Belfast Telegraph

Ashley Young: No hard feelings between me and Louis Van Gaal at Man United

By Carl Markham

Manchester United winger Ashley Young shrugged off manager Louis van Gaal's clumsy and unfavourable comparison of him with Neymar this summer.

While on the club's pre-season tour of the United States, the Dutchman - in trying to stress the need for a major signing - said: "You can expect things from Ashley Young. He had a fantastic season, but he is not a Neymar."

It was not meant as a slight on the England international and he did not take it as one.

"I wasn't bothered," said the 30-year, who highlighted as much by signing a new contract in August. "The manager knows what I am capable of and that is why he has used me in games.

Wayne Rooney denies handing in transfer request at Manchester United in 2013 

"I am always looking to attack in the position I am. I am one of those players who is creative on the ball and wants to attack.

"When you are called upon as a winger you want to create chances and get shots off and hopefully I am doing that.

"I am glad I am not the manager who has to pick the team. He has that headache. Every player is in there to do a job.

"Obviously players come in and there is competition. The manager wants competition and he wants to rotate. I have had that competition throughout my career. We have fantastic players.

"Everybody wants to play but we all have to keep each other on their toes. I will look to give 100 per cent when I am called upon."

United head into tomorrow's Champions League tie against Wolfsburg with confidence running high after going top of the Premier League.

However, after an opening-game defeat to PSV Eindhoven on their return to Europe, Young knows they have to maintain their domestic momentum by getting points on the board at Old Trafford.

"We just have to keep playing with confidence. We have been winning games and we need to keep the run going," he added.

"It is important to get a win against Wolfsburg. If you want to win the Champions League then you have to win your home games.

"It was a disappointing start to the European campaign, especially the possession and chances we had in Eindhoven. We have to start winning in the group now.

"We have been in it for so many years and we have so many who have played Champions League football over those years so we were disappointed not to be in it (last season).

"There is pressure on all the players. It is how you deal with it."

Tottenham have announced the departure of technical director Franco Baldini.

The Italian, who has been with the club for more than two years, is leaving the White Hart Lane club by mutual consent.

A statement from the club read: "Franco joined us in 2013 from AS Roma. He leaves to spend time outside of club football. We wish him all the best."

Baldini played a major role in Tottenham's recruitment drive during the 2013 summer transfer window, which also saw Gareth Bale join Real Madrid for a world-record £85million.

Seven players were brought in for around £100m but too many failed to deliver, with Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Etienne Capoue and Vlad Chiriches all shipped out for reduced fees.

Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli are the only players signed in Baldini's first transfer window to have shown consistent form, while Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has suggested it is make or break for Erik Lamela.

Baldini can, however, claim contribution to some successes.

As well as the £11m capture of Eriksen, the Italian was an advocate of Pochettino's appointment, while young British signings Dele Alli, Eric Dier and Ben Davies have all shown great promise this term.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph