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Bryant won three championships
On a Premier League Wednesday with nine games played simultaneously, spectacular goals and the top five teams each victorious, it was another home loss for Manchester United taking the headlines. Cheap Nike Air Max 1 Denim . Whenever United loses, its crisis.  When other top teams slip up, its the quirky nature of the Premier League.  The predictable reaction speaks to the sky-high expectations for a team proven perennial contender and 13 times Premier League champion.  While its premature to suggest United have abdicated their throne, retaining their title this term has become improbable.  Setting the bar lower to Champions League qualification even seems an uphill climb for a team reflecting United only in colours and crest.  The mighty have fallen.  But how far? After Wednesdays 1-0 loss to Everton, Manchester United sits 9th: Uniteds lowest ever position after 14 games.  The home form is most disconcerting.  David Moyes side has already been shut out twice at Old Trafford this campaign.  Their eight home goals for is equal to the likes of West Ham, who have no true striker and one less than last place Sunderland.  In comparison, Manchester City has scored 29 at home in the same number of games.  Thats a Grand Canyon sized difference between supposed rivals on the field.  The gap, incredible considering United finished 11 points ahead of City a season ago. Wednesdays loss is merely salt in the wound.  The Everton away support mocked Moyes throughout.  United support most likely felt like doing the same, if it were not the previous instructions by his predecessor, "your job now is to stand by our new manager." Wariness persists about the new man.  While the players and staff all say the right things, belief amongst even the most ardent supporter wavers.  Patience is preached.  That narrative is difficult to swallow for supporters who have grown accustomed to winning trophies at a club with the bankroll to support ambition. Perhaps Sir Alex saw this coming.  Perhaps he had got everything he could out of this group of players. Perhaps he knew the team needed an overhaul.  And perhaps that was a little bit too much for a 71-year-old manager with nothing to prove to start over and rebuild.   And perhaps banking on ownership to actually use the clubs financial might to address the issues in the side was something Ferguson could no longer stomach. This argument is less about the man in charge, rather than the team on the field.  The goals United would score a year ago are now finding the woodwork.  The challenges are sloppy.  The shape leaves much to desire.  Its striking the team couldnt rise up to the challenge of Everton; a fixture that was always going to be circled on the calendar, no matter where Everton and Manchester United sat in the table.  The fact Moyes former team sat above his current gave added urgency.  The Reds didnt respond.  Yes, Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck hit post and crossbar respectively.  But the chances for Everton were as good, or better than what United could muster.  The irony, plain to see, with a United transfer targets injury replacement Bryan Oviedo scoring the match winner.  The Everton midfield, which was plucked of Marouane Fellaini at the transfer window, was dominant throughout, with Fellainis replacements James McCarthy and Gareth Barry keeping the shape United only wished they could have.  And Fellaini, fortunate to have stayed on the field after an ugly challenge, and looking a shell of the influential player he was while wearing blue. "We never felt inferior," remarked a jubilant Everton manager, Roberto Martinez.  A Martinez managed team had never scored a goal at Old Trafford, let alone win.  His Everton team in one try did what Moyes Everton couldnt accomplish in over a decade – win at Old Trafford.   It was a measured, calculated and composed approach by the visitors.  Time after time, they exposed the weakness in Uniteds midfield.  United can still maintain possession of the ball in the middle of the park.  But the east-west ball movement lack cutting edge and fluidity.  The end result is a stale, predictable product. Most noticeably, Uniteds inability to put high pressure on the ball, and subsequent lack of numbers in attack on the counter left United at the mercy of a superior Everton midfield.  Vintage United teams over the last two decades were deadly at forcing mistakes through putting pressure on the ball and forcing teams out of their element. It was always near textbook counter-attacking football.  That was the Manchester United way.  When in possession, Sir Alex Fergusons United would attack in waves.  It would be relentless and it would break you down. This new United sits back.  And when on the ball, there are very few options in support.  Everton were vastly superior at both pressing the ball and attacking in numbers, just as West Brom were in a shock away victory at the Theatre of Dreams earlier this season.  Fluid movement on and off the ball and purposeful possession broke down United.  These were no fluky, lucky away victories.  They were well earned. We should fall short of calling United a bad team.  They are still a good team with a collection of players able to compete.  But they have simply fallen back to the pack. Hanging in and grinding out points is where the team is.  Thats not a bad thing.  Its just not typical United.  Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney have match changing, game winner abilities.  Outside f the two, the squad falls short on top talent.  So system, discipline, and effort need be relied upon.   No matter what happens in January, Moyes number one job is to get his midfield right.  He would likely trade his entire midfield roster for the likes of one of Eden Hazard, Yaya Toure, or Mesut Ozil – all top players for title contending teams.  Likewise for Juan Mata, Oscar Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla – you get the picture.  In the midfield, Manchester United is playing from a deficit. The discourse coming from Old Trafford has to change.  It cannot be about moral victories.  Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward saying United will remain strong financially without winning trophies sends the wrong message.  The expectation is winning, not profit.  The league is becoming clearer: Arsenal, Manchester City, and Chelsea are clear title threats.  Liverpool, Everton, and Spurs are in the second tier.  Is United better than the aforementioned three?  Certainly not based upon form. This is the challenge for United and their new manager.  These may be early days, but its gut-check time.  A suspended Wayne Rooney Saturday doesnt make matters any easier.  The team has responded before.  Will they respond this time around, for this manager? Other Musings - Luis Suarez is on a run for the ages, scoring 13 goals in nine games this season.  The bite seen around the world and the summer of discontent seems to be a distant memory.  But this is Suarez were talking about.  Dependability is not his middle name.  One has to wonder what is his value now? Liverpool famously rejected Arsenals audacious bid of just over £40 million.  What is Barcelona or Real Madrid offer £80 million?  Can Liverpool afford to lose him, no matter the price?  Qualifying for Champions League is massive for the short-term future of the club.  And could very well determine if Suarez continues on at Anfield.  - After just 90 seconds Wednesday, Niklas Bendtner scored his first Arsenal goal in 1,005 days.  In very Bendtner like fashion, he later missed an absolute sitter.  Can Arsene Wenger afford not going into Januarys transfer window to buy another striker?  Or can Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski be decent enough options, providing cover for Olivier Giroud?  The decision could be the difference between winning the league. - Andre Villas-Boas outburst at the press doesnt bode well for the Spurs manager.  The Portuguese manager has bigger fish to fry than petty public spats with those who cover the team.  Finding requisite width and appropriate attacking formation tops his to-do list.  The lack of influence through the wing positions despite worlds of talent is troubling.  Two late goals at Craven Cottage spared his blushes.  Maintaining focus is paramount.  AVB has the players. Time to bring it all together. - Southamptons dream run has been derailed for the time being.  A difficult stretch has seen the team lose their top goalkeeper and concede eight times in their last three after giving up just five in their previous 11.  It doesnt get any easier, with games against top teams Manchester City, Newcastle and Spurs in their next three Twitter - @WheelerTSNEmail - [email protected] Cheap Nike Air Max 1 Anniversary Restock . Sizemore, who turned 29 on Jan. 4, has been limited to six games over the past two seasons because of an injured left knee that twice required surgery. He originally got hurt on Feb. 25, 2012, during a fielding drill in Oaklands first full-squad spring training workout and had surgery that March 21 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Cheap Nike Air Max 1 Anniversary Navy Blue . George Hill had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Pacers, who stayed atop the overall NBA standings despite losing twice on their West Coast trip. Los Angeles kept it close into the second half before the Pacers finished an easy win over the injury-riddled Lakers, who have lost five straight. .Y. -- Kristen Gillman rallied to win the U. EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Lakers signed Kobe Bryant to a two-year contract extension Monday, securing the fourth-leading scorer in NBA history into his 20th season with the franchise. Bryant hasnt played this season while recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles tendon in April, but the Lakers didnt wait to renew their commitment to the five-time NBA champion before he got anywhere close to the free-agent market next summer. Bryant inked the deal with owner Jim Buss and general manager Mitch Kupchak at his side in agent Rob Pelinkas office moments before the Lakers left for an East Coast road trip. Bryant, Buss and Kupchak all had repeatedly stated Bryant wouldnt leave his only NBA home. The 35-year-old guard quickly tweeted a picture of his signature with the hashtag: Laker4Life. "This is a very happy day for Lakers fans and for the Lakers organization," Kupchak said in a statement. "Weve said all along that our priority and hope was to have Kobe finish his career as a Laker, and this should ensure that that happens." Bryant has spent more than half of his life playing for the Lakers, and if he fulfills his new contract, he will break John Stocktons record of 19 seasons with one NBA franchise. But Kobes legacy in L.A. already is secure: No less than Magic Johnson and Jerry West have declared Bryant the franchises greatest player, given his fistful of championship rings and his consistent brilliance while scoring more points than anybody in a Lakers uniform. Although Bryant is taking a pay cut from his $30.45 million salary this season, Kobe and the Lakers didnt exactly agree to a hometown discount, either. ESPN reported the deal is worth $48.5 million, keeping Kobe among the NBAs highest-paid players. Some fans grumbled online that the contract will limit the Lakers flexibility in the free-agent market next summer, clouding their starry-eyed dreams of signing Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. Other fans approved the payout as a reward for an iconic player who still ranked among the NBAs most dangerous scorers before his injury. Bryant and 39-year-old point guard Steve Nash are the only players signed to significant contracts for next season with the Lakers, who have been anticipating a major roster restructuring in 2014 ever since Dwight Howard fled town in July. Even if the Lakers waived the oft-injured Nash under a special provision limitinng his salary cap hit, Bryant would eat up roughly a third of their room under the projected cap before anybody else joins him next season. Cheap Nike Air Max 1 Atmos Beast. Bryant returned to practice earlier this month, and his return to the court seems imminent, although he isnt rushing back from perhaps the most significant injury of his career. Bryant said last week that he could adjust his game and contribute something to the Lakers right now, but he wants to make a full return when he finally steps on the court for his 18th NBA season. "Its definitely something where youre kind of champing at the bit a little bit, but weve come so far," Bryant said after practice last week. "I want to make sure, we all do, when you step out there youre ready to go the long haul, and (the injury) isnt something that continues on." Coach Mike DAntoni has said Bryant can return whenever Kobe says hes ready. The Lakers are surviving in his absence, improving to 7-7 on Sunday night by beating Sacramento for their third straight victory. "Ive been extremely proud of the way weve competed," Bryant said. The contract is another milestone in Bryants remarkable career. He was a 17-year-old high schooler when the Lakers acquired him after the Charlotte Hornets chose him in the first round of the 1996 draft, and Lakers fans watched as he evolved into one of the most dominant scorers in NBA history, dazzling fans with his offensive inventiveness and drawing critics for his ball-dominating style of play. Bryant won three championships with Shaquille ONeal from 2000-02 and added two more with Pau Gasol in 2009 and 2010, winning the NBA finals MVP award after each of those titles. He won his only NBA MVP award in 2008 and his scoring titles in 2006 and 2007, also earning 15 selections to the All-Star game -- with four MVP awards from the showcase -- and two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. national team. Bryant hasnt given up hope of adding a sixth championship ring to his trophy case, even while the Lakers struggle to keep up with the NBAs best teams. With his immediate future secure, Bryant can focus on getting back to full strength on his injured leg. "Its always a much greater appreciation for it," Bryant said of his imminent return. "You understand the mortality that comes with being on that doorstep. Theres always a sense of enjoyment when you come back." Cheap Jerseys China NFL Jerseys China NFL Jerseys Wholesale Discount Basketball Jerseys Cheap NHL Jerseys Authentic Cheap Baseball Jerseys Free Shipping Cheapest College Jerseys Sale Cheap Football Jerseys China Nike NFL Jerseys Canada Wholesale NHL Jerseys From China MLB Jerseys Outlet Canada Wholesale NBA Jerseys Canada Store Cheap Soccer Jerseys China Cheap Authentic Jerseys Canada ' ' '

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