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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta explains why Eddie Nketiah starts over Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli against Newcastle

first_imgArsenal boss Mikel Arteta explains why Eddie Nketiah starts over Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli against Newcastle Metro Sport ReporterSunday 16 Feb 2020 4:14 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link3.8kShares Advertisement Comment Advertisementcenter_img Ceballos starts for the first time under Arteta (Picture: Getty)Arteta has called on his players to bring energy to the field and press the opposition as a unit at the Emirates.‘I think we have to generate some defensive stability, but not by defending deep. I don’t like that,’ he said.‘It’s by defending high and pressing the opponent as much as possible. But the process – together as many times as possible in the most efficient way – has to be done properly from here.‘If not, in two passes when you arrive there, that transition is impossible to control because you are too far from the opponent.‘So we need to do that well first to be able to generate and sustain our attacks as many times as possible during the games.’More: FootballBruno Fernandes responds to Man Utd bust-up rumours with Ole Gunnar SolskjaerNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesAubameyang has warned his team-mates about the ‘threat’ of Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin, a player he knows well from their time together at Saint-Etienne.‘Newcastle are a solid side. I expect them to play quite deep so we will need to find a way of unlocking their back five,’ he said in Arsenal’s official matchday programme.AdvertisementAdvertisement‘But also be careful not to give them too much space on the counter, especially if Allan Saint Maximin is playing.‘He is a threat. I know him very well as he was at the Saint-Etienne academy when I was at the club. He used to come and train with us in the first team. He has great skills and pace too.‘But we are home and we have the belief that we will win with 1,000% commitment and motivation.’MORE: Kanu rates Mikel Arteta’s start as Arsenal boss Eddie Nketiah starts up front for Arsenal at home to Newcastle (Picture: Getty)Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta says he ‘trusts’ Eddie Nketiah’s ability in front of goal after naming the youngster in his starting XI over Alexandre Lacazette and Gabriel Martinelli at home to Newcastle.The Gunners kept hold of Nketiah after his loan spell with Leeds in the first half of the season and the 20-year-old forward scored on his return as Arteta’s men beat Bournemouth to reach the FA Cup fifth round.Nketiah then came off the bench as Burnley held Arsenal to a goalless draw before the winter break, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Lacazette and Martinelli starting in attack at Turf Moor.AdvertisementAdvertisementArsenal captain Aubameyang has kept his place in Arteta’s starting XI for Sunday’s clash with Newcastle, but Lacazette and Martinelli start on the substitutes bench at the Emirates.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityDani Ceballos, who has returned to full fitness following a frustrating hamstring injury, starts for the first time under Arteta and the Spaniard plays alongside Mesut Ozil and Granit Xhaka in midfield.Asked about his surprise decision to select Nketiah up front with Aubameyang, Arteta told Sky Sports: ‘He’s been training really well. He’s a kid who has a goal in him.‘I believe we have a game ahead with a really low block and numbers behind the ball.‘He’s a very talented player to find goals in goalscoring situations and I trust him, that’s why I decided to keep him.’ Martinelli and Lacazette start on the substitutes bench at the Emirates (Picture: Getty)On his decision to start Ceballos, Arteta added: ‘Dani needed to pick his fitness up after the injury but he’s been training really, really well and he deserves his chance.’Asked about Mateo Guendouzi’s absence, the Spaniard simply replied: ‘It was a tactical decision.’last_img read more

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AFN Board Suspends Gusau as Federation President

first_imgOlawale Ajimotokan, AbujaThe board of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) suspended Ibrahim Gusau as the President of the federation following several allegations that bordered on gross misconduct, abuse of power and mismanagement of funds, were leveled against him.The federation’s Acting President, Olamide George, read out a communique suspending Gusau after the federation met yesterday. Ibrahim Shehu Gusau The board members that met were George, Gabriel Okon, DIG Sani Mohammed (Rtd), Rosa Collins, Brown Ebewele, Himal Charles (athletes representative ) and Tafida Gadzama while Maria Wolphill and Prof. Ojeme sent apologies for their absence.The AFN board expressed indignation with Gusau, for the flagrant violation of the constitution by calling an annual congress of AFN in utter disregard of the provisions of section 614 of the constitution, which made it mandatory for a 50-day notice to be given before an annual congress of the federation can be convened.Also citing another infraction on the constitution, George said Gusau changed the password of the Federation’s email thereby denying the former Secretary since April 2019 the opportunity to perform his lawful duties especially in the area of communicating to the World Athletics.Gusau was also accused of entering agreement with the Sports wear manufacturer, PUMA without formal documentation.“The President signed a deal without the knowledge and approval of the board and without the knowledge and signature of the Secretary General the custodian of the Federation’s records, documents and properties, ” George said.He also noted that board frowned at the President’s refusal to pay the allowances of athletes, and coaches’ and other officials’ allowances or part payments at major international competitions.The board unanimously asked Gusau to step aside in order for investigations to be carried out over the infractions, while the Vice President acts in his place. It also setup a five- man committee to carry out the investigation and report back at the next board meeting.The board also thanked the Minister of Youth and Sports Development Mr. Sunday Dare for the payment of $135,000 erroneously paid to the account of the AFN by World Athletics in 201 and for providing funds for team Nigeria’s participation at the Athletics Championship in Doha this year.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

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Wisconsin quarterback situation all but set for ’06

first_imgYANA PASKOVA/Herald photoGreen means stop and red means go — at least in the world of Wisconsin football.During spring practices, the offense wears red jerseys and the white-clad defenders are free to detonate their best hits upon the red team, so long as it is a full-contact drill.That is why the quarterbacks wear green, which is the UW football equivalent to a stop sign. Before every hitting drill, the mantra “don’t hit the quarterbacks” is repeated by every able-bodied coach on the field.”Yeah, that’s something you don’t want to do,” said defensive lineman Kurt Ware on hitting a quarterback during practice. “You’ll probably be running a bit or something.”Reporters joke that any player caught hitting star senior quarterback John Stocco will lose their scholarship. That may be closer to fact than fiction.Stocco looks to be the straw that stirs the drink for the Wisconsin offense this season, being one of only three returning starters on offense, along with linemen Joe Thomas and Kraig Urbik. Last season, Stocco set single-season school records with 2,920 passing yards and 21 touchdowns, and he has started the last 25-straight games, fourth-most among active quarterbacks in the country, behind Houston’s Kevin Kolb (36), Notre Dame’s Brady Quinn (34) and Florida’s Chris Leak (33).Simply put, he is the face of the UW offense.”He’s started three years, he’s won a lot of games, and you look at him, and he just looks like a leader,” said UW third-string quarterback Dustin Sherer. “He’s one of the best to come through here.””John has had his ups and downs, but he is undoubtedly one of the best in the country at what he does,” said UW head coach Bret Bielema. “He has experience, ability, his decision-making is much improved. I’m pretty glad to have No. 7 on my side.”Quarterback is one of the few settled positions heading into spring practices, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Barring catastrophic injury, Stocco will start, which is a good thing, seeing as backups Tyler Donovan and Sherer have struggled during workouts.Donovan and Sherer have both had issues taking snaps from under center, as fumbled exchanges between the quarterbacks and center Marcus Coleman have been far too common for Bielema’s liking.”We want to see our [quarterbacks] hold onto the ball a little better,” Bielema said. “We’ve seen a little too many mishandled snaps. The throws can get better, but right now, we just want to see our guys hang onto the ball.”Stocco himself hasn’t been a model of consistency, either, as the quarterbacks are trying to build chemistry with the all-new corps of wideouts that UW will feature next season, as Wisconsin’s top seven reception leaders from a year ago are now gone.”A lot of how they are doing is just about knowing exactly where the receivers are going to be and when they are going to be there,” Bielema said. “We’ve made a major emphasis on that, and we will continue to do so.”No returning player caught more than one pass last season, but both the receivers and the quarterbacks are confident the gaps in timing will be filled in time for the upcoming season.”We’re coming along well and making progress,” said UW receiver Marcus Randle El. “We’ll be straight. We just need time, is all.””We’re coming along, getting better every practice,” Stocco said. “It’s just going to take time. I’ve got to get better with my reads, and I’m working on it.”Stocco has not only been working on his reads, as the senior made a decision to take a more active and vocal leadership role this season over an offensive unit that will, as a whole, be just as green as Stocco’s jersey this spring.”I’m taking it upon myself to [be] much more active vocally with the guys,” Stocco said. “I’m a senior, and it’s time for me to step up in that respect.””I think all of us as quarterbacks have a responsibility to take control of this team,” said Donovan. “We all have to be ready, no matter what. We’re all leaders, and [Stocco] has always been one. He’s just trying to take it a step further.”While the quarterback competition is at a minimum right now, with Stocco’s starting spot all but written in Sharpie, and Sherer not truly showing enough to warrant supplanting Donovan, the battle could become tooth and nail this fall. That would be when Wisconsin’s two freshman signal-callers, traditional drop-back passer Scott Tolzien (Rolling Meadows, Ill.) and fleet-footed scrambler Maurice Moore (Fort Worth, Texas) will begin playing. It seems unlikely UW would keep five quarterbacks on scholarship, but it could be in the realm of possibility, as Stocco does graduate next year. Regardless, expect the competition to heat up behind Stocco when the team begins drills next semester. Until then, Stocco and Co. will be wearing green and staying clean, if only for the sake of the unfortunate lineman who would soon be regretting life should he break the code of “green means stop.”last_img read more

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Highs and lows of Wisconsin sports: Fall 2008

first_imgFootball:What started as unlimited expectations quickly became a disappointment of mass proportions for the UW football team. After starting 3-0 in non-conference play — including an impressive 13-10 victory over then-No. 21 Fresno State in Fresno — the Badgers dropped their first four Big Ten games, starting with a two-point loss to Michigan after blowing a 19-point lead. The wheels really started to fall off for UW after back-to-back, double-digit defeats at the mercy of Penn State (48-7 at home) and Iowa (38-16 on the road), but since that 0-4 conference start, Wisconsin is 4-1 overall and has a chance to end the season with a four-game win streak if it can beat Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl on Dec. 27 in Orlando, Fla.The season was highlighted by an inordinate amount of criticism aimed at head coach Bret Bielema, plus the emergence of freshman running back John Clay, sophomore wide receiver David Gilreath and junior quarterback Dustin Sherer, who will all look to contribute in big ways next season.— Derek ZetlinMen’s basketball:The Wisconsin men’s basketball team, led by seniors Joe Krabbenhoft and Marcus Landry, got off to a nice start, beginning the season with four straight wins before losing to No. 2 Connecticut in the Paradise Jam Tournament final.Freshmen Rob Wilson and Jordan Taylor have emerged as head coach Bo Ryan’s favorite first-year players, and Trevon Hughes has continued his play from last season, leading the Badgers with an average of 13.2 points per game.The Badgers’ strong play, however, came to an abrupt bump in the road Dec. 6 when Wisconsin traveled east to Milwaukee to take on rival Marquette. While UW led the Golden Eagles for most of the game, Jerel McNeal sparked Marquette to a comeback win, beating the Badgers 61-58 at the Bradley Center.Ryan’s squad survived a scare on Tuesday night, squeaking by Idaho State 60-58 behind junior guard Jason Bohannon’s 18 points.Wisconsin now has two games remaining before the highly anticipated bout with Texas. After that, the Badgers will travel to Ann Arbor, where they will face Michigan, who has beaten two top five teams in the young season.— Jonah BraunMen’s hockey:Talk about a roller coaster first half.The Badgers were dealt a tough blow early in the season, when senior co-captain Ben Street suffered a knee injury in the team’s fourth game of the season. Adding insult to injury was UW’s 0-6-1 start to the year, not earning a win until Nov. 1 against North Dakota.Since then, however, Wisconsin has been one of the hottest teams in the nation and has finally made its way into the national polls after the slow start. Mike Eaves’ team is 9-1-1 in its last 11 games, including a current five-game winning streak heading into the winter break.No one player has stood out offensively for the Badgers, who have seen contributions from the likes of John Mitchell, Tom Gorowsky, Brendan Smith and Jamie McBain.Like the team, goaltender Shane Connelly has settled down since the opening month, allowing just one goal in a three-game span against St. Cloud State, Michigan State and Michigan.— Tyler MasonWomen’s hockey:Undefeated and top-ranked, the Wisconsin women’s hockey team has had a very successful first half of the 2008-09 season.The lady Badgers have used a potent offensive attack, stringent defensive play and elite goaltending to stake their claim as the top team in the land. Wisconsin enters Christmas break at 18-0-2.All-American candidates include sophomore wing Hilary Knight, senior center Erika Lawler, junior center/wing Meghan Duggan, freshman center Brooke Ammerman and senior goaltender Jessie Vetter.Aided by great depth that includes six reliable defensemen, three very effective lines and superstar goaltender Jessie Vetter, the Badgers are the surefire midseason favorites to win the National Championship.Wins over top five opponents Minnesota, Minnesota-Duluth and New Hampshire have toughened Coach Mark Johnson’s squad and prepared them for what is sure to be a grueling second half. Early 2009 trips to Duluth and Minnesota will present tough challenges and ready the talented Badgers for postseason play.Being the No. 1 team in America brings certain burdens, most notably the target Wisconsin carries as the top dog.Every team Wisconsin faces is going to bring their best, and through 20 games, the Badgers look fit to take on all challengers. — Bobby DonohueVolleyball:At the outset of the season, there were high expectations for the Wisconsin volleyball team. They finished second in the Big Ten to eventual national champions Penn State and had a highly-touted freshman class coming in to replace five seniors who departed after last year’s record setting season.As the season wore on, however, the season became more of a rebuilding year than a continuation of the 2007 season. The Badgers failed to find consistency, only winning three matches between October 17 and November 29, including losing the final four contests of the season.Individually, many of last year’s statistics leaders are down. In 2007, outside hitter Brittney Dolgner averaged 4.63 kills per set on her way to become the first UW sophomore to be named All-American. This year, however, her numbers were down by more than a kill per set, averaging only 3.40 kills per set.While this year may have been disappointing by Wisconsin standards, as they didn’t make the NCAA tournament for the first time in 13 seasons, their future looks bright. Freshmen Janelle Gabrielsen and Elle Ohlander were named to the Big Ten Conference All-Freshman team. It was the first time two members of the Wisconsin volleyball team were named to the roster.— Ben SolochekWomen’s basketball:The Wisconsin women’s basketball team, picked to finish 10th in the Big Ten in preseason polls, has been anything but the team many thought they would be.The Badgers have jumped out to an 9-1 record, including nine straight victories — the team’s longest winning streak since the 2001-02 season. Most of their success has resulted from their excellent defensive play, as they have allowed only 56 points per game.UW has also had a very balanced scoring attack, led by shooting guard Alyssa Karel and point guard and team captain Rae Lin D’Alie, who average 14 and eight points per game, respectively.The team has already had its share of thrills only a month into the season. Wisconsin was able to capture the Paradise Jam title in the Virgin Islands after beating Villanova, Central Florida and upsetting then-No. 6 Baylor 59-58 on a Karel jumper with seven seconds to go. Other key wins for the Badgers included a victory over Drake — Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone’s former team — a double overtime win over in-state rival UW-Milwaukee, and a victory over Virginia Tech in the ACC/ Big Ten challenge.— Sam OlesonMen’s soccer:Although the Wisconsin men’s soccer team finished the season with a winning record, their performance in Big Ten play prevented the team from making the NCAA tournament for the 13th consecutive season.A 1-4-1 record in the Big Ten play this season, culminated by a first round loss to Michigan in the tournament, led to the eventual resignation of seventh year head coach Jeff Rohrman.In their tournament game, the Badgers came one shot away from pulling off the upset over the No. 10 Wolverines. After playing to a scoreless tie after two overtimes, the game was decided by a shootout. After UW forward Scott Lorenz failed to score in his opportunity, Michigan’s Perica Marosevic ended Wisconsin’s season.However, the Badgers did have some bright notes on the season. The biggest story of the year was the emergence of Lorenz, who led the team in goals and points. His 10 goals were good enough for fourth place in the Big Ten, and he was second in the conference in shots. Along with Lorenz, goalkeeper Alex Horwath and forward Brandon Miller will return for their senior seasons.— Tom HagerWomen’s soccer:For the Wisconsin women’s soccer team, 2008 was like a tale of two seasons — the non-conference season and the Big Ten season, the former being better than the latter.In the first month of the season, the Badgers enjoyed a four-game winning streak, a tournament victory in the Hoosier Classic and a 6-2-1 record. Senior Taylor Walsh also netted her first career hat trick in a 7-1 victory over Vermont and was on pace with the school season record with six goals in the first five games.Over the final one-and-a-half months, Wisconsin went 3-7 against Big Ten opponents, including losing its last three games to fail to reach the postseason for the second consecutive season.The Badgers’ most glaring problem — throughout both parts of the season — was an inability to win on their opponents’ home field. In seven road games, Wisconsin finished 0-6-1 and was outscored 20-2 in road games.Wisconsin’s brightest point in the 2008 season was the play of its freshmen. Forward Laurie Nosbusch led the team in points with 21 and finished second to Walsh with seven goals. Fellow freshmen Erin Jacobsen and Leigh Williams — both midfielders — were third and fourth, respectively, in both points and goals.— Jordan Schellinglast_img read more

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