RelatedPosts Man U complete £40m Van de Beek deal PSG ponder Ighalo move Ndidi linked with Man U move Newcastle vs. Man U Venue:St. James’ Park Kick off: 4:30PMNewcastle United and Manchester United meet in the Premier League this afternoon with both teams in serious need of a confidence boost. Steve Bruce’s side are without a win since August and were thrashed 5-0 by Leicester City last time out, while United have only managed two wins from their last 12 league games. In a way, the contemporary tales of Newcastle and United mirror each other quite nicely: a maligned owner, a failing transfer policy, an inept squad, no clear style of play, and no prospect of the club reaching a solution to these problems any time soon. While Ashley has often been accused of trying to play too much of a shaping role at Newcastle, the owning Glazer family at Old Trafford can be seen as doing the opposite – taking an interest in share prices whilst leaving the actual management of the club to a directorship spearheaded by Ed Woodward, whose success in the marketing side of affairs has been overshadowed by a total failure in planning a coherent footballing strategy. As United head to St James’ Park, there is a growing consensus among its supporters that the side’s toothless, idle performances this season are a consequence of not just tactics but indeed emblematic of a wider rotten culture at the Theatre of Dreams which feels technocratic, faceless, concerned only with short-term results as opposed to long-term potential. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, appointed back in March amid a wave of optimism, therefore has the seemingly impossible task of building a team for the future at a club whose management structure does not appear to look further than the next annual investors conference, but the 46-year-old is nonetheless doing what he can. The arrivals of Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, combined with the Norwegian’s championing of academy products such as Axel Tuanzebe, Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Brandon Williams, demonstrates that Solskjaer does at least want to build a squad which can grow as a collective over several years. However, Solskjaer’s current reliance on a mixture of youngsters and expensive signings who are past their best has culminated in an almost total ossification going forward, with United’s 4-0 win over Chelsea serving as the only time in 13 outings that they scored more than one goal in a game, casting serious questions over the club’s decision to dispense with and fail to replace attacking duo Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez over the summer. Perhaps more concerning for United is that, having won all of Solskjaer’s first nine away outings after Jose Mourinho was removed, the Red Devils are without a victory on the road in 10 games across all competitions, with that 3-1 win in Paris serving as the club’s last success away from home, underscoring the notion that these players are suffering on both a technical and mental level. While United’s tactical problems – not to mention the supervenient structural malaise infecting the club’s very identity – are not likely to be solved any time soon, a victory at St James’ Park would at least restore some psychological belief ahead of a testing series of fixtures following the international break. Newcastle United possible XI: Dubravka, Dummett, Schar, Lascelles, Yedlin, Longstaff, Shelvey, Almiron, Atsu, Muto, Joelinton. Manchester United possible XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Maguire, Lindelof, Young, McTominay, Matic, Pereira, Mata, James, Rashford.Tags: Ed WoodwardManchester United FCNewscastle UnitedOle Gunnar Solskjaer
RelatedPosts UEFA president Ceferin said leagues ready to play behind closed doors Ireland appoints new manager Coronavirus: Premier League extends suspension Defender Matthias Ginter scored one goal and was involved in two more as Germany comfortably saw off Belarus 4-0 on Saturday. The victory ensured that Germany clinched their place at Euro 2020, qualifying for the finals for a record 13th time in a row. The inspired Ginter broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with a clever backheel, provided a dummy which allowed Leon Goreztka to score the second and the pass for Toni Kroos to add the third. Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer saved a penalty from Igor Stasevich in the 75th minute. And Kroos added a fourth goal to complete his first national team brace since the 7-1 World Cup semi-final win over Brazil in 2014. Group C leaders Germany were given a helping hand by arch-rivals the Netherlands who held Northern Ireland 0-0 away to ensure the Dutch and Germans qualified with one match to spare. Germany have 18 points – from six draws and one defeat – while the Dutch have 16 and Northern Ireland 14. Belarus have four points but could still qualify as they have reached the playoffs of the Nations League which offers four more places. As expected, Germany quickly took control although their early attacks were somewhat predictable. They were given a fright when Stasevich’s dipping long-range shot forced Neuer into a difficult save and they went ahead shortly afterwards. Serge Gnabry wriggled past his marker and fired a low ball across the face of goal which was flicked in by Ginter for his first Germany goal on his 29th appearance. Germany increased their lead four minutes after halftime when Kroos sent a low corner to the edge of the area, Ginter dummied and Goretzka fired home. Six minutes later, Ginter’s pass found Kroos on the edge of the area and he swept the ball home with a trademark first-time shot. Belarus were awarded a penalty when Robin Koch tripped Pavel Nekhaychik but Neuer dived to his right to save Stasevich’s spot-kick. Kroos rubbed it in when he collected the ball in the area, spun past his mark, evaded another and fired a low shot past Aleksandr Gutor to complete the rout. Reuters/NAN.Tags: Euro 2020Matthias Ginter
RelatedPosts EPL: Saints tackle Mourinho’s Spurs EPL: Crystal Palace stun sloppy Man U EPL: Red Devils attack Palace Southampton have confirmed their loan capture of Kyle Walker-Peters from Tottenham Hotspur. Crystal Palace and West Ham were also in the race for his signature, but Southampton have beaten off the competition. The loan deal will last until the end of the season, and does not include an option or obligation to buy. Originally Spurs wanted Southampton to sign the 22-year-old on a permanent deal for £12 million, and then loan talks included an option to buy for that price. Now it has turned into a simple loan deal. Walker-Peters has made 24 appearances for the Tottenham first team, scoring one goal and providing five assists. He is a more regular fixture in the Under-23 squad, and has made a number of appearances for England at youth level. On the club website, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “I am very pleased to have Kyle with us for the rest of the season. He is a talented young player, with good defensive and attacking qualities. “It was clear this month that we could use additional support in the full-back positions, and Kyle was exactly the profile of player I was hoping we could bring in. “He will be a good addition to our squad, and we are pleased that he has chosen to join us ahead of a number of other clubs who were interested in signing him.” Walker-Peters said: “On a personal note I’m just grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given by the manager and the club. “I come here looking to help the club improve and improve myself. I just want to win as many games as possible and enjoy playing football. “I had a chat with the manager and he assured me I was the type of player he liked and I got that feeling from watching Southampton that I could fit in well.”Tags: Crystal PalaceKyle Walkers-PetersSouthamptonTottemhan Hotspur
RelatedPosts Nigeria dying under Buhari’s jackboot, by Tunde Odesola Edo poll: APC supporters commend Buhari for providing level playing field Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghana’s President President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed retired Nigerian professional footballer and former Super Eagles player and Assistant Coach, Daniel Amokachi, Nigeria’s Football Ambassador. The appointment was announced via a statement on Tuesday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu. Amokachi, a member of the 1994 Super Eagles Team that won the African Nations Cup in Tunisia, was also in the Nigerian Olympic Football Team to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics that won the Gold Medal. In addition to his football exploits in Europe, particularly in England where he won the FA Cup with Everton in 1995, Amokachi after retirement has managed Nasarawa United and Enyimba Football Club of Aba. As Nigeria’s Football Ambassador – a largely ceremonial role – Amokachi, the statement said, will assist the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development to scout for talents, be part of processes to revive the country’s football development, as well as mentor young sports men and women.Tags: Daniel AmokachiEnyimba FC of AbaGarba ShehuMuhammadu BuhariNasarawa UnitedolympicsSuper Eagles
The United veteran has been struggling with the problem and sat out the midweek trip to Real Madrid. And Ferguson revealed Scholes will not be available for Monday’s FA Cup tie with Reading. “It is a knee injury, which has been bothering him a bit,” said Ferguson. “We have tried another treatment during the week. He will probably be back in another couple of weeks.” Ferguson confirmed his squad had come through their midweek exertions without a problem, but that there would be changes to his starting line-up against Brian McDermott’s progressive team. “I will make some,” he said. “We want to get to the quarter-finals and we do expect to qualify.” Ferguson also had words of praise for David de Gea, who produced possibly his best performance for United in the 1-1 Bernabeu draw with a string of fine saves. “He is maturing,” said Ferguson. “Very few goalkeepers go into the first team at 20. Gianluigi Buffon and Petr Cech are two examples of those who did but it is not always the case. “Peter Schmeichel didn’t join us until he was 27, and he gave us eight great years.” Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson expects Paul Scholes to be missing for another fortnight with a knee injury. Press Association
Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen is to have surgery on a shoulder problem, manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed. Press Association The Wales international, on the bench for the Premier League match at home to Tottenham having started the 4-0 win at Wigan last week, needs an operation to fix an established injury. “We made a change with Joe Allen having been struggling since October with his shoulder and he’ll probably need an operation,” Reds boss Rodgers told Sky Sports.
Discussions between the opposing associations over a new date began soon after, with Russia hoping to play four days after their June 7 assignment in Portugal. Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill made his dissatisfaction with that plain as his British-based players would have been well into their off-season. Reports that Russia had won the argument circulated earlier this week, but the IFA rejected those and has announced the new, FIFA-ratified arrangements. The game will now be held three days before the start of the Premier League campaign, while the Football League and Scottish Premier League are due to begin on August 3. An IFA statement read: The Irish FA can confirm that the postponed World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Russia will be played at Windsor Park, Belfast on 14 August 2013; kick-off time to be confirmed. “A delegation from the Irish FA consisting of the President, Jim Shaw and the Chief Executive, Patrick Nelson, met this week with their counterparts from the Football Union of Russia and FIFA to agree the new date.” The new date represents something of a victory for the Irish Football Association, whose side are winless on the pitch, as Russia had pushed for June 11. The original fixture fell foul of heavy snow and ice at Windsor Park last month and attempts to stage the fixture the following day also proved unsuccessful. Northern Ireland’s postponed World Cup qualifier against Russia has been rearranged for August 14. Press Association
Press Association Tottenham forward Gareth Bale has been voted the 2013 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association. The Spurs talisman will receive the prestigious FWA accolade, which has been running since 1948, at a gala dinner at the Lancaster London Hotel on May 9. Bale was last week also named Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association. Chelsea’s Juan Mata was third in the journalists’ poll, with Bale taking first place with 53 per cent of the votes ahead of Van Persie. There were also a wide range of votes for the likes of Everton defender Leighton Baines, Pablo Zabaleta of Manchester City, Swansea forward Michu, Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick and Southampton frontman Rickie Lambert. Bale becomes Spurs’ first winner of the FWA award since David Ginola in 1999, and the first Wales international to be selected for English football’s oldest individual trophy since Everton’s Neville Southall in 1985. The former Southampton man said: “It is a huge honour to receive the Footballer of the Year award from the Football Writers’ Association. “It means a lot to win this award when you consider the number of players that have been outstanding for their clubs in the Barclays Premier League this season.” The Wales international, 23, topped the poll of journalists ahead of Manchester United forward Robin van Persie, who was last year’s recipient when at Arsenal. Bale’s 24 goals in all competitions helped take Andre Villas-Boas’ men into the quarter-finals of the Europa League and kept them in the race to secure a return to the Champions League via a top-four finish in the Barclays Premier League.
The Tribesmen took up the attacking mantle in the early stages with Shane Walsh, Cathal Mulryan and Adrian Varley shooting them into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead by the 19th minute. Brian Hurley narrowed the gap with a couple of points, but three wonderful scores from Ian Burke ensured that the Connacht champions held onto a healthy lead throughout the first half. Galway won their second All-Ireland Under-21 football championship title in three years with a 1-14 to 1-11 victory over Cork at the Limerick Gaelic Grounds. Press Association As half-time approached, Dan MacEoin slotted over a couple of Cork scores. At the break, Galway led by 0-9 to 0-5, and in the 40th minute they struck for a goal, Damien Comer picking up Varley’s lay-off to blast the ball to the roof of the net. Cork hit back with a superb goal from Brian Hurley, who gave Thomas Healy no chance with an angled shot to the top corner of the net. They added points through Cathal Vaughan and Dan MacEoin to set up a gripping finish, but Galway had the character, the grit and the defensive nous to hold out for their fifth title at this level.
Wonderfully led home a one-two for Aidan O’Brien when making all in the Silver Flash Stakes at Leopardstown. Press Association O’Brien pointed towards the Debutante Stakes at the Curragh on August 11 for Wonderfully and said: “She is an improving filly, she’s lazy in front and that’s why she had the visor on. She’s very idle and Joseph wanted to put it on. It helps. “She stayed on well at Ascot. She’s a nice filly and would have no problem getting a mile as a three-year-old.” He said of Perhaps: “She is a nice filly, she’s still green looking and Seamie (Heffernan) said she was still very raw. “It was a good education stepping her up into a stakes race and we’re very happy with her. She’ll have no problem with a mile next year.” The O’Brien-trained Geoffrey Chaucer, a half-brother to Shamardal, was sent off the 2-7 favourite to make a winning start to his career in a three-runner Irish Stallion Farms EBF Maiden but, after dictating terms to suit himself, O’Brien jnr had to ask the son of Montjeu for maximum effort and he only repelled the late lunge of Tarfasha by a neck. The Ballydoyle handler completed a treble as Fairylike landed the “Hot House Flowers” Apprentice Handicap in the hands of the trainer’s daughter Ana. Jumped out quickly by Joseph O’Brien, the pack never really got to the 13-8 favourite, who had last been seen finishing seventh in the Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot which is working out extremely well. Sporting a visor for the first time, the daughter of Galileo had a length in hand over stablemate Perhaps, who came home strongly in the hands of Seamie Heffernan.