Friday, 25 July 2014 22:05 Be the first to comment!

Manchester United are imbalanced, says Louis van Gaal

Despite thrashing LA Galaxy 7-0 Louis van Gaal has said that his Manchester United team lacks the right balance that is needed to conquer the Premier League.
Van Gaal's comments come a day after the club's vice chairman Ed Woodward said there is no budget and the management would be willing to splurge cash in their conquest of the league this season.
The Dutch manager said the team had four players in the number 10 role, which lends imbalance to the side.
Wayne Rooney, Juan Mata and Shinji Kagawa want are most comfortable playing in the positions of a number 10.
During the World Cup, van Gaal deployed a 3-5-2 formation while he has made use of the 4-3-3 in training and in the first pre-season match of their US tour.
He has already made two acquisitions in the form of Anders Hererra and Luke Shaw and there could be more arrivals especially to strengthen the midfield this summer.
Hence it would be interesting to see how the master tactician can fit in all the big names in his chosen formation.
Van Gaal is known to be a hard task master and he will make sure all the players adapt to his preferred formation without any complaints.
Monday, 16 June 2014 13:40 Be the first to comment!

2014 FIFA World Cup: USA vs Ghana Match Preview


Monday, June 16, 2014

USA v Ghana

Estadio das Dunas, Natal


The “Group of Death” kicks off today with Group G game between USA and Ghana at Estadio das Dunas in Natal.


USA team represents the beginning of a new era this time. It is difficult a USA World Cup team without Landon Donovan.  But German coach Jurgen Klinsmann has decided to leave out 157 USA caps out in the form of Donovan. He however, chose to stick with other players of Landon’s generation like Tim Howard, DaMarcus Beasley and captain Clint Dempsey.


Ghana have beaten USA in the last two World Cup finals. They won 2-1 in Germany in 2006 and repeated the exact same feat four years later in South Africa in 2010. It was heart-breaking to see the Africans bow out in 2010 in the Round of 16 against Uruguay. Kevin Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah and John Mensah were all part of the side.


This is surely the “group of death” as the other two teams in this group are Germany and Portugal. Hence this is a must win match for both teams. It looks difficult for either of them to make it to the next round but this is World Cup football and the impossible does not exist.


Ghana (Possible, 4-2-3-1) Kwarasey; Afful, Boye, Mensah, Muntari; A Ayew, Boateng, Asamoah; Essien, J Ayew; Gyan.


United States (Possible, 4-3-1-2) Howard; Johnson, Besler, Cameron, Beasley; Beckerman, Bradley, Jones; Bedoya; Dempsey, Altidore.


Referee: Jonas Eriksson (Sweden).



Ghana to beat USA 2-1

Monday, 16 June 2014 12:36 Be the first to comment!

2014 FIFA World Cup: Germany vs Portugal Match Preview

Monday, June 16, 2014
Germany v Portugal
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
Yet another cracking game is in the offing at the World Cup today. In Group G Germany takes on Portugal at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador. With USA and Ghana, the other two teams in the group, this match becomes all the more crucial.
Finally the best player on the planet takes to the field today. After much speculation about his fitness, Cristiano Ronaldo has assured anxious Portugal and world football fans that he is fit and raring to go.
So far, all the big names have fired at this edition, from Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben, Alexis Sanchez, Neymar to Lionel Messi last night. There is no denying, the Portuguese talisman will want to stamp his authority on this tournament.
Germany will have Manuel Neuer in goal after he passed a late fitness test. Even Bastian Schweinsteiger, who made a dash to a local hospital by taking a helicopter, will be available.
Germany will start this match as favorites. Like most German teams, they too are a well-oiled machine and exhibit ruthless efficiency. They have won all their opening World Cup games since 1990.
German squad is brimming with talent and they would look at Ozil, Muller and others during different situations in the match. For Portugal, it is about one man, in an otherwise average squad.
This is Germnay’s 100th game in the World Cup. Their striker, Miroslav Klose is just one goal away from matching Ronaldo’s (Brazil) record of 15 World Cup final goals.
Germany (Possible, 4-2-3-1): Neuer; Boateng, Hummels, Mertesacker, Hoewedes; Khedira, Lahm; Kroos, Özil, Podolski; Müller.
Portugal (Possible, 4-3-3): Patricio; Pereira, Pepe, Alves, Coentrao; Veloso, Moutinho, Meireles; Ronaldo, Almeida, Varela.
Germany to beat Portugal 2-1
Sunday, 15 June 2014 21:29 Be the first to comment!

2014 FIFA World Cup: Argentina v Bosnia & Herzegovina Preview

Sunday, June 15, 2014
Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina
Estadio do Maracana, Rio de Janeiro
The iconic Maracana will witness this match between hot favorites Argentina and World Cup debutants Bosnia. The Argentinians are not only favorites to win this match but also are on one of the teams that look food on paper to make it to the semis.
Of course, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi. It has been said of him that he plays better for club than country. Though it is actually the defense they must worry about. With Higuain, Aguero and Messi up front, they will have no problems scoring a lot of goals.
Bosnia will retain a tight shape and won’t play expansive football. They will looks to keep things tight at the back with Ermin Bicakcic or Toni Sunjic partnering Emir Spahic. They will look to hit the weak Argentinian defense with Man City’s Edin Dzeko.
Bosnia scored at will during the qualifiers with 30 goals. Other teams in this group are Nigeria and Iran, which means the two teams today will be favorites to progress through the next round.
Argentina (Possible, 4-3-3): Romero; Zabaleta, Fernandez, Garay, Rojo; Gago, Mascherano, Di Maria; Messi, Higuain, Aguero.
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Possible, 4-4-2): Begovic; Mujdza, Spahic, Bicakcic, Kolasinac; Hajrovic, Besic, Pjanic, Misimovic; Lulic, Dzeko.
Referee: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador).
Argentia 2- 1Bosnia
Sunday, 15 June 2014 19:26 Be the first to comment!

2014 FIFA World Cup: France v Honduras Preview

The campaign has been marred by injuries for Frace. They lost their key man Frack Ribery, which is a huge blow for Les Blues. They haven’t got Samir Nasri to Brazil and now have a few problems in the midfield. Paul Pogba will have to shoulder much of the responsibility in the absence of experienced players.
Honduras will be looking to enjoy their big day out and play fearlessly as Costa Rica did against Uruguay. Their forward, Carlos Costly came back into training after an injury scare. Los Catrachos will be looking to him and Jerry Bengtson to do the business up front.
Expected line-up of the two teams:
France (Possible,4-3-2-1): Lloris; Sagna, Koscielny, Sakho, Evra; Pogba, Cabaye, Matuidi; Valbuena, Griezmann; Benzema. 
Honduras (Possible, 4-4-2): Valladares; Beckeles, Bernandez, Figueroa, Izaguirre; Najar, Garrido, Palacios, Espinoza; Bengtson, Costly.
Referee: Sandro Ricci (Brazil).
Off late France have struggled in World Cups. Honduras are a very physical side and with the absence of Ribery, they could be a tough prospect for Didier Deschamps men.
France 1 – 1 Honduras
Thursday, 12 June 2014 17:50 Be the first to comment!

Danny Welbeck Fit For England’s Opener Against Italy

Manchester United forward Danny Welbeck has been declared fit for the opening game of the “Three Lions” against Italy. The match is scheduled to take place on Saturday. This news way conveyed by his club and country teammate, Wayne Rooney.
Doubts were raised over Welbeck’s availability for the crucial game against the Azzurri as he picked up an injury to his thigh in training, which led him to miss the training session.
On speaking to reporters, Wayne Rooney said:
"He will be fine."
Raheem Sterling of Liverpool is the frontrunner to replace the 23-yearl old if he did end up missing the match. Sterling, who has impressed during England training sessions, was being seriously being considered to start against Italy.
On Raheem Stering, England boss Roy Hodgson has this to say:
"Raheem Sterling is very much in the group of players I'm considering. If I select him, it won't, in my opinion, be a risk. If I don't select him, it certainly won't be because he has only played 39 minutes. It will be because I prefer someone else."
Both Welbeck and Sterling offer England much needed pace up-front. But the Manchester United striker has an edge mainly because of his defensive capabilities.
Against Italy, Welbeck may be used by England to man-mark Andrea Pirlo, and as he has shown for Manchester United, the 23-year old will perform this duty diligently.
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 12:59 Be the first to comment!

Frank Lampard Could New York City FC’s Second Signing


After announcement of his Chelsea exit, it appears as though Frank Lampard will be New York City FC’s second signing after David Villa. The England international left Chelsea after 13 seasons where we won all the trophies on offer in European football.


The 35-year old is currently in Miami with the England world cup squad and is a target for the newest club in Major League Soccer. He will mostly likely retire from international duty post the world cup in Brazil.


New York City FC are co-owned by English champions Manchester City and Major League Baseball franchise New York Yankees and are keen to secure the services of the mid-fielder.


Speaking on the latest developments, Frank Lampard said:


"The American thing is an option. I'm looking at different options but I want to carry on playing. I'd like to get it sorted soon, not in World Cup time, but after that. I'm not sure it's possible to do now. I can go into the World Cup with a clear head. I can handle it. It's a weight off my shoulders to a certain extent. I'm concentrating on training well, playing well and getting an opportunity on Wednesday and maybe Saturday against Honduras. I'm a big enough boy to get on and concentrate fully on this World Cup with England."


Lampard left Chelsea as the highest ever goal scorer in the history of the club. He has cemented his place as a legend at Stamford Bridge. He released a statement last week to thank the club, owners, players and the fans for their contribution to his success at Chelsea.


He also mentioned the fact it was difficult to say goodbye to the Blues but went on to say the decision to move on was a mutual one. Winning the UEFA Champions League in Munich in 2012 is the best moment in his career at Stamford Bridge, Lampard admitted.




Monday, 02 June 2014 10:26 Be the first to comment!

Italy Announce World Cup 2014 Squad


Italy have announced their 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and decided to leave out Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi as he continues to recover from a knee injury.


The 27-yearl-old participated in 71 minutes during Italy’s 0-0 draw against the Republic of Ireland but didn’t do much. Antonio Cassano, who score 12 goals fir Parma in the 2013-14 season has been included in the squad.


Other striker in Cesare Prandelli’s side is AC Milan’s Mario Balotelli. Italy are in the dreaded Group B with England, Uruguay and Costa Rica. Riccardo Montolivo will not be on the plane to Brazil as he broke his leg during the Ireland match.


Mattia Destro, Romulo, Manuel Pasqual and Christian Maggio were unlucky to miss out in list. Defender Andrea Ranocchia is part of the squad as a replacement for Andrea Barzagli, who has had injury issues through the season.


Before suffering injury in January, Rossi had scored 14 goals in 17 matches in the Serie A, which kept him out for almost four moths after which he hasn’t played a full match since.


Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Salvatore Sirigu (Paris St Germain), Mattia Perin (Genoa).


Defenders: Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorigo Chiellini (all Juventus), Gabriel Paletta (Parma), Ignazio Abate, Mattia De Sciglio (both AC Milan), Matteo Darmian (Torino).


Midfielders: Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio (both Juventus), Thiago Motta, Marco Verratti (both Paris St Germain), Daniele De Rossi (AS Roma), Antonio Candreva (Lazio), Marco Parolo (Parma), Alberto Aquilani (Fiorentina).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan), Antonio Cassano (Parma), Alessio Cerci (Torino), Ciro Immobile (Torino), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli).

Monday, 02 June 2014 10:24 Be the first to comment!

David Moyes Feels He Needed More Time at United


Manchester United’s former manager has told the Sunday Post that his exit from Old Trafford was unfortunate and he wasn’t given the required time to prove himself at the club. However, he also revealed that the brief period has helped him to learn a lot and he is now considering new offers.


David Moyessaid in an interview:


"I believe I'll be a much wiser and more knowledgeable coach and manager from the short time I had at Old Trafford. I believe I had nothing but support from Sir Alex during my short period as manager. It was unfortunate I wasn't given more time to succeed. It could well be that gone are the days of long-term planning at United. I may still choose to have a break and enjoy watching and observing football throughout the world."


After having taken over from Sir Alex Ferguson, Moyes managed just 10 months at United. Despite having been handed a 6-year contract, the club decided to sack him before the season ended.


United not only finished seventh in the league, they also lost out of all European competitions for the first time in 25 years. Moyes said players like Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher got in touch with him after his exit with messaged of support.


After having managed a successful Everton side for 11 years, Sir Alex got in touch with Moyes with an offer to replace him. However, things did not go as per plan and eventually Ferguson was also unhappy with the performance of the United manager.


Post his departure from United, Moyes has been relaxing with pictures surfacing of him playing golf. Unfortunately he was also involved in a pub brawl recently. The Old Trafford club have now replaced the successor to Moyes in Dutch football’s legendary figure –Louis van Gaal.

Monday, 02 June 2014 10:22 Be the first to comment!

David Villa Leaves Atletico Madrid After Just One Season

Record goal scorer David Villa has announced that he is leaving La Liga winners Atletico Madrid after representing the club for just one season. The former Barcelona striker is also part of the 23-man Spain squad going to the World Cup in Brazil.
As per reporting circulating in the media in Spain, Villa is said to be heading to the ambitious New York City FC, a joint venture of Manchester City and New York Yankees in Major League Soccer.
Commenting on the offer his has received from an unnamed club, David Villa said:
"It is an irresistible project for me and my family. It is very, very good. It is about football and I have to accept it."
During his brief stint in Madrid, Villa scored 13 goals to help Atletico win their first La Liga title since 1996 and also made it to the Champions Leaugue final is a dreams season.
David Villa said:
"It has been a great project for me both personally as well as sporting and now I face a new challenge which is what I have always looked to do in my career and my life. I would like to thank the people at Atletico and those that tried to convince me to stay, like coach Diego Simeone and the rest of the coaching staff."
He joined Madrid from Barcelona on a free transfer, a place where he spent three successful seasons. He joined Barca fro Valencia in 2010 for £34m. Villa has won almost every trophy in world football and has amassed 94 caps for his country.
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