7 7 4) Petr Cech: 10 per cent of fans think the Arsenal goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League 7 5) Simon Mignolet: seven per cent of fans think the Liverpool goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League 7 When former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann claimed Simon Mignolet is the third best goalkeeper in the Premier League, we were sure there were fans who would disagree.So we asked them if they believed the Belgian was better than a selection of the top flight’s other no.1s.Another Anfield favourite, Danny Murphy, certainly thinks Hamann is talking rubbish. “Do me a favour. I don’t know what he is talking about,” he told talkSPORT.“I would love to have a chat with him about it, because he is not watching the same games as me.”Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the results of the poll.JACK BUTLAND WILL BE ENGLAND’S NO.1, TALKSPORT TOLD 3) Thibaut Courtois: 12 per cent think the Chelsea goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League 7 6) Jack Butland: five per cent of fans think the Stoke goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League 1) Hugo Lloris: 35 per cent think the Tottenham goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League 7 2) David De Gea: 28 per cent think the Man United goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League 7 7) Joe Hart: three per cent of fans think the Man City goalkeeper is the best in the Premier League
Manuel Lanzini 1 West Ham have been dealt yet another injury blow with news Manuel Lanzini could be out for up to six weeks with a thigh problem.Lanzini missed Saturday’s goalless draw at Old Trafford, and the club confirmed the extent of the Argentinian’s injury on Tuesday.The 22-year-old has impressed for the Hammers since his arrival on loan from Al-Jazira in Abu Dhabi over the summer, netting four goals in 12 games, including against Liverpool on his Premier League debut.Lanzini’s attacking form came at a critical time for West Ham, with the Argentine stepping in the boots of French playmaker Dimitri Payet after he was ruled out with a long-term ankle injury in November.But the club have now confirmed Lanzini has joined Payet on the sidelines after he picked up a quadriceps problem in training.It leaves the Hammers worryingly short of attacking flair, with the on-loan star becoming the fourth forward on the club’s injury list. Diafra Sakho [thigh] and Enner Valencia [ankle] are also out, while Victor Moses is still sweating on the results of a scan on his hamstring.“West Ham United can confirm that Manuel Lanzini could be ruled out for up to six weeks with a quadriceps injury,” a statement issued on Tuesday morning read.“The Argentinian attacking midfielder suffered the thigh injury in training ahead of Saturday’s Barclays Premier League trip to Manchester United.“Lanzini underwent a scan on Monday and will now begin a period of rehabilitation which is expected to keep him out of first-team action for a period of up to six weeks.”
1 Tiago Ilori Ryan Kent, Sheyi Ojo and Tiago Llori have all been recalled from loan spells to ease Liverpool’s injury crisis.Jurgen Klopp moved to bring back the trio after Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure became the Reds’ latest casualties.Winger Kent arrives back from League One Coventry, forward Sheyi Ojo returns from Wolves, while centre-back Tiago Ilori has been summoned from Aston Villa.Ilori could go straight into the side to face Exeter in the FA Cup on Friday despite failing to make a single appearance during his Villa loan spell.He is the only fit senior centre-back in Klopp’s squad, with Lovren, Martin Skrtel, Toure and Mamadou Sakho all currently sidelined.“We have thought the last few days about what we can do in our situation and the first thing is we take back our own players,” Klopp said.“That is a normal thing, even if they have not the perfect situation at the clubs where they are on loan like it was with Ojo and Kent or Tiago.“These are our players and we have a situation. In my opinion, the best skill and the biggest talents should be in your own club so they can play together at under-21 and develop as a team.“If they make big steps then pick them so you always have them around you. Now we take them back and it is a big chance for the boys but there is no pressure because they are so young.“If they do well they can make the next step quickly but if not they have time – that is the good thing when you are young.“We want to work with them and we will see what happens. I am not too sure at this moment [whether any more will be brought back] but it is possible.“An offensive winger and centre-half is (key) for us at the moment.”Tune into talkSPORT on Friday for live and exclusive national radio coverage of Exeter v Liverpool, kick-off 19.55
No amount of pretty passing, silky skills, fancy footwork, possession and high pressing can win you a game if you don’t get the ball over the line.With that in mind, it’s key for teams to have plenty of quality in their forward line, with most opting to have at least three senior strikers on their books.But with some players misfiring this season and others unable to force their way into their respective teams, it’s likely there will be some movement before the January transfer window ends.So which strikers are available and ready to boost your team’s chances of glory? talkSPORT takes a look.Click the right arrow above to find out the top ten forwards available in January… 2. Nolito (Celta Vigo) – Arsenal are this mans suitors in the Premier League, while Barcelona appear very keen on re-signing the player who was once a forward for their B team. The 29-year-old has been superb in Galicia but would cost around 18m, even though theyve just snapped up French striker Claudio Beauvue. 7 7 5. Moussa Dembele (Fulham) – No, not that one, although Tottenham are interested in this young Frenchman, which could make things really complicated and make Stan Collymores head explode during commentary. The 19-year-old has impressed with the Cottagers this season but he can leave on a free at the end of the campaign, which could persuade them to sell up for under £5m. 7 7. Jackson Martinez (Atletico Madrid) – Click the right arrow above to find out what other top strikers are available this January… – Without a Liga goal since October, the Colombian has struggled to replicate the sensational goal-getting he was renowned for at Porto. In total the 29-year-old has hit two strikes in 14 appearances and his employers could attempt to cut their losses and sell the player on in the January transfer window. Tottenham reportedly bid £23m for the player who cost £26.8m in the summer. 7 3. Sebastien Haller (Utrecht) – We know its best to be wary about signing strikers from the Eredivisie, but France Under-21 international Haller doesnt appear to be a flash in the pan. A regular at all youth levels for his nation, the player is in his second campaign with Utrecht and had already been amongst the goals for Auxerre. He wont cost too much and will have sell on value too if he does flop. 1. Ezequiel Lavezzi (Paris Saint-Germain) – With his contract ending at the end of the current campaign, the Argentine has several options but PSG could decide to cash in this month with the forward barely making an impact this term. Chelsea and Manchester United are amongst the teams interested in signing him and his experience will make him a wanted man. 7 7 7 4. Saido Berahino (West Brom) – Its all gone a bit wrong for the striker since a move to Tottenham failed to materialise in the summer and is now a substitute more often than he a starter in Tony Pulis team. If he wanted to switch clubs before, he must certainly want to now and is likely to welcome any interest, even from a struggling Premier League outfit. 6. Patrick Bamford (Chelsea) – The youngsters first foray in the Premier League ended early with the player returning from a loan spell at Crystal Palace having made just two starts, both in the League Cup, and seven substitute appearances. His prolific form on loan at Middlesbrough and Derby in recent years still makes the 22-year-old a wanted man and he could be an able back up for a team in the lurch.
11 11 4. Sergio Ramos (centre-back) 11 11 11 11 11 7. Cristiano Ronaldo (forward) 10. James Rodriguez (midfield) 12. Marcelo (left-back) Real Madrid head to Italy to face Roma on Wednesday evening in search of an historic 11th Champions League triumph.Los Blancos are undefeated since club legend Zinedine Zidane took over from Rafa Benitez at the start of January, winning five of his six games and scoring 23 goals in the process.However, he will have to keep up this form if he is to end Real Madrid’s 29-year hoodoo, which has seen them fail to win a two-legged European tie against an Italian team.They do have this season’s top scorer in their arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo has scored 11 goals already – five more than the next highest, Robert Lewandowski.Zidane is also boosted with the inclusion of Marcelo, despite the Brazilian dislocating his shoulder during the 2-1 victory over Granada on February 7.So who will be included in Zidane’s first Champions League starting XI? Click the arrow above, right, to see the predicted Real Madrid line up in squad number order. 9. Karim Benzema (forward) 1. Keylor Navas (goalkeeper) – Click the arrow, right, to see the predicted Real Madrid XI in squad number order 11 11 8. Toni Kroos (midfield) 11 11 15. Dani Carvajal (right-back) 2. Raphael Varane (centre-back) 14. Luka Modric (midfield) 22. Isco (forward)
Derby won at home for the first time since Boxing Day and the 1-0 victory over Blackburn keeps them in the Sky Bet Championship promotion race.An outstanding early strike from Jacob Butterfield settled a game lacking in real quality and, although Blackburn had plenty of possession, they created few clear chances until stoppage time when Jordi Gomez headed against the top of the bar.Blackburn came into the game having failed to win any of their previous five league meetings with Derby and they were trailing after seven minutes when Butterfield turned on a headed clearance on the edge of the area to send a shot into the bottom left corner.It was an excellent finish from a player who has scored some spectacular goals this season but Blackburn responded well with Danny Graham, who had a loan spell at Derby in 2005, almost breaking clear six minutes later.Derby’s first league win of 2016 at Brentford on Saturday had clearly restored confidence given the way they moved the ball around, with Jason Steele forced to scramble to hold a deflected shot from Johnny Russell, but Blackburn had a chance in the 21st minute when Ben Marshall got in on the right only to chip tamely into the hands of Scott Carson.Graham had a great chance to equalise in the 32nd minute when he held off Richard Keogh before turning Jason Shackell to open up the goal but, from 10 yards out, he spooned the ball over the bar.It was a big let-off for Derby and they came close to increasing their lead in the 43rd minute when Cyrus Christie back-heeled the ball to Russell who whipped a shot from just inside the area past Steele’s right post.Blackburn began the second half brightly but were let down by a lack of quality with the the final ball which Derby delivered to create two chances in the space of a minute.First Russell was denied by a superb tackle from Shane Duffy before Chris Martin went through in the 60th minute only for Steele to save diving to his right.Blackburn did find a telling pass when Darragh Lenihan played Graham in but the angle was tight and his shot was comfortably saved by Carson, who had a far more demanding stop to make in the 72nd minute when he clawed away a 25-yard free-kick from Marshall.Derby were struggling to keep hold of the ball but Blackburn’s delivery remained disappointing until the fourth minute of added time when a corner bounced invitingly to Gomez at the back post but his header bounced off the bar and behind. Jacob Butterfield scored the game’s only goal 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityAnd their plight is playing out across Los Angeles Unified School District, where the number of homeless students has soared more than 35 percent in just one year to 13,521. Even as enrollment declines in the 708,000-student district, figures show the number of homeless students in the San Fernando Valley has risen 24 percent to more than 3,000. The escalating numbers are straining the nation’s second-largest district, which has just four homeless-education counselors – including just one to cover the Valley’s sprawling expanse. To help deal with the problem, Superintendent David Brewer has vowed to form more partnerships with community groups and boost training to make sure school officials know how to refer students to appropriate services. “It’s more of a staff development issue for us. We don’t necessarily need more money, but clearly the community needs to provide more resources,” Brewer said. Zella Knight and her 15-year-old daughter were evicted from their Sun Valley apartment last year as the condo-conversion craze swept the San Fernando Valley. Anastassia helped her mother hunt long and hard for an affordable place to live, and they finally settled in an L.A. Family Housing shelter in North Hollywood. The situation is far from ideal, however, and their struggles continue: Zella to find support services and Anastassia to find a quiet place to study so she can maintain her high grades. “It’s been taxing on my daughter. She has the world on her shoulders and yet is striving to obtain academic excellence,” said Knight, 44. “So it’s probably going to be more of a money problem for the community than it will be for us. But we are definitely going to collaborate with the community in identifying them and getting them services for those children.” But district officials say the shortage of affordable housing in the Valley and the tough economy will likely result in more families doubling up, moving into garages and living in cars. They also note that Los Angeles County officials – and others – need to significantly expand services and funding for the growing number of homeless. Earlier this year, Hope Gardens opened in the Northeast Valley as one of only a handful of long-term shelters for growing numbers of homeless women and children in the Valley. “I expect the numbers to go higher and higher,” said Melissa Schoonmaker, pupil services and attendance coordinator for LAUSD’s homeless education and teen parent programs. She said she believes there already are many more than the known 13,521. “The numbers are probably higher, first because of our data collection in itself being a difficult system, and we’re trying to make it clean-cut. We still think these numbers are low.” Knight notes that many parents and students don’t want to report being homeless because of the stigma. “This is an epidemic that has been longstanding for many years, and it’s going to continue. Let’s face it, we can’t talk about prevention; we can talk about assisting folks and providing tools so it doesn’t get to a critical level,” she said. “I firmly believe we’re going to have to utilize … more resources and more stringent partnerships with the city, county, state and federal governments.” According to a 2005 report, there are about 88,300 homeless in the county. A new report by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority is expected to be released soon. But Rebecca Isaacs, executive director of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, said services remain a problem. “There are not enough services and housing for homeless people in Los Angeles – city and county,” she said. And as demand grows, the LAUSD homeless services department remains wary of any potential budget cuts during difficult fiscal times. The district’s four homeless-education counselors drive around their portions of the farflung district, taking bus tokens to children to try to get them to come to school. And they hand out everything from backpacks and emergency clothing to retail vouchers. Still, the battle is an uphill one with homeless students facing unique academic, social and health problems. Homeless students often fall behind academically because they relocate often. They tend to have unstable living environments that can cause behavioral issues at school. They also face many health issues from residing in inadequate housing. “We need to address the whole child, the whole situation, because being homeless and the needs of that child are so complex and complicated. It’s not just let’s get them to school,” said Angela Chandler, LAUSD homeless-education counselor for the Valley. Chandler is the only counselor and advocate for about 3,300 students identified as homeless in the Valley. She said the homeless students she sees require intense case management that’s “almost impossible for one person to provide.” A typical day for Chandler included dropping off tokens for a student at Sylmar Elementary and returning to the Reseda office to take referrals or requests from schools. She’s then off to the Motel 6 at Roscoe and Sepulveda to get a mother – who doesn’t have a car – to sign and complete a questionnaire that identifies her as homeless so she can qualify for services. Chandler gives the parent clothing vouchers, then goes to Sepulveda and Magnolia to meet a parent at work. “It’s so much to do and so little manpower; it becomes overwhelming,” Chandler said. What would help, she said, is if all school staff were trained to identify and provide services to homeless students. “We’re already in a budget crunch. The idea of them actually taking on more people for this cause, to do what I do, it’s probably not going to happen right now,” she said. School board member Tamar Galatzan, who represents part of the Valley, said the lack of adequate services citywide makes it a challenge. The district must work with all community partners to get services for students, she said, and partnerships with local organizations have helped by providing clothing, eye exams and some other necessities. “The lack of services definitely is a crisis, but also the teachers and staff might need school-based services to help those kids, and many schools don’t have the budget to pay for social workers and nurses,” Galatzan said. “There are a lot of wonderful organizations out there providing services to needy kids, and we have to be very aggressive in finding them.” For her part, Knight said she has found temporary housing for 24 months, is getting a heart condition under control and wants to get a job and her own place. Currently a parent volunteer for LAUSD, Knight wants a job as a parent resource liaison. “The best experience this gave me is walking in somebody else’s shoes. It gave me an opportunity to advocate for the homeless, but particularly for the homeless parent and student,” she said. “I know the experience that they go through. I’ve experienced the stigmas that are labeled with homelessness, and it’s my desire to be the voice to let everyone know the importance of homeless parents and students and what they have endured.” [email protected] (818) 713-3722160Want 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. Former superintendent for the Whittier City School District Neal J. Avery died this week at his home in La Habra. He was 84 years old. Avery was superintendent for 16 years before his retirement in 1997. He began his career as a teacher in the late 1950’s. Avery is survived by his wife, Nadine, and two children, Michael Avery, 50, and Janeal Williams, 47, as well as by three grandchildren. Services have not yet been arranged. 165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. 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.“My impulse is to write everything and then go back and read everything,” he said. He added that “there is no right way to read a poem,” and that “young people do not think of poems as dull or of the past.” The author of seven poetry and three nonfiction books is a graduate professor at the University of Houston. He has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award and the T.S. Eliot prize. With many of the attending students enrolled in an English course, Doty urged the budding writers or poets to be creative and compared the structure of a written work to a human being – poems and stories all have bodies, minds and soul. GLENDORA – Mark Doty’s advice to young writers is that good poetry should surprise its author. A common cliche, he adds, is one should write what they know. But, he said, the best text actually comes from writing about the unfamiliar. “It is what you are trying to know,” the 54-year-old said. “A poem should resist easy explanation. If you can summarize and say what that poem means, it probably is not a good one.” The accomplished poet addressed Citrus College students Thursday, answering questions on his writing process. There should be emotion and feeling, but enough description so the reader understands what the scene is or the person being written about, Doty said. “The more you are willing to take a risk, the more your readers will feel the energy of that risk,” he added. Anthony Garcia, 21, is a longtime fan of Doty’s work and was introduced to the poems through an English class. Garcia wants to be a published poet. He was thrilled to have the chance to meet one of his idols and read one of his original compositions with Doty in the audience. For Ace Paule, Doty’s tips could be applied to another creative area – composing song lyrics. Paule, a guitarist in a funk jazz band, reflected that much of Doty’s wisdom, “looking over the work and removing the deadwood,” was worth remembering. Paule, 30, writes in a journal every chance he gets – scribbling the details of his dreams or reflections on a difficult experience. He admits that much of the entries would not make sense to others. During Doty’s question- and-answer session, he asked the poet if he found writing poems about negative experiences difficult. He said it was natural to avoid such experiences, but unless they are dealt with, they will resurface later. “You can have power over the words you use to say something,” he said. “Sometimes that is the only power we have.” Paule said that he has the tools to make his writing better – and “more digestible for people.” Having attended hundreds of similar question-and-answer sessions across the country, Doty said students feel connected to him because he is a working writer who struggles daily just as they do. “It makes them feel that writing is a little less remote from their lives than it otherwise seems,” he said. The poet fancies himself as a “champion of idiosyncracy,” celebrating one’s ability to “listen to their inner voices.” Citrus instructor David Overly, who helped organize the event, said he hopes to have authors like Doty speak to students every year. “He talks about writing,” he said, “and students learn about the craft of poetry, which can inspire students.” [email protected] (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2108 www.insidesocal.com/schools160Want 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.The Red Sox made Coors Field their own pinball palace, spraying balls to every part of the park and moving within one win of another World Series sweep. On a night when rookies ruled, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia sparked the Red Sox from the top of the order, Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched shutout ball into the sixth inning and Boston beat Colorado, 10-5, on Saturday night for a 3-0 Series lead. Still, the Red Sox weren’t quite ready to celebrate. “We don’t want to eat the cake before your birthday,” Manny Ramirez said. Ellsbury became the first rookie in 61 years with four hits in a Series game, getting three of Boston’s seven doubles. Pedroia had three hits, including a bunt single that helped spark a six-run third against Josh Fogg, who allowed 12 of 19 batters to reach. GAME 3: Boston races ahead and then holds off Colorado to move within one win of title. By Ronald Blum THE ASSOCIATED PRESS DENVER – Mile high or sea level, these Boston Red Sox can’t be stopped. Colorado was down, 6-0, in the third and seemingly out, but came back with two runs in the sixth. The Rockies then closed to 6-5 when Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in the seventh on Hideki Okajima’s first pitch. “It looked like we were hanging on for dear life,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. But the Rockies’ chance to get back into the World Series vanished into Coors Field’s thin air. Ellsbury lofted an RBI double down the right-field line off Brian Fuentes in the eighth that just eluded Brad Hawpe’s attempt at a sliding, backhand catch, and Pedroia followed with a two-run double to right that made it 9-5. Jason Varitek added a sacrifice fly in the ninth of a game that took 4 hours, 19 minutes – the longest nine-inning game in Series history. “We got a little comfortable,” Ellsbury said. “It was big to respond after their big inning.” It was a night that resembled Coors’ pre-humidifier days, when it was baseball’s premier launching pad. “With their offense, no lead is safe,” Pedroia said. On Oct. 27 three years ago at old Busch Stadium, the Red Sox completed a sweep of St. Louis for their first World Series title in 86 years. Having won seven straight Series games for the first time in franchise history, Boston will try for its seventh championship today. Jon Lester starts for the Red Sox against Aaron Cook in a matchup of pitchers who made it back to the majors after major medical problems. The 22 previous teams that took a 3-0 World Series lead all went on to win, 19 with sweeps. “It looks like we’re in groundbreaking territory,” Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. If the Rockies are the National League’s best, the senior circuit has a lot of catching up to do. Maybe it is the rust of a record eight-day layoff for the Rockies, or maybe the Red Sox really are a league above. Colorado has been outscored, 25-7, and is batting just .222. Boston’s batters have been bruisers, hitting .352 in the Series with 16 doubles. The Rockies were the talk of baseball with 21 wins in 22 games coming into the Series, but they’ve gone into reverse, looking more like the fourth-place team they were in mid-September. “After 21 of 22, four games doesn’t seem like a whole lot,” Fuentes said. Boston has won six straight since falling behind Cleveland 3-1 in the AL Championship Series. While the Yankees owned the 20th century, the Red Sox are one win from becoming the first team to win two titles in the 21st. “We have to continue our focus the same way,” Varitek said. Francona, the first manager to start 7-0 in Series history, made all the right moves. Ellsbury, who hit ninth in the opener and No. 8 in Game 2, moved to the top of the order and became only the third rookie with four hits in a Series game, following Freddie Lindstrom in 1924 and Joe Garagiola in 1946. David Ortiz, kept in the lineup despite the loss of the designated hitter in the NL city, doubled in the first run and flawlessly handled both his chances at first base before Kevin Youkilis replaced him in the bottom of the sixth. Hurdle also made some moves. He benched center fielder Willy Taveras, started Cory Sullivan in center, moved Kaz Matsui – Matsuzaka’s old Seibu Lions teammate – to leadoff and batted Troy Tulowitzki second. Matsuzaka, the first Japanese pitcher to win a World Series game, was worth every penny of the $103 million the Red Sox spent to lure him last winter. He pitched shutout ball into the sixth and wound up allowing two runs and three hits in 5