TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Crystal Palace rocked as Zaha receives near £400,000-a-week offerby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace have been rocked by a stunning offer made to Wilfried Zaha.The Daily Mail says Zaha has been offered a staggering £11million a year to move to China next month.The Crystal Palace striker is a target for Super League side Dalian Yifang, who are prepared to make the Ivory Coast international one of the best-paid players in the world.They propose to pay Zaha a minimum of £44m — after tax — over four years. The winger could earn an extra £2.5m a year in bonuses and the club will fund first-class travel that will allow him to return regularly to the UK. The package would be worth around three times his current contract, under which he is reported to earn £130,000 a week.Dalian Yifang, who are coached by former Real Madrid player and manager Bernd Schuster, will make a formal offer to Palace once the transfer window reopens.
Toffees manager Roberto Martinez believes Swansea counterpart Garry Monk should not be judged on his brief record as a fledgling boss. The 35-year-old former club captain was put in interim charge when Michael Laudrup was sacked in early February despite having no previous experience. In his first month in charge he had to balance the demands of the FA Cup, Europa League and Barclays Premier League. Despite exit from both cup competitions, their league form has not improved and Monk has won just once – his first game against south Wales rivals Cardiff – as the side have picked up five points from as many matches to leave them perilously close to the relegation zone. Martinez admits he has a soft spot for his former club and, ahead of their third meeting this season, has backed Monk to keep them in the top flight. “I have been very impressed with Garry Monk and it would be a big mistake to try to assess his time just by the results,” said the Spaniard. “Some of the performances have been impressive, especially the two games against Napoli in the Europa League where he brought a mature performance from the players. “Even the game against Liverpool (losing 4-3 at Anfield) and games at home to Crystal Palace (1-1) and West Brom (a 2-1 defeat) have been very small margins and that is why they are where they are in the league. “I don’t think there is a big difference or something huge lacking. “I have been very impressed with the way he has handled the demands of a short period of time with so many games. “Everyone has had a good reaction and I know it will be a really tough game for us on Saturday.” Everton are currently sixth, occupying the final Europa League spot, but Martinez knows they will have to win the majority of their remaining 10 matches to keep their European dream alive. Manchester United are three points behind, having played a match more, but fifth-placed Tottenham could well be caught as they are only two ahead having played two games more. “Thirty points is a huge amount. We are playing for 15 points at home, which is something we welcome as our football at Goodison has been full of confidence and good play,” added Martinez. “Our points average at home has been exceptional and we need to carry on with that but in the same manner you need to be able to go away from home and get competitive performances.” Striker Michu is set to continue on the comeback trail for Swansea. Michu returned off the bench after three months out with an ankle injury when Swansea lost at home to West Brom last weekend. Jonjo Shelvey, who has had hamstring trouble, looks poised to feature at Goodison Park, along with Nathan Dyer, who also missed the Albion clash as he rested a heel injury. Monk is “totally confident” his Swansea team will collect enough points to finish clear of the relegation zone. The loss against the Baggies means Swansea go into the clash at Goodison Park just four points above Sunderland, who lie 18th. They have not claimed a league win since beating Cardiff, and the West Brom result certainly provided a piercing wake-up call if one was required. “The first thing I said to the players (last Saturday) was ‘you are now going to learn exactly what it’s like to fight’,” head coach Monk said. “You could see West Brom’s attitude in the second half. They upped the spirit and intensity, and at that point we couldn’t match it. “The positive was that we saw a team fighting for their lives. Some players will not have experienced it before, but it is at times like this you see who is a boy and who is a man. “The reaction in training this week has been good. All the players have been pushing each other. “But the ultimate point is you’ve got to turn those performances into results. If I am not happy I will tell them, but they weren’t happy themselves.” The centre-back has missed three matches with a hamstring injury and if he is not considered fit enough John Stones will continue to deputise. Midfielder Steven Pienaar, who missed last week’s win over Cardiff with a knee cartilage problem, is expected to be out for a further two to three weeks. Press Association Everton captain Phil Jagielka is rated at 50-50 to make his return for the visit of Swansea.
The Trojans went about their normal Wednesday practice routine ahead of their first game against a Pac-12 South rival. The team will look to remain unbeaten at home when it faces the Arizona State Sun Devils on Saturday.Hayes of glory · Senior linebacker Hayes Pullard and the Trojans are ready to put last year’s blowout loss to Arizona State behind them. Pullard is tied for second on the team with 26 total tackles so far this season. – Mariya Dondonyan | Daily TrojanDefense FirstThe Trojans struggled against Boston College’s dynamic offense three weeks ago, a similar attack to that of the Sun Devils. That being said, a lot of attention was focused on the defense at practice on Wednesday and how it would deal with the Sun Devils’ potential explosiveness.The main difference in USC’s defensive strategy is the official change of sophomore Su’a Cravens from safety to linebacker. While it gives the Trojans a new look on that side of the ball, it seems to suit their needs on the field.“The plan wasn’t to change my position; it was more just to fit where they needed me,” Cravens said. “I like being close to the ball. I like to make plays.”Freshman defensive back Adoree’ Jackson did not seem worried about Arizona State’s offensive weapons and said he is looking forward to the challenge that the Sun Devils’ multi-scheme spread offense poses for the USC defense.“This will be the biggest game because it’s our next game,” Jackson said. “I’m excited because it throws everything at us and gets to show off our versatility as a defense.”Head coach Steve Sarkisian also stressed the importance of defense after the practice. He liked the focus and mindset of the team heading into this crucial game, but he gave a vote of confidence to his defensive players.“To be plus-seven for us in the turnover margin is huge and will continue to be huge to our success,” Sarkisian said. “We have to trust our techniques, trust our fundamentals and at the moment of truth, we have to make the plays.”No RepeatThe last time the Trojans faced the Sun Devils, they endured a rough defeat that eventually turned their season around. USC is not looking to meet a similar fate with its game this weekend, and some players are even using last season as motivation to get the victory.“We have to make sure we’re prepared so it doesn’t happen again,” junior defensive end Leonard Williams said. “It’s going to be like a revenge game.”Williams went on to describe how much the team has evolved since the tough loss last year.“We’ve grown a lot,” he said. “When you have that trust grown on a team, it’s easier to play for each other.”Senior linebacker Hayes Pullard agreed that the game is going to be tough but said that he does not think about last year’s matchup because USC is a totally new team.“We always bring our lunch pail for the Pac-12 game,” Pullard said. “We’re competing for the championship every single day.”Even though Sarkisian was not on the coaching staff last season, he noted last year’s defeat and hopes that it motivates his players to be better this time around.“Hopefully it factors into our pride,” Sarkisian said. “It affects our preparation in the fact that it shouldn’t happen again.”Injury UpdateMost of practice had a positive vibe and an encouraging outlook for the rest of the week; however, there was one negative that emerged from the field on Wednesday.Freshman wide receiver Ajene Harris suffered a strained hamstring that pulled him out of practice for the rest of the day. Coaches said they were unsure of the severity of the injury but were hopeful that he would be able to make a quick recovery and return to the field.Without Harris, the Trojans now turn to redshirt freshman wide receiver Steven Mitchell, who gained more practice reps after the unfortunate injury to his teammate.“When [Mitchell]’s at full speed, he’s a dynamic athlete,” Sarkisian said.The first-year coach also said other players will have to step up to fill the void as well, but mentioned junior wide receiver Nelson Agholor’s flexibility to move around on offense as a main reason he is not too concerned.“We always have the flexibility of moving Nelson [Agholor] around,” Sarkisian said. “[Mitchell] is really good, its just about developing confidence in him.” .
After falling into a first-half hole, Syracuse mounted a furious second-half comeback against Albany on Saturday afternoon inside the Carrier Dome. Nick Mariano played the hero with his goal off a feed from Nate Solomon with 1.6 seconds to go.Here are three quick takeaways from Syracuse’s (2-0) 10-9, victory over No. 12 Albany (0-1).Nick Mariano plays the heroA week after posting a career day against Siena, Nick Mariano delivered for Syracuse with 1.6 seconds to go to give Syracuse what amounts to a buzzer-beating win over the Great Danes on Saturday afternoon.After spending the day mostly shut off by preseason All-American Stone Sims, he found space cutting from right to left in front of the goal and rifled it past the right side of Albany goalkeeper JD Colarusso. Mariano’s goal saved the Orange from its second-ever program loss to the Great Danes.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAlternative optionsAlbany locked down Syracuse’s best scoring threats and forced the Orange to look elsewhere for its production. The Great Danes put Sims on Mariano, junior AJ Kluck shadowed Jordan Evans and sophomore Erik Dluhy shut off Nate Solomon. The trio combined for one point.But Syracuse found lesser-known options more than capable. On five of SU’s first seven goals, it was the first point of the season for the person scoring. Defender Tyson Bomberry broke the seal for the Orange and midfielder Pat Carlin brought Syracuse back to within 6-3 just before the end of the half. Midfielder Matt Lane, who tried repeatedly to bulldoze his defender, finally spotted up with 10:42 to go in the third quarter and rifled one by Colarusso.Freshman attack Jamie Trimboli scored his first career goal in bringing the Orange to within one at 6-5, and longstick midfielder Austin Fusco scored his second to put the Orange ahead, 7-6. But in crunch-time, Syracuse leaned on the proven veterans who came through.Faulty first frameSyracuse struggled mightily in the first half against Albany as the Great Danes jumped out to a 6-3 lead. Despite winning eight of 11 faceoffs and remaining about level in every other statistical category, the Orange found themselves down at the buzzer.The Great Danes took advantage of poor rotations and attacks caught on defense in transition to score each of their first three goals. Late slides by both Andrew Helmer and Austin Fusco, rotating at longstick midfielder, were exploited when out of position.On the other half of the field, Syracuse couldn’t get its top scoring threats going. With star Albany goalkeeper Blaze Riordan gone due to graduation, Colarusso picked up where his predecessor left off. He stonewalled Syracuse for three goals on 19 shots. Attacks Nick Mariano and Jordan Evans were pointless on six total shots. Three of the Orange’s top six offensive players had at least one turnover. Attack Nate Solomon didn’t register a shot.But that didn’t matter. Nick Mariano made sure it didn’t. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 18, 2017 at 5:23 pm Contact Sam: firstname.lastname@example.org | @Sam4TR
In this Nov. 15, 2018, file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of an NFL football game, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)Giving quarterbacks big money doesn’t guarantee success or even playoff appearances.The NFL’s six highest-paid quarterbacks in 2018 will be spectators this postseason. Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers ($33.5 million), Atlanta’s Matt Ryan ($30 million), Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins ($28 million), San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5 million), Detroit’s Matthew Stafford ($27 million) and Oakland’s Derek Carr ($25 million) couldn’t lead their teams to the playoffs.Only Cousins had a winning record (8-7-1), and he failed in a do-or-die game in the regular-season finale. Cousins, who received a three-year, fully guaranteed, $84 million contract, struggled in a 24-10 loss to the Chicago Bears that eliminated the Vikings.Of the top six on the salary list, only Rodgers has won a Super Bowl. Ryan is 4-6 in the playoffs, Stafford is 0-3 and Cousins is 0-1. Carr and Garoppolo haven’t made a postseason start.Among the 12 starting quarterbacks still playing, six are still under their rookie contract and another — Nick Foles — is a backup.Here’s a look at a few more numbers entering wild-card weekend:SETTING RECORDS: New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees broke his own record with a 74.4 completion percentage, the highest in a season in NFL history. … Philadelphia’s Zach Ertz set a record for most receptions by a tight end (116). … San Francisco’s George Kittle set a record for most yards receiving by a tight end (1,377). … Teams combined to score 1,371 total touchdowns, the highest total in a season. … Eight quarterbacks had a passer rating of 100 or higher, most in a season.LAST MAN STANDING: Philadelphia’s Doug Pederson is the only one of seven coaches hired in 2016 still with his team. Adam Gase (23-26, Miami), Chip Kelly (2-14, San Francisco), Hue Jackson (3-36-1, Cleveland), Mike Mularkey (19-17, Tennessee), Dirk Koetter (19-29, Tampa Bay) and Ben McAdoo (13-16, Giants) all were fired, some sooner than others.WORST TO FIRST: The Bears (12-4) and Texans (11-5) won their divisions after finishing in last place in 2017. The Eagles won the Super Bowl last year after going worst-to-first in the NFC East.THE NEWCOMERS: Seven teams who weren’t in the playoffs last season qualified this year. All seven — Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, the Los Angeles Chargers and Seattle — will play this weekend. Since the 12-team playoff format was adopted in 1990, at least four teams have qualified for the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the previous year.WILD-CARD CHAMPS: Nine teams who played wild-card games have won the Super Bowl, including the 1980 Raiders, 1997 Broncos, 2000 and 2012 Ravens, 2005 Steelers, 2006 Colts, 2007 and 2011 Giants and 2010 Packers.TOUGHEST ROAD: The Eagles and Colts are each trying to become only the third No. 6 seed to win a Super Bowl, joining the 2005 Steelers and 2010 Packers.EASIEST ROAD: Since 1975, 49 of the 86 teams (57 percent) to reach the Super Bowl were No. 1 seeds. In that span, 20 No. 2 seeds, four No. 3, nine No. 4, two No. 5 and two No. 6 made it. Over the past five years, nine of 10 No. 1 seeds played in the Super Bowl. Only the 2016 Cowboys didn’t get in.WELCOME TO THE DANCE: Four quarterbacks will make their postseason debut as starters. Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky and Houston’s Deshaun Watson play this weekend. Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes has a bye.STINGY DEFENSE: In three of the past four seasons, the teams with the stringiest regular-season scoring defense have advanced to the Super Bowl. The Bears led the league with the fewest points allowed per game (17.7) this season.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL___Follow Rob Maaddi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobMaaddi