Liverpool’s Harvey Elliott banned by FA over video mocking Harry Kane Reuse this content Read more Share on Pinterest The Premier League leaders have been without their influential keeper since the opening game of the season but, nine weeks after damaging a calf muscle against Norwich, the 27-year-old is expected to reclaim his place at Old Trafford.Alisson has undergone an intensive and individually tailored training programme over the past week without repercussions. The Brazil international, named Uefa’s goalkeeper of 2018-19 during this injury lay-off, is fit to replace Adrián, who has proven an impressive deputy for Jürgen Klopp’s side and boasts a 100% record in the Premier League as a Liverpool player.Mohamed Salah, who sustained an ankle injury against Leicester before the international break, is also expected to be fit for Sunday. Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Manchester United Share on Messenger Topics Premier League news Share on LinkedIn Liverpool will have Alisson available for the visit to Manchester United on Sunday after their first-choice goalkeeper stepped up his recovery from injury during the international break. Liverpool Share via Email Share on Facebook
Simple post-workout habits that’ll help you come back stronger in your next workout, thanks to Karley Banks, assistant coach for the Men’s 20s team at the 2018 Youth World Cup1. Make sure you post-hydrate. It’s not just about hydrating during exercise. If you’ve exercised in the heat and sweated a lot, you may benefit from consuming electrolytes, not just water. The best bet is a low-calorie drink that contains electrolytes, such as sodium and potassium.2. Warm down. An active rather than static recovery is best – a light jog including replicating a few game movements at a very reduced level. Then go through major muscle group stretching exercises for a simple and fast way to help your muscles recover.3. Get on the roller therapy train. Self-massaging with foam rollers, bands and balls helps reduce muscle soreness and allows tissues and muscles to repair, regenerate and recover. Of course if you can have one, a full body massage can also aid recovery.4. Try water therapy. After a particularly hard session is when ice baths, pool sessions or contrast water therapy (alternating hot and cold showers) can benefit to help you recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and prevent injury.5. Eat right. Post-workout, you must refuel your body with high-quality protein and complex carbohydrates to recover, repair tissue, get stronger and be ready for your next session. Popular options: wholegrain toast with hummus; yoghurt with muesli; a protein shake and banana.6. Wear compression garments afterwards. Even if you didn’t wear compression gear during the workout, wearing them after can reduce muscle swelling and fatigue.
West Ham boss Pellegrini: Enough chances for at least Watford pointby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWest Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini felt they created enough chances to earn something from defeat to Watford.Gerard Deulofeu sealed a 2-0 Watford victory after Troy Deeney had scored a first half penalty.“I think we deserved a little bit more, at least to draw the game, as we had too many options,” Pellegrini observed. “We played most of the game one goal behind and it is always more difficult for the team to play under pressure and it’s easier for Watford [once they are in front].“They are a very good team and they played a good game and when you are winning 1-0 you have more time to prepare the actions in the last third. We hit the post twice and had two or three clear options to draw this game.“Maybe we felt the pressure losing 1-0 at the beginning of the game, but there are so many things in football that can happen and be why you don’t score. In the last game [at Fulham] we had two chances and we scored two but today we couldn’t score one.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
BLOOMINGTON, IN – OCTOBER 14: Jim Harbaugh the head coach of the Michigan Wolverines watches the action during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Memorial Stadium on October 14, 2017 in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) YouTube/Jim HarbaughWe knew that Jim Harbaugh would respond to the recent NCAA vote to ban satellite camps. That was a certainty. Even with the Michigan head coach’s history of lashing out, we wouldn’t have predicted just how hard Harbaugh swung back in response. In an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Michael Rosenberg, Harbaugh slams the NCAA, and even the term “student-athlete” in light of the vote.As Harbaugh tells SI : “The incompetence of the NCAA has reared its ugly head yet again.” …Harbaugh says the ruling was “knee-jerk … like somebody was shaving in the morning, cut themselves when they were shaving and said, ‘Let’s just ban satellite camps.’“I mean, what’s it based on? A survey? There wasn’t a lot of discussion or study. What are the facts? What are the perils and merits of making that decision? It just seemed lacking in that regard.”Satellite camps are no new concept, but Harbaugh put a special emphasis on them after taking over at Michigan, with a specific target on the Southeast, home of many ACC and SEC power programs.“During the NCAA basketball tournament we discuss the term ‘student-athlete’ ad nauseam in promoting our governing institution and our member institutions. Then, when we have an opportunity to truly promote the ‘student-athlete’ with a concept shared by educators and football men from all backgrounds, our leadership goes into hiding.“I suggest we drop the term ‘student-athlete’ for consistency.”Harbaugh wasn’t afraid to take targeted swipes at rival coaches either, specifically Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze who recently defended the decision.“It seems to be outrage by the SEC and ACC,” Harbaugh says. “They power-brokered that out … the image that comes to my mind is guys in a back room smoking cigars, doing what they perceive is best for them. It certainly isn’t the best thing for the youngsters. It’s not the best thing for the student-athletes.”Harbaugh saw Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze say, “I’m away from my family enough, and I just did not want to go,” and it did not sit well with him.Says Harbaugh: “You’ve got a guy sitting in a big house, making $5 million a year, saying he does not want to sacrifice his time. That is not a kindred spirit to me. What most of these coaches are saying is they don’t want to work harder.” While some may assume Harbaugh is the coach affected most, he’s done a great job at Michigan so far, and that program rarely needs help on the recruiting trail. He’ll get his players. This really hurts small schools that aren’t in talent-rich areas this most, and players who aren’t in position to receive the exposure that those in places like Florida, Georgia, and Texas receive. We’ll see if Harbaugh’s complaints hold real weight, or if they will just fall on deaf ears.[Campus Rush]
Alabama head coach Nick Saban got a little heated during somewhat of a rant about satellite football camps and the need for a college football commissioner. Simply against the idea of satellite football camps, and with little belief in the positive narrative surrounding them, Saban let loose Tuesday afternoon in front of the media at the SEC Spring Meetings. As usual, AL.com was on the scene and posted the video to YouTube. AL.com did a terrific job describing the scene as Saban went off, and you can watch their video in its entirety here.
Last week, Georgia State Representative Betty Price, who is married to the former Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, asked the head of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s HIV epidemiology section what officials are “legally able to do” to limit the spread of HIV throughout the state. She went on to suggest that people living with HIV should be quarantined as a solution for stopping the spread of the virus which causes AIDS.In response to her comments, Elton John, founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, issued the following statement:“Rep. Betty Price’s comments about people living with HIV are horrific, discriminatory, and astonishingly ill-informed. As a doctor and elected official from a state where people are still contracting HIV at an alarming rate, Mrs. Price should know better than to demonize people and perpetuate myths that stigmatize people living with HIV.“Her words smack of a dark time when there was little or no information about HIV and people were afraid of each other. Today, thanks to scientific advancements, growing acceptance and love, people living with HIV are living longer, healthier lives. We also know people living with HIV pose no public threat.“We at the Elton John AIDS Foundation, along with several of our partners, are aggressively working in Georgia and across the South to expand access to universal testing and treatment, particularly in rural areas. We also are working to dismantle the structural barriers including poverty, inadequate education, persistent HIV stigma, racism, homophobia and transphobia that impede progress. Instead of perpetuating fear and bias, Mrs. Price should educate herself about HIV and use her position of power to provide support, resources and compassion to her constituents. Love is the cure. Not quarantines.”
Update (July 13, 5:46 p.m.): Germany won the World Cup on Sunday, defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time.In basketball, it’s a safe bet that the United States men’s national team would defeat even the best NBA teams more often than not. Likewise, it’s hard to imagine any single NHL squad being favored against the Canadian national hockey team, if there were ever an occasion for them to face off. Yet it’s pretty conventional wisdom in soccer circles that the best teams in the Champions League, the world’s top club-level competition, are better than those in the World Cup, soccer’s premier international tournament. That’s because thanks to the economics of soccer, it’s possible for clubs to assemble all-star teams even in the absence of All-Star Games.Intuitively, it’s not hard to see why. Unlike basketball and hockey, where global talent is concentrated in a relatively small number of countries, soccer is a sport played at a high level across a much wider and more diverse set of locales. Talent is then naturally more diluted at the international level. The most important club soccer leagues also lack North American-style salary caps, so the richest club teams are (checkbooks willing) free to accumulate a far greater amount of talent than any national team can.I went to the spreadsheets to settle this debate, and, based on my calculations, the conventional wisdom is indeed wise — to a certain extent. The top club teams in the world as a group are superior to the national teams in this year’s World Cup field. But even so, teams that are the cream of the international crop are not as far behind their club-level cousins as managers like Alex Ferguson and Arsène Wenger would have you believe.One way we can test this is to use the individual plus/minus player ratings that underlie ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI) rankings. We’ve been over the gory details of those ratings before, but here are the basics: In addition to using head-to-head results from international matches, SPI also attempts to measure the talent level of every team based on the skill of its component players. To that end, each player is assigned a per-minute effect rating determined both by his individual statistics and by how his team performs with him in the lineup (compared to its performance without him). ESPN’s Stats & Info team computes this for both national and club teams, provided the player’s club is in one of the “Big Five” European leagues1Those of Spain, England, Italy, Germany and France. or appeared in the Champions League.These numbers give us a player’s approximated influence on his team’s rate of scoring and preventing goals. For instance, Lionel Messi, the impossibly good attacker for Barcelona (on the club side) and Argentina (in this World Cup), is estimated to add 0.62 more goals per 90 minutes than an average player on offense, and save 0.03 more goals per 90 minutes than the average player on defense, for a net value of 0.65 goals per 90 minutes. (Nobody tops Messi among players with any kind of playing time over the past two seasons, although Messi’s longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo is a close second at 0.63.)If we aggregate these ratings for an entire roster, weighting by the number of minutes each player was on the pitch,2The minutes data I used for club teams was from the 2013-14 season; for national teams it was from the 2014 World Cup, through the semifinal round. we can derive an SPI-like number to describe the amount of talent on any team, whether it plays for club or country.3A team’s overall SPI is determined by a combination of its projected goals scored (offensive SPI) and its projected goals allowed (defensive SPI) against a theoretical average international opponent. And according to these numbers,4SPI player ratings are up to date through the World Cup quarterfinals. the three best club teams in the world — Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich — are a cut above the best national teams. But, in turn, the four most talented national teams — Brazil,5Remember, this rating includes Neymar and Thiago Silva both playing more than 80 percent of their available minutes. Argentina, Germany and Spain — are solidly better than the next tier of club teams, a group that includes Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and the Champions League runners-up, Atletico Madrid.According to these numbers, Messi’s club team (Barcelona) would win 56 percent of its matches against his national team (Argentina) if they somehow played in a knockout setting at a neutral location (this model obviously assumes a dramatic development in cloning technology). But Argentina would be expected to win 56 percent of its matches against Manchester City or Atletico Madrid under similar circumstances. The top national teams would be favored (or at least evenly matched) against all but the world’s very best club teams.Perhaps this shouldn’t be overly surprising. I combined Transfermarkt values for every player on this year’s World Cup rosters6Thanks to the research of my Grantland colleague Bill Barnwell. with Transfermarkt’s list of the 100 most valuable club teams in the world and found a similar pattern. A handful of club teams dominate the list of most valuable teams,7There’s one big divergence here from the SPI list: According to Transfermarkt’s player values, the Spanish national team roster is better than any in the world. but after that it’s a relatively equal smattering of club and national teams rounding out the top 20.8The dollar amounts in the table below were converted from British pounds, at $1.70 per GBP. The top-tier national teams at least appear capable of standing toe to toe in talent against most of the leading clubs in the world.9Occasional FiveThirtyEight contributor Roger Pielke, Jr., noticed a version of this phenomenon back before the 2010 World Cup. But aside from that top tier, national teams just can’t keep up with their counterparts on the club side. According to both the SPI talent ratings and the Transfermarkt valuations, there are about 10 or so national sides capable of contending with the top 10 club teams in the world. After that, the supply of strong national squads quickly starts to dry up. Based on the SPI estimates, the 15th-best national team in the world (Ivory Coast) would have just a 40 percent chance of beating the 15th-best club team (Benfica of Portugal’s Primeira Liga), and only a 21 percent probability of beating Real Madrid. According to SPI’s player ratings, 33 of the 50 most talented teams in the world are club teams.In that sense, pundits are right when they contend that the quality of play in a circuit like the Champions League is higher than that of the World Cup. Certainly it’s hard to argue that the worst teams in the World Cup’s group stage would be able to consistently compete with their counterparts in the Champions League group stage. But in its later rounds, the World Cup contains teams — like the German and Argentine squads that will face off in Sunday’s final — whose rosters rival almost any in the sphere of big-time club soccer.
FiveThirtyEight’s 2015-16 NBA predictions post dropped on Monday and included, right up at the top, a detail remarkable enough to elicit a double-take from any NBA fan still fogging a mirror: the Warriors’ projected record. As of this writing it sits at a tidy 72-10 — as in the same 72-10 that MJ’s Bulls put up in the 1995-96 season, and the standing record for the most wins ever in an NBA regular season.By now there’s a whole cottage industry dedicated to handicapping the Warriors. On Monday, our colleagues at ESPN Stats & Info published an article about whether Golden State had a shot at breaking the 1995-96 Bulls’ record. They found that the Warriors had a 45 percent chance of getting to at least 72 wins and a 31 percent chance of at least 73. Our CARM-Elo projection is a little more bullish: It has the odds of 72+ wins at 54 percent, and 73+ wins at 44 percent. Still, bear in mind: Sensitivity to excellence (and awfulness) doesn’t mean the model simply takes the current data and makes it the new baseline. Case in point: The projection depresses the 2015 Dubs’ point differential of 14.9, which would be a record, to an average of 12.6 across all 10,000 simulations. This is the expected outcome once the model takes into account regression to the mean, a bigger sample size and all the other flattening effects near to disbelievers’ nagging hearts, yet it’s still a few ticks higher than the second-place mark of 12.3, set by the 1971-72 Lakers.What the model can’t account for is the possibility that Golden State clinches home court some time around the trade deadline and suspends its starting five in carbonite. But then, that isn’t really what we’re looking to measure here, anyway. “Will the Warriors break the record, given all the external incentives not to?” is a much less interesting question than can they. To answer the latter: There’s a damn good chance they can. 652612.694.5 59240.299.4 80610.60.8 663423.491.9 WINSSIMSCHANCE OF EXACTLY THIS MANY WINSCHANCE OF AT LEAST THIS MANY WINS Golden State’s odds of hitting astonishing win totals — we’ve highlighted a few milestones in the table next to this paragraph, like the one-in-four chance the Warriors win at least 75 games — are probably a good deal higher than you’ll see in other models, or in the betting markets, where the Warriors are still about a 3-to-1 underdog to hit 73. That’s for — we think — a pretty good reason. One of the advantages of the CARM-Elo projection is that it allows runs of good play (in the simulation) to inform future performance, meaning hot and cold streaks can occur organically within the model.1This happens because the model adjusts each team’s Elo rating after each game in the simulation. So if a team wins one simulated game, its rating goes up, and it is slightly more likely to win the next. When it loses a game, the same is true in reverse. With CARM-Elo, the spread of potential season outcomes will be a little wider than in other models, as it’s a little more capable of assigning extreme outcomes when prompted by extreme performance.That’s helpful given that the Warriors are performing at the extreme reaches of professional basketball. Right now, they have an Elo of 1831, which is a franchise-high mark and the second-highest of all time, behind only the peak of Jordan’s ’96 Bulls (1853), who floated above the Warriors’ current mark for only four games in the ’96 playoffs. For reference, the Boston Celtics have the third-highest franchise peak ever, at just 1816. A falling piano could take Steph Curry’s size 13s off at the ankle on his way to the arena tonight, and Golden State’s sustained level of play this season would already put it right there at the top of the short list of great NBA squads. 641621.696.1 749379.434.3 60300.399.1 61700.798.8 56150.299.9 521<0.1%>99.9% 739779.844.1 530<0.1>99.9 81170.20.2 674394.488.5 631211.297.3 552<0.1>99.9 708208.271.5 57200.299.8 822<0.1<0.1 544<0.1>99.9 696906.978.4 758128.125.0 58220.299.6 Hot Takedown wonders: Just how good are the Warriors?Conversation begins at 13:20. Subscribe to all of FiveThirtyEight’s podcasts here. 62810.898.1 791531.52.3 783153.25.5 719329.363.3 729899.954.0 774594.610.1 685655.784.1 Check out FiveThirtyEight’s 2015-16 NBA predictions » 766776.816.8
2France 1England, Germany, Italy, Spain Top divisions only. Countries are listed alphabetically within each tier. 6Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia, Cyprus, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Iceland, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Northern Ireland, Serbia, Wales European countries’ soccer leagues, sorted into six tiers by strength This methodology article is for an old version of our club soccer forecasts. See how our latest club soccer predictions work.Today we’re publishing FiveThirtyEight’s club soccer predictions interactive, which includes team ratings, odds for upcoming matches and forecasts for the top five European domestic soccer leagues — the Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy) and Ligue 1 (France) — along with the UEFA Champions League, Europe’s premier club competition. Our forecasts are available in both English and Spanish, and we‘ll be adding more leagues in the future, likely starting in a few months with Liga MX, MLS and NWSL.The forecasts are based on a substantially revised version of ESPN’s Soccer Power Index (SPI), a rating system originally devised by FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver in 2009 for rating international soccer teams and last revised for the 2014 World Cup. For the interactive, we have updated and adapted SPI to incorporate club soccer scores going back to 1888 (from more than 550,000 matches in all),1Including matches from the six leagues we’re forecasting. The data comes from ESPN’s database and James Curley’s GitHub. The model doesn’t take into account matches in lower domestic divisions or in other competitions such as league cups or Europa League. as well as newer play-by-play data from Opta that has been available since summer 2010.In SPI, each team is assigned an offensive and defensive rating, expressed in terms of number of goals it would expect to score and yield against a middling team — so a high offensive rating is good, and a high defensive rating is bad.2Think of a team’s ratings as roughly how it would do against Swansea, Bordeaux or Leganes, based on those teams’ current strength. Unlike with national-team SPI, our club-soccer SPI doesn’t include an overall rating, in part because we plan to add other leagues, and as the pool of teams changes, the overall ratings would shift, too. Given the ratings for any two teams, we can project the result of a match between them in a variety of formats — such as a league match, a home-and-away tie or a cup final — as well as simulate whole seasons to arrive at the probability each team will win the league, qualify for the Champions League or be relegated to a lower division. After every match, a team’s ratings are adjusted based on its performance in that match and the strength of its opponent. Unlike with the Elo rating system we use in several other sports, when a soccer team wins a match but performs worse than expected, its ratings decline.Underlying quality of playSoccer can be tricky to model because there are so few goals scored in each match. The final scoreline fairly often will disagree with most people’s impressions of the quality of each team’s play, and the low-scoring nature of the sport sometimes will lead to prolonged periods of luck, where a team may be getting good results despite playing poorly (or vice versa).To mitigate this randomness, and better estimate each team’s underlying quality of play, we’re using four metrics to evaluate a team’s performance after each match: goals, adjusted goals, shot-based expected goals and non-shot expected goals.The first is simply how many goals a team scored in the match. The second, adjusted goals, accounts for the conditions under which each goal was scored. For adjusted goals, we reduce the value of goals scored when a team has more players on the field,3These are worth about 0.8 goals. This and all other weights were chosen in order to optimize the model for predicting match outcomes. as well as goals scored late in a match when a team is already leading.4Specifically, after the 70th minute, the value of a goal when a team is leading decreases linearly to the end of the game, when a goal is worth half a goal. So a 70th minute goal when leading is worth a full goal, an 80th minute goal is worth 0.75 goals, and a goal in the 90th minute or later is worth 0.5 goals. We increased the value of all other goals to make the total number of adjusted goals add up to the total number of goals scored.Shot-based expected goals are an estimate of how many goals a team “should” have scored given the shots they took in that match. Each shot is assigned a probability of scoring based on the distance and angle from the goal, as well as the part of the body the shot was taken with, with an adjustment for the player who took the shot.5All players who have enough shots in our database are given a modifier based on their historical conversion rates (the number of goals they’ve scored given the shots they’ve had). For example, Lionel Messi has historically converted a shot into a goal about 1.4 times as often as expected, so the probability of any shot he takes is multiplied by 1.4. These individual shot probabilities are added together to produce a team’s shot-based expected goals for that match, which may be bigger or smaller than the number of goals it actually scored.Non-shot expected goals are an estimate of how many goals a team “should” have scored based on non-shooting actions they took around the opposing team’s goal:6That is, within an area slightly larger than the 18-yard box. passes, interceptions, take-ons and tackles. For example, we know that intercepting the ball at the opposing team’s penalty spot results in a goal about 9 percent of the time, and a completed pass that is received six yards directly in front of the goal leads to a score about 14 percent of the time. We add these individual actions up across an entire match to arrive at a team’s non-shot expected goals. Just as for shot-based expected goals, there is an adjustment for each action based on the success rates of the player or players taking the action (both the passer and the receiver in the case of a pass). 4Belgium, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine 5Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Norway, Poland, Romania, Scotland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey TIERLEAGUES Take Sunday’s match between Everton and Manchester City, for example. Although Everton won 4-0, our model didn’t see the match as nearly so lopsided. Two of Everton’s goals came with the lead after the 70th minute. Furthermore, Everton took only six shots. Our shot-based expected goals model would expect only about 0.4 of those shots to go in the net, not the four that did. Man City also was the better team according to our non-shot based expected goals model. In all, our composite scores saw the final result as a 2.16-0.84 win for Everton — much narrower than 4-0.Since all four metrics represent the number of goals a team scored or could have been expected to score during the match, they’re directly comparable, and a team’s composite offensive score is an average of the four metrics; its composite defensive score is an average of the four metrics for its opponent. “An average doesn’t sound very empirical,” you might say, but our testing indicates it does about as well as any other way of combining the metrics. If anything, the expected goals components should count a bit more toward the overall match rating than the goals-based measures, but we have only a little more than six seasons’ worth of data for those components, while we have goals data back to 1888. Therefore, we’re being a little cautious about incorporating this new data. A team is assigned an offensive and defensive rating for a match based on its composite score and the pre-match ratings of its opponent, and these game ratings are combined with the team’s pre-match ratings to produce its updated ratings.As with our Elo-based rating systems, each team’s ratings change in the offseason. Rather than reverting each team toward the same mean, we revert it toward a time-weighted average of its final rating over the past five seasons. In addition, we adjust each team’s preseason rating based on players it acquires or sells in the offseason.7Specifically, these adjustments are based on subtracting transfer fees a team got in the offseason from how much it spent on acquiring players, relative to league average. For every standard deviation of net spend above league average, a team’s rating is boosted by about 0.09 points, split evenly between the team’s offensive and defensive ratings.ForecastingOnce we’ve established ratings for every team in the leagues we cover, we forecast the outcomes of upcoming matches with a Poisson model that forecasts the estimated number of goals we expect each team to score. The parameters in the model are the offensive and defensive ratings of the two teams, home-field advantage,8This varies based on the year of the match and the league the game is being played in. As Oliver Roeder and James Curley documented in 2014 on FiveThirtyEight about English soccer, home-field advantage has decreased over time. and the number of days of rest for each team. We can use these goal forecasts to estimate the probability of each team winning, as well as the chance the match will end in any given score.We then run Monte Carlo simulations to play out each league’s season 10,000 times using our individual match forecasts. As with our other forecasts, we run our Monte Carlo simulations “hot,” meaning that instead of a team’s ratings remaining static within each simulated season, the ratings can rise or fall based on the simulated matches the team plays. In effect, this widens the distribution of possible outcomes by allowing a weak team to go on a winning streak and increase its ratings substantially, or providing for the possibility that a strong team loses its first few games of a simulated season and is penalized accordingly.Leagues and tiersOne challenge when building such a system is the large number of leagues around the world: we have over 400 in our database. Determining a team’s strength within its league is relatively straightforward, but figuring out its strength relative to teams in other leagues is a second challenge. There are often few matches between teams in different leagues or regions. For example, clubs in the Americas rarely play European clubs aside from the Club World Cup or summer warmup matches, for which European sides often don’t field their best teams. 3Portugal To compare different leagues, we’ve come up with a tiered system. Each league belongs to a tier, and each successive tier is a bit weaker9By a margin equivalent to 0.2 goals per game, spread between offensive and defensive ratings. than the one above it. We calculated these tiers using both an analysis of interleague matches (e.g. Champions League or Europa League) and UEFA’s league-strength coefficients.Right now we’re about halfway through the European club season, and several leagues have good races brewing for the last few months. You can follow along at our interactive.
Those same numbers haven’t exactly been on-brand for the Pats so far this year. Although they’ve still forced opponents to drive from the league’s third-worst field position, their takeaways per drive have slipped to 12th, and their goal-to-go efficiency has fallen to 30th. And no defense has yielded more touchdowns per drive — the most elemental sign of whether a defense is bending or just flat-out snapping into pieces.Indicators of a defense’s ability to bend and not break are notoriously noisy, so the Patriots may very well rediscover their usual form before long. But by the same token, it was remarkable that the Pats’ D was able to survive as long as it had with such fickle metrics serving as strategic cornerstones. Given the team’s dynastic track record, nobody should think about counting New England out yet — particularly as long as Brady keeps playing at such a high level — but with their usual defensive formula disrupted and their home-field aura shaken, the Pats suddenly have more issues to address than they’re accustomed to.Check out our latest NFL predictions. Takeaways per drive115.7%1211.1% 2015Saints+0.8-11.2-11.2 2010Texans-0.4-9.2-9.5 2016Browns-1.1-8.6-9.5 YEARTEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL 2008Lions-2.5-7.5-9.9 2017Patriots+0.4-12.4-12.2 Goal-to-go efficiency allowed364.5%30100.0% 2011Buccaneers-2.3-4.9-7.7 2008Broncos-1.9-6.4-8.3 Touchdowns allowed per drive317.0%3231.1% The Patriots’ D is bending — and now breakingKey defensive metrics for New England EPA Total EPA may not match passing + rushing because of penalties.Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group CATEGORYNFL RANKAVG. VALUENFL RANKAVG. VALUE Opponent’s avg. starting field position127.4325.9 2001-20162017 Opponent yards per point118.02214.3 Red zone efficiency allowed1252.0%2764.3% 2010Jaguars-1.0-6.9-7.7 2014Saints-2.1-6.1-7.7 The worst defenses since ’06Most expected points added (EPA) allowed per game by NFL defenses, 2006-17 But even that by itself understates just how bad the Pats’ D has been this season. So far, New England is allowing a staggering 116.5 passer rating — essentially turning every opposing QB into Peyton Manning — and has also been carved up for 5.1 yards per carry. With an average of 12.2 EPA allowed per game, the Pats’ defense is tracking to be the single most porous D of the past 12 NFL seasons.New England has been in a similar position before. In 2011, the Patriots were roughly as good on offense as they’ve been this season — they ranked third in offensive EPA behind the Saints and Packers — and although they weren’t as much of a defensive dumpster fire as the 2017 edition has been, they still ranked eighth-to-last in EPA allowed and had the league’s sixth-worst pass defense.That team went 13-3, finished third in point differential (+171) and eventually made it to the Super Bowl before being upset by the New York Giants. This year’s version, by contrast, is barely outscoring opponents (they have a +1 point differential) and might be lucky to extend the franchise’s streak of winning a double-digit number of games to 15 years.So how were the Pats able to survive this kind of all-offense configuration in the past? By bending but not breaking. As we noted before the Super Bowl in February, one of the hallmarks of Belichick’s Patriots has been a defense that readily yields yardage but refuses to let opponents ultimately convert ball movement into points. From 2001 to 2016, the Pats’ average ranking in yards allowed was 16.1, while their average ranking in points allowed was 7.7; they ranked better by points allowed than yards allowed 14 times in those 16 seasons.The gap was a function of several important factors, including forcing opponents to drive from the deepest field position in the league, grabbing the most takeaways per drive of any team and summoning the league’s third-best goal-to-go defense (i.e., the rate of touchdowns allowed per drive that contained a down with the goal to go). These were all markers of strong situational defense — meaning that the Patriots’ D would play better the more heavily the situation determined whether they would allow points or (ultimately) win the game. 2017Titans-0.2-8.8-8.9 Source: ESPN Stats & Information Group The New England Patriots are usually immune to Super Bowl hangovers; you don’t win five championships and 14 division crowns in 16 seasons by resting on laurels. But early in this year’s title defense, the Pats find themselves with an uncharacteristic 2-2 record — including 1-2 at home, where they’re usually invincible.1According to ESPN’s Stats & Information Group, this is the first time since 2000 that New England has lost multiple home games before Week 5. Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have been doing this thing long enough that Pats fans shouldn’t be fully panicked quite yet — our NFL predictions still give them nearly a 70 percent chance of making the playoffs — but it’s worth dissecting these four games to see if they represent a momentary hiccup, or if the champs are truly in trouble.If someone had told you before the season that the Patriots would struggle through four weeks, it would have been logical to assume that the 40-year-old Brady had started to show his age, like so many QBs have before. But the funny thing is, Brady has been nothing less than outstanding so far: According to adjusted net yards per attempt,2A measure of passing efficiency that tracks yards per attempt with a bonus for touchdowns and penalties for interceptions and sacks. this is shaping up to be the most efficient season of Brady’s career, which is remarkable for a QB who might be the best in history.Brady has even done it despite having to abruptly adjust his quarterbacking style in the wake of a season-ending injury suffered in the preseason by top 2016 target Julian Edelman. Without Edelman running underneath routes to stretch defenses horizontally, Brady’s average air yards per attempt has skyrocketed from 7.5 a year ago to 10.0 this season. After throwing only 19 percent of his passes more than 15 yards downfield last season, Brady now airs it out 28 percent of the time, with newcomer Brandin Cooks ranking fourth among all NFL receivers in air yards per target.3Minimum 10 targets. And yet, in spite of the more difficult throws, Brady is also completing 66.5 percent of his passes, one of the best rates of his career. He hasn’t been perfect — he’s taking a lot of sacks despite facing less pressure in the pocket — but Brady has done some of his best-ever work under center so far in 2017.Because of Brady’s heroics, the Patriots have easily been the best offensive team in football thus far according to expected points added (EPA), generating 52.2 net points when they have the ball (nearly 7 more than the second-place Chiefs). Trouble is, they’ve also been the league’s worst defensive team. And it’s not even remotely close.The Pats’ defense is yielding 48.8 net points when the opponent has possession, 13.1 more than the second-to-last Titans. If that holds up, it would be the first time since 20064The earliest season in Stats & Info’s EPA database. for the same team to finish first in one category and last in the other. (No team has ever ranked first in defense and last in offense.)
Welcome to The Lab, FiveThirtyEight’s basketball podcast. On this week’s show (Feb. 1, 2018), Neil, Chris and Kyle break down the recent rash of significant injuries to key players on the Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans and Oklahoma City Thunder. John Wall and Kevin Love suffered injuries that will sideline them for at least several weeks, and DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Roberson are out for the remainder of the season. How will these losses affect each team and the playoff forecast? We take a look. Next, we talk about the Los Angeles Clippers’ decision to trade star Blake Griffin to the Detroit Pistons, and speculate about how Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy might use the power forward.Here are links to what we discussed this week:ESPN reported that the Wizards’ John Wall’s knee surgery would have him out at least two months.The Pelicans’ Boogie Cousins will be out for the rest of the season with a torn Achilles.Meanwhile, the Cavaliers’ Kevin Love will miss six to eight weeks with a hand fracture.And the Thunder’s Andre Roberson is done for the year with a ruptured patellar tendon.Chris Herring calls the Pistons’ trade for Griffin a desperate move that may backfire. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code By Neil Paine, Chris Herring and Kyle Wagner
OSU wrestling coach Tom Ryan watches on during a match against Minnesota on Feb. 6, 2015. Credit: Lantern file photoIt doesn’t take a diehard fan of collegiate wrestling to see how much improvement the Ohio State wrestling team has undergone in the past decade. Much of the change can be attributed to its coach, Tom Ryan.Throughout his first 10 years with the program, Ryan has produced a pair of runner-up finishes in the NCAA tournament, the first conference title for the Buckeyes in 64 years and a team national championship, the first in the history of an OSU wrestling program that first hit the mats in 1921.Along with the team accomplishments, six Buckeyes have earned 10 national championships with Ryan at the helm. Two of the individual crowns were won this season by sophomore Kyle Snyder and freshman Myles Martin, Nathan Tomasello won as a redshirt freshman in 2015, Logan Stieber won four times, J Jaggers won twice and Mike Pucillo won in 2008.The backing and following of the OSU wrestling team has reached new levels under the guidance of the former Iowa wrestler. “I remember when I first got the job here, I had a blow-up mattress and I would just sleep in the office,” Ryan said. “(OSU) hooked me up with a hotel room downtown, but I rarely left here.”With his family still back in New York preparing to make the move to Columbus, Ryan said he could immerse himself in his work, dedicating every moment to wrestling. This time was used to assemble his coaching staff, as well as structure the program for the foreseeable future.Through tireless work and effort, Ryan was able to produce back-to-back second-place finishes at the NCAA championships in his second and third seasons. Fast forward six years, and the Buckeyes were hoisting a national-championship trophy for the first time in the team’s existence. The turnaround has brought national attention to the Buckeyes as a powerhouse in the wrestling world, giving OSU great leverage in terms of recruiting. Since 2012, each of Ryan’s recruiting classes have been ranked in the top 10, according to D1 College Wrestling, with the 2014 class peaking at No. 5. “The younger kids now that are growing up, the seed that’s planted in their brain watching the TV is Ohio State,” Ryan said. “When I first got here, they were not saying that necessarily.”A change in culture and networking across the state with people who have a passion for the sport have helped the program to grow at OSU. The support of donors and contributors to the program and the university have also been instrumental, Ryan said. Tangible evidence of the rise in prominence is the proposed training center for the team, which is set to begin construction sometime this year. Although things would seem to be going in an entirely new direction, Ryan claimed there was nothing revolutionary or new implemented by the three-time national coach of the year when he arrived in Ohio’s capital city. “We haven’t reinvented any wheels here,” Ryan said. “You study what schools in various sports have done really well, and you try to put that in place where you are.”Following a decade of being at the helm for the Scarlet and Gray, Ryan has solidified the wrestling program as one of OSU’s most-followed sports outside of football and basketball. Ryan said fans should continue to watch and cheer on the wrestling team as it continues to build. “I think the best days are ahead of us,” he said with a smile.Correction 4/5: An earlier version of the story said Kyle Snyder, Myles Martin and Logan Stieber made up the three wrestlers to win six national championships, when in fact Nathan Tomasello, J Jaggers and Mike Pucillo also won, making the total 10.
Derevon Guyton cheers on PSG in the International Champions Cup at Ohio Stadium on July 27, 2016. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorWednesday night was another night inside Ohio Stadium where the fans were loud, somewhat obnoxious, donning their team’s colors, but it wasn’t quite September yet. A warm night in July pitted European soccer powerhouse clubs Paris Saint-Germain against Real Madrid.The International Champions Cup came to Columbus for the first game in the ‘Shoe since 1998 when the Columbus Crew played their last home season on Ohio State’s campus. All night, the atmosphere was electric, filled with an attendance of 86,641—a record for the state of Ohio. For some, this was the first chance they got to see the stars they idolize oversees.Derevon Guyton, 28, traveled from Washington state to see his beloved PSG squad play for the first time.“PSG to the death of me, bro,” Guyton said. “That’s my boys out there, man. I’m sitting out here, but I feel like I’m on the field with them.”A soccer fan since high school, Guyton flew out to Baltimore on Saturday to meet with his girlfriend for two days before they travelled to Columbus for the international friendly. He estimated his trip to be $1,200.Sporting a Zlatan Ibrahimovic jersey, who has since left PSG for the Premier League’s Manchester United, Guyton waved his red and blue PSG flag for the entire crowd to see, as if they couldn’t hear him already. Cheering at every moment, mocking Real Madrid defender Marcelo as he fell to the turf, the passion exuding from Guyton represented the growth of soccer in America.“I’ve been waiting to see them for years. It just costs too much to go to Paris. It’s not really feasible unless you’re like a millionaire, bro. It’s like $5,000,” said Guyton. “So for them to come here, it’s a big deal for me. I’ll always remember this.”Fans from nearby Dayton, Cincinnati, Toledo and Detroit made the journey to OSU for Wednesday’s friendly, as well as some from Chicago. These fans may live in the U.S., but some of them represent nationalities of Spain, France, Canada and even Nepal. One family made the trip to Columbus from Columbia to cheer on their national hero.“James (Rodriguez for Real Madrid). We came to see James,” said the family. Their trip cost around $2,000.A nationwide obsession of the video game FIFA has been a major impact in the expansion of soccer in the U.S. Major League Soccer has 20 teams currently playing across the country and some in Canada.Former Columbus Crew player Frankie Hejduk, who won a championship for the Crew in 2008 when there were just 14 teams in the MLS was in attendance on Wednesday night. He said that seeing die-hard soccer fans from many nationalities bonding with an American football-dominant crowd is something he didn’t think would have been possible five years ago.“This game really brings attention to the fans who don’t know much about soccer that could potentially say, ‘I had a blast,’” Hejduk said. “That’s what I see is people are learning to respect the game a lot more because these guys are athletes.”PSG won 3-1 with all scoring in the first half. The first goal came at the two-minute mark sending the crowd into a frenzy. Personal photos were being taken just about everywhere around the stadium to remember the moment they first got to see their team play in America. Fans also took part in a resounding stadium “O-H-I-O” in the second half.Real Madrid midfielder Lucas Vasquez said that he felt at home on the pitch and the atmosphere was phenomenal.“I think what we have seen is that all around the world we have fans, and we saw them when we got to the hotel,” said Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane. “Overall, we’re happy to be here and to spend a little time with the fans in Columbus.”The preseason exhibition between PSG and Real Madrid is one of four games played in the U.S. this month as a part of the ICC. Columbus has been a city that has adapted well to the game, but Wednesday night may have been another installment into how the sport continues to grow in the country.“It promotes real football. It shows them what football really is,” Guyton said. “I still believe that the MLS is years behind all the other leagues. But this right here is a spectacle.”
Steve Stricker’s hole-in-one during the second round at the Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio, sent shock waves throughout the course, and up and down the leaderboard. Stricker improved on his first-round score of 68 by posting a 67 on Friday, and ascended to the top of the Memorial Tournament leaderboard thanks to a rare ace on the par-3, 186-yard eighth hole. “You don’t expect to make a one,” Stricker said. “That (hole) always provided me with trouble over the years, and it’s just a tough par-3.” Despite his past difficulties with Muirfield’s eighth hole, Stricker said his tee shot came off surprisingly well. “I was surprised that it came off good because I haven’t hit some good shots there in years prior,” Stricker said. “I didn’t see how it went in, but it looked like it went in fairly nice, like a putt.” For those who weren’t within earshot of cheers that went up in support of Stricker’s ace, souvenir radio headsets alerted Muirfield patrons to the hole-in-one. Tournament officials then were seen updating magnetic scoreboards throughout the course — within moments, Stricker’s name sat atop all others. Luke Donald, the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, birdied the 17th and 18th holes to move to 5-under-par after Friday’s second round. Donald said he thought he was one shot behind four players — Ricky Barnes, Rod Pampling, Jonathan Byrd and Rory McIlroy — who had previously been tied for first place before Stricker’s hole-in-one. Donald was first alerted to the hole-in-one by a member of the media. “That (hole-in-one) will help,” Donald said. “(Stricker) is a great player, and he’ll be tough to catch. I’ll give it my best shot.” Stricker, who teed off from the 10th hole at 12:43 p.m. to begin his round, birdied the ninth hole to close out the round and move to 9-under-par. Despite his 3-stroke lead ahead of Barnes, Pampling, Byrd and McIlroy, Stricker said “there’s a long way to go” in the Memorial. “Obviously, I’m happy to be where I’m at,” Stricker said. “Heading into the weekend, things change. Guys get more aggressive. So, you just kind of got to be patient and hang in there and keep doing the things you know how to do.” Third-round play will commence at 8:10 a.m. Saturday, and Stricker and Barnes will tee off at 1:40 p.m. as the Memorial’s final pairing.
Being an athlete and a student can sometimes be a daunting task at Ohio State. For sophomore swimmer Michelle Williams, the concept isn’t quite as difficult. In fact, Williams makes it looks easy. During the 2010 season, Williams was one of few student-athletes at OSU to record a perfect 4.0 GPA. Williams, whose main events for OSU are the women’s 50 and 100 freestyle and 100 butterfly, along with some of the relay teams, said she is able to succeed because swimming helps her manage her time. She said academics are her priority, followed closely by swimming and family. “Swimming helps me to be a better student,” she said. The classroom isn’t the only place where Williams has found success. The Toronto, Ontario-native will be competing in the Canadian Olympic trials this March. It will be the second time she has competed in the trials. The first time around, she knew that she was fighting an uphill battle and didn’t end up qualifying. “I have a better shot (this time),” she said. Williams said she wants to go further than making the Canadian Olympic team. “Many people make it to the Olympics and then don’t know what to do,” she said. “The next step is to perform.” Williams’ swimming career began when she was 8 years old. Her parents signed her up for a learn-to-swim program and her swimming blossomed from there. “Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to go to the Olympics,” she said. And she isn’t the only member of her family to find success in athletics. Her sister is also a gymnast at the University of California, Berkeley and her brother was always involved in high school sports. “My family is pretty athletic,” she said. When the trials come around, she will be trying out for the 4×100 freestyle relay team along with the 100 butterfly, and 50 and 200 freestyle events. Coach Bill Dorenkott said he has been emailing the Canadian Olympic team coaches trying to make them more aware of Williams. “She’s flying under the radar,” Dorenkott said. Dorenkott said he is confident she will make the team. “She has a great shot,” Dorenkott said. “Myself, her parents and her club coach might be the only ones that know that.” It might be hard for a prospective Olympic athlete to stay motivated, but not for Williams. She looks to her competition to stay motivated. “My rivals in the same events as me are always big influences,” she said. Her teammates and coaches, at home and at OSU, are also big influences, she said. “She’s very humble and hardworking, sometimes to a fault,” Dorenkott said. “I love coaching her.” Williams’ teammate, junior Jackie Brousseau, said Williams is “a hard worker and someone who is easy to talk to.” “She always looks to her teammates first,” Brousseau said. “She’s definitely a team player.” Brousseau said Williams’ best attribute is her ability to cheer up her teammates. “We’re up at 5 a.m. every day and sometimes we’re grumpy,” Brousseau said. “She always knows what to say and reminds me of my goals.” With the Olympic trials more than a month away, Williams said her focus right now is on the Big Ten championships that will take place mid-February in Iowa City, Iowa. “The team is really excited and really prepared,” she said. The women’s swimming and diving team continues its season at 5 p.m. Friday when they travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans.
Western Michigan goalie Stephanie Heber saves a shot from Ohio State senior forward Eleanor Gabriel (8) in the first half of the Buckeyes’ 2-0 win over the Brocos on Sept. 1. Credit: Mac Connor | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s soccer team (3-0-1) earned its second straight home win with a 2-0 victory over Western Michigan (2-1) at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium Friday night. Goals from forwards Meghan Kammerdeiner and Marissa Birzon propelled the team to victory.The game started off with a frantic pace, leading to many changes of possession in the center of the pitch. Forward Sammy Edwards provided the only early excitement five minutes into the game, forcing Western Michigan goalie Stephanie Heber to make a full extension save.The Buckeye offense found its footing 10 minutes into the game, applying pressure on the Western Michigan defense throughout the first half with sound passing and a frenzy of through balls and corners. Even when the Broncos moved the ball to midfield, the Buckeyes quickly regained possession, dominating possession in an effort to make Western Michigan midfielder Grace Labadie’s early shot the only one on goal.“Our team works really hard with the no-shot mentality”, said goalie Devon Kerr earlier this week. “Clean sheets are like really important for us this year, so that’s been huge.”The Western Michigan Broncos managed another shot by the end of the half, but were outshot by the Buckeyes 12-2 in the half. Ohio State also earned three corners, compared to Western Michigan’s zero. The teams went into halftime in a 0-0 draw, hoping the warmth of the locker rooms would provide a needed energy boost on the cold night.There was a visible adjustment period to the 30-degree weather drop this morning as the Buckeyes came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders to kick off the second half.“We have this saying called, ‘Control the controllable,’” Kammerdeinger said. “We don’t have control of the weather obviously, so we’re going to come in and take care of business of what we do have.”The second half started much like the end of the first, with the Buckeyes holding possession and earning a quick corner kick. The Broncos started a strong push 20 minutes into the half, earning a quality shot on goal and their first corner. The Buckeyes struggled to manage the corner, leading to another shot, which left the ball helplessly bouncing in front of the net until goalie Devon Kerr managed to gain control.Western Michigan continued to press over the next 15 minutes, applying steady pressure on the Buckeyes’ defense and doubling up their shot total in a matter of minutes.Ohio State responded by pushing the ball hard to the end line, earning a series of crosses culminating in a goal in the 69th minute from Kammerdeiner. Midfielder Nikki Walts provided the perfect cross landing the ball softly in the box for Kammerdeiner to finish it home and give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead.“What helped us a lot, was that we have a lot of variety,” Kammerdeiner said earlier this week. “We have players that are able to play different types of balls and behind, get end line and change it up based on what the defense is showing us, and we can do that on the fly which has helped us a lot.”This versatility of the team proved fruitful in keeping the ball on the Western Michigan end the majority of the match, eventually leading to a Kammerdeiner score.The Buckeyes didn’t take long to add to their lead. Defender Izzy Rodriguez showed a bit of her ability to play the whole field in sending a curving cross landing right at the feet of forward Marissa Birzon. Birzon then chipped the ball high over goalie Stephanie Heber, who could only get her fingertips on the ball as it spun into the goal to give Ohio State a 2-0 lead.After the game Kammerdeiner said the versatility of the team she talked about earlier in the week helped lead to Friday’s win.“I think it’s just amazing how much depth we have on our team,” Kammerdeiner said. “We can have these freshman come in against everyone else’s rest and they’re just as good as us. They’re pushing us everyday to get better, and it really drives our team forward.”Although the Buckeyes held a comfortable lead, they continued to apply the pressure through the end of the match. Never appearing satisfied with the lead they held, Ohio State continued racking up shots and opportunities while trying to complete the clean sheet the team has placed such high value on.Ohio State outshot Western Michigan 19-7 and allowed just four shots to reach Kerr in net. The team has yet to allow a goal since the 30th minute of their opening match against Arizona State, making it 330 minutes since an opponent has scored.The Buckeyes’ next game is against South Florida Saturday at 6 p.m. at Bert L. & Iris S. Wolstein Field at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The French media have published a video where a 52-year-old man is chasing a youngster and yelling obscenities after that person allegedly shouted at his daughterThe French media had a field day with a released video where they have reported seeing Olympique Lyonnais boss Bruno Genesio verbally abusing someone.The different outlets shared footage of a 52-year-old man chasing a youngster and yelling obscenities after that person allegedly shouted at Genesio’s daughter.But the French Ligue 1 club has been quick to support their coach.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…“Since [Monday], Olympique Lyonnais have supported coach Bruno Genesio and his family with regards to an incident that occurred on Saturday, which has been condemned with the utmost firmness,” the statement said as reported by ESPN.“Sometimes, you have to know how to watch and listen before intervening,” OL president Jean-Michel Aulas wrote on Twitter.“Thanks to the many testimonies of support and gratitude towards Bruno, he retains thoroughly deserved legitimacy.”
Arsenal legend Emmanuel Petit accused Mesut Ozil of lacking any desire on the pitchThe former Real Madrid playmaker was brought off by manager Unai Emery at half-time in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw at Brighton on Boxing Day.And Petit has been left far from impressed by Ozil’s mentality over the past two years for the Gunners.“Arsenal were magnificent against Brighton for 30 minutes,” Petit told Paddy Power.“They played good football but, just as they did at Southampton, disappeared all of a sudden.“The quality they had been showing vanished and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence. The goal they conceded was awful.“Mesut Ozil was taken off at halftime. I’m a big fan of his, but he has been a ghost for two years.“Where is the Ozil who was one of the best players around, making so many assists and goals? I think he has lost his desire on the pitch, it’s not there any more.”The French World Cup winner also believes Arsenal’s defence isn’t good enough ahead of Saturday’s trip to Anfield to take on unbeaten Premier League leaders Liverpool.Petit added: “In defence they are weak, they’re average. They make individual and collective errors.Liverpool legend Nicol slams Harry Maguire’s Man United form Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Steve Nicol believes Harry Maguire has made some “horrendous mistakes” recently, and has failed to find his best form since joining Manchester United.“Sometimes you have to laugh. They injuries are not an excuse, most of the players who stepped in are internationals.“The quality they had been showing vanished (at Brighton) and it became obvious what their weakest link was – the defence.“I don’t know what’s going on with some of these players. During the long unbeaten run you thought Arsenal are back on track.“But now I look back at the number of those games in which they were lucky and, suddenly, reality returned.“They need to raise their game mentally on Saturday. I’ve seen glimpses of improvement compared to previous years but you can’t perform for just half an hour against Liverpool.“You need to be fully switched on for 90 minutes, especially away from home.“If Arsenal go to Anfield thinking they can just keep plodding away the way they have been, it’s over – they’ll leave the stadium with three or four goals against them.”Petit played for Arsenal in midfield between 1997 to 2000, where he won the Premier League and FA Cup before joining Barcelona.The Frenchman also had spells with AS Monaco and Chelsea before announcing his retirement in January 2005.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, December 22, 2017 – Nassau – They may be rivals on the football field this week but players from Ohio and UAB came together Tuesday afternoon to swim with dolphins at Atlantis Paradise Island resort.The Blazers and Bobcats players come from teams with intimidating mascots, but they were in awe when they got up close and personal with the world-famous dolphins.“It was amazing,” Lee Dufour, UAB’s redshirt sophomore center said. “It was something I have always wanted to do. To come out here and get to touch and interact with the dolphins was incredible.”The players watched the dolphins leap, flip, shake hands and even cry like a baby during their hour-long experience.“It was really cool getting to see all of the tricks up close,” Javon Hagan, Ohio’s redshirt sophomore safety added. “The best part was watching the dolphins do front flips in front of us. I have never seen dolphins before.”With some incredible memories created, the two teams will return to the gridiron Wednesday as they continue preparation for Friday’s Bahamas Bowl at Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN.Release: BIS Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:
Toby Alderweireld thinks it’s time for Tottenham to take the next step in their development under Mauricio Pochettino and finally win a trophy.Alderweireld echoed the same sentiment as Pochettino, as they both believe it’s finally time for Spurs to break their 8-year trophyless run and lift a trophy after successive impressive seasons.Their last trophy came in 2008 in the League Cup when they beat 2-1 at Wembley, but finished runners-up behind Leicester City in 2016’s historic win.“It is even more positive that they do not see it as a good start for Spurs,” Alderweireld told Sky Sports News.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“That is the kind of level we have reached. We are never satisfied, we always try to improve, win every game and try to take that last step that everybody is talking about.“It is not easy, we work hard, but it does not come by night. There is a lot of work that goes into it, but we try to develop our game and be better every time.”