AA in 12 starts in the month of November. But whe

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AA in 12 starts in the month of November. But whe

Notapor lw78999 » Vie Nov 03, 2017 10:32 pm

This Barclays Premier League season was billed as the year of the Big Three before a ball was even kicked. Champions Manchester United, along with Manchester City and Chelsea were projected by just about everyone to duke it out at the top of the table. The best of the rest were merely playing for spots in Europe and posed no serious threat on the big threes aspirations of winning the title. May the best side win. Through four matches, it hasnt exactly been a stroll for the bookmakers favourites. All three sit on a respectable seven points apiece; yet have shown the type of frailties that dont come with any easy solution. Meanwhile Liverpool, Arsenal, and Tottenham are the top three teams in the League. Early season luck? Merely poor starts for the favourites? Or is there substantial evidence to suggest the big three can be broken atop the table? This topsy-turvy start to the season makes for great viewing/listening and intrigue. Each of the big three have already lost away from home and there is a greater belief the three horse race now includes other thoroughbreds making their own claim as worthy title contenders. There simply doesnt appear to be a clear cut favourite any longer. Its only been a month, but its certainly worth questioning apparent weakness in United, City and Chelsea that the rest of the league can take advantage of. Its easy to see top players at Old Trafford, the Etihad and Stamford Bridge and assume the cream will rise to the top. An undervalued characteristic of all three, no matter the players, is they are each operating under a new manager. With new managers come new expectations, different approaches, alternative training, changes in squad selection and greater unknown. David Moyes, Manuel Pellegrini and Jose Mourinho are blessed with payroll, sizeable squads and requisite talents. To say each team is complete however would be misleading. And there will be a feeling out period before each team find its form and becomes a true reflection of their manager. For the purposes of this conversation, we will focus on the aforementioned six teams and their respective title credentials. Thats not to take anything away from the likes of Everton and Swansea City, who will most certainly be in the conversation for European spots. As well as the likes of Cardiff and Aston Villa who have already proven capable of notching victories against tough opponents already this season. But from the looks of it, the big three, as well as Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham are making the biggest waves and are worthy of sizing up their title chances. Liverpool – Its been an unexpected bright start for Liverpool without their top player Luis Suarez, still out through suspension. The Reds came back down to earth Monday with a 2-2 draw at Swansea. A well-earned point, but the way Liverpool were manhandled in the second 45 is a little disconcerting. Not withstanding Mondays finish, the shape of the team gives reason to believe theyll be a more consistent winner than last. 13 draws in league play was a massive letdown. There will be some concern the team is a bit light in the attacking midfield positions, especially with Philippe Coutinho out until at least the end of October with a shoulder injury. Although bringing in Victor Moses on-loan was one of my favourite moves of transfer window, giving Liverpool exactly what they need in another creative, pacey, athletic attacking threat, I still dont think its quite enough to keep pace with the big boys of the Premier League. Pundits were all over the Liverpool bandwagon a week ago. Sober second thought may have most jumping back off. Dont get me wrong, there is plenty to like. But this year is better seen as another year of growth under Brendan Rodgers. As his young players grow into the side and team identity is cemented, better things will come. This is a work in progress. Verdict - Its hard to see this team doing better than a fifth place finish, best-case scenario. Arsenal – The opening day loss at home to Aston Villa seems a distance memory. Mesut Ozil added the quality Arsene Wenger desperately needed in his side. And aside from the German International, the teams top performer has been centre-midfielder Aaron Ramsey. The much-maligned Welshman has finally grown into his own skin, brimming with confidence and becoming a force in tandem holding midfield role. It seems like hes been around forever, yet hes only 22 and coming into his own. His intelligence and ability to read the game has been the biggest improvement. Ramsey used to run wild on the pitch, often exposed at inopportune times. Now, it seems he picks his spots and is playing within himself. Thats the good news. The biggest concern for Arsenal is mounting injuries and the threat of more to the already thin squad. If Olivier Giroud ever succumbs to injury, it seems Arsenal will have to resort to playing a false nine. This could be problematic. And Im really not sure the team has proper steel and composure in the back four and at goalkeeper. Verdict - Despite clear improvement and prospects for progress, I still think they will be hard pressed to secure a Champions League spot this year, something theyve done 16 straight seasons. Top four will again be seen as a victory. Ozil expects trophies – and I dont think its the Capital One Cup he has in mind. Tottenham – If there is ever a team built to break up the top three, it has to be Spurs. Losing Gareth Bale to Real Madrid could have ended in disaster. But the way Tottenham worked through the madness is an example to all clubs on how to balance ambition with the harsh economic realities of the game. Spurs accumulated top players before selling Bale: shrewd business attracting players of value giving the team better depth and proper additions in positions of need. Chairman Daniel Levy gets shtick for driving a hard bargain, but the end result this time around proves the worth of his diligence. Roberto Soldado is the top striker they lacked a season ago. And building midfield depth, not only in number but quality will keep players fresh with healthy battles for spots in all competitions. Christian Eriksen is a wonderful player and at a cost of £11.5 million was an absolute steal. Eriksen, along with Erik Lamela and Paulinho are instant starters in the side. Young players like Andros Townsend and Danny Rose have returned from loan spells as better players and dont give up a step. The team has quality and depth at goalkeeper as well. Other than possible questions about how the back four will hold up, theres a whole lot to like. Squad balance, size, and technical ability are plain to see. It will come down to how this team deals with being the hunted rather than the hunter as the season progresses that will determine their eventual fate. Verdict - A finish outside the top four would be a disappointment. I see them getting back into the Champions League. And call me a sucker, but I truly believe they have enough to compete for the league title. It may not come this year, but Spurs will be right there to the end. Manchester City – It has been a stale start for Manchester City under Pellegrini. I questioned the thought process behind their summer purchases in the transfer window. The players purchased all look decent, but theres nothing spectacular. Pellegrini bought safe, and paid out the nose to acquire. Jovetic, Navas and Fernandinho are good players but not really the type of difference makers needed to put them over the top. Alvaro Negredo has the makings of potential super-sub status, but other than that, Im not sure how improved this team will actually be from the team finishing second and eleven points adrift a season ago. Good news for City is Vincent Kompany returned midweek in the Champions League and seems fit ahead of this weekends Manchester derby. The team is off-kilter and lacking confidence in the back without their captain. Ill give it some time before casting final thoughts on City. Week to week they may be world-beaters. But I see frailties in the team. Fernandinho and Yaya Toure in the middle need to get on the same page. And the team almost needs a stabilizing influence when things arent going their way. There will be no worry in attack as long as David Silva is pulling the strings. The system around him and is what I question. And well see if Joe Hart can prove the critics wrong and regain top form. Verdict - Right now, I just dont see this team winning the Premier League. City is the most likely of the Big Three to fall in the table. Manchester United – All seems right again at United. A league win, although assisted by the harsh sending off of Crystal Palace midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi, and a thorough Champions League win with Wayne Rooney putting in another stand out performance has the team finding confidence before playing rival Manchester City Sunday. Rooney took the headlines for the wrong reasons in recent months. But his start of the season shows no residue of distraction or out of form performances that plagued the end of last campaign. When healthy, Rooney has unquestionably been Uniteds top performer. His movement off the ball, and willingness to play off and around Robin van Persie is as good as it gets. The rest of the team is coming together, as Moyes starts to take the training wheels off his new toy. Marouane Fellaini, an absolute underrated signing that was criticized because of the method, settles the midfield. Playing alongside the class Michael Carrick in a defensive midfield role allows Uniteds skilled players to do what they do best – attack with purpose and precision. Shinji Kagawa moving into the side Tuesday adds another layer, where the Japanese International doesnt have to play as an out and out left sided midfielder. He regularly came inside, allowing the impressive Patrice Evra to get up the flank. It creates somewhat of an imbalance on the field, which is okay, with a more stay-at-home back in the mold of Chris Smalling or Phil Jones deputizing at right back until Rafaels return, to play in a more traditional fullback role. It all seems to be coming along smoothly. And we havent seen the likes of Wilfried Zaha and a regular dose of Adnan Janusaj yet either. The bevy of options to change shape based on the occasion will be a test for Moyes. Squad rotation will be all-important, something Moyes hasnt been tasked with to this extent before. Its all looking a-ok for United post-Ferguson. Just dont tell too many people. Its a better headline when controversy clouds Old Trafford. Verdict - This is still Uniteds title to lose. No other team has the experience and competitive make-up of this team. Chelsea - Two losses in a row for Jose Mourinho at Chelsea (three if you include the Super Cup), including a home loss to FC Basel of all teams. Say it aint so!? So whats gone awry? It almost seems Mourinho has too many options at present time and hes trying to figure out how each piece of the puzzle fits. Unfortunately, hes taken out a key piece to that puzzle, failing to recognize its importance. Juan Mata was Chelseas top player the past two seasons. His creative intelligence and ability to change the shape of matches cannot be ignored. Yet Mourinho is resistant to starting or playing the Spanish wizard for the full 90. The overlook reeks of ego and must come to an end. Chelsea needs Mata. His misuse thus far has been nonsensical. The new additions to the squad will come along, if they are given proper chances and clearly defined roles. This is up to Mourinho. What type of system does he want to play and who best fills those roles? That has yet to be determined. The good news is they are still creating chances, and lots of them. Some may point to the loan move of striker Romelu Lukaku to Everton as being a misstep. I dont think thats accurate. This team works best with decisive and calculated movement off the ball. Lukaku still has much to learn in this area. Samuel Etoo will be a good fit. Its not about him adapting to the Premier League. Its about him gaining comfort with his teammates and growing with the system, whatever that may be. It will be intriguing to see how much patience Mourinho has for David Luiz. The Brazilian is a top talent, but he plays where he wants on the field and drifts out of position. Mourinho prefers the safer, reliable option at the back. Luiz is not that. Does Luiz find himself in the doghouse sooner rather than later? His sloppiness and positional laziness is already responsible for goals against. Verdict - Chelsea is the team with the best players in the league. But they have much to prove before they can be called the best team. Mourinho is a calculated tactician. And it wont be long until we see the fiery Mourinho return. This laid back version wont cut it. Look for Chelsea to regain their ways as the managers fire returns. A lock for the Champions League, look for Chelsea to push United to the end. You can reach Gareth at gareth.wheeler@bellmedia.ca or follow him on Twitter, @WheelerTSN Malcolm Brogdon Jersey . -- Having already fallen behind because of the NFL lockout, Blaine Gabbert couldnt afford a lengthy holdout. Mirza Teletovic Jersey .Y. -- A month ago, Syracuse was unbeaten, ranked No. http://www.nbabucksproshop.com/Authenti ... -Jersey/.Y. - The Philadelphia Eagles game at Green Bay against the Packers on Nov. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Jersey . On Sunday, head coach Patrick Roy said the teams leading scorer will skate at Mondays morning practice and the club will make a decision on his status for Game 6 at that point. Jabari Parker Jersey . Kerber will next play Estonias Kaia Kanepi, who beat American qualifier Victoria Duval 6-1, 6-3. In other first-round matches, Lucie Safarova beat 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-4, 6-4 and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands had a 6-4, 6-3 win over Canadas Eugenie Bouchard.When the Senators stumbled out of the gate with a slow start this season, much of the blame was directed at the clubs inconsistent goaltending. In particular, Craig Anderson was singled out for not playing as well as he did during the 2012-13 campaign, when many suggested he was the best goalie in the league before he suffered an ankle injury partway through the lockout-shortened campaign. Anderson really struggled in November, winning just two of his seven starts and posting a 4.00 GAA and a .866 save percentage. He lost a grip on his job as the No. 1 goaltender, as he was alternating starts with Robin Lehner for a good portion of December. But then suddenly, Anderson re-discovered his game in the past couple of weeks and heading into Wednesdays game in Denver, the netminder had reeled off five consecutive victories. However, we shouldnt be too surprised that Anderson is heating up as the calendar flips to January, because his career numbers have always been better in the second half of the season. A look at Andersons career splits by the month, illustrates a goalie who often comes out slow and then catches fire: MONTH GP SAVE PCT. GAA October 47 .913 2.90 November 51 .902 3.09 December 62 .904 3.00 January 58 .925 2.37 February 50 .922 2.64 March 50 .918 2.78 April 29 .916 2.43 In his breakout season with the Avalanche in 2009-10, he posted a .897 save percentage and a 3.19 GAA in 12 starts in the month of November. But when January rolled around, Anderson had a .946 save percentage and a 1.72 GAA andd rode that momentum down the stretch where he was the biggest reason why the Avalanche made the playoffs.dddddddddddd In Andersons first season with the Senators, this pattern continued – as he came out with save percentages of .881, .903 and .907 in the first three months of the season. But then a switch was flipped in January and he went 8-5-1 with a .933 save percentage and a 2.24 GAA. Those strong numbers down the stretch continued – with the exception of a brief hiccup because of a sliced finger – and the Senators ended up making the playoffs. Andersons dominance in January extended to last season – even though there was a lockout that meant the first three months of the season were wiped out. He went 5-0-1 with a .967 save percentage and a 0.99 GAA to start the season, further cementing the fact that January is his favourite month – no matter when the NHL season starts. A look at Andersons career save percentage in the month of January reveals that he is ahead of all other goalies in the Eastern Conference: CAREER JANUARY SAVE PERCENTAGE (MIN. 25 GP) GOALIE SAVE PCT. Craig Anderson .925 Ryan Miller .922 Jimmy Howard .921 Tim Thomas .921 Henrik Lundqvist .920 Martin Brodeur .917 Cam Ward .914 Tuukka Rask .913 Marc-Andre Fleury .910 Carey Price .908 If Andersons career pattern continues again this season, the Senators will have an excellent chance of making the post-season. And in all likelihood, Anderson will re-establish himself as the clubs No. 1 netminder for the stretch drive. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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