Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 6th 2014 Contents A52
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, December 6, 2014
MANCHESTER---It was always
going to be a fascinating subplot of
the Premier League season: A highly
regarded Dutchman taking his first
coaching job in English football at
a team in need of an overhaul.
The focus of the story was sup-
posed to be Louis van Gaal at Man-
Yet, Van Gaal has been upstaged
somewhat by Ronald Koeman, who
was faced with a similar task in his
first season at Southampton following
the departure of a slew of the club s
top players---and is faring better than
Southampton is a point above
United ahead of Monday s game
between the third- and fourth-place
teams in the Premier League. And
that will give satisfaction to Koeman,
given his history with Van Gaal.
Van Gaal gave Koeman his coaching
break at club level when he hired the
former Netherlands defender as his
assistant at Barcelona in 1998. The
pair s relationship turned sour six
years later, though, after Van Gaal
was appointed as sporting director
at Dutch club Ajax, where Koeman
was coach. They fell out and Van
Gaal quit his position, three weeks
after a public disagreement with Koe-
man. Since then, Van Gaal has
described Koeman as "weak" in his
It adds some spice to the match
at St Mary s Stadium, although the
pair attempted to play down the rival-
"The game is Southampton versus
Manchester United," Koeman said.
"The game needs that attention, not
the attention about both managers.
That is private. It was a working prob-
lem. I think I have to explain it like
that. It s not an issue, it was eight or
nine years ago."
Asked if how his relationship with
Van Gaal is, Koeman said: "If we see
each other, we shake hands. And
that s enough."
Van Gaal said his thoughts about
Koeman will remain "private."
"We play against Southampton.
We have to speak about Southampton
and not about the trainer-coach,"
Van Gaal said.
The teams come into the game
heading in opposite directions. After
a strong start to the season,
Southampton has lost its last two
games---against Manchester City and
Arsenal---and could be overtaken by
United if it loses a third in a row on
United, meanwhile, is in its best
run of form in Van Gaal s short tenure
and heads to the south coast seeking
a fifth straight win.
"It was difficult at the start of the
season," Koeman said of United, "but
they are on their way back. It will be
a nice challenge for us."
Southampton s task will be even
harder because Wayne Rooney is fit
again for United after missing Tues-
day s 2-1 win over Stoke with a knee
injury. Angel Di Maria is still miss-
ing.Van Gaal was angered yesterday
by reports that United is prepared to
give him about 100 million pounds
($155 million) to spend on players next
year, with the club already having
splashed out about $250 million on
signings in the last offseason.
"I think it is disgusting always writ-
ing about numbers," Van Gaal said.
Roma and four other
clubs face further Uefa
probes for overspending
on player transfers and
Uefa s club financial
control panel also opened
cases against six more
clubs, the European foot-
ball body said yesterday.
The clubs "had dis-
closed a break-even
deficit on the basis of
their financial reporting
periods ending in 2012
and 2013," Uefa said.
The clubs must pro-
vide updated accounts
through February as part
of monitoring of all
Champions League and
Europa League entrants
to comply with Financial
Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Four of the initial seven
erpool, Monaco, Roma
and Sporting Lisbon---are
in contention to qualify
for the Champions
League knockout stage
The other three---
champion Inter Milan,
in the second-tier Europa
All seven have attend-
ed club hearings with the
panel, Uefa said.
The six new cases of
clubs who must show
they are approaching
break-even on football
trading are Europa
League clubs Sparta
Prague, Hull, Lyon,
Chorzow and Wolfsburg.
Uefa introduced the
FFP project in 2011 to
curb overspending on
player transfers and
Though UEFA s most
severe sanction is exclu-
sion from the Champions
League, clubs typically
face fines and limits on
player registration for first
Uefa currently allows
wealthy club owners to
cover a maximum of 45
million euros (US$55 mil-
lion) of losses on their
since 2011 with a one-
off equity payment.
The FFP rules encour-
age clubs to spend freely
on stadiums, infrastruc-
ture projects and youth
training without those
costs counting in the
Uefa claims the rules
championed by its pres-
ident Michel Platini are
having the intended
Balotelli was charged by
the English Football
Association yesterday for
posting a message on a
social media site that
was criticised for being
racist and anti-Semitic.
Balotelli uploaded on
Instagram a picture of the
Super Mario, with whom
the Italy international
shares a nickname, with
text around the image
including "jumps like a
black man and grabs coins
like a Jew."
The striker, who has
been subjected to racial
abuse on numerous occa-
sions, posted the image
of the computerised char-
acter on Monday with the
heading "Don t be a
However, the FA alleges
that the post was "abu-
sive," "insulting" and
"improper," adding that
it is an "aggravated
breach" of FA rules.
Balotelli has until
December 15 to respond
to the charge.
The Italian s message
also read: "Be like Mario.
He s an Italian plumber,
created by Japanese peo-
ple, who speaks English
and looks like a Mexican."
Balotelli tried to defend
the post as criticism
began to intensify online
by writing on Twitter:
"My Mom is jewish so all
of u shut up please."
Balotelli charged over Twitter message
UEFA extends probes of
7 clubs for overspending
Dutch rivalry adds spice
to Southampton vs United
Louis van Gaal
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