Charlton have introduced a fan pitchside sofa for this season at The Valley and in doing so have completely redefined the term “armchair supporter”.So the Drivetime team want to know – Do sofas have a place at football grounds? 1
1 Arsenal loanee Wojciech Szczesny Roma dropped Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny for the weekend’s match with Atalanta because he was caught smoking again, according to reports in Italy.The Poland international, who is currently on loan at the Serie A club, was benched as his side lost 2-0 on Saturday night.The 25-year-old had been Roma’s first choice this year but he was overlooked for the visit of Atalanta as Morgan De Sanctis was picked.And, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, Szczesny was dropped because he was caught smoking after Roma’s loss to Barcelona in the Champions League.The Italians were thumped 6-1 by the Spanish champions in midweek and to make matters worse Szczesny was reportedly spotted sparking up afterwards.As a result manager Rudi Garcia elected to drop the on-loan Gunners goalkeeper and it is uncertain when he will earn his place back.The Polish glovesman has been in trouble for his habit in the past, having been slapped with a £20,000 by parent club Arsenal after he was caught smoking in the showers following a 2-0 defeat to Southampton.
Napoli are preparing to hijack Arsenal’s pursuit of Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.Rabiot, 20, has been heavily linked with a move away from the French champions in January, having started just half of their Ligue 1 games so far.Arsenal, who are on the lookout for a defensive midfielder to replace the injured Francis Coquelin, have been tipped to launch a move for Rabiot in January.But now, according to Sky Sport Italia, Napoli have made contact with PSG to see if Rabiot is available next month.PSG are keen to keep hold of the Frenchman but the player is apparently becoming increasingly impatient with his lack of regular first-team football and would be open to a move away as he bids to get into France’s Euro 2016 squad. 1 Adrien Rabiot
Andre Gray Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was denied a first win as QPR boss with Nahki Wells’ late goal snatching Huddersfield a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road.It was a tight match in west London and the three points looked to be sealed when the Hoops netted in the second half through Sebastian Polter.Wells then scored late on to deny the Dutch boss victory in his fifth attempt in charge of the Sky Bet Championship club.Andre Gray’s hat-trick helped Burnley to bounce back from a 3-0 Boxing Day defeat at Hull to beat Bristol City 4-0 at Turf Moor.The Clarets took a 2-0 lead before the break, with thanks to a double from record purchase Gray.The 24-year-old summer signing from Brentford, who made his Clarets debut against the Robins in August, took his tally to 13 goals in 19 appearances.He opened the scoring after a fast counter attack in the 37th minute, before adding another in first half stoppage time when he controlled well in the box before neatly dispatching.Scott Arfield added a third before Gray completed his hat-trick to confirm the three points for Sean Dyche’s men.Gray’s former club Brentford won their third match under new boss Dean Smith, with a 2-1 scoreline at Reading.Ryan Woods’ 25-yard effort rifled past goalkeeper Jonathan Bond before Garath McCleary drew the Royals level shortly before the hour mark after combining well in the box with Matej Vydra.Sergi Canos, who extended his stay on loan from Liverpool yesterday, put the Bees back in front with less than 20 minutes left on the clock, as he beat three players before firing home from the edge of the box. That strike made it back-to-back defeats for Reading under returning boss Brian McDermott and it got even worse as Michael Hector was dismissed for simulation late on, when the Reading man was shown a second yellow card.Jacques Maghoma’s second-half strike set Birmingham on their way to a 1-0 victory over MK Dons at St Andrew’s.Jordan Graham scored his first Wolves goal as they ended a three-game winless run.After good work by Benik Afobe, Graham reacted quickly after a scramble in the box, to finish past shot-stopper Stephen Henderson.Harry Lennon’s late own goal then sealed the three points for Kenny Jackett’s men at the Valley.Finally, Paul Gallagher’s goal helped Preston to all three points with a 1-0 win over Hull at Deepdale.Daniel Johnson’s well-crafted free-kick made its way to Gallagher, who fired home to hand Simon Grayson’s men a deserved lead, as they held on for the final 24 minutes.Elsewhere, earlier today, strugglers Bolton ended a 17-game winless run with a vital 1-0 victory over local rivals Blackburn and Middlesbrough will host Sheffield Wednesday later this evening. Monday’s Championship results in full:Bolton 1-0 Blackburn (12.30)Birmingham 1-0 MK DonsBurnley 4-0 Bristol CityCharlton 0-2 WolvesPreston 1-0 HullQueens Park Rangers 1-1 HuddersfieldReading 1-2 BrentfordMiddlesbrough 1-0 Sheffield Wednesday TUESDAY’S Championship fixtures:Brighton v IpswichCardiff v Nottingham ForestFulham v RotherhamLeeds v Derby 1
Javier Mascherano 1 Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has been sentenced to one year in prison after admitting two counts of tax evasion.The 31-year-old appeared in court on Thursday and accepted the sentence as well as a fine of 815.000 euros (£625,000), although it is expected he will not serve any prison time with his legal representatives having requested the sentence be suspended and replaced with a fine.Mascherano, who joined Barcelona from Liverpool in 2010, admitted fraud last year and according to a court filing has repaid 1.75million euros (£1.35m), the full amount he owed plus interest.Following Thursday’s ruling, the Argentina international released a statement via his Twitter account and the Barcelona website in which he said: “I’m a sporting professional, I don’t have a great understanding of tax and legal matters.“Therefore, to deal with what are for me technical and complicated matters, I have to rely on other people.“Throughout all my career I have been an honest person, responsible and respectful of my team-mates and the clubs that I have played for and the countries I have lived in.”’I reserve the possibility of action against those who have badly advised me by recommending something that was not right.”
Ray Stubbs was joined by Matt Hughes and Dean Jones to cast their eye over the main sporting stories, including reaction to John Terry’s proposed departure from Chelsea.
Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi has dismissed rumours linking him with Manchester United.The Argentine striker has been tipped to make the move to Old Trafford in the summer if Jose Mourinho is appointed as Louis van Gaal’s successor.But Icardi, who is also reportedly on Bundesliga outfit Wolfsburg’s radar, insists he has no desire to leave the San Siro.“Wolfsburg and Manchester United? I heard something about their interest, but I want to stay with Inter,” Icardi told Corriere dello Sport.“Even if United sign Jose Mourinho, my answer is always the same: I’m staying here. If they come looking, they won’t be the first nor the last club I may turn down.“I’m happy in Milan and I don’t mean to leave. The club has a great project and is investing heavily to get winning again. I want to help.“The team I’m fondest of is [Argentinian club] Newell’s Old Boys, but even a few years ago, when playing the Playstation with an Italian friend, I selected Inter all the time because I liked her players.“I have a bond with Inter and I’m happy to be part of it.” Mauro Icardi 1
WASHINGTON – The nomination of Michael B. Mukasey as attorney general encountered resistance on Friday, with Democratic senators suggesting for the first time that they might oppose Mukasey if he did not make clear that he opposed waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques that have been used against terrorism suspects. The ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, joined in the expressions of concern about Mukasey. Specter said in an interview on Friday that the nomination could hinge on Mukasey’s written responses to questions posed to him this week about the Bush administration’s anti-terrorism policies, including its use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding, which simulates drowning, and about his larger views on executive power. At his Senate confirmation hearings last week, Mukasey, a retired federal judge from New York, declined to say whether he agreed with many lawmakers and human rights groups that waterboarding is a form of torture and is unconstitutional. He said he did not know the details of how waterboarding, which has been used by the CIA against senior leaders of al-Qaida, was conducted. In waterboarding, interrogators pour water onto cloth or cellophane that has been placed over the face of a suspect, creating the sensation of drowning. In an initial letter to the Judiciary Committee that was dated Wednesday and made public Friday, Mukasey repeated the assertion he had made at his confirmation hearings that torture was unconstitutional and a violation of American obligations under international treaties. But once again, he did not address the question of whether waterboarding was torture. In the letter, he also repeated his suggestion that the administration’s program of eavesdropping without warrants was legal despite criticism by lawmakers that it violated terms of federal surveillance laws. Specter said he hoped Mukasey would offer satisfactory responses, especially about his views on waterboarding. “I think now that he has had a chance to know exactly what waterboarding is, my expectation would be that – like everyone else – he would condemn it,” the senator said. “But he’s got to speak for himself.” Bush complained Friday that Democratic leaders in Congress were acting too slowly on Mukasey’s nomination, as well as on several pieces of legislation. He noted that the Senate had failed to approve the nomination “even as members complain about the lack of leadership at the Department of Justice.” On Tuesday, all 10 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Mukasey asking him to make a clear-cut statement of opposition to waterboarding and to describe it as illegal. On Thursday, the majority leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, was asked by a reporter if Mukasey should be confirmed in light of his failure to make a statement of opposition to waterboarding. “We’ll have to wait and see,” Reid said, adding that he was “troubled” by Mukasey’s testimony last week about waterboarding. “I think if he doesn’t change his direction in that regard, he could have at least one concern. And that’s me.”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.Until this week, the nomination of Mukasey to replace Alberto R. Gonzales as attorney general appeared to be a sure thing. Many Democratic lawmakers say privately that he is still likely to be confirmed, given the need for leadership in the Justice Department after months of turmoil. Apart from Specter, no Republicans on the Judiciary Committee have raised public doubts about the nomination. But Mukasey’s sometimes awkward responses at his confirmation hearings to a series of questions about his views on the administration’s anti-terrorism policies and its expansive views of its wartime powers under the Constitution prompted the first significant expressions of concern about the nomination from some lawmakers. “A number of issues need clarification,” Specter said in a telephone interview on Friday. “I’m troubled by the depth of his assertion of executive powers.” Spector said he was worried specifically about whether Mukasey would advise President George W. Bush to disregard acts of Congress, including a proposed law that would limit the ability of the White House to conduct electronic eavesdropping. “I don’t know that I would confirm a guy who is going to say that he’d advise the president that he has the constitutional authority to ignore a deal he has made with Congress on a specific provision” of a law, Specter said in reference to the eavesdropping legislation.
Two weeks ago I arrived at the San Francisco airport. The young, attractive, personable black woman at the rental car desk wore a badge that said “Trainee.” I smiled and said, “That’s an odd name.” She laughed. I asked whether she was from San Francisco. She replied, “No, I’m not from here. I’m from Atlanta.” “Why are you here?” I asked. “I moved back with my parents here in town.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I thought you said you were not from here.” “Well,” she said, “I’m from here, but I went to school in Atlanta, and I prefer it there. So I consider it my home.” “What were you doing in Atlanta?” I asked. “I attended Clark University, but after a couple of years I got pregnant, so I came home.” “Are you in school now?” “No, because the money’s too good.” “Too good to remain in school?” “For now,” she answered. “What is it you don’t like about San Francisco?” “It’s just so racist,” she said. “Racist? Isn’t this one of the most liberal cities in the country?” I asked. She rolled her eyes. “Sign here,” she said. “You know, I should have finished my training program some time ago, but because I’m black, they’re making me stay longer.” “How do you know it’s because you’re black?” Another roll of the eyes. As I was leaving, I said, “You know, given your people skills and your drive, whatever obstacles others place in your way, you’ll be able to overcome them.” “Wait, what do you mean?” I turned around. “I mean that given your charm and your apparent drive, I’m sure you’ll be able to deal with – and maybe even turn around – anybody who gets in your way.” “You think so?” she asked. “I know so.” Which brings us to Stanley O’Neal, the recently ousted black CEO of Merrill Lynch. Who is Stanley O’Neal? Born in segregated Alabama in 1951, O’Neal spent his early childhood delivering newspapers, picking corn and cotton on the family farm, and being educated in a one-room school built by his grandfather. He landed a job on General Motors’ assembly line, and won a place studying engineering and industrial administration at the General Motors Institute. O’Neal later secured a Harvard scholarship, where he earned an MBA. He left General Motors for Merrill Lynch in 1986, beginning a meteoric rise to CFO in 1998, president in 2000 and CEO in 2002. In July 2002, when Fortune magazine named O’Neal the most powerful black executive in the country, O’Neal refused to comment for the story. Most interviewers found O’Neal disinclined to talk about his race and background, as Fortune later wrote: “(O’Neal) is even reluctant to discuss what it’s like to be the first African American to run a major Wall Street firm.” Last year business pundits praised O’Neal, and his firm rewarded him for their record $7.5billion net income by paying O’Neal $48million, one of Wall Street’s richest packages. Back in 2002, when O’Neal was picked for ascension to CEO, Fortune published a fairly glowing, lengthy story on O’Neal titled, “Can Stan O’Neal Save Merrill?” mentioning his race only once. Aside from noting that O’Neal was the first black CEO of a big investment firm, most stories at the time focused on O’Neal’s accomplishments, his leadership style and the obstacles facing Merrill Lynch – but did not focus on his race. But O’Neal, as did many CEOs in financial services, placed bad bets in the mortgage market. The subprime meltdown resulted in a $7.9billion write-off in mortgage-related assets for Merrill Lynch’s third quarter. His rivals – Citigroup Inc. and others – also lost huge sums of money. After his five-year tenure – average for an American CEO – the board fired him. As for the termination, only a handful of papers bothered to mention that O’Neal is black – and usually deep into the story. O’Neal’s race played no role in either his hiring or firing. So Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton will likely remain silent – for a change. As to the trainee at the rental car agency, I doubt whether she ever heard of O’Neal. But she certainly could benefit from something the former Merrill Lynch CEO once told Newsweek: “It’s maybe the only country in the world that could have somebody like me start out where I did and wind up doing what I’m doing.” Larry Elder is a syndicated radio talk-show host and author. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
EL DORADO, Kan. – A body found in Kansas appears to be that of a missing college student who led a secret life as an Internet porn star, police said Thursday. Authorities said the preliminary physical description of the body found about 50 miles east of El Dorado matches that of missing college student Emily Sander. Investigators refused to give details about the state of the body or how it was found. Sander’s case drew wide attention after it was revealed that she appeared nude on a popular adult Web site under the name Zoey Zane. That site was temporarily inaccessible Thursday, as were several sites that bill themselves as “fan” sites of Zane. But Police Chief Tom Boren insisted Thursday that Sander’s Internet activity had no connection to her disappearance. The rental car Mireles was driving was found abandoned Tuesday in Vernon, Texas, where he has relatives. Investigators interviewed family members and planned to bring the vehicle back to Kansas for processing.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 MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“The issue of the Internet and the spinoff of that has been literally crippling our investigation,” Boren said. Boren said the cause of death was not yet known. An autopsy is planned. Sander, 18, was last seen leaving an El Dorado bar Friday with a man who has been the focus of a nationwide search since police found large quantities of blood in a Kansas motel room where he was staying. Prior to finding the body, investigators said they had not found a link between Sander and her activities as Zoey Zane. But publicity about her explicit photos brought a flood of tips, many of them false leads. Sander, who attended Butler Community College, left the bar with Israel Mireles, 24. Authorities are looking for him and his 16-year-old pregnant girlfriend.