Spurs make contract offer to Barcelona target Rabiotby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTottenham have tabled a bid to PSG midfielder Adrien Rabiot.The France international, off contract in June, has fallen out with PSG management after refusing to consider new terms.Mundo Deportivo says the Londoners have put together a lucrative £133,000-a-week contract to try and snatch the Frenchman.The midfielder is set to leave the French capital after falling out with the PSG hierarchy – the player’s mother even revealed the relationship between club and player has completely deteriorated.Barcelona are also in contact with Rabiot about ferrying him away from Paris. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Solskjaer admits Ferguson in his ear at Man Utdby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits Sir Alex Ferguson has been in his ear since his appointment.Solskjaer says he has received advice from Sir Alex Ferguson since becoming caretaker manager at Old Trafford.When asked what is the most valuable trait to learn from Ferguson, Solskjaer said: “The hunger to improve, the hunger to win. To get up next morning, if you win or lose, to try and improve the club.”He is the best ever, I would be stupid to not try and learn from him.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Valencia coach Celades: Beating Chelsea proof players accept meby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveValencia coach Albert Celades feels the players have accepted him after their Champions League triumph at Chelsea.Celades had stepped in last week after the sacking of popular coach Marcelino – a decision which angered the players.He said after the 1-0 win, “It was not the idyllic situation, but it is what it is, we have faced it in the most professional way, we have closed ranks and we have always looked forward.”One thing is the external noise and another what happens inside, we know that the players have a very great professionalism, things are not simple and it is not easy to change the mood overnight, but we have given normality and I have to highlight everyone’s effort, this is a reinforcement for everyone, but we have to keep working and improving things.”Captain Dani Parejo insisted the players were behind the coach at the final whistle and Celades added: “We talk to them every day, we know the real situation of the squad, Dani has made it public, but we know it was like that, I want to thank the players for the welcome and their professionalism and hopefully this is a turning point.”Hopefully from now it’ll only be football talk and move on.”
Chelsea boss Lampard delighted as ‘full house’ sign up for Grimsby clashby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveChelsea boss Frank Lampard is delighted with the way the fans are supporting his young players.Stamford Bridge will have a full house for the Carabao Cup tie with Grimsby.Lampard said, “We appreciate the game being sold out and that is why the players must give their maximum. The fans will be there to support us and we must give them a spectacle to enjoy. The young players who are involved on the night plus players who are not so young but pushing for regular starts have a nice pressure so hopefully the fans will see a team that is really firing.”What is crucial is the mentality of how you approach the match. You have to be absolutely professional, with a desire to win the game and a respect for the opponent. Grimsby are bringing a lot of fans. It is a huge game for them and rightly so and we have to respect that completely and get our end right, which is firstly how we prepare for the game and then how we approach it, and that is what we will do.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Everton chasing Arsenal target Donyell Malenby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton are interested in signing Arsenal target Donyell Malen.The Gunners are eager to sign the 20-year-old, who has scored 11 goals in 14 games this season.The PSV man is a hot property in Europe, and he was once a member of the Arsenal academy.But the Marcel Brands connection could give Everton a chance to sign him, per The Sun.Malen would only move to the Premier League if he knew he would get game time.And Everton have a reputation of going after young talent under Brands and Marco Silva. TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Federico Bernardeschi delighted with goalscoring performance in Juventus winby Carlos Volcano23 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFederico Bernardeschi was delighted with his goalscoring performance in Juventus’ victory over Bayer Leverkusen.Juve won the Champions League tie 3-0.And goalscorer Bernardeschi said, “I found out I’d play at the pre-match meeting. I am very happy and have been working hard, but am above all happy with the victory, as I think tonight we saw the Juventus that we all want.“I always work hard and am aware that training is fundamental for the player and the Coach, keeping yourself in good shape and always giving your best so that you’re ready if called upon.“I like playing as a trequartista, as I can roam all the way along the front line, while the Coach also asked the forwards to press the opposition, as it helps the rest of the team if we are the first line of pressing and stop them building up a head of steam.”
SEC Media Days kicked off this afternoon, and while most of the news is geared towards the individual members teams, coaches, and players in attendance, the league made an announcement as well. The SEC unveiled a new conference tag line at the event: “It Just Means More.”New tag line for the SEC: pic.twitter.com/GjkD1oS4hz— Chuck Dunlap (@SEC_Chuck) July 11, 2016 For football fans in SEC country, the slogan definitely rings true. People say that college football is a religion in the Southeast. It’s not too far off.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:The 10 Most Aggressive Fan Bases In CFBIn Photos: Golfer Paige SpiranacESPN Makes Decision On Dick Vitale
Kirk Herbstreit/ESPN.Nine undefeated teams remain in college football.ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit sees, potentially, three of the nine undefeated squads suffering their first loss this weekend.On ESPN’s College Football Playoff Preview show Tuesday night, Herbstreit said No. 7 Nebraska, No. 8 Baylor and No. 10 West Virginia all have possible losses coming on Saturday.Here’s what he said, via 247Sports:“I think there’s going to be some great challenges this weekend,” Herbstreit said during Tuesday night’s College Football Playoff Preview on ESPN. I think three teams potentially could lose on Saturday. Nebraska going to Wisconsin, tough task, West Virginia going to Oklahoma State and Texas at home against Baylor. They beat the Bears a year ago and that wouldn’t surprise me either.”Nebraska and Wisconsin are set to kick off at 7 p.m. E.T. on ESPN. West Virginia and Oklahoma State are set to kick off at noon on FOX. Baylor an Texas are set to kick off at 3:30 p.m. E.T. on ABC.
If Liverpool were to lift the Champions League trophy against Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on Saturday, not only would it be the first major honour under Jurgen Klopp’s reign at Anfield but a deserved cap to arguably their strongest season in the Premier League era.The Reds, who finished a close second behind Manchester City in the top flight this season, have the chance to secure some much deserved silverware after missing out to Real Madrid in last season’s final, following their stunning form in 2018-19.Though they endured a somewhat shaky start, ultimately progressing behind Paris Saint-Germain as runners-up in Group C after three wins and three defeats, they have only lost once since on the road to the showpiece event. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Unbeaten progress against Bayern Munich and Porto – including a 3-1 win in Germany against the former – set up a semi-final clash with Barcelona for the ages, with Liverpool’s chances of making the final looking slim after a 3-0 defeat at Camp Nou .But a remarkable 4-0 reverse on Merseyside, missing key players and with braces notched up by Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum, saw them upset the odds and ensure an all-English affair in the Spanish capital.With such memorable heroics helping them to reach the last round once again under Klopp – his third major European final in charge of the club – the German has the chance to write himself into the club’s history books alongside Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Rafa Benitez by defeating fellow English rivals Spurs at the home of Atletico Madrid.Now, the city council has confirmed that should Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and company achieve continental glory, they will host an open-top bus parade on Sunday 2 June to celebrate their monumental achievements.With only a relative fraction of supporters to be in attendance in Madrid this weekend – though thousands more are expected to travel – it will give the club a chance to celebrate with fans if they are able to triumph on the biggest stage of all.Liverpool’s victory parade route If the Reds are victorious, they will travel around the city on an open-top bus, with the parade expected to start at approximately 4.00pm on Allerton Maze, heading northbound on Queens Drive towards the Fiveways roundabout.It will then travel along Queens Drive, Mill Bank, West Derby Road, Islington and Leeds Street.To finish, it will take in the Strand before concluding on Blundell Street, down near the waterfront, having taken in the city centre.Liverpool City Council has advised supporters to take full advantage of the route, though they are currently unable to confirm rough running times.In addition, motorists have been advised to plan around the event given that it will create additional congestion along with a potential strain on public transportation. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Liverpool return to the Premier League in 2019-20 as European champions and will be on a mission to claim the English crown after narrowly missing out last season.The Reds get their campaign under way in front of their own fans with a Friday evening encounter against recently promoted Norwich City at Anfield to raise the curtain for the league. A clash away to Southampton follows, with Arsenal at home in gameweek three.They head to Old Trafford on October 19 for their first derby of the season against Manchester United, with a re-run of the Champions League final against Tottenham to come the week after. Klopp’s side lock horns with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City at Anfield on November 9. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The first Merseyside derby of the season is set to take place at Anfield on December 4, with Everton hosting the return fixture at Goodison Park on March 14, 2020.Liverpool’s full 2019-20 Premier League fixture list can be found below.Liverpool Premier League 2019-20 fixtures Date Time Match 09/08/2019 20:00 Liverpool v Norwich City 17/08/2019 15:00 Southampton v Liverpool 24/08/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Arsenal 31/08/2019 15:00 Burnley v Liverpool 14/09/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Newcastle United 21/09/2019 15:00 Chelsea v Liverpool 28/09/2019 15:00 Sheffield United v Liverpool 05/10/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Leicester City 19/10/2019 15:00 Manchester United v Liverpool 26/10/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur 02/11/2019 15:00 Aston Villa v Liverpool 09/11/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Manchester City 23/11/2019 15:00 Crystal Palace v Liverpool 30/11/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Brighton 04/12/2019 20:00 Liverpool v Everton 07/12/2019 15:00 A.F.C. Bournemouth v Liverpool 14/12/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Watford 21/12/2019 15:00 West Ham United v Liverpool 26/12/2019 15:00 Leicester City v Liverpool 28/12/2019 15:00 Liverpool v Wolverhampton 01/01/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Sheffield United 11/01/2020 15:00 Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool 18/01/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Manchester United 21/01/2020 19:45 Wolverhampton v Liverpool 01/02/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Southampton 08/02/2020 15:00 Norwich City v Liverpool 22/02/2020 15:00 Liverpool v West Ham United 29/02/2020 15:00 Watford v Liverpool 07/03/2020 15:00 Liverpool v A.F.C. Bournemouth 14/03/2020 15:00 Everton v Liverpool 21/03/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Crystal Palace 04/04/2020 15:00 Manchester City v Liverpool 11/04/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Aston Villa 18/04/2020 15:00 Brighton v Liverpool 25/04/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Burnley 02/05/2020 15:00 Arsenal v Liverpool 09/05/2020 15:00 Liverpool v Chelsea 17/05/2020 15:00 Newcastle United v Liverpool Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
Celtic legend Stiliyan Petrov is looking to see the Kieran Tierney transfer saga “resolved as soon as possible”, with interest from Arsenal proving to be an unwelcome distraction.Goal has learned that a £25 million ($31m) bid from the Gunners for the highly-rated left-back has been rejected.Those at Emirates Stadium have raised the stakes from an initial offer of £15m ($19m), but they are still falling short of Celtic’s valuation. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? A long-running episode is doing nobody any favours, with Arsenal facing criticism for refusing to pay the going rate while Tierney is left in limbo wondering where he will be playing his football in 2019-20.Celtic legend Petrov is among those clinging to the hope that a definitive decision is close, with heavyweight outfits in Scotland and England unable to draw up future plans as things stand.He told the Sunday Post: “There comes a point in the careers of footballers that they weigh things up and make important decisions.“Kieran Tierney may be in that position in this transfer window.“If he goes, then the club will get excellent money for him. If he stays, then they are holding on to a quality footballer.“But these are the kind of matters that you want resolved as soon as possible. It’s important to know where you stand and what needs to be done.”With no agreement reached with Arsenal for Tierney, Celtic are no nearer to knowing what their transfer budget is for the current window.That is frustrating Neil Lennon and a demanding fan base, with patience now the order of the day at Parkhead.Petrov, who left the Hoops for Aston Villa in 2006, added: “The manager will be assessing all options available to him, and the club will be working hard behind the scenes to provide him with targets to consider. It is a long, and often complicated, process.“You need to identify the right person, and then if he is attached to a club, negotiate a transfer fee, and then the player and agent’s fees.“That’s why you need to be patient. I understand that the supporters want to see new players being brought in and money being spent. That is only natural.“But there has to be a proper sense of responsibility and professionalism.“Going out and bringing someone in if you are not 100% sure is not the right way to go about things.“Eventually, that way of thinking and operating will come back to you in a negative way.”
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA – SEPTEMBER 25: The Virginia Cavaliers play host to the Syracuse Orangemen during NCAA football at Scott Stadium on September 25, 2004 in Charlottesville, Virginia. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)An ACC football coach is being criticized for making a statement about NFL players that is being deemed “wildly inaccurate” by those familiar with the league.Virginia head coach Bronco Mendenhall has said a lot of things lately that have made headlines, from claiming that only 1/3 of his players are “ACC-caliber” to admitting that he wants to schedule the “worst” Power 5 team possible in the non-conference.The statement being criticized the most, though, is the one he made about NFL players.Pro Football Talk ran it all down:First, he claimed that “85 percent of the makeup of the NFL, those young people all come, 85 percent from single-parent homes.” Apart from likely being a wildly gross exaggeration of reality, it’s unclear what his point is.Second, Mendenhall suggested that four of five players who succeed in the NFL are destined to leave the game broken, in multiple ways.“The lucky ones that make it to their second contract — that means there is some sustainability — when they leave the NFL, they are all of the following — this is 78 percent, almost 80 percent,” Mendenhall said. “They are divorced, bankrupt, a substance abuser and disabled, all four. That’s almost 80 percent of the lucky ones that make it to their second contract.”So 80 percent of all players who earn a second contract in the NFL, according to Mendenhall, leave the game divorced and bankrupt and a substance abuser and disabled. Not one of the four. All of the four.Welp. That’s not great.A Virginia spokesman was asked if he knew where Mendenhall got his stats from. The response was “no idea.”OK then.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has signed a major endorsement deal ahead of the 2018 college football season. It’s a cool one.The Buckeyes’ head coach will be a spokesman for Bob Evans, an Ohio-based breakfast chain, throughout the fall.Meyer is Bob Evans’ new Head Breakfast Coach.“I know that every winning day starts with a hearty breakfast, so I’m happy to help Bob Evans announce the Everything Breakfast,” Meyer said in a release. “Just like I expect our players to put everything they have into each game, Bob Evans is doing the same with this signature breakfast which includes three scrambled eggs, Bob Evans fresh sausage, hickory smoked ham, hardwood smoked bacon, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, hollandaise and scallions on a bed of hash browns and served with their new griddled biscuit. Now that’s what I call Nine Strong.”Introducing our new Head Breakfast Coach: Urban Meyer! Get ready for a winning breakfast season! Learn more: https://t.co/oYwxYFySwy pic.twitter.com/92jPFSuviS— Bob Evans Farms (@BobEvansFarms) July 30, 2018Meyer, an Ohio native, is a perfect fit for the company, says the CEO.“We couldn’t think of a better fit for our first Head Breakfast Coach than Urban Meyer. We expect Coach Meyer to bring out the best in us as he comes to the table with a winning attitude, impressive football resume and of course a mutual appreciation for farm fresh quality and hearty breakfast foods. We’re ready for whatever plays he throws at us,” said Saed Mohseni, president and CEO of Bob Evans Restaurants, LLC.Ohio State is set to open its 2018 season on Sept. 1 against Oregon State.
STATE COLLEGE, PA – OCTOBER 29: A general view of Beaver Stadium as snow falls before the game between the Penn State Nittany Lions and the Illinois Fighting Illini on October 29, 2011 at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)Rivalry Weekend is in full swing as bitter rivals meet all across the country to settle their differences. On Saturday afternoon, the Penn State Nittany Lions are slated to take on the Maryland Terrapins.Although not true rivals yet, there’s an air of dislike between the two programs. Heading into Saturday’s game, Maryland sits at 5-6 on the year and in need of a win to make a bowl game.Fans from both teams will be in short supply as weather before kickoff is downright atrocious.Freezing rain, strong winds, and low temperatures have Beaver Stadium looking like a whiteout with no fans around. Check it out.There’s freezing rain, wind, temperatures in the 30s and closed parking lots at every turn. (And ALL the restrooms in the press box are out of service.)If you’re at today’s #PSUvsUMD game, you’re a die-hard … pic.twitter.com/tQTHnEyXy0— Josh Moyer (@ByJoshMoyer) November 24, 2018Penn State and Maryland are slated for a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff. Temperatures at kickoff time are supposed to be in the low 30’s.Penn State enters as a 13-point favorite in the contest. Can Maryland pull off the upset and make it to a bowl game?
ATLANTA, GA – DECEMBER 07: An ‘SEC’ logo is seen on an end zone pylon before the Missouri Tigers take on the Auburn Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)Penn State and Kentucky don’t meet often. In fact, today’s Citrus Bowl matchup is the 20th year anniversary of the last time they faced each other.Still, the unfamiliarity doesn’t mean today’s game lacks intensity. We’ve already seen Kentucky head coach Mark Stoops get fired up.It happened after Stoops’ team stopped Penn State’s fake punt. The camera panned to him on the sideline, and he didn’t disappoint.Stoops can be seen “Bring it on” as well as some NSFW comments.Mark Stoops says “bring it on.” pic.twitter.com/ojgbmqTpQs— Scott Charlton (@Scott_Charlton) January 1, 2019The next time Penn State lined up to punt, Blake Gillikin blasted a 71-yard kick. Fourth down in the Citrus Bowl has been quite eventful thus far.Kentucky leads Penn State 3-0 midway through the first quarter. The winner of this game will earn its 10th win of the season.You can watch the action on ABC.
ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 22: Head coach Jim Harbaugh leads the team onto the field while playing the Illinois Fighting Illini on October 22, 2016 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 41-8. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Michigan landed a key graduate transfer earlier this week when Central Michigan defensive end Mike Danna announced his commitment. Danna will play his final season for the Wolverines.It sounds like is fired up about making the move. Danna spoke to the Detroit News about his transfer, and some of his quotes will have Maize and Blue fans pumped up.In addition to praising defensive coordinator Don Brown (“a wizard”) and defensive line coach Shaun Nua (“a really down-to-earth dude”), Danna said he is preparing to compete for a starting spot. He’s willing to “shed my blood and sweat” to earn one.“Of course,” he said. “I think I have a good chance. But Coach Harbaugh let it be known everything has to be earned. That’s my language. I’m about competing, I’m about hard work. I don’t want the starting job handed to me. I want to shed my blood and sweat to feel I earned it.”There’s always room for improvement, and Danna knows he’s far from a finished product. He said he wants to work on being a more consistent player.“Everyone can be more consistent at what they do to be more efficient and effective,” Danna said. “I want to work on being a grinder, a person who hustles every single play and be a fighter. Not that I’m not a fighter, but there’s always more than can be added to arsenal. I’m open to coaching, and to adding tools to my toolbox.”Danna had a huge season in 2018, recording 65 tackles, including 14 for loss, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and two touchdowns.He should be able to help ease the loss of several major contributors from Michigan’s 2018 defense, including defensive tackle Rashan Gary, defensive end Chase Winovich and linebacker Devin Bush.Michigan finished 10-3 this past season.[ Detroit News ]
ATHENS, GA – SEPTEMBER 28: A general view of the Sanford Stadium before the game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers on September 28, 2013 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)One of the top prospects in the Class of 2020, linebacker Mekhail Sherman is weighing offers from just about every top college in the country. But if there’s anyone who can provide details on where he might go, it’s Sherman’s sister.Speaking to 247Sports, Raisa Sherman, Mekhail’s older sister, had positive things to say about several top programs that had made offers to her five-star brother. But it was the University of Georgia that seemed to really stand out to her.Raisa revealed that the Georgia coaches seemed to share her family’s values, and offered terrific hospitality. She made it clear that the school made a very good impression to her and Mekhail.“…These coaches approached us with listen this is who I am, this is my family, these are our values, this is why we want your brother to play at this school. It was different than a lot of coaches that have said MJ is a great guy, he can do a great job for us, we’re very impressed but I’m like I need more… It wasn’t just everything football, it wasn’t everything business, it was I understand you’re giving this young man to us and I want you to trust us. If you can do that for me that’s great.Mekhail Sherman is the No. 13 overall prospect in the country, the No. 2 outside linebacker prospect in the country, and the No. 1 prospect from the District of Columbia, per 247Sports.Despite the rave reviews from Raisa Sherman though, the Bulldogs are not quite favored to secure Mekhail’s services just yet.247Sports’ Crystal Ball Predictions currently have Ohio State picked to land his commitment, with a 66-percent of the predictions giving the Buckeyes the best chance of landing him.Raisa also revealed that she will soon be meeting with Ohio State head coach Ryan Day, which could further influence the eventual decision.
ATLANTA, GA – JANUARY 08: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs reacts to a play during the second quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on January 8, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)The Georgia Bulldogs had no trouble dispatching SEC-rival Vanderbilt on the road this past weekend, winning 30-6. But head coach Kirby Smart identified one area where Georgia needs to see some improvements in 2019.Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Smart made it clear that tackling was an area where the team needs to improve. Georgia gave up over 100 yards rushing, with the Commodore running backs averaging nearly five yards a carry.Via Saturday Down South:“Could improve, we had some space tackling where guys were just reaching out… some of their running backs just out-efforted us… We have a lot to improve upon as far as tackling.”Fortunately for the Bulldogs, their tackling troubles didn’t really hurt them much at all. Vanderbilt could muster only two second quarter field goals, and less than 100 net passing yards. Meanwhile, Georgia ran the ball with ease against the Commodores, getting over 300 yards on the ground.But after the brutal finishes to the last two seasons, with a pair of post-season losses to Alabama and an upset bowl loss to Texas, Kirby Smart will undoubtedly want to see every single detail of the team refined to a razor’s edge.The Bulldogs’ next two opponents will be Murray State and Arkansas State. They will be favored by multiple touchdowns in both of those games – and they’ll have plenty of time to fix their issues.
Mandhana bags top ICC award, Harmanpreet named captain of 2018 T20I TeamSmriti Mandhan won the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year, while Harmanpreet Kaur was named captain of ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Yearadvertisement India Today Web Desk DubaiDecember 31, 2018UPDATED: December 31, 2018 20:20 IST Smriti Mandhana and Harmanpreet Kaur dominated the ICC end of the year awards (@IPL Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSmriti Mandhana won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the YearMandhana was also named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year 2018Harmanpreet Kaur was named captain of ICC Women’s T20I Team of the YearSmriti Mandhana won the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year and also been named as the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year on MondayMandhana played a crucial role in India’s semi-final appearance at the ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, scoring 178 runs in five matches at a strike-rate of 125.35.She is currently ranked fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters and 10th in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for T20I batters.India’s star batter Smriti Mandhana bags Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award and Women’s ODI Player of Year 2018!READ https://t.co/7TLSe2pblG pic.twitter.com/h0GtsKKsYGICC (@ICC) December 31, 2018Reacting to the news, a delighted Mandhana said: “The awards are pretty special because as a player when you score runs, you want the team to win, and then when you get acknowledged for your performances through these awards, it motivates you to work harder and do well for your team.”The century I scored in South Africa (in Kimberley) was quite satisfying and then I had good home series against Australia and England. A lot of people used to say I do not score that much in India, so I had a point to prove to myself.”That was something which really made me better as a player. And then, of course, the first four matches of the ICC Women’s World T20 were quite memorable,” she added.Feels special to win two awards: @mandhana_smritiThe first Indian woman to win two @ICC awards in a calendar year talks about her special achievement and shares her long-time ambition.Full interview here – https://t.co/wPuQvSWGbR pic.twitter.com/58notBvrQTadvertisementBCCI (@BCCI) December 31, 2018India’s Harmanpreet Kaur was Monday named captain of the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year, which also includes two of her compatriots Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav.Opening batswoman Mandhana and leg-spinner Yadav were also included in the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year, which has New Zealander Suzie Bates as captain.The ODI and T20 sides were selected by a voting academy, which has former players like Lisa Sthalekar, Charlotte Edwards, Anjum Chopra and members of the media, and took into consideration performances in the 2018 calendar year.Harmanpreet has been rewarded for spearheading India to the semifinals of the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 in the West Indies in November.Meet the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year 2018!@mandhana_smriti@ahealy77@SuzieWBates@ImHarmanpreet(c)@natsciver@EllysePerry@akgardner97Leigh Kasperek@megan_schuttRumana Ahmed@poonam_yadav24#ICCAwards https://t.co/R37impUn79 pic.twitter.com/n96VV7aaNcICC (@ICC) December 31, 2018″In that tournament, (Harmanpreet) Kaur scored 183 runs at a strike-rate of 160.5, while in the 25 matches in the calendar year, she accumulated 663 runs at a strike-rate of 126.2. Kaur is ranked third in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Player Rankings for T20I Batters,” the ICC said in a statement.The 29-year-old Harmanpreet said she was surprised to have been named captain of the World T20 XI.”To be honest, it was really surprising for me. The last two years we did not get enough T20I matches to play and it was really tough for me to build that confidence in the team and show that self-belief that we can do well in T20Is. Credit goes to all team members, the way they worked hard and show that self-belief,” Kaur said.”This award means a lot to me to build my confidence, BCCI is showing confidence on me – that I can do well in the format and I am looking forward to do well in the future.”The T20I team has players from five countries, including four from the ICC Women’s World T20 2018 champions Australia. Two players are from New Zealand and one player each from Bangladesh and England, besides the three from India.Rumana Ahmed is the first Bangladesh player to have been selected in the ICC squad. The right-arm leg-spinner has been the second most successful T20I bowler in the 2018 calendar year with 30 wickets in 24 matches, including four wickets in four matches in the ICC Women’s World T20 2018.The ODI team, on the other hand, has players from seven countries, with two each from England, India, New Zealand and South Africa. Australia, Pakistan and West Indies has one player each.Bates’ appointment as the ODI captain was a recognition of her contribution in inspiring her side to second position in the ICC Women’s Championship after three rounds.advertisementCongratulations to the ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year 2018!@mandhana_smriti@Tammy_Beaumont@SuzieWBates (c)@danevn81@sophdevine77@ahealy77@kappie777@Dottin_5@mir_sana05@Sophecc19@poonam_yadav24#ICCAwards https://t.co/V6qREy5SAD pic.twitter.com/WZbsbRliXEICC (@ICC) December 31, 2018In the seven ODIs this calendar year, Bates has scored 438 runs with two centuries and a half-century. Bates is presently ranked seventh in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters.Besides India’s Mandhana and Yadav, Australia’s Alyssa Healy and Suzie Bates of New Zealand are the other players who feature in both the ODI and T20I squads.ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year (in batting order): Smriti Mandhana (India), Tammy Beaumont (England), Suzie Bates (New Zealand; captain), Dane van Niekerk (South Africa), Sophie Devine (New Zealand), Alyssa Healy (Australia; wk), Marizanne Kapp (South Africa), Deandra Dottin (West Indies), Sana Mir (Pakistan), Sophie Ecclestone (England), Poonam Yadav (India).ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year (in batting order): Smriti Mandhana (India), Alyssa Healy (Australia; wk), Suzie Bates (New Zealand), Harmanpreet Kaur (India; captain), Natalie Sciver (England), Ellyse Perry (Australia), Ashleigh Gardner (Australia), Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand), Megan Schutt (Australia), Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh), Poonam Yadav (India).(With inputs from IANS and PTI)For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. 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