Uganda Cranes close to the Promised Land

first_imgCameroon 1 Nigeria 1Algeria v Zambia (2030)Nigeria 3 3 0 0 9 2 9Zambia 3 1 1 1 5 4 4Cameroon 3 0 2 1 2 6 2Algeria 3 0 1 2 3 7 1Group CIvory Coast v Gabon (1730)Mali v Morocco (1900)I. Coast 3 2 1 0 6 1 7Morocco 3 1 2 0 6 0 5Gabon 3 0 2 1 0 3 2Mali 3 0 1 2 1 9 1Group DSouth Africa v Cape Verde (1700)Burkina Faso v Senegal (1800)B. Faso 3 1 2 0 3 1 5Senegal 3 1 1 1 3 2 4S. Africa 3 1 1 1 4 4 4C. Verde 3 1 0 2 2 5 3Group ECongo Brazzaville v Ghana (1430)Egypt v Uganda (1800)Uganda 3 2 1 0 2 0 7Egypt 3 2 0 1 4 2 6Ghana 3 0 2 1 1 3 2Congo 3 0 1 2 2 4 1Note: group winners qualify for 2018 World Cup in RussiaShare on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 Uganda’s head coach Moses Basena takes part in a training session with his players at Borg al-Arab Stadium near Alexandria, on September 4, 2017, on the eve of their World Cup 2018 Africa qualifier football match against Egypt. AFP PHOTOToday 9pm:  Egypt ?? vs Uganda ?? Live SuperSport  |  Congo vs Ghana 5.30pmCairo, Egypt | LOUIS JADWONG | If Uganda Cranes deny the Egyptian Pharaohs maximum points Tuesday night, they will be within reach of  the “Promised Land” of World Cup Russia 2018.After stand-in coach Moses Basena said he was the Biblical Moses, ready to lead his team to Canaan, the Uganda Cranes team dared to dream, and by the final whistle on Thursday, had beaten Egypt’s Pharaohs 1-0 to top World Cup qualifying Group E.It was Uganda’s first victory over the Egyptians since 1965, and in biblical terms, can be equated to Moses parting the waters of the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross. “I’m the Moses to lead Cranes to the Promised Land” said Basena early last week.Reaching the Promised Land as the Israelites discovered, was fraught with difficulties. That is what Cranes face at Alexandria’s Borg El Arab stadium from 9pm.In African football terms, no task is as big as playing the Egyptian Pharaohs at their own home-ground. Uganda -Egypt battles have been far between, and have mainly been friendlies but still always ended with the Pharoahs winning.Since their first meeting in 1962, a Nations Cup match that Egypt won 2-1 in Ethiopia, Uganda has faced their North African opponents 17 other times, with nine of those being friendlies. Egypt have won 13 of those, lost only two (1965 and 2017) and drawn 3.The last time Uganda visited Egypt in a competitive match was in 1995, a Nations Cup qualifying match that the Pharaohs won 6-0.Cranes believeThe manner of the victory against Egypt last Thursday has left Uganda Cranes believing they can cross the “River Jordan.”“We picked up a good result against Egypt. We need to build on that. It is this group that will do the job,” said Basena, flanked by Ibra Sekagya and goalkeeping coach Fred Kajoba, at one of the team’s last briefings in Egypt.Basena will hope the experience of many of his players who have faced Egyptian opposition in the past year will count in this key World Cup Africa zone qualifying group match.The stadium is the same venue where goalkeeper Denis Onyango lifted the CAF Champions League with South African side Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016. The likes of striker Derrick Nsibambi helped KCCA beat Egyptian side Al Masry in April.“I know the stadium very well. It will be my second time here but I have great memories on this ground. I hope we can enjoy more great memories as Uganda Cranes on Tuesday” said Onyango on Monday.Okwi – PHOTO KCCA MEDIAHow Okwi put Uganda top of World Cup groupBasena has travelled with the entire XI that started against Egypt last Thursday, including livewire Emmanuel Okwi who scored the only goal, and Farouk Miya who has shaken off an injury.Egypt’s 44-year-old goalkeeper Essam El Hadary is a doubt for the game but Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah will get a second chance after some missed chances in Kampala, and will be the main threat.The other strike options Argentine coach Hector Cuper will have are Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny and City winger Ramadan Sobhy.Egypt have not been to the World Cup since 1990 and anything other than a win Tuesday will put Cuper under immense pressure.Uganda has not been to the World Cup before. Defeat will not completely rule out their hopes, but will raise fears again that the best they can achieve is to get physically near the promised land, but like the Biblical Israelites, still need a Joshua to go all the way.SEE LIVE TWITTER FEED PG 2Group ADemocratic Republic of Congo v Tunisia (1730)Libya 1 Guinea 0Tunisia 3 3 0 0 5 1 9DR Congo 3 2 0 1 7 3 6Guinea 4 1 0 3 4 7 3Libya 4 1 0 3 3 8 3Group Blast_img read more

Massive cheating scandal at UNC involved athletes

first_imgUniversity of North Carolina Chancellor Carol Folt, center, addresses the media following a special joint meeting of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees in Chapel Hill, N.C., Oct. 22, 2014. From left are, Kenneth Wainstein, lead investigator, University President Tom Ross and Athletic Director Bubba Cunningham at right. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — An alarming lack of institutional oversight at the University of North Carolina allowed an academic fraud scandal to run unchecked for nearly two decades and has the school reeling from the scandal’s fallout.The latest investigation found that university leaders, faculty members and staff missed or just ignored flags that could’ve stopped the problem years earlier. More than 3,100 students — about half of them athletes — benefited from sham classes and artificially high grades in the formerly named African and Afro-American Studies department (AFAM) in Chapel Hill.A report by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein indicates that the bogus classes ended in 2011. The university has since overhauled the department and implemented new policies, but it must wait to find out whether the damaging new details lead to more problems with the agency that accredits the school. The NCAA, which has reopened its investigation into academic misconduct, could also have concerns of lack of institutional control.“Bad actions of a relatively few number of people were definitely compounded by inaction and the lack of really appropriate checks and balances,” Chancellor Carol Folt said Thursday. “And it was together that really allowed this to persist for such a length of time.”The issues outlined in the report were jarring, including the clear involvement of athletic counselors who steered athletes into those bogus classes. From 1993 to 2011, those classes required no attendance and required only a research paper that received A’s and B’s without regard for quality, a cursory review often performed by an office secretary who also signed the chairman’s name to grade rolls.Those two people — retired administrator Deborah Crowder and former chairman Julius Nyang’oro — were at the center of the scheme. But Wainstein’s report also notes school officials failed to act on their suspicions or specific concerns that came to their attention. It all added up to a series of missed chances to stop the fraud and instead allowed it to escalate.Accreditation questions are now facing the university.The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges had placed the campus on its watch list until this summer and required the school to allow students who took a bogus course to take another for free. The commission will send the school a letter in the next few days asking administrators to demonstrate they are still in compliance with standards required for the seal of approval, SACS President Belle Wheelan said.“What we would do is ask them is, this is bigger than you thought it was, what are you going to do now? It’s a mess,” Wheelan said.The school’s response will be addressed by the 77-member board at its meeting in December, she said.“We are interested in more than anything in making sure that the students don’t run into problems trying to explain any degrees that they have after the fact as a result of this,” Wheelan said.SACS’ core requirements for accrediting a degree-granting university include clear control over “all aspects of its educational program,” including athletics. And the issue of institutional control could impact the NCAA probe, raise questions about what coaches knew and ultimately lead to possible wins and championships being vacated.“If we go back with the NCAA in our joint review, and … if we’ve identified that we have played students who were ineligible, then obviously we would have to vacate wins at that time,” UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham said. “But as long as the courses and the credits and everything count to the accrediting agency, we’re very comfortable with our certification process — that our students were eligible to compete when they competed.”The university’s fate lies in someone else’s hands now after a hands-off approach by administrators and autonomy for department chairs.The AFAM department escaped external reviews required every five years because it lacked a graduate program. Nyang’oro was also exempt from peer reviews for tenured faculty because he was a department chairman.Folt said she believed the school would’ve caught the fraud sooner if not for those since-removed exemptions.The report points out there also were other chances to stop it.Folt is holding everyone accountable.“It really isn’t something that you could look at as only one thing,” the chancellor said. “It had the combination, and that’s why we have to make sure we can’t be complacent about it. We have to accept full responsibility for it.”___Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at read more

Rochester Middle School Science Teacher Names Science Teacher of the Year

first_imgFacebook12Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Rochester School District The Washington Science Teacher Association named Rochester Middle School teacher Pete Duranceau this year’s Science Teacher of the Year for Middle School Education.Duranceau has taught science for 30 years. He pursued the teaching profession because he was interested in having an impact on people and making a difference.“Pete is passionate about kids and science, in that order,” says Rochester Middle School Principal Will Maus. “He regularly, visibly, gets goosebumps in my office talking about student success in science. He’s the most caring science teacher I’ve known.”Duranceau is focused on learning, for both fellow teachers and students. He is his school’s instructional teacher leader for science. He leads his peers through goal setting and attainment, data reviews, lesson planning, and the curriculum review process. If one of his students misses an assignment or scores low on a test, Duranceau sees it as an opportunity for that student to improve, learn more, retain better, and become more proficient at science.  I love my job,” says Duranceau. “In my class, students bring ideas and make decisions. I care, I listen, and we learn together. I’m not going to leave anybody behind.The state award comes with an unrestricted $500 honorarium. Duranceau hasn’t decided how he will spend that money yet, but he would like to use it to support his after-school robotics club, which had teams that placed first and second in the Centralia College tournament last spring.Duranceau will be honored at the 2016 National Science Teachers Association Conference in Portland, Oregon, November 10–12.last_img read more

South Africa and NZ in tense finale

first_imgDUNEDIN, New Zealand (AP):Opener Dean Elgar produced an immense effort of concentration to make 89 as South Africa, reaching 224-6, built a 191-run lead after the fourth day of the first cricket test, which New Zealand made tense with three late wickets.After achieving his highest test score of 140 in just less than seven hours in South Africa’s first innings of 308 – later surpassed by New Zealand’s 341 – Elgar batted six hours in cold, dark and difficult conditions to thwart the home side.Over those two innings, Elgar occupied the University Oval crease for 13 hours, coping with a pitch which was slow and low on the first day and which had become worn and treacherous when he batted through most of the fourth day before falling close to stumps.The left-hander seemed set to become the seventh South African to score centuries in both innings of a test before making an uncharacteristic error inside the last hour, scooping a catch from the bowling of off-spinner Jeetan Patel to New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.Patel featured in New Zealand’s late rally, dismissing Elgar, then bowling Quinton de Kock (4) while fellow spinner Mitchell Santner bowled Temba Bavuma (6) to keep the match closely poised.Captain Faf du Plessis achieved his 11th test half-century and ended the day 56 not out, while Vernon Philander nervously made his way to 1 from 12 balls by stumps.Trailing on the first innings by 33 runs, South Africa began the fourth day at 38-1, with a lead of only five runs. Hashim Amla fell during the morning session for 24, leaving the Proteas 39-2, effectively 6-2 in their second innings and in danger of starting this three-match series with defeat.EVENTFUL PARTNERSHIPIt was then that Elgar’s iron will was most clearly on display. He added 74 in an eventful partnership with J.P. Duminy, then 80 for the fourth wicket with du Plessis, who was still at the crease when bad light ended play at 6.30 p.m..The elongated and disrupted day tested both teams. Play began 30 minutes late because of morning showers and players had been on the field only 20 minutes when forced off through bad light. They were absent only 10 minutes before the light improved and for the remainder of the day, the battle was more against the bitter cold than light or rain.South African-born seamer Neil Wagner shouldered a heavy burden for New Zealand, bowling 27 overs and taking 2-57 while 36-year-old off-spinner Jeetan Patel bowled 36 overs and took 2-72.Elgar took 228 minutes and 144 balls to reach his sixth test half-century, after completing his seventh century on Thursday.CHANCES SQUANDEREDDuminy’s innings of 39 highlighted the many chances New Zealand squandered yesterday. He was spared on 2 when New Zealand wastefully challenged a caught-behind refusal off Trent Boult’s bowling. On 20, New Zealand opted against a review, though replays showed Duminy would have been out lbw to Patel. He was then hit on the pads and New Zealand did review, unaware the ball had taken a thick edge.Duminy’s luck finally ran out on 39 when Wagner hit his pads, he was given out, and his own call for a review was unsuccessful.”We’re in with a chance if we can do something similar tomorrow morning, try to eke out a few wickets then chase a score,” Santer said. “The key thing is we didn’t let them get away, and that’s what we’ve got to do as well.”last_img read more

Belingon banking on support from Filipinos in Singapore in ONE unification bout

first_imgMOST READ Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum LATEST STORIES Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next It was in that same venue where Belingon saw former ONE World lightweight champion, and Team Lakay teammate, Eduard Folayang hoist the belt as a chorus of cheers rained down from the rafters.READ: Belingon gets ONE title rematch vs Fernandes in SingaporeFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“I was there when Eduard Folayang pulled off the unexpected against Shinya Aoki to capture the ONE World lightweight title in 2016,” said Belingon (19-5). “Filipino fans were cheering for Eduard from start to finish and the stadium erupted from the chants of countless Filipinos when he was officially crowned as the new ONE World lightweight champion.”Thousands of Filipinos live in Singapore to work and some of those have already formed families in the city-state, and these are the ones Belingon expects to give him support that could be similar to what he can receive if he fights in the Philippines. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Alvarez eyes third lightweight title, says ONE offer ‘too good to turn down’ Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Kevin Belingon. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netKevin Belingon may be going into neutral territory when he faces Bibiano Fernandes in their title unification bout for the ONE World bantamweight championship, but he still expects a booming response befitting of a hometown crowd.Belingon, the interim bantamweight champion, will have his rematch against the Brazilian Fernandes, the ONE World bantamweight champion, at Singapore Indoor Stadium for the ONE: Heart of the Lion card.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college “I expect the same support, and hopefully an even bigger turnout from Filipino fans when I challenge Bibiano,” said Belingon, who is riding a six-fight winning streak.READ: Written off at first, Folayang pens own story with ONE title winBelingon’s last fight was against Martin Nguyen for the interim strap.“Our country is known for its passionate and knowledgeable fans who never fail to show massive support for one of their own,” said Belingon.“I know how big of a following ONE Championship has from Filipino fans. I’m confident that they will flock to the stadium and show support in what would be the biggest and most important bout of my career. A huge Filipino crowd will surely help bring out an inspired performance from me as I attempt to bring the gold-plated belt back to the Philippines.”ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines?last_img read more

‘Economic Genocide’

first_imgThe new Third Party Insurance policy and vehicles registration scheme embarked upon by national government is being seen as a “serious economic genocide of the masses,” said the deputy secretary general of the National Patriotic Party of Liberia.Addressing a news conference Monday, March 10, in Monrovia, NPP deputy secretary general Marvin Cole described the process as a calculated plan to unleash untold suffering on the common people who are affected by government regulations and policy.He maintained that forcing private, commercial and business vehicles to get insurance registration while all government-owned vehicles are not covered is unfair.“Government vehicles should be the first category to be covered under this policy,” Mr. Cole declared.“Suppose a government vehicle hits me and is in the wrong, who takes responsibility for the damage? Attempting to enforce the law but not abiding by it is ridiculous. You who preach equity must come forward with clean hands. Laws should be created to help citizens, but it seems this new insurance policy is meant to cripple the economy. I realized that Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham Kromah, and other security officers are in streets enforcing the law, yet their vehicles are not insured.“We think this action on the part of the police amounts to an economic crime. This exercise prevents vehicles in Monrovia from transporting food to other parts of the country while vehicles from the opposite direction are denied entry into Monrovia,” Cole pointed out.“If the government who have all the resources in this country cannot be covered under this scheme; how can private cars owners go about said regulations?”The party wants government to halt and redesign the process to ensure that all government cars are signed up under this arrangement.The NPP further called on the National Road Transport Union of Liberia to stage a sit-in action demanding a restructuring of the plan.Meanwhile, many commercial drivers interviewed by the Daily Observer have expressed dismay over the US$300 fee required to sign up for the insurance scheme.One driver, Mr. Eugene Allison, described it as “extremely expensive and to the disadvantage of struggling drivers.”“Imposing such a high cost in a short period without the aid of a massive awareness campaign is counterproductive. I appeal, on behalf of Monrovia’s drivers, that more time be provided in order to allow us to generate said amount,” Allison declared.The Liberian National Police and the Ministry of Transport on March 1 began enforcing the nationwide Compulsory Third Party Insurance policy intended to have all business, private and commercial vehicles covered under the scheme. Since then, hundreds of vehicles have been grounded, leading to a major transportation crisis in the country. Commuters can be seen standing on the side of the road waiting for transportation for hours.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Thank God for men of conscience!

first_imgDear Editor,Mr Charrandas Persaud, the AFC Member of Parliament has voted in favour of the no-confidence motion thus paving the way for fresh elections in three months (90 days). Now this decision of his is of major significance in that it means that he has gone against the intentions of his party, and Government on a whole. It means that he has put his life on the line since the PNC, who is the major partner in this coalition are also notorious bullies known to have been associated with very heinous, ghastly acts when dealing with those whom they consider dissidents and subversives.Already there are open calls for his lynching from persons of the likes of a “vulgar” Lawrence in this PNC-controlled, PNC-dominated Government. He knows that there might very well be a grave and morbid outcome to his yes vote.Mr Charandass is a courageous and brave man of noble character, and as he rightly said, his conscience is clear now and he voted on that aspect. I commend Mr Charandass, in fact the nation of Guyana commends you on such a noble, brave, honest and straightforward approach to the political and social situation here in Guyana. Let the nonsense of a disgraceful PNC-controlled Government stop now! Let the stranglehold of backwardness cease now! I think he would have decided in the inner sanctum of his conscience I cannot go on living a lie, I have a soul, I must be true to myself. Enough is enough this country needs to breathe again.We commend him for standing up to a bully and making that altogether giant step in doing the right thing. God bless you and will take care of you Mr Charandass.Now this is just the first hurdle, the second – and I think this is the most important of all – is the removal of the unilaterally appointed Chairman James Patterson. For anything sane and fair to be accomplished at the elections commission this guy has to vacate that position, because the PNC will use him to commit another act of fraud against the people of this country.The PPP/C in the next few weeks will be on an entreaty of the appeal court to expedite the process of the rescinding of the appointment of a handpicked GECOM Chairman. Guyana must rise again on a free and democratically elected, peace loving, progressive thinking, Government.Respectfully submitted,Neil Adamslast_img read more

Brassington sells IT company for US$500M

first_imgGuyanese Jonathan Brassington has sold his company, LiquidHub, one of the Philadelphia area’s information technology success stories in recent years, to a France-based consulting giant. The entrepreneur is the brother of Winston BrassingtonLiquidHub CEO Jonathan BrassingtonCapgemini, a US$15.6 billion (yearly sales) Paris-based professional-services and consulting firm, said on Monday it has purchased LiquidHub, the US$250 million (yearly sales) “digital-customer engagement” IT and business-staffing and consulting firm based in Wayne. LiquidHub, which has 2000-plus employees, counts GlaxoSmithKline, Independence Blue Cross, Merck, Subaru, Vanguard, and other big employers as clients.Capgemini officials said they paid around “two times revenues” or about US$500 million. In a statement, Capgemini, which competes with Accenture, Deloitte, Infosys, and other US- and India-based firms for global IT clients, said it bought LiquidHub to acquire its “seasoned design thinkers, user-experience designers, digital architects, and analytics specialists” who “will join Capgemini’s digital teams to create, for its clients, [digital] experiences that help to attract, acquire and retain customers”.Pennsylvania taxpayers helped LiquidHub thrive in its early years: “In 2004, LiquidHub received US$100,000 through (the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development’s) Opportunity Grant Program and US$100,000 for job training through the Customised Job Training Program,” state spokesman Michael Gerber confirms.In exchange, LiquidHub promised to “create 83 jobs” in the state and retain 90 more, and to invest US$730,000. Then in 2010 – three years after CreditSuisse’s US$20 million investment — LiquidHub received another US$100,000 State Opportunity Grant, plus “US$312,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits for an expansion of its Tredyffrin Township facility”, in exchange for creating 104 new jobs and keeping what were by then 202 existing jobs, while also investing at least US$508,000. LiquidHub “exceeded all of these obligations”, Gerber concluded.LiquidHub owners who presumably will be enriched by the sale include founders Rob Kelley, Lee Yohannan, and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brassington, three alumni of Philadelphia’s former Broadreach Consulting who started LiquidHub in 2000, and investor ChrysCapital, based in the Indian Ocean island nation and financial hub of Mauritius. CreditSuisse had led investors in raising US$20 million for the company back in 2007.ChrysCapital invested US$53 million in LiquidHub in 2015 and promised to back acquisitions worth more than US$100 million. LiquidHub later bought digital designers Foundry9 of New York and Harold Hambrose’s ElectronicInk of Philadelphia, client service firms HarvestSolutions of Boston and San Francisco, and ClosedWon of Albuquerque, New Mexico. LiquidHub also bought Annik Technology Services of Bellevue, Washington, and Redkite LLC of New York, speeding the company’s rapid growth in the last three years.The deal will help sell LiquidHub’s consulting, design, and staffing services — targeting drug, financial, health insurance, and other industry solutions — to Capgemini customers, using the buyer’s “global reach” to “augment and expand our offerings”, Brassington said in a statement.Brassington moved to Pennsylvania to study maths and computer science at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania, at the urging of his aunt, a Catholic nun. He later added a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania engineering school, where he is a member of the board of overseers, and has taken an active role in educational and tech promotion groups in the region.Capgemini has offices in dozens of US cities, including the Philadelphia suburb of Horsham. Capgemini has lately purchased a string of companies with North American operations that help build “compelling customer experiences” for corporate clients and their customers, including design strategy and consulting firms Idean (2017) and Fahrenheit 212 (2016). Both of those companies now operate as part of Capgemini, and each has offices in New York, San Francisco, and other US cities.LiquidHub was “a natural fit”, Capgemini Chairman and CEO Paul Hermelin said in the company’s statement. He praised LiquidHub’s “customer-centric mind-set” — and its “impressive employee retention” in an industry where staff more often is highly mobile, reflecting what is often a project-oriented focus.Capgemini said it expected to finish the purchase in “the next couple of months.” (The Inquirer)last_img read more

Guardiola says repeat of record-breaking season ‘impossible’

first_img0Shares0000Guardiola’s men broke 11 records in all but the former Barcelona coach envisages a far more difficult campaign when the action kicks-off next month.EAST RUTHERFORD, United States, July 24 – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has ruled out another record-breaking Premier League campaign, warning fans that a repeat of last season’s feats will be “impossible.”City’s dominance in England last season was underscored by a slew of records that were set as they romped to their first league title of the Guardiola era. City became the first ever team in the Premier League to win with 100 points as well as securing the biggest title-winning margin (19 points) by scoring the most goals (106), most wins (32), most consecutive wins (18) and best goal difference (+79).Guardiola’s men broke 11 records in all but the former Barcelona coach envisages a far more difficult campaign when the action kicks-off next month.“We are not going to break any more records in the Premier League, it is impossible… it is almost impossible,” Guardiola said Tuesday ahead of his team’s International Champions Cup friendly with Liverpool in New Jersey on Wednesday.“I have to see the faces of my players in the next two weeks when they are together because we are here without 15 players. When we come back we have four or five days to prepare for [the Community Shield] against Chelsea and we are going to see their faces.“The target is win the next game and how to prepare to win the game, that is the target. The records we took last season was a consequence of what we’ve done every single day. That is the point.“If we are going to compare November, December, January, comparing the position, we are going to lose all the comparisons with what we have done last season.”Guardiola meanwhile signed a new contract in May which ties him to Manchester City until 2021 – the longest commitment he’s ever made since becoming a manager in 2008.The Spaniard knows, however, that nothing is certain.“When we decided to extend the contract, first of all I am comfortable, the second one is the club trust what we are doing,” he said.“The people at the club … know it depends on results. We have three more years contract, but the results will dictate what will happen in the future.“If we are not able to be consistent and be there to win the title. That’s the most important thing to arrive in April and May and be there for the title.“Football trainers always we are in a dangerous position.”Guardiola meanwhile said he was unfazed by the lavish spending of City’s Premier League rivals.Wednesday’s opponents, Liverpool, have splashed out £250 million ($328 million) since January in a bid to build a team capable of challenging for the title.Guardiola has only brought in £60 million Riyad Mahrez from Leicester in the close season but remains happy with the nucleus of the squad which saw him dominate the Premier League last term.“Every club does what they believe, I understand completely,” said the City manager when asked about Liverpool’s activity in the transfer market.“They are contenders to win the title, Liverpool are always a contender because of the history they have.“I am not concerned what someone says one day. If Liverpool believe they need these players for this kind of money, that’s fine. If they think it’s best for them, that’s perfect for them.“All the contenders, United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham will be stronger.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Watford planning summer swoop for former Arsenal captain

first_img1 Watford are planning a summer swoop for former Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaelen.The Belgium international is currently enduring a miserable time at Barcelona and has spent this season on loan at Roma.The centre-back has failed to establish himself at the Italian side too and they have opted against signing him this summer.But, according to Spanish newspaper Sport, Watford are prepared to swoop for Vermaelen when the transfer window opens.Barcelona are reportedly willing to let the 31-year-old leave on loan again in the hope he can eventually secure a permanent move.Vermaelen has plenty of experience of playing in England having previously spent five seasons at Arsenal. Thomas Vermaelen has spent the season on loan at Roma having struggled to make an impact at Barcelona last_img read more