“For me, the whole spectacle and the result was ruined because of that incident. “The linesman should have a bit more about him. Why not? Now we’re talking about a red card instead of the spectacle. “The big referees, the good ones, the really top ones, have always got, even in my day, a common sense about them. They realise these things happen. “The reason why the spectacle of the Barclays Premier League is loved all round the world is the honesty of it, the integrity of it and the ferocity of it. “People enjoy watching the physical specimen of the Premier League.” Pochettino, whose side were flattered in victory and might easily have been three behind at the interval, denied the sending off had determined the result. “I think it did not have a big impact,” he said. “In the second half our attacking game was better than Hull’s. I’m sure in the end it would have been the same result. “Hull played very well in the first half but we tried to change something at half-time and I’m happy because after we showed character and good mentality. “In the second half we created a lot of chances. The team showed a better mentality and attitude.” Hull boss Steve Bruce bemoaned Gaston Ramirez’s red card after losing to Tottenham, blaming Jan Vertonghen for an over-reaction and the officials for a lack of common sense. Press Association Ramirez might look at his own error in judgement on a miserable full debut for the club, but Bruce instead chose to focus on perceived shortcomings elsewhere. Vertonghen, who had not even been involved in the initial tussle that sent Ramirez to the floor, appeared to be an innocent party but Bruce disagreed. “We talk about diving and allegedly cheating…Vertonghen’s a big strapping, 6ft 2in or 6ft 3in centre-back and he’s rolling around as if he’s been poleaxed and that can’t be healthy for the Premier League,” said Bruce, whose side are tumbling down the table after taking two points from the last 15 available. “That’s the disappointing thing for me, because it is creeping in. “There’s no doubt about it, Ramirez has shown what I would call petulance. Vertonghen has a little go at him which is there for everyone to see, provokes him, and he flicks out at him. “The letter of the law says it’s got to be violent conduct. But he has tapped him on the backside. “If that really, really takes him to the ground I can’t really understand that.” Bruce also felt let down by the verdict of referee Craig Pawson and assistant Peter Kirkup, who saw the incident at close quarters. The Tigers were 1-0 up after Jake Livermore scored against his former club but lost all momentum when Ramirez lashed out at Vertonghen, leaving the hosts to play 40 minutes with 10 men. Harry Kane levelled just after the hour mark, netting his 10th goal of the season and second in the Barclays Premier League, before Christian Eriksen sealed a 2-1 win with a 90th-minute effort.
Published on October 28, 2017 at 3:53 pm Contact Matt: firstname.lastname@example.org Forty-five minutes before game time, all but one player on the Syracuse (12-5, 2-4 Atlantic Coast) roster warmed up with passing drills. Lies Lagerweij lay by the sidelines, stretching, uncertain if she would see any action on her senior day.“I honestly wasn’t going to play her at all,” Syracuse head coach Ange Bradley said, “until I saw her warm up. And she looked okay.”After missing SU’s loss to Penn on Oct. 22, Lagerweij returned to the turf Saturday afternoon in a 3-0 win over Pacific (8-8, 4-2 America East). Lagerweij did not start, and did not appear in the scoring column, but helped the Orange dominate possession.Five minutes into the game Lagerweij entered at forward rather than her usual position on the back line. Immediately, she looked for a goal. One minute in, she moved in between defenders, advancing into the arc. Weaving in and out, she found herself one-on-one with Pacific goalie Marlise van Tonder. Lagerweij moved just a few feet from the cage and wound up. But she was tripped by van Tonder.“That’s a penalty,” screamed a fan from the crowd.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textNo call was made, and no shot recorded. But within minutes of entering the game, Lagerweij nearly scored in her natural position.“She can play anywhere,” Roos Weers said. “Lies has quick hands. …she’s very adjustable.”Trying to keep her All-American healthy before the ACC tournament, Bradley didn’t risk leaving Lagerweij in for too long. Five minutes after putting her in, Bradley subbed her out. And that trend continued. Five minutes later she re-entered. And five minutes after she was subbed out.For the remainder of the game, Lagerweij played in short bursts. But towards the end of the second half, remained on the field. And that was when she made her presence known.Starting in the 47th minute, Lagerweij drew three consecutive corners. One was overturned, but Lagerweij stole the ball back. In the 49th minute, Lagerweij ran down the left sideline, juked past one defender and began juggling the ball on her stick, before bouncing it off a defender’s foot and forcing another corner. On the ensuing corner, Weers rocketed the ball past van Tonder to extend SU’s lead to 2-0.At the end of the game, Bradley substituted Lagerweij back in to end the game. The senior registered two of her three shots in the final two minutes failing to find the back of the cage.From the start of ACC play, Bradley has said that the offense needed to improve to be competitive in the conference and NCAA tournament. Lagerweij playing forward may very well be that spark. In the last two games Lagerweij has played, she’s started at forward. In those two contests, SU is 2-0 with seven goals. And Lagerweij has four points on eight shots.“I just play where Ange wants me to play,” Lagerweij said. “If it’s upfront I try to be creative and create things. I try to get a goal or corner as much as I can. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+
Crisis? What crisis?Those were the words of top Kotoko officials of the club in the early days of David Duncan reign as Kotoko gaffer.The pomp and pageantry that heralded his entry into Kumasi was another spectacle altogether. Duncan was whisked to Algeria as “manager” of the club when an official announcement had not even been made.Such was the belief.And for a moment, all was well: an outstanding first leg performance against Eulma in the CAF Champions League had Kotoko fans singing his praises. For them, he was the Mourinho.The special one. The only one. Back to back wins against Bechem on matchday 11 and Liberty Professionals on matchday 12 only heightened his status in the Garden City. Operations Manager and club legend George Kennedy went as far as saying Duncan was “the best thing that ever happened to Kotoko.”Let that sink in.How times have changed since that March 29 win against Liberty.CLICK HERE FOR “Kotoko v AshGold FA Cup quarterfinal preview”The stark reality It’s been a meager eight points from a possible 21: two wins, two draws and three losses in their last seven games against Olympics (home and away), New Edubiase (home and away), Heart of Lions (home and away) and Liberty Professionals (home and way).Liberty, of course, took the Porcupine Warriors to the cleaners at the Carl Reindorf Park last Sunday and it’s turned the tide against Duncan.Kotoko (25 points) are now a massive 12 points behind leaders Ashgold (37) and with only 11 games to play this season, it would have to take a serious capitulation by the Miners and a concurrent superb streak of performances Kotoko to turn the script.In 19 games all season, Kotoko have won a paltry six games, drawn seven and lost another six and lie in ninth. 24 goals all season translates into an average of just a goal per game whilst conceding 21 goals in that same period.That is hardly championship form.How the team has failed to perform can be found in her consistently inconsistent performances but can you blame the gaffer alone?Former manager Didi Dramani had overseen back to back league titles and an FA Cup triumph together with decent performances on the continent. He was hailed by all except the current leadership of the club who were unimpressed with his African record and the poor start to the season.Granted that was the case, it only made sense that the club would hire a manager with a continental curriculum vitae and not one who with an empty trophy cabinet. The unprofessional attitude displayed by the club’s management concerning Didi’s sacking was nothing to write home about. It took weeks for both parties to agree on a compensation package coupled with the club’s poor PR strategy.One gets the impression that management might just feel shortchanged with Duncan’s performances as a coach. Duncan’s supposedly impeccable CV was manager at Great Olympics, Hearts of Oak, Free State Stars in South Africa (not Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs or Mamelodi Sundowns) and the Ghana U-17 side that placed second to hosts Gambia in 2005.Yes, that was his CV. No winner’s medal anywhere.Juxtapose that with the successful Didi, with back to back league titles, adjudged the best technical brain by his peers and one who contributed greatly in unearthing talents such as David Accam and Abdul Majeed Waris. We can’t forget Didi’s historic run with the U-17 Women’s side in Azerbaijan either; becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals. Kotoko’s management cannot absolve themselves from the drama unfolding at the Porcupine camp. Even worse, the Reds still have games against Medeama, WAFA, Chelsea, league leaders AshGold and arch rivals Hearts of Oak all coming up.With confidence so down at the club, holding on tight to the league and FA Cup titles appear highly unlikely.The Duncan questionIn the last few days, there have been very strong comments questioning the structural ownership and the administrative competencies of those in charge. Also coming for stick have been the playing body. Duncan, however, seems to have a lot of support from the fanatics but truth be told, when the players recruited are simply not good enough or when a manager oversees a team in decline, most often it is the manager that gets axed. There are several examples of players playing poorly under a manager only to up their game by several notches following the appointment of his replacement.The administrative structure of Kotoko has always been very difficult to comprehend. There is a Chairman, Executive Chairman, President, Executive President, Chief Executive, Managing Director and I could go on listing them. There never seems to a clear operational course. Any ambitious club has a clear structure, leadership with clear duties and a strong Board to oversee policy and a term to fulfill its mandate.Every now and then, Kotoko goes through a new crop of leaders after intense lobbying at Manhyia, the seat of the club’s traditional power.Go elsewhere and see how the world’s top clubs are administered with a clear vision and a team of professionals. Former players of top clubs like Bayern Munich (Karl Heinz Rummeniege, Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeness) are backed by an army of professionals responsible for the affairs of the clubs.On the continent, Al Ahly, Zamalek, Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs, Raja Casablanca are but a few who have incorporated former heroes in moving the club forward. These ex-footballers have taken the initiative to educate themselves (emphasis on educate) and returne to the beautiful game in various positions.Can we say same about the Porcupine Warriors and how it has been run in the last 30 years?Separation of powersI’ve heard calls for a clear separation of powers between Manhyia and club administrators. I do not know if that is ever going to happen.What I do know is that the King is a revered gentleman who is very much on top of issues and who may have been let down by lobbyists in appointing the “right” people to steer the club forward.When the club seems to be doing well, everyone goes to sleep and forgets the core challenges facing the club. These challenges only seem to rear their ugly heads when the team is on a decline.Until such a time where a mandate driven leadership is allowed to fully implement goals over a period, the club would go nowhere and that is my opinion. People have laboured to bring the club this far and it’s sad to see how viable programs are scrapped.My heart bleeds for this club.CLICK HERE FOR “Kotoko v AshGold FA Cup quarterfinal preview”–Kwame Dwomoh-Agyemang is a Joy Sports producer. Follow on Twitter: @DwomohKwame