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Posts Tagged ‘ Javier Hernandez ’

Have Manchester United Learned From Last Season?

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With Bobby Charlton having admitted that Manchester United made mistakes last season, the question on all football fans lips is- can United learn from the mistakes made under David Moyes and return to the summit of the Premier League?

United fans cringed last season watching United play dull, boring and ineffective football that left them in 7th and without any European football for the first time since the 90’s. David Moyes was an abysmal and embarrassing failure, one United are keen not to replicate. His lack of confidence against the big teams shone through, and his negative tactics and poor substitution decisions left many wondering what Sir Alex Ferguson and the United board ever saw in the former Everton manager. The summer transfer window was truly embarrassing with only Maroaune Fellaini bought in as a deadline day panic signing that saw the club pay far more than he was worth. Fellaini has failed at United, and his attitude of having nothing to prove seems to surmise him as a footballer. It has been rumoured that the transfer failings were down to Ed Woodward’s inexperience and Moyes dithering and panicking over large fees. He still managed to spend over £60m with Fellaini and Juan Mata brought in to revamp the sub-par United midfield. The importance Moyes placed on Wayne Rooney was a further humiliation, as Moyes proved he felt the potential captain was more important than the club as a whole, rumour of Rooney being consulted on all transfer dealings was met with amazement by fans. David Moyes was a mistake that left the great club in tatters and as a result the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic have all departed. United now have few players with real experience and as such it is time for the new to emerge. Continue reading

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World Cup 2014: Predictions For Every Team

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With the kick-off of World Cup 2014 now less than a week away, the excitement is starting to build. Coverage of the event is starting to really pick up, as the footballing world gets ready for the beginning of it’s biggest event of any calendar year. With that in mind, I would like to put forward my predictions for every team and how they will fare, including all the teams who will fall at the group stage hurdle, all the way on to who I predict will be the eventual winners.

Group stage eliminations

Cameroon

The most likely victim of what is a very tough draw, Cameroon seem like long shots to emerge from Group A. Hosts Brazil, potential dark horses Croatia and Mexico make up the rest of the group, and it may well prove too much for Cameroon to claim enough points to sneak in to the knockout stages. An experienced squad led by captain Samuel Eto’o as well as veterans Alex Song and Jean Makoun, Cameroon also boast young defensive talent in Nicolas N’Koulou and Joel Matip. Unfortunately for them, it seems unlikely that they will prove good enough to edge out two of the other teams, and so it looks like three games and out for Cameroon.

Mexico

It looks quite likely that Brazil and Croatia will emerge from this group, especially if the Croatians can get a point in the tournament’s inaugural match. Mexico had a very ugly qualifying campaign to even reach Brazil, finishing fourth in their group, behind the United States, Costa Rica and Honduras. They eventually beat New Zealand comfortably in a play-off, but it does not augur well for them in such a tough group. Still, Mexico boast a very experienced squad, with the likes of Rafael Marquez still around to organise them. If the likes of Javier Hernandez (who has a scoring rate of better than one every two games for his country) catches fire, then maybe they have a shot. But all signs point to an early exit for Mexico.

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Is Van Persie Made Of Manchester United ‘Stuff’?

Recent transfer speculation has placed Arsenal star Robin Van Persie in the sights of several of Europe’s top clubs; Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus being chief among his potential suitors. It’s not exactly difficult to imagine why he would want to leave. After all, he boasts only two trophies from his days at Arsenal; an FA Cup medal from 2005 and one slightly less momentous Community Shield from 2004. Arsenal, whose financial model makes sense yet is so far removed from the outrageous wages and expenditure so favoured by world football and the Premier League and thus is failing, are looking more and more like a feeder club to those at the top, rather than one looking to seriously challenge for domestic and European honours.

This speculation has favoured Manchester United to capture the Dutch forward and one of the most recent revelations declares that Van Persie is seeking wages similar to those of Wayne Rooney, if he is to join the Red Devils. While United do have the financial clout to meet his demands, the questions is not can they, but should they.

The thing is, Rooney is 26 and van Persie has three years on him. And while the Dutchman may have a similar amount of playing time, due to several bouts of injuries, the fact remains that the clock is beginning to tick. 28, going on 29 may not be exactly old, but paying such a large transfer fee for an older player can be somewhat of a risk. Take Berbatov, for example, whose £30 million transfer to United from Spurs hasn’t exactly been a bed of roses. It all hinges on whether Van Persie is only getting going, or if this is his peak. There’s no denying that he is an extremely talented footballer. But there are still a number of things that go against him. His injury record, for example, which may or may not be a worry to the manager, who would doubtfully want another Owen Hargreaves. His record too is a little short. He has had really only one great season at Arsenal, though it has to be said, what a season it was. Talisman is a word used often and certainly not sparingly by the press, yet a talisman for Arsenal he was, joining the ranks of a handful of players who managed to score 30 goals in a solitary league season. But he’s only done it the once. Can he do it again? Or has he reached the peak, the summit of his skill and is it simply downhill from here? Nobody can really predict what’s going to happen. Who could have foreseen, for example, Fernando Torres’ remarkable slump into mediocrity?

Then of course there is the wage demand. Sir Alex seems to prefer the type of footballer who comes to Old Trafford seeking to play with and for the best, whose passion lies out on the pitch rather than with a pay cheque. With his rather exorbitant wage demands, Van Persie comes across like a footballing mercenary, (Samir Nasri springs to mind) looking for money rather than a club to be passionate about. Sure, footballers should be able to demand what they feel they are worth, though that opens up yet another can of worms regarding how much the profession is paid these days. United don’t need another like Tevez. Sure, mercenaries are part and parcel of our game, just like diving and whinging is, but United are one of those clubs, like Barcelona and a handful of others, who are able to attract a certain type of player which exhibits a quality possessed by the rarest of footballers – loyalty. Really, he should stay another year and prove himself worthy of the recognition he’s getting. Then again, if Arsenal have any sense, they’ll offload him now rather than have him see out his contract then leave at the end of next season on a free transfer.

United have plenty of talent up front, in the form of Rooney, Chicharito, Macheda, Welbeck, even the much maligned Dimitar Berbatov, who may or may not be on the way out this summer. Should van Persie join then he is just another name taking away valuable playing time from those younger potential stars who need regular games not just to ensure fitness, but one of the most important things a footballer can possess – confidence. Not to mention the small prospect of the financial aspect to this transfer. For wages alone, on a three-year deal, should United offer Van Persie the same £220,000 a week Rooney is on, it would cost the club a little over £34 million. That’s not even including the £30 million transfer fee Wenger is reportedly looking for. And of course the figure rises should the contract extend any further. £64 million is quite a huge investment in a player who will turn 29 by the time the Premier League starts again, who has had quite a number of injury concerns over his career and who has had only one really great season for Arsenal.

No, midfield is where they should concentrate on; a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, and one or two other potentials besides. Lucas Moura or Modric would be nice names to feature on the United team sheet but there are many other young players like young Nick Powell out there, because big transfer fees and solid reputations don’t always ensure value on the pitch. So on the surface, a move for one of football’s hottest talents might be the right one but under that surface it doesn’t seem quite so attractive.

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