How the Cowboys Could Use Jalen McCleskey (Pt. 3)

first_imgIn this week’s Chalk Talk, we have focused on sophomore wide receiver Jalen McCleskey and how his strengths could easily be incorporated into the OSU offense. We have already talked about how McCleskey could be used in the true screen and misdirection game. In the last part of this week’s Chalk Talk, we’re going to look at how McCleskey could be used in RPOs (run-pass options) through attached screens and simple route combos.McCleskey can easily be featured on the perimeter with attached screens. That’s an easy opportunity for yards and an easy install for any offense.iz noThe Holgorsen/Monken Cowboys of late would always pair a screen with their base run plays. Weeden would have the option to hand the ball off or throw to the screen, depending on the defense. They also used these plays with tempo, so the defense wouldn’t have time to fully align; if the defense had time to align, the play would not have as much success.mizzou_now_1Simple screen attachments would lead to easy yardage for players like McCleskey. All he has to do is catch the ball and he’s already in the open field (this is assuming that the quarterback made the right read and the receiver makes his block on the off-man corner).But attachments aren’t limited to simple screens; many teams use actual route combinations in tandem with their run schemes. Take this 2012 Tavon Austin touchdown reception for example:crossbuck slantIn this play, the Mountaineers run a basic three-man pass concept with a crossbuck inside zone. The quarterback reads the box; if the defense sucks in on the run, he has the option to abort the handoff and throw to the slant behind them. He can also throw to either outside route, although they are both pre-snap reads.crossbuck_slant_In this particular play, Geno Smith sees the defense suck in on the run and completes an accurate pass to Austin, who then takes it 46 yards to the end zone.This pass combo/run play juxtaposition is used by just about every spread team. It has even found its way to the NFL. Here’s a buck sweep/slant-curl combo that the Dolphins have used.buck_slant_throwThe Cowboys had a tendency of running the ball on first down a lot last season. In anticipation for this, opposing defenses would frequently load the box. If OSU had updated their playbook to include attachments on every play, they could have torn up defenses on first down instead of getting a measly one or two yards against a stacked box.McCleskey is a dangerous receiver as is; imagine what he could do on wide-open looks like these. Players like McCleskey can turn a simple five-yard reception into a fifty-yard touchdown. Just like any RPO, these route combo attachments put heavy stress on the defense and makes them pay for overplaying the run.Prevent negative run plays? Check. Give the offense a chance for easy yards? Check. Allow McCleskey to rack up yards on easy receptions? Check. Give McCleskey the opportunity to succeed in his sophomore season and he should be ready to capitalize. Now we just have to wait and see if he’s given that chance.How would you use a player like Jalen McCleskey? Put your opinions in the comments below. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Midseason Position Grades: Running Back

first_imgIt would be hard to come up with a more maligned topic of conversation among Oklahoma State fans over the last couple of years than the Cowboys’ running game.3.51, 3.58, and 3.43.Those numbers represent the average yards per carry for the OSU offenses in 2014, 2015 and through the first half of 2016. Each one equally disappointing and each one ranking ninth ahead of only Kansas in the Big 12.The Cowboys haven’t enjoyed a 1,000-yard rusher since Joseph Randle cruised to 1,417 in 2012. A school that used to be known as Tailback U hasn’t had a running game that could get out of its own way in three years.But it looks like there might be a mini-renaissance occurring in Stillwater and it starts with a true freshman named Justice Hill. With a crowded running back group that included three seniors and a sophomore who got meaningful time last year, Hill would have made good a redshirt candidate. But he had other plans.Those plans included playing himself into meaningful reps during fall camp and then playing himself into an early starting role, despite a couple mistimed fumbles. It’s clear Hill is the best option to get the bulk of the carries. He’s shown the ability to not only make defenders miss but to attack the hole and has the type of break-away speed that can turn decent runs into big plays.Let’s take a look at his numbers:Hill: 403 yards / three touchdowns / 4.63 yards per carryIf we assume Hill continues to get 15-20 carries per game (let’s make it 15) and keeps his current average per carry, that’s an additional 486.15 yards (assuming the Cowboys go Bowling) for a total of 889.15. So, let’s round up and call it 890 yards. Chris Carson, the Cowboys’ 2015 lead rusher ended with 517 yards and 2014’s lead rusher was Desmond Roland with 770 yards. In 2013, Roland had 811. So Hill is not quite on pace to hit the 1,000-yard mark but he does have a good change to be the leading rusher since Joseph Randle.Here’s how the rest of the group has fared so far: Childs: 178 yards / six touchdowns / 4.81 yards per carryCarr: 86 yards / one touchdown / 8.60 yards per carryCarson (in two games): 45 yards / one touchdown / 3.75 per carrySanders: 41 yards / two touchdowns / 1.95 yards per carryBehind the freshman is another seemingly unlikely No. 2 back. Rennie Childs has looked as good this season as we’ve probably seen him. Again, if you were to look at my projected depth chart for the running backs two months ago, it would have been way off.I saw Childs as the odd man out with Chris Carson the starter from last year and Barry J. Sanders the supposed difference-making transfer. Of course, Carson has been injured and Carr seems to be the one lost in the mix with just ten carries from the backfield in six games. Sanders has looked good sparingly from the backfield and on special teams.Based on OSU’s recent history with running back production, I think we can grade this group on a curve. A B+ was the grade our writers came up with and that’s what I picked as well. There are definitely improvements to be made but we’ve seen a trend in the right direction.2016gradesWhile it’s taken longer than most would like, the running game is improving. We can see it on the field. Blocking is getting better and so is running back play. Whether it’s in the second half of this season or next year,  I think we’ll see it on the stat sheet as well.RB Grade: B+ While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Tight End Recruit No Longer Part of Oklahoma State 2017 Recruiting Class

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. A lot of times schools will do this in the recruiting process, and recruits will opt to announce a “decommitment”, although the true story sometimes never comes out.During his visit to campus for camp earlier this summer, he told PFB that it was an easy decision for him and that OSU “just felt right.”“I met with the coaches and Mike Gundy at the mini camp and they offered me on the spot [on Sunday],” he told PFB. “I knew what I wanted so I committed right then and there, and I’m not regretting my decision at all.”Misko was recruited by OSU as a tight end/cowboy back. Oklahoma State, at least at this time, does not have another prospect to fill that position for the 2017 class, but Gundy has said he would like to take one per class. Reports surfaced from Scout.com last night that three-star tight end prospect Spencer Misko of Keller, Texas, is longer a part of OSU’s 2017 recruiting class.Misko is a hybrid tight end/defensive end prospect who held offers from Illinois State, K-State, Prairie View A&M, and Texas A&M Commerce. Misko’s situation with OSU shows the somewhat unfortunate, and dark side of what can come in the recruiting world. He was informed this week that his scholarship, which he earned four months ago at a camp, was no longer available to him, which is forcing him to re-open his recruitment.Tough lesson but I’m excited to re-open my recruiting process https://t.co/ItfJJPIGTb— Spencer Misko (@Misko_38) October 25, 2016last_img read more

Zach Sinor Unfazed About Being A Ray Guy Finalist, Shares How He Got To OSU

first_imgOne of Oklahoma State’s best players is a guy you may not have heard much about — punter Zach Sinor. The sophomore punter from Castroville, Texas is ranked No. 31 in the NCAA in yards per punt at 43.0. More importantly he’s pinned the other team inside their own 20 yard line 26 times in 2016, tied for No. 3 in the nation. He’s also somehow only had one touchback.He’s also up as a finalist for the Ray Guy award, given to the nation’s best punter. The ‘Seisman’, if you will. Here’s the list of finalists for the 2016 Ray Guy Award.Austin Barnes (Jr.), Eastern Michigan UniversityNicholas Conte (Sr.), University of VirginiaSteven Coutts (So.), University of Louisiana at LafayetteJoseph Davidson (Jr.), Bowling Green State UniversityMichael Dickson (So.), University of TexasHayden Hunt (Sr.), Colorado State UniversityCameron Johnston (Sr.), Ohio State UniversityZach Sinor (So.), Oklahoma State UniversityJohnny Townsend (Jr.), University of FloridaMitch Wishnowsky (So.), University of UtahSinor didn’t seem too worried about winning the award when asked about it at the on Monday.“I don’t really look into that stuff,” said Sinor. “Yeah, the awards will come, but my job is to pin them back and help the defense out the best I can.”He actually attended several Ray Guy camps growing up which is pretty funny.“I watched his film,” said Sinor of the Ray Guy camps. He gives you a little disc to watch. A lot of drops, directional punting, he really broke it down which helped me a lot.“As a freshman [in high school] I was a QB and a defensive tackle, a little odd. But my sophomore year I was kicking the ball around one day, and they said you’re the punter. Then I was on JV as the punter, and I hit a 45- 50-yard punt, so then they said you’re on varsity.“So after that I averaged like 39 my sophomore year on varsity. So after that I went to a Ray Guy camp, and they said ‘you have a pretty big leg. You can probably kick in college.’ So I kept working at it and now I’m here.”“During spring ball, whenever that was, I saw him throwing it around one day and he throws it pretty good,” said head coach Mike Gundy of his former QB-turned-punter. “If we were smart, we’d probably have a fake punt with him throwing the ball. But, it’s kind of like with James Castleman – the season’s not over yet.”The punter is pretty much the least glamorous position on the field, but Sinor has been huge for Oklahoma State in several close games this year — in the Iowa State game, the Tech game this last weekend, Sinor flipped the field in some big spots.“I just know where we’re at in the field at all times, so if we’re inside the 45-yard line, I’ll go the net and do some pooch punts and if we’re outside of that I’ll just work on regular punts,” added Sinor.An extra 10-15 yards can be enormous for Glenn Spencer and his defense especially when Sinor never kicks it into the end zone. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Ronaldo wants three more Ballon d’Or awards

first_imgCristiano Ronaldo Ronaldo: I want three more Ballon d’Or awards but would be happy if I retired now Goal Last updated 1 year ago 23:05 26/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(23) Cristiano Ronaldo Getty/Goal Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Primera División The Real Madrid star remains at the pinnacle of the world game and has achieved everything he wants, but he is sure he can keep going for a bit longer Cristiano Ronaldo says he has achieved all of his dreams in football, but would like to win the Ballon d’Or another three times before he retires.The Real Madrid star was named the best player on the planet for the fifth time in 2017, pulling level with Barcelona rival Lionel Messi.Ronaldo already has four Champions League and Club World Cup trophies to add to his Premier League and La Liga winners’ medals accrued in his sensational periods at Manchester United and Madrid. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp And while the 32-year-old feels he would be perfectly happy in life if he were to retire from the game immediately, he believes he can still achieve a great deal more before he does call time on his career.”I never dreamed of winning the Ballon d’Or five times,” he told Desimpedidos . “If I had to finish my career now, I would be super happy… [but] if I won another Ballon d’Or, two or three more times I’d be delighted with life.”Even if I don’t win, I’ve already won five… but I still have the confidence and the strength to compete for the prize… it depends on the titles we win this year.”Everything I dreamed of, I achieved.”After guiding his national team to Euro 2016 glory last season, Ronaldo is preparing to lead out Portugal in their World Cup campaign in Russia this summer.Although he feels his side are not looked upon as favourites to win the title, Ronaldo still has hope heading into the tournament.”We are not the favourites, we have to be honest,” he added. “There are teams with more names, like Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina… but in football everything is possible.”We are going to try to advance from the group stage, then we’ll see. The main objective is the first phase.”last_img read more

Vincent Taylor Cut by the Miami Dolphins

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The deadline for NFL teams to trim their rosters to 53 came and went on Saturday afternoon with no bad news coming to Vincent Taylor, the third-year defensive tackle from Oklahoma State. But, apparently, that did not mean he was safe.In a somewhat surprising move, Miami Dolphins’ brass waived Taylor, the team announced Monday.Taylor never became a featured linemen in Miami’s front and dealt with two major injuries in his first two seasons. But when he saw the field, he made an impact.The former All-Big 12 standout graded out as one of the best defensive linemen in the league, and he brought his knack for blocking kicks to the pros.Vincent Taylor earned strong grades over his first two seasons in the league:2017 – 84.1 overall (185 snaps)2018 – 76.3 overall (204 snaps) *In that time Taylor racked up 28 defensive stops and missed just 1 tackle #Dolphins #FinsUp https://t.co/O0zAbQaSTZ— PFF MIA Dolphins (@PFF_Dolphins) September 2, 2019When he was placed on the injured reserve list midway through last season, he was the No. 2-rated D-lineman in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus.Buzz coming from South Florida seemed to indicate that Taylor didn’t fit what new head coach Brian Flores and new DC Patrick Graham wanted to do scheme-wise. Still, releasing a developing, highly-graded prospect still on a rookie contract seems to be an odd move.last_img read more

Game Preview: Diving into the History of Tight Game Between OSU and K-State

first_imgOklahoma StateKansas State Rushing Defense175.8137.3 Total Defense415256 Defensive Stats Passing Defense239.3118.7 Oklahoma State’s game in Texas last weekend was weird, and history says this weekend has a good shot at getting a little funky, too.Oklahoma State hosts Kansas State at 6 p.m. Saturday in Boone Pickens Stadium. There haven’t been many games between these two this millennium decided by more than a touchdown. We’ll look more into that later, but here are some stats entering Saturday.Offensive Stats Points Per Game44.544 Oklahoma StateKansas Statecenter_img Total Offense533.8454.3 Cowboy Killer Skylar ThompsonIn two games against Oklahoma State, Skylar Thompson has 507 total yards, four total touchdowns and, most importantly, two wins.Now a junior at K-State, Thompson is a better passer this season than he was in his first two seasons. In the Wildcats’ three games in 2019, Thompson has completed 68 percent of his passes for 486 yards and four touchdowns.Those aren’t earth-shattering numbers, but considering Thompson had only 689 passing yards and five passing touchdowns two years ago, it shows improvement. Oh, and 204 of those passing yards Thompson had as a freshman came against OSU.“It gives you confidence going in that you can have success at a place if you’ve been there before,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said of Thompson’s success against OSU. “You still have to execute. He still has to have a tremendous week of preparation because, obviously, it’s a different offense and it’s a different style of defense, so to speak. So we’ve got to continue to prepare on a daily basis.”A History of Tight GamesSince the turn of the century, OSU and K-State have played 13 times.Eight of those 13 games have been determined by seven points or fewer. Let’s look at those.2003: The Pokes ended a streak of nine straight losses against K-State in this 38-34 victory.A classic Les Miles fake field goal in the third quarter led to OSU taking a 28-21 lead. The Cowboys were up 38-21 with just over 10 minutes left before the Wildcats roared back. But Tatum Bell was able to run out the clock late.Bell finished the game with 143 yards and two touchdowns. Rashaun Woods had 118 receiving yards on six catches.2006: After two seasons away from each other OSU and K-State met again for a back-and-forth affair that the Wildcats won 31-27 in Manhattan.Josh Freeman scored a 21-yard touchdown run with under two minutes to go to give K-State the lead. But Perrish Cox returned the ensuing kickoff 39 yards to give OSU a chance.After a few completions to D’Juan Woods and Adarius Bowman, Bobby Reid threw an interception in the end zone as time expired.2007: As if these games couldn’t get closer, Oklahoma State upset the 25th-ranked Wildcats 41-39 the next year.Just like the year before, K-State scored with just over a minute to go. It looked as if K-State was going to tie the game at 38, but the Wildcats elected to go for two, got it and went up 39-38 with 1:10 to go.Just like the year before, the Wildcats gave up a late, big kick return, as Tommy Devereaux started the Pokes at their own 42-yard line.Despite time being scarce, the Cowboys ran the ball four times and threw it only once on the drive, as Zac Robinson and Dantrell Savage got OSU to K-State’s 9-yard line to set up a Jason Ricks game-winner.2011: The Cowboys won by a “healthy” 10 points in 2010 before this big scare late in the 2011 season.The No. 3 Cowboys topped No. 14 K-State 52-45 to advance the Cowboys to 9-0, but it wasn’t easy.Joesph Randle scored a 23-yard touchdown run with just over two minutes to go, but this time it was the Wildcats with a chance for last-second heroics.Collin Klein led K-State down the field. Klein hit Chris Harper on a 22-yard connection, as Harper went out of bounds at the OSU 5-yard line with 12 seconds left.From there, Klein threw three straight incompletions, and OSU survived.Brandon Weeden finished the game with 502 yards and four touchdowns. Justin Blackmon had 205 yards and two touchdowns.2013: This 33-29 OSU victory again came down to the trailing team’s final drive.After a Ben Grogan field goal gave the Cowboys a four-point lead with 2:24 to go, the Wildcats got into OSU territory before Daniel Sams threw a ball right to OSU defensive back Daytawion Lowe at the Cowboys’ 21. Lowe ran the ball back 72 yards and the Cowboys kneeled out the clock.2015: Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but K-State scored with too much time left.In OSU’s 36-34 victory, Joe Hubener scored on a 5-yard run with 3:01 to go. However, the Wildcats failed a two-point conversion attempt, and down the field came OSU.Mason Rudolph moved the Cowboys’ offense down the field and set up a 37-yard Ben Grogan go-ahead field goal.K-State got the ball back with 36 seconds left, but Hubener threw an interception to Michael Hunter on the second play of the drive.Rudolph had 437 passing yards, and Marcell Ateman and James Washington each eclipsed 100 receiving yards.2016: The Pokes were down 37-28 in the fourth quarter before coming back and winning 43-37 on the road.With just under eight minutes to go, Rudolph threw an 84-yard bomb to Washington to put the Pokes a score away. Then Chris Carson drug two Wildcats’ defenders into the end zone with 1:46 left on the clock.K-State again got into OSU territory before Jordan Sterns picked off a Jesse Ertz pass in the end zone as time expired.Rudolph threw four 457 yards and five touchdowns in the game.2017: At one point in this 45-40 K-State victory, OSU was down 42-13.Byron Pringle showed up to Stillwater and dominated. He had three touchdown catches and returned a kick for another score.Despite getting drilled for much of the game, OSU somehow had a chance to win.The Cowboys scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and got the ball near mid-field with a chance to win. OSU started its final drive of the game on its 46 with 2:16 to go, but after four straight incompletions, K-State survived the comeback attempt. Points Allowed Per Game26.812.7 Passing Offense263.3174.3 Rushing Offense270.5280 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Grades: OSU Defense Steals Show in Iowa State Win

first_imgAmes, Iowa, where seasons go to fall apart or get back on track.Oklahoma State defeated Iowa State 34-27 after back-to-back not great games from the Pokes. No longer will I have to hand out Ds for an abundance of turnovers or a defense that allows double-digit chunk plays. At least not this week.OSU’s Defense: AJust when you think Jim Knowles’ time as OSU’s defensive coordinator might be dead and buried …The Cowboys’ defense won that game for OSU, and it picked apart what some consider to be the best quarterback in the league.Brock Purdy came into Saturday’s game with four interceptions in the Cyclones’ first seven games of the year, and he threw three in the fourth quarter against OSU.The picks didn’t seem fluky either. There were a handful of near-INTs in the first half, and the Cowboys had 11 pass break-ups in the game.Spencer Sanders: B-This wasn’t a world-beater game from Spencer Sanders, and the offense honestly struggled mightly in the second half, but he gave the Pokes’ playmakers a chance.His 249 passing yards are boosted by the fact that Tylan Wallace and Braydon Johnson ran for a combined 121 yards after catch on two plays. But, Sanders played his role. Apart from his lone turnover, he didn’t try to do too much, and that’s a performance he can build off.Tylan Wallace: A+This is all you need to see:Matt Ammendola and Tom Hutton: A+Kickers and punters don’t get a whole lot of love.Like offensive linemen, you don’t often notice them unless something terrible happens, but OSU has two good ones.Will start with Hutton, who has taken some flack early in his college career at times. However, Hutton’s 17 punts downed inside the 20-yard line leads the conference by three. He also has just one touchback this season, meaning he has been quite accurate.Sure, he hasn’t gotten to unleash his leg yet this season with only four of his punts going longer than 50 yards, but he is a strength in the battle of field position. Three of Hutton’s six punts from Saturday were downed inside Iowa State’s 20.As for Ammendola, he’s 12-for-12 this season on field goals. He nailed a season-long 49-yarder Saturday like it was an extra point.In his early days as a Cowboy, Ammendola was known as a kid with a big leg who was inaccurate, and as a senior, he’s proving to be an all-around rock for OSU’s special teams. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Aguero takes aim at Sampaoli after Argentina fiasco

first_imgWorld Cup ‘He can say what he wants’ – Aguero takes aim at Sampaoli after Argentina fiasco Goal Last updated 1 year ago 06:07 6/22/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(8) Sergio Aguero Argentina World Cup Gabriel Rossi World Cup Argentina v Croatia Croatia Argentina The striker was clearly unhappy when it was suggested that the coach had blamed his players for Thursday’s defeat to Croatia Argentina forward Sergio Aguero took aim at his manager Jorge Sampaoli following Thursday’s disastrous 3-0 defeat to Croatia at the World Cup.The Albiceleste stand on the brink of early elimination from the tournament after gaining just one point from their first two matches. While a 1-1 opening-game draw with Iceland wasn’t ideal, the crushing defeat to Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod was far more damaging and left Sampaoli to question his own game plan. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “Everything that happens to the team and the players’ drop in form is down to the management. The plan against Croatia did not work out,” the Argentina boss said after the game. “I was very hopeful, the defeat pains me a lot, but clearly I did not read the game properly.”Though Sampaoli blamed himself, a TyC Sports presenter told Aguero that his manager had said his players failed to adapt to his tactics, thereby shifting the blame onto them. When told about Sampaoli’s assertion, Aguero told TyC Sports: “He can say what he wants,” before storming out of the interview.While the coach’s words were slightly twisted, Aguero’s dismissiveness does not bode well for team unity ahead of a must-win match against Nigeria on Tuesday. Aguero played 54 minutes of Thursday’s match before being substituted for Gonzalo Higuain.last_img read more

Asensio will discuss Liverpool links after World Cup

first_imgTransfers Asensio not discussing Liverpool links until after World Cup Tom Webber Last updated 1 year ago 23:05 6/26/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) MarcoAsensio - cropped Getty Images Transfers Liverpool Spain v Russia Russia Spain Real Madrid World Cup Premier League Primera División David de Gea The 22-year-old has six years left on his Real Madrid contract, but would not dismiss the recent reports linking him to a summer switch to Anfield Real Madrid midfielder Marco Asensio plans to sort out his club future after Spain’s World Cup campaign, amid reported interest from Liverpool.Asensio started the 2017-18 season strongly, scoring in both legs of the Supercopa de Espana triumph over Barcelona, but struggled to retain a place in Zinedine Zidane’s star-studded side.The 22-year-old signed a six-year contract, which reportedly includes a €700 million (£616m/$816m) buyout clause, at the Santiago Bernabeu last September, but has been linked with a close-season switch to Anfield. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Asensio came off the bench in Spain’s World Cup win over Iran and the 2-2 draw against Morocco on Monday – a result that sent them through to the last 16 as Group B winners – and says the national team is his sole focus for the time being.Asked about Liverpool’s interest, Asensio said: “That’s something in the news but I’m very focused in the World Cup.”When it ends, we can talk about that kind of thing. I’m very focused here in Russia, on the national team and performing well here.”David de Gea has come under intense scrutiny after an error gave Cristiano Ronaldo his second goal in their opening draw, and has gone on to concede five goals from six shots on targets.However, Asensio is confident the Manchester United goalkeeper will prove why he is widely considered to be one of the best in his position.”I see him calm. He couldn’t do much more on the goals [against Morocco],” he said. “The national team keeper is a very demanding role, but he is more than prepared.”He is willing and he is calm and I’m sure we’ll see the sort of performances he has previously shown for the remainder of this World Cup.”Spain’s campaign was thrown into turmoil when they sacked Julen Lopetegui just two days before their opening match, the coach having agreed to join Madrid less than 24 hours beforehand.Fernando Hierro was installed as his replacement for the competition, and Asensio thinks the adversity has brought greater cohesion to the squad.”We went through a weird situation that nobody expected and that could have affected us a bit. But we talked it through, we had to remain united, a World Cup is only every four years and is very important for us,” added Asensio.”Every game is a new challenge, it is very difficult to beat any team and that is what we are seeing.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Uruguay vs Portugal: TV, stream & preview

first_imgWorld Cup Uruguay vs Portugal: Live blog, text commentary, line-ups, stream & TV channel Goal Last updated 1 year ago 14:15 6/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(5) Edinson Cavani World Cup 2018 Getty World Cup Uruguay v Portugal Uruguay Portugal Powerade La Celeste will be looking to extend their perfect winning streak in their last 16 tie against Portugal after topping their group FULL-TIME! URUGUAY 2-1 PORTUGAL95 mins: Uruguay get the ball away, we are deep into added time.94 mins: SAVE! Quaresma forces Muslera into a save at the near post and Portugal will have one final chance from the corner. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar 93 mins: Ronaldo is furious as Portugal are denied a free-kick after Quaresma fell to ground and, should his nation secure a remarkable turnaround, he will miss the quarter-final.92 mins: Huge chance for Uruguay to finish the game! Suarez superbly holds up the ball and then skips past two defenders to find room, then playing a low ball across the face of goal but Stuani is unable to get on the end of it.91 mins: Into four minutes of added time. We could be about to see Lionel Messi and Ronaldo bow out of the World Cup on the same day.89 mins: Suarez doing superbly on his own holding up the play to allow Uruguay the opportunity to reorganise themselves. They are starting to look tired but they remain very strong.87 mins: Uruguay only have defence on their mind as they shut up shop at the back. Portugal still continue to struggle to craft a sight at goal.85 mins: Portugal make their final change by introducing Fernandes for Mario.83 mins: Superb defending from Torreira inside the box as he clears the ball away after another threatening Portugal attack. It is one way traffic in Sochi as Portugal desperately try to find an equaliser.82 mins: Laxalt, playing on the left side of Uruguay’s defence, has also had a fantastic game. He has already announced he will be leaving Genoa and there will certainly be plenty of interest in his services.81 mins: Third and final change for Uruguay, as Nandez is replaced by Sanchez.78 mins: Uruguay have shut all the doors defensively and every single player is doing fine work to keep Portugal quiet. Torreira has been excellent once again, while Suarez has also trotted back to help those behind him.76 mins: Inside the final 15 minutes in Sochi and Portugal are on the verge of an exit from the World Cup. They need a hero, they need Ronaldo to see more of the ball.74 mins: Uruguay also make a change to their attack, introducing Stuani in place of Cavani.74 mins: An attacking change for Portugal, as Andre Silva replaces Guedes.73 mins: Portugal banging on the door as Uruguay are still temporarily down to ten men but Uruguay have everybody back behind the ball to defend.Edinson Cavani Cristiano Ronaldo Uruguay Portugal World Cup 3006201871 mins: Ronaldo helps Cavani off the field after he sustains a knock, with the two-goal man limping away and looking set to be replaced.70 mins: OVER! A golden opportunity as Muslera fumbles the ball and it finds it’s way to Bernardo Silva on the edge of the area, who slashes a shot over the bar. A real waste!69 mins: Portugal are still yet to get Ronaldo involved in the game sufficiently, as Uruguay continue to quell the threat of the Real Madrid star.67 mins: Portugal back on the front foot as the chase another equaliser but Quaresma’s corner is dealt with, as is the second delivery from Fonte.65 mins: Portugal follow suit with a change of their own, replacing Adrien Silva with Quaresma.63 mins: That was Bentancur’s last contribution to the game, as he is replaced by Rodriguez.62 mins: Both of Uruguay’s goals in this game have been superb. Bentancur’s pass to Cavani was inviting and the Paris Saint-Germain man is now on a hat-trick.Edinson Cavani World Cup 201862 mins: GOOOOOOOAL! 2-1! Uruguay restore their lead! A superb break sees Bentancur feed the ball across to Cavani, who curls superbly into the far corner of the net to give Patricio no chance. 61 mins: Portugal look much better since the break and Uruguay have not managed to create any meaningful attacks of their own since the interval.59 mins: Pepe’s goal is the first that Ururguay have conceded their first goal in 597 minutes of international football.57 mins: Just as we were saying that Uruguay could defend for hours. The curse of the commentator strikes and the outlook of the game is now extremely different.55 mins: Portugal have had plenty of opportunities to put the ball into the middle but Guerreiro is the only man so far who has actually delivered a decent cross.Pepe Jose Fonte Portugal Uruguay World Cup55 mins: GOOOOAL! 1-1! Portugal go short from a corner and Guerreiro whips a cross into the middle, where Pepe has skinned his marker and heads past Muslera. It is the first goal Uruguay have conceded at this World Cup.54 mins: Uruguay look like they could defend their goal for hours on end without conceding. Portugal are still yet to craft a clear-cut chance in front of goal.52 mins: OVER! The ball bounces up nicely for Guerreiro, who volleys a looping effort over the top of Muslera’s net.50 mins: Uruguay putting Portugal under a lot of pressure when they have the ball, trying to nick possession to force an opening. A second goal could kill the game.48 mins: Uruguay have won 13 of the 15 World Cup games where they have been leading at half-time, losing just one.47 mins: Portugal look to have changed things tactically, with Bernardo Silva now playing just off Ronaldo in a central position and Guedes taking a role on the right.46 mins: Back underway for the second half in Sochi!Portugal need to be more expansive in the final third during the second half as they simply have not done enough to test Uruguay defensively, although that is not easy due to the fact they are still yet to concede at the World Cup. Unless the European champions improve though, they will follow Argentina out of the World Cup.Uruguay are not a side you want to fall behind against due to their defensive strength and Portugal have learnt that the hard way. Suarez and Cavani’s superb partnership led to the opening goal from the latter and Ronaldo has struggled to get involved in threatening areas. At the break, Uruguay look comfortable.47 mins: HALF-TIME! URUGUAY 1-0 PORTUGAL46 mins: Into two minutes of added time.44 mins: Ronaldo wins Portugal a corner and Uruguay are furious as Suarez is down in pain at the other end of the field. There was not too much in that but they believe they should have put the ball out of play.42 mins: It may not be the most exciting style of football but Uruguay are showing that they are incredibly difficult to beat. It may take a moment of magic to crack through their defensive wall.40 mins: Cavani is tracking back to put pressure on the Portugal midfielders and wins a free-kick off Carvalho. Oscar Tabarez’s side are superbly well drilled.38 mins: Uruguay are forcing Portugal wide every time they get forward and it is simply not working for the European champions.36 mins: Portugal are still seeing a lot of the ball but the majority of it is in the centre of the field. Uruguay are finding things far too easy in defence.34 mins: Uruguay will be very happy if they can retain their advantage heading into the interval. Portugal may need to change their tactics to get Ronaldo in the game more.32 mins: Bentancur concedes a free-kick in Ronaldo territory, giving him the opportunity to strike at goal. However, his effort is slammed straight into the wall.30 mins: Uruguay seem to have taken their foot off the gas in attack, instead focusing on their defensive play, but Suarez and Cavani both look to be in the mood.28 mins: Portugal seeing the lion’s share of possession at the moment but they are struggling to craft opportunities. Ronaldo has barely seen the ball in dangerous areas.26 mins: Godin clips Bernardo Silva on the right side, conceding a free-kick, which Marios lofts into the box but it goes all the way through without causing any danger.24 mins: Portugal, and Ronaldo in particular, are yet to be given sufficient room to make their mark on the match. Uruguay’s defence is incredibly firm.22 mins: SAVE! Suarez shoots low from the free-kick, forcing Patrico into action to palm away at his left-hand post.21 mins: Uruguay break again as Suarez is barged to the ground by Fonte, conceding a free-kick in a dangerous position.19 mins: Bad omen for Portugal – they have lost each of their last nine World Cup games in which they have conceded the first goal.17 mins: Unsurprisingly, Godin and Gimenez have kept things very tight at the back for Uruguay. Portugal are yet to test Muslera.15 mins: Uruguay look to be in the mood and they continue to put Portugal’s defence under pressure.13 mins: Uruguay’s goal was the 12th time that Suarez has assisted for Cavani and the first since November 2016.11 mins: WIDE! Portugal go short from a corner and it is eventually curled towards Fonte at the far post, who is all over his defensive marker but heads wide of the mark.9 mins: Portugal now have a stern test ahead of them to break through a Uruguay defence that has not conceded in the last six international matches.7 mins: Strike partners for 12 years, born in the same city in Uruguay just three weeks apart. Suarez and Cavani get the game off to a flying start!Edinson Cavani Matas Vecino Uruguay Portugal World Cup7 mins: GOOOOOOAL! Uruguay get first blood! Suarez whips a superb cross to the far post where Cavani rises to head home. The dynamic duo link-up once again and Portugal are behind!6 mins: SAVE! Bernardo Silva tees the ball to Ronaldo on the edge of the box, who drills a low shot at goal that Muslera gathers comfortably.5 mins: Pepe and Godin earn the first attention from the referee after pushing and shoving inside the area ahead of Torreira’s corner, which is easily headed away by the Portugal defence.3 mins: Ronaldo, back at the venue where he scored a hat-trick against Spain, earns a rapturous applause as he makes his first touch. Both sides are looking to find early footing in the game.1 min: We’re underway in Sochi, where Portugal get us started.HERE WE GO…5 mins until KO: We were treated to a cracking match earlier today, hopefully this game is just as good. The teams are coming onto the field and the national anthems are about to begin.15 mins until KO: Uruguay are the only nation yet to concede at the World Cup 2018.18 mins until KO: Portugal make three changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Iran, dropping Quaresma, Cedric and Andre Silva. Their spots in the line-up are taken by Pereira, Bernardo Silva and Guedes. Ronaldo, on a yellow card, will miss the quarter-final if he is booked this evening and his nation advance.20 mins until KO: Uruguay make just one change from the side that defeated Russia in their final group match as Gimenez returns to the heart of defence alongside Atletico Madrid team-mate Godin. Coates is the man that drops to the bench, while Torreira will be in for a tough test protecting the back-line.22 mins until KO: Uruguay make just one change from the side that defeated Russia in their final group match as Gimenez returns to the heart of defence alongside Atletico Madrid team-mate Godin. Coates is the man that drops to the bench, while Torreira will be in for a tough test protecting the back-line.22 mins until KO: Portugal XI: Rui Patricio; Ricardo Pereira, Pepe, Jose Fonte, Raphael Guerreiro; Bernardo Silva, William Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Joao Mario; Goncalo Guedes, Cristiano Ronaldo.24 mins until KO: Uruguay subs: Martin Campana, Martin Silva, Maxi Pereira, Cristhian Stuani, Carlos Sanchez, Guillermo Varela, Giorgian de Arrascaeta, Sebastian Coates, Gaston Silva, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Cristian Rodriguez, Maxi Gomez.24 mins until KO: Uruguay XI: Fernando Muslera; Martin Caceres, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Diego Laxalt; Nahitan Nandez, Lucas Torreira, Matias Vecino; Rodrigo Bentancur; Edinson Cavani, Luis Suarez.26 mins until KO: With Lionel Messi’s Argentina knocked out by France in a cracking game earlier today, all eyes are on Cristiano Ronaldo to see if he can lead his nation to glory in what could be his last World Cup. The rest of Portugal’s squad need to step-up if they are to go all the way and will need to be strong against an organised Uruguay outfit.28 mins until KO: Semi-finalists in 2010, Uruguay’s golden generation may feel this is their last chance for glory. It’s been 68 years since La Celeste last lifted the World Cup and they will fancy their chances against a Portugal side who, despite entering the tournament as European champions, have looked flat in certain areas.30 mins until KO: Hello and welcome to this live text commentary of the World Cup last-16 match between Uruguay and Portugal in Russia. Game Uruguay vs Portugal Date Saturday, June 30 Time 7pm BST / 2pm ET Stream (US only) fubo TV (7-day free trial) Squads & Team News Defender Jose Maria Gimenez returns to the Uruguay starting XI after missing out last time through injury in their only change for their first knockout tie of the tournament.He takes the place of Sebastian Coates who drops to the bench for Oscar Tabarez’s side.Uruguay XI: Muslera; Caceres, Gimenez, Godin, Laxalt; Nandez, Vecino, Torreira, Bentancur; Suarez, Cavani.Portugal manager Fernando makes three changes to the side held by Iran in their final group game, with goalscorer Ricardo Quaresma dropped alongside Cedric Soares and Andre Silva.In their place, starts are handed to Ricardo, Bernardo Silva and Goncalo Guedes.Portugal XI: Patricio; Ricardo, Pepe, Fonte, Guerreiro; B. Silva, Carvalho, Adrien Silva, Mario; Ronaldo, Guedes.TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch In the United States (US), the game can be watched live and on-demand with fuboTV (7-day free trial). New users can sign up for a free seven-day trial of the live sports streaming service, which can be accessed via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV as well as on a web browser. US TV channel Online stream FOX / Telemundo fubo TV (7-day free trial) In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be watched live on TV on ITV and it will be available to stream live online using the ITV Player. UK TV channel Online stream ITV ITV Playerlast_img read more

Solskjaer: I can deal with Man Utd stars… I learnt from Sir Alex!

first_imgNew Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he will draw from the teachings of legendary Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and is confident he can handle the egos of the club’s top stars. The 45-year-old was appointed to a temporary role at the club on Wednesday following the sacking of Jose Mourinho on Tuesday .He finds the club sixth in the Premier League, nine points behind the top four, and in grave danger of missing out on the Champions League next season. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? The Norwegian turned out at Old Trafford as a player for 11 years during their most successful era under Ferguson and netted the decisive goal in the 1999 European Cup final.The Scot’s man-management skills were considered his major strength and Solskjaer says he has learned from it.Meanwhile, United’s campaign to date has been soured by reports of internal conflict, with Mourinho and World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba embroiled in persistent sniping. Indeed, the 25-year-old was regularly found on the bench in recent weeks and did not even take to the field during last weekend’s 3-1 defeat against Liverpool, which proved Mourinho’s swansong .Solskjaer, by contrast, became a fans’ favourite at Old Trafford due to his loyalty to the club, despite often being reduced to the role of super-sub.”My job is to help the players and make them grasp the opportunity now because they all want to be a part of Man Utd and I’m going to be here to help them of course, help the team,” he told the media.”It’s down to man-management. I had the best manager as a player and as a coach to learn how he dealt with people. It’s about communication.”Of course, I’ll sit down and speak to the ones who are not playing, what I expect from them.”When you’re at Man Utd there are a set of demands and standards we set and one of them to be a team player, and I don’t think anyone has been on the bench more than me!”Ferguson’s management style is one that Solskjaer says runs through his ethos.”He’s influenced me with everything, the way he’s dealt with people the way he was manager of the club, how he kept 25 international players happy and hungry wanting to improve but also the staff in and around the place,” he said. “He’s been my mentor but I didn’t understand early on he’d be my mentor.”Towards the last, maybe the injury in 2003, I was making all the notes what he did in certain situations and I’ve already been in touch with him, there’s no one to get better advice from.”Sir Alex spent 27 years in charge at Man Utd, but emulating that is not immediately in the thoughts of the new man in the hot seat.”When you get a job like this and you sign for six months, you say: ‘I’m happy to help out.’ My job now is to do as well as I can and move the club forward as well as I can,” he said.”I understand that there are so many managers that would love to be at this club. I am one of them. Staying longer is not something that we have talked about. “They are going to do their process for the next six months.”Settling in, however, is not proving to be a problem.He added: “I’ve been here as a player, 11 years, coach three and a half years, the best part of 15 years of my life – it’s a third of my life,” he said. “Nicky Butt was the first lad I met … You’re excited but it feels like home.”His first challenge will come against Cardiff City, the only British club that he has previously managed, in the Premier League on Saturday.  Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Vertigo Theatre returns to Agatha Christie with The Hollow

first_img Facebook Advertisement Twitter “She had begun to get tired of her two star detectives, Poirot and Miss Marple. She felt they had become more important than the plot of the stories and the mysteries themselves.”Linneberg says The Hollow “is much more than a whodunit.“It’s definitely part mystery but it is also part love story with a sprinkling of comedy,” he says.“It’s a fully rounded story, and to have Poirot arrive at the last minute to solve the murder would have seemed like a gimmick.” Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The big mystery for fans of Agatha Christie’s 1946 whodunit novel The Hollow, when she adapted it for the stage five years later, is what happened to Hercule Poirot.In the novel, it’s Poirot who solves the murder of Dr. John Christow at the country home of his friends the Angkatells, but in the stage version, that daunting task is left up to Inspector Colquhoun and his cohort Detective Sergeant Penny.According to Grant Linneberg, who plays Colquhoun in Vertigo Theatre’s production of The Hollow, Christie “didn’t want the play to be a star vehicle for Poirot. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more