Missed Goal Scoring Opportunities From Being A One-Footed Soccer Player

As a youth soccer coach and trainer, I have seen the disadvantages of not being two-footed. Because of this handicap many goal scoring opportunities are lost. Sometimes in soccer matches, a ball is played across the penalty area, and all the recipient of the pass has to do is just tap the ball in with the weaker foot, but because of this lack of confidence in that weaker foot, the player reluctantly choose to use his/her stronger foot. You know the rest! The ball is mishandled since the player was not positioned correctly to use the stronger foot, and what should have been an easy goal if the weaker foot was used turns out to be a missed opportunity. These missed opportunities happen a lot in soccer.

I witnessed this during the UEFA Euro 2012 Tournament. On June 9th 2012, the Netherlands played Denmark in group play of the tournament. It was almost the end of the first half and Denmark was already leading 1-0. The Netherlands were attacking. Then a pass from the left side of the pitch was played through to the Netherland’s top striker Robin Van Persie in the penalty area. Everyone familiar with International soccer knows Van Persie is left footed and relies heavily on that foot. The ball should have been handled with the inside of the right foot, but instead Van Persie received the ball with the outside of his left foot and made a bad first touch. His final shot due to the poor first touch was no test for the Germany goalkeeper. In short, Van Persie missed a golden opportunity to equalize for his team.

A finer touch with the appropriate foot may have created a better goal scoring opportunity. However, to his credit, four days later in the Netherlands second group play against rivals Germany, Van Persie scored the only goal for his team in the 2-1 loss to Germany. He received and controlled a pass nicely with his right foot, played it quickly to his left foot. He advanced with the ball with pace, got about four touches with his left foot and scored with an excellent shot outside the penalty area with his right foot (his weak foot). I’m sure he was criticized for not having faith in his right foot four days earlier, but being the top goal scorer that he is; Van Persie made the correct decision in the Germany game by striking the ball with his weak foot which allowed him to earn his first goal of the tournament.

Being two footed is a good attribute for a soccer player to have and coaches at high level look for those qualities in a soccer player. A player that can play with both feet may be in a sense twice as valuable as a player who is one footed. Further, a two-footed striker or forward will be able to score twice as much soccer goals when given the opportunity. Therefore, those soccer players who have the ability to use their weaker foot with competence can be valuable asset to any team.

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Must-Know Bayern Munich Facts for Readers

FC Bayern Munich is one of the most celebrity football clubs in the world. The club, which is popularly known as FC Bayern or even called FCB, competes in the top-tier of German football system, commonly known as Bundesliga. Without any shade of doubt, Bayern Munich has been the most consistent performer in Bundesliga. They are the most successful entity in Bundesliga. The article is intended to share some amazing Bayern Munich facts with the readers.

Bayern Munich – Story of Success

The club has climbed to the crest of success since its establishment back in 1900. Franz John along with eleven players took the leading role to set up the club. It was in 1932 when the Bavarian side claimed their first national champions title. The club kissed their greatest success in the 1970s. Bayern won the European title in 1974 and successfully defended the same in the next two seasons under great captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer who is considered one of the greatest players football has ever produced.

Among the Bundesliga clubs, Bayern has marched their way to the finals of the UEFA Champions League for the maximum number of times. The club has been the most dominant one in Bundesliga. Though the club was not a part of Bundesliga during its inception, it has won the Bundesliga title for the highest number of time. The club has wrapped up UEFA Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, UEFA Super Cup, European Cup Winners Cup and also International Cups.

In a word, the club has earned respect and popularity on strength of its success both on national and international level. They have produced several football legends. Several Bayern Munich players were in the World Cup winning German team in 2014.

Bayern Munich – Rich in Resources

Bayern Munich is rich in resources both in terms of money and talent. As per the latest reports, the club is one of the wealthiest entities in the world of football. The club attracts both fresh and experienced footballers from all over the globe. They also nourish the young prospects at their own academy. The club has been managed by a number of brilliant coaches and is currently under the stewardship of Carlo Ancelotti.

Rivalry & Jersey

Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have become arch rivals since mid of 1990s. Their rivalry has become more infamous as Bayern has been alleged of attracting the star players from Borussia Dortmund in order to maintain their monopoly in Bundesliga. The club’s boys play in ‘red and white’ jersey. A ‘white and blue’ flag is the crest of Bayern.

Stadium & Members

The club has its home ground at the Allianz Arena. Olympiastadion used to be their home ground for 33 long years. Being popular internationally, the club has fans and followers all over the world.

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Is Di Maria Worth It?

It has been one point shy of a nightmare start for Louis Van Gaal in the premier league. Following a lackluster defeat to Swansea at home, Manchester United bagged a point in week two away to Sunderland. Things cannot get much worse for the Dutchman, but with the addition of Marcos Rojo, and the imminent signing of Angel Di Maria, things are looking to improve.

It is widely believed that Angel Di Maria will be unveiled as a Manchester United player Tuesday morning, having completed his move to Old Trafford for a fee in the region of 60 million pounds.

This will break the English transfer record by 10 million pounds, so one has to wonder if Di Maria is worth the fee. However, the way things are going at Manchester United right now, it’s a given that the club will have to overpay players of Di Maria’s pedigree to join.

The 130,000 pound-per-week wage package given to Luke Shaw was heavily criticized by Jose Mourinho of all people. These comments mean a lot coming from «The Special One», who has spent more than any manager in the world since 2004 (now over 900 million euros) and would be better suited for the title «The Spending One.»

Part dig at a rival club, and part truth, this accusation that United are overpaying for Luke Shaw is completely spot-on. Mourinho justifies this by saying a deal that large for a 19 year old would derail morale amongst the older players, but United would not have the youngster had they not stumped up that amount of money.

United are not in a position of leverage right now as they had been for decades under Alex Ferguson. Liverpool are exiting their own era in which they had to overpay for players, while United are taking their turn dealing with the cruel nature of the transfer market. Coming off a seventh-place finish in the league and no Champions League football to show for it, United are in the precarious position of being forced to pay top dollar for everything.

Di Maria is no exception to this, but even so, the fee is very, very steep. Paris Saint Germain were priced out of a deal for Di Maria a month ago, so Van Gaal must be beyond impressed by the Argentine to shell out this much cash for him.

Di Maria showed his worth to Argentina in the World Cup, and was awarded man of the match in the UEFA Champions League Final against Atletico Madrid. His pace is unquestionable, and although he has shortcomings defensively, Van Gaal will accommodate these with the team he puts on the field.

However, it remains to be seen if Di Maria can be ‘the man’ for a team. For Argentina, he always plays off of Lionel Messi, while Madrid have their own fair share of world-beaters to grab headlines. Stepping out from under the shadow of these players will be a big step in the career of the Argentine.

Di Maria impressed me greatly last season when he still managed a spectacular year with the arrival of Gareth Bale from Tottenham. The Argentine played more through the middle than he had in years past and was a catalyst for both club and country with a more free role.

If Di Maria can handle the rockstar-type media attention that will hover over him like a dark cloud, he could very well justify the 60 million pounds United are paying for his services. Earlier in the summer, Di Maria turned down a lucrative contract extension, and given the arrival of James and the presence of Bale, it’s no surprise he has moved on.

Coming off Champions League glory in Lisbon and a silver medal in Brazil, Di Maria easily could have signed a bigger deal and sat around in Madrid likely surrounding time to the likes of Isco, Modric, and James. The winger’s desire is on full display right now; he has left the Galacticos in favor of spearheading a rebuilding project.

The Argentine is stepping out from the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo and taking it upon himself to be ‘the man’ at Old Trafford. In fact, it is rumored that Ronaldo had to do with Di Maria’s decision to join United. It would be poetically just if the Argentine brought back the same flair that has been missing from Old Trafford since Ronaldo left.

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Experimental and Independent Live Music in Manchester, UK

Manchester, UK was dubbed Mad-chester in the 1990’s at the peak of the indie and rave scene that was encapsulated by a particular haircut, baggy trousers and the Hacienda club. Although Manchester is still in touch with that legacy and such haircuts can still be spotted, it actually offers a lot more variety of live music. White boy bands, sometimes with a female lead singer may still be prevalent statistically but there is so much more going on too for the more experimentally minded music listeners and gig- goers looking for creative music and independent music that may be a bit different.

Experimental, independent and creative music can be found in the more elite venues as well as the smaller under the radar spots. High class venues such as Bridgewater Hall and Lowry Theatre host all sorts of contemporary classical and independent pop acts. And it does not always have to cost an arm and a leg. The Bridgwater Hall have free lunchtime concerts in their foyer which still has better acoustics than many venues in the city. And at RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) you can often find a free concert by students experimenting beyond their more traditional repertoire.

Of course the Apollo has some great bands and artists stopping by on their national tours such as the experimental and popular female solo artist Bjork, and Bristolian trip-hop bands Massive Attack and Portishead. And even at the Opera House Antony and the Johnson’s have played while female solo artist Joanna Newsom delivered a sublime performance at the Palace Theatre. The newly refurbished Band on the Wall provides gigs in Manchester playing host to many more international acts too such as Fela Kuti and Kid Creole and the Coconuts while also being home to a regular monthly night by local Mancunian wonky funk maestro Mr Scruff. With it’s brand new sound system and lush new grand piano, the sound quality feels fresh and new too.

More modest venues include the sadly now closing Green Room which has been a hub of experimental theatre, creative music and spoken word for over 20 years in the city. Apart from that we have Kraak Gallery and the Coffee Pot putting on interesting events, performances and gigs in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. And Fuel Bar and Cafe in Withington often has local talents making independent music as well as touring independent acts. The monthly improvisation night called «The Noise Upstairs» is experimental music in action with an open mic approach to musical improvisational performance by some of those present. Night and Day cafe, more renown for gigs in Manchester, sometimes have a more experimental band or artist passing through too.

Like any large city, there are many gems to be discovered by just exploring and asking people for recommendations when you are in town. I hope some of these suggestions may be of use.

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NFL Football Free Picks: Carolina Panthers At Chicago Bears

Defense wins championships. You’ve all heard of this cliché. But, this will be the determining factor in today’s matchup against the Panthers of Carolina against Da Bears of Chicago. Both teams are strong defensively and both teams are poor offensively.

In their earlier matchup this past November, the Bears came away with a 13-3 victory at Soldier field; I fully expect them to finish off the inconsistent Carolina Panthers this Sunday. The Bears will still be at Soldier field.

The Bears defense is allowing a paltry 12.6 ppg and an alarming 7.6 ppg at home! Bears games this year have been going under (o/u 4-10-2) mainly due to this fact. Although I see this game going over the projected total this Sunday, I still see Carolina not getting more than 14 points in this matchup.

If the Bears score early, they will score often. Teams coming off underdog wins in playoffs have a pretty nasty ATS record their next game; not to mention the fact that the Panthers shutout their opponent in their last game…this game has rout written all over it. The Bears should make the trip out West next Sunday to play the Seattle Seahawks.

Today’s free picks include the Bears giving up less than a field goal today.

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No Man Is An Island, Including Darrelle Revis

When Darrelle Revis first pulled his green and white, #24 jersey over his shoulders to suit up for the New York Jets in 2007, he had no idea what he was in for. A four win season was far from what the talented cornerback had experienced to date in his career. On the other side of the coin, his highly touted defensive abilities, and accommodating confident swagger were expected to garner more than three inceptions from his defensive back position. His stats were promising for a rookie, but the fanfare of his arrival left everyone wondering until the following season. Life in the NFL swings like a pendulum, and Darrelle had only seen the beginning of what this tremendously demanding landscape was capable of.

Darrelle Shavar Revis was born and raised in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, which seemed to be a veritable carving ground for sports’ standouts including NFL players Mike Ditka, Tony Dorsett, and Ty Law. Not to mention it being the hometown of NBA Hall of Famer Pete Maravich. Clearly there was something in the water, and Revis was lapping it up. As a high school football star, he received the honor of High School Player of the Year in 2003, as annually named by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He helped lead his team to a championship win by putting five touchdowns on the board alone: Three rushing, one returned punt and by returning a blocked field goal attempt. His football prowess did not go unnoticed, as it was hard to overlook the kid who had more interceptions than anyone else in any other high school — in the country.

In 2004, the amazing recruit didn’t stray too far from home, and began attending the University of Pittsburgh where the accolades would keep on coming. Darrelle Revis was named a first-team All-American as a freshman. His stats would tell the story of a kid who was turning into a man before the eyes of NFL scouts everywhere: 49 tackles, team-tying 12 broken up passes, second in defended passes at 14, and two interceptions. His sophomore year showed that the previous season was not a fluke, earning him first-team All-Big East honors. Only staying through his junior season at Pitt, his final year allowed the awards to pile up. He was a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, while celebrating twice in the end zone that year as the result of interceptions. He was also granted the media frenzy of having the 2006 ESPN College Football Play of the Year, where he returned a punt 79 yards in a scoring effort, while breaking tackles at every turn.

In the 2007 NFL Draft, Darrelle Revis was taken as the 14th overall pick by the New York Jets. In his debut he played in all 16 games, as the playoffs were not in the offering that year, and recorded 87 tackles, one sack, three interceptions and a forced fumble. Not bad for a rookie, but not the game changing statistics Jets’ fans longed for, although they remain very hard to please.

In 2008 the New York Jets would finally get a glimpse of the guy they dreamed about, and found Darrelle to meet their demands like a champion! With all 16 games under his belt for the second consecutive year, Revis recorded 45 tackles, in addition to 13 assists, one sack, five interceptions and one forced fumble.

2009 led to flat out hysteria at the cornerback position, with Darrelle referring to his area of the field as «Revis Island» meaning no one could catch a ball where he stood. He was elected to the 2009 Pro Bowl as a result of his stellar performance that year, amassing a jaw-dropping seven interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown. He also had 47 tackles, and seven assists. The New York Jets made the playoffs as a Wildcard team, and continued to win until they reached the AFC Championship game, where they were ousted by the Indianapolis Colts.

The 2010 season bred resentment from the fans in the direction of their highly touted All-Pro cornerback. Darrelle Revis decided to hold out of training camp, and missed all four of the team’s preseason games while trolling for a newer, higher paying contract. He finally received his restructured deal for $32 million guaranteed, and he returned to the team one week before the regular season was to begin. He missed half of week two’s game, and all of weeks three and four with an inflamed hamstring, and didn’t record a single interception in the 13 games he played in. The Jets made it to the AFC Championship game again that year, despite his drop in numbers, and lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

2011 gave way to a few interceptions from Revis that were eye-catching and creatively concocted, allowing him to go down in the record books as having the longest interception returned for a touchdown in a single game at 100 yards. He finished the year with 52 tackles and four interceptions, on his way to a second Pro Bowl appearance. The 2012 season delivered a grim reminder that no man is an island, but they are all human. In October, Darrelle Revis was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL. With any luck, and without another contract dispute, the Jets will have him back in 2013. Only time will tell, as the team appears to be in shambles while it waits its final destiny of this unmentionable awful season.

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Manchester United Are Back in Business

Manchester United did not have a perfect start to the current Premier League campaign. David Moyes took over from the departing Alex Ferguson and faced an unenviable challenge of meeting the pressure of high expectation. The team lost three games of their initial eight and the former Everton manager’s critics began to sharpen their knives. The Red Devils were clearly imploding and after they had fallen to eighth place on the points table, the naysayers began to question their credentials and some even stressed that mid-table was where United really belonged.

But nine matches later, and importantly, nine unbeaten games later, United find themselves in fifth place, just five points adrift of table leaders, Arsenal. How did the transformation happen? To begin with, Arsenal’s lead at the top of the table was sustained in the absence of games with big teams such as Chelsea, Man City and Man United themselves. The luck of the draw did not favor Moyes whose wards faced off against the likes of Liverpool, Man City and Chelsea, relatively early in the season.

Arsenal had been in a similar situation in 2008 when they blew a five point lead at the top of the table after an injury to their star striker. In the event the Gunners ended up in fourth place, at the end of the season. In the lead up to Arsenal’s match against United, Wayne Rooney drew attention to this fact. Given Gunners’ winning form and the perceived decline of United in the post-Ferguson era, Arsenal were expected to bank full three points from the game at Old Trafford. Liverpool had bearded the Red Devils in their den and Gunners had beaten the Merseysiders; ergo, Arsene Wenger’s men should beat David Moyes’ wards, went the argument.

But van Persie and Man United had other ideas and the home side emerged deserving 1-0 winners to bring themselves within five points of Arsenal who continue to lead the table. United have 20 points from 11 games, and apart from Arsenal, only Liverpool (23), Southampton (22) and Chelsea (21) are ahead of them on the table. It is not unrealistic to expect the Saints to drop down the table as the season wears on. With Arsenal yet to play Man City or Chelsea, the results of those games could have a dramatic effect on the hierarchy of teams on the points table. Consider also that United have upcoming games against Cardiff, Tottenham, Everton and Newcastle, all of which are there to be won, and it won’t be unrealistic to suggest that United may well be at the top of the table by Christmas.

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