Category Archives: Sport

How Much Walking You Need To Lose Weight

Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise these days. It depends on how often you are walking, you could lower one pound or more per week. Within five months you can lower over 20 pounds only with walking, without visiting a gym or undergoing specific diets.

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You can shape up your muscles and make your health far better while lowering weight and inches from your body. The following exercise routine is very useful and everybody loves it once they understand how to perform the principles of walking in order to lose weight.

How to Lose Weight by Walking

A number of calories that can be burn while walking depends on two factors: your body weight and walking place. You will burn 400 calories in one hour if you are walking with the average speed of 4 miles per hour.

So, you don’t need to walk only 4 miles in one day. You can walk additional 3 miles and burn 300 more calories that day. You can also walk shorter distances, all you need to do is to adapt it to your schedule. The pedometer will assist you to burn more calories while walking and implementing your daily plan.

Pedometers and Weight Loss

If you intend to lower your weight with walking, you should buy a pedometer or wristband that can monitor your daily exercises. This will boost your chances to achieve your desired results.

A pedometer is a helpful accessory and you should wear it close to your hip area. It doesn’t weight much and has a lot of properties. One of the best property is that it can tell you how much steps you take during the day.

If you know how many miles you are walking in one day, you will know how many more you will need in order to burn additional calories. You will know if you need to make longer steps or distance through the day in order to notice an improvement in the number on the scale.

In case you are having 8,000 steps in your daily routine and still maintain the body weight, the number of steps that you should add to your daily routine is only a mathematical problem. Adding your mileage as per a number of calories you need to burn (more details explained in the text below).

How Many Steps to Taking to Lose Weight?

Most of the people need to have 2000 steps in one mile in order to burn calories and lose weight. You can burn 100 calories in one mile. The pedometer will monitor your steps, noting how many calories are burnt and how many miles you walked that day. Some extra working out is not necessary. All you need to do is to add more steps in your daily routine.

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Joy in Marseille this time, as France & Albania fans party

After the screeching sounds of sirens last weekend, there was a party atmosphere in Marseille on Wednesday as fans from France and Albania shared drinks and songs before their European Championship match.
Image via Ariel Schalit AP Photo

After the screeching sounds of sirens last weekend, there was a party atmosphere in Marseille on Wednesday as fans from France and Albania shared drinks and songs before their European Championship match.

In contrast to the scenes of football violence that ravaged Marseille’s Old Port before and after England’s match against Russia last Saturday, French and Albanians strolled in their national team shirts, sat at restaurants or watched the Slovakia-Russia game together at various bars dotted around the port.

Marseille is hosting a Euro 2016 match for the first time since the last week’s violence threw the showcase tournament into turmoil, and left one English man in a critical condition after being beaten around the head with iron bars. Dozens were injured in three days of extreme fighting, first between English fans and locals late on Thursday night, and then all day on Friday and Saturday when rampaging Russians arrived at the southern seaport and quickly confronted English fans.

The only disturbing of the peace on Wednesday was some hearty singing.

Outside O’Malley’s Irish bar, near where much of the worst fighting took place, one group of fans from Albania and France stood side by side enjoying a pre-match drink.

Holding aloft a flag featuring both the red-white-and blue tricolor of France and Albania’s double-headed black eagle against a red backdrop, they then broke into song.

“On the left, The Reds, on the right, the Blues,” red-shirted Albanians and blue-shirted French fans sang together, as they jumped and down with arms linked.

It was a welcome sight of joviality for the riot police and weary locals, and some police officers mingled with fans as they walked around, hands behind their backs, with little apparent threat to worry about. Others relaxed in their riot vans, slumped against seats, riot batons by their feet.

After Wednesday’s game, the next match to be held in Marseille will be between Hungary and Iceland on Saturday.

Three days later is the match between Ukraine and Poland — which along with Russia has a prominent hooligan element among its supporters.

Before the tournament started it was classified as one of the five high-risk matches.
Image via Ariel Schalit AP Photo

Moment of a lifetime: 30,000 Wales fans start the party in France as they celebrate historic victory!

It’s the moment many of them have been waiting their entire lives for. But now Welsh football fans have finally seen their team compete in a major tournament, almost 60 years since their last.
Wales competed at the 1958 World Cup but have missed out ever since on qualifying for either that competition or the European Championships – until now.
A sea of proud reds swooped across Bordeaux ahead of their match against Slovakia full of good cheer and hope they could make an impact.
Thousands of fans also gathered in Coopers Field in Cardiff to watch their side make history this evening. The largest open-air screen in the UK was erected for the game.
And it didn’t take long for them to celebrate, after Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale fired home from a free kick early in the game, which they won 2-1.

Image via Reuters
The Welsh supporters are in jubilant mood after their team beat Slovakia in the opening Euro 2016 Group B match
Image via Wales News Service
Around 6,000 people in Cardiff watched Wales and Slovakia make their Euro 2016 debut when they met in the Group B opener at Stade Matmut-Atlantique in Bordeaux
Supporters are certainly getting into the spirit of things in France for the European Championships, with some dressing up as dragons and thousands more kitted out in replica shirts.
Welsh fans chanted for most of the first half, buoyed by the Bale strike which put them 1-0 up at the break.
But Slovakia were level on the hour mark thanks to an Ondrej Duda strike. In the closing minutes of the match Reading’s Hal Robson-Kanu put the Welsh 2-1 and sent the fans wild.
Josh Baber, 23, from Merthyr, was among the fans catching the game at the fan zone at the Place de Quinconces, and said hearing the national anthem ringing out gave him goosebumps.
He said: ‘It’s just a very proud moment really. Just seeing the lads up there in the Euros, there’s no other word for it than pride.
Fellow fan Mark Jones, 49, also from Merthyr, said: ‘That Bale goal was incredible.’
Referring to one of the controversial incidents of he first half when defender Martin Skrtel tussled with Jonny Williams in the box, Mr Jones said: ‘It was pretty bad but I don’t think he should have been sent off.’
They are used to seeing their rugby team compete on the highest stage, but the game at the Matmut Atlantique, also known as the Stade de Bordeaux, is the first tournament clash for Wales since June 19, 1958.
On that occasion they lost to Brazil in the quarter finals in a 1-0 defeat – with Pele himself getting the only goal of the game.
Fans were posing for pictures across the French city to capture this moment in history – a totally different scene to that in Marseille where English, Russian and French fans have been rioting over the past few days.
They were in good voice, cheering on their heroes, including Real Madrid star forward Gareth Bale and Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

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‘The Greatest ‘ , Muhammad Ali, dies aged 74.

Muhammad Ali, the three-time heavyweight champion who proclaimed himself “The Greatest”, defied the US government over the Vietnam war, and later became one of the most well-known – and loved – sportsmen in history has died, his family spokesperson has said. He was 74.

Ali was admitted to hospital on Thursday with a respiratory problem – a move that was described at the time as “a precaution”. However, reports emerged 24 hours later which said he had been placed on a life support machine and his family “feared the worst”.
Photograph: Popperfoto/Getty Images

He died late on Friday at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, a family spokesperson said.

Ali had become increasingly frail since being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 1984, aged 42, and in recent years had limited his public appearances. Earlier this month his brother Rahman Ali revealed that the condition was so advanced he could barely speak or leave his house.
Photograph: JOHN ROONEY/AP

As a sportsman he will be remembered for many classic fights – in particular beating the fearsome Sonny Liston to become champion; the Fight of the Century and the Thrilla in Manilla against Joe Frazier, and the Rumble in the Jungle in 1974 when, at the age of 32, he surprised everyone bar himself by cutting down George Foreman in Kinshasa to regain back his title.

Paying tribute after his death, Foreman wrote: “Ali, Fraser and Foreman we were one guy. A part of me slipped away.”
He told the BBC: “Muhammad Ali was one of the greatest human beings I have ever met. No doubt he was one of the best people to have lived in this day and age.”

Another former world heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, wrote: “God came for his champion. So long great one.”

Ali’s influence out of the ring was no less marked. Having appalled white America by converting to the Nation of Islam and changing his name from Cassius Clay to Cassius X and then to Muhammad Ali, he later refused to be drafted into the army, telling reporters: “Man, I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong.”

In 1967, still unbeaten and with no obvious challenger in sight, Ali was stripped of his titles and for three-and-a-half years had to scrape a living making campus speeches and appearing on Broadway. He lost his best years as a fighter yet as the opposition to Vietnam war grew, so did Ali’s popularity. By the mid 1970s he was the biggest sports star on the planet.

In his physical prime, a decade earlier, Ali had such grace and foot speed that watching him perform almost became an extension of the balletic arts. He won Olympic light-heavyweight gold as an 18-year-old at the Rome Olympics and four years later, in 1964, he won the heavyweight title for the first time by stopping Liston in a major upset. Challengers were dispatched with a surgical beauty, although there was a vicious streak to him too: when Ernie Terrell called him by his birth name, Cassius Clay, Ali shouted at him “What’s my name?” as he inflicted a terrible beating.
In 1971, within five months of his return in 1970, he earned a shot at his old title against Frazier, but no longer was he as elusive or brilliant. A thrilling contest ended with Ali suffering his first defeat, on points, after being dropped by a left hook in the 15th round.
A loss to the fit but limited Ken Norton appeared to confirm Ali’s decline – until, in 1974, he knocked out Foreman after using what he called ‘rope-a-dope’; lying on the ropes to conserve energy as his opponent punched himself out. Later, when Ali was asked when he should have retired, he admitted it was after that fight.

But he ploughed on, to a desperately gruelling decider with Frazier in Manilla which he won after Frazier’s trainer Eddie Futch pulled his man out before the 15th round. Ali would later call it the closest thing to dying he could imagine.

In 1978, after winning the title for a third time by avenging a loss to Leon Spinks, Ali retired. When he dragged himself back into the ring in 1980 to face his old sparring partner Larry Holmes, aged 38, he was probably in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. Tests carried out by the Mayo Clinic found he couldn’t hop on one foot well and had trouble co-ordinating his speech.
After a final fight, against Trevor Berbick in 1981, he retired but three years later Parkinson’s disease was diagnosed. By the end of the decade the speech of the man once dubbed ‘the Louisville Lip’ for brash predictions before fights was reduced to a mumble.

Ali was well enough to light the torch to start the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, though his hands shook as a result of the disease taking further hold. After that there was further retreat into privacy and prayer.

But even in death his legacy burns on.

Here’s The Answer To That Fruit Math Puzzle That’s Driving Everyone Crazy

It’s one of those Facebook posts that’s all over the place, and — like “the dress” or the hidden panda — everyone seems to have a different take on it.

What is half a coconut plus one apple plus three bananas?

Can you solve this? We will share the result after an hour…!!

Posted by Following on Thursday, February 18, 2016

On the surface, it would seem the apple has a value of 10, the bananas a value of four and the coconut a value of two. And if that were the end of the story, the answer would be 2 + 10 + 4 = 16.

But in the final frame, the fruit are slightly different.

There is half a coconut, instead of two halves in the earlier example equation that establishes a value of two. And instead of the four bananas representing the value of four, there are just three bananas.

If the numbers are reduced along with the portions of fruit, you get a totally different answer: 1 + 10 + 3 = 14.
With the given information, the single coconut and the 3 bananas are completely new symbols. There is no clear unambiguous mathematical reason to suppose that their values are 1 and 3. Deducing that from the other symbols is nothing but a guess. This is especially true since the single apple has a value of 10. You might as well just say they have values of 14 and 12 or anything else you want.

Therefore the final equation has two unknowns. This system of equations is therefore unsolvable.

Koh Samui : a spectacular tourist destination

Koh Samui isn’t just another beach paradise. It is a spectacular island with impressive attractions, splendid sceneries, amazing temples and unique culture. To experience the best of Koh Samui you got to lean towards the lower side of the scale where you will discover a charming ambience and breath-taking natural wonders.

The Elephant Rock

Between the fascinating Chaweng and Lamai Beach areas there is the Elephant Rock, a very unusual and huge rock formation. Obviously, the name was inspired by its unique shape which resembles to an enormous boulder. The locals decided to call it like this because it is as big as a life-sized Thai elephant.

KohSamui_FollowingIMGKoh Samui/Trip and travel

Laem Sor Pagoda

Koh Samui is famous for its cultural heritage and travellers love to discover its amazing pagodas, wats and chedis. A tour of the temples located on this idyllic island will reveal a beautiful part of its rich and wonderful history, religion and architecture. The beautiful Laem Sor Pagoda is hidden alongside the Laem Sor Temple and it offers some of the most impressive sceneries. The pagoda represents one of the most visited Buddhist shrines on the island where locals and visitors come daily to pray and worship. Near the Laem Sor Pagoda there is a small meditation forest. Here you can relax, contemplate and meditate. There is also a man-made lagoon adorned with mangrove trees.

The Full Moon Party

There are many tourists that come from all around the world just to take part at these events hosted in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Travellers love to join the party and have fun all night long with other visitors and locals while dancing, drinking and throwing fire skipping ropes. It’s a celebration that you shouldn’t miss if you are interested in seeing how the locals party. The event starts after dusk and it continues until dawn. The bars are open, the music plays loudly and the fun is contagious.

Extravagant resorts, hotels and villas

Finding a place to stay in Koh Samui isn’t easy. And I don’t say this because there aren’t that many offers. Believe me; this island is overwhelming when it comes to its accommodation options. Samui has some of the most extravagant resorts, hotels, villas and condos, each one comes with modern amenities, opulent interiors, spa treatments, infinity pools and more. Just imagine, spending a holiday in a roof top pool residence with a thrilling scenic view. This instantly makes you want to quit your job and move into one of the Koh Samui condos for sale just so you can always enjoy this kind of life.

Koh Samui Island_FollowingIMGKoh Samui Island

Thai Boxing

Chaweng is one of the most visited beaches on the island. This is not simply because it is a splendid six kilometer long beach with white sand, serene waters and proximity to the most important natural and cultural attractions. Chaweng is also famous for its local Muay Thai Boxing Stadium. If you are a fan on this sport then you can come here and watch a real Thai boxing match. Many consider this as one of the most dangerous martial art in the world, but connoisseurs appreciate it for its complexity and unique techniques. Some of the largest Muay Thai Boxing matches on Koh Samui are hosted by the popular Chaweng stadium.

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Matt LeBlanc will co-present Top Gear together with Chris Evans

The former Friends actor Matt LeBlanc will be the new co-presenter of Top Gear, the BBC has announced.

The actor, who also starred in the BBC series Episodes, will join Chris Evans, who took over after Jeremy Clarkson’s exit. LeBlanc has previously appeared on Top Gear as a guest.

“Matt’s a lifelong fellow petrolhead and I’m thrilled he’s joining Top Gear. Acting out our craziest car notions on screen is a dream job and I know we’ll both be debating some epic road trip ideas. We can’t wait to share what we’ve been up to on screen later this year,” Evans said.

LeBlanc said: “As a car nut and a massive fan of Top Gear, I’m honoured and excited to be a part of this iconic show’s new chapter. What a thrill.”

He later tweeted: “I love the show. Should be fun.”

The Golden Globe-winning actor is the fastest celebrity to-date around the Top Gear track in its reasonably priced car feature. In February 2012, he made it round the track in a Kia C’eed in one minute, 42.1 seconds. A year later, he reappeared to test the new model against the old one.

Matt LeBlanc
He will be the first non-British presenter of the show in its 39-year history when it returns on BBC2 in May, the BBC said.

A BBC source said: “This takes Top Gear in a new direction. Le Blanc’s presence on the show will also be a boost when selling it internationally, particularly in the US where it is due to air on BBC America.”
The timing of the announcement is no coincidence with BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the corporation, set to unveil the new-look show for the first time at its biggest annual event in a crucial pitch to more than 700 international TV buyers.

Evans, and now perhaps LeBlanc, is to front the official unveiling of the show later this month in a PR offensive that aims to secure sales of the show to maintain it as a crown jewel international franchise worth £50m annually to the BBC.

LeBlanc also presented the recent standalone spin-off Top Gear: The Races, where he led fans through some of the most memorable racing moments from the previous 22 series.

In a statement, the BBC said LeBlanc would join production immediately and that additional Top Gear cast members would be “confirmed shortly”.

It is understood that the broadcaster is set to announce German racing driver Sabine Schmitz and motoring journalist Chris Harris.
SabineSchmitz_TheG_Following Sabine Schmitz/Photo by The Guardian
In a previous appearance on the show, Schmitz tried to make it round the Nurburgring in Germany in a Ford Transit van faster than Clarkson could in a Jaguar S-Type.

Alan Tyler, the BBC’s acting controller for entertainment commissioning, said: “Matt is a class act and a brilliant signing for Top Gear. He is a self-confessed car fanatic with a passion for the programme. I’m really looking forward to watching Chris and Matt bring the all new show to our audiences.”


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Lionel Messi to Meet 5-Year-Old Fan from Afghanistan

The Afghan Football Federation has confirmed that Lionel Messi is looking to meet Murtaza Ahmadi, the five-year-old boy whose photo spread across the Internet after he replicated the Argentinian’s shirt by decorating a plastic bag.

“The management of the Afghan Football Federation has received emails from Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona regarding the meeting,” Syed Ali Kazemi, the federation’s spokesman, told EFE, via Fox News Latino.

Murtaza, who is from Jaghori, Afghanistan, according to CNN’s Hilary Whiteman, fashioned the improvised jersey because his parents were unable to get him a real one.
“He kept crying for days asking for the shirt until his brother Hamayon helped him make one from the plastic bag to make him happy,” Murtaza’s father, Arif, told CNN. “He stopped crying after wearing that plastic bag shirt.”

A meeting between Murtaza and Messi now looks likely, as authorities try to arrange a time and place for this heartwarming story to find its conclusion.

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Bench-warmers ,sell-ons and fill-ins, the life of Premier League academy graduates

Sell-ons, bench-warmers and fill-ins- the life of Premier League academy graduates ‘Everyone’s got to think they’re going to be the one,’ says the former Arsenal under-21 player Zach Fagan. ‘That’s the only way it works.’ Photograph: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images
Many are called but few are chosen. Unless of course we’re talking about Premier League football, in which case the equation is even more extreme. Even at a time when the obsession with developing talent remains as urgent as ever, when scarcely a week passes without some prominent voice – this week Jürgen Klopp – flagging up the clogged progression from promise to fully formed first-teamer, the picture remains more or less the same. Many are called, to ever more splendid surroundings, and at ever younger ages. But still the disconnect remains.
It is a story that lends itself to poignant contrasts. This weekend Zach Fagan watched from the bench as Welling United lost 2-1 at Havant and Waterlooville in the FA Trophy. Fagan is one of those names that might just ring a bell. He spent 12 years with Arsenal’s junior levels, making the cut from eight-year-old triallist to full-time youth, to scholar to under-21s. As ever there were excitable whispers along the way. An elegant, ball-playing defender, Fagan played centre-back alongside Héctor Bellerín. He was compared to Rio Ferdinand and Éric Abidal by the club’s in-house magazine. He got to the level below the level. In May 2014, having never played for the first team, he was released and signed for Welling.

No disgrace in that. Welling are a National League team, a level below League Two. But in terms of planning and progression, an entire boyhood spent in the gilded shadows of the overclass, it is a career that makes very little sense: all dangled rewards and impossible expectation, another strand in the unplanned social experiment that is the world’s richest, most chaotic league.
“Everyone’s got to think they’re going to be the one – that’s the only way it works,” says Fagan, a bright, endearingly level-headed 21-year-old, who talks with fondness and some longing of the system through which he was processed. “You might think: ‘Oh yeah, I’m going to play under-10s, under-14s, scholar, then Arsène Wenger’s going to see me and say, I want you in my team. Then you’re going to play 30 Premier League games and play for England.’

“But it doesn’t work like that. It can be a harsh environment. There are so many variables. These people who make the decisions on you, they’ve got someone ahead of them making decisions pressuring them. At the end of the day your wellbeing gets pushed to the back. The coaches will tell you, it’s a results business. In the end everyone’s out for themselves.”
Even as Welling were losing at Havant there was evidence elsewhere of the varied fates of the modern academy graduate. A few miles down the coast Benik Afobe, Fagan’s team-mate at Arsenal, was scoring his first Premier League goal for Bournemouth. The following day Jesse Lingard and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson were the only genuine homegrown players on show as Manchester United beat Liverpool 1-0 at Anfield. What links all four – the recovering non-leaguer, the starlet bouncing back, the might-still-bes – is the intensity of the programme through which they have, in various guises, now emerged.

Afobe was spotted by Arsenal at six. Lingard has been at United since he was seven, Borthwick-Jackson a year younger. This is now standard. There are stories of some academies refusing to look at eight year olds because they will have “picked up bad habits”. Joe Willock, an Arsenal scholar, joined when he was four after being spotted juggling a ball on the touchline watching his older brother Chris (“I’ve loved every second of the 11 and a half years I’ve been at Arsenal,” Willock Jr said, which is no bad thing given this has in effect been his whole sentient life to date, an entire childhood parcelled out through the age groups).
What football does with its young players – and what exactly this is doing to them – has been a concern from the early professional days. Before the first world war scouts would hawk job-lots of young Scots around the clubs. Matt Busby’s horror at the basic cruelty of youth football in the inter-war years was a driving force in the way he chose to rebuild Manchester United. Players would emerge via school and district football, with trials a constant process, and in more recent times the YTS junior contract the grail. In 1998 the more formalised academy scholarship system appeared, a structure that has been constantly refined and reworked ever since.
The reaching down into ever younger age brackets is something new. The increasingly muscular, interventionist presence of professional academies in junior football will not be news to those who have seen the age groups empty out as the best are lured away. Premier League clubs will now run a variety of training hubs, enough to work around the rules about formal contracts being signed only at nine years old. Not to mention feeding thousands of doomed dreams among easily distracted infants and their extended families of a future among the footballing heavyweights.

Beyond that it is hard to avoid the feeling the breeding and blooding of talent is an issue, on many fronts, in an absorbing but alarmingly profligate top tier. Last October three local derbies were played on a single Premier League matchday. Only four homegrown players – John Terry, James Tomkins, Mark Noble and Paul Dummett – were among the 66 that started the games.

In the simplest playing terms this is clearly a handicap. Managers are asked continually to pull a whole team out of the air, to bolt the pieces together on the move. Resources are funnelled into constant revolving recruitment. Buying players, not improving or educating them, becomes the chief skill.

Above all a sense of alienation can set in between fans, players and club, a drift that really becomes apparent only when the opposite happens, when teams are built and players produced. It is hard to overstate the simple cheering effect of, say, Jordan Pickford’s promise at Sunderland. Or Harry Kane’s wider importance to the Tottenham team, not just in terms of goals but wellbeing and morale.

Plus there is the question of what exactly all this is doing to the players themselves. A huge amount of human wastage takes place. “Give 100% to everything you do and you will get there in the end,” reads a line from the introduction to the Arsenal academy brochure. But this can’t be true. Only Jack Wilshere has made it at Arsenal as a genuine academy product since Ashley Cole, whose own break owed a lot to good fortune as Silvinho, the regular left-back, got into passport problems. Spurs have had some real successes recently. Louis van Gaal looks like he’ll continue hurling United’s youngsters at the wall until one of them sticks. Southampton stand out above the rest.

Really though the temptation is to wonder exactly why these ruthless, cash-driven institutions are bothering. In May last year Arsenal signed Charlie Patino, aged 11, from Luton Town. He cost £10,000 and was pictured in the newspaper with his dog Truffles. Why do this at all? Why open an academy in Athens or in 30 other locations around the world as Arsenal have? A few years back Chelsea were popping champagne corks and taking a Uefa transfer ban on the chin having signed Europe’s one Sure Thing, a player known as The Black Zidane. Gaël Kakuta ended up playing six games and leaving quietly last summer.
Chelsea’s Gaël Kakuta played just six games for Chelsea before leaving the club. Photograph- Darren Walsh:Chelsea FC via Getty Images
There are some obvious reasons why this is happening with renewed energy now. Clubs aren’t really expecting to build a team out of these players. In part the academy is a kind of due diligence exercise, a necessary sweep just in case that one-in-a-million player turns up. A single genius redeems the whole process, never mind these precious stones seem to turn up only as part of a more thorough process.
Second the academy can pay for itself by selling players, or via deals such as the one that took Afobe from Wolves to Bournemouth, from which Arsenal made £1.5m.

More to the point under the homegrown players rule eight of your 25-man squad must be homegrown (that is, grown somewhere in England). Hence the pressure to keep those age group teams churning on with their collection of possible sell-ons and helpful bench-warmers. Meanwhile the rest, the fill-ins who were always likely to be released anyway, become the football equivalent of net-bowlers, there to make up a practice team.

“It’s a lot for a kid to take,” Fagan admits, only after some prodding. “They’re setting you up for this whole life of football and dreams and then to get cut or something, then your whole life before that has basically got to change. But it’s impossible to refuse too. You have to accept their offer. At the end of the day the club are doing something massive for them, giving them a first opportunity.”

And yet so much of what emerges at the other end looks like luck rather than judgment. The only world star to emerge recently from an English academy, Paul Pogba, walked out of Manchester United for next to nothing. Bellerín stood out, but not so much that his injury-led elevation to the first team can be called a genuine masterstroke. “Héctor’s always been a really good player,” Fagan says. “But at the same time so are a lot of people. Everyone’s good if you get to that age. If they had 40 games in the Premier League you might see that as well. He got an opportunity and he took it.”

The whole process is not without harmful effects either. Arguably the most significant development from the Elite Player Performance Programme, introduced in 2011, was the new rule that clubs could sign players from anywhere without geographical limits. As a result some Football League clubs have closed their academies. Others say there is little point in running them when scouts from richer clubs can drop by at any time and cream off the best. Just as the academies will later take the best out of school and club football with no real promise – beyond the usual impossible promise – of any fruit at the end.

And yet in sport there is always hope. Fagan may have given away most of his Arsenal training gear by now (“I guess my mum wanted to keep it”) but he takes heart from the upward progress of players such as Jamie Vardy, Troy Deeney and Matt Grimes. “You’ve just got to be confident in your abilities. If you’re upset after leaving a big club it shows you don’t believe in yourself enough. You’ve just got to keep working. It’s not about what happens now. It’s about the end story.”