Author Topic: next up for the champions is a visit to Mourinho  (Read 445 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Guest
  • Trade Count: (0)
next up for the champions is a visit to Mourinho
« on: June 29, 2014, 07:03:17 PM »
As Randy Carlyle watched Team Canada clinch their second consecutive Olympic gold medal early Sunday morning, it was the way in which they went about achieving success - a complete defensive domination surrendering just three goals against in six games - which piqued his interest most. "I looked at it and I hope our players understand that defense does win, thats the simplest statement you can make," said the Toronto Maple Leafs head coach on Monday. If there is a goal for the Leafs over their remaining 22 games, it should be to clamp down defensively. Throughout the season, they have routinely been outshot, allowing 40 or more shots on 16 different occasions, and a league high 2175, 146 more than the next highest team, the Ottawa Senators. Of their 32 wins, the Maple Leafs lead the NHL with 25 wins in games that they have been outshot. A large part of their success has come from excellent goaltending and their ability to outscore their defensive issues, sitting behind only the Pittsburgh Penguins for the most goals scored in the Eastern Conference. But come playoff time, it is often the best defensive teams that emerge victorious. "We know that we can score goals as a team so if we can tighten up a little bit our defence, we feel were going to be a tough team to beat," said Jonathan Bernier, who has faced the third-most shots in the NHL this season. "I think that youve seen that over a long time, not just in that tournament, that good defensive teams have success," added captain Dion Phaneuf. "When you play good defence, it means you have the puck more and that generates more offence. Thats a fair statement when you say defence wins, its been like that for a long time." Team Canadas defence was made effective, primarily by the cohesion featured among the five players on the ice at any given time, and the relentless nature in which forwards back checked. While that system was executed by some of the finest players in the game, strong defensive skills are not like offensive talent. When it comes to scoring goals, some players simply have more of a knack at it than others but, as Dave Bolland explained, there should be no excuse for poor defensive play. "Defence is about commitment," he said. "I know coming into the NHL, my defensive skills were terrible, and I admit that. But I learned that defence wins you games. I sort of took a hold of that and set it up as my third-line role." Bollands impending return (he, like last week, remained coy today about the potential of dressing against the New York Islanders this Thursday) should help lead the way in terms of defensive commitment. In 15 games before going down with the severed tendon in his left ankle, Bolland showed himself to be among the Leafs top defensive forwards. "I learned a lot about back checking when I got into the league," said Bolland. "When I was in juniors, you didnt even think about coming back. Once I got up to the NHL, you learn backchecking is crucial. The first guy I learned that from was Marian Hossa. You see that guy backcheck, he corrupts [sic] a lot of puck and he corrupts [sic] a lot of sticks, hes always back in the right spots." For an example of the style of play he hopes his players can work toward, Carlyle looked no further than the gold medal game itself. "In that game, it was played at a very high pace, but defence, probably on both hockey clubs, was very evident in the way they approached it and how they tried to set up their defensive schemes," he explained. "On the big ice surface, it doesnt look as cheap jerseys from china . Montreal (0-3-0) directed 25 shots toward the Seattle goal on Sunday, but couldnt find the net. And then the Impact fell victim to defensive lapses as the Sounders spoiled its home opener at Olympic Stadium with a 2-0 victory on Sunday. wholesale nfl jerseys . James Harden wasnt worried and told his coach as much. "He was fired up but I told him: Its OK. Were going to be all right," Harden said. And they were. Houston scored 17 straight points after that timeout, led by 10 from Harden, to take the lead and roll to an easy 129-106 win. The Uruguay internationals 75th-minute header prevented a misfiring Everton side to go back into the top four after Kevin Mirallas had given the visitors a first-half lead. Everton had a goal correctly disallowed for offside with the last kick of the game, leaving the team in sixth place, a point behind Liverpool and Tottenham. wholesale jerseys . -- Billy Hurley III, Joe Affrunti, Ashley Hall and Ben Martin were tied at 11 under after regulation Sunday when darkness suspended play in the Web. cheap jerseys . Then came an incredible flurry of touchdowns -- five over the final 125 seconds -- that truly made this a one-of-a-kind, unforgettable football game.Whats that they say about doctors and the folly of self-treatment? In March of 1998, with Manchester United a towering 12 points ahead of Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League table, a risk-aversive local Manchester bookmaker decided to shell out the winnings nice and early for all his customers who had invested in a fifth title in six seasons for Sir Alex Fergusons band of merry football men. We now know, of course ,United suffered a calamitous run of form which included a home defeat to the eventual champions, Arsenal. "Betfred" Fred Dones gamble that his beloved Manchester United would prevail ended up costing the bookie a not-so very cool million bucks. Ferguson vented his spleen and, in no uncertain terms, let the bookie know, as the vernacular-laced Old Trafford statesman demanded there would be no repeat early payout on a United title. Well, no need to guess what happened the day after April Fools Day in 2012. Six weeks later, the Etihad was euphoric as the blue half of Manchester swept Uniteds title aspirations aside in a come-from-behind win over QPR. History has an awful record of repeating itself down Old Trafford way, or should we say, down Sir Matt Busby Way. Those preseason whispered silence comparisons between Sir Matt handing off the United torch to Frank OFarrell with Ferguson inviting Moyes round for a cup of tea to tell him hed be the next United gaffer went up a decibel or 10 following two-straight BPL defeats at home to kick off December. To follow up, that raspberry they kicked off 2014 with the unheard of three-straight defeats in three separate competitions, which included the champions getting knocked out of the FA Cup and finding themselves trailing Sunderland 2-1 heading into the second leg of their League Cup semi-final tie. All of this has got the red half of Manchester screaming louder than their now noisy neighbours. Its as pointless for them, though, to offer up Moyes as their sacrificial lamb as it is for Fergusons successor to lay blame with the officials for Manchester Uniteds glaring inadequacies. The "playing referees, as well as the opposition" post-match comment from Moyes following Tuesday nights Sunderland defeat sounds as if hes torn a few pages from the well-thumbed Ferguson copy book. Where he didnt sound one bit Ferguson like was in the timid words he uttered the day previously in the pre-match press conference - when Moyes spoke of "trying" to win the game in the "hope" his club would get to a Wembley Stadium cup final. "Try?" Well, thats a euphemism for failure. I "tried" to score, but shanked it high and wide. "Hope" is four letters-long and for those who tend to not do as well in the coping stakes. With a PhD in distract and divert, Ferguson was a master of manipulating the media at his weekly Carrington press briefings.  Not that Im advocating for Moyes to turn into a Ferguson impersonator, far from it, though, he does need some lessons in positive reinforcement. No matter how close he gets to the players in the dressing room, Moyes wont ever get close to the respect levels of his predecessor. Like hard fought wins, respect has to be earned. Moyes cant allow himself to morph into Manchester Uniteds version of Andre Villas-Boas, who, after only one night after been installed as Chelsea boss, paraded around Chelseas regal training complex in Cobham like a preened peacock - strutting his football gospel as he demanded immediate and complete respect from his players, many of whom were there when Villas-Boas was part of Jose Mourinhos back room staff during his original early-2000s tenure. There in a scouting capacity, Spurs fans can now attest to the fact that AVB isnt close to even resembling the Special Ones parody puppet that, in a previous life, had his own Special One TV series. Twenty matches in, and with a disastrous six defeats already this season, quite remarkably Moyess Manchester United record stands him ahead of where both Busby and Ferrguson were at the same stage in their debut seasons at the Old Trafford helm.dddddddddddd On top of that, factor in that Moyes inherited an aged squad that was thinner on the high-calibre player front than any hairline of Wayne Rooneys. Ferguson prided himself on building from within alongside astute investments in the transfer market. Tom Cleverley has been at the club since age 12, but he obviously wasnt listening, observing or paying much attention whilst in the company of players like Paul Scholes. What on earth did Ferguson see in Chris Smalling, a player who only got his first start as a Fulham player a mere 13 months and 12 more appearances later, before joining United for that world famous "undisclosed fee?" The only thing that you could legitimately compare Smalling to with his club captain and fellow central defender, Nemanja Vidic, is the fact Ferguson purchased both players in the January window. The words "not fit to lace my boots up" come to mind. Not long after Rooneys infamous "Manchester United lack ambition" bon mots when he was agitating for a move back in 2010, Ferguson banished Rooney to the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon to continue his rehabilitation from an injury layoff.  I hear Harvard is seeking visiting professors. With much football still to play, talk of the title is not rational, but grabbing a Champions League spot is not that improbable. They are, after all, only five points adrift of Liverpool in fourth position. Missing out on Europes preeminent tournament wouldnt be a bad thing, though. It would certainly fast track a much needed Old Trafford player flush. Then, factor in what a season on the Champion League sidelines did for two of European footballs most illustrious clubs. After falling a very distant six points outside of the qualification spots for the 2007-2008 Champions League, the current European Champions, Bayern Munich, responded to that failure by reaching three of the last five finals. Youve got to love that German resolve and, my, what a perfect response to losing the 2012 final in their own backyard at the Allianz Arena. An unprecedented sixth-place finish in the 2002-2003 La Liga season saw Barcelona miss out on Champions League qualification. The Blaugrana returned to the fold the following season and went on to conquer Europe three times in only six seasons.   The indelible image for me from Sundays 2-1 FA Cup defeat to their BPL opponents on Saturday afternoon, Swansea City, wasnt Wilfried Bonys last-gasp winner. It was to come just a few minutes later, when the 10 United players trudged off the pitch following the final whistle. Tongues lie, but body language does not. The only thing they seemed to have in common was walking in the same direction. To a man, none of them seemed engaged in any form of a meaningful conversation, nor did any of them display a much needed look of anger. If they did, the response at Sunderland 48 hours later would have been of high resolve and steely determination. My, how Moyes could do with borrowing a turbo-charged hair dryer from Sir Alexs collection right about now. With the late kick off on Saturday, United will be fully aware how the two teams directly above them, Spurs and Everton, fared. No point in watching in on them, though, because they cant control or influence those two outcomes. The 75,000-plus Old Trafford faithful will not likely enjoy their pre-match pie and pint as much as they would have done over the past two-plus decades. A certain apprehension and, likely, that famous Manchester rain will be in the air come kick-off. A fourth-straight defeat cant be contemplated, as next up for the champions is a visit to Mourinho and Stamford Bridge. Currently out injured, I guess, if nothing else, the January 19 date with Chelsea gives Wayne and Colleen opportunity to go house hunting in west London. Listen to Manchester United vs. Swansea City at 12pm et/9am pt live on TSN Radio 1050 and the TEAM Radio Network. ' ' '


Sitemap 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14