Manchester United fired manager David Moyes with four matches left in the English Premier League season, the club announced on Tuesday. His removal — after only 10 months on the job — left Moyes more than 25 seasons shy of the tenure of his predecessor, Sir Alex Ferguson. Going by results, that’s understandable: Ferguson’s United sides won England’s top league 13 times, while United under Moyes was languishing at seventh in the league, eliminated from the lucrative, Europe-wide Champions League for the coming season.Although Ferguson selected him as his successor, Moyes was always going to have big shoes to fill. Yet less noticed was that Ferguson had been, in his final season, lucky as well as good. By several crucial stats, United wasn’t as good last year as it seemed in winning the league by 11 points. The team has been worse by all these measures under Moyes. But the club has also been far less lucky.Soccer analysts, inspired by ice hockey’s Corsi stat, have begun to examine teams’ ability to create and prevent shots. Teams’ share of all shots taken, and their share of all shots on target, are far more predictive of future success than teams’ percentage of shots converted or of opponents’ shots saved, as soccer analyst James Grayson has shown.Last season, United was far from leading the Premier League in creating the lion’s share of shots, or shots on target. United ranked eighth of 20 teams in proportion of shots, and seventh in proportion of shots on target, according to Grayson; and seventh and fourth, respectively, according to Benjamin Pugsley, who uses a slightly different set of underlying numbers. (Soccer doesn’t yet have completely standardized stats — or, as, Pugsley puts it, “Football and numbers is really new.”)How, then, did Manchester United nonetheless lead the league in goal differential? By leading the league in shooting percentage and placing fourth in save percentage. Grayson calls the sum of those two percentages, multiplied by 1,000, PDO (after its hockey name), and he’s shown that it has essentially no value in predicting future results. United led the Premier League in PDO by a big margin last year. It did the same the year before, which at the time prompted Grayson to forecast a United decline — a year too early, as it turned out.So United’s path to the league title last year was a lucky one; its performance didn’t predict continued success this season. Sure enough, United’s PDO has declined from league-leading to seventh best, and that, combined with less-precipitous declines in share of shots and shots on target, has led to the club outscoring opponents by less than half a goal per game, compared to more than a goal per game last season.Not only did United convert shots, and prevent shots, at unusually high — and unsustainable — rates last season. The club also won more matches than expected based on its goal differential. United won the league by 11 points over Manchester City last season. It also had 12 more points than expected based on its goals scored and allowed. This year, it’s getting about as many points as expected based on goal differential.Was Ferguson just lucky last season, or was he able to conjure consistently high levels of shooting accuracy and goalkeeping even after his club’s edge in shots had eroded? On the one hand, his United clubs sustained high levels of PDO during his tenure. On the other hand, there’s some out-of-sample evidence from United’s Champions League performance, this season and last season.In Ferguson’s last year at the helm, United played eight Champions League games, yielded nine more shots than it took and outscored opponents by two goals. Real Madrid eliminated United in the round of 16. In this season’s Champions League, under Moyes, United allowed 32 more shots than it attempted, yet United still outscored opponents by eight goals, advancing to the quarterfinal stage.These results suggest United’s overachievement in the Premier League last season was due more to luck than to anything Ferguson did.
Justin Britt stands beside Michael Bennett during the national anthem during a preseason game. (Source: Seattle Times)A group of current and former NFL players have asked Commissioner Roger Goodell for the league’s support for their campaign for racial equality and criminal justice reform.Yahoo Sports is reporting the players sent a 10-page memo to Goodell and NFL executive Troy Vincent in August asking for money, political involvement and other commitments from the league. It also asked the NFL to recognize the month of November as activism awareness month.The website reports Wednesday night that Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins and receiver Torrey Smith, and former NFL receiver Anquan Boldin co-authored the letter.The NFL declined to comment when asked about the memo by Yahoo Sports. The players behind the letter didn’t return requests for comment or declined to speak about it, according to the website.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR Washington, D.C. — While much of the opening day of the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit focused on recognizing the contributions communities make on behalf of the missions and personnel at neighboring installations, keynote speakers highlighted additional actions local leaders can take to support military readiness. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson urged community officials to take a public stance when a dispute involving an installation and the community arises; for example, if residents were to complain about noise from military aircraft or traffic at a gate backing up onto local roads. When such a conflict surfaces, it’s important for community members to explain why “the sound of freedom” is important, Wilson said. Rather than base officials calling in to radio shows to explain the requirements of a military mission, listeners need to hear community representatives make the case for a particular sacrifice on the part of residents. “You need to make the call,” she said. “These things matter.”Meanwhile, Lucian Niemeyer, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, urged community leaders to consider projects outside the gates that support installation readiness, including efforts to enhance energy and water resilience or resolve environmental concerns. Local commanders already have a lot on their plate, Niemeyer said.Phyllis Bayer, assistant secretary of the Navy for energy, installations and environment, advised community leaders to come forward with prospective ideas for partnering or for introducing smart cities technologies that could benefit a local base. Wilson also cited two specific issues communities can address to support military families. The first is focusing on the quality of public schools, an overriding concern as military families move frequently. The other issue is easing the way for military spouses to continue their careers by ensuring their states offer reciprocity for spouses’ professional licenses. “[It’s] a very big deal,” she said. In February, all three service secretaries wrote the National Governors Association to underscore the importance of the two issues.Air Force photo by Senior Airman Quay Drawdy
Boeing wanted to wait 3 years to fix safety alert on 737 Max Monday, June 10, 2019 Tags: boeing, Boeing 737 MAX By: The Associated Press CHICAGO — Boeing planned to wait three years to fix a non-working safety alert on its 737 Max aircraft and sped up the process only after the first of two deadly crashes involving the planes.The company acknowledged that it originally planned to fix a cockpit warning light in 2020 after two key lawmakers disclosed the company’s timetable on Friday.U.S. Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Rick Larsen of Washington wrote to Boeing and the Federal Aviation Administration and asked why the company took more than a year to tell the safety agency and airlines that the alert did not work on Max jets.The feature, called an angle of attack or AoA alert, warns pilots when sensors measuring the up-or-down pitch of the plane’s nose relative to oncoming air might be wrong.The sensors malfunctioned during a Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October and an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Addis Ababa in March, causing anti-stall software to push the planes’ noses down. Pilots were unable to regain control, and both planes crashed. In all, 346 people were killed.It is not clear whether either crash could have been prevented if the cockpit alert had been working.A Boeing spokesman said that based on a safety review, the company had originally planned to fix the cockpit warning when it began delivering a new, larger model of the Max to airlines in 2020.More news: GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programs“We fell short in the implementation of the AoA Disagree alert and are taking steps to address these issues so they do not occur again,” said the spokesman, Gordon Johndroe.All Max jets will have the alert as standard equipment before returning to service, and newly built planes will have it too, Johndroe said. Boeing delivered about 370 of the planes before they were grounded around the world in March.Both Boeing and the head of the FAA say that the alert is not critical for safety. Boeing says all its planes, including the Max, give pilots all the flight information _ including speed, altitude and engine performance _ that they need to fly safely.The pilots’ union at American Airlines expressed unhappiness about the matter, however, and said Boeing’s assurance about the cockpit alert was a factor in the union standing behind Boeing after the first Max crash, in October.Jason Goldberg, an American Airlines pilot and union spokesman, said Boeing told pilots that the alert could pinpoint a faulty sensor even on the ground, before takeoff.“That is one of the things that made us confident initially to make the statement that we were happy to continue to fly the aircraft,” he said. “It turned out later that that wasn’t true.”Boeing admitted in May that within months of the plane’s 2017 debut, engineers realized that the sensor warning light only worked when paired with a separate, optional feature.More news: Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthBoeing is revising its software, called MCAS, so that it will rely on readings from two sensors instead of one, and will be easier for pilots to overcome if it malfunctions. It is unclear when the FAA will approve the changes and allow the Max to fly again. Regulators in other countries could take longer.DeFazio and Larsen are leaders of a House committee that is investigating the crashes and the FAA’s regulation of Boeing. They said Friday that Boeing decided in November 2017 to defer a software update to fix the sensor alert feature until 2020 but accelerated that timeline after the Lion Air crash.Larsen questioned why Boeing didn’t consider the problem critical to safety.The FAA on Friday repeated a statement it made last month that Boeing briefed the agency’s Seattle office about the non-working alert in November, and the matter was forwarded to an FAA review board which considered the matter to be “low risk.”Last month, acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told DeFazio’s and Larsen’s committee that he wasn’t happy Boeing waited 13 months to tell the agency about the problem.“We will make sure that software anomalies are reported more quickly,” he said. << Previous PostNext Post >> Share