SportsNet - October 2012
Arsene Wenger is without doubt a legend in the modern game.
When he joined Arsenal in 1996 from Japanese team Nagoya Grampus the 63 year old Frenchman revolutionized the system of play at the London club. His abilities had been evident from as far back as 1984 when he began his coaching career with French side Nancy.
At Arsenal, Wenger made some radical changes. From changing the player’s dietary habits to creating an attacking fluid system of play Wenger took little time in turning the Gunners into a formidable outfit.
His emphasis on youth and untapped talent was the platform for the club’s success. With 11 titles won in 9 seasons, including the memorable achievement of going 49 games unbeaten in the 2003/2004 season, Arsenal were definitely a club in ascendancy.
And then the rain started pouring.
Arsenal have not won a title since Patrick Vieira’s penalty handed them the 2005 FA Cup. It has been 7 painful long seasons since that moment of glory and for ‘Le Professeur’ who was once idolized by the Gunner fans, murmurs of discontent by the Arsenal faithful have pitched into a crescendo.
So what has gone wrong?
Los Angeles Lakers waived second-year guard Andrew Goudelock today, bringing the team roster down to the maximum 15 players.
Going into training camp, it seemed like a long shot that Goudelock would make the roster. Coach Mike Brown had him working on point-guard skills and the Lakers are already loaded with four at the same position, all on fully guaranteed contracts.
Goudelock was selected with the 46th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft out of the College of Charleston. His run with the Lakers was his first experience trying to play the point.
Robert Sacre and Darius Johnson-Odom are still on the team on non-guaranteed contracts. Sacre seems a lock to make it to opening night. The news that Goudelock is gone should be a positive sign for Johnson-Odom, who is on the bubble.
Injuries last season gave Goudelock the opportunity to play in stretches. As a scorer he was effective with his outside shot and on-the-move floater.
At 6-2, Goudelock isn't quite tall or athletic enough to defend NBA shooting guards. Johnson-Odom is the same height but was rated by DraftExpress.com as the top overall athlete in the 2012 draft class.
Nobody expected very much from the Miami Dolphins or New York Jets offenses to start the season, but both have shown a glimmer of hope in recent weeks. Which team is poised to come out on top this Sunday? Let's take a closer look at why I favor the Dolphins.
One of the most curious point spreads on the board in Week 8 is the Jets two and half point favorites over the Dolphins. The spread was the same in the look-ahead line, so their performance vs the Patriots didn't change perception for anybody. The question is whether or not the Jets should be favored in this game at all?
I waited all week to see if an affordable +3 would become available, but it appears like I'll have to wait closer to kick off for that to happen. I'd be willing to play the Dolphins +2.5, but wait as long as possible for some potential late line movement (odds from SBRforum).
Off and Into the Bye
Defending a title is one of the hardest things to do in any sport, especially in the NBA.
Teams in the past like the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics make it seem like an easy task to run off multiple championships when it reality it took not only overwhelming talent, but also an unlimited amount of hard work and focus throughout the entire process.
That being said, the gerneral consenus regarding the NBA is that the Heat will once again come out of the Eastern Conference in hopes of defending their title, which makes sense.
Miami has improved with the addition of Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis. Norris Cole played great during the preseaon. Dwyane Wade is well-rested and ready to go, LeBron James is in his prime, and Chris Bosh was the Heat's most consistent player putting up solid numbers with limited minutes this offseason.
However, let's take a quick look back at last year's NBA playoffs. In particular I'd like to address two teams here: the New York Knicks and the Boston Celtics.
Expectations were womewhat lowered at Emirates Stadium for Saturday's matchup against Queens Park Rangers. And for good reason, too, as Arsenal was trying to avoid a third loss in a week.
But eventuallly the Gunners fought through an uncomfortable silence from their home crowd for much of the game and came away with the classic "One-Nil to the Arsenal." Mikel Arteta finally smashed home the lone goal after the ball bounced off the crossbar, QPR Julio Cesar and other defenders for a couple moments. And of all people to deliver the cross, Andrey Arshavin was the man to deliver it.
In addition, the goal came after QPR's Staphane Mbia earned himself a red card for stupidly kicking out at Thomas Vermaelen. So Arsenal struggled to scored until it had a literal advantage with one extra man on the pitch. But there was plenty to be positive about during this game. The first of which was the return of Jack Wilshere.