TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Thomas Partey insists he’s committed to Atletico Madridby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAtletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey insists he’s committed to the club.While Thomas started the match against Espanyol last week, he has often been left out of Diego Simeone’s starting line-up for the biggest matches.”Sometimes I feel unhappy at Atletico,” he said after the game.”To be happy you have to play in important games and feel stronger, more confident.The Ghanaian wanted to clarify his statements and went to social media in order to do so.”On Saturday after the match I made some statements that were not understood well,” he wrote.”I want to explain myself better.”Atletico is the club where I want to be and I would like to keep growing as a player, for the club and for the fans.”And it’s true that I feel like I can be even more important and that’s why I work hard every day.”I do not want to be content and that is good [as I look to become] the best player that I can be.”Merry Christmas and Aupa Atleti!”
1990s28.539.4C. Barkley (’92) • S. O’Neal (’96) • C. Barkley (’96) Despite all the advances statheads have made in how we measure NBA greatness, many fans still regard championship rings as the ultimate arbiter of a star player’s legacy. And although some scoff at such a simplistic measure, basketball is deterministic enough that the top players do generally tend to accumulate more than their share of championships. There are always anomalies — nobody thinks Robert Horry (seven rings) was better than Charles Barkley (zero) — but for the most part, ring-counting isn’t a total diversion along the path to understanding a legend’s place in the pantheon of the game. Sometimes it can even (gasp!) offer insight.The trouble is, the players began to realize how they were being judged. They saw how long a shadow Michael Jordan’s six titles cast over subsequent generations of would-be GOATs. They also saw what happened to Barkley’s and Karl Malone’s legacies after never winning a ring. “I don’t want to be 31 with bad knees and no championship,” LeBron James reportedly told friends before signing with the Miami Heat in the spectacle that was The Decision (Part 1) in 2010. He knew that, for all his individual accolades, history wouldn’t be kind if a player of his talent didn’t rack up titles. And in an era of players who increasingly control their own destinies, James took considerable steps to ensure a championship future.In economics, there’s an adage about what happens when people know they’re being evaluated on specific criteria; it’s called Goodhart’s Law. As professor Marilyn Strathern would phrase it: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.” In other words, when you focus on the measurements others are using to judge you, you start altering your behavior to optimize for those measurements — and the measurements begin to lose their meaning.When that happens, there are often unintended consequences. (Such as the famous parable of a Soviet nail factory responding to production targets by making thousands of tiny, useless nails.) And when it comes to ring-chasing, NBA stars have started to run seriously afoul of Goodhart’s Law. They’ve made championships the target — and, in the process, have fundamentally changed the meaning of those championships for a player’s legacy.Moving to a contending team in pursuit of a championship used to be a last resort for a veteran star, such as when 32-year-old Clyde Drexler was dealt to the Houston Rockets in 1995, or when Kevin Garnett went to the Boston Celtics at age 31 in 2007. Each had requested a trade to a contender, but only after exhausting attempts to win with his original franchise. James flipped that paradigm on its head when, at the tender age of 25, he left Cleveland to play next to Hall of Fame talents Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. That move gave prime-age Kevin Durant a precedent for joining the record-setting Warriors in 2016, and it paved the way for DeMarcus Cousins to sign with Golden State this summer on an absurdly cheap contract.1Yes, Cousins is coming back from a serious injury. But he’s also a superstar talent who was specifically brought in to boost Golden State’s chances of winning in the playoffs.Durant’s decision ended up working out (and we’re assuming Cousins’s will, too). But there are other, more dismal ring-vulturing moments, such as when the Brooklyn Nets tried to recreate the 2008 Celtics in 2013, or when Steve Nash and Dwight Howard joined Kobe Bryant on the Lakers in 2012. Either way, in recent years, good players jumping from team to team in search of rings went from a rarity to the norm. In the 2010s, the top 10 players who switched teams between seasons2As measured by a consensus of the following value metrics over their previous three seasons: Estimated Wins Added, Value Over Replacement Player and Win Shares, all scaled to wins above replacement and averaged together. have been much younger and better than their counterparts from previous decades: 1980s28.534.0M. Malone (’82) • A. Dantley (’86) • A. Gilmore (’82) 2010s26.748.4L. James (’10) • L. James (’14) • C. Paul (’11) DecadeAvg. AgeAvg. Wins CreatedTop 3 Modern team-hoppers are younger and betterAverage age for the top 10 players, by wins created,* who changed teams between seasons in each decade, 1980-2018 It’s not the players’ fault that they’ve been presented with the opportunity to pursue championships on stacked megateams. Unlike baseball, maximum contracts cap the amount of money any team, good or bad, can offer a superstar. Because of this, the decisions of NBA stars often turn on non-monetary concerns — such as the desirability of a team’s city and, yes, how much of a chance new teammates would give them to contend for titles. Add in the occasional shock to the NBA’s financial system, like the massive salary-cap spike that allowed the Warriors to sign Durant, and the league hasn’t exactly set up the right conditions to discourage its stars from trying to pad their championship tallies.3The Player’s Association does share in this blame as well. The league proposed salary-cap “smoothing” to reduce the impact of a big spike in the summer of 2016, but the players’ union turned it down. Then again, years of tough negotiating left union head Michele Roberts rightfully skeptical that the offer wasn’t going to hurt her clients’ earning potential.At the same time, it isn’t completely clear whether ring-chasing will bring modern players the boost in historical prestige they’re seeking. Although James’s legacy as an all-time great is written in stone, his disappointing NBA Finals record — particularly without the help of Wade and Bosh, as he was 1-4 in Finals appearances as a Cavalier — may hurt his pursuit of Jordan as GOAT. Durant’s two titles with the Warriors have been met with grudging respect by most hoopheads, but they’ve also launched a thousand RealGM and Reddit threads debating how much his superteam-aided rings are “really worth” relative to those of other stars. And who knows how little credit observers will give Cousins if he helps Golden State win a third straight title? In an effort to please the ring-counters, this generation of championship-seekers may have only angered them further by irrevocably changing the historical meaning of championships in every player’s record.4As another unintended consequence, perhaps pre-/nonsuperteam rings (such as Wade’s first Heat title in 2006 or Dirk Nowitzki’s championship with Dallas in 2011) will gain more value in the grand scope of NBA history.But winning is fun, and lifting trophies is even more fun. And it’s possible that, once the moment for heated online debate has passed, all that’s left is the championship count on Basketball-Reference.com. Fans who witnessed the state of the league at the time may go through their own calculations, boosting the value of some rings and devaluing others, but every title counts the same there. And if that sounds offensive, maybe that means it’s time for measures other than rings to gain weight when assessing the careers of the game’s greatest stars. * An average of the wins above replacement-scaled versions of three metrics for the three seasons prior to the player’s team change: Value Over Replacement Player (VORP), Win Shares (WS) and Estimated Wins Added (EWA).Age is as of the offseason in which the player changed teams.Source: Basketball-Reference.com, ESPN 2000s30.343.1K. Garnett (’07) • T. McGrady (’04) • S. O’Neal (’04)
The Ohio State baseball team (13-15, 3-4 Big Ten) took conference-leading Michigan State (22-8, 6-1 Big Ten) all nine innings and then some, but a lead-off home run in the top of the 10th was the decider as the Spartans beat OSU, 5-4. Even after the home run, OSU did not go down without a fight, as it had a chance to tie or win the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th. After singles by senior and freshman outfielders Brian DeLucia and Tim Wetzel, freshman first baseman Josh Dezse was intentionally walked. Two consecutive strikeouts by sophomore catcher Greg Solomon and junior DH Brad Hutton ended the game. Coach Greg Beals said OSU left too many opportunities on base. “The story was our inability to execute when we had guys in scoring position,” he said. “Our hitters could have done a better job, obviously, but you have to give their pitchers credit.” OSU looked in trouble after a three-run seventh put the Spartans up, 4-2, but Dezse responded in the eighth with a two-run home run. Dezse said he thought the home run was a turning point in the game but that his team came up just a little bit short. “We fought as a team, we lost as a team and we are going to come back tomorrow and fight back,” Dezse said. Relief pitcher Tony Wieber (4-0) picked up the win for MSU, and senior pitcher Jared Strayer (1-2) picked up his second loss on the season. Rucinski versus Wunderlich The game featured top starting pitchers for each team, and both went deep into the game. Michigan State’s Kurt Wunderlich went eight innings and gave up four runs while OSU senior pitcher Drew Rucinski went seven and a third, and also gave up four runs. It was a pitcher’s duel early before Rucinski gave up three in the seventh followed up by Wunderlich giving up a two-run home run to Dezse in the eighth. Both pitchers earned a no decision. A 1-2 punch OSU’s one and two hitters, DeLucia and Wetzel, had a combined six hits and three runs. Wetzel now has a nine-game hitting streak and has been hitting .395 since the Big Ten season started. “We got a lot of young guys that can come through,” DeLucia said. “Wetzel and Dezse are both just incredible.” Game 2 The second of the three-game series will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday. OSU will be looking to rebound from the loss and come back strong. “We are obviously going to take our emotion out on the field tomorrow,” Dezse said. “We still have two more games this weekend and we still have a chance to get that two out of three like we want.”
OSU freshman running back J.K. Dobbins (2) runs a play during the 2017 season opener vs Indiana. OSU won 49-21. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorFor the second straight game, freshman running back J.K. Dobbins will be the starting running back for Ohio State Saturday, when the team hosts Oklahoma Saturday at 7:30 p.m in Ohio Stadium.Last season’s starting running back Mike Weber was held out of last week’s game with a hamstring injury, but is healthy and will play this weekend as well, according to coach Urban Meyer.“J.K. will start, and then we’ll see as we move forward,” Meyer said on his 97.1 The Fan radio show.Meyer said earlier in the week the two would operate in a rotation against the Sooners. During the Big Ten teleconference on Tuesday, Meyer said the pairing offers the Buckeyes a couple of different style running backs and both will be used, even if he was still unsure in what capacity the two will be deployed.Dobbins set a record for an Ohio State freshman running back in his debut game as he rushed for 181 yards on 29 carries. The first-year starter also added 24 yards on two receptions, including an 18-yard reception on a wheel route on the second play of his career.reer.
Former Bolton Wanderers defender Gretar Steinsson says Gylfi Sigurdsson was the “leader” of the Iceland national team whose performances at this summer’s World Cup filled the Scandinavian country with pride.Steinsson continued by insisting it would be remiss to overlook Sigurdsson’s selfless attitude when he plays for his country today.“Gylfi, in my opinion, is the leader of the group,” Steinsson told evertonfc.com.“He is the biggest footballer in Iceland. But what is underestimated, is what he sacrifices for the good of the team: for the group dynamics and how the team is set up.“He can play as one of two up front, in the hole behind the striker, which I think is his best position, from the left, or in a midfield two.“He just does the job. And he does it with extreme professionalism.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group H George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group H is being controlled by France and Turkey, but Iceland is still in with a shout.Reigning world champions France ran…“His qualities are more on display in the Premier League. For Iceland, he will play wherever he needs to and bring others into the game.“I would personally want to see him higher up the pitch but we have a lot of players who can do that. With him being behind them, he can make them better and, in turn, the whole team better.“Then he has his set pieces, his runs into the box and, when he has the opportunity, he can pull the trigger at the edge of the area.“Gylfi sacrificing himself and understanding what is needed for that football team to function at its best and allowing the team to shine ahead of himself – and he is the star – is very rarely spoken about.”
Barcelona only won one of three matches at the International Champions Cup, but Coach Ernesto Valverde was happy with the performance of his young playersDespite leaving fans with many doubts after their United States tour, Barcelona Coach Ernesto Valverde reported happy with the performance of the teams’ young players.“Today against Milan we dominated the game but they scored the only goal, but I liked what I saw from a number of the young players,” he reportedly said to the Football España and the media after their last match in U.S. soil.“Ricard Puig, Juan Miranda and other players from the B-team all impressed me against very strong opposition,” he added.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.“I trust that not only will they form part of the future for Barcelona, but also part of the present,” Valverde concluded.But the Barça boss is not letting the performance of his team in the International Champions Cup interfere with his work, as the team has “a lot of positives to take from the three matches themselves.”Barcelona will play against Sevilla on Sunday, for a chance to win the Spanish Super Cup trophy.
Former RB Leipzig manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has emerged as the reported favourite to succeed the ousted Mark Hughes at SouthamptonThe Austrian ended a two-year spell in charge of Leipzig in May after guiding them into the Champions League for the first time in their history in his first campaign.However, Leipzig only managed a sixth-place finish last season and exited the Champions League at the group stages.Despite that though, Hasenhuttl remains highly-rated in Germany with the Telegraph claiming that he’s at the top of Southampton’s managerial shortlist.Merson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.The Saints announced the dismissal of head coach Hughes this morning following Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United.With Southampton only 18th in the Premier League with one win in 14 games, the board allegedly view Hasenhuttl as the right man to lead them to safety.Former Atletico Madrid and Valencia manager Quique Sanchez Flores is another candidate under consideration.