Veteran circler and a legend, Mark Taylor is of the opinion that Shane Watson should open the innings of Australian batting, while David Warner should be placed down to fifth or sixth position, in the coming Ashes series. He has even suggested certain changes in the batting order as a whole that might come as an advantage for team Australia.
His reaction has come as a sharp criticism as reinstatement of Brad Haddin as the vice-captain of Team Australia that has led serious questions about quality leadership ability in the test squad. Taylor was quick to remark that present players are seeking the game to establish their career, rather than laying stress on enhancing leadership ability that was prevalent in yesteryears.
The veteran, who served the country as Test captain, would be playing the part of commentator in the coming series. Taylor also made several observations. Accordingly, the team management might take the final call after watching the players’ performance in a few county games before the series. However, he made clear that Shane Watson, who is struggling for sometime, is actually unable to decide his batting position.
A batsman of such stature should be given the freedom to choose the position where he feels comfortable. This would even pave way for a bright future for the team.
The veteran test captain has also maintained that playing Watson at middle order would also prove fatal since the player has to come in handy in both batting and bowling aspect for his team. He has even rated Watson to be the best player in the current team, after Michael Clark.
Taylor has even put his weight behind bowling credibility of Watson and opines that he should be given a few spells in crucial junction of the matches. He has even criticized Australian management’s stance of giving over importance to Michael Clark. According to Taylor, Michael Clarke’s time is over and he has nothing else to prove, other than focusing on his batting and fielding capabilities and contributing to his side.
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Few people would question the belief that Celtic have had a significantly easier domestic campaign this time around, after fierce rivals Rangers were relegated right to the bottom of the Scottish pyramid due to financial woes. However, while they may have had it easier on that level, from a European point of view they have beaten the odds and performed admirably. Even though Neil Lennon’s side were comprehensively beaten in their recent game against Juventus, the very fact they had progressed to the last sixteen of the Champions League shocked most of the football world. Their journey included a memorable 2-1 victory over Barcelona, with this being pivotal in their qualification from an almightily difficult Group G.
Taking the above into account, it is clear from the outset that the Hoops have some exceptional talent within their squad. Unfortunately, Neil Lennon and chief executive Peter Lawwell have already indicated that there is a big chance that some of the better players could depart, with the lure of football in a more prestigious league being quite tempting for many. Therefore, here is an overview of three of Celtic’s biggest stars – the ones that could be poached anytime soon.
Arguably the pick of the Hoops bunch is striker Gary Hooper. Hooper made his name in the English Championship, becoming one of the top goal scorers in the division for a struggling Scunthorpe team. He switched to Celtic Park in 2010 and is thought to have cost the club around £2.4m.
There’s no question that this was money well spent and he has already managed to score seventy four times since his switch. This has comfortably made him the best striker in Scotland and having already bagged twenty three this term, there’s no doubt that he’s continuing his great form.
Some would argue that Celtic have been lucky to hold onto the 25-year-old this season, after Norwich had three bids rejected in January. One was understood to be in the region of £7m and taking this into account, you just have to wonder how long the club can hold their resolve. There have been talks of an England call-up in the past for Hooper, but you’d have to imagine that he’ll have to make the switch to the Premiership if he is to succeed in his international aspirations.
At the other end of the field is Victor Wanyama, a young defender who is also seeing his reputation within the game soar. A Kenyan international, Wanyama came to international prominence this term following his goal for Celtic in their victory over Barcelona.
Wanyama is widely regarded as one of the most robust defenders around and as the player also holds incredible versatility, Neil Lennon has used him as a holding midfielder from time to time. Many people are also surprised to see Wanyama’s goal prowess considering his position, with the Belgium player already bagging eight goals this term.
Unfortunately, Wanyama is a man who is all but certainly going to leave Celtic Park in the near future. He’s rejected a new contract from the club and with his agent already stating that Celtic cannot meet his wage demands, his exit could be sooner rather than later. A host of English sides have been interested, with Manchester United and Arsenal the main suitors.
This is another player that has already tried his luck in England, with Joe Ledley forging his reputation during a long spell at Cardiff several years ago. He opted to switch to the Hoops in 2010 and he has continued his good form, playing a key role in the club’s success over the years. He has been a constant thorn in the side of various defences up and down the country, with his 22 goals since his arrival being impressive to say the least.
While Ledley has not yet rejected a new deal, the odds of him remaining at the club appear to be getting weaker. His current contract expires in the summer and with no discussions currently held, many believe that he will make a switch to the Premier League at the end of the current campaign. Ledley’s past makes the situation even more concerning for Celtic fans, as he famously walked out on Cardiff at the end of his contract – leaving them without any compensation as he chose to play in Scotland.
The GNK Dinamo Zagreb and the Paris Saint-German players were unified in their praise of Ibrahimovic after the Swedish international set up all the four goals for the French club to take them closer to the last 16, of the most valued European Leagues, UEFA Champions League.
Josip Simunic, the Croatian defender did not found any words to describe the extra ordinary skills of the 31-year-old, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and said him, “Really top class”.
The dejected defender also added that, “They did everything, what they could have done but simply it was not enough.”
From, the very start of the match PSG went on an offensive note in the search for their second victory over the Croatian team in the Group A encounter.
PSG did not have to wait long for the opening goal and it came off from Alex in the 16th minute. Ibrahimovic was instrumental behind the goal as he delivered a well directed corner in to the box, and the Brazilian defender, Alex put the ball in the back of the neat with a clean header, beating the goalkeeper, Ivan Kelava.
Dinamo Zagreb did well after the initial strike from PSG and conceded no more goals till the half-way of the match. Both the team went into the dressing room in the half-time, with PSG leading by a single goal.
With the restart of the play in the second half Dinamo went in search for a goal to avoid the fourth successive defeat in Group A.
The hosts straight away decided that much more creativity is needed in the midfield, and they made a substitution in the 46th minute to bring their most prolific playmaker Marco Verratti in place of Sissoko.
PSG had to wait till the hour mark for their second goal. In the 61st minute it was again the brilliance of Ibrahimovic, seasoned player of several European Leagues to provide the required assist for the goal.
The goal was scored by Blaise Matudi from a close range.
After the goal Dinamo made a change to bring in fresh pair of legs and in the 62nd minute Cop was brought in place of Simunic.
The change did not seem to affect the course of the game and PSG made 3-0 in the 65th minute. Again, the main man behind the goal was Ibrahimovic who send in the pass and Menez scored.
The goal feast was not over and in the 80th minute Hoarau scored from Ibrahimovic’s pass to make it 4-0. After that, there were no more goals and PSG defeated Dinamo 4-0.