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14.12.2018 04:10
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Tottenham’s 2-1 defeat to Monaco means Mauricio Pochettino’s men can no longer progress in the Champions League. Cheap Authentic Jordan 8 . It’s the continuation of a worrying run of form for Spurs, writes Adam Bate… Pochettino argued that you can only smile after Tottenham bounced back from a lacklustre first-half to earn a point at Arsenal earlier this month. Their fans added laughter to the smiles after turning another derby around against West Ham at the weekend. But Tuesdays defeat to Monaco showed theres also a serious side to Tottenhams travails.Of course, this is no crisis club. Spurs are the only team in the Premier League who remain unbeaten in the competition. But nor could the 2-1 defeat in the principality, one that confirmed the team will not be progressing to the Champions League knockout stages, be regarded as a shock result either. Spurs are struggling not soaring this season. Tottenham crash out Tottenhams 2-1 defeat at Monaco ends their hopes of Champions League progress. Saturdays scarcely deserved win was their first in eight. The fluency that so marked their title tilt in the spring is long gone and explanations are offered as regularly as the fixtures pile up. Its the challenge of the Champions League. Its the Wembley home games. Its injuries to key players like Harry Kane and Toby Alderweireld. Its new players needing time to settle.All of these things should be seen as reasons rather excuses. Chelsea and Liverpool are enjoying far greater preparation time. Pochettino can show videos to his players but the opportunity to drill them relentlessly on the training ground has been lost. The problem is we dont have time to train too much, he admits. The priority is to rest and recover. Tottenhams players are struggling to regain their fluency this term Wembley has been a factor in their Champions League disappointment. The problem is home games, as simple as that, said Hugo Lloris this week. Its very clear.The ease with which Monaco cut through Spurs on Tuesday challenged that theory but nevertheless, had they so much as drawn their two Wembley games, theyd be on course for the last 16.The disruptive impact of losing both Kane and Alderweireld can hardly be overstated either, particularly when neither man missed a Premier League game last season.Replacements Kevin Wimmer and Vincent Janssen have offered nowhere near the same quality - but could that ever really have been expected of back-up figures given the abilities of the missing men? The confidence, belief and fluency just seems to have drained out of them. Paul Walsh, Sky Sports And yet, still there are issues that nag away. While Pochettinos reputation as one of the brightest young coaches in the game has been too hard earned to be easily lost, it must be acknowledged that mistakes have been made too.The coach is striving to get the balance right in rotating his squad but its difficult to be persuaded that he is getting it spot on.With Alderweireld missing, Jan Vertonghens inclusion surely became of paramount importance against a Monaco side that had scored 28 goals in their previous eight matches. Not since Alderweirelds arrival had Spurs gone into either a Premier League or a Champions League fixture without one of the two Belgians in the starting line-up. Harry Kane did equalise from the spot but Monaco soon retook the lead Instead, the experienced Vertonghen was left on the bench as Wimmer and Eric Dier were paired at the back. Alongside him among the substitutes was Kyle Walker as Pochettino opted to go into the game with only Danny Rose of his first-choice back four. It was a gamble befitting the Monte Carlo surroundings and it did not pay off.Dier, looking as uncomfortable in defence as hed appeared assured in midfield, was guilty of a wild swing at the ball in conceding the first-half penalty that was saved by the brilliant Lloris.Wimmers woes, meanwhile, show no sign of coming to an end - unable to intercept crosses as might be expected of a man of his height let alone track runners at pace. Hugo Lloris made nine saves against Monaco - the joint-most by a goalkeeper in this seasons Champions League. But its not all about individual errors. Tactically too, Spurs have issues that need to be addressed.The lack of width in the team is supposed to be resolved in an attacking sense by the forays of the full-backs, but against Monaco both Rose and Kieran Trippier found themselves badly exposed defensively by the absence of meaningful cover ahead of them.This was a key factor in Monacos match-winning goal. Straight from the kick-off, right-back Djibril Sidibe was able to overlap untracked leaving Rose in a two-on-one situation and unable to cut out the cross. On the other side of the pitch, left-winger Thomas Lemar had the freedom to pick his spot with no sign of any support for Trippier. Highlights of Tottenhams 3-2 Premier League win over West Ham Perhaps Pochettino does not feel he has the players to do things any differently right now. Certainly, wide options Moussa Sissoko and Georges-Kevin NKoudou have shown little so far to suggest they should be entrusted with such roles. And the Argentine at least seems well aware of the need for his Spurs project to evolve more than two years into the job.Hes spoken of the need to be flexible and to play in different ways in different games recently, backing that up by going with three at the back against Arsenal. But his admission that he cannot rotate the way wed like to rotate the players suggest that his selections are being governed by issues of fitness rather than tactical preference. Sky Sports Black Friday sale Upgrade to Sky Sports now and get 12 months half price! Weve had a difficult period over the last month for different reasons, he said ahead of a result that leaves Spurs facing the prospect of the Europa League once more.We need to be clever. We need to assess every player because we have some problems, we need to be clinical in how we pick the starting 11 because we have a lot of games ahead.The next of those games is at Chelsea on Saturday. Its a return to the ground where Pochettinos players unravelled along with their title hopes in May. Theyll need to be cleverer this time. Given the form of the two teams, they might also need some more of their derby fortune if theyre to find a way to be smiling when they leave Stamford Bridge.Upgrade to Sky Sports now and get 12 months half price. Hurry, offer ends December 4! Also See: Tottenham crash out As it happened Jordan 8 Wholesale .cas NHL Play of the Year showdown continues today with a man whos spent most of his career on highlight reels and a goalie actually "reaching back" for a save. Cheap Jordan 8 Retro . 1. Did the Senators trade the wrong goalie? Lets make one thing clear: The Ottawa Senators acquired Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues for one reason and one reason alone. http://www.cheapairjordan8.com/ . TSNs coverage of the Third Round gets underway Sunday with Game 1: Los Angeles at Chicago at 3pm et/Noon pt. TSNs broadcast schedule for the Third Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs is as follows: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings• Game 1: Los Angeles at Chicago – Sunday, May 18 at 3pm et/Noon pt• Game 2: Los Angeles at Chicago – Wednesday, May 21 at 8pm et/5pm pt• Game 4: Chicago at Los Angeles – Monday, May 26 at 9pm et/6pm pt Featured in the broadcast booth for TSN are play-by-play announcer Chris Cuthbert and game analyst Ray Ferraro, with Farhan Lalji contributing reports from rinkside.MONTREAL -- Eugenie Bouchard did everything she could to help her country. Bouchard won both her singles matches, including the clincher on Sunday, to power Canada to a 3-1 victory over Serbia in its Fed Cup World Group II tie over the weekend. In beating Serbias Vesna Dolonc 6-0, 6-3, the Montreal native gave Canada a 3-0 lead in the best-of-five tie in front of her hometown fans at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex. "I think I played two solid matches, and I helped Canada," said Bouchard, 19. "Im very proud of that. The whole team was very excited all week." Bouchard agreed to represent her country in the Fed Cup despite her busy international schedule. On Monday, she hops on a plane to Doha, Qatar, where she faces American Bethanie Mattek-Sands in the Qatar Open the following day. But Bouchard, whos represented Canada since 2011, thinks thats a small price to pay for wearing the Maple Leaf on her cheek, as she did over the weekend. "I fully embrace it. It comes with the job," she said. "This is where I want to be. I love playing for my country. I try to enjoy every moment when I play for Canada." On Saturday, Bouchard beat the No. 149-ranked Jovana Jaksic 6-1, 6-0 in a dominant performance to give Canada a 2-0 advantage, after her teammate Aleksandra Wozniak of Blainville, Que., defeated Dolonc 7-5, 2-6, 6-4. Canada will now advance to the World Group playoffs, giving the team a chance to advance from the World Group II to a higher division that includes the worlds eight best teams. A draw on Tuesday will determine Canadas next opponent, and whether that tie will be held at home or on the road, when the Fed Cup resumes on April 19. Canadian team captain Sylvain Bruneau had nothing but praise for the rising-star Bouchard. "Shes very patriotic, and people need to recognize that," said Bruneau. "It wont be easy for her (in Doha), but she did it to represent her country. Shes always been there for us." Joining Bouchard (ranked No. 19 in the world) and 274th-ranked Wozniak on the Canadian team were Torontos Sharon Fichman (No. 112) and Ottawas Gabriela Dabrowski (No. 224). Fichman and Dabrowski lost to Serbias Jaksic and Nina Stojanovic 6-2, 3-6, (10-8) in doubles play on Sunday aafternoon. Cheap Jordan 8. Because Canada had already defeated Serbia in the tie, the match was simply a formality. After each team took a set, and with the 10-point tiebreak tied 8-8, Fichman missed her final two shots to hand Serbia the doubles triumph. But the story of the day was Bouchards singles match. Leading 5-3 in her second set, Bouchard sent the No. 117-ranked Dolonc the wrong way to secure the advantage. She then cemented the victory emphatically with an ace. "I was happy I could stay with her and fight," said Bouchard. "When it counted, I did what I needed to do." She needed less than 20 minutes to take the first set, surrendering just seven points in the process. But Dolonc put up a fight in the second set, breaking Bouchard in the first game. She then held serve to force a 2-2 tie. "It was a closer battle (in the second). She came up with some good points, and I had a few unforced errors," said Bouchard, who settled down after a number of uncharacteristic mistakes. "I tried to win one point at a time and stay in the moment. And that helped me." Bouchard went on to win four of the next five games to seal the victory. "The tempo was very high," said Dolonc of the 59-minute match. "There was constant pressure on me. I was too late all the time. It was really quick. It was tough for me to find my game." Bouchards victory meant that Wozniak could skip her singles match. "They deserved this win," said Serbian captain Dejan Vranes of Canadas overall victory. "Simply, they were the best. I wish them luck. They deserve to be in the World Group next year." Vranes team took to the court minus such established stars as Jelena Jankovic (ranked eighth in the world), Ana Ivanovic (No. 12), and Bojana Jovanovski (No. 41). While Ivanovic and Jovanovski are dealing with minor injuries, Jankovic recently chose to retire from international play. Bruneau doesnt think the absence of those great Serbian players diminishes what Canada did over the weekend. "These players played with all their heart on the court," said Bruneau. "They played for Canada, they played for themselves, and they played for the team. And they gave it their all." 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