Arsenal 1-2 Brighton | Premier League highlights | Dec 5, 2019



We were beaten by Brighton on another frustrating night at Emirates Stadium.

In Freddie Ljungberg’s first home match in charge since becoming our interim head coach, we made a bright start – but soon the visitors started to take control.

Neal Maupay fired one shot across the face of goal that somehow evaded the foot of Aaron Connolly, before Bern Leno was called into action to deny the former after he took aim from distance.

Our goalkeeper was called upon again soon afterwards to palm away Davy Propper’s shot, but two minutes later the Seagulls took the lead when Adam Webster poked in after a scramble in the area.

Joe Willock had a close-range header saved by Mat Ryan before the interval, but having been unable to make the breakthrough, Ljungberg brought on Nicolas Pepe for the second half.

We needed more, and we soon got it as Alex Lacazette equalised, meeting a corner and send a looping header to the back post where it just crept in.

Game on.

The crowd responded as we continued to drive forward and threaten, although Brighton were dangerous on the break and we were again indebted to Leno as he denied Maupay from close range.

David Luiz soon had a goal disallowed for offside after a VAR check, before the visitors retook the lead when Mooy crossed for Maupay to head into the far corner.

Gabriel Martinelli came close with a glancing header than Mat Ryan did well to palm away as the game neared stoppage time, while Nicolas Pepe saw a free kick fly inches wide.

But there was no way through, and our winless run in the Premier League extended to nine games.

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Manchester United v. Brighton | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 11/10/19 | NBC Sports



Manchester United returned to winning ways, putting three goals past Matt Ryan and Brighton to claim a 3-1 victory at Old Trafford. #NBCSports #PremierLeague #ManUnited #Brighton #MattRyan
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Manchester United v. Brighton | PREMIER LEAGUE HIGHLIGHTS | 11/10/19 | NBC Sports

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Why the Right Size Matters When Buying Soccer Cleats

Soccer shoes are very important because of the role they play in keeping your feet protected, creating traction and offering strong grip to ensure that your performance in the field is improved. Every player wishes to give their best performance in during matches and this is something that can prove hard to do without the right soccer cleats.

Fortunately, there are so many brands and designs from which players can choose what they find most suitable. But to get the best pair there are elements that matter most and size is one of these elements. No matter how beautiful a soccer shoe is or how many features it has to give you the best experience when playing, if it is ill-fitting, and then you stand to be frustrated when you are supposed to give your best. Your cleats should neither be too small nor too big otherwise they will interfere with your performance. It is of importance that you pay close attention to sizing so you get the perfect fit for your feet. If you are still wondering why size matters, here are a few reasons why.

· Soccer cleats that are too big will only hinder proper movement as they are likely to come off and they definitely will lag you behind.

· Too small a size on the other hand will keep your feet too tight and this is not only uncomfortable, but also exposes you to bruises and blisters.

· You are more prone to getting injured when wearing a bigger sized cleat because your feet do not have control since the conformity is all wrong. You may end up twisting your leg and probably even falling down as you run around in the field.

Getting the perfect size

The easiest way of getting the right size when buying soccer cleats is knowing your foot measurements. You also want to take into consideration factors such as wearing socks and how the type of socks you choose will affect the size of the shoe. Some socks are quite thick and they can make your cleat feel tighter and smaller.

Since there are manufacturers out there who make midway sizes like 7.5 or 6.5, you should consider such sizes if you have a hard time finding the right cleat size. The shoe should fit snugly but not too tightly. Think about the upper and what it is made of. The upper should mold to your feet as much as possible; remember that some materials like leather have a tendency of stretching over time.

When looking at the size, pay attention to areas where the ball will contact the show most. The toe box, instep, outer edge and upper edge are the most important to help you get a shoe that is proportioned to your foot shape. This will not only ensure you remain comfortable, but also reduces break-in time and gives you ball control in no time at all. Always try on your shoes if you can before making the purchase.

Camiseta Stadium de la 2ª equipación del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19 Camiseta Stadium de la 2ª equipación del Atlético de Madrid 2018-19

Soccer Cleats – Does Color Really Matter?

Soccer boots have turned from the traditional black colors to brighter attractive colors. It is actually possible to find cleats that come in more than one bright color. Of course before choosing the color it is important to check out all other important elements of your boots and then settle for a color that works for you. But does color really matter?

Bright colors – They have become the norm for modern soccer cleats with most brands creating boots in bright blues, neon yellows and green and even azure and pink. The bright colors are basically for players who want to stand out and to be seen as they play. The bright colors are mesmerizing and work best for players who love attention. If you are going for the brightly colored and attractive cleats, then you had better make sure that your skills are on point too otherwise it will be very easy for fans to pick on you and fellow players to ridicule you.

Black boots – The traditional black football boot is associated with a player who is very serious about the game. It has for the longest time being the mainstay color whose design is more about heritage. Players who choose to go black are considered more game respecting compared to those that choose playful colors.

Choosing the colors

Generally speaking, football boot color is a matter of personal preference. Confidence is vital during any play and choosing boots that match your personal style is very important. It can actually affect your mental approach to the game. The color of the boot may not improve your performance, but it can impact mental state, hence determining how you perform during the match. If vibrant colors work for you and somehow seem to motivate you play, then you should go right ahead and choose the bright colors that you find most appealing.

Highly visual colors also seem to have a co-relation when how players connect with the ball. The black makes it harder to distinguish different areas when connecting boot and ball, meaning players spend more time looking down to focus on this area. Brighter colors create some sort of definition and offer an easier time glancing down and differentiating where to strike or touch the ball. It is something that may not apply to all players, but in case you find it works for you then there is definitely no reason why you should not go for the bright colored cleats.

Cleat colors and personality

If for some reason you are color conscious when buying your football boots, you may want to choose a color that matches your personality. It is believed that your player personality can be established by the color you choose for your boots. Black is believed to be for pros because it is a color that suggests certainty, whereas white is for players oozing class and talent. Blue shoes experience and conviction, calmness and tranquility in the game, whereas yellow seems to be the color for cheerful players who are optimistic and full of energy and enthusiasm.

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Why Germany Won The World Cup 2014

Now that the excitement of the World Cup 2014 has died down and we have had time to digest the memorable moments of the tournament, this is a good time to reflect and examine why Germany won the trophy.

There is a general consensus that the Germans were deserving winners.

They went to Brazil after passing through a period of failure and underachievement. They had failed to win the World Cup since 1990, finished dead last in their group in the 2000 European Championship and went to the semi-finals in their last 4 major international tournaments but failed to win a trophy.

In discussing the reason for their success in 2014 one could look back to the beginning of the century when Germany revolutionized the game at home by instituting far-reaching reforms with a focus on youth development, by introducing a new policy to include immigrant players in the national team and by using scientific methods to help with the preparation and performance of players.

These were no doubt contributing factors but in my opinion the overriding reasons for their World Cup success were the development of team discipline, an emphasis on attention to details and the team’s overall efficiency.

TEAM DISCIPLINE

In the World Cup Germany won the hardest group in the first round including a 4-0 win over Portugal. But it was in the knockout rounds that the overall quality of the team began to appear when they patiently overcame a resolute Algeria and beat host and favorite Brazil 7-1 in the semi-final.

How were they able to do this? The short answer is that it was largely due to discipline. In 7 games, they never conceded a penalty, got only 6 yellow cards and never received a red card while suffering the third most number of fouls of any team.

This discipline did not emerge overnight. As head coach Joachim Loew said «it was the product of many years of work». It started 10 years ago from the days of previous coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

They adopted a ‘team-first approach’ to their game I.e. the players must maintain a belief in collective goals and a consistent commitment to training and preparation on a daily basis.

What emerged from the experience of watching the German team in the World Cup was a model for a young player to learn by evaluating his or her own commitment to the team.

The standards exhibited by the Germans were that a player must make the most of every opportunity on the field, buy into the team’s collective goals, set aside one’s own personal agenda and focus on the team’s objectives.

A high level of mental discipline in controlling emotions in the heat of the competition is also important. A player must stay disciplined and not lose control of his emotions, get sent off and leave the team to play a man down.

Regardless of how much discipline a team has, the process of finding ultimate success is not complete until it acquires another standard set by Germany, namely, attention to detail.

ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Before the World Cup 50 students from the University of Cologne compiled a database of information about every team, their structure and players which was made available to the German squad.

In Brazil, the Germans set up base by building a 14 villa luxury compound in the middle of a small town of 800 people protected by high walls and armed guards.

It was located in a tropical area in order to prepare the players for the hot conditions they would experience. Care was taken to use grass on the training pitch that was identical to that used on Brazilian pitches.

The camp was like a fortress, made to exclude all outside distractions but ideal for focus and concentration. The players were isolated from the outside world and were given new cell phone numbers to avoid receiving calls from anyone. And of course they had the usual complement of physical fitness specialists and psychologists.

Attention to detail also focused on tactics on the field.

Each player knew what he had to do and did it. Each of the 6 matches leading up to the final was treated as a warm-up and there was no celebration for winning until after the final.

After a close extra-time win over Algeria in the round of 16, the captain Philipp Lahm was moved from the midfield to full back for the last 3 matches. This change of tactic worked because after that they scored 9 and conceded only 2 goals.

It was noticeable that when Germany was defending, their front men retreated into deep positions to help the defense especially to recover balls that rebounded from their keeper. In contrast, when Mexico lost to Holland the Mexican strikers failed to do this; in the 88th minute Mexico was leading and a shot rebounded from Mexican keeper Ochoa and went straight to Dutch attacker, Wesley Sneijder who was unmarked and able to convert it. This neglect of a small detail cost Mexico a place in the quarter final.

GOAL EXPECTATION AND EFFICIENCY

In a study conducted among European clubs for the season 2012-2013, to measure the overall efficiency of teams (I.e. the number of goals scored in relation to chances created), two measures were used:-

«Shooting efficiency» measures whether you score more goals than are expected (probable) given the quality of chances you are presented with, and

«Defensive efficiency» measures to see if the number of goals conceded is lower compared to the expectation.

Interestingly the only team that appears in the top 15% in both measures is Bayern Munich (STATS BOMB- Goal Expectation and Efficiency, by Colin Trainor, August 6, 2013). The relevance of this is that the German national team is predominantly made up of Bayern Munich players. They are almost one and the same.

Not for the first time the words «Germany» and «efficiency» appear in the same sentence. In the World Cup this efficiency traversed onto the field of play. In the game against Brazil, Germany were outshot by Brazil 18-14 despite the one-sided result and in the final, Argentina created 3 clear chances and missed them while Germany created one which was taken and so they won.

With the largest population and the richest economy in Europe, Germany has an available pool of young talent and could spend about 1.1 billion dollars since 2001 on the soccer revolution. What has emerged is not a once-in-a-lifetime «golden generation» of players but a sustainable system that can produce great players at the highest level for a long time.

Victor A. Dixon

July 31, 2014