Martinez expects Arsenal to slip up

first_img Press Association The initiative, in the form of a one-point lead, in the race for the top four was handed back to the Gunners after the Toffees’ home defeat to Crystal Palace last week. Arsene Wenger’s side have the easier-looking run-in with games against Newcastle, West Brom and Norwich – compared to Everton’s Southampton-Manchester City-Hull combination – but Martinez believes they will slip up Mirallas has already been ruled out for the remainder of the campaign with a groin problem sustained in Sunday’s win over Manchester United while Distin is waiting to hear in the next 48 hours whether a hamstring injury has prematurely ended his campaign. Martinez, however, rejected suggestions the size of the squad had contributed to the recent spate of problems. “Sylvain has played a lot of games this season and has never had a sign of showing fatigue so I would say that was just an action in the game which resulted in an injury,” added the Toffees boss. “With Kevin Mirallas it is the last action of the game and it is an accident as he is trying to reach for the ball. “I was well aware of making sure the last seven to eight weeks of the season was not a strain for a specific players, particularly the forwards, and we shared the playing time really well. “I don’t think any of the injuries are down to fatigue or lack of planning. “In football you are going to get contact and sometimes you will be unfortunate but they are not injuries which are down to the minutes players have played.” Traore has featured for just 61 minutes in a single appearance since arriving on loan from Monaco in January and is unlikely to feature again. But Martinez has not ruled out the prospect of retaining the services of the Ivory Coast international next season. “We will sit down in the summer and review the situation,” he said. “I know Lacina is frustrated he has not been able to play more minutes for us. “We need to speak to his parent club and see what their thoughts are but he is a very interesting player for us.” “I think it is fair to say, just looking at the last 15 years or so, fourth place is well below 76 points,” said the Spaniard, whose side currently have 69 points. “There has only been one season where you have needed 76 points for that (fourth) and on average it’s always been a lot less points. “You don’t go far wrong when you look at the points tally. We are well aware anything around 72 to 75 points is Champions League football so we are desperate to try to make sure we get that. “It doesn’t matter who you are playing against or who you are fighting against to get into that fourth spot it’s always the points tally that matters. “I will go as far to say if you get nine points and you don’t get into the Champions League, you can be proud and very happy any way. “That’s the target we are giving ourselves – how many points we can get from now until the end of the season. “We have to make sure that we are fresh, we have recovered and look at every game as a unique opportunity to show what we can do.” Everton’s small squad, already without midfielders Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar, defender Phil Jagielka and strikers Lacina Traore and Arouna Kone, will be depleted further by the absences of forward Kevin Mirallas and centre-back Sylvain Distin. Everton manager Roberto Martinez remains confident victory in their final three matches will secure Champions League football despite Arsenal holding the advantage. last_img read more

Dodgers pitchers Anderson, McCarthy use analytics differently

first_img“See what pitches are getting hit, what aren’t. FanGraphs, where my arm slot is on different pitches where you think it’s release the same but it’s not. Some of that stuff has come into play. When it boils down to it, you can’t really think about that during the game.”Broadcast detailsSportsNet LA announced that it will televise 31 of the Dodgers’ 35 spring training games.Vin Scully will call four spring training telecasts: all three Freeway Series games, April 2-4 against the Angels, and a game against the San Francisco Giants on March 27 in Glendale, Arizona. Charley Steiner will be joined by analysts Rick Monday, Kevin Kennedy and Orel Hershiser during the other SNLA broadcasts.Currently, four Dodgers split-squad games will not air live: March 20, 21 and 29 against the Texas Rangers, and March 6 against the Brewers. The games March 20 and 21 are to be played indoors at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. The March 6 game is scheduled to air on MLB Network on a delay. This broadcast will not be blacked out in SportsNet LA markets.MLB Network previously announced that it is broadcasting three Dodgers Cactus League games live — March 5 against the White Sox, March 11 against the Cubs and March 12 against the Padres. However, these games will be blacked out in SportsNet LA markets.AlsoPitchers Clayton Kershaw, Brandon League, McCarthy, Anderson, Joe Wieland, Chris Hatcher, Juan Nicasio, Daniel Coulombe, Carlos Frias, Adam Liberatore, Erik Bedard, David Huff, Josh Ravin and Ryan Buchter all threw their first official bullpens of the spring. … Pitcher Sergio Santos, a non-roster invitee, missed today’s workouts due to illness. GLENDALE, Ariz. — In some ways, new Dodgers pitchers Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy are cut from the same cloth.They both pitched for the Oakland A’s from 2011-12. There, they got to know current Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi. And Zaidi liked both pitchers enough to sign them this offseason to complete the Dodgers’ starting rotation: Anderson to a one-year, $10 million base contract and McCarthy for four years and $48 million.What’s more, they share a similar sense of humor. Anyone who follows the pair on Twitter knows this firsthand.One area where they differ is how they incorporate analytics into their game. McCarthy has been an outspoken proponent of new schools of thought, to the point of using Pitch f/x data to make adjustments from game to game. Anderson isn’t as outspoken about his use of analytics.“You can only, at least in my mind, read so many stats and look at so many things before you go out there and think, ‘OK, how am I going to get Matt Kemp out this time?’” Anderson said. “You can do all the planning going into it, but then gut instinct and feel kind of takes over a little bit. It’s a fine line between doing that, watching too much video and doing it in the game.”With Zaidi and Andrew Friedman in charge of the Dodgers, Anderson figures to have as much information as he can absorb at his disposal. He won’t turn down all of it.“I kind of do both sides — gut instinct and analytics,” Anderson said. “I think Farhan and some of those guys definitely had an impact on that.”So what data does he pay attention to?center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more