Wigan manager Roberto Martinez’s move to Everton has moved closer after Latics chairman Dave Whelan confirmed the two clubs have agreed a compensation payment. Martinez had already held talks, with Whelan’s permission, but is now free to discuss contract terms. “He’d spoken to Everton because I gave them permission,” Whelan said. “When he came back and told me how it had gone, it had gone very well and he was probably in the last two or three on the list. “Then the chairman rang me and discussed the compensation deal with me, and we agreed that this evening.” Porto coach Vitor Pereira and former Schalke boss Ralf Rangnick had also been linked with the vacancy. Everton responded with a statement on their website in which they insisted no appointment is imminent. The statement read: “In response to regrettable and somewhat premature reports earlier this evening, Everton Football Club are continuing discussions with regards to the vacant managerial position. “Whilst positive moves are being made, the club will officially announce details as and only when they are agreed and completed.” The Spaniard held talks with Toffees chairman Bill Kenwright last week and a deal has now been agreed to buy out the remaining year of Martinez’s contract. Whelan told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’ve reached some terms with the chairman, Bill, of Everton about six o’clock this evening. He can now talk to Everton because Bill and myself have sorted the compensation.” Press Association
“I’m surprised but that’s the nature of the Premier League. It’s very tough to win. The next one comes and we’ll be ready for it for sure. We’re in good shape mentally and physically. “I think we’ve got complete freedom to go hard for the next 12 games and see where it takes us.” Burnley have no fresh injury worries. Matt Taylor is closing in on a return after making a slow recovery from Achilles surgery but is not yet ready for the matchday squad. Dean Marney and Kevin Long will both be out until next season after suffering cruciate ligament damage. Bafetimbi Gomis’ fortune in front of goal might just have changed for the better according to Swansea manager Garry Monk. Gomis has had a frustrating time since switching from Lyon last summer, first firmly cast in the role of understudy to Wilfried Bony and then finding goals hard to come by after the Ivory Coast striker completed his initial £25million January move to Manchester City. The 12-times capped France forward hardly endeared himself to the Swansea faithful as he appeared to agitate for his own January exit but Monk insisted that the 29-year-old was staying put at the Liberty Stadium. Gomis rewarded Monk’s faith with the winner against Manchester United last weekend and the Swansea boss was not bothered that the Frenchman’s second league goal was a complete fluke as he inadvertently deflected Jonjo Shelvey’s long-range shot past David de Gea. “You do need that little bit of luck sometimes, for that first one to go in and then you can go on a run,” Monk said. “You see all strikers doing it and hopefully this is his chance to do that. “Bafe could have scored a couple more – he had one cleared off the line against United and had a couple of chances in the previous game at West Brom. “But I’ve said before that Bafe’s working hard and he’s had some good chances to score those goals before, but unfortunately the luck wasn’t quite on his side.” Monk admits it has been a period of transformation for Swansea since Bony’s departure as the Ivorian was so central to their way of playing. But he says the squad has done a lot of work on training ground to attune themselves to Gomis’ style of play. “Obviously we are training more for the way that Bafe moves and the way he wants to receive the ball and, hopefully, we’ll see more of that in the next 12 games,” Monk said. “But Bafe will always be a threat, he’s a top player and the team are getting more used to the way that he plays. “All strikers want to score goals. That’s what they live and breathe for and they all want to go on runs.” Monk has no new injury concerns. His biggest dilemma is whether to revert back to his favoured 4-3-3 formation after switching to a midfield diamond for last week’s 2-1 victory over Manchester United. If Monk decides to do that then Ecuador winger Jefferson Montero could be recalled, with Nathan Dyer, who was omitted from the 18-man match-day squad against United, returning to the bench. Sean Dyche is feeling the love from fans of other clubs as he attempts to defy the odds and keep Burnley in the Premier League. If Dyche was in any way concerned Ashley Barnes’ controversial clash with Nemanja Matic at Stamford Bridge last weekend might harm Burnley’s appeal, he would have been reassured by a trip to the Etihad on Tuesday. He said: “I was at Manchester City the other night and there were loads of City fans coming up saying, ‘I hope you do it’. “There’s a story behind the story. Written off at the beginning of the season, written off after game 10, and I think there is a stiff-upper-lip mentality to that with British fans. “That underdog spirit and bulldog spirit, back in the day. I think it’s still there, it just needs igniting once in a while, and maybe people deem us to be part of that.” Burnley are back at Turf Moor this weekend, with Swansea the visitors fresh from their victory over Manchester United. The Clarets gave United a scare at Old Trafford earlier this month before slipping to a 3-1 loss and then fought back from a goal down to draw 1-1 at Stamford Bridge. Dyche admitted it has been hard to take that Burnley’s performances have not been rewarded with more points. He said: “Particularly the last few weeks, I think we’ve been operating at a very high level. And yet, we’ve got a couple of points out of three games. Press Association The Clarets have the smallest budget of any team in the top flight but go into the final 12 games of the season separated from safety only by goal difference. Burnley have covered more miles than any other team this season and matched the global superstars of Manchester City and Chelsea away from home with a squad consisting predominantly of British and Irish players.
“The stadium is a very very tough stadium to win there so we have to prepare very well because if not we have the opportunity to lose.” Watford have conceded a league high 86% of their goals in the second half and, after losing 2-1 against Manchester United to a the last minute goal, Flores has been working on his players to keep them motivated. “I don’t think Aston Villa is any different to Manchester United,” he said. “The crowd will be strong, the team might change this mentality because they have to be positive and go and try to smash our team. “For me every match is very difficult and very important. I tell the players not to underestimate and if we win next Saturday of course we are going to celebrate like Arsenal, Chelsea and other teams.” Grealish was warned about his off-field behaviour in April by then Villa boss Tim Sherwood after being pictured apparently taking nitrous oxide. In June he was in trouble again after photographs taken during a Tenerife holiday were published appearing to show him lying flat out in the street. ” I understand the decision of the coach,” said Flores ahead of Watford’s trip to Villa Park on Saturday. “When I was playing, when I was coaching sometimes these younger players need to make mistakes, they need to learn about these mistakes.” Flores is not underestimating bottom of the table Villa. “Sometimes people say to me this match is like six points but, for me, every match is the same importance. “I’m not preparing the match against Man United thinking that we are going to lose and of course I am not preparing the matches against Aston Villa or Sunderland thinking because they are in the bottom this is different.” Despite their current poor run Villa are unbeaten in their last eight meetings with Watford at Villa Park and Flores is in no mood to write them off. “We know Aston Villa. I think they have very good players, at this moment they do not have confidence but we know that they have the potential to win at any moment. We try to be clever, we try to not underestimate the match. Villa boss Garde has ordered Grealish to train with the club’s Under-21s for the foreseeable future after he was seen visiting a Manchester nightclub just hours after Villa’s 4-0 defeat to Everton last weekend. Flores thinks Garde had little choice but to punish 20-year-old Grealish, who has attracted unwanted headlines on several occasions this year. Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores believes Remi Garde was right to banish Jack Grealish from Aston Villa’s first team squad. Press Association
He explains, “She’s pretty responsive. I usually get up before her and I send her the first message in the morning, and not one morning has gone by where I haven’t heard from her by 9 o’clock.”According to Glover, who noted the lack of fencing between pool and pond at the hotel, “I think she drowned.”Photos of the pool deck and patio show that it is not fenced in. In addition, a concrete bulwark separates that area from the pond.The hotel’s management they “are working with the family and the investigation.” Bremer adds that he first knew something was wrong when he did not hear from his wife on Thursday morning.Photo courtesy: Facebook A 37-year-old Utah woman who was reported missing on Thursday has been found dead behind a South Florida hotel.Officials pulled Kelly Glover’s body from the lake behind the Westin Hotel in Fort Lauderdale around noon on Saturday. She was last seen on surveillance video from the hotel, walking down the stairs with no shoes on at around 2 a.m. Thursday. She was staying at the hotel with a friend.Adam Bremer, Glover’s husband, and her family flew from Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday in order to help authorities with the search, according to reports.Fort Lauderdale Police searched the area with dogs, divers and helicopters on that day, but initially did not find Glover, who came to Broward on a work trip.“We’re all just still in shock,” says Melissa Glover, Kelly Glover’s younger sister. “We’re all grieving in our own way.”“Her friend went to bed early [on Wednesday],” Bremer told Miami television station WPLG on Friday. “My wife was still up and her friend woke up around 4 a.m. [on Thursday], and my wife was nowhere to be found and the door was left open.”Authorities do not suspect foul play in Glover’s death.
Buenos Aires: River Plate president Rodolfo D’Onofrio has denied speculation linking highly rated midfielder Exequiel Palacios to Real Madrid.The Argentine media has reported that the Spanish giants are among several European clubs seeking to secure the 20-year-old Argentina international.D’Onofrio said there were no discussions between Real Madrid and River officials over Palacios when the Argentine club was in Spain for the Copa Libertadores final earlier this month. Also Read – Meghalayan mid-fielder Phrangki Buam joins ISL side FC Goa “With Real Madrid we only spoke on one occasion. Emilio Butragueno (Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations) called Enzo Francescoli (River’s sports director) and told him that they would like to talk to us about the player,” D’Onofrio told Argentina’s Radio La Red on Thursday.“But when we were in Spain they did not make any contact with us about him.”Palacios, who has been capped twice for Argentina’s national team, is contracted with River Plate until June 2021. Reports in Argentina have said that River will ask for a transfer fee of 20 million euros for any deal to go ahead. IANS Also Read: Sports News
COLIN Wong won Guyana’s third bronze medal when action in the Singles of the Caribbean Mini and Pre Cadet Table Tennis Championships continued yesterday in the Dominican Republic. In total, Guyana finished with three bronze medals: Wong’s individual bronze, a bronze in the 13-and-under doubles between him and 18-and-under, 15-and-under, and 13-and-under national champion Jonathan Van Lange, and a bronze in the team’s division of the same age group between Van Lange and Krystain Sahadeo.JourneyWong got past home team player Acevedo Andelson 3-1 (11-6, 11-6, 9-11 and 11-5), and Trinidadian Ali Sameer 3-0 (11-8, 11-7 and 11-6) in the first stage of the event on Sunday to top Group Seven of the division.Of the four Guyanese 13-and-under players, only Wong and Jonathan Van Lange advanced past the first round.Van Lange, who finished second in Group Three, defeated Puerto Rican Eliam Davila 3-0 (11-5, 11-3 and 11-9).Later in the day, Wong advanced to the quarterfinals, while his Titans clubmate, Van Lange was knocked out. On Monday morning, Wong defeated Trinidadian Samuel Humphrey by a 3-1 margin to advance to the semi-finals, but he lost to home team’s Rafael Cabrera 1-3. All knocked-out semi-finalists in the tournament finished joint third.Meanwhile, the lone medal hope from the 11-year-old and under division, Ebo McNeil, fell short after losing 0-3 in the quarterfinals.
LEFT-arm spinner Raj Nannan spun his way to a five-wicket haul and the Malteenoes All Stars into the semi-finals of the University of the West Indies (UWI) Unicom T20 tournament on Tuesday night at the Sir Frank Worrell Cricket ground at UWI-SPEC in Trinidad and Tobago. The former national U-15 cricketer, who has had several years of cricketing experience in the Twin Island Republic, where he plays in the domestic league, was able to undermine the batting of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force (TTDF) cricket team to hand the visitors an eight-wicket win.The All Stars, made up of a number of Malteenoes Sports Club cricketers, with several invitees, lost the toss and were asked to bowl first.The home team laboured to 123 before they were bowled out in 19.1 overs. A few batsmen had starts, but they were not able to dominate. Keishawn Dillon led the attack with 20 unbeaten runs, but he faced 19 balls in his innings. Shaquille Johnson and Dion Wells batted with a bit more aggression, but the former lost his wicket for 18 from 12 deliveries and Wells for 15 from eight balls.Eventual Man-of-the-Match Nannan, who opened the bowling, led the attack with 5-19 from his four overs, while Anthony Adams and Kellon Carmichael supported with two wickets each.Rain then forced the use of the Duckworth–Lewis–Stern (DLS) method, which revised Malteenoes All Stars target to 94 off 15 overs.With experienced batsmen Robin Bacchus and Trevon Griffith playing some solid strokes, All Stars were able to race to 95-2 in 10.4 overs. Bacchus made 31 from 22 balls and Griffith 27 from 13.Wells was the pick of the Defence Force bowlers with 2-24 from his four overs.The semi-finals are scheduled for tomorrow and Saturday with the final billed for Sunday. The winners of the competition will collect TT$40 000 (approximately G$1.24M).
USC is in the process of implementing an Iranian Studies Initiative that will begin by offering Persian language courses in Fall 2011, continuing its quest to be a more global university.Because Los Angeles is home to one of the largest Iranian populations outside of Iran, USC is expanding its curriculum to accommodate changes in student demand and the broader global environment, according to Bita Milanian, the executive director of the Farhang Foundation, the Iranian-American heritage foundation of Southern California that approached USC about creating this program.USC will soon offer more classes focused on Iranian Studies and students say they look forward to them. The Iranian Studies Initiative will include three phases. The first phase is introducing Persian Language courses, which will begin next fall.The second will include a minor in Iranian Studies and the third will entail adding a major. According to Milanian, the second and third phase of the initiative will be completed depending on when they receive funds from donors.By adding Persian language classes, followed by a major and minor in Iranian Studies, both the university and the Farhang Foundation hope to create a more globally-aware student body.“As the Iranian community of Southern California region grows, it becomes that much more necessary to offer educational opportunities in the areas of Persian language and Iranian Studies,” Milanian said.The curriculum for the major and minor in Iranian studies is currently in development under the guidance of Kevin Van Bladel, a professor of classics and Middle East studies, and Bruce Zuckerman, director of the Religion department.Van Bladel currently teaches courses on ancient and medieval Iran and has found students are actively asking for more of these courses. Zuckerman specializes in documenting and distributing Arabic texts.“These new [language] courses will provide a deeper specialization and expertise with respect to one of the world’s most ancient and important cultures, in a way that illuminates contemporary issues of great global importance,” said Howard Gillman, dean of the College of Letters, Arts & Sciences.The Iranian Studies initiative at USC is not the first of its kind in the area, as Iranian Studies programs at UCLA and UCSB are already in full swing. UCLA began its Iranian Studies programs almost 20 years ago while UCSB recently acquired its own program within the last five years.“The existence of these centers and their very active programs suggest that there is a demand for Iranian Studies in this region,” Milanian said.Through the Persian language classes and the eventual addition of a minor and major, USC is moving toward better representing the Iranian culture among the university’s community, according to Milanian.“With such an overwhelming presence, the lack of Persian language classes and any Iranian Studies program at the university seemed unjustifiable,” Milanian said. “As the Iranian community of Southern California region grows, it becomes that much more necessary to offer educational opportunities in the areas of Persian language and Iranian Studies.”Hoda Assadian, a graduate student studying industrial engineering and officer for the Iranian Graduate Students Association, is enthusiastic about the new program.“We have a big community here in L.A. and we have a lot of second generation kids who are really not aware of the culture,” Assadian wrote in an e-mail. “Not only is the initiative seen as a way to inform, but also as a way to unite those who are Iranian or interested in the rich 3,000 year old culture.”The IGSA has played a large part in raising awareness about the new program by reaching out to both Iranian and non-Iranian students.Assadian said a program like USC’s is important in trying to fight the misconceptions about Iran.“The Iran we see now is not a true picture of what we are, having these studies will help tell what the Iranian culture is really about,” Assadian said.Kassie Simmons, an undeclared freshman, said she would definitely take advantage of Persian language courses that will be offered next fall.“Learning the basics of Iranian culture starting from the language can satisfy my interest in the foreign aspects of the world, especially the Middle East,” Simmons said.
Junior guard Donte Smith thought he had an open fast break layup and an opportunity to close UCLA’s eight-point lead. Instead, Smith found himself stumbling to the ground with a little more than four minutes to go.The Bruins’ Lazeric Jones had chased him down and cleanly rejected the shot. Jones stuffed the ball back into Smith’s hands, knocking Smith off-balance and sending him hurtling toward the hardwood.That’s the type of night it was for USC and its guards as they fell 64-50 to crosstown rival UCLA (15-7, 7-3).Despite 32 combined points from junior forward Nikola Vucevic and senior center Alex Stepheson, the Bruins controlled the game throughout. While Vucevic and Stepheson had success in the post, the Trojans had not perimeter game.The Trojans’ (12-11, 4-6) starting guards managed only seven points. USC’s second-leading scorer junior guard Jio Fontan was held scoreless for the second time in three games. He had not been previously held scoreless in his college career.USC managed only 15 second half points and didn’t have a single perimeter point in the final 25 minutes of play. As a team, the Trojans made only four jump shots in the game.“We only had five turnovers,” said USC coach Kevin O’Neill. “But we didn’t make enough [shots] and they made them.”As a team, the Bruins shot 48 percent while, on the opposite end of the spectrum, USC made only seven field goals in the second half, shooting 30 percent after halftime.USC showed some life at the end of the first half, finishing on a 9-2 run, punctuated by a Maurice Jones drive and dish to Vucevic for an emphatic slam just before the first half buzzer expired. The run trimmed the lead down to a one-point at halftime after the Bruins had led by nine.However, Vucevic scored only six of his game-high 18 in the second half.Just like the first crosstown showdown this season, UCLA entered on a hot streak having won five of six. But unlike last month’s game, the Bruins assured themselves a victory by jumping out to an early lead with a 12-4 run after Stepheson scored the first two points of the game. UCLA would not trail again.Freshman center Joshua Smith came off the bench to lead UCLA with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting. He also collected six rebounds.“Josh gave us big minutes off the bench and also provided us great offense,” said UCLA coach Ben Howland. “We’re starting to see glimpses of what he’s capable of.”Wit his presence in the lineup, UCLA closed the game on a 16-5 run.The Trojans have a week to lick their wounds before hosting the Oregon schools.“We have to approach it now like it’s an eight-game season going into the conference tournament,” O’Neill said.The Trojans ‘eight-game season will begin next Thursday at 8 p.m. when they play Oregon State at the Galen Center.
Junior guard Ben Brust leads the Badgers after their first four games averaging just over 14 points per game for the cardinal and white, while also adding an average of 9.3 rebounds for UW.[/media-credit]The Kohl Center was sparsely populated Tuesday night when Wisconsin welcomed Presbyterian to town.But those who made it out had a chance to watch one of the best offensive performances in recent memory for Wisconsin head coach Bo Ryan’s program.Ben Brust recorded his third double-double in his last four games, scoring 20 points and grabbing 12 rebounds as the Badgers (3-1) handled the Blue Hose (0-4) in an 88-43 thrashing.Leading the Blue Hose was Khalid Mutakabbir, registering 14 points and four rebounds on the night, while Joshua Clyburn chipped in 10 of his own.Wisconsin dished out 24 assists to just six turnovers, a marked improvement from its last game, where the team committed an uncharacteristic 16 turnovers against Cornell.“I thought we did a better job of squaring up, getting in position to see the open man, making the next pass,” Ryan said. “I thought they improved.”Whether it was making the extra pass or hot second half shooting – UW connected on 10-of-17 of its second half three-point attempts – Presbyterian head coach Greg Nibert was at a loss of words.“They shot the lights out,” Nibert said. “We’ve played a lot of good teams in this five years of us being Division I, but that was the greatest display of shooting and passing that I’ve seen.”It was over from the start, as the Badgers opened the game on a 22-2 run. UW led at the half 39-15 and at one point led by as much as 52.The Badgers’ defense was solid as well, as the Blue Hose didn’t break double digits on the scoreboard until three minutes remained in the first half.Presbyterian decided to play a 1-3-1 zone rather than matchup against a taller Wisconsin squad, solidifying the middle against players like Jared Berggren, Frank Kaminsky and Ryan Evans.But Brust, who shot 6-for-9 from downtown, and his teammates moved the ball extremely well around the perimeter, tiring out their opponents and finding the open man.At one point, Brust pulled up from just three steps beyond half-court, hitting nothing but net.“We tried to pick our poison,” Nibert said. “We didn’t want to be chasing them around there with our size. We’re a little bit smaller and had some bad matchups … we tried to go with the zone and hope like heck that we could contest every shot.”The crisp passing around the arc also wore down the Presbyterian players throughout the game, as the team only played a six man rotation, with four starters recorded over 30 minutes.When the final horn sounded, six different Badgers had made a three-pointer against the Blue Hose’s zone defense.Freshman Sam Dekker continued to show his value to the Badgers, scoring 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting – 2-for-4 from beyond the arc – in just 15 minutes of play off the bench.Fans at the Kohl Center have already embraced Dekker in the young season, taking notice of the highly-touted freshman’s play. It was further evident Tuesday night as a buzz and gasp was audible every time Dekker pulled the trigger on a three-point attempt.“I just try to provide a spark for our team,” Dekker said. “I’ve never had to come off the bench before, but now that I’ve done it for the past few games I’ve gotten used to it and I try to come out and bring energy on the offensive and defensive end.”But, while Dekker was the spark, Brust was once again the star of the show for Wisconsin.In just his fourth career game as a starter, the junior guard showed his range as a three-point specialist and outhustled every Presbyterian player on the floor for his 12 rebounds, hounding the glass and also recording two steals, constantly testing if his defender was paying attention.“He’s got a nose for the ball,” Ryan said. “The opportunities are there sometimes, the shots bounce his way. He’s working hard, he’s getting the opportunities and he’s taking advantage of it.”Wisconsin’s defense held Prebyterian to 36.4 percent shooting from the field and just 33.3 from beyond the arc. The number would have been far lower if the Blue Hose did not bury three consecutive three-point attempts to close the game.“Somebody told me ‘you don’t ever want to come up here and play Wisconsin,’” Nibert said. “I’ve lost some games, but I don’t think we’ve ever lost as bad as we lost tonight. It was against a heck of a team and a heck of a coach.”