New Delhi: The Congress on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP should stop using an individual’s “personal opinion” to “spread venom”, in an apparent reference to comments by Sam Pitroda on Balakot air strike which have triggered a political row. Congress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said his party has “unequivocally” said the Pulwama terror attack was a “grave national security failure” of the Modi government. Balakot air strike was a shining example of the valour of the Indian Air Force and Pakistan’s terror outfits like JeM and LeT and others will never succeed in their evil design, he said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details “Modiji and BJP should stop using an individual’s personal opinion to spread venom! Instead of hiding behind the sacrifice of our armed forces, PM must answer to Nation on — jobs crisis, agrarian distress, demonetisation & GST disasters & economic downturn,” Surjewala tweeted. Prime Minister Modi, using the hashtag ‘Janta maaf nahi karegi’ (people will not forgive) in a tweet, attacked Indian Overseas Congress chief Pitroda for reportedly saying “Eight people(26/11 terrorists) come and do something, you don’t jump on entire nation(Pakistan). Naive to assume that just because some people came here &attacked, every citizen of that nation is to be blamed. I don’t believe in that way”. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday Tagging a news report carrying Pitroda’s remarks, Modi said, “The most trusted advisor and guide of the Congress President has kick-started the Pakistan National Day celebrations on behalf of the Congress, ironically by demeaning India’s armed forces. Shame!” “Loyal courtier of Congress’ royal dynasty admits what the nation already knew — Congress was unwilling to respond to forces of terror. This is a New India- we will answer terrorists in a language they understand and with interest!.” Several BJP leaders, including BJP chief Amit Shah, slammed Pitroda for his remarks. Amid the controversy, Pitroda on Friday asked the government to come out with “more facts” on the Balakot air strikes, and said that he was “baffled” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reaction to his question which he was entitled to ask. Surjewala too slammed Modi’d remarks and alleged that Prime Minister Modi was “busy shooting films in Corbett Park” and giving a speech as nation mourned Pulwama martyrs. The Modi government was “clueless as RDX, MI carbines and rocket launchers were smuggled in to be used in Pulwama”, the Congress’ chief spokesperson said. The BJP government released Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar and other terrorists, he said.
When the pingpong balls came to a rest after Tuesday night’s NBA draft lottery, it was the end of an era for the league. Starting next season, the lottery’s distribution of odds based on team records will change — the first tweak to the system in 25 years. The jackpot-winning Phoenix Suns came out on top in this season’s historic tankfest, but from this moment on, the already-long odds of burning a franchise to the ground and building it back up will only get longer.At least, that’s the effect the league is hoping the new lottery rules will have. How much of a difference will the changes to the lottery system really make, though? And will it be enough to discourage teams from tanking?To work out some of the new math facing NBA teams, let’s turn to our draft-value chart, which measures the expected value over replacement player (VORP) that teams can expect out of a given draft pick in his first five pro seasons. (We’ll convert our chart from last summer to wins over replacement1Multiplying VORP by 2.7. to better position the differences in a real-world context.) The new lottery will definitely change teams’ incentives in the right direction. It makes having a bottom-five record less valuable and improves the fortunes of teams in the rest of the lottery (particularly the Nos. 8 and 9 picks, which gain the most value under the new system). But it’s worth wondering if a change of about two-thirds of a win per season will really be enough to make a big dent in teams’ willingness to tank.In fairness, the effect appears larger when you consider the outsize potential of top picks to become stars. Using WORP as a guide, there was about a 34 percent chance of landing an All Star-level player2Defined as a player who produced at least 30 WORP in his first five NBA seasons. if a team had the worst record going into the 2018 lottery; those odds will fall to 27 percent under next year’s system. Seven percentage points doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but the NBA is so star-driven that any reduction in the probability of getting a franchise-altering player hurts. With the ability to get those kinds of players also increasing for teams who finish with, say, the league’s eighth-worst record, it should eventually help the anti-tanking effort by funneling more big stars to teams who don’t completely throw their seasons away.So congratulations, Phoenix: You’re the last team who’ll take advantage of the old odds to help grab a potential star. The league’s changes might not be extreme enough to fully discourage teams from engaging in Sixers-style tear downs, but they’re a start. And after the race to the bottom that played out down the stretch of the 2017-18 season, such changes are more than welcome.Check out our latest NBA predictions. As I wrote last year:Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there.This is part of why teams spend so much time and energy gunning for the worst record — and (until next year) the highest odds of picking No. 1. The chances of getting an impact player from the top pick are much better than at any other slot in the draft. But they’re not perfect; there’s a lot of luck involved in picking the player who’ll have the best career. Add in the extra randomness of getting the lottery balls to bounce your way, and the difference between the expected value of having the NBA’s worst record under the old system and next year’s new one is just 3.4 total wins over the first five years of a player’s career.
Expectations run high at Ohio State. Just ask Jim Tressel. The Ohio State football coach, under unprecedented scrutiny after another big-game letdown, is feeling the heat for the first time during his nine-year tenure in Columbus.“You felt like it’s been a nine-year honeymoon?” Tressel asked a reporter. “You must not have liked your honeymoon.”The Buckeyes have lost their past six games against opponents ranked among the nation’s top five. If the Buckeyes are to match the lofty expectations set forth by years of tradition, then the days of being the big boys’ punching bag must end.A key to anything in life is adjusting to external forces, or, in football, one’s opponent. Coaches make changes in personnel and scheme at halftime. These modifications may or may not work. When they don’t pan out for a period of three years — Ohio State last knocked off a top-five adversary in 2006 — more grand-scale fine-tuning must take place.The unrest in Buckeye nation comes from the lack of adjustments from Tressel and his staff. Football is undergoing a temporary face lift, especially on the college level. All sports endure periods of varied gameplay, from the recent home run era in baseball to the early days of basketball when centers dominated the ball.Now, the name of the game in college football is speed and athleticism. Spread offenses, popping up around the nation like unwelcome groundhogs, are forcing defenses to get smaller and quicker. Athletic, versatile quarterbacks are the latest fad.OSU has its multi-faceted signal caller in Terrelle Pryor, the No. 1 high school recruit in 2008. But instead of making adjustments to accommodate the 6-foot-6, 235-pound quarterback, Tressel has squeezed the rare breed into his vanilla, run-based offense. The results haven’t pleased many; Pryor has seldom demonstrated the ability to excel in the Bucks’ offensive system, one Tressel refuses to alter. Rich Rodriguez instituted the spread offense last year at Michigan with players unsuited for the new scheme. A 3-9 record ensued. Now, with athletes at his disposal recruited specifically for the spread approach, the Wolverines are off to a 3-0 start.Recently, Tressel has targeted more players blessed with unparalleled speed to match the likes of Florida, USC or Texas. However, it’s the Buckeyes same old plan of attack that has prevented the program from reaching new heights.The Gators stymied the heavily-favored Buckeyes in ’07 with their athletic defense, limiting Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith to four completions for 35 yards. OSU couldn’t contain LSU’s plethora of speedy receivers the following year. The Trojan defense held OSU to fewer than 275 yards in each USC victory. And the Longhorns’ spread passing attack broke the hearts of Buckeye backers everywhere, as Colt McCoy threw for 414 yards.To catch up to the rest of the college football world, Tressel and Co. must implement changes on both sides of the ball. They must design an approach that suits the strengths of the athletes they have collected. Pryor is probably best equipped for a spread attack, which would give him space to operate with both his developing throwing arm and his nimble feet. He needs the instruction to focus on scoring touchdowns, not controlling field position.If Ohio State is to be recognized among the nation’s college football titans, the Buckeyes must prove they can beat bona fide competition. That signature victory has eluded the program for several years now. Tresselball needs a change to keep up with the rest of the best.
It will be the first Merseyside derby for Theo Walcott and he admitted that he is really looking forward to facing Liverpool as Everton will take on them at Goodison Park.The former England international managed to score three goals in his nine matches for the Toffees so far and he hopes that he will be able to help his team against their biggest rival in the upcoming derby match.The former Arsenal winger spoke about his expectations as he said, according to Liverpool Echo:“You might get drowned out – it’s been so loud at Goodison.”Report: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…“It’ll be a very passionate game. I’ll be relaxed until I step off the coach and get into the dressing room.”“That’s when my game face is on. Up to this point, it doesn’t matter what has happened this season. This is the game and it’s my first derby here. I can’t wait.”“I never knew what it was going to be like having been at Arsenal for so long and coming to somewhere completely different, but the fans have taken to me and been so welcoming.”“I’m pleased with how passionate they are, it’s one reason why I came here because I feel like they’re competitive and want to improve.”
Sergio Ramos has jokingly suggested that he might join Andres Iniesta in moving to China one day in the near futureThe Barcelona captain has recently announced that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season and is expected to confirm his move to the Chinese Super League in the upcoming weeks.Iniesta started in his final “El Clasico” match for Barcelona against rivals Real Madrid and received a warm applause by both sets of fans when he was later substituted in favour of Paulinho.Ramos, who at 32 years old is now approaching the twilight phase of his career, hinted that he would consider joining his Spanish international teammate at China at some point in the future.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“Maybe Iniesta and I will meet in China in a few years!” said the Real captain, according to Goal.Despite the controversy that surrounded Real’s 2-2 draw against Barcelona on Sunday night, Ramos is more interested in their Champions League final against Liverpool later this month.“That’s why there is a referee, as they are the specialists,” said Ramos.“We played a good game. We would have liked to break their unbeaten run, but this was the right path for preparing the final in Kiev.”
The national team manager believes he has already detected the mistakes his squad committed in the 2018 FIFA World Cup editionThe 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is seen as the worst tournament Germany has ever participated in.The national team failed to advance from its group and ended up at the bottom of the block.But for manager Joachim Low, he has four years to work on what can lead Germany to be world champions again.“This time we missed a little bit with our emotions, our fire – some players were not at their top level,” Low told the BBC World Football Show.Top 5 Bundesliga players to watch during the weekend Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 11, 2019 With the international activity cooling down for the next month, we go back to the Bundesliga’s Top 5 players to watch next weekend.The German…“It was a shock. We have to learn from that and accept that.”“We are re-motivated. We were four years at the top level, we won the World Cup in 2014 and the Confederations Cup in 2017. If you want to win the World Cup again, everything has to be perfect,” he added.“We have to accept our results but we’re looking forward. We know we have a good team of motivated players. We will come back again.”“It’s always a challenge in Germany, everyone expects you to win a tournament. But we had a very good last 10 or 12 years. This time it was bad but we are sure we will be better in the future,” Low said.“[German FA director] Oliver Bierhoff and I met immediately after the World Cup. For 14 years we were responsible for the team and for the organization in this federation.”
Former Bayern Munich defender Markus Babbel fears that the internal pressure that coach Niko Kovac has from the club board could lead to an early end of his reign in chargeThe pressure is mounting on the Croatian with Bayern currently on a four-game winless run in all competitions.Last time out the Bundesliga champions suffered a shock 3-0 home defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach and are now sixth in the league table and four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund.Bayern president Uli Hoeness has already announced that he will defend Kovac to the end.But Babbel knows first-hand how big the pressure of getting Bayern back on track will be for Kovac.“The problem is if you work in a club like Bayern, not only the press will put pressure but within the club too,” Babbel told SportsMax. “I know from my time there. Nothing changed.“Players can go to Hoeness or Rummenigge. Then you as a coach you have no chance because they’re crying here and there. This is the biggest problem. You have two big men in the office. If they don’t support you, you have no chance.”“For me, it is not normal. You can’t start with seven wins then play a draw against Augsburg,” Babbel said. “They had chances to win the match but Manuel Neuer made a mistake. From there, everything has gone the wrong way.“It’s very strange. I don’t know what’s happened. I know the coach is good, the players are good. If they are fine together, they will bounce back and win games.”Harte Arbeit und gute Laune zum Wochenstart bei @R13_official und Leon #Goretzka! ☀💪 #packmas #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/GZm21lyKg9Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) October 15, 2018Babbel, who now manages Australian club Western Sydney Wanderers after retiring in 2007 from playing football, questioned the motivation levels of the Bayern squad.“Problems not only at Bayern but Manchester United. Players aren’t recognising who they are playing for anymore,” said Babbel.“The privilege to play for a club like this. How much money they earn. They’re not performing and giving everything. They’re not top professionals.”He added: “From the outside, maybe the team is a bit too old. They’ve been playing together for a long time. I watched them last season live and they didn’t look hungry anymore… Too many players at Munich have stayed for too long.“There’s not much fresh air in the team. It’s always the same. Maybe this is one of the reasons things aren’t working.”Babbel won nine trophies in total at Bayern, which included three Bundesliga titles and the UEFA Cup in 1996 before leaving for Liverpool in 2000.
On the eve of the Premier League derby at Stamford Bridge against Manchester City, Chelsea chief Maurizio Sarri asked for patience after his team suffered two defeats in their last three Premier League outingsAfter an outstanding start of the season, the Blues have struggled to maintain the impressive performance in the past few weeks, having failed to secure all three points in three out of their previous four league clashes.After running unbeaten in 18 games across all competitions, the London outfit has suffered a 3-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur at the Wembley Stadium. What’s more, they allowed the returnees, Wolverhampton Wanderers, to come back from a goal down and clinch a 2-1 victory last midweek.However, former Napoli manager believes he needs to get some time to help his side return to the top of the Premier League.“What happens if Guardiola had no time in City? Maybe the best team in the world (would not have been) City in the last year,” he told Evening Standard.“My problem is to improve my players, to solve the situation, to solve problems, to try to gain a lot of points.Pochettino admits Wanyama remains in his Spurs plans Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Kenyan international, Victor Wanyama, was the protagonist of a summer transfer saga, but in the end, he is set to stay at Tottenham Hotspur.“Then there is the club that will decide what is better for them.“For him (Guardiola), it’s impossible to improve 20 players in the first season.“He told me, in the first season, you have to work only on 14, 15 players otherwise you are in trouble.“You need a season just to understand the real situation here (in England).”With Chelsea expected to take on the Citizens on Saturday’s afternoon, Maurizio Sarri is poised to take Guardiola’s scalp as his team trails the unbeaten Premier League leaders by ten points.
Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has revealed the role he played in the club signing N’Golo Kante.The Chelsea legend has revealed he encouraged the Blues to make a move for Kante after he helped Leicester City to their fairytale Premier League title triumph in 2016.“I’m very proud of him,’ said Drogba, according to Daily Mail. “I’m glad he chose Chelsea and the club listened to my advice, that they chose him. I’m glad I did not make a mistake.”Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“I told them that we should not miss him. When? I told them when he started at Leicester.”Kante has also established himself as an integral member of the French national team, helping the team achieve World Cup glory in 2018 in Russia.Drogba enjoyed two separate spells at Stamford Bridge, firstly between 2004 and 2012 and then in 2014-2015, helping the club secure their only UEFA Champions League triumph in 2012.
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny says the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid last summer has increased the team’s attacking threat.Since joining Juventus in the summer, Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals in 17 appearances, helping the Bianconeri top the Serie A table with seven points after 17 matches.Szczesny believes that Juve only have to focus on being solid at the back since they have a player like Ronaldo up front.Lukaku backed to beat Ronaldo in Serie A scoring charts Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Former Inter Milan star Andy van der Meyde is confident Romelu Lukaku will outscore Cristiano Ronaldo in this season’s Serie A.“I think Cristiano’s arrival has helped the team understand that if we do our job at the back, then something will happen up front,” Szczesny told Football Italia after their narrow 1-0 win against AS Roma.“We’ve got forwards like Cristiano Ronaldo, Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala who we know will create something. Therefore, if we remain solid at the back and don’t concede, we usually emerge with three points.“After all, victory means scoring one more goal than the opposition, so 1-0 is worth the same as winning 7-0. It’s true we have a lot of 1-0 wins, but in my view, that is the perfect football result. I’m a goalkeeper, so I’m happy if we don’t concede!”