‘Missing out on Coutinho is no blow for Arsenal’

first_imgMissing out on a deal to bring Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League from Barcelona is no blow for Arsenal, says Nigel Winterburn.It was suggested, as the Premier League deadline drew ever closer, that the Gunners were exploring the option of returning the former Liverpool playmaker to English football.Barca were eager to part with the Brazilian in an ongoing effort to re-sign Neymar and Premier League sides were considered to be the best fit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? In the end, no agreement was reached, with some eye-watering figures said to have been demanded in what would have been a loan deal with the option to buy.Former Gunners star Winterburn believes missing out on Coutinho is no bad thing for those at Emirates Stadium, with Unai Emery seeing plenty of other positive business completed.“I don’t consider Arsenal missing out on Coutinho as a blow because I don’t think that it was ever realistic,” Winterburn told Sportingbet.“Some of the figures that were bandied about, I’ve read that the deal could be worth up to £40 million, would have been an incredible investment from Arsenal for a loan deal and something that just cannot happen.“He’s a terrific player, I think he would enhance most squads, but I don’t see it as a missed opportunity, because I was never convinced it was an option.”Nicolas Pepe Arsenal 2019-20Arsenal were able to find creativity elsewhere in the summer market, with a club-record £72 million (£87m) deal done for Nicolas Pepe after it became apparent that Wilfried Zaha could not be prised from Crystal Palace.“Zaha would have been a safer signing than Pepe, as he is proven in the Premier League but I can only tell you who would have been the better signing come the end of the season,” said Winterburn.“Pepe is not as well known on these shores as Zaha, so it’s hard to know if he can produce similar results to what we have come to expect from Zaha at Crystal Palace.“However, from the bits that we have seen of him, we know that Arsenal have a very exciting player on their hands. As a supporter, I would have liked Arsenal to have signed both players!”Another deal wrapped up by Arsenal involved Kieran Tierney, with the former Celtic star set to fill the left-back berth once occupied by Winterburn.Kieran TierneyThe ex-Gunners defender said of the Scotland international: “The Premier League is the most brutal league in the world, especially for defenders, but Kieran Tierney is a sensational signing and will have no problem settling in.“He is a young player who has gained huge experience at Celtic, he has also played Champions League football so will be used to the quality of football.“At the end of the day, I’m less worried about what a player has done before; I’m more interested in what happens when they come to your football club.“Tierney fits the bill and is someone that will give Arsenal plenty of width and defensive skills down the left-hand side.“He has been a player that Arsenal have courted for most of the transfer window, so I’m delighted that Arsenal have got the transfer over the line.”Winterburn added on Arsenal’s window as a whole: “I’m more excited at this season’s prospects than I have been for a number of years.“The last two years, particularly the away performances, have been nowhere near good enough for Arsenal for a Premier League side who consider themselves to be a top-four team.“The signings Arsenal have made have reinvigorated the club, now we need the new players to deliver on the pitch!”last_img read more

Tennis: Prajnesh Gunneswaran rises to career-high ranking of 80

first_img Press Trust of India New DelhiApril 15, 2019UPDATED: April 15, 2019 10:51 IST Prajnesh Gunneswaran (@ATP_Tour Photo)Continuing his good run, India’s Prajnesh Gunneswaran achieved a career-high ranking of 80 in the latest ATP rankings released Monday.The 29-year-old from Chennai, who broke into the top 100 in February this year, improved two places to become the sixth highest in terms of singles ranking in the history of Indian tennis.Prajnesh had reached the third round of Indian Wells 2019 in his maiden appearance at an ATP Masters event. It was also his first apperance in the third round of an ATP 1000 Tournament.He had also entered the main draw of Miami Open to rise to 81 last month.Another Indian Ramkumar Ramanathan dropped 16 spots to slip out of the top 150. He is now at the 157th position.Also Read | Country needs to do lot more for women empowerment in sports, says Sania MirzaFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Prajnesh GunneswaranFollow ATP rankings Next Tennis: Prajnesh Gunneswaran rises to career-high ranking of 80Prajnesh Gunneswaran has been in good form in 2019 having reached the main rounds of Masters 1000 tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami. advertisementlast_img read more

Syria humanitarian efforts falling short UN relief chief warns calling for end

“This is a conflict that is affecting every Syrian,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, in a briefing to the Security Council this afternoon on the humanitarian situation in Syria.“We have lamented the possibility of a lost generation of Syria’s children: it is now a reality,” she added.Specifically, Ms. Amos said Syria’s economy has contracted some 40 per cent since 2011, with unemployment now exceeding 54 per cent. In addition, three quarters of the population live in poverty, and school attendance has dropped by more than 50 per cent.She noted that Council resolution 2165 – which was adopted in July and aims at increasing access to people most in need – has helped the UN to overcome some of the challenges faced, by permitting direct delivery to hundreds of thousands of people, complementing the considerable cross-border deliveries conducted by non-governmental organizations. Since the adoption of the resolution and primarily through cross-border deliveries, supplies had been distributed in nearly all the hard-to-reach locations in the four governorates, leading to a more effective response, she noted. However, no more than two besieged locations have been reached in any month since the adoption of the resolution, and only one location has been reached in each of the past two months.“Despite the progress we have made, it is still not enough,” Ms. Amos stressed. “We have faced considerable challenges in implementing resolutions 2139 and 2165 and continue to fall short of meeting the humanitarian needs of all the people we aim to reach in Syria,” she added.Council resolution 2139, from February 2014, demands that all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, allow humanitarian access in Syria across conflict lines, in besieged areas and across borders.At the passing of resolution 2139 in February, there were 220,000 people besieged by either Government or opposition forces; of those, 212,000 remain besieged today, she noted.Ms. Amos also emphasized that the Council should continue to call for an end to the “bureaucratic steps” that hinder the delivery of assistance, as well as push for the inclusion of medical supplies in convoys and call for the lifting of sieges. Noting that some 12.2 million people – more than 5 million of them children – are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance throughout the country, Ms. Amos said that continuing violence has forced nearly half of Syrians from their homes, many of them multiple times.Consequently, there are now some 7.6 million people displaced inside Syria. In addition, more than 3.2 million people have fled the country, with countries in the region and communities hosting refugees bearing an “enormous burden,” Ms. Amos stressed. Moreover, Ms. Amos said that despite repeated calls from the Council for the fighting to stop and “hard-hitting” reports from the Independent Commission of Inquiry of ongoing abuses of human rights, civilians continue to be killed and injured every day in Syria. “As the situation on the ground becomes more dangerous and difficult it is even more important that humanitarian actors are able to use all tools at their disposal to reach people in need, from within the country and across borders,” Ms. Amos said. In addition, Ms. Amos emphasized that humanitarian appeals for Syria and the region remain critically underfunded, with the appeal less than half funded.“Every day that passes more Syrian children, women and men die,” Ms. Amos said. “More look to the international community for help and support. We on the humanitarian side will continue to do all we can,” she added.The conflict in Syria, which began in March 2011, has led to well over 150,000 deaths, and more than 680,000 people have been injured. It has also spawned a refugee crisis in which some 2.5 million people are being sheltered in neighbouring countries. At least 10.8 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced. read more

Ohio State womens gymnastics not shying away from contest against No 3

The No. 20 Ohio State women’s gymnastics team will take on the No. 3 Michigan Wolverines Friday at St. John Arena for the 2013 Pink Meet. Last week, the Buckeyes fell, 195.575-194.675, in a dual meet against Penn State, but OSU coach Carey Fagan said the return of an ill player will help the team score higher this meet. “We have one coming back from mono,” Fagan said referring to all-around freshman Audrey Tolbert. “I think having Audrey back in the vault line up will be a big boost for us and hopefully we’ll be able to add in more routines that we didn’t have last week at Penn State.” The pieces for winning, Fagan said, are in place. “I think competitively, we have the right level of athletes on our team to compete with a team that’s ranked three in the country,” Fagan said. OSU is ranked 16th nationally on vault (49.000), 21st on uneven bars (48.770) and 24th on balance beam (48.695). “You know, to compete with the No. 3 team in the country, it’s going to have to be 49s across the board in all of the events,” Fagan said. “The girls are going to have to step it up.” Along with going head-to-head with OSU’s biggest sports rival, the meet against Michigan is particularly important from a historical standpoint. “This is the first year that Big Ten has done conference scheduling for gymnastics in history,” Fagan said. Last season the Buckeyes fell against the Wolverines in Ann Arbor, Mich., 195.500-195.175, but that hasn’t disheartened Fagan. “I think any time Michigan comes to town, every athlete is on kind of a heightened awareness wanting to put out their absolute best,” Fagan said. “My team is no different because everybody is hungry to pull off an upset.” Melanie Shaffer, a junior all-around gymnast, said the Wolverines perform well on the “floor, beam and vault, but I think their bars are a little sharper.” “But it’s nothing we can’t handle,” she added. The Wolverines are nationally ranked among the top 10 in all four events. They are ranked second on balance beam, third on both uneven bars and floor exercise and ninth on vault. Although excited about the meet, the Buckeyes are maintaining a calm and collected approach. “I think if we just stay positive and we hit the routines that we are capable of hitting then we’ll be fine,” Shaffer said. “We just have to relax and let all of the landings come to us.” Friday’s meet marks the halfway point of the 2013 season for the Buckeyes. “Every week we try to find something to improve on where we can train differently,” said Sarah Miller, junior all-around gymnast. “If everyone performs at their personal best, you have a team that’s performing at their personal best.” Shaffer added that OSU will be performing at its best for another reason as well. “As Buckeyes, we don’t want the state up north to win and we’ll give them a fight,” Shaffer said. The meet is slated to begin at 7 p.m. read more