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Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea squad couldn't have coped with European football this season

Mauricio Pochettino says Chelsea couldn’t have coped with Europe this season and must have more than 80 percent player availability next season if they qualify.

The Blues remain in the race to qualify for the Europa League and Conference League if they produce a strong Premier League finish in the last eight games.

But Chelsea have lost Enzo Fernandez and Axel Disasi to injury this week, with Raheem Sterling a major doubt for Everton’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Monday because of illness.

They join an 11-strong injury list and Pochettino says it is a blessing to have not been in Europe but insists it would be an achievement to qualify given the fitness issues that he has had to manage.

“Imagine if we play in Europe after this season with all the circumstances, oh my goodness,” Pochettino said.

“It’s always between eight to ten out in every game. It would be even more of a struggle if we had more games.

“It’s about getting all the information to help the club to try to avoid things like what happened this season.

“Of course, for us that’s our focus to define a squad that is fit or have more than 80 percent availability. We are under this percentage [at the moment.”

With Ben Chilwell, Reece James, and Christopher Nkunku potentially out on Monday, he believes it is unhelpful to set a minimum demand for his injury-hit group to qualify for Europe.

“It is about being competitive for the next game and trying to find the right balance to win and not to put an objective that maybe you could quickly get frustrated about if you don’t win some games you believe you were supposed to win,” he explained.

Chelsea will face Manchester City next in an FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and if they win the competition it would offer another route to qualify for the Europa League.

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Atacul direct al Iranului împotriva Israelului este unul fără precedent. „Guvernul israelian se va simţi obligat să riposteze”

Un atac direct din partea Iranului împotriva Israelului este fără precedent. Chiar dacă dronele sunt interceptate, chiar dacă numărul victimelor va fi scăzut sau zero, israelienii se vor simţi profund vulnerabili, iar guvernul israelian se va simţi obligat să riposteze.

Folosirea rachetelor de croazieră – dacă se confirmă – ar schimba şi mai mult dinamica.

Chiar dacă Iranul a calculat o strategie de „spectacol maxim cu impact minim” – cel mai probabil prin utilizarea dronelor – şansa de a greşi calculele este uriaşă.

Este de aşteaptat ca dronele kamikaze să aibă nevoie de aproximativ nouă ore pentru a ajunge în Israel. Ele zboară la joasă înălţime pentru a evita radarele, ceea ce le face mai greu de interceptat. Prin alegerea dronelor, Iranul repetă o metodă de atac testată. Un roi de drone kamikaze a lovit uzinele petroliere saudite în 2019, fără să ucidă pe nimeni, dar a provocat pierderi de milioane de euro comerţului cu petrol saudit. Dronele cu care Iranul a atacat sâmbătă seara vor fi mai sofisticate.

Există şi un aspect psihologic profund în toate acestea. Oamenii din întregul Israel nu vor dormi la noapte, ştiind că dronele sunt deja în aer, îndreptându-se spre ei.

Încă de când Israelul a luat decizia secretă de a ucide doi generali iranieni în interiorul consulatului iranian din Damasc, în Siria, în urmă cu 13 zile, a ştiut că va provoca un răspuns.

VIDEO REPORTAJ Sub plafonul sărăciei, umanitatea rezistă. Două mame singure din satul Lespezi reușesc să-și țină copiii cu ajutorul oamenilor din comunitate: „Turci, români, căutăm ajutor pentru toți”

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VIDEO REPORTAJ Sub plafonul sărăciei, umanitatea rezistă. Două mame singure din satul Lespezi reușesc să-și țină copiii cu ajutorul oamenilor din comunitate: „Turci, români, căutăm ajutor pentru toți”

Iranul a declarat că răspunsul său va fi „calibrat”. Această declaraţie a fost interpretată ca fiind vorba de o ripostă „limitată”, pentru a nu declanşa un răspuns israelian masiv şi un război regional. Cu un atac în curs de desfăşurare acum, această evaluare ar fi putut fi foarte naivă.

Preşedintele Biden se află în acest moment la Casa Albă, întors cu o zi mai devreme din weekend. În calitate de preşedinte american, capacitatea de a controla acest lucru – de a limita spirala violenţelor – ar trebui să îi aparţină.  Este un test uriaş pentru liderul lumii libere care, până acum, s-a dovedit a avea o influenţă limitată în criza regională.  


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The Best Exercises for a Stronger Upper Back

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The upper back is an important enough area to train that many gym rats devote two whole days to it each week—this is what “pull day” really means. With strong lats and other upper back muscles, you can bang out pullup after pullup, if that’s a thing you want to do. You can work toward that upside-down triangle shape that bodybuilders have made famous. A stronger back can even help you improve your posture (although I’ve argued that posture is less important than we tend to think it is). So how do you work your upper back? Read on.

The upper back muscles and what they do

Sometimes, when I write these articles, I can give a straightforward explanation of what muscles we’re working. For example, the hamstrings are a group made of three specific muscles. But the upper back is far more complicated, and it’s hard to say where the upper back ends and the lower back or shoulders begin.

Today, I’ll focus on the muscles we didn’t cover in those other two articles. So no trapezius or multifidus for us today. (You can refer to this overview on physio-pedia for a full rundown of the main muscles in the lower back, if you really want to nerd out.)

When people talk about training their upper back training, the muscles people are probably thinking of are the latissimus dorsi. These, familiarly called your “lats,” are two wide muscles along the sides of your back. They are anchored to your spine and pelvis, and their job is to pull on your upper arm. If you’re pulling your elbows down and back—toward your hips—you’re using your lats to do it. 

The lats are huge muscles, and the way they connect to your arms sometimes reminds people of the “wings” on a flying squirrel. If you’re looking for a “v-taper” shape, lats are a big part of what gives that visual. That said, you have to do a ton of training to make your lats visibly large, so let that fact inspire or reassure you. 

Other upper back muscles include the rhomboids, which pull your shoulder blades together, your trapezius (the upper part shrugs, the lower part pulls your shoulder blades together but in a different way) and arguably even your rear delts, which I covered in the post about shoulder exercises. 

What unites these muscles, both conceptually and in terms of workout design, is that they’re all involved in pulling in some way. As a mnemonic, any exercise with “pull” or “row” in the name is likely to work your upper back. 

Best dumbbell exercise: Kroc rows

I first encountered Kroc rows in Jen Sinkler’s pullup training program, and they’ve been a favorite of mine ever since. Her program was meant for people who can’t do a pullup yet, and the Kroc rows were in there as a way to put on muscle mass on the lats. (I remember being weirded out by that: I need to add mass?) 

They’re a great exercise for everyone, but especially people who need to push the boundaries of their comfort zone to make progress. Sure, you can do dumbbell rows with lighter weights and strict form. But there’s a magic to picking up a dumbbell that is too heavy for strict rows, and rowing it anyway with the help of some body english. Far from cheating you out of gains, this approach means that you are moving the heaviest weight you possibly can, thus actually giving your muscles more work than if you stuck with the smaller dumbbell. 

In any case, Kroc rows worked out great for Janae Kroc, for myself, and plenty of others. If you have access to big ol’ dumbbells, give them a try. 

Best cable exercise: one arm lat pulldown 

For my cable machine pick, I’m going to forgo my personal favorite (I love a seated cable row) and highlight the lat isolation that’s most popular these days: the one arm lat pulldown. You can do this with one arm at a time on a double pulldown machine, as in the video above, or with a single cable machine. If you’re using a single cable—this works great on those “functional trainers” you see in hotel gyms—get down on the floor on one knee.

Best minimalist exercise: pullups/chinups

You don’t need dumbbells or machines to do the classic upper back exercise: pullups. Every pullup variation works your lats and plenty of other muscles in your upper back (and, as a bonus, your biceps, too).

If you can’t do full pullups, bench or jackknife pullups still count. And if pullups are too easy, do them weighted. 

When I say “pullups,” by the way, I’m really talking about the pullup family. Chinups (with your palms facing you) are part of the family. Wide grip pullups, neutral grip, hanging handle pullups, and more—they’re all welcome. While people will argue all day about which is “best” for the lats or for some other back muscle, studies show that lat activation is similar from one variation to another. As with nutrition, variety is good for us, so give all the members of the family a try. 

Best exercise you can do on the go: band pullaparts

With all this focus on the lats, I’d like to highlight one more exercise that works some lesser-known and lesser-appreciated upper back muscles. Your rhomboids, lower traps, and rear delts will get some love from band pullaparts. 

To do band pullaparts, hold the band out in front of you, arms straight, slightly above eye level. Then pull the band apart with straight arms, so that the middle of the band contacts your chest. Other variations of pullaparts are great to do, too: start with the band overhead and pull it down behind your head, or do them at waist level. 

The best thing about this exercise is that you can do it anywhere. If you don’t have a pullup bar but want to do some pulling exercises at home, grab a band. You can also do an easy superset anywhere in the gym by bringing a band with you to the bench press station, or anywhere else you’re doing a pushing exercise. 



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2025 Acura MDX ditches touchpad; embraces touchscreens, Google, Bang & Olufsen – Autoblog

The 2025 Acura MDX sees a number of updates and upgrades, especially inside, where a new infotainment system is a potential game-changer for Acura’s flagship SUV as well as, potentially, the entire brand.

Now, at first glance, adding a 12.3-inch touchscreen to a new luxury car shouldn’t be that big of a deal, even if it features over-the-air updates and Google built-in tech. It could even evoke an eyeroll if you found out that both the screen and interface are basically the same as you’d find in a range-topping Honda Accord. The reason it’s significant is because of what it replaces. Acura’s True Touchpad interface has been unloved since it debuted on the current-generation RDX and subsequently spread throughout the Acura lineup to everything not named Integra. This interface that paired a dash-top screen with a unique touchpad on the center console (pressing on the touchpad would select an icon on the corresponding spot on the screen) was not exactly a critical darling. The entire system felt like Acura was being contrarian, as if a touchscreen or even knob-and-display setup, were too basic. Well, they basic now. Even if the new touchscreen is shared with an Accord, so what? It’s sensibly laid out, looks good enough and Google built-in means an enhanced version of Google Maps is on board along with various Apps from the Google Play store. And yes, Apple CarPlay is still present. 

With the True Touchpad truly gone, real estate opened up on the center console. There’s a new, wide, kinda shallow bin that might be useful for something but seems a bit vestigial. It’s located where the volume knob used to be — that’s migrated west to where the touchpad was and therefore closer to your hand. The Touchpad’s wrist rest that used to hover over the wireless phone charger is obviously no longer there, either, making it easier to place and remove your phone. 

Another big-time change for 2025 is the addition of Bang & Olufsen sound systems instead of the Panasonic/ELS upgrades that have been an Acura staple for two decades. Although the ZDX is technically the first Acura to get a Bang & Olufsen system (the 2025 MDX will arrive at dealers after Acura’s electric love baby with GM), the MDX gets the most powerful version. Not just in terms of an Acura Bang & Olufsen offering, but most powerful Acura sound system ever. Exclusive to the range-topping Type S with Advance Package, it has 31 speakers (including 12 in the ceiling alone), 24 channels of power, two amplifiers and an 8.8-inch subwoofer. A 19-speaker Bang & Olufsen system is included on the MDX Technology Package, Advance Package and A-Spec models. Both feature Bang & Olufsen’s 3D Sound Control and Beosonic one-touch sound control that’s a serious upgrade over the usual Bass, Mid and Treble sliders. 

Elsewhere in tech land, the AcuraWatch driver assistance suite gets a hardware upgrade, resulting in improved adaptive cruise control performance, further-seeing blind-spot warning and a smarter forward collision mitigation system. The Type S with Advance Package gets even higher-grade stuff, including better sensors, that improve the various existing ADAS systems and make it possible to add automated lane changes to adaptive cruise control (must tap the turn signal), automatic steering intervention to the blind-spot warning system and front cross-traffic warning. 

There are no mechanical upgrades, unless you consider some extra sound deadening and rear laminated glass on most trim levels to be a mechanical upgrade. Exterior visual differences are also subtle, with revised lower fascias for both standard and Type S models, new grille inserts for both, and a revised grille surround that removes the chrome lipstick look of the standard MDX. The taillights are now darker, too, and there are new wheel designs throughout. I go into them more in the video above.

It may not seem like a lot, and possibly a change that shouldn’t have been needed in the first place, but the new touchscreen interface removes a significant barrier to signing up for several years in a new MDX. One can also jump to the conclusion that subsequent Acuras will be similarly upgraded, so keep an eye out for future RDX and TLX updates. 

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