Tag: Sasha

Gold Cup final just a step in Martino’s plan

first_imgMexico has one focus in tomorrow’s Gold Cup final.  Ask forward Raul Jimenez: “Well, tomorrow I think all we want is to win. To have the cup at the end of the game. We’re in good form. We’re recovered now from the other two games and we know what we’re playing for. At the end, we want to win.” Ask goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa: “Tomorrow we’re going to do what we want to do, make sure all the effort and commitment and sacrifice we’ve made is worth it.”  Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare The goal is the same for manager Tata Martino as well. The Mexico coach feels his team is obligated to win the Gold Cup by beating the United States. “(The obligation) doesn’t change. I’ve seen a lot of Gold Cups and I know that Mexico is obligated to win. We’ve never hidden Mexico’s responsibility,” he said at a news conference Saturday. “We got here and we’re still backing that. We’re in the final and we’re still going. “But I think also you have to look at the full context a little bit, beyond the fact that it would be a big disappointment not to win the cup. We also know we have to keep moving forward, getting better because maybe the most important goal, yes, is a bit more long-term.” What if Mexico doesn’t win?  For Martino, it wouldn’t be a crisis. He knows he’d have to deal with a fair bit of blow-back, of chatter in the press, of frustration and fury from fans. Yet, Martino says the focus is further down the road than Sunday’s rivalry matchup against the U.S national team. Asked about whether he’d be prepared to cope with a loss, the manager said the furor will happen no matter what. What matters is the response as the team builds toward the 2022 World Cup. Guillermo Ochoa Mexico Gold Cup 06092019“In whatever situation you lose, what happens in the environment is what you mentioned is going to happen, but it’s fine,” he said. “In this tournament, there are how many teams, 12? (There are 16.) And there are 11 that have to be ready to lose, one to win. That’s why I’m saying I’m talking about different goals: One, undoubtedly, is to win because that’s why we’re here – to win – but also with the five or six months we’ve had leading the national team there are other secondary goals that we can never lose sight of because it involves a four-year process. You have to work with the close-up view but also the long-term view. It’s interesting to hear Martino speak about taking the long view. He’s a coach who hasn’t often stayed long in jobs, and he’s in a position where coaches haven’t often stayed long. He returned to the international game for the change of pace, looking to spend more time with family and to have a less frustrating daily grind than he did coaching a club like Atlanta United. Martino seems pleased with the first half-year of his tenure and confident he can continue to get what he wants out of the team with the resources he has. He’s also expressed the idea now on multiple occasions that while he would’ve preferred to have typical stars such as Carlos Vela, Hector Herrera and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for this tournament run, the minutes that have fallen to young players with those veterans not in the squad will be helpful down the road. Mexico Gold Cup 2019“Above all, those guys who are playing their first matches with the senior national team have been at the level this tournament is. It’s not easy to find yourself as a first-timer and suddenly be in the Gold Cup,” Martino said. Roberto Alvarado, Edson Alvarez, Uriel Antuna, Carlos Rodriguez and others have pulled their weight in this tournament and will be in the mix for World Cup qualification as well. Diego Lainez and Jose Juan Macias took part in the U-20 World Cup but also have a future with the senior team in the near-term. Mexico needs that. Even the players who are present, players like Ochoa, midfielder Andres Guardado and center back Hector Moreno will be well into the back end of their careers when the next World Cup rolls around. “We believe that in a tournament like the Gold Cup, we can try to pin down an idea, have young players available for tomorrow to be in the senior national team and also we’re here to win it,” the coach said. “There are several goals, and not all of them are reduced to what can happen tomorrow at the end of the match.” The focus is singular, but the goals are many. Mexico will give its all to win the Gold Cup tomorrow, but if it doesn’t lift the trophy, it will turn its head toward the next challenge. There are many on the horizon.last_img read more

Lukaku out, Rojo out, Darmian out – Man Utd desperate to cull squad

first_img“Announce Maguire,” they say. “Announce Fernandes.”Manchester United fans, as with most sets of supporters, are having their appetites whetted by the prospect of additional signings ahead of the new Premier League season.Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes are potential incomings to follow Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, but it could yet be United’s ability to offload some of their unwanted squad-fillers which makes the biggest statement this summer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The first-team group at Old Trafford is beginning to look increasingly bloated, with the exits of Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia on free transfers being their only departures so far – this despite there being little over a week before the UK transfer window closes.Meanwhile, the return from loan spells of Axel Tuanzebe, Joel Pereira and Timothy Fosu-Mensah has provided extra cover in positions in which they are already well stocked.The question now is just how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deals with a depth chart which looks far too crowded in a number of areas.He currently has four goalkeepers, meaning one of Lee Grant and Pereira will have to go somewhere else for the next year in order to maintain an effective three-man unit in that department.Meanwhile, there are plenty of possible departures to consider in the back line. The likes of Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo have been touted for exits for a number of summers now but have so far remained at Old Trafford. With the Italian, in particular, it is beginning to feel like United should cut their losses and just allow him to go to the first bidder for the sake of getting him off the wage bill. Marcos Rojo Manchester United 2018-19Darmian is arguably fifth-choice at best as both right-back and left-back, with Wan-Bissaka, Ashley Young, Diogo Dalot and Fosu-Mensah all ahead of him on his favoured flank and Luke Shaw, Young, Dalot and Rojo preferred options on the left. Fosu-Mensah himself could easily be culled too, with his loan spells at Crystal Palace and Fulham having not been fruitful and Tuanzebe an available right-back option in an injury crisis.Rojo, meanwhile, has Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling, Tuanzebe and Phil Jones to contend with for a centre-back spot even before Maguire potentially arrives, leaving the Argentine to reportedly consider leaving United this summer.Man Utd possible teamIf Maguire is signed, there will become a desperation to cut numbers at the heart of the defence as well as at full-back. Are Smalling and Jones so indispensable that at least one of them couldn’t be cut? Both have signed new deals in the last eight months, but surely if there is to be a new direction promoted at the Theatre of Dreams they are the types of players the club could do with moving on?Further up there is an abundance of wastage too. The promotion of Mason Greenwood, Angel Gomes and Tahith Chong to the senior ranks means Solskjaer has plenty of alternatives available to him even if United cash in on Romelu Lukaku and somehow get Alexis Sanchez off their wage bill.Man Utd possible teamThe Reds have, of course, been in talks to sell Lukaku to Inter with Juventus also interested, while in an ideal world they would have been able to find a buyer for Sanchez. For now both remain at the club, but there will not necessarily be a need to replace either given the stock available to the Norwegian and if it takes them until the continental summer deadline at the end of August to entice a buyer then so be it.Solskjaer himself has admitted they don’t necessarily need a huge target man on their books for the foreseeable future. “The way we hope we are going to play, it doesn’t have to be a six-foot four-inch striker,” he said during the club’s recent tour in Australia. And as such, the likes of Marcus Rashford, Greenwood, Anthony Martial and James should provide enough options in the number-nine position even should the two bigger names be cut from the squad.The illustrative line-ups above include none of Joel Pereira, Grant, Fosu-Mensah, Andreas Pereira, Jones, Rojo, James Garner, Tahith Chong, Lukaku or Darmian, emphasising the unnecessary depth all across the squad.So while the inevitable questions about further additions linger, there should be just as much focus on how United go about trimming the fat in their first-team squad too. Keeping 25 players happy is tough at the best of times, so Solskjaer will be far from happy if his current 32-man squad isn’t substantially condensed by the end of August.last_img read more

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