Newcastle’s Mikel Merino on Dortmund bus attack: ‘We thought … we’re going to die’

first_imgMikel Merino had his headphones on and was listening to Spanish Reggaeton music as the bus swung on to a familiar main road. With the volume pushed to maximum, he felt safely cocooned in his own little world. Then the bombs went off.“Everything changed – completely,” says Newcastle United’s £8.5m midfield signing from Borussia Dortmund. “Suddenly we thought: ‘We’re going to die.’ It was a very hard moment. We were totally scared.” I thought English people would be cold, dry and not kind but I was wrong. I didn’t expect all the laughter and jokes Involving the release of six bulls with thousands of locals running alongside as the beasts charge through the city’s maze of tight streets, it is an incredible sight. “It’s dangerous but a normal thing in Pamplona,” Merino says. “It’s always happened there and will continue.”An early sense that a Newcastle side promoted last spring could quickly find themselves in peril has evaporated as Benítez’s astute gameplans have frequently left his team looking greater than the sum of their parts. “We’re a young squad and the most important thing is that we all trust each other,” he adds. “I’m learning a lot from Rafa. I always had ability to read games but I’m understanding more now.“He looks after the small tactical details and teaches you how every single little thing can be important. In training he’s very professional and expects you to be completely focused but off the pitch Rafa’s a really nice guy. He always takes care of you.”After the events of 11 April Merino knows precisely how much that matters. Facebook Borussia Dortmund Twitter Twitter Borussia Dortmund’s damaged team bus. Photograph: Martin Meissner/AP Pinterest Facebook Share on WhatsApp Mikel Merino often goes to the beaches close to his home. ‘There’s much more to do in Newcastle than in Dortmund,’ he says. Photograph: Serena Taylor/Newcastle Utd via Getty Images Twitter If Merino’s amalgam of vision – since Rob Lee’s days few in his position at St James’ Park have read the game better – and willingness to put a foot in when necessary is helping Benítez’s side retain possession better than last season, so too is his mindset.“In Spain you learn that football has to be played in the head; it’s not only running and physical things,” he says. “Spain has always had great central midfielders and, while of course they’re good technically, they’re also very good mentally. They know what to do and when, and they’re always thinking about the game and how they can help their team.”The son of Ángel Merino, a former Las Palmas, Celta Vigo and Osasuna midfielder turned coach – and friendly acquaintance of Benítez – Merino grew up in a household where frequent in-depth tactical analysis of matches seemed as normal as Pamplona’s annual San Fermin festival, featuring the encierro or Running of the Bulls. interviews Pinterest Merino remains close to Bartra. “One of the bombs had exploded by him and he had really bad pain in his arm,” he recalls. “He was very white and didn’t know where he was so I tried to help. I was talking to his wife on the phone, telling her what was happening and where we were going. Then I went with him in the ambulance to hospital and stayed the night there. I could translate for him.“I didn’t like to see him like that but earlier in the season, when I was struggling at Dortmund and I felt under a lot of pressure inside, he had helped me a lot so it was good I could be his friend too. Fortunately he’s a strong guy with an incredible wife and he has no problems now. He’s fine but, like me, he’s learnt a lot of things about life. He also looks at everything with good eyes now. He’s grateful to be alive.”If trips on Newcastle’s team bus leave Merino unfazed, it was, initially, a little different back in Germany. “I remember the next time we went on the bus I was wary, there was a bit of disquiet,” he says. “Then, when we played the away leg against Monaco the bus was delayed in traffic for 30 minutes. We became tense and started asking what was going on.”Considerably less tension surrounded a frustrating year spent under Tuchel following the Spain Under-21 player’s move from Osasuna. In all, Merino made only eight appearances for Dortmund’s then manager. “It depends on the confidence people have in you,” says a player who has not only started virtually every match for Rafael Benítez’s side this season but also seen his passing game likened to that of a fellow Basque, Xabi Alonso. “At Dortmund I didn’t have the confidence of the coach,” he says. “I’m the same player as last year but here the manager trusts me. That’s the main difference.”There have been sufficient defence-splitting passes from his role deep in midfield – quite a contrast to the No10 berth he occupies for Spain Under-21s – to ensure Merino can rarely traverse Tyneside anonymously. Mikel Merino celebrates after scoring Newcastle’s winning goal against Crystal Palace last Saturday. Photograph: Scott Heppell/Reuters It was on 11 April that Dortmund were being transported between their team hotel and the Westfalenstadion for a Champions League quarter-final first leg against Monaco. Three homemade pipe bombs, hidden behind a hedge and packed with sharp metal pins, had just been detonated. Mercifully the bus’s reinforced windows saved Thomas Tuchel and his squad from catastrophic injury, with the only casualties being the Spanish defender Marc Bartra, who required surgery on his right wrist, and a police motorcycle outrider, who suffered hearing damage and acute shock.A 28-year-old German-Russian dual national was eventually charged with 28 counts of attempted murder. It appears he was a stockmarket speculator hoping to profit from a dramatic plunge in Borussia Dormund’s share price in the event of the squad sustaining mass casualties.As Merino sits in a quiet corner of Newcastle’s suburban training ground his recollections of that awful evening remain as vivid as his bright red baseball boots. “It was a really hard experience to live through,” he says. “It changes you.” The memories of team-mates throwing themselves on the floor and screaming at the driver to “get us out of here” as the bus lurched to one side, while outside the soft spring air filled with dust, will never leave him.“We didn’t know if there’d be more bombs or if a group with guns would come on the bus and kill us,” he says in impressively fluent English. “But now it’s in the past. I’m happy to be alive and to be enjoying playing football.”That night has left Merino determined to view life differently. “Now I always try to look at experiences, even bad ones, with good eyes,” says this strikingly mature, poised young man from Pamplona. “After something like that happens you’re easier, more relaxed, about certain things that you used to worry about. You realise you have to think about the important things and enjoy every moment.” Facebook Share on Facebook Topics Read more Pinterest Newcastle United Share via Email Share on Twitter Newcastle United up for sale – but is Mike Ashley asking too high a price? Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest “In Dortmund no one recognised me but when I walk the streets here the fans show me their love,” he says. “I’m really happy with the people in Newcastle, they’re very kind, always trying to help you. I didn’t expect that. I thought English people would be cold, dry and not kind but I was wrong and I’m happy about it. I didn’t expect all the laughter and jokes you have here.”Merino has found his new habitat similarly agreeable. “I live 15 minutes from the city centre and it’s so close to the countryside and the coast, I often go to the beaches here,” he adds. “There’s much more to do in Newcastle than in Dortmund. I feel at home here.”There is also a greater chance of fulfilling his dream and graduating to Spain’s senior team. “It’s probably not ready to happen right now but I hope to be in the squad in the near future,” he says. “I think I can achieve that playing for Newcastle; why not? Growing up in Spain you’re expected to play tiki-taka and I like that type of football but I can do other things too. I want to be good with the ball but I’m tall and quite physical and I’m trying to be a complete midfielder.” Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

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a month agoMan Utd midfielder Angel Gomes expecting physical Rochdale test

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd midfielder Angel Gomes expecting physical Rochdale testby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Angel Gomes is expecting a physical test against Carabao Cup opponents Rochdale.The United youngster is set to be involved tonight.He told MUTV, “They’re a League One side, a tough team and physical but that’s part of the game anyway. Every team we play against will be physical, that’s a given, so I don’t really take that into consideration.”We’ll try to play our football and attack as much possible, trying to show our strengths.“They’ll come out all guns blazing, I would imagine. It’s a big game for them, they’ve not played against our club for a long time and they have an ex-United player in Oli Rathbone.”I grew up watching him as he was two or three age-groups above me. I know him quite well so hopefully he’ll play and I’ll be able to play against him.“ last_img read more

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Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgSome of the most active companies traded Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (15,800.40, up 30.04 points):Canopy Growth Corp. (TSX:WEED). Healthcare. Up 76 cents, 5.92 per cent, to $13.59 on 8.3 million shares. Canopy says it will develop up to three million square feet of greenhouse growing capacity in British Columbia, more than doubling Canada’s biggest licensed marijuana producer’s production footprint. The company said in a statement that it has entered into a definitive joint venture agreement with a large-scale greenhouse operator where it will be a majority shareholder of BC Tweed Joint Venture Inc., a new company.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Aerospace, rail equipment. Up 10 cents, 4.44 per cent, to $2.35 on 7.04 million shares. Delta Air Lines says its deliveries of Bombardier CSeries aircraft may be delayed next year but that ultimately it won’t be forced to pay the 300 per cent preliminary duties recently announced by the U.S. Commerce Department. “We’re not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk,” CEO Ed Bastian said Wednesday during a conference call about its third-quarter results.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Healthcare. Up five cents, 1.69 per cent, to $3.00 on 5.9 million shares.Birchcliff Energy Ltd. (TSX:BIR). Oil and gas. Up six cents, 1.16 per cent, to $5.24 on 4.3 million shares.Pretium Resources Inc. (TSX:PVG). Miner. Up $2.92, 24.07 per cent, to $15.05 on 3.6 million shares.Encana Corp. (TSX:ECA). Oil and gas. Up 12 cents, or 0.84 per cent, to $14.35 on 3.6 million shares.Companies reporting major news:Metro Inc. (TSX:MRU). Grocer. Up 26 cents, 0.62 per cent, to $41.99 on 692,466 shares. The grocery store chain says it will eliminate about 280 jobs starting in 2021 as part of a $400-million overhaul of its Ontario distribution network. Metro says the move to modernize and automate its network will mean the loss of about 180 full-time and 100 part-time positions.Shopify Inc. (TSX:SHOP). E-Commerce. Down $2.64, or 2.28 per cent, to $118.40 on 1.4 million shares. Shopify’s chief executive says he’ll push back against a short-seller’s report questioning the company’s business model during the release of their next financial results. Company CEO Tobias Lutke tweeted that he looks forward to the next earnings call, expected in early November, where he’ll address the “short-selling troll” targeting Shopify.Thomson Reuters Corp. (TSX:TRI). Media. Up four cents, or 0.07 per cent, to $57.71 on 494,816 shares. The multinational information services company will spend about US$100 million to house its new technology hub at a Toronto complex that’s being built for occupation in 2021.last_img read more

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Thousands march in Germany to demand quick exit from coal

first_imgBERLIN — Thousands are marching in Berlin to demand that Germany make a quick exit from using coal-fired energy, a day before a U.N. climate summit opens in neighbouring Poland.Saturday’s march through Berlin’s government district and a simultaneous event in the western city of Cologne were organized by environmental groups. Many demonstrators carried flags with slogans like “Stop Coal!” and “The future is coal-free.”The summit opening Sunday in the Polish city of Katowice seeks to build on the landmark 2015 Paris accord, when countries agreed to try to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by the century’s end.German officials had hoped to present a blueprint for phasing out Germany’s use of coal over the coming decades. But an expert committee postponed its report on that until after the U.N. conference.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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New entrant to NJ sports bet market NBAFanDuel in deal

first_imgATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — A Canadian company says it will enter New Jersey’s sports betting market as an affiliate of Monmouth Park Racetrack.Toronto-based theScore says it will begin offering an online and mobile sports book in mid-2019, pending approval by state regulators.The company offers digital sports experiences through its web, social and esports platforms.The announcement came the same day that the National Basketball Association announced a deal making daily fantasy sports provider and recently minted bookmaker FanDuel a gambling partner of the league.FanDuel will gain access to official NBA betting data, along with league marks and logos across FanDuel’s sports betting offerings.New Jersey’s sports betting market is growing rapidly, with $928 million worth of bets having been taken by the state’s casinos and racetracks since mid-June.Wayne Parry, The Associated Presslast_img read more

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BC Hydro report that thermostats are heating up relationships

first_imgVANCOUVER, B.C. – In a new report published by BC Hydro, four out of 10 B.C. couples argue over the temperature in the household.Findings from their report titled ‘Thermostat wars: How the battle over household temperatures is turning up the heat on relationships’ are that as common as it is for couples across the province to argue about temperature, five percent of couples describe their situation as an “all-out thermostat war.”BC Hydro found out with a survey they commissioned, that British Columbian couples will go to great lengths to get their way when it comes to the temperature of their home. Twice as many couples are motived by comfort than cost savings. The survey included that more than 60 percent of people admitted to adjusting the thermostat when their partner was not looking and 50 percent say they have waited for their partner to leave the home before adjusting the dial. There is also the 20 percent that admits to turning the temperature up or down just to annoy their partner.Also revealed in the survey was what temperature the thermostat is set at as being one of the most contentious household arguments, this being ahead of who is cooking dinner, what time the dreaded morning alarm is set for, and who forgot to turn off the lights when they left the house.However, many of these arguments are often based around misconceptions, for example;Cranking up the thermostat does not heat the home up faster than turning it up a degree or two at a time.It is not more energy-efficient to keep the thermostat at a constant temperature instead of adjusting it based on the time of day or what activity is going on in the home.Turning on a space heater is not always a more energy-efficient way to keep warm.BC Hydro is encouraging British Columbian couples with Valentine’s around the corner to call an end to the thermostat war. It recommends setting the thermostat at 21 degrees Celsius when relaxing or watching T.V., 18 degrees Celsius when cooking or doing housework, and 16 degrees Celsius when away from home or sleeping.Other tips to reduce heating costs and stay comfortable this winter include:Using a programmable or smart thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature of the home based on the time of day.Installing weatherstripping around doors and windows to seal up gaps and cracks that let cold air into the home and warm air out – and lead to higher heating costs.Using BC Hydro’s electricity tracking tools to see how adjusting the thermostat can impact a household’s electricity use and costs.last_img read more

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Ohio States Braxton Miller named Big Ten Freshman of the Week

Ohio State freshman quarterback Braxton Miller was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week Monday for his performance that helped the Buckeyes defeat Wisconsin 33-29 on Saturday. Miller accounted for three total touchdowns in the game as he completed 7-of-12 passes for 89 yards and added 99 more on the ground. A 44-yard touchdown scamper by Miller gave the Buckeyes a 12-point lead with just 4:39 remaining, but the Badgers stormed back with two quick touchdown drives to take the lead, 29-26. The Buckeyes got the ball back with just 1:18 left on the clock, but that was more than enough time for Miller and the Buckeyes. On first down, Miller escaped the pocket, scrambled to his right and heaved a 40-yard pass to fellow freshman Devin Smith in the end zone to give the Buckeyes a 33-29 lead that the Buckeyes would never relinquish. The win brought the OSU’s record to 5-3 on the season with a 2-2 mark in Big Ten play, but also put the Buckeyes right back in contention for the conference championship. OSU will remain at home this week to take on Indiana. Kickoff is set for noon on Saturday at Ohio Stadium. read more

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Sampdoria boss Giampaolo Everyone would talk about it if Ronaldo scored

first_imgFollowing a humiliating 3-0 match between Sampdoria and Napoli, Sampdoria manager Marco Giampaolo believes “if Cristiano Ronaldo had scored Fabio Quagliarella’s goal, everyone would talk about it.”Football Italia says that the Blucerchiati ran riot at Marassi with a Gregoire Defrel brace and Quagliarella’s astonishing back-heel flick.“It was a wonderful evening because to beat Napoli you need to put in a great performance and be fortunate in some incidents,” the Coach told Radio Rai as quoted by Football Italia.Cristiano Ronaldo, JuventusSerie A Betting: Match-day 3 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Considering there is a number of perfect starts so early in the Serie A season, as well as a few surprisingly not-so perfect ones….“I don’t even know how good my team is, because some players are still in precarious physical condition. We made up for the unlucky defeat to Udinese and showed we could both attack and soak up the pressure.“The squad was unduly criticised after that loss in Udine. Defrel was extraordinary when attacking the space, while if Cristiano Ronaldo had scored Quagliarella’s goal, everyone would talk about it.last_img read more

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Jordi Alba is confident his contract will be renewed

first_imgThe Barcelona left-back is hoping to sign a new contract, as his current contract will end in June 2020 and he has no intention of leaving the club.Spanish footballer Jordi Alba has been playing professionally since 2007 when he started playing with Valencia B.He was loaned for a year in 2008 with Gimnastic, before completely moving in 2009 to Valencia.In there, he enjoyed his best football at the time and he was under Barcelona’s radar for a while, until the Blaugrana bought him in 2012.The left-back has a current deal with the team until June 2020, but he hopes he can sign a renewal soon as he doesn’t want to leave.“I’m optimistic about the renewal,” he told Marca.“It is clear that my dream is to stay at Barcelona.”Jose Mourinho, Lionel MessiMourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“It would be difficult to have come so far to then leave. I have my family here, their support, as well as the fans and my teammates,” he added.“I don’t think I could be happier than [I am] here.”“In football, you never know, but I have repeated that my intention is to stay here,” he continued.“No, I’ve never seen myself away from Barcelona since being at Barcelona is my dream.”“Over the years, I have improved a lot and [now] I notice the affection of the supporters a lot more. I have always seen myself at Barcelona and my dream is to retire at Barcelona,” he explained.“He has given me great confidence since the first minute,” said Alba about coach Ernesto Valverde.“I hope that he renews. Hopefully, we will both renew!”last_img read more

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Overnight Fire Destroys Former Anchor Point Seafoods Building

first_imgMutual aid was requested from Homer Volunteer Fire Department and Ninilchik Emergency Services. HVFD responded with a Tanker and Utility vehicle and 4 firefighters and NES with a Tanker and 2 firefighters. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Anchor Point Fire & EMS and Alaska State Troopers were dispatched to a fully engulfed structure fire at 34621 North Fork Road on Saturday January 26, at 11:42 pm. Marsh: “Although the fire was brought under control within 30 minutes, complete suppression efforts were delayed by nearly 2 hours until crews from HEA arrived to shut down the power to the structure in order to ensure the safety of firefighters working on scene.” Jon Marsh Deputy Chief Anchor Point Fire & Emergency Services: “Eleven firefighters from Anchor Point responded with an Engine, Tanker, Ambulance and multiple utility vehicles. Crews arrived to find an approximately 3000 square foot structure fully involved.”The building, the former location of Anchor Point Seafoods, was reported by neighbors present on scene to be vacant for several years. Crews remained on scene until shortly after 5am on Sunday in order to fully extinguish the fire. The structure is considered to be a total loss. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.last_img read more

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Bharti Singh and Harsh Limbachiyaa talk about tough phase Nobody gave us

first_imgWhile Bharti Singh has become a household name, it was through Khatron Ke Khiladi that her husband, Harsh too became an overnight sensation. Not only was their chemistry cute and refreshing but their wit and humour added extra dose of entertainment to the show.Bharti and Harsh were at the Attari-Wagah border to shoot special Independence Day episodes for the TV show, ‘Khatra Khatra Khatra’. The couple shot with the Border Security Force (BSF). Talking about Amritsar, Bharti recalled her tough days as child. She told IANS, “Honestly, my memories as a little girl, of my mother struggling to feed me and my siblings, are ones I would rather never revisit. I worked hard to get rid of those days. I am happy now. I am married. After the shoot Harsh and I will explore new places to eat. We shot at Kesar da Dhaba and, of course, ate sinfully!””Those two years were a hard time for both of us. Before that, we were doing well in life. I am a successful writer on television and we all know how celebrated Bharti is as a comedian. Our idea was to start something of our own. When we look for a project, we need a writer, actor and an idea or concept. We had all of it, but nobody would give us work for two years. When a steady career is interrupted by a gap of two years, it can be worrying, but Bharti kept saying, “lage rehte hai, bura waqt chala jayega (let’s bet at it, teh bad times will pass).” Finally, ‘Khatra Khatra Khatra’ happened and we saw light at the end of the tunnel,” Harsh told IANS.Bharti added, “So far, 2019 has been a good year for us. It was our dream to do a special episode with the BSF soldiers and getting permission is usually tough. But we are lucky that our show is popular among their families and they have readily given us permission. Since childhood, I struggled but everything I have achieved made me realise that hard work pays off.”last_img read more

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Collins Indictment Raises Extra Hurdle in Culbersons Run for Reelection

first_img X Even before Collins was indicted, Culberson was in the toughest fight of his political life. Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston says under the circumstances, the appearance of scandal matters more than the reality.“Scandals hurt worse when they are more recent, when they are financial in origin, especially related to corruption concerns, and when they can be pinned to larger ethical concerns about the incumbent political party. For Culberson, all three of these things wind up in a way that hurts him dramatically,” Rottinghaus says.Culberson’s opponent this fall, Lizzie Fletcher, has been outraising him for much of the campaign. Most political analysts consider the race in West Houston’s 7th Congressional District a toss-up. To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen center_img Manuel Balce Ceneta, APU.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, left, listens as Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.Houston Congressman John Culberson is one of several Republican House members who sold their stock in Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech firm, shortly before revelations of a failed clinical drug trial caused the firm’s stock to crash. One of those colleagues, New York Rep. Christopher Collins, has been indicted on insider trading charges. There’s no indication Culberson did anything wrong, but the scandal could still cost him. 00:00 /00:45 Sharelast_img read more

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Teenage night owls at high obesity risk

first_imgIf your teenage kid loves to spend night time with gadgets, ask him or her to reduce this habit as this may make him fat in just five years’ time.According to research, teenagers and adults who go to bed late on weeknights are more likely to gain weight than their peers who hit the hay earlier.“The results highlight adolescent bed times, not just total sleep time, as a potential target for weight management during the transition to adulthood,” said Lauren Asarnow, lead author and doctoral student in University of California-Berkeley. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For this, the researchers analysed data from a nationally representative cohort of more than 3,300 youths and adults. They found that for every hour of sleep they lost, they gained 2.1 points on the body mass index (BMI). This gain occurred roughly over a five-year period.The results show that many teenagers do not get the recommended nine hours sleep a night and report having trouble staying awake at school.The human circadian rhythm, which regulates physiological and metabolic functions, typically shifts to a later sleep cycle at the onset of puberty.The results suggest that adolescents who go to bed earlier will “set their weight on a healthier course as they emerge into adulthood”, Asarnow added. The paper appeared in the journal Sleep.last_img read more

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