Revealed: The Premier League’s best free-kick takers!

first_img 3. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink – 62 free kicks/Six goals/9.7 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – Blessed with one of the hardest shots in Premier League history, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink exhibited on plenty of occasions a wonderfully delicate touch. Having attempted 62 free kicks on goal during his English top flight career, the Dutchman found the net on six occasions. 8. Ryan Giggs – 73 free kicks/Five goals/6.6 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – The Manchester United legend may not have been the Red Devils’ primary set-piece taker during his time with the club, but when he did have a pop from a free-kick he occasionally found the net – five times, in fact. 10 1. Juan Mata – 28 free kicks/Five goals/17.9 conversion rate – Top of the tree though is former Chelsea and current Man United playmaker Juan Mata. Not particularly well known for his set-piece expertise, Mata has attempted just 28 free kick attempts on goal, but boasts an incredible strike-rate of 17.9 per-cent. 4. David Beckham – 54 free kicks/Five goals/9.3 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – The archetypal, modern free-kick master, it is perhaps a little surprising to see David Beckham not further up this list. The Man United great attempted 54 free kicks on goal, scoring just five, but it is conversion rate that counts the most in this list. 10 10 10 7. Danny Murphy – 67 free kicks/Five goals/7.5 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – The Liverpool and Fulham hero and talkSPORT regular scored some pretty important free-kicks during his playing days. Above is just one of his memorable efforts, scoring against Bolton. 9. Leighton Baines – 76 free kicks/Five goals/6.6 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – Everton’s dead-ball specialist, Baines gained a reputation for his ability to strike a ball at Wigan before transferring that to the Blue half of Merseyside. 10 5. Nolberto Solano – 78 free kicks/Seven goals/9.0 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – Arguably the greatest Peruvian export since Paddington Bear, Nolberto Solano was something of a specialist from free-kicks. Throughout his time in the Premier League, Solano attempted 78 free-kicks on goal, scoring seven. Sometimes there is nothing more beautiful that a perfectly weighted free-kick sailing over a wall and beyond the outstretched arm of a despairing goalkeeper.But who is the best free-kick taker in the Premier League’s recent memory?The Press Association, in conjunction with the Premier League, have crunched the numbers, focusing on every player to score at least five free-kick goals since the start of the 2001/02 season to answer that question.Click the arrow above to see who is number one. 10 10 6. Thierry Henry – 144 free kicks/12 goals/8.3 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – Is there anything Thierry Henry can’t do? It doesn’t appear there is, with the Frenchman having scored 12 free-kick goals for Arsenal during his time with the club. Having attempted 144 free-kicks on goal, he boasted an 8.3 per-cent conversion rate. 10 10 2. Sebastian Larsson – 90 free kicks/11 goals/12.2 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – One of the Premier League’s top set-piece specialists, Sunderland fans have grown used to seeing Sebastian Larsson bending the ball in. His 11 goals from 90 attempts gives him a very impressive conversion rate of 12.2 per-cent. 10. Laurent Robert – 154 free kicks/10 goals/ 6.5 per-cent conversion rate – Click the arrow to see who is number one – The former Newcastle and Portsmouth hero – famed as much for taking his kit off, as he was scoring unbelievable goals – had a wonderful shot on him. While his conversion rate wasn’t the very best, when he scored a free-kick, you’d remember it. 10last_img read more

Derby close in on £1.25m deal for Ligue 1 playmaker

first_img Abdoul Camara Derby are closing in on a deal to sign Angers playmaker Abdoul Camara, according to reports in France.The 25-year-old has caught the eye of the Championship side having impressed in 17 Ligue 1 outings this term.Le10Sport claim that the terms on a £1.25m deal are close to being agreed with Camara set to sign a three-and-a-half-year deal.The Guinean midfielder has spent most of his career in the French leagues and has racked up 91 top-flight appearances.He also played 13 times for PAOK in the Greek Super League and six times for Real Mallorca in the Spanish second-tier.And promotion-chasing Derby will be hoping that his wealth of experience can boost their chances of making it back to the Premier League. 1last_img read more

Here’s why a line-item veto would be out of line

first_imgMitt Romney is an intelligent man who sometimes seems eager to find bushel baskets under which to hide his light. Romney faults Rudy Giuliani for opposing the presidential line-item veto. But Giuliani doesn’t, unfortunately. The facts – not that they loom large in this skirmish – are: When in 1997 Bill Clinton used the line-item veto, with which Congress had just armed him, to cancel $200 million for New York state, Giuliani harried Clinton all the way to the Supreme Court. It agreed with Giuliani that the line-item veto was an unconstitutional violation of the “presentment” clause. Today, Giuliani says, in defense of what does not need defending (his defense of the Constitution), that he favors amending the Constitution to give presidents such a veto, thereby substantially augmenting what should not be further augmented – presidential power. In 1996, when a Republican-controlled Congress tried by statute to give Clinton and subsequent presidents a line-item veto, Pat Moynihan’s intervention in the Senate debate began: “I rise in the serene confidence that this measure is constitutionally doomed.” He was vindicated because the Constitution says “every bill” passed by Congress shall be “presented” to the president, who shall sign “it” or return “it” with his objections. The antecedent of the pronoun is the bill, not bits of it. Forty-three governors have, and most presidents have coveted, the power to have something other than an all-or-nothing choice when presented with appropriations bills. This did not matter in 1789, when the only appropriations bill passed by the First Congress could have been typed double-space on a single sheet of paper. But 199 years later, President Reagan displayed a 43-pound, 3,296-page bill as an argument for a line-item veto. Today’s gargantuan government, its 10 thumbs into everything, routinely generates elephantine appropriations bills. After a century of the growth of presidential power, and after eight years of especially aggressive assertions of presidential prerogatives, it would be unseemly to intensify this tendency with a line-item veto. Conservatives used to be the designated worriers about the evolution of the presidency into the engine of grandiose government. They should visit the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives building on Constitution Avenue. There the Constitution is displayed under four large glass plates. Almost half of the glass is required to cover just Article One. That concerns the legislative branch, which is the government’s “first branch” for a reason. A polite assessment of Romney’s – and Giuliani’s – enthusiasm for a line-item veto would resemble a 19th-century scholar’s assessment of a rival’s translation of Plato: “The best translation of a Greek philosopher which has ever been executed by a person who understood neither philosophy nor Greek.” George Will’s e-mail address is 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.But were a president empowered to cancel provisions of legislation, what he would be doing would be indistinguishable from legislating. He would be making, rather than executing, laws and the separation of powers would be violated. Furthermore, when presidents truncated bills by removing items, they often would vitiate the will of Congress. Frequently, congressional majorities could not have been cobbled together for bills if they had not included some provisions that presidents later removed. The line-item veto expresses liberalism’s faith in top-down government and the watery Caesarism that has produced today’s inflated presidency. Liberalism assumes that executive branch experts, free from parochial constituencies, know, as Congress does not, what is good for the nation “as a whole.” This is contrary to the public philosophy of James Madison’s “extensive” republic with its many regions and myriad interests. If Romney thinks a line-item veto would be a major force for federal frugality, he is mistaken. Gov. Reagan used his line-item veto to trim, on average, only about 2percent from California’s budgets. And much larger proportions of state budgets than of the federal budget are susceptible to such vetoes. Sixty-one percent of the federal budget goes to entitlements and to interest payments on government borrowing, neither of which can be vetoed. Another 21 percent goes to defense and homeland security. Realistically, the line-item veto probably would be pertinent to less than 20 percent of the budget. And the line-item veto might result in increased spending. Legislators would have even less conscience about packing the budget with pork, because they could get credit for putting in what presidents would be responsible for taking out. Presidents, however, might use the pork for bargaining, saying to individual legislators: If you support me on this and that, I will not veto the bike path you named for your Aunt Emma. last_img read more

Lake Arrowhead evacuated, San Bernardino Mountains smoulder

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “We’re in the midst of a real dogfight to save as many structures as we can,” Steve Seltzner, U.S. Forest Service battalion chief, said around 12:30 p.m. in Running Springs. “We’re losing structures even as we speak.” Some hardy souls stayed behind, though. Kishore Ramlagan, owner of the 5 Point General Store in Twin Peaks, has kept the store open for emergency service workers and remaining residents. He has a Subway sandwich shop in the store and let emergency workers come in and make sandwiches as well as drink coffee, all for free. “It’s not the money, it’s more of a community service,” Ramlagan said. Emergency responders evacuated patients from Mountains Community Hospital, which is located off Highway 173 on the northeast side of Lake Arrowhead. Heavy smoke from the Grass Valley Fire enveloped the hospital as the evacuation began, but the emergency room stayed open. “The sheriff says it’s time to go,” said Ed Pallette, the hospital’s chief of staff. “We’ve been watching this for quite some time.” Pallette said he was waiting for ambulances to take four acutely ill patients to Loma Linda University Medical Center. About a dozen more patients were going to be transported to a skilled nursing facility in Redlands. SOME SUCCESS With a mobile phone pressed firmly to his ear, Steve Hauer stood on a wooden deck as the Slide Fire burned all around his family’s beloved mountain cabin. Once more, firefighters struggled to hold back the relentless blaze that threatened the 5,200-square-foot home built on eight acres of steep terrain. “They’re saving it again!” Hauer, a retired law-enforcement officer who lives in Highland, shouted into the phone around 2:45 p.m. “I don’t believe it.” It was a rare moment of good news for the homes in Running Springs, where firefighters lost battle after battle to the blaze. “It just keeps eating up the structures,” said David Johnson, who was with a fire crew from Oak Glen in the Fredalba neighborhood. “We’re trying to corral it to save as many as we can.” Officials feared the erratic wind could propel the Slide Fire down the mountain and into the East Highlands Ranch. Residents east of Highway 330, north of Highland Avenue and west of Weaver Street were told to make preparations in case the roaring Santa Ana winds changed direction and flames rushed down the mountain toward their homes. “We’re going to watch what the winds do,” said Mary Stock, battalion chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Highland station. “If the winds don’t pick up and we get the marine layer coming in, that will change things so we don’t need to have mandatory evacuations,” Stock said. “As long as the winds aren’t pushing from Running Springs into Highland, we’re feeling pretty good.” Homeowners received calls Tuesday from an emergency message system advising them to prepare to leave the area. One woman arrived at the fire station and asked what she should do. “As soon as it comes over that ridge, it will probably become a mandatory evacuation,” a firefighter said, pointing to a smoke-choked hill in the distance. “Now’s the time to get your stuff together and get ready.” Homeowners experienced a similar concern four years ago when the Old Fire came close to East Highlands Ranch, a master-planned community of two-story homes selling for $500,000 and up. “We went through this in the Old Fire,” said Valerie Parmenter, a 56-year-old Evans Lane resident who lived in another part of the community four years ago. “We were evacuated. It was an emotional trauma and it was nerve-racking. We stood there and waited to see if our house was going to survive.” PAINFUL REMINDER It was memories of another arson fire that made it hard on some members of the U.S. Forest Service. The one-year anniversary of the deadly Esperanza Fire is Friday, and it haunted firefighters as they struggled to control an unpredictable blaze. “There’s a certain personal aspect of it while we are out here fighting a fire, but we muscle up and do what needs to be done,” said Seltzner, the Forest Service battalion chief, as he fought back tears. The Esperanza Fire ignited on Oct. 26, 2006, near Cabazon. It killed five firefighters who were overwhelmed by flames as they tried to defend a rural home. It burned more than 40,000 acres and destroyed 34 homes. As darkness arrived, the winds were calm on Fairway Drive near Twin Peaks where a nine-man hand crew of firefighters battled hot spots on the eastern edge of the Grass Valley Fire in a canyon about 200 yards below. Eric Petterson, division supervisor for the U.S. Forest Service, stood behind a white house stained pink with fire retardant that was spared the flames. Patches of scorched vegetation, however, were visible at the rear of the home. “The winds have held off so the (fire) behavior is significantly moderated today,” Petterson said. “We’re still short on resources so it still has a lot of open line and it still has a lot of potential.” Petterson also said the firefighters still need more bulldozers or hand crews to cut line. However, he was confident in the line between the fire and Grass Valley and Lake Arrowhead areas but if the wind picks up the fire could blow downwind, which was at the time blowing lightly toward the Crestline area. Staff writers Matt Wrye, Jason Pesick, Stephen Wall, Robert Rogers and Selicia Kennedy-Ross, contributed to this report. RUNNING SPRINGS – Firefighters struggled Wednesday to stop twin blazes that have turned the San Bernardino Mountains into a chaotic, smoldering mess of fire, smoke and ash. Residents have fled their homes, schools have closed, a mountain hospital was evacuated and the air quality has become dangerous from the dry, acrid smoke. Together, the Slide Fire and the Grass Valley Fire have destroyed at least 300 homes in the San Bernardino Mountains and left fire officials concerned of a repeat performance of the Old Fire of 2003 that burned down the hillside into the city of San Bernardino. This time, the concern is for Highland, where voluntary evacuations were called early Tuesday afternoon. EVACUATIONS GROW Locally, mandatory evacuations were called from Crestline to Snow Valley – a 19-mile stretch of two-lane road that runs along the rim of the San Bernardinos. The reason was simple. The fires just ran through communities like Running Springs.last_img read more

Female bandits hit 11 Valley convenience stores

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECoach Doc Rivers a “fan” from way back of Jazz’s Jordan ClarksonThe armed duo has hit stores across the Valley from North Hollywood to San Fernando. Wearing hooded sweatshirts, their routine is almost always the same. They usually rob 7-11 stores between midnight and 4 a.m. One, described as a petite, 5-foot-1 white or Latina woman, points a gun at the cashier and demands money. The other, described as a 5-foot-6, 135-pound black female, acts as a lookout. She stands at the door and shouts orders at the employees, said Lt. Steve Koman. They have so far never made off with more than $250. After taking the money, the women order the employees to get down on the floor before leaving. The woman demanding money is described as weighing about 120 pounds and is 25 to 35 years old. The doorwoman is 20 to 30 years old. LAPD Robbery-Homicide detectives are working with the San Fernando Police Department, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Oxnard Police Department to help solve the crimes. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD’s Robbery-Homicide Division at (213) 485-2511 or (877) LAWFULL.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! LOS ANGELES – The San Fernando Valley may just have its own version of “Thelma and Louise”: Police are searching for two female bandits who have robbed nearly a dozen convenience stores in the Valley and surrounding cities over the past month. The last store to get hit was a San Fernando 7-11 market where the two gun-toting women took off with about $200 the day after Christmas. “It’s not our standard cases we handle,” said LAPD detective Steve Kolman. “It’s a rarity to see two females as primary suspects in aggressive armed robberies.” last_img read more