Premier League’s innovative plans to restart the season – report

first_imgWhile the long-term future of English football is shrouded in doubt, there are still plenty of questions over the short-term plans of the game. Loading… The Premier League will meet again on Friday to discuss the next steps of Project Restart, with the hope being to put a plan in place for a return to action in June. As leagues, clubs and authorities try to find a way to get football up and running again, new innovative measures are being taken into consideration. “We don’t know the future but we do know what propositions have been put, what ideas have been put – the possibility of having more substitutes, games possibly not being the full 45 minutes each way, talks of neutral stadiums,” the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA), Graham Taylor, told the BBC. “Ideally, you want to keep the integrity of the competition, and of course, that was about playing home and away and having the same squad of players as before it was suspended. “So, it remains in process and we shall just have to wait and see, and look at it on a day by day basis and see if it’s achievable. But if we don’t try, then it’s never going to be achievable.” FIFA are expected to give the green light for five substitutions to be allowed during games in order to relieve the strain on players. “I am absolutely in favour of cutting down on the maximum effort of players,” Doctor Pedro Luis Ripoll told MARCA. “A greater recovery time and lesser effort is going to help reduce the rate of injuries.” Read Also: Ronaldo celebrates boyhood club Nacional “At this critical point in the season playing matches in neutral venues has, in our view, potential to have a material effect on the integrity of the competition,” Brighton chief executive Paul Barber said on the club’s website. “It’s the least-worst option,” said Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish. Various teams have already begun individual training ahead of a possible return while the Premier League is working hard to complete the season and fulfil their TV contracts. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Neutral venues Pako Ayestaran, the former Valencia and Las Palmas coach who also worked as Rafa Benitez’s assistant at Liverpool, likes the idea of planning at neutral venues. “We have to have an open and adaptive mind,” he told MARCA. “In this situation, everyone has to come out of their comfort zone.” However, the Premier League’s proposal of playing the remaining fixtures in eight to 10 neutral venues isn’t pleasing everyone. Promoted Content7 Ways To Understand Your Girlfriend BetterCrazy Expensive Things That Taylor Swift Owns7 Theories About The Death Of Our Universe6 Extreme Facts About HurricanesWho’s The Best Car Manufacturer Of All Time?Couples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?10 Phones That Can Easily Fit In The Smallest Pocket8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth6 Incredibly Strange Facts About HurricanesThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parkslast_img read more

Trojans’ title hopes depend on defense

first_imgDefense wins championships.We all know that saying. I think it’s probably been plastered onto so many high school football shirts and motivational posters that anyone who’s ever watched or played or even been around sports knows it. Offense wins games, but defense wins championships.No matter what sport, I’ve always loved defense, perhaps even more than offense. When I played basketball and soccer, there was something satisfying about squaring up an opponent and shutting down any move they tried to make past you. When I watch football and basketball, I live for the hard hits and the showboat blocks.That might be because of where I’m from. Kansas City is known across the board for teams that specialize in defense — Sporting KC with its indomitable home field atmosphere, the Chiefs with their smash mouth defensive line and Alex Gordon and the Royals and their high-flying antics in the outfield. It’s something the teams and the city takes pride in. And when defense is great, it’s a thing of beauty to watch.Last Saturday, I don’t think I could use the word “beautiful” to describe most of the USC defense. There were, of course, the highlights of the fourth quarter — that Porter Gustin sack, the Marvel Tell interception — but the game left a bitter taste in the mouths of most fans despite the 49-31 final score.Entering this season, there has been perhaps too much hype surrounding this USC football team. Yet most of it focused on phenom quarterback Sam Darnold, his offense and his inevitable quest to collect a Pac-12 championship, a national championship and a Heisman trophy in one fell swoop. There was a slight rumble in the Coliseum when Darnold took the field for the first time on Saturday, a thrum of expectation that paid off in the opening touchdown drive and then quickly dissipated throughout the frustrating first half. And despite receiving very little of the offseason spotlight, the same expectation still stood for the defense as it took the field.What unfolded over the first three quarters of the Western Michigan game was, in a word, disappointing. The defensive line found no room to pressure the quarterback, while the secondary blew coverage and the linebackers let running backs slip away with sloppy arm tackles. The offense struggled to get off the ground, but they also had no safety net. The defense allowed 263 yards on the ground alone, falling to 113th out of 125 teams in the FBS after the poor outing. The hits weren’t hard and the stops weren’t impressive. For the first time, I felt that the best way to describe the USC defense was “soft.”There are a lot of excuses that could be made for the defense. Western Michigan was bringing a new head coach, offensive coordinator and quarterback to the Coliseum, and there was little to no film available to prepare the defense. Junior linebacker Cam Smith, who typically leadsin-game adjustments for the Trojans, was confined to the locker room for the first half due to a suspension carried over from the Rose Bowl, leaving the young defense to adjust themselves without one of their captains. For all those reasons, it makes sense that team came out to a slow start. But there’s a difference between a slow start and allowing almost 300 yards rushing. Sloppy tackles and lack of energy couldn’t be blamed on a lack of film or a sidelined leader or even the heat. Smith was harsh in his review of the team, saying it had nothing to do with anything except lack of concentration.“Bad,” he said impatiently to the reporter scrum after the game. “It was really bad.”Something has to change. The Trojans squeaked out of their season opener with a victory, but the same performance can’t be repeated next Saturday against Stanford. The Cardinal will bring everything that Western Michigan did — scrappy defense, a hard-nosed run game and balanced aerial attack — with the added benefit of Pac-12 talent. It’s too early to panic, and first games are historically poor barometers for the future success of football teams. (Just ask any fan who stuck through from the Alabama game to the Rose Bowl last year, if you don’t believe me.) But while many might be ready to sound the alarm while poring over Darnold’s Heisman chances, I’m much more concerned with the defense.Defense wins championships. It’s cliché. It’s also true. And as USC continues to grind through a tough Pac-12 and non-conference schedule — all without a bye week — it will be the defense, and not the offense, that will be tested the most.If the Trojans are going to live up to the hype this year, fans will have to hope that a different defense shows up to the Coliseum this Saturday.Julia Poe is a junior studying print and digital journalism. She is also the sports editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, Poe’s Perspective, runs Wednesdays.last_img read more