David Luiz has never had any of the qualities Arsenal need, says Tony Cascarino

first_imgAdvertisement David Luiz has had an unsteady start to life at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)David Luiz has absolutely none of the qualities needed by Arsenal manager Unai Emery, according to former Chelsea and Celtic striker Tony Cascarino.The Brazilian arrived at the Emirates from Chelsea this summer in a move which was widely praised as a positive signing for the Gunners.However, it has been a dodgy start to life in north London for the 32-year-old who has not kept a clean sheet in his four Premier League appearances for Arsenal so far.He was criticised for his performance in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last month and was at fault again against Watford on Sunday as he felled Roberto Pereyra in the penalty box, giving away a spot-kick for the second time in his short Arsenal career.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTRepublic of Ireland international Cascarino has been scathing of the Gunners’ display at Vicarage Road as they tossed away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2, specifically calling out Luiz for his lack of positive influence.Cascarino wrote for the Times: ‘Arsenal had no control, no composure. They needed to sign a defender this summer, someone who is cool under pressure and has leadership qualities — and they went and spent £8 million on David Luiz, a player who has never embodied any of those qualities.’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 CityArsenal had been in total control at Watford, leading 2-0 at half time, but defensive mistakes cost them two points after the break.Before Luiz gave away the penalty, Sokratis Papastathopoulos was at fault by giving the ball away in his own box, allowing Tom Cleverley to score.Cascarino believes that little has improved since Unai Emery took over as manager last summer as the players are not capable of carrying out the Spaniard’s plans.‘Emery has been at Arsenal for more than a year and, while they have improved in some areas, the same problems remain,’ the 57-year-old continued.‘Last season we were talking about whether they had the players to always be passing the ball out from the back, and we are still having that debate now — it must be infuriating for Arsenal fans to watch and I don’t see it changing anytime soon.’Arsenal are looking to bounce back from the disappointing draw at Watford with a busy week ahead of them, traveling to take on Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League on Sunday before hosting Aston Villa in the Premier League on Sunday and Nottingham Forest in the League Cup the following Tuesday.MORE: Who is to blame for Arsenal’s defensive deficiencies after Sunday’s epic collapse against Watford?MORE: Arsenal defender Sokratis admits he cost his team the game against Watford Metro Sport ReporterMonday 16 Sep 2019 5:47 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link27Shares David Luiz has never had any of the qualities Arsenal need, says Tony Cascarinocenter_img Comment Advertisementlast_img read more

Europe on the mind of Southampton boss Ronald Koeman after Sunderland win

first_imgSouthampton boss Ronald Koeman is targetting a return to European football after seeing his team extend its unbeaten run to eight games at lowly Sunderland. Press Association Dusan Tadic’s second-half penalty was enough to secure a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light to maintain their bid for another lofty finish after an all too brief Europa League adventure earlier this season. Koeman said: “I think if we reach European football, it would be like we had won the title.” He said: “He [M’Vila] didn’t need to go to ground. He’d done the job, he’d covered around DeAndre [Yedlin]. Just jockey the player out of the box. “The player sees the tackle and goes, ‘That’s me, I’m going down now’, and he can’t argue with the penalty decision because if he’d just stayed on his feet, the lad was going nowhere.” The defeat was the third in four games since Allardyce took over on Wearside, and he is desperate to rid his players of a fear factor he believes is hindering performances. He said: “In training, I see a lot of good stuff, I see a lot of good things, but I ain’t seeing it when we get on the field, that’s my problem, so there’s got to be a bit of fear in the players who are frightened to express themselves. “They’ve got to really get rid of that fear and show on the pitch what they can do on the training ground. “They seem to find it from somewhere at the end of the season, don’t they, for some bizarre reason? The last thing I want to do is to have to try to find it at the end of the season again because you might not find it then. “When the games go into single figures, that’s it. Now we have got a lot of games to try to make sure we get out of being in that position.” Asked if that was possible, he replied: “Of course it’s possible. Why not? Why not? Do you think it’s possible? We have the experience from last year. “We know it’s difficult because it’s not easy to beat big teams, big clubs after 38 games in the Premier League. But we have potential, we have qualities, in my opinion, we have a squad now to fight for that. “That’s very good, that’s positive and we will see what happens at the end of the season.” However, Koeman admitted a top-four finish is beyond the Saints. He said: “No, no, no. Top four? It’s maybe too difficult. Qualifying for Europe means maybe seventh place – like last season – is possible, six, five, four… “It’s too early in the season to have an opinion on things about that. We like to enjoy football – that’s one of the best qualities, how we like to play, and then you will win a lot of games, we know.” Southampton had the better of the 90 minutes, but were repeatedly thwarted by keeper Costel Pantilimon until Yann M’Vila’s ill-judged challenge on Ryan Bertrand prompted referee Mike Jones to point to the spot and Tadic obliged to give the visitors a decisive 69th-minute lead. Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce had no complaints about the decision, but plenty about the tackle. last_img read more

Efficiency in spend leads Nektan commercial momentum

first_imgShare Submit Share Gary ShawLondon AIM-listed B2B mobile gaming solutions provider Nektan Plc has detailed strong corporate growth for its Q2 2018 trading update  (three-month period ending 31 December).Updating investors, Nektan would record net gaming revenues of £4.7 million up 42% on corresponding Q2 2017’s £3.3 million.During the trading period, Nektan governance informs that it has prioritized on developing player quality, whilst improving its ‘efficiency in spend’ resulting in a 37% saving in bonuses awarded in Q2 FY18.The company strengthened its commercial pipeline launching 17 new website properties during the trading period, at present Nektan services a total of 94 brands from 51 partners, with a further 18 new sites aiming to be launched during Q3 2018.Nektan continues to expand its client games portfolio adding new titles from Evolution Gaming and IWG, taking the Group’s total mobile games portfolio to over 450. The firm’s new platform deal with Tyche is expected to go live during January 2018 and to generate revenue during Q3 FY18.Gary Shaw, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Nektan Plc, said: “Our core European business continued to progress as expected in Q2 FY18 with a number of further launches planned in Q3 FY18. Our strategy to move into B2B is paying off with initial revenue generated by the Company. We look forward to announcing further positive updates across Nektan’s business over the next few months, including on our platform deal with Tyche and our US business.” Related Articles Delasport elevates online casino offering with Betsoft deal June 3, 2020 XLMedia completes takeover of 101GreatGoals.com July 17, 2020 StumbleUpon FSB selects Glenn Elliott as new COO August 12, 2020last_img read more

Keir Adams, SBTech: Pricing betting’s most unpredictable market

first_img Kambi and DraftKings agree on final closure terms July 24, 2020 Bookmakers will have their political credentials put under the spotlight once again, as the UK prepares for a general election on Thursday 12 December. Following year-on-year political upsets since 2015, Keir Adams, Head of UK Sports at SBTech, spoke to SBC News about pricing betting’s most unpredictable market.SBC: How do you price an election? And how do you price in particular this election?KA: Politics has been turned on its head in the last 10 years and both technology suppliers and operators must work extremely hard, round the clock and across a vast array of sources to achieve the right results when it comes to political betting.You must always try to keep a clear head and not get carried away with one source of information such as a poll, or something someone says during a campaign speech or debate, for example.Pricing is getting tougher and tougher with so much more information and data available and to monitor. Overall, bookmakers have got it wrong for the last few big events. Many betting companies looked at London as a guide for how Brexit would fare, but London is a melting pot and was always going to vote to remain. What they failed to do during the referendum was look everywhere else, such as the north of the country and the pro-Brexit towns and villages.This election will be much tougher to price and impossible to automate the entire process. It will also largely be decided around what tactical positions MPs and voters are taking. For instance, the Brexit party has agreed not to stand in Conservative areas, while the Lib Dems have a pact not with Plaid Cymru and the Greens not to stand against them.Also, in previous elections, we have been able to see how each constituency and how their MP has voted for or against Brexit, for example. Now we have a case where the process has been delayed for so long that MPs who are against Brexit still occupy seats where most people voted to leave European Union with these MPs going against what their constituents wanted. This makes it even tougher to model.We began offering constituencies markets very early and, aside from suspending them overnight as its very hard to keep up during that time period, we have kept them open.SBC: What information and data do you look at and consider?KA: Political betting today uses a multitude of sources. The backbone of our work and outcomes are generated by our advanced automated platform. The model here is very good at predicting which party will gain the most seats as well an overall majority, however matters become much more complicated when it comes to the 650 constituencies in the United Kingdom.Here it comes down to trying to keep track of every local issue, and it is local knowledge that helps to find value. It’s very tough to stay on top of all 650 seats and all the issues for each constituency. Countrywide issues that affect us all such as the NHS and Brexit are areas we can track, but if something local happens in Sunderland, for example, that has upset people there, it’s difficult for us and the bookmaking industry as a whole to stay on top of everything.Beforehand, we were able to use data from previous elections and how seats have changed over time. Elections and outcomes were far more straightforward in the past. You would have safe seats, such as Sunderland that may lose some ground at times, but it would take a miracle for them to change hands. Nowadays things are very different.We look at every data point and every factor and piece of research that can influence the various outcomes of the election, as well as TV debates and polls. Polls have been used and relied on for many years but the last few elections and referendums across the UK and US have been very unpredictable, and polls have often been wrong. For that reason, we review them but take them with a pinch of salt at times.We combine automated systems, research and polls with external experts such as final analyst Martin Baxter who runs the political forecasting website Electoral Calculus and uses complex mathematical modelling to predict outcomes. In six out of seven general elections from 1992 to 2017 they have correctly predicted the party which won the most seats (except 1992) as well as the party which won a majority, or the outcome of a hung parliament, in four out of seven (1997, 2001, 2005, 2010).We also track the market and other bookmakers such as the Betfair exchange and spreads to see where the money is going and which direction people are heading. On the exchange we can see how much money is matched and where people are trying to get on for certain selections.We also mustn’t forget social media which today has more of an influence than ever. 10 years ago, this was a very different story. SBC: What do you think the outcome of the vote will be?KA: The market is currently expecting a definite but slim Tory majority of around 50 seats. The picture is changing all the time but we’re reasonably certain at this point that the Conservatives will win the election and achieve a majority.Many bookmakers have been bullish on the Lib Dems winning around 40 seats, but this has now dropped to the 30s. The Brexit Party is more likely to get zero seats than five, but we have them at a likely one to two seats as they could receive support from disaffected Tory supporters.SBC: Can you predict any upsets?KA: The North of England could see some potential upsets. Richard Tice, the Brexit Party chairman, is standing in Hartlepool where 70% of the population voted to leave the EU. There may well be a very close three horse race there.Other Northern constituencies such as Bolsover where Labour MP Dennis Skinner is running and where he has held that seat since 1970 could also see a shock. This is the fifth strongest Labour seat, but many are predicting the Tories will win this seat by a few percentage points. Not so long ago he had a 90% chance of winning, bit this is only now 60%. People there could oust a former miner in a mining town. They are voting for change and with their heads, not their hearts.There is also good value to be had on the Labour party winning less than 200 seats with Labour down to 200 from 230 in two weeks. Things have changed and are constantly moving with Tories and Lib Dems winning seats against Labour, and the latter fighting a strong Stop Brexit campaign. With those factors Labour may find it difficult in a few weeks’ time. Submit StumbleUpon Related Articles Share Kambi takes control of Churchill Downs BetAmerica sportsbook August 28, 2020 Share EU research agency demands urgent action on loot box consumer safeguards July 29, 2020last_img read more

Are You Hiring for Culture Fit or Culture Add A 6 Point

first_imgIf you travel in HR circles, you’ve probably heard the demands to stop hiring for “culture fit.”Experts like Amplify Founder, Lars Schmidt, say the term has become a weapon for interviewers who unfairly reject candidates who don’t look like them. Then there’s organizational psychologist Scott Highhouse who (after much research) called subjective hiring “the greatest failure of I-O (industrial and organizational) psychology.” And more recently, the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) made a public call for the end of the ‘Beer Test’ in favor of hiring for culture add.So, you think you’re objective.Before you go rolling your eyes at the mere mention of yet another HR buzzword, ask yourself this: How many recruiters do you know who have had their dream candidate vetoed for dubious reasons?Fact is, none of us are as objective as we think we are. One Yale study found that perceiving yourself as objective is actually correlated with showing more bias. Yikes.This isn’t a comfortable conversation, but it’s one we need to have. There are still far too many cases where job candidates are rejected under the guise of “cultural fit,” when the real issue is age/gender/race/etc. Not only is it wrong, lazy and extremely shortsighted. It’s also just plain bad for business.We’re about to tell you what culture add really is, why it matters and how to incorporate it into your hiring process at the practical level.What is culture add? And why you need it.In case you’re still not convinced, here are a few more numbers to help drive home the point that if you’re relying on stereotypes to assess candidates, you’re doing your company a major disservice.Companies with inclusive talent practices generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee.Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their competitors and ethnically-diverse companies are 35% more likely to do the same.Not only that, 67% of job seekers say they care about your diversity statistics.Forget likeability. Businesses who want to grow need to recruit the kind of talent that will actively push them to be better.Hiring for culture add empowers you to build a truly balanced team, both in terms of skill sets and demographics. It gives you the kind of genuine diversity of thought, character and perspective that opens up your business to a whole new world of profit-driving opportunities.But while 71% of companies say they want an “inclusive” culture, only 12% have reached a level that can be described as “mature”. The real problem may be less about accepting why this is important, and more about figuring out how to walk the talk.The Complete Culture Add Hiring Checklist1. Create your strategyTop-level buy-in is crucial to the success of any diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiative, even at the earliest stages of sourcing applicants. Companies who merely pay lip service are the ones who stay stuck.But before you set off drafting your brand new EEO statement, take a minute to connect with your internal influencers and find out what you really want. Here are some questions to think about:Does everyone know what they want for the business?Does everyone know what they want in a candidate?What skills, traits and characteristics do your top-performers have in common?What skills, traits and characteristics does your ideal candidate have?Diversity is not a “feel good” exercise. It has a wide-ranging impact on the entire business and if you really want it to work, it needs to be upheld from top-to-bottom and side-to-side. Early buy-in from every member of the hiring team will help you secure the right candidates faster.2. Choose your goals and metrics wiselyHow helpful is your D&I data, really?In the words of Atlassian’s Head of Global D&I, Aubrey Blanche, “An increase in representation isn’t the same as an increase in diversity. If your customer support team is 60% women and 50% non-white, but the rest of your employees are white men in their 20s and 30s, your company is not truly diverse, no matter how good the overall numbers might look.”It’s no coincidence that the frontrunning companies who win with D&I have developed a comprehensive and deeply thoughtful approach to hiring for culture add and measuring their results.Here are some questions to consider:Do you measure the addition of different perspectives throughout your business? Or just representation?Do you look at D&I at the team level or corporate level?What parts of your organization are missing out on perspectives from people of color, veterans, neurodiverse talent, members of the LGBTQ+ community, people with disabilities, people with criminal records and people over 40? Why?What does the word “balance” mean at your company?What is inclusion and how do you measure it?Instead of using surface-level industry aggregates, you may need to rely on a broader set of data that gives you a more complete picture of what’s really going on within your organization. Then, align your goals to fit with what’s reasonable given the size and shape of your business.Still not sure where to start? Don’t sweat it. Aubrey’s put together a complete primer, including links to excellent, data-driven answers for some of the most common D&I FAQs.3. Work towards a transparent employer brandOnce you know what culture add means to your organization, the next natural question is: How can you focus your recruitment to close the gaps?Anyone can update the stock photos on the company website, but it takes true courage to go deeper. Here are a few ways to start eliminating the blind spots in your employer brand:Make sure your benefits go beyond ping pong tables to include financial and work/life offerings such as, health insurance, parental leave, childcare, comfortable workspaces and coverage for domestic partners.Include a powerful D&I statement on your website, career pages and in your company values.Share real examples of how you approach D&I within your organization.Interview your employees on how they view culture inside your company.One of the most common misconceptions about hiring for culture add is that it’s a pipeline problem, but great employees don’t leave jobs in a field they love because of the work itself. They leave because of the culture.Whatever you do, resist the urge to censor and sugarcoat. If you’ve made mistakes in the past, own up to them and make a public pledge to do better. A transparent employer brand can help you bypass any constraints in the talent pool and hire the people who are truly the best for the job. And let’s not forget that your employees are your best brand advocates. Treat them right and they’ll spread the word.4. Source for culture addA balanced team starts with a wider talent pool. Talk to your hiring teams to eliminate the concept of culture fit and focus on sourcing candidates who are a values fit.Here are the elements to include:Make sure your job ads and descriptions clearly communicate your valuesAdd language that clarifies the behaviors these values implyFocus job descriptions on must-have skills, avoid cramming in too many nice-to-havesProvide a clear salary rangeAvoid gender-charged languageBoldly state your commitment to D&ITools like Textio can help you weed out the gendered language from your job descriptions (you’d be surprised how easily the wrong words can sneak in). Once you’ve gotten your Textio score nice and high, it’s time to start sourcing diverse talent.Updating your job description templates so you can easily post across job boards straight from your ATS is a great way to start widening the talent pool. Job search platforms that cater to underrepresented groups, such as Jopwell, are also great places to scout top-performers.5. Structure your interviewsThe magic of hiring for culture add is that it’s centered around two undeniably awesome goals: efficiency and objectivity. And guess what happens when you double down on these principles.You get diversity.Because we humans have a surprising knack for drawing “firm” conclusions from random information, regardless of whether that info is accurate. Not only that, ad hoc interviewing is woefully ineffective at predicting on-the-job performance. On the flip side, by using the same set of objective questions for every candidate, structured interviews can help remove bias and ensure a more efficient, objective hiring process.Here are a few things to include:Interview questions that are based on the actual jobA review of the questions from all members of the hiring teamA fair and consistent score card or grading systemThe trick with structured interviews is to get input from all the right people, without creating an administrative nightmare for candidates. If possible, try using your ATS to attach your interview guides directly to a candidate’s profile and/or calendar invite so your team has everything they need to ask the right questions in the right order.In some ATS tools, you can even save a step by copying interview questions straight to your scorecard and automating your internal chasing up to make sure every member of the hiring team provides their feedback.6. Sync and debriefYou might be thinking, “That all sounds great, but the likelihood of doing this at my company is slim to none.” We get it.Hiring is hard and change takes time. That’s why every great plan needs an even better back up plan. Here are some questions to think about when creating your hiring contingency plan.What steps will you follow when feedback from the team doesn’t match?What’s the definition of “consensus” at your company?What are the steps you take to reach a consensus?What steps can you take to reduce any hard feelings after a decision is made?In an ideal world, you’d be able to have a kick-off meeting with the whole hiring team every time a new job is posted, but in the real world, that can’t always happen. If you can at least get everyone aligned on what a ‘no’ and a ‘yes’ look like and what to do when you have an imbalance of the two, you can help keep the process moving.Because the truth is, if you’re doing it right, hiring for culture add will be a truly iterative process. One that you rinse, repeat and get better at with every candidate who comes through. Take the time to swap notes, share insights and get as clear as possible on what you really want (not what you think you want). It’s the best possible way to secure the people who can truly take your business further.AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterShare to PrintPrintShare to EmailEmailShare to MoreAddThis3last_img read more