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Dyke plays down 2014 chances

first_img No European nation has won the World Cup in South America and Dyke therefore thinks England will not be among the favourites for the tournament in Brazil if they qualify. “I don’t think anyone realistically thinks we are going to win the World Cup in Brazil,” he told the BBC’s Today programme. “I asked a bunch of journalists what would be seen as doing well in Brazil. The consensus was if we reach the quarter-finals we’ll do very well. “That’s not to say we can’t win. But let’s not kid ourselves, it’s pretty hard to win in Latin America anyway for a European side. We’re certainly not going to go there as odds-on favourites, that’s for sure.” England play Moldova at Wembley on Friday and they then fly to Kiev, where they face Ukraine four days later. Hodgson’s team could drop to third in Group H if they lose to Ukraine, but Dyke says he believes the team will qualify. Dyke added: “He knows that we want to do the best we can possibly do at every tournament and I believe we will qualify for Brazil and we can do OK.” As well as targeting victory in the 2022 World Cup, Dyke said in his speech that he wanted England to make the semi-finals of Euro 2020. The fact that the 2022 World Cup is currently still scheduled to take place in the blazing summer heat of Qatar is likely to diminish England’s chances, although there is a chance that the tournament could be moved to winter. Former England striker Gary Lineker labelled Dyke’s goals as “fantasy” and he admitted an improvement in standards will take some time. Lineker wrote on Twitter: ”Finally read Greg Dyke’s speech. Some realism as to issues, some fantasy as to targets. Unless PL & FA unite, it’s all pie in the sky. ”Things are improving, small sided games and pitches, better coaching, but will take time and patience. There is NO quick fix!” Dyke conducted a round of media interviews on Thursday morning following up on his speech, and believes the Premier League understands the need for change without any pressure being exerted upon it. Dyke wants the league’s chairman, Anthony Fry, to be part of his commission to look at reforms which could improve the state of the domestic game. Dyke told talkSPORT: ”I’m not sure I need coercive powers. I think the Premier League understands it is in everybody’s interest to have a successful England team. ”I have no doubt some of the remedies might be tough for the Premier League and you might not be able to implement them.” Changes could include a quota on foreign players, a reform of the loan system and also addressing the thorny issue of a mid-season break. Such a break is commonplace on the continent, but it has never been introduced into English football despite lobbying from key figures. Former England manager Fabio Capello said the lack of a winter break was one of the main reasons behind England’s failure to win a major tournament since 1966. ”What I hope will come out of (the commission) are some positive proposals,” added Dyke. ”(Other national associations) appear to have acted in a much tougher way (in pushing through reform). I think people know we have a problem. Hopefully we can do it without using the big stick.” Dyke also wants the commission, which he expects to deliver its findings in the new year, to look outside the professional game and also outside the sport for answers to the question of the falling number of English players in the Premier League. ”There’s something that says ‘if you haven’t played the game you don’t know’, but I don’t buy that. ”I think you learn from wherever you can. We should learn from what is happening in football in other countries and we should learn from other sports.” Dyke went on to reject allegations of hypocrisy from his time as a Manchester United director between 1997 and 1999 and also, as chairman of Brentford, his appointment of former Germany international Uwe Rosler as manager. In an interview on Sky Sports News, Dyke said: ”When I was a director of Manchester United I was lucky, I was there during that wonderful period when virtually half the youth team came and played in the first team. ”Manchester United is one of the clubs that has developed young English players over many years. ”In terms of Brentford, Uwe Rosler played a long time. I’m not against foreign managers. If you’ve got a league which is largely foreign owned, largely foreign managed and mainly foreign players you’ve got an issue for English football.” On Wednesday, in his first speech as FA chairman, Dyke spoke about the dwindling numbers of English footballers playing regular top-flight football. His aim is to reverse that trend, with the stated ambition of England winning the 2022 World Cup. England are struggling in qualification for next year’s tournament in Brazil. They are currently second in Group H, two points behind Montenegro, who have played a game more while Ukraine are just a point behind England. Football Association chairman Greg Dyke believes there is only a remote chance of England winning the 2014 World Cup. Press Associationlast_img read more

Nurse, Holder help West Indies defend 227 for bonus-point win

first_img[espncricinfo.com] – West Indies’ bowlers, led by Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse, defended 227 on a deteriorating Harare pitch to register a bonus-point win, their first against Sri Lanka at a neutral venue since 1999. West Indies may not have had as much had it not been for enterprising cameos from Jonathan Carter and debutant Rovman Powell.Holder set the tone with a sensational opening spell of swing bowling in which he picked up two wickets and conceded 12 in five overs. He had Dhananjaya de Silva caught behind off an inside edge and drew Kusal Mendis forward with a full delivery that swung away late and took the outside edge. Nurse took a reverse-cupped catch in front of his face at second slip. In between, Johnson Charles effected an agile run-out of Kusal Perera, hitting the stumps directly from square leg.The pitch seemed to slow down as the afternoon wore on with more than a few balls stopping in the surface. Nurse dismissed Sri Lanka captain Upul Tharanga with one such delivery. It pitched on leg, drawing Tharanga into a flick, but the ball spun and bounced extravagantly to take the leading edge and lobbed back to the bowler.A few overs later, Nurse beat the defense of Asela Gunaratne and trapped him in front with what looked like an innocuous offbreak. Suddenly, Sri Lanka had slumped to 79 for 6 on a surface that was getting increasingly harder to bat on, making West Indies’ score of 227 seem a lot more.Sachith Pathirana and Shehan Jayasuriya kept Sri Lanka in the hunt with a 60-run seventh-wicket partnership, but too much damage had been done too early. Nurse finished with 3 for 46, while Shannon Gabriel claimed the last two wickets to return 3 for 31.West Indies’ first away ODI win since the 2015 World Cup was achieved after Jason Holder had lost his sixth straight toss and West Indies were put in. For most of their recent ODI series against Pakistan, their focus was on their biggest strength: power-hitting, as opposed to strike-rotation. It seemed like West Indies had intentionally swapped their strategy, with mixed results.West Indies’ major concern would have been negotiating a testing opening spell in gloomy conditions. Their batsmen were adept at doing so, albeit on a morning with less swing available than in the tri-series opener two days ago.Sri Lanka nipped out the openers in that period, including the run-out of Kraigg Brathwaite who plonked his bat on the crease while completing a run. The bat jarred in the turf and bounced up as Nuwan Kulasekara’s direct hit from mid-on found him short.Debutant Shai Hope and Evin Lewis, a T20 specialist, were then forced to stabilise a faltering innings. As the slower bowlers were introduced, the pair looked in so much discomfort in finding gaps that West Indies could only muster 51 runs between overs 11 and 25. The Harare pitch had begun to deteriorate and the Sri Lanka spinners strangled the batsmen. West Indies had cut out expansive shots on their own volition, and Sri Lanka closed the gaps.Carter, an ODI specialist, found his rhythm from the outset, hitting gaps and finding singles by looking for them. He struck 54, and picked off two fours and two sixes in a 62-ball knock filled with intent.Powell displayed his ball-striking ability in his 29-ball 44, an innings that featured two fours and three muscular sixes into the leg side, all a result of a strong bottom hand.Just when West Indies looked set for a score in excess of 250, Sri Lanka’s seamers returned in the end overs to trigger a collapse. West Indies lost their last five wickets for 18 runs.last_img read more

Bosnian MMA Fighter celebrated his largest Victory with BiH Scarf

first_imgMirsad Bektic, a fighter from Srebrenica, achieved the greatest success in his MMA career by winning against Ricardo Lamas. In this way, he qualified in the Top 10 fighters in his category.An interesting fact is that Bektic celebrated his large victory in Chicago with the scarf of BiH wrapped around his neck.Although he was four places below the seventh-placed Lamas, Bektic entered this fight as a favourite, and he justified that title with a great performance at the end. He noticed that the strength will be his largest advantage in this fight already at the beginning and he used every opportunity to use this advantage. Lamas had his chances, he also fought well. It is possible to understand why one of the judges ruled in his favour, but Bektic was much better, especially when it comes to the control of the fight.The fighters started the fight with a fierce tempo, but they ended up in a clinch after a minute, where Lamas worked well with his knees, but Bektic managed to control the fence. However, they split up in the middle of the round and they fought again in the middle of the ring, where Bektic’s kick sent Lamas to the floor.The second round also offered a fierce tempo and a lot of action, during which Bektic led the fight to the fence once again, where he controlled Lamas for some time.Two judges decided to give 29:28 to each fighter, or 2: 1 in rounds, while the third judge decided that Bektic was better in all three rounds and gave him 30:27, which is the score that brought the biggest victory in the career to this great fighter. Bektic is now in the top 10 fighters in his category for sure. He showed great strength and tactics in this fight, as well as some of disadvantages that he will have to deal with in the upcoming months. Coach Firas Zahabi probably already prepared a plan on fixing everything that could be better in the next fight.(Source: Radiosarajevo.ba)last_img read more