10 months agoTalking Tactics: Solskjaer’s risky Man Utd; Puel Leicester sack; Fernandinho irreplaceable

first_imgTagsOpinionAbout the authorAlex Keble FollowShare the loveHave your say Talking Tactics: Solskjaer’s risky Man Utd; Puel Leicester sack; Fernandinho irreplaceableby Alex Keble10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool went four points clear at the top of the Premier League table after Crystal Palace’s shock win against Manchester City. Roy Hodgson’s side exposed some emerging issues in the City midfield and defence, tactically outclassing his opponent on Saturday to put Jurgen Klopp’s team firmly in control of the title race.Elsewhere Ole Gunnar Solskjaer emphasised risk-taking as Manchester United found a fluency and tactical coherence that has been lacking all season. They are still eight points off fourth, but after such a dominant performance Champions League qualification is not unthinkable. Here are three things we learnt from the weekend action:1) Ranieri-style Leicester win shows Puel isn’t the right fit for the clubIt might seem harsh to highlight Claude Puel’s unsuitability to the Leicester job immediately after a 1-0 win at Chelsea, but the manner of their performance should be a wake-up call to the board. Holding just 28% possession and breaking forward quickly, Leicester were forced to play in the counter-attacking style that has become the ‘Leicester way’ ever since their title win. Puel’s desire to play patient possession football hasn’t sat well with the fans or certain players; after Saturday, it’s easy to see why.Chelsea are becoming increasingly jaded, and at Stamford Bridge they struggled to find any rhythm. Leicester’s narrow, compact shell meant Jorginho was consistently forced to spread the ball out wide (rather than cut incisive balls through the middle) for the wingers to attempt crosses (36 in total, their highest tally of the season). It was classic Leicester: deny space in the middle, force long balls into the box, and – with Wes Morgan and Harry Maguire in defence – head everything clear.On the counter, Jamie Vardy came to life after a difficult season adapting to Puel’s tactics. James Maddison also looked freer, breaking into space behind Jorginho to set up the winner with a neat assist. It’s clear that Leicester have the personnel – and the desire – to play in a very different philosophy to the one their current manager preaches.2) Narrow front three helps United play high-tempo attacking footballOle Gunnar Solskjaer’s first game in charge of Manchester United was easy enough, but nevertheless he deserves credit for unshackling the players; they had clearly been told to get the ball forward quickly, keep it moving at high speed, and take plenty of risks in possession. The sight of Victor Lindelof playing a one-two and galloping deep into the Cardiff half summed up the new attitude.Tactically speaking, the biggest change was in the positional play of United’s front three. Marcus Rashford dropped off the front while Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial moved infield from the wings, with all three players regularly combining in the number ten space. Such narrowness, and positional fluidity, pulled Cardiff’s defence out of position – most notably in the move for United’s third goal.There will be tougher challenges ahead, but Solskjaer clearly understands the club’s history and the players’ desire to play expansive attacking football. That should ensure his tenure is a successful one.3) Fernandinho is irreplaceable as John Stones is exposed by PalaceMan City seemed to have unlimited strength in depth, and yet on Saturday they were beaten primarily because John Stones could not deputise successfully for the injured Fernandinho. The Brazilian is a clever player defensively, but more importantly has a rare agility for a defensive midfielder. This allows City to play in a very wide formation, because Fernandinho can rapidly change direction and recover the ball.Stones clearly isn’t the most mobile of footballers, making him a strange choice to start in central midfield on Saturday. He was turned in the build-up to the first two Palace goals, first by failing to make a strong enough tackle on James McArthur and then losing control of the midfield battle as Palace won a freekick (from which Andros Townsend scored). Fernandinho’s injury could mean he misses the Leicester City match on Boxing Day – which is a major boost for Liverpool. Just like Palace, it is easy to imagine Leicester’s Maddison and Vardy countering around the flat-footed Stones.Best of the Week – Hodgson’s use of SchluppCrystal Palace’s performance in their victory over Man City was fairly typical of Roy Hodgson’s time in charge of the club, although there was one big difference: Jeffrey Schlupp played in central midfield for perhaps the first time in his career. He added pace and directness in the centre, allowing Palace to counter-attack against John Stones rather than out wide. Schlupp’s impact was most obvious in his equalising goal, but Hodgson’s selection also indirectly played a hand in Palace’s second and third. By adding Schlupp into the middle, switching from 4-4-2 to 4-5-1, Hodgson had to move Andros Townsend out to the right wing. His cutting inside from the right sucked Man City inwards, helping Aaron Wan-Bissaka isolate Fabian Delph – as he did in the build-up to Palace’s match-winning penalty.Worst of the Week – Everton’s defendingConfusion across the back four defined Everton’s 6-2 defeat to Tottenham on Sunday. They failed to track Spurs’ runs properly, communicating badly and clearly struggling with Marco Silva’s high line.But more important was the lack of pressure on the Spurs midfielders. Mauricio Pochettino instructed his team to play lots of long balls in behind Everton’s high line, and this worked primarily because Everton’s midfield didn’t close down quickly enough. Christian Eriksen was given the freedom of Goodison Park – and that can only end in one team winning. last_img read more

Sustained fiscal restraint needed if United Conservatives win election Kenney

first_imgCALGARY – Alberta conservative leadership candidate Jason Kenney says a period of austerity would be required if he is elected premier two years from now to undo damage caused by the NDP government.Kenney, a former federal Conservative cabinet minister who is running for leader of the fledgling United Conservative Party, said it will take time to fix the financial mess left by Premier Rachel Notley’s government.“For us to balance the budget we’re going to have to … restart our economy with pro-growth policies including the elimination of the carbon tax and doing everything we can to make Alberta open for business again,” Kenney said Wednesday in Calgary.“And we will have to go through a period of sustained fiscal restraint. That doesn’t mean cutting 20 per cent of our budget, but it does mean learning from how B.C. and other provinces deliver the same services so much more efficiently.”Kenney says British Columbia has a larger population and more newcomers that need help resettling, but the province spends 20 per cent less per capita than Alberta.Kenney also fired back at Notley for comments she made at the opening of an Edmonton school earlier this month. Notley told students the United Conservative Party wants to cut funding for schools instead of ensuring students get a modern education.Kenney said Notley shouldn’t be campaigning in front of schoolchildren.“She told us that any fiscal restraint means hacking and slashing and threatening schools and hospitals,” he said. “Albertans are way too smart to buy the fear and smear campaign from this government.”Alberta has been struggling for years with a prolonged trough in oil prices, draining billions of dollars from its bottom line and putting thousands of people out of work.In its last fiscal update, the government said it would dip into its reserve fund and look for more in-house savings to keep its $10.5-billion deficit from sliding further into the red.Kenney was endorsed Wednesday by former interim Progressive Conservative leader Ric McIver and former Wildrose member Jason Nixon.Nixon, who was involved in discussions to unite the two right-wing parites, said Kenney was concerned with making a party focused on the membership and people of Alberta. That set him apart from former Wildrose leader Brian Jean who is also running to lead the new party.“One leader was more concerned with trying to make the process easier for their leadership race and that leader was Brian Jean,” Nixon said. “I think that shows a tremendous difference between Jason and Brian.”United Conservative Party members vote for a leader Oct. 28.— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitterlast_img read more

Aritzia sees 13th straight quarter of comparable sales growth net revenue up

first_imgVANCOUVER – Aritzia Inc. (TSX:ATZ) reported its 13th consecutive quarter of positive comparable sales growth in its most recent quarter.The Vancouver-based women’s fashion brand says its comparable sales grew 6.3 per cent for its third quarter ended Nov. 26, 2017, due to continued momentum in its e-commerce business. In the third quarter of 2016, it reported 15.1 per cent growth.Its net revenue rose 9.6 per cent to $204.4 million, compared to $186.5 million in the same quarter last year. The company mostly attributed the increase to seven store openings, as well as five expanded or repositioned stores since the third quarter.The company says its adjusted net income rose 11.4 per cent to $30.6 million, or 26 cents per share, from $27.5 million, or 23 cents per share, in the third quarter of 2016.While its net revenue fell below analyst expectations, its earnings per share outperformed estimates, according to data from Thomson Reuters.last_img read more

Gov Amazon largest jobs commitment in Tennessee history

first_imgNASHVILLE — Gov. Bill Haslam said Tuesday that an Amazon operations hub expected to create 5,000 jobs in Tennessee will be “the single largest jobs commitment made by a company in Tennessee’s history.”Amazon will invest $230 million-plus to locate its Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville Yards, a 15-acre (6-hectare), mixed-use downtown development still under construction in the booming southern city. Holly Sullivan of Amazon Public Policy says Nashville will become the eastern U.S. hub for its retail operations division, with hiring to begin next year.Amazon announced the Nashville site the same day it revealed it would split its much-anticipated second headquarters between New York and Arlington, Virginia, each getting 25,000 jobs.“This is a game changer for Tennessee. The ripple effect of Amazon’s decision to invest $230 million in our state and create 5,000 high-paying jobs in downtown Nashville will be felt for years to come,” Haslam said in a statement.Amazon’s new 1 million square-foot Nashville office space will host tech and management functions, including customer fulfilment, customer service, transportation and supply chain. The project is expected to add an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years, according to the company.Amazon says it will receive up to $102 million in performance-based incentives based on the creation of 5,000 jobs with an average wage exceeding $150,000 in Nashville.“We think it’s just a great location for our employees, but also a great location to really further the resilience and the vibrancy, and just the overall coolness of Nashville, Tennessee,” Sullivan said Tuesday at a news conference with Gov. Haslam.The company received 238 proposals for its new headquarters before narrowing it down to 20 in January, a shortlist that included Nashville.Haslam said that in the past 30 days or so, the conversation shifted toward the possibility of the smaller hub in Nashville. For perspective, Haslam said the Amazon headquarters proposal could have resulted in 50,000 new jobs in one location, and Nashville currently only has 70,000 jobs downtown.“I think we realized, Nashville realized and Amazon realized, to do something that big, as much as Nashville has grown, would still be a challenge to infrastructure and to the talent demand,” Haslam said at the news conference.Amazon’s choice also followed the resounding defeat of a multibillion-dollar Nashville transit ballot measure in the May election, a plan that banked on tax increases to introduce a light rail system, expand bus routes and build a downtown underground tunnel. In fielding proposals for the second headquarters, Amazon stressed the importance of direct access to mass transit.Nashville Mayor David Briley said the city still continues to invest in expanding its existing transit system.Amazon’s incentives package includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next seven years — equivalent to $13,000 per job.Meanwhile, Nashville has agreed to give up to a $15 million cash grant based on each job created within the same timeframe. The annual payment from the city, however, will be dependent on the actual number of employees added.Finally, Amazon will receive a job tax credit to offset 50 per cent of Tennessee’s franchise and excise taxes based on $4,500 per job over the next seven years — worth about $21.7 million.A free market think-tank, Beacon Center of Tennessee, became a quick critic of the deal. Beacon Center spokesman Mark Cunningham said officials “got scammed into giving the company more than $100 million in taxpayer giveaways for a consolation prize.”But Briley and Haslam contended that Nashville and the state are getting great deals that will quickly pay themselves off. Haslam said he expects 1.6 more jobs in the state for every direct job created, for a total of 13,000-plus.The state says Amazon currently has six Tennessee facilities employing more than 6,500 people.___Associated Press writer Kimberlee Kruesi in Nashville contributed to this report.Jonathan Mattise, The Associated Presslast_img read more

Indigenous energy firm touts job creation in joint venture to make bitumen

first_imgCALGARY — The CEO of an Indigenous energy company says a project to transform oilsands bitumen into pucks for safer shipping to customers around the world will potentially create needed jobs in northern Alberta while helping to recycle plastic litter.Jeff Paquin says the project his company, Wapahki Energy Ltd., is working on with Canadian National Railway Co. could also result in a long-term revenue stream for its owner, the Heart Lake First Nation, a tiny community of about 250 members surrounded by several thermal oilsands projects.CN Rail has been working for years on its “CanaPux” technology that mixes and coats heavy, sticky bitumen oil with recycled polymer plastic, creating a product the size and shape of a bar of soap that can be shipped in rail cars or shipping containers and will float if spilled into water.It revealed last month a joint venture plan to build a pilot plant for about $50 million to process 10,000 barrels per day of bitumen, with a commercial facility with capacity of 50,000 barrels per day to follow.During a presentation to the Indigenous Energy Summit on the Tsuut’ina Nation on Thursday, Paquin said Wapahki and CN are to each contribute $16.7 million to the joint venture to build the CanaPux pilot plant, with the remainder coming from either industry partners or government or a mix of both.The community would separately build and own a facility to clean and process 300 tonnes per day of recycled plastic, creating more than 200 jobs, and a biomass-fuelled power plant that would employ about 50 people.“We all know that Canada and the rest of the world have a real issue when it comes to plastics,” Paquin said.“Why not introduce a solution to use that plastic, divert it from landfills, and use that as part of the manufacturing of CanaPux. You’re creating jobs on the recycling side for the northern communities.” Companies in this article: (TSX:CNR) The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Pradhan hands 7 croreth LPG connection under PMUY

first_imgNEW DELHI: Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday handed over the 7 croreth LPG connection under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). Under the scheme, deposit-free LPG connections are provided to poor households and the connections are released in the name of adult women.The scheme was launched on May 1, 2016, by Prime Minister Narendra Modi with an initial target of 5 crore, which was later revised upward to 8 crore connections. The 7 croreth connection has been released within just 34 months of the scheme’s launch, which is a spectacular achievement for the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas. Nearly 69,000 connections are being released per day. There has been a huge jump in LPG coverage in the country, having gone up from 55 per cent in 2014 to 93 per cent. As many as 42 per cent of the total beneficiaries belong to the SC/ ST categories. As per recent data, 82 per cent Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana beneficiaries are going for refilling their cylinders and average refilling is about 6.5 cylinders per beneficiary. Congratulating the women beneficiaries, Pradhan said that they have been the main driving force behind this accomplishment. He said that the Government has not only provided connections to the poor but also distributed happiness to them. The scheme was launched with identification from the SECC list but was subsequently expanded to cover all the poor of the country. Pradhan lauded the efforts of the Oil Marketing Companies (OMCs), distributors, field-level officers and all other stakeholders.last_img read more

Mens Hockey Win streaks on the line when No 6 Ohio State

Ohio State sophomore forward Tanner Laczynski controls the puck during a 4-0 loss to Penn State on Dec. 2. Credit: Nick Hudak | For the LanternThe No. 6 Ohio State men’s hockey team (14-4-4, 7-4-1-0 Big Ten) will try to keep its win streak intact when it travels to State College, Pennsylvania, for a weekend series against a streaking No. 13 Penn State (12-7-3, 5-4-3-2 Big Ten) team Friday and Saturday.Penn State hasn’t lost in regulation in 10 games, with the lone blemish coming in a 2-2 shootout loss to Michigan State. Ohio State has won its past six games, which include series sweeps of Big Ten rivals Michigan State and No. 9 Minnesota. Ohio State’s last two losses came to the Nittany Lions in a series in early December. The Buckeyes lost in a shootout after a 5-5 tie in the first game and were shut out 4-0 in the next game. “We’re different, they’re different from a month and a half ago and what not,” Ohio State head coach Steve Rohlik said. “We’re going in there with the expectation that we got to go in there and play better, be better, to go in there and try and beat a good hockey team.”Penn State boasts the top offense in the nation, averaging 4.1 goals scored per game. The Nittany Lion offense is led by junior forward Andrew Sturtz, who has 10 goals and 28 points in 21 games this season. Penn State sophomore forward Denis Smirnov has nine goals and 17 points in 14 games, while leading the team with five power-play goals.Ohio State redshirt junior goalie Sean Romeo said he is ready for a Penn State offense that averages 40 shots per game. “They shoot a lot, so I know what to expect on that front,” Romeo said. “I just have confidence from how we have been preparing and how we’ve been playing, so definitely feeling good going into the weekend.”Rohlik said Penn State has relentless players who frequently push the puck in front of the net, and Ohio State will have to play strong defense to slow down the Nittany Lions’ attack. “Everything is to the net, they crash the net, they’re relentless, they work extremely hard, they stick to their system. They are who they are. That’s what makes them great,” Rohlik said. “For us, we just need to be disciplined with our five-man defense… I think that’s the biggest thing, we can’t control, you know, Smirnov is gonna get loose and some of those guys are gonna get loose, but again, we’re concentrating on five guys, not just one.” Ohio State holds one of the best road records of any team in the country at 9-1-1. “I think for some reason our team just gets a little excited hearing that student section going against us,” Romeo said. “I think that give us a little boost. I know this weekend will be pretty hectic, so I think we’ll come out flying.” Puck drop for the first game of the series will happen at 7:30 p.m. Friday and the second game will begin at 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Both games will take place at Pegula Ice Arena. read more

Sadio Mane reveals his two boyhood idols

first_imgLiverpool striker Sadio Mane has named Ronaldinho and El-Hadji Diouf as the top two players he idolised while growing upThe Senegal international’s comments will likely cause a stir at Anfield due to Diouf’s reputation.The former striker spent two years at Liverpool and had a long-standing feud with captain Steven Gerrard.More recently, Diouf publicly blamed Gerrard for Liverpool’s failed title bid in the Premier League back in 2014.“When I was young, I had lots of favourite footballers, but Ronaldinho was my real favourite, along with El-Hadji Diouf from Senegal,” Mane told Bleacher Report.Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Manchester UnitedVidic: “Ronaldo is the most professional footballer I’ve seen” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Nemanja Vidic opened up on how a 21-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo’s professionalism left him stunned at Manchester United.“They really inspired me. Those two players were examples for me as a footballer. They were skilful players and good dribblers who beat their opponents easily.”Mane also reserved praise for his fellow forward Roberto Firmino, who he describes as an “animal” due to his hardworking nature.“Lots of people like to talk about me and Salah. It’s nice to hear those things, but the strength of this Liverpool team is the collective,” Mane said.“You also can’t forget that there’s a guy up front called Firmino who works like an animal for us and makes things easier. And the guys behind us do some extraordinary work. We try to benefit from that and help the team go forward.“I was a very good dribbler as a young player, but now that I’ve got more experience, there are some useless things that I don’t do anymore. It’s all about making and scoring goals for the team, like my idols did when they were at the peak of their powers.”last_img read more