Sullivan: Allardyce deserves credit

first_img But Sullivan believes the 59-year-old deserves credit for adopting a diamond formation which has brought the best out of the likes of Stewart Downing, as well as new signings Alex Song, Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia. “There is a lot of optimism about the place now,” Sullivan told the Evening Standard. “I genuinely believe we have the best squad since we’ve been at the club. We’ve signed some high-energy, younger players and we have discovered the ‘West Ham way’. “He (Allardyce) changed the style after that to a diamond formation. Sam made that decision so he deserves the accolades because, had it not worked, he would have been castigated.” Victories over Liverpool and QPR, as well as an entertaining draw at Hull, have followed the new formation as Allardyce starts to win over his detractors. With a move the Olympic Stadium coming ahead of the 2016/17 season, the pressure will be on to not only keep West Ham in the Premier League but to be a club striving for trophies – and Allardyce will hope to be the man who takes them into their new home. The owners opted to keep him at the helm at the end of last season despite the clamour to see him sacked but, with Allardyce’s current deal expiring in the summer, it will depend on results between now and then as to whether he leads West Ham into a fifth season. “We have a policy – and it’s as much for Sam as us – that we sit down at the end of the season, maybe a bit earlier if we’re safe, and judge things over an entire season,” Sullivan added. “We’ve always done it that way. Last year I was being asked at various times if Sam would be going but my answer was always that we’d look at it at the end of the campaign. We’re very loyal to our managers “We always talk on a Monday or the day after a midweek match and if he has a problem he calls me. We all want the same thing and that is the best for this club. Sam wants to be successful and he’s very flexible at looking at ways to achieve that. The change in formation was not my idea – he’s the one who made that bold decision to change the strategy.” Co-chairman David Sullivan has praised manager Sam Allardyce for re-introducing the ‘West Ham way’ at Upton Park. The Hammers sit seventh in the Barclays Premier League, having won three of their opening seven fixtures, and Allardyce was backed in the transfer market over the summer – with a change in approach earning plaudits in recent weeks. It is a far cry from last season when, in the midst of an injury crisis, the club’s fans were calling on co-owners Sullivan and David Gold to replace Allardyce – with many pointing at the style of play as their main gripe with the former Bolton and Blackburn boss. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

West Ham bolster forward line with loan signing of Emmanuel Emenike

first_img Press Association West Ham have confirmed the signing of Nigeria centre-forward Emmanuel Emenike on loan for the rest of the season from Fenerbahce. “I’ve known him [Bilic] for years. When he was at Lokomotiv Moscow, I was at Spartak Moscow, then he came to Besiktas and I was in Fenerbahce, so we have known each other for a long time. I’m happy to be here and happy to play for him. “We have followed each other’s careers and thank God we are here today and we are here together.” Emenike added: “That is why I am here, to always be in the first XI, always try to make the fans happy and to make myself happy. I really hope it works out. “The Premier League is the best in the world, it is everyone’s dream to come and play here. I am excited to be here. “But it is not always just about the player, it is team work and it is all about us as a team. I am here to play with the team and work with the team.” Emenike, capped 37 times by the Super Eagles, spent part of this season on a loan spell at Arabian Gulf League side Al-Ain in the United Arab Emirates. The Hammers have the option to make the transfer permanent in the summer, and the forward will provide some welcome attacking options for Bilic with Andy Carroll currently sidelined again by injury. center_img The 28-year-old hopes to have an instant impact for Slaven Bilic’s squad, having known the Irons manager from his spells coaching in Russia and Turkey. “I have always known West Ham as a great club. I have always been watching them. West Ham’s a great club and I am very, very happy and very, very excited that I am here,” Emenike told West Ham TV. last_img read more

FIFA welcomes CAS decision to uphold life ban on former Afghan soccer president

first_img(REUTERS) – FIFA has welcomed a ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rejecting an appeal against the life ban imposed on the former president of the Afghanistan Football Federation (AFF).Keramuudin Karim was banned from soccer for life last June and fined 1 million Swiss francs ($1.07 million) after FIFA’s ethics committee found him guilty of abusing his position and sexually abusing female players between 2013 and 2018.CAS yesterday confirmed the decision taken by FIFA and said that Karim’s offences violated basic human rights and damaged the mental and physical integrity of young female players, destroying their careers and lives.“In a case of unprecedented gravity, CAS has confirmed the importance of FIFA’s zero tolerance policy against physical, mental and sexual abuses at all levels of football, as well as the adequacy of the strongest sanctions in such cases,” FIFA said in a statement here yesterday.“FIFA commends the bravery of those victims who, under dreadful personal circumstances in their home country, have come forward and allowed for justice to be served.“We trust that their example will encourage other victims and survivors of such terrible circumstances to report them in the future, knowing that they can count on FIFA’s support at all times.”last_img read more

NPFL: Okpotu Sent off as Beaten Lobi Stays Top of NPFL

first_imgHosts Nasarawa United however rallied back through Nojeem Olukokun’s 20th minute strike and Ikechukwu Nwani’s 32nd minute header sealed victory for them.Both teams were reduced to 10 men in the 53rd minute after Anthony Okpotu and Mohammed Manga were sent off for engaging in a brawl.Third-placed Yobe Desert Stars also went down to a 2-1 defeat against struggling Sunshine Stars at the Akure Sports Complex.The visitors scored the curtain raiser through Babatunde Solomon in the 17th minute, while Bala Yahuza restored parity from the spot awarded after Dayo Ojo was impeded in the box.Sikiru Alimi got the winner from a sublime header a minute after the half hour mark.El-Kanemi Warriors boosted their survival hopes with a 1-0 win against FC IfeanyiUbah in Maiduguri.Former Enugu Rangers striker Ocheme Edoh got the winner from close range in the 33rd minute after he was set up by Samuel Mathias.At the Muhammadu Dikko Stadium, Katsina United edged Heartland 1-0 with Lukman Mohammed scoring the decisive goal from the spot after three minutes.In Umuahia, Abia Warriors beat Wikki Tourists 2-0 courtesy of Samson Obi’s brace.MATCH DAY 13Katsina Utd 1-0 HeartlandNasarawa 2-1 LobiAbia Warriors 2-0 WikkiEl-Kanemi 1-0 FCIUSunshine 2-1 Yobe StarsShare this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Despite going down 1-2 to Nasarawa United in Lafia yesterday, Lobi Stars maintained the top spot of the 13-week old Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) on 23 points. Kano Pillars with a game at hand is second on 20 points while Akwa United remains third on 19 points same as Yobe Desert Stars.Lobi got the opener when former MFM forward, Austine Ogunye, scored from the spot in the fifth minute after Mannir Ubale was fouled in the box.last_img read more

B’ville boys soccer improves to 10-0, edges C-NS

first_img Tags: Baldwinsvilleboys soccer Brennan Walsh earned a three-goal hat trick, with Malik Davis converting twice. Nate Palmer had two assists as Foertch, Sungwon Choi, Owen Tracy and Jacob Daly also had goals. Single assists went to Belknap, Brian Jung and Alex Ervay.Then, on Saturday night, B’ville went for another season sweep, this one against Cicero-North Syracuse at the Gillette Road complex, where before the game long-time Northstsars coach Mike McCaffery was recognized for his 30 years coaching in the C-NS district.This proved far more difficult than the 4-0 shutout the Bees earned on Sept. 3 as this game featured back-and-forth play and some defensive lapses, but B’ville still held on to edge the Northstars 3-2.It took goals by Davis, Tyler Johnson and Dylan Killian to negate C-NS’s tallies from Joe Barraco and Jawadshah Kasimi. Johnson and Foertch both picked up assists, too.Now B’ville could take its 10-game win streak to Swan Pond, one of just two road games left for the Bees in the regular season as it’s back at Pelcher-Arcaro to face Nottingham Thursday night.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story Undefeated, and perched at no. 5 in the state Class AA rankings, the Baldwinsville boys soccer team readied itself for Tuesday night’s trip to Swan Pond and its rematch with Fayetteville-Manlius.The Bees had handled the Hornets 3-0 when they first met Sept. 9 at Pelcher-Arcaro Stadium. Neither team had lost since.Three league games awaited B’ville last week before the F-M clash, starting with last Monday’s visit from Henninger, who got on the board, but only after the Bees had seized control on the way to a 5-1 victory.center_img It was 3-0 by halftime, B’ville again unleashing its deep, versatile lineup on the Black Knights as Steve Foertch scored twice, with Griffin Seeber and Chase Hornsey each producing one goal and one assist.Sungwon Choi also had a goal, with Riley Belknap picking up a pair of assists. Jared Kantak also got an assist as Ibrahim Rasulo picked up Henninger’s lone goal.Back-to-back road games followed, B’ville first going to Corcoran on Thursday night and nearly reaching double digits on the way to a 9-0 romp over the Cougars.last_img read more

Dougherty: When the North Carolina game ended, so did an era of Syracuse basketball history

first_imgThere are a few ways the NCAA sanctions can still sneak into the Syracuse basketball conversation. The Orange will be down two scholarships for the next three seasons, still faces NCAA-mandated probation and recruiting restrictions and, when March rolls around, the team will likely be asked how much Boeheim’s nine-game absence should be factored into its tournament stock.But the worst of it is behind the Orange, especially for its players. I started on the Syracuse men’s basketball beat last October so, for all intents and purposes, my entire coverage of this team has been partly rooted in this bigger picture of impropriety. I sat front row for every one of the previously described events and worked on NCAA-sanction-related stories in Syracuse, Pittsburgh, South Bend, Indiana, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham, North Carolina, and so on.Was it exciting? Absolutely. It was even exhilarating at times. But I did often think it wasn’t the players’ fight and never should have been.It’s nearly impossible to connect what we do as reporters to what athletes do in their respective sports. I’d usually find it self-indulgent for a writer to even try. But as I reflect on the last year and a half it’s hard not to stab at it.In a six-day stretch last February, Syracuse beat No. 12 Louisville by 10 at home and No. 9 Notre Dame by five on the road. The team was excited in the locker room after each game until asked some form of these questions: Is the win tainted because you can’t compete in the postseason? Do you feel like the administration hung you out to dry by self-imposing a ban before you beat ranked teams?That would be like me writing a good story and then being asked about the murky future of print journalism right after it’s published. The question is relevant, sure. An answer combative or irritated in nature is understandable, as well.No one wants their accomplishments brought down by reality at every turn. Syracuse’s players are now free from that. Even if the immediate future doesn’t look bright. Even if none of them would outright blame the NCAA sanctions for an uncharacteristic 28-20 record since the start of last season.“Now we’re not even thinking about it really,” SU point guard Michael Gbinije said after the UNC game. “… Now we know what to expect from here on out. We just have to get better.”At ACC media day in October, prior to this season, I sat down with fifth-year senior Trevor Cooney in a candid moment and brought up “non-basketball stuff.” He’d said to a few non-local reporters that answering questions about sanctions, suspensions and the postseason ban had become tiresome last year. I couldn’t blame him and knew he was, in at least a small part, talking about me.I didn’t think I needed to say anything. But I wanted to get his perspective on what had, in all honesty, grown a little tiresome for me too.“I mean yeah, it could get annoying at times,” Cooney said, “but you guys were just doing your jobs.”And now he and his teammates can fully focus on theirs. There’re no more distractions. No more uncertainty. Just a ball, two hoops and the 94 feet in between.“It’s just play basketball now,” Cooney said Saturday night. “We don’t have to worry about any of that.”Jesse Dougherty is a Senior Staff Writer  at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at jcdoug01@syr.edu or @dougherty_jesse. Comments Related Stories Jim Boeheim: I had no involvement with underlying violations of this caseESPN’s Jay Bilas on Jim Boeheim’s suspension: ‘It doesn’t make any sense’Syracuse wins back 1 scholarship for each of next 4 years in NCAA appealJim Boeheim explains Fab Melo’s academic fraud, blames Stan Kissel, former secretaryDougherty: Jim Boeheim deserves bulk of blame for NCAA’s findings Spencer Bodian | Staff Photographer Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Published on January 10, 2016 at 10:40 pm If you pull out the highlights from the last year and a half of Syracuse basketball, you’ll notice there is hardly any basketball at all.It started two Octobers ago, when Jim Boeheim reportedly visited Indianapolis for an NCAA hearing. He remained hell-bent on not discussing the manner. Then it all trickled out —an NCAA ruling was brewing and it wasn’t looking good for Boeheim and his Orange — throughout a season that would have been arduous without this proverbial cloud overhead.Last February, SU announced a self-imposed postseason ban. Last March, on the second-to-last day of the 2014-15 season, a 94-page report detailed more than a decade of NCAA infractions and a laundry list of punishments including, but not nearly limited to, a nine-game suspension for Boeheim. The coach announced his three-year retirement plan less than two weeks later and Darryl Gross stepped down as Director of Athletics the same day.On Dec. 3, the NCAA announced the suspension would be effective immediately rather than at the start of conference play, leaving the Orange without its head coach for a 34-day period in which it went 4-5 and started 0-3 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.Saturday night, Boeheim returned to the Carrier Dome sideline, the referee threw the ball into the air just after 8 p.m., North Carolina controlled the first possession and … poof. Syracuse’s “NCAA sanctions era” was irrelevant as yesterday’s newspaper.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSome two hours later, a gallant SU (10-7, 0-4 ACC) effort ended in an 84-73 loss to the No. 6 Tar Heels (15-2, 4-0). But the game, for just one more night, transcended the effect of another loss on the Orange’s reeling record. Saturday was the symbolic ending of one of the darkest periods in Syracuse basketball history.Boeheim’s back. No more announcements loom. The players, who had no part in the actual violations but were dragged into the aftermath, will no longer have their play upstaged by the demons of SU’s past.“I’m done,” Boeheim said on Saturday as a reporter started a question on it all. “I’m only thinking about basketball, and that’s it. There will be no more.”last_img read more

Syracuse defense shuts down Virginia Tech’s strong offense in 68-56 win

first_imgPaschal Chukwu grabbed a rebound early in the first half but fumbled the ball away to Virginia Tech’s Nickeil Alexander-Walker. VT, one of the nation’s best offenses, looked set up for an easy bucket. But as Alexander-Walker rose up to finish at the rim, Oshae Brissett slid underneath and set his feet. He was there in time. The referee pointed down the floor. Charge. Problem averted by sound Syracuse defending.SU (12-2, 1-0 Atlantic Coast) rode its active zone defense and timely scoring to a 68-56 victory over Virginia Tech (11-3, 0-1). The Orange held the Hokies to about 61 percent of its previous season average (91.3) in scoring. On New Year’s Eve, on the night that the ball will drop in Times Square at midnight, the basketball just wouldn’t fall through the rim enough for the Hokies. In the first half, that is. In the second, Virginia Tech got some of its mojo back. It wouldn’t be enough.“You gotta have fun, in front of your home fans, Dome going crazy, it’s easy to get out there and play defense,” Syracuse forward Matthew Moyer said.SU shut down the Hokies even without its leading shot blocker, Chukwu, for the final 10:10 of the first half as he sat with two fouls, and to an extent in the second half when he sat the final 8:40 of the game with four.Virginia Tech entered the game leading the country in effective field goal percentage, per Kenpom.com. But on just VT’s second possession of the game, Chukwu stood tall in the lane and denied the Hokies’ Kerry Blackshear Jr. of a layup. Syracuse’s defense took its cue from that and continued to cause problems for Virginia Tech.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMuch of the remainder of Syracuse’s strong defensive performance came courtesy of quick closeouts and consistent defensive rebounding. VT entered the game shooting 43.7 percent from 3-point land. The Orange held the Hokies to just 3-of-13 from distance in the first half, 23.1 percent. While Virginia Tech shot it better after the break, it was too late.“I don’t think they saw a defense like us so far this year,” Tyus Battle said.Neither Frank Howard nor Battle, SU’s top of the zone players, sat in the game, rarely allowing any room for VT’s Ahmed Hill or Justin Robinson to let fly freely. Syracuse’s guards prevented those deep looks while still keeping their hands active enough to prevent the ball from being passed to the free-throw line area. When Virginia Tech ran a player along the baseline, Matthew Moyer and Oshae Brissett cut off any potential entry-passing lanes from their wing baseline zone spots.Brissett made his biggest contribution to shutting down the Hokies on the defensive glass. He had five defensive rebounds in the first half and finished with a total of nine rebounds. Even as Blackshear Jr. crashed the glass for VT as the tallest player — 6-foot-10 — on the court when Chukwu sat, Brissett would fly in from his corner and grab boards with two hands, elbows out, leaving no doubt whose ball it was. He was joined on the glass by Matthew Moyer and his 13 rebounds, many the result of hustling down longer rebounds that trickled away from the lane.“Matt was really good, down on the boards,” Jim Boeheim said. “Oshae does what he does.”On the Hokies first possession of the second half, a missed shot was headed toward a VT player. Avoiding an over-the-back foul, Brissett reached over gently and tipped the ball to Chukwu for an easy SU board. The 7-foot-2 center got credit for the rebound but Brissett made the play. On the ensuing offensive possession, Brissett glided down the right side of the lane for an open lay-in for two of his 19 points.Virginia Tech was due to wake up eventually. In just more than four minutes to start the second half, Justin Bibbs hit two 3-pointers and Alexander-Walker added one. By the first media timeout of the second frame, the margin had been more than halved, from 15 to six at 34-28. Justin Robinson added another three just a minute later to make it a three-point game.“We kind of expected them to make a run,” Howard said. “We knew they weren’t just going to lay down for us.”That would be as close as the Hokies would come. Brissett made another layup, then two free throws on the next trip.Next came the game’s key sequence. Syracuse had another less than stellar second-half defensive possession leaving Bibbs open for a 3-pointer, again. He missed, though, and VT kicked the ball out. Brissett punctuated the call by pointing both his arms in Syracuse’s direction, mimicking the referee making it.Next, Howard backed down a VT defender and faded away for two more. Then, Moyer cut baseline and was found by Battle for a dunk. Finally, Battle himself rose on the right wing and swished a 3. More than 11 minutes remained, but for all intents and purposes, that was the dagger.After the Battle three, Virginia Tech used a timeout. The Carrier Dome rocked as loud as it had all night.“When the Dome’s rocking like that, it’s just an amazing feeling,” Battle said.Moyer cut to the basket a few more times for easy buckets. Brissett continued to get to the basket. The Syracuse defense prevented VT from getting closer than 11 after that.And with Syracuse facing an offense as good statistically as any in the nation, it wasn’t the Hokies hitting a dagger 3. It was Battle for the Orange. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on December 31, 2017 at 8:22 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3last_img read more

Tipp players expecting great game on Sunday

first_imgThe Thurles Sarsfields man is expecting a spicy encounter at the Gaelic Grounds…Throw in on Sunday is at 4 o’clock….Tipp FM will have full live coverages, getting underway shortly after 3 in association with Mulcahy Car Sales, Ardcroney, Nenagh.Tipperary’s minor hurlers are also in Munster final action on Sunday.Liam Cahill’s side, who are the defending champions, take on Limerick.Tipp FM will have live coverage of the match which gets underway at 2 o’clock – in association with O’Connell’s Centra, Church Street, Templemore. One of Tipperary’s up-and-coming stars is predicting that Sunday’s Munster senior hurling final is ‘going to be a great match’.Ronan Maher has lined out in both of the Premier County’s championship matches this year and will be hoping to feature against Waterford in the provincial decider.His brother Padraic has also been a regular in the Tipp side in recent times.last_img read more

O’Trafford Set to Host PSA Satellite Squash Tourney

first_imgThere have been other squash competitions in the country,  but it has been mainly for the prize money but in O Trafford we decided to use this tournament as a means for Nigerian squash players to gather enough points to get PSA rankings and compete outside the country,” Adeseun said.He also noted that the club is putting up plans to develop the game of squash from the grassroots level with a focus on secondary schools, starting from Lagos Island.Speaking also at the press conference, President of the Nigeria Squash Federation, Boye Oyerinde commended O’Trafford Squash Club for putting up the PSA satellite tournament, which is in line with the vision of the NSF to revive the game and make it more vibrant in Nigeria.“Part of the problem we have in revitalizing our squash was lack of tournaments for the senior category, that is why we can’t say thank you enough to O’Trafford Squash Club. This will be the third tournament we will be having this year after the rankings for the senior category in October 2017,” Oyerinde said.According to O’Trafford Squash Club captain, Biyi Mabadeje, a total of 48 male players and 27 female players have registered for the tournament including two gold medallists from the 2018 National Sports Festival in Abuja. The tournament’s male champion will pocket $1,000 US dollars while the women’s title will get $500 US dollars.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram All is now set for the maiden edition of the globally sanctioned O’Trafford PSA National Satellite Squash Tournament billed for between December 19 and 22 at the O’Trafford Squash Club, inside the 81 Division Army Officers Mess in Marina, Lagos.At a press briefing to herald the tournament on Friday in Lagos, Chairman of O’Trafford Squash Club, Remi Adeseun said the tournament will provide a platform for players to reach out for international exposure and upgrade their career status.“This is the first ever PSA Closed Satellite squash tournament to be organized by this club.last_img read more

Jamaica’s Oddman takes silver in Special Olympics speed skating

first_imgJamaicans are continuing to break new ground in sports, especially winter sports.Dave Oddman is the new Jamaican star on ice. Unlike the country’s bobsledders who drew world attention with their feats on ice but  did not finish among the medals in any event, Oddman, has gone a step further and broken the ice.The speed skater  finished second in his division of the 222-metre speed skating event at the ice rink stadium on Wednesday to win the country’s first medal at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Graz, Austria.Oddman took silver with a time of 54.727 seconds, just a fraction behind first-place finisher Hamad Albehaih of Qatar, who clocked 54.429 seconds.Macau’s Chit Lam, who led for most of the race, but then fell coming off the final bend, was third in 56.679 seconds.last_img read more