Unai Emery has confirmed Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny will make his long-awaited comeback against Qarabag on Thursday night – with Mesut Ozil also set to feature in the Europa League dead rubber.Koscielny, 33, has yet to play under Emery having ruptured his Achilles in the Europa League semi-final defeat to Atletico Madrid in May.The defender missed France’s World Cup success as he battled back to fitness and featured for 85 minutes in a Checkatrade Trophy clash with Portsmouth last week.Koscielny is now set to start against Azerbaijani minnows Qarabag as Emery tests his fitness ahead of a Premier League return.The Gunners have a defensive crisis on their hands ahead of Sunday’s trip to Southampton with Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos injured, Shkodran Mustafi struggling with a hamstring problem and Sokratis Papastathopoulos suspended.That could mean Koscielny will be asked to play twice in four days as Emery prepares to welcome back his skipper.“Our first aim in this competition, we have done, which was to be first in the group,” the Spaniard said when asked about his team selection with progression as group winners already assured.“But we respect this competition and we respect Qarabag and tomorrow our objective is to win and we are going to give players chances tomorrow to take responsibility, take rhythm and take confidence.“Also, because we are going to play a lot of matches, in the next 10 days we play four matches – each of them very important…it is in our planning to start with Laurent Koscielny.“We are going to decide after tomorrow’s match, as it’s the first match with us that Laurent Koscielny will play. We are going to look also if he can play 90 minutes or less minutes in this game.“We can use another player in this position, someone like Nacho Monreal, who is also with us and in his career he played in this position.“We are going to decide but the first is to think about the match tomorrow because we need to receive information on how he can feel tomorrow.”Meanwhile, Ozil has missed the last five games in all competitions having initially dropped out of the side at Bournemouth before being ruled out with a back injury.He could also be in line to play against Qarabag having lost his place in Emery’s Premier League side.“I don’t know,” Emery replied when asked if Ozil would feature.“Tomorrow he is in the group, there are 18 players in the squad for this match and I am going to decide if he plays tomorrow from the beginning or during the match in the 90 minutes.”
As the PNC’s tenure inevitably winds down – time being longer than twine or running to the courts – crime is seemingly inevitably increasing. While this may appear to be ironic in view of its campaign Manifesto declaration that “the crime situation is the most pressing and most depressing problem facing ordinary Guyanese today. APNU+AFC pledge to ensure protection for all citizens, communities and institutions from threats to their well-being”, it is not. After four and a half years in office, Guyanese can now appreciate that the PNC simply mouthed whatever platitudes it felt would garner their vote, and never had any intention of fulfilling its promises.But on the crime situation, citizens may have been excused for buying the PNC’s tale; if for no other reason than its ranks were so swollen with personnel drawn from the Disciplined Forces. It was not unreasonable to assume these personnel would give the PNC Government a head start in returning security to a beleaguered populace. Especially since their Manifesto outlined 27 specific measures to “address the breakdown of law and order”. But it soon became clear that there was another agenda at work.The third recommendation was to “complete the implementation of the Disciplined Forces Report…”. Now one of the latter recommendations went to the heart of the contradiction in the Guyana Police Force – identified since 1965 – which militated against its professionalisation: the need for the Force to represent more faithfully, the composition of the populace. The experience in all the developed countries, especially the UK and the US, which have been advising the Government on reform, highlighted the need for this recommendation. But the PNC Government never incorporated this key policy in the slew of changes it made in the GPF since 2015.It was in 2017 that the most significant changes were made, but these had nothing to do with the crime wave that by then had increased significantly. Using an allegation that the Police had not thoroughly investigated an “assassination plot” against him, President David Granger appointed a one-man Commission of Inquiry (CoI) to investigate and make recommendations. Nothing came out in the inquiry to charge anyone for the “plot” – indicating that the initial Police’s dismissive assessment of the matter was correct. But Granger used the CoI’s Report to shake up the entire top brass of the Police Force. In the process, he placed junior officers over senior ones and banished those he felt were “friendly” to the previous PPP regime, to outlying regions. This left a very demoralised Force to face the crime challenge, since it was apparent to the lowest beat cop that political loyalty trumped professional performance in the GPF.At the swearing-in of the new Commissioner and his deputies in August 2018, President Granger intoned: “Unless those officers are persons of integrity, intelligence and impartiality, this country will never be secure and our women and children will never be safe.” He was correct. But when a year later, when one of the Deputy Commissioners – the one who acts as Commissioner when the latter is absent – became embroiled in accusations of blatant corruption made by serving ranks, Granger chose not to appoint a CoI, but left the investigation to the GPF’s internal Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Not surprisingly, nothing came out of the matter.It should, therefore, not be surprising that while there are undoubtedly pockets of integrity in the Police Force, these are more the exception than the rule in all facets of this institution, which forms the front line in the battle against crime. And obviously aware of this state of affairs, the criminals have become emboldened in all areas of the country from Essequibo to Berbice; Georgetown to Lethem and all stops in between.In the meantime, the influx of refugees from Venezuela, with their quota of criminals and the criminally minded – has added to the challenge of drugs and guns entering from our western and southern borders. While intended for transshipment, an increasing amount of the drugs are used locally creating a more dangerous group of criminals.
Dear Editor,I have noted with concern the recent headlines as it relates to a lady being charged for allegedly posting threatening remarks against President David Granger on her Facebook and WhatsApp social media accounts. Clearly, the keystone cops and medieval justice system that prevail for the most part in Guyana are way out of their league in this specific matter. The charge is being laid under the “Racial Hostility Act” but the alleged crime itself is one that has its origins in cyberspace and there are no existing cybercrime legislation, statutes or precedents in Guyana or the Caribbean Court of Appeal to use as a yardstick.The big question is, how can Guyana exercise suzerainty over a piece of correspondence that is literally residing in “the cloud” connected to a server located outside of the sovereign jurisdiction of Guyana. Guyana’s sovereignty and territorial reach could not possibly extend beyond its immediate shores with the exception of properties or assets it owns or exercises control over in another country or territory such as any of its embassies or consulates abroad as enshrined in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity (1953 and 1961). The data servers of Facebook, Google, Microsoft and other global content, OTT and messaging providers are located anywhere else but the terra firma or territorial waters of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, and, as such, could be in any number of locations such as the US, Canada, Ireland, Iceland, Norway, UK, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Australia or India. If the case is to be tried in a proper court of law, then it will have to be accorded ‘locus standi’ in the territory or country where the actual physical server hosting the correspondence is located.Not too long ago, there was a similar case involving the current Prime Minister of Trinidad & Tobago (the then Leader of the Opposition) – Dr Keith Rowley and many high-ranking Cabinet Ministers of the disgraced Kamala Persad-Bissessar regime. This case has since been referred to as “Emailgate” and it took several months and war of nerves between the then Government of Trinidad & Tobago and the powers that be at Google’s HQ in Silicon Valley to bring clarity to an otherwise murky situation (for the lack of a better word). In the end and millions of dollars later – no good was achieved and the case remains one for the history books or, for that matter, Ripley’s Believe It or Not.This case that is now engaging the attention of the local judiciary is nothing but a frenzied rush and can be best described as ‘a wild goose chase’ or ‘a fishing expedition’.In less than a month, we will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary and so let us all let bygones be bygones and I respectfully call upon President Granger to take a page from the exemplary conduct of Gandhiji, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.He is the President and he can show his compassion and love as a fellow human being by forgiving this fellow sister of the soil for whatever transgressions she is alleged to have committed. We must live up to our creed of One People, One Nation, One Destiny.Best regards,Mike Singh
Matchup History Preview Buy Tickets Live Stats Watch Live Full Schedule Roster Next Game: Brock University 1/4/2020 | 7:00 p.m. Six different players scored as the University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s hockey team opened the second half of the 2019-20 regular season with a 6-3 victory over the York Lions on Friday night (Jan. 3) at Canlan Ice Sports.With the win, the Blues improve to 15-2-0 and remain atop the OUA West standings. It also marks the first time since the 1973-74 season that the Blues have won 13 straight regular season games.HOW IT HAPPENED: OUA leading scorer David Thomson opened the scoring less than four minutes into the contest as he finished off a nice 2-on-1 with Joey Manchurek with a one-timer into the top of the net. The Blues were up 1-0 at the first intermission.U of T scored back-to-back powerplay goals towards the end of the second frame. First, team captain Willy Paul sent a booming shot from the point through traffic and into the top corner of the net. Two minutes later, fellow veteran defenceman Evan MacEachern wired a shot over the glove of York netminder Mack Shields. However, the Lions added two quick goals to bring the game back within one after 40 minutes of action.The Blues extended their lead midway through the final period as Curtis Harvey kept the puck on a 2-on-1 and roofed it. Shortly after, Kyle Potts buried a loose puck in the high slot to put the Blues up 5-2. The Lions pulled Shields with plenty of time and found the back of the net on a 6-on-4 chance, but Nathan Hudgin responded with an empty-netter to round out the win.Second-year netminder Alex Bishop made 22 saves, including 12 in the third period, to earn the win in net. UP NEXT: The Blues are back in action tomorrow night when they host the Brock Badgers in U of T’s Under Armour Game of the Week at Varsity Arena. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit www.varsityblues.ca. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Print Friendly Version
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Hull City Development Phase Coach Richard O’donnelle, who will be in charge for the sessions, says he will focus on general match preparation and developing possession for training.Aspects of this will include passing, endurance, mobility, weight of the pass and accuracy among other tactics.Sony Sugar teenager Joshua Otieno (center) getting instructions from Hull City Academy coaches at the team’s training base in United Kingdom. PHOTO/courtesyAccompanied by football development manager Patrick Naggi, the Sony Sugar forward will undergo a two-day training with the Hull team.“I’m excited as this opportunity will help me attain better skills. I don’t feel bad about not taking part in the game, I’m optimistic that there’ll be more opportunities. This is just the beginning,” said an elated Otieno.The 16-year-old is a Form 3 student at Kakamega High School plays offensive right position and can also play defensive midfield.The Hull City club begins its programmes from age 7 to 11years (Foundation Phase) and then progresses to the Youth Phase which targets age 12-16 and finally to the 18-23 Professional Development Phase.The club further categorises the teams by age each with a head coach and supporting staff to facilitate training and development.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares000016-year-old Joshua Otieno remained in Hull City to train with the English Premier League side Academy.PHOTO/courtesyNAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 1 – Despite not kicking a ball in the once in a life time opportunity where the Kenyan Premier League AllStars lost 2-1 to English Premier League development select side Hull City XI in friendly, teenager Joshua Otieno remained in the United Kingdom to train with the Under 18 and Under 23.Otieno, who hardly got a chance to interact with the team as he had joined the KPL AllStars squad late in London, remained in Hull City for some exposure, having missed the opportunity like the rest of the team to train on the EPL side grounds.
Colombia star Juan Cuadrado Bayern Munich have pulled out of the race to sign Manchester United target Juan Cuadrado.The Bundesliga champions had been seen as major competitors for the Fiorentina winger’s signature, along with Barcelona and United.However, Marca are now reporting that Bayern sporting director, Matthias Sammer, has pulled the plug on a deal for Cuadrado.Fiorentina are believed to want in excess of £30million for their prized asset, an amount Bayern appear uncomfortable with.Bayern’s decision to leave the race for Cuadrado will come as a boost to Barcelona and United, who are on the hunt for new additions after trophyless seasons last year. 1
Jonathan Stead celebrates his goal for Bradford League One side Bradford City continued their FA Cup heroics as they dumped Sunderland out of the competition to reach the last eight.Phil Parkinson’s men were the talk of the nation after the fourth round as they came back from 2-0 down to beat Chelsea 4-2 at Stamford Bridge.But they proved the victory was no fluke as an own goal from John O’Shea and a strike from ex-Black Cats striker Jonathan Stead gave the Bantams a 2-0 triumph.Bradford didn’t hang about as they looked to slay their opponents and just two minutes into the clash Billy Clarke’s strike cannoned into the back of the net off the unfortunate O’Shea, who could only look to the heavens and curse as Clarke wheeled away in celebration.The Bantams then looked to pummel their Premier League opponents into submission as they piled on the pressure with James Hanson going close, before Sebastian Larsson’s shot was blocked as Sunderland looked to fight back.Clarke was denied a goal of his own when Vito Mannone tipped a shot wide of the post, while Patrick van Aanholt offered the Mackems some promise as he forced Ben Williams into an excellent save.After half time, Connor Wickham came on for the goal-shy Danny Graham but even the 21-year-old found it hard to get into the game on a scrappy Valley Parade pitch.And with 61 minutes on the clock, Bradford extended their lead as Stead fired beyond Mannone after Hanson had profited from an Adam Johnson mistake, while Billy Knott nearly made it 3-0 when he cracked a shot at goal from the edge of the area.And without new striker Jermain Defoe to rescue them, Gus Poyet’s side just couldn’t claw their way back into the tie and succumbed to the might of the Bantams. 1
The end of the window is in sight and it looks like there could be plenty of drama in the final hours before the deadline.Rangers have been been busy in the market this January but the majority of the movement has been incoming with a raft of new faces being brought in and Carlos Pena the only notable departure. Now, there are reports of a huge bid for striker Alfredo Morelos that Rangers are said to be likely to turn down. Every player has his price though, and the money on offer from the Chinese Super League has already brought some surprising transfers worldwide in the last few windows.Rangers aren’t the only club intending to hold on to the focal point of their attack. There’s been talk of a move for Kyle Lafferty but Craig Levein is confident he’ll still be a Hearts player on Thursday. St Johnstone have been quiet this month but it looks like the green light has been given to freshen up the squad. Fulham winger George Williams looks set to move on loan with Aberdeen’s Scott Wright and an unnamed central midfielder also targeted.On top of all that, Celtic have had one bid for Motherwell’s Trevor Carson knocked back but with news that Craig Gordon is out for 12 weeks they’ll be busy trying to get a goalkeeper on the books.Elsewhere, as the madness of English Premier League deadline day draws near it looks like the Arsenal-Aubameyang-Giroud story is going to be the one that dominates unless there are more surprises to come.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Celtic are set to sign Ukrainian winger Maryan Shved but said the player wasn’t for the first team because he “doesn’t need another winger”.The Parkhead club are in talks with Karpaty Lviv about signing the 21-year-old but Rodgers made it clear that the move wasn’t one that he had a major role in and that it wasn’t a priority for him.“I can’t say I know a great deal about him but what I have seen he is a talent and something that will probably benefit the club in the future,” Rodgers said.“We have got about a million wingers, we don’t need another one. I’ve got two very good goalkeepers and I’m giving Scott a little run in the team because I know what Craig can do.“Scott comes in and plays one or two games so I want to give him a little run and he also really helps the speed of our game because he gets it out quickly.“I’ve got very good goalkeepers and whichever one I play will always contribute well.”“It was a very good win for us,” he added.“I thought the first game was a good performance and the mark of good team is to go into next game and perform better.“I enjoyed how we played, it is not easy against a team so compact and tight.“Oliver (Burke) is a talent, we are giving him clarity in terms of what he has to do, his job, to create goals and score goals and he has done that.”St Mirren boss Oran Kearney said he wasn’t getting caught up in the results of other teams as his side dropped to the bottom of the league.He said: “The last thing I want to be doing in January time is checking scores or worrying about agendas of other teams.“I can’t control what Dundee, Hearts or Hibs or anyone else do.“The only thing we can control is our players and us to get points.“We are all in control of our own destiny.” “The club have been in contact with his representatives and he is a player for the future.“He is a talented young player. I haven’t seen a great deal of him to be honest, it is something that has come to the club through circumstance and he has been watched.“I think that they will look to get the deal done on him and he will probably be out on loan.”The Celtic boss was speaking after his side swept St Mirren aside with a 4-0 win that saw Oliver Burke score twice, Scott Sinclair score a penalty and Timothy Weah get his second goal in two games. He said there was plenty to like in the performance and explained why Scott Bain had been preferred to Craig Gordon in goal.