Moyes’ December training jab stuck with Danny Welbeck

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Back in mid-December, when Manchester United was mired in the tumultuous and ultimately fateful run of David Moyes, the skipper spoke up about one of his brightest young players.

“We had a word with [Danny Welbeck] about a month ago and we said that he needs to be the last off the training field,” Moyes said during a press conference.

“Wayne [Rooney]’s out there practicing his finishing each day…I said: ‘Danny, you need to be out there every day finishing, even if it’s 15 minutes at the end’.”

Well, the 23-year old forward has finally responded, telling reporters it hurt to hear his manager tell the public these things.

“I was pretty surprised [at what he said] to be honest,” Welbeck said. “Before he made that statement I was doing extra training. Maybe he just didn’t see it. I’ve grown up at Manchester United and been professional all through my career and I always do extra work. It’s born and bred in me to do extra work after training and maybe he wasn’t seeing that extra stuff. I was doing extras in the gym and on the pitch.”

Not only was Welbeck unhappy with what his manager said publicly, he also clearly wasn’t happy with his decisions privately as well.  The young striker told reporters he wishes to play centrally, the spot currently manned by the soon-to-be captain Robin van Persie.

“It does get frustrating. You want to be playing in a certain position and you’re not getting the opportunity to do that,” Welbeck said. “It’s the same for everyone – when they are being played out of position they don’t really like it. I’d like to play central. I’ve been playing on the left for a while and it’s got to the time where I want to stake a place up front.”

Welbeck took the opportunity to point to his time at England, noting he has a better scoring ratio with country than club, and suggested it could be a formational thing.  He said playing the 4-4-1-1 that Moyes employs doesn’t suit him as much, because he gets stuck out wide on a 4-man midfield, having to cover defensively with fewer central midfielders to back him up.

However, with England under Roy Hodgson, Welbeck thrives int he 4-3-3 setup, with three central midfielders to cover and spending more time and legs on attacking. “Maybe I’m kind of let off the leash a bit more for England than United,” Welbeck noted.

It’s unknown how the youngster will be used under Louis van Gaal, but one thing is for sure, if van Persie stays healthy, there’s no way Welbeck supplants his new manager’s favorite player.  Therefore, it may be in his best interests to seek new pastures if he wishes to play centrally.

When asked if he wants to leave Old Trafford or considered it last season, Welbeck said curiously, “I’d rather not answer that question.”

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

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Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.