Van Gaal warning for Van Persie

first_img Van Gaal was also careful to provide an exact statement on England full-back Luke Shaw, who suffered an ankle injury against the Gunners. A week ago the United manager’s comments on Daley Blind’s knee problem were misinterpreted and led to the club’s 3.5million Twitter followers being erroneously advised the Dutch player was out for six months. Van Gaal said: “Last time I have said something and it was not interpreted so good so I have asked my medical advisor and maybe Manchester United Twitter account can pay attention to it!” The United manager then read from a prepared statement saying: “Luke sustained an ankle ligament injury but with no serious complications and he will be out for the next few weeks because of this.” He then added: “I have said that also with Daley Blind it will not be six months.” Phil Jones (shin), Jonny Evans (ankle) and Rafael (hamstring) are all still out injured. Hull boss Steve Bruce will mark his 700th match in football management with a timely trip to Old Trafford on Saturday and says experience has taught him not to panic about the Tigers’ recent plight. There could be no more fitting arena for former Manchester United star Bruce – who was first appointed player-boss at Sheffield United in 1998 – to mark his managerial milestone, but his mind will be more on arresting his side’s run of three consecutive defeats. After a bright start and impressive transfer outlay it has come as a blow to Bruce but despite being linked with a series of reinforcements in the new year he is adamant he has a strong enough squad to pull out of their recent poor form. Bruce said: “I genuinely haven’t looked at January yet – I’m happy with the squad we’ve got. We made big changes in the summer and some of those players are just starting to bed in and I’m sure we will get better as the season goes on.” “It’s all about doing all you can to keep the squad as good as it can be. Of course when you get beaten a few times the doubts creep in but you’ve got to keep everybody positive and make sure they believe in what you’re doing. “There’s not a lot wrong and we’ve just got to stay with it. We’ve got a really difficult run of games and now we’re coming to a really critical part of the season.” Bruce has received a major blow with the news striker Abel Hernandez will miss the United clash and probably also Wednesday’s trip to Everton due to flying home to Uruguay to be with his partner for the imminent birth of their child. Gaston Ramirez is suspended after his sending-off against Spurs but otherwise Bruce at least has the relief of knowing he has no new injury worries to contend with. Bruce is yet to earn three points at Old Trafford in his managerial career and if he is starting to fancy his chances in light of United’s current travails, he would not reveal his hopes ahead of his return. “They’ve just had a great result at Arsenal and they’re very quietly creeping up – they’ve had unbelievable injuries which they seem to have dealt with,” said Bruce. “But we went to Arsenal and Liverpool and picked up a result and we’ve got to remain positive and hope that we can play like we did in those two games and make sure we take something from the game.” Reflecting on his eight-club managerial career, Bruce recalled how he was handed his first job almost by accident following the departure of Nigel Spackman at Bramall Lane. Bruce said: “It all came about so quickly – at the time I was convinced I wanted to work with a youth team or soccer schools, then I got a phone call saying would I be prepared to be player-manager at Sheffield United and for that phone call I will always be grateful. “I think 998 games as a player and 700 as a manager is a lot of Saturday afternoons. I never thought I would do 700 because the early days were very difficult, but I’ve been in the game a long time and it’s been fantastic.” Louis van Gaal has warned striker Robin van Persie he will have to fight for his place as the Manchester United manager prepares to welcome Radamel Falcao back to his squad. Asked if Falcao’s return would increase the pressure on Van Persie, who was substituted against his former club Arsenal last weekend having had just 13 touches of the ball, Van Gaal said: “Every player in my selection has to fight for his position and I shall always take the best of the players and it must also be suitable for the mix of players. So it is also an obligation of a player that he does that.” Asked if he felt confident that Falcao can start to live up to his potential, the United boss added: “I hope so because we have him on loan because of that.” It is not just Falcao poised to provide a huge boost for United, but Argentina defender Marcos Rojo is also in contention after being out with a shoulder injury. Van Gaal told a news conference at United’s training centre: “We have to wait and see until the last training session of course. It’s always difficult to say but we have good news, yes. You have to read between the lines. “I have to train the last session and I live day by day at this moment. So maybe Falcao can come back in the 18 [matchday squad], maybe Rojo can come back in the 18. That’s it I think.” Van Gaal said he was happy that United were in the top four despite their injury problems and having played some heavyweight opposition in recent games. “When you see how our preparation was, how many injuries, then it was a very big test and after the heavy opponents we are still fourth so I’m happy,” said Van Gaal. “But we have to be at least fourth at the end of the league and not now. Now is not so important. We have to improve our playing style and beat our opponents more easily.” Van Gaal is hoping the injury-hit Colombian can finally display the qualities that have made him one of the most feared strikers in world football – especially important for United with Van Persie struggling for form. Falcao’s loan spell at Old Trafford has been disrupted by injuries but Van Gaal is hopeful he will be in the squad for the visit of Hull on Saturday. Press Associationlast_img read more

Korger: Time for Badger Herald to improve

first_imgOne of the finer points in being a student-journalist comes with understanding where to draw the line.First off, when you read this know the biographical facts that shape my identity as a person. I am a fifth-year student at the University of Wisconsin and I grew up a life-long Badger fan.So, understand how incredibly difficult it has been for myself to shake off that personal bias and become an unbiased writer. The process was gradual, from my former Sports Editor Mike Fiammetta telling me as a sports writer I couldn’t have a Wisconsin logo background on my Twitter profile to finally dressing (at least, almost always) for interviews with a conscientious effort to not wear any Wisconsin clothing – an extremely hard task to accomplish, considering the color of red makes up half of my clothes.But, I can confidently tell you I have made it past those old views and become somewhat of a seasoned student journalist. After all, when you report for almost three years on seemingly every sport on campus you begin to let your bias and allegiance evaporate. Instead, what replaced my passion as a fan was a passion for athletes and the sports they play.There really is something to be said about the young men and women at this university who are full-time students, successful athletes and still find time to volunteer for various organizations and throughout the Madison community. And these young men and women are the reason I got into working at this paper in the first place. There are just some people you meet who make you want to become a better person.Something I’ve noticed in my time as a journalist is the fact there rarely is such thing as an unbiased writer. In fact, I even caught myself posting a “Go Badgers” status at the Rose Bowl. I’ve heard of writers who are friends with the athletes they write about, who go out to bars and such with them and enjoy a solid relationship.That’s all great and seriously, some of these athletes are the kind of people you wish you could hang out with, but at what point does the journalistic responsibilities of being a reporter trump your natural instincts as a peer to these student-athletes?Well, for starters, it’s important to stay professional. As much as I wish I could go around Facebook friend requesting athletes, I don’t, because it’s creepy. And, I guess I should keep the relationship between us as professionals. I just wish every person who writes, at every level, felt the same.Another difficulty I’ve noticed is the tendency we in the student press have to be all cream-puff over athletes and the Athletic Department. I’ll admit, it can be intimidating to write anything critiquing or questioning a tenured coach who has been successful, because you put yourself at risk of being alienated or shunned by the coach or, at least, feeling that uncomfortable awkwardness every time you ask a question. I mean, who wants to be criticized by some college student who hasn’t ever played the sport at the collegiate level?Part of being a successful sports journalist is knowing where to draw the line, where questioning goes too far, where claims and ideas go without proof. It’s important to keep respect for every person, no matter how much you disagree with them, and to stay professional at all times.One of the journalists I’ve come to respect during my time here in Madison is the Wisconsin State Journal’s columnist Tom Oates; mainly because Oates challenged former head coach Bret Bielema in a column entitled “Badgers’ knee-jerk firing of Mike Markuson the result of a poor hire” that ran Sept. 11, 2012.The column questioned Bielema’s remarks in response to the firing of his offensive line coach just two games into the season and seemed to raise the ire of the former Wisconsin head coach into a noticeable presence in the room, every time they were in the same room.For a guy just in his first year, I would never have dreamed of openly criticizing Bielema in a column, even though I was tempted to do the same following the football team’s third straight overtime loss in 2012. But, either out of cowardice or lack of confidence in myself as a columnist, I backed away.Now, looking back at the way Bielema bolted for Arkansas midseason, I feel nothing but regret that I tiptoed around outright questioning of the Badgers’ struggles in 2012 stemming from coaching. Sure, cleverly worded didactic literature in a column can veil criticism, but we as a sports department have backed away from critical analysis of the state of the athletic landscape at this prestigious campus.So, I make a pledge to you, fellow students. The Badger Herald Sports Department is done with being just your regular, run-of-the-mill sports section. Have a feature idea about a great/incredible aspect of an athlete’s life that has escaped recognition? Let us know. Have an idea for a story in general you’d like to see? Let us know. Think we’re still not being unbiased in our coverage? Let us know.If this is my last semester on campus as a student and my only as the sports editor at this paper, I’ll be damned if I don’t give everything I have (while maintaining my grades and law school hopes) to bring you a better sports section with the best and most well-rounded coverage in the country of all the wonderful aspects of athletic activity this city and college has to offer.These wonderful pages at The Badger Herald were formed as an experiment. Let’s get back to the lab this semester.Nick Korger is fifth-year senior and a history and English major. Have a story idea or something you’d like to see covered? Email him at sports@badgerherald.com or nkorger@badgerherald.comlast_img read more