WATCH: Here Are The Best Plays of The Alamo Bowl

first_imgOklahoma State scored seemingly at will on Thursday evening in the Alamo Bowl and pummeled Colorado on defense. Mike Yurcich called one of the best games of his career. Glenn Spencer pushed every correct button. The result was one of the best wins of the last few years over a top 10 team in a bowl game.Here is a look back at some of the best plays from Thursday night. El Presidente. pic.twitter.com/iR21SdKgbB— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016 What a hit. What a night. pic.twitter.com/QH6hbhSlEq— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016 Joe Bob loves that 4th down stop. https://t.co/WlPi30cWnJ— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016center_img Dimes on dimes on dimes. pic.twitter.com/Z2cggctOOA— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) December 30, 2016 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

The Reload: Junior Day Offers and Notable Visitors

first_imgWhile you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. The Reload is PFB’s recruiting recap, catching you up to speed with the latest Oklahoma State recruiting news with an ear to the ground for what to expect in the future.Junior Day OffersAmong the many sporting events taking place in Stillwater on Saturday was an important recruiting event that takes place under Mike Gundy’s watch. Generally close to 100 recruits make their way from all over the state and surrounding area to visit the facility, meet with coaches, and of course go to the basketball game. It’s an official visit of sorts, minus the fact that OSU pays for it.Coaches generally take this time to hand out scholarship offers to some of their targets on the board, and Saturday was no exception. Here’s who Oklahoma State offered, along with a list of visiting prospects.Jordan Kelley — Nose TackleYou’ll never believe it, but Union produced another Division I talent in Kelley. Shocker, right? The offer to the junior defensive tackle/defensive end is his second. Tulsa offered earlier in 2016. Now Oklahoma State.Listed at 6-foot-3 240, Kelley is one of the most disruptive defensive lineman I’ve seen in person. He’s a bully in the middle and with his combination of size and agility, he reminds me a little of Vincent Taylor. Just an athletic freak for a player of his size.Julon Williams — AthleteMike Gundy loves him some dual-threat quarterbacks who have versatility to play other positions. That’s Williams’ profile in a nutshell. With his experience playing at the quarterback position as a supreme runner and passer, he’s a playmaker that can be slotted at any position. So he’s an athlete Oklahoma State is willing to take a chance on, extending an offer during his visit.Rated as a three-star recruit at 5-foot-10 188 pounds, I’d like to think this offer may be as a defensive back/athlete. But the reality is that he could play on both sides of the ball with his versatility.Byron Hobbs — Outside linebackerOffer No. 1 is in for Fort Worth (Texas) Eastern Hills outside linebacker Byron Hobbs, and OSU is first in line.6-foot-4, 205 pounds? From Fort Worth? And still hasn’t garnered interest elsewhere? I’m betting that changes. So I like this offer.Trey Stratford — Offensive Lineman6-foot-4 three-star offensive lineman Trey Stratford, a prospect from Allen, Texas, was offered yesterday.Being from Allen — one of the most dominant high school football programs in Texas — he’s not been a well-kept secret. Baylor, Mississippi State and TCU have all joined the list since the year began, and Texas, Ole Miss and Houston also have standing offers to the offensive tackle.Blake Barron — Inside LinebackerAnother first offer out the door on Saturday. This one to unranked inside linebacker prospect Blake Barron of Rockwall, Texas.Oklahoma State is now pursuing both inside linebackers from Rockwall. The OSU staff offered 2018 linebacker Alston Orji, a four-star recruit, earlier in 2016. Barron is an underrated backer, though, and at 6-foot-1 218 pounds I think he has good size at the inside backer position.Nic McTear — Tight endNic McTear picked up his first Division I offer with OSU’s on Saturday. From Frisco, Texas, McTear will likely be a steal as an unranked recruit right now. He has good size for a tight end, he has very good leaping ability, and he’s a solid blocker — and important characteristic OSU needs for its cowboy back position.Rafiti Ghirmai — Offensive LinemanAnother Frisco native with an offer on junior day: rising offensive lineman Rafiti Ghirmai. A three-star offensive tackle, Ghirmai already has 12 Division I offers and counting — 9 since Jan. 1.As everyone knows, offensive tackle is a position of high importance for OSU. And even if it gets solidified this season, it’s always smart to look to the future. Ghirmai would be a nice one to pick up down the road and can take care of QB Spencer Sanders blindside.Byron Hanspard — Wide ReceiverFor yet another cycle, Oklahoma State is seeking the commitment of a DeSoto wide receiver. Three-star Byron Hanspard is the latest:Also on his offer list: Northwestern, Houston, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Colorado and Texas Tech.Gemon Green — Defensive backAnother DeSoto product, Gemon Green has been offered by Oklahoma State as a defensive back. The latest defensive back from DeSoto to pick OSU was A.J. Green in 2016.With 8 offers already, OSU is getting in on the ground floor. Green has legit size for a defensive back — a trait OSU loves. And he’s a lanky athlete that can evolve into a lockdown defender.German Green — Defensive backALERT. We have another brother target. German, the brother of Gemon, happens to be twins with him. German is an inch taller than Gemon.OTHER VISITORSTaye Barber – QB/ATHWayne Jones – SafetyTommy Bush – WRTre Adams -WRParker Cupp – OLRylan Mcquarters – ATHAdrian Wilson – WR/ATHSean Shaw, Jr. – WRlast_img read more

Colin Cowherd Has Oklahoma State as 2017 Playoff Team

first_imgOh it’s early. It’s so, so early. It’s “we’re still talking about Spring Ball, wondering who QB2 is going to be and placing wagers on where Mike Gundy is going to vacation this summer (Reno, Nevada is the 2-1 favorite)” early. But still, college football is sort of wriggling over the horizon right now, and people are already thinking about fall 2017.Oklahoma State goes into the season with probably its best ever chance to play for a national championship — even better than 2011 because there are twice as many teams that can play for it and your pedigree doesn’t have to be as a top 10 recruiting school to do so (as Michigan State and Washington have proven in the last two years).Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd is picking Oklahoma State as a playoff team along with Carson Cunningham’s beloved USC, Florida State and Alabama. Whoo boy, I am here for all of that.“My four teams that I really like this year are Florida State, Alabama, USC and I’m going to throw a dark horse at you, Oklahoma State,” said Cowherd. “I’m going to throw a dark horse at you, Oklahoma State.”OSU fits the bill of a national title dark horse considering it’s not even the favorite to win its own conference.USC will play for the National Championship pic.twitter.com/WvKgEn48Ai— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) April 17, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Mike Gundy Has the Opening He Needs, Will Oklahoma State Capitalize?

first_imgCharlie Weis’ last season as head coach of Notre Dame was in 2009. He went on to become the Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator and Florida offensive coordinator after that before taking the head job at Kansas. Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly took the job in South Bend for the 2010 season. It was a position approximately 12,000 people were rumored for including Bob Stoops who had just had his worst season since 1999 as OU went 8-5.A fun game to play is, “How many Big 12 titles would Oklahoma State have if Bob Stoops had taken the Notre Dame job in 2010 instead of Brian Kelly?”Nobody knows the answer, but you could reasonably make the case that OSU would have four of those things, and nobody would really bat an eye. That staggering alternate reality has just merged with our present actual reality to create a future for Oklahoma State that looks as opulent as a future has ever looked.AdChoices广告I wrote on Wednesday after Bob Stoops retired that I think he made Oklahoma State better as a football program. I truly and vociferously believe that. I will always believe that. Mike Gundy had no idea what he was doing when he took over — no head coach ever does — and Stoops provided a blueprint for how to be awesome in the state of Oklahoma. The result is that OSU has, outside of that wily late-season game in Stillwater or Norman, more or less met OU stride for stride over the last decade.I also think Gundy is going to eject from this business in more or less the same manner Stoops did. He is going to be 50 in 65 days, is not a lifer, has more money than Wild Bill can ever charge him for and has submerged himself into a grind that is both 1. Unknown to coaches of yesteryear and 2. Likely unhealthy for a human being to withstand in the long term.Gundy will hang around for one final monstrous contract, negotiate for some Bass Pro stock, groom somebody new, hand over the reins much like Stoops and drive his tractor west down Highway 51 towards the setting sun. This is how it will go.What happens in the interim, however, will define his legacy.Gundy has won 104 games in his career at Oklahoma State. He is its most successful football coach by 10 miles and is on the Mt. Rushmore of OSU coaches (and maybe people) generally. Off the top of my head: Gundy, Gary Ward, Mike Holder, John Smith, Mr. Iba and Eddie Sutton. I don’t know who you’re taking off the mountain of that list of six, but it probably shouldn’t be Gundy. He has been the best coach in the most important sport at a time when the competition in that sport has never been deeper.And now he has a chance to ice the cake.There is an inane faction of Oklahoma State fans undeterred by the fact that Oklahoma State has played for four of the last six Big 12 championships (and five of seven if you include 2010 when the Bedlam winner went on to the Big 12 title game). This is an enormous deal. Playing for one conference title is difficult. Doing it four times in six years is a preposterous mark of consistency OSU has never known on the football field.But Gundy also only has one Big 12 championship to his name after 12 seasons of coaching the Pokes. A singular wondrous night in December 2011 in which Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and Joe Randle put to bed all the demons and all the ghosts of so many fruitless Bedlam gatherings. OSU should have won in 2013, could have won in 2015 and outright put No. 10 in Bob Stoops rain coat pocket in 2016.It’s a new time for the Big 12, though. The head coaches of Texas, Baylor and OU — those teams have won or shared 12 of the last 13 titles (the only team to win it outright in that time was OSU in 2011) — have a combined 0 wins at their current schools.The logic, specifically as it relates to OU, is as follows: Unless you believe that 33-year-old Lincoln Riley will be 100 percent as good as (or better than) the best football coach in Big 12 history (Bob Stoops), then you must believe some sort of drop off is coming for the Boomers. If that is true, then the conclusion for me is that Oklahoma State is going to have a chance to win a handful of Big 12 titles in the coming years, starting with 2017.Think about it. How much worse would OU have had to be since 2010 for OSU to have just 2-3 more titles? 10 percent worse? 15 percent? 5 percent? We can all agree (OU fans included) that even a minuscule step down from the crimson and cream would have meant a largesse for the Pokes. They are currently (and have been) next in line to Stoops’ throne.Hey, maybe Riley is the next Stoops. Maybe he will rock. But the chasm between telling Baker Mayfield to roll out and hit 260-pound tight ends and leading one of the premiere football programs in a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars industry is wide enough that I’m not sure even Uncle Rico could hit the other side on a post route. He’s one year older than I am. I can barely run a blog, and this guy is going to not skip a beat as the coach of OU? I’m dubious.And maybe Tom Herman will flip Texas and they will intercept the scepter that Oklahoma State fans badly want. But Texas has proven time and time again that it is a conglomerate that looks nice to investors and does well financially but has trouble letting real change wash over itself. Texas, might I remind you, has one more Big 12 title than Baylor in the history of the conference.So everything is coming up for Gundy in 2017 and beyond. He rode Stoops’ rising tide, and now he is arguably the best head coach in the league (depending on how you feel about Bill Snyder and Gary Patterson). He is in a position to take the mantle from Stoops. This season is big, though. If Oklahoma State can perform the way most of us think it will perform, it will put a stake in the ground. The Big 12 title could run through Stillwater for the foreseeable future.And that’s a nice reward for the Mullet Man after a decade of labor. He spent the first six years laying a foundation and the next six building his kingdom. Hopefully in this final six(ish) he’ll get to enjoy the fruits of his effort because in the wake of Stoops success and OU’s renaissance as a program, a Big 12 title or three would be mighty tasty. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Watch: Mike Gundy Gives Advice to OSU Basketball Coach Mike Boynton

first_imgIn what is apparently the first of three video clips coming down the pike from OSU, Oklahoma State’s most inexperienced coach sat down with arguably its most. Predictably, the latter had some advice for the former.Days after signing a “lifetime” extension with his alma mater, Gundy ran the orchestrated face-to-face chat like he would a team meeting. Mike Boynton held his own as the two talked about coaching, impacting players outside the sport and more.The questionnaire was obviously scripted and answers most assuredly canned. But the best part about Mike Gundy — and Boynton from what we can tell so far — is that you still believe what they are saying 100 percent.AdChoices广告Check out the video below. And listen to Gundy’s confidence in Mike Boynton’s recruiting chops. (6-foot-10!!)Toughness is being able to lead despite adverse conditions. That’s true whether you’re from Midwest City or Brooklyn. #okstate (Part 1 of 3) pic.twitter.com/zn9bRGSGl2— Cowboy Basketball (@OSUMBB) June 16, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more

Young Lyon: Meet Barca target Aouar

first_imgLigue 1 The Young Lyon wanted in Liverpool and Barcelona – Meet Ligue 1 Rising Star Houssem Aouar Robin Bairner 20:00 28/2/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Houssam Aouar Lyon Getty Images Ligue 1 Caen v Olympique Lyonnais Montpellier v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique Lyonnais Coupe de France The multifaceted teenager still lives with his mother, but some of Europe’s top clubs are keen to ensure he moves out sooner rather than later Each season, Lyon seem to have one player to emerge from their academy to become a fixture in their first team. Houssem Aouar is the teenager to have broken through this term.Having debuted last term off the bench in a 2-1 defeat against Monaco in April, he has rapidly established himself as an important member of Bruno Genesio’s squad, pushing more experienced players such as Jordan Ferri, and even Memphis Depay, to the bench at times.Over the course of the next fortnight, though, this versatile performer will likely be given the role of Nabil Fekir, who faces a short spell on the sidelines due to a knee injury sustained during Sunday’s derby draw with Saint-Etienne. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Houssem AouarIt is a critical time of the season for Lyon, with their top-three challenge wavering after a run of five league matches without a win, and with a Coupe de France quarter-final away to Caen and a double header against CSKA Moscow looming in the Europa League.Aouar has already shown that he is up to the challenge, having amassed 17 Ligue 1 starts in 2017-18. He dazzled against PSG as Lyon stunned the champions elect 2-1 in January, while he even scored on his full debut, showing offensive nous to break from his position on the left wing to turn home a Kenny Tete cutback against Dijon.“When I was small, I dreamed of this,” he admitted to L’Equipe in November, having grown up in the era of Lyon dominance in Ligue 1, during which he held Juninho as a role model along with Zinedine Zidane, who is also of Algerian ancestry. But his success has not come naturally.Lys Mousset Houssem Aouar France U21“At training, I had to double my efforts,” he said. “I know that if I was going to play professionally, to take the place of one of my team-mates, I would have to be two or even three times better than them. That’s made the difference.”What has been most impressive about his breakout campaign, though, has been the ease with which he has slotted into a myriad of different positions. The 19-year-old, whose birthday is in June, has been asked to play off the left wing, as a No.10 and as a deep-lying box-to-box player. He has not failed in any of these tasks.“I’ve always played in the middle, so the role of hard-working midfielder is the one that I like the most,” he confessed. “But I like the left wing, too. It allows me to work and to develop other skills. I’ll adapt to anything.“It doesn’t matter where I play, I know it’s my chance and I’ll play anywhere to take it!”Aouar is a player who has long been on the radar of many top European clubs. Liverpool tried to sign him before he turned professional with Lyon, and he remains linked with the Anfield club, but so impressive have been his displays this season that Barcelona have been attributed with a keen interest.Lyon GFXLike many of the players who have come through OL’s academy, though, he grew up in Lyon and retains a strong emotional attachment to the city, the kind of which kept Alexandre Lacazette with the Rhone club for so long. For Aouar, though, family is especially important.“I still live with my mum,” he confessed. “She’s done everything for me and I feel great at her place. She brings me equilibrium. “Playing in big matches and having cameras trained on me, afterwards to go back to her place, it allows me to keep my feet on the ground – that’s important.“I give a lot of importance to my family and the city of Lyon, and I’m happy I decided to stay.”Should Aouar continue to turn in the type of displays he has mustered in recent months, he will have more hard decisions to make in the very near future.last_img read more

‘Gattuso has restored Milan’s identity’

first_imgSerie A Gattuso has restored AC Milan’s identity – Shevchenko Alex Fisher 21:52 7/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) gattuso - cropped Getty Images Serie A Milan Milan v Arsenal Genoa v Milan Arsenal Genoa UEFA Europa League The former striker insists that the ex-midfielder has made the Italian giants great again Andriy Shevchenko has praised former AC Milan team-mate Gennaro Gattuso for turning around the Rossoneri’s fortunes since replacing Vincenzo Montella.Milan were failing to reach their potential earlier in the campaign after plenty of pre-season investment, the club bringing in the likes of Leonardo Bonucci, Hakan Calhanoglu and Andre Silva.Montella was sacked in November with Gattuso stepping up from the youth team to lead the fallen giants. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp It took him a while to get some consistency in Milan’s displays, but since the turn of the year they have been one of the form teams in Serie A and are closing in on a European place.Milan are now unbeaten in 13 matches in all competitions as they prepare to face Arsenal in the Europa League last 16, and Shevchenko says it is all down to Gattuso.”Rino [Gattuso] changed the face of Milan,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport.”He gave them their identity back, as well as a sense of belonging. He wants his players to be competitive and aggressive: he was like that as a player, so I’m not surprised.”He’s someone who won’t give up even a millimetre. Rino’s not afraid of anything, he’s been given his chance and he’s taking advantage of it.”I hope he takes Milan to the Champions League next season, even if a derby between Dynamo Kiev and Milan wouldn’t be easy for me.”last_img read more

Chiellini: It’s in Tottenham’s history to miss out

first_imgTottenham Hotspur Chiellini: It’s in Tottenham’s history to miss out Goal 07:05 8/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(22) Harry Kane Tottenham Getty Images Tottenham Hotspur Tottenham Hotspur v Juventus Juventus UEFA Champions League The Juventus defender claimed he believed his club would rally against Spurs because of their respective experience in big competitions Giorgio Chiellini believed history was on Juventus’ side against Tottenham, as the Serie A champions battled back to advance past Spurs in the last-16 of the Champions League.Tottenham had snatched a 2-2 draw in Turin, and managed to further take a grip on the tie during the first half at Wembley Stadium with Heung-Min Son’s goal giving Spurs a 1-0 advantage on the evening.Juventus, however, would find the two goals they needed over a three minute span in the second half, with the Argentine duo of Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala finding the net in the 64th and 67th minute respectively. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Spurs came close late to equalising, with Harry Kane seeing a header that bounce off the inside of the post late on, but the Bianconeri did enough to hold on for the 4-3 win on aggregate and secure a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.Despite the difficulties Juventus faced, and the quality of the Spurs side they were up against, Chiellini said Spurs’ lack of history in the competition and gave them hope.”Tottenham have a lot of great players – Kane, [Christian] Erisken, [Dele] Alli – but we knew they always give up a lot of chances,” Chiellini told BT Sport. “It’s the history of Tottenham. They always create a lot of chances but they always miss out. We always believe in the history.Chiellini even referenced Real Madrid’s victory over PSG on Tuesday as further proof the history and mentality of a club can make the difference.Chiellini added: “You see in the game between Madrid and Paris, the history is important. We used our skill and arrived at the win.”Gonzalo Higuain JuventusHiguain also praised Tottenham after the game, but said Juventus knew the Premier League outfit would give up chances to get back on top in the tie — it was on Juventus to take them.“It was a very difficult match against a great side like Tottenham, who always give their best and are aggressive, but we know English teams always leave gaps at the back and would give us opportunities,” Higuain told Mediaset Premium.“We had to make the most of them and we did. I’m very happy with this win, as a comeback at Wembley is not easy.”last_img read more

Wenger sympathises with Mertesacker

first_imgArsenal Mertesacker will regain love for football, says sympathetic Wenger Matt Dorman 23:52 14/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Per Mertesacker - cropped Getty Images Arsenal Premier League Arsenal v Milan UEFA Europa League The Frenchman has hailed the Germany international defender for his honesty after a candid interview with Der Spiegel Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger expects the retiring Per Mertesacker to rediscover his passion for playing soon after he hangs up the boots.World Cup winner Mertesacker recently revealed a desire to avoid being called upon during the final months of a career plagued by injuries.In a candid interview with Der Spiegel, the 33-year-old detailed his battles with anxiety and said he was eager to be “free” from the mental and physical demands of professional football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Wenger sympathised with Mertesacker’s honest admission, although he believes the former Germany international will move past his frustration.”I think that will go very quickly. Once you stop for a few months you are ready to play again,” Wenger told reporters on Wednesday.”He has had a very long career. He never plays one minute without being totally focussed. That demands a huge amount of effort and that is why he has had the career he has.”To be a professional football player is to face a huge level of expectation. First of all from yourself, because these players are very demanding of themselves and that creates stress.”To play at the level they play today you need to have a huge resistance to stress.”To express what you want to do you need your body to be at your service. You never know how your body will respond, how you will feel, how much your reflexes in a game will be there. It is always an uncertainty and that creates stress.”Mertesacker, who will take over as the Gunners’ academy manager at the end of the campaign, has not featured since Arsenal’s FA Cup exit to Nottingham Forest in January. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Boone: OSU’s Second Half Shutout Provides Momentum Ahead of Big 12 Play

first_imgOklahoma State improved to 3-0 on Saturday afternoon in Tulsa and escaped a trap game with exactly the thing it needed to capture leading into next week’s Big 12 opener: momentum.And better yet, dare I say it, the rarest kind for OSU: defensive momentum.While the 40-21 final isn’t going to elicit the same reaction a shutout would, the numbers and the adjustments mid-game should have OSU fans feeling a little dangerous as the Cowboys head to Austin to face No. 12 Texas on Saturday.“It was a really, really good job by our defensive coaches making adjustments at halftime, and then our players taking the information from the locker room to the field to shut them down,” said Mike Gundy on Saturday. “Made those adjustments at halftime, came out and made plays, which was awesome by our defense — mainly our coaches for their adjustments.”The 21 points OSU surrendered seems good but maybe not great, but that number was only achieved in the first half. No one expects the OSU defense to pitch a shutout, but in the second half, the unit held the Golden Hurricane to a Golden Goose Egg.“They changed our alignments,” said Gundy of the defensive coaches. “Got another guy up closer to the ball.”That’s … it. Moved another guy closer to the ball by bringing a secondary defender down into the box, and bam — shutout?Bam, shutout.Now it won’t be that simple against Texas on Saturday, so don’t get TU and UT players confused — they’re both vastly different in total talent and have the backing of better coaches and better schemes.But if Saturday provides one thing outside of a tally in the win column, it’s the hope that just maybe, possibly — hopefully! — this beleaguered defense and the coaches holding the controls are starting to catch a groove going into the Big 12 opener vs. the Longhorns.“They got tired, they got it broke off on them in the second quarter,” said Gundy of the defense. “But then Jim made adjustments, we came out and they were better in the second half — a lot better. It’s hard to [make adjustments], but they got it done.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.last_img read more