Premier League report card – Part two of our grading for your team’s early season form

Even just seven games into the Premier League season it has been a fast start at both ends of the table heading into the international break.

Some familiar big hitters have shown indifferent form, while there are a notable few so-called smaller teams punching above their weight to leave the top flight with plenty of questions to ponder.

Sportsmail has assessed every Premier League’s side form in the early stages, from free scoring Manchester City to crisis club Leicester and graded how they have fared so far.

We kicked off our guide with part one on Tuesday – now read the second part that features the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham here.

Position: 20th Points: 1

The vibes coming out of Leicester were not positive going into the season but there could not have been many who would have imagined a start to the campaign as bad as this.

Rock bottom and having suffered six consecutive defeats – including a 6-2 hammering at Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday – the Foxes have opened with their worst set of results since 1983.

It has been chaotic for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who having already conceded 22 goals are letting in around three per game, a recipe for relegation if ever there was one.

As well as being thrashed by Spurs they have also conceded four at Arsenal and five at Brighton following a turbulent summer that saw key defender Wesley Fofana leave to join Chelsea for £70million.

Perhaps key to Leicester’s collapse is that, with another key player in Kasper Schmeichel also leaving for Nice, there is a void that has needed to be filled, yet there has hardly been any new signings of note at the King Power Stadium.

Is there any hope for the Foxes? Bizarrely yes. Goals don’t seem to be a huge problem, even with the ageing Jamie Vardy understandably no longer at his peak – at least over a consistent basis.

They have scored 10 goals so far this term, and no side in the bottom half has eclipsed that. If Rodgers can sort the defence out and cut some ridiculous errors from open play and set-pieces, a quick fix may not be far away.

But will Rodgers get a chance to turn things round? The Northern Irishman is under big pressure heading into the international break, with early reports suggesting Brentford boss Thomas Frank is being monitored as a potential replacement.

Either way it could be a long season for the Foxes, but to end on a positive – even the team from 1983 managed to avoid relegation…

Grade: F

Position: 8th Points: 9

It has been a stuttering start from Liverpool, who after missing out on the Premier League and Champions League titles last term appear to be carrying a slight hangover.

The Reds took four matches to find their first win following disappointing draws with Fulham and Crystal Palace, as well as a bitter defeat at rivals Manchester United.

Pent-up anger was taken out on Bournemouth with a 9-0 thrashing and a follow up win over Newcastle but they then dropped points again in the Merseyside derby draw at Everton.

Champions League performances have also been suspect, with an opening night 4-1 hammering by Napoli followed by a win over Ajax that required a last-gasp Joel Matip effort.

Jurgen Klopp’s side have had summer issues and it was never going to be easy to replace Sadio Mane with anyone following the Senegal star’s move to Bayern Munich.

Yet it appears Klopp is still unsure of his best front three now, with only Mohamed Salah certain to start among Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez.

Summer arrival Nunez joined for £85million and it’s still early days to judge his overall form – especially having sat out half of Liverpool’s opening fixtures through suspension – but he still has a long way to go to replace the incredibly high standards set by Mane.

The Reds also appear to have questions in midfield as they lack depth, especially with the likes of stand-ins including James Milner now approaching the latter stages of their careers.

This could prove one of Klopp’s toughest seasons yet at Anfield but even so, it is still far too soon to write them off in the Premier League title battle.

Grade: C-

Position: 2nd Points: 17 points

It seems odd that Manchester City went into the summer in desperate need of a new striker, especially after storming to another league title last season despite a strong Liverpool challenge.

Yet their success came despite not having a No 1 striker to call upon, so there was not much surprise to see their summer business triggering the release clause in Erling Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund contract to bring him to the Etihad Stadium.

It’s a move that left their rivals plenty to fear and it’s only taken seven games to see why following the Norwegian’s explosive start to his career in England.

Already he has 11 goals, nearly double more than his next nearest Golden Boot challengers in Harry Kane and Aleksandar Mitrovic.

But it’s not just attack City are dominating; they just about top every chart apart from the Premier League table and they are only one point off the top there.

Kevin De Bruyne has the most assists with six, Rodri, Ruben Dias, Joao Cancelo and Kyle Walker are the top passers in the league, while goalkeeper Ederson has the most clean sheets with four.

They are not quite perfect – draws away at Newcastle United and Aston Villa attest to that – but they are not far from it so far, although the real tests are coming up.

Following the international break, Guardiola’s men host Manchester United in what looks set to be a huge clash concerning the title race, with a trip to Liverpool to follow a fortnight later.

Only then will we find out if City are this season’s flat-track bullies or whether Haaland and Co really are their new and (somehow) improved dominating force in the top-flight.

Grade: A

Position: 5th Points: 12

You are not going to find more teams with a more classic rollercoaster start to the season than Manchester United.

Coming into the new campaign, no one knew what to expect from yet another new era at Old Trafford, with some old faces like Paul Pogba departing over the summer and new arrivals coming in, including boss Erik ten Hag.

But United soon hit a new post-Sir Alex Ferguson low when after losing the opening game of the season against Brighton at Old Trafford they found themselves 4-0 down at half-time at Brentford.

It wasn’t just the scoreline that humbled the Red Devils – it was the chaos of the game at the Gtech Community Stadium that appeared to be casting a reflection of public perceptions of the Old Trafford outfit at the time.

Star man Cristiano Ronaldo was anonymous amid his desperations to seal an exit, new centre-back signing Lisandro Martinez was subbed at half-time, club captain Harry Maguire still looked shot of confidence in the defence and the whole team’s shape led to TV pundit and former United star Gary Neville describing Ten Hag’s outfit as ‘looking like an Under 9s’ side.

But what a response since. Ten Hag made some brave calls including dropping Ronaldo after the Brentford humiliation but it has helped produce a desired turnaround to beat rivals Liverpool 2-1 – a huge morale boost for the Dutchman to chalk up and win over his stars.

Narrow wins at Southampton and Leicester City have followed, while another impressive Old Trafford display saw United make an in-form Arsenal look ordinary in a 3-1 victory.

It seems within the space of a few weeks, United have gone from a complete laughing stock to starting to show elements of a team who could be shaping up to lead a title battle.

It will be wise not to read too much into a four-game winning run and there are still cracks in the side Ten Hag will need to address. The team appears to lack depth, demonstrated by the rather meek 1-0 defeat suffered at home by Real Sociedad in the Europa League with a much changed line-up that included Ronaldo. There is though plenty of optimism for United heading into the Manchester derby.

Grade: B+

Position: 10th Points: 8

The team everyone has a ‘third eye’ on have rather gone under the radar following a rather curious opening seven games.

Optimism surrounds St James’ Park these days with a top-down desire from the Saudi-backed owners to keep improving the club, and boss Eddie Howe enjoyed a summer in the transfer market where he was supported financially.

Perhaps sensibly, the Magpies have not gone out and just signed big names. Logical transfers have been made to gradually improve the squad, which over time is likely to lead to them emerging into an elite Premier League side.

That conversation is for another day though – here is about how the summer business has affected their start to the season and, well, the jury is out.

Howe’s side have not won since the opening day of the season against new boys Nottingham Forest, yet they are proving notoriously difficult to beat – only losing once in a last-gasp defeat at Liverpool.

Five draws make up the rest of the results, including a 3-3 thriller against title favourites Manchester City.

The tough tests have come and gone and what we can conclude early on is that there certainly won’t be a relegation battle this season and that Howe’s men look like being a match for any team in the top flight.

The £63million signing Alexander Isak already has two goals from three games in attack and while Newcastle perhaps sit in a slightly disappointing mid-table spot at this stage, the expectation is that they will continue to look up the table rather than over their shoulder going forward this term.

Grade: B-

Position: 19th Points: 4

This was always going to be a tricky season for Nottingham Forest, no matter what way they approached the campaign.

With star players returning to parent clubs following loan spells, goalkeeper Brice Samba securing a move to France and more players departing, there was only one way Forest could tackle their transfer business.

Standing still and trusting a squad made weaker following promotion through the play-offs was never the safe option and a large summer recruitment was always going to be needed.

But to this scale? Nottingham Forest signed 23 players – and were still going at it after the transfer window closed having announced this week that they have landed keeper Adnan Kanuric as a free agent. It’s worth remembering at this point that even though Under 21 players are exempt, a team can only register 25 players for a Premier League squad.

It is no surprise to see there are teething problems in Steve Cooper’s outfit, who have gone into the international break second from bottom with just one victory over West Ham United at the City Ground.

Morale is also at a low, having lost their last four games in bitter fashion, one consisting of a 6-0 battering at the hands of free-scoring Manchester City, but perhaps even worse was throwing away leads to suffer 3-2 home defeats at the hands of fellow promoted sides Bournemouth and Fulham.

It seems it is going to take time to get the team working as a defensive unit once the dressing room ice-breakers have been concluded and the backlog of team initiation karaoke performances have reached a glorious silence.

Hope can be taken from the four most recent goals, indicating that there is an attacking quality that can be built upon, but will boss Steve Cooper stick around to try and gel his new-look side amid fears he will not sign a new deal at the City Ground amid interest from other clubs?

Grade: D+

Position: 14th Points: 7

It’s difficult to really know just what is going on at Southampton, who appear to be an early contender for being this season’s ‘box of chocolates’, to borrow a much used reference from the film Forrest Gump.

After an opening day 4-2 defeat at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, news soon circulated of discontent in the Saints camp suggesting players were unhappy under manager Ralph Hasenhuttl staying over the summer having only won one of their last 13 games of the previous season.

Coming back to draw 2-2 with Leeds before winning at Leicester soon quietened that narrative. A home loss by Manchester United followed but even that led to the Saints responding three days later with a 2-1 win over Chelsea.

Yet form has deserted them again. Che Adams’ awful finishing cost them in a 1-0 defeat at Wolves, while they also lost by the same scoreline at Aston Villa last time out.

The Saints have produced just two shots on target across those three hours of football and it hasn’t really left much for supporters to be excited about once again.

That’s not to say there isn’t a plan at St Mary’s. Judging by the club’s summer transfers, it’s focused on signing youth players, albeit Manchester City’s youth players at a rather premium price and hoping it will pay off.

Keeper Gavin Bazunu, defensive midfielder Romeo Lavia and left-back Juan Larios have all arrived at a nearly combined £30m and clearly their best is yet to come. Only time will tell what that best looks like.

Hasenhuttl has been in charge of the club for four years now, but he has only finished higher than 15th once. Even at this early stage of the season it is perhaps worth debating whether he can get more out of the Saints – or is he doing a competent job of keeping his side away from a relegation fight?

Grade D+

Position: 3rd Points: 17

Tottenham have been on a roll in 2022 following the inspired appointment (eventually) to land Antonio Conte in the wake of the disastrous tenure under his predecessor Nuno Espirito Santo last season.

The popular Italian has since turned around the club’s fortunes to guide them back into the Champions League and one of their best recent starts to a Premier League season.

Along with Manchester City they are the only unbeaten side in the top flight and have shown a resilience to scrap for points when not at their best.

For instance they were largely outplayed in their 2-2 draw at Chelsea, and while referee decisions fell their way they made the most of them to grab a credible point at a venue where they are notoriously weak.

Form also goes out of the window when playing West Ham, with the fiery London derby seeing them leave the London Stadium with another point.

This has been added to with wins over Southampton, Wolves, Nottingham Forest, Fulham and most recently a 6-2 demolition of Leicester City.

Yet there still seems to be a fragility to them this term. In many games Spurs have toiled in possession creating few chances – even if credit is due for how clinical they have been in taking what they do produce. Son Heung-min also looks like coming back up to speed with his hat-trick against the Foxes ending his goal drought from the start of the campaign.

Other signs of their labouring performances have come in the late win over 10-man Marseille in the Champions League, which was followed by a 2-0 humbling at Sporting Lisbon.

It is why, despite sitting level on points with Manchester City, no-one really considers Spurs as title contenders, at least not yet.

Fans will be hoping summer signings such as Richarlison and Yves Bissouma can settle quickly but the real test of Conte’s men this term is coming up next month. It doesn’t really get much bigger than their next match at Arsenal in a north London derb, while a visit to Manchester United will be an excellent metric to see just how much progress they are really making under Conte.

Are they finally the real deal, or is it another season of trophy dodging?

Grade: A

Position: 18th Points: 4

It’s all gone wrong down at West Ham United, who after a couple of seasons of leading highly credible challenges for European football have started the season poorly at best despite not much change in personnel or management.

David Moyes is still leading his side and they have kept hold of star midfielder Declan Rice. Exits have been kept low key, and while club legend Mark Noble’s departure leaves a leadership void in the dressing room, his advancing years meant he wasn’t as key to the starting XI.

So how can the Hammers be heading into the international break inside the relegation zone?

While it cannot take the full wrap, having already had to play four matches in the Europa Conference League cannot have aided any preparation for Premier League games. Continued appearances in Europe’s tertiary competition is not going to aid the Hammers in the future either.

Yet this is the same West Ham side who for long periods last season challenged for a top-four place alongside a fine run to the Europa League semi-finals – so there are clearly problems elsewhere.

The trouble is that it’s difficult to pinpoint where those are. There appears little sign of Moyes ‘losing the dressing room’ and in addition there is no real drive from supporters calling for his head.

Perhaps West Ham’s main concern is that, while they look like a reasonably organised side, goals are proving incredibly tough to come by. Jarrod Bowen’s goalless start to the season reflects his poor from and connected with Michail Antonio also being goal shy, and summer arrival Gianluca Scamacca still trying to settle in London, it’s led to just three goals being scored in the first seven games.

Brazil international Lucas Paqueta is also trying to find his feet and while it is not time to hit the panic button at West Ham just yet, there are already concerns that this could prove to be a tough campaign.

Grade: D

Position: 17th Points: 6

Positions in the table cannot be taken too seriously at this early sage of the season, especially when three points for Wolverhampton Wanderers would take them level with Liverpool in the table.

But there is plenty of alarm already down at Molineux and it’s not difficult to see where the problems lie.

Goals. It’s not a recently found issue either. Wolves have struggled in attacking areas since losing Diogo Jota to Liverpool two years ago. It’s a problem they can’t seem to find a solution for, whether it’s Nuno Espirito Santo in charge or Bruno Lage.

No side has scored fewer than their three this season and it’s not a healthy situation to be in no matter how well they otherwise play.

Wolves’ defence – while not the best in the division – is certainly top-flight worthy and there is enough quality in the midfield to build competent attacks, but once they hit the final third it’s almost as if all the ideas disappear.

Take the matches at Tottenham and at home to Manchester City. Lage’s side attacked and passed the ball around with measured confidence yet couldn’t force a breakthrough on their way to defeats in both.

So desperate is the search for some attacking answers, Diego Costa has been brought in as a free agent to try and add a new dimension to their goal-shy attack.

It seems odd to pin Wolves’ season on the former Chelsea star, but if they can get him fit and firing the 33-year-old really could be the difference maker.

If he too fails to solve Wolves’ attacking puzzle, then it could be a season of battling to avoid relegation as fan pressure ramps up on Lage to improve their struggling side.

Grade: D

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  • 1 час, 35 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Penrith Panthers hero goes wild for Dylan Edwards tackle at NRL grand final against Parramatta Eels

    Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards’ try-saving cover tackle evoked memories of ex-Penrith star Scott Sattler’s iconic 2003 moment – and didn’t the former premiership hero love it.

    The tireless and often unheralded Edwards won the Clive Churchill Medal for his exemplary performance in Penrith’s grand final win over Parramatta on Sunday night, piling on the kick return metres and setting up a try.

    But his best moment came in the 57th minute with a huge cover tackle against Eels winger Bailey Simonsson that was so (legally) savage, it dislocated the Parra star’s shoulder.

    It was almost a ‘carbon copy’ of one of the most iconic grand final moments of all-time: Penrith second-rower Scott Sattler running down Roosters flyer Todd Byrne and saving a certain try – a man he shouldn’t have been able to get anywhere near.

    In a quirky twist of fate, Sattler’s tackle was adjudicated by NRL touch judge Glynn Henderson, while Edwards’ was flagged by Henderson’s son, Phil.

    The 2003 premiership hero was commentating Sunday’s grand final on radio for SEN, and video has emerged of the moment the team called the moment, which was right in front of their box.

    ‘Here’s Edwards v Simonsson, ohhhh Scotty Sattler! It’s a Sattler tackle from Edwards, right in front of our man’ cries caller Joel Caine as the team playfully celebrate with Sattler, who can be heard saying: ‘Wow, what a tackle.’

    Sattler’s 2003 premiership teammate Luke Lewis, who was commentating with a rival station in the next booth, could also be seen banging on the window to share in the joy.

    Sattler spoke to colleague Matt White on Monday morning in the wash-up of the grand final, and joked that fans believe his iconic tackle will now fade away into history.

    ‘I was just leaving the precinct and the first guy I bumped into said ‘You’re forgotten about now aren’t you!’,’ Sattler laughed on comparisons between his tackle and Edwards’.

    The nuggety second rower, who played 203 NRL matches, 118 of which came for Penrith, was full of praise for Edwards.

    The 26-year-old, who rose right through the junior ranks at Penrith, is often forgotten in an era where fullbacks like James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic grab headlines with their stunning skills.

    Sattler said Edwards’ cover tackle highlighted exactly what he offered the side despite not drawing as many plaudits as other fullbacks in the league.

    ‘He (Edwards) came up with a moment … that people are going to talk about for many, many years,’ he said of the tackle that will now go down in grand final folklore.

    ‘That play last night from Dylan Edwards typified and reflects what his career has been; he’s had to fight harder than a lot of people in his position.

    As Sattler pointed out, Edwards was unlucky not to win the Clive Churchill Medal last year when impressive in Penrith 2021 grand final victory.

    He was even more impressive on Sunday night as he attacked and defended relentlessly right until the final whistle.

    But it was his cover tackle that his teammates enjoyed most, with the Panthers playing celebrating his try-saver far more vociferously than any try they scored.

    The usually unflappable Ivan Cleary was just as excited – and could be seen banging on the glass box in celebration.

    ‘He’s (Edwards) always been good at organising our defence but his tackling and try-saving this year has gone to a new level for us,’ Cleary said after the game.

    ‘I think last year was the real making of him.

    ‘To put his hand up and say I’m playing, when we didn’t think he would, if he can get through that he can get through anything.

    ‘He totally deserves it. He’s been doing it all year,’ said Cleary.

    It caps off a brilliant year for the previously injury-prone Edwards, who has delivered on the faith Penrith showed in their star junior.

    He produced 25 almost flawless games, and won the Merv Cartwright Medal as the club’s Player of the Year: an incredible achievement given the huge stars right across the park.

    Unfortunately for Edwards, it wasn’t quite enough to secure a spot in Australia’s hotly-contested squad for the Rugby League World Cup in England that begins on October 15.

    He has been named for one of the standby players, so if injury or illness should strike, Edwards will have a chance to add to very burgeoning medal collection.

  • 1 час, 35 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Tampa Bay’s Cameron Brate re-entered the game despite previously exiting and looking ‘shaken up’

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Cameron Brate is the latest NFL player to be concussed this week following the sickening scenes involving Miami Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, on Thursday Night Football.

    Brate was eventually ruled out during the game against the Kansas City Chiefs by the Buccaneers Sunday night.

    The 31-year-old exited the game near the end of the second quarter after running into the chest of teammate Chris Godwin rendering himself momentarily motionless.

    Brate lay on the turf for several seconds and looked dazed before slowly getting to his feet and trudging off the field in an unconvincing manner.

    NBC play-by-play commentator, Mike Tirico, described Brate as ‘shaken up’ following the incidental blow.

    Yet, less than a minute of game time later, Brate was back on the field and tumbled while trying to complete a catch in the end zone.

    Sunday Night Football sideline reporter, Melissa Stark, reported that Brate did exit, and then re-enter the game following an approximate ‘two-minute chat conversation with the [Bucs’] head athletic trainer and team doctor’ before playing on before the quarter’s end.

    Brate was not seen after halftime and was eventually ruled out with a concussion and is now in the concussion protocol. He finished the game with four catches for 32 yards.

    Questions will be raised as to why Brate was allowed to enter the field of play after the initial knock, particularly given recent events.

    The NFL and NFLPA issued a joint statement Saturday evening in which they stated changes to the concussion protocol are imminent.

    It comes in the wake of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being taken to hospital with a concussion in Thursday night’s game vs. Cincinnati.

    This followed Tagovailoa surprisingly finishing out the Week 3 win over Buffalo last Sunday, despite receiving a brutal hit in the first half.

    Many experts suggested Tagovailoa should not have been playing in the game which ultimately saw him hospitalized.

    Tampa Bay struggled without one of their primary weapons, losing to a Patrick Mahomes inspired Kansas City Chiefs team, 41-31.

    Prior to the primetime matchup, former New England Patriots star and two-time Super Bowl Champion, Rodney Harrison, issued an impassioned plea to current NFL players.

    ‘It’s not worth it — and I would implore these young men; don’t go back on that football field if you get hurt,’ Harrison said during NBC’s Football Night in America.

    ‘I don’t want them to have to feel like me and so many other former players that had to deal with concussions; whether it’s depression, anxiety, paranoia, broken relationships, not being able to communicate with your spouse and things like that.

    ‘Please take care of yourself. Don’t depend on the NFL, don’t depend on anybody. If there’s something wrong with your head, report it.’

  • 1 час, 35 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    NFL: Rodney Harrison urges players not return to field if they are hurt as it ‘is not worth it’

    Sunday Night Football analyst Rodney Harrison issued a passionate plea to NFL stars to not return to the field if they get hurt following the handling of Tua Tagovailoa’s distressing situation Thursday night.

    The two-time Super Bowl champion’s comments follow a joint statement by the NFL and NFLPA in which changes to the concussion protocol are said to be imminent.

    Harrison’s comments and the statement come in the wake of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa being taken to hospital with a concussion in Thursday night’s game vs. Cincinnati.

    The incident came after the Dolphins quarterback surprisingly finished out his side’s win over the Bills last Sunday, despite receiving a brutal hit in the first half.

    Harrison, a 49-year-old retired pro, played 15 seasons in the NFL, nine with the San Diego Chargers before his final six in Foxborough with New England.

    ‘I would get hit, the entire stadium was spinning around and I would go back into the game,’ Harrison said of his playing days on NBC’s SNF pregame coverage.

    ‘It’s not worth it — and I would implore these young men; don’t go back on that football field if you get hurt.’

    ‘I don’t want them to have to feel like me and so many other former players that had to deal with concussions; whether it’s depression, anxiety, paranoia, broken relationships, not being able to communicate with your spouse and things like that,’ Harrison continued.

    ‘It’s a lot — CTE takes you to a dark place and I want these players to know it’s not worth it.

    ‘Please take care of yourself. Don’t depend on the NFL, don’t depend on anybody. If there’s something wrong with your head, report it.’

    On Saturday, the NFL and NFLPA announced they are working collaboratively to modify the aforementioned protocols and anticipate changes to occur in the ‘coming days.’

    The statement, released Saturday evening, read: ‘The joint NFL-NFLPA investigation into the application of the Concussion Protocol involving Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa remains ongoing. Therefore, we have not made any conclusions about medical errors or protocol violations.

    ‘The NFL and the NFLPA agree that modifications to the Concussion Protocol are needed to enhance player safety.

    ‘The NFL and NFLPA share a strong appreciation for the unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants who contribute their time and expertise to our game solely to advance player safety. This program has made our game safer for the athletes who play it for the past twelve seasons.

    The gravity of Tagovailoa’s injury last weekend vs. the Bills — and the broader discussion surrounding protocols — were reinforced Thursday against the Bengals, as he left the field on a stretcher following another brutal blow to the head.

    This time, Tagovailoa was diagnosed with a concussion and hospitalized (he was discharged Thursday night and flew home with the team), lending credence to the idea that he shouldn’t have been playing in the Dolphins’ Week 4 matchup to begin with.

    The quarterback was officially diagnosed with a back problem Sunday and with concussion protocols claimed to have been followed.

    Tagovailoa is said to be in good spirits on his road to recovery if his statement on Twitter Friday is anything to go by.

    ‘I want to thank everyone for all of their prayers and support since the game last night,’ he wrote.

    ‘It was difficult to not be able to finish the game and be there with my teammates, but I am grateful for the support and care I’ve received from the Dolphins, my friends and family, and all the people who have reached out.

    ‘I’m feeling much better and focused on recovering so I can get back out on the field with my teammates.’

  • 1 час, 35 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Prominent radio shock jock Ray Hadley’s WITHERING spray at the NRL over junior rugby league shake-up

    Radio 2GB host Ray Hadley has slammed the NRL over plans for junior rugby league that he believes are ‘absolute PC bulls***’.

    On Monday morning an irate Hadley told listeners about the NRL’s plans to make massive changes to junior rugby league – which will include banning tackling until midway through under 7s and abolishing competitive games until the age of 13.

    The significant shift is aimed at increasing junior participation numbers and protecting children from external pressure.

    Hadley is not a fan of the changes and believes it is an ‘attempt to drag junior sport into a pretend PC (politically correct) world’ that doesn’t reflect real life.

    ‘The NRL is pretending that winning and losing isn’t part of life,’ said Hadley.

    ‘Sometimes life’s not fair, kids. Sometimes things happen. Sometimes it’s our fault and sometimes it’s not our fault. Life isn’t some sort of paradise that we just blissfully go along in with no disappointments in front of us.’

    ‘That’s what life is. Disappointment is part of life. We have all got to confront death at some stage. Of people we love and people around us. I think it’s the wrong message that we don’t keep score.’

    The shock jock said sport is also about team building – and that winning and losing were both important lessons that young people need to learn.

    ‘I’m sick of the PC world overtaking us. And now the NRL is bloody well part of it.,’ said Hadley.

    ‘Where’s the line you draw? Sometimes life is crook, and sometimes sport is crook. But it’s sport – it’s not life or death. ‘

    ‘Andrew Abdo, for god’s sake wake up to yourself. The stuff you went on with with the Continuous Call team was just absolute PC bullshit.’

    The rollout of the new policy is expected to be put forward within the next fortnight and implemented across the 2023 season.

  • 1 час, 35 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    NRL Grand Final: Penrith Panthers star Jarome Luai under fire for racial slur Instagram post

    Penrith Panthers star Jarome Luai could have his premiership victory celebrations dampened after the NRL’s Integrity Unit was made aware of a racial slur he allegedly posted to Instagram.

    The 25-year-old was in the Panthers sheds after their convincing 28-12 win over the Parramatta Eels in Sunday night’s grand final when he posed for a selfie with teammate Jaeman Salmon.

    The publicly shared post contained a word Daily Mail Australia has chosen not to republish and was quietly deleted seven hours later.

    ‘The NRL Integrity Unit is aware of the post,’ an NRL spokesman told The Daily Telegraph.

    The spokesperson added the NRL is yet to launch an investigation and would not comment on potential sanctions Luai could face.

    Some teammates told the publication the racially charged word is sometimes used between friends.

    Luai was in September reportedly investigated by the NRL’s Integrity Unit after posting a video to social media containing a controversial rap song.

    The tune was by western Sydney drill rap group One Four, who have been criticised for inciting violence with their lyrics.

    The group is from Mt Druitt, the same suburb where the premiership winning five-eighth hails from.

    Along with a stellar performance including two try-assists in Sunday’s match, Luai also came under fire from fans after appearing to kick Parramatta star Isaiah Papali’i following a tackle by teammate Brian To’o.

    But Papali’i denied there’d been anything out of the ordinary.

    ‘Nah, nah. Nah. There was no kick,’ he told Code Sports.

    ‘I nudged him in the back and he was angry. That’s footy, there’s a bit of niggle.’

  • 1 час, 35 минут назад 03.10.2022Sport
    Patrick Mahomes outshines Tom Brady in Kansas City Chiefs win at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

    Patrick Mahomes emerged victorious from the star quarterback showdown with Tom Brady Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-31.

    The young quarterback, 27, dazzled in Tampa as he pulled several ridiculous plays out of his pocket to outshine the veteran and seven-time Super Bowl winner.

    Mahomes threw for 249 yards and three touchdowns, including an electrifying jump pass to Clyde Edwards-Helaire, to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 41-31 victory over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday night.

    Playing in a packed stadium only four days after Hurricane Ian ravaged portions of Florida, Mahomes had TD throws of 16 yards to Travis Kelce, 1 yard to Edwards-Helaire and 10 yards to Jody Fortson while making NFL history by reaching 20,000 yards passing faster than anyone else.

    Mahomes first showcased his magic when the Chiefs forced a Tampa Bay fumble on the opening kickoff, and two plays later, he found Travis Kelce for a 16-yard touchdown pass.

    He then wowed on the second drive as, with the Buccaneers’ defense breathing down on his neck, he sidestepped Carlton Davis and managed to get the ball out in time to find JuJu Smith-Schuster for a first down.

    However, his most remarkable moment of the game came when the Chiefs were up 14-3. The Buccaneers defense looked to have finally caught him but he successfully avoided the rush as he twirled away from Devin White before finding Edwards-Helaire for the score.

    The short pass to Edwards-Helaire was Mahomes at his improvisational best: He escaped two defenders, did a 360-degree spin move and flipped the ball over a crowd to the running back in the back of the end zone.

    Mahomes’s tricks and flicks did not go unnoticed on social media as NBA superstar LeBron James led the praise for the Chiefs quarterback.

    ‘Patty Mahomes. So damn good,’ the Lakers star tweeted, alongside a series on magic wand emojis.

    Other football fans described Mahomes’s ability as ‘silly’ as they jokingly claimed he should be banned from the league as no one else can match his skill.

    ‘Patrick Mahomes should be banned from the @NFL, it’s just not fair what he can do,’ posted former linebacker Emmanuel Acho.

    ‘Mahomes is just silly. It isn’t fair. I want a Mahomes,’ added Barstool Sports’ Big Cat.

    Patrick Allen described Mahomes’s performance as Godlike, as he posted: ‘Patrick Mahomes is going God Mode on the Bucs right now.’

    An Arrowhead fan account wrote: ‘There’s never, ever been a quarterback like this before. Mahomes Magic!’

    Another account posted: ‘List of people who can make that throw: Patrick Mahomes That’s it. That’s the list.’

    Meanwhile, another football fan joked that Brady had been forced to watch his defense get ‘fathered’.

    It posted: ‘Tom Brady really sacrificed his marriage to watch his defense get absolutely fathered by Patrick Mahomes. Tough scene.’

    It was the first meeting between Mahomes and Brady since Tampa Bay´s 31-9 rout of Kansas City in the Super Bowl – also played at Raymond James Stadium – two seasons ago.

    When asked if the Super Bowl heartbreak was on his mind during the game, Mahomes replied: ‘Yeah, we wanted to win for sure. Not only or that but to get our season back on track. To come down here to this stadium and win a game was pretty special.’

    Brady completed 39 of 52 passes for 385 yards and three TDs without an interception for Tampa Bay (2-2). The Bucs, however, played from behind the whole night after rookie Rachaad White fumbled the opening kickoff and Mahomes threw his TD pass to Kelce two plays later.

    Chiefs cornerback L´Jarius Sneed sacked Brady, forcing a fumble that Mahomes turned into Gray´s TD, with the tight end taking a direct snap from center on the 1-yard plunge that put Kansas City up 28-10.

    Brady threw TD passes of 13 yards and 1 yard to Mike Evans, who returned from serving a one-game suspension for his role in a on-field brawl at New Orleans two weeks ago. He had eight receptions for 103 yards.

    Evans’ second TD trimmed Kansas City´s lead to 28-17 at halftime. That was as close as the Bucs got until Leonard Fournette´s 5-yard TD reception cut Tampa Bay´s deficit to 41-31 with 3:30 remaining.

    Brady wouldn´t get the ball back until less than a minute was left.

    Kansas City finished with 417 yards of total offense, including a 189-3 edge on the ground, against a defense that had allowed a league-low 27 points through three games.

    The Bucs sacked Mahomes three times and intercepted him once, but it was not the ‘coming out party’ linebacker Shaquil Barrett had predicted his team having against an offensive line the Chiefs have overhauled since struggling against Tampa Bay in the Super Bowl loss.

    With Hurricane Ian approaching the Florida´s Gulf Coast, the Bucs evacuated for four days to the Miami area, where they practiced Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at the Dolphins’ training facility while the NFL made contingency plans to move the game to Minneapolis if it couldn´t be played in Tampa.

    The Glazer family that owns the Bucs has announced it is donating $1 million for hurricane relief. The NFL Foundation is matching that donation, and the Bucs on Sunday night began a ‘Florida Strong’ campaign to raise funds, as well as honor emergency personnel and first responders.

    Players and fans observed a ‘moment of support’ prior the national anthem, and the Bucs also paid tribute to those affected by the hurricane in a video presentation displayed on giant scoreboard screens before the game.

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