Conte: Out-of-sorts Morata was unlucky

first_imgChelsea Conte blames bad luck for dismal Morata display at Arsenal Joe Wright 07:36 1/4/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) alvaro morata - cropped Getty Images Chelsea Premier League Arsenal v Chelsea Arsenal Morata Antonio Conte The Spaniard’s forgettable showing in the 2-2 draw at the Emirates, including three missed one-on-ones, was passed off as bad luck by his boss Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has challenged Alvaro Morata to work hard to improve in the wake of his poor performance against Arsenal.The striker missed three one-on-one chances in a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Emirates Stadium, the last of which came after Hector Bellerin fired home the Gunners’ equaliser in the 92nd minute.Morata has scored 10 goals in 19 Premier League appearances this season but the majority of those came in the opening three months, with the 25-year-old having only netted twice in his last eight top-flight matches. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Conte feels the Spaniard has been short on luck in recent weeks but admits his side had plenty of chances to take all three points from Wednesday’s match.”I think it’s a pity because when you have a lot of chances to score, you must win the game. Instead, we’re talking about a good draw against a good team,” he told Sky Sports.When things don’t go as expected there’s only one way… Work hard!Se nos escaparon los tres puntos… Cuando las cosas no salen como uno espera, solo hay un camino… trabajar, trabajar y trabajar. pic.twitter.com/uBcVFLqEOk— Álvaro Morata (@AlvaroMorata) January 3, 2018Asked about Morata’s misses, Conte said: “He is not lucky in this period. He has to continue to work and improve. It’s a pity because he had many chances to score but, at the same time, I’m very happy for his effort and commitment.”We must be disappointed, me and the players. We had a good chance to win because we deserved to win. “But this is football and we must accept the final result and continue to work really hard to try to score more.”My disappointment is the same as my players. We win together, we draw together, we lose together. I repeat, it’s a pity because we deserved to win the game.”The draw means Chelsea stay third in the table, a point behind second-placed Manchester United and 16 adrift of leaders Manchester City. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

Big 12, Bowlsby Have Solid Beef But No One Else to Blame

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. Following the announcement of the four teams included in this year’s college football playoff, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby made his feelings known.“Obviously I acknowledge the difficulty of the task, but I’m not sure what I advise my members right now, because we’ve been telling them that nonconference schedules matter, and one of the four has an exceedingly weak nonconference schedule,”Washington, which has the 127th-strongest non-conference schedule, is in after one loss to No. 9 USC and a Pac-12 title game in which it blew out a top-10 Colorado team.From day one, one of the strongest sermons coming from the committee and ESPN headquarters in Bristol was that teams needed to schedule better in the non conference. The Baylors of this world would not be able to run through cupcakes as they geared up for conference play and expect to get credit for it.But this year we saw Oklahoma fall victim to their strong scheduling which kept them out. If Houston was the team they thought they were scheduling,  and OU wins, the Sooners are probably No. 4.Should Oklahoma be in? No. They have two losses. As does Penn State. I don’t have a problem with either being left out. You have to win to get in. But Bowlsby’s point is taken. The Big 12 commissioner alluded to No. 3 Ohio State making it in despite not winning their division or even playing the Big 10 championship game.“And we’ve been telling them the 13th data point matters, and we added a conference championship game because of that. We’ve always heard that conference championships matter and division championships matter, and now it’s confusing.”Oh, the infamous 13th data point. Bowlsby may have something here.The lack of a conference title game to give teams that elusive baker’s dozen was the reported culprit two years ago when TCU miraculously fell No. 3 to No. 6 following a win to make room for eventual national champion, Ohio State.After the Big 12, again in reactive-mode, decided to put a title-game hat on a one-division conference, they find themselves left in a lurch and two steps behind and now with ill-fitting headwear.Now the yearly schedule will be a guessing-game to try and decide which 2-3 teams will be the best and keep them away from each other in November, so as to not to further cannibalize the league and its chances to get a team in.The blame doesn’t fall on the college football committee, or ESPN, or Kirk Herbstreit. The blame falls on the Big 12 who has been one giant knee-jerk reaction for the majority of its existence. The blame falls on us for trying to hold an entity that governs itself to rules that it makes up as it goes.These questions should be asked, but the Big 12 and Bob Bowlsby shouldn’t expect an answer that does anything more than pacify their grief. The Big 12 is on the outside. Outside of the playoff and outside of the pack in terms of national perception. There’s not a quick fix for that either. The Big 12 has tried too many of those anyway.last_img read more