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Messages - Shahriar Mohammad Kamal

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Football / Scottish Gossip: Strachan to make Scotland decision this week
« on: October 11, 2015, 04:51:16 PM »
 Gordon Strachan is poised to make a decision on his future as Scotland manager next week, but he has given the strongest indication to date that he will stay on and orchestrate the bid to reach the World Cup finals in Russia in 2018. (Sunday Herald)

Scotland manager Gordon Strachan has been heartened by the response from those members of the general public he encountered on Friday as he cleared his head on a walk round the golf course at his squad's base in Renfrewshire - and by the professionalism of the players, some of whom were involved in an "inspirational" training session on Friday. (Scotland On Sunday)

Gordon Strachan said "we hope to make the nation happy quite soon" as he considers his future as Scotland manager after failure to reach the Euro 2016 finals. (Sunday Mail) 


English / Re: Learn a word every day
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:29:12 PM »
Preen -  to try to look attractive.

English / Re: Learn a word every day
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:26:56 PM »
Jaffle -- A toasted sandwich.

English / Re: Learn a word every day
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:25:41 PM »
Rota- A list showing when each of a number of people has to do a particular job.

English / Re: Learn a word every day
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:24:27 PM »
Unthaw ---- Melt or thaw.

English / Re: Learn a word every day
« on: October 10, 2015, 05:23:11 PM »
Locus-- A particular position or place where something occurs or is situated.

 Former India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar has called for the selectors to scrutinise MS Dhoni's role in the Indian team, and not merely as captain. Agarkar felt the selectors should look at Virat Kohli's performance as the Test captain by comparison, and make a call on Dhoni's role in the limited-overs format after the ongoing South Africa series.

Ahead of the five-match ODI series against South Africa, Agarkar said he was "delighted" that India's squad was boosted by the genuine pace of Umesh Yadav, something he felt was lacking in the T20Is.

"MS Dhoni keeps saying you don't need to be a fast bowler, you need to be a good bowler, but it has been shown in T20s, you need bowlers with quality. They [ fast bowlers] can and will have bad days in the shorter format. And that's where I think the selectors need to almost put their foot down at times with MS Dhoni. He is, at times, way too practical, which doesn't work for the team anymore.

"You would rather have someone [like Umesh] who can make a difference with those one or two wickets which can change the game rather than someone who is going to bowl line and length all day."

India's medium-pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma and S Aravind collectively managed just the one wicket in the two T20Is played, while conceding over eight, nine and 12 an over respectively.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo ahead of India's ODI series against South Africa, Agarkar said "the selectors need to have a closer look at what MS Dhoni is doing, not just as captain, but as a player as well".

Agarkar was especially concerned by Dhoni's declining individual form. "He has been a great player for India, but you don't want him to become a liability for the team. And he needs to perform a lot better than he has [been]. Just because he has done it over the years, doesn't mean it's okay for him to fail."

Agarkar was also highly critical of Dhoni's decision to bat at No.4 in the one-day format, insisting that such a move would be "unfair" on somebody like Ajinkya Rahane and "would not work for the team."

'I'm not convinced he should bat at four," Agarkar said. "Just after a World Cup, you're now trying to develop your team for the next World Cup. Four years is a long time, but for Dhoni, towards the end of his career, to put himself up, I'm not sure about it. You can understand if there are batsmen who can't bat 3 and 4. But there is Ajinkya Rahane, who has been one of your best players in Test cricket and I don't think he can bat lower than four in ODIs yet, unless he changes his game over his career.

"Dhoni seems to have lost that ability of going out there and smashing it from ball one. He obviously takes his time. But he batted up the order in Bangladesh, and India still lost the series. All his career when people wanted him to bat up because he is so good and has that destructive ability, he has always maintained that he wants and needs to bat at No.6, where he can handle the pressure.

"It's a hard job batting at 5, 6 and 7. I've seen Yuvraj and MS himself do it for so long, but that doesn't mean that it changes at this stage in his career. You've got to have guys who are good at certain numbers. And at the moment MS by promoting himself, is getting a Rahane or anyone else who bats there, into trouble. I would still have Raina and Dhoni at 5 and 6, so contrary to what a lot of people have said, I don't think Dhoni should be batting at four at this stage in his career."

Agarkar believed the selectors might have some big decisions to take at the end of the ODI series against South Africa, on the future of the Indian team in ODIs and T20Is.

"Looking at the results, India have generally been good in ODIs, but you've lost the World Cup semi-final, then you've lost in Bangladesh where Dhoni was captain twice, and you've now lost a T20 series. Yes, the T20s can go either way very quickly so you don't want to judge someone, but for Dhoni this is a big series," he said.

"The selectors maybe need to look at where the Indian team is heading because Virat Kohli has done well as captain in Test cricket so maybe the selectors need to make that call after this series.'


Football / Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero suffers grade-two tear
« on: October 10, 2015, 09:45:52 AM »
Sergio Aguero suffered grade-two muscle tear while playing for Argentina and could face up to eight weeks on the sidelines

The Manchester City striker was stretchered off with a hamstring problem during the first half of Thursday's 2-0 defeat to Ecuador.

"The studies we did today show that Sergio Aguero has a grade-two muscle tear," the Argentine Football Association said in a statement on Friday.

Argentina ruled Aguero out of next week's World Cup qualifier against Paraguay but did not speculate how long he would be sidelined for.

However, a grade-two tear to the hamstring can require anything from two to eight weeks to recover from and the striker has a history of hamstring problems.

The injury is expected to see Aguero miss the Manchester derby on October 25 and Champions League matches with Sevilla on October 21 and November 3.

Aguero is Argentina's fourth highest all-time scorer and his absence comes at a bad time for his country, who are already missing injured Lionel Messi and face Brazil in a key qualifier on November 13.

The 27-year-old, who scored five goals against Newcastle last weekend, has suffered several hamstring injuries during his time in the Premier League.

He was replaced as a precaution after his five-goal haul and later admitted he had felt his hamstring in City's previous game against Borussia Monchengladbach.

However, Argentina boss Gerardo Martino claimed his latest problem was unrelated.


English / Svetlana Alexievich wins 2015 Nobel prize in literature
« on: October 10, 2015, 09:40:03 AM »
Svetlana Alexievich, the Belarusian writer whose oral histories have recorded thousands of individual voices to map the implosion of the Soviet Union, has won the Nobel prize for literature.
The Swedish Academy, announcing her win, praised Alexievich’s “polyphonic writings”, describing them as a “monument to suffering and courage in our time”.
She becomes the 14th woman to win the prize since it was first awarded in 1901. The last woman to win, Canada’s Alice Munro, was handed the award in 2013.
Speaking by phone to the Swedish broadcaster SVT, Svetlana Alexievich said that the award left her with a “complicated” feeling.
“It immediately evokes such great names as [Ivan] Bunin, [Boris] Pasternak,” she said, referring to Russian writers who have won the prize. “On the one hand, it’s such a fantastic feeling, but it’s also a bit disturbing.”
The academy called while she was at home, “doing the ironing,” she said, adding that the 8m Swedish krona (£775,000) prize would “buy her freedom”.
“It takes me a long time to write my books, from five to 10 years. I have two ideas for new books so I’m pleased that I will now have the freedom to work on them.”
Alexievich was born on the 31 May 1948 in the Ukrainian town of Ivano-Frankovsk into a family of a serviceman. Her father is Belarusian and her mother is Ukrainian. After her father’s demobilisation from the army the family returned to his native Belorussia and settled in a village where both parents worked as schoolteachers. She left school to work as a reporter on the local paper in the town of Narovl.
She has written short stories, essays and reportage but says she found her voice under the influence of the Belorusian writer Ales Adamovich, who developed a genre which he variously called the “collective novel”, “novel-oratorio”, “novel-evidence”, “people talking about themselves” and the “epic chorus”.
According to Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy, Alexeivich is an “extraordinary” writer.
“For the past 30 or 40 years she’s been busy mapping the Soviet and post soviet individual,” Danius said, “but it’s not really about a history of events. It’s a history of emotions – what she’s offering us is really an emotional world, so these historical events she’s covering in her various books, for example the Chernobyl disaster, the Soviet war in Afghanistan, these are in a way just pretexts for exploring the Soviet individual and the post-Soviet individual.”
“She’s conducted thousands and thousands of interviews with children, with women and with men, and in this way she’s offering us a history of human beings about whom we didn’t know that much ... and at the same time she’s offering us a history of emotions, a history of the soul.”
In Voices From Chernobyl, Alexievich interviews hundreds of those affected by the nuclear disaster, from a woman holding her dying husband despite being told by nurses that “that’s not a person anymore, that’s a nuclear reactor” to the soldiers sent in to help, angry at being “flung ... there, like sand on the reactor”. In Zinky Boys, she gathers voices from the Afghan war: soldiers, doctors, widows and mothers.
“I don’t ask people about socialism, I ask about love, jealousy, childhood, old age,” Alexievich writes in the introduction to Second-hand Time, which is due from independent publisher Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2016. “Music, dances, hairstyles. The myriad sundry details of a vanished way of life. This is the only way to chase the catastrophe into the framework of the mundane and attempt to tell a story.
“It never ceases to amaze me how interesting ordinary, everyday life is. There are an endless number of human truths … History is only interested in facts; emotions are excluded from its realm of interest. It’s considered improper to admit them into history. I look at the world as a writer, not strictly an historian. I am fascinated by people.”
Danius pointed new readers towards her first book U vojny ne ženskoe lico (War’s Unwomanly Face), based on interviews with hundreds of women who participated in the second world war.
“It’s an exploration of the second world war from a perspective that was, before that book, almost completely unknown,” she said. “It tells the story of the hundreds and hundreds of women who were at the front in the second world war. Almost one million Soviet women participated in the war, and it’s a largely unknown history. It was a huge success in the Soviet Union union when published, and sold more than 2m copies. It’s a touching document and at the same time brings you very close to every individual, and in a few years they all will be gone.”
According to her close friend, the Belarusian opposition leader Andrei Sannikov, Alexeivich writes about “the history of the Red Man”.
“She claims he is not gone,” Sannikov said. “She argues that this man is inside us, inside every Soviet person. Her last book, Second-hand Time, is dedicated to this problem.” Alexeivich is “wonderful at interviewing” he continued. “She doesn’t avoid difficult issues or questions. Mostly she writes about human tragedy. She lets it go through her and writes with surgical precision about what’s going on within human nature.”
Bela Shayevich, who is currently translating Alexievich into English for Fitzcarraldo, also paid tribute to her skills as an interviewer which leave her work “resounding with nothing but the truth”.
“The truth of life in the Soviet Union and post-Soviet Russia is not an easy thing to swallow,” Shayevich said. “I’m thrilled that this win will mean that more readers will be exposed to the metaphysical dimensions of her subjects’ survival and despair through the tragedies of Soviet history. I hope that in reading her, more people see the ways that suffering – even suffering brought on by geopolitical circumstances foreign to many readers – is also something that can bring people closer to one another if they are willing to take a risk and listen.”
Although Alexievich is widely translated into German, French and Swedish, winning a range of major prizes for her work, English editions of her work are sparse. Fitzcarraldo editor Jacques Testard came across her work in French a few years ago.
“It’s an oral history, as are all her books, about nostalgia for the Soviet Union,” said Testard. “She went around Russia interviewing people after the fall of the Soviet Union, in an attempt to surmise what the collective post Soviet psyche is. As with all her books, it’s really harrowing – a story about loss of identity, about finding yourself in a country which you don’t recognise any more. It’s a micro-historical survey of Russia in the second half of the 20th century, and it goes up to the Putin years.”
“She’s been a big deal in Europe for a long time, but she’s never really been picked up in England,” he said.
“Her books are very unusual and difficult to categorise. They’re technically non-fiction, but English and American publishers are loath to take risks on a book just because it’s good, without something like a Nobel prize.”
Alexievich led the odds for the 2015 award, ahead of Japan’s Haruki Murakami, Kenya’s Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and the Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse.


The Philadelphia Flyers handed out some regrettable contracts during the latter years of Paul Holmgren's run as general manager, especially when it came to their defense.

The most regrettable of the bunch has to be the six-year, $30 million extension they gave to Andrew MacDonald back in 2014.

How bad of an investment did it turn out to be?

Well, consider this: The Flyers announced Monday, one year into the contract, they are placing MacDonald on waivers. He still has five years and $25 million remaining on the deal, and it is almost certain that he will go through waivers unclaimed.

It is expected that MacDonald will play in the American Hockey League, if he clears waivers. He would still count $4.05 million against the Flyers' salary cap at that point.

MacDonald was acquired by the Flyers from the New York Islanders late in the 2013-14 season. After appearing in a handful of games, was given his massive contract extension.

What makes it especially damaging for the Flyers, aside from the size of the contract, is that the team has had its share of salary cap problems (due in large part to contracts like this) in recent years. It also cost them two draft picks -- a third-round pick in 2015 and a second-round pick in 2014 -- and a prospect to acquire him.

The Islanders used the second-round pick in 2015 they acquired from the Flyers as part of their package to trade for a significantly better defenseman -- Johnny Boychuk -- from the Boston Bruins prior to the 2014-15 season.

You can't blame MacDonald for this situation because he is what he is: A defensive-defenseman that doesn't provide any offense or much of a puck-moving presence on the blue line. He simply did what any other person would do in the same situation and took the huge payday that was offered to him. The blame lies entirely on Flyers management for simply making a bad decision and a bad investment.

Even as NHL teams transition to more mobile, puck-moving defensemen, there can still be a place for players like MacDonald on a roster. However, you can't pay them $5 million a year over six years and expect them to be top-pairing guys.

The Flyers' defense is easily the weak link of the roster heading into the season. With MacDonald on waivers, his future with the team is obviously uncertain. The Flyers are prepared to open the season with a 37-year-old Mark Streit leading the unit, while Luke Schenn, Michael Del Zotto, Nick Schultz, Radko Gudas and free agent Evgeny Medvedev (signed out of the KHL) round out the group.

They're going to need another great season from goalie Steve Mason to stay competitive in a tough Metropolitan Division.

Earlier this summer, the Flyers sent two more of their problem contracts on defense -- the ones belonging to Chris Pronger, who will never play another NHL game, and Nicklas Grossmann -- to the Arizona Coyotes for Sam Gagner and a conditional draft pick.

All of these deals -- Pronger, Grossmann, MacDonald -- were signed when Holmgren was still general manager.


Hockey / Why suspending Raffi Torres 41 games was the right decision
« on: October 08, 2015, 03:30:29 PM »
We had a feeling Raffi Torres wouldn’t play hockey again for a long, long time the minute Jakob Silfverberg fell to the ice Saturday night.

Torres had every conceivable strike against him. He’d run up a significant tab of suspensions in recent seasons. He got 25 games, appealed down to 21, for a devastating head shot that knocked Marian Hossa out of the 2011-12 post-season. Torres also earned a rest-of-playoffs ban for a head shot on Jarret Stoll in 2012-13. So Torres was in trouble the second he caught Silfverberg with a questionable hit Oct. 3. If the league deemed the play suspendable, Torres’ history of repeatedly violating one particular rule – 48.1, illegal check to the head – would greatly expand his sentence length.

But did anyone expect 41 games? Half a season? It’s a staggering punishment – and a staggeringly strong decision by the NHL Department of Player Safety.

It’s important to understand Torres’ history had no impact on the decision to suspend or not suspend him. Repeat offenses, and injuries to a victimized player, can only impact suspension length. Before the league reaches that juncture, it first must decide whether the play was illegal at all. So if Torres hit Silfverberg in a way the league deemed acceptable, Torres would’ve been off the hook, regardless of rap sheet. Alas, the hit wasn’t legal. Have a look:
As outlined in that explanatory video, Torres hits Silfverberg 0.8 seconds after Silfverberg loses the puck. That falls under the league’s official designation of “late hit.” Torres takes four strides toward Silfverberg and delivers a “high hit,” making Silfverberg’s head the main point of contact. Even though Silfverberg’s arm is up, and there may be some arm-on-arm contact first, the principal impact zone is the head. That made the hit suspendable before Torres’ history even came into play. Damian Echevarrieta, the NHL’s vice-president of player safety, told THN the league even could’ve flagged Torres for charging on top of the two official infractions, interference and illegal check to the head.

Then it was time for the department to factor in Torres’ past offenses. Thanks to a major knee injury, Torres had barely played in the past two years, which theoretically could’ve cleaned his slate under the CBA rules because he wasn’t suspended during that time. But, as Echevarrieta noted, Torres only played five regular season games and seven playoff games in that two-season span. Including three pre-season contests, that’s just a 15-game window between the suspension for the Stoll hit and the new 41-game ban, which Torres has the right to appeal. It’s a tiny gap between incidents, suggesting Torres hasn’t changed his behavior.

“Raffi is so unique in his situation,” said Stephane Quintal, the NHL’s senior vice-president of player safety. “I know he came and tried to change his behaviour, and he only played 15 games since he got hurt, but he obviously doesn’t get it. A warning, fine or suspension 11 times. He’s put us in a tough position.”

It’s also important not just that Torres has been suspended so often, but that the bans are for the same act. Echevarrieta points out certain players haven’t seen their suspension lengths escalate because they’re not committing the same act each time. That’s how Chris Pronger, now a member of the DOPS, got by during his playing career. But Torres consistently committed the same foul: late hit, high hit, head targeted. It was a highly specific behavior, and he wasn’t changing it. The league had no choice but to come down hard. Excluding lifelong bans, it’s the longest suspension in league history in terms of specific number of games. Todd Bertuzzi, for example, earned a seemingly more severe “indefinite” ban for the Steve Moore attack in 2004 but ended up missing 20 games.

Echevarrieta insists the league took no pleasure doling out the punishment. A perfect world, he said, would not be a league with many suspensions, but one with no suspensions, meaning player behavior had finally changed for the better.

The league did not consider a lifelong ban for Torres during the decision-making process. What happens if Torres returns to the NHL and commits another head shot? Would that bring about a permanent suspension? Quintal declined to comment on that hypothetical and said he simply hopes the league never ends up in that position.

The DOPS members believe Torres genuinely wants to change. After his previous suspension, he visited the their offices. They shared video with him. He watched it to learn his habits. He looked them in the eyes and showed a willingness to learn.

“I’m disappointed, because I thought we made some headway with him,” Echevarrieta said. “And to see it, it was, ‘Aw, come on, him?’ I thought of all the guys he’d be the one who wouldn’t do this. I thought he got it.'”

The league still believes it’s less a matter of malice on Torres’ part than it is being unable to kick a habit, a muscle memory of how to hit.

“He offers the league something, he offers the team something,” Echevarrieta said. “He scored 27 goals in this league. He can skate. He’s an effective player. We don’t want to ruin his career. We just want to make sure he doesn’t ruin anybody else’s.”

That’s why the decision was the right one. Whatever Torres is – vicious or clumsy, malicious or careless – his behavior is unsafe. And the only hope of teaching him anything was to drastically increase his punishment.


Cricket / Cricketers turn on ‘match-fixing’ hero Chris Cairns
« on: October 08, 2015, 03:28:55 PM »
The “golden boy” of international cricket promised players up to £80,000 a game if they helped him to fix matches for gamblers, his perjury trial heard on Wednesday.

Chris Cairns, a former New Zealand captain, is accused of lying during the £1.4 million libel action he brought against an Indian cricket official who used Twitter to accuse him of cheating.

Southwark crown court heard that Brendon McCullum, the current New Zealand captain, would claim that his predecessor tried to recruit him for match fixing.

Sasha Wass, QC, for the prosecution, said: “Mr Cairns is described by his fellow cricketers as a hero and role model. He was the golden boy in the cricket world whom every cricketer wanted to emulate. The prosecution can demonstrate Mr Cairns had been involved in cheating at cricket, or match-fixing, for some time.”

Mr Cairns denies perjury and perverting the course of justice. Andrew Fitch-Holland, his friend and a barrister, also denies perverting the course of justice.

Mr Cairns played for New Zealand for 17 years. After retiring in 2006 he became captain of the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League but was suspended in 2008 due to an ankle injury.

Two years later Lalit Modi, chairman of the rival Indian Premier League, claimed that Mr Cairns had been removed from the “auction list” of players “due to his past record of match-fixing”.

Mr Cairns sued Mr Modi in the High Court in London and repeatedly said in statements and on oath that he had never cheated at cricket. He was awarded £1.4 million in damages and costs.

Ms Wass said that despite Mr Cairns’ denials other players claimed that he “openly boasted” that match fixing did not matter in the Indian league. He believed that he was “untouchable”, she said.

Mr McCullum claims that he was playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders when Mr Cairns said that he could get him £30,000 to £78,000 per game for match-fixing. He did not report this immediately because Mr Cairns was a “hero of his”, the court heard. However, he did tell fellow New Zealand players Daniel Vettori and Shane Bond, the court heard, and made an official report during the Cricket World Cup in India in 2011.

Ricky Ponting, the former Australia captain, recalled Mr McCullum taking a phone call which he said later was Mr Cairns making a “business proposal”.

Lou Vincent, another former New Zealand international who played for Chandigarh Lions, admitted to match-fixing at the request of Mr Cairns, the court heard.

The trial continues.


Cricket / Chris Cairns trial: Former cricketer accused of perjury
« on: October 08, 2015, 03:27:38 PM »
Chris Cairns is being prosecuted for perjury after declaring under oath that he had never cheated at cricket during a libel case in 2012.

He successfully sued Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi over a tweet accusing him of match-fixing.

Mr Cairns, who is also charged with perverting the course of justice, denies all the charges against him.

Counsel for the Prosecution Sasha Wass QC said Mr Cairns had been "the golden boy in the cricket world whom every cricketer wished to emulate".

But his reputation was shattered after Mr Modi accused him on Twitter in January 2010 of match-fixing while playing for the Chandigarh Lions in the Indian Cricket League in 2008.

During England's first Twitter libel trial, Mr Cairns said under oath that he had never ever cheated at cricket, which the prosecution claims is untrue. Mr Cairns won damages of $130,000 (£90,000).

Ms Wass told the jury it would hear evidence from the current New Zealand cricket captain Brendon McCullum and former team-mate Lou Vincent, who were both "targeted" by Chris Cairns to help him fix matches.

Mr McCullum, she said, refused to have anything to do with it while Lou Vincent was "corrupted by him".

Mr Cairns is also charged with perverting the court of justice. It is alleged that he and co-defendant Andrew Fitch Holland, a barrister friend who had given him legal advice, asked a witness to give false evidence.

The court heard a tape of a recorded Skype conversation between Mr Fitch Holland and Mr Vincent, who also played for the Chandigarh Lions under Chris Cairns and has admitted being involved in match-fixing. The prosecution claims the conversation was an attempt to induce Mr Vincent to lie to the court in order to help Mr Cairns's case.

"What all of this recognised was that Chris Cairns was indeed guilty of match-fixing," Ms Wass said.

Chris Cairns and Andrew Fitch Holland deny all charges.


Football / Gossip column: Klopp, Van Gaal, Mourinho, McClaren, Pearson
« on: October 07, 2015, 04:24:24 PM »
 Jurgen Klopp has agreed a deal in principle to become Liverpool boss and the 48-year-old German will meet the club's owners on Wednesday before his unveiling on Friday. (Daily Mirror)

Writer Oliver Kay questions how many players at Anfield have what it takes to be central to the German's plans. (The Times - subscription)

Meanwhile, writer Simon Hughes says the former Borussia Dortmund manager is enchanted by the romantic history of the club. (The Independent)

It will cost Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich a world record £37.5m pay-out if he decides to sack 52-year-old manager Jose Mourinho. (Daily Star)
Daily Star

Daily Star back page

Barcelona legend Johan Cruyff says Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is playing the wrong style of football and feels Chelsea boss Mourinho should "behave better". (Sky Sports)

Ex-Newcastle striker Micky Quinn believes manager Steve McClaren has three games to save his job with the Magpies. (Chronicle)

Former Magpies manager John Carver says the club's summer signings were already picked for the new manager. (The Sun - subscription required)

Former Leicester boss Nigel Pearson, 52, is unlikely to be named as the new Sunderland manager, but remains on a list of candidates being compiled by the club. (Sunderland Echo)

An alternative report says Sunderland sporting director Lee Congerton has made contact with Pearson and is firmly in contention to take charge of the Premier League strugglers. (Daily Telegraph)

Former USA and Egypt manager Bob Bradley, currently in charge at Norwegian side Stabaek, is a surprise contender for the Sunderland job. (Daily Express)

Dwight Yorke, the ex-Black Cats striker, says he is "amazed" by the lack of interest in the vacant manager's job at the Stadium of Light. (TalkSport)

And former Sunderland manager Roy Keane said if "certain people" had "left him alone" he'd still be there. (Irish Examiner)
Other gossip

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo, 25, has withdrawn from the Argentina squad so he can be fit to face Everton on 17 October. The defender has missed the last four games with a hamstring injury. (Manchester Evening News)

La Liga side Sevilla and Valencia are battling to secure the signing of the Red Devils' Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes, 33, who is out of favour at Old Trafford. (Daily Star)

Daily Mirror back page

Southampton are looking to offer Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama, 24, a new five-year contract. (Daily Mirror)

Iceland midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, 26, wants Swansea team-mates Ashley Williams, 31, and Neil Taylor, 26, to experience the "incredible feeling" of reaching Euro 2016 with Wales. (South Wales Evening Post)

Sporting Lisbon president Bruno de Carvalho says Leicester City made a £8.9m bid for Peruvian winger Andre Carrillo, 24, in the summer transfer window, but the move did not materialise. (Leicester Mercury)

Former Bournemouth striker Luther Blissett believes Cherries striker Callum Wilson, 23, "is definitely worth a shot" for an England call-up when he returns from injury. (Bournemouth Echo)

Meanwhile, Cherries winger Matt Ritchie, 26, says a full Scotland debut in this week's Euro 2016 qualifiers would be the highlight of his career so far. (The Scotsman)

Manchester United's Spain midfielder Juan Mata, 27, has defended Real Madrid boss Rafael Benitez, 55, against critics who claim he is a defensive manager. Mata played under the fellow Spaniard at Chelsea. (Cadena Ser via Goal)
Best of social media

Talking out of a car window, naturally, Harry Redknapp has posted a video  on his Twitter account saying he does not want to be the next Sunderland manager.


The penny has dropped for Arsène Wenger. No more tight purse strings. No more thrift. No more own-brand bottles of fizzy pop that he tells himself taste just like the real stuff even though he knows in his heart of hearts that each sip is a lie. Yep, Arsenal are going to splash the cash in January like they’ve never splashed the cash before.

Wenger is keeping an eye on the wantaway Barcelona midfielder Sergi Samper and is ready to pay the £8.5m it’ll take to get the 20-year-old out of the Camp Nou. Another £13m will head to Celta Vigo in exchange for Nolito, the Spain striker. And the Gunners will have to pay around £10m if they want to get their hands on Dynamo Moscow’s Aleksandr Kokorin. Which they do.

Elsewhere, Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool revolution will begin with the signing of the Dortmund defender Neven Subotic in the January transfer window. But he faces a battle to hold on to Philippe Coutinho – Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in the Brazilian and are ready to go mano-a-mano in a £30m transfer tug of war.

Sunderland want former USA! USA!! USA!!! coach Bob Bradley to be their manager. Because hey why not?

(Fun fact: when the Mill types “I want a” into Google, the suggested completions are: I want a baby, I want a boyfriend, I want a door, I want a divorce and I want a new job. Babies, boyfriends, divorces and employment opportunities are all understandable. But doors? Who gets themselves into a situation where they’re in want of a door? And if you do want a door, wouldn’t you search for “Door shop” or “10 best doors”? “I want a door?” Do you? Do you really? Well, you’re going a funny way about it.)

Anyway, when Mauricio Pochettino types “I want a new playmaker for my Spurs midfield” into Google, Lille’s Sofiane Boufal is the first result.

And Aston Villa will move for Wolves striker Benik Afobe in January.

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