The Flying Giraffe and Other Fossil Stories of Extinct Reptiles

first_imgImagine a giraffe leaping into the air and flying off. That’s what this giant pterosaur was like. Other interpretations about extinct reptiles are not so certain.Flying GiraffeA pterosaur as tall as a bull giraffe has been found in Mongolia. Fox News calls it a “plane size reptile.” National Geographic‘s headline reads, “Ancient Winged Terror Was One of the Largest Animals to Fly.” Not even a California condor could stand up to this flyer. Standing 18 feet high, with a 32-foot wingspan, this specimen rivals the largest pterosaurs ever discovered. Giant pterosaurs must have traveled far, because they have been found on opposite sides of the globe. This specimen was found in Mongolia; Quetzalcoatlus was found in Texas; another giant in Romania.“Pterosaurs appear very suddenly in the fossil record, and their ancestry is very poorly understood.”Neither article discusses ancestors of these monsters, because none are known. Like many creatures in the fossil record, they appear abruptly without missing links. A page from the University of Bristol about the pterosaur fossil record says, “Pterosaurs appear very suddenly in the fossil record, and their ancestry is very poorly understood.”Flying reptiles have no connection, either, to the assumed dinosaur ancestors of birds. Powered flight requires the whole organism be adapted for that function: light weight, adaptations to the skeleton, the muscles, the wings, the digestive system, and everything else. Accounting for the origin of powered flight once by chance would be a near miracle, but evolutionists have to explain it four times: in insects, reptiles, birds and bats. Each of these groups flies (or flew) superbly well.Bandit Pre-BirdFor this reason, it seems underwhelming to focus on shading patterns of melanin on a supposed “feathered dinosaur” that evolutionists believe was on the line to birds. When Current Biology reported possible melanin shades in the fuzz on Sinosauropteryx (Chinese lizard with wings), found in the Jehol region of China, it would have been nice to see some mention of flying, flight, or wings. Instead, the open-access paper danced around the interpretation of the fuzz surrounding parts of the creature’s body, saying, “Each specimen shows extensive preservation of dark, presumably organically preserved fibers identified as feathers/feather homologs in distinct areas of the animal.” The authors dispute the interpretation that the fuzz is flayed skin collagen, but only refers to another paper about that.Reporters are not so bashful about the fuzz, calling the creature a “feathered dinosaur” openly without mentioning anything about interpretation. The artwork, however, clearly shows this animal was not ready for takeoff. Its diminutive forearms and long, thick tail made it a jumper at best, not a powered flyer. And whatever one wants to call “feathers” looks more like hair or fuzz. Live Science‘s coverage was less brazen than the press office at University of Bristol, which went out of its way to mention similarities this running reptile had with birds. At Creation.com, though, Jonathan Sarfati finds a lot more evidence in Sinosauropteryx to support a watery burial in a flood than a hopeful monster trying to become a bird.Those Puny Arms on T. RexSpeaking of diminutive forearms, National Geographic presented the idea that the tiny arms on T. Rex were effective slashing and grasping tools, not vestigial organs. Steven Stanley made this argument at a meeting of the Geological Society of America. Not everyone was convinced, however. A different idea proposed recently is that the arms diminished as a tradeoff to allow room for powerful neck muscles supporting the head. Another theory is that the arms were proportionally longer and functional in youth, but less so in adulthood.Soft Tissue SkepticismAnother skeptic of dinosaur soft tissue, this one Evan Thomas Saitta (also from the University of Bristol), argues in The Conversation that supposed blood vessels and red blood cells found in some dinosaur bones are really due to contamination or biofilms. He takes a couple of swipes at creationists along the way:One peculiarity of these widely publicised reports is the inevitable pseudo-scientific discourse that tends to follow. Creationists love such claims of unstable, original molecules in dinosaur fossils – and use them to back up their belief in a “young Earth”. The scientists in question retort that such hijacking of their work fails to comprehend the mechanisms of preservation….As wrong as creationists are about the age of the Earth and of the mineral components of dinosaur bones, they may actually be correct in their suspicion about some of the organic materials we find within them. The less sensational truth may be that in some cases, the organic material inside ancient fossil bones may simply be formed from recent microbial infections.Saitta also offends Catholics in his ‘conversation’ by referring to the natural transformation of biofilm into organic-like structures as a form of ‘transubstantiation.’ But he has a lot of reports in peer-reviewed journals to contradict these days. Reports of soft tissue from many different kinds of animals over the whole geologic column continue to pour in. We expect Mary Schweitzer, a figurehead of dinosaur soft tissue finds, will have some rebuttal to Saitta’s arguments.Myth of the Dinosaur-Killing AsteroidLike ‘feathered dinosaur’ claims that are treated as fact, the ‘dinosaur-killing asteroid’ story has taken on the air of accepted myth. It shows up even in unrelated subjects. Astrobiology Magazine links it to climate change without explaining how many delicate animals survived the impact. It must be remembered that not all dinosaurs were large. Some were the size of chickens, but chickens and other small reptiles survived. Not a single dinosaur, pterosaur or marine reptile made it through the extinction, according to evolution. How could a single impact on one side of the world have such a selective effect?The University of Warwick used the asteroid myth on an unrelated story about a promising cancer treatment using iridium. “Cancer cells can be targeted and destroyed with the metal from the asteroid that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs,” the article on Science Daily begins. No support necessary; everyone knows to bow down. Cancer patients may not care where the iridium comes from if it helps them live.Dinosaurs are fun to learn about when you first learn to separate fact from interpretation. Perhaps the most significant fact to keep in mind is this: no complex system made up of a hierarchy of systems working together for function happens without intelligent design. Dinosaurs and pterosaurs were highly successful, extremely complex creatures, with circulatory systems, nervous systems, digestive systems, reproductive systems, sensory systems, and brains allowing them to hunt, migrate, adapt to extremes of climate, and participate in a complex web of life. Pterosaurs were also masters of powered flight, independently of four unrelated groups (insects, birds, and bats) that also possessed everything needed to fly. “You don’t just partly fly,” Paul Nelson quipped in Flight: The Genius of Birds. Which gives us an opportunity to introduce (with appreciation) J. Beverly Greene’s latest cartoon specially drawn for Creation-Evolution Headlines, illustrating a famous remark by Sir Fred Hoyle about the theory of evolution.Artwork by J. Beverly Greene for CEH. All rights reserved. (Visited 530 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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South African drivers urged to drink responsibly

first_imgSAB’s innovative alcohol evidence centres,located in major cities around the country,have helped increase the number ofsuccessful drunk driving prosecutions.(Image: SABMiller)MEDIA CONTACTS • Azure JannekerSpokesperson, SABMiller+27 11 881 8679 or +27 79 505 6966RELATED ARTICLES• SAB first with UV purification• Brewing up a global brand• Crackdown to keep SA roads safe• NGO fights for gender equalisation in SA• SA gets tough on substance abuseLyndon JafthaSouth African Breweries (SAB) has unveiled No Regret Friday, a movement that falls under the company’s successful anti-alcohol abuse campaign Reality Check.SAB made the announcement on 1 July 2011. The new campaign calls for South Africans to drink responsibly, especially if driving is involved, and thus have no cause for regrets.Launched in 2009, Reality Check tackles the issues of underage drinking, drinking and driving, and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, in a pro-active manner that goes beyond just communicating.The brewing giant invested R6.5-million (US$946 000) into the establishment of five alcohol evidence centres in major cities. These operate in partnership with local and provincial law enforcement, and have helped to successfully prosecute those nabbed for driving under the influence.South Africa is known for its high road death toll and, according to South Africans Against Drunk Driving, half of the 18 000+ annual fatalities occur in accidents where alcohol is involved.South Africans consume 5-billion litres of alcohol a year, which makes for a deadly combination with the country’s accident rate – hence the need for an innovative extension of the Reality Check campaign.Dr Vincent Maphai, SAB’s executive director of corporate affairs, said: “When it comes to drinking and driving, SAB is uncompromising. We feel the time has come to change both perceptions and behaviour when it comes to the irresponsible consumption of alcohol.”Responsible behaviourBecause recent survey results released by Ipsos Markinor have shown that 91% of drinking happens on a Saturday, the SAB will air radio reminders every Friday to get South Africans into a responsible frame of mind.In enlisting popular and influential celebrities such as Springbok rugby player Schalk Burger, controversial DJ Gareth Cliff, and Bafana Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane as ambassadors for the campaign, SAB encourages South Africans to make a pledge for responsible drinking and against drunk driving.The campaign’s website shares real stories by real people about their tragic losses, or their lucky escapes. In so doing, SAB hopes to get people thinking about those times when they end up in a similar, perhaps identical situation, and what they can do to prevent it ending badly.Moderation is the keyTo date SAB has spent over R100-million ($14.6-million) on initiatives aimed at promoting responsible drinking and fighting alcohol abuse. This includes campaigns as well as the alcohol evidence centres which have proven to change the drinking and driving behaviour of those processed by 51%.The law does not protect anyone caught driving under the influence. Several recent incidents involving high-profile personalities have ended up in court and received extensive coverage in the media. SAB aims to show that people don’t have to overindulge when they go out for a night on the town – but that moderation is the key.Do your research; know what the legal limit is, and find out how many of your favourite drinks you can have before you reach that point. Stick to the limit, obey the law and encourage others around you to do the same.Should you drink one too many, the No Regret Friday site also gives tips on how to get home safely, such as hiring a cab, or handing over the car keys to a sober driver.last_img read more

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New law to tackle BEE ‘fronting’

first_img4 April 2012 The recently gazetted Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) Amendment Bill will put in place strict measures to tackle “fronting” by companies, says Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies.“What we are doing is defining it much more closely in the Bill so that there is a specific statutory offence of fronting,” Davies told reporters in Pretoria on Tuesday.Fronting is when companies pretend to be compliant with the Act by placing black peoples in positions that would make them seem as if they either owned the company, or were at a level to make decisions in the company.“Now that would be fraud, because you are trying to do that because you want to get a regulatory benefit, or present yourself as something that you are not, and that is fraud.”Davies was speaking after a presidential BBBEE advisory meeting which reviewed the progress of the Act and the codes of good practice.He said a commissioner would be assigned to solely focus on fronting. The commissioner would receive and investigate cases of fronting, correct the situation and, in extreme cases, he would have the authority to prosecute those involved.“The problem is we haven’t got provisions in place to catch fronting … ordinary law enforcement officers don’t have the capacity to go and investigate transactions of that nature to see where fronting is taking place.”Currently, those found guilty of the practice can be charged with fraud and face imprisonment.“So we are introducing a BEE commissioner who will be charged with looking into the matter,” Davies said.Davies said the objective was to provide ways to measure the degree to which an individual was involved in empowerment.Council sub-committee chairman Sandile Zungu said they were focusing on fronting because it infringed on human dignity.“If we are to build a society based on justice then fronting has no place in our society.”Zungu said the practice had reached the stage of “aggressive fronting”.The minister said the amendments to the Bill would ensure that black economic empowerment contributed to the creation of real entrepreneurs in South Africa.“It opens up new opportunities for black business people who are active players in the economy, and are not passive shareholders in somebody else’s business.”Sapalast_img read more

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Be aware of fire risks in dry harvest conditions

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest This season farmers are at high risk of having a field fire during corn harvest.The conditions present during harvest season include dry plant material and grain dust that are highly combustible. Hot equipment or engine sparks are great ignition sources. It is not uncommon for exhaust pipes or catalytic converters to exceed 1,000 degree F. Add a little wind and there is a perfect opportunity for a field fire.Being prepared to handle field fires is important for all workers and transport drivers. Combines, tractors, grain trucks, and pick-ups should all be equipped with a trustworthy fire extinguisher as the first lines of defense.Combines should carry an ABC 10-pound fire extinguisher in the cab and a larger 20-pound unit at the ground level. Tractors and trucks are recommended to have a five-pound minimum extinguisher available. These extinguishers should be in each vehicle in the field. Nothing is worse than watching the combine go up in flames while you’re running to the end of the field to retrieve the fire extinguisher on the grain cart. Having an extinguisher on each piece of equipment ensures you will be ready to react on the first signs of smoke. Don’t get caught with a false sense of securityIf you follow the recommendations and own enough fire extinguishers, then you must also follow the maintenance recommendations. Check the pressure gages periodically, making sure the needle remains in the “charged” zone. If a unit has been partially discharged, it must be fully recharged before using it again. Even a slight discharge can create a gap in the internal seal of the extinguisher valve, causing the pressure to leak out. The pressure needle may linger in the charged zone; however there may not be adequate pressure to expel the contents.Extinguishers could use a little shake a few times a year. By inverting the extinguisher and shaking it several times each season makes sure the powder doesn’t get lodged at the bottom of the unit. Equipment vibrations are notorious for compacting the reactive ingredients of fire extinguishers, making them worthless when they are needed.Extinguishers should also be inspected periodically by a fire professional. Fire service companies can be found in community directories. Your local fire department or insurance company can also point you in the right direction for service companies. Some extinguishers are not designed to be refilled, or are too old to be refilled. These units should be replaced when they expire. Having these old extinguishers around does no good when the time comes to pull the pin. Follow other fire prevention practicesIt is also important to keep machinery in good repair. Apply grease to bearings and oil chains regularly to reduce friction. It is recommended to perform maintenance checks at the end of the day, rather than at the beginning, to detect any hot smoldering areas that may break out into flames overnight.Keep machinery clean and free from plant materials, especially around the wrap points. Wipe up any fuel or oil leaks to eliminate additional fuel sources; and do not leave oily rags on equipment or in the cab.Use an air compressor or leaf blower to remove crop residue, and a pressure washer to remove built up oil or caked-on grease.Take time to cool down the equipment each night, and check for any hot spots. These steps can make a difference to save equipment, facilities, commodities, and lives.Being prepared to handle field fires is important for all workers. Having machinery equipped with a trustworthy fire extinguisher is one of the first lines of defense.Be fire smart, and have a safe harvest.last_img read more

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UK’s Bristol wins laurels for its programmable city initiative

first_imgDonal Power How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Tags:#Bristol#InterDigital#IoT#Nokia#Siemens Financial#Smart Cities#smart city Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Citiescenter_img The future-friendly city of Bristol received a notable Internet of Things (IoT) award for its programmable city initiative.Globe Newswire said that the southwest U.K. city recently won the Smart City Award at the World Communications Awards & Internet of Things Awards in London.The city was recognized for its Bristol is Open project, which is a joint venture between the Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol.The ambitious initiative is essentially an open “programmable city” project that allows citizens to digitally contribute to the functioning of the city itself.Specifically, the project creates an experimental high-performance software defined network. It achieves this using wireless networks, mesh networks and dedicated fiber deployed across Bristol.The project was also hailed for its ability to draw together research organizations, technology companies, government and the public to develop and collaborate on next generation network research.Bristol is Open included a number of notable partners such as Nokia, the University of Bath and InterDigital among others.Showing the way for future smart citiesAn example of industry involvement comes from wireless systems developer InterDigital which joined the project in late 2015. As part of Bristol is Open, the company capitalized on the project’s city-scale research and development network to determine how future cities can use programmable networks to solve large challenges.As a result, InterDigital performed a live demonstration of a related video streaming innovation over the Bristol is Open test bed in February 2016.The recognition of Bristol is Open follows a recent smart city research paper by Siemens Financial Services that identified nearly $7 billion in potential smart city funding.After looking at private funding sources in 13 countries, the study concluded that the U.K. could rustle up $6.98 billion for smart city projects.The paper modeled private sector financing opportunities to make up the shortfall in public funds that British smart city projects currently face. Related Posts For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

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Wenger refuses to criticise Mustafi blunder

first_imgLeague Cup Wenger refuses to criticise Mustafi after Aguero goal blunder Matthew Scott 05:34 2/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Mustafi - cropped Getty Images League Cup Arsenal Premier League Manchester City Arsenal v Manchester City Arsène Wenger The German abandoned his defensive post, allowing Man City’s top scorer a clear run through at David Ospina Arsene Wenger refused to criticise Shkodran Mustafi’s role in Manchester City’s opening goal after Arsenal were thrashed 3-0 in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final at Wembley.City ultimately cruised to victory at the national stadium, with Vincent Kompany and David Silva scoring after the interval, but the first half was a different story.Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wasted a good chance to open the scoring, and Aguero edged City ahead when he latched onto a long Claudio Bravo punt and lobbed David Ospina. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Mustafi caught flak for his role in the goal, the German defender appealing for a foul to referee Craig Pawson rather than chase the striker, and former England defender Gary Neville lambasted “spineless” play from the Arsenal man.”He thought [so] yes,” Wenger said if Mustafi had reported a push.”I don’t know, I haven’t seen it again. From the outside, the push was not obvious. I don’t know, was he pushed or not but he thought [so]. He expected the free-kick, yes.”It’s difficult for me to go into individual criticism after the game like that.”You want to go home and analyse the game and individual criticism doesn’t matter too much, we have to focus on our next game.”3 – No manager has lost more League Cup finals than Arsene Wenger (2007, 2011 and 2018), level with Alex Ferguson (who also won the trophy four times). Hoodoo. pic.twitter.com/eg92R1Ifba— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 25, 2018That next game sees Arsenal welcome City to the Emirates Stadium on Thursday, but Wenger does not expect familiarity to give him any favours.”It doesn’t help because they will be on a high and we have to recover from disappointment,” he said. “So, they have the advantage.”​last_img 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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Womens Big Ten Tournament title up for grabs

The Ohio State women’s basketball team, the two-time defending Big Ten Tournament champion, is the No. 5 seed in this year’s conference tournament. No. 1-seed Michigan State, which earned the top spot for the first time in program history, has three losses in conference play.Two of those losses came against the Buckeyes.In other words, the 2011 Big Ten Tournament is up for grabs.First-round games are set to begin on Thursday at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. When the tournament kicks off, the field will feature six Big Ten programs that had schedules among the top-50 strongest in the country, according to NCAA.org.After Purdue’s 90-67 loss to OSU on Feb. 10 at Nationwide Arena, Boilermaker coach Sharon Versyp said even more teams could be selected for the NCAA Tournament.“I think there’s at least seven teams that should go to the NCAA,” Versyp said. “It’s a very tough conference. Any given day, anything can happen.”With its 80-47 win against Wisconsin on Sunday, OSU (19-9, 10-6 Big Ten) earned a first-round bye and a date with No. 4-seed Iowa (22-7, 10-6 Big Ten).After the game, OSU coach Jim Foster said that despite OSU’s occasional struggles during the regular season, including two three-game losing streaks, it was always capable of finishing the season strongly.“When everybody was in a panic, I thought we were still redeemable,” Foster said. “I’ve seen teams figure it out at different stages of the season.”Should Foster’s Buckeyes beat Iowa to advance to the semifinals, they could face Michigan State (25-4, 13-3 Big Ten). OSU managed to sweep the season series against the Spartans with a 67-53 victory on Jan. 16 at home and a 54-53 win Thursday in East Lansing, Mich.After Sunday’s win, senior center Jantel Lavender said it does not matter whom the Buckeyes play.“We’re starting to show who we are,” she said. “We have a really strong team. We don’t want (the season) to be over.”Besides strong performances against the Spartans, the Buckeyes beat three of four squads seeded above them in the conference tournament. Foster said he is comfortable with his team ahead of what he hopes will be a “months”-long postseason.“I think we’re in a very good place and we understand how we got here, which is more important,” Foster said. “We had to earn it.”The subject of parity in this year’s Big Ten Tournament was discussed during the postgame press conference on Sunday.Foster smiled and said, “It’s certainly going to be more interesting than it looked a few weeks ago.” read more

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Football LChristian Blue Smith commits to Ohio State

Ohio State’s top-ranked recruiting class of 2018 received a boost as four-star wide receiver recruit L’Christian “Blue” Smith committed to the Buckeyes Sunday. The 6-foot-5, 205-pound receiver is regarded as the 119th-best prospect in the nation by 247Sports Composite and is considered the fourth-best in both the state and at his listed position of athlete.Smith chose the Buckeyes’ offer over other scholarship offers from Michigan, Penn State, Alabama and more. The Wayne High School product from Dayton was first offered a scholarship from the Buckeyes on March 21, 2016 and unofficially visited the school five times, while attending three camps.The commitment of Smith adds to what is already regarded by 247Sports as the best 2018 recruiting class in the nation. Smith becomes the 11th four-star recruit to join the class and the 17th overall prospect to commit to the Buckeyes. The rest of the class is comprised of four five-star recruits and two three-star recruits. 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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