Man United are set for a busy summer of spending, with defence one position set to be strengthened. Here, WhoScored.com run the rule over transfer target, Nicolas Otamendi.With the domestic seasons drawing to a close in Europe’s top five leagues, speculation over the big transfer this summer is set to go into overdrive.And the Premier League had barely reached its conclusion before Manchester United were linked with a big-money move for Valencia’s star centre-back Otamendi.After Mats Hummels insisted he wouldn’t be signing for United, interest has reportedly moved to Otamendi, who established himself as one the best centre-backs in La Liga this season.The Argentine’s 7.59 WhoScored.com rating was the best of all central defenders and put him seventh overall in Spain’s top tier. His performances have attracted widespread interest from the biggest clubs on the continent, though it appears United are leading the race for his signature.Louis van Gaal’s side have already secured the acquisition of Memphis Depay from PSV and look to be hell bent on landing their biggest targets early this transfer window. Next on the United radar appears to be defensive reinforcements and Otamendi has been targeted for good reason.Only Lionel Messi (25) and Cristiano Ronaldo (17) earned more WhoScored.com man of the match awards than the Valencia defender (7) in La Liga this term, reinforcing what was a superb debut campaign in Spain.Understandably, Los Che would be loathe to losing their prized defender, who has formed a solid centre-back partnership with Shkodran Mustafi. Otamendi’s ability to be in the right place at the right time to clear impending danger is perhaps his strongest asset.The Argentina international made more clearances (258) than any other player in La Liga this campaign, while the number of headed clearances he made (182) was also the most in Spain’s top tier.Such a no-nonsense approach to defending has understandably attracted the interest of the biggest teams in Europe. However, his ability to clear the ball from danger – though a strong point to his game – is not all the Argentine is famed for. The 27-year-old is a composed centre-back when needed, capable of playing the ball out from the back, which would appeal to Van Gaal and his patient approach implemented at Old Trafford.Otamendi averaged 44.6 passes per game in Spain this season and maintained a respectable pass success rate of 80.3 per cent. There is room for improvement in this department, but Van Gaal has proven that, given time, he can improve a player’s ability with the ball at his feet. Chris Smalling, for example, has looked a far more capable centre-back with the Dutchman at the United helm and it’s reasonable to suggest he can do similar with Otamendi.An average of 2.9 tackles and 3.1 interceptions per game further accentuate his defensive ability, while an average of 3.5 aerial duels won per game, which ranks among the top 10 in Spain, reinforces why one of his strengths on WhoScored.com is in aerial duels. This facet of his game would come in handy for United at the other end of the pitch, much like it did for Valencia.Five of Otamendi’s six league goals this campaign were headers; only Ronaldo, on 12, has netted more in La Liga.“If he [Otamendi] wants to go he will have to come to the club, not an agent, and pay what the club decide he is worth, which is €50m at least,” Valencia president Amadeo Salvo said via Twitter. Los Che are adamant they will not sell their star centre-back on the cheap and for good reason given his influential displays at the heart of their defence this season.Nevertheless, United are clearly keen to bolster at the back and have money to spend this summer in a bid to return to the summit of England’s top tier. With Depay confirmed, they would be wise to do all they can to secure the services of Otamendi if they wish to strengthen accordingly once the transfer window reopens.For more stats on reported Manchester United target Nicolas Otamendi, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page 1 Manchester United transfer target Nicolas Otamendi
James DeGale is backing his friend Steve O’Meara to become Commonwealth light-middleweight champion this weekend.Both men are products of Dale Youth boxing club in Notting Hill and as professionals have worked under trainer Jim McDonnell.McDonnell has nurtured O’Meara.And European super-middleweight champion DeGale believes O’Meara has what it takes to beat unbeaten Liverpudlian Liam Smith at the ExCel London on Saturday and win the vacant title.DeGale told West London Sport: “I’ve seen myself how much he wants it and how much work he’s put in.“I hope all that work pays off and I believe it will. I think he’s going to do it and no-one deserves it more.”O’Meara, who has won his last three fights with early knockouts, will be appearing on the undercard of fellow West Londoner George Groves’ Commonwealth super-middleweight title defence against former world champion Glen Johnson.And McDonnell, who has long been keen for O’Meara to fight for a major title, is confident his man will prevail.“With Steve we’re talking about a quality boxer who’s now also showing he’s got power to match.” said McDonnell.“The improvement in the guy has been phenomenal. When he first came he was probably the weakest guy in the gym. Not anymore.“He’s so strong these days and is ready to take his chance, no doubt about it.”West London Sport will have live updates from ExCel London during Groves and O’Meara’s title fights.See also:O’Meara stuns Toms in west London clashTrainer eyes title shot for O’MearaO’Meara aiming for title gloryO’Meara tipped for title glory in 2012Victory moves O’Meara closer to title shotSteve O’Meara v Tony Randell in picturesO’Meara to fight for Commonwealth titleGroves believes he can stop JohnsonGroves and DeGale in new war of wordsO’Meara ready to seize title chanceSteve O’Meara ‘excited’ as he prepares for his title clashWatch O’Meara and Smith weigh in ahead of their title fightDuo weigh in ahead of title 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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
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(Visited 469 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked… nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.Psalm 1 divides people into two groups: those who humbly follow God’s law, and those who mock it and disobey it. When people think they can go against what God created, it’s like jumping off a height. They can choose the action, but not the consequences.One in three youth who break the law identify as LGBTQ (MedicalExpress). In the beginning, God created humans male and female. He ordained marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Many people today, having jettisoned this common-sense principle that accords with science, feel they can “identify” as whatever they feel like at the moment. But they can’t choose the consequences. The authors of a study bend over backward to not cast homosexuals and transgenders in a bad light, but their findings shout for them:Adolescents who identified as non-heterosexual are significantly over-represented among first-time offenders, according to a new study that examined sexual orientation, gender expression and mental health among adolescents who are involved in the justice system, but are not incarcerated.The study also found that depression, self-harm, and drug and alcohol use were more prevalent among youth who identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ) or other sexual minorities, as compared with straight youth.“It would be incorrect to conclude that sexual-minority status puts a youth at increased risk of offending,” said first author Matthew Hirschtritt, MD, MPH, of the UCSF Department of Psychiatry and the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences. “But if we compare court-involved sexual minority youth with court-involved straight youth, we see more severe psychological distress and a greater likelihood of child-welfare system involvement.”Transgender individuals likely have higher risk for heart disease (Medical Xpress). In all scientific fairness, everyone is at some risk of heart disease. The issue is whether transgenders put themselves at higher risk by taking unnatural drugs to fight against their biological nature.Transgender individuals may be at higher risk for myocardial infarction and death due to cardiovascular disease, according to several studies. This increased risk may be due to the hormone therapy that transgender patients take for masculinization or feminization.On the Washington Watch radio program August 1, Tony Perkins talked with a pastor in Canada who warned that pastors and doctors can now go to prison for opposing the transgender movement, even when children are being administered hormones, contrary to the Hippocratic Oath, that can permanently harm their bodies and minds.Fear of litigation is a key factor in decision to perform C-sections (Medical Xpress). Natural childbirth is very painful for a woman, but there are reasons it is to be preferred over surgery except in extreme cases. You can thank overactive lawyers—not nature—for putting women at risk with an unnatural option:Fear of litigation and perceived safety concerns and are among the key factors influencing the decision to perform a caesarean section, according to a major international literature review conducted by researchers at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Trinity College Dublin.The rising rate of caesarean sections (CS) worldwide, despite the considerable evidence that vaginal birth is safer and associated with fewer complications, is a growing concern among women and healthcare professionals.The authors urge returning to nature:Assistant Professor Dr. Deirdre Daly, the supervisor of the Ph.D. work, added: “It is really important to understand these factors because they influence individual clinicians’ attitudes towards the natural progress of labour and spontaneous birth, even when the woman and baby are well and have no risk factors. This then leads to the decision to intervene prematurely, often without medically justifiable reasons.”Invariances in the architecture of pride across small-scale societies (PNAS). To the God-fearing person, pride is a sin to be avoided—arguably the worst of sins. “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall,” warned Solomon (Proverbs 16:13). Today, though, pride is trendy! Cities even in the Bible land of Israel have pride parades, where rebels against God’s created order flaunt their rebellion to cheers of crowds, and no one dare criticize them. To Darwinians, pride is an evolutionary strategy. This paper by 16 social Darwinists, among them Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, who are working to destroy civilization with Darwinian ethics (7/23/17), make pride out to be a good thing (or at least an amoral development in evolved populations, including humans). They studied 10 small-scale societies in Africa, looking for evolutionary games that promote hubristic leaders to prominence. No word about any harm these leaders cause to their subjects. It’s all evolutionary games. Look at the cold calculus in their amoral, Darwinian just-so story:Darwin and Marx believed that “laws of nature” favored the ruthless.In general, there are two classes of bargaining tactics organisms have available for influencing others’ choices. First, they can conditionally inflict costs—aggression; second, they can bestow (or withhold) benefits—altruism. The first causes individuals to be respected (or feared). The second causes individuals to be valued. Thus, it might be advantageous to put weight on another’s welfare, (i) because the individual is formidable and could inflict costs if not propitiated or (ii) because the individual’s actions or existence make positive fitness contributions to the valuer, which would be diminished or lost if assistance was not given. Here, we call these two components respect (for formidability) and valuation (for positive fitness contributions)—also referred to as dominance and prestige. Being respected and being favorably valued by others were resources, and selection on our ancestors would have shaped the human motivational system to cost-effectively promote access to both of those different types of resources.This kind of thinking has nothing bad to say about dictators like Robert Mugabe who have destroyed their countries and reduced their citizens to poverty, or like the Kim family in North Korea who have starved millions and continue to commit Nazi-like tortures against dissidents. To Cosmides and Tooby’s gang, evil dictators, like any other evolved animals, are just playing evolutionary fitness strategy games that work for them. A question we’d love to ask them: should they respect Donald Trump because of his dominance and prestige?Blessings to Those Who Align with the Created OrderPrayer makes families connected, unified and bonded with less relational tension (Medical Xpress). It goes without saying that the Bible often commends prayer, even commands prayer. From the very beginning, communicating with their Creator and learning from Him was Adam and Eve’s greatest delight. Secular Big Science these days often mocks or ignores “religious” exercise of any kind. Atheists mock at people who feel the need to talk to their “invisible sky daddy” instead of exercising pride in their own powers. Let them mock. They can’t deny the findings of a study published in the Journal of Family Psychology:Family prayer as a means for continuing family religious traditionsFamily prayer involves issues and concerns of individuals and the familyFamily prayer provides feelings of connectedness, unity and bondingFamily prayer helps reduce relational tensionsThe authors of the study list several specific examples of family members turning to righteousness and avoiding evil due to prayer, and experiencing more love, joy and happiness as a result.Although the religious nature of prayer was directed toward God and worship, the content of family prayers served as a valuable interpersonal communication tool for family members. Prayers often included individual as well as family issues…Many families found that regular prayer together eased relational tensions and facilitated better relationships. In resolving conflict, many participants also used prayer individually to center or restrain themselves, helping them calm down before interacting directly with family members to relieve tensions or reconcile.So if Darwinian evolution produced beings who appear to have higher fitness by engaging in this behavior, maybe some evolutionary biologists would be wiser joining them on their knees, too. Let them first hear the warning of the Apostle James, though, that God will not hear selfish hypocrites (James 1:5-7).The lifesaving power of gratitude (The Conversation). Richard Gunderman (Indiana University) is the latest of many extolling the mental health benefits of gratitude. In this case, though, he does not leave out God as a worthy recipient of our thanks. Taking the example of Robinson Crusoe, he quotes Defoe’s portrayal of the turning point when Crusoe realized that his trials had fallen on him for good:“I gave humble and hearty thanks that God had been pleased to discover to me, even that it was possible I might be more happy in this solitary condition, than I should have been a liberty of society, and all the pleasures of the world… It was now that I began sensibly to feel how much more happy this life I now led was, with all its miserable circumstances, than the wicked, cursed, abominable life I led all the past part of my days.”Of course, political correctness on a secular site like this demands that Gunderman not prefer any “faith traditions” over others, but he does acknowledge the “wisdom of religious and philosophical traditions that extend back thousands of years.”The question we would like to ask Gunderman (if he espouses Darwinian evolution) is, to what mutation he would give thanks? “I thank thee, almighty Stuff Happens Law, that good stuff happened by chance upon me,” doesn’t seem to likely to procure the health benefits of gratitude.Jesus said a tree is known by its fruits. The atheist critics who attack CEH are among the most bigoted, prideful, angry, hate-filled, mean-spirited, stuck-up, arrogant, bitter people we have ever encountered. And so we ask them, if in your view natural selection produced happy believers who follow God’s will—ones who pray, give thanks and live according to the law of the Lord—why are you attacking the fittest? That’s kind of stupid. Join them!
23 May 2006South African wheelchair racing athlete Ernst van Dyk won the Laureus Sportsperson of the Year Award for an athlete with a disability at a gala function in Barcelona on Monday.The “Oscars of sport” are awarded annually, chosen by 42 sporting greats who make up the Laureus World Sports Academy.Van Dyk won the title ahead of five other nominees: German swimmer Kirsten Bruhn; Hungarian fencer Zsuzsanna Krajnyak; Finland’s Leo-Pekka Tahti, a previous winner and also a wheelchair racer; wheelchair tennis player Esther Vergeer of the Netherlands; and Kenyan athlete Henry Wanyoike.Magnificent yearThe award put the seal on a magnificent year for South Africa’s Disabled Sportman of the Year 2005. During the course of the year, he won the Boston Marathon wheelchair race for an unprecedented fifth year in succession, as well as the New York, Paris, Seoul and Oita Marathons.He also showed himself to be versatile by winning the 400 and 800 metres in Atlanta’s Meet in the Heat.In handcycling, he won the South African Championships, the Argus Cycle Tour, the EHC Circuit Race at Spijkernisse and the Saddlers Ultra Challenge in Alaska. He also finished runner-up at the European Championship road race and time trial.Van Dyk holds the world record for the marathon. He became the first person in history to crack the magical one hour 20 minute barrier when he won the Boston Marathon in 2004.He also represented South Africa as a swimmer at the Barcelona Paralympics way back in 1992.Greatest achievementDespite this, Van Dyk rates earning a degree in sports science from the University of Stellenbosch as his number one achievement, because it made him the first disabled sportsperson to graduate with it.Van Dyk was born with congenital birth defects which resulted in him having a double amputation from the knee down.SA’s sport laureatesTwo other South Africans have won Laureus awards. The first, extreme adventurer Mike Horn, was named Laureus World Alternative Sportsperson of the Year in 2001.Horn made history in 2000 by completing the landmark Latitude 0° project, making a solo circle of the globe at the Equator without the help of motor power – covering 8 400 kilometres on foot and mountain bike and 16 142 nautical miles by trimaran for a combined total of 40 000km.Gary Player, one of the greatest golfers of all time and one of only five professionals to have won golf’s grand slam of all four major championships, became SA’s second Laureus award winner in 2003 when he was presented with a Laureus Lifetime Achievement Award.And in 2004, disabled swimmer Natalie du Toit was a Laureus nominee in the Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability category.Du Toit, whose left leg was amputated below the knee in 2001, holds disability world records for the 50m, 100m and 400m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley.Perhaps her greatest achievement, however, has been bridging the gap between able-bodied and disabled athletes.At the 2003 All-Africa Games, competing against able-bodied swimmers, Du Toit won gold in the 800 metres freestyle. At the Afro-Asian Games in the same year, up against able-bodied swimmers once more, she took silver in the 800 metres freestyle and bronze in the 400 metres freestyle.In the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, 18 years old at the time, she qualified for the 800 metres freestyle final – the first time in history that an athlete with disability had qualified for the final of an able-bodied event.Laureus Sport for Good projectsThe Laureus Sport for Good Foundation in South Africa is headed up by former Springbok rugby captain and Rugby World Cup winning manager Morne du Plessis. It is a proactive body that works in a funding and consultative capacity with other organisations.In South Africa, the Foundation is involved in a number of projects, including the Helderberg Partnership Project in Cape Town, Starfish Sport in Gauteng, Playing for Peace in Kwazulu-Natal, Project Sozo in Paarl, and the Little Champs Academy in Gauteng.The Helderberg Partnership Project, established in 1999, is a joint initiative of the Helderberg Sports Academy and Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse in Helderberg.Children between 10 and 18 receive sports coaching at the Helderberg Sports Academy, irrespective of their ability to pay, while social workers use the opportunity to raise awareness of the problem of juvenile sexual abuse.Playing for Peace’s focus is combating problems of racism and discord. The message of the project is: “Children who learn to play together can learn to live together.”Philosophy of the FoundationThis fits in perfectly with the philosophy of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which holds that people’s attitudes and prejudices can be changed by the power of sport.Starfish Sport provides holistic care for children who are orphaned as a result of HIV/Aids, with Laureus taking responsibility, along with Discovery, for funding.Project Sozo aims to counter problems of gangsterism in Paarl by providing children with an alternative source of excitement and stimulation by focusing their attention on sport.The Little Champs Academy is a national project that began in 2000 to teach children from a young age basic sporting skills and at the same time improve their learning skills.Du Plessis and Gary Player are members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which includes some of the greatest sports personalities ever to grace the playing arenas of the world – among them Franz Beckenbauer, Sergey Bubka, Ian Botham, Sean Fitzpatrick, Miguel Indurain, Jack Nicklaus, Martina Navratilova, Edwin Moses, Jack Nicklaus, Tony Hawk, Dan Marino and Viv Richards. 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Mario Mandzukic’s 59th-minute winner earned Juventus a 1-0 victory over Valencia that ensured they booked their place in the knockout rounds.The Bianconeri were stunned by Manchester United in Turin during their last group game but sealed their place in the last 16 with one game to spare on Tuesday, with Group H top spot now up for grabs on matchday six.In a game of few chances, Mandzukic scored a tap-in in the second half after Cristiano Ronaldo had worked space to steer a cross to the Croatian striker. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! United’s last-gasp win over Young Boys means Valencia are out, with no way of reaching the last 16 even if they beat Mourinho’s side at home in their final group game.@MarioMandzukic9 has now scored in all out of seasons played in the @ChampionsLeague #JuveVCF #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/O8pKwA1QSZ— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 27, 2018Juventus had been awarded two penalties in the reverse fixture with Valencia but Miralem Pjanic, the scorer of both of those spot-kicks, was denied another in the first half when he claimed he was pulled back by Geoffrey Kondogbia.The Bianconeri dominated possession but struggled to conjure up chances and Joao Cancelo’s outside-of-the-foot effort that went wide was as close as they came to a first-half goal.It was Valencia who almost took the lead on the stroke of half-time, but Wojciech Sczcesny’s brilliant one-hand save repelled Mouctar Diakhaby’s header from a corner.Juventus continued to look short of ideas until Ronaldo’s moment of magic just before the hour mark.The Portugal forward’s stepover fooled Gabriel and gave him enough space to steer across a ball that Mandzukic turned home from close range.Valencia thought they had hit straight back when Diakhaby got a touch to Dani Parejo’s near-post free-kick.However, the ball had clearly struck the defender’s outstretched arm and rather than being credited with an equaliser, Diakhaby was punished with a yellow card from referee Willie Collum.Neto denied Paulo Dybala, Ronaldo and Mandzukic a second Juve goal, but Valencia never looked like getting an equaliser at the other end as they exited the competition.FT: INTO THE #UCL LAST 16!!! #JuveVCF #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/NVP2VGS6s6— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 27, 2018 What does it mean? Juve through, but top spot not guaranteedWith Ronaldo now in their ranks, Juventus are considered one of the favourites for this competition and can now look forward to being in the last 16. However, United’s late winner means they are not yet through as group winners, with Juve holding a two-point advantage with one game to go. The Italians must win their last game to be certain of sealing top spot.Ronaldo exacts a measure of revengeRonaldo was controversially sent off against Valencia in the first meeting between the two, but he made a more positive contribution here with some fine skill to tee up Mandzukic for the winner. He also had eight shots on goal in a lively performance.Valencia’s tactics come back to haunt themValencia lacked attacking intent even after falling behind, registering only one attempt on target in the whole match. That may not have looked as costly when it was 0-0 at Old Trafford, but Marcelino’s side went out with a whimper as soon as Marouane Fellaini struck in Manchester.Key Opta Facts:- Juventus have made it past the first group stage in 12 of their last 14 Champions League campaigns.- They have kept a clean sheet in six of their last seven Champions League group games.- Valencia have now failed to get past the group stages in three of their last four Champions League appearances.- Ronaldo was on the winning side for the 100th time in the Champions League (157th game) – the first player to reach this milestone in the competition.- Mandzukic has scored at least once in all seven of his previous Champions League campaigns, netting 21 times in total.What’s next?Valencia, who host United next month, do at least have the consolation prize of Europa League football in the new year, and Juventus round off their campaign at Young Boys eyeing first place. Domestically, Juve have a trip to Fiorentina on Saturday, while Valencia will hope to move into LaLiga’s top half when they visit Real Madrid. read more