Mesut Özil Ozil’s new contract was Arsenal’s cheapest option, says Wenger Goal Last updated 1 year ago 08:19 2/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images Mesut Özil Arsenal Arsène Wenger Premier League The Germany star signed a contract extension until 2021 on Thursday, reportedly becoming the highest paid player in the club’s history Arsene Wenger says handing Mesut Ozil a new contract was the “cheapest option” available to Arsenal.As reported by Goal on Wednesday, Ozil has committed his future to the Gunners by inking a contract extension until 2021.It is being widely reported that the 29-year-old has become the highest paid player in the club’s history as a result, with speculation his wages have risen from around £140,000-a-week to £350,000-a-week. Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player But Wenger believes sourcing a replacement for Ozil – who had entered the last six months on his previous contract – would have proven costlier.“When you let a player go you have to buy somebody of the same calibre and if you add the transfer needed and the wages will be similar,” Wenger said.“On top of that we have to pay a transfer [fee].“So, overall I think Mesut for us was the cheapest option. On the other side, all of our players are well paid. Very well paid. To feel sorry for them – I’m not sure that it’s the most objective assessment.”Ozil’s new contract completed a remarkable few days for Arsenal following the earlier arrivals of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.Both Ozil and Mkhitaryan are expected to feature as the north Londoners take on Everton in the Premier League on Saturday.Aubameyang, however, faces a late fitness test for the match at the Emirates Stadium due to being ill over the past couple of days.
TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Wolves chasing Juventus fullback Rogerioby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves are chasing Juventus fullback Rogerio this month.Sky Italia says Wolves have approached Juventus for Rogerio, currently on loan at Sassuolo.The Brazilian turns 21 next week and can play as a left-back or in a more advanced left wing-back role.Wolves are willing to offer €8m for Rogerio in the coming days.But Sassuolo would need to give the all-clear, as his loan with them runs until June 2019.
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City, Liverpool target Dani Olmo won’t force Dinamo Zagreb exitby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveDinamo Zagreb wing-back Dani Olmo says he won’t force a move away this season.The Croatia U21 star was blocked from leaving this summer amid interest from Manchester City and Liverpool.He told AS: “I always said that in the future, I would like to play in one of the big leagues. “I am in a big club like Dinamo Zagreb, playing in the Champions League.”I only want to achieve this goal and continue to give my club the maximum, where I am very happy.”
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Raul urges calm around Barcelona youngster Ansu Fatiby Carlos Volcano13 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveRaul has been asked about Barcelona youngster Ansu Fati following his latest match in charge of Real Madrid Castilla, a 2-1 win over Pontevedra.Raul expressed excitement at the new generation that is breaking through, while also calling for patience.”There are young players who appear and there’s a need to have patience and to enjoy them,” Raul said when asked about the Barcelona teenager.”It’s good for football that there are players with this quality and this youth.”I am the kind of person who has patience with this, but he’ll earn what he does on the pitch.”
BARCELONA, Spain — The Latest on Spanish Cabinet meeting being held in Barcelona (all times local):10:30 a.m.Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Spanish Cabinet members have arrived in a central Barcelona palace for a weekly Cabinet meeting that has been moved to the Catalan capital despite separatists’ protests against it.Sanchez’s Socialist administration planned the meeting to convey an image of normalcy, but tension remains high in Catalonia despite progress in talks on Thursday with the pro-secession president of the northeastern region.Some scuffles have broken out on Friday in central Barcelona between pro-independence protesters trying to reach the venue of the Cabinet meeting and police trying to stop them.The regional Mossos d’Esquadra police force says that one protester has been arrested for public disorder near the headquarters of Spain’s National Police in a downtown avenue.The meeting normally takes place in Madrid, but Sanchez has vowed to take it to other Spanish cities as a gesture of commitment to decentralization.___7:40 a.m.Catalan authorities say protesters angry about Spain’s Cabinet holding a meeting in Barcelona have blocked a major highway and dozens of roads, disrupting traffic to and from the city.Pro-independence protesters called the protests to show their disgust at Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s decision to lead the weekly Cabinet meeting in Barcelona.Security in the prosperous northeastern region, normally in the hands of the Catalan police, has been reinforced with hundreds of anti-riot officers from Spain’s national police force.Sanchez has agreed with the pro-secession leader of the region, Quim Torra, to work on finding a solution to the political crisis that has festered since Catalonia’s failed secession attempt last year. Their meeting on Thursday was only the second since both took power earlier this year.The Associated Press
The Canadian Press CALGARY — A new report from the National Energy Board says the “primary factor” in recent steep discounts on western Canadian crude is that oil production outstripped export pipeline capacity by about 365,000 barrels per day.The background report was compiled for federal Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi who has asked the NEB for advice on how to optimize existing pipeline and rail transport.The NEB says it has launched an online forum to gather public input and will meet with pipeline companies, producers, shippers, government officials and other experts in January to gather more answers for the minister.The report notes that about one million barrels per day of nameplate Canadian oil pipeline capacity was added between 2013 and 2016 but there has been no new capacity since then.It estimates that the available pipeline takeaway capacity from Western Canada in September was 3.95 million barrels per day but that oil production had risen to about 4.3 million barrels per day.Discounts narrowed in early December after the Alberta government announced it would impose temporary curtailments of 325,000 barrels per day on the industry starting Jan. 1, a measure designed to draw down storage and restore normal market prices.
Lucknow: Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati on Saturday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of wasting public money for self promotion.The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister tweeted: “Modi was busy mostly in laying foundation stones for various projects. He has spent Rs 3,044 crore on publicity.”Instead, this government could have used this money for education and better medical facilities in every village of backward states like Uttar Pradesh. Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day”However, for the BJP, there is no greater emphasis that is needed than on itself.”The tweets of the 63-year-old Dalit leader was in Hindi. “BJP and PM are hell bent on deflecting the attention of people from the failures of their government,” she added.The ruling party at the Centre, which is also at the helm in her state has “miserably failed to address serious issues like unemployment and poverty”, she said. “They run away from any kind of public debate,” she added.Cautioning people from falling into the BJP’s trap, Mayawati said these were mere tactics to divert people’s attention from the real issues in public discourse.The BJP was also “digging up all sorts of skeletons in cupboards” of opposition parties, she pointed out, and condemned the ploy.
Columbus did not have much to be thankful for in its longest road trip of the season.Late-game letdowns were the cause. The Blue Jackets (12-9-4) have lost five games in a row, the longest winless stretch of the 2009-10 campaign. Four of the five losses were during the road trip, and the team continued its fall Saturday against Calgary with a 4-3 shootout loss at home.Before the road trip, the Jackets marked down back-to-back home shootout wins against Anaheim and Edmonton. The team looked re-energized after an embarrassing 9-1 loss against Detroit Nov. 11.But now, Columbus, like a younger brother getting bullied in the backyard playground, looks worn out against the rest of the NHL. It has been hard to watch.This team can win games. Last year, the club never went more than three consecutive games without a win.But this time around has been different. What happened to the Blue Jackets finishing out a hockey game? The club has been ahead in each of the last five games, but failed to hold onto the lead.The Montreal game was a hard one to digest. The Jackets led 3-2 headed into the final period but allowed three unanswered goals as the Canadiens came roaring from behind for the 5-3 win Nov. 24.Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the loss that not managing the game has been the story of the season for the club. He’s right about that.Columbus is third-last in the NHL in goals against, giving up an ugly 86 goals in 25 games with 32 suffered in the third period alone.Saturday night was the worst of the worst.Columbus seemed in control late in the third period with a 3-1 lead, but Calgary scored twice in a 1:19 span to tie it. The Jackets consistently struggle in the third period. They just seem to be outmatched.Sophomore goaltender Steve Mason looked good for most of the night against the Flames. But he gave up three goals on four attempts during the shootout, allowing Calgary constant open spaces between the pipes. He is now 0-4 in shootouts.Maybe he’s moving too fast or seeing the puck too quickly. Whatever it is, the 2009 Rookie of the Year should not panic. He will need to continue to work with the coaching staff to get back where he was last season.These next two games are crucial for one of the youngest clubs in the league. Columbus has back-to-back division games starting tonight against St. Louis at home. The Jackets travel to Chicago Tuesday night to face the Blackhawks, who are on top of the division with 35 points.Standing at 28 points, the club can climb right back to where it was to begin the year in the Central Division with two wins.Losing is contagious. It affects a player’s attitude on the ice, in the locker room and even at home.All it takes is 60 minutes of physical hockey to wipe away the frustration. The losses will be forgotten, the third period woes will vanish, and the Jackets can get back to a winning mindset.
The Cincinnati Reds decided to hire in-house to its open managerial position.The club’s front office announced the promotion of pitching coach Bryan Price to manager at a Tuesday press conference. News of the hire first surfaced Monday night on Twitter from Fox’s Ken Rosenthal.Reds General Manager and President of Baseball Operations Walt Jocketty said Tuesday that despite a long list of candidates, he and the rest of the front office did not interview anyone else for the job.“Once we had the meeting with Bryan, we saw no reason to go forward (with other candidates),” Jocketty said at the press conference.The club’s CEO, Bob Castellini, described Price as “exceptional,” and said if the Reds did not hire Price, he likely would be heading elsewhere.The two sides agreed to a three-year contract running through 2016.Price, the 61st manager in team history, steps in for Dusty Baker who was relieved of his duties Oct. 3 after the Reds lost six consecutive games to close out 2013, including the National League Wild Card Game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.Baker went 509-463 (.524) during his six seasons in Cincinnati; he took his team to the postseason in three of the past four years.Price has served as the Reds’ pitching coach since 2010. During the 2013 regular season, the Reds’ pitching staff owned the MLB’s fourth-best ERA and led the NL in strikeouts. The year before, Price’s repertoire of bullpen arms led the Majors in saves (56) and was fourth in ERA (3.34). The 2012 Reds’ starting pitchers became just the eighth rotation in MLB history with five pitchers making at least 30 starts each.Price, who has never managed at the professional level, pitched as high as AAA in the minor leagues and served as the pitching coach for both the Mariners’ (2000-2005) and Diamondbacks (2006-2009) before coming to Cincinnati.The San Francisco, Calif., native interviewed for the Miami Marlins’ managerial vacancy last offseason, and was rumored to be a possible candidate for the Seattle Mariners current opening at the position.Starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, who becomes a free agent as soon as the World Series ends, told the Cincinnati Enquirer how he felt his former pitching coach would do as a replacement when news broke of Baker’s firing.“I think he’d be unbelievable,” Arroyo said. “He’s as organized as anyone in the game; he holds people as accountable as well as anyone I’ve seen. He doesn’t buy into stereotypical things in the game … Price looks at evidence. He’s a freaking smart guy, he makes his decision on reasonable evidence. Sometimes in baseball we go by hunches, what someone else said or the way things have gone in the past. He doesn’t do that.”According to a September article at mlb.com, Reds’ starting pitcher Homer Bailey also had positive things to say about Price’s ability to hold people accountable, an area some feel Baker struggled with.“We are held accountable,” Bailey said. “We demand certain things out of everyone here, whether you’re the No. 1 starter on the team or the mop-up guy, it doesn’t matter. Our expectations are held so high. Some things are just unacceptable. Our starters are expected to go seven innings. We are expected to keep our team in the game. We are expected to put up quality starts.”Price thanked Baker during Tuesday’s press conference, saying “he became a friend and confidant.”Jocketty said other coaching staff decisions for vacant roles have not yet been made.Price will join John Farrell of the Red Sox and the Padres’ Bud Black as the only active managers who were previously a pitching coach.
Ohio State then-junior guard Kelsey Mitchell drives to the basket and atttempts a layup against Purdue in the Big Ten tournament semifinal in Indianapolis on March 4. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station ManagerThis season almost feels like destiny for Ohio State’s women’s basketball team. With senior guard Kelsey Mitchell, a two-time first-team All-American and two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, returning for her final season and a strong, veteran-laden supporting cast surrounding her, Ohio State seems poised to make a deep run in the 2018 NCAA tournament. Head coach Kevin McGuff’s first full recruiting class in Columbus is in its fourth year in the program. Columbus will be at the forefront of collegiate women’s basketball because it will host the Final Four. Ohio State also kicks the season off with a Countdown to Columbus event featuring some of the nation’s top teams, including Connecticut, Stanford and Louisville.Despite the talented senior class and top-two Big Ten finishes the past two seasons, the Buckeyes have fallen short of their goals as they have lost in the Sweet 16 in 2016 and 2017. “You get tired of the same thing happening,” Mitchell said. “I think we reached a point in our lives off the court and on the court where we’ve got to make a statement, we’ve got to do what’s needed to be done.”The seniors understand this is their last chance to break through, and McGuff said it is easier to coach a team with the sense of urgency the Buckeyes have this season.But when taking a step back and looking past this upcoming season, which holds great promise, one thing becomes clear — the future of Ohio State seems bleak, especially when compared to the talent on this year’s team.Ohio State’s roster consists of just nine players on scholarship. It returns seven players who have played significant minutes in prior seasons. Five of those players are either seniors or redshirt seniors. Only one player — sophomore guard Jensen Caretti — has more than two seasons of eligibility remaining. The Buckeyes did not add a single freshman or transfer this season. They only have one high-school prospect committed.The two most promising freshmen last year, forward Tori McCoy and guard Kiara Lewis, transferred to Marquette and Syracuse, respectively. McCoy averaged 8.1 points per game in 35 appearances and 10 starts, while Lewis averaged 6.7 points per game in 35 games and 15 starts. Tim McCoy, Tori’s father, told the News-Gazette Tori left Ohio State because she was unhappy and said his daughter “was miserable every day.”When asked what she want to achieve in her final season, Mitchell said it was simple — she just wants to be able to “play happy,” seeming to confirm the dissatisfaction of last year.“We’ve always been a team where if something goes wrong, our season just is in shatters,” Mitchell said. “That’s how it feels. I just want everybody to play, just play as free as possible. And I think that would take care of a lot of things, myself included.”Until three-star post Aaliyah Patty committed to Ohio State Oct. 12, the Buckeyes had not landed a commitment in 23 months. Including Patty, the Buckeyes will have three seniors, one junior and one freshman next season. McGuff expressed displeasure at the difficulty of landing recruits, despite having four open scholarships on the current roster and just four scholarship players returning for the 2018-19 season. “In theory, it should be easier, but people want to play,” McGuff said. “But then all of a sudden you get, ‘Who am I going to play with?’ You get all these questions, it’s different. Everybody wants to play on a great team, but play right away. It’s like, eh, those things don’t always go hand in hand. If there’s opportunity, then you can play right away and then maybe that, the group you come in with evolves into a great time, sort of like the people we have now that are seniors.”McGuff was hired in 2013 to replace Jim Foster, whose teams did not reach the Elite 8 in his 11 seasons at Ohio State, despite the Buckeyes making the NCAA tournament in his first 10 seasons at the helm.But McGuff’s teams have had similar issues. The Buckeyes missed the tournament his first year, made the second round in 2015 and reached the Sweet Sixteen the past two seasons. The Buckeyes have shown no challenges reaching the tournament, but the inability to advance further in the postseason has plagued the team through the past two coaching tenures.With the loss of five seniors after this season, minimal talent returning next year and a talented, yet small group of upperclassmen in their final season, the time to strike is now.Ohio State has not made it to the Final Four since 1993, and if the Buckeyes do not make it this season, it could be a long time until they reach this level again.“Three years, we’ve fell short and we can’t keep having that being an excuse,” Mitchell said. “We’re either gonna get it or we’re not, and I think we have a team right now where as long as we keep going, we can make something happen.”