Everton manager Roberto Martinez will reject John Stones’ transfer request

first_img Press Association Everton manager Roberto Martinez remains adamant John Stones will not be sold despite the player submitting a transfer request and the “circus” which currently surrounds him. The 21-year-old played in the 5-3 extra-time Capital One Cup win over League One Barnsley just 24 hours after telling the club he wants to leave in order to join Chelsea, who have failed with three bids for the England international. Despite the prospect of the Stamford Bridge side returning again with an offer greater than their last £30million bid, Martinez insists the centre-back will not be leaving and pledged to look after a young player he believes is under huge pressure. “John, for a young man under massive pressure, was terrific,” said Martinez, who revealed he had not yet rejected the transfer request but would do so in the morning as he had been focused on the match. “I am repeating myself but I don’t think it is right for the football authorities to allow the window to be open when there are important games. “We shouldn’t put our players under that massive pressure. It becomes a bit of a circus. “The situation with John is very clear. We care about him, we will protect him and make sure we give him everything we can to allow him to enjoy his football. “Clearly we have got to a point – in life and football – when sometimes money can’t buy everything and I think that is going to be a very strong statement at Everton. “We have a chairman who will do the right thing for the club and for the team and as a true Evertonian we are clear he will not be easily influenced in taking the money and accepting things which will clearly make our team weaker. “This is not a moment of the campaign when we can use any money to get us stronger.” “It is a reminder for everyone that whenever you go into a game it does not matter what type of opposition you play, if you are not 100 per cent you will find it tough,” he added. “I was delighted with our reaction in the second half. Some of the football and goals and chances were fantastic. “We should have scored more and it shows a really strong intent that sends a message we really care about the cup and want to do well.” Barnsley head coach Lee Johnson could not fault his players for their performance. “I am very proud. For large parts of that game we were equal to a top Premier League side,” he said. “We are disappointed not to come out of the tie winning, certainly given the position we were in, but I am so pleased with the players.” last_img read more


Parker looks to continue to gain on-field experience as Syracuse faces Cornell

first_img Published on April 15, 2014 at 12:45 am Contact Tyler: [email protected] Midfielder Devon Parker said she sometimes has to pinch herself on the Syracuse sideline. It’s a simple way of confirming that her goal of taking the field against the teams and players she diligently watched on ESPN3 throughout high school has been realized.“When we first played teams like Maryland and Northwestern, I was watching them walk out of the locker room saying, ‘It’s them!’” Parker said. “It just makes me want to try harder.”Lately, Parker has turned her commitment to the sport into more playing time. After spending an entire calendar month watching from the Syracuse bench, the freshman has been a regular in the SU rotation since netting a goal against Harvard on March 18. She’ll look for another opportunity to contribute offensively when the No. 1 Orange (13-1, 5-1 Atlantic Coast) heads to Ithaca, N.Y., to take on Cornell (6-6, 3-2 Ivy League) on Tuesday at 7 p.m.Not knowing what to expect when the season began, Parker said she’s now more comfortable than she’s been all year. The resulting confidence has allowed her to earn an expanding presence on a squad littered with talented upperclassmen.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“With the schedule this year and the amount of difficult teams we play, you have to find your role,” Parker said. “Be comfortable in it and work hard to improve.”Parker was a standout athlete at Portsmouth (N.H.) High School, playing soccer, basketball and lacrosse. She particularly excelled in the latter, tallying 66 goals, 49 ground balls and 103 draw controls during her junior season. Despite all that success, Parker was initially worried her skills wouldn’t translate to the next level.“I was coming from a talent level that wasn’t anywhere near the New York upstate area,” she said. “I was nervous about the speed of the game and how I would fit in a player role, different style.”Fortunately, Parker found that she enjoyed the fast-paced attack run by the Orange. But the new system still provided a steep learning curve, which forced Parker to mostly watch and observe from the sideline through February and early March. She took in everything she could, particularly the constant effort by the midfield unit.Although each midfielder excelled in one particular area, they embraced their role for the benefit of the entire team.If they could do that, so could she.“They sacrifice everything between the two 30s,” Parker said. “When you see that, you can do that in practice. Those kinds of things … that’s the motivation.”The upperclassmen, like senior Amy Cross, have seen the competitive drive in Parker and the team’s other freshmen.“You just see them working hard, and it really gives you hope for the future of this program,” Cross said. “You know you have to do that extra work and you’re going to be on both ends, and it’s awesome to see (Parker) working that hard.”Orange head coach Gary Gait said the sheer amount of lacrosse Parker has played gives her tremendous upside as a budding college player. Throw in her commanding presence and hand-eye coordination, and she can become a key piece for the Orange in the coming years.“She’s got great size, great stick work,” Gait said. “She just understands the game really well.”For now, though, Parker is content to learn from some of the best players in the country and build even more confidence. Then, just maybe, the next wave of lacrosse talent will be watching her on their computers.“Our team has been doing so well lately, and we’ve been given a shot to get in there and show what we can do,” Parker said. “It’s been cool to watch and be able to put that into action the last few games.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more


Astros’ Yuli Gurriel will face hostile environment at Dodger Stadium

first_imgHOUSTON — Yuli Gurriel will arrive in Los Angeles on Monday with a target on his back. Not literally, of course, and Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish has tried to quell any possible backlash against Gurriel’s racially motivated remark and gesture Friday.After hitting a home run against Darvish in Game 3 of the World Series, Gurriel was caught on camera saying the word Chinito – Spanish slang for a person of Chinese descent – and pressing his fingers against his eyes.Gurriel apologized, first through the media, then to the Japanese-born pitcher via text message. Darvish forgave Gurriel and encouraged others to move on.“What he has done today isn’t right,” Darvish wrote on his Twitter account, “but I believe we should put our effort into learning rather than to accuse him. … Since we are living in such a wonderful world, let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger. I’m counting on everyone’s big love.” The following day, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced a five-game suspension for Gurriel. The MLB Players’ Association did not appeal the punishment.But because the suspension will not begin until next season, Gurriel has continued to play in the World Series. He was received warmly during the lineup announcements before Games 4 and 5 at Minute Maid Park. The Astros know that will not be the case prior to Game 6 at Dodger Stadium.“I don’t think I need to talk to (Gurriel) about it,” Manager A.J. Hinch said. “I think everyone is aware it’s going to be a rough setting for him. I don’t think you can convince 55,000 fans to turn the page as fast as maybe the two teams have. And that goes out of support for their own players and their own people.“But Yuli has got a good heart. He made a mistake. He’ll pay for it … obviously in the looming suspension to come but also with the reaction in L.A., I’m sure will be on the aggressive side.” Though Darvish took the high road, MLB has seen fans take the low road before.Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley slid into the leg of then-New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada during the 2015 National League Division Series, fracturing Tejada’s fibula and ending his postseason. The backlash that followed nearly defied precedent. Threats against Utley and his family forced the Dodgers to deploy extra security when the team flew to New York the next day.After the game in which he injured Tejada, Utley expressed his sincere remorse. But those words were lost on Mets fans, who booed Utley mercilessly for the remainder of the series – a trivial gesture in comparison to the off-the-field threats.“It’s not an ideal situation, something you don’t wish on anybody,” Utley said Sunday, “but it is what it is nowadays.”TURNER BRUISEDDodgers third baseman Justin Turner took a hard ground ball off his left calf during Game 4, prompting Roberts to lift him for a pinch-runner in the ninth inning of that game and move him to DH for Game 5.Roberts said the bruise is not serious and “if we were in L.A. (without the DH), he would play” at third base.With the DH and the Astros starting their lone left-hander, Dallas Keuchel, Roberts’ right-handed option to add to the roster was Charlie Culberson. He opted to start Culberson at second base, move Logan Forsythe to third base (positions both are very familiar with) and start Turner at DH.“Charlie has never DH’d. Corey (Seager) doesn’t like to DH,” Roberts said. “So if you put that all together and he (Turner) is fine with it, why wouldn’t you?”BULLPEN INCOGNITODodgers left-hander Rich Hill was in the bullpen and available for use in Game 4. To try and go unnoticed, he tried to disguise himself by wearing a hoodie and adding towels under his jacket.Roberts said having Hill, who will start Game 6 Tuesday, available Saturday night was “part of the plan – but the outfit or whatever, that was on his own.”Darvish threw just 49 pitches in his Game 3 start but Roberts said he would not be in disguise in the bullpen Sunday. Darvish is lined up to start a potential Game 7 on Wednesday in L.A.ALSOAccording to a report on FanRagSports.com, the Philadelphia Phillies have decided to hire Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler as their next manager, pending an official announcement. Kapler did not respond to a text message Sunday. Kapler was the runner-up to Roberts to replace Don Mattingly as Dodgers manager in 2015. … According to the network, Game 4 of the World Series registered 15.9 million viewers across FOX, FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO. That’s down 8 percent compared to last year (16.7 million), when the Cubs played the Indians, but up 13 percent compared to 2015 (Royals-Mets) and up 43 percent compared to 2014 (Giants-Royals).Staff Writer Bill Plunkett contributed to this report.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more


Cole Anthony’s injury extends North Carolina’s losing streak, presents big challenge for Roy Williams

first_imgThat’s one way to see how bad this could get.MORE: SN’s college basketball All-Decade teamAnthony’s offensive rating ranked fifth in the country among high-usage players. Only 16 Division I players out of more than 4,000 used more possessions than he did through his first nine games as a collegian. He led the Tar Heels in minutes at 33 per game, has attempted 67 more shots than his next-busiest teammate — even while playing one fewer game — and still accounted for 13 more assists than any other North Carolina player.This season just became one of the most daunting of Roy Williams’ Hall of Fame career.”Obviously not having a player of Cole’s caliber will be a tremendous challenge to our young team, but we have to play,” Williams said in the school’s release. “No one player is going to replace the production Cole Anthony gives us, so it’s up to everyone who puts on a North Carolina jersey to raise his game and help our team play better.”Without Anthony, junior K.J. Smith will inherit much of the point guard responsibility. After playing little in the first nine games, he went 26 minutes against Wofford and delivered four assists while committing two turnovers. He is the son of former North Carolina All-American Kenny Smith. Anthony has considerable ballhandling help from wing Brandon Robins, who is averaging 3.2 assists, including five in the game against Wofford that Anthony missed. He went 33 minutes, scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds in that loss.Even with Anthony, who is considered a likely top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Tar Heels had trouble generating sufficient offense to be dangerous against many of their best opponents. They scored 49 points against Ohio State and 47 against UVa, although they earlier had been successful in games against Notre Dame and Oregon, now the No. 8 team in the AP poll. It’s four losses in a row now for the North Carolina Tar Heels: Ohio State, followed by Virginia, then Wofford and now, perhaps worst of all, star freshman point guard Cole Anthony will be lost for four to six weeks following knee surgery.The Tar Heels could survive each of the first three defeats. Ohio State holds the No. 1 rating at KenPom.com, so falling to the Buckeyes was no shame. Virginia is the reigning NCAA champion and has the nation’s highest-rated defense by a significant margin. The Wofford game was at home, and this is not the same team that dominated the Southern Conference and advanced in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, but the Heels were playing that game without Anthony. The Heels have a busy week with a trip Wednesday to Gonzaga followed by a visit to Las Vegas to face UCLA in Saturday afternoon’s CBS Sports Classic.The good news is their early ACC schedule is not overwhelming. Their next six league opponents, starting Jan. 4 against Georgia Tech, have an average KenPom rating of 82. This does not mean the games should be easy, but it’s not the same as dealing with Duke (No. 2), Louisville (No. 3) and Florida State (No. 16).If the Heels can find a way to perform respectably between now and Anthony’s possible return — the outer boundary of the projected recovery time is around the date when the Heels travel to rival NC State — they could keep alive an NCAA Tournament campaign.last_img read more