Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 29th 2014 Contents A58
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, August 29, 2014
LONDON --- Despite an often tem-
pestuous relationship with fans and
past concerns over his temperament,
Wayne Rooney has received the
symbolically-prestigious honour of
Taking over the leadership of an
inexperienced squad that is recovering
from the national team s worst-ever
World Cup, Rooney knows the
rebuilding process requires unity.
"I hope that I will have the full
backing of the fans," Rooney said yes-
terday. "I am their type of player once
I am on that pitch."
Rooney is no stranger to contro-
versy, though, including indiscretions
about his personal life that have left
the Manchester United player frus-
trated and have led to flare-ups.
"He has that baggage with him,"
England coach Roy Hodgson said.
"And he will have to accept that as
a further part of the pressure."
The appointment was no surprise.
Goalkeeper Joe Hart aside, Rooney
was the only realistic option to assume
the captain s armband from Steven
Gerrard, who retired from interna-
tional duty after England s first-round
exit from the World Cup. Rooney was
also recently handed the United cap-
tain s armband by new manager Louis
"Wayne is an obvious choice for
his honesty, commitment to the
cause, his experience," Hodgson said
at Wembley Stadium. "He s prepared
to accept the pressures the England
England needs to regain interna-
tional credibility in qualifying for the
2016 European Championship, which
begins on September 8 at Switzerland.
To prepare, there is a friendly against
Norway at Wembley on Wednesday.
Four players were called up for Eng-
land for the first time yesterday:
defenders Calum Chambers and
Danny Rose, and midfielders Jack
Colback and Fabian Delph.
The most experienced player in
the squad is the 28-year-old Rooney
with his 40 goals in 95 England
Rooney has emerged as one of Eng-
land s few leaders, growing in stature
and confidence. But despite winning
every major honour with Manchester
United --- from the Premier League
to the Champions League --- Rooney
has never come close to collecting
silverware with his country.
MONACO --- Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA s
award as the best player in Europe last season after
scoring a record 17 goals in the Champions League.
The Real Madrid and Portgual forward beat Bayern
Munich pair Manuel Neuer of Germany and the
Netherlands Arjen Robben.
The voting was by journalists from UEFA s 54
member countries at the Champions League groups
Ronaldo also ensured Portugal qualified for the
World Cup by scoring a memorable hat-trick in a
playoff win against Sweden.
Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery
previously won the award first presented in 2011.
UEFA created the prize after the original European
Footballer of the Year honour, known as the Ballon
d Or, merged with Fifa s world player award.
Nadine Kessler of Germany won the women s
LONDON --- From the World Cup
semifinals to a bruising introduc-
tion in Britain, Louis van Gaal s
fortunes have changed rapidly
inside two months.
The coach who led the Nether-
lands to a third-place finish at the
World Cup enters his fourth match
as Manchester United manager still
searching for his first win.
After a loss and a draw in his
opening Premier League games
came the humiliating defeat at
third-tier club MK Dons in the
League Cup on Tuesday. Next up
is a trip to Premier League new-
comer Burnley tomorrow.
Here are some things to know
about this weekend s matches:
If Van Gaal is to improve on the
seventh-place finish under David
Moyes, United s fortunes will need
to improve quickly.
Van Gaal points to United s ten
injuries, with offseason recruit
Anders Herrara joining the casualty
list. But after spending a British
record 59.7 million pounds (US$99
million) this week for Angel Di
Maria from Real Madrid, the
Argentina forward will be expected
to lead United s upturn, starting
at Burnley tomorrow.
"He should indeed be a player
who the fans should enjoy," Van
Gaal said yesterday.
But the problems seem to be in
defense, with MK Dons finding
space too easily against a second-
string United to score four times.
Van Gaal disagrees.
"Our problem is when we have
the ball and we have to build up
the play and that we have to play,"
the Dutchman said. "I don t think
our defense is weak. Our buildup
is still not good enough and we
will improve that but it needs time."
The season is only two weeks
old and already Arsenal is short of
centre forward options.
The relief for Arsene Wenger
after picking up four points from
the first two league games is that
qualification for the group stage
of the Champions League was
secured on Wednesday.
Wenger maintains there will be
no panic purchase to fill the void
left by Olivier Giroud being ruled
out until at least the end of Decem-
ber with a broken tibia. Wenger s
immediate striking options on Sun-
day at Leicester are Lukas Podolski,
newcomer Alexis Sanchez, who is
more accustomed to playing on
the wing, and the inexperienced
Yaya Sanogo and Joel Campbell.
"Who will we buy?" Wenger
said after Wednesday s victory over
Besiktas. "I give you straight away
the answer --- nobody."
Perhaps Leicester s need to
strengthen is more pressing, having
just gained promotion after a
decade away. The central England
club has collected one point from
its opening two games.
"We need more depth, and we ll
try and do that," Leicester manager
Nigel Pearson said.
With two league wins out of
two, Tottenham manager Mauricio
Pochettino has made the perfect
start to life in one of the most
insecure club jobs in football.
A slender win over West Ham
followed by an entertaining rout
of Queens Park Rangers provide
a springboard to challenge for the
fop-four again, but just how con-
vincing that proposition is should
become clearer against Liverpool
Mario Balotelli could make his
Liverpool debut up front at White
Hart Lane. Last season s runners-
up have looked less threatening
since Luis Suarez left for
Barcelona, opening with a narrow
victory over Southampton before
being outplayed in a loss at Man-
On to Burnley, Van Gaal needs a win
UEFA President Michel Platini, right, gives the trophy for
best player of the year to Real Madrid Portuguese forward
Cristiano Ronaldo, during the UEFA Champions League draw,
at the Grimaldi Forum, in Monaco, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Ronaldo is best player in Europe award
England puts Rooney in
charge despite 'baggage'
Goalkeepers: Fraser Forster
(Southampton), Ben Foster (West
Bromwich Albion), Joe Hart (Manchester
Defenders: Leighton Baines (Everton),
Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Calum Chambers
(Arsenal), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Phil
Jones (Manchester United), Danny Rose
(Tottenham), John Stones (Everton)
Midfielders: Jack Colback
(Newcastle), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa),
Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), James
Milner (Manchester City), Alex Oxlade-
Chamberlain (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling
(Liverpool), Andros Townsend
(Tottenham), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal)
Forwards: Rickie Lambert (Liverpool),
Wayne Rooney (Manchester United),
Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Danny
Welbeck (Manchester United)
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