Marouane Fellaini insists no Man Utd regretsby Paul Vegas14 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini has no regrets over his time at Old Trafford.United’s cup double and second placed finish in 2016 the undisputed highlight of his five-and-half years at the club.Fellaini, now with Shandong Luneng, told the Daily Mail: “I played five and half years for Manchester. My first season was a transition, so I was in transition, I know I didn’t have a great season. But after that I played my games, played well and I won things.”Okay, I didn’t win the Premier League but that’s part of football. Manchester City was a strong team and was difficult to battle against them.”But I did some great games, scored some important goals, so for me I was very happy with my time in Manchester.’ Unfortunately, Old Trafford isn’t quite so cheery right now.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
ESPN.Which team deserves to be No. 1 in college football’s preseason polls? According to ESPN, it’s the defending national champions – Alabama. ESPN released its updated preseason top 25 for the 2016 college football season earlier this month, and they’ve got the Crimson Tide at the top. Trailing Nick Saban’s team in the polls are Clemson, Michigan, Florida State and Oklahoma. Here’s the full top 25. Will Alabama win another one this year?1. Alabama 2. Clemson 3. Michigan 4. Florida State 5. Oklahoma 6. LSU 7. Stanford 8. Notre Dame 9. Ohio State 10. Tennessee 11. USC 12. Georgia 13. Ole Miss 14. Oklahoma State 15. Michigan State 16. Washington 17. Houston 18. North Carolina 19. Oregon 20. TCU 21. Texas A&M 22. UCLA 23. Iowa 24. Miami 25. Louisville[ESPN]
Kolkata: Mayor Firhad Hakim reiterated on Monday that funds in the fixed deposit of the civic body will be utilised only for development work and civic amenities and any wastage of such funds will not be tolerated.Replying to a query from Congress councillor Prakash Upadhyay regarding the existing amount in the fixed deposit of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) at the monthly meeting, Hakim said: “We have an amount of Rs 17.10 crore till February 2018. The funds in the fixed deposit, whether it is more or less, does not matter. What matters most is offering services and civic amenities to the people. Since the Trinamool Congress took over the board of the KMC in 2010, it has provided civic amenities in the form of potable drinking water, lights, development of slums, an overhaul of the drainage system, scientific plan for solid waste management etc.” According to Hakim, when Subrata Mukherjee of the TMC ended his term as the Mayor in 2005, the amount of fixed deposit stood at Rs 377.16 crore. When Bikash Bhattacharya of the Left Front board took over as Mayor, he sold a number of plots of land and the fixed deposit went up to Rs 721.25 crore. Hakim further informed that when Bhattacharya’s term as Mayor ended in 2010, he left Rs 588. 67 crore in the fixed deposit of the KMC. “The revenue earning is a part our job but our main aim is to ensure that the citizens get the best of amenities,” he maintained. The Mayor further said that the KMC has set a target of three years to ensure the supply of potable drinking water to every single pocket in the city. “There are problems in certain pockets, particularly in the added areas in the southern part, and we are taking all possible measures to augment water supply. The capacity of the Garden Reach Waterways is being raised by 25 million gallon and we are also constructing small booster pumping stations in these areas to boost water supply,” he added.
The Consulate General of Italy in Kolkata and the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre, New Delhi, in association with The Calcutta School of Music recently presented Recital Italiano – a piano recital by the legend Luciano Bellini, conductor and pianist – showcasing works by Italian composers. The performance was experienced by the classical music lovers of the city.Luciano Bellini performed his masterpieces like, G Verdi Romance sans paroles Valzer in Fa Mag; R Leoncavallo Canzonetta; G Puccini Piccolo Valzer; G Rossini Un rêve to name a few. The musical pieces played in the first part of Recital Italiano were his rare compositions which were done in the 19th century by Opera composers: Verdi, Rossini, Puccini and Leoncavallo. In the second part, he played the pieces composed in the 20th century, especially for the revival of instrumental music which had been neglected because of the supremacy of Opera.
In the run up to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, the Serge Ibaka story dominated the series. Ibaka injured his calf in the final game of the Thunder’s series against the Clippers and isn’t expected to return, leaving the Thunder without their starting power forward. It was clear how that might become a problem for the Thunder; Ibaka was one of the most active and effective rim defenders this season, according to the NBA’s SportVU Player Tracking. He defended an average of 9.5 shots at the rim per game (defined as any shot attempt where he was within 5 feet of both the basket and the shooter), seventh most in the league, and held opponents to 43.9 percent shooting on those attempts, sixth lowest among players who defended at least five shots at the rim per game.Without Ibaka on the floor, the Spurs partied down low Monday night, making 67 percent of their shots in the paint, 33 of 49 overall. With Ibaka healthy, the Thunder’s playoff opponents had made only 51 percent of their inside shots.Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City’s coach, decided to go small for much of Game 1, playing Kevin Durant at power forward and entirely neglecting a big lineup that had been instrumental in helping close out the Clippers. According to SportVU, the Thunder defended 34 shots at the rim Monday night, just a touch under the 35.1 they’ve been averaging in the playoffs. But far fewer of those shots were defended by front-court players — the tall guys.Thunder Defense at the RimDurant, Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson are fantastic, but their size offers less resistance at the rim than a guy nicknamed “Iblocka.” During the regular season, those three players combined to defend 6.3 shots at the rim per game. On Monday night, they defended 16. The Spurs made 12 of them.In Game 2, there may be an opportunity to play Steven Adams more minutes, but the Thunder simply don’t have the bodies to avoid these small lineups. If they can’t figure out how to assemble a better defensive structure with the players available, this series might not last long.
This NBA season has produced more than its fair share of ridiculous, eye-popping statistics. Russell Westbrook got his record-tying 41st triple-double of the season on Tuesday. The Rockets shattered the league record for threes made in a single campaign with two weeks left to play. And 20-year-old Devin Booker, who’d never even scored 40 points in a contest before, somehow logged 70 points in one game last month.But Booker’s team is on the cusp of crossing a less-than-ideal threshold as things wind down: The Phoenix Suns, who lead the NBA in fouls by a wide margin with 1,963 so far, are on pace to eclipse the 2,000-foul mark, which would make them the first NBA club to hit that mark in 10 years.The Suns commit 25 fouls per game (the NBA average is 20) and send their opponents to the free-throw line an NBA-high 29 times a night. It isn’t necessarily a new problem, since Phoenix allowed opponents to go to the stripe more than anyone last season, too. But the team’s fouls are up 10 percent from last year, and the team is becoming a bit of an outlier by fouling more often, given that NBA foul rates have decreased over the past decade as more and more shooters space the floor, leading to less contact from play to play.The chronic fouling is a symptom of two much larger issues: 1. The team’s inability to contain their opponents on defense, where the Suns allow 109 points per 100 plays, third-worst in the league. Being that bad leaves their players out of position, often leading to more desperate fouls as they try to recover. And 2. Phoenix’s relative youth and inexperience, especially in the post, where it’s fairly common for players to struggle with foul trouble at the beginning of their careers.This talented group is still developing, both physically and mentally. The Suns are one of the NBA’s shortest and lightest teams, which might make them a bit easier to push around. But Phoenix — which last month used the youngest starting five in NBA history — also has plenty to learn when it comes to countering the offensive tricks and techniques that veteran players acquire over the years.“You ever seen a young group of guys play against a group of older guys in pickup? The older guys somehow manage to physically take advantage of the younger guys without making it look like that’s what they’re doing. Then the young guy starts to hit back, and it’s completely obvious? That’s what we look like sometimes,” coach Earl Watson told me last week during his club’s East Coast trip. “Players in this league are so good, and our guys are still learning how to be aggressive without committing obvious fouls.”Those gaps in experience are most apparent in scenarios where a single defender is being asked to hold his own: 1-on-1s and post-ups. The Suns have committed the second- and fourth-highest rates of shooting fouls this season when guarding 1-on-1s and post-ups, respectively,1Phoenix has been whistled for shooting fouls 14 percent of the time in isolation scenarios and about 15 percent of the time when guarding post-up opportunities. according to Synergy Sports.It’s hard to fault the players’ intent, despite the dismal results. They often sacrifice their bodies in hopes of forcing a turnover, but many times they haven’t established good enough positioning to ward off defensive-foul calls. This has been especially true of some young players, like Booker, rookie power forward Marquese Chriss and fourth-year center Alex Len, who are 1-of-18, 5-of-28 and 0-of-14 when it comes drawing charge calls this season. (Those numbers are pretty abysmal, considering that the leaguewide average charge rate is 40 percent.)Phoenix’s learning curve has gotten considerably steeper in recent weeks, since the Suns elected to shut down a handful of healthy veteran players, including usual starters Eric Bledsoe and Tyson Chandler, in pursuit of some lottery ping-pong balls and a chance to give their younger, less-used talent some spin over the final month of a losing season.That has meant fielding lineups that have little institutional knowledge of how to defend without fouling.“If I’m the only young guy out there with four veterans, those four can kind of direct traffic and help cover for me when I mess up,” said Chriss, who commits 5.5 fouls per 36 minutes, tied for the NBA’s fourth-highest rate among players who’ve logged at least 1,000 minutes.2He’s tied with Len. “But when it’s a situation where everybody on the floor is, at most, 3 or 4 years into their career, that’s kind of tough, because then we’re all kind of lost, and still learning how to communicate with each other as players.”It’s not just an issue of youth. There are several other, less-examined factors that help explain why they’ve committed so many fouls. Phoenix plays at a blistering pace, handling more possessions than most, which puts the team in a position to commit more fouls than any other club. The Suns have been in more close games where they trailed late than any other team, meaning a decent number of their infractions were likely intentional and committed in hopes of stopping the clock. And it’s worth noting that Phoenix also comfortably leads the NBA in offensive fouls. So, not every foul Phoenix commits is a symptom of the Suns’ weak defense.Make no mistake, though: The Suns do an absolute ton of hacking, and they usually get called for it.“Refs officiate games with a certain rhythm. They’re used to a certain speed and rhythm. When you jump out of that rhythm, it’s easy for them to see, and you’re going to get called for it,” said Chandler, an NBA champion who joined the league as a teenager and went from committing more than 5 fouls per 36 minutes in his fifth season to eventually winning Defensive Player of the Year. Chandler added that the Suns, much like he was as a youngster, are often overeager to make a play, and wind up swiping or jumping when they shouldn’t.Nevertheless, struggles and all, Watson is an eternal optimist. He takes ample time most days to walk through film of the team’s fouling tendencies, and he told me that he feels his team is only a reinforcement or two away from a huge turnaround if the young players keep developing.“I was with OKC during Russ’s first year” — Westbrook, of course — “and I always let [my Phoenix players] know: That year, [the Thunder] won 23 games. The next year they won 50, and did it because their young guys had gotten so much experience and developed a supreme confidence.”Phoenix may not go on to write the kind of success story that the Thunder did, at least not next season. But if putting in a year at the School of Hard Knocks helps this team improve on defense, maybe the Suns will eventually be able to say that this furious foul pace was a worthwhile learning experience.Check out our NBA predictions.
After finishing 16-16-4 last season, Ohio State’s women’s ice hockey team is scheduled to kick off its 2012-2013 campaign this Friday with a handful of veteran players in new leadership roles. The team nominated senior forward Hokey Langan to be the Buckeyes’ team captain. The Chatham, Ontario, product is seventh on OSU’s career scoring list with 105 points thanks to 46 goals and 59 assists. Buckeyes Coach Nate Handrahan said choosing Langan to be the team’s captain was a pretty simple choice. “Girls look to her for leadership and she is a very talented player, has a lot of experience, knows a lot from playing in the level she played at prior to being here with international competition,” Handrahan said. Handrahan commented on Langan’s individual strengths. “I think her hockey IQ and knowing the game, but I think she bleeds scarlet and grey and wants to win,” Handrahan said. “I think that has to be at the crux of your leadership and she is willing to do what it takes to win.” Langan said she is happy that her team chose her to be its captain and thinks the team has confidence in her. “It was an honor and one of the goals I had set freshman year,” Langan said. “I like to say I am a leader and that my teammates respect me and have faith in me to bring this team wins.” Langan attributed her strengths to her teammates and her knowledge of the game. “My teammates make me a lot better than I am myself, but I like to say that I can read the ice really well,” Langan said. “I am a good passer when I am given an opportunity.” Langan, though, won’t be the only member of the Buckeyes in a leadership role this season. Senior forwards Paige Semenza, Tina Hollowell and Minttu Tuominen will serve as the three assistant captains. Semenza, a two-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete from Pittson, Pa., severed as assistant captain last season and said her new role is about having experience. “It was definitely honoring being an assistant last year and it gave me experience that I was able to build on,” Semenza said. “Coming into my senior year, I wanted to be a leader and help my teammates.” Handrahan said Semenza’s attention to detail is what makes her a qualified leader. “Paige is a quiet worker who pays attention to all the little details in her life and that helps her on the ice,” Handrahan said. Hollowell, a native of Clinton Township, Mich., was named an Academic All-Big Ten selection and Ohio State Scholar-Athlete last season. Handrahan said Hollowell is the core of the team and inspires each player. “Tina is our heartbeat, our emotional leader, our warrior that inspires us to play well,” Handrahan said. Tuominen, a native of Espoo, Finland, is a former member of the Finnish National team and Olympic bronze medalist. Handrahan said the senior forward is an excellent leader. “Minttu is someone that has international competition and she is an Olympic medalist, obviously a talented player,” Handrahan said. Handrahan has not set any goals for the team but said he thinks the team has a good work ethic that will take them far. “I think this team can work hard and compete,” Handrahan said. “The potential for good things is there but we won’t really know until we drop the puck on Friday.” The Buckeyes will host its season opener against Lindenwood at the Ohio State Ice Rink on Friday at 7:07 p.m.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller (5) throws the ball during a game against Indiana Nov. 23 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 42-14.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorOhio State junior quarterback Braxton Miller has made the decision to return for his senior season and not enter the 2014 NFL Draft.An OSU spokesman confirmed Thursday that Miller will return to OSU.Miller is the two-time defending Big Ten offensive player of the year and is coming off a season in which he finished in the top 10 in the conference in both rushing and passing yards per game.“I want to help this team win a Big Ten championship next year,” Miller said in a press release Thursday night. “Plus, I want to improve as a quarterback in all aspects of my game. I’m looking forward to working for another year with coach (Urban) Meyer and (offensive coordinator quarterbacks coach Tom) Herman.“And I want to graduate, so this will help get me close to my academic goal.”The quarterback is also coming off back-to-back losses, including a 40-35 defeat at the hands of Clemson in the 2014 Discover Orange Bowl Jan. 3. Despite the losses, he has compiled a 28-8 record as the starting quarterback at OSU.Meyer said he is looking forward to working with the quarterback for another season.“We look forward to having Braxton Miller return to this team for his senior season,” Meyer said in the release. “He has been an extremely valuable member of our team and he is also a fine student. His desire to lead our team to a championship, to earn his degree from The Ohio State University net spring and to continue to improve as a quarterback are his motivation.”With Miller’s decision, the Buckeye offense will return five starters from a offense that finished the year third in the country in scoring offense with an average 45.5 points per game and seventh in total offense with 511.9 average yards per game.After the Orange Bowl loss, Miller said he was going to talk to coach Urban Meyer about whether or not he should turn pro.“I’ve got to think hard about it. I will talk to coach Meyer and see what he thinks,” Miller said. “He’s been through the process many times, so that’s the guy to go to. He never steers you wrong and ever since I got here, he took me under his wing and taught me a lot of things.”The Buckeyes are set to open their 2014 season with an Aug. 30 trip to Baltimore against Navy.
Swansea have already found their new manager after the relegation from Premier League earlier in May. Carlos Carvalhals successor will be a two time winner of “Manager of the Year”According to Wales Online, It will be Graham Potter from the successful Swedish club Östersunds, who will become the new manager. According to the news site, Potter will fly to Wales shortly after the Allsvenskan-game against BK Häcken later tonight.But the Östersunds CEO Daniel Kindberg refuses the fact that Potter is leaving.“It’s clear that we have a shortlist if Graham leaves. It would be irresponsible not to know who we want – if it happens. But, no, we have not heard from Swansea. No, nothing.”Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“How I look at the reporting about Swansea? I understand you want headlines. Graham Potter’s name is exciting.”“But if it is written about Swansea then there are a lot of other clubs that we really know are interested but one of these is not Swansea. There is simply no information we have in Östersund about Swansea,” Kindberg told Fotboll Direkt.Graham Potter have made miracles in his time as Östersunds manager. He started in the club, when it was stuck in the fourth tier. Last year they won the swedish cup and went to the Europa League, where they got all the way to the first knockout stage. They even beat Arsenal at the Emirates.Graham Potter have also won the swedish “Manager of the Year”-award twice in 2016 and 2017.
Sweden have lost out of the quarter-final in the 2018 World Cup in Russia after a 2-0 loss to England but Zlatan Ibrahimovic believes Sweden’s players all deserve to be given a Golden Ball award for their performance so far at the World Cup.Sweden performed beyond expectations and even without the services of Ibrahimovic, who was impressed with Janne Andersson’s side. Every player should get a golden ball in Sweden. What they did will be remembered forever. Thank you for the show pic.twitter.com/VsoaUY6W99— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) July 7, 2018“Every player should get a Golden Ball in Sweden,” Ibrahimovic wrote on Twitter.“What they did will be remembered forever. Thank you for the show.”Ibrahimovic lost a bet with another former United player, David Beckham, and he will now have to watch an England game at Wembley with the ex-LA Galaxy star.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United.In the bet, Beckham had promised to buy Ibrahimovic whatever he wanted from IKEA if Sweden won England in Samara. Zlatan Ibrahimovic lost the bet!It looks like he’s heading to Wembley with David Beckham.Get the #ENG shirt on order.The fish and chips can probably wait, though…??#SWE #SWEENG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/bLImKr8Rkb— Omnisport (@OmnisportNews) July 7, 2018