Steve Nicol has welcomed reports Liverpool are set to appoint Jurgen Klopp as their new manager, saying he can emulate his achievements with Borussia Dortmund at Anfield to get the Reds firing again.Brendan Rodgers was axed as boss on Monday after seeing his side, who currently sit in tenth place following a tame start the season, slip from Premier League title contenders to top flight also-rans.Former Dortmund chief Klopp is the Merseysiders’ first-choice as the man to succeed Rodgers, with bookmakers suspending betting amid reports the club are close to agreeing a deal with the 48-year-old.Klopp left the Bundesliga side last season after seven years as manager, where he was idolised for building a squad which toppled Bayern Munich from their perch to claim two German league titles and one German Cup, as well as two German Supercup victories over their closest rivals.And European Cup winning hero Nicol believes his past achievements and CV make him the perfect man to bring the glory days back to Anfield.Speaking on Extra Time, Nicol said: “Klopp is clearly the bookies’ – and the fans’ – favourite and the fact he is available right now means the timing is pretty much perfect.“Brendan was definitely given a chance, he was given three years and was backed by FSG, but he didn’t spend the money wisely and that’s what happens when you don’t produce.“When you appoint anybody as a manager, you can’t 100 percent say it will be successful.“But Klopp’s CV suggests Liverpool will be perfect for him. He took on a team who were former European champions in Dortmund, he took them to two Bundesliga titles and he took them to the Champions League final.“So as much as I’m saying nobody is 100 per cent guaranteed to succeed, his CV 100 per cent fits what Liverpool need.”Liverpool’s transfer policy – headed up by a committee of scouts, club executives and manager Rodgers – has been fiercely criticised in the aftermath of the Northern Irishman’s exit, with former midfielder Danny Murphy telling talkSPORT the manager had been hung up to dry over the committee’s transfer failings.And Nicol believes, if Klopp is indeed appointed, the German must be in charge of all future comings and goings in order to build a successful team.“Klopp did exactly what Liverpool are asking for at Dortmund,” he added.“He took over a team with no stars, but they bought wisely and built a team, something Brendan didn’t do.“FSG have shown they will back managers financially, so it’s up to Klopp, or whoever it is who gets the job, to make sure he’s the one in charge of who comes in and who come out.“But that’s absolutely the CV Klopp has, which is the reason why Liverpool should appoint him as manager.”
1 Arsenal have made a last-ditch attempt to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Ezequiel Lavezzi, according to reports in Italy.As talkSPORT told you on Tuesday, Barcelona are chasing the Argentina international and are close to an agreement.The former Napoli man’s contract expires at the end of the season and he is ready to leave PSG on a free in search of a new challenge.But now, according to Calciomercato, Arsenal have made an 11th hour bid to snatch Lavezzi away from Barcelona.Gunners manager Arsene Wenger is reportedly a big fan of the 30-year-old and believes he would be an astute signing if secured on a free. Ezequiel Lavezzi
Former Premier League referee Graham Poll believes Jose Mourinho was right to be aggrieved following Chelsea’s home defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, with Reds midfielder Lucas lucky to stay on the pitch.Mourinho aimed a thinly veiled criticism at Mark Clattenburg as he – with the scores locked at 1-1 – decided against handing the Brazilian a second yellow card after what looked like a clear foul on Ramires.Liverpool went on to secure a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge to pile even more pressure on the Blues boss, but Poll believes Chelsea were potentially robbed of points because of the poor decision.“I have to say I think Mourinho was right,” he told Hawksbee and Jacobs“You can’t expect a referee to be 100 per cent correct all the time – like players and managers, they are human – but what you do expect is consistency in the 90 minutes.“Now, on Saturday, Mikel was cautioned and very soon afterwards Lucas goes in.“He knows he isn’t getting the ball and he’s that kind of player, he knows what he’s doing, he’s a clever player and I thought from his body language that he expected to be sent off.“And I couldn’t understand it – it was a clear and obvious yellow card for anyone who was watching the game.“For me that was a big incident. Chelsea may well have lost anyway, but at 1-1, with Liverpool reduced to ten men away from home, you would have expected Liverpool to hold on for the draw at that point.”Another incident in the heated game saw Chelsea stirker Diego Costa and Liverpool centre-back Martin Skrtel resume their on-pitch rivaly.The duo have history, with Costa handed a ban after being found guilty of stamping on the Slovakian last season, and it appeared the Spaniard was fortunate to escape punishment once more after replays showed he kicked out at the Reds defender again on Saturday’s lunchtime game.Skrtel managed to keep his cool and it was confirmed on Monday that the FA would be taking no action over the incident.And Poll was pleased with the outcome, saying that those physical battles are a part of the soul of the game.“I was really glad to read that no action was going to taken out on Diego Costa,” the ex-official added.“He is a combative player, but so is Martin Skrtel. They decided they’d have a good battle together on Saturday and didn’t moan too much about it.“It was good to see Costa getting stuck in and not bleating too much. He got a bit of a firearm smash earlier in the game, and he gave a little bit back.“As a spectator you like to see those battles, that’s how it should be. As a referee, if two players – a big [number] nine and five – want to have a good battle and keep it between themselves and it’s reasonable, then let them get on with it.“It’s how they want to play the game and it’s how the game should be played.”
11 11 1. Jack Butland (goalkeeper) – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above, right 11 8. Glen Johnson (right back) 11 10. Marko Arnautovic (winger) 11 27. Bojan (attacking midfield) 3. Eric Pieters (left back) 26. Phillipp Wollscheid (centre back) 22. Xherdan Shaqiri (winger) 16. Charlie Adam (centre midfield) 11 6. Glenn Whelan (centre midfield) 11 11 11 17. Ryan Shawcross (centre back) Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross could be thrown straight back into the starting line-up for Saturday afternoon’s home clash against Premier League leaders Manchester City.The Potters were without their star centre-back on Tuesday when they beat Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup quarter-final after he was sent off against Sunderland last weekend.However, the 28-year-old is available for tomorrow’s game as Stoke attempt to dent City’s title bid in a fixture notorious for finishing all sqaure.City have struggled at the Britannia Stadium since Stoke’s promotion in 2008, with five of the seven clashes ending in a stalemate.Peter Crouch is a doubt for the game with a hamstring injury, but attacking duo Bojan and Xherdan Shaqiri are likely to start after being rested in midweek.To see talkSPORT’s predicted Stoke XI click the above arrow, right. 19. Jonathan Walters (striker) 11 11
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Shuttle Discovery and its crew of seven thundered into orbit Tuesday, setting off on the most challenging space station construction mission yet, one that will pave the way for the arrival of two science labs in a few months. NASA pulled off the on-time launch – the third one in a row – after determining that a small patch of ice on fuel-tank plumbing posed no danger. Indeed, most if not all of the ice harmlessly shook loose when the booster rockets and engines ignited. The rain clouds that had been forecast for days stayed away for the late morning launch. “We got lucky today. We could have just as easily gotten unlucky,” said launch director Mike Leinbach. “But, as I tell my team, there’s nothing wrong every now and then with a little good luck.” In a historic coincidence, both the shuttle and station have women at the helm. Retired Air Force Col. Pamela Melroy is only the second woman to command a shuttle, and biochemist Peggy Whitson is the first female skipper of a space station. Whitson and Clay Anderson watched Discovery’s launch live on a station computer. Anderson, who will return to Earth aboard Discovery after a five-month expedition, shook a white towel and did a complete back flip once the shuttle reached orbit. At least six pieces of foam insulation came off Discovery’s fuel tank during liftoff, but because that occurred after the crucial first two minutes, the debris posed no risk to the shuttle. “It’s preliminary only, but it did look like a clean ascent,” Mission Control informed Melroy. NASA has paid extra attention to launch debris ever since the 2003 Columbia disaster. A hole in the wing brought down Columbia, the result of a strike by a slab of fuel-tank foam. A much smaller piece of foam broke off a bracket on the fuel tank during the previous launch, in August, possibly along with some ice, and gouged Endeavour’s belly. More changes were made to Discovery’s fuel tank to prevent dangerous ice buildup from the super-cold propellants. Melroy and her crew will use a laser-tipped inspection boom today to check Discovery’s vulnerable wings and nose, standard procedure since the Columbia accident.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.With Discovery safely in orbit, NASA looked ahead to all the work awaiting the astronauts once they arrive at the International Space Station on Thursday. It is considered the most complicated mission in the nine years of station assembly in orbit. During their 1 -week station visit, the astronauts must install a live-in compartment that they’re bringing along, relocate a giant girder and set of solar wings, extend those solar wings and radiators, and test a thermal tile repair kit. In all, five spacewalks are planned, which will be the most ever conducted while a shuttle is docked at the station. The three space station residents face even more construction chores after the shuttle leaves, each one of them critical. NASA’s space operations chief, Bill Gerstenmaier, said the two crews face a tremendous series of challenges, but noted, “I can’t think of a better start to this mission than what we got today.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! VAN NUYS-A man was injured today when his vehicle swiped an MTA bus, then crashed into a power pole in Van Nuys, a fire official said. The accident was reported at 4:39 p.m. at Roscoe and Sepulveda boulevards, said David Ortiz of the Los Angeles Fire Department. It was unclear how the accident happened, but the motorists car swiped the MTA bus before slamming into a power pole causing an outage, Ortiz said. No one on the bus was injured, but the motorist suffered facial injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, he said. Power was expected to be restored to the 1,400 homes and businesses in the area, according to published reports.
1 Manchester City secured qualification for the Champions League by picking up a point at Swansea City, drawing 1-1 thanks to an early Kelechi Iheanacho strike.The youngster finished from close range in the early stages, and although Andre Ayew pulled the tie level on the brink of half-time, the point was enough for City, who know Manchester United will need to score 19 goals against Bournemouth – with their game abandoned due to a security threat at Old Trafford – if the Red Devils are to move into the top four.City took the lead early on, Iheanacho’s strike causing confusion when Swansea’s players claimed an offside call.Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne combined well on the edge of the box, before the Belgian star created space for himself and hit a powerful strike at goal.Goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt, on his first Premier League start, was equal to the shot, but Iheanacho was there to finish the rebound with ease.He appeared to be offside, but was being played on by a Swansea defender on the floor, as the Nigerian bagged his eigth Premier League goal of the campaign.Swansea almost equalised immediatley, when Jefferson Montero bundled the ball into the back of the net after a right-wing cross. However, he was claimed to have fouled Bacary Sagna in the process, and City retained their lead.City continued to have the best of the play, breaking quickly and creating a host of chances with the hosts failing to create anything despite some nice possession.Aguero broke into the box before firing into the side netting, while the Argentine was later denied excellently by the impressive Nordfeldt, who stuck out his leg to deflect a close range attempt from the striker.The Swans only registered one attempt on target in the opening 45 minutes, but it was an attempt that nestled in the back of the net, as Ayew’s long-range free-kick took a huge deflection off Fernandinho, confusing Hart, and curling into the opposite corner from the one it was directed at.The visitors almost retook the lead moments into the second period, but Eliaquim Mangala headed onto the roof of the net from De Bruyne’s teasing cross, before Iheanacho failed to connect with the ball inside the box despite being persented an easy chance. The game was becoming more and more stretched, but neither team managed to hit the back of the net – or seriously test the opposition keeper.Aguero hit a close range attempt wide, while Fernandinho dragged past the far post as City pressed to retake the advantage, knowing full well that another Swansea goal would place their Champions League qualifcation under threat.De Bruyne and Aguero were continuing to attack with glee, creating a number of chances after combining well in the final third. However, there was never anything too threatening, and the hosts were all to happy to sit back and abosrb the pressure.Swansea were struggling to create many chances of their own, and the game stuttered to its finale, with City all-but securing Champions League football for the incoming Pep Guardiola. Kelechi Iheanacho celebrates his goal for Manchester City
Roberto Di Matteo Aston Villa have been drawn away against League Two side Luton in the first round of the re-named EFL Cup.Villa, relegated from the Premier League and under new manager Roberto Di Matteo, will travel to Kenilworth Road during the week commencing August 8.Newcastle and Norwich, also relegated from the Premier League, have been handed byes into the second round as they were the highest-placed teams last season.The EFL Cup, known as the Capital One Cup for the past four seasons, has been renamed as part of the English Football League’s rebranding, announced last November and which came into use at the end of last season.Sheffield Wednesday, winners in 1991, will travel to League Two side Cambridge and 2013 finalists Bradford will play at Accrington.Fleetwood have a home tie against Leeds, relegated Doncaster will play four-time winners Nottingham Forest at the Keepmoat Stadium and Derby take on newly-promoted Grimsby at the iPro Stadium.Two-time winners Wolves face Crawley at home and Jaap Stam’s Reading play Plymouth at the Madejski Stadium.Brighton face Colchester at the Amex Stadium, Swindon travel to QPR and Leyton Orient take on Fulham in a London derby at Brisbane Road.Full drawSection One: Carlisle v Port ValeRotherham v MorecambeAccrington v BradfordRochdale v ChesterfieldMansfield v BlackburnBarnsley v NorthamptonCambridge v Sheff WedDerby v GrimsbyOldham v WiganScunthorpe v Notts CountyDoncaster v N ForestBurton v BuryFleetwood v LeedsSheff Utd v CreweShrewsbury v HuddersfieldPreston v HartlepoolBlackpool v BoltonSection Two:Peterborough v AFC WimbledonBristol Rovers v CardiffCoventry v PortsmouthLuton v Aston VillaBrighton v ColchesterCheltenham v CharltonBirmingham v OxfordSouthend v GillinghamWolves v CrawleyLeyton Orient v FulhamIpswich v StevenageWycombe v Bristol CityWalsall v YeovilExeter v BrentfordQPR v SwindonBarnet v MillwallReading v PlymouthNewport v MK Dons 1
Closing arguments are scheduled today in a civil suit filed against the city of Los Angeles by the LAPD’s first openly gay police officer, who says he should be reinstated and paid lost wages because the department did not live up to the promises it made in a previous settlement. Mitchell Grobeson, now 48, first sued the city in 1988, alleging sexual orientation employment discrimination. The lawsuit was settled in 1993 and called for the LAPD to stop discriminatory practices against gay and lesbian employees and applicants. Grobeson filed a second suit in 1996 that alleged the city and the LAPD violated the accord. The city and Grobeson reached an agreement Oct. 31 on part of the second suit when the city agreed to write into the administrative code guidelines strengthening its anti-discrimination policies concerning gays. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champThe city also said it would pay Grobeson more than $636,000 in attorneys’ fees. However, Grobeson’s demand to be reinstated and his request for back pay were not resolved, resulting in the current trial in Los Angeles Superior Court. Grobeson is seeking $3.1 million to $4.4 million in damages, based on the possibility he could have reached a rank as high as captain had he remained with the LAPD after his 1993 reinstatement. After testimony wraps up this morning, attorneys are scheduled to then begin their final arguments. Grobeson resigned under pressure from the LAPD in 1988 and then worked with the San Francisco State University Police Department and with the San Francisco Police Department, according to his lawyer, Dan Stormer. His goal was always to return to the LAPD and he was impressed by then- Chief Willie L. Williams’ assertions that the department would no longer tolerate discrimination against gay and lesbian employees, Stormer said. However, shortly after a refresher stint in the LAPD academy and his return to the department, a supervisor, Commander Daniel Watson, began breaking some of the promises that had been made to him, Stormer said. Grobeson retired in January 1995 with a psychological disability and later sought reinstatement for a second time, but the LAPD refused to bring him back, Stormer said. Ronald Frank, a lawyer for the city, countered during his opening statement that Grobeson did not cooperate with his supervisors and made appearances at gay events in uniform in violation of LAPD policy. By appearing at recruiting events and gay pride parades in uniform without permission, Grobeson gave the appearance he was a spokesman for the LAPD, Frank said. This so angered his bosses that he was ordered out of his uniform at one parade, Frank said. However, Grobeson stayed in uniform throughout the parade, according to Frank. Grobeson also missed months from work claiming stress leave, Frank said. While denying Grobeson’s allegations against the city, defense attorneys maintain that even if they were true he would be entitled to no more than $2.1 million in damages. Thomas Ward, a background investigation manager for the city and a former LAPD officer, testified he believed Grobeson, while still with the LAPD, used the occasion of an officer’s death from AIDS to organize a benefit event that was really meant to promote himself. Shortly after Ward finished testifying, Grobeson momentarily left the courtroom weeping. Stormer said his client was upset was because Ward had misconstrued his intent in organizing an event for the officer who died of AIDS. While the jury will be asked to assess whether Grobeson deserves any damages, it will be up to Judge James R. Dunn whether he is reinstated to the LAPD.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Consistency and openness are not hallmarks of the NBAs officials, on and off the court. Last week, Kobe Bryant was handed a two gamesuspension for elbowing Mike Miller in the throat. The league deemed it was unnecessary and excessivecontact. To judge Bryant’s actions, you need a point of areference for comparison. Calling it a cheap shot,or defending it as basic NBA basketball – as Bryantdid – are arguments that dont get to the heart ofwhether the punishment met the crime. You can’t justconsider Bryant’s suspension independently – its arelative issue. In law, its called precedent. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan Clarkson Unfortunately, the league hasn’t been the best atestablishing a precedent. Do you remember when KarlMalone bashed in Steve Nashs teeth with a flyingelbow? Do you remember what his suspension was? Ididnt. I had to look it up. Malone got a one game suspension for his infraction. Huh? Nash loses his teeth, and Malone loses one gamefor it? Maybe it was Bryant’s less than remorseful post-gamecomments that got him the extra game. Or was it thepremeditated nature of the act? If these were factors,they were never stated by the NBA in its ruling. I’m starting to think that the league should have afull explanation of their reasoning for eachsuspension, explicitly listing each factor and how itinfluenced their final decision. Maybe even throw ina dissenting opinion, for kicks. Just like the SupremeCourt. The Supreme Basketball Court. How can the players know what is expected of them whenthe suspensions come down as if from some deity, withlittle explanation and justification? If players knew exactly what they had done wrong, andthe consequences for those actions, they could adjusttheir behavior accordingly. When Bryant was asked what he would do differently, hereplied, “I’d just hit him a little softer.” But how would he know if that would at all change thelength of his suspension? He wouldn’t. Coaches and players often complain that the gamereferees dont always have to be correct, they justhave to be consistent. The same standard should beheld for those who decide the suspensions. Was the suspension appropriate, too harsh or toolight? The answer is: we dont know, because of theinconsistency and hidden logic behind the leaguesdecisions.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!