‘Yaya underrated because he’s African’

Samir Nasri believes Yaya Toure doesn’t obtain the acclaim he deserves as one of many world’s top midfielders as a result of he’s African.

Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri

PA ImagesSamir Nasri feels Argentine and Brazilian gamers are rated extra extremely than Africans.

Mooney: Garcia impresses

Nasri and Ivory Coast international Toure both scored spectacular targets as Manchester City beat Sunderland to win the Capital One Cup on Sunday, and the Frenchman argued the 30-yr-old is underrated because of his nationality.

Toure has been named African Participant of the 12 months 3 times in a row but Nasri feels he doesn’t obtain enough recognition elsewhere as a result of shouldn’t be Brazilian or Argentine.

The previous Arsenal participant was quoted as saying in The Guardian: “If he wasn’t African everyone will say he’s one of the best midfielder on the planet. He can do everything – he can rating objectives, he can defend, he can attack. When he will get the ball he’s so powerful.

“It’s best to just admire the way he plays because he’s an awesome player. I could be slightly bit biased as a result of he is my pal, but for me he’s within the high three of one of the best midfielders in the world. After all it counts against him being from Ivory Coast.

“If he was Argentinian or Brazilian everybody will talk about him, everyone. You’ve some Brazilians or Argentinians, I don’t need to say anything flawed, however simply because they’re from this nation you pay them forty million pounds or 50 million kilos.”

Toure’s long-vary equaliser at Wembley – which the Ivorian described as his best ever objective – was the seventeenth goal of the most prolific season of his profession.

He has additionally now won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup in England so as to add to the six main honours he lifted throughout Barcelona’s outstanding haul in 2009.

Nasri added: “A guy like Yaya, he [has] received every trophy, he’s all the time there. Inform me one defensive midfielder who can go forward like him, who can rating sixteen or 17 objectives in a season. Tell me one and then we are able to discuss.”

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Golson reveals ND expulsion because he cheated

Everett Golson expects to be available for Notre Dame's 2014 spring practice. (USATSI)
Everett Golson expects to be accessible for Notre Dame’s 2014 spring follow. (USATSI)

Last Might, in a press release declaring his intention to return to Notre Dame despite his latest explusion from the college, Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson said he had been dismissed for his “poor tutorial judgment.” But neither Golson nor the varsity provided particulars any extra particular than that.

That modified Tuesday when Sports activities Illustrated revealed a story and video of Golson’s interview with Andy Staples, wherein Golson admitted to having cheated on a take a look at. Notre Dame officers expelled Golson for flagrantly violating the varsity’s honor code, however instructed him he might reapply for admission for the spring 2014 semester.

“I had poor judgment on a check,” Golson stated in the video. “It wasn’t as a result of poor grades or anything like that.”

“Did you cheat on a check?” Staples asks.

“Yeah, one thing like that,” Golson responds.

Golson reaffirmed to SI – as he has since his explusion – that he expects to be granted readmission to Notre Dame. Golson has spent his semester away from school working with quarterbacking guru George Whitfield.

As a redshirt freshman, Golson led the Irish to a shock 12-0 regular season and berth within the BCS Championship Sport earlier than being dismissed in Might of this 12 months for what Notre Dame termed an “academic violation.”

Golson’s absence had opened the door for senior Tommy Rees, who has thrown for 1,944 yards and 20 touchdowns via eight video games to help the Irish to a 6-2 document.

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Pierre Garcon says RG3 ‘can’t run as fast as this year’ because of the knee brace

(USA At this time Sports activities Pictures)

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III’s staff is off to an zero-2 begin. The Redskins have been outscored 50-7 in the first half of these video games. Any individual has to take the blame.

The greatest downside is Washington’s atrocious protection, which is ranked final within the NFL.

However, Griffin is receiving some warmth, too.

Receiver Pierre Garcon was on ESPN 980 Tuesday and mentioned his crew was running the same offense that was productive in 2012. Garcon mentioned the group doesn’t want Griffin working around lots this season due to the quarterback’s offseason knee surgery. He additionally believes Griffin’s knee brace is slowing down his quarterback.

“Properly, whenever you’re walking around with a knee brace or playing with a knee brace, clearly it’s slowing you down a little bit bit,” Garcon told the radio station through Washingtonpost.com. “It’s just pure. It’s common… I don’t know the way a lot it weighs, exactly, however you all the time think about it when you could have it on there, and it’s a constant reminder. It’s not gonna allow you to be the man you are without the knee brace. When you will have something round your knees – the more gear you’ve got on, it’s clearly distracting you or slowing you down from being as free as free as yourself without any gear on.”

While most NFL observers anticipate Griffin to be the same cell quarterback who rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns in 2012, he has only 25 speeding yards by means of two games. Garcon stated a few of Griffin’s runs final season were not by design, which explains the decline.

“Properly, a few of these runs weren’t designed runs for Robert,” Garcon stated via Washingtonpost.com. “One of many plays that you just guys all the time show is the Minnesota Vikings run — that wasn’t a designed play, that was a quarterback just being an athlete. A few of the performs he has two choices, handy the ball off to Alfred or to run it — generally he keeps it, generally he runs. Generally he runs an possibility with a receiver. We have now a bunch of various performs that we name at completely different instances — some performs get more yards than others, some plays don’t at all times pan out how we designed them. However the defenses are seeing them. They know Robert clearly can’t run as quick as he did final yr due to his knee brace and his knee, nevertheless it’s the identical offense, to be honest with you. It’s nothing totally different. It hasn’t changed at all.”

Despite Griffin’s limitations, Washington’s offense is ranked sixth in yards per sport (402), which is slightly above its 383.2 average in 2012. Washington is averaging 23.5 points per recreation in comparison with 27.2 last season.

However, Washington’s protection is at the moment ranked thirty second after ending the 2012 common season ranked fifth.

Maybe Washington’s defenders are carrying knee braces?


Nazem Kadri agrees to 2-year deal with Maple Leafs, because what else could he do?

If Nazem Kadri was looking for a protracted-time period contract extension, he wasn’t going to get it.

If he was looking for a huge money bridge contract, he wasn’t going to get it.

The Toronto Maple Leafs had the restricted free agent by the Timbits; it was simply going to be a matter of when he bent to their will.

Turns out it was Tuesday: Kadri and the Leafs agreed to a 2-yr contract, assuring that that the talented center shall be in camp after his breakout 2013 season. Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet had the news. Bob McKenzie of TSN adopted with the financials: $2.9 million per season.

That’s barely more than what Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.Ok. Subban obtained after his contract squabble last season, signing for $2.875 million and clearly setting the market for Kadri – regardless of having a extra substantial work history than Kadri’s cups of espresso and lockout-shortened star season (44 points in forty eight games).

For Kadri, it was greatest to settle this factor earlier than he ended up missing vital time or getting vilified by media and fans for delaying the inevitable.

For GM Dave Nonis, getting Kadri in for under $three million before camp is spectacular. Now comes the heavy lifting: Determining learn how to pay defenseman Cody Franson with the Leafs’ remaining cap area, and/or making the required strikes to create extra.


Don Mattingly benches Yasiel Puig because Skip Schumaker gives Dodgers ‘a better chance to win’


Don Mattingly pulled the Puig once more — and the Los Angeles Dodgers gained anyway. Once more.

Yasiel Puig was benched by his manager Wednesday afternoon, replaced in proper discipline by Skip Schumaker in the fifth inning for reasons unspecified by Mattingly. With Puig grounded, the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs four-0, with Schumaker getting on base twice and driving in a run.

The move was not made due to an injury, but as an alternative was disciplinary in nature. The one word given by the Dodgers during the sport, as relayed by Vin Scully on the Fox Sports activities TV broadcast, was that it was a “manager’s choice.” After the game, Mattingly would not specify why Puig was pulled, preferring to keep the matter “in house.” Knowledgeable hypothesis by native writers says the punishment is for Puig not hustling to his place in proper discipline.

No matter, Mattingly uttered what already have grow to be famous words about why Puig was benched:

He probably wasn’t speaking actually, however it’s fun to level out that the Dodgers are 53-23 in Puig’s appearances and 53-50 when Schumaker performs. And let’s not even get into the wins above replacement comparison. Puig seems like he got the message — no matter it was — after meeting with Mattingly and GM Ned Colletti:


Mattingly additionally punished Puig for disciplinary causes Aug. 20 towards the Marlins, though this truly was the first time Puig has been benched — should you imagine Mattingly. He did not begin Puig against the Marlins after he was 35 minutes late for pregame activities at Miami. Puig entered that recreation within the fifth inning and hit a go-ahead home run in one other Dodgers victory. He was fined for being tardy, but Mattingly stated Puig didn’t begin as a result of he was simply getting a day off — or a half-day without work — as a result of he wanted the rest. Mattingly repeated that Wednesday.

“No person probably believes that, because of the timing of it, however that was a break day he was getting no matter what time he was attending to the ballpark, ” Mattingly said.

It would not matter what we consider, it solely matters what Puig believes. He is the one Mattingly has to control into taking part in his greatest.


Rex Ryan says he put Mark Sanchez in because Jets were ‘trying to win the game’

(USA As we speak Sports Photos)

The resolution to place Mark Sanchez in a meaningless preseason recreation, after Geno Smith played poorly and it was clear that Sanchez was the Jets’ best choice to begin the common season at quarterback, was a bit strange.

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Rex Ryan’s rationalization was much, much stranger.

Sanchez was inserted within the recreation in the third quarter, and was underneath fixed strain with the backup offensive line protecting him. He received crushed by Giants defensive lineman Marvin Austin and damage his shoulder. That was his last play. Ryan stated he didn’t know the extent of the damage to Sanchez’s shoulder.

So why was a chilly Sanchez on this preseason recreation with the backup line, which was a recipe for disaster? Take it away, Rex..

Well, that explains every part.

So Ryan – who is going to wish to win regular-season video games to save his job – put in Sanchez to get beat up within the third quarter as a result of he’s the only person on this planet who cares concerning the outcome of a preseason game.

Even in the circus that’s the Jets, that is on a whole new degree (although perhaps it was just in respect to former Jets coach Herman Edwards’ “You play to win the game!” rant.. howdy?!?).

The Jets did win the preseason game, pulling off a 24-21 win in additional time. So Ryan will at least have that nice reminiscence if his best choice at quarterback is standing next to him injured when the video games rely.


Le’Veon Bell gets four carries in his debut … and that’s it, because he got hurt again

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It’s just halfway through Le’Veon Bell’s first preseason as a professional, doubtless a small and insignificant blip on the radar of his NFL profession as an entire.

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But.. the harm issues are starting to get irritating.

Bell, a rookie second-spherical decide anticipated to be the Steelers’ workhorse running back, can’t keep on the field to this point. He missed the preseason opener with a knee injury. He re-injured the knee in a non-contact drill last week. He did play Monday evening in opposition to the Redskins, but after 9 yards on four carries, he was again on the sideline, injured once more. This time, it was a foot harm. He lasted one sequence. A lot of the information surrounding Bell during the last month has been well being updates.

And now, unless the Steelers need to push him by these injuries to see more of their rookie operating back in preseason action, Bell will enter his first common season with 4 carries of stay NFL recreation motion. Can Pittsburgh trust Bell as its starter after having seen so little of him against NFL competition?

The accidents might be dangerous luck, however it’s price mentioning that last yr Bell had an astonishing 382 carries at Michigan State. Add in receptions, and he had 414 touches. That came in simply 13 games. In his last four college video games, Bell had 36, 32, 35 and 32 carries. Not like the Michigan State coaching workers has an obligation to not run Bell into the bottom earlier than he made any money off soccer, but yeesh.

Part of a NFL operating again’s worth is measured by his means to stay on the field. Possibly Bell would be the workhorse the Steelers were hoping for with that second-round choose they invested. But to be a workhorse, Bell must final past 4 carries when the games start to count.


NFL will cut down even further on celebrations, because touchdowns aren’t supposed to be fun

Jacoby Jones celebrates a Tremendous Bowl touchdown. FLAG! (Getty Photos)

Because scoring a landing in a professional soccer recreation is a fairly routine achievement, and because NFL teams are comprised of delicate flowers whose sensibilities are as simply upset as a dandelion within the spring breeze, the NFL has decided to crack down still further on put up-touchdown celebrations. Oh, come on.

Alas, it’s true, per Pro Soccer Speak: officers at both the Vikings and Panthers camps are warning gamers that refs will crack down additional on celebrations where gamers “spin” the ball. For those of you not familiar with the NFL’s arcane jargon, “spinning” is the place the participant swiftly twists after which releases the ball, point downward, so that the ball rotates rapidly on its end. Apparently it is something the children are doing nowadays as a result of it causes intense outrage, or one thing.

As PFT notes, a variety of celebratory acts are no longer permissible and will lead to a penalty: “These acts include but should not restricted to: sack dances; house run swing; unbelievable hulk; spiking the ball; throwing or shoving the ball; pointing; pointing the ball; verbal taunting; military salute; standing over an opponent (prolonged and with provocation; or dancing.” In other words: ANY TYPE OF DEMONSTRATION OF ANYTHING RESEMBLING A HUMAN EMOTION. Somebody needs to loop all of those together in one single monstrous celebration. It might be well worth the 15 yards, simple.


Kyle Korver stays with Hawks for 4 years, $24 million, because shooters get paid

Cha-ching. (Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images)

Free agent forward Kyle Korver reached agreement Wednesday on a four-year, $24 million contract to rejoin the Atlanta Hawks, according to ESPN.com’s Marc Stein, taking the best shooter available in free agency off the board at a price tag that confirms the heightened value NBA teams are placing on long-range bombers this offseason.

The deal — which can’t be officially finalized until the July 10 end of the league’s moratorium on trades and free-agent acquisitions — ends several reported suitors’ pursuit of the 32-year-old distance specialist. The Deron Williams Photoshop/Instagram-led charge of the Brooklyn Nets reportedly fell out of contention once it became evident that Korver would command a salary higher than the taxpayer midlevel exception, which starts at just under $3.2 million per year. This became evident after Kevin Martin got $7 million a year, J.J. Redick got about $6.8 million a year, Martell Webster got $5.5 million a year and Chase Budinger got about $5.3 million a year. (This also makes that Mike Dunleavy deal the Chicago Bulls signed look better and better with every passing second.)

The lesson: NBA executives dig the long ball — sorry, Tony Allen — and are willing to pay a premium for players who can hammer it home consistently, and there isn’t anyone who does that more efficiently and effectively than Korver.

It’s unclear how serious the San Antonio Spurs were about chasing Korver after bringing back Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili, but the Milwaukee Bucks were (somewhat curiously, given the in-flux nature of the Bucks’ “plan”) reportedly willing to pay up to $7 million a year over three seasons for Korver’s services — an offer the shooter declined, preferring to return to the Highlight Factory for the foreseeable future for what’s probably a combination of the additional year (which keeps Korver gainfully employed through age 36) and a comfortable situation he likes.

“Both me and my wife are really excited,” Korver told Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday. “We had a great experience with the city and the organization and feel very fortunate to be wanted back. I believe in what [general manager] Danny [Ferry] is building. I do. And I’m excited to play my role in that.”

The broad strokes of that role will be to hit an awful lot of 3-pointers at a very high clip — Korver shot 45.7 percent from deep last season, second-best in the NBA, and ranks 12th all-time in career long-range accuracy — and to serve as a mature, responsible, professional presence in a Hawks locker room that figures to be in flux in one form or another. The specifics of Korver’s job description, though — namely, for whom he’ll be spacing the floor and from whom he’ll be receiving those catch-and-shoot passes — remains unclear. To wit:

• The Hawks reportedly remain in contention for the game’s top remaining free agent, All-Star center Dwight Howard, although they’re not now considered a front-runner in the race for the 27-year-old Atlanta native.

• Howard’s decision, which reportedly won’t come until after the Fourth of July, figures to impact the future of longtime pal and fellow free agent Josh Smith, who will reportedly be the top target of the Houston Rockets should Howard go elsewhere, which could prompt the Hawks to pursue a sign-and-trade deal to ensure the versatile forward doesn’t skip town without returning some assets to help Ferry continue the rebuild he began by shedding the contracts of Joe Johnson and Marvin Williams last July. (Smith is almost certainly not returning to Atlanta; the two sides reportedly haven’t even spoken since free agency opened at 12:01 a.m. ET on Monday.)

• The Hawks also have to deal with the still-unsettled status of restricted free agent Jeff Teague, arguably the best point guard available this summer now that Chris Paul’s off the market. While the Hawks will have the right to match any offer sheet the 25-year-old triggerman signs, there doesn’t appear to have been a ton of movement in his market during this first week of free agency, meaning the team’s still in wait-and-see mode with its incumbent lead guard.

If the Hawks come from behind to secure Howard’s services, Korver’s the perfect sort of complimentary specialist to make defenses pay for the attention they’d have to pay to Dwight diving to the rim off pick-and-rolls or commanding a high number of touches down low. If the Hawks bring back Teague, the two worked together very well last year, with Teague assisting on nearly 35 percent of Korver’s makes and lineups featuring both outscoring opponents by just under six points per 100 possessions, according to NBA.com’s stat tool. If Atlanta goes all-in on building a contender right now, paying (and perhaps overpaying a bit) a guy you can trust to knock down shots (including foul shots), relieve offensive tension and play better-than-you-think (although not by a ton) team defense is totally worth it.

But if Atlanta doesn’t get Dwight, and doesn’t keep Smith, and goes into next season with a roster headlined by (the very, very good) Al Horford and (maybe) Teague, then the Hawks don’t profile as a contending team or, cap space aside, one that seems like a serious threat of becoming one right away. In that case, paying $6 million for what’s ostensibly a (very nice) luxury item seems pretty unnecessary. Then again, you’ve got to pay somebody under the new collective bargaining agreement.

Teams must spend a minimum of 90 percent of the salary cap, which (given prior projections of the 2013-14 cap) puts this year’s floor at somewhere around $52.7 million. If the Hawks don’t land Howard, don’t keep Smith and don’t bring back the raft of other free agents right now remaining as cap holds on their books, they’d be looking at just under $30.9 million on the books for 11 roster spots next season. That’s an admittedly imperfect number — it doesn’t factor in an RFA match for Teague that would likely come in well above his $4.5 million qualifying offer; it includes slots for first-round picks Lucas Nogueira and Dennis Schroeder, but not for early second-round pick Mike Muscala, who’ll get one; it includes the nonguaranteed deals of DeShawn Stevenson, Mike Scott and Shelvin Mack — but it’s instructive if only to point out that the Hawks kind of have to spend a lot of money just to reach ground-level.

In that case, then, why not spend it on a solid citizen who can help some of the youngblood Hawks learn the ropes, whom we’re sure new head coach Mike Budenholzer will love to pieces, and who’s got an elite, non-athleticism-dependent NBA skill that figures to remain mostly viable as he enters his mid-30s? Korver might not actually be worth $6 million per — and if the deal’s structured with incremental year-over-year raises rather than a flat annual value, he definitely won’t be worth $7 million or so at age 36 — and in two seasons, if Atlanta’s still treading water in its rebuilding plan, Hawks fans might prefer to have had that $6 million-plus in room available to absorb a bigger contract (plus, perhaps, some picks) in an asset-acquiring deal. Still, there are worse ways for Ferry to spend his owner’s money.

And let this be a lesson to all you NBA hopefuls out there — if you get world-class good at one particular thing and aren’t a reputed jerk, you too could someday be this kind of signing. Dare to dream!

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Tiger Woods will skip AT&T National because of strained elbow suffered at Merion

Tiger Woods — AP

It seems if it isn’t bogeys that are holding Tiger Woods back at the major championships, it’s injury, and another one suffered at a major will be forcing Woods out of golf action in the coming weeks.

Woods announced on his website that he will be skipping the AT&T National event that kicks off June 27 because of a strained left elbow he suffered at Merion Golf Club a week ago during the U.S. Open.

“I was examined after I returned home from the U.S. Open, and the doctors determined I have a left elbow strain,” Woods said.

It’s really a double hit for Tiger being forced out of the AT&T as the golf tournament is hosted by Woods and benefits his foundation.

“I have been advised to take a few weeks off, rest and undergo treatment. I’ll be ready to go for the British Open, and I’m looking forward to playing at Muirfield,” Woods continued. “I would like to extend my regrets to AT&T, our sponsors and the fans in the Washington, D.C., area. The AT&T National means a lot to me and my foundation. It’s especially difficult not defending at my own tournament. It’s going to be a great event, and I look forward to being there to provide my support.”

Tiger winced multiple times during his four days at Merion, where he had his highest score to par of any major championship in his professional career, and looked like the rough, and the elbow, created a perfect storm of pain.

This is definitely not the first time we’ve seen Woods struggle with injury. A knee injury kept Tiger out of multiple majors in 2008, and an Achilles injury suffered in 2011 at Augusta National sidelined him for a few months.

While it is a disappointment that Woods won’t be at Congressional, it’s good that he will be rested before heading across the pond to try and snag his fourth Claret Jug.

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