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The future is orange! With Klopp again rejecting United, Van Gaal will be new supremo at Old Trafford and Giggs the apprentice!
There will be a genuine buzz of excitement at the Theatre of Dreams on Saturday when Ryan Giggs starts what I confidently predict will be another glittering chapter in his remarkable career at Manchester United.
It will be his first match as player manager and this is not good timing for visitors Norwich City who are in for a torrid afternoon because I have absolutely no doubt that the United stars who drastically underachieved under David Moyes will be bursting to prove themselves.
Following the inevitable sacking of Moyes four matches before the end of the club’s worst ever season in the Premier League, Giggs is a hugely popular choice to take charge – albeit in a caretaker role at this stage.
Twenty-four years ago Giggs was handed his first professional contract as a player in the week of his 17th birthday. The Welsh wizard has won every honour in the game and embodies everything the club stands for.
Along with the rest of the superstars born in that famous Class of 92, Giggsy has been mentored throughout by Sir Alex Ferguson, a pivotal father figure who gave all his proteges that burning desire to be the best and overcome all odds.
It is exactly those qualities and his proud Old Trafford pedigree that will make him a successful coach and a key figure in the upcoming era that looks destined to unfold under the new emperor Louis van Gaal.
There are those who believe Giggs already has the charisma and ability to grow into the role of United manager and success on his watch in the season’s four remaining matches against Norwich, Sunderland, Hull and Southampton would strengthen that argument.
But my belief is that future for the Reds is orange!
My sources tell me that Jurgen Klopp was offered the opportunity to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager but turned the job down before it was offered to Moyes. Klopp in my view would be a perfect fit for United and now the opportunity is here again, if he could be persuaded to leave his beloved Borussia Dortmund, he would be a manager the fans adore.
His swashbuckling style and engaging persona, along with his proven track record at the highest level make him a dynamic manager who would be an irresistible force at Manchester’s top table. But his heart currently belongs in Dortmund and his statements today appear to rule him out of the reckoning.
“Man Utd is a great club and I feel very familiar with their wonderful fans,” Klopp was quoted as saying in the Guardian. ‘But my commitment to Borussia Dortmund and the people is not breakable.”
That leaves Van Gaal. who turns 63 in August, as the front runner. And clearly the prospect of the Dutchman taking charge after this summer’s World Cup in Brazil when his stewardship of the Netherlands team expires makes him perfectly placed to step in.
The fact that he has already made it known that he is “very keen” on the job at Old Trafford suggests he is confident of being given the nod, even if he has not officially had it already. And that is good news for Giggs because Van Gaal is a manager who always insists on having someone with the DNA of the club within his inner circle.
Like any top manager, Van Gaal will bring members of his preferred management team with him. But expect a role for Giggs. Just how prominent that will be will largely depend on how well he performs in his four matches as caretaker. A good showing will put United’s most decorated player in the rrame for being the new manager’s apprentice and eventual successor.
While United trumpeted Moyes’ appointment as being consistent with the club’s philosophy of long-term planning, turning to a manager in his sixties is not necessarily a short-term fix. Fergie of course remained in charge into his seventies and still has an importance voice in the boardroom. Giggs learning the ropes as a coach under a new manager with a long track record of success who may well take on the role of director of football could be a winning combination designed for longevity.
There will be many arguments put forward over the coming weeks for other candidates including Jose Mourinho and Roberto Martinez, both of whom would do outstanding jobs at Old Trafford. But life is all about timing. And much that I admire both Mourinho and Martinez, everything points to Van Gaal who can add the fact that he has rejuvenated the international career of United’s injured marksman Robin van Persie to his outstanding CV.
My only reservation about Van Gaal is that his management style and abrasive nature will not make him popular across the board. But that did not hold back Ferguson. And at this stage of proceedings Manchester United need a strong manager who will put the club back on their perch at the top of the English game. Not just winning trophies but playing football to be proud of.
Mourinho could have been that man if he had not returned to Stamford Bridge and declared his undying love for Chelsea. While Martinez, who previously turned down Liverpool because in my estimation he wanted the bigger job at United, has now committed himself to Everton. So my conclusion is that unless Klopp has a change of heart, Van Gaal is the man and Giggs will be his apprentice.
Why experts thought David Moyes was the right manager for Manchester United – but Ryan Giggs is favourite to take his job
When David Moyes was appointed manager of Manchester United in May last year it was always a question of how long would he be given to find a winning formula.
The verdict that Moyes was the right man for the job was unanimous when I interviewed a panel of experts including England manager Roy Hodgson on the day the identity of the manager to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at the Theatre of Dreams was confirmed.
But less than 12 months later the bookmakers have stopped taking bets on David Moyes being sacked, after a nightmare first season in charge, and installed Ryan Giggs as the 5-1 favourite to replace him.
Here is what the experts, desperate to see a British manager succeed in the biggest job in club football, said about Moyes on the day he was appointed:
ROY HODGSON: “I think if someone has got to step into these enormous shoes that Sir Alex has left behind and to work in the shadow of such a great man David is right the man to do it.”
ALAN CURBISHLEY: “I’m sure he’s gong to be a great success and I’m so pleased he has been given a chance.”
TONY GALE” “For me David Moyes is a good manager and will be for Manchester United.”
PATRICK BARCLAY” “If you look at the players he has bought in the transfer market his record is right up their with Sir Alex Ferguson.”
ALVIN MARTIN: ” There is never a guarantee in football. You can be the best manager in the world but if you take over at the wrong time there is always a risk when a new manager is appointed. But I would feel pretty sure that David Moyes is more than well equipped to deal with it.”
Like the experts I interviewed last May, I expected Moyes to grow into the job he was chosen to do by the greatest British manager of all time Sir Alex Ferguson. But the decline under the former Everton boss has been so spectacular that it is now no surprise that the consequences of failure appear to have proved fatal to aspirations of the proud Glaswegian being given extra time in the Old Trafford hot seat.
When former player David May said what so many fans and experts were thinking after another embarrassing 2-0 defeat against Everton at Goodison on Easter Sunday and admitted on MUTV that the new manager appears to be ‘out of his depth’, he was immediately suspended from his role as a pundit on the club’s television channel. But the backlash among fans on social media outraged by May being punished for giving his honest opinion has only fanned the flames of discontent.
The harsh reality, as I predicted in this column a month ago, is that Moyes’ future was destined to be decided when the owners ask themselves how much they are prepared to gamble on Fergie’s successor getting it right.
The smart money is now on Moyes departing sooner rather than later with Giggs being installed as temporary manager while the board consider their options.
Giggs would be a hugely popular choice to take charge – albeit in a caretaker role – 24 years after being handed his first professional contract as player on his 17th birthday. There is no one who embodies everything the club stands for better than the Welsh wizard who exclusively told visionsport TV what he thought about Manchester United in his first television interview back in 1993.
David Moyes & Manchester United | What the experts predicted [VIDEO]:
Why Wayne Rooney is priceless to Manchester United and his diamond studded boots will net one lucky fan a fortune
Wherever you stand in the debate about whether or not WAYNE ROONEY is worth £300,000 a week, the honest truth is that Manchester United could not afford to let their talisman leave Old Trafford.
With the club in transition under new manager David Moyes and facing the real possibility of no Champions League football next season, keeping Rooney on board was a big statement that United still mean business.
In pure financial terms, the £85M cost of keeping Wazza until 2019 was a shrewd investment because the cost of replacing him would have been higher when you factor in both the transfer fee and wages.
When it comes to attracting new stars in the summer the message sent out by keeping Rooney and investing in record signing Juan Mata is a positive one that other top players will appreciate.
In my view Rooney remains truly world class and you have to give Moyes huge credit for revitalising a hugely influential player who had lost his way under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Bought for 18K, worth 150K
The England marksman looks destined to become the United skipper and in the summer he will be hoping to make a big impact at the World Cup in Brazil.
He is a marketing man’s dream and the reality is that whatever Rooney touches turns to gold. One lucky fan is set to net a small fortune by selling a pair of his old boots.
Snapped up for 18,000 pounds at a charity auction five years ago, they are now worth 10 TIMES what a sharp-eyed Manchester United fan paid for them.
The Nike boots were worn by Rooney in a Champions League match. But the reason they are so valuable is that artist Luisa Di Marco turned them into a collector’s item by encrusting them with gold and precious diamonds.
The stones that make the boots unique were set by Embee jewellers of London using 31 carats of black diamonds, 10 carats of white diamonds and the number 10 is made from rose gold. The laces are dipped in gold and finished with diamonds on the ends. And both boots are signed by Rooney.
If the boots are not sold in the next six weeks the owner plans to put them up for auction at a sporting dinner on the eve of the Monaco Grand Prix on May 24.
Reach Your Goals with Sir Alex Ferguson and Phil Berg, the former Spurs and QPR youngster with winning formula for leaders
During the summer I filmed a seminar themed the Unspoken Language of Leadership and the standout speaker was Phil Berg, who once pursued his ambition of becoming a professional footballer during spells as a youngster with Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers.
His dream of a career as a professional sportsman was never fulfilled. But Phil’s love of sport has stood him in good stead en route to a successful business career that currently enables him to travel around the world as a much sought after motivational speaker.
His company Reach Your Goals is more than a passing recognition of his passion for the beautiful game. Helping individuals and companies hit their targets and achieve their goals is a skill that he has honed and developed over a colourful career in business. Quite simply, there is no one better at bringing the best out of upcoming talent and established entrepreneurs.
While Sir Alex Ferguson is currently carving out a new identity as an expert on leadership with his new book My Autobiography (brilliantly ghost written by Paul Hayward), Berg has opted to share his learnings in a brand new DVD produced and directed by yours truly.
It became clear to me while filming and editing Phil’s unique presentation that there are some great parallels to be drawn between the greatest British football manager of all time and the king of the motivational speakers who has a wonderful gift for inspiring individuals with his engaging delivery and priceless collection of Bergisms and anecdotes.
Great leaders know how to lead and it is that formula that Berg, like Ferguson, understands and knows how to articulate.
Their styles, techniques and delivery are different but the underlying messages are the same. Ferguson found fame and fortune as a football manager who enjoyed outstanding successes with both Aberdeen and Manchester United. But he possesses the skills to have been a dynamic leader of any big business or corporation. He could have been the CEO of any major company – from BP to Microsoft. It is no surprise that Fergie’s managerial secrets have been the subject of a case study by Harvard Business School. At Old Trafford he built an empire that extended way beyond the football pitch creating a business pyramid with solid foundations, delegating to trusted lieutenants who bought into his philosophies and goals.
Berg’s mantra “before you achieve a plan you have to set the goal” instantly reminded me of Fergie’s inaugural war-cry on being appointed Manchester United manager back in 1986 when he targeted “knocking Liverpool of their bloody perch” as his raison d’etre. Thirteen Premier League titles later in a mind-boggling tally of 38 pieces of silverware, the Glaswegian achieved his goal and then some in a role that many had previously regarded the impossible job.
If you want to be a successful leader and have the choice of buying yourself one book and one DVD this Christmas, there are no surprises that my recommendations are Fergie’s “My Autobiography” and Berg’s “Effective Networking for Leaders”
Wayne Rooney was right to question why Manchester United failed to sign Mesut Özil
There are many headline grabbing storylines that have emerged from Ferguson’s book with sections dedicated to David Beckham, Arsene Wenger, Roy Keane, Rafa Benitez and others – but it is one throw away putdown of Wayne Rooney that stands out like a beacon in the light of Manchester United and new manager David Moyes currently toiling behind early season pacesetters Arsenal.
While both recognising Rooney’s great contribution to the club and his loyalty lapses during the Liverpudlian’s well-documented temptations to leave Old Trafford, Sir Alex inadvertently invites support for the England star. Criticism of United for failing to sign Mesut Özil when he joined Real Madrid in 2010, is a sentiment that will resonate loud and clear with United fans who recognise that the Gunners have revitalised their club with a transfer coup that threatens to give Wenger’s men supremacy in the post-Ferguson era.
Greatest Ever Comebacks | Gavin Peacock hat-trick sealed victory for Newcastle United | Retro Match of the Day
A STUNNING HAT-TRICK FROM GAVIN PEACOCK CROWNED A REMARKABLE FIGHTBACK BY NEWCASTLE UNITED
Crewe 3-4 Newcastle United – 24 September 1991
Trailing 3-nil at Gresty Road in this second round 1st leg tie in the Rumbelows League Cup, Newcastle United looked down and out. But then came an amazing comebackthat saw Ossie Ardiles’ team storm back to claim an unlikely win on a dramatic night of Cup football.
It was a roller coaster season for Newcastle United fans with former player Kevin Keegan rescuing the club from the jaws of relegation to the third tier of English football after Ardiles’ reign came to an abrupt end.
Look out for more classic archive matches from visionsport TV
http://visionsport.co.uk/shop/newcastle.html for the full story of this dramatic season on DVD – AVAILABLE OCTOBER 2013
production company: VSI TV for VISIONSPORT
Spending millions in transfer market not only way: Belgian wonderkid Adnan Januzaj destined to become global superstar
When we look back in years to come David Moyes’ first ever win at Old Trafford will be remembered for launching teenage sensation Adnan Januzaj on the road to superstardom.
The record books will show that Robin van Persie scored from the penalty spot to convert a debatable penalty and Wayne Rooney, his injured forehead protected by a padded scrumcap, completed a 2-0 win with a superb free-kick on the day £27 million signing Marouane Fellaini made his debut as a second half substitute.
But it was United’s other Belgian, wonderkid Januzaj who got the pulses racing when he came off the bench and made the kind of impact not seen at Old Trafford since Cristiano Ronaldo created similar excitement at the start of his United career.
Just 18 years old and one of the jewels in the legacy left by Sir Alex Ferguson, Januzaj displayed the full repertoire of his dazzling skills, quick feet and tireless running that have already made him a crowd favourite at Old Trafford.
Legendary United talent spotter Eric Harrison, one of the architects of United’s famous class of 1992 that launched the careers of David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and the Neville brothers, has already gone on record to predict Januzay could be the next Ronaldo.
Harrison told the Manchester Evening News: ‘Januzaj is outstanding and I think he is similar to Cristiano Ronaldo. He can beat people and with Wilfried Zaha, I think there is some outstanding quality there.’
Comparisons with the Portuguese superstar have been evoked by an outstanding pre-season that included a sparkling display in the Rio Ferdinand testimonial. And today’s showing against Palace in front of a global television audience has created a real buzz.
Things in common with Ronaldo don’t end on the pitch. The pair also share the same birthday – February 5 – with Barcelona’s Neymar also born on that day. Another remarkable stat is that Januzaj’s Premier League debut comes 50 years to the date since George Best made his first appearance at Old Trafford on 14 September 1963 against West Brom.
There have been may young stars to grace the Theatre of Dreams and not every hot prospect lives up to all the hype and potential. But Januzaj looks like the real deal and the reality is that new Manchester United boss – unfairly targeted by the prophets of doom in the media who would love him to fail – is a man with an embarrassment of riches.
Wilfried Zaha is another kid capable of becoming a world star alongside established youngsters like Rafael and Phil Jones. With the return of a re-invigorated Nani also on the cards, Rooney looking like a man on a mission in the countdown to the end of season World Cup and van Persie maturing into one of the best players on the planet the future looks as bright as ever at Manchester United.
And just for the record, I am also predicting that mop haired Fellaini is going to be the huge success that Moyes wants him to be. United have never found a player to fill the boots of Roy Keane and the new boy from Everton is a different animal. But once again the Red Devils boast a midfield general with a touch of steel who will frighten the life out of opponents – and he has bags of goals in his locker.
King of the kayakers: sporting superhero Pete Bray will earn unique place in record books with paddle from Russia to America
Adventure kayaking is a sport for a rare breed – and the spotlight of publicity rarely highlights the extreme feats achieved by the paddling community. But spare a few minutes to consider the skill and bravery of the man I have dubbed ‘The king of the kayakers’ and you will never again underestimate the outstanding pedigree of one of Britain’s most underexposed sporting heroes.
The amazing exploits of former SAS sergeant Pete Bray are quite simply out of this world and deserve a much bigger audience and recognition than he has achieved to date.
His successes rank alongside the greatest achievements of any world champion Britain has ever produced. While the likes of Andy Murray, Kevin Pietersen, Johnny Wilkinson and Sir Bradley Wiggins have earned both fame and fortune for reaching the top of their sports, Pete the paddler from Plymouth has largely gone under the radar.
This fearless adventurer is the only person who has ever kayaked alone across the Atlantic - and he did it the hard way when he completed the challenge in 2001 from west to east across the North which is considered the most difficult route. His epic 76-day expedition from Newfoundland to Ireland came 12 months after his first attempt that almost claimed his life when he capsized and spent 32 hours lost in the freezing ocean.
For 10 years he held the world record for the longest open-water crossing ever undertaken by a kayaker.
Pete has undertaken seven major expeditions and in 2004 he won an award for bravery when he saved the lives of his three crew mates after Hurricane Alex ended their Pink Lady-sponsored attempt to row the Atlantic.
Sponsors are absolutely key in the life of an adventurer because without their cash and support it is almost impossible to fund these spectacular feats. It will not surprise you that the conquests of this proud Cornishman, born on the Devon-side of the River Tamar, have taken him to the brink of financial ruin.
Even so, Pete is just one final challenge away from kayaking between all the major land masses in the Northern Hemisphere and a unique place in the record books.His dream is to complete the ‘missing link’ in July 2014 when he paddles from Russia to America. But he needs sponsorship.
The campaign to raise the £75,000 required is being driven by Famous Publicity’s Tina Fotherby, the hugely talented publicist. And to help Pete on his way I have produced the two videos featured on this blog. Watch my special report and Tina’s big interview to find out more about this unique sporting hero.
And if you doubt Pete’s right to be classed as a sportsman because he calls himself an adventurer you will think differently when you consider his CV:
“Pete has participated in ski-touring expeditions throughout Scandinavia, Europe and New Zealand, as well as excelling in long-distance cross-country skiing races and downhill competitions around the globe. As an adventure racer, he has competed in events like the Alpine Man competition, a combination of cycling, off-road mountain biking and mountain marathon running across Liechtenstein. He is also an accomplished microlight pilot and built his own aircraft from scratch. As a climber he climbs both rock and ice.
He has also successfully completed a 10-event adventure race across New Zealand, incorporating an array of disciplines including horse riding, shooting, running and mountain biking and he has twice circumnavigated by bike the Bodensee, the large expanse of water that borders Switzerland, Germany and Austria. He is also a keen runner, having completed ten marathons, including the Boston, New York, Berlin, Munich and Black Forest.”
His exploits have so far taken him from the frozen wastes of Norway to the heat of the African bush. When he completes his missing link from Russia to America in July next year hopefully he will finally earn the universal recognition he deserves.
Sir David Frost the ultimate role-model for any broadcast journalist who knew how to connect with people
A personal tribute by John Gubba
There has been no bigger role model for me than the great Sir David Frost who has sadly passed away at the age of 74.
When I was growing up in the 70s Frost became famous worldwide for his explosive post-Watergate interviews with US President Richard Nixon.
Throughout my lifetime he has been a great inspiration as arguably the greatest interviewer of our time, an outstanding journalist and a sublime broadcaster.
Last year I had the awesome privilege of spending an absorbing couple of hours with Sir David at his offices in Kensington, chatting about sport, the TV business and life in general.
I was invited to meet with the great man because he wanted to re-licence footage I had supplied his company Paradine Productions for an outstanding documentary tribute to England’s 1966 World Cup winning skipper Bobby Moore.
I will never forget the day I answered the phone to hear his unmistakable voice: “Hello this is Sir David Frost” and was duly summoned to a meeting that will live with me forever. Not only was this a great man whom I admired above all other journalists and broadcasters I had ever met, but he clearly had a great passion for sport and we bonded like long lost friends.
Sir David was famous for his engaging style of disarming the most difficult interviewee with his charm and good manners. I saw first hand the qualities that made him a genius in the art of communicating and the chemistry between us that day was something that I will treasure forever.
We talked about the possibility of working together on a future project and it will always be a huge regret that I did not act quickly or decisively enough to enable that to happen. Even so in the short time I spent with Sir David Frost I absorbed some special memories and lessons about life that have made me a stronger and better person.
Time for England to be ruthless and fulfil Beefy’s prophesy of humiliating the Aussies with 10-0 Ashes double whitewash
BY JOHN GUBBA
Sir Ian Botham was spot on when he predicted back-to-back Ashes whitewashes. But whether or not Beefy’s prophecy comes true will depend on England showing the kind of ruthless streak that has for so long been an Australian hallmark
Anything less than a 5-0 series win in the current series will be a failure now that Alastair Cook and his team-mates have asserted total supremacy. You can bet your life the Ausies would show mo mercy if the roles were reversed.
England have their foot on the Aussie’s throat with a commanding 566 run lead and five second innings wickets still standing at the end of day 3 of the Second Test at Lords – and that is where it must remain.
Not only are the tourists already well beaten, but England can strike a huge psychological blow that will cast a huge shadow over the rest of this Ashes series and the return down under that starts later this year. Imagine how broken Michael Clarke’s fragile team will be if Joe Root – imperious on 178 not out – completes his double century and then the English attack again dismantle the Australians in pursuit of a mammoth total.
Personally, I hate the fact that England had to cheat to win the First Test when Stuart Broad refused to walk. Call me old-fashioned but that simply wasn’t cricket and a shameful admission that the purity of sport has been replaced by the professional ethos of winning at all costs.
There is a big difference between crushing your opposition when they are on the floor and resorting to dishonesty when you lack the style and poise to overcome a setback at a pivotal moment.
This England team are good enough to smash Australia and break their spirit without losing their dignity.
Gennady Golovkin v Matthew Macklin: Have bookmakers prematurely crowned WBA champ king of the middleweights?
Gennady Golovkin is a knockout machine who has held the WBA’s middleweight crown since 2010 and many consider him to be one of the most dangerous and avoided fighters in boxing. On paper his title defence against Irishman Matthew Macklin looks like a foregone conclusion. The bookmakers certainly see it that way with odds as low as 1/9 on the fighter who goes by the alias “Triple G”. So is this a sure thing for punters or is it worth taking a punt on the rank outsider?
As my regular followers will know, I am not a gambling man who likes to take a risk – so if I was forced to stake my own cash on the outcome I would have to go for the favourite. But the generous odds of 5-1 available for the challenger are always attractive in a sporting contest where it is one against one.
The reality is that Macklin, the Tipperary Tornado, will be no pushover when he takes on the champion at the MGM Grand Casino in Connecticut tomorrow night (June 29). He has lost just four fights out of thirty three in his career as a professional boxer, though he lost two consecutively in 2011 and 2012 before recovering to win his last fight against Joachim Alcine last September.
His problem is that in Russian Golovkin he is up against one tough fighter who has never been put on the canvas in his total amateur and professional career total of 375 fights, 26 of them as a professional. He also holds the all time record for knockouts.
Betting nine pounds to win just one might seem to be a questionable betting strategy and you need a great deal of capital to make any money out of these odds. But when you consider the stats any sane punter will conclude that Macklin will not pose much of a challenge so banking on the favourite is the only way to go.
For those who disagree, I challenge you to put your money where your mouth is and win big if the 5-1 outsider pulls off a shock that Rocky would be proud of.
Speaking of Rocky, it may not be the most authentic boxing movie ever made, but the original and its five sequels starring Sylvester Stallone have grossed an absolute fortune. Now you have the chance of making some serious wins at the online slots game found at Lucky Nugget by depicting characters from the movie series. The 25 pay line 5 reel slot game is a Playtech innovation and has a 10,000 coin jackpot equivalent to up to £50,000, a minimum bet of 25p and a maximum bet of £125 a spin. The top feature is the Knockout Bonus. You need red and white boxing gloves on the outside reels to trigger it, then Rocky takes part in a 10 round fight and the better he does the more money you win.