Mark Cooper wrote in the Tulsa World today about when, you know, OSU rolled on the ground. It gave me the sadz. Here’s what Cooper noted.When Oklahoma State last won the Big 12 in 2011, it averaged more than 160 yards rushing per game and 5.4 yards per carry. Its running backs — a group led by Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith — received, on average, 27 rushes per game. Randle, the bell cow, averaged 16 carries a week. Two weeks into this season, Hill and Carson lead OSU with 12 carries. That’s 12 carries total — not per game.And then this.OSU’s run game has yet to provide a spark to the Cowboys’ offense. It ranks 116th out of 128 FBS programs in rushing yards per game. It’s 114th in yards per carry.Even in 2012, when OSU was average, its yards-per-carry average was 5.39. Five point three nine! Per carry! So your Throwback Thursday today is Joe Randle lighting Bevo on fire in that controversial 2012 Texas game at home.It was arguably the best game of Randle’s career.A good memory and a good reminder of how well OSU used to run the rock. Hopefully that will happen again at some point. If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Transfers Benzema not interested in leaving ‘best club in the world’ Real Madrid Ryan Benson Last updated 2 years ago 18:29 15/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Transfers Real Madrid Karim Benzema Primera División The Frenchman is not considering leaving the Santiago Bernabeu, at least not while he is a regular starter under Zinedine Zidane Karim Benzema has no interest in leaving Real Madrid because he considers Los Blancos to be “the best club in the world”.The French striker is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury and is not expected to return before October, yet he does not believe there to be any threat to his place in the Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up.Madrid allowed Alvaro Morata to depart for Chelsea during the transfer window, leaving them particularly thin in the central attacking role, meaning even less competition for Benzema. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing And the 29-year-old is confident he will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu for the foreseeable future.”It is the best club in the world,” he told BeIn Sport France . “It is a pleasure and makes me proud.”The expectations are very big and every season you start from scratch. You have to work to keep yourself at the highest level.”If you are a starter here, you do not need to go elsewhere. I think we are in one of the best stages of Real Madrid’s history.”The team is very strong, it’s not just a matter of those who are usually the starters; the substitutes also make a difference.”Benzema also spoke about Neymar’s world-record €222million switch from Madrid’s bitter rivals Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain, calling the Brazilian’s decision “strange”.He added: “I will not say I was surprised, because he does what he wants, although it seemed strange. He will have his reasons, no doubt.”
India U17 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup: India announce final 21-member squad Goal Last updated 2 years ago 22:30 21/9/2017 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) India U17 U17 World Cup Luis Norton de Matos has finally selected the 21 boys who will carry the hopes of 1.3 billion people when India make its bow on the world stage… Hosts India have announced their 21-man squad for the 2017 FIFA Under 17 World Cup, on Thursday.Head coach Luis Norton de Matos submitted the list of players who will get the golden opportunity to don the blue shirt and represent India in the finals of a FIFA competition for the very first time, and that too, as hosts.Come next month, the India U17 team will rub shoulders with their contemporaries on the world stage after months of rigorous training and exposure trips abroad. While most of this squad had been first drafted in by former coach Nicolai Adam, there have been a few inclusions after Luis Norton de Matos’ arrival earlier this year.Led by Amarjit Singh Kiyam, the Colts in Group A will face the United States of America on the opening day of the event, which begins on 6 October. Colombia and Ghana are the two other teams which make up the group. India will play its group games at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in the national capital, New Delhi.The list of the 21 selected players follows below:GOALKEEPERS: Dheeraj Singh, Prabhsukhan Gill, Sunny Dhaliwal; Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘I’m getting better’ – Can Man Utd flop Fred save his Old Trafford career? Why Barcelona god Messi will never be worshipped in the same way in Argentina Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing DEFENDERS: Boris Singh, Jitendra Singh, Anwar Ali, Sanjeev Stalin, Hendry Antonay, Namit Deshpande;MIDFIELDERS: Suresh Singh, Ninthoinganba Meetei, Amarjit Singh Kiyam, Abhijit Sarkar, Komal Thatal, Lalengmawia, Jeakson Singh, Nongdamba Naorem, Rahul Kannoly Praveen, Md. Shahjahan;FORWARDS: Rahim Ali, Aniket Jadhav.This selection of India U17 players is the first to have received such an extensive amount of monetary and technical support, far greater than any age-group national teams in the country. Head coach Luis Norton de Matos, who only took over the reins of the team in March 2017, will guide the young guns into what will be India’s maiden tryst with FIFA competition’s finals, creating a new landmark, putting India on the footballing map at last.
Red Star Belgrade 0 Arsenal 1: Giroud’s special winner lights up drab encounter Matthew Scott Last updated 2 years ago 02:55 10/20/17 Getty Images After 85 minutes of cagey fare, Olivier Giroud produced a special bit of skill to snatch Arsenal a win over Red Star Belgrade. Arsenal limped past Red Star Belgrade 1-0 as Olivier Giroud’s stunning goal lit up an otherwise entirely forgettable Europa League encounter.After sparkling inter-play between Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott, Giroud executed an overhead kick into the top corner five minutes from time to lift returning pressure from Arsene Wenger.The weekend’s defeat to Watford, after which the Hornets captain Troy Deeney claimed the Gunners lacked “Cojones”, reopened some Arsenal fans’ frustrations with Wenger and the players – and this performance did little to help. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Wenger reverted to the patchwork approach he has taken to European team selections this season, Mathieu Debuchy playing for the first time in nearly a year, while Mohamed Elneny featured alongside the Frenchman in a back three and Reiss Nelson, scorer of six goals in five Under-23 games this season, was deployed at wing-back.The result was a stunted performance in attack, until Red Star defender Milan Rodic was dismissed in the 80th minute and the Premier League side’s three most senior players linked up to brilliant effect at Rajko Mitic Stadium.Progression from Group H now looks a certainty, with the Gunners sat five points clear in first place after three wins from as many matches.Nine points from a possible nine in Group H #RSBvAFC pic.twitter.com/ScJYfRTeEl — Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 19, 2017 Red Star’s raucous fans never relented despite the tepid nature of the majority of the game, although their side had the better of the first-half chances.After Milan Borjan denied Walcott with his legs from close-range, Richmond Boakye felt he should have had a penalty when Petr Cech tripped him.Referee Benoit Bastien instead awarded a contentious corner, from which the Ghanaian hit the crossbar with a free header, further compounding his angst.The home side kept the pressure on, though, and Cech came to the rescue when he denied a swivelling snapshot from Nemanja Radonjic, who saw a follow-up attempt smothered by Nelson.Following a typical pre-match offering, Red Star’s fans bucked tradition and unfurled another huge banner for the start of the second half, but it could not lift the stodgy fare on the pitch.Walcott scuffed his attempt from a cut-back by Nelson, who drew Borjan into a regulation near-post save.Nenad Krsticic stung the palms of Cech with a header after arriving late in the box, and Radonjic brought the veteran into another stop soon after.Red Star’s advances were curtailed when Rodic led with his arm in an aerial challenge with Francis Coquelin to earn a second caution, and it sparked Arsenal into their glittering best.Starting 30 yards from goal, Wilshere burst past two men before feeding Walcott and flicking a brilliant return to the winger, who nodded across the six-yard box, where Giroud turned and picked out the top corner over his shoulder, providing a satisfying aftertaste to another otherwise bland display, a trip to another out-of-sorts side, Everton, on Sunday will require greater gumption.What a move! @theowalcott and @JackWilshere swap passes before teeing up Oli for an overhead kick@_OlivierGiroud_ #RSBvAFC 0-1 (86) pic.twitter.com/hdyStlI9M5 — Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) October 19, 2017 Key Opta stats:- Arsenal have won their last four Europa League/UEFA Cup away games, after losing five of the previous six (D1).- The Gunners have kept their first clean sheet away from home in European competition since beating Olympiacos 3-0 in December 2015.- Olivier Giroud has been directly involved in eight goals in his last eight starts in Europe for Arsenal (seven goals, one assist).- Theo Walcott has been directly involved in four goals in his last four European appearances for Arsenal (three goals, one assist).- Walcott’s assist was his 11th for Olivier Giroud in all competitions; only Mesut Ozil has provided more assists for the Frenchman (15). read more
Juventus Juventus’ scoring streak sets new Serie A record Nicholas McGee Last updated 1 year ago 06:46 12/2/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Juventus Napoli v Juventus Napoli Serie A The defending Serie A champions set a new league record in their win at league leaders Napoli Juventus’ 1-0 win at Napoli not only moved them one point adrift of the leaders, but also made Serie A history.The defending champions, seeking a seventh successive Scudetto, went into the game four points behind Napoli.But they took the lead after just 12 minutes at the Stadio San Paolo, Gonzalo Higuain’s sixth league goal in five games proving the decisive blow. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Higuain’s composed finish inside Pepe Reina’s left-hand post ensured that Juve have now found the net in each of their last 44 Serie A games, setting a new record in the competition.44 – #Juventus scored in each of their last 44 league games, setting a new Serie A record. Battleship. #NapoliJuventus— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) December 1, 2017While the 29-year-old Argentine deserves plenty of praise for his efforts, 24-year-old Paulo Dybala deserves some credit as well, laying on another assist for his countryman at club level. Of Dybala’s last 11 assists in Serie A play, seven have been for Higuain goals, making them one of the most feared duos in the league. And, while one streak for Juventus was continued, one for Napoli came to an end. The league leaders had gone 26 matches unbeaten before Friday’s contest, and have now lost just three times in 45 Serie A games, with two of those losses coming against Juve.
Real Madrid Ronaldo eyes Champions League three-peat with Real Madrid Sacha Pisani Last updated 1 year ago 09:28 12/7/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Getty Images Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo UEFA Champions League Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund Borussia Dortmund After making more history on Wednesday, The Portugal star is targeting a third straight European crown Real Madrid’s record-breaking star Cristiano Ronaldo has set his sights on winning a third successive Champions League title.Ronaldo – already the competitions all-time leading goalscorer – became the first player in history to convert in all six Champions League group-stage matches as two-time reigning titleholders Madrid overcame Borussia Dortmund 3-2 on Wednesday.Madrid will now prepare for the last 16 as runners-up in Group H and the four-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is tipped to receive the honour for a record-equalling fifth time on Thursday, is eyeing a Champions League three-peat. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “Hopefully we can win the Champions League again,” Ronaldo said.”The important thing was to pass through the group stage.”Our aim is to win the Champions League.” ANOTHER record for @Cristiano!Find out more #RMUCL | #HalaMadridhttps://t.co/VHSJoPVgec— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 6, 2017Ronaldo added: “I’m very happy, we wanted to finish the group stage well with a victory.”I also scored; I helped the team to win with a beautiful goal. The record is also important, I’m really pleased.”While Ronaldo has starred in Europe, the 32-year-old has struggled domestically, only managing two goals in 10 La Liga appearances for the defending champions.”[The Champions League] is a competition that I really like to play in,” he said. “Obviously, I also like to score in it.”
Football politics How awkward it has been for Fifa and its president, Gianni Infantino, ruthlessly plotting a course towards next year’s World Cup in Russia, that the International Olympic Committee banned the country from the Winter Olympics – and the senior minister Vitaly Mutko from the Olympics altogether – for state‑sponsored doping.The IOC’s decision should mean Fifa has no hiding place from a clear ethical stance on Russia’s appalling violations but it has only shone an unforgiving light on Fifa’s dependence on Russia. Infantino is spending plenty of quality time with Mutko, who is the president of the Russian football association and World Cup organising committee, and they were shoulder to shoulder during the draw last week for a tournament Infantino considers immovable and essential to bring in the dollars. Share on Twitter Infantino denies any wrongdoing and Mutko remains the organiser of Fifa’s next World Cup. The impression lingers that Infantino and Fifa feel deeply reliant on Russia and are terrified of anything that might disturb the peace, or Putin. Borbély may have decided before his removal that the documented evidence against Mutko personally was not strong enough, but after the IOC’s further work and decision, there was no sense of alarm at Fifa HQ, or of eagerness for a further push by the new ethics committee chairs.The 2014 World Cup in Brazil made $4.8bn for Fifa, and Russia 2018 will stuff the Zurich coffers with more. Russia’s state-controlled energy giant Gazprom is also a Fifa sponsor now – as is Qatar Airways, state-controlled company of the 2022 World Cup hosts.Infantino can be imagined grumbling tit was easy enough for the IOC to act strong now, three years after the Winter Olympics in Sochi, where the Russian competitors were allegedly doping, but the IOC has long been safely back with the money.Fifa needs Russia to host its prime event and no alternatives are being considered. For Infantino, Mutko is still in the clear, and the show must go on. Read more Barney Ronay McLaren’s report cited the Russian whistleblower Dr Grigory Rodchenkov, who ran the Moscow anti-doping laboratory, explaining how state institutions and officials covered up – “saved” – positive tests of athletes. The deputy sports minister, Yuri Nagornykh, also banned by the IOC, was accused of being directly involved.“Deputy minister Nagornykh told [Rodchenkov] that minister of sport Mutko was aware of everything that they were discussing,” McLaren wrote. “Dr Rodchenkov’s evidence is that it is inconceivable minister Mutko was not aware of the doping cover-up scheme.”Mutko is also accused of direct personal involvement in a doping cover-up for “at least one foreign footballer playing in the Russian league”, the report stated. “That ‘save’ decision was made by minister Mutko and not deputy minister Nagornykh.”Following Wada’s call, Fifa’s ethics committee, then chaired by the Swiss prosecutor Cornel Borbély, did begin an investigation, senior sources have confirmed, but he was not provided with evidence he considered sufficient to bring any charges.Seventeen months later, Borbély is gone, removed by Infantino, and there is no news of any investigation. Infantino orchestrated the removal in May of Borbély and Hans-Joachim Eckert, the German judge who chaired the ethics committee’s branch determining sanctions, which was rubber-stamped by the Fifa Council. Both men argued their removal was “incapacitating” Fifa’s ethics process, and that hundreds of cases were continuing.It was revealed soon afterwards Infantino had been under investigation for complaints he interfered in the election of a president at the Confederation of African Football, and for allegedly under-declaring the budget he was given by Uefa, where he was previously general-secretary, to campaign for the Fifa presidency.Miguel Maduro, an internationally renowned Portuguese law professor, was also fired from his chairmanship of Fifa’s governance committee. He revealed that Infantino had interfered with a committee decision to bar Mutko from being on the Fifa council. The governance committee’s decision was based on upholding Fifa’s rule that council appointees must be politically neutral, while Mutko was clearly a senior Russian politician. But Maduro said Infantino believed his own survival was threatened if Mutko was removed, and Fatma Samoura, Fifa’s secretary‑general, came to see Maduro.“The secretary-general made it clear [the Mutko decision] was extremely problematic and we needed to find a solution to declare Mr Mutko eligible,” Maduro told the parliamentary select committee for culture media and sport in September. “She said the World Cup would be a disaster and that as a consequence the continued presidency [of Infantino] would be in question.” Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Vitaly Mutko in spotlight but IOC and Fifa want to escape to shadows Fifa Gianni Infantino Share on Messenger Gary Lineker fronting World Cup draw for Fifa feels like a kind of betrayal Winter Olympics 2018 World Cup Share on Pinterest Share on LinkedIn features Read more Topics International Olympic Committee Fifa’s statement in response to the IOC’s ban was a tapestry woven around the central issue, which should be alarm over Russia and Mutko. Top, for the avoidance of doubt, was the IOC’s decision having “no impact on the preparations for the 2018 Fifa World Cup” – for which, by the way, ticket sales are proceeding heartily.Fifa said it “takes its responsibility very seriously” on anti-doping and is “investigating the allegations” made in the devastating report by the Canadian law professor Richard McLaren last year, which exposed Russian state involvement in doping athletes while Mutko was the sports minister. Fifa said it would “impose the appropriate sanction” should “any athlete” be found to have violated anti-doping rules – but that appears to relate solely to footballers, against whom it suggested there was not enough evidence.At the end of the statement was the only oblique reference to Mutko: “When it comes to potential disciplinary or ethical matters concerning specific individuals, it will be up to the respective Fifa bodies to evaluate them.”Reading that, a trusting football supporter, properly concerned about Russia’s monstrous doping programme, would think Fifa’s “respective bodies” will only now begin to look at the McLaren report, and the IOC’s decision, and begin to “evaluate” them.Yet the fact is Wada explicitly called on Fifa’s ethics committee to investigate Mutko’s role, and the allegations relating to football, as long ago as July 2016 when it published McLaren’s report. Mutko denies, in effect, the whole report and dismissed its allegation of state-sponsored doping again last week when he and Vladimir Putin had the world where they wanted it, in Moscow for the draw. Share on Facebook Winter Olympics The 2014 World Cup in Brazil made $4.8bn for Fifa, and Russia 2018 will stuff the Zurich coffers with more. Reuse this content
Read more Share on Messenger Share on Pinterest Shaw appeared to hit a nadir in March when he was hauled off by Mourinho at half-time of the 2-0 victory against Brighton. It seemed his Old Trafford career may be over. Yet there were four further appearances. “There were no doubts but there has been emotion,” the player says. “I was very upset but he [Mourinho] only does stuff like that because he knows what I can do. We’ve had this conversation. He said he knows I can be the best but he sometimes feels frustrated that I’m not doing that.“He knows what I can do. That was one of the texts he sent me in the off-season: ‘I know what you can do – you can be the best but you’ve just got to work on a couple of things.’ That’s why it pushes me on more. He says these things because he knows I can do it. He knows I can play for Manchester United.“It’s horrible at times because people only see those things he says [in public]. That’s fine because I’m a grown man and I can take stuff like that. I’m used to it. But the stuff inside the training ground, no one sees apart from me. It still gives me confidence.” Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn Manchester United Topics “I guess you’ve just got to take it because there is always going to be negative criticism and positive but both of them can make you stronger,” he says. “I’ve been unlucky because I’ve had a few ups and downs with different managers but I would say I’ve never been out of shape. Honestly, I feel really good and I’m raring to go, and the minutes [on tour] are only going to help me become fitter.”Shaw, who has started all three of United’s games in the US, is entering the final year of a contract he signed in 2014, when he arrived at Old Trafford from Southampton for a fee in excess of £27m and with the then 18-year-old an England left‑back. He was expected to occupy the same position at United for a decade or more but his career there has yet to fire.Shaw has endured injury, notably a broken leg in September 2015 that ended his season. And from the moment Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho’s predecessor, branded him overweight during the 2014 summer tour of the US, the charge has dogged him.“People can say I’m fat but I know my own body,” Shaw says. “I always look big because I’m bigger built – I’ve got that Wayne Rooney type of body.”The trip to Dubai illustrates the player’s determination to compete with Ashley Young for United’s starting left-back slot, and if a picture he posted on social media is anything to go by the 23-year-old has been doing all the right things.“I worked hard and not just for them [critics],” says Shaw, who is likely to start United’s Premier League curtain-raiser with Leicester City on 10 August because of Young’s post-World Cup break. “I’m working harder than ever and in the first game I want to look 10 times better than in that picture.”Like Van Gaal before him Mourinho has been critical of Shaw’s weight, leading to accusations of bullying on the Portuguese’s part and the player at one stage last year believing he had no future at United. But as Shaw reveals, the current United manager has been hugely supportive of his summer fitness regime, going as far as to send him encouraging text messages.“I was in Dubai with my girlfriend. It was funny – I was on my phone flicking through stuff. I got the text and accidentally clicked straight away [to reveal he read it]. The manager was probably thinking: ‘Jesus Christ!’I said to my girlfriend: ‘I’ve just opened it and I must look so weird now.’ It was fine. I left it a little bit to reply because I didn’t want to look too eager. It was a breath of fresh air when he texted me. I wasn’t expecting it. I spoke to him and it was really positive.”Shaw runs through his routine in Dubai. “We had to wake up early because it was hitting 45 degrees by 10 o’clock – it was quite painful the first day as we did do it in that heat. I would train and go in the gym. Then relax during the day and run on the beach and do core work in the evening before the sun went down.”With Shaw’s deal ending next summer he could leave United on a free if the club do not offer him fresh terms. “That’s what’s most frustrating,” he says. “You don’t want to be in this situation but I know I have got the quality to [truly] become a Manchester United player. Because at the moment it would be easy to sort of give up, after what happened in the last year or so.”Shaw is referencing Mourinho’s public admonishments regarding his approach to training and performances in matches. “It would be easy for me to quit and say: ‘I want to go.’ Of course, if the manager comes and says: ‘You’re not a player for Manchester United, you’re not a player for me,’ then I’ll accept that and find another place.“I want to earn a contract. I don’t want a contract because in the next year I’m a free agent, so they might look to tie me down. I know the club believe me – I’ve spoken with them, the manager, I’ve had discussions, meetings. If they really wanted to they could’ve cashed in. I’m going to fight for it this year and I want to be in that starting team.” Share on Twitter Luke Shaw is honest regarding the criticism he attracts for perceived weight issues.Speaking at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills, where Manchester United are based for their US summer tour, Shaw is about to embark on a make-or-break year at Old Trafford. The defender is in great shape physically after a personal pre-season programme in Dubai this month but, more than anything, he would rather his physique was not constantly judged. Manchester United beat Milan in epic shootout after Alexis Sánchez shines Share via Email The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. interviews Reuse this content
Support The Guardian Chess: Isle of Man last chance for some of Magnus Carlsen’s potential foes With over 150 players and 11 rounds, the small group who had their eyes on a place in the 2020 candidates which will decide Carlsen’s next title challenger all expected to make a fast start against their lower-rated opposition. In the event Anand lost, top seeds Wesley So, Alex Grischuk, Levon Aronian and Hikaru Nakamura all conceded draws, and even Carlsen had a rough time in the middle game against Yuriy Kuzubov before the Ukraininan lost his advantage and tumbled into defeat in time pressure.Carlsen, playing Black in a Sveshnikov Sicilian, drew in round two against Russia’s Alexey Sarana where the world champion was under slight pressure but escaped into a K+R v K+R+N draw. Fabiano Caruana won again, grinding down the US junior Samuel Sevian, 18, by attritional endgame strategy.The leading group with a maximum 2/2 has already shrunk to just five players: Caruana, the Chinese pair Wang Hao and Bu Xiangzhi, Baskaran Adhiban from India, and the veteran former world title contender Alexey Shirov, an ex-Latvian who now represents Spain. Luke McShane, who beat China’s Lu Shanglei, is the leading English player on 1.5.Anand recovered from his opening defeat to crush the Israeli, Tal Baron, in 27 moves. Anand was absent from the World Cup and the Fide Grand Prix, so under the rules Isle of Man is his only chance to qualify for the candidates which he won in 2014. Evgeniy Najer is a former European champion and winner of Moscow Aeroflot with a reputation for beating big names, and his was the most brilliant game of the first round. Anand was level until 18…Ne4? and missed a late drawing chance by 28…Qf3+ 29 Kg1 Qf4 when White must allow perpetual check.Carlsen and his 2018 challenger, Caruana, do not have to qualify for the 2020 candidates, so they will be potential kingmakers in the final round when the single candidates place will be settled. Carlsen has a special incentive to remain unbeaten, as his run without loss would reach 101 games after round 11, breaking the world No 3 Ding Liren’s record 100 against elite rivals. There are some longer sequences by GMs, but against weaker opponents.When interviewed, Carlsen was asked: “Do you feel you shouldn’t be allowed in tournaments where you can qualify for playing yourself?” He replied: “ Yeah, I think it’s pretty obvious that I shouldn’t, but I don’t have any morals, so it’s OK!” Caruana was asked a similar question about how he felt about ruining the chances of a candidates contender and said: “Well, someone has to ruin them!”Caruana won his opening round comfortably, but in a manner to appal teachers of beginners. His Chinese opponent, Zhang Zhong, began 1 d4 Nf6 2 Bf4, probably planning a solid London system, c5 3 e3 Qb6 4 Nc3 cxd4 5 Qxd4 Qxb2. After 15 moves, the world No 2 had made 10 of them with his queen and all his seven remaining pawns were still on their starting squares.The eight English entrants had a terrible first round – seven defeats and a solitary draw by McShane, who tried for hours in a K+R+N v K+R endgame. Most of the England players are lower ranked wildcards, but Gawain Jones lost with White to 14-year-old Nodibirek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan while David Howell was out-combined by the wily Georgian Baadur Jobava. Like Zhang v Caruana, this game had an eccentric opening: 1 b3 d5 2 Bb2 Bf5 3 e3 e6 4 h3 h6. Read more … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Magnus Carlsen Topics Share on LinkedIn news The world champion, Magnus Carlsen, had a narrow escape, the former champion Vishy Anand was brilliantly beaten, and several other elite grandmasters dropped half points as the 154-player $430,000 Fide/Chess.com Grand Swiss Isle of Man event got off to a combative start on Thursday.Chess competition just now is stratified, with many events reserved for the top grandmasters and few where they are directly challenged by second-line GMs and rising talents. Isle of Man, which continues until 21 October at the Comis Hotel near Douglas, is a rare opportunity for ambitious players, and they seized it in the opening round, where the ranked top half of the field met the bottom half. Prizes go down to $2,000 for 30th place, and there is a separate list for the leading women, including England’s Jovanka Houska, who were invited as wildcards. Isle of Man was already bracketed with Gibraltar as the world’s strongest open and the current event is again financed by the Chess.com website and by the Scheinberg family, who are IoM residents.Play starts at 3pm daily and all the games are viewable live online, with move-by-move computer analysis and commentaries by Daniel King and Anna Rudolf.3640 1 Qxf6! If exf6 2 Re8, or gxf6 2 Ne6, or Rxf6 2 hxg7, or g6 2 Qh8, or Kg8 2 Qxg7, or Nc4 2 d8=Q, or Ne8 2 Qxf7. Traps include 1 Q or Bxd6? Kg8! or 1 d8=Q+? Ne8 or 1 h7? e5! or 1 d7? e5! when 2 d8=Q+?!? leaves White’s king in check (by Denys Bonner, 1960). Share on Twitter Leonard Barden on chess Share via Email Read more Share on Facebook Chess: Try your skill on the Levitt test. Michael Adams took five minutes Reuse this content Share on Pinterest Since you’re here… Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Chess
UEFA Nations League UEFA Nations League draw: England get Spain, Germany face France Goal Last updated 1 year ago 20:09 1/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images UEFA Nations League England Germany Spain Gareth Southgate’s side have been given a tough test, but they have avoided the Group of Death England will meet Croatia, who famously denied them a place at Euro 2008 with a 3-2 win at Wembley in November 2007, and Julen Lopetegui’s Spain in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.France, Netherlands and Germany, meanwhile, have been drawn in a daunting group.Didier Deschamps’ side have been drawn alongside Netherlands in Group 1 of League A, the two teams having faced off in World Cup qualifying, as well as the reigning world champions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Italy face Poland and European champions Portugal in Group 3, while Belgium meet Switzerland and Iceland in Group 2.League B will see the Republic of Ireland meet Wales, now coached by Ryan Giggs, and Denmark, who beat the Irish in the play-off for the 2018 World Cup finals.Russia, the hosts of this year’s finals, will take on Sweden and Turkey, while Austria face Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland. Slovakia, Ukraine and the Czech Republic are in Group 1.Scotland will take on Albania and Israel in the three-team Group 1 of League C, while Group 4 will see Serbia take on Montenegro.UEFA’s bold new competition aims to replace a large portion of friendlies with more competitive fixtures against similarly ranked teams.The system will also offer an alternative route into the European Championship, beginning with Euro 2020.Teams who finish top of their groups in League A will compete at the Nations League finals next year, while countries can also be promoted and relegated depending on the final standings.The matches begin in September 2018.England have been drawn with Spain and Croatia in the inaugural UEFA Nations League.UEFA Nations League drawLeague A Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Netherlands Iceland Poland Croatia France Switzerland Italy England Germany Belgium Portugal Spain League B Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Czech Republic Estonia Northern Ireland Denmark Ukraine Sweden Bosnia and Herzegovina Republic of Ireland Slovakia Russia Austria Wales League C Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Israel Estonia Cyprus Lithuania Albania Finland Bulgaria Montenegro Scotland Greece Norway Serbia – Hungary Slovenia Romania League D Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Andorra San Marino Kosovo Gibraltar Kazakhstan Moldova Malta Liechtenstein Latvia Luxembourg Faroe Islands Armenia Georgia Belarus Azerbaijan Macedonia
World Cup World Cup Golden Ball: What is it, who has won it & who are the contenders for Russia 2018 best player award? Cady Siregar Last updated 1 year ago 03:08 6/5/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Lionel Messi Goal takes a look at the Golden Ball award presented to the best player at the World Cup finals, including past recipients and potential winners The FIFA Golden Ball award is the prize given to the tournament’s best player, with Lionel Messi last being presented with the award despite Argentina finishing as runners-up in 2014 after losing the final to Germany.Ahead of this summer’s World Cup, Goal takes a look at the Golden Ball award – and how it differentiates from the Golden Boot – and names some potential contenders as well as past recipients of the prize.What is the Golden Ball? The Golden Ball award is presented to the best player at each World Cup finals, with the shortlist being drawn up by the FIFA technical committee and the winner subsequently chosen by media representatives. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now It is not to be confused with the Golden Boot award, which is given to the player who scored the most goals during the tournament.The current Golden Ball award was first introduced during the 1982 World Cup, sponsored by Adidas, to Italy’s Paolo Rossi.Players who are chosen as runners-up in the vote for the award are presented with the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball as the second and third best players in the tournament, respectively.Who are previous winners? Messi is the most recent Golden Ball winner after receiving the award in 2014, where his Argentina side lost to Germany in the final after a Mario Gotze goal in extra-time. Obviously, the Barcelona superstar did not win the tournament, but his individual efforts were still lauded – as he scored four goals provided one assist and played in seven fixtures.Thomas Muller, who did win the tournament with Germany, was awarded the Silver Ball and Arjen Robben, whose Netherlands side finished third, was presented with the Bronze Ball.In past tournaments, previous winners for the Golden Boot include Diego Forlan (2010), Zinedine Zidane (2006), Oliver Kahn (2002), Ronaldo (1998), Romario (1994), Salvatore Schillaci (1990), Diego Maradona (1986), Paolo Rossi (1982).The last time that the Golden Boot award was awarded to a player whose team won the tournament was in 1994, when Romario won the World Cup with Brazil.Who are the 2018 World Cup Golden Ball contenders?Trying to predict future Golden Ball winners is always tough – as there seems to be little qualifications of what makes you the “best” footballer, only that it cannot be awarded for finishing as the top scorer as that is reserved for the Golden Boot.Past winners are typically playmakers or game-changing squad players who manage to inject inspiration and creative flair into their side – such as Messi or Zidane – though former Germany goalkeeper Kahn scooped up the prize in 2002.A strong contender for the award is Egypt’s Mohamed Salah, who already picked up not only the Premier League Golden Boot award as he finished as the league’s top scorer but also won the Players’ Player of the Year Award and the Football Writers’ Award. Salah, though a prolific goalscorer, is also gifted with his pace and creativity – able to assist and provide attacking options in addition to his netting of goals. The Liverpool forward already did his part for his national side after firing the Pharoahs to their first World Cup finals in almost three decades in the qualification match against Congo where he scored a 95th-minute penalty.Kevin De Bruyne is also another potential Golden Ball winner with Belgium, and is already blessed with a strong national team that has the potential to go far this summer in Russia. The midfielder was instrumental in Manchester City’s Premier League title win – dominating the midfield – and is one of the most gifted playmakers in the world.Messi may very well be in contention to win another Golden Ball as he will be extra motivated to carry his Argentina side to glory as Russia will potentially be his last and best chance to finally lift the World Cup. His rival Cristiano Ronaldo is also another favourite, as he will be looking to cap off his Euro 2016 win with a shot at World Cup glory – though he notoriously underperforms at the World Cup, having only scored three goals in the finals.
Premier League Premier League fixtures 2018-19: Opening weekend, derbies and key dates Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 16:00 6/14/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Getty Images Premier League Arsenal AFC Bournemouth Brighton & Hove Albion Burnley West Ham United Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Everton Fulham Huddersfield Town Leicester City Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Newcastle United Southampton Tottenham Hotspur Watford Wolverhampton Wanderers Key entries on the English top-flight calendar as reigning champions, title hopefuls, new boys and summer signings ready themselves for the new season As if the start of the World Cup was not exciting enough, we now know the schedule for the 2018-19 Premier League season.Manchester City may have established domestic dominance in record-breaking style last time out, with Pep Guardiola’s side becoming the first to reach the fabled 100-point mark, but there are plenty of teams intent on making life considerably more difficult for the Blues in the defence of that crown.Jose Mourinho is under pressure to deliver at Manchester United following a rare trophyless campaign, while Tottenham are determined to take the next step from also-rans to trophy winners with Mauricio Pochettino tied to fresh terms. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move North London rivals Arsenal are entering a brave new world without Arsene Wenger, with Unai Emery about to get his first taste of life in the English top-flight, while there are plenty of issues to address at Chelsea as they seek to once again counter top-four failure with a title challenge.Liverpool will also expect to be in the mix after reaching last season’s Champions League final, ambitious Wolves will be eager to make their mark among the elite, while Cardiff City and Fulham are back in the big time after four-year absences.Premier League 2018-19 opening weekend The first fixtures in the 2018-19 campaign will take place on the weekend of August 11/12.Manchester City and Chelsea will have met at Wembley a week prior to the big kick-off in the Community Shield, with the first silverware of the season on the line.The reigning champions will then open the defence of their crown with a heavyweight clash against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium – offering new Gunners boss Emery a baptism of fire.FA Cup holders Chelsea start on the road at Huddersfield, while London rivals Tottenham are also away from home as they travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle.Manchester United and Liverpool will take in home dates with Leicester City and West Ham respectively, with a visit to Anfield seeing Manuel Pellegrini – a title winner with Manchester City in 2014 – return to English top-flight management.Elsewhere, Cardiff’s first game back in the Premier League takes them to Bournemouth, Fulham welcome capital foes Crystal Palace to Craven Cottage, and Wolves play host to Marco Silva’s Everton at Molineux.Southampton entertain Burnley – last season’s surprise package – and Brighton go to Watford in the final fixtures on the opening weekend. First round of fixtures Bournemouth vs Cardiff City Arsenal vs Manchester City Fulham vs Crystal Palace Huddersfield Town vs Chelsea Liverpool vs West Ham Manchester United vs Leicester City Newcastle vs Tottenham Southampton vs Burnley Watford vs Brighton Wolves vs Everton Premier League 2018-19 derby dates The first big derby encounters of the new season are not due to take place until November, with those sides involved in such passionate fixtures given the opportunity to build some momentum before facing their fiercest rivals.Manchester foes City and United will be the first to lock horns at the Etihad Stadium, followed by Tottenham and Chelsea – in a game which should be held at Spurs’ upgraded White Hart Lane home.As things stands, December 1 will see north London pride put on the line as Arsenal play host to Tottenham while Liverpool are set to welcome Everton across Stanley Park to Anfield.The reverse fixtures for those four sides are due to take place on the same weekend in early March 2019.Manchester derby Date Match 10/11/2018 Manchester City vs Manchester United 16/03/2019 Manchester United vs Manchester City North London derby Date Match 01/12/2018 Arsenal vs Tottenham Hotspur 02/03/2019 Tottenham Hotspur vs Arsenal Merseyside derby Date Match 01/12/2018 Liverpool vs Everton 02/03/2019 Everton vs Liverpool London derby Date Match 24/11/2018 Tottenham vs Chelsea 27/02/2019 Chelsea vs Tottenham M23 derby Date Match 04/12/2018 Brighton vs Crystal Palace 09/03/2019 Crystal Palace vs Brighton Premier League 2018-19 title deciders The Premier League title picture always becomes a little clearer when the big boys lock horns, with there plenty of fixtures outside of the aforementioned derby contests which could determine the destination of the crown.One of those takes place on the opening weekend, as Manchester City take on Arsenal, and the big games will come thick and fast from that point. Date Match 18/08/2018 Chelsea vs Arsenal 25/08/2018 Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur 15/09/2018 Tottenham Hotspur vs Liverpool 29/09/2018 Chelsea vs Liverpool 06/10/2018 Liverpool vs Manchester City 20/10/2018 Chelsea vs Manchester United 27/10/2018 Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester City 03/11/2018 Arsenal vs Liverpool 04/12/2018 Manchester United vs Arsenal 08/12/2018 Chelsea vs Manchester City 15/12/2018 Liverpool vs Manchester United 29/12/2018 Liverpool vs Arsenal 01/01/2019 Manchester City vs Liverpool 12/01/2019 Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United 19/01/2019 Arsenal vs Chelsea 02/02/2019 Manchester City vs Arsenal 09/02/2019 Manchester City vs Chelsea 23/02/2019 Manchester United vs Liverpool 09/03/2019 Arsenal vs Manchester United 30/03/2019 Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur 13/04/2019 Liverpool vs Chelsea 20/04/2019 Manchester City vs Tottenham Hotspur 27/04/2019 Manchester United vs Chelsea The final round of Premier League fixtures in the 2018-19 campaign, which could see plenty still on the line at opposite ends of the table, is due to take place on May 12. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Sporting CP midfielder Nani: Mourinho right manager for Man Utdby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSporting CP midfielder Nani insists Jose Mourinho is the right manager for Manchester United.Nani won everything in the game at United.“Obviously the goal is to be Premier League champions, but the competition is fierce,” Nani told Goal.“Although last year United managed to finish in second place, this year isn’t going as expected. I’m sure though that if there is a coach able to turn things around and put the club on the right path it’s José.“Like Sir Alex, he has charisma and a very strong character. Those elements are key for success.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Man Utd ace Mata relaunches blog: Let’s be positiveby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAfter victory at Cardiff City, Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata is again writing for his personal blog.He opined: “Without doubt, it is one of the busiest times of the year in terms of the amount of games there are in English football.”We have two games at Old Trafford and we want to close out December in the best possible way: with two wins.”Obviously, it has been a different week with the change of manager and I’d like to thank Jose for the trophies we won together and wish him luck for the future.”As you will all be aware, the legendary Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is our new boss and we couldn’t have started off upon his return to the club in a better way. “It was a convincing win against Cardiff and it will raise morale going into the end of 2018 and the rapidly approaching New Year. “It is time for be optimistic, to look ahead and keep working hard to climb up the table. We are really motivated to do so while entertaining our fans, who deserve so much.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Martinez offers transfer advice to Chelsea ace Hazardby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBelgium coach Roberto Martinez says Chelsea ace Eden Hazard needs to trust his “intuition” over the prospect of leaving for Real Madrid. With Real circling, Hazard has postponed new contract talks until the end of the season.Martinez has weighed into the debate, stating: “Hazard? He is a person who is always guided by his intuition. He is a realistic player. “He left Belgium very young because he wanted to be a footballer, and from there, he managed things with his clubs that are not normal. He is a person who is prepared to arrive in any project at the global level. “My advice is that he be happy and follow his intuition.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Sevilla make Man Utd defender Bailly number one targetby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveSevilla are chasing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly.The Ivory Coast international has struggled to find form and regular game time this season.He was sent off in his most recent appearance at home against Bournemouth.And Marca reports he is wanted by Sevilla.Their boss Pablo Manchin sees him as the man to bolster the team’s back line.Ivan Marcano, Diego Carlos and Fernando Calero are possible backups should United refuse to sell.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say SACKED! Stoke City fire Rowett after eight monthsby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveStoke City have parted ways with manager Gary Rowett.The Potters had appointed Rowett and given him a good transfer budget in the hopes of challenging for promotion.But the team are struggling to remain in the Championship, which was not the intended target at the start of the season. Rowett and his staff are sacked immediately.Per a Stoke statement: “Rory Delap, Kevin Russell and Andy Quy will take charge of first-team affairs” until a permanent boss is appointed.Rowett only lasted in the job for eight months.
Mohamed Elneny marks 3 years with Arsenalby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny has marked his three-year anniversary with the club.The Egyptian has barely featured under Unai Emery this season, playing just once in the Premier League in the 3-1 win over Burnley just prior to Christmas.And on the three-year anniversary of his arrival at Arsenal, Elneny posted two tweets which caught the attention of fans.He wrote: “The 14th of Jan is a day that will always be engraved in my heart,” tweeted Elneny. “Three years ago, on this same day, I joined the Arsenal family.”I call it family, because it is how it’s like to be here at Arsenal. I’m grateful for every single moment during those three years, the tough moments and the many happy ones.”I’m grateful for the one of a kind fans, for the coaches, for the colleagues who became real brothers, for everyone.. I’m grateful for the past and I’m very much looking forward to the future.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
TagsPremiership NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your say Man City midfielder Silva writes to FA over Mendy tweetby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva has written to the FA to say he regrets the fact his social media post may have unintentionally caused offence, reports BBC Sport.BBC Sport understands Bernardo personally wrote the letter, which was submitted before Thursday’s 17:00 BST deadline.Team-mate Benjamin Mendy has also written to the FA in support of Bernardo, saying he did not take offence at the posts.Bernardo is adamant he never intended to offend and his posts were not racially motivated.