Tim Duffie on Players as Recruiters at Oklahoma State

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. When I chatted with Oklahoma State cornerbacks coach Tim Duffie on Monday, he brought up some interesting points about recruiting. Despite all the movement of signing dates and when you can talk to players (and when you can’t) and everything else that goes into recruiting at the Power 5 level, one thing has remained constant.Players are some of the most important recruiters you have, if not the most important.“It’s no different from any other job,” said Duffie. “If the guys you’re coaching don’t like it, it’s going to be hard to get guys in. Really create a culture — which I think we have here — where the players like it and bring guys in that are built on toughness and discipline — all the things they’re going to need in life.”I mentioned this on Wednesday, but while it’s easy to 🙄 at any mention of Cowboy Culture, it does matter when so many people can coalesce around anything, even more so a set of values that they all at least somewhat buy into.Culture matters in businesses. I don’t know why we act like football teams or sports organizations in general would be all that different. Or maybe it’s unfair to say *we* there … maybe I’m the only one who forgets that the 11-player units we watch on Saturdays are simply the end product of 200 people pulling in the same direction.“The one rule we have is not making a mistake to bring in somebody who doesn’t fit into the room,” said Duffie. “[The other players] do a good job telling me if they believe a guy wouldn’t be our cup of tea.”Duffie has scored some good ones over the last few years with the help of the ones he recruited before them. From A.J. Green and Rodarius Williams to Tanner McCalister and Jayveon Cardwell to two guys I heard being raved about on Monday in Xavier Player and Demarco Jones. Duffie might not get the biggest stars, but his guys develop and play. And help get more guys who develop and play.Here’s what Cardwell said about Duffie and his teammates before heading to OSU back in 2017.“All the coaching staff has a laid-back personality. I really enjoyed talking to Coach Duffie. I felt like I could trust him. He’s very respectful. He valued me as a player and treated me differently than I’ve been treated by other coaches. I just really enjoyed that, it was great.”“I’m in a group message with the Oklahoma State commits. We talk almost daily just about us being a dominant force for our school. I’m excited to get back up there and meet the new people.” [PFB]I asked Duffie on Monday who the best recruiter of his current crop of CBs is, and he sank into a bit of coach speak that I also actually believe based on what I know about the guys in his CB room.“I don’t have a bad one.”last_img read more

Class of 2022 Lineman Kelvin Banks Commits to OSU

first_imgOklahoma State picked up a huge win on the football field Saturday night, then a big win on the recruiting trail less than 24 hours later. Class of 2022 offensive line prospect Kelvin Banks Jr. committed to the Cowboys on Sunday afternoon, pledging his allegiance to the Pokes over offers from Texas, Arizona State, Florida State and Houston.Banks is a 6-foot-4, 285-pound recruit from Humble, Texas and Summer Creek High School — a mammoth prospect for just a sophomore. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. COMMITTED ‼️ pic.twitter.com/0da5FsEDL0— Kelvin (@Kelvinbanksjr12) September 29, 2019Banks is huge for OSU as it lays the foundation for the future of the program. The Cowboys don’t even have a commitment in the 2021 class yet, but already have Banks to build on for 2022. Getting him to commit early could certainly help in OSU’s early pursuit of skill talent in the class with five-star running back Raleek Brown and other blue-chippers at quarterback likely to emerge in the near future.last_img read more

Leading Media Outlets Cover the Story of New Maternal Mortality Estimates in a Big Way

first_imgPosted on April 14, 2010July 14, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)You may have seen our post on Monday that linked to the new maternal mortality estimates published in the Lancet.It is exciting to see that several leading media outlets (both print and online) are covering the new findings of dramatic reductions in global maternal mortality. With an “above the fold” front page story in the New York Times, coverage in the San Francisco Examiner, the Washington Post, and on Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog, it is clear that maternal health is gaining long-awaited attention.Staying true to our mandate to share important information as it happens and provide a neutral space for dialogue, we will continue to post links to coverage of this story–and please share your thoughts in the comments section of this post.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

‘Little sh*t’! Why Croatia fans have turned on Modric

first_imgCroatia ‘Little sh*t’! Why some Croatia fans have turned on Real Madrid idol Luka Modric Ante Buskulic & Ronan Murphy Last updated 1 year ago 15:23 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) croatia senegal - luka modric - 08062018 Goran Stanzl/Pixsell Croatia Croatia v Nigeria Nigeria World Cup The midfielder is popular with his club’s fans, but a recent trial in his homeland has turned him into a villain for the national team Luka Modric should be the star of the show for Croatia at the 2018 World Cup. The midfielder enters the tournament having won the Champions League for the third year in a row with Real Madrid. He’s a hugely popular figure in Spain, but fans of his national team do not hold the 32-year-old in the same high esteem.As a child during the Croatian War of Independence, Modric was forced to leave his home of Modrici, with his grandfather killed by Serbs who occupied the area. He was forced to live in a hotel in Zadar with other refugees, with his only comfort coming from playing football.A trial at Hajduk Split did not go well for the youngster, who was told he was too small and weak, forcing him to move once more, joining Dinamo Zagreb as a 16-year-old. A modest and humble player, he was initially greatly admired by peers, but Croatian supporters took their time to warm to him as they criticised him for not being attacking enough, preferring to pass the ball to the nearest team-mate or else backwards in order to keep possession. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar This was magnified when he lined out for Croatia, with fans expecting him to replicate his performances from Tottenham and then Real Madrid for the national side. It was not until 2015 or 2016 that he finally began to convince supporters, helping raise his own game and that of his team-mates in the trademark red and white shirt.However, in recent times Modric has again become unpopular with many fans in Croatia. The reason for this is the midfielder’s association with the controversial agent Zdravko Mamic – a man labelled by his critics as the ‘godfather of Croatian football’ due to his widespread power and influence throughout the game in the country.Even as a teenager, Modric was associated with Mamic, who owned the Mamic Soccer Agency (MSA). Mamic helped orchestrate Modric’s move to Dinamo, and sought to help the young players who had signed civil contracts with him by helping them financially in return for a percentage of their salaries if they had successful football careers.It was speculated that Modric, Eduardo da Silva, Dejan Lovren and many others had signed these contracts with MSA, but Mamic insists that he was risking his future because these players may never have become successful.”It was a business risk I took! You always speak about Modric and Eduardo, but what about those players I invested in and never got anything in return because they failed to make a career?” Mamic explained several years ago.Despite Mamic’s claims that he was acting in his clients’ interests, the whole story went public when Eduardo sued Mamic, claiming that the deal was like an owner-slave relationship if he was forced to give Mamic a percentage of his salary until the end of his career.Eduardo argued that he did not understand what he was agreeing to when he signed the contract as he did not understand Croatian fluently. He had arrived in Zagreb as a 15-year-old, with Mamic paying for his surgery and buying a house for the player and his family which later allowed Eduardo to qualify for Croatia through residency.The court favoured Mamic over Eduardo in the case, but the agent was forced to close down MSA after becoming director and executive president at Dinamo. He insisted that his son Mario Mamic would also return his agent’s license to FIFA and not become involved in the transfer of Dinamo players, but it later emerged that no such thing had happened.Mamic’s influence also spread to the Croatian FA, where he had an impact on the selection of national team coaches and the association’s presidential elections. However, it was his relationship with Dinamo and his involvement in their player sales that was ultimately called into question, with Mamic brought to trial to assess whether he made illegal personal profits.Many big-name players were called as witnesses for Mamic’s trial, including Modric, and were asked to explain their relationship with Dinamo and Mamic. The judge ruled that, alongside the contract Dinamo had with players, they would also sign a deal that would regulate how transfer money would be split between the club and player, with the percentage assigned to the player eventually ending up in Mamic’s pocket.luka modric tottenhamZdravko MamicAt the time of his sale in 2008, Modric was the biggest transfer in Dinamo’s history when he was sold for €21 million to Tottenham. As part of his agreement, Modric agreed to hand his percentage to Mamic, but during the trial, the prosecution proved that the additional deal regarding the split of player/club income was signed after Modric’s transfer to Tottenham, rather than before.During his testimony, Modric changed some of his initial statements, saying “I don’t remember” when asked when the contracts were signed and, when he received money from the deal, as well as confusing the date he made his international debut. Modric claimed the authorities dragged him from the national team camp and questioned him for several hours in the night, leaving him too tired to properly understand the statement he had signed for them. During the trial, the changes from his statement benefited Mamic.This alteration in his statement to try to help Mamic was not well-received by football fans in Croatia. He was the target of some offensive graffiti in Zadar, Zagreb and Split, while fans sang “Luka Modric, little sh*t” during Croatian league matches.At the end of the trial in March of this year, Mamic was found guilty and sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison, while Modric and Lovren face charges for perjury. Mamic escaped to Bosnia and Herzegovina the night before the verdict was given, claiming he will appeal.The trial has stained Modric’s reputation among supporters, with Hajduk Split supporters even cheering against Croatia due to Modric’s involvement. Other club fans still want the nation to do well at the World Cup, but now Modric will never be their hero, no matter what he achieves on the field.last_img read more

Iceland vs Croatia: TV, stream & preview

first_imgWorld Cup Iceland vs Croatia: TV channel, live stream, squad news & preview Goal Last updated 1 year ago 14:00 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(3) Croatia Argentina World Cup 2018 Getty World Cup Iceland v Croatia Croatia Iceland Powerade Iceland face an uphill battle in beating Croatia in their final group stage game who have already qualified for the last 16 phase Croatia make it three wins out of three and top Group D with nine points, they will now face Denmark in the next round. Argentina sealed the second spot with that late goal against Nigeria. Iceland finish bottom of Group D with just one point, which they picked up in the first game against Argentina.Iceland put in a terrific performance but they came just short, with Croatia showing their quality late on. Badelj put Croatia ahead midway through the first half, a great half volley after missing a good chance just moments earlier. Sigurdsson then leveled the scoreline shortly after with a penalty, following Lovren’s handball in the box. Iceland continued to press for another goal, a late Argentina goal gave them hope of securing qualification with one more goal. However, Croatia nicked all three points late on, after a superb strike by Perisic.FULL-TIME: ICELAND 1-2 CROATIA Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 90+3 mins: Iceland are still going for it here, they haven’t given up on scoring another goal and are trying everything. However, time is really running out.90+1 mins: There will be a minimum of four minutes added time.90 mins: GOALLL! CROATIA LEAD 2-1! Perisic with a late goal to surely win it for Croatia. They worked it well, with Perisic powering the ball into the back of the net from a tight angle, giving the keeper no chance. Excellent finish.Badelj won the ball back in midfield, looked up and spotted Perisic making a good run behind the Iceland defence and he picked him out perfectly.SUB! Third and final Iceland substitution, with Bjarnason replaced by Traustason.88 mins: Argentina now lead against Nigeria! Iceland just need to find one goal to win this game and they can qualify for the next round.86 mins: Not long left to play now, can Iceland nick a late winner and possibly clinch the runner-ups spot in Group D? They need a goal.85 mins: SUB! Another Iceland substitution, with Alfred Finnbogason replaced up front by Albert Gudmundsson.84 mins: YELLOW! Saevarsson is the latest player to be shown a yellow card, after bringing Perisic down around 30 yards out from goal.83 mins: YELLOW! Tin Jedvaj is shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Gudmundsson. Free-kick to Iceland deep inside the Croatia half, with Sigurdsson standing over it… Well punched away by Kalinic.82 mins: SUB! Final Croatia change, Mateo Kovačić is replaced by Ivan Rakitić.80 mins: Fantastic support in the Rostov Arena by the Iceland supporters, they are really getting behind their side, urging them forward. An Argentina goal in St Petersburg, will put them through, or if they can score two more goals against Croatia, that would also do it.78 mins: SUB! Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson attempted just three shots in his last game against Nigeria, with his first two shots landing on target in the first six minutes, and his other shot missing the target from the penalty spot in the 83rd minute.Gylfi Sigurdsson Iceland World Cup76 mins: GOALLL! Iceland are level, it’s 1-1! Gylfi Sigurdsson powers the ball straight into the back of the net, giving Kalinic no chance. The Everton man picked up the ball straight away, despite missing a penalty for Iceland in the previous game against Nigeria.74 mins: ICELAND PENALTY! The referee has awarded Iceland a penalty after the ball strikes the hand of a Croatia defender deep in the box.72 mins: What a chance! Iceland with a huge opportunity to get back into this game. Finnbogason breaks down the right, beating the offside trap and sprints towards the penalty area, with plenty of team-mates racing to get up there in support of him. The striker plays a great low ball across the penalty area to Bjarnason at the far post, he has a tap-in if he gets it right. However, it’s a tired effort and he fires it wide.71 mins: Here is the first Iceland change of the evening, with Ragnar Sigurdsson coming off and he has been replaced by Sigurdarson.69 mins: It looks like Iceland are now going to make a change or two of their own. They are still in this game, they look a threat going forward but Croatia are defending well in numbers.SUB! First, we have another Croatia change, with Marko Pjaca coming off and he has been replaced by Liverpool defender, Dejan Lovren.67 mins: Decent effort. Sigurdsson works his way into the area, but is forced slightly wide after getting past Pivaric, he then fires high over the crossbar.65 mins: SUB! Croatia make the first substitution of the game, with Luka Modric coming off the pitch and he has been replaced by Filip Bradaric.64 mins: Finnbogason slides in late on Kalinic, trying to get on the end of a deep pass into the penalty area. However the Croatia keeper got there first and the Iceland striker clattered into him.63 mins: Croatia have kept a clean sheet in three of their last four World Cup games, as many as they had in their previous 12 in the competition.61 mins: It’s now 1-1 in the other game in Group D between Nigeria and Argentina, so as it stands Nigeria will be the other team going through to the knockout stages with Croatia.59 mins: SUB! Hallfredsson is shown a yellow card after a late challenge on Pjaca.56 mins: CROSSBAR! Even closer from Iceland now. It’s Ingason once again, this time it comes from a corner, smacking the ball against the bar this time and over. So close. This is a really positive response from Iceland.55 mins: CLOSE! Almost an immediate response from Iceland. Ingason came up from the back for another long throw-in, he gets his head to the ball and it needs pushing over the bar by Kalinic.Croatia World Cup 201853 mins: GOALLL! Croatia lead 1-0! Badelj who went close just moments ago, now gets the ball in the back of the net. Modric moves the ball out to the left, it’s crossed into the middle where Badelj takes it on the bounce and fires it on the half-volley, powering it into the back of the net and leaving Halldorsson with no chance.51 mins: OFF THE CROSSBAR! Great strike by Badelj which takes a slight deflection off Ragnar Sigurdsson as it strikes the crossbar and goes out for a corner. Wonderful strike.50 mins: Croatia have already guaranteed their place in the World Cup knockout stages, just their second appearance. They’ve never finished top in the group stage, finishing in second place when qualifying in 1998.48 mins: Iceland have started the second half well, just as they finished the first half, showing attacking intent. Hallfredsson wins a corner off Jedvaj, but Sigurdsson’s delivery is cleared to safety.46 mins: The second half is underway!Croatia started the game well, dominating possession with Modric constantly on the ball in midfield and dictating play. However, they have faded as they game went on, losing concentration and playing sloppy passes which is certainly giving Iceland confidence, perhaps all those Croatia changes have had a negative effect as they are struggling to get going here. It’s still all to play for in Group D.It’s goalless at the break here, but Iceland have had a couple of chances to break the deadlock, but they are just lacking a clinical finish in the final third. The best opportunities coming towards the end of the half, with Gunnarsson and Finnbogason going close with long range efforts.Andrej Kramaric Croatia Birkir Bjarnason Iceland World CupHALF-TIME: ICELAND 0-0 CROATIA45+2 mins: SAVE! Gunnarsson fires a curling effort towards goal after excellent build-up play by Iceland. Kalinic makes a superb diving save to deny the Iceland skipper, tipping the ball around the post and out for a corner.45 mins: There will be a minimum of two minutes of added time played.42 mins: The Iceland supporters are making plenty of noise in the stadium, they are really getting behind their side and it’s working at the moment. They are well on top, just lacking a clinical final pass.40 mins: GREAT CHANCE! Iceland go close to opening the scoring, as Finnbogason fires an effort towards goal from 30 yards out, which whistles narrowly past the Croatia goal, rippling the side netting. Best opportunity of the game so far.38 mins: Not long left to play in this first half, can either side break the deadlock before the break? Iceland certainly look the more likely of the two sides at the moment.36 mins: Iceland’s only previous victory against Croatia came in the qualifying stages for this tournament, drawing one and losing four otherwise.34 mins: Good effort! A well worked Iceland corner almost leads to a chance at goal. Magnusson peels off at the far post, chests the ball down to Bjarnason who has his shot blocked.33 mins: Croatia have taken their eye off the ball in the past 10 minutes or so, sloppy in possession and Iceland are really taking advantage, they look the stronger team and are seeing plenty of the ball in the Croatia half.31 mins: CHANCE ICELAND! Iceland with a free-kick in a good shooting position, Gylfi Sigurdsson fired it towards goal and it almost sneaked into the bottom corner. However, Kalinic read the effort well and managed to gather the ball.30 mins: We’re midway through the first half now and Iceland are the team on top at the moment. It’s a very good little spell after having to chase the ball for much of the opening 15 minutes of the game. Can they make it count.28 mins: Another chance for Magnusson! Iceland had a corner, it was whipped towards the defender who rose above his marker and powered a header towards goal, but he couldn’t keep it down and it flies over the crossbar.27 mins: Iceland chance! Gunnarsson with a trademark long throw-in, deep inside the Croatia penalty area and it causes a few problems. Magnusson manages to flick the ball on at the near post and two teammates at the far post almost get to it. Luckily for Croatia, the ball drifts out of play.25 mins: The two goalkeepers have barely touched the ball so far tonight, there hasn’t been much quality in the final third by either side.24 mins: Iceland certainly look dangerous on the counter attack, Croatia have played a few sloppy passes in the last few minutes and it’s giving Iceland a real boost.23 mins: Iceland are looking to become the first World Cup debutants to make the knockout stages of a World Cup tournament since Slovakia in 2010.21 mins: In the other game in Group D, Argentina have just taken the lead against Nigeria, with Lionel Messi scoring for his side. As it stands the two-time winners are going through, but an Iceland goal would change all that.19 mins: Perisic gets his first chance to run at Saevarsson down the left wing, the winger drills a low ball into the box which is cut out by Iceland and Croatia have the first corner of the game. However, Iceland defend the set piece well and manage to clear the danger.18 mins: Bjarnason is now back on the pitch for Iceland, he looks to have overcome the knock and he is once again involved in the action.16 mins: No chances for either side yet, we haven’t had any shots at goals. Croatia still look the more likely to score as they are controlling possession, but the pace of the game is slow at the moment.14 mins: YELLOW! The first yellow card of the game is shown to Marko Pjaca, for the aerial clash with Bjarnason. The Iceland midfielder will need further treatment off the pitch to stop the blood pouring from his nose. It doesn’t look good for the Aston Villa man.13 mins: We have a break in play here, as Bjarnason is down receiving medical treatment following a clash with Pjaca.12 mins: Iceland look happy to let Croatia have most of the possession, it’s all in front of them at the moment and in the middle of the pitch so not really troubling the Icelanders. However, as soon as they get near their final third, they are increasing the pressure and once they win the ball back they are trying to break quickly on the counter attack.10 mins: Iceland and Croatia met in World Cup 2018 qualifying – both sides winning their home fixtures (Croatia 2-0 and Iceland 1-0).8 mins: Half-chance for Iceland. They shift the ball out to the right through Hallfredsson over to Sigurdsson, who drifts past Pivaric. The Everton midfielder drills a good low cross into the box which Finnbogason almost gets on the end of, but Corluka manages to deal with it and clear the danger.6 mins: It will be interesting to see how Iceland approach the game tonight, they know they need to beat Croatia tonight but how long will they wait to try and break the deadlock. Any gaps left at the back whilst venturing forward could be punished by this dangerous Croatia side.4 mins: Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.2 mins: The large number of Croatian changes could play into the hands of Iceland tonight, as many of these players haven’t had many minutes in the World Cup so far. However, these players may also be hoping to impress their manager in search of a starting spot in the knockout game.1 min: We’re underway!HERE WE GO…The teams are out on the pitch and the anthems are underway, it’s almost time for the game to start!Croatia will win the group if they pick up at least a point, or if they lose and Nigeria fail to win. Iceland will qualify for the next round if they win and Argentina win, as long as they both win by the same margin. Iceland need to make sure they have scored more group goals then Argentina. They could also qualify if Nigeria and Argentina draw, as long as they beat Croatia and they score two goals tonight. A little complicated.This will be the seventh different meeting between Iceland and Croatia but the first in a major tournament, with all of their previous encounters coming in World Cup qualifiers.Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic.Iceland have made three changes as they look to bounce back from their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Nigeria for tonight’s must-win game with Croatia. Johann Gudmundsson is the most notable change, he replaces Rurik Gislason in midfield. Meanwhile Sverrir Ingason and Emil Hallfredsson feature, replacing Kari Arnason, and Jon Bodvarsson.CROATIA SUBS: Ivan Rakitic, Domagoj Vida, Mario Mandzukic, Ivan Strinic, marcelo Brozovic, Dejan Lovren, Danijel Subasic, Ante Rebic, Dominik Livakovic, Filip Bradaric, Sime VrasaljkoCROATIA (4-2-3-1): Lovre Kalinic (GK); Tin Jedvaj, Vedran Corluka, Duje Caleta-Car, Josip Pivaric; Luka Modric (C), Milan Badelj; Ivan Perisic, Mateo Kovacic, Marko Pjaca; Andrej Kramaric.ICELAND SUBS: Samuel Kari Fridjonsson, Kari Arnason, Frederik Schram, Ari Freyr Skulason, Bjorn Sigurdarson, Rurik Gislason, Albert Gudmundsson, Arnor Ingvi Traustason, Olafur Ingi Skulason, Runar Alex Runarsson, Holmar Orn Eyjolfsson, Jon Dadi BodvrssonICELAND (4-2-3-1): Hannes Thor Halldorsson (GK); Birkir Mar Saevarsson, Sverrir Ingi Ingason, Ragnar Sigurdsson, Hordur Bjorgvin Magnusson; Emil Hallfredsson, Aron Gunnarsson (C); Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Birkir Bjarnason; Alfred Finnbogason.Lets start with how the two teams will line-up this evening, starting with Iceland…For Croatia, they will need just a point to top the group, but they will want to make it three wins out of three. However, they may opt to rest several players in order for them to be fresh for their round of 16 game, after already clinching qualification to the next round.The Icelanders must beat Croatia, who are already through to the knockout rounds – in their final group game to give themselves the chance of qualification and currently have a better goal difference than Argentina.30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to our live commentary of the Group D match between Iceland and Croatia at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.Squads & Team News Croatia boss Zlatko Dalic has made nine changes to the team that embarrassed Argentina 3-0 last time out with qualifcation already secured. Ivan Rakitic, Ante Rebic, Sime Vrsaljko and Mario Mandzukic one booking each away from a ban, while Danijel Subasic, Ivan Strnic, Dejan Lovren, Domagoj Vida and Marcelo Brozovic are simply rested.Heimir Hallgrimsson makes just three changes to the side that were beaten 2-0 by Nigeria in their last game, but there are some surprising selections nonetheless. Ragnar Sigurdsson starts despite going off injured in the last match, and it’s Kari Arnason who is replaced by Sverrir Ingason. Meanwhile, Johan Berg Gudmundsson is another of the walking wounded who start today, despite supposedly being ruled out with a torn muscle. Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has been dropped for Emil Hallfredsson, shifting from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1.Confirmed Iceland XI: Haldorsson; Magnusson, Ingason, R. Sigurdsson, Saevarsson; Gunnarsson, Hallfredsson; Bjarnason, G. Sigurdsson, J. Gudmundsson; FinnbogasonIceland subs: Fridjonsson, Arnason, Schram, A. Skulason, Sigurdarson, Gislason, A. Gudmundsson, Traustason, O. Skulason, Runarsson, Eyjolfsson, BodvarssonConfirmed Croatia XI: Kalinic; Pivaric, Caleta-Car, Corluka, Jedvaj; Badelj, Kovacic; Perisic, Modric, Pjaca; KramaricCroatia subs: Rakitic, Vida, Mandzukic, Strnic, Brozovic, Lovren, Subasic, Rebic, Livakovic, Bradaric, VrsaljkoTV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on BBC or streamed live online using the BBC iPlayer. UK TV channel Online stream BBC Four BBC iPlayer Meanwhile Dalic Zlatko has made nine changes to his Croatia side for this final group game, from the team that beat Argentina 3-0 only two players keep their place, they are Luka Modric and Ivan Perisic. Croatia have settled nicely into the game, they are dominating possession at the moment with Modric seeing plenty of touches on the ball and controlling the midfield.last_img read more

What’s happened to PSG star Tim Weah?

first_imgTimothy Weah’s explosion was one of the stories of pre-season as he proved there is far more to his game than simply being the son of 1995 Ballon d’Or winner George.The teenager burst onto the scene with Thomas Tuchel’s Paris Saint-Germain and appeared set to have a significant role to play at Parc des Princes this season after scoring in the 4-0 Trophee des Champions win over Monaco and then again off the bench versus Caen on the opening weekend of Ligue 1 action.It seemed that he had seized his opportunity, with Kylian Mbappe and Neymar, the club’s frontline duo, fatigued having only just returned following World Cup duties with France and Brazil respectively. 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? Despite scoring a goal for every 72 minutes he’s been on the pitch this season, Weah has subsequently faded from view and since playing one half against Guingamp on August 18 has not even appeared on the teamsheet for Tuchel.The arrival of Eric Choupo-Moting in the closing hours of the summer transfer window has seen him cast to the shade, despite the former Stoke man netting only once in 12 outings for the Parisians.This falls against a backdrop of the German showing his willingness to give academy prospects Stanley N’Soki and Moussa Diaby, whose contribution of three goals and five assists from only 534 minutes has eclipsed that of his fellow youth-team graduate, increased first-team exposure.Indeed, Weah has earned far more game time with the US national team, with whom he has played five games, including four starts, and totalling 359 minutes.Tim Weah GFXOtherwise, he has been restricted to training with PSG’s top team and flirting occasionally with playing in the B team, earning his spurs by scoring two goals in three outings in the French fourth tier, where games are often played on little more than public parks.Nevertheless, he knew there was this possibility when he sat down with his mother – who is the parent who has largely overseen his footballing development, despite his illustrious father – to discuss the best course of action during the summer.“My mom, she thought I am still really young and tender. There’s still some stuff to work on,” he said in September.“She thought if I did go to a lower team in the same league, there would be so many expectations to carry that team or potentially fight for a league winning spot. I don’t feel that I’m ready for that.“I’m always ready for a challenge but right now I feel like training with PSG, training with Neymar, Thiago Silva and getting better each day – I feel like that’s the way to go. That’s the choice we made.”Over the ensuing months, he has not changed his perspective, which is mature for an 18-year-old.“Right now, I’m not playing but I’m always looking for progress, to do more, watching others and learning from them,” he said, speaking in November. “I’m waiting for my chance, but I hope I can go on loan soon.”His chance is liable to arrive in the days ahead, with clubs from around Europe clamouring to play their part in the development of the son of a legend, who is a highly promising talent in his own right.Timothy Weah Kamil Glik PSG Monaco 04082018“Tim is in the ‘American mould’, always smiling, with his headphones over his ears, laidback and still needs a good relationship with his coach,” former PSG reserve both Francis Rodrigues told Paris-United. “I think that finding time with a Ligue 1 or even a Ligue 2 side would be good for him. He must now step up a level away from Paris, where the bar is set extremely high.”And of course, there is top-flight interest in France, with Strasbourg leading the way in that regard, though with Amiens hovering, too.RMC, meanwhile, report that there is interest from the Bundesliga, where another former PSG academy product Jean-Kevin Augustin has impressed for RB Leipzig since making the move in 2017. Stuttgart and Leverkusen would offer such options from Germany, while from Serie A, the likes of Sassuolo, Fiorentina and Lazio lurk.But while it seems that in the short term, Weah’s future lies away from the French capital, he has already shown himself sufficiently capable to have earned a longer future at Parc des Princes, where he is under contract until 2020.His exploits last summer were a glimpse of what he is capable of, but after this false start, his real breakout seems destined to follow.last_img read more

Photos: Ohio State’s Braxton Miller Spent Some Time With NFL Great Keyshawn Johnson Last Night

first_imgBraxton Miller wears his helmet during warm-ups at Rutgers.PISCATAWAY, NJ – OCTOBER 24: Braxton Miller #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes during warmups before a game against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at High Point Solutions Stadium on October 24, 2015 in Piscataway, New Jersey. (Photo by Rich Schultz /Getty Images)Now that Braxton Miller is a wide receiver, it’d probably be good for the Ohio State star to learn from some veterans of the position. It appears that he did that last night. At OSU’s Friday Night Lights recruiting event in Ohio Stadium, Miller spent some time with NFL great Keyshawn Johnson, whose son, Keyshawn Jr., attended the event.  Braxton says something to Keyshawn Johnson. pic.twitter.com/uZ0pYNY6SH— Tony Gerdeman (@GerdOZone) July 24, 2015Braxton and Keyshawn talking the finer points of receiving, it appears pic.twitter.com/huQ2pdT5eX— Jeff Svoboda (@JeffSvoboda) July 25, 2015Perhaps Keyshawn Johnson is passing some receiver knowledge on to Braxton Miller pic.twitter.com/FiFjx69GV4— Bill Landis (@BillLandis25) July 25, 2015If Miller starts yelling, “just give me the damn ball!” at any point this fall, we’ll know where that came from.last_img read more

Cosco Shipping Development Readies for 252 Pct Profit Jump

first_imgzoom Hong Kong-listed Cosco Shipping Development expects to see a 2017 full-year profit increase of 252 percent when compared to figures from the previous year, reaching RMB 1.3 billion (USD 205.4 million).The company’s full-year net profit for 2016 was RMB 368.6 million (USD 58 million).The company said that the estimates were based on preliminary review and that final results would be released in March 2018.The increase in the net profit was attributed mainly to the completion of the company’s restructuring in 2016 that included disposal of container shipping business, which was badly hit by the downturn in the sector and was bleeding red ink.Furthermore, the container leasing and manufacturing markets have gradually recovered as a result of the improvement of the global economy and the international shipping markets since the fourth quarter of 2016, positively impacting the profitability of the company’s container leasing and container manufacturing segments.COSCO Shipping Development added that its overall profitability continues to grow following the expansion of the leasing and investment businesses of the company.The profit alert comes in the wake of the company’s plans to establish a shipping fund with China Cinda Asset Management Co., Ltd.The move is being pursued in line with the company’s investment in the financing sector of the shipping industry.Initially, the fund will dispose of a total of USD 154 million and Cosco plans to take a 49.95 pct in the fund or an investment worth approximately USD 77 million (RMB 500 million).As disclosed, the shipping fund will be used for financing of ship assets including non-performing assets and restructuring programs.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Rajya Sabha passes National Medical Commission Bill

first_imgNew Delhi: Rajya Sabha on Thursday passed the National Medical Commission Bill for replacing the corruption- plagued MCI with a new body, in what was described by the government as one of the biggest reforms for medical education in the country. It was passed on a day when doctors are on a countrywide strike against the proposed legislation. The bill that seeks to repeal the Indian Medical Council Act 1956 was approved by a voice vote in the Upper House, amid a walkout by AIADMK. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The bill will now go to the Lok Sabha again as two amendments need to be approved by it. The Lower House had already passed the National Medical Commission Bill 2019. In his reply, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said “in no way the bill intends to promote quackery” as apprehended by a few members and added NEET is already an institutionalised body which is conducting examinations in 13 languages. He said quacks are not being promoted and the legislation has strong provisions against wrong practices that include one year imprisonment and Rs 5 lakh fine as against a nominal fine by the MCI. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday “Once the NMC Bill is approved, exit examination will be implemented in the next three years,” the Minister said. He said 40,000 of the total 80,000 of MBBS seats are under government institutions and there will be a cap on fees too. “The 40,000 seats under government has nominal fee…MCI had no provision for regulating fee or cap for private sector but now 50 per cent of the 40,000 seats with private colleges will be regulated with cap,” he said. The Minister said state governments can regulate the remaining 50 per cent seats. He added: “MPs said the representation of states is less in the NMC. Of the 25 members of the council, 11 are state representatives. He said: “Syllabus takes into consideration the syllabus of various boards”, adding National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Counselling is completely transperant. He also thanked senior Congress leader Ghulab Nabi Azad for his valuable suggestions and said that the good ideas of the previous govenrment have been implemented.” Harsh Vardhan said: “National Medical Commission Bill is a major reform and is scripting a new history for medical education.” The bill also has a provision for making national standards in medical education uniform by proposing that the final year MBBS exam be treated as an entrance test for PG and a screening test for students who graduate in medicine from foreign countries. This exam, called the National Exit Test (NEXT), would ensure that the proposed National Medical Commission (NMC) moves away from a system of repeated inspections of infrastructure and focuses on outcomes rather than processes, Vardhan said. Allaying doubts of MPs on the Bill, the Minister said that community health providers is a concept which has been adopted by even developed nations. “Twenty one of the 25 members of the NMC are doctors and they will decide what will be the minimum qualification required to be a community health providers. This is a WHO- approved practice,” he said. The bill was brought in the wake of allegations of corruption against the 63-year-old Medical Council of India (MCI) and shortcomings in the process by which it regulated medical colleges. Vardhan said by bringing the bill, the basic intention of the government is to ensure and restore utmost standard of integrity in medical education. Participating in the debate, D P Vats (BJP), who is a former director of Armed Forces Medical College, said that MCI inspections used to be a nightmare even for government colleges and had resulted in closure of good medical institutions. AIADMK’s Vijila Sathyananth said the medical entrance examination was a burning issue in her state Tamil Nadu. “Our children are forced to attempt the exam in the CBSE syllabus. Bring a common syllabus for whole India and then have a common entrance examination. So, we completely oppose, we reject the already institutionalised National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in our country,” she said. Sathyananth said NEET and NEXT (National Exit Test) should not be enforced in the country. Sasmit Patra of the BJD proposed setting up of a National Medical Education Scholarship Fund to be operated by the Centre and states in conjunction to ensure that meritorious students are not deprived of their rightful share of attaining medical education. In his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha, Santanu Sen from All India Trinamool Congress said the entire medical fraternity was on roads since last two weeks to oppose the “draconian” Bill. He said the provisions of the Bill are such that it will lead to complete corporatisation of the medical education in the country. He demanded that the Bill be sent to a Select Committee. Ram Nath Thakur of the JDU supported the Bill and said the number of medical colleges in the country should be increased so that more doctors can be produced. Manoj Kumar Jha of the JDU said lakhs of doctors are on strike against the Bill and their concerns should be looked into. He said the Bill will lead to brazen privatisation of medical education in the country. Tiruchi Siva of the DMK claimed that the government initially attempted to encroach upon the powers of the states, and now it was taking away the powers of the states. He demanded that every state have a representation in the Commission. He stated that after introduction of NEET, students belonging to backward communities were not able to get admission in medical colleges, saying they cannot afford to pay the high fee charged for enrolment in coaching centres. Nominated member Narendra Jadhav supported the Bill. Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad also strongly opposed the provision in the bill that aims to provide license to 3.5 lakh unqualified non-medical persons to practise modern medicine. He said,”I strongly opposed this clause. You are replacing the earlier Cabinet decision of a three and a half year science course (for medical practitioners) by a mid level health professionals (like nurse, blood sample collector, compounder.” Criticising the government,he said: “Are we making 70 per cent of population Guinea pigs.” Earlier the Congress as well as Samajwadi Party on urged the government to withdraw a provision in the Bill which aims to provide license to 3.5 lakh unqualified non-medical persons to practise modern medicine, saying it will “institutionalise quackery.” On the exit test, Azad asked,”If a students qualifies the EXIT test but does not come on merit for post graduation course then what would he do? Whether he would again appear for the test to qualify the entrance for PG course.” He also expressed concerned over lower than expected rise in medical seats in the country despite some administrative decision taken by erstwhile UPA government. K K Ragesh CPI (M) said education is in the concurrent list and this bill will take away the right of states for fixing fee and registration of medical colleges. He said,”You are making the body as central government department…send it to select committee.” S K Gupta of AAP described it as undemocratic bill. A Navaneethakrshnan (AIADMK) also strongly opposed the bill. Sanjay Raut (SS), Ashok Siddharth (BSP), Gopal Narayan Singh (BJP) and K Keshava Rao (TRS) alsdo participated in the discussion on the bill.last_img read more

I am not doing very well says intellectually challenged woman facing new

first_img(Wendy Scott in a Facebook photo posted in 2008.)Click here to read the full background to this caseJorge Barrera APTN National NewsDuring her third appearance Friday in a Medicine Hat, Alta., courtroom for an arraignment hearing to begin her second trial for murder Wendy Scott told the judge things weren’t going well for her on the inside.“I am not doing very well,” said Scott, a 31-year-old intellectually challenged woman who has been assessed as having an IQ of 50.Scott appeared before the Court of Queen’s Bench wearing eye-glasses and with a rosary hanging from her neck.Scott’s arraignment hearing was postponed twice because the Crown had failed to transfer disclosure to the defence.In her previous appearances, Scott seemed disconnected from the court proceedings.The Court of Appeal of Alberta ordered a new trial for Scott in October after the Crown handling the appeal conceded there was not enough evidence to support her 2012 guilty plea to second-degree murder in the killing of Medicine Hat man Casey Armstrong who was found dead in the bathtub of his trailer. Scott had been sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 10 years.With no DNA, fingerprints or murder weapon, the Medicine Hat police and local Crown used Scott’s confession and testimony to build a case against the co-accused in the murder, Connie Oakes, 50.Oakes, a Cree woman from the Nekaneet First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, has always maintained her innocence and has appealed her jury conviction of second-degree murder. Oakes was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 14 years.Oakes is scheduled to appear before the appellate court’s three-judge panel Tuesday in Calgary.Part of Oakes’ appeal is based on an affidavit from Scott who now says she doesn’t believe Oakes was at the trailer when Armstrong was killed.Scott also accused three other people, two men and a woman, of the murder before claiming she was there when Oakes killed Armstrong.Armstrong was found dead in his bathtub with a knife-wound through the neck during the May 2011 long-weekend. Police have never identified the source of a size 11 bloody boot-print found on the bathroom floor when Armstrong’s body was discovered.  During Friday’s hearing Scott told Justice D.K. Miller that she was being transferred to the provincial jail in Lethbridge, Alta., where she would receive treatment from a psychiatrist. Scott had been held in a provincial jail in Calgary. She had been serving her initial sentence at the Philippe-Pinel psychiatric institute in Montreal.Scott said she wouldn’t be attending any more appearances until her new trial begins and is not seeking bail.Also on Friday Medicine Hat lawyer Bill Cocks, acting as an agent for Scott’s Calgary lawyer Andrea Serink, said the disclosure had finally been turned over on Dec. 31, 2015.Ramona Robins, the senior Crown in Medicine Hat, said procedural issues delayed Scott’s defence from getting disclosure.“There were a lot of DVDs to go through,” said Robins.Miller set the next arraignment hearing for Feb. 12. It’s expected a trial date will be set on that day.jbarrera@aptn.calast_img read more

The NL Easts MetsNats Battle May Come Down To Injuries

3Miami Marlins7778797777.6 EXPECTED NUMBER OF WINS RANKTEAMPECOTAFANGRAPHSDAVENPORTWESTGATEAVERAGE 1Washington Nationals8891899289.9 How forecasters view the NL East 4Atlanta Braves7673747674.6 2New York Mets8985858986.9 In honor of the 2017 Major League Baseball season, which starts April 2, FiveThirtyEight is assembling some of our favorite baseball writers to chat about what’s ahead. Today, we focus on the National League East with MetsBlog.com writer Maggie Wiggin and FiveThirtyEight senior political writer Harry Enten. The transcript below has been edited. neil (Neil Paine, FiveThirtyEight senior sportswriter): I will have everyone know that I am wearing a non-Mets hat today to maintain my impartiality during this chat. (The Orioles are my wife’s team, so I stole her hat today …)Let’s get started. The top projected team in the East according to Fangraphs is the Washington Nationals. That’s been true for a number of years, including seasons in which the Nats both won the division and fell short spectacularly. Do we think they should be the favorites again this year? Or is it an every-other-year thing where they’ll disappoint again?heynawl-enten: Last year, the Mets were actually favored in the preseason projections. That turned out great for them!maggiewiggin: I think the Nationals have the edge, but it’s a close enough competition with the Mets that it should be a tight race down the stretch.neil: Is it fair to say that Washington has been a tough team to get a read on during this stretch? They always seem to have one of the most talented rosters in the league, but it doesn’t always translate.maggiewiggin: They always seem to have one piece of the team really underwhelm. In 2015, it was the bullpen. Last year, it was Bryce Harper (though Daniel Murphy’s transformation into Mecha Ted Williams offset that). I don’t know if that makes them any different from other teams, but they never have that unbeatable vibe.neil: How many more chances do you think the Nationals will get with this Harper/Stephen Strasburg core? I remember when they shut Strasburg down in 2012 — the rationale was that they were playing the long game for many shots at a championship. Fast forward to now, and I wonder whether they’d feel the same way.maggiewiggin: It’s tough to feel any certainty with Strasburg. He keeps approaching this true ace-level pitching without ever quite getting there. I thought we were finally seeing it last season before (another) injury did him in. Harper is also up and down, but in 2015, we actually did see him get there.heynawl-enten: The crazy thing for me is that Strasburg has never really had that standout season. His highest wins above replacement in a season is 3.5. He’s never finished higher than ninth for Cy Young. Heck, he only garnered a vote in one season.maggiewiggin: Whenever I look at Strasburg’s numbers, the only one that ever really blows me away is that he’s going into his eighth year in the bigs. We’re all getting old.heynawl-enten: At least we’re all getting old together.maggiewiggin: Except for Max Scherzer, it would seem.heynawl-enten: He’s Dick Van Dyke for baseball.neil: I bet he does a better British accent. Meanwhile, with all this talk of getting old, 23-year-old Trea Turner has no idea how we feel at all. With him improving and the additions of catcher Matt Wieters and outfielder Adam Eaton, could this be the most talent that Washington has had in this Harper/Strasburg era? (And will it be enough to pass the Cubs? Thinking big-picture here.)maggiewiggin: They’re definitely stacked, but it’s hard not to imagine the loss of Wilson Ramos stinging.heynawl-enten: Cubs? You’re talking Cubs? I’d like to see the Nats advance past the divisional round first.neil: Come to think of it, Wieters might be a nice metaphor for the Nats. Supposed to be a future Hall of Famer, he ended up being just “pretty good” (though he’s been even less than that recently).maggiewiggin: I do think the impact of picking up Eaton was overshadowed by the hefty price tag. There’s a ton of speed at the top of that lineup now and some killer defense up the middle. Pretty much the anti-Mets on those measures.neil: Great transition! Let’s talk about those Mets.heynawl-enten: Thank goodness they kept Bartolo Colon.neil: We’ll get to Bart later.heynawl-enten: neil: Anyway, the Mets! The big problem for them last year was health. (And the next-biggest problem. And the next-biggest.) That would seem to portend an improvement this year, right? They can’t possibly be that hurt again.maggiewiggin: It’s pretty much their only glaring weakness at this point.neil: But pitchers are weird creatures, too. Does relying too much on pitching set you up for that?maggiewiggin: It’s a lot of eggs in a very rickety basket, but, oh man, those eggs taste good.heynawl-enten: I’m hungry now.maggiewiggin: So’s Bartolo — it’s why we love him.heynawl-enten: Nice.maggiewiggin: But what the Mets are making work for them is the rare combination of quality and quantity on the mound. Every guy who comes up seems to outperform expectations. Their injury-ravaged rotation was top in the game in FanGraphs’ WAR last year; that shouldn’t happen.heynawl-enten: Their fifth starter at this point is Jacob deGrom clone Robert Gsellman. He didn’t do too horribly last year. The biggest question mark I have is Matt Harvey. And that wasn’t all about injuries last year.neil: Yeah, do we think he’ll ever be the same? (And does he really need to be?)maggiewiggin: No, on both counts. But it would be nice if he could claw his way back to something like a mid-3’s ERA and 175-ish innings. His baseline was just so incredibly high if you look at what he did for three seasons, even right after Tommy John surgery.heynawl-enten: Most of the Mets staff is getting into their upper 20s in age. I do wonder about that a little bit. Especially given the heat at which some of these guys (like Harvey) could throw.maggiewiggin: You’ve basically got a whole staff throwing 91 mph sliders — it’s not exactly ergonomic.neil: And if that staff isn’t quite as lights-out, is there reason to think the offense will be able to offset any decline? The Mets were tied for the fourth-fewest runs scored in the National League last year.maggiewiggin: Compared to last year, the offense boils down to two things for me: how much you buy into situational hitting as a repeatable skill and how quickly they can get Jay Bruce out of there.neil: Right, because they were terrible with runners on/in scoring position.maggiewiggin: Almost historically so.heynawl-enten: Look, Jay Bruce is a quality … Oh who am I kidding. Why oh why did they make that trade?neil: It was important for blocking Michael Conforto’s development.heynawl-enten: He is perhaps the other big question mark to me. Conforto had the sophomore curse last year.maggiewiggin: They traded for Bruce because they were chasing the Cespedes dragon.neil: Speaking of, seems like they basically had to bring Cespedes back just to keep the lineup afloat and anywhere near on par with what they figure to get out of the pitching.maggiewiggin: The team is barely a borderline contender without Cespedes, if that. But I agree that Conforto is the wild card here.neil: “Wild card” might be the operative term. Again.heynawl-enten: Nice.neil: Either way, it seems like there’s kind of a gap between the top two teams and the rest of this division. That’s what we thought before last season as well, but Miami kept things competitive until the end. Then they suffered a tragic loss that can’t really be quantified, the death of Jose Fernandez. Is there any way that the Marlins can rally back to their form for most of last season and contend again, or was that chance lost forever with Fernandez’s passing?maggiewiggin: The Marlins are definitely a team without a real identity now. They were built around this incredibly dynamic duo of Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton, but it’s hard to see any real path to contention for them this year. Their starting pitching tops out at mediocre, though I expect the lineup to surprise a bit.neil: Even without Barry Bonds as hitting coach?maggiewiggin: The true Barry Bonds is inside all of us. I think their big spending on relievers had one express purpose — setting up a midseason fire sale to fill a barren farm system. They’re going to be treading water for a couple of years.neil: Yeah, I think many fans might be surprised how poorly their farm system grades out. It’s in last place, according to Baseball America.heynawl-enten: The best thing the Marlins have going for them is that Jeffrey Loria is probably going to sell the team, at long last.neil: That is actually great news for them. Loria is the worst. Going back to Stanton, what do we expect of his 2017 season? His exit velocity was still on point, but big chunks of his 2016 were awful.maggiewiggin: He’s another guy who just can’t stay healthy.heynawl-enten: “Awful” is a bit of an overstatement. He did have 2.5 WAR last year. But, yeah, he’s only played in more than 120 games once in the last four seasons.maggiewiggin: It actually says a lot about him that his .815 OPS was a career-low.neil: So it seems like he might be due for better things this year, then, if he stays in the lineup.maggiewiggin: If he’s on the field, the power is going to be there too. He’s a very, very strong man.neil: Very true, and Christian Yelich is no slouch either. Maybe the thing for Miami is whether they have the depth around their stars to really make any noise.maggiewiggin: And the pitching. Wei-Yin Chen is their number one starter — that’s never a good sign.neil: Eek.maggiewiggin: They do have a solid bullpen, but again, how much of that is still around on Aug. 1? Not a lot if everyone’s doing their jobs right.neil: Well, that was one thing I wanted to ask about all three of the teams projected to finish 3-4-5 in this division: Which direction are they moving in the Success Cycle? If Miami is moving toward a rebuild, the Braves seem like they might be moving toward respectability with some of their offseason pickups.heynawl-enten: They’re timing it well to move into their new stadium.maggiewiggin: The Braves have such a rich talent pool in the minors, they’re getting very close to being a force again.neil: Yeah, it can’t be long it seems, with Dansby Swanson assuming a full-time role and the best farm system in MLB coming up behind him.heynawl-enten: One thing to keep an eye on with the Braves is how strong they finished last year. They were 18-10 in September and October.neil: Positively Mets-like in that regard.maggiewiggin: The Matt Kemp acquisition in left field surprisingly worked out very well for them, so far at least.neil: And now apparently they’re trying the pitcher version of that with Bartolo, R.A. Dickey and Jaime Garcia.heynawl-enten: Granted, Dickey hasn’t been worth very much, but I like the idea. “Cheaper” veterans combined with youngsters.maggiewiggin: The only question is: Who will they package with Kelly Johnson when they trade him to the Mets?heynawl-enten: HAH!neil: It’s an annual tradition.So, any chance the Braves actually challenge the Nats and Mets? Or are they still a year or two away?maggiewiggin: Like with the Marlins, the rotation seems to be the biggest weakness, but a hot first half combined with a big get at the deadline could have them nipping at some heels for sure. But realistically, 2018 seems to be when that window opens.heynawl-enten: I wouldn’t be shocked if they stayed competitive for some of the year. Winning the division is another question entirely.neil: I have to ask the same of the Phillies, who’ve shared the NL East’s basement apartment with the Braves these past few years …heynawl-enten: Last season, the Phillies were quite awful in every month not named April.neil: They were also the luckiest team in baseball not named “Texas Rangers.”maggiewiggin: They have some serious depth issues. Anything other than exceptional health could get ugly fast.neil: Then again, on the upside, they were the youngest team in baseball last year. And, similar to Atlanta, they have one of the best farm systems in baseball.maggiewiggin: Both teams have managed their rebuilds very well in that way.heynawl-enten: But I feel like they’re still a few years away.maggiewiggin: I agree. They lack any clear top-level talent right now, though they have a few promising names.heynawl-enten: I guess the good news is that the Phillies finally got rid of Ryan Howard. That signing didn’t make sense when it happened, and it certainly makes no sense now.maggiewiggin: The fact that they kept him around as long as they did will remain one of life’s great unsolved mysteries.neil: He was worth -1.0 WAR or worse in four of his final five seasons! 😱heynawl-enten: Getting back to the larger point, I think the Phillies have the least to look forward to of any NL East team this season. Well, either them or the Marlins.maggiewiggin: The lowest upside as currently constructed, definitely.neil: But the parallel rebuilds in Philly and Atlanta might also underscore that the clocks are ticking in Washington and New York.maggiewiggin: It’s going to be a very different landscape in two years — that’s for sure. Especially if Washington keeps deferring money like the world is ending.heynawl-enten: Remember, the Braves were good for all those years, and then they weren’t. Dynasties have a way of ending, and the Nationals have not a single thing to show for it. The Mets may hold on a little longer, given the age of their pitching staff (getting older, but not close to old).maggiewiggin: Hey, if Tim Tebow can get a real, live hit, anything’s possible.heynawl-enten: He got a hit? The world might really be coming to an end.maggiewiggin: Hmm, maybe the Nats’ financial strategy is sounder than I thought. Based on projected wins or over/under win totals. Data gathered on March 15, 2017.Sources: Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs, Clay Davenport, Las Vegas Review-Journal 5Philadelphia Phillies7372727372.4 read more

Bielsa reveals the day Guardiola praised his knowledge

first_imgDuring his presentation with the EFL, Marcelo Bielsa revealed the time when Pep Guardiola recognized his capacity to store knowledge after a game.After knowing how obsessive Marcelo Bielsa can really get with studying his rivals, it’s fair to say that this is a special kind of manager and it’s easier to understand why Pep Guardiola keeps the Argentine in such high regard.There have been countless times in which the Manchester City manager has spoken about how amazing Marcelo Bielsa really is as a football scholar, but nobody had a clear idea until what we all found out today in regards to his methods.Making his players study each and every one of their rivals match by match, in a four-hour session per video analysis is something that only Marcelo could come up with.These practices are not new for him, as he did the exact same thing when he faced Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona when he had the opportunity to coach Athletic Club Bilbao.When Bielsa’s boys faced the mighty Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final, the Argentine manager made them study the Catalan club thoroughly but they still weren’t able to crack the code.Guardiola’s squad defeated them 3-0, which in Marcelo’s eyes meant that all that information was completely lost.Marcelo Bielsa es tapa en Inglaterra. “Vive y deja espiar”, dice The Daily Telegraph. pic.twitter.com/saiIdrjRLy— TyC Sports (@TyCSports) January 16, 2019During that long press conference in which Bielsa revealed his methods to prepare matches for their players, he dropped that anecdote in which he spoke with Pep Guardiola after losing 3-0 in the Copa del Rey final.The response from Pep after realizing how much time Marcelo had invested in studying the Catalan club, was something that not even the Argentine was expecting.“When I was a coach of Athletic Bilbao we played Barcelona in [the Copa del Rey] final and we lost 3-0,” said Bielsa via Four Four Two.“[After the match] I gave all the information I had on Barcelona to Pep Guardiola. Guardiola had a look at it and he told me ‘you know more about Barcelona than me!’.”“I do this analysis to ease my anxiety, but it was useless information because they scored three goals.” “We watch all the games of 2018-19 of each opponent,” he added.FC Barcelona, Valencia CFMatch Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).“We watched the 51 games of Derby County. They’ve played a 4-3-3 [formation] 49.9 percent of the season… we use this to understand the system and why and when they change the system during a game.”“The analysis of each game takes four hours of work. Why do we do that? Because we think it is professional behavior.”Marcelo Bielsa no renuncia. Llamó a esta conferencia de prensa para que “el tema del espia no acapare la conferencia de mañana previa a la fecha del fin de semana”. “Tal vez no sepa ingles pero se todo de cada uno de nuestros rivales”. pic.twitter.com/WrE5DDTawg— Christian Martin (@askomartin) January 16, 2019To be fair, when the Leeds United manager called for a press conference, most of the media believed it would be to present his resignation and apologize for the acusations made against him.It’s fair to say that absolutely nobody expected the surreal explanation he offered, and nobody thought he would confess to even more cases of football espionage on his behalf.Marcelo does claim that these practices may been regarded as wrong, but he also claims that he doesn’t consider them to be illegal in any way.Recording full matches of their opponents is in no way prohibited by the EFL, if they act against Bielsa with this basis, the manager should be okay and no sanction should come his way.In a sense, all Bielsa did with this presentation was to brag about his very meticulous methods to prepare his players for matches.They don’t call Marcelo Bielsa “El Loco” for nothing, the man does have a loose screw on his head as he proved it today with these new revelations.¡No tiene desperdicio! Marcelo Bielsa habló con determinación en la conferencia al explicar las razones por las que mirá las prácticas de los rivales. pic.twitter.com/kvnFn6OsKJ— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) January 16, 2019What do you think about Marcelo Bielsa’s methods to study his rivals, to you agree or disagree and why? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.last_img read more

Alan Smith on Mislintats departure

first_imgThere is no point in Arsenal retaining the services of Sven Mislintat if the club is unwilling to spend money, according to the club’s legend Alan Smith.Mislintat, 46, was appointed as Arsenal’s head of recruitment in November 2017 but rumours are rife he is set for an exit after masterminding some of the club’s major deals including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for £56million in January 2018.The club are said to be looking to appoint a technical director, and former striker Smith believes it’s the right call considering the club is not keen on any buys.“The Ramsey situation is a funny one,” he told Friday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on TalkSport and cited on Football London.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“He’s such a good player and to see him move to Juventus, where I’m sure he’ll do well, it’s a bit galling for Arsenal fans – especially given the situation in midfield.“We’ve got Matteo Guendouzi, Lucas Torreira, and Granit Xhaka – they’ll do a shift but they’re not going to create too many chances. It’s certainly an area Arsenal are lacking in.“I think all Arsenal fans were hoping this would come to an end,” added Smith, hinting at his frustration at another quality player be allowed to leave the club.“They’ve got a new backroom team in place with Raul Sanllehi and Sven Mislintat, who seems to be leaving. He’s head of recruitment but there’s not much point him being there if they can’t recruit because they’ve got no money.”last_img read more

VIDEO Watch 2019 Wilmington Spring Chorus Festival

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Public Schools held its Spring Chorus Festival on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in the WHS Joanne Benton Memorial Auditorium.Wilmington Middle School’s 8th Grade Chorus, Wilmington Middle School’s WilmingTones, Wilmington High School’s Concert Choir, and Wilmington High School’s Soundscape all performed.Watch the concert, courtesy of Wilmington Community Television, below:——Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedVIDEO: Watch 2017 Wilmington Spring Chorus FestivalIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch 2018 Wilmington Spring Choral ConcertIn “Videos”VIDEO: Watch 2019 Wilmington Spring Band FestivalIn “Videos”last_img