A lighthearted look at the weekend’s sporting action with Johnny Vaughan, James Brown and Gavin Woods
Ex-Arsenal striker John Hartson believes Arsene Wenger doesn’t deserve the criticism he receives from supporters, and has told Gunners fans the manager WILL finally splash out in the summer.Wenger has come under constant bombardment from fans over the past few seasons for the team’s continued failure to end their long wait for a Premier League title and his hesitance in the transfer market.The Frenchman has faced a fresh wave of attacks in recent weeks, with Arsenal’s title challenge – having been one of the favourites over Christmas – all but gone up in smoke as table-topping Leicester sit 11 points clear of the third-placed Gunners.But former frontman Hartson says Wenger’s achievements at the club are severely undervalued and he also believes the manager will prove his critics wrong in the upcoming transfer window.“Arsene Wenger gets more stick than any other manager,” the Welshman told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“But if you look at their season, the title is beyond them but they’re going to finish in the top four, they were in the last 16 of the Champions League where they were knocked out by the defending champions and potential winners, they were in the later stages of the FA Cup and lost their first FA Cup game in three years, and he’s still getting an awful amount of stick.“This guy has brought in £40million for the last 16 or 17 years because of their record of qualifying for the Champions League.“Alright, they haven’t won a title in 12 years, which is not good enough for a club like Arsenal, but ultimately the amount of stick Arsene Wenger gets… I just can’t get my head around it.“He’s made the club masses and masses of money. He’s probably the most successful manager in terms of the money he’s brought in for the club, and it’s all about the money!“You look at the mess Chelsea are in, they’re way down the table and are going to be managerless in the summer, with [Antonio] Conte now saying he’s got other options. You look at Manchester United, who don’t know if they’re going to keep or sack Louis van Gaal, whereas Arsenal are likely to finish in the top three again with even more funds.“I think in the summer you’ll really see him just go to town in the transfer window. He’ll go to town with the funds available.”
On Thursday, Williams beat Barbora Strycova, a 33-year-old who had never reached a Grand Slam singles semifinal. Strycova, who has a fine track record at doubles, reaching the semifinals in each major event, couldn’t control Williams, who won 6-1, 6-2.But Williams hasn’t played anyone like the 27-year-old Halep. She’s great at receiving serves and, at times, pouncing on them, too. Halep has won 53 percent of return points — and that includes first and second serves. Williams, known as an all-time returner, has won 43 percent.Halep also sounds eager and hungry. “I feel stronger mentally facing her,” she said. “We will see what is going to happen.”Williams has yet to play against a top 15 player in this tournament. According to the WTA, Williams’s opponents so far had an average rank of 75.2, and only two of them were seeded (No. 30 Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round and No. 18 Julia Goerges in the third). A similar scenario unfolded a year ago, when Williams coasted to the finals with her average opponent ranked even lower at 80, until she faced Angelique Kerber in the final. Kerber, who has an attacking style similar to Halep’s, beat Williams 6-3, 6-3.Williams needs to serve as well as possible to tie Court’s record, and so far, her serve has seemed vulnerable. Throughout the event, Williams has won 54.2 percent of second-serve points, which is solid and in line with her career numbers at Wimbledon. But the first serve counts the most, and Williams has not nearly been her best. She has won 74 percent of her first serves in her six matches. That’s lower than for all of her Wimbledon wins; her previous low at a Wimbledon in which she won was 75.8 percent in 2003. Her share of first serves won was much higher for her most recent match, at 89 percent, so perhaps she has started to find her footing.At her best, Williams’s serves have been efficient and brutal. In 2010, she won 87.5 percent of the points for which she landed her first serve, the highest at Wimbledon in her career. (That year, Williams hit 23.5 percent of her total points served as aces.) Williams didn’t lose a set that year (she also lost no sets in 2002). In 2012, Williams had stats nearly as impressive, hitting 20.9 percent of her total points served as aces. That’s the only time Williams hit more than 100 serves as aces (102 in all) at Wimbledon.Williams has played Halep 11 times, including three at a Slam. Halep has won just once, in 2014. But she played Williams close at the Australian Open this year and won a set from her in the 2011 Wimbledon, back in their first matchup. Williams knows this will be her biggest test, and she knows that Halep is ready.“The biggest key with our matches is the loss that I had. I never forgot it. She played unbelievable,” Williams said. “That makes me know that level she played at, she can get there again. So I have to be better than that.” With one more win at Wimbledon, Serena Williams would tie Margaret Court, the only player in history with 24 Grand Slam singles titles. In Saturday’s final, the 37-year-old Williams will battle Simona Halep, who won the French Open last year but has never won a Wimbledon title. Williams appears to have shaken off the rust of earlier this season and seems, at last, to have returned to her perch as the most dominant player in the history of tennis.There’s just one problem: Williams’s incredible serve is still a little shaky.“I don’t know if I’ve had my best serves this tournament,” Williams said. “I’m just now starting to use my legs again.”
JBL Flip The new JBL Flip 5 in front of the Flip 4. It’s really only a little bigger than its predecessor. David Carnoy/CNET Lay the JBL Flip 5 next to last year’s Flip 4 like I did at this year’s CES in Las Vegas and you’ll notice that the Flip 5 looks pretty similar but is slightly bigger than its predecessor. That increased size has allowed JBL’s engineers to equip the Flip 5 with a larger battery and more power so that it delivers a little bigger sound. It also now has USB-C charging for quicker battery charging. Like its predecessor, the JBL Flip 5 is fully waterproof, has a buillt-in microphone for speakerphone calls and comes in multiple color options. It’ll ship this spring for $100 and should gradually come down in price over the course of the year.I’ll have a full review shortly before it hits stores. Enlarge ImageAll the new color options. David Carnoy/CNET JBL Flip 5 key features Wireless Bluetooth streaming: Wirelessly connect to any smartphone or tablet with BluetoothBuilt-in 4800mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery supports up to 12 hours of continuous playtimeIPX7 Waterproof: Can be fully submersed in waterImproved bass performanceUSB-C chargingBuilt-in speakerphone allows you to take calls with the touch of a buttonPrice: $100Shipping this spring Enlarge ImageNow with USB-C charging! David Carnoy/CNET Review • JBL Flip review: Portable Bluetooth speaker stands tall Tags Wireless & Bluetooth Speakers See it $119 1:07 Now playing: Watch this: CES 2019 CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Share your voice Comment Mentioned Above JBL Flip (white) CES Products Bluetooth Some of the most anticipated tech for 2019 CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 1
Domestic stock indices fell sharply this week hitting a 19-month low on the back of sell-off in global markets, disappointing corporate earnings, depreciating rupee and a decline in crude oil prices.For the week ended 15 January, 2016, the BSE S&P Sensex tumbled 479.29 points to end at 24,455.04, while the 50-share Nifty closed at 7,437.80, down 163.60 points.”There seems to be no respite to the ongoing downtrend. Indices have lost further ground closing lower by more than 2% this week after plunging nearly 5% in the previous week; both the key indices hit their respective 52-week lows during the week amid weak global cues and weakening Indian currency against the US Dollar,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.Although the Indian markets seemed to have shrugged off the continued slump in Chinese stock markets during the early trading sessions this week, the indices finally succumbed to global sell-off in later sessions.Chinese stock markets failed to stage a rebound despite the measures by the country’s authorities to shore up the sentiment. The country’s benchmark Shanghai Composite closed over 3% lower this week.Besides, weak economic data in China added to worries over the hard landing of the world’s second largest economy.Meanwhile, on the domestic front, the corporate earnings season opened on a weak note after the revenue growth of India’s largest IT firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for the December quarter missed the analysts’ expectations for the sixth consecutive quarter.Quarterly results from Federal Bank, IndusInd Bank and Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) also disappointed the Street’s expectations.But a silver lining for the markets this week was Infosys’ announcement of upbeat results for the third quarter even as most of the analysts had expected to post a muted growth due to poor seasonal demand. Overall, Infosys shares ended the week about 6% higher compared to 2% fall in the broader markets.”The result season has begun and nothing really in it so far to exude confidence as far as corporate earnings are concerned barring Infosys which delivered better than expected results,” said Ambani.Commodity stocks came under heavy selling pressure due to slowing demand in China. Oil stocks were battered as crude oil plunged to 12-year lows on concerns over impending oil supply from Iran worsening the already oversupplied market.Domestic economic data was a setback for the markets, with Index of Industrial Production (IIP) falling by 3.2% to hit a four-year low in November and retail inflation edging up further in December to 5.6%.The sell-off in equity markets intensified after a resumption of a fall in rupee to two-year low of 67.70 against the US dollar. The rupee had hit a record low of 68.85 in August 2013, when fears over interest rate hike in the US were at peak.
Kolkata: Within 24 hours of announcement of the results of Lok Sabha Elections 2019, political violence erupted across the state. Trinamool Congress workers and supporters were allegedly attacked by BJP workers in several districts.In some places, BJP alleged that Trinamool workers attacked their workers instead and tried to instigate violence. However, both the parties have denied the allegations made against them. According to sources, in several districts of North Bengal, BJP workers and supporters allegedly attacked Trinamool workers and ransacked party offices. At Kalaikunda in West Midnapore, a Trinamool party office was vandalised and miscreants reportedly tore the flags of the party, whereas In Narayangarh the wife of a Trinamool worker was reportedly assaulted by BJP workers on Thursday night. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn Friday, Trinamool party offices at Sitai, Haribola and Giridhari areas in Cooch Behar were allegedly ransacked by BJP-backed hooligans. Local Trinamool leader Ashok Kumar Roy’s home was vandalised as well. Though Trinamool is pointing the finger at BJP for attacking them, saffron leadership has also alleged that Trinamool workers had planned to attack their workers. At Chila area in Tufangunj, Trinamool allegedly attacked a rally taken out by BJP workers to celebrate their win in Cooch Behar. Five BJP workers got injured in the incident. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateBJP workers reportedly took out another rally at Saltora in Bankura. At the same time, Saltora Trinamool block president Kalipada Roy was passing through the area. Seeing the rally, he reportedly got down from his car and misbehaved with the BJP supporters. Though the matter was settled immediate after the incident, on Friday morning some BJP workers allegedly vandalised Roy’s house in Saltora. Later, police went to the spot and brought the situation under control. In Durgapur, a Trinamool worker’s house was vandalised on Thursday night. According to sources, on Thursday night a few miscreants attacked the house of Trinamool worker Pratima Bagdi at Laudoha. She alleged that the miscreants were all BJP workers, which the leadership denied. Meanwhile on Thursday night, BJP and Trinamool workers also got involved in a clash at Shalimar gate number 5. Workers from both the parties reportedly pelted stones and bricks at each other. As a result, several persons from both the groups got injured. After being informed, police went to the spot and tried to control the situation. However, a few police personnel also got injured in the process. Later, a huge police force along with Rapid Action Force (RAF) and combat force reached the spot and controlled the situation.