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MOYES BACKS MATA

David Moyes has come in praise of midfielder Juan Mata, who scored his first goal for Manchester United in the 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday. This was a major relief for the Spaniard, who came to Old Trafford in a £ 37.1 million deal. He is the club’s record signing at the moment, but so far, he has contributed only a couple of assists. Many have criticised Moyes playing Mata out of position on the wings. He was at his best for Chelsea in a more central role. However, the absence of Robin van Persie due to injury has made Mata return to a central position against Aston Villa.

Most of the time, he was utilised in a free role against Villa. He created havoc by creating and scoring opportunities. The game also marked the first goal for United. After the match, Moyes said that the 25-year-old deserved this goal for the performances he has put in since coming to United. Mata has been one of the best players in the Premier league over the last couple of years, but he found himself on the fringes of the first-team at Chelsea after the arrival of José Mourinho. He was allowed to leave for United in the January transfer window.

“He’s deserved it. His play has been very good. He’s made a difference to the team, he’s helped the team. Goals were one of the reasons we bought him. He’s always scored goals, he’s got a very good goalscoring record. I think he was probably feeling it a little bit – he missed a chance in midweek, missed two good chances against West Ham – so I think there have been signs, the opportunities have been coming for him to score goals,” said Moyes, whose own pressure has been lifted because of this win.

MOYES THANKS FANS

David Moyes has stated that he is thankful of the support shown by the fans during his troubled times at Manchester United. He has said this in an emotional letter ahead of the club’s trip to West Brom on Saturday. This match precedes a difficult run of fixtures, which will see United take on the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City in the next five matches. Moyes is under a lot of pressure after losing the first leg against Olympiakos. As a result, the club are in danger of being knocked out of the Champions League for the second consecutive season at the last 16 stage itself.

There were beaten by Real Madrid at this stage last season, but this defeat will be much more embarrassing since United were expected to comfortably progress to the quarter-finals. Further, they have been struggling in the league throughout the season and they are currently seventh in the table. The prospect of United finishing in the top four looks very unlikely and it would be the first time they miss out on the competition in a very long time. There have been the fans turning against Moyes, as he has been able to get just three wins since the turn of the year.

Moyes, though, is looking to win back the supporters with this emotional letter ahead of a major month.

“While I knew that this job would be a challenge when I took it on, the difficult season we have experienced was not something that I envisaged, which I am sure is the case as well for you supporters – and my players, staff and I are desperate to compensate for that. You are accustomed to seeing a successful Manchester United and the backing you have given the players and me throughout the season has been incredible,” said Moyes.

FOCUS ON AQUILANI

Alberto Aquilani is a professional footballer from Italy and he represents the Italian national team and the Italian club Fiorentina. Aquilani is an attacking midfielder and playmaker and is known for his long range shooting and fast and penetrative passing. His style of play allows him to perform different midfield roles and he can also play as a playmaker operating deep in the field.

His career started with Roma after a short spell of play with Triestina and became a regular with the club during season 2005-06. After an injury break spanning several months he moved to Liverpool for 2009-10 season. The same year he switched to Juventus on loan due to non-availability of playing time and remained with them till the end of 2010-11.

He came back to Liverpool as Juventus did not attempt to buy him and he again went on loan to Milan for 2011-12. His international career took off when he earned the under-16 cap in 2001 for the European U-16 football championship qualifier. In the Italy’s 2003 UEFA European U-19 championship win, he scored once and was then graduated to U-21 and participated in the European U-21 football championship qualifier.

Aquilani’s senior career was made against a friendly with Turkey in November 2006. His first goal for his country was against Montenegro in the world cup qualifier on 15th October 2008 and he finished with 3 goals in the game. Between 2006 and 2013 he had played 33 times for Italy and scored twice. His overall statistics for clubs show that he had played 337 games and scored 35 times.  Aquilani dons the number 10 jersey for on the field. On the personal front Aquilani is married to the beautiful Italian actress Michela Quattrociocche since 2012 and has a child Aurora Aquilani from the marriage.

CHADLI WANTS OUT

The agent of Nacer Chadli has said that the Belgian international is keen to take a transfer from Tottenham Hotspur.

It would really have surprised some people because Chadli has been at White Hart Lane since the last few months only. He was signed by Andre Villas-Boas in July.

Before making his way to England, the winger was playing for the Dutch club FC Twente.

Tottenham had spent quite a few bucks to secure the services of Chadli and he was expected to feature regularly for the club from the beginning of the season. But, that didn’t happen and Chadli’s poor fitness has a lot to do with it.

The 24 years old player has featured only 13 times for Tottenham in the Premier League so far and he is yet to open his goal account.

The FIFA World Cup will be organized in a few months and if Chadli has to bring himself in contention to be selected in the Belgian squad, he needs to play matches and put up performances of high standard, but, at Tottenham, that’s not happening because he hasn’t been getting playing chances regularly there.

However, there is not much possibility of Chadli being signed by any club on a permanent basis during this mid season transfer window, but, he can be placed on loan.

Talking to the reporters yesterday, Chadli’s agent said, “With the World Cup nearing, everyone wants to play and Nacer is no different. Being placed on loan might be ideal for him at the moment. However, we are yet to have a chat with Tottenham about that.”

“Nacer has been asked to play at an unfamiliar position at Tottenham and that’s the main reason why he has not managed to give his best. He is not somebody who plays wide.”

MOYES SETTLES IN

After a tough start to his Manchester United career, it seems that David Moyes is finally settling down as the manager of the club. United have gone eight matches unbeaten in all competitions. This plan has helped them reduce the gap at the top of the table to just five points. Coach Phil Neville, who came to United along with Moyes, has said that the former Everton manager is finally showing signs of steel, which made him hugely successful at Goodison Park. He has also said that players are starting to go to the training methods of the Scot.

Since this was the first managerial change for the club in 26 years, they were expected to struggle this season. However, the prospect of even qualifying for the Champions League looked difficult at one stage. The defeats against West Brom and draw with Southampton at home have been the last few bad results for the club. They appear to be finding the consistency that made them incredibly successful under Sir Alex Ferguson. Neville has said that Moyes will be able to implement his own style with time.

He has seen enough of the Scot at Everton to suggest that he will be successful. Moyes is still has to find the way to make United score more goals.

“Defeat by West Brom was a real wake-up call for the players and manager. The players are beginning to trust the manager and his philosophy and I think you saw that against Arsenal. It was always going to take a bit of time after one man had controlled the club for so long, there was always going to be a transition period. His [Rooney] level of performance not just in games but in training has been first class,” said Neville while speaking to BBC’s football focus.

MOYES BACKED

Former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp thinks that Manchester United manager David Moyes can prove his critics wrong provided that he can get a win against one of the top teams. He will be getting the perfect opportunity this weekend when United take on Manchester city in a crunch match. Moyes has come up against Chelsea and Liverpool so far this campaign, but has taken just one point from these matches. He also has the bad record of not being able to secure an away win against one of the traditional top four when he was a manager at Everton.

Due to the doubts about his credibility against top teams, Moyes will not be able to get much respect from his team. Hence, he needs to secure a victory against city this weekend according to Redknapp. City will be coming into the match on the back of an indifferent form. They have not started the Premier league season well, but they have begun their Champions League campaign in the spectacular fashion by managing a 3-0 win a few days ago. This win will certainly provide them with a lot of confidence.

City will also be boosted by the return of Vincent Kompany, who returns from injury after a short layoff.

“Both managers want to prove that they were the best choice for the job and the best way to do that is by winning the match that means most to the supporters. If Moyes achieves the feat it will give him so much confidence, but he’s under a lot of pressure after losing at Anfield and the last thing he needs is to lose at the Etihad. The longer he goes without winning a big game, the more the pressure will build,” said the former Liverpool midfielder, who is now a pundit at Skysports.

GIGGS BACKS MOYES

New Manchester United manager David Moyes has received the praise of midfielder Ryan Giggs, who was recently appointed as the player coach at the club. Giggs is one of the celebrated players in the Premier league. He made his debut for the team more than two decades ago and he is the only player to have scored in every league campaign. The 40-year-old still has one more year left on his contract, but he was made part of the coaching staff by new manager Moyes. Giggs has started working with Moyes and has immediately seen the reasons for United not taking long to appoint him as the manager.

Manchester United were defeated at 1-0 in the first match incharge for Moyes, but Giggs has said that he is not worried too much about pre-season friendly results. United will be playing in a couple of countries as part of their pre-season tour. They have brought in some key youngsters like Zaha, who is expected to become a first team regular in his first season at Old Trafford. United are also looking to strengthen their midfield by bringing in the likes of Marouane Fellaini. They have recently failed in their bid for Barcelona midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who has moved to Bayern Munich.

“I am excited. Adnan did well – he looks a really good prospect. It is about more than the result. We trained quite hard [on Friday]. You have to give credit to the team we played. They were good tonight. The result is disappointing but we are building for four or five weeks’ time. It is always good to get the first game out of the way. We have had all the travelling. I have had 10 hours’ sleep over the last three days. It is always good to get it out of the way,” said Giggs.

FELLAINI NEXT?

Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini has said that he is not concentrating on the rumours linking him with a move to Manchester United. Fellaini has been rumoured to follow David Moyes out of Goodison Park at the end of the season. Previously, he had been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea. However, the possible arrival of José Mourinho appears to have changed the transfer priorities at Stamford Bridge. Their interest in the player appears to have cooled off in the last few months, whereas Manchester United are heavily linked with a player.

It was Moyes who brought Fellaini to England. The Belgian midfielder has established himself as one of the best in the world during his spell at Everton. He is now valued at around £ 25 million. Despite the rumours, Fellaini has said that his future lies with Everton. The 24-year-old has insisted that he is happy to commit to a long-term deal with the Merseyside club despite the future of the club hanging in the balance. Everton have been linked with a move for Wigan manager Roberto Martinez, who recently won the FA Cup with his team. However, he was also relegated with Wigan into the Championship.

Fellaini has said that Moyes’ replacement will have the opportunity to continue the success.

“My destiny is with Everton, it’s as simple as that. After that, you never know what can happen, but we still speak of one of the greatest English clubs. The framework and the basics are there. It is in this sense that I mean the departure of the coach does not change anything for me. Despite everything he has done for the club, we always have enough quality to continue to shine. Honestly, the departure of the coach does not change,” said Fellaini to Sky Sports recently.


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