Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 18th 2014 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, July 18, 2014
MANCHESTER---While avoiding starting
his Manchester United reign with any bold
predictions or statements of intent, Louis
van Gaal still projected an aura of authority
and conviction in his ability to take on
one of the biggest jobs in football.
There was none of the uneasiness at yes-
terday s official presentation that was evident
last July when the ill-fated David Moyes
appeared overwhelmed at the task of suc-
ceeding Alex Ferguson after 26 years.
It s little wonder. Moyes arrived at Old
Trafford from Everton without a major tro-
phy to his name. Van Gaal is a proven winner
as a manager, collecting titles at Ajax,
Barcelona and Bayern Munich before leading
the Netherlands to an unexpected third-
place finish at the World Cup on Saturday.
The 62-year-old Van Gaal is so self-
assured that he felt confident enough---on
just his second official day in the United
job---to question the main training pitch
and flag up the club s focus on money-
"It s the biggest club of the world," Van
Gaal said at Old Trafford. "Within two days
I know already how important Manchester
United is but also how important the spon-
Just this week, United signed a 10-year
kit deal with Adidas that will be worth at
least $1.3 billion, and then added Japanese
noodle maker Nissin to its ever-expanding
collection of global sponsors.
"This club is ... guided in a commercial
way and we have to fulfill that," Van Gaal
said. "It s not always possible to fulfill the
commercial expectations (and) the football
expectations. That is my big challenge after
What Van Gaal will be judged on is
returning United to the Champions League.
Under Moyes, United went from winning
a 20th English title in Ferguson s final act
as manager to seventh-place finishers, even
missing out on Europa League qualifica-
"I cannot give predictions because you
never know," he said. "There s a lot of expec-
tation but it s also a great challenge because
A challenge that requires time to overhaul
a team that went into an alarming slump
"I have to see how the players perform
my philosophy and how quick they can pick
up this philosophy," Van Gaal said. "For me
the challenge is always first---not fourth---
but ... it s dependable on the lock between
the players and the coach."
Defender Luke Shaw and midfielder
Ander Herrera have already been added to
the squad with his approval, but there are
no immediate plans for further recruits in
the summer transfer window.
"I want to see the first three, four weeks
what (the squad) can do and then maybe
I shall buy other players," Van Gaal said.
What the first training session on
Wednesday showed Van Gaal was not about
the condition of the players but the pitch
"The facility needs a little more intimacy,"
he said. "I have asked already because now
it s an open field but there is always wind.
And wind is not always the friend of the
players. It s not always the friend of the
ball, and so we have to do something about
With a reputation for possessing a large
ego, Van Gaal presented himself as a more
rounded character to a media pack so used
to dealing with the fiery Ferguson.
"I m a democratic and empathetic human
being," he said. "Of course I have a strong
personality but the other characteristics are
"The media wants to show (the autocratic)
part of the personality but that part is (very
small). When it is repeated always then
everybody thinks like that. Autocratic and
a strong personality is not the same."
Van Gaal could add workaholic to that,
having taken just two days off between
returning to the Netherlands from Brazil
and starting his first job in England.
"When there is a challenge like this, I
never let it go," he said. "This is a holiday
for me. I like the way I can work." (AP)
LONDON---Former Manchester United
defender Rio Ferdinand is staying in the
English Premier League after joining
Queens Park Rangers yesterday.
The 35-year-old Ferdinand signed a one-
year contract with the London club to be
reunited with Harry Redknapp, his first
manager at West Ham.
The former England captain, who played
81 times for the national team, has been a
free agent since he was released by United
in May after making 454 appearances during
12 trophy-filled years at Old Trafford.
"I had a lot of offers from all over the
world---some in places with a better climate
than here," said Ferdinand, who went to
QPR games as a child. "But the draw for
me was to play in the Premier League and
back here where it all started. It s not about
money---I had loads of more lucrative offers
available to me.
"I still feel I ve got something to offer,
and I m excited about helping this club
cement its place in the Premier League."
Ferdinand s break in football came under
Redknapp at West Ham before leaving in
2000 for Leeds, where he spent two years
before signing for United.
"I signed Rio as a 14-year-old. He was
class on the field and off the field then, and
he s continued in that manner," Redknapp
said. "During his time at Manchester United,
he was the best defender in Europe, if not
"To bring him to QPR---when he s still
got so much to offer in terms of his quality,
class, experience and know-how---is a
remarkable coup for the club."
Ferdinand is QPR s first signing since the
club returned to the topflight in May after
winning the League Championship playoff.
NYON---UEFA has banned Real Madrid mid-
fielder Xabi Alonso and Atletico Madrid coach
Diego Simeone from their next European match
and fined both teams for misconduct at last sea-
son s Champions League final.
Simeone went on to the pitch twice during extra
time of his team s 4-1 loss in May, and confronted
a Real player who kicked a ball toward the Atletico
dugout after the last goal. Alonso, who missed
the final for receiving three yellow cards during
the competition, sprinted down the touchline after
the final whistle. During an often physical match,
seven Atletico players and five from Real were
booked. For improper conduct by their players
and for fans setting off fireworks, Atletico has
been fined 21,000 euros ($28,400), and Real 18,000
Bans, fines for Atletico, Real
NYON---Players will no longer be suspended
for Champions League and Europa League finals
for accumulating yellow cards.
European football s governing body has decided
to wipe out players bookings after the quarterfinals
of club competitions.
Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso was sus-
pended for the Champions League final in May
after picking up a third knockout phase booking
in the second leg of his team s semifinal.
UEFA said in a statement yesterday its "emer-
gency panel decided that, as of this season, all
yellow cards from the beginning of the group
stage will expire on completion of the quarterfinals.
Bookings will therefore not be carried forward to
That rule is already in force in the European
MANCHESTER---Manchester United says mid-
fielder Michael Carrick will miss the opening
two months of the season after ankle surgery.
Carrick injured ligaments in his left ankle in
training this week and had the operation yester-
United says Carrick will be out for 10 to 12
The new English Premier League season begins
in a month with a match against Swansea on Aug.
16.The injury is an early setback for Louis van
Gaal, who arrived in Manchester on Wednesday
to take charge of the team.
The Dutch manager says "that s a blow for me
because he s experienced. It s very important we
have experienced players."
Carrick out for 10-12 weeks
Arsenal makes Mathieu
Debuchy second signing
LONDON---Arsenal has signed Mathieu Debuchy
and selling club Newcastle has replaced the
defender with Daryl Janmaat.
The 28-year-old Debuchy, who was part of
France s World Cup squad, joined Arsenal for 12
million pounds ($20.5 million), becoming the Lon-
don club s second summer transfer window signing
after forward Alexis Sanchez.
Newcastle reinvested around half of the Debuchy
fee to replace the right back with 24-year-old
Janmaat from Feyenoord.
Swansea also announced yesterday that striker
Michu joined Napoli on a season-long loan deal,
with the Italian club holding an option to make
the transfer permanent.
UEFA changes bookings
rule for finalists
Ex-Man U defender Rio Ferdinand joins QPR
new manager Louis
van Gaal, left, poses
for pictures with
former player Bobby
Charlton before a
press conference at
Old Trafford Stadium,
yesterday. The new
manager takes over
after recently guiding
Holland to third pace
at the 2014 World
Cup. AP PHOTO
Van Gaal needs time
to impose philosophy
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