West Ham’s dynamic duo likened to Angel Di Maria and Andres Iniesta

first_imgWest Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang has compared Dimitri Payet to Angel Di Maria and Manuel Lanzini to Andres Iniesta.Obiang, who moved to Upton Park from Sampdoria in the summer, says the two diminutive playmakers have been key to the east London club’s impressive start to the season.The Hammers sit third in the Premier League, with 20 points from their opening 10 games, and have already racked up wins against Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea this season.They are also the second highest scorers in the division, with 22 goals so far, leaving them behind only leaders Manchester City with more than a quarter of the season gone.And Obiang, who has made seven league appearances so far this term, believes much of their brilliant attacking play is down to fellow summer arrivals Payet and Lanzini, who he likens to world stars Di Maria and Iniesta.When asked whether the side’s high-scoring start to the season has surprised him, Obiang told Marca: “Yes, I’m surprised. That means that we are good fighters. Whenever we get ahead, we win.“People have highlighted Payet. He is a superstar, he creates chances and finishes them. He is a kind of Di Maria.“And we must also review Lanzini. I would liken him to Iniesta. he seems fragile, but he will challenge anybody.” Dimitri Payet 1last_img read more

Raheem Sterling watch: Ex-Liverpool man overshadowed by replacement on first Reds reunion

first_img Raheem Sterling and Roberto Firmino 1 Much of the pre-match build up to Liverpool’s trip to Manchester City surrounded one player.The mouthwatering encounter at the Etihad saw Raheem Sterling’s first reunion with his old employers after his highly acrimonious Anfield exit in the summer.And the £49m man was left astonished as Jurgen Klopp’s Reds ran riot, claiming a fully-deserved 4-1 victory which, in all honesty, could have been clinched with an even wider margin.The Reds opened up a three-goal lead through Eliaquim Mangala’s own goal, Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino before Sergio Aguero pulled a goal back.But Martin Skrtel’s emphatic late strike gave the scoreline a more accurate representation for Klopp’s rampant Reds as hordes of City fans made for an early exit.But how did Sterling fare individually in defeat? And how did his replacement on Merseyside, Firmino, do?FINISHINGSterling’s main critique is undoubtedly his ability to put the ball in the back of the net. He may have plundered his first career hat-trick against Bournemouth last month but his finishing left a lot to be desired again on Saturday.After James Milner’s inexplicable back pass found the England youngster’s feat, his confidence appeared to desert him. Instead of keeping a cool head and finishing past Mignolet or taking it around the Reds goalkeeper, he opted to find Aguero who saw his effort well saved. It summed up Sterling’s performance, particularly when his former team-mates were so proficient at the other end.RECEPTIONSterling was made persona non grata at the back end of last season as his messy transfer wrangle ran on and on, culminating in a barracking from Liverpool fans on the final day as they suffered a heavy defeat at Stoke.The same set of supporters met his first touch at the Etihad on Saturday with a chorus of boos, which was in turn met with laughter around the stadium. Sterling’s departure, despite the sizeable fee, was seen as a hammer blow to Liverpool’s top four chances this season, but do they now look better equipped without him?And for Firmino…RELATIONSHIP WITH COUTINHOAt times, it was like watching Brazil. The samba duo tore the incompetent City central defensive pairing of Mangala and Martin Demichelis to shreds in the first half, with Firmino at the heart of everything the Reds mustered.He claimed assists for the first two visitors’ goals, including an excellent through ball for Coutinho’s strike, before turning home his compatriot’s clever pass to finish a sublime team move.At £29m, Reds fans would have expected more from their marquee summer signing so far this campaign but he went some way to repaying that fee with a stellar display.BEING FUSSY HERE – SHOULD HE HAVE SCORED MORE?While Firmino may have opened his Reds account and his pressing was outstanding, the Brazilian may feel slightly aggrieved he didn’t grab a hat-trick. After making it 3-0, Firmino was then frustrated time and time again by Joe Hart.The England stopper denied the attacker either side of half time with brilliant smothering saves, while Firmino also skewed just wide after brilliant play from Coutinho again.last_img read more

Norwich 1-1 Everton: Wes Hoolahan helps Canaries claim a point as Toffees crumble

first_img Norwich players celebrate their equaliser 1 Norwich City grabbed a share of the spoils on home soil as a second-half Wes Hoolahan goal earned them a 1-1 draw with Everton.It was a strange affair in Norfolk with the Toffees going in 1-0 up at the break thanks to Romelu Lukaku’s back post header but, in truth, they should have been well out of sight after missing several good chances.The Canaries, though, with an astute tactical substitution at half-time which saw Ryan Bennett come on for Andre Wisdom, came thundering back into the clash and equalised just two minutes after the break through Wes Hoolahan.Manager Alex Neil will believe his side should have had all three points but clumsy striker Cameron Jerome spurned a glorious chance to win it.Everton were quickest out of the blocks and an early surging run from the dynamic Gerard Deulofeu saw Sebastien Bassong tested in the Canaries backline before the ex-Barcelona man gave away a foul.Norwich, though, looked bright and brave, attacking down the right to test Leighton Baines, who was making his first start since an ankle injury at the end of last season. Sadly for Neil his men failed to capitalise on good positions with Nathan Redmond and Alexander Tettey wastefully thrashing the ball off target.When the opener did come, it was unsurprising but unstoppable as Deulofeu looped a tasty cross to the back post with Lukaku, inevitably, thudding home a header beyond Declan Rudd.Neil could only shake his head on the sideline as his side failed shackle the spritely Deulofeu, while a delightful ball from Lukaku was struck straight at Rudd by Arouna Kone.At the opposite end, Norwich looked frustrated with Robbie Brady beckoning for help which just never arrived as a burgeoning Toffees side stifled their build up play.Lukaku was guilty of missing a golden opportunity to double Everton’s lead as Tom Cleverley’s bobbling cross, somehow, reached the back post. And, just when it looked like Norwich would get a shot on goal, the scampering Ramiro Funes Mori cut short Jerome’s lazy stroll towards Tim Howard.And, before the first-half ended, Baines almost notched on his return as his right-foot volley clattered the upright with Rudd well beaten and Lukaku blasted two good chances wide.In typical Premier League fashion, this game, which should have been put to bed by the break, was turned on its head after 47 minutes as half-time substitute Ryan Bennett’s header was eventually poked over the line by Hoolahan, despite Ross Barkley’s best efforts to keep it out.Neil’s side seemed emboldened and could have got themselves in front with chances from Brady and Hoolahan. Finally looking organised, it was now the Canaries who frustrated their opponents with the Toffees looking sloppy and, on the break, stretched by the hosts.And the game should have been won in the 70th minute by Norwich as Jerome spooned what should have been a simple side-foot finish well over the crossbar.Meanwhile, Gareth Barry was unlucky with a blocked shot as Everton pushed for the winner, while Funes Mori and Darron Gibson crashed long-range shots off target as the match lurched to a halt.last_img read more

TRANSFER ALERT! Manchester United launch £22m move for Serie A starlet

first_img1 Federico Bernardeschi Manchester United have made a £22m bid for Fiorentina starlet Federico Bernardeschi, according to reports in Italy.The winger has been tipped for a big future and scored against Tottenham in the Europa League last week.Barcelona and Bayern Munich have scouted the Italian this season and have been linked with summer moves.But now Gazzetta dello Sport claim United have made a £22m bid for Bernardeschi.The Premier League giants are aware of the growing interest in the 22-year-old and understand the need to move fast if they want to land him.Chelsea are also keen on Bernardeschi, but the uncertainty surrounding who their next manager will be has delayed any talks for the player.last_img read more

Two shot in Van Nuys

first_imgVAN NUYS – The evacuated residents of an apartment complex in Van Nuys were allowed to return home this morning when an LAPD bomb squad detonated a suspicious device discovered at the scene of a shooting, authorities said. The shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. at 5658 Sepulveda Blvd. near Burbank Boulevard, said Lt. G. Choury of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Van Nuys station. A 68-year-old man was shot in the arm and a 69-year-old man was shot in the leg, Capt. Steven Ruiz, also of the Van Nuys station. The two victims were treated at the scene, then taken to a hospital. Both victims were in stable condition, Choury said. 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 MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City Police recovered at least two guns and were searching for a suspect, he said. Around 11:30 p.m., a bomb squad was called when police discovered what appeared to be an explosive device in the parking garage area, he said. Residents of the complex were immediately evacuated and put on an MTA bus, he said. After several hours the residents were allowed to return to their homes, Choury said. ——————————————– For the latest news and observations on crime in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, check out the Daily News’ crime blog by clicking here.last_img read more

Roberts’ son is fighting scandal

first_imgColleagues fear for the reputation of the university and the future of the Roberts’ ministry, which grew from Southern tent revivals to one of the most successful evangelical empires in the country, hauling in tens of millions of dollars in contributions a year. The university reported nearly $76 million in revenue in 2005, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Oral Roberts is 89 and lives in California. He holds the title of chancellor, but the university describes him as semi-retired, and his son presides over day-to-day operations on the campus, which had a modern, space-age design when it was built in the early 1960s but now looks dated, like Disney’s Tomorrowland. The allegations are contained in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by three former professors. They sued ORU and Roberts, alleging they were wrongfully dismissed after reporting the school’s involvement in a local political race. Richard Roberts, according to the suit, asked a professor in 2005 to use his students and university resources to aid a county commissioner’s bid for Tulsa mayor. Such involvement would violate state and federal law because of the university’s nonprofit status. Up to 50 students are alleged to have worked on the campaign. The professors also said their dismissals came after they turned over to the board of regents a copy of a report documenting moral and ethical lapses on the part of Roberts and his family. The internal document was prepared by Stephanie Cantese, Richard Roberts’ sister-in-law, according to the lawsuit. An ORU student repairing Cantese’s laptop discovered the document and later provided a copy to one of the professors.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LAWSUIT: President of evangelist’s campus says God spoke to him of “litigious society.” By Justin Juozapavicius THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TULSA, Okla. – Twenty years ago, televangelist Oral Roberts said he was reading a spy novel when God appeared to him and told him to raise $8 million for Roberts’ university, or else he would be “called home.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityNow, his son, Oral Roberts University President Richard Roberts, says God is speaking again, telling him to deny lurid allegations in a lawsuit that threatens to engulf this 44-year-old Bible Belt college in scandal. Richard Roberts is accused of illegal involvement in a local political campaign and lavish spending at donors’ expense, including numerous home-remodeling projects, use of the university jet for his daughter’s senior trip to the Bahamas and a red Mercedes convertible and a Lexus SUV for his wife, Lindsay. She is accused of dropping tens of thousands of dollars on clothes, awarding nonacademic scholarships to friends of her children and sending scores of text messages on university-issued cell phones to people described in the lawsuit as “underage males.” At a chapel service this week on the 5,300-student campus known for its 60-foot-tall bronze sculpture of praying hands, Roberts said God told him: “We live in a litigious society. Anyone can get mad and file a lawsuit against another person whether they have a legitimate case or not. This lawsuit … is about intimidation, blackmail and extortion.” San Antonio televangelist John Hagee, a member of the ORU board of regents, said the university’s executive board “is conducting a full and thorough investigation.” last_img read more

Diocese of Orange settles 4 abuse cases

first_imgLAWSUITS: The bishop is still facing contempt charges for sending a key witness out of the country. By Gillian Flaccus THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange said Friday that it will pay nearly $7 million to settle four sexual abuse lawsuits, including one for which the bishop faces contempt of court proceedings for sending a monsignor out of the country before he could testify. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe cases were the first to be filed since 2004, when the diocese reached a record-breaking $100 million settlement with about 90 plaintiffs. The four lawsuits, the first of which was to go to trial Oct. 15, involved allegations against three lay teachers at Mater Dei High School and Santa Margarita High School, as well as a lay musician at a neighborhood parish. “I’m sorry that any of this happened and that even one person was abused,” Bishop Tod D. Brown said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. “We’ve taken every possible position that we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again, and I hope it doesn’t.” Sarah Gray, one of the plaintiffs, said she was pleased to have a settlement but still had to work on personal healing. “I really wanted to go to trial, and at the same time, I think, the settlement really accords the same amount of accountability to the diocese,” said Gray, who alleged she was sexually molested by her choir teachers in the late 1990s at Mater Dei. The diocese will pay $6.685 million to the four plaintiffs, making an average payout of $1.7 million per person. The case against a coach at Mater Dei had put Brown in the unusual position of having to sit for a contempt of court hearing, scheduled for Tuesday. If the hearing goes forward and Brown is found to be in contempt, he could face sanctions from a verbal reprimand to jail time. Defense lawyers said they had not reached the settlement to avoid Brown’s contempt of court hearing for sending a key witness to Canada for medical treatment. Brown will insist on going forward with the hearing Tuesday to clear his name, said Peter Callahan, the bishop’s attorney. “The bishop wants to go; he wants to clear his name from these accusations,” Callahan said. “The story is going to be that we settled to avoid the contempt charge, and that’s just a darn untruth.” Orange County Superior Court Judge Gail Andler this week ordered a hearing to determine whether Brown should be held in contempt for sending a high-ranking church official to Canada for medical treatment before he could complete his deposition in the case. Brown denied Friday that he sent Msgr. John Urell away to keep evidence out of the court’s hands.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Slowing economy keeps state on `bleeding edge’

first_imgThe Department of Finance, meanwhile, says in its most recent bulletin that “economic indicators were disappointing in July, a reflection of the worsening of the housing sector downturn. Payroll employment dropped, the state’s unemployment rate rose slightly, existing home sales slowed, and residential construction remained sluggish.” So there we have it – a slowdown of uncertain dimensions but stopping short of a genuine recession, coupled with what Watkins calls “a ton of uncertainty.” And not surprisingly it’s filtering into voters’ consciousnesses, as a recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California indicates. “A dark mood is settling over the Golden State as pessimism about California’s economic conditions hits its highest point since 2003,” the institute says in its analysis. “Housing woes and the spectacle of this summer’s budget battle are taking their toll on residents’ economic outlook – and affecting everything from trust in government to approval ratings of state and federal leaders.” The slowdown and the public’s darkening mood about it have potentially major effects on political policy. Even a modest slump could have devastating effects on a state budget that’s already running big deficits, and voters may be less likely to approve the financial issues that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and lawmakers want to place on next year’s ballot – including taxes for expanding health care and perhaps education and water and other infrastructure bonds. Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! When the end of the Cold War reduced defense spending in the early 1990s, Southern California’s aerospace industry, which had profited handsomely from the nearly half-century-long arms race, was hit hard, with hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs evaporating. A decade later, the dot-com bubble burst and once again it was California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area, that took the brunt as countless technology firms went under and billions in paper wealth vaporized. Bill Watkins, who runs the University of California, Santa Barbara, Economic Forecast Project, puts it this way: “California is always on the bleeding edge.” He and other economists are now wondering whether the implosion of the housing industry, another economic tsunami in California, will have a similar impact. Three-fourths of the nation’s foreclosure actions filed by lenders in August were in California, and the state has accounted for 40 percent of the nation’s decline in home sales since 2005. California, moreover, is the home of big-scale lenders, such as Countrywide, whose subprime mortgages have backfired. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThat said, other segments of the economy are still ticking along fairly well, albeit with a slump in retail sales attributed to the decline of housing-related purchases and a sense of foreboding among consumers that dampens their appetite for cars and other goods. “California is doing both better and worse than the United States,” says the Santa Barbara forecast, released last week. “The state is bearing far more of its share of the slowdown in residential real estate. At the same time, California’s economic growth has recently exceeded that of the United States.” The Santa Barbara analysis is similar in tone to those of other economic authorities, such as UCLA’s Anderson Forecast and the California Department of Finance. UCLA economist Ryan Ratcliff said, “California is in for at least another year of economic doldrums, with rising unemployment, weak job growth and a slowdown in all broad indicators.” However, Ratcliff added, “Without the emergence of a second source of weakness in the economy or a significant worsening of the real estate sector beyond what’s already being forecast, California will not sink into a recession.” last_img read more

Hooping, hollering and finding the Hoya spirit

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. While waiting in the frigid weather outside the gym, I participated in some pre-Midnight Madness activities. I watched a screening of the game that ushered the basketball team into the Final Four last year, when it defeated the University of North Carolina. Also, the Georgetown University Grilling Society (more affectionately known as GUGS) was cooking up its famous GUGS burgers by the hundreds. Other Hoyas were painting their stomachs with letters spelling out “H-O-Y-A-S” and Jack the Bulldog, our beloved mascot, was in attendance dressed in an adorable blue and gray cape. As I was enjoying my GUGS burger, the mob suddenly shifted toward the entrance of the gym. I hurried over to get in line, my friends and I forming a human chain so we’d all get in at the same time. A sea of Hoyas proudly dressed in blue and gray filled McDonough Gym. One side of the stands cheered a loud “Hoya,” to which the other side respond by yelling “Saxa.” (Many people have asked me what “Hoya Saxa” means. The origins of “Hoya Saxa” date back to Georgetown’s old football team, the Stonewallers. “Hoya Saxa” is a motto combining the Latin “Hoia,” or “What,” with the Greek “Saxa,” or “Rocks.” The plural form for “Hoia” is “Hoya.”) Georgetown is a Jesuit and Catholic university. As for the third religion on campus, for many Hoyas, it’s men’s basketball, with Coach Jon Thompson III (or JT III) its prophet-like figure. I didn’t fully understand the pervasiveness of the Hoya basketball program until I went to my first Midnight Madness – the annual start of basketball practice for the new season. My friends and I stood in line for tickets into the McDonough Memorial Gymnasium for more than three hours. We brought a laptop, DVDs and popcorn, and bundled up (because I’m from California and am not used to this – and frankly, never will be used to this – weather). The line stretched as far as my eyes could see, up the hill to the Yates Fitness Gym. The line moved at a snail’s pace, with fans receiving tickets in the form of blue wristbands. Many of my friends who decided not to wait in the long line got themselves white strips of paper and blue markers to create makeshift wristbands. Finally, at 10 p.m., the Georgetown team – a team with high expectations this season – was introduced. Each player had selected a song to play as he made his entrance into the center of the gym. After every player was introduced, coach Thompson gave a brilliant speech about how far the program had come and that: “We are Georgetown and we are coming.” Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice, a former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant, made a guest appearance.” The basketball players taught Rice how to do “Crank Dat Soulja Boy” (a hugely popular dance move at Georgetown). The parents of Jeff Green, former Hoyas basketball player and now a member of the NBA’s Seattle Supersonics, were present to unveil their son’s jersey on the wall of the gym alongside those of Allen Iverson and other former Hoyas who have made it to the NBA. Now, when I walk past students wearing T-shirts declaring “JT III is my homeboy” on the front and “The Father, the Son, and the Hoya Spirit” on the back, I fully understand the power of the men’s basketball team and am proud to say I am the owner of season tickets. Lana Buu is a Torrance High School graduate writing about her freshman year at Georgetown University. She can be reached at LB328@georgetown.edu.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Hollywood producers make new offer to striking writers; guild calls it a rollback

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings “The entire value of the New Economic Partnership will deliver more than $130 million in additional compensation above and beyond the more than $1.3 billion writers already receive each year,” the statement from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said. The $130 million sum appeared to be an annual figure, but the brief statement did not clarify whether the amount was per year or over the three-year life of a proposed new contract. No details of the terms were released in the first statement since both sides imposed a media blackout Monday. The guild countered with a lengthier response, saying the producers’ proposal only dealt with advertising-supported programs streamed for free and jurisdiction over shows created for the Web “and it amounts to a massive rollback.” The writers said their plan, presented Thursday, would cost producers $151 million over three years. “That’s a little over a 3 percent increase in writer earnings each year, while company revenues are projected to grow at a rate of 10 percent,” the statement said. “We are falling behind.” Hollywood studios presented a new contract offer to striking film and TV writers Thursday that the studios said would pay writers millions of dollars extra for shows created for the Internet. But writers said some of the proposals amounted to rollbacks and said studios should adopt their counteroffer. The Writers Guild of America said it asked for a recess in the talks until Tuesday to consider its options, but it called on members to continue picketing Friday and Monday. The producers said the new offer, dubbed the “New Economic Partnership,” included payments for work shown on the Internet, the key sticking points in the talks. The conflicting details and tone of the statements is confusing, said Jonathan Handel, an entertainment lawyer who served in the 1990s as an associate counsel for the writers guild. “None of this computes,” Handel said. “It’s very difficult to analyze this in any rigorous way.” Handel noted that, on the surface, the two sides seems to be only $20 million apart if the producers’ statement is read to mean $130 million over three years. The tone of the writers’ statement seems angry, Handel said, while the producers’ statement seemed more upbeat. Handel said both sides should end the confusion by publishing the full details of the proposals. David Kidd, a screenwriter from Glendale, said he was hopeful, but not overly optimistic, about what he described as an apparent “sweet offer” from producers. “I don’t know what sweet is until I taste it,” Kidd said. “Nobody wants to go in and accept a bad offer.” Meanwhile, protesting writers converged on NBC’s studios in suburban Burbank to rally against restarted production of the late-night show “Last Call With Carson Daly.” Several people said Daly circled the Burbank lot before entering a gate with no pickets. Adam Waring, who has written for the sitcom “Two and a Half Men,” said he and two other writers dashed around a corner to intercept Daly. “We stood in front of his car, and he told his driver to keep going,” Waring said, adding that protesters had to move out of the way. “Last Call” was the first late-night show to resume production since the strike began Nov. 5. The walkout has also idled production on many scripted television series. Daly has defended the move, saying he still supports the writers but did not want to see all 75 members of his staff and crew lose their jobs because of the work stoppage. Protesters at NBC carried signs reading, “Carson Daly Please Don’t Cross” and “Carson Daly Please Support Us.” Among them was Joe Medeiros, 56, head writer on the “Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” He said union members were disappointed with Daly’s break in solidarity. “All the other late-night hosts are holding firm,” Medeiros said. “That’s what they need to do to solve this in a timely manner.”— Associated Press Writer Solvej Schou contributed to this report. Raquel Maria Dillon in Burbank also contributed.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more