Daily Archives: October 5, 2016

Burnley’s Michael Keane gets first English call-up

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Burnley defender Michael Keane has been enrolled into the England International squad for the first time.

Keane, 23, got the call-up after Stoke City’s Glen Johnson had been ruled out of the team through injury.

Having also represented England at the under-19, under-20 and under-21 levels, Keane will biw report to St George’s Park along with the rest of the squad ahead of England’s World Cup qualifiers.

In midfield, Crystal Palace midfielder Andros Townsend will also be joining the squad to replace Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, who was left out of the team following a calf complaint.

England will face Malta on the 8th of October and Slovenia three days later, under the leadership of interim manager Gareth Southgate.

England full squad against Malta:

Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Joe Hart (Torino, on loan from Manchester City), Tom Heaton (Burnley)

Defenders: Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Michael Keane (Burnley), Danny Rose (Tottenham), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Manchester City), Kyle Walker (Tottenham)

Midfielders: Eric Dier (Tottenham), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal), Michail Antonio (West Ham), Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Dele Alli (Tottenham), Andros Townsend (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Jamie Vardy (Leicester)

Guardiola turns-off Wi-Fi at Manchester City training center

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has stopped his players from using wireless internet at the club’s training grounds.

Guardiola, 45, has arranged for certain areas of the City Football Academy to be free from 3G signal and disconnected from the in-house Wi-Fi system.

City player Pablo Zabaleta said that the move was made to foster face-to-face communication and a greater team spirit.

“He forces us to have breakfast and lunch together at the club. The internet is cut off, we are held incommunicado,” he said.

“We don’t even use 3G.”

However, the 31-year-old Argentinian remained supportive of his new manager, having enjoyed resurgence under the Spaniard’s leadership.

“You always want and dream to be trained by the best coaches, and today I have the opportunity to work with one of the best,” Zabaleta explained.

“Actually, you learn a lot, especially the way you live it. Beyond knowledge, his passion for football.”

Other significant changes made by Guardiola thus far include the banning of pizza after matches, with players now snacking on nuts. Guardiola has also instructed the squad to eat together at the Etihad Stadium following home games.

In addition, his squad no longer has to stay at the CFA before home matches and if any are deemed overweight they will be forced to train away from the first-team squad, as Samir Nasri had to do during pre-season.

Sharapova ban sentence reduced after appeal

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Maria Sharapova’s two-year doping ban has been reduced to 15 months following her appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Sharapova, 29, was initially banned by the International Tennis Federation for two years after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Meldonium, a heart disease drug also known as mildronate, was listed as a banned substance on 1 January 2016.

Sharapova said she had been taking the drug since 2006 for health problems and had “not tried to use a performance-enhancing substance”, adding that she was unaware the drug had been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (Wada) banned list.

The CAS panel that reviewed the case said it found Sharapova’s case “was not about an athlete who cheated.”

While the panel also added that she could be “under no circumstances… considered to be an ‘intentional doper’”, it asserted that Sharapova was at fault for not giving her agent “adequate instructions” in checking Wada’s prohibited list and “failing to supervise and control” her agent.

The tribunal ruling said Sharapova tested positive for meldonium after her Australian Open quarter-final defeat by Serena Williams on 26 January and in an out-of-competition test on 2 February.

CAS treated both results as a single anti-doping violation.

After the appeal, the five-time Grand Slam winner will be able to return to the tennis court on 26 April next year, possibly in time for next year’s French Open.

Meanwhile, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) says that they will take steps so that players will not be able to plead ignorance should they be found guilty of doping.

“We have reviewed, and will continue to review, our processes for communicating changes to the prohibited list to players with the aim of ensuring that no player can claim that they had not been fully informed,” a statement from the organization added.