Swansea’s Leon Britton: Win against Sunderland would give us some breathing room

first_img “This is right up there with anything going back over a number of years,” Britton said. “We have never really been close to relegation – we have always had a little gap. But right now we are halfway through the season and one place above the drop. “It is dangerous and your home games against sides who are below you and want to catch you are massive. A win would give us some breathing room.” Britton’s time at Swansea seemed over last summer when previous manager Garry Monk gave him permission to talk to other clubs. But Britton chose to stay and is now looking forward to coming up against Sunderland striker and his old West Ham youth team-mate, Jermain Defoe. “I tested the water in America but it was their mid-season window and with salary caps and franchise players it was not straightforward,” Britton said. “I had offers to go into the Championship too, but I did not want to go down a level as I felt I could still do it in the Premier League. “I’m still in touch with Jermain as we were in school at Lilleshall together and joined West Ham at the same time as expensive teenagers. “I spoke to him the other day and asked him if he could stop scoring before he plays us. “But he just laughed – I think if his mum asked him to stop scoring he wouldn’t because he loves it so much!” Leon Britton makes his 500th Swansea appearance against Sunderland claiming it is one of the club’s biggest games for years. Britton was part of the Swans side which escaped relegation from the Football League by beating Hull on the final day of the 2002-03 season. And the 33-year-old midfielder has no hesitation in stressing the importance of Wednesday’s Liberty Stadium showdown, with only four points separating Swansea and Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Read More →

6 of the Best – W2 Global Data’s Gary Pine

first_img Related Articles This week’s 6 of the Best comes from Gary Pine, Chief Product Officer at W2 Global Data.Keep reading for more on Pine’s eight-day Asian adventure, his ‘go to’ album, where to find the best atmosphere in world rugby and why weekend lycra is now “the order of the day”.Best HolidayHaving recently returned to the office from a Christmas break in the Canaries, my first thought would be our annual, familial trip to Fuerteventura. Having been there about 20 times in as many years; the sun, sand, surf and cycling are hard to beat. That being said, a recent trip to Hong Kong and mainland China sits right up there … Victoria Peak, the Symphony of Lights, Canton Fair, Canton Tower, Xi’an Muslim Quarter & Terracotta Army, Beijing’s Great Wall and Forbidden City amongst a long list of stop-offs in just eight days.Best AlbumAlthough the whole family are massive Biffy Clyro fans (and no, I haven’t jammed with them like the great Nick Knowles) …I must tip my hat at Fortress by Alter Bridge …my go-to album when in trains, planes and automobiles. Myles Kennedy is something else.Although it’s not quite a Nick Knowles-esque story, I do have the set list from when I saw Biffy play at the Bowery Electric in New York back in 2012 …their Opposites album is probably number 2 on the list. The 1979 B-52’s by the B-52’s gets the third vote if I was asked for more.Best Sporting ExperienceBristol RFC beating Bath RFC; at the Rec …at the Memorial Ground …at Ashton Gate. Don’t mind really. Having seen England lose to Wales three times at the Principality Stadium (yeap, I was there for the Henson/Tait tackle), I’m not sure I want to hark back to those final results.However, I don’t think there is a better atmosphere in world rugby having tried the wares of Twickenham, Murrayfield, the Aviva and Lansdowne Road. That being said, the England versus Ireland game at Croke Park was something to behold.Best FilmGrosse Pointe Blank. Martin Blank …Bobby Beamer …Debbie Radio …quirky characters, a twist on the school reunion theme and a great soundtrack including the Specials, the Beat, the Clash, the Jam, David Bowie and Queen. Only found out recently that the score for Grosse Pointe Blank was actually composed by Joe Strummer, formerly of The Clash. I was tempted by John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ or Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Moulin Rouge’ …there are a few films that you can’t ever pass up when they slip back into the Christmas schedule.Best BookJoseph Heller’s Catch-22. As an Audible ‘Master’ with currently, 1 month …4 days …20 hours …47 minutes listening time, I’ve covered many of the British and US ‘classics’, but this had me chuckling from front to back. First published in 1961, this satire on the madness of war and the excesses of bureaucracy is considered a cult classic even if I came to it late. In the same vein, I must offer a shout out to Scott Sigler – the American science fiction and horror author who introduced me to the notion of a Galactic Football League. Think I’ve now read all that he has to offer.Best AppStrava. At I’m at the stage in life when / where weekend Lycra is the order of the day given most weekends …as such, an avid user of THE cycling, running, walking and swimming tracking app. As their strapline says …designed by athletes, for athletes …that makes me an athlete. Although I’ve now moved across to a Wahoo Elemnt cycling computer to help me track my every move, Strava persists as the central repository for the raft of my sweatier pursuits. I never thought I’d care so much about the ‘elevation’ (ft gained = hills ridden). SBC Roundtable: A new ‘Pace’ for live cricket trading July 8, 2020 Share Paddy Power to reopen English & Irish betting shops in Royal Ascot week June 10, 2020 StumbleUpon Share Submit Irish bookmakers demand clarity on reopening orders June 17, 2020last_img read more

Read More →

MLB news and trade rumors: Evaluating flurry of deals from Padres, Rangers and Brewers

first_imgFREE AGENT RANKINGS: SN’s list of best available playersAfter a couple of slower-than-slow offseasons, when signings and deals trickled in all the way through spring training, a sudden burst of news was nice. And maybe we can all hope against hope that it’s a sign of things to come, even though that might be a pipe dream.Anyway, let’s take a look at the deals and do a little evaluating.Padres and Brewers reportedly complete four-player tradeDetails: San Diego sends INF Luis Urias and SP Eric Lauer to Milwaukee for SP Zach Davies and OF Trent Grisham.Need to know: There is a healthy amount of upside with this deal for both sides. The Padres get an established starting pitcher in Davies; he’s made 111 starts in the big leagues and has a 3.91 ERA, including a 3.55 mark in 33 starts last season. Davies, who is heading into his age 27 season and has two years of arbitration before he’s free-agent eligible after 2021, adds a bit of certainty to the Padres’ rotation, though his arrival shouldn’t end their inquiries into top-half-of-the-rotation starting pitchers.And Grisham, though he’s best known for his defensive miscue in the wild-card game — he was in there for the injured Christian Yelich, remember? — is an intriguing player. Grisham had a bit of a breakthrough season in 2019, poking 26 homers in 97 minor-league games last year at Double-A and Triple-A, and then hitting six more in 51 games in the majors. He just turned 23 at the start of November.The Brewers get a potential star in Urias. Heading into the 2019 season, he was ranked in the top 50 of pretty much every prospect list, as high as No. 17 by Baseball Prospectus. And he produced offensively at the plate in Triple-A (though Pacific Coast numbers were incredibly inflated across the board), batting .315 with 19 homers in 73 games. His MLB numbers haven’t been impressive, though he’s still only 22 years old. In 302 PAs, Urias has a .318 on-base percentage and 75 OPS+. He can play either second or shortstop, but he’ll be at shortstop with Keston Hiura at second in Milwaukee.Lauer, 24, was a first-round pick by the Padres in 2016, and he’s already made 52 starts in the bigs. The lefty has a 4.40 ERA/4.35 FIP in his career, and he improved a troublesome walk rate a bit in his second season (3.1 per nine innings, down from 3.7 as a rookie).Rangers reportedly sign free agent Kyle GibsonDetails: The Rangers and Gibson reportedly agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal.Need to know: If this is the first step in an aggressive offseason plan — as many in the sport expect — then it’s a solid move. If this is the big move, Rangers fans are going to be pretty disappointed.Gibson was a middle-of-the-rotation guy for a Twins team that won the AL Central in 2019, and that’s what the Rangers hope he’ll be for their division title-contending teams the next few years. He averaged 30 starts a season for Minnesota the past six years, posting a 4.42 ERA and 4.25 FIP. The Rangers have had outstanding results with similar free-agent pitching finds recently.Mike Minor: 3 years, $28 millionLance Lynn: 3 years, $30 millionKyle Gibson: 3 years, $30 millionIf the Rangers get anything close to the Minor/Lynn level of production from Gibson, they’re going to be a lot of fun in 2020— Levi Weaver (@ThreeTwoEephus) November 27, 2019But, as we mentioned, Rangers fans have their sights set higher. The club is opening a new stadium in 2020, and rumors have been flying that the Rangers will be involved with bringing in shiny new superstars to help christen the building. Maybe they will target Texas native Anthony Rendon — the most perfect replacement for Cooperstown-bound Adrian Beltre a Rangers fan could imagine — or one of the top-of-the-rotation aces available on the market.Will that happen? Stay tuned. Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?On the day before Thanksgiving, baseball’s annual Hot Stove Season was actually, legitimately kind of hot. Three pieces of news dropped within an hour on Wednesday morning, and all three deals could have an impact on the postseason in 2020 (or maybe 2021). Padres reportedly sign Drew PomeranzDetails: It’s a three-year deal for Pomeranz, though the money hasn’t been reported yet.Need to know: No free-agent-to-be turned around his prospects midseason like Pomeranz. He wasn’t good, at all, as a starter with San Francisco, posting a 5.68 ERA in 21 games (17 starts) before he was dealt to Milwaukee. There, though? Outstanding. The Brewers put him in the bullpen, and he struck out 45 batters in 26 1/3 innings, allowing just 16 hits and eight walks. He was a huge part of Milwaukee’s late-season push into October.The Padres have been pointing toward 2020 as their return to contention for a while now, what with all the young, high-ceiling players in their system and outside additions, like last spring’s signing of Manny Machado. Spending money to add a bullpen piece like Pomeranz — a lefty who will team well with dominant closer Kirby Yates — is yet another signal that the front office sees 2020 as the year, too.last_img read more

Read More →