No player wants to admit his club won’t be in the running for trophies. Especially when you’re a player that’s attempting to secure captaincy of your squad. And with Wayne Rooney having admitted he’d love to captain Manchester United, there’s little surprise that he’s also certain they can make a push for the Premier League title:
Of course we can win the title. Last season was a bad one, we know that, but we are confident we can put it right. We have to believe we can win the title.
Last season, Manchester United could only manage a rather paltry seventh-place finish, keeping them out of European play for the 2014-2015 season. It was a disappointing season for the club, particularly after they won the league title in 2012-2013.
But the lower finish also gave the Red Devils the impetus to make much-needed changes. They secured Louis van Gaal as manager before the World Cup began, and the Dutchmen went on to thoroughly impress as he took Netherlands through to the semifinals.
The new manager’s honest, direct approach in training pleases Rooney, who repeatedly labeled van Gaal’s style “enjoyable.” The forward is also keen on the idea of playing a 3-5-2 formation, as he likes the idea of fielding two forwards — and seeing how it resulted in a 7-0 victory over the LA Galaxy earlier in the week certainly didn’t hurt.
Of course, United have taken other steps to put them back on the path toward the title. They’ve already signed defender Luke Shaw and midfielder Ander Herrera, and are being linked with a host of other players, many of them part of the Dutch national team. There are also rumors that United might buy Angel Di María, Arturo Vidal (don’t rule it out just yet), Edinson Cavani, and more. Whichever players are purchased this summer, they’ll be chosen with an eye toward van Gaal’s preferred playing style and with his desire to make teamwork a priority in mind.
So yes, Rooney may have been simply saying what was expected of him when he stated that Manchester United can win the title. But how many out there are disagreeing with him?
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.