Jol hopeful Schwarzer will stay

first_img The excellent Alexander Kacaniklic put Jol’s side ahead after 22 minutes, with Dimitar Berbatov and Urby Emanuelson sealing the victory late on, but it could have been a very different result had Schwarzer not pulled off a string of fine saves as Swansea piled on the pressure in the second half with the score at 1-0. The Australian denied Wayne Routledge, Chico Flores, Ashley Williams and Pablo Hernandez; with his fingertip save from the latter’s curling effort the pick of the bunch. The 40-year-old’s contract is due to expire this summer, and he has already rejected the offer of a new deal, but Jol is remaining positive. He said: “We offered him a new contract, the only thing is he wanted to be guaranteed to be the number one. “That is not easy as we need a goalkeeper anyway. We don’t know what will happen to (David) Stockdale and he does not want to be the number two, as you know he wants to be number one as well, and that is the problem. “Okay, you can go on the market and find a useless goalkeeper, but you want a good goalkeeper and if you find a good goalkeeper you have to fight for your place, but we will sit down with him and try to find a solution. You saw today, 3-0 looks very good but it would have been different if he had not been there.” Swansea manager Michael Laudrup, meanwhile, was left to rue a disappointing end to his first season in charge. The Dane has guided the Welsh club to Capital One Cup glory and a ninth-place Premier League finish, but could not give the home faithful a fitting finale. He said: “It was disappointing, but the difference was us not taking our chances. For 30 minutes in the second half we could have scored two or three. But I am sure in a couple of days I will see the big picture.” Fulham manager Martin Jol remains hopeful of keeping Mark Schwarzer at the club after watching the goalkeeper play a starring role in their 3-0 win at Swansea. The Cottagers secured their first win in eight games to end their season on a high, as Swansea’s memorable campaign ended with a whimper at the Liberty Stadium. On Schwarzer, Jol said: “We hope to find a solution, if we cannot find a solution we need to get a very, very, good goalkeeper because you need to be very, very good to be better than, or the same, as him.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Trapattoni warns of Wales threat

first_imgGiovanni Trapattoni has warned his Ireland side Wednesday night’s clash with Wales will be a friendly only in name. Trapattoni was Italy manager when they were beaten 2-1 by Wales at a sold-out Millennium Stadium during qualifying for Euro 2004. The atmosphere will be considerably more low-key on Wednesday night, but the Ireland boss remains wary of the Welsh. “This is no friendly,” he said. “I know this country. I was here many years ago with Italy, as was their scorer that night, (Craig) Bellamy. “We won in Italy but we lost over here and we know about this team, I have seen so many games and I know the Welsh players, they have a good mentality and they are international players. “After this game we can reflect, and we will know from our attitude and personality whether we are ready to play against Sweden.” Trapattoni is pleased he will not have to face Bale’s combination of pace, power and skill, but admits it is a shame for the home fans to miss out on seeing the Real Madrid target. “I am a sports fan, I have 50 years in football,” he said. “It is a shame for Wales and all football fans. He is the sort of player everyone loves. “For us it is okay and I can say we are lucky he is not playing. But I understand the situation, what is important for Bale and Real Madrid whether he goes there or not.” The Celtic rivals meet at Cardiff City Stadium with the visitors looking to build towards their crucial World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria next month. They will face a Wales side without star man Gareth Bale after the Tottenham winger was ruled out due to his foot injury, but Trapattoni is under no illusions that Wales still remain a potent threat to his side’s positive run of recent form, which has seen them lose just once in 2013. Trapattoni confirmed Keiren Westwood will start in goal with David Forde ruled out by injury, although the Italian remains hopeful the Millwall stopper and defender Sean St Ledger may be fit to face the Swedes. Norwich’s Wes Hoolahan is also handed a start, playing in the hole behind striker Shane Long. And captain John O’Shea believes the 31-year-old has the talent to make the most of his opportunity to stake a claim for a regular spot. O’Shea said: “He has developed late in his career but it has been to our benefit. The manager has slowly introduced him and we are fully aware of his talents. “The players have seen it, the manager has seen it, not just in the Premier League but every day on the training ground. Hopefully he will be a vital part for us during the latter stages of this campaign. “As a tall defender he is a nightmare as he is a tough guy. He is not afraid to take a few knocks but he does get in pockets behind the midfield four and that is what the manager will want from him tomorrow night. “Hopefully he can supply Robbie Brady, Shane Long and Jon Walters, and we know he can weigh in with a goal himself.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Acute Obamamania

first_imgLOS Angeles is so full of celebrities that it’s hard to get excited about catching a glimpse of a movie star slurping a latte, or even a pop diva shaving off her hair. That’s why it’s amusing to note that even oh-so-cool Angelenos aren’t immune to acute Obamamania. That’s the condition that follows U.S. Sen. Barack Obama as he tours the country raising money in his run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008. But what’s most amusing is that those most star-struck with the hip senator from Illinois are Hollywood icons who are typically on the receiving end of such adulation. Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Aniston and Eddie Murphy are just a few of the top celebrities scrambling to honor Obama with their presence and their checkbooks. That’s Hollywood. 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

SINN FEIN SAY SCHOOL BUS CUTS ARE ATTACK ON RURAL DONEGAL

first_imgDonegal Sinn Féin representatives have expressed dismay at comments made by Minister of State at the Department of Education, Ciarán Cannon on ‘Morning Ireland’ in which he insisted that he would proceed with proposed cutbacks in the primary school transport system.Speaking on behalf of the Donegal Sinn Féin representatives, Deputy Pádraig MacLochlainn said there was no point in Minister Cannon coming to Donegal to discuss the cutbacks with parents.“In response to several public meetings and calls from political representatives, it is understood that Minister Cannon will visit Donegal in a fortnight’s time to meet with concerned parents of children attending national schools across the county. Today however, he has insisted that he will go ahead and implement the cuts – removing hope of reaching a compromise when he meets parents in Donegal”. “There is growing dismay across Donegal in the many rural communities that will be affected by theses cuts. Similar dismay has been expressed by rural communities in every corner of this state,” said.He said Sinn Fein now considered the cutbacks as a direct attack on rural communities.“What value do the Department bean counters place on rural life and the importance of rural transport to sustaining these parishes and town lands. They are also piling further financial pressure on hard pressed families squeezed too far as it is”.“The ending of the ‘Closed School Rule is just plain dishonourable. Many years ago, the Department of Education led families in town lands that lost their local schools to believe that they would always have transport to the new larger school further away. Now that promise has been broken” He added it was not good enough for Minister Cannon to hide behind the decisions of the last government.“He is now the Minister in charge and I would appeal to him to reconsider his position. Unfortunately however, he seems to be digging in his heels and sending a message that parents will have to pay.“What’s the point of him coming to Donegal in a fortnight? Is there a possibility that he will reconsider? Will he listen to parents concerns or simply tell us what we know already?EndsSINN FEIN SAY SCHOOL BUS CUTS ARE ATTACK ON RURAL DONEGAL was last modified: June 28th, 2011 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Thailands major river

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterThailand’s major river, the 372-kilometre Chao Phraya, flows through Bangkok and on to the Gulf of Thailand. There will be new hotels springing up along the east bank of the river in Bangkok, namely Steigenberger, between Mandarin Oriental Bangkok and Shangri-La Bangkok and, only a little further south, Capella Bangkok and Four Seasons Bangkok in the same complex (all these future hotels are much more convenient than the further-out The Siam, which was so glorious in the days when it was run by the charismatic Jason Friedman).The doyenne of the river, and indeed the city and the country, is Mandarin Oriental Bangkok. Its Ambassador Suite, #102, is a microcosm of the entire history of Bangkok over the last 180 years. The 31 framed photos on the suite’s walls are so fascinating you wonder what and why… what was King Chulalongkorn doing with 11 morning-suited teenage boys at England’s Eton College (it turns out the king, who lived 1868-1910, had 77 surviving children, including 33 sons, so it is quite possible he had 11 at that school at the same time). His Majesty obviously packed a lot into his schedule. As well as having what is thought to have been a total of 116 ladies, either wives or concubines, he also travelled extensively: photos show him in Paris, and in Russia with the Tsar in 1897. And he obviously loved having his photo taken, which in the 19th century meant posing for some time for each shot.The Ambassador Suite, all 173 sq m of it, is up 24 carpeted stairs from the Authors’ Lounge, in the two-floor original 1870s hotel building: this, and the 1858-vintage Garden Wing behind it, constitute the entire hotel for the next few months of 2019. The River Wing is currently being dramatically being brought up to date by designer Jeffrey Wilkes, whose new-look lobby, with more wood, all champagne-white, and Lasvit chandeliers, was unveiled June 3rd. When the rest of the renovation is revealed, bedrooms will be 4.5 sq m larger. Magic? Wait and see. There will also be magic in the re-done Verandah restaurant in the form of Chinoiserie wallpaper that promises to be as significant as the palms lining walls of The Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. Until this new wallpaper is revealed, breakfast is served in the all-purpose Authors’ Lounge – papaya and yoghurt watched by Graham Greene and his ilk, or at least framed photos of those literati.I took the hotel shuttle boat across the river; such a romantic prelude to pumping iron (the gym is on the river’s opposite bank, next to the hotel spa). On my way back to the boat I passed several expat guys in matching suits standing around rather self-consciously, listening to a string quartet warming up. Some guests for this, Wedding One, were having a little something, waiting for the bride. Back home, in the Ambassador Suite, I too dressed up. The hotel’s manager was waiting and we went up to have a peek at Wedding Two, in the main ballroom (the hotel does over 250 weddings a year and at this one all arrivals were photographed in front of a wall of flowers). We then walked across the hotel’s courtyard, its canopy a living fringe of greenery, for another ambassadorial experience…China House is a two-floor heavy wood building in Maccanese style — not surprising since apparently this was once the home of the Ambassador of Macau. Lucky man. I hope he, too, dined in a small corner room that was just big enough for a circular dining table with an enormous Lazy Susan, and four chairs. I was with Sydneysider Greg Liddell and his wife, Victoria, who chose our meal. We kicked off with truffle-filled dumplings in individual wicker lidded baskets, went on to a soup, a whole and magnificent Pekin duck, big chunks of fish with julienne of leek, and small portions of sweet and sour pork with fried rice and broccoli. We drank a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, Light Band 2018 Brightwater Nelson. Amazingly, just as I returned home someone in a mushroom-coloured Thai silk jacket appeared, with yet another glass of water, stemmed of course, with a purple orchid sharing its silver tray (and knowing this luxury hotel as I do, I bet you do not have to be Ambassador status to enjoy such luxury service at this thoughtful hotel).All day and all night, it seems, there is traffic plying the Chao Phraya. There are hotel boats and public ferries going across and back. And with or against the current, there are ‘trains’ of connected tugs, occasional cruise ships and, every night, highly dayglo-decorated dinner boats. I took a boat over to the primary luxury hotel on the west bank, The Peninsula Bangkok. Since its 1999 opening it has been somewhat lonely on the west bank but no longer. Head north — five minutes on a shuttle boat or nearly twice that walking from the hotel — and there is the giant ICONsiam entertainment centre, a US$1.5 billion portfolio of designer retail, including such necessities as a giant Apple Store and a Swatch shop, plus food outlets and restaurants and a 3,000-seat events space. The result is, well, just amazing, and to be able to shop, at more, at ICONsiam is yet another plus for staying at The Peninsula Bangkok.The 765-strong team that looks after the 370 rooms on the 37 floors of this building have one of the lowest turnovers around: The Peninsula is celebrating its 20th birthday this year by honouring the 80+ team members who have been there since its opening. Every six weeks there are inter-departmental sports events, teams competing at basketball one day, squash the next. They have a new gym, and 30 are, working in pairs for moral support, being coached in improving their overall fitness. Others are taking lessons in finance management. Joseph Sampermans, the hotel’s GM, may not have the newest hotel in town but this is an advantage when it comes to staff, who are meticulous about detail.With a GM who is passionate about health and wellness it was not surprising that this time the books in my room, #3104, included The 150 Most Effective ways to Boost Your Energy, by an American doctor Jonny Bowden. I dipped into it and found a reiteration of what the commonsense follower already knows: eat well, drink well, sleep well and exercise body and mind. Here it is easy to do all those necessities. To complement the hotel’s well-supervised LifeFitess gym, which opens at 6 a.m., you can get extra exercise by eschewing the elevator to and from the main lobby and taking the 35 carpeted steps up from the outside garden and the river. There are three connected outdoor pools and the spa is ESPA, with Biologique Récherché, Subtle Energies and, coming shortly, Margy’s Monte Carlo.And what about the exercising the mind at this comfortable-luxury hotel? Well even those with families can learn, whatever, on their iPads and phones: access to the free WiFi allows no fewer than ten to be connected, and yes, I am told, adults with, say, two kids in tow often need that number. For me, I was merely delighted to have those proper books and a satellite copy of The Financial Times. We dined casually in the lobby lounge on seabass tartare with avocado, salmon and spinach and a glass of Head Over Heels Shiraz 2017 from Bob and Cherie Bertons’ eponymous Vineyards in Barossa Valley. Joseph Sampermans, who ate no meat or fish, shared his exploration of the “telomere effect” and “hacking of the American mind”, as well as “grain brain’ and “power foods for the brain”. Then, back down to earth, he said the luxury hotel, which already has free half-hourly boat shuttles to ICONsiam, is adding a six-seat electric tuk-tuk to go every 15 and 45 minutes past the hour. Life at The Peninsula Bangkok gets better all the time.The Peninsula Bangkok Deluxe RoomGo back to the enewsletterlast_img read more