DONE DEAL! Chelsea flop seals Serie A return

first_img Juan Cuadrado [left] Juan Cuadrado has completed his season-long loan switch to Juventus.talkSPORT revealed on Tuesday morning that the winger had travelled to Turin to tie up a deal after Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho sanctioned his exit.Now he has finalised his loan move to Juve – just seven months after joining Chelsea from Fiorentina in a £23million deal.“We all know that Juve is a great club, among the best teams in Europe,” said the Colombian. “I hope I can give Juventus my best, 100 per cent. I didn’t expect to receive such a warm welcome from the fans in Italy but they have always welcomed me with open arms and that makes me very happy.“The fans’ support will give me further motivation to do well.”Cuadrado was one of Colombia’s star players at last year’s World Cup but failed to impress Mourinho and leaves after just four starts.His move to Juve will inevitable lead to suggestions France midfielder Paul Pogba will make the switch in the opposite direction, with a move in excess of £60million spoken of.Mourinho refused to discuss Pogba last Friday and the Cuadrado switch appears independent of any negotiations for the former Manchester United midfielder.Whether anything materialises over Pogba remains to be seen, but the rumours remain. 1last_img read more

Liverpool handed boost as duo return to training ahead of Manchester City clash

first_img1 Jordon Ibe and James Milner Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s injury worries have been alleviated slightly after both James Milner and Jordon Ibe returned to training.Milner pulled out of the England matches against Spain and France after missing his first Premier League match for the club he joined in the summer with a hamstring problem sustained in the Europa League victory against Rubin Kazan 12 days ago.Ibe withdrew from England Under-21s squad with a bruised knee but Press Association Sport understands both took part in full training at Melwood on Monday afternoon with the squad members not involved in internationals.The pair were monitored during the session by medical staff to see how they reacted to their injuries but the fact they were able to participate means both are in contention for Saturday’s trip to Premier League leaders Manchester City, providing they suffer no after-effects later this week.It offers a small glimmer of hope for Klopp, who has had to deal with a growing injury list since taking over last month.The German has yet to have the opportunity to work with key players like captain Jordan Henderson [broken foot] or striker Daniel Sturridge [knee], although the pair are edging closer to a return to training.However, he has lost striker Danny Ings and Joe Gomez to long-term cruciate knee ligament injuries, defender Mamadou Sakho is sidelined until the new year with a knee problem while young midfielder Jordan Rossiter is still nursing his way back to fitness after sustaining a hamstring problem on international duty with England Under-21s a month ago.last_img read more

Simon Mignolet on talkSPORT: ‘If we are at our best, Man City won’t worry us at Wembley’

first_imgSimon Mignolet insist Manchester City will hold no fear for Liverpool in the League Cup final.City have been installed as favourites to win the Wembley showdown after securing an aggregate victory against Everton in their semi-final on Wednesday night.But Mignolet is confident his side can deliver the first silverware of Jurgen Klopp’s Anfield reign on February 28.The Belgian goalkeeper, Liverpool’s penalty shoot-out hero in the semi-final win over Stoke, told talkSPORT: “We have to look at our own job and make sure we as Liverpool are ready when it is Wembley time.“You have to make sure you are focused on your own job rather than your opponents.“We know Manchester City have got a very good side with lots of individual quality but if we are at our best we don’t have to worry about any opponent.”last_img read more

Deputies graduate, will join area police forces

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.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! WHITTIER – Los Angeles County Sheriff’s department will add new deputies to its force. Nearly 100 people of the Sheriff’s Academy will graduate today at 10 a.m. at the Sheriff’s Training Academy and Regional Services Center in Whittier. Some graduates will become officers in Inglewood, Torrance and Los Angeles school police departments, and others will become sheriff’s deputies. last_img read more

Freeway gridlock less than expected

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Trucker Ricardo Cibrian of Los Angeles is presumed to be one of the two men killed in the crash. Trucker Hugo Rodriguez and his 6-year-old son, Isaiah, are the other two believed to have died. They reportedly were from Fresno. “This is the worst accident that I have personally seen,” said Warren Stanley, assistant chief for the California Highway Patrol’s Southern Division and a 25-year CHP veteran. One team of CHP specialists was working to identify the missing drivers as well as passengers and witnesses. Another team is working to identify the commercial vehicles – some of them burned to charred metal frames – through the trucking companies. Coroner’s investigators have been through all the vehicles and believe there are no more bodies, Stanley said. The cause of the crash has not been determined. NEWHALL – Traffic whizzed easily through the normally clogged Newhall Pass on Monday after Interstate 5 lanes reopened ahead of schedule and investigators continued to search for clues to a deadly chain-reaction crash that closed the key north-south highway for days. While transit officials had braced for massive gridock, more than a quarter-million commuters took alternate routes or mass transit and left the Golden State Freeway lanes clear. But even as traffic concerns eased, officials began stepping up their probe into what set off the fiery collision of 30 trucks and a car on a rainy Friday night, leaving three dead and 10 injured. At least nine drivers who apparently escaped from vehicles trapped in the burning truck bypass tunnel in the Newhall Pass had not yet contacted the Highway Patrol, officials said. Fire raged in the tunnel overnight and into Saturday, compromising the structure. Passenger lanes cross over the damaged tunnel and state Transportation Department officials initially thought it could take days to ensure they were structurally sound. The freeway was shut down over the weekend and commuters were warned to find alternate routes to work Monday. But crews completed shoring up the tunnel, making it safe for repair teams to move in. Engineers determined the freeway was safe and all lanes were opened shortly after 3 a.m. “It is, for us, a very good day here in California,” said Doug Failing, Caltrans district director for Los Angeles and Ventura counties. “I got into this business because I love seeing traffic move.” Failing said he will have a better idea of when the tunnel will open at the end of the week when he gets test results back. Concrete and steel reinforcement samples are being tested at a Texas lab to determine how well the tunnel materials withstood the temperatures that reached 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit. Caltrans’ goal, he said, is to repair the tunnel without closing the freeway again. “I-5 is open to traffic, and it is our intention to keep it that way,” Failing said. During the repairs, lighting will also be enhanced in the tunnel. There is no cost estimate for the repairs, but Caltrans has an emergency authorization of $2.25 million for the initial work. For now, all lanes are open except for the southbound I-5 connector to northbound Route 14. And it could be weeks or months before the southbound truck tunnel reopens. “The southbound truck bypass is closed and will remain closed for an indefinite period of time,” Failing said. Caltrans and the city of Santa Clarita urged commuters to continue seeking alternates because the endless stream of tractior-trailers that traverse California’s main north-south freeway artery will share the road with passenger vehicles – a rough mix on the busy road to work. The speed limit has been reduced to 55 mph. To help reduce the impact of the freeway mess on commuters, Metrolink expanded its service between northern Los Angeles County and downtown Los Angeles. The additional service will continue today. On Monday, the I-5 and the Antelope Valley (14) Freeway that feeds it just south of the tunnel were exceptionally clear. Expecting heavy freeway traffic, about twice the usual number of commuters crowded Santa Clarita’s three Metrolink stations before dawn hoping to avoid freeway jams that never materialized. It was standing-room only on the Antelope Valley Line by the time the extended six-car train reached its final Santa Clarita stop in Newhall. Even though southbound freeway lanes were open, motorists said they opted for the train to avoid the long ride home, unaware the northbound lanes also would reopen two days ahead of schedule. “I didn’t want to drive home,” said Michelle Debardas of Valencia, a Metrolink first-time rider who works at a Glendale title company. “Getting to work didn’t look so bad, but coming home could take hours.” Richard Freund said he, too, was climbing aboard the commuter train for the first time. “I definitely thought about taking it before but now I have a good reason,” said Freund, who works for a jeans company in downtown Los Angeles. Debbie Vickers, who works in a downtown law office, opted for Metrolink after it took two hours Sunday to get five miles down the road. She finally gave up on her trip to the San Fernando Valley. “I can’t believe this crowd,” she said, as hundreds waited for the 6:08 a.m. train in the dark and fog. Regular Metrolink riders weren’t thrilled with the onslaught of passengers. “I usually sleep on my way to work,” said Kenny Miles, a Valencia resident who works as an administrative assistant downtown. “I’m not sure I’ll get to sit this morning.” On Sunday, reporters brought up truckers’ concerns about the tunnel’s safety. “Quite frankly, I was caught by surprise at that,” Failing said. “We have had no record of complaints in my office.” His staff has looked at accident records from 2004 through 2006 at the tunnel site. “During that three-year period, we’ve only identified five accidents that happened in that stretch,” Failing said. He said the agency will be following up on the complaints. “A tunnel is not usually your first choice when you are trying to solve a transportation problem, but at some point in time a tunnel is the only choice you have available,” Failing added. Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, a former Santa Clarita mayor, said he worked with the governor’s office to declare a state of emergency. “What that does is free up the resources of the state to enable the construction and improvements to occur as quickly as possible to improve the commerce and improve the transportation,” said Smyth, R-Santa Clarita. The Interstate Commerce Act allows trucks to mingle with cars on traditional lanes, Smyth said. [email protected] (661) 257-5251 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

Thieves now targeting ATMs in stores

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m. Chuck Valencia found shattered glass on the ground and a big hole in the door when he was called to his Internet cafe in the middle of the night. Valencia’s computer store in Gardena had become the victim of thieves targeting cash-filled automated teller machines inside businesses. At least 34 of the crimes have been reported in Los Angeles County since March 2006, South Gate police Detective Tony Alonzo said. The thefts have occurred in Gardena, Hawthorne, Carson, Bellflower, Compton, Norwalk, Paramount, Santa Monica, Lynwood, Burbank and Whittier. Often summoned by an alarm, owners arrive at work to find their windows in pieces and nothing but bolts on the floor where their ATMs used to be. CRIME: A business in Gardena is one of 34 in the county to have the machine torn out since March 2006. By Larry Altman STAFF WRITER That’s what Valencia found Jan. 31. “They didn’t really get much,” said Valencia, whose store is in the 1400 block of Artesia Boulevard. “Since it is a small ATM, on its best day it has maybe like $3,000.” The payday is good, however. The crimes take only moments. Most occur the same way: Burglars break a window, hook a rope or metal chain to the ATM, attach the other end to their van and pull. Once they yank it from its base, they load it into the van, break it open and take the cash. The latest crime was reported Oct. 19 at a Produce 4 Less store on Firestone Boulevard in South Gate, according to a bulletin issued by the city’s Police Department. Two masked men pried open a door, attached a chain to the store’s portable ATM, linked the other end to the undercarriage of their Chevrolet Astrovan and drove forward, police said. But they were unable to break the ATM free from the floor. They fled when the chain snapped. In other cases, the burglars succeeded. On March14, a motorist driving past the Arco service station at 2150 Marine Ave. in Gardena heard a crashing noise and saw a dark-colored Chevrolet Astrovan parked outside the business. The van had white stripes similar to the design on the “Starsky and Hutch” car from the 1970s television show, Gardena police Lt. Ed Burnett said. “The van was parked with its rear facing the front entrance,” Burnett said. “As the guy drove past, he noticed a male wearing a black-hooded sweat shirt run from the gas station and jump into the van.” The van hurriedly took off. Officers arrived quickly and looked inside the business. The ATM was gone. All that was left were bent bolts on the floor and a plastic sign on the ground that said, “ATM Machine.” At Valencia’s store, officers found smashed front glass doors and tire tracks on the ground outside. The missing ATM was found later lying on the Century (105) Freeway, empty. Thieves ignored the computers in Valencia’s store, taking only the ATM. “We do have 24-hour surveillance and an alarm system,” Valencia said. “They don’t have time to sit here and remove the computers.” A similar crime occurred toward the end of 2006 at a business in a shopping center at Artesia Boulevard and Western Avenue, Burnett said. As several law enforcement agencies work the cases, it is unknown if the same band of thieves are committing the crimes, or if there are several groups, police said. South Gate police described their suspects as wearing black ski masks, black hooded sweat shirts, dark pants and black-and-white sneakers. The burglars were about 5 feet 8 inches tall, and 140 to 160 pounds. Their sex and race were unknown. Business owners normally place ATMs inside their stores as a service to customers. The ATMs are owned by third parties, but the business owner receives a cut of the fees for their use. Valencia said he has installed bars on his windows to protect his store and his computers, but he has chosen not to replace the stolen ATM. If he eventually does, he would have it secured to the floor with a cement base to prevent anyone from tugging it from the store. “You literally dig a big hole and put the ATM machine on there with the cement,” he said. “If we put one back again, then we are going to take precautions.” [email protected] 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

Writers strike after bargaining fails

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “It is unfortunate that they choose to take this irresponsible action,” producers said in a statement. Producers said writers were not willing to compromise on their major demands. The writers union confirmed that talks had ended and that members would strike, but did not have any further comment. The guild earlier announced sweeping plans to picket every major studio in Los Angeles, along with Rockefeller Center in New York, where NBC is headquartered. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers previously called a writers’ strike “precipitous and irresponsible.” The guilds had been preparing for these negotiations for years, hiring staff with extensive labor union experience, and developing joint strategies and a harder line than producers have seen in decades. “We haven’t shown particular resolve in past negotiations,” said John Bowman, the WGA’s chief negotiator. “The sea change is that this is an enormously galvanizing issue and two, that the new regime at the guild actually has a plan, has an organization and a structure to respond to something.” The writers are the first union to bargain for a new deal this year. Their contract expired Wednesday. In past years, actors have almost always gone first, although the Directors Guild of America, which is seen as the least aggressive of the three guilds, has sometimes taken the lead. Whatever deal was struck first was usually accepted by the others. The guilds are aware that if writers fail to win concessions involving DVDs and the Internet, actors may have to take up the fight. “This is an issue that touches every member of this guild and every member of the Screen Actors Guild as well,” said Carlton Cuse, executive producer of the ABC drama “Lost.” Consumers are expected to spend $16.4 billion on DVDs this year, according to Adams Media Research. By contrast, studios could generate only $158 million from selling movies online and about $194 million from selling TV shows over the Web, although those numbers are expected to skyrocket in coming years. Writers only get about 3 cents on a typical DVD retailing for $20. Studios argue that it is too early to know how much money they can make from offering entertainment on the Internet, cell phones, iPods and other devices. Hollywood unions have long regretted a decision made in 1984 to accept a small percentage of home video sales because studios said the technology was untested and that costs were high. The guilds have tried and failed for two decades to increase video payments, even as DVDs have become more profitable for studios than box office receipts. The first casualty of the strike would be late-night talk shows, which are dependent on current events to fuel monologues and other entertainment. Daytime TV, including live talk shows such as “The View” and soap operas, which typically tape about a week’s worth of shows in advance, would be next to feel the impact. The strike will not immediately impact production of movies or prime-time TV programs. Most studios have stockpiled dozens of movie scripts, and TV shows have enough scripts or completed shows in hand to last until early next year.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! HOLLYWOOD: Talks break off after 11 hours Hollywood writers will strike after last-ditch talks called by a federal mediator failed. Writers and studios broke off talks late Sunday after East Coast members of the writers union declared they were officially on strike, the group representing producers said. Last-ditch negotiations between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers ended after about 11 hours. Producers said writers refused a request to “stop the clock” on a planned strike while talks continued. last_img read more

Inside the FA’s ambitious plan to change the face of English football

first_img4 4 This feature appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app here, and follow on twitter @sportmagukEnglish football is in the grips of an identity crisis. This week, Roy Hodgson’s men face two sides with strong footballing philosophies: World Cup winners Germany and the Netherlands – the originators of Total Football.But what’s our own footballing ethos? Try and define your typical English footballer and you’re likely to land on words such as strength, grit, determination – John Terry and Steven Gerrard rather than Gerard Pique and Andrea Pirlo.After 50 years of hurt, however, it is clear those qualities can no longer win international tournaments. So, at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park, the Football Association has been planning ahead. While England fans look forward to Euro 2016, Matt Crocker and his team are eyeing a future beyond that.“The vision is to win the World Cup in 2022 and 2023,” he tells us, referring to both the men’s and women’s competitions.Crocker is the FA’s head of coach and player development. He joined from Southampton, where he helped bring through Gareth Bale and Alex Oxlade- Chamberlain. Now, his job is to implement a change of culture and establish a new identity for the national game. New PerceptionsFuture England players will be strong, quick, intelligent and adaptable. The goal is to create players who can fit into England’s new national style – a way of playing that will be adopted by all age groups, in all games. The FA has created a plan it calls ‘England DNA’, outlining the qualities it wants to nurture in the youth set-up and across the country at grassroots and academy level.“There are new perceptions about what it means to be an England player,” says Crocker. “We’re changing the stereotype – not moving away from the stereotype about determination and grit, which we know we’re renowned for, but building on those and adding things like creativity, good decisions, good technicians.”The Three Lions will aim to dominate possession, defend intelligently and there will be an increased focus on the ‘transition’ – the moment immediately after the side has won or lost possession.Crocker explains: “Look at a centreback: in possession they need to be able to step into midfield and break the lines; they need to be super-comfortable on the ball, they need to be able to defend one-v-one against pacey attackers, and more importantly be able to win the ball cleanly. They need to be great tacticians who can adapt to various game situations. They know what to do when we’re 1-0 down with five minutes to go and adjust accordingly, rather than wait for instructions from the bench.”That’s not all. “They need to be physically robust, to be able to deal with playing several games over a short period,” he continues. “There needs to be a mental toughness about them, so they’re able to deal with being in a World Cup bubble where they’re away from home for seven to eight weeks, and emotional intelligence – being able to deal with those emotions of the game. The last one has to be the social corner – fantastic leaders, fantastic team players who make sacrifices for the team.”Those leaders will be moulded at the National Football Centre, a £105m development that sprawls across St George’s Park near Burton. It has indoor and outdoor pitches where all ages train and play, state-of-the-art medical facilities and a swish hotel. It is inspired by the success of a similar project at Clairefontaine in France, while the England DNA project has also been influenced by the way Germany tore things up and started again after the 2002 World Cup. 4center_img 4 Shaping Lions“We’re not copying anyone’s style,” insists Crocker. “It’s got to be our own style, so we’re bringing together the key things we think are going to be important in the future.”England DNA consists of five ‘hexagons’, each subdivided into further categories and criteria that the FA wants to encourage. It’s jargon-heavy, but it boils down to simple ideas: make training more efficient; equip players to deal with the situations they’ll face at major tournaments both on and off the pitch.This involves creating more realistic situations in training – for example, where defenders are rewarded not just for winning the ball, but winning it and playing a pass. The under-15s played a double-header in Turkey recently, where there was a penalty shootout at the end of each game.“We want them to experience that in the build-up,” says Crocker. “We don’t want the first time they take a penalty in a shootout to be in the seniors.” Other long-term steps might involve turning their backs on St George’s Park.“It is an inspirational facility,” says Crocker. “But we’ve also got to find the balance – sometimes when you need to go away and win a game in Croatia, for example, the facilities, the hotel, the environment, the food, the pitches might not be the same.”Strategies to help prepare players for every eventuality include roughing up pitches and accommodating the under-15s in university dorms instead of at the nicer facilities at the National Football Centre. The fixture list has also been developed with one eye on 2022.“There are more games against top nations and world opposition,” says Crocker. “We’re going to Mexico with the under-19s; we went to Russia with the under-18s last year; the under-16s are coming out to the USA; we’ve been out to Chile with the under-17s.”There are plans to take the age groups to Qatar in the years leading up to the World Cup. Crocker might be the only man in the country who doesn’t want the tournament to move.As Crocker points out, despite the new facilities, he and his coaches have only a limited amount of time with players. They get 80 days a year with the national teams, but players can train only for 90 minutes a day. From under-15 level to when they make their debut for the senior side, there are a maximum of 88 ‘cap opportunities’.There is an increasing focus on individual meetings and video analysis to make the most of that time, but if England DNA is to really take hold, it’s important that it travels beyond Burton. The FA has met with clubs and academies to impart their new philosophy.But is it being adopted? Will the players we’re creating adhere to these principles, and can they win the World Cup for England in 2022? Decision TimeRidgeway Rovers is a youth football club in Highams Park, north London, which helped launch the careers of David Beckham and Harry Kane, among others. Jason Murray coaches their under-10s, and heads up development at the club. He started his youth coaching badges in response to what he had seen on the sidelines watching his own son play.“I’ve seen coaches screaming, shouting, moaning at the referee,” he explains. “I saw children in tears on the pitch. You shouldn’t have children worrying about whether they can make a pass or run or dribble – they should express themselves. That’s how you’re going to gain creative, talented decision-makers later on in life.”Given the recent bad press for youth football – reports of violence, threats against referees – we were pleasantly surprised to find the values of possession and intelligent play have filtered down to grassroots level.“When I played, it was an 11-a-side pitch and we were tiny little tots who could hardly lift the ball,” remembers Murray. “It’s freezing cold and you’ve got your sleeves rolled up and your baggy shorts and you’re running around thinking: ‘When is the game going to end?’”Things are changing. The FA’s move to reduce the number of players per side at younger age levels has helped, says Murray. “At this age you try and get the boys to be relaxed on the ball,” he adds.At youth level, England DNA is all about putting the players in decision-making situations, and making sure all players see enough of the ball. “I’ve just been making sure that when they’re training, they’ve got to make lots of decisions; they’re getting lots of time with the ball,” says Murray.It’s at grassroots where this ambitious plan to change England’s identity could have the biggest impact. The Three Lions might not win the World Cup in Qatar, but they’ve sown the seeds for a bright future.“The more they have the ball, the better player they will be,” says Murray. “It’s not rocket science at the end of the day, is it?”last_img read more

HUGE BLOW! Pellegrini confirms key Man City man is OUT of Real Madrid trip

first_img David Silva leaves the pitch due to injury during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final first leg match between Manchester City FC and Real Madrid 1 David Silva will be sidelined for two to three weeks with a hamstring injury, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has announced.The Spaniard suffered the problem during City’s goalless draw with Real Madrid on Tuesday night in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final.He will now play no part in the return leg in Madrid next week and could miss all three of his side’s remaining Premier League games.Silva is, however, expected to be fit to play in the Champions League final should City reach the San Siro showpiece on May 28. Pellegrini said: “David has a small hamstring injury so he will not be fit for this week. He will need two or three weeks to recover. “We hope he will play the Champions League final – that’s the target.”last_img read more

Man United match abandoned due to security alert; new fixture date confirmed

first_imgManchester United’s final match of the season at home to Bournemouth was abandoned “due to the discovery of a suspect package in the north west quadrant” at Old Trafford, and a controlled explosion was carried out by a bomb disposal team.On police advice the match was called off before kick off, with thousands of fans already seated in the stands ready for what was potentially a crucial fixture for the home side.Two stands at the stadium were evacuated shortly before the match was due to kick off.At around 2.40pm an announcement was made for security personnel to invoke “operation red code” and it soon became evident fans were leaving the South Stand and Stretford End.The West Stand and the East Stand, where the Bournemouth supporters were seated, did not appear to be affected.The remaining fans at Old Trafford were soon cleared from the area as the fixture was officially abandoned.An army bomb disposal unit was dispatched to the stadium to investigate exactly what the package is and whether it posed a public risk, and a controlled explosion was performed.According to an official statement from the Premier League, the game will be played Tuesday 17 May, with kickoff scheduled for 20:00BST. A sniffer dog at Old Trafford before the match was officially called off 1last_img read more