Everton clinch Deulofeu signing

first_imgEverton have confirmed the signing of Barcelona winger Gerard Deulofeu. The 21-year-old has signed a three-year-contract – with the option of a further year – in a deal worth £4.2million. Deulofeu impressed on loan at Goodison Park in the 2013-14 campaign but returned to his parent club and was subsequently loaned out again to Sevilla. He has long been touted as one of Barcelona’s next generation of stars but has failed to establish himself in first-team football either with the Catalan club or elsewhere and that is reflected in the purchase price. However, for that reason Barcelona have protected themselves against losing one of their brightest young talents by insisting on a release clause within the first two years if they meet certain conditions and having the right of first refusal if Everton decide to sell the player. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez, who had a good relationship with Deulofeu, has kept tabs on the youngster and moved quickly to make him his second signing of the summer after capturing out-of-contract Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley. “Gerard needs no introduction to anyone here at Everton, for we are all well aware of his incredible footballing talent,” Martinez told evertonfc.com. “We got to know him really well from his loan period, not only as such a talented player but also his great character. He will be a fantastic asset to our club.” Deulofeu – a product of Barca’s famed La Masia academy – made 29 appearances during his first stint with Everton, scoring on his debut in the Capital One Cup against Stevenage and going on to add three Premier League goals, including a memorable equaliser against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium in December 2013. Although he played a similar number of matches at Sevilla, scoring three times, his form tailed off towards the end of the season and he found himself on the bench for most of the run-in. He did not even make the squad for the club’s Europa League final victory. He accepted he had a more testing year than he had expected, writing on Instagram last month: “A tough and difficult year for me but perhaps it’s also the year in which I’ve learned the most.” Martinez will hope to get more out of the player than managed by Sevilla coach Unai Emery, whose assessment was at best mixed. “He has incredible qualities but lacks others. Put him out there, one on one and … pfff,” he told the Guardian last month. “But make him play football with team-mates, on a big pitch, and it’s hard. He doesn’t have the maturity or capacity for sacrifice yet.” Martinez’s summer priorities were a player who can play as a number 10, a centre-back and a midfielder. Deulofeu and Cleverley tick two of those boxes with Juventus defender Angelo Ogbonna believed to be a player of interest, although Press Association Sport understands Crystal Palace’s Scott Dann is not being considered despite speculation to the contrary. “It was always our intention to work extremely hard behind the scenes to get some really good business done early on during the transfer window,” added Martinez. “Our objective was to secure Tom and Gerard as quickly as we could and I’m really pleased this is exactly what we’ve done. “Having done this now, we will have more time over the remainder of the window to carry on strengthening our squad, which is already strong, and we will use this time ahead of us well.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Giants vs. Eagles odds, prediction, betting trends for ‘Monday Night Football’

first_imgWhen the Giants (2-10) take the short trip down from New Jersey to take on the Eagles (5-7) in Philadelphia on “Monday Night Football” (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), there will be only playoff implications for one sub-.500 team. The visitors will try to play spoiler against their NFC East rivals.The Giants were eliminated from contention last week and are turning back to Eli Manning at quarterback with rookie first-rounder Daniel Jones dealing with an ankle injury. The Eagles can still win the division over the Cowboys and will be trying to pull even in the standings, down only a head-to-head tiebreaker with the teams set to play again in Week 16. Carson Wentz hasn’t had the easiest season with injuries around him, but the Eagles’ quarterback himself is healthy to try to guide his team to a profitable end despite all the frustrations of the 2019 NFL season so far.Here’s a guide to betting on Giants vs. Eagles in Week 14, including updated odds, trends and our expert’s prediction for “Monday Night Football.”MORE: Get the latest NFL odds & betting trends from Sports InsiderEagles vs.Giants odds for ‘Monday Night Football’Spread: Eagles by 9.5Point total: 44.5Odds: Giants -115, Eagles -105The Eagles started around touchdown favorites and the line has moved up to 8 to now above 9 closer to kickoff. Manning playing over Jones doesn’t change too much. The game is expected to be played in rainy conditions in Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles’ offense has sputtered, but the Giants’ defense is bad. The Eagles’ defense continues to have issues on the back end.Eagles vs. Giants all-time seriesThe Giants and Eagles are tied all-time, 85-85-2. The Eagles have won five consecutive games in the series and 9 out of 10 to even things up. The Giants last won in November 2016. Manning was the starting quarterback in that game. He is 10-20 against the Eagles in his 30 starts.Three trends to know— 55 percent of spread bettors like the Giants to cover the near double-digit number on the short road trip. 61 percent of moneyline bettors like the Giants to pull the upset straight up.— Something has to give in terms of the cover, because the Giants and the Eagles are both 4-8 against the spread this season. In terms of over/under, 7 of 12 Giants have gone over, while only 6 of 12 Eagles games have gone over.— The Giants have lost eight consecutive games. They are only 2-6 against the spread in those games. The Eagles have lost three in a row and are 2-5 against the spread in their last 7 games.Three things to watchCan Saquon get going?Saquon Barkley has had a tough sophomore season after a spectacular rookie campaign. Marred by a midseason ankle injury, the Giants’ running back has averaged only 4.0 yards per carry, down a full yard from last season and hasn’t been nearly involved as a receiver after catching 91 passes in 2018. For the Giants to pull the upset he needs to do something significant from scrimmage against the Eagles’ No. 3 run defense.Eli at .500Manning has a career regular-season record of 118-118. With Jones taking over after two games, it was expected the 38-year-old’s number would stay that way given his retirement is imminent. But now he has a chance to rise out of mediocrity or further sink his shaky at best Hall of Fame resume.The Eagles’ receiversThe team should be without wide receiver Nelson Agholor and top power back Jordan Howard. That means a lot more of Alshon Jeffery and tight ends Zach Ertz and Dallas Goedert in the passing game for Wentz, as well as rookie Miles Sanders, who will handle most of the backfield duties with Howard staying on the shelf again. Philadelphia has struggled to find explosive plays. That won’t change here outside of Sanders after the catch, but it can dominate moving the ball all the way through the red zone. Stat that mattersWentz is 4-1 against the Giants. In those five games, he’s posted a combined 1,206 passing yards for 6 TDs and 3 INTs, with a 90.6 passer rating and 7.27 yards per attempt. He’s coming off his best game in weeks, throwing for 310 yards and 3 TDs and rating 93.6 in the loss to the Dolphins.Eagles vs. Giants predictionThe Giants’ defense cannot stop the Eagles’ running game, Ertz, Goedert and Jeffery. The Giants will have some success throwing the ball, but Barkley should be contained on the ground. Doug Pederson’s team gets closer to another division title, while Pat Shurmur’s team makes him feel even more heat on the hot seat.Eagles 27, Giants 17last_img read more

Guardiola hits backs at Solskjaer’s ‘tactical’ fouling jibe

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Pep GuardiolaManchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Pep Guardiola has slammed suggestions from Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that Manchester City are guilty of “tactical” fouling in an attempt to stop rivals from counter-attacking.Solskjaer, talking before the crucial Manchester derby between the sides at Old Trafford on Wednesday, made reference to City’s supposed habit of fouling high up the field to stop opponents hitting them on the break if Guardiola’s players are out of position.But City boss Guardiola did not take kindly to that analysis and appeared to accuse Solskjaer of trying to influence referee Andre Marriner, who will take charge of the derby.“That’s the reason why, of course,” said Guardiola when asked if he was concerned Solskjaer’s comments might be intended to influence the referee.“I know exactly what I said to my players from day one to the last day.“So when a player wants to attack, we have to be honest and, of course, there is contact, there are fouls.“But when it happens and you arrive late, that is why there are referees — to make yellow cards or red cards or whatever they decide, but never have I prepared a game (to do it).“I prepare the game to do our own game, that is what I want, knowing of course the opponent, but I never said I’m going to do that to punish them or cancel them, making fouls. Never.”Solskjaer is not the first United manager to make a similar claim about City in the Guardiola era — his predecessor Jose Mourinho having made an identical observation before a derby meeting last season.But the bare statistics tend not to support Solskjaer’s claims as figures show United have collected 64 yellow cards this season, compared with City’s 38, with four reds for United, in contrast to their rivals’ solitary dismissal.– ‘Ask him again’ –In terms of fouls, United have committed 201, considerably more than City’s 172, and Guardiola’s outraged reaction appeared to support such a reading of the situation.“I never prepare a game in 10 seasons as a manager thinking about these kind of things. Never,” he said. “The players can talk about it better than me about that — the players I had at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and here — one of the targets is about the counter attacks for the opponents making fouls, never have I said to one player to make fouls to avoid something.“Football sometimes you do that, because football, the actions is quick, fast.“But I’m concerned about many other things to beat them than these kind of things so I don’t know.“Maybe tomorrow in the press conference after the game you can ask him again about that.”Guardiola, however, is wary of the threat posed by United to City’s Premier League title ambitions.City are two points behind leaders Liverpool and the Manchester derby represents their vital game in hand.The Spaniard knows United’s under-performing stars could suddenly hit form as Solskjaer’s team battle to finish in the top four after a disappointing recent run.But the fact that Guardiola likened such a potential upset to Burnley’s achievement in drawing at Chelsea on Monday spoke of the extent to which United have ceased to be a viable challenger to City’s superiority.“Well the tension is there, it’s necessary to complete these kind of games,” he said.“I think everyone knows what we are playing for, we have to focus on the target and what we have to do.“For me, United remains an incredible team, of course, the last 20 or 25 years always there. The past three or four, that can happen in terms of a long history.“For one specific game, they would be dangerous. I know in the beginning how strong they’ll be in terms of intensity and we’ll have to handle it.”Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Ex-UEFA president Johansson dies at 89

first_imgLennart Johansson said creating the Champions League to replace the European Cup was his proudest achievement at UefaStockholm, Sweden | AFP |  Lennart Johansson, who was president of European football body UEFA from 1990 to 2007, has died at the age of 89, the Swedish football federation said on Wednesday.“Swedish football is in mourning. Lennart Johansson has died. He passed away on the evening of June 4 aged 89 after a short illness,” the federation said.Johansson’s long reign at the head of UEFA coincided with a transformation in the finances of football as the game became big business and saw a huge increase in TV revenue.In 1998, he was defeated by Sepp Blatter in his bid to become head of football’s global federation FIFA. Johansson was an outspoken critic of Blatter, who was forced out of office in 2015 following accusations of corruption in the awarding of the 2018 World Cup finals to Russia and the 2022 edition to Qatar. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Takeovers that changed Premier League history

first_imgMan City became ‘noisy neighbours’ of Man Utd after Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group takeover.London, United Kingdom | AFP | Newcastle United’s sale to a Saudi-backed consortium appears to be close to completion — a deal that could turn the long-time underachievers into a major Premier League power.The potential £300 million ($370 million) takeover will reportedly see Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund take a controlling stake in the club in northeast England.AFP Sport looks at three other English clubs who enjoyed a meteoric rise after lucrative takeovers:Man City become ‘noisy neighbours’When Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi United Group completed their £210 million takeover in September 2008, Mark Hughes was City’s manager, Brazilian Jo was their leading striker and Stephen Ireland was being touted as the team’s future star.Stuck in the shadow of Manchester United for decades, City had ended the previous season with an 8-1 defeat at Middlesbrough and were so hard up that Vincent Kompany said the dressing room toilet at their training ground did not even have a door.It is safe to say a lot has changed in the past 12 years.The turnaround from also-rans to the “noisy neighbours” of Alex Ferguson’s nightmares began just hours after the takeover with the shock signing of Brazilian star Robinho — the first in a long list of mega-money transfers that speeded City’s meteoric rise.City won the 2011 FA Cup and a year later Sergio Aguero snatched the title from United with his stoppage-time winner against QPR on the last day of the season.Big spending on stars such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling ensured City remained the team to beat and they secured another Premier League title in 2014.Pep Guardiola’s appointment in 2016 lifted them onto an even higher level and they won the Premier League in record-breaking style in 2018.Clinching an unprecedented domestic treble in 2019 established Guardiola’s group as one of the greatest teams in Premier League history.Chelsea’s Russian revolutionRoman Abramovich changed the face of the Premier League with his Russian revolution at Stamford Bridge.Abramovich’s £140 million takeover in 2003 triggered a seismic shift in power in the Premier League. Manchester United and Arsenal were England’s pre-eminent forces, but all that changed when, as Gunners vice-chairman David Dein noted with much regret, Abramovich “parked his Russian tanks on our lawn and fired £50 notes at us”.Abramovich’s cash landed Jose Mourinho in 2004 and funded his wunderkind manager’s assault on the Premier League establishment.Mourinho won the title in his first season, ending Chelsea’s 50-year wait to be crowned kings of English football, and followed that feat by retaining the trophy 12 months later.Carlo Ancelotti delivered more Premier League glory in 2010 and Mourinho returned to win his third title in 2015 before Antonio Conte landed the fifth English title of the Abramovich era in 2017.Having fallen in love with football while watching a Champions League match between Manchester United and Real Madrid, Abramovich’s holy grail was to lead Chelsea to their first triumph in Europe’s elite club competition.His wish came true in 2012 when Chelsea defied the odds to beat Bayern Munich in the final in the German team’s own Allianz Arena.Blackburn dreamFulfilling a childhood dream, Jack Walker’s vast investment transformed unglamorous Blackburn from a relic of the past into English champions.Blackburn were in the lower reaches of the second tier when Walker became the club’s majority owner after selling his steel business to British Steel for a reported £360 million.Walker was the local boy made good, who came back to revive the team he supported as a youngster.Blackburn had not won a major trophy since the 1928 FA Cup, but Walker lured Kenny Dalglish as manager in 1991 and together they put Ewood Park back on the map.Rovers were promoted in 1992 and Walker’s lavish spending made them a Premier League force.They flexed their muscles by splashing a then English record £3.6 million to sign Southampton striker Alan Shearer, beating Manchester United in the race.In 1995, Shearer’s goals helped Blackburn win the title for the first time in 81 years.It was the culmination of Walker’s ambitious dream, but they could not sustain that success and were relegated in 1999, a year before their benefactor’s death.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Northwest Infrared Services in Olympia, Recently Received the Level III Infrared…

first_imgWebsite: www.northwestinfrared.com Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Brent Foster, owner of Northwest Infrared Services in Olympia, recently received the Level III Infrared Thermography Certification, the highest level of certification available.  As one of only a handful of thermographers certified at this level in the State of Washington, Foster is now qualified to train Level I and Level II thermographers, as well as provide advanced consulting for corporations. Foster can be reached at 360-786-6850 or brent@northwestinfrared.com.last_img read more