Van Gaal gives first Manchester United presser; Carrick out for months

3 Comments

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal laid out his plans for Premier League domination, as reports came out that he’ll have to do it without Michael Carrick for a good period of time.

Van Gaal stressed his commitment to, and reputation for, winning. He also questioned those who wondered about his management style working at United, saying he is “democratic”.

In a sign of what’s to come from his unique personality, van Gaal spoke on his misgivings regarding the media’s characterization of him as a tyrannical manager, and his plans to move ahead.

From the BBC:

“I’m democratic, empathetic to human beings. Of course I have a strong personality, but the other characteristics are more important.”

“I have to adapt to this club. It shall not be easy, but I will do my utmost. When you see my career, you can see what I have won and that is what I can say. The future shall show if I can do that again.”

He added: “It’s a great challenge because of the expectation.

“I worked for Barcelona, in my opinion number one in Spain; I have coached Ajax, number one in the Netherlands; I have coached Bayern Munich, number one in Germany, and now Man United, who are number one in England and I hope I shall fulfil expectations.”

The Metro reported that van Gaal had already put 10 players up for sale, with the biggest surprise being Marouane Fellaini. The United manager said signings Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera were on his original list, but that he wants to see his players for 3-4 weeks before selling or buying anyone new.

Meanwhile, Michael Carrick’s injury problems continue, as the midfielder faces up to 12 weeks out of the lineup after suffering an ankle injury in training. Carrick, 32, has undergone surgery and is on the long road to recovery.

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

Photo by Burak Kara/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader
Leave a comment

Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

whufc.com
Leave a comment

West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

Leave a comment

In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.