Given the recent announcement made by the Berbice Bridge Company Inc (BBCI) of a proposed increase in tolls, the Government, through its Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, has strongly opposed an increase, but due consideration may be given to this matter at Cabinet on Tuesday.The Berbice Bridge Company Inc is facing bankruptcyNevertheless, Patterson made it clear that Government was already subsidising the Bridge and giving more financial support to it might be a major task.He added that the coalition Government had an obligation to the people of Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) to ensure that there were no increases.“We have a commitment to the people of Berbice. The Berbice Act that was passed stopped any other means of transporting cars across the Berbice River. So, therefore, obviously it is the Bridge, and obviously, we can’t leave persons stranded. And we have to do whatever we have to, to ensure that it is sustainable.”That, therefore, leaves the Government with no option but to subsidise the Company. Despite rejecting the proposed 300 per cent increase in tolls, the Government said that it would continue to work with the BBCI in ensuring that the Bridge was sufficiently maintained and safe for vehicular and marine use.“It‘s something that will come up for discussion at Cabinet. So, it’s not about an election promise, but our concern for the Guyanese people, because no-one can pay that level of toll that has been proposed,” he said, stating that there must be provisions for other matters other than paying investors.Based on the announcement made by the BBCI with regard to the proposed increase in tolls, Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo has announced his disagreement with the proposal, but has since encouraged the coalition Government to buy more equity in the Company.Jagdeo reasoned that Berbicians could not afford the steep increases that the Company has proposed at this time. He said this was mainly so because the BBCI was contractually obligated to maintain the Bridge. Instead, he thinks that Government could buy out other shareholders, so the Bridge becomes publicly-owned.“Secondly, subsidise the increase that should take place in the toll, so they give an injection into the Company so the rate remains flat.” This formula, according to Jagdeo, would entail taking over the debt of the Bridge and securing greater equity in return.But Patterson said while this was not something Government was totally against, it has caused some delays in the past. He recalled that when the Government approached a shareholder (Demerara Distillers Limited) to buy its shares, it took some time before a decision was made as to whether they should sell.“It took a year before the shareholder voted and gave us permission to buy the shares. I think one of the problems at that time is that DDL bought shares at $40 million and they sold it for $45 million. The 24 per cent persons didn’t want to have a precedent yet, whereby they make a minor profit on it,” he added.The Minister explained that Government was made an offer by another shareholder who was interested in selling his shares, but under the condition that he got all the profits he would have been entitled to for the entire period of over 20 years. Patterson said the proposal was not feasible and, therefore, Government could not give it due consideration, as it would have cost an exceptional amount.The Company’s Chairman, Dr Surendra Persaud revealed that it was now facing bankruptcy following Government’s decision to reduce the toll and subsequent refusal to allow for an increase as per the initial agreement when the Company was formed.Persaud is also Chairman of the National Insurance Scheme (NIS), which holds a significant amount of shares in the Company. According to him, they have had several engagements with Patterson. Following a previous engagement, Patterson had informed them that a maintenance proposal would be taken to Cabinet.According to the Chairman, they were subsequently informed that it was not approved. In fact, the Company applied for a toll adjustment on three occasions: twice in 2015 and once in 2016, to no avail. It has since made another such application, dated July 9, 2018. In that application, the Company had requested that the toll increases take effect by August 1.The new tolls proposed by the BBCI will see cars and minibuses paying $8040 to cross the Bridge; pickups, small trucks and four-wheeled drive vehicles $14,600; medium trucks $27,720; large trucks $49,600; articulated trucks $116,800; and boats $401,040.
In a series of five articles, we share stories from Gift of the Givers volunteers in their own words as the organisation marks its 25th year of serving humanity. Dr Livan Meneses-Turino is an orthopaedic surgeon and in this, the final article, he describes Gift of the Givers as a family. He joined in 2010, and has never regretted serving mankind.Dr Livan Meneses-Turino with children he helped in the Philippines. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Sulaiman PhilipDr Livan Meneses-Turino: HOD of Orthopaedic Surgery in Northdale Hospital, PietermaritzburgWe are very often faced with decisions that are considered life or death. I hope and pray that those decisions are forgiven.In Haiti, we were faced with many casualties needing urgent attention. I remember a young man who had been trapped under the rubble. His left arm was severly damaged. Dr Duwayne Carlson, an American orthopaedic surgeon, spent the entire night trying to save his limb but could not stop the bleeding. My team mate, Dr Johnny de Beer, decided to perform an amputation of the patient’s upper limb to save his life. Carlson was devastated, but we prayed together and he came to understand that our mission involved the need to make aggressive decisions quickly to save lives.I came to South Africa from Cuba in 2001 as part of a programme to bring Cuban doctors to work in areas where doctors were scarce. My first mission with Gift of the Givers was to Haiti in 2010, and I’ve been a part of this family since then and have never regretted a single minute spent serving our fellow humans.In Palestine, volunteers got to teach surgical methods that had never been practiced there before, (Image: Gift of the Givers)I am a trauma doctor and orthopaedic surgeon, these are my modest skills, but I have been an assistant nurse, organiser, handyman. Like everyone else, I am there to do whatever is needed on a mission.Dr Meneses-Turino at work saving lives in Nepal. (Image: Gift of the Givers)If I am away from the hospital, whether I’m on holiday or abroad at conferences or congresses, I let Imtiaaz know so he can contact me in case of emergencies. My bags are always ready because I am among the first group that goes. I save my leave days to use for missions, but if I am called, my management board and colleagues are quick to back me. It is always difficult to leave our families behind but it is our duty to serve, and we could not do it without the help and understanding of the people around us.Its something I see with Gift of the Givers, we give without expecting anything in return. We serve, no we are blessed, to have a leader like Dr Sooliman who was sent from above. [He] is the most humble and dedicated person I have ever come across.I learnt in Haiti that to be succesful in what we do we need to be organised and prepared, and not just from a professional perspective but psychologically and spiritually as well, and Dr Sooliman is the calm centre that makes that possible.I pray that I am given the strength to continue to serve. Not only because we offer assistance where and whenever it is needed, but also because I learn so much and we leave behind a legacy. Going to Palestine in 2014 was one of the best things that has happened to me. There were 100 volunteers and I was one of only 10 that were allowed to enter. I was able to train Palestinian surgeon on how to do a pelvic surgery, a skill that had never been developed there.Dr Meneses-Turino in Nepal after the earthquake. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Another example came from our service in Nepal after the earthquake in 2015. When we arrived we found that surgeons were struggling with the number of casualties suffering from pelvic fracture injuries. Pelvic surgery is my sub speciality, so we decied the best way forward was to teach local surgeons how to treat this trauma. In the beginning we operated together with Nepalese surgeons, but soon they were doing cases on their own. I was at the European Federation of National Associations of Orthopaedics and Traumatology (EFORT) Congress in Austria this year and saw a paper about pelvic and acetabular surgery written by doctors from the Nepal Medical College Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. That was such a heartwarming surprise.Our first profile was on medical co-ordinator, Dr YM Essack. Click here to read more.To find out how beekeeper, Owen Williams, has contributed to the organisation, click here.Emily Thomas, who works in logitistics at Gift of the Givers shares her story.Ahmed Bham is the head of search and rescue. Read his story here.The Gift of the Givers volunteers consider themselves part of one large family. (Image: Gift of the Givers)Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.
If you followed FiveThirtyEight’s coverage during the World Cup, you know that we’re big fans of the World Football Elo Ratings. They’re based on a relatively simple system developed by the physicist Arpad Elo to rate chess players. But they can be adapted fairly easily for other head-to-head competitions from baseball to backgammon.We thought we’d have a little fun and extend them to American football. In an accompanying post, you’ll find our initial Elo ratings for all 32 NFL teams (at this point, the ratings are based on a team’s standing at the end of last season, discounted slightly to reflect reversion to the mean). We’ve also developed a simulator program that plays out the NFL schedule thousands of times and projects a team’s likelihood of making the playoffs, based on a team’s record up to that point in time, its Elo rating, its remaining schedule and the NFL’s various tiebreaker rules. We plan to update these projections at the end of every week.But first (inspired somewhat by The New York Times’s personification of its election model, Leo), we thought we’d “interview” the Elo system about how it does its work.FiveThirtyEight: What are some of some of your best qualities?Elo: I’m simple, transparent and easy to work with. I can do a lot with a little, such as calculating point spreads and the probability of either team winning a game.Can I use you to beat Vegas?I wouldn’t try that. Vegas lines account for a much wider array of information than I do. When Nate backtested me, he found that I got 51 percent of games right against the point spread. That’s not nearly enough to cover the house’s cut, much less to make a living.We noticed that you have the Seattle Seahawks favored by 10 points in their Thursday-night game against the Green Bay Packers, while Vegas has the Seahawks as six-point favorites instead.That’s a perfect example. Has anything strange been going on with the Packers?Well, their star quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, was injured. Now he’s back!If this Mr. Rodgers fellow is as good as you say he is, that could account for the difference. I don’t know anything about him. I only keep track of the final scores, the dates of games and where the games were played.So what good are you?Think of me as a benchmark. I do a pretty good job of accounting for the basic stuff — wins and losses, margin of victory, strength of schedule. I also retain a memory from past seasons, so I know that the Jacksonville Jaguars aren’t as likely to win the Super Bowl as the Denver Broncos. Can we get to some more technical questions?Um … what are your parameters?That’s more like it. Like K, for instance; K is my favorite parameter.What makes K so special?K tells me how much to update my ratings after each game. In a sport like baseball, where there are lots of games, any one additional game doesn’t tell you all that much, so K takes on a low value. In the NFL, it’s much higher. Specifically, it’s the number 20. That may not mean anything to you, but if you set K a lot higher than that, I’d be a nervous wreck and bounce around too much from game to game. And if you made K much lower, I’d be hopelessly sluggish and too slow to notice changes in the quality of team’s play.I noticed the Detroit Lions have an Elo rating of 1467. What does that mean?An average team has an Elo rating of 1500 — so your Lions are not so hot. But it could be a lot worse. In 2009, the Lions got all the way down to a rating of 1223. Most NFL teams wind up in the range of 1300 to 1700.We’re still not quite sure how your ratings work. If you have one team at a 1650 and another at 1400, what does that mean?If it makes things easier, you can translate my ratings into a point spread. Take the difference in my ratings and divide by 25. It’s that simple.So, if one team is rated 250 Elo points higher than the other, that works out to a spread of 10 football points.Precisely.What about home-field advantage?I can account for that, too. Historically, it’s been worth about 65 Elo ratings points or 2.6 NFL points. Just add that to the point spread.What if you want to calculate a team’s probability of winning?That’s pretty easy, too, although you’ll need a formula for it. In a game between Team A and Team B, Team A’s win probability is equal to:Pr(A) = 1 / (10^(-ELODIFF/400) + 1)Where ELODIFF is Team A’s Elo rating minus Team B’s Elo rating.Let’s say Team A wins. Its Elo rating will improve?Yes. One of my more appealing properties is that a team’s Elo rating will always improve after it wins and always decline after it loses. How much it improves will depend on how much of a favorite or an underdog it was.So, like after the 2008 Super Bowl …I can predict where you’re going with that question. I’ll admit that I didn’t have the New York Giants rated so highly compared to the New England Patriots. But the Giants’ Elo rating improved a lot after they won that game — more than the Patriots’ would have if they’d won instead. I may have my flaws, but unlike a lot of you human beings, I know how to fix them. The lower a team is rated, the easier for it to gain ground by proving me wrong.Do you also account for margin of victory?Affirmative. I took some inspiration from the soccer ratings, which account for goal differential in addition to the game result. But this is one of the more complicated parts.For the NFL, I start by adding one point to team’s margin of victory and then take its natural logarithm. Then I multiply that result by the K value. That means I’m more moved by big wins than narrow ones, although there are diminishing returns. I’m not so impressed by the fifth touchdown when a team is ahead 28-0.That seems simple enough.It would be, but that isn’t all there is to it. We haven’t talked about my autocorrelation problem. It’s a little embarrassing.Go on. “Autocorrelation”? Was that the weird David Cronenberg movie?Autocorrelation is the tendency of a time series to be correlated with its past and future values. Let me put this into football terms. Imagine I have the Dallas Cowboys rated at 1550 before a game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Their rating will go up if they win and go down if they lose. But it should be 1550 after the game, on average. That’s important, because it means that I’ve accounted for all the information you’ve given me efficiently. If I expected the Cowboys’ rating to rise to 1575 on average after the game, I should have rated them more highly to begin with.It’s true that if I have the Cowboys favored against the Eagles, they should win more often than they lose. But the way I was originally designed, I can compensate by subtracting more points for a loss than I give them for a win. Everything balances out rather elegantly.The problem comes when I also seek to account for margin of victory. Not only do favorites win more often, but when they do win, they tend to win by a larger margin. Since I give more credit for larger wins, this means that their ratings tend to get inflated over time.Is this also a flaw with the soccer Elo ratings?Possibly. You may want to reconsider what you wrote about Germany.So, how do you correct for this?It isn’t complicated in principle. You just have to discount the margin of victory more when favorites win and increase it when underdogs win. The formula for it is as follows:Margin of Victory Multiplier = LN(ABS(PD)+1) * (2.2/((ELOW-ELOL)*.001+2.2))Where PD is the point differential in the game, ELOW is the winning team’s Elo Rating before the game, and ELOL is the losing team’s Elo Rating before the game.It’s a little ugly, but we all have our vices.I see that you have ratings for this year’s teams, but they haven’t played any games yet! How does that work?I take their rating from the end of last season and discount it slightly. Specifically, I revert it to the mean by one-third. Remember that the mean Elo rating is 1500. So, if a team finished last season with a rating of 1800, I’ll revert it to 1700 when the new season begins. This whole notion of “season” is strange to me, by the way. We don’t have them in chess.For now, the ratings are all about which teams were good last year?Technically speaking, a game affects my ratings forever once it’s played, just with a smaller and smaller weight that gradually diminishes to almost nothing over time. But, yes, for the time being, my ratings are mostly about who was good last season. Games toward the end of the season will count more, especially games during last year’s playoffs.Thanks for taking the time! So, you’re saying we should take the Seahawks?How about a nice game of chess?See the Week 1 Elo ratings and playoff odds.
This MLB offseason, star players searching for contracts like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are going to be fine. But the majority of free agents in baseball this winter? They might be in store for another long wait as the game continues to trend younger — younger than it’s ever been for position players in the free agency era.Harper and Machado — rare 26-year-old superstar free agents — could break contract records this year. (Harper has already turned down $300 million.) But the rest of the free-agent class of 2018-19, which was once expected to be historically rich in talent, is not as strong as it could have been. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw declined to exercise his opt-out and signed a new three-year, $93 million deal with the Dodgers on Friday without ever becoming a free agent. Josh Donaldson, the 2015 American League MVP, suffered a series of injuries that diminished his value, and A.J. Pollock has a similar recent history. Andrew McCutchen, a former National League MVP, is now 32 and no longer a star-level player.While there is star power at the top, more money to spend and perhaps fewer rebuilding teams, the vast majority of this class’s 250-plus free agents — who became eligible to sign with any team on Saturday — face the same questions that tormented the middle tier of free agents last year: Will any team sign them? And even if they land on major league rosters, how long will they have to wait, and what kind of salary will they have to accept to get there?The overriding issue is that the game is getting younger. Last season was the youngest for position players since the 1970s.To become a free agent, a player must accrue six years of service time.1Players also become free agents when they’re released from their clubs before reaching that threshold. The average age for rookies breaking into the majors last year was 24.4 for position players and 25.3 for pitchers. By the time these players have six years of service time, most will be at least 30 years old. Harper and Machado, who debuted as 19- and 20-year-old wunderkinds, are outliers.According to Spotrac, the 147 free agents to sign at least a one-year deal with guaranteed dollars last season were, on average, 32.6 years old, and the average age of this year’s class is 33.1 years. Last season, position players age 32 and older accounted for 12.9 percent of wins above replacement (WAR)2According to FanGraphs’ version of the metric. and 18.6 percent of plate appearances, which were the lowest numbers that demographic have contributed since 1975 and 1979, respectively. Free agency began in MLB after the 1976 season, so last offseason’s landscape for 30-somethings was about as bleak as it’s ever been in the free agency era. And this past season featured position players who were even younger. Pitchers are also trending younger, though not as dramatically. Pitchers age 32 and older combined for 18.7 percent of WAR and 19.9 percent of innings in 2018, which is down from 2001 levels (27.1 and 24.9 percent) but up from the 21st-century low in 2015 (12.1 and 17.1 percent).David Freese — who hit .296 with a .359 on-base mark last season — was ostensibly so concerned about his prospects this winter that, rather than test the open market, the 35-year-old signed a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Dodgers last week that was less than his 2019 club option of $6 million. (The Dodgers also paid him the option’s $500,000 buyout.) Some background: Freese waited until March 11, 2016, to sign a one-year, $3 million deal coming off a 2.2-WAR 2015 season. Freese is well-aware of how tough the market can be for a 30-something free agent.When I spoke with free agent infielder Neil Walker in June, he was already concerned about the upcoming offseason. Walker signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the New York Yankees on March 12, nearly a month after spring training camps opened. He had produced seven straight seasons of at least 2 WAR.3Walker hit .219 last year, so perhaps teams saw something that made them rightfully cautious.“You hope this trend with middle-tier guys doesn’t continue through this collective bargaining agreement [which ends in 2021], because there are going to be many, many more guys that are affected,” said the 33-year-old Walker, a former player representative for the union. “It’s not the top top-tier guys. … It’s the guys in between. There are a lot more guys in between. I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know there are teams out there that didn’t spend a dime. There are teams out there that sold off most of their assets. That’s something, when you look around the league, it makes it pretty top-heavy and bottom-heavy. That’s alarming. That’s not the greatest situation, in my opinion, for baseball.”There was a time not long ago when a player with Walker’s resume wouldn’t have to worry about finding work. Not now, though. The Pittsburgh Pirates, Walker’s former club, proved you could achieve mediocrity without spending a single dollar on a major league free agent last offseason. The players union went as far as filing a grievance against the Pirates — along with the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland A’s — for spending very little on their major league payrolls while also being among the clubs receiving revenue sharing.There are a number of other issues contributing to the game’s youth movement, including testing for performance-enhancing drugs and teams’ growing desire to manage budgets more efficiently. The average position player age reached this century’s peak — 29.3 years — in 2004, when PED usage had become so rampant that the league finally enacted penalties for testing positive. That age has been declining ever since and fell to 28.1 last season, suggesting that PEDs may have been artificially extending the productive lifespan of a significant number of older players. Furthermore, last season position players age 32 and up saw their plate appearances decline by 36 percent compared with 2001, but their WAR production dropped by 54 percent. In other words, older players have become less effective in the playing time they get.Younger players are also usually cheaper — until they reach arbitration after three seasons in the majors, players make at or near the league minimum salary. Players who haven’t yet hit free agency also don’t come with the kind of high-risk long-term contracts that teams seem increasingly leery of — and not without reason. For instance, Eric Hosmer was a relatively young free agent last winter, entering his age 28 season, when he signed an eight-year, $144 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Hosmer proceeded to turn in a below-replacement-level performance for the year (-0.1 WAR). FanGraphs’ top 10 free agents last winter included some successes — J.D. Martinez and Lorenzo Cain — and some failures in Hosmer and Yu Darvish.4Granted, this was just the first year of the players’ multi-year deals, so these assessments may change by the time the contracts end. Overall, the top 10 FanGraphs free agents combined to produce 20.5 WAR at $179 million in earnings in 2018. That’s $8.7 million per WAR for a club, which is not particularly efficient.Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer also believes that younger players have another advantage: They are better adapted to recent technology advances and have benefited from improved player-development practices.“Older players, generally, haven’t kept up with how the league is changing and evolving,” Bauer said. “They do what they did to get there.”But while more older players are aging out of the game and teams are avoiding risky, big-ticket contracts, free agency is also being pinched on the front end. Teams have increasingly manipulated players’ service time, delaying their entry into free agency. Kris Bryant filed a grievance against the Chicago Cubs in 2015 over this. Last year, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit .402 in Double-A and .336 in Triple-A, but the Blue Jays didn’t bring up the 19-year-old because they claimed that he needed to work on his defense, and the son of a Hall of Famer has yet to debut. Guerrero and the MLBPA filed a grievance.“Now it’s almost getting chopped on both sides,” Walker said. “The window [for player earnings] is much smaller than it used to be.”Moreover, teams have had success at hanging on to many young stars by offering club-friendly extensions before they reach free agency, buying out those first years when a player can test the open market. And in recent offseasons, an unusual number of teams have been mired in dramatic rebuilds, with no interest in adding to their payroll. In September, things had gotten so dire for the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals that we questioned whether they could even beat Triple-A teams.Said a MLB Players Association spokesperson to FiveThirtyEight: “If 30 clubs are competing for a pennant, the free agent market for players will be robust. We’ll closely monitor developments.”And while baseball officially has no salary limits, MLB’s strengthened luxury tax acted as a soft cap last winter. Only the Red Sox and Nationals exceeded the $197 million threshold in 2018, according to numbers obtained from the commissioner’s office by The Associated Press. The Yankees stayed under the luxury tax for the first time since it was implemented, and the Los Angeles Dodgers spent just $4 million on free agents last winter. Perhaps that was done with an eye on this year’s class and on courting Harper, Machado or other stars. Time will tell.At a time when baseball revenues have increased dramatically — the average franchise valuation increased from $295 million in 2004 to $1.6 billion in 2018, according to Forbes — total money spent on player salaries increased by just 1.86 percent from 2017 ($4.638 billion) to 2018 ($4.724 billion). Some have wondered whether baseball players would actually benefit from a salary cap if it also came with a salary floor that guaranteed players a share of the sport’s revenues. After briefly instituting a salary cap and replacing arbitration with restricted free agency during the 1994-95 strike, owners would likely reject such a proposal today.Tinkerers have put forward other ideas to help improve free agency for players, including declaring all players free agents when they reach a certain age, which would also address the way clubs have been manipulating service time. For now, they are just ideas.“As we approach the next round of collective bargaining, we’re going to be considering all aspects of the system, as we always do,” the MLBPA spokesperson said.But there are several actual developments that could help players this winter.The Marlins spent last offseason trading off significant assets like Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna, which had the trickle-down effect of allowing several teams to fill the holes in their roster without resorting to the free-agent market. This time around, the Marlins don’t have many assets to shed, though catcher J.T. Realmuto could be dealt. There don’t appear to be many teams with major assets to sell, though the Seattle Mariners might rebuild.In addition, large-market clubs like the Yankees and Dodgers reset their tax status last winter, which means that the next time they exceed the threshold, their tax rate will be lower. Since so many teams were rebuilding last year, maybe some of them will be past the teardown stage and more interested in upgrading their rosters this year.The Chicago White Sox and Atlanta Braves, for example, may begin to spend more significantly and build on their cores. The Philadelphia Phillies are rumored to be interested in Harper and Machado. The Toronto Blue Jays, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, San Francisco Giants and even the Tampa Bay Rays are projected to enjoy considerable payroll space.The stars will certainly get paid this offseason, but the game also continues to trend younger. That means it could be another long winter for the majority of free agents. Meanwhile, younger players continue to be productive — and gain more playing time. Position players 26 and younger accounted for 43.2 percent of position-player WAR in 2018, the highest share since 1974, up nearly 20 percentage points from 2001 (23.4 percent). Similarly, this group got 38.4 percent of plate appearances, which was the highest number for them since 1987.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer may be inheriting a new team, but it appears he has a building block in freshman quarterback Braxton Miller. On Miller’s 19th birthday Wednesday, the OSU quarterback was named the Big Ten Conference’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year. The award, which is presented to the conference’s most outstanding freshman, is named after Darrell Thompson who played running back for Minnesota in 1986 and Antwaan Randle El who played quarterback for Indiana from 1998-2001. Miller threw for 997 yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions on the year, but also was effective on the ground. He was OSU’s leading rusher with 695 yards and seven touchdowns. Barring any unforeseen setbacks, Miller figures to be the Buckeyes’ quarterback to begin the Meyer-era of OSU football. “All due respect, everybody in this room,” Meyer said to the media at his introductory press conference Monday, “(Meeting Miller) was the highlight of my day, not this. Sitting there shaking hands with that good-looking quarterback with a nice smile and a very humble player. “To tell you I’m excited to coach him, I’m not using the correct adjectives. And because there’s mixed company around I’m not going to use the correct adjectives, how excited I am.” Meyer, known for running a spread offense that utilizes a quarterback who can both run and throw, has helped develop high-profile quarterbacks like Alex Smith, whom he coached at Utah, and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, whom he coached at Florida. Both quarterbacks are currently starting for NFL teams. “We’ve been blessed to have some great quarterbacks,” Meyer said. “And I’m really thinking (Miller) can be — I’m putting a lot of pressure on this cat already — but he’s special. What I’ve seen on film he’s special. “I think Braxton Miller is a difference-maker at quarterback. You can build a team around what I saw.” ESPN college football analyst Todd McShay said that Meyer and Miller are a perfect fit. “I think Urban would be a good fit anywhere,” McShay said before a speaking engagement at OSU. “But I think a place that has a good, athletic quarterback with the enormous talent like Braxton Miller has, I think that that would be a perfect fit … It would be a perfect fit for Miller and what he needs in a system.” Miller is the seventh OSU player to win the Big Ten Conference’s freshman of the year award, joining the likes of Terrelle Pryor, Maurice Clarett and Orlando Pace. He will be presented with the award as part of the activities surrounding the Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game between Wisconsin and Michigan State. Miller led the Buckeyes to a 6-6 regular season record under interim coach Luke Fickell. He started the year as the backup, but took over the starting role from senior Joe Bauserman after the third game of the season and remained the Buckeye’s starter for the remaining nine games. OSU is waiting to if it they will be invited to participate in a bowl game. Fickell will serve as the team’s head coach while Meyer will spend the time focusing on recruiting.
Gunners ready for a backroom shake-up with legends Jens Lehmann and Steve Bould moved.While shuffling his pack, Emery is looking to add loyal allies Juan Carlos Carcedo and Pablo Villa at the Emirates. This move will have club hero Steve Bould, along with Boro Primorac roles altered with the former reportedly asked to be a link-man between Emery and the players.Report: Kanu makes bold claim about Pepe George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Former Arsenal superstar Kanu claims the Premier League teams fear Nicolas Pepe.The Ivory Coast international Pepe, made an 80 million Euro move to Arsenal…Meanwhile, the Gunners are also trying to find a new position for Jens Lehmann, although this won’t be as a goalkeeping coach as Gerry Peyton will be replaced by Javi Garcia, according to talkSPORT.Julen Masach will replace Tony Colbert as the fitness coach, and video analyst Victor Manas is also set to join Emery at Arsenal. Former assistant boss Bould has been asked to be a link-man between Emery and the players. And the club are also hoping that a position can be found for Arsenal Invincible Lehmann, according to The Sun.
Heerenveen have completed the signing of Rodney Kongolo from Manchester City, according to Sports Mole.The English Premier League Champions have confirmed that young midfielder has left the club to sign for Dutch side Heerenveen.Kongolo joined Manchester City from Feyernoord in 2014 failing to make a single first-team appearance in the first team before spending the 2017-18 on loan at Doncaster Rovers.The 20-year-old Dutch Under-20 midfielder will join the Eredivisie outfit for a fee believed to be about £750,000. However, Pep Guardiola’s side have an included an option to buy him back.Madrid delighted with Odegaard Martin Varga – November 9, 2017 According to Martin Odegaard, Real Madrid are delighted with his development as the teenager patiently waits for his chance The 18-year-old Norwegian moved to Madrid…Kongolo will be hoping to take the next step in his career after his four-year football education with Manchester City.Pep Guardiola’s men are preparing for a title defence as they seek to become the first club since Manchester United in 2009 to successfully defend the Premier League title.The Citizens won the title in grand style last season finishing with a 100 points in the league to set a new Premier League record.