Sep 302017
 
Forgotten star Wilshere fights for Arsenal future

LONDON: Jack Wilshere has vowed to force his way back into Arsene Wenger’s plans after the Arsenal midfielder stepped up his return from exile. Wilshere has endured a miserable spell as he slipped down the pecking order with Arsenal and England before finding himself sent on loan to Bournemouth last season. It was a substantial fall from grace for a player once hailed as “the future of English football”. Dogged by fitness problems, inconsistent form and concerns about his off-field antics, Wilshere has become Arsenal’s forgotten man and is fighting for his future at the club. Asked if he felt he had been written off too soon, Wilshere said: “Yeah, but that is football. Football is a game where people forget. “Everyone says ‘you are never fit’ but last season I was fit for the whole season. “I definitely feel I am back. People say it’s a long road but I feel good. I felt good coming back to Arsenal and into training.”   Click for detailed story

Sep 292017
 
The rare talent of trouble-prone Stokes

Stokes’ ability with both bat and ball makes him a genuine all-rounderLONDON: Ben Stokes has long been thought of as key to England´s chances of success during the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia, and that view has only hardened since his place was put in jeopardy by his arrest.Speculation over Stokes´s future intensified Thursday when England suspended him from international matches until further notice after the publication of a video apparently showing him fighting outside a Bristol nightclub.The Test vice-captain was included in England´s Ashes squad announced this week, despite his arrest on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm in the early hours of Monday, after an incident which left him with an injured hand.The unseemly turn of events has left England in a quandary over Stokes, whose ability with both bat and ball makes him that most highly prized of cricketers — a genuine all-rounder.That was true in more ways than one when this year saw Stokes became the Indian Premier League´s most expensive foreign player when he was signed by the Rising Pune Supergiant for £1.7 million ($2.2 million).He made good on the price-tag by scoring 316 runs at a strike rate of 142.98 and taking 12 wickets at an economy rate of 7.18 in the Twenty20 event.Six, six, six, sixStokes´s on-field failures can be as great as his successes — the prime example being when Carlos Brathwaite hit him for four successive sixes to snatch a stunning win for West Indies in the last over of the [Read More…]

Sep 202017
 
Liverpool rocked, Alli lifts Spurs

LONDON: Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki sent Liverpool crashing out of the League Cup, while Tottenham edged past Barnsley to reach the fourth round on Tuesday. Okazaki came off the bench to fire Leicester ahead in the second half of their 2-0 win at the King Power Stadium.The Japan forward, on as a second-half replacement for Leonardo Ulloa, broke the deadlock in the 65th minute of the third-round tie. Vincent Iborra headed into Okazaki’s path in the penalty area and he controlled well before scoring with a deflected strike.Reds boss Jurgen Klopp had made eight changes to his starting line-up, giving a first start to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, while Philippe Coutinho played the first 45 minutes before coming off at half-time. But Liverpool’s disappointing recent form showed no signs of improving and Islam Slimani finished them off 12 minutes from full-time.Slimani took Okazaki’s pass and drove a fine strike into the roof of the net from the edge of the penalty area. Klopp’s side have now gone four games without a win after frustrating home draws with Burnley and Sevilla followed a 5-0 thrashing at Manchester City.“We played really good football in the first half. We had big chances, strange situations but football is a 90-minute game,” Klopp said. “I am sick of goals like this. Leicester somehow survive in the game because we are not clinical enough. They scored two easy goals.”At Wembley, Tottenham won for just the second time at the national stadium since moving into their temporary home at the [Read More…]

Sep 042017
 
Rooney promises no England U-turn

LONDON: Wayne Rooney has insisted there will be no going back on his decision to retire from England duty in a bid to at last enjoy a successful World Cup campaign. The former England captain, charged with drink-driving on Friday, retired from international football last month having scored a national record 53 goals in 119 appearances that included three World Cups and three European Championships. And the Everton striker said even the fact that the 2018 World Cup in Russia was on the horizon would not lead him to change his decision.“My mind’s made up,” he told talkSPORT radio on Sunday. “I’ve seen it a few times when players come out of retirement and gone to tournaments and it’s not right.“I think the lads now who are trying to qualify for Russia, if they get there they’re the players who will deserve to play in the tournament, so my decision is made.” Rooney made his move despite England manager Gareth Southgate offering to recall him for the World Cup qualifier against Malta on Friday, a match England won 4-0.England have won the World Cup just once, on home soil back in 1966 and Rooney’s three editions all ended in bitter disappointment. He was shown a red card during the 2006 quarter-final defeat by Portugal, with England suffering a second-round loss to Germany in 2010 and failing to get out of their initial group in Brazil four years later. Rooney said he had been particularly angered by the conduct of then [Read More…]

Sep 012017
 
Wayne Rooney charged with drink-driving

Everton striker Wayne Rooney was arrested on suspicion of driving under influence, the Mirror reported. Photo: File  London: Everton striker Wayne Rooney has been charged with drink-driving, British police said Friday.Rooney, England’s all-time record goalscorer and former captain, was stopped by police near his home in Cheshire, northwest England, in the early hours of Friday.“The man was arrested shortly after 2.00am (0100GMT) today, Friday 1 September, after officers stopped a black VW Beetle,” said a police statement.Police said 31-year-old Rooney “has since been charged with driving whilst over the prescribed limit.”Rooney had been released on bail and is due to appear at Stockport Magistrates’ Court on September 18.He was seen posing for a selfie with cricketer Jack McIver in a bar in the upmarket town of Alderley Edge, near his home, on Thursday, August 31.McIver shared the photo of the pair in the Bubble Room on Instagram at around 10:00pm (2100 GMT) that day with the comment: “International Break #legend”.Rooney announced his retirement from international football last week, having scored 53 goals in 119 appearances.He made his decision despite England manager Gareth Southgate offering to recall him for the World Cup qualifier against Malta on Friday.Rooney re-joined boyhood club Everton in the pre-season after a successful 13-year spell at Premier League rivals Manchester United.He has seemed rejuvenated by the move to the Liverpool-based club and scored in his first two Premier League games of the 2017/18 campaign, a 1-0 win over Stoke City and a 1-1 draw with Manchester City. Click [Read More…]

Aug 312017
 
Oxlade-Chamberlain joins Liverpool

LONDON: England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has joined Liverpool from Premier League rivals Arsenal, his new club announced on Thursday. Liverpool did not disclose the transfer fee, but they are believed to have paid £35 million ($45.1 million, 37.9 million euros) for the midfielder’s services.Liverpool said the 24-year-old had signed a “long-term contract”, which is thought to be a five-year deal. “I’m delighted to have signed for Liverpool,” Oxlade-Chamberlain told the Liverpool website after undergoing a medical at England’s St George’s Park training base. “A big thank-you to everyone here at the FA that has made this possible, using the facilities. It has been a massive help.“I’m not going to say too much today. I’m here with England and we’ve got two big games coming up, so I want to focus on them.“But I can’t wait to get to Melwood (Liverpool’s training centre) and you’ll hear first from me on LFCTV.”  — Click for detailed story

Aug 272017
 
Root leads England rally against Windies

LEEDS –  England captain Joe Root threatened to make the West Indies pay for giving him another reprieve in the second Test at Headingley after opposing skipper Jason Holder starred with both bat and ball. England were 171 for three in their second innings at stumps on Sunday’s third day, a lead of two runs, after the West Indies had made an impressive 427 in their first innings. Root, … Click for detailed story

Aug 202017
 
Brathwaite reported for suspect bowling action

The Windies’ off-spinner Kraigg Brathwaite has been reported with a suspect bowling action during the first Test against England, which the hosts won at Edgbaston on Saturday.The match officials’ report, which was handed over to the Windies’ team management, cited concerns about the legality of the 24-year-old’s bowling action.Brathwaite’s bowling action will now be scrutinised further under the ICC process relating to suspected illegal bowling actions reported in Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is required to undergo testing within 14 days, and, during this period, Brathwaite is permitted to continue bowling in international cricket until the results of the testing are known. Click for detailed story

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