Transfers I thought he was an actor! – Barca’s Valverde dodges Arthur questions Ryan Benson 04:38 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Transfers Barcelona Ernesto Valverde Barcelona v Girona Girona Grêmio Primera División The Gremio midfielder Arthur has been linked with Camp Nou, but the Blaugrana coach tried to convince reporters of his ignorance on Friday. Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde dodged questions about the club’s reported interest in Gremio midfielder Arthur, claiming he thought he was being asked about an actor.Arthur has been linked with Barca for several months after establishing himself as one of South America’s most promising young players during Gremio’s successful Copa Libertadores campaign last year.Reports of Barca’s interest initially began circulating in December when Arthur was photographed wearing the club’s jersey during a meeting with sporting director Robert Fernandez. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Although that moved angered the Brazilian club, negotiations have taken place since and reports have even suggested the two clubs are closing in on an agreement worth an estimated €40million.Though, when asked about Arthur, Valverde tried to convince reporters of his ignorance.He said: “Arthur? What’s his last name?”I thought he was an actor! He’s at another team. I’ve seen him, like a lot of others.”News rocked Spain on Thursday when it was confirmed a police officer died of a cardiac arrest during violent clashes between Athletic Bilbao and Spartak Moscow at the former’s San Mames stadium before a Europa League meeting.Although the officer’s death was not directly caused by physical trauma, it was pointed out by official statements that a flare thrown from a group of Russian supporters had landed near him just a few seconds before.Valverde, who coached Athletic before Barca, expressed his sadness at the situation and rued the fact some people use football as a “shortcut” to give other things “visibility”.”We’re all affected,” Valverde said. “Especially in my case, as it happened in Bilbao.”Football is there to be enjoyed, but there are people who use football as a shortcut to other things. It’s not a footballing problem, it’s just that that’s where it gets visibility.”
Lionel Messi ‘Best in history’ Messi lauded by Barcelona colleagues Coutinho & Busquets Iain Strachan 19:14 25/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Lionel Messi Barcelona Luis Suárez Philippe Coutinho Ousmane Dembélé Barcelona v Girona Girona Primera División The Argentine produced a typically dominant performance during a La Liga mauling of Girona, drawing gushing praise from his Camp Nou team-mates Philippe Coutinho and Sergio Busquets hailed the performance of the “amazing” Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s crushing 6-1 La Liga victory over Girona.The Argentina international set up Luis Suarez for an equaliser after Girona had taken a third-minute lead, and netted twice himself, the second an inventive free-kick steered under the opposition’s defensive wall at Camp Nou.Coutinho, a January arrival from Liverpool, also supplied an assist for Suarez before getting on the scoresheet, and the Brazilian is already revelling in a productive relationship with his superstar team-mates. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “Leo is amazing,” he told Movistar.”He fooled everyone with his goal. It’s incredible how good he is. Each game we understand each other better, with him, with Suarez, he’s very important for us. “Bit by bit I’m learning and I have a lot of work to do.”Holding midfielder Busquets echoed the sentiments of Coutinho, saying of Messi’s contribution: “He always makes the difference and that’s what makes him the best player in the world and in the history of football.”Ousmane Dembele could not find the back of the net himself but did tee up Suarez for the Uruguayan to complete his hat-trick, and Coutinho expects the young France international to hit his stride soon. “Barcelona play unique football,” he said.”Dembele is a great player, I’m sure that with time and work we will learn. We want to do the best we can.”
Manchester United Alexis or Pogba, De Gea or Lukaku? Ranking Manchester United’s best-paid players Kris Voakes Last updated 1 year ago 20:13 1/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() Getty/Goal composite Manchester United Premier League Crystal Palace v Manchester United Crystal Palace Gallery The Red Devils have been fairly liberal in handing out huge contracts in recent years, but who sits where in their list of highest salaries? Manchester United caused a real stir in January when snapping up from Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal. Far beyond the Chilean being recruited from a Premier League rival midway through the season, the biggest bone of contention appeared to be his British-record salary of £350,000 per week.Such is the fascination in the money being spent by football clubs in the modern era, supporters have taken an increased interest in players’ wages as well as the outlays made to selling clubs in the transfer market.And United have led the way in splashing out on playing contracts over the course of the Premier League era, signing themselves up to the five biggest deals in English history over the last five years, most recently with Sanchez. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp But who gets what in the current United squad? Below, Goal goes through the Old Trafford pay-grades, listing the estimated weekly salary of the top-ranked Red Devils in terms of salary.
Edin Džeko Dzeko: Roma deserved great win for patience against Shakhtar Ben Spratt Last updated 1 year ago 07:07 14/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Edin Džeko Roma v Shakhtar Donetsk Roma Shakhtar Donetsk UEFA Champions League The striker felt his second half strike was well deserved as his side reached the quarter-finals for the third time in their history Edin Dzeko credited his Roma team-mates for a “patient” performance as they dumped Shakhtar Donetsk out of the Champions League.A 1-0 win, after a 2-1 defeat in Kharkiv, took Roma through on away goals as Dzeko scored seven minutes into the second half with the game’s first chance of note.And although the Serie A side were outplayed for long periods at Stadio Olimpico, the Bosnian praised the way his side did not panic before eventually finding the breakthrough. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “It was a great night for me, for Roma and the whole club,” Dzeko told UEFA’s website. “We deserved this.”We were patient. We knew that one goal could see us reach the quarter-finals. We scored that goal and then we did everything all together.”I did [think a second effort was in] but the ball somehow went wide of the goal. That [one that went in] was the golden one.”I’m proud of this team because I think we knocked out a very strong team.”He added: “Everyone deserves a standing ovation because we all gave absolutely everything, right up until the last minute. We deserve to go through, to be in the quarter-finals.”And Roma legend Francesco Totti also congratulated his former side on Twitter.”A fantastic result, a fantastic Roma: among the best eight sides in Europe,” he posted. “We push forward onto the next round.”
Viktoria Plzen 2 Sporting CP 1 (aet, 2-3 agg): Battaglia header sends visitors into quarter-finals Ryan Benson 04:37 16/3/2018 Getty Images Rodrigo Battaglia’s extra-time goal proved crucial, as Sporting CP beat Viktoria Plzen 3-2 on aggregate despite losing 2-1 on Thursday. Sporting CP have booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League thanks to a 3-2 aggregate win over Viktoria Plzen, as Rodrigo Battaglia got the vital goal in extra-time in Thursday’s 2-1 defeat.The Portuguese side’s luck appeared to have deserted them when Bas Dost saw a penalty saved in second-half stoppage time, sending the game to extra-time after Marek Bakos’ brace had wiped out Sporting’s 2-0 lead from the first leg.But Jorge Jesus’ men stepped things up a notch in the first half of extra-time, making the most of their superiority with Battaglia’s header on the stroke of the interval, and Plzen – who needed another two goals in response – were left deflated. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp It took the home side just six minutes to pull themselves back into the tie, as Bakos headed in at the far post following a fine Jan Kovarik cross from deep on the left flank.However, Sporting did a good job of restricting their flow of further chances, and they should have drawn level just before the break – Bryan Ruiz slamming a left-footed volley wide from about eight yards out.Sporting missed another glorious opportunity early in the second half.Bruno Fernandes’ long-range strike was parried to Marcos Acuna, whose follow-up effort bounced back off the right-hand post before he then hit the rebound over.And Plzen capitalised just after the hour mark – Bakos sweeping into the bottom-right corner from just out the six-yard box following Radim Reznik’s pinpoint cut-back.Dost was presented with the perfect chance to get a vital away goal right at the end of normal time, but his tame penalty – which he had won – was easily saved by Plzen goalkeeper Ales Hruska, securing extra-time for the hosts.Sporting’s progression, though, was ultimately sealed just before half-time in extra-time, as Battaglia headed in Fernandes’ cross, taking Sporting into the last eight.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. STILLWATER — The Cowboys’ season opener against Oregon State is 17 days out, and the Pokes have yet to name a starting quarterback.OSU coach Mike Gundy met with the media Tuesday, where the quarterbacks weren’t made available, and Gundy said nothing is different in regards to the quarterback race from his last meeting with reporters. Gundy said what he has said throughout the process this fall: Spencer Sanders and Dru Brown are getting better each day.Gundy was asked when the duo splitting practice reps starts to become a concern.“It started last spring,” Gundy said. “And it doesn’t go away for me. Mine and Sean (Gleeson’s) opinion hasn’t changed. If you clearly have a player that’s better than the other, you play him. If not, you have to play both guys. History tells you that you’re gonna end up playing both of them anyway.”In the past Gundy has needed multiple quarterbacks because of injury, but it hasn’t been that way recently. In the past three seasons, OSU’s backup quarterback hasn’t thrown more than 10 passes.From 2012 to 2015, though, Gundy has needed at least two guys.2015: Gundy used Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh, using Walsh more as a short-yardage guy. Walsh also started that seasons Bedlam game for an injured Rudolph.2014: Walsh played only two games before missing the season with injury. That started the short Daxx Garman era. Garman appeared in nine games that season before falling to the injury bug, which started Rudolph’s career as a true freshman.2013: This was the last time Gundy had a quarterback battle to the level that he is having now. Clint Chelf played in 12 games and Walsh played in eight. Chelf threw 291 balls that year to Walsh’s 190.2012: This was the three-headed dragon year of Chelf, Walsh and Wes Lunt. All three had multiple starts that season, and all three missed games entirely.Brandon Weeden was OSU’s starter all season in 2010 and 2011, and in 2009, Zac Robinson started every game except the Colorado game, where Alex Cate started the game, threw nine incompletions and an interception before making way for Weeden.So, in the past 10 years, OSU’s starting quarterback has made it all the way through the season five times, and OSU needed its backup quarterback five times (even if it was just for a game i.e. 2015 and 2009).There is data there to back up whatever side of the fence one leans toward, but there is enough evidence to support Gundy’s claim of needing two guys at some point. If there was only a 50 percent chance a starting quarterback started every game in a season, a coach would probably feel a lot more comfortable having another solid option.So, why aren’t two-quarterback systems more common?“Reps,” Gundy said. “You just don’t have enough reps to go around. … The only time we’ve ever done it is if we’re using a short-yardage guy, with the exception of Chelf and J.W. that one year because we didn’t have a clue who would be the best player.”And while it might be a good thing OSU has two guys given a possibility of injury, Gundy said the advantage of having two similar style quarterbacks sharing reps heading into the year stops there.“If it’s not a short-yardage type, nah,” Gundy said. “I don’t think so. These two guys are kind of the same. If you had two guys and one was like Mason Rudolph and one was a runner, then it’s a little different game plan. So, if he comes in, you gotta be ready for this. If he’s in, you don’t have to be ready for this, but you gotta be ready for that. I don’t really think it’s much of an advantage in my opinion. Defensive coaches may tell you different, but to me, I don’t think so.”
The 24th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats head to Stillwater this Saturday boasting a 3-0 record which includes a nice nonconference win a couple of weeks ago against Mississippi State.KSU is off to an impressive start under first-year head coach Chris Klieman, who took over for the legendary Bill Snyder this past offseason. Before landing in Manhattan, Klieman had a long stint at North Dakota State (2011-18) serving first as the defensive backs coach, the defensive coordinator and then the head coach. In Klieman’s five seasons as head man, he recorded a 69-6 record and won four FCS National Championships.An incredible coaching resume is not all Klieman brought with him from NDSU, he also brought along his offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham. The former Bison OC broke multiple school and conference records during his two-year tenure, including most points scored, most touchdowns scored, total offense and rushing touchdowns.Now, Messingham’s offense has a lot of similarities to that of Snyder-led teams of recent years. He likes to get his power running game going, and then once you’re expecting run, he will hit you with play action. In addition, he utilizes RPOs and isn’t afraid to get the quarterback involved in the running game. One thing you’ll notice about Messingham’s offense is he often has the quarterback under center and he loves to have a fullback lined up in the backfield.For this post, I will cover my three key takeaways from KSU’s offense and give you a glimpse of what you might see on Saturday night in Boone Pickens Stadium.PowerPower is a run play that OSU fans are familiar with as it’s been a staple of the offense this season as well as during the Yurich tenure. Power normally involves a lineman pulling around to the play side to lead block through the hole. Messingham and the Wildcats love to run Power, specifically A-Gap Power, see the blocking scheme below. In the following clips, you’ll see two more play action concepts the Wildcats like to run. I’ve also seen Messingham utilize H-Counter and a couple of other variations of pulling linemen running plays. This keeps the defense guessing and creates different attack points for the offense, it also pairs well with the inside attack point of A-Gap Power. OSU defensive players like Amen Ogbongbemiga, Kolby Harvell-Peel, Malcolm Rodriguez, and others will have to be quick to the ball and avoid getting blocked by these big lineman attacking the second and third levels of the defense.Play Action Passing GameAs I mentioned above, Messingham likes to set teams up with his power running game and then catch them guessing with play action passes. One in particular play that he brought with him, that NSDU was running with current Philadelphia Eagle QB Carson Wentz before Messingham got there, is shown in the clip below from Ross Uglem. In addition to running back Power, the K-State teams of years past would also dial up Power with the quarterback. We haven’t seen KSU quarterback Skylar Thompson run the ball a lot this season, but he’s found success keeping it himself against past Cowboy defenses. I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a little of this on Saturday. With the struggles the Cowboy defensive line has had stopping the run this season, it’s a little worrisome that KSU runs this play often and effectively. How will Jim Knowles defend the inside running game? The Pokes primarily base out of a three down linemen defense now, so will he bring the LBs up close to the line of scrimmage? Or, will he bring a safety down further into the box? It will definitely be an interesting chess match between Knowles and Messingham.Pulling Linemen to the PerimeterAlong with Power, I noticed a heavy utilization of pulling linemen to attack the perimeter in Messingham’s rushing attack. In the first clip below you see the center and the playside guard pull around the edge. Cowboy defenders will have to be disciplined in Stillwater this weekend and they can’t get caught looking with their eyes in the backfield, letting a man get behind them. If they do, it could be a long night for Jim Knowles. Next, you’ll see the playside guard pull and attack a much smaller defender, creating a lane for the Wildcat running back. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The tight end releases off the line and heads up the seam as Wentz fakes to the running back and hits the TE for a touchdown. Below you see K-State run something similar, although it doesn’t turn out so well. Ross Uglem of Bison Report explains in it more detail below and then the following video shows this play.The basic difference in the way that most teams run power and that way that NDSU does it is the shuffle pull from the pulling guard to keep his shoulders square to the hole. Usually, a pulling guard will open up and run square to the sideline executing a “kick out” block a defensive end or outside linebacker. [GoPowerCat.com]Messingham and the Wildcats try to wear down teams by running this play over and over again throughout the course of a game. I saw them do it plenty of times against the Bulldogs, like in the example below.
I got this excellent email from a reader this week and thought I would share his thoughts (and mine!) with everyone.I’m going to wait until after the bye week to really consider #Chuba4Heisman but right now I’m just concerned that we don’t throw him the ball. Sure, we basically don’t throw the ball to anyone not named Wallace either, but shouldn’t we be seeing some screens, swings, and wheels?Looking at old Princeton box scores I see some of the same trends, the same two pass-catchers caught 55 percent or more of all completed passes in 2017 and 2018, and the RBs were essentially uninvolved. Justice and Chuba combined to catch just over 12 percent of completed passes in 2017 and 2018. RBs so far this year have caught just 4.5 percent (a grand total of four btw) of completed passes, and all of those RBs are Chuba.I would like to think we learned from not using Tyreek enough in 2014 to at least ask the question: Why isn’t Chuba involved more in the passing game and how can we get him there? Is it more that he’s there and open, but Wallace or Stoner are more open? Thanks for all y’all do on the site. -Daniel R.This is a great question and something I’ve noticed as well! I don’t know the specific scheming reasons here, but I do think the broader reason is mostly a function of Spencer Sanders’ inexperience.I would guess the majority of those 12 percent of catches from Justice and Chuba in 2017 and 2018 were on check-downs where the play broke further down the field. Maybe a handful of them were called screens or inside passes or whatever.Regardless, Sanders doesn’t check down very well for a couple of reasons. The first is that the game looks like it’s 2x speed for him right now. The second is because he doesn’t need to. That is, when plays break down for him, he’s more likely to take off than Rudolph or Cornelius (this is like saying Gundy is more likely to use a comb than Boynton, I guess, but you get the point).Now whether he should be taking off instead of checking down is a different story. Chuba in space is terrifying on all of the levels, and sometimes checking down provides the most space.I’m with you, too, I think OSU should spread him out more instead of running him between the tackles over and over again. As an aside: Remember when we weren’t positive he even could run between the tackles? 😂OR you could even line Chuba out wide like the Chiefs do with Tyreek and have him run wild on the edge out there.The more Chuba is spread out the harder it is for a defense to figure out where he’s going to end up, and thus the more scary he is as a weapon in Oklahoma State’s offense. If it’s even possible for someone who just put up 296 on 25 carries against a real defense to be more scary.Also, I asked our Xs & Os guy, Dustin Ragusa, and here’s what he said.A lot of the passing plays have involved play action, as well as play-action roll outs, and RPOs. The running back isn’t normally involved as a pass option on those.Also, as we’ve seen, Spencer would prefer to give Wallace a chance, even when he’s covered, as opposed to dumping it down. So, basically, all the receivers besides Tylan aren’t getting many targets, meaning Chuba isn’t either. As we saw last week where McCray got zero.And the running back isn’t a pass option in play action and RPOs normally because the fake is going to him, especially in an RPO since the line is blocking run, Spencer has to throw to the pass read quickly (or there will be an ineligible man downfield) so the running back is never the throw there. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool No2 Lijnders: Keita ready to shineby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool assistant coach Pep Lijnders says Naby Keita will feature in the Carabao Cup against MK Dons.It will be his first competitive Liverpool appearance since last season’s Champions League semi-finals. Keita is back in training having overcome the recurrence of an adductor injury initially sustained in the first leg of that epic battle with Barcelona last term.It was during the Reds’ Community Shield meeting with Manchester City that Keita suffered the setback, meaning he has failed to play a single minute of the new campaign.Asked if the midfielder might feature tomorrow, Lijnders said: “Yes. I will not give the team but… “He is in a really good way. What a boy! He makes our build-up play completely different, he creates unpredictability [in] how the ball moves forward. “He’s an important player and hopefully we can use him in the next weeks. Tomorrow will be a day where he will shine.”
In contrast to the parity of the recent past, this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tournament has a clear front-runner: the undefeated Kentucky Wildcats. FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness Predictions give the Wildcats a 41 percent chance to win it all and finish 40-0. Kentucky’s chances are well ahead of a group of teams — Villanova, Arizona and Wisconsin — that have about a 10 percent chance each.I’ll have a longer take on the Wildcats and this year’s top-heavy bracket on Monday morning. But for now, we wanted to be sure you saw our numbers as soon as they were ready. You can find our interactive here, including the probability of each of the 68 teams invited to this year’s dance advancing to each round of the tournament.The methodology behind our forecasts is largely the same as in past years. Our forecasts have done reasonably well — “calling” the winner of the tournament correctly in two of the past three years. And they’ve been well-calibrated historically, meaning the teams we’ve listed as (for instance) 70 percent favorites have in fact won about 70 percent of the time. We don’t see a lot of reason to mess with our system.At the core of the forecasts is a power rating for each team estimated from a composite of five computer-generated power rankings and two human rankings. By nature, our rankings are pretty conservative since they blend information from several different systems together.1You might consider deviating from them when filling out your bracket so as to have less duplication with others in your pool. These are the five computer systems we use:ESPN’s Basketball Power Index (BPI). (Specifically, we use the variant of BPI called PVA, which translates team ratings into point spreads.)Ken Pomeroy’s pythagorean ratings.Jeff Sagarin’s “predictor” ratings.Joel Sokol’s LRMC ratings.Sonny Moore’s power ratings.The two human rankings are:The selection committee’s 68-team S-curve — that is, how it ranked the teams from 1 to 68 before placing them in the bracket.Preseason rankings from the Associated Press and the coaches poll.2The AP and coaches polls are weighted equally. The seven systems are weighted equally and adjusted to be on a common scale.3Specifically, they’re normalized to have the same mean and standard deviation. Here are how the various systems rated the North Carolina Tar Heels as of Sunday evening,4The Sonny Moore power ratings had not been updated to reflect Sunday’s play as of our publication deadline on Sunday night. We used Saturday’s ratings instead and adjusted them to reflect Sunday’s games based on the change in each team’s Sagarin rating from Saturday to Sunday. for example:While all of the Tar Heels’ ratings are pretty close, their worst one is from where the committee placed them on the S-curve, 13th, suggesting that they were slightly underseeded. Their best rating comes from their preseason ranking, by contrast. We know it might seem unusual to blend preseason rankings with six other systems that rank a team’s current form, but there’s a long history of teams reverting to preseason expectations in the postseason. That included last season, when UConn and Kentucky, who were rated highly before the season, overcame a middling regular season to meet each other in the national championship as No. 7 and No. 8 seeds. Maybe North Carolina can do something similar this year.The ratings are then adjusted for two factors:Injuries and other player absences. For instance, Louisville’s rating is harmed by the absence of Chris Jones, who was dismissed from the team after police charged that he raped two women. (He has pleaded not guilty.) Teams will also get credit in our system if they have key players back for the tournament who missed part of the regular season. (The adjustments are based on Sports-reference.com win shares.)Travel distance from the team’s home campus to the tournament site. A team that has to travel across the country to play a tournament game can face the equivalent of a 2- or 3-point disadvantage against one playing close to home. Essentially, it’s playing a road game.We’ll be updating the bracket at the conclusion of every batch of games. You may also see some minor changes before the First Four tipoff in Dayton, Ohio, on Tuesday night, based on the availability of new injury information and power ratings.Teams’ power ratings also change at the end of each game. If a No. 13 seed upsets a No. 4 seed, that’s a sign the team was underestimated originally, and our program will boost its rating for the rest of the tournament. If a No. 2 seed needs overtime to get by a No. 15 seed despite being a 30-point favorite, its rating will go down.However — this is a new feature this year — you’ll be able to “rewind” the bracket to see what our forecast said about each team at the conclusion of each day of play.Anything else new this year? The big news is that we’re going to be forecasting the women’s tournament for the first time. Those numbers will go up Tuesday morning.On the men’s side, there are a couple of methodological changes, but they’re very minor:In calculating the effect of injuries, win shares are now adjusted for a team’s strength of schedule. So our program won’t assume a player was a monster just because he was scoring 20 points a game against the likes of Abilene Christian and Austin Peay State.If a team wasn’t ranked at all in the preseason poll, we now estimate its strength using last year’s Sagarin rating, regressed to the mean.5Specifically, we regress to the mean of unranked teams. It almost always helps a team to have been ranked somewhere — even in the “also receiving votes” category — instead of receiving a mean-reverted Sagarin rating instead. Much more to come Monday and over the next three weeks. Happy bracketing!Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions.CORRECTION (March 16, 2:20 p.m.): An earlier version of this article misidentified ESPN’s Basketball Power Index as the “basketball percentage index.”
OSU sophomore Francesca Di Lorenzo holding the ITA national indoor championship trophy. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsFor the second time in her career, Ohio State sophomore, No. 1-ranked Francesca Di Lorenzo was named the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Women’s National Indoors Champion after defeating University of North Carolina senior, No. 4-ranked Hayley Carter 6-1, 6-1.Di Lorenzo had won the title in the previous season as a freshman and had also won the ITA All-Americans tourney, making this victory her third ITA title in only her second season of play.The match began with an incredibly close game. On Carter’s serve, Di Lorenzo and Carter swapped points back-and-forth until the game went to deuce. After a first-serve fault, Di Lorenzo was able to pounce on the second serve and win the opening game. The match would be all Di Lorenzo’s from there.The Buckeye went on to win each of the next three games, including two that went to a deuce and one of Carter’s own serves.The fifth game, however, was all Carter. The only point she allowed was on the third serve of the match when Carter double-faulted, bringing the score to 30-15. But two more first-serve points helped Carter secure her first victory of the set. It would be her only victory as Di Lorenzo went on to win each of the next games, going to deuce in each of them.The second set was more of the same. After an opening victory in the first game of the second set, Di Lorenzo lost the second game after falling behind 40-15 when Carter was serving. But DiLorenzo bounced back in a strong way, scoring four straight points, including two aces to finish the match and shutout Carter.The next two games in the set went to deuce points, but Di Lorenzo won each of them. She then claimed a victory over Carter in what would prove to be Carter’s final serving game of the set after Di Lorenzo went up 40-30.The final game of the match followed suit with the dominant performance Di Lorenzo displayed all match. Though she lost the first point of the game, she won each of the next four points and claimed the title.At the end of the game, the statistics reflected an overwhelming victory for Di Lorenzo. She won 58 percent of the points played, including five out of eight break points she played in (62 percent). She was also able to hold off her opponent in all breakpoint situations, saving the game all four times she was down 30-40.
With four of the top 10 teams in the nation competing in the 2013 Big Ten Championships this weekend, the road to a conference title will not be an easy one for the Ohio State wrestling team. The No. 6 Buckeyes posted a 5-3 record in Big Ten play this season, earning victories against Michigan, No. 14 Illinois, No. 23 Wisconsin, Indiana and No. 16 Northwestern while suffering losses to three higher-ranked opponents – No. 1 Penn State, No. 2 Minnesota and No. 4 Iowa. They did not face No. 12 Nebraska, Michigan State or Purdue. “We have to perform to our best,” said 141-pound sophomore Hunter Stieber. “The Big Ten is stacked with five of the top teams in the nation. It’s a smaller bracket so there’s going to be more of a chance for one team maybe than others. It’s going to be tough.” OSU is one of only four teams to have a seeded wrestler in each weight class. Six Buckeyes were voted in by the conference’s coaches as top five preliminary seeds for the championships. Redshirt sophomore Logan Stieber (133) and his younger brother Hunter Stieber earned No. 1 pre-seeds after going undefeated in the regular season. Logan Stieber, who missed most of January with a leg injury, posted an impressive 19-0 record and will be in search of his second consecutive Big Ten title. Hunter Stieber boasted a 27-0 record and led the team with 10 major decisions. “I feel pretty good (about the tournament),” Hunter Stieber said. “It’s the end of the year so it’s exciting. This is what we’ve been training for all year. I’m ready for it. I’m excited to wrestle.” Earning No. 4 pre-seeds were redshirt junior Nick Heflin (174) and sophomore Andrew Campolattano (197). Heflin holds an overall record of 12-3 while Campolattano went 15-8. Senior Nikko Triggas (125) and sophomore Cam Tessari (149) were awarded No. 5 pre-seeds after finishing the regular season with records of 17-10 and 13-7, respectively. Rounding out the lineup for OSU are redshirt sophomore Josh Demas (157), redshirt senior C.J. Magrum (184), freshman Mark Martin (165) and freshman heavyweight Nick Tavanello who earned sixth, eighth, ninth and tenth pre-seeds, respectively. Coach Tom Ryan said that in order to have a shot at a conference championship, the team will have to improve the way it trains. “Overall, I just think it’s discipline, that’s definitely a problem for us,” Ryan said. “The discipline of rest, the discipline of warming up right, the discipline of being ready to compete at a high level. We have to do all the little things right.” Redshirt sophomore Matthew O’Hara (174) agreed that the team needs to work on some areas but feels confident that it can come out of the tournament victorious. “Conditioning has been kind of a problem for some people, so we’ll have to work on that,” O’Hara said. “We’ll have to get that under control. But we definitely have the talent, so it’s definitely in our grasp. We’ll be able to do it.” The Buckeyes’ first match is set to begin at 11 a.m. Saturday at Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill. The Big Ten Championships will conclude on Sunday.
Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett is honored on the field for Senior Day. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorINDIANAPOLIS — For four years, J.T. Barrett was the man. The Ohio State football team followed the quarterback everywhere he went and the city hung on his every word.Now as he prepares to take a shot in the NFL, everything has flipped. A crop of 15 to 20 reporters circled around the podium on which Barrett spoke, but the attention paled in comparison to the media circus three podiums away encapsulating former USC quarterback Sam Darnold, the player who led the team which Barrett beat in his final collegiate game.When asked whether if it felt weird to not be the center of attention, he took a long look over his right shoulder at the throng of journalists surrounding Darnold, then simply said, “Nah, I’m good.”He no longer must worry about the spotlight he could never seem to avoid at Ohio State.Despite setting the all-time Big Ten records for total offensive yards (12,697) and touchdown passes (104), holding 34 school records and becoming the first three-time team captain in program history, Barrett might not have a spot in the NFL. Teams have plenty of questions about his arm strength, pocket presence and ability to play in a professional offensive system.But Barrett said he does not pay much attention to draft experts or their projections. Instead, he is focused on finding a team willing to prove its belief in the quarterback by selecting him in the NFL draft.“I feel like if you’re going in the first round or you’re going in the seventh round, I think at the end of the day, that’s what you want,” Barrett said Friday at the NFL combine. “So you need one opportunity to showcase who you are as a football player and as a person. Like I said, I just need one opportunity, one team to believe in me and go show them who I am.”Given Barrett’s experience as a four-year starter, there should not be many questions about his strengths and weaknesses. Scouts and general managers can watch 44 starts and an Ohio State-record 38 wins.In those victories, Barrett often found success behind center when utilizing his vision and power in the run game, and he hopes to translate that pocket mobility to the NFL.“Strengths are being able to extend the plays, have the ability to run the ball, not just standing in the pocket like a light post,” Barrett said. “I’m going to move around, be able to make throws on the run. Elevate the game of the people around me.”Some have questioned whether he will switch positions at the professional level. Barrett said no team has asked him to play another position, saying “it’s all been about quarterback.”Instead, he has been working at quarterback in Orlando, Florida, at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex to prepare for the combine and the draft. Barrett has worked heavily to increase his footwork and timing.“When you look at great you look at great throws, you first starting off with footwork,” he said. “You talk about somebody’s arm, but at first, you have to have your feet in place to make those throws, so I’m working on that constantly.”Barrett will be the latest in a long line of former Ohio State quarterbacks — including recent Buckeye signal-callers Cardale Jones, Braxton Miller and Troy Smith — to head to the NFL. He said he talks to Jones every couple days and saw Miller once in Columbus. Barrett said the NFL veterans told him to be himself and to enjoy the process rather than let it stress him out. That becomes key if Barrett slides further than he anticipates.Less stress comes with being a low-round pick. But with that comes a greater doubt.This year, though, Barrett dealt with hordes of skeptics who favored Dwayne Haskins replacing him. He has faced these questions many times before. They don’t bother him.“How much faith do I have in myself? Uh, I have have some confidence,” Barrett said with a smile. “I think, I don’t know, I’m not the type to voice it. I want to showcase it on the field. So with that, that’s what I plan to do. I think I did a good job preparing and trying to be ready for this moment. I have confidence in myself.”Barrett’s physical tools might never match those of the quarterback who he peeked at over his right shoulder, but that confidence and his leadership have a chance to place him on an NFL 53-man roster.
West Ham are allegedly discussing with Italian club Lazio for their attacker Felipe Anderson, but midfielder Don Hutchison has raised his personal concerns about the potential transfer.Hammers have offered a bid worth over £35million for the Brazilian and Manuel Pellegrini’s side are now in talks with Lazio about trying to negotiate a summer deal for the 25-year-old, according to Daily Mail.Nevertheless, former Irons midfielder Hutchison has described him as “very lazy” at times and feels he could be a slightly risky signing. The 25-year-old right-winger has netted four goals and provided seven assists in 21 appearances in Serie A last season.“This lad so much ability, I’ve commentated on him a dozen times, not many good games,” Hutchison wrote on his personal Twitter account.What we learned from day 2 of the Premier League? Taimoor Khan – August 20, 2019 The new Premier League season is only two weeks old but it has already taught us a few things that could define the campaign….“He needs to work so much harder!!!!! Very lazy but if West Ham can get a bit of fire in his belly, then he could come good.” This lad so much ability,I’ve commed on him a dozen times,not many good games. He Needs to work so much harder!!!!! Very lazy but if West Ham can get a bit of fire in his belly,then he could come good?— Don Hutchison (@donhutch4) May 31, 2018
Alan Shearer has reacted to Liverpool 2-1 victory against Tottenham, stating that he is “worried” about Liverpool’s strong start to the season, adding that the Reds are yet to hit top gear.Liverpool dominated 100 per cent to start the new campaign on Saturday afternoon as they grabbed a 2-1 victory at Tottenham in order to keep their joint spot at the top of the table.While talking about the Match of the Day on Saturday evening, Shearer said, according to The Sports Review:“Liverpool definitely deserved it but the worrying thing is they weren’t even at their best. If they had been, they could have probably scored six or seven.Virgil van Dijk praises Roberto Firmino after Liverpool’s win Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Virgil van Dijk hailed team-mate Roberto Firmino after coming off the bench to inspire Liverpool to a 3-1 comeback win against Newcastle United.“They should have had a field day because their pressing at times was excellent and they pressured Tottenham into making mistakes.”Coming up next for the Reds is their Champions’ League group stage opener against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night at Anfield.Also, Liverpool plans to go one step further this season after they got to the final but lost to Real Madrid last term.
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppGrand Turk, TCI, November 28, 2016 – Police investigating an accident that occurred on Saturday 26th November 2016 that killed a man on Grand Turk have arrested a 55 year-old male on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. At 10:04 pm Police and Emergency Medical Services responded to a report on Hospital Road where a complainant stated that a man who was crossing the road was knocked down by a silver truck. The man, 50 year-old Jacques Delzins of Haiti, was later pronounced dead by a doctor. The driver of the truck was later seen and arrested. Anyone who witnessed the incident, who has not yet spoken to the police by calling the Grand Turk Police Station 946-2299. Related Items:
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppBahamas, August 1, 2017 – Eleuthera – A huge tree in North Eleuthera toppled onto the man trying to trim it, and it killed him now Police are investigating to ensure that is how a winter resident actually died. The American man, from Maryland was reportedly cutting down a tree in his yard in Gregory Town when it broke free and somehow crushed him.The man was rushed to clinic, but was pronounced dead. The freak accident happened around 9am on Sunday.#MagneticMediaNews#MarylandmankilledbyfallentreePhoto Credit: Eleutheran resident Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Related Items:#magneticmedianews, #Marylandmankilledbyfallentree
StokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudStokeonTrent Live – we’re #localandproudVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPauseUnmute0:01/1:20Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:19 SharePlayback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMute0:00/0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenClose Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. UP NEXT:UP NEXT: Click for Sound Watch Next Video Loading Video Unavailable We pay for stories! Send your videos to firstname.lastname@example.orgWelcome to The Sentinel’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Monday, June 4. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the weather, traffic and travel as well as news, sport and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. You’ll also find us on Instagram here . Key EventsTravellers return to popular park for SECOND time in nine days13:02Thieves in getaway car hurl stolen dog through car window12:20Biker in his 20s suffers ‘life-changing’ injuries after hitting wall11:4123:19That’s all for todayThanks for being with us. We’ll be bringing you the latest news, weather, travel updates and more from 7am tomorrow. 23:18Who has Staffordshire’s Wes Nelson been paired up with on Love Island? And will she be stolen from him?The highly-anticipated launch episode of this year’s Love Island has now aired – and viewers have met Staffordshire contestant Wes Nelson on ITV2 for the first time.Air hostess Laura appeared to instantly fancy cheeky footballer Wes, stepping forward in the hope of being paired up with him – despite already being partnered up with doctor Alex.Catch up on everything that happened here.Wes Nelson, from Staffordshire, is preparing to enter the villa. (Image: ITV)23:09Woman taken to hospital after fire hits two bungalowsA woman has been taken to hospital after a fire which struck two bungalows this evening.Fire crews from Cannock, Stafford and Penkridge were called at 5.46pm and were on scene for three hours.The full extent of the damage to the properties in Penkridge, near Stafford, has not yet been revealed.We will bring you more information on this incident as we get it.Read the full report here.22:46Inquest due after biker killed in early-morning crashThe inquest is due to take place tomorrow of a biker killed in a crash with a lorry.Mark Oarton was pronounced dead at the scene following the early-morning collision.The 56-year-old, of Astbury Lane Ends, Congleton, had been riding his blue Yamaha motorcycle when he collided with a white Mitsubishi truck on the A523 in Rudyard on April 21 last year. Read the full story here.20:12Firefighters called as smoke in Alsager causes neighbours nuisanceA fire crew from Alsager was called to Meads Road this evening, after reports of significant quantities of smoke in the area.Firefighters arrived just after 5.03pm.A spokesman from Alsager fire station said: “A large quantity of garden refuse was being burnt. It was extinguished using a hose reel jet, as the smoke was deemed a nuisance. Advice was provided to the occupiers.”20:02Holidaymakers warned about travelling to TurkeyStunning Turkey has been a popular destination for Staffordshire holidaymakers for donkey’s years.Whether visiting the Wonders of the Ancient World in Bodrum or exploring the busy streets of Istanbul, it’s at the top of many travellers’ wish lists.But unfortunately Turkey shares a border with some of the World’s most unstable countries, as well as experiencing its fair share of political upheaval itself.And there is potential turmoil predicted for this summer, so if you’ve got a holiday booked, you’ll want to know if it’s going to be safe.Read our report for all you need to know. You should avoid crowds and demonstrations (Image: AP)19:14Couple finally tie the knot – after fire forces wedding party to evacuate town hallA couple had a wedding day to remember – after they were forced to evacuate the venue just as the bride was about to make her way down the aisle.Darren Culshaw was mortified when more than 40 guests were told to get out of Hanley Town Hall this afternoon, just as his fiancé Gia Williams stepped through the door.The alarm was raised at 2.10pm after reports of smoke coming from the basement. But after an anxious wait it was confirmed that a small fire had been started outside and the ceremony was allowed to go ahead.Read the full story here.Darren and Gia Culshaw were happily married at Hanley Town Hall in the end! (Image: Stoke Sentinel Copyright)19:04Man charged over crash which killed ‘beautiful’ Amy, 22A man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving 11 months after a 22-year-old woman died in a horror crash.Keiron Birchall, aged 27, is also accused of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and other offences following the early-morning smash in Onecote, near Leek, last summer.Former Westwood College student Amy Savage was a passenger in the red Volkswagen Passat when it hit a wall and overturned on the B5053 Bottom Lane, at the junction with Blakelow Road and Fairview Road, at 7.05am on July 2.Amy, from Cheddleton, was pronounced dead at the scene.Read the full story here. Amy Savage was pronounced dead at the scene18:44Man dies after fire breaks out in living roomA man has died after a fire broke out at his home in the early hours of the morning.Crews had been called to the address in Highfields, Stafford, at 6.45am on Saturday (June 2).Firefighters pulled the man free but he was confirmed dead at the scene.An investigation has now revealed the blaze started in the living room after smoking materials were ‘disposed of carelessly’.Read the full report here.18:27Longton stand-off has ‘concluded peacefully’Staffordshire Police have confirmed that the incident at a property on Marlow Road, in Longton, has now ‘concluded peacefully’.A spokesman added: “Thank you to the community for their support and patience.”18:15Armed police at scene of stand-off which has been going on for over two hoursArmed police are at the scene of a stand-off in Longton – which has now been going on for over two hours.A cordon is in place on Marlow Road in Longton, as officers negotiate with a ‘distressed man’ at a house.The incident has been going on since just before 3pm today. Police and ambulance vehicles have been spotted nearby on Marlow Road and St Mary’s Road.Read the full report here. Armed police observing the incident in Longton (Image: Stoke Sentinel Copyright)17:21Reports of collisions in Stoke and NewcastleWe’ve had reports of two different incidents causing hold-ups across Stoke and Newcastle this evening. The A52 Glebe Street Southbound is partially blocked with heavy traffic, due to an incident near Kingsway, by the Glebe pub. There’s also a collision on the A53 Newcastle Road, with the road partly blocked in both directions, near Rock Lane. This one is affecting traffic between Loggerheads and Blackbrook. We’ll keep you updated as we have more information. 17:14This is all that remains of zipline after arsonists strike at popular children’s play areaPolice are hunting arsonists who torched a popular children’s play area.Firefighters were called after a zipline was set alight in the playground Cheddleton late on Saturday night.Residents living nearby had dialled 999 after spotting smoke and flames coming from the Cheadle Road site at 11.35pm.Read the full story here. Part of the zipline was torched on Saturday night13:02KEY EVENTTravellers return to popular park for SECOND time in nine daysTravellers have set up camp on a popular park – for the second time in nine days.The latest caravans moved onto The Wammy, in Knutton, last night – just two days after the last group of travellers left.And it is only two weeks since gypsies took over playing fields on the other side of Lower Milehouse Lane.Now residents are calling for Newcastle Borough Council – which owns the sites – to put up better fencing to stop them getting on the fields.Read more.12:23Roaches fireStaffordshire Fire and Rescue Service attended a large blaze at the Roaches, near Leek, last night.Two crews from Leek are currently dealing with a fire measuring 50m x 50m of moorland on fire in Roach Road. Back packs and beaters in use. 12:20KEY EVENTThieves in getaway car hurl stolen dog through car window (Image: Google Maps)Thieves hurled a stolen dog through a car window and onto a busy road – just moments after pinching the animal from a house.Passers-by looked on in horror as the animal was chucked from the vehicle in Park Lane, Knypersley.It had been pinched just moments earlier from a house on the same street.Read more.11:41KEY EVENTBiker in his 20s suffers ‘life-changing’ injuries after hitting wallA motorbiker in his 20s has suffered ‘life-changing’ injuries after a serious crash. Police and paramedics discovered the man’s motorbike had left Ferndown Drive, in Clayton, and crashed into a wall. It happened at 5.50pm yesterday.A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “Officers found the motorcyclist had left the road and been involved in a collision. The casualty was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital by ambulance and he has suffered life-changing injuries.” Read more. 10:53Crewe trafficA534 Crewe Green Road Eastbound clear before the roadworks at the Crewe Green roundabout. 10:30Virgin TrainsDelays of up to 15 minutes on Virgin Trains West Coast between Nuneaton and Stafford due to signalling problem.09:52A34 Newcastle Roadraffic easing on A34 Newcastle Road Northbound between Child’s Lane and Watery Lane. Temporary traffic lights are in operation.09:08A50 Stoke-on-TrentLane blocked and heavy traffic due to broken down car on A50 Eastbound between A5005 (Longton / Dresden) and A50 / Upper Normacot Road, congestion on A50 to A5005 / Baths Road / Foley Road (Longton / Blurton). Police are at scene dealing. Delays are easing. 08:31LongtonGas main work and restrictions on A5007 Market St between The Strand and A5007 Uttoxeter Rd.Various lane closures and overnight closures throughout the works. Until 12th October. 08:15M6 CheshireOne lane is blocked and traffic is slow due to a broken down car on the M6 northbound between junction 17, Crewe, and junction 18, Middlewich, in the roadworks area. Lane three, of three, is blocked within the roadworks area.08:08A53 Elder RoadVery slow traffic on A53 Elder Road Westbound at Cobridge Traffic Lights.07:52A50 Stoke-on-TrentHeavy traffic on the A50 in both directions between the Sideway Roundabout and Upper Normacot Road.07:51A500 D Road Very slow traffic on A500 D Road Westbound at M6 J15 / A519 Newcastle Road, congestion on A519 to Drayton Road. 07:23A50 UttoxeterQueueing traffic on A50 Eastbound at B5030 Ashbourne Road, congestion to A522 near Uttoxeter and Uperr Tean. There are lane restrictions in place.Find out what happened when this M6 driver was caught on a phonePolice officers stopped a driver on the M6 this morning (June 4) after they spotted him using his mobile phone – they then found a catalogue of other issues. The Central Motorway Policing Group (CMPG), which covers almost 400 miles of motorway, stopped the motorist on the M6 southbound between junction 14, Stafford North, and junction 13, Stafford South, at around 6.20am. While they originally clocked the driver on his mobile phone a roadside breath test then found the man was around two and a half times the legal alcohol limit. Read more.Weather forecastAfter a foggy start today is set to be a warm but cloudy day in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.The Met Office forecasts there is around a 10 per cent chance of rain at 11am with less than five per cent for the rest of the day. Temperatures are set for highs of 20 °C and lows of 12 °C with the pollen count as high. The forecast says: Misty low cloud will lift and break in the west, but it may stay cloudy in the east throughout the day. There will be some sunny spells in the west, but these may trigger on or two heavy afternoon showers. Tonight, any showers will die away through the evening as misty low cloud returns from the east. The low cloud will linger, giving a murky end to the night.Good morningCould coffee be good for us?Good morning and welcome to the StokeonTrentLive news feed for the day. We will be bringing you all of the latest and breaking news from North Staffordshire and South Cheshire. The video will start in 1Cancel Play now StokeonTrentLive – we’re #localandproud Video will play in Share this video Click to playTap to play Watch again
IP set-top vendor Amino returned to operating profitability last year, posting gross profits of £14.5 million (€17 million), up 16% for the full year ending November 30.Chairman Keith Todd said the company was taking advantage of the increasing popularity of IP-based TV services from both traditional pay TV operators and pure OTT providers. The company has seen particularly strong growth in North America and also in western Europe, where it secured deals with Telecom Italia for the Cubovision service and, more recently, with Vodafone Netherlands for IPTV set-tops.Full year revenue was up 18% to £51.8 million, while EBITDA rose by €3.8 million to €4.4 million.“Amino has delivered a good performance in what has undoubtedly been a challenging year for the global technology industry,” said Todd. “This year Amino has returned to operating profitability, delivered improvements in margin, generated encouraging revenue growth and significantly strengthened its cash position. All of this has been enabled by a rigorous focus on operational management and by the market’s growing acceptance of our stronger, simplified product range.”
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.Modern Times Group (MTG) has decided to write down the value of its Ukrainian pay TV service, Viasat Ukraine, because of continuing economic uncertainty in the country. MTG is writing down 100% of the value of the goodwill value of its 85% stake in the platform via Viastrong Holding. The company said it will include net non-recurring charges of SEK154 million (€17 million) related to the stake in its second-quarter results. The charges comprise a SEK160 million non-cash net impairment related to Viasat Ukraine and SEK70 million of organizational and restructuring costs, offset by a SEK76 million net gain from the recently completed sale of an 80% stake in Swedish open-access fibre-to-the-home network operator Zitius to TeliaSonera.According to the company, the decision was taken due to the uncertain economic outlook in Ukraine and the devaluation of the Hryvnia. Viasat Ukraine accounted for less than 1% of MTG’s net sales in 2013.MTG said its organizational restructuring, costing SEK70 million, would deliver annual cost savings of approximately SEK40 million, which would be reinvested in business intelligence and data analysis.“The impairment of the Ukrainian assets reflects the current situation, but make no mistake that we remain committed to the operations and see substantial long term potential for the business, not least given the scale of the country and the upcoming TV digitalisation process,” said Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, MTG president and CEO.“The sale of Zitius in Sweden has generated a healthy return on investment for us, and the broader changes we have made are all about optimising our set-up so that we can continue to invest in the Group’s growth and development.”