MANCHESTER, England (AP): Ask people to describe Swansea’s style of play and most would detail the free-flowing, possession-based approach that has been the hallmark of teams under managers such as Roberto Martinez, Brendan Rodgers and Michael Laudrup over the last decade. Some have even dubbed them “Swanselona” over the years, a reference to Swansea’s passable imitation of Barcelona’s preferred style. Bob Bradley has to decide if it’s time for a change. The American coach was hired by Swansea last week, taking charge of a team that has lost five of its last six games in the English Premier League (EPL) under the fired Francesco Guidolin and languishes in 17th place. Bradley arrives with a reputation for preferring a more pragmatic, direct style of football, which would be at odds with what Swansea typically produces. A shift in approach might just be what the team needs to stay up this season. The 58-year-old Bradley said in his presentation press conference that he likes “good, passing football” and that Swansea has been a team that is “fun to watch,” but it’s not helping at the moment. Taking the game to Manchester City and Liverpool in the last two rounds, the Swans were brave but ultimately lost both matches. They haven’t kept a clean sheet since the opening round. Next up is a trip to third-place Arsenal tomorrow, something of a daunting introduction to the Premier League for Bradley. Tightening up and being harder to beat might be the name of the game for the new coach. “Whenever there’s a change at any club, it’s a fresh start for everybody,” Bradley said yesterday. “You can see that on certain faces, that’s clear. Even at a time in a season when it’s been difficult, when there’s been managerial change, you see enthusiasm and a certain amount of excitement. “That doesn’t automatically mean because you’ve changed some things, everything’s going to come together right away. But, it’s a start.” Arsenal have won their last five games in all competitions and can be a devastating force when the team’s sprightly attacking unit containing the likes of Mesut Ozil, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez is given space to perform. Sanchez, in particular, is thriving as a so-called ‘false nine’ up front in the absence of injured striker Olivier Giroud. But Arsene Wenger’s team can struggle and get frustrated when teams sit back and defend in numbers. Bradley, an experienced, savvy coach who has watched the Premier League from afar for years, values teamwork highly and that will be needed at Emirates Stadium. “I believe he is equipped to deal with what is requested of him,” Wenger said yesterday, when asked if Bradley would be a success at Swansea. Bradley will look to continue Swansea’s good recent record against Arsenal, with three wins in their last five meetings most recently a 2-1 win at the Emirates in March. “It is a tough first game (under Bradley), but we don’t mind playing that,” Swansea defender Neil Taylor said. “We would be probably written off even if we were in form.” DEVASTATING FORCE MANCHESTER CITY VS EVERTON UNBEATEN SPURS Wayne Rooney would love nothing more than to score against Liverpool tomorrow. He may not get the chance. Rooney has started on the bench for Man United’s last two league games and was also dropped by England this week, demoted to a substitute’s role against Slovenia on Tuesday. The former Everton forward has previously said he “hates” Liverpool, comments which are regularly brought up to add an inflammatory edge to what already is traditionally the biggest game in English football. Northwest rivals United (20) and Liverpool (18) have more league titles than any other teams in the country. Liverpool are in fourth place, three points ahead of sixth-place United. LIVERPOOL VS MANCHESTER UNITED It’s a first managerial meeting tomorrow between two disciples of Johan Cruyff: Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman. Koeman acted as a mentor for a young Guardiola when they played together under Cruyff at Barcelona in the early 1990s, with both players central to the style desired by the late Dutch great. Now they are two of the most respected coaches around. Guardiola, in his first season in English football, has guided City to first place in the league with six wins from seven games, while Everton are in fifth place in Koeman’s first season at Goodison Park. Boosted by a 2-0 win over Manchester City last time out, second-place Tottenham protects the league’s only unbeaten record when they visit West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, when it’s also Chelsea vs Leicester, Bournemouth vs Hull, Stoke vs Sunderland and Crystal Palace vs West Ham. On Sunday, Middlesbrough host Watford and Southampton are at home to Burnley.
Given the importance of continuous evaluator training, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) was solicited to facilitate a two-day training session that will equip local procurement officers with the necessary best practice skills and knowledge of tender evaluation.This workshop, which commenced on Wednesday, will complement ongoing training sessions done annually by the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).According to Chairman of NPTAB, Berkley Wickham, evaluators find themselves in the spotlight of scrutiny over their recommendations now more than ever, especially with the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission (PPC)International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laskiwhich allows contractors to protest bids coupled by public audit.To this end, Wickham told the evaluators that such training will prepare them for what is to come as Guyana moves towards attaining 21st Century Public Financial Management, of which Public Procurement is a principal business area.“… The Procurement Act and its regulations in Guyana will soon be changed. In fact, the recommendations for change is already with us; and among other areas, there will be new methods of procurement. An evaluation criteria will become more specific and perhaps little more complicated… [This] is not intended to scare you but in the real world of Guyana, you will find that while in the past the evaluation process may not have been challenged, you should never confuse poor but untested past practice with proper practice,” the NPTAB Chairman posited.Meanwhile, IDB Procurement Specialist, Ivan Gaviria, emphasised the need for increased training for local evaluators ahead of the impending changes to economic conditions.“With everything that is upcoming in the country – big changes, looking towards the future and also just ensuring that public procurement and the processes therein, evaluations etc, are maintained with the principles of fairness, impartiality and transparency, I think the workshop is going to be very beneficial,” Gaviria asserted.The two-day workshop, which is being held at the Marriott Hotel, is being facilitated by International Procurement Consultant, Dr Julian Laski, who will be looking intoA section of the participants at the IDB Tenders Evaluation Workshop at the Marriott Hotel on Wednesdayvarious best practices in tender evaluation to improve the participants’ capabilities.He emphasised that the training session will serve as a learning environment where the participants will get to see mistakes so as to not repeat them in executing their duties.While there has been much controversies over years surrounding the local procurement process, these were heightened in recent time following the establishment of the Public Procurement Commission.According to the Procurement Act, among the key functions of the Commission are to monitor and review the functioning of all procurement systems to ensure that they are in accordance with the law, and monitor the performance of procurement bodies with respect to adherence to regulations and efficiency in procuring goods and services and execution of works.Back in August, based on a report filed by Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira, the PPC found that Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson breached procurement laws with the award of a consultancy contract to Dutch firm LievenseCSO for the feasibility study and design of the new Demerara River crossing.The People’s Progressive Party (PPP) recently submitted the findings of the PPC to the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) for criminal investigations to be carried out. It was reported that Minister Patterson was questioned on the matter during a visit to SOCU’s Headquarters on Monday.