Caretaker boss Kevin MacDonald concerned for Aston Villa’s next generation

first_img Press Association Sherwood was dismissed as manager on Sunday, with MacDonald succeeding him on a temporary basis, after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Swansea left them bottom of the Barclays Premier League. Villa were eliminated from the Capital One Cup on Wednesday after losing to Southampton by the same scoreline, but, despite their poor results so far this season – they last won a league fixture on August 8 – MacDonald is concerned that Sherwood’s absence could inhibit the club elsewhere. The former manager, in a previous role as Tottenham’s technical director, was credited with the development of a generation of players that includes Steven Caulker, Jake Livermore, Danny Rose and Andros Townsend, and had also been key in Jack Grealish regularly featuring at Villa. According to MacDonald, Villa’s youth players were again becoming a priority at the club, but after Sherwood’s departure that may no longer be the case. “We had discussed it,” MacDonald said after Wednesday’s defeat at Southampton. “I was going to move sideways to work with the development side because we have a big belief between us, with Tim, myself, (and coaches) Tony McAndrew and Ben Petty from further down, about how we were going to develop the players. “That was good for me, I could get my hands dirty a lot more, but it was always a plan that we had. I’m disappointed because Tim was very, very good to me. “The other thing that people tend to forget: they always tend to think that whatever team it is, it’s Aston Villa first team. Well it’s not, it’s Aston Villa Football Club, so I’ve moved a couple of the younger coaches up to work with me (while overseeing the first team) but then of course we’re short on the other side.” Ray Wilkins’ summer arrival as Sherwood’s assistant manager had allowed MacDonald, who nurtured Gary Cahill, Gabriel Agbonlahor and Gareth Barry into the first team during a previous period at the club, to concentrate on the Under-21s and below and there is no guarantee that he will return to doing so when a new manager is appointed. “It becomes quite difficult for everybody, but this is why we’re involved in the coaching side because we want to do it, and we want to make sure that nobody misses out,” he said. “You have to take care of the schoolboys who are coming through, you have to take care of the Under-18s, the Under-21s, because every day they miss a chance to play and train, they miss a chance to practice and become better.” center_img Kevin MacDonald has revealed that Aston Villa’s sacking of Tim Sherwood could undermine the club’s plans to improve their youth development system.last_img read more

Master blaster Viv Richards judged best of past 40 years

first_imgONE of English longest serving cricket writer’s, Scyld Berry, has named West Indies master blaster Viv Richards as the best player he’s witnessed in the past 40 years.This English summer will mark four decades covering cricket for The Telegraph for Berry, so to commemorate his ruby jubilee, the veteran compiled a list of the best 40 players during his tenure.The top 10 features two Australians; destructive wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist at No.7 and the mercurial King of Spin, Shane Warne, at No.3.“(Gilchrist) had the advantage of coming in at number seven behind one of the strongest line-ups, but he made it count, as when he dismantled England in Perth with a century that took only one ball more than Viv Richards’s 56, the world record at the time, taking away games which had been within the opposition’s grasp,” Berry wrote.Berry paid tribute to Warne for resurrecting the art of spin bowling in the 1990s from near extinction.“Pakistan’s Abdul-Qadir had kept alive the flame of spin in general, and wrist-spin in particular, but nobody else was a role-model – until Warne delivered his first ball of the 1993 series at Old Trafford, that divinely perfect leg-break,” he wrote.“He quickly became the greatest post-war spinner, perhaps of all time, his only rival Bill O’Reilly; and when his shoulder injury reduced the fizz of his legbreak, he became the greatest con-man – or magician – who ever bowled spin and took 500 more Test wickets.”What separated Richards above all else, for Berry, was not just his destructive ability with the bat, but the imposing, intimidating presence he carried.“King Viv,” Berry wrote. “The king who subjected every opponent to his will. The unvanquished king who never lost a Test series as captain.“Intuitively he understood Sun Tsu’s Art of War – defeat an opponent mentally then victory will surely follow – and if opponents were not demoralised by the time he had strolled out nonchalantly, never deigning to wear a helmet, they were when he whipped his first ball through mid-wicket for four.”Pakistan pace legend Wasim Akram, who Berry writes is “quite undisputedly” the finest left-arm fast bowler of all time, entered at No.10, with the ‘Prince’ Brian Lara one spot lower at No.9.South Africa’s premier allrounder Jaques Kallis slotted it at No.8, below Gilchrist and India’s ‘Little Master’, Sachin Tendulkar.On Tendulkar, Berry believed the Indian had the finest cricket brain off all.The top five features England’s larger-than-life allrounder Ian Botham, who pipped Tendulkar due to the fact he won more Test series.At No.4 is Windies champion speedster Malcolm Marshall, followed by Warne and inspirationAL Pakistan captain Imran Khan in second spot.(Cricketcom.au)last_img read more

Teams drawn in respective groups for Prime Minister T20 Softball Cup

first_imgTHE teams participating in the Georgetown Softball Cricket League Inc. (GSCL INC)-organised Inaugural Prime Minister’s T20 Softball Cup were drawn in their respective groups yesterday, ahead of the October 27 – 29 tournament.The draw which was held at the Malteenoes Sports Club yesterday, saw Regal, one of the country’s leading softball teams, being placed in Group A with Farm, De Hoop and Speedboat XI in the Open Category.In Group B, Success, Hill Foot Warriors and Spartans will collide, while Group C will see Mafia XI, Boots XI and SVC Enforcers.In the Masters Category, Amazon Masters, Regal Masters and New York Hustlers are in Group A. Group B is made up of HS Masters, Tropical Springs and Enterprise Masters.Everest cricket ground will host the finals on October 29, when $600,000 will be up for grabs in the Open category, while the Masters will vie for the winners’ purse of $500,000. Both categories will have a runners-up prize of $100,000 as well as trophies.According to the organisers, no registration fee is required to play in the ‘first of its kind’ T20 tournament. A team briefing is set for 13:30hrs at Malteenoes where the rules and other matters in relation to the tournament will be discussed.Malteenoes, GYO, GNIC and the Demerara Cricket Club (DCC) grounds are the other venues where matches will be played simultaneously on October 27, 28 and 29.The tournament, which is being played in collaboration with the National Sports Commission, will feature the Open and Masters Categories with teams from New York, Florida and Canada, as well as the three counties of Guyana, participating.Lighted bails will be used in the competition and added entertainment will be provided by the Crossover band and cheerleaders during the finals at the Everest Cricket Club.last_img read more

Yobo Puts NPFL Deal on Hold

first_imgFIFA President, Gianni Infantino, on Monday unveiled for Super Eagles Captain, Joseph Yobo, as the Brand Ambassador of Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL).The former Nigerian international has however put his appearance in NPFL games on hold for now.At the corporate dinner held in honour of Infantino during his two-day visit to Nigeria, he presented an NPFL customised jersey to Yobo. This will make the nation’s first football centurion the first ever ambassador of the NPFL. Meanwhile, the 101-capped ex-international had to put some projects on hold to consummate the NPFL ambassadorial role.He believes it is his own way of aiding the growth of football in Nigeria.“When this came up, I had many offers from Nigeria and abroad. I had to put them on hold. I had to do this because I believe in the Nigerian project. There is no place like home. Anything that will help protect the future of Nigerian football is okay by me. And this deal will help boost the Nigerian league which is the main source of discovering talents for the national team”, Yobo said glowingly of the NPFL.“The NPFL is going places. I am particularly excited with the LaLiga partnership. There are many innovations that have made the league much better than what we had in the past.”The former Everton and Fenerbahce defender is particularly excited that NPFL teams can now look forward to winning away matches without threats of violence from the home teams.“I like the fact that teams can now aspire to win matches anywhere, home or away. I hope my involvement will even make the league better,” he concluded.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Ex-Trojans to play professionally overseas

first_imgWhile the NBA remains in an ongoing lockout, several former USC men’s basketball players will still play professionally this coming winter.Stifling · Marcus Simmons (right), pictured here Feb. 24 at Galen Center against Arizona, was named 2011 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year. – Carlo Acenas | Daily TrojanMarcus Johnson, Marcus Simmons and Alex Stepheson, who each played for the Trojans at some point between 2008 and 2011, have signed contracts to play overseas in Sweden, Japan and Cyprus respectively, USC announced Tuesday.Simmons, who was named the 2011 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year last season after stopping some of the conference’s premier scorers such, as Arizona’s Derrick Williams — who was drafted No. 2 overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in June’s NBA draft — has signed to play for the Yokohama B-Corsairs of the Japan Basketball League.When guarding Williams during a Feb. 24 upset victory over Arizona at Galen Center, Simmons held the forward to eight points on 3-for-11 shooting. The 6-foot-6 Simmons averaged 5 points and 2.8 rebounds per game for the Trojans a season ago. He was recruited out of Peabody High School in Alexandria, La., by then-coach Tim Floyd and joined the program in 2007.“You want to get players that reflect your personality,” Yokohama coach Reggie Geary told USCTrojans.com. “Marcus Simmons is a hard-nosed, tough defender like myself — a person who’s made a name on defense, but by all accounts offensively is someone who I think is going to blossom.”Stepheson, who logged more than 1,000 minutes at center for USC last season — averaging a near-double-double with 9.8 points and 9.2 rebounds — will play for the Proteas EKA AEL of the Cypriot League in Cyprus.Johnson, who last played for the Trojans during the 2009-2010 season, will play professionally for the Sundsvall Dragons of the Swedish Basketball League. As a senior, the 6-foot-6 Johnson was USC’s third-leading scorer and rebounder, averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Last season he played professionally in Croatia.last_img read more

Moghalu Banks on Eagles to Make Nigerians Proud

first_imgPresidential hopeful, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, is not losing sleep over Super Eagles’ chances at the Russia 2018 World Cup which is barely ten days to kick off.Moghalu’s optimism is hinged on the exposure accruing from tune up matches against tough opposition, which according to the political economist, was not only a dress rehearsal but good for their nerves.He said: “ I believe strongly in this team. The friendly games have emboldened our players. The world will, for a change, see something spectacular from our country beyond insecurity and corruption. These boys are carrying the undiluted love of 180 million Nigerians. In soccer, we are one tribe, one tongue”. While commending the NFF for settling all financial obligations in good time, Moghalu believes the duo of Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses are destined for great heights at the Mundial.“We have not seen the best of Iwobi yet. That boy carries Nigeria on his head in the field of play. His uncle, Austin Jay Jay Okocha, did wonders with the ball. Iwobi will dance more than ‘cha cha cha’ in Russia. Moses will have planet earth in his cleats with tantalising runs from the wings”, the former Central Bank Deputy Governor added.Moghalu is eyeing Aso Villa on the platform of a new party, the Young Progressive Party (YPP), and is glad the Eagles are going to Russia with a very young team. “ Our party is investing in the endless creativity of the Nigerian youth. That’s part of our youth empowerment objective’’, he explained.On Skipper John Mikel Obi, Moghalu wants him to quit on a high. “Mikel has shown patriotism at its best. He bagged a silver medal at the 2005 World Youth Championships and picked bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics. I wish God could turn silver and bronze to something more precious in Russia”.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

#AFCONonCiti: Ghana vs Guinea-Bissau – The winners and losers

first_imgOn a day where everything was at stake for the Black Stars of Ghana, they lived up to the billing as they beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in Suez.The victory takes Ghana through to the Round of 16 of the expanded AFCON while the Bissau-Guineans will look back on this AFCON and feel proud about the point they gained after their draw against Benin.The 4-time champions will now face Tunisia at the Ismailia Stadium on Monday, June 8, 2019; a match the Ghanaians fancy their chances in.With the group games done, here is a look at the winners and losers of the Black Stars game against the Djurtus.WINNER: Baba Rahman.Before the game, the Chelsea loanee missed the group opener against Mali and then started against Cameroon before pulling off an amazing performance last night as Ghana needed a win to qualify.The left-back laid a carefully calculated pass to the moving Jordan Ayew on the left flank before the striker picked it up and converted the half chance into a perfect goal.Baba Rahman latched onto a reverse pass from skipper Dede Ayew in the 18-yard-box before drifting in a low cross to Thomas Partey who only had to tap in and finish off some brilliant gameplay from Ghana.Even before the two assists, the Reims player looked threatening, he kept on putting in crosses from the left flank looking for the forwards to finish them off.He will be looking at reproducing his performance against the North Africans in the round of 16.WINNER: RICHARD OFORI.The Maritzburg United goalkeeper kept the Black Stars alive in the game so many times.Ghana’s first keeper started the game well parrying a thunderbolt from Piquetti onto the bar in the early stages of the game.The South Africa based goalkeeper once again saved the blushes of the team after lapses in defence after punching away a well-placed free kick from Mama Cande.His singular performance if isolated is note-worthy and praiseworthy as well, as Ghana were able to put in a much better offensive performance as they had a solid pair of hands to rely on in goal. And going on into the next stage of the competition, he will definitely be relied on a lot more.WINNER: JORDAN AYEW.The 27-year-old has been Ghana’s main man in the group phase of the AFCON scoring two amazing goals for the team.He is as well in the mix for the tournament’s top goal scorer award with his two goals in three games.He struck the right post in the first half after capitalizing on a timely laid pass and defensively poor making but saw his shot hit the post after beating Mendes.He was not to be denied in the second half as he pounced on a beautifully laid pass from Baba Rahman before taking on the defender from Guinea Bissau and then finding the back of the net this time around.The Crystal Palace striker will be looking forward to banging in more goals as the tournament progresses and hopefully finish as the top scorer.LOSERS: GUINEA BISSAU DEFENSEGuinea Bissau are not a very good side, sure and no one really expected them to beat Ghana but the football neutrals for the love of excitement in football would have preferred the Wild Dogs to stun their West African contingents.Not to be too hard on the Bissau-Guineans, but their performance on a night where frustrating the Ghanaians was needed the most, they were flat and unimpressive.The first goal a typical example why they have struggled a lot in the tournament. Allowing so much room for Jordan to taken on a defender and then smashing in the opener.The Djurtus had a chance to qualify, provided they beat the Black Stars but poor defending let them leak in two goals. LOSER: KWABENA OWUSU.The Leganes on loan forward failed to impress as he did in the game before.He did not look confident enough as he was substituted after an hour of football as Afriyie Acquah was introduced to help solidify the team.The 22-year-old will be looking forward to getting more minutes as the tournament grows and will be eager to take his chances when some do come by.last_img read more

Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker is football writers’ Player of the Year

first_imgLiverpool striker Luis Suarez has been named Player of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association.The Uruguayan, 27, has scored 30 Premier League goals for a team chasing their first title since 1990.Suarez took 52% of the vote, with team-mate Steven Gerrard second and Manchester City’s Yaya Toure in third.”Tireless endeavour allied to extraordinary imagination makes an irresistible combination,” FWA chairman Andy Dunn said.”Add ingenious, impudent finishing and you have a footballer who truly quickens the pulse.”Suarez, also named Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association, will receive his award at a dinner in London on 15 May. More than 300 journalists cast votes for the 10 nominees for the award, which was first won by Blackpool’s Stanley Matthews in 1948.On Sunday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said Suarez had been “outstanding in all my time here and obviously, in particular, this season”.”To know that he’s happy is important, like it is with all of our players,” he added. “It’s very important that we have players here that are content, happy and focused on Liverpool.”Suarez’s tally of 30 goals has come despite the fact that he missed the first six matches of the season as he completed a 10-match domestic ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a league match at Anfield in April 2013.The former Ajax striker’s Liverpool future was in doubt last summer, as he indicated in May that “it would be difficult to say no” to Real Madrid,then told journalists in August that he wanted a move so that he could play in the Champions League. However, he signed a new four-and-a-half-year contract with Liverpool in December.last_img read more

2017 Tertiary Football League to commence on September 23

first_imgThe 2017 Tertiary Football League kicks off on Saturday, September 23 in Ghana’s two major cities.Expectation and enthusiasm have reached a crescendo with 12 tertiary institutions lacing their boots in a 10-week football league.The historic Premier tertiary football league is expected to be saturated with all the ingredients that make the most loved sports in Ghana thick.The University of Ghana will host the Southern zone with the likes of Accra Technical University, Marshalls University College, Ghana Institute of Management of Public Administration (GIMPA), Ghana Technology University College (GTUC) and All Nations University College battling it out for the two qualifying slots available.The Paa Joe Stadium in Kumasi will host the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Christian Service University, University of Education (Kumasi), Ghana Technology University (Kumasi), Garden City University College and Kumasi Technical University.The coordinator of the Southern zone Dr. Bella Bello Bitigu reiterates his outfit’s commitment to ensuring the success of the league. “The strategies towards the development of sports in this era as we have seen variously cannot be left to the government alone. Private and corporate bodies must come in. The Tertiary Football League initiative by Rite Sports is one of such laudable initiatives and needs the support of all,” the head of the Sports Directorate of the University of Ghana saidThe Northern zone coordinator Dr. Austin Luguterah further posted: “It’s not the name or location that plays football. It’s about how you assemble your talents to compete. Tertiary institutions in Kumasi are poised with assembled talents to make history with TFL.”Yaw Sakyi Afari, the Chief Executive of Rite Sports, organizers of the event, has been left elated with the high level of response from major stakeholders.“Rite Sports has been associated with trendsetting. We focus on elevating and marketing relevant platforms that have been ignored. The world celebrates us for our leadership role in the renaissance of basketball interest in Ghana and precisely what we intend to do with the Tertiary Football League.The Tertiary Football League is expected to redefine the passion of football and set the tone for enviable talents hunt for the various national teams and football clubs in Ghana. Follow the action on Saturday 23rd September 2017 and every other Saturday for the next 10weeks at Paa Joe Stadium, KNUST Campus and the University of Ghana Football Park.Join the conversation on our many social media platforms as well as on TV and online.last_img read more

20 years have passed since the Barcelona squad at the Copa del Rey

first_imgFor those who do not remember the story, I assure you that it is true. Barcelona refused to play the second leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals from the 1999-2000 season. Today April 24, 2020, 20 years have passed since Barcelona’s debauchery, chaired by Josep Lluís Núñez, to the KO tournament. The Camp Nou was the scene of a match pantomime. A semi-empty stadium for a match that was not played and that unfortunately passed into the history of football. The most resounding precedent of a failure to appear and a subsequent pardon. Let’s remember the facts. The Barcelona had to play the semifinal round against Atlético de Madrid. The mattresses had won in the first leg by a forceful 3-0 at the Vicente Calderón, but the azulgranas refused to dispute that encounter alleging that they lacked players. Barça tried unsuccessfully to get the favor of the Federation and postpone the meeting. He stated that he could not refuse to yield his players to his teams, when the Cup match coincides with a date reserved in the calendar for international matches, and that nine of his players had left with their country. They were the cases of: Rivaldo, Litmanen, Zenden, Cocu, Bogarde, Kluivert, Reiziger, Frank de Boer and Luis Figo. In addition, he had three injured. Further, Federation regulations prevented more than three affiliate members from being aligned. It was a pulse between Núñez and Villar. In which the Blaugrana president issued an order: “Not to participate in the farce in which the dispute of this match would consist. We cannot compete. And we do not plan to make a fool of ourselves. Is it that Hesp should play as a forward?” A threat to the Federation from which it could not, did not know or did not want to back down.Cover of the Diario As of April 25, 2000. The board, along with the support of the Barça coach Louis Van Gaalthey took the irrevocable decision not to play that Copa del Rey match due to having only 11 players, including two goalkeepers (Arnau was the substitute on that occasion). The Federation threatened an unprecedented sanction against Barcelona if there was no appearance. Envite that he did not persuade Núñez.Then it was time for the game (9:00 p.m.) and images were seen to remember. The ten footballers of Barcelona: Guardiola, Hesp, Xavi, Puyol, Sergi, Gabri, Déhu, Simao, Dani and Abelardo, on the touchline without jumping onto the pitch. With the captain, Pep Guardiola, together with the delegate Carles Naval, giving explanations to the referee Díaz Vega and the athletic Santi Denia. With Jesús Gil, undaunted by the vice president Joan Gaspar. With Ñúñez, hidden, leaving a posteriori to witness the grotesque from the stands. With whistles and screams from the hundred fans.Guardiola gives explanations to Santi Denia and Díaz Vega. Accompanying him, Carles Naval.center_img Barcelona urged the RFEF to call the game again and all the corresponding committees were defended with innumerable resources. They all dismissed them. The disciplinary regime of the RFEF was categorical. The Spanish Committee for Sports Discipline (CEDD) confirmed the decision of the other committees: give for losing the tie to Barcelona and excluding the club from the next edition of the Copa del Rey. In addition, he imposed a sanction of two million pesetas. Unpublished in Spanish soccer.Villar’s pardonBefore the 2000-2001 season began, there were general amnesty. Ángel María Villar was re-elected as president of the RFEF for his fourth consecutive term and pardoned Barcelona. The president used his ‘regulars’ grace measures and allowed the Catalan club to be in the next edition of the tournament. Gesture, not without controversy, that benefited Barcelona and that it left him without sanction, after the April sit-in.last_img read more