Riyad Mahrez came very close to joining Arsenal in 2016 and bemoans ‘losing two years at the highest level’

first_img Phil HaighMonday 11 Nov 2019 11:40 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link Riyad Mahrez came close to joining Arsenal three years ago (Picture: Getty Images)Riyad Mahrez believes Leicester City cost him ‘two years at the highest level’ as he was blocked from joining Arsenal in 2016.The Algerian was one of the stars of the Leicester side that caused a monumental shock to win the Premier League title in 2016.However, he was keen to leave the Foxes after lifting the trophy, and says he was extremely close to making the switch to the Gunners in the weeks after the remarkable success.His former employers stopped him making the move to north London and Mahrez is still bitter about having to wait until 2018 to join Manchester City and reach the ‘highest level.’AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘After the title, if I’d left for a top team, it wouldn’t have been the same story,’ Mahrez told France Football. ‘For me, it’s clear that I lost two years at the highest level. I lost two years! Because instead of arriving at City at 27, I could have been there at 24, 25.‘Leicester blocked me. They told me: “You’re not leaving, you’re not leaving”. Advertisement Riyad Mahrez came very close to joining Arsenal in 2016 and bemoans ‘losing two years at the highest level’ Comment Advertisement Mahrez lifted the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2016 (Picture: Getty Images)‘My agent had spoken to [Arsene] Wenger who really wanted me. It was nearly all done with Arsenal in 2016.‘I was really frustrated. It wasn’t easy to go from being the best player in the Premier League to being a part of a team fighting against relegation. It’s not the same job. Everyone is waiting for you around the corner.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityThe 28-year-old won the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup with City in his first season at the club last campaign after making a £60m move from Leicester.He has played regularly so far this season, making 14 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals in the process after netting 12 times last season.MORE: Arsenal should bring back Arsene Wenger to help out Unai Emery, says Charlie NicholasMORE: Mikel Arteta would be free to leave Man City if Arsenal want him to replace Unai Emerylast_img read more

Midfield a concern for Rodgers

first_imgLiverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has issues to contend with in central midfield ahead of a difficult trip to Tottenham this weekend. Press Association However, the 23-year-old is expected to be ready for the game at White Hart Lane which is also likely to see Lucas Leiva recalled in place of Gerrard having been dropped to the bench last weekend. With Henderson, Joe Allen and Lucas all expected to start against Tottenham that leaves little in the way of back up. Summer signing Luis Alberto, who has made only seven substitute appearances in the Premier League totalling 113 minutes, is the only other player who could possibly do a job in the centre but he is more comfortable in an attacking role. Central midfield, particularly in terms of defensive capabilities, is an area Rodgers has needed to strengthen and he may have to look at addressing that when the January transfer window opens. Allen has now started back-to-back league matches for the first time since December 15 last year and is beginning to start showing a return to the sort of form which persuaded Rodgers to bring him with him from Swansea in the summer of 2012 at a cost of £15million. “I’ve struggled with different injury problems but you’d hope that they’re behind me now and I can focus on getting out there and playing more and more,” Allen told liverpoolfc.com. “The manager has just told me to be ready for when my opportunity comes and to get back to my best. That will come with game time. Nothing has changed really. “But everything comes together with playing time, so I’m looking to getting a string of games and showing what I can do.” center_img Captain Steven Gerrard’s hamstring injury, sustained in Saturday’s 4-1 win over West Ham, could sideline him for up to six weeks. Fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson has bruising on his right ankle from the tackle by Kevin Nolan which resulted in the Hammers skipper being sent off and has been wearing a protective boot to ease the pressure on the joint. last_img read more

Monk ready for Swans challenge

first_img “I feel very honoured,” Monk told reporters on Friday. “It is something I have always dreamed about doing. I didn’t expect it to come this soon, and it is an opportunity I intend to take. “I’ve lived in this city for 10 years. I have always tried my hardest for the club, so it never felt like a trial. “You are there to be judged. I expect that. It doesn’t faze me at all. I have a plan in my own head of what I want to do and how to go about it. “I want to take the club forward. I have been part of the 10-year journey with this club, and now it is about improving on that, which is what I will be looking to do.” Monk’s first task – after Sunday’s Barclays Premier League finale at Sunderland – will be to keep working on the squad he would like in place for next term. “Players will go and players will come. I think players understand that, and clubs understand that,” he added. “You will be constantly linked with players when you are in the Premier League. I think it’s just a case of us working closely together and making sure we get the targets we want to get. “As a club, you have to be looking at all sorts of players, and that is what we have been doing. In the coming weeks, I guess we will narrow it down.” Monk constantly straight-batted questions about his future in recent weeks, and he admitted that it was not until after top-flight safety was secured did he even contemplate focusing on himself. “It is not about me, it was about the situation that we were in, me coming in and making sure that the team got across the line,” he said. “I think it has only been since the Aston Villa game (last month) that I have turned my thoughts to myself. “We really want to finish off with a positive result for our fans and ourselves on Sunday. “We were disappointed last week (against Southampton). We deserved at least a point, and to come away with nothing was hard to take. We need a reaction.” Swansea’s chairman Huw Jenkins said Monk’s longevity with the club had been a key factor behind his appointment. “Garry’s experience of working with us as a football club is vital,” he said. “We feel one of the most important ingredients of appointing any manager is making sure you have got people with you that can work together and for the football club. They are the qualities he has. “There is always that difficulty of somebody coming in during the season. Now that we have got this set in motion for next season, he has got all pre-season to work with the players and that is a massive thing going forward. “We fought a battle for 10 years against all the odds to achieve what we achieved, and we have got to make sure that we collectively have got that belief going forward that we can defy the odds. “I think Garry is accustomed to that – I think that will be embedded in our players going forward. “We have all been doing this long enough to realise that staying in the Premier League is number one. Some of our fans might think that is defeatist, but I think it is just realism of the level we are playing at. “The challenge exists to stay in the Premier League and secondly we have always got an inner belief that every game we play we can go out and win, and we will see where that takes us. “The reason we have been successful is that we have always been fighting against the odds since we got promoted to the Premier League. “The moment we get complacent, we will go backwards. Every year has got to be a challenge and a fight – we know that. The more we challenge and fight, the higher we will finish up the league.” Former Swans captain Monk’s three-year deal sees him succeed revered bosses like Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup at the Liberty Stadium. He was named in temporary charge after Laudrup departed the club earlier this season before Swansea decided he was the man to take them forward on a long-term basis. Press Association Garry Monk will take charge of Swansea for the first time this weekend as their new permanent manager, claiming: “It doesn’t faze me at all.”last_img read more

Hoddle: Spurs need special player

first_img “He may want to bring in some fresh people. Whether Daniel (Levy, the chairman) is going to be up for that remains to be seen,” Hoddle told Press Association Sport. “It is very difficult nowadays. There is a lack of world class strikers and midfield players which control the game, express themselves and that is what I think they miss. They have some good players but they don’t have a special player.” And Hoddle also feels Pochettino has not been able with his current squad to play the type of pressing football which brought him so much success at Southampton. “There’s a lot of talent there and the manager will try and get best out of the talent there,” Hoddle said. “He’s tinkered with it (their style of play), I saw them at home to Everton they were very positive, at Southampton he wanted a tempo and he got it. “The personnel at Tottenham are different – they won’t press as hard. It is something they have worked on at Spurs and something they will try and improve on. “They have got to put a really good run together (to break into the top four). If you win two or three games in this league and it can turn around. The strikers have to start scoring goals, I think then the team can feed off that.” Roberto Soldado is one of the forwards Tottenham need to start firing, with the former Valencia striker, who cost Spurs £28million at the start of last season, netting just once in the league this season. “It hasn’t happened (for Soldado) yet,” Hoddle, who is coaching at QPR and working with Zapsportz.com, said. “He could move somewhere else and embarrass Tottenham and do well. “He needs confidence. A few more goals and you will see the best of him.” Glenn Hoddle feels Tottenham lack a special player and that they will struggle to make the top four unless the north London club can get one of their strikers firing. Press Associationcenter_img Tottenham currently sit 10th in the Barclays Premier League after an inconsistent start to the season which has seen Mauricio Pochettino’s side win as many games as they have lost in their first 15 matches. Hoddle, who made 377 appearances for Spurs during a 12-year stay at White Hart Lane before managing the club between 2001-03, feels a few new players could lead to a decent run of form which could see them break into the top four. last_img read more

Roberto Martinez glad Everton could control John Stones saga

first_imgEverton manager Roberto Martinez is keen to consign the John Stones transfer saga to history and insists the impending visit of Chelsea has no extra significance. Last month the Stamford Bridge side made three unsuccessful bids, the last upwards of £30million, which prompted the England defender to hand in a transfer request. However, Everton stood firm and held on to the 21-year-old, and Martinez expects the youngster to approach Saturday’s Barclays Premier League match with the same professionalism he has always shown. Press Association “Any story or any backlash still from the transfer window I am not going to entertain. “Our interest is to look after every player who represents the club, they need understanding and we are going to look after the human being as well as we look after the footballer and in this case we have shown that is what we have done. “Our best interest is to continue developing John to allow him to be a very important footballer for us. “We will do that with every single player in the club.” While the return of players from international duty has not brought any additional injury problems, Martinez has been able to put a timescale on the absence of midfielder Tom Cleverley, who injured his ankle at Tottenham at the end of last month. “The scans revealed it was no fracture and it was only ligament damage and although it will be a long period it is not as bad as feared,” said the manager. “It is hard to tell how long he will be out. With ligament damage you could expect six to eight weeks but knowing how strong and fit Tom is we’re looking at six weeks.” Asked whether his relationship with Jose Mourinho was affected by the summer’s dealings, Martinez said: “Nothing changes. “It is part of the rules. In the transfer window you are allowed to make enquiries and offers for players. “It gives you a bigger feeling of control when you can decide what to do with those attempts. “John has gone from strength to strength in a period of high pressure and has used it in the right way, taking the support of everyone at the club and has performed with incredible maturity and composure. “The way he went away and performed for England in a very natural manner shows the calibre of player we have.” Reports have suggested Stones, who has four years remaining on his existing deal, wants to negotiate a new contract with a buy-out clause in the region of £37million inserted. But Martinez gave that speculation short shrift. “I thought that when the transfer window was over we would be able to concentrate on the games and that is the only thing I am focusing on,” added the Catalan, who joked he had been singing the ‘Can’t Buy Me Stones’ song – to the tune of The Beatles’ Can’t Buy Me Love – in the shower. last_img read more

Other Sports Mercedes boss sympathises with Sebastian Vettel’s disappointing German Grand Prix qualifying

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. highlights Hockenheim: Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel struggled to control their emotions on Saturday after Ferrari endured a double disaster that wrecked their hopes in qualifying for the German Grand Prix. Four-time champion Vettel said he felt “bitter” to be unable to run in front of his home fans at Hockenheim where he will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid. Leclerc, who starts from 10th, said it was “a difficult day for the team” and “a shame”.     Toto Wolff of Mercedes, who saw his defending five-time champion Lewis Hamilton take the 87th pole of his career, said: “It’s a shame for Ferrari and a shame for Sebastian in his home Grand Prix.     “It’s a bit subdued in the crowd and Ferrari have an illness and they need to cure that because we need them for a strong championship.”      Ferrari’s double failure came as Mercedes celebrated the 125th anniversary of motorsport and their 200th Formula One race entry by sporting ‘retro’ 1950’s uniforms and recovered from a challenging run of practice sessions.     Vettel was hit by a pre-session turbo failure and Leclerc was halted by a fuel system failure that prevented him running in Q3. They will start 20th and 10th on the grid respectively. “I don’t know what happened,” said Vettel. “Something broke with the turbo and that was ‘game over’ from there. Obviously [it’s] very bitter. I think the car is great and lost out on a big chance, but hopefully, we’ll have a big one coming again tomorrow. I think the car was good… We did some changes also that should have been great for this afternoon, but it wasn’t meant to be.”      It was the second time in three Grands Prix that Vettel was hit by a technical problem in qualifying. While Vettel, in desperate need of a strong result after a series of disappointments including a collision with Max Verstappen’s Red Bull at Silverstone, was fastest in free practice two, Leclerc had been top in opening and third practice – clear proof that Ferrari was on the pace.     “I have no idea if it was the same problem as Sebastian for me,” said Leclerc.      “On my side, it was a fuel system problem. It’s a shame, but we’ll be trying to understand what happened to try and not reproduce it. It’s a difficult day for the team, but I hope it’ll be a positive day tomorrow. I felt great in the car and the car felt great all weekend. So it’s a shame it ends up like this.”center_img Sebastian Vettel struggled with a turbo problem.Charles LeClerc struggled with a fuel problem.Lewis Hamilton secured his 87th pole position.last_img read more

Bleach: Pack icon may be losing trust

first_imgBrett Favre has always managed to make the inconceivable look easy.He possessed the legendary arm that completed throws no one else would dream of attempting. He struggled with painkillers, alcohol and partying — usually a road to disaster — but the public embraced him more for it. He was down to earth. He was a little kid playing a grown man’s game. He was any and all clich?s that describe what is pure about football. Oh yeah, and that little matter of setting the consecutive starts and touchdown record can go on his list of achievements as well.But Favre is headed for his most impressive accomplishment yet: completely alienating a fan base willing to overlook almost all the legend’s flaws.No other player in the history of the game was given the benefit of the doubt more often than No. 4.He set the career interceptions record. Who cares? It was all a part of that old school gunslinger mentality.He toyed with the team for four years about retiring? After all he has given to the franchise, he should be allowed to finish his career on his terms.He posted a 3-7 record in his last 10 playoff games? Well, he won the MVP award three years in a row and led the Packers to two Super Bowl’s during the’90s!Everything was in place for Favre to ride off on his lawnmower into the sunset. He could either finish his career going 13-3 in his final season (far more graceful than most great QBs), or he could come back and try to lead a talented team back to the Super Bowl, a la John Elway. Either option was a dignified end for the most beloved athlete Wisconsin has ever embraced.But then the evil emperor, general manager Ted Thompson, asked Favre to (gasp, blasphemy!) make a timely decision about his retirement. Thompson did, after all, have that little task about managing the franchise’s future.We all know what Favre “decided.” He “retired.” Wisconsin rang out in a collective toast to the most important sportsman of the past 20 years. ESPN nearly exploded with Favre clips and highlights. There is no comparable analogy for what this day meant to a born-and-raised Packer fan.And the fans started to move on. Rodgers was accepted, if not embraced, by the Packer-backers. Favre’s number was to be retired in a grand ceremony before the first game on Monday night. All was at peace, and Favre would take his place as the greatest Packer in the history of the game.Instead of sticking to that route, however, Favre has been systematically breaking down 16 years of adoration and goodwill from Packer fans, in a little over four months time.He created a mess when he returned from “retirement.” Instead of accepting the consequences of his actions, Favre put up an indignant front and asked for a release citing an irreparable relationship with management, specifically Ted Thompson. Favre essentially forced people to choose if they were Packer fans, or Favre fans.He lost some support.He badly misplayed his hand when he took shots at Thompson. Favre criticized the general manager for not resigning guards Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera, and for not considering his friend, Steve Mariucci, for the head coach position. Whale and Rivera have struggled mightily ever since leaving the Packers, and Mariucci can’t get a job in the NFL. To the logical fan, Thompson made the right call on all of those decisions.And Favre lost some more support.Then Favre held the organization hostage with his, “Will he/won’t he show up for training camp shtick?” The starting-quarterback to-be Aaron Rodgers was placed in a no-win situation, and some fans felt sympathy for him.Favre lost a little more support.After the trade to the Jets, Packer fans hoped that the dust finally settled. It may be awkward and uncomfortable, but they could support both the Packers and Favre without having to root against the other (if they weren’t sick of Favre already).This week, though, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Favre called the Lions before the Packer’s game in week two and talked to the Lions about the Packer’s offensive schemes.Favre has vehemently denied the report, claiming that then-Lions GM Matt Millen called him about a hunting trip, and they briefly talked about football.Glazer, however, continues to stick to his story.“I stand by my story 1,000 percent,” Glazer told the Associated Press. “I guess Brett and I will just agree to disagree on certain things. The way I do my work, I don’t go on what just one person told me. I investigated this fully and for quite some time. I spoke with several sources, and when I go with something, I make sure it’s dead-on. I think my track record speaks for itself.”There is quite a bit of middle ground between what Glazer reported and what Favre claims is true. Five months ago, Glazer would have been ridiculed by Packer nation for such a preposterous claim. Now, the skepticism falls toward Brett.While we will never truly know what Favre said to Millen, the fact remains that the accusation of betrayal strikes another blow to Packers fans’ hearts.Favre has always made the inconceivable seem easy. When he retired it was inconceivable Packer fans would ever turn on him. Will Favre shock us once again?Michael is a junior majoring in journalism. Think Favre can do know wrong? He can be reached at mbleach@badgerherald.com.last_img read more

Syracuse allows 13 points in 2nd half, rides improved defense to 68-54 win over Pittsburgh

first_imgSuzie McConnell-Serio could hear Quentin Hillsman screaming at his players from her locker room down the hallway of the Carrier Dome during halftime.Syracuse had allowed Pittsburgh to shoot 51.5 percent until that point. The Panthers had broken the press with ease, turning advantages into easy baskets en route to a six-point halftime lead.“It was our effort, man. When you don’t have effort, you can’t win at this level, you can’t win at any BCS level when you don’t have effort,” Hillsman, the Syracuse head coach, said. “There was a point in the first half where I was really questioning if we understood the urgency of this game.”But the No. 25 Orange (20-8, 10-5 Atlantic Coast) responded to its coach’s pep talk, allowing only 13 points in the second half while scoring 33 of its own in a 68-54 win over Pittsburgh (18-9, 8-6) on Sunday afternoon in front of 1,226 in the Carrier Dome. Syracuse tightened up its press defense, forced 13 turnovers in the second half and held the Panthers to just five made shots on 17.9 percent shooting after the break.Syracuse came into the game trying to limit 3s and shut down Brianna Kiesel, Pitt’s leading scorer. After Kiesel scored 10 in the first half, she mustered just one point in the second stanza. And after knocking down three 3s in the first half, the Panthers shot 1-of-11 to finish the game.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I said at halftime, ‘Let them keep pressing us.’ I thought we were very effective attacking the press and scoring in transition,” McConnell-Serio, the Panthers’ head coach, said. “… We just didn’t get shots. The court didn’t change, the hoop didn’t change, the ball didn’t change; not that I’m aware of.“But only scoring 13 points in the second half wasn’t enough.”She said that Syracuse went into a man-to-man pressure defense and then dropped back into its 2-3 zone in the half-court set.Brianna Butler came out of the break by draining a 3 off the dribble on a crossover move. A moment later, Briana Day tipped the ball out of bounds on the press before Yacine Diop threw it out off the referee against the zone.Thirty-nine seconds later, Aysia Bugg threw it over Kiesel’s head and out of bounds in similar fashion. On the next possession, Isabella Slim tipped away a pass that put Syracuse in transition. After Cornelia Fondren scored five seconds later, she wrestled the ball away from Chelsea Welch which led to a transition corner 3 from Alexis Peterson.A 41-35 halftime deficit had turned into a 43-41 lead in just just two and a half minutes.“We just tried to regroup and come back out in the second half and play a lot harder and compete and bring more energy,” Peterson said.Syracuse took the lead for good with 11 minutes to go on a Fondren layup. From there, the Orange used a 12-1 run to break the game open.With SU leading 56-51, Fondren went coast to coast on a layup. After finishing the shot, she jogged up the court for only a moment, turned around and tipped the inbounds pass away. She and Peterson dove on the ground for the ball and the Panthers were called for a travel. Fondren banged the court with her fist, screaming in excitement.Before the game started, Hillsman gave his players the standings. He wrote down their good wins. He told them that a win would make them an NCAA tournament team. A loss would put them in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.In the first half, he questioned if his players understood that urgency. In the second half, he knew they did.“We always talk about getting every 50-50 ball, every loose ball, everything that is a team stat we want to win those,” Hillsman said. “I thought our kids did a good job of doing that.“… You know you’re not going to lose when you play that way.” Comments Published on February 22, 2015 at 4:40 pm Contact Sam: sblum@syr.edu | @SamBlum3 Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Here’s how Ravindra Jadeja reacted to his gravity defying catch against New Zealand

first_imgImage Courtesy: Twitter/APAdvertisement mgNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsgv8Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Eebnk( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) hpnnbWould you ever consider trying this?😱a3bl5Can your students do this? 🌚ee5mRoller skating! Powered by Firework Day of the second match of the Test series against New Zealand series has seen its closure today, and although the Indian batting order once gained failed to make a mark in the second innings, significantly better performance was observed from them during the hosts’ first innings. Along with joint marvel from Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, one of the most talked about topics from the match was Ravindra Jadeja’s super human catch. Before starting the second innings, the superstar cricketer worded in his reaction from the startling catch.Advertisement Image Courtesy: Twitter/APWhile a marvellous performance from the Indian bowlers bundled the Kiwis on 235, at tea, all eyes were on Ravindra Jadeja for his superhuman effort. The fielder was present for an interview session, where he said: “I was expecting him (Wagner) to score towards deep square leg. But I didn’t expect the ball to come at that pace. It came so quickly with the wind and I just stuck my hand out.”“I didn’t even realise when I took the catch. We bowled well as a unit. We will look to bat well and bowl them out again,” Jadeja added.Advertisement This was Shami’s third pick of the match, as the pacer secured a total of four. Other than picking Wagner, the 29 year old dismissed Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls and Kyle Jamieson.Jadeja is renowned for his amazing skills as a fielder, and today’s show stopping effort from the Team India all rounder was seen in the 72nd over at Hagley Oval. Facing Shami’s delivery, Neil Wagner went for a pull towards the square leg, where Jadeja was in position. The 31 year old jumped unbelievably high, and caught the ball with only his left hand.Advertisement The Indian fielders were left ashook with such a marvellous display of fielding abilities from the veteran, and along with the startled spectators, even Wagner, who left the pitch on 21, was astounded on Jadeja’s expertise.Check out the jaw dropping catch in the clip below, courtesy to Twitter user @Sourav206.Ravindra Jadeja. Take a bow!. What a catch!. Stunner!. #INDvsNZ pic.twitter.com/Pe1JIeHENm— Sourav20 (@Sourav206) March 1, 2020In addition to the spectacular catch, Jadeja also had an impressive spell with the ball, securing the vital wickets of Ross Taylor and Colin de Grandhomme.Also read-Twitter goes berserk as Ravindra Jadeja produces one of the all time great catches to dismiss Neil Wagner!New Zealand vs India 2nd Test Day 2 Review: Shami and Bumrah’s efforts go to waste as Indian batsmen bite the dust Advertisementlast_img read more

Diamond Debate | De Grasse favoured in Doha speed test

first_imgRaymond ‘KC’ Graham: What a start to the Diamond League season, especially in the men’s 100 metres, where the likes of Justin Gatlin, Andre De Grasse and Asafa Powell will clash in Doha today. Andre Lowe: This one should be really exciting. We know Doha will be nice and hot and some of the best will certainly be bringing the heat in the short sprint in what will be a good indicator of what awaits later this season in the sprints. Raymond ‘KC’ Graham: And how could I forget the South African, Akani Simbine, following his legit 9.93, 9.98, 9.92, 9.94 and 9.95 seconds times so far this season? The highlight of the World Relays came in the preliminary round of the 4x100m when De Grasse looked into Gatlin’s face while overtaking him on the anchor leg. Andre Lowe: Gatlin will want to send a message to the youngster and will also have fond memories of his last 100m race in Qatar, which came at this same meet two years ago when he ran a blistering 9.74 seconds in a big win. Raymond ‘KC’ Graham: Yes, but Gatlin ,at 35, does not have that same top end speed he showed in 2014 and 2015, and a younger De Grasse, at 22 , despite not having a history of blazing-wind legal times in the 100 metres, look set to be the man to take over in the event with the exit of Usain Bolt. Doha could be the start of this. Andre Lowe: Well Gatlin ran under 9.90 seconds three times last season, so he still has some speed for sure. I do think that given the schedule of the South African season, Simbine will arrive here in the best shape. He just won his national championships a couple of weeks ago and is responsible for three of the top-four and five of the top seven times so far this season. Raymond ‘KC’ Graham: Yes, he is the form man, but remember in Rio, he finished behind Gatlin and De Grasse and I don’t think that will change today as the pedigree of Gatlin and De Grasse, along with Powell, could be too much for him despite this being early in the season. Andre Lowe: Powell struggles against Gatlin, and De Grasse has shown an appetite for the big occasion. I spent a day with him at his training base last week and can say that he’s already in good shape and is eager to continue to raise his reputation in Doha. I’m going with De Grasse over Gatlin. It’s a toss up for third place between Powell and Simbine, who, let’s not forget, has already beaten Powell in his young career. Raymond ‘KC’ Graham: I like De Grasse to beat them all despite his previous best being 9.99 before his 9.91 in Rio. He will have to run faster, though, to win here and I think he will and I give him the win over Simbine and Gatlin with Powell in fourth.last_img read more