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  • Slaven Bilic confident transfer business sets West Ham up for success

    first_imgSlaven Bilic feels West Ham’s summer transfer business has given them the platform for a successful season. Chelsea loanee Victor Moses put in a hugely encouraging debut while the Hammers’ bench, which was full of youngsters at Liverpool a fortnight ago, included fellow new signings Nikica Jelavic, Michail Antonio and Pedro Obiang, as well as fit-again striker Andy Carroll. Bilic said: “We’ve had a good start so far, it’s small proof we have done well in transfer window and I am happy now with this team. “I think we play can various systems and that makes us happy at the moment.” Carroll was introduced as a late substitute against his former club for his first appearance since suffering a knee injury in February. The striker has endured a miserable time with injuries since joining West Ham from Liverpool in 2012, and Bilic is hopeful of finally getting a run of games from the 26-year-old. “It is very important for him, and very important for the club,” added Bilic. “It’s almost like signing a new player. It was a really good night, for us and also for him.” While the Hammers are flying high in the table, defeat saw Steve McClaren’s Newcastle slump to the bottom. The Toon’s players and coaching staff only arrived at the stadium less than an hour before kick-off due to heavy traffic, and they were caught cold when Payet curled in a fine opener after nine minutes. The Hammers climbed up to fifth in the Barclays Premier League after Monday night’s 2-0 win over Newcastle at Upton Park. Dimitri Payet was the star of the show with both goals, illustrating why Bilic was so keen for the club to splash £10.5million for his services from Marseille. Press Association Payet doubled the lead just after half-time, following up after Moses’ shot came back off the crossbar, to leave McClaren with plenty to think about ahead of Saturday’s visit of Watford. “We have to learn from this and move on and give a reaction on Saturday,” he said. “We don’t want the players to be anxious. The players have quality and ability and they have shown that over the previous four games. “They’ve been told it’s disappointing and the only thing you can do is dust yourself down and look forward to challenge of a home game on Saturday and the opportunity to put that result to bed.” last_img read more

  • NOT IN THE CARDS: No. 1 Syracuse falls to Louisville, suffers first road loss of season

    first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Each time Syracuse went to the basket in the second half Saturday, it was to compensate for that certain uneasiness.A feeling the team hadn’t experienced all year was suddenly evident across the board. Syracuse — trademarked by its cool exterior — was clearly desperate. Nothing seemed to go its way, and it showed.‘We panicked a little bit,’ Jackson said. ‘We usually don’t panic, and that hurt us a little.’In the face of a relentless Louisville attack, the sense of maturity and collective poise normally seen from the No. 1 Orange was gone in the midst of an 78-68 loss. The sold-out crowd of 20,135 on hand to see the final game at Louisville’s historic Freedom Hall latched on to a late surge and shook Syracuse out of contention in a game it once had command of. Down the stretch, forced shots and errant passes translated to Cardinals points in a nonstop barrage that spanned nearly nine minutes.The loss made Syracuse (28-3, 15-3 Big East) the final team in Division I basketball to lose a road game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text‘I think we lost our composure in the second half a lot more than in the first half,’ junior forward Wes Johnson said. ‘It got loud and after that I think we just lost our composure, and that’s something we rarely do and we did today.’Where it ended was with an emotional Edgar Sosa, beckoning to the Louisville (20-11, 11-7 Big East) student section to storm the court in the last Cardinals game he, and the arena, will ever participate in. Meanwhile, the Orange trudged off to the matchbook-sized visitors’ locker room.But things were much different in the early going. For the first 30 minutes, the Orange looked as though it was thoroughly prepared for everything Louisville could throw at it. Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino challenged SU early with a variety of pressure defenses, the same kind that boggled the Orange in its last loss to Louisville on Feb. 14, but this time, it was prepared.The Orange would instantly break the defense down and find its frontcourt wide open at the end of the flurry. Johnson, Jackson and Arinze Onuaku combined for 21 of the team’s 35 first-half points by converting easy transition baskets off the broken press. Then, the Cardinals started hitting shots.Attempting an astounding 40 3-pointers, the baskets Syracuse weren’t counting on began to fall in droves.‘I think we got a little relaxed defensively,’ SU head coach Jim Boeheim said. ‘They were missing so many shots, I think we thought they were going to miss them all.’First, it was Louisville forward Samardo Samuels — who had zero points in the first half — hitting a layup and stealing the lead back from the Orange.When the hesitant defense started, the Cardinals’ offense expanded. Point guards Sosa and Peyton Siva had wide-open shots around the perimeter and a clear passing lane to Samuels and Jared Swopshire.The sudden lead change left little time for the Orange to adjust and plenty of time for Kyle Kuric to find all the empty spaces left in the SU defense. Though he’d only scored 94 points total this season, Kuric exploded for 22 on the night, piloting the Cardinals’ run.  With each 3, he sent the Freedom Hall crowd into hysteria while the Orange desperately tried to recover. Once it had the ball back on offense, though, possessions were extremely quick — a one-man isolation play toward the basket, or a highly contested jump shot on the block.‘I thought we rushed our offense a little bit and that led to some missed shots around the basket,’ Boeheim said. ‘… Bottom line, our offense wasn’t good enough in the second half.’Sitting in the locker room after the game, the Orange realized what had happened. For a team that survived the entire season without a loss on the road, Syracuse figured it’d beaten itself.Taking things one possession at a time, would things be different? Would dishing the ball instead of taking a high risk be more effective? No way to tell now. But perhaps it was necessary. Learning to deal with it now could be invaluable.‘I told them we’ll learn from this,’ Boeheim said. ‘There’s some things we can learn from this.’[email protected]  Published on March 7, 2010 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img read more

  • Mohammed Polo: “Give me the Satellites and sack Borbor”

    first_imgEx-Hearts of Oak Coach Mohammed Polo has expressed his desire to handle the national under 20 team of Ghana following their abysmal showing at the World Cup in New Zealand.Ghana failed to reach the quarter final stage of the tournament in what many perceive to be a failure.Majority of the blame has been laid at the doorstep of head coach Sellas Tetteh as he failed for the first time to take Ghana to the medal zone of a FIFA organized competition in his fifth attempt.“I am ready for the Satellites job. I would not disgrace myself if given the opportunity. As for Sellas Tetteh, he failed and should be sacked.”“Since I am a talent development coach, the job should be given to me so I can build a team of new youngsters in the Ghana Under-20 team,” Polo told Happy FMPolo who was in charge of Accra Hearts of Oak last season enjoyed a torrid time at his boyhood club despite finishing third after missing second place by a whisker. –last_img read more

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