Gayle set for Crystal Palace exit with Newcastle, Norwich and Derby in the hunt

first_imgNewcastle, Norwich and Derby are in a three-way race for Crystal Palace outcast Dwight Gayle.The 25-year-old striker is expected to leave Selhurst Park this month after making just one appearance since October.Gayle almost left the club in the summer but decided against a switch to Bristol City, who had a reported offer worth around £6million accepted by Palace.But after starting just four Premier League games all season, he looks set to finally leave and there are three clubs now in the hunt.Both Newcastle and Norwich are understood to be interested in offering Gayle the chance at Premier League football, with their striking options limited.Meanwhile, promotion-chasing Derby – who are currently second in the Championship – are also lining up an offer for the forward.Londoner Gayle, who started his career at non-League Stansted, was signed by Palace in what was a club-record £4.5m deal from Peterborough in 2013.He has gone on to score 12 goals in 55 league outings for the club with another 11 coming in nine cup games. 1 Crystal Palace striker Dwight Gayle last_img read more

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Ex-Arsenal star says he has point to prove in Premier League

first_img Benik Afobe New Bournemouth signing Benik Afobe insists he has a point to prove in the Premier League.The former Arsenal forward joined the Cherries from Championship side Wolves for a fee of around £12m at the weekend.Despite a number of promising loan spells in the lower divisions, Afobe never managed to make the grade under Arsene Wenger but insists he is capable of dealing with the demands of the top-flight.“I am massively excited about this move,” he said.“I have dreamed of playing in the Premier League since I can remember.“I am a player that scores goals, I’ve always done that. But I also work hard and like to link up with other players“I am only 22 so I know I’ve got a lot of improving to do. I know I am not the finished article yet, I have things to work on.” 1last_img read more

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Arsenal blow! Striker rubbishes claims he is set to leave Borussia Dortmund

first_img1 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has rubbished claims he is off to Arsenal or Barcelona.The Gabon international was recently voted African Footballer of the Year and he has 18 goals in 17 league games this season.The 26-year-old’s form has led to interest from Arsenal and Barcelona, who have been linked with bids of over £40m.But Aubameyang has moved to end all speculation by insisting he is happy with his current club.“I still want to achieve lots with Dortmund,” Aubameyang told Bild.“I am here and nowhere else – not at Arsenal, not at Barcelona, not on the moon – you can see that.”last_img read more

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‘I feel good and I am back in the race!’ Jurgen Klopp back at Liverpool after surgery

first_img Jurgen Klopp 1 Jurgen Klopp has returned to work with Liverpool less than 48 hours after having his appendix removed.The German was absent from Anfield for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland as he was undergoing surgery at Aintree Hospital after becoming ill.But the 48-year-old was back to work at home the following day, reviewing the weekend’s game, and decided he wanted to be involved in Monday’s preparations for the FA Cup fourth-round replay against West Ham at the club’s Melwood training ground.“I feel good and I am back in the race,” said Klopp.“I figured if I feel bad I should stay at home, but I feel good.“If I am not fit then I cannot help here and I would be at home. Everything is okay and we don’t have to talk about this any more.“I am very thankful for our doc (club medic Andy Massey) because he said we should go to hospital – I was not too sure – and the surgeon was great, a season ticket-holder who told me we both didn’t want to see the game, I had the best nurses and everything was okay.“I watched the (Sunderland) game yesterday. I spoke to all my coaches and what I heard before (he saw it) was what I saw afterwards.“It was not necessary to give the points away but that is not something we can change. It makes no difference if you are in a deep sleep or on the bench – you can’t change it any more.“There were a lot of positive things and if you pick out the last 10 minutes it was a really good game; how you should play and we should have scored a few more goals.“How we conceded the goals was not too good, how it is always, but it is not the only information I need to understand what our situation is at this moment.“It is over and in this moment it is easier for me to say we have to carry on.”Klopp will be on the touchline for the trip to Upton Park, although he accepts he will not be his usual highly-animated self in the technical area.“I think I am experienced to know that for me it is not a normal coaching game so I won’t be jumping about,” he said.“I can’t win the game with my emotions outside, I know this, so I can handle it no worries.“I have a few holes in my body so hopefully the water will stay in!”last_img read more

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Wenger: Arsenal must focus on not conceding rather than scoring against Barca

first_img Arsene Wenger 1 Arsene Wenger will look to ensure Arsenal do not concede an away goal when they host Barcelona in the Champions League – saying he would settle for a second stalemate in a matter of days.The Gunners boss has always been an advocate of attacking football but that philosophy has seen his side endure a torrid run in the knockout stages of the competition as they have not got past the round of 16 for the past five years.During that time Arsenal have made life hard for themselves by losing the first legs to AC Milan, twice to Bayern Munich and then to Monaco last year.In facing holders Barcelona, Wenger knows his team are coming up against the strongest attacking team in world football – with the attacking trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar having scored 91 goals between them so far this season.Arsenal go into the tie on the back of a goalless FA Cup fifth-round draw at home to Sky Bet Championship club Hull.While that result left fans trudging out of the Emirates Stadium at the weekend, Wenger would embrace another 0-0 draw on Tuesday night.“I think we will score tomorrow so I am not too much concerned,” he said.“But it’s true that recently our goals have dried up a bit and that we have to find a way to get that going again.“I am more concerned tomorrow about stopping them from scoring because you can say even at home in the Champions League that 0-0 is not a bad score.“Recently we always made it difficult for ourselves by conceding goals at home and basically the rules of the modern European Cup encourage you to defend at home and attack away because of the importance of the away goal.“Many times I said that should be suppressed because if you concede a goal at home in the Champions League it is a knife in your heart every time. Against big, big teams it becomes very difficult.”While Arsenal have failed to score in four of their last seven games, Barcelona have drawn a blank just three times all season across all competitions and have knocked the Gunners out of the Champions League twice in the last six years.But Wenger says he cannot simply send his team out to play for a draw and believes a win can still be achieved even if they are ultimately outplayed.Asked if he was planning to select a more defensive line-up, the Frenchman replied: “It’s a bit against my nature. I cannot go into a game and think I will just play for a 0-0.“I believe you cannot say you are a big club and you just want to defend. On the other hand, Barcelona are a very offensive team. So to give you no chance at all to score against them is guilty as well.“You have to try to score against them because if they have a vulnerability like we have it is defensively like with any offensive team.“It is quite funny because the one year we beat them, they played us off the park but we still won the game. That can happen.“We played Hull and it was 0-0, we can go to Sheffield Wednesday (in the Capital One Cup) and lose 3-0. So why can’t it be possible the other way around?”last_img read more

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West Ham boss delighted after Everton win: ‘We never lost our composure’

first_img1 Slaven Bilic’s Hammers hit three goals in the final 12 minutes West Ham manager Slaven Bilic admits even he did not know what to do when Dimitri Payet’s last-minute winner went in to keep their Champions League dreams on track.Trailing 2-0 to 10-men Everton – who had Kevin Mirallas sent off in the first half – after goals from Romelu Lukaku and Aaron Lennon the Hammers responded with three goals in the final 12 minutes.Michail Antonio and substitute Diafra Sakho struck within four minutes of each other before Payet popped up in the six-yard area to send the travelling support – and Bilic – into rapture.“I didn’t know what to do. I went down [the tunnel] to calm down and came back straight away,” he said.“It was a great comeback, a great game. To do it like this is unbelievable.“Of course they are going to cause you problems with Lukaku, Lennon, (Ross) Barkley but when we had the ball I always had the feeling we could do it.“I said at half-time ‘We are one down but we are going to do it. We have to be less sexy and more lethal in front of the box’.“We knew it was not going to be one-sided match when you have a player like Lukaku.“When they had the ball, he makes that one-player loss less visible. He creates mayhem.“To come back like this nobody can deny we didn’t deserve it. We showed our quality, we showed our stubbornness and we got a great win.”The turning point was when goalkeeper Adrian saved Lukaku’s 69th-minute penalty which would have put the result beyond West Ham.But from that moment they were resurgent and Everton failed to deal with everything their opponents threw at them.“If they had scored that penalty they would have won the game maybe 3-0 or 4-0,” added Bilic.“What I am pleased the most about – apart from three points – is we never lost our composure, our patience.”last_img read more

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DeGeneres angers pet adoption group

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.DeGeneres went public about the situation Monday while taping an episode of her show to air Tuesday. She admitted she didn’t read all the paperwork involving the adoption. DeGeneres said she spent $3,000 having the dog neutered and trained to be with her cats. But the dog had too much energy and was too rambunctious, she told her television audience. “I guess I signed a piece of paper that says if I can’t keep Iggy, it goes back to the rescue organization, which is not someone’s home, which is not a family,” she said in a show transcript provided to The Associated Press. “I thought I did a good thing. I tried to find a loving home for the dog because I couldn’t keep it.” DeGeneres said her hairdresser’s daughters, ages 11 and 12, had bonded with Iggy and were heartbroken when the dog was taken away. Ellen DeGeneres is in the doghouse with a pet rescue agency after giving a pooch away to her hairdresser because it didn’t get along with her cats. The talk show hostess and her partner Portia de Rossi adopted Iggy, a Brussels Griffon mix, on Sept. 20. But when things didn’t work out, DeGeneres gave the dog to her hairdresser. In doing so, DeGeneres violated an agreement with the Mutts and Moms dog rescue agency by not informing them of the handoff. When the agency called DeGeneres to ask about Iggy, she said she found another home for the dog. The agency sent a representative to the hairdresser’s home Sunday and took the dog away. “Because I did it wrong, those people went and took that dog out of their home, and took it away from those kids,” a sobbing DeGeneres said on her show. “I feel totally responsible for it and I’m so sorry. I’m begging them to give that dog back to that family,” she said. “It’s not their fault. It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have given the dog away. Just please give the dog back to those little girls.” Mutts and Moms, a volunteer nonprofit organization in Pasadena, does not have a listed phone number and didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail request for comment.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Report: Torre may be bound for Dodgers

first_imgAlthough there were multiple reports out of New York on Monday that the Dodgers were close to hiring, or had already hired, Joe Torre as their manager, what little word there was coming from the organization indicated otherwise. That did not mean, however, that the Dodgers aren’t exploring the possibility of replacing their current manager, Grady Little, with Torre, whose 12-year tenure at the helm of the New York Yankees ended last week when Torre rejected a one-year, $5 million contract with incentives. A story in Monday’s editions of the New York Post, citing two sources with “knowledge of the Dodgers’ universe,” said the club is talking with Little about possibly buying out his contract, which also carries an option for 2009. Another story that hit the wires on Monday night, from the Journal News of Westchester (N.Y.) County, which also cited two sources “close to the situation,” said Torre could be named the Dodgers’ manager in the next 24 hours. “There has been a time or two that something has been in the newspaper that hasn’t been true,” Torre said. “There is nothing to any of it, so far.” The key words to that statement might be “so far.” Although nothing appears imminent, there are indications that the Dodgers are at least exploring the possibility of replacing Little with Torre – and it is possible that exploration is going on at a level higher than Colletti. Both Colletti and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said at the end of the season that Little will return in 2008. But that was before it became clear that Torre wouldn’t be returning to the Yankees. Meanwhile, Dodgers officials have been conspicuously silent in recent days, to the point that few in the organization are even returning calls from reporters. The only official comment to come out of Chavez Ravine on Monday was a vague dismissal of the matter by the club’s chief spokesperson. “Grady Little is the manager of the Dodgers,” said Camille Johnston, the Dodgers’ senior vice president for communications. “Beyond that, there is no further comment.” Torre, 67, managed the Yankees for 12 seasons, the longest uninterrupted tenure of any Yankees manager since Casey Stengel (1949-60). Torre guided the club to the playoffs every year and won 10 division titles, six American League pennants and four World Series. But the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since 2000 and were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round each of the past three seasons. One interesting subplot of the Dodgers possibly hiring Torre has to do with Don Mattingly, who was Torre’s bench coach this season and his hitting coach the previous three seasons. Mattingly was widely considered the favorite to succeed Torre until that job ultimately went to Joe Girardi on Monday, and Mattingly’s agent released a statement later in the day saying his client was “extremely disappointed” that he didn’t get the job. The statement went on to say Mattingly had informed the Yankees he wouldn’t accept a position as a coach on Girardi’s staff. That would make Mattingly a natural fit for a potential Torre staff in Los Angeles, especially given that Mattingly’s son, Preston, is a highly regarded Dodgers prospect. Preston Mattingly, a second baseman, batted .210 this season at Single-A Great Lakes. Little, 57, just completed his second season as Dodgers manager. Although he led the club to the playoffs as a wild card in 2006 – the Dodgers were swept in the first round by the New York Mets – the team collapsed down the stretch this year and finished fourth in the National League West with an 82-80 mark after losing 11 of its final 14 games. It was during that stretch, on Sept. 20, that a clubhouse rift between the veterans and young players became public when second baseman Jeff Kent complained to reporters after a loss at Colorado that several of the team’s promising young players, “don’t get it.” That same week, a reporter for the Dodgers’ radio affiliate, KFWB, citing unnamed players as his source, said Little had lost the clubhouse. 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.Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti didn’t respond to messages left both on his office and cell phones. Little didn’t respond to messages left on his office, cell and home phones. But one Dodgers source with knowledge of the situation said “there is no truth to the story as it presently stands,” a long way from saying there is no truth to the story at all. Another source within the organization, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said, “I don’t know where any of this is coming from, but if you write it, you’ll look like an idiot.” Meanwhile, Torre himself made a guest appearance Monday night on the Late Show with David Letterman in which Letterman asked Torre about rumors involving him and the Dodgers. last_img read more

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State facing $10 billion shortfall

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The problems are driven by a combination of declining revenues caused primarily by the weak housing market, a growth in spending for pay raises, a $500 million pension lawsuit, and $174 million to fight the Southern California wildfires. Hill said the state has already used up all its quickest fixes to deal with budget shortfalls because of long-term deficits that have lingered since the dot-com collapse earlier in the decade. Future budget-balancing measures, she predicted, will be more and more painful. “The key thing to remember is all the easy solutions are gone,” Hill said. “To get revenue and spending lines into balance will require some really tough choices.” Schwarzenegger has already reportedly instructed state agencies to prepare cutting up to 10percent in next year’s budget. Schwarzenegger has consistently opposed new taxes since he was elected, and Finance Department spokesman H.D. Palmer said the administration’s focus now is on looking at ways to cut spending, rather than raise taxes. “Knowing the challenges that we face, throughout the fall, my administration has been examining a variety of options to close next year’s budget gap,” Schwarz- enegger said in a written statement released Wednesday. A slowing economy – led by the weak housing market – has opened up a potential $10 billion state budget shortfall over the next two years, just 20 months after Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was plotting how to spend an unanticipated multibillion windfall in tax revenues. The state Legislative Analyst’s Office report Wednesday gives yet another indication of how quickly California’s fiscal fortunes have turned and how volatile the state’s revenue stream can be. The sharp fiscal crunch puts new pressure on Schwarzenegger and lawmakers to consider sharp spending cuts and possibly tax increases at a time when state leaders are in the midst of tackling one big-ticket reform measure – universal health care – and about to begin work next year on another, potentially more expensive overhaul of public education. The projection from Legislative Analyst Elizabeth Hill comes less than three months after the Legislature passed what was believed to be a balanced budget for 2007-08 that had a $4 billion reserve. Now, the state is likely to face a $2 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year – a swing of $6 billion – and another $8billion gap next year. “I have not made any final decisions yet, but it’s clear that the decisions that will be involved will be tough. I have a constitutional requirement to submit a balanced budget to the Legislature in January and I will fulfill that responsibility.” The report landed on the same day that Schwarzenegger’s predecessor, Gray Davis – recalled by voters amid his own budget crisis – happened to be speaking in Sacramento. When asked for a solution to California’s chronic economic fluctuations, Davis reached for a page straight out of a conservative playbook: a constitutional amendment to cap spending. “The only way to avoid this roller-coaster ride is to have a constitutional amendment in place that requires that you put aside 3 to 4 percent of the budget and only draw down on that when the economy is weakening,” said Davis, addressing the Sacramento Press Club. “I hope that as a byproduct of dealing with this budget challenge that the governor and the Legislature deal with this larger question of putting a spending limit before the voters so we’ll have some stability.” Davis said the key is convincing interest groups – including education, which has a guaranteed funding formula approved by voters – that no one is insulated from the ups and downs of the economy. “It’s not realistic for groups to say we have our money locked in no matter what happens,” said Davis, now an attorney for a Los Angeles law firm, Loeb & Loeb. “It’s important for people to accept that reality.” Davis said he takes no pleasure in watching the state head toward a fiscal morass under the man who ousted him in the 2003 recall – and after overseeing one of the worst budget crises in California history. Schwarzenegger inherited a deficit of $16.5 billion. “Life is like a relay race,” Davis said. “When you have a baton you run as hard as you can and hope the next guy doesn’t run in a different direction. I’m glad the governor has not run in a different direction.” The governor’s office said it could not comment on Davis’ suggestion without knowing more details, but the governor pushed for a different balanced-budget initiative in 2005 that was rejected by voters. Conservatives lauded Davis for embracing what has been their siren call. “In concept, we applaud the suggestion that we’ve been pushing for 30 years,” said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association. “When you have someone like Gray Davis, who was burned by overspending, say this, it’s like a reformed alcoholic. This church is big enough for all sinners.” Schwarzenegger must submit his proposed budget in January, and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez, D-Los Angeles, wasted no time Wednesday insisting that the Legislature will not accept a budget balanced on the backs of the poor. sharmon@cctimes.com (916) 441-2101 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Valley name changes go with the territory

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “It has been gut-wrenching to hear how people have talked about our home, but if they are not working to make the community better then they don’t even belong there.” Construction of the San Diego Freeway created the first divide in the Van Nuys community. As early as 1960, real-estate agents in the Valley were marketing homes on the west side of the new roadway as “West Van Nuys.” But the first official name change in the area didn’t come until 1991, when the southern portion of Van Nuys officially became part of Sherman Oaks. Residents at the time said their original home deeds – from as far back as the 1940s – labeled the area as Sherman Oaks, but to date a half-mile strip between Magnolia and Burbank boulevards and from Van Nuys Boulevard to the Tujunga Wash still keeps its original Van Nuys ZIP code. By 1998, the community of Valley Glen had also etched its boundaries out of the eastern portion of Van Nuys and the western edge of North Hollywood. When the Lake Balboa and West Van Nuys movement got its desired name change last month, it left Van Nuys at nearly half its original size – with about 90,000 residents. Most say the name changes stemmed from residential areas wanting to shy away from Van Nuys’ gritty image. But Steve Leffert, president of the West Van Nuys/Lake Balboa Neighborhood Council, said those communities’ motivation to get a name change was more about unity. “After this uphill struggle, we are hoping to put all of this behind and get other things moving to improve our community,” he said. Leffert said the battle may have ended in a victory – but there is still some territory confusion. “Our boundaries still include a piece of Van Nuys and a sliver of Northridge,” Leffert said. But the question for many is what a new name for a community means. According to Councilman Tony Cardenas, name changes can create a false sense of community. “If I had that many people show up to a community cleanup or an anti-prostitution night out it would do much more than changing the name of a few blocks,” he said. Cardenas voted in favor of the Lake Balboa name change but said it was his way of putting an end to the debate. “If I never have to deal with another name change while I’m in office, I would be happy,” Cardenas said. Truth be told, no matter the name a community adopts, it often has little effect on services. “They get no new ZIP code or new services. They will get a couple of signs, but don’t get any more police officers or street cleaning,” Cardenas said. “This doesn’t dictate anything.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Van Nuys is shrinking. But no need to panic – the erosion isn’t new. Lake Balboa and West Van Nuys may be the latest communities to join forces and leave Van Nuys – once hailed as the “town that started right” – but they certainly weren’t the first. “We are working on getting Van Nuys’ name changed to Abandoned Meadows,” joked Don Schultz, a longtime Van Nuys resident and a member of the community homeowners association. last_img read more

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