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Spurs can say goodbye to Wembley with Champions League mission accomplished

Mauricio Pochettino stood on the edge of his technical area, arms folded, waiting, as the clock ticked down. Just get over the line, Tottenham. That had been the order of the night. Securing Champions League football, a precious housewarming present to take back to N17 for next season, was at the forefront of everybody’s mind.

The outpouring of elation at the final whistle was all about that, all about a marker to help Tottenham in this period of seismic change for the club. Champions League qualification is always a boon, but it was especially appreciated when the news was confirmed at Wembley thanks to Chelsea hitting the brakes at Stamford Bridge because it feels like it’s about something bigger than one campaign in everybody’s favourite European competition.
Harry Kane purges Spurs of Champions League nerves with win over Newcastle
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The idea that an elite club’s ambitions live or die by the Champions League is a bit hysterical at a time when the old top four have turned into a high-ambition six who rightly enter each season thinking they ought to be a contender for a Champions League position. But Tottenham’s prospects seem tangled up in the chase more intensely than the others because of their stadium rebuild.

The what-ifs can go away for a while. What if Tottenham didn’t make the Champions League and missed out on both revenue and pull as they begin a new era in a new home? What if Daniel Levy had to consider bids for the most coveted talent mindful of the costs of debt repayment? What if Pochettino found his head could be turned now he is used to an environment where his team can make high-impact memories like beating Real Madrid or drawing at Juventus? Those what-ifs evaporated when Harry Kane found one of his accomplished finishes to decide a tensely fought game where a high-energy Newcastle caused umpteen scares.
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For some perspective, in the pre-Pochettino era Tottenham had only ever made it to the Champions League once, and at the end of the night they assured themselves a third successive season in the competition. They were desperate not to cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping  lose status that had been a long time coming.

Spurs’s form had been fluffy going into this final week of the season, with points frittered away, allowing doubts to gnaw away. Having been in a comfortable top-four position all season, the fear began to take hold. Don’t mess it up. Now is not the time. The noise of crackling urgency shuddered through the home crowd early on as Jonjo Shelvey’s thumping free-kick clipped the outside of a post. The Newcastle midfielder thrust his head in his hands. He knew it was fractions from perfection. Tottenham’s stress began to show.

Some of the twitchiness stemmed from a reorganised midfield, with Moussa Sissoko and Victor Wanyama paired to compensate for the absence of Eric Dier and Mousa Dembélé. Newcastle were boxing clever, a performance with sufficient focus to suggest nfl cheap jerseys nike this team were playing to impress for next season rather than minds wandering to the beach.

Tottenham needed to find some rhythm but it didn’t come easily. Half an hour gone a sign that they were off key came when Ben Davies received the ball, looked up to build some kind of a move and just lumped the ball forward to nobody. That was not the style Tottenham aspire to. Kane’s sureness of touch eluded him when he was in for a one-v-one. It was nervy.

Kane rediscovered his touch to unshackle Tottenham from their anxiety in the second half with one of those unerring moments of striking clarity. He sidefooted the ball with crisp curl. The team’s body language changed in that instant. nfl nike jerseys for cheap uddenly they were all calling for the ball, pointing for it, wanting it.

Tottenham will finish as the top London club for the first time in 23 years. The last time they had the capital’s bragging rights dates back to 1994‑95, when they finished seventh (just above QPR and Wimbledon), since the season Blackburn won the title. Modern Tottenham want to continue to look up. Levy has not historically used Champions League qualification as essential to the sums for the season, but there is no doubting how easy it is to get used to all this.nike nfl cheap jerseys

It was hardly a great performance but the result meant so much. Now Chelsea and Liverpool go into the final weekend of the season with fourth place on the line – Antonio Conte’s team hoping that they can up their game and that Liverpool might just be put off theirs with the Champions League final over the horizon. Tottenham can turn up on Sunday, turn out the lights and hand the keys back to Wembley without looking back.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap
Since you’re here …

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Arsenal Suffer 3-1 Loss to Leicester City in Arsene Wenger’s Penultimate Game

Arsenal lost away from home again in the Premier League after being beaten 3-1 by Leicester City at the King Power Stadium on Wednesday in the penultimate game with Arsene Wenger in charge.

Wenger saw his Gunners go a goal behind and down to 10 men on just 15 minutes when Konstantinos Mavropanos was shown a straight red card shortly after Kelechi Iheanacho had put the Foxes in front.

A Jamie Vardy penalty and a 90th-minute Riyad Mahrez goal completed Arsenal’s seventh straight Premier League away defeat.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Away Day Shame Almost Complete for Wenger’s Arsenal cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Arsenal are going to finish in their lowest league position and with the fewest points under Wenger because of their dismal record away from home. The Gunners are still the only team in the top four leagues of English football who have failed to pick up a point on their travels in 2018.

It’s almost inconceivable a team with this much attacking talent would be so bereft of solutions on their travels. By contrast, Arsenal’s defensive woes away from the comfortable confines of the Emirates Stadium are no longer even mildly surprising.

Unfortunately for Wenger, his last game in charge of the Gunners will also be away. The trip to Huddersfield Town could be bring yet more away misery for the Frenchman and his team.

Arsenal’s Disciplinary Record Ending How It Started Under Wenger

For a manager who has steadfastly championed fair play and attractive, expansive football, Wenger has overseen a shocking disciplinary record during most of his 22 years in charge at Arsenal.

n his teams lose discipline too often down the years.Michael Regan/Getty Images

Former captain Patrick Vieira is joint holder of the Premier League record, having received eight red cards on Wenger’s watch, per Alan Tyres of the Daily Telegraph. The same source pointed out that the Gunners received 32 red cards in the decade following their last title win in the unbeaten season of 2003-04.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Many would contend Wenger has struggled in recent years because the snarling aggression common in his early teams went by the wayside when players such as Vieira left town.

Yet on the evidence of this game, Wenger’s Gunners remain as ill-disciplined as they always were.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

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CB Eli Apple to San Francisco 49ers

New York Giants safety Landon Collins insists his public feud with young cornerback Eli Apple is a thing of the past.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

“We talked. Definitely we talked. We’ve definitely buried the hatchet a while ago,” Collins told reporters in April. “That’s my guy, my brother. I’m always going to have his back. We knew what kind of caliber player he is. He knows what kind of caliber player I am. We’re just trying to get to work and make this season go.”

General manager Dave Gettleman made a similar comment in January when he told the New York Post’s Steve Serby the former first-round pick has a “clean slate” with the team after two disappointing years.

But if those first two NFL seasons have been any indication, the best thing for both him and the Giants might be a change of scenery.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The San Francisco 49ers have a hole at cornerback after Dontae Johnson signed with the Seahawks. While Ahkello Witherspoon is a possibility there, the second-year pro is far from a proven commodity.nfl nike jersey cheap

Not that Apple is either, mind you. But he is a Round 1 talent. John Lynch has shown to be one of the more aggressive GMs in the NFL when it comes to improving the roster.

The biggest sticking points here? Compensation for a team that invested the 10th overall pick in Apple in 2016 and the void it would leave the Giants in the secondary.

But at some point, smart GMs know when to cut to bait on players they didn’t draft, and there are some veteran corners still available in free agency—including Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who started five games for the G-Men in 2017.cheap nike nfl jersey

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2018 NFL Draft Rumors: Baker Mayfield ‘Definitely’ in Play for Browns at No. 1

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is reportedly among the players the Cleveland Browns are considering selecting with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft on Thursday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, an NFL executive said Mayfield is “definitely” in the conversation for Cleveland at No. 1 overall.youth nfl jerseys

The Browns have long been in search of a franchise quarterback, and all signs point to them finally taking one with the top pick.

Cleveland could wait until pick No. 4 to take its signal-caller, but with the New York Giants and New York Jets each having a quarterback need at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, the safe play would be to go with a quarterback at No. 1.

Mayfield is part of a quartet of options, as USC’s Sam Darnold, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and Wyoming’s Josh Allen are also in the mix.cheap nfl jerseys nike china

On Monday, ESPN’s Todd McShay wrote that he has heard from multiple general managers that the Browns covet Allen with the top pick.

Allen has impressive physical tools, but his collegiate production was lacking. Mayfield is just the opposite.

Mayfield is probably the least physically impressive prospect of the top four quarterbacks in the class at 6’2″ and 215 pounds, but he is coming off a Heisman Trophy-winning campaign.

As a senior with the Sooners in 2017, Mayfield completed 70.5 percent of his passes for 4,627 yards, 43 touchdowns and six interceptions.

If Cleveland passes on Mayfield at No. 1, there has been a lot of recent buzz regarding the Jets wanting him at No. 3.nike jersey nfl cheap

Last week, Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.com reported that a source told him Mayfield to the Jets is a “done deal.”

All four of the top quarterbacks in the draft appear likely to come off the board in the top 12 selections, and it is possible that five signal-callers could be gone by that point depending on how teams value Louisville’s Lamar Jackson.youth nfl jerseys cheap

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller predicted in his most recent mock draft that the Browns will go with Darnold at No. 1, while Mayfield will fall to the Denver Broncos at No. 5 with a chance to learn behind Case Keenum.

Despite the fact that Cleveland is coming off an 0-16 season, it could be a good landing spot for Mayfield as well since there wouldn’t be pressure to start immediately over veteran Tyrod Taylor.

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Manziel over Carr, Lynch over Prescott, Trubisky over Watson

Lesson to be learned: Be better at evaluating quarterbacks

It’s that simple, right?

Teams still don’t know how to predict with any accuracy which quarterback prospects will succeed and which will fail, which is why seven quarterbacks, including first-round cheap nfl jerseys china nike bust Paxton Lynch, were selected ahead of 2016 Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott. It’s why Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel were first-round picks nfl nike jersey cheap ahead of Teddy Bridgewater and Derek Carr in 2014. It’s why Mitchell Trubisky went second overall and Deshaun Watson went 12th overall in 2017.

Don’t even get us started on the year Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden were first-round picks, and Russell Wilson, Nick Foles and Kirk Cousins were mid-rounders. That deserves its own essay but is thankfully beyond the five-year sample we’re using for this breakdown.

The lesson above is tongue-in-cheek, but the real message here might be that a team in need of a franchise quarterback would be best served swinging the bat as often as possible. Let’s all stop pretending we know who’ll pan out and who’ll bust.

It would have seemed pretty silly for the Browns to have taken Manziel with the No. 22 pick, as well as Carr with the No. 35 pick (one spot ahead of Oakland), but they would have essentially doubled their chances of finding a new franchise quarterback, and Carr’s presence would have made it easier to forgive and forget the Manziel selectioch eap nike nfl jersey n.

That doesn’t mean the still-quarterback-hungry Browns should use both of their top-four selections on quarterbacks this year, but doing so isn’t as wacky as many believe. The only way it would backfire is if both signal-callers became busts, but in the Browns’ current state (also known as rock bottom),cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale  that might not be any worse than drafting one bust along with Saquon Barkley.

That remains a far-fetched scenario regardless, but the Browns should at least strongly consider drafting a second quarterback in a later round, just as the Washington Redskins smartly did with Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in 2012.

Teams have to learn that they aren’t smart enough to correctly and consistently identify future franchise quarterbacks, and then they either have to learn to start rolling the dice more or find a new way to evaluate entry-level players at the game’s most important position.

Joey Bosa, DE, Los Angeles Chargers

Per Adam Rank of NFL.com, there are less than 10 players in the NFL who are essentially untradeable. Joey Bosa of the Los Angeles Chargers is one of them.
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“He gives the Chargers something they don’t have a lot of: charm and charisma,” Rank said. “He’s got a quirky sense of humor that should land him some sort of walk-on roll in New Girl or whatnot. I know this seems weird, but I live out here in Los Angeles and the Chargers desperately need that kind presence to win the Battle for L.A. Bosa is it.”

Bosa’s personality is great. What he does on Sundays for the Bolts is even better.youth nfl jerseys

In just two seasons, Bosa has already become one of the best edge-rushers in the NFL. He’s equally adept at stuffing the run as he is giving quarterbacks nightmares, racking up 12.5 sacks and a jaw-dropping 70 total tackles for the Chargers in 2017.

Bosa’s a nigh-unblockable force off the edge. Combined with Melvin Ingram, he provides the Chargers with the NFL’s top one-two punch at one of the league’s premium positions.
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Bosa has amassed 23 sacks in only 28 career games.

And he won’t even turn 23 until July.

Los Angeles Rams tailback Todd Gurley entered the 2017 season trying to rebound from a disappointing second year in the NFL in which he managed just 3.2 yards per carry.

The 23-year-old left Year 3 as an MVP candidate and the best player in the league under the age of 25.nfl youth jerseys cheap

Gurley was fantastic for the Rams last year, gaining 1,305 yards on 279 carries—a robust average of 4.7 yards a carry and the second time in three years Gurley’s hit that benchmark. He also caught 64 passes—the same number of receptions Gurley had in his first two seasons combined. The 6’1″, 227-pounder piled up almost 2,100 total yards and found the end zone an eye-popping 19 times.

Had Gurley not spent the final Sunday of the regular season as a spectator because the Rams’ playoff spot was set, he may well have led the NFL in rushing yards, receiving yards by a tailback and total touchdowns.
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Even with the Week 17 siesta, he finished second, second and first among non-quarterbacks. For much of the month of December, Gurley was being talked up as an MVP candidate.

Denver Broncos

The quarterback position wasn’t the only problem spot for the Denver Broncos in 2017, but it’s one of the only spots they clearly upgraded. So even if you have high hopes for free-agent addition Case Keenum under center, there are reasons to be concerned about the Broncos. cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders and C.J. Anderson are good players, but Keenum doesn’t have as much support as he did in Minnesota on either side of the ball. Left tackle Garett Bolles needs to improve after a shaky rookie season, cheap nike nfl jerseys from china and a defense that has been losing bite the last few years could miss Aqib Talib.

That D still has the ability to keep them in a lot of games, especially if stud pass-rusher Von Miller can bounce back from a bit of a down year. If Keenum’s breakout 2017 campaign wasn’t an anomaly, the offense will be better than average.71424b594726c7f54ce42f42b037b30b_crop_exactnfl cheap nike jerseys

It’ll also help if the Broncos can add an immediate-impact player with the No. 5 overall pick, but those are a lot of ifs.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston’s career has yet to take off, but the 2015 No. 1 overall pick saw most of his rate-based statistics improve in 2017, and he has a lot of support entering his fourth season.

Second-year pass-catchers O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin both have the ability to break out alongside veterans Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson, and new center Ryan Jensen makes that offense better in two spots by enabling them to move Ali Marpet back to guard.

So the Bucs should score plenty of points in 2018, and an all-over-the-map defense should also be better with Jason Pierre-Paul, cheap nfl youth jerseys Vinny Curry and Beau Allen joining star defensive tackle Gerald McCoy up front. That unit underachieved while dealing with a lot of injuries last year, but there’s almost no way they give up 378 yards per game again.

The Bucs will have to fight to get out of the basement in the tough NFC South,nfl youth jersey  but they’re much better than their 5-11 2017 record. And let’s not forget they hold the No. 7 overall pick in this month’s draft.

Every NFL Division’s Biggest Winner Through Early Free Agency

Free-agent signings provide hope. Nothing is more important in a league that stresses parity and feeds off the notion of “any given Sunday.”

Winning the offseason is only important if a team can translate its transactions into regular-season victories. Otherwise, the process is pointless.

Some will succeed in this endeavor. Others will fail. But every cheap youth nfl jerseys team is looking for opportunities to improve its roster through free agency.

A year ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars signed Calais Campbell to a four-year, $60 million contract. Campbell provided the best season of his career and helped mold the Jaguars into Super Bowl contenders. The opposite happened after the Cleveland Browns made Kevin Zeitler the league’s high-paid guard (at the time). Zeitler’s play didn’t amount to much on a 0-16 roster featuring an unprepared rookie quarterback. youth nfl jerseys cheap 8f743f9b3c922ee1d3731e6155b3371c_crop_exact

Excitement builds around squads that make the biggest free-agent splashes, because it’s a sign they’re not willing to accept nfl youth jerseys previous standings.

Those squads in need of the most improvement often use free agency as a buoy to plug numerous holes before the draft arrives. These organizations tend to be the biggest winners in free agency, because they accomplish the most in a short amount of time.

As English poet Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote, “Hope smiles nfl youth jerseys cheap from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier.'”