Twitter Linkedin Advertisement NewsCrime & CourtHeroin file to the Director of Public ProsecutionsBy Bernie English – August 14, 2017 1236 WhatsApp Email Previous articleShannon airport on the lookout for branding guruNext articleCatherine Ireton: Everyday courage Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. Facebook TWO men arrested following a Garda seizure of heroin in Limerick at the weekend have been released without charge.Gardai swooped to seize heroin with an estimated street value of €30,000 on Saturday afternoon in a house in Castleconnell.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up The seized substance is subject to testing and analysis.Two men, aged 24 and 28, were arrested and detained at Henry Street Garda Station in the city under Section 2 of Criminal Justice (Drug Trafficking) Act 1996Both have now been released without charge. A file has been sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions for a decision on the matter. Print
Elections 2020Homepage BannerNews Pinterest Meeting to discuss St Joseph’s cancelled because of minister’s ‘non engagement’ News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th By News Highland – January 31, 2020 Google+ A public meeting which was to have taken place on Sunday afternoon to discuss the future of St Joseph’s Hospital in Stranorlar has been cancelled, because of what the organisers have termed “non engagement from Minister Joe Mc Hugh”The Save Our St Joseph’s Hospital campaign says they had hoped Minister Mc Hugh would attend to clarify the position regarding the hospital’s future, and in particular, the scope of works announced by the HSE this month to bring the hospital up to HIQA standards.***********************Statement in full -St Joseph’s Community Hospital Action Group cancel meeting due to lack of engagement from Minister Mc Hugh- Facebook DL Debate – 24/05/21 Not for the first time has Minister Mc Hugh Shunned this committee as he continues his game of ducking and diving on this critical issue for the people of the Finn Valley area- The Save Our St. Joseph’s Hospital Action Group Stranorlar have taken the decision to cancel their planned public meeting for next Sunday 2nd February , on the grounds of complete lack of engagement from Minister Joe Mc Hugh’s Office.Despite since numerous efforts since last Monday 23rd to get a reply from the Minister – an original invitation on 22nd January plus 4 reminders, over a week-long period we have received no reply of any nature from either him or any member of his staff despite the email of 23rd January that, “We will check the diary for the coming days and we will get back in touch with you again as soon as possible to let you know if Joe can attend this meeting on Sunday at 3pm.”. It is nothing short of disgusting the way he has treated us as a Committee since February 2016, bearing in mind our committee is made up of voluntary people from all areas of life and several communities, from Glenfin, the Twin, Towns, Finn Valley, Killygordon, Crossroads, Castlefinn, Finn Valley and beyond, from different shades of political opinion and even those who have no political allegiance of any nature – he has treated us with utter and complete contempt.All other candidates and public representatives have already accepted their invitations and did so in a prompt and with the courtesies you would extend to a community group wishing to improve the services of their area on this occasion and on the occasions of so many other meetings including 3 previous Public meetings which Minister Mc Hugh failed to attend.We have members who despite past let downs, false dawns, and fake announcements were prepared to give the benefit of the doubt in this instance but their remaining belief in Minister Mc Hugh to deal with this issue in a fair and transparent manner is now shattered. We wish to acknowledge all the public representatives and/or candidates – who committed to attend our meeting and who engaged with us. We respect their honesty and support of our Action Group and campaign. We publicly Thank you sincerely for that support.These candidates deserve recognition and respect for the manner in which they have worked with us and engaged with us – they have treated us with respect and have helped us in every way possible. Previously they also would have attended other meetings which we held including three public meetings.But, unfortunately the same cannot be said of Minister Mc Hugh, he has let us down so many times and has failed to attend our public meetings, this is another example of how he works with communities such as ours and a final demonstration of why we have lost confidence in him.We were not prepared to allow this to continue until Sunday, and it would be unfair to continue with the meeting knowing as we do, that we have the 100% support of all the other candidates but the individual who has since 2016 sent out mixed messages , announcing fake grants and referring to plans that never were – how can we further allow this pretense to continue. Previous articleAndrew McGinley in eulogy says family will be ‘forever heartbroken’Next articleExclusive: Details of Mica scheme formally published News Highland WhatsApp Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows To continue with a meeting where the Government Representative has failed to communicate/engage with us or give any indication to attend would be taking people out of their homes in large numbers to be left with the situation that they could not get answers from the Person who has the answers. The answers to why there has been so many fake grants, false announcements, promises of meetings and documents that never transpired and imaginary plans that disappeared as fast as the imaginary ink dried on them. As a famous British Politician once said, ‘Truth is incontrovertible. Panic may resent it. Ignorance may deride it. Malice may distort it. But there it is.’ We need the Truth and the will from Government to deliver for our elderly and most vulnerable people.We the Action Group thank all the people for their continued support for the Community Nursing Unit and their support of the campaign to continue care in Stranorlar and the wider Finn Valley and surrounding parishes for years to come. We also thank those in the Media for their coverage and local businesses/organisations who have shown great support. Save Our St Joseph’s Hospital Action Group is in this until we succeed and we will continue the campaign to save the services, save the beds and restore St Joseph’s Community Hospital with the full complement of staff, long stay, short stay and Dementia beds and our Community Nursing and Residential care units. We will work with those who are genuinely supportive of us and our campaign – as opposed to those who are using us for their own political self-preservation and failing miserably in their role and duty of representing the decent and good people who built our communities and our country. A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation. ~James Freeman Clarke, US theologian and author. Twitter Google+ Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Twitter Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Pinterest Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programme WhatsApp Facebook
Dear EarthTalk: Does the fact that we’ve had such a cold and snowy winter mean that global warming might not be such a big problem after all?— Lacey L., Lynchburg, VA It’s tempting to think that the cold air and snow outside augur the end of global warming, but don’t rejoice yet. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), weather and climate are two very different beasts: “Weather is what’s happening outside the door right now; today a snowstorm or a thunderstorm is approaching. Climate, on the other hand, is the pattern of weather measured over decades.”Isolated weather events and even seasonal trends are not an indication of global warming’s existence one way or another, and most climatologists agree that the carbon pollution we have been spewing into the atmosphere for the past century is leading to more frequent and intense storms of every kind and causing greater temperature swings all around the planet. In short, the harsh winter we are having shouldn’t be viewed as a refutation of global warming, but rather as further evidence of a growing problem.“There is a clear long-term global warming trend, while each individual year does not always show a temperature increase relative to the previous year, and some years show greater changes than others,” reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The agency chalks up these year-to-year fluctuations to natural processes such as El Niño or volcanic eruptions, but points out that, regardless, the 20 warmest years on record have occurred since 1981, while the 10 warmest were in the past 12 years. And global average temperatures have risen by 1.4°F overall since the early 20th century.According to Becky Oskin of LiveScience.com, shrinking polar ice caps as a result of global warming in recent decades are one factor that may be contributing to the cold weather in North America this winter. “One way the shrinking ice changes weather is by pushing winter air south,” she reports. “When the stored ocean heat gradually escapes in autumn, it changes the pattern of an atmospheric wind called the polar vortex, streaming frigid Arctic air into North America and Europe.” Meanwhile, a 2012 study by researchers Jennifer Francis and Stephen Vavrus concluded that intense warming in the Arctic has caused changes to the jet stream that regulates air circulation around the planet, potentially leading to stronger winter storms hitting the eastern seaboard of the U.S.And what about all that snow? “Hotter air around the globe causes more moisture to be held in the air than in prior seasons,” reports UCS. “When storms occur, this added moisture can fuel heavier precipitation in the form of more intense rain or snow.” The U.S. is already enduring more intense rain and snowstorms, says the group: “The amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest one percent of storms has risen nearly 20 percent, averaged nationally—almost three times the rate of increase in total precipitation between 1958 and 2007.” And some regions of the country “have seen as much as a 67 percent increase in the amount of rain or snow falling in the heaviest storms.”And Oskin points out that while we may be bundling up and shoveling out in the U.S., it’s turned into another scorcher of a summer in the Southern Hemisphere: 2013 was Australia’s hottest year on record, and 2014 has started off even hotter, with temperatures soaring to 125°F and severe fire warnings issued in at least two states there. Apparently global warming is still on.
Seven years after Dontrell Stephens was shot and permanently paralyzed by a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, he will be receiving a larger multi-million-dollar payout as compensation for his injuries than initially planned.The Florida Legislature passed a bill on Wednesday ordering Sheriff Ric Bradshaw to pay the 26-year-old homeless West Palm Beach man up to $6 million.Although the amount is significantly less than the $22.5 million a federal jury had recommended, Stephens’ attorney, Jack Scarola, says, “The fact that a Republican legislature, that historically has been opposed to claims bills, passed it as overwhelmingly as they did, shows it was deserved.”The state Senate passed the bill by a 37-2 vote late Wednesday afternoon, two days after the lower chamber approved it by a vote of 160-0.The amount gives Stephens $1.5 million more than what Bradshaw agreed to pay in what he described as his “final” offer.After the final $4.5 million offer was made, legal questions were raised about whether the state legislature could cover bills that Stephens received while he was in rehabilitation and was being treated for potentially fatal bed sores that plague paraplegics, according to Sen. Anitere Flores, a Miami Republican who sponsored the measure.For that reason, the bill was amended so that Bradshaw would have to use up to $1.5 million of tax money to in order cover Stephens’ unpaid bills.Stephens’ guardian will use about $3.4 million to purchase an annuity that could generate interest to cover Stephens’ living expenses, the measure explains.Another $1.1 million will go to Scarola’s law firm and other parties, including lobbyists, who worked together on the case.Scarola says his client will need more than $6 million. Since Stephens is expected to live another 50 years, he would $5 million in order to lead a semblance of a normal life for his condition, according to an expert who testified during the 2016 civil trial of the case in U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale.The $3.4 million state lawmakers agreed to will provide some stability and security for Stephens, who had been living in a homeless shelter but is now sleeping on a friend’s couch, according to Scarola.The attorney adds that Stephens accumulated more than $3 million in bills from a Central Florida rehabilitation center, as well as doctors and hospitals that have treated him since he was shot by Deputy Adams Lin back in 2013.The deputy, who was later promoted to sergeant, shot Stephens a total of four times, moments after stopping him for riding his bicycle erratically on Haverhill Road in West Palm Beach.Although Lin testified that he thought Stephens was reaching for a gun, Stephens was unarmed. The black object he was holding at the time was a cellphone.Scarola will seek to reduce Stephens’ existing bills to $1.5 million by negotiating with those who are owed money.Lawmakers Slash Dontrell Stephens’ Settlement to $4.5 million
With nearly 370,000 “Vote by Mail” ballot requests already in process, Broward County election workers are preparing for the August 18 Florida Primary Election.They held a mock election on Wednesday to test the accuracy of their voting equipment in reading a ballot.Broward Supervisor of Elections Peter Antonacci says he expects a predominantly mail-in election due to concerns over COVID-19. Election workers in Miami-Dade County held their own equipment tests.Supervisor of Elections Christina White says more than 450,000 voters have already requested “Vote by Mail” ballots in Miami-Dade.She adds that her staff is prepared to handle the upcoming elections.In Miami-Dade, early voting for the Primary Election begins August 3 through August 16. Click here to view the schedule, times, and locations.In Broward County, early voting takes place August 8 through August 16. Click here to view schedule, times, and locations in Broward County. “We have about 370,000 ballot requests in hand and about 75,000 ballots received already,” Antonacci explains. “We expect to receive a heap of ballots from voters that will learn to enjoy voting from their kitchen table.”The last day to request a “Vote by Mail” ballot in that county is August 8.
Facebook8Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Animal ServicesWe often caution pet owners about what not to do, like which foods and houseplants to avoid, but we love to say yes to ways you can show your furry friends extra love.Exercise is healthy and can be fun for both ourselves and our pets. Play time with fuzzy toys on the end of a string for cats and walks or retrieving balls for our dogs show them how much we love their company.You can make healthy treats with inexpensive ingredients right at home. There are many recipes at your fingertips right online. Just double check which ingredients are safe for pets.Take care of their pearly whites. If brushing is out of the question there are other options like teeth-cleaning treats and foods, rinses, and water additives.If they haven’t already taken over your bed, a nice soft bed of their own can be wonderful for pets, and heated beds can be a great way to spoil pets with arthritis.Keep a collar on your pet. A collar with GPS and of course microchipping are always highly recommended.If you don’t have a pet to spoil, visit us to see if one of the furry companions at Animal Services might be just what you need to give you that wonderful experience.For more information, contact Animal Services at 360-352-2510 or visit the Animal Services website.
Intelligent Design proponents have often pointed to the similarity between what they are doing and what SETI is doing. For example, SETI is attempting to detect evidence of intelligence in coded signals from space, and design biologists are detecting evidence of intelligence in the DNA code. Seth Shostak, Director of the SETI Institute, decided to challenge that comparison in the weekly SETI report on Space.com. He started with a comparison of his own: ID people are no more to be taken seriously than the comedian who found a potato that looked like Richard Nixon’s head. But then he got serious; isn’t there a double standard, if SETI is accepted by the scientific community and ID is not? First, Shostak argued that the signals SETI is searching for are not all that complex. A code or message is not a requirement; a valid candidate might just be a “persistent narrowband whistle” of no known natural origin. Still, why would SETI be able to deduce intelligence with far less complexity than the high complexity found in DNA? Here, Shostak made a surprising statement: such a simple, narrow signal from space would constitute better evidence for intelligence than the DNA code:Well, it’s because the credibility of the evidence is not predicated on its complexity. If SETI were to announce that we’re not alone because it had detected a signal, it would be on the basis of artificiality. An endless, sinusoidal signal – a dead simple tone – is not complex; it’s artificial. Such a tone just doesn’t seem to be generated by natural astrophysical processes. In addition, and unlike other radio emissions produced by the cosmos, such a signal is devoid of the appendages and inefficiencies nature always seems to add – for example, DNA’s junk and redundancy. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)He admitted that the pulsar first thought to be evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in 1967 did not convey information, but then says that it was profligate in its signal, broadcasting all over the spectrum. This, he claims, shows that it was a signal no alien would produce; it would be too “wasteful.” In cells and sea lions, on the other hand, nature produces things full of “Junk, redundancy and inefficiency” he claimed. To him, this proves they were not artificially engineered because they are not “optimally built.” A second error in the comparison, Shostak continued, is in overlooking the importance of context. SETI researchers would be justified in inferring artificiality if they found a large green square on an earth-like planet (instead of in a group of stars), just like archaeologists are justified in inferring hominid tool-making if rock chips are found in a cave. In summary, Shostak disavows the comparison between SETI and ID research on two counts: (1) SETI is not looking for messages with evidence of intelligence, but only for simple artificial signals; (2) SETI is looking for artificiality in the context of places where such “very modest complexity” would be unexpected and not otherwise observed. The last word: “This is clearly nothing like looking at DNA’s chemical makeup and deducing the work of a supernatural biochemist.”We have to hand it to Seth Shostak for tackling an argument head-on without too much mocking. Will his arguments stand up to scrutiny? You decide. In the first place, looking for a simple signal is just the first pass filter. All the SETI literature has been replete with claims that eventually humans want to converse with the aliens and learn from them. Jimmy Carter spoke for the earth in writing, “We hope some day, having solved the problems we face, to join a community of galactic civilizations.” That’s also why our messages to them have been very complex: from the Arecibo message, to the Pioneer plaque, and especially to the Voyager records – loaded with information, telling them as much about ourselves as the bandwidth allowed. Finding a “persistent narrowband whistle” would most certainly instigate an intensive follow-up search to first confirm the artificiality of the signal, and then try to discover more complexity in it. Shostak and the world would certainly not be sufficiently convinced to get off at the whistle-stop and say, “well, we found intelligent life, so let’s move on to something else.” Look at how the alleged canals on Mars sent scientists and the public into a frenzy to get more data and learn more about a possible Martian civilization. The confirmation of extraterrestrial intelligence would surely demand more complexity in the signal, just as it did in the SETI-dominated movie Contact. As to Shostak’s second argument that an artificial signal would be efficient whereas life is profligate and wasteful, who is he kidding? This is a red herring wrapped in circular reasoning. Like most of the SETI crowd, Shostak is an evolutionist. He assumes life evolved, and he assumes evolution is a wasteful process without design, so when he finds what (to him) looks like wastefulness and redundancy, he only argues his assumptions. This is the old dysteleology (bad design) argument, but it is rather presumptuous to tell the Designer “if you were really so smart, you would have done it my way.” In the first place, Shostak obviously has not been listening to the molecular biologists who are in such awe of the efficiency and robustness of biological machinery that they are racing to imitate it (11/19/2005). (Artists may try to imitate junk, but not engineers.) In the second place, the “junk DNA” he speaks of is rapidly being redefined as more about its essential functions is being uncovered (10/20/2005, 09/08/2005, 07/15/2005). In the third place, he presumes he knows what the aliens would do, when maybe, to them, sending a wideband message might make more sense than a narrowband one. In the fourth place, he assumes human intelligence is not profligate, redundant and wasteful. Ever seen government regulations? So not only is he presumptuous and uninformed over the particular claims of this argument, it is an irrelevant argument anyway: SETI would certainly follow up any sign of “artificiality” with a massive search for more complexity containing a message. He argued that the ID claim that “complexity would imply intelligence, is also wrong.” But this misrepresents the claims of ID (see next paragraph), and will come back to bite his own assertion in the end. Shostak also misleads his readers by making a false distinction between artificiality and complexity. This equivocation also begs the question about design vs. evolution. The ID literature has made it clear that it is not just complexity that makes a design inference valid, but specified complexity. If an “artificial” signal were found with enough complexity beyond what could be produced naturally, it would be specified by definition, even if it were a persistent lowband whistle. After ruling out chance and natural law as sources, both Shostak and the ID community would conclude that an intelligent design inference is warranted. So the distinction disappears. Both sides also agree that specified complexity depends on context; a little complexity, like a cairn on a trail, is sufficient to make a design inference in the mountains, whereas much more specified complexity would be required to declare a forger guilty. And what is “artificial” anyway, if not designed by an intelligence? Shostak is not being consistent here, because to him, artificiality evolved: it has its roots in non-design. How could artificiality (i.e., purposeful action of a designer) evolve in the first place? At what point did purpose and intent (i.e., free will) diverge from chance and necessity? A beaver is intelligent, but is hauling a piece of wood for the purpose of making a dam equivalent to sending an intelligent signal bearing information? Is the guard crow sending intelligent communication when it caws the warning signal to the flock? Suppose an alien planet had frogs that croaked with a persistent narrowband whistle in the radio range; would SETI be ready to ask them about the meaning of life and how to survive global war? Clearly a different category of communication is being sought here. SETI goes beyond astrobiology. It would not be content to find bacteria on Mars; it wants evidence of purpose, intent, intelligence and free will – beings capable of harnessing nature to send information-bearing messages that would never occur by chance or natural law. Humans do this all the time: smoke signals, skywriting, petroglyphs, writing with a stick in the sand, or beaming bits into space. How can Shostak make a design inference based on artificiality (extraterrestrial intelligence, the kind that intends to communicate with us) without first assuming the very criterion he wants to deny to advocates of intelligent design? And without coming up with some sort of criterion for minimum specified complexity, how can he distance himself from the comedian who finds a potato that looks like Richard Nixon’s head? Finally, let’s have a little fun at Seth Shostak’s expense, with all due respect. One of the persistent harangues against intelligent design is that it “brings science to a halt by claiming a designer did it.” According to this view, ID scientists are lazy and prone to jumping to conclusions. They don’t want to be diligent in performing the rigorous work necessary to find natural explanations for complex phenomena (see 11/21/2005 end of main article). This is not true, because using the Dembski Explanatory Filter, intelligent causes are always a last resort after natural and chance causes are eliminated. But let’s put the shoe on the other foot for a change. Dr. Shostak, Jill Tarter et al.,wouldn’t it be the lazy way out for a SETI scientist to infer intelligence for a persistent narrowband whistle? Surely a naturalistic explanation must be out there. You must keep trying, ad infinitum, till a natural cause is found. If you infer intelligence was the cause, you are just giving up. You are failing to perform the rigorous analysis necessary to do science; you are bringing science to a halt. Nice try, Dr. Shostak. Think about this some more and try again. And while you’re at it, tell us how your own intelligent message-sending capacity evolved, or how it can be distinguished from chance and natural law, if nature is all there is. (Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
John Muir said we should not pity plants as prisoners to one spot. In their own ways, they travel the world as we humans do. Anyone who has walked through wild dry grass may have been annoyed at how many foxtails get buried in their socks and how hard it is to get them out. The seeds were not engineered for socks, but for animal fur. Once embedded, they become successful hitchhikers. The shape of the seeds, along with tiny barbs pointing backwards, ensure that the seeds work their way deep into the fur. The seed may find itself the pioneer of a new land far from where it was born. Charles Wolgemuth [U of Connecticut) talked about this in Current Biology.1 Many plants do more than just cast their fates to the wind; “some grasses, at least, are not so cavalier and have engineered their seed carrying appendages (spikelets) to increase dispersion and facilitate seed burial by converting periodic or random oscillations in the environment into directed motion.” Foxtails may look like dead, dry, inert things, but they can hitchhike, walk along the ground and even bury themselves into the soil. On the ground, they can take advantage of diurnal cycles of moisture and temperature. Their spikelets, called awns, expand and shrink, ratcheting the seed forward. Some of them even have spiral tips that can drill the seeds into the ground. Wolgemuth noted other instances where nature has used ratchet mechanisms to good advantage: snakes, whose skin moves their undulating motions in one direction, and jellyfish and bugs that can use water or air motions to achieve unidirectional travel. Even inside the cell, molecular motors like myosin, the flagellum and ATP synthase (05/25/2009) ratchet up the random Brownian motion in their environment into linear or rotary motion. His discussion of ratchets in nature led Wolgemuth to speculate about ratcheting as a general principle of biology. Unfortunately, this won him Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week :Biology has thus repeatedly found ways of producing net work by rectifying fluctuations with ratchets, and it is interesting to speculate on other areas where this mechanism may play a role. Evolution is one directly analogous system and a comparison between it and Brownian ratchets has been drawn previously. Clearly, random mutations in an organism’s genome lead to fluctuations in phenotype. Reproduction can lock in these variations, and natural selection then acts as a ratchet, reducing the likelihood of maintaining a population that is less competent at reproducing while increasing phenotypic populations that are fitter. A more tenuous comparison, though, comes to mind when I consider my own thoughts, which all too often seem quite random. I must consciously work to rectify these thoughts, plucking out the good ones and discarding the bad, in an attempt to construct an understanding of the world about me. Could my own thinking be working by trapping useful ideas from a pool of noise? One of the not-so-useful ideas, right? But, it has been suggested that certain nuclei in the basal ganglia act as a random motor pattern noise generator. If our brains can create noise, maybe they can ratchet it too.Wolgemuth did not make a distinction between purposeful choice in matters of truth and falsehood, and mindless mechanisms without purpose or goal. He also did not distinguish between physical ratchet mechanisms and conceptual ones (argument from analogy), and ended up personifying biology as an engineer. On fitness as a ratchet for progress, see 10/30/2002, “Fitness for Dummies.”Tip: To get foxtails out of your socks, don’t try to pull them out backwards. Push them through the cloth in the direction their natural ratchet wants to go.1. Charles Wolgemuth, “Plant Biomechanics: Using Shape to Steal Motion,” Current Biology, Volume 19, Issue 10, 26 May 2009, Pages R409-R410.One of the best videos of the motion of grass seeds is in volume one of Moody’s DVD set Wonders of God’s Creation. Time-lapse photography shows the seeds moving around like bugs and even burying themselves in the soil. It’s a shame Wolgemuth had to turn an otherwise interesting scientific discussion about plant engineering into another shallow Darwinian speculation. If he is unable to separate his own thoughts from noise, why should his readers try to do so?Tip: To get Darwinian foxtails out of your brain, don’t try to pull them out backwards. Push them through to their logical conclusions, where their blunt pointlessness becomes evident to all.(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Tottenham HotspurPremier League7.60 4Uruguay0.832+1.17 UnderachieversExpectedActualDifference 5Mexico0.520-0.52 Southgate’s plan seems to be to put the players from these teams into a compatible lineup before re-creating their off-the-ball tactics. As I noted in my Group G preview, of all the teams to qualify for the World Cup, England ranks third in breaking up an opponent’s possession before it completes three passes, behind only Germany and Spain.England’s famed problem has been getting its generational talents to click together. For once, the big teams in the Premier League are kindred spirits tactically, and this will have an impact on the national team’s ability to leverage the players provided by those clubs.Young attackersEngland is fielding an extremely young side in Russia, with an average age of 26 — only Nigeria is younger. And England’s average of 19 caps per player makes it the most inexperienced side in the competition.2Tied with Tunisia. But while they may be relatively new to the international stage, these youngsters are by no means immature in terms of elite soccer. England’s attack, in particular, is filled to the brim with talent just ready to peak. England features cohorts from aggressive-pressing clubsThe 10 big five European club teams best at pressuring opponents, 2017-18 2Netherlands0.670-0.67 4Russia0.600-0.60 Cups won Cups won 2Germany2.044+1.96 1Hungary0.920-0.92 1Brazil3.015+1.99 5Argentina1.442+0.56 Manchester CityPremier League6.71 sec. Hamburger SVBundesliga8.22 Nonetheless, the team that will face Tunisia on Monday is new and exciting. Gone are the mainstays from the past three World Cups, players like Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. Because of the players’ age and inexperience, this team is free of the weight of expectation — despite having the seventh best pre-tournament chance of taking the trophy home, according to FiveThirtyEight predictions. And for the neutral fan, too, England has a lot to offer.Tactical coherencePep Guardiola — the current manager of Manchester City, which became the first team in history to break the 100-point mark in the Premier League — has had an indirect hand in the past two World Cup-winning teams. In the final against the Netherlands in 2010, eight players featured on the pitch for Spain had been coached by Guardiola in his time at Barcelona. When Mario Götze broke Argentinian hearts in 2014, he was one of seven German players in the final to have played under the Catalan manager that season at Bayern Munich.This is likely to be less about Guardiola specifically, despite his brilliance, and more about his indirect influence on the tactical coherence of a national team. With him at the helm of the country’s best side, his players would naturally get national team starts; the ability of those players to click when on the pitch together meant that they had more coherent tactics than other teams stacked with good players. Indeed, Italy, which won the 2006 World Cup with a quintessentially Italian style of football, featured a spine of five Juventus players in the final.With only four Manchester City players on the squad, manager Gareth Southgate will pay homage to Guardiola’s team in style more than in personnel. Man City midfielders David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne are playing for Spain and Belgium respectively, but Southgate will try to replicate them by using Jesse Lingard and Dele Alli as “free eights” in the midfield. England has six more players total from Tottenham, managed by Mauricio Pochettino, and Liverpool, managed by Jürgen Klopp. These teams, like City, press the opposition extremely aggressively out of possession, with all three in the top 10 in Europe’s biggest competitions this season in terms of how quickly they shut down their opponents: Tottenham’s Harry Kane, for example, is one of the best goal-scoring strikers in the world at the tender age of 24. Somewhat terrifyingly, he is still improving: He was even better at getting off quality shots this season than he was the year before. The expected goals per 90 minutes from his shots in the Premier League rose from 0.45 in 2016-17 to 0.75 this year.Dele Alli, 22, will support Kane for their country as he does for their club. His 2017-18 season was marred for some by the idea that it was a regression compared with the year before. What really happened, though, was that he got fewer chances but created more. He also experienced a downturn in chance conversion, from scoring 44 percent more than might be expected based on chance quality in 2016-17 to underachieving it by 12 percent this season. All that made people forget that Alli is one of the brightest under-23 talents in the world. And nobody — apart from maybe Denmark’s Christian Eriksen — is better at supplying Kane.Man City’s Raheem Sterling may have made recent headlines for getting a rifle tattooed on his leg, but the more important of his designs is the one on his arm of a young boy, wearing England’s No. 10 shirt, looking up at Wembley Stadium, the home of English football. He’s my player to watch for Group G because of his electric ability to both get and create chances, coming off the back of an incredibly productive league season with 18 goals and 11 assists. And he’s only 23.Dark horses?The biggest problem for England in terms of being a dark horse in Russia is its likely post-group opposition. The English have a good shot of making the quarterfinal (58 percent when the tourney began) but will probably have to face Germany or Brazil at that point, depending on whether England finishes above Belgium in their group. Winning a matchup against one of those powerhouses is a long shot, though anything can happen in a World Cup.England has an exciting team of young stars, playing at stylistically compatible clubs, and a manager who seems tactically savvy despite his relative inexperience. Even if they don’t manage to bring home the trophy this summer, the future looks bright for The Three Lions for the first time in a generation.Neil Paine contributed research.Check out our latest World Cup predictions. OverachieversExpectedActualDifference Expected goals1388 Goals3528 Bayern MunichBundesliga7.51 England’s youth movementRanks of Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling in key offensive statistics in the English Premier League, 2017-18 teamleagueAvg. Opponent Possession Duration *Among attackers with at least 850 minutes playedSource: Football Whispers Borussia DortmundBundesliga7.91 LiverpoolPremier League7.92 EibarLa Liga7.23 Rank per 90 minutes* The big five leagues are the Premier League (England), Bundesliga (Germany), Ligue 1 (France), La Liga (Spain) and Serie A (Italy).Source: Football Whispers Assists93158 Expected assists76127 3England1.621-0.62 There is an uncharacteristic air of hope this year surrounding an uncharacteristic England team. To be an England supporter is to inherit a contradictory combination of utter nihilism and raging anger, expecting nothing and everything at the same time. English players have developed an unfortunate reputation: They will wilt under the brightest lights, typified by the inability to hold their nerve during penalty shootouts.But the perception of mental weakness between generations is, to some extent, a consequence of the spread-out nature of international tournaments. The World Cup is rare and unpredictable: Germany, the defending champion, had just a 13 percent chance of winning in Russia going into the tournament, according to FiveThirtyEight’s model, and even Brazil, the favorite, had less than a 20 percent chance.Using pre-tournament Elo ratings going back to 1930, we can construct a logistic regression to look at how many World Cup trophies each country might have expected based on team strength, the competition format and whether the country was hosting.1Historically, having a home advantage makes a big difference, so the model adjusts for the advantage that comes with hosting responsibility.Brazil, Germany and Italy have roughly a pair of trophies each more than the model’s predictions based on their strength before the tournament, which illustrates that the World Cup is hardly a tale of who the favorite is going in.England has underachieved, winning a solitary trophy relative to 1.62 expected World Cups. By our measure, only Hungary, which was one of the world’s best in the 1950s, and the three-time runner-up Netherlands have seen a bigger discrepancy. English supporters born after 1966 are justified in feeling a tad underwhelmed by the team’s performances on the world stage, but it could be worse — of the underachievers, England is the only team to actually have managed a win at all. England should have more trophiesTop five under- and overachievers by actual World Cups won vs. expected Successful dribbles666831 MarseilleLigue 18.15 RomaSerie A8.36 3Italy2.144+1.86 Based on a logistic regression that uses each team’s pre-World Cup ELO rating, accounting for host country and size of field. Germany’s history includes West Germany, while Russia’s includes the Soviet Union.Source: EloRATINGS.NET RB LeipzigBundesliga7.88 StatisticHarry KaneDele AlliRaheem Sterling