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BerichtGeplaatst: 19-07-2019 02:36:02    Onderwerp: s left on the Nashville man advantage to give the Predators Reageren met citaat
With the game just past the half hour mark, Stoke winger Jonathan Walters sprinted towards the touchline, failed to keep the ball in play, and had to put his hands out to stop himself from going into the crowd. As he did so he picked up a cup from the fan in the front row and pretended to drink it. Unfortunately for the smiling Englishman the cup was empty. So, it seemed, was the wingers energy. Walters had been asked to play right wing at White Hart Lane in a 4-4-1-1 formation for Stoke, up against a Tottenham team that began in a 4-4-2 shape. His manager, Mark Hughes, had hoped that Walters could get forward to help out his solo front man, Peter Crouch, but instead he was being forced to play right back. One of the fittest players in the league looked exhausted. The reason? The supreme footballing intelligence of Tottenhams Christian Eriksen. Eriksen, asked to play left wing only when the opponents have possession of the ball, terrorized his opponent in possession, with outstanding movement and creativity. The Dane spent much of the match moving inside, the moment the ball drifted to the right side, and forced Stokes back four to get narrower and narrower, forcing Walters deeper. Stoke were bemused by Tottenhams shape and the free role given to Eriksen that hadnt been seen before in a Premier League match. System Much has been made of new head coach Tim Sherwoods tactical changes from previous manager Andre Villas-Boas, with a lot of the focus, rightly so, falling on Sherwoods decision to play two strikers up top together. Villas-Boas took charge of 16 Premier League games this season for Spurs and not once started with two forwards together. Sherwood has picked two up top from the start of every match he has managed so far. When he was questioned about that style after the FA Cup loss to Arsenal, he said: "A lots made of systems - 4-4-2, 4-3-3, whatever you want to call it - but its about passing the ball to your own team, keeping hold of it. Because whenever you lose the ball in transition, youre always going to be out of shape otherwise youre going to be a rigid, boring team. So its about funnelling back in, shuffling across." Sherwood has now had seven post-match meetings with the media and the common theme in all of them has been his discussions about getting the ball to key players in key areas. At the top of this list is clearly 21-year-old Eriksen. When the former Ajax playmaker was brought to White Hart Lane at the end of August he was only Tottenhams 4th most expensive signing of the window; behind Erik Lamela, Roberto Soldado and Paulinho. The day he signed, Tottenham also revealed the capture of Argentine Lamela, for almost three times the amount of Eriksen. If Tottenham wanted to keep the Dane under the radar, captured at a discount because his contract was close to expiring, they were certainly doing a good job at it. Eriksen made his debut in Tottenhams fourth game of the season, at home to Norwich, and the team had yet to score a goal from open play. The playmaker took 28 minutes to do what Tottenham couldnt do in 270, putting a perfectly weighted pass in to Gylfi Sigurdsson who opened the scoring. In the second half, Eriksen found himself in his office - the central space outside the penalty box - when he switched the play brilliantly to Paulinho on the right side. It was the kind of pass that most players wouldnt have even seen but seconds later Tottenham extended their lead when Sigurdsson tapped home the Brazilians cross at the back post. When he was taken off after 71 minutes, Eriksen got a standing ovation from his new fans. "It was a great debut for Christian, he is a pure number 10, a creative player and his individual quality made all the difference," said Villas-Boas after the match.Eriksen would start the next three games but with the side struggling to score goals he found himself on the bench following the October international break. The Dane played just 34 minutes in matches against Aston Villa, Hull and Everton, with Lewis Holtby starting all three games as AVBs pure number ten. Eriksen returned for the home loss against Newcastle and it would be his final appearance for Villas-Boas before he got injured playing for Denmark. When he was fit to return, Tottenham had a date at Southampton and Sherwood was now the boss. Eriksen was back but not as pure number ten, instead, asked to play in a central midfield role in a 442. It was Sherwoods attempt to get the playmaker in the side alongside Soldado and Emmanuel Adebayor, who started his first league game of the season and scored twice in a 3-2 win. It was a brave decision from Sherwood, who at the time was still auditioning for the job. The next day Sherwood was given an 18-month contract in charge of Spurs, four days later they drew 1-1 against West Brom, with Eriksen scoring a free kick, again playing central midfield. The games were coming thick and fast and with little time to work on anything as the head coach reflected after the draw against the Baggies: ""We could have done with a bit more guile around the penalty area, but overall I think well improve, its been difficult because we havent been able to have too much instruction to the boys in training, because of the amount of games, its been hectic, its a new voice, we are asking them to play a slightly different manner and hopefully theyll get better and better at it." Finding the forwards Sherwood needed to find a way for his team to get that guile while still maintaining the shape he was working with them on. Two days after the win against West Brom, he made the slight change over Eriksens positioning for the Stoke game. Tottenhams final game of 2013, with Eriksen in his new role, would turn out to be their best performance of the season as they seemed to solve the biggest problem Tottenham have had this season; getting service to Soldado, a man signed for 26 million pounds in the summer. The Spaniard received just 320 passes in the 13 starts he made under Villas-Boas, an average of just 24.6 per game. Against Stoke, Sherwood specifically asked his forwards to stretch their attack, with Soldado moving out to the right to connect with Aaron Lennon and Adebayor doing the same on the left to connect with Eriksen, with full backs on both wings creating overlaps when they can. Tottenham looked like a completely different side with both forward heavily involved. "The coach has told us to play more free," Eriksen said afterwards"We have seen that in the games he was been in charge of. He said it looked like we were a little bit afraid (before)."He said we shouldnt be afraid. He said we should just play and see that we are good. If we dare we have a really good team and really good chances."I think what you see now is how we should play." 2014 Since the turn of the New Year, Sherwood has stuck to his system and Eriksen has been the main reason for its success. At Old Trafford he was the outlet in his own half when Spurs countered, starting the move, sprinting into space on the right and providing a cross for Adebayor to head home. In the second half, for the second goal, Soldado came deep to help with Lennon, who sprinted on and found Eriksen, ahead of both strikers, drifting off the left flank to head home at the back post. On Saturday, at home to Crystal Palace, after a very poor first half from Spurs, Eriksen was the spark they need when he recognized a long cross field ball needed to be played by right back Kyle Naughton towards Adebayor, and the moment the ball came towards the striker, the Dane ran into the space created by his team-mate and smashed home the games first goal. His movement inside from the flank had confused another defence. Eriksen, like Spurs, had not been at his best that day but, at a time when it was needed, had the intelligence and skill required to make the difference. Despite the three points, the performance again raised eyebrows, specifically around Soldado, who was ineffective again despite having more creativity around him. Their remains a number of question marks over Tottenhams new system under Sherwood. Can whoever plays as the central midfield two do enough to cover the gaps in front of the centre backs and combine with the attack, specifically against teams better than Stoke and Crystal Palace? Will Eriksen still be influential in the role if left-sided Mousa Dembele isnt playing in midfield? How much more patience will Sherwood have with Soldado? And will Eriksen remain a left sided option even when others such as Nacer Chadli have come on to replace a striker, like he has in past matches. What should no longer be a question is Eriksens place in the team, no matter where he is asked to play. Sherwoods Tottenham will inevitably go through a difficult patch at some point during the second half of the season but what the versatile Danish star has shown in the last month is that he should be the first name written on the team sheet. Dont expect to see him benched for anyone again. This is a Premier League star in the making. Akiem Hicks Jersey . Down 2-1 after Rick Nash scored on a penalty shot, the Oilers ran off four unanswered goals in the remainder of the second period on the way to a 6-3 victory on Sunday. Tom Waddle Bears Jersey .S. -- Carl-Antoine Delisle snapped a tie in the third period with his second goal of the game to lead the Tigres past Cape Breton 4-3 in Quebec Major Junior Hockey League action Wednesday as Victoriaville won its eighth in a row. http://www.bearsfootballpro.com/Customized/ . With nothing tangible at stake, the Raptors turned in their most impressive outing of the fall in their seventh and second to last exhibition tilt against their stiffest competition yet, but they lost a couple starters in the process. Akiem Hicks Bears Jersey . Nine-year veteran Danny Granger did not make his debut with the Clippers because of a technicality on the teams active list, which is signed by coach Doc Rivers before every game and relayed to the officials. Grangers name was printed by hand by a member of the public relations staff under the heading: "Updated Roster Additions," but the number on the sheet was not circled along with the other active players by the required deadline of 6:30 p. Tarik Cohen Womens Jersey . Ted Ligety, Mikaela Shiffrin, Bode Miller and Tim Jitloff underlined the squads enormous potential on the Rettenbach glacier in Austria.VANCOUVER -- A feeble power play has sucked the life out of the Vancouver Canucks at times this season. Another night of missed chances left the door open for the Nashville Predators to capitalize on a man advantage of their own. Nick Spaling scored the winner on the power play midway through the third period Thursday as the Predators defeated the Canucks 2-1. Vancouvers 25th-ranked power play finished 0 for 5, including a four-minute man advantage in the first period that could have significantly altered the games complexion. Canucks defenceman Dan Hamhuis had a tough game, missing chance after chance from the side of the Nashville net on that sequence. "We had some great looks on the power play early on. We had probably four backdoor opportunities that we didnt finish on," said Canucks assistant coach Mike Sullivan. "I thought our power play did everything tonight except put it in the net." Despite Sullivans positive take, Vancouver is now just 2 for 30 with the man advantage over its last eight games. "We had good chances, good looks. I thought we moved the puck well," said Daniel Sedin, who has now gone 11 games without scoring. "In the end it doesnt really matter right now. Weve got to get some goals. "Its up to us in here to make it happen. No excuses." Craig Smith had the other goal for Nashville (23-22-7), while Carter Hutton made 32 saves as the Predators picked up their fourth victory in the last five outings. Spaling also had an assist. "We got some good goaltending, Carter was really good on those backdoor plays," said Predators coach Barry Trotz, whose team improved to 1-21-2 when trailing after two periods. "They were executing that pretty well. We were having trouble trying to stop that and he got over there a couple times. "It was a good character test. That was huge for us to get through the first period." Chris Higgins had the only goal for Vancouver (26-17-9), which got 24 stops from Roberto Luongo. The Canucks, who still hold down the first wild card spot in the Western Conference, saw their modest two-game winning streak come to an end. Down 1-0 after two periods, Nashville tied it at 3:28 of the third when Smith ripped a shot upstairs past Luongo from the faceoff dot off a feed from Spaling for his team-leading 16th goal of the season. "Going into the third when youve got a lead the least you can do is bring it to overtime. Its disappointing," said Luongo. "I need to make a better play on the first one, be more patient on the wrap and read that play a bit better." The Predators kept pushing as the period wore on, with their sixth-ranked power play getting a couple of chances. The Canucks penalty kill -- which sits second in the NHL this season -- held firm until Seth Jones connected with Spaling at 12:38. Jones fired a shot from the point that Spaling tipped past Luongo with just three seconds left on the Nashville man advantage to give the Predators their first lead. Vancouver had another power-play chance late, but couldnt find a way past Hutton. ";The NHL is about a lot of low scoring games," said Luongo.dddddddddddd "Weve got to find ways to win them. Weve got to find ways to bring these games to overtime. Weve got to find ways to protect leads. When we get scored on weve got to keep playing. "Its a tough one to lose going into the third with the lead." After a scoreless first period, Higgins broke the deadlock at 9:09 of the second with his 13th of the season on a nifty deflection. Canucks forward Dale Weise floated a shot towards the Nashville net that Higgins tipped up and over a helpless Hutton for his first goal in seven games. All 13 of Higgins goals have come at even strength and Thursdays effort was just Vancouvers sixth overall in the last six contests. The Canucks power play continued to miss the mark in the second, with defenceman Jason Garrison blasting a shot from the point midway though the period that Hutton handled. "I thought this particular game, the power play had better puck movement and even though we didnt score we got some momentum off of it because at least they had some looks and they had some opportunities, which for me is progress in the right direction," said Sullivan. "The next step is we have to finish. We have to put it in the net." The Canucks were again without head coach John Tortorella, who served the second game of his 15-day suspension for attempting to get into the Calgary Flames locker-room after Saturdays line brawl. Vancouver was also missing captain Henrik Sedin and fellow forward Mike Santorelli. Thought to be nursing rib and finger injuries, Sedin saw his iron man streak of 679 straight games come to an end when he sat out Tuesdays 2-1 road victory over the Edmonton Oilers. Santorelli, meanwhile, missed his third in a row, also with an upper-body injury. Despite their recent run of good form, the Predators still sit eight points back of the final wild card spot in the conference behind the Canucks and Minnesota Wild. "This team has been really resilient all year," said Trotz. "Its been a little bit of an uphill battle all year. This team has got a lot of backbone, a lot of character and this group cares about each other so when things are a little bit rough they dig in and thats a great quality to have." Notes: Michael Del Zotto, acquired from the New York Rangers on Wednesday for fellow defenceman Kevin Klein, wore No. 18 for Nashville and played alongside Jones. ... Canucks defenceman Ryan Stanton returned to the lineup after missing the last 15 games with an ankle injury. Earlier in the day, the Canucks assigned forward Jordan Schroeder to the Utica Comets of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint. Hes been out since October following ankle surgery. ... The Canucks downed the Predators 3-1 in Nashville on Dec. 1. The teams play the final game of the regular season series March 19 at Rogers Arena. ... The Canucks play the second game of a four-game homestand on Sunday against the Phoenix Coyotes. ... The Predators continue a four-game road trip on Friday against the Calgary Flames. ' ' '
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