Mourinho ready to cut fringe United players

first_imgNow Mkhitaryan and teammates including former England full-back Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian, who have been out of the first-team squad for long periods this season, would be allowed to leave should they wish — and should satisfactory offers be made.“I think for the right price,” said Mourinho, when asked if he would listen to offers in such circumstances.“That’s my approach as a manager, in cases where the club advises me. I think every player has a price.“If a player is not happy, if a player brings with him the request with the number that we consider a good number for us — like it happened for us last season with Memphis and Morgan — I would never say no.”The case of Mkhitaryan has been curious after the Armenian midfielder put in a strong second half to last season and appeared a key player in Mourinho’s side.But his form has progressively dipped this season and he has not started for Mourinho since United’s defeat at Chelsea at the start of November, finding it increasingly difficult to land a place even on the bench.– ‘I didn’t celebrate either’ –Mkhitaryan, who arrived at United 18 months ago in a £26 million ($34million) deal from Borussia Dortmund after a stellar Bundesliga career, has seen his name linked with potential moves as a possible makeweight in any deals Mourinho might wish to pull off next month.Shaw has also struggled to convince Mourinho of his long-term worth, although the 22-year-old has recently forced his way back into contention and started the midweek league win over Bournemouth.Meanwhile, Mourinho has responded to questions about why Romelu Lukaku appeared not to celebrate his winning goal in that victory over Bournemouth.The Belgian striker hardly responded after heading United into the lead, with what proved to be the only goal of the game.But in a week in which the behaviour of Manchester City players was in the spotlight after they celebrated wildly at Old Trafford after their derby victory, Mourinho insisted his response was simply an effort to remain on an even keel.“I didn’t celebrate either,” said Mourinho.“I don’t celebrate goals in a very enthusiastic way. If you score a goal in the last minute that gives you the victory then yes you lose your balance and you don’t control your emotion.“After that goal there is a long time to go and anything can happen in football. I’m not acting to the cameras or the fans.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho allowed fringe players to leave the club to pursue regular first-team football elsewhere © AFP/File / Oli SCARFFMANCHESTER, United Kingdom, Dec 16 – Jose Mourinho will allow any unhappy fringe player to leave Manchester United in the January transfer window, which will spark speculation over the futures of the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.Mourinho adopted the same policy in the last winter transfer window when he agreed to requests from Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay to leave the club to pursue regular first-team football elsewhere.last_img read more

Scientists Blind to Their Failings

first_img(Visited 95 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Scientism sounds appealing in theory. In practice, human scientists fall short of its ideals of enlightenment, progress and understanding.The new Ioannidis study. John P. A. Ioannidis has made waves with his studies of scientific bias (see 1/11/17). In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences March 20, his team published results after they “probed for multiple bias-related patterns in a large random sample of meta-analyses taken from all disciplines,” in order to address the widely-reported ‘reproducibility crisis’ in science. Their findings are partly encouraging, but point out factors that contribute to lack of trust:The magnitude of these biases varied widely across fields and was on average relatively small. However, we consistently observed that small, early, highly cited studies published in peer-reviewed journals were likely to overestimate effects. We found little evidence that these biases were related to scientific productivity, and we found no difference between biases in male and female researchers. However, a scientist’s early-career status, isolation, and lack of scientific integrity might be significant risk factors for producing unreliable results. The team found “Systematic differences in the risk of bias between physical, biological, and social sciences,” with the latter being worse. But it’s not clear this “bird’s-eye view” found all the bias that exists; “future research will need to determine whether and to what extent these trends might reflect changes in meta-analytical methods, rather than an actual worsening of research practices.”Reproducibility crisis redux. In plain English, three analysts discuss “The science ‘reproducibility crisis’ – and what can be done about it” at The Conversation. Danny Kingsley thinks that the move toward ‘open research’ will help reduce some of the personality factors that rush scientists to publish, such as the desire to have priority. Jim Grange, a psychologist, says “To me, it is clear that there is a reproducibility crisis in psychological science, and across all sciences.” He thinks his field is getting better at removing bias, but is not ‘out of the woods’ yet. Ottoline Leyser thinks that publication practices should take a lot of the blame for the “current destructive culture” that rushes bad science to print.Cancer care. “Remember why we work on cancer,” Levi Garraway pleades in Nature. He knows from experience how the motivation to publish “high-impact papers” can go awry if a researcher does not consider whether the results are reproducible. Often, when they are not, other factors come to light, to the embarrassment of the researcher, the publisher, and the reputation of science. He wouldn’t be writing about the need to follow the 3 R’s, “Rigor, Reproducibility and Robustness,” if there weren’t a problem.Opening the Gates. Speaking of open research, the Gates Foundation, the global health charity founded by Bill and Melissa Gates (Microsoft), has announced its own open-access publishing venture. Unable to get their thousands of research papers published in conventional channels because of the Gates Foundation’s stringent open-access policy, they are going to publish their own. They’ll be going about peer review in a different way: “Papers are peer-reviewed after publication, and the reviews and the names of their authors are published alongside.” Nature doesn’t seem to have a problem with this, showing that scientific practices are not set in stone. Indeed, fossilized tradition is blameworthy. “We believe that published research resulting from our funding should be promptly and broadly disseminated,” says Callahan. “Our research saves lives.” That says something disturbing about conventional practices up till now.Open science revolution. When institutions are pushing for ‘open science’, is that not presupposing that science has been closed for decades? In Nature‘s comment article, “Five ways consortia can catalyse open science,” 19 academicians make the case for disinfecting scientific practice with the transparency of sunshine. To do this, they will have to break open encrusted habits about ownership, and get into sharing mode. But it won’t be easy. Believers in scientism need to read this: “As philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn documented more than 50 years ago, the scientific community resists challenges to its orthodoxy.” And you thought only religious institutions used that word. It’s time to expand the role of stakeholders in science, they say, and – imagine this – get the public involved. “Conduct outreach so stakeholders explicitly voice goals and identities,” they advise.Political cluelessness. Polls supposedly use ‘scientific’ methods to assess the state of the country, but the 2016 election proved they were way off. Why? One statistician, according to Phys.org, faults “conventional wisdom, not data,’ for the mistake. The experts in Big Media were simply out of touch with the mood of the country they were measuring. “If you look at public opinion, people weren’t actually all that confident in Clinton’s chances,” Nate Silver said in an interview. “It was the media who were very confident in Clinton’s chances.” Even his polling site, FiveThirtyEight.com, “gave Donald Trump a less than 1 in 3 chance of winning.” News sites don’t understand the relationship between polls and probability, he said, and so they relaxed into non-rigorous, ad hoc reasoning to reinforce their own biases that Clinton would be a shoe-in for election. The data weren’t dead; the fault was in conventional wisdom that was not so wise.The second part is that there is a certain amount of groupthink. People looking at the polls are mostly in newsrooms in Washington and Boston and New York. These are liberal cities, and so people tend to see evidence (in our view, it was kind of conflicting polling data) as pointing toward a certain thing. People have trouble taking different information about, for example, signs of decline in African-American turnout and reconciling that against supposedly good numbers among Hispanic turnout for Clinton. People weren’t using the more thoughtful sides of their brains; they were using the more emotional sides of their brains.Leftist science. Speaking of liberal locations, academic institutions are known to be hothouses for liberal bias. Gavin Bailey and Chris O’Leary admit it, but then say it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Their headline in The Conversation states, “Yes, academics tend to be left wing – but let’s not exaggerate it.” Nobody is concerned that bankers tend to be right-wing, they argue, but that’s different. Bankers aren’t teaching science. They are not deciding what science is. Aren’t Bailey and O’Leary concerned that the ‘conventional wisdom’ in academia can lead to the same non-rigorous, ad hoc reasoning that shamed the pundits on the election results? Apparently not. They deny that academics tend to fall on deep political divides; “it is unlikely that most academics are extremists, and many won’t be all that politically minded; much like the rest of society,” they conclude. They’re basically rationalizing a very lopsided situation within the ivied walls. Maybe they need to get out of the echo chamber and meet some real folks. The worst bias is not recognizing one’s own bias.Fake news hall of mirrors. A week prior to April Fool’s Day, National Geographic posted some examples of how gullible people can have their brains tricked by fake news. First example: “How many animals of each kind did Moses put on the ark?” Obviously it was Noah, not Moses. People often accept the first answer that comes to mind, Alexandra Petri writes. But does this kind of gullibility affect scientists? Why would Petri jump to a conclusion about what presidential advisor Kellyanne Conway meant in a widely-misinterpreted quote?We live in a world with many “alternative facts,” which means verifying and fact-checking ourselves and those in our community plays an important role in determining what is real and what is fake.Petri relies on the reputations of psychologists and sociologists, whom Ioannidis reported are often the most guilty of scientific bias. She even exonerates them for running a study in which they lied to participants (see 3/15/17). Nowhere in this article does National Geographic look in the mirror and say, “Are we perhaps purveyors of fake news ourselves?”Offended humans in the Petri dish. Evolutionary anthropologists sometimes think they can just move into a tribal community and treat the people like lab rats, writing up their behaviors as evolutionary adaptations. But all people have human rights and deserve respect. Can the tribespeople reverse roles? Nature says that a certain tribe in South Africa, the Sans people who have developed a ‘click language,’ decided they’ve had enough of researchers coming in and running roughshod over their feelings and traditions: taking their genomes, calling them ‘Bushmen’ (an offensive name in their culture), and the like. They are the first tribe to draw up a code of ethics for researchers. One can imagine some researchers being shocked at finding out they have been offenders, despite their beliefs about ‘social justice.’ If they really believed in social justice, they would allow the Sans people to conduct research on scientists, wouldn’t they? One can imagine a possible research paper: “A study on manifestations of the Yoda Complex among western sociologists.”Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Winnifred Lewis and Cassandra Chapman inform the rest of us how to avoid the “seven deadly sins of statistical misinterpretation” in The Conversation. It’s a good piece with good advice. But nowhere do they indicate that scientists commit these sins, too. Confusing correlation with causation, putting a thumb on the outlier, exaggerating small differences, neglecting outside factors — these are not unknown problems in published science papers. Just look at the typical paper on phylogeny (example: 130 years of error).Sorry science. We end with some quotes from Nature‘s review of Richard Harris’s new book, Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions. Just the title should jolt those who love science and trust its credibility. Reviewer Marcus Munafò begins,As scientists, we are supposed to be objective and disinterested, careful sifters of evidence. The reality is messier. Our training can give us only so much protection from natural tendencies to see patterns in randomness, respond unconsciously to incentives, and argue forcefully in defence of our own positions, even in the face of mounting contrary evidence. In the competitive crucible of modern science, various perverse incentives conspire to undermine the scientific method, leading to a literature littered with unreliable findings.This is the conclusion of Rigor Mortis, a wide-ranging critique of the modern biomedical research ecosystem by science journalist Richard Harris. He describes how a growing number of claims over the past decade that many published research findings are false, or at least not as robust as they should be, has led to calls for change, and the birth of a new discipline of metascience.Metascience is “the scientific study of science itself,” or just philosophy of science. Though Harris focuses on biomedical research, the problems he reports should concern all science. Even if there is a ‘scientific method’, which some philosophers of science doubt, it does no good unless it is followed honestly. So unless and until scientists clean up their act, why should the public listen to the proponents of scientism who exalt science as the most reliable path to enlightenment? Scientists are only human, and humans are biased. Overcoming bias is not a matter of science. It’s a matter of character.Character requires a moral foundation. A moral foundation must be solid; it cannot evolve. Scientists: you need a solid moral foundation. You need an eternal, unchanging, righteous, just, holy God. There’s only one of those.last_img read more

Absa rolls out tap-and-go payments

first_img23 November 2011Paying for low-value purchases in South Africa is about to get a lot faster and more efficient, with banking group Absa making its “tap-and-go” contactless payment facility available both to standalone point of sale (POS) merchants and to those using advanced or integrated point of sale till systems.In line with its soon-to-be-released prepaid offering, and the launch of several public transport initiatives, Absa is starting to gear up a merchant base to accept this form of contactless payment.The system allows for customers quickly and conveniently to pay for small purchases simply by waving their contactless card in front of a secure contactless reader at the point of sale.With no signature to check or PIN to enter, merchants can expect faster transactions, shorter lines and being able to serve more customers in less time.“There is no additional transaction fee to the retailer as these are treated as normal debit or credit card purchases,” said Absa Card’s Willie van Zyl in a statement this week.“Furthermore, it is aligned with global trends in mobile payment where, in future, consumers will be able to tap their mobile phones against these readers to pay for their low value payments.”Ideal for high volume businessesThe contactless payment solution is ideal for merchant outlets with high volumes of customers where speed of service is essential – in particular, fast food outlets, coffee shops, movie theatres, convenience stores, fuel forecourts, pharmacies and parking lots.Absa has imposed certain limits on this contactless payment which are aligned with the special exemption to control and manage these cards.Tap-and-go transactions are limited to R200 per transaction and users will be able to load a maximum of R1 500 on the card at any time. The total monthly value load limitation is R3 000 per month.“We are pioneering this new way to pay as part of making payments simpler for consumers, thereby making their lives easier,” said Van Zyl. “We have a roadmap of innovations that will change the way consumers purchase, hear about offers, redeem vouchers and coupons as well as make payments.”Absa is also offering incentives to merchants to ease the cost-burden of the reader prior to the cards reaching critical mass.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Gilas Pilipinas joins Fiba Asia Champions Cup in China

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “Breaking: Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas joins @FIBAAsiaCC. Games will be shown @TV5manila & @Sports5PH,” Reyes wrote.The tournament features some of Asia’s best club teams with China’s Xinjian Flying Tigers tipped to repeat as champions. The Flying Tigers will be led by naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutGilas, which finished in seventh place in the Fiba Asia Cup last month, will use the competition as part of its buildup for the Fiba World Cup Qualifying in November. Read Next Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses MOST READ View comments LATEST STORIES Roger Pogoy. Photo from Fiba.comGilas Pilipinas is set to compete in the 2017 Fiba Asia Champions Cup which runs from Sept. 22-30 in Shenzen, China.National team coach Chot Reyes announced Gilas’ participation in the tournament Tuesday on his Twitter account.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games San Beda cruises to 8th straight; Bolick ejected after scufflelast_img read more

Photo: The ACC Network Misidentified UNC Point Guard Joel Berry As N.C. State Quarterback Jacoby Brissett

first_imgACC Network used NC State QB Jacoby Brissett's picture for Joel Berry.North Carolina is taking on Boston College on the road today, and Tar Heels freshman point guard Joel Berry is returning to the court after missing nearly a month with an injury.The ACC Network put up the following graphic to discuss Berry’s return, with one small problem. The player in the headshot isn’t Berry. Instead, it’s N.C. state quarterback Jacoby Brissett.Nope. That’s not @JoelBerryII. pic.twitter.com/L1l3A1KnXi— UNC Humor (@UNCMemes) February 7, 2015Now, Brissett and Berry share the same initials and both play in the state of North Carolina. And the point guard is the quarterback on the basketball court, right? So I guess it’s close enough.Actually no, it’s not. At all. But at least this graphic was in coherent English, as opposed to this one involving UNC.last_img read more

MAN LPG Engine to Power Chinese VLGC

first_imgzoomGaz Imperial from the TSM fleet. Image Courtesy: MAN Jiangnan Shipyard, owned by China State Shipbuilding Corp (CSSC), has ordered an LPG-burning engine for an 86,000 cbm very large gas carrier (VLGC), MAN Energy Solutions said.The ship, which will be equipped with MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP engine, is being built for China’s shipping company Tianjin Southwest Maritime (TSM) and is scheduled for delivery in the second half of 2021.“With 2020 and the new IMO emissions fast approaching, interest in using LPG as a fuel – within and outside of the LPG carrier segment – is growing due to its sulphur-free character, widespread availability, price competitivity, and ease of bunkering. At MAN Energy Solutions, we feel that the introduction of the ME-LGIP is proving timely,” Bjarne Foldager, Senior Vice President, Head of Two-Stroke Business at MAN Energy Solutions, said.MAN Energy Solutions already won the first orders for the new engine earlier in 2018 when Hanjin Heavy Industries announced that it would construct two VLGCs at its Philippines yard for Exmar, the Belgian integrated gas-shipping company. The 86,000 cbm newbuilds will each be powered by an individual MAN B&W 6G60ME-LGIP Mk9.5 engine.The company could also announce the first retrofit orders for the ME-LGIP in September 2018 when it signed a contract with Oslo-listed BW LPG for the world’s first retrofitting of four HFO-burning engines to LPG-propelled dual-fuel engines. The order includes options for further retrofits in the future with work expected to begin during 2020.The company also reported that the ME-LGIP engine has experienced an up to 18% reduction in CO2 and circa 90% reduction in particulate matter when running on LPG, compared with HFO, and expects a strong demand for this type of engine from VLGCs and coastal vessels.LPG is an environmentally-friendly fuel, in much the same class as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and an LPG-fueled engine will significantly reduce emissions, enabling vessels to meet the stringent IMO SOx emission regulations due to come into force globally from 2020. As well as being an important step towards reaching the 2050 IMO GHG targets, LPG also gives credit towards IMO EEDI compliance requirements.Image Courtesy: MANAccording to MAN, LPG’s future as a viable fuel for general marine transportation looks promising as it will not require as large an investment in infrastructure – such as bunkering facilities – in contrast to other, gaseous fuels. As a widespread energy source, availability is high and LPG is easier to store and handle, compared with cryogenic gaseous fuels.Furthermore, LPG is traditionally a cheaper fuel than MGO yet delivers the same performance and efficiency. Importantly, the ability to use LPG cargo as a supplemental fuel source provides significant cost savings for LPGC owners or charterers, including reduced time and fees for fuel bunkering.last_img read more

Manitobas top chief fights back over rising evacuee numbers

first_imgAPTN National NewsThe Lake St. Martin First Nation in Manitoba was forced to evacuate due to flooding last spring.Since then, the number of evacuees has inexplicably risen.This has raised concerns in Ottawa.However, the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs say it’s much ado about nothing.APTN National News reporter Matt Thordarson has this story.last_img

Yukons Old Crow considering change to prohibition law

first_imgAPTN National NewsIs prohibition improving the way of life for the Vuntut Gwitchin?Some residents of Yukon’s most northern community are hoping changes to a 25 year-old law will help curb bootlegging and other social ills in Old Crow.APTN’s Shirley McLean has more.last_img

NFL Week 4 Elo Ratings And Playoff Odds

Before scrolling down and peeking at the table, take a guess: Which team has the highest projected end-of-season win total according to FiveThirtyEight’s latest NFL Elo ratings and playoff odds?While you’re thinking, let me briefly explain what these numbers are all about. A team’s Elo rating represents its current strength — or at least an estimate thereof using a simple method that incorporates margin of victory, home-field advantage, strength of schedule and team quality in previous seasons. (For the really gory details of how the ratings work, click here.) To give you a sense of the scale, the average NFL team always has an Elo rating of 1500, and the ratings usually range from 1700 on the high side to 1300 on the low end of the spectrum.Anyway, once computed, they can be used to derive win probabilities for each game and even point spreads. That’s how we’re able to simulate the remainder of the NFL schedule thousands of times and track each team’s chances of winning the division or making the playoffs, right down to using the NFL’s actual, highly arcane tiebreaker rules.OK, so now that the explanation is out of the way, which team has the most predicted wins?Perhaps you’re thinking of the Seattle Seahawks, who won their Super Bowl rematch with the Denver Broncos on Sunday afternoon. You’d be close; Seattle once again checks in with the top Elo rating this week (see left), but their schedule is difficult enough — eighth-toughest in the league, to be exact — that they don’t have the league’s highest expected win total. Speaking of the Broncos, they had the most predicted wins in last week’s column, but their loss to the Seahawks was damaging — both because it took away about 0.38 expected wins for the Seattle game itself, and because their Elo rating was downgraded by 14 (or the equivalent of a little more than a half a point of victory margin per game), reducing their win probabilities in future games as well.New England, then? The Patriots did manage to win last week but only marginally improved their Elo rating after a seven-point victory over the Oakland Raiders in a game Elo thought they should have won by more than two touchdowns. They currently rank fourth in expected wins. And the Carolina Panthers, who had been pegged for 10.7 wins after a 2-0 start, dropped to a 9.1-win expectation in the wake of an 18-point home loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.The answer you were looking for was actually the Cincinnati Bengals, who project to win a league-high 11.2 games, according to our simulations. The Bengals moved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006 (don’t ask what happened that year) by drubbing the Tennessee Titans 33-7, and they now have the NFL’s best point differential. They also have an easier remaining schedule than the teams above them in the Elo pecking order. Based on Elo, an average team would be expected to beat Cincinnati’s remaining opponents by about 0.1 points per game (taking into account where the games are being played), while an average team would lose by 0.6 PPG against Seattle’s slate, 0.4 PPG against Denver’s and 0.2 PPG against New England’s.The Bengals also have the league’s best playoff odds at 78 percent and its second-best shot at winning the Super Bowl. Cincinnati does not have the best division odds, thanks to the re-emergence of Pittsburgh and Baltimore (sorry, Cleveland). Before the season, we thought the AFC North would be up for grabs, and three of its teams had preseason Elo ratings above 1500, but they were all bunched at the fringe of the top 12. Now Elo’s fourth-, ninth- and 12th-best teams hail from the AFC North, making it the NFL’s second-best division (in terms of its members’ average rating) behind the fearsome NFC West.Either way, Bengals fans should enjoy their team’s newfound success. They’re in a relatively prosperous cycle of the franchise’s history; including the end of last season, the team is consistently producing its best Elo ratings since the end of the 2005 season. Let’s hope there isn’t another Kimo von Oelhoffen moment waiting to derail the momentum this time around.Here are the projected standings and playoff odds for every NFL team:Some other observations:After briefly pulling themselves up to a 1503 Elo with a win over the New York Jets in Week 2, the Green Bay Packers dropped below 1500 again and now have their worst rating since the beginning of the Aaron Rodgers era. It’s a far cry from the Packers team that boasted a 1780 Elo late in the 2011 season, just 145 short weeks ago.Like Cincinnati, the Arizona Cardinals are zooming up the expected-win charts. Our simulations have them winning an average of 10.6 games by the end of the season, which ranks third in the league. Interestingly, by Elo they aren’t even the second-best team in the NFC West — San Francisco is barely ahead despite losing to Arizona last week — but they are expected to win 1.8 more games than the 49ers because they are already two games up in the standings (though they play the fourth-hardest schedule in football from now on).San Diego shouldn’t be forgotten in the Super Bowl derby. Although the Seahawks are the clear favorites, with a 14 percent chance of winning it all, the Chargers are at the periphery of the next tier of contenders — a group that also includes Cincinnati, New England, Arizona, Denver and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles. And along with the Bengals and Cardinals, the Chargers have added the most to their Elo score since the preseason ratings, improving from a 1555 to their current 1602 mark over the course of three straight victories.Although their 1999 incarnation was pretty extraordinary, the 2014 St. Louis Rams — along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars — seem to be deteriorating. No teams have shed more points off of their Elo ratings since the season began, with each losing in excess of 49 points (the equivalent of about two points per game of expected scoring margin) compared to their preseason ratings.As I mentioned, Elo ratings can also be used to generate point spreads for future games. It is our staunch recommendation, however, that these be used for “entertainment purposes only” — especially after a performance like last week. Going up against the point spreads listed at Pro-Football-Reference.com, Elo’s picks were a dreadful 4-11-1 in Week 3. (They did have a 12-4 straight-up record.) But we’ll soldier on anyway and list the matchups for this week, along with their predicted win probabilities and point spreads:The best matchup of the week in Elo’s eyes is Philadelphia at San Francisco, which matches Nos. 6 and 10 in our rankings. But as far as marquee games go (measured by the harmonic mean of the two teams’ pregame ratings after adding half the home-field advantage to each side), it’s the worst week-leading matchup of the season yet.Even so, there are some interesting pairings to be had, in addition to Eagles-Niners. Elo considers Washington and the New York Football Giants to be a classic “pick ’em“, while Vegas sees Washington as three-and-a-half point favorites, perhaps underestimating just how bad of a period this is in the franchise’s history. Likewise, Green Bay is a one-and-a-half point favorite at Chicago despite Elo pegging the Bears as five-point favorites. How much of that is owed to the Bears’ banged-up defense, and how much simply stems from a refusal to believe the Packers aren’t the same team they were several years ago, is tough to say.Finally, a couple of NFC South teams are getting a lot more love in Vegas than the ratings say they deserve. The books have both Atlanta and New Orleans favored by 3 on the road this week (the Falcons visit Minnesota; the Saints go to Dallas), while Elo thinks Vegas is off by about 5 points in each matchup — enough to swing the expected winner of both games. In general, Elo has the NFC South as the fifth-best division in football, but if both teams buck the odds and live up to those spreads on the road, our computer might have to change its tune. read more

Mourinho has been believing in Baker since 2014

first_imgFollowing the announcement of Lewis Baker’s departure for Leeds United from Chelsea, which is his fifth loan deal, one might easily wonder if he is really that precious.Which he is, indeed – at least according to Mourinho. Back in 2014, he was looking to sign Baker at Stamford, while he was still a teenager, alongside the other English hopes Izzy Brown and Dominic Solanke. In the process, throughout the duration of which his decisions were doubted on more than a few occasions, Mourinho has made some bold claims.“If, in a few years, Baker, Brown and Solanke are not national team players, I should blame myself,” Mourinho said, according to the official website of Leeds.“They are part of a process the club started without me, during that period before I came back.”Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“But now I have players who will be Chelsea players. And when they become Chelsea players, they will become England players, almost for sure.”“I’m not saying we’re doing it just for English football, because it is also about us.”“Chelsea is seen as a ‘graveyard’ for young talent. But at the moment, officially in the first-team squad, we have Andreas Christiansen, Nathan Ake, probably Baker, because I want to have one more English player.”Four years later, even though things have not gone exactly as predicted by Mourinho, Solanke made his English debut this year and Brown and Baker are still owned by Chelsea, despite being loaned out quite a few times.last_img read more