#1

Gaal announced it would take three months for his team t

in Sport 24.07.2019 05:53
von Bellroll33 • 150 Beiträge

Three months. In July, newly minted Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal announced it would take three months for his team to show true progress through his approach. Although were past the three-month stage, it seems more appropriate to have that conversation now that were three months into Premier League play. Its performance in actual competitive matches and subsequent results that are most indicative of progress. Yet, sitting here in November, 11 games into the Premier League season, we still have no idea what Manchester United is or what they can be. 16 points from 11 games and sitting seventh place after a £149 million summer spend has many eyes rolling. The cheap shot David Moyes could have done that commentary is tiresome. Moyes taking the job at Real Sociedad will grab the attention of many in the Northwest of England, who will unquestionably be casting judgment about what kind of job the former boss does in San Sebastian. The comparisons that will follow between Moyes and Van Gaal will be irrelevant and frankly a bore. Different men, a different approach with very different looking teams. So we move forward. Extenuating and trying circumstances have greatly hampered Van Gaal and his introduction to the Premier League. Injury isnt an excuse until it actually is a reason. Injury and suspension have made it impossible to gauge whether the foundation Van Gaal has put down is good enough. Through it all, United are only two points back of fourth place West Ham with Champions League football next season remaining a reasonable objective in a league full of flawed teams. It was another slow and sluggish performance in a makeshift 1-0 home victory over Crystal Palace Saturday. No cutting edge. Too slow. No cohesion. It was the kind of performance from a team thats a work in progress. Good players unsure of themselves and their positioning. The standard is so high at United that its a strange sight to see a team struggling as such with so many high-priced players. This is a time Van Gaals idea of progress will come through cultivating the minds and approach of his players. Success for the rest of us will come through results and quality of winning performance. But with this team, at this time, there is no accurate barometer. It is too early to tell if success is on the horizon. The fundamental difficulty in judging United is the players themselves. 31 players have played in 11 league games with 36 different players listed on the team sheet. The turnover has been astonishing. Goalkeeper David De Gea is the only player to play every match, and only he and Wayne started both the opening game of the season and Saturday against Crystal Palace. Nine players were out injured and one suspended on the weekend - a recurring issue with the team. Centre-back has been symbolic of change in system and personnel. With Paddy McNair and Daley Blind starting at the position Saturday, and the match ending with what looked like Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher as centre-halves, United have now used 12 different central defensive combinations. Thats 12 in 11 games. This is no longer a place where centre-back stability was a given, with the likes of Bruce-Pallister or Ferdinand-Vidic deputizing and being integral to team success. These are extraordinary measures for any manager to deal with, let alone a new one coming off a late arrival after World Cup duty and an inconvenient, yet necessary pre-season tour. Its also extremely difficult for players to find consistency with great change around them. Six key players brought to the team in the summer require time to gel, as do a number of call-ups from within the United ranks. Great change in personnel is one thing; change in system is another. Van Gaal freely admits the change in tactical approach is less than ideal. The pragmatic nature of his week-to-week team selection and formation is done out of necessity rather than training pitch design. United have played a 3-5-2, 4-4-2, 4-5-1 which has more or less dissolved into a 4-1-4-1. And the formations continually change within matches through adjustments by the manager or the players showing a lack of discipline in said position. The win against Palace exposed all of what has plagued Van Gaals set-up: players out of position, unbalanced in formation and lacking cohesion. The back four continues to take the brunt of criticism (inexperience and a revolving door of players will do that). The root of the teams problems lay in midfield. Im assuming Ander Herrera has only been on the team-sheet for the last three matches to fill a spot: emergency situations only. The Spaniard came back far too soon from a fractured rib and struggled wearing a corset against West Brom three weeks ago. He only lasted 45 minutes. The midfield without Herrera is quite frankly a mess. Even with Herrera, it can be argued there is a complete imbalance in personnel. Blind and Carrick are comfortable on the ball but far better operating from deeper positions. With this the case, it seems Van Gaal may resort to a double pivot once his back line returns to health (which is no given). From there, more issues arise. Angel Di Maria is a no-brainer down the left. The Argentine has struggled recently as the formation has changed, looking unsure of his role and even mores of his teammates. United still have too many number 10s - Rooney, Juan Mata, and to a lesser extent Marouane Fellaini. Fellainis positional sense is a mess, and cannot be trusted in a more defensive role. That leaves the right side, where Adnan Januzaj has taken up the position. The 19-year-old has experienced a hesitant start, failing to beat players on the dribble and looking awkward on the right flank. At this point it seems reasonable for Januzaj to be no more than a reserve on the left. The right side of the field has no proper fit unless a fit Ashley Young can find any kind of form or Antonio Valencia develop some real attacking prowess. Bottomline, the right side has a gaping hole. Van Gaal must decide what formation he wants to play and bring in requisite bodies to execute. Or else this patchwork midfield group will continue on with all their visible imperfections. Which brings us up front. A lack of team speed is an issue. Robin Van Persie is a technically sound player who lacks pace to break down the opposition at this stage of his career. A healthy Radamel Falcao would be ideal, but there is no guarantee when or if he will be back to his old tricks. James Wilson looks lively, but lacks the polish to be the lone target-man. The issue of team speed starts in the midfield, with no player other than Di Maria able to play the game with true pace. Luke Shaw is the one source of speed out of the back, but is not on the same page as Di Maria. So the current set-up is less than ideal and too predictable. The end result is a team with top players, not fast enough, healthy enough, or cohesive enough to break down opponents, particularly inferior ones intent on putting 11 behind the ball. This is not to say this group does not have the ability to get to that level. But right now, everything remains too direct, lacking creativity. Rooney as a centre-midfielder is by default. Januzaj on the right is desperation. As are midfield players playing in the back. Manchester United is like a house with a bunch of nice furniture with none of it going together. Everything seems out of place. A house without a solid foundation will crumble, no matter the bells and whistles. United have many impressive pieces. We are no nearer to finding whether they are a match. Thats Van Gaals challenge right now: do enough to pick up results while meticulously perfecting his design. When he says it will take three-years to achieve the results desired, its an honest assessment of the team he has and where it needs to go. Just because you spend a lot of money doesnt guarantee results. If it were only that simplistic. Top players only take you so far. After 11 games in a mediocre Premier League, makeshift may just be enough for this work-in-progress Manchester United team to achieve top-four. And even if they do, we still may need more time for a complete assessment of the new Manchester United. Gareth Wheeler @WheelerTSN gareth.wheeler@bellmedia.ca Cale Makar Jersey .com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets rewarded starting goaltender and pending restricted free agent Sergei Bobrovsky with a four-year contract extension on Friday. Paul Kariya Jersey . -- Edwin Encarnacion hit a three-run homer, Colby Rasmus drove in two runs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Detroit Tigers 9-4 on Saturday. http://www.hockeyavalanche.com/authentic-adam-foote-avalanche-jersey/ .The surgery was performed by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia.Letestu had three goals and two assists in nine games before being injured in late October.The 29-year-old has 54 goals and 65 assists in 273 career NHL games, including 39 goals and 51 assists in 188 games with the Blue Jackets. Mark Barberio Jersey . -- With his team down 16 points in the second quarter and headed for another blowout loss at home, Golden State Warriors coach Mark Jackson yelled out to his players to keep shooting and keep fighting on defence. Rob Ramage Jersey . "Hes over there," the first baseman said. "You dont need to talk to anybody else." Indeed, Peralta did it all as the majors top team won again.The situation in the East is simply fantastic for fans of the CFL. All Week 20 games in the East matter as to who is in the playoffs and that’s how you want it to play out. I will be on site at the marque game of the week, Montreal at Hamilton. I am looking forward to seeing Hamilton’s new stadium and the facilities they have for the players and coaches. I can remember when I worked for the Ticats, Jamie Barresi and I shared an office which was fine except for when we had to meet with the players there. The players sat on the floor and watched practice and game film on two TVs we jerry-rigged to play the same video. We had to do this because the room had a weird shape and the guys closest to the exit could not see the big TV. The big TV was actually one I had at my house and had brought in to be able have a bigger screen! I have heard nothing but great things about this new facility that will provide the players with a professional work environment they deserve, looking forward to seeing that. Speaking of Coach Barresi, he is now the head coach of the University of Ottawa, and led them to a 5-3 finish and a first round playoff win over Windsor. He will now come home to Hamilton to take on McMaster this weekend in the second round of the playoffs. I am not sure that this situation has ever happened in the CFL. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats can finish first place, second place, or be eliminated from the playoffs! You don’t often have to prepare your team for all those possibilities within a week. But I think there is a very interesting coaching situation for the Cats, let’s talk about it. Hamilton’s playoff scenario is this: if they beat Montreal by eight points or more they clinch first place; if they win by less than eight points or Toronto loses they earn second place; and if they lose and Toronto wins, they are eliminated from the playoffs. Teams that finish in first place statistically have a greater chance of going to the Grey Cup, so does Hamilton change the game plan to put themselves in first place? I think I would. Let’s say Toronto wins the game Friday and Hamilton is eliminated with a loss, this is the harder scenario. Hamilton starts the game basically down 7-0 to the Als for first place. Do they become more aggressive to make up the point differential and go for first place? Aggressive might be a fake punt or special play on Teams to be able get a few extra offensive scoring possessions. Could it be a more aggressive defensive scheme or pressure package trying to limit Montreal scoring? Third and goal from the two-yard line early in the game, usually you kick the field goal but do you go for it to make up the points to try to get first place? All these things mentioned have a risk that when not executed can hurt your chances of winning the game, which is the ultimate goal for Hamilton because they would be eliminated if Toronto wins. Late in the game this will be employed but early in the game is when it could easily affect the outcome. Certainly late in the game, if Hamilton is up by three, you will see the best of both teams, because Hamilton will actually be trying to drive the length of the field and score a touchdown with the lead. That situation does not happenn often.dddddddddddd These are the decisions that a head coach must have a good understanding of not only at the end of the year, but at the beginning of the year. In 2009, when I was the offensive coordinator of the Saskatchewan Roughriders we were in the first of a four-game series with an opponent. It was late in the game and we were winning but I called a few more passes and scored a late touchdown. A coach from the other team after the game sought me out on the field and took offence to my offence (funny?) of scoring a touchdown when we could have taken a knee at the end of the game. I looked at him somewhat surprised and said we are playing you four times and there is the very real possibility that we will end up tied at the end of the year and the next playoff tie breaker is points scored. That is why we were scoring points late in the last drive, we don’t know how we will end up, so you assume you will be tied. Points-scored has to be thought of when you play an opponent twice or four times because you could be tied at the end. Playing someone three times, points is not an issue (unless there was a tie) because someone usually finishes 2-1. Back to Hamilton, let’s assume Toronto loses and a loss by Hamilton will not affect their playoff chances, they would have second place locked up no matter what happens in their game. Now you can see the Ticats being aggressive and be ready for anything that can help them score points. No huddle to get more plays, going for it on third down, onside kicks. Mistakes or poor execution of those plays can also hurt your field position which can help Montreal’s opportunity to score, so executing these calls is key. If you have a chance, look up Head Coach Kevin Kelley and the Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas, a coach who calls for onside kicks every kickoff and will not punt throughout the season. The guy must be crazy and must lose every game right? A state Championship, a loss in the finals, and a semi-final appearance in three years tells another story. Although some of his data may not correlate with the CFL, he believes on kickoffs the difference in the field position is only about 15 yards if an onside kick is recovered by the receiving team and coach Kelley’s teams recover one out of every three onside kicks which is a turnover, and we know turnovers are one of the most telling stats in winning football games. In the CFL, a failed onside kick would probably be a 30-yard difference in field position which is certainly a reason not to do it every time. Kelley never punts because his philosophy is you have to score more points to win the football game and you cannot score without retaining possession of the football. That is why he will always go for it on fourth down, to keep possession of the ball. So if your team is in a fourth and 3 situation four times in a game and they average 5.5 yards per rush, why not go for it? Kelley believes he will make three out of four conversions and will keep the football. Interesting thoughts and I thought of this philosophy this week to see if the Ticats would employ some of these tactics to get to first place. Either way it will be a great weekend for football, punt or no punt. ' ' '

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