MANCHESTER, England (AP):The final round of international fixtures in 2016 did no favours for managers of some of the English Premier League’s title hopefuls.Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, in particular, will vouch for that ahead of the renewal of their often-heated coaching rivalry.When Mourinho’s Manchester United and Wenger’s Arsenal meet at Old Trafford tomorrow for the standout game in the 12th round of matches, there could be some major names missing because of injuries sustained on international duty.United captain Wayne Rooney has caused a furore by being photographed, looking bleary-eyed, alongside some guests at a wedding party taking place at the England team hotel last Saturday. But by then, he’d picked up a knee injury during England’s 3-0 win over Scotland the night before, causing him to miss Tuesday’s match against Spain, and Rooney is now doubtful for the Arsenal game.SERIOUS DOUBTSIt was the last thing Mourinho would have wanted, considering he is already without suspended striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and centre backs Eric Bailly and Chris Smalling, as well as having serious doubts over the fitness of midfielder Marouane Fellaini and full backs Luke Shaw and Antonio Valencia.Wenger, meanwhile, will ask Alexis Sanchez for an honest assessment of his fitness after Arsenal’s star forward sustained a hamstring injury while away with Chile. Sanchez missed a draw against Colombia, but returned for the 3-1 win over Uruguay on Tuesday, although his right leg was heavily strapped for the match.Sanchez isn’t due to return to Arsenal’s training base until today and the match against United is a lunchtime kick-off.”What I will consider is the risk of injury, because he played while recovering from a hamstring injury,” Wenger said yesterday. “I’ll consider the way he feels as well. On that front, you depend on the honesty of the player, how they feel and how they recover.”Wenger will be careful about overloading Sanchez, who has scored eight goals for Arsenal this season from his new position as converted striker. This time last year, Sanchez picked up a hamstring injury following a gruelling run of back-to-back games for club and country and ended up missing the next two months, which proved to be a huge blow to Arsenal’s title hopes.KEY PLAYER INJURIESLiverpool and Chelsea, the Premier League’s top two, could also be counting the cost of the recent international games after injuries to key players.Adam Lallana, one of Liverpool’s quartet of sprightly forwards that has been in devastating form this season, hobbled off during England’s game against Spain and is a doubt for the leaders’ trip to Southampton.As for second-place Chelsea, Diego Costa was ruled out of both of Spain’s games during the break because of groin injuryand Eden Hazard limped off during Belgium’s 8-1 win over Estonia with an apparent calf injury. It isn’t yet clear if either Costa or Hazard the scorers of 15 league goals between them will be fit for Chelsea’s match at Middlesbrough.Palace have conceded 10 goals in their last three games and have not kept a clean sheet in the league all season. In terms of points per game (0.73) in 2016, Alan Pardew’s side is the worst-performing team across England’s four leagues this calendar year.Probably, then, the last team they would want to see arriving at Selhurst Park tomorrow is Pep Guardiola’s free-scoring Man City side. Star striker Sergio Aguero will be raring to go for City, having failed to start for Argentina in either of their World Cup qualifying games over the international break.
When it was first published 20 years ago, many parents, schools and even some religious communities had advised youngsters in India against reading this book. One bookstore in Bangalore even stuffed it at the back of the shop mistaking it for a sex manual rather than what it is–‘a rather comic story of a middle class boy who grows up in conservative India’. But when Richard Crasta’s first novel was republished recently for a new generation of readers, the author said he is glad that India is becoming more tolerant and people can now walk into a store and buy his novel today.It is easy to relate to the story of Vijay Prabhu, born into an orthodox Catholic family and brought up in Mangalore in Karnataka, in the Sixties and early Seventies. As the title The Revised Kama Sutra suggests, central to the theme is how a young boy copes with yearnings and dreams in a conservative society which forbade mention of subjects related to sex, puberty, adolescence and manhood.It is about his dreams and determination of getting away from the small town he lives in, and of the big American Dream he lovingly nurtures as the only way to break free of these shackles. America for him is the new land of the Kama Sutra, free sex, free speech and Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup.The story traces Vijay’s life from the strict Catholic boarding schools where he studied, to the many cities and small districts all over India where he worked–first in a bank and then as an IAS officer–and finally to the United States of America, where he goes after giving up his plush bureaucratic job.Vijay’s images of America are borrowed from Readers Digests, from Time magazines, from John F Kennedy and Jackie Onassis, from the popular music of that time and steamy American paperbacks. advertisementHowever, during his first foray into the country, where he enrols as a student at a university, the reality does not quite match up to his perceptions. Vijay finds America an antiseptic land of loveless cities, and, on an impulse, launches an anti sex campaign, which forces him to return to India. He concludes that India is probably the more civilised of the two countries because here “they did not judge you by the name of the crook etched on your polo shirt”.However, Vijay returns to New York to fulfil his dreams of becoming an author, because, as he says, with all its faults, America is the country that will give him the chance to tell his story.The narrative is full of light and humorous moments. Such as Vijay’s musings on how the strict boarding schools of that time were ruled by five pillars of oppression–canes, bells, penis shame, girl shame and sport. Though the book makes you break into a smile more often than not, there are sombre undercurrents as the author takes a passing look at various subjects ranging from colonialism, shoplifting or the corruption which has seeped into the Indian bureaucracy.This is a good read, both for the great writing style, and as the author says, it captures a time, a culture and an innocence that is quickly losing out to modernity.HarperCollins, Rs. 3993 On the shelvesThe F-Word: This book is really about the big F-wordin all our lives–Food! It is a hilarious account of a working woman who spends her time juggling family, friends, long-distance phone calls and food. It is packed with good recipes to suit every taste.HarperCollins, Rs. 599City Improbable: Edited by the grand old man of Delhi–Khushwant Singh–it brings together writings byimmigrants, residents, refugees, travellers and invaders who haveengaged with India’s capital over different epochs–from the era of theMughals, the Emergency to this day. A good gift for anyone who isinterested in the national capital.Penguin, Rs. 399The Delhi Walla series: Monuments. Food + Drink. Hangouts. Amaverick author. That pretty much sums up the essence of the three slimguidebooks on Delhi by Mayank Austen Soofi. Moments, colours, flavoursand months spent combing Delhi’s streets in search of its soul makethese books a delight to read.Collins, Rs. 199 each
APTN National NewsAn off the cuff opinion by a Winnipeg mayoral candidate’s wife inspired the latest work by Winnipeg artist KC Adams.Perceptions is a series of portraits taken by Adams that debunk the myths of what some people might think about Indigenous men and women.APTN’s Matt Thorardson reports.