OFF! Sevilla confident re-signing Arsenal target Banegaby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal could be about to miss out on a key transfer target.Reports in Spain and England had suggested the club wanted to sign Ever Banega to appease manager Unai Emery.The creative midfielder is seen as a key addition, especially with Aaron Ramsey on the way out of the club. Banega has played for Emery in the past.But Estadio Deportivo suggests that Sevilla are close to getting Banega to commit to a new contract.It would raise his release clause and commit the 30-year-old to the Spanish side for the next few years. TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
Chelsea boss Lampard pleased with England U21 call for Hudson-Odoiby Paul Vegas20 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard is happy with the England U21 call for Callum Hudson-Odoi.The winger made his England debut last season before injury struck. “That is a good shout,” says Lampard. “I spoke to Gareth (Southgate) and all I can do is say what I see from a Chelsea end and it is Gareth’s choice. Callum has probably not played enough games and the international games will do him good. “It is England Under-21s and he should be proud of that anyway.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TORONTO – Surging gold and oil prices helped give Canada’s main stock index a triple-digit boost on Wednesday, as the loonie strengthened against a weakening greenback.The S&P/TSX composite index advanced 111.80 points to 15,328.27, led by strong gains in the gold, base metals, materials and energy sectors.The March crude contract climbed US$1.41 to US$60.60 per barrel and the April gold contract soared US$27.60 to US$1,358.00 an ounce.South of the border, American stocks capped off their fourth day of gains amid a U.S. government report Wednesday that consumer prices rose by 0.3 per cent in January at a rate faster than economists expected.But there were few signs of the worries about inflation that sent stocks falling on Feb. 2 after reports of greater U.S. wage growth caused investors to worry about faster inflation — and the likelihood that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates more rapidly, making it more expensive for businesses and individuals to borrow money.In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 253.04 points to 24,893.49. The S&P 500 index added 35.69 points to 2,698.63 and the Nasdaq composite index was up 130.11 points to 7,143.62.Wednesday’s consumer price numbers were tempered by retail sales figures also released Wednesday showing that Americans cut back on purchases of cars, furniture and a variety of other products in January and the U.S. Commerce Department also lowered its estimate for shopping in December. The surprise slowdown comes after a three-month stretch of sizzling consumer activity, from September through November, which had fuelled the most robust holiday sales in a decade.“I think the fears of the economy overheating have been a little bit balanced out with the combination of these two numbers,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management.The Canadian dollar closed at an average trading value of 79.61 cents US, up 0.24 of a U.S. cent.Elsewhere in commodities, the March natural gas contract was down a cent at US$2.59 per mmBTU and the March copper contract was up seven cents to US$3.24 a pound.– With files from The Associated Press.
The homeless count will occur over a span of 24 hours, beginning the night before April 18th and will include counts in shelters, RCMP holding cells, hospitals, and other known places where at-risk individuals stay overnight. During the day, the same procedure will occur; with mechanisms in place to avoid duplicating persons who have been counted already.Each person that is counted will be asked to complete a survey about their living situation to highlight needs for at-risk individuals, which can give feedback on potential future funding to help combat homelessness. The survey’s full results should be publicly available several months after the count is completed.The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society is currently searching for volunteers to help with this year’s homeless count. Each volunteer must be available the day of the count, and for a training session that is taking place the evening of Tuesday, April 10th. A survey has been created to identify the commitments of each volunteer best and can be found at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FSJ2018.The Province is investing $550,000 to fund the counts in the 12 communities and plans to report on the preliminary results by early summer. The Homelessness Action Plan is expected to be released later this year. FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Province will coordinate homeless counts in up to 12 communities around B.C. including here in Fort St. John.The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society announced earlier this month; they would take on coordinate Fort St. John’s first-ever homeless count.Homeless counts provide vital information, including the demographics and service needs of people experiencing homelessness. They also help establish a benchmark to measure the progress made to reduce homelessness over time. Staff from the Women’s Resource Society also appeared before Fort St. John City Council Monday to talk more about the plan and how the community can help.
3Roger FedererSwitzerland55.5 7Juan BalcellsSpain54.3 In particular, Dominic Thiem, who knocked out Nadal in Madrid, was able to significantly erode Rafa’s second-serve dominance with a 7-5, 6-3 win. It was the only match Nadal lost on clay this season.What have these players done to put a dent — however temporary — in Nadal’s second serve? To answer that question, we must first look at why it’s so dominant to begin with.In the men’s game at the pro level, the first serve is a statistical powerhouse. It’s a guessing game for the returner — a nightmare of speed, spin and precision. When a player connects on his first serve, he usually wins the point.When a player misses the mark, it’s time for the second serve. That’s when anything can happen and where break points are won. It’s the real contest. It’s also where Nadal is making everyone else look like fools, statistically speaking.What makes Nadal’s second serve so goodThe second-best second server on clay is John Isner, a 6-foot-10 acing titan who can hammer balls more than 150 mph. Many of the career leaders in this second-serve category are like Isner — they bring the heat. 2John IsnerUnited States55.7 The clay-court masters of the second serveCareer leaders in share of points won off second serves on clay courts Alexander Zverev2ndItalian Open38–– Source: ATP OpponentSetTournamentSecond-Serve Points Won 1Rafael NadalSpain56.7% 5Andy RoddickUnited States54.8 10Thomas MusterAustria54.0 8Stan WawrinkaSwitzerland54.2 Dominic Thiem1stMadrid Open40%–– Beating Nadal means beating back his second serveShare of second-serve points that Rafael Nadal won in the four sets he lost on clay this season Fabio Fognini1stItalian Open50–– Rafael Nadal is likely more dominant at clay-court tennis than any other athlete is at any one thing. Winning a set, let alone a match, against Nadal on clay can seem almost hopeless. As he nears 32 years old, he’s already won 56 clay-court titles and a record 10 French Open championships — with a chance to add an 11th next week.While his forehand is explosive and his backhand is relentless, it’s possible Nadal’s greatest advantage is that he turns an element of the game that’s a weakness for so many others into a weapon: the second serve. He has had more success on his second serve than any player in tennis history, and on clay, his prowess here is even more pronounced.In his career, Nadal has won 56.7 percent of his second-serve points on clay. In the past year, he’s upped that percentage to 66.4 percent.1Data reflects his numbers going into the French Open. On Thursday, Nadal advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 6-1, 6-1 win over Guido Pella. For most pro players, anything better than break-even on second serve is considered good. Nadal has taken the safety net of the sport and turned it into a battle ax.This also unlocks the secret to beating him on his favorite surface. Occasionally players can and do make Nadal more human in this area. Bringing him back to Earth by cracking into his second-serve points, players can make the King of Clay look more like … just a prince, let’s say.This clay-court season, Nadal has lost exactly four sets of tennis. Notice what happened to the percentage of second-serve points Nadal won in those four sets: 6Stefanos TsitsipasGreece54.4 But Rafa’s not about speed on the serve. He’s not even close to the ATP Tour leaders in aces. In fact, his 1.9 career aces per match on clay is the lowest on the table above. (Isner’s rate is 16.3.) Nadal averages around 110 to 115 mph on his first serve and less than 100 mph on this statistically dominant second serve. Very meh speeds.The elements that make his second serve so crushing, particularly on clay, are part intuitive and part mystery. Nadal plays left-handed — a topsy-turvy problem for players conditioned to a world full of right-handed serves. A lefty slice serve travels the opposite way of what players are used to.But slice isn’t the menace on clay that it is elsewhere because players have more time to get to balls on this surface. So if slice is mitigated, why would Nadal’s lefty slice be more potent on clay?John Yandell is a tennis editor and coach who has examined the spins and techniques of hundreds of professional tennis players. He analyzed Nadal’s serve spins and concluded that while Nadal’s second serve “has an element of topspin” and is “heavy” at around 4,000 rotations per minute, it’s not categorically different from other serves on tour, which combine slice and topspin.“Most likely it’s just Rafa,” Yandell said. “What he does after he puts the serve in play.”So the secret could be in what he’s doing when that second serve comes back — a shot sometimes called “the plus-one.”How to win points off his second serveRafa has become a master at managing space on European red clay, where balls travel so far off the bounce that the court plays bigger and wider. On returns, he famously stands far back behind the baseline to take a big swing at the serve, then repositions himself according to where his shot lands. Though he can’t start deep behind the baseline when he serves, he uses that same repositioning approach with his plus-one shot, taking advantage of errors by overzealous returners to dominate these second-serve points.At the French Open on Tuesday, Nadal won a straight-sets victory in what was considered a tough first-round match. He not only took 62 percent of second-serve points, he also tempted Simone Bolelli into going for too much on those points and committing an unforgivable 23 errors — with only four winners.So what about the tougher competition? In Rome on May 19, Nadal faced Novak Djokovic, one of the greatest returners in tennis. The two clashed intensely before Nadal won the first set in a tiebreak. It was a set in which Nadal hit a lot of second serves and won his usual high percentage of second-serve points. It’s also a good case study in what Nadal does so well here in terms of positioning.In this video, Nadal’s second serve puts Djokovic in a defensive position early. An extended rally ensues until Nadal sees his opportunity to step into the court and strike with a forehand winner.But even what Djokovic did above is preferable to the alternative, which is missing the return all together. If you can prolong the rally, at least you have a fighting chance: Contrary to his reputation, Nadal doesn’t do nearly as well in long rallies as he does in short ones.Take note, Rafa challengers. Dominic Thiem2ndMadrid Open29–– RKPlayerCOUNTRYSecond-serve point win share 4Borna CoricCroatia55.2 Source: ATP 9Juan Carlos FerreroSpain54.1
Fans of Ohio State sports are lucky, spoiled even, you could say. Not only is Columbus home to one of the country’s best football programs with Urban Meyer at the helm, but the basketball team, under the watch of Thad Matta, has developed into a national power. Over the last five years, OSU leads all schools in the two-sport winning percentage of football and men’s basketball. The past academic year witnessed a flawed but driven football team go undefeated and a basketball squad, having to replace a two-time all-American and the program’s third all-time leading scorer, come within a game of matching its NCAA Tournament run from a season ago. As the photo editor of The Lantern, I was privileged to witness each of OSU’s 12 football games in person. I also covered the majority of the basketball team’s contests, including all of the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago and the NCAA Tournament games in Dayton and Los Angeles. Here’s the best that was on the gridiron and the hardwood in 2012-13 at OSU: Best game: OSU 73, Arizona 70, NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Playing in one of America’s basketball cathedrals, OSU advanced to its second Elite Eight in as many seasons at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The No. 6-seeded Wildcats, coached by Sean Miller, Matta’s former assistant at Xavier, raced out to a 26-17 lead. Junior forward Deshaun Thomas hit a couple 3-pointers to help the Buckeyes claw back to within four points at halftime. Out of the break, No. 2 seed OSU used a 10-2 run to take hold of the contest. The Buckeyes lead got as high as eight points with 7:42 to play, but an and-one layup from senior guard Mark Lyons tied the game at 70-70 with 21 seconds remaining. With the ball in his hands less than a week after hitting the game-winner in a third round contest against Iowa State, junior guard Aaron Craft passed to LaQuinton Ross with two seconds left. The sophomore forward and occupant of Kobe Bryant’s locker during the stay in L.A. hit a 3-pointer from the left arc to catapult the Buckeyes past the Wildcats. Best player: Then-sophomore quarterback Braxton Miller Thomas made a strong case for himself being the name in this category, leading the Big Ten in scoring and being OSU’s only offensive option for the most of the season. But as much as the junior forward was relied on this winter, Miller was to an even greater extent with the football team. The then-sophomore set a school record for total yards in a season and was a serious Heisman contender until the trophy’s finalists were announced in early December. In 2012, Miller totaled 3,310 yards and 28 touchdowns. With Thomas declaring himself eligible for the NBA Draft, Miller is likely to see his name in this category again next year. Best play: Craft’s game-winning 3-pointer vs. Iowa State Two plays made by players on the football team came to mind when trying to decide who would win this category. There was the scrambling run for a touchdown by Miller at Penn State that involved multiple juke moves before a leap into the end zone. And the superman-esque dive by then-sophomore linebacker Ryan Shazier into Wisconsin then-senior running back Montee Ball forced a fumble at the goal line and stopped history (Ball was a touchdown away from setting the NCAA career record). But neither of those, nor any play made by the football or basketball team this year, were better than the 3-pointer Craft hit in Dayton against Iowa State to send OSU into the Sweet 16. Dribbling the ball at the top of the key, the junior guard waved off calls for the ball by Thomas and junior guard Lenzelle Smith Jr. With Cyclone freshman forward Georges Niang isolated on him, Craft waited until there was one second left before firing a 3-pointer that found nothing but the bottom of the net. “I hope someday they put a statue in front of our building of him,” Matta said on CBS after the game. “Coaches were telling me he’s exhausted. He’s too tough to be tired. What a big-time shot.” Best moment: Then-redshirt junior quarterback Kenny Guiton leads comeback against Purdue OSU’s dream of an undefeated season nearly came to a screeching halt at the end of the third quarter of the Buckeyes’ Oct. 20 game against Purdue in Columbus. Miller had just suffered an injury, left the field on a cart and exited the stadium in an ambulance. OSU was trailing the Boilermakers, 20-14, and with its best player out, the team’s perfect 7-0 record was almost assuredly going to be handed a blemish. In stepped Guiton, who did little to help the Buckeyes’ cause until the game was just about over. With 2:40 left and the score 22-14, the then-redshirt junior threw an interception. Meyer grabbed Guiton, who was noticeably distraught. “I said, ‘You’re going to win us a game,’” Meyer said. “He looked right at me. I think he was down but I think that moment kind of picked him up.” OSU got the ball back, and Guiton led a 61-yard drive with 47 seconds left that ended with a touchdown pass to then-redshirt junior wide receiver Chris Fields. The Buckeyes tied the game with a two-point conversion on a lobbed throw to then-freshman tight end Jeff Heuerman and won the contest in overtime. Best underdog story: Zach Boren’s move to linebacker OSU’s defense had shredded in back-to-back games against Nebraska and Indiana in mid-October. The Buckeyes allowed a combined 87 points in those two contests, and at the heart of Meyer’s concerns about his defense was the linebacker position. Boren, then-senior and 30-game starter at fullback, had played linebacker in high school and was recruited to OSU to play that position. Sensing that his team needed someone to step up and fill a void, Boren asked Meyer if he could play linebacker during an October practice. Meyer obliged to the request, and Boren responded by helping revamp a defense that allowed just 57 points in November. The Pickerington native recorded 50 tackles on the season and averaged 8.2 tackles per game in his six games at linebacker, including a career-high 12 in the overtime win at Wisconsin. “Talk about Zach Boren. You want someone to write a book on, wow, that would be good if you go write a book on Zach Boren,” Meyer said. Best team: Football The basketball team can make its arguments: Big Ten Tournament champions, an Elite Eight Appearance and an 11-game winning streak. The football team only needs to make one, though. Undefeated. Meyer and his squad literally accomplished everything they could in 2012, winning all 12 of their games and recording the school’s first perfect season since 2002.
3. Braxton Miller’s rollercoaster season.Since spraining the MCL in his left knee in OSU’s win against San Diego State, junior quarterback Braxton Miller has struggled to play consistently. After a four-touchdown performance against Wisconsin, Miller played poorly against Northwestern, turning the ball over three times and failing to find the end zone. Now Miller heads into the game against Penn State on the heels of a performance against Iowa in which he threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns and added 102 yards on the ground. If Miller wants to lead the Buckeyes to another undefeated season, he will need to find more consistency in his play and keep his mistakes to a minimum. Although he was successful against the Hawkeyes, it remains to be seen which Miller will show up Saturday. If Miller can avoid turning the ball over and instead score a couple of touchdowns, it will go a long way to pushing the Buckeyes to 8-0 overall on the season. 4. Can Ohio Stadium and Buckeye Nation rattle Christian Hackenberg?True freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has been all Penn State could have asked for this season. The 6-foot-4-inch Palmyra, Va., product has thrown for 1,672 yards and 11 touchdowns so far in 2013, against six interceptions. His three first-half scoring tosses kept the Nittany Lions afloat early on in their quadruple overtime win against Michigan two weeks ago, and the freshman is only getting better. OSU’s secondary has taken multiple hits this season, with the loss of senior safety Christian Bryant to a broken ankle against Wisconsin Sept. 28 and Roby last week to the ejection. If Hackenberg is able to find holes and complete big plays to Robinson and others, the team could light up the scoreboard. 5. Will the pressure get to OSU?The Buckeyes currently sport the nation’s longest winning streak at 19 games, and with the opportunity to take another step toward a Leaders Division title, will the pressure finally get to the team? The last time OSU boasted a 19-game winning streak, Meyer was on the other sidelines with Florida when it ended in the 2006 BCS National Championship. A victory against conference rival Penn State (8 p.m. Saturday at Ohio Stadium) would surely vault the Buckeyes ahead into their next two games on the road against Purdue and Illinois. 2. Will Bradley Roby be ready to step up?This year hasn’t gone exactly how redshirt-junior cornerback Bradley Roby had planned. After being named a preseason All-American, Roby was then suspended for the season opener after a July incident at a Bloomington, Ind., bar. He has been outplayed during games against California and Wisconsin and was then ejected from the game against Iowa for targeting. Roby is expected to play the whole game against the Nittany Lions and will likely be matched up against Penn State junior wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson is averaging 117.5 receiving yards per game, the highest among players that OSU has faced so far in 2013. It will be another test for Roby, who continues to watch his NFL Draft stock plummet with his struggles. If Roby can contain Robinson, it could be a long day for Penn State. Senior running back Carlos Hyde (34) dives forward during a game against Iowa Oct. 19 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 34-24.Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor1. How many yards does Carlos Hyde gain?Let’s face it: The lead running back role in the Buckeye offense belongs to Carlos Hyde. Although redshirt-senior Jordan Hall played well during Hyde’s three-game suspension stemming from an incident at a Columbus bar in July, Hyde has completely taken over No. 4 Ohio State’s (7-0, 3-0) backfield. In the four games since returning from suspension, Hyde has rushed for 41, 85, 168 and 149 yards, respectively, and five total touchdowns. Two of those games came against then-top 10 rushing defenses in Wisconsin and Iowa, and Hyde was still successful. Penn State (4-2, 1-1) comes into the game Saturday with the No. 21 rushing defense in the country, so Hyde will look to have another big game to help OSU win its 20th straight game.
Tottenham are reportedly worried that they will have to make do without Jan Vertonghen for the next two monthsThe 31-year-old defender’s hamstring problem ruled him out of Spurs’ last two matches against Cardiff City and Barcelona.Vertonghen sustained the injury in a Premier League game at Huddersfield Town on September 29, where he limped off at half-time, and had been expected to be on the sidelines for the next six weeks.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.But the Daily Mirror reports that Spurs have suffered a big blow after learning that Vertonghen will be out for at least eight weeks and is now a doubt for the remainder of their Champions League group-stage campaign.Spurs will also likely have to make do without Vertonghen for their key Premier League clashes against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.Vertonghen will be unavailable for Belgium in their upcoming games against Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Jose Mourinho knows all about Mesut Ozil and warned Arsenal manager Unai Emery that unless he finds the “right balance” in his approach then he will likely never get the best out of the GermanThe unsettled star has missed several key games over the last few months at Arsenal, which has prompted talk of a possible exit.Gunners legend Emmanuel Petit has even gone as far as to suggest that Ozil’s lost his motivation after winning everything he set out to do and added that his retirement from international football has likely had a bad impact on him.And things appear to not be improving soon for Ozil at the Emirates Stadium after being left on the bench in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday.Now Mourinho, who Ozil starred for at Real Madrid, believes Emery must find a way to not take either a too soft or hard approach when it comes to dealing with the 30-year-old.“Honestly, I don’t know what is going on, if he is having a physical problem or not,’ The Portuguese coach told beIN Sports.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“I know that there was some problem in relation to his contract, he is leaving on a free then he is not leaving on a free. I think finally he signed a contract and decided to stay.“So there is not an issue with contract, so I believe there is something with the physical point of view or there is some confrontation of ideas with Unai. I think the nature of football is exactly this nature.“With me, Ozil played amazingly well but maybe not with Unai. And maybe a certain player that I don’t remember was phenomenal with Unai but doesn’t work as well with me. It’s just the nature of empathy.“I just feel that Ozil is the kind of player that needs both sides of it. By one side, if you are just sweet with him, you lose his natural aggression because he’s not naturally a very strong, physical player in terms of aggression.“If you are too strong with him and forget that he also needs a bit of care, a little bit of love, you don’t find the right balance. So I think it’s about finding the right balance with him.”
NOTE from ASLC: In most cases, young wildlife found alone are not abandoned. Normally their mothers are out of sight, but nearby. If you see a young animal you believe to be orphaned, report your concerns to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office or Alaska Wildlife Troopers post nearest you. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享When a seal pup turned up alone and in harm’s way on a beach near Ninilchik on Saturday, good Samaritans stepped in and called Alaska Wildlife Troopers. Responding Wildlife Trooper Cassandra Hajicek of the Soldotna Post: “Eagles were attacking (the pup) and he was unable to fend them off.” The Samaritans snatched the seal pup and cared for it until Wildlife Trooper Hajicek arrived, according to Troopers.The seal was transported to Soldotna where Alaska Sealife Center staff were waiting to take him to their rehabilitation facility in Seward. According to Troopers: “Last we heard, the little fella was looking healthy, eating, and settling into a safe and nurturing environment.” For a listing of AWT posts, visit https://dps.alaska.gov/awt/contact