Sports Shorts: Sabella to decide on Argentina future in coming week
With a September friendly looming for Argentina against their World Cup final conquerors Germany, coach Alejandro Sabella is aware of the urgency of a decision on his future.
Sabella, whose side lost 1-0 after extra time to Germany in the Maracana final a week ago, told reporters on Friday he would be mulling over his future this weekend and then arrange a Wednesday meeting with Argentine FA chief Julio Grondona.
“I know there are friendlies scheduled. In the middle of the week I’ll talk with Julio,” Sabella said.
"It’s a situation that can’t wait much, this weekend I’ll think about it and I’ll call Julio to have a meeting with him... I have to feel capable of doing (the job),” the 59-year-old said.
Argentina play Germany in Duesseldorf on September 3 in a match that will serve as a warm-up for the world champions’ opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland four days later. Argentina also face Brazil and Hong Kong in friendlies in October.
Argentina’s World Cup squad have said they want Sabella to stay at the helm and prepare the team for the Copa America in Chile next year.
“That makes me proud but my decision doesn’t depend on that... It’s down to whether I feel strong enough to give 100 percent,” he said.
“If I can’t give the players what I ask of them, it wouldn’t be honest.”
Sabella said he was not analysing alterative job offers.
“If I leave the national team it won’t be to work elsewhere, it will be to rest.”
He added he believed Argentina played their best match of the tournament in the final.
“I think that, taking into account who our opponents were, it was our best match at the World Cup. It was very even with the clearest chances for us. We should have won it in 90 minutes, then it got harder physically,” he said.
“With Germany it’s hard to go blow for blow because, like great boxers, they have an extraordinary punch.”
- NEXT: Hamilton drops five places after gearbox change
Image: Head coach Alejandro Sabella of Argentina
Photographs: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
German GP: Hamilton drops five places after gearbox change
Formula One title contender Lewis Hamilton will drop to 20th on Sunday's German Grand Prix grid, and may start from the pitlane, after Mercedes changed the gearbox on his car following a crash in qualifying.
The Briton, whose championship-leading team mate Nico Rosberg will be on pole position for his home race, qualified 16th on Saturday despite spinning into the barriers early on.
However, he gained a position because Sauber's Mexican Esteban Gutierrez carried over a three-place demotion from the previous race.
But Mercedes said Hamilton would also have to take a mandatory five-place penalty for the unscheduled gearbox change overnight.
"We can confirm that @LewisHamilton's gearbox will be changed for the race owing to accident damage incurred yesterday. 5 place penalty," the team said on their Twitter feed.
Hamilton's crash, in the first phase of qualifying, was caused by a front brake disc failure and Mercedes indicated on Saturday he would change to a different brand as a safety precaution.
If that is the case, then the 2008 champion is expected to start from the pit lane.
Hamilton is four points behind Rosberg at the halfway point in the season with nine races remaining after Hockenheim.
- NEXT: Arsenal's Walcott will miss start of the EPL season
Image: Mercedes Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton from Great Britain
Photographs: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters
Arsenal's Walcott will miss start of the EPL season
Arsenal forward Theo Walcott will miss the start of the Premier League season but should be back in full training by the end of August and playing again soon afterwards, manager Arsene Wenger said.
The 25-year-old England international ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during an FA Cup third-round tie against Tottenham in January and missed the rest of the season and the World Cup.
"We expect him to be back in full training at the end of August," Wenger was quoted as saying on the BBC website.
"Theo has a good basis, which is what he's working on now," added Wenger, who also predicted that Walcott's return to contention would be "very quick" once he was back in full training.
When Walcott suffered the injury Arsenal said he would be out of action for at least six months. However, the club has for some time accepted that he would not return before the start of the season on August 16.
Walcott himself is positive over the prospects for his return to action for the Gunners.
"Things are looking really good and I have worked very hard for the last five months now," he told Arsenal's website (www.arsenal.com).
"The most important thing is getting the strength back and it has pretty much nearly healed -- it is just about building up that stability and strength again."
- NEXT: Formula One driver Maldonado staying with Lotus next year
Image: Theo Walcott
Photographs: Phil Noble/Files/Reuters
Maldonado staying with Lotus next year, says Lopez
Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado will stay with Lotus in 2015, despite the Formula One team suffering a terrible first half of the season, team principal Gerard Lopez said on Saturday.
Maldonado has yet to score a point this season as Lotus struggle with the new technical changes.
"I can confirm 50 percent of our driver line-up for 2015 as Pastor is with us for next year," said Lopez on the Lotus F1 website (www.lotusf1team.com).
"Despite the difficulties we’ve had so far this season, he recognises our true potential as a team and we recognise his true potential as a driver.
"We will achieve great things together."
Maldonado, 29, had been with Williams for three years when he switched to Lotus at the end of the 2013 season.
Ironically, Williams are one of the success stories of this season, in fourth place in the constructors' championship table behind runaway leaders Mercedes with 103 points, while Lotus have a meagre eight points and lie eighth of the 11 teams racing.
In qualifying for Sunday's German Grand prix at Hockenheim, Maldonado failed to make it out of the first session and will start 19th.
Image: Pastor Maldonado of Venezuela and Lotus
Photographs: Mark Thompson/Getty Images