Sidelined England keeper Ben Foster has revealed he is training with Olympian Jonny Brownlee to recover from a serious knee injury. “October is the six-and-a-half month mark so it’s a realistic target and so far there’s been no set-backs and I’m pushing it hard with the extra load I’m doing on the bike. Touch wood we’re on course.” The 32-year-old has raised almost £5,000 for Cure Leukaemia so far after being invited on the ride by former Wolves and England midfielder Geoff Thomas. Ex-midfielder Thomas was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2003 and was given three months to live but has been in remission since 2005 and has been a major fundraiser for the charity. And Foster is eager to start the four-day trip, which begins at Greenwich Park next Thursday. “Everything I do I try to push it a bit more. I know sitting on the bike for four to six hours on the trot for four days is going to absolutely kill you,” he said. “I’ve never done anything like this in my life and I don’t want to be found out and get three hours in and say ‘I’m going to have to get off’. “I’ve done over 200k in the last few days and I feel all right so when I comes to the ride I’ve got a bit of energy.” To sponsor Ben please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/BenFosterL2P/ The West Brom star joined the Olympic triathlon bronze medallist on Monday to continue his rehab from a damaged cruciate knee ligament. He is also cycling from London to Paris next week and has used his time with Brownlee, who won bronze at London 2012 behind gold medallist brother Alistair, to prepare for the Cure Leukaemia charity ride. Press Association Foster has been out since March when he suffered his third cruciate knee ligament injury but believes the help from Brownlee has been invaluable. “I was up in Leeds yesterday with Jonny, we did a 60k ride and it was a really good opportunity to learn a few things,” he told Press Association Sport. “I think he took it easy on me. The average pace was about 26 or 27 kilometres an hour which isn’t too bad but some of the hills were hard. “He found things super easy but it was nice to get out and learn a few tips, stuff you wouldn’t know like energy saving and how to ride in a group. “One of the physios here used to work for Team GB and knows him from there so he pulled a few strings. “The club have said once I’ve finished the ride I need to start lowering the amount I’m doing. I really do have to focus on gym-based work to strengthen but for now it’s perfect for my rehab because there isn’t any impact on my knees.” Foster is hopeful of returning by October but insisted his extra training for the 500k ride to Paris will not see him back for the Baggies any earlier. “You’ve got to do the six-month stint, when you do your cruciate it’s a six-months rehab minimum, you can’t come back any earlier than that,” he said.
Cech ended a trophy-laden 11-year association with Chelsea on Monday after finally completing a long anticipated move to their London neighbours Arsenal. While Arsenal have not disclosed the length of the contract or fee, Press Association Sport understands Cech has been signed for £10million and has penned a four-year deal. Petr Cech’s overwhelming desire to remain in the Premier League and Arsene Wenger’s persuasiveness were the motivating factors in the Czech goalkeeper’s move to Arsenal. Press Association That in itself highlights the regard in which Arsenal boss Wenger holds the 33-year-old, who found himself behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order at Stamford Bridge last season. Cech made just 16 of his 494 total appearances in all competitions in the Blues’ 2014/15 campaign, so the offer of first-team football at a successful Premier League club proved too strong to reject. And even though he won 13 trophies at Stamford Bridge, including four Premier League titles and the 2012/13 Champions League, Cech insisted his ambition had not been blunted. He told the club’s YouTube channel: “It is exciting. I first came to the Premier League a long time ago and I still love playing in the Premier League and the challenges it poses with the great players and great teams you have to face every week. “Arsenal are a team that challenge for the top and definitely matches my ambitions and personal motivation. “I spoke to the manager Arsene Wenger and it was a big difference as I am hungry as ever and I have the same commitment and motivation to win trophies as I did 10 years ago or as a kid.” Wenger himself revealed his delight at his latest acquisition, Arsenal’s first signing of the summer, who will face competition from Wojciech Szczesny and David Ospina for the number one jersey. “Petr Cech is a player that I have admired for a long time and I am very pleased that he has decided to join us,” said Wenger. “He has proven over many seasons that he is one of the outstanding keepers in the world and he will add great strength to our squad.” Chelsea described the departing custodian as an “icon” on their official website, with Cech himself posting a lengthy letter to their supporters on his Twitter page. “I thought this would never happen but it is time for me to say goodbye to Chelsea Football Club,” he wrote. “The club I have lived every single minute for since joining July 2004, the club in which I thought I’d hang my gloves and boots one day and finish my career. But life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will. “Last summer, things changed and I understood I was no longer the first choice keeper but I felt it was not the right time for me to go. “During the season it became clear that my situation would not improve and as I know I am not at the stage of my career where I want to be on the bench, I made my decision to move on and look for new challenges.” Cech expressed his gratitude towards Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich for allowing him to remain in England, even though it meant selling him to a potential title rival this season. He said: “I spoke to Mr Abramovich about me staying in the Premier League and I’d like to thank him from the bottom of my heart for his support in this matter. It means so much to me because without him Chelsea Football Club would not be where it is now. “He deserves huge credit for what he has done for the club and for all of us.” Cech, who joined Chelsea from Rennes in July 2004 for £7million then hailed the Blues supporters, adding: “I did everything for you and you gave me your love back. I’ll never forget it. It will stay with me forever. “We will meet again but this time I will be in the other goal – I hope you will remember our history and understand it is time for me to begin a new adventure.”
“Deep down he knows this is big season. It’s a big season for everyone, not just Adam, and it’s a big season for the whole team,” Henderson told LFCTV. “I know he feels as though he can show people a lot more in terms of getting into a rhythm of playing every week. “There’s big things to come from him I’m sure.” The players have been given some down time after returning from their tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia but will be back in training later this week as they gear up for another friendly in Helsinki on Saturday. “Last pre-season he got an injury so he didn’t really have a good pre-season under his belt, and when he came back he was always trying to fight and get back fit and he then picked up one or two niggles during the season,” said Henderson. “I felt a bit sorry for him last season but Adam is a top player. He’s got great quality and he’s got great knowledge of the game. “He’s a good lad as well and I’m sure he will work really hard this pre-season and come the first game of the season I’m sure he will be flying. “I’ve told him that I’m expecting big things from him this season. “We see every day in training what he’s capable of. We saw glimpses of it last season but those injuries sort of knocked him off track a little bit, but I’ve told him this season is his season. “It’s a big season for him, he knows that, but I’m sure he’s got more than enough ability and enough work rate to achieve that.” Managing the expectation is often the biggest adjustment players who arrive at the club face and those who did not have the best debut campaign are immediately put under more scrutiny for the start of their second season. However, Lallana has already shown in flashes what he is capable of and Henderson believes the 27-year-old can cope with the extra pressure of producing on a regular basis. Press Association Shortly after his move from Southampton last summer Lallana sustained a knee injury which cut short his preparation time with the squad and delayed his debut until mid-September. He was dogged by niggling injuries and fitness concerns throughout his first year at Anfield and that impacted on how effective he could be, but Henderson hopes to see a different player now. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson expects big things from Adam Lallana in the coming campaign as his fellow England international has benefited from playing a full part in pre-season.
Hristo Stoichkov has warned Pedro he must not join Manchester United because Louis van Gaal is a “mediocre” manager who will “destroy” him. Former Barcelona striker Stoichkov thinks the Canary Islander would be making a huge mistake if he moved to Old Trafford, however, because he believes Van Gaal is a poor coach. The Bulgarian clashed with Van Gaal during the Dutchman’s first spell in charge of Barcelona and he clearly does not have a high opinion of the 64-year-old. “I would never be under the orders of this Dutchman (Van Gaal),” Stoichkov told Spanish radio station Onda Cero. “I would never leave if I was Pedro because if he goes there he would no longer be a footballer. I hope Pedro listens to me and he tells them (United) ‘I am staying at Barcelona’.” Van Gaal sold Stoichkov to CSKA Sofia 17 years ago, but the pain of leaving the Spanish giants is clearly still raw for the Bulgarian. “He makes players suffer,” said Stoichkov, who branded Van Gaal “scum” during an interview in March. “He is destroying all the players because he is so mediocre, players have left because of him. “He destroys clubs, he did it with Barcelona, and after they take years to build. United want to sign Barcelona forward Pedro as a replacement for Angel di Maria, who joined Paris St Germain for £44.3million last week. The 28-year-old is regarded as one of the best attackers in Spain, but has become frustrated at his lack of first-team football following the arrival of Luis Suarez and Neymar, who have formed a deadly three-man attack at the Nou Camp with Lionel Messi. Press Association “He has spent £200million (at United) and the other day I saw his first game of the season: disastrous. He won 1-0 (against Tottenham) because of an own goal.” Stoichkov thinks Barca have no reason to sell the Spain international even though he is not considered a first-team regular. “Barcelona don’t need money, whether it’s 20, 30, or 50 million,” he said. “Pedro is a symbol of Barcelona, a type of player with energy, he fights to make himself great, why do Barcelona need to sell him? “Why should they say goodbye to a player like this?” Pedro looks set to start for Barcelona in their European Super Cup clash against Sevilla on Tuesday because Neymar has been ruled out through illness. Speaking on the eve of the match in Georgia, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique claimed the saga was close to being concluded. “Pedro’s future will be resolved shortly because there is not long to go until the transfer market closes,” the Barcelona coach told a press conference in Tbilisi.
Spieth, who won the Masters, US Open, Tour Championship and FedEx Cup in 2015, is part of a strong field at Abu Dhabi Golf Club from January 21-24 which also features four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler and Sweden’s Henrik Stenson. “I am looking forward to coming to Abu Dhabi, especially after Rickie told me about what a fantastic event it is,” Spieth, 22, said. “I love to travel and see the world and I am excited to not only play in the event but also check out Abu Dhabi for the first time.” World number one Jordan Spieth will play his first regular European Tour event in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship next year. Press Association McIlroy, who has finished runner-up in the competition four times in the last five years, said: ” Abu Dhabi always brings an outstanding player field and, with Jordan and Rickie competing in January, this will a superb test for me to start off the 2016 season. “I’ve come close in Abu Dhabi several times now, so I’ll be 100 per cent ready for January’s challenge.”
“Pep Guardiola will work here (in England), I don’t know if it is next season here (at City) or at another club. Some day he’ll come here,” he said in quotes reported by several national newspapers on Sunday. “And I hope he will have the option to work at Manchester City. I say that because I love this club and I hope, in the future, he can work here also. I am sure he will be very important for the club.” Pellegrini still has 18 months left on his current City contract, with the team going well at home and in Europe. But he is experienced enough to know that the landscape can change very quickly, irrespective of the contract a manager is on. “My contract showed that the club was happy and that I was happy, but sometimes you can have a contract for six or eight years and, at the end of the season, you don’t continue anyway.” Pellegrini recognises his side’s away form needs to improve as they prepare for a tough test against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Monday night. City have struggled on their travels of late, not winning any of their last four matches on the road in the Barclays Premier League and failing to score in the last three of them. It is something Pellegrini wants to put right quickly as three of his side’s next four league games are away, as are the two after that in the domestic cup competitions. Asked if away form needed to get better, Pellegrini said: “Yes – we have to play five of the next six games away. The last results of the games we played away were not as good as we want. “It is a good target to try and continue to return to our clean sheets, and it is a good target to make an important advance in our position in the Premier League, but playing away is always a bit more difficult.” With a trip to another of the season’s high-flyers Leicester on December 29 also among the sequence, the upcoming festive period has the feel of a critical period, but Pellegrini has played down its significance. “They are important games but we are just in the first round (of fixtures). It is not just those two games,” he said. “After Arsenal, we have to play against Sunderland. We are going to continue with the Capital One Cup in January and start with the FA Cup. “There are a lot of things we have to consider, and the most important thing is to think game by game and not what can happen in May. So, they are very important games but not decisive.” City hope to have leading striker Sergio Aguero back at the Emirates Stadium after four games out with a heel problem but captain Vincent Kompany is still sidelined by the calf injury that has kept him out for the past month. Press Association Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is convinced Pep Guardiola will coach in the Premier League as speculation continues that the outgoing Bayern Munich boss could replace Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium. Guardiola is sure to be courted by a host of top clubs across Europe after it was announced on Sunday that he will be leaving Bayern at the end of the season, with the German champions already having lined up Carlo Ancelotti as his successor. Chilean boss Pellegrini has no doubts that Guardiola will work in England at some stage and admits there is a possibility he could be a future City boss, with Chelsea and Manchester United also reported to be possible destinations for the former Barcelona coach.
Press Association Raheem Sterling was controversially denied a late penalty as Manchester City were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Everton. City striker Sergio Aguero also had a couple of penalty appeals turned down as City, a week after losing at Goodison Park in the Capital One Cup, once again found Everton a tough nut to crack. The major talking point prior to the game was the traffic problems on the motorway network around Manchester which delayed many supporters. The ground was not full at the scheduled 7.45pm start and the Everton team had even arrived later than planned, although not severely. People continued to trickle into the ground throughout a lively first half. Injury to Seamus Coleman meant that Everton lined up with Stones at right-back but with Phil Jagielka back from injury in the centre, the back four was not particularly weakened. City left playmaker David Silva on the bench and operated with Sterling behind Aguero and Jesus Navas and Kevin De Bruyne either side. City pieced together a slick early move as Sterling played in De Bruyne but the Belgian shot wide. Yaya Toure also tested Howard with a firm header. Aguero claimed he was tripped by Mohamed Besic when clean through but referee East gave nothing and Sterling fired over. At the other end, Nicolas Otamendi almost turned the ball into his own net as he stretched to cut out a Gerard Deulofeu cross while Leon Osman went close to a spectacular opener as he volleyed a Romelu Lukaku cross narrowly wide. City started the second half brighter but Everton defended doggedly and frustrated the hosts. Sterling failed to make firm contact in front of goal, Aguero hit the side-netting and Toure had an effort deflected over. Aguero did meet a De Bruyne corner with a firm shot but Howard was in the right position to palm away and the American then stretched out a boot to deny Sterling. Howard did even better to spread himself and block from Aguero again after the Argentinian had shrugged off countryman Ramiro Funes Mori, although the City man felt he had a penalty claim against the defender. City sent on Silva for the final 16 minutes in the hope of prising an opening but the visitors survived as Navas headed wide and Aguero wriggled through but missed the target. There was late drama as Aguero went down trying to beat two defenders but his appeal seemed optimistic. Sterling’s penalty claim seemed stronger, and fans thought East had pointed to the spot, but instead it was merely a goal-kick. TWEET OF THE MATCH “Take the draw or let’s go for the 3 points. I prefer the 3 points @Everton #COYB” – Tim Cahill wanted the Toffees to go all out for the win late on but he will have to be happy with a well earned draw at the Etihad. PLAYER RATINGS Manchester City Jo Hart: 6 Bacary Sagna: 6 Martin Demechelis: 6 Nicolas Otamendi: 6 Gael Clichy: 6 Fernando: 6 Yaya Toure: 8 Jesus Navas: 6 Kevin De Bruyne (Silva, 74): 7 Raheem Sterling: 7 Sergio Aguero: 7 Subs David Silva: 6 EVERTON Tim Howard: 8 John Stones: 6 Phil Jagielka: 7 Ramiro Funes Mori: 7 Leighton Baines: 6 Muhamed Besic: 7 Gareth Barry: 7 Leon Osman (Pienaar, 71): 6 Gerard Deulofeu (Kone, 71): 5 Ross Barkley: 5 Romelu Lukaku: 6 Subs Steven Pienaar: 5 Arouna Kone: 5 STAR MAN Tim Howard has been heavily criticised at times this season and there were calls for Joel Robles to keep his place after good cup performances. But Roberto Martinez has resolutely stuck by his man and was repaid handsomely here. Howard did not put a foot wrong, producing a series of impressive saves, particularly during a spell in the middle of the second half when Everton were under siege. MOMENT OF THE MATCH The majority of the chances fell to City but Leon Osman almost scored a goal-of-the-season contender in the 31st minute. A flowing Everton counter-attack ended with Romelu Lukaku crossing to the back post where Osman connected sublimely with a volley that flew just wide. VIEW FROM THE BENCH Both teams were restored to as full strength as possible following their cup outings. City boss Manuel Pellegrini played Raheem Sterling through the middle in an attacking quartet of Kevin De Bruyne, Jesus Navas and Sergio Aguero, with David Silva left on the bench. Everton captain Phil Jagielka made his first Premier League appearance in more than two months so John Stones moved to right-back to cover for the injured Seamus Coleman. As expected, Romelu Lukaku returned from his ankle knock to lead the attack. MOAN OF THE MATCH Traffic chaos around Manchester meant Everton were late arriving and the Etihad Stadium was only around two thirds full for kick-off. It was a shame the start was not delayed to allow more fans to get into the ground. WHO’S UP NEXT? Manchester City v Crystal Palace (Premier League, January 16) Chelsea v Everton (Premier League, January 16) Sterling went down under a challenge from John Stones in injury time but referee Roger East gave nothing and City dropped two points in the Barclays Premier League title race. City had dominated proceedings on a wet and cold night but were continually frustrated by the dogged visitors, for whom goalkeeper Tim Howard was outstanding.
Investigators recovered human remains in Alabama in connection with the search for a missing 5-year-old girl from Jacksonville, Florida.Taylor Williams vanished last Wednesday from her Jacksonville home, according to police.She was allegedly last seen in her home in Jacksonville around midnight on Wednesday when her mother put her to bed.Brianna Williams said when she woke up around 7 a.m., she said she noticed the back door to the home was unlocked and Taylor wasn’t in her room, authorities said.Williams who is a Navy Petty Officer, was named ‘a person of interest’ in the case after police say she refused to cooperate and was the last person to have seen the young girl.The search was expanded to Alabama where police say human remains have been found in a wooded area between the cities of Linden and Demopolis.According to reports, the girl’s mother has family and friends in that area.The remains have not been identified at this time.
The House of Representatives have passed a bill that seeks to make the District of Columbia the 51st state in the union.Statehood Bill HR51 was passed on Friday the Democratic held House.The bill now faces the Senate.Both President Trump and the GOP run Senate have already expressed their disapproval of the bill.
Despite the numbers of coronavirus spiking in Florida, the NBA is still planning to resume the season next month in Orlando, Florida.On Friday, the league also announced that 16 out of 302 players tested positive for the coronavirus on June 23.The league did not say which players had tested positive for the virus, but those players will remain in self-isolation until they satisfy public health protocols for discontinuing isolation and has been cleared by a physician.The NBA plans no restarting the season on July 30, with 22 teams of the league’s 30 teams participating in the conclusion of the season and subsequent postseason based at Orlando’s Wide World of Sports. Fans will not be allowed to watch in person.The league also announced that the 2020-21 season will begin on December 1.