ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Ohio State football is used to success. In Jim Tressel’s 10 years as coach, he led the Buckeyes to eight BCS bowl game appearances and six consecutive Big Ten Championships. The 2011 season was different. OSU won just half of its regular season games, finishing with a 6-6 record and its first loss to archrival Michigan since 2003. It also dropped its final three games of the year. Senior wide receiver DeVier Posey, who was playing his second game of the year after serving two five-game suspensions, said the locker room felt “weird” after the loss. “We’ve never lost to Michigan,” Posey said, “It’s just an eerie feeling. You have a weird feeling in your stomach.” Despite the drop in success this season, the Buckeyes were reluctant to call the season a disappointment. “I think it’s a disappointment in terms of what the fans think and everything,” senior linebacker Tyler Moeller said. “Obviously you want to go out there and win every game. We fought and battled out there. Every game that we have lost, we were in them. We fought them. Sometimes in life that happens.” OSU has the minimum number of six wins to be eligible for a bowl game, but for the first time since 2004, OSU won’t be selected for a BCS bowl. Senior center Mike Brewster said dealing with all the losses has been difficult after having so much success in the past. “It’s hard,” Brewster said. “Just kind of shows you when you’re playing a team sport, decisions you make can affect your teammates.” OSU is still awaiting the decision as to whether or not they’ll be selected to play in a bowl game. Although six wins grants a team eligibility to participate in a bowl, it does not guarantee a team will be selected. Traditionally, OSU has had an advantage in the selection process because of the program’s reputation for traveling well to postseason games and drawing high TV ratings. One report from the Orlando Sentinel said representatives from the Gator Bowl are interested in choosing the Buckeyes to participate in the Jan. 2, bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., and pitting them against the Florida Gators. The hypothetical matchup would pit the team Urban Meyer coached from 2005-2010 (Florida) with the team Meyer will coach for the 2012 season (OSU). According to athletic director Gene Smith, current coach Luke Fickell will coach the bowl game and Meyer will no role in the team’s preparation. No matter what bowl game OSU is selected to or the coaching situation the team faces, junior defensive lineman John Simon said it won’t affect how his team will prepare. “We’re motivated,” Simon said. “We get excited for every game. We’ll make the corrections about this game tomorrow when we watch the tape and get back to work.” Moeller agreed. “Any game that we’re dealt, we’re going to work hard,” he said. “Just as hard as any other bowl game that we had. We’re going to try to win that.”
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Greggs has revealed a new strategy for growth that includes opening up to 150 new stores this year, but has ruled out a move into home deliveries.The food-to-go giant today (28 February) announced a refreshed four-pillar strategy to continue expansion of the business, which saw sales rise 7% to £894.2m Pre-tax profit (including exceptional items) grew by 2.9% to £75.1m.Greggs’ bakery staff learned last month that hundreds of jobs were at risk as a result of a major shake-up of its manufacturing and distribution structure, which includes the closure of its Norwich bakery, conversion of its Birmingham bakery into a distribution centre and restructuring its sites in Treforest, Wales, and Cambuslang, near Glasgow.The activity is the next phase of a £100m investment in Greggs’ supply chain that included the previously announced closure of bakeries in Twickenham, Edinburgh and Sleaford and the opening of a new distribution centre in Enfield last year.Announcing the company’s preliminary results, for the 52 weeks ended 31 December, Greggs chairman Ian Durant said Greggs had to ensure all aspects of the business “support our purpose and strategy”.“This has required us to make some difficult decisions, particularly regarding the organisation of our manufacturing and logistics operations, which the board has considered carefully,” he added.“We have highlighted the changes necessary to support the ongoing strategic realignment of the business, including the major investment programme under way to grow our supply chain. This will involve some difficult changes for some of our colleagues, but is essential to support the long-term competitiveness of the business.”His words were echoed by chief executive Roger Whiteside, who described the food-to-go market as “highly competitive and fast moving”, adding the UK consumer outlook was more challenging than in recent years due to industry-wide pressures on commodities and labour costs.But he added that growing consumer disposable income had supported demand for food-to-go despite uncertainty in the economic outlook.Whiteside said customer footfall remained “challenging” in some shopping locations, which supported Greggs’ strategy of reducing dependence on general shopping activity in favour of alternative locations.Having transformed from a bakery business to a food-to-go business, it was time to set out a new strategy for the future, added Whiteside.“We have refreshed our plan to reinforce our commitment to putting the customer at the heart of our strategy.”The new strategy comprises four pillars: great-tasting freshly prepared food; best customer experience; competitive supply chain; and first-class support teams. Whitehouse explained how the pillars would drive the business:‘Great-tasting freshly prepared food’He said breakfast continued to be the fastest growing part of Greggs’ trading day. This was driven by customers travelling, and lessened the company’s dependence on general shopping footfall. He added that investment in additional coffee machines was speeding up service, and that the company was extending its coffee range.Demand for healthier choices in food-on-the-go was continuing to grow, with the Greggs Balanced Choice range, offering fewer than 400 calories an item, accounting for more than 10% of total sales.Hot food was another area of growing demand, and Whiteside said the business was investing in speeding up service and the product range – extended last year to include burritos. Hot soup had been another source of growth, he said.Greggs has a strong pipeline of new product developments planned for 2017, he added.‘Best customer experience’Extended opening hours, particularly early in the morning and on Sundays, were meeting increased demand for food-on-the-go, said Whiteside, while the investment in coffee machines, hot food ovens and new systems were contributing to speed of service.Data capture from the Greggs Rewards customer loyalty scheme was now at a level that enabled the company to analyse behaviour and develop targeted marketing campaigns.“We have recently appointed our first customer director with experience in digital multi-channel marketing who will lead development of our capabilities in this area,” said Whiteside.Greggs is currently trialling a workplace food delivery service, which it said was a channel with growth potential – but Whiteside ruled out home deliveries.“Whilst we do not see an opportunity in home delivery, we do believe that a smartphone-based order and collect service for customers offers a future opportunity,” he said. “Building experience with customer delivery will enable us to develop this channel, with the initial aim of converting our existing lunchtime platter business to a digital platform.”Greggs grew its estate to 1,764 shops trading as at 31 December 2016, completing 208 shop refurbishments to have 92% of the shop estate now operating in a food-on-the-go format.In the year ahead, Greggs plans to refurbish another 200 shops, as well as open between 140 and 150 shops and close 40 to 50 shops.“We will continue to relocate shops to rebalance our estate, increasing our presence in travel, leisure and work-centred catchments,” said Whiteside.‘Competitive supply chain’In 2016 Greggs opened a new distribution centre in Enfield and closed its Twickenham and Sleaford bakeries. Good progress was being made with the extension of the company’s bakery in Glasgow, which would enable Greggs to close its Edinburgh Bakery in the second quarter of 2017.“Alongside this work we have undertaken detailed planning for the subsequent investment phase across our remaining bakery sites,” said Whiteside. “In January 2017 we communicated our proposals to staff at each of our sites, including the planned impact of consolidating our manufacturing operations. Overall, our expansion plans will create thousands of new roles in retail and distribution operations, but will result in fewer roles in manufacturing. “Describing this as a complicated investment phase, Whiteside said transforming the use of space and equipment in the bakery network would take two years to implement.“This new supply chain platform will substantially improve product quality, our competitiveness and, alongside system investment, complete our transformation from traditional bakery to food-on-the-go,” he added. “This is our largest-ever investment in our supply chain.”‘First-class support teams’Last year, Greggs deployed SAP Finance as its core platform for integrated system development, and piloted central forecasting and replenishment in shops.Whiteside said central forecasting and replenishment would replace shop-based ordering in 2017 and would be the company’s largest-ever new system roll-out.The next phase of systems development would be centralising logistics and manufacturing to replace Greggs’ current devolved local bakery operations. The company aims to launch pilots for logistics and manufacturing by this year, with roll-out to other sites in 2018.Outlook for 2017Whiteside said 2017 had started in line with expectations, with company-managed shop like-for-like sales up 2% year on year in the eight weeks to 25 February and total sales up 5.8%.“2017 will be another busy year of change as we continue to progress our investment in better systems and the transformation and development of our supply chain,” he added. “Over the medium term we are confident of making further progress as we implement our plan to grow Greggs as a contemporary food-on-the-go brand.”
Arsenal attackers should copy Liverpool as example for success, says Ian Wright Comment James GrayFriday 23 Aug 2019 6:23 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link84Shares Advertisement The three Arsenal stars are still learning how to play together (Picture: Getty)But Wright reckons the addition of Pepe, a club-record signing at £72million from French club Lille, could turn Unai Emery’s attack into a group like the one Jurgen Klopp has at his disposal.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘If the Arsenal three click like we have seen the Liverpool three click, then in Lacazette you have the hold-up player who can nick things in the box but also link play,’ Wright told The Athletic.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Pepe can beat people one-on-one, cutting in from the right assisting and scoring. Aubameyang, with his pace on the shoulder, can punish teams.‘We can give players the possibility to close down, win the ball in that last third, then give it to the strikers. That is ideal.’ Liverpool’s front three terrifies defences and Wright hopes Arsenal’s trio can do the same (Getty)Pepe was chased by a host of huge clubs across Europe before putting pen to paper at the Emirates and Wright is delighted that Arsenal’s existing players were able to lure him to north London.Wright added: ‘Before Pepe got there, you saw Aubameyang and Lacazette welcoming him on social media by doing his salute celebration. When you see that you know they are letting him know that he is already loved.‘They can’t wait for him to be there. All he needs now is games. Even the other day, he gets on the ball and it’s just exciting. He does a couple of moves and you think, “Ooh, this is awesome”.‘They want the three of them to be an item. Not the two of them. It’s a three-pronged attack with pace, and something different in each of those players.’Which front three is better?Aubameyang, Lacazette, Pepe0%Salah, Mane, Firmino0%Share your resultsShare your resultsTweet your resultsMore: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisement Wright loves the idea of all three big-money attackers in the starting XI for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Ian Wright is very excited by the prospect of the Arsenal front line this season and reckons their three different skill sets could see them emulate Liverpool’s Champions League-winning front three.Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino powered Liverpool to their highest ever top-flight points total and a sixth European title last season, each providing a different type of threat to defences.Arsenal have mostly had a two-pronged attack with the big-money signings of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette leading the line.