Daily Archives: December 13, 2017

Burnley is fourth in Premier League table after win over Stoke City

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Burnley manager Sean Dyche said “football is about dreams” after his side moved into fourth place in the Premier League with victory over Stoke at Turf Moor.

Substitute Ashley Barnes struck two minutes from time to move the Clarets to their highest position in the top flight for 42 years, when they were second in the old First Division in March 1975.

Burnley are now on 31 points in the Premier League table, behind only Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City and above Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, for 24 hour at least as the second day of Matchweek 17 goes under way.

“It’s a run of results and a start which the fans are enjoying and rightly so,” said Dyche.

“Football is about realities but also about dreams. It’s a tough task for us winning games at this level but Leicester blew the roof off dreams in football [by becoming champions in 2016] — there’s no bold statement from me on that. We’re having a real go at what we can achieve this season.”

Barnes’ strike — after the ball ricocheted off team-mate Scott Arfield — was one of few clear-cut chances in the match, though Stoke’s Peter Crouch hit the post early on.

As Burnley climbs into on of the the Champions League spots above Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham — who all play on Wednesday — Sean Dyche choose to keep his feet firmly on the ground

“We found a way to win and a fine goal,” said Dyche. “We’re not the real deal, we’re a side that are improving. I keep reality because this division will eat you alive. We’re having a real go at what we can achieve this season.”

As for Stoke, who remain in 15th place with their defeat, their form piles more pressure on manager Mark Hughes, who was booed by his owns fans near the end after taking off Xherdan Shaqiri for Eric Choupo-Mouting.

“There’s a little bit of dissent, we understand it,” Hughes said in acknowledgment of the unrest. “It’s been there a number of months, you only keep it down if you win football matches. That’s the only way to keep the noise down. The message to the players is: ‘Give me that every time we play and we’ll be fine.’”

“We have to stick our chests out and get some points. I’m looking forward to the weekend already because I think you’ll see more of the same.”

Louis van Gaal: Manchester United far more boring under Mourinho

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Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has accused his successor at Old Trafford Jose Mourinho for playing “far more boring football” than when he managed the club.

Van Gaal, 66, managed United for two seasons from 2014-16 and won the FA Cup in his final match.

On the other hand, United never challenged for the Premier League title under his tenure, and also failed to qualify for the Champions League in his second season. Additionally, the Dutchman was also heavily criticised for a negative style of play during his spell in charge of United.

However, Van Gaal now says that Man United under Mourinho plays a “defensive” style of football, while adding that he prefers watching Manchester City, who beat the Red Devils on Sunday to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League table to 11 points.

“If you ask me how did I do at United, I will say it was my best year ever, given the circumstances I was working under,” Van Gaal told Fox Sports Netherlands. “We played football that was quite alright. But it’s not football that is appreciated in England.”

“And yet, right now, looking at United, I have to conclude Mourinho is not being criticized while it’s far more boring football.”

“What United produce now is defensive football. I always played attacking football. The proof is that the opposition were always parking the bus. They don’t do that now because Jose Mourinho plays so defensive.”

Mourinho had been Van Gaal’s assistant at FC Barcelona and Dutchman also makes it clear that he had no problems with the Portuguese coach.

“He [Mourinho] is not an awful man,” Van Gaal said. “In fact, I think he is a sympathetic guy. He was my assistant at Barcelona.I worked with him and what Mourinho did [taking his job] is what often happens in football.”

Unveiled Diego Maradona statue at India attracts ridicule

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A bronze sculpture of the Argentina football legend Diego Maradona was unveiled at a club in Kolkata, although the dubious likeness to the 1986 World Cup winner has attracted online ridicule.

Maradona was in Kolkata for a charity event, nine years after making his first appearance in the capital of India’s West Bengal state and three months after he was due to visit again. His trip had been postponed several times.

The Times of India reported that Maradona, 57, handed out cheques to 11 cancer patients at the event, which was attended by around a thousand people, some of whom were standing on rooftops of the adjoining buildings.

The 12-foot statue features the 1986 World Cup winner with a healthy head of hair and holding aloft the trophy he helped Argentina win in Mexico, although it bears little resemblance to the then 25-year-old captain.

The Argentine guided his country to their 1986 World Cup success with a series of stunning individual performances at the time.

“I am not god of football but a simple footballer,” a smiling Maradona said through an interpreter after the unveiling. “I’m happy to be here in Kolkata again. It’s amazing to have my statue here.”

Some online commenters claimed that the statue bears more likeness to any other personality imaginable including the former England manager, Roy Hodgson, the former NBA star, Susan Boyle or “someone’s gran”.

The incident echoes the case of FIFA Best player of the year and Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, whose bust unveiled earlier this year when Madeira airport was renamed to Aeroporto Cristiano Ronaldo in honour of the Real Madrid star. Reaction to the bronze effigy then had been scathing and eventually prompted an update to be made.