Tag Archives: Major

Major blow for Tottenham, this top class star won't play against Juventus tomorrow

Major blow for Tottenham, this top class star won’t play against Juventus tomorrow – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Tottenham star Toby Alderweireld is all set to miss his side’s Champions League clash against Juventus tomorrow.

According to Telegraph, the Belgian defender is not a part of the squad travelling to Turin. Apparently, the player has been left in England so that he can work on his fitness.

Alderweireld has recovered from his hamstring injury and he made his comeback in the FA Cup last week. However, Pochettino decided to leave him out of the side for the North London derby as well.

It will be interesting to see how the player reacts to these omissions. Previously, Kyle Walker was also left out of some big games and the England international forced his way out of the club because of that.

Alderweireld has not agreed to a new deal at Spurs yet. If the Belgian does not sign an extension soon, Spurs might have to consider selling him at the end of this season.

The report from Telegraph adds that the player’s agent has refused to comment on the situation.

Alderweireld’s absence will be a big blow for Spurs in a crucial game. The Belgian is their best defender and he could have made a big difference against the likes of Dybala and Higuain.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Major blow in Arsenal’s hopes of signing 22-year-old Santi Cazorla replacement

Major blow in Arsenal’s hopes of signing 22-year-old Santi Cazorla replacement – originally posted on Sportslens.com

Arsene Wenger has been dealt a bitter blow in his hopes of signing a long-term replacement for Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla, and it could be Bayern Munich’s fault.

According to Mundo Deportivo, the perennial Bundesliga champions are looking to sign Schalke midfielder Max Meyer on a free transfer this summer. The 22-year-old was lined up by Arsenal to solve their midfield problems, but it appears his future may remain in Germany.

He’s made 20 Bundesliga appearances this season, averaging a tackle or interception every 15 minutes, while boasting a 90% pass completion ratio. It’s not hard to see why Arsenal want him.

Bayern have already secured the signature of Meyer’s teammate Leon Goretzka, and the Gunners could be powerless to stop another Schalke midfielder making the switch to the Allianz Arena, however. It’s potentially bad news for Wenger, as he’s been desperate for a midfielder capable of replacing the injured Cazorla.

Arsenal have Granit Xhaka, Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Mohamed Elneny as their first-team options in the engine room, having sold Francis Coquelin to Valencia in January, and it seems there’s flaws with all four players.

Xhaka struggles with discipline and his defensive duties, and takes too many risks in possession. Wilshere is a fantastic playmaker but can never be trusted over a full season due to his injury troubles.

Ramsey is currently recovering from an injury layout and has been a regular when fit, but his tendencies to leave the midfield vacant when searching for a goal mean a defensive option is required alongside him. As for Elneny, Arsenal tried to sell him last summer.

If Meyer goes to Bayern, Arsenal will have to go back to the drawing board to find a player who can provide the high-levels of ball retention that Cazorla could, coupled with creating chances and adhering to one’s defensive duties.

Stats from Transfermarkt.

From Sportslens.com – Football News | Football Blog

Newcastle exposed a major Alexis Sanchez & Romelu Lukaku problem

Newcastle United 1 – Manchester United 0

Man United blew it on Sunday away at Newcastle.

Rafa Benitez’s side picked up an enormous three points thanks to a 1-0 win over the Red Devils.

The hero for the Magpies was midfielder Matt Ritchie. He drilled home a left footed shot after Chris Smalling gave away a free-kick for diving.

The win boosted Newcastle’s hopes of beating the drop as they shot up to 13th in the table.

Man United remain second, however they are 16 points behind champions elect Man City.

Alexis Sanchez & Romelu Lukaku problem

On Monday in the Times, columnist Tony Cascarino has posted his thoughts on a major problem flagged up for Man United in the Newcastle defeat.

Cascarino believes that Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku have yet to prove that they can play together.

That’s obviously a major worry for Red Devils supporters. Lukaku cost 75 million pounds, while Sanchez is costing United a huge amount in wages after his move from Arsenal in January.

Cascarino has argued the following:

Manchester United have a fixed point in their striker Romelu Lukaku and are therefore predictable.

I feel for Lukaku as it’s not his fault, but United’s formulaic style does not suit Alexis Sánchez.

They have spent all that money but are such a long way from the days of Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

If they are to be a success with Sánchez I don’t see how Lukaku fits in, particularly for tough away games.

For the record, Sanchez has played four matches for United since joining. The results are two wins and two defeats, while Sanchez has scored once: a rebound after his penalty against Huddersfield was saved.

Also see: How Jena Frumes watched Newcastle vs Man United & cheering up Jesse Lingard.

Chris Smalling was an idiot, Newcastle were robbed.

Arsenal fans fume over major decision vs Tottenham

Supporters of Arsenal have taken to social media in their droves during the first-half of their North London derby clash with Tottenham this afternoon, after a controversial offside call saw the Gunners denied a clear-cut goalscoring opportunity.

Matchup

The Gunners travelled to Wembley today on the back of a morale-boosting 5-1 victory over Everton last weekend, with January signings Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang both impressing in their first starts for the club.

Tottenham, meanwhile, dispatched of Newport County by 2 goals to nil in the FA Cup 4th round during the week, with their last Premier League outing having seen Mauricio Pochettino’s men twice fight back from behind to secure a remarkable point at Anfield versus Liverpool.

Team news

The starting XIs of both sides were announced an hour prior to kick-off, with Spurs’ January signing Lucas Moura having to make do with a place on the bench for the hosts:

Arsenal, meanwhile, were forced into a late reshuffle, following news that Aaron Ramsey was set to miss out this afternoon through injury:

As a result, Mohamed Elneny and Jack Wilshere both came into the Gunners’ midfield, with Arsene Wenger clearly of the opinion that the battle for supremacy in the middle of the park would prove crucial this afternoon:

First-half

The early goings of today’s crunch derby saw Tottenham control the majority of the possession, with Arsenal looking dangerous on the break on a couple of occasions.

Chances of note were few and far between over the opening half-hour, aside from a Harry Kane header nodded disappointingly over the bar by the Englishman.

However, there was a major question of what could have been for Arsenal with just 11 minutes on the clock, as Jack Wilshere’s gorgeous slide-rule pass sent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang clean through on the home side’s goal.

The Gabonese hitman looked to have timed his run perfectly, only for the linesman to raise his flag for offside.

Immediate replays showcased the fact that Aubameyang was in fact onside, though, with Jan Vertonghen having been stood ever so slightly behind the rest of Tottenham’s defensive line.

Reaction

Arsenal’s fans quickly took to Twitter to make their frustration at the decision known, with some of the best roundup below:

Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the main difference between Wenger & Mourinho

Alexis Sanchez details why he left Arsenal for Man United

Chelsea handed major boost in pursuit of Antonio Conte favourite

Tony GrinBayern Munich to allow Arturo Vidal to leave in the summer. Chelsea thought to be interested in signing Vidal. READ MORE: Chelsea favourites to sign Real Madrid star ahead of Man City. Chelsea have been offered significant encouragement in their pursuit of Juventus midfield general Arturo Vidal. Antonio Conte previously worked with Vidal during their […]

Antonio Conte has no plans to please fans with major tactical change – here’s why

Antonio ConteAntonio Conte has no plans to switch to a back-four. This is despite back-to-back embarrassments vs. Bournemouth & Watford. READ MORE: Chelsea and PSG set for summer transfer negotiations. Antonio Conte has managed to make light of Chelsea’s 4-1 demolition at the hands of Watford on Monday night. Just when you thought our 3-0 defeat […]

Major utility fails to get West Virginia customers to bail out its aging coal plant

FirstEnergy Corp., a strong supporter of President Donald Trump’s pro-coal agenda, conceded defeat this week in its bid to shift the costs of one of its struggling coal-fired plants onto the backs of customers in West Virginia.

The company’s decision to withdraw its plan represents yet another loss for owners of coal-fired plants who had hoped a pro-coal president would keep their plants profitable.

FirstEnergy’s coal-fired Pleasants power station — located in Willow Island, West Virginia — has been struggling to compete with lower-cost sources of electricity in the unregulated market. To help revive the coal plant, FirstEnergy wanted to force its utility customers, who don’t have a choice of what type of fuel generates their electricity, to subsidize the plant.

To do this, for more than a year now, the company has been trying to transfer the Pleansants plant —  owned by FirstEnergy’s unregulated subsidiary Allegheny Energy Supply — to Monongahela Power (Mon Power) and Potomac Edison, the company’s regulated utilities in West Virginia.

If this scheme had succeeded, its West Virginia customers would have assumed all of the plant’s costs and financial risks, while FirstEnergy and its shareholders would receive a guaranteed revenue stream. But on Monday, the company sent a letter to West Virginia regulators informing them that the Pleasants plant transfer agreement “will be terminated.”

The Pleasants transfer plan was part of a larger strategy by FirstEnergy to re-regulate unprofitable assets in deregulated markets as a way to capture subsidies from its utility customers. Aside from increasing customers’ monthly bills, the transfer of the plant would have given FirstEnergy’s two West Virginia utilities generating capacity they did not need to meet demand.

Adding another large coal plant to the generation portfolio of the West Virginia utilities also would have created barriers to adopting carbon-free strategies. “They didn’t need this plant to begin with,” said Earthjustice staff attorney Michael Soules, who had fought the plant transfer on behalf of Solar United Neighbors of West Virginia and West Virginia Citizen Action Group.

If FirstEnergy had succeeded in transferring the plant to its West Virginia utilities, it would have “sucked all the oxygen out of the room in terms of getting clean energy or allowing energy efficiency to be part of the resource mix,” he said in an interview with ThinkProgress.

FirstEnergy was hoping to accomplish on a smaller scale the same goals that the Trump administration had set in its proposal to subsidize the nation’s coal and nuclear plants with guaranteed cost recovery from electricity customers — even if the plants cannot compete in the wholesale power market with lower-cost natural gas and renewable energy generation sources. Under the guise of grid resilience, Energy Secretary Rick Perry released a proposal last fall that would have provided cost recovery for power plants such as coal and nuclear facilities that keep 90 days of fuel onsite.

Like FirstEnergy’s plant transfer scheme, Trump’s proposal suffered a major defeat at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an independent agency that regulates the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity and oversees the wholesale sale of electricity. In a unanimous vote, the commission on January 8 rejected Perry’s plan to raise consumer energy bills in order to subsidize coal and nuclear power plants.

Given the size of its coal generation fleet, FirstEnergy was one of the biggest supporters of Perry’s failed plan. “We commend Secretary Perry and the Department of Energy for recognizing the importance of a reliable, resilient electric grid for American families and our nation’s economy,” the company said last September after Perry released the proposal.

Overall, FirstEnergy’s subsidiaries control more than 16,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity, enough to serve millions of customers. Fifty-eight percent of the company’s power plants are fueled by coal. Nuclear power makes up 25 percent of its generation portfolio, with hydroelectric, wind, and solar accounting for 12 percent. The company’s regulated utility subsidiaries serve about 6 million customers in parts of Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York.

The Pleasants plant has a generation capacity totaling 1,300 megawatts and uses more than 3.4 million tons of coal annually. In 1978, the deadliest construction accident in U.S. history occurred at the plant, when scaffolding on one of the cooling towers collapsed, killing 51 workers.

FirstEnergy controls 16,000 megawatts of electric generation capacity. Source: FirstEnergy Corp.

FirstEnergy and its subsidiaries needed approval from both FERC and the West Virginia commission to move forward with the transfer. At the federal level, FERC delivered a blow to FirstEnergy on January 12 by rejecting its attempt to transfer ownership of the struggling Pleasants plant to its West Virginia utilities. The commission was concerned with the “cross-subsidization” that would occur — using regulated businesses like Mon Power to subsidize or shield unregulated assets like the Pleasants plant from market forces.

But then, on January 26, the West Virginia Public Service Commission approved the sale of the Pleasants plant to Mon Power. In its decision, however, the commission established several conditions aimed at protecting customers from financial and legal risks that FirstEnergy would have to meet if the transfer went forward. After reviewing the commission’s conditions, Mon Power said in its letter that moving forward with the transfer “would result in Mon Power assuming exposure and significant commodity risk” — the very risks FirstEnergy tried to force on customers through its proposal.

Numerous groups and customers in West Virginia lined up in opposition to the deal. More than 2,500 people, businesses, and cities sent letters to the West Virginia commission opposing the transfer of the Pleasants plant. The PSC held three public hearings that were packed with opponents of the plan.

“In the long term, it’s going to be not just a victory for West Virginia ratepayers, but also for creating a window for more clean energy resources and energy efficiency to be a robust part of the energy mix,” Soules said.

Earthjustice attorney Michael Soules worked with clients in West Virginia to fight FirstEnergy's proposed transfer in ownership of the coal-fired Pleasants power plant. CREDIT: Earthjustice

The Pleasants deal would have cost the average residential household approximately $69 each year for the next 15 years, according to expert testimony in the case before the state commission. In total that’s a loss of $470 million that Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers would have been forced to bear.

“This is a major win for the 530,000 Mon Power and Potomac Edison consumers in West Virginia,” Emmett Pepper, executive director of Energy Efficient West Virginia, said Tuesday in a statement. “This deal was bad from the beginning and the extensive evidence presented at the PSC proceeding made clear that the proposed transfer would benefit FirstEnergy and hurt West Virginians struggling to survive in today’s economy.”