Saturday, 9 July 2016
Friday, 18 December 2015
Louis van Gaal: Manchester United can recall striker James Wilson from Brighton loan
Wayne Rooney had scored just two Premier League goals prior to missing the last three matches in all competitions with a hamstring injury, while summer signing Anthony Martial has not found the net in league football since his brace against Southampton back in September. Memphis Depay is also yet to find any real consistency in the final third since joining from PSV Eindhoven in June, leaving Juan Mata as their leading top-flight goalscorer with just four.
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Disappointment at United's lack of attacking prowess has been further exacerbated by Wilson's promising start on the south coast and Javier Hernandez's stellar record of 10 strikes in just 11 Bundesliga outings following his move to Bayer Leverkusen. But while that transfer was permanent, Van Gaal can still opt to cut short the former's loan deal if he feels it would be beneficial to the team.
"We have sent him [Wilson] to Brighton because he needs match rhythm and he has to show his qualities," he was quoted as saying by The Mirror at a press conference held prior to the visit of Norwich on 19 December. "We have extended his contract because of his qualities and we believe in him. If we are in trouble we can recall him."
United's rare sequence of four goalless draws already this season has led to inevitable suggestions that Van Gaal will need to return to the transfer market in January 2016 despite spending approximately £108m ($161m) on new players during the previous window. While the Dutchman has not ruled out that possibility, he is only too aware of the difficulties associated with trying to sign in-form strikers during the season.
He added: "Goals are the most important thing, we have to always look for solutions to make goals. We are doing that but we have to look for the solutions in our selection, that's important. Maybe we have solutions elsewhere but that's more difficult, because in January clubs shall not let go of players who score."
Thursday, 24 July 2014
This is the incredible moment Maccabi Haifa’s pre-season friendly against Lille was brought to a halt when protesters stormed the pitch – and started attacking players.
Lille were winning the match 2-0 in the 86th minute when pro-Palestinian protesters rushed onto the pitch and began punching and kicking members of the Maccabi squad.
Aleksander Stanojevic, the team’s manager, fought off a few of the mob but ended up getting punched in the face in the dugout.
Security battled to remove the protesters while many Maccabi players rushed down the tunnel to the safety of their dressing room.
The match was played in Austria as Uefa forbid Israel from hosting matches last month because of the unrest in the country.
Lionel Messi was allegedly interested in a shock transfer to Arsenal before he signed a new contract with Barcelona just two months ago.
The Argentine superstar eventually penned his extension with Barca in May having previously rejected fresh terms, following a row over bonus payments.
And Spanish newspaper Vozpopuli, who broke the news of Arsenal’s deal for Alexis Sanchez, says Messi was seriously considering a switch to the Emirates before sorting out an arrangement to stay at the Nou Camp.
The paper claims that Messi had spoken to close friend Cesc Fabregas about his time at Arsenal, and also sounded out other acquaintances about a switch to London.
He had apparently already instructed his agent to discuss with the Gunners whether a transfer could realistically take place, before Barca quickly moved to sort out his future.
Messi had an opportunity to move to Arsenal before joining Barcelona’s academy as a kid, and he is said to be a huge admirer of Arsene Wenger and his methods.
Monday, 7 July 2014
Brazil’s man of the peopleLook at him, our very own Mother Teresa of Calcutta. If he decided to run for the senate tomorrow, he’d get elected.”
|World Cup Brazil|
David Luiz can do no wrong at the moment, as those words, uttered by a member of the Brazil team’s delegation, confirm. No sooner had he completed his barnstorming performance in Brazil’s quarter-final defeat of Colombia at the Arena Castelao last Friday, during which he ran more than eight kilometres, than the centre-half sportingly asked the stadium to rise and applaud Cafetero playmaker James Rodriguez.
After then playing his part in ensuring that one of the match balls found its way into the Brazil dressing room so that it could be autographed by the players, he continued his post-match tour de force, making his way to the mixed zone, where he gave no fewer than eight straight interviews, two of them in English, attending to each interviewer’s needs with perfect good grace.
In between times, still wearing his sweat-drenched kit, he shared smiles and congratulatory pats on the back with volunteers, security guards and anyone else who just happened to be in the area. Unmistakably one of the faces of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™, the convivial David also found time for a chat with FIFA, during which he once again showed his common touch and selflessness.
“If there’s something I’ve always dreamed about and which I’ve always tried to show people, it’s that we’re all the same in this life, that everyone deserves respect and that we’re all equal,” he began by saying, revealing sentiments that would not be out of place in a Nobel Peace Prize winner’s acceptance speech.
It is clear just from watching him speak that the centre-half means what he says. Confirmation of his inner qualities came, if it were needed, from one of his appreciative team-mates. “He’s just the best,” said Hulk, in conversation with FIFA.com. “He’s very caring and very attentive, no matter who he’s with. It’s not every day that you come across someone like him.
“The whole world knows what he has to offer on the pitch – and to my mind, he and Thiago (Silva) are the best central-defensive partnership in the world – but as his team-mates, we also know what a great person he is too.”
A rallying cry
And that is where Brazil can consider themselves fortunate. Not only is David Luiz a great person to have around, he also happens to be one of the finest centre-halves on the planet and one of the outstanding performers at this World Cup.
David’s contribution at the other end of the pitch has also been considerable, the centre-back scoring two of his side’s three goals in the knockout rounds, including the stunning free-kick that sank the Colombians in the last eight and helped him earn the Budweiser Man of the Match award.
“It was great to see,” continued the admiring Hulk. “Obviously we all celebrated the goal as a team but we were delighted to see a guy like David scoring again. He really let himself go in his celebration too, which fired us all up.”
David Luiz is not just firing up the team, but the whole country. He will be doing that again on a formal basis in Tuesday’s semi-final against Germany when, in the absence of the injured Neymar and the suspended Thiago, he will don the captain’s armband, not that he needs to wear anything to be a leader of men.
“This team is very easy to handle because everyone’s very down to earth. It won’t be a tough job at all,” David commented, though there is definitely a case for saying that both the team and the country are more than willing to follow the example set by the inspirational defender.
There can be no other explanation for the collective release of emotion triggered by his euphoric celebration of that goal against the Colombians, a celebration that began with a scream of delight and continued with a frantic sprint towards the fans, complete with a flying kick aimed at the corner flag.
Those scenes reflected David’s ability to gauge the mood and set the tone in every situation, qualities that have led to him becoming Brazil’s undisputed man of the people.
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