Big Board: Oklahoma State’s Targets at QB for 2019

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Grant Tisdale — 6-foot-1 — Allen, TexasWithout question, OSU’s big board is in order listed above. If Gunnell facetimed Gundy (which he’s done a time or two) and said he was ready to commit, OSU would be rejoicing with arms wide open.#GoPokes pic.twitter.com/nyPKJQHCPT— Grant Gunnell (@grantgunnell7) March 29, 2017But another Grant, whose last name is Tisdale, could be a name worth watching. The 6-foot-1 dual-threat prospect quarterbacks the Texas powerhouse Allen Eagles, and although he’s been somewhat of a late riser on the recruiting trail he could be a major prospect in the future. He has garnered offers from SMU, Texas Tech, Mississippi State and Indiana State to this point. And because he slings the rock for Allen, he’s a lock to get more attention in his upcoming junior season.Tisdale has already made a visit to Stillwater and, despite not receiving an offer (in part because of OSU’s standing offers to Gunnell and Nix, whose recruitment is still open), the opportunity for an offer isn’t out of the question in the future. He fits the profile of a dual-threat quarterback with good mechanics who could fit OSU’s system, comparable to Keondre Wudtee and Spencer Sanders. In the spirit of NFL Draft week, our big board series listing OSU’s top recruiting targets — which began Sunday with its targets at running back — continues today with a look at the quarterback position.Quarterback is arguably the most important position in a recruiting class and it is one OSU has had great success with. Outside of Keondre Wudtee, who committed on national signing day a year ago, OSU has landed and held early commitments in recent history under Michael Yurcich, other than Nick Starkel.Jelani Woods was an early pledge last season, and Spencer Sanders, ESPN’s top QB in Texas, was OSU’s first commitment of the 2018 class.Spencer Sanders is very, very good. He tore his ACL at the end of his junior season, but make no mistake, OSU is all in on him being the future signal caller in Stillwater. So OSU isn’t worried about the position for 2018 and can instead shift its focus to 2019. Here is who OSU is targeting along with two names to keep on the radar.Grant Gunnell — 6-foot-5 — Houston, TexasGunnell isn’t just a hot commodity in the region, he’s one of the most wanted gunslingers in America. Rated as the No. 2 quarterback in the 2019 class nationally, Gunnell is a pro-style quarterback who can sit back and dissect defenses from the pocket with a similar style of Mason Rudolph.Gunnell has visited Stillwater on numerous occasions, and runs a similar style offense at St. Piux X — a wide open spread offense — that OSU runs. He’s target No. 1 for Mike Yurcich, who has been one of the best quarterback recruiters over the last few years.center_img Bo Nix — 6-foot-1.5 — Pinson, AlabamaThe very first thing that pops to you about Nix has nothing to do with his production, but rather his pedigree. Nix is the son of former Auburn quarterback Patrick Nix, who is highly regarded in Alabama circles. To that end, Nix is a heavy Auburn lean. And because Auburn has had him on the radar for so long, they were one of the first to jump in on him in his recruitment.Nix, unlike Gunnell, is a dual-threat option who is equally as productive with his arm as his legs. As a sophomore in 2016-17, Nix not only started for the varsity team. He racked up 1,737 yards through the air and 17 touchdowns with a 55.2 percent completion percentage, according to MaxPreps. He also averaged 10 yards per carry on his way to a 1,300 yard rushing season, adding 20 touchdowns on the ground.There’s a reason Auburn, Florida State, Oklahoma, LSU, Alabama and Georgia, among others, have already extended offers. He’s a top-150 recruit for a reason, and could fit OSU’s offense well with his versatile skill set.last_img read more

OSU Makes Top Schools for 3-Star Athlete Taye Barber

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Cy-Springs athlete Taye Barber has named OSU among his list of top schools along with Stanford, TCU, Ole Miss, West Virginia, Clemson, Tennessee, Arizona, Iowa State, Missouri, Kansas and Utah.Barber’s scholarship count was nearing 30 before he made the major cut to 12 on Sunday.After a stellar junior year in which he played both sides of the ball for Cypress Springs, his attention on the recruiting trail nationally skyrocketed this offseason.First, schools took notice of his skills as a free safety — the position OSU was first to offer him — but lately schools have become more and more interested in bringing him in as a playmaker out of the slot.Still, OSU’s offer, which was his first of what is now a lengthy list, meant a lot and could play a role in his final decision.“It impacts a lot,” Barber told PFB earlier this year. “They were the first school to believe in my ability as a football player.”Barber is a 5-foot-9 impact player who OSU was recruiting to bring in as a packaged deal alongside four-star standout and teammate Leon O’Neal Jr., who recently pledged to Texas A&M.last_img read more

Mason Rudolph Training With Zac Robinson, Says He’s ‘Laser Focused’

first_imgOklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph has made it an offseason habit to be trained by former OSU standout Zac Robinson. Entering his senior season, the South Carolina native made good on his habit again recently according to gopokes.com.“He’s come down a couple of times and it’s nice to get the work in,” Robinson said of the senior quarterback. “He’s always dying for more and more workouts and more information. He never stops. It is pretty impressive just to see his process and what he wants to put into this season and really attack every single day. He’s got a great process about everything he does and I’m really fired up to watch him play because everything is kind of clicking for him and he’s going to have a really good year. It is going to be fun to watch him.”Rudolph enters the 2017 season with lofty expectations. With a Biletnikoff contender to throw to, an abundance of receivers, and an All-American running back to stand by his side in the backfield, it wouldn’t at all be stunning to see him kick his feet back and enjoy the attention he’s getting on a national scale. But Robinson praised Rudolph’s focus and willingness to push to acquire knowledge despite his successes on and off the field.“He’s completely laser focused in and now when I work with him I’m not really coaching. It’s more reminders,” said Robinson. “You get to a certain level and it is just a reminder here and a reminder there. Coach Yurcich and those guys do such a good job with him that what I do is kind of an extension of what they’re doing. He knows what he needs to work on and some of the weaknesses that he ultimately wants to become strengths and I think he’s done that in the off season. He is a very planned out guy and wants everything done a structured way. That is what it takes to play quarterback and be real successful and he definitely has all that stuff going.”At Big 12 media days, Rudolph said he was motivated by one thing: winning the chip.“I won a state championship my senior year in high school, and that’s something I hadn’t done after the first years where we lost,” he said. “I think I’m motivated by that. It’s kind of the sole goal that’s in the forefront of our teams mind.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Report: OSU Interested in LSU Transfer Maea Teuhema

first_imgOklahoma State is among the schools who are receiving permission to contact LSU offensive lineman Maea Teuhema, Bruce Feldman of Sports Illustrated reported on Thursday.LSU announced that Teuhema was suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules this past Tuesday, leading him to seek a transfer from the school. Before then, his status was in question due to academic eligibility.Oklahoma, USC and Houston have also expressed interest in the Keller, Texas, native who received offers from OU and OSU as a recruit. He was the No. 2 guard prospect in the country coming out of high school in 2015. He was a two-year starter on the LSU offensive line.If Teuhema were to commit to the Cowboys, he would have to sit out one season, per NCAA transfer regulations, making him eligible for the 2018-2019 season. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

John Bolding Commits to FIU; Where Does That Leave OSU With Tayland Humphrey?

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. So much for that packaged deal that OSU had cooking with top-ranked junior college defensive tackle Tayland Humphrey and his younger brother, John Bolding.Bolding, a senior from Klein Oak High School, chose to commit to FIU on Monday over other offers from OSU, Arkansas State, and several other small group of five teams.@KLEINOAKFB @recruitingko @BrynRenner @Big_Saucy_ @k_win67 @ChamiecaS @FIUFootball pic.twitter.com/dP2ehect9U— John Bolding III (@LiL_Saucyy_) August 1, 2017AdChoices广告Bolding’s recruitment with OSU was spurned by the staff’s interest with his older brother, Tayland, who made it clear he would not visit schools on an official basis unless they offered his brother. So OSU honored his wish, offered Bolding a scholarship during their unofficial visit earlier this summer, and at the time made a big impression on the younger Bolding by OSU’s approach to recruit him.“They told me I had my own scholarship,” he said an interview with Pistols Firing. “They said they were recruiting me as an offensive lineman. He [Josh Henson] was like, ‘You can redshirt if you want. Every freshmen has that option.’ He explained to me that I had my own scholarship and it wasn’t because of my brother. It was because of me.”What’s head-scratching about the decision is that Bolding made it pretty clear he and his brother had every intention of committing together and eventually picking the same school, which begs the question: Is Tayland Humphrey, a four-star junior college talent, going to commit to FIU?“Him and I are going to decide together,” said Bolding three weeks ago. “Most likely … we are going to play together. He told me that he will not take an official visit unless they offer me too. And we’re sticking to that.”I get that Bolding said the two would likely play together at the next level, but I would be stunned by that now. Most talent scouts would agree that Humphrey’s an NFL talent. He has offers from Texas A&M, Alabama, OSU, Arkansas, Florida State and dozens of others. Would he really spurn those opportunities to play for a major Division I program to head east and play for an FIU team that went 4-8 last season? My guess is no. But if it’s a no, he doesn’t seem to have closed the door on it just yet. OSU will likely continue recruiting both Bolding and Humphrey despite the early pledge, but the unfolding situation between the self-described Saucy brothers is one that is worth watching in the coming weeks and months. All signs point to OSU now being out of the mix for Humphrey with Bolding off the board, which could lead to a full-court press by the OSU staff on Millwood’s Israel Antwine and newly-offered Texas talent Bobby Brown.last_img read more

Award Watch List Roundup: OSU Totals 19 Preseason Accolades

first_img12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 5 Offensive Lineman in Big 12 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. AdChoices广告Rudolph finished the watch list season on five lists but was left off the First Team All-Big 12. Beaten by Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, Rudolph was relegated to the second team. He was OSU’s leader in accolades over the summer.Right behind Rudolph was Washington. 11-JulRimington Trophy Fall Watch ListBest Center 18-JulWuerffel Trophy Watch ListCommunity Service, Academic and Athletic Success 19-JulDavey O’Brien Award Watch ListBest Quarterback Tre Flowers Justice Hill 20-JulDoak Walker Award Watch ListBest Running Back 19-JulDodd Trophy Watch ListBest Coach Jalen McCleskey 14-JulHeartland Emmy AwardVirtual Reality Project 21-JulWalter Camp Award Watch ListPlayer of the Year 21-JulWalter Camp Award Watch ListPlayer of the Year 16-AugEarl Campbell Award Watch ListBest Offensive Player Washington wrapped up the summer on four lists, including the First Team All-Big 12. In fact, he was the only unanimous selection to the first team. Two players were tied for third in summer accolades after the two Cowboy stars, including one on defense. There for a while, it seemed as if Mason Rudolph and James Washington were getting put on a different preseason award watch list every day.Oklahoma State’s players, coach Mike Gundy and even the program at large are up for awards. Between July 10 and July 21, 19 nods were given to those residing in Stillwater. So after almost two weeks without any news on that front, let’s catch up on which Cowboys are poised to make runs at which awards. Brad Lundblade 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 5 Defensive Back in Big 12center_img 14-JulJim Thorpe Award Watch ListBest Defensive Back James Washington Mason Rudolph 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 2 Running Back in Big 12 OSU 18-JulBiletnikoff Award Watch ListBest Receiver 10-JulMaxwell Award Watch ListBest All-Around Player 18-JulBiletnikoff Award Watch ListBest Receiver Zach Crabtree 12-JulFirst Team All-Big 12Top 3 Receiver in Big 12 Flowers was OSU’s lone defensive representative on the First Team All-Big 12. He is second Cowboy safety to be named to the first team in as many years after Jordan Sterns landed on the team last year.Other honorees were as follows: 12-JulRay Guy Award Watch ListBest Punter Mike Gundy 16-AugManning Award Watch ListBest Quarterback 19-JulJohnny Unitas Award Watch ListBest Senior Quarterback 10-JulMaxwell Award Watch ListBest All-Around Player Zach Sinorlast_img read more

Linebackers Depth Chart Primer: Bundage, Edison-McGruder Key This Year

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Yesterday we got our first look at some defensive depth chart projections when we looked at the defensive line and what role Glenn Spencer’s group will play on the whole this year. Today, linebackers.LinebackersLB/Star – Kenneth Edison-Mcgruder – Jr. |  Calvin Bundage – So. | Kirk Tucker – Sr.MLB – Chad Whitener – RS-Sr. | Gyasi Akem – Sr. | Devin Harper/Patrick MaconWLB – Justin Phillips – RS-Jr. | Kevin Henry – RS-So.AdChoices广告Pretty exciting group here. I’m not as high as most on Whitener, but he’s the guy in the middle who should be the leader. It’s kind of a boom or bust group in my opinion, I would expect some really incredble plays and some bone-headed mistakes and growing pains. This isn’t a great run stopping group, but I do think they will be better in pass coverage than past LB corps.Glenn Spencer mentioned this in the PFB video at Karsten Creek, but he certainly plans on getting Edison-McGruder and Bundage on the field at the same time even if they’re slotted for the same position.You can see the strategy playing out, picture it 3rd and 10 and you have KEM and Bundage at LB and Darius Curry, Ramon Richards and Tre Flowers at safety. That is a really strong pass defensive group right there, and you absolutely have to be able to defend the pass in the Big 12.I would expect this more and more if you see four-LB looks, especially when both guys have ability to drop into deep zone coverage. Those two (KEM/Bundage) have the biggest play-making ability of the entire group. Bundage is my favorite player on the defense, he is extremely physical and can make plays with his length. He needs to cut down on mistakes but he is a player to watch moving forward.Justin Phillips has a lot of ability, he was able to get some valuable experience last year and looked awesome at times.Nice recognition by Justin Phillips here in zone coverage. Sees first WR through zone, feels square in and makes the play. pic.twitter.com/6x4khwGpZE— Adam Lunt (@AdamLunt817) July 29, 2017 Has the athleticism to make plays in pass coverage. He isn’t overly physical at point of attack but is sufficient enough there. I’ve said it a few times on Twitter, but I think Phillips and Bundage have the best chance to make it to the next level at the linebacker spot. Kirk Tucker will play a big role on special teams and in 3rd down passing situations.Having a Senior like Gyasi Akem at backup MLB is a nice thing to have, he is someone that provides some solid depth so we can keep Whitener’s snap count to a reasonable number. In previous years he has been on the field way too much.Kevin Henry provides nice depth at Will Linebacker behind Phillips. He had some moments last year where he played well, but he’s still young.Overall I would expect Edison-McGruder and Bundage to set the tone for this group. If they take the next step and maximize their potential this could end up being a really solid LB unit. If not I think it could be a long year for the OSU defense.last_img read more

Secondary Depth Chart Primer: Experience Marks Safety Position

first_imgWe are at the end of our depth chart primers as the actual two deep should be released on Friday when Mike Gundy holds his press conference for the Tulsa game. On our last lap around Boone Pickens Stadium, let’s take a look at the Oklahoma State secondary.CornerbacksProjected startersCB – A.J. Green – So.CB – Adrian Baker – RS-Sr.Projected backupsAdChoices广告Malik Kearse – Sr.Madre Harper – So.Rodarius Williams – RS-Fr.Bryce Balous – RS-So.Bryce Brown – RS-So.Lamarcus Morton -Fr.Along with the Cowboy Backs, this is a unit that is a big unknown. We know that Adrian Baker can play, but he’s coming off an ACL and has never played a down for OSU. A.J. Green showed some flashes last year, specifically late, but there is not a ton of tape on him.Rodarius Williams easily could be listed as a starter as well, he is a guy the coaching staff is very high on. I get the feeling Green is firmly entrenched as a starter, and Williams/Baker are battling it out for the second spot. But this is irrelevant for the most part. Just like last year with Lampkin/Pipkins/Richards, OSU will have three cornerbacks on the field at times and will rotate the group a lot.Outside of those three guys mentioned, there is a group of about 4-5 who can provide depth, but haven’t really separated themselves.  My prediction is Bryce Balous and Madre Harper are the guys who see the most playing time from the reserve CB unit.Fall camp usually creates a few questions going into August.  Some of those this year were who the backup QB will be, what will the RB depth chart look like, but ultimately I think this question will be the biggest. What will the two-deep CB depth chart look like?  I think there is just a lot of speculation at this point and it will play out over the next 2-3 weeks.Expect this group to exceed your expectations. There is solid talent here and several key players who are poised to step up as big contributors.SafetyProjected startersTre Flowers – RS-Sr.Ramon Richards – Sr.Projected backups Jerel Morrow – RS-Sr.Darius Curry – RS-Sr.Za-Carrius Green – RS-So.Malcolm Rodriguez – Fr.Thabo Mwaniki -Fr.Kris McCune – Fr.At safety you have to feel pretty good. You have a TON of experience here and play-making ability. Tre Flowers is making the move to SS, given the fact that Ramon Richards doesn’t really have the size for consistent run support. Darius Curry will provide a lot of depth, and it is not completely out of the question for Spencer to play three high safeties. Since OSU has 3-4 quality safeties and 2-3 strong pass coverage LBs, it will give them the flexibility to play a lot of different looks in pass-only situations.Richards will be a really interesting story to follow, with his move to FS from CB. A lot of people label him as a guy who takes a lot of chances at CB, but actually after reviewing game film he was actually pretty consistent. He obviously is a ball hawk, and always seems to put himself in position to make plays, which is a great strength. I think the move to FS will allow him to roam a little more, and put himself in position to make more plays. Even in previous seasons they used him in a lot of different ways, this is just making things official with the position move. His ability to be a consistent tackler in space and the box will be crucial. The person who filled this role previously, Tre Flowers, has been the best tackler on the team the last few years.Flowers has the ability to make it in the NFL, with his length and versatility, the skills are there. But he really needs to prove his ability in run support. He has a strange skill set where he has the frame for a strong safety, but is really better served in a free safety capacity. If he can prove that he is able to make plays in/around the line of scrimmage, it will go a long way in proving his draft status. I think making the move to SS will help his stock, but it’s a big year for him. Could mean the difference between getting as high as a 3rd-4th rounder or going undrafted. I would expect him to play SS this season, but at next level make the move back to FS.I think a problem might be run support. Jordan Sterns was a tackle machine, and was strong run defender. There isn’t really an overly physical safety in this entire group, so I would expect them to leverage the Star (Bundage/KEM combo) position in four-LB sets for more run support instead of bringing up the SS inside the box area. Also don’t completely rule out the Star dropping into more of a safety capacity, I saw several examples in 2016 of Jordan Burton dropping into deep cover 3 coverage.Early word from camp reports is Thabo Mwaniki is impressing. Along with Tylan Wallace and Brock Martin, he is another candidate for a true freshmen getting early playing time and avoiding a redshirt. OSU has had good luck with players from Denton Guyer, hopefully he continues the trend.If this group can force turnovers and limit mistakes, they can still give up points and have a successful year. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

‘Neymar technically best in the world’

first_imgNeymar ‘Neymar technically best in the world’ – Pele sees PSG forward, Messi & Ronaldo as only ‘superstars’ Chris Burton Last updated 1 year ago 17:18 24/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(6) Neymar PSG Troyes Ligue 1 29112017 Getty Neymar World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo Lionel Messi PSG Real Madrid Barcelona Ligue 1 Primera División The Brazil legend is looking forward to seeing a countryman at this summer’s World Cup, with a star turn ready to prove himself among the elite Neymar is “technically the best player in the world”, says Pele, with the Paris Saint-Germain forward one of only three “superstars” in the global game.While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have enjoyed a duopoly of Ballon d’Or honours over the last decade, the Real Madrid and Barcelona icons now face fierce competition for the crown.Brazil international Neymar is considered to be their closest challenger, with the 26-year-old now the most expensive player on the planet following a €222 million move to PSG. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp He has impressed in France, netting 26 times in 29 appearances, and will once again shoulder the expectations of a nation at this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.Pele believes Neymar is ready to deliver on such a stage and enhance his standing among the elite, with the Brazilian legend telling FIFA’s official website: “Neymar has changed the way he plays with the national team. He has had to.“At his club side, he was playing as a left-sided attacker, whereas for Brazil, he plays more centrally, as a more traditional No. 10. “He’s ready to lead this team, yes. He might find that the tactical switch from his club to the national team isn’t straightforward, but Neymar is Brazil’s key player.“He has to prepare himself for that. And I would go further: for me, technically, he is already the best player in the world. I’m absolutely sure of that.”There are plenty of other players ready to shine under the brightest of spotlights, such as PSG striker Kylian Mbappe and Manchester City playmaker Kevin De Bruyne, but Pele does not consider them to be at the very highest level just yet.He added: “If you look around the world, the ones who stand out are Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. There are no other superstars.”Neymar needs to prove that he is deserving of such a standing, with PSG looking for him to spark a Champions League revival against Real Madrid and land the Ligue 1 title before Brazil call on him to help lead the charge for a sixth World Cup crown.last_img read more

PSG looking to Di Maria to cover Neymar absence

first_imgPSG v Real Madrid With no Neymar, PSG looking to Di Maria for inspiration against Real Madrid Ryan Benson 06:09 4/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments() di maria-cropped AFP PSG v Real Madrid UEFA Champions League Troyes v PSG PSG Real Madrid Ligue 1 The Argentine forward scored yet again on Saturday and Unai Emery is looking to him to impress in Tuesday’s crunch Champions League encounter Unai Emery will look to Angel Di Maria in the absence of Neymar for Paris Saint-Germain’s crunch Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Tuesday.Brazil star Neymar is set to miss most of the rest of the season due to a fractured foot and will be unavailable when PSG look to overturn the 3-1 first-leg defeat they suffered at the Santiago Bernabeu.Nevertheless, former Madrid star Di Maria is in fine form and continued his strong recent scoring run in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Troyes, taking his tally to seven in six games across all competitions. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Emery hopes the Argentina international will impress on a “special” day against Madrid.”Both [Di Maria and Neymar] are important players, with qualities to make the difference,” Emery told reporters.”With his confidence, his experience and his desire, Di Maria is very competitive. Tuesday will be a special moment for Angel and other players.”Emery named an unfamiliar XI during the win over Troyes, with Neymar joined by Kylian Mbappe in the treatment room, while Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani were among those rested.The coach gave a full update on numerous players after Saturday’s win and is expecting to have everyone other than Neymar ready.”They continued the work,” Emery said of the absentees. “Marquinhos is fine, he will be able to train with the group on Sunday.”Marco Verratti had a little pain. He wouldn’t have been 100 per cent for Tuesday if he had played in Troyes, that’s why we rested him.”Kylian Mbappe, we thought he could play, but the doctor decided he was better off resting. On Sunday he may be with us and I hope he will be ready.”Cavani ended up with a knock against Marseille. He could have played, but it was better that he rested too.”[Javier] Pastore also had minor calf injury, but I hope he will get better. Apart from Neymar, I hope everyone will be there.”last_img read more

Allegri: Juve will compete against CL ‘favourites’

first_imgJuventus Allegri promises Juventus will compete with Champions League ‘favourites’ Goal Last updated 1 year ago 09:47 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Juventus UEFA Champions League Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Tottenham Hotspur Videos The Juventus manager praised his team for advancing to the tournament’s quarter-finals, though he acknowledged a difficult road ahead Massilmiliano Allegri is pleased Juventus have made the quarterfinals of the Champions League, but has cautioned his team have a tough road ahead.Juventus came back from a goal down in the second leg against Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley, behind a three-minute pair of goals by the Argentine duo Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala to advance past Spurs 4-3 on aggregate.The victory sends Juventus into the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the third time in four years. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And Allegri, who managed Juventus to the Champions League final last season, is pleased to have continued his success in the tournament.”First an foremost we’re really happy that we won tonight and that we made it to the last eight,” Allegri said. “I’ve always said since I first came to Juventus that our ambition is to go as far as possible.”However, Juventus now sit in a top-eight that features the likes of runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City, and Real Madrid, the latter of who have won the tournament the last two seasons. They may also be joined in the last-eight by Barcelona and Bayern Munich, meaning Juventus may well find themselves matched up against one of those sides in the next round.And Allegri is preaching caution, talking up the quality of the ‘favorites’ though promising his side will compete no matter the opposition.”But you just have to look around you,” Allegri added. “We’re in the last eight and there’s some really good teams. People talk about Real Madrid and Barcelona, who are perhaps up there with the favorites, but that doesn’t mean that we’re not going to compete.”Juventus has advanced to the Champions League final in two of the last four seasons. In each of those appearances, they dispatched one of Real Madrid or Barcelona in the knockout stages, only to lose to the other in the final.last_img read more

Juan Mata hails Liverpool rivalry

first_imgMata Mata: Manchester United-Liverpool the biggest game for both clubs Jamie Smith 05:19 10/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Juan Mata Getty Images Manchester United v Liverpool Manchester United Premier League Liverpool Manchester City The Manchester derby is not the biggest game in English football, according to Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata. Juan Mata believes the Premier League rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester United makes it the biggest game in English football.The Spain midfielder hit a brace at Anfield in March 2015, including a superb scissor-kick volley.But while his manager Jose Mourinho just deemed it another important game in the run up to Saturday’s match, Mata ranks the United-Liverpool rivalry above games such as the north London derby between Tottenham and Arsenal, as well as the Manchester derby. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp “It is the biggest game for both teams and maybe in English football as well,” Mata told MUTV, “The rivalry, the history of both clubs and the atmosphere as well.”Any game against Liverpool is special and, if you are able to score a fantastic goal or have a great performance, it will be remembered forever.”I think if you ask fans what my best moment at United is, it would probably be that game and, specifically, that goal.”It was a fantastic day for me: playing at Anfield, scoring twice and scoring the winning goal.”United host Liverpool on Saturday on the back of a thrilling comeback win at Crystal Palace on Monday, Mourinho’s men claiming a 3-2 victory thanks to a late Nemanja Matic screamer.What. A. Feeling. @ManUtd @premierleague #mufc pic.twitter.com/QOlNHDqd14— Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) March 5, 2018″It was a tough game,” Mata said. “We were lucky to come back after being 2-0 down, especially playing away from home. The result was a great boost of confidence as well as beating Chelsea the week before.”Liverpool are a good team. Everything is going quite well for them, especially with their attacking players. They’re scoring a lot of goals especially from Mohamed Salah, who’s having a fantastic season. We need to be ready for them.”Every player prefers to play at home. We need to make that count. We are at Old Trafford, where we feel comfortable, and we need to give 100 per cent to create an atmosphere for the fans.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Arsenal get CSKA Moscow in Europa League

first_imgArsenal Europa League draw: Arsenal pitted against CSKA Moscow in quarter-finals Robin Bairner Last updated 1 year ago 20:09 16/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Danny Welbeck, Hector Bellerin, Arsenal Shaun Botterill Arsenal UEFA Europa League Arsenal v Milan Milan The Gunners will travel to Russia as they bid to win the competition, ahead of the likes of Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Marseille Arsenal have been drawn to face CSKA Moscow in the Europa League quarter-finals.Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid, who are the favourites to win the competition along with the Premier League outfit, have been paired with Sporting CP in the last eight. The other ties see RB Leipzig tackle Marseille and Lazio face Salzburg.The Europa League now looks the Gunners’ most realistic chance of reaching the Champions League next season, as they lie 12 points shy of fourth-placed Tottenham, though they face a Russian side that dumped out Lyon from the competition on away goals at the last-16 stage. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Arsenal beat Milan 5-1 on aggregate over two legs, winning 2-0 in Italy and 3-1 in north London.CSKA lie third in the Russian league table, level on points with second-placed Spartak Moscow, and eight points behind leaders Lokomotiv.Atletico thumped Lokomotiv over two legs, winning 8-1 on aggregate, while their quarter-final opponents, Sporting, beat FK Viktoria Plzen 3-2 on aggregate, despite a 2-1 second leg defeat.RB Leipzig overcame Zenit St Petersburg, while Marseille beat Athletic Bilbao. Lazio defeated Dynamo Kiev, and Salzburg beat Borussia Dortmund.These fixtures will be played on April 5 and 12.The Europa League semi-final draw will take place on April 13, and the final will be played on May 16 at Groupama Stadium in France.last_img read more

OSU Has Had Success Bouncing Back While Playing Multiple QBs

first_imgOur nine-month drought without football will come to end on Friday when Oklahoma State opens its season Oregon State in Corvallis. For the Cowboys, it’s probably seemed more like nine years.Just three times during the last decade has OSU failed to reach double-digit wins — 2012 (8-5), 2014 (7-6) and last year (7-6). Fortunately, Gundy’s team always bounced back with a 10-win season. The uncertainty at quarterback might bring up doubts about keeping that streak alive, but maybe it shouldn’t.Gundy does have a plan which, for the time being, involves playing both Spencer Sanders and Dru Brown, but who will start and how those snaps get divvied up is anybody’s guess.Coincidentally, both of those bounceback seasons also came with multiple quarterbacks at the helm.The most recent rebound was in 2015 when Oklahoma State blasted off to a 10-0 start fueled by residual fumes from Mason Rudolph’s 2014 Bedlam win and a 2-1 finish to his would-be redshirt season. But J.W. Walsh also made huge contributions to the offense. Before that, it was the 2013 team led, at different times, by Clint Chelf and Walsh that finished 10-3 and just missed out on a conference championship.Both of those teams utilized multiple passers, but each did so in different ways.In 2015, it was no question who would start. Mason Rudolph had grasped the reins of the offense and provided a much-needed spark following a five-game losing streak in 2014. Despite sharing reps in short-yardage and goal-line situations with the more proficient runner, J.W. Walsh, it was Rudolph’s team.This 2019 team shouldn’t have the issues that 2015 team had in short-yardage situations or in the running game as a whole. But there still is the possibility that both QBs have a role in the offense, and even at the same time. Sean Gleeson has utilized two and sometimes three quarterbacks at once, and if it brings value to the offense, all the better.But in 2013, the rotation was more about instability than a situational substitution. After a close race throughout fall camp, senior Clint Chelf got the nod to start in Houston when the Cowboys opened up against Mississippi State — but that was short-lived. After just six pass attempts he was pulled for Walsh.So began a quarterback carousel that lasted all season. Each passer got his shot with Chelf finishing the year as the starter. The Cowboys, thanks largely to a very good defense, still finished with 10 wins and were this close to winning two Bedlams and two Big 12 titles in three seasons.If we look at Gundy’s tenure on the whole, those two seasons seem to be more the exception than rule.So… when Oklahoma State has a franchise passer, it wins at a much higher clip than when it doesn’t (shocker). That’s probably true at any school, but at OSU the difference is drastic. In those one-QB years OSU went 85-32 (.726). In the multi-QB years it went 36-27 (.571). [PFB]Leaning on multiple guys to fill the role of QB1 is obviously not the ideal situation, so if one of the two takes the job by force in the these first couple of weeks, I’m sure Gundy would be as happy as any fan would. But if that isn’t in the cards for OSU, at least Gundy has shown the ability to bounce back from a down year regardless. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

MHTF Terms of Reference Finalized

first_imgMany thanks to all who contributed valuable time and energy to the drafting and reviewing of these Terms of Reference. We look forward to applying these guidelines to an exciting work-plan, which is now under development. We will post more on that in the coming weeks.Share this: Posted on April 14, 2009November 13, 2014Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The Maternal Health Task Force Terms of Reference ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: I am pleased to post the final MHTF Terms of Reference (PDF, 68kb) which will be used to guide our work over the next three years. This document outlines the ways in which the MHTF will operate to achieve its goal and objectives, and describes the niche that the MHTF aims to fill in the expanding global response to improving the health of mothers everywhere. This document is the result of extensive research and consultation with an array of maternal health experts around the world, and it was the subject of a launch meeting that took place in Washington, D.C. in late February 2009. (Download the report — PDF, 60kb — of that meeting.)last_img read more

Global Maternal Health Conference 2010: Day One Take-Aways from the Young Champions

first_imgShare this: Posted on August 31, 2010June 21, 2017By: Lorraine Thompson, Winner, Ashoka’s Maternal Health Blogging ContestClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)On August 30 at 8:00am, the air was already hot and sticky as Ashoka’s Young Champions and Changemakers boarded an air-conditioned bus. After careening across Delhi’s bumpy streets, the young social entrepreneurs stepped into the bright light of downtown Delhi for their first day at the Global Maternal Health Conference (GMHC).In the morning they attended the Conference’s inaugural ceremonies. After lunch they absorbed new facts, figures and findings at special conference sessions. Later that evening, I caught up with two Young Champions and a Changemaker to ask a question:What was your most important takeaway from today’s GMHC sessions? How will it impact your work?Onikepe Owolabi“At the first presentation today, I was struck by the obstetric epidemiologist from Aberdeen (Wendy J. Graham from Immpact at the Univeristy of Aberdeen). She kept mentioning context of research. And it struck me that when we look at studies to influence what we do, we should always try to find out about the culture of the people there. And the other things was her idea of ‘failing forward’: learning to maximize our failures—to make them into successes and leverage them for future successes.”“In the afternoon, I attended a session on the social and economic impacts on maternal health. There was a young man who spoke about a qualitative study done in Nepal. Because of what I heard in the morning, I was a lot more open to qualitative research. Sometimes people think it’s not as scientific as quantitative data collection. He spoke about the cultural things that stopped women from accessing healthcare. He kind of sparked a thought in my heart—that culture is an integral part of people’s lives.”“I think the aim of our Young Champion projects should be to eliminate the harmful practices of culture. But maybe we will get women to access healthcare better if we can incorporate some good parts of culture. From my cultural context, many people use traditional birth attendants because they want the love, the prayers and the social support. So maybe if we could somehow incorporate those spiritual rituals into hospital birthing and institutional deliveries, women would be more open to using them—as against just insisting that they come to the hospital.”Seth Cochran“The partner I work with in Uganda uses these birth kits. She goes around to different women in the villages and shows them a little backpack filled with things that will make a pregnancy safer. Really basic stuff. Like soap to wash your hands. A razor to cut the cord—a sterile razor. A clean blanket.”“Originally I thought, it was a great idea. But it turns out it’s a pretty controversial idea. A lot of people worry that if you give a woman this kit of clean stuff, it’s going to tell her it’s okay to give birth at home. And that’s not what the institutional players want. They want the women having their babies in hospitals. Which I think is ideal—but in a lot of cases not realistic.”“Since the Women Deliver Conference, I’ve been thinking I need to better understand this discussion. So today I went to a session on birth kits. It was structured almost like a debate. Like, Here are some of the facts: What do you think?”“And it became very clear to me what I want to do. With these birth kits, there are all these possibilities, right? It doesn’t have to be a facility birth. If you manage it properly, not only can it make a woman want to go to the hospital, it can help the hospital more effectively treat her. It’s a packaged set of commodities—and the facility may be short of commodities.”At the hospital, they know, if they’ve been trained, how to receive this woman: The woman comes with a little package, they can immediately take every thing out, do the job quicker, more effectively, make sure everything’s there.”“Today the debate made it very clear in my mind that I’m going to do this as a fundamental part of my program. The specifics of how—I’m not quite sure about yet. But my mind was boiling with possibilities: You could sell these things. You could sell vouchers for additional care. You could give them vouchers for local transport—negotiate with taxis. It’s a physical good, a package that’s not only sellable to the woman in Africa—or donate-able—but it’s also saleable to the donating public. Because it’s tangible. And it’s low cost—probably less than $10 or $15.”Dr. Minal Singh“I liked meeting people from the same field, with a similar cause. The best part was I’m coming away with the feeling that I’m not alone—I’m not facing different values in the field of maternal health. The values are shared by people all over the world. So it gives me lots of inspiration to work with new energy when I get back.”“There are so many synergies. Though we had little time to connect with all the partners, I’m sure we have their contact details and their organization names. Thanks to the World Wide Web, we’ll be able to connect again. I can see much potential—people from whom I can learn and partner.”“In the afternoon I attended a session on the social and economic and cultural implications of maternal health. It was a very nice talk. And this is actually the problem we are facing—the gap in India between the rural and the urban and also the economic gap. So I hope this will help me implement better.”Lorraine Thompson is the winner of the Ashoka’s Maternal Health Blogging Contest and is live blogging for the Change Summit and the Global Maternal health Conference. Stay up to date with the conference happenings! Follow the Maternal Health Task Force and EngenderHealth on Twitter: @MHTF and @EngenderHealth. The conference hashtag is #GMHC2010.For more posts about the Global Maternal Health Conference, click here.For the live stream schedule, click here.Check back soon for the archived videos of the conference presentations. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

TFA LOOKING FOR NEW STAFF MEMBER

first_imgTouch Football Australia invites suitable applicants to fill the vacant position of Media Coordinator in the National Office in Canberra.The position is responsible for generating profile for the sport and is the primary conduit for communications with members.  Key among the duties is the establishment and maintenance of a national network primarily of volunteers and part time workers to raise the profile of the sport at grass roots level.  Media liaison and sponsor servicing at major events is also a key function.A Job Description is available here: MEDIA, PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MARKETING CO-ORDINATORThis position would suit a recent graduate from a relevant tertiary course.By COB Wednesday 5 July 2006, applicants should email a brief overview of their qualifications and experience as they relate to the selection criteria, together with a resume containing contact details of referees to jodie.taylor@austouch.com.au For more info please contact Kevin Thompson on 6285 2703.last_img read more

Salah will be stopped by Russia, Cherchesov promises

first_imgRussia Salah will be stopped by Russia, Cherchesov promises Dom Farrell Last updated 1 year ago 20:52 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) StanislavCherchesov - cropped Getty Images Russia World Cup Russia v Egypt Egypt Mohamed Salah Sergio Ramos The coach of the hosts is confident that his players will maintain their momentum following a spectacular opening-night win over Saudi Arabia Russia head coach Stanislav Cherchesov has pledged to leave Mohamed Salah shackled when the World Cup hosts take on Egypt in St Petersburg on Tuesday.Talk of Salah dominated Cherchesov’s pre-match media briefing at Krestovsky Stadium, with the Liverpool star having been declared fit to return from the shoulder injury he sustained during last month’s 3-1 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.The Egyptian Football Association similarly declared Salah was ready to take on Uruguay in their opening 1-0 Group A defeat but experienced boss Hector Cuper opted not to risk his prized asset. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Salah, 26, tore Premier League and Champions League defences apart during a stunning debut season at Anfield that yielded 44 goals, but Cherchesov is confident he has the remedy as his team look to build upon an emphatic 5-0 win over Saudi Arabia.”What can I say? I trust in my team,” he said. “I believe in my players and I will give you a simple answer.”We are ready to do this and we will do this.”Cherchesov dismissed the notion that roughhouse tactics would come into play and defended Madrid captain Sergio Ramos against an accusation that he purposely caused Salah’s injury.”Is someone going to behave as Ramos behaved? I don’t understand the question,” he replied.”I saw that he was holding the cup of the Champions League and tomorrow there will be no cup.”I believe that Ramos did not do this on purpose. This is a contact sport and, as I understand, no one injures people from other teams on purpose.”The man charged with thwarting Salah as Russia’s last line of defence is goalkeeper and captain Igor Akinfeev.The CSKA Moscow man bristled at persistent references to Salah as he sat alongside his coach.”First of all I will tell you about my team,” he said. “I believe we should pay more attention to the Russian team. We have our own tasks, our own missions and so on.”We know there will not be mannequins against us. These will be living beings. It is not only Mo Salah who will be playing against us. They have another 20-plus players. We will see what will happen.”Asked whether he was looking forward to playing against Salah, Akinfeev snapped back: “I don’t even know how to start preparing how to respond to your question, frankly.”I would prefer that my team win tomorrow, that’s my response.”The winning feeling deserted Russia during their preparations – something a comparatively jovial Cherchesov made light of when their dismal run of friendly form was brought up.”Hey – no, no! We’re not talking about the seven games [without a win],” he said.”We have won one game already here at the World Cup, so what is the next question?”Soon enough, it will be Salah posing them.last_img read more

Alderweireld aiming to stop Spurs team-mate Kane at WC

first_imgWorld Cup Alderweireld aims to earn his Spurs against in-form Kane Rob Lancaster Last updated 1 year ago 23:41 6/25/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Alderweireld_Kane_cropped Clive Rose/Getty Images World Cup England v Belgium England Belgium Harry Kane The Tottenham defender knows Belgium will have to work as a team to stop his club team-mate the Group G decider Toby Alderweireld plans to provide inside information to help Belgium keep England captain Harry Kane quiet at the World Cup, even if it is “difficult to stop” his Tottenham team-mate.Defender Alderweireld has helped the Red Devils reach the knockout rounds in Russia, with comfortable wins over Panama and Tunisia seeing them qualify from Group G.With Kane on form – the 24-year-old has a tournament-high five goals already – England are also already certain to progress from the same pool. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar The two European nations meet on Thursday in Kaliningrad with the victor certain to go through as group winners, potentially paving the way for an easier path to the latter stages.Having played on the same team as Kane since joining Spurs in July 2015, Alderweireld knows all about the talents of the leader in the Golden Boot race – and not just in terms of putting the ball in the net.”Hopefully it’s an advantage for the defenders,” the centre-back told Standard Sport.”I know his strength, of course. But his strength is that he’s good at everything. He’s quick, he’s strong, left foot, right foot, headers.”It’s so difficult to stop him. That’s what I know. As a team, we have to be tough [in order] to beat him.”He just breathes football. He wants to improve, improve, improve. He’s not only a goal-scorer. He works so hard for the team. He’s available to help the plays. He’s the all-round striker.”Kane scored three times in the 6-1 thumping of Panama on Sunday, making him just the third Englishman – after Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker – to hit a hat-trick at a World Cup.last_img read more