Transfer window madness

first_imgThe silly season is upon us – and at Loftus Road it’s positively bonkers.For the past few days, QPR have single-handedly kept Sky Sports News in stories.Reports suggest their hardy reporter has abandoned the idea of commuting in from their HQ near Heathrow every time a Rangers story breaks and is currently holed up in a two-up two-down on the Uxbridge Road, ready to dash down at a moment’s notice.Never mind the Four-Year Plan, the four-week version is providing enough tittle-tattle to keep Dot Cotton going until Christmas.First we had the sacking of Neil Warnock, which had everyone raising their eyebrows apart from the man himself, who’s still searching for his. “If I never hear the words ‘howay, man and pet’ in the same sentence again it will be too soon.”The tears had barely dried when Mark Hughes was unveiled as his successor – and then the real fun began.Tabloid football journalists have long been renowned for doing a lucky dip with players and teams – cobbling together a story about the first pair they pick out.In Rangers’ case they don’t need to bother.Granted, the Carlos Tevez suggestion may have been a little fanciful, but in the past week alone QPR are said to have been interested in (deep breath) Chris Samba, Andy Johnson, Alex, Nedum Onuoha, Bobby Zamora, Wayne Bridge, Niko Kranjcar, Henrique and Taye Taiwo.The last time I saw that many links, Mr T was wearing them around his neck. It’s a good job transfer deadline supremo Jim White has already gone grey.As if that wasn’t enough to be going on with, there was also the small matter of the FA Cup replay against Milton Keynes Dons – or ‘McDons’ as my little girl likes to phonetically call them.Don’t laugh – it’s only a matter of time before they colonise Scotland – be afraid, Dons of Aberdeen, be very afraid.The magic of the Cup always throws up a major upset where the underdog has its day and this year was no different as unfancied QPR somehow scraped home for a first triumph in the competition since 2001, when Tony Blair was still in his first term as prime minister and Hear’say were the biggest band in Britain.Danny Gabbidon scored his first goal for seven years to silence the MK Dons, who regaled the home crowd with their hilarious rendition of “Sit down or we’ll steal your club.”I was a little disappointed the R’s faithful didn’t respond with that Leeds classic from a few years back: “Who did you support before?”The 1-0 win, setting up the small matter of a fourth-round tie with Chelsea (more on that next week) came three days after Rangers lost by the same score up in freezing Newcastle.While QPR fans were sensibly dressed like Scott of the Antarctic, some of their Geordie counterparts looked as though they were heading for the beach.For my sins, I was sat with my Magpie mate in the midst of the Toon Army – and if I never hear the words ‘howay, man and pet’ in the same sentence again it will be too soon.Although fair play to them for the chant to Hughes at the final whistle: “You’re getting sacked in the morning!”Just to top the week off, Warnock raised his head above the parapet to have a thinly-veiled swipe at Tony Fernandes, Joey Barton and the tweeting culture within the club.Sparky’s mate Martin.It seemed a little odd to suddenly start having a pop now after he had exited with such good grace…until I suddenly remembered how many working days it takes for a redundancy cheque to clear.Meanwhile, the name Mark Hughes was popping up in so many places I half expected him to score for Barnet in an unlikely 3-0 win at in-form Accrington and blow me down, that’s exactly what happened.Fulham boss Martin Jol certainly had plenty to say about his predecessor, snapping: “If you look at all the clubs he has managed, it has been two years at most.” (Apart from the five years he had with Wales and the four-year stint at Blackburn.)Fulham’s topsy-turvy season continued as a 4-0 demolition of Charlton in the Cup was followed by a 2-1 reverse to 10-man Blackburn, but neighbours Chelsea had better fortune as they consolidated fourth place with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.Fernando Torres was an inch away from scoring the goal of the season when his acrobatic volley cannoned off the bar to the grateful Frank Lampard, who gobbled up the chance like the fried breakfasts he used to put away in his youth.He might not have got the goal he craves, but Torres looks to have finally rediscovered his best form just in time for that little FA Cup encounter next week – oh joy.But we’ll leave the last word to Brentford fans on the Griffin Park Grapevine forum, who were asked to give their highlights of the 0-0 shocker with Walsall.‘Greenholme Bee’ wrote: “Staying at home watching the darts”, while ‘nocoat’ added: “Bringing my son. My life has been ruined by BFC and it is nice to be able to destroy his as well.”And a happy new year to you too.Follow Chris on Twitterlast_img read more

Local Roundup: McKinleyville offense erupts for 10 runs to beat Arcata for third time in three days

first_imgArcata >> The McKinleyville Panthers softball team scored 10 runs on 11 hits and took advantage of six Arcata errors to beat the Tigers 10-4 on Thursday at Arcata High School.Tied at two in the top of the third inning, McKinleyville scored three runs — highlighted by back-to-back doubles from Lily Thiesfeld and Ashley Stockwell — giving Mack a 5-2 lead.The Panthers offense didn’t stop there, as Mack scored five runs in the sixth inning, including an inside-the-park home run by Theisfeld, who …last_img

CPI-M Polit Bureau nod to expel Ritabrata Banerjee

first_imgThe Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (CPI-M) has approved the decision to expel Ritabrata Banerjee, Rajya Sabha MP and former general secretary of the Student Federation of India, the party’s youth wing.The decision to expel Mr. Banerjee was taken by the West Bengal State Secretariat last Wednesday and the decision was eventually approved by the Polit Bureau, party’s highest decision-making body, a statement issued on Friday by Surjya Kanta Mishra, the State secretary of Bengal CPI-M, said. The one page statement said the party has tried “repeatedly” to “rectify” Mr. Banerjee but the attempts failed and thus he was expelled. “Instead of rectifying himself, he went on to tarnish party’s image,” Mr Mishra said in his statement. Mr Banerjee, who has a huge following among students and the youth, joined the CPI-M in 1996 as a student leader and was elected as a Rajya Sabha member in 2014. Following his expulsion on Friday, political circles in Bengal are rife with speculation about his next move. Mr Banerjee, however, refused to indicate if he would be joining any of the CPI-M’s rivals. Inquiry panelQuoting a report submitted by the commission of inquiry against Mr Banerjee, Mr. Mishra added that the State Committee approved of “punitive measures” against the former on August 7-8 and the Central Committee was “informed.”“But in an interview on September 11 to a television channel, Mr. Banerjee publicly denigrated the party. On basis of this [the interview] the State Secretariat decided to expel him,” Mr Mishra said.“CPI-M’s Polit Bureau has approved the decision,” Mr. Mishra said on Friday and added that the State Secretariat expelled Mr. Banerjee from the primary membership on basis of “Article 19 [13] of party constitution.” Mr Banerjee was warned by the party in February for activities affecting the CPI-M’s internal rules and regulations. Eventually he was suspended in June by the West Bengal State Committee and a three-member probe commission, headed by Polit Bureau member Md. Salim, was formed. The commission gave its report indicating that Mr Banerjee was “guilty” of the allegations raised against him. He was chargesheeted by the party, Mr Mishra noted. Mr Banerjee challenged the charge sheet and the party by targeting the top brass including Prakash Karat and his wife Brinda. He also targeted Mr Salim and described the commission as a “kangaroo commission.”last_img read more

Warriors know this is something special, uncertainty ahead

first_imgPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ The Los Angeles Lakers of 2000-02 — led by Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal — are the last team to capture three straight titles.Golden State advanced without Durant, the reigning two-time finals MVP, and Cousins. Both were sidelined with injuries for the entire Western Conference finals. The finished off Portland without Andre Iguodala, another finals MVP who sat out Game 4 with an injury.While the Bucks and Raptors are slugging it out in the East, the Warriors are rehabbing.“I hope it doesn’t go unnoticed or underrated. Five straight finals hasn’t been done since the 60s, since Bill Russell’s Celtics,” fifth-year Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “Hasn’t been done for a reason: It’s really, really difficult. I just can’t say enough about the competitive desire about the group of players that we have here and the culture that they have built together, playing together regardless of injury.”Each Warriors run has been unique. When they won in 2015 it was the first title for the franchise in 40 years.LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers derailed them in 2016, but the Warriors bounced back in 2017 with a dominant 16-1 record during the postseason.Last year, Golden State joined Russell’s Celtics, Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls and trio of Lakers teams — including George Mikan and company in the 1950s, Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in the ’80s, and Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant nearly 20 years ago — as the only franchises in NBA history to capture three championships in four years.“When I was here the first time, they rebuilt and retooled,” said Andrew Bogut, a member of the 2015 title team before rejoining the Warriors in March.“They didn’t just sit on their hands thinking it was going to last forever. They freed up cap space, you have to give (general manager) Bob Myers, (owner) Joe Lacob and the coaching staff a lot of credit. There are a lot of teams that win a championship and kind of reward the whole roster, then they end up two-three years down the track and end up in a bit of a hole. Whereas this is a great run for a franchise that will end up as one of the all-time greats.”The Warriors enjoy playing together and with so many selfless stars and a deep bench they are rarely out of any game. That doesn’t mean it has been easy, especially with the constant free agency chatter this season.Durant is an impending free agent and the basketball world continues to speculate on his next move. Thompson’s future with the Warriors is unclear as well, while Green is signed through next season.“We know that these runs don’t last forever, and obviously there are so many questions and things that could possibly happen with this team this summer,” Green said. “So want to try to take advantage of this opportunity and make the most of it, and deal with the things that come after whenever those things arrive, but right now we’re focused on the task at hand and try to do something that hasn’t been done in a long time, or many times.”The Warriors are aware of the dynasty talk, but aren’t labeling themselves. They have consistently said their focus is the task of raising another banner in the final season at Oracle Arena before the franchise moves into Chase Center in San Francisco to begin 2019-20.“I don’t think in those terms. It’s just every opportunity we have to play, these are big moments, big games,” Curry said, “and the context of what this five-year run has been and all that stuff doesn’t really dominate my mind when we’re out there competing.” PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Catholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too The Golden State Warriors players pose with the Western Conference Championship trophy after Game 4 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers Monday, May 20, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Warriors won 119-117 in overtime. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry hears the dynasty discussion about his Golden State Warriors during another postseason run.Draymond Green realizes special teams only stay together for so long before something breaks them apart.ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venuecenter_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess That’s why the Warriors decided from Day 1 of training camp to cherish this season.Golden State is a franchise in its prime — five straight trips to the NBA Finals and seeking a third consecutive title. But the clock is ticking and the Warriors are well aware of the possible ramifications of free agency and how things could change in a hurry this summer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“Basketball careers aren’t that long. If you can get 10 out of it, you’re lucky,” Green explained. “To be to five straight finals, I don’t even know what to say about it. This is what you play for. This is our goal every year and to get here five straight times is special.”The Warriors started this run with three All-Stars in Curry, Green and Klay Thompson. They added two more in Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins. How many they’ll have after free agency is any and everyone’s guess. ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP Steph Curry shares admiration for PH, Pacquiao PLAY LIST 04:06Steph Curry shares admiration for PH, Pacquiao04:26Deaf personalities everyone should know03:13Steph Curry dances and dazzles in Manila return02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Raptors’ one-and-done gamble on verge of paying off View comments Curry — with nearly 11-month-old son Canon regularly in his arms for the ride — is certainly relishing this stretch of his decorated career, appreciating how far the Warriors have come during the 10 years he has been in the league.A third straight title is suddenly within reach, which would be Golden State’s fourth championship in five years.“We know what’s at stake and what we’re chasing this year, this series, this game, and that’s the only way that you can really put your best foot forward in terms of trying to get back to the mountaintop,” Curry said. “We’ll have plenty of time when we hang the sneakers up to really go back and think about all the different experiences and highs and lows, but right now, we’re two games away from another finals appearance. It’s pretty special.”The Warriors are the first team to reach five straight finals since the Celtics advanced to 10 in a row from 1957-1966.Another championship would cement this run of titles among the best ever.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more