AC Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo has told Liverpool flop Mario Balotelli to clean up his act.The striker joined the Serie A side this week on a season-long loan, one year after he left them for Liverpool in a £16m deal.The Italian’s time at Anfield proved to be a major disappointment as he found the net just once in the Premier League.And now Milan captain Montolivo has urged Balotelli to prove his worth to the team.“He has to show on the long term that he really changed in his behaviour,” Montolivo told the AC Milan channel.“I hope he does that, because he can be an extra resource for the team. He has the club and the team’s support.“The Champions League? It’s tough to watch others playing it, we want to go back to being in it ourselves.“When you’re out of it, these are the most difficult days.“It’s our duty and our responsibility. The club worked well on the transfer market, now it’s our turn.“But objectives are not to be declared, they are only to be met.” Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli 1
5 5 1. Liverpool’s league position looks far worse than it really is – to see four more reasons why Rodgers deserves more of a chance, click the arrow above – A glance at the bottom-half of the table may make for miserable reading for Reds supporters, yet the reality is not so bleak. A win over Norwich would have taken Liverpool to sixth, so calm down. 5 4. Key duo still to return to fitness – The loss of club captain Jordan Henderson early on in this season has been an unexpected blow for Liverpool. His return combined with Daniel Sturridge finally reaching full fitness is pivotal to Rodgers’ currently incomplete senior squad. 5 5 5. Rodgers deserves time, like his players – Rodgers is working with raw talent. The likes of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Christian Benteke – to name but a few – still have much to prove. Like his unestablished players, Rodgers too deserves his time to impress under the Anfield spotlight. 2. There could be a lack of realistic replacement targets – Fans want Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti, but are they thinking too big? Bayern Munich could already be searching for a new manager with Pep Guardiola’s contract set to expire next summer, and these two will surely have their eyes on this potential position – not a club struggling to contend for the Champions League. 3. Rodgers received the backing of the board in the summer, so why sack him now, just six games into the season? – FSG could comfortably have given Rodgers the boot in the summer, but opted to retain faith in the 42-year-old. Having also handed him another significant transfer kitty in the summer, to sack him now would be a rash decision and one that could leave the club in unnecessary turmoil. After Liverpool struggled at Anfield against newly-promoted Norwich City, managing to secure just a 1-1 draw, many Reds supporters believe that Brendan Rodgers’ time on Merseyside should now come to a close.Such was the fury of Reds fans come the final whistle, that John W Henry was inundated with demands that Rodgers should be sacked and replaced by Jurgen Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti – who are both currently taking a break from management. However, despite the pleas, to sack Rodgers would be a rash decision from Fenway Sports Group so early on in the season – and we’ve put together five reasons why the Northern Irish manager should NOT be given the boot.Have a read by clicking the arrows above.
Transfer rumours and paper review 1 Here’s the top transfer-related stories in Saturday’s newspapers…Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has ruled out returning to the Premier League on a loan deal during the MLS off-season after saying he needs rest. (Evening Standard)Neymar’s father confirmed Manchester United did make a mega bid for the Barcelona striker. (The Sun)Jurgen Klopp can end Liverpool ’s long wait for a league title, according to Mats Hummels. (Daily Mirror)And former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier backs Jurgen Klopp to be a success at Anfield. (Bein Sports)Chronically injured midfielder Abou Diaby has suffered a setback in his attempts to return to competitive football. (Daily Express)Alan Pardew has warned his Crystal Palace defenders that they will be counting the bruises if they confront ‘unplayable’ Andy Carroll on Saturday afternoon. (Daily Mail)And here’s the latest talkSPORT.com headlines…Aston Villa transfer report: Real Madrid forward targeted in January swoopLiverpool favourites to land Juventus sporting director ahead of Premier League rivals TottenhamFormer Belgium coach urges Youri Tielemans to ignore Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester UnitedSporting Lisbon’s Paulo Oliveira welcomes Manchester United interest Newcastle and Tottenham told they can land Barcelona youngster Sandro Ramirez for £8mChelsea, Arsenal and Everton target pens new Dynamo Kiev deal, but admits he could still move to the Premier LeagueLiverpool and Arsenal blow! Spanish teen sensation Dani Ceballos signs new Real Betis deal
1 Phil Neville Phil Neville and Voro will reportedly take charge of first-team affairs at Valencia until further notice following the resignation of Nuno Espirito Santo on Sunday night.Nuno announced his departure following Los Che’s 1-0 loss to Sevilla, but said he had already informed chairman Peter Lim of his decision prior to kick-off.A formal statement is expected from the club later on Monday after a meeting between Nuno and club directors, but Neville and Voro have been told to prepare to take charge of training on Tuesday according to reports in AS.Nuno, 41, leaves the side ninth in Primera Liga and third in Group H of the Champions League, still with a shot of progressing to the knock-out stages.However, the Portuguese said expectations had not been met as he bid his farewells.“We are all in agreement that the current situation is not good, and that we must all do what is best for the club; this has always been my intention,” he said.“I want to thank all the players who I have managed at the club for their work. I also want to thank Peter Lim, who is – and will continue to be – a friend of mine, and the fans of Valencia CF.“I ask that the fans continue to support the youngest squad in La Liga. Tomorrow we will give more details. I understand that the issue is pertinent, but I do not want to say too much in this regard.”Neville joined Valencia as a coach in July, having previously been first-team coach under David Moyes at Manchester United.
Papiss Cisse 1 Newcastle’s search for striking reinforcements has taken a new twist after it emerged that Papiss Cisse will be sidelined for a month after undergoing surgery.It is understood the 30-year-old Senegal international will be out for four to five weeks after having a procedure to address the groin problem which has seen him miss the last five games.Head coach Steve McClaren revealed last week that Cisse had returned to training after a third opinion on the injury which suggested he may not require an operation, but warned that could prove not to be the case.Cisse’s absence means summer signing Aleksandar Mitrovic, who scored his fourth goal for the club in Tuesday night’s 3-3 Barclays Premier league draw with Manchester United, remains the Magpies’ only fit specialist striker.They have been tracking a series of possible additions in that department in recent weeks, but with Chelsea’s Loic Remy and QPR’s Charlie Austin now looking unlikely potential signings and Wolfsburg front man Bas Dost facing a six-week lay-off with a broken bone in his foot, the field has dwindled somewhat.West Brom’s Saido Berahino is among a list of players whose situations are being monitored, but the Magpies are far from lone potential suitors.McClaren has been boosted this week by the addition of midfielders Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet to his squad, although there is speculation that Cheick Tiote could leave as a result, with Shanghai Shenhua on his trail.But the goals Newcastle scored against Manchester United were their first in five games in all competitions and added strike-power is a major focus for the club’s recruitment wing.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Receiver Brandon Breazell suffered bruised ribs in the second quarter when he was hit reaching for a pass over the middle. Both injuries may have hampered UCLA’s offense, which was held to single digits for the third time in eight games. “It didn’t help that we lost a couple of big play-makers for us, offensively, early in the game,” UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. “We started off offensively pretty well with the early score, but we didn’t have the continuity to win a game like that.” Bell was initially injured on a 3-yard run on UCLA’s second possession of the first quarter. He was helped to the sideline, examined by the trainers and put a neoprene sleeve on his knee and returned on UCLA’s next possession. But after carrying for seven yards on first down, he again stayed down with an injury to his right knee. After being helped to the sideline, Bell was taken the locker room on the back of a cart and was on crutches in the second half. He is expected to have an MRI on Monday. By Brian Dohn STAFF WRITER PULLMAN – The litany of injuries plaguing UCLA’s offense claimed its top running back and receiver in the first half of Saturday’s 27-7 loss to Washington State, and the long-term prognosis for both is in question. Tailback Kahlil Bell, who scored on a 50-yard run on the third play of the game, suffered a sprain to his right knee, and he could be lost for the season. X-rays on Breazell’s ribs were negative, but he was so sore after the game he could barely walk through the locker room. “It’s not broken, but it’s a lot of pain,” Breazell said. Breazell was hurt when he was drilled by Wazzu free safety Xavier Hicks Jr. “That’s every safety’s dream shot right there,” Hicks said. P.I. for five Not only did Washington State have 545 yards of total offense, but UCLA also was called for five pass interference penalties. At one point, on back-to-back plays late in the third quarter, Michael Norris and Alterraun Verner were flagged for 15-yard penalties. “There was a little bit of pushing from both players,” said Norris, who, like Verner, was called for two of the penalties. “When the flag comes five or 10 seconds after the play, it may create a little bit of poutiness. I don’t feel there were good calls, but that is their job.” Taking blame UCLA receiver Terrence Austin had the ball go through his hands at the right side of the end zone midway through the second quarter, and took responsibility for the dropped touchdown. “I had the perfect shot for it,” Austin said. “No excuses. The ball should have been caught. It was a clean drop by me.” Odds and ends UCLA linebacker Kyle Bosworth had 19 tackles. It is the most by a Bruin since Eric Turner had 21 against Oregon in 1989. ? Reserve linebacker Josh Edwards suffered a turf toe injury. email@example.comWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Everton, Liverpool and West Ham are all lining up summer bids for Lyon ace Alexandre Lacazette, according to reports in France.The Frenchman was heavily linked with a move to Arsenal last summer but the Gunners failed to match Lyon’s asking price for the forward.Lacazette, who earlier this year admitted a move to the Premier League is on the cards, has been in fine form of late, scoring six goals in his last five appearances for the Ligue 1 side, taking his overall tally to 18 this campaign.Rated as one of the hottest attacking talents in Europe, Lacazette rejected a move to Newcastle in January after Lyon accepted a £22m bid for him, with the intention of waiting for a club with European prospects to come in for him.And now, according to Le 10 Sport, Liverpool, West Ham and Everton are set to make contact with Lyon about luring Lacazette across the channel in the summer.Everton are on the lookout for a potential replacement for Romelu Lukaku should he join Chelsea or Manchester United, while Liverpool and West Ham are also eager to land a proven goalscorer. Alexandre Lacazette in action for Lyon 1
Sakho will miss Liverpool’s match against Newcastle 1 Mamadou Sakho has tested positive for a banned substance and will not play in today’s match against Newcastle.Liverpool FC have released the following statement:“Yesterday, Friday 22nd April 2016, a formal communication was received from UEFA stating that they are investigating a possible anti-doping rule violation by Mamadou Sakho.“The player will respond to UEFA on the matter.“The player is currently not subject to any playing suspension. However, the club, in consultation with the player, has decided that while this process is followed the player will not be available for selection for matches.“There will be no further comment at this time.”talkSPORT understands that Sakho’s possible violation came to light when tested following Liverpool’s second leg Europa League victory at Manchester United.In order for Liverpool to be disqualified from the Europa League, at least two players from the club would need to have failed drug tests in the competition.
7 1. Porto’s Estadio do Dragao – Boasts a capacity of 50,035 and hosted five games at Euro 2004, including a semi-final, but has yet to host a UEFA club competition final 3. Schalke’s Veltins Arena – With a capacity of 54,740, the venue for the 2004 Champions League final and five 2006 World Cup matches is overdue a major UEFA final. 7 7 Liverpool will face Sevilla in the English club’s first European final since 2007, but there is controversy surrounding UEFA’s choice of venue for the occasion.The Europa League finale will take place in Basel’s St Jakob Park, which will have a capacity of just 35,000 for the match, meaning Liverpool fans will be allocated just 10,000 tickets, of which it’s estimated only 5,000 are earmarked for ‘general’ supporter allocation.Liverpool have 27,000 season ticket holders, easily filled an allocation of 32,000 fans at the League Cup final at Wembley in February, and boast average home attendances approaching 45,000, but the vast majority of their regular match-going support stand to miss out on seeing the Europa League final live.UEFA made the decision to award Basel the 2016 final almost two years ago, in the process selecting what will be the second smallest stadium to host the competition’s showpiece since the UEFA Cup final switched to a one-off match in 1999.European football’s governing body grades stadiums according to a list of criteria, and only venues awarded UEFA’s four star status are eligible to host a Europa or Champions League final.While it’s not possible for UEFA to know far in advance which clubs will contest the finals, the Champions League denouement has usually been played in a ground with a capacity of at least 70,000, while the Europa League is understandably scheduled for slightly smaller venues.But supporters group the Football Supporters’ Federation have previously written to the governing body urging them not to select stadiums with a capacity under 50,000 for the Europa League final, in order to lesson potential fan disappointment and security issues.Unfortunately for Liverpool fans, the 2016 final will take place in a stadium ill-equipped to deal with the demand for tickets from Reds supporters, meaning thousands of loyal Kopites will miss out.The club’s manager Jurgen Klopp has been forced to backtrack on his earlier appeal for ticketless fans to travel to Switzerland regardless, amid fears over Basel’s ability to cope with an influx of potentially 30-40,000 supporters from the UK alone.“That was not too smart to be honest,” Klopp admitted. “Basel is a nice city but it is not ready for us and it was my mistake. I have to take back the invitation to Basel.”While these are sensible words from the German, it remains a great pity that UEFA have apparently learned few lessons from the past in choosing a venue seemingly so unsuitable to host one of their showpiece finals.Especially when you consider some of the alternative four star-rated arenas they could have chosen, as detailed in the slideshow above, all of which provide a sizeable increase on Basel’s capacity without being too large for a Europa League final. 2. Marseille’s Stade Velodrome – Completely renovated for Euro 2016, where it will host six matches including a semi-final, the Stade Velodrome has a capacity of 67,394. 7 4. Feyenoord’s De Kuip – Holding 51,117 fans, De Kuip was renovated in the 1990s and in its modern incarnation the Rotterdam stadium hosted the Euro 2000 final and the 2002 UEFA Cup final. Basel’s St Jakob Park will host the 2016 Europa League final, despite having a capacity of just 35,000 for the game. Take a look at six stadiums that would have been more suitable to host Liverpool v Sevilla – just click the arrow above, right 6. Vienna’s Ernst Happel Stadium – The venue for four European Cup finals, most recently in 1995, plus two further UEFA club finals and the Euro 2008 final, this 50,865 capacity stadium is more than capable of staging a Europa League final. 7 5. Olimpic Lluis Companys Stadium in Barcelona – Extensively renovated to host the 1992 Olympic Games, and again for the 2010 European Athletics Championship, this 56,000 capacity stadium was also home to Espanyol between 1999 and 2007. More recently it’s hosted England as the ‘home’ ground of Andorra, and a 55,000 crowd for a rugby European Cup quarter-final in 2012. 7 7
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Earlier this year a shocking thing happened. I turned 60. It was a good time to remind myself of Robert Kennedy’s belief that “youth is not a time of life but a state of mind – a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination.” Turning 60 was also a good time to reflect on what it means to grow older in America, and to realize just how much that definition has changed in the second half of my lifetime. Thirty years ago, people over 70 were considered “really old,” and a 100th birthday warranted national news coverage. But no more, thanks in great part to the state of mind of those once called senior citizens. Sixty really has become the “new 40,” and the very notion of what is “old” is constantly being redefined. Many people are continuing to work well into their 70s and even 80s. Those who retire at 65 have many active years ahead of them for travel, second careers, volunteer activities and the vigorous lifestyle that defines this “new senior citizen.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsMore significant than the numbers is the fact that, over the past 30 years, there has been a refreshing change in lifestyle attitudes that has, as much as anything else, resulted in people living not just longer, but also better-quality, lives. The “new seniors” are taking increased accountability for their own health. More than ever before, they are watching their diet, having regular checkups, engaging in appropriate exercise, not smoking, keeping their minds alert and wearing seat belts. Of course, many of those choices would not be possible were it not for the incredible advances in medical science over the past 30 years. Diagnostics, from lab tests to high-tech devices, now allow physicians to pinpoint disease sooner and with greater accuracy. Surgical procedures that were once invasive and debilitating are now performed with minimal risk and rapid recovery. Pharmaceuticals now treat not only acute illness, but also the chronic conditions that once shortened lives. Preventive measures, from bone-density scans to flu shots, have become more routine, affordable and available. These advances in medicine are coming at a time when aging Americans are placing increasing value on independent living and are recognizing the physical, emotional and psychological advantages of staying in their own homes as long as possible. Portable medical equipment, new pharmaceuticals and breakthroughs in remote care are making this more achievable than ever. And that’s a good thing because nobody wants to go to a nursing home unnecessarily – certainly not the “new senior” who looks in the mirror and sees someone with lots still left to do. I, too, still have lots left to do and, as Robert Frost said, “miles to go before I sleep.” So hats off to my fellow seniors and the path they have blazed for me over the past 30 years. I know the best is truly yet to come. David Schmidt is president and chief executive officer of SCAN Health Plan.