Arsene Wenger admits he ‘felt sorry’ for former Arsenal manager Unai Emery

first_img Comment Metro Sport ReporterWednesday 18 Dec 2019 9:56 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link473Shares Arsene Wenger admits he ‘felt sorry’ for former Arsenal manager Unai Emery Ljungberg reacts to Arsenal’s 3-0 thumping by Man CityTo view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Play VideoLoaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 8:48FullscreenLjungberg reacts to Arsenal’s 3-0 thumping by Man City is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.The iconic Frenchman has given his backing to Arteta who he knows very well from their time together in north London.Look I am an Arsenal supporter – I said that in my last speech,’ Wenger added.‘At the moment I support the manager in charge, and the manager in charge is Ljungberg. When Arteta will be in charge, I will support Arteta.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘He is intelligent, he has passion, he has knowledge, but Ljungberg [does] as well.I believe that Arteta has certainly a great future, he has certainly learned a lot in his first position as an assistant coach and after that as well he will have to deal with the fact that he has no experience at that level and he will have to get surrounded well.‘For the rest, of course Arsenal is going through a very difficult period so it’s better I don’t comment too much on that and I just suffer like every supporter.’MORE: Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool needed transfer target Takumi Minamino against Monterrey Arteta is expected to be in the Arsenal dugout this weekend (Picture: Getty)Wenger insists he backed Emery right up until his sacking and claims his successor was ‘unlucky’ with how results went this term.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘I don’t want to judge, that you know. When he was in charge I supported him,’ the legendary former Arsenal manager said.‘He was unlucky because he had a bad spell and football is like that.‘When you don’t win for a while a football manager is always in a position where he has to reduce crisis time because patience is very short.‘They had a long spell of not winning so I felt sorry for him.’center_img Advertisement Advertisement Unai Emery was ‘unlucky’ at Arsenal, claims Arsene Wenger (Picture: Getty)Arsene Wenger says he ‘felt sorry’ for Unai Emery after a dismal start to the campaign at Arsenal which culminated in the Spaniard’s sacking.Emery managed just four wins from 13 Premier League games this season and a miserable Europa League defeat at home to Eintracht Frankfurt proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.Freddie Ljungberg has been acting as the Gunners’ interim head coach following Emery’s dismissal but the Swede has failed to turn results around, overseeing only one victory away at West Ham.Mikel Arteta is the overwhelming favourite to take over the reins on a permanent basis and the club’s former captain is expected to be appointed in time for this weekend’s trip to Everton.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

European pension fund tenders $500m equity mandate using IPE Quest

first_imgAn unnamed pension fund based in Europe is looking for a manager for a US equities mandate of $500m (€468m) or more, taking in all-cap stocks or large-cap stocks and using a multi-factor style and a passive process, according to a search on IPE Quest.Firms responding to the search should have at least $250bn in assets under management all in all, and at least $1bn under management in this asset class, according to the search.The pension fund is looking for a manager that has experience in replicating a multi-factor benchmark for US stocks but is also considering the same strategy for pan-euro, according to the search.Candidates could apply for the US mandate, for pan-Euro or both, it said. It stipulated that the manager must have experience with passive investing, alternative beta indices – multi-factor indices in particular – and be able to work with an exclusion list.The firm should also be open to customising an index, have large trading volumes to minimise transaction cots and be willing to offer a segregated mandate.The aim is to establish a long-term relationship with a manager that was a leading expert in alternative benchmark replication, it said.The deadline for responses to the search is 7 April, and the final selection will be made on 30 July, according to the search.Meanwhile, the pension fund of the Veterinary Surgeons’ Association of Austria is looking for an investment manager to take on a €10m-15m balanced mandate incorporating a performance floor allowing annual losses of no more than 5%.The association, advised by Zurich-based Kottmann Advisory and P&F Portfolio & Finanzmanagement in Vienna, has no preferred benchmark for the balanced portfolio, according to a search on IPE Quest.A segregated portfolio or an investment fund, or both, could be used to carry out the mandate.The advisers said they were looking for actual portfolio track records from firms responding to the search, and that they might ask finalists to present audited and auditor-signed performance and size data of funds where there was a maximum annual loss of no more than 8%.No composite or GIPS data will be allowed to be presented, they said.Portfolios tracking this floor concept should have a seven-year performance record, with only one year of negative performance, though candidates could present portfolio records with only five years of track record data, the advisers said.However, they said candidates providing all seven years of data may be preferred.The final closing date for responses is 30 March, according to the search.Final selection of investment managers by the board will take place on 28 May.The news team is unable to answer any further questions about IPE Quest tender notices to protect the interests of clients conducting the search. To obtain information direct from IPE Quest, please contact Jayna Vishram on +44 (0) 20 7261 4630 or email read more

Liverpool place €18m price tag on Dutch midfielder

first_imgAdvertisement Loading… Premier League champions Liverpool have reportedly told Barcelona they can sign Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum for fee of €17m this summer. Ronald Koeman is rumoured to be keen on bringing his former Dutch star to the Camp Nou as part of a wider squad overhaul ahead of the 2020-21 La Liga season. Wijnaldum has played a vital role in the recent success of Jurgen Klopp’s side, however the 29-year old is yet to sign a new contract extension, with his current deal expiring in July 2021. Read Also: PSG thought about buying Messi- Leonardo According to reports from the Daily Mail, Liverpool have now opted to quote Barcelona a reduced price to avoid potentially losing Wijnaldum on a free transfer at the end of next season. Koeman will reshape his midfield in the coming months, with Ivan Rakitic rejoining former club Sevilla and Chilean international Arturo Vidal rumoured to be in line for a potential free transfer to Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsThis Guy Photoshopped Himself Into Celeb Pics And It’s HystericalThe Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her GrandsonBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them20 “The Big Bang Theory” Moments Only A Few Fans Knew AboutWhy Go Veg? 7 Reasons To Do ThisWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?Ever Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show You8 Things You Didn’t Know About CoffeeHere Are The Top 10 Tiniest Mobile Phones On The Planet!Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?last_img read more

Sprint Series of Oklahoma set for Freedom 40 Friday at Red Dirt Raceway

first_imgBy David Smith Jr.OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Sprint Series of Oklahoma is set for a huge night of racing this Friday, June 30 as the IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Car tour makes its second appearance at Red Dirt Raceway in Meeker, Okla., and their “Freedom Forty.”Highlighting the program will be a 40-lap championship feature for the SSO with an increased purse from top to bottom and the track will have a huge fireworks display as well.The SSO is coming off a successful two nights of racing action where Texas driver Michael Day earned his first career series victory Friday night in Ardmore while defending champion Andy Shouse scored his third feature victory of the season Saturday night in Ardmore.When the series, presented by Smiley’s Racing Products, first visited Red River Speedway back in May it was Shouse getting the best of a 27 car field to take the victory.Among the series regulars expected to compete include Jake Martens, Shouse, Joe Wood Jr., Chris Kelly, Cody Whitworth, Blake Scott, Loyd Clevenger, Jerry Jumper and Shayla Waddell. Rookies Justin Fisk, Steven Shebester, Justin Mowery, Dillon Laden, Tanner Conn and Josh Toho are also slated to compete.Gates open at 6 p.m. with race time slated for 8 p.m. Grandstand tickets are $15 while children 10 and under admitted for free.For more information call the track at 405 318-0198 or visit the official website read more

Hodges take Lincoln County championship night honors

first_imgBy Kelly Ninas  Starting up front and staying up front, Zach Olmstead won the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock feature. Lonnie Lenser Jr. became the winner of the Mach-1 Sport Compact feature after the apparent top two finishers were disqualified in post-race tech. NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (Aug. 3) – Championship night played out in front of a packed house Saturday at Lincoln County Raceway.  Equally dominating, Casey Woken led all from the second lap on to earn the hard-fought IMCA Sunoco Stock Car victory with many heavy hitters trying unsuccessfully to catch up.center_img Holding off all challenges, Cole Hodges captured the IMCA Modified feature after working his way into contention from a fifth row start position, taking the lead with just five laps remaining and then keeping David Murray Jr. at bay.  Jacob Olmstead led all but the opening circuit in winning another Karl Kustoms Northern SportMod main.last_img read more

Ellsworth swim team beats Washington Academy to close season

first_imgELLSWORTH — The Ellsworth swim team got wins from both the boys and girls to close out the regular season against Washington Academy on Saturday.Ellsworth’s girls’ team nearly saw Ellie Clarke break the school’s 100-yard backstroke record once again. Clarke, who broke her old record by swimming the 100 backstroke in 1 minute, 4.32 seconds on Jan. 27, swam it in 1:04.96 this time around. The girls won 95-42.On the boys’ side, Hayden Sattler won two individual races for the Eagles. Ellsworth swimmers won each of the 11 boys’ events en route to a 121-13 victory.The team is now finished with dual meets. The boys’ team will compete in Penobscot Valley Conference championships at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at the University of Maine in Orono. The girls will compete at 4 p.m. the following day, Feb. 11. That meet will be held at Husson University.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textlast_img read more

Cricket News Rishabh Pant Could Get Axed For Vizag Test Against South Africa

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Rishabh Pant is apparently in the crossroads after a lean run across formats with the bat. In the West Indies series, he managed just one fifty in Twenty20 Internationals and was not upto the mark with the bat in ODIs and Tests. In the two games against South Africa, Pant struggled. With criticism mounting at the lack of contributions, the Indian cricket team has sent some confusing signals ahead of the first Test against South Africa in Vizag on October 2. According to a report in Times of India, Pant could get axed for the first Test against South Africa and Wriddhiman Saha could take his place. The Times of India quoted a BCCI source who said that Pant’s lack of contributions with the bat is hurting his confidence in keeping. “His DRS reviews aren’t great. In Indian conditions, on turning wickets, he may struggle. Saha is a far better keeper than him, and get a few useful runs lower down the order too. The selectors are in a mood to give one final chance to Pant in the first Test, but the team management (coach Ravi Ravi Shastri and skipper Virat Kohli) wants Saha to play from the start of the series itself,” the source added.Pant’s situation is a conundrum. The left-hander is the only Indian to hit two hundreds in overseas conditions, including 114 against England at The Oval and 159 against Australia in Sydney.However, Saha, who has not played international cricket since January 2018 due to a shoulder injury, has been in good form in the series against West Indies A and South Africa A, scoring 60 and 62 respectively. Also Read | We Need To Look Beyond MS Dhoni For 2020 World T20: Sunil GavaskarIn an interview with Hindustan Times, Shastri emphasized on patience with Pant. “All your media reports and all the experts writing (but) Pant is in great space with this Indian team. Experts, they have a job, they can speak. Pant is a special kid and he has already done enough. he is world class and is a brutal match-winner. Very few around in the world game; I can’t pick five on my hands when it comes to white-ball cricket, T20 cricket. So the patience we will have with him is lot,” Shastri said. Also Read | MS Dhoni Left Out For South Africa T20I Series – Right Or Wrong Move?India lost the previous series against South Africa 1-2 and they will be bidding to win the trophy back.last_img read more

Chelsea Set to Halt Liverpool Premier League Run

first_imgLiverpool have never had a better start to their Premier League season, winning their first seven league matches and would be hoping to extend the run as they come against a Chelsea side that is hoping to make a statement this season having failed to make it to the top-four last season. The Blues inflicted Liverpool their first defeat this season in all competitions in the League Cup on Wednesday and would want to consolidate on it in today’s encounterBoasting arguably the best player in the Premier League in Eden Hazard and an unbeaten start under new coach Maurizio Sarri, Chelsea have emerged as surprise challengers for the title ahead of their meeting with leaders Liverpool today.In a chaotic summer at Stamford Bridge, Sarri was only officially announced as Antonio Conte’s successor a month before the new season got underway, FIFA’s goalkeeper of the year Thibaut Courtois went AWOL to force a move to Real Madrid and Hazard also expressed interest in a move to the Spanish giants. Yet, rather than fall further behind after finishing sixth and 30 points adrift of Manchester City last season, Chelsea have stolen a march on Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal to nestle alongside City just two points behind leaders Liverpool.A soft start with Huddersfield, Arsenal, Newcastle, Bournemouth, Cardiff and West Ham in his first six Premier League games have helped Sarri settle in.However, the acid test for where Chelsea’s title ambitions stand will come when Liverpool visit today looking to extend their 100 per cent start to the Premier League season.Sarri has repeatedly insisted his side can’t yet be compared to City or Liverpool in their third full seasons under Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.“We have started to work together 40 days ago. So for us, I think it is a bit early,” said the Italian. “We have to work, we need to improve and then maybe, in one year, we will be at the same level of Liverpool.”However, his transformation of Chelsea’s style from the cautious approach of Antonio Conte to a side that asphyxiates opponents by dominating possession has been so seamless; a title challenge can’t be ruled out.“The biggest change I ever saw in such a short space of time. Wow. Style completely different. What a manager he is, to be honest,” said Klopp admiringly this week.While Chelsea struggled in Conte’s second season, they also boast much more title-winning experience than Liverpool with many of the same squad having won the Premier League in 2014/15 and 2016/17.“People were always talking about City being clear, and completely forgot Chelsea,” added Klopp.“This team is really experienced. It won the title before, 80 per cent won it twice, and they know how it works. That’s a really strong football team.”Chelsea also have Hazard, who showed his class by coming off the bench to score an incredible solo goal to inflict Liverpool’s first defeat of the season in all competitions in the League Cup on Wednesday.The Belgian believes the League Cup win will boost the Blues. “This result will give us more confidence because we drew with West Ham a few days ago, but the game on Saturday is more important. We have got to try and beat Liverpool,” Hazard said.Sarri has challenged the Belgian to follow the example of Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah last season by scoring 40 goals in a campaign for the first time in his career.Salah was let go by Chelsea after making just 19 appearances, mainly as a substitute, but fulfilled his potential in an incredible 44-goal debut campaign at Anfield that saw him finish ahead of Hazard and Lionel Messi in third place for FIFA’s Best Player of the Year on Monday.The Egyptian hasn’t been in such sparkling form at the beginning of thisseason, but looked back close to his best by scoring in a 3-0 cruise past Southampton last weekend.Klopp will be hoping that upward trajectory continues in what is also a massive week of Liverpool’s ambitions both for a first Premier League title in 29 years and in Europe.After facing Chelsea, Liverpool travel to Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday before hosting City at Anfield next Sunday.Klopp’s men took just one point from five away games against the rest of the top six last season. Having already won at Tottenham a fortnight ago, another big win on the road will be a strong statement of intent.Meanwhile, all eyes would be on Paul Pogba as Manchester United visit West Ham today for the latest chapter in the saga. Jose Mourinho’s relationship with Pogba plummeted to new depths this week.United, already eight points behind leaders Liverpool give the impression they are lurching from game to game and on the cusp of a full-blown crisis.The team appeared to have turned the corner after an indifferent start to the season with three away wins on the bounce but a draw against Wolverhampton Wanderers and a shock League Cup defeat on penalties to Championship side Derby have set alarm bells ringing.The Pogba factor is the big talking point but there are plenty of other issues to give United fans sleepless nights ahead of the game against newly resurgent West Ham.Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy this week after the French World Cup star said the side should attack more, an implicit criticism of perceived negative tactics.Mourinho, speaking after Tuesday’s League Cup exit, for which Pogba was rested, said there was “no fallout at all, no problem at all” regarding the decision. But it does not look like that.On Wednesday the pair were filmed in a tense-looking exchange at the club’s training ground and it is difficult to see how they can rebuild trust after the events of the past few days, particularly with fresh rumours linking Pogba with a move to Barcelona.Pogba’s demotion is the latest twist in an acrimonious relationship dating back to last season, when Mourinho routinely dropped him for big games.United, famed for their gung-ho attacking flair under Alex Ferguson, often give the impression there is no coherent plan.While Liverpool and Manchester City have a team shape and identity, United often appear reliant on one of their stars to conjure something special to make the difference.Mourinho has an enviable list of attacking talent at his disposal, with Alexis Sanchez, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Romelu Lukaku, Juan Mata and Jesse Lingard all competing for forward places, but there is no settled combination and often little flow to their attacking play.Out of the top nine sides in the Premier League, United, currently seventh, have scored the fewest goals, with nine so far. Last season, they scored 38 goals fewer than champions City over the 38-game Premier League campaign.Meanwhile, Arsenal Manager, Unai Emery believes restoring Gunners’ confidence has been the key to his side’s revival as they look to make it seven successive wins when they face Watford today.When Emery took charge at the Emirates Stadium in the close-season, the Arsenal manager found his squad’s morale was at a low ebb after the disastrous final years of the Arsene Wenger era.Emery’s job was to restore his players’ belief while convincing them to buy into his football philosophy of high-tempo pressing from all areas.Initially, it seemed the former Paris Saint Germain boss was struggling to get his message across as Arsenal were swept away by champions Manchester City on the opening weekend before squandering a two-goal comeback in a 3-2 defeat at Chelsea.While it is far too early to proclaim Emery has solved all of Arsenal’s problems, they still have a creaky defence with only one clean-sheet and the club are locked in a contract stalemate with Aaron Ramsey – the Spaniard has at least steadied the ship.“It’s very good work for continuing to improve and continuing also individually the players taking confidence into the next matches,” Emery said of the win against second-tier Brentford.“It was good to continue working on our tactical things and our individual things, also for taking responsibility for the players, for taking confidence in the players.”Watford are without a win in their last three matches after losing a penalty shoot-out in the League Cup against Tottenham on Wednesday.Nigerian forward Isaac Success scored one of Watford’s goals in that loss and he warned Arsenal his side will not be feeling sorry for themselves.“I think with the performance we brought out today, getting the victory would have been something precious for the team, but we keep our head up and get ready for the weekend’s game against Arsenal,” he said.Head to Head06/05/18 Chelsea 1-0 Liverpool25/11/17 Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea31/01/17 Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea16/09/16 Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool11/05/16 Liverpool 1-1 Chelsea31/10/15 Chelsea 1-3 Liverpool10/05/15 Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool08/11/14 Liverpool 1-2 Chelsea27/04/14 Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea29/12/13 Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool21/04/13 Liverpool 2-2 Chelsea11/11/12 Chelsea 1-1 Liverpool08/05/12 Liverpool 4-1 Chelsea20/11/11 Chelsea 1-2 Liverpool06/02/11 Chelsea 0-1 Liverpool07/11/10 Liverpool 2-0 Chelsea02/05/10Liverpool 0-2 Chelsea04/10/09Chelsea 2-0 LiverpoolPremiership TableTeam P GD PtsLiverpool 6 12 18Man City 6 16 16Chelsea 6 10 16Watford 6 5 13Tottenham 6 5 12Arsenal 6 3 12Man Utd 6 0 10Bournemouth 6 -1 10Leicester 6 1 9Wolves 6 0 9Crystal Palace 6 -2 7Everton 6 -3 6Brighton 6 -3 5Southampton 6 -3 5Fulham 6 -5 5Burnley 6 -3 4West Ham 6 -6 4Newcastle 6 -4 2Cardiff 6 -11 2Huddersfield 6 -11 2FixtureTodayWest Ham v Man Utd 12:30Arsenal v Watford 15:00Everton v Fulham 15:00Huddersfield v Tottenham 15:00Man City v Brighton 15:00Newcastle v Leicester 15:00Wolvers v Southampton 15:00Chelsea v Liverpool 17:30SundayCardiff v Burnley 16:00Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Finally, some love for Denver

first_imgAre you happy now, Tom Brady?You wanted respect and now you got it. After you and your two-time defending champions got dethroned in Denver last Saturday night, you’ve got every sportswriter in America crying that the Broncos didn’t win the game as much as New England lost it.Sport Illustrated’s Andrew Perloff said “the better team lost that night in Denver.”Gene Wojciechowski of is guaranteeing the Broncos won’t get to Super Bowl XL by playing the way they did against America’s Team of the 21st Century.But now, I can’t take it any more. I put up with the entire world thinking the Broncos’ terrific 13-3 season would come to a close last Saturday. I’m putting up with the accusations of poor officiating over Divisional Weekend, supposedly “giving” Denver the game.No longer. I won’t have it. With the Broncos finally winning a playoff game without John Elway, I won’t let anybody tell me that my team is one and done. With the almighty Colts going home surprisingly early this January, I’m not going to listen to chatter that Denver might as well pack it in after just one victory.Fine, the Broncos don’t have any show-stopping, Sportscenter regulars. I’ll admit it’s not quite as glamorous to win with smashmouth football, as opposed to tossing up 80-yard bombs like Peyton Manning or racking up 200-yard, three-touchdown games like Clinton Portis or Tiki Barber (notice a connection between those three. Hint: It has to do with not playing anymore.)So what? The Broncos do a better job of taking care of the football, don’t they? Denver gave the ball away just 16 times this year.Meanwhile, the Broncos forced their opponents into making tons of mistakes this season. The vaunted defense in orange and blue took the ball away 36 times, giving the Broncos a plus-20 turnover differential in the regular season, second-best in the league.Conversely, the Pittsburgh Steelers had a good, but not great, turnover campaign, with 30 takeaways and 23 giveaways during 2005, a plus-7 margin.They say one of the most challenging feats in football is winning a game despite losing the turnover battle. If that’s true, Denver definitely will be a tough out for any of the three remaining foes.The Broncos also have history on their side. They have an impressive 6-1 record in AFC Championships, whereas our friends in the Steel City have compiled a 5-7 mark.The current coaches of each team have similar stories. Mike Shanahan is 2-0 in the Super Bowl with the Broncos, but Bill Cowher has a dismal 1-4 history in Pittsburgh’s attempts to get to the Big Dance. Ouch.Now I know I sound like a homer, and certainly in this situation, you’re absolutely right. But the fact is, the Broncos are not the only victims of league-wide condescension this postseason.I hate to call out SI, but just because the Carolina Panthers have pulled off a couple of impressive road playoff wins doesn’t make them geniuses for dubbing the Black Cats as the preseason Super Bowl pick.In order for Carolina to compete for the Lombardi trophy, they’ll have to come up with one more upset, this time against the Seattle Seahawks, or Exhibit B of disrespected NFL franchises this week.Seattle hasn’t lost a meaningful game since Week 4 of the regular season when the Washington Redskins knocked off the ‘Hawks 23-17; of course, Seattle exacted revenge last week.Provided that Alexander, the touchdown machine, is healthy, there’s no reason to think the Seahawks’ run should come to an end on Sunday night.Yet Carolina, a.k.a. the Steve Smith show, has suddenly become America’s Sweetheart.Don Banks, another East-Coast-loving writer at Sports Illustrated, has predicted that Nick Goings, the Panthers’ third-string running back, will easily outrush Alexander, the NFL Most Valuable Player, on Sunday.Sure, that makes sense.Why can’t Denver and Seattle get a little love here?They both have home-field advantage. Neither one has lost a home game this year (9-0 each). They are the only NFL teams that were undefeated this year in their own backyards.Perloff ranked the four remaining quarterbacks for yesterday, and sure enough, he’s got Ben Roethlisberger and Jake Delhomme, of Pittsburgh and Carolina respectively, above Denver’s Jake Plummer and Seattle’s Matt Hasselbeck.Interesting how they’ve got the Pro Bowl starter, Hasselbeck, under two Pro Bowl reserves, who are in turn under the only one missing out on Hawaii, Roethlisberger.Sure, the Steelers and Panthers have played great football lately. But let’s face it: they have been forced to do so for the past six weeks or so. In mid-November, the Steelers were stuck at 7-5, and have been living on the edge ever since.The Broncos and Seahawks had a few weeks off before last week’s divisional games. Carolina and Pittsburgh had no such advantage.True, Vegas rightfully has both Seattle and Denver favored in this weekend’s championship matchups. Make no mistake, however; the national media wants a Steelers-Panthers clash in Detroit, Bettis’ hometown.So if Brady wants to talk about disrespect, he should look no further than the team that just rained on his parade. Hell, he should go ahead and check out the upcoming Super Bowl.The two teams that, for my money, he will be watching there, could tell him something about disrespect.Aaron Brenner is a freshman intending to major in Journalism. Any comments on his column or his love for the Broncos can be sent to read more

SB : Kohl’s home run, Caira’s pitching give SU first-ever NCAA tournament win

first_imgLacey Kohl gripped her bat tightly as she waited in the on-deck circle. Kohl was fired up as she watched teammate Lisaira Daniels receive an intentional walk.The junior right fielder wanted to make Louisiana State regret its decision to pitch around Daniels to get to her. After striking out in her previous four at-bats, Kohl was determined to come through for her team.And she did. Kohl bombed a three-run home run to left-center field to break a scoreless tie in the 11th inning.‘Sai (Daniels) was on the ball all day today,’ Kohl said in a phone interview. ‘So it was a good decision by them, but then it was a bad decision because it gave me a little bit of fire and a little bit more spark.‘And the production of it was obviously very good.’AdvertisementThis is placeholder textKohl’s three-run shot was the difference in a game dominated by pitching. SU ace Jenna Caira outdid LSU’s Rachele Fico to lead Syracuse (45-11) to a 3-0 win over the Tigers (38-17) in the opening game of the College Station Regional. Both pitchers went the distance, but Fico blinked first when she gave up the home run to Kohl.The Orange advance to the winner’s bracket to face the host, No. 16 Texas A&M, who defeated Sacred Heart. SU and the Aggies play at 2 p.m. Saturday.For SU, the win is the program’s first in NCAA tournament history. But after the hard-fought game, head coach Leigh Ross said the historic achievement hadn’t dawned on her yet.After a quick exit following two losses at the tournament last year, Ross was just proud of how her team played.‘It’s unbelievable,’ Ross said. ‘When we’re out on that field, we look like we belong here. We look like we belong at this level of play.’The Orange rose to the occasion behind Caira, who picked up the slack for her struggling lineup. Caira gave up just five hits and one walk while striking out 13 batters in the circle to get the win.Caira worked out of some tough situations and kept the opposing hitters off balance throughout the game to hold LSU scoreless. In the fifth inning — with runners on second and third and one out — Caira struck out two straight batters to end the inning.But she also got some from her defense. With a runner on third in the bottom of the eighth, LSU just needed one hit to end the game. Slap hitter Tiffany Shaw hit a slow roller to second base, but SU second baseman Stephanie Watts scooped the ground ball and dove headfirst to beat Shaw to first base and end the inning.Caira said the whole team never gave up and seeing those hustle plays motivated her to work harder in the circle. Caira’s adrenaline was flowing the whole game, and she was excited to throw each inning.‘After we would get three outs or something, we were like, ‘OK, here we go again, let’s do it again. Come on, let’s stay with it,” Caira said. ‘So everybody had that positive mentality. No one was giving up.’SU could have lost that mentality in the ninth inning after wasting its best opportunity to score all game. Daniels singled and went all the way to third base after an error by the left fielder. But Kohl and Hallie Gibbs both struck out swinging to strand Daniels on third.Kohl ran out to right field and threw a handful of dirt to release her frustration.‘I was pissed for a second, and then I got over it,’ Kohl said. ‘So just making sure I got over it and knew I was going to get another chance to come through.’Her next chance came in the 11th inning after Daniels was granted a free pass. And as Fico and the LSU infield met in the circle, Ross and Kohl talked. Ross simply reminded Kohl she was a good hitter.Ross said she and associate head coach Wally King had a feeling Kohl would breakout with the big hit. Ross thought about putting on a squeeze bunt play to score Daniels in the ninth, but trusted Kohl to hit a fly ball to get the run.Kohl didn’t get the job done then. But Ross could tell Kohl was due when she returned to the plate in that 11th inning.‘The next time up to bat, you’re still thinking, ‘Lacey’s going to hit it out any second,” Ross said. ‘I mean it’s inevitable.’ Comments Published on May 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more