Harry Winks has spoken of the similarities between himself and former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi, as well as his admiration for ex-Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric.The 23-year-old admitted he has some way to go before he reaches the level of the World Cup winner, but believes they are similar in style.“It’s nice to be compared to such players, but there is still a long way to go for me,” Winks told Goal and SPOX . Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “Nevertheless, Xavi is similar in his way of playing. Like me, he is not the most physical or the biggest player. I have always watched and admired him.“I have always looked at Luka Modric, and it was a pleasure to watch him during training and in games. I looked up to him.”Winks has been at Tottenham since his youth, and the midfielder also spoke of his affinity to the club he grew up playing for as well as supporting.“There are only Tottenham fans in my dad’s family,” he said.“It was clear from birth that I would also become a Tottenham fan. I went to all the games with my dad.“When I was in the youth academy, I always had a game myself on Saturday morning and then drove directly to White Hart Lane with my dad to watch the pros play.“I love playing for Tottenham and I always give everything to my hometown club.”The Englishman has three caps for his country, having made his debut back in 2017 in a World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.Last season he made 41 appearances in total for Spurs, including playing over an hour in the Champions League final against Liverpool.Winks’ profile has risen during the last few years as he’s become an important part of the first team. He credits manager Mauricio Pochettino and the club’s coaching staff with his improvement, and that of the club as a whole.“Our coaches have created a new Tottenham and taken the club to a new level,” he added.“They do incredibly well to improve us as players, and they have integrated youth players like me into the team.“There is a special bond between the coach and the players. In the changing rooms we are almost like a family. We all fight for each other. That’s probably why we’ve been so successful over the past two years and improved so much.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City endured a “bad day” in their 2-0 defeat to Wolves, with nerves contributing to the Blues handing Liverpool a “big” eight-point lead at the Premier League summit.The defending champions took to the field on Sunday knowing that they needed to offer a response to the faultless Reds.They uncharacteristically fluffed their lines on home soil, with Guardiola seeing his side suffer a league defeat to nil at the Etihad Stadium for the first time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career The Catalan coach concedes that his side, who continue to suffer with injury struggles at the back, never got going against Wolves and were left to pay the price as Adama Traore bagged a late brace.Guardiola told BBC Sport: “We started decent, quite well but conceded counter-attacks. We were not at our best and when you concede a fast counter-attack, we had chances to score but it was a bad day and lost the game.”We did not make good process, we had problems in that sense. We are a team that plays a specific way but it is a bad day, that happens sometimes.”When you win games, you think about the other one. Now we have the international break, then can come back and go to the other games.”Guardiola is unaccustomed to seeing his City side suffer such off days, but acknowledges that such blips are always possible when setting high standards.He added to Sky Sports: “It was not our best day. We started good, we wanted to be patient with our game because we know how good they defend. We let them run twice, got nervous a little bit and our process to create chances was not good. We had the problems on the counter-attack in the end and it was a bad day.”They defend. They play long balls and defend, they then go on the counter. It is physical team, a strong team so know how good they are. We know their qualities and we knew how they scored the goals. We were not organised, lost balls in positions we could not lose them in.”We had two chances, one onto the crossbar and with Bernardo Silva. They did really well. We are going to come back again to try.”City reined in Liverpool last season after seeing Jurgen Klopp’s side open up a commanding lead at the top of the table.They are going to have to do likewise in 2019-20 if a hat-trick of top-flight crowns is to be secured, with Guardiola saying: “The distance is big, Liverpool have not dropped points.”Now is the time to come back. The results will dictate the situation but we are in October and there’s a long way to go.”A bad day for City against Wolves also saw them lose Kyle Walker at the interval, with a man overlooked for the latest England squad joining those taking in enforced breaks.Guardiola said of his right-back: “Kyle Walker did not feel good, he did not train well after an infection and we had to change him.”City will return to action after the international break with a trip to Crystal Palace on October 19. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
The report handed over to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week by the panel tasked to review the UN’s role during the war in Sri Lanka, said that there can be no lasting peace and stability in Sri Lanka without dealing with the most serious past violations and without a political response to the aspirations of Sri Lanka’s communities.“The UN cannot fulfill its post-conflict and development responsibilities in Sri Lanka without addressing these fundamental concerns, and the UN should continue to support implementation of the recommendations of the Panel of Experts on Accountability,” the report said. The report also said the UN had a generally difficult relationship with the Government, which used its control of visas, as well as harsh and even defamatory articles in the domestic media, as a means to pressure and intimidate any staff perceived as critical of the State.Several Resident Coordinators (RCs) were declared persona non grata (PNG) and a number of senior staff were withdrawn by the UN before they suffered the same fate. Candidates proposed to replace them were apparently rejected because of past experience in conflict situations.“Many international staff felt intimidated by the Government. National staff were sometimes arrested and detained by the authorities and later, in 2009, two staff were abducted and tortured by Government agents,” the report said. In the wake of the release of the UN internal review report, the government last week conceded that the UN had “failed” in its actions during the war.External Affairs Ministry Secretary Karunatilaka Amunugama said that the government will not officially respond to the report as it was an internal review document of the UN. At least 19 high-level visits were conducted from January 2007 to December 2009, including by the Secretary-General, Chef de Cabinet (2 times), USG-Humanitarian Affairs (5 times), USG-Political Affairs (3 times), USG-Human Rights, the RSG-IDPs (4 times), the USGUNHCR, two special envoys of the SRSG-CAAC, and an ASG-DPA. Each visit was oriented towards a particular mandate – humanitarian, political, human rights, IDPs, children, etc.However the report said that by the end of the conflict it would be apparent that commitments made by the Government and the LTTE to the UN, including during the high-level visits, were repeatedly broken. (Courtesy The Sunday Leader) However he said the UN had failed to take action when the LTTE used civilians as human shields during the war and so in that sense the UN had not done enough. “The UN did not carry out its role properly. However we do not agree with the conclusion that the government had put pressure on the UN during the war,” he told The Sunday Leader. The report also said that while national staff were reportedly abused by LTTE cadres, the Government’s treatment of staff affected UN policy decisions and discouraged the UN from responding publicly or more firmly to reports of Government violations.