25% conversion rate, hot on the heels of Lewandowski, Liverpool and Spurs transfer target

first_imgFootball statistics analysts WhoScored.com take a detailed look at a player whose sensational form has prompted an improbable link to arguably the biggest club in the world. For more great football stats, check out WhoScored.com.It would have been hard to predict that Jamie Vardy would be among Europe’s most potent frontman come the end of October, but after 10 Premier League games the England international has 10 goals to his name, the most in the English top flight.To add further context to his exploits, only Bundesliga duo Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Robert Lewandowski (both 13) have netted more in Europe’s top five leagues this term.Such form has seen Leicester City make a flying start to the season, with the Foxes currently sitting fifth in the top flight of English football, three points off the top.Indeed, Vardy has been key to this with his WhoScored.com rating (7.87) bettered only by teammate Riyad Mahrez (8.26) and David Silva (8.04) of all players to make at least five league starts this season.Such form has understandably attracted interest from across the continent, with Liverpool, Tottenham and – to be taken with a pinch of salt – Real Madrid all linked.While Los Blancos are highly unlikely to make a move for the 28-year-old, speculation linking the £15m-rated England international with a move to Anfield and White Hart Lane comes as little shock.A player in his form would certainly benefit both sides, whose main strikers have struggled for goals so far this campaign.Harry Kane may have bagged a hat-trick at Bournemouth on Sunday, but four goals from the opening 10 league games of the season is modest, to say the least. A 10.8% conversion rate is a disappointing return for Kane and pales in comparison to Vardy (24.4%). With Spurs arguably needing another striker once the January transfer window opens to ease the burden on Kane, they could do worse then enquire about Vardy’s availability. His age may be a concern to manager Mauricio Pochettino, but his all-action displays would appeal to the Argentine.Vardy (11) has won possession in the attacking third more times than any other player in the Premier League this season, which has unsurprisingly seen him develop a statistically calculated WhoScored.com strength of ‘defensive contribution’.In Pochettino’s high-pressing system, the Leicester striker would be a suitable fit at White Hart Lane in the current set up, even if he is approaching 30. Spurs look to have cooled their interest in Saido Berahino, yet require another striker if they are to secure a Champions League finish and Vardy, despite his age, fits the bill.They could face competition from Liverpool, who themselves have netted just nine league goals so far this season. Injuries have meant that big-money summer arrival Christian Benteke has initially been unable to replicate his best form, while Divock Origi does not look a player capable of realising his potential at Anfield.With Danny Ings sidelined for the rest of the season and Daniel Sturridge struggling to return to fitness, the Reds could do with another striker to help Benteke.Like with Pochettino’s Spurs, Vardy is well suited to the requirements of a high-pressing system, a benchmark of any Jürgen Klopp side. Given his goalscoring exploits, Liverpool could utilise a player of his calibre in their bid to secure a European berth.However, given he is currently Leicester’s star striker and unlikely to be dropped in the foreseeable future, Vardy may be reluctant to leave the King Power Stadium in January.New signings at the turn of the year often struggle to establish themselves for their new team and with Euro 2016 quickly approaching, Vardy would perhaps be wise to resist the temptation to depart for pastures new, despite alleged interest from Liverpool and Spurs.For more stats on Jamie Vardy, click here to view his WhoScored.com player page Jamie Vardy 1last_img read more

Liverpool and Spurs set to battle it out for talented Serie A forward

first_img Fiorentina are resigned to losing their star man 1 Spurs and Liverpool will go head-to-head for Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar.After an excellent start to the season, the Viola are top of Serie A, however talkSPORT understands the Italians are resigned to losing their star forward, who is keen on a move to the Premier League.Babacar, 22 made his Fiorentina debut aged just sixteen and has spent three seasons on loan to gain experience, but his best loan spell was at Modena in 2013 scoring 20 goals in 41 appearances.The Senegalese hitman, who has played for his country at youth international level, has played nine times in all competitions so far this season, scoring five goalsBoth Spurs and Liverpool are in need of more firepower.Danny Ings, Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge were all injured at the same time this season, leaving the Reds with just Belgian Divock Origi, 20, as their only senior forward – and Benteke is the only one of those players to fully return to action since then.Meanwhile in north London, Harry Kane is the only recognised striker and Mauricio Pochettino could do with more options up front in order to challenge for a Champions League spot.last_img read more

Swansea and Leicester contacted for accounts of Williams and Mahrez altercation

first_img1 Swansea and Leicester have been asked by the Football Association to give their accounts of the post-match row between Ashley Williams and Riyad Mahrez on Saturday.The pair had to be pulled apart in the tunnel after Leicester’s 3-0 Premier League win at the Liberty Stadium and Swansea captain Williams later tried to find Mahrez as the winger boarded the Foxes team bus.The players had earlier clashed in the first half of the match, in which Mahrez scored a hat-trick, as Williams wrestled the ball off his opponent to take a free-kick.Referee Michael Oliver tried to calm the tension, despite not giving either player a yellow card, but the aggravation continued during the game and after the final whistle.It is understood Swansea will play down the feud in the observations they give to the FA, with both clubs told to submit their accounts by the end of the week.The defeat left Garry Monk’s side one point above the Premier League relegation zone, having won just once since August, while Leicester are now two points clear at the top. Ashley Williams and Rihad Mahrez last_img read more

Another star set for China? Chelsea and Manchester United could lose out on target to Far East club

first_imgChelsea and Manchester United target Arda Turan is the latest player to be linked with a mega-money move to China.Turan officially signed for Barcelona in July 2015 but he was only allowed to make his debut for them last month due to the terms of the Catalan club’s transfer embargo.Barca held off strong competition from Chelsea and United to land him for £26m but now it has been suggested that he could be on his way again as early as the summer.According to Haberturk, an unnamed Chinese Super League side are readying a £78m move for the winger, who will be offered a lucrative five-year deal in the Far East.Barca do not want to sell Turan but such a move would represent a profit of over £50m for a 29-year-old – so they may be tempted.Should the shock move materialise, the Turkey international would join the likes of Ramires and Alex Teixeira, who have been lured by the millions on offer in the emerging Chinese Super League. 1 Arda Turan last_img read more

Arraignment set today for men in reckless driving case that killed 5-year-old boy

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The mother and sister were critically injured, and the boy, Ayman Arif, died in a hospital the next night. LAPD Detective Bill Butos said the motorists were “cutting each other off, they were jockeying for position. They were tapping on the brakes, one of the vehicles was tapping on the brakes, trying to cause the other vehicle to ram into the vehicle. They cannot point to the other individual and say, well, that person started it.” Ayon remained at the crash scene and was immediately taken into custody. Barnes later surrendered at the LAPD’s Valley Traffic Division, police said. Ayon is charged with murder and vehicular manslaughter and three counts of reckless driving causing injury. Along with one count of murder and three counts of reckless driving causing injury, Barnes is charged with vehicular manslaughter and three counts of leaving the scene of an accident. All of the charges are felonies. VAN NUYS – Two men are set to be arraigned today on murder and reckless driving charges for an alleged road-rage crash in Reseda that killed a 5-year-old boy and critically injured his mother and 2-month-old sister last week. Brian Gilbert Barnes, 44, of Northridge, and Armando Gamboa Ayon, 19, of Pacoima, were driving a Nissan Maxima and a Chevrolet Camaro on Oct. 9 on West Sherman Way, between Balboa Boulevard and Louise Avenue, when they got into a dispute, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. Ayon’s Maxima plowed into the rear of a parked car, knocking it into a second parked car, authorities said. A 31-year-old woman and her two children — a 5-year-old boy and a 2- month-old girl — who were between the two parked cars, were crushed, said LAPD Officer Jason Lee. The two are jailed on just over $1 million bail each.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Truck bomb levels Mosul police station

first_imgBAGHDAD – A suicide truck bomb killed as many as 16 people and wounded more than 50 others when it destroyed a police station in the northern city of Mosul on Tuesday, according to a Health Ministry official there. It was not clear how many Iraqi policemen were among the dead and wounded. Some news reports quoted officials as saying that the police death toll was four. One witness, Ali Mishal, said the bomber evaded blast walls and other defenses near the police station by approaching on side streets. “The explosion was huge, and the windows of all the houses in the neighborhood were blown out by the huge power” of the blast, he said. The attack followed a bombing in central Baghdad on Tuesday that an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said killed at least four people, including two Iraqi policemen, and wounded 20 others. Witnesses offered differing accounts of whether the bomb was detonated during a suicide attack or had been stowed in a parked car, but they agreed that it struck an Iraqi police patrol. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.One worker who narrowly survived the blast and gave his name as Khalid said he had just bought cigarettes from a sidewalk vendor in front of the car containing the bomb. He then walked back toward the travel company where he works. “As soon as I got into the company, the huge blast struck, breaking all the glass into pieces,” he said. In Kut, south of Baghdad, 56 Iranian prisoners were released and delivered to Iranian diplomats on Monday, according to the Kut governor’s office. All had been charged with illegal entry into Iraq and sentenced to one year in prison. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

New England Patriots win right to ticket sellers’ names

first_img“It is plain that the Patriots seek this highly confidential customer information to further their unlawful, anticompetitive campaign against StubHub and its customers,” StubHub said in court papers. The Patriots argue they are entitled to know who may be violating their rules and the state’s anti-scalping law. The team says it is trying to ensure fans get tickets at reasonable prices, not the sometimes exorbitant prices through ticket agents. “One of our claims against StubHub is that knowing we have rules against resale on the Internet, they are out there soliciting people to violate our rules,” Goldberg said. “In order to pursue that claim, we need to understand who has been persuaded by that inducement to list their tickets (on StubHub).” Goldberg said the Patriots’ rules on resale are clear and printed on the back of every ticket. “We have hundreds of people on waiting lists willing to comply with our rules, so if individuals prefer not to comply with the rules, that’s their choice,” he said. Goldberg would not say how the Patriots plan to use the customer information provided by StubHub. In his order, Superior Court Judge Allan van Gestel said the Patriots have “legitimate interests” in knowing the identity of people who resell tickets through StubHub. The judge said the Patriots could use the information for purposes beyond the lawsuit, including canceling violators’ season tickets or reporting violators to authorities. The Patriots have revoked tickets of fans who resell on any site except the Patriots’ own TeamExchange Web site, which limits sales to face value. That Web site is run by Ticketmaster. Tony Troilo, a season ticket holder from Mansfield, said he appreciates the Patriots’ efforts to protect its fans by strictly enforcing its rules against ticket scalping. “But on the flip side of that, I think there are probably a lot of good, loyal fans who for whatever reason can’t make it to a game and obviously don’t want to eat the ticket,” Troilo said. “It seems like it shouldn’t be a crime for them to go on StubHub.com.” A Suffolk Superior Court judge this summer granted the Patriots’ request to force San Francisco-based StubHub to turn over the names of 13,000 people who have used StubHub, one of the country’s largest ticket resellers. StubHub appealed, but the ruling was upheld by the state Appeals Court. StubHub turned over the names last week, said Daniel Goldberg, an attorney for the Patriots.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 MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Patriots tickets have been offered on StubHub at prices many times higher, including two 50-yardline seats for New England’s Dec. 16 game against AFC rival New York Jets listed Thursday for $1,300.05 each. Their face value is $125. The Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington D.C.-based advocacy group, said the court order to turn over the names infringes on the privacy rights of Patriots fans. “The Patriots, just at the beginning of the season, were filming opposing teams and accused of surveillance and given a slap from the National Football League about that. Now they’re turning the cameras on their fans, so clearly there is a lack of understanding about what privacy is,” said Ari Schwartz, deputy director of the center. StubHub parent company eBay is a member of the center’s working group on free speech online. StubHub argued that the Patriots’ request violated its confidentiality agreement with its customers and said the team wants to create a monopoly on the resale market for its own tickets. BOSTON – The New England Patriots have won a bid to get the names of all the fans who bought or sold – or tried to buy or sell – tickets to home games through online ticket reseller StubHub Inc., a move one technology group sees as an invasion of privacy. In a lawsuit filed last year against San Francisco-based StubHub, a subsidiary of eBay Inc., claiming it encourages fans to break state law and violate team policies, the team said it could seek to revoke season tickets of people who use StubHub. A lawyer for the Patriots wouldn’t say what they plan to do with the 13,000 names, which StubHub released to the team last week after losing its appeal of a Massachusetts state court ruling. The team’s rules bar reselling game tickets for a profit. State law, though rarely enforced, restricts ticket markups to $2 above face value plus some service charges. last_img read more

Officials: Mix leftover drugs with kitty litter

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre scoop your leftover medicine. Mixing cough syrup, Vicodin or Lipitor with cat litter is the new advice on getting rid of unused medications. Preferably used cat litter. It’s a compromise, better for the environment than flushing – and one that renders dangerous medicines too yucky to try if children, pets or drug abusers stumble through the trash. A government experiment is about to send that advice straight to thousands of patients who use potent painkillers, sleeping pills and other controlled substances. Why? Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, and research suggests more than half of people who misuse those drugs get them for free from a friend or relative. In other words, having leftovers in the medicine cabinet is a risky idea. Anyone visiting your house could swipe them. HEALTH: To keep medicine away from kids, addicts and pets, make them unpalatable. By Lauran Neergaard The Associated Press WASHINGTON – It’s time to pooper- So 6,300 pharmacies around the country have signed up for a pilot project with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. When patients fill prescriptions for a list of abuse-prone medicines, such as Ambien or Vicodin, the pharmacist also will hand over a flyer urging them to take the cat-litter step if they don’t wind up using all their pills. Not a cat owner? Old coffee grounds work, or doggie doo, even sawdust. Just seal the meds and the other material in a plastic bag before tossing it in the trash. “We don’t want to assert that this is a panacea for the larger problem,” says SAMHSA’s Dr. H. Westley Clark. “It just provides them with a caveat that these are not things you can just lay around.” But the concern isn’t only about controlled substances. How to best dispose of any medicine, whether prescription or over- the-counter, is a growing issue. Unfortunately, “we don’t have a silver bullet,” says Joe Starinchak of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. No one knows just how many unused drugs Americans dump each year, or how many are hoarded because patients simply don’t know what to do with them or that they should dispose of them. Once, patients were told to flush old drugs down the toilet. No more – do not flush unless you have one of the few prescriptions that the Food and Drug Administration specifically labels for flushing. That’s because antibiotics, hormones and other drugs are being found in waterways, raising worrisome questions about potential health and environmental effects. Already, studies have linked hormone exposure to fish abnormalities. Germs exposed to antibiotics in the environment may become more drug-resistant. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Home sales at lowest level in 20 years

first_imgNORTHRIDGE – Foreclosures in the Greater San Fernando Valley area soared nearly fivefold and home sales plunged to their lowest level in almost 20 years in October, a research center said Monday. As the credit crisis increases its choke hold on residential real estate, the Valley’s median house price slipped under its year-ago level for the first time since 1997, said the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. Last month lenders foreclosed on 414 properties, up from 84 in October 2006, as owners could not make monthly loan payments. The center said the most likely reason for the jump in foreclosures was higher interest rates making payments unaffordable, the center said. The financial and emotional pain spread unevenly across the the Greater San Fernando Valley from Glendale to Calabasas since January. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“Looking back over the last year you can really see that the (foreclosure) rates are growing most in the lower income… areas of the Valley,” said Daniel Blake, the research center’s director. Those areas include communities in the Northeast, Central, West and East Valley, he said. October’s foreclosure count is the highest since a monthly tabulation began in the second quarter of 2005, Blake said. But this year’s fourth quarter probably won’t break the record 1,854 foreclosures in the third quarter of 1996, he said. Foreclosures had been increasing an average of 20 a month this year but in October they jumped 112 from September. Blake called the increase startling and said it’s simply a case of more people bailing out of unaffordable loans. Things could get worse in the months ahead as the subprime loan portfolio mess is sorted out. Blake said that many subprime borrowers in trouble got into the market with teaser rate adjustable loans in 2005 hoping to profit from price appreciation. “In most of the foreclosure cases the person in the house was counting on building equity,” Blake said. But prices made only modest gains at best while interest rate adjustments sent mortgage payments to budget-busting levels. Meanwhile, sales in the Greater Valley area last month plunged an annual 55.3 percent to 738 properties. It’s the lowest in the center’s data base which dates back to 1988. The sales number includes new and previously owned houses and condominiums. The median price slipped an annual 2.6 percent to $589,000. It’s the first year-over-year price dip since March 1997, when the median declined 6.4 percent to $161,000. However, Blake predicts “gently falling prices” rather than a big plunge. “We’re not going back to a $165,000 median but there is simply not the buying power or buyers out there,” he said. “But I think that a person with good credit and means to get what they want to buy can get a loan pretty easily.” Real estate market analyst Nima Nattagh expects this trend to continue for months. “I think the real concern now is whether this anemic housing market is going to start having an impact on consumer spending,” he said. “The one bright light in this whole thing is other economic sectors are doing fairly well.” greg.wilcox@dailynews.com 818-713-3743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Audit: Grants costing city millions

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsThe resources needed to apply for and implement grants also cost the city money, said Councilman Bernard Parks, chair of the council’s Budget and Finance Committee. Problems also arise when general managers ask the council to advance money that they expect to receive from a grant, Parks said. “What we always have a fear of is we don’t know whether we ever get paid back,” Parks said. “If they go beyond the fiscal year, it creates a cash- flow issue for the city budget. There’s a consensus on the Budget and Finance Committee that we have to find a better way — and a centralized way — of reviewing the grant process and having some accountability in the process.” The controller made 28 recommendations to improve the grant process, including the establishment of a centralized grants unit and an integrated grants database. Three years ago, the council created the Grants Development Unit in the office of the City Administrative Officer. However, that unit is used more to identify grant opportunities than to provide oversight, the audit found. A grants ordinance requiring status reports on grant-funded programs, grants received and denied, and expenditures of federal awards is insufficient because it creates a “laborious process,” Parks said. The controller’s office reviewed a random sample of 37 grants administered by eight departments during fiscal years 2005-06 through 2007-08 to complete the audit.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The city of Los Angeles is losing millions of dollars because it lacks a centralized database of its grants and the oversight to track how awarded monies are spent, according to an audit released today. City Controller Laura Chick found that grants make up about $450 million of the city’s budget, but are not typically used for innovative or pilot programs. Instead, there is a five-month lag between when a grant is awarded and when it is formally accepted by the City Council, and there is no system is place to ensure the funds are properly spent. “We don’t know if we’re spending what we’re receiving correctly or well, even, because in many cases departments are applying for grants because they’re there, rather than having some kind of strategic plan that says this is our mission and let’s go looking for dollars that help us meet that mission,” Chick said. Auditors could not identify exactly how much money is lost, but the controller said it is in the “millions.” last_img read more