TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Juventus coach Sarri planning London return for three-player raidby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus coach Maurizio Sarri is planning a London return for a three-player raid on Chelsea and Tottenham.Ilbianconero says Sarri is keen on poaching N’Golo Kante and Emerson Palmieri from old side Chelsea.And Le 10 Sport says Tottenham contract rebel Christian Eriksen has been lined up for a free transfer to Turin at the end of the season.It’s said that French World Cup winner Kante, 28, is high on Sarri’s shopping list after starring under the Italian last season.Sarri transformed Kante from a defensive midfielder into a complete all-rounder, and the pair could be set for a reunion at the end of the campaign.He is also keen on Chelsea teammate Emerson too, who he thrust into the side ahead of Marcos Alonso at the beginning of 2019.Eriksen, 27, is available on a free transfer next summer after refusing to talks terms with Tottenham.And Juve will look to open negotiations in January, despite reported interest from Real Madrid.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum: We could go through unbeatenby Paul Vegas7 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum claims says they could stay unbeaten for the whole Premier League campaign.Wijnaldum admits it is possible Liverpool could remain unbeaten, but claims they are not thinking about matching Arsenal’s Invincibles.”It is possible,” said the Dutch midfielder.“Nobody knows how it’s going to be. We have had some luck up to now, but we have also put a lot of hard work in.“We don’t think about the fact that Arsenal did not lose in that season. We just try to give everything in every game.”
New Delhi: A record fourth Asian Championship medal in his cabinet, Indian boxer Shiva Thapa says throwing caution to the wind and hurting rivals from the very first second is helping him rediscover himself after enduring an erratic season last year. Thapa became the first Indian male boxer to claim four consecutive Asian medals with a 60kg category bronze in the just-concluded edition in Bangkok. He had won a gold in 2013, a bronze in 2015 followed by a silver in 2017 at the tournament which can easily be called his ‘happy hunting ground’. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: Rijiju”I have tried to become more aggressive, I now try to hurt my opponents from the first ring of the bell. I have realised there is no point in waiting,” Thapa, a two-time Olympian and a former world championships bronze-medallist, said in an interview. By waiting, Thapa implies the cautious approach which was the hallmark of his style in the past. “That can cost you bouts, I now understand. You feel that you are conserving yourself for that big assault but the judges won’t wait that long. So, now I go all out from the first round itself. I am aggressive,” he explained. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai MastersAggressive he certainly was in all his bouts in the Asian Championships this time. The semifinal loss to 2015 edition’s silver-medallist Kazakhstan’s Zakir Safiullin was a split verdict and could have gone either ways. “It was certainly my most intense performance in the Asian Championship. Compared to 2017, I was a lot more worked up. I think it was reflected in how I fought and my body language. I don’t think I gave away even an inch in any of my bouts,” he said. The year gone by wasn’t particularly a good one for him. He couldn’t make the team for the Commonwealth Games and lost in the opening round of the Asian Games. But 2019 has started on a much better note for him with a creditable silver at the GeeBee Tournament in Finland in March being followed by the record Asian medal. National coach C A Kuttappa, who has worked with Thapa since his early days, says upping the aggression is something that he has always wanted from Thapa and the boxer from Assam is giving him exactly that in the ring now.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Soccer players in England are backing a 24-hour boycott of social media to demand a crackdown on racial abuse on the platforms. “My teammates and I have been on the receiving end of well documented abuse from a minority of narrow-minded, ignorant people both on social media and on the pitch,” Deeney said. “Any racism in football is too much, and it’s essential that we fight it wherever and whenever we see it. “Throughout my career I have developed a thick skin against verbal abuse, justifying it as just ‘part of the game’ but the time has come for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to consider regulating their channels, taking responsibility for protecting the mental health of users regardless of age, race, sex or income,” Smalling said. “Football has a problem with racism,” England and Tottenham defender Danny Rose said. “I don’t want any future players to go through what I’ve been through in my career.” After being targeted with monkey noises while playing for England in Montenegro last month, Rose said he couldn’t wait for his career to end to escape racism in football. The PFA has distributed a red graphic featuring the words “Enough. Make a stand against racism.” Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez, left, challenges for the ball with Tottenham’s Danny Rose during the Champions League, round of 8, first-leg soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium in London, Tuesday, April 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) Watford captain Troy Deeney was also targeted with racial insults on Instagram earlier this month after scoring in an FA Cup semifinal win over Wolverhampton. “Collectively, we are simply not willing to stand by while too little is done by football authorities and social media companies to protect players from this disgusting abuse,” Rose said. Twitter said earlier this week that it uses “proprietary-built internal technology to proactively find abusive content” but anti-discrimination organization Kick It Out asked for more serious action. Unlike Rose, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling does have public accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. “I understand that I am in an extremely privileged position and I am deeply thankful for that but, at the end of the day, we are all human.” Earlier this week, Manchester United condemned abuse directed at Ashley Young online following the club’s Champions League exit at Barcelona. Following a series of high-profile cases, the Professional Footballers’ Association has gathered support from players to stay off Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from 9 a.m. Friday until 9 a.m. Saturday. “While there has been progress in the battle against racism within football, there are still far too many instances of players being abused,” said Leicester captain Wes Morgan, who won the Premier League in 2016. “I’ve heard it in the stands and I’ve seen it online. We all have. That’s why, as players, we are coming together on Friday to say that more must now be done to eradicate racism from our game.” “On Friday we are sending a message to anyone that abuses players — or anyone else — whether from the crowd or online, that we won’t tolerate it within football. The boycott is just one small step, but the players are speaking out with one voice against racism — enough is enough.” “Football is more popular than it has ever been, but we have a discontented generation of players who won’t stand for racist abuse any longer. Enough is enough,” Arsenal and England women’s team forward Danielle Carter said. “We want to see social media companies take proper responsibility for racist abuse on their platforms and we want them to find solutions.”
Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, by consensus the most talented young position players in baseball, are facing off this week for the first time in their burgeoning careers. (Trout’s Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim got the best of Harper’s Washington Nationals on Monday night, 4-2.)Few youngsters arrived in the majors with as much buildup as Harper, who graced the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16. Luckily for the Nationals, he’s mostly been as good as advertised (and he’s still just 21 years old, a fact that’s often forgotten because he’s been so good). Meanwhile, all Trout did in his first full pair of major-league seasons was turn in two of the 150 or so best position-player seasons in the past 113 years of baseball, making two strong MVP bids in the process.So, yeah, these guys have been really good, really early in their careers.With all the (deserved) hype surrounding Trout and Harper, I was wondering how the duo compares to other concurrent 22-or-under pairs of position players in the history of baseball. To answer that question, I looked at the most productive two non-pitchers age 22 or below in a given season, based on the combined number of wins above replacement they’d generated in the previous two seasons. (We can’t compare Trout/Harper through age 22 because we don’t know what they’ll do in 2014.)By that standard, Trout and Harper are the most productive young duo in baseball history. Here were the seasons featuring the best pairs of budding superstars ever (taking only the best score for duplicate pairs):The majority of those 28.2 combined WAR belong to Trout, author of the aforementioned pair of historically dominant campaigns. Let’s be honest, though: Given Trout’s otherworldly production at such a young age, we could pair him with just about anybody and he’d still be near the top of this list (Trout by himself would rank fifth). But Harper’s numbers to date hardly make him a coattail-rider. As far as No. 2s go, Harper’s 8.6 WAR ranks below only Mel Ott and Eddie Mathews as the third-best second fiddle in the history of promising under-22 duos.If we’re looking to give extra weight to No. 2s, ensuring that both players in a pair have great stats (to safeguard against a situation such as what happened in 1918, when Rogers Hornsby had 97 percent of the WAR in his “duo” with Ross Youngs), perhaps a better way to rank these kinds of pairings is not to sum up all of the WAR generated by a pair, but rather to take the harmonic mean of the two individuals’ WAR totals. If we do that, the following list emerges:By either list, though, Trout-Harper is the best young duo in baseball history. So, savor their matchup this week — you may never again see a pair of position players so good face off at such a young age.
OSU redshirt senior Shea Murray is switching positions from pitcher to outfield for the 2017 season. Credit: Courtesy of OSUChanging positions in baseball is often just part of the game. But it is rare a position change occurs in a player’s final year of eligibility. It is even more rare still that the change is from the mound to the outfield.But that is the transition coming for redshirt senior outfielder Shea Murray ahead of the 2017 season. The former pitcher will be taking his talents to the outfield where he hopes to compete for a starting spot in his final season with the Ohio State baseball team.The decision to make such a drastic position change came toward the end of the 2016 season. The coaching staff sat down with Murray and discussed a way for the 23-year-old player to have an impact on the team after three years of limited playing time.“My mechanics were not great — I couldn’t locate the ball like I at one time could and basically coming into my fifth year, I just wanted to have an opportunity to get on the field any way that I could,” Murray said. “And we lost a lot of the lineup from last year: two of the outfielders (Ronnie Dawson and Troy Montgomery) and a lot of the hitters. I felt like if there was any opportunity to make that transition, it was this year.”The decision to join OSU as a pitcher initially was not his alone. After graduating from Defiance High School, Murray spoke with baseball coach Tom Held who recommended he try to walk on as a pitcher due to his size and projectability.“He’s just a guy who’s got a lot of God-given ability, that I always knew if we convinced him that he could throw 90 miles per hour as a pitcher, he could walk on,” Held said. “I said, ‘you throw 90 at 6-foot-5 the way you are, they’ll keep you as a walk-on and that’s what he did.”Held – who has sent four pitchers to professional baseball, including Jon Niese and Chad Billingsley, as well as five pitchers to Division I college baseball – believed if there was ever a player who could make this transition, it was Murray.“We have a little idea to compare Shea with all those guys,” Held said. “Shea’s more athletic than any of them. That doesn’t mean he’s a better pitcher, but he’s more athletic.”Murray opted to redshirt his true-freshman season. That year he appeared in five games with little success, posting a 30.38 ERA across 2.2 innings. The following year, he made six appearances, but again failed to find much success as he produced a 7.04 ERA in 7.2 innings of work.Despite the struggles, Murray attracted big-league attention. After the 2015 season, Murray was drafted by the Texas Rangers when they selected him in the 39th round of the draft, 1158th overall.Some might find it strange to draft someone with only 10.1 innings of collegiate experience, but former Chicago Cubs scout and Cincinnati Reds’ interim general manager Brad Kullman said that is a typical pick for teams late in drafts given the upside that comes with Murray’s profile.“There is an old saying in baseball that you can teach a kid off-speed pitches, and you can work with his mechanics (to improve control), but can’t teach arm strength,” Kullman said. “The Rangers scout must have had a theory that they could work with his mechanics and try to harness his power. If he truly has not just a good arm, but two-plus pitches for a 39th rounder, it’s not an unreasonable gamble to try to catch lightning in a bottle.”Despite the offer to play professionally, Murray opted to return to OSU to prove to himself he could improve his value and still contribute to the team’s success.“I felt I could up my draft stock coming back and playing for another year,” Murray said. “I felt like I had unfinished business here at Ohio State, that was before we had won the Big Ten Championship. That was before I really had very much playing time and also, I hadn’t finished my degree yet, so it was a combination of things that was why I wanted to come back.”The 2016 campaign yielded better results for Murray as he logged 2.0 innings in two appearances and a 0.00 ERA with four strikeouts. The season also saw him log an inning in center field and register his first at-bat as a college player.After the season ended, OSU baseball coach Greg Beals saw practice in the outfield as a chance for Murray to reset his mechanics and get back to basics. But Beals was impressed enough by what he saw in Murray’s defensive ability and potential offensive upside that he now believes Murray might have a chance to stick in the outfield as a starter this season.“Shea’s a great athlete, I mean (he) can really run and throw; he’s a big, physical kid with great tools to play outfield defense,” Beals said. “He’s taken to playing the outfield extremely well and we’ve left him in that position, because we think he’s got a significant opportunity to contribute to our ball club this year.”For Murray, this transition has required spending many hours in the batting cages and shagging fly balls out in the field. His summer was spent improving his swing and defensive ability in the field with coach Beals and former MLB outfielder Matt Angle.Held believes Murray’s dedication to the baseball following a high-school career as a three-sport athlete has helped him make this transition by providing him with confidence in his ability and a strong work ethic.“He went to work that day (he made the position change) and has continued to put himself in a position maybe to put himself on the field and I couldn’t be more proud of him,” Held said. “Most guys wouldn’t do that. They wouldn’t even take on that challenge.”
Senior quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) hands the ball off to freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) during the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorComing off a disappointing 31-16 loss to now-No. 2 Oklahoma, Ohio State will look to rebound against the undefeated Army Black Knights (2-0) Saturday at 4:30 p.m. in Ohio Stadium.Ohio State offense vs. Army defenseThis has the potential to be the definition of a tune-up game for Ohio State’s offense. Last time out, redshirt senior quarterback J.T. Barrett put up just 183 passing yards and the rest of the team only added 167 yards on the ground, accelerating panic among Buckeye fans over Barrett at quarterback and the offense as a whole.The defense Ohio State will go up against has been solid to this point, ranking 31st in rushing yards allowed (92.5 on average) and 68th in passing yards allowed (216.5 on average). However, Army has played two weaker out-of-conference opponents in Fordham and Buffalo and has yet to face a team from a Power Five conference. Squaring off against a secondary that is somewhat young heading into the year — two starting sophomores, a junior and a senior — Ohio State could have a chance to fix some of the issues in its passing game this season. The team is 57th in the nation with 243.5 passing yards per game and has completed only 55.7 percent of pass attempts this season.Observers have attributed the passing-game struggles thus far to Barrett’s play, but coach Urban Meyer said as the focal point of the offense, Barrett will be the chief recipient of all feedback, positive or negative.“Well, [he’s] the starting quarterback and you lost. We didn’t play very well,” Meyer said. “A lot of it is going to be on him.”One aspect of the team’s game that has not struggled has been the ability to run the football. The Buckeyes are 32nd in rushing offense, averaging 229.5 rush yards per game with four of the team’s seven touchdowns coming on the ground.Freshman running back J.K. Dobbins has been the leading force in the backfield while filling in for injured redshirt sophomore Mike Weber. Dobbins’ 253 rushing yards rank 17th among FBS running backs. He has received high-marks since fall camp from coaches, and so far has lived up to the hype.Army’s defense has been effective this season plugging up the run, as opponents have only averaged 92.5 rushing yards per game (31st in the nation). The Black Knights have allowed only two opposing touchdowns to come on the ground. However, the team has not faced opponents with a running game as potent as Ohio State’s, with Buffalo ranking 112th in rushing yards per game (85) and Towson sitting at 105th among FCS schools (58 yards per game). The Black Knight defense will be tested Saturday going up against one of the best rushing offenses in the nation. Ohio State defense vs. Army offenseArmy’s offense is designed to do one thing and one thing only: run. Like all service academies, the Black Knights are known for the triple-option, an offensive gameplan where the offense deploys a wishbone offensive backfield look rather than the more traditional look of two players behind the line. So far this season, no team has totalled more yards on the ground than the Black Knights, with 835 rushing yards. Their 417.5 rush yards per game is second in the nation, as is their 11 rushing touchdowns. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said Army’s unique triple-option — run by only a select few teams — poses a threat to Ohio State’s defense, and that instead of looking back at the loss to Oklahoma, the defense has focused almost solely on watching tape of Army.“It’s such a different animal moving forward that we’ll deal more with regular football corrections a week from now on Sunday when we get done with the Army game,” Schiano said. “I think people say, ‘Oh, it’s an option.’ Totally different. It’s not like anything else we see all year.”The rushing attack is led by a somewhat unlikely suspect in senior quarterback Ahmad Bradshaw. Ranking sixth in the nation in rushing yards with 324, Bradshaw is tied for the team lead with three rushing touchdowns, and despite having only three more carries than junior running back Darnell Woolfolk, he has 138 more rushing yards this season. Woolfolk’s 186 rushing yards rank 39th in the country. He also has three touchdowns on the season.The one thing Bradshaw does not do is throw the football. So far this season, he has completed just 2-of-10 passes for 17 yards, with all of the completions and passing yards coming in the team’s 21-17 victory over Buffalo last Saturday. Over Bradshaw’s three-year career as the starting quarterback, he has 348 total rushing attempts compared to only 149 passing attempts. The Army offense plays right into the strength of Ohio State’s defense. While Ohio State ranks last in the nation with an average of 403 passing yards allowed per game, its defense has suffocated the run game of the opposition, allowing just 60.5 rushing yards per game and only one touchdown on the ground thus far. Though the Buckeyes have only faced more traditional rushing attacks, the ability to load the box anticipating the triple-option rather than play to defend either a pass or a run could give the Buckeyes an edge.The last time Ohio State faced a team that ran a triple-option was in Barrett’s first career start in a game against Navy on Aug. 30, 2014, when the Buckeyes won 34-17 on the road. Predictions:Edward Sutelan: Ohio State wins 49-7Colin Hass-Hill: Ohio State wins 42-9
The Ohio State women’s volleyball team warms up prior to their matchagainst Purdue at St. John Arena on Friday, Oct. 27 in Columbus, Ohio. Purdue won the match 3-0. Credit: Jeff Helfrich | Lantern ReporterThe Ohio State women’s volleyball team (13-12, 6-8 Big Ten) split its weekend road trip by beating No. 8 Wisconsin in five sets after trailing 2-0, but losing to No. 5 Minnesota in three sets.Although the Buckeyes knocked off the Badgers (15-7, 6-7 Big Ten), the Golden Gophers (22-2, 11-2 Big Ten) kept Ohio State from completing a surprising weekend sweep.No. 8 WisconsinThe Buckeyes were able to battle back from a 2-0 deficit as they toppled Wisconsin for the first time since 2015 in a five-set match.The night started off bleak for Ohio State as it quickly fell to Wisconsin in the first and second sets 25-14 and 25-16, respectively. Down two sets, the Buckeyes kicked into high gear in the third set and completely turned the match around.Senior outside hitter Ashley Wenz accounted for six kills and a .600 hitting percentage in the third set, leading the team to success with 18-of-40 error-free swings for a .450 clip. The Badgers called a timeout after falling behind at 22-18, but the Buckeyes maintained the momentum after the break and won the set 25-21.The Buckeyes quickly took the lead once again in the fourth set with three consecutive blocks from Wenz, freshman middle blocker Lauren Witte and freshman outside hitter Ayanna Swan. The Badgers narrowed their deficit to one, 23-22, but an error from Wisconsin and a kill by senior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer helped the Buckeyes win, 25-23.Ohio State kept the game close all throughout the fifth set as both teams played a point-for-point match with eight ties. A kill by Wenz and an attack error by Wisconsin’s senior outside hitter Lauryn Gillis gave Ohio State the last two points it needed for a 15-13 victory.Schirmer achieved her seventh double-double of the season with 14 kills and 10 digs. Junior setter Taylor Hughes was responsible for 43 assists and 10 digs, her ninth double-double this season, while sophomore outside hitter Bia Franklin reached a career-high 15 digs and five assists.No. 5 MinnesotaOhio State could not carry over its momentum from Friday into Saturday night as it lost to the Minnesota Gophers in a 3-0 sweep.The first set was the closest between the two teams as there were nine lead changes and 13 ties. Although Wenz contributed two aces and two kills, Minnesota won with two consecutive kills from its freshman opposite hitter Stephanie Samedy 25-22.Ohio State again battled in a close match in the second set with 18 kills and a .421 hitting percentage along with seven kills by Schirmer, but the Gophers earned the set 25-22 with big kills from Samedy and sophomore outside hitter Alexis Hart.The Buckeyes fell behind in the final set as they committed seven errors on a .146 hitting percentage. Minnesota maintained a pace that Ohio State could not keep up with, and in the end it was the Gophers who took the set 25-19.Wenz and Franklin helped their team with 11 digs each, while Hughes contributed 31 assists. Swan was the most consistent player of the evening with 10 kills on a .500 hitting percentage.The Buckeyes will head to Piscataway, New Jersey, on Wednesday for their second showdown against Rutgers starting at 7 p.m.
The Blues’ German defender says his team will only be better under manager Italian Maurizio SarriWith Chelsea winning their first three Premier League matches of the season, defender Antonio Rudiger believes they can only get better from now on.And he talked to ESPN, as reported by The Daily Mail, to tell rivals about how Chelsea is looking for the title.“If I [look at] this game and the game against Arsenal in the first half and the last 20 minutes, we’re improving. Game by game I think it’s getting better and that’s our target,” he said.Chelsea hat-trick hero Tammy Abraham hopes for more Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Tammy Abraham hopes this season will be his big breakthrough at Chelsea after firing his first hat-trick for the club in Saturday’s 5-2 win at Wolves.“Before the internationals, we’ll try to win all of our games and then come back after and go on.”Talking about their last match. Rudiger says the win “meant we are ready — it was a difficult game but in the end, with a bit of luck, we fully deserved this win. But if you saw the whole game, I wouldn’t say that it’s luck.”“To make those players defend is not their strength, especially Eden. But players like N’Golo [Kante] and Mateo [Kovacic] are a good mix. Those two players can attack and also defend as well.”
Liverpool midfielder Naby Keita will remain in hospital after sustaining a back injury in their 1-0 defeat to NapoliKeita had started in the Champions League game at the Stadio San Paolo, but was taken off on a stretcher after just 19 minutes.The former RB Leipzig man complained of being in “severe pain” with Liverpool now confirming that he remains in a Naples hospital until further notice.“Liverpool Football Club can confirm Naby Keita was taken to hospital in Naples on Wednesday evening during the first half of the Champions League fixture with SSC Napoli,” read a statement.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“The midfielder started the game at the Stadio San Paolo, but was substituted inside the opening 20 minutes and replaced by Jordan Henderson after alerting the team’s medical staff to back pain.“Keita was transferred to a local hospital with the club doctor, where – with the midfielder’s agreement – he underwent a number of precautionary health checks to assess his condition. No decision has yet been taken on when the 23-year-old will be discharged.”Liverpool lost on the night due to a late winner from Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne and are now second in Group C behind their Italian opponents.