Yuvraj Singh has had rough decade alright but it’s impossible to put the man down. Eight summers back, he won India the World Cup, battled cancer, won and came back into the Indian team. But gone was his magic. Gone was his power and gone was Yuvraj Singh’s ability to turn a match on its head.But IPL teams still did not hesitate to spend millions on the man advertisers, fans and players never forget to love. Yuvraj Singh, however, has had to endure another rough patch now. He was dropped from the Indian team in the middle of 2017 when India decided to get more serious about plugging those holes in the middle-order. A disastrous IPL season in 2018 with Kings XI Punjab looked like he would throw in the towel and move on.Yuvraj Singh has won bigger battles in life and he was not going to let a slump in form affect him. Once worth crores on the IPL market, he was bought by Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 1 crore in the player auction. He turned up at the Wankhede Stadium looking fitter than he did for KXIP and if Zaheer Khan and Rohit Sharma are to be believed, Yuvraj Singh is far, far more determined this time.There’s plenty at stake here. Yuvraj Singh is possibly playing for pride but he surely has one eye on the World Cup. India have little comfort and little cushion after the Big 3. Who will fill up Nos 4 and 5? What if Yuvraj Singh turns on the heat for Mumbai Indians? He will reunite with some of his closest mates – Rohit Sharma, Zaheer Khan, Sachin Tendulkar. Who knows what that can do?advertisementStart your Monday by watching @YUVSTRONG12 walk down the Wankhede stairs and talk about the 2011 @ICC World Cup #CricketMeriJaan #OneFamily pic.twitter.com/pNysQP5BPpMumbai Indians (@mipaltan) March 18, 2019Yuvraj doing everything possible to make it count: ZaheerZaheer Khan is one of Yuvraj Singh’s best friends. He also happens to be the Director of Cricket Operations for Mumbai Indians. And Zaheer is convinced Yuvraj is the best man to control the middle-order.”We needed an experienced batsman who controls the game in the middle. Who is better than Yuvraj Singh to do this? Yuvraj is looking forward to this season. He’s doing everything possible to make it count. This is great news for all his fans,” Zaheer Khan told the media on Tuesday.When Rohit Sharma played a poor shot and got out in the first Test in Australia, Yuvraj Singh warned him against throwing away starts again in a cheeky social media post. Rohit listened and played a blinder in Melbourne. Months later, Rohit will lead Yuvraj on to the field as Mumbai Indians seek to produce a good season.Eight years ago, Yuvraj Singh dedicated his World Cup heroics to his hero – Sachin Tendulkar.Tendulkar is now an icon with Mumbai Indians.Yuvraj Singh is back with his own people in a city which holds special memories. A summer of runs, a few wickets and maybe, just maybe, India might be forced to go back to a hero who deserves another chance.Also Read | IPL 2019: Rohit Sharma confirms he will open the batting for Mumbai IndiansAlso Read | Sunrisers Hyderabad feel confident when David Warner is around: Deepak HoodaAlso See:
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The Superintendent of the Catholic Schools of the Diocese of Sioux City has resigned to accept a new position.The Diocese announced that Dr. Dan Ryan, has accepted the position of President at Dowling Catholic High School in West Des Moines, Iowa.Dr. Ryan has been with the Diocese of Sioux City since July, 2009.The search for Dr. Ryan’s successor will begin immediately.Dr. Ryan will remain with the Diocese of Sioux City until June 30th.
Would you trust Brandon Weeden to Mike Yurcich? (USATSI)Welcome back to another edition of Mailbag Wednesday. As always, thanks for all of your questions (or to the OU fans, youre questions).Let’s get to it!@pistolsguy if Winston could play for this year’s team would you want him?— Eric Williams (@Super_EWilliams) October 22, 2014That’s a great question. His one act play drives me insane but I can’t say I wouldn’t want him. Selfishly I’d want him because he’s blogging gold — every single thing he does gets dissected harder than a 6th grade science project.On the flip side a lot of people (a lot more people, I should say) would hate me because I would write honestly about how I felt about him and feel constantly conflicted between his greatness on the field and his childishness off it.He’s Marcus Smart basically, but better at his sport and more absurd (and allegedly dangerous?) off the field. I liked having Smart but I’m also looking forward to a season without him so I’d probably feel the same about No. 5.https://twitter.com/cadewebb/status/525001847577141248Five years of Big 12 football titles for one basketball title? No. I might go one for one straight up but that’s a crazy trade. That’s like trading James Harden for Kevin Martin.@pistolsguy Appropriate payback to Thayer: Daxx throws a Longest Yard style pass at his groin or Ogbah in an unabated blindside QB sack?— ?? Will Klose (@lonestarpoke) October 22, 2014If there was a clip of Thayer standing in GIA as Markel ran from the other end of the arena and dunked on him and just hung on his head for like five seconds do you think that would be the most viewed post in PFB history or just for this year?https://twitter.com/jamiedonwheat/status/525003134629052416The real question is whether KD could start for this basketball team on his scooter. I’m not ruling that out.https://twitter.com/gunters_crff/status/525003704815325184This is a tremendous question. It’s 2-1 OU right now and is about to be 3-1 but I’m going to say OSU. I think Gundy has more years left in him in Stillwater than Stoops does in Norman and whoever follows that Stoops act is going to have his hands full.@pistolsguy on a scale of 1 to the time they announced Gilmore Girls was on Netflix, how excited are you about this 30 for 30 on the Boz?— Nolan (@nolancox) October 22, 2014There isn’t a number. It can’t be measured.Actually if you combine the feelings I felt when Jamie Blatnick picked up that fumble in 2011 Bedlam and the Lucas shot in 2004 along with the realization that Dez was going to wear No. 1 and the first time I saw Tyreek live then you’re about halfway there.@pistolsguy What would be more disappointing, going 5-7 in football or finishing 8th or lower in Big 12 b-ball?— Dylan Hays (@dylanchays) October 22, 2014Football. Disappointment has been removed from my vernacular when it comes to OSU hoops. When you take two NBA draft picks and a cast of legitimately good role players and transform them into the 7th best team in the Big 12 that gets drilled in an 8-9 game in the tournament there’s no such thing as unmet expectations anymore.Just sadness.@pistolsguy Mike & Mike, Dan Patrick, or SVP & Russilo?— Kevin Davis (@kevindavis31) October 22, 2014Dan Patrick is secretly (?) the best show on radio. It’s not even close. And I’m a SVP homer.@pistolsguy better chance yurcich is gone next year or Rudolph starts a game this year?— Kaden McCombs (@KMcCombs2) October 22, 2014Definitely Yurcich being gone. I just don’t see how Gundy and Holder go into a meeting and say “you know who really exceeded our expectations the last two years? The coordinator! Let’s re-sign him and give him a raise!”Think about this in real world terms: To be re-signed to a contract in a competitive marketplace (like college football) you have to meet or exceed expectations. Otherwise the barrier to entry is too low in terms of bring somebody else aboard.In a non-competitive marketplace I would argue that you can fall shy of or barely meet expectations and still be re-signed because there isn’t a long line of replacements to be had. Sometimes familiarity wins out in that scenario. Not so here.@pistolsguy Foursome at Karsten Creek. You and one each from the current PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour. Who ya got?— Chris Tucker (@ctuck2121) October 22, 2014Michelle Wie, Rory McIlroy, and Scott Verplank. And Verplank would be out-driven by all of us but probably win. @pistolsguy which combo would you pick?Dana/Chelf, Monken/Daxx, Yurcich/Weeden— Kevin Gronwaldt (@the_Kevin_G) October 22, 2014A great one to end on.I presume you have a standard good OSU offensive line for all three and given that I would go…Dana and Chelf. Monken could make me a good QB, I think (I mean look at JW’s 2012 game log!) but Dana is 95 percent what Monk is and Chelf is more than 5 percent better than Daxx.Even Weeden and a corpse would be tempting but if you followed along at all during his two years there you realize that a lot of Weeden’s success was because he was put in the right spots to succeed.I’m not sure I’d trust Yurcich to make my kids peanut butter sandwiches much less handle a machine as high-powered as No. 3.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!
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! Well that was quick and, I have to say, well done by administration. You can’t have an active player strangling his pregnant girlfriend and not do anything about it.I do wonder what the conversation was between Gundy and the parties at hand that this would happen so quickly. He had to have been sure.Here’s the full release.BREAKING: Official statement from #OKstate on the dismissal of Tryeek Hill from the team. pic.twitter.com/bPSO1MxhRi— Andrew Carter (@Andrew__Carter) December 13, 2014
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! Saturday was a special day in Oklahoma State’s season (obviously), and the cinematic highlights perfectly capture the importance of the Cowboys moving to 10-1* on the season.The highlights here are as good as you would expect. All the Carson truck sticks. All the Lacy grabs. All the Kenny Hill sacks. Drink it in, Cowboy fans because we get two straight weeks of bliss.Also it gave us this elite GIF.Boing boing boing. pic.twitter.com/YY1SaXfNLR— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 21, 2016
Liverpool Man City vs Liverpool team news: Aguero & Jesus start, Oxlade-Chamberlain makes bench Melissa Reddy Liverpool FC Correspondent Last updated 2 years ago 18:35 9/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Liverpool Manchester City Manchester City v Liverpool Premier League Pep Guardiola has opted to go with a front two against the Reds, while Jurgen Klopp is making his £35m deadline day signing wait for his debut Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have both been named in the Manchester City starting XI to face Liverpool on Saturday, with new signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the bench for the Reds.City have opted to go with a front pairing, with Aguero slotting back into the side after being benched prior to the international break at Bournemouth.Elsewhere, Kyle Walker is recalled after serving a suspension, while Ilkay Gundogan returns to the matchday squad after a lengthy absence with knee ligament damage. 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 For Liverpool, England international Oxlade-Chamberlain will hope to make his Reds bow after trading Arsenal for the Merseysiders on transfer deadline day.Jurgen Klopp has stuck with his explosive front three and settled midfield, as expected, making three alterations in defence.Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was in reserve last time out in the 4-0 victory over the Gunners, replaces Joe Gomez at right-back.Dejan Lovren drops to the bench, with Ragnar Klavan starting alongside Joel Matip in the heart of defence.Simon Mignolet returns in goal with Loris Karius deputising as per Klopp’s word.Philippe Coutinho has been left out of the matchday squad as he undertakes extra sessions to get back to his sharpest.Man City starting XI : Ederson, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Mendy, Danilo, Fernandinho, De Bruyne, Silva, Aguero, Jesus.Man City subs : Bravo, Foden, Mangala, Sane, Gundogan, Delph, Bernardo.Liverpool starting XI: Mignolet, Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Klavan, Moreno, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Mane, Salah, Firmino.Liverpool subs: Karius, Lovren, Gomez, Milner, Chamberlain, Sturridge, Solanke.Both sides have taken seven points from their opening three fixtures to sit among the early Premier League pacesetters. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
eSports FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch: What are the differences to PS4 and Xbox One versions and is it worth buying? Paul Rayment 20:17 10/5/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Goal eSports WC Qualification Europe With the latest version of the football game available on Switch, you can now play FIFA 18 everywhere you go – not just at home in front of the TV FIFA 18 is great fun wherever you play it. Now that FIFA is out for Nintendo Switch, there are even more ways and means to play the world’s biggest football video game.The Switch port of the game is not as in-depth as that on Xbox One or Playstation 4, but it still retains most of the charm and all of the gameplay elements that make this season’s version the best FIFA game yet.So, what is included in the Switch version of FIFA 18? 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. DOES FIFA 18 SWITCH HAVE ULTIMATE TEAM?While Ultimate Team has made it to Switch, elements such as Squad Battles and Weekend League are absent. If you’re new to Ultimate Team, this won’t be a great loss as the bulk of the addictive card trading and online play is still present.All the cards and players available in Ultimate Team are just the same as in the PS4 or Xbox One versions, meaning you can build your Ultimate Team exactly the way you like it and battle opponents online with your custom squad.At the moment, the FUT community is smaller than the two other consoles, but this is sure to increase as more people get their hands on a copy of the Switch version.IS CAREER MODE THE SAME ON SWITCH?If you’ve played Career Mode on FIFA 17, then you will get exactly what you expect from FIFA 18 on Nintendo Switch. The vast majority of career mode’s features are here, with the exception of the transfer negotiation cutscenes powered by the Frostbite engine.Outside of the negotiations, FIFA 18 on Switch doesn’t include release clauses and the increased objectives that appeared in FIFA 17. Thankfully, being able to copy and paste training routines from previous weeks (a new feature in FIFA 18) has made it to Switch.IS THE JOURNEY ON SWITCH?Unfortunately the biggest omission from FIFA 18 on Switch is the lack of the Journey mode. While this won’t be a problem for players who play Ultimate Team or Career Mode predominantly, many players did enjoy the introduction of the Journey in FIFA 17.The latest version sees Alex Hunter continue his career progression, but is only available on the other console versions of the game.HOW GOOD IS FIFA 18 ON SWITCH?There are plenty of reasons to try FIFA 18 on Switch, the most important of which is that it plays and looks great. Player animations are impressive and running at 60 FPS and in 1080p when docked and 720p in your hand, means this is by far the best looking portable FIFA experience ever.Gameplay is great and a little pacier than on Xbox One and PS4 and thankfully the new crossing mechanic has made it onto the Switch version. What’s hard to get across in videos is just how good it feels to be able to play a good FIFA game on a handheld device, or even on a Nintendo console. Taking your FIFA career mode on the train or playing a quick Kick Off game on the bus and having all the teams to choose from is amazing.While being able to play FIFA 18 online is great, FIFA is always better with someone sat next to you. So, being able to take the Joy-cons off a play with a friend wherever you are makes FIFA 18 on Switch the most sociable FIFA yet.While some Nintendo Switch owners will look over at those playing on Xbox One and PS4 with mild envy, they should realise those same players will be looking over at them with equal envy the next time they’re sat on a bus or train scoring goals with Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.
Tottenham Hotspur Pochettino did not like me at first, reveals Alli Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 17:14 10/15/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur Premier League The England midfielder has been a massive hit at Tottenham since his move from MK Dons, but has had to overcome reservations from his own manager Tottenham star Dele Alli has claimed that coach Mauricio Pochettino did not like him when he first joined from MK Dons, but insists that the Argentine now “loves” him.Alli joined Spurs from his hometown club ahead of the 2015-16 season, with few expecting him to have such a huge impact on the first-team in his debut Premier League campaign.Spurs 11/2 to beat Real Madrid 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. But he quickly put such reservations to bed and went on to score 10 goals in the league, a record he then went on to obliterate last term, adding an extra eight.Since leaving MK Dons, Alli has become a key figure for both Spurs and England, but he has had to overcome some doubts along the way, not least from Pochettino.Speaking in a Mail on Sunday serialisation of the new book Brave New World, about Pochettino, Alli said: “When I signed for Spurs in 2015, I came to have a look around the training ground, but I think he [Pochettino] was in Spain.”I didn’t see him till I came back for pre-season. It was really hard and I didn’t know what he thought of me.”The first proper one-on-one was with Jesus [Perez, Pochettino’s assistant].”They were speaking in Spanish and then Jesus said to me: ‘He didn’t like you…’ or similar.”The boss was staring me in the eye to see how I reacted. I was speechless! He [Perez] paused for like a second, and he said ‘…but now he loves you.'” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Transfers The Covert Agent: Newcastle Jets close to signing Argentinian star as injury replacement The Covert Agent Last updated 1 year ago 04:05 12/22/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Transfers Newcastle Jets AEK Athens A-League Newcastle Jets v Western Sydney Wanderers EXCLUSIVE: Goal’s resident spy reveals the Jets will imminently seal a deal for the South American, who nearly joined the club in the off-season Newcastle Jets are closing in on the signing of Argentinian playmaker Patricio Rodriguez as an injury replacement player to cover the losses of stars Roy O’Donovan and Ronald Vargas.The Covert Agent can reveal Newcastle are deep in discussions with the 27-year-old’s representatives and are expected to come to terms shortly.Rodriguez has only made two league appearances for Greek side AEK Athens this season and is expected to be allowed to leave when the January transfer window opens, according to reports from Greece. 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 An injury crisis has struck the Hunter Valley club this campaign with both Vargas (broken ankle) and O’Donovan (groin tear) unlikely to return until the latter stages of the season.It’s believed the new South American signing will be designated as an injury replacement for either Vargas or O’Donovan – but not take up the Jets’ two remaining visa positions at this stage.Despite mounting injuries to key players, Newcastle sit in second spot on the A-League ladder, five points behind Sydney FC but four ahead of Melbourne City.Rodriguez is an attacking midfielder, who played two seasons with PSG superstar Neymar at Brazil’s Santos and also spent four years at Argentine powerhouse Independiente.He was set to join Newcastle as a marquee in September but was overlooked at the last moment with Vargas preferred by coach Ernie Merrick.The Jets have already bolstered their injury-hit squad on Tuesday with the loan signing of former Adelaide United midfielder Riley McGree from Belgium’s Club Brugge.Newcastle host the Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald-Jones Stadium on Friday night – hoping to reduce Sydney FC’s lead to two points before the Sky Blues travel to Wellington on Saturday.
Barbarians women’s team to make historic debut in Ireland in November Explosive Fijians can forge French renaissance in European Champions Cup Share on WhatsApp While New Zealand has been the top country in world rugby for more than 100 years, the All Blacks have not always been invincible, especially at the World Cup from 1991 to 2007 when they were regularly knocked out in the play-off stages.The All Blacks would dominate Test rugby in between World Cups only to choke at the showpiece event, giving the likes of Australia, England and South Africa an opportunity to claim the mantle as the world’s best team.But the All Blacks have now won the last two World Cups in 2011 and 2015 and it is not beyond the realms of possibility they will remain undefeated until they lift the Webb Ellis Cup again in Japan in 2019.This kind of dominance is abhorred in other sports. Most professional sporting competitions have introduced drafts and/or salary caps to maintain parity among teams, seeing it as detrimental for one side to win all the time, but these sort of equalising mechanisms are not applicable to Test rugby.If the All Blacks cannot be brought back to the field, it is up to other nations to lift their standards to try to match them. So who will challenge the All Blacks for world supremacy? It might seem like a fantastical exercise, but there are a few contenders.Under former Wallabies coach Eddie Jones, England are certainly mobilising their forces to make a genuine assault on the World Cup in Japan, instilling the same will to win that the men in white had in 2003. Rugby supporters around the globe are salivating at the prospect of England hosting the All Blacks at Twickenham in November next year, but that is a long time to wait to see the Kiwis knocked off their pedestal.In the meantime, the Wallabies and the Springboks look as if they have turned the corner, raising hope that a famous win against the All Blacks is not too far away. Both Australia and South Africa gave the All Blacks a run for their money in the Rugby Championship, narrowly losing epic contests in Dunedin and Cape Town respectively.It is a little bit sad when Australian and South African supporters get excited when the Wallabies and Springboks go close against the All Blacks. Is that as good as it gets? A gallant defeat? You cannot forget that the All Blacks also inflicted record defeats on the Wallabies and the Springboks in the same competition. That’s the thing about the Kiwis, when they are on they are unbeatable and when they are off they almost always win anyway.France, of course, are always a wildcard at the World Cup, having knocked the All Blacks out of the tournament in 1999 and 2007 and almost upsetting them in the final in Auckland in 2011. The All Blacks play France in Paris on their end of year tour. Les Bleus always step up when they play New Zealand and will be a formidable opponent. Share on Pinterest Read more Never in the history of sport has there been an international team as dominant as the All Blacks. The New Zealanders have lost only two games since winning the 2015 World Cup – an exhibition against Ireland in Chicago and the second Test against the combined might of the British and Irish Lions, which they played with 14 men for almost three quarters of the game after Sonny Bill Williams was red-carded.The All Blacks’ dominance might be wonderful for rugby in New Zealand, but questions remain as to whether it is positive for Test rugby and the health of the game in other countries. This is particularly true for Australia, as the Wallabies play the Kiwis more often than any other team. Share on Messenger The Wallabies will get the next crack at the All Blacks in the third Bledisloe Test in Brisbane on 21 October . With the All Blacks having already won the Bledisloe Cup for a record 15th consecutive time, the game in Brisbane is a dead rubber, but that expression is not part of the Kiwi vocabulary. The All Blacks have an insatiable hunger to win every single game they play. Until the pretenders to the throne can match that desire, they will not beat them and that will not be good for rugby.The yawning gap between the All Blacks and the rest of the world may turn Test rugby into a great, big yawn. Support The Guardian Read more Australia sport Since you’re here… Rugby union Share on LinkedIn comment Bledisloe Cup Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on Facebook New Zealand rugby union team Topics … 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. Reuse this content
Grzegorz Krychowiak has accused Unai Emery, the Paris Saint-Germain coach, of not telling him the truth about the reasons for leaving him out of the team for so much of last season, and revealed the extent to which their relationship broke down by saying he “felt deception” whenever he spoke to the Spaniard.Krychowiak followed Emery to PSG in July last year for €30m after spending the previous two seasons playing under him at Sevilla, where they won the Europa League in 2015 and 2016. Krychowiak said at the time of his transfer that Emery’s appointment at PSG was a factor in his decision but the Poland international started only 11 matches in all competitions for the French club and was told in the summer he should look for a new team, only 12 months after signing a five-year contract. news European club football Reuse this content Share on Messenger West Bromwich Albion Share on Pinterest Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Paris Saint-Germain Share on Facebook Read more Topics Share on LinkedIn Share via Email With Krychowiak marginalised to the point that he was not involved in any pre‑season friendlies for PSG, West Bromwich Albion saw an unlikely window of opportunity and signed the midfielder at the end of August on a season-long loan deal that was regarded as a huge coup.Krychowiak has settled quickly at The Hawthorns and is enjoying English football, yet he is clearly frustrated with the way things unravelled for him at PSG, in particular Emery’s responses whenever he sought an explanation. “I spoke with the coach but every time when I spoke with him I felt deception,” Krychowiak said.Asked to elaborate on that and whether he felt he was not being told the truth during their conversations about his lack of match action, Krychowiak said: “Yes, exactly. So for me I didn’t understand why. The coach knows me very well. We spent two years together and before I signed the contract he told me to come to PSG, and I didn’t play.”Krychowiak is open to all possibilities at the end of this season and has not ruled out returning to PSG, although that prospect appears highly unlikely in the circumstances. His move to Albion came out of the blue – he found out about the opportunity of playing in England 48 hours before he signed – and the 27-year-old is honest enough to admit he knew “not a lot” about the Midlands club before signing. Playing in the Premier League was part of the attraction, according to Krychowiak, as was the need to hold down a regular first-team place before next summer’s World Cup finals.“It was one of the reasons,” Krychowiak said, when asked about Russia 2018 being a factor. “If I want to play for Poland, I need to play and find a club. I didn’t go for the two last games with Poland [in September’s qualifiers]. I spoke with the coach, he told me that it would be better that I find a club, then I will be back [in the squad]. So it was very important for me to have the opportunity to play in the World Cup.”A keen traveller, Krychowiak spent the summer trekking across the US as well as visiting Mexico and Cuba, and he has already taken in a few diverse attractions in England, including visiting Blenheim Palace, Legoland and the historic colleges that make up Oxford University. “Football players have a lot of opportunity to change the club, the city, the country, to know a new culture,” Krychowiak said. “It’s very nice to discover these kind of places.”
Reuse this content Share on LinkedIn … 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. news Support The Guardian Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Peter Sagan: ‘Being the pope is much harder than being a cyclist’ Topics Chris Froome Share on Twitter The Recap: sign up for the best of the Guardian’s sport coverage Cycling Since you’re here… Whether Froome will line-up to target a fifth yellow jersey at the Tour in July will likely be decided by administrators, lawyers and experts considering the salbutamol reading which has left a series of questions unanswered.Amaury Sports Organisation, the Tour organisers, are reportedly prepared to block Froome’s participation if the case is unresolved. “I think it’ll be a huge shame for the race if the defending champion and four-times winner can’t be on that start line, even though the process and the rules say that he can, that’s a huge loss for the sport,” Froome added.A fifth Tour title would see Froome share the record number of victories as Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles.Froome added: “Of course there is an element of risk involved in targeting the Giro before the Tour, but I think I would regret it for the rest of my life if I didn’t give this race a go.“I would love to win the maglia rosa [the Giro race winner’s pink jersey], but I am under no illusions whatsoever about how hard the race will be.”Froome will be joined in the Team Sky squad by Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus, Germany’s Christian Knees and Colombia’s Sergio Henao – all of whom helped him win a fourth Tour last July.Wout Poels of Holland, Spain’s David de la Cruz, Salvatore Puccio of Italy and France’s Kenny Elissonde complete the Team Sky squad. Froome, who lived in Italy in the early part of his career, is racing in the Giro for the first time since 2010, in Team Sky’s debut season.Froome is not the only Briton starting with designs on the pink jersey, as Simon Yates has been named as joint leader of the Australian Mitchelton-Scott squad. Giro d’Italia Read more Read more Share on WhatsApp Chris Froome repeated his hope of being cleared of wrongdoing over an adverse finding for elevated levels of salbutamol after being confirmed as a starter at the Giro d’Italia, which begins in Jerusalem next week.The 32-year-old could be banned for the reading at last year’s Vuelta, which he won. But the Team Sky leader is bidding to prove his use of the substance was legitimate. As the asthma medication is a specified substance, the four-time Tour de France winner can continue racing, much to the chagrin of many of his rivals.“It obviously hasn’t been easy … it hasn’t been easy in the build up to the Giro,” Froome told Eurosport. “I certainly haven’t been charged of anything as of yet and I hope to be fully exonerated of any wrongdoing because I know I didn’t do anything wrong.“I get it, when people look at the sport of cycling, they see what’s happened in the past and people think: ‘Here we go again, it’s history repeating itself.’ This case is not that scenario. I do empathise with people but it’s hugely frustrating that this is now being played out in the public domain.“It’s frustrating, but what can I do? I’ve just got to carry on and try and get this resolved as quickly as possible. It’s a complicated process and we’re trying to follow what’s being laid out to us by the authorities, but it’s not all straight forward and we’re doing the best we can to get it cleared up.”The Giro begins on 4 May, with the first three stages in Israel, and concludes in Rome on 27 May, with Froome bidding to be the winner of all three Grand Tours – of France, Spain and Italy – at the same time. Share via Email
Leicester dominated the set pieces but in possession they were a mixture of the slick and the slack, a break and deft off-load too often followed by a knock-on. Newcastle spent most of the match seeking the sanctuary of the ropes but they were never put down and nothing, not even injuries, a mounting penalty count or the increasingly heavy rain could dampen their resolve.Leicester responded quickly to Goneva’s first try by working space for Jonny May and took the lead when Ford replied to Joel Hodgson’s penalty with two from close range. Hodgson followed the prop Scott Wilson and the second-row Sean Robinson into the dressing room, leaving Newcastle without a specialist outside-half or goal-kicker.Ellis Genge was causing havoc in the scrums but Leicester failed to make possession and territory count and Newcastle went into the interval level when Juan Pablo Socino kicked a penalty in front of the posts. The Tigers wasted a driving maul at the start of the second period and then had a Ben Youngs ‘try’ ruled out for a knock-on.That did not seem to matter when Mike Fitzgerald scored from close range and Ford kicked his third penalty, but as Leicester made changes from the bench, some enforced, their dominance waned and Newcastle seized the moment. Goneva scored from a rare attack to reduce the home side’s lead to five points and the Falcons were not content with a bonus point.When Sione Kalamafoni was sent to the sin-bin three minutes from the end for lurking in an offside position and getting in the way, Newcastle launched a series of drives that ended with Hogg touching down on 80 minutes.As the try was reviewed, the TMO indicated to Pearce that he seemed to have blown his whistle before Hogg touched the ball down the second time with no camera angle confirming he had reached the line at the first attempt. “I definitely got the ball down the first time and not hearing the referee’s whistle made sure,” said Hogg.Richards hailed his side’s resilience, saying: “We struggled in the set-pieces: our scrum was awful and our line-out didn’t function but we stuck at it and the players showed great character. To win here was quite extraordinary.” Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Leicester’s love affair with the play-offs looked to have come to an acrimonious end last night when Newcastle scored a disputed try by their No 8, Ally Hogg, with the final play of a game the Tigers had largely dominated.It took five minutes to review, with questions about the grounding, a double movement and whether the whistle had blown before the Scotland forward got the ball down, but the referee, Luke Pearce, was not swayed by the home crowd and awarded the try that lifted the Falcons to third and on course for a first Premiership semi-final.It was Leicester’s fifth home league defeat of the season, their highest in the Premiership era, and Newcastle’s seventh win on the road, more than any other club. To compound the Tigers’ woe, two of their alumni contributed to their downfall, the wing Vereniki Goneva, who scored two tries, and Dean Richards, the Falcons’ director of rugby.Richards side started the evening fourth in the table, two points above the Tigers, but 11 minutes from the end trailed 23-13 having lost three players to injury in the opening 24 minutes.They took the lead after 74 seconds when Goneva took possession from the base of a ruck, dummied the prop Dan Cole and sprinted 40 metres to the line, and the wing salvaged a game that was slipping away when he stepped inside two defenders before flattening George Ford on 69 minutes. The Tigers by then were nursing their lead and were unable to recapture their early momentum. Defeat at Sale next weekend could dump them out of the top six and into the Challenge Cup for the first time, their faint hope of finishing fourth resting on Wasps blowing up. Share on Twitter Topics Leicester match reports Share on LinkedIn Premiership Share on Pinterest Newcastle Support The Guardian Share via Email Reuse this content Read more Share on WhatsApp Rugby union Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Share on Facebook … 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.
The announcement of a 100-ball form of cricket is yet more mildly depressing evidence that the glorious game is splitting into two forms: the classical and the popular. The former, Test cricket, is a codified, cultivated game played over five days and four long innings. It was amid the tactics and patience of “long-form” cricket that players cut their teeth. However, the classical game is dying in its pads. English county teams, who play the longer form, often get fewer spectators in a season than big football clubs get for one game. What are thriving are the “popular” shorter versions of cricket – their detractors consider them a different sport – such as the one-day game and Twenty20. These can be batting slugfests or target practice for pistol-quick bowling. Less treasured is the skill of building an innings and arranging the field to test a batsman’s – or woman’s – weaknesses. These are losses, aesthetic and otherwise, but the gain is popularity: 120 million people watched India’s domestic 2016 T20 final.It did not have to be this way. English cricket has never been more popular than it was in 2005, when almost 23 million watched at least 30 minutes of England’s victorious Ashes series. Cricket became a victim of its own success: Sky bought the TV rights and the game disappeared from terrestrial television. Today it has never been less popular. The England and Wales Cricket Board’s own survey of schoolchildren showed that three in five didn’t even rank cricket in their top-10 favourite sports. Instead of invigorating the classical form of the game, the ECB has created a novel 100-ball format and a new eight-team, city-based tournament. While this paper will mourn the demotion of the Test version, a crumb of comfort is that cricket will be shown live on BBC for the first time in 21 years from 2020. India cricket team Read more IPL Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Opinion ECB In attempting to make cricket attractive, the 100-ball game is polluting the game’s best traditions. An innings split into 15 six-ball overs and another of 10 balls means the format would need a change the laws of the sport. This seems a step too far: why not just put the cash into the existing T20 competition? The answer is presumably that only the shock of the new can jolt life into the sport. India’s recent cricketing experience is worth recalling. It was only after India won the 2007 T20 World Cup in a heart-stopping final against old rivals Pakistan that the country embraced the fast and furious game. A year later and the laser shows, cheerleaders and Bollywood stars proved an instant hit. Today the domestic tournament attracts £400m in annual television rights from Star India. Players come from all over the world to pick up large pay packets. Yet Indians remain fascinated by a long innings of attrition and retain an eye for a bowler’s line and bounce.Now the ECB has decided to submit cricket to the cult of the unsentimental – prepared to reinvent the game to save it by pulling in a billion pounds mostly from Sky, but with the BBC to reach a wider audience. One can only hope English cricket can lure people to make excursions across the border between popular and classical forms. Twenty20 BBC Topics Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Share on LinkedIn Sign up to the Spin – our weekly cricket round-up England cricket team editorials Share on Pinterest Cricket … 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. Share on Twitter Support The Guardian Share on Facebook Reuse this content
Reuse this content Since you’re here… Share on Facebook Star menRory Burns and Morne Morkel have been two of the three best players in either division – Kent’s Matt Henry with 67 wickets in Division Two being the other.The captain and left-hander Burns, England’s new Test opener-elect, has scored nearly 300 runs more than anyone else. His tally of 1,241 from 12 matches, with four hundreds, has come at an average of 68.94. The former South Africa pace bowler Morkel has taken 50 wickets in eight games. Only five bowlers in Division One have reached the 50-wicket mark, and his average of 13.96 blows his rivals out of the water since making his debut in late May following a side injury.Contributions from othersThe veteran all-rounder Rikki Clarke, a homegrown hero and a Championship winner in his debut season in 2002, has been one of a host of notable performers, with 43 wickets and 443 runs, while the England trio of Sam Curran, Ben Foakes and Ollie Pope have enhanced their reputations, as has the fledgling offie Amar Virdi.Pope has been the best of them with 802 runs, including a stupendous unbeaten 158 in the first innings of a three-day win over Yorkshire at the Oval in early May, under the watchful gaze of Joe Root, who was captaining the opposition that week. Cricket Twitter Ollie Pope hits out during his stunning innings against Yorkshire Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images Share on WhatsApp Surrey Surrey clinch County Championship title with tense win at Worcester … 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. Pinterest Read more The Spin: sign up and get our weekly cricket email. Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Facebook County Championship Division One Support The Guardian features Read more A ruthless road to gloryChampion sides always gain momentum, a popular buzzword within dressing rooms far and wide, and run with it. Surrey did not make a racing start, winning their first match against Hampshire and drawing their next two against Lancashire and Worcestershire. But since then they have won nine on the bounce and counting, including an extraordinary five of those by an innings.If Surrey win their last two matches, against Somerset at Taunton next week and Essex at the Oval, they will have won 12 times, a season’s record in county cricket since the Championship was split into two divisions in 2000 – also a Surrey title-winning year. Share via Email The team behind the teamWhile Surrey’s on-field recruitment has been smart, assembling a backroom staff oozing knowledge and experience has been a key contributor to their success.Led by Alec Stewart and Michael Di Venuto, the director of cricket and head coach respectively, they have cherry-picked experienced heads such as Vikram Solanki, Chris Taylor, Ryan Sidebottom and Geoff Arnold as coaches and mentors to underpin the squad’s development.Sidebottom, for example, was brought in as a bowling consultant for Championship cricket alone – the former England left-arm swing bowler won five Championship titles as a player for Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire between 2001 and 2015. England to reward Jos Buttler and Sam Curran with central contracts Fortress OvalThe Oval has not always been the happiest of hunting grounds for Surrey, a batsman-friendly venue not conducive to forcing victories. In the summers of 2016 and 2017 combined they won four times there – twice in each – whereas this summer they have won four times at HQ, added to once at Guildford’s Woodbridge Road.Those Oval victories came against Hampshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire. The Lancashire win last month, under lights and with the pink ball, was the closest they have come to defeat this season. Defending a target of 271, they won by six runs thanks to a Morkel six-for. Share on Messenger Topics
news Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Montagliani acknowledged Fifa had made the decision to send two more of its competitions to Qatar without having discussed human rights problems in its meeting.“Not today, not in the council meeting, but those issues are part of the ongoing discussion between the special administration which deals with this on a daily basis and obviously the local organising committee,” he said.The decision follows a report last week from the Qatari committee responsible for organising the 2022 World Cup documenting its progress on providing welfare for workers. The report found nine men aged between 26 and 49 had died while in their accommodation after collapsing, having breathing difficulties or being found unresponsive.One man also died on a construction site.Tej Narayan Tharu, 23, as reported by the Guardian in November, fell while working on the Al Wakrah stadium. The report states that following an investigation, safety improvements were made to onsite working and several health and safety managers were sacked. Nicholas McGeehan, who raised serious concerns in 2017 with research about the health impact for construction workers in the Gulf’s “life-threatening” heat and humidity , was highly critical after the release of the latest figures: “These nine deaths are from only the supreme committee’s World Cup workers, a tiny proportion of the Qatar migrant workforce. It is unsafe to work in those conditions without very substantial safeguards. The Qataris should have independently investigated the health risks and put those protections in place.” Share on WhatsApp Read more Liverpool Ronald Koeman: ‘We’re a country that will always produce good young players’ Fifa has awarded Qatar the next two Club World Cups, for this December when Liverpool will represent Europe as champions, and 2020. Both will be “tests” for the World Cup being held in the Gulf state in 2022.Explaining the decision on behalf of the Fifa council following their meeting before Wednesday’s annual congress in Paris, Victor Montagliani, the president of the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, said: “I think it’s a great opportunity to test the facilities. I think it hits all the marks. It will be good for Qatar to have those events over the next two years and test out their transportation, their accommodation, their stadiums. I think it’s a good exercise.” Topics Club World Cup Share on LinkedIn Hassan al-Thawadi, the chairman of Qatar’s supreme committee, also speaking after the Fifa council meeting, accepted “there is still a long way to go” for the welfare of workers. “Every death is a tragedy, it’s as simple as that,” he said. “On the ones that are addressed in the report as non-work-related deaths, we have started a medical study with a local university. We have instigated on our projects annual health checks.”He referred to the Qatar government’s implementation of a recommended minimum wage of 750 rials a month – £160, just over £40 per week – and said it is due for an increase. The supreme committee has put in place a refund system for workers who have paid recruitment fees to agents in their home countries, which are now outlawed, and the government itself is working on a reform programme with the International Labour Organisation.“While progress has been made in the state of Qatar there is still a long way to go,” Thawadi said. “We are working very hard with NGOs, medical institutions, trade unions, universities, to do everything we can to address these issues.”Thawadi said he welcomed the opportunity for Qatar to host the Club World Cups, describing it as “exciting times,” and a chance to rehearse their operations and stadium plans before the 2022 World Cup, now confirmed to be 32 teams.Qatar does not have alcohol freely available, but Thawadi said opportunities for supporters to drink in designated are incorporated into their plans. Share via Email Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Read more Top clubs accused over ‘dangerous’ plans to reshape Champions League Reuse this content
Trent Alexander-Arnold excelled down either flank, his delivery vicious to bypass the Swiss backline, to serve notice of his talent as England’s right-back for the foreseeable future. Yet, for all the collective’s interchanges and energy, incisive passes and clever runs, there was no goal to celebrate.Harry Kane, bursting beyond Manuel Akanji before conjuring a sublime first-time chip from an unkind angle, had struck the face of the crossbar within 100 seconds of the start. Raheem Sterling would smack a free-kick against the woodwork at the other end 115 minutes later. In between, the Manchester City winger scuffed a fine chance straight at Sommer, watched Dele Alli denied by the goalkeeper and head another fine chance over the bar, and saw Fabian Schär divert Danny Rose’s cross inadvertently on to his own post.When England did eventually force the ball home, the substitute Callum Wilson shovelling the rebound into the net after Dele had looped another header on to Sommer’s bar six minutes from the end of normal time, the VAR penalised the Bournemouth striker for a shove on Akanji in the buildup. 14 Chilwell 21 Omlin 18 Sow 21 Wilson 10 Xhaka On the face of it, this should have been cause for celebration. England have finished third at a major finals for the first time since the 1968 European Championships even if, for context, that was a tournament won by Italy who had claimed their semi-final on the toss of a coin and this, in truth, is an inaugural four-team jamboree crowbarred on to the end of a slog of a season.Then there is the national team’s new-found confidence at penalties, their conviction personified by Jordan Pickford first thumping his team’s fifth spot-kick beyond Yann Sommer – “It was a decent pen, wasn’t it?” he offered through a post-match grin –then saving Switzerland’s sixth, spat to his right by Josip Drmic. No England goalkeeper had ever previously taken a penalty in a competitive shoot-out and, even if tension had long since drained from the afternoon, here was the hero from the Spartak stadium last summer outdoing himself by excelling at both aspects of the drill. 6 Lang Share on Messenger Match stats 11 Steffen England beat Switzerland on penalties to secure third place in Nations League – as it happened Fouls 17 Zakaria ENG SWI 9 Seferovic 19 Rashford Lineups Goal attempts 23 Shaqiri Having seen previous England teams succumb in their previous five attempts at what was once considered an unscientific lottery, Gareth Southgate’s side have now prevailed in successive shootouts. That is quite a turnaround. And yet, from the near disdain with which the manager and his players treated the bronze medals awaiting them back in the dressing-room – some were apparently unaware there had even been a medal on offer, and did not seem particularly keen to root them out once informed – to the constant reminders that all this was not enough, they departed for home on Sunday night frustrated.Progress has been made in the last year, but the Nations League was supposed to yield a first trophy. That thirst has not been quenched. Southgate admitted the days since the semi-final lost to the Netherlands had been difficult, the sense of deflation palpable. “They took some lifting, but the significant step we’ve taken is the level of disappointment that we leave here having not got to the final or won the trophy,” he said. “We played fine on Thursday but made ridiculous mistakes. It was important we responded with a high level of performance.”They duly outplayed the Swiss here, only for profligacy to undermine their display. Thankfully, they were far more ruthless from the penalty spot than from open play.This game should have been settled by half-time in normal time, so dominant had Southgate’s side been. Four times the woodwork had been left quivering and, inevitably given events late on against the Dutch, there would be a reversal of a goal award from a VAR to endure before the end. Encouragement was to be gleaned from the slick approach play, invariably stemming from Pickford’s short delivery to Eric Dier or one of his centre-halves as a springboard for a foray upfield.John Stones spent all afternoon looking on from the bench, with England as composed here against unambitious opposition as they had been panicked against the more feverish Dutch press. Joe Gomez, utterly unflappable, and Harry Maguire coped far more comfortably this time round. 17 Delph 7 Lingard 1 Pickford 5 Akanji 15 Keane Read more Corners 8 Henderson 5 Switzerland Off target 10 England 6 Switzerland On target 6 England 14 17 14 Zuber 20 Fernandes Substitutes (s 113′) 3 Moubandje 23 Heaton Switzerland That effectively condemned all those present to endure the additional half-hour, not least with the Swiss – one battered Granit Xhaka attempt aside – utterly becalmed with minds drifting to summer holidays. Pickford kept that shot out, and enjoyed his moment in the dregs of the campaign.His penalty had been dispatched with glee. “I’d never taken one before, other than a few back in my school days,” said the goalkeeper, who would have taken England’s seventh attempt against Colombia last summer had it been required. “So it was a bit more nerve-racking. But I’ve practised a lot in training in the last three weeks, relaxed, went through my routine, and stepped up. I trusted my ability and my ball-striking.” His punch of the air was a highlight of the afternoon, though England would have preferred something far more tangible to celebrate from their six-day stint in Portugal. 5 Stones England 3 Rose 2 Walker Possession 19 Drmic 13 Rodriguez 4 Elvedi (s 70′) Switzerland Read more England 12 Mvogo Topics Substitutes Share via Email 1 Sommer Share on Pinterest England 2-1 Scotland: Women’s World Cup 2019 – as it happened 12 Gomez 20 Alli 10 Sterling 16 Ajeti 4 Dier 16 Rice 3 9 (s 87′) (s 106′) 56 44 7 Okafor 13 Butland 22 Schar Share on WhatsApp ENG56SWI44% 15 Benito (s 106′) 18 Barkley 9 Kane (s 75′) (s 60′) 22 Alexander-Arnold Nations League 11 Sancho The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. match reports Share on Facebook Share on Twitter 8 Freuler Share on LinkedIn 6 Maguire (s 65′) 2 Mbabu Reuse this content
The mind also rewinds to the Randolph Hotel in Oxford on the last day of February 2018. The previous Saturday England had been unceremoniously beaten by Scotland at Murrayfield. On the train down to Manchester after the game England’s coach had been abused by drunk fans and was still in contemplative mood. “I’m not a magician, mate,” he said, using the All Blacks’ long wait for a World Cup success under Graham Henry as an example of the need for patience. “It took New Zealand eight years to fix it – we’re trying to do it in four so everything’s a bit more difficult for us.”Twenty months later the national side are in much rosier shape and certainly more fulfilled than when they bowed out in the 2015 pool stages. No one will be remotely keen to play them in the 2020 Six Nations – they kick off against France at Twickenham on Sunday 2 February – and there is self-evidently further room for growth. The majority of the squad will still be around for the 2023 World Cup in France and Sinckler, Maro Itoje, Owen Farrell, the Vunipola brothers, Jamie George, George Ford, Henry Slade, Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson could all have 80 caps plus by then. Share on Messenger Twitter Twitter Facebook Share on Twitter Eddie Jones calls South Africa worthy winners but is silent on future Since you’re here… Facebook Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Read more Share on LinkedIn South Africa rugby team Huge credit, clearly, needs to be given to South Africa who, by contrast, were obviously galvanised by the occasion. Plenty of teams would also love to be in England’s position, with a silver medal to reward four years of sweat-soaked sacrifice. And yet. Mention the word Yokohama to an English player or supporter for the foreseeable future and there will be an instinctive wince about what might have been.It will be the same for Jones, who instead of being crowned master of the rugby universe has lost two World Cup finals as a head coach. He could only shrug his shoulders. “I’ve been coaching 23 years, it happens periodically. You think you’ve got a team right and ready to go and for some reason they don’t perform to the level you expect. Why? I’ve spoken to a lot of experienced coaches about it and everyone says the same thing, you just don’t know. You’re better off just putting that game to the side and getting on with it.” Pinterest Share via Email Whether Jones will still be around urging them on in 2023 remains the subject of talks between him and Bill Sweeney, the Rugby Football Union’s chief executive. He is already teasing the media – “You’re so lucky because you’ve got me for another two years, guys. How good is that?” – but a number of his coaching assistants will be moving on. Nor is the conveyor belt of young talent as richly stacked with obvious world-class potential as the rapid rise of Tom Curry and Sam Underhill has latterly made it look.There is no guarantee for the RFU, in other words, that four more years of the demanding Jones will yield a golden pot at the end of the rainbow. France, as hosts, will be strong, the Springboks have now rediscovered their mojo and the All Blacks will be hungry for revenge. Relevant or not, South Africa’s triumph under the super-smart Rassie Erasmus also again ensured that no nation with a coach from overseas has won a World Cup.The outstanding job Erasmus has done in rebuilding the Springboks within two years, assisted by his inspired choice of captain and the unifying motto Stronger Together, underlines that hiring a big name is not always the answer for a union wanting to beat the world. More significant is the strength of the bond between the team and its public; the powerful energy generated can be as crucial as tactical guile.Jones, by his own admission, is not a magician and England, as the final proved, have no divine right to fairytale endings. Equally, though, the 2019 squad are mostly young. It will be scant consolation right now but their best days still lie ahead. … 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. Support The Guardian Rugby World Cup: South Africa surge to glory as England fall short Rugby World Cup 2019 It is the abrupt finality of World Cups that makes them so brutal. As the Springboks danced beneath a shower of golden ticker tape, celebrating a victory which will resonate far beyond Africa’s rugby pitches, England’s players stood silently in the shadows trying to rationalise what had occurred. It may take a while because Saturday’s final was among the more disappointing endgames in red-rose history.Whatever happened to the likely lads who left New Zealand looking equally glassy-eyed and helpless on this same stretch of turf the previous week? Where did all their oomph go when it mattered? What was the invisible virus that seemed to have drained legs and dulled minds, even before the concussed Kyle Sinckler’s unfortunate early departure? Even Eddie Jones, who has an answer for everything, seemed baffled. Read more features Share on Pinterest Topics Rugby union England rugby union team Pinterest Maybe, but Warren Gatland’s cautionary words following the All Blacks match suddenly felt prescient. “We have seen in previous World Cups that teams sometimes play their final in semi-finals and don’t always turn up for a final,” murmured the Wales coach. “It will be interesting to see how England are next week.” Top coaches like Gatland know from bitter experience that rebooting a side after a huge victory is not as reliably straightforward as it should be.It certainly did not help that England arrived at the stadium barely an hour before kick-off, some 25 minutes late, after underestimating the traffic from their Tokyo hotel. They were late for the coin toss and played catch-up all night. A World Cup final is not the moment to be mentally still lacing up your boots as the game kicks off.Quite how injury-free one or two key men were is another nagging imponderable. Jonny May did not look the same player after tweaking a hamstring against Australia in the quarter-finals and several others emptied the tank so completely against the All Blacks they were running on the fumes. At this rarified level, games hinge on tiny margins and a highly motivated, hard-core Springbok pack took full advantage.There is no particular shame in that; South Africa were so dominant and secure within the rigid framework of their physical gameplan it is hard to imagine anyone would have denied them on this particular day. Essentially they did to England what Jones’s team had done to New Zealand and what the All Blacks had done to Ireland. Rugby has always been a momentum-heavy game but good sides who take an early grip are now increasingly hard to overhaul.And how many people were unequivocally tipping England to win the tournament before it started? In the final analysis their campaign panned out almost exactly as might have been anticipated: spells of brilliance interspersed with a frustrating tendency to take their foot off the gas. Jones suggested his players had overcome that precise problem after their 38-38 draw with Scotland at Twickenham in March but it would appear there is work still to do. Reuse this content Rugby World Cup South Africa’s Rassie Erasmus again ensured that no nation with a head coach from overseas has ever won a World Cup. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian England’s head coach, Eddie Jones, will have talks with Bill Sweeney, the Rugby Football Union’s chief executive, about his future. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Arsenal 4 Crystal Palace 1: Early blitz means Sanchez is hardly missed Harry West Last updated 1 year ago 00:52 1/21/18 Getty Images Four goals in the first 22 minutes inspired Arsenal to a rout of Crystal Palace, ensuring Alexis Sanchez’s absence was hardly a factor. Arsenal shrugged off the impending departure of Alexis Sanchez by scoring four times in the first 22 minutes en route to a 4-1 hammering of Crystal Palace on Saturday.The Chile international appears set to make the switch to Premier League rivals Manchester United, who are reportedly ready to pay £35million plus Henrikh Mkhitaryan for the forward’s services.For the second straight game, Arsene Wenger left Sanchez out of his matchday squad and the Frenchman seems poised for a pursuit of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a replacement after Borussia Dortmund confirmed the Gunners had made a bid, thought to be in the region of €50m. 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A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But whatever Arsenal’s comings and goings before the end of the January window, they were certainly not short of firepower at Emirates Stadium as a sorry Palace were swept aside in a devastating opening.Nacho Monreal capitalised on shambolic defending to score the first and then tee up the next two for Alex Iwobi and Laurent Koscielny before the returning Mesut Ozil, back after missing three games with a knee injury, played a key role in Alexandre Lacazette’s marvellous fourth.Luka Milivojevic’s consolation came far too late to cause any Arsenal nerves and victory sees Wenger’s men bring their five-match winless streak – since a 3-2 success at Palace in which Sanchez scored twice – to a resounding end and move within two points of fifth-placed Tottenham, who visit Southampton on Sunday.The Arsenal #WeAreTheArsenal pic.twitter.com/0Xlgsu5Emi— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 20, 2018Palace had enjoyed a resurgence under Roy Hodgson, losing only one of their past 12 Premier League outings, but they were comprehensively blown away as Arsenal moved out of sight inside the first quarter of the game.The tone was set when Monreal stole in completely unmarked at the back post to head in Granit Xhaka’s right-wing corner, and the lead was doubled before 10 minutes were up as the left-back turned provider, getting to the byline on the left before cutting back for Iwobi to steer home from close range.Palace failed to learn their lessons, however, as another Xhaka set-piece was met at the far post by Monreal, whose ball across was bundled home by Koscielny inside the six-yard box.The beleaguered Wayne Hennessey fumed at his defence as he picked the ball out of his net for the third time in 13 minutes, but neither he nor his backline could do anything about the glorious fourth.Ozil exchanged passes with Jack Wilshere and upon receiving the return, flicked a sumptuous backheel into the path of Lacazette, who swept home first-time into the bottom-right corner.Palace showed belated signs of life as Bakary Sako caused havoc among the Arsenal defence and shot straight at Petr Cech, who was at full stretch shortly before the break to keep out Wilfried Zaha’s deflected effort. A @premierleague milestone #AFCvCPFC pic.twitter.com/1gss2AuUIW— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 20, 2018Hennessey raced from his line to deny Iwobi at the end of a searing counter 11 minutes into the second period and Cech was similarly impressive in spreading himself to keep out Christian Benteke at the other end.Iwobi’s thumping drive was kept out by Hennessey at his near post as Arsenal sought a fifth but with the game long since sewn up, Wenger replaced Ozil with Premier League debutant Reiss Nelson as the match entered its closing stages.Cech’s wait for a 200th Premier League clean sheet went on, however, as Milivojevic spun and fired home from a corner late on with 12 minutes left, Benteke claiming the assist.But that was the only sour note on an otherwise excellent outing for the Gunners ahead of their crucial EFL Cup semi-final date with Chelsea, while Palace’s poor day at the office took another bad turn when Yohan Cabaye left the pitch on a stretcher in the final moments.Key Opta stats:- Arsenal went 4-0 up in the opening 22 minutes in this game – the earliest a side has led by that many in a Premier League game since Liverpool against the Gunners themselves in February 2014 (20 minutes).- Nacho Monreal was involved in three of Arsenal’s goals before being substituted (1 goal, 2 assists) – as many as in his previous 43 Premier League games combined (2 goals, 1 assist).- Roy Hodgson is now winless in all 11 of his Premier League away London derbies as manager (D3 L8).- Arsenal are now unbeaten in their last 19 Premier League home games kicking off at 3pm on a Saturday (W17 D2), since losing to Aston Villa on the opening day of the 2013-14 campaign.- Luka Milivojevic scored his seventh Premier League goal, with the Gunners the only team he has scored against more than once.- Crystal Palace have now lost just two of their last 13 Premier League games (W5 D6), with both defeats coming against Arsenal. read more