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Allardyce hails England hopefuls

September 20, 2020 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: lprxfsblu.

first_imgWest Ham manager Sam Allardyce sees no reason why Carl Jenkinson and Mark Noble should not be able to follow Stewart Downing in playing their way into the England squad. Midfielder Downing, 30, has been one of the stand-out performers in the Hammers’ impressive start to the new Barclays Premier League season, which has seen the east London club climb into fifth place. Downing earned the last of his 34 caps in May 2012, with the former Liverpool man now benefiting from a run in the West Ham side deployed in a more central role by Allardyce. Allardyce, who himself was under plenty of pressure last season, believes people need to look at the bigger picture. “I think if Paul had as much money to spend as Martin O’Neill he would be very, very happy and you would expect he wouldn’t be in this position,” said the West Ham manager. “There was a change of financial policy at Aston Villa and when he eventually took over it was about reduction of wages rather than increase of wages. “When you have had to manage that period and that level it would be the biggest learning experience as a manager that he has ever experienced. “Paul has to do a bit of number-crunching on top of trying to get results. “That is a difficult period to manage because you know at the end of the day it is all about results. “You will get no leeway from the fans because you have reduced the wage bill by half or managed the financial situation if you don’t get results on the field. “Then in between that the owner has decided to put the club up for sale and now everybody is hanging and waiting to see if it will be sold. “It is a very difficult period to manage in and then continue to focus and get results and keep the club around the expectations that Villa fans have, and where they are at the minute is a very bad position.” He believes right-back Jenkinson, on loan from Arsenal, and all-action midfielder Noble must focus on continuing their good domestic form to keep themselves in the frame with national team boss Roy Hodgson, whose side tackle Slovenia in a Euro 2016 qualifier at Wembley a week on Saturday before heading to Scotland for a friendly in Glasgow. “They just have to keep playing well and consistently, winning football matches and keep staying in the top five and that will get them in eventually. You can’t ignore that then,” said Allardyce. “There seems to be a particular problem at right-back at the minute (for England) and I think Carl has got the potential, based on my short time with him, of getting a chance. “Carl has been at Charlton, then Arsenal and he is now playing regularly for us. “It just seems that Kyle Walker has been out for a long time and Glen Johnson at Liverpool seems to get the odd injury here and there. “Right-back has become a bit of a challenge for Roy – who are they? Where are they? And how good are they?” While West Ham have surged up the table with an unbeaten six-match run, Saturday’s opponents Aston Villa have plummeted the other way following half-a-dozen defeats after winning at Liverpool in mid-September. Villa boss Paul Lambert says he does not fear for his job in spite of the poor run of form. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Fiammetta: With Bielema playing ‘respect’ card, Nebraska comes at perfect time

September 16, 2020 | By admin | No Comments | Filed in: yzhnxslpc.

first_imgSunday evening, shortly after yet another demolition of an inferior non-conference foe, Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema sat in the McClain Center media room, talking about things like the Badgers’ strong week of practice, the brief – very brief – moment of “adversity” UW faced in the first quarter against South Dakota and all the “fun things” his team has to prepare for this week against Nebraska.It was all standard fare for a Bielema postgame press conference, particularly in this 2011 season, where the Badgers have won their first four games by a combined 194-34 margin of victory. The questions Bielema and his players have faced thus far typically reference the weaker competition in non-conference play, while some trend toward a sort of nit-picking over the perceived “weaknesses” in UW’s game, such as why the team has committed six penalties in every game or why Alec Lerner’s kickoffs have seemed inconsistent. The answers supplied by the Badgers have been expected, and thus, very few negative things have been written about this team.But Bielema seemed to alter the pattern somewhat in his opening statement following Sunday’s 59-10 victory over the Coyotes. Unprovoked, Bielema played the “respect” card, a bit of a surprise considering the Badgers have already risen to No. 7 in both the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches Poll.“The word ‘respect’ to me means a lot,” Bielema said. “I want people to respect what we do. We spend a lot of time trying to build up a reputation here of playing physical football, a mentality of being able to … put people away and kind of put your foot on them and go. I thought these guys did that.”For a program – and the media covering it – that talks so frequently of “turning the corner” into sustained national prominence, Bielema’s timing in mentioning the level of respect Wisconsin garners is excellent. With the Cornhuskers – as well as ESPN’s “College Gameday” pregame show – finally coming to town for their inaugural Big Ten contest, the Badgers’ couldn’t have asked for a bigger platform under the national spotlight.“[It’s going to be] a great scene, a great environment for college football,” Bielema said. “Hopefully, it’ll be a nice infomercial all week for the University of Wisconsin.”Outside of these two teams, the Big Ten has inspired very little confidence in the college football landscape. Michigan State and Ohio State have each suffered embarrassing non-conference losses, while traditionally mediocre Illinois has emerged as the popular dark-horse candidate. If Wisconsin can turn back Nebraska, it can seize a powerful spot alone at the top of the conference.Sure, road matchups with the Spartans and Buckeyes still loom in late October. But if Wisconsin were to falter against Nebraska, the significance of those contests would be significantly altered.When talking about becoming a consistent national power worthy of the “respect” that Bielema desires so greatly, winning these games against the toughest possible competition is a must. Dominant as they’ve been four games into 2011, the Badgers still have doubters throughout the country. Sure, they’ve looked so good that the only legitimate question seems to be if their sixth-ranked scoring offense and third-ranked scoring defense are benefits of a weak schedule. But that question has been powerful enough to give critics some life. According to, the lowest that voters placed Wisconsin was No. 20.Even the most rational Badgers fans would likely disagree with that ranking, and for good reason. And sure, they could very well be coming from one extra-grumpy beat reporter yet to be drawn to the allure of Russell Wilson’s 75.8 completion percentage or 11:1 touchdown-to-interception ratio or Nick Toon’s five receiving touchdowns.When Bielema revisited Nebraska Saturday, he managed to keep his expectation balanced. Sure, the Badgers want respect. They feel they’ve earned it, but also know nothing’s guaranteed moving forward.“We’ll take it for what it is. I realize from the outside looking in, there’s going to be a lot of eyes on us. But it’s only happening because we’ve done what we did.”Mike is a senior majoring in journalism. What do you think is at stake for the Badgers this weekend? Let him know on Twitter @mikefiammetta and be sure to follow @BHeraldSports for all the latest Badgers news. You can also listen to Mike on WSUM 91.7 FM’s “Student Section,” every Monday from 4-6 p.m.last_img read more

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