Super Eagles midfielder, Alex Iwobi, has been listed among Premier League’s most-improved players in the ongoing season.
Other players listed among Iwobi are Miguel Almiron, Eric Dier, Diogo Dalot, Joelinton, Ivan Toney, Fabian Schar, Gabriel Martinelli, Eberechi Eze and Granit Xhaka.
Formerly ostracised by Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez at Goodison Park, Iwobi appeared to have amounted to nothing more than a utility player at Everton.
The Nigerian had managed only four Premier League goals in three seasons having joined from Arsenal as a forward player in a deal worth £34m including add-ons.
This season, however, Iwobi has looked a player reborn under Lampard. Indeed, it is form carrying over from the end of the last campaign when he was one of the standout performers in the club’s march to safety.
But since earning regular starts under Frank Lampard, the Nigerian has emerged as a pivotal part of the Toffees’ system this season, offering an abundance of energy in midfield and has been involved in over 50 per cent of the Toffees goals so far.
He has also racked up five assists in the currently campaign.
No longer a winger or playmaker, Iwobi is now viewed as a hard-working, box-to-box midfielder under Lampard and has helped Everton climb to 11th in the table.
Iwobi’s hard-working role in the engine room has helped boost Everton’s defensive record
The 26-year-old, who is tasked with breaking up play and tracking runners in midfield, has contributed to the Toffees’ superb defensive record so far this season, which is the best among teams outside the top five (Arsenal, Man City, Spurs, Newcastle and Chelsea).
Attributing Iwobi’s resurgence to Lampard’s belief in him, team-mate Andros Townsend said: ‘Rafa used to have this fitness test and Alex was always the fittest. But he didn’t believe it.
“It was only when Frank Lampard came in and said “I believe in you”. Now you’re starting to see Alex as the specimen he is.”
Paul Bento Steps Down As South Korea Coach After World Cup Elimination
Paulo Bento announced he would not be staying on as coach of South Korea after they were eliminated from the World Cup with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Brazil on Monday.
“Now I need to think about the future, but I will not be with the Korea team. I am going to rest and then see,” the 53-year-old former Portugal coach said after the loss in the last 16.
“I have just told the players and the president of the national federation.
“This is a decision which I took in September. It was set in stone and today I confirmed it. I have to thank them and am very proud to have been their manager.”
Bento took over following the 2018 World Cup, succeeding Shin Tae-yong.
In Qatar, he led South Korea to the knockout round for the first time since 2010 with a last-gasp win over Portugal in their final group game.
However, they were outclassed by Brazil as they found themselves four goals down before half-time at Doha’s Stadium 974, although they did pull one back late on through substitute Paik Seung-ho.
“I believe we can be very proud of what we have done at this World Cup, and what we have done over the last four years to get here,” said Bento, who coached his home country at the 2014 tournament in Brazil.
A Korean side captained by Son Heung-min got to Qatar by finishing second in their qualifying group behind Iran but their last-16 exit means they have still never won a World Cup knockout tie outside of their home country.
“I think we did really well in the group stage although I think we could have picked up more points as we should have beaten Ghana,” Bento said.
“Part of it was coming down and the bus was a little bit back from that. The bus driver was backing up when it all came crashing down,” Andres Ibarguen told radio station Lloro Stereo.
The rainy season that began in August is Colombia’s worst in 40 years, according to the government, causing accidents that have left more than 270 people dead.
The country has declared a national disaster over the rains linked to the exceptionally long La Nina weather phenomenon, which cools surface temperatures and is currently causing drought and flooding around the globe.
Today, the landslide “puts this town in mourning, tomorrow it could be in another area, because we really have many unstable areas in the country, and the rainy season has not ended,” said Javier Pava of the UNGRD.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization said last week the La Nina conditions could last until February or March 2023.
In Colombia, the phenomenon has also caused crop damage, compromising food supplies and leading to soaring prices.
In July, three children were killed in northwestern Colombia when a landslide buried a rural school. In February, 14 people died in a mudslide triggered by heavy rains in central-western Risaralda province.
American Hurdler, McLaughlin-Levrone Beats Amusan To Claim World Athlete Award
The World Athletics on Monday named American hurdler Sydney McLaughlin-Levrone the Female World Athlete of the Year, beating Nigeria’s Tobi Amusan and three others for the prestigious honour.
Amusan, Jamaica’s Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Peru’s Kimberly Garcia, and Venezuela’s Yulimar Rojas were the other finalists.
Amusan took the world by storm when she ran 12.12s in the semi-final of the women’s 100m hurdles at the World Championships in Eugene, USA to break Kendra Harrison’s 12.20s World Record.
Amusan ran a faster time – 12.06s – in the final about one hour later to claim gold, although the time wasn’t deemed legal as it was wind-aided.
The Nigerian hurdler continued her blistering form by retaining her Commonwealth Games title in Birmingham, UK, setting a Games record of 12.30s.
She also retained her Diamond League trophy in her season-ending race.
Swede pole vaulter Mondo Duplantis was also named the Men’s World Athlete of the Year, while American teenager sensation Erriyon Knighton and Serbian javelin thrower Adriana Vilagos won the men’s and women’s Rising Stars awards respectively.
The World Athletics announced the American 400m hurdles Olympics and World Champion and World Record holder as the winner on its website.
McLaughlin-Levrone improved her own world 400m hurdles record by 0.78, first to 51.41 at the US Championships and then to an awe-inspiring 50.68 at the World Championships. That secured her a first individual senior world title, and she followed it by anchoring the US team to another 4x400m victory.
The 23-year-old made a statement with her first 400m hurdles race of the year, clocking 51.61 in Nashville in early June. At that point, it was the third-fastest time ever recorded, but the all-time list soon underwent further revisions.
Lining up at the US Championships at Hayward Field, McLaughlin stormed to victory in the 400m hurdles in 51.41, taking 0.05 off the mark she set at last year’s Tokyo Olympics.
“I think there’s a little bit more in the tank there,” she said after her US Championships win. “Hopefully when it’s time we can just empty it completely.”
Back at Hayward Field a month later, McLaughlin-Levrone obliterated her previous best, running 50.68 as the home crowd and the rest of the world watched on in amazement.
“All of my goals were accomplished this year,” said McLaughlin-Levrone. “We were able to accomplish everything we set out to do. It couldn’t have been any better, and I was so grateful that I was able to produce that performance in front of a home crowd.”
Qatar 2022: Full Last 16 Fixtures, Date And Time
Following a sensational end to the group games of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup on Friday, the round of 16 games will immediately follow up on Saturday (today).
The group climaxed with Group H games that saw Ghana and Uruguay bow out even though the South Americans won 2-0. South Korea also joined Portugal in the next round courtesy of a late winner by Hwang Hee-chan.
While highly rated teams like Germany, Belgium, and Uruguay failed to make it out of the group stage, Japan, South Korea, and Morocco pulled surprises to top their respective groups.
As there is no break after the group stage games, the second round gets underway on Saturday with games between Netherlands and USA as well as between Argentina and Australia.
Full Last 16 Fixtures For Qatar 2022 World Cup +Plus Time
See the complete second-round FIFA World Cup 2022 fixtures below:
Match 49 – Saturday, 3 December Netherlands-USA, Time: 16:00
Match 50 – Saturday, 3 December Argentina-Australia, Time: 20:00
Match 51 – Sunday, 4 December England-Senegal, Time: 20:00
Match 52 – Sunday, 4 December France-Poland, Time: 16:00
Match 53 – Monday, 5 December Japan-Croatia, Time: 16:00
Match 54 – Monday, 5 December Brazil-Korea Republic, Time: 20:00
Match 55 – Tuesday, 6 December Morocco-Spain, Time: 16:00
Match 56 – Tuesday, 6 December Portugal – Switzerland, Time: 20:00