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Sam Allardyce warns Sunderland not to take Premier League survival for granted

first_img He said: “We might be out of the bottom three, but it’s still relegation [in terms of] points per game played and we have got to make sure we continue to lessen that gap, the quicker the better and certainly by winning three in the first six, it takes us to where we want to be going. “I said when I came here, I don’t really want to be doing what the club has done over the last four years and have to win a huge amount of games in the last six or eight matches. Let’s try not to get there and let’s try to do it as quickly as we can.” Stoke were up against it from the moment skipper Ryan Shawcross, who had earlier been booked for a cynical foul on Steven Fletcher, was cautioned for a second time for a 47th-minute challenge on Watmore, although replays suggested he was unfortunate to see red. However, the home side had to wait until the 82nd-minute to get their noses in front when substitute Adam Johnson squared a free-kick to Patrick van Aanholt and he blasted his first league goal for the club past the helpless Jack Butland from 25 yards. But it was 21-year-old Duncan Watmore, who had replaced the injured Jermain Defoe before the break, who sealed the win with an equally accomplished finish three minutes later. The goal was the perfect response to his manager’s challenge this week to add end-product to his game and went some of the way towards justifying his new four and a half-year contract. Allardyce said: “New contract, honours degree, winning goal – it doesn’t get any better than that, does it? We just have to make sure he keeps his feet on the ground, that’s what we have to do now. “He came on on what he has shown me in the short time I have been here. He caused the central defenders so many problems in the first half and then in the second half, where they had to resort to fouling him and continuing to foul him, which got Shawcross sent off.” The Black Cats followed up Monday night’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Stoke at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon to climb out of the bottom three for the first time this season. However, Allardyce, who now has three wins from his six games at the helm, is adamant there is still much work to be done. Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has warned his players they are still in a Barclays Premier League relegation battle despite collecting six points in as many days. Stoke boss Mark Hughes was unhappy with referee mike Dean’s decisions to both dismiss Shawcross and award the free-kick from which Van Aanholt opened the scoring. He said: “I felt the referee should have used common sense, to be perfectly honest. Ryan feels he got a touch on the ball – if that’s the case, then he’s got their first, so the referee should have given him the benefit of the doubt. “He didn’t, so he’s made the decision with the help of, I think, his assistant on that side of the field, who got involved, so we are down to 10 men. “Even at that point as the game progressed, I didn’t think Sunderland really created a great deal and didn’t cause us too many problems even with one less man. “They needed another break – they got it because the referee for the decision for the free-kick totally wrong. The lad Johnson has just dived, basically, just jumped out of a non-tackle, basically. “Obviously, the strike itself is a great strike – it takes some strike to beat Jack from 30-odd yards, so you give the boy credit for winning the game for Sunderland.” Press Associationlast_img read more

GVC may face battle to pass pay deals at AGM

first_img FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020 StumbleUpon Submit GVC absorbs retail shocks as business recalibrates for critical H2 trading August 13, 2020 Related Articles Jason Ader – No Boogeyman… Activism will play a vital part in reshaping gambling August 20, 2020 The Board at GVC may face a battle to pass two resolutions at its AGM next week regarding executive pay after shareholders were advised to vote against the proposals.GVC, which operates the betting brands Ladbrokes, Coral & bwin, intends to award CEO Kenny Alexander and chairman Larry Feldman huge share option packages, worth £45m and £22.5m respectively since 2016.While the figures make eye-bulging reading (they have been criticised for being 550 times the average wage of the company) it is because the company has been doing so well that the amounts have inflated to the size they are today.The remuneration scheme is linked to the firm’s share price, which hit an all-time high of £10.26 recently, as the company has grown massively under Alexander’s stewardship, not least thanks to the £3.2bn deal he brokered for the Ladbrokes Coral Group.According to The Guardian, shareholder advice bodies Pirc and Glass Lewis are advising investors to vote against the pay report at the company’s annual meeting in Gibraltar on 6 June.Last year Bet365 CEO Denise Coates became the best paid boss in the UK with a pay package of over £200m. Share Sharelast_img read more

Dodgers done in by Giants’ scratch run in 2-1 loss

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO >> It happens in other towns to other teams. Honestly, it does.It just seems like the San Francisco Giants have a special knack for finding ways to drain the Dodgers of their life blood with a series of paper cuts. The decisive run in Tuesday’s 2-1 loss at AT&T Park is the latest example.“Flare base hit, the wild pitch then (Buster) Posey gets him over and they get him in. They manufactured a run right there,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recapped. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error But the Dodgers could do no more against Ty Blach, stranding runners at the corners to end that inning. Like Matt Cain a night earlier, Blach seems to save his best for the Dodgers. In four career games against them (three starts), Blach has a 1.17 ERA (three earned runs in 23 innings).So the game was still tied when Belt led off the bottom of the sixth with a ground ball onto the outfield grass. With the Dodgers shifted to the right against the left-handed Belt, Taylor got to the ball but fell to the grass and wasn’t able to make a strong throw to first. Belt was safe.He moved to second on a wild pitch that Austin Barnes couldn’t smother and third when Posey gave himself up, grounding out to the right side. Crawford completed the small-scale vivisection, singling over the drawn-in infield.The Giants were 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position in the game. Crawford’s single was the lone hit and it was the difference on a night when Roberts tried to make a meal out of the leftovers in his fridge.The Dodgers manager elected to sit two slumping left-handed hitters – Corey Seager (.216 in May) and Cody Bellinger (7 for his past 32) – against Blach and also gave Yasmani Grandal (a nine-game hitting streak) the night off in advance of Wednesday’s day game.That left Kike’ Hernandez, Barnes and Yasiel Puig (who dragged a .171 average and .195 slugging percentage against left-handed pitching into the game) to man the middle of the lineup.It was Hernandez’s first start as a cleanup hitter in his professional career (major leagues or minors) and he at least acquitted himself well, going 2 for 4. But the fifth through ninth spots in the Dodgers’ lineup were a black hole that sucked any air out of the offense. Those spots were a combined 0 for 18, including 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position.“Yeah, we didn’t get any production down there tonight,” Roberts said. “In Bellinger’s case, playing left field, Guti (Franklini Gutierrez) had a good night. Then you look at Corey and Kike’ swung the bat well. So those two guys that replaced them, played well.“I don’t know if there’s a whole lot we could have done really.”On the positive side for the Dodgers (who have now lost 20 of their past 26 at AT&T Park), Hill turned in five solidly-calloused innings. After bouncing a 72-mph curveball off Denard Span’s helmet and committing a balk in his first six pitches of the game, Hill allowed just one run on a solo home run by Belt over his five innings, striking out six.“The finger was good so there were no issues there,” said Hill, who went on the DL after each of his previous two starts this season. “It’s just good to get back out there, honestly.”center_img “If you look at some of the quality of contact these first two games, they’ve found some outfield grass when they really haven’t squared the ball up. That’s baseball. But when they do get a guy in scoring position, they manage to manufacture. They do. To their credit, they put the ball in play. You get those guys – Posey and (Brandon) Crawford and (Brandon) Belt – they’ll find a way to put it in play.”A solo home run by Chris Taylor leading off the top of the sixth tied the score at 1-1, Rich Hill and his work-of-friction middle finger having survived five innings in his most recent return from the DL.last_img read more

Cantona-Deschamps: a hatred since 1996 for “carrying water bottles”

first_imgA few days after Didier Deschamps gave his list of 23 for the 2016 European Championship that France played at home, Eric Cantona expressed suspicion of racism by questioning the motivations of the former Juventus to make the list on the occasion of two absences, those of Karim Benzema and Hatem Ben Arfa.“Deschamps has a very French name. Perhaps he is the only one in France who has a really French name. No one in your family is mixed with anyone. Like the Mormons in America. I am not surprised that he used Benzema’s situation to avoid carrying it. Ben Arfa may be the best in France but it has certain origins. If Deschamps is racist? Maybe not, maybe yes. Something is certain, they are two of the best players in France, they will not be and they have roots from North Africa. The debate exists, “Cantona said.Deschamps denounced him and today, they will be seen in court as ‘King Eric’ is charged with defamation. “There is a line that cannot be crossed. And when you touch the family, it is unacceptable. I will go to the end,” the Frenchman promised and fulfilled.The origin of the disputeThe matter, according to L’Equipe in an extensive dossier, comes from afar. The most widespread theory, impossible to confirm by the French newspaper, is that Deschamps tried to convince Jaquet, the French coach, that Cantona, captain, was not summoned for the 1996 Eurocup. The reason: Eric’s kick to the Crystal Palace fan who uttered racist insults against himl. His intention, according to sources close to Cantona consulted by L’Equipe, was to be definitively done with the team’s costumes. A difficult version to give absolute truth that, according to other sources, also contrasts Cantona’s refusal to go when the coach asked him to play forward and not as a midfielder, since he wanted to. Be that as it may, Didier took the bracelet.After the European Championship, Cantona shot. The striker said in the Gazetta dello Sport before a Juventus-United that it was A player who was only worth “carrying water bottles” and someone who could do what he did you could find “in the corner of any street”.It wouldn’t be the last time I would talk about him. “Didier plays the monk, the moralizing monk, but he will end up falling into all the vices of the world,” he said that same month. L’Equipe states that Cantona always saw Deschamps as someone who moves well in the shadows of politics and who has bothered him deeply from his time in Marseille. There, L’Equipe puts the spotlight, when Tapie, president of the OM, threw the striker away from a charity match. This newspaper says that Cantona, already from Manchester, was up to date on the good relationship that Deschamps had with the top Marseilles president. Something that he did not like at all already in the late 80’s and that, over the years it went to more. Today, the dialectical battle between the two will reach the courts of Paris.last_img read more