Online video Rating: 5 / 5
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers appears to believe that he can get the best out of Italian international Mario Balotelli. Several managers have struggled and failed to get the best out of the 23-year-old. Balotelli is regarded as a supremely talented striker, but his focus has not been always from the game. Even Jose Mourinho, who is known for creating great players out of average individuals, conceded defeat in trying to get the best out of Balotelli by selling him to Manchester City for £ 25 million.
The former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini attempted different tactics in order to get the best out of the Italian striker, but even that did not pay off dividends. He has since returned to AC Milan and has shown good form in the last 18 months. After having scored more than a goal every other game, Rodgers has the reasons to be keen on the striker. Liverpool recently sold Fabio Borini to Sunderland for around £ 14 million. This has left him with just Ricki Lambert and Daniel Sturridge as the options up front. Last season, Liverpool had three strikers capable of doing the job. Considering that the team will be competing in the Champions League, an additional striker is a necessity rather than a luxury.
“Balotelli is a big talent. I saw that in his time at Inter Milan as a young player and obviously going to Manchester City when we had a real close eye on him there. He’s got all the qualities. He’s 6ft 3ins, he’s quick, his touch is terrific and he can score goals. He went back to Italy to play and he’s still so young. If his focus is right, his concentration is right and he leads the lifestyle of a top player then he can play for any team in the world,” said Rodgers.
Video clip Score: / 5
Video Rating: 4 / 5
New Manchester United signing Ander Herrera says that Louis van Gaal is one of the best coaches around and that it would be a pleasure to play for him. Ander Herrera was one of the high profile transfer mistakes committed by United last season. Keen to rectify their error, they have went out and brought to the 24-year-old to Old Trafford this summer. United wasted no time in concluding the deal after activating his release clause of £ 28 million. After losing out on Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos, Herrera will be the player to strengthen the midfield of United.
Louis van Gaal is thought to have a major say in his signing after the Dutchman was appointed as the new manager of the club a few weeks ago. He is yet to take charge of the club, as he is involved with the national team at the World Cup 2014. Herrera has agreed a four-year contract, while United will have the option to extend it by an additional year depending upon his performances. United’s midfield was heavily criticised last season, as they failed to invigorate the team like they had done in the past. They are expected to be significantly improved following the arrival of Herrera.
The midfielder will be joining along with the likes of David de Gea and Juan Mata as the Spaniards who had played for United.
“Louis van Gaal is one of the best managers in the world. I want to learn a lot of things and I can’t wait to play for Manchester United,” said the midfielder told the club’s in-house television channel. Herrera is expected to be the first of several new signings made by the club in the next few weeks. They are closing in on a deal to secure Luke Shaw from Southampton.
Manchester United did not see the best of Robin van Persie last season. In the previous campaign, he was a major reason towards the club winning the league title. It was a stop and start season for van Persie, while there were even claims that he did not enjoy playing under David Moyes. The Dutch striker, though, has confirmed that he struggled with the injury problems last season and it was the reason behind his poor form. This does not come as a major surprise since van Persie used to be an injury prone player a few years ago.
However, his best run of form also coincided with a period where he suffered almost no injuries. The striker played in 95 consecutive Premier league matches. He says that after having enjoyed this spectacular run, the number of hamstring and muscular injuries that he suffered last season proved to be very depressing indeed. Van Persie is once again expected to be back fit and ready for the upcoming campaign. Further, he will also play for Louis van Gaal, who is his favourite manager. There have also been suggestions that the 30-year-old could be made as the new Manchester United captain.
Van Persie is currently with the Dutch national team at the World Cup 2014.
“I’ve been playing in pain for the last five or six years; every single game. I can’t really think of one game where I didn’t have a niggle or pain somewhere. I’m used to that. I know, together with the team and with the medical staff, how to deal with that. I’m the one who looks at that and manages it,” said the striker. It seems that his injury problems have not been fully put behind after he was taken off in the 2-0 win over Wales.
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has claimed that he wants to be the new captain of Manchester United. After the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, Rooney is one of the senior players at the club has been playing for them for a long time. The appointment of Louis van Gaal appeared to make Robin van Persie the number one striker at the club. The Dutchman has a great relationship with the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager, who is in charge of the Dutch national team now.
Rooney is at the peak of his career at 28 years of age, while van Persie has entered into his 30s. Since he has been playing for United since 2004 and has represented them in more than 400 matches, Rooney is the natural favourite to succeed from the former greats like Ferdinand and Vidic. However, after his official appointment, van Gaal hinted that van Persie may be his next captain. This has thrown the future of Rooney into question, as the England international had a lot of reservations before signing a new five-year contract last summer.
Rooney also stated that he will have no problem with the new manager giving van Persie the captaincy. Rooney was the top scorer for United last season with 19 goals.
“I am interested in the captaincy. I feel I am ready, but it’s the manager’s decision. I’ve captained United a few times and to get it on a full-time basis would be great. Robin is captain of his country, he has captained Arsenal and if he gets the nod, I’m sure he’ll do a great job. When a new manager comes in, you always feel you have to prove yourself over again. When we go back into training, it will be like a new start,” said Rooney.
Manchester United interim manager Ryan Giggs has stated that star striker Wayne Rooney is likely to miss the match against Hull City this weekend. This will be the final home game for United before they finish the season with an away trip to Southampton. This will also be Giggs’ final appearance at Old Trafford – for the time being – as a manager. He has said ahead of the match to Manchester United TV that he may even consider putting himself on the bench.
The stellar career of Giggs as a player is also coming to an end. The 40-year-old is unlikely to continue carry on playing given that he has ambitions of becoming a manager. He is likely to take up his coaching badges if he is not offered a permanent job at Manchester United next season. Giggs is widely believed to be on his way out with Louis van Gaal about been named as the permanent Manchester United manager. A number of clubs have expressed their interest in taking Giggs under the wing. Read more »
Video Score: 5 / five