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Van Gaal back under scrutiny

first_img ASSIST KING MANCHESTER, England (AP): It speaks volumes about Manchester United’s current plight that a 0-0 draw at home against a team languishing just above the Premier League’s relegation zone represents an encouraging sign of progress. That’s how far a mighty club has fallen, with the stalemate with Chelsea on Monday appearing to give some breathing space for under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal. Lose to manager-less and relegation-threatened Swansea at Old Trafford on Saturday, though, and United will put Van Gaal even closer to the brink. The record 20-time English champions are winless in their last eight games in all competitions, marking their worst run of form since 1990, and have collected only three points from their last six league games. Almost as worrying for United is that the team has scored only one goal in its last four home games. Van Gaal may say he enjoys the backing of the United board, and has backtracked on previous comments that he could quit as manager, but there might be no way back if Swansea leave Old Trafford with three points. Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil has 16 assists so far this season, and is only four off the Premier League record held by Thierry Henry. Ozil must like his chances of getting even closer on Saturday when his table-topping side hosts Newcastle at Emirates Stadium. Henry, one of Arsenal’s greatest players, set the record in the 2002-03 season and believes it will get broken by Ozil. “The guy is just amazing,” Henry said. “Finally we’re starting to see what type of player he can be. It’s his vision, he always puts the ball where you need it. He sees everything, and when you play with a player like that, anything can happen at any time.” Arsenal are ahead of Leicester on goal difference, with Man City three points back in third place. PLAYING FOR OUR FUTURE Put simply, 2016 has to start better than 2015 ended for the Dutchman. “If anything, we are all playing for our own futures as well,” United defender Chris Smalling said, with the team having fallen five places adrift of the Champions League places. On paper, Swansea looks the ideal opponents for United to get back to winning ways: No manager following Garry Monk’s firing on December 9, one place above the bottom three, only one away win – against last-place Aston Villa – this campaign. Yet the Welsh club has won its last three games against United, all 2-1, including a home-and-away league double last season. What Van Gaal must ensure is that United play the same way as against Chelsea, when his players were more positive, took more risks with their passing and looked to play more forward. United’s fans could see the team was trying and seemed to warm to Van Gaal and his players. But how long will the goodwill last? “Inside of the club, the players are willing to fight for every metre, the manager is willing to fight, the members of staff are willing to fight and the board is very confident in the staff and the manager,” Van Gaal said. Above sixth-place United, the top four is separated by just four points heading into the second half of the season. It is the most unpredictable of title races, with surely few predicting that Leicester and Tottenham would be in the Champions League positions at the turn of the year.last_img read more

Messi becomes Huawei’s global ambassador

first_img Huawei also believes Messi’s passion inspires millions worldwide to strive for excellence and connect with people and considers the partnership “the perfect fit” and comes under the theme ‘connecting greatness’. “Lionel Messi will help our brand to encourage people to focus, persevere and breakthrough; to connect with greatness, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America, where Huawei puts great devotion,” said Kevin Ho, president, Handset Business, Huawei Consumer BG, at yesterday’s press conference. Ho stressed that Huawei will seek to be number one in mobile phone sales in more than 170 countries, including Jamaica and the Caribbean. “We both honour the path we walked to what we have achieved and with each new challenge, we renew our commitment to find the path to success,” he added, while reiterating that his organisation’s belief that sport is a great way in which people enrich their lives, and through football in particular, which it considers a strong avenue. In the last few years, Huawei has invested in several teams – such as America, Santa Fe, Sporting Cristal, Arsenal, Atletico de Madrid, and AC Milan. Their brand ambassadors include Robert Lewandowski and Alexis Sanchez, and now the biggest of them all, Lionel Messi. “You have to sacrifice and go all in; always looking forward to achieving greatness. The day you think there are no improvements to be made, you have to keep working for reaching other achievements,” Messi said yesterday. Tyrone Liu, CEO, consumer business group for Huawei Latin America, said: “We are happy to announce our collaboration with an extraordinary individual who inspires people all over the world to pursue their dreams, to face challenges to become better with each day, a man who shares a lot of the same values with the Huawei brand.” MESSI AN INSPIRATION BARCELONA, Spain: World-leading information communication technology and telecoms firm, Huawei, scored big with the signing of Lionel Messi the only football player in history to win the FIFA World Player of the Year/FIFA Ballon d’Or five times as their global ambassador yesterday. The announcement was made here in Barcelona, Spain, at the Fairmont Rey Juan Carlos I Hotel. While some global media have been speculating that the deal struck with the super-star forward will cost Huawei around eight million euros annually, the Asian-based organisation’s officials chose not to reveal an exact figure. They indicated, however, that they want to secure a long-term partnership with the world’s top-rated footballer, who is considered by many to be the greatest of all time.last_img read more

More sports in brief

first_imgBolt, Fraser-Pryce miss out on Laureus awardsBERLIN, Germany (CMC):Three-time winner, Usain Bolt, missed out on a fourth Laureus Sportsman-of-the-Year Award as Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic repeated as winner for a second straight year here yesterday.The 29-year-old Bolt was one of four athletes up for the award but lost out to Djokovic, who won three of the four grand slams last year on the ATP Tour last year, to clinch his third Laureus Award overall.Barcelona’s Argentinian striker Lionel Messi and British Formula One ace, Lewis Hamilton, also missed out.Jamaican Bolt is the reigning World champion in both the 100 and 200 metres, having once again dominated at the Beijing World Championships last August.He is preparing for the defence of his sprint titles at the Rio Summer Olympics.American Serena Williams, meanwhile, captured the Sportswoman-of-the-Year Award, defeating Jamaican sprint star Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and American footballer Carli Lloyd.WI snub PCB offerLAHORE, Pakistan (CMC):West Indies will play all their games against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates as scheduled after turning down an offer from the host board to contest the two Twenty20 Internationals here. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Shaharyar Khan, said they had requested the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) play the two games here, but the Caribbean body had declined on the basis of security concerns.International cricket has not been played here since 2009 when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan team bus en route to a game, killing seven policemen and injuring several players.”We wanted the Twenty20s to be played in Pakistan and made an effort, but the West Indies Cricket Board have refused saying they have security fears, so the full series will be played in (the) United Arab Emirates,” Khan was quoted as saying.The Windies are scheduled to play two Tests, five one-day internationals and the two T20s later this year in September and October.last_img read more

World Champs’ new class

first_img real shot O’Dayne Richards, who won the shot put title at the World University Games and Commonwealth Games last year, before claiming the Pan American Games title in Toronto, July, has a real shot at a medal. He will be on a high after having broken the national record to post 22.56 metres in Toronto. That mark placed him at third on the world list. The Pan Am Games saw a whole new class of sprinting talent graduate and the 20-year-old Canadian, Andre de Grasse, will be one to watch. The 100m champion, who has a wind-assisted personal best 9.75 seconds, may not be able to match the speed of the senior class of Bolt or American Justin Gatlin, but his confidence will be high coming out of his hometown victories. Sadly Canada were disqualified after winning the men’s 4x100m in Toronto, but the team should have sorted out their mistakes over the last few weeks and will be looking to be right up there in the medals alongside Jamaica and the United States on the 30th. Trayvon Bromell of the United States clocked the fastest time by a teenager at that country’s national championships, where he posted 9.84 seconds in the 100m. Bromell has run sub-10 seconds four times already, which puts him in a category by himself as the fastest ever teenager over the distance. Cuba has had a long history in the jumps – long, high and triple. Ivan Pedroso won gold in the long jump every year from 1995 to 2001. Pedro Pichardo, the Moscow triple jump silver medallist may feel that with two years experience under his belt, he can go one better this year after a confidence boosting win in Toronto with a mark of 17.54 metres. Canada’s youthful looking pole vaulter, Shawn Barber, at only 21, won the Pan Am Games title at home last month, an improvement off his bronze medal finish at the Commonwealth Games in Scotland a year before. He has posted a personal best 5.93m this year and will surely be looking to redeem himself after failing to qualify for the final in Moscow two years ago. All eyes will be on Jamaica’s Elaine Thompson in the women’s 200m at this World Championships in Athletics in Beijing. Thompson is being touted as the female Bolt – meaning Usain Bolt – Jamaica’s sprint sensation who holds world records in the men’s 100m and 200m. Since she sprinted to victory at the Inter-Collegiate Championships earlier this year, Thompson has been on an upward trajectory and with the United States’ Allyson Felix opting not to run in the 200m, the Manchester native, who clocked a personal best 22.37 at the National Championships, is the odds on favourite to take gold. The United States’ 17-year-old, Kaylin Whitney, the teenager who won the 200m at the Pan American Games in Toronto, trains with Justin Gatlin. She set youth bests in the 100m (11.10) and 200m (22.49) during the USA Junior Championships and could win her first World Championships medal as part of the USA women’s 4x100m team. The Bahamas’, Shaunae Miller, who burst onto the scene as a junior, is the second fastest woman over 400m this year (49.92) and the fifth fastest over 200m (22.14) and will contend with Thompson in the 200m and the USA’s Allyson Felix over 400m in Beijing. Miller is already confident, having won the World Indoors bronze medal to go along with the World Junior and World Youth titles she won in 2010 and 2011. Great Britain’s Zharnel Hughes, who has trained alongside Bolt in Jamaica, at the Glen Mills-headed Racers Track Club since he left Kingston College a year ago, will also hold much interest. Hughes finished second to the reigning champion and world record holder, Bolt, over the distance this year and improved his personal best to 20.05 at the Diamond League meet in London. It’s the Anguilla-born Hughes’ first World Championships since being approved to run for Great Britain a few months ago.last_img read more

‘Captaincy could ruin Holder’s career’

first_imgCHENNAI, India, CMC – A fast bowling legend and a former Australia cricket captain have criticised the appointment of Jason Holder as West Indies captain, arguing that the decision could ruin his career as a Test cricketer. Former Australia captain Ian Chappell has described the decision as a “monumental blunder” while former Windies pacer Andy Roberts as suggested Holder step down from the position to salvage his career. Holder’s elevation, first as one-day captain last December and more recently in the Test format, has drawn criticism in some quarters because of his relative inexperience. “Look, he has not settled into Test cricket. The team is failing and it will have a negative effect on him,” declared Roberts in an interview with midday.com during a visit to the Indian city of Chennai. “He is trying to be positive, but you can’t be positive when everything around you is negative.” Holder, 24, is leading the West Indies on a three-match tour of Australia where they suffered a 177 run defeat in the second Test on the fourth day yesterday to lose the series. “You will have to query the decision of the West Indies selectors, to give Jason Holder the captaincy. He is a guy who is trying to learn Test cricket. He is a good young cricketer but to burden him with that job is in my opinion ridiculous in the first place,” said Chappell. “But then when you see him captain you understand that he just has not played enough cricket to really work out what’s going on. It is a monumental blunder in my book”. Barbadian Holder is the second youngest ever Windies Test captain, replacing the more experienced Denesh Ramdin who was sacked after just 15 months in charge.last_img read more

Big throw for Calabar’s Barrett

first_imgCALABAR High’s Warren Barrett and Shauntae Foreman of Excelsior High were in record-breaking form at yesterday’s 23rd staging of the Purewater-JC Invitational on the grounds of Jamaica College.Barrett had a winning throw of 19.40 metres in capturing the Class One boys’ shot put. His throw erased the 2012 mark of 18.98m set by former Calabar standout Ashina Miller. Vashon McCarthy of JC was second with 17.27m, while Calabar’s Kyle Mitchell (16.72m) placed third.Foreman, competing in Class Four, cleared the high jump bar at 1.62m to erase the one-year-old mark of 1.60m set by Abbygail Wilks of Wolmer’s Girls. Second-place Shante McFarlane of Immaculate, and third-place Zoey Shaw of St Andrew High both cleared 1.45m.There were some good results in the 100m, with Vere Technical High’s Brittney Anderson leading the way among the females. Anderson clocked a fast 11.88 seconds to win her Class-Three heat. Alpha’s Kiara Grant was second overall with 11.99, with third going to Kevin Davis of Edwin Allen in 12.17.Shantae Deer of Holmwood Technical was the fastest Class-One girl, with 11.86. Edwin Allen High’s Patrice Moody, 11.88, and Camperdown’s Rushelle Burton (11.99) were second and third, respectively.Among the boys, JC’s Odario Phillips led the way with 10.82 in the Class One 100m. Vere Technical’s Tesrico Bell was second overall with 10.83, while Manchester High’s Delano Dunkley clocked 10.91 for third.Chisholm Gordon of JC was best among the Class Two boys with a winning time of 10.92.last_img read more

‘MoBay City Run could be a catalyst for major sports tourism drive’

first_imgWestern Bureau:In addition to being the tourist capital of Jamaica, Montego Bay, through its MoBay City Run, coupled with the plethora of some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, could become a major pull for travellers seeking high-end sports and wellness activities.The idea was pitched at yesterday’s press briefing for the May 1 MoBay City Run by Dr Horace Chang, in whose North West St James constituency the event has been located since inception.”The entire community has begun looking at the City Run as a calendar event for Montego Bay and I want to commend the organisers and those who originated the idea, as it brings out not only the support for higher education, but also brings the city together,” said Chang.”In addition to that, it could well become another event to attract a high volume of our visitors, as we are still the resort capital of Jamaica and indeed the Caribbean,” he added.UNIQUE POSITIONThe run, he said, could easily become part of the international 10K/5K calendar and with the large number of golf courses and available tennis courts, Montego Bay is uniquely positioned to benefit from the lucrative sports tourism market.He said the city has the required infrastructure to facilitate tourists in large numbers.This year’s event will also celebrate the establishing of Montego Bay’s city status 35 years ago.Montego Bay Mayor Glendon Harris told The Gleaner that the City Run will highlight the best of Montego Bay, acting as a unifying force in a city that struggles at times to maintain its good name.Both Chang and Harris were participants in the inaugural staging of MoBay City Run in 2014 and have used their respective offices and status within the city to endorse the event, which pulled well in excess of 2,000 participants last year.The event has raised more than $6.5 million in its two years, while supporting education with valuable scholarships to more than 200 students at the tertiary level so far, and organisers are hoping to double the recipients’ pool this year.Entry Fee: Groups – 20 or more – $1,500 per person; individuals – $2,000 (Early Bird Special), which ends on April 15.After April 15, the registration cost will increase by $500 per category (group or individual).Janet Silvera, chairman of the MoBay City Run Organising Committee, revealed that registration has been going well and that they have surpassed 1,500 registered participants at this early stage.last_img read more

Goodison says work being undermined

first_img CONCERN ABOUT FUNDS Director of boxing at the Jamaica Boxing Board of Control (JBBC), Kingsley Goodison, has denied rumours about the events surrounding his team’s trip to Trinidad and Tobago recently for a competition. A source who did not wish to be named told The Gleaner that the JBBC had sent a team of amateur boxers to the twin-island republic to participate in the Brian Lara Fundraising Boxing Tournament, but said it had encountered problems on the way. The source said one boxer was denied entry at the airport on arrival in Trinidad and that light heavyweight boxer Ian Darby had been forced to compete in the super heavyweight class, despite being unprepared. The source says that the team returned to the island quietly and the incidents were kept “hush-hush”, as he describes it, because of what he says was their “bad” performance. “They’re keeping it quiet because they went and messed up again,” he said. “Last year, they sent a team to Barbados and the coach was turned back at the airport also.” He said he could not understand how the JBBC has no money to host regular national championships but found the funds for the trip abroad. He added that he does not think that this is good for boxing in Jamaica. However, Goodison, who served as team manager, refutes these claims. “The whole tournament was a beauty!” Goodison said. “The boys’ behaviour was exemplary. Everybody was good. It was a good tournament, and everybody was happy. There are certain persons who are trying to undermine what the organisation (the JBBC) is doing. We’re not here to destroy kids; we’re here to build them up. These are people who know better, but they undermine you in certain situations. They will do anything to create mischief.” Goodison said that a couple of his standout boxers were Marvin Shea and Damion Williams, both of the Jamaica Defence Force Gym, who won their bouts. He added that Ricardo ‘Big 12’ Brown, who lost his super heavyweight match, also put on what he describes as a creditable performance. He confirmed, as well, that Darby did lose in the heavyweight division. He said that the organisers needed someone in the 90kg division and Darby was available, so he entered but lost on a split decision. He described the trip as a “goodwill tour”, saying that many of the boxers had been travelling for the first time and put what he called a “gallant” display. He added that the purpose was to get these fighters used to overseas competition as the JBBC is trying to introduce younger boxers.last_img read more

UAAP Wednesday games to push through

first_imgCarpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend A costly, catty dispute finally settled Break new ground Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Learning about the ‘Ring of Fire’ MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Ranidel de Ocampo ‘right fit at right time’ for Meralco End of his agony? SC rules in favor of Espinosa, orders promoter heirs to pay boxing legend It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Tropical depression Maring ravaged the Metro since Monday, forcing schools to suspend classes on Tuesday. The NCAA cancelled its Tuesday’s triple header. FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“Maring” is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday afternoon. Winning start Mayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’ The UAAP Season 80 officially opens at Mall of Asia Arena Saturday, September 9. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDespite the torrential rains, UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball games scheduled on Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum will push through.After their losing their opening day assignments, University of the East and Far Eastern University look for their first win as they clash in the first game at 2 p.m., while University of the Philippines and Ateneo dispute early leadership at 4 p.m.ADVERTISEMENT View commentslast_img read more

Desiderio nails clutch 3 as UP forces tie at 4th with FEU

first_imgKiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene FEU held a 49-39 lead midway through the fourth quarter after outscoring UP 22-5 in the third period, but the Fighting Maroons came roaring back with Jun Manzo capping a 17-4 run to give UP a 56-53 lead with 38 seconds left in the game.Jasper Parker momentarily silenced the UP crowd with a triple that tied the game, 56-56, with 32.9 seconds remaining.Desiderio finished with a game-high 15 points, on a disastrous 6-of-23 shooting clip, while Ibrahim Outtara held UP’s interior with 10 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks.Parker filled the stat sheets for FEU with 13 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.ADVERTISEMENT The victory allowed the Fighting Maroons to leapfrog over National University to get to the fourth spot, tying the Tamaraws with a 5-6 record.UP head coach Bo Perasol is just on his second year with the Fighting Maroons but he is aware of his team’s 12-game losing streak against FEU.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“First off, Paolo Romero really asked us to win this game because in his seven years in UP he hasn’t won a game against FEU, so we did it for Pao,” said Perasol in Filipino.“Paul also made sure that he’ll get back on [Ron] Dennison on the defensive end limiting him to just nine points.” For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Ex-UFC champ Ronda Rousey poised to join the WWE at ‘Wrestlemania 34’ —reportcenter_img Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe Final Four picture got a little tighter as University of the Philippines forced a tie at the fourth spot after surviving Far Eastern University, 59-56, in the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.Paul Desiderio emerged as the hero again for the Fighting Maroons, knocking down the game-clinching step-back triple over Ron Dennison with a little over a second left on the clock.ADVERTISEMENT OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ View comments Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson MOST READlast_img read more