RelatedPosts Lampard: I still have confidence in Tomori Mane double eases Liverpool to win over 10-man Chelsea EPL: Son fires four past Southampton Chelsea have completed the £37million signing of Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech. The Dutch-born Morocco international is Frank Lampard’s first signing as manager. The Stamford Bridge club saw an offer for the 26-year old rejected in January but continued negotiations amid increasing competition from rival clubs. Ajax confirmed his departure, which will be completed in the summer in a tweet, saying: “Hey @ChelseaFC, you have to believe in his magic. And great things will happen,” along with a short video of his best bits for the club. Ziyech had a £25 million release clause last summer but that was eradicated when he agreed an improved contract while Ajax wanted him to see out this season. Ziyech was rewarded after a stand out year that saw Ajax narrowly miss out on the Champions League final in May. They lost to Tottenham in the semi-final but Ziyech’s performances underlined his creative talent. He was excellent once again during Chelsea’s 4-4 draw with Ajax in the Champions League in November. He has scored nine goals across 28 Dutch Eredivise and Champions League games combined this season. Ziyech first moved to Ajax from FC Twente in 2016 and has scored 47 times in 157 appearances, helping the Amsterdam giants reclaim the league title last season. Frank Lampard was keen to strengthen Chelsea’s options with Willian and Pedro out of contract in the summer and expected to leave.Tags: Ajax AmsterdamChelseaFC TwenteFrank LampardHakim ZiyechTottenham Hotspur
DEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoDuring the college football season, big-name Badgers like John Stocco, Brian Calhoun, Brandon Williams and others dominate the local headlines with their outstanding play.With Wisconsin starting out 3-0 and knocking on the AP Top-25 door, it’s fine to give these guys credit as they lead the team into conference play.Just don’t forget about Ken DeBauche.Sure, special teams players don’t receive nearly as much attention as the guys scoring or stopping the touchdowns. But DeBauche has certainly helped UW to a fast start, as he has developed into one of the strongest punters in the Big Ten.”I really just like the way he goes about his business. His confidence and just the results he’s given us, have been great,” head coach Barry Alvarez said.Last week, in the Badgers’ 14-5 win over North Carolina, DeBauche averaged 46.7 yards on seven punts, four of them landing inside the Tar Heel 20-yard-line. DeBauche was named Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week for the effort.”The recognition is nice, but the confidence I have comes from the way that I played in the game and not so much from the recognition,” DeBauche said.Wisconsin tried some different things against North Carolina with the punting game, which allowed DeBauche to have one of his stronger performances of the season.”We did a lot of directional punting this game, which is a little more difficult,” DeBauche said. “We were backed up, in all sorts of different situations. So overall, when it comes to punts inside the 20, this was my best overall game.”Alvarez, whose Badgers were locked in a field position battle against the Tar Heels, was pleased with how DeBauche dealt with some difficult situations.”I think he manages the ball very well inside our 20,” Alvarez said. “He is extremely confident and very composed. I like the way he competes … when we’re backed up [in our zone].”In the same respect, we’re punting from midfield and he drops four of them inside the 20, and a couple of them inside the 10. It’s very unlikely they’re going to take the ball 90 yards, so he is very valuable in a game like that.”Before the Badgers: When he was younger, DeBauche started out playing wide receiver. It wasn’t until his high school years that he began to focus on his current position.”Punting was just something that I was always good at, but I never really thought that this is what I would be doing,” DeBauche said. “Once I started playing the position in high school, I realized that this was something that I could bring to a higher level.”As DeBauche began to realize his potential, he started to look up to Kevin Stemke, the Badger punter from 1997 to 2000, who many believe to be one of the best ever at Wisconsin. Stemke won the prestigious Ray Guy Award, given to the best collegiate punter, in 2000, the award’s inaugural season.”Stemke was the closest thing I had to a punting idol when I was growing up, because I could relate to him,” DeBauche said. “He came from Green Bay, and he played for the Badgers, so I looked up to him.”Some people, including Alvarez, have spoken of comparisons between Stemke and DeBauche in the recent past.”It’s nice to hear … my name being mentioned with Stemke, it’s definitely humbling,” DeBauche said. “The coincidence is that I met him for the first time on the sideline at the North Carolina game. He complimented me on the game, and that was nice to hear.”Atop the league leaders: DeBauche currently leads all Big Ten punters, averaging 45.4 yards per attempt this season. While he hasn’t gotten arrogant over being at the top, DeBauche has drawn added confidence from the statistics.”It just means that I’m doing my job,” he said. “With punting, you really have to look at the stats, so if my stats are doing well, I guess I’m doing well for the team, and I hope I can stay on top.”With a nationally heralded Michigan team coming to Camp Randall this weekend, DeBauche hasn’t let UW’s past struggles against the Wolverines affect his belief in the Badger’s chances.”It’s a rivalry for us, it’s a big game no matter what the records of the two teams are,” DeBauche said. “I’m excited to be a part of it, to experience the atmosphere and see what it’s like.”Our past games against them don’t really matter to me, it just matters what we do this week, how we prepare, and what happens on Saturday.”
Ghana defender John Painstil has revealed the much-publicized story which hit the Ghana media some months back about him stabbing his wife in the eye has cost him his football career.The 30-year-old, who is still searching for a new club after leaving Israeli side Hapoel Tel Aviv in June, has been unable to secure a new deal since the incident.According to the former Fulham player the bad publicity he got in the assault case of his wife has made him jobless.“The story about me stabbing my wife which was not true has cost me my job as a professional footballer, all the teams that wanted to sign me have refused due to this incident,” he said on Metro TV’s magazine show Morning Ride last Saturday.“What happened was my wife took my passport to my neighbour’s house to keep it after we had some misunderstanding which is normal with married couples.“So they kept my passport for two weeks whiles my club in Israel was waiting for me, the club called me to come and I told them I couldn’t find my passport so they went ahead to get a new player which when I finally got back there was no place for me.” Even though John Painstil impressed on trial at English Championship side Millwall recently, he was not given a contract.
LOS ANGELES — Moments after USC defeated UCLA 52-35 on Saturday, Trojans coach Clay Helton presented a game ball to “Coach Bohn.” That would be new USC athletic director Mike Bohn, who must now decide Helton’s fate as USC’s coach.That is a decision Bohn wasn’t willing to talk about on Saturday night. “Not today,” Bohn told reporters, “we just beat the Bruins.”MORE: Urban Meyer-to-USC rumors grow with Mike Bohn hiringBohn has a big decision to make with USC finishing its regular season with an 8-4 record and, as of completion of the game, an outside chance to win the Pac-12 South division championship.If Bohn fires Helton, which the fan base wants, he will need to pay off the remaining three years of his contract and whatever buyout a new coach might require. If he brings Helton back because USC won five of its final six games, Bohn must ignore the thousands of empty seats in the LA Memorial Coliseum on Saturday, as well a 2020 recruiting class that ranks 76th nationally according to 247Sports’ Composite rankings, by far the worst since 247Sports started registering rankings in 1999.Bohn could easily see that USC is led by freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis, who passed for a school record-515 yards and four touchdowns against UCLA. But he also saw a game typical of the Helton era, as the Trojans were ahead by only 10 points entering the fourth quarter despite the big numbers from Slovis and four wide receivers (Michael Pittman, Drake London, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns) each surpassing 100 yards.“Any of you in here could probably throw for 100 yards with these receivers,” Slovis said, speaking to reporters.USC needs to excite its donors and season ticket holders, many of whom can no longer stomach Helton. Bohn must know this because, in his three weeks on the job, he has talked to anyone who wants to say hello on campus.For his part, Helton talked about USC after the victory as if hadn’t gone 13-11 the past two seasons.“USC is an extremely special place, and always will be,” Helton said. “It doesn’t matter if I’m the coach or you’re the coach. USC is always gonna be special. That doesn’t change. That foundation is 125 years strong.”WOLF: Helton, USC’s future remains uncertain after Notre Dame lossIf Bohn decides to move on from Helton and hires the right coach to replace him, he can get the school back to its glory days under John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll. That is what he was hired to do. But does he want to do it in one month, or wait until a year from now?Helton was far from the only coach with a lot to answer for Saturday. UCLA clinched its fourth straight losing season, the first time that has happened since 1924. Bruins coach Chip Kelly has been a massive disappointment in two seasons, and he will get a new athletic director once Dan Guerrero retires next year. “I think our coaching staff is doing a good job considering what we have,” Kelly said after his team gave up 643 yards to USC. That wasn’t even the Bruins’ worst mark of the season, as their defense surrendered 720 yards to Washington State in September.“We’re a team,” Kelly said. “We don’t blame one side of the ball or one facet of anything else. I think we stick together as a group and that’s what we’ll always do.”For now, Los Angeles has two coaches disappointing its fans.