Stars aligning for Atletico with Champions League glory not so far away

first_imgAtletico Madrid’s triumph over Liverpool in March was a throwback to a more celebrated past under Diego Simeone but five months on and the Champions League offers them a very real opportunity in the present.Knocking out the holders at Anfield may prove to be the first glimpse of a new era under Simeone, where the likes of Joao Felix, Marcos Llorente, Jose Gimenez and Jan Oblak push Atletico to challenge for major honors again.Or it could be a last hurrah for the Simeone project, which some believe will never again scale the heights of their incredible La Liga title win in 2014 or their runs to the Champions League finals in 2014 and 2016.  They scored 20 goals and conceded six. If the season had started when the league restarted, Atletico would have finished second. “We did well and we know we’re on a really good streak but the Champions League is a different competition,” said Diego Costa last week.Atletico face Leipzig in Lisbon on Thursday as one of the form teams still standing, in a tournament that has gifted them the significantly kinder half of the draw. If they beat Leipzig, who labored to a third-place finish in the Bundesliga, they will face either Atalanta, the tournament’s minnows or Paris Saint-Germain, who have played two games in almost half a year. Meanwhile, in the other half, only one of Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Manchester City and Lyon can reach the final. Without doubt, Atletico’s opponents and potential semi-final opponents will be just as eager to capitalise, especially PSG, whose longing for success in the Champions League has come to define them. And it is unknown how Simeone’s squad will be affected by the club’s announcement on Sunday that Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko tested positive for coronavirus, with both players, who would likely have been on the bench, left at home. A required second round of tests on Sunday meant preparations had to be tweaked, including delaying the squad’s flight to Lisbon from Monday until Tuesday afternoon. But it is hard to shake the sense that as a team, Atletico are very well-placed, even if the club have always appeared more comfortable as under-dogs under Simeone than burdened by expectation. Even the new format could suit them, in single matches where game management is likely to be key and technical superiority has less time to win out than over the traditional 180 minutes. A riled Jurgen Klopp said after Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat at the Wanda Metropolitano in February that Atletico’s backs-to-the-wall approach would not be as effective without their own fans. Yet they were able to frustrate Liverpool at Anfield too, before winning 3-2 in the second leg.”It’s important to accept the new format because once you accept it, you can adapt,” said Atleti’s Saul Niguez.Leipzig, meanwhile, were still in the title race in March and considered a threat even in the Champions League, on the back of destroying Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham in the last 16. But they have been less effective since the restart and will be less potent without Timo Werner, whose move to Chelsea cruelly prevents him from finishing what he started in the Champions League. It could be Atletico’s year.  Either way, few believed Llorente’s two goals in extra-time would be the start of something even more surprising, namely Simeone lifting the cup in May. Certainly nobody anticipated football shutting down completely the following week, as nervousness turned to indignation about Atletico fans travelling to Anfield, before matches behind closed doors became matches postponed indefinitely. And yet when football returned in June, Atletico were transformed. They went unbeaten in the 11 games after the resumption, to dispel concerns they could miss out on La Liga’s four. They won seven matches and drew four, one of them against Barcelona at Camp Nou, which helped Real Madrid clinch the title. center_img Topics :last_img read more

Fergie works as Moyes appointment looms

first_img Ferguson has already decided he will not speak publicly ahead of the game, preferring instead to address supporters ahead of the trophy presentation after the final whistle. Yet the build-up to such a significant occasion is being overshadowed by the imminent appointment of Moyes. The Everton boss had talks with his chairman Bill Kenwright in London on Wednesday night, at which he is believed to have confirmed his intention to leave when his contract expires in the summer to move into the United hotseat. Moyes was due to address his players on Thursday morning, with the likelihood of a formal statement being issued by United on Thursday afternoon. Some have viewed the task Moyes faces as impossible given Ferguson’s achievements. News that Wayne Rooney has asked to leave underlines just how all-consuming the United job is, especially as Moyes must decide whether to try and talk the 27-year-old round or opt to sell England’s biggest star for a second time, but far from being too difficult to contemplate, United chief executive David Gill believes the job represents an opportunity of a lifetime. “It is a dream job,” he told MUTV. “We knew this day would come. We have been preparing for it. The new manager will inherit a great squad and infrastructure off the pitch, with a great staff. “He will be walking into a difficult situation in terms of the number of trophies, but the positive of also having the support of the Manchester United family.” Sir Alex Ferguson was back out on the training pitch on Thursday morning as the countdown continued to David Moyes’ appointment as his successor as Manchester United boss. With a crowd of TV crews and photographers waiting, Ferguson took a different route to work before turning his attentions to Sunday’s Barclays Premier League encounter with Swansea. It must be an odd experience, even for someone as single-minded as the Scot, for his 1499th game as United boss will also be his last at the ground he has watched the development of the club into one of the finest in the world since his arrival in 1986, when the Stretford End was still mostly terrace and all four sides of the stadium had some form of standing. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

19 Teams for 2016 Winners Golden Bet/Lagos SWAN Cup

first_imgAccording to event schedule, the first day will witness an opening game between the Lagos SWAN Veterans and Lagos State Sports Commission team to be led by its Chairman, Deji Tinubu, with group matches expected to commence on Monday, July 25.He further explained that, “For this year’s event, we will be having a comprehensive medical check-up for all members and the stadium community. This initiative was facilitated by Dr Labake Coker and will be handled by Laba Care International Medical Mission, New Jersey, United States.”At the brief ceremony witnessed by representative of Winners Golden Bet, Femi Junaid, the chairman of the LOC stressed that Laba Care International has promised to carry out a compulsory check up on all participating teams and SWAN members with free drugs given.Meanwhile, Chairman of the Technical Committee of the tournament, Wale Joseph presided over the draws which saw Complete Sports, Inspiration FM, Unilag FM, Galaxy TV and Brila FM paired in Group A.Defending champion, Sportsvision will start their title defence against former silver medalist, New Fan Zone, debutant Goal.com Nigeria, Top Radio and Silverbird TV.It will be a battle between 2 federal government media outfits, Voice of Nigeria and News Agency of Nigeria in Group B against New Telegraph and SuperSport.Cool FM, Lagos Television, NTA and TV Continental will slug it out in Group D.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Nineteen teams will participate in this year’s Winners Golden Bet/Lagos SWAN Cup starting tomorrow at the Legacy pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos.Chairman of the 2016 Sports Committee, Debo Oshundun, made this known on Tuesday at a Press Conference/Draws held at the multipurpose hall of the association.Speaking at the event, Debo revealed that the 2016 edition will be bigger and better with Zenith Sports and FC IfeanyiUbah all willing to support Winners Golden Bet as partners.last_img read more

‘Reading Rocks’ Program Aims to Help Students With Literacy

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisA new summer reading program called, ‘Reading Rocks!’ will be offered this year thanks to Alpena Public Schools. The ‘Reading Rocks!’ program is designed to help all students read better by the end of their 3rd grade year, and pass the new state requirements for reading levels.Back in 2016, Governor Rick Snyder signed into law a bill to aim at improving childhood literacy. Beginning in 2019 the new law will stop 3rd graders from moving on to 4th grade if their reading skills aren’t up to standard.Students eligible for ‘Reading Rocks!’ will be those having a difficult time with their reading skills, and for those currently in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. The 4–week program will be available at all six district elementary schools.There will be 36 spots for each of the elementary schools with possible openings for other students to attend. Parents will be notified by May if their child has been accepted.The program will start on June 27th and end on July 20th. Each session will be from 9 am until 11 am.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThis Tags: Alpena Public Schools, Childhood Literacy, Governor Rick Snyder, Reading RocksContinue ReadingPrevious Alpena Chamber of Commerce & AHS Hold Senior Advisory Career Prep to Help Students Prepare for Their Future in the WorkforceNext Girl Scouts of Alpena Donate Dresses for ‘Every Dress Has a Story’ Community Servicelast_img read more

Diafra Sakho ‘arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill’

first_imgWest Ham striker Diafra Sakho has been arrested on suspicion of making threats to kill and witness intimidation, according to reports.The Sun said the 25-year-old was arrested on Sunday night before being bailed, having previously been questioned over an alleged assault earlier this month.A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “On Sunday 23 August, officers from Havering arrested a man on suspicion of threats to kill and witness intimidation.”A 25-year-old man was arrested at an address in Emerson Park, Hornchurch. He was taken to an east London police station and bailed pending police enquiries to a date in early October.”A spokesman for the player told the Sun: “Diafra Sakho has not been charged with any offence. He vigorously denies the allegations that have been made against him, and has given police a complete explanation of events.”He will not be making any further comment.” Senagal international Sakho joined West Ham from French club Metz in August last year and has scored 10 goals for the team in 26 Barclays Premier League appearances.–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Kobe Bryant ‘indicated’ next season will be his last, Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak says

first_imgKupchak has strongly suggested this sentiment throughout the 2014-15 season, mindful that Bryant’s contract that will pay him a league-high $25 million next season in the final year of his contract. But after tearing the rotator cuff in his right shoulder in late January, Bryant soon said he would not know his future until the end of the 2015-16 campaign. Bryant reiterated his position Friday on Twitter: “My thoughts on next season being my last season are the same as the last time the media asked me last season #nadanew,” he wrote. Last summer, Bryant told some around him he had no intentions in playing past his current contract, according to a source familiar with the discussions.“There have been no discussions about anything going forward. I don’t think there will be,” Kupchak said. “A year from now, if there is something different to discuss, we’ll discuss it then.”Lakers coach Byron Scott has held out hope that would not be the case.He argued that Bryant could become enticed to prolong his NBA career depending on a few obvious variables. The Lakers would need to upgrade their roster significantly enough this offseason through the NBA draft and free agency, starting with the No. 2 pick. Bryant would also have to play at an elite level and stay healthy next season, something Scott believes remains possible with a reduced workload and a stronger supporting cast.“He is recovering, running and getting movement and strength in the shoulder,” Kupchak said. “We expect a full recovery. But he’s much closer to the end than he is to the beginning.” That’s why Lakers president Jeanie Buss has spearheaded an effort to honor Bryant with unspecified tributes at home games to commemorate Bryant’s 20th season with the organization.“He will be recognized appropriately with great gratitude,” Kupchak said, “when it is time.”That time could be next season, which explains why Kupchak believes he can offer clarity to prospects and free agents on how the Lakers will rebuild following Bryant’s eventual retirement.“It is clear. He is on the last year of his deal. There have been no discussions. And he hasn’t indicated that he wants to continue to play,” Kupchak said. “But having said all that, we’re kind of guessing.”There has also been lots of guessing in recent seasons on why the Lakers failed to attract free agents. After all, the Lakers failed to retain Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol in consecutive seasons. The Lakers also could not convince LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony last year to wear a Lakers uniform.Although Gasol and Bryant hold each other in high affection after winning two NBA championships together, Howard had personality and role conflicts with Bryant. Yet, Kupchak strongly dismissed any notion that Bryant would hurt the Lakers’ free-agency efforts.“If somebody doesn’t want to play with Kobe this year or if he decides to come back another year, first of all, he is so much closer to the end than he is at the beginning. But if there is a player out there like that won’t come here for that reason, then we don’t want him,” Kupchak said. “Every great player is demanding and focused, and if you don’t want to play for a guy like him who is driven to do nothing but win championships and work hard, then you shouldn’t be here. You should go someplace else.”Yet, Kupchak said Bryant has hardly been demanding to him about which players to acquire.In an appearance Thursday on ESPN’s “On the Herd with Colin Cowherd,” Kupchak described Bryant as “kind of aggressive eight to 10 years ago with an opinion and wanting to be involved.” That also coincided with Bryant demanding a trade in the 2007 offseason because of frustration with the Lakers’ consecutive first-round exits to Phoenix and doubts about the front office rebuilding into a championship contender quickly enough.But the Lakers refused to trade Bryant, whom Kupchak said has since avoided exerting his influence on how the Lakers assemble their roster.“He said, ‘You guys know what you’re doing,’ which was flattering,” Kupchak told Cowherd. “‘I’m just going to do what I’m going to do this offseason. If you need me, I’ll help recruit. If you want my opinion on a player, give me a call.’”Yet, Kupchak doubts Bryant will have much opinion on the college prospects, noting his expertise mostly relies on watching elite programs like North Carolina, Duke and Kentucky.Said Kupchak: “I don’t think he wants to be involved in the draft at all.” So many unanswered questions surround Kobe Bryant and whether he can return and stay healthy for the 2015-16 campaign after suffering season-ending injuries in three consecutive seasons. But Bryant apparently has answered one other looming question.That involves his future, and whether the 2015-16 campaign will mark his last season of a 20-year career.“He’s indicated to me this is it,” Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Thursday on “SiriusXM NBA Radio” with Rick Fox and Jared Greenberg.• Photos: Lakers roster breakdown: Who stays, who goes?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Connie Keller – January 12, 1953 – July 14, 2013

first_imgConnie KellerConnie L. Keller, formerly of Albuquerque NM, died Sunday, July 14, 2013 at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington at the age of 60.Connie was born the daughter of Everett E. and Carol L. (Jellison) Keller on Monday, January 12, 1953 in Coldwater.Connie recently retired from the United States Postal Service where she was employed as a postal carrier for over 29 years. She was able to live in both Madison, Wisconsin and Albuquerque NM where she made many great friends over the years. Along with her friends, Connie will be missed by her family and her beloved dogs: Bailey, Maggie and Cote.Survivors include parents, Everett and Carol Keller of Protection, brother, Allen Keller and his wife Billie of Wellington, nephew, Adam Keller and his wife Jennifer of Goddard, niece, Erin Fenn and her husband Bob of Las Vegas, Nevada, niece, Allison Keller of Wellington, nephew, Evan Keller of Wellington, great-niece, Makayla Keller, great-nephews: Isaac Keller and Easton, Carter and Carson Fenn along with numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.Memorial services for Connie will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, July 19, 2013 in the First Baptist Church of Protection.Memorials have been established in her loving memory with Victory in the Valley, 3755 East Douglas Avenue, Wichita 67218.To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.dayfuneralhome.info.Arrangements are by Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington.last_img read more

Redefining Success in Print Media

first_img Engaging audiences on different platforms was a key theme throughout the day. While many publishers have established social media platforms, it remains an area that brands want to improve upon. Snapchat Discover and Facebook Live were a favorite topic, as they’re new platforms many companies have yet to crack open. But at this year’s min day summit in New York on Tuesday, several panelists noted that print is still an important platform and will likely remain relevant for at least the next ten years. Digital and print are often framed in opposition, but by seeing the two platforms as complementary, one can conceive of print’s continuing success. The definition of a successful print magazine just might have to change. Panelists Larry Burstein, publisher at New York Media, Christian Baesler, president of Bauer Xcel Media, and Scott Burton, executive editor of ESPN The Magazine, specifically explored this concept. Each panelist took a different approach towards print and digital. NEW YORK—Over the past decade or so, it has become relatively common to hear the phrase “print is dead.” In this environment, context and engagement matter more than ever. “If you create a better experience in these mobile environments, you’re more likely to succeed in the long term,” he said. This means erasing loading time—if it takes longer than ten seconds, half your audience is gone. Google’s AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) thereby aims to create a faster environment for consumers to engage with content. “The next $50 billion will come from a better mobile experience,” announced Craig DiNatali, Google’s director of News Media Partnerships and the keynote speaker. Media is increasingly being consumed in different verticals, as behavior and consumption has changed drastically. Almost 80% of people access news on mobile devices today.   The rest of the min day Summit saw more than 25 leaders from magazine media, advertising agencies, and tech companies discuss specific challenges, strategies, and opportunities in the industry. Speakers examined a wide range of topics, from exploring the possibilities of virtual reality to understanding Hispanic marketing. In contrast, Bauer advocates for separate operations entirely. “Editorially, we found the tools you need as an editor to succeed in print versus digital are very different,” Baesler explained.center_img A lively group of industry professionals gathered at the Yale Club to hear the speakers, which included Kate Brady, director of media strategy and innovation at PepsiCo, Cathy Glosser, SVP licensing for Condé Nast, Mike Suggett, VP, executive producer, original programming at Ten/MindOverEye, and Michael Brownstein, VP and CRO of Meredith Corp. Burstein emphasized that New York Media focuses heavily on “reaching the audience in any way they want to be reached,” by integrating departments. ESPN the Magazine also uses an assimilated approach to take advantage of ESPN’s enormous reach. This allows for strategizing across all channels, resulting in wide coverage that engages audiences beyond the Magazine’s reach. Despite the different approaches, all three panelists maintained that print would be successful in the future, provided one understands the different context within which print exists today. Burstein and Burton agreed print magazines need to identify themselves as a place where people can access great stories. Certain content areas are better suited for digital because of the quick publishing time. But magazines offer a different reading experience, one that is finite and tangible. National Geographic’s vice president of social media, Rajiv Mody, discussed why brands should improve their social strategy, using the brand’s impressive use of Snapchat Discover as an example. Mody said that Discover should be as customized and engaging as possible for the audience. But such customization should not be relegated only to social media. It is also increasingly important in advertising. Digital may have initially been seen as a way to increase ad revenue and access, but brands have seen ad blockers, viewability problems, and other roadblocks appear. So customization is more important than ever, and clients reflect this. There is an increasing trend of clients partnering with brands to create custom content. But, as Shenan Reed, president, digital of MEC Global said, “We don’t spend enough time talking about the terrible creative that could be massively improved to help performance.”last_img read more

DU teachers support quota reform but not attack on VC residence

first_imgDU teachers support quota reform, but not attack on VC residenceMembers of Dhaka University Teachers’ Association formed a human chain on the campus on Tuesday, protesting at the attack on Dhaka University vice-chancellor’s official residence.The association held the protest rally at the foot of Aparajeya Bangla of Dhaka University around noon, demanding immediate arrest and punishment of the attackers, reports UNB.However, the teachers of Dhaka University extended their moral support to the demand for quota reform.Dramatist Ramendu Majumdar, who too joined the human chain, said the students’ demand to reform the quota system is logical but the attack on the VC’s house is totally unwanted.The attack was pre-planned, he claimed.The DUTA leaders observed that university students are not behind the attack and the attack was carried out as part of a plot.Sadeka Halim, dean of the Social Sciences faculty, urged the authorities concerned to bring the attackers to book.The association also announced programme to wear black badges from 11am to 11:59am on 12 April suspending their academic activities including classes.The DUTA leaders invited journalists to come to the VC’s residence on Wednesday around 11:00am as they would show the video footage of the attack.The teachers assured the agitating students that they will request the prime minister top bring logical reform in the quota system.However, a section of general students continued their silent protest over the law enforcers’ attack on the agitating students, carrying placards, in front of the DUTA human chain.Different slogans including “Why were attacks in the campus”, “Why were students injured?”, “Teachers (our guardians), we want answer”, were written in the placards.Amid demonstrations in Shahbagh and adjacent areas early Monday seeking reform in the quota system, some unknown attackers entered the VC’s residence breaking its main gate and ransacked several rooms and furniture.The attackers also set fire on two vehicles parked inside the VC’s residence.last_img read more