goalmouth scramble come to nothing on 20 minutes and were forced to wait until after the half-hour to create a clear sight on goal, only for Piotr Zielinski to spray his half-volley harmlessly over the bar.Jesus Corona was finally forced into his first real save shortly before the hour as Maciej Rybus attempted to sneak a low finish inside the near post.But it was Mexico who came closest to a second as substitute Oribe Peralta twice tried his luck, the misses ultimately mattering little in a comfortable victory for the visitors. read more
The NBA has been trying in vain for a number of year’s to ramp up interest in the All-Star game. But rather than a LeBron James dunk or Steph Curry three-pointer, the answer appears to have been found with the Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie, who strangled the national anthem half to death in the pre-game ceremonies.While most guest singers attempt to turn the Star-Spangled Banner into a rousing anthem, Fergie gave the song a sultry edge – with interesting results. Several of the players, most notably the Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green, appeared to be holding back laughter. Dime on UPROXX (@DimeUPROXX)Barkley: Can we talk about Fergie’s National Anthem… 😂 pic.twitter.com/RwZMYpLzsrFebruary 19, 2018 Since you’re here… Reuse this content Jemele Hill (@jemelehill)Draymond is all of us 😂😂😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/ClWCmY4tfhFebruary 19, 2018 Share on Messenger Share via Email Tthe hilarity went on for a while. When the game’s US broadcaster, TNT, cut to its halftime show, the panel was still chuckling. Charles Barkley commented: “I need a cigarette after that.” His fellow NBA Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal described the performance as “sexy” and “different”. Share on WhatsApp NBA Support The Guardian Topics On Monday, Fergie acknowledged the anthem wasn’t her finest work. “I’m a risk-taker, artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best,” she told TMZ.As for the game itself, Team LeBron beat Team Stephen 148-145. NBA commissioner Adam Silver said he was happy with the new format, in which two players draft their own roster. … 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. US sports news Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell)Players faces during Fergie’s rendition of the National Anthem… pic.twitter.com/QQ3VXaBchTFebruary 19, 2018 Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Roseanne Barr, who was panned for her own rendition of the anthem at a San Diego Padres game in the 1990s, gave her own opinion. “Who saw Fergie’s national anthem performance at the NBA All Star Game? I think mine was better lowkey,” wrote the comedian on Twitter. Ssome on Twitter thought Fergie’s inspirations for her rendition were Jessica Rabbit and Marilyn Monroe. Basketball Molly Knight (@molly_knight)I’ve seen the national anthem performed hundreds of times but never in the key of “Happy Birthday Mr. President” congrats @Fergie 🇺🇸💥🇺🇸💥February 19, 2018 Black Eyed Peas
news Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn Mesut Ozil Share on Twitter Unai Emery Share on Facebook Topics Share via Email Arsenal Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Share on Messenger Unai Emery has challenged Mesut Özil to become more dominant in Arsenal’s matches.It has not been the most serene period of Özil’s career and he has just experienced a quiet international break without involvement in Germany’s squad since his complex withdrawal from the scene. Emery is hoping for a fresh start for a player he wants to see relishing his opportunity to affect games for the club.“I want to find with him the possibility to do the best, to make decisive passes, to do more near and in the box to score,” the manager said. “He is working for the team to help us with his quality. But he is feeling like I am feeling. He can improve, he can do more. We will work, we will help him, give him the possibility on the pitch to be together, to find his qualities for us.”Questionable or quirk, the fact is Özil has never travelled to Newcastle in Arsenal colours since joining in 2013. Four visits have passed without him joining the squad for the journey to Tyneside.His appetite for away matches does come under scrutiny but Emery is keen to keep his group tight and ambitious. “I want to push them,” he said. “I want to be demanding to prepare for this match – Mesut the same.”Özil showed flashes in Arsenal’s last match, a narrow win at Cardiff, but Emery wants the levels to be cranked up.He suggested the 29-year-old playmaker had been in a positive frame of mind during the international break, even though it was strange to be outside that habit of representing his country.“He could feel different but every day with us I look at him and he looks well and happy, working with our demands,” added Emery.“He had a relaxing three days off at the weekend. Mesut works very well here. I look at him with the focus totally here. I have a very good relationship with Mesut and professionally I push him for improvements to give us the best in his qualities and performances.”
Share on Facebook The Fiver Facebook Twitter Pinterest Pinterest Read more Topics Any excuse, really. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Facebook One of countless (unless you can count to 11) Chelsea players who had a shocker, César Azpilicueta was also one of only a handful who had the good grace to look throughly ashamed of themselves in the wake of the shellacking. “It is one of the worst nights in my career,” wailed the Spaniard, who is known to his team-mates as ‘Dave’, in an homage to … erm, Rodney from Only Fools and Horses. “It’s very frustrating, it’s very disappointing. We have lost big games in the first minutes and we are conceding a lot of goals. We cannot accept that.”Despite not receiving his customary post-match handshake from a friend and opposite number who was presumably preoccupied with storming down the tunnel and violently kicking the Chelsea dressing-room door off its hinges, Pep Guardiola was quick to stick up for the man his side had just humiliated. “People don’t understand how difficult it is,” he clucked sympathetically. “I said many times, my first year was difficult too. Some moments we played good but not consistently. It needs time. It depends on the belief from the owners, the people who are in charge; they really need to believe in that.” After Sunday’s Sarri effort, all bets are off.LIVE ON BIG WEBSITEJoin Jacob Steinberg from 8pm GMT for hot MBM coverage of Wolves 2-2 Newcastle.QUOTE OF THE DAY“If we should have any regrets as Manchester United it is that we only gave David Moyes seven months. He would’ve grown into that role. From the club’s perspective we should never ever have dismissed him” – Peter Schmeichel is keen on the Manchester United director of football job, and has asserted his impeccable credentials once again. Moyes has since been sacked by Real Sociedad, Sunderland and West Ham. RECOMMENDED LISTENINGFootball Weekly is early and here.SUPPORT THE GUARDIANProducing the Guardian’s thoughtful, in-depth journalism [the stuff not normally found in this email, obviously – Fiver Ed] is expensive, but supporting us isn’t. If you value our journalism, please support us. In return we can hopefully arm you with the kind of knowledge that makes you sound slightly less uninformed during those hot reactive gegenpress chats you so enjoy. And if you think what we do is enjoyable [again, etc and so on – Fiver Ed], please help us keep coming back here to give you more of the same.FIVER LETTERS“Re: Noble Francis’s challenge about games in which nothing happened (Friday’s Fiver letters). I support Morton and my local team is now Southend United. So there” – Alistair Moffat.“Would anyone happen to have the xG stats from this classic?” – Matt Richman.“Fifteen years old standing on terracing at Ibrox in a thick Glasgow fog for a Pope’s O’Rangers v Motherwell Cup game. Only saw one player near our touchline: the young Ian St John facing off against a 6ft 6in centre-half, scooped the ball over his head and ran round him … only to disappear into the fog. Exiting the game fans were sifting rumours of the score, anywhere from 2-2 to Motherwell winning 5-2. St John, Pat Quinn, and Willie Hunter went on to sterling careers in English fitba’ and Glasgow brought in new laws curbing coal burning” – John McCrossan.“May I be one of 1,057 pedants to point out that in Friday’s Fiver you used a picture of David Seaman wearing the home goalkeeper kit when comparing to Pep Guardiola’s natty choice of knitwear, even though the text described Big Dave’s psychedelic kit worn in the semi-final of Euro 96 against Germany, which was the strange red number used with the away kit. I don’t why this bothered me enough to email you but it did” – Ben Williams (and one other).Send your letters to email@example.com. And you can always tweet The Fiver via @guardian_sport. Today’s winner of our letter o’the day is … Alistair Moffat, who wins a copy of You Can’t Win Anything With Kids: a History of the Premier League Told Through Quotes. Plenty more prizes to come.NEWS, BITS AND BOBSThe refugee Bahraini footballer Hakeem al-Araibi is set to return to Australia after Thai authorities withdrew an extradition case against him.Paul Scholes has finally been confirmed as Oldham manager, and owner Abdallah Lemsagam is pleased, noting that his man “has won everything there is to win in football”. The Fiver respectfully suggests he reacquaint himself with the wondrous feats of the Golden Generation™. Chelsea struggle with the long term and time looks nearly up for Sarri Share on LinkedIn José Mourinho is to host a football show on RT providing coverage of Big Cup.Un-brie-lievable scenes at what’s fast becoming the Fyre Festival of football stadiums.It may only be February, but for Georginio Wijnaldum, squeaky bum time started on Saturday. “In the morning I was still weak and had diarrhoea,” he parped. “The tablets helped a lot but even at half-time I had to run off quickly to get to the toilet. At half-time I thought: ‘Oh no’ but I ran inside and managed to control it.”And a man accused of dancing on an ambulance during World Cup celebrations will stand trial for criminal damage. James Elton, 27, is one of a group of people caught on camera climbing on the rapid response car after England’s victory over Sweden last July. Defending, Jim Sturman QC described his client’s dance moves as a “soft shoe shuffle” that would not have caused any harm.STILL WANT MORE?How bad is too bad? What level of defeat forces a club to change its long-term plans? Is there even a long-term plan at Chelsea? Jonathan Wilson has the answers.Ten Premier League talking points? Ten Premier League talking points!Rachel Brown-Finnis dissects the weekend’s WSL action, from Vivianne Miedema’s heroics to the emergence of Lauren James. Sid Lowe on Real Madrid.Andy Brassell on Dortmund’s latest collapse, which leaves them five points clear of Bayern in the Bundesliga. Dairy farmers, Milan’s new €35m boy Lucas Paquetá and a Flamengo tribute all feature in Paolo Bandini’s Serie A wrap.Nice have Ligue 1’s best keeper, which is just as well.Oh, and if it’s your thing … you can follow Big Website on Big Social FaceSpace. And INSTACHAT, TOO!ABSOLUTE BANGER Pinterest Twitter Facebook The scene at Boundary Park. Photograph: Christopher Thomond/The Guardian Ji So-yun showing Chelsea how it’s done. Photograph: Chelsea FC via Getty Images Twitter Share on Twitter Share via Email Football SARRI-VEDERCI?So fond of a cigarette he gets through three or four lighters a day, The Fiver shudders to imagine how many coffin-nails Maurizio Sarri sucked down to the butt as he subjected himself to the torment of re-watching that Chelsea horror show against Manchester City. Between the smoke billowing out of various facial apertures, the piping hot steam hissing out of his lug-holes and dense cloud of ash swirling around his head, old Maurizio will have resembled the 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull and his mood will have been similarly volcanic.Whether the shame into which his team spiralled at the Etihad will be enough to see him bounced out the Stamford Bridge door marked “Do One!” remains to be seen, although sacking a manager who famously needs time for his plan to come together would seem bonkers even by Roman Abramovich and Chelsea’s chaotic standards. “If the president calls, I’ll be happy, seeing as I never hear from him,” he said in the wake of Sunday’s game. “To be honest, I don’t know what to expect.” As Chelsea’s 11th permanent or semi-permanent manager in as many years, history suggests the Italian can expect to get his P45, a golden boot up the backside and see his name scribbled into the now customary statement in which Chelsea place on record “our gratitude for [insert binned manager’s name here]’s time as manager”. features Jonathan Wilson Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Reuse this content
Tadic’s numbers this season are staggering. He has been directly involved in 50 Ajax goals, scoring 32 and assisting 18. The Eredivisie may not be the Premier League but Tadic, in fairness to him, has scored six and set up another three in the Champions League, with four of his goals coming against Bayern Munich, Real and Benfica.Playing a for a new club in a new position, the Serb has been a revelation. “This is like a ‘fake striker,’” said Tadic, explaining his deployment as a false nine for Ajax. “I move everywhere, with a little bit of a free role, and I am very happy. But most important is the team, to try to help, and this team can do everything.” Show Read more Reuse this content Share on Twitter Champions League Share on WhatsApp Facebook Share on Messenger Matthijs de Ligt was the first Ajax player back out on the pitch in Turin, shortly after 11pm, and then his teammates followed. A 19-year-old captain leading the way in every sense, scoring the winning goal with a towering header and now orchestrating a second round of celebrations in front of the Ajax supporters located in the far corner of the Allianz Stadium. Ajax Tuesday 30 April: Tottenham v Ajax Wednesday 1 May: Barcelona v Liverpool Tuesday 7 May: Liverpool v Barcelona Wednesday 8 May: Ajax v TottenhamChampions League final to be played in Madrid on Saturday 1 June Twitter features Dusan Tadic shows his delight at beating Juventus. Photograph: James Marsh/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock Pinterest Hide Read more Was this helpful? Topics Share on LinkedIn Juventus The other regular starter in that older-age category is Lasse Schöne, who has been with Ajax since 2012 and will celebrate his 33rd birthday four days before the Champions League final. Converted to a holding midfielder over time, the Denmark international’s partnership with De Jong is another example of old and young working in tandem in this fascinating Ajax team.De Jong will be gone in the summer, when he joins Barcelona, and the reality is that a number of others will follow, including De Ligt and probably Hakim Ziyech, who at 26 is something of a rarity in this Ajax squad.“We aren’t talking about that [the team breaking up]. We still have three titles to go for and that’s what we’re focused on,” Schöne said. “We all know a team like this, the big clubs are going to come with a big bag of money. It’s difficult for the club and I don’t think we can have the same team next year. I hope we do, of course, but that’s the way it goes.”Ajax know money talks and accept their place in the financial pecking order, yet their results and performances in the Champions League this season, which started in the second qualifying round in the last week of July, serve as a reminder that games are not always won on balance sheets. Ambition burns fiercely on the pitch among a team who are daring to dream.“We play our football, it doesn’t matter who is our opponent,” Tadic said. “This is the feeling in our group – that we can hurt everyone.” Share via Email Share on Facebook ‘We are never satisfied’: De Ligt hails Ajax’s giantkillers A spotlight shines on Ajax’s youngsters for good reason. De Ligt (19), Donny van de Beek (21), Frenkie de Jong, David Neres (22) and André Onana (23) are exceptional talents. “Baby Ajax” gave Juventus a lesson was Gazzetta dello Sport’s take on the Italian champions’ 3-2 aggregate defeat, yet the influence and experience of a few older heads, in particular the two big signings the four-times European Cup winners made last summer, should not be overlooked.Daley Blind, who turned 29 last month, rejoined Ajax from Manchester United for a club-record fee of £14.1m. On the face of it, Blind would appear to be ideal captain material, yet he is the sort of player who leads through actions rather than words. De Ligt, his central-defensive partner and 10 years his junior, is far more comfortable wearing the armband than Blind. Together, however, they are an excellent pairing and there was much to admire about the calm maturity Blind brought to Ajax’s defending in Turin.The other major outlay – and a fee of £10m fits that description in Ajax’s world – went on Dusan Tadic. A penny for the thoughts of Southampton supporters every time they watch Tadic in an Ajax shirt. It is not that he was particularly poor during his four seasons with the Saints, more that no one would have had him down as a player who would run Real ragged and take the Champions League by storm at the age of 30. A little earlier, at the opposite end of the ground, a number of Juventus fans had stayed behind to applaud the Ajax players. All over the world people were doing likewise with praise and emojis on social media, from your regular football fan to World Cup winners. “Football, bravo,” tweeted France’s Antoine Griezmann.Ajax did not just beat Juventus in Turin, they totally outplayed them. The same thing happened against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu in the previous round. Two of European football’s heavyweights given a bloody nose by a team with a 30-year-old former Southampton player up front and a wage budget that would not look out of place at the top end of the Championship.Bold, fearless and exhilarating to watch, Ajax breezed into their first Champions League semi-final since 1997. “You could see Juventus were a little bit scared of us and so were Real Madrid,” said Erik ten Hag, the Ajax manager. “We were not favourites but with our philosophy we again exceeded our limits.” Share on Pinterest ‘Ajax, sensation of Europe’: Dutch and Italian press react to Turin triumph Quick guide Champions League semi-final fixtures Thank you for your feedback.
World Cup Alexis Sanchez, Sane & 26 stars watching the World Cup from home Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 19:30 6/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty World Cup England Spain Germany Brazil Belgium Netherlands Portugal Chile United States Wales France Sweden Italy Argentina Morata Karim Benzema David Luiz A. Sánchez Gareth Bale Anthony Martial Zlatan Ibrahimović Failure to qualify, untimely injuries and unfortunate snubs mean some of the finest talent on the planet will be absent from a Russian showpiece
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 Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move 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.
Touch West in collaboration with the Emirates Western Force will be launching the Super 14 Rugby season before the Western Force vs Otago Highlanders game this Friday 2nd February in Perth.In a strong commitment to promoting the Touch West – Be Active Members Equity Super League, grand finalists from the 2006/07 season Perth Brothers, Northern Districts & Southern Districts will all be playing games in both the men’s and women’s divisions before an expected packed house at Subiaco Oval.The joint initiative between Rugby WA and Touch West will showcase the game of touch to rugby enthusiasts in Perth whilst also promoting Western Force matches and Membership packages to Touch Football Australia members in the west.While the players may feel under pressure with the enormity of the crowd, some of the men and women in the middle and on the touchlines will feel right at home after their recent experience of officiating at the World Cup in South Africa. The match referees are Brendan Antrobus, Tony Arnel, and Grant Hill for the Men’s Open; and John Bedford, Annabelle Connolly and Chris Murray and Women’s Open. At the completion of the game players and referees involved in the Touch Football matches will be guests of the Western Force for the Australian kick-off for the much anticipated 2007 Super 14 season.
In this edition, read about the free Play By The Rules online training course, the Australian Sports Commission’s All Cultures webinars as well as information on having your say to prevent racism. To find out more about Play By The Rules, please visit their website:www.playbytherules.net.au To view the March e-Bulletin, please click on the attachment below.Related Filespbtr-ebulletin-march-2012-pdf
Barcelona icon Xavi happy for Modric after Ballon d’Or triumphby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona icon Xavi is happy for Luka Modric after his Ballon d’Or triumph.Not since Kaka in 2007 has another individual lifted the Ballon d’Or aside from Leo Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.”Maybe there were other players who could have won it in recent years and didn’t like Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta or [Wesley] Sneijder but it wasn’t to be for them,” Modric said.”Now people wanted something different and it is a victory for football so I’m very happy but this award is also for those players who probably deserved to win but didn’t.””It was very nice for me to hear that and the truth is that it is much appreciated,” Xavi told reporters in Qatar at the presentation of the Losail Stadium.”I’m happy that the award went to him, although I thought Messi would win it.”I would give it Messi every year obviously but it can’t be that way. I miss playing with him and everyone else at Barcelona.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Shaw says top four finish remains in Man Utd graspby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United fullback Luke Shaw says a top four finish remains in their grasp.United can still qualify for the Champions League after winning in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge, says Shaw.They are sixth in the Premier League, eight points behind Chelsea in fourth.”Of course we want the top four; we want to be playing in the Champions League next season,” Shaw said.”I don’t see why we can’t if we keep playing like that.”
Tottenham may allow Eriksen to run down contractby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham may allow Christian Eriksen to run down his contract.The Daily Mail says the Denmark international is locked in talks over an extension to his current deal that expires in 18 months time.Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has relaxed his rule with Eriksen of not allowing players to enter the final two years of their contract, given his importance to Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.Tottenham are exploring the financial viability of letting him enter the final year of his contract – thus risking losing the midfielder for nothing at the end of next season.The cost of signing a like-for-like replacement is likely to cost Tottenham well in excess of £50million, before taking into account a new signing’s wages.And the huge expenditure attached to trying to replace Eriksen means the club are not discounting the possibility of letting the 26-year-old enter the final year of his contract. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say