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LVG Defends Van Persie

lvg-mufcManchester United manager Louis van Gaal has tipped striker Robin van Persie to be back to his best when his side meet Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Red Devils boss is adamant his compatriot will regain his confidence in front of goal, and claims the 31-year-old is still at the top of his game despite a drop in form.

‘He has showed that at the World Cup and is showing that now, except for scoring goals. But that is only a matter of time,’ Van Gaal told The Sun.

‘A striker also needs a bit of luck and then the confidence is higher.

‘But he’s self-confident, so I expect he shall score and maybe against Chelsea.

‘Now he is more fit than ever and playing better but doesn’t score as much.

‘He’s been a little bit unlucky, like against West Brom when he shot with his right foot – it was hard to believe that shot stayed out of the goal.’

United play host to Chelsea in Sunday’s hotly anticipated clash at Old Trafford, with the Red Devils currently 10 points adrift of The Blues at the peak of the table.

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Di Maria Fit For Chelsea Match

dimaria-mufcAngel di Maria is fit for Manchester United’s crunch match against Chelsea on Sunday.

The £60million signing was struggling with a thigh injury picked up in their 2-2 draw at West Bromwich Albion on Monday and it was feared that he would miss their biggest game of the season so far.

He had an ice-pack on the injury after being substituted in the 76th minute, but was able to train for the past two days and is ready for Chelsea.

Manager Louis van Gaal said: ‘It was not so heavy, he has trained. Only the first day [Tuesday] he doesn’t train.’

Van Gaal also revealed that Michael Carrick will play in a development game against West Ham in London on Friday night in a bid to regain match fitness.

The midfielder was a surprise inclusion on United’s bench against West Brom on Monday night, but did not make it on the field.

Van Gaal added: ‘I even let Michael Carrick this evening play in London against West Ham in the reserve team.

‘I believe he needs that, he needs to play matches especially when you are five months injured. He said that it was his first experience in the second team.’

The United boss will be without the suspended Wayne Rooney but Radamel Falcao, who scored a hat-trick the last time he faced Chelsea in Atletico Madrid’s Super Cup triumph last year, is available.

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Januzaj Agent On His Future

 

Adnan-Januzaj

Adnan Januzaj’s agent, Dirk de Vriese, has revealed that the player is keen to stay at Manchester United, despite a lack of playing time so far this season.

The 19-year-old has struggled to break into Louis van Gaal’s side this season following the arrival of £59.7m signing Angel di Maria in the summer transfer window.

Januzaj, who signed a five-year deal with United in October 2013, has been linked with cash-rich Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain in recent weeks.

But the Red Devils star’s agent De Vriese reiterated that Januzaj is happy to stay at United and prove his worth the new manager in the coming months.

“We want to stay,” he said. “Adnan wants to gain experience in England as a number 10. He doesn’t fear the competition. Just like anyone else he wants to play but he will wait for his opportunity. He is a super professional and he is still motivated, even when he has to play for the Under-21s,” he said. We’re not angry. We know the club is very happy with him and they want to keep Adnan for the rest of his career at Old Trafford.”

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Has United Signed Dani Alves Already?

Dani-AlvesAccording to respected agent Francois Gallardo, Barcelona right-back Dani Alves has already agreed terms on a move to Manchester United.

Alves, who has been strongly linked with an exit from Barca, had reportedly set his heart on a switch to the Premier League, with Chelsea leading the race for his signature.

But now agent Gallardo has revealed that United have now stormed in and agreed to sign the Brazilian, with a contract already being thrashed out.

‘The player will leave Barcelona,’ said Gallardo.

‘He has signed a preliminary agreement with Manchester United.’

While Alves could move in the January transfer market, is all likelihood he will join United next summer.

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Van Gaal Wants United Stars To Play In U-21 Championship

lvg-newReally interesting comments from Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal about his young English stars playing in the European Under 21 Championships this summer.

The Manchester United boss wants Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and other United youngsters to be picked in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the finals in the Czech Republic at the end of the season believing it will help further their careers.

‘That tournament is a very good education and I said that as the coach of the Dutch national team as well,’ said Van Gaal.

My defenders at the World Cup (who reached the semi-finals) Stefan de Vrij, Bruno Martins Indi, Daley Blind had all played in the European Under 21 championship. It’s a good experience not many players have.’

Van Gaal has a different take on this type of competitions due to his national team experience. That puts him at odds with fellow Premier League bosses like Roberto Martinez and Arsene Wenger who don’t want their young stars to play.

Following England’s qualification last week for the finals, Martinez questioned why England should call up his young star at Everton Ross Barkley for the tournament while Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has regularly opposed full internationals like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere dropping back into the u-21s.

Van Gaal has five United players in contention for the finals; Shaw who played in the play-off win against Croatia, Jones, brothers Michael and Will Keane, and Tyler Blackett and the United boss doesn’t see any problem with young players extending their season.

‘I don’t think it is even a question or worth having a discussion. But that’s my view because I think all the players want to play.

‘For me as a trainer-coach of a club, I am very happy that Shaw is playing with the Under 21s. He played for the Under 21s while (Adnan) Januzaj was on the bench for the Belgium senior team. That is not a benefit for him, it was a two-week holiday.

‘He would have been better at the Under 21s. I think youngsters have to play. When they are free, they need to play. Shaw was also happy to be with the Under 21s as he needs match rhythm.

‘So it was good for everyone – the national Under 21 team, for me and for Luke.’

If more Premier League manager follow LVG’s lead that would be huge boost for Southgate who went to the last Under 21s final under Stuart Pearce in Israel without 17 eligible players and failed to qualify from their group.

Shaw went to the last World Cup in Hodgson’s squad but would happily play for the junior team to try and help England win their first under-21s title since 1984.

Raheem Sterling, Wilshere, Jones, John Stones, Ross Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain are also young enough to be eligible but van Gaal accepts you shouldn’t force individual players to go if they themselves think they are fatigued.

‘Not every player is the same and I, as a manager, have to know that. Some players are too tired to play so the managers and the medical departments or the club and federation have to communicate better,’ he said.

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Falcao-scoresAnder Herrera believes that Manchester United might have the world’s three best forwards in Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao.

The Spaniard, who joined United from Athletic Bilbao for 28.8 million pounds in June, is impressed with the firepower at manager Louis van Gaal’s disposal.

Captain Rooney is the third highest scorer in United’s history with 219 goals, 30 behind record holder Sir Bobby Charlton, and is also likely to end his career as England’s most prolific marksman.

Van Persie, who is Netherlands’ 48-goal record scorer, won the Premier League Golden Boot in successive seasons and with different clubs between 2011 and 2013.

And Falcao, who has been borrowed from Monaco, has scored 156 goals in 204 games for his three European clubs and has commanded transfer and loan fees totalling in excess of 100 million euros.

Herrera, who has struck twice in his last three games, told Inside United:

“I want to try to score more goals. It’s very important for the midfielders. I like assists as well and I think we have maybe the best three strikers in the world here in Rooney, van Persie and Falcao.

“Juan [Mata], Angel [Di Maria], Adnan [Januzaj], Daley [Blind], Fletch [Darren Fletcher] and me are all going to help them try to score, and if I score of course I’ll be very happy.”

Herrera is currently sidelined by a cracked rib, with no date put on his comeback yet.

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Falcao Loving Life At Old Trafford

Falcao-scoresRadamel Falcao scored his first goal in English football and then spelled out his desire to remain at Manchester United beyond the end of the season.

Falcao started repaying some of the money United have invested in him by scoring the winner in Sunday’s 2-1 victory over Everton at Old Trafford.

The Colombian, who also cleared a Phil Jagielka off the line in the second half, is on loan from Monaco until the end of the season.

United will have to stump up £43million if they want to sign him permanently next summer and the Colombian hopes they do.

“Me and my family are happy here, and we would like to stay for many years at Manchester United,” Falcao told MUTV.

The former Porto striker made similar comments when he was first presented to the media last month, before making his debut in the 4-0 win over Queens Park Rangers on Sept. 14.

“I believe in this project,” he said at the time. “I think Manchester United is the best club for my style of play and I am sure about my decision. This project in the future will be great for us.”

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Van Gaal fires warning to rivals

lvg-mufcLouis van Gaal has warned Manchester United’s rivals his side will only get better.

A 2-1 victory over Everton at Old Trafford on Sunday moved United into the top four for the first time since August last year.

David De Gea stopped Leighton Baines’ penalty and made three late saves to deny the visitors a point, and van Gaal afterwards admitted the performance was patchy.

But the United manager sounded an ominous note when he said:

“I’ve already told my players we aren’t playing good and we’ve already hit the top four, so what will happen when we’re playing well?

“I mean playing well for 90 minutes, because we’ve played well for half a game or 60 minutes.

“That needs time – I’m afraid to say it again, but you saw it. We need to improve the organisation because we were outstanding in the first half, but then we let them have so many chances.

“I made substitutions to help our organisation but despite my changes it was not better because in the last 15 minutes they created three big chances.

“David De Gea was fantastic today. When there are a lot of players in front of you your view is not so good as a goalkeeper.

“When the shot comes in from outside the box it is always at the last moment that you see the ball, but his reflexes are very good.”

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Van Gaal hails De Gea heroics

DDG3Louis van Gaal was pleased to record back-to-back victories for the first time in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday against Everton, but he was as much thankful to goalkeeper David De Gea as he was to goalscorers Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao.

Di Maria gave United the lead in the first half, and while De Gea stopped Leighton Baines’ penalty just before the break, Steven Naismith equalised for the visitors in the second half. Falcao put United back in front with his first goal for the club, but it was left to De Gea again to make a string of key saves in the dying moments of the match.

Here’s what the boss had to say to MUTV after the game…

A game of two halves
“It was a very good first half, like against West Ham. We created a lot of chances but in the first half we only scored one goal from all those chances. Then we got a penalty given against us. Everton hadn’t created any chances until the last minute of the half, but fortunately De Gea stops the penalty. Then I thought the second half was easier to play against Everton because they wanted to equalise, so we had to keep the ball. But we couldn’t do that. I made substitutions to help our organisation but despite my changes it was not better because in the last 15 minutes they created three big chances.”

De Gea outstanding
“David De Gea was fantastic today. When there are a lot of players in front of you your view is not so good as a goalkeeper. When the shot comes in from outside the box it is always at the last moment that you see the ball, but his reflexes are very good.”

Falcao off the mark
“Yes, he needed that goal. I talked with him and I told him that he was forcing himself too much to score. He is a player who scores in every match, but here he has had to wait. Now he has [got his goal] it will be better after the international break.”

Di Maria impressing
“I have said in my press conference that he is a team player, that he gives a lot of assists and he is making a lot of goals. We also need balance in our team when we don’t have the ball. For that, we have to find the solution. He is doing great. He wants to do his work defensively, but the balance in our team in the second half has to improve. When we have the ball we have to keep the ball and we didn’t do that. So that’s why in the second half it was very difficult for the fans, for the players, for the substitutes, but also for the manager!”

Luke Shaw’s injury
“It was an impact on his knee and he has a dead [leg near his] knee. He could have made it worse so that is why he stepped out.”

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Di Maria backing for de Gea

DDG2Man of the match Angel di Maria said his award should have gone to Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea after his side recorded back-to-back wins for the first time under Louis van Gaal with a 2-1 win over Everton.

Di Maria put United ahead midway through the first half as he fired home from Juan Mata’s cross for his third goal of the season.

But the Toffees had the chance to level matters at the break after Tony Hibbert was brought down by Luke Shaw on the stroke of half-time.

Leighton Baines stepped up to take the resulting penalty and aimed for the bottom left but was thwarted by De Gea, who made a big one-handed save.

Baines made up for his mistake 10 minutes into the second half as he picked out Steven Naismith with a pinpoint cross in the centre of the penalty box and the Scot headed home from close range with the equaliser.

The hosts were back in front just after the hour mark as Di Maria turned provider for fellow summer recruit Radamel Falcao, who slotted the ball past Tim Howard from six yards out to make it 2-1 with his first United goal.

De Gea did well to keep out a two late Leon Osman strikes, one from Gareth Barry and one fantastic effort from Bryan Oviedo as the hosts held on for the three points.

Di Maria told BT Sport 1:

“I think David is the guy the who deserves this reward rather than myself he saved us throughout the game and particularly towards the end and the penalty as well so not only him but the rest of the side deserve this.”

He also reserved praise for fellow newcomer Falcao and hopes the win is the start of things to come at Old Trafford, adding: ”

Yes, it’s great for him.

“He’s been looking for that first goal for a while now and he’s it’s very, very important for him now.

“I think not only him but ourselves are on the right road now and the main thing is we’re fighting for victories and fighting for points.

“We’ve got the three points for the day and hopefully we can now move further up the table.”

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