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23:23, Jul 28 2015
Defence wins Championships. Prevailing wisdom has always suggested such, no matter the sport. Is there reason to question this sentiment? The team with the least goals against has won the Premier League six times in the last decade. An impressive record and standing example for the merits of superior defensive play. Chelsea at present time boasts a league-best 21 goals against, six goals better than the next best team defensively; giving good reason they are currently atop the table. Jose Mourinho continues to be praised as a tactical genius, getting the most out of his inherited squad of millionaires. The woe, is me, little horse approach by Mourinho is comical. Chelsea remains among the worlds top spenders with virtually unlimited resources. Mourinho deploys a stifling, boring, and ultra-conservative approach because its his way of controlling a match, giving what he believes the best chance to win the battle and the war. Thankfully for Jose, the talent of the likes of Hazard and Oscar mask what often times is negative football. Other managers do not get equal acclaim as the Special One. Thats unfortunate. There is more than one way to win in football. In fact, in a higher tempo, physically demanding and end-to-end nature of the Premier League, goals-for has proven a more decisive determinant to league glory than defensive record. The team with the most goals scored has won the league all but twice in the last decade. If we want to operate in the world of clichés, than perhaps a good offence is the best defence. While the Mourinho defensive model has merit, more attractive attacking football wins as well. At the end of the day, fans want victories. They want titles. All things being equal, managers with bravery to open things up and go for it in an expansive brand of football is the ultimate combination. Queue Liverpool Football Club, 2013-14. A team without the resources of Chelsea are keeping pace in the Premier League, not through a boring, grinding and grating brand of football. Under Brendan Rodgers, purposeful ball possession and decisive attack rules the day. In less than two years under his watch, Liverpool has gone from a team struggling to build from the back, failing to play the ball on the ground and void of identity not labeled hard-working. This team has morphed into the most exciting, ruthless team in front of goal in the BPL. Dreadful defensively, it has not mattered. Liverpool is fourth in the table and is more likely to challenge for the title rather than fall out of the top four. Only Newcastle has a worse defensive record in the top 11. While a dip in form has been projected by most, there is no such demise in sight. Liverpool has scored an incredible league best 70 goals in 27 games; 21 better than leaders Chelsea and almost double that of fifth place Tottenham (36). The Reds have scored 19 goals in their last six games. Luis Suarez who leads the league in goals (23) has only scored once in that span. Daniel Sturridge has been a revelation, automatic in front of goal with 18 in 19 games. Much credit goes to SAS. But in fairness, a team approach with superior movement on and off the ball has created an incredible number of chances. Only Manchester City has created more chances than Liverpools 352. They have the most assists and are top five in virtually every passing category. Theres no quantifiable statistic to gauge team belief. But every time Liverpool is in and around the area, there is a genuine threat they are going to score. Manchester City gets the plaudits for their attacking approach. Liverpool hardly have the superstar talent outside of Suarez, but are every bit the attacking powerhouse. The triangles across the field, movement and vision on how to use the space are Rodgers greatest influence. Stout defensive play is a work in progress. They have more defensive errors than any team in the Premier League. Rodgers is adamant its the players and not the system to blame for defensive frailties. "The problem is it is not coaching. Some of the things we concede goals in, you cant coach that. Theres a feel when you are in the game of how to defend and you have to use your experience to defend properly," explained Rodgers. And hes absolutely right. First choice wing-backs Glen Johnson and Luis Enrique have missed long stretches through injury, but neither are reliable defensively. Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel are both inconsistent and have been linked to moves elsewhere for quite some time. Kolo Toure is a turtle. And the rest fail to provide any confidence in front of goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Rodgers has tried everything to cover up the deficiencies. Formations featuring 3, 4, or 5 at the back have been deployed, all to varying levels of success and failure. The system has been less important than the consistency in approach. Through the misgivings, there is an understanding how the team is going to play. And the insistence on getting up the field down the wings, with Steven Gerrard playing a deeper role, sitting on top of the back four has been important for shape. The team will continue to evolve as Rodgers finds suitable defenders. It will be critical this summer to find replacements. Important for Liverpool is the direction is clear with team style and approach already determined. A strong has offence is equally important as stingy defence in all sport. League leaders in Germany, France, Italy and Spain have all scored the most goals. In the NFL, the Broncos number one offence got to the Super Bowl, only to come up short against the Seahawks number one defence. Heading in, the offence was favoured. The Boston Red Sox led Major League Baseball in offense last year and won the World Series. Liverpool is four points out with 11 to go. The three teams above them are all competing in other competitions. Liverpool can stay fresh with no distraction. It would be truly a fairy tale story if they can pull this off. And could go down as the team with the weakest defence to ever win a Premier League title. Its all about the goals. Other Musings - In a matter of days the focus at Old Trafford has gone from Wayne Rooneys new £300,000 per week contract back to David Moyes under fire. While a new lucrative, record setting contract for Rooney was a no-brainer, what to do about Moyes is more difficult. Moyes was handed a six-year contract to be successor, hand-picked by Sir Alex Ferguson. The former manager regularly speaks out against rash managerial changes in the game. Ferguson preaches patience and consistency, much like the treatment he was given at United. That doesnt mean Moyes wasnt a mistake, or doesnt give any assurance he will be a success. United continues to fail to perform under Moyes. The product is not good enough. Other managers have had instant success with their new teams: Mourinho, Manuel Pellegrini, Carlo Ancelotti, and Pep Guardiola to name a few, managing teams in the same conversation as giants Manchester United. The excuse mongering for Moyes, whether it be the players or approach doesnt hold water. There are challenges for any new manager. It seems Moyes was ill prepared or ill equipped to deal with the task at hand. It seems Manchester United are ready to make it rain, splashing cash to compete with their fellow big boys in European football. But should Moyes be trusted to spend the war chest wisely? What experience does he have in doing so? And how much rope will he be given if next season starts poorly? Its a massive risk rolling with Moyes. Remaining loyal and committed to a manager is an honourable trait. But it only works when you have the right man. There has been nothing to suggest Moyes is the right fit other than the word of Sir Alex. A stubborn, bullish approach on Moyes isnt whats needed. Can Ferguson admit he potentially made a critical error in judgment on his successor? - Panic over poor English results in the first leg of the round of 16 in the Champions League have the knives out already. Its a referendum every year about what league is the best in the world, which is nonsense. There is no shame for Manchester City losing to Barcelona, and Arsenal to Bayern Munich, home or away. Both were beat by superior sides. Much plays into success and failure in the Champions League. Domestic schedule and form, fitness, proper officiating and a bit of luck are all needed in required in Europe. Only Manchester United can be seen as a disappointment after their first leg display. And funny enough, its United, along with Chelsea with the best chances of advancing. Its all about the match-up, not which domestic league is superior. - Southamptons Luke Shaw is deserved of his call-up to England for next weeks friendly against Denmark. The 18-year old has been superior to Leighton Baines, Ashley Cole and Kieran Gibbs at left back this campaign. The future is now for England. Age should not matter. Shaw at Brazil 2014 would be a step in the right direction. Billige Nike Air Max Dame . LOUIS -- Under coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead, the St. Nike Air Max Hvid Dame Tilbud . Jimenez (1-4) allowed only three hits while taking a significant step forward from five rough starts to begin his $50 million, four-year contract with the Orioles. Jimenez dropped his ERA from 6.59 to 5.19, after leaving with one out in the eighth following Eduardo Escobars double. http://www.shopmax90dk.net/nike-air-huarache-dk/nike-air-huarache-dame.html . - Even with his surgically repaired back still nowhere near perfect, defending champion Andy Murray needed only 73 minutes to beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 6-1 at the Sony Open on Tuesday and set up a quarterfinal with Novak Djokovic. Nike Air Max Zero Danmark .ca mixed martial arts rankings. For a breakdown of the UFC champions click here. Heavyweight 1) Junior Dos Santos2) Cain Velasquez3) Alistair Overeem4) Fabricio Werdum5) Shane Carwin Didnt Make The Cut: Frank Mir, Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier Light Heavyweight 1) Jon Jones2) Rashad Evans3) Dan Henderson4) Mauricio (Shogun) Rua5) Quinton (Rampage) Jackson Didnt Make The Cut: Lyoto Machida, Phil Davis, Alexander Gustafsson Middleweight 1) Anderson Silva2) Chael Sonnen3) Vitor Belfort4) Michael Bisping5) Mark Munoz Didnt Make The Cut: Yushin Okami, Brian Stann, Demian Maia Welterweight 1) Georges St. Nike Air Max 90 Mænd Tilbud . Langer appeared to be in trouble when his second shot on the par-5 18th ended up in the rough short of the green. He hit a brilliant pitch to 5 feet and made the putt after Slumans birdie attempt rolled just wide. SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- North Carolina has beaten Michigan State, Kentucky and reigning national champion Louisville in this up-and-down season, but the Tar Heels were no match for No. 2 Syracuse. A strong start keyed by James Michael McAdoo vanished amid the Oranges flailing arms and diving bodies, and Syracuse beat UNC 57-45 on Saturday in an Atlantic Coast Conference marquee matchup. Forwards C.J. Fair and Jerami Grant combined for 32 points and 20 rebounds to pace the Orange, who shot a season-low 35 per cent (21 of 60) and still won handily, leading by as many as 19 late in the second half. "They got by and won a game shooting 35 per cent," said UNC coach Roy Williams, who dropped to 1-4 against Syracuse in his Hall of Fame career. "The first six or eight or 10 minutes, I thought we were aggressive. We were involved. I thought after that point they were just so much more aggressive than we were. It ends up a 12-point game, but it really was more than a 12-point game. "They had so much more intensity than we did." Not at the start. North Carolina attacked the middle of the Syracuse zone with great success at the outset, with McAdoo hitting a pair of jumpers and J.P. Tokoto another from the foul line as the Tar Heels gained an 8-4 lead in the first 4 minutes. "We started slow, let McAdoo get in the lane," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said. "Once we got back in front, our defence was good the whole game." The Orange regrouped after a timeout and went on a 17-5 run keyed by Fair and Grant, who did all the scoring. Fair, who had three early turnovers and was struggling at the start, hit a 3 from the wing and converted three free throws to give Syracuse a 19-15 lead, and two free throws by Grant completed a 10-0 spurt that put the Orange on top to stay, 21-15 at 8:53. The Tar Heels cooled off in a big way after the solid start, unable to penetrate inside. After Paige converted a three-point play with 13:04 left, UNC got only a fast-break slam dunk by McAdoo, a layup by Nate Britt and a jumper in the lane by Leslie McDonald in the ensuing 11 minutes and went into the locker room at halftime trailing 34-22. "Forr us, not being able to get looks -- we were successful early in the game.dddddddddddd Thats really on us, McAdoo said. "And also them being really good." Syracuse (16-0, 3-0 ACC) evened its all-time record against the North Carolina (10-6, 0-3) to 4-4. UNC started 0-2 in ACC play three times in the past five years and five times overall, and the loss to Syracuse equaled the worst conference start in school history in 1996-97, Dean Smiths final year as head coach. The last time North Carolina scored fewer than 45 points was in a 56-44 loss to eventual national champion Villanova in the Southeast Regional final of the 1985 NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels also beat North Carolina State 45-44 in February 1997. UNC shot 2 of 12 from behind the arc against the Syracuse zone and 20 of 51 (39.2 per cent) overall and was outrebounded 41-35, 17-10 on the offensive glass, netting just two second-chance points. "They were just playing harder," said Tokoto, who finished with three points on 1-of-6 shooting. "Thats pretty much what it was. We couldnt knock down the shots we needed to make and go on our run." The Tar Heels dont play again for a week, when they host Boston College. "Cant go backwards," Tokoto said. "Its on to the next game. Just got to look at the film, look at what we did wrong as a team, and where we can improve on." North Carolina was coming off a 63-57 home loss to Miami in which the Tar Heels shot just 31 per cent (20 for 65) and finished with a season-low scoring output against Miamis zone. This game, which featured teams with a combined 3,990 wins (UNC is third with 2,100 and Syracuse fifth with 1,890) was decided by a dominant first half by the Orange. Tyler Ennis finished with 10 points and seven assists to go with a season-high four turnovers, and Trevor Cooney had five steals and 10 points on 4-of-17 shooting. Rakeem Christmas contributed eight rebounds and had four of the Oranges nine blocks. Marcus Paige led North Carolina with 17 points and McAdoo had 15 points and nine rebounds. Desmond Hubert suffered a concussion in practice Friday and did not play against Syracuse. cheap jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys Landon Donovan Jersey ' ' '
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20:49, Mar 16 2018
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