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Closing the gap

first_imgMortality rates after cancer surgery declined for Black as well as white patients during a recent 10-year period, although the mortality gap between the two groups did not narrow, according to new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard University investigators.The findings, published online today by JAMA Network Open, present a mixed picture for health care policymakers: While postsurgical mortality rates have fallen for patients generally, more targeted efforts are needed to reduce disparities between Black and white patients undergoing such surgery, study authors say.“Black Americans are likely to be diagnosed with more advanced cancer than whites and, historically, have had higher mortality rates following cancer surgery,” said lead author Miranda Lam of Dana-Farber, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and Harvard Medical School. “Hospitals have put a variety of policies in place to improve surgical cancer care over the past 15 years. This study provided an opportunity to gauge the effects of those measures for patients in general and for Black and white [people] specifically.”Investigators used national Medicare data to examine the trends in mortality rates for the years 2007-2016 in Black and white patients who had undergone surgery for any of nine major types of cancer. (The racial group was determined by patients’ self-identification in Medicare documentation.) The data covered 870,929 cancer operations in all.The researchers found that national mortality trends following cancer surgery improved for Black and white patients by 0.12 percent and 0.14 percent per year, respectively. Because mortality rates for Black patients were higher to begin with than for white patients, the equal decline in rates for both groups meant the gap between them did not shrink.“The findings tell us that even though policies designed to improve cancer surgery outcomes are working better for all patients, none of them have been specific enough to close the gap in mortality between Black and white [people],” Lam said. “It’s possible that part of the gap may be due to upstream and/or downstream issues from the surgery itself, such as late referrals which may lead to late presentation at time of surgery, fragmented follow-up after discharge, and limited resources in the community, and that different policies and interventions may be needed to address disparities in cancer surgery.”The senior author of the study is Jose F. Figueroa of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s, and Harvard Medical School. Co-authors are Katherine Raphael and Jessica Phelan of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Winta T. Mehtsun, E. John Orav, and Ashish K. Jha of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Brigham and Women’s, and Harvard Medical School.last_img read more

India pursue series victory in St Lucia

first_img… but West Indies out to stop them in today’s third TestIT was the fightback the West Indies team desperately needed. It was the fightback the series needed, too. India were on course to another thumping win against West Indies in Jamaica before a Roston Chase-led fightback helped the hosts stave off defeat and keep the series alive.Now, in St Lucia’s Darren Sammy Stadium for the third Test starting today, West Indies start off with the belief that they can make something special happen.India, still going into the game as strong favourites, will know that West Indies aren’t the mere pushovers they seemed to be in the inaugural Test.India currently lead the four-Test series 1-0, and with two games remaining, the Test at St Lucia takes a lot of significance.A win for India will seal the series for the visitors and allow them to go for the jugular at Port of Spain, while a win for the home side will give them a shot at winning the series in the final Test.India look a well-oiled machine with most departments working their way they want it to. None of the batsmen appear to be struggling for form, while the bowlers, despite the struggle on Day 5 in Jamaica, have been on top for most of the time. In fact, India face a problem of plenty leading up to the third Test.Murali Vijay, if fit, will fight for a spot along with KL Rahul, who hit a fine hundred in Jamaica, and Shikhar Dhawan. Ravindra Jadeja has been warming the benches for both Tests, and could be a viable option should Virat Kohli decide he wants the extra spinner.West Indies, on the other hand, have dropped the out-of-form Rajendra Chandrika and picked Shai Hope in his place. Hope, however, will stay on the sidelines, with Leon Johnson coming in to open.The young and promising Alzarri Joseph is also waiting in the wings and will be raring to go if handed his Test debut.The pitch at St Lucia seems to have an even grass cover on it, but the reading of it has been contrasting. While Virat Kohli reckons that the pitch is very similar to the one in Antigua and should thus help the batters, Jason Holder feels the pitch is one of the best in the Caribbean for the pacers and they should revel on such a track.Today will prove who is right, or if both are wrong.Ravichandran Ashwin needs 11 more wickets to become the 11th Indian bowler to take 200 Test wickets. If he gets there in this Test, he will be the fastest ever to the landmark, breaking the 80-year-old record held by Clarrie Grimmett, who achieved the feat in 36 Tests.– Darren Bravo has just one fifty in his last ten innings at home. His scores read 9, 82, 19, 5, 14, 11, 11, 10, 0 and 20 (most recent).– West Indies have never lost a Test in Gros Islet – winning one and drawing three. They drew their only Test played against India here in 2006 after conceding a first-innings lead of 373.– India will be playing their 250th Test match away from home, the fourth team to the mark after England, Australia and West Indies.last_img read more

Kumble resigns as India’s head cricket coach

first_imgShare on: WhatsApp New Delhi, India | AFP |  Anil Kumble has stepped down as India’s head coach after a year-long term that ended with his team’s defeat in the final of the Champions Trophy, the Indian cricket board said Tuesday.“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirms that Mr Anil Kumble has withdrawn his services as the post of the Head Coach for the Senior India Men’s team,” said a board statement.“While the Cricket Advisory Committee had endorsed an extension to his tenure as Head Coach, Mr Anil Kumble has decided not to continue as the coach,” the statement added.Kumble’s decision to quit comes after a reported rift between him and captain Virat Kohli, with the BCCI advertising his job before the marquee 50-over trophy competition.The BCCI had urged Kumble to carry on as coach until the end of a West Indies tour starting June 23, but the former India captain did not travel with the team that left from England on Tuesday.Kumble, who is chairman of the International Cricket Council, remained in London for its ongoing annual conference.The BCCI has denied any rift in the Indian camp. However local media has reported that BCCI officials met Kumble and Kohli in London to try and resolve the spat. The 46-year-old Kumble, who was put in charge of coaching last June, helped India reclaim the number one ranking.“We wish to place on record our sincere appreciation for the immense contribution by Anil Kumble to the team which enabled India to attain the No.1 Test position,” acting BCCI secretary Amitabh Choudhary said.“Indian cricket needs his continued contribution in various capacities and wishes him all the best in his future endeavour.”The BCCI has retained the rest of its coaching staff for the West Indies series with MV Sridhar, general manager cricket operations, supervising the team management.India, who lost an embarrassing final against Pakistan on Sunday, will play five one-day internationals in the Caribbean, with a Twenty20 international wrapping up the trip on July 9.last_img read more

Is the BCCI sidestepping women’s cricket?

first_imgAdvertisement bmNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs6a0Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E9yiol9( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) g0iWould you ever consider trying this?😱az4Can your students do this? 🌚2n70Roller skating! Powered by Firework In the summer of 2017 in England, the Indian women’s cricket team reached the World Cup final and fell short by just nine runs from being World Champions.Advertisement Three years later, in Australia, the eves showed glimpses of their huge potential again – yet another final berth, yet another title went away by a whisker!Gone are the days, when women’s cricket was considered futile with little to show for. Just like the Men’s team, the Indian women’s team have shown great promise and have gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years.Advertisement Last week, IPL chairman Brijesh Patel confirmed that the IPL 2020 will take place in the deserts of the UAE, thus putting women’s cricket on the back-burner. There will be no IPL exhibition matches for women this year as it clearly does not interest the BCCI. In addition, the BCCI has pulled the eves out of the tour of England citing logistical challenges and travel restrictions.So women’s cricket is not worth going the extra mile while the men cricketers will get a red-carpet treatment in the UAE. Can we sense some double-standards here?!Advertisement Indian women’s team during the women’s Twenty20 World Cup cricket tournament in Australia.The brighter sideThe steady growth of women’s cricket in India can be attributed to the strong cricket infrastructure in India. The past decade has seen cricket become more professional, better organised as financially viable for women cricketers.The mushrooming of cricket academies across the country has given more opportunities for budding cricketers to undergo proper training. This has resulted in a surge of talented cricketers emerging and a pool of women cricketers all over the country.However, talent turns into potential only with the exposure, and the BCCI must ensure that women’s cricket gets its due with a properly chalked up calendar for them. The women cricketers can’t just sit idle while men enjoy the riches of the IPL.Given the fact that Indian women haven’t played any cricket since the T20 World Cup in March, and may not do so until next year, the WBBL could be their only realistic chance of playing competitive cricket till March 2021.Players speakAs legendary player Mithali Raj put it a fortnight ago, Indian women’s cricket seems to be heading in the wrong direction. “Unfortunately, women’s cricket may have been set back by a couple of years by this pandemic as some of the momentum that had been built between India’s success in World Cup 2017 and World T20 2020 has been lost,” she had said.Meanwhile, Shantha Rangaswamy, the BCCI Apex council member has tried to play down the notion that women’s cricket receives inferior treatment from the BCCI.Rangaswmay suggested that the BCCI’s commitment towards women’s cricket should not be questioned. Women’s cricket right now stands at a crosspoint with no selection panel in place and uncertainty over the future matches, given the fact that 50 over World Cup is not far off.“The post-COVID-19 scenario will be a testimony to their commitment to women’s cricket. People doubting BCCI’s intentions will have to wait for things to be normal before passing their judgement. The situation was not in their control on this occasion,” the 66-year old Rangaswamy commented.Former India skipper Anjum Chopra too is of the opinion that women’s cricket deserves more exposure and a bio-secure training facility would do a world of good for the confidence of the current crop.“The squad could have gotten together at a venue like Dharamsala or Ahmedabad and started training in isolation. Most international teams are back in training barring India,” Chopra explained.The futureThe next ODI Women’s World Cup, if everything goes according to plan will be held in New Zealand in February 2021. And given the significance of the quadrennial event, the BCCI needs to have specific training and preparation plan for the eves. The Indian women have qualified directly for the tournament and would hope to go one better and clinch their first-ever World Cup.In New Zealand, where wickets are hard and true, finger spinner can be meat and drink and the Indian setup, which women’s team coach WV Raman will be mindful of. Since Raman took over as the head coach, the team has made remarkable progress. Raman had a tricky task of setting the house in order without having to ruffle any feathers, but he has brought about a change in the mentality in the team and transformed the team in a winning unit.All he needs is some supporting hand from the BCCI which in turn might work wonders for women’s game in India. We can talk over Virat Kohli’s cover drives or Rohit Sharma’s sparkling tons from dawn to dusk but do we really care to think about women’s cricket with the same zeal?It’s about time things change within the BCCI, and women’s cricket is given the respect and the attention it deserves!ALSO READ:Virat Kohli reveals how he prepares for bowlers in international cricket Advertisementlast_img read more


first_img-30- SPEEDY DEMONICA MAKES STAKES DEBUT IN IRISH O’BRIENDemonica makes her debut on Santa Anita’s unique downhill turf course when she runs in Saturday’s $100,000 Irish O’Brien Stakes at about 6 ½ furlongs–a race which is part of the Golden State series for California-bred or sired fillies and mares, age four and up.It will also mark the stakes debut for the California-bred daughter of First Defence trained by John Sadler for the C R K Stable. She is coming off four straight grass races at a mile or longer, winning twice on the front end, as is her wont.“I don’t know if there’s much speed in there, but she’ll probably be in front,” said Joe Talamo, who has ridden her in her last four races and retains the mount Saturday. “Last time she ran well but that was when the turf was real soft from recent rain. She still held on pretty well (finishing fourth by three lengths), so I think she’ll like the cutback in distance.”The Irish O’Brien: Bert’s Melody, Brice Blanc, 8-1; Demonica, Joe Talamo, 6-1; Warren’s Gussie, Edwin Maldonado, 6-1; Go West Marie, Gary Stevens, 2-1; Qiaona, Rafael Bejarano, 6-1; Velvet Mesquite, Mike Smith, 9-5; and Star Field, Tiago Pereira, 6-1. Elvis Trujillo16419191312%$1,114,650 Fernando Perez14414171410%$632,810 Jeff Bonde2990331%$322,480 Richard Mandella4888917%$561,916 Richard Baltas54129422%$478,028 Martin Garcia11123151221%$1,690,580 Mike Smith8617191220%$2,071,181 FINISH LINES: Trainer Steve Knapp plans to give Grade III Las Flores winner Harlington’s Rose a slight break after her win under Joe Talamo Sunday and look for a race late next month. “There are no races for her now anyway,” said Knapp, whose previous graded stakes win came when $50,000 claim Icantgoforthat took the Grade II Monrovia Stakes in 2003 . . . Tom Quigley‘s guest handicappers this weekend in the East Paddock Gardens at 11:20 a.m. will be Peter Fornatale, Daily Racing Form Contest Editor, Saturday, and Jonathon Kinchen, seventh-place finisher ($59,000) in the 2015 NHC event, Sunday . . . Through 44 racing days, perennial Southern California riding champ Rafael Bejarano has opened his biggest lead yet in Santa Anita’s standings, 50-29 over runners-up Kent Desormeaux and Tyler Baze . . . Eerie racing rarity: Crimson Giant, owned by Bryan Carney who recently sold his popular watering hole called “The Hundred to One Club,” finished 13th and last in Saturday’s Santa Anita Handicap. No surprise there. Beaten more than 31 lengths, the same margin by which Secretariat won the 1973 Belmont Stakes, Crimson Giant went off at odds of–you guessed it–100-1. Tyler Baze22229232713%$1,611,754 Victor Espinoza14226282018%$1,791,408 (Current Through Sunday, March 8) Kent Desormeaux14929271819%$1,638,860 John Sadler9412151313%$812,066 Gary Stevens8313131416%$1,230,648 ‘SHIP AND WIN’ PROGRAM EXPANDS IN CALIFORNIA APRIL 2“Ship and Win,” an incentive program to attract out-of-state horses to race in California that met with fine success over the past four seasons at Del Mar, will expand to take in the entire Southern California racing circuit beginning April 2.The arrangement, which will apply to horses starting at Santa Anita, Los Alamitos and Del Mar, will guarantee a $1,000 appearance fee and a 30 percent enhancement to all purse money earned in their initial start for horses not raced in California the past 12 months.Funding for the program will come from the three Southern California racetracks, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Marketing Committee, which is tasked with promoting racing in the state.“Horse recruitment and increasing field size are top priorities for TOC,” said Joe Morris, the ownership group’s president. “We supported the ‘Ship and Win’ program at Del Mar the last four years and believe it will be equally successful year-round for Southern California.”Southern California’s exceptional weather, year-round racing in a relatively compact area, the attractive venues and substantial fan base are strong selling points to out-of-state horsemen. Its top riders and lucrative purse offerings add further luster to that formula.“It’s been a very good program for my owners and my horses,” said trainer Mark Casse, who brought in a large string of runners to Del Mar for the first time last summer with the “Ship and Win” program providing a key push. “It’s a major expense to ship out there, so the bonus monies certainly helped. And now that we’ve seen that we can come and compete well, we’ll be bringing out more horses this year, including some of our better 2-year-olds. Several of my owners have never raced in the west with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup, so this has opened a door for them to try California.”In his first season at Del Mar, Casse started 38 horses at the summer meet and won five races and over $600,000 in purses. He had 13 “Ship and Win” horses who made 25 starts and accounted for two wins, seven seconds and five thirds.“Ship and Win” is not just for out-of-town horsemen, though. Local trainers and owners have tapped into its lure and more are expected to go outside the state to bring back runners this year with the expansion set to begin.Trainer Bob Hess, Jr. had a stellar summer at Del Mar in 2014 with 15 wins and nearly $600,000 in purses. He had 16 different “Ship and Win” horses in his barn and they accounted for six victories, a pair of seconds and a third.“I’m a big fan of ‘Ship and Win’,” said Hess. “We have the best stage in the country for presenting horse racing, but we need to get people aware and involved in being part of it. A program like this is a part of the puzzle, part of how we actually get people to realize how good it is to race in California.”Southern California’s three racing secretaries – Rick Hammerle at Santa Anita, David Jerkens at Del Mar and Bob Moreno at Los Alamitos – are all strong supporters of the expansion of the program. Santa Anita will kick-off the year-round “Ship and Win” on April 2 and race through June 28. Los Alamitos picks it up from there from July 2 to July 12. Del Mar’s summer session then goes from July 16 to Sept. 7. Each of the tracks finishes out the year with additional meets – Los Alamitos (tentatively set for 9/10 to 9/20), Santa Anita (9/24 to 10/25), Del Mar (10/29 to 11/29) and Los Alamitos (12/3 to 12/20).Racing officials at the tracks can be reached about the program either on-line or by phone: Santaanita.com (626 574-6473); Delmarracing.com (858 792-4230); Losalamitos.com (714 820-2658). Further information about “Ship and Win” also can be found on the Calracing.com website.PAPER WORK SNAFU COSTS PEDROZA STAKES MOUNTMartin Pedroza, about to serve a three-day suspension issued by the California Horse Racing Board, on how he missed riding Private Zone in Saturday’s Grade II Gulfstream Park Handicap:“The Gaming Commission in Florida told me my license there had temporarily been suspended and it was no big deal for us to renew it. So we did everything we needed to do and sent the paper work to them at the last minute, but it was in a stack with other applications, from Black Jack dealers to waitresses, you name it.“Just because I was a jockey, I had no priority, and the paper work wasn’t read in timefor my license to be approved. Everybody here tried to help, the stewards from here, the stewards from there, Mike Smith . . . But I never thought I needed to do something about my license being temporarily suspended then, because I never thought I was going to Florida anytime soon, so we let it go. It was kind of our fault.”Formerly trained by Doug O’Neillbut now trained by Jorge Navarro, Private Zone finished second by a half-length as the 6-5 favorite under Carlos Marquez Jr.Pedroza’s long-time agent, Richie Silverstein, said he is “hoping to” regain the mount on three-time Grade I winner Private Zone in the future. Mike Puype78711119%$350,346 Martin Pedroza14014201810%$602,484 TrainerSts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Steven Miyadi3175223%$213,620 Tiago Pereira981291312%$404,268 Flavien Prat10310121110%$567,386 SANTA ANITA STATISTICS Drayden Van Dyke16217182110%$1,114,916 Joseph Talamo18921203211%$1,448,340 Brice Blanc4272417%$287,640 Corey Nakatani11019111617%$930,678 Brandon Boulanger1056586%$200,416 Peter Miller11520221317%$1,117,956 Jerry Hollendorfer13426182019%$3,024,008 JockeyMts1st2nd3rdWin%Money Won Bob Baffert8318151122%$1,673,492 Santiago Gonzalez80891210%$484,614 Rafael Bejarano19950302525%$2,308,138 Doug O’Neill12815122012%$782,114 Peter Eurton6711111016%$636,416 Felipe Valdez53810915%$253,828 James Cassidy5486915%$318,600 Mark Casse53105719%$775,868 Mark Glatt5489915%$412,522 FILLY ON WINNING MENU FOR CELEBRITY CHEF FLAYDEMONICA RETURNS TO SPRINT IN IRISH O’BRIENPOPULAR ‘SHIP AND WIN’ PROGRAM STARTS APRIL 2PAPER WORK DELAY COSTS PEDROZA STAKES MOUNT Mario Gutierrez8361077%$362,380 Ron Ellis4583718%$322,030 Philip D’Amato571210921%$568,340 FLAY STAYS IN ‘KITCHEN’ WITH FILLY’S HEAT Renowned celebrity chef Bobby Flay hopes the filly he owns, Dame Dorothy, serves upanother victory when she runs in Saturday’s Grade I, $400,000 Santa Margarita Stakes for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles.A $390,000 daughter of Bernardini bred in Pennsylvania, Dame Dorothy will be seeking her sixth win from seven career starts for trainer Todd Pletcher. She won her first four starts, was third in the Grade III Comely at Aqueduct at nine furlongs on Nov. 29, then captured Gulfstream Park’s Sunshine Millions Distaff at seven furlongs on Jan. 17.“It seems like she shipped in here in great order,” said trainer Mike McCarthy, former assistant to Pletcher who is babysitting Dame Dorothy for the nation’s second-leading money winning trainer through March 10 with $2,890,154, behind only Jerry Hollendorfer at $3,362,670.“She trained super this morning,” McCarthy said. “She galloped a mile and looked lively.”The Santa Margarita: Legacy, Joe Talamo, 20-1; Cassatt, Kerwin Clark, 3-1; Dame Dorothy, Rafael Bejarano, 5-2; Thegirlinthatsong, Mike Smith, 9-2; Tiz Midnight, Martin Garcia, 4-1; Uzziel, Kent Desormeaux, 12-1; and Warren’s Veneda, Tyler Baze, 2-1. A. C. Avila2572328%$208,298 Michael Pender3866316%$172,240 Thomas Proctor4166315%$491,028 Hector Palma2564124%$141,000 Edwin Maldonado971181211%$437,824last_img read more

What next for Italy after their failure to qualify for the World Cup?

first_imgIs Italy’s failure a one-off or the start of something more long-term?Neil Morris: The wrong coach was hired and everything after that was inevitable. This was about incompetence at the top and that’s where the rebuilding needs to start.Luca Hodges-Ramon: Italy’s failure to qualify represented a nadir in what has been a pretty dismal decade. Barring performances at Euro 2012 and 2016 (the latter was in large part down to the brilliance of Antonio Conte), the era has been one of bad decision-making from the top down, which culminated in the hiring of Giampiero Ventura and the FIGC’s inertia when it was clear Ventura needed firing.Blair Newman: This was a huge shock but, as bad as Italy were, they only lost out in a play-off to an extremely well-organised Sweden side. That defeat was the culmination of something that started while Conte was in charge. He did an excellent job, but he also ignored a huge amount of talent, particularly young and inexperienced players. His tactics at Euro 2016 papered over the cracks in an ageing and poor squad, which made the transition really hard for his successor, Ventura, to manage.Emmet Gates: It’s a one-off. They failed to qualify for Euro 92 and came back to make it to the final of USA 94. Facebook Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Blair: Because of the way tactics have changed, today’s defenders have to be good on the ball, drive forward and pick a pass. It’s surprising to hear Chiellini bemoaning this as he’s proficient in these skills. Young Italian defenders may not have his aggression, but that doesn’t mean Italy is losing its defensive nous. Alessio Romagnoli, Mattia Caldara, Daniele Rugani are all under 24 and they can fill the void when Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci join Andrea Barzagli in international retirement.Is Italy’s failure to reach the World Cup down to a decline in talent production?Blair: Italy still produces top talent, but it’s irrelevant if their path to the national team is blocked by tacticians with rigid ideas. Hopefully their next manager will be more open-minded.Emmet: Italy has stuttered in producing world-class players, especially in the No10 position. Where is the new Baggio or Totti? The country has some of the highest rising obesity levels in Europe, which suggests younger generations aren’t playing football as much as they did, say, 30 years ago. And the kids who do play are conditioned to get results rather than develop their creativity and innovation. Italy needs to overhaul its footballing ethos. Only in Italy could Rino Gattuso, as hard-working as he was, gain more caps than Roberto Baggio.Neil: There was enough talent to qualify and they may have avoided Spain in the group had they taken their friendly schedule more seriously. There has been a dip in talent but there are reasons to be excited about the next generation coming through.Luca: Italy’s youth teams (and current squad) have promising youngsters breaking through: Gianluigi Donnarumma, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Roberto Gagliardini, Bryan Cristante, Chiesa, Caldara, Rugani, Cutrone, Belotti and plenty of others. But at the same time, Italy’s talent pool has undeniably dwindled since their last Word Cup victory in 2006. Share via Email features Sweden players celebrate their World Cup qualification. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images World Cup stunning moments: Luis Suárez bites Giorgio Chiellini in 2014 Facebook Reuse this content Read more Read more Twitter The Gentleman Ultra World Cup Neil: Last year 52% of players in Serie A were foreign. Compare that to 56.1% in Portugal (who won Euro 2016) and 53% in Germany (who won the 2014 World Cup) and you see the argument does not stack up. Foreign players make up 64% of the Premier League yet England qualified easily.Is caretaker boss Luigi Di Biagio the best option going forward?Luca: Carlo Ancelotti would not only bring a wealth of experience and tactical nous, but his quiet leadership style would help restore confidence and nurture Italy’s youngsters.Blair: Di Biagio has experience working with the new generation but I wasn’t hugely convinced by his U21 side. Vincenzo Montella could be a good call. He’s not tied to his systems; he’s not dogmatic; and, as he showed at Milan, he’s willing to give young players a chance.Emmet: Ancelotti. He has won the Champions League more times than any manager alive so has nothing to prove at club level. The international arena would suit him perfectly: he’s a cup specialist who can maximise players for short bursts of excellence and he would command respect from every Italian player, something Ventura did not have as he hadn’t won anything as a manager. Twitter Giorgio Chiellini says the art of defending is being ruined. Is this a problem for Italy?Emmet: As Chiellini himself noted, all defenders (and goalkeepers) are now expected to play the ball. When I see Caldara, Rugani, Romagnoli and so on, I don’t see a new Chiellini, a new Claudio Gentile, a new Ciro Ferrara. I see a lot of Alessandro Nestas, which is hardly a bad thing, but every smooth Nesta needs a Chiellini beside him.Neil: This is part of a vicious circle. Because defenders such as Chiellini have perfected their art, others teams have been forced to adapt and play another way. As a result, the game has changed and the art of defending has become more intricate. It is now up to Italian defenders to embrace that challenge – thankfully the younger generation are doing so. Share on Twitter Share on Messenger Facebook My obsession with football stickers (which has nothing to do with Panini) Share on LinkedIn Luca: Jorginho can become Italy’s next great midfield conductor; Insigne is one of the few senior squad members with genuine flair; and Rugani will step into Chiellini’s role.Blair: Jorginho is the beating heart of Napoli’s possession game so must start in the deep-lying midfield role; Verratti needs to step up; and Belotti can lead the line.• This is an article from The Gentleman Ultra• Follow Luca, Blair, Emmet and Neil on Twitter England Italy World Cup 2018 Topics Rino Gattuso won more Italy caps than Roberto Baggio. Photograph: Rick Stewart/Getty Images Pinterest Share on Pinterest Pinterest The best kits in the last 50 years of Serie A Which three players will be integral in leading Italy to Euro 2020?Emmet: Marco Verratti, if he leaves the glass ceiling of PSG and develops his abilities; Belotti, who also needs to move on from Torino to grow; and Lorenzo Insigne.Neil: Jorginho will pull the strings in the midfield for many years to come; Insigne is perhaps Italy’s most creative player; and Caldara will emerge, alongside Rugani, as a crucial part of what should be a new-look defence in 2020. Twitter Luigi Di Biagio will lead Italy against at Wembley. Photograph: Adam Davy/PA Are foreign players in Serie A hampering the development of Italian youngsters?Luca: People looked for an easy explanation when Italy failed to qualify and, mirroring the current socio-political environment in the country, some impulsively decided to blame foreigners for blocking the path of Italian youngsters. There is a debate to be had here but I fear ignorance and intolerance cloud some people’s judgement. Quotas on foreign players is not the answer – although youth academies need much more investment as they are very underfunded when compared, for example, to their Spanish counterparts.Emmet: If they were good enough, they’d play. Italy had a wealth of talent in the 1990s when Serie A housed the world’s greatest players, to such an extent that they left out Gianluca Vialli and Roberto Mancini for USA 94, Baggio and Beppe Signori for Euro 96, Gianfranco Zola and Fabrizio Ravanelli for France 98. Serie A Share on Facebook Read morelast_img read more

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