JOSE MOURINHO has been told to focus on snapping up free transfers when the transfer window reopens, according to reports.The financial impact of coronavirus is still largely unknown but it is expected to have a major effect on transfer fees.7 Tottenham could bring in plenty of quality without having to pay a single transfer feeChairman Daniel Levy opted to place non-playing staff on furlough soon after the government scheme was set up but the club made a U-turn after heavy criticism.And now according to journalist Duncan Castles, Spurs want their manager to look at who he could bring in for nothing as another cash-saving plan.As things stand, the North London club will lose defenders Jan Vertonghen and Japhet Tanganga as well as goalkeeper Michel Vorm when their contracts run out at the end of the season.But there are plenty of players who are on course to be released from their current clubs in the summer and would therefore be available for free.Here, SunSport looks at the entire XI Mourinho could land according to transfermarkt.com.Walter BenitezNice goalkeeper, 27, is represented by Mino Raiola so has a link straight into the Premier League.But he has conceded 36 goals in 26 Ligue 1 games this season, with just four clean sheets.Thomas MeunierManchester United have been keeping close tabs on the Belgian but Spurs could be in pole position for the Belgian.That is because boss Mourinho called Meunier, 28, to convince him to join him in North London and replace Serge Aurier at right-back, just as he did at Paris Saint-Germain.Malang SarrHighly-rated Nice centre-back, 21, has been strongly linked with Newcastle so Spurs had better move quick.The France Under-21 international came through the academy at Nice, joining aged six and making 112 first-team appearances.Jose Luis PalominoArgentine journeyman Palomino finally seemed to settle when he joined Atalanta in 2017 and became a first-team regular, one short of 100 matches for the club.The 30-year-old has missed just six matches across all competitions and helped the Serie A side reach the Champions League quarter-finals.7 Thomas Meunier is out of contract at PSG at the end of the season and may replace Serge Aurier once againCredit: Getty – Contributor7Layvin KurzawaSpanish reports claimed recently Arsenal were on the brink of announcing the 27-year-old PSG left-back.But it is yet to happen and, although Kurzawa has now turned his attention to getting a move to Barcelona, Tottenham could be in with a chance.Mario GotzeThe World Cup winner is out of contract at Borussia Dortmund but still has time to prove a point aged 27.Spurs were linked with Gotze way back in 2016 when he returned to Dortmund from rivals Bayern Munich.Giacomo BonaventuraThe 30-year-old nicknamed ‘Jack’ is hot property in Serie A.The AC Milan midfielder has been linked with moves to Atalanta, Torino, Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli.Adam LallanaEngland and Liverpool star, 31, is set to leave the Kop this summer – but will he do so with a Premier League winners medal to his name?Leicester were keen on taking Lallana so Mourinho would have to battle it out with Brendan Rodgers.WillianThe Brazilian famously rejected Spurs to join Chelsea in 2013. Seven years on, could he finally head to N17 and reunite with the Special One?Rivals Arsenal are also interested but both sides could be put off by his three-year, £120,000-a-week contract demands.Dries MertensChelsea have reportedly made contact with the 32-year-old Belgian over a switch.But he could remain with Napoli to become their all-time top goalscorer – he is currently tied with Marik Hamsik.7 Mario Gotze is set to be let go by Borussia Dortmund with no new deal signedCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd7Latest Tottenham newsHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrongRyan FraserThe Bournemouth winger was on fire for the Cherries last season with eight goals and a stunning 15 assists.But after links with a £30m move to the Emirates in the summer, the Scotland international has managed just one goal and four assists in 32 this term.7 Jose Mourinho worked with Willian at Stamford Bridge and the pair could be reunited this summerCredit: Reuters7Tottenham ask sacked Pochettino to take pay cut on severance package due to coronavirus shutdown
As the indomitable Usain Bolt delivered yet another World Championship triumph, JustBet sports bettors across Jamaica who put their money on the great man are certainly smiling today, especially given the fact the JustBet offered the best betting odds on the market for Bolt to win the 100-metre gold medal. Brand manager for JustBet Andrei Roper, in congratulating Usain Bolt, expressed his pleasure that “in putting its confidence in Bolt, JustBet also beat its competitor with better odds on the race”. Roper continued: “Up to race time, although there were persons who hedged against Bolt due to him stumbling out of the blocks in the semi-final, we maintained our superior odds and rewarded our punters who stayed the course with us. JustBet offered winning odds of $1.90 versus $1.75, which our competitor was offering.” Roper continued: “In the very competitive business of sports betting, we at JustBet have been demonstrating our willingness to take on the competition, by being aggressive in our betting offerings on all sports. We intend to offer more aggressive betting odds and an increased range of offerings to our punters, not only for the IAAF World Championships, but for the Barclays English Premier League and La Liga, and for the upcoming NFL and NBA seasons.” Betting is available with JustBet on all the top remaining events at the IAAF World Championships, including the men’s and women’s 200m, men’s and women’s 400m, men’s and women’s 800m, men’s and women’s 400m hurdles, and the men’s and women’s 4x100m and 4x400m relays. To obtain the top JustBet betting odds on the World Championships, as well as other leagues and events, persons can visit JustBet’s website at www.justbetja.com/programmes, or pick up a copy of the Tuesday and Friday Star newspapers. For those in tune with social media, they can visit the JustBet facebook page at www.facebook.com/justbet, Twitter page at www.twitter.com/justbet_ja, Instagram page at www.instagram/justbet_ja and the YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/justbetja.
Ahead of the mid-March launch of the international promotional campaign for this year’s Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, the Half Marathon race event has been selected among the Best Half Marathons around the world in 2016. The award was the result of a survey among members of the 100 Half Marathons Club based in the USA. This is a racing club of members who have completed 100 lifetime Half Marathons and some members completing up to 300. “This great news has come as we get ready to kick off a vigorous promotion of this year’s sporting event at the Dallas Rock & Roll Marathon on March 17 and 18, with the support of the Jamaica Tourist Board and Reggae Runnerz ,” said Alfred ‘Frano’ Francis, Race Director of Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K. Reggae Runnerz comprises runners from various running groups across the USA who come together to “run … where the sun meets the sea”. Francis said during the upcoming promotion in the USA, a representative of the Reggae Marathon team will be at the Dallas Rock n Roll Marathon Expo, together with the Dallas-based representative of the Jamaica Tourist Board and members of the Dallas-based Reggae Runnerz, who have attended the Jamaican annual race event in previous years. INCREASE INREGISTRATION Since registration opened on January 1 for the 2017 Reggae Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, the event has recorded an increase in registration over the 2016 numbers for February. Last year, more than 2,300 persons from 37 countries registered for the event. Among the countries which sent delegations for the first time were China, Malaysia, Turkey, and Guadeloupe. There were also athletes from South Africa, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, Spain, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and the Russian Federation, among others. In 2016, the Reggae Runnerz group of the USA brought a contingent of 342, while first-timers included Team Diabetes from Canada. Other notable teams came from China, USA, Japan, and France. In declaring that there was an increase last year in teams from the Jamaican community and corporate Jamaica, Francis said, overall, Jamaica had the largest group of participants, followed by the USA and Canada.
UP NEXTRockets: Host the San Antonio Spurs on Friday.Grizzlies: At the Orlando Magic on Friday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption LATEST STORIES Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? MOST READ Chris Paul had 18 points and seven assists for Houston, which had won three straight. Capela added 14 points and 10 rebounds. The loss was only Houston’s second in the last 14 games.“It was one of those games. Every once in a while it crops up,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “You’ve got to go on. It’s too bad, but we just kind of threw that away.”Memphis dominated the game through 3½ quarters until the Harden-led comeback. Conley made all six of his shots, including a quartet of 3-pointers, in the first quarter. Valanciunas made all nine of his shots in the first half.But despite the double-digit lead into the fourth, the Grizzlies had to weather Harden’s 28 points after the third quarter.“It got crazy there for a little bit,” Conley said. “That was a fun game. It’s the kind of game you want to be a part of — big plays, big opportunities for everybody. The way it ended was wild.ADVERTISEMENT The decision on the Maguindanao Massacre case PLAY LIST 03:22The decision on the Maguindanao Massacre case00:50Trending Articles14:41Andal Ampatuan Jr., kin guilty for Maguindanao massacre of 57 people02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives between teammate Clint Capela (15) and Memphis Grizzlies center Jonas Valanciunas (17) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 20, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. The Grizzlies won 126-125 in overtime. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)MEMPHIS, Tenn. — James Harden did everything he could to bring the Houston Rockets back from a big deficit in the fourth quarter. He got them to overtime, but his 57 points weren’t enough.All because of a last-second free throw.ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra Short-handed Bulls stun Wizards Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Rogue cops marked as Gamboa’s targets in his appointment as PNP chief Mike Conley scored 35 points and Jonas Valanciunas had a career-best 33, including the game-winning free throw with less than a second left as the Memphis Grizzlies outlasted the Houston Rockets 126-125 on Wednesday night.“We put ourselves in a hole and tried to pick it up, but it was too late,” Harden said. “We were down (17), so I had to do something.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsHarden led a 17-2 Houston rally in the fourth — scoring 15 points during that stretch — to pull the Rockets to 106-104. He hit three free throws with 4 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime tied at 115.Harden scored all 10 points for Houston in overtime and the teams were still tied at 125 when Clint Capela fouled Valanciunas with 0.1 seconds left. Valanciunas, who also had 15 rebounds, made the first of two free throws. The clock ran out after he missed the second foul shot. View comments Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Eugenie Bouchard’s bid for Australian Open spot ends in qualifying Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I’m just happy we got away with a win.”TIP-INSRockets: Harden’s 57 points were just short of his career-best 61 against the Knicks on Jan. 23. . Eric Gordon (rest) was given the night off, and Kenneth Faried sat out with left knee soreness. … Harden’s streak of five straight double-doubles ended. … Houston made 21 3-pointers, the most by a Memphis opponent this season and second-most in Grizzlies franchise history (23 by the Pistons on April 8, 2018).Grizzlies: Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, signed recently by the Memphis Express of the Alliance of American Football, attended the game. … Conley has scored at least 20 points in six straight games, matching the longest such streak of his career. … Memphis recorded no blocks for the first time this season.BAD STARTHouston had little answer for the Grizzlies early as Memphis built the lead to 19, making 74 percent of its shots in the first quarter, including going 7 of 11 from outside the arc. “We weren’t doing anything,” Harden said. “Defensively they were getting what they wanted. Offensively we weren’t being aggressive. The fourth quarter and overtime we played well.”BOARD WORKMemphis outrebounded the Rockets 50-39, and that included a 14-11 edge on the offensive glass — the key one coming by Valanciunas that led to the game-winning foul shot. “They had been kicking our butt all night,” D’Antoni said, adding: “We didn’t play with a lot of force for a long time.”SPOILERSThe win was Memphis’ fourth in the last six games — three of the four against teams in the Western Conference playoff race. The fourth was over Orlando, which is just outside the postseason picture in the East. “It’s not like, ‘Oh, they’re a playoff team, we want to play better,’” Grizzlies guard Delon Wright said. “We’re just trying to win every game. It just so happens that we’re beating the playoff teams.”
Dear Editor,I take the time to reply once more to questions repeated by Rev Gideon Cecil in a letter in your newspaper on July 9 and 10, 2018.He asks why there has been such a long delay in the announcements of the shortlist and awards for the Prize. By now Rev Cecil ought to be aware that this is because the funding has not yet been made available to complete the process.He repeats yet again his refusal to accept that a writer is allowed to enter the Prize as contestants one year and be asked to serve as a judge in another year. He declares “no award in the world will ever allow such an act”. He is wrong. Other major awards around the world do allow it.In previous letters I have supplied the evidence to prove that former judges are not debarred from entering and winning, and former entrants, former winners are always asked to serve as judges. I gave several examples of these from the IMPAC Dublin, the Commonwealth, the OCM Bocas. These are not my opinions – they are facts that can be verified.There is no such clause in the eligibility rules of the Man Booker Prize, or any of those others. The rules of the IMPAC Dublin speak to persons being entrants and judges at the same time, it does not bar them from entering or from being a judge in the future. Clearly, if I am a judge in 2018, I cannot enter in 2018. But when I am not a judge in 2019, I am not barred from entering. I supplied factual evidence of this happening in that same IMPAC Dublin Prize.Rev Cecil suggested “I believe regulations barring former judges from entering the Guyana Prize should be integrated into the award brochure.” That is a reasonable suggestion based on his opinion. But it has not been the view of the major literary prizes around the world. He also objects to writers entering the Prize and winning on repeated occasions. Those international literary prizes do not disqualify winners from entering again.The former Whitbread Prize, now known as the Costa Book Awards, is another of the major prizes. For the Best Novel, they have had winners repeating many times – Salman Rushdie, William Trevor, Kate Atkinson, Beryl Bainbridge. Poetry has been dominated by Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy, Ted Hughes. Incidentally, Duffy and Bainbridge have served repeatedly as judges a number of times for that same Prize, as have other winners including Susan Hill, Andrew Boyle and Paul Theroux. These are among many writers who re-appear as winners and judges of the same Prize.If Rev Cecil is still not satisfied, I can name other examples from the famous Pulitzer Prize. If this is acceptable practice around the world, why is it wrong in the Guyana Prize?Yours faithfullyAl Creighton
Anyone with information about McColm’s whereabouts is asked to contact their local RCMP detachment, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or call or text Myron McColm at 1-403-348-9846. – Advertisement -The family of a missing person is asking for the public’s help.Bob McColm was last seen wearing a tan t-shirt, black jeans with black suspenders and black shoes. The 51 year-old man was also wearing a camouflage hat with the letters ABO.The man’s truck was last seen in the Dawson area.He was driving a 1999, 379L Peterbilt 48″ ï¬‚at top bunk Old Jade Truck with two shades of green – jade and emerald. It also has a Bandit Bar pushbumper with the bottom part painted green and a gold convoy duck hood ornament. The bunk has lettering with ‘Bob McColm Trucking’ and a ‘Can’t fix stupid stupid’ decal on one of the side windows.The truck was last seen in the Dawson area.Advertisement Photo: The family of Bob McColm provided these photos
In a heart-stoppingly close finale to the state Academic Decathalon competition, San Fernando Valley teams dominated the field Saturday. Although tournament officials note it’s not always a good predictor of the final victor, the Super Quiz Relay round provided the only public view of the competition. And as students vied to answer remarkably complex questions on climatology, a tight race emerged in the evening competition at the University of California, Los Angeles. Moorpark High School ended the evening with first place and a perfect score of 60. Woodland Hills’ El Camino Real High School tied for second place with North Hollywood High, both just a point behind Moorpark. Granada Hills Charter School, the county champion, took third with 58 points. “It’s certainly not in the bag,” said Zak Koretz, a North Hollywood senior. “This will definitely be a photo finish, but we’re certainly in the running.” Scholastic tensions hung heavy inside the UCLA John Wooden Center as the competitors silently marked their score sheets, answering “What happens when the algae on coral die?” and “Why are the sun’s rays more concentrated when the sun’s higher in the sky?” Some students wore suits; others showed up in their letterman jackets. After each correct answer, they held their pencils proudly in the air, twirling them in a silent victory salute. In the stands, their fellow students whispered agonized answers among themselves, as if willing the proper responses to materialize in their teammates’ minds. “If our team gets this wrong,” breathed one observer, “I’m going to kill someone.” Luckily, no such incidents materialized as students breezed through everything from “Why do scientists believe that Mars is losing water vapor into space?” and “China’s landscape can be described as three steps going downward from West to East. Which is the second?” (That would be the Gobi Desert, for those scoring at home). Today, the teams will gather at the LAX Marriott Marquis Ballroom to find out who will take home the top honors for the two-day, all-state competition. The winner will compete in nationals in Honolulu. “It was very exciting today,” said Venus Vakhshori, an El Camino Real senior. “We feel great going in, but we’re very excited to see who’ll win tomorrow.” email@example.com (818) 713-3738 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
From flowers to felines, there’s plenty to do in the Antelope Valley, where residents can enjoy a desert, the mountains and even outer space. Here is a look at some of the attractions. The Lancaster Performing Arts Center, 750 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster; (661) 723-5950; www.lpac.org. The 750-seat theater hosts touring entertainers and musicians, in addition to the Cedar Street Theatre Company. It opened in 1991 at a cost of $10 million. Palmdale Playhouse, 38334 10th St. E., Palmdale; (661) 267-5685; www.thepalmdaleplayhouse.com. A 350-seat, city-run facility hosts entertainers, as well as community choirs, orchestras and writers groups. It opened in 1994 at a cost of $2.8 million. Antelope Valley Fair, 2551 W. Ave. H, Lancaster; (661) 948-6060. The fair runs for 11 days every August, concluding on Labor Day. The entertainment lineup is expected to be announced this spring. The fairgrounds also hosts teen dances, bridal, computer and gun shows, and dog and cat shows. There is also an off-track betting center for horse-racing fans. Clear Channel Stadium, 2400 W. Ave. I, Lancaster; (661) 726-5400; www.jethawks.com. Formerly known as Lancaster Municipal Stadium, the venue is home to the JetHawks baseball team. The JetHawks play in the Single-A California League and are a farm team for the world-champion Boston Red Sox. The stadium is also used for high school graduations, college baseball tournaments, auto shows and concerts. Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, 15101 Lancaster Road, Lancaster; state park office, (661) 942-0662; poppy reserve visitors center, (661) 724-1180. The 1,745-acre site west of Lancaster is judged to be the most dependable area for California’s state flower, Eschscholzia californica. The state park also boasts lupines, coreopsis, goldfields and other flowers, varying year by year according to rainfall. The park is open sunrise to sunset daily. The visitors center is open during wildflower season, usually about mid-March to early May, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Parking fees during wildflower season are $5 per vehicle, $4 for seniors age 62 and older. Off-season parking is $2 per vehicle, $1 for seniors age 62 and older. Exotic Feline Breeding Compound, off Mojave-Tropico Road north of Rosamond Boulevard; (661) 256-3793. The facility’s Feline Conservation Center houses more than 60 wild cats, ranging from the diminutive margay to jaguars, leopards and tigers, and also breeds wild cats for propagating rare species. The center is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Wednesdays. It also has periodic Twilight Tours, when visitors can see special breeding areas and see animals unavailable for viewing during public hours. Daily admission is $3 for adults, $1.50 for children 3 to 18. Twilight Tours are $15 per person, age 18 and older. Shambala Preserve, Acton, (661) 268-0380; www.shambala.com. Opened in 1972 by actress Tippi Hedren, Shambala has nearly 70 animals, including lions, tigers and elephants. Shambala is open one weekend a month to visitors 18 and older and for special events. Minimum donation is $40. Edwards Air Force Base, www.edwards.af.mil/museum; (661) 277-8050. Base tours are offered the first and third Fridays of each month. The daylong tours include a visit to the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center in the morning, then a presentation at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum and a bus tour of the flight line in the afternoon. Reservations are due a week in advance by calling (661) 277-3517 or online at www.edwards.af.mil/trip. Aviation enthusiasts can also inspect retired military jets at the Flight Test Center Museum’s annex, Blackbird Airpark, in Palmdale, which has SR-71, A-12 and U-2 spy planes on display, and at the adjoining Palmdale Plant 42 Heritage Airpark. Blackbird Airpark is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays at Avenue P at 25th Street East, Palmdale. Los Angeles County Raceway, 6850 E. Ave. T, Palmdale, (661) 533-2224; www.lacr.net. Willow Springs International Motorsports Park, 3500 75th St. W., Rosamond, (661) 256-6666; www.willowspringsraceway.net. These venues offer every kind of motorcycle and auto racing. The raceway has a National Hot Rod Association championship drag strip for vehicles ranging from junior dragsters powered by lawn-mower engines to import sedans to street hot rods to all-out racers. It also has motocross tracks and drag-racing and stunt-driving schools. Willow Springs has road-race and oval tracks, as well as classes for motorcycle and auto racing. Mountain High Resort, 24510 Highway 2, Wrightwood; (888) 754-7878; www.mthigh.com. This ski area has 47 trails and 12 chairlifts spread over 220 acres of skiable terrain. Originally opened in 1937, the resort also has snow-making equipment to provide snow when Mother Nature doesn’t. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
Manchester United fans have certainly had better weeks, but it’s still early days as the 2014/15 season has yet to enter September.Take a look at five reasons for Red Devils fans to stay positive, by clicking through the gallery above.Share your thoughts on the situation at Old Trafford by leaving a comment below… 6 5. New signings (including arguably Real Madrid’s best player – A common criticism of United last season was their lack of ideas, with the creative burden left largely to Wayne Rooney. While Rooney notched up 10 league assists, his closest five contenders managed a mere 15 between them. Fans will be hopeful of their new signings ability to solve this problem. New record signing Di Maria managed more assists last season (17) than any other player in La Liga and many fans will remember his run to set-up Gareth Bales deciding goal in the Champions League Final. With Ander Herrera adding a much-needed spark to the midfield and Juan Mata looking more settled, last seasons predictable approach could soon be a thing of the past. 6 6 1. No distractions in the pursuit of Premier League points – This time last year, who honestly could predicted how close Liverpool would come to winning the league? With no European football, an early League Cup exit and thus fewer matches to play than their rivals, Liverpool were able to focus fully on the Premier League and made an unlikely tilt for the title. Once European fixtures begin next month, the games will come thick and fast for Uniteds rivals. Without having to worry about resting players for European ties, United are in a position to emulate their arch rivals and focus on domestic success without distraction. Glory glory Man United? Click the arrow on the right to see why good times really could be around the corner again for Manchester United – New manager Louis Van Gaal, fresh from taking an ordinary Netherlands side to third place in the World Cup, had United flourishing. Their free-flowing, attacking football led to an unbeaten pre-season, culminating in a win over arch-rivals Liverpool in the International Champions Cup in Miami. Fast forward two weeks and the tables have turned. With injuries already stacking up, United have stuttered to just one point in their opening two league fixtures against Swansea and Sunderland. Then the Red Devils season hit an early low when a shock 4-0 loss to League 2 side MK Dons put them out of the Capital One Cup. Will last seasons mediocrity turn out to be more than a one-off or can they turn it around and reclaim a place in next seasons Champions League? Here we present five reasons Manchester United fans shouldnt start to panic yet. 4. Louis van Gaal’s track record of success – Uniteds new manager admitted in pre-season that he has traditionally struggled in the first three months at a new club and history seems to be repeating itself. When Van Gaal took the reins at Bayern Munich in 2009, his team lost each of their first three Bundesliga games, with criticism building from inside and outside the club. Despite this slow start, Bayern ended the season as Bundesliga champions, German Cup winners and Champions League finalists. Similarly, in the 1998/99 season under Van Gaal, Barcelona lay in 10th place in La Liga after 14 games, yet ended the season as champions. The evidence is there if anyone can turn this slow start around, Van Gaal is that man. 3. Players returning from injury – The injuries have stacked up for United so far with important figures like Robin van Persie, Johnny Evans and Michael Carrick, plus new faces Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera all having missed games through injury. With several senior figures players leaving in the summer, United have been hit particularly hard by this injury crisis in defence and midfield. While the emergence of central defender Tyler Blackett has been one positive, Van Gaal will be looking forward to the return of more experienced players, allowing him to play a settled 11. 2. United’s history of coming on strong – Manchester United have made their fair share of slow starts in the Premier League era, often playing catch up with the leaders as Christmas approached. The legendary 1998/99 season ended in treble glory, but did you know United began the season by losing the Charity Shield 3-0 to Arsenal, before drawing their first two league games against Leicester City and West Ham? More recently in 2007/08, United were in 17th place after picking up just two points from their first three games, yet finished the season as both domestic and European Champions. Fans will hope that as this season progresses, United can hit form and put these poor opening weeks behind them, as has been the case in the past. 6 6 6
1 Vincent Kompany Captain Vincent Kompany claims Manchester City are hungry for success and determined to deliver in the Champions League.City have begun the season emphatically by winning their opening five Barclays Premier League matches without conceding a goal.Now they want to carry that momentum into the Champions League, in which they have never previously progressed beyond the last 16.They begin their latest challenge on Tuesday with a testing visit from last season’s runners-up Juventus.Kompany said: “There is nobody who left the Champions League satisfied last year.“Okay, we came against the best team in the world in Barcelona, and I guess that made it a little bit easier to understand, but that is not what we want.“We don’t want to go out to the strongest teams but to compete with them and at least beat them on a regular basis.“Everything has been so bright and so good so far but, as people have been saying for the last three or four years, as long as we don’t perform and show our quality in the Champions League, as we have in the Premier League, there will always be something left behind that leaves us unsatisfied.“It is a really important game for us. We have been looking forward to the start of the competition since the disappointing game in Barcelona. Tomorrow is a game everyone is going to be up for.”