SportsNet - April 2013
Arsene Wenger made the right decision to publicly back striker Olivier Giroud. The inconsistent front man can overcome his issues to become the true focal point of Arsenal's attack.
Wenger was speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of the trip to Fulham. He was asked about Giroud's failure to take a trio of promising chances in the 0-0 home draw against Everton.
The missed opportunities seemed to encapsulate everything about Giroud during his debut season with Arsenal. He's a willing worker, but not a natural finisher.
According to Arsenal.com, Wenger responded by praising the attributes Giroud adds to Arsenal's forward line. He also underlined his faith that he can develop into a top-class striker with the Gunners:
“He has good physical potential,” he said. “He wants to play every single game, he has a good basic stamina and he can absorb the games.
“He can absorb the body to body [challenges] because he's a strong guy. I think you will see more from him next season, and there's a lot more to come from him.
“I have not failed. I have just found 10, 000 ways that won’t work.”
This quote by the great inventor Thomas Edison aptly describes the school of thought of the current Arsenal team and in particular its coach, Arsene Wenger.
After another nondescript season (their eighth without a title) Arsenal as always have had a sudden burst of enthusiasm towards the end of the season. After a winning run that was momentarily halted by a barren draw with Everton the Gunners are currently in fourth position, seemingly poised for a 16th consecutive Champions League qualification.
They say that success is measured in different ways. At Chelsea Jose Mourinho was shown the door despite winning 6 trophies in 3 glamorous seasons. In doing so he became the most successful manager in the club’s history. In other clubs a win percent of over 67% would have been sufficient for immortality. Not at Chelsea.
Liverpool is yet another classic example. In the period of time that Arsene Wenger has been at Arsenal Liverpool have had 5 different managers in their quest for a return to glory.
It's that time of year again. We are at the business end of the NBA season, the Play-offs. Here we will take a look at the match ups in the Western Conference, where the Oklahoma City Thunder will once again look to assert their dominance and make a return trip to the finals.
- Oklahoma City Thunder (1) vs Houston Rockets (8):
It just had to be, didn't it?
Only a few months removed from the blockbuster trade, James Harden must now come up against his former team in the environment that matters most, the Playoffs. The Rockets were demoted to the eighth seed on the final day of the season and they now have the unenviable task of trying to overcome last seasons Western Conference Champions, The Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Thunder have picked up right where they left off last season. Most people thought that with the loss of the sixth man of the year they would struggle somewhat when Kevin Durant and Russel Westbrook are out of the game. This has not been the case, Kevin Martin has stepped in and the Thunder has not missed a beat. Martin has always been an efficient scorer and with more open looks playing with better players he has thrived.
It reads well: aging favorite son returns with the fire and desire to lead a return to greatness, or create a path to a greatness that never quite really existed in the first place. His coming-back party is embraced by all who remember him, by those who have been informed about him by those who remember him, and by just about anyone linked to the equation who hopes for a better future than the recent past.
With Eddie Jordan’s decision, unofficially made Wednesday, to take a dribble down memory lane along the banks of the Raritan River in Central Jersey and grab the reins of the rubble that is the Rutgers University men’s basketball program, what we have is the positive, heart-tugging, pride-pumping beginnings of a great storyline. Following the Mike Rice instruction-by-intimidation (or, if you prefer, intimidation-by-instruction) fiasco, not to mention previous errant shots with coaches, the Scarlet Knights appear to have pulled off a slam dunk here.
A Michigan repeat wouldn’t be the craziest thing to happen in next year’s tournament. Or at least it wouldn’t have been had star point guard Trey Burke decided to stay with his team. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the sophomore’s not gonna be in blue and maize next year, but that isn’t head coach John Beilein's only worry.
We all know that Burke is leaving, but what still needs to be answered is who else will follow? Mitch McGary, Glenn Robinson III, and Tim Hardaway Jr. are all up in the air about what to do next year too. Trey deciding to head to the big leagues doesn’t help either, him on the floor opened up the shots for the rest of his team. Not that they aren’t great ball players, but we all know that Nik Stouskas is never gonna go 6 for 6 on threes without Burke getting all the attention from the defense. Just cause he can do that in his YouTube videos doesn’t mean he can in a real game.