SportsNet - August 2012
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has never been one to shy away from brash statements and radical decision making. Some have cost him his job (his stint with the Jets comes to mind) while others have helped him find wild amounts of success (National Championships, albeit not without controversy, at USC). In his latest high risk, high reward decision, Carroll has opted to start the season with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson instead of Matt Flynn--whom many thought would be the franchise quarterback after inking a contract with Seattle during the offseason.
Wilson, who was a third round selection in April's Draft, has looked more like a seasoned vet than a green rookie during the preseason. In two games against the Titans and Broncos, Wilson looked impressive against the opponent's second team defenses, hurting both with his arm and legs. Wilson had been building momentum, becoming increasingly comfortable in Carroll's offensive scheme and with Flynn out with an injury this past weekend against the Chiefs, Wilson seized his opportunity and showed why the coaching staff--and Carroll in particular--have been raving about the young man from Richmond, Virginia.
Wednesday is the second leg of the Spanish Supercopa between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Barcelona took a 3-2 lead after winning at home in the first leg. With a first leg score that was close enough to allow either team to win the Supercopa, the contest at the Bernabeu in Madrid is up for grabs. With that being said, here are three keys to a Barcelona victory.
1.Eliminate the Silly Mistakes
This means you Victor Valdes. Barcelona has become a team that seemingly can only be defeated by themselves. Barcelona had a commanding 3-1 lead late in the first leg. Then while Real was pushing forward, the ball got played back to the keeper Valdes. Valdes had a very poor first touch, allowing the ball to bounce a couple yards away from him. The ball bounced off of his foot far enough that Forward Angel Di Maria was able to come in, dispossess Valdes, and then score.
On Tuesday, Marca have reported that Barcelona Head Coach Tito Vilanova, is somewhat concerned over the performances and the role of former Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas in the early stages of this season.
It is also reported that Vilanova could be willing to let Fabregas return to Arsenal for no less than £35 million.
Fabregas recieved his dream move when he joined the La Liga giants in 2011, but he has struggled to nail down a comfortable starting position, whilst still making 49 appearances. Being adapted as a 'false number 9' limits his opportunities as he is up against the worlds best in the shape of Lionel Messi for that role.
Having been tried in deeper roles in midfield, he has struggled to perform up to Barcelona's high expectations there and will now be doubting his own future. The 25-year-old attacking midfielder is up against some of the highest quality of attacking options and it will be difficult to nail down his place now.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger would take Fabregas back in an instant, but whether the player would agree on a move back to The Emirates, is another story.
Liverpool Transfer Rumors: Andy Carroll Loan To A.C. Milan Could Smooth Klaas-Jan Huntelaar For Ansfield Landing
According to Goal.com, A.C. Milan and Liverpool are in the process of negotiating a season-long loan deal that would send Liverpool forward Andy Carroll to the Italian club.
Currently, the clubs are trying to whittle down the difference between the €3m payment that Liverpool is asking for and the €1.5 that A.C. Milan is offering.
Carroll is expected to somewhat fill the role vacated by striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and his 28 goals in 32 matches. Carroll doesn't possess Zlatan's overall goal-scoring ability but his aerial prowess is unmatched.
Carroll had the best aerial duel success rate of all Premier League strikers last season but has been a subject of transfer rumors since Brendan Rodgers was hired as Liverpool manager and Carroll has struggled to return to form.
After Arsenal's second goalless goalless draw against Stoke City, the Gunners are concerned that their off-season additions of striker Lucas Podolski, forward Olivier Giroud and midfielder Santi Cazorla weren't enough to offset the departure of star-striker Robin van Persie.
After the Sunday draw against Stoke, Arsene Wenger spoke about the Gunners offensive struggles against strong defensive foes.
"Offensively we have some work to do as we missed accuracy in the final third. We should have won the game 1-0, but credit to Stoke, they defended really well with experience at the back," said Wenger. "Defensively we had no problem, they had one good chance in the second half, but apart from that we did very well. If they have six basketball players at set pieces, it's very difficult!"
According to The Sun, Arsenal is in a bidding war with Arsenal over French international Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.
Last season, the 23-year-old center-back captained Montpelier to the French title. Last season, Yanga-Mbiwa averaged 2.3 tackles and 2.8 interceptions per game and was named to the Ligue 1 Team of the Year.