Maurizio Sarri: It’s time to decide Eden Hazard’s future

Hazard, however, has repeatedly stated that he will wait until the end of the season — when he enters the final year of his current contract — before deciding his future, and Sarri has grown exasperated with facing constant questions on the subject.

“I don’t know [if he will stay] but I think it’s time to decide,” Sarri said of Hazard on Friday. “I have not the power to do this. I am the coach, not the president, I’m not in charge of the market.

“I’m the coach. I want to speak to him only about the position on the pitch. [But] I think we have to solve the problem if we want to [plan] the future. We have to solve this problem.”nike nfl jerseys for cheap

After the Watford game Hazard pointedly stated that he prefers playing as a winger to the false nine role that Sarri has given him in the last four Premier League matches but the Italian added that he will continue to deploy his superstar in the position that best helps Chelsea on the pitch.6
Asked if Hazard is now his preferred option up front ahead of Olivier Giroud and Alvaro Morata — who was omitted from the match day squad against Watford for tactical reasons despite being fit — Sarri hinted that he will persist with the strategy against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

“It depends on the moment,” he explained. “In this moment we need to be solid, and with Hazard in this position I think we can become more solid. It’s a good option for the defensive phase, I think, but it depends on the moment.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

“Maybe in the future we will be able to play with Hazard and a striker together. It’s not a big problem for us, I think.”

Chelsea will be without Pedro Rodriguez and Callum Hudson-Odoi against Palace after both men picked up hamstring injuries during the Watford game. Sarri expects the Spaniard to miss around 10 days, while the academy prospect’s issue is less serious and he should return to training next week.

Man United’s Sanchez and Lukaku must prove themselves – Solskjaer

The Norwegian has already had an impact on Paul Pogba’s form since taking over from Jose Mourinho and the 45-year-old says it is up to Sanchez and Lukaku to follow the Frenchman’s example and use the fresh start to get back to their best.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

“I cannot do anything for their performances on the pitch,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. “I’m here to give them the path and it’s up to them to do it on the pitch. It’s up to them when they get a chance that’s the name of the game as a footballer. You’ve got to do it yourself.”5

Lukaku, who is back after compassionate leave, has managed just six goals this season while Sanchez, who has recovered from a hamstring injury, has scored only once this term.

Pogba also struggled for form during a disappointing start to the season but the midfielder has been one of the stars of Solskjaer’s first two games, scoring twice in the 3-1 win over Huddersfield on Boxing Day.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

Solskjaer has also confirmed Antonio Valencia is nearing a comeback from injury and will remain club captain when he returns to the team. The United caretaker boss was less optimistic about Chris Smalling’s fitness and revealed the defender may have to wait until the trip to Tottenham on Jan. 13 due to a foot injury.

“Antonio is the captain when fit,” he said. “He’s going through a couple of tough sessions now to get him ready for the busy period. There are not many better right backs going forward.

“Smalling has got a sore foot so I don’t think we’ll see him until the New Year, maybe not before Spurs. Marcos [Rojo] and Scott [McTominay] look like they can take part soon.”

Curry leads Warriors with 42 points in Christmas tune-up

It’s already the third time that the former MVP has reached the 40-point mark this season, and the 33rd time he has done it during his career in the regular season, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The fact the All-Star guard also laid in the winning basket with 0.5 seconds left in regulation surprised nobody inside a raucous Oracle Arena.

“I knew we wanted to try and get a switch on the pick-and-roll and I had a lot of space,” Curry said. “We had shooters pretty much everywhere on the floor and I was able to get into the middle the paint — just a matter of being decisive, and just understanding I got an open lane, try to get to the basket and make a play. Draymond did a great job of sealing, I think it was Avery Bradley at the rim so that I could finish underneath Montrezl [Harrell’s] contest. There wasn’t any hesitation on that play, just knowing what you want to do and trying to execute.”cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Kevin Durant, who poured in 35 points of his own, acknowledged that while he isn’t keeping track of how many buckets the duo accounts for during a game, he knew early on how teammate Curry was.6

“You could tell that Steph was locked in on just the moment,” Durant said. “Usually when you do that, you have a really good game, especially when you’re at the level he’s on.”

Curry’s night also included a technical foul in the first half after he and Clippers backup point guard Patrick Beverley exchanged a few words after Curry corralled an offensive rebound.

“They said I flexed at Patrick, which was a misinterpretation of what I was doing,” Curry said. “I flex as a joke all the time, obviously I have nothing really to work with. I was looking at the crowd and kinda celebrating an offensive rebound, which I rarely get and he just happened to be standing there, had a reaction to it. I told Pat, you got to do what you got to do if you felt that it was directed at you. But it wasn’t. It is what it is.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Curry and the Warriors now have to prepare for a Christmas night showdown against the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday. It’s a contest that NBA fans have had circled on their calendars for months, and one the Warriors are ready for after watching Curry and Durant dominate against the Clippers.

“It’s incredible to play with those guys,” Warriors power forward Draymond Green said of Curry and Durant. “I try to be a leader out there and a coach on the floor. When I have to call a play it’s very easy, give the ball to one of them two, and let them do what they do. It’s great. Obviously it’s very fun to play with those guys and see what they do on a nightly basis. They are a big part of the reason we’ve had the success we’ve had.”

What LeBron’s injury means for the young Lakers now

The Los Angeles Lakers got a win on Christmas, and they also got a test: Can they keep heading in the right direction if LeBron James’ strained groin muscle causes him to miss significant time?

“This is unchartered territory, obviously, with this group,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said after his team’s impressive 127-101 win over the Golden State Warriors. “But this is what we’ve been talking about. This is what we try to plan for — not that [James] gets hurt, but being able to play and win and compete when he’s not on the floor.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“That’s a process, and our team is much better than at the start of the season. So, it’ll get a lot more challenging for us if he misses some real time, but I’m also very confident in our group that they’ll continue to step up and battle.”

He was generally in good spirits and wouldn’t rule out playing Thursday at the Sacramento Kings, though the results of an MRI on Wednesday will determine just how plausible that will be. If James is out of the lineup, the Lakers suddenly will face the challenge that the Cleveland Cavaliers could never seem to figure out over the past four seasons: winning without James.5

The Cavs were a miserable 4-23 in games that James missed either for rest or injury over that span — 3-10 in 2014-15, 1-5 in 2015-16 and 0-8 in 2016-17. The only reason it didn’t hurt Cleveland again last season was because James played in all 82 games.

A rough patch with James out could derail the work the Lakers did through their 20-14 start to this season, giving the team the No. 4 spot in the ultra-competitive Western Conference standings.

With the Houston Rockets surging (7-1 over their past eight games), a couple of bad weeks — say a 1-7 stretch — could quickly drop L.A. out of the playoff picture, at least temporarily.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The Lakers have had the misfortune of suspensions to Rajon Rondo and Brandon Ingram as well as lengthy injuries suffered by Rondo, Ingram and JaVale McGee this season already, and they kept things going. Of course, none of those players matches James’ contributions. None has so much of the offense run through him. None can dictate the team’s effort game to game like James. But some experience in dealing with adversity is better than none.

“We’ve been missing guys all year,” Lakers guard Lonzo Ball said. “Obviously, LeBron’s a really big part of this team. … We have a lot of good guys on this team. We’ve been confident all year. It’s not just one player on this team; we have a good team.

Raiders shut out of Pro Bowl for second time in franchise history

Sure, Robert Mueller is busy at the moment, but Oakland Raiders coach Jon Gruden might want to drop the special counsel a line.

“If he’s not a Pro Bowler,” Gruden said of Raiders tight end Jared Cook last week, “I hope there’s an investigation.”

Not only was Cook snubbed, but so too was center Rodney Hudson, who had gone to the NFL‘s all-star game after each of the previous two seasons and is having the best season of his career.

In fact, for the first time since 2003 and for just the second time in franchise history, the Raiders had no players selected for the Pro Bowl. Cook, Hudson and left guard Kelechi Osemele were named as alternates for the AFC squad.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Raiders offensive lineman Jon Feliciano let his feelings on the snubs known on Twitter.6

This is what happens to 3-11 teams. But this is not what is supposed to happen to teams coached by Gruden, right?

Hudson has not given up a sack and ranks first in pass-blocking efficiency and sixth in run-blocking, per Pro Football Focus. He was bypassed in favor of the Pouncey brothers, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Maurkice and the Los Angeles Chargers’ Mike.

Cook, meanwhile, has career highs in receptions (63), receiving yards (848) and touchdown catches (6) and was passed over in favor of the Kansas City Chiefs’ Travis Kelce (93-1,220-10) and the Indianapolis Colts’ Eric Ebron (59-662-12).

Keep this in mind, though, because while the Raiders are in last place in their division, the Steelers, Chargers, Chiefs and Colts are all in the playoff race.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

It was a similar situation for struggling Raiders teams in 1989, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014, when they had one player selected in defensive lineman Howie Long, punter Shane Lechler, defensive end Derrick Burgess, Lechler and fullback Marcell Reece (three straight years).

Two years ago on this date, the Raiders were 11-3 and led the NFL with seven Pro Bowl selections. No investigation is needed to figure out what has happened in Oakland since.

Light Patriots Pro Bowl class highlights need for blue-chip talent boost

Quarterback Tom Brady and cornerback Stephon Gilmore are the New England Patriots’ only Pro Bowlers in 2018, which is the team’s lowest total since 2008, the last time the franchise didn’t qualify for the playoffs.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

While the Pro Bowl isn’t always the most accurate barometer of success, the light Patriots class does serve up a reminder of sorts as it pertains to the future health of the club: More blue-chip talent is needed. It would be even better if it is homegrown blue-chip talent.5
Such an infusion of youth and talent is needed after drafts in 2016 and 2017 haven’t provided as much in that regard. The 2015 class, with defensive end Trey Flowers and right guard Shaq Mason, was better.

It was Brady’s 14th overall selection, tying him with Peyton Manning, Tony Gonzalez, Bruce Matthews and Merlin Olsen for most in NFL history, and it’s his 10th straight, which is the longest active streak.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Gilmore’s selection serves as a reminder that the Patriots made a shrewd move to pounce on him as an unrestricted free agent in the 2017 offseason, opening up their financial vault with a five-year, $65 million deal. They essentially chose Gilmore over Butler, and it was the right call from a long-range team-building standpoint. Gilmore is the more well-rounded player, with the ability to match up against a wider variety of receivers.

To land high-end talent on the free-agent market like Gilmore, it costs a premium, and that’s not a sustainable approach on a yearly basis.

So the most effective way to go is drafting and developing.

The Patriots, with their lightest Pro Bowl class in the last decade, would greatly benefit from a boost in that area.

Orioles GM: New manager Brandon Hyde an ‘up-and-coming star’

Sitting side by side in the auxiliary clubhouse at Camden Yards, Orioles general manager Mike Elias and new manager Brandon Hyde spoke excitedly Monday about working together to mold the struggling franchise into a winner again.

Hired last month to oversee a massive rebuilding project, Elias immediately set out to find a manager who could develop young, inexperienced players into solid major leaguers.

Elias came to Baltimore from Houston, where he helped turn the Astros from a perennial loser into a World Series champion. Hyde, similarly, was an integral part of the process that bolstered the Cubs from a rebuilding club into a world champion. This will be his first job as major league manager.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

“We’ve come from two organizations that had some down years but all of a sudden got good real quick,” Hyde noted. “That’s going to be the process here, and we’re looking forward to getting that going.”6

Elias said: “What stood out throughout the entire process for me, for us, were Brandon’s unique qualifications and experiences for this job. Being such a huge part of building the Cubs organization into a world champion and a playoff-caliber team was very attractive to me throughout this entire process.”

Patience is going to be the key in Baltimore, where Elias and Hyde will be toiling in unison to turn around a team that finished 47-115 in 2018 — the most losses in franchise history.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“I think the approach and the personal characteristics that he’s going to bring to this job are ideal,” Elias said. “He is someone with a reputation and experience for connecting with players, communicating with players, empathizing with players, which is very important in today’s game. But he also has the same view that I have — that this is a partnership between the front office and the coaching staff. We are going to be working toward the same goals.”

Although he has been entrenched in the National League for the past decade, Hyde knows all about the Orioles’ rich history. From the late 1960s through the team’s last World Series title, in 1983, Baltimore was recognized as one of the best teams in the majors.

Houston Astros reach two-year deal with Michael Brantley

Brantley, 31, who missed most of the 2016 and 2017 seasons with injuries, enjoyed an impressive bounce-back season with Cleveland in 2018, hitting .309 with 17 homers and 76 RBIs. He also scored 89 runs in 143 games and posted an .832 OPS.

Brantley, who was acquired by Cleveland in the CC Sabathia deal with Milwaukee in 2008, was one of the majors’ best all-around players before his run of injury woes, capable of making a key play at the plate, on the bases or in the field.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

He had a breakout season in 2014, batting .327 with 20 homers, 97 RBIs and 23 steals in 156 games. He was working on another good year in 2015 when he hurt his right shoulder diving for a ball in Minnesota.5

The two-time All-Star needed two surgeries to fix his shoulder and played just 11 games in 2016, missing Cleveland’s run to the World Series. He appeared to be back on track in 2017 and was a strong candidate to be the AL’s Comeback Player of the Year when he injured his ankle while chasing a fly ball to left field during a game Aug. 8.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Brantley made a surprising return late that season and was selected for the playoff roster against the New York Yankees, but he went just 1-for-11 in the five-game series. Despite the string of injuries, Cleveland decided to pick up his $11.5 million option for 2018.

Indians president Chris Antonetti said in November that the team was interested in re-signing Brantley for 2019 as well but did not want to commit $17.9 million for one year.

Liverpool’s win over Man United wasn’t a surprise, but their dominance was

What stands out about Liverpool’s win over Manchester United isn’t that it happened — they were at home, and there’s a reason the sides were separated by 16 points at kickoff — it’s the way it occurred.

To put on a display of this intensity just a few days after a massive Champions League clash isn’t to be taken lightly. It’s not just a physical thing — it’s mental as well. Great teams can win multiple games in a row against big opponents; doing it while also turning in top-notch performances is rather rarer.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

That Jurgen Klopp managed to do it with Nathaniel Clyne, who had played just 90 minutes this season, and Naby Keita, drafted in as a late replacement for the injured James Milner, is significant, too. Xherdan Shaqiri’s two goals may have benefited from deflections, but make no mistake about it, this was a road-grading: 36 shots on goal, with every outfield player having a crack and a 20-minute spell at the beginning in which Manchester United were put through the heavy spin cycle.6

Did Manchester United contribute to their own downfall? Sure. Jose Mourinho’s continuous chopping and changing of personnel and formations only makes United more awkward and insecure. On the other hand, there’s Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Because United have, with a few exceptions, been consistently subpar since October, you can’t entirely blame the manager for trying to shake things up week to week. That said, against a side that you know will press high and intensely, lining up a midfield without a passer to break the pressure (yes, the obvious name is Paul Pogba, but Juan Mata can hit a pass, too) seems counterintuitive at best.

One curious thing about Liverpool is that although they are ahead of Manchester City at the top of the table, most still have Pep Guardiola’s crew as overwhelming favorites. So, too, do the betting markets, who predict that Liverpool will finish five points behind City at the end of the season. These are just predictions and projections, of course, and they could well be wrong, but it’s interesting how people who make a living off of predicting the (footballing) future are still firmly on the City bandwagon to the point that they think Guardiola will make up six points on Klopp in 21 games.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

PSG and Adrien Rabiot contract saga turns ugly but what does the future hold?

PSG’s sporting director, Antero Henrique announced in an interview with Yahoo on Monday that Rabiot has been banned from the first-team squad until further notice. Or until he signs a new contract, that is.

Rabiot’s current deal runs out in June 2019 and he told the club last week that he was not going to sign the lucrative new terms offered to him. Instead he wants to leave on a free in the summer.

As far as Paris’ hierarchy are concerned, Rabiot is not a PSG player anymore. He will continue to collect his salary but will never play for the first team again. Henrique is now hoping that he can sell the midfielder in January — in a similar way to how Arsenal sold Alexis Sanchez to Manchester United with fewer than six months left on his contract.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Indeed, Rabiot is a much sought-after player. Barcelona believe they are the front-runners, but Liverpool, Tottenham and the two Milan clubs are also very keen. Ideally, PSG would want at least €20 million for him in January — which would be used straight away to buy another midfielder — but the dynamic is totally different for Rabiot, of course. If he waits for his contract to end, he will get a huge signing-on fee from his new club. But he also can’t afford not to play until next season, so it is probably better for him to leave as soon as possible.5

Whatever happens, it’s a blow for PSG. They had invested a lot of time and effort in trying to convince Rabiot to pledge his long-term future to the club. They were ready to give him a huge pay rise, a big bonus and to make him a key part of the squad.

Even PSG manager Thomas Tuchel showed he rated Rabiot by giving him the captain’s armband earlier in the season. He could see his potential and, while he was not personally involved in the talks over a new contract, the German privately told Rabiot how much he liked him as a player.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

But cracks started to appear in the Tuchel-Rabiot relationship in October. Rabiot’s lack of discipline, as he arrived late for training and team meetings, was a sore point and the straw that broke the camel’s back came ahead of the game against Marseille at the end of the month. Rabiot and Kylian Mbappe arrived eight minutes late for the prematch team meeting and it was too much for the manager — both were due to start but were benched instead.