MATA VOTED UNITED PLAYER OF THE MONTH

Juan Mata had been voted the Player of the Month at Manchester United, beating close competition from compatriot Ander Herrera, Man United TV reports.


The Spaniard won the poll with 44% of the total votes. The votes’ collation was on Manchester United official website and Twitter account. Mata won the award ahead of Herrera by 198 votes. This is the first time the 28-year old has won the award since September last year. The player made some important contributions despite the club’s poor form.

Elsewhere, United are expected to face tough competition when they play Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday. In a month where United have performed poorly, there are fears that the team would be able to get their acts together to get the desired results. It has been a bad October for Manchester United, and they would not want to start November on a bad note. The turn of events is still surprising for a side that started the pre-season and first few games very well.

Aside the team’s concerns, United boss has been charged by the Football Association for comments he made against referee Anthony Taylor.

The Portuguese said “it will be difficult for him [Taylor] to have a very good performance” ahead of the game when the referee was appointed to take charge of the United-Liverpool game. The manager should have known better having served a stadium ban for such comments last season. The FA rules means Coaches are to avoid commenting on match officials ahead of any game.

Man United TV reported that the club’s youngster Marcus Rashford was not named in the Young Lions squad. This could mean that the player would be named in the national team when they take on Scotland and Spain. Mourinho had warned interim England boss Gareth Southgate that the player be exempted from next summer’s tournament in Poland if he would be left on as a regular for the national team.

LAST CHANCE FOR SOLDADO

The Spanish forward of Tottenham Hotspurs, Roberto Soldado has been struggling ever since he was transferred from the Spanish League over to the Premier League as he used to be a player of Valencia and after going through a sensation season with Valencia where Soldado managed to score 24 goals in 35 appearances then Tottenham decided to offload €26 million in order to bring him to the White Hart Lane Stadium but Soldado has not been able to replicate his form of years ago.

Tottenham Hotspurs locked horns with Everton on November 30 and goals from Christian Eriksen and Roberto Soldado sealed the victory for Tottenham, however this victory and this goal that Soldado scored was much more emotional and important for him as it was the first Premier League goal which he has been able to score since March.

The player himself admitted that it was a very important goal for him as he shed a few tears.

‘’The moment the ref blew for half time everybody sung my name and I welled up a little bit, I had a tear in my eye. It was very special. Thanks!’ Roberto Soldado told the media.

The manager of Tottenham Hotspur Mauricio Pochettino has recently been put under heavy pressure and criticism due to some of his decisions regarding certain players that he has chosen and placed in his starting lineup and one of those players was Roberto Soldado as fans just aren’t confident and believe that he should be playing in the main team at all but Pochettino expressed his confidence in relation to Soldado.

“We need to give him the chances to play again and keep him calm. A striker always wants to score but against Partizan he created chances pretty well and was unlucky in front of goal. Maybe next time he will score’’ Mauricio Pochettino said as he revealed his support towards Soldado.

Roberto Soldado will have to continue scoring goals for Tottenham Hotspur in order to gain the trust from all the fans and supporters of the Premier League club and also to prove that his price tag of €26 million was worth it.

GOALLESS DRAW

Bayern Munich could only muster a 0-0 draw with Borussia Mönchengladbach during the weekend. This has been one of the few blemishes that they have suffered so far this season. This was, however, a point well earned given that Mönchengladbach had a good run of form coming into the match. They were second in the table and are proving to be the only title contenders along with Bayern Munich. A win for Bayern would have completely destroyed the title race even at this early stage in the season. Mönchengladbach’s inability to get a victory was primarily because of the efforts of Manuel Neuer.

The Bayern Munich goalkeeper is widely regarded as one of the best and he received a lot of praise from manager Pep Guardiola after this match. Mönchengladbach had several good opportunities in the 90 minutes including two one-on-one opportunities with the goalkeeper. However, the German international who helped Germany win the World Cup in the summer worked his magic and kept many of the shots out. The result sees Mönchengladbach remain four points behind Bayern. Wolfsburg, who also appear in contention for the title, managed to take advantage of this dropped points for Bayern by getting a victory against Mainz.

“In the first half we controlled the game very well. In the second half we were a little tired, we lost a bit of our organisation and had to play more on the counter-attack. I am very happy with our play and the point. Without Neuer they should have [scored] one or two goals,” said Guardiola. Neuer says that despite a poor pre-season due to the World Cup, he feels that he is in good shape. “I’ve been playing well in recent weeks. The only mistake I made was in the international game against Poland,” said the Bayern Munich goalkeeper.

Lahm future debated

The subject of the future Germany captain has been debated a lot in recent weeks. Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm, who is also the captain for the German national team, decided to step down after the World Cup 2014. He was one of high profile players to announce retirement after the World Cup. As a result, Joachim Loew has a tough job on his hands and the captaincy to a player who has enough experience and leadership qualities. It is easier said than done because this was a very young German team.

It was heavily speculated that Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer maybe the next captain. He will follow in the footsteps of Oliver Kahn if he is named as the next captain, but the 27-year-old refused to entertain such speculation by saying that it is up to the manager. Germany will be one of the favourites to win the upcoming Euro 2016. Qualifiers for this tournament will begin with Germany taking on Scotland. Neuer says that he is expecting tough match against the Scots given that they will regard this to be the ‘match of the year’.

Germany come into the encounter on the back of a disappointing defeat at the hands of Argentina in a friendly match, which once again raised questions about the defence. “We have a lot of players that have already been captain. A few of them have been on the team council but there are also players like Bastian Schweinsteiger, Sami Khedira or myself. We now have the experience of winning the World Cup. So there are more players coming to the fore to take responsibility and replace Lahm and Miroslav Klose. The manager must decide if a goalkeeper is the right player to be captain,” said the Bayern goalkeeper, who is regarded as one of the best in the world.

POOR START BY LIVERPOOL

Liverpool’s woeful start to the Premier League has brought some of the senior players of the team under the microscope.

The player whom everyone has started having a go at is Steven Gerrard, the skipper of the side. Many journalists believe that the playmaker should be benched for the next few matches as it would help him have a look at his game. Continue reading “POOR START BY LIVERPOOL”

Rodgers Believes He Can GEt Best Out Of Balotelli

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.

ROONEY MISSES HULL

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. Continue reading “ROONEY MISSES HULL”

BAN ON BETTING

The chairman of the Football Association Greg Dyke believes that a complete ban on players and the staff of clubs which are betting on football matches is likely to be introduced.

“No final decision has been made, but it a complete ban is one of the things that’s being discussed, The FA is looking again at the whole of betting and who should be allowed to bet on football in the football industry. In the next few weeks, we’ll come out with a policy.” Dyke revealed.

Andros Townsend of Tottenham and Cameron Jerome of Stoke City both have received fines last year after breaching regulations which is believed to not be in relation of betting but the manager of Tranmere, Ronnie Moore received a suspension by the League One which will last until the FA completes an investigation into what might be a potential rule breach in relation to betting.

This isn’t the first time that a staff member of a club has received punishment or suspensions because of breaching or making bets in football. It has already happened in many occasions in the past before and one of those was in relation with the Accrington Stanley managing director, Robert Heys as he was banned for 21 months after revealing that he had made over 730 breaches and 213 bets with the outcome of the matches of his own club.

“You don’t want to go along with the whole ‘victim mentality’ and start complaining that it’s not fair and you’re being picked on, but a 21-month ban always did seem a lengthy ban. Perhaps the answer is to ban all betting on football for anyone who’s involved in football.” Heys said.

In Scotland exists a full ban punishment for any kind of breach relating betting and the chairman of the Football Association, Greg Dyke wants the duration to be increasing and should be taken more seriously.

WEEKS AWAY

The FIFA World Cup Finals are just weeks away now and thus obviously people have started to talk about the favourites.

Generally, the teams in top 5 in the world rankings are believed to have the best chance of going all the way to the final 4 and lift the trophy, but, this time around, a comparatively lower ranked side has emerged as top favourite. It’s Brazil (10th ranked) which is also the host country of the tournament.

Brazil is getting backed to win the World Cup because they would be playing in the conditions which they know perfectly and also they would have the support of the passionate home crowd behind them.

Some people might argue that Brazil is a slightly inexperienced side and so, might crumble at a big stage, but, Confederations Cup was a great example of the fact that that the young Brazilian players are actually quite good as far as the temperament is concerned.

However, it’s not that Brazil is the alone favourite and nobody can challenge them during the course of the tournament. Off course, there are other teams too which are pretty balanced and one of them is Germany.

Skill wise, Germany is probably the best side in the world at the moment. Spain also has some great players, but, they are going downhill now. Also, the thing with the Spanish players is that they seem to have lost hunger to win. At least, their recent performances suggest so.

Off Course, Portugal with Cristiano Ronaldo and Argentina with Lionel Messi cannot be ruled out either, but, these two sides are over dependent on some players and that’s never a good sign for a team especially going into a tournament like World Cup.

However, it doesn’t matter which team wins it, the tournament will be cracking; that’s for sure.

TOTAL BLOW

Darren Fletcher has admitted that the defeat against Swansea City in the third round of the FA Cup the other day was a body blow for Manchester United.

With that defeat, the Red Devils got knocked out of the competition. It was only the third occasion in the last three decades that United couldn’t move ahead of the third round in the FA Cup.

The defeat was more humiliating because United was playing that match in front of its home fans and they were supposed to pull off the win with ease.

Fletcher was one of the few Manchester United players who could have held their heads high at the end of that game. The 29 years old midfielder was in good touch and he hardly committed an error on the pitch.

The Red Devils are not going to get that much break after this humiliating loss. They have to play another big match tomorrow i.e. against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. That will be the Capital One Cup semi final match and United is under huge pressure to put up a good performance in that game.

Talking to the reporters ahead of that game, Fletcher said, “To be honest, we should have played far better in the last game. It was a really poor effort and the boys are gutted at the moment.”

“The supporters were let down by us that day, but, we will try to bring the smiles back on their faces with a good performance tomorrow.”

Fletcher has recently returned to action for the Red Devils after remaining out for about 12 months or so, but, he hasn’t taken long to get into rhythm. His performances have been up to the mark and it’s certainly good news for the United management.