Hodgson rattled as England optimism seeps away

first_imgBy Martyn HermanThe memory of the opening 45 minutes of England’s brief World Cup adventure in steamy Brazil when Roy Hodgson’s young cavaliers tore into Italy with joyful abandon now seems like a figment of the imagination.Despite that encounter in Manaus ending in a rather undeserved 2-1 defeat, the mood afterwards was upbeat with talk of new dawns and an England side packed with pace and movement that could only get better.A subsequent defeat by Uruguay and a stultifying 0-0 draw with Costa Rica meant England returned crestfallen, although they were spared the usual media backlash, probably because a thrilling tournament was providing other distractions.The long period of goodwill Hodgson has enjoyed hitherto in his reign appears to be running out, however.Wednesday’s 1-0 win at home to Norway in a dire friendly played out in a half-empty Wembley stadium was greeted with a chorus of disapproval and for the first time Hodgson is beginning to come under attack from media and fans alike.The clash with a limited Norway side was supposed to be a fresh start before a routine-looking Euro 2016 qualification campaign begins in Switzerland on Monday.Instead, it highlighted just how far England’s stock has fallen. Lacking creativity, self-belief and saddled with an archaic 4-4-2 system after halftime, Hodgson’s side looked exactly what they are – a mediocre international team.From the all out attack against Italy, Hodgson’s side were hesitant in possession and lacking rhythm while the manager himself appears to have gone on the defensive, both tactically and with his spiky demeanour.“Don’t hit me with statistics,” Hodgson barked at journalists who pointed out that England had managed only two shots on target – one of them Wayne Rooney’s successful penalty.EXCESS BAGGAGE“We can’t get rid of the baggage,” Hodgson added in British media on Friday. “We can’t change the fact that we’ve had a bad World Cup. We can’t play those games against Italy and Uruguay again but I think you have to give me the entitlement (the right to do the job) at least.”While the link-up play between Liverpool duo Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge offered some bright moments, Hodgson is hardly blessed with a raft of exciting talent – no so-called golden generation about to break through.The paucity of the depth of real international class in English football was evident in Hodgson’s assertion that “the fact of the matter is we haven’t got many more.”“There are four or five very good players who are not here because of injury,” he said.“Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw in defence, Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana in central midfield. There are people like Jon Flanagan at right-back. We have long-term injuries with Jay Rodriguez. They are youngsters.”True, but none of the names he reeled off are established internationals and have only a smattering of England caps between them and virtually no experience in the pinnacle of world club football, the Champions League.There was a weariness to some of Hodgson’s comments following the Norway match – an echo of some of his predecessors such as Graham Taylor, Sven Goran Eriksson and Fabio Capello, all of whom came under attack from the media at various times during their spells in charge.His view of the game appeared at odds with that of most observers who feel England are regressing.“If we’d have played badly, if a lot of players had had really poor performances, if the quality of our passing and movement was nothing like I wanted to see, if our defending wasn’t as compact, aggressive or organised as it was for long periods, I’d be the first to say so,” Hodgson said.“But I’m not going to say it’s that just because we had a bad World Cup.”All is not lost for Hodgson but the warning signs are there after a meagre seven wins from their last 18 matches – a run that has seen them drop to 20th in the FIFA world rankings.Adopting the kind of siege mentality Hodgson appears to be slipping into usually alienates the trigger-happy media.Another poor performance against ninth-ranked Switzerland on Monday would give plenty more ammunition to the snipers and leave Hodgson facing his first real crisis since taking over from Capello shortly before the Euro 2012 finals.last_img read more

Angry fans turn on Man United after Europa League shock

first_imgManchester United fans turned on their own team after a Europa League defeat to Danish minnows Midtjylland, chanting obscenities that under-pressure manager Louis van Gaal admitted were justified.United’s travelling support sang their displeasure as the 2-1 loss on Thursday evening dented the team’s best hope of returning to the Champions League next season.Midtjylland were Danish champions last year but had won just one of their previous ten fixtures and not played a competitive match since December.Van Gaal, whose team trail fourth-placed Manchester City by six points in the Premier League, had played up United’s “positive” start to the year after they came through their first four games of 2016 undefeated.But United have now recorded just two wins in six since they beat Liverpool on Jan. 17, increasing the pressure on their manager once again.“The fans can criticise. They are disappointed, like we are,” the Dutchman said when told what supporters had been singing. “They can do because when you see the second half maybe they are right. We have to improve and then the fans shall support us again.”With keeper David de Gea injuring a knee during the warm-up to join a lengthy casualty list that includes captain Wayne Rooney, Van Gaal cited injuries as a factor in the defeat.“It is difficult to cope with such a list of injured players,” he said.That defence did not go down well at home.Columnists at the Manchester Evening News described the defeat as a “new low” and called for Van Gaal to be sacked, while many irate fans took to Twitter.“Please, please just sack Van Gaal he is the worst thing that has ever happened at United,” one user tweeted.“The level of @ManUtd’s uselessness is unmatched,” said another, while BBC Match of The Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: “It’s hard to comprehend how poor Manchester United are at present.”last_img read more

Norwalk-La Mirada school district gives 4 percent pay raise

first_img In addition to the pay raise, the district will pay all increased costs for insurance premiums. That portion is expected to cost the district about $700,000. Total cost of the entire contract is estimated at $5.5 million. ]NORWALK – Less than a month into the school year, the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District and its employee groups have reached agreement on a contract that will provide a 4 percent pay raise. The Board of Education Tuesday unanimously approved the contracts with teachers and classified employees association. “I’m delighted that we’ve come to agreement on the contract so quickly,” board President Ed Hengler said. “It will enable us to get off to a good start academically and allow teachers to concentrate on student achievement,” Hengler said. “We need to pay our employees competitive salaries.” 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

California campaign cha-ching: Fundraising outpaces previous elections

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“By the end of this, there will have been more money put into this race than ever before,” said Massie Rich, spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington, D.C., watchdog group that tracks campaign contributions. Rich estimated that when all is said and done in the 2008 race, the candidates will have raised at least $1billion, the first time that mark will have been passed. And if previous years are an indication, between 10percent and 15percent of that money will come from California. “They’re raising more, the stakes are higher and they’ve got to raise it faster. California is one of the pots of gold,” said University of Southern California political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe. Democratic front-runners Sens.Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have already raised a combined $25million from California. Four years ago, Sen. John Kerry raised about $36million from the state throughout his entire campaign. There’s a similar trend among Republicans. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have raised $11million from the Golden State – more than half of everything George W. Bush took from California in 2004. Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., has raised $3.7million from the state – about 16percent of his total contributions. “McCain jokes that he spends a lot of time in San Diego to visit his constituents,” Jeffe said, noting that even with his overall fundraising lag the Arizona senator remains deeply popular in California. Rich said the spike in contributions isn’t coming only from California. The average top-giving industry already has forked over 46percent more than the equivalent period in 2004. The securities and investment industry, for example, has donated more than $21million to Republican and Democrat front-runners – 91percent more than they had given by this time in the previous election. The entertainment industry, meanwhile, is up a full 68percent. Candidates for the 2008 presidential election also are assembling formidable campaign operations in California, with Giuliani and Clinton wielding what many call the most aggressive in the state. Each also has built up a prominent list of California endorsements, with Clinton scooping up Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and three Los Angeles City Council members. Obama has Los Angeles state Assemblywoman Karen Bass and state Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero. Among Republicans, Romney has former state Assemblyman Tony Strickland in his corner, while Giuliani picked up Rep. David Dreier, R-Glendora, and has the backing of a number of other California Congress members including Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs. But some argue that despite California’s insistence that an earlier primary would help it become more than an ATM machine for candidates, it still remains primarily a lucrative funding base for candidates. An analysis of the records earlier this year found that close to $1million was donated in the first quarter by donors who identified themselves as living in San Fernando Valley area communities. And contributors who identified themselves as being from Los Angeles – which could include Valley residents – gave more than $3million in the first quarter alone. Jeffe noted that the record giving comes in the wake of new campaign laws limiting donations to $2,300 per candidate, per campaign – for a total of $4,600 in the primary and general elections. “They’re raising that much even with a new ceiling on campaign contributions,” she said. “That is really significant.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Presidential contenders are digging deeper into Californians’ pockets than ever before, already raising more than $50million in the Golden State even before campaigns get aggressively under way. The tally so far amounts to nearly 70percent of the $76million raised in California during the entire 2004 campaign cycle and virtually assures that contributions this election year will surpass previous fundraising, according to campaign records. The massive donations come as the state’s early Feb. 5 primary has added new clout to California and spurred a renewed candidate focus on the region. And with no heir apparent for either party yet – and states leapfrogging one another to get the jump on early primaries – candidates have put a premium on raising big money. last_img read more

Championship round-up: Norwich demolished by Millwall and Cardiff win again

first_imgCardiff City 2-1 Queens Park RangersIt is now five wins from five as high flying Cardiff downed Queens Park Rangers at the Cardiff City stadium.Matt Smith had initially handed QPR the lead but Neil Warnock’s side came back expertly to maintain their 100 per cent record.Former QPR winger Junior Hoilett equalised by blocking goalkeeper Alex Smithies’ clearance.Sol Bamba, fresh from signing a new contract with the Bluebirds, headed in the eventual winner in first half stoppage time. 1 Middlesbrough 0-0 Preston North EndAlex Neil’s Preston managed to hold Middlesbrough to a scoreless draw at the Riverside Stadium.Despite Garry Monk heavily investing in strikers this summer goals remained elusive for Middlesbrough and goalkeeper Darren Randolph was forced to pull of two important saves.Tom Barkhuizen had the best effort of the first half as his shot was pushed onto the post by the Republic of Ireland international and the keeper also had to stop Sean Maguire’s effort in the second half. Birmingham City 0-2 ReadingAfter bringing in a number of new recruits Harry Redknapp’s side still fell to defeat as Jaap Staam’s Royals took home all three points.Loan signings Carl Jenkinson and Sam Gallagher made their Birmingham debuts but second half goals from Reading’s Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and George Evans downed the Blues.Last season’s play-off finalists also announced the signing of midfielder Dave Edwards just prior to the match and Staam will hope the Royals can continue the momentum. Sheffield United 3-1 Derby County Billy Sharp’s double ensured it was three wins in three for newly-promoted Sheffield United against Derby County.The Blades put in an impressive display with Sharp opening the scoring just four minutes in.Derby’s Johnny Russell scored an own goal to hand Chris Wilder’s team a two goal advantage at half time.Craig Bryson’s injury time strike gave the Rams hope but Sharp added his second to finally down the visitors. Burton Albion 0-0 Sheffield Wednesday Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion followed up their impressive victory over Birmingham, last week, as they grabbed a well-earned draw against Sheffield Wednesday.Gary Hooper had given Carlos Carvalhal’s side a 1-0 lead at the break after his close range strike at in the 36th minute.But Joe Mason’s right-footed finish in the second half managed to earn Burton a share of the spoils as the club continue to defy the odds and compete at Championship level. Cardiff continue to impress but Norwich need improvement Brentford 0-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers After starting the day bottom of the Championship table Brentford managed to hold much-talked about Wolves to a goalless draw at Griffin Park.Nuno’s exciting Wolves side had impressed thus far in the Championship season but were unable to find a way past Dan Bentley in the Brentford goal. Ipswich Town 0-2 FulhamIpswich’s perfect start to the season came to an end as Fulham took away all three points from Portman Road.Goals from Neeskens Kebano and Rui Fonte secured the Cottagers first win of the season as Slavisa Jokanovic’s team look to live up to their tag as promotion favourites.Mick McCarthy’s side struggled for possession in the game, despite their fine start to the campaign, and will hope to bounce back next time out. Barnsley 3-0 SunderlandSimon Grayson’s Black Cats were promptly dismantled by Barnsley at Oakwell as Paul Heckingbottom’s side ran out 3-0 winners.On-loan Chelsea man Ike Ugbo opened the scoring after half an hour with a fine strike into the bottom corner.Harvey Barnes quickly followed up with Barnsley’s second before George Moncur wrapped up the scoring as his left-footed strike found the back of the net in the 67th minute.The 4,200 travelling Sunderland fans were left dissatisfied with their team’s lacklustre display and will hope for much more next time out. Millwall 4-0 Norwich CityNewly-promoted Millwall enjoyed a barnstorming first half that helped them on their way to victory over Norwich.Neil Harris’ side were 3-0 up at the break, thanks to goals from Lee Gregory, George Saville and Jed Wallace, before Shaun Hutchinson grabbed a fourth in the 72nd minute.Daniel Farke’s Norwich couldn’t hold back the marauding Lions and it is the second successive game that the Canaries have conceded four goals in the league.last_img read more

Cahill says he’s been using his time wisely as he plots his next move

first_img Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ Green reveals how he confronted Sarri after Chelsea’s 6-0 defeat at Man City Gary Cahill is not done with top level football just yet and insists there is plenty still left in the tank.The defender played his final game for Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday before his seven-year stay comes to an end this summer. REPLY Cahill’s cups There were no sour grapes from the 33-year-old, though.“It has been a pleasure to play for the club and I’d like to thank the club for giving me the opportunity to play at the highest level,” he added.“The memories I’ve made from this football club will live with me forever – they’re some of the best memories I’m going to have from football.”And with a place in the Europa League final, a trophy he won in 2013, final still very much a reality for Chelsea, Cahill believes his team-mates deserve to end on a high.“The effort the lads have put in during the last couple of months, they deserve to get their hands on some silverware, so plenty of work still to be done.” ADVICE tense LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won huge blow Since arriving from Bolton in January 2012, Cahill has picked up an impressive number of trophies Premier League x2FA Cup x2League CupChampions LeagueEuropa League Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? BEST OF center_img 2 Gary Cahill replaced David Luiz in Chelsea’s final home game of the season where he was given a send off by his team-mates and fans shining Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Chelsea’s win guaranteed them a place in the Champions League next season and they currently sit in third place, one point clear of Tottenham, ahead of the final day of the season when they travel to Leicester.However, Cahill has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier League this year, while he has played four Europa League matches. REVEALED Cahill came on in the final minute of the 3-0 win against Watford, replacing David Luiz, but vowed there is more to come from him.“I’m fit as a fiddle and ready to go. I’ve used the time I’ve not been playing wisely,” he told talkSPORT’s Jim White after the game.“This chapter will close and another will open for me without a doubt, so I have a few more years left to play.” Cahill, who arrived from Bolton for £7m in 2012, was thrown up into the air by team-mates and also received a rousing reception from the home fans on his lap of honour gameday cracker 2 no dice REVEALED last_img read more

River Park Proposal Considered By Jackson County Commissioners

first_imgJackson County Commission Chairman Brian McMaHan announced Tuesday that an Economic Development proposal by WNC Outdoor Development LLC was reviewed at the Monday evening meeting of the Jackson County Commissioners. Local citizens will have the opportunity to review the proposal on the Jackson County website and to make comments at a public hearing on March 20, 2017. The proposed development site is property adjacent to the Tuckasiegee River in Dillsboro and next to the river access area installed by Duke Power Company two years ago. This property was considered for development several months ago by the NOC but that company backed away from their initial planning opening the door for WNC Outdoor Development LLC to offer a plan. Local business developer Kelly Custer is connected with the LLC.  If the Jackson County Commissioners approve the partnership later in the year the County will have several steps to complete in the process since the land is currently owned by Jackson County.The land would be reevaluated  and most likely flood plain reclassification since the removal of the Dillsboro Dam lowered the water level. The county would be responsible for some preliminary site work, collaborating with TWASA for the installation of a water and sewer utility, and procurement of some development grants.  Once these steps are completed the land could be sold to the development company  for completion of the project.last_img read more

The Saner Sweet Snack: Disney Caramel Apples

first_imgYou can find these apples at The Confectionary and Big Top Treats in the Magic Kingdom and Goofy’s Candy Company and Candy Cauldron at Disney Springs. At all these places, there’s chance you would watch the apples being made at a show kitchen.Disney also sells caramel apples further adorned with chocolate, candy, and decorative sugar will obviously be higher in calories, and we’ll cover that later, but for now we just want to enjoy our delicious, and relatively nutritious, treat.The plain version costs $5.99, the nut version costs $6.49, and both can be purchased with a Disney Dining Plan snack credit. Share This!We’ve been busy weighing, measuring, and analyzing cupcakes these days and, honestly, all this knowledge is making us a little sad. It doesn’t mean we we’ll stop eating those calorie-laden beasts, but we will feel a lot more guilty when we do so. (Maybe.)Fortunately, there is an equally delicious and much saner treat readily available at Walt Disney World: the caramel apple.You may recall that our sample Disney parks cupcake we sent to a lab was hefty 1,100 calories. Contrast this with a caramel apple, the base of which is, obviously, an apple. The numbers vary, but most online sources I’ve seen give the calorie count of a Granny Smith apple at 75-90 calories, the apples Disney uses tend to be on the large side, so let’s call it 100 calories.We don’t know the exact calorie count of the caramel Disney uses, but there are enough cognates out there that it’s easy to guess. A packaged caramel apple wrap is 150 calories. CalorieKing gives the calories for an ounce of caramel candy as 108. Even if we say there’s a generous 2 ounce coating on the apple, that a total of about 200 calories. So, it’s a safe bet to say that the basic caramel apple is 100 calories of apple, plus 200 calories of caramel = 300 calories. This guess is backed up by the Nutritionix calorie count for a caramel apple as 304 calories. For that you get some fiber, a bit of Vitamin A, and some potassium along with your sweet. Adding approximately 1/4 cup of chopped peanuts adds about 200 calories to the nut-coated version, but also adds protein.Even the caramel apple with nuts is less than half the number of calories as a Disney cupcake. Seems like a good trade to me.last_img read more

Stratford volleyball knocks off Marathon

first_imgTigers improve to 3-1 in Marawood SouthBy Paul LeckerSports ReporterSTRATFORD — The Stratford volleyball team lost the first set before rallying to take the next three and defeated Marathon 3-1 in a Marawood Conference South Division match Tuesday night at Stratford High School.The Tigers are now 3-1 in conference play while Marathon drops to 2-2.Mazie Nagel had 21 kills, Makayla Krall had 10 kills and 15 digs, Jadyn Dahlke had 32 assists and 12 digs, and Brooke Peterson added 17 assists in the win for Stratford.Stratford plays a nonconference match at Amherst on Thursday.(Hub City Times Sports Reporter Paul Lecker is also the publisher of MarshfieldAreaSports.com.)last_img read more

SA’s R80bn methane project

first_imgNT Energy UK, its empowerment partner Bataung Oil and the state-owned Central Energy Fund are to begin exploration for coalbed methane reserves as part of a project to develop sustainable sources of alternative energy for the country.Engineering News reported last week that GascoSA, which is exploring for the gas in three South African provinces, could be in commercial methane production in 18 months, spending US$169-million (about R1.1-billion) by the end of that period.GascoSA is 60% owned by NT Energy Africa, which comprises NT Energy UK and local empwerment company Bataung Group, and the state-owned Central Energy Fund (CEF).According to its website, CEF is involved in the search for appropriate energy solutions to meet the future energy needs including oil, gas, electrical power, solar energy, low-smoke fuels, biomass, wind and renewable energy sources.It also manages the operation and development of the oil and gas assets and operations of the South African government.According to BuaNews, the project, which is endorsed by the Department of Minerals and Energy as part of its mandage to secure energy for the coutry, represents a potential investment of U$10-billion over the next seven to 10 years in infrastructure and a pipeline rollout.Bataung Group chairman Billy Modise said that for the country to meet its development and job creation targets as outlined by the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), developing a sustainable source of alternative energy had become non-negotiable.“The development of sustainable sources of alternative energy has become a strategic priority for South Africa, especially as current demand continues to outstrip capacity,” Bataung Group MD Kinesh Pather told BuaNews. “Coal bed methane and the conversion of gas to liquid fuels provide a real, clean and long-term alternative to the current energy crisis.”NT Energy official Chris Mumby told Mining Weekly Online last week that the company had spoken informally with state-owned electricity utility Eskom about methane uptake, while it was also open to partnering with independent power producers.According to Engineering News, studies to reveal gas content would be completed by the middle of 2008, and viability studies by the fourth quarter of the year. If viable reserves are found, production drilling would take a further year.last_img read more