Stakes high as White Hart Lane set to stage final derby

first_imgIf Sunday’s clash does indeed turn out to be the last north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur’s historic White Hart Lane stadium, the stakes could hardly be higher for the protagonists.Tottenham, who are expected to announce that they will definitely move to Wembley next season while their new stadium is completed, will finish above Arsenal for the first time in 22 years with victory over Arsene Wenger’s Gunners.Mauricio Pochettino’s vibrant young side have grander ambitions though, and first and foremost in their minds will be keeping alive their hopes of a first English league title since the club’s glory days in 1961.Should Chelsea fail to win at Everton in Sunday’s earlier match, Tottenham could conceivably be top of the table before Chelsea play again if they beat Arsenal and follow that with victory at West Ham United next Friday.“The possibility of finishing above Arsenal is not a motivation or a distraction,” Pochettino said after his side beat in-form Crystal Palace to narrow the gap on Chelsea to four points on Wednesday.“We are just focusing on trying to beat Arsenal. We have five games ahead, a very exciting period, and an exciting weekend ahead.”While Arsenal would dearly love to scupper Tottenham’s title bid, they too have more pressing concerns, namely trying to qualify for a 20th consecutive Champions League campaign.“We play for us. In life you work for your own achievements, not for others,” Wenger said. “What is most important is that we go there, try to win the game and focus on our performance.”Recent history suggests both sides might fall short of their ambitions on Sunday.The last three north London derbies have ended in draws, including last season’s clash at the Lane in March, when a late Alexis Sanchez equaliser earned 10-man Arsenal a 2-2 draw which prevented Tottenham going top of the table.Tottenham have won their last eight league matches though – a club record in the Premier League and their best sequence since 1960 – and have been unstoppable at the ground that will soon be bulldozed to make way for the 61,000-seater arena sprouting up around it.They have also scored in their last 17 home league matches so Arsenal’s task is a formidable one.Before Tottenham and Arsenal kick-off (6.30pm), Chelsea face the toughest of their final five fixtures against an Everton side who have won their last eight home matches (4.05pm).Everton beat Chelsea twice at Goodison last season in the Premier League and FA Cup quarter-final, but were thumped 5-0 at Stamford Bridge when the teams met in November.“Chelsea are a difficult team to beat but we are a match to anyone at home,” Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, who played under Pochettino at Southampton, said.“It will be hard for them on Sunday and we won’t let them breathe, or have any space on the pitch.”At the bottom of the table, Sunderland will go down if they lose to Bournemouth and Hull City avoid defeat at Southampton.last_img read more

Lacazette double helps Arsenal beat Valencia

first_imgArsenal‘s Alexandre Lacazette scored twice in the first half and fellow striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang snatched a last-gasp third goal to secure a 3-1 win over Valencia in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday.Frenchman Lacazette’s double at The Emirates put Arsenal in front after Mouctar Diakhaby had given the Spanish side an early lead and Aubameyang’s late strike gave the London side some breathing space for next week’s return at the Mestalla.Diakhaby punished some limp Arsenal defending to head home in the 11th minute but the hosts responded with Lacazette starting and finishing a flowing move seven minutes later before giving his side the lead with a 25th minute header.Arsenal had lost three consecutive Premier League games to drop to fifth place in the table with two games to go but manager Unai Emery has a special relationship with the Europa League having won it three times in a row with Sevilla.He may have to lift the trophy for a fourth time if Arsenal are to upgrade to Europe’s elite Champions League competition next season, but the tie was still very much in the balance after Lacazette spurned two glorious second-half chances.Aubameyang’s stoppage-time volley could prove crucial though, leaving Valencia with a tough task to avoid falling at the Europa League semi-final hurdle for the third time.last_img read more

Bale’s China move called off by Real Madrid

first_imgGareth Bale’s proposed move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning has fallen through and the Wales international is set to remain at Real Madrid.Bale had been expected to sign a three-year deal worth a reported £1 million a week but reports on Sunday said the proposed move had collapsed after Real’s board refused to approve his departure, with the Chinese club wanting to acquire the 30-year-old on a free transfer.Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has made it clear he is not Bale’s biggest fan and the player’s injury record – he has made just 79 LaLiga starts in the last four seasons – did not help his cause.Last week Zidane said Bale was “very close to leaving” and his exit would be “best for everyone” after omitting him from their pre-season friendly against Bayern Munich.“He wasn’t included in the squad because the club is working on his departure and that’s why he didn’t play,” Zidane said.“Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon. The club is dealing with the club that he’ll move to.“It’s nothing personal. There comes a time when things are done because they need to be done. I’ve not got anything against him.“We have to make decisions and change things, that’s all there is to it. You’re aware of the situation and there’ll be a change to it. I don’t know if this will happen in 24 or 48 hours’ time.“The situation will change and it’s for the best for everyone. That’s how things go. I speak with the club, we’ve got decisions to make and it’s a decision that’s been made by the coach and the player. Let’s see how things play out.”Bale moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid in 2013 in a then world-record £85million deal and has helped the club win the Champions League four times during his spell at the Bernabeu.The 30-year-old scored twice in the 2018 final against Liverpool, his first arriving from a spectacular overhead kick just minutes after coming on as a substitute.Bale has also appeared twice as a substitute in pre-season, scoring in a 2-2 draw with Arsenal – but seeing his spot-kick saved in a penalty shoot-out – and playing 30 minutes in the 7-3 defeat to Atletico Madrid.Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett had labelled Zidane a “disgrace” over the handling of his client and maintains any transfer will be done in the best interests of the Welshman.“There will be no makeshift deals to get him out of the club. Gareth is one of the best players on the planet. I can guarantee you he will not be going on loan to any club,” Barnett told Sky Sports News on Tuesday.“Gareth is a Real Madrid player and for now he is staying as a Real Madrid player. If something comes along that suits us, then things could change and he could be gone in a day or a week, or he could still be a Real player in three years when his contract ends.”last_img read more

Man City confirm deal to buy Uruguayan club

first_imgThey already own Major League Soccer’s New York City, Melbourne City in Australia and Japan’s Yokohama F Marinos.As well as Montevideo-based Atletico, CFG, who are led by City owner Sheikh Mansour, also revealed they have entered into a “collaboration agreement” with Atletico Venezuela of the Venezuelan Primera Division.The two deals will give CFG a foothold in South America that will help it develop players, while the scouting presence available to the Premier League club in that continent will be doubled.“We are pleased to take this next step in our football development operations,” CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano said on Wednesday evening.“The investment in CA Torque enables our organisation to build on existing connectivity in Uruguay and helps to expand the options for identifying and developing local and South American talent.“This move also provides us with an administrative hub for our pre-existing scouting operations in the region and provides a footprint for City Football Group in South America.“I am also delighted to start a working partnership with Atletico Venezuela to the benefit of both clubs.“The collaboration agreement allows us to share knowledge, insights and hard data, all of which enables us to further complement and increase our scouting and recruitment operations on the continent.”CFG have also been linked with a possible move into the lucrative Chinese Super League market.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester City’s parent company, City Football Group (CFG), have announced Uruguayan second tier side Atletico Torque will become part of their global network of clubs © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFLONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 6 – Manchester City’s owners have confirmed their purchase of Uruguayan club Atletico Torque as the Abu Dhabi-based investors add to their growing portfolio.City’s parent company, City Football Group (CFG), announced second tier Atletico will become part of their global network of clubs.last_img read more

North Hollywood man arrested in sex assault of 8-year-old boy

first_imgVAN NUYS – A 26-year-old North Hollywood man has been arrested in connection with sexually assaulting an 8-year-old boy in Van Nuys, police said. Amilcar Duran, 26, of North Hollywood, was taken into custody on Saturday and booked for kidnapping and sexual assault in connection with the June 13 crime, the Los Angeles Police Department reported. The boy was accosted as he walked home from school, police said. Duran was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, police said. Several days after the assault, the victim recognized the suspect while he was in a market near Victory Boulevard and Whitsett Avenue in North Hollywood, police said. Authorities were notified, but the man was gone by the time they arrived. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Based on the boy’s statements, police examined the store’s surveillance video and recovered an image of the suspect and his vehicle, police said. Two days ago, security personnel at the same market saw a vehicle and driver leaving the parking lot that matched the description of the suspect and vehicle, police said. Police were notified, and they arrested Duran. Detectives are awaiting DNA results to confirm Duran’s alleged involvement in the crime. For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.last_img read more

Focal Point

first_imgBy John Klima STAFF WRITER Carl Winston was a secret at this time last year, a sophomore who began fall camp scheduled to be the starting running back on the junior varsity team. Circumstances and time then played to his advantage. An injury and a player who left the team opened up the running back position on a Serra High team that also featured four seniors who eventually moved on to the Division I level this fall. Winston had a 2006 season that may lead him to fulfill a similar path. As a junior this season, he becomes the focal point of a deep and diversified Serra offense. The Cavaliers went 9-3 last season but finished second in the Del Rey League to Harvard-Westlake and were upset in the second round of the Western Division playoffs by Oak Park. Serra has a new quarterback in South Torrance transfer Ted Landers, but it will be Winston who will be the featured back and a player Coach Scott Altenberg hopes can become more of a threat catching passes out of the backfield. “He represents a large portion of our offense,” Altenberg said. “Everything is faster with him. He’s physically faster because he worked hard in the offseason. He’s mentally faster in terms of understanding our offense better.” Winston rushed for 1,336 yards and 11 touchdowns on 194 carries last year. He also had 22 receptions for 227 yards. He finished with 1,563 yards total offense. Serra still was left with a sense of underachievement. This season, Winston wants to prove that last year was not an aberration and that Serra can go deeper into the playoffs. “I don’t think a lot of teams expected me to do what I did last year,” Winston said. “That’s why I worked hard to get better for this season. I don’t want people to think it was a fluke.” Winston said he worked out five days a week, three or four hours per day, on drills designed to improve his speed, strength and quickness. After those workouts, he would lift weights with the football team and participate in drills. He also competed as a sprinter on the track team last spring. “He came quickly last year, quicker than I thought he would,” Altenberg said. “As long as he stays within himself this year, he can do it again. He has to stay away from trying to do too much.” The same can be said for Serra. “This year, we’re humbled,” Winston said. “There are no All-Americans here. Coach always tells us we are a blue-collar team. That’s better for us. We come in humbled and go play by play.” Winston will become important as a veteran component of a young team. Altenberg said he expects to play 14 juniors or sophomores on a regular basis. Landers, a junior, will be an important part of that. Winston wants to increase the number of passes he catches. “I will catch a lot more balls this year,” he said. “It’s a personal goal, but it’s a team-goal because it will help us win.” There’s no shortage of talented skill players at Serra, but Altenberg stresses to his players the importance of the mental aspect of the game. Serra runs multiple formations. “We have a lot of potential,” Winston said. “We have a lot of guys here who can become Division I football players. “But we really do feel like we underachieved last year. Part of that was always thinking about the next game. That happened to us in the playoffs.” If Serra plays up to its potential, that will aid the college aspirations of its players, including Winston. That’s why, he said, that it’s important Serra maintains a proper balance of perspective and preparation. It’s also why he wants to prove that he came from nowhere, but is going somewhere. “I’ve always had visions that I can play at the college level,” Winston said. “That’s why I worked so hard in the offseason. There are a few plays from last year that, when I look back, I think I should have made. I want to improve more than I did last year.” john.klima@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Man United team news: Returning Di Maria to miss out at Anfield?

first_imgLouis van Gaal faces a selection headache ahead of Manchester United’s Premier League trip to Liverpool.Record signing Angel Di Maria is available again, following his one-match suspension for a red card in the FA Cup defeat to Arsenal, but the Argentine flyer could miss out at Anfield.The Red Devils’ 3-0 victory over Tottenham was arguably the club’s best performance of the season, and the Dutchman will be reticent to start meddling with a winning formula.Against Spurs, Juan Mata finally looked like the £37million man who joined from Chelsea, Marouane Fellaini not only scored but probably had his best run-out in a red shirt, while Ashley Young’s renaissance continued. All are expected to start against Brendan Rodgers’ side, along with Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera.With Wayne Rooney fighting fit (get it?) the England forward will start up front, forcing Radamel Falcao on to the bench again.The match will provide a real guide to the club’s top four credentials and Di Maria’s exclusion from the team would demonstrate Van Gaal’s fabled ruthless streak. An intriguing prospect awaits.You can listen to live and exclusive national radio commentary of Liverpool v Manchester United from 1:30pm on Sunday only on talkSPORTPossible Man United XI v Liverpool: Angel Di Maria in action for Manchester United 1center_img 1last_img read more


first_imgLetterkenny band Apollo 6 will represent Donegal at the Irish Youth Music Awards final after claiming victory in the Donegal Heat, which was held in Voodoo INK last Saturday.The event, which was co-ordinated at local level by the Donegal Youth Service, saw 16 finalists take to the stage in what was a great day’s entertainment.Apollo 6 consist of Eilis Cusack (vocals), Ashley Kavanagh (guitar), Thomas McDaid (bass) Chris Cullinane (guitar) John O’Connell (drums). They will now represent the county at the Irish Youth Music Awards National Final in Liberty Hall in Dublin on April 28th. Dungloe band The Loose Bananas finished a very close second when the votes were counted, also winning best original song, meaning they will now have their song performed by Apollo 6 in the national final. The Irish Youth Music Awards is unique in that the regional final works off a principle where all the competing bands have one vote and they have to select who they think will represent the county best at national final. This is where the work really begins also however, as fellow bands will now be asked to work together to support the young Letterkenny band. If Apollo 6 is successful in the national final all the local acts get to be part of a professionally recorded album in Dublin.This is the 5th year of the Irish Youth Music Awards, with Donegal claiming the Paul Clancy Songwriting award in 2011, having previously won the overall award in 2008. At the national final there is also the added bonus of all the bands learning a little bit more about the music industry and meeting representatives from the Irish music industry, and they are judged on all aspect of the Donegal team’s project, such as putting on preparation gigs, photography, styling and fundraising efforts to help bring the band and supporters to the national final.The Donegal Youth Service would also like to thank all at Voodoo INK for hosting the event.The Irish Youth Music Awards are a Youth Work Ireland Initiative. For more information on the Irish Youth Music Awards Donegal Heat contact Letterkenny Youth Information Centre on 074-9129640.  APOLLO 6 TO REPRESENT DONEGAL IN NATIONAL IYMA FINAL was last modified: March 8th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Apollo 6last_img read more

‘I’m very, very angry!’ Ranieri tells Leicester to improve Premier League form

first_img Claudio Ranieri is proud of his team but insists they must do more in the Premier League 1 Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has said he is proud of his team’s achievements in the Champions League but is ‘very, very angry’ they are not having the same success in the Premier League this season.The Foxes made it three wins from three in their debut European campaign with a 1-0 victory over FC Copenhagen on Tuesday, with Riyad Mahrez’s winner keeping them top of Group G.They are five points clear and will reach the last 16 with victory in Copenhagen on November 2, having already beaten Porto and Brugge.READ MORE: Champions League destiny ‘in our own hands’ – Ranieri on Leicester’s perfect startBut while they have been enjoying great success in Europe, their domestic form has suffered with Leicester currently 13th in the table after just two wins from their opening eight games.The Foxes have already suffered more defeats than they accumulated in the whole last season when they were crowned champions.And Ranieri wants to see an instant improvement in his side in their next league outing against Crystal Palace, insisting the Premier League must now become their priority.“I’m very proud,” said the Italian.“For one side, I’m very proud. For the other side, when I think of the Premier League, I’m very, very angry.“It’s just psychological. When we play in the Champions League, all the specials are switched on. You’re very, very smart, focused in every situation. You spend a lot of energy, mental energy, in the Champions League.“When you come back a little more down, it’s normal. But we want to change this mood now, because the Premier League is now important. The Premier League is our priority.“We have to change our mentality in the Premier League because Crystal Palace is another tough, tough, tough match.”last_img read more

Defining issue for mayor

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2“If things at the school district go well, he’ll take the credit, and he would deserve it,” said Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, a political analyst and senior scholar in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. “If things go badly, it offers ammunition to people who want to challenge him. “He has taken a gamble; there’s no doubt about that.” But while Villaraigosa has shown he can build consensus, it remains less than clear whether he will be able to hold things together to get the legislation passed and implemented. An irate school board, which would face a significantly reduced role under the plan, is aggressively opposing the legislation. Parent groups, not consulted during negotiations, feel shunned. Six unions representing district workers other than teachers say they don’t support the plan. Although United Teachers Los Angeles leaders negotiated the deal, many teachers already have begun sending the union opposition petitions. And after a year of study, a special panel on LAUSD governance announced the opinion that any district changes should be put to a public vote. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has gambled his political career in a bold bid to take charge of Los Angeles public schools, promising to lower the dropout rate and sharply improve student achievement. This week lawmakers will begin to debate school-takeover legislation giving form to the deal Villaraigosa cut with the teachers unions last week. The measure could get fast-track treatment in Sacramento even though, back in Los Angeles, it remains mired in controversy and a cloud of confusion. The proposal provides a framework for reform, but there are few details on how it would be implemented and no information on how it would boost student achievement or lower the district’s high dropout rate. And dozens of vocal critics already have emerged to oppose the legislation, even while Villaraigosa stakes his reputation on being able to convince constituents that he can turn around the Los Angeles Unified School District. There also are 27 other mayors of cities LAUSD serves who have hesitated indicating support for mayoral takeover. Some wonder whether the legislation will really help the 727,000 students and 858 schools in the district. “That’s the million-dollar question,” said San Fernando Mayor Nury Martinez. “No matter what approach we take toward trying to reform education, the number one thing we need to focus on is that we have a mechanism to assure we hold people accountable. I don’t know that this plan ensures that kids become successful, that they’re graduating.” Martinez said she plans to talk with parents and teachers in her city before deciding whether to support Villaraigosa’s plan. Even lawmakers in Sacramento appear undecided. Thomas Saenz, the mayor’s chief counsel, said much of the confusion and concern can be attributed to the unexpectedness of the deal. “Sometimes people react without knowing the details and act in a resistant way,” he said. “But after finding out the details and what’s involved, many of them will come to support this. “We’re just getting information out about this proposal and why it makes sense, and people will come to understand this is the best way of significantly affecting the education of students positively in LAUSD.” Experts in mayoral takeover of schools say there must be a clear line of authority for a plan to succeed. And, while the negotiated legislation is a far cry from Villaraigosa’s proposed complete control of the district, they note it does give him greater influence. Under the legislation, Villaraigosa would retain 80 percent of the vote in hiring a superintendent and in ratifying the superintendent’s contract. Along with a council of mayors from other cities, he also would have input on the budget, as well as direct control over 36 of the district’s lowest-performing schools. “I think there are new opportunities even though it’s not as clear as complete mayoral control. But still there’s enough there that if the mayor is creative, he can strategically use some of his informal influence,” said Kenneth Wong, an Annenberg professor in education policy at Brown University. “It looks like this legislation has created enough of a formal role for the mayor to the extent he can extend a lot of informal influence on the school district, and the budgetary process is a case in point,” said Wong, who co-authored a study that found school districts run by mayors do better academically. Exercising informal influence, the mayor could use his city post as leverage to gain more state and federal aid for schools, Wong said. “I think that will give the mayor and superintendent a lot more leverage to really move resources to target the lowest-performing schools,” Wong said. Villaraigosa has honed his skill at using influence, which could ultimately place him in the pivotal authority role. “This particular mayor knows how to use informal influence in the most powerful way,” Saenz said. “Under this legislation, the first chance to review and comment on the budget belongs to the mayor. If you’re a superintendent who’s smart and the mayor is the first to review and comment on the budget, who are you going to consult with when you’re putting the budget together?” Still, because the legislation remains vague – and also seeks formal authority for other city mayors, a superintendent, a school board and teachers – some experts are skeptical it can succeed. “The lesson is to take it all or nothing and not get caught in between,” said Michael Kirst, professor of education and business administration at Stanford University. “Here, power is in four places – up to the mayor, down to schools, sideways to other mayors … , but it’s not clear who’s in charge, and the risk is that everybody and nobody is in charge.” But UTLA President A.J. Duffy expressed confidence in the mayor’s ability to pull off a coup. “I believe that he understands every aspect of the risk, and that says to me – and should say to everyone else – that this man of considerable charm, charisma and ability is going to move heaven and earth to make this work, particularly in respect to the pilot districts in the neediest areas of the city.” (818) 713-3722160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more