Allardyce sticking to his guns

first_img Allardyce is wary of just how dangerous Roberto Martinez’s compact side can be. “We have to be aware and stop the service they give to the forwards, then when you have possession you have to make sure you use it correctly and exploit the spaces they do leave,” he said. “A key part for us will be trying to make sure we limit Everton’s attacks by stopping those players like Seamus Coleman and Leighton Baines, if he is fit, because they are very good at going forward with the ball.” The 6ft 3in forward offers a different focal point for the Hammers, but Allardyce insists that in itself will not necessarily mean switching to a more direct style. “We play slightly differently, in that we play more into Andy’s feet than we do into (Enner) Valencia or Sakho,” said the West Ham manager. “Valencia and Sakho are so pacy that we are a massive threat in behind the opposition when the midfield players like (Mark) Noble, (Alex) Song or (Stewart) Downing start sliding balls down the side of defenders, that has been a really big threat for us and on the back of that we have scored goals. “Whereas Andy is not such a big a threat in that area, he is a much bigger threat in terms of setting up attacks to get into the final third by playing into his feet or chest and not playing into his head. “No way do I tell a player to just knock it up to Andy’s head. I don’t want them to knock it up to Andy’s head, I want them to be talented enough to knock it into Andy’s feet or chest. “We want it on Andy’s head when it is getting crossed into the box because that is where he is at his best and where he can score a lot of goals, as Sakho has proved this season. “I think we have scored more headed goals than anybody else, even without Andy Carroll.” Everton have started to slowly build some momentum following an indifferent start to the campaign, and are unbeaten in six though all competitions since losing at Manchester United on October 5. Diafra Sakho, who had netted six goals to help West Ham climb to fourth in the Barclays Premier League, is a major doubt for Saturday’s trip to Merseyside after suffering a back problem while away on international duty with Senegal. Carroll looked lively when coming on as a late substitute in the goalless draw against Aston Villa, his first appearance since recovering from pre-season ankle surgery, and almost scored a winner with a late header. Sam Allardyce will tell his West Ham team to adapt but not abandon their dynamic attacking style should Andy Carroll once again lead the front line at Everton. Press Associationlast_img read more

ICC World Cup West Indies must be smart to topple England, says Jason Holder

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Southampton: West Indies captain Jason Holder says his resurgent side are using their brains as well as brawn ahead of a World Cup clash with hosts England on Friday. The West Indies have already shown what they are capable of, bowling Pakistan out for just 105 thanks to a barrage of bouncers on the way to a seven-wicket win in their opening game.The two-time World Cup champions lost narrowly to Australia after being well-placed to beat the reigning title-holders, before rain wrecked their match against South Africa, with the sides taking a point each. But they will enter their match against England in Southampton with confidence as the only team at the World Cup not to have lost their previous one-day international series to Eoin Morgan’s men, drawing 2-2 in the Caribbean earlier this year.With pace in abundance from the likes of Oshane Thomas, Andre Russell, Sheldon Cottrell, as well as Holder himself, the West Indies have an attack to worry every team.But Holder believes it is their ability to outfox batsmen in the middle overs that has sparked an upturn in form since the 2015 World Cup — a four-year period in which they did not win an ODI series.”We have always got wickets with the new ball,” he said in his pre-match press conference on Thursday.”But previously we haven’t been able to get wickets in the middle overs.”And it’s been the talking point over the last couple of months in one-day cricket and now in this tournament we have been able to get wickets in the middle overs, which has definitely broken the back of most teams.” Following the South Africa no result, the England game has taken on even greater importance for the West Indies.But Holder is not worried yet and, with all-rounder Russell likely to be fit following a knee injury, he expects his side to throw all they have at the hosts.”I think the brand of cricket we have been playing so far in this World Cup, you know what to expect of West Indies now,” he said.”For us, we are not going to back down from the challenge. Most of our guys are always up for the challenge and it is just a matter for us to be smart.”And I don’t think there is anything else to be said, just be smart and play the brand of cricket we want to play,” he added. last_img read more

Men’s soccer season roundup: Although record disappointing, some bright spots in 2015

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s soccer season came to a close on Nov. 8 as Indiana knocked them out of the Big Ten tournament 1-0. The loss marked the second consecutive season in which the Badgers failed to finish with a win percentage of at least .500. But a lot of positives can be taken from this season’s performances.The core of the team is still relatively young, setting Wisconsin up for the opportunity to excel in upcoming seasons. In terms of departures, the Badgers will need to find replacements to fill the voids of senior captains Drew Conner (midfield), Adam Lauko (defense) and Carl Schneider (defense).But compared to the 2014 season, in which the team failed to win a single game in Big Ten play, and only managed to produce three wins, significant improvements were made during this season. The Badgers finished in seventh place in the final conference standings, claiming a total of nine points — an improvement from the single point the team earned a season prior. Wisconsin also improved their win total to five this season.Four of those wins came on the road in 2015, as the Badgers proved to be a much better team playing away from the McClimon Complex. For some unexplainable reason, the team’s home record dropped considerably this season. Wisconsin claimed only one win in Madison, and that didn’t even occur until the final regular season game versus Northwestern.A major part of the team’s success this season was the emergence of sophomore midfielder Christopher Mueller. The Schaumburg, Illinois native led the team in points (15) and goals (5) on the season, including the game-winning goal in double overtime against Rutgers, which gave Wisconsin their first win of the season. Expect Mueller to be a major contributor to the Wisconsin attack in his final two seasons on the team.But Mueller isn’t the only sophomore that will have a major role to play in the next two seasons. Tom Barlow, Mark Segbers, Adrien Remeniuk, Alex Masbruch, Nick Jones, Mike Catalano and Enda O’Neill are all slated to be key pieces in the Wisconsin starting eleven next season. The youth trend should continue as Big Ten All-Freshman defender Sam Brotherton will likely hold down the center back role in defense throughout the entirety of his Wisconsin career.In terms of seniority, players like Matej Radonic, Brian Hail, and Luc Kazmierczak will have to serve as leaders during the 2016 season.It’s also expected that freshman Isaac Schlenker, freshman Elan Koenig, and sophomore Nikola Atlija will see more game time next year as the Badgers reload and refocus on getting back to a level capable of contending for the Big Ten crown.That young core means the future for the Wisconsin men’s soccer program looks bright on paper. The team, comprised mostly of freshmen and sophomores the last two seasons, is gaining valuable experience, and the growing process may finally have a chance to pay dividends in 2016.last_img read more