1 Jamie Carragher was in the home dugout at the New York Stadium Jamie Carragher was in the home dugout at the New York Stadium in Rotherham where England Under-17s beat their German counterparts 2-1 on Friday night.The former Liverpool captain has been helping under-17s coach Steve Cooper at St George’s Park this week as part of the Football Association’s plan to involve former players in the England youth coaching set up.Carragher, who won 38 senior England caps, addressed the players on Tuesday and helped with training in the build-up to Friday’s friendly against the Germans.The former centre-back chatted with Cooper on the touchline during the match, which England won thanks to goals from Mason Mount and Niall Ennis.Carragher’s former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard gave a talk to the under-19s after their 5-1 victory against Japan last week.And former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand will give a talk to the England Under-16 squad before they fly to the Nike Tournament in Florida next week.FA technical director Dan Ashworth said of the trio’s involvement: “I am delighted that we’ve got such fantastic role models working with our development teams.“One of the big parts of the England DNA, when we launched our philosophy, was to be able to tell young players what it meant to play for the Three Lions.“Steven, Jamie and Rio’s experiences on and off the pitch are vital and I am both happy and grateful to them all, that they want to pass on their advice to our young players.”
Diego Godin has ended any talk of a move to Manchester United by stating: ‘I’m with Atletico to the death’.The 29-year-old has been at the Vicente Calderon since 2010 and helped the Spanish club secure the La Liga title in 2014.Having impressed at Atletico, the Uruguay international has frequently been linked with a big-money move away and the likes of Manchester United have shown an interest.However, the centre-back has now committed himself to the club in an attempt to end any speculation.“I’m with Atletico to the death,” Godin told AS.“I’m a fan again, I’ve become enchanted by the club, so I decided to stay and every day I’m happier I made that decision.“I feel I can give more to Atletico and we can achieve important things. The best is yet to come.”?? 1 Diego Godin
1 Lazio have blocked approaches from Premier League duo Aston Villa and Bournemouth for Ravel Morrison, talkSPORT understands.The controversial former West Ham and Manchester United playmaker has made just six appearances for the Italian side and, according to Il Messaegero, Lazio were looking to ship him out before the transfer window shuts on Monday night.The English clubs were thought to have been in a bidding war over a deadline day deal for the 22-year-old, with the duo keen to add some attacking flair to their squads as they fight to avoid relegation.But talkSPORT sources have now confirmed the club have slammed the exit door shut, with the youngster set to remain in Italy for the rest of the season.Morrison moved to Serie A last summer after falling out of favour with former Hammers boss Sam Allardyce but he has continued to struggle to live up to his potential.Lazio were at one point open to his exit, with Villa and Bournemouth both keen to help reignite Morrison’s career, but the club have performed a U-turn.Lazio are currently eight in the Serie A standings and believes Morrison could play a part as they look to climb up the table. Ravel Morrison
By David Germain THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The horror tale “30 Days of Night” had three days of box-office bite. The Sony fright flick, with Josh Hartnett leading Alaskans against ravenous vampires that turn up for the prolonged winter darkness, debuted as the weekend’s No. 1 movie with $16 million, according to studio estimates Sunday. 3. “The Game Plan,” $8.1 million 4. “Michael Clayton,” $7.1 million 5. “Gone Baby Gone,” $6 million 6. “The Comebacks,” $5.85 million 7. “We Own the Night,” $5.5 million 8. “Tim Burton’s the Nightmare Before Christmas,” $5.1 million 9. “Rendition,” $4.2 million 10. “The Heartbreak Kid,” $3.9 million160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Audiences continued to choose merriment over misery as the latest crop of sober Academy Awards hopefuls, among them Ben Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone,” Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal’s “Rendition” and Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro’s “Things We Lost in the Fire,” debuted with so-so to dismal numbers. “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?”, the previous weekend’s No. 1 flick, slipped to second place with $12.1 million, raising its total to $38.9 million. Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters are according to Media By Numbers LLC. Final figures will be released today. 1. “30 Days of Night,” $16 million 2. “Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?”, $12.1 million
Harry Redknapp’s side were 8-0 winners Jordan have thrashed Bangladesh 8-0 in their first match under new manager Harry Redknapp.The former Tottenham, QPR and Portsmouth manager accepted an offer to take charge of the team from Prince Ali bin Al Hussein, president of the Jordan Football Association, for the two final Group B qualifiers, with a view to reaching round three of the Asian Football Confederation section.Al-Kuwait forward Hamza Al-Dardour netted a first-half hat-trick as the home side ran out comfortable winners at the Amman International Stadium.Jordan went into the match second in Group B, two points behind Australia, and next face the Socceroos in Sydney on Tuesday as they look to secure a place among the 12 teams qualifying for the next stage. 1
1 Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi has given his biggest hint yet that he could be on his way to the Premier League this summer, amid links with Tottenham and West Ham.The 22-year-old prodigy has been heavily linked with a move away from Marseille this summer, with the London duo both on the lookout to strengthen their attack this summer.Batshuayi’s contract at Marseille still has three years to run, but the cash-strapped French club are prepared to sell the 22-year-old this summer.And Batshuayi has spoken of his admiration for English football and desire to join one of the league’s big-hitters.He told Maxifoot: “Everyone loves the Premier League. It’s a wonderful spectacle with goals and great players.“It is normal for any top player to be attracted to the league.” Michy Batshuayi is a big fan of the Premier League
6 Blaise Matuidi (Paris Saint-Germain) – Currently, the Frenchman is starring at Euro 2016. He may not be at his best at the tournament but plenty of teams are courting him, including Chelsea and Manchester United. Matuidi, according to Le Parisien, hasnt had any offers just yet though, and will only consider bids from those two sides, along with Arsenal, Man City and Tottenham. Arsene Wenger may be worried about the effect of Brexit on the English game but he isn’t altering his transfer plans just yet.The Frenchman harbours concerns the United Kingdom leaving the European Union could damage the Premier League’s standing in the future and it’s ability to attract top talent.But before Brexit can fully take hold, Wenger is still plotting plenty of movements in the transfer market, as Arsenal look to better last season’s second place finish and win their first title since 2004.So, who are Arsenal looking to sign at the moment? Click the right arrow above to find out… 6 Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid) – The Evening Standard, though, believes Arsenal will only move for Lacazette if their attempt to land Morata fails. The Spanish stars return to his homeland has been confirmed with Real spending £23m to activate his buy-back clause at Juventus. But he is set to move on again, the sticking point appears to be a whopping £57m price tag, which is putting off the Gunners and Chelsea. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund) – The Gunners dim hopes of landing the lightning quick Gabonese star seem all but over as Diego Simeone expresses interest in taking the striker to Atletico Madrid, according to Die Western. LaLiga side Atletico will look at Aubameyang if they fail to re-sign Diego Costa from Chelsea. 6 6 6 6 Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg) – German international Draxler, 22, is a wanted man this summer as he stars at Euro 2016, with a goal and an assist in four appearances. With his Bundesliga side failing to earn a Champions League spot, he may well wish to move on after just one season with the club and France Football believe Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on his availability. Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon) – Read all about Arsenal’s move for the prolific Ligue 1 striker, below, then click the right arrow above for more Arsenal transfer news… – He may not have made Frances Euro 2016 squad, but the striker is still hot property this summer. Several English clubs harbour an interest in the player, including West Ham, who have seen bids knocked back. Arsenal are keen on Lacazette too and are pondering a bid, although it could cost them around £35m, according to the Daily Telegraph. Jeison Murillo (Inter Milan) – With the Italian side looking at the possibility of adding Ezequiel Garay to their ranks, Colombian star Murillo could soon exit the San Siro. If he does, Arsenal and Bayern Munich are in pole position for the defender, according to Gazzetta della Sport.
Lyon hotshot Alexandre Lacazette has asked to leave the club this summer – if Arsenal come calling.According to L’Equipe, the 25-year-old wants out of the club but has agreed to stay put for another season to avoid clashing with the fans once more.However, it has been claimed that Lacazette is aware of the interest from Arsenal, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, and wants to be allowed to leave should either club firm up their interest with a suitable bid.Lacazette scored 21 goals in 34 Ligue 1 outings last term, adding to the 27 in 33 he bagged the previous season, which has attracted the attention of Arsenal as well as West Ham.However Lyon are desperate to keep hold of the forward, who only signed a four-year extension this time last year.But now he hopes that his employers will reconsider their position only if Arsenal or PSG come forward this summer. 1 Arsenal target Lacazette netted 21 goals in 34 games for Lyon last season
De Le n urged LAUSD officials to “aggressively pursue compensation from Deloitte Consulting,” which was paid $55million to roll out the system smoothly. Officials at de Le n’s office could not be reached for comment. United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy said he thinks it’s the “nature of a dysfunctional organization that prevents (LAUSD) from moving forward.” Teachers union sues district Under terms of the various contracts for the payroll system, third parties, including teachers, cannot sue Deloitte directly for breach of contract. Instead, UTLA sued the district over the problems, but the case was thrown out of court. Arguments in an appeal are to be heard next month, Duffy said. Some members of the LAUSD’s police officers association have also filed a suit that’s still pending against the district. “Even if the case gets thrown out, you make the attempt on behalf of the organization and on behalf of the employees. You do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Duffy said. “The district is foolish if they’re not going ahead with the suit because they hold the strongest chip in the game: They can destroy Deloitte & Touche in the court of public opinion, and they should because Deloitte has destroyed lives and hasn’t delivered what it promised to deliver – accurate checks on time.” But LAUSD general counsel Kevin Reed said district officials are working with Deloitte to resolve the issues and have not yet reached the point of suing. A lawsuit could tie up the process in court for years without any immediate resolution to the problem, officials have said. “We have not reached a moment in which it’s become clear we have to sue them to get the problem fixed,” Reed said. “We’re still at a moment where we’re entitled to presume the good will of the folks at Deloitte and try to make sure the district is going to be made whole and given the benefit of the bargain we have in the contract.” Costs for payroll system ballooning Meanwhile, however, costs for the payroll system are continuing to balloon, and the school board continues to approve consulting contracts to fix the problem. LAUSD’s new chief information officer, Tony Tortorice, who rolled out the same type of electronic system for his former employer, the Los Angeles Community College District, predicted hiring consultants will not stop “for a while.” Tortorice had told the board last week that LAUSD’s original budget was underestimated for implementing a system of such size and complexity. As a general rule, he said, an organization should expect to spend 1percent to 1.5percent of its annual budget for each year of implementation. “Over a three-year period, $300million is not unusual for these types of organizations to experience,” he said. “You can try to spend below that.” The district still has to roll out the third phase of the system, which involves computerized purchase orders. “Much of the problem you’re facing right now is you’re underbudget(ing). Quite frankly, you need to spend this money to have these people on board for remediation. They need these resources,” he told the board last week. But board members questioned the efficiency of spending money for consultants with no stake in the project, no loyalty to the LAUSD and no assurances that they’re doing a good job. “I’m really worried. I’m not an expert, but I think we can do it for less. I can’t agree to $300million for three years. I’m not sold on that just because someone tells me I need to be,” Vladovic said. “This is supposed to support instruction, not drain it.” School board member Tamar Galatzan said the district has taken a piecemeal approach, reacting to each problem with a “never-ending stream of these contracts” and no way to measure success. “I keep questioning all of these costs,” Galatzan said. “I’ve never seen a plan that included all of the consultants, all of the costs, who’s responsible for what, where the money’s coming from, how long it’s going to take. “Nothing exists that resembles a transparent, cohesive plan.” Error rate is dropping But district administrators maintain the system will be stabilized in January. They say errors related to flaws in the system have been worked out and now just human errors remain as employees adjust to the system. The overall district error rate in October was 5.91percent, which dropped to 1.27percent in December. A good indicator of progress is a drop in the number of people going to assistance centers about their checks, administrators said. In early November, 759 people went to a help center, but the number in early December was 237, and most of them did not claim system-generated problems, said Dave Holmquist, LAUSD’s interim chief operating officer. “That’s a good sign that things are well on the road to recovery,” he said. Errors on other employees’ checks have been less than 1percent for months, but problems remain for teachers and other certificated personnel. But Tortorice said the district will not be able to reach its error-rate goal of about 0.5percent on the certificated payroll if it does not simplify the process – namely by eliminating annualized pay. The district is still negotiating with the union to eliminate the process in which LAUSD spreads teachers’ pay for 10 months of work over 12 months so they receive a check year-round. “We know what the defects are, and we continue to work on them, but we need that simplification (of eliminating annualized pay) to have the long-term health of payroll,” Tortorice said. “We’ll never get it to sub-0.5percent without simplification.” Tackling pay and tax forms The teachers union fought for annualized pay for 25 years, and the district made the decision to roll it out in February along with the new system. “They never should have instituted annualized pay the very moment they brought on a new system,” Duffy said. District administrators also insist that the production of end-of-year tax forms, or W-2s, will go smoothly. They claim LAUSD’s gross overpayment to employees is about $53million, with about $15million currently outstanding. About 60 percent of people contacted for overpayment have either paid back the district or agreed to pay it back, totaling about $14million. But the district has already lost about $6million in waiving payment for employees who owed $250 or less because it would cost the district that amount to recoup the money, Tortorice said. And LAUSD officials are also scrambling to correct faulty reports to the California State Teachers’ Retirement System so there is no negative effect on the retirement accounts of current and retired employees. Holmquist said the district has learned it “rolled this out too fast.” “We didn’t spend enough time preparing for (the) rollout,” Holmquist said. “We did it too quickly, and we risked a lot, and we went live all at once, and we’ve been playing catch-up ever since.” email@example.comWant local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “There’s going to be a Judgment Day when all of this is over,” said school board member Richard Vladovic, who represents the South Bay’s District 7. “There’s been more spent than we know, and I’m sure there are other ancillary costs such as the overtime, the additional processing and the communications. “It’s bigger than we all believe. We need to look at it totally. I want an accounting of everything – every nook and cranny,” Vladovic added. Some say many of the school board’s closed sessions in recent months have been dominated by discussions trying to get to the bottom of who is to blame for the fiasco. It’s “imperative that the district seek cost recovery against this vendor,” Assemblyman Kevin de Le n wrote in a letter last week to Superintendent David Brewer III. Ten months after installing a new computerized payroll process that has been roiled by glitches, Los Angeles Unified officials now say costs for fixing the system and completing its rollout could top $210million. The system, with an original price tag of $95million, has underpaid or overpaid thousands of employees, and last week district officials said hiring consultants to fix it has already caused the cost to balloon to $132.5million. And some officials are questioning the district’s transparency on all the costs associated with the system, noting that at least $6million will be forfeited by allowing some overpaid teachers to keep the money. Some are also questioning why the district has not yet sued the company that rolled out the system. The state Legislature has begun to lean on school officials to recover at least $10million that Deloitte Consulting has spent to hire a consultant to address the problems.