dr martens sales Karius has turned a corner
I wouldn ordinarily go out of my way to praise a Liverpool player, but the importance of one thing that I think has been underplayed is the penalty save from Karius this weekend. 16 conclusions gave a casual nod to it, but to consciously plan that save took a great deal of guts. As a fan, I always feel that to not dive when trying to save a penalty is always a huge risk if the taker puts it either side of you then you a) look like a bit daft, and b) probably get absolutely roasted by your own fans if it costs you points.
The TV coverage showed that Kane does have form for putting it down the middle, but also that he has gone to the sides before too, so it wasn a thing that it was going down the middle by any means. So a who has received more than his fair share of criticism while at Liverpool, to stick to his guns with the match so finely balanced shows quite remarkable bravery. To have such faith in his own judgement that he literally stood his ground deserves significant praise. I go as far as to say it one of the best penalty saves I seen for a while, given the atmosphere and circumstances.
As another mailboxer mentioned, that was probably his best performance to date, despite the concession of two goals, and he should definitely be given another few chances in big games to prove himself. To my mind, that moment was similar to the one had by De Gea in the 8 2 against Arsenal, end result excepted. But De Gea had also been copping a lot of flak in the run up to that game and, at 1 0, he saved a crucial penalty from van Persie, which was the springboard for the performance in the rest of the game. I not saying Karius will go on to emulate De Gea career exactly, but this could well be a turning point for him. Great oaks and all that. Also,most teams sit back when they play the big teams, Utd match Sat v H was a glorified testimonial.
Also,if people are so worried about players being tired going into tournaments doesn it make more sense to play more games early in the season lighten the load towards the end of the season? Break or no break you still have to play 38 league games.
Break or no break,England will never win a tournament they are not good enough, simple as.
can see the appeal of a winter break for PL clubs and players, and also the convoluted timing it would bring, but a January break would not stop the real problem with the English football calendar;
the December death march.
Really the problem is that there are too many games being squeezed into too few dates, and a January break does not reduce that. The December run in this scenario will still produce the same number of injuries, the same crap football and the same TV ratings.
The ultimate solution would be some proper re alignment of English football. Kill the League Cup, re allocate those dates to the FA Cup (to better spread it out), and reduce the total number of games. Then add that winter break, but perhaps for the entire professional tier. You could fill the break with something intense and fun (maybe a 2 week youth football tournament, or the same with the FA Vase (March Madness style)).
I can hear Daniel Storey yelling curse words at the idea of less football from here in Ottawa, but it could improve the quality of the actual games played.
Lovely to see James Ward Prowse in your team of the week. He has indeed stepped up a level or two in recent weeks. This is what every Saints fan has wanted to see since he hit the scene three or four years ago. At the time it seemed that he would go on to be our next success story for the academy, however, in the past year or two fans have become frustrated with how little he was actually impacting games. Too often he was a passenger, only useful for his excellent dead ball delivery. Recently he has started to add much more in open play, including the much needed goals needed from a midfielder in the absence of a prolific striker.
The rest of the season will define what level of player JWP is. Will he revert to his previous form and establish himself as no more than a squad player for a mid ranking premier league side? Or will he continue to kick on and become a bonafide quality player for club and country?
He reminds me of Frank Lampard at the start of his career.
At West Ham Lampard had talent, but similar to JWP threatened to never really become a quality player. He then went to Chelsea and the rest is history. JWP is now the age that Frank was when he made that move.
The two have similarities. Both are limited physically. Neither possess pace or athleticism (a real barrier to JWP in the past just can get to the danger areas quickly enough) but what they both have is intelligence. In fact you can point at the As in their GCSEs as evidence of this particular similarity. What this led to in Lampard was a player who could evaluate his own performance, build on his strengths and counter his weaknesses. His attitude was superb and he was smart enough to make himself into an excellent player. JWP seems to take the same approach. He has improved through the years, albeit slowly. Every game seems to make him 1% better. He is articulate and dedicated, known for his extra time on the training ground. He was England U21 Captain for a number of years, demonstrating his positive attitude.
The time is now for JWP. For both Southampton and England we have to hope that he can emulate Lampard to at least some extent.
The Wanyama strike on the weekend got me thinking what goal in your lifetime gave you the biggest goalgasm? Think Neville reaction to Torres v Barcelona. I 30 so it tough to remember some of the older one so here goes v Liverpool I think I punched a hole in my pouf sofa in a slightly exaggerated celebration.
RVP v Man City I lost my sht.
Ronaldo v Porto I turned my living room into a mini Olympic running track.
Scholes v Barcelona I put this as I can actually remember my reaction, so it must have been super goalgasmic!
Non United goals v Greece mental is an understatement. Wow.
Sergi Roberto v PSG I couldn believe what I had seen. And neither could my girlfriend who had to experience my reaction first hand.
Beletti v Arsenal At the peak of my anti Arsenal self this was just glorious.
Ben Watson v Man City Again, OTT, but it was so much fun.
There are so many, but these stick out in particular.
With all this talk of Conte being close to the sack at Chelsea, it has made me realise how managers are held to absolutely no professional or performance standards when it comes to their contracts.
While I agree that clubs want to lock in their managers for a longer period to prevent bigger clubs from poaching them in case they succeed, and that performance evaluation can be entirely subjective, there still exists a lot that can be measured objectively to safeguard clubs.