Arsenal target Chelsea’s Michael Essien on deadline day

first_imgWELCOME to Frenetic Friday, the last day of the summer transfer window and the last chance for clubs to snap up some last-minute bargains and/or offload some of that unwanted stock that’s been sitting around for months just gathering dust.But enough of Marouane Chamakh. Let’s begin with the Daily Mail’s extraordinary claim that Arsenal – who remain hopeful of dumping Chamakh on Turkish club Besiktas and Nicklas Bendtner on Juventus – have contacted Chelsea with a view to bringing midfielder Michael Essien to the Emirates.Apparently Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has identified the 29-year-old Ghana international as the sort of no-nonsense defensive midfielder who will give his side a greater physical presence.The Mail says “strides have been taken” to negotiate a season-long loan deal for the Blues man, similar to the deal that last season saw Yossi Benayoun move from the Bridge to the Emirates. Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo is believed to be happy with the idea now that Essien is a bit-part player at the Bridge.Everton had earlier in the week made a play for Essien but the Mail reports that the move fell through on Thursday with neither the Toffees nor Chelsea able to agree on the terms of the proposed deal.Elsewhere and The Sun is just one of many papers to report that Andy Carroll’s “Anfield agony” is over. The 23-year-old striker is leaving Liverpool for West Ham, who have persuaded the Reds to let Carroll join them with the option of making the move permanent at the end of the season. Carroll left Newcastle for Liverpool in January 2011 in a £35m deal, but the England frontman will leave Merseyside for just £1m. If he and the Hammers get on then the London club will pay Liverpool a further £16m next May.“It’s great to be at West Ham, I just can’t wait to get started now,” said Carroll. “I want to be playing games and hopefully scoring goals.”Meanwhile The Guardian claims that Liverpool will look to fill the gap left in their ranks by Carroll’s departure with the signing of Daniel Sturridge today. The Reds are hopeful of securing a loan deal for the 22-year-old striker in the coming hours.Speaking on Thursday night after his side had defeated Hearts in the Europa League, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said: “Hopefully tomorrow we can do some work and get something complete because we certainly need it. I am hoping for one or two. We need one, that’s for sure.”The Guardian says that one player Liverpool look unlikely to land is Fulham’s Clint Dempsey. The American says it’s “highly unlikely” a deal will be done before tonight’s 11pm deadline because Liverpool can’t meet Fulham’s asking price of £7m. Finally, the Mirror claims that there will be comings and goings at Manchester City today as the Sky Blues wave goodbye to Nigel de Jong and welcome Maicon.Apparently the former will be heading to AC Milan while Inter Milan right-back Maicon will be travelling in the opposite direction in a £3m deal.The 31-year-old South American is tipped to sign a two-year deal worth £90,000-a-week, while Dutchman de Jong will join AC Milan in a deal the Mirror says comes in at around £3.5m.The capture of Maicon follows City’s signing of Swansea striker Scott Sinclair, the 23-year-old agreeing terms with the Premier League champions and the Swans also happy with the £8m deal. ·last_img read more

40 mind-boggling Tom Brady playoff facts ahead of QB’s 40th playoff game

first_imgTom Brady will make his 40th postseason start when the Patriots take on the Rams in Super Bowl 53. Judging by the numbers, the 41-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback continues to get better with age. He likely will not disappoint on the big stage he first took in Super Bowl 36 against the then-St. Louis Rams.Brady’s accomplishments through this run of nine Super Bowl appearances are almost impossible to believe. Here is a look at 40 postseason-related facts about the New England QB heading into his latest opportunity to add a sixth championship. 38. Brady is 29 of 47 for 311 yards in the Patriots’ last drive in those eight Super Bowls.39. In the game-winning drives against the Rams, Panthers, Seahawks and Falcons, Brady was a combined 24 of 29 for 241 yards.40. In the comeback against the Falcons, Brady was 21 of 27 for 246 yards in the fourth quarter and overtime. SUPER BOWL 53 PICKS:Predictions from SN’s team of expertsBrady playoff records1. Against the Rams, Brady will appear in his 40th playoff game for the Patriots — more playoff game appearances than 18 of the 32 NFL franchises. That includes the Bears, who have played in 36 playoff games.2. Brady has won 29 NFL playoff games as a starter. Only five NFL franchises have won at least 30 postseason games. That list includes New England (36), Pittsburgh (36), Dallas (35), Green Bay (34) and San Francisco (30).3. Brady has passed for 73 touchdowns in the playoffs. Joe Montana is second with 45. The next closest active QB is Aaron Rodgers with 36.4. Brady is the only NFL QB with more than 10,000 passing yards in the postseason (10,917 yards). That would rank 29th among active QBs in career regular-season passing yards behind Nick Foles (11,165).5. Brady has thrown the most interceptions in the playoffs (33), but it’s still just 0.85 interceptions per game in the postseason.6. Brady has thrown one interception or fewer in 29 of 39 playoff games. That includes 19 games with no interceptions.7. Brady set a personal postseason best with six touchdown passes against Denver in a 45-10 win against the Broncos in the AFC divisional playoffs on Dec. 1, 2014.8. Brady has passed for 300 or more yards in the postseason 16 times, and New England is 12-4 in those games.9. Brady owns a 20-3 record at home in the postseason. Only 14 NFL franchises have 20 playoff victories or more.10. Brady averages 279.9 passing yards per game in the postseason. The only Super Bowl-winning QBs with more are Drew Brees (317.3) and Kurt Warner (304.0).MORE: Best QB performances in SB historyTouchdown, Brady11. Brady scored New England’s only touchdown on a six-yard run in the Tuck Rule Game, a 16-13 win against the Raiders on Jan. 19, 2002, for his first playoff victory.12. Brady threw his first playoff touchdown pass in Super Bowl 36 against St. Louis with an eight-yard pass to David Patten.13. Brady threw his latest playoff touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett in the AFC championship game. Dorsett was nine when Brady led the Pats to their first Super Bowl victory. 23. Brady has led New England to 11 playoff victories in the last five seasons. Only seven other NFL QBs have 11 or more playoff victories in their careers.24. Brady has 16 more playoff wins than the next highest active QB. Roethlisberger ranks second among active QBs with 13.25. Brady has a .744 winning percentage in the postseason. That ranks first among QBs with at least 10 playoff wins. Terry Bradshaw, who was 14-5, ranks second with a .737 winning percentage.MORE: Brady among Super Bowl MVP whiffsBrady Super Bowl facts26. Against the Rams, Brady will start his ninth Super Bowl. John Elway is the only other QB in in NFL history with at least five Super Bowl starts.27. Brady can become the first QB to win six Super Bowls. Montana and Bradshaw each won four Super Bowls.28. Brady can become the first player to be on six Super Bowl-winning teams. Charles Haley played on five Super Bowl winners with the 49ers and Cowboys.29. Brady is the first player to play in nine Super Bowls.30. Brady is the only four-time Super Bowl MVP, with the latest being the comeback against the Falcons in Super Bowl 51.center_img 14. Brady has thrown a touchdown pass to 28 different players in the playoffs. Rob Gronkowski (12) has the most, followed by David Givens (seven), Danny Amendola (six) and Julian Edelman (five).15. Brady has thrown as many touchdowns in the playoffs to Randy Moss as he has Nate Solder, James Develin, Alge Crumpler and Bethel Johnson. All of those have players have caught one touchdown pass from Brady.16. Brady is famous for involving running backs, but only eight of his playoff touchdowns have been caught out of the backfield. That list includes James White (three), Shane Vereen (two), Kevin Faulk (one), Dion Lewis (one) and Danny Woodhead (one).MORE: Ranking all 52 Super Bowl winnersAgeless Brady17. Brady, 41, can become the oldest QB to win the Super Bowl. Peyton Manning was 39 when he and the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, slightly older than Brady at 39 when he won Super Bowl 51.18. Brady is 4-1 in playoff games since turning 40.19. Brady also is the second youngest QB to win a Super Bowl. He was 24 when the Patriots beat the Rams in Super Bowl 36. Ben Roethlisberger was 23 when the Steelers won Super Bowl 40 four years later.20. In those five playoff games since turning 40, Brady averages 364.6 passing yards per game with 10 touchdowns and two interceptions.21. In two playoff wins this season, Brady averages 345.5 passing yards per game and is completing 71.1 percent of his passes.22. Brady is 17 years and 72 days older than Rams QB Jared Goff, who is making his first Super Bowl appearance. 31. Brady has the career record for Super Bowl passing yards (2,576). He averages 322.0 passing yards per game with 18 touchdowns and five interceptions in the Super Bowl.32. Brady set the record for most passing yards in a Super Bowl with 505 in the Super Bowl 52 loss to the Eagles.33. Brady holds the Super Bowl record for consecutive completions in a Super Bowl with 16, which he set in Super Bowl 46 against the Giants.34. Brady has a 98.0 passer rating and 65.8 completion percentage in eight Super Bowl appearances.MORE: Ranking all 52 Super Bowl MVPsBrady in the clutch35. Brady led game-winning field goal drives against the Rams in Super Bowl 36 and Panthers in Super Bowl 38. He led the game-winning touchdown drives in Super Bowl 49 against the Seahawks and Super Bowl 51 against the Falcons.36. Brady is 82 of 127 (64.6 percent) for 879 yards in the fourth quarter of Super Bowls.37. Brady has six touchdowns and three interceptions in the fourth quarter or overtime of Super Bowls.last_img read more