Cristiano Ronaldo James Nesbitt said he is hoping to convince Cristiano Ronaldo to return to Manchester United when he hosts the Ballon d’Or ceremony next month.The Northern Irish actor is a long-time fan of the Red Devils and joked he would take a shirt with Ronaldo’s name and number to Zurich with him for the event on January 11.The Fifa ceremony, which crowns the best player in the world, will come at a time when the organisation is under intense scrutiny for alleged corruption.But Nesbitt said he hoped the occasion could be used to remind fans across the world about the “purity of the game”.He said: “I’m a football fan and I think what it should be, during difficult times for that organisation, is a reminder of the purity of football – why grown-up men get paid an awful lot of money to play football and why they still play with the same passion they played with when they were boys kicking it around in a park.“I was one of those boys kicking it around in a park, so hopefully I can bring some of that enthusiasm and simplicity of what we love about football to it, and maybe try and remind everyone involved about the purity of the game.“Whatever has happened inside football, I’m still a football fan – my three big loves outside of my family are Northern Ireland, Manchester United and Coleraine, and I still follow them with the same passion as when I was a child.”Best known for his roles in Cold Feet and The Hobbit, Nesbitt has tried to help financially support his local team, Coleraine, when they faced financial difficulties. Asked whether his support for Manchester United would have him rooting for a Ronaldo victory in the Ballon d’or, Nesbitt said: “I’m taking a shirt with Ronaldo’s name and number on it, and hopefully he’ll put it on and get on the plane back with me.” 1
TEAM NEWS: Petr Cech starts for Arsenal against Sunderland in the FA Cup as David Ospina is OUT with injury Just as David Ospina was about to be given his first Arsenal start since September, injury strikes. Arsene Wenger – who said the Columbian was a future Arsenal number one – confirmed his second-choice shot-stopper would be starting in Saturday’s FA Cup game against Sunderland.As the team sheets were handed out at the Emirates, Ospina’s name was nowhere to be seen as Petr Cech was the man between the sticks.The club revealed the 27-year-old was carrying a slight groin problem and will miss the holder’s third round tie. Here is how the holders will be lining up, as they bid to win the competition for a third consecutive year, followed by Sam Allardyce’s Black Cats.Arsenal XI: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Gibbs, Chambers, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell, Iwobi, Walcott, Giroud.Sunderland XI: Pickford, Yedlin, Coates, O’Shea, Van Aanholt, Lens, Toivonen, Cattermole, Watmore, Fletcher, Graham.LISTEN: Manchester United vs Sheffield United, from 17:30 1
talkSPORT’s transfer guru, Warren Haughton, joins Hawksbee and Jacobs to round up all the very latest rumours and gossip.In his Chelsea press conference on Friday, manager Guus Hiddink said there was no interest in pursuing Alexandre Pato.But has Warren heard otherwise? It is well known that former AC Milan forward Pato wants to come back to Europe and the Premier League is a likely destination. Could he be bound for Stamford Bridge or Liverpool?Interest in Andros Townsend has been stepped up by Newcastle after Steve McLaren completed a deal for Jonjo Shelvey. Warren tells the boys that the Magpies could bring him to St. James’ Park permanently.With midfielder Shelvey already in, Ivory Coast international Cheick Tiote could complete his move to China and he is set for a medical next week.Liverpool face competition from Sampdoria for Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia, while Franck Tabanou could be heading out of Swansea.Athletic Bilbao could struggle to keep hold of academy product and forward Inaki Williams.He was clocked as the quickest player in Spanish football history and, with his contract up in 18 months at the San Mames Stadium, Liverpool are monitoring his situation.French striker Sebastian Haller of Utrecht is interesting Premier League trio Norwich, West Brom and Aston Villa, plus much more.And here are the latest talkSPORT stories from talkSPORT.com:Atletico Madrid monitoring long-term Manchester United target Nicolas GaitanSampdoria set to hijack Liverpool’s move for Inter Milan defender Andrea RanocchiaLiverpool teen ace set for loan move to BelgiumNorwich manager Alex Neil rejects suggestions club are close to signing France U21 strikerChelsea transfer report: Blues on verge of signing former AC Milan forward PatoBorussia Dortmund star told he could ruin career by joining Liverpool or Manchester UnitedCarlos Bacca will NOT be leaving AC Milan for Chelsea, insists striker’s agentSwansea transfer report: Premier League strugglers move for Roma striker
Francesco Guidolin admits he had hoped to manage Watford – but is happy to have been given a chance to experience the Premier League with Swansea.The Italian was appointed as the Swans’ new head coach on Monday and watched his new team defeat the Hornets that evening. He will take charge of a match for the first time against Everton on Sunday.Guidolin left his last managerial post with Udinese in May 2014 and took up a position as technical supervisor of the three teams owned by the Pozzo family – Udinese, Granada and Watford.He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “I think I did some great work at Udinese. I let them know I would have liked to work at Watford, even in the Championship, but other managers were hired.“Given their results, which include promotion and their good form in the Premier League, they made the right decision.”Guidolin said he had received offers to manage again in Italy but held out for a chance abroad.“I preferred to wait as I wanted to experience something outside of Italy, and in the end I was rewarded,” he said.“I knew it wouldn’t be easy as I’m not well-known internationally, but my agent Frank Trimboli did a great job in getting me this opportunity with Swansea.”Guidolin has been monitoring Swansea and is positive about the squad he has to work with despite their position just above the relegation zone.The 60-year-old has appointed former Chelsea midfielder Gabriele Ambrosetti as his assistant and will also work alongside Alan Curtis, who had been interim manager since Garry Monk’s departure last month.Guidolin said: “The initial signs are encouraging. I was impressed by how cordial everyone was.The first half against Watford was our best performance in some time. I have been following Swansea for the past month and I am convinced we have a great base to work from.“I will try to implement my work on things that make a big difference like focus, concentration and intensity while trying to get them to play good football.”Guidolin cited the stress of the job when he left his post at Udinese, and he added: “It is my strength, and my weakness. Stress can help you, but it can also hurt you.“When your job occupies your entire day, the results eventually come and that is the secret to my career. However, at the same time, the struggle drains you.” 1 Francesco Guidolin
1 Wayne Rooney, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata Juan Mata says he fully understands Manchester United fans’ frustrations – as the players are feeling exactly the same.Boos rung around on Old Trafford on Saturday after United slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Southampton.Many supporters are fed up of the defensive style of play under Louis van Gaal, with his side posting just one shot on target against the Saints.And Mata, who came on as a half-time substitute in the defeat, admits the whole United squad is hurting after they fell ten points behind the Premier League summit.In a message posted on his blog on Monday, the Spaniard wrote: “Once again I’m writing with a bad taste.“After several games without being defeated, we lost 0-1 to Southampton in Old Trafford. And it hurts, it really does.“It was the perfect time to get the three points and stretch the good streak in 2016, but we couldn’t make it.“It wasn’t a good game from any of the teams, a draw would have been a fair result (although not good enough for us), but a late goal from Austin after a free-kick took the points away from us.“It’s another tough moment, for you and for us, but we must get through this. I understand your frustration, because we feel the same way, but we have to carry on.”Mata has no doubt results must improve.United’s next match is an FA Cup tie at Derby on Friday, and the Spain international added in his message to the fans: “Football doesn’t stop and now it’s time for the FA Cup and we want to fight for this trophy for you.“We feel bad every time we get a bad result, but it hurts even more for you.“We must get better results for you.“I thank you for your support in the bad times, and I assure you that our only goal is to do things much better to move up the table in the Premier League and try to lift the FA Cup.“Thanks to all of you. I’m sure that better moments will come sooner or later, and we will enjoy them much more, aware of how tough it is to get there.”
By Allison Hoffman THE ASSOCIATED PRESS SAN DIEGO – Federal prosecutors rested their case Thursday against a defense contractor accused of bribing U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham without calling the former lawmaker to testify. Cunningham pleaded guilty in 2005 to accepting $2.4 million in kickbacks from contractors, including more than $700,000 from defendant Brent Wilkes. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Prosecutors wouldn’t comment on the decision against putting Cunningham on the witness stand. But legal observers said it likely indicated they felt they didn’t need him to win a conviction. “You’d put Duke on the stand only if you think you need him to make your case,” said Melanie Sloan, a former prosecutor who is now the executive director of the watchdog group Citizens For Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. “But you’d never put him on if you don’t have to – he’d be a total loose cannon,” she said. Prosecutors claim Wilkes provided Cunningham with prostitutes, Super Bowl box seats, high-end golf trips, private jet flights and $625,000 in payments as kickbacks for about $90 million in Pentagon contracts. Cunningham, a San Diego Republican who held seats on the powerful House intelligence and defense appropriations committees, was elected to eight terms before resigning in 2005. During the past seven days, jurors heard testimony from prostitutes, government workers and others about the Wilkes-Cunningham relationship. In a handwritten letter sent last September to reporter Marcus Stern of Copley News Service, who uncovered the corruption scandal that sent Cunningham to prison, the former congressman wrote that he thought former Wilkes associate Mitchell Wade bore the brunt of responsibility. “Wade not Wilkes has destroyed a lot of people,” Cunningham wrote. “Ninety percent of what happened is Wade.” Wade pleaded guilty in 2006 to paying Cunningham more than $1 million in bribes in exchange for $150 million in contract earmarks. 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 MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Over the previous four games, the Kings had put together a little momentum after a dismal start to the season. But Dallas has been the black hole where all positives go to die for the Kings. Not this time. Alexander Frolov beat Dallas goalie Marty Turco off a pass from Derek Armstrong early in the third period for the winning goal as the Kings ended a nine-game losing streak to the Stars with a 2-1 victory Thursday at Staples Center in front of a crowd of 14,559. By beating the team that has tormented them over the last two seasons – as well as an early Stanley Cup favorite – the Kings (5-6-0) officially have something going. NHL: Frolov goal helps L.A. halt a nine-game skid versus Dallas. By Matthew Kredell STAFF WRITER There’s no better heat-check for the Kings than the Dallas Stars. “It’s a big step for our team,” Frolov said. “There’s been a lot of changes since last year, a lot of new people, and now we’re proving that we are a good team and can beat anyone in this league. We showed it tonight.” The Kings have won three straight – something they never did last year – and four of five since beginning the season 1-5, and seem to have found their goalie in Jason LaBarbera. LaBarbera made his third consecutive start, the first time this season a goalie has started three in a row for the Kings. His performance might have been better than his shutout Tuesday. He stopped 29 of 30 shots after only being challenged 17 times against Nashville. He kept out 13 shots in the third period alone to beat Dallas (4-3-2). “We’re coming together as a team and that’s the big thing,” LaBarbera said. “You can see it on everyone’s faces. We didn’t have that confidence and swagger earlier in the year, and now all of a sudden we have it.” Frolov, who failed to score in the team’s first eight games amid mounting criticism, now has goals in three consecutive games and points in seven in a row. His poor start could be blamed on a groin injury that kept him out most of training camp. “He looks like he’s getting his legs,” Kings coach Marc Crawford said. “He’s looks like the Fro we saw last year, where he gets those chances and he outskates people.” The Kings grabbed the momentum in the second period, outshooting the Stars, 19-6, after being outshot, 11-6, in the opening period. Crawford mixed and matched the lines more than ever before, starting Anze Kopitar with Frolov and Ladislav Nagy, and later putting leading scorer Michael Cammalleri with Brian Willsie and Derek Armstrong to set up the team’s first goal. Willsie dived around Turco and poked in a rebound of a shot from Cammalleri to tie the game midway through the second period. It was the first goal of the season for Willsie, who has been a healthy scratch in more than half the team’s games. The Kings killed back-to-back penalties in the final six minutes to hold on to the victory. Notes: The Kings, in conjunction with the Salvation Army, will begin collecting donations at their next four home games to aid those left homeless by the Southern California wildfires. During the Nov. 10 games against Dallas, each player will wear a commemorative Southern California Fire Department patch on his jersey, and the jerseys will be auctioned with all proceeds going to the fire victims. … LaBarbera has stopped 89 of the last 92 shots he has faced. firstname.lastname@example.orgWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Some of the STEM teachers get to know eachother.Pramerica Systems Ireland and Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) would appear to be at the very ‘stem’ of a great idea.The two organisations hosted a Seeing Is Believing event for 18 science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) teachers from around the county to create a deeper industry/education partnership and greater awareness of STEM careers and other opportunities that exist for students.Representatives from Pramerica gave an overview of the company’s business and insight into the need for STEM talent to fill positions in the growth areas of data and digital. The teachers engaged in an interactive speed networking event with recent STEM graduates who work at Pramerica. Seeing Is Believing is an a new STEM initiative of The Schools’ Business Partnership and Business in the Community Ireland (BITCI) in support of the Smart Futures Strategy 2013 – 2016, a collaborative industry and education framework, raising awareness of STEM careers at post-primary level.*The goal of the initiative is to give STEM teachers and guidance counsellors a deep and engaging insight into leading STEM sector companies and the innovative and diverse range of opportunities and careers that exist within the region.Teachers see first-hand how STEM skills are being used in the workplace and how the syllabi of STEM subjects they teach at second level are relevant to the needs of employers. “Pramerica is delighted to support this new initiative and to welcome STEM teachers to the campus. We are proud to share the technological excellence and insight of our talented and diverse team at Pramerica,” said Gerard Grant, Vice President, Information Technology, at Pramerica.“This event is a good opportunity to promote technology careers by engaging with the people who directly influence students’ career choices. This partnership is vital to the development of our organisation and plays a key role in creating the spectrum of skills and expertise that will be needed in the future.”Elaine McFadden, Regional Coordinator-Donegal, The Schools’ Business Partnership, BITCI, added, “This has been a unique insight given by Pramerica and Letterkenny Institute of Technology to our STEM teachers in Donegal. It has further developed the potential of business to education engagement in order to support the work of teachers in preparing and inspiring students to explore the opportunities presented by STEM careers. We commend Pramerica and Letterkenny Institute on their vision and leadership within the region for STEM promotion and value their contribution to the building of Ireland’s knowledge economy.”John Andy Bonar, Head of Development, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, said LYIT is committed to the support and development of STEM related initiatives in the North West.“We see these initiatives having an integral role and impact in fostering leading edge, new and emerging technology companies such as those we have currently operating in CoLab and also in the North West Regional Science Park when it is operational in 2015. The benefit and potential of the STEM agenda to our regional economy is enormous and we acknowledge through Seeing Is Believing that the foundations of this are built in our schools and by our teachers.”The Schools’ Business Partnership is managed by Business in the Community Ireland, the network for responsible business in Ireland. The Schools’ Business Partnership is funded by the participating businesses and the School Completion Programme (The Department of Children and Youth Affairs). SEEING IS BELIEVING FOR DONEGAL’S STEM TEACHERS was last modified: October 14th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:CoLabdonegalLYITpramericaSTEM
Leicester celebrate Sir Alex Ferguson is backing Leicester City to close out a remarkable Premier League title triumph.The Foxes, favourites for relegation at the start of the season, are five points clear at the top with just seven games left to play.It would be one of the most unbelievable upsets in football history if Claudio Ranieri’s side were to go on and lift the league trophy.But Ferguson sees no signs of the pressure getting to the Leicester players and he expects them to get over the line.The legendary former Manchester United boss, speaking to Sky Sports, said: “Leicester have got the bit between their teeth, they’ve been the best team without question throughout the season and they deserve to win it.“You would think their inexperience would count, but Leicester have unbelievable energy and togetherness that suggests they’re going to see it through.“For instance, they’ve won their last few games 1-0. I had a season at United where we had eight 1-0 victories and that won us the league.“Those 1-0s are really important because it points out to me that they are a unit, they’re not going to lose.“They have a determination about them and they are not afraid of the situation they find themselves in, which is important.“I don’t see any nerves and that’s down to the manager, he’s brought a calming influence. It’s fantastic, they are a breath of fresh air and it’s great for the game.”Ferguson, who led United to 13 top-flight titles during his glittering Old Trafford career, believes only Tottenham are a danger to Leicester’s title hopes.Spurs are currently five points behind the leaders ahead of their trip to Liverpoon on Saturday.“I only see Tottenham being a danger to Leicester,” said Ferguson. “Tottenham, at the moment, are playing some of the best football I’ve seen from a Spurs team in many years. But Leicester have got the edge. I think they’ll get there.” 1
Alan Judge celebrates scoring for Brentford 1 Brentford midfielder Alan Judge has been warned by the Football Association after breaching its anti-doping regulations.The Republic of Ireland international suffers from asthma and was found with high levels of salbutamol in his system following a match in August.He has been warned as to his future conduct, issued with a reprimand and will be target tested for the next two years.A statement on the FA’s website said the Bees’ player of the year “was charged after the presence of salbutamol, above the permitted threshold (used via an asthma inhaler) was found in his system and considered not to be an intended therapeutic use of the substance”.Judge, who had been ruled out of Euro 2016 after suffering a serious leg break while playing for Brentford in April, denied the charge but it was found proven following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing on Wednesday.The statement added: “The sanction set by the Regulatory Commission was in accordance with the provisions relating to No Significant Fault or Negligence.”Sky Bet Championship club Brentford released a statement clarifying the situation.It read: “Alan has suffered from exercise-induced asthma since he was a child and was given permission to use the inhaler.“Following a match last August, Alan’s levels of salbutamol from his inhaler use were found to be slightly above the threshold. However, in mitigation, he provided a full explanation of the circumstances surrounding this.“The FA found the case proven due to the level of salbutamol but acknowledged Alan’s strong arguments in mitigation by issuing a decision which confirmed that he demonstrated ‘no significant fault or negligence’.“The club will not be making any further comment.”In April, Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho was suspended for 30 days by UEFA for an alleged anti-doping violation, reported to have been for a fat-burning drug.