2 Liverpool were the third biggest spenders in the transfer window, laying out £78.4million but with a net spend of just £10.35million.Following Steven Gerrard’s departure, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers quickly completed the signing of James Milner to try and fill the gap left by the Kop icon.Liverpool received almost £50m from Manchester City for Raheem Sterling and swiftly reinvested by snapping up Christian Benteke, Roberto Firmino and Danny Ings.Nathaniel Clyne was brought in to replace Glen Johnson, while Adam Bogdan came in as back-up for Simon Mignolet in goal.What do you think of Liverpool’s squad compared to last season? Let us know by leaving your comments below. And you can tell us which squad is better in the poll below… Liverpool’s 2015/16 squad 2 How Liverpool finished the 2014/15 season – Click the right arrow to see how their squad looks now
1 Manchester United star Memphis Depay The honeymoon is definitely over for Memphis Depay at Manchester United.His arrival was heralded by most at Old Trafford with some fans comparing him to a young Cristiano Ronaldo but it’s quickly going wrong for the 21-year-old.A bust up with ex-Red Devils star Robin van Persie followed reports of the player being given a dressing down by Ryan Giggs about his lifestyle.And now, following another two below-par performances, this time on international duty as the Netherlands failed to qualify for Euro 2016, fans are also turning on the winger.You can see what they’re saying below…
1 Roman Abramovich If you’re not a Chelsea fan, the chances are they are the team you most love to hate.That dubious honour used to belong unequivocally to Manchester United, gorged for so long on the success shaped firstly by Alex Ferguson, and then by Sir Alex Ferguson.Since 2004, however, the landscape has changed and the Blues from west London have replaced the Reds from the north-west on people’s wish-list for failure.Some of that can be attributed to the fact that, like United before them, they keep on winning trophy after trophy. But some of it is down to the fact they stand for the absolute worst of the modern game, a plaything for the rich and to hell with the long-term consequences.And that is why, for the good of football, I hope the sacking of Jose Mourinho comes back to bite Roman Abramovich squarely on the arse I imagine he parks on a pile of silken cushions every evening.Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no particular love for Mourinho. Like many people during his first foray into the Premier League, I found him amusing and a breath of fresh air. Second time around, he’s been little more than a bore and a bully.This season he has cut an increasingly desperate figure – indeed, Dietmar Hamann told talkSPORT in October he looked like a man ‘begging for the sack’. If that was indeed his end game, then once more he has got what he wanted.This, though, represents the tenth managerial change in 11 years since Mourinho was first appointed in June 2004. That attrition rate, you would think, would signal a club in crisis.The trophy haul, however, tells a different tale. Since the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ walked into Stamford Bridge, the Blues have won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, three League Cups, the Champions League and the Europa League.Under ten different managers.And that’s why I hope expected caretaker manager Guus Hiddink fails. And why I hope his expected long-term successor, Diego Simeone, also fails. Because if Abramovich’s trigger happy approach continues to reap rewards in the shape of silverware, other chairmen and owners will see it as the blueprint for success.David Moyes was given just ten months to re-shape Manchester United following Fergie’s departure. But are they honestly in significantly better shape now under Louis van Gaal than they were under the Scot?Brendan Rodgers led Liverpool to second place in the Premier League in 2013-14, was named LMA Manager of the Year – the first Anfield chief to win that accolade in 20 years – and signed a new four-year contract in May 2014. Six months later he was sacked. Roy Hodgson, meanwhile, spent just seven months in the Anfield hot-seat. This at a club, remember, famed for its ‘boot room’ factory of managerial consistency.Andre Villas-Boas was given 18 months at Tottenham (although that was twice as long as he was allowed to ‘rebuild the culture’ at Chelsea). His successor at White Hart Lane, Tim Sherwood, lasted six months. He was then granted two months longer than that to try to turn around an Aston Villa ship that has been heading for the rocks for a numbers of years now.Paolo Di Canio was given six months at Sunderland. As was Dick Advocaat.All those decisions may turn out to be the right ones. But what the constant hiring and firing of managers does is give players an excuse and an easy get out clause.Mourinho talked about being ‘betrayed’ by some of his players, but that’s the culture Abramovich’s attitude has created. After all, why bother to be accountable when you know your next boss will be along shortly?The Russian oligarch may be able to stare fondly at a trophy cabinet that suggests he is following the right path. But where is the stability? Where is the future planning? It can’t be coincidence that the last player to come through the junior ranks at the club was John Terry, a man from a different generation.If the owner of a ‘proper business’ conducted his affairs in that way, they would be deemed a basket case. But while it keeps getting results, the practice will continue. And will spread.So, despite this being the season of goodwill to all men, I wish Chelsea a very unhappy New Year.
Leicester striker Jamie Vardy has revealed the first steps of a film adaptation if his rise from non-league hitman to Premier League star are in place.Many predicted the Foxes would face a relegation fight this season, yet with 13 matches remaining they are five points clear at the top flight summit.Claudio Ranieri’s men face a crunch clash with title rivals Arsenal on Sunday, with Vardy, like so many times this season, set to play a key role.Less than six years after plying his trade for Stocksbridge Park Steels, and after stops at Halifax and Fleetwood, the 29-year-old is the Premier League’s top scorer thanks to an 18-goal haul.British screenwriter Adrian Butchart wants to adapt that remarkable ascent for the big screen and went to see Vardy in action against Liverpool earlier in the month, when the England international netted both goals in a 2-0 win.And Vardy has revealed he has spoken with the filmmaker to begin talks over a potential movie of his meteoric rise.“He wanted to see a game and the way we played that day he can come every week,” Vardy told the Daily Star.“I went and had a chat with him and he said he was getting things in place to start it.”Asked if the film needs a happy ending, Vardy said with caution: “We’ll see what happens and see where they want to take it.” 1 Leicester City star Jamie Vardy
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityHe might want to consider long sleeves. There could be a lot of Olympics talk in the Phinney household over the next few months because one of the most-storied families in American cycling has a budding star quickly making a name for himself. Taylor Phinney is proving the power of genetics. His father is Davis Phinney, the first American to win a stage of the Tour de France and an elite pro rider for two decades. His mother is Connie Carpenter-Phinney, a four-time national champion and the gold medalist in the inaugural women’s Olympic road race 23 years ago. So it can hardly be surprising that their 17-year-old son is already a junior world cycling champion – and now is a USA Cycling elite track nationals gold medalist as well. Phinney beat Brad Huff by a little less than two seconds in the 4-kilometer final Thursday night at the ADT Event Center in Carson. Not bad, considering the kid never raced on a velodrome before Thursday. CYCLING: Junior world champ has an Olympic pedigree – and talent. From staff and wire reports Davis Phinney held out his right arm to illustrate his point. “See? Talking about the Olympics still gives me goose bumps,” he said. “It’s a really nice end to a really good season,” he said. “I’m glad I was able to cap it off.” He won’t turn 18 until a month before those Olympics. Results like Thursday’s certainly suggest he’ll be ready. “My whole motivation to get into doing the pursuit is to see if maybe I can qualify for the Olympics in ’08,” Taylor Phinney said. “So we decided to come out here, and it’s exciting. My first pursuit. I like it.” It’s easy to see why Phinney is considered one of USA Cycling’s brightest hopes for the future, with eyes of trying to find a spot on the Olympic team destined for Beijing next summer. “When you walk around as an Olympian, that’s pretty good,” said Davis Phinney, a 1984 bronze medalist. “When you walk around as an Olympic gold medalist, that’s even better. “So we wanted to instill that spirit, that honor and what it’s like being an ambassador for your country in him.” With parents like his, some might think Taylor Phinney was raised on a bike. They’d be wrong. He didn’t begin riding competitively until 18 months ago, then won 23 races in his first year. He never pedaled on a velodrome until four weeks ago, and wound up stunning a field filled with seasoned pros. The pursuit is a 16-lap event on the 250-meter track, with two riders starting on opposite sides. It’s a race against the clock, not the other rider, but that didn’t stop Taylor from catching his opponent during Thursday’s heats – while he clocked the fastest final-kilometer time among qualifiers for the final. “I know what I’m capable of,” Taylor Phinney said. “I just haven’t proven it on the track to myself.” That is, until Thursday. Four elite titles and two U23 stars-and-stripes jerseys were claimed late Wednesday night at the venue. Michael Blatchford (Cypress/Cody Racing) won the elite men’s 250-meter time trial and Liz Reap (Jim Thorpe, Pa./T-Town Express) won the women’s 500-meter time trial. Stephen Hill (Winston, Ga./East Point Track Club) earned a national title with a 1:06.011 in the men’s kilometer time trial. Reseda’s Matthew Post placed 12th overall, but his time of 1:10.842 as a 22-year-old earned him the U23 national title in the event. In the only national championship category team event on Wednesday, the Slipstream foursome of Colby Pearce (Boulder, Colo.), Brad Huff (Fair Grove, Mo.), Michael Friedman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Mike Creed (Colorado Springs, Colo.) clocked 4:20.220 in the men’s 4-kilometer team pursuit.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
By Dorie Turner THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SHARON, Ga. – The most important rule at this remote vacation spot is simple: no white light. Even a sliver of the pupil-contracting rays coming from the window of a cabin at Deerlick Astronomy Village could ruin a neighbor’s view of the Milky Way. The 96-acre village in rural Taliaferro County in eastern Georgia is designed for amateur stargazers looking for total darkness and wide-open spaces to build weekend homes. Next to the houses is a 10-acre hilltop observation field where stargazers who don’t want to buy property can pitch a tent and scan the sky for free. The field is the new home of the Atlanta Astronomy Club’s telescope and the 300-member group’s annual stargazing festival, held earlier this month. “This is going to become one of the premier amateur stargazing sites in the Southeast,” said Tom Crowley, chairman of the club’s board, as he sat at Deerlick on a recent night. Deerlick property owners are vigilant about white light, which contracts pupils for about half an hour and makes it tough to see anything in the dark. Homes only have outdoor lights that are a dim red – a color that doesn’t affect the eyes the same way as white light. And windows must be lined with foam board or other light-blocking materials to prevent rays from escaping. Cars can drive into Deerlick at night, but they can use only their parking lights to roam around. Stargazers who wander about the property after dark use flashlights with red bulbs. Five years ago, Hetlage and friend Donovan Conrad began hunting for small plots of land where they could build their personal observatories. The two are amateur astrophotographers who take hundreds of frames with high-powered cameras attached to telescopes and layer them on a computer to create images of galaxies 10,000 light years away. Finding the perfect spot proved tough, as East Coast cities are so close together that the stars are drowned out by light, Hetlage said. Most of the land far enough from Atlanta’s light pollution was available only in large chunks, so Hetlage and Conrad bought a big chunk to create the astronomy village. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“It’s like a lake house for geeks,” said Chris Hetlage, co-founder of the village, as he tromped through the darkness toward his observatory. Hetlage said he and his business partners figured the development would be popular. There are only two other similar communities nationwide – one in Florida and one in Arizona – and he said the demand for dark skies is soaring as suburban sprawl produces more light pollution. But Hetlage said he was surprised just how quickly the 2-acre plots sold. Star lovers – some as far away as Michigan – have snatched up all of the 17 plots that went on the market less than two years ago. The business plan aimed for those plots to sell in five years. The grassy field lined with trees holds six homes and nine observatories, which look like tiny cabins with retractable roofs.
Claudio Ranieri, pictured here with the Premier League trophy on Saturday 1 Claudio Ranieri loved every moment of the fitting end to Leicester’s ‘magic season’ – revelry that continued into the press conference as Kasper Schmeichel and Christian Fuchs soaked their manager in champagne.Nine months since starting the season as relegation candidates and a 5,000-1 shot for the title, captain Wes Morgan lifted the Premier League trophy to a background of fireworks and cheers at the King Power Stadium.Nobody could have foreseen the Foxes winning their first-ever league title in this money-dominated era, yet their spirit, determination and skill saw them triumph with two matches to spare.The players, like City’s fans, showed no hangover from the celebrations that have been ongoing since Tottenham drew at Chelsea on Monday, with Jamie Vardy netting either side of fans’ favourite Andy King in a 3-1 win against Everton.The party now rolls onto Chelsea and a title parade on May 16, with Ranieri overwhelmed by a memorable afternoon that included world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli’s singing next to the Leicester boss before kick-off.“It felt good,” Ranieri said at the end of a memorable day. “It was amazing. I tried to be strong without emotion, so I live better the moment.“It was amazing when the maestro Andrea Bocelli sung ‘Nessun Dorma’…”At that point a cork was popped, with goalkeeper Schmeichel and full-back Fuchs running into the press conference with the Premier League trophy, covering their manager with champagne.“Tomorrow, training session,” Ranieri said, laughing. “Bad lads.”After a delay in which he attempted to dry himself, he began speaking about Bocelli again and the day as a whole.“The emotion was at the top but it was fantastic,” Ranieri said.“Andrea when he called me and said ‘I want to come there, there is something magic in Leicester’. He chose this day and it was brilliant.“I want to say thank you to all our fans. In the bad moment, like when we were losing 2-0, they helped us so back so many times, at home, away. Without them it was very, very difficult now to get this trophy.“And, of course, the more important person: the owner. Without the owner, that wasn’t possible, that ambition.”Ranieri has no wild celebration planned on Saturday – “when I was young, I think no more than 10 times I went to the disco” – apart from a little party at the King Power Stadium with the chairman and families.After that, he will go home to bed and “restart” ahead of the season finale at Chelsea – a phrase repeated when it came to next season.“I don’t know next season what happens because this has been a magic season, but you imagine if Leicester start well again – oof, what happens? I don’t know,” Ranieri said.“Now, let me think only of this last match, let me go to the sea, recharge my batteries and we restart next season with the same ambition, with the same humility, with the same feeling.
A Sheffield United fan telling the players what he thinks of them and not holding back… #SUFC pic.twitter.com/VQs9TpOYVH— Oddschanger (@Oddschanger) May 8, 2016 Check out this angry Sheffield United fan, captured on video getting stuck into his team. After the final day of the League One campaign, Nigel Adkins’ Blades did the usual lap of honour at Bramall Lane, thanking fans for their support in 2015/16. The South Yorkshire side will have to play a fifth successive season in the third tier after finishing 11th, eight points adrift of the play-ofs. As the players approach this fan’s stand, he let them know his thoughts: Sheffield United finished 11th in League One 1
Tom Beere scored an injury time winner for the Dons Substitute Tom Beere grabbed a stoppage-time winner as AFC Wimbledon won a dramatic play-off first leg 1-0 against Accrington.Stanley, the team with the smallest budget in Sky Bet League Two, had stood firm for 90 minutes of a blood and thunder encounter at Kingsmeadow.But having been denied automatic promotion in the dying seconds of the final day of the season, they suffered more late heartbreak in south London.Beere swept home the winner with seconds remaining to hand his side a narrow lead going into Wednesday’s second leg at the Wham Stadium.The Dons had finished 10 points behind their visitors and kicked off as underdogs, 28 years to the the day since the old Wimbledon’s finest hour, the famous FA Cup final victory over mighty Liverpool.And the spirit of the Crazy Gang seems to be alive and kicking as the current incarnation attempt to secure promotion to League One for the first time. There was certainly a hint of old-style Wimbledon about their first chance in the sixth minute.Tom Elliott got his head to a long clearance and Lyle Taylor latched onto the flick-on, but the 21-goal striker dragged his shot across goal and wide.Elliott headed a Callum Kennedy free-kick narrowly wide, while left-back Kennedy’s angled drive was well struck but just off target.Accrington striker Billy Kee had a goal controversially ruled out at Kingsmeadow earlier this season after ref Trevor Kettle blew for half-time.It was Kee who had the first sight of goal for the visitors midway through the first half but he glanced a Josh Windass cross wide.Stanley were then awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area before half-time but Windass, the son of former Hull play-off hero Dean, lifted his shot narrowly over the crossbar.After the break the lively Windass attempted to wriggle clear of the Dons backline but his touch was too heavy and all he received for his efforts was a painful collision with Kelle Roos.Dons keeper Roos got down well to smother Kee’s overhead kick and then did even better to touch a snap shot from Stanley sub Tarique Fosu onto a post.With five minutes remaining Adebayo Akinfenwa crashed a shot onto the near post, as Stanley appeared to have weathered a late storm.But after another frenetic goalmouth scramble Beere, who has only just returned from a loan spell at Hampton & Richmond, emerged as an unlikely hero when he tucked the ball into the corner to hand the Dons the advantage. 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonCouncilman Gregory Salcido said he did not see a reason to establish the commissions, nor did he see a need to regulate closely how they are selected. “We don’t need those commissions,” Salcido said. “This is Mayberry, not downtown Los Angeles.” Salcido did not immediately select an appointee, saying he wanted more time to convince someone to join the commission. He will have 30 days or two City Council meetings to present someone to the council for approval. The commission will replace the Arts and Culture Committee, which will disband, and will include projects for seniors and sporting leagues as well as arts-related activities. Some members of the committee will continue their involvement by working on the commission. Mayor Ron Beilke said he appointed former committee member Lorraine DeLaO to the commission because of her experience with arts and culture. DeLaO, 61, works for county Department of Psychiatry and said she found a deeper appreciation of the arts through her work on the committee. “I think learning about the sports and bringing in the arts and the music, it’s going to go well,” DeLaO said. Councilman Bob Archuleta chose Vicky Galarza for the commission. A longtime member of the Montebello Police Department, Galarza has been active in volunteering through Boy Scouts. “When I interviewed her, she impressed me with her knowledge of security, her knowledge of the kids and her knowledge with seniors,” Archuleta. Councilwoman Gracie Gallegos-Smith appointed Gil Guerena, 61, former president of the Pico Boys baseball league, in the hopes that he will help level the playing field for youths in the city, literally. “We need to leverage all of the leagues and make sure they all have appropriate space,” Gallegos-Smith said. Guerena said he has coached baseball and football through the Pico Boys and Pico Dons. Peter Ramirez, appointed by David Armenta, also has history with Pico Dons football, as a coach and helper for 30 years. Ramirez, 59, is a retiree from a career building cars for General Motors. Ramirez, who lives across the street from Rivera Park and has coached baseball there for 30 years, said he hopes to help with his intimate knowledge of the parks in the city. “Whatever I can do to help the park get better, I’ll do my best,” Ramirez said. “I’ll tell them what I think they need because I walk the park every day.” The new commissioners said that while they are political appointees, they expect to work together without difficulty. “I think this commission has got to be focused and have some kind of unification,” DeLaO said. “We’re all leaders in the community with different focuses, but now we’re going to have to come together as one.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3029 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! PICO RIVERA – City officials say they expect close collaboration with City Hall from appointees to the newly established Parks and Recreation Commission. The commission was founded in September by a City Council decision along with a Sister City Commission, but council members appointed their commissioners last week. The council also creating guidelines for naming appointees. “By having commissions, we can have assigned city staff to the commission,” City Manager Chuck Fuentes said. “Staff will basically take the minutes, post the meeting notices, that kind of thing.” The Parks and Recreation Commission was disbanded more than a decade ago, but is being re-established to create better compliance with government procedure and professionalism in city business, Fuentes said.