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Monaco coach Henry to test Arsenal resolve for Koscielnyby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAS Monaco coach Thierry Henry is ready to test Arsenal’s resolve for Laurent Koscielny.With his team in desperate stakes, Henry is going back to the Gunners for reinforcements.Nice-Matin says Henry is eager to tempt Koscielny back to France in January.The Arsenal captain has only just returned to action after suffering an Achilles injury last season – and Henry hopes to convince him about a career swansong at ASM.Koscielny, 33, is tied to Arsenal until 2020. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — The U.S.-China trade war, the Saudi crown prince’s first trip abroad since the brutal killing of a newspaper columnist and the Ukraine crisis will grab the world’s attention at this week’s G-20 summit.None of those issues is on the agenda at the two-day meeting that was meant to focus on development, infrastructure and food security. But the gathering of leaders from the world’s top industrialized and emerging nations will be eclipsed by discussions and controversy on the sidelines.“The G-20 summit features high drama on the turbulent global stage, with U.S. President Donald Trump, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin playing leading roles,” said Michael Shifter, head of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think-tank .Here’s a look at the main issues during the two-day meeting that begins Friday:___U.S.-CHINA TRADE WARThe global economy is at stake when Trump and Xi meet at a high-stakes dinner in Buenos Aires on Saturday. Can they reach a truce on a dispute that has rattled markets? Trump promises to impose new tariffs on imports from China if they don’t. Most analysts doubt they will reach any overarching deal this weekend that would settle the conflict for good. But if the two sides agree to a cease-fire, it could buy time for more substantive talks.“Whether they shake hands and announce some kind of agreement, or whether they don’t, we don’t think that anything substantial is going to happen in the broader U.S.-China trade conflict,” Willis Sparks, director of global macro politics at Eurasia Group.“It involves a lot more complex issues that are not going to be resolved over the course of a single dinner.”___PRINCE OR PARIAH?Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is at the summit in the wake of the gruesome slaying of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and allegations that he ordered the killing inside the country’s consulate in Turkey’s capital last month. Trump has given the prince a pass while citing exaggerated claims of Saudi military contracts and investments in the U.S., and Putin has not criticized Saudi Arabia or the prince either. But European and other leaders are likely to try to avoid a photo-op that could cause backlash at home by appearing to legitimize the man who U.S. intelligence agencies concluded ordered the killing.Human Rights Watch has accused the crown prince of war crimes in Yemen and responsibility for Kashoggi’s killing, and Argentine legal authorities are considering a request to prosecute bin Salman for alleged crimes against humanity.“A cloud of suspicion will loom over him as he tries to rebuild his shattered reputation at the G-20, and world leaders would do well to think twice before posing for pictures next to someone who may come under investigation for war crimes and torture,” Human Rights Watch said.___UKRAINETrump cancelled a meeting with Putin at the summit, citing Russia’s recent seizure of Ukrainian naval vessels and crews. Russia has said Ukraine didn’t have permission to pass between Russia’s mainland and the Crimean Peninsula, while Ukraine insists its vessels abided by maritime laws. Analysts say the question will be how much pressure will Trump and the EU put on Putin over the issue.___TOUGH TIMES FOR U.S.-EUROPE RELATIONSEurope is on weak footing at this year’s G-20. France fears Trump will block or eclipse any progress at the summit, and President Emmanuel Macron’s main task will be making sure Europe’s voice is heard and doesn’t get diluted by internal divisions.Trump recently lit into Macron over his suggestion that Europe build up its militaries because the continent can no longer depend on the U.S. Trump also criticized him over French tariffs on U.S. wine and even Macron’s approval ratings.Trump also said British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit agreement “sounds like a great deal for the EU” that would make it more difficult for the U.K. to strike a trade deal with the U.S. The British pound fell in the wake of his comments, which were countered by May.“The Europeans know that they need to get along for the greater good of the trade relations. But the relations between Trump and the European leaders that he’s going to see in Buenos Aires are really bad,” Sparks said. “The word that comes along to me when it comes to the relation between these leaders is: Icy.”___NAFTAMexico and Canada recently reached agreement with the Trump administration on a revamped version of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and the deal is expected to be signed during the G-20 summit, though it won’t take effect until approved by the countries’ legislatures.“Maybe the one bright spot (at the summit) is the signing of the new NAFTA,” said Shannon O’Neil, an expert on global trade at the Council on Foreign Relations.The renegotiations, however, left a bad taste among the partners, Shifter said.While the three leaders are supposed to be at the signing ceremony, Sparks said the possibility remains that it could be left to less senior officials because Canada and Mexico are not happy Trump did not lift tariffs on steel and aluminum.“What was supposed to be an event that would mark a turning point,” Sparks said, “is looking like lower down on the bill.___LOW EXPECTATIONSEven the host country of the summit has lowered expectations.Pedro Villagra Delgado, Argentina’s lead organizer for the G-20, acknowledged last week that it might not be possible to reach a consensus on a final statement.Patricio Navia, a political science professor at New York University, said there are “way too many ongoing conflicts” and potential sources of instability at a summit that will likely be “an echo chamber for the lack of co-ordination and co-operation” seen at other forums.“It is unlikely that the G20 meeting will provide any guidance as to what will happen next,” Navia said. “In fact, the meeting will probably end up generating even more instability, precisely because there will be many confusing signals coming out of the meeting.”___Associated Press writers Angela Charlton and Peter Orsi contributed to this report.___Luis Andres Henao on Twitter: https://twitter.com/LuisAndresHenaoLuis Andres Henao, The Associated Press
October brings falling leaves, great postseason pitching and hitting, and painfully long baseball games. Look no further than Game 2 of the World Series: On the game’s biggest national stage, the Cubs and Indians played a 5-1 game Wednesday night that took four hours and four minutes to complete. Interminable games like Wednesday’s contest are the norm for the MLB postseason — but even by that standard, this year has been by far the slowest in recent memory.Baseball usually reserves its longest games for October, with the average game length jumping precipitously in the final month of each of the past five seasons. But even keeping that in mind, this year has been extraordinary: The last 27 games have featured an average game length of three hours and 24 minutes, the highest average for any continuous block of 27 games in the past five years (and far above the overall 2016 season average of three hours, two minutes). The only block of games that even comes close to the one we’re in now came in 2014 — and 2014 was before baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced new rules designed to speed up the games. That this year’s games are surpassing the heights of 2014 even with those pace-of-play rules in place is extraordinary.There are a number of contributors to baseball’s recent sluggishness, including instant replay reviews, reliever usage and pitcher pace. Managers are using replay-review challenges more aggressively in the postseason, averaging more than one per game, in comparison with the regular season average of 0.6 per game. Replay challenges take about 96 seconds each1According to data from Retrosheet on regular-season replay challenges., so the additional challenges are probably only adding a little less than a minute to the bloated postseason average.Reliever usage is probably a larger factor. As I documented in a recent piece, managers are asking more relievers to chew up a greater fraction of the innings this postseason than ever before. So far this postseason, there have been 4.06 relief appearances per game, compared with a regular season average of 3.14 per game. Each pitching change can take up to two minutes and 30 seconds, so pitcher usage accounts for another two- to three-minute chunk of the sluggish pace.Relievers themselves also slow the pace of the game. Relief pitchers take much more time between pitches — about 1.7 seconds more per throw — than starters do. Combine that leisurely tempo with the fact that relievers are being used more so far this postseason — about 14 more pitches are thrown by the bullpen per game — and we’ve accounted for another 25 or so extra seconds per game.Speaking of slow pitching pace, by far the worst offender this year was the Los Angeles Dodgers’ bullpen. At 25.9 seconds per pitch, Dodgers relievers were 0.3 seconds slower between pitches than the second-place team (the Boston Red Sox, who also made it to the playoffs), 3.3 seconds slower — per pitch, mind you! — than their NLCS opponent, the Cubs, and 2.2 seconds slower than the AL champion Indians.2A significant fraction of that was probably due to L.A. middle reliever Pedro Baez, whose astounding 30.2 seconds per pitch pace was highest in the league. Fans and announcers complain about replay challenges and pitching changes, but combined they probably have less impact on game length than specific teams (like the Dodgers) do.So after the Cubs advanced over L.A. in the NLCS, it was fair to think that the strongest influence on this postseason’s slow games was out of the race, and that we might see snappier baseball in the World Series as a result. But despite the Cubs and Indians being two relatively fast-paced teams, the World Series has featured two of the longest games of the postseason, each with relatively little offense and only nine innings. There’s a big chunk of this postseason slowdown that doesn’t seem to be due to relievers, or replay, or pace. Maybe it’s the drama of the moment or the potential to break a title drought, but baseball games now take longer than at any point in recent memory.
FIFA has said that it has “taken note” of its former president Sepp Blatter’s attendance at a World Cup game despite being banned from football.The 82-year-old Blatter, was in Russia to watch Portugal’s 1-0 Group B victory over Morocco on Wednesday on the invitation of Russian president Vladimir Putin.The Swiss’ 17-year spell in charge of world football’s governing body ended amid a corruption scandal in 2015 and FIFA banned Blatter for eight years, which was later reduced to six years on appeal.“FIFA has taken note of Mr Blatter’s visit to Russia,” a FIFA spokesperson told BBC Sport.Fan dies after setting herself on fire protesting Iran’s ban on women spectators Manuel R. Medina – September 10, 2019 A young woman from Iran set, only publicly known as The Blue Girl for the color of her favorite club Esteghlal, has died from her injuries after protesting Iran’s ban on female fans.“We have no further comment at the present stage.”In September 2015, Swiss authorities announced that Blatter was under investigation over a £1.3m “disloyal payment” to Michel Platini, the ex-boss of European football’s governing body Uefa, in 2011.However, the both men denied any the allegation
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp warned that Fabinho may require six months before he can show his best formThe Brazilian midfielder has only had under a minute of competitive action for the Reds after coming on as a substitute in the 3-2 win over Paris Saint-Germain last week in the Champions League.But Fabinho is expected to make his full debut for tonight’s Carabao Cup clash with Chelsea.“It’s not different between him and other players. It’s really not complicated, he just needs to get used to it,” Klopp told the club website.“It’s about positioning, it’s about reaction, about spaces defensively, closing them, offensively using them.“It’s a football team with a specific way of playing. It needs time, and they were all used to other football teams.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“So you have natural runs in a team. Like, let me say, a very famous movement here was Phillip Coutinho. Half left, [cut] inside, nice shot!“For this one, you needed somebody to overlap and make it difficult to defend, so that one defender at least is busy.“Things like that explain it. It’s completely normal. There’s no time to say, ‘I give you that, or that’, but it will happen. Because the game is so quick and intense, it needs to get natural.“It’s not about changing these players, we want their football personality. They are here because of what they did.“Three or five weeks sound like a long time in football, but to improve something you can give half a year, to really make the next step. That’s it.”
Luka Modric vowed to improve his scoring form by shooting more often after his sensational strike to set up Real Madrid’s win over Al Ain in the Club World Cup final.The Croatian skipper completed a golden 2018 with the first goal in a 4-1 win for Santiago Solari’s side, who won the tournament for the third year in a row.It was also his first goal in a final for Madrid and the Ballon d’Or winner suggested he might go for goal on a more regular basis after his unerring 25-yard finish.“Everyone tells me I have to shoot more, although I usually prefer to pass,” Modric said to FourFourTwo via Real Madrid TV. “I should shoot more, it’s true.“It is an unforgettable year for me, a perfect year, winning the Champions League, then Croatia had a spectacular World Cup and then all these prizes arrived, now another trophy with Madrid.“A dream year, really. I can’t ask more.”FIFA Club World Cup FinalAl Ain 0 –  Real Madrid Modric 14′ pic.twitter.com/ty46ZxoN2GMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.— PLGoals (@PLGoals2) December 22, 2018“I am very happy to get the [man-of-the-match] trophy – more for the goal and more for the final we just won,” he said.“Now is when you look back and see everything you have worked and fought to achieve this. It’s time to enjoy it with family, friends – they are the ones who can stand you when things are not going well.“Dreaming, I dreamed it, but I saw it was very far away. It was very difficult, obviously, it was a dream, but I was not expecting to reach the first team and win finals like this.“We have worked on everything to achieve this kind of thing. I almost never score goals, so the day that goes by I get a little bit excited, it’s time to enjoy it and be happy.”
Wolverhampton Wanderers is playing against Manchester City on Monday, but the Wolves coach says his team is ready for the challenge.Wolverhampton Wanderers will have one of the biggest challenges of the season on Monday, as they play against Manchester City in Etihad Stadium.And for coach Nuno Espirito Santo, this doesn’t mean his team will be afraid of the Citizens.“I admire the talent they have. As a team, as a squad, as individuals; the team is full of talent, they are one of the best teams in the world,” he told the club’s official website.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“It’s the challenge – a big team, a fantastic team – so let’s go and compete with the things that you have, realizing that you have to be very organized, very compact – all these aspects in our defensive organization that we have to maintain if we can improve.”“We will prepare for what we’re going to face on Monday. We’re going to prepare ourselves, try to give all the possibilities that we think are relevant for our game and for our players,” he added.“One of those will ‘not be afraid’, we don’t go onto the pitch scared of anything, we know that we have to compete.”“You cannot be scared or frightened of nothing, you just have to be ready for what you have in front of you,” he concluded.
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is unsure if Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will recall star for Copa del Rey showdown with Sevilla after losing quarter-final first leg without him.Barcelona lost 2-0 to Sevilla on Wednesday night and their key men played little or no part in the defeat.Speaking after Wednesday’s defeat at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, Pique told Dailymail:Match Preview: Barcelona vs Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Is derby time in La Liga, as Barcelona welcomes Valencia to the Camp Nou Stadium tonight at 21:00 (CET).”First we have to play the league game against Girona and then focus on the return leg at the Camp Nou. Whether Messi plays is the decision for the coach.“In the first half we had a very clear opportunity and in the second we could have risked a little more to try and draw the match but Sevilla were better, and I congratulate them for it.“We have a very competitive squad and the coach wants us all to participate. The performance was good but they took advantage of all their chances.”