ball, and he leaped to his feet to pick it up and race

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MessagePosté le: 27/12/2016 09:07:15    Sujet du message: ball, and he leaped to his feet to pick it up and race Répondre en citant

Three months. In July, newly minted Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal announced it would take three months for his team to show true progress through his approach. Although were past the three-month stage, it seems more appropriate to have that conversation now that were three months into Premier League play. Its performance in actual competitive matches and subsequent results that are most indicative of progress. Yet, sitting here in November, 11 games into the Premier League season, we still have no idea what Manchester United is or what they can be. 16 points from 11 games and sitting seventh place after a £149 million summer spend has many eyes rolling. The cheap shot David Moyes could have done that commentary is tiresome. Moyes taking the job at Real Sociedad will grab the attention of many in the Northwest of England, who will unquestionably be casting judgment about what kind of job the former boss does in San Sebastian. The comparisons that will follow between Moyes and Van Gaal will be irrelevant and frankly a bore. Different men, a different approach with very different looking teams. So we move forward. Extenuating and trying circumstances have greatly hampered Van Gaal and his introduction to the Premier League. Injury isnt an excuse until it actually is a reason. Injury and suspension have made it impossible to gauge whether the foundation Van Gaal has put down is good enough. Through it all, United are only two points back of fourth place West Ham with Champions League football next season remaining a reasonable objective in a league full of flawed teams. It was another slow and sluggish performance in a makeshift 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace Saturday. No cutting edge. Too slow. No cohesion. It was the kind of performance from a team thats a work in progress. Good players unsure of themselves and their positioning. The standard is so high at United that its a strange sight to see a team struggling as such with so many high-priced players. This is a time Van Gaals idea of progress will come through cultivating the minds and approach of his players. Success for the rest of us will come through results and quality of winning performance. But with this team, at this time, there is no accurate barometer. It is too early to tell if success is on the horizon. The fundamental difficulty in judging United is the players themselves. 31 players have played in 11 league games with 36 different players listed on the team sheet. The turnover has been astonishing. Goalkeeper David De Gea is the only player to play every match, and only he and Wayne started both the opening game of the season and Saturday against Crystal Palace. Nine players were out injured and one suspended on the weekend - a recurring issue with the team. Centre-back has been symbolic of change in system and personnel. With Paddy McNair and Daley Blind starting at the position Saturday, and the match ending with what looked like Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher as centre-halves, United have now used 12 different central defensive combinations. Thats 12 in 11 games. This is no longer a place where centre-back stability was a given, with the likes of Bruce-Pallister or Ferdinand-Vidic deputizing and being integral to team success. These are extraordinary measures for any manager to deal with, let alone a new one coming off a late arrival after World Cup duty and an inconvenient, yet necessary pre-season tour. Its also extremely difficult for players to find consistency with great change around them. Six key players brought to the team in the summer require time to gel, as do a number of call-ups from within the United ranks. Great change in personnel is one thing; change in system is another. Van Gaal freely admits the change in tactical approach is less than ideal. The pragmatic nature of his week-to-week team selection and formation is done out of necessity rather than training pitch design. United have played a 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-5-1 which has more or less dissolved into a 4-1-4-1. And the formations continually change within matches through adjustments by the manager or the players showing a lack of discipline in said position. The win against Palace exposed all of what has plagued Van Gaals set-up: players out of position, unbalanced in formation and lacking cohesion. The back four continues to take the brunt of criticism (inexperience and a revolving door of players will do that). The root of the teams problems lay in midfield. Im assuming Ander Herrera has only been on the team-sheet for the last three matches to fill a spot: emergency situations only. The Spaniard came back far too soon from a fractured rib and struggled wearing a corset against West Brom three weeks ago. He only lasted 45 minutes. The midfield without Herrera is quite frankly a mess. Even with Herrera, it can be argued there is a complete imbalance in personnel. Blind and Carrick are comfortable on the ball but far better operating from deeper positions. With this the case, it seems Van Gaal may resort to a double pivot once his back line returns to health (which is no given). From there, more issues arise. Angel Di Maria is a no-brainer down the left. The Argentine has struggled recently as the formation has changed, looking unsure of his role and even mores of his teammates. United still have too many number 10s - Rooney, Juan Mata, and to a lesser extent Marouane Fellaini. Fellainis positional sense is a mess, and cannot be trusted in a more defensive role. That leaves the right side, where Adnan Januzaj has taken up the position. The 19-year-old has experienced a hesitant start, failing to beat players on the dribble and looking awkward on the right flank. At this point it seems reasonable for Januzaj to be no more than a reserve on the left. The right side of the field has no proper fit unless a fit Ashley Young can find any kind of form or Antonio Valencia develop some real attacking prowess. Bottomline, the right side has a gaping hole. Van Gaal must decide what formation he wants to play and bring in requisite bodies to execute. Or else this patchwork midfield group will continue on with all their visible imperfections. Which brings us up front. A lack of team speed is an issue. Robin Van Persie is a technically sound player who lacks pace to break down the opposition at this stage of his career. A healthy Radamel Falcao would be ideal, but there is no guarantee when or if he will be back to his old tricks. James Wilson looks lively, but lacks the polish to be the lone target-man. The issue of team speed starts in the midfield, with no player other than Di Maria able to play the game with true pace. Luke Shaw is the one source of speed out of the back, but is not on the same page as Di Maria. So the current set-up is less than ideal and too predictable. The end result is a team with top players, not fast enough, healthy enough, or cohesive enough to break down opponents, particularly inferior ones intent on putting 11 behind the ball. This is not to say this group does not have the ability to get to that level. But right now, everything remains too direct, lacking creativity. Rooney as a centre-midfielder is by default. Januzaj on the right is desperation. As are midfield players playing in the back. Manchester United is like a house with a bunch of nice furniture with none of it going together. Everything seems out of place. A house without a solid foundation will crumble, no matter the bells and whistles. United have many impressive pieces. We are no nearer to finding whether they are a match. Thats Van Gaals challenge right now: do enough to pick up results while meticulously perfecting his design. When he says it will take three-years to achieve the results desired, its an honest assessment of the team he has and where it needs to go. Just because you spend a lot of money doesnt guarantee results. If it were only that simplistic. Top players only take you so far. After 11 games in a mediocre Premier League, makeshift may just be enough for this work-in-progress Manchester United team to achieve top-four. And even if they do, we still may need more time for a complete assessment of the new Manchester United. Gareth Wheeler @WheelerTSN Darren Woodson Womens Jersey. Edmonton opened the season with 14 straight victories before falling Friday night 10-8 to the host Colorado Mammoth in National Lacrosse League action. Gavin Escobar Womens Jersey. Ibrahimovic put PSG ahead when he got in front of his marker to neatly flick in Lucass cross in the 59th minute. New signing Yohan Cabaye came on as a second-half substitute and headed Ezequiel Lavezzis cross against the post in the 87th. Moments later, Lucas set up another goal from the right when fellow countryman Alex turned in his corner with a strikers finish. Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller and Tim Jitloff underlined the squads enormous potential on the Rettenbach glacier in Austria. L. P. Ladouceur Cowboys Jersey. The second-ranked Jayhawks will play the Miners of Texas-El Paso at Imperial Arena in the Bahamas. The game can be seen live on TSN2 starting at 7pm et/4pm pt. Benson Mayowa Cowboys Kerry, In the closing minutes of the second period of Game 4 between Pittsburgh and Columbus there were the remnants of two broken sticks behind the Pittsburgh net.MINNEAPOLIS - The Carolina Panthers came out of their bye, still carrying a legitimate chance of repeating as NFC South champions despite persistent problems on offence and defence.Better put special teams on that list, too, thanks to the Minnesota Vikings.Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen each returned blocked punts for touchdowns, the first time in 24 years one team had two in the same NFL game, and the Vikings handed the Panthers their sixth straight loss with a 31-13 victory on Sunday.Its really disappointing. Its frustrating. Every adjective you can come up with, its that, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen said. Right now were not very good.The Panthers (3-8-1) entered the stadium just a half-game out of first place, but they again stumbled out of their annual in-season week off. They fell to 0-4 after the bye under coach Ron Rivera, and they havent won since Oct. 5 against Chicago.Just as damaging were wins by division co-leaders Atlanta and New Orleans on Sunday, bringing both teams to 5-7, but as Olsen tersely put it after the game, the playoff talk is essentially irrelevant with the way the contenders-in-name-only Panthers have been playing after going 12-4 last year.I told the guys weve got four games left to go. Were going to play all four games, expect to win all four games, and keep going from there, Rivera said.The Vikings (5-7) are well behind in the NFC North, but they had plenty to smile about on this frigid afternoon. Griffen had two of the four sacks of Cam Newton, and Teddy Bridgewater threw for scores to Kyle Rudolph and Greg Jennings without a turnover.The rookie led the Vikings on just their third opening-drive touchdown of the season and their first since his debut on Sept. 28 and guided an 11-play, 80-yard drive to push the lead to 28-6 with 16 seconds left before halftime.I think Im better at just making quicker decisions, said Bridgewater, who went 15 for 21 for 138 yards.Newton, on the other side, turned in another unremarkable performance. He was intercepted for the eighth straight game and finished 18 for 35 for 194 yards and one touchdown, plus 49 yards on nine rushes.I have to come in each and every day with a clear mind to try to get better, because I have yet to play a great game in my opinion, Newton said.Here are some key points to know about the game:BRRRR!This was the seventh-coldest game in Vikings history, with a kickoff temperature of 12 degrees and a wind chill well below zero. They are playing outside this year for the first timme since 1981.dddddddddddd This was only the second under-25-degrees game the Panthers had played since the franchise began in 1995. They played in the NFC championship game after the 1996 season at Green Bay with a kickoff temperature of 3 degrees.BLOCK PARTYGriffen picked up the ball after Jasper Brinkleys block in the second quarter and ran 43 yards for the touchdown, but he was more impressed by Thielens all-in-one play in the first quarter. He burst through the middle unblocked and was so deep in the backfield he had to be careful to avoid a penalty for running into punter Brad Nortman.I got so far in on him that I had to move my hands down. It probably wouldve hit me in the face, but I blocked it with my hands, Thielen said.His dive landed him on the ball, and he leaped to his feet to pick it up and race 30 yards into the end zone.Thats unbelievable. He blocked the kick, he picked up the kick and he scored, so he got like 10 points on one play, Griffen said, using a generous scoring formula. Thats awesome for him.The last time a team scored on two blocked punts in an NFL game was on Sept. 30, 1990, when Kansas City did it against Cleveland. This was also the first blocked punt return touchdown by the Vikings since Oct. 12, 1986, against San Francisco, the longest active NFL streak without one.BREAKING UPXavier Rhodes had three passes defended for the Vikings and helped limit Panthers star rookie Kelvin Benjamin to five receptions for 56 yards. Newton targeted Benjamin 12 times.TRAINING ROOMThe Panthers reported injuries to free safety Tre Boston (ankle) and running back DeAngelo Williams (hand), but Rivera said he didnt know the severity of either. Vikings defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd had a sack in the first quarter before aggravating a knee injury that kept him out the week before. Linebacker Anthony Barr also hurt his knee that has given him some discomfort this season. Coach Mike Zimmer said neither of them were serious.PATTERSON LIMITEDCordarrelle Patterson had his usual spot as kickoff returner for the Vikings, but he was barely used as a wide receiver. Zimmer said the absence from the offence was not disciplinary but rather because of knee trouble that kept Patterson out of practice on Wednesday and Thursday.Feel like Im 100 per cent. I feel like the coaches didnt feel I was 100 per cent, so they decided to hold me out. I respect them for that, Patterson said.___AP NFL websites: and china nfl jerseys ' ' '
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