I’m still not sure I totally understand this phenomenon that started last week or why it’s caught on so vociferously but if everybody else is on the train, I’m sure not going to be the one left behind.These shirts* will be on sale for $15 on Knoblock just north of Cowboy Book (see map below) at 9 AM on Saturday morning before the Texas Tech game. Whatever is left over I will sell online at the beginning of next week.I will send a tweet when we have things set up (so make sure you follow me on Twitter). I’d love to have you come by, say hey, and pick up a shirt. Plus, you’d be supporting the blog by making a purchase! And if Gundy names a new QB between now and Saturday…well…uh…..we’ll always have that West Virginia game!Also, I will be sending a special coupon to all my email subscribers to get the shirt for $10 on Saturday instead. If you haven’t signed up to receive emails yet, do so here and I will send the coupon email information out this Thursday or Friday.Lastly, so I can get an idea of how many to order, I would appreciate you letting me know what your plan is (it’s anonymous!)Loading…All aboard[1. And ALL of the coeds]!!*These shirts have been approved by OSU’s director of compliance. You’ll have to go elsewhere (Big Red in Norman) to find an NCAA violation.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
The Uni Roundtable is a tad late this week — I honestly forgot about it with all the Gundy2Gainesville hubbub at the beginning of the week — but hopefully as enjoyable as ever.Let’s get on with it.Porter: First things first, who won the OSU-UT uni matchup?Southwell: OSU easily won even with a repeat combo. I like that Texas mixed it up with the metallic logo, and their all white looks alright.If we keep this streak of scoring less than 20 points, we might revert back to W-O-W and W-W-O only.(elderly alumni initially approve then realize that’s not a good thing).And what was the deal with Phantom Fiber?[1. Carbon Fiber Resurrection. Zombie Fiber. I’m having too much fun making up names for a helmet that might not be real. Until then, RIP Carbon Fiber.] Can we expect to see it this weekend or did we get trolled by the equipment staff?Cunningham: I was happy I snuffed out the Carbon Pete bluff. Tweeting that out on a Wednesday was just too weird.As for Texas, I was in the press box. And this was my reaction when I noticed something different about the Longhorns’ helmets…When your uniform is as classic as UT’s you don’t need to do much. This was a subtle, fantastic addition.Kyle made a great point about UT’s uniforms earlier in the season: They are less “practice jersey-ish” than they used to be. And he’s right, they were better that way.It’s odd to say that, but it’s true. (How nasty was UT Roy Williams, by the way? Definitely a first ballot Uni Hall of Famer)As for OSU, they just couldn’t help themselves with the superstition. They beat Texas Tech in this combo so they tried it again. It’s a great look (one of their absolute best) but why do a repeat?I was disappointed. Black-Gray-Black is my white wale. It will never be captured.Porter: I’m sure Herman Melville had OSU’s uniform options in mind when he penned the adventures of Cap’n Ahab in 1851.I pretty much always think Texas wins its road uni matchups and this week was no different. OSU’s chrome-black-black is immense but not much can touch Texas’ whites in my book. I thought the chrome-y Horns logo was a good look.I actually saw a lot of people hating on it but I was pleasantly surprised. It was melded as well as you can meld new and old school. Of course I’m more biased towards Texas’ unis than Travis Ford is towards Michael Cobbins so take everything I say with a fistful of Morton’s stock.We’re going to switch gears briefly and I want you to give me your top three NFL uni looks (alternates are acceptable). I know Carson and I are zeroed in on the same squad for this one.Southwell: 1. San Diego Chargers Powder Blue 2. San Francisco 49ers (prefer away) 3. Dallas Cowboys (white)Cunningham: 1. San Diego (Powder Blue) – It’s a crime. Repeat, a CRIME they don’t wear these every home game. I’m not as big of a fan of the updated version:But the throwback version is the best uniform in any sport:2. San Francisco (Home) – Thank goodness they went back to their traditional uniforms. These things are simply stunning when they come on the HD broadcast.3. Chicago (Home) – This was a tough call (love what Buffalo is doing these days, Raiders are still great) but the tradition and mean-ness of the Bears homes makes my top three..Kyle mentioned last week Georgia’s red is different than everyone else’s red. Same goes for Chicago’s Navy. I love the GSH on the sleeves (George Halas’ initials), the letter C on the helmet, the stripes, the numerals.All of it is great.Southwell: I put Dallas in as my No. 3, but my gosh it’s tough to beat the Bears. Great list, Carson. I really like their throwbacks with the orange numbers, no outline. I wish they would wear their helmet logo with those.Those sleeves and socks are iconic.My bias for the Cowboys could be blurring my vision; I’m starting to think that the Bears are a true top three pick.By the way, what do you guys think about this Baylor blackout promotion? Why do you think OSU hasn’t done it yet?Cunningham: Funeral for Oklahoma State football? Mourning RG3’s time in Washington?I remember OSU tried an official blackout for the 2009 Texas game. It went poorly and Texas won 41-14. I’ve never like contrived blackouts. It just seems…high school-ish.If everyone organically and uniformly decides to unite it can be glorious. No promotion special t-shirts or anything is needed.Porter: Yeah I’m with Carson — not a fan of the promoted color schemes unless you’re going to go all-time like this:This is going to put Tennessee’s checkerboard to shame if it’s is executed right! #Mizzou #TigerStripeFaurot #SEC pic.twitter.com/aC3trtXD4O— Kaylee Glyder (@KayleeGlyder) October 9, 2014Otherwise it feels hack-y — like stuff bad teams do to get people to come to games (which, I guess…)As for my top three NFL unis…I’m going:1. 49ers away — They’re perfect. Niners gold = Georgia red = Bears navy and the white and red are the perfect accent.2. Pats throwbacks — Everything you want in a throwback. Simple, great logo, color scheme rocks. Brady’s hair (wait..)3. Eagles throwbacks — Sort of convinced this is why Chip Kelly took the job.Southwell: We’re in some disagreement here. Tennessee’s checkerboard was pretty legit and OU’s candy cane look is one of the only cool things OU does.Georgia had the intimidation factor with their blackout.I get that OSU wants to keep the Sea of Orange, but when it’s cold enough, people are wearing black coats over their orange shirts. Pretty much a blackout.It’s like Thunder Playoffs on a bigger scale. Not necessarily for bad teams. It looks great when it’s done right.Cunningham: Eh, looks cool for the Goodyear Blimp, I guess.I was really disappointed in Miami. This game was a chance to finally make the FSU-Miami rivalry relevant again. And while I understand wearing new uniforms for a primetime, national broadcast… this looked nothing like Miami.The dark gray with the orange (copperish) helmets just didn’t work. It was pretty gross, actually. Not to mention it was an affront to years gone by.FSU did their part with the traditional gold-white-gold. The U should’ve worn white-orange-white. No need to mess with a traditional, powerful look.[1. When I was in high school, a majority of the football teams in Oklahoma copied Miami’s 2001 uniforms. Everyone HAD to have them. They were that cool at the time.]If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Oopsie.Emmanuel Ogbah would look might nice lined up in front of Malik Jefferson right now down in Austin. Somebody forgot to hit the “offer scholarship” button though. Ogbah would also fill the void of NFL talent at Texas this year.Charlie Strong has a massive uphill climb in Austin. NFC front office guy told me the Longhorns may not have 1 player drafted in 2016— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) September 2, 2015AdChoices广告“I was a pretty big (Longhorn) fan,” Ogbah (who is from Houston) told the O’Colly which pointed out he never got the offer. “I went to a couple of games. I went to a game when they played Oklahoma State.”“It’s kind of like a grudge thing when I play Texas,” Ogbah said.To be fair, nobody recruited Ogbah. Here’s a look at all of his offers.Probably because he looked like this.#BodyByGlass ? pic.twitter.com/RVCcbfGUIn— Kyle Boone (@PFBoone) August 14, 2015Still, that was a coup by Oklahoma State.“We like the players we have here,” said Mike Gundy on Monday. “Sometimes we take players that other people don’t think are up to par to play at this level for whatever reason. But I’m a firm believer in our system and what we do here. I believe we make players better than they really are and it helps in the long run and it creates a great chemistry for our group.”
Arsenal The next Conor McGregor? Arsenal youth star Nelson airs MMA ambition Chris Burton Last updated 2 years ago 19:45 10/19/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Arsenal Premier League The teenage forward is starting to make a name for himself with the Gunners, but is already piecing together plans for life after football Reiss Nelson is hoping to have a long career at Arsenal ahead of him, but is already planning to follow Conor McGregor into the world of MMA.The 17-year-old has forced his way into the first-team fold at Emirates Stadium this season, making his senior bow in Carabao Cup and Europa League competition.Arsenal 17/20 to beat Red Star Belgrade Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player There are high hopes for him in north London, with Arsene Wenger clearly a fan of what the promising forward can offer.Nelson, though, is also starting to piece together long-term plans for the future, with the youngster admitting that he can see himself swapping the football field for a fighting cage.He told the Arsenal Magazine on his love of mixed martial arts and McGregor, who recently switched sports himself to face Floyd Mayweather in the boxing ring: “I watched the McGregor fight.“And for the first couple of rounds I felt he was doing really well and he had Mayweather on the back foot, so I was confident that it would be a good fight and he might win, but then as the rounds went on he got pretty tired. “I knew that from his previous UFC fights that he may tire out, like he did against Nate Diaz, and that’s what happened. Mayweather had his way in the last couple of rounds.“I was backing McGregor all the way. I’m a really big UFC fan. I think his aura and his personality are really great. I like to watch a lot of his documentaries and his vlog, and I think he’s just come up from nothing really. He was a plumber before he became a fighter, he’s worked really hard and his story is great.“In some ways, I look up to him as a sportsman. His work rate and the effort he puts in is immense.“I like Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone a lot too. He’s a very good fighter, very versatile and uses a lot of kicks in his style. I really like the flying knees and all of that, but no one really does that sort of thing anymore, people tend to grapple much more, but I love that style.“MMA is something that I may want to get into after football. I spent some time over the summer doing a lot of kickboxing and I just felt that it was something I enjoyed doing a lot.”For now, Nelson is fully focused on his football, with the talented teenager telling Goal in an exclusive interview that the challenge for him is to fulfil his potential and justify early comparisons to some of the biggest names in his chosen field.He said in the wake of recent comments from Martin Keown likening him to Brazilian superstar Neymar: “That is a very big stretch to say something like that.”Neymar is world-class and if I can get anything close to him in near future, I’d be delighted.”I’m still young and anything can happen.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
FIFA Club World Cup Al Jazira boss jokes he’ll borrow two buses from Mourinho to keep out Real Madrid Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 16:05 12/13/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Goal/Getty FIFA Club World Cup Real Madrid Al Jazira v Real Madrid Al Jazira Primera División José Mourinho Manchester United Premier League Dutch coach Henk ten Cate has called on the help of the Manchester United manager, who has been criticised for his perceived negative tactics Al Jazira coach Henk ten Cate suggested his side need to “park three buses” in order to keep out Real Madrid, joking he’ll borrow two from Jose Mourinho.Narrow wins over Auckland City and Urawa Red Diamonds have booked a glamour tie against the European champions in the semi-final of the Club World Cup on Wednesday.And Ten Cate suggested his team will take a leaf out of Mourinho’s tactical playbook for the clash at Zayed Sports City Stadium, with the Manchester United boss having been criticised for a perceived use of negative tactics. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “We need three buses,” the Dutchman joked on Tuesday. “Maybe Mourinho can come by and stick two more buses in front of our goal.”Dreaming is OK, but you must not become stupid, you must be realistic. And if you are realistic, the chances of winning are not really big.”The difference in quality is just too huge. But my team will fight, like they did before, they will fight until the bitter end.”#RMCWC Lights, camera……and action from today’s training session coming up! #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/3AWdm7kiOV — Real Madrid C.F.🇬🇧 (@realmadriden) December 12, 2017 Ten Cate hinted Al Jazira’s players could be overawed by the prospect of facing Madrid’s star names such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.”If you look up to big players, we watch every day the Spanish, German and English leagues, now you are facing someone like Cristiano Ronaldo who has won five Golden Balls,” Ten Cate said.”And now you are standing next to him in the tunnel to enter the field to play a game against him. I can only imagine what that means to those boys. They are super motivated, I hope they are not too nervous, it’s going to be alright I think.”We don’t need to motivate the players, especially the young ones. They play PlayStation on the bus when we go to away games and a lot of them support Madrid, so they know all the players.”It’s kind of funny as the same boys playing the PlayStation on the bus are tomorrow facing the real stars. It’s really for them probably a life-changing situation.”Being here with Al Jazira is probably my biggest thing I did. In the semi-finals of the Club World Cup with a team from the UAE, it is something you almost cannot imagine. We are here and we are proud to be here.”It’s a big surprise that we are sitting here. Nobody expected it. We only believed in it and dreamed of it so it’s a big thing for us. Playing against a big club is going to be something special for all of us. I think our achievement puts the country, UAE football, on the map. Achieving what we have will help give UAE football a boost.”
Transfers ‘Lewandowski would be perfect for Chelsea’ Chris Burton 18:37 12/16/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Transfers Chelsea Robert Lewandowski Bayern München Bundesliga Premier League Former Blues player and coach Ray Wilkins believes the Polish forward would be a fine addition in January, but doubts a transfer could be arranged Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski would be the perfect January addition for Chelsea but an almost impossible target to land, says Ray Wilkins.The Polish frontman has seen his future at the Allianz Arena called into question after expressing his frustration at player recruitment.He is, however, still one of the most prolific forwards in European football and a player Bayern would be reluctant to part with. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Chelsea would likely be among those in the hunt were the exit door to be opened in Germany, but Wilkins concedes a winter move would be difficult to pull off in the first window of 2018.The former Blues player and coach told Sporting Bet: “When you’re Chelsea, or any top club for that matter, you’re always looking for Champions League calibre players, most of which are already playing for teams in the competition and therefore are registered and won’t be able to play in European competitions for you. You have to look at teams who have had the unfortunate situation of dropping out of Europe.“It would have been lovely to see Bayern Munich knocked out and Robert Lewandowski come to Chelsea but that’s unlikely to happen. He’s a player I’d love to see come to Stamford Bridge.“Unless they pull a gem out of the bag, it’s a difficult to window to play in.”While conceding that a move for Lewandowski is unlikely, Wilkins has echoed comments from Frank Lampard in which the Blues legend suggested that Antonio Conte needs to bring in another striker to help Alvaro Morata shoulder the burden of goalscoring responsibility.He added: “I agree with Frank’s comments. I think they need another striker of quality.“[Michy] Batshuayi is not my cup of tea. I’d have had [Tammy] Abraham or [Dominic] Solanke on the bench instead. I would put [Eden] Hazard up alongside Morata and go for it. They would give teams absolute hell. If you release Hazard of all defensive duty, he will cause havoc in the opposition half.”
Premier League Arsenal Team News: Injuries, suspensions and line-up vs Crystal Palace Chris Wheatley Last updated 1 year ago 20:40 12/28/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Getty Images Premier League Arsenal Crystal Palace v Arsenal Crystal Palace Everything you need to know ahead of the Premier League clash at Selhurst Park on Thursday Champions League-chasing Arsenal face another key game in their festive fixture list on Thursday when they travel to Selhurst Park to play Crystal Palace.The Gunners are currently sixth in the table, three points behind Tottenham and four away from Liverpool in fourth spot as they seek victory over Roy Hodgson’s improved side.Arsenal were booed off at Selhurst Park last season as they lost 3-0 and saw their European aspirations dissipate amidst away supporters singing ‘You’re not fit to wear the shirt.'”What we want is to stop conceding goals, stop missing chances, but as well I want them all to continue to play with the same spirit, the same determination and the same love of the game,” said Arsene Wenger ahead of the game.The 3-3 draw against Liverpool last week was a further example of Arsenal’s strength of character but it once again showcased their defensive vulnerabilities as they were hit on the counter attack by Jurgen Klopp’s men – something they’ll be desperate to avoid on Thursday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player ARSENAL INJURIES Nacho Monreal has been ruled out after sustaining an inury against Liverpool, while Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey are also sidelined.”Monreal I would say hopefully 10 days, Giroud as I said before is four to six weeks, but he is a quick healer so I am hopeful he will be less. Ramsey should be back at the beginning of January,” confirmed Wenger.Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla remains a long-term absentee with an Achilles injury.ARSENAL SUSPENSIONS Arsenal have no players suspended for this game.ARSENAL POTENTIAL STARTING LINE-UPWenger is likely to stick with the bulk of the team that drew against Liverpool last week, with Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Laurent Koscielny, Shkodran Mustafi and Hector Bellerin expected to make up the defence.Jack Wilshere will continue his partnership with Granit Xhaka in the centre of midfield due to Aaron Ramsey’s absence, while Alex Iwobi could support the triumvirate of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette.The decision over who will play left-back is understood to be related to which formation the Gunners deploy, with Maitland-Niles favoured over Sead Kolasinac when Wenger fields four at the back.CRYSTAL PALACE TEAM NEWS Palace boss Roy Hodgson has taken 18 points from 12 games to guide the Eagles to 16th place, just two points above the relegation zone after taking over with the side bottom of the table.Christian Benteke returns for the game against Arsenal after he was suspended for the game with Swansea, but Mamadou Sakho misses out with a calf strain and Joel Ward is also a doubt with a groin problem.James McArthur is the club’s top scorer with 4 goals to his name so far this season.BEST OPTA MATCH FACTS Crystal Palace have won only one of their last 12 home league games against Arsenal (D5 L6), though it was a 3-0 victory in this exact fixture last season. Arsenal have only failed to score in two of their last 19 league games against Crystal Palace – the 0-3 loss last season and a 0-0 draw at Selhurst Park in October 1997. After losing their first three home league games of the season without scoring, Crystal Palace are unbeaten in their last six at Selhurst Park (W3 D3 L0) and have scored exactly two goals in each game. Arsenal have only won two Premier League away games this season – their joint-fewest tally after nine away games of a campaign in the Premier League era (level with 1994-95, 1998-99, 2000-01 and 2005-06). Arsenal have kept a clean sheet in all three of their Premier League London derbies this season – they haven’t gone four London derbies without conceding since February 1999. Mesut Özil has had a hand in nine goals in his last 10 Premier League appearances for Arsenal (four goals, five assists). Arsene Wenger will take charge of his 810 th game as a Premier League manager in this match; equalling Sir Alex Ferguson’s Premier League record. TV COVERAGE & KICK-OFF TIME The match is being televised on Sky Sports in the UK, while in the United States (US) Crystal Palace v Arsenal can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Slaven Bilic Share on WhatsApp Share on LinkedIn There is a feeling within the first team that they were not worked hard enough in pre-season and that it is too late for them to drastically increase their fitness levels with the season in full swing. Bilic, who is under heavy pressure before Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup tie away against Tottenham Hotspur, spoke about the need to add more dynamism to his team at the end of last season, but his admission the numbers are not lying offered an alarming insight into West Ham’s disappointing start to this campaign.“You are looking at the stats,” Bilic said. “Many times you don’t need the stats to have a feel of the game. Very rarely they are not as your feeling is. Especially at home, our numbers of running is not what it should have been.“In general it is OK but we need to do more running that counts and that is high‑intensity running and sprints. We need to do more of that. We are fit, we are training. We are measuring them in training. It’s good. But sometimes it doesn’t happen.”Bilic explained that the stats had been slightly skewed by the size of the London Stadium. “If you compare with our opponents, they are not very different,” he said. “You can compare the West Ham v Brighton game with the Liverpool v Spurs game, there is a difference. But between West Ham and Brighton, there is not a huge difference. The ball in play at our stadium is less than it is at smaller stadiums. There is not such a big difference between us and our opponent when we play them or when we played away at Burnley.”Although the defeat against Brighton left West Ham out of the bottom three on goal difference, Bilic believes he still enjoys the support from the board and insisted that he has not considered resigning. “I never walked away in my life. There is no problem with my motivation and dedication for the club.”With Bilic’s contract up at the end of the season, West Ham have shied away from sacking him on several occasions in the past year, but their relegation fears will grow if they lose at Crystal Palace on Saturday. Bilic was asked if he considers himself fortunate after seeing Everton fire Ronald Koeman on Monday.“A lot of people think I should consider myself lucky,” he said. “But a lot think differently and that I deserve to be here. The only way that I can turn it in that direction is if we start to get better results.” Topics West Ham United Share on Pinterest news Slaven Bilic’s training methods have come under further scrutiny after West Ham United’s manager accepted that he cannot hide from statistics indicating his players are failing to run enough during games.While Bilic retained his job following talks with the West Ham co‑owner David Sullivan after the home defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion last Friday, figures showing his team have covered the least distance and made the fewest sprints in the Premier League this season have lent weight to concerns about a lack of intensity in training. Share on Twitter Share via Email Glenn Murray’s double for Brighton puts West Ham’s Slaven Bilic on the rack Share on Facebook Share on Messenger Read more Reuse this content
In the end a lot of this boils down to what you think sport is for. If it is to be a distantly consumed third person spectacle, a series of coloured blobs moving on a screen, just one part of the digital leisure experience, than perhaps it does make sense to analyse endlessly the precise, elusive mechanics of why a man has fallen over.Another point of view is that football has drawn its strength and its fascination not from its precision, but from moments of ragged, oddly shaped, endlessly evasive beauty. In his American football novel End Zone, Don DeLillo describes sport as “a benign illusion, the illusion that order is possible … tending always to move towards perfection”.DeLillo is talking about a sport of precisely regulated phases and patterns. The beauty of football is that it carries something of this, but still evades categorisation by pure mathematics, that it is strange and startling in its beauties; and for all the attempts to categorise, still essentially emotional in nature. Referees One of the most striking aspects of the rolling-out of video assistant referees in English football over the last week is the almost daily reminder of the powerfully collegiate nature of referees. Gathered in significant numbers the refereeing community will come on like a particularly strident all-male lobbying group, flaring their neck muscles, explaining their judgments in that strangely tetchy technical language, asserting their right to be respected and supported with an air of lingering threat, like Fathers For Justice in shorts. This is their time now. And they’re going to fiddle with their ear and look stern and pensive for just about as long as it takes.The other striking thing about VAR only became clear to me on Wednesday night at Stamford Bridge as it was used for only the third time inside an English football stadium. The fact is, for all the expertise, the manpower, the money spent, VAR just doesn’t work in football. It diminishes the experience of watching in the stadium. It skews the game decisively one way. It is one of those ideas, like bendy buses, or communism, that would simply be better off abandoned. This isn’t an opinion that will hold any water among those already bound up in the mini-industry of promoting, implementing, and generally waving through the latest digital intrusion. It is also a largely pointless opinion given football seems bent on sticking with VAR. But none of this prevents it from being the correct opinion.Not only for the obvious reason, which is the basic paradox at the heart of the VAR system. Digital referee technology is only tolerable if it is used as sparingly as possible. This seems unarguable given the experiences in Australia and Germany. And yet such restraint is impossible in football, where the default atmosphere is one of unmetered confusion, where the outrage dial is always set at 11, where every straw is the last straw.Refereeing decisions are not the real problem here. The real problem is the ludicrously disproportionate attention devoted to discussing refereeing decisions. The number of actual injustices, as opposed to disagreements, is minuscule next to this overwhelming fog of rage.Let’s face it, people are the problem here. Like the block button on Twitter, like silent touchlines and anger management courses, VAR is just another attempt to cope with and soothe and manage their feelings of disempowerment and alienation. It is people’s rage that demands this, more than any meaningful search for objective truth. Just as the real answer here, as to so many things, is for everyone to calm down a bit.So, you conclude warily: use it as little as possible. Save it for the howlers. At which point the question arises of why bother using it at all. The idea seems to be that VAR will correct or overturn two out of every hundred refereeing decisions.And yet, long experience suggests this is an entirely fruitless search for absolute answers. This is not cricket, where TV replays can establish the definite truth of angles and nicks. More than any other sport football constantly presses itself up against the limits of its own laws, relying on continual judgment calls simply to function at all. There is no objective truth in football. Instead the idea is to play the game at the very edge of what is defined as football and what is defined as foul, an interpretation of various physical movements that depends on the application of a set of descriptive words. What amounts to a grey area is itself a grey area. The areas for debate are always up for debate.It is in order to worry away at this inbuilt uncertainty that the entire experience is currently being diminished. At Stamford Bridge the time spent watching a middle-aged man stand very still looking sad while another middle-aged man watched television in a bunker brought a kind of dissolution. In those moments the air seemed to have been sucked out of the ground, a drowsy numbness falling across the crowd, an awareness of being subject suddenly to invisible outside influence. Whereas, for so long the whole point of the spectacle, the thing that has always marked it out, has been the chance to lose yourself in that communal experience, the joy of complete abandon that for so long was the essence of English football grounds. Arsène Wenger squeezes into the press box for a hack’s view of the action Laws of football Share on Facebook Topics blogposts Share via Email Share on Messenger Video assistant referees (VARs) Share on Twitter Carabao Cup semis, Coutinho’s unveiling and VAR in action – Football Weekly Extra Reuse this content Listen Sportblog Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Read more
Reuse this content Kanté was still offered far too much time to measure his centre and pick out Pedro, eagerly infiltrating space between Ben Chilwell and Marc Albrighton, an unsatisfactory last line of defence with the home side’s centre-halves horribly out of position. The winger, at 5ft 7in, duly leapt to connect before Kasper Schmeichel could punch, and nodded his team’s second neatly over the muddle and Chelsea into the semi-finals. “Maybe he has only ever scored twice with a header: today and our third here last season,” said Conte of the winger’s impact. “It’s great for him, and great for the team. Pedro is another player who puts, in every moment, everything he has for the team. If he starts the game or if he comes on. I’m very happy for him.”It was a winner to deflate the mood inside this arena, all the optimism built up by Jamie Vardy’s equaliser back in normal time suddenly punctured. Harry Maguire would fizz the ball across Willy Caballero’s six-yard box in what time remained, prompting panic yet no reward, but that was as close as Leicester would come to forcing parity for a second time. The locals watched the draw being made post-match and will have cursed a missed opportunity. 0:42 Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest Leicester City Antonio Conte sets Chelsea’s sights on FA Cup final and ultimate victory Share on Facebook Read more Read more Play Video FA Cup semi-final draw: United face Tottenham, Chelsea versus Southampton Chelsea Chelsea’s Morata tries to run his way into Antonio Conte’s good books match reports Conte waved his players off on international duty bolstered by Pedro’s contribution, but also by Morata’s return to some semblance of form. The striker had not scored since Boxing Day but despite a nervy start, has at last made his mark on the calendar year. A Leicester attack had run aground three minutes from the interval, momentum squandered by Kelechi Iheanacho’s slack pass to Mahrez, who eventually surrendered possession to Alonso. Willian, prodded clear by Antonio Rüdiger, would wrestle himself free of Chilwell’s attentions and prise Leicester apart, with his diagonal pass sending Morata galloping between and beyond Morgan and Danny Simpson.The striker took a touch, opened up his body and curled his effort into the far corner. “It was very important for him to score, but at the same time I was very pleased with his whole performance,” added Conte. “He showed great character and that he is strong. This goal will be very important for the future.” As it was, Pedro’s may prove to have been just as critical in sustaining this team’s aspiration for a trophy. The Premier League champions needed this. That midweek exit in the Champions League, while hardly surprising given Barcelona’s reputation, had still stung, and the prospect of leaving the East Midlands with nothing more than the pursuit of a top-four finish to sustain interest over the next two months would have been unpalatable. Now they will meet the relegation-threatened Southampton in next month’s semi-final, with the possibility of last season’s FA Cup finalists going one better this time maintained.There was something rather apt about the unlikely nature of Chelsea’s winner. This had been a frantic mess of a cup tie, exhilarating and infuriating in equal measures. Goals had been exchanged in normal time to prompt the anxiety of the extra half-hour, in which Pedro would provide the decisive contribution.The substitute actually sparked the break which would lead to his winner, collecting inside his own half before shifting possession upfield to Álvaro Morata and ambling forward unnoticed. Morata had supplied N’Golo Kanté, with the former Leicester midfielder using Marcos Alonso’s dart down the touchline as a decoy to draw Wes Morgan from the middle. FA Cup Antonio Conte pleased with Chelsea’s character after FA Cup win at Leicester – video Read more Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Share on LinkedIn “Of course we are frustrated,” mumbled Claude Puel, a former Southampton manager. “We deserved a fairer result. It’s harsh because my players gave their best, and demonstrated fantastic attitude and commitment. I can’t criticise the squad or the players. Now we have to keep this positive attitude and quality on the pitch to finish the season strongly.”That will be in pursuit of a top-seven finish, even if Puel will still be wondering what might have been. The Frenchman would have been convinced momentum had been wrested back in the tie going into the extra period. Leicester, for all their initial urgency, might have trailed at the interval to Morata’s well-taken opener but forced themselves level 14 minutes from time as Chelsea’s concentration momentarily wavered. Riyad Mahrez was permitted to ease beyond Alonso far too easily on the flank, with his centre prodded at goal by Vardy only to strike Andreas Christensen inside the six-yard box. In the confusion which followed the ball broke to Vicente Iborra, whose first attempt struck the prone César Azpilicueta, and his follow-up was blocked splendidly by a diving Caballero.Thereafter, the Argentinian’s luck deserted him. With the six-yard box littered with bodies, the ball spun away from the goalkeeper’s attempt to smother and was rammed home by Vardy. Even then the goalkeeper somehow laid a glove on the shot, but was in no position to keep it out. He would at least make amends with a smart save from the England striker as time ticked down. So much of Chelsea’s campaign has been tempestuous, a season played out to the grumbling of a disenchanted head coach, but it could yet produce a trophy. It took a header in extra time, scored by one of the smallest players on the pitch, to see off Leicester City, and as those in the away end chorused their delight at another imminent trip to Wembley, Antonio Conte could still cling to the possibility of a send-off at the national stadium. If he is to depart this club in May, there might be no better way to go. Topics Share on Messenger
Football League League Two Exeter City Share on Twitter Share on Pinterest news Cameron McGeehan picked a good time to score his first Scunthorpe goal as his late leveller forced a 2-2 draw with Rotherham in their League One play-off semi-final first leg at Glanford Park.Substitute Joe Newell’s goal 58 seconds after coming on looked like giving the Millers the advantage but McGeehan, on loan from Barnsley, bundled home from close range in the 88th minute.Rotherham had twice led after Jon Taylor’s early goal was cancelled out barely a minute later by a Michael Ihikewe own goal, but they will still be happy with the result and will be favourites to progress to Wembley when they host the second leg on Wednesday night. McGeehan’s late intervention does mean, though, that Iron remain undefeated under caretaker manager Nick Daws since taking over from Graham Alexander in March. Share on LinkedIn The Observer League One Cameron Jerome header gives Derby slender advantage over Fulham Scunthorpe Read more Lincoln Rotherham Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp “If you’d have given me a draw before the game I would have been happy with that,” the Rotherham manager, Paul Warne, said. “To come away from here 2-1 up would have been a great result but I can’t be greedy. Scunny played well, they are a great side so to come here and match them on their own turf is good and we can take credit for that.”Daws said: “I know we can be better, we can pass the ball better. We attacked with vigour and zest but not consistently enough. What I have seen gives me enough confidence we can go to Rotherham and get a result.”In League Two, Lincoln and Exeter could not be separated as they fought out a tense 0-0 draw in the first leg of their semi-final.Matt Rhead went closest for the Imps at Sincil Bank, hitting the bar with a header early in the second half. That chance came amid Lincoln’s best spell of the game which saw Matt Green denied twice by Exeter keeper Christy Pym.The Grecians’ best chances fell to striker Jayden Stockley, who was denied by keeper Ryan Allsop and then blazed over just before the break. The result sets up an intriguing second leg in Devon on Thursday night.Marc McNulty’s controversial late penalty earned Coventry a 1-1 draw at home to Notts County in the other semi-final, after Jonathan Forte tapped home the opener for the visitors four minutes after half-time. Three minutes from time Matt Tootle was punished for a seemingly innocuous challenge on Tom Bayliss and McNulty kept his cool. Share via Email Reuse this content Topics Share on Facebook
Share on LinkedIn Perth had opened the scoring against Canberra early on – through the first own goal of the afternoon, courtesy Denise O’Sullivan’s header past her own keeper – but the visitors were swamped thereafter as the hosts opened up a three-goal lead.Refiloe Jane equalised from the penalty spot before United took the lead on the half-hour mark through Rhoda Mulaudzi. Chilean Maria Rojas fired into the top corner to make it 3-1 before half-time and when Jane netted her second penalty of the game on 77 minutes, the writing appeared to be on the wall.The fourth came with Canberra enjoying from a numerical advantage after Sarah Carroll had been shown a second yellow card with half an hour of play remaining, but despite the odds stacked against them, Perth then staged a comeback for the ages.Alyssa Mautz sparked off the recovery on 82 minutes before Leticia McKenna struck from outside the box five minutes later. And when Kerr, who was suspended for Glory’s opening game of the season and had largely cut a frustrated figure in Canberra, sent over a dangerous cross in injury time, it deflected off Corsie and into the back of the net.The scarcely believable comeback preserved Perth’s unbeaten start to the season, although following a 1-1 draw with Brisbane last weekend, they are still without a win. In Sunday’s other game, last season’s premiers Brisbane collected their first win, with a smart first-half free kick from Carson Pickett the difference between the two sides.The fullback squeezed her effort inside the near post for a second goal in as many matches, but the Roar were indebted to busy goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold for all three points at Marconi Stadium. Read more Perth Glory stage incredible comeback Sam Kerr makes first W-League appearance of season – as it happened Topics Share on Twitter Women’s football news Australia sport Share via Email Share on Facebook Share on WhatsApp Share on Messenger With just eight minutes of regulation time remaining and at 4-1 down – with a player less too – the much-heralded return to Australia’s domestic competition of the W-League’s first marquee player appeared destined to end on a rather flat note for Perth Glory. But a quite remarkable turnaround, capped by a Sam Kerr cross in injury time that was turned into her own net by the unfortunate Rachel Corsie, ensured Perth left McKellar Park with an unlikely point – and Kerr’s first appearance of the season made headlines. Share on Pinterest W-League Reuse this content
On this occasion it helped that Bath put the ball in the hands of their giant wing Joe Cokanasiga so rarely he might as well have played in his civvies. It was an odd game all round: slow-paced initially and stop-start throughout, punctuated by umpteen stoppages and repeated peeps of Karl Dickson’s whistle. Bath, who lost their tighthead prop, Henry Thomas, to injury in the first quarter and had Beno Obano sent to the sin-bin in the second, had their moments but this result leaves them in seventh place, 10 points behind fourth-placed Harlequins.Their margin of defeat would have been greater had Exeter not failed to nail a couple of first-half try opportunities, most obviously when Olly Woodburn had a decent finish ruled out for not releasing the ball in the tackle as he twisted for the line. With Bath’s scrum pinned under their own sticks Exeter were also pinged for dropping the scrum just as a sustained period of pressure seemed about to pay off, the kind of penalty that drives coaches bonkers.Fortunately for Exeter’s peace of mind they did ultimately turn round 17-10 ahead, courtesy of tries by Ollie Devoto and the captain, Jack Yeandle, the hooker charging clear courtesy of a nice inside ball from Don Armand. Nathan Catt crossed for Bath. Share on Messenger Support The Guardian Share on WhatsApp Exeter … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on LinkedIn Share on Pinterest Read more Share on Twitter Glasgow’s Callum Gibbins warns Saracens may suffer Twickenham hangover Rugby union With Eddie Jones looking on from the West stand, this was a decent opportunity for any number of fringe players to shine in front of the national coach, even if time is running out to break into England’s World Cup squad. The fit-again Jonathan Joseph did throw one poor pass straight into touch but otherwise looked sharp, if not quite as rapid as the Bath’s speedy wing Ruairdh McConnochie.Exeter’s strength lies in their collective determination not to settle for second best, even on days when the marginal calls go against them. The Bath captain, Will Chudley, returning to familiar surroundings, knew exactly what would unfold if his new side failed to up the tempo, even after another ominous-looking Exeter line-out drive was scuppered by the slightest of knock-ons.Sure enough it was only a temporary reprieve. A penalty try took Exeter clear before Woodburn’s fourth try secured the bonus point, rewarding Santiago Cordero’s approach work.Woodburn should have created a fifth in the closing moments only to throw a wild pass with the line beckoning but it scarcely mattered.This was Exeter’s fifth straight league victory over Bath, once a club they found impossible to knock over, and it is now over a year since they suffered a home Premiership defeat. If their rivals are relying on them coasting to the finish line, they are set to be disappointed.Exeter Cordero; Nowell (O’Flaherty 55-63, 77), Slade, Devoto (Hill 66), Woodburn, J Simmonds, White (J Maunder 77); Hepburn (Keast 61), Yeandle (capt; Cowan-Dickie 59), Williams (Francis 59), Dennis (Lees 48), Hill, Ewers, Armand (Skinner, 66), Kvesic.Tries Devoto, Yeandle, penalty try, Woodburn. Cons J Simmons 2. Pen J Simmonds.Bath Homer; Cokanasiga, Joseph, Roberts (Clark 51), McConnochie, Priestland (Burns 68), Chudley (capt; Fotuali’i 59); Catt (Obano 54), Dunn (Walker 65), Thomas (Perenise 12), Stooke, Ewels, Ellis, Louw (Douglas 68), Mercer (Underhill 55).Try Catt. Con Priestland. Pen Priestland. Sin-bin Obano 60.Referee K Dickson. Att 12,809. Topics On and off the field there is absolutely no sign of Exeter’s ambition diminishing. This latest bonus-point victory over Bath not only puts them nine points clear at the top of the Premiership but has secured them a play-off spot with five games to spare. For good measure they are also set to bolster their armoury by signing another world-class forward with South Africa’s No 8 Duane Vermeulen understood to be close to agreeing a post-World Cup move to Devon.Given the Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg is also joining the Chiefs tribe for next season, these are exciting times for Rob Baxter’s team, on course for a fourth straight Premiership final appearance. A forceful ball-carrier like the 32-year-old Vermeulen would make them even more of a handful and even on a day when rhythm proved elusive they still had too much horsepower for a Bath side whose own play-off hopes are now fading.Exeter could have had at least half a dozen tries with slightly more composure in the Bath 22, shrugging off the loss of Gareth Steenson with a calf injury sustained in the warm-up to leave themselves needing only one more convincing win to seal a home semi-final. With their international players taking off on holiday this week while Saracens smash into a European quarter-final against Glasgow, Exeter also remain hopeful of peaking when it really counts.Not that Baxter will be encouraging anyone to take his foot off the gas. “We don’t want to splutter through our last five games,” he said. “I’d like to see us looking like a team that are building a destiny of being in finals and lifting trophies. I think you do that by how you look. It’s about building belief in ourselves and some disbelief in others over the next five weeks.” Read more match reports Bath Share on Facebook Sign up to the Breakdown for the latest rugby union news Since you’re here… Share via Email Premiership Reuse this content
(s 74′) 5 Bartley Read more Possession Share on WhatsApp 44 Davison CHA WBA Fouls 15 Austin 11 Gallagher (s 88′) Substitutes West Brom 4 Oshilaja Lewandowski sets Bundesliga scoring record while Juventus draw with Lecce Lineups 21 Edwards 26 Hegazi Reuse this content 30 Maynard-Brewer 11 Brunt West Bromwich Albion 33 Dempsey Share on Facebook 20 Solly Share on Messenger 15 Pratley 23 Bond 45 Doughty 4 Robson-Kanu 21 Kayal 8 West Brom Off target 8 Charlton 5 West Brom On target 4 Charlton A frustrated Slaven Bilic likened the controversial finale of West Brom’s match against Charlton to “a horror movie” but refused to completely condemn the referee, Matt Donohue.Josh Cullen’s penalty deep into stoppage time earned the visitors a 2-2 draw and denied Albion the chance to move four points clear at the top of the Championship. Semi Ajayi collided with Naby Sarr in the penalty area to force the Baggies to settle for a point after Hal Robson-Kanu looked to have given them victory.Donohue had already courted controversy in the second half when he sent off Grady Diangana in a case of mistaken identity before changing his decision to dismiss Nathan Ferguson – correctly – for a poor challenge on Chris Solly. 10 Phillips match reports Share on Twitter 53 47 5 Lockyer 7 Krovinovic Macauley Bonne cancelled out Matt Phillips’s early opener and, after the second-half drama, Bilic lamented the outcome. He said: “The whole story was there for us. It was a game which would have been more than three points, with 10 men and all that. Then someone says: ‘No, we’re going to make a horror movie, not a good one.’“It’s nothing personal, it’s hard for them [referees] and I went to speak to him after the game and I needed that. The problem is when they [say] you can’t talk about the referee but it’s a major part of our job. I can be permitted to say my opinion but, with the greatest respect to Charlton, it was the decision [the penalty] which took the win away from us.”Of Ferguson’s red card, Bilic said: “He [Donohue] is human, you don’t want to have ‘blah, blah’ from your wife when you get home, not to mention 30,000 people questioning you. But give credit to him – he didn’t go: ‘No, no, no.’ He listened.”Phillips scored after 10 minutes, capitalising on a low cross from Matheus Pereira, who had been put clear by Jake Livermore. Albion held that lead for 50 minutes as they looked to capitalise on Leeds’s 0-0 draw at Sheffield Wednesday earlier in the afternoon but Charlton levelled on the hour through Bonne’s header after Cullen’s 25-yard drive looped high off Kyle Bartley.Ferguson was dismissed seven minutes later for his rash tackle on Solly – but only once Donohue was persuaded to change his mind during three minutes of confusion after incorrectly dismissing Diangana.Robson-Kanu came off the bench to restore Albion’s lead with nine minutes left, cutting in from the left and curling the ball into a bottom corner from 16 yards. Cullen netted from the spot in the fourth minute of injury time after Ajayi and Sarr collided.Lee Bowyer called for VAR to be introduced in the Championship, even if it may have denied his side their late leveller. “It should be, because the rewards to get out of this division are massive,” the Charlton manager said. “With West Brom’s second goal, it hits his [Robson-Kanu’s] arm and if that’s on VAR it’s no goal.“I thought the referee did OK, he got the sending-off right – which was the most important thing. It’s the worst and hardest job in the world.“The penalty looked soft. Both our goals had a bit of luck but maybe that’s what we needed.” CHA53WBA47% 29 Diangana Corners (s 71′) 14 Townsend 24 Cullen Substitutes (s 88′) 3 Purrington Share on Pinterest 17 Bonne Charlton Topics 10 Aneke Share on LinkedIn 8 Livermore (s 87′) 6 Pearce Goal attempts Charlton Athletic 23 Sarr (s 71′) 12 Matheus Pereira Championship 6 Ajayi 29 Oztumer 12 9 Match stats 1 Phillips 36 Ferguson 4 4 The Observer Share via Email 2 Furlong 19 Sawyers 1 Johnstone
Transfers MLS all-time wins leader Rimando re-signs with Real Salt Lake Ben Valentine @bvalentine14 01:22 1/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Russell Isabella Transfers Real Salt Lake MLS The veteran United States international will return for a 12th season with the team Nick Rimando is staying put after all.The 38-year-old goalkeeper has inked a new contract with Real Salt Lake that will keep him with the team for a 12th MLS season, the team announced Tuesday.Goal previously had reported Rimando, who was a free agent, would re-sign with the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “I couldn’t be happier continuing my career with Real. This is home and I couldn’t fathom leaving this club that means so much to me,” Rimando said in a media release. “I was here in the glory days and want to help bring this club back where it belongs. I’m excited to get the season started. We have the coaches, players and potential to do big things.”Rimando has been one of RSL’s icons for more than a decade, alongside Kyle Beckerman and Javier Morales. While Morales departed the team prior to the 2017 season, Beckerman has remained and signed a new contract with Real Salt Lake last week.The veteran U.S. international also holds multiple MLS records, including the league’s all-time mark in wins, appearances, starts and shutouts.“He’s the best goalkeeper in the history of the league,” Real Salt Lake head coach Mike Petke said. “Playing with him in D.C. and winning a championship and seeing those special qualities – he has singlehandedly embraced and took that position and become the best goalkeeper in our league’s history. I am extremely ecstatic to have him back. When you take his veteran leadership and his experience, for me it’s vital.”Back where he belongs.: https://t.co/KaE1Er8L3D pic.twitter.com/HlatFNgM1y— Real Salt Lake (@RealSaltLake) January 23, 2018Rimando began his MLS career in 2000 with the Miami Fusion. After two years there, he went on to D.C. United where he would spend five seasons, winning a title in 2004. He landed in Real Salt Lake prior to the 2007 season, became the team’s No. 1 and has not relinquished the role in 11 seasons.During his team with Salt Lake, Rimando has won a MLS Cup in 2009, made a MLS Cup final in 2013, a U.S. Open Cup final that same year and a CONCACAF Champions League final in 2011.Rimando will try to help Salt Lake back to the postseason in 2018 after a rebuilt squad narrowly missed the playoffs on the last day of the 2017 regular season.
Primera División Real Madrid boss Zidane explains Ronaldo substitution Jamie Smith 08:10 2/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(13) Getty Images Primera División Real Madrid Levante v Real Madrid Levante Real Madrid v PSG PSG UEFA Champions League Zinédine Zidane Cristiano Ronaldo The Blancos coach has admitted that the decision to bring off the Portuguese attacker was a tactical one and nothing to do with fitness Cristiano Ronaldo’s substitution in Real Madrid’s 2-2 draw at Levante in La Liga was not to rest the player, Zinedine Zidane has confirmed.Ronaldo was taken off by Zidane immediately after substitute Isco had struck with nine minutes left to put Madrid back in front at Ciutat de Valencia on Saturday.But a lapse in defensive concentration subsequently allowed Levante to score their second equaliser of the game one minute from time, substitute Giampaolo Pazzini striking on his debut for the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Madrid’s latest setback leaves Zidane’s men 18 points behind Liga leaders Barcelona and with an upcoming Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain growing in importance, with the competition their only realistic chance of winning another trophy this season.After the match, Zidane insisted Ronaldo’s substitution was not fitness-related.”No. It was planned to change him, and that’s all,” Zidane told beIN SPORTS after the match.”We had the game under control, the most difficult is to score goals. We got to 2-1, but in the end, two mistakes cost us the two goals.”This year is being difficult for us. We cannot put three or four results together. I am not happy with the result. We were in control of the game, above all the first half, so not happy, of course.”The pity is that after we scored our second goal, we were not able to keep hold of the ball, and defensively we were not good.”Asked again about Ronaldo in his post-match press conference, Zidane added: “I changed him as I wanted another player a bit more in the middle of the pitch, to defend with Marco Asensio and Karim [Benzema].”1 – Levante haven’t lost in any of the two games in a La Liga season against Real Madrid for the first time. Reward pic.twitter.com/RjAZscBKxD— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 3, 2018Zidane previously indicated he believes his job is on the line when Madrid host Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16 of the Champions League on February 14, but the Frenchman appeared to row back on his comments after Madrid missed the chance to climb above Valencia into third.”I just think about the next game, nothing else,” a frustrated Zidane said.”La Liga will not be over until the end. There are a lot of points, and two more today, even when we had the game under control. We should have won a third consecutive game, but we did not.”When it was most difficult we got the second. Then we must be clever, avoid the second goal, and we did not. We were not focused, and that is hard to take as it is two points lost.”That means we must work even harder. This is football, and the opponent can make things difficult for you. But we could have avoided their second goal. That annoys me, as we have worked on that, and knew they could counter-attack.”
Republic of Ireland v United States Ireland vs USA team news: Weah, Adams & McKennie in starting side Goal Last updated 1 year ago 02:27 6/3/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Bill Streitcher Republic of Ireland v United States United States Republic of Ireland Friendlies Dave Sarachan has opted for another young lineup, with the three teenagers highlighting a starting side short on experience Tim Weah, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie are all in the starting team for Dave Sarachan as the U.S. national team takes on the Republic of Ireland on Saturday. The three teens highlight a young starting side that will be captained by midfielder Wil Trapp.Bobby Wood gets the start up front, with Weah on the right and Rubio Rubin on the left expected to support him out of a five-man midfield. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Adams and McKennie start beside Trapp in the middle of the park. Sarachan has opted for the same back line that kept a clean sheet against Paraguay in March, with Jorge Villafana playing on the left, DeAndre Yedlin on the right and Cameron Carter-Vickers joining Matt Miazga in the middle. Overall this is the second-youngest team Sarachan has fielded, coming in just behind Monday’s lineup with an average age of 23 years, 73 days. For Ireland, Shane Long misses out after picking up a knock in training, as does left back Derrick Williams, but Martin O’Neill has turned to a much more experienced team.Colin Doyle starts in goal, with Seamus Coleman, Kevin Long, John O’Shea, Shane Duffy and James McClean making up the back line.Declan Rice, Callum O’Dowda and Jeff Hendrick start in a three-man midfield, with Graham Burke and Jon Walters leading the line. It’s a debut for Burke, who becomes the first the first League of Ireland player to start for Ireland since 2007. Republic of Ireland starting XI: Doyle; Coleman, Long, O’Shea, Duffy, McClean; Rice, O’Dowda, Hendrick; Burke, WaltersUSA Starting XI: Hamid; Yedlin, Carter-Vickers, Miazga, Villafaña; Trapp (capt.); Weah, Adams, McKennie, Rubin; Wood