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7 things we learned from Andre Ayew’s Swansea debut

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first_imgAndre Ayew announced his arrival on the Premier League scene with a superbly taken first goal to help Swansea City to an eye-catching opening day draw at champions Chelsea.Freelance journalist Andrew Quandzie casts an eye over the Ghanaian’s glorious debut for Joy Sports.–Welcome to the Premier LeagueAyew would have expected a difference from Lige 1 to the Premier League and it seemed initially as though the frenetic pace right from the off caught him off guard.And the welcome to the physical side of things came with a Gary Cahill arm across the face that left him on his haunches and needing a stitch or two above the eyebrow.But any thoughts that it would see the 25-year-old go into his shell were well and truly misguided as he grew in stature and threat and showed just why Swansea were so excited by enticing him to the Liberty. The goalIt was a wonderful goal all round, with Jefferson Montero’s speed and service, Bafetumbi Gomis’ subtle movement and header, even Thibaut Courtois’ save was worthy of note.But the highlight has to be the ice-cold instincts inside the box from Ayew as the ball fell to him, opting against the wild swing most would have gone for and dragging the ball back delightfully to leave John Terry flailing before a well-placed finish.Class in a nutshell. The celebrationIt’s fair to say the goal meant a lot.Attacking players love to get up and running and getting off the mark 29 minutes into his new life – compared to 599 minutes for Marseille – will give anyone confidence.He also seemed to realise how much it meant as he pounded his chest and slid on his knees.The attacking threatThe presence of Ayew really adds something to Swansea. He can hug the touchline – though, not in the same explosive manner of fliers such as Jefferson Montero and Nathan Dyer – but the fact he is able to play as a striker or off a striker brings the extra penalty box threat that the side perhaps needed. Not only does it mean Swansea can switch it up during games by playing directly behind the traditional frontman, his in-game intelligence means he knows where to go looking.Ayew’s average position graph show him more tucked in than Montero with an example being his near post run for the goal.And then there was that goalscorer’s composure that should suggest Swansea can expect a helping hand for Gomis.The added extrasSwansea have signed a player of undoubted quality but they also have a team player who is far from the big time Charlie that his World Cup and Champions League pedigree could easily breed. He offered encouragement to others, encouraged and urged against complacency rather than shouting or throwing his hands in the air in frustration.He was willing to dig-in for the team which is a necessary fit for Swansea success, notably winning the ball back in his own half right at the death where the exertion of his first game in British football could have easily taken its toll.Garry Monk’s verdictThe Swans boss has been at pains to talk about the team effort rather than singling out individuals but it was clear he got what he was looking for – and expecting – from Ayew.“That was a glimpse of what he can offer,” said Monk. “He’s come in and he’s been incredible. “He’s worked extremely hard with the group and the group have worked hard with him to get him settled. It’s always good for a new player when you come into a new league – even though we knew they have great quality – to get that first goal will give him great confidence.”More to come?That’s what the African ace is planning as his humility and hunger for success with Swansea came across when he reflected on his eye-catching debut and spoke of the “great moment” of grabbing his first goal and helping his new side to an impressive opening day result.“They are the champions with a great squad, but we managed to get a great result,” said Ayew. “We need to continue like that and stay positive because it can be just the beginning.“I was very happy with my goal, particularly as the squad has really helped me out. Hopefully I will continue working hard to help the team get better. “Bafe had a good header saved, and then I had my first shot blocked. But I got up quickly and managed to drag it and score with the second shot. It was a really great moment for myself and, more importantly, the team.“It was my first game in the Premier League and I’m always learning. The intensity is different and I have to work hard to get better and better week-in week-out for the team.“But my team-mates, the manager and the coaches are all pushing me to become better and raise up my game so that I can do more and more for the team.“We must keep the spirit we have. We showed a lot of character. This is only the beginning for us.”–Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

Appeal hearing reportedly set after Vontaze Burfict gets season-long suspension

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first_imgBurfict’s agent appealed the decision, and NFL Media reported a hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 8. The NFL is done with Vontaze Burfict playing outside the rules. The league announced Monday it has suspended the Raiders linebacker for the rest of the 2019 season for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle during Sunday’s game. Rams’ loss to Buccaneers ‘a wake-up call for everybody,’ Sean McVay says Jalen Ramsey trade rumors: Jaguars turned down two first-round picks for star cornerbackcenter_img Source: The appeal for #Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict of his suspension for the rest of the season will be on Tuesday, heard by NFL-NFLPA jointly appointed appeals officer, Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 3, 2019Derrick Brooks will hear Burfict’s appeal, and NFL Media notes he and James Thrash have a history in that chair — Thrash previously reduced a Burfict suspension from five games to three in 2017 after Brooks upheld a three-game suspension in 2016. Like this tweet if you think Vontaze Burfict should receive a lifetime ban from the NFL pic.twitter.com/I0ZwC4m0BE— Kyle Fahey (@KyleFaheyNFL) September 29, 2019If the season-long ban is upheld, Burfict will have been suspended for a total of 22 games in his career. Those absences and additional fines incurred will have cost him more than $5 million in salary, according to ESPN.The Raiders (2-2) are next slated to take on the Bears (3-1) in London in Week 5. Burfict, 29, has a long history of illegal hits that have led to fines and suspensions. He reportedly racked up $165,000 in sanctions last season alone. Vontaze Burfict suspended for remainder of 2019 season for violations of unnecessary roughness rules. pic.twitter.com/oSMl2iSRNW— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) September 30, 2019″There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in a letter to Burfict. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. … Following each of your previous rule violations, you were warned by me and each of the jointly appointed appeal officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designed to protect yourself and opponents from unnecessary risk.”  Related Newslast_img read more