Cesc Fabregas 1 Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas insists he has not doubted himself during the Blues’ poor start to the season.Jose Mourinho’s side are already 11 points behind Manchester City in the title race but perked up with a comfortable win in the Champions League on Wednesday, albeit against minnows Maccabi Tel-Aviv.Fabregas – after a brilliant impact last season – has received personal criticism for the club’s poor start but has not let it affect him.“I believe in myself more than anyone,” the former Arsenal man said. “Everyone has their doubts when you are not playing well and you don’t get the results you want, but I have been playing too long to worry about stuff that is not important. What is important is my form, getting that better and to be confident.“My confidence is always high, that is not a problem, but sometimes things don’t go well for you for many reasons. But as soon as we realise, like we did in this game [against Maccabi] that we are a fantastic football team, we can compete against the top teams. We won a lot last year and we have to show it this year.”
Chelsea have issued a statement insisting Jose Mourinho retains the club’s full backing.Mourinho has found himself under pressure after a disastrous start to the season, which has left the Blues sitting 16th in the Premier League.Saturday’s defeat to Southampton was their fourth in the league this season and there were claims of crisis talks between the manager and owner Roman Abramovich following the game.Following the 3-1 reverse, Mourinho said he would only quit if he lost the backing of the players, with club captain John Terry stating the dressing room remained firmly behind the Portuguese coach.And Chelsea have now offered Mourinho a public vote of confidence in a bid to quash speculation over his future.A Chelsea statement read: “The club wants to make it clear that Jose continues to have our full support.“As Jose has said himself, results have not been good enough and the team’s performances must improve. However, we believe that we have the right manager to turn this season around and that he has the squad with which to do it.” 1 Jose Mourinho
Roma are keen on a January deal for Stoke City winger Ibrahim Afellay.The Dutchman only moved to the Britannia Stadium in the summer after his contract with Barcelona expired.However, since making the switch, the 29-year-old has failed to establish himself as a regular under Mark Hughes.And that, according to Corriere dello Sport, has ignited interest from Roma as the January transfer window draws ever closer.The Italian club wanted Afellay in the summer but missed out to Stoke after holding talks with the player.However, Roma now believe the former PSV star could be persuaded to make a u-turn and head to the Italian capital this January in search of first-team football. Ibrahim Afellay 1
Jonjo Shelvey England midfielder Jonjo Shelvey wants to remain part of Swansea’s battle for Barclays Premier League survival, caretaker manager Alan Curtis has insisted.Shelvey has fallen out of favour at Swansea in recent weeks and been linked with a move in the January transfer window, with Crystal Palace and Newcastle reportedly keen on the 23-year-old Londoner.The former Liverpool player did start Swansea’s goalless draw at Palace on Monday, but he was substituted early in the second half after an underwhelming performance.“There’s been questions asked about Jonjo’s attitude but in the couple of weeks I’ve been in charge he’s been excellent,” Curtis said.“There’s going to be a lot of speculation about Jonjo, he’s out of the side at the moment and he’s a current England international.“I guess people are putting two and two together that if he’s not in the team he will move in January.“But I’ve spoken to Jonjo and he wants to play a part at the club and, unless things change, I expect him to be with us through January.“He played on Monday and was disappointing, but if you look at his form you’ve got to look at the entire team as well for most of the season.“I feel it’s a matter of time with Jonjo, potentially he’s a great player and the class will always come through at the end.”Only bottom-placed Aston Villa have scored fewer goals than Swansea and Curtis admits that scoring more remains the team’s priority in the second half of the season.France striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who has scored only once in his last 15 appearances and is another who has lost his place in recent weeks, has been linked with a January move to Qatari club Lekhwiya.Gomis’ departure could finance at least one new striker for Swansea in the transfer window but Curtis insists it is a case of adding numbers to the current squad, not diminishing it in any way.“I hope he (Gomis) will stay,” Curtis said.“You see the speculation in the papers but the chairman certainly hasn’t mentioned players going to me.“We probably need to bolster the squad, I’m not sure if we need to allow people to go out the door the other way.” 1
Andy Gray is edging towards a Liverpool win in Sunday’s Premier League showdown with Manchester United.The two rivals clash at Anfield on Sunday lunchtime and Gray expects Jurgen Klopp’s side to cause the visitors plenty of problems.Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Gray said: “I’m really looking forward to this one. It will be the big one of the weekend.“These two are the giants of English football. Maybe they are not where they were ten years ago, but they are still huge clubs in world football.“I think United have improved slightly and will fancy their chances. But I just think Liverpool, if they can keep it tight at the back, they can trouble Manchester United an awful lot at the weekend.”Tune into talkSPORT on Sunday for live and exclusive national radio coverage of Liverpool v Manchester United, kick-off 14:05
West Ham could be without three defenders for Saturday’s trip to relegation candidates Norwich City.Slaven Bilic’s side endured a gruelling 120 minutes in their FA Cup fourth-round replay victory against Liverpool on Tuesday and defensive duo Winston Reid and Joey O’Brien were forced off with hamstring injuries in the second half.Bilic also confirmed the Hammers will be without James Tomkins for five weeks as a result of the calf strain he sustained against Southampton.“We have a situation with Winston Reid and Joey O’Brien,” said Bilic.“They did their hamstrings [against Liverpool] and they will undergo scans today and then we’ll know how long it will take for them to come back. We also have Tomkins who is out for five weeks after the Southampton game.“That’s three defenders to be fair so in that department it’s not a great situation.” West Ham manager Slaven Bilic 1
SECURITY: Bush defends questioning and detainment of terrorism supsects in brief meeting at the Oval Office. By Jennifer Loven THE ASSOCIATED PRESS WASHINGTON – President Bush defended his administration’s methods of detaining and questioning terrorism suspects Friday, saying both are successful and lawful. The White House said Mukasey has not been cleared to read the classified documents Levin requested. The two Justice Department legal opinions from 2005 were disclosed in Thursday’s editions of The New York Times, which reported that the first opinion authorized the use of painful methods, such as head slaps, freezing temperatures and simulated drownings known as waterboarding, in combination.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City“When we find somebody who may have information regarding a potential attack on America, you bet we’re going to detain them, and you bet we’re going to question them,” he said during a hastily called Oval Office appearance. “The American people expect us to find out information, actionable intelligence so we can help protect them. That’s our job.” Bush volunteered his thoughts on a report on two secret 2005 memos that authorized extreme interrogation tactics against terror suspects. “This government does not torture people,” Bush said. Meanwhile, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., demanded a copy of a third Justice Department memo justifying military interrogations of terror suspects held outside the United States. In a letter to Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey, Levin wrote that two years ago he requested – and was denied – the March 14, 2003, legal opinion. Levin asked if Mukasey would agree to release the opinion if the Senate confirms him as attorney general, and cited what he described as a history of the Justice Department stonewalling Congress. “Such failures and the repeated refusal of (the Department of Justice) to provide Congress with such documents has prevented the Congress from fulfilling its constitutional responsibilities to conduct oversight,” Levin wrote.
SOUTH BAY: School officials hope to improve treatment for children with respiratory illness. By Melissa Evans STAFF WRITER Los Angeles school officials agreed Tuesday to spend $1 million in bond money to boost mobile health clinics that provide medical services for uninsured children in the South Bay and Harbor Area. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The expansion of the health clinics will include 26 schools in Gardena, Carson and the Harbor Area, where respiratory illness and the lack of health insurance to treat problems associated with it has been a problem. “This project is going to have a sweeping impact on the district,” said Paul Escala, director of Joint Use Development for the Los Angeles Unified School District. The $1 million from Measure Y, a $3.98billion construction and modernization bond issue approved by voters in November 2005, will be used to pay for technology and other permanent infrastructure such as concrete pads where the clinics can park. Mobile clinics from the Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America and Little Company of Mary-San Pedro Hospital will now be able to connect to electricity instead of having to use a generator, and will be able to use telephone and Internet connections to keep better databases on student health records. “This will really improve our efficiency,” said Jim Tehan, director of community health for Little Company of Mary, which provides immunization and basic health services to eight schools in the Harbor Area through its Healthy Start program. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation’s Breathmobiles rotate weekly to more than two dozen local schools in the Harbor Area and elsewhere to treat respiratory problems. Children in San Pedro and Wilmington have higher rates of asthma and allergies because of their proximity to industrial fumes from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, studies have shown. Asthma is the leading cause of absenteeism among L.A. Unified students, affecting about 63,000 children, according to the district. The foundation and the hospital have provided free health services to the schools for several years; they will each chip in another $500,000 for more clinics, nurses and other staff needed to run them. Tuesday’s unanimous Los Angeles school board decision to use bond money marked the first monetary investment on the part of the district to support the clinics. An estimated 5,000 more children will be served with the expansion of the program, officials say. “Until we pass universal health care, this is good for our community,” said board member Richard Vladovic, who represents the Harbor Area. “Anything we can do to make us healthier helps the economy, helps children and it helps our society.” In the past 10 years of serving these areas, schools have seen the absentee rate among students drop from 30 percent to 10percent, said Felita Jones, director of the Breathmobile program. The Healthy Start clinic at Barton Hill Elementary School in San Pedro, where 98 percent of students fall below the federal poverty line, helps keep kids in the classroom, Principal Lou Mardesich said. Students who are referred by the school nurse, along with their siblings or parents who don’t have insurance, can use the clinic every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to noon. No one is turned away, health officials say. “It’s a great service,” Mardesich said. “Students can’t even enroll without their vaccinations.” The new infrastructure will be completed on a schedule that has yet to be determined, but likely by spring of 2008, Escala said. Staff writer Paul Clinton contributed to this article. [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
USC coach Pete Carroll said he did not think Baker would play. Butch Lewis is scheduled to start at left tackle, but Charles Brown is a possibility after returning from a sprained ankle. “Charles battled really well,” Carroll said. “He was ahead of Butch Lewis when he got hurt.” also Painful memory Fullback Stanley Havili still blames himself for a fumble against Oregon that led to a crucial Ducks touchdown. “It’s still taking its toll on me,” Havili said. “There’s not a day or hour I haven’t thought about it. It was really hard this past weekend emotionally for me.” Havili also fumbled against Idaho. “It was careless plays,” he said. “You always need to hold on to the ball with two hands in traffic, especially on third-and-one. I’ve made some crucial mistakes.” Penalty bias? Carroll complained for the third time this week about the lack of penalties against teams that play USC. After USC researched it, Trojans opponents ranked 10th in penalties for the last four seasons. Carroll even called Pac-10 supervisor of officials David Cutaia on Wednesday. “He had no explanation,” Carroll said. “I have no explanation for it either. I’ve told our guys for years to expect it. We have to overcome our problems and play over and above it. We still don’t make it a big issue with the players. They might know it after you write it.” Although Carroll said he’s known about it for years, he did not publicly complain until now, perhaps because USC is off to its worst start in five years. Cutaia is in his first year as supervisor of officials. He was suspended for a game last season after being part of the officiating crew that worked the Oregon-Oklahoma game that ended in controversy. Good velocity, better aim Quarterback John David Booty said his passes were accurate and did not sail on him during practice, unlike last week, which makes Carroll’s decision to start him easier. “I feel I do have better accuracy,” Booty said. “For the most part, when I did throw I was throwing in-between defenses. It didn’t seem like it was sailing. It had great spin and I was putting it right on guys.” [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“I just wanted to know what that meant,” Baker said. “I didn’t think it was called for and I didn’t understand it.” Baker did not name the teammate, but said it was unwarranted. “It’s not completely surprising because people want attention,” Baker said. Baker, meanwhile, said doctors advised him not to play Saturday because of a partially torn hamstring. “It was a little rough (Wednesday),” Baker said. “We’ll see (today).” By Scott Wolf Staff Writer USC offensive tackle Sam Baker is a team captain this season, so it made sense he took offense to a teammate’s comment over the weekend criticizing the play calling. Following the loss to Oregon, a USC player said the Trojans’ playbook was on the Internet “for $9.95.”
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Palisades, Venice and Taft (the defending City champion) grabbed the top three seeds in descending order. San Pedro’s lone loss in the City Section came at the beginning of the season to Palisades, but it looks to have an excellent shot of putting together a deep postseason run. Carson, which enjoyed a bit of a renaissance by reclaiming second place in the Marine League, earned the No. 8 seed and opens at home with No. 25 Manual Arts. No. 17 Narbonne travels to No. 16 Cleveland, and No. 26 King-Drew treks to No. 7 Bell. The winners from the first round advance to the championship bracket and the losers form the invitational bracket. The finals for all divisions are Saturday, Nov. 17, at Occidental College. From staff reports The San Pedro girls volleyball team earned the No. 4 seed at the L.A. City Section playoff seedings meeting on Tuesday night at Hamilton High, leading a group of four Marine League schools into the City Championships. San Pedro is trying to advance to its fourth straight City title match and will be seeking its third City title in four years. San Pedro opens the playoffs at home against No.29 South East. All first-round matches will be Thursday at 7 p.m. at the site of the better seed. In the Bay League … Redondo 3, Palos Verdes 0: Megan Saraceno had nine kills and eight digs in a 25-13, 25-18, 25-17 home win. Molly Goldbach added four kills and 11 digs. Lauren Allen recorded 19 assists and five digs for Redondo (25-5, 8-1). Mira Costa 3, Leuzinger 0: Jackie Gardner had nine kills to lead host Mira Costa in a 25-5, 25-5, 25-1 win. Erica Lau and Kristin Beals each added six kills for Mira Costa (28-0, 9-0). Peninsula 3, West Torrance 0: Kylie Tarpening led visiting Peninsula with 13 kills, 11 digs and four aces in a 25-18, 25-21, 25-22 win. Laura Day had six kills, nine digs and two aces for West (12-15, 1-8). In the Prep League … Chadwick 3, Mayfield 0: Michelle McCarthy had 17 kills, four aces and 28 digs to rally host Chadwick in its 23-25, 21-25, 26-24, 27-25, 17-15 win. Casey Reed added 10 kills and 29 digs for Chadwick (11-3, 9-3). Mayfield (11-1 in league) is the top-ranked team in its division. In the Pioneer League . . . El Segundo 3, Lawndale 0: Jen Stutzel led host El Segundo with 10 kills and four aces in its 25-11, 25-9, 25-14 win. Toni Alugbue had eight kills for El Segundo (5-10, 4-5). Torrance 3, Centennial 0: Maral Satari led host Torrance with six kills and four aces in a 25-5, 25-8, 25-10 victory. Heather Garza had five kills and 10 aces for Torrance (17-9, 6-3). In a nonleague match … Vistamar 3, St. Anthony 0: Lucy Tauber had 11 kills in a 25-15, 25-18, 25-17 win for host Vistamar (11-5). Leanne Gutierrez swept in singles as Pioneer League champion South Torrance posted an 11-7 win over visiting North Torrance. Esther Kim also swept in singles for South (11-7, 8-0). North is 13-6 overall, 6-3 in league. Also in the Pioneer League . . . El Segundo 12, Torrance 6: The doubles teams of Hoa Tran-Hope Schaffer, Kiki Onaga-Sanam Madhab and Elisa Buckner-Jamie Burkhard each swept their sets for host El Segundo. Yan Thanh Tran won two of three sets for Torrance (1-12, 0-9). In the Bay League . . . Mira Costa 11, Peninsula 7: Nicole Gibbs dropped two points, sweeping her three sets to help host Mira Costa (15-5, 6-2) clinch second place in league. Cze-Ja Tam won two singles sets for Peninsula (13-7, 4-4). Palos Verdes 14, West Torrance 4: Jasmine Moezzi won her three singles sets at love for host Palos Verdes. Wendy Whitcombe also swept her three singles sets for Palos Verdes (17-3, 8-0). In the Prep League … Chadwick 13, Mayfield 5: Cait Bartlett and Miya Jin swept their three singles sets to help visiting Chadwick (10-4, 8-0) clinch the Prep League. In the Del Rey League Tournament . . . Bishop Montgomery’s Melanie Scott defeated teammate Lauren Williams in a semifinal at Whittier Narrows to move on to the final. Bishop Montgomery’s doubles teams of Tori Pueblos-Yoshimi Yoshida and Christine Daniels-Genevieve Bever will meet in Thursday’s final. In the Olympic League doubles tournament … The CAMS doubles teams of Kemi Oyewole-Gabriele Newman and Maya Parker-Haley Costigan both won their semifinal matches at Brentwood. The final is Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Girls tennis Boys water polo Mike Katzer scored five goals to help host Palos Verdes edge Redondo, 10-9, in the Bay League. Michal Halac added three goals for Palos Verdes (14-7, 4-3). Ryan Vint led Redondo (10-11, 1-5) with five goals.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!