Get it right, Hodgson
England's new all-time scorer must play as a No. 10 behind Kane in France next June
(Harry Kane 67, Wayne Rooney 84-pen)
In an era when strikers stalk alone, Harry Kane found himself left out in the cold.
Even when qualification for Euro 2016 was assured, the Tottenham Hotspur striker got nothing more than a seat on England's bench, as manager Roy Hodgson freed Wayne Rooney to hunt for a record 50th international goal.
TNP ILLUSTRATION: LEE HUP KHENG
Against Switzerland at Wembley yesterday morning (Singapore time), Rooney cemented his place in the Three Lions' history books.
The achievement overshadowed just about everything else, including the fact that it was Kane who, after coming on as a 57th-minute substitute, opened the scoring in the 2-0 victory.
This was a night which summed up the task Kane is up against.
Seventeen minutes after producing that crisp finish to quell the Swiss resistance, Rooney stepped up to convert from the spot to consign the Spurs man's contribution to a footnote.
He's up against England's record goalscorer, his skipper, and an obsession that anything more than one centre forward is a step back to the dinosaur age.
But Hodgson does his thing at the cost of leaving his best centre forward on the sidelines and playing a striker whose qualities are more suited for a No. 10, like the number on the back of his jersey suggests.
Rooney's feat doesn't erase his worrisome form for Manchester United, whose manager Louis van Gaal has similarly persisted with Rooney as the main man up front.
It can't mask the fact that the 29-year-old's 49th - against San Marino - and 50th goal for his country came from the penalty spot.
Van Gaal's dilemma at Old Trafford is probably brought about by necessity rather than choice.
The Dutchman lack proven goal-scorers in his team and is stuck with Rooney as his best option.
He is also hesitant to deploy him as a support striker because there are more capable men in that role.
Not many would see Rooney as an improvement on Juan Mata or even Ander Herrera in the No. 10 position.
But it's a different story in the England camp.
By leaving Kane out of the starting line-up, Hodgson is making a mistake with the country's best and most natural centre forward.
Last season's Premiership second-highest goalscorer with 21 goals, Kane is built for the hunt.
He combines industry, flair and most crucially, an instinct in the penalty box that cannot be honed at the training ground.
In four England games, he has netted thrice - all after coming on as substitutes.
Hodgson can't pin Kane's omission in this recent round of qualifiers on his poor club form - he hasn't scored in any of Spurs' four league games this season.
Because Rooney himself last month ended a 878-minute goal drought at United with a hat-trick against Club Brugge in a Champions League qualifier.
And, like Kane, he hasn't scored in four Premiership outings so far.
By not opting to move Rooney into the slot behind a target man, Hodgson is also denying his own team an excellent player in a position where they are not particularly overflowing with talent.
Hodgson has a chance to pair Kane and Rooney in a 9-10 combination for their two remaining qualifiers next month.
It's also an opportunity he must not pass up.
Rooney turns focus to EPL
Netflix coming to Singapore, but just how much will we get to see?
Popular US online streaming service to start here next year
Couch potatoes and TV junkies, it's time to rejoice.
Netflix is finally coming to town.
The popular US online streaming service will be launched in Singapore early next year and will open an office here in the coming months.
It will also expand into South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan, after its launch in Japan last Wednesday with monthly plans starting from 650 yen (S$7.60).
Established in 1997, it has reeled in paid subscribers worldwide with its impressive database of movies and dramas, including original series like Orange Is The New Black and House Of Cards.
For Singapore subscribers, Netflix promises a "curated selection" on "nearly any Internet-connected screen", like smart TVs, tablets and smartphones, computers and a range of Internet-capable game consoles and set-top boxes, according to its press release.
Details on pricing, programming and supported devices here will be available at a later date.
But is "curated selection" merely a code for heavily condensed choices?
Netflix did not provide further details when contacted by The New Paper on what titles will be available and how much of it will be edited.
A Media Development Authority (MDA) spokesman told TNP that it "welcomes" Netflix's expansion to Singapore as "it will inject greater vibrancy into our media sector and provide viewers with more choices".
MDA added that it "will work with Netflix to familiarise them with Singapore's regulations and media capabilities ahead of their arrival".
Ms Angela Chee, a senior lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic's School of Business (Communications and Media Management), believes that there will be a certain level of censorship to eliminate profanity, violence, nudity, sexual content and so on.
"Netflix will have to bear in mind the diverse racial profile here and curate their content accordingly instead of focusing solely on US TV shows and movies," she said.
TV producer and editor Rachel Monkman, 26, is concerned that the content might differ from what is offered overseas.
But she still feels the introduction of Netflix may at least encourage users to obtain content legally.
She told TNP: "I think fewer people will depend on pirate sites if they know they can stay current with their TV shows (with Netflix)."
Netflix is the latest in a slew of readily available options for Singapore viewers to easily consume foreign TV and film content.
Last Thursday, Internet service provider ViewQwest started selling a new virtual private network (VPN) set-top box that lets uers forgo the hassle of changing their computer and router settings to stream overseas content uncensored.
This can be done by using pre-installed Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go or BBC iPlayer apps once the box is plugged to the television and the Internet modem.
Its TV 4K set-top box costs $299 and consumers have to pay $10.70 a month to continue to use its VPN service after the first year.
The Straits Times reported that more than 50 per cent of the Internet traffic on ViewQwest's broadband network is from users accessing Netflix content.
Given that illegal downloading of shows for free is still a rampant practice, Ms Chee is not sure if people will pay for the content.
Said Ms Chee: "Anyone can obtain anything they want online. So (Netflix's) pricing strategy has to be competitive enough for people to part with their money."
Popular Netflix shows
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK
Renewed for a fourth season, this dramedy (above) centres on Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), who is sentenced to 15 months' jail for transporting drug money, and her experiences in a women's federal prison. It has been nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards this month and is Netflix's most-watched TV series.
HOUSE OF CARDS
This political drama, also renewed for a fourth season, follows conniving politician Frank Underwood's (Kevin Spacey) quest for power and revenge, together with his wife Claire (Robin Wright). Like Orange Is The New Black, it is also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmy Awards.
The series, which premiered this year, is based on the Marvel Comics superhero. Charlie Cox plays the titular character Matt Murdock, who is a blind lawyer by day and a crime-fighting hero by night. It has been renewed for a second season.
Flooding but Jurong shop owners are used to it
Jurong West shop owners resigned to flooding during heavy downpours
Whenever there is heavy rain, they know the drill.
Like clockwork, shop owners at Jurong West Street 51 will pack the wares they display outside their shops, to save them from the flood waters.
Yesterday afternoon was no different. A heavy downpour hit the stretch of 23 shops at Block 504 between noon and 1pm.
A bookshop sales assistant, who wanted to be known only as Madam Tan, 50, told The New Paper: "The water level was around 10cm high. If it had risen further, it would have entered my shop."
Frantic owners at a nearby market were also alert to the rising waters. "There was enough water to rear fish," joked one of the shopkeepers.
Yesterday's flood was one of the worst, said Mr Simon Tan, 57, a jewellery store owner.
He had to stay at a nearby coffee shop until 1.30pm before he could get back to his own shop.
Mr Tan said the floods have been a regular occurrence, dating back some 20 years.
After a few complaints, Mr Tan said the town council responded by opening the drain cover in front of his shop when it flooded.
But the problem has persisted.
Despite their frustration, many shopkeepers told TNP they were resigned to the situation.
USED TO IT
Clothing store owner Priscilla Lu, 47, said: "I was scared when I first saw the flooding 10 years ago because all my clothes got wet. Now, I'm used to it. Sometimes, I will help tell the others if I see the water is coming."
A household product store sales assistant in her 50s said in Mandarin: "When it floods, it takes half an hour for us to pack and another half an hour to take everything out. But I have no choice but to do it."
A PUB spokesman said that its officers reached the site at about 2.40pm and the water had subsided by then.
The national water agency said it will work with the relevant agencies to look into flood protection measures for the area.
- Additional reporting by Seow Yun Rong, Melanie Heng, Siti Nur Aisha Omar
Respect critical for S'pore's progress
YOUR SAY GE 2015
Getai performers getting younger — and so are audiences
Not only are performers getting younger, but more young people are watching getai
She took to the stage confidently, dressed in a blue and yellow dress, to the delight of the audience gathered at Hougang Avenue 3.
Toh Xin Hui, nine, might have been making her debut getai performance this Hungry Ghost Month, but she hardly looked out of place.
The month-long festival ends this Saturday.
Singing along with Xin Hui was her sister, Toh En Hui, 13, who has two years’ experience.
If the performers seem to be getting younger, it is because getai no longer appeals only to the older generation, said organiser Aaron Tan.
In his 14 years in the industry, Mr Tan, 39, has seen a rise in younger audiences.
He said: “There are even groupies who chase after some of the singers, much like pop music fans.”
Read the full report in our print edition on Sept 10.
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