Priorities for the Green Climate Fund in 2012

first_imgWith the first meeting of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) fast approaching, two regional groups – Asia-Pacific and Latin America and the Caribbean – have yet to nominate their Board members. Negotiated over the last two years, the GCF is expected to deliver large-scale finance to developing countries to address climate change. Without completing the nominations, though, the Board cannot begin the important task of making the “main global fund for climate change finance” operational.Earlier this year, WRI and Climate Analytics facilitated a meeting in New York City of representatives from prospective Board member countries and others involved in the Fund’s design (see summary note). Participants exchanged ideas and perspectives on the Board’s program of work for 2012 and priorities for its first meeting. In addition to the basic administrative arrangements – like selecting a host country and establishing a secretariat – the Board needs to do the following in 2012:* Determine the Fund’s strategy and business model: How will it receive and move money? The Board needs to agree on an approach and the timing for developed and other interested countries to make commitments to the Fund. It will also need to agree on how to move money to a wide range of economic actors – governments, financial institutions, enterprises, communities, and individuals – to incentivize them to make more climate-friendly investment decisions.Define the Fund’s operating rules: How will it access and allocate its resources and leverage additional investments by private sector actors? The Board will need to define criteria for accessing resources from the Fund, including options that empower developing country institutions to “directly” access its resources beyond what may be provided through the multilateral development banks (MDBs) or UN agencies. It will also need to agree on rules for allocating the Fund’s resources across themes, sectors, and countries in a manner that provides the certainty necessary to make long-term investments, while also incentivizing ambitious actions and leveraging resources controlled by government and private actors.Define accountability rules: How will it ensure sound financial management, avoid or redress adverse environmental and social impacts, and be transparent and inclusive? Defining these rules for developing country institutions and the private sector will be particularly challenging. The Board will need to make sure that developing country systems for assuring protections are strengthened and that rules for private sector entities are equally strong.Even as the Fund is being designed, early progress can be achieved. Developing countries can prepare themselves to receive funds by integrating climate change considerations into their development plans and programs, identifying priority areas for support, improving their institutions, and strengthening their management systems. For their part, developed countries can support these efforts by developing countries so that scaled-up resources can be programmed more effectively once the GCF is fully operational.As the Board gets its work underway, it will need to act quickly and decisively to complete the Fund’s design and make it operational. It will also need to be pragmatic in balancing multiple priorities and interests to design an effective Fund in a timely manner. Finally, it will need to demonstrate significant progress by the next climate change ministerial meeting in Doha later this year if it is to inspire confidence and attract funding on a scale that will have a transformational impact. But first things first: The countries that are holding up the first meeting need to bridge their differences and finalize their Board nominations.This post is also available in French, Spanish, and Chinese.last_img read more

Getting on Track: Why We Need Greenhouse Gas Standards for Existing U.S. Power Plants

first_imgThis week, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a new proposal detailing how they would like the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from existing power plants. Their analysis predicts that their proposal would reduce power sector GHG emissions 26 percent below 2005 levels in 2020, or 17 percent below 2011 levels.Standards for existing plants are essential if the United States is to make meaningful strides toward a low-carbon economy. NRDC’s proposal provides a valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion about how best to design these standards.U.S. Emissions Are on an Unsustainable PathEven though the United States has made progress on reducing emissions – most notably through the Obama administration’s new standards for passenger vehicles – we need more action if the country is to prevent climate change’s worst impacts. While U.S. energy emissions have fallen nearly 9 percent below 2005 levels, these trends are not expected to continue without ambitious new climate and energy policies. This is the clear takeaway from both the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook 2012 and a recent analysis by Dallas Burtraw and Matthew Woerman at Resources for the Future.It is also important to note, however, that energy-related carbon dioxide emissions only account for about 80 percent of the U.S. GHG emissions inventory. While these emissions have fallen slightly in recent years, the 20 percent of GHG emissions from remaining sources (such as natural gas systems, refrigerants, and landfills) are predicted to rise over the next several decades.This is where standards for power plants come in.Why We Need Standards for Existing Power PlantsPower plants account for about one-third of total U.S. GHG emissions. Importantly, they also present some of the lowest-cost opportunities for reducing emissions. The power plant fleet must be modernized if the United States is going to make a meaningful dent in its emissions. EPA took the first step when it proposed standards for new power plants in March 2012, and it is important that the agency finalizes those standards.However, in order to make more progress on reducing emissions, we need standards for existing plants. Such standards can help mobilize much-needed investments in a more efficient, modern electric power sector, including: investments in new, low-emitting generation; efficiency improvements at existing power plants; more sustainable dispatch of the existing fleet; and consumer efficiency programs. Such standards must offer flexibility in order for power companies to meet them. The NRDC proposal does this.It is important that concrete proposals, such as NRDC’s, be placed on the table. Soon, EPA must do the same.Where Does this Get Us?Standards for existing power plants are critical, but we also need to keep an eye on where overall U.S. emissions are heading. WRI is completing work now on a new report that will take stock of the actions the United States has taken to date. It also examines the impact of a wide range of possible new standards at the federal and state levels. The report’s goal is to shed light on what new policies the United States will need in order to meet its commitment of reducing emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels and continue emissions reductions beyond 2020. These continued reductions are necessary in order to get on the low-carbon trajectory required to avoid climate change’s worst impacts. Look for that report in January 2013.WRI’s forthcoming report on potential GHG emissions reductions under federal authorities and state action is being researched and written by Nicholas Bianco, Kristin Meek, Rebecca Gasper, and Franz Litz.last_img read more

For the First Time, a Common Framework for Cities’ Greenhouse Gas Inventories

first_imgPilot Test the GPC in Your CityCities around the world are invited to pilot test the GPC Pilot Version 1.0 to ensure its practicality and relevance. We are looking for cities that have already conducted inventories and can compare their experiences to our methods, or cities that want to undertake an inventory process this year.The pilot phase will begin in March 2013 and last until September 2013. The deadline for application is March 31, 2013.Feedback from the pilot test will be integrated into the final draft, due in early 2014. Participating cities will be recognized in the final publication.Download the Terms of Reference and Application Form for the pilot project, as well as other relevant documents about the GPC. Or, for more information, please contact Wee Kean Fong at City GHG Measurement Is Now a Global TrendCities cover approximately 2 percent of global land area, but account for more than 70 percent of the world’s GHG emissions. Recognizing their role in curbing climate change, many cities regularly measure and disclose their GHG emissions data. For instance, 164 cities reported to the carbonn Cities Climate Registry (cCCR) in 2012, 73 cities reported to the Carbon Disclosure Project in the same year, and 2,450 cities submitted GHG data to the Covenant of Mayors. Many cities in China, including 36 national pilot low-carbon cities, have either completed or are in the process of conducting base-year GHG inventories. In France, all municipalities with a population greater than 50,000 are required to prepare local climate-energy plans that include GHG inventories. Many multilateral organizations are also supporting their partner cities in conducting GHG inventories.The Problems with Varied GHG Accounting MetricsA number of international initiatives have been developed over the last decade to standardize the methodology for conducting a city GHG inventory. The most widely referenced programs include: the International Local Government GHG Emissions Analysis Protocol (IEAP), developed by ICLEI in 2009; the International Standard for Determining GHG Emissions for Cities, jointly developed by the World Bank, UNEP, and UN-HABITAT in 2010; and the Covenant of Mayors’ guidebook for its signatory cities to prepare baseline emission inventories.In addition, many organizations have developed software to help cities conduct GHG inventories, such as the GRIP tool in Europe, CO2 Grobbilanz in Austria, Bilan Carbone in France, CO2 Calculator in Denmark, and the HEAT tool for international application.While each of these metrics and tools offer certain benefits, collectively they differ in ways that can create problems, including:Inconsistency: These methods vary in types of gases measured, emissions sources required to be included, and categorization of emissions (e.g., there are different definitions for industries, buildings, transportation, and others). These differences may confuse or mislead decision-makers, users, and practitioners.Incompleteness: Many of these methods focus only on carbon dioxide emissions, excluding other GHGs covered under the Kyoto Protocol. Most methodologies also fail to comprehensively cover indirect emissions – those that occur outside the city as a result of city activities. Cities engage in a host of complex, cross-boundary transportation and exchanges of goods and services like electricity, wastes, construction materials, and raw materials. Excluding these indirect emissions provides an incomplete picture of a city’s climate change impact.Double-counting: Due to unclear categorization and division of direct and indirect emissions, double-counting between inventories can occur. For example, emissions from a truck moving between two cities may be accounted for by both cities, or in some cases, omitted by both cities.Test the New Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG EmissionsLed by WRI, C40, and ICLEI through a global multi-stakeholder collaboration, the GPC addresses these issues by providing an internationally accepted, consistent, and comprehensive framework for city inventories. Armed with a uniform and complete GHG accounting method, cities will be accountable for their environmental impacts and can accurately identify reduction opportunities to curb climate change.GET INVOLVED: Cities are invited to test the GPC and provide feedback, which will be used to finalize the framework. For more information, see the box above. The deadline for application is March 31, 2013. UPDATE: The deadline to apply to pilot test the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GPC) has been extended to March 31, 2013. Download the Terms of Reference and Application Form for the pilot project, as well as other relevant documents about the GPC. Or, for more information, please contact Wee Kean Fong at“You cannot manage what you cannot measure” is a well-known adage for business, and the phrase is increasingly relevant for cities. In the past decade, many cities have started measuring their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data. GHG inventories are essential for building effective low-carbon strategies, tracking GHG reductions, responding to regulations and local GHG program requirements, and securing climate finance. Some cities also believe that tracking emissions can eventually conserve financial and other resources.The challenge is that most cities conduct their inventories using different methodologies. Without an internationally consistent framework for GHG accounting and reporting, inventory results can be confusing and misleading to decision-makers, investors, and civil society stakeholders. This lack of consistency can even jeopardize the accountability and effectiveness of cities’ emission-reduction efforts.The Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG EmissionsBut there is a solution: WRI partnered with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) to develop the Global Protocol for Community-Scale GHG Emissions (GPC) Pilot Version 1.0. This guide—which is now beginning its pilot-testing phase—is set to become the first internationally accepted framework for city-level GHG inventories.As the GPC begins its pilot-testing phase, city leaders may wonder about the specific benefits of using a standardized GHG accounting method. Let’s take a look at GHG reporting trends in cities and the risks of using inconsistent methods.last_img read more

This is Leadership: Why Companies Are Setting Emissions Goals Based on Science

first_imgCorporate climate action has come a long way in recent years. About 81 percent of the world’s 500 largest companies have set greenhouse gas reduction targets.However, the growing impacts of climate change and the alarming scientific projections suggest that the bar needs to be set much higher. Mind the Science, a report published today, assessed 70 of the world’s largest publicly listed emitters and found that only 28 had set reduction targets aligned with the level of reductions science says is necessary to prevent the worst impacts of climate change.It’s time for a new era of corporate climate action—one that’s informed by the most up to date science.That new era begins today. A year ago, WRI teamed up with CDP, the UN Global Compact and WWF to launch what is now called the Science-Based Targets initiative. Today, we’re announcing ambitious goal: We aim to enlist 100 companies to commit to setting science-based greenhouse gas reduction targets in 2015 and 250 companies by 2020. We’ll support these companies through a series of guidance documents and tools, the first of which is released today.Why Are “Science-Based” Targets Important?Targets are considered “science based” if they are in line with the level of emissions reductions necessary to keep global temperature increase below 2°C (3.6°F) compared to pre-industrial temperatures, as described in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Limiting emissions enough to stay within 2 degrees of warming—also known as the world’s “carbon budget”—can help prevent some of the most disastrous impacts of climate change.Current GHG emissions trajectories and corporate reduction targets are not aligned with this politically agreed-upon goal. Setting targets informed by the current climate science will help companies understand the level of transformation required in their business and production models to meet the 2 degree goal. Science-based goals are a north star for corporations that are serious about safeguarding future profitability and the well-being of their customers. We have confidence that, in applying science-based target setting methods, companies will find new sources of innovation and opportunities to become more competitive in a carbon-constrained economy.Science-Based Targets initiative will provide guidance, resources and support to help this practice take hold in the business community. Released today, the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach is a sector-specific methodology for companies in energy-intensive sectors—such as the aluminum and cement—to set science-based targets that account for differences in mitigation potentials and cost among sectors. Using this methodology, a company can identify its fair share of the carbon budget given the economic and technological realities of its sector. Science-Based Targets initiative will release other tools and guidance over the coming months.Science-Based Targets Are Good BusinessSetting science-based targets is not just about combating climate change—it’s in companies own best interests.Companies that set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction efforts today will gain a competitive advantage in the years to come, for a few reasons: Gains in efficiency lead to cost savings; credible targets bolster a company’s reputation; ambitious goals spur innovation and transformational change, which can unlock opportunities for growth; and science-based targets will help companies stay ahead of shifting public policies.The Road to Paris initiative, a platform for businesses to demonstrate climate action leadership ahead of the UN climate talks in Paris in December, has already secured commitments from more than 30 companies to set science-based targets. We see this as a sign that leading companies are able and willing to do their part to forge the low-carbon economy.Now is the best time for ambitious climate action. We cannot negotiate with the carbon budget—the sooner we begin transitioning to the low-carbon economy, the smoother that transition will be. Companies that take action now are safeguarding their future—for their own profitability, and for their customers.LEARN MORE: Check out the Science-Based Target initiative’s website.last_img read more

What to Look for in China’s New Climate Proposal

first_imgIn light of these efforts, some analysts argue that China’s economy has achieved a fundamental structural change that may allow emissions to peak earlier than 2030. Deep reductions following the peak, however, will require further reform.3) Three Key Elements Will Be Important to WatchThe INDC is an opportunity for China to lay out details on its future climate action, in particular:Peak-Year Pledge: Committing to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 was a significant – even historic – milestone for China. The INDC is an opportunity for China to offer further details about this proposal. We will be looking for more information that indicates the level at which China expects to peak its emissions, and under what circumstances it may be possible for emissions to peak earlier than 2030.Expanding Goals: The emissions peak year and the 20 percent non-fossil energy goal will likely form the core of China’s INDC. It’s not clear that the INDC will go beyond this to propose further mitigation goals, but a post-2020 emissions-intensity goal or a landscape restoration goal could shed further light on China’s future emissions trajectory. Moreover, information on how China will address emissions of non-CO2 gases (like methane and hydrofluorocarbons) – which now outstrip the total GHG emissions of countries like Japan and Brazil – would be welcomed by the international community.Getting from Here to There: To meet its non-fossil pledge, China will need to install 800-1,000GW of non-fossil fuel electricity generation capacity, greater than its current coal-fired capacity and almost the total current capacity of the United States. Scenarios such as those published by IEA, and the joint study by MIT and Tsinghua University, show that to peak by 2030, China will need to make significant near-term efforts, such as capping coal use and putting a price on carbon. By articulating how it plans to achieve these goals, China can help build further support among international stakeholders for a successful agreement in Paris.It is encouraging that China has put climate action and clean energy high on its national agenda. The targets announced in November are the latest important steps China is taking on both of these priorities. When China submits its post-2020 plan, the world should have more clarity about how the country will meet these serious commitments – and help everyone understand how far we are from achieving the ambitious, global emissions reductions needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. 2) China’s Climate Commitment Will Build on Significant Existing EffortsPeaking emissions in or before 2030 is challenging, but achievable in light of the significant efforts China has made over the last few years. Motivated by national interests such as energy security, air pollution and expected climate impacts, China made several gains:In 2013, China launched a $277 billion investment in improving air quality, instituted regional bans on new coal-fired power plants, invested more in renewable energy than any other country (21 percent of the global total), and installed nearly 13 gigawatts of solar photovoltaic projects, about 50 percent more than any other country installed in a single year.According to preliminary data for 2014, coal production and consumption fell for the first time in 14 years.In 2013 and 2014, China launched seven pilot emissions trading schemes, and plans to scale the policy up to the national level.China continues to be the world’s largest investor in low-carbon energy, investing around $90 billion last year, more than one-quarter of the world’s total and nearly double the United States’ $50 billion.The chart below demonstrates the remarkable growth in China’s renewable energy use as compared to other countries thus far: In the lead-up to climate negotiations in Paris later this year, nearly 40 countries (including 28 in the European Union) have submitted to the United Nations their proposals for post-2020 climate action, also known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). China is expected to join their ranks soon.As the world’s largest emitter, an ambitious and comprehensive INDC from China is particularly critical, both for reducing the country’s impact and for the greater climate action such ambition would inspire internationally.Here are a few issues to consider before China releases its new climate action plan:1) China Set the Stage with Joint U.S. AnnouncementLast November, China issued a joint statement with the United States to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, saying that it would peak its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions around 2030, while making “best efforts to peak early.” It will also increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20 percent by 2030, more than double its 2013 level of 8.8 percent1. The United States pledged to reduce its emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, a commitment formalized in the U.S. INDC. The nations reached this accord bearing in mind that China’s historical and per capita emissions are still much lower than the United States’, even as its annual emissions have grown.China’s peak year goal is expected to form the core of its INDC, though additional elements may be included.center_img The number was 9.8 percent before a revision of total energy consumption data was made in early 2015. The 8.8 percent is calculated by authors based on the revised data, assuming non-fossil energy consumption remains the same. ↩︎last_img read more

CONFIRMED: Thalapathy Vijay will team up with Mohan Raja for his next film

first_imgThalapathy Vijay is presently shooting for his 63rd film with director Atlee. The film, which has Nayanthara as the female lead, is said to be a sports-based entertainer on the likes of Lagaan, Chak De India and Pele. The actor is said to be playing the role of a football coach.Even before he could complete Thalapathy 63, talks about his upcoming films have started doing the rounds. Earlier, two-film-old Karthik Naren and Mohan Raja’s names were being considered by Vijay and his team.Now, going by director Mohan Raja’s words, it is clear that Thalapathy will team up with him for his 64th film. At a college function in Chennai, Raja said, “After Velayudham, I will teaming up with Vijay yet again for a film.”Here’s the video:After #Velayudham The Combo Reunites @jayam_mohanraja #ThalapathyVijay #Thalapathy64 Vj Fanatic (@Vijayfanzh) March 8, 2019It is said that Mohan Raja and his team have started working on the script and would be completing it in a couple of months. Sources close to the team reveal that the official announcement regarding the film will be made by the end of this month.Vijay has been making subtle political statements through his last couple of films. We will have to wait and see if his film with Mohan Raja will be along similar lines.In the meantime, Mohan Raja also added that he will be working on Thani Oruvan 2 with his brother Jayam Ravi. His film with Vijay will probably go on floors towards the end of the year if everything goes as per plan.advertisementALSO READ | Thalapathy 63: Is Vijay playing a football coach in Atlee’s film?ALSO WATCH: 2.0 mania takes over India with Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar film releaselast_img read more

Virat Kohli chills out with RCB players and Anushkha Sharma ahead of IPL 2019 opener

first_imgVirat Kohli was seen spending time with his Royal Challengers Bangalore team-mates along with his wife Anushka Sharma on Wednesday.In a video that has surfaced on social media, Kohli can be seen trying his hand at a virtual reality cricket game. Apart from Anushka Sharma, Kohli’s RCB team-mates Parthiv Patel and Umesh Yadav could be spotted, among others.Kohli, in the video, was seen batting with his virtual reality headset and a sensory bat – with which one plays the cricket simulator game. As the ball is delivered, Kohli tries to whip the ball on the leg side only for it take an edge and run off in the opposite ditrection.Kohli is surpised with the result of his shot and asks “where is the ball going?”.As the camera pans to reveal Anushka Sharma, she can be seen exaggerating Kohli’s action in response to his question.Watch the full exchange here – On Friday morning, Kohli posted a photo with the RCB team as they prepared to travels to Chennai for the first of the 2019 Indian Premier League season against Chennai Super Kings at the Chepauk on March 23.Kohli will be gunning to win his first IPL trophy, something he hasn’t been to achieve in his illustrious career so far. It will be a test for Kohli as he leads Team India just after the end of the IPL at the 2019 ICC World Cup.advertisementAlso Read | Virat Kohli’s captaincy in focus as RCB look to forget Summer of 2018Also Read | Wrong decisions have kept RCB away from IPL title, says Virat KohliAlso Read | Personality and mental strength makes Kohli the best in ODIs: De Villierslast_img read more



Oklahoma State vs. Alabama

first_imgA few points on the graphic below:First – shout outs to KT King and Icon SMI for the pics, and OKC Dave for some of the statistical work.As Nolan pointed out – If OSU beats OU and Iowa St. beats K-State they could jump into the top 25 and OSU would have beaten five of six top 25 teams vs. Alabama’s two of three.Currently, OSU would have the sixth best record (Sagarin SOS ranking of 8 ) of any team to play in a title game in the BCS era (26 teams). After the OU game (if they win) they’ll probably slide past past 2004 SC (Sagarin SOS ranking of 7) and 2008 OU (also Sagarin SOS ranking 7).Click on the graphic to enlarge.bama1If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Brett McMurphy debunks SI reporting in a day

first_imgIf you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers! This is just incredible.Brett McMurphy (an Oklahoma State grad, full disclosure) went guns up at Sports Illustrated on Thursday afternoon with this article.He cites multiple misreports by Sports Illustrated including when certain people were enrolled (!)That includes this seemingly menial task of checking to see whether or not Tatum Bell was even at the school in 2004:Carter also told SI that he and Bell were in the same classes and got A’s and then had the same instructor again in 2004 but both got F’s, Carter said.“I’d guess that there was pressure (on the instructor) to give us those A’s when we were playing, but not when we weren’t,” Carter told SI.However, Bell wasn’t at Oklahoma State in 2004. He withdrew from school after the 2003 fall semester, according to his OSU transcript that he provided to ESPN.“I withdrew from school after the (Jan. 2, 2004) Cotton Bowl,” Bell said. “I was never enrolled in 2004 and never attended classes in 2004.”I never thought questions surrounding Tatum Bell’s eligibility would be something that helped the Oklahoma State football program.As Samantha Vicent said:.@SINow: verifying someone’s enrollment year(s) is one of the most basic elements of fact-checking. C’mon, guys. That’s embarrassing.— Samantha Vicent (@samanthavicent) September 12, 2013last_img read more

Chalk Talk: How Cowboys Exploited WVU with One Route

first_imgThere were many times when Oklahoma State moved the ball at will in their 37-20 win over West Virginia. And while it was partly due to their talent on offense, most of it was because of an outstanding game plan.Some teams get caught grasping at straws when facing a unique defense like the 3-3-5, a defense that WVU has used for a long time. But the Cowboys went a with different route, both literally and figuratively (what an excellent segue, right?)The Cowboys used a new wrinkle in their uptempo package — one that actually came from West Virginia. OSU frequently stacked receivers wide. On their run concepts, the receiver off the line ran a ‘now’ route while the other receiver blocked. But offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich frequently called a change-up, a now-post combination, that gave Rudolph a vertical run-pass option outlet.nowpostThis new wrinkle had the first receiver run the now route and the other run a hard-breaking post route to the inside. If there was a deep-half safety over the top, the quarterback handed the ball off; but if there was no safety, or in this case one high, the quarterback aborted the handoff and threw to his receiver in man coverage.This play attacked the outside deep third, a weakness of the 3-3-5. With the Cowboys going so fast, combined with the how linebackers played so close to the line, Washington was frequently left one-on-one with seven yards of cushion. This led to easy completions like this.nowbangthrowThe Cowboys attacked this void in the defense over and over, whether it be to the weak side.bang_throwTo the strong side.slot_skinnyOr even in trips here.trips_now_curlsAnd here.now_slants_incThey also attacked the defense with other inside-breaking routes, like the slant, in blitz situations. On many third downs, the Cowboys isolated Washington on the weak side and ran a play they don’t run much anymore.stick-slantThis play is called stick, and it has a tagged slant-flat combination on the back side. Against man or man blitz, the weak-side receiver is isolated on his slant route. The Cowboys knew that WVU would bring pressure, and they used stick to convert on on a big third down on two separate instances.slantThe Cowboys used these concepts repeatedly, but they did a good job of disguising and altering them to make them look different every time. In the post-game press conference, head coach Mike Gundy talked about their simple game plan worked against the Mountaineers.“I felt like the last few years that in a short period of time … when we’ve played them, we’ve tried to reinvent the wheel based on the 3-3-5,” Gundy told the Oklahoman. “And then we get into the game and then we’re not any good at anything.“And we didn’t do that today. We ran the same plays that we’ve always run, we just tried to adjust them a little bit based on what they do. And I thought that was a smart move … We had good stuff today. We stayed within our box of what we do and it worked.”The game plan was genius. It didn’t try and be too different, yet it perfectly found ways to attack the defense’s weaknesses. The biggest strength of the 3-3-5 is how it brings pressure. The formation is excellent in the way that it disguises pressure and forces turnovers.But the Cowboys frequently used uptempo and it forced the Mountaineers into their base defense, which then gave OSU an opportunity to pick them apart. The players might have won this game, but the coaches had a huge hand in it.How do you think the offense performed? Leave your opinions below in the comments!If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Videos: Rudolph, Washington, Ateman Preview Pitt

first_imgHayden Barber was in Stillwater on Tuesday to talk with Oklahoma State players and coaches about the upcoming game this weekend against Pittsburgh. Hope you guys enjoy these! If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img

Zlatan: I’m back to win the Premier League!

first_imgZlatan Ibrahimović Ibrahimovic: I’m back to win the Premier League! Sacha Pisani Last updated 2 years ago 14:51 10/27/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United 2017 Getty Images Zlatan Ibrahimović Manchester United Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur Premier League The veteran attacker says the challenge to return from a serious injury was one that has fuelled his desire to win more silverware at Old Trafford Zlatan Ibrahimovic is nearing a return to action with Manchester United and is determined to win the Premier League, declaring: “I have come back to finish what I started.”Ibrahimovic helped Untied to Community Shield, Europa League and EFL Cup glory in his first season in Manchester but a serious knee ligament injury cut short an impressive campaign before the 36-year-old became a free agent.United 12/1 to win PL with dabblebet Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player After convincing manager Jose Mourinho and United’s hierarchy of his ability to return to full fitness, Ibrahimovic has returned on a one-year deal and the Swedish striker only has one thing on his mind.”I said I have come back to finish what I started,” Ibrahimovic – tipped for a December comeback – told Sky Sports , with United second and five points adrift of leaders Manchester City heading into Saturday’s visit of Tottenham.”Everything I built up in the first season – obviously we won the three trophies – the ending for me was not the ending I wanted, or nobody wanted, especially after how the season went.Zlatan Ibrahimovic“The target is the Premier League. That is my target to finish.”Everything I started in the first season, we will finish in the second one.”Former Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Barcelona star Ibrahimovic scored 28 goals in all competitions in 2016-17 but the injury sustained against Anderlecht in April cost him his involvement in the Europa League final and also raised doubts over his future in the game.”In that moment when it happened, it was easier for me to say that I would come back because then I had a challenge,” added Ibrahimovic.”The challenge was that I never had a major injury, and all these people talking that ‘it’s over’ or ‘he’s too old’, all these doubts that I had in my whole career.Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United“When that happens, it triggers me because it gives me energy and an objective. I’m challenging what I am able to do, how far I can take my body.”In the last years, when you’re thinking how many more years you are going to play, that is where you are hesitating. But the injury made it easy for me. I had one target, and that is to come back and play the game.”I will walk out just as I came in, I will not walk out limping. I will walk out the way I want to walk out. Even if I have to walk on water, I will do that also.”last_img read more

Chicharito returning to West Ham squad

first_imgJavier Hernández Chicharito to return to West Ham squad vs. Chelsea Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon Last updated 1 year ago 02:18 12/9/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Javier Hernandez Chicharito West Ham Getty Images Javier Hernández West Ham United West Ham United v Chelsea Mexico Chelsea Premier League The Mexican forward suffered an injury with El Tri last month but is set to make his return to the team as the Hammers face their London rivals Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez will return to West Ham United’s squad this weekend, the club announced Friday.The star Mexico forward suffered a hamstring injury in early November with the national team during a 3-3 draw against Belgium. He returned to full training this week and is set to be included in the team Saturday against Chelsea.Watch Liga MX live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial) Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player His role may be limited, but manager David Moyes, who Chicharito is yet to play for at West Ham because of the injury, said the forward is set to return.“We’re looking much better,” Moyes said at a news conference. “We have had a whole host of players back training for a few days, not fully training and in some cases I would say not fully fit either, but it’s good to get them back.””Back training, yeah, he’s one of the ones back training,” Moyes said of Chicharito.Seeing Chicharito on the field for West Ham may calm the nerves of Mexio fans, many of whom expressed concern after Moyes was hired as West Ham manager. Moyes coached Chicharito at Manchester United during a tumultuous spell for both the forward and the club but has said he’s excited for a new era of relations with the forward.West Ham owner David Sullivan told The Guardian that former manager Slaven Bilic pushed for a number of signings, including that of Chicharito, has done little to ease Mexico fans fears that Chicharito will come into 2018’s World Cup in top form.“I regret it in a way, the first year I was more involved and the next two years I was less involved. We’ve let the manager pick who he wants,” Sullivan said.Even so, Bilic often played Chicharito as a winger rather than center forward where the 29-year-old is more comfortable. Moyes may have little choice other than to rely on Chicharito. The club currently sits 19th in the Premier League table, and despite his month out with injury, Chicharito remains the club’s top scorer with his four league goals doubling his nearest teammate.last_img read more

Gattuso: I’m even tense playing with my son!

first_imgMilan Gattuso: I’m even tense playing football with my son! Dejan Kalinic Last updated 1 year ago 11:27 12/11/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) GennaroGattuso - Cropped Getty Images Milan Milan v Bologna Bologna Serie A After earning his first win as AC Milan coach, the former midfielder spoke about the tension he feels during matches AC Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso revealed he is tense even when playing football with his son as he celebrated his first win in charge of the Serie A giants.Giacomo Bonaventura scored either side of Simone Verdi’s 23rd-minute goal to guide Milan past Bologna 2-1 in Serie A on Sunday.It marked a first win at the helm for club great Gattuso, who replaced Vincenzo Montella late last month. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The former defensive midfielder said there was still a lot of work to do for his seventh-placed team as he explained the tension he felt on the bench.”I’m always tense, even when I play football with my son, but certainly on this bench it’s even more exciting,” Gattuso told Mediaset Premium.”Milan is my second skin.”He added: “We still have to improve, especially on the defensive aspect, because Bologna have put us in trouble on more than one occasion.”But I have to thank the guys for the victory, for the mentality and the sacrifice they made on the field.”I keep the performance and the result, but we must bear in mind the road is still long.”The final whistle has blown! Back to winning ways at San Siro! That’s the way to make a home debut count, boss!Fischio finale! Torniamo alla vittoria a San Siro! Esordio a San Siro con i punti per Mister Gattuso!11′ 76′ @giacomobona #MilanBologna 2-1— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 10, 2017Bonaventura’s 76th-minute goal was decisive for Milan, who ended a three-game winless run in the league.Gattuso hailed the Italy international, labelling the 28-year-old one of the best midfielders in Serie A.”He can play everywhere. He has great quality, he knows how to score,” he said.”I think he is one of the best midfield players in Italy. He still has to improve a little bit from a physical point of view because he had a lot of injuries at the start of the season.”last_img read more

Ryan backs Arnold for Australia job

first_imgWorld Cup Arnold backed for Socceroos job as Ryan pays tribute to Postecoglou Sacha Pisani Last updated 1 year ago 17:43 12/18/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() GrahamArnold-cropped Getty Images World Cup Australia Brighton & Hove Albion Premier League The Brighton shot-stopper has pledged to buy into whoever the new boss is after qualification to Russia 2018 was sealed via a playoff Australia goalkeeper Mathew Ryan said he would love to work under Graham Arnold amid growing reports the former Socceroos head coach could replace Ange Postecoglou.Postecoglou walked away from the Socceroos following Australia’s successful World Cup play-off against Honduras in November, and there is speculation that Football Federation Australia (FFA) has offered the job to Sydney FC boss Arnold.Arnold has dismissed the claims, while A-League champions Sydney FC reportedly warned FFA to stay away from the 54-year-old ahead of the 2018 World Cup. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The former Australia international briefly took charge of the Socceroos following Guus Hiddink’s departure in 2006 – overseeing a disappointing 2007 Asian Cup campaign, while he handed Brighton and Hove Albion star Ryan his debut at the Central Coast Mariners.Take a look inside one of the @socceroos’ World Cup venues— Caltex Socceroos (@Socceroos) December 14, 2017And Ryan has backed Arnold to lead the Socceroos at the World Cup in Russia next year, where they will face France, Denmark and Peru in Group C.”Part of being a footballer is being adaptable to teams you’re facing and adaptable to whatever coach,” Ryan told Omnisport.”We will buy into it regardless of the coach. I have a lot of respect for Arnie.”He’s definitely someone I would love to be representing Australia under. I think Arnie would do a great job for Australia.”Mathew Ryan SocceroosArnold is among a host of names linked with the Socceroos after World Cup-winning head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari revealed he had been contacted by FFA.Jurgen Klinsmann and Sven-Goran Eriksson are also believed to be interested following Postecoglou’s exit.Asian Cup-winning boss Postecoglou surprisingly stepped down after leading Australia to a fourth successive World Cup via an inter-confederation play-off against Honduras last month.Ryan, who joined Premier League newcomers Brighton from LaLiga outfit Valencia in the off-season, paid tribute to the 52-year-old.Nice to rebound with our 6th clean sheet of the season, we’ll keep fighting for that win.— Maty Ryan (@MatyRyan) December 17, 2017″He valued me as an important part of the team,” the 25-year-old added. “Everyone bought into his philosophy.”He wanted to change the perception that Australia isn’t a football nation, that we can play attractive football. He didn’t fear any opposition, whether it was Tajikistan or Kyrgyzstan, or Germany or Holland, we went in with a similar approach, not changing philosophy. Fear factor was evident under Ange, no excuses.”last_img read more

Tottenham complete club-record signing of Davinson Sánchez from Ajax

first_imgnews Reuse this content Familiar failings are proving costly for Tottenham and Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham Hotspur have completed the signing of the Ajax centre-back Davinson Sánchez for a reported club-record fee, subject to a work permit.Spurs announced a deal for the 21-year-old had been agreed with the Dutch side on Friday but the Colombia centre-back underwent a medical and signed a contract until 2023 on Wednesday.A statement on the club’s website read: “We are delighted to announce that Davinson Sánchez has completed his move to the club, subject to receipt of his work permit later this week.”The fee is believed to be in the region of £42m, eclipsing the previous record of £30m which Spurs paid Newcastle for the midfielder Moussa Sissoko last summer. Tottenham Hotspur Transfer window 2017 – every deal in Europe’s top five leagues Share on Twitter Topics Transfer window Sánchez joined Ajax in June last year on a five-year deal after leaving Atlético Nacional in his homeland. He played in last season’s Europa League final defeat against Manchester United and was named Ajax’s player of the year in May. He will wear the No6 shirt for Tottenham.Mauricio Pochettino has been keen to add to his squad this summer and the completion of Sánchez’s switch came on a busy day for the Tottenham manager.Spurs also brought in the goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga from Southampton on Wednesday and extended the contract of the right-back Kyle Walker-Peters. Gazzaniga has signed a contract until 2022 and will provide back-up to Hugo Lloris and Michel Vorm.The 25-year-old, who started his career at Valencia before moving to England with Gillingham in 2011, said: “I feel amazing and am so happy to start training with the boys. This is an amazing club and the facilities are unbelievable.”Walker-Peters, meanwhile, has signed a new contract which will keep him at the club until 2020. The 20-year-old made his first-team debut against Newcastle on the opening day of the Premier League season and was named man of the match in a 2-0 win.He said: “To make my debut and get three points, get man of the match, I am delighted of course and it just shows that I need to kick on now and it makes me want more of that.” Swansea complete £15m signing of Hull’s ClucasSwansea City have announced the signing of Sam Clucas from Hull City for an undisclosed fee, reported to be an initial £15m with up to £1.5m in add-on fees.The 26-year-old midfielder has agreed a four-year deal at the Liberty Stadium, and becomes the signing under Paul Clement, the manager, since the departure of Gylfi Sigurdsson. Stephen Kingsley has moved in the opposite direction, with the Swansea defender joining Hull for an undisclosed fee.“[Sam] is a good footballer and that is what we want here,” Clement said on Tuesday after Swansea’s Carabao Cup win against MK Dons. “The fact he can play in so many positions reinforces that he is a good footballer.“This is the first [signing] in the latter parts of the window and hopefully we can do a couple more.” PA/Reuters Read morecenter_img Swansea City Jacob Steinberg Share on Facebook Read more Ajax Share on LinkedIn Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Share on Pinterestlast_img read more

Shkodran Mustafi insists Arsenal have the self-belief to prove doubters wrong

first_img Read more Arsenal defeat highlights Tottenham frailties against Premier League’s big six 1:43 Play Video Reuse this content Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Premier League Tottenham Hotspur Arsenal front three give supporters a glimpse of better times ahead Having helped the defence to do their job, Mustafi enjoyed how Arsenal’s front trio of Sànchez, Özil and Alexandre Lacazette pushed high up the pitch to put their opponents under pressure. How important are Sanchez and Özil to this team? “You want everyone to leave, don’t you? We need the players, not everyone can leave. They are big players. Alexis, Mesut, they can create chances and score goals. Obviously everyone in the team wants them to stay here but in the end they choose. It’s their careers and they choose what decision they make.”Emotions ran high on both sides of the north London divide. Mauricio Pochettino aired his frustrations, with officials, himself, and although he is not keen to criticise his team, he did acknowledge they were not at their best. “I am disappointed. When you beat Real Madrid everybody is so happy even though we made a lot of mistakes. It is different when you lose, you are disappointed. But it is not only about criticising the referee. It is about criticising ourselves because we needed to do better.”The predicted power shift in north London remains on hold.center_img Share on Pinterest Lee Dixon tells an eye-opening story in the film 89 about being pinned up against the wall of the dressing room by his own team‑mates before his first north London derby. He was warned, in no uncertain terms, that if he did not perform in this game of all games he would be in trouble. It is hard to imagine that in the modern game such threats would be part of a pre-match routine, but the words said within the Arsenal camp last week to gee them up for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur certainly had a motivating effect.In the intensity of their play, in their body language, this was a different kind of Arsenal to the one that has a tendency to freeze up and feel the fear creeping in during high-pressure games. They seemed to relish the situation. Héctor Bellerín let out some kind of primal roar as he headed down the tunnel at half-time in recognition of a two-goal lead his team would not relinquish. Mesut Özil at one point hoiked an agricultural clearance 40 yards straight up into the air – as un-Özil-esque a technique as you could ever imagine – to clamourous acclaim. Alexis Sánchez rediscovered his appetite for careering around the pitch chasing every cause going. Topics Arsenal Mustafi’s straight-talking was evident as he responded to queries about how close he came to leaving Arsenal during the summer. “You [reporters] like to get the shit, the biggest shit. That’s your job,” he said. “People outside, talking and thinking that they know everything. What happens in the changing room is the real thing.“I don’t understand why people just talk about things they cannot know about. If I have been talking to clubs or if I haven’t, it’s only rumours. Obviously there are so many newspapers, they need something to write because it’s boring if the paper is empty.” features Share on LinkedIn Arsenal deserved derby win over Tottenham, says Arsène Wenger – video Share on Messenger One of the key figures in galvanising Arsenal was an unexpected one. Shkodran Mustafi has had a mixed experience since joining the club in the summer of 2016. Some promising performances, some ropey ones, spells out injured, suggestions the German might even move on after one so-so season. Mustafi had been absent for seven weeks before being recalled to the three-man defensive unit that formed the platform for Arsenal to take on a Spurs side generally billed as favourites pre-match. He tackled a vital game as if it mattered to every fibre of his being.Afterwards he contemplated the question that foreign players might not be perceived as caring about a derby as much as locally born counterparts. His no-nonsense reply suggested the old fashioned pin-your-team-mate-against-the-wall routine might chime with his wholehearted personality.“That’s you guys thinking it,” he said. “As always – Arsenal is dead. Arsenal is not coming back. It’s always the same. It’s about what the team is thinking and feeling. We keep saying it that we are always alive, we always believe in ourselves, we always try to give everything on the pitch. Obviously when it comes to games like this you have to show character. We showed a great character, when we had the ball but also when we didn’t have it.”Their efforts without the ball were cranked up and what a difference that made as a foundation for a strong performance. When they got the benefit of some tight calls by the officials they were in the mood to make the most of it.Arsène Wenger was particularly complimentary about Mustafi’s influence, vocally as well as his impact reading the game with obvious determination at both ends of the pitch. “He’s a leader, he’s a motivator,” the manager said. The unit, with Mustafi alongside Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal, snuffed out the attack of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen, and Wenger liked the leadership that came from the back. “Sometimes one word – ‘go a bit more wide, go a bit more left, drop off’ – makes a complete difference. Because it’s like you have a photo of a team when you play at the back.”Mustafi thinks Arsenal must strive to hit those levels more regularly. “It’s about being consistent. That’s our goal every day in training because you are only as good as your last game. If you win today and lose next weekend you are back where you were.” Read morelast_img read more

Sorry celestial Sachin but Virat Kohli has taken command of the space fleet

first_imgA disturbing thing happened last month. Sachin Tendulkar, the most unapproachable personage in cricket, was suddenly eager to be interviewed. Tendulkar is currently promoting a documentary film called Sachin: A Billion Dreams. At moments like these The Talent often finds itself wheeled out, grudgingly, for a 10-minute round-table clichefest.This was different though. This time Tendulkar was jarringly up for it. Not only was he available. Sachin seemed to have picked me out specifically to interview him, insisting above all on this detail. Yes, his people confirmed, Sachin is available for an exclusive one on one. How much time did I need? Where would be convenient? Sachin is flexible. Just say the word.Naturally, this was quite upsetting and I immediately felt both protective and nostalgic. For as long as I can remember simply asking to see Sachin in person would have elicited the same response – a burst of disbelieving laughter down the phone – as Patrick Bateman calling Dorsia and demanding a table for two the same night. And rightly so. Nobody wants an available, human-scale Sachin. He’s a part of the firmament, out there, not down here. He’s like Nigel Tufnell’s collection of guitars in Spinal Tap. You don’t even look at Sachin. Read more Since you’re here… Virat Kohli celebrates his double century against Sri Lanka. Photograph: Altaf Qadri/AP Sachin Tendulkar Share on Pinterest Read more Pinterest Share on LinkedIn Happily, before long the world began to right itself. A few days later an email arrived from a more terse-sounding Sachin-affiliate explaining he would be available only on the phone. This was more like it. Doors were closing, velveteen VIP ropes being hastily re-erected. Relieved, a little tearful, mainly I was just happy for Sachin.A week later confirmation came that Sachin wouldn’t even be on the phone. He would now be interviewed only by email, an A-list ruse that presumably involves a PA or a scribe, or an interview-wallah tapping away while the man himself consorts with the illuminati overlords on Mars. As I dashed off a fond, happy reply “Under no circumstances would we … ” it felt as though all was right again. I never believed them, Sach. You’ve still got it. You’re still big. It’s just existing inside a sealed, celebrity demi-god bubble that got small.The reason for mentioning this and dwelling on it so long is that Tendulkar has also lingered in the background of the achievements of Virat Kohli in the past six months, a run of exhilarating batting form that reached a fresh high this week with another double century against Sri Lanka in Delhi. As with so many good things, this started in earnest with a miserable English summer. In 34 Tests since India’s 2014 tour, Kohli averages 66.92 with 14 hundreds, seven of them outside India. In the same period he averages 65.52 in ODIs with 13 hundreds, while also rattling along at a ridiculous 61.50 in T20s. Kohli has five double hundreds in his past 16 Tests. He averages 83 in 31 ODIs in the same period. Nobody has ever batted like this across three international formats. This is a cricketer drowning in honey.It is hard to process such brilliance at the best of times. In terms of modern-day Indian batting you keep coming back to Tendulkar, who was for so long an object of such unconditional veneration there seemed no space left for any more genius, no air in the room, no superlative unspent.Comparisons are always skewed but they are also illuminating. Tendulkar already looks like a presence from an entirely different age, a strangely mute, devotional version of Indian sporting supremacy, a cricketer who seemed to carry around with him his own square of light, a clear pure space. By comparison, Kohli is a strikingly secular figure, entirely unrestrained, striding out to bat like the handsome, young, new commander of the space fleet.Watching him is always a riot, cricket played out at an astonishing pitch of fluency and aggression, an otherworldly talent expressed right to its outer limits. Against England in Pune at the start of the year he reeled off a match-winning hundred so fine it made you feel drunk just watching it, orthodox shots played with a bat that seemed to be exhilaratingly alive, to flex and twang with a kind of animate intelligence. Sportblog Twitter Admittedly, Sri Lanka have been poor in India and the last Test was more notable for the spectacle of players vomiting on the outfield as the Delhi air, which kills thousands each year, descended on the Feroz Shah Kotla like an icy, strangulating hand.But Kohli is in the middle of something extraordinary, performing at an all-format plateau beyond the reach of any other player in the current era. The Test rankings have Kohli in second place, 45 points behind Steve Smith, another player on an astonishing run. If Kohli nudges ahead of Smith in January he will, all things being equal, become the first to occupy the No1 spot simultaneously in Tests, ODIs and T20s.Small beans perhaps but a fair reflection of Kohli’s feats over the last three years. Never mind best in the world, such is his record, his dash, his style it is probably time to have that other conversation, the one about greatness, a hierarchy of brilliance that transcends the age. Sachin Tendulkar: ‘When I was injured I could not sleep at night’ … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. commentcenter_img At this stage the only real argument around Kohli’s greatness is the state of the game around him. For some his astonishing returns are evidence of the low standard of Test cricket, double hundreds burped out almost without noticing against bitty, underpowered attacks. This is more than a little unfair. Tendulkar made his runs – at a higher career average – against some of the best spin and pace bowling the sport has seen but there has always been filler around too. And talent will keep on coming. It is the responsibility of cricket not to gauge and rank and downplay brilliance but simply to make itself worthy of it, to provide a fitting theatre for such extraordinary gifts.For Kohli the chance is there to end any lasting debate about his status in the coming months. In 2018, India will play Tests in South Africa, England and Australia. That English summer already looks like the final frontier, Kohli’s humiliating failure on these shores the only blight on his record.Beware, homogenised right-arm fast-medium bowlers and flat late-summer pitches. Kohli, the obsessive, the workaholic, all gleaming will-to-power will hurl himself into righting this and into completing his own four-year cycle of unanswerable and undeniable greatness. Share on WhatsApp Share on Twitter Moeen Ali eschews excuses to focus on an England Ashes fightback Virat Kohli Facebook Share on Messenger Share on Facebook Support The Guardian Cricket Against England in Pune earlier this year, Kohli reeled off a match-winning hundred so fine it made you feel drunk just watching it India cricket team Share via Email Topics Reuse this contentlast_img read more

Ben Foster howler and Troy Deeney red card send Arsenal into top four

first_img 31 Kolasinac 14 Aubameyang Troy Deeney (right) looks straight ahead after his elbow on Lucas Torreira. Photograph: Joe Toth/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock Share on Pinterest (s 86′) For Troy Deeney this was the night that his fondness for speaking his mind well and truly came back to kick him in the cojones. Always good for a soundbite, it was after this fixture in October 2017 that the Watford captain accused Arsenal’s players of lacking a certain male body part and outlined how he liked to “whack the first one” whenever the sides met.Well, 18 months on, Deeney did indeed give an Arsenal player a whack and he was sent off for his troubles.The flashpoint came early, after 11 minutes to be precise, and somewhat out of nowhere. Arsenal had just taken the lead through a combination of impressive opportunism by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and outright doziness by Ben Foster when the referee, Craig Pawson, was suddenly displaying a red card. Deeney was the guilty party having, it seems, been spotted by Richard West, the assistant on the far side, throwing his right forearm into the side of Lucas Torreira’s head as he ran past the Arsenal midfielder. 2 Janmaat (s 59′) 29 Guendouzi 10 Ozil Show 12 Sema match reports Was this helpful? 8 Ramsey 18 Monreal Like Deeney’s sending-off, the only goal of the game arrived like a bolt from the blue – or should that be a bolt from mint green given Arsenal’s colours. They were on the back foot and seemingly rattled by Watford’s aggressive start when a rare surge upfield led to Daryl Janmaat being forced into playing a back pass to Foster under pressure from Aubameyang. The Arsenal striker chased the ball down and was rewarded for his efforts when Watford’s goalkeeper hit his clearance straight at his left foot and could only look on as the ball rolled into the net.For Aubameyang it was a 23rd goal of the season while for Foster, usually such a reliable presence, it was a moment to well and truly forget. “I’ve said sorry to the lads,” he said afterwards. “I think I should have just Cruyff-ed him, but it’s not my style.”In fairness to Arsenal, they showed plenty of spirit themselves in a consistently physical encounter and created chances to double their lead, with Alex Iwobi particularly threatening from an advanced left-sided position. On the basis of this display, the 22-year-old would be a decent bet to start Arsenal’s Europa League quarter-final second-leg against Napoli on Thursday. Match stats 6 Mariappa (s 59′) Goal attempts Quick guide Premier League top-four race: remaining fixtures Share on LinkedIn 1 Cech 17 Iwobi ARS WAT Fouls (s 46′) Substitutes ARS65WAT35% 26 Foster Pinterest 6 4 27 Mavropanos Substitutes 29 Capoue Premier League 7 Mkhitaryan 19 Hughes 9 Deeney 18 Gray 27 Kabasele 12 8 Watford 0-1 Arsenal: Premier League – as it happened Topics 23 Navarro 21 Femenia Facebook 15 Maitland-Niles “To play with 10 players against Arsenal was demanding but we showed our spirit and character,” said Gracia. “My players deserve recognition.”Despite the result, Emery was less effusive about his own side. Arsenal may have dominated possession and chances created but, as their manager said, they “lacked control” despite their numerical advantage. Yet in the end they did enough to secure a hugely important win – only their third in their last 13 away games in all competitions and one that moves them to fourth in this most intriguing of battles for Champions League qualification. The visitors also secured their first away clean sheet of the campaign. 4 Elneny Share on Twitter 9 Watford Off target 14 Arsenal 2 Watford On target 5 Arsenal Possession Share on Facebook 6 Koscielny 19 Leno 11 Torreira 10 Success Arsenal 1 Gomes The four-way sprint for the third and fourth Champions League placesTottenham20 Apr Man City (A) 23 Apr Brighton (h) 27 Apr West Ham (H) 6 May Bournemouth (A) 12 May Everton (H)Arsenal21 Apr Crystal Palace (H) 24 Apr Wolves (A) 29 Apr Leicester (A) 4 May Brighton (H) 12 May Burnley (A)Manchester United21 Apr Everton (A) 24 Apr Man City (H) 28 Apr Chelsea (H) 5 May Huddersfield (A) 12 May Cardiff (H)Chelsea22 Apr Burnley (H) 28 Apr Man Utd (A) 4 May Watford (H) 12 May Leicester (A) 14 Chalobah Thank you for your feedback. Share via Email Watford Read more (s 68′) Lineups 20 Mustafi 9 Lacazette 3 Britos Twitter Hide Watford 34 Xhaka 65 35 From where West was standing, it is possible he deemed that Deeney had hit Torreira with his elbow, with Pawson possibly coming to the same conclusion. As Javi Gracia was at pains to point out afterwards, that was not the case, yet there was no denying Deeney had been reckless and could have little complaints with what was his second ever Premier League dismissal and one that rules him out of Watford’s next three fixtures.Deeney being Deeney he did complain, on the pitch and as he walked topless past the dugouts, with reports suggesting he swore at Unai Emery as he passed the Arsenal manager. Emery later confirmed the player did say something to him but did not confirm it was foul language and for the 30-year-old there followed the humiliation of hearing the away supporters take great delight in his absence as he watched the remainder of the first half in the players’ tunnel. A strong case of schadenfreude and, for Deeney, some comedown eight days after playing a crucial part in Watford’s remarkable FA Cup semi-final victory over Wolves.“I don’t agree [it was a red card],” said Gracia. “Troy put his arm there but there was no contact with his elbow. I never saw an aggressive movement. I don’t understand why the referee took the decision.”The Spaniard’s frustration was clear but he was also right to praise his team for how they reacted to the loss of their leader. As was the case at Wembley, Watford showed resilience in the face of adversity and created enough chances to feel they were somewhat unfortunate to suffer their first loss here since Boxing Day.Craig Cathcart and the excellent Étienne Capoue both forced Bernd Leno into smart saves before half-time before Adam Masina clipped the bar with a swerving long-range drive on 62 minutes. And then, with time running out, Andre Gray went around Leno and appeared set to pass the ball into an open net only for Ainsley Maitland-Niles, on as a substitute, to produce an excellent block. The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. 15 Cathcart Arsenal Share on Messenger 16 Doucoure 11 Masina Share on WhatsApp Corners Reuse this contentlast_img read more