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Anthony Martial must build on his fine display vs. Young Boys

Martial has an unusual relationship with fans, who hear little from him. He rarely talks to the media yet remains popular — especially with younger supporters — and has achieved almost cult-like status among some who call themselves “Martial FC.”

Those he stood before on Wednesday were generally longer in the tooth but his acknowledgment of their praise following a good performance will have done him no harm in the eyes of match goers; Mourinho himself has found that out in recent weeks.

Martial still being on the pitch at full-time was a rarity. He has had few chances to thank fans properly at the end of a game, having failed to go 90 minutes in last season’s Champions League and managing it just six times in the Premier League. That he got stronger as this latest game went on showed he is not going to tire easily.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

A photo I tweeted of Martial applauding quickly went viral, accompanied by many positive messages. An hour later, I showed him my phone in the post-game mixed zone after he left the dressing room. “Nice!” he said. “I like it.”

He has not always been content at Old Trafford and, earlier this year, his agent let it be known he wanted to leave. Martial wanted to play more and to be happier than he was, yet United had no intention of selling a player with the potential to be one of the best attackers in the game.

One game will not make everything perfect. Before Wednesday, he had started only once this campaign, lasting an hour in the capitulation to Brighton. He was poor that day and has shown signs that he lacks interest, to the ire of his manager. However, Martial remains a fine sight when running at and trying to go past opponents. His first touch, even when controlling a ball hit at speed, is usually faultless.

Young Boys Bern are not Juventus or Valencia, United’s other Group H opponents, but Martial looked like he had a point to prove and did enough to keep his place against Wolves side on Saturday. But will he or will Alexis Sanchez, the team’s top earner, be recalled instead? Despite a couple of promising pointers in preseason, the Chilean forward is yet to spark this term and will get more chances to come good.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The good news is that, with games coming thick and fast either side of the next international break in mid-October, both should get opportunities and possibly in the same line-up; it is not like they cannot play in the same team, given each man can operate on the left, centrally and the right.

Kirk Cousins learns first-hand how good Vikings can be in his debut

Leading the 49ers by a slim margin late in the fourth quarter, Kirk Cousins was determined to single-handedly extend the Vikings lead, even if it meant causing U.S. Bank Stadium to cringe in unison when he scrambled on third down and slid head-first in hopes of earning a first down.

Cousins came up a yard short of moving the chains, but his attempt to preserve the Vikings 24-16 margin was applauded by those on his sideline.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“Hey, when the game is on the line, we’re trying to get the first down,” coach Mike Zimmer said. “Go for it. I’m all in.”

Minnesota’s $84 million investment paid off – at least this week – in a season-opening win over the San Francisco 49ers. Cousins impressed with pinpoint precision, no turnovers and a fiercely competitive drive.5

“You could see it in his preparation,” running back Latavius Murray said. “Just the way he carries himself, the way he goes about the game.

“For a quarterback to lower his shoulder and give his body up, that’s motivating. That’s inspiring because I don’t see a lot of quarterbacks doing that.”cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

The Vikings offense had many bright moments in Cousins’ Minnesota debut. On an afternoon where the quarterback eclipsed the century mark in career touchdown passes, Cousins threw for 244 yards, two touchdowns and finished with a 95.1 passer rating.

Familiar with the “distracted boyfriend” meme? The one where a gentleman walking hand-in-hand with his girlfriend looks over his shoulder at a woman in the forefront? That’s probably how 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan felt. After being Cousins’ offensive coordinator in Washington, Shanahan the QB he hoped he’d one day reunite with make incredible touchdown throws, including a 22-yard dime to Stefon Diggs and an 11-yard pass to the back of the end zone where Kyle Rudolph was waiting — a throw he executed with the hand of DeForest Buckner inches from his face mask.

Why Patrick Mahomes’ potential has energized Andy Reid

The Kansas City Chiefs held a party for their season-ticket holders shortly before the start of training camp this year and the gathering turned into an impromptu pep rally when coach Andy Reid stepped forward to speak.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Firing up the masses is generally not Reid’s way. He’s usually even-keeled to the point that sometimes after a game it’s difficult to tell from his demeanor whether the Chiefs won or lost.

This is no ordinary season for the 60-year-old, though. He has Patrick Mahomes moving into the starting spot at quarterback. Mahomes won’t be the first talented quarterback to cross paths with Reid, who has also coached Alex Smith in Kansas City and Donovan McNabb with the Philadelphia Eagles.

But Mahomes might be the best fit for Reid and perhaps the one best suited to eventually provide him the Super Bowl title that has eluded him during 19 seasons as an NFL head coach.5

“He’s more excited than I’ve seen him in a long time,” said Chiefs president Mark Donovan, who has worked with Reid for the past five years in Kansas City and before that with the Philadelphia Eagles. “It’s not only about Pat. You put Sammy Watkins out there [with] Tyreek [Hill], [Travis] Kelce, Kareem [Hunt]. … If you’re an offensive coordinator with the mind that he has and the creativity he likes to bring to the game, that gets you excited.

“The excitement that was in that room [when Reid spoke] is something that matters. … It’s different, [and] you feel it.”

This sense about Reid extends beyond those who work with him on a daily basis.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

“I know he’s excited about the team he has,” said McNabb, who added that he stays in touch with his former coach. “He liked Alex Smith. He led them to the AFC West championship and also the playoffs. But there’s something about having a young quarterback with potential. Patrick Mahomes can make off-schedule plays. That’s a dimension to the offense that Andy hasn’t had in a while.”

LeBron James tells crowd at fashion show he ‘stands with Nike’ in reference to Colin Kaepernick ad campaign

Clutching his young daughter in his arms, LeBron James said on Tuesday that he “stands with Nike,” a clear reference to the company’s Colin Kaepernick ad campaign.

The basketball superstar — and new Los Angeles Laker — made the remarks as he received an award for both his style and his philanthropy, from Harlem’s Fashion Row. The fashion collective partnered with Nike for the New York event, both a fashion show and an awards ceremony that focused on diversity in the fashion world.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Closing his remarks, he said he stood “for anybody who believes in change.” He added: “I stand with Nike, all day, every day.”

Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, unveiled his first ad of the new campaign Monday. “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything,” it said.

The new endorsement deal has sparked vigorous debate, with some fans expressing displeasure over the apparel giant’s support of a player known for starting a wave of protests among NFL players against police brutality, racial inequality and other social issues.2

Trump has been critical of NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as a form of protest against social injustice, and he has frequently called out the league and commissioner Roger Goodell for their inability to curtail the practice.

Multiple sources have told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the NFL was not aware of the Nike ad campaign until it was launched Monday. In fact, sources told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that none of the organizations Nike makes apparel for were privy to the Kaepernick ad before it was unveiled.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

But Kaepernick and his Nike campaign, which marks the 30th anniversary of Nike’s “Just Do It,” received plenty of support from the fashion world in attendance Tuesday.

Bethann Hardison, an activist for diversity in fashion and a former model who was also honored by Harlem’s Row, said she was happy with Nike’s move. “It’s such a divided situation in our world right now,” she said of the negative reaction by some fans. “But I’m such a huge, huge, wholehearted supporter of Colin that I’m very proud that someone understands what he’s done and (is giving) him some kudos.”

Mexico interim boss Ricardo Ferretti won’t betray Tigres for national team job

Ricardo “Tuca” Ferretti began his second stint as interim coach of the Mexican national team on Monday, but stressed his contract with Tigres impedes him from taking over on a permanent basis.

The Brazilian has previously stated he doesn’t want to be put forward as a candidate for the national team, even with the 64-year-old enjoying widespread support for the position.

“The reason [for not wanting to be Mexico coach] is that last month I started a new three-year contract [with Tigres],” said Ferretti in a news conference on Monday. “Continuity in a Mexican team is almost impossible and Tigres have given it to me and with with these three years I’ll complete 11 years in the same institution.

“Do you remember if that has ever happened in Mexican football? That loyalty between us is very important,” he continued. “Every coach would like to be here in my place, managing the national team, but they’d also want what I have in Tigres.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

“It’d be betraying [Tigres], stabbing them [in the back] after the institution supported me in the bad and the good times.”9

“I don’t have any doubt that this team will do well, I like coming up against tough opponents and for the players to start getting experience,” he said, adding that the young group should be given time to develop and not be too focused on results in friendlies.

“What I hope for is that over these six games the youngsters are able to convince whoever comes in that they deserve to be here.”

Established Europe-based players like Andres Guardado, Javier Hernandez and Hector Herrera were left out of this current squad, with Ferretti suggesting that he already knows what they are capable of.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“Naturally they are great players who will always be welcome, depending on the need to call them up or not,” said the former Pumas manager. “We already know them and using them again would be more of the same, I don’t have any doubts they’d do well.”

Brewers bring aboard Gio Gonzalez, Curtis Granderson on busy day

The Milwaukee Brewers were active Friday, hoping a flurry of trades would bolster their lineup over the season’s final month and then potentially into the playoffs.

The Brew Crew made three deals, including one for veteran left-hander Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals, and another for veteran slugger Curtis Granderson of the Toronto Blue Jays.

A player must be on a club by Aug. 31 to be eligible for the postseason. Milwaukee is four games behind Chicago in the NL Central after Friday night’s 4-1 win against the Nationals and currently holds the second NL wild-card spot.

Gonzalez is 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA in 27 starts this year. He has a 6.53 ERA since the start of June, which ranks 73rd out of 74 qualified starters during that span, ahead of only the Texas Rangers’ Bartolo Colon (7.01).cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

Gonzalez has a 6.75 ERA in five career starts at Miller Park, including a 9.82 ERA in three starts there over the past three seasons.8

“I think everyone needs a fresh start now and then,” Gonzalez said Friday night in Washington, where he watched the Nationals lose to the Brewers 4-1. “It’s unfortunate I put myself in this situation, and now it’s time I get myself out of it. Milwaukee took a shot with me, and I’m going to do my best to make it happen.”

Gonzalez, who will be a free agent after the season, spent his past seven seasons in Washington and ranks first in franchise history in wins (86), WAR (21.4) and strikeouts (1,215). A two-time All-Star, he is 124-97 with a 3.71 ERA in 11 major league seasons overall.
In exchange for Gonzalez, Washington gets back minor league catcher/first baseman KJ Harrison and infielder Gilbert Lara from the Brewers. Harrison, a third-round pick in 2017 out of Oregon State, was hitting .228 with 12 homers and 51 RBIs for Class A Wisconsin. Lara, of the Dominican Republic, was hitting .249 with 45 runs scored at Wisconsin.

Milwaukee also received $250,000 in international slot money as part of the deal.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

Granderson, meanwhile, is batting .243 with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 103 games for Toronto this year. A three-time All-Star, he signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the team in the offseason.

Granderson has 330 homers in 15 major league seasons and has played in 57 postseason games, batting .227 with nine homers.

No time to gamble: Ravens play it safe by keeping Robert Griffin III

It’s now well known that keeping Robert Griffin III means the Baltimore Ravens are carrying three quarterbacks for the first time since 2009.

Perhaps the more relevant streak is this: The Ravens avoided relying on a rookie quarterback as Joe Flacco’s primary backup, which hasn’t happened since Tyrod Taylor in 2011.nike jerseys nfl cheap

At that time, Flacco was one of the most durable quarterbacks in NFL history. Baltimore was going to the playoffs every season.

The Ravens just couldn’t take that same risk this season, even though some believe Lamar Jackson can handle the No. 2 quarterback duties.10

Flacco is no longer threatening Brett Favre’s consecutive-games streak, battling injuries in each of his past three seasons. The Ravens aren’t a perennial postseason team anymore — they haven’t made the playoffs since 2014.

Given the circumstances, the safe bet was keeping Griffin. He has more experience than Jackson, and he has been more consistent than Jackson throughout training camp and preseason games.

It was surely tempting to continue Baltimore’s trend of keeping two quarterbacks after Jackson completed 64 percent of his passes and posted a 103.2 passer rating in his past two preseason games. But, if Flacco was injured again, does anyone know which Jackson the Ravens would get? Would it be the one who put up dazzling numbers at the end of the preseason, or would it be the quarterback who couldn’t complete more than half of his passes in each of the first three games?cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

With so much riding on this season, Baltimore simply can’t gamble on the most important position in the game.

Griffin was poised and efficient every time he stepped on the field. He continually moved the offense, not looking like a quarterback who was out of the league last season. He didn’t get many reps throughout the entire week of practice.

“There’s no doubt that you want Robert Griffin on your team,” coach John Harbaugh said after Thursday’s preseason finale. “He makes our quarterback room better and stronger. He looks like a starter to me. He has been a starter. Certainly a backup in this league, without question. I mean, that’s not even close. I would like to have him on the team.”

Rafa Benitez being left behind as Newcastle sleepwalk to relegation dogfight

Where does Rafa Benitez go from here? The Newcastle United manager has always divided opinion, but his team’s poor start to the campaign has provoked a storm of criticism. Newcastle have taken a single point in the first three games and on Wednesday were dumped out of the Carabao Cup by Nottingham Forest.

Their negative tactics in a 2-1 defeat at home to Chelsea generated widespread scorn. A season of struggle lies ahead on Tyneside and there is little chance of Saturday’s visit to Manchester City offering any respite.

The 58-year-old believes it will take a “miracle” to keep the Magpies in the Premier League. Benitez is no stranger to unlikely events — Liverpool’s Champions League victory in Istanbul after being 3-0 down to AC Milan in 2005 is part of football lore — but top-flight survival with this squad may be beyond even the Spaniard’s powers.

Benitez is not cut out to be a relegation firefighter. He wants to win trophies. The man who won La Liga with Valencia and brought the Champion League to Anfield does not relish scrapping for points at the foot of the table.

The trip to the Etihad highlights a number of Benitez’s problems. He does not have the players to compete with City’s star cast. There is another issue, too. Pep Guardiola has changed perceptions of how the game should be played in the Premier League. The Catalan’s team pour forward and go for the opposition’s throat. Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool take the same approach. Guardiola delights in causing chaos — for opponents. City’s shape and positional sense often defy traditional logic, but Guardiola has the players and belief to make things work.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

The Newcastle manager has neither. When Benitez works with a squad he does not trust, he moves to his default mechanism: keep things tight, aim for a clean sheet and hopefully pinch a goal. It is pragmatic in the extreme, and it leaves him vulnerable to criticism when things go wrong.7

A simplistic analysis is that the game has moved on and left Benitez behind. It is easy to look at the struggles of his bitter rival Jose Mourinho at Manchester United and group the pair together. Each arrived in English football in 2004 and had a similar impact (if in a very dissimilar style) to Guardiola and Klopp. There is a big difference between the Spaniard and the Portuguese, however: Mourinho is labouring at Old Trafford despite spending almost £350 million and works with a squad full of high-class performers. Benitez is toiling with a largely Championship-level set of players.

One of the many claims made in the wake of the defeat to Chelsea is that fans at St James’ Park would rather see their team lose 5-4 and play in a flamboyant manner than perform like they did against Maurizio Sarri’s side. Views like this ignore the fact that Newcastle do not have the capacity to get into shootouts against opposition of any quality.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Another component of Benitez’s character that irks his enemies is his reputation for being “political” or “difficult.” He has expressed his unhappiness with the transfer policies of Mike Ashley, the Newcastle owner. At Liverpool a decade ago he became embroiled in an internal civil war at Anfield, and short, unhappy spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid did little to change perceptions. He is a man of strong convictions and reacts accordingly when he believes promises made at boardroom level have been broken. During his brief time at Chelsea, the club’s hierarchy gave Benitez a clear set of parameters for him to work within. Both sides kept their part of the bargain, and club and manager separated on good terms.

Cubs’ stretch conundrum: Sorting out bullpen’s pecking order

Can a team win a World Series with a bullpen by committee? The Cubs might put that notion to a test, as they did in their dramatic, 7-4 win over the New York Mets on Monday.

After fill-in closer Pedro Strop allowed the first two men to reach in the ninth inning, Chicago manager Joe Maddon had seen enough. Strop handed the ball to Justin Wilson, who handed the ball to veteran Jesse Chavez after giving up a single. All Chavez did was strike out the final two batters with the bases loaded to preserve the victory, the Cubs’ sixth win in a row.cheap nike jerseys nfl

“Just breathe,” Chavez said after the game. “That’s the biggest thing. Try not to let the situation get to you. For me, having broken ribs before, twice, you kind of work on breathing programs. That helps out there. In all honesty, that has helped me a ton since that happened.”9

Chavez struck out Amed Rosario and Austin Jackson, allowing a sold-out Wrigley Field crowd to breathe again themselves. The righty finishing the job isn’t all that surprising; he has been great since being acquired from the Texas Rangers last month. The fact that he struck them both out, with a howling wind blowing toward the bleachers in center field, was very surprising.

“Our bullpen is a contact bullpen,” Maddon said. “We don’t blow people away — although we’re one of the best bullpens in baseball.”

In fact, the Cubs have made a concerted effort to bring some swing-and-miss stuff to the back end of the bullpen in recent times. Injured closer Brandon Morrow is the best example, as he had a 25.4 whiff percentage before going down with a biceps injury.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

But therein lies the Cubs’ problems. Morrow still isn’t sure when he’ll be back, and he is likely to pitch through discomfort when he does return. The idea of pitching in all seven game of a playoff series — as he did last season in the World Series with the Los Angeles Dodgers — seems impossible this time around. That’s if he even returns to any sort of reliable form.

Fantasy fallout: Are Adrian Peterson, Alfred Morris really back?

Two weeks ago, Adrian Peterson and Alfred Morris didn’t have jobs. This past weekend, they combined for 28 carries and 140 yards.

Welcome back to the NFL, fellas.

But should one still have a place on your fantasy roster?

Peterson clearly looks like the safer bet to play a significant role. Obviously, you could be skeptical about the 33-year-old, who has now been with three teams in less than a year. But as ESPN Washington Redskins reporter John Keim said after Peterson showed up last week and instantly gained 56 yards on 11 carries: “He looked better than the other Redskins’ [first- and second-down] backs, and that’s all that matters right now.”

“After watching Peterson in his preseason debut, it’s hard to imagine the Redskins starting anyone else,” said Keim, who projects that could mean about 15 carries a game or more. “The question will be how long he holds up under that sort of usage, but in the short term, he could be OK.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Peterson was on injured reserve with a minor neck injury last December. But for the most part, he has been a physical marvel throughout his 11-year career, so workload shouldn’t be a big concern. Remember, he had four games with 20-plus carries after he was traded from the New Orleans Saints to the Arizona Cardinals last season (including 26 carries for 134 yards in his debut and a whopping 37 carries for 159 yards three weeks later).5

The bigger concern with Peterson is that he has averaged just 3.1 yards per carry over the past two years — the third-lowest total among backs with at least 150 rushes. But Peterson pointed out that the Redskins’ offensive line will be better than the ones he played with in Arizona and with the 2016 Minnesota Vikings.

Morris, meanwhile, won’t be a leading man in San Francisco, where the 49ers spent big money on runner/receiver Jerick McKinnon in free agency. But the question is whether Morris can supplant promising second-year pro Matt Breida and get some base-down/goal-line work as the No. 2.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Morris ran the ball 17 times for 84 yards Saturday while McKinnon, Breida and backup Joe Williams were all sidelined by injuries. Plus, he had a 17-yard run that was called back because of an illegal formation penalty.