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Nine points from six matches represents a reasonable return and leaves the club just one win off the top four but they have managed just two victories so far. Martinez knows they have deserved more than that but has called on the players to prove they can keep on challenging their Champions League-chasing rivals by stringing together a decent set of results. “The best way to measure the quality of the squad is consistency in performances; Southampton away and Chelsea at home (their two wins to date) has given a reflection of what we can achieve,” he said. “Now it’s about continuity and consistency. Our levels of performance have been better than our points return. “You need to play well in order to get points over the course of the season so at this stage I’d rather have the performances than the points. “In the last game against Swansea I thought we created enough chances to win and even against Manchester City (Everton’s only defeat) I think our performance deserved a lot more than what we got.” The all-round ability of the side has already come to the fore with six different goalscorers and Martinez welcomes the additional contribution from the rest of the side which takes some of the responsibility off record signing Romelu Lukaku. “When you are a manager of a group of players like we have you get excited about the competition for places and the levels of responsibility we have shown,” he added. “Internally we are getting quite strong in terms of the way we play and the understanding we have of each other. “One of the biggest things in football is to score goals. It requires talent and organisation as a team. “To have different goalscorers gives you more of a threat as it harder for the opposition to stop. “More than anything it has been very satisfying with the balance we have had.” After West Brom Everton host neighbours Liverpool in the Merseyside derby before taking on Manchester United and Arsenal after the international break. Martinez knows October will be a testing month but insists they have to focus on what immediately lies ahead. “We’re aware of the level of competition we face and the games we have ahead are strong, exciting challenges,” he said. “The next two fixtures are important and then it is keeping fingers crossed the players come back ready and refreshed from the international break for the coming fixtures. “There are no easy games but there are exciting times ahead. “They are difficult fixtures and we want to be as good as we can.” Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants his side to find some consistency to back up their early-season performances. Press Association
Olawale Ajimotokan in AbujaNigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said it would not make any financial benefits from the two friendly matches it has arranged for the Super Eagles against Luxembourg and Mali in Europe during the international window later this month and in June.Nigeria will meet fellow West Africans, Mali at the Stade Robert Diochon in Rouen, in France on May 27. They will then face Luxembourg in Luxembourg City on June 1 at a venue yet to be finalised.The friendly games are organised to prepare the Eagles when the African qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup resume in October. Nigeria’s poor form of late is manifest in the failure of the Eagles to reach the Africa Cup of Nations to be staged in Gabon next year.NFF Secretary General, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, was cool on the financial package negotiated by the federation through its match agent. Rather, he said that apart from enabling the coaches to thoroughly assess the team for the World Cup challenge, the team stood to benefit from the opportunity to display the its rich culture to the rest of the world.“It is not about the money. Everything we are doing is for national benefit, “Sanusi said. “Every time you go to play a friendly match outside Nigeria, of course, you are showcasing Nigeria and its culture and at the same time, you are trying to build a team that Nigerians will be proud of”.Analysts have questioned the decision of the Nigerian federation to play a friendly match against Luxembourg that has no football pedigree and is the second least ranked European team in the world. The Luxembourgers are rated 146 in the world and have neither qualified for the main stage of a UEFA or FIFA tournament.Pundits are also critical of NFF as it will play the matches at a huge cost as all the players invited for the matches by caretaker coach, Salisu Yusuf are foreign-based.NFF President, Amaju Pinnick, had recently rationalised the basis for the proposed games.He said that they tried without success to secure bigger matches with top teams as most of the countries they approached had made commitment to other teams during the coming FIFA window.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Share Submit David Lampitt, Sportradar: F1 presents betting’s most sizeable opportunity August 14, 2020 Sportradar has sent a message that it is prepared to protect its data rights and willing to go to some lengths to make sure that the work the firm puts into its data business is not undervalued. To that end, it has now announced it has agreed a settlement with BetConstruct and two unnamed bookmakers regarding its database rights.Sportradar believes that the specialist collection, management and distribution of sports data is core to its business. In a statement, it said: “The Sportradar group of companies have together invested a great deal of time, energy and resource into the creation and management of proprietary databases of sports data, often in partnership with national and international rights holders such as the International Tennis Federation (the ITF), the international governing body of tennis.”Sportradar revealed that it has recently settled legal proceedings issued in the High Court in London on 29 September 2017 against BetConstruct and two bookmakers in relation to their use of live tennis data from ITF events and tournaments, which was not licensed by Sportradar or the ITF.The parties have now reached a confidential agreement to resolve all claims involving historic use of ITF live data, with BetConstruct paying Sportradar an undisclosed monetary sum and agreeing to take a licence from Sportradar in relation to data from the ITF database going forward with the right to grant sub-licences to the two bookmakers to use the data.The company said: “By issuing proceedings, Sportradar has underlined its firm belief in the central importance and value of databases, and the database right, to this industry, and as a global data and content business it will take all necessary and available steps, in any jurisdiction, to protect its database rights against unauthorised use.“The agreement reached also demonstrates that all parties to the proceedings are firmly committed to the integrity of the sports betting ecosystem, and that BetConstruct and the two bookmakers support Sportradar’s desire to enable fans to enjoy sports betting in a safe and quality assured environment.”The agreement comes as the sport of tennis is taking a closer look at the use of its data as part of its review into its integrity problems. One of the solutions suggested in a recent report is the limiting of live data on matches for the betting industry although such an approach seems likely to receive opposition from a range of stakeholders. Share Related Articles Sportradar combats social media abuse with player protection solution August 17, 2020 Björn Nilsson: How Triggy is delivering digestible data through pre-set triggers August 28, 2020 StumbleUpon
Pakistan had to wait a week following victory over England at The Oval to have their rise to the No. 1 Test ranking confirmed and they will get only a couple of days to enjoy the accolade before walking out at the Ageas Bowl, on the ring-road-and-retail-park outskirts of Southampton, with the slightly less awe-inspiring billing of ninth-best ODI side in the world.That’s life in the tightly scheduled world of international cricket, as Frank Sinatra didn’t quite sing: “Riding high in August, shot down in August.” Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s ODI captain, played his part in the Test side’s success, spanking the six that effectively took them to No. 1 (once the elements had nixed India’s chances of a 3-0 win in the Caribbean) and he is hopeful that some of the positivity engendered by the first leg of the tour will bleed through into the rest.Misbah-ul-Haq has been rightly hailed for his leadership in Tests but even he had his struggles with Pakistan’s 50-over cricket and since handing over to Azhar after the last World Cup results in ODIs have continued to be indifferent. They managed to hold off West Indies as Bangladesh surged through to make the Champions Trophy cut-off last year but now sit outside the top eight, with qualification for the World Cup at stake.Nevertheless, Azhar was able to enjoy the south-coast sunshine and bask briefly in a little reflected success before turning his attention to the challenge ahead in the five-match series against England.”Confidence is very high and belief is there, obviously coming in from the Test series, we had a very good couple of months here. We take that confidence into the one-day internationals as well,” Azhar said.”It is a massive boost and a proud moment for Pakistan cricket and the whole nation is very happy about it, as players the team is really happy about it. It’s definitely a good thing for us, our one-day ranking is not great right now but we will take the opportunity the way the team is performing, hopefully we can convert it into ODIs as well.”He could also point to the low expectations people had of Pakistan’s chances of Test success in England – where they had not played in six years – when the team turned up to make the Ageas Bowl their base for a preparatory camp two months ago. “No one rated us very highly [when we arrived] – a few people said we would be competitive but there were doubts if we could win the Test matches here. The boys really believed in the Test matches so here also, we believe we can do it.”Pakistan were handed a 3-1 defeat by Eoin Morgan’s side in the more familiar environs of the UAE last winter but this series will take on greater significance, with the next two ICC 50-over trophies to be contested in England. Azhar described it as “a good opportunity for us to keep in touch with the conditions” and was also hopeful of ending a personal run of 12 innings and more than a year without passing 50 in ODIs.”When you play international cricket, pressure is always there,” he said. “I’ve had a few starts in recent months but I didn’t convert into big scores so I will focus on that. As a batsman I need to score some big runs.”Morgan would doubtless concur about the twin demands of captaincy and scoring heavily. He has not played for a month, after chipping a bone in his finger while playing for Middlesex, but proclaimed that a lack of matches “doesn’t bother me at all”. His last half-century in either limited-overs format came in the UAE last November but he did find some form with an unbeaten 47 when England last played at the Ageas Bowl – an eight-wicket T20 win against Sri Lanka – and it is a ground where he averages 65.85, with two hundreds, in ODIs.Morgan’s style of captaincy has largely been free of prescriptions, preferring to grant his side the freedom to play in the way that suits them best, and he is also wary of predictions. England’s No. 5 ranking in part reflects how far they had slipped by the time of the World Cup (when they did even worse than Pakistan), as well as their inconsistency despite a year of record-breaking performances, and Morgan was grateful that the ECB’s professed commitment to the one-day game extended to providing him with a full-strength side at the end of long summer.Ben Stokes is set to return after suffering a calf tear in the second Test against Pakistan, initially only as a batsman, while Mark Wood should make his first international appearance since the UAE tour, having recovered from ankle surgery. Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali and Chris Woakes have all been included after playing in the majority of England’s fixtures across this season.”Yes, delighted,” Morgan said of selection. “I think it’s hugely important playing against Pakistan who are flying high at the minute, in Test cricket, but that rubs off on any side doing well. Also when teams tour places they don’t come to that often they get better as they go along, so that’s another challenge … With the way we’ve been performing we’d like to think we are progressing nicely but we have a tough series ahead and a tough winter.”Azhar praises ‘sacrifices’ to reach No. 1Azhar Ali hailed the spirit of the Test side, which has seen them rise to No. 1 in the world despite not being able to play games in Pakistan. As well as meaning the players have to spend time away from home while playing in the UAE, the loss of international cricket has made it harder for fans to follow the team.”It’s a big achievement, for the nation and for the players,” he said. “People in Pakistan they don’t see their stars playing in front of them, there’s a lack of interest sometimes. The kids really want to see the players they look up to but they don’t see it in front of them, they just watch the TV. For the players also, they have been away all the time, they can’t spend much time with their families, also.”There are a lot of sacrifices the players have done but hats off to the guys, they have been working so hard, so committed. When we go inside the ground we really want to do something very good for our country because we know people are looking up to us for some happiness and we want to provide that.”
0Shares0000Neymar had a long evening being a target as Switzerland held Brazil to a 1-1 draw in RostovROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia, Jun 17- Neymar’s Brazil were held 1-1 by Switzerland in their opening World Cup game at Rostov-on-Don on Sunday.On the day when holders Germany were shocked 1-0 by Mexico, Brazil’s tag as pre-tournament favourites looked justified in a dominant first-half capped by Philippe Coutinho’s wonder strike to open the scoring. However, Brazil paid for their failure to kill the game off when Steven Zuber powered home an equaliser from Xherdan Shaqiri’s corner five minutes after the break.The pressure will now be on Brazil to kickstart their campaign when they face Costa Rica on Friday.Earlier, Serbia beat Los Ticos 1-0 to move to the top of Group F.Coutinho had been handed a central role behind Neymar, on his first competitive game for four months, Gabriel Jesus and Willian in a line-up filled with attacking intent from coach Tite.The five-time world champions went about their task of erasing the memories of a 7-1 thrashing by Germany on home soil four years ago purposefully early on.Paulinho passed up a glorious chance when his scuffed effort from close range was turned behind by Yann Sommer.-Coutinho masterpiece It seemed a matter of time before Brazil’s pressure paid dividends and the opener arrived in stunning style on 20 minutes.Brazil’s Philippe Coutinho (right) celebrates his goal against SwitzerlandBarcelona’s record signing picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and in trademark fashion bent the ball crashing in off Sommer’s far post.Neymar looked bright despite his lack of match practice as he teased the Swiss defence provoking yellow cards for Stephan Lichtsteiner, Fabian Schar and Valon Behrami.However, Brazil failed to build on their lead as Thiago Silva and Jesus headed off target from dangerous corners and were made to pay early in the second-half.Switzerland had offered barely any attacking threat before levelling when Zuber took advantage of a gaping hole in the heart of the Brazilian defence to head home Shaqiri’s corner.Forced back onto the front foot, Brazil turned to Neymar for a moment of inspiration but he could only blast into the side-netting before Coutinho sliced wide with a much simpler opportunity than the one from which he opened the scoring.Brazil were unhappy that Zuber wasn’t penalised for a slight push on Miranda for the equaliser and felt hard done by again when Jesus tumbled under a challenge from Manuel Akanji inside the area with Mexican referee Cesar Ramos unmoved.Tite’s men ended as they had begun with a series of chances for a late winner as Neymar and Roberto Firmino headed straight at Sommer before Miranda dragged a shot inches wide.And deep into stoppage time Schar’s outstretched leg turned a goalbound effort from Silva wide as Switzerland held out for a vital point.0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)