Sir Alex Ferguson insists the decision to appoint David Moyes as Manchester United manager was still the right call, despite his sacking less than a year into a six-year contract.The former Everton manager was the man chosen to follow Ferguson’s legendary reign at Old Trafford following his retirement in 2013, but he lasted only nine months before being replaced by Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.Ferguson says he looked at Jurgen Klopp, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho – “a spectacular manager” – as potential successors, but they had all committed to other projects by the time he had decided to call time on his illustrious managerial career.And while he admits the handover to Moyes could have been handled better, he is adamant he always gave his fellow Scot his support, and is fully behind new boss Van Gaal, too.“I understand why critics, particularly in light of the 2013-14 season, say we should have handled the transition better,” Ferguson said in his new book, ‘Leading’.“I just wanted David and United to win – just as I do these days with Louis van Gaal.Sir Alex, who claimed TV cameras are now trained on him in the directors box at every United match, added: “I think they hoped they would catch me acting like Statler or Waldorf, the two curmudgeons in the Muppets, who are always criticising what is happening on the stage.”The 73-year-old also insists he was never tempted to return to the dugout following Moyes’ dismissal.“There were some who wanted me to return to the sidelines. But I was not tempted,” he said.Former golden boy Ryan Giggs, tipped by Van Gaal to be a future United boss, also gets a glowing reference from Ferguson in the book.“Ryan Giggs is eventually going to be a great manager – he has intelligence, presence and knowledge.” Former Manchester United manager David Moyes 1
1 Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes the authorities have to do more to help English teams in Europe after another dismal night in the Champions League.Losses for Arsenal, at home to Olympiacos, and Chelsea, at Porto, mean there have been five defeats in six Champions League group matches for Premier League teams this season.With the top-flight’s fourth Champions League place coming under increasing threat as England’s co-efficient worsens, Rodgers thinks greater assistance should be given to help lessen the demands of domestic football.“The competition in the Premier League is like no other if you speak to the players and managers who have worked in Europe and then come here,” he said.“The intensity and physicality of the games is much greater for the English teams than it is for any other team in Europe.“I think we can do more to support teams in Europe. It happens with the other federations in other countries, they really help.“Porto, who played last night, played on Friday so they got permission to move their game which keeps them fresh.”Rodgers thinks the week-to-week competitiveness of the Premier League, plus a packed fixture calendar, works against sides when it comes to taking on continental opponents.“The intensity, the way it is played, the demands on the players – in other countries some of the big teams in European leagues can change five, six or seven players and still win the game and put out a really strong team for the next game,” he added.“It doesn’t happen in this country. The physicality of the Premier League is like no other“I think big teams abroad can win games at 70 per cent and conserve their energy – there is no game in the Premier League where you can do that.“They [European clubs] have a domestic competition less to cope with as well; we have two domestic cup competitions in this country where the others have one.“It all adds up to physically being difficult for Premier League teams.“It is something we have to cope with and we respect that challenge but it means you really have to monitor and get the best out of the players you have available.” Per Mertesacker
1 The police presence in Hannover for Tuesday night’s match Germany’s international friendly against Holland was called off at late notice on Tuesday evening after a warning that it would be targeted by terrorists.The match in Hanover was due to begin at 7.45pm GMT but a security alert saw police step in at around 6pm to prevent it taking place.Germany were caught up in the attacks on Paris on Friday, with explosions heard outside the Stade de France during their friendly against France as suicide bombers detonated devices.Attacks in the French capital, claimed by Islamic State jihadists, have so far claimed at least 129 lives.Germany’s federal minister of the interior, Thomas de Maiziere, did not detail the threat in Hanover, asking only to be trusted that the decision to call off the game was a necessary one.He said in a televised press conference: “We were all looking forward to the game, which was a special gesture of football and this makes it all the more bitter to have to take this decision, which was particularly hard to take, but in the slightest doubt, our priority was to protect people.“I can understand all the questions relating to what was the background? What could have happened? Why we had to call the game off? What made the decision so clear? I can understand these questions, but please understand that I would not like to give an answer.“Why? Because some of the answers would unsettle people, and it could make things difficult for us in future in making such decisions, be it in Hanover or elsewhere.“I would just like to ask the German public to trust us, the Interior Ministry, that we had good reasons to make this decision, but it does not help for us to provide any further details.”German broadcaster NDR had earlier quoted Hanover police chief Volker Kluwe as saying: “We have had concrete evidence that someone wanted to ignite an explosive device at the stadium.”Dutch newspaper Telegraaf said one suspicious package was found that was later shown to be harmless, while a senior regional official said there was nothing sinister found in searches in and around the Niedersachsenstadion.The German football federation (DFB) announced in a short Twitter statement shortly after 7pm GMT: “The team are in a safe place. The match will not go ahead.”The Minister of the Interior for the state of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, said: “No explosives have been found and no arrests have been made.”Over 40,000 supporters were expected at the match, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel.Pistorius said no risks could be taken in view of the events in Paris.“It is very regrettable that this game had to be called off,” Pistorius said. “We all wanted to send out a signal, which makes this decision so bitter.“After the indications we received, we knew we could not stage this game. There was no way for us to misinterpret the signs.“We will have greater police ranks out all night to show that we are there and that we are ensuring and can ensure people’s safety.”Acting DFB president Reinhard Rauball said: “It’s a sad day for Germany and a sad day for German football.“It’s a shame for many football fans who were looking forward to a great game, a game which was to be played under different conditions to usual football games – in the spirit of respect, and as a sign against violence and terrorism.“For our team, within just four days, to have to go through such a tragic situation twice is not something I could have imagined.“Thanks again to the security forces. I have great respect for the decision and know how hard it was to take it, but the safety of people is paramount.“The team was five kilometres away from the stadium at the time and turned around and went to a secure place, as did the Dutch team.”Earlier on Tuesday, arrests were made in Aachen in relation to the Paris attacks.Belgium’s friendly against Spain, which was also scheduled to be played on Tuesday, was cancelled on Monday night due to the increased terrorism threat.
Manchester United target Gianluigi Donnarumma will become the world’s most expensive goalkeeper in the future, according to his agent Mino Raiola.The 16-year-old has made six Serie A appearances for AC Milan this season and is being widely tipped to become Italy’s new ‘Gianluigi Buffon’.United have been keeping a close eye on Donnarumma’s development and want to sign the teenager before he starts featuring more regularly at the San Siro.However, Raiola has put an unrealistic price tag on his young client in order to highlight his potential.“Donnarumma is like Modigliani [a famous Italian painter] and is worth €170m,” he told Sport.“He has a great future ahead of him and is an amazing guy, who is liked by all.“He is still very young, but can become a champion player.” 1 16-year-old AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma
Danny Murphy has hailed John Stones as “potentially the best centre-half England has ever had.”The Everton youngster, he doesn’t turn 22 until the end of May, has already won seven caps for his country and was the subject of a £30million bid from reigning champions Chelsea last summer.However, the defender came in for criticism following last weekend’s draw against Tottenham after he was almost caught in possession in his own penalty area towards the end of that match.But former Liverpool star Murphy insists people should not try to curb Stones’ natural instincts.He told the Colin Murray Show: “It’s a difficult one because the general rule would be not to try those things in your box at any point, in any game, unless you’re 4-0 up. And even then, why?“But he is an exception to a lot of rules in my book because I think he is potentially the best centre-half we’ve ever had.“I think he is going to be anything he wants to be. He’s a Barcelona player in waiting.”
Leicester star Riyad Mahrez Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has warned Riyad Mahrez he must ignore transfer speculation or face the bench.The winger has been linked with moves away from the Foxes following a stunning season.He has scored 16 goals with Leicester top of the Barclays Premier League by two points ahead of Saturday’s visit of Norwich.Jamie Vardy signed a new deal until 2019 this month while Mahrez agreed an extension until 2019 at the start of the season and Ranieri wants him to stay focused amid speculation he could move on in the summer.However, the boss admitted that if the big boys came calling, he would not stand in Mahrez’s way.“If Riyad plays well he continues to play. If he thinks about other teams he comes with me on the bench,” the Italian said.“If I am Riyad I say: ‘There are a lot of teams who want me, OK, I have to show more if I want to go there. I have to show my best, because if I should do my best maybe they want to buy me’.“We want to keep all our players. We believe in them. But if a player comes to me and says: ‘Boss, I want to go there because it’s my ambition to go there’. I’ll say: ‘Go and enjoy and have good luck’.“Because I only want players who are happy to stay here, because sooner or later we grow up a lot. Of course, not like Barcelona or Real Madrid, but Leicester will be a very good team.”But Ranieri admitted qualifying for the Champions League would make it easier to keep their stars.“For this reason I said (the next) five matches are very important, it’s our key,” he added. 1
West Brom manager Tony Pulis says he will join ‘most of football’ in hoping Leicester City win the Premier League title in May.The Foxes dropped two points as they were held at home to the Baggies on Tuesday evening, as Pulis’ men took the game to the league leaders at the King Power Stadium.Claudio Ranieri’s men will go second on goal difference if Tottenham beat West Ham at Upton Park on Wednesday, but Pulis hopes they can regain the upper hand in the title race.The Albion boss said: “Leicester are a wonderful team, they are pretty old fashioned in lots of respects.“They play through the pitch quickly, they don’t hang around with the ball, they get it wide and get balls into the box. You have to defend well and doggedly against them and every Leicester City supporter should be really proud of their team.“Now we’ve played this game, I hope they win the league.“I don’t think until as far back as Nottingham Forest – when they got promoted with Cloughie [Brian Clough] from the second division to the first division – it was a team to come from nowhere and actually win the title.“If they do it it’s an even greater achievement than Forest because the financial divide between teams is enormous now. So they have got my backing and I think most of football will hope they are able to achieve what will be an absolutely remarkable, remarkable success story.”The point moves West Brom up to 13th with 36 points – 12 clear of the drop zone – but the Welshman is keen not to rest on his laurels.He added: “Let’s get the 40 points and see where we are.“It’s important to do that. It’s been a strange league this year.“We understand we have to keep focused, keep together and work as hard as what we have done [against Leicester] and hopefully get those points as quickly as possible as you can’t take anything for granted in this league.”
The biggest north London derby in years takes place on Saturday at White Hart Lane, with tensions between the fans at breaking point as both clubs go hunting for the Premier League crown.Supporters from both sides are born into hating their arch-rivals, but what do the youngest fans really think about their bitter enemies?YouTube pranksters Woody and Kleiny asked some young Spurs fans what they thought of Arsenal ahead of the derby.The response was predictably entertaining, with one young Tottenham fan claiming Arsenal “don’t eat their vegetables”.Check out our mates Woody and Kleiny on YouTube, and be sure to subscribe to talkSPORT for more sports entertainment.
THE boss of a Donegal health insurance company pocketed an incredible 70 MILLION EURO last year in his salary.Stephen Hemsley is the Chief Executive of the United Health Group which has a base in Letterkenny.The American-based boss made a whopping €5.83M every month! The figure makes him the best paid chief of any company, according to American magazine Forbes.Hemsley makes seven times more than the man who runs the global fast food giant McDonalds.The company announced 200 extra jobs for Letterkenny last year.UnitedHealth group, which is based in Minneapolis, is a Fortune 100 company with operations in 63 locations worldwide. It currently employs 340 people at its Letterkenny site processing medical claims and working as IT technicians.At the time of the extra jobs announcement, US Vice-President of Operations, Jim Becker, said it was ‘a proud day’ for the Group.‘The Letterkenny facility stood out for us,” he said.‘Their unquestionable ability to succeed each and every day, along with their strategic location and passionate workforce made our decision very easy.”BOSS OF LETTERKENNY COMPANY HAS €70 MILLION SALARY was last modified: April 17th, 2011 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Stephen HemsleyUnitedHealthGroup€70million salary
Senator Jimmy Harte says the statement by Charlie Mc Conalogue TD criticising the AIB closures shows that real effects of the policies of the previous government.“We read today that there is €100 million in property in Donegal in NAMA. Effectively the tax payer is now responsible for the liabilities of these properties. This is a direct result of the reckless cosy relationship between FF and many developers as pointed out in the Reglin Watson Report.“The closure of these AIB branches and the job losses could have been avoided had FF not engaged in the mortgaging of the country,” he said. He added that it’s really time that Fianna Fail put their hands up and accept their role in the economic mess.“In the week that the Government could borrow on the Bond Market again it is important to remind the public that no one would lend this country money two years ago. It’s an improvement and should be welcomed,” he said. Senator Jimmy Harte FIANNA FAIL HAVE TO PUT THEIR HANDS UP OVER AIB CLOSURES – HARTE was last modified: July 27th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)