mbined with newcomers T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMa

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mbined with newcomers T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMa

Postautor: lw789 » 13 mar 2018, 05:01

The clouds were grey and there wasnt a sign of sunshine anywhere. Two Spanish players kicked the ball between each other as cameras ran around them looking for the perfect shot. The weather had given it away. It was clearly the north of England, but the skill on show on the pitch came from elsewhere. Juan Mata struck the ball hard off the bar and that was Ander Herreras cue to turn around, rifle the ball in the net and send a stern message to the camera. a€?Have you got the instinct? It was a message created up by the brain trust behind the latest Adidas campaign, but it is a test his new team has to pass if they want to progress. The two Manchester United players represent a new era at Old Trafford, despite them not being directly linked with Louis van Gaal. Gaalaticos, these are not. Mata was a David Moyes signing and Herrera was pursued by Moyes and the clubs chief executive, Ed Woodward, as early as the summer of 2013, yet only became a United player once the club finally caved and agreed to pay the 36 million Euro out clause to Athletic Bilbao for the midfielder. Herrera admitted he hadnt spoken to his new manager before he signed, but, then again, van Gaal was making his way to Fortaleza at the time for a last-16 tilt with Mexico for the Netherlands when the Spaniard finally put pen to paper at Old Trafford. It would be unfair on Herrera, though, to presume his face did not fit with van Gaals philosophy. The Dutch boss had been named the next manager at Old Trafford well before the final successful bid had been submitted to San Mames and it was clear, no matter who the manager was, that Herrera was a player United needed. It can take some time for overseas players to adapt to the Premier League, but last weekend the 25-year-old Spaniard looked like he had been playing in England all his life. Herrera was magnificent against QPR, operating on the right side of a midfield diamond, but receiving an incredible 87 passes all over the field. Highlighting his exceptional movement, both his full-backs, Rafael and Marcos Rojo, finished in the top three of players who completed passes to him. It was only QPR Four small words that have been thrown in the face of Manchester United fans all week. For the first time in 25 years, the club are not playing in a European competition this season, so they have more time than usual to digest domestic successes from the past weekend. It may have only been QPR, but Sundays hammering of the London club by van Gaals men showed they had the instinct, demonstrating a desire to push forward regularly with a speed from midfield that was lacking under Moyes. The game was over as a contest by half-time and, finally, their fans saw strong signs of progression away from the Moyes era. Such a low bar may have been set after the disastrous campaign of last season, yet it is important United break stride away from that period as quickly as possible. Before QPR, against Swansea and Burnley for example, questions remained. There are different ways to measure progress. Clearly, the easiest way to do this is by looking at the result and the 4-0 thumping over QPR meant van Gaal accomplished something, in his second home league game, that Moyes never did by winning a Premier League match at Old Trafford by four goals. United only won one game at home by four goals last season, coming in April under caretaker boss Ryan Giggs. It is also easy to look at a man-of-the-match performance from Angel Di Maria and see that United are finally trending in the right direction. Indeed, the former Real Madrid man was sensational on his home debut. The Argentine winger received a lot of praise for his performance, where he operated on the left side of the diamond, that was the reason for much of Uniteds success. Di Maria is a modern day footballer who brings speed, creativity and intelligence to pivotal positions on the field, starting counterattacks, igniting transitions and sending precise final balls into the penalty box for a striker to finish off. He is a player United should have had for some time, bought at a high-end cost that the club have avoided for far too long. The same can be said for the loan capture of Radamel Falcao, harshly criticized in the English media as a unnecessary luxury based on the issues in defence, but what both bring is a high level of talent and intelligence sadly lacking at Old Trafford for some time. They arrive at the gates of Old Trafford already as genuine world class players and, although this has been reported as a change of identity for the club, it was one that was needed. Falcao and Di Maria will be stars for United this season, helping shape an identity away from what they had become under Moyes where the team was, simply, far too predictable, far too direct and far too English. Midfield General The addition of Herrera is equally important as they move away from that direction. No matter what system van Gaal employs this season, what he needs is a vital link-up between defence and attack. A midfielder who has an appreciation for space and reads the game quicker than most and not one whose first move is to pass sideways. Herrera, the son of a former technical secretary at his boyhood club, Real Zaragoza, used to write scouting reports for his father on players before he was a teenager. He is a self-confessed football addict, who watches multiples leagues around the world. On the pitch it shows. He is a player with great instincts. Against QPR, he made a run into the box early in the game because he knew where Di Marias cross was going before he hit it. Robin van Persie collided with him because he wasnt used to having midfielders make those runs. He is now. His instincts and desire for the ball in tight quarters ensured he won all eight tackles he attempted and secured his team the free kick that Di Maria powered home in the first half. A short time later, he sprinted from deep in his own end on a Di Maria counter, checked his run, and then powered home his shot. He wasnt done, as he glided inside and into space to play a one-two with Mata that allowed United to penetrate into the final third that led to Wayne Rooneys goal. It was only one game of football, against inferior opposition, but Herrera brought qualities to Uniteds midfield that have been missing since Paul Scholes retired. An ability to join the attack, to always be an intelligent outlet by desiring the ball in space, by reading the flow of a move by his team and his opponent, and regularly being in the right place, with or without the ball. Di Maria and Falcao will be fun to watch for United fans this season, but Herreras development under van Gaal will be fascinating to observe. He blossomed under Marcelo Bielsa at Bilbao and in the Dutchman he gets another detailed-oriented boss who loves the game as much as him. He may not be a Gaalatico, but Herrera is the intelligent instigator whose instincts will win Manchester United a lot of games going forward. Ander Herrera and Manchester United travel to Leicester City this Sunday for their next Premier League clash. Join Kristian Jack and Andi Petrillo for the coverage starting at 8am et/5am pt TSN2. Marshall Newhouse Jersey . Amare Stoudemire had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Carmelo Anthony scored 21 and the New York Knicks won their eighth straight game, 93-92 over Philadelphia on Friday night, sending the Sixers to their 23rd straight loss. Kelechi Osemele Jersey . The 30-year-old Moore played in 13 games for the Saints last season, catching 37 balls for 457 yards and two touchdowns. http://www.shoptheraidersonline.com/Eli ... Jersey/.85 million contract with the two-time Gold Glove outfielder. Parra earned his second Gold Glove last season when he set a club record with 17 outfield assists. Willie Brown Jersey . The veteran fighter will be squaring off with Henderson in a five-round lightweight bout as part of another network televised card at the United Center on Saturday night. Custom Oakland Raiders Jerseys . Fifth-seeded Cilic gained his fourth title in Zagreb and became the third Croat overall to win at least 10 career titles. Cilic also lifted his career record in Zagreb to 22-4, winning 20 of his last 21 matches at the event.DENVER - Instead of revving their high-octane offence like they did a year ago, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos pumped the brakes heading into these playoffs.Theyre no longer the air-it-out team that piled up 606 points last season. Now, theyre built as much on a dominant, star-studded defence and good ground game as they are on Mannings mind and passing prowess.While taking on a new identity, the Broncos still managed to tie for the leagues best record for the third consecutive season under Manning. And their 30.1-point scoring average trailed only Green Bays 30.4.Still, Mannings stretch run — three touchdowns, six interceptions in December — is cause for concern among many an uneasy Broncos fan.C.J. Anderson, the first undrafted running back to score seven touchdowns in a month since Priest Holmes a decade ago, laughs at the notion.He offered this observation as the Broncos (12-4) got some much-needed R&R with a first-round bye:Ill just ask the fans this: Do you want Peyton to throw 70 million touchdowns and break 80 million records or do you all want a parade downtown?Andersons emergence since midseason has given the Broncos the kind of balance they had back in the late 1990s when John Elway had Terrell Davis to take share the load and help hoist two championship trophies.Anderson began the season buried on the depth chart, and only got his chance because of injuries to Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman. He quickly proved as adept at picking up the blitz as the first down, a prerequisite to joining Manning in the Broncos backfield.He finished with 1,173 yards from scrimmage and 10 TDs despite not starting until Week 11.C.J.s picked up this offence quickly, Manning said. He studied during the time that he wasnt playing, which has paid off for him.And the Broncos.I feel good that our run game has developed, that weve got a couple guys we really trust back there, and the fact that we are a little more balanced, said offensive co-ordinator Adam Gase. To have that effective balance going into (the playoffs) is going to be key for us.Even with the Broncos downshifting their offence, Demaryius Thomas posted a club-record 1,619 yards receiving. He became the seventh wide receiver in NFL history to post 10 100-yard games in a season.Emmanuel Sanders set career highs with 101 catches for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns after four seasons in Pittsburgh where he never came close to those kinds of numbers.Sanders, who famously called Denver widee receiver heaven when he arrived as part of Elways splashy free agency class last spring, said this was the kind of year he envisioned.ddddddddddddI remember last year I was sitting around getting ready to be a free agent, and I said that I feel like me and Antonio Brown have the same type of game. I just need somebody to give me an opportunity, Sanders said. What I meant was the yards hes putting up, the balls that hes catching, I can do those things.A year ago, the Broncos suffered through an injury epidemic. And four players who had to watch the Super Bowl from the sideline have led Denvers defensive resurgence: pass rusher Von Miller (14 sacks), cornerback Chris Harris Jr. (zero touchdowns), safety Rahim Moore and lineman Derek Wolfe.They combined with newcomers T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib and DeMarcus Ware to post the leagues third-rated defence that was second against the run.But the fulcrum of co-ordinator Jack Del Rios unit was a major surprise: linebacker Brandon Marshall, who led the team with 110 tackles despite missing the last two games with a sprained foot.Marshall, cut several times by the Jaguars before ending up as a practice squad player in Denver last year, is both a tale of perseverance and overnight success. He couldnt even carve out a job for himself on one of the worst teams in the NFL and now hes an every-down linebacker and arguably the defensive MVP on one of the leagues best teams.Hes had a Pro Bowl kind of year, Del Rio said.Marshall wasnt among the Broncos league-high nine Pro Bowl selections, however.Another snub was nose tackle Terrance Knighton, who has guaranteed a return trip to the Super Bowl even if that means having to beat the Patriots on the road for the first time since 2006.Teams that win right now and end up winning Super Bowls are teams that can play good defence and have offences that can run the ball, Knighton reasoned. Right now, were fulfilling that blueprint.Given that, youd think Knighton had a little voice telling him last years joyride would end in bitter disappointment, as it did.No, no, because we were on the same high horse that everybody else was on. We didnt feel like our offence could be stopped, Knighton said, and we felt like as a defence we only had to do enough to win.This time theres no riding Supermans cape.No, it didnt work, said Knighton, whos confident the refurbished Broncos can get it done this way.___AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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