Local coaches Shavar Thomas, Omar Edwards, Vassell Reynolds have described the 2018 World Cup as one which was a fantastic spectacle, full of suspense and unpredictability. According to the coaches, the smaller nations came to the fore in a big way and they believed that was possible because of the tactic of playing behind or without the ball for the majority of their games. Local teams, they said, can learn a lot from this tactic. Tivoli’s coach, Edwards, said the smaller European teams were ‘pragmatic’ in their approach and local players and teams have to learn to be more disciplined if they want to compete at the highest level. “The teams in the World Cup were compact and organised from the first whistle. Most played a low press game. They were very cagey, so most teams played on the counter-attack. It’s not new, we have been doing a long time but the teams in the World Cup reinforced it,” he said. He added that team discipline cannot be achieved without individual discipline, which is not strong enough in domestic competitions. “We have taken note of tactical discipline of the players to carry out coaches’ instructions. They were very disciplined for the most part and organised, especially the European teams. So if our local players want to play at the highest level, if teams want to play at the highest level tactically, players have to learn the game more and be more disciplined,” he said. Thomas, the coach of Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) champions, Portmore United, agreed the World Cup reinforced how effective playing behind the ball or without the ball is, while using the counter-attack to break open opposing defences. “You take something from each team, especially, the way they played behind the ball and the patience they had. Small European teams – Iceland, Sweden and Denmark – were comfortable without the ball and were very happy and willing to defend. “In the final Croatia had more possession but France were more effective in executing their plan. So you never know what can happen on the day, but this is football …,” he reasoned. Vassell Reynolds, of Reno and daCosta Cup winners Rusea’s High, said the World Cup taught him to be pragmatic and to adjust to situations. “I didn’t want to get caught up with supporting (Argentina) and get emotional. I really wanted to learn during this World Cup,” he said. “What I recognised this World Cup is that you can be pragmatic as a coach to counter what you think your opponents will be doing. I thought Belgium and England showed that in many instances. So you can be pragmatic during a tournament, during a game and not just go in there with one plan “But this World Cup people (teams) were not just about or bent on defending … they countered. So they were more adventurous,” he stated.
Lawmakers have expressed serious disappointment in the nation’s security system after it took the security 72 hours to detect and respond to the appearance of an unknown ship which recently docked without a crew in Robertsport, Grand Cape Mount County.In Tuesday’s session of the House of Representatives, lawmakers argued that with the departure of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) next month, such a major security breach is not only worrisome but alarming in the wake of terrorist attacks in the West Africa sub-region.“Burkina Faso and La Cote d’Ivoire were the latest victims of organized global terror. We, as a nation and a people, need to be more vigilant and alert than ever before. We therefore, cannot afford to let down our guard,” said Rep. Gabriel Nyenka of Montserrado County District # 11.The House of Representatives has mandated three committees to conduct investigations into the mysterious appearance of the unknown vessel which is still docked at Robertsport, as well as the failure of the country’s security to respond to the sighting immediately and with urgency.The committees are National Defense, Security and Maritime.The Plenary, the highest decision making body of the House of Representatives, has also mandated the joint committee to submit a comprehensive report on or before Tuesday, May 17, 2016.Gbarpolu County District # 1 Representative, Alfred Koiwood, is the Chairman of the National Security Committee, which is the lead committee.The House took the decision based on a letter from Rep. Gabriel Nyenka on Tuesday, asking plenary to investigate the status of the reported unidentified ship which entered Liberia’s territorial waters.“Interestingly, Honorable Colleagues, it took 72 hours or thereabouts of speculations to attract any of our security agencies to respond to such a looming national security threat. What’s happening to our entire national security architecture?” Rep. Nyenka wrote.After hours of debate on the issue raised by Hon. Nyenka, Nimba County District # 5 Representative, Samuel Korgar, made a motion, calling for probing the unknown ship by the three committees. The motion was unanimously endorsed by members of the plenary.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Manchester City and Liverpool target Dani Alves is set to join Paris St-Germain on a free transfer at the end of the season.The Barcelona defender, who has also been linked with Manchester United and Juventus in recent weeks, is out of contract at the Nou Camp this summer and is yet to be offered an extension.According to reports in Spain, Alves travelled to last week to meet representatives from the French club and a three-year deal has already been tabled. City have been tracking the full-back for some time and are ready to recruit the Brazilian on a free. Dani Alves with Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba 1
Petr Cech Arsene Wenger refused to single out goalkeeper Petr Cech as being at fault for the goals conceded during Arsenal’s 2-0 loss to West Ham.The manager did, however, acknowledge that his side lacked defensive organisation in conceding “soft” strikes as their Barclays Premier League campaign began with defeat.Having spent £10million to recruit Cech from Chelsea this summer, there was a belief that Arsenal could again challenge for the title because defensive lapses would no longer be a serious problem.However, the Czech goalkeeper looked unconvincing for both Cheikhou Kouyate’s and Mauro Zarate’s finishes, and his arrival at the Gunners appears to have corrected little so far.“I haven’t spoken to Cech,” Wenger said. “I can’t see many convincing individual performances today. It’s difficult to see beyond that.“It’s not only him. We have experience along the back-line. “It was a collective lapse. There are many things to say about that. I know we were in trouble even before the free-kick was taken.”The result and performance again suggested Arsenal need to strengthen before they can hope to win the league for the first time since 2004, but Wenger, who has repeatedly been linked with a transfer for Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema, reiterated he is unlikely to make further signings.“I can only repeat: if an exceptional solution turns up we do it. But after a defeat like that it’s important not to think we must take a solution from outside,” said the Frenchman, despite a disappointing display from first-choice striker Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott having already been dropped.“I would like to think we are responsible to buy the people and the coaches, and not the media. We have to look at ourselves and think we were not good enough.” 1
Newcastle United star Moussa Sissoko is wanted by a number of Premier League sides 1 Arsenal have entered the race to sign Newcastle United midfielder Moussa Sissoko.Despite Magpies boss Rafa Benitez insisting he wants the French international to stay, the Toon hierarchy are resigned to losing Sissoko this summer after he impressed for France during Euro 2016.The 26-year-old has made it clear he wants to stay in the Premier League, with Tottenham, Liverpool and Crystal Palace, managed by his former Newcastle boss Alan Pardew, all showing interest.And now Arsenal have also showed interest in signing Sissoko, however talkSPORT understands the Gunners are not prepared to meet Newcastle’s £35million valuation.The Tyneside outfit bumped up their asking price following the player’s performance in the Euro 2016 final for hosts France, but Arsenal’s valuation is nearer the £20m mark.Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund were thought to be in pole position to land the Frenchman and looked prepared to match the Championship sides valuation.But Sissoko recently told France Football that his ‘priority is to stay in England’, meaning he is likely to choose a Premier League club over a move to Germany.Sissoko joined Newcastle from Toulouse in 2013 and has made 117 appearances scoring 11 goals.
Dimitar Berbatov scored 120 goals in spells with Tottenham, Man United and Fulham Dimitar Berbatov could be set to return to the Premier League, with new Swansea manager Bob Bradley admitting the veteran striker is “on his radar”.The former Tottenham, Manchester United and Fulham striker is currently a free agent, having been without a club since leaving Greek side PAOK in June.Bradley believes the 35-year-old, who scored over 120 goals in English football and won the Premier League twice at Old Trafford, could help the Jacks escape the relegation zone.And the former United States boss revealed that the striker’s name has already been spoken about during his discussions with the Swansea hierarchy about recruitment.“‘I actually saw him [Berbatov] in May at the celebration game for Hristo Stoichkov in Sofia,” Bradley said at his press conference ahead of Sunday’s home game against Manchester United.“So I have met Dimitar a few times and I know he is anxious to get back into the Premier League.“Everyone inside our club knows that, and so when there are [transfer] discussions his name is included.“Where it takes us at this time I don’t have an answer.“But certainly I know about his intentions and I have certainly seen some of the good things he’s done in the past.“Yes he’s on my radar – there’s a lot of things on my radar right now.” 1
Frustrated by an apparent lack of interest from the NFL in selecting a stadium site, members of the Coliseum Commission said Wednesday that it might be time to end their decade-long pursuit to bring pro football back to Los Angeles. “We probably started negotiating before we went into Iraq,” commission member David Israel said of the latest negotiations that began 3 1/2 years ago. “At the current rate, we’ll still be negotiating after we’ve left Iraq. “We have to send a message to the league that if we don’t get affirmative progress, we may have to go in another direction.” One of those options is pursuing a public-private partnership with USC, much like the one the Coliseum Commission has been negotiating with the NFL, in which the school would cover much of the costs of a renovation in exchange for having control of the facility’s operation. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’The commission’s pointed message, made in open session at its monthly meeting, comes just two days before newly selected NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell visits Southern California to meet with Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle, whose city is in negotiations with the league as well. The real target, though, appears to be National Football League owners, who will meet in New Orleans in three weeks – the last time they’re expected to congregate until March. Los Angeles is the main topic on the agenda, and owners are expected to be briefed on the extensive engineering, architecture and marketing studies the NFL has done at the two sites in the past three months. Little interest However, a number of owners appear to have little interest in pushing forward on Los Angeles until the revenue-sharing agreement – which was hastily cobbled together last spring – is revisited. When Coliseum officials were told recently not to expect any decision, it caused Israel and two other staunch advocates of a NFL deal, Bernard Parks and Bill Chadwick, to reconsider. “We heard 2007, 2008, then 2010 and the last time it was 2011 was a possibility,” said Parks, an city councilman whose district includes Exposition Park. “If this thing is going to be a reality, we need an answer.” NFL officials were caught off guard by the Coliseum Commission’s change in tact. “This is the first we’ve heard of it,” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, who declined further comment. New strategy Aides to Villaraigosa said Wednesday that they weren’t sure whether the mayor would travel to New Orleans, but in a meeting Tuesday with Daily News editors and reporters the mayor said he would soon announce “a more focused strategy” with the NFL. Coliseum general manager Pat Lynch, who has a negotiating session with NFL executive Neil Glat scheduled for today, doesn’t believe any of these issues can’t be overcome. “If I ever saw a major roadblock, I’d be the first one to stand up and yell,” Lynch said. “From staff to staff, there’s been an incredible amount of progress. Right now, it’s more of a owners-commission issue.” Coliseum Commission members said their patience is dwindling because the one-year extension of their lease with the state, which owns the land, expires at the end of the year. If an agreement is not reached, a formula based on real estate values in L.A. County is used to determine the rent, meaning their current rent of $50,000 for the Coliseum and $30,000 for the Sports Arena, is due to balloon to approximately $2.6 million. One way for the Coliseum, which turns an annual profit of about $1 million, to absorb those losses would be to take advantage of a reopener clause in its two-year lease with the University of Southern California, which expires after next season. The current deal calls for the Coliseum to get 8 percent of ticket sales up to $70,000 and all concessions. The necessity of negotiating a new rent deal with USC was the perfect opportunity to begin discussions about a possible long-term deal, several commissioners said. USC success Over the years, the two sides have talked about it, but with the booming success of USC football – Chadwick estimated it brings in $50 million per year – the school might be in a position to make improvements at the Coliseum, though not the extensive ones the NFL was considering in a proposal that could cost an estimated $800 million. “We need to revisit it and revisit it aggressively,” Chadwick said of a long-term deal. USC’s concerns about how it would be treated if a NFL team arrived were aired in a letter from President Steven Sample to the former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue in May. And while Sample and Tagliabue spoke shortly after, the two sides haven’t entered negotiations and Goodell has no plans to visit anyone from the school. USC would be “more than happy” to talk about a long-term lease, said USC general counsel Todd Dickey. While many Coliseum commissioners are concerned about the state of the 83-year-old stadium – water pressure was lost in bathrooms at the most recent USC home game and Commission Chairwoman Yvonne Burke said she receives many complaints from fans – Dickey said the stadium suits the school’s needs. “It’s a great college football stadium,” Dickey said. “It was earthquake retro-fitted in the mid-’90s and should be good to go for decades.” “There may be some seats that need to be replaced, but it’s in pretty good shape. I don’t hear any complaints from our people about the quality of the Coliseum. “We’d consider long-term improvements down the road, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put money into the stadium if you’ve got a year-to-year lease. Everything now is subject to ‘What if the NFL comes?”‘ firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3621160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Ruben Loftus-Cheek seems to have been at Chelsea forever. Well, he has. Joining the Blues aged eight, the midfielder is highly regarded by the club and has impressed when given the chance.Despite his obvious talent, the England international has only played 37 times in the Premier League in the last four seasons for Chelsea and was sent out on loan to Crystal Palace for the 2017/18 campaign. 2. Football friendChelsea and Tottenham may be football rivals, but that has not stopped members of both sides being mates with each other. Loftus-Cheek reportedly gets on well with Dele Alli. “I’ve been good friends with Dele for a long time,” he said. “We have been in the England set-up together since I was young. We played together a few times, he’s a really nice guy.” 11 Loftus-Cheek sticks to yoga and stretching He studied German great Michael Ballack Dynamo Kyiv vs Chelsea (Thursday) – talkSPORT 2Watford vs Crystal Palace (Saturday) – talkSPORTLeeds vs Sheffield United (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2West Ham vs Huddersfield (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2Swansea vs Manchester City (Saturday) – talkSPORTWolves vs Manchester United (Saturday) – talkSPORTMillwall vs Brighton (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2Fulham vs Liverpool (Sunday) – talkSPORT 9. Dream debutHaving already impressed for England throughout the youth levels, including being named Player of the Tournament at the Toulon Tournament in 2016, Loftus-Cheek earned his first start for the senior team against Germany at Wembley in November the following year.While the match ended goalless, the on-loan Palace midfielder turned in a powerful and purposeful display to earn himself the man of the match award. 1. Staying fitLoftus-Cheek has been plagued with a chronic back problem since he was 17 and the injury curse struck again this January. At 6ft 4, the midfielder is a pretty big player and has revealed he barely touches weights, instead focusing on yoga and work with the physios instead.“I’ve been doing yoga. I’m not very good at it, but I have to start somewhere! Working with the physios, they know the best things.We have been working over the past year since I have been in the first team. As I’d get a niggle, you’d rule out a problem. It was just about ruling out all the problems to figure it out.” 11 11 11 11 7. Manager madnessJose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Antonio Conte, Frank de Boer, Roy Hodgson, Gareth Southgate and Maurizio Sarri are all of the managers to have coached Loftus-Cheek at some point in his career. Not a bad bunch to learn from! 11 4. Copying a greatWhile Frank Lampard and Michael Essien were players Loftus-Cheek admired, there was another Chelsea midfielder who he kept a closer eye on; Michael Ballack. The German spent four years with Chelsea from 2006 and helped the Blues win the double in his final season.“Ballack was a player that ran the game, while Lampard kind of worked off him,” he said.“I took his style into the way I play, especially when I played as a no.8 all the way through the Academy and sometimes play now.” 6. Midfield idolLike most aspiring midfield players, there can be no better player to learn from than France legend Zinedine Zidane. Speaking to FourFourTwo, he said: “I know he’s (Zidane) not the strongest or fastest, but on the ball; he was just so good, so relaxed, so calm. People say I’m calm on the ball today, because I tried to be like him when I was younger.” 11 11 LIVE on talkSPORT Zidane is one of the best ever First shot first goal for Chelsea But what else do we know about a player who is considered one of the best young talents in the country?Ahead of the match, which will be live for fans to tune into on talkSPORT 2 and kicks off at 5.55pm, here are 10 more facts.10. Football runs in the familyLoftus-Cheek is the half brother of former Newcastle United and Wolves striker Carl Cort, who played in the Premier League in the early 2000’s and ex-defender Leon Cort, who turned out for Crystal Palace and Stoke City. Loftus-Cheek is highly rated by Chelsea 11 3. Crossed the bossLoftus-Cheek was handed his senior Chelsea debut by Jose Mourinho during the 2014/15 season, but he was on the end of some harsh words from the manager after a pre-season game at the end of that campaign. “Ruben was saying he had a pain in his back but what I was feeling was that he only had this pain when Sydney had the ball,” said Mourinho following a match in Australia.“So, with Ruben, it’s one step back in terms of my relationship with him. If he doesn’t know what it means to play for me and Chelsea, it’s one step back.” Mourinho had some harsh words for the youngster Loftus-Cheek starred against Germany 5. Shoots and scoresTo score for your boyhood club is a dream for any footballer, to do it with your very first shot on target is even better and that’s exactly what happened for the 23-year-old when he found the net against Scunthorpe United in an FA Cup tie back in 2016. The pair are team-mates for England Southgate speaks with Loftus-Cheek on U21 duty 11 Carl Cort (right) played for Newcastle 8. London’s callingPlaying Sunday football can be the perfect platform to get yourself noticed by scouts and there was certainly no shortage of them when Loftus-Cheek was about. Chelsea, Millwall, Arsenal, West Ham and Charlton all monitored his progress and he trained with each side – apart from the Gunners – before committing his future to Chelsea. The midfielder committed to Chelsea after a trial with several London sides 11
In July 2015, at the age of 22, he moved to Verona in Italy and in his first season he made 26 appearances and scored two goals, against Lazio and Inter.A season-long loan switch to Bologna followed in August 2016.He then joined the Rossoblu (red and blues) permanently a year later for a reported fee of £1.8m.In 2016/17 and 2017/18 the towering stopper made 41 appearances at club level before being named in Sweden’s squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.He added a further 24 last season and featured in four of Sweden’s European Championship qualifying matches this year.Helander will now provide Gerrard with another defensive option to play alongside Connor Goldson, Nikola Katic or George Edmundson in the centre of the Gers backline. “The opportunity to work with a manager like Steven Gerrard was an easy decision to make.”Helander started his career at Malmo, making his debut at the age of 18.He won the league title in 2013 and a league and Swedish Super Cup double in 2014, a year in which he was named Allsvenskan defender of the year.Helander also experienced Europa League and Champions League football with his hometown club. Rangers has signed Swedish defender Filip Helander from Bologna, subject to international clearance.The centre-half has spent the last four seasons in Italy’s top flight, Serie A, but will now join the Light Blues on a four-year deal.Helander, 26, is a regular in Janne Andersson’s Swedish international side and in 2015 he won the European Under-21 Championship with his country.He said: “I am delighted to be joining Rangers, it’s a special club with tremendous fans and a unique history.
The final round of fixtures in the top three divisions in the Fureys Coaches Sligo Senior Leagues take place this weekend, with some big games in store.In the top flight, leaders Tourlestrane are already guaranteed top-spot ahead of their trip to Ransboro tonight to face Coolera/Strandhill at 8pm.The other four games are all at 1pm on Sunday. Second-placed Coolaney/Mullinabreena will join Tourlestrane in the final if they beat Eastern Harps in Nace O’Dowd Park, but if they slip up, St Mary’s could overtake them with a win at home to Drumcliffe/Rosses Point.The north Sligo side will be relegated with a defeat at Kent Park, but could drag Harps and Curry back into the relegation mix with a win in Ballydoogan.Curry are away to Shamrock Gaels knowing a win guarantees their safety, while St Molaise Gaels finish off their campaign with a trip to Tubbercurry.The final round of games in Division Two are also at 1pm on Sunday.Leaders Calry/St Joseph’s will guarantee top spot if the avoid defeat at Castleconnor, but their opponents could potentially overtake them with a win in Corballa.A win for Geevagh at home to Enniscrone/Kilglass coupled with a victory for Castleconnor would leave three teams on equal points at the top of the table, and would leave the CCC with a headache as score difference cannot be used to separate the sides because of walkovers earlier in the league.If both Geevagh and Castleconnor were to lose, Easkey could sneak into the final with a win at home to St Patrick’s.St Michael’s will be relegated if they fail to be second-from-bottom St Farnan’s away.Bunninadden and St John’s also clash on Sunday.In Division Three, leaders Ballymote are home to Cloonacool tonight at 8pm, while second-placed Owenmore Gaels are away to Eastern Harps at the same time.