Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 21st 2014 Contents A65
Monday, July 21, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
LONDON---Bryan Robson expects Robin
van Persie to captain Manchester United
One of Louis van Gaal s biggest priorities
in his new role as United boss is to select
a captain following the summer exit of
After spending ten years at the club Wayne
Rooney was tipped to take the captain s
armband, but Van Persie skippered the Dutch
national side at the World Cup and he enjoys
a good relationship with the new man in
charge at Old Trafford.
Last week Van Gaal said he would take
time to decide who should take the honour,
and Robson appears to think the Dutchman
has already made up his mind.
"Robin was his captain of Holland, so
that is an obvious one," United s former
Captain Marvel told Press Association
"I would be really surprised if he didn t
give Robin it."
The close bond between Van Gaal and
Van Persie was clear to see throughout the
The pair spoke publicly about their admi-
ration for each other and Van Persie raced
over to the bench following his stunning
opening goal against Spain to give his man-
ager a big high five.
Van Gaal defied his critics to guide Hol-
land to the semi-finals of the World Cup
before they were knocked out by Argentina
Robson believes Holland s run to the last
four bodes well for United, who finished
seventh last year under David Moyes.
"He has been a winner all his coaching
career so hopefully he will install that back
into the club," said Robson, who played 461
times during a 13-year spell at United.
"In the World Cup Holland were very
good. Tactically he got them really well-
drilled and I thought they were very unlucky.
I thought they were better than Argentina,
and they could have gone all the way."
Van Gaal has put his squad through tough
training sessions since landing in Los Ange-
les, where United kick off their pre-season
campaign on Wednesday against LA Galaxy.
The players in the 25-man squad, which
includes new signings Anders Herrera and
Luke Shaw, have been keen to impress their
new manager, who was appointed as Moyes
successor in May.
The pain and disappointment of last year s
dismal showing under the Scot will also be
driving the players on, according to Rob-
"The fans and the club were disappointed
last year, but nobody hurts more than play-
ers," said Robson, who won two Premier
Leagues, one Cup Winners Cup and three
FA Cups during his time at Old Trafford.
"I know these players. They have won
the title, the Champions League, and a lot
of them were really disappointed about what
happened so the lads that are still at the
club will want to bounce back, they will
want to prove to people that they are top
players and they can win things."
Robson thinks United could fall short
though unless they sign a centre-back.
Last season United conceded 43 goals.
After losing Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and possibly
Patrice Evra, Robson is concerned United
lack experience in their back line.
"When you lose three class defenders like
that you need to bring in a really top-drawer
centre-half to the club. That would really
give us a chance of winning the title," Robson
"You look back over the years and United
have had Nemanja and Rio as a pairing,
Brucey (Steve Bruce) and Pally (Gary Pal-
"Then we had Jaap Stam. He was a really
dominant and aggressive player and we need
one of those to come in to the club."
Robson believes Bruno Martins Indi would
have been the ideal signing for United.
The 22-year-old Holland centre-back
joined Porto from Feyenoord on Wednesday
after enjoying a successful World Cup under
Robin van Persie.... captain of Holland
Robson picks van
Persie to lead Man U
MADRID---Juventus have signed highly-
rated Spanish striker Alvaro Morata from
Real Madrid for 20million euros (£15.8mil-
The 21-year-old from Madrid, who scored
eight goals in 23 Primera Division appear-
ances for Champions League winners Real,
has signed a five-year contract with the
Serie A champions.
A statement published on Juve s official
website read: "Juventus Football Club can
announce that Alvaro Morata has signed a
five-year contract with the club after a fee
of 20million euros, to be paid over three
years, was agreed with Real Madrid.
"The deal includes the option for Real
Madrid to reacquire the player s registration
rights at the end of the 2015-16 or 2016-
17 campaigns, at predetermined values, up
to a maximum of 30million euros. These
values will be based on the number of
matches played by Morata in the relevant
Morata owns a Champions League win-
ner s medal having played in Real s final
victory over city rivals Atletico in May and
he scored his first goal in the competition
when closing out a 3-1 win against Schalke
in the round of 16.
With an impressive haul of 13 goals in 12
appearances for Spain s Under-21 side, he
had attracted the interest of Barclays Premier
League club Arsenal, who were reportedly
close to signing the striker on loan in January.
Bundesliga side Wolfsburg were also believed
to be interested.
Morata was considered a part of Carlo
Ancelotti s first-team plans at Real, but will
hope to play more football in Turin.
At Juventus, where Massimiliano Allegri
this week replaced Antonio Conte as head
coach, he will work alongside countryman
Fernando Llorente and Argentinian Carlos
Tevez in attack.
The pair scored 35 Serie A goals between
them in the 2013-14 season as Juve achieved
a record points haul of 102 on their way to
claiming a third straight Scudetto.
"Juve are one of the best clubs in the
world, and the best in Italy," Morata said
through Juventus official Twitter account.
"I am keen to contribute to the pursuit of
"I ve spoken to Allegri and I have a strong
desire to get to work.
"I ve wanted to play for Juve for a long
time and the club have always shown a
strong interest in me.
"I feel ready. I know it will be hard, but
I m ready to tackle Serie A head on."
Juventus swoop for Madrid's Morata
Jose Mourinho has "deep respect" for
new Manchester United manager Louis
van Gaa--- but the Chelsea boss is not con-
cerned about their impending rivalry.
The pair worked together for three years
at Barcelona but will go head-to-head this
season, with Van Gaal having taken the reins
at Old Trafford following a successful World
Cup with Holland.
He has also won titles in Spain, Holland
and Germany with Barca, Ajax and Bayern
Munich and said at his introductory press
conference that he is aiming to add England
to that list.
Mourinho---whose Inter Milan side beat
Van Gaal s Bayern in the 2010 Champions
League final---and Chelsea will be among
the main rivals standing in his way.
And the Portuguese told the Mail on Sun-
day: "I m not worried about him being here.
I look forward to playing against United.
Nothing worries me.
"I watched him at his press conference
and he was pure Van Gaal - honest and
open, the way he always is.
"He is a very, very good coach, he ll be
great for Manchester United."
"We are both great coaches. It s what
we were born to do," said Mourinho.
"Louis was the best coach in the World
Cup and he is a good friend - really, a friend
for life. I have deep respect for this man.
"He is in the best period of his career.
With coaching, if you deal with winning
and losing in the right way, you improve.
He analyses every experience. He has got
better and better."
Van Gaal begins his Premier League career
against Swansea on August 16, two days
before Chelsea open their campaign against
Mourinho has respect for Van Gaal
Pochettino targets Spurs title
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino has
revealed his main objective is to lead the club to the
Premier League title during his time at White Hart
Pochettino took over at White Hart Lane earlier
this summer to replace interim boss Tim Sherwood
who was in charge of Tottenham since last Decem-
ber following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas.
Argentine coach Pochettino impressed during his
18 months in charge of Southampton and he has
been handed the task of leading Tottenham back
into the top four.
Pochettino, who has signed a five-year deal at
Tottenham, has set his sights high and is targeting
winning the Premier League title at some point.
"All managers want the best and want to be the
best," Pochettino told The Sun.
"I knew from the first day I came here that Spurs
are a big club.
"My challenge is to win the Premier League...
eventually. This is our goal, to win the title one day."
Suso planning Liverpool stay
Liverpool youngster Suso is hoping to play his way
into Brendan Rodgers' first-team plans this season.
The Spanish schemer spent last season in his na-
tive Spain with Almeria and he impressed during his
stint in La Liga.
Suso is now back at Liverpool and he boosted his
chances of establishing himself in the starting XI
with an impressive goal and display in Saturday's
pre-season win over Preston.
"I really want to be here and play for Liverpool and
I'm trying to do my best every day in training and
show the manager what I'm capable of," Suso told
the club's official website.
"I learned a lot during my loan spell and I was play-
ing regular football. I'm not really a young player
anymore so I've got more responsibilities now and I
will work as hard as I can to try and get a chance."
Rodriguez wants Atletico exit
Uruguay international Cristian Rodriguez has out-
lined his intention to leave Atletico Madrid during
the transfer window.
Rodriguez joined Atletico in 2012 from Porto, but
struggled to establish himself in Diego Simeone's
starting line-up during last season's La Liga title-
He started all four of Uruguay's games at the
World Cup in Brazil and has recently been linked
with a move to Premier League side Sunderland.
The 28-year-old winger is happy in Madrid, but
has acknowledged that his priority is to ensure he is
playing regular first-team football during the coming
"Every footballer wants to play as much as possi-
ble and what I want is a team in which I can have
more minutes on the pitch and which has confidence
in me," Rodriguez told Radio Sport 890.
"At my age, the best thing is to play more. If I stay
another year the same situation is going to get re-
peated, so my idea is to leave."
Navas' future up in the air
Levante coach Jose Luis Mendilibar says he is in
the dark regarding the future of sought-after goal-
keeper Keylor Navas---but insists the Costa Rica in-
ternational is still his player as things stand.
Navas has been heavily linked with a €10 million
move to Real Madrid among several other teams
following his impressive exploits at the World Cup
but, despite speculation that a move to the Bern-
abeu has already been finalised, nothing yet has
been officially confirmed.
And Mendilibar, who took over at Levante this
summer, does not have any more insight to give on
the situation either.
He told Marca: "Nobody has told me anything
about Keylor. He's still ours.
"I don't know him personally, but they tell me he's
a great professional. The teams that you're hearing
about, Bayern, Madrid...they are the best in the
world. It's close to the date for his return and I only
hope that things are resolved before then."
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