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Please Read Before Posting / Manchester United remind Arsenal
« on: April 27, 2018, 01:05:04 AM »
Arsenal have only three away games left in the Premier League this season but happily there is still time for Arsène Wenger to return to Manchester United, the scene of many of the highs and lows in his extraordinary career.

One suspects the image that will surface most often this weekend is the iconic one of Wenger banished to the stands in 2009, arms outstretched at the pettiness of it all after being told by match officials that kicking a water bottle in frustration was far too grievous an offence to be allowed to remain on the sidelines.
There are other, happier memories. A win at Old Trafford put Wenger on the way Authentic Brandon Williams Jersey to his first Double, a single Marc Overmars goal in March 1998 cutting Manchester United’s lead at the top of the table to six points – some Manchester bookmakers had already paid out on bets on Alex Ferguson’s team retaining the title – as Arsenal entered a 10-game winning sequence that would see them crowned champions by a single point.
Slender as that margin appeared at the time, Arsenal’s tremendous run-in gave an early indication of the consistency of which they would prove capable under Wenger, as well as usefully preventing United winning six titles in a row to draw unflattering comparisons with the Scottish league.
Later there would be the Battle of Old Trafford and then the Battle of the Buffet as Arsenal grew into their role as United’s chief challengers in the early noughties, even if another few years brought the infamous 8-2 defeat that confirmed by 2011 they had rather lost their way.
More than anything, though, more than the prospect even of a last touchline grimace with José Mourinho or a cheery hello from Alexis Sánchez, Arsenal are visiting a stadium that stands as an enormous monument to what is at stake when the time comes to replace the sort of transformative manager who has given years of service to the task of successfully reinventing a club.
No one could dispute that Wenger is up there with the very best in that regard. While some might quibble about the lack of a European Cup, all the deserved testimonials have stressed the fact that this is a man who altered English football, not only the club of which he was in charge.
There is no need to run through Wenger’s achievements and innovations here when they have been all over the news for the past few days. Only the very best managers make themselves unsackable, and in the years of gradual Arsenal decline, that became part of a unique problem.
Ferguson before him had assumed such a position of strength and control at his club that he was able to choose his own retirement date, yet crucially United kept winning. Even with comparatively ordinary sides in unremarkable seasons, even with the emergence of Chelsea and Manchester City as rivals with deep pockets, Ferguson averaged a title every other season or better right until the end. That is what big clubs want and need. Wenger was unable to produce it for Arsenal after the dizzy heights of the first decade and, as he himself admitted, around the time that Mourinho was labelling him a specialist in failure: “You cannot pretend you are a big club.”
That, nevertheless, is what Arsenal seem to have been doing these last dozen or so years. There were mitigating circumstances, the Womens Dion Waiters Jersey move to Womens Jimmy Graham Jersey a new ground being one of them and the arrival of petro-dollars in the English game another, though it is hard to sell yourself as the biggest of clubs when you make do with Champions League qualification income and the occasional FA Cup.,107979

Please Read Before Posting / Derby’s Matej Vydra bares teeth to
« on: April 26, 2018, 07:08:01 PM »
For most of this match Cardiff looked set to tighten their grip on the Championship’s second automatic promotion spot but by the end Derby fans were crooning merrily about Jason Peters Youth jersey dreaming of a white Christmas.

That was a cheeky reference to the fact this game, originally scheduled for last month, had been postponed due to snow at an unseasonal but very convenient time for Derby, who were suffering from several injuries. Neil Warnock had vented his anger at that postponement, which came as his team hoped to go 10 points clear in second place. Now they are only one point ahead of third-place Fulham, with Aston Villa are also lurking dangerously.

“Well, I can’t blame the weather for the goals we conceded,” said the Cardiff manager sardonically after seeing his team defend with uncharacteristic sloppiness to allow Derby to score three times in the second half.
While casting doubt on Cardiff’s promotion hopes the result breathed new life into Derby’s, as two goals from Cameron Jerome either side of one by Matej Vydra lifted Gary Rowett’s side into the play-off places. At one point this season Derby looked a good bet to go up automatically but the way their challenge had dwindled in recent months led to Rowett suggesting the club is cursed.
“I was just trying to get myself out of the firing line by saying it was a curse,” admitted Rowett after this win. “It’s difficult to put your finger on why it’s happened five seasons in a row but until we can change it and get promoted that’s always going to be levelled at Derby.”
It did not look like changing here when Callum Patterson gave Cardiff Authentic Tyreke Evans Jersey the lead in the 28th minute with a crisp volley after a cross from the left by Joe Bennett. Scott Carson, Derby’s goalkeeper, had barely had a meaningful touch up to that point but Cardiff nearly beat him again two minutes later when Junior Hoilett went close. The visitors might have also gone further ahead before half-time if the referee had blown for a penalty after the ball struck Bradley Johnson’s hand in the box. Cardiff were looking sturdy even if Derby’s pace on the break was a concern. By the hour Rowett had decided it was time for a new approach so cast on Vydra to forage behind Jerome.
Still the home team struggled to produce enough precision to unhinge the well-organised visitors. Gary Madine was guilty of inaccuracy, too, in the 65th minute, as he skewed a shot wide from nine yards after a Cardiff break.
The cost of that miss soon increased. Derby’s equaliser was surprisingly straightforward. After messy defending by the visitors, Richard Keogh sent a header into the box and Jerome held off Sean Morrison before diverting the ball past Etheridge from six yards
Vydra completed the turnaround by lashing into the net from 12 yards after a cut-back by Wisdom. Jerome made sure of the Brian Urlacher Jersey result in the last minute, pestering Morrison into another mistake before shooting past Etheridge. They now face a trip to Aston Villa on Saturday and their final game is at home to Barnsley.
“That [defending] is not like us,” said Warnock, whose last two games are at Hull and home to Reading. “It’s a match we should have won but, as I said to the players, every team in the Authentic Patrice Bergeron Jersey league apart from Wolves would love to be where we are. And at least we know what we have to do now: win the last two games.” cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys china wholesale nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / leave Roma needing new miracle
« on: April 25, 2018, 08:42:47 PM »
Of all the mesmerising nights Liverpool have experienced under Anfield’s floodlights in the European competitions, where does this one stand? Up there, surely, with Saint-Étienne in 1977, Olympiakos in 2005, the fightback against Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and all the other famous occasions. Liverpool have added another exhilarating one to an already extensive list and, barring an almost implausible feat of escapology from Roma, can start looking forward to the final in Ukraine on 26 May.

The only possible note of caution is that Roma have already overcome a 4-1 first-leg deficit in the Stadio Olimpico against Barcelona in the quarter-finals. On that basis Jürgen Klopp was entitled to be dismayed by his team’s carelessness when they had a 5-0 lead. Yet perhaps the manager miscalculated by withdrawing Mohamed Salah, who had scored twice and set up two of the others. Roma promptly scored two of their own and, somehow, a hitherto rampant Liverpool side had to endure a nervous climax against reinvigorated opponents.
Ultimately, though, it was another triumphant night for Liverpool – a scintillating performance, for the most part – and Klopp’s team will head to Italy for the return in a position of strength. True, it might not have been the position they anticipated when they led by five goals and were threatening to add even more. Yet it was a smile on Klopp’s face at the final whistle. Liverpool might have been disappointed not to inflict a quick kill but they have inflicted grievous damage and, on this evidence, they should be confident about adding more goals when the sides meet again on Wednesday week.
Roma played well for the opening 20 minutes and found some new momentum in the final quarter of an hour. In between, however, Serie A’s third-placed side looked in need of smelling salts. Liverpool attacked from every angle. The din was extraordinary and Salah had such a hold on the match that it felt almost like a trick of the mind to realise that the fifth goal, when Roberto Firmino headed in James Milner’s corner, did not have the Egyptian’s fingerprints all over it.
At that stage, with 69 minutes gone, it would not have been a surprise if Liverpool had emulated, or even bettered, the seven goals that Manchester United scored past Roma in the 2007 quarter-finals. Instead there was a strange and unexpected end to a wild and eccentric evening. There has never been a semi-final in the Champions League with more goals and, if nothing else, at least Roma kept the tie alive with their late show of resistance. Yet the point remains that Liverpool ought to be enthralled with their night’s work.
In the process Salah Orlando Cepeda Authentic Jersey scored his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season. Sadio Mané added another to his personal collection and Roberto Firmino scored two of his own. Together, those three have accumulated 87 goals this season. Mané’s finishing might have been erratic sometimes but he quickly realised he had the beating of Federico Fazio, the former Tottenham Hotspur reserve. Firmino rarely disappoints on the big occasions and for long spells it was difficult not to pity Eusebio Di Francesco’s team. Roma were taking an almighty chasing.
More than anyone, it was another night to savour the little guy with the magic in his feet and enough manners to hold up his palms in front of the away end to apologise for his first-half goals. Salah scored 34 times in 83 appearances for Roma but this performance was another reminder that he operates now at a different level.
His first goal was a peach – a curling, diagonal shot that went in off the underside of the crossbar – but the second was not too shabby either. Firmino slipped the pass through the middle and once Salah reached the ball first there was a sense of inevitability about what would happen next – a touch to steady himself, a quick look up and then an impudent chip over Alisson, the Roma goalkeeper, almost in slow motion.
When Manchester City came here in the quarter-finals Liverpool inflicted the damage with a blitz of three goals before half-time. This time they restricted themselves to Salah’s double but one of the Cincinnati Bengals Jersey more attractive traits of this side is that, when they are in a winning position, they always go looking for more goals. Another team might have prioritised a clean sheet in the second half. Liverpool, on the other hand, sensed a rout, attacking from every angle, with Salah at the hub of everything.

Please Read Before Posting / Andrés Iniesta begins glorious
« on: April 24, 2018, 11:39:57 PM »
There were two minutes to go in the final, his final, when Andrés Iniesta began the long walk goodbye.

Slowly, swallowing hard, eyes red, he made his way across the pitch, team-mates coming to embrace him as he went, and all around the Metropolitano supporters got to their feet, applauding. They stood in the Barcelona end and they stood in the Sevilla end too. Iniesta’s name rolled around, accompanying him until he ducked out of sight, taking a seat on the bench. He sat there for a little while, tears forcing their way through, and then he got up again and went to collect the Copa del Rey, alone.
It was the 34th title of his career and a 35th will follow, but it was this one that felt like it marked the end: the last waltz. As he climbed up to collect the trophy, down on the grass Barcelona’s players waited for him, much as they had waited for him when, 51 minutes into his 670th game for Barcelona, he scored the fourth goal, ensuring that this would always be his night: the Iniesta Final.
Collecting Lionel Messi’s pass, with a gentle shift Jordan Richards Womens Jersey of the hips, just a hint of a pause, he stepped past David Soria and rolled the ball in. He jumped into the air and at some point in that leap, sadness crept into the celebration, nostalgia flooding the stadium. They knew what this meant.
Any doubt disappeared when they saw the Barcelona’s players’ reaction, more eloquent than anything they could have said. “There were a lot of emotions in that goal,” Iniesta admitted afterwards. “Lots of emotions, lots of feelings, lots of years. I really wanted this final to go well and I’m happy.” The normal huddle broke up and then, almost one by one, they waited for Iniesta, a moment each. Eyes closed, Messi held him in an embrace that may become the image of the final, maybe even a generation; he held on just that little bit longer, like he didn’t want to let go.
There was something in that. In good times and bad Messi looks for Iniesta, and in bad times above all. It is in those moments when he seeks security, assurance, that he most wants the Spaniard at his side. “I know Authentic Michael Brantley Jersey how difficult it is to do what he does,” Messi says in Iniesta’s book, The Artist.
“On the pitch I like him to be near me, especially when the game takes a turn for the worse, when things are difficult. That’s when I say to him: ‘come closer’. He takes control and responsibility.”
It is a simple solution, successful for well over a decade and expressed on Saturday night, like a portrait of their era, Barcelona producing a performance that may have been as good as any since Wembley 2011. And yet time waits for no man, not even the man who sometimes seemed able to control it. You can slow the clock, but not stop it and when Messi looks for Iniesta next season, he will no longer be there; he’ll be 5,000 miles away. 22 years after arriving, 18 after meeting Messi, 16 since his debut, Iniesta is leaving Barcelona; he’s leaving Spain too, for China. An announcement is expected this week.
At 33, a starter in 24 of 33 league games and eight of 10 in the Champions League, on course to win a league and cup double, it may have come too soon. That, certainly, was the conclusion drawn after Saturday night. China looks incongruous. The headline on the front of AS on Sunday morning said it all: “Iniesta, don’t go!” But the appeals for him to stay, while they express that hope that he might yet change his mind, will also reinforce his belief that this is the right time to go. The right way, too: remember me like this.
Although Iniesta wouldn’t say so, something broke last year, and while a momentary fix was found, a “lifetime” contract signed and his role renewed, he didn’t want to leave too late, a long goodbye from the bench. Nor did he ever want to face the club he joined aged Authentic Andrew Cogliano Jersey 12.

Please Read Before Posting / Wembley specialist Olivier Giroud
« on: April 24, 2018, 06:01:59 PM »
Mind transfer, that seemed the best explanation. In the moment Olivier Giroud cracked open this FA Cup semi-final for Chelsea, he must have temporarily swapped brains with Eden Hazard.

That would explain how the 6ft 3in Frenchman was able to dance through a compact Southampton defence like a man a whole foot shorter; first inside then outside, keeping his balance after being tripped, before adjusting his feet to poke the ball into the goal. As soon as the net rippled, the brains must also have switched back, allowing Giroud to celebrate in the chest-out, peacocking fashion he has made his own.

So that’s one theory. Another is that for a man renowned for his functional qualities, Giroud is a dab hand at scoring exceptional goals. There’s the scorpion kick of course, scored last year for Arsenal against Crystal Palace, his movement like that of a man who had miscalculated a cartwheel in the most glorious fashion. But there have been others too. He has scored backheeled front‑post flicks for both club and country. He has a knack for setting himself up for a scissor-kick. Give him the space and he will also larrup a drive in off the bar from 25 yards, no questions asked.
Last weekend Giroud was the active agent as Chelsea clawed their way back from two goals down to beat Southampton 3-2 in the Premier League. In that game the substitute embodied all the qualities Antonio Conte Marian Gaborik Womens Jersey venerates but were so lacking in his team-mates; strength, determination, full-blooded commitment. In midweek against Burnley Giroud was given a starting role, alongside his striking rival Álvaro Morata. This weekend, he started alone up front with Hazard and Willian buzzing around him.
An FA Cup winner in two of the past three seasons, Giroud has won all 10 of his club appearances at Wembley. He jokes that the national stadium is “my garden” and he played the first half like a man determined to do some landscaping.
A team that thrives on the counterattack does not suit Giroud’s natural game and what impact he made in the opening 45 minutes he had to carve out for himself. He flashed a Hazard cutback around the near post in the 25th minute. He won a corner through persistent pressing. In the 39th minute he took a looping cross from César Azpilicueta and tried first to backheel it into the net and then, when the ball simply span up in the air, smashed it just wide with that scissor-kick of his.
So the Giroud of the first half was that which you expect. The Giroud that began the second half was not. It helped that he got himself close to Hazard; the Belgian, playing near to his best, knew just where his forward was lurking. But after Hazard poked Giroud the ball few would have anticipated the balance, guile and, ultimately, follow through that led him to turn the ball home.
There was a worrying moment for the Chelsea No 18 just before Andrew Adams Jersey the hour when Oriel Romeu left something on him in a sliding challenge. Giroud’s left leg was caught under Romeu’s right and quivered as Datone Jones Womens Jersey the Spaniard put his weight through it. His team-mates surrounded him in concern. Giroud moved to Chelsea to try and save his place in the French squad at this summer’s World Cup and for a minute it looked like the dream was going up in smoke.
But Giroud struggled to his feet and played on. He was substituted with 10 minutes of the match remaining. At full time he hobbled off the bench again in his flip-flops to milk the applause of the crowd. Mbappe, Griezmann, Dembélé et al will all hope to star for Les Bleus this summer, but it seems unlikely that Didier Deschamps will not select Giroud too. Here, in his garden, he reminded everyone that his particular set of skills is not entirely common, and effective more often than you would think wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys from china cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / Arsenal fans ambivalent despite
« on: April 23, 2018, 07:36:20 PM »
The promise had come from Ivan Gazidis. Arsène Wenger’s final game at the Emirates Stadium, the chief executive thundered, would feature “a send-off that the world will take notice of”. That is for later – 6 May against Burnley, to be precise. But what of the manager’s third last home match and, more importantly, the first since the announcement on Friday that he would walk away from Arsenal at the end of the season?

The hope and, indeed, the expectation had been for an outpouring of affection to mirror that seen from within the game and across social media since the bombshell was dropped. The idea from the club was also that the players would be galvanised for one final push – primarily to see them win the Europa League and salvage the season. They are back here on Thursday night for the first leg of the semi-final against Atlético Madrid – an occasion that Gazidis believes will be “electric”.
Yet this was a curious afternoon, marked by much of the ambivalence and frustration that has characterised the season, even if Arsenal cut loose towards the end to win and win big. The scoreline flattered them.
One of the many reasons that the Arsenal higher‑ups have been spooked into parting with Wenger has been the low turnouts in recent home Premier League fixtures. Season-ticket renewals have been down. An apathy has run through sections of the fan-base.
But the anticipated return of the disgruntled on sentimental grounds did not happen. Once again, the stadium was pockmarked by empty seats. It will doubtless be a different story for the visit of Atlético and, surely, Burnley but could Wenger’s goodbye not have stretched from two to three games?
A loud chorus of “One Arsène Wenger” rang out in the 90th minute – when Arsenal were 4-1 up – but it was noticeable that the home crowd sang his name on less than a handful of other occasions. None of the chants were sustained. It was a long way from being an appreciation of what Wenger has put into the club over nearly 22 years.
There remained an undercurrent of boredom, the sense of drift, which is another LaAdrian Waddle Youth jersey reason why Wenger has reached the end of the line, although it should be Dominic Moore Authentic Jersey noted that Arsenal’s Premier League season was over some time ago.
To Wenger, it was business as usual and he set the tone in the opening line of his programme notes with a classic of the understatement genre. “I’m sure you are all aware that …” he wrote, by way of introducing his looming exit.
He devoted another short paragraph to it before getting back to the only thing that matters to him – a discussion of the football.
The feeling around the club has changed since the confirmation of Wenger’s departure. Over the turbulence of the recent past, it has been rare to run into much pro-Wenger material from the fans but when they were asked by the club via Twitter on Friday for their memories of him, the messages were exclusively positive. Twitter can sometimes feel like a sewer. Not here. There were many touching tributes.
Wenger had strode off the team bus at a little after midday to a roar from a group of 30 or so fans who had access to that part of the stadium – this never happens – and when he took his seat before kick-off, he heard applause from those behind him and a brief chant of his name. He gave a cheery wave. It had to T.J. McDonald Authentic Jersey be said that neither the applause nor the chant went round the ground.

Please Read Before Posting / deserves a fitting farewell
« on: April 22, 2018, 11:01:06 PM »
deserves a fitting farewell
All things must pass. Even, it turns out, the glorious, unrepeatable and by the end strangely Willie Snead Authentic Jersey interminable reign of Arsène Wenger Womens Tyrann Mathieu Jersey as manager of Arsenal Football Club. Womens C.J. Fiedorowicz Jersey After 22 years in charge Wenger has announced that he will retire at the end of the current season.

It is a departure that has been pencilled tentatively in to the footballing calendar for as long as anyone cares to remember; but which still arrived on Friday morning like a long-delayed bereavement, jamming the phone-in switchboards and flooding social media with the usual mess of rage, regret and irresolvable argument over a hotly contested legacy.

The news of Wenger’s departure came not from his own lips at one of his bi-weekly press conferences but via an official statement – fittingly so for a man entirely bound up in this footballing institution, who almost feels like a physical component of that looming glass and steel super-stadium.
There will now be a sense of deep fascination around Arsenal’s final seven or possibly eight games of the season, a run that would take Wenger up to a mind-boggling total of 1,236 matches in charge. Not to mention, of course, an air of genuine sadness.
Throughout English football’s violent structural changes of the past three decades there has been something reassuringly immovable about that gangling figure with the hawk-like frown, the turban of grey hair, arms flapping at his sides like broken deckchair struts, utterly captivated at all times by the spectacle in front of him.
Wenger will retire three months short of his 69th birthday, in the process bringing to an end one of the great, transformative, utterly distinctive careers in British sport.
He joined Arsenal in the summer of 1996 from Japanese football as an almost total unknown in this country, an entirely left-field figure, but agreeably intense and jarringly articulate in his fourth language. All this at a P. J. Williams Authentic Jersey time when the idea of a successful overseas manager in England was still likely to draw a frown of weary scepticism.
Fast forward 22 years and during the Wenger era Arsenal have spent £750m, won 16 major trophies and fielded 220 players, almost a third of all players to play for Arsenal. In the process the manager has been the key figure in the total transformation of every part of the club, including the creation of a spectacular era-shifting North London stadium that Wenger took to as though it were his own hard-earned kitchen extension.
More than this Wenger has been both a reforming force in British football and a figure that reached out way beyond the remit of his sport. Those first few years in England are notorious to the point of cliche for the infectious cultural changes enacted around a grand old club that had fallen into a state of lager-stained despond by the middle of the 1990s.
These were the Grilled Broccoli Years, when Wenger strode the footballing landscape like our own thin white duke, bringing yoga and vegetables and a focus on a more refined, technical style to his initially sceptical, ultimately devoted squad of players.

Please Read Before Posting / Monumental Iago Aspas shows
« on: April 22, 2018, 05:37:05 PM »
Every day when the tide goes out on the beach of Moaña where the Atlantic reaches deep into Galicia, María joins the groups of women carrying buckets and wearing wellington boots, making their way across the wet flats.

Together they collect oysters and mussels by hand, loading them up to be taken to the market in the town. It is hard work and María’s son, 30 now, has suggested she leave it all behind but it is what she does and what she has always done; what she, like many women in Galicia, is. So, there she is each day with her friends, heading across the sand. He, meanwhile, climbs into his old VW Golf, a bit battered now, noisy too, and drives over the Rande bridge across the water to Vigo, where he plays football.
“It’s my life,” María told Galician TV. Football is his; it is all of theirs. Only one of the Aspas brothers doesn’t play, and an uncle and two cousins play as well, as did their dad, although not at their level. Urbe, like his father, is a goalkeeper while Jonathan is at Pro Piacenza, a midfielder who played for Spain from U15 to U20 level but never made a senior appearance. His younger brother did, although he had to wait until he was 29, and then he scored on his debut – at Wembley. He is a striker for Celta de Vigo and Spain and the question now is not whether or not he travels to Russia this summer, it is whether he starts. Henrik Zetterberg Womens Jersey And perhaps he should. Because while this has been said before, it’s worth saying again: Iago Aspas is very, very good at football.
He always was, even if he couldn’t always show it, just maybe not this good. Some have even dared ask if he might be the best player Celta have had, better than Alexander Mostovoi, Aspas’s idol and the subject of this work of art. Few have been so popular, that’s for sure.
Iago was 12 when a 16-year-old Jonathan made his debut for Celta and eight the day he first turned up for trials at the club, which was a problem: they had to be at least nine. So, they lied and never before have a club been happier to be conned. He has left twice – as a kid he was briefly released to a local team called Rapido Bouzas and then there were the disappointing spells at Liverpool and Sevilla – but it is 20 years there now. And if it happened late for a player who didn’t make a first division debut until he was 25 and had to come go away and come back to fully find himself, it has happened now. He is better than ever.
Javier Maté, the man credited with finding him, told El Mundo: “No kid lived football like him; he could tell you the goalkeepers of Pakistan.”
Above all, though, he knows his club. “At Balaídos, he even knows where the seagulls shit,” Maté said. A Celta fan who once said that he wouldn’t even have a girlfriend who was a Deportivo supporter, he has occasionally lost his head and it has occasionally cost him. At youth level, he Luke Appling Womens Jersey was running at a red card every fortnight, some joked. It was an exaggeration but there was something in it. He missed what would have been his first Corey Perry Womens Jersey call up to the senior side because he was sent off for the B team. The game he missed was a derby and he was heartbroken. In another meeting with Deportivo, the club’s first for six years, he was sent off, veteran striker Mario Bermejo declaring: “When you go to bed with children, you wake up covered in piss.” Despite that, he became an idol. Or perhaps it was because of that. When he went, they needed him to go; when he came back, they welcomed him home. The return was good for him, opportunities afforded that he had not had in Seville or on Merseyside, and the experience away had helped too: there was a lesson there and Moaña was his place, Balaídos too.
He matured, although he never entirely left that kid behind: Aspas plays the way fans like to think they would: wild, frantic, desperate to win. He scored twice on his debut as a 21-year-old rescuing them from probable relegation to Spain’s regionalised, four-division Segunda B, and maybe even from disappearance, and 23 times in the second division to return them to primera. Since then, he has scored 12, 13, 19, and now 20. No Celta player has got 20 or more for 60 years. Only three others have ever done it. wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china

Please Read Before Posting / off their seats every time they play
« on: April 20, 2018, 07:25:50 PM »
I have heard Jürgen Klopp cite inspirations as varied as heavy metal music and Rocky Balboa so I wouldn’t be surprised if the Liverpool manager was also familiar with Aristotle. After all, Klopp showed in January that his football philosophy is very much in line with the great Greek thinker who believed that “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”.

Klopp shocked many in the football world when almost four months ago he sanctioned the sale of his most technically gifted player, Philippe Coutinho, who had been outstanding in the first half of the season and did not replace him like for like, causing supporters and pundits to question everything from his judgment to his sanity. Instead he recruited a centre-back in Virgil van Dijk and trusted his instinct that the team would improve as a consequence.
If you reflect on some of the commentary and analysis of Liverpool at the end of the January transfer window you would assume that their performances would tail off without the genius and creativity of Coutinho and that they could not possibly withstand the loss of a world-class player.
Instead fast forward to mid‑April and I cannot remember a time when Liverpool have been in such a strong position and fans so hopeful in the short and long term to fight for the top trophies at home and in Europe.
The narrative which Klopp has superbly orchestrated is a story about the victory of team functionality, philosophy and identity where the importance of team chemistry, understanding of individual roles within a system and collectivism is evident. This is vital in a sport where increasingly more importance is placed on the individual superstar and the size of transfer fees and wages that come with that kind of player.
What Liverpool have achieved this season, especially since Coutinho moved to Barcelona and they acquired Van Dijk, should be lauded and studied by fans, pundits and aspiring coaches such as me in understanding that success can be built even while losing top individual attacking players if you have a fundamental style of play that enables a team to outweigh the sum of its parts and produce not just winning football but get supporters of all allegiances off their seats every time they play.
Klopp has shown that you can improve a side while selling your best player if you cater to the needs of your most productive players in the way that you play and it is no coincidence that the signing of Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain has tactically enabled the likes of Sadio Mané, Roberto Firmino and the outstanding Mo Salah to be even more of a threat.
Oxlade-Chamberlain, while a gifted footballer, does not have the technical ability of Coutinho but what he does bring is an athletic dynamism and power that Coutinho doesn’t possess and an extreme intensity which creates a platform for Liverpool’s lightning transitions where the likes of Mané and Salah cause havoc. Julius Peppers Youth jersey It was evident in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester City L.C. Greenwood Youth jersey where in that first half their pressing, counterpressing and attacking transitions were incredible and I question whether, if Coutinho had been playing instead of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Liverpool would have been quite as dynamic, intense and productive.
Also, in addressing their need for a top centre-half Liverpool now possess an added defensive steel, giving their outstanding front three the opportunity and foundation to score and create goals. I also look at the fundamental way Klopp sets out his teams and the way that individuals within his system have improved because they know what is expected of them. wholesale nfl jerseys from china wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys from china wholesale jerseys from china

Please Read Before Posting / with Premier League in Asia
« on: April 19, 2018, 10:49:24 PM »
Spanish teams may have been knocking English teams out of Europe this season but challenging the Premier League in Asia is a much tougher prospect. La Liga has talked before of making inroads in the east and, like a young Rocky Balboa, it is ready to do whatever it takes to knock the grizzled No 1 off its perch.

Despite the PR overdrive it will be tough for a league that has always appealed more in the Americas than Asia but, with varied strategies that do not depend on the tired route‑one tactic of sending glamour teams east every other summer, La Liga’s approach is almost tiki-takae-sque.

The prospect of competitive games, unprecedented loan deals, genuine partnerships, corporate deals, extensive social media engagement as well as the obvious attractions of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, constitute a mobile challenger that has to be taken seriously.
In December el clásico kicked off at what was 1pm for the teams, a time to suit audiences in Shanghai, Singapore and New Delhi, just some of the cities with an office opened by La Liga in recent years. The idea of “Game 39” was savaged a decade ago when raised by the Premier League but it is now on the Madrid table. “La Liga is global entertainment and we want to grow the international appeal,” the president, Javier Tebas, said in September. “As part of that effort Luke Appling Authentic Jersey we are discussing the option of playing some of the league matches outside of Spain.”
Last month Manchester United said the Saudi striker Mohammad al-Sahlawi would train with them for three weeks. That is nothing. In January nine Saudi Arabian players were sent to clubs in the top two tiers in Spain on loan. Fans there may not like it but La Liga is eager to increase its popularity in the country and the continent. Individual clubs involved were soon announcing sponsorship deals with Saudi companies.
After badly received Asian tours, such as Real Madrid to China in 2005 and Barcelona’s visit to South Korea five years later, teams who behaved as if they were doing fans a favour, there is now a new breed of La Liga official. They are humbler Jorge Soler Youth jersey and readier to treat Asian counterparts Authentic Timothy Liljegre Jersey on a more equal footing than their predecessors in Spain and some of their counterparts in England. Football people in China and south‑east Asia whisper how these officials have the energy and ambition that the English had not long ago.
La Liga is learning and so is Asia. Ben Tan, the deputy chief executive of the Thai League, says: “We know there have been problems in the past with one-sided arrangements but we are ready to work together and create a win-win situation.” The Thai League is to announce a partnership with La Liga this month and Malaysia did something similar in January. Tan adds: “We will work with them on youth development and marketing and all kinds of fields. We can also help bring them closer to Thailand fans.”
There are challenges, as Tan admits. “Real Madrid and Barcelona don’t need any promotion but we can work with teams like Real Zaragoza, for example. The Premier League may be the most entertaining league but there is room for Asian fans to look at other leagues.”
Barça and Madrid are perhaps the two biggest clubs in the world but are seen almost as separate from La Liga itself. “If we exclude the two most popular clubs from each league,” says Yuan Bi of Titan Sports in Beijing, in reference to Liverpool and Manchester United, “then the gap is large in China. English football is more competitive and there are different clubs for Chinese fans but only two in Spain. If you want Chinese fans to watch more games, then there have to be more than two clásicos every season.”

Please Read Before Posting / victims of their own success
« on: April 19, 2018, 12:29:49 AM »
Chelsea’s manager, Emma Hayes, is no stranger to pressure. She led the club to the WSL1 and FA Cup double in 2015 and won the 2017 Spring Series. Yet this season the pressure has mounted in a very different way – and that is not a reference to her pregnancy with twins. Making the switch from a summer to a winter season has taken its toll.

With Chelsea fighting for trophies on three fronts, the business end of the season has become brutally congested. The switch was designed to fit better with the international calendar and help teams to maintain momentum in the Champions League. Yet slotting matches around the clustered calendars of the women’s and men’s games, coupled with a Orlando Cepeda Youth jersey swath of postponements because of the cold winter, has wreaked havoc on the two teams still battling in Europe: Chelsea and Manchester City.

Hayes, not known for being shy in voicing her opinion, has been brutal in her criticism of her team’s scheduling nightmare in recent weeks, this Sunday labelling Champions League success a “tall order for Corey Crawford Youth jersey an English side” as a result.
She is not repeating herself for the sake of it, because the extent of the problem was clear in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final between Chelsea and City, who are separated by three points in the league (second-placed City having a game in hand) and vying for the WSL1 title.
Such was Chelsea’s difficulty that the late sickness of the forward Ramona Bachmann forced Hayes, who arguably has the strongest squad in the league, to name only four substitutes. Hayes described it as a challenging week with players suffering personal difficulties, injuries and sickness.
The crisis was compounded in the buildup to this Sunday’s Champions League semi-final against Wolfsburg (and Wednesday’s trip to Everton beforehand) by Maria Thorisdottir being taken off on a stretcher with an ankle problem. Meanwhile, Chelsea’s two‑goal match winner against City, Fran Kirby, having been sent home before England’s match against Bosnia-Herzegovina to look after a niggle, had a thigh wrapped up with ice as soon as the whistle blew. She insists she feels good but it is clear they are sailing close to the wind with her fitness.
City have similar problems. Having lost a host of players to injury after Christmas, derailing their league domination, they had eight call-ups to Phil Neville’s squad for the Lionesses’ recent World Cup qualifiers. To put that in context, Reading, not competing on three fronts as City were at the time, provided the next highest James Develin Youth jersey number: three players.
In some ways City are a victim of their own success but most teams have had players rested and training together at a crucial and busy juncture of the season while Nick Cushing has been without the core of his squad and had them at full pelt against Wales and then Bosnia‑Herzegovina in key internationals.
At the season’s close, Chelsea will have played 12 midweek fixtures (with two games still to be scheduled) and City 13 (with one still to be slotted in). That is approximately one-third of their matches. The latest for City comes on Wednesday at home to Sunderland. Their Champions League opponents, Lyon, who beat City at the same stage last season, will have played seven midweek Jon Bostic Youth jersey fixtures come the end of the season, with two pairs of those coming consecutively with week-long breaks in between.
When Lyon, the four-times Champions League winners, arrive at the Academy Stadium they will not have played for a week. While City were digging deep at Chelsea, Lyon put 11 past the second division side Arras FC away in the French Cup, with six different goalscorers (including an Ada Hegerberg hat-trick).

Please Read Before Posting / Harry Kane on target for Tottenham
« on: April 18, 2018, 06:48:19 PM »
It was on this day last year that Brighton ensured their promotion from the Championship. On Tuesday night at the Amex Stadium they took a small step Mike Piazza Jersey towards retaining their Premier League status for another season.

The fiendish nature of their run-in has been well-documented and Chris Hughton’s team must still face the Manchester clubs, Liverpool and Burnley in their final matches. They needed something, anything, to allow them to breathe a little easily after a worrying run of one point from an available 15. This was it.
The horror of Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Crystal Palace was forgotten as Brighton put their bodies on the line to earn precious reward. The roar from the home crowd at the full-time whistle told its own story. Brighton are eight points clear of third-from-bottom Southampton, although they have played a game more.
Tottenham have a bigger match round the corner in the shape of Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United and Mauricio Pochettino appeared to have one eye on it with his team selection. He made six changes from Saturday’s home defeat by Manchester City and omitted Davinson Sánchez and Dele Alli from the squad entirely. He gave Toby Alderweireld his first Premier League action since 28 October and the centre-half was not overly extended.
However, Pochettino made the point yet again that the league was the priority. The personnel changes, he said, were purely down to fatigue from the City game. “If we win the FA Cup, Kelly Oubre Jr. Jersey we are not going to play Champions League,” Pochettino said. “You only do that if you finish in the top four. Today was the most important game.”
For Tottenham it felt like points dropped. Pochettino was entitled to say that his team had “dominated” the game in terms of possession and territory but he was also on the money when he lamented a “lack of aggression” in the final third. They were unable to create sufficient clear-cut chances.
Harry Kane put Spurs in front with his 26th goal of the Premier League season – his Golden Boot rival, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, has 30 – but Brighton showed their strength of character with an instant riposte through Pascal Gross’s penalty. Hughton had given him Ronde Barber Jersey the responsibility after a couple of penalty misses this season by Glenn Murray.
Tottenham’s lead over fifth-placed Chelsea could be cut to five points with four matches to play when their London rivals go to Burnley on Thursday. But theirs remains a position of strength. Three of their final four matches are at Wembley – against Watford, Newcastle and Leicester – and the other one is a trip to West Brom.
Pochettino’s team sought to impose their pressing game and they sparked danger on a number of occasions when they forced errors from Brighton high up the pitch. Gross was guilty of the stray pass that set in motion the move for Kane’s goal at the beginning of the second half.
He put Gaëtan Bong in trouble, the left-back was tackled by Victor Wanyama and, when the ball broke, Son Heung-min tried to run round Lewis Dunk on the byline. Son did not look to have the room but he benefited from the spin of the ball, which remained on the right side of the line, and the alarm bells sounded when Kane swooped. He crashed home from close range. cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys china cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / PSG are champions
« on: April 17, 2018, 08:38:08 PM »
Few clubs could canter to a treble and end the season disappointed, but Paris Saint-Germain have made a habit of it recently. They won the Coupe de la Ligue earlier this month, wrapped up the Ligue 1 title on Sunday night with a ludicrous 7-1 trampling of Monaco and are likely to pick up the Coupe de France in a few weeks’ time. You might think that such an effortless domestic campaign would be stabilising for the club, especially after they were ambushed by Monaco last season, but the PSG “project” is under more pressure to develop than ever.

PSG have won the last seven domestic cups in France and only missed out on the league last season due to Monaco’s irresistible form. Monaco’s threat has been removed this season, largely by themselves. Leonardo Jardim had hopes of defending the title but that proved impossible after his team lost so many significant players. Jardim accepts that the club moves in cycles – winning the title was the culmination of one such cycle, which allowed them to sell their main assets and start again €300m better off. With Monaco in transition this season, PSG were free to gallop clear.
Of course, PSG took the opposite Nate Thurmond Authentic Jersey approach last summer and splurged €400m on Neymar and Kylian Mbappé – employing their usual “solution”. Despite all their managerial changes and new players – Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2012, Edinson Cavani in 2013, David Luiz in 2014, Ángel Di María in 2015, Julian Draxler in 2016 and so on – their results in Europe have remained disappointingly consistent. The limp Champions League exit at Manchester City that hastened Laurent Blanc’s departure in 2016 was no worse than the debacle in Barcelona under Unai Emery the following year. And the less said about their inept second-leg display against Real Madrid this season, which will cost the Spaniard his job, the better.
Their defeats in Europe over the last three seasons have not led to wholesale changes at the club. More big-money stars are expected to arrive this summer, with Paul Jrue Holiday Authentic Jersey Pogba a target, FFP-willing; the manager will be replaced again; and the new boss will also take over without having unanimous support from all factions of the club.
The club’s owner, Emir Al Thani, seems to have chose Thomas Tuchel rather than Porto’s Sérgio Conceição (sporting director Antero Henrique’s first choice) or Carlo Ancelotti (the option favoured by some of the key players). At first glance, Tuchel seems to be a smart appointment. He has a reputation for being an innovative and versatile coach who can build a successful side if given time and the right conditions. PSG could finally develop some identity. But again, Tuchel looks set to be forced into the same box as Blanc and Emery, underlined by a reported two-year offer, which reeks of the same short-term thinking.
For Tuchel to succeed in Europe, PSG’s hierarchy have to throw out the methods that have repeatedly hindered their progress. They need a more holistic, longer-term approach to squad development. Last summer they should have signed a goalkeeper, a defensive midfielder and a left-back but they prioritised bringing in two forwards for the sake of brand recognition.
The influence of a cliquey squad needs to be broken. Divisions in the camp are so ingrained that Le Parisien designed a Venn Diagram outlining each social group; the Brazilian contingent supposedly has so much power that Emery was Scott Laughton Jersey dissuaded from removing Thiago Silva as captain after the loss to Barcelona last season. Some players are afforded too much latitude, none more so than Neymar, who threw an extravagant, drunken birthday for the entire squad nine days before the Real Madrid tie, was allowed to go back to Brazil and miss domestic cup matches, and clashed with Emery in training.
The club’s focus on huge signings and established names continues to squeeze out developing, homegrown talent. Emery often looks like a passenger but, to his credit, he has made strides in giving more opportunities to established youngsters; Giovani Lo Celso, Presnel Kimpembe and Adrien Rabiot have been occasional bright spots this season, although none of them have shone consistently throughout the campaign. PSG generally ignore the depth of their own academy – in contrast to Monaco, Lyon and their European “peers”, who often have a core of youth graduates interwoven with established players. cheap jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys

Please Read Before Posting / Jonathan Wilson jerseys
« on: April 16, 2018, 11:39:23 PM »
The statistics offer some measure of Manchester City’s greatness. They have won the title with a month to spare and are on course to set records for points gained and goals scored. Achieving that in an era when there is, theoretically at least, a big six – when they are not just steamrollering much weaker sides – is extraordinary.

But the stats are only part of it and probably not the main part. One does not have to be José Mourinho or one of his acolytes to realise that, with the money City have spent in the two years since Pep Guardiola took over, a failure to challenge would have been an intense disappointment. But it is the way that money has been spent that marks them out.
City may have outlaid a net £360m under Guardiola but their most expensive player is Aymeric Laporte, brought in for £57m. They have not done what Paris Saint‑Germain have done – or even what Manchester United have done – and spent a huge amount on a couple of big‑name players.
Rather they have targeted their spending so well that when Mourinho started sneering about City’s purchase of £50m full-backs, the barb rebounded and highlighted the fact that his two preferred full-backs are both 30-something converted wingers.
There was a joke doing the rounds last summer that featured Guardiola excitedly telling Sheikh Mansour, City’s owner, that he could win the league title with the most beautiful football imaginable and that all he needed to do that was the best two players in the world in every position. And that, essentially, is what has Klay Thompson Jersey happened. There will always be those who see the money spent as detracting from the beauty but Guardiola has also improved players and he has blended them to accentuate their assets. Yes, money has been spent but City have got full value for it.
And that is the wonder of this City team. The statistical milestones do not tell the full story. They are not definitive. The record points tally is for now 95, held by Mourinho’s Chelsea in the first season of his first spell, 2004-05. They were, without doubt, a very fine side, one of the best of the Premier League era, but did they stir the heart as City have?
Perhaps they did, with their organised muscularity enlivened by Damien Duff, Arjen Robben and Joe Cole. Aesthetics, after all, are to a large extent subjective. It is entirely reasonable to argue for the thrill of the United treble-winners of 1998‑99 with the contrasting wing play of David Beckham and Ryan Giggs and the intermovement of Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke. Or for the blend of pace and finesse in the Arsenal Invincibles side of 2003‑04.
Or, reaching further back, the sudden blossoming of Clayton Kershaw Womens Jersey Liverpool in 1987-88, when the signings of John Barnes, Peter Beardsley and Ray Houghton complemented John Aldridge and added a swagger to a unit that had previously been largely efficient with moments of brilliance. But that is where an aesthetic evaluation strikes a problem.
Spectacular as that Liverpool were – as exemplified by their 5-0 win over Nottingham Forest in April – and although they got to the FA Cup final, it would be hard to make a case that they were better than, say, the side of 1983‑84 that did the treble of European Cup, League and League Cup or the 1976-77 side that won the European Cup and the League and lost in the final of the FA Cup.

Please Read Before Posting / Jay Bothroyd jerseys
« on: April 16, 2018, 06:09:22 PM »
As Jay Bothroyd settles into his 18th season as a professional he has already achieved everything he set out to do as a child chasing a ball around the playground. Now, however, he wants to create history in Japan. The striker plays for Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo in the country where he has spent the past three years of his career and has started brightly this season with two goals in his opening five league games.

It looked as if Bothroyd was heading away from top-level football when he left England in 2014 for the Thai club Muangthong United but the low standard he found there prompted the former Cardiff striker to force his way out, moving to the J-League 2 side Júbilo Iwata. Bothroyd became a favourite with the club as he propelled them back up to the top flight, something which helped him to settle easily into Japanese life.

“I always look back, not that I’ve got any plans on finishing soon, but when I do retire from football I can look back at my career and Womens Jared Veldheer Jersey say that when I decided I wanted to be a professional footballer in the playground when I was an infant I would have said: ‘I wanted to play in the Premier League, I want to play for my country and I want to earn a lot of money’ and I’ve done all three of those. I’ve achieved all my goals and I want to keep achieving as much as I can for as long as I can.”
Bothroyd, 35, is still looking to better himself and finally lift a trophy, something he has not done since being part of the Arsenal team which won the FA Youth Cup in 2000. Triumph in Japan would increase his cult status in Sapporo and send Bothroyd down in history, a personal milestone for which he is striving. “I would like to be the first English person to win some silverware in Japan, that would be a big achievement for me. I am happy, I’m the highest‑scoring British person in the J-League ever and Gary Lineker was here, so that’s an achievement. I just Anton Stralman Womens Jersey want to keep trying to be the best I can be, work hard, keep myself in shape and enjoy each day.”
Back home not many have taken notice of Bothroyd’s achievements abroad but he recently made headlines in England for blacking out in a training session. “I’ve got epilepsy, I haven’t got it really badly but I do have epilepsy and it’s something I’ve had since I was young, so it’s just one of those things you learn to live with.
“That was the first time I’ve actually had a seizure in football on the pitch, it had never happened to me before. The reason it did happen is because I forgot to take my medication for a couple of days and it caught up with me. I’ve got to take medication each day, I don’t see it as a disease, I see it as a condition and I embrace it. When that happened to me, loads of people contacted me and sent letters to say they didn’t realise you could be a sportsperson, achieve your goals with the condition. People were saying they were going to let their kids play football again, so I’ve helped influence people in a positive light.”
Asia is not Bothroyd’s first foreign adventure. He spent two years at the Italian club Perugia from the age of 20, fulfilling an ambition cultivated every weekend watching Football Italia on the sofa with his father growing up in Islington, north London.
One of his team-mates in Serie A was Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saadi, a man who became a friend of Bothroyd’s during their time at the club. Gaddafi failed a drug test while with the club and would feature only once. In recent years he has faced a number Womens Hunter Pence Jersey of accusations including murder, drug use, misappropriating properties through force and armed intimidation when he led the Libyan Football Federation. After football he became a special forces commander and was under United Nations sanctions after commanding units to repress the revolution in his homeland brutally and is being held in prison awaiting trial for the murder and torture of a former footballer. wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys

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