England’s second ODI victory over Australia ‘wasn’t pretty’, says Joe Root

first_imgEngland cricket team Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content England beat Australia by four wickets in second ODI – as it happened Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest match reports Share on Facebook … 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. Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up Topics Ashes 2017-18 Australia sport Share on WhatsAppcenter_img Even given Australia’s duff selection, Mitchell Starc threatened to save them. Starting his last over in the 38th, with 45 to defend, Joe Root and Jos Buttler set and six wickets left, he found Buttler’s outside edge, then Moeen Ali’s middle stump, leaving England still needing 43.Chris Woakes ensured a smooth finale with a swift 39 not out, while Root added another measured red-inker (46 not out) to go with his unbeaten 91 at the MCG. “It wasn’t very pretty today,” he said. “There wasn’t a lot of finesse but it was about being there at the end and winning the game.”Jason Roy fell for only two after his 180 in Melbourne, yet England were still able to rattle Australia’s attack with Jonny Bairstow and Alex Hales combining for 117 off 112 balls to break the back of the chase. While Bairstow and Hales brought up their half-centuries in style – with a four and a six down the ground respectively – there was minor alarm when both fell in the space of 13 balls, turning 119 for one into 129 for three.It had looked like your typical Gabba ODI pitch: a sweat-stained white-shirt shade of mock concrete which, they say, offers something for bowlers early on. That “something” amounted to two deliveries in Woakes’s first over. David Warner and Aaron Finch then thrashed a half-century opening stand in under nine overs. However, Moeen’s introduction at the end of the power play, conceding only two singles off the 10th, got Eoin Morgan thinking. When Moeen had Warner (35) caught at slip it brought a change of tack. Read more Share on Messenger Morgan packed away the quicks. It might have gone against convention, like rummaging around for a pair of flip-flops for an English January morning, but there was enough to suggest the open-toed approach in usually hostile spin conditions was the way forward. Australia had dropped the leg-spinner Adam Zampa for the batsman Cameron White.Root ended up being the pick of the bowlers, taking two for 31 from seven overs on the bounce. He removed Steve Smith lbw then had Travis Head caught and bowled. Rarely has part-time off-spin from an English hand been treated with such fear. It ensured a boundary-less 55-ball period between the 15th and 24th overs that restricted Australia to 33 runs.Even with a second Finch ODI hundred in two games, which again involved time in the middle with Mitchell Marsh, Australia were unable to learn lessons from the MCG.Again, both fell in quick succession – this time in the space of five balls rather than 12. Marsh gave Adil Rashid the first of his two wickets when he was stumped off a big leg-spinner, before Finch went for 106 (one fewer than in the first ODI) becoming Liam Plunkett’s 100th ODI wicket.Everything Morgan and England tried came good. Woakes even used his football skills to catch Alex Carey off his line for an enterprising 27 on debut. That was the only threat of pushing Australia above par. Reaching for that big finish, the hosts lost six for 62 in the last 11 overs. Smith was in no mood for pleasantries: “270 is not good enough against a quality batting lineup like England,” he said. Since you’re here… The Ashes Share via Email Australia cricket team Read more England came into this series wanting to win in different ways. So after a dominant performance in the first one-day international, a nippier chase on an uncharacteristic Brisbane pitch is one to add to the portfolio. A four-wicket win with 34 balls remaining gave them a 2-0 lead in the series. This was only their second win in eight ODIs at this venue.Australia opted to bat first and drop their only spinner. So when England used three of their own, bowling their second-highest number of deliveries by spinners in an ODI in this country, the hosts knew something was not quite right. The pitch was more Chandigarh than Gabbatoir. Support The Guardian Cricketlast_img read more

Doncaster’s Matty Blair: ‘I’m privileged to have had my brother in my life for 28 years’

first_imgMatty Blair was out walking Bruce, his beagle, as he does every morning before training, in the rows of fields behind his house in Rossington in September when he suddenly fainted while chatting with friends. He remembers feeling hot and bothered, taking off his coat and letting his dog off the leash to play, although, after that, the Doncaster Rovers midfielder does not really recall how he ended up on the floor. Crucially, what happened that morning prompted him to seek help, three months into what he describes as the toughest season of his life after the heartbreak of losing his older brother, Ross. interviews Pinterest Read more Matty Blair smiles as his son, Archie, is cradled by the Doncaster midfielder’s brother Ross, who died in July 2017. Photograph: Matty Blair Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Facebook Facebook Share on Messenger “That was the eye-opener for everything else,” Blair says, admitting that, until then, he had neglected the impact Ross’s death had had on him personally, instead prioritising caring for his own family, including his father Andy, formerly of Aston Villa, and his baby son, Archie. Blair, in a classroom looking out over the Keepmoat Stadium, speaks so warmly about Ross, who died last July aged 32, and so openly about a summer that conjured up the cruellest of juxtapositions. Blair credits “mother’s instinct” for his mum, Dionne, ensuring his brother met Archie the day after he was born, as, a day later, Ross, who was diagnosed with a rare grade-four primitive neuroectodermal tumour (PNET) in February 2014, suffered a big seizure, one he never truly recovered from. That weekend he was taken to University hospital in Coventry before spending around six weeks at the Myton hospice in Warwick.“I feel as normal as I probably can feel, eight months into grieving,” the 28-year-old says. “I struggled to get out of bed in the morning, to get myself motivated. Running in training was a real slog; it was not coming naturally or anything like that. I felt a complete pudding, I felt completely out of it and very distant. I was giving the ball away – every footballer gives the ball away – but I was thinking about it that night, over and over again. I couldn’t get it out of my head.”On the morning he fainted, when his friends, the Boston United defender Liam Wakefield and his girlfriend, Sasha, stood over him, frantically asking if he was all right, he walked home as normal but his wife, Xanthe, stopped him from going into training. “She came up to me, grabbed my car keys out of my hands and said: ‘You are not going anywhere,’” he says. “I was going in, 100%, I was ready, dressed to go. I phoned the physio and my wife then actually took the phone off me and explained fully what had happened.” A visit to the club doctor followed, as did urine and blood tests, plus an MRI scan. Share on WhatsApp • Kudos to Phil Parkinson at Bolton Wanderers, an unfashionable contender for manager of the year. Hamstrung by transfer embargoes in recent seasons, they have not paid a fee in three years and sold their top scorer Gary Madine to Cardiff for £6m in January but, after a shock win over Aston Villa, they are six points clear of the drop with eight games remaining.• Tuesday marked another EFL “day of action” in which each of the 72 clubs came together to demonstrate the power football can have in changing young people’s lives, with different topics taking precedent up and down the country. In the south-west, Bristol Rovers’ youth disability team joined Darrell Clarke’s squad for training and lunch.• And Martin Allen’s back at Barnet, for a fifth time, and as unconventional as ever.center_img Pinterest Doncaster Rovers Twitter Jaap Stam has been axed by Reading. Photograph: Catherine Ivill – AMA/Getty Images Share via Email Share on Twitter Reading sack manager Jaap Stam after one win in last 18 league games Topics Football Share on Facebook Blair admits he felt “all over the place” and the day before Doncaster’s trip to Bradford City, his manager, Darren Ferguson, told him not to bother coming in for that weekend’s game. On the Monday, Ferguson called Blair into his office, informing him he would be taking a few weeks off, to go on holiday to completely shut off. Until flying to Spain 10 days later, he was still part of match-day squads, keen to have an impact off the bench, but while football has since proved a sanctuary and a welcome distraction, there was a mutual reluctance between Blair and the manager about him playing. It had dawned on him, he says, that he needed to adapt to life without Ross.“It was after the Charlton game, I spoke to James Coppinger because I had played 20 minutes yet I felt like I had played five straight games,” he says. “I was in the changing room at the end and I was completely drained. For me to play 20 minutes it should be easy; I should not even really feel it. He said for me to speak to somebody, so I spoke to my mum after that game and we organised for me to get some help.”Blair had counselling sessions until around Christmas. “It was a strange one because it was with a woman who bought my nan and grandad’s house,” he says, smiling. “My mum was brought up in the house that I was going to see my counsellor at, so just walking into the house alone was quite nice because I thought my mum was probably running up and down these stairs causing carnage. Straight away it felt like home, so it was not intimidating in any way. We spoke openly, freely, honestly. We cried, we laughed. You come out feeling free. It is not over, it is not a case of I have had a couple of counselling sessions and off I go but I am a lot stronger.”He touches on a “protection mode” he has discovered since becoming a father and insists that applies to Ross’s girls, Brooke and Texas, too. Blair also believes that mental health should be accommodated into the school curriculum, so that all generations form a basic understanding of a too-often taboo subject, emphasising that it is acceptable to feel down or low. What would Ross make of his brother now, talking with strength and honesty about coping with his death? “He would be proud as punch. He was very much you speak your mind and if you are not right then you speak up.“He was one of a kind in dealing with it. He had to go through everything but he just took it like it was a walk in the park. He was my hero. For 28 years, I am very privileged and lucky to have had him in my life. What he did for me, looking back now probably more than ever before, he has put me in a position where I can say: ‘Yeah, I am doing OK.’ He has been a massive part of that and without him in it I wouldn’t have half of the stuff I have got now.”Talking points• This time last year Reading were flying high in fourth but this season has been totally different. After one win in 18 Championship matches, Jaap Stam’s side sit three points above the relegation zone. They invested heavily in the summer, with another crack at the play-offs in mind, but for a team so stubborn last term they have been far too easy to beat. Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Frazer Clarke out of Anthony Joshua’s shadow to win Commonwealth gold

first_img Read more Commonwealth Games: medal table for Gold Coast 2018 Share on LinkedIn Accordingly, until Saturday Clarke has been known outside boxing circles as an extension of Anthony Joshua, introduced in every newspaper article, radio or TV interview as his sparring partner. But the super-heavyweight hit back with a title of his own as England’s boxers completed their most successful Commonwealth Games with six gold medals.“I do spar with Joshua but I’m no one’s sparring partner and never have been,” he said. “We work with and help each other. It does help me out but I help him out. Ask the man himself, he can ship them in from all over the world but nobody serves him better than I do. I hope people know me now and recognise me. I’m ‘Big Fraze’ from a little town, Burton-on-Trent, and if you don’t know me, then get to know me because you’re going to be seeing a lot more of me over the next few years.”As an introduction, it was as thunderous as some of the blows he landed on his India opponent, Satish Kumar, during a close fight, which the Englishman won with a unanimous points decision. The 26-year-old had the best of the first round but Kumar edged the second. Clarke ensured victory in the eyes of the judges with a flurry of good punches in the third round, landing a brutal right to the body before the referee paused the fight for him to have his shoelaces retied. At the final bell Kumar raised his arms aloft but the title was awarded to Clarke, his first major championship gold. Anthony Joshua news Australia sport Read more Share on Facebook After the medals were presented, Clarke was overwhelmed by emotion and lay down on the podium, memories of a tumultuous eight years in the British boxing programme in Sheffield flooding his mind. Twice he has been overlooked for selection at the Olympics, first in favour of Joshua, who won gold at London 2012, and again in 2016 when Joe Joyce went on to win silver, but Clarke believes he will be picked for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.“I’m just glad that I stuck with it,” he said. “There were times when I thought maybe this is not for me. I had the injuries, knock-backs, I’ve been pipped to the Olympics twice. When I sit back and think about it, I wasn’t ready. I could’ve competed at the Olympics. Could I have won gold in London? No. Could I have won gold in Rio? Maybe. But the right two lads got picked for the job and served our country very well.“My time will be in Tokyo. I believe everybody’s got an allotted time frame, I just took a bit longer, I’m a slow developer. I’m not perfect, far from it, but I’m getting there.”The other five golds for England started with Lisa Whiteside who defeated Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul in the women’s flyweight division, previously dominated by Nicola Adams. Galal Yafai, brother of WBA super-flyweight champion, Khalid, also won gold as did Sandy Ryan and Peter McGrail. The Sunderland fighter Pat McCormack beat NI’s Aidan Walsh in a unanimous points decision, fired to glory by watching twin brother Luke’s fight last Saturday. Luke, who is the younger twin by 45 minutes, had to settle for a bronze medal.Pat McCormack said: “All day I was fuming so I took it out on the Indian [Manoj Kumar, his semi-final opponent] and gave him a bit of a hiding.”McCormack said the success of the home nation fighters could be partially attributed to the influence of Joshua who trains at the GB boxing base in Sheffield. “We see AJ in the gym all the time,” he said. “He started on the squad we’re on. So he came to all these sort of tournaments. Starting from there to how big he is now shows anyone can do it. When he’s in the gym it’s good to look up to the heavyweight champion of the world. The man everyone’s talking about and he’s doing the same training as us.“I want the riches, the fame, the glory, everything. I don’t think I’ll be as big as him, but if I get a half or a quarter of that I’ll be happy.” Share on Pinterest Commonwealth Games 2018 Share on Messenger Boxingcenter_img Commonwealth Games Late call-up Lorraine Ugen anchors England to Commonwealth relay gold Topics … 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. The Observer At 6ft 3in and weighing more than 14st, Frazer Clarke is not accustomed to being in anyone’s shadow but when you train with the heavyweight champion of the world it is inevitable the brightest spotlight will be directed elsewhere. Share via Email Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Since you’re here… Support The Guardian Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Owen Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland in England’s Six Nations opener

first_imgShare on LinkedIn England rugby union team Topics … 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. Whether we are up close or further away, the Guardian brings our readers a global perspective on the most critical issues of our lifetimes – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. We believe complex stories need context in order for us to truly understand them. 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 via Email Owen Farrell Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Six Nations Ireland rugby union team Reuse this content Rugby union news Support The Guardian Share on Twitter Read more England call up Jonathan Joseph to Six Nations squad for Portugal trip Since you’re here… Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Owen Farrell has declared himself on course to lead England in their Six Nations opener in Ireland despite undergoing thumb surgery last weekend, handing Eddie Jones a major boost.Farrell had an operation on a thumb tendon Saturday, putting into question is participation against the defending champions in Dublin on 2 February. Over the weekend Jones said he was “cautiously optimistic” Farrell would face Ireland but the 27-year-old delivered a more bullish assessment at the Six Nations launch on Wednesday.In a further boost to Jones, he even expects to take part in England’s first rugby session at their training camp in Portugal, ensuring the disruption to their preparations is minimal. “It’s fine,” he said. “I’m hoping to train the end of this week so should be good. [I was] always told it would be quick. [It was] always was a short turnaround so should be fine. It’s not even a repair, a little thing done to my thumb tendon that releases a bit of pressure of it. [I’m] looking forward to the Six Nations, looking forward to the first game.“The hand is good. I had something small done to it on the weekend. I should be training towards the end of this week. It was a gradual thing and is something small.” When asked if he expected to play against Ireland, Farrell replied: “I’m confident, yes.”Jones is similarly positive over his captain’s fitness but it remains to be seen if Farrell remains at fly-half against Ireland or switches back to inside-centre with George Ford coming in at No10. Jones said: “I’m confident Owen’s going to play and we’ve got George there so we’re well stocked for number 10s at the moment.”Compared with 12 months ago, Jones has far fewer injury problems so close to the start of the tournament but his biggest concern is over Brad Shields, who has a side strain. He is believe to be touch and go to face Ireland. “We anticipate he will be training next week,” added Jones.Ireland’s head coach Joe Schmidt is confident Johnny Sexton will be fit to face England. Sexton has been sidelined with a knee injury but is expected to resume full training today/on Thursday. “He will train fully and we will then ramp up his training. Our expectation is that he will get through it without any problems. Johnny is confident and the medical staff are confident.”Wales however, have been far worse hit by injuries before their opening match against France on Friday week. Leigh Halfpenny is expected to out for at least the first two matches due to his ongoing concussion problems while the scrum-half Gareth Davies and the centre Scott Williams are major doubts to face France. Scotland meanwhile, will be without Hamish Watson for the entire tournament due to a broken hand.last_img read more

Lacazette out for up to six weeks

first_imgAlexandre Lacazette Arsenal confirm Lacazette out for up to six weeks with knee injury Stephen Darwin Last updated 1 year ago 22:10 2/13/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Alexandre Lacazette Arsenal Getty Images Arsenal Premier League The France international has struggled to hit top form in recent weeks and now faces a spell on the sidelines having undergone surgery Arsenal have confirmed that striker Alexandre Lacazette will be out of action for up to six weeks with a knee injury.The 26-year-old forward underwent surgery on Tuesday and is now expected to be out of action for at least a month as he recovers.A statement on the club’s official website read: “Striker Alex Lacazette had an arthroscopy on his left knee in London on Tuesday morning. 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 “The minor procedure was a success and he will now undergo a period of rehabilitation. It is envisaged that he will return to the squad within four to six weeks.”Lacazette initially impressed following his £46 million move from Lyon in the summer, scoring eight goals up to the beginning of December.He has, however, struggled to find the back of the net since then, with just one strike coming in the 4-1 win over Crystal Palace on January 20.And the Frenchman was further criticised following his brief cameo in the north London derby defeat to Tottenham, with Lacazette missing the target with two presentable chances towards the end of the game.That led manager Arsene Wenger into suggesting that the forward may have had his confidence knocked since the club-record arrival of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Dortmund.He said: “For him, one against one with the goalkeeper, he is a good goalscorer. He has gone through difficult periods before. He works hard in training, works on his finishing.”I don’t know what happened [with his second miss against Spurs], did he not touch the ball well? It can happen, it is a fraction of a second.”Maybe the confidence is not at its highest because he has seen a competitor coming in for him.”last_img read more

Allegri hits back at Juve critics

first_imgJuventus It’s crazy to think we’d beat Spurs 3-0 – Allegri hits back at Juve critics Dejan Kalinic 15:41 2/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juventus UEFA Champions League Juventus v Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur The Juve manager hit out at critics following the club’s dramatic 2-2 draw with Spurs on Tuesday Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri dismissed criticism of his team after their Champions League draw with Tottenham, saying it was “crazy” their opponents were being underestimated.Gonzalo Higuain scored an early brace in the first leg of the last-16 tie in Turin on Tuesday but missed a penalty late in the opening half.Harry Kane had already pulled a goal back for Spurs, who earned a 2-2 draw thanks to a Christian Eriksen strike in the second half. 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 Allegri, who expects Paulo Dybala and Blaise Matuidi back for the return leg, said expectations Juve would kill off the tie in Turin were misplaced.”Juventus play to win the Champions League but we are not the favourites to win it. And it’s impossible to reach the final every year,” he said.”We are doing our best and my players should be happy because they are having an amazing season. And I’m also happy for what they are doing. We know that we need to improve.”We still have a good chance to qualify in London, but it’s totally crazy to think that Juventus has to win 3-0 in the round of 16 in the Champions League.”It’s something that makes me crazy because you aren’t able to analyse how good teams are in the Champions League. I cannot accept that people think this 2-2 result against Tottenham can make us depressed.”Triplice fischio all’Allianz Stadium: 2-2 nell’andata degli Ottavi tra Juve e @SpursOfficial, alla doppietta di @G_Higuain rispondono Kane ed Eriksen.#JuveTOT #UCL #TOGETHER pic.twitter.com/0BWkBHDcux— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) February 13, 2018Juve have been runners-up in two of the past three Champions Leagues, but have work to do against Tottenham.Allegri said his side were never favourites against Spurs as he prepares for a “final” in the second leg at Wembley next month.”We had a 50 per cent chance before and we still have 50 per cent. Tottenham are amazing,” he said.”Anyway, football is weird because [Gianluigi] Buffon saved us at 2-0, then we had the chance to go ahead 3-0. We didn’t, then they scored for 2-1. After that we had the chance for 3-1 with the penalty but Higuain missed it.”We knew that it was going to be a difficult match. We are facing Tottenham in the Champions League, a really physical and technical team.”Now, in London it will be a final and we will have to fight to go through.”last_img read more

Spalleti: Inter players deserve CL spot

first_imgInternazionale Inter players deserve Champions League football, insists Spalletti Joe Wright 23:37 5/19/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) rafinha mauro icardi - cropped Getty Images Internazionale Lazio v Internazionale Lazio Serie A A victory over Lazio is required to claim a top four place, but the club’s manager feels his side are worthy after showing resilience this season Luciano Spalletti thinks Inter have earned to right to Champions League football as they prepare for Sunday’s crucial Serie A showdown with Lazio.A win at the Stadio Olimpico will see Inter leapfrog Simone Inzaghi’s side into fourth place in the table, while any other result will hand the capital club the coveted spot.A run of eight games without a win in the middle of the season derailed Inter’s title challenge, but a return to Europe’s top competition for the first time since 2011-12 will largely make the season a success. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Spalletti does not think they necessarily deserve a top-four finish more than Lazio but he would consider it just reward for his players’ efforts this season.”No one can say who deserves it more,” he told a news conference. “We have hit the woodwork 13 times more than Lazio, and my team has been able to react at an important moment and put the league campaign back on track.”There are many aspects to take into consideration. I say that my players deserve it. I’ve seen so many matches where we deserved more.”Turning to the showdown, the manager outlined what his side needs to do in order to secure the three points needed to secure Champions League qualification. “Inter must be aggressive but without losing balance because Lazio are brilliant at playing directly with how they win the ball back and with their pace. We’ll have to be very alert to these situations.”Everything matters in matches such as this one: character, mental strength, balance, awareness of your own and the opponent’s abilities.”| #Spalletti: “For us, it’s vital that we make our extraordinary fans happy. In the end, they’re the most suitable people to offer judgements of our season. The fact that they’ve always turned up at San Siro is a sign of the good work that we’ve done.” #LazioInter pic.twitter.com/64mVthNbCQ— Inter (@Inter_en) May 19, 2018Regardless of Sunday’s result, Spalletti is confident Inter will not see their best players look to leave San Siro before next season.The 59-year-old is also feeling relaxed about his own future at the club.”The whole group knows they can do great things together,” he said. “Inter can achieve things and make the fans truly happy. Nobody wants to leave.”I really enjoy being here at Inter, I’m totally focused on what we’re doing. My contract is absolutely not an issue.”last_img read more

Spalletti: Sales need to sign Rafinha and Cancelo

first_imgTransfers Spalletti admits Inter must sell to secure Rafinha and Cancelo transfers Jamie Smith 01:51 5/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Rafinha Joao Cancelo Inter Getty Transfers Internazionale Serie A The Inter boss told reporters the club wants to make their loan deals permanent, but need to shrink the squad to free up funds to do so Luciano Spalletti admitted Inter will need to shrink the size of their squad this summer before the club can pursue permanent deals for loan duo Rafinha and Joao Cancelo, while also throwing doubt onto Mauro Icardi’s future at the club.Cancelo joined in August from Valencia while Rafinha came in during the winter from Barcelona, with both playing important parts in Inter’s fourth-place finish this season.However, while each player has a €35 million trigger in their loan deals to make the moves permanent, Spalletti conceded it will require the club to make sales in order to free up funds to make those deals happen. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now “At the moment, Inter don’t have the chance to pay Valencia and Barcelona to buy Cancelo and Rafinha,” Spalletti told reporters. The club’s transfer situation is further clouded by questions over the future of captain Mauro Icardi, as the striker is a reported target for both Chelsea and Real Madrid.”It depends what he wants, keeping those who don’t want to stay is difficult,” Spalletti replied when asked about the talismanic forward.”That’s not the case with him, but I can’t sit here and tell you he won’t make a request, it depends what happens in the transfer market.”A professional can consider a different experience. Clearly, if important players leave it reduces your chances to grow, if other important players don’t arrive.”Questions do not only surround Inter’s players but Spalletti himself, as the experienced coach was expected to announce a new three-year deal at a news conference on Thursday.But Spalletti, who saw his side secure Champions League football with a dramatic last-day win away at 10-man Lazio, instead revealed he is happy with the current situation and is yet to pen an extension.| #Spalletti : “I thank the club for having given me the chance to experience this with these colours which I think suit me. I thank my staff, there was a lot of work to do.” #InterIsHere pic.twitter.com/oPRg4pudhR — Inter (@Inter_en) May 24, 2018 “I have a contract at Inter and I’m very happy,” Spalletti added. “For me, nothing would have changed had we not made the Champions League.”When you’re here, you realise that you don’t just sign to guarantee your salary. There’s no rush to sign the contract.”We want to continue to reduce the gap between ourselves and the sides ahead of us. We’ve already done a lot in this regard. If you look, the statistics on the team’s growth are encouraging.”The club has already started to move in a good way but we have to respect the financial side. Football has changed. Before the end of the month, we’ll have to look at the books and strengthen the club, just like everyone does.”last_img read more

TOUCH FOOTBALL AUSTRALIA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING POSTPONED

first_imgIt is with regret that we advise that the Touch Football Australia (TFA) Annual General Meeting scheduled for the 10 November 2007, has been postponed until further notice.Due to the requirements of the Australian Capital Territory Incorporations Act, TFA will be unable to continue with the meeting.  There has been a dramatic change in the scope of the organisation and it is imperative that under the direction of the new Chief Executive Officer and Board of Management that all matters are checked with due diligence.  Whilst it is unfortunate that this issue has delayed the process, it is also important that the reports are accurate.  TFA ask for your support and understanding as members of the Touch Football community.last_img read more

2012 Queensland Junior State Cup Results

first_img180 teams from across Queensland took to the fields at Hervey Bay Sports Complex last weekend to compete in the 2012 Queensland Junior State Cup. The Gold Coast was rewarded for its strong performances on the field, winning the Eggers Moles affiliate championship, making three of the 10 finals at the event. At the event it was also announced that Hervey Bay will host the championships for the next five years. Congratulations to the following teams on their respective wins at the event:10’s Girls Caboolture 2 defeated Toowoomba 1 Player of the Final – Chloe Sawtell (Caboolture)10’s Boys Palm Beach 2 defeated Redlands 1Player of the Final – Branden Taylor (Palm Beach)12’s GirlsBrisbane Metropolitan 3 defeated Gold Coast 2Player of the Final – Shante Phillips (Brisbane Metropolitan)12’s BoysIpswich 7 defeated Gold Coast 1Player of the Final – Paul Karaitiana (Ipswich)14’s GirlsRedlands 3 defeated Toowoomba 2Player of the Final – Jo Miller (Redlands)14’s BoysGold Coast 5 defeated Ipswich 2Player of the Final – AJ Brimson (Gold Coast)16’s Girls Rockhampton 3 defeated Ipswich/First Contact 2Player of the Final – Tamika Upton (Rockhampton)16’s BoysRedlands 5 defeated Ipswich 4Player of the Final – Corey Russell (Redlands)18’s GirlsCaboolture 5 defeated Toowoomba 1Player of the Final – Paige Parker (Caboolture)18’s Boys BMTA/First Contact 7 defeated Labrador 2Player of the Final – Ash Taylor (BMTA/First Contact)Related LinksJunior State Cuplast_img read more

10 months agoMan Utd boss Solskjaer: It’s on Alexis & Lukaku to win starting spot

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Man Utd boss Solskjaer: It’s on Alexis & Lukaku to win starting spotby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez must take it upon themselves to break into his starting line-up.Both players have struggled this season, with just ten goals between them in all competitions.Another United star, Paul Pogba, has returned to form under Solskjaer in his first two matches in charge. But the Norwegian says the improvement of his players is down to their own desire.”I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch. Paul has done it himself. The players have done the performances,” Solskjaer said ahead of United’s match against Bournemouth.”I’m here to help them, guide them on the path, and then it’s up to them to do it on the pitch.”I don’t agree I’ve done that with Paul, and I can do that with Romelu and Alexis. It’s up to them when they get a chance. That’s the name of the game when you’re a footballer. You’ve got to do it yourself.”Yes you want help from your manager and your team-mates. I give them some guidelines. There’s been loads of talk about freedom of expression, but that’s how I’ve always been as a manager.”You can’t tell all the players what to do. They are here for a reason – they are good players. It’s up to them to use their imagination, creativity and enjoy playing for this club, because that is the best time of your life. It’s not a bad time being a manager either, for a little while.” last_img read more

16 days agoHearts manager Levein delighted with Man City winger Ryotaro Meshino

first_imgHearts manager Levein delighted with Man City winger Ryotaro Meshinoby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City winger Ryotaro Meshino is impressing on-loan at Hearts.Jambos boss Craig Levein says Meshino has been influential in the dressing room despite the many learning curves he is undertaking.“He isn’t fluent in English but he is taking lessons three times a week and that has improved,” Levein told The Scotsman.“The boys are teaching him a few words in the dressing room that maybe they shouldn’t be teaching him but he is a bubbly wee character. I think that will help him.“This is a fair change in culture, it’s a fair distance away from his home, it’s a different language. “Most foreign players who come to the UK, particularly from Japan, are very unlikely to be speaking fluent English. He’s got that to contend with, plus the football and the weather. He has been more to forefront in the dressing room that I would have thought.” TagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Video: NC State Football Released The Worst Rendition Of Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off” In History

first_imgA solo shot of Taylor Swift.BEVERLY HILLS, CA – JANUARY 06: Taylor Swift attends the InStyle And Warner Bros. Golden Globes After Party 2019 at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)Pop superstar Taylor Swift is going to be in Raleigh Tuesday night for the next stop on her 1989 World Tour. Apparently, NC State’s football team would appreciate if she stopped by to say hello while she’s in town. Unfortunately, that means that they produced the world’s worst “Shake It Off” parody video (and that’s saying something).There isn’t much else we can say to prepare you for this, so, here:Hey @TaylorSwift13 we did THIS to get you to come see us when you’re in town tomorrow! https://t.co/mSO3LoTHbY pic.twitter.com/h2apnYX26p— NC State Football (@PackFootball) June 8, 2015We somehow doubt that it’s going to persuade her to join them in their weight room.last_img read more

Details of messages Sala sent to friend emerge as search resumes

first_imgThe search and rescue operation that is attempting to find the missing plane that was carrying Emiliano Sala resumed on Wednesday, with Leganes forward Diego Rolan having revealed how the player reportedly contacted a friend prior to the disappearance.Sala, Cardiff City’s £15 million ($19m) record signing , was travelling to Wales on Monday evening having said his goodbyes to his Nantes team-mates prior to linking up with his new club on Tuesday.But the plane disappeared off radar off the coast of Guernsey in the English Channel between the UK and France, with efforts to find any trace of the aircraft having proved unsuccessful thus far . Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Guernsey police confirmed on Wednesday morning that attempts to find the plane have now resumed and that a targeted area that “has the highest likelihood of finding anything” has been identified.They tweeted: “We have resumed searching. Two planes are taking off and will search a targeted area we believe has the highest likelihood of finding anything, based on review of the tides and weather since it went missing.”Coastal areas around Alderney and off-lying rocks and islands will also be searched from the air. Updates will be provided once information is available.”This follows revelations from Leganes player and Uruguay international Rolan, who claims that Sala contacted a friend prior to the plane going missing, suggesting that the 28-year-old had predicted that he was going to be in difficulty.Emiliano Sala Cardiff City“I’ve had several private flights on that type of aircraft, you always have that fear, but no one ever expects that situation,” Rolan told  Radio 1010 AM .”I received a message that Emiliano had sent to one of his friends in Argentina and I was very scared by everything that’s happened. I am in shock. Before he had left he predicted everything that happened and sent it to a friend who was also very scared.”He told a friend that he was very scared about the plane and that if they could not find it, they would already know what happened. What he predicted is what happened.”Argentine publication Ole  have released what they claim to be the audio WhatsApp messages sent by Sala, revealing the Cardiff striker’s concern with the plane and the conditions he was travelling in.”Hello, little brothers, how are you crazy people? Brother, I’m really tired, I was here in Nantes doing things, things, things, things and things, and it never stops, it never stops, it never stops,” Sala reportedly said in a first recording.”I’m here on a plane that looks like it’s about to fall apart, and I’m going to Cardiff, crazy, tomorrow we already start, and in the afternoon we start training, boys, in my new team.”A later message, reportedly sent by Sala again, says:  “How are you guys, all good? If you do not have any more news from in an hour-and-a-half, I don’t know if they need to send someone to find me… I am getting scared!”Prior to suspending the search on Tuesday evening, Guernsey police released an update to suggest that the chances of finding survivors was now slim.Tu es plus qu’un joueur, @EmilianoSala1 . #PrayForSala pic.twitter.com/P5D9wtkoTK — FC Nantes (@FCNantes) January 22, 2019 They wrote on Twitter: “During the course of the 15-hour search, which used multiple air and sea assets from the Channel Islands, UK and France, a number of floating objects have been seen in the water. We have been unable to confirm whether any of these are from the missing aircraft.”We have found no signs of those on board. If they did land on the water, the chances of survival are at this stage, unfortunately, slim.”Cardiff released a statement  on Tuesday from club CEO Ken Choo, who said the club were “praying for positive news”, with Nantes also expressing their concern at the situation .Supporters of Sala’s former club Nantes held a vigil in the city on Tuesday evening, gathering at the Place Royale to lay yellow tulips at the foot of the fountain as they prayed for positive news over the player’s disappearance. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

‘Suarez will be a squad player at Arsenal’

first_imgDenis Suarez may be little more than “a squad player” at Arsenal, says Alan Smith, with business during the January window doing little to inspire confidence.Unai Emery had made no secret of the fact that there would not be much movement in north London.He was, however, linked with a number of players heading towards the deadline. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? In the end, only one deal got over the line, with Spain international midfielder Suarez taken from Barcelona on loan until the end of the season.That agreement includes a summer purchase option, but former Gunners striker Smith is not convinced that the 25-year-old will make much of an impact.He told Sky Sports: “Arsenal fans would have loved to have seen a little bit more business, but they did manage to bring in Denis Suarez.“How much will he play though as you imagine he may be a bit of a squad player?“Unai Emery knows him from Sevilla, he is versatile, while another young lad in Smith Rowe has gone out to Germany to get some game time.“I do not think Emery would have given up on him and it will be good for his education, so hopefully he can come back a better player.”Emile Smith Rowe Arsenal 2018-19Emile Smith Rowe moved out on Emirates Stadium on deadline day as Suarez arrived.He has linked up with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on a short-term loan.A spell in Germany is intended to aid the development of an exciting 18-year-old talent.Arsenal have already seen Reiss Nelson flourish after making a similar switch to Hoffenheim.England U19 international Smith Rowe will now get the chance to follow in those footsteps and stake a claim to more regular minutes upon his return to his parent club.Suarez, meanwhile, will be looking to hit the ground running and prove that he can cut it in the Premier League.If he is handed an immediate bow by Emery, then he will get a baptism of fire on Sunday away at reigning champions Manchester City.last_img read more

Hudson-Odoi set to sign £100k-a-week Chelsea contract

first_imgCallum Hudson-Odoi will sign a new five-year deal at Chelsea to end any doubts he is set to leave the club this summer following interest from the likes of Bayern Munich and Manchester United.Chelsea had previously appeared close to losing the 18-year-old after Hudson-Odoi handed in a transfer request in January when he had just 18 months remaining on his contract.Bayern saw a £35 million ($44m) offer for Hudson-Odoi rejected by Chelsea and have retained an interest in the teenage winger. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? However, Goal understands Hudson-Odoi’s progress in Chelsea’s first team during the second half of the season has helped to convince him to stay at Stamford Bridge, having sat on contract offers dating back as far as last summer.His representatives had not reopened talks regarding a new deal since before January, but Goal recently reported that he has been increasingly keen to stay with the Europa League winners.He could now earn as much as £100,000 a week in his new contract after his value skyrocketed following his impressive performances for Chelsea, in addition to winning his first caps for England.Hudson-Odoi was, at times, frustrated during the past season under manager Maurizio Sarri, who looks set to depart Stamford Bridge for Juventus in the near future.The London-born wonderkid did not make his first Premier League start for Chelsea until after he had made his England debut against Czech Republic in March.Callum Hudson-Odoi England 2019However, after then starting four Premier League games in a row, Hudson-Odoi saw his season ended prematurely after he ruptured his Achilles tendon in a 2-2 home draw with Burnley.Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund had all scouted or discussed a move for the youngster at various points, with the latter asking for Hudson-Odoi to be included in a swap deal for Christian Pulisic before accepting a £57.6m offer in January to sell their U.S. national team winger.Bayern had showed the most serious interest in Hudson-Odoi, but will now likely have to look elsewhere for high-profile summer signings as the teenager prepares to commit his future to Chelsea.With Eden Hazard looking set to depart for Real Madrid in a deal which could be worth in excess of £100m, Chelsea have been determined to keep hold of their other wingers.Hudson-Odoi is keen to take his favoured number 10 shirt from Hazard, having been offered it by Bayern as part of their talks for a deal.Ruben Loftus-Cheek, meanwhile, is also in talks over a contract renewal as he continues his recovery from a similar Achilles injury to the one suffered by Hudson-Odoi. Both players are likely to be out for a total of six months, but that has not affected Chelsea’s eagerness to renew the pair’s contracts.last_img read more

Inter sign Politano on full-time basis

first_imgInter have confirmed that they have signed Matteo Politano on a permanent basis from Sassuolo after exercising the purchase option on his loan.The 25-year-old made 36 appearances in Serie A for the Nerazzurri last season, netting five league goals as they finished fourth to qualify for the Champions League, beating out rivals Milan by a single point.Having fully established himself as a core member under Luciano Spalletti, the club – now coached by former Chelsea man Antonio Conte – have reportedly paid €20m (£17.8/$22.6m) to seal his services full-time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Coming through the ranks at Roma as a youth, Politano made his senior debut for Perugia in 2012 on loan from the Giallorossi before moving to Pescara.Two seasons of eye-catching performances in Serie B brought him to Sassulo for three years, where he was rewarded with a senior call-up in 2018, making his debut in May last year in a friendly against Saudi Arabia.Inter subsequently brought him to San Siro on a one-year loan deal with an option to buy, which the club activated following his string of key performances.He scored his first goal for the club in a 2-0 win over Cagliari last September and went on to net against Genoa, Fiorentina, SPAL and Chievo, as well as netting his first international goal against the USMNT in November.Politano featured in all six of his side’s Champions League games last season as they finished third in Group B behind Barcelona and eventual finalists Tottenham.He also played in all four of their Europa League matches as they suffered a round-of-16 knockout at the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt.Inter also announced on Wednesday the signing of Eddie Salcedo from Genoa on a permanent basis after he too spent last season on loan with the club.The 17-year-old is yet to make a senior breakthrough but has become a key member of Italy’s under-19 team since last year.Goalkeeper Andrei Radu meanwhile is expected to go the other way after a temporary spell at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.Inter head to Asia next month to take part in the International Champions Cup, when they face Manchester United in Singapore and old rivals Juventus in China.last_img read more

Former FIFA world champion Gorilla joins new team

first_imgNew signings tend to happen at the beginning of a season not the end, but perhaps the biggest signing of the competitive FIFA season has gone through days before the FIFA Global Series Play-offs as Spencer “Gorilla” Ealing has announced he has signed for Stark Esports.Gorilla has become the latest FIFA player to join Stark Esports, a consultant agency focused on gaming and esports based in Germany.This could be considered the biggest signing for the German agency yet, even though they already represent many professional FIFA players, including Michael “Megabit” Bittner, Mohammed “MoAuba” Harkous, Benedikt “SaZz0r” Saltzer and Phillip “Eisvogel” Schermer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Gorilla became the face of FIFA esports in 2017 when he won the FIFA Interactive World Cup and took home $200,000. The same year, he was named the UK Esports Player of the Year at the Esports Industry Awards.It’s been a long time coming… Can’t wait to start my journey with STARK! https://t.co/cuwqP2LwE1— Spencer (@Huge_Gorilla) July 1, 2019After his first esports team – Unilad – entered administration, Gorilla joined FaZe Clan where he was soon joined by fellow FIFA pro Tassal ‘Faze Tass’ Rushan. However, with less than a season under his belt, Gorilla left the established esports organisation and has spent the majority of this season without a team.The Englishman has struggled during the current FIFA 19 Global Series, failing to win a single tournament this season, which is disappointing considering his high standards.Now, finally with the backing of an organisation again, he heads into the Xbox FIFA Global Series Xbox Play-offs with hopes of breaking into the top 16 and qualifying for the biggest tournament of the year –  the FIFA eWorld Cup.Currently sat in 26th with 1,323 points, the former world champion has a large mountain to climb but has shown in the past that he will perform when it matters most. And, judging from his statement on the signing, Gorilla is not lacking in motivation either.He said: “I am incredibly proud to be part of STARK and to continue my journey with them. Exciting projects are coming up! I will fight hard to achieve my goals – this starts in the upcoming weekend when I will compete at the Global Series Play-offs in Hamburg. All or nothing!”last_img read more

Vegas Computer’s Early Score Predictions For Week 4’s Biggest Games

first_imgStanford's football team huddled up on the field next to a PAC-12 logo.PALO ALTO, CA – NOVEMBER 07: The Stanford Cardinal huddle in the first half while taking on the Oregon Ducks at Stanford Stadium on November 7, 2013 in Palo Alto, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)Week 4 of the college football season is on the horizon. This is when you start to see conference title chases begin to take shape.There are some really intriguing matchups coming up this week, including a major Pac-12 showdown, two big SEC games and the return of Urban Meyer for Ohio State.OddsShark’s computer has released its predictions for Week 4.Here’s what it is saying for the biggest games.You can view all of OddsShark’s predictions here.last_img read more