Over a Cup of Tea
English Premier League, European Championships, World Football, Football Cups

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With Arsenal skipper and talismanic striker Robin van Persie coming out openly and stating that he will not be signing a new contract extension with the club and will leave once his contract expires at the end of next season, following an altercation with manager Arsene Wenger and the management and board members of the club, one begs to ask whether it is indeed a fact that the French manager has lost the plot. Over the last few seasons, starting from 2008, The Gunners have seen many star names depart for greener pastures and to win trophies. First it was legendary striker Thierry Henry who left in 2008 to join Barcelona, followed by defender Kolo Toure and striker Emmanuel Adebayor, both of whom left to join the revolution at Manchester City. This was followed by the departures of midfielder Cesc Fabregas, who returned to boyhood club Barcelona, having grown frustrated at the lack of silverware at the Emirates Stadium and he was followed out of the door of the Emirates by French pair Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy, both of whom joined City.

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Former Ajax Amsterdam, FC Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal has been named as the new manager of The Netherlands national football team, a statement from KNVB, the football association of the country announced on its official website. The 60 year old will take over the reins of The Oranje from Bert van Marwijk, who stepped down from his role as the manager of the national team after a disappointing Euro 2012 campaign where the Dutch failed to manage a single win and were knocked out of the group stages, finishing bottom of their group.

The Netherlands arrived in Poland and Ukraine for the European Championships as one of the favorites for the title after they finished as runners up to all conquering Spain in the final of FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010 and even though they were placed in the Group of Death with Portugal, Denmark and arch rivals Germany, were favorites to reach the next round along with the Germans. But they finished bottom of the group, with 5 goals conceded, 2 scored and 0 points on the board. The Netherlands were defeated by Denmark 1-0 in their opening fixture, followed by a 2-1 loss to eternal enemies Germany and another 2-1 defeat at the hands of Portugal in a match they were completely outplayed by Cristiano Ronaldo and his men.

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Record English League champions Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Portuguese international midfielder Joao Moutinho from FC Porto. United are in the lookout for a creative midfielder in the mould of Paul Scholes, who is almost certain to retire from the game again at the end of the season after coming out of retirement to help The Red Devils last season when they had been plagued by injuries. And manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes that the 25 year old is the right age to build a team for the future around, with his own retirement almost imminent in the next two years.

The Red Devils were hot on the heels of Tottenham Hotspur and Croatia international playmaker Luka Modric but if the reports that are coming in from Madrid and Zagreb are to be believed, he has already agreed to terms with Spanish champions Real Madrid and the move is almost imminent, with Spurs and Los Blancos haggling over a fee after Real’s Turkish midfielder Nuri Sahin refused to be a part of a swap deal for the 26 year old Croat.

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I was interested to hear Roberto Mancini’s response when asked about Manchester City’s lack of signings this summer. “Speak to the man in charge,” he said, referring to director of football Brian Marwood. “I am not in charge of this.” … Continue reading →