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first_img BENCHED FOR THE GAME STOKE, England (AP): Louis van Gaal raised the prospect of quitting as Manchester United manager after Stoke condemned the club to a fourth straight loss for the first time in 54 years on Saturday. The 2-0 loss at the windy Britannia Stadium pushed United down to sixth place in the English Premier League, and van Gaal is sensing the pressure after barely 18 months in charge. “I can also quit by myself,” van Gaal said when asked if he had received assurances about his future from the club hierarchy. “That is something I speak to (vice chairman) Ed Woodward (about) by himself – not with you (reporters). “It is not always … the club has to fire or sack me. Sometimes I do it by myself. I am the one who wants to speak first with the board of Manchester United and with my members of staff and players – and not with you.” United was in disarray defensively in the first half when Memphis Depay’s horrendous defending allowed Bojan Krkic to score, and Marko Arnautovic powered in Stoke’s second goal from outside the penalty area. United captain Wayne Rooney watched it all from the sidelines after being dropped to the bench for the first time in a league match in almost two years. United came to life only in the second half after Rooney was brought on, but Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland thwarted any hopes of a comeback. “The circumstances were difficult – not only the circumstances, the wind, but also the pressure,” van Gaal said. “That is, in my opinion, the reason they don’t dare to play football (in the first half).” The losing streak started with Champions League elimination, and has also seen United drop out of the Premier League top four by losing to Bournemouth and Norwich. Win-less in seven matches, United have little time to recover their confidence, with a home match against Chelsea today. Asked if he would be in charge of the game, van Gaal said: “You will have to wait and see, but I think so.” “I try to do everything, but the pressure shall be, every match, higher and higher, and we have to solve that problem,” van Gaal, who has been in charge since July 2014, added. “It’s more difficult because I am now part of the four matches we have lost and people are looking at me.” A day after British astronaut, Tim Peake, displayed a Stoke flag on the International Space Station, the central England team was in a different orbit to United in the first half. Depay’s mind seemed to be on another planet when he sent a downward header back toward goalkeeper David de Gea in an attempt to clear Geoff Cameron’s deep ball. Depay, a winger in the right-back position, was unaware that Glen Johnson was primed to dart in and seize possession before crossing for Krkic, who took a touch then slotted the ball into the net in the 19th minute. “It was a bad goal to give away,” van Gaal said. If United’s players were fighting to save their manager’s job, they didn’t demonstrate it. Their response lacked any burning desire to end their slump. And the mission facing United became even tougher seven minutes later. Krkic’s free kick was blocked by the United wall, but the ball came back out to the edge of the penalty area and Arnautovic’s powerful strike beat De Gea. United was offering little in response, with Depay’s free kick parried by Butland, and Marouane Fellaini was offside as he tried to react. MISSED OPPORTUNITY United was spared further misery before the interval when Arnautovic ran onto Krkic’s through ball, but missed the target with his shot. As usual, on the United bench, there was little outgoing evidence of concern, with neither van Gaal nor assistant Ryan Giggs springing out of their seats to berate or inspire their team. Van Gaal’s about-turn came at half-time, when Rooney spent the break warming up before coming on to replace Depay. Rooney’s first significant contribution came after 20 minutes on the field, cutting the ball back for Fellaini six yards in front of goal, but rather than slamming the ball high into the net, Fellaini shot low and, lacking power, allowed Butland to make a diving save. In the closing minutes, Rooney, this time, set up Juan Mata, but, again, Butland made the vital save. And Butland also pushed Anthony Martial’s attempt round the post as Stoke completed a December double over Manchester clubs, having already beaten City. Stoke are three points behind United, which manager Mark Hughes used to play for. United are three points adrift of fourth-place Tottenham.last_img read more

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first_imgIn the beginning, sports to a child consisted of running up and down, jumping, playing catch and having fun.Then adults step in. Rules are introduced and the game becomes structured, with ultimately winners and losers. Children then benefit from what sports offers – physical activity, the importance of rules, safety, the importance of teammates, respect for authority, etc.Soon, it becomes obvious which sport a child is best suited for, thus the process of becoming great at a particular sport begins.Training is introduced, skills are honed and developed with the first aim being to represent your community, school (or vice versa), club and, ultimately, country.At different points along this journey, monetary reward can be introduced, which may, or may not, reduce the ultimate goal, national representation.In the past, national representation trumped just playing for money but, as the rewards (cash and kind) increased to unprecedented levels, national representation slipped further down the totem pole of life’s goals.To old fogeys like me, that fact is very disturbing.I am one who does believe, however, that maximising one’s ability to be well rewarded for being good at sports can coexist with national representation.All that is needed for this to become reality is for the administrators of sport to be as broad-minded as possible, not let ‘bad mind’ and jealousy corrupt their thought processes as they draft rules, the sole aim of which is to punish the rich sportsman and sportswoman, who dare to think for themselves and eventually refuse to bow to some of their ridiculous demands.As it stands, national representation seems to be an important step on the journey to financial independence.Therefore, international competition should be ‘the best of ours against the best of yours’.Nations should be able to identify talent, develop this talent with facilities, resources and coaches.OVERSEAS HELPMost nations, eventually seek overseas help in developing the skills set and potential of their natives. This may include the hiring of overseas experts, or sending their talented nationals to an overseas destination with better facilities and higher-quality competition that should make that individual better at the particular sport.Eventually, in international competition, the best of ours goes up against the best of theirs. Not so in the 21st century.The rules now allow sportsmen and sportswomen to represent countries in sports, even though their knowledge of the country that they represent is gained from anecdotes and the Internet and, in some cases, they do not even speak the native language of the nation they represent.This ‘rule’ is supported by those who believe that winning is not only everything, it is the ONLY thing.I would like to see Jamaica resist this trend, insist that those who represent us are ‘us’, natives whose skills are identified and developed locally (and sometimes) overseas, returning to represent their country, assist in improving those who are HERE, by passing on what they have learnt, so that the country benefits.last_img read more

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first_imgP W D L GF GA GD Pts1. Leicester 32 20 9 3 55 31 24 692. Tottenham 32 17 11 4 57 25 32 623. Arsenal 31 17 7 7 52 30 22 584. Man City 31 16 6 9 56 32 24 545. Man Utd 31 15 8 8 39 27 12 536. West Ham 31 13 12 6 49 37 12 517. S’hampton 32 13 8 11 41 33 8 478. Stoke City 32 13 8 11 36 39 -3 479. Liverpool 30 12 9 9 46 41 5 4510. Chelsea 31 11 11 9 49 41 8 44 P W D L GF GA GD Pts11. W’ Brom 31 10 10 11 30 37 -7 4012. Everton 30 9 11 10 51 42 9 3813. B’mouth 32 10 8 14 38 54 -16 3814. Watford 31 10 7 14 30 36 -6 3715. Swansea 32 9 10 13 33 42 -9 3716. Crystal P 31 9 7 15 34 42 -8 3417. Norwich 32 8 7 17 35 56 -21 3118. S’land 31 6 9 16 36 55 -19 2719. N’castle 31 6 7 18 31 58 -27 2520. A’ Villa 32 3 7 22 22 62 -40 16last_img read more

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first_imgKINGSTOWN, St Vincent (CMC):Dominica took first-innings points from St Vincent and the Grenadines to retain the senior Windward Islands cricket title at the Arnos Vale Playing Field here on Wednesday.St Vincent and the Grenadines, replying to Dominica’s 232, were dismissed for 205 just before tea on the rain-affected second day in the final round of matches.Sunil Ambris led the charge to overhaul Dominica’s total with a top score of 48, but Shane Shillingford and Kevin James combined for a five-wicket haul between them that stifled the homeside’s run rate.Resuming from an overnight 88 for three, SVG were never allowed to settle in the face of tight bowling spells from Shillingford and James.Ambris and Atticus Browne had produced the highest partnership of their innings – 45 runs for the second wicket – after losing opener Miles Bascombe without a run on the board.Romel Currency rallied with an enterprising knock of 31, in which he attempted to hold the innings together sharing three important partnerships – 27 with Ambris, 34 with Gridron Pope, while a third stand with Keron Cottoy yielded 29.SVG got 31 crucial runs from Alston Bobb towards the end of the innings but were involved in the two run outs – Dawnley Grant for 17 and Kenneth Dember for 10.Shillingford finished with three for 64 from 30 overs with seven maidens, while James picked up two for 51 from 13 overs, with three maidens.POINTSDominica, who entered the final round eight points clear at the top of the standings on 35 points, ended the tournament with 41 points to SVG’s 33.In the other match at the Sion Hill Playing Field, rain frustrated St Lucia’s chance of beating Grenada and moving higher up the table.Resuming on 192 for seven after dismissing Grenada for 98 in their first innings, St Lucia lost two quick wickets, to close the innings on 196 for nine since Keddy Lesporis was unable to bat.Dornan Edward was not out on 24, while Denis George finished with six for 63, and Derron Hypolite three for 47 for Grenada.Armed with a 98-run lead, St Lucia were hoping for better weather, but the rain stoppages favoured the Grenadians, who reached 108 for four, with Devon Smith unbeaten on 42 and Emmanuel Stewart 20 not out.last_img read more

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first_imgSYDNEY, Australia (CMC):West Indies’ hopes of using two spinners for the third Test match against Australia have been squashed after leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo was ruled out of the final game here starting today (last night Jamaica time).Captain Jason Holder announced that Bishoo had not fully recovered from a left shoulder injury and was not available for selection.The one specialist spinner left in the squad is left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, who played in the first match in Hobart and the second match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.”We’re down to one spinner with the injury to Bishoo, so we just have to work with what we have. I’m sure Kraigg Brathwaite will come to the fore and bowl a bit more,” Holder told reporters on the eve of the match.”I’ve seen they’ve gone with two spinners. We’ve been accustomed to spin-bowling in the Caribbean and, hopefully, our batsmen can get into that a lot better than we have in this series.”Heavy defeatsWest Indies have already lost the series following heavy defeats in the first two Tests. They went down by an innings and 212 runs in the Hobart opener before losing by 177 runs in the second Test in Melbourne last week.Holder said the team was buoyant following their improved outing in the second match, when they showed more resistance than in the three-day defeat in Hobart.”We showed some improvement with the bat in Melbourne and we will look to take that into this match here. From the start of the tour, many people say the odds are against us, but we have belief and we will put up a good showing,” Holder contended.last_img read more

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first_imgCalabar High retained the ISSA Southern Conference Under-19 title on Wednesday at the National Indoor Sports Centre, following a pulsating and gripping 59-55 win over Camperdown in the decisive game of their three-match series for a 2-1 win.The winners trailed the entire first-half but pegged back their opponents in the third before pulling off a thrilling victory in the final minute of the game.Jehvaun Faulder led the Red Hills Road school with a game high 22 points and he was well supported by tournament MVP, Maliek McCarthy with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Desean Boyd had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Camperdown.”We got them into foul trouble and at that point we used our more experienced players to attack them,” Calabar coach Ludlow Barker related after the game”We are the best team and we showed that tonight and we want to continue that as we move into the all island,” he added.Camperdown started the better team and took the first quarter 16-13 and led 35-27 at the half.Calabar came out recharged in the third quarter and started reeling in their opponents and went in front for the first at 41-40, with over a minute to go but Camperdown regained the advantage as the quarter ended 45-44.The final quarter was action-packed. Calabar edged in front 56-55 with only 27 seconds to play and eventually sealed the game from the free-throw line.last_img read more

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first_imgAaron Pryor, the relentless junior welterweight who fought two memorable bouts with Alexis Arguello, died yesterday. He was 60.Pryor’s family issued a statement saying the boxer died at his home in Cincinnati after a long battle with heart disease.Known as ‘The Hawk’, Pryor was a crowd favourite who fought with a frenetic style, rarely if ever taking a step backwards. His fights in the early 1980s with Arguello, the great Nicaraguan champion, were both classics that are still talked about in boxing circles.But Pryor was a troubled champion, and his career would unravel because of an addiction to cocaine.”He was very unorthodox and could throw punches from all kinds of angles with great hand speed,” said former Associated Press boxing writer Ed Schuyler Jr. “He was a great fighter, it’s too bad he didn’t have more fights.”Pryor’s widow, Frankie Pryor, said her husband – who would later speak out about the evils of drugs – also had a side most fans didn’t know about.”Aaron was known around the world as ‘The Hawk’ and delighted millions of fans with his aggressive and crowd-pleasing boxing style,” she said in a statement announcing his death. “But to our family he was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend.”Pryor was unbeaten in 31 fights when he and Arguello met in a 140-pound title clash in the Orange Bowl in Miami on November 12, 1982. Arguello was a classic boxer-puncher considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters, but Pryor would not back off as the two men traded punches for the better part of 14 rounds.Pryor finally wore Arguello down, stopping him in the 14th round with a flurry of punches. Ring magazine later picked the bout as the Fight of the Decade.”It was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen,” Schuyler said. “I’d put it in the top five.”Pryor’s win was marred, though, by questions about a bottle wrapped in black tape that his corner man raised to his lips on several occasions between rounds in the fight. Many in boxing thought it contained stimulants, but the corner man, Artie Curley, said it was peppermint schnapps.Pryor would beat Arguello again the next September in Las Vegas, this time stopping him in the 10th round of their scheduled 15-round bout. Arguello went down in the round from a series of punches and declined to get back up.”Arguello was a great fighter, but he couldn’t handle Pryor,” Schuyler said. “He could have gotten up, but what was the point?”CAREER PINNACLEThe second Arguello fight was the pinnacle of Pryor’s career. He became a heavy cocaine user, and fought only six more times in the next seven years, finishing his career with a record of 39-1 with 35 knockouts.”I reached out and certain people did not give me their right hand,” Pryor said later of his drug use. “They gave me drugs.”Pryor was named the ‘Greatest Jr. Welterweight of the Century by The Associated Press and was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1996. He would later travel the world making personal appearances and spreading his anti-drug message.Pryor is survived by his wife and partner of over a quarter of a century, Frankie Pryor, sons Aaron Pryor Jr and Antwan Harris, daughter Elizabeth Wagner and three grandsons Adam, Austin and Aaron Pryor III.last_img read more

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first_imgCaptain Nikita Miller says his Jamaica Scorpions will be giving it their all as they try to eke out an unlikely win against the Windward Islands Volcanoes in their WICB-Digicel Regional Four-day Championship clash at Sabina Park.Jamaica Scorpion are 92 for two in their second innings, for an overall lead of 38 runs heading into today’s fourth and final day.This follows the Scorpions’ first-innings total of 151, which span across the first two days due to bad weather. The Windwards, in their first turn at bat, made 205.Playing in his first season as captain of the team, Miller outlined that the hope is to post a total in the region of 250 runs by midway the post-lunch session.This, he said, would give the team a chance of “having a go” at the visitors, who, in light of their first innings and based on their lower-end-of-the-points-table history, has the propensity to falter.”Come tomorrow, we have to plan our innings as we will be trying to make a game of it,” Miller stated.ANYTHING POSSIBLE”At some time after lunch tomorrow, the aim is to declare, if we don’t get bowled out, at a score of between 230 and 250.”This would then give us a chance to bowl at them, and if we get a bowling start like the one we had in the first innings, where we had them, at one stage 30 for three and 97 for five, anything is possible.”The Scorpions, who like the Volcanoes, are seeking to bounce back from opening-round loses last week, had their debutant fast bowlers Reynard Leveridge and Oshane Thomas and rookie pace all-rounder Derval Green to thank for their position.Bowling at impressive speeds and good lengths, Leveridge and 19-year-old Thomas, had several of the Windwards batsmen ducking, taking evasive action or settling primarily for defensive shots.Thomas finished with two for 26 off seven overs, and Leveridge, one for 34 off 13.2.Green, in the meanwhile, playing in his second first-class match, utilised the largely overcast conditions to swing the ball in and out on his way to claim two for 37.There were also two wickets each for Miller and leg-spinner Damion Jacobs. All-rounder Kyle Mayers and wicketkeeper Sunil Ambris, with 61, top-scored for the Volcanoes.’I thought the two debutants bowled really well,” Miller assessed.”This was especially so for Oshane, who got a call on the first morning of the match and, for him to come in and make such a contribution, was really good.”Meanwhile, Mayers, another recent West Indies ‘A’ recruit, believes the match is in the balance.”I think the game could go both ways,” he said.”I think it is for us to come tomorrow and apply the pressure and keep it tight when we are not getting wickets, so that if we have to chase, we can chase a gettable total.”SCOREBOARDSCORPIONS 1st Innings 151VOLCANOES 1st Innings(overnight one without loss)D Smith c wkp Walton b Thomas 0T Theophile c wkp Walton b Green 3J Robinson c wkp Walton b Green 19K Hodge c Thomas b Leveridge 26+S Ambris c Green b Jacobs 61*L Sebastien c wkp Walton b Jacobs 1K Mayers run out 61S Shillingford lbw b Miller 0M Matthew c wkp Walton b Miller 5D Johnson c Campbell b Thomas 23L Edward not out 0Extras (b1, lb2, w1, nb2) 6TOTAL (all out, 64.2 overs) 205Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-21, 3-30, 4-96, 5-97, 6-148, 7-149, 8-175,9-204, 10-205.Bowling: Miller 18-3-45-2, Thomas 7-1-26-2, Leveridge 13.2-3-34-1, Green 10-2-37-2, Jacobs 14-4-43-2, Campbell 2-0-17-0.SCORPIONS 2nd InningsJ Campbell not out 43T Griffith lbw b Mayers 22D Thomas b Mayers 9J Blackwood not out 16Extras (lb1, nb1) 2TOTAL (2 wkts, 29 overs) 92Fall of wickets: 1-53, 2-75.Bowling: Shillingford 9-0-37-0, Johnson 4-0-14-0, Matthew 6-1-17-0, Mayers 9-2-22-2, Edwards 1-0-1-0.Position: Scorpions lead by 38 runs.last_img read more

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first_img LONG-TERM PLAN Reggae Boyz head coach, Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore, said he has never been put under pressure from the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) hierarchy to select or play any player against his will. Whitmore, who is returning for his third stint with the national side, revealed that he has never faced that problem with his superiors, but noted that they have abandoned the former process for selections, which involved the input of a group of individuals who helped to scout and add players to the pool. The coach is now working along with director of football Vin Blaine to chart a new process ahead of the team’s upcoming assignments. “I have never had that (interference) problem. There is always consultations, but at the end, I am the one who makes the decisions, regardless of what people say or think, I am the one who has the final call,” Whitmore told The Gleaner. Since his reappointment, Whitmore has touched all the right notes when talking on the subject of exposing locally bred talent and has consistently voiced his desire to help develop and expose locals. His effort, he underlines, will be aided by regular, quality international games, which he expects to accelerate the development of players plying their trade in the local leagues. “We are not really looking at US and Honduras … I want a long-term plan where we can develop players to represent the country. We have players who can contribute to the programme, so it’s something myself and Jerome will be looking at going forward,” he said in reference to assistant coach Jerome Waite. “We want to give them (local players) international practice games, and not only one and two games, because you won’t see their true potential in one or two games. We want to give them 13-15 games over a time to show what they are made of,” he said. “We have to find the right balance in these two games and be as competitive as possible. But we want the federation to get quality practice games at home, because when a player is making his debut at home, they are comfortable, more than carrying them in the deep sea and throwing them out and leaving them to swim,” Whitmore said. Before the first squad is announced for the two friendlies against USA and Honduras in February, Whitmore says all contractual arrangements need to be ironed out beforehand. “We have some things to iron out in terms of players and the federation, we don’t want the same mistakes reoccurring with players’ contracts. The federation has contracts for the players, so it’s just for us to really sign off now. We don’t want to start and still be dealing with those issues. We want no excuses, what we need is committed players and a good relationship between the federation, coaching staff and players,” said Whitmore.last_img read more

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first_img2 nabbed in Bicol drug stings “We’ve been telling them to play the game the right way. And in the end, the wisdom was there for the players,” said a jubilant coach Koy Banal. “When we were down by 10 in the start of the fourth quarter, the doubt was setting in. But we’ve been in this kind of situation before.”Achie Iñigo had a chance to put the nail in the coffin late but missed his runner. Luckily, Robbie Herndon was there to recover the offensive board as Marinerong Pilipino milked the clock to seal the game.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSEnd of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legendSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’“Good thing in our last possession, we got the offensive rebound and the players spread out to run down the clock,” said Banal.Herndon paced his side with 13 points, 13 rebounds, and two steals, including the go-ahead bucket with 2:14 to play. Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks PLAY LIST 01:40Filipinos turn Taal Volcano ash, plastic trash into bricks01:32Taal Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Gilas Cadets applying finishing touches to SEA Games title defense bid 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Renzo Subido. PBA IMAGESThe miracle run continues for Marinerong Pilipino.The Skippers overcame a twice-to-win disadvantage in the quarterfinals and a 10-point deficit in the final quarter to stun Tanduay, 65-64, Tuesday at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig and entered to the 2017 PBA D-League Foundation Cup semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT Ai-Ai delas Alas on Jiro Manio: ‘Sana pinahalagahan niya ang naitulong ko’ Vilma Santos, Luis Manzano warn public of fake account posing as her LATEST STORIES 787 earthquakes recorded in 24 hours due to restive Taal Volcano Teen gunned down in Masbate Albay to send off disaster response team to Batangas The Scores:MARINERONG PILIPINO 65 – Herndon 13, Subido 11, Lopez 10, Iñigo 9, Isip 7, Sargent 6, Alabanza 4, Marata 3, Gabriel 2, Javelona 0, Javillonar 0.TANDUAY 64 – Gaco 17, Alvarez 11, Taganas 9, Martinez 5, Tambeling 5, Palma 4, Eguilos 3, Sanga 2, Santos 2, Sollano 2, Varilla 2, Villamor 2.Quarters: 15-20, 31-39, 46-56, 65-64.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend MOST READ Renzo Subido also stepped up for the Skippers late, unloading all of his 11 markers in the fourth quarter as he commandeered the team’s 17-2 fourth quarter comeback run.John Lopez added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Iñigo got nine markers, three boards, and two assists.Marinerong Pilipino completed the upset after its 74-72 Game 1 triumph last Thursday.Riding on their seven-game winning streak, the Skippers will now brace for the best-of-three semifinals against two-seed Cignal HD on Thursday.Jerwin Gaco topped Tanduay in the losing effort with 17 points and three rebounds, while Lester Alvarez had 11 markers, three boards, and three assists. ADVERTISEMENT Marcosian mode: Duterte threatens to arrest water execs ‘one night’ View commentslast_img read more