Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has laughed off reports that Manchester United are preparing a 20million euros offer for Diego Godin in January. But when asked whether Atletico would accept an offer in the region of 20million euros from United for Godin, Simeone told the Spanish media: “Let’s talk about something else. “How much? Twenty? For Godin? “It must be a mistake.” Godin, who helped Uruguay reach the last-16 of the World Cup in Brazil, is under contract with the Spanish champions until June 2018. The 28-year-old centre-back has been a key player in Simeone’s squad since moving to the Vicente Calderon stadium in 2010 from Villarreal. Godin started in 34 league games last season and scored four goals, including the crucial equaliser against Barcelona in the final game of the 2013-14 campaign to hand Atletico their first league title since 1996. Press Association United are reportedly looking to strengthen their backline in the winter transfer market after losing defenders Rafael, Phil Jones, Jonny Evans, Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo to injuries. Godin has been strongly linked with a move to Old Trafford, with United manager Louis van Gaal reportedly keen to acquire the Uruguay international’s services.
For the last four years, Scott Shafer stuck to a simple approach. He was here to lead the Syracuse defense, here to do his job as he had at his previous seven coaching stops.So he did – he coached his players and he worked with the Orange coaching staff to resurrect a once-proud football program. He didn’t concern himself with much else.Simple turned out to be effective. Shafer was introduced as Syracuse’s head coach Friday, replacing Doug Marrone after serving as defensive coordinator for four years. Marrone’s departure earlier this month for the Buffalo Bills comes at a crucial time for Syracuse, as it loses many of its top playmakers just as it prepares to make the jump to the Atlantic Coast Conference.Shafer is the right man for the job. The right man to guide the team through the transition.“I felt in my heart that this guy is already a head coach,” SU Athletic Director Daryl Gross said Friday at Shafer’s introductory press conference.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textShafer’s resume speaks for itself. He’s paid his dues in the coaching profession, gaining the respect of his colleagues since he started his career as a graduate assistant at Indiana in 1991.He proved himself at Northern Illinois, where he led a unit that ranked toward the top in many defensive categories in the Mid-American Conference during much of his tenure. He proved himself at Western Michigan, where he helped the program go from one win in 2004 to eight in 2006 – a year in which his defense led the country in sacks and interceptions. And he proved himself at Stanford, where he worked under Jim Harbaugh, now the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.“Scott is hard working, enthusiastic and of high character,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “Great things will happen with Shafe.”Great things have already happened with Shafer at Syracuse.Serving under Marrone, he helped Syracuse regain respectability after a disastrous 10-37 stretch in Greg Robinson’s four-year tenure as head coach left the program in shambles. In the last four years, the Orange put together two winning seasons highlighted by a pair of bowl victories and a share of the 2012 Big East title.Shafer left his mark on the program’s turnaround through his work with the defense. He did his job, getting the players to buy into his system and bringing out the best in them with his fiery coaching style.In his first season, SU finished 37th in the nation in total defense – a category it ranked 101st the previous year. The Orange was seventh in the country in 2010, which was the team’s first winning season (8-5) since 2001.It all contributed to the foundation for success laid by Marrone in the last four years – a foundation needed for Shafer to carry out his vision for the program’s future.“We want to make one of the best teams in the nation,” Shafer said. “That is a goal of ours.”It’s an ambitious goal, and whether SU achieves that remains to be seen. But Shafer is fired up after receiving his first head-coaching job – something that’s been a goal of his since he was 10 years old, growing up as the son of a high school football coach.He’s dedicated his life to coaching. He understands how to motivate his players. He knows what it takes to prepare his teams to play.He has a detailed plan for Syracuse football to achieve his goal – a vision of a hard-nosed team that plays a brand of football that’s fun to watch.It’s Shafer’s program now, and he’s ready to pour everything he has into making his vision a reality, just as he did the last four years leading the defense with his simple, effective approach.“I’m the type of person that always felt like you do your job and everything else takes care of itself,” Shafer said.This Syracuse team will be a reflection of Shafer. Comments Published on January 14, 2013 at 2:49 am Facebook Twitter Google+ Related Stories Cohen: Marrone accomplished goals at Syracuse, leaves with positive legacyShafer envisions ‘hard-nosed’ football programShafer excited about addition of ‘hard-nosed’ Bullough as defensive coordinatorShafer officially named as Syracuse’s next head coach; Spent last 4 seasons as defensive coordinatorShafer to lead Orange with intensity, put ‘fear of God’ into opponents
Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (19-12, 8-10 Atlantic Coast) plays a rubber match with Wake Forest (11-19, 4-14) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Barclays Center in the first round of the ACC tournament. Syracuse has historically struggled in Brooklyn, but will need to exorcise its demons and likely go on a mini run if it hopes to make the NCAA Tournament.Our beat writers take on three questions surrounding the Orange ahead of the conference tournament.Syracuse split with Wake Forest during the regular season. What does Syracuse need to do to fend off a pesky Demon Deacons team?Matthew Gutierrez: First, overcome whatever sort of ghosts lie under the Barclays Center floor that have doomed Syracuse, because SU has lost four in a row at that place. Fellow beat writer Tomer Langer, a native of the area, may know the answer.Aside from that, all the Orange really has to do is stick to its identity, which was on full display Saturday in its first win against a ranked opponent this season, as junior point guard Frank Howard pointed out. That’s strong defense — remember WFU’s six-straight 3-pointers? — and reliance on the big three scorers.Any contributions Marek Dolezaj can bring, and any sort of job players can do to minimize turnovers, are plusses. It’s not necessary a formula to beat quality teams, but it’s a way to scrape by.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textSam Fortier: Erase Bryant Crawford. Wake Forest goes as their do-it-all guard does, and if Syracuse’s defense prevents him from draining three corner 3s down the stretch — as he did in WFU’s Jan. 3 win — than the Orange should be fine. He greases the wheels, assisting on nearly one-third of his team’s buckets, per KenPom.com, and is a serviceable shooter from all over the floor.SU’s thin frontcourt should be worrisome against 7-foot-1, 280-pound big man Doral Moore, but as long as the Orange keeps him off the boards they should be OK. So, OK, there’s a lot to do to beat Wake Forest in a venue it’s faced some mighty struggles in, but Syracuse should — should — be able to do it.Tomer Langer: Contain Doral Moore on the inside and hope he doesn’t get the ball too much. Moore is fairly athletic and posed some issues for the sometimes slow-footed Paschal Chukwu on the inside the last time these two teams matched up. SU head coach Jim Boeheim said after the Boston College loss last week that Chukwu is playing on sore knees. And while Syracuse’s center did have a nice double-block sequence against Clemson on Saturday, there were multiple times the Tigers got easy buckets on the inside.A lot of the focus will be on Wake Forest’s 3-point shooting after the Demon Deacons hung around in Syracuse back in mid-February by raining from deep. But if SU stretches the zone too far out, Moore can cause matchup issues in an area in which the Orange is depleted.With games on consecutive days throughout the ACC Tournament, will SU’s short bench play a factor?M.G.: You’d like to think so. But because Syracuse didn’t play a preseason tournament against formidable opponents, we don’t really know the answer. Syracuse had little rest between its home loss to No. 1 Virginia and its impressive win at Louisville, so it’s possible that SU can play when tested on short rest. Where it would get murky is if SU must play three or four in a row. Syracuse played three games in five days back in November, but that was in the Carrier Dome versus, you know, teams that visit the Carrier Dome in November.S.F.: Yes. Jim Boeheim’s strategy, which to his credit has seemed to work this season, is that media timeouts provide players adequate rest to get through a game without fatigued legs dooming his team at the end. That works for single games. Now, the ACC tournament schedule foists an untenable workload on Syracuse players who have shouldered heavy burdens this season already, timeouts be damned.Playing nearly 40 minutes a night is tiring, freshman forward Oshae Brissett admitted Saturday, but he hits the ice baths hard in between games to get himself right in the approximately two- to four-day rests he usually has. But there’s none of that now. While a short bench doesn’t guarantee a loss or anything that drastic, it’s going to impact this team and tire them out more than normal.T.L.: Conceivably, yes. I just think it’s a bit overstated how much. SU’s short bench has played a factor all year, even when there’s been rest in between the games, because if guys aren’t on their game, Boeheim has no one else to put in. And, for any team, it would be hard to have to play on the first day and win five-straight games to secure the ACC Tournament crown.But the Orange is used to its playing style, and I don’t think the back-to-back days element will be too different than it is for other teams, because teams tend to ride their star players and shorten the bench in important games, anyway.How many games does Syracuse need to win to make the NCAA Tournament?M.G.: The magic number here might be three. Two wins would probably be attractive in the eyes of the Selection Committee, but that still puts Syracuse in cloudy bubble territory, I think, while three wins this week in Brooklyn punches Syracuse’s ticket to the Big Dance. Three wins would prove that Syracuse can play away from home consistently, beat one or two quadrant one teams, and withstand the rigors of one of the toughest conference tournaments in college hoops.That, of course, means big games from the big three every night and a fourth scorer in Dolezaj. Without the latter, the NIT may be Syracuse’s final destination.S.F.: Two. If Syracuse beats Wake Forest, that impresses no one. But beating a well-rested, top-10 team on the second night of a back-to-back? That would automatically replace Clemson as the Orange’s marquee win of the season and get some double takes from the Selection Committee.No matter what, this won’t be an anxiety-free process. Syracuse fans should intently watch other bubble teams like UCLA, Marquette, Alabama, Baylor, Oklahoma State and, yes, Mike Hopkins-led Washington. Two wins won’t inspire the most confidence, but it’ll get the Orange into the NCAA Tournament in the same way an action hero always slides underneath a heavy, descending door just in time.T.L.: Can I say 2.5? It’s definitely more than one and it really depends on what other bubble teams do as well. Sam is right in saying that if SU beats Wake Forest and then goes on to beat UNC, it would be the marquee win of the season. That being said, picking up really your only marquee win of the season in March might not be enough to sway a committee that looks at a team’s body of work and doesn’t put as much stock into recency. Two wins would give the Orange a jolt, and I think three wins would assure a spot. Comments Published on March 5, 2018 at 10:08 pm