Arsene Wenger has described reports that Arsenal are closing in on a £37million move for Schalke attacking midfielder Julian Draxler as an “illusion”. The Gunners are said to have made a renewed bid for German international Draxler as they seek to complete a deal before the transfer window closes. But Wenger, speaking after Friday night’s 4-0 FA Cup fourth-round victory over Coventry, denied a deal will happen. “That is an illusion. There is nothing happening, honestly no,” Wenger said. “We don’t need to take players on the flanks – we have 17 players on the flanks.” Wenger responded to criticism from Jose Mourinho on Friday by stating the Chelsea boss is entitled to his opinion. Mourinho declared that Wenger “complaining is normal, because he always does” after the Frenchman described the Blues’ sale of Juan Mata to Manchester United as unfair. The Portuguese also highlighted what he views as the Gunners’ favourable fixture list. “Look at Christmas and you tell me who had the best fixtures,” Wenger said. “We played on Sunday against Everton, on Wednesday in Naples and on Saturday morning at Man City. So we do have not the same assessment on that front. “What I said was not a complaint, it has nothing to do with Chelsea. It was just a suggestion of do you think it is right or wrong. “Everybody is free in life to have his opinion about people. I never speak about people. I speak about facts and ideas. Never about people.” Wenger had previously suggested Mata’s transfer was unfair as Chelsea have already played United twice this season and will not have to face Spaniard this term, unlike other title contenders. Wenger said on Friday night: “If we have a chance it is down to our performances. Only about that. That is what we have to focus on. “I was asked a question, I gave an honest answer. I am still naive enough to believe people are more interested in the ideas than about creating conflicts. But no, this is an illusion.” Lukas Podolski struck twice as Arsenal cruised into the fifth round of the FA Cup at the expense of Coventry, while Olivier Giroud and Santi Cazorla also scored. “Podolski can score goals. When you have a good chance you want him to have it because he is a clinical finisher,” Wenger said. “He has an unbelievable short and quick backlift and he is very accurate in his finishing. “He can score goals when he starts, when he comes on he is always dangerous.” Coventry manager Steven Pressley felt his Sky Bet League One club acquitted themselves well in defeat “I was exceptionally proud of that performance. I asked the players to be brave in possession and they truly were,” Pressley said. “Being 2-0 down at the Emirates it’s easy to go under, but we got after them and forced them back and were the more likely team to score. “In the end Arsenal’s quality shone through, they tired us out in the last 10 minutes. In the end 4-0 was harsh. We left nothing out on the pitch.” Press Association
Senior guard Trevon Hughes and the Wisconsin Badgers escaped with a win Wednesday night at the Kohl Center, thanks in large part to the 20-point performance by Hughes. The native of Queens, N.Y., helped UW rally past the Wolverines with 16 second-half points.[/media-credit]When the final horn sounded Wednesday night at the Kohl Center, the scoreboard read 54-48 in favor of the Wisconsin men’s basketball team — and thankfully for the Badgers, that is the only stat that matters.Playing its ugliest game of the season so far, UW finished with several offensive statistics that would make James Naismith blush.Wisconsin shot 34 percent from the floor and a cool 16 percent from beyond the arc. The Badgers didn’t score their first points until six minutes had bled in the game, and they ended the half with a mere 18 points. Calling this matchup a Big Ten slugfest would be putting it kindly.Still, Wisconsin came out with a “W” on the left-hand side of the column due in large part to a resiliency that has marked Bo Ryan’s teams for the past nine years.“I think it just shows a lot about our team,” UW’s only true big man to play, Keaton Nankivil said. “We have a setback with Jon (Leuer’s wrist injury), but we are not the kind of team to make excuses… even when we don’t shoot well, we still do a lot of stuff well that puts us in position to win and that is the way Coach coaches us.”Making up for the dreadful shooting night was Wisconsin’s intelligent play. For the game UW only turned the ball over five times, including just once in the second half. And with the outside shots not falling — or even coming close in the case of two ill-advised attempts from Tim Jarmusz — the Badgers worked their way to the free throw line and connected on 14 of 17 attempts. Those 14 makes were more than Michigan had attempts.“That is how you get it done. When you are shooting a poor percentage you need to be making free throws and you need to not turn the ball over,” Ryan said. “That is the only way you have a chance, when those two things happen.”Wisconsin started the game missing its first seven shots — six of which were three pointers — but managed to stay in the game by only allowing Michigan to score six points.According to Ryan, the six minute stretch to open the game doesn’t bother him because all teams go through scoreless bouts some time during the course of play.“If you are not hitting shots it’s called a slow start,” Ryan said.“In every game there are little spells. We have talked about this a million times. It could have been with five minutes to go in the game… in this case it happened early.”While the Badgers’ scoring was balanced, with three different players reaching double figures and seven guys getting at least one bucket for the game, Michigan’s attack was based almost solely on getting DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris shots.Unfortunately for the Wolverines, only one half of that combo was clicking.Sims finished the game with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, but Harris was held to 11 points — eight below his season average — and only reached the charity stripe once.While a lot of credit can be given to Jarmusz for keeping the athletic guard in front of him, Michigan coach Jim Beilein thought some of the trouble was Harris simply missing makeable shots.“[Wisconsin] always has a guy that can do that, but I do think several times Manny got a couple of good looks,” he said. “Tim is a good defender but I’m sure Manny would want to have some of those shots back.”As Badger fans should be used to seeing by now, the ball was in Trevon Hughes’ hands down the stretch, and the senior guard did not disappoint.Finishing the game with 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting, UW’s leading scorer poured in eight points over the final five minutes, including a backbreaking layup with the shot clock about to expire.“I had to get a spark and get something going,” Hughes said. “I had to stay aggressive, I know my teammates feed off of that.”Playing in the third straight game without Leuer, the Badgers attempted 24 three-point attempts to only 28 two-point field goals. In this three-game stretch, nearly 50 percent of UW’s shots have come from beyond the arc, and the team has only averaged 55 points a game.With a hint of stubbornness in his voice, though, Ryan said the team has no plan to change how they are playing — saying in effect, they will continue to take what the defense gives them.“Who knows?” Ryan said about the three-point attempts. “We are just going to keep finding ways. It could be ten the next time, it could be 40 the next time.”
“I always remember back-to-school season as a kid, but l don’t ever remember going out to purchase a backpack. I didn’t get books, so for me, it was important to come and provide things that I knew were a necessity for these kids,” Jackson said. “The community should feel as if USC is its home.”When marketing the event, SOLID reached out on social media and email but wanted to make sure that even people who didn’t have access to technology at the event still felt welcome. Volunteers walked the streets handing fliers out to homeless individuals.Jackson’s mother Ida Herroan said she has lived in South Los Angeles for many years, but this type of community outreach is in many ways a new phenomenon signaling positive change.“What I see here is a great improvement on society,” Herroan said. “It gives [people] that boost in life. They can say, ‘I don’t have to stay in one place. I can move around in this universe.’”For DPS Chief John Thomas, this type of cooperation and community outreach is also a welcome change.“As someone who’s lived through the 1965 riots in L.A. and the 1992 riots in L.A., I didn’t see too many efforts that at the end of those traumatic and tragic incidents people worked with police and the community to bring about better working relationships,” Thomas said.Thomas stressed that DPS is accountable to the public and has a responsibility to prevent issues of mistrust.“I think if nothing else this was a genuine effort on the part of DPS and LAPD to work with the students to build a stronger relationship, and I hope at the end of the day that’s accomplished, and we start working toward the second annual fair.” Follow Kate on Twitter @km_guarino This Saturday marked the first Unity Street Fair organized by USC’s Students Organizing for Literacy, Inclusion and Diversity.Bridging gaps · The Unity Fair welcomed more than 300 people at a park located at the intersection of Hoover Street and Adams Boulevard on Saturday. – Dasha Kholodenko | Daily TrojanThe event brought together USC students, community members, the Dept. of Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department. The event was hosted partly in response to allegations of racial profiling and misconduct after LAPD broke up a party of predominantly black students on May 4 of last year.The fair welcomed more than 300 people to the park at the Hoover Recreational Center at the intersection of Hoover Street and Adams Boulevard and was part of a summerlong collaboration among law enforcement, SOLID and multiple student organizations including the Black Student Assembly, the Black Social Work Caucus and USChange Movement.The fair featured a raffle of donated items, a disc jockey and various food options. The park housed different booths set up by organizations including SOLID and the Black Student Assembly. LAPD University Park Task Force also had a booth of uniformed officers who spoke with community members. DPS officers in uniform patrolled the event while others, including Chief John Thomas, came in plain clothes and mingled with guests.SOLID Executive Director Paul Young, a second-year graduate student in the School of Social Work, said the event coordinators hoped to emphasize a spirit of collaboration between law enforcement and the community that went beyond fighting for the students affected on May 4.“We wanted to have a different response,” Young said. “Instead of just advocating for that group we wanted to advocate for the neighborhood, for other students of color. We wanted to put together an event where we can show something positive can come out of the situation.”Selam Kidane, a second-year graduate student at the School of Social Work and member of the Black Social Work Caucus, said there is often a culture of fear surrounding law enforcement, but that dialogue is the key to making lasting changes.“I’d hope that more candid conversations can take place with the community and LAPD and DPS around some of the things that have happened that have scarred the community,” Kidane said.LAPD and DPS have been meeting with student organizations and have worked to change party protocol so that DPS officers will be the ones to act as first responders.Sergeant Jon Pinto of LAPD Southwest Division and the University Park Task Force said the task force, which patrols the area surrounding USC, has also held weekly meetings with DPS to create a unified set of policies to close parties and issue warnings.“We’ve been working with several organizations at USC to heal some of the concerns that the community has and to show the community and university that we’re working in partnership,” Pinto said.Makiah Green, a first-year graduate student in the master of professional writing program and student leader of the USChange Movement, said the purpose of the event reached further than just addressing the issue of parties.“There’s a huge misconception that this is about the party and it’s really not; it’s about the underlying racial biases,” Green said.Green said it was nice to see law enforcement interacting with the community, particularly children that came to the fair, but she still believes fostering a culture of trust will take time.“I feel like the officers and community members have been kind of segregated,” Green said. “I don’t necessarily know if the kind of communication we wanted to occur did but this is only the first event and a lot of people aren’t comfortable with the police, so I think as time goes on, we’ll be able to build those relationships.”SOLID co-founder Jacqueline Jackson, a second-year graduate student in strategic public relations and business fundamentals, said that demonstrating USC could care and provide for the surrounding community was key to the event’s success. Growing up in the Inglewood community not far from USC, Jackson said education was not readily available to her, and she took extensive steps to seek it out. In August of 2012, Jackson and Rikiesha Pierce founded SOLID with the goal of expanding the mile-and-a-half radius that USC serves.“We wanted to build an organization that reached out into the community and brought educational resources and that also brought opportunities to get closer to campus and meet USC students,” Jackson said.Community outreach also became a large part of Saturday’s fair. Jackson estimates the fair cost upward of $5,000, but various donors, including community members, alumni and DPS contributed funds, as well as raffle prizes, including more than 40 backpacks full of school supplies and 30 bikes.