Young players can fulfill ambition at Leicester City, says Claude Puel

Leicester City are currently 8th position in the table.

Leicester City manager Claude Puel believes his pool of talented young players can fulfil their ambitions at the Midlands club which wants to challenge the top six Premier League teams.

Manchester City are reported to be interested in Leicester’s England centre back Harry Maguire, 24, while the club’s Nigeria midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, 21, has been linked to Liverpool.

But Frenchman Puel is confident Leicester, who won the title in 2016, will do everything to give his young players a platform to develop and set higher targets for the near-future.

“It is a good example with him (Maguire) and all the players that they can have some interest from other clubs but it is interesting with Harry because he believes in his work with Leicester,” Puel told the Leicester Mercury. “I hope we can develop the club to compete more up the table and take on the great teams with a good chance of success. “It is a long process, but it is exciting. With some players with the commitment of Harry, it is good with good spirit and good feeling.” Leicester are eighth in the standings but without a win in their last four league matches, including a 1-1 draw at home to strugglers Swansea City and Stoke City. Winger Marc Albrighton said Leicester were dominant in thoset wo games and are determined to finish their chances at home against Bournemouth on Saturday. “It’s a big game again and we need to win that one. There’s no getting away from that fact,” he told the club website (www.lcfc.com).

“We should have beaten Swansea here and we should have beaten Stoke here. We have to beat Bournemouth. We’ll prepare this week and hopefully we can get the result.” (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)

Manchester City must win more titles to be Premier League’s best: Ryan Giggs

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Manchester City have won many admirers in their “wonder season” but need more trophies to be considered the best Premier League team ever, ex-Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs has said.

City won manager Pep Guardiola his first silverware in England last weekend, romping to a 3-0 victory over Arsenal in the League Cup final. The runaway league leaders are also on course to win a third Premier league title in seven seasons. “Everyone recognises the football that they’re playing this year is high up there with some of the best we’ve seen in the Premier League era,” former Wales winger Giggs said.

“But to compare them to ourselves, Arsenal and Chelsea, you have to win multiple titles. You have to be consistent, not just one wonder season, which they are having.” United have won 13 championships since the Premier League era began in 1992-93, Chelsea have five, Arsenal are third in the list with three followed by City on two. Giggs, who won 13 Premier League titles with United and made a record 963 appearances for the club, said City were capable of reaching greater heights in the coming seasons.

“It’s up to other clubs, the likes of United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham to do better next year and to challenge and see how they handle that.” City, who have 72 points from 27 games and are 13 points above their neighbours United, visit sixth-placed Arsenal in the league on Thursday. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; editing by Ken Ferris)

Mayor Joe Anderson slams decision to stage Liverpool match on Grand National day

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City mayor Joe Anderson has described as “ridiculous” the decision to stage Liverpool’s Premier League match at home to Bournemouth in April just minutes after the Grand National horse race starts at nearby Aintree.

Bournemouth’s visit to Anfield has been chosen for live TV coverage and will kick off 15 minutes after the start of the famous National Hunt race four miles away. “Have just seen that Liverpool v Bournemouth is to be played on Saturday 14th April at 17.30pm the same day as the Grand National… need urgent meeting with @MerseyPolice they simply will not cope given the normal pressure of a Saturday. #madness,” Anderson wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

When a Twitter user said the Merseyside Police had given the green light to both events being held on that day, Anderson replied: “The costs of the overtime for police will fall on the taxpayer and can the transport network cope? Seems a ridiculous decision to suit TV again.”

It is the first time for 24 years that Liverpool will play at home on the same day as the Grand National.

The Merseyside club hosted Ipswich Town in April 1994 at 1130 local time in front of a crowd of just 30,485 and the race followed at 1550.

“As with each year, we’re working closely with the Police and transport providers but we don’t anticipate it affecting racegoers travelling to Aintree for Grand National Day,” Aintree communications manager Grant Rowley told the Liverpool Echo. “People will be heading to Aintree hours before the football crowd goes to Anfield and leaving Aintree well before the football finishes but, as with every race day, we will do everything possible to ensure the best customer experience for our racegoers when at Aintree Racecourse.

“Grand National Day is already close to sell-out but of course it’s a shame for anyone who wanted to attend both events.”

There will be a crowd of about 70,000 for the race at Aintree with a further 54,000 expected at Anfield. (Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)

US sailors’ rescue: Doubts emerge over survival story

Doubts have emerged about the survival story told by two US women who said their lives had been saved when they were rescued by the navy after spending five months adrift in the Pacific.

The US Coast Guard said that neither Jennifer Appel nor Tasha Fuiava activated an emergency beacon onboard.

There appear to be inconsistencies in other details of their story as well.

The pair said they became adrift in May when their boat’s engine failed as they headed to Tahiti from Hawaii.

They said the boat was without power or communications in the open seas about 1,500km (930 miles) south-east of Japan before a fishing vessel alerted US authorities to rescue them last week.

The pair, travelling with two dogs, had strayed significantly from their planned course.

Ms Appel later said that she and Ms Fuiava were “incredibly lucky” to survive because they were running out of food and had endured a tiger shark attack.

Why are there doubts?

US Coast Guard spokesman Lt Scott Carr said that interviews with the two women – coupled with a Coast Guard review of the incident – revealed that the pair had an Emergency Position IndicUS sailors’ rescue: Doubts emerge over survival storyating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) aboard, but did not turn it on.

Such devices emit a distress signal to help rescuers find vessels in an emergency.

It is unclear why the women did not do this if they were in distress, and there is no suggestion they did not know how to work the EPIRB – or that it was faulty.

Tasha Fuiava, a US mariner who had been sailing for five months on a damaged sailboat, climbing on board the USS Ashland in the Pacific Ocean, 25 October 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe women – and their dogs – say they survived thanks to a water purifier and a store of dry food

The women later said that they chose not to activate the EPIRB because they never feared their lives were in imminent danger.

Moreover, Lt Carr told the Associated Press (AP) news agency that when the Coast Guard made contact with the Sea Nymph – the name of the women’s boat – in June near Tahiti, the captain said that they were not in distress and expected to return to land soon.

He said that contact was made after the pair claimed they had lost use of their engines and sustained damage to their rigging and mast because of a storm.

It is also not clear if the women tested their radio equipment before they embarked on their voyage – last week they said they had six forms of communication on board but all went dead.

Retired Coast Guard officer Phillip Johnson told AP that the emergency beacons rarely fail and are designed to be suddenly dropped in the ocean.

What other parts of the women’s story have been questioned?

The pair said the tropical storm they encountered took place on their first night at sea in early May, and lasted for three days.

Jennifer Appel is welcomed on board the USS Ashland by Command Master Chief Gary Wise, 25 October 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThere are inconsistencies in the story of Jennifer Appel (seen here being welcomed on board USS Ashland), critics say

But National Weather Service records reportedly show there were no such storms in the region during that time.

There have also been questions as to why the two dogs travelling with the women were in such good health if they were really engaged in a struggle to survive.

In addition critics have asked why the women did not use distress flares or stop at various islands on their route – including Maui, Lanai and Christmas Island – to get help. The Coast Guard is continuing to review the case.


What do the women say?

On arrival in Japan, Ms Appel said that they owed their lives to the US Navy.

In a statement released last week they said that their engine broke at the end of May. They originally thought they would be able to reach land by relying on wind and their sails.

But two months into their journey – and long past their estimated arrival time in Tahiti – they began to issue distress calls, the statement said.

Ms Appel said they issued distress signals daily for nearly 100 days but received no response.

Two US mariners rescued by the US Navy after nearly five months at sea, 25 October 2017Image copyrightEPA
Image captionThere have been questions as to why the two dogs travelling with the women were in such good health if they were running out of food

They said they managed to survive the ordeal thanks to a water purifier and more than a year’s worth of dry goods such as oatmeal and pasta.

On 24 October, a Taiwanese fishing vessel spotted the 50ft (15m) Sea Nymph bobbing in the ocean and contacted authorities on the US territory of Guam.

The USS Ashland, which was in the area, arrived early the following day to rescue the sailors – both from Honolulu, Hawaii – and their canine companions Valentine and Zeus.