Man Utd interest was a distraction – Longstaff

first_imgNewcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff has confessed that he was “distracted” by talk of a potential transfer to Manchester United over the summer.The English ace was heavily linked with a £30 million ($37m) switch to Old Trafford while the transfer window was open, but a final deal never came to fruition.Longstaff burst onto the Premier League scene last season, impressing in nine appearances for Newcastle before being struck down with a knee ligament injury in March. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream He showed enough promise to catch Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s eye in Manchester, with the Norwegian boss favouring a transfer policy of targeting young, homegrown talent.Longstaff ultimately ended up staying at St James’ Park, but he found it difficult to concentrate on his pre-season duties amid swirling rumours over his future.He has now revealed that Magpies teammate Matt Ritchie played a key role in helping him block out the ongoing speculation.“You can sometimes get distracted by the outside noise and maybe for a little bit in the summer I was a bit,” Longstaff told Newcastle’s official website.“It’s hard not to whenever you go anywhere you see your face on the front of a newspaper and you turn the telly on people are talking about you. And it’s not like they’re talking about little things, they’re talking about things that can change your life really.“The expectation is half what I’ve done and it’s probably a good thing. It does just go to show I did impress people when I got my chance last year. So for me, it’s about not listening to them and sticking to what I do. I speak to Matty Ritchie a lot, he’s someone I lean on in the squad. He tends to keep us grounded and he’s always there with good bits of advice.“Sometimes you can get distracted by figures that are thrown out there and you’re doing things you wouldn’t normally try to do. I think I spoke to him about it and he said the reason people are speaking about you is because of what you did and keep everything so simple and ticking along and you’ve got the other stuff there if you need it.”The talented young star claims he has not yet returned to the same level he reached last season, despite earning a regular place in Steve Bruce’s set up.“I’m not back to where I was last year but I’m getting closer and closer and I think it’s just about working hard and getting back to that level,” Longstaff said. “The outside noise is something I try not to listen to. It’s always going to be there now – there’ll be more eyes on me now.”Ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Anfield to face Liverpool on Saturday, Longstaff insisted he still needs to cut out moments of “sloppiness on the ball”, adding: “I’m only going to get back to that level with games and it’s going to take a bit of time. The kind of person I am, I want to be there straight away.“The manager has given us that reassurance it’s going to take a bit of time. I know there’s things I can do better but it’s all learning and I’m still young. I’m still enjoying it, I’m still going to keep working hard on the pitch.”last_img read more

Mariners 2019 Preview: Focus on the future

first_imgMariners 2019 Preview: Focus on the future Step-back or rebuild, it’s all the same for Seattle Mariners this season By TIM BOOTH, Associated Press ON THE FARM: While the major league club will get plenty of attention, there will be more focus on the minors than previous years. Plenty of attention will be on prospects Evan White, Braden Bishop, Justin Dunn, Shed Long, Jared Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez to name a few. At the Triple-A level, pitcher Justus Sheffield and shortstop J.P. Crawford are likely to be up with the major league club by the end of the season.“Truly connected I think is the best word you can use for that and is what is going on,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “From my seat, I’ll pay more attention to it than I ever have here.” Share: Published: March 16, 2019, 9:11pm Here’s what else to watch with the 2019 Mariners:IN ROTATION: The top of Seattle’s rotation should be solid with Gonzales, Mike Leake, Wade LeBlanc and newcomer Yusei Kikuchi. Kikuchi’s arrival will be closely followed as Seattle tries to limit his total innings in his first season in the majors. Gonzales slumped late last season but had a stretch last summer where he was one of the best lefties in the AL.FAREWELL FELIX: It’s clear this will be the final season Felix Hernandez wears a Seattle uniform. He’s going to be Seattle’s No. 5 starter in the rotation, coming off a career worst 5.55 ERA in 2018, and is unhappy about his place. The bigger question is whether Hernandez has anything left to be attractive to another team, either at the trade deadline or for next season, because his time in Seattle seems to be at an end.TRADE BAIT: Part of the reason Seattle acquired Jay Bruce and Edwin Encarnacion during the offseason was to have a lineup that could still be serviceable. How long they’ll be around is another story. Seattle would like both to have a big first-half so they could be trade options by midseason and potentially land the Mariners a couple of more prospects in their rebuild plans. For now, Bruce will split time between first base and outfield, while Encarnacion will be the primary designated hitter.WAIT AND SEE: Two key starters will miss the opening series with third baseman Kyle Seager out for at least a month after hand surgery and Mallex Smith slowed by a shoulder issue. Smith could be ready when the team returns from Japan, while Seager’s injury clears up a logjam at first base for the moment with Ryon Healy moving to third base. Receive latest stories and local news in your email: By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. The Columbian is becoming a rare example of a news organization with local, family ownership. Subscribe today to support local journalism and help us to build a stronger community. Subscribe Today Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto made nine trades in the offseason, shedding the team of heavy salaries and burdensome contracts. In exchange, the club targeted 2021 as a time when they could be more than just a team stuck in the middle. Ted S. Warren/Associated Press Share: Seattle begins the season Wednesday in Tokyo with a pair of games against the Oakland Athletics, featuring a roster that is overhauled from the one that finished 2018 with 89 wins and yet again missed out on the postseason. The Mariners extended the longest playoff drought in the major pro sports.Seattle made nine trades in the offseason, shedding itself of heavy salaries and burdensome contracts. In exchange, the club targeted 2021 as a time when it could be more than just a team stuck in the middle of the American League. Seattle acquired a number of key prospects that could be ready to contribute in two years. It kept a handful of core players — Mitch Haniger, Marco Gonzales among them — who will be in their prime. And, they freed up the potential to have a significant amount of money available to spend in free agency.It makes sense. It’s also a risky proposition. If those prospects don’t hit, Seattle could find itself set back longer in its hope of again being a contender.“That gives us the opportunity to look at the world in a different way than we could before. That excites us, and I think that excited ownership,” Dipoto said. “While we can’t sit here and stick a flag in the top of the mountain saying we are the world champs in 2021, that is a more realistic goal for us now than it has been in the past.” GO SEATTLE — Throughout the offseason, the decisions made about the future of the Seattle Mariners took on different catchphrases.Whether it’s a “step-back” or a “rebuild” or a “reimagining” of Seattle’s current situation and its future hopes, the reality is for the first time in quite a while there appears to be a plan in place to perhaps get the franchise out of the purgatory of mediocrity.There’s optimism about what Seattle’s future could be, but it might result in a difficult 2019 season.“We don’t think this year is a punt,” Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto said. “We feel like we went from being stuck in the middle of the American League to being stuck in the middle of the American League with a future in front of us. That’s a better place to be.”last_img read more

Govt will have no legitimacy after Sept 18 – Jagdeo

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAG examining Opposition demands for govt to resign, dissolve ParliamentJuly 27, 2019In “Local News”Ali clarifies Govt’s “one-sided” account of Granger/Jagdeo meetingAugust 9, 2019In “latest news”MPs will not return to National Assembly to extend caretaker Govt time in office – PPPAugust 4, 2019In “latest news” Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo today (August 8, 2019) reiterated that after September 18, 2019, the caretaker Coalition Government will not have any legitimacy.His comment comes on the heels of President David Granger refusing a request by the Opposition Leader to uphold the recent ruling of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ) and constitutional provisions.On Wednesday, the Head of State responded to a letter sent by Jagdeo over two weeks ago, requesting that he and his Cabinet uphold Article 106 of the Constitution and the CCJ’s ruling and subsequent consequential orders by resigning and calling elections.But President Granger said, in response, that he will not accede to the Opposition’s request.To this end, Jagdeo reiterated that constitutional rule will end on September 18, which will be three months since the CCJ ruled that the No-Confidence Motion was validly passed against the government, giving effect to Articles 106 (6) and (7).“Constitutional rule will cease on that day. We are in unchartered waters. The government will be a usurper in office and it cannot claim necessity if it’s self-imposed… We’re making it clear that after September 18, the government does not any legitimacy. In fact, constitutional rule ends at that date in Guyana,” he told pointed out to reporters at his weekly press conference.According to the Opposition Leader, the Trinidad-based regional court’s ruling was clear and is being understood by everyone except the caretaker Coalition Government.“Any sensible person reading the Constitution, [even] a child in school can tell you what it means. The language is clear as the CCJ said. It doesn’t need to buffer the language of the Constitution, it’s unambiguous. But [the President] has decided here to say ‘I’m not complying the Constitution,” Jagdeo stated.Articles 106 (6) and (7) of the Constitution says that the President and his Cabinet shall resign after the passage of a no confidence motion and call elections within three months.At a hearing last month, the CCJ said that the constitutional actors, including the President and the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), have a responsibility to uphold the “unambiguous” provisions of the Guyana Constitution. read more