Comparative technical support with tortuous tricky technical problems

first_img eldercosta says: “Unfortunately Cypress has just changed their tech support model. They have adopted the Texas Instruments model where you post your question on a user forum and hope that someone at Cypress will assume ownership of your problem. Hope it works out well alth I contacted both Maxim and Cypress tech support since I was long convinced that it was some interaction between the micro and the watchdog and I knew negotiating between two organizations could prove problematic. Maxim replied quickly, but I am afraid there is not much good I can say after that. Their opening gambit was that the push-pull output of the MAX824 could not drive a pullup resistor and I should switch to an open collector device. Seriously? After that I should have known better than to continue. After verifying that we indeed had genuine Maxim parts, the applications engineer implied that I wasn’t using the /RST and RST as outputs and that they are only outputs. More fool him – the data sheet explicitly states that the reset pins are bidirectional. He also kept circling round and asking questions that I had provided details on already. He also said there couldn’t be a problem because “The MAX824L is available for more than ten years and customers have very good experience with the MAX824L . ” He ended by saying that since the MAX824 works when not connected, the problem had to be with the PSoC. I felt frustrated and that I was wasting time going round in circles, so I abandoned any further interaction.Let’s contrast Maxim’s support with Cypress’. Cypress took a little longer to respond, pending the assignation of an appropriate applications engineer. I provided the same information to them. They suggested several tests and after some interaction they found the solution. Before I get to that I should point at the attitude – I felt quite impressed to see this as the signoff in one of the emails “Assuring you that the issue will be resolved soon .”  Whilst recovering from a medical procedure (you do get a regular colonoscopy don’t you?- see el Magnifico’s “The worst is behind you…”) I saw in an email from Cypress – “Also please note that the recommended decoupling capacitor on the VCCD pin is 1uF. But in your schematic we are seeing 10uF (C11) capacitor on VCCD. Please make a change. ” Fat chance, I thought. I have seen many discussions about the correct values for decoupling capacitors using values from 0.1uF to 0.01uF and then adding a tantalum for bulk storage, and with the advent of microfarad values of ceramic capacitors it is even possible to merge the two requirements into a single capacitor. The value seems to be largely irrelevant. However, the PSoC data sheet is quite specific and in earlier designs I had used a 1uF at this node, but somehow I had changed it to 10uF. As you can guess from my tone, it was the solution, but why?This is my interpretation. “Decoupling” is perhaps a bad descriptor to use for this capacitor. VCCD is in fact the internal regulated 1.8V supply. Cypress tells me that the value is critical because “If this value changed, it effects stability of internal regulator and causes unexpected behavior of the device.” Nowhere in Cypress’ documents does it say that XRES is only an input – jumping to conclusions is the only exercise I get.It seems to me that the unexpected behavior is based in the time taken to reach voltage stability. It also seems to me that perhaps the voltage startup is initiated at the end of an input reset signal. When the watchdog /RST of the watchdog goes inactive the signal goes positive and the PSoC starts its internal voltage generation. After 34us it sees a failure because the capacitor is too large, delaying the voltage startup. As a result it pulls the XRES line low, re-initiating the watchdog. The lower threshold voltage of the MAX234R would allow the PSoC more time for the VCCD to stabilize, and hence the discrepancy in the way the different threshold voltages work. On reading this a second time, there are some issues with this interpretation vis-à-vis some of my observations, but Cypress’ words “unexpected behavior ” probably mean that I am never going to get closer to a complete answer.At the end of this I didn’t feel like “hooting and hollering” (as His Majesty suggests in his original blog), and there definitely were several sleepless nights. Rather, in addition to relief in solving the problem (maybe understanding and not having to modify the PCB to boot), I felt inadequate in that I hadn’t solved the problem and sheepish since it was self-inflicted. But worse was the feeling of frustration in dealing with tech support and getting nowhere. It is a pleasure when some companies get support right. Thank you, Cypress!Full disclosure: My employer is a Cypress Design Partner. I blog, sometimes about the PSoC, and as a long time user of Cypress tech support, I may be recognized when I submit a query.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Design Methods, Industry August 22, 2018 at 10:30 am Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. August 18, 2018 at 1:45 pm AubreyKagan says: Continue Reading Previous Eeek! DNA-born malware at ESC Minneapolis 2017Next SYZYGY: The Goldilocks connection standard for FPGA-based systems 2 thoughts on “Comparative technical support with tortuous tricky technical problems” “Hi, Aubrey, if it works like TI, it will be fine. TI folks are very responsive most of the time. The problem is if it works like Analog’s forum. 🙁 (Linear Tech folks tend to be more responsive though).” Not for the first time, our own inimitable Max the Magnificent has provided a segue into one of my blogs. In his “Tortuously Tricky Technical Problems” (TTTP) he concluded:“These are the sorts of problems that can keep you up at night. They are also the ones that, when you finally figure them out, cause you to leap into the air punching the sky and hooting and hollering with a great big smile on your face. Speaking of which, do you have any weird and wonderful experiences of this kind that you would care to share with the rest of us?” Well I am sharing – blame Max! Often when I am faced with a TTTP no one really knows the answer, but it helps when there is someone with sufficient insight who can ask the right questions that prompts an investigation that leads to the answer. My employer is a small organization and so there aren’t many people to ask. In addition I am of an age that I am that person others ask for insight. When I have a problem I sometimes have to turn to technical support of the chip manufacturers and their responses can sometimes be helpful and sometimes, not so much.Let me set the problem for you. I had designed a project and when it came back from manufacture I passed the hardware to a neophyte engineer along with a specification and asked him to design the firmware and then complete the design.I love Maxim parts – Maxim is a company with innovative, inspirational and reliable parts and really good data sheets. My record also shows that I am an ardent PSoC supporter. My overall hardware design was a crib of a successful previous one with a slightly different I/O that used a part from both Maxim and Cypress. I prefer external watchdogs in microcontroller designs and I had designed in a Maxim MAX824L, an integrated circuit I have used successfully several times before. It is coupled with a Cypress PSoC4 microcontroller. The nub of the design as it affects the impending problem is shown in Figure 1.click for larger image Figure 1- Portion of the circuit pertinent to my reset problem. My apologies – the symbol for the MAX824 was created in PCAD. Altium didn’t do a great job in translation. (Source: Author) Because of the interaction of the microcontroller debug/programming connection (plugged in on P2) the reset output of the watchdog is separated from the reset input of the micro by a jumper P3. Connection across jumper P3 is done towards the end of the development when it is possible to disconnect the debugger and test the watchdog operation. Let me add that according to the PSoC data sheet, the XRES input has a 5K pullup resistor that is permanently enabled.The watchdog and micro both worked without the jumper installed, but when P3 was shorted the micro stayed permanently reset. My colleague initially reported to me that the XRES line of the micro (which is the /RST line on the watchdog) was continuously low. This was surprising to me because the source project seemed to work fine.The tests I suggested and then executed as the problem persisted were manifold and here are only some of them. First we replaced the MAX824L with a MAX824R. The “L” version has a threshold of 4.63V, whilst the “R” version has a threshold of 2.63V. This was not inspirational – we thought the original device had been damaged and the “R” it was the only stock we had. This worked, but when we looked at other modules with the “L” part the problem persisted. Worse, the original project exhibited the same symptoms when the micro was blank.At the risk of perhaps insulting your intelligence, let me explain. If the micro is unprogrammed then the /RST line of the watchdog should oscillate at about 1 Hz. In our case it was in a (reported by my colleague) continuous reset state. This seemed to suggest that the micro was somehow draining enough current from the /RST pin to appear to the MAX824 that the supply voltage was below the threshold (since the 2.63V part worked).The MAX824 has a push-pull output so it can source current as well as sink it. I placed a 10K series resistor between /RST and XRES first to decouple and then to monitor the current. The MAX824 oscillated as it was supposed to. There was no significant current when /RST was high and when low the resistance divider created with the PSoC4 internal resistor confirmed that it was an internal 5K resistor. When I changed the series resistor to 5K (with resultant voltage of 2.5V on XRES) the PSoC remained held in the reset state. I also wondered if there was a current source in the PSoC and tried a Schottky diode in place of the external resistor in either direction. In addition I tried pullup and pulldown resistors in parallel with the XRES input. Again no conclusion – there went that theory.I though there may be some other faulty connection on the board and so I disconnected pin 32 (XRES) of the micro. Another dead end.Figure 2- Internals of the MAX824. (Source Maxim Integrated Products) That evening in the shower I had an epiphany. The MAX824 has a feature that if the WDI input is left floating, the watchdog function is disabled and although the PSoC4 will supposedly set the output to a predetermined value on reset, I thought maybe whilst the reset was active the output wasn’t being defined leaving the watchdog inoperative in a perpetual motion feedback loop. You can see in Figure 2 the feedback buffer on the WDI input, which I thought may be influencing the setup. I woke up at 4AM thinking that it didn’t quite explain the circumstances, but I went ahead and removed the WDI input from the board and connected a pullup to it. No difference to the problem. Epiphanies aren’t always right! Which begs the question, if an epiphany isn’t right, is it really an epiphany? That’s enough philosophy; let’s get back to the problem at hand.I then tried a MAX1232 (note the “1” before the “232”. This is not the famous serial port part, but a newer version of the Dallas Semiconductor (now Maxim) DS1232) as a watchdog instead. I have also used this part extensively and had stock to experiment with. The MAX1232 has an open collector output, just to take a different approach. It also monitored the XRES line for myself and noticed a very short 34us pulse every ~1 sec. At that point I decided that the PSoC was feeding back a reset signal to the watchdog and was about to insert a logic gate to prevent it affecting the reset from the MAX824. Conveniently a tech support provided the answer at that point, but before I get to the solution let me contrast the tech support I received.In order to shorten this blog, I was going to break here for a month to leave you, dear reader, to see if you could think what the problem might be, but the solution is so far outside the details I have described, that it wouldn’t be fair. Also the powers-that-be disapprove of two parters. Still, if you want to give it a shot, go get a cup of coffee and think about what you might do next. Log in to Reply last_img read more

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Photo: Jim Harbaugh Rocks A Cal Ripken Jersey At His Camp In Baltimore

first_imgJim Harbaugh looks on from the sidelines.TAMPA, FL – JANUARY 1: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines looks on from the sidelines during the second quarter of the Outback Bowl NCAA college football game against the South Carolina Gamecocks on January 1, 2018 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)The #JimHarbaughJerseyWatch satellite camp rolls through Baltimore today, and Harbaugh, a big time baseball fan, went with a pretty strong choice for his jersey today. The Michigan head coach is wearing a Cal Ripken Jr. jersey at today’s camp at Patterson Park.Jim Harbaugh goes with the Cal Ripken jersey at a satellite camp today in Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/GuBd95bDtd— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) June 6, 2016Yesterday, Harbaugh wore an Allen Iverson jersey near the legendary point guard’s hometown in Virginia, Hank Aaron’s jersey in Atlanta, and a Willie Taggart USF jersey during a South Florida camp with his former assistant. We’re pretty excited to see the other jerseys he breaks out on this camp tour.MORE FROM COLLEGE SPUN:Predicting The Next 5 CFP Fields5 Reasons Jim Harbaugh Is Great For College FootballCollege Football’s 8 “Blue Bloods”last_img read more

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Grande Prairie RCMP Seek Assistance in Locating Missing Person

first_imgGRANDE PRAIRIE, A.B. – Grande Prairie RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in locating Dakota Hughes (20). He was last seen in the Grande Prairie area on January 17, 2019.Dakota is described as:MetisBrown HairHazel eyes6’0″‘180lbsThere is a concern for Dakota’s well-being. The RCMP would like to locate and speak with him as soon as possible. If you have any information about his whereabouts, please contact Grande Prairie RCMP Detachment at 780-830-5700. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1.800.222.8477 (TIPS) or by Internet at www.tipsubmit.com.last_img read more

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Mars meteorite provides evidence of life on Red Planet

first_imgLondon: Scientists have discovered evidence of different forms of bacteria embedded within a Martian meteorite, suggesting that life may have once existed on the Red Planet. Named ALH-77005, the Martian meteorite was found in the Allan Hills on Antarctica during the mission of the Japanese National Institute of Polar Research between 1977 and 1978. Scientists from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences discovered embedded organic material in the meteorite. They were able to determine the presence of organic matter in mineralised form such as different forms of bacteria within the meteorite. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US”Our work is important to a broad audience because it integrates planetary, earth, biological, chemical, and environmental sciences and will be of interest to many researchers in those fields,” said Ildiko Gyollai from HAS Research Centre for Astronomy and Earth Sciences. “The research will also be of interest to planetologists, experts of meteorite and astrobiology as well as researchers of the origin of life, and to the general public since it offers an example of a novel aspect of microbial mediation in stone meteorites,” said Gyollai, lead author of the study pubished in the journal Open Astronomy. The research could change the examination of meteorites in the future. In light of their discovery, the authors posit that solar system materials should be studied to establish whether there is evidence of microbial forms within space rocks — and an indication that there was once life on Mars.last_img read more

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Irani files nomination targets Rahul over IT raids

first_imgAmethi: Union minister Smriti Irani Thursday filed nomination papers from Amethi, pitting herself against Congress president Rahul Gandhi who has won thrice from the Lok Sabha constituency regarded as Gandhi family pocket borough. Irani filed the nomination after a road show, which followed a similar route taken by the one organised by the Congress when Rahul Gandhi submitted his own papers here on Wednesday. Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath accompanied her in a show of strength in the constituency, which has been nursed by the Union textiles minister even after she was defeated by Gandhi last time. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details She lost the 2014 election by over a lakh votes, but the shrunken margin of victory for Gandhi boosted the Bharatiya Janata Party’s hopes. The Congress president is also contesting from a second constituency, Wayanad in Kerala, this time, prompting the BJP to claim that he is “scared” to take on Irani. Irani, who has been lashing out at Gandhi for missing from Amethi and for its lack of development, continued to attack him on Thursday, questioning his silence over the Income Tax raids against aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The road show began with prayers at the Gauriganj’s Budhanmaai temple, where her husband Zubin Irani accompanied her. Enthusiastic party workers took part in the road show ahead of the nomination, beating drums and showering rose petals. Many women wore saffron saris and men had angochhas in the same colour flung over their shoulders. They wore ‘Main bhi chowkidar’ (I am also a watchman) caps, in support of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Irani submitted four sets of nomination papers to district election officer R M Mishra. taking with reporters, Irani targeted her rival over the recent I-T raids. The Income-Tax Department has claimed it has detected a racket in collection of unaccounted cash, running into crores. “Rahul Gandhi is still silent over the fact that details of about Rs 280 crore have emerged from the residence of an aide of Kamal Nath, she charged. Rahul’s silence exposes his reality.” Irani said the people are looking for a vision in these elections for the development of the country, asserting that Modi will again emerge as prime minister.last_img read more

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Hamas slams spying charges against ousted president Morsi

first_imgGAZA CITY – Egypt’s prosecutor-general on Wednesday referred Morsi, three of his former aides, and 31 Muslim Brotherhood leaders to a criminal court to answer charges of espionagePalestinian resistance faction Hamas has denounced espionage allegations leveled against ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi by Egyptian prosecution authorities.“Hamas does not interfere in Egypt’s internal affairs,” group spokesman Salah al-Bardawil told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.Contact with Hamas, he said, should be considered “an honor” for any Arab.“How dare a government or judiciary consider the Palestinian resistance an enemy and criminalize cooperation with it?” he asked.Al-Bardawil called for dismissing the charges against Morsi, which, he asserted, only played into the hands of the Israeli occupation.Egypt’s prosecutor-general on Wednesday referred Morsi, three of his former aides, and 31 Muslim Brotherhood leaders to a criminal court to answer charges of espionage.The men are accused of “conspiring” with Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah to carry out a “terrorist plot” in Egypt, according to a statement issued by the prosecutor-general’s office.The defendants also face charges of financing terrorism and committing acts deemed “harmful to the country’s security and integrity.”last_img read more

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Morocco ranks 97 on the global democracy index report

first_imgTaroudant- A recent report released earlier in December ranked Morocco 97th on the global democracy index. Global Democracy Ranking, an organization based in Vienna, released its 2013 report on the quality of democracy in 115 countries. The report, which was made public earlier in December, ranked Morocco 97th behind a number of Arab and African countries. Morocco is preceded by Kuwait (83), Lebanon (79) and Tunisia (72), which ranks first in the Arab world on the Global Democracy Ranking for 2013, gaining 33 places from the previous years. The kingdom came ahead of Egypt (103), Libya (108) and Yemen (115), which is the last Arab country on the ranking.One may question the credibility of such a report that ranked Morocco, which underwent remarkable political reforms in recent years, at the bottom of the ranking in comparison to countries that are still facing political unrest and social upheaval and where the rights of minorities are hardly protected, such as Liberia, (74), Timor Leste (76), Sri Lanka (82) or Sierra Leone (87).  Unsurprisingly, the most democratic countries, according to the report, are found in Scandinavia, with Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, and Denmark occupying the first four spots on the list, and Norway rounding out the top five.Headquartered in Vienna, Austria, Global Democracy Ranking is an association that produces an annual global ranking of democracies worldwide. Its report takes into account a number of indexes, namely politics (50%), gender (10%), economy (10%), knowledge (10%), health (10%) and environment. © Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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RGIII Falling Out of Good Graces of Many Redskins

Want to learn how tough Robert Griffin III is? How he handles the next week, amid criticism and mounting calls for backup Kirk Cousins, will go a long way to determining that critical question for the Washington Redskins’ quarterback.In just two weeks, Griffin–the darling of D.C., if not the NFL after a thrilling rookie season–has learned how quickly fans can turn on you when you do not produce. Following a second straight sorry start to games, both losses, the message boards and sports talk shows in D.C. are flooded with calls for Griffin to sit down until healthy in place of his backup, Cousins.Comments like, “Cousins gives us the best chance to win,” and “Robert Griffin is not the same guy. . . yet. He’s not that guy.”The case against Griffin is tangible. The Redskins fell behind significantly in the season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles and trailed the Green Bay Packers 24-0 in Sunday’s 38-20 loss on the road. In each case, Griffin looked timid in his throwing motion, favoring his surgically repaired knee that kept him sidelined all of the preseason.“If I’ve got to do a little bit more to clean up that sloppiness,” he said Sunday, “then I’ll do it. . . I don’t point the finger at anybody else. Whatever goes on on that field, I’m responsible for that.”He added: “I’m not afraid to sit here and say, ‘Put that on my shoulders,’ ” Griffin said. “I’ll take that. We didn’t start fast because of me.”What made Griffin RGIII was his ability to escape the pocket with his mobility and gain yards as a runner, making him a double threat that crossed up defenses last season. By design or by choice, Griffin hardly uses his legs as an asset, making him predictable and easier to defend. The results have been the Redskins falling behind to insurmountable deficits.Hence, many are left to wonder if Griffin truly is healthy enough to lead the team at this point. He can point to the second half numbers as proof of his effectiveness. But most of the respectable final number he posted came when the opponents went into the so-called prevent defense, backing off and allowing receivers to catch the ball in front of them.The consensus is that Griffin is not healthy enough to run and is scared to run because of his knee, and it has stifled the offense. To wit: he rushed 8 1/2 times a game last season. In the two games this year, he has run the ball just four times a game.In 2012, Griffin averaged 8½ rushes in games he started and finished. He has averaged four runs a game. And his absence as a running possibility minimizes the team’s offensive creativity.“I’m not just going to run just to show people that I’m back,” Griffin said Sunday. “I think that’s stupid.”It’s not viable that he is the same player when he passes 49 times as he did Sunday and 40 the opening week.For sure, not playing in the preseason has hurt; Griffin looks more rusty than anything else. But the health concerns are legitimate. His passing motion is muted–he does not step through the throwing motion to get the proper velocity on the ball.Still, the cries for Cousins are pointless; Griffin is the man and will be, barring injury. It’s just a matter of when he gets more confidence in his ability to run and plant on the knee as he passes that will determine when his legion of fans return en masse. read more

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Jackets remain confident despite fivegame skid

December has not been kind to the Columbus Blue Jackets. “December is the big month in the NHL schedule for everybody,” Jackets coach Scott Arniel said. “This is an important month. Not off to a very good start.” The Blue Jackets have lost five consecutive games, including all three games in December. Last December, the Blue Jackets went 2-9-5. “I don’t care what happened last season,” Blue Jackets defenseman Mike Commodore said. “Honestly, I don’t give a s—. It’s a new season, we’ve lost a couple games in a row — big deal.” Forward R.J. Umberger said he thinks the team is frustrated but not dead. “I think any team would be a little frustrated when you lose five in a row, when you lose a couple big games,” Umberger said. “How do you respond to it? We still control our own destiny — it’s December.” Commodore and Umberger’s frustrations came after Saturday’s 7-2 home loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins, which was preceded by a 5-0 loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday in Buffalo. Arniel managed to find some positives in the game against the Penguins. The team has allowed six goals while on the penalty kill in the last two games. Commodore could not explain the weekend’s penalty-killing woes. “Every once in a while, the pucks are going to go in,” Commodore said. “That’s just how it is, and they’ve gone in the last two nights.” Commodore said he thinks the team might be mentally fragile amid the string of losses, but it is not an excuse to keep losing. “There’s no point in sitting around and sulking about it,” he said. “We have to keep working, and I think we’ll come together.” Arniel said he and the staff need to work with the players to get their minds set on winning. “It’s part of what coaching is,” Arniel said. “I have to try to change the psyche of players and (not) think that just because they gave up a goal the game’s over, or if you lose a game, it’s the end of the year.” Arniel said the losing streak stems from poor play in many facets of the game. “The power play obviously at home (has) been a big one,” Arniel said. “We were one of the best goals-against teams in the league. When you’re losing, you can nitpick like crazy.” But Arniel said he wants to put the poor play behind him and focus on the Dallas Stars, who play in Columbus tonight. “I just want to win Monday night. That’s all I care about,” Arniel said. “I don’t care what’s already happened. I care about Monday night.” read more

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Belotti has no interest in signing for a big club

first_imgFormer Manchester United target Andrea Belotti has no interest in leaving Torino for a bigger club if that means that he will have to sit on the benchThe Italy international was strongly linked with a departure from Torino last season after a strong season, which had seen the 24 year-old score an impressive 26 league goals in the Serie A.Bids of around €100m were said to be in line for Torino, with the likes of Manchester United and AC Milan having expressed an interest in signing the forward.But after a difficult season, this time around, Belotti’s market value is believed to have halved. But the Italian is adamant that he will only leave Torino if first-team football can be guaranteed.Maurizio Sarri, JuventusMaurizio Sarri satisfied despite Juventus’ draw at Fiorentina Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Maurizio Sarri was satisfied with Juventus’ performance on Saturday afternoon after finishing a tough game at Fiorentina 0-0.“People tell me I should go to a big club who play for trophies, but I evaluate what’s right for me 360,” he told Domenica Sportiva, via Football Italia.“I’m not interested in going to a big club if it means me not playing or being a substitute. If I move, it’s because I’ll be a starter.”So far this season, Belotti has only scored six league goals compared to his 22 goals at this stage last season.last_img read more

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