Recently we looked at how effective Oklahoma State has been on red-zone trips this year. I am using a stat I call PPR or “points per red-zone attempt”.The stat basically shows how good a team is at getting touchdowns (six points) instead of settling for field goals (three points) once they get into the red-zone.I thought it would be helpful to go a little more in-depth on the stat and in the spirit of context, compare the Cowboys to the rest of the Big 12. Here I compared this year’s Cowboys to previous OSU teams.Here are the current PPR rankings for the Big 12.Iowa State is higher than I would have thought and Baylor and West Virginia are lower. Of course this is only part of the equation. We need to look at how many times each team gets to the red zone in order to use that effectiveness.Here are the red-zone attempts per game.So, while Iowa State is third in red-zone points per attempt, they make it to the red zone less than three times per game, better than only Kansas. Baylor hasn’t been the most efficient as far as touchdowns to field goals inside the 20-yard line, but they get there over five times per game, meaning more points.The Cowboys went a perfect three-for-three in the red zone last week against Kansas State and didn’t attempt a single field goal. They’ll need to continue that uptick in efficiency if they want to keep up with the remaining three offenses on their schedule.Check out my look at PPR numbers as they pertain to a grading Big 12 defenses.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Indian Super League Indian Super League: Jamshedpur FC set to rope in Andre Bikey Last updated 2 years ago 04:25 8/29/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) ISL Indian Super League The Tata Group owned franchise are all set to announce the signing of former NorthEast United defender… Jamshedpur FC are continuing with their philosophy to sign players who have plied their trade in the Indian Super League (ISL) before as they have almost closed the deal for Andre Bikey, Goal can confirm.The 32-year-old was signed as an injury replacement for Miguel Garcia by NorthEast United in season two. In the nine appearances he made for the Highlanders, the Cameroonian even got on the scoresheet once. The former Middlesbrough defender also featured as a defensive midfielder for Cesar Farias’ outfit.He has had spells in Greece, Portugal, Russia and has a lot of Premier League experience up his sleeve. The former youth product of Espanyol has played for a total of six English clubs, namely Burnley, Reading, Bristol City, Middlesborough, Charlton and Port Vale. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Interestingly, he was to play for FC Pune City last season but an injury before the start of the ISL season saw him being sidelined. Thereafter, he joined Port Vale and made seven appearances for the League One side who suffered relegation.This isn’t the first time that Bikey would play under the tutelage of Steve Coppell having previously worked together at Reading where he made over 70 appearances.Bikey is known for his physical presence and is also capable of scoring a goal or two at the other end.Jamshedpur FC have already signed the likes of Tiri, Memo, Kervens Belfort and Sameehg Doutiee for the upcoming ISL season.
Tanzania Mbwana Samatta: “Tanzania was too strong for Botswana” Meshack Brighton Last updated 2 years ago 16:46 9/3/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Goal Tanzania Tanzania Botswana Tanzania gifted striker, Simon Msuva who play for Morroco’s Al Jadida scored twice to give Taifa Stars 2-0 win over the host at Uhuru Stadium Tanzania striker Mbwana Samatta has admitted that Saturday’s evening’s friendly against Botswana was a “must win” game for his side.Simon Msuva scored twice to give Taifa Stars a 2-0 win over the visitors in an exciting match at Uhuru Stadium in Dar es salaam on Saturday.”Botswana played very well, the defended a lot, but it was a must win game today and we have had it in the past and we have stood up to the challenge and the most important thing is that we defeated them,” Samatta told reporters. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina “We always speak about the performance but tonight was just great determination. I think Tanzania was too strong for Botswana, and there was no point they could score.”We defended very well and we played professionally, I don’t see how Botswana could beat us.”Many people questioned Samatta’s form, but it is obvious that Taifa Stars is not a one man army, he made his contribution to the team even if he couldn’t find the net.
Gustavo Poyet Poyet resigns after dismal Shanghai Shenhua run Joe Wright 19:41 11/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Shanghai Shenhua Shanghai Shenhua v Henan Jianye CSL With the team sitting 12th in the Chinese Super League, the Uruguayan has departed and been replaced by technical director Wu Jingui Gustavo Poyet has stepped down as Shanghai Shenhua head coach following Sunday’s defeat to Henan Jianye.The former Chelsea and Uruguay midfielder took charge last November after lasting only six months in La Liga as Real Betis boss.Shenhua have only taken 24 points from 23 matches in the Chinese Super League and sit 12th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing They also failed to reach the group stage of the AFC Champions League after losing to Brisbane Roar in the play-off round.”Shanghai Shenhua have agreed to accept Mr Poyet’s resignation,” a club statement confirmed on Monday. “Following discussions, both parties have agreed that it is in the best interests of the club to make this change. “Technical director of the club Wu Jingui is appointed as the new coach.”The club would like to thank Mr Poyet and his backroom staff for all his hard work over the past years and for the difficulties we’ve had to overcome during that time. “We wish him and his staff all the best for the future.”Shenhua’s latest defeat means they have won just one of their last seven matches in all competitions.Fans have been growing increasingly frustrated and vented their anger towards striker Carlos Tevez, who made his return from injury as a substitute on Sunday.Tevez, who signed from Boca Juniors last December for a reported fee of £71.6 million and is said to earn in the region of £615,000 per week, was booed during his latest disappointing display.
Manchester City 5 Crystal Palace 0: Guardiola’s men sink strugglers to go top Dom Farrell Last updated 2 years ago 00:01 24/9/2017 Getty Images Raheem Sterling’s second-half brace and goals from Leroy Sane, Sergio Aguero and Fabian Delph gave Manchester City their latest big win. Free-scoring Manchester City added to Crystal Palace’s mounting misery with a 5-0 win at the Etihad Stadium, a result that sent Pep Guardiola’s men top of the Premier League.Palace are the only team without a goal in Europe’s five major divisions this season after a sixth straight top-flight defeat, and the scale of the task facing the recently appointed Roy Hodgson is thrown into a stark light by a fixture list that places Manchester United and Chelsea next on their agenda.Contrary to the final scoreline, Hodgson’s men acquitted themselves well in the first half and should have led through Ruben Loftus-Cheek before a splendid opener from Leroy Sane arrived a minute before half-time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Raheem Sterling’s quickfire second-half brace put the result beyond any semblance of doubt and an overworked Wayne Hennessey in the Palace goal was unable to keep out Sergio Aguero’s 79th-minute header from Sane’s cross.The goal moved Aguero to within one strike of Eric Brook’s all-time club scoring record of 177 and an excellent fifth from substitute Fabian Delph extended the goal-difference advantage Guardiola’s side enjoy over Manchester United at the summit to four.How many more goals ’til you’re the Club’s all-time record goalscorer, @aguerosergiokun? pic.twitter.com/IkLyHwWoLy— Manchester City (@ManCity) September 23, 2017Despite the array of City attacking talent on the field, they almost opened the scoring courtesy of a Palace defender in the seventh minute when Mamadou Sakho headed Kevin De Bruyne’s testing cross against his own post.Guardiola’s men were not operating with the pleasing fluency of their recent outings but should have led in the 12th minute, with Fernandinho blasting straight at Hennessey after Nicolas Otamendi’s attempt from a right-wing corner dropped to him seven yards out.Hennessey was operating behind an amply stocked defence, well drilled by Hodgson, whose team nearly led in the 19th minute.Loftus-Cheek let fly from the edge of the area and his shot clipped a lunging Otamendi before bouncing clear off Ederson’s right-hand post.The Chelsea loanee then spurned a glorious chance on the end of Andros Townsend’s deflected cross and an uncomfortable period for City was compounded by left-back Benjamin Mendy limping off with a knee injury.Aguero lifted over left-footed when Sane presented him with the chance to score his 176th goal for the club before the Germany international took matters majestically into his own hands, touching David Silva’s chipped return pass over Scott Dann and slotting home on the half volley.Sane turned provider six minute into the second period, Silva sliding a pass down the left channel for him to send over a low cross and hand Sterling a simple finish.The England winger should have doubled his tally when he blasted into the side-netting shortly afterwards and Aguero shot too close to Hennessey at the end of a solo run.Those two players combined to make it 3-0 before the hour – Aguero knocking De Bruyne’s raking ball back across goal for Sterling to convert.5 – Raheem Sterling has scored five goals in his last four Premier League games, as many as he’d scored in his previous 31. Form. pic.twitter.com/gEjLwh2ZNp— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 23, 2017Palace were rocking and Aguero released Sane into the box, where Hennessey stood firm despite his earlier protection having evaporated.Guardiola remonstrated extensively after a Sane penalty claim fell on deaf ears with 15 minutes to play, but it was his slumped counterpart in the opposite dugout who could reflect on more genuine reasons for anguish by the time Aguero got in on the act.Hodgson handed Delph his England debut in 2014 but would rather not have seen a career that has stalled through fitness woes in Manchester dazzlingly spark a minute from time, as he cut inside and looped a right-footed shot into the top corner. Key Opta facts:- Crystal Palace are the first side in England’s top four tiers to lose their first six games of the season without scoring.- Palace are the only team in Europe’s big five divisions yet to score a league goal this season.- This is Manchester City’s best goal return after six league games (21).- City are the first side to score 5 or more goals in three consecutive top-flight games in the same season since Blackburn in 1958-59. read more
U17 World Cup: Spain 4-0 Niger: La Rojita maul Menas in four-goal masterclass Nisanth V Easwar Last updated 2 years ago 19:39 10/10/17 Getty FC Barcelona’ Abel Ruiz scored a brace as Spain won their first game in Kochi… Spain reacted to their loss against Brazil with a scintillating 4-0 win against FIFA U-17 World Cup new boys Niger in their second game of Group D at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Tuesday.Abel Ruiz (21′ & 41′) and César Gelabert (45+1) scored in the first half followed a Sergio Gómez (82′) curler towards the end of the second as Spain exploited the spaces offered to them all over the field.Mohamed Moukhliss started in midfield for Spain alongside Antonio Blanco. Ferran Torres, who impressed against Brazil in the first game, was fielded on the right once again, with Cesar Gelaber in behind striker and skipper Abel Ruiz.Salim Abdourahmane lead the line for Niger, with Karim Tinni and Ibrahim Boubacar providing support from the flanks.Spain threatened right from the get-go, with Mohamed Moukhliss impressing in the double pivot. Niger found it difficult to deal with the one-touch passes, flicks and tricks of the Spanish attack. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. Goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez didn’t have the greatest of starts to the game, as Niger, despite their opponent’s technical superiority, pressed high up the pitch.La Rojita’s dominance was finally rewarded with the opening goal in the 21st minute. Left back Juan Miranda set off on a marauding run, beat his marker and crossed low into the box into the feet of Abel Ruiz and the striker tapped it in to make it 1-0.Both Spain full-backs were spending most of their time in the attacking third and with Niger refusing to sit back and defend, they were spaces to utilize.Goalkeeper Alvaro Fernandez started the game on a sketchy note but when called into action in the 37th minute, he was quick and alert. Tinni’s diagonal run was perfectly timed but Fernandez came off his line to launch it away.Four minutes before the break, Spain doubled their lead. A free-kick from outside the box was launched into the box and Abel Ruiz latched onto it like a fox in the box. Khaled Lawali blocked his initial shot but unfortunately for the keeper, the rebound fell to the Ruiz again, who made no mistake in scoring his second goal of the game.Niger was struggling to get a grip in midfield. They were open spaces to pick out and just before the break, Spain struck the third blow. Sergio Gomez, who worked his socks off against Brazil on the left flank, picked out Cesar Gelabert’s late central run into the box. The attacking midfielder diverted the ball into the top left corner of the net to make it 3-0 at the half-time whistle. La Rojita started the second half just as they did the first. Precise passes, flicks and late runs by midfielders and from the flanks. One such period of play in the 54th minute resulted in Gelabert sliding in a precise through ball into the path of a surging Moukhliss but the midfield engine lost his balance and Rachid Soumana pounced on his tiny window of opportunity to clear the ball away from the area.Abel Ruiz almost scored his third goal when Miranda’s cross after an overlap on the left met his right foot inside the box but the end product wasn’t on target.Cesar Gelabert dazzled the crowd with his touches on the ball through the centre of the pitch. He showed great composure on the ball and ran the show as Spain continued to threaten the Niger defence. The crowd applauded him off the field, as he was replaced by Jose Lara in the 78th minute.Sergio Gomez struck the final nail in the coffin in the 82nd minute when he curled a low left-footed shot into the bottom right corner to make it a dominant 4-0.Spain passed their way towards the final whistle and there was Niger could do to claw their way back into the game. The winning side looked hungry and threatened with every surge forward.Spain will now take on DPR Korea whereas Niger will hope to keep their hopes alive against tournament favourites Brazil. read more
Transfers Coutinho ‘must have wanted Barcelona move’ – Suarez Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 18:15 11/8/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Transfers Barcelona Philippe Coutinho Luis Suárez Liverpool Premier League Primera División The Brazilian’s professionalism has been praised by his former team-mate amid reports Liverpool face a fresh fight to hold on to the attacker Luis Suarez is convinced Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho will offer “a lot” to Barcelona should the Catalan giants make another attempt to sign the Brazilian.Reds 11/10 for top 4The attacking midfielder was the subject of significant interest from Barca in the summer transfer window, with Coutinho identified as one of several candidates to replace Neymar after his switch to Paris Saint-Germain. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Coutinho attempted to force a move himself, making it clear to Liverpool that his desire was to leave for Camp Nou, but the Premier League club held firm to keep their man.Reports since have suggested that Barca will be going back in for Coutinho, and Suarez, who played with him for 18 months at Liverpool, is all for linking up with the former Inter talent once again.When asked how much Coutinho would offer Barca, Suarez told Mundo Deportivo: “A lot.”I know him as a person and as a player because I played with him, but everyone knows what Coutinho can contribute. He is a footballer who today is at a very high level.”Obviously he must have wanted [to join Barca] because he is a player who has ambition and any player would want to come to Barcelona.”He went through a difficult and very complicated moment, but as a professional he has continued to show how good a player he is and the individual quality he has.”Despite trying to leave Liverpool he continued helping the team and working. He is demonstrating that he is a professional who has the ambition to take a step further.”
Tottenham Hotspur Dier confident Tottenham will be in Premier League title race Declan Payne 21:21 11/8/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Tottenham Hotspur Premier League England v Germany Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur Germany England Friendlies The midfielder is looking for his club to keep pushing the boundaries following the sustained progress made under Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham’s Eric Dier is confident the early gulf opened up by Premier League leaders Manchester City is not insurmountable.Spurs go into the international break eight points behind City following a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace which followed up a memorable victory over Real Madrid in the Champions League.It was a positive response from Spurs after losing at fellow title rivals Manchester United in late October, and midfield marshal Dier believes Mauricio Pochettino’s side are on the right track. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I believe what we are doing is right, that has been the case for a long time,” he said.“Win, lose, or draw against Real Madrid, that would have been the same. Winning that game has obviously given us confidence as individuals and as a group.“You’ve got to keep trying to improve and push the boundaries. That’s the same for club and country; you’ve got to keep trying to improve. That’s the key.”The contrast between the dazzling performance against European champions Madrid and the gritty nature of the struggle against Palace has also Dier confidence that Spurs will be in the thick of the title race come season’s end.“The games we have had in the last month have been really good and the results have been very positive,” he said.“Obviously, Manchester City have been fantastic recently but there is so much football to be played before the end. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of twists and turns before the end.”Dier was one of six Tottenham players called up for England duty, but that number has been cut to three after Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks withdrew from the squad due to injury.Having secured World Cup qualification, glamour friendlies against current world champions Germany and Brazil will act as a benchmarking tool for the Three Lions.Despite the mixed reputation attached to international friendlies in recent times, Dier says it is still an honour to step onto the pitch for England.“Playing for your country is the pinnacle of football,” he said.“It is what you all want to do and it has to be special. I think that it’s essential, you cannot just think you will be in every squad because you have done ‘X and X’ in preview years, it has to be constant.”Dier believes the mood among the England squad is more competitive than ever – a belief backed by the fact that Three Lions mainstay Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was dropped after a series indifferent performances for Liverpool.He said: “You always have to be on your toes to get the call-up otherwise you can become complacent and I don’t think that is a good thing.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Everton Everton fined €30,000 over fan trouble against Lyon Jamie Smith 00:21 11/23/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Everton UEFA Europa League Everton v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais After a Toffees fan appeared to strike opposition goalkeeper Anthony Lopes, the Premier League side have been fined Everton have been fined €30,000 (£26,656) after crowd trouble during last month’s Europa League game against Lyon at Goodison Park.After Everton defender Ashley Williams clashed with Lyon’s Anthony Lopes, a fan in the Everton end – who was holding a child – appeared to strike the goalkeeper on the forehead.Everton confirmed they would ban the supporter involved in the incident, but a UEFA charge has led to the Premier League club being issued with a fine. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body confirmed on Wednesday that Everton have been ordered to pay €30,000 due to “aggressions by supporters against players”.A statement from Everton released at the time said: “Club officials have reviewed the footage of an incident that occurred in the 64th minute of the game against Olympique Lyonnais where supporters towards the front of the lower Gwladys Street End became involved in a confrontation between players.”We have identified one individual whom action will now be taken against. This will include a ban from attending future Everton fixtures and the club registering a formal complaint with Merseyside Police.”
When the hammer fell on Lot 35 at the Goffs Orby sale in County Kildare on Tuesday, a yearling filly by Galileo changed hands for €1.2m and a 12-year rift between Europe’s biggest racing and bloodstock operations seemingly drew to a close. The filly, a daughter of the Group Two winner L’Amour de Ma Vie, was bought to race for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin operation, and the owner’s long-standing boycott of yearlings by stallions which stand at John Magnier’s Coolmore Stud seems to be over – just in time for Europe’s most prestigious bloodstock sale, Tattersalls Book 1, in Newmarket next week.The cause of the rift between Magnier and Sheikh Mohammed has never been publicly revealed, though any number of theories have circulated since September 2005, when the Sheikh’s team abruptly stopped bidding for the offspring of Coolmore stallions at the high-profile Keeneland sales in Kentucky. Topics Read more Share on Pinterest Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Horse racing … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Cracksman out of Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe with Champion Stakes unlikely While the Sheikh has since bought horses in training sired by Coolmore stallions, including New Approach, who won the 2008 Derby in the colours of Princess Haya, his wife, the boycott of Coolmore-sired yearlings was maintained until a few weeks ago, when a handful were purchased in the United States.Significantly, though, the €1.2m purchase on Tuesday was the result of a bidding duel between John Gosden, representing Godolphin, and John Magnier’s son, MV Magnier, which carried the eventual selling price into seven figures, more than double the €580,000 paid for the day’s second-top lot.Magnier and his partners in the Coolmore Stud syndicate, including Michael Tabor and Derrick Smith, are regular buyers of the offspring of their own stallions at the major bloodstock sales, which keeps the market buoyant for breeders while also filling Aidan O’Brien’s racing stable with a fresh generation of potential Classic winners – and future Coolmore stallions – each season.Coolmore’s grip on the most sought-after bloodlines in racing owes much to the brilliant stallion Sadler’s Wells, who was the leading sire in Britain and Ireland for 13 years running from 1992, and the potency he passed on to his sons Montjeu and, above all, Galileo, the 2001 Derby winner and champion sire in eight of the last nine seasons.Sheikh Mohammed has spent the dozen years of his boycott adopting a similar policy to that of Magnier and Coolmore, by buying and racing the offspring of his own stallions in the Darley Stud operation, including Dubawi, the runner-up to Galileo in the sires’ table in 2015 and 2016.The price of avoiding Coolmore’s stallions, however, has been paid on the track. O’Brien has won the Derby six times since 2001, holds the all-time record for victories in Group One races and is on course to set a new record for Group One wins in a single season this year. Sheikh Mohammed, by contrast, has yet to see his own colours cross the line in front in the Derby, while the last trainer to win the British championship solely with Godolphin-owned horses was Saeed bin Suroor in 2004.Gosden, the champion trainer in 2015, was originally lured home to Britain from America to train for Sheikh Mohammed in 1989, and is now training an increasing number of horses for Godolphin.Gosden’s growing significance in the operation is underlined by his successful bid for Tuesday’s top lot in Ireland, and follows the sudden resignation of John Ferguson, Godolphin’s chief executive and one of the Sheikh’s longest-serving bloodstock advisors, in June this year following an internal feud with Bin Suroor. Enable to be supplemented for Arc after Cracksman’s absence Share on Twitter Godolphin Read more Horse racing tips Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share via Email news Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Share on Messenger Though he is now within sight of his 70th birthday, Sheikh Mohammed’s will to win on the turf is apparently undiminished. If Godolphin’s purchase on Tuesday truly marks the end of his Coolmore boycott, prices for Europe’s most choicely-bred yearlings at Tattersalls next week could be heading through the roof.Godolphin will send only a single runner, the 25-1 outsider Cloth Of Stars from Andre Fabre’s stable in Chantilly, to the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Chantilly on Sunday, when Gosden will saddle Enable, the odds-on favourite. She will be added to the field at Wednesday’s supplementary stage to join the 19 horses remaining after the second forfeit stage on Tuesday. All seven of Aidan O’Brien’s initial entries are still in the running, while the going at Chantilly is soft ahead of what could be significant rainfall this weekend.The possibility of a soft-ground Arc could influence Ryan Moore’s choice of partner from the O’Brien team, and he is now 5-4 (from 4-1) with Ladbrokes to ride Order Of St George, the 2016 Ascot Gold Cup winner, in Sunday’s big race. Winter, the 1,000 Guineas winner, is out to 11-4 (from 7-4) to step up to 12 furlongs for the first time in the Arc with Moore in the saddle, and could yet be re-routed to the Prix de l’Opera, over 10 furlongs.Wednesday’s tips, by Greg WoodGoodwood2.10 Setting Sail 2.40 Billesdon Brook 3.10 Me Too Nagasaki (nb) 3.45 What About Carlo 4.20 Notice 4.50 Bahamian Sunrise 5.25 The Big ShortRedcar 2.00 Rock On Bertie 2.30 Milan Reef 3.00 Al Hajar 3.35 Valdolobo 4.10 Quatrieme Ami (nap) 4.40 Fort Bastion 5.15 Desert Ruler 5.45 Point Of WoodsPerth2.20 Pat’s Oscar 2.50 Hope’s Wishes 3.25 Brutal 4.00 Urtheoneiwant 4.30 Ahead Of The Curve 5.05 BallypointKempton Park5.40 Tony Soprano 6.10 Manthoor 6.40 Dazzle Gold 7.10 Maghaweer 7.40 Cape To Cuba 8.10 Batts Rock 8.40 Alfarris 9.10 Atlanta Belle Reuse this content
Share on Pinterest Australia sport ECB England cricket team Cricket Share on Messenger The last big ballyhoo in English cricket was after the team’s abject 2015 World Cup. Paul Downton lost his job as the managing director and Andrew Strauss took over with instructions to improve England’s limited-overs cricket before the 2019 tournament. Concurrently, the board was concocting plans to bring in a new T20 league. It’s been designed to address two other long-standing criticisms of the way it has run the sport, which were that having invented T20, the ECB’s version of it had long since been overtaken by others around the world and that youth interest and participation in the sport had dropped off a cliff while it was stuck behind Sky’s paywall.Most of the key decisions since have been made to serve those ends. Trevor Bayliss was hired, in the large part, because he had such a strong record as a limited-overs coach. Then, the number of County Championship matches was cut and the schedules rearranged so teams could play limited-overs cricket on hard, fresh pitches at the height of summer, the one-day final could take centre stage again, and the players would have to do less chopping and changing between formats.Problem being that when the ECB shifted one piece of this jigsaw into place it left a muddle in the other corner. The championship has been marginalised, shunted into the far ends of the season, when conditions are more likely to suit the very kind of bowling that suffered in Australia, and at domestic level, the counties and their players are being encouraged to prioritise limited-overs cricket.So the ECB has over-corrected, and ended up off course in the other direction. But then, you would need to be a hell of a plate spinner to come up with a system that serves the national team in all three formats, keeps the counties solvent, satisfies diehard fans and seduces a new audience too. The ECB would do well to find a chaplain to blame. Since you’re here… … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Support The Guardian Topics Ashes 2017-18 Steven Finn Read more Melbourne miracle of 1998 shows ‘dead-rubber’ fourth Ashes Tests do matter Dexter had a rare flair for the form, though. These days (if not always) a lot of the explanations, excuses and arguments about what went wrong are starting to sound tired and familiar. As if English cricket was turning circles while it tries to find the way ahead. On the one hand there are the pundits offering old bromides about a weak county game that fails to produce the particular cricketers the national team needs, and on the other, there are county fans who bounce the blame back on to the ECB’s mismanagement of the sport and their coaching set-up at junior and elite levels.This winter the focus is on fast bowlers, because England’s batsmen have been skinned by three of them. Steven Finn touched on the issues when he was doing some charity work for Chance to Shine last week. He picked out the pitches, which are “a bit of a pancake because people are scared of losing games”, and the workload, “when you play 12 months a year it can suck the pace out of you”, but defended the ECB’s national performance centre in Loughborough, where the coaches cannot seem to decide whether they should be teaching quick bowlers to stay fit or get fast.The telling detail was what Finn had to say about the ECB’s recent changes to the playing conditions. Last winter it was not the lack of quick bowlers everyone was worrying about but the shortage of spinners, because England had been thrashed in India. The ECB had taken a step to fix exactly that problem earlier in the year, when they decided that in the championship visiting captains would have the choice of whether or not to bowl first. This was supposed to encourage counties to produce pitches that would bring spinners into the game as it wore on. And it worked.The flip side, Finn explained, is that “we are trying to develop spinners in this country with the toss rules and not making pitches biased towards fast bowlers but I do think the slowness of the wickets discourages people from bowling fast.” Point being that in the attempt to fix one problem, the ECB has exacerbated another. Which is a pattern it is repeating on a larger scale. Steve Smith edges closer to Bradman with new ICC rankings high Sportblog comment Share via Email Read more Ian Botham Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp A stock of explanations and excuses is a valuable bit of any cricketer’s kit and should be kept ready, stashed by bat, box and pads. “The sun was in my eyes. I couldn’t pick it up in this light. My foot slipped. Somebody was moving behind the sightscreen.”England, who, after all, have had no shortage of practice at this, have used some particularly ripe examples over the years. Ian Botham blamed the rain that ruined their chances in a group match against Pakistan at the 1992 World Cup on the team chaplain, Andrew Wingfield Digby “You’re useless, you are,” Botham told him, “It’s not surprising there’s a worldwide movement in favour of Islam.”That was when Ted Dexter was the chair of selectors. Dexter, who once explained away his late arrival for pre-season at Sussex by saying “I was fascinated by an adorable girl”, had a fine line in alibis himself. When England were thrashed in Caluctta in 1993, he announced he was going “to commission a report into pollution levels in Indian cities” (India’s environment minister replied that Dexter should “commission a report into the effect of pollution levels on the trajectories of India’s spinners” instead). And when England lost the Ashes in 1989 Dexter offered the deathless: “Venus may be in the wrong juxtaposition to somewhere else.” Share on Facebook Reuse this content
Parkinson and his players have endured an extremely difficult week after 29-year-old Darby was forced to retire because he was diagnosed with motor neurone disease. “I’ve worked with Stephen for a long time, and it was important that we put in a performance that reflected his character. Despite not getting the right result, I thought we did that.”Pulis said: “I thought we played really well in the first half, but we’ve got to make sure that we take our chances and the opportunities we get.”Millwall’s poor run continued in a defeat at improving QPR. Two goals inside three first-half minutes proved decisive for Steve McClaren’s side, with Massimo Luongo heading in from close range in the 30th minute and Eberechi Eze doubling the advantage with a left-foot drive. After beginning their campaign with four successive defeats, Rangers are now unbeaten in four. McClaren hailed Eze after the young forward played a starring role. “He’s a talent but he can get better. We need to add discipline to his game and work-rate. He is showing more of that and he’s getting the rewards, McClaren said.Millwall manager Neil Harris admitted he got his tactics and team selection wrong.“I take full responsibility for picking the team I did and the tactics in the first half. I’ll hold my hands up and say I got it wrong – I’ve no problem with that.”Lewis Grabban’s header and a fine finish by João Carvalho were enough to give Nottingham Forest only their second league win of the season, against Sheffield Wednesday.Grabban headed in Ben Osborn’s cross on 41 minutes and Carvalho doubled the lead after the break with an angled shot into the top right-hand corner. Steven Fletcher pulled one back for Wednesday with two minutes remaining but Aitor Karanka’s team held on. Karanka said: “I could have been happier, because we could have won this game even easier. We had a lot of chances and I only remember one chance for them, in the first half.“We played really well. I knew we needed to take a step forward after Saturday and we did that.” Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Middlesbrough bounced back from their defeat at Norwich and returned to second place in the Championship with a 2-0 home win against Bolton. George Saville’s first-half drive, his first goal for the club, set them on their way and Brit Assombalonga added a second in the 90th minute. Victory puts Tony Pulis’s team a point behind the leaders Leeds. Bolton manager Phil Parkinson felt his players produced a performance Stephen Darby would be proud of. Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Read more Championship Leeds maintain unbeaten start while West Brom put four past Bristol City Sheffield Wednesday Read more Topics Reading’s struggles continued with a 2-1 defeat by Norwich at the Madejski Stadium. Teemu Pukki’s long-range shot in the 14th minute put Norwich ahead and though Jón Dadi Bödvarsson equalised with 18 minutes remaining the visitors regained the lead within a minute as Mario Vrancic rifled into Sam Walker’s bottom left-hand corner to keep Paul Clement’s side in the bottom three.Birmingham remain winless after a goalless draw at Sheffield United, Omar Bogle wasting a glorious late chance for the Blues. Garry Monk insists it is only a matter of time until Birmingham’s luck changes. “Everyone wants to say it’s a winless run which we understand – anyone that’s seen us this season we’ve deserved a lot more than what we’ve got.” Bolton Wanderers news Rotherham’s Paul Warne: ‘Players we sign have to be amazing people’ Millwall Share via Email QPR Middlesbrough Nottingham Forest Share on LinkedIn Reuse this content
news Old Trafford and the Ashes stir great memories – plus one of leaving early The Ashes Share on LinkedIn England have made one change to their side for the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford with Craig Overton coming into the side in place of Chris Woakes.The Somerset paceman was drafted into the squad following confirmation that James Anderson would not be able to return in the series due to a calf injury and is brought straight into the team.England captain Joe Root also confirmed the expected switch of positions for Joe Denly and Jason Roy, with the latter moving down to bat at No 4 after struggling as an opener in the series so far. “Jason is a high-quality player, we all know that, and he might be better suited at four,” said Root. “I think to play in an Ashes series is very exciting and he was extremely excited to get the chance to open the batting but I think that he might be better suited for the middle order on the evidence we have seen over the last three games. … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Australia sport “It’s a great opportunity for him to make it his own and we have seen him play enough international cricket to know what he can do when he gets himself in so hopefully batting lower down allows him to do that. Joe has played some good cricket throughout the summer, he has got himself in and he was very good in that second innings [at Headingley]. It’s a great opportunity for him to get us off to a good start with Rory [Burns].”Steve Smith has returned to Australia’s squad after being forced to miss out at Headingley following the concussion he suffered when hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer at Lord’s. Root is looking forward to seeing the pair go head-to-head again.“For everyone watching I’m sure it will be an exciting contest between two world class players,” he added. “What that Headingley win has done is make this a very special week this week and a great opportunity for us to build on what was a great win and carry that forward. I thought the way we performed in that second innings was more what we are about as a team and as a batting group. It’s a great opportunity for us to do that in the first innings this time around.” Ashes 2019 Share on Messenger England cricket team Cricket Share on WhatsApp Reuse this content Australia cricket team Share on Pinterest Share on Twitter Topics Share via Email Share on Facebook Since you’re here… Read more Support The Guardian
Transfers ‘Coutinho €160m pricetag a bit high!’ – Rakitic Jack Davies Last updated 1 year ago 01:00 1/9/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(12) Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Philippe Coutinho Ivan Rakitić Primera División The Croatia international feels the transfer fees being spent in the current market are starting to become too expensive after the Brazilian’s arrival Ivan Rakitic concedes the price Barcelona have had to pay to prise Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool is “a bit high”, but hopes the Brazilian can help secure the LaLiga title.Coutinho will cost Barca €160 million, making him the third most expensive player of all time, behind Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, who will move to Paris Saint-Germain on a permanent deal from Monaco at the end of the season for €180m.And Rakitic, who will now face increased competition for a place in Barca’s midfield, believes the Coutinho fee is a sign of the times. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “My opinion doesn’t matter, but the price has gone a bit high, that’s what the market dictates,” he is quoted as saying by Marca .”Every great player is welcome here. I congratulate the president and everyone else who made it possible for him to be here.“He is one of the family now, we are going to enjoy him a lot, he’s now at the biggest club in the world.”Coutinho will not be eligible to feature in the Champions League this season but will boost Barca’s bid for a domestic double, with the Catalans leading Atletico Madrid by nine points at the top of La Liga.”We are happy another player has joined us, one who is among the very best,” added Rakitic.”Obviously, he can’t play in the Champions League, but we already knew that.”He will help us in La Liga and hopefully the Copa del Rey, but we must give him time to settle.”