Laudrup unhappy over denied penalty


first_img The West Ham substitute had his arm raised as he leapt to block a Nathan Dyer cross, and Laudrup had no doubt his side should have had a spot-kick. “I think we deserved more, but on the other hand Jaaskelainen had made two or three fantastic saves, so you can’t do anything about that,” he said. “There was a lot of emotion in the end which was about the penalty which was not given. “I know I always say that a referee or a linesman only has one second, but I mean it is so clear when you have your arm up like that. “If you have your arm down you can talk about hand to ball or ball to hand, but when you have your arm up there and it hits you, normally nine out of 10 times it is a penalty. “Of course when you have a case like this in the 91st minute, there are a lot of emotions. “But we know that the relationship between Swansea and penalties is not the best, even if we got one last weekend against Sunderland after 50-something (56) games. “Not to be funny, but maybe the fans and everybody here should buy a t-shirt to say that ‘I was there when Swansea got a penalty’. “But it is done and it’s gone and we can’t turn back. It’s just that when you have a situation like this, we have had penalties against us for things like that. “It is a reflex because no-one wants the ball in his hand but the rules are that if you move your arm and it touches, it is a penalty. But not today, maybe another day.” West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, who did not attend his post-match press conference, again opted to start with a side containing no recognised striker, and their 4-6-0 formation stymied Swansea’s passing game, while they carried a potent threat from set-pieces at the other end. But Laudrup was content with his side’s display as they look forward to next Sunday’s derby with local rivals Cardiff. “I knew it would be very difficult as they enjoyed huge success playing like this against Totteham, winning 3-0,” said Laudrup. “We knew they would play without a striker and with six in midfield and it is difficult. “You also know they are so good at set-pieces and we had some problems when they had four or five consecutively in the first half. “We don’t have the tallest guys but in the second half, despite not being at our best, we controlled it. “They sat very deep and Jaaskelainen was man of the match for me. “I always want to win but we move up the table and this is okay.” Allardyce felt his team had done enough to secure all three points, and believes the lack of a clinical edge in front of goal has hindered them so far this season. Allardyce told the BBC: “We should have had it over and done with by half-time. “We showed our classic counter-attacking football, but unfortunately finishing qualities let us down. “We limited Swansea to one header from a set-piece. In the second half we didn’t pass it as well as in the first. It’s disappointing. “It’s our fifth clean sheet in nine matches but we have only nine points in total and that’s not good enough. “If we scored in some of these matches we’d be sitting pretty. They were simple chances today and not difficult ones.” Swansea manager Michael Laudrup felt his side were denied a clear penalty during their 0-0 draw with West Ham at the Liberty Stadium. In a turgid game of few clear chances the Hammers’ dead-ball threat troubled their hosts all afternoon, with Angel Rangel hooking a long Razvan Rat free-kick off the line, while Guy Demel and Kevin Nolan also spurned sights of goal. Jussi Jaaskelainen made two point-blank stops to deny Chico Flores and Wilfried Bony at the other end, but the hosts were most aggrieved by referee Phil Dowd’s decision to turn down a stoppage-time appeal for handball against Joe Cole. Press Associationlast_img read more

How the Trojan alumni are faring at the top level


first_imgJones leads the team in rushing yards this season at 314 while averaging 4.2 yards per carry, a healthy improvement from the abysmal 1.9 mark he had last year. Anything would be an improvement from Jones’ play in 2018, which could be attributed to  a new approach.  Leonard Williams Against the New England Patriots, Darnold could barely complete a pass, and his poor performance was further underscored by the fact that the TV crew picked him up saying he was “seeing ghosts” in the game. Darnold’s play was similarly poor Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He threw for just 218 yards and three interceptions, emerging from the game with a sprained thumb. Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster matches his big personality with his on-the-field play. A big-bodied receiver, Smith-Schuster uses his strength to bully defenders and come down with physical catches. Coming off a 1,400-yard receiving year and the departure of Antonio Brown, Smith-Schuster appeared to be poised for another productive year.  The season has turned out to be a big question mark for Darnold thus far, as he has already suffered  three injuries. Perhaps most unfortunate, Darnold suffered from strep throat and mononucleosis before his Week 2 contest against the Cleveland Browns and was out through Week 5 due to an enlarged spleen.  Darnold came back strong for Week 6, leading the Jets to their first and only win of the season over the Dallas Cowboys while putting up over 300 yards and two touchdowns. The next two games were a different story, however.  Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II has been a pleasant surprise this season. After failing to even crack the gameday 46-man roster, Jones was a healthy scratch in multiple games last season despite being a second round pick. It’s probably too early to grade Darnold’s performance this season given that he’s missed half of it, but if he can play like he did against the Cowboys, he’ll have a bright future. The former Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year was listed as a first-team alternate for the 2017 Pro Bowl but has not lived up to his draft hype since then. Williams has recorded just eight solo tackles through the first seven contests of 2019, but he’ll hope to experience better luck with the 2-6 Giants than he did with the 1-6 Jets in a new chapter of his football career. While it seemed as though Jones was just a quick-to-accelerate speed back who didn’t pan out, the terrible competition in the Buccaneers backfield finally allowed him to get touches.  The Jets’ second-year quarterback Sam Darnold headlines a group of USC alumni that hoped to break out in their second season. Darnold entered the season with high expectations due to the improved core around him, namely star running back Le’Veon Bell and new offensive-minded head coach Adam Gase. Ronald Jones II Former Jets defensive end Leonard Williams will now play for MetLife Stadium’s other tenant, the New York Giants. Williams was traded to the Giants Monday in exchange for a 2020 third-round pick and a 2021 fifth-round pick. 2009 John McKay Award winner Devon Kennard has been a dominant presence for the Detroit Lions this season as the team looks to remain competitive within the NFC North. The former fifth-round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft has three sacks this season and is tied for fourth among linebackers with two fumble recoveries, including one that was returned for a touchdown in the Lions’ last game. Although Detroit’s playoff hopes are slim in a competitive division, Kennard could be bound for a Pro Bowl if he continues his impressive play this season. Former USC wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster had a great 2018 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers but has not been as productive this year. (Daily Trojan file photo) Sam Darnold JuJu Smith-Schuster However, after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury in Week 1, Smith-Schuster’s production fell off a cliff. With just 443 yards and three touchdowns in seven starts, it’s been a bit of a down year for the typically-dominant USC product. Head coach Bruce Arians is an offensive mastermind who should allow Jones to further develop the talent he flashed during his time at USC. From former Rose Bowl MVP Sam Darnold to former Biletnikoff award candidate JuJu Smith-Schuster, there is no shortage of Trojan talent in the NFL this season. Not only are  these USC alumni great players, but they are explosive, exciting athletes who genuinely make the game more entertaining. Here’s how these Trojan alumni have stacked up through the first eight weeks of NFL competition. Devon Kennardlast_img read more