Roberto Firmino embodies Liverpool’s high-pressing game under Jurgen Klopp and Theo Walcott is leading the charge at Arsenal, but Jose Mourinhos Manchester United have struggled to make the system work. Cheap Air Jordan Online . We examine the high-intensity tactics powering the Premier League’s elite… The origins of pressing in football are disputed, but Victor Maslov certainly played his part. The Russian coach is credited with introducing the revolutionary system during his time in charge of Dynamo Kyiv in the 1960s, with the aim of restricting the oppositions time and space on the ball and winning back possession in dangerous areas high up the pitch.Austrian manager Ernst Happell used a similar approach as he guided Feyenoord to European Cup glory in 1970, and pressing hit the international stage when Rinus Michels Netherlands made Total Football famous at the 1974 World Cup. The Oranje hunted the ball in packs, shutting down passing channels and snuffing out attacks before they had started. Pressing worked and, as fitness and conditioning improved in the decades that followed, it became increasingly prominent. The tactic can be implemented in different ways and with varying degrees of intensity, but the high-octane style developed by Maslov, Happell and Michels is now the favoured method for the Premier Leagues elite.This season it has been easy to see why. Manchester City won 10 consecutive games after Pep Guardiola completely changed their approach without the ball, and the Premier League leaders are closely followed in the table by Mauricio Pochettinos Tottenham, who showcased their aggressive high-pressing at its most effective in last Sundays 2-0 win over City at White Hart Lane. Dele Alli scored Tottenhams second goal as they overpowered Manchester City Elsewhere, the gegenpressing tactics Klopp employed at Borussia Dortmund have taken hold at Liverpool, while Arsene Wenger has notably increased the off-the-ball intensity at Arsenal. Those two sides make up the rest of the top four and sit just two points off the top. They too have enjoyed resounding victories over their rivals in recent weeks.High-intensity pressing looks increasingly like a recipe for success in the Premier League, and its an area in which sixth-placed Manchester United have been found wanting this season. While City, Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool all rank highly for distance covered and sprints, United lag behind in more ways than one. Most sprints - Premier League 2016/17 Rank Team Sprints 1st Liverpool 4165 2nd Man City 4014 3rd Tottenham 3755 4th Arsenal 3725 - - - 8th Man Utd 3524 Mourinhos men have covered the least ground of any Premier League side this season, and while their rivals are working harder than ever without the ball, United have been outrun by their opposition in six of their first seven Premier League games. The exception, by no coincidence, was their 4-1 thrashing of Leicester. Most distance covered - Premier League 2016/17 Rank Team Distance covered (km) 1st Liverpool 814.8 2nd Man City 803.9 3rd Tottenham 803.4 - - - 7th Arsenal 780.9 - - - 20th Man Utd 735.6 Mourinho is aware of the need for intensity and he described that performance as a template for how he wants United to play. Today we had intensity, we had good movement, we were dynamic, he said. We were much more aggressive and pressed higher. The team was quicker to react when the ball was lost and we had lots of fast football. We played the way we wanted to play. Watch NOW TV Watch Sky Sports for just ￡6.99. No contract. As well as good organisation and a strong team ethic, an effective pressing system demands hard work and sacrifice from forward players. Uniteds attackers could do a lot worse than look at Firmino for inspiration.The Brazilian joined Liverpool after thriving in the furious tempo of the Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, and his industry is perfect for the roving role of Klopps false nine, something he describes as the most intense job on the pitch. Roberto Firminos heat map from Liverpools 5-1 win over Hull shows how much territory he covers in the opposition half Firmino is tasked with hounding defenders as soon as Liverpool lose possession in the opposition half. It requires extraordinary stamina, and it is no coincidence that he has sprinted more times than any of his team-mates in three out of the five games in which he has completed 90 minutes this season. It is a continuation of last year, when he made more tackles (67) than any other forward in the division.Klopp believes a well-executed counter-pressing system can be more effective than any playmaker when it comes to creating chances, so he treasures Firminos contribution. As well as being a devoted worker, Firmino has the technical quality to capitalise on turnovers and finish off scoring opportunities.Roberto is a player who is always involved, in all offensive actions and all defensive actions, Klopp said on Monday Night Football last month. He really likes doing things like this, because its a natural skill that he knows. Its a nice opportunity to win the ball and be close to the goal, thats why hes doing it. Jordan Henderson and Roberto Firmino put Francis Coquelin under pressure He doesnt think too much, hes an instinctive player thats really, really strong in these situations. Roberto is in the centre because he has the physical ability to do it, but he can play nearly all offensive positions, thats how it is.While pressing is instinctive for Firmino, Uniteds attacking players are not the only ones having to work on it. Walcotts career was threatening to pass him by after he was overlooked for Englands Euro 2016 squad following an indifferent season with Arsenal last year, but the 27-year-old has made a flying start to the new campaign.I spoke to many people and it maybe woke up something in my system, he said last month. I am completely different. I just want to be better and better. People have had so much faith in me and I tend to think I need to repay people. It maybe should have hit me a few years ago, but there has now been a slight change in my attitude ahead of the games. Top tackler No forward has made more tackles than Theo Walcott (14) in the Premier League this season. Five goals and two assists from eight games is a handsome return, but its his off-the-ball work which has caught the eye. Walcotts work-rate has increased dramatically. He has made more tackles (14) in seven games than he managed in the whole of last season, and he now looks at home alongside the industrious Alexis Sanchez, who is fulfilling a similar role to Firmino at Liverpool. Theo Walcott was effective at both ends of the pitch in Arsenals win over Chelsea For Arsenal, the benefits of Walcotts improvement have been obvious. As well producing regular goals and assists, a player who once drifted in and out of games is now harrying opponents high up the pitch and diligently dropping back to provide cover for full-back Hector Bellerin. As a result, Arsenal havent conceded a single goal from their right flank in the last six Premier League games.I think he used to be 90 per cent forward and 10 per cent defending, said Wenger after Arsenals 3-0 win over Chelsea. Today he is 50-50. He does the job both ways and he does it both ways with commitment.Walcott realised he needed defensive dedication as well as attacking quality to fit into a modern, pressing system, and he is not the only attacker from the Premier Leagues top four who ranks highly for tackles. Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen close down Raheem Sterling Erik Lamela (13) and Christian Eriksen (nine) have been prolific at Spurs, Raheem Sterling and Nolito (both eight) lead the way at City, while Mane (12), Coutinho (nine), Lallana (nine) and Firmino (seven) have clocked impressive numbers at Liverpool.These are ultra-mobile modern forwards with the energy to fulfil varying responsibilities, and its fitting that each of them has started the season strongly. Stamina, work-rate and defensive dedication havent always been fashionable attributes for attacking players, but they are more important than ever now. Those failing to embrace the pressing game are in danger of being left behind.You can watch Englands tour of Bangladesh, plus Premier League football and the British Masters on Sky Sports. Upgrade now and enjoy three months at half price! Also See: VOTE: Liverpool v Man Utd top 50 Zonal or man-marking? Would Griezmann suit Chelsea, Utd? The life out of contract Cheap Retro Jordan .com) - The Kansas City Chiefs activated linebacker Joe Mays from short-term injured reserve on Saturday. Wholesale Air Jordan . Seager had another triple, a home run and a double in a rare feat not seen in more than 40 years, leading Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners past the New York Yankees 10-2. "It was a weird play," Seager said of the triple in the fourth inning.CINCINNATI - Andy Dalton practiced some drop kicks in shorts before the game, the most activity he got all night. And he was in the majority when it came to spending time standing around. Running back Jeremy Hill didnt have it nearly so easy. The rookie ran for 70 yards and was Cincinnatis top receiver as well on Thursday night, leading the Bengals to a 35-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in a game devoid of starters. Dalton and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck sat out, as did most of the starters for both teams. Dalton didnt even pull up his black socks, leaving them around his ankles on an 85-degree evening — he knew there was no point. Hill, a second-round pick who backs up Giovani Bernard, carried 20 times and had a team-high six catches for 70 yards. He hurt his right elbow late in the first half but returned. The Bengals were thin at running back, so Hill knew he was going to play most of the game. "I put myself in position for whatever role I might be needed in," Hill said. Coach Marvin Lewis hopes to use Bernard and Hill a lot in a revitalized running game. "Jeremy got to understand what its like to be an NFL running back," Lewis said. "Were not five deep. If hes going to be that guy, hes going to have to shoulder the load." Hill turned a short pass into a 41-yard gain, showing how hell give the Bengals another receiving option out of the backfield. "We came into tonight knowing that he was going to get the ball," said Jason Campbell, who was 13 of 16 for 123 yards. "We just wanted him to get into a rhythm and get the feel of what its like. He runs hard. What I was proudest of was he was able to catch that screen pass and get some yardage." Cincinnati (2-2) pulled off three big plays in the second half against the backups of the Colts (0-4). Dane Sanzenbacher returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown. Safety Danieal Manning intercepted Chandler Harnishs pass and ran it back 33 yards for a score. Cobi Hamilton turnned a short catch into a 50-yard TD. Cheap Jordan. End Margus Hunt had three sacks, completing a preseason that saw him emerge as an important component in the Bengals line rotation. "Hes just continued to strive and push hard and get better," Lewis said. "He should dominate in a game like this and he did." Harnish played the entire game and went 13 of 24 for 102 yards with five sacks. He threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to DaRick Rogers, who kicked the ball in celebration and was penalized. Colts linebacker Robert Mathis didnt play, heading quietly into his four-game suspension. Mathis was suspended for breaking the leagues policy on performance-enhancing substances and cant be with the team for the next month. He said he took a fertility drug to help his wife get pregnant. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict sat out a day after he signed a three-year contract extension that will pay him a maximum $20.05 million through 2017. Burfict strained his right hamstring on Sunday during a preseason game in Arizona. The game drew 42,020 fans — leaving more than 23,000 empty seats — and was sloppy with so many backups on the field. On one play, Harnish overthrew receiver Donte Moncrief so badly that the ball flew behind the helmet of Rogers, who was getting ready to block on the play. The Colts had a fourth-and-2 at the Cincinnati 10-yard line and went for it, only to have Zurlon Tipton tackled in the backfield. Notes: Colts G Joe Reitz hurt his left ankle in the first quarter. X-rays were negative. The injury was diagnosed as a high ankle sprain. ... LB Andrew Jackson hurt his right ankle/foot in the closing minutes and had to be helped off. ... Bengals LB Sean Porter suffered a hamstring injury in the first quarter, Cincinnatis only setback. ... LB J.K. Schaffer (concussion) and CB Lavelle Westbrooks (thumb) cleared waivers and reverted to Cincinnatis injured reserve list. ___ Online: AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL ' ' '
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