Eddie Howe hints Newcastle squad depth inadequate after Tottenham hammering

Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton look dejected after the match. (Action Images via Reuters)
Newcastle United’s Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton look dejected after the match. (Action Images via Reuters)
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Updated 11 December 2023
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Eddie Howe hints Newcastle squad depth inadequate after Tottenham hammering

Eddie Howe hints Newcastle squad depth inadequate after Tottenham hammering
  • Magpies’ hope for European and domestic success in doubt
  • Injuries and poor away form are big problems, says Howe

LONDON: Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe has for the first time hinted that the Magpies’ squad is not equipped to fight on three fronts.

The Magpies were hammered in North London by Ange Postecoglou’s men, as Richarlison’s double and goals from Heung-Min Son and Destiny Udogie ensured Newcastle slipped further away from the Champions League places in the Premier League. It was also their second three-goal beating in four days, having lost at Everton on Thursday.

So with Premier League top-four hopes faltering, attention turns to the Champions League on Wednesday, when a win against last season’s semifinalists, AC Milan, will ensure European football remains on Tyneside, either in the last 16 of the competition, or in the Europa League, depending on the result in the Borussia Dortmund versus Paris Saint-Germain encounter.

Newcastle also have the prospect of a Carabao Cup quarterfinal in a week and a half, with Chelsea waiting in the wings.

Assessing his side’s performance, and looking at possible reasons for the last week’s disappointments, Howe has for the first time hinted his squad, after a host of injuries, is not capable of performing three times a week, as has been the case since September.

“We had our moments but we gave everything without the resources to give more,” said Howe. “It is difficult because we play on Wednesday, this is what we wanted. We hoped to have the squad to cope with that but we’ve had worse injuries than any team that I can remember.

“You have to critique like you would normally; we weren’t in rhythm around the box and lacked conviction. We didn’t defend the goals well enough. The moments were there, we had chances. There is always more, you can push yourself even when you’re tired.

“It was a difficult afternoon. The players have done so well to keep going behind a very congested period of games with some very hard fixtures for us.

“When you go back to Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Bournemouth they’re all difficult fixtures and then Everton and Tottenham away in a very short period of time. We haven’t been at our best, it’s there for everybody to see. The players are giving everything they could give so I have to back them and support them but acknowledge that our performances are not where they could be.

“You want to make changes that benefit the team. Not make changes that don’t benefit the team so I’m trying to make those decisions and get them right. I’ve been backed into a very difficult position with the team selection and even in game decisions. Today it would have been easy to say: ‘You’ve got Callum and Sean, put them on the pitch.’ But they’re not 100 percent fit so I’ve got to be very careful with them. Thankfully they came through and I thought their performances were really good in the game and that is a big positive in the game.”

While injuries have bitten hard, with the absence of fringe men felt as much as key performers, given Howe has been unable to allow his starters to rest, there is hope from the treatment room.

Callum Wilson and Sean Longstaff both came off the bench against Spurs and it is hoped Sven Botman and summer signing Harvey Barnes are not too far behind.

“We have light at the end of the tunnel,” Howe added.

“Callum and Longstaff are two huge players for us. We have to be positive, take the pain and come fighting.

“(Longstaff and Wilson) will be better for today. That was a good 30 minutes for them but we’ll have to take it game by game.”

One player who Howe will have to learn to live without, for (one) game at least, is Kieran Trippier, who picked up his fifth booking of the campaign. He will be unavailable for next week’s visit of Fulham, but will be able to play against Milan.

“It’s a huge blow for us, Kieran is a standard for us really to get a level of consistent performance. We’ll miss his quality,” said Howe.

Two home games in a week comes on the back of an away-day doubleheader. The form on home turf compared to their travels is stark. The Magpies have lost just once at St. James’, while they’ve won just once on the road. Howe knows it’s something that needs to change if Newcastle are to challenge the top four, like they did so successfully last season.

On poor away form, Howe said: “I can’t argue with that assessment. It’s up to us to find answers to that. I can’t defend it, so I won’t.”


Shadab leads Islamabad to 29-run Pakistan Super League win over Peshawar

Shadab leads Islamabad to 29-run Pakistan Super League win over Peshawar
Updated 21 sec ago
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Shadab leads Islamabad to 29-run Pakistan Super League win over Peshawar

Shadab leads Islamabad to 29-run Pakistan Super League win over Peshawar
  • Shadab Khan scored 80 runs from 51 balls and then dismissed three Peshawar batsman
  • Peshawar faltered at 167 in their 197-run chase, despite an 87-run knock by Aamir Jamal

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad United defeated Peshawar Zalmi by 29 runs in their Pakistan Super League (PSL) 9th edition match at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Peshawar won the toss and sent Islamabad in to bat in the game. Shadab Khan top-scored with 80 runs from 51 deliveries as Islamabad dominated the game.

Salman Ali Agha 37 runs and Azam Khan 29 runs to take their side to 196 at a loss of four wickets. In the second innings, Peshawar batting was rattled by Khan and the Babar Azam-led side was restricted to 167 runs.

"Dominant at home," PSL commented on X after the match. "Islamabad United get valuable two points on the board with a 29-run triumph!"

 

 

Saim Ayub returned two Islamabad batsmen to pavilion for 15 runs, while Luke Wood and Salman Irshad took one wicket each.

Peshawar did not begin their 197-run chase well, losing their skipper for a duck. Aamir Jamal put up a brilliant resistance as he scored 87 runs from 49 deliveries, but that was not enough.

Paul Walter hit 33 and Tom Kohler-Cadmore scored 12 as Peshawar ended the innings at 167 at a loss of nine wickets.

Shadab Khan dismissed three for 41 runs, while Hunain Shah and Rumman Raees took two wickets each.

Both Islamabad and Peshawar now have three wins from their seven matches played this season.


Saudis victorious at GCC Golf Championship in Doha

Saudis victorious at GCC Golf Championship in Doha
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudis victorious at GCC Golf Championship in Doha

Saudis victorious at GCC Golf Championship in Doha
  • Khalid Attiya took top prize in individual competition while the team event saw Kingdom’s golfers awarded gold
  • Prince Khalid bin Saud: Our team’s prowess and dedication were evident throughout the championship, culminating in a well-deserved victory

DOHA: Saudi golfers have emerged triumphant at the Gulf Cooperation Council Golf Championship, claiming gold in both the team and individual categories.

The 26th edition of the tournament for adults — held alongside the 15th edition for youth — was hosted at the Doha Club in the Qatari capital and saw five teams from the GCC take part.

The individual gold medal went to Khalid Attiya, who clinched victory after a showdown with Qatari contender Saleh Al-Kaabi on the tournament’s final day.

The Saudi’s four rounds yielded 297 strokes, for an impressive nine-under winning total.

Meanwhile, the Saudi team maintained a commanding lead throughout the championship to secure the top position in the adults category.

Noah Alireza, CEO of Golf Saudi, praised the Saudi team’s achievement, highlighting their consistent excellence throughout the championship.

“At Golf Saudi, our unwavering dedication is to foster players’ success,” Alireza said, highlighting the significance of the the championship as a platform for players to hone their skills against the best of the GCC.

Prince Khalid bin Saud, a prominent player, commended the Saudi team’s performance, attributing their success to the invaluable support of the Saudi Golf Federation.

“Our team’s prowess and dedication were evident throughout the championship, culminating in a well-deserved victory,” he said.

Following his victory, Attiya expressed his gratitude for the unwavering support of the Saudi Golf Federation, which enabled him and the team to emerge victorious.

“The Saudi team’s strong presence and performance were instrumental in securing our place atop the podium,” he said.


Saudi Ministry of Education Integrates rugby into physical education curriculum

Saudi Ministry of Education Integrates rugby into physical education curriculum
Updated 04 March 2024
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Saudi Ministry of Education Integrates rugby into physical education curriculum

Saudi Ministry of Education Integrates rugby into physical education curriculum
  • Initially starting in Riyadh, training programs will be offered to 25 girls’ schools and 25 boys’ schools before expanding to the rest of the Kingdom
  • Initiative underscores the Ministry of Education’s commitment to diversifying sports education and promoting physical activity among the youth

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Education has announced today the inclusion of rugby as an elective sport within its physical education and student activities curriculum.

The School Rugby Initiative aims to introduce rugby as an optional learning unit in PE programs across the nation.

As part of this initiative, ongoing training courses will be offered to 25 girls’ schools and 25 boys’ schools across various educational stages. Initially launching in the Riyadh educational region, the program is part of a planned expansion to other regions of the Kingdom in the coming years.

The initiative was officially launched with a presentation by the technical director of the Saudi Arabian Rugby Federation, Sami Mohammed Samara, to 46 physical education teachers from public schools in Riyadh, culminating in a symbolic gesture of tossing rugby balls from ministry representatives to the teachers, marking the kickoff of this groundbreaking initiative.

Recognizing rugby sevens as an Olympic sport, the inclusion of rugby in the curriculum is poised to expand and accelerate the pathway for young players to excel in the sport. This strategic move aims to cultivate a strong foundation for rugby in the Kingdom, enabling aspiring athletes to represent Saudi Arabia in elite sporting events, including the Olympics.

Ali Musbah Al-Dajani, president of the Saudi Rugby Federation, and Dr. Anwar bin Abdullah Abu Abbad, head of student activities, both expressed their enthusiasm and support for the initiative, highlighting its potential to enrich the physical education landscape and foster a new generation of rugby enthusiasts in Saudi Arabia.

This initiative underscores the Ministry of Education’s commitment to diversifying sports education and promoting physical activity among the youth, aligning with broader educational and developmental goals within the Kingdom.


NEOM announces principal partnership with T20 cricket giants Rajasthan Royals

NEOM announces principal partnership with T20 cricket giants Rajasthan Royals
Updated 04 March 2024
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NEOM announces principal partnership with T20 cricket giants Rajasthan Royals

NEOM announces principal partnership with T20 cricket giants Rajasthan Royals
  • Under agreement terms, team will sport NEOM’s corporate brand logo during India Premier League in 2024 and 2025

NEOM: NEOM, the sustainable development taking shape in the northwest of Saudi Arabia, announced it has been appointed as principal partner of Rajasthan Royals, one of India’s leading T20 cricket league teams.

Under the terms of the agreement, Rajasthan Royals will sport NEOM’s corporate brand logo on the chest of all official team clothing during the India Premier League in 2024 and 2025.

“We are delighted to welcome NEOM on board as our principal partner. This landmark deal, emblematic of our global reach, national appeal as a franchise and cricketing expertise, signifies a shared commitment towards creating a positive societal impact,” Manoj Badale, lead owner of Rajasthan Royals, said.

“Over the past year, our collaboration has not only elevated cricket within NEOM through the strategic implementation of our workforce cricket program but has also contributed significantly to their mission of fostering a physically active and inclusive society.

“We are excited to be the flag bearers of cricket in NEOM, with the potential to contribute to the overall growth of the sport across the Kingdom, which is being driven by the Saudi Arabian government and the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation,” he added.

“This partnership also provides us with the opportunity to work as a conduit for fostering connections between NEOM and our passionate Indian supporters.”

The partnership builds on the success of a 2023 pilot program, with this year’s initiative marking another step forward in NEOM’s commitment to nurturing a physically active and healthy society.

Its work with both Rajasthan Royals and the SACF will enable NEOM to provide cricket opportunities for men and women, supporting young Saudi talent to excel in the sport.

Prince Saud bin Mishal Al-Saud, chairman of the SACF, said: “We are thrilled to see the formalization of NEOM’s cricket partnership with Rajasthan Royals, which holds great promise for the growth of the sport across Saudi Arabia. It’s important that we continue to develop a vibrant cricket community that can be enjoyed by all.”

Jan Paterson, managing director of NEOM Sport, said: “Following a successful pilot program last year, we are excited to take our partnership with the Royals to the next level as a principal partner and continue growing cricket as a tool for social growth. Working with the Saudi Arabian Cricket Federation and Rajasthan Royals will enable us to provide cricket for men, women, girls and boys alike, across NEOM. This will pave the way for development at an individual level and contribute to the growth of the sport across the Kingdom while amplifying the NEOM brand globally.”


All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race
This season, all 10 Formula 1 teams will support one driver who will have the team’s livery on their car. (FILE/AFP)
Updated 04 March 2024
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All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

All you need to know about the all-female 2024 F1 Academy race

Here is everything you need to know about the Kingdom’s inaugural F1 Academy race — opening the second season of the all-female racing series — taking place in Jeddah from March 6 to 8 ahead of the Formula 1 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

Created by Formula 1 in 2022, the F1 Academy is an all-female racing category featuring some of the world’s best drivers. It is designed to develop women racers aged 25 and under.

Susie Wolff, wife of Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff, holds the position of managing director at the F1 Academy.

This season, all 10 Formula 1 teams will support one driver who will have the team’s livery on their car. Brands including Tommy Hilfiger, Puma and Charlotte Tilbury have stepped in to sponsor the remaining drivers.

Teams and drivers

The five teams on the F1 Academy grid are Rodin Motorsport, Prema Racing, Campos Racing, ART Grand Prix and MP Motorsport.

Each team will have three drivers, compared to two in Formula One.

Nine of the 15 drivers from the inaugural season are set to return including Emirati sisters Hamda and Amna Al-Qubaisi, both backed by Red Bull.

The full 2024 lineup is below:

Full 2024 F1 Academy schedule

The 2024 season will see seven rounds across three continents over the course of 10 months.

The opener will be held at Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Corniche Circuit before it hits the US at the Miami International Autodrome in May and the iconic Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the third round.

  • Round 1: March 6-8  Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
  • Round 2: May 2-4  Miami, US
  • Round 3: June 20-22  Barcelona, Spain
  • Round 4: Aug. 22-24  Zandvoort, Netherlands (Circuit Zandvoort)
  • Round 5: Sept. 19-21  Marina Bay, Singapore (Marina Bay Street Circuit)
  • Round 6: Nov. 28-30  Lusail, Qatar (Lusail International Circuit)
  • Round 7: Dec. 5-7  Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi (Yas Marina Circuit)

Points system

Each weekend there will be a qualifying round and two races. During qualifying, each driver’s fastest lap will set the order for race one. The drivers’ second fastest laps will set the grid for race two.

In both races, points will be awarded to the top 10 classified drivers as follows — from 25 to one — as they are in Formula 1. Each weekend, a driver is able to accumulate a total of 56 points; the teams are competing for 122 points.

For more information click here