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a player so good he made you smile
Ronaldinho. See? You’re smiling already. Just thinking about the things he did and the way he did them, the way he was, gets you giggling. Look him up on YouTube and maybe you’ll fall for him all over again, a bit like all those defenders. Watch for long enough – it won’t take long – and you might even feel like standing to applaud, just like the Santiago Bernabéu did, an ovation for a Barcelona player, as if for all the rivalry they hadn’t so much been beaten by his genius as shared in it. Sergio Ramos was on the floor, they were on their feet. Cameras zoomed Sean Kilpatrick Jersey on a man in the north stand with a moustache and a cigarette hanging limp from his lip: Bloody hell, did you see what he just did? Elite Youth Marwin Evans White Road Jersey: NFL Nike Green Bay Packers #25 Vapor UntouchableIt’s a question that was asked a lot. What Ronaldinho did, no one else did. And it wasn’t just what he did; it was the way he made people feel. Nostalgia, memories, are about that: not so much events but emotions. Watching Ronaldinho was fun, it made people happy. Those may be Womens Cameron Jordan Jersey two of the most simple, childish words of all but they are the right ones. Football stripped right down to its essence: happy, fun. There may never have been a player who made the game as enjoyable as Ronaldinho, in part because he played and it was a game. “I love the ball,” he said. One coach, he recalled, told him to change, insisting that he would never make it as a footballer, but he was wrong. It was because he played, because he enjoyed it, that he succeeded: the grin on his face was not just there after he won the league, the Champions League, the World Cup and the Ballon d’Or, it was there while he won them. It became contagious. “He changed our history,” Barcelona midfielder Xavi Hernández said. One Real Madrid director claimed that Madrid hadn’t signed him because he was “too ugly” and would “sink” them as a brand.“Thanks to Beckham, everyone wants to shag us,” he said. He, too, was wrong: everyone wanted to embrace Ronaldinho, enjoy him. The long, soul-glow hair, the goofy grin, that surfer’s “wave”, thumb and little finger waggling – a gesture so his, so symbolic of Barcelona’s revival that it was fashioned from foam and sold in the club shop. An entire publicity campaign was built around him, the embodiment of jogo bonito. He might not have been beautiful but his game was and no one was more attractive, a marketing dream Madrid missed. Almost a comedy cartoon character himself, he inspired the “BarcaToons” and on Spain’s version of Spitting Image his puppet giggled and laughed and repeated one word over and over: fiesta! “I am like that,” he admitted. On the pitch, too, an extension of that expressiveness. “When you have the ball at your feet, you are free,” Ronaldinho wrote in an open letter to his younger self, repeating a mantra: creativity over calculation. “It is almost like you’re hearing music. That feeling will make you spread joy to others. You’re smiling because football is fun. Why would you be serious? Your goal is to spread joy.” He said that was the way his father, a shipbuilder and football fan who worked weekends at Grêmio’s ground, had told him to play. His older brother Roberto was at Grêmio too. And then, growing up, there was Bombom, his dog. He also played. Ronaldinho’s brother was his idol but he ended up better than him. He was better than anyone at the time: you genuinely wondered if he might end up better than anyone else ever. It didn’t last long enough for that but it lasted because he did things you’d never witnessed before, skills most never imagined let alone replicated, and that emotion remained. “His feet are so fast he can touch the ball four times in half a second. If I tried to do what he can do, I’d end up injuring myself,” Philippe Cocu said. For three years no one could match the wow, the wonder, the silliness, the Womens Matt Duchene Jersey jaw-dropping, laugh-out-loud daftness of it all. The back-heels, step-overs and rubber ankles, the power too, the change of pace, the passes without looking. The passes with his back, for goodness sake. The free-kicks over the wall, round the wall and under it. Nutmegs, lobs, bicycle kicks, everything.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s
Even a decade after he left to join Milan as a 17-year-old apprentice, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang Allen Iverson Jerseystill regards the picturesque medieval town of Laval in western France as his home. Last summer the Borussia Dortmund forward, who could replace Alexis Sánchez at Arsenal, had just beaten Robert Lewandowski to finish as the Bundesliga’s top scorer with 31 goals when he was spotted wearing a shirt he had exchanged with Antoine Griezmann as he played a game of five-a-side with his friends in the Park de Saint-Berthevin. Men's Nike Philadelphia Eagles #13 Nelson Agholor Elite Midnight Green Home USA Flag Fashion NFL Jersey“It allows me to maintain my shape,” he explained. “Every time I leave Laval, I feel really good, my body is rested. I’m going back to Dortmund full of energy.” Less than six months and two club suspensions later, Aubameyang’s future at the Westfalenstadion is in serious doubt, with Dortmund apparently ready to allow the player who has scored 98 goals in fewer than 150 appearances since arriving from Saint-Étienne in 2013 to leave. How has it come to this? Sunday’s events appear to hold the key. Speaking on the German magazine Kicker’s TV channel, chief writer Karlheinz Wild used the term “Affenzirkus” to describe what has been going on with the Gabon striker at Dortmund and questioned whether he would be able to act Nathan MacKinnon Youth jersey in the same way at Bayern Munich. In response, Aubameyang posted on Instagram a screengrab of a Google search for the word, which translates loosely as “monkey circus”, and generated among its results an image of an ape wearing a swastika armband and giving a Nazi salute. “These days German journalists are attacking me, while remaining correct until today,” he wrote. “I think this reporter could have used another word … on the right side of the picture, that is when I tap on Google [for] affenzirkus . I leave you to judge!!” Wild apologised, while it then emerged Aubameyang had skipped a team meeting the previous evening and he was suspended for the third time in just over a year, having been disciplined in November 2016 over “internal issues” and again in November last year for repeatedly missing training sessions. His close friendship with Ousmane Dembélé, who joined Barcelona for an initial £97m after a fractious period in which the France forward was also suspended, has not helped his cause. Yet having tried and failed to sell the 28-year-old in the summer for £63m to Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City, the enormous fee Dortmund received for Dembélé persuaded the chief executive, Hans-Joachim Watzke, to offer Aubameyang a one-year extension to his contract. That was revealed only at the end of December, when he posted a message on Twitter accompanied by a picture of himself wearing headphones and the message: “Let me listen to music, it’s better than the newspapers! It’s a bit of time since I extended my contract. But it’s not your fault, you didn’t know. Just like usual.” Aubameyang once enjoyed a close relationship with some members of the German press but, having been warned by Dortmund about speaking out on his future, that has steadily deteriorated over the past 18 months. The response of his father, Pierre, to Wild’s comments, in an Instagram post that has now been deleted, was an indication of the level of antipathy that has been brewing for some time. “A shitty journalist who treats my son like a monkey,” he wrote. “I feel he wants to take us back to Hitler’s time. I just think the little monkey and his family have to leave here because at least this small class newspaper will be quiet to know we are no longer at home.” With Chinese clubs now subject to 100% tax rates on purchasing foreign players – a rule that means Beijing Guoan must pay nearly £66m for Cédric Bakambu of Villarreal – Arsenal’s interest in Aubameyang could not be more timely. Unlike with Sánchez, however, a long-term contract that expires in 2021 means Arsène Wenger will have to offer a significant sum. mlb jerseys china wholesale jerseys all nike nfl jerseys 2016 nike nfl jerseys china
great opportunity
Paul Lambert insisted he was not bothered whether he was 50th or first choice for the Stoke City job after admitting that he thought his chance to manage in the Premier League again had gone. Speaking on the day he was presented as Mark Hughes’s successor, Lambert also defended his record as Aston Jahri Evans Womens Jersey Villa manager and pointed to his time as a player at Borussia Dortmund as evidence that he can prove people wrong. Adidas NHL Youth Miles Wood Red Home Premier Jersey - #44 New Jersey DevilsOut of work since leaving Wolves in the summer, Lambert gave the impression that Doug Martin Womens Jersey he was determined to make the most of an unexpected opportunity after Stoke missed out on their top three managerial targets. Gary Rowett, Quique Sánchez Flores and Martin O’Neill were ahead of Lambert on the shortlist but decided that the Stoke job was not for them. Men's Nike Seattle Seahawks #94 Malik McDowell Limited Black 2016 Salute to Service NFL JerseyLambert, on the other hand, did not need to think twice. “I see it as a great opportunity,” he said. “I never thought I would get the chance to get back to this level. Whether I was 50th or first choice, it never really mattered to me. I’m honoured to be here and can’t wait to get started. Everybody knows it’s a real stable club – only two managers in 12 years.” Although Stoke’s supporters seem uninspired by the to appoint Lambert, the club’s directors are not overly concerned by that reaction. They point to the fact that Tony Pulis and Hughes went on to enjoy success despite being unpopular choices and insist that Lambert came across extremely well during his interview. From Lambert’s point of view, any negativity towards him is seen in a wider context. “I’ve never been spoon-fed for my whole career, I have always done it the hard way as a player and a manager. I went to Borussia Dortmund on trial with a bag and some clothes, not knowing what my next move was going to be. I played four trial games and Mr [Ottmar Hitzfeld] said: ‘You’ve done all right, do you want a contract?’ Then I played against Bayer Leverkusen and the career took off and a year later I was winning the European Cup, so it’s not bad.” As for his managerial record, Lambert highlighted the fact that Norwich finished joint-10th in the Premier League under Womens Wade Boggs Jersey him and clearly feels that his time at Villa, where he was sacked after the club dropped into the relegation zone during his third season, should be seen in a different light in the context of their struggles since. “It’s people’s perceptions that maybe I didn’t do a good job at Aston Villa. But I think Aston Villa were only ever once in the bottom three and that was towards the end. The [financial] constraints there were certainly a bit different.” With Stoke in 18th place and games running out, Lambert needs to make an impact quickly. He talked about playing “15 cup finals” between now and the end of the season and was bullish about their prospects. “I’m 100% sure we’ve got more than enough to stay up,” he said. Money is available in the transfer market but work will also need to be done on the training ground to address the defensive weaknesses that have led to 50 goals being conceded. “We have to stop that,” Lambert said. “We have to be Rod Gilbert Jersey more resolute in what we’re doing, stronger and more aggressive with it, and if we do that we’ll be fine. We’ve got one of the best goalkeepers in Europe at the minute – looking at him [Jack Butland], he’s been exceptional.” The fight for survival starts with Huddersfield’s visit on Saturday. “You are where you are for a reason and sometimes you can sleepwalk into things when you think everything is a bed of roses and: ‘Oh we fell into that trap,’” Lambert said, reflecting on Stoke’s predicament. “Mark did a great job here and there are some really talented footballers, but maybe as a group they just fell below the standard they set beforehand. It’s up to me to get them back to that standard.” cheap jerseys paypal cheap mlb jerseys discount jerseys nfl jerseys nike wholesale nfl jerseys nike nfl jerseys nike jerseys for cheap wholesale nba jerseys
Arsenal confident of signing
Arsenal are increasingly confident of securing the Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after holding productive talks with the Bundesliga club as they prepare for life after Alexis Sánchez. Youth Bob Feller Authentic Green Majestic Jersey: MLB Cleveland Indians #19 Salute to ServiceThe London club expect to lose the Chilean international this week, with Manchester United his likeliest destination ahead of Manchester City, as they edge closer to concluding a deal for the young Brazilian forward Malcom from Bordeaux for around £40m. Yet with Theo Walcott also set to leave the Emirates Stadium this month, most likely for Everton, Arsenal have turned their attentions to adding Aubameyang to their ranks as well. The Gabon international has been prolific in Germany, with 141 goals in 212 appearances, despite off-field issues in Dortmund, and his qualities and potential availability have been impressed on the Arsenal hierarchy by the club’s new head of recruitment, Sven Mislintat, who had been instrumental in bringing Aubameyang to the Bundesliga in 2013. Borussia are prepared to sell the 28-year-old, who was omitted from the first-team squad for the goalless draw against Wolfsburg Mark Clayton Jersey last weekend for disciplinary reasons after apparently missing a team meeting, but could seek as much as €60m (£53.3m) for the striker. Negotiations over a fee are ongoing but, while Arsène Wenger may need convincing that a player who has had his issues off the pitch will truly soften the blow of Sánchez’s departure, Mislintat’s input could prove key. The German is credited with bringing the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Ousmane Dembélé to Dortmund, where he had worked as chief scout, and has recommended Aubameyang together with another former Borussia player, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, to his new club. The Armenian international may be involved in part-exchange in any deal which takes Sánchez to United. Arsenal may need Dortmund to secure a replacement for Jarrett Allen JerseyAubameyang before the forward’s sale is sanctioned, and the German club could yet test the Premier League side’s resolve to retain Olivier Giroud. But, where Arsenal had previously been led to believe the Gabon forward would not be interested in a move to the Emirates Stadium, there is hope now that he will be more open to a switch to England. Certainly, it appears he has burned his bridges in Dortmund, with Borussia’s general manager, Michael Zorc, having grown impatient with the player’s indiscipline off the pitch. “What is going on now is not to be tolerated by the club,” he said over the weekend. “It is clear: it cannot go on like this. I don’t Roger Clemens Jersey know what is going through his mind. I don’t recognise him anymore. There is trouble in the team and that is not good.” Aubameyang is understood to have met with Borussia’s hierarchy on Sunday at the club’s training ground. cheap nfl jerseys usa nfl jerseys paypal nfl jerseys nike cheap nfl jerseys from chinacheap jerseys online
Romelu Lukaku rounds off easy
Manchester United took advantage of Manchester City’s defeat at Liverpool to close the deficit to 12 points with this accomplished win. It is still a chasm but José Mourinho and co will feel better and the club will be boosted further should they secure Alexis Sánchez, with them now firmly in pole position to do so. Paul Lambert, the newly appointed Stoke City manager, watched on from the posh seats but saw United again deny the Potters victory here, their last coming in April 1976. Men's Adidas Mike Ribeiro Premier Green NHL Jersey: Nashville Predators #63 Salute to Service 2017 Stanley Cup Final Of the display Mourinho said: “I didn’t like the first half. I only like [our] two amazing goals. We were confident and organised but a bit slow. The second half was totally different. We accelerated the game.” The Portuguese made six changes from the FA Cup win here a week ago. Once again Henrikh Mkhitaryan was excluded completely – due to “doubts about his future”, Mourinho said – while Romelu Lukaku started for the first time in more than a fortnight following a head injury. Eddie Niedzwiecki’s XI showed seven players different from the Cup defeat at Coventry City , with Stephen Ireland’s first league start in 996 days notable, alongside the debut of Moritz Bauer, a 25-year-old Austrian. City’s defeat by Liverpool on Sunday should have Martin Brodeur Womens Jersey been ample inspiration for United to make a bright start. Anthony Martial was the first to do so, roving down the left before hitting in a cross Stoke managed to clear. Bauer’s first act in English top-flight football was to appear to fell Martial in the area as the Frenchman chased a Juan Mata ball. From the turf Martial made the appeal but Anthony Taylor, the referee, was unmoved. So, too, was Jack Butland, Kendrys Morales Youth jersey when United opened the scoring on nine minutes. This was because the visiting goalkeeper was given zero chance from Antonio Valencia’s vicious swerving left-foot shot that rocketed past him. The captain’s third of the season came courtesy of Paul Pogba’s searing run-then-pass that drove United from near halfway to near goal, before Valencia did the rest. This was the kind of dazzling play United are capable of and which makes the yawning gap to City a puzzle. Mourinho had spoken of the benefit of the warm-weather break in Dubai last week and there was an obvious freshness about United. Yet he will have been unhappy at the space Luke Shaw allowed Bauer to run into when Joe Allen slid the ball down the left-back’s corridor. Suddenly Stoke were in behind but Bauer failed to find a team-mate. Pogba was in imperious form, though. One stepover swept him infield and, when his pass found Jesse Lingard, the No 10 drew a foul. Up stepped Mata from 25 yards but his free-kick crashed into the wall. Ireland’s radar had already gone awry when he found himself in front of David de Gea and pulled the trigger. Again he missed the target.,44.0.html
adventure in win over
Jürgen Klopp believes Liverpool issued an “important statement” about their future without Philippe Coutinho after ending Manchester City’s unbeaten run in thrilling style at Anfield. Broncos New Jersey Shop Liverpool scored four outstanding goals and survived a late City fightback from Demaryius Thomas Womens Jersey 4-1 to inflict a first Premier League defeat on Pep Guardiola’s leaders in 31 games. The 4-3 victory arrived in Liverpool’s first outing since selling Coutinho to Barcelona for £142m and Klopp admitted it was essential for his team to respond convincingly to the Brazilian’s departure. “We made the right statement,” the Liverpool manager said. “It was not that I said to the players before the game: ‘It would be nice if you could win so nobody talks about Phil,’ but it was important for us to show it’s possible to win without him. It was a very important statement but that is all. We’ve got three points but we got them in a very important moment.” Liverpool’s front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah all scored in the space of nine second‑half minutes after Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain had given the home side an early lead. And Klopp, desperate before kick-off to avenge the 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in September, admitted Liverpool’s adventurous display was the only way to play Guardiola’s men. “You have no alternative if you want to beat City. You could sit deep in your box and hope nothing happens but we are Liverpool and we should try to win this way. The way we pressed in the second half was outstanding, on a different planet. It is a historical day. It may be the only game City lose this season because they are so strong.” Guardiola admitted City “lost a little bit of our control” amid a frenzied Anfield atmosphere and their reaction to a first league defeat since April 2017 would shape the remainder of their title Dennis Seidenberg Youth jerseypursuit. The City manager said: “We played good for 10-15 minutes in the second half until the goal from Firmino and after that we lost a little bit of our control. We were involved in the environment of Anfield for many reasons. It is our first defeat and you need to live those situations to realise what we have done so far. We have to be sure to win the next one and fight until the end to win the Premier League.” Guardiola said he expected to lose Fabian Delph “for a while” after the converted left-back sustained a knee injury that resulted in his leaving Anfield on crutches.
latest Antonio Conte spat
José Mourinho has reignited the feud with Antonio Conte by stating he has been “man enough” to say sorry when in the wrong, with the Manchester United manager referencing his 2017 apology to Womens Tommylee Lewis Jersey Claudio Ranieri. Men's Authentic Majestic Martin Perez White Jersey - #33 MLB Texas Rangers Flexbase CollectionThis appears to be a response to the Chelsea manager’s claim that Mourinho was “fake” regarding a move to make peace with Ranieri. The Portuguese had scorned Ranieri’s use of English but wore a training shirt to a press conference with CR embossed on it when Ranieri was sacked as Leicester manager last February. Mourinho had appeared to draw a line under the dispute with Conte by stating he now felt “contempt” for his Chelsea Asked whether he enjoyed the dispute with Conte and others he has been involved in, Mourinho said: “I don’t enjoy. When I start them I take the responsibilities of that and I’ve started many times. When I don’t start it’s quite funny for me to see other people on the other side acting like victims when they’re not the victims. But, really, I don’t enjoy. That’s why for me it’s over. “Sometimes it’s my fault. Sometimes it’s other managers’ fault. When I think it’s my fault and I should behave in a different way I’m the first one to apologise, like I did with Ranieri when I had the chance. That’s when our relations went from bad to good and from good to very good because I was man enough to apologise.” Mourinho said United were intent on extending David de Gea’s contract beyond the club’s option to keep the goalkeeper, who is again in superb form, for a Joe Sakic Authentic Jersey further year until 2020. “It’s obvious that we’re not going to let the option disappear,” he said. “A goalkeeper like he is and obviously a club that wants to be better and better and better, we are not going to let that year option go away. But obviously we are going to try [to further extend]. Mr Woodward [the executive vice‑chairman] is not on holiday. He barely has holidays. “Of course he’s going to try to give him a contract that keeps him here for much longer than that option that of course we are going to execute. I don’t know [if talks are under way]. I just trust the board and the work they do. I don’t negotiate players, I don’t discuss numbers and contracts. I just say what is obvious. Anyone of you would say the same – David is to keep.” Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to be available again in two to three weeks after a setback in his recovery from a serious knee injury. The manager is not concerned the 36-year-old will not make it back to full fitness. “No – I was his manager when he was 29 [at Internazioanle], there is no chance he is going to be 29 again,” he said. “When I was managing him I was 40-something. There is no chance I will be 40-something again. I will be 55 next week – we cannot stop time and for players time means a lot. And Zlatan knows that. “He knows that at the highest level he’s in the last part of his career but his dream, his desire, his fight was always to end in Manchester United his career at the highest level and, using the words he repeats all the time, being useful for me, for the team and that I think he can. basketball jerseys custom nike nfl jerseys 2016 mlb authentic jerseys nhl jerseys cheap
City ready to walk away from Alexis
Manchester City have indicated that they are ready to walk away from negotiations to sign Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez as José Mourinho admitted he is interested in adding the Chile forward to his Manchester United squad. Women's Ivan Rodriguez Replica Red Alternate Jersey: Majestic MLB #7 Texas Rangers Cool BaseHaving come close to signing Sánchez in the Womens Samson Ebukam Jersey summer, City had felt that a deal to secure the arrival of the 29-year-old in the January transfer window was imminent after they agreed personal terms with his representatives over a contract worth £13m a season. A verbal offer of £20m was lodged last week, with City informing their Arsenal counterparts that they were unwilling to raise their offer despite being informed it would take a £35m bid to make the move happen this month. However, after United indicated on Thursday that they were willing to offer Sánchez higher wages and pay £25m to bring him to Old Jake McGee Jersey Trafford, their neighbours have warned they will not be held to ransom for a player whose contract at the Emirates expires in June. It is understood that the Premier League leaders feel the overall price including transfer fee, wages and agent costs are too high, with unconcerned that their stance may cause Sánchez to sign for another club in the meantime. That appears to have opened the door for United, with Mourinho admitting on Friday he would be interested in what he described as a “phenomenal player”. “At the general level what I can say is myself and Manchester United board, owners, we don’t believe a lot in the January market, we don’t believe in signing a player just to sign a player,” Mourinho said. “What we believe really is there are some players in the football world if you have the chance to sign them in January, March or July, you have to try and that’s it. “But in relation to Alexis Sánchez I don’t say a word. The only word I can say is he is a phenomenal player, apart from that an Arsenal player and I feel I shouldn’t say much more than this. I don’t think it’s – I don’t know, ethical or correct – to be speaking about players of other clubs. If somebody speaks of one of my players to say they are interested, I wouldn’t be very happy. Sánchez is an Arsenal player. I don’t know but probably this weekend he is going to defend Arsenal colours, so I don’t think it’s correct to say things about Alexis Sánchez.” City agreed a £60m deal with Arsenal in August, only for the transfer to collapse when Arsène Wenger failed to complete a move for Monaco’s Thomas Lemar on deadline day. Wenger admitted on Friday that he was unsure whether the player signed from Barcelona in 2014 would still be at the club next month but insisted Sánchez would not be allowed to leave unless they secure a replacement. City had been convinced of Sánchez’s desire to work with Pep Guardiola again and were prepared to wait until the summer to sign him if necessary until a knee injury suffered by Gabriel Jesus on New Year’s Eve appeared to alter their plans. Yet with the Brazil striker now expected to be back in training within three weeks, there is less urgency to add to the squad this month. Guardiola, whose City side travel to Anfield to face fourth-placed Liverpool on Sunday looking to extend Richie Ashburn Youth jersey their unbeaten run in the Premier League this season to 23 matches, refused to discuss any move for Sánchez. nike nfl jerseys wholesale wholesale nfl jerseys china nike nfl jerseys 2016 wholesale jerseys cheapbaseball jerseys jerseys china
Pep told me to play like
Leroy Sané’s welcoming demeanour suggests a young footballer enjoying his stellar Jonathan Ericsson Youth jerseyrise at Manchester City. There is an intelligence in his eyes and a willingness to discuss anything – including Alexis Sánchez’s possible arrival this month – as he relaxes in a chair at the club’s training complex. Youth Vegas Golden Knights #6 Colin Miller Adidas Gray Home Premier NHL JerseySánchez’s regular berth is on the left of attack, the area from which Sané terrorises defences. Yet there is no concern should the Arsenal forward, the subject of a £20m bid, join City during the transfer window and threaten Sané’s place in the starting XI. Youth Nike Dallas Cowboys #83 Terrance Williams Elite White Rush Vapor Untouchable NFL Jersey“No, it doesn’t worry me personally,” the German says. “He’s a very good player. If he comes to us – I don’t know it will happen – he can help us. No player would say: ‘Oh I hope he doesn’t come.’ Every one of us is playing really Brian Bellows Authentic Jersey well right now and everyone has confidence. But there are so many games – so everyone is going to get games. “If you don’t get challenged, then you can’t find out how good you are. Even if he is better, you can look up to him, learn and try to improve with him. That makes you a better player. Even if someone like that comes in and is in front of you – if he plays more – the target is to get in front of Ja'Wuan James Womens Jersey him in the first XI. So it makes you work harder.” City are at Liverpool on Sunday and Jürgen Klopp’s side know how good Sané can be. In September’s reverse fixture he produced one of his finest displays since joining from Schalke for £37m in the summer of 2016. After 57 minutes he replaced Gabriel Jesus. City were 3-0 ahead, Sadio Mané had been sent off for the visitors, and Sané was ruthless in killing off Liverpool, scoring twice to complete a 5-0 win. He says: “I try, like always, to help the team, and to score two goals was very good for the team and for me too.” City’s title challenge is a near-procession 22 matches in. Pep Guardiola’s team hold a 15-point lead over Manchester United and are a further three better off than Liverpool. Yet Sané knows the trip to Anfield will be a battle. “They have a very good team, good strikers,” he says. “[Roberto] Firmino, [Mo] Salah, Mané – quick players. They will look for mistakes from us and try to play counterattacks. That’s why it’s a tough game. It was an equal game at the start of the season because they also had chances to score the first goal. “They didn’t and then Mané was sent off, that was better for us. After we got the goal, we had much more confidence, they had a player less. The coach has also said it will be a tough game; it’s against Liverpool, they’re at Anfield and that’s why we are all looking forward to it.” Klopp is a long-time admirer of Sané. He had hoped Peyton Manning Jersey to sign his countryman for Liverpool. “Yes, I was also talking with them,” says Sané, who made his senior debut for Schalke in April 2014. “Jürgen was calling me too, talking to me. That was before I joined City. He did a good job at [Borussia] Dortmund – I met him when he was there. He’s a good guy, nice guy – honest. He [has] worked well with Liverpool.”
Premier League’s great divide
They used to call it mid‑table obscurity but that term is almost obsolete in the Premier League these days. Watford, in 10th place, are only five points away from the relegation zone, anxiously looking over their shoulder and at risk of getting caught up in a survival battle that threatens to reel in more clubs than even before. Men's Nike Seattle Seahawks #68 Justin Britt Elite Grey Alternate NFL JerseyMaybe that will serve as a marketing line for the TV companies in the months to Sean Taylor Jersey come, especially as the title race is about as interesting as a cabinet reshuffle. Life lower down is rather predictable or, to Rogie Vachon Jersey put it another way, competitive for all the wrong reasons. Eight clubs have failed to pick up Danny Duffy Authentic Jersey more than a point per game (only three were in that position at the end of last season and they were all relegated) and every team in the bottom half has a double‑digit negative goal difference already. Youth Jordan Martinook Premier Green Adidas Jersey: NHL Arizona Coyotes #48 Salute to ServiceThe concept of leagues within leagues is nothing new, especially with the top six operating on a totally different level financially to everyone else for many years now, yet this season and last, when only six points separated Southampton in eighth from Watford in 17th, there has been a shift towards a two-tier division. As things stand, Champions League ambitions burn and relegation fears grow either side of the thin line that separates Burnley and Leicester City, who are involved in a two-way fight for seventh spot and potential Europa League qualification, from the rest of the division. Everton, in ninth, are seven points behind Burnley in seventh and the same distance from the relegation zone, which rather sums up what the Premier League has become with its “squeezed middle”. The top six are pulling away while the playing field has levelled among the rest – albeit not in a good way. Although there are individual cases where clubs are clearly making progress and punching above their weight – Sean Dyche’s Burnley spring to mind – it is hard to escape the feeling when watching Premier League football Bryant Reeves Jersey these days that, collectively, the standard has fallen among those clubs in the bottom half of the table. That argument would probably jar with top-flight managers, whose stock response in press conferences is to describe the Premier League as unforgiving and say it gets better and better every year. But does “the best league in the world” really keep improving right across the board? Speak to Swansea City, West Bromwich Albion and Stoke fans, or Southampton and West Ham supporters – all clubs in the bottom six – and the chances are many will pine for days gone by and, rather than say the majority of their opponents are playing football at another level, instead tell you how their own team are a shadow of the one they watched a few years ago. As well as Huddersfield and Brighton have done to give themselves an excellent chance of extending their stay in the Premier League beyond their first season, there is no getting away from the fact so many established clubs are underperforming and have badly lost their way. Bournemouth make up the bottom six along with Swansea, West Brom, Stoke, Southampton and West Ham, all of whom have spent a total of 40 consecutive seasons between them in the Premier League and are presently between four and nine positions lower than where they finished last year. There is no single reason why things have unravelled at those clubs. In some cases flawed decisions at boardroom level will be the root cause, for others it will be poor management, while disappointing recruitment in the transfer market and underachievement on the pitch will have played a part to varying degrees, too.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain senses
Liverpool sanctioned a seismic transfer while the bulk of Jürgen Klopp’s squad were in Dubai but, as far as Alex Oxlade‑Chamberlain is concerned, reverberations from Philippe Coutinho’s £142m move to Barcelona will not damage the dressing room. The “new boy” is not being cold or dismissive towards a team-mate of merely four months. It is, he says, strictly business, and the responsibility of every Liverpool player to compensate for the second biggest transfer fee of all time. Men's Nike Indianapolis Colts #74 Anthony Castonzo Limited Black 2016 Salute to Service NFL Jersey“I haven’t really even thought about Phil leaving,” insists Liverpool’s summer arrival from Arsenal, fresh from the mid-season break that followed the FA Cup defeat of Everton. “You pay it attention and you realise it happens but you can’t think: ‘What are we going to do now that Phil is not here?’. It can’t be that at all. It’s business as usual. “When Phil didn’t play in some games we still played great football and we still have amazing players who can score goals – the likes of Mo [Salah], Sadio [Mané], Roberto [Firmino] and everyone else. We have goals and creativity all over the team. Obviously Phil added to that, there is no doubt about that. The fact is he has gone now and we have to think about what we have got that is going to get the job done. I have every faith in the boys that we just move on now. I don’t think it should affect us at all.” Oxlade-Chamberlain is effusive in his praise of the Brazil international; protective too, as witnessed by his defence of Coutinho when the then delicate subject of Barcelona cropped up on Sky after Liverpool’s win at Bournemouth last month. But he is a professional who witnessed big departures and big arrivals at Arsenal, and knows the effect of Coutinho’s transfer on Liverpool will be determined by the response of those he left behind. Virgil van Dijk’s £75m arrival and match-winning debut in the derby is, he believes, evidence that the process is under way positively. “I am the type of person who relishes the chance to stand up and perform under pressure, I have had to do that my whole career,” the 24-year-old says. “I was at a big club previously and being at a big one now, you know you are always going to have to perform under pressure. “I knew Phil was a world-class talent before I joined. Since I arrived I saw what an influential part he was of the side. In the short history he was here, Phil was a big character around the place, a fan favourite and rightly so. He was an amazing player who did great Womens Anton Khudobin Jersey things for Liverpool. You want as many good players as possible in your team but that is football, that’s the business – people come, people go. Clubs will lose great players and great players will come in. “We have just brought in Virgil and what an amazing addition he has been. In the short time he has been here, he has brought that air of confidence with his persona and that has been a big lift for us. “At Scooter Gennett Jersey a massive club like Liverpool, people will come and go. It is our job to keep the wheels moving and momentum going. You don’t like to see friends go – Phil is a really good guy – but for me it is business as usual. I’ve got every respect for Phil and his decisions, I wish him all the best, but he is not in my thoughts right now moving on to Manchester City because he is not going to be able to affect the score on Sunday.” Oxlade-Chamberlain admits Coutinho’s absence from the Liverpool midfield represents “an opportunity for me, just as it is for the rest of the boys who want to play there”. The opportunity had been taken prior to the Brazilian’s exit, however. The midfielder required patience as well as receptiveness towards Klopp’s methods following his deadline day move from Arsenal for an initial £35m. Oxlade-Chamberlain started only three of Liverpool’s first 15 games after the transfer window but has begun seven of the last dozen. “You want to play as much as possible but I am not the type of character to go bursting walls down,” he says of the quiet start to life at Anfield. “I knew coming into a new environment that the manager would want me to learn the way he wants me to play and how to play best with the team. I respected I was the new boy and I had a lot of learning to do. So Corey Linsley Authentic JerseyI got my head down and did exactly that. Slowly but surely I got my foot in the door and started playing a bit more but I know football that can change quickly. discount jerseys nfl jerseys paypal nfl jerseys nike mlb authentic jerseys mlb jerseys wholesale
Spitting is reviled but is it really
When Samuel Sáiz spat at the Newport County midfielder Robbie Willmott he revived the forgotten scourge of football. After a few years away gobbing is back, effortlessly renewing its position as the No1 most offensive act in football. The only question Womens Trevor Linden Jersey about the seriousness of this act being; is it really? Women's Bob Feller Replica White Majestic Jersey: MLB Cleveland Indians #19 Cool Base FashionNewport had taken an injury-time lead in Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Leeds United when Willmott began strutting around, his shirt taut in front of him as if he was about to catch a falling kitten from a house fire. Sáiz, he claimed, had left a trail of expectorate on his jersey. The referee, Mike Dean, was informed, Sáiz was sent off and, on Monday, the Spaniard was given a six-game ban by the FA. (Dallas Cowboys Maliek Collins Game Nike Men's Navy Blue Jersey) NFL Home #96Sáiz was highly penitent after his punishment was announced, proclaiming: “I give my word to all those connected to Leeds United that I will learn from this and never repeat it.” If that sounds a tad over the top (have you ever heard someone say similar about diving, never mind a reckless challenge?)it fits with the perceived seriousness of the crime. Six games Frank Robinson Womens Jersey is the mandatory suspension for anyone found to have spat at someone during a match. The Newcastle striker Papiss Cissé was banned for seven games in 2015 after a special independent commission investigating an altercation with Manchester United’s Jonny Evans took prior violent conduct into consideration when handing out his sentence. The FA’s tariff had been revised upwards in the summer of 2014 in order to fall in line with Fifa’s position on the matter but there is no doubt everyone in the game reviles spitting. Whenever the various bodies in the English professional game gather to discuss matters of regulation, Jaroslav Halak Womens Jersey it’s consistently agreed to be beyond the pale. Violent conduct, it is felt, is an unavoidable consequence of a contact sport, spitting on someone not so much. Why does spitting get under so many people’s skin? There is no doubt it is an uncouth act. When directed at someone else it carries a degree of psychological insult, the victim apparently considered unworthy of being treated respectfully by their assailant. A flob might also transmit infection. When the Health Protection Agency advised footballers to stop spitting altogether in 2009, there was no disguising its feelings when it labelled the act “disgusting at all times”. It does seem odd, though, that spitting should be so vilified when other, not entirely dissimilar, activities are barely even noticed. Foul language, for example, is surely more wounding of a victim and is very much seen by impressionable young fans watching on television (at least it is when players are not cleverly obscuring their mouths with their hands). Offensive language or gestures carry a mandatory ban of two matches. At three matches violent conduct is punished with a ban half as harsh as that for spitting. If complaints are made about a specific incident violent conduct can be investigated and that ban extended. The only qualifier there is that it very rarely is. Mousa Dembélé earned a spit-sized ban of six matches for violent conduct in 2016 but it was a rarity. It was also at least in part down to the difficulty of arguing it was accidental when film shows a clear attempt to gouge out Diego Costa’s eyes. When it comes to spitting, no one would ever sincerely argue in its defence. But its position as a disciplinary outlier in football does look a bit odd. Each weekend seems to bring an act of petty nastiness equally worthy of a month-and-a-half time out. Spitting has apparently acquired a symbolic importance; it’s the crime squared Deacon Jones Jersey directly against football’s original, Corinthian, largely imagined values. In the interests of being seen to treat other matters with the seriousness they deserve, perhaps the game should get over it. It appears Newport’s Willmott has. “There is absolutely no hard feelings from me,” the midfielder said after putting his shirt in the wash. “Sáiz is actually one of my favourite players in the Championship.” mlb jerseys china cheap nfl jerseys usa nike nfl jerseys cheapnike nfl jerseys size chart nba jerseys for sale wholesale nfl jerseys supply wholesale jerseys paypal
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