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English football wasnt having a good week until a ball was finally kicked in anger shortly past 8pm local time at Wembley on Fri

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English football wasnt having a good week until a ball was finally kicked in anger shortly past 8pm local time at Wembley on Friday night. Charles Barkley Jersey . With no club matches and a full weeks worth of newspapers to fill, the stories across the land were of the current state of the national team and whether or not a young kid called Adnan could one day play for them. It was, quite frankly, a frustrating week for the consumer. Sports fans demand quick resolutions. The great thing about sport is that it rarely goes away and it delivers strong, forthright messages straight to you, whether or not you want to receive them. Whether or not England need an FA commission, a teenager born in Belgium, or even Glenn Hoddle, to help them are questions the future will answer. On Friday what they needed the most were three points in a crucial World Cup qualifier against Montenegro in Group H. What coach Roy Hodgson needed the most was a victory that was easy on the eyes and a 4-1 win gave him just that. For now, there will be no more headlines from ex-internationals having their two cents on the problems for England, with the attention instead turning to Andros Townsend, Tottenhams winger who had a man of a match performance on his debut. Hodgsons decision to use the attack-minded Townsend and Danny Welbeck out wide, helping out Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge, appeared to be brave but, upon reflection, against a very average opponent, was a very sensible decision. The use of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in the middle, starting for a 55th time together for England, wasnt a sensible decision but, for once, that wasnt the story on this day. The two wingers worked well stretching the field in the opening half, and intelligently coming narrower as the game wore on to help full backs, Kyle Walker and, more often, Leighton Baines, provide overlaps in wide areas. Baines is not as composed defensively as the injured Ashley Cole but he is unquestionably superior in the final third, which is needed, particularly, against mediocre opposition. Townsend and Welbecks desire to cut in helped Rooney and Sturridge to find more space as the Montenegro defenders looked uncomfortable against what was often a front four. Townsend will be the toast of England after an excellent debut, which included a goal, and deserves all of the headlines that will come his way. It is quite unusual for an English player to be given his first cap in such an important match but this speaks to the value of the league he plays in. The English Premier League has been criticized on many platforms for now only being one third English and not helping the national team enough but Townsends performance at Wembley on Friday counters that point. The 22-year-old has started each of Tottenhams last six league games and, although he has been inconsistent, he has been very important for Andre Villas-Boas and his staff, often shining against clubs such as Arsenal and Chelsea. Townsends maturation process has been enhanced by the league, in which he plays in, being much stronger than many of the teams he will face while playing for England. On Friday he will have had butterflies at representing his country for the first time but once he settled in the game he probably realized he was playing a side that would struggle to beat the majority of the Premier League teams he faces regularly. Montenegro, of course, have some excellent footballers but missed a key quartet at Wembley, struggled at keeping the ball when they got it and tired badly in the second half. Townsend is far from the finished article, however, and this now becomes the next challenge for him and Hodgson. The English press have a reputation for building a player up and Saturdays newspapers will have a field day with the countrys newest hero. How he and the entire English camp react is very crucial, not just for him but for the culture they absolutely must set going forward. Athletes across the world are excelling at a high level younger than they ever have before. This very week in Pittsburgh I sat in the crowd watching a 22-year-old rookie pitcher get close to throwing a no-hitter in the biggest baseball game of his life with his team in a win or go home playoff game. The average age of quarterbacks in the NFL has never been younger and we now live in a world where an 18-year-old number one overall pick can go from the draft to playing in the National Hockey League in a matter of months. Experience has never been valued less by coaches but when their young phenoms excel it is up to them to temper expectations and, above all, continue to make them better. Nine years ago a 22-year-old right winger made his debut for England, scored a goal and was very impressive that night against Ukraine. Now Shaun-Wright Phillips is playing outside of the Premier League and will never play for his country again. Another example of a wasted talent, not nurtured at the club and international level properly. Many England players have gone down the same path, but in a world where youngsters are excelling more and more it is up to England to ensure Townsend, and the likes of Ross Barkley, Jack Wilshere and many others, do not do the same. Expectations with the national team have never been lower in England. Should they beat Poland on Tuesday and qualify for the 2014 World Cup, no one expects them to do any damage in Brazil, so while they continue to try and make small steps towards short term, achievable goals it is imperative they make large steps to help achieve long term, ambitious goals. Eric Gordon Rockets Jersey . Following the Ford Womens World Curling Championship gold medal match that attracted record-breaking audiences to TSN, the networks exclusive live coverage of the tournament begins Saturday at 7am et/4am pt with Canadas opening draw against Denmark. Charles Barkley Rockets Jersey . Chan captured two silver medals at last months Sochi Winter Games — mens singles and the inaugural team event. But he doesnt have the urge to resume training to defend his world title when the event is held in Saitama, Japan, later this month. http://www.therocketsofficial.com/Authentic-Chris-Paul-Rockets-Jersey/ .com) - Brad Stuart has yet to play a regular-season game for the Colorado Avalanche, but that didnt deter the club from signing the veteran defenseman to a two-year contract extension on Monday.PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Penguins are heading to the playoffs for an eighth straight year. Barring an epic collapse, a Metropolitan Division title is all but clinched. What happens after that, however, is anybodys guess. Dominant in the beginning but dismal at the end, the Penguins let a chance to clinch their second straight division crown slip away in a 4-1 loss to Carolina on Tuesday night that left Pittsburgh just 8-8-2 since returning from the Olympic break. Not exactly the kind of momentum a Stanley Cup contender wants to bring into the final days of the regular season. "If youre not 100 per cent, they can expose you and make you look pretty silly," Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik said. "Thats what happened here tonight." Carolina rookie Elias Lindholm scored twice for the first multi-goal game of his career, Eric Staal and Justin Faulk also scored while Jeff Skinner added two assists. Anton Khudobin stopped 30 shots as the Hurricanes avoided being swept in the season series by Pittsburgh for the first time in 18 years. "I thought we kept it simple and kind of slowly frustrated them as it went on and it was a win we needed," Staal said. Chris Kunitz scored his 35th goal to give Pittsburgh an early lead, but the Penguins crumbled over the final two periods. Sidney Crosby picked up an assist to push his NHL-leading point total to 100, but the Penguins appeared to lose interest after failing to bury the Hurricanes during a frenetic opening barrage in which they appeared ready to run Carolina out of the arena. "We all felt like the first 10 minutes we were carrying the play ... for whatever reason we got away from that," Crosby said. "Maybe we thought that came easy or we could get away with cheating. And it didnt work." No, it didnt. Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves, but received little help playing behind a sloppy defence. The Penguins turned it over 13 times, including a series of miscues the Hurricanes were only too happy to turn into goals. "I think we started mismanaging the puck and started having turnovers in the neutral zone," Pittsburgh coach Dan Bylsma said. The Penguins appeared to right the enigmatic final third of their seeason with a spirited 4-1 victory over Chicago on Sunday night. Gerald Green Jersey. Two days later, the sense of urgency evaporated when the Hurricanes -- who are about to miss the playoffs for the fifth straight year -- failed to roll over. Pittsburgh recorded 12 of the first 14 shots, including Kunitzs wrist shot from the left circle that Khudobin never saw. Crosby picked up the secondary assist to lift his point total to the century mark for the fifth time in his career, drawing a roar from the usual sellout crowd at Consol Energy Center. It had all the makings of a blowout. One developed, just not the one the Penguins were expecting. Carolina steadied itself late in the first, evening the game on a knuckling slap shot by Faulk that gave the Hurricanes the confidence boost they needed to get back in it. The Penguins malaise did the rest. "That goal from (Faulk) really evens it up and then we kind of just took a deep breath, got our legs going better and then I thought we just started moving better and playing a much smarter game," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. Lindholm put Carolina in front to stay 9:24 into the second with a power-play goal that included a pretty feed from Skinner, who threaded a pass between Pittsburgh defenceman Olli Maattas legs right to Lindholms stick. Fleury never had a chance. The goaltender was equally helpless five minutes later when a turnover by teammate Deryk Engelland handed Skinner and Lindholm a breakaway that Lindholm converted into the first multi-goal game of his brief career. Any late push by the Penguins ended when Staals tip-in eluded Fleury with just over 8 minutes left. Instead of skating off the ice with their fourth division title since Crosbys arrival in 2005, Pittsburgh trudged to the locker room wondering when the consistency that propelled them to the top of the Eastern Conference before the Olympic break will return. "Theres not much good to take out of it," Crosby said. "So weve just got to make sure we respond the next game." NOTES: Carolina played without F Alexander Semin, who was scratched due to an illness. ... The Hurricanes return home to face Dallas on Thursday. ... The Penguins fell to 45-8-4 this season when Crosby scores a point. ' ' '

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