TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Ex-Tottenham goalkeeper Jordan Archer training with Aston Villaby Paul Vegas16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Tottenham goalkeeper Jordan Archer is training with Aston Villa.He is seeking a new club after departing Millwall in the summer, says the Daily Mail.Archer was released by the Lions at the end of the last campaign and would be an experienced option for a number of clubs, having clocked up more than 200 senior appearances in his career.The 26-year-old will work with Villa goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler and the ‘keepers who have not departed on international duty, Orjan Nyland and Jed Steer, as well as the rest of the squad who have remained at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground.Archer started his career at Tottenham but never made a senior appearance for the club. He joined Millwall permanently in 2015, following a successful loan spell, and made more than 150 appearances for the Lions.
OTTAWA – A federal agency won’t be releasing the results of its review of business practices among Canada’s major banks by the end of the year, as originally anticipated.The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada announced the review in March, after the CBC reported some employees from Canada’s five biggest banks felt pressured to upsell, trick and even lie to customers to meet sales targets.All five banks have denied the claims, defending their practices and insisting that they put the needs of their clients first.FCAC commissioner Lucie Tedesco had indicated to a parliamentary committee in June that an interim report on its review would be issued by the end of 2017 and a full report in 2018.But FCAC spokeswoman Lynne Santerre says that the commission has since determined that the better approach would be to issue one report in the first quarter of 2018.She says that to date, FCAC supervision staff has been reviewing thousands of consumer complaints, interviewing over 500 bank directors and bank personnel, analyzing volumes of bank documents and examining the potential impact of sales targets and incentive programs on consumers.
Stanford1161346%19%3% Penn State—2741<1%<1%<1% Oregon—2532<1%<1%<1% What to watch for this weekSECThe No. 4,1All the rankings I’m using in this article are the committee’s. one-loss Crimson Tide face No. 2, undefeated LSU in what is as close to a play-in game for the playoff as can be devised at this point in the season. Vegas has the Tide favored by about 6 points. That seems about right. After all, the game is in Tuscaloosa, and the FiveThirtyEight model gives home teams a 3.5-point advantage. But Alabama also has a slight edge over LSU according to FPI, despite its earlier loss to Ole Miss.The FiveThirtyEight model gives Alabama a 41 percent chance of making the playoff, largely because they’re favored in this game; LSU’s playoff odds are 30 percent. But let’s answer our first what-if question: How will those odds change after this game? My colleague Jay Boice ran additional simulations contingent on each team winning. In this thought experiment, if the Tide win, their odds would rise to 53 percent; but if the Tigers were to win, their odds would tick up to 45 percent. The Tigers’ odds are still lower, even if they beat Alabama, because their remaining schedule is so grueling. A road game against Ole Miss and a matchup with Texas A&M at home stand out on what is, going into this week, the toughest remaining schedule.(As a diehard fan who was born and raised in Baton Rouge, I’d like to be able to tell my fellow LSU faithful that these numbers favoring ’Bama are made up. But I can’t. What we Tiger fans do have going in our favor is Leonard Fournette, the Heisman Trophy favorite and, as Wright Thompson wrote, emerging legend.)Interestingly, though Alabama is favored to win and gets higher odds of making the postseason, because LSU is undefeated, the Tigers have higher odds (22 percent) of winning the conference, according to our model. (That’s because if LSU stumbles, Ole Miss is in position to win the SEC West with a tiebreaker over Alabama.) But beyond Alabama and LSU, Florida is waiting in the wings with an 18 percent chance of squeezing into the playoff. The Gators are looking like a good bet to win the SEC East, as they face only creampuffs for the remainder of their conference schedule; and if they emerge as a one-loss champion of the SEC, it will be hard for the committee not to include them.Big 12Baylor and TCU are putting up basketball scores each week. High-powered offenses drive the two highest-ranked teams according to FPI. Our model gives undefeated, No. 8 TCU the best chance of breaking into the playoff, even though Baylor is notionally better according to FPI. That’s because the Horned Frogs host the No. 6 Bears on Nov. 27 in what amounts to (assuming both teams are undefeated) a Big 12 championship game the conference never planned.The Big 12 is deep — very deep. Take this week’s biggest game: TCU faces No. 14 Oklahoma State. Although the Horned Frogs look strong according to our model — which gives them a 31 percent chance of making the playoff — the Cowboys can’t be ignored (they have a 6 percent chance themselves). The conference also includes a strong Oklahoma team, whom our model gives a 14 percent chance of making the postseason.Big TenThe FiveThirtyEight model gives No. 3 Ohio State the best odds of making the playoff: 61 percent. Furthermore, we give the Buckeyes a 16 percent chance of repeating as national champs. But look beyond them and you’ll see a strong conference, with the winner likely to be placed in the playoff.Ohio State has a difficult schedule ahead. Like the LSU vs. Alabama game this week, the Nov. 21 matchup against No. 7 Michigan State could be viewed as a de facto national quarterfinal game; Michigan State has a 22 percent chance of being in the final four. The winner likely will face currently undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten championship game.ACCAfter those three conferences, there’s a huge dropoff in quality. With the exception of Clemson, the ACC looks wobbly. That said, the undefeated Tigers are viewed favorably by the selection committee, which gave them their No. 1 ranking. Our model gives them a 51 percent chance of making the postseason (the best after Ohio State), but after them, Florida State is the next best ACC squad, with a 5 percent chance. That said, the Tigers face what is probably their toughest remaining challenge at home against the Seminoles on Saturday. If they survive, a what-if simulation we ran gives the Tigers a 61 percent chance of making the playoff. Furthermore, if they run the table in their remaining games, they’re likely to make the playoff (our model would put their chances at 99 percent), but if they don’t win out, the ACC champion won’t have a guaranteed spot. Why? Because if Clemson loses this week, our model would give both Clemson and FSU about a 15 percent chance.Pac-12What a total mess. Among Pac-12 teams, Stanford has the best chance of making the playoff, at 19 percent. Despite having just one loss, Utah does poorly in our model, registering a 6 percent chance — little better than unranked USC. FiveThirtyEight reckons that if Stanford does win out, it’s 90 percent likely to make the playoffs. In other words, the Pac-12 is not guaranteed a spot right now. To push the Cardinal’s odds up, Clemson would have to slip, and still a second team from the SEC or Big Ten might leapfrog the Pac-12 champ.Beyond The Power FiveThe best bet outside the five major conferences is No. 5 Notre Dame, with a 25 percent chance of making the playoff. Memphis and Houston, as impressive as they’ve been, stand only a 6 percent and 2 percent chance, respectively, of being included. In other words, the stellar mid-major teams should keep rooting for those in the major conferences to cannibalize each other. Good gosh o’mighty, what a college football season so far. It’s early November, and fans have already witnessed:a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;an eight-lateral kickoff return that was returned for a touchdown as time expired;a blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown as time expired; andthe ongoing dominance of the next Herschel Walker.Amid all this excitement, in walks the selection committee to cut the ribbon on its first iteration of this season’s College Football Playoff (CFP) rankings. Unveiled over the next month, these CFP rankings will determine who plays in the second-ever four-team playoff. But reading the CFP tea leaves can be overwhelming.Confused by the CFP committee’s weird pronouncements? Fearful that Condoleezza Rice and her comrades will stab your team in the back? (Baylor and TCU fans, you know the feeling.) Trying to interpret the CFP rankings probably makes you feel like the Michigan guy who made his way around the Internet: Temple22324541%<1%<1% RankingProbability of … Mississippi St.201917<1%3%<1% Northwestern214257<1%<1%<1% Clemson17756%51%12% Oklahoma1516315%14%5% Michigan State731915%22%3% Mississippi18171020%8%2% Oklahoma St.14111415%6%1% Houston25233330%2%<1% Utah12152118%6%<1% Iowa9122925%7%<1% Michigan1722187%6%<1% FiveThirtyEight can’t stop the CFP from screwing your team, but we’re going to try to use numbers and our football knowledge to prevent you from being blindsided.Each week, we’ll break down the latest CFP rankings, preview the big upcoming games and explore what-if questions. As we did last year, we’ll take an iterative and probabilistic approach to project which four teams the CFP committee will select into the playoff on Dec. 6.We’ll cover the Power Five conferences and make a special effort not to ignore the mid-major darlings. Translation: we’ll show Memphis and Houston some love. And as a born-and-raised LSU fan, I’m obliged to exhibit a cocky and blatant SEC bias intended to solicit all your angry emails.Before we dive into the new rankings and preview games by conference, a few nitty-gritty details about the model are worth reiterating from what editor-in-chief Nate Silver has written in greater detail elsewhere on FiveThirtyEight:Game predictions are based on a tweaked version of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) for each team.Based on game results, each team is given an Elo rating that reflects, primarily, its strength of schedule and, to a lesser extent, the margin of victory in its games.Each team is given a new projected ranking based on the previous week’s ranking, the outcome of the game it has just played and its Elo rating.Then the model iterates through the season’s remaining games and, using past coaches’ polls as a guide, tries to predict what the CFP committee will decide.Latest CFP RankingsJust like last year, the CFP committee angered Big 12 fans. Baylor and TCU were ranked sixth and eighth, respectively, while Ohio State is third. One-loss Alabama sneaked in at No. 4 and LSU at No. 2, a clear sign that the committee respects an SEC schedule. But the committee really has a penchant for Clemson, the squad at No. 1. That also helps Notre Dame, whose only loss is to Clemson. The committee puts the Fighting Irish just outside the party at No. 5. Florida State16131513%5%<1% TeamCFPEloFPIConf. TitlePlayoffNat. Title Arkansas—3926<1%<1%<1% Ohio State31447%61%16% TCU84237%31%11% LSU25822%30%8% Memphis13143621%6%<1% Texas A&M193016<1%<1%<1% Toledo24244328%<1%<1% Alabama42614%41%11% UCLA2321225%1%<1% North Carolina—262323%<1%<1% Florida1091241%18%4% Wisconsin—18245%<1%<1% USC—20530%4%1% Baylor610132%31%13% Notre Dame589—25%5%
This time last year, I was sitting in front of my TV, wondering why Ohio State’s special teams play was terrible. Today, I’m sitting in the press box wondering the same thing. In the off-season, coach Luke Fickell assigned special teams coaching duties to coach Dick Tressel. Last year, the team was without a special teams coordinator. Last year, OSU kept teams in games because of special teams mistakes on several occasions.. This year seems to be no exception. In the first half of Saturday’s game against Toledo, OSU had a punt blocked that was returned inside the 1-yard-line. That folly led to an 8-7 Toledo lead. The woes didn’t end with the punting game. Sophomore kicker Drew Basil has now missed both of his field goal attempts on the season. Each kick was in the 40-50 yard range. OSU did have some special teams successes on the day, including one that ultimately kept it in the game. Wide receiver and third punt returner Chris Fields took a line drive punt from Toledo’s Vince Penza to the end zone to put OSU up, 21-15. In the third quarter, defensive back Vincent Petrella tackled Toledo’s holder for a loss after a bobbled snap on a 50-yard field goal attempt, giving the Buckeyes great field position. The ensuing drive led to a TD by running back sophomore Carlos Hyde. With wide receiver and special teams specialist Eric Page creating almost all of Toledo’s offense on the day, I’m more than a little surprised he did not return a kickoff for a touchdown. Page did, however, give the Rockets great field position with almost every kick return, either because of his effectiveness or the fear of kicking to him. Basil deliberately kicked short, line drives on kickoffs to the Rockets to keep the ball out of Page’s hands. Special teams needs to become a priority for the Buckeyes. The touchdown resulting from the blocked punt sparked the Toledo offense and gave them the passion they needed to keep the game interesting. The Rockets were one score away from handing Ohio State a big loss early in the season. Last year the kickoff coverage was the problem for the Buckeyes. This year it seems the entire special teams unit could use an overhaul.
Australia’s Tim Cahill is hoping to score one more time as he looks to join Brazil legend Pele and former Germany strikers Miroslav Klose and Uwe Seeler as the only players to have found the back of the net in four World CupsDespite now being 38 years old, Cahil continues to represent Australia at international level after 14 years and 106 appearances.The forward, who played with Millwall until the end of last season, and has amassed 50 goals in his international career and has scored in three separate World Cup tournaments.Despite now approaching the age of 40, Cahill could achieve something this summer that not even Cristiano Ronaldo has accomplished yet.Neymar targets Ronaldo’s record for Brazil Andrew Smyth – September 10, 2019 Neymar heads into Brazil’s friendly against Peru on Wednesday morning hoping to draw level or beat Ronaldo Nazario’s goal record.“Yeah, it’s amazing, insane,” Cahill told Optus Sport, via Sydney Morning Herald.“To even be mentioned with those greats as an Australian is insane.”Australia will face France in their Group C opener on Saturday.
Inter Milan have confirmed that they have signed midfielder Radja Nainggolan on a four-year deal from AS RomaThe Belgian was seen outside the Humanitas hospital in Milan on Sunday, where he successfully passed his medical and has now signed a contract until 2022 for a reported transfer fee of €24m.“The conditions have been met for a deal for Radja Nainggolan,” Inter’s sporting director Piero Ausilio told the club website.“He is a top player.”Capello calls Lukaku “a modern striker” Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 The former Italian manager believes Romelu Lukaku is perfectly suited for Antonio Conte’s Internazionale Milan in the Serie A.Nainggolan impressed in Roma’s Champions League campaign last season as they reached the semi-finals for the first time since 1984.The 30-year-old made 42 appearances for the Serie A side last season and added six goals and six assists as they finished the Serie A season in third.However, Nainggolan was surprisingly left out of the Belgium World Cup squad by Roberto Martinez with the midfielder later announcing his retirement from international football shortly afterwards.
Andreas Granqvist rates England highly ahead of a potential quarter-final clash between the two nations at the World Cup in Russia.Former Wigan defender Granqvist has warned his Sweden teammates of the threat carried by England, citing striker Harry Kane’s influence on the team.Goal reports that the 33-year-old spoke to the media: “They have a really good team, I have to say,”“They’ve built a new generation with many younger players. Perhaps they have a slightly different English game.”“They are very technically gifted. Harry Kane is an excellent striker who has been doing so well for many years, with many good games.”England faces off against Columbia tomorrow night for a place in the quarterfinals, with Sweden playing earlier in the day against Switzerland.Crouch: Liverpool could beat Man United to Jadon Sancho Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Peter Crouch wouldn’t be surprised to see Jadon Sancho end up at Liverpool one day instead of his long-term pursuers Manchester United. Tomorrow we clash at the World Cup. Can’t tell us apart? Here’s a little help. pic.twitter.com/U3VHXbphSt— Sweden.se (@swedense) July 2, 2018Granqvist added: “They have an important match, we have an important match and we have to see how that all plays out.”Sweden won their last outing 3-0 against Mexico to secure a last 16 berth, while England endured a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Belgium.
Arab officials and foreign ministers pose for a photo during the Meeting of the Foreign Ministers preparatory to the 29th Summit in Riyadh. Reuters Meta:The Gulf crisis, which has seen Qatar isolated by Saudi Arabia and its allies, is not on the table at the upcoming meeting of Arab League states, Riyadh’s foreign minister said Thursday.“The solution of Qatar will be within the GCC,” or the six-state Gulf Cooperation Council, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in Riyadh ahead of the Arab Summit.He was responding to an AFP question on whether the crisis was on the agenda at the meeting on Sunday, which is hosted by Saudi Arabia and joins 21 of the 22 Arab League member states.Syria is technically a member of the league but has been suspended from the summit since 2011 over the government’s role in the war there.Qatar has confirmed its attendance at the Saudi summit.The 10-month Gulf crisis pits Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain against Qatar. It is the worst crisis to ever hit the Gulf, home to both the world’s largest exporters of oil and liquified natural gas-Saudi Arabia and Qatar respectively.Riyadh and its allies broke off relations with Doha in June, accusing it of fostering close links with Tehran and supporting Islamist extremists. Qatar denies the charges.The boycott includes the closure of the small Gulf state’s only land border with Saudi Arabia.Saudi media close to the government this week announced the kingdom planned to dig a canal the length of its border with Qatar, to turn its peninsula neighbour into an isolated island.The planned canal, dubbed “Salwa”, is “funded entirely by Saudi and Emirati private sector investment under full Saudi authority,” Sabq Online Newspaper reported on Monday.The Saudi government has not issued a denial.Kuwait, a member of the GCC, has led mediation efforts in the crisis-to no avail-with the support of the United States.US President Donald Trump had initially supported the Saudi-led economic blockade on Qatar, but aides-mindful of the pivotal role that the Al Udeid Air Base outside Doha plays in US Middle East operations-have since convinced him to take a more moderate approach.Trump met with the Emir of Qatar at the White House on Tuesday, barely one year after alleging Doha funded terrorism at a “high level” and less than two weeks after meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.The president on Tuesday dubbed the Qatari emir a “friend” and “great gentleman”.