1 Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny Wojciech Szczesny has revealed he still has his sights set on regaining the No.1 jersey at Arsenal.The Polish goalkeeper is currently on loan at Roma after being displaced as the Gunners’ first-choice stopper by Petr Cech in the summer.Roma are at present third in Serie A, just one point adrift of leaders Fiorentina, and Szczesny is determined to win the Scudetto before he returns to north London.“If a year ago someone told me that I would go to Rome, I wouldn’t have believed that,” Szczesny told Sky Sport Italia.“I do not hide that is still my dream to play for Arsenal. In Rome the fans are fantastic and nine months in football is a long time, who knows what will happen.“My hope is that we win the Scudetto, and that Arsenal win the Premier League.”
1 Sergi Canos Liverpool are delighted with the progress Sergi Canos is making at Brentford.The Spanish starlet has been in impressive form for the Bees since joining them on loan at the start of the season and scored a stunning solo goal at the weekend in the win over Reading.“We’re so proud of Sergi,” Reds under-21s boss Michael Beale said. “You never know when a young boy goes out on loan and how they’re going to handle it. It’s similar when a boy goes into the first-team environment.“But Sergi has grown in strength week-in-week-out. That’s his second goal in three games and we’re very proud.“We have a little group text that goes around all the players, so the goal was put on there and everyone was wishing him well. All the boys out on loan are in regular contact with us.“There’s not many players of his age playing regularly in the Championship and there’s no one having the same impact.“No pressure on him but if he can continue doing what he’s doing then we’ll see where that’ll lead. I think that he’ll go on to have a very good career.”
10 10 10. Javier Mascherano (West Ham to Liverpool on loan – January 2007, signed permanently in summer 2007 for £15m) – After his bizarre and ultimately fruitless spell with West Ham, Mascherano became a key part of an indomitable Liverpool midfield trio alongside Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. Initially on loan, his combative style helped the Reds reach a second Champions League final in three years in 2007 and a second-placed Premier League finish in 2009. 3. Patrice Evra (Monaco to Manchester United – £6m in 2006) – Evra was initially identified as one who might struggle with the demands of the Premier League, but those doubts were immediately extinguished as he quickly established himself as a reliable member of Uniteds dominant back four. Five league titles, three League Cups and a Champions League success later and he can be truly regarded as one of the great left-backs of the Premier League era. 10 10 7. Philippe Coutinho (Inter Milan to Liverpool – £8m in 2013) – Now a key cog in Jurgen Klopps transitional Liverpool team, Coutinho has emerged from the shadow of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling to become the Reds talisman. His penchant for stylish goals makes him one of the most eye-catching players in the league when in form and, given the size of the fee Liverpool paid for him, his arrival has proved a real bargain. 10 8. Gary Cahill (Bolton to Chelsea – £6m in 2012) – Gary Cahills astute, stylish performances at Bolton saw his dream move to Chelsea materialise and he was an instant success, helping the Blues to Champions League glory just four months after signing. He established an imposing partnership with John Terry and nailed down a regular England place. 10 4. Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool – £12m in 2013) – Injuries aside, Sturridge has been one of the finest Liverpool signings in the Premier League era. His goals/game ratio trumps that of Anfield legends like Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez and his goals so nearly took the Reds to that elusive top-flight crown in 2014. If only he could stay fit 10 9. Ashley Young (Watford to Aston Villa – £9m in 2007) – There was once a time when Young was being compared with Lionel Messi by Aston Villa manager Martin ONeill, with the winger turning in some sensational performances after announcing himself at Watford. His displays helped Villa to three consecutive sixth-placed finishes in the league before an £18m move to Manchester United in 2011. 10 When it comes to the January transfer window, the general consensus is that deals tend to be either desperate or overpriced.Last year, in particular, it was a case of much ado about nothing as the majority of clubs sized each other up without really splashing the cash.But we’ve seen on numerous occasions in the past that some real bargains are often out there, especially when players might not be seeing as much first-team action as they had hoped.These ten players are evidence of that – will anyone follow suit over the next month?Notable exceptions include Papiss Cisse and Christophe Dugarry as, while their initial impact was stunning, their value faded in following seasons.Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see which ten players from January’s gone by made our shortlist… 6. Mikel Arteta (Real Sociedad to Everton – £2m in 2005) – Over 200 competitive games for Everton in a six-year spell suggest Arteta really was one of the first names on the teamsheet under David Moyes. After learning the ropes in Scotland with Rangers in his earlier career, Artetas range of passing made him a Toffees favourite. 5. Nemanja Matic (Benfica to Chelsea – £17m in 2014) – Matics impact on the Chelsea team after his return to the club in 2014 cannot be underestimated. He quickly established himself as the finest defensive midfielder in the country and became the combative rock that allowed the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas to thrive on their way to title glory in 2015. His performance levels have dropped since, but theres no denying his talent when fully fit. 10 2. Nemanja Vidic (Spartak Moscow to Manchester United – £7m in 2006) – Unless youre Fernando Torres, very few players ever had a sniff when Vidic was around. His insatiable resilience and incredible strength saw him forge a defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that became the platform for all of Uniteds success in Sir Alex Fergusons last years. Considering Evra was recruited in the same month, January 2006 could go down as the best January splurge in Premier League history. 10 1. Luis Suarez (Ajax to Liverpool – £22m in 2011) – Vidic ran him close, but Suarez just edges the Serbian. From the downright obscene to the ludicrously sublime, the Uruguayan ensured there was never a dull moment when he was around. Liverpools decline since his departure to Barcelona has reinforced his impact on that team that so nearly won the title in 2014, and he wasnt just a goalscorer too. He is sorely missed, not just on Merseyside, but throughout England.
On Monday, FIFA will announce the winner of the prestigious Ballon d’Or trophy.The general consensus is it’s a straight shootout between Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, the current holder, for the title, although Neymar is certainly pushing hard to be included in the debate.Here at talkSPORT we don’t have access to the envelope which will be opened on next week to reveal the winner, but we do have other methods of attempting to predict the victor.Since the 23 contenders for this year’s award were announced in October, Facebook’s data team have analysed the social conversation to see which of the nominees was the most talked about.By clicking the right arrow above you’ll be able to find out the top 11 most talked about Ballon d’Or contenders… 1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) – 29% 6 6 On his own in sixth spot, Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City was involved in 2 per cent of conversations on Facebook in the UK since the Ballon d’Or shortlist was announced in October – Click the arrow above, right, to find out who was the most talked about… 5= Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain) and Yaya Toure (Man City) – 3% 4= Eden Hazard (Chelsea) and Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal) – 4% 6 6 6 2= Neymar and Lionel Messi (Both Barcelona) – 15% 6 3= Sergio Aguero (Man City), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) and Luis Suarez (Barcelona) – 5%
1 Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil missed the clash with Stoke with what the London club described as a ‘slight foot injury’.The only change to the Gunners’ starting line-up from Wednesday’s 3-3 draw at Liverpool saw the Germany midfielder replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.And shortly after announcing the squad via Twitter on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal added a message that said: “@MesutOzil1088 misses #SCFCvAFC with a slight foot injury.”There was no indication as to how long the 27-year-old might be out for.Ozil has been in fine form this season, ranking as the Premier League’s highest assist-maker with 16 and being widely regarded as a front-runner for the player of the year awards.Arsenal were also without another key man in Alexis Sanchez on Sunday, with the Chile forward, sidelined of late by a hamstring problem, not featuring in the matchday squad despite Gunners boss Arsene Wenger suggesting he could be involved for the first time since November.New signing Mohamed Elneny was named on the bench – see the confirmed Gunners starting XI here .@MesutOzil1088 misses #SCFCvAFC with a slight foot injury. pic.twitter.com/WW73x0hO6o— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 17, 2016 Mesut Ozil
NEW YORK – Citigroup Inc., bracing for big credit-related losses in the fourth quarter, is looking to lower costs – which could mean another round of job cuts at the nation’s largest bank. “We are engaged in a planning process in anticipation of our new CEO, and our business heads are planning ways in which we can be more efficient and cost-effective to position our businesses in line with economic realities,” Citi spokeswoman Shannon Bell said Monday. She was responding to a report on CNBC that “massive” layoffs were planned. “Any reports on specific numbers are not factual,” she said. Citigroup, which has about 320,000 employees, earlier this year reduced its workforce by 17,000 before the credit crisis. Tom Maheras, co-CEO of investment banking, and Randy Barker, head of fixed income trading, left in mid-October when Vikram Pandit was promoted to lead a unit that combined the markets and banking segment with alternative investments. Pandit had been put in charge of alternative investments in the spring.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsIts shares fell $1, or 3.15 percent, to close at $30.70 Monday. The bank is still looking for a new CEO, after Charles Prince stepped down as chairman and CEO Nov. 4, the same evening the bank announced that it likely will write down the value of its portfolio by another $8 billion to $11 billion in the fourth quarter. In the third quarter, Citi’s subprime mortgages and its exposure to financial instruments tied to those mortgages led to a loss of about $6.5 billion. Prince was replaced as chairman by former Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and as interim CEO by Sir Win Bischoff, chairman of Citi Europe who has said he doesn’t want the job permanently. Prince hasn’t been the only Citigroup executive to leave the bank since it warned of big losses in early October.
GLENDORA – The city on Tuesday joined a growing number of municipalities nationally that ban smoking in public parks. The City Council voted 4-0 to prohibit the use of any lighted tobacco or plant product in city parks and public facilities. Councilman Mark Kelly was absent from the meeting. “It’s a sign of the times,” said Mayor Ken Herman, adding that he is a former smoker who now is offended by secondhand smoke. “It’s just an awareness that this is something that people are objecting to more and more.” The vote, which occurred with minimal council discussion and no public comment, brings Glendora into the fold of more than two dozen cities in Los Angeles County that have enacted similar bans. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsWhile many cities and states across the country are approving smoking bans, California is at the forefront. The state in 1994 banned smoking in enclosed workplaces. That legislation was expanded in 1998 to include restaurants and bars. In 2001, the Legislature voted to prohibit smoking at playgrounds; the next year a 25-foot, smoke-free buffer zone around play areas was enacted. Experts say it’s part of a broad shift in attitude toward smoking that has occurred over the last 15 years. Recent studies on the negative health effects of secondhand smoke are also buoying the trend, they say. “City Council members and elected officials understand there is overwhelming public support for smokefree workplaces and public places,” said Paul Knepprath, vice president of government relations for the American Lung Association of California. The association supports bans on smoking. City prohibitions are becoming more popular, Knepprath said, adding that he eventually expects a ban of smoking in public parks to be enacted statewide. In Glendora, smoking will be banned at all parks and public facilities beginning Dec. 27. No-smoking signs will be posted. City-owned parking lots and the fairways and greens of the city’s Glen Oaks Golf Course will be exempt from the ban. Most municipalities issue a fine for smoking violations, Knepprath said. But Glendora will not levy fines, said Jim Henderson, the city’s community services director. City staff will enforce the ban, and police may be called for support if smokers refuse to cooperate, Henderson said. If that becomes a frequent problem, the city will consider fines for infractions, he said. Other cities in the San Gabriel Valley that ban smoking in public parks are Baldwin Park, Covina, El Monte, La Puente, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Rosemead, San Dimas, South Pasadena and Walnut, according to the California Department of Public Health. Smoking is also banned in Los Angeles parks. Outside the City Council chambers Tuesday night, Mark Smith was puffing on a Marlboro 100. A Glendora resident and council meeting regular, Smith said he supported the ban. “I smoke,” he said, “but they stay in the car when I go to parks.” firstname.lastname@example.org (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2110160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Rebranding is an all-American pastime. If necessity is the mother of invention, then bad press is the mother of reinvention. It’s not just Chevron, while having record profits on oil, trying to get the word out about conservation. Or Frito-Lay, whose nonrecyclable chip bags decorate the sides of our nation’s highways, announcing its attempt at being eco-friendly. Even Scientology has gotten a face-lift with its social programs being embraced by Christian leaders. What’s next? A Uri Geller comeback? A new Imus show? Target being a hip place to find designer wears? With the right perspective, anything is possible. What have Americans always liked? Outlaws! Oh yeah, Jessie James is an outlaw. Butch Cassidy, Billy the Kid, Al Capone, John Dillinger, John Gotti – we love these guys. But call them “illegals” and their luster fades. Naw, they’re outlaws. They didn’t play by the rules. They didn’t pay into Social Security. They blatantly defied federal law. And we love them for it. Outlaws are sexy. Still breaking the law – but with style! Now the words “immigrants,” “aliens” and “workers” aren’t going to fly with this image re-alignment. “That was the old Dole,” as Dole likes to say (mainly when it gets sued). “Immigrant” is too “huddled masses.” “Aliens” are known for invading. As for “workers,” it says union. It says, “they’ll take your job.” It says scabs. Scabs are bad even if you don’t like unions. Nix those words. We have to get at why these folks are here. Depending on whom you ask, there are 7 million to 20 million them of in this country. Why? Who benefits from an unlimited work force that has no legal rights, recourse or retirement plans? One or two people is a blue-collar crime – 20 million is a white-collar one! Of course we can’t call them “white-collar crime victims” because Americans don’t understand it. Martha Stewart is a white-collar criminal, and we still don’t get why. No, they are casualties of lobbying! A couple of handshakes and smoky room deals and voila! A couple of million people available for cheap labor. So why don’t we call them “political outlaws?” That would fit. It’s kind of engaging. But it sounds like they’re anarchists or Seventh-day Adventists or something equally as vexing. We have to accentuate the positive. To work on a new image we must play up the remittance figures. Remittance, not to be confused with recidivism, is the sending of money to their countries of origin. According to a new survey by Inter-American Dialogue, Mexican immigrants (legal and illegal) sent $24.25 billion home in 2006. Around half of the 100 million people in that country live below the poverty line. So it happens that this money sent back home is currently the most generous aid in existence to Mexico. So what do we have? Very poor people risking life and limb to help even poorer people! There’s a feel-good story wrapped inside a heap of schmaltz. It’s just the kind of emotional connection you need in order to create brand loyalty. OK, for their public-relations makeover, illegal immigrants will now be thought of as outlaw philanthropists! Here’s their tag line: “Their leaders failed them. To take care of their families, they did what they had to do.” See? Now they sound less like cockroaches and tapeworms and more like mammals. It doesn’t decriminalize them – it re-humanizes them. And if we can be made to feel good about shopping at Wal-Mart, we can be made to feel concern for our fellow human beings … you know the ones cleaning Wal-Marts. Tina Dupuy is a stand-up comic and a writer living in Los Angeles. She blogs at insidesocal.com/friendlyfire and sardonicsideshow.com.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThere is a group of people who need an Extreme Makeover: Homeland Edition – illegal immigrants. Their press coverage is horrible. Antibiotic-resistant staph infections get better play in the media. We have to redo their marketing strategy to give them better mass appeal. The first problem is the word “illegal.” Americans don’t like things that are illegal – like illegal drugs, illegal abortions, illegal fireworks. Illegal we equate with immoral. You just can’t do something illegal and be a good person. Illegal is derogatory. Child pornography is illegal. Illegal is always bad. Some presidential candidates want to use the term “undocumented.” That won’t work, either. It’s too bureaucratic. Too much paperwork. It reminds us of taxes. We hate filling out forms. “Paperless” rings of freedom. Documents give us paper cuts and headaches. It feels like asking a yes or no question and getting an encyclopedia for an answer. “Undocumented” won’t do.
11 11 Chelsea travel to Dean Court on Saturday afternoon, kick off 3pm.Having been humiliated by Manchester City at Stamford Bridge in their previous Premier League fixture, losing 3-0, the Blues are out to bounce back quickly against Bournemouth.Eddie Howe’s Cherries have been one of the surprise packages of this season and with Chelsea only three points ahead, defeat could see Guus Hiddink’s side drop into the bottom half of the table.Thibaut Courtois will miss the clash through suspension, with Asmir Begovic set to take his place, but who else might start?Take a look at talkSPORT’s predicted Chelsea line up v Bournemouth by viewing the slideshow above. 11 11 11 2. Branislav Ivanovic (right back) 11 11 21. Nemanja Matic (centre midfield) 22. Willian (right wing) 36. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (attacking midfield) 19. Diego Costa (striker) 11 11 11 17. Pedro (left wing) 4. Cesc Fabregas (centre midfield) 24. Gary Cahill (centre back) 11 28. Cesar Azpilicueta (right back) 6. Abdul Baba Rahman (left back) 1. Asmir Begovic (goalkeeper) – check out the full predicted line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above
Old Trafford was evacuated after a suspect package was discovered in a toilet The fake bomb which led to Manchester United’s match with West Bromwich being abandoned was discovered by a fan, strapped to the back of a toilet cubicle. Further details of Sunday’s events have now emerged, leading to further questions as to how the match was allowed to be called off. The ‘bomb’ was discovered by a supporter using the facilities, a fake device made up of a mobile phone strapped to piping, strapped to the back of the door. It had been placed there during a security training exercise last Wednesday, but was not retrieved and was left inside Old Trafford only to be spotted on the day of the match, according to The Daily Mail. The toilet, in the executive 100 Club in the north west of the stadium, was inspected by United security staff on Sunday morning, but the back of the door was not checked. In a statement, United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said: “The contractor had signed the device as having been recovered along with the 13 other devices at the end of the exercise.“Once a live situation was identified, the club and police had no option but to treat the matter as a potential terror threat. We could not have assumed it was a training exercise error. Presented with the same situation in the future, we would take the same action.“The safety of the fans is our No 1 aim at every event we host at Old Trafford. Overall, I’m proud of how our staff responded.” 1