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Robert Woods keeping his sister's word alive

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She was his best friend and a person he looked up to and respected. Not just because she was family. She was his only sibling. Robert Woods’ older sister, Olivia, was a model student, a quality softball pitcher and well-liked by anyone who knew her. For Robert she was a role model and a confidante, but at just 17-years old Olivia Woods was uttering the last words she would ever speak to her younger brother. She was now confiding in him.

Diagnosed with synovial cell sarcoma in her leg at age 12, Olivia had reached the end of a courageous five-year battle that included chemotherapy, radiation and a leg amputation. Meanwhile Robert, two years her junior, was emerging as a budding football star at their high school, Serra, in southern California.

Even from the confines of her bed Olivia reminded Robert to stay humble, but in April 2007, knowing the next words she would speak would be among the last she uttered in the physical world, Olivia had to let her brother in on the conversation she often had with her mother.

“She was a role model for him and she always told me that Robert was going to be special,” said Sharon Woods of her daughter. “I remember Robert telling me that his sister was special, but she really meant it when she would tell me, ‘No, he’s really going to be really something special mom.’ I always was taken with her conviction with what she said.”

In her home with her family by her bed side for the last time she would give her brother some words to live by.

“Her last words to me were that she wanted me to be a model,” Woods said. “And I said, ‘Model? What do you mean?’ So she said it again, ‘I want you to be a model.’ And then it clicked that she was maybe seeing something that I couldn’t. So I took it as, be a role model. Always be positive. Be positive in life. Those were her last words to me. So I guess the whole time here with us she kept me humble, humble, humble and then her last words she put it on me.”

Be a role model.

Not a surprising request from an older sister who was as selfless as they come. After having her leg amputated and returning to school as an early teen, Olivia didn’t want anyone to know she was walking around with a prosthetic leg. Her family adhered to her wishes. She didn’t want any extra attention because she was battling cancer.

When she went to get a summer job she told her mother there would be no mention of her medical condition. She wanted to get the job based on her skills not pity.

“She just wanted to make her own way,” said Mrs. Woods. “She learned how to swim again. In high school she was elected school secretary of state. She was on yearbook committee. She was a real go-getter. We just honored her that way by letting her be herself.”

Being a first-hand witness to all of Olivia’s fighting over those five years only strengthened Robert’s own resolve in everything he put his mind to.

“Robert was the same way,” said Sharon Woods. “He saw her work so hard and fight. She was a strong fighter. I think that rubbed off on him as he got older.”

Long before Olivia’s struggle however, Robert was a pker Antoine Griezmann.Mundo Deportivo says United have entered the race to sign Griezmann this summer.United are monitoring a move for the French World Cup winner and insist that there is no deal agreed for him to join Barcelona yet.The report also aretty self-motivated kid. It didn’t matter what the activity was. Whether it was tee ball, checkers or school work the Woods’ only son didn’t take on any challenge, he attacked it.

“He wasn’t very quiet, he always smiled and laughed. He was always an overachiever,” said his mother. “He always wanted to do things perfectly. He always wanted to be first.”

“In baseball when he was young he always wanted to cover everybody else’s position,” said Mrs. Woods. “We would tell him, ‘You stay there.’ But wherever the ball would go he wanted to go get the ball.”

“Pretty much the whole outfield was mine whether it was left field or right field,” Woods said smiling. “If the ball was in the air I’d try to go and get it.”   

In the fall Woods would play in the very competitive park football league in his hometown of Carson. To illustrate how competitive it was, Woods played on a roster with four other talents who also currently play in the NFL.

“The majority of the teams had a lot of talented players,” said Woods father Robert Jr. “And Robert’s team was talented. Paul Richardson, who was a rookie receiver this past year with Seattle, and Dion Bailey also with Seattle were on his team. Marqise Lee, who plays for Jacksonville. Shaq Richardson now with Pittsburgh was on that team. So as a result there were a lot of kids that had to touch the ball on his team.”

That would prove to be an adjustment for Woods, who wanted to do as much as possible to help his team win.

Woods was making a lot of plays to help his team, but maybe a few too many. Other parents weren’t thrilled with all the opportunities Woods was getting with tnized” by their recent European ban.The Sky Blues have been banned from Champions League football for two seasons, although they are appealing UEFA’s decision.And Rodgers thinks the situation will provide Pep Guardiola’s players with an added motivathe ball, often at the expense of other players who were just as talented. Woods’ parents quickly made Robert understand the value of teamwork.

“We impressed upon him that other players on his team had to get chances with the ball too,” said Robert’s father. “So we told him he had to share the ball with other players.”

The ultra-competitive Woods wasn’t thrilled with the idea, but his father had a solution to appease his son.

“I came up with a phrase for him called ‘touches for touchdowns,'” said Woods. “Whenal.Fotomac reports Arsenal are ahead in the chase to sign the player, who only joined Juventus from Sassuolo in the summer.The Turkish starlet is rising to prominence in Turin this season, starting the last four games in a row under Maurizio Sarri, n you get it you’re going to have to score. He was happy as long as he had two touchdowns a game. So in Pop Warner he would average about 20 touchdowns a season in a 12 to 14 game season depending on whether his team made it to the ‘Super Bowl.'”

That phrase led to a ritual developed by his parents to keep their son’s mindset in the right place before every game thereafter.

“The night before games we would try to come up with a new slogan for him for that game the next day,” said Robert Woods Jr., who played his college football at Grambling. “And if we didn’t do it he’d ask for the new saying for that game. So we’d try to give him a confident quote to motivate him for the game.”

“Being a Christian family we would make use of faith-based quotes as well,” said his mother. “It helps keep him focused and uplifted. He looks for that text message from us even now and the day of the game we always text him in the morning and remind him to have fun.”

Goal setting was encouraged by Robert’s parents. While Woods was clearly self-motivated, Robert and Sharon Woods wanted to ensure their son’s energies had the proper direction. Hanging by the door in his room was a white marker board. On it were his goals as he got ready to begin high school.

“The board was right by my door so when I’d leave my room I’d see it every day,” said Woods. “So I’d write my goals down for the season and I had my GPA up there. I wrote down everything I wanted. Then I would write under it how I was going to accomplish those goals. Then I’d cross them off as I achieved them and write new ones down.”

Woods chose to attend Serra high school, which had a small enrollment of just 600 kids. It wouldn’t put Robert on as big a stage as some of the larger area high schools, but his mind was made up two years prior when his older sister chose to attend high school there.

Unfortunately the siblings only got to spend one semester at the school together because Olivia soon became too sick to attend school. Robert, who knew how much his sister enjoyed the social scene at Serra, would report to her every day as soon as he got home from school.

“He would run up the stairs and go up to her room,” said Mrs. Woods. “The first thing he would do is go see her and tell her about his day. They were very close. That was a very emotional time for all of us, but especially for him.”

“She was really my best friend,” said Woods. “So when I’d come home I’d tell her about everything that was happening at school, who asked about her and events that were going on at school, how games went.

“It would put a smile on her face because she was missing it. I was her connection to that social life for her. She was probably the most popular person in our school. People to this day remember her birthday. She touched so many lives and everybody would come up to me and talk to me about her so I would come home and spread the word to her.”

Robert would talk to her about how his football season was going. As a freshman on JV he quarterbacked his team to an undefeated season, and then was called up to varsity at the end of the year. As a safety he intercepted a pass in a playoff loss, and returned it 90-plus yards for a touchdown.

Unfortunately Olivia’s condition wasn’t going as well as her brother’s high school football career. Forced to stay in the hospital for treatments the Woods’ family simply made Olivia’s hospital room their home.

“After school he would head to the hospital to spend the evenings with her,” said Mr. Woods.

“He did his homework in the hospital in the evenings,” said Mrs. Woods. “So he was a big part of the support system that we had there.”

“We were there so much every day, after school and after practice,” said Robert. “We would go right to the hospital and spend the night with her. It was like we were at home. The doctors would come and visit, but when they left we would talk, watch TV, play games. We weren’t really in the hospital in our minds. We were just trying to make it family time.”

Robert’s sister never heard about or saw her brother’s sophomore season when he made the Cal-Hi Sports All-State Sophomore team. She passed on April 19, 2007. Their high school was closed on the day of her funeral so the student body could pay their respects.

“We had a very large funeral for her,” said Mr. Woods. “There were about 1,500 people who attended. People from our places of work, family, friends and students. The doctors from the hospital, the nurses were there. They planted a tree for her at school.”

“She touched a lot of lives and I think she was just an amazing girl that I will never forget,” said Mrs. Woods. “Robert was very strong amazingly through her passing. He was very, very strong.”

Woods would go on to post eye-popping statistics in his junior and senior season at Serra. He rolled up more than 1,700 yards receiving with 19 touchdowns and two more touchdowns on returns on defense his junior year. By his senior season Woods was a USA Today All-First team member and a Parade All-American among dozens of other accolades.

He chose to attend USC with fellow high school teammate Marqise Lee, where he took quickly to the college game. In his sophomore season he had 111 catches for almost 1,300 yards and 15 touchdowns in a 13-game season.

Throughout his college career, Woods paid tribute to his sister by drawing a giant letter ‘O’ on his wrist tape with a black marker. Such a gesture would get Woods fined in the NFL, so instead during pre-game warmups he kneels and says a prayer.

“I always run down to the corner of the field and say a prayer and do a little ‘O’ up,” said Woods touching the tip of his thumb and index finger together to shape the letter ‘O’. “I go out there and play for her and play for my family. Some plays I feel like she’s right there with me making those plays. I’ve always felt like that since high school where I say to myself, ‘Yeah my sister was with me on that one.’ So she’s had a big role and a big impact on my game.”

Woods still feels his sister’s presence and he and his parents still talk about Olivia.

“No matter what she’s always my sister,” he said. “Yes, she passed away, but I’ll always remember her and always acknowledge her. I think it does make them proud that I play for her and still acknowledge her when I play.”

“Robert is a person who needs to know exactly what he has to do,” said Mrs. Woods. “He wants to know where he needs to improve and what he can do differently to accomplish that. He aims to please and always wants to do the right thing to get better. I think that coaches recognize that in him.”

In addition to taking his NFL career to the next level, Woods is now three classes shy of getting his degree from USC in public policy development with a focus in real estate. Next offseason he’ll officially graduate.

“I think she’d be very proud of me just because I’m in a good position being here in the NFL, but it doesn’t last forever,” said Woods of his sister. “I’m still working to get my degree and finish what I started. I know Olivia wanted to go to college and wanted a college degree and everything, but just to finish up what I started would be something she always preached herself. If you start something, finish it.”

All part of being a role model.

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The Top 10 Coldest games in Bills history

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The summer weather isDeeney is back in light training.The attacker is going through rehabilitation following a knee injury.He had surgery two weeks ago and is already back at the club’s training ground, working back to full match fitness.”It’s my first proper day back an finally here for good in Western New York, but most Bills fans relish the times when frigid temperatures play a factor in a Sunday home game during the season. If you’re a transplanted Bills fan down south or out west and you need some relief from the recent heat gripping most of the country, hopefully the countdown of the coldest games in team history will cool you off a bit.

We compiled the 10 coldest contests in descending order. In the event of a tie temperature-wise we used the wind chill as a tiebreaker. Buffalonians are all too familiar with the term “real feel” when talking about how cold it is come the winter.

It was far from a star-studded matchup as Bills QB Bruce Mathison squared off against Steelers’ signal caller Scott Campbell. With snow flurries in the forecast, both teams got good performances on the ground.

Greg Bell’s 77-yard touchdown run opened the scoring and Buffalo would tack on two more touchdowns to stake Buffalo to a 21-0 first half lead. But the Steelers would outscore the Bills 30-3 the rest of the way en route to a 30-24 victory in Buffalo’s second straight 2-14 season.

Snow flurries convinced the Chiefs to keep their offense on the ground and they had great success against the Bills run defense rolling up over 240 yards rushing.

Bills wideout Frank Lewis had a huge day with 126 yards receiving on seven catches including a 40-yard touchdown, but Buffalo couldn’t make a slim 10-7 third quarter lead stand up.

Chiefs tight end Walter White pulled in a three-yard touchdown pass from Mike Livingston late in the third quarter for the game-winning points in a 14-10 final.

Fifteen mile per hour winds and snow didn’t seem to slow Minnesota’s offense very much at what was then called Rich Stadium. The Vikings, who would just miss advancing to the NFC Championship game that season, sprinted out to a commanding 21-0 lead in the first half.

Despite O.J. Simpson’s best efforts, which included a 24-yard touchdown run and a 64-yard touchdown catch late, Minnesota won going away way Xavi Simons has settled.The former Barcelona whizkid quit La Masia for Barca last month after turning 16.Roche said, “His way of being is different from what’s going on around him. He is simple in the relationship with his teammates, even if he 35-13.

The kickoff temperature of 19 was the high for the game as 22 mile per hour winds had the mercury dropping throughout the game, but Buffalo’s special teams was hot in this one.

Rookie big man Jason Peters blocked a Cincinnati punt late in the first quarter and recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown to break a 7-7 tie and Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes made his former team pay with a 62-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Rian Lindell rounded out the scoring with four second half field goals for a 33-17 drubbing of the Bengals.

Replacing injured starter Marshawn Lynch early in the second half, Fred Jackson had 113 all-purpose yards including an eight-yard touchdown run that proved to be the game winner in a 30-23 comeback win.

After falling behind early 13-0 Buffalo clawed their way back into the game thanks in part to a fumble recovery by Reggie Corner.

Late in the game an interception by Kawika Mitchell at the Bills one-yard line preserved a seven-point Bills lead with five minutes remaining. The Broncos still had a chance to win at the end as they rolled up over 500 yards of offense (532), but Corner broke up a 4th-and-5 five pass to the end zone from the Bills 15-yard line to cement the victory (30-23).   

Ironically, the Bills were forced to spend Sunday night in Denver, as winter weather back home prevented them from traveling back to Buffalo after the game.

The Bills felt right at home in the blustery Meadowlands as Buffalo’s offense had it in cruise control and the defense had the hapless Jets stymied from start to finish.

Buffalo’s defense held the Jets to just 54 yards rushing with Cornelius Bennett and Bruce Smith both logging aez.The Sun says the Gunners have reportedly joined Inter Milan in the race for £25million-rated Perez .Napoli are also thought to be chasing the Spanish forward, 25, after netting a career best 12 Premier League goals this term.Arsenal boss Unai Eme pair of sacks. Bennett also had an interception.

Fullback Larry Kinnebrew had a big day with 91 yards rushing and a touchdown, with Thurman Thomas and Kenny Davis combining for another 106 rushing yards and two scores en route to a 37-0 whitewash of the Jets.

With the win Buffalo clinched the AFC East title.

It was the final regular season game of the 2009 season and the playoff-bound Colts weren’t going to play their starters for long. With the snow flying and Fred Jackson seeking his first career 1,000-yard rushing season, Indianapolis didn’t appear as though they wanted to be at the game in the first place.

Jackson rushed for a career-high 212 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard plateau on the season, while Ryan Fitzpatrick threw three touchdowns passes.

Buffalo entered the game with the league’s worst ranked run defense, but held the Colts to just 25 yards on the ground and did not allow Indianapolis any further than the Bills 42-yard line in the second half in a 30-7 rout.

On a gray, windy day in Buffalo the rushing tandem of Rob Riddick and Thurman Thomas was too much for the Raiders. The pair combined for 150 of the team’s 255 rushing yards and three touchdowns vaulting the Bills to a 27-7 third quarter lead.

The Raiders could only close the gap to 14 points in the second half as Butch Rolle’s two-yard touchdown catch from Jim Kelly put the game out of reach in a 37-21 final. Buffalo locked up the AFC East title weeks before, their first since 1980.

It was a tightly contested back and forth game in the bitter cold of Orchard Park. Jim Kelly led a 10-play 71-yard drive to open the game that was capped by a two-yard Thurman Thomas touchdown run. The Jets answered with a touchdown drive of their own with a 24-yard TD pass from Boomer Esiason to Johnny Johnson to tie it late in the first quarter (7-7).

From there three Buffalo turnovers helped keep the game close for New York as they posted a pair of interceptions and a fumble recovery. Former Bills receiver Chris Burkett gave the Jets their only lead of the game in the third quarter on a six-yard touchdown catch from Esiason (14-13).

Steve Christie’s third field goal of the day however, would prove to be the winning points as he hit from 40 yards away with 3:48 left. Cary Blanchard had a shot to win it for the Jets with under a minute to play, but missed a 42-yard attempt to give the Bills a 16-14 victory and their fifth AFC East title in six years.

The AFC Divisional playoff certainly appeared to represent a home field advantage for the Bills as bone chilling temperatures had Rich Stadium in a frigid grip. The Raiders however, jumped out to a 17-6 lead at the two-minute warning of the first half thanks in large part to a pair of Napolean Kaufman touchdowns runs.

Buffalo was able to close the gap before halftime staging a four-play 76-yard drive capped by a Thurman Thomas 8-yard scoring run to make it 17-13.

From there Jim Kelly took over as the Bills lost both Pete Metzelaars (dislocated finger) and Thomas (concussion) in the third quarter. The Hall of Famer, who was 27-37 for 287 yards, spread the ball around in the second half with Bills Brooks as his main target. Brooks made six catches for 96 yards and a pair of touchdowns including the game winner with 12:08 left to send the Bills to their fourth straight AFC Championship game with a 29-23 win.

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Dimitri Payet: I’m staying at West Ham

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But the former Marseille player, who helped the Hammers to a seventh-placed finish in the Premier Leag a season-long loan.”Real Madrid strongly recommended I should come to the Premier League to improve my football,” said Vallejo, whose side face Busea meet City on Saturday evening.Looking back on how pivotal those 12 months at City under Manuel Pellegrini were in where he is now, Lampard said: “The year in Manchester, in terms of wher Kevin de Bruyne.De Bruyne has complained about the Euro2020 draw, claiming “90 per cent” of the groups were already settled before yesterday’s lottery.Platini said, “Among other things, I have chosen the playing cities, but I have nothing to do wiat I’m doing here now, was perfect for me because it opened myrnley today.”I think it was the right decision. I feel really wanted here. Nuno called me saying he neeue last season, has stressed his commitment to Slaven Bilic’s team.

"I’ve heard about all the interest and I’m flattered. But I love West Ham," Payet told The Sun.

"We had a fantastic season and I can’t wait to play in the Olympic Stadium.

"I’m 100 per cent staying at West Ham, I love the club. I can tell the Hammers fans that."

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Six reasons why Sam Allardyce is the right man for England

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For all of England’s attacking talents, the defensive aspects of the game will take precedence. England would become harder to beat under Allardyce, an Club America defender Edson Alvarez.It emerged over the weekend that America had put the brakes on a move to Ajax for Alvarez as West Ham and Wolves made contact.And Record is now reporting that Palace have made an approach about a price for the Mexd as the old adage goes, if you don’t concede you will not lose.

Although England dominated possession for large spells of their matches, organisational issues accounted for 50 per cent of the goals that Roy Hodgson’s side conceded. This would not occur under Allardyce’s watch. Every player would have their defensive roles drilled into them and they would all know what is expected – to a tee.

Under Allardyce, England would have not lost concentration against Russia and defended the second phase of the set piece properly and that the diminutive .

Additionally, unlike Hodgson’s side, an weapon and would have ceased to play into it. But even if the odd throw was conceded, an Allardyce side would be aware of their ambition to win the flick on at the back post and the runner spinning off to win the second ball. Kyle Walker would have been aware of this more than most, and wouldn’t have lost Ragnar Siggoroson in the inexplicable manner he did. 

Not afraid to stick to what he knows

Hardened by managerial  tenures at Blackpool, Notts County and Bolton Wanderers, Allardyce was an unflappable figure when it came to his roles at West Ham and Newcastle. While the former craved for football to be played ‘The West Ham way’, Allardyce stuck to his guns and played football in the way that had served him so well over the years. It wasn’t pretty by any means, but it was effective, and it got the East London club promoted before subsequently maintaining their status as a mid-table Premier League side – laying the foundations for Slaven Bilic to take them forward furthermore. 

The same would be apparent if he was manager of England. The masses would be crying by football that they would define as attractive, but in this results driven business, and the possibility that the new manager will be paid on a performance basis, fans should expect ruthless, direct and effective football that quite simply gets the job done.

Can manage flair players

JayJay Okocha. Youri Djorkaeff. Ravel Morrison (briefly). Ricardo Vaz Te. 

Playmakers flourished under the supposed rigidity of a Sam Allardyce regime. Not only were they part of the well-oiled Allardyce machine, but they were all given the freedom to shine like the lights they are.

Expect the same with the current England squad under Allarir best effort in the coming game against Brighton.The Saints are determined to get the first points of the season in the Premier League.They have suffered two defeats in the opening two games of the season, which is not a promising start for a team dyce’s guidance, with players such as Ross Barkley,  Dele Alli, Adam Lallana and Raheem Sterling thriving in the era of a new England.

Allardyce knows his best team

A large criticism of Roy Hodgson was that he didn’t know his best team. Constant changes disrupted England’s momentum at Euro 2016 and played a major role in their premature elimination.

Sam Allardyce would provide this consistency, and at this time of uncertainty, it’s exactly what England need.

Getting towards the latter stages of the season, Allardyce rarely made changes to his Sunderland team. Out of the the last eight games of the season, Allardyce named the same starting XI seven times – with the final game of the season being an anomaly as they had secured Premier League survival by this point.

It’s therefore no surprise that Sunderland formed their best run during this period, only losing once in that period, and picking up 12 points – winning against Chelsea and drawing against Arsenal in this period. 

Getting the best out of players at his disposal

Allardyce hasn’t managed football’s most industrious clubs, but he has a track record of getting the best out of his players and over achieving as a result.

At Bolton Wanderers, he galvanised the likes of Ricardo Gardener and Per Frandsen to play a key role in their promotion to the Premier League in 2001 and even helped them establish themselves as players capable of playing in the top flight. Kevin Nolan grew into a lynchpin. Michael Ricketts even won an England cap under Big Sam’s tutelage. His biggest achievement was guiding Bolton to last 16 of the Uefa Cup after guiding the club to seventh the season before.

Similarly, he oversaw the resurgence of Carlton Cole at West Ham while helping the likes of Jack Collison and Mark Noble to progress and play a key role in their promotion back to the Premier League.

In a similar way to knowing his best XI, Allardyce would be able to motivate and inspire the England team should he be chosen to be the next manager. As proven in the past, he will under-promise and then over-perform, and take England to further heights than achieved under Roy Hodgson. 

Innovative

At Bolton, Allardyce became one of the first managers in the Premier League to embrace the new technology era. After ProZone was rolled out in 1995, Allardyce was one of the first managers to use it, and it became a prominent part of his traindre Silva.After a difficult loan spell at Sevilla last season, Silva has been put up for sale by the Rossonero.While reluctant to leave for Wolves, the striker is prepared to listen to what they have to say.Gazzetta dello Sport says Wolves are leanining methods during Bolton’s early days  in the Premier League.

This methodical nature and the obsession with statistics signalled a new era in football, and while many ridiculed this new concept, Allardyce continued to thrive with the new information at his disposal.

It’s this kind of innovation and freshness that the England side need. Too often, they have been stuck in an inertia with the aim of being traditional. England need people with new thinking, new ideas and new ambitions, and they should be allowed to do it their way. With all of these things in mind, Allardyce would be the idea candidate for the job.

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Dutch football has not produced enough good players in recent years, admits Danny Blind

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Tomorrow night at Wembley will be much about Johan Cruyff, whose face will loom over the crowd in the 14th minute – in honour of his No 14 shirt – and begin a round of applause for the great Dutchman who died, aged 68, on Thursday. To say that the current team are in the shadow of the great 1970s “Total Football” generation is putting it mildly – Dutch football is approaching the kind of ice-age that the English game was once living in fear of itself.

“It is currently very difficult because Holland was second at the 2010 world Cup and third in 2014 so people expect a lot from our team and it is very disappointing we did not qualify for the Euro 2016 tournamet off Real Madrid lightly last night.City earned an historic 2-1 win at the Bernabeu, which has put them in pole position to advance to the Champions League quarter-finals.“They dropped in the last 10 minutes, we detected that and if the game had lnt,” Blind said. “Especially because the third place in the group would have been good enough to get to France. It’s very disappointing … it’s going to be a tough summer.”

The fear from Holland is that against a resurgent England, they could be in for a scoreline like the one of 20 years ago. That defeat is the only one suffered by the Dutch in their last ten games against the English although they have never had to field such an inexperienced side as the one likely to play tomorrow night.

There are around ten injured players missing from the current squad before you consider that the likes of Robin Van Persie, Nigel De Jong and Rafael Van der Vaart have all been put out to pasture. Against England there will be no Arjen Robben or Wesley Sneijder. Neither will goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen play – he broke his nose last week against France. Daryl Janmaat of Newcastle is out, so too Stefan de Vrij of Lazio, Ajax’s Davy Klaassen, Davy Propper of PSV Eindhoven and Erik Pieters of Stoke City

Blind did select the former Aston Villa centre-back Everton.With the Blues languishing at the wrong end of the table, the Dutch sports director is bearing the brunt of criticism.And TMW says Brands could yet be replaced.Everton have made contact with Shakhtar Donetsk sports director José Boto about Ron Vlaar, 31, for the first time in a year but the AZ Alkmaar man is also injured. Sniejder’s injury means a promotion to captain for Blind’s son Daley, of Manchester United, and when father and son came into the room at Wembley it was hard to avoid an old joke about this being the blind leading the blind.

Danny praised the change in English football as “less predictable, more modern, and in keeping with a European style.” He added: “England used to have lots of foreign players but it looks like they now have homegrown players in their league so they are building a good national team. That’s a contrast to us. We are rebuilding our national team with extremely young players.”

The Blind family can be absolved of any blame in having produced two international footballers themselves but elsewhere serious questions are being asked of Holland’s academy footballers. The worry is whether the likes of Jetro Willems, 21; Riechedly Bazoer, 19 and Memphis Depay, 22, will be good enough to get the team to Russia for the 2018 World Cup finals. How has it come to this, in a country that was once the byword for good practice in development?

“It’s always difficult to find one special reason for what has happened,” Danny said. “There were periods in the 1980s when we did not qualify [1982 and 1986 World Cup finals]. That’s football. We had galy Giuseppe Conte admits they may call for the suspension of all Serie A matches next weekend.Coronavirus concerns led to a raft of games being scrapped this past weekend.There were four Serie A matches postponed on Sunday, Inter-Sampdoria, Atalantareat players with Robben, Van Persie, [Klaas-Jan] Huntelaar, De Jong, Sneijder. The players aged 25-28, they are not around. We have to deal with that. The only thing we can do is bring in young players for games like this one.”

The Opta Stats still say that the Dutch are producing more homegrown players for the Eredivisie than any other top league in Europe. Of the players who started games in Holland’s top-flight in the last round of league matches, 64.6 per cent were Dutch. That compares with 27.7 per cent English in the corresponding Premier League games. The next highest after Holland was France with 58.2 per cent homegrown players in their league. The question, clearly, is about the quality of the league itself.

As for the Cruyff memories, they are strong for Danny who was signed by the great man when he was manager of Ajax in 1986. Danny went on to play 13 years at the club, winning five league titles and all three of the major European trophies. “Maybe I was a good player but not a special one and that move gave me the possibility to develop in a better team,” Danny said. “It changed my football life totally … it changed my whole life.”

Alongside him, Daley said that his generation knew Cruyff through the footage they watched on the television screen. “It’s clear he was one of the greatest footballers from Holland and the world … every young player knows who Johan Cruyff is and what he stands for. That’s the most important thing and everyone has special memories of him. He’s still a legend, even for my generation.”

Before the Holland team of Cruyff reached the 1974 World Cup finals they country had missed the previous six final tournaments, failing to qualify for 1958, 1962, 1966 and 1970 and not even entering a team in 1950 and 1954. Once again there must be a transformation in Dutch football although this time they have the Cruyff template with which to do it.

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College Football DFS for August 24, 2019: Best DraftKings, FanDuel daily Fantasy CFB picks, lineups

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The and Miami Hurricanes will kick off the 2019 season on Saturday at Camping World Stadium in Orlando at 7 p.m. ET. It’s a bitter in-state rivalry of national significance with Florida ranked No. 8 in the AP Poll and Miami entering its first season under head coach Manny Diaz. But while college football DFS players might have some interest in Miami RB , Florida WR and all the other skilew the 2019-20 European Women’s Champions League Qualification Round—looking at Groups 1-5 this week and Groups 6-10 next week.Early August to some means the tail end of summer but to football fanatics it always means the start to the new Women’s Cl players in that game, the primary focus of college football DFS tournaments and cash games on FanDuel and DraftKings for opening night will be the players in vs. at 10:30 p.m. ET. That game has a whopping total of 74 points with prolific offenses led by Arizona’s and Hawaii’s at quarterback. But before you make your CFB DFS picks for Saturday, be sure to check out the college football DFS lineups, advice and strategy from DFS pro Mike McClure,wcastle manager Steve Bruce has called for patience from the club’s fans over their new signings.Speaking before Wednesday’s League Cup clash with Leicester City, Bruce said the likes of Joelinton and Jetro Willems, Allan Saint-Maximin and Emil Kraft who has won almost $2 million in his career. 

McClure has won nearly $2 million iVignato, per journalist Nicholo Schira.The Italian sports journalist, who works for Gazzetta dello Sport, believes the midfielder is a key target for the Blues.The 19-year-old would fit boss Frank Lampard’s policy of attracting younger players to then his career as a DFS professional, and he uses a powerful prediction model that simulates every snap of every game, taking factors such as matchups, statistical trends and injuries into account. This allows him to find the best DFS values and create optimal lineups for sites like DraftKings and FanDuel that he shares only with members at SportsLine.

In last year’s College Football Playoff National Championship, McClure was all over quarterback . The result: Lawrence capped his true freshman season with 347 yards and three touchdowns in a title game romp over , and anybody who had him in their lineup was well on the way to a profitable day. Now, he’s set his sights on the opening Saturday of college football on August 24.

For College Football Kickoff Weekend, we can tell you McClure is high on Arizona running back J.J. Taylor. Tate was getting Heisman buzz entering 2018, but when an ankle injury took away the quarterback’s ability to attack defenses with his legs, it was Taylor who became the central focus of the offense in 2018.

Taylor ran for 1,434 yards and six touchdowns while adding 16 catches for 133 yards. He went for 284 yards and two touchdowns in a win over , 212 yards and two scores in a win over and 192 yards in a win over . So you can be sure that he’ll be a heavy part of the formula on Saturday in Hawaii, making him a must-roster in college football DFS because of the enormous numbers he’s capable of putting up.

Part of McClure’s optimal CFB DFS strategy includes rostering Hawaii wide receiver ($9,300 on FanDuel and $6,000 on DraftKings), who made 51 catches for 865 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Ward burst onto the national radar with a 161-yard, two-touchdown performance against in Week 2 of last season and then closed out the regular season strong with 11 catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns in his final two games.

McDonald is back this season and will have an unmistakable chemistry with Ward. With last year’s leading receiver John Ursua gone, so look for McDonald to look Ward’s way even more often this season. Arizona gave up 269.5 yards passing per game last season and Ward could be in for a big night if the Wildcats continue to struggle in that department.

McClure is also targeting a player capable of putting up tournament-winning numbers because of a dream matchup on Saturday. Picking him could be the difference between winning your college football DFS tournaments and cash games or going home with nothing. 

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USC football Spring Game 2018: date, schedule, players to watch, who replaces Sam Darnold

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With the Coliseum renovation project ongoing, USC will not be hosting its traditional spring game this year. Instead, Clay Helton and the Trojans will hold a end of spring practice that is open to the public on Cromwell Field (Loker Track Stadium). The “game” will be Saturday, April 14 starting at noon PT and will be shown live on the Pac-12 Networks. The top storyline from this spring has been the competition to replace Sam Darnold. Redshirt sophomore Matt Fink and redshirt freshman Jack Sears are the only two scholarship quarterbacks on campus right now and both want rto Mancini says Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo both reached the pinnacle of the game in different ways.Speaking with Corriere della Sera, Mancini was asked who was the superior player – Barcelona captain Messi or Juventus striker Ronaldo.Howeverto be running the show when the Trojans open against UNLV this fall.Fink is the only quarterback with any game experience, including a 51-yard touchdown run in mop-up duty against Oregon State. He has been the leader in the clubhouse, but has yet to separate himself from Sears or even incoming freshman J.T. Daniels, who won’t arrive until the summer.Sears replaced Darnold at San Clemente High School and e is looking to do the same at USC. It has been an up-and-down spring for Sears, but he bounced back during Saturday’s scrimmage with a couple of long touchdowns, which could propel him to a breakout performance in the spring game.Senior outside linebacker Porter Gustin was a mystery man most of last season following toe surgery and a bicep tear. Now bulked up to 270 pounds, he is fully back and ready to make opposing offenses feel the pain. He has had a hand in the quarterback competition as well, forcing both Fink and Sears to scramble and get rid of the ball early. True senior running back Aca’cedric Ware came into USC with Ronald Jones II as a one-two punch of talented Texas tailbacks. But with Jones earning the starting role and subsequent injuries to Ware, Trojan fato Chelsea under new manager Frank Lampard.Premier League winner Drinkwater was the forgotten man in Maurizio Sarri’s one and only season at Stamford Bridge.The Blues finished in third and won the Europa League, but Drinkwater didn’t make a single apns have yet to see his full potential as a tailback. Former five-star Stephen Carr is out this spring with an injury and Ware has taken advantage and emerged as a force for the USC rushing attack. Redshirt senior cornerback Jonathan Lockett was poised to start at nickel for USC before an injury shelved him for the entire 2017 season. Lockett is now healthy, playing both corner and nickel, and has been making plays all spring long. The former Mater Dei standout is part of a much deeper secondary that shouLeicester City forward Ryan Loft has joined League Two side Carlisle United on a season-long loan deal.The 21-year-old joined Spurs’ academy in 2013 and was loaned to Braintree, Stevenage and Exeter before signing a two-year deal with the Foxes in 2018.”We wanted to have a different type of striker available. It was important we had that variety, and Ryan gives us that,” said boss Steven Pressley.ld show marked improvement this season.

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WATCH: Arkansas’ Bret Bielema has hot takes on eggnog during the holidays

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Orange juice isn’t just for breakfast anymore, and eggnog isn’t just for the holiday season — at least according to Bret Bielema. The Arkansas coach went on an inspired rant about eggnog and when/where it’s acceptable. In short, Ber United star Dimitar Berbatov has revealed his way of celebrating his first league title win.The Bulgarian claimed the honor at the end of the 2008-2009 season, when United won their third successive Premier League trophy.And he revealed that he coielema is of the “do you” belief in which eggnog is drinkable whenever, wherever.

Eggnog in July seems like a bad idea, but if that’ progress.The defender is starring on-loan with Leeds UnitoriaGuimaraes in Portugal to draw this Europa League tie 1-1.Shkodran Mustafi had provided the Gunners with the breakthrough with an unmarked header from a Nicolas Pepe free-kick with 10 minutes to go.But Vitoria came to life in the closing stages ited this season.Potter said: “It’s a great experience for him at Leeds.“It’s why you go on loan, to have that challenge.“He’s done really well and now they have a chance to get to the Pres Bielema’s M.O., by all means, go for it.

So don’t be surprised if Bielema is drinking something other than Gatorade in those little cups on the sideline during the Belk Bowl on Dec. 29 against Virginia Tech.

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WATCH: Jimbo Fisher says Auburn won ‘Kick Six’ game vs. Bama with ‘illegal’ plays

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Jimbo Fisher is a great offensive coach. We knew this long before he led to the national championship, but what many fans may not know is that he’s great at teaching the game as well. Fisher regularly contributes to the Nike Coach of the Year cte for Ernesto Valverde’s job at Barcelona.RAC1 says Barcelona have deal for Chelsea attacker Pedro.The Telegraph says the Spanish winger is out of contract at the end of the season and could be available for a cut-priced fee.Villa boss Dean Smith is hopeful of securing a deal when the transfer window reopens in Januturned their attentions towards Pochettino to replace the under-pressure Valverde.It was expected that their former player Xavi would take over at the Nou Camp, but the Al-Sadd managlinics and is more than happy to “talk ball” when reporters know how to ask the right questions.

Fisher offered an unsolicited lesson on modern college offenses to reporters this week, explaining the conflict created by the run-pass option (RPOs) and quarterback runs. The college rules allow a lineman to be three yards upfield at the time of a pass, so a lineman has at least a few yards to fake a run block (freezing linebackers and safeties) while the quarterback waits for his receiver to get behind the defense. “It’s why you’re seeing scoring so high right now across the country,” Fisher says.

“What they’re doing on offense right now is illegal. Should never be part of football, and I’m an offensive guy,” Fisher said. “When you can have a lineman go three yards doreparing a first offer for Real Madrid attacker James Rodriguez.After completing a two-season loan at Bayern Munich, James is now up for sale at Real – and a confirmed target for Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis.Le 10 Sport says De Laurentiis iwn the field and it’s a pass, there’s something wrong with that.”

Lineman can’t get that far upfield in the , so it’s obvious why RPOs aren’t as popular at the next level. Fisher points out that everyone thought the running quarterback would be the next craze, only to see the effects of extra hits take a toll on high-priced investments for franchises.

The entire presentation was great, then Fisher inadvertently made headlines for pointing out that those kind of option plays with lineman upfield “cost a national championship.”

“When we played for the national championship, they had a lineman seven yards down the field on the pass they threw that tied it up before the “Kick Six.” They would have never been there, should have been illegal,” Fisher said. “Last year when they played Ole Miss on TV? Had lineman six yards down the field.”

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LOOK: Nick Saban gets POTUS treatment with security at SEC Media Days

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coach Nick Saban is the darling of SEC Media Days, despite the fact that, of the conference’s 14 coaches, he routinely seems the least excited to be there.

But he’s Nick Saban, and this is Alabama. Com to play for Barcelona.Dest has impressed this season, with the youngster recently committing to Holland, despite his US background.”I still have many goals. One day I want to play in Barcelona. That is my biggest goal,” he told Bleacher Report.”I aling off yet another national championship, Saban is going to be the star at the podium.

As such, in order to prevent Saban from getting caught up to heavily in this …

… and this …

… someone obviously felt Saban needed this.

Yes, you’re counting correctly. That’s not one, not two, not three, for the Tide’s coach. TCity attacker Marlos Moreno.The Colombia international, reports O Jogo, is a target for Portimonense.Moreno, 22, signplayer-coach in January from MLS side DC United, reports BBC Sport.The 33-year-old forward, who is Manchester United and England’s all-time record goalscorer, will join the Rams on an initial 18-month contract.He signed for Washington-based DC from Eed for City in 2016, though has never featured for the Premier League champions.While on City’s books, he has spent time on-loan withhat’s some high-level security for a guy who doesn’t carry the nuclear football, just a pigskin. #RollTide and such.

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VIDEO: This might be the longest touchback of all time

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If you’re waiting to see the strangest play of this weekend in college football, he Northern Echo says the midfielder is one of a number of players currently in discussions with Newcastle officials over a new deal.While the ongoing talks with Sean and Matty Longstaff have hogged the headlines, the Magpies hierarchy are hoping to I don’t think you’ll have to look much further than here.

In Saturday’s game between and , Cincinnati’s Aaron Brown picked off a pass from and that’s when things got weird. 

Yes, that’s right. Brown returned the ball 87 yards only to fumble it through thghted with his move from Boca Juniors.Maroni, 20, has arrived on loan with an option to buy, reportedly set at €15m.“I’d like to thank the President, Massimo Ferrero,” Maroni told the official Samp website.“I’m thrilled that he brought me here e end zone, resulting in a touchback and Connecticut ball at its own Anil Murthy has hit out at the press after a chaotic start to the season.Before their Champions League win at Chelsea, Murthy was asked directly if he had apologised to the players on behalf of club owner Peter Lim over the sacking of Marcelino.But 25-yard line. While I don’t know if they keep an official record of such things, I’m just going to go ahead and proclaim this the longest touchback in history.

I have that kind of power.

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VIDEO: Butch Jones talks Tennessee class, 2013 season

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The recruiting services are not all that high on Butch Jones’ first class at Tennessee, particularly by SEC standards. For example, the place the Vols at 25th nationally, 11th in the ted striker Romelu Lukaku.The Mirror says United have rejected a £54million bid for Lukaku.Inter Milan made the offer ahead of this afternoon’s match but did not meet United’s asking price.They are likely to return with a new bid in the coming days.SEC.

That hasn’t kept Jones from being fired up, especially after like four-star quarterback .

Here he talks to Jeremy Fowler and Bruce Feldman as part of online broadcast, about both his new recruiting class and what he’s looking for in the 2013 season:

Some Jones quotes from the above video: 

“An interesting day to say the least and an interesting recruiting process. I’m really proud of the coaches””The big thing is you caatch and fined £50,000 after an FA commission accepted he “did not intend” a tweet about team-mate Benjamin Mendy to be “racist”.Silva compared Mendy to the character on a packet of Conguitos – a chocolate brand available in Spain and Portugal.Silvan’t put a value on experience, especially in taking over programs. The great thing, too, is that a lot of our staff has been with me for a while now. This is our third time going through this, so we wanted to make sure that this first class was filled with character guys who fit in with our core values.””You win with consistency and you win with continuity. A lot of these individuals are going on their third strength coach. They’re going on their fifth position coaches.””This staff assembled 12 signees, but eight of those 12 were committed elsewhere. So we were behind in establishing those relationships.””We may be the only program in the United States of America to have two scholarship quarterbacks on the roster, so for us to get Riley Ferguson and Josh Dobbs was really big for us. “Everybody wants to judge recruiting classes, but they will be judged two, maybe three years down the road.””Riley Ferguson is extremely competitive. I believe he’s only lost one high school game as a quarterback. He’s really athletic. Josh Dobbs is really cerebral and these guys have the skill set that can bring a lot of competition to the position. As you know, you can never have too mantoe in his left foot.It’s been revealed the Spaniard was working in the gym, doing extra work, until a weight fell on his foot, which gave him the fracture in his toe, reports Marca.The length of time that Lucas will miss remains unknown, but he willy quarterbacks.”

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Jordan Wynn will be Hawaii’s new quarterbacks coach

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(US Presswire)

It was a little more than two months ago that quarterback Jordan Wynn , and now he’ll be coaching quarterbacks instead.  coach Norm Chow told the Salt Lake Tribune that .

“The time we were together, I enjoyed it immensely,” Chow said. “He is going to take our quarterbacks and be our quarterbacks coach, and I’m really excited.”

Chow coached Wynn at Utah in 2011, when he sdrid.The 24-year-old took his medical in the Spanish capital on Thursday.The centre-back joins Kieran Trippier, from Tottenham, as a new Atletico signing, as they look to bolster a baconardo Bonucci admits this Juventus team are experiencing something new as they find themselves in a genuine title fight.The 32-year-old says the Old Lady are using the festive period to “recover” after defeat in the Supercoppa and trailing at the k-line shaken by the departures of Diego Godin and Lucas Hernandezerved as the Utes’ offensive coordinator. This is his first season as head coach at Hawaii, and he has been handling both the head coaching duties and quarterback coaching duties. It’s a task that Chow said has proven to be “a lot to handle.”

Wynn retired from football rather than undergoing a fourth shoulder su with his new Liverpool contract.The striker, 18, committed his future to the club on Wednesday by penning a long-term deal. Currently recovering from knee surgery, he told liverpoolfc.com: “I’ve been at the club for quite a long time now. I was disargery. He injured his left shoulder — his nonthrowing shoulder — during an overtime loss to Utah State on Sept. 7. It was the third consecutive year in which Wynn’s season was ended by a shoulder surgery.

Wynn threw for 4,637 yards, 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions during his four years with the Utes.

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Augusta National Golf Club donates $2 million to aid in coronavirus testing, emergency relief

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nuary.A slow start to the season has left the Red Devils in tenth on ready to cough up for Tottenham contract rebel Christian Eriksen next month.The Mirror says the Spanish giants are trying to offload players to make way for a move for Eriksen.Eriksen will be free to talk to foreign clubs in January with his contracthe Premier League.Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to top up his squad when the transfer window opens this winter.And the Daily Star claims Newcastle midfielder Longstaff and his week.Fernandes is being linked with Manchester United amid reports of an offer being prepared to be table in days.However, after seeing the midfielder score twice in victory at Vitoria Setubal yesterday, Silas remained hopeful of Fernandes stayinLyo

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U.S. Open 2019: How to win a major championship at the Pebble Beach course

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behind schedule.United host Newcastle United on Boxing Day having lost at Watford on Sunday.Solskjaer said, “At the moment we’re a little bit further behind than what I was hoping for.”He added: “We kague, but adds the Catalan won’t leave Manchester City regardless of how the season ends.City entered thhas defended Reds counterpart Jurgen Klopp’s decision to rest his first-team squad for the replay against Shrewsbury, reports SkySports.He said: “He’s well within his rights to [rest his players]. That’s why you have your first-team squad, reserve ple season attempting to complete a historic three-peat of the Premier League title.However, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool have been unstoppable this seanew this season was going to be a season of some