Hull vs. Manchester United: Louis van Gaal’s Key Quotes from Pregame Presser

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal told the assembled media on Friday ahead of the club’s final game of the season that he thinks David De Gea will still stay at Old Trafford.  

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The Spanish goalkeeper has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks, with Real Madrid apparently keen on the 24-year-old, per Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star. But as noted here by Paul Hirst of the Associated Press, the Dutchman was confident the club’s Player of the Year would stay:

Van Gaal also provided key updates on the fitness of both Wayne Rooney and De Gea on the brink of the clash with Hull City on Sunday.

Encouragingly for United, per MUTV (via the team’s official Twitter feed), Van Gaal revealed that club captain Wayne Rooney will be available for selection at the KC Stadium:

News on De Gea’s fitness wasn’t quite as clear cut, however. “That I don’t know yet,” said the Dutchman when asked whether the Spaniard would feature, per MUTV (via the club’s official website). “He has trained today but only with our goalkeeper trainer. He still has a little problem so I want to wait a day longer because I want him to play against Hull City.”

While United will finish in fourth place this season, barring a mathematical miracle, Van Gaal was in a serious mood when discussing the season finale at the KC Stadium. After all, this is a game Hull must win if they’re to stand any chance of surviving in the Premier League.

Tigers boss Steve Bruce has never beaten a United team as a manager with any of his sides, and although the former Red Devil is held in high regard by the Old Trafford faithful, Van Gaal insisted there’ll be no room for sympathy:

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Van Gaal was also asked about what lies ahead for this team. They’ve achieved their primary ambition of finishing in the Champions League spots this season, but given the money that has been spent on this squad—and is likely to be spent in the summer—expectations will be higher for the Dutchman’s second season.

However, Van Gaal confirmed that there’s no rush to deliver a title, revealing he has three years to bring the ultimate prize back to the 20-time English champions, per Simon Bajkowski and Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News:

We have fulfilled our goals set [this season], I think. It was hard because we had a very bad start, so when we improve our start we shall come further and maybe it is close enough to be the champion or we have to battle for it.

I have received the time of three years to achieve that [the title], but of course I want to achieve it as soon as possible. We could have won it also this year, I believe. We had a very bad start and because of that, we were behind Manchester City and Chelsea.

Another topic everyone was desperate to hear about was Van Gaal’s superb speech at the club’s end of season awards dinner. When asked about what may have been hazy memories of his time on stage, the United boss insisted it’s simply part of who he is:

The 63-year-old also revealed that there are players in the squad who will find out soon whether or not they have a long-term future at Old Trafford. Van Gaal said he intends to discuss this with the relevant personnel after the conclusion of this season, following a “farewell drink,” per the Manchester Evening News report: “You know that I shall talk with them maybe tomorrow, we’ll have a farewell drink. After the match, I have the Monday to talk, I have spoken to some players this week. You have to wait and see how these talks develop in terms of players staying or going.”

Van Gaal has done plenty to endear himself to not only United fans but supporters across the country. While a veneer of caution typically prevents the top managers around from showing their true colours, the Dutchman’s honesty is refreshing in an age of rundown cliches. Nonetheless, it’s important we start to see United improving under his watch.

There have been green shoots of recovery throughout this campaign, but there are plenty who will be hopeful of the Red Devils rediscovering their swagger next season. As popular as he may be, if Van Gaal cannot facilitate that process, the cutthroat nature of the today’s game will seem him quickly come under pressure.

Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru expand global Takata recalls by 715k

Filed under: Recalls, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Subaru, Safety, Japan

Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru are expanding their global Takata inflator recalls by 715k. Many of these models are in Japan.

Continue reading Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru expand global Takata recalls by 715k

Mazda, Mitsubishi, and Subaru expand global Takata recalls by 715k originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 May 2015 10:16:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Silverman: The Patriots’ Dynasty Has Started To Crumble

By Steve Silverman
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The New England Patriots’ dynasty has started to crumble.

The three-headed partnership of Bob Kraft, Bill Belichick and Tom Brady may go on for one more year, but that’s about all that is left for this team.

No dynasty goes on forever, and the reason this one will lose its grip is partially self-inflicted. It’s also good news for the New York Jets, along with the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

There has been nothing but bluster coming from New England since Brady’s suspension was announced.

“How dare they?”

“They’re just jealous.”

“The NFL is just a bunch of hypocrites.”

A 2015 version of the Boston Tea Party appeared to be on its way, with Kraft leading the charge.

Except that it’s not going to happen because Kraft decided to back down and accept the penalties that Commissioner Roger Goodell imposed on the team. A $1 million fine along with the loss of two draft picks — including a 2016 first-rounder — is a bitter pill for the team.

Kraft had blustered about demanding an apology when “Defelategate” first broke, but he has put away his indignation and decided to accept the penalty.

Kraft is a smart man who has shown in the past how reasonable he can be. The NFL was poised for a work stoppage in 2011 until he brokered the peace and the agreement between the league and its players association.

If you’re wondering why Kraft backed down, you can look past his statement about doing what’s good for the league. It is good for the NFL when one owner chooses to support a commissioner’s ruling. However, Kraft has to understand that his team and its most important player were in the wrong.

“You know, what I’ve learned over the last two decades is that the heart and soul of the NFL is a partnership of the 32 teams,” he said. “What’s become clear over those two decades is that at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32.

“Although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interest of the full 32. In that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. We won’t appeal.”

The NFL meetings were held this week in California, and Kraft is a decent man whom many of the other owners respect and get along with. There are a number of owners who consider themselves friends with Kraft, and many more who can converse with him honestly.

So when the discussion of the deflated footballs came up and his quarterback’s role in the incident came up, Kraft had to see the light.

He may have defended Brady in public – “Tommy has never lied to me in 16 years” – but there is no way to believe that the quarterback didn’t have something to do with a decision to bend the rules.

More troubling is the role of his coach in the incident. Kraft knows better than anyone else that Belichick is the master of Foxboro, and that he knows everything that goes on in the Patriots’ kingdom. He also knows that Belichick has a history of pushing the rules to the limit and sometimes going over the edge.

In previous generations, Deflategate, videotaping opponents’ coaching signals and illicitly watching practices would all be looked at as gamesmanship. But that’s no longer the case. These are all dirty tricks that have given the Patriots small edges that have helped them.

Would they have won four Super Bowls in the Kraft-Belichick-Brady era had the Patriots been whistle clean? The conclusion here is yes. Even if they hadn’t won all four, they would have won three.

They are a fantastic team that deserves to be considered with the Packers of Vince Lombardi, the Steelers of Chuck Noll, the 49ers of Bill Walsh and the Cowboys of Jimmy Johnson (often excluded wrongfully from the NFL’s greatest teams).

But they have used some Nixonian devices to maintain their edge. They may not have needed to cheat, but they have broken the rules nonetheless.

The decision by Kraft to back down shows that the Patriots’ owner fully understands what has gone on behind closed doors. Kraft has done the right thing, even though his best player and his head coach have not.

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Fiat reveals new Aegea Project sedan in Istanbul

Filed under: Misc. Auto Shows, Fiat, Sedan, Budget

Fiat showcases the new Aegea Project sedan at the Istanbul Motor Show, a Focus-sized sedan set to be produced in Turkey and sold in markets around the world – albeit likely under a different name.

Continue reading Fiat reveals new Aegea Project sedan in Istanbul

Fiat reveals new Aegea Project sedan in Istanbul originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 22 May 2015 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Joe Jonas Denies Dating Gigi Hadid — Despite ALL The Time The Two Spend Together! Could It Be Out Of Respect For Taylor Swift?!

Is love in the air?!

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Gigi Hadid might’ve only just broken up with BF, Cody Simpson — but there are plenty of rumors linking her to Joe Jonas.

[ Related: Julianne Moore Vs. Gigi Hadid: Who Wore It Better??? ]

On Thursday, the former Disney darling appeared on Access Hollywood and denied that he was the model’s newest boyfriend.

He shared:

“I’m a single man!”

The hosts quickly called out the Jonas Brother for his many outings with the blonde beauty.

The flustered celebrity responded:

“You’re putting words in my mouth, huh? Do you want me to jump up and down on the couch?”

Yes. Yes, we do! LOLz!

However, perhaps the duo are keeping quiet for other reasons! The rumored couple are both friends with Taylor Swift – and we all know Joe dated TSwizzle back in the day.

Maybe, TayTay has a no inter-squad dating rule?!

We doubt, it as they were all spotted partying it up at her Billboard Music Awards party!

Made it to Vegas just in time to celebrate #BadBloodMusicVideo

Pamela Hanson Captures Edita Vilkeviciute in Sexy NSFW Editorial

Lithuanian model Edita Vilkeviciute appears in front of the lens of fashion photographer Pamela Hanson in a casual new editorial. Getting rid of any glamorous connotations, the shoot takes place inside a classically European hotel room and features the Baltic beauty in both color and black and white. A former Victoria’s Secret model, the series shows off a more artistic and contemplative side of Vilkeviciute.

For more beautiful women, check out the 5 young models to watch out for in 2015.

The post Pamela Hanson Captures Edita Vilkeviciute in Sexy NSFW Editorial appeared first on Highsnobiety.

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Manchester United Transfer News: Huge Bastian Schweinsteiger, Dani Alves Rumours

Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has told Bastian Schweinsteiger he “must decide” his own future amid reports linking him with a move to Manchester United.  

Speaking during his press conference on Friday ahead of Bayern’s Bundesliga fixture with Mainz on Saturday, Pep confirmed he wants the German midfielder to remain with the club, as reported by Stephan Uersfeld of ESPN.co.uk: “He has to decide I can’t make the call for Basti. He’s a Bayern player, and he is under contract. He’s an outstanding legend at the club, but he has to decide, not Pep or (CEO) Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. He has a contract, and is part of my plans for next season.”

Mark Ogden of the Daily Telegraph previously reported United boss Louis van Gaal will aim to “exploit” Schweinsteiger’s lack of contract renewal by luring him to Old Trafford. The midfielder’s current agreement expires at the end of next season, as reported by Transfermarkt.co.uk.

Schweinsteiger is more focused on returning to full fitness than inking a new deal, as reported by Kicker (h/t Charles Perrin of the Daily Express): “I am in no hurry to renew. It is not something that bothers me because I have a year left before it expires. The important thing is that my physical problems and injuries are resolved. The rest will follow.”

Van Gaal needs to find an alternative midfielder to Michael Carrick during the summer. Although Schweinsteiger would be a short-term solution, Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail believe he suits the club perfectly:

A cut-price £10 million deal has been reported by Jeremy Cross of the Daily Star, who suggests, “Van Gaal has spoken to Ed Woodward and the United chief executive is keen to do a deal.”

Cross believes the ageing midfielder has become “disillusioned with life” at the Allianz Arena and “is keen on a fresh challenge.” Van Gaal enjoyed a profitable relationship with Schweinsteiger during his tenure with Bayern and may opt to plug United’s midfield with someone he can trust.

 

Alves Set to Confirm Barca Exit

United’s chances of landing Barcelona full-back Dani Alves have seemingly increased with reports indicating the Brazilian will announce his departure on Tuesday.

Cadena SER (via Spanish publication Sport) reported the news of Alves’ likely exit:

The aforementioned article confirms Alves will reveal all after Barca’s final La Liga game of the season. United are linked to the 32-year-old’s capture, according to Metro (h/t the Daily Telegraph), but they will have to move quickly to secure his future on a free.

David Amoyal of GianlucaDiMarzio.com believes the former Sevilla star is closing in on a megadeal with Paris Saint-Germain: “After failing to reach an agreement with the blaugrana, the Brazilian-wing back is close to agreeing to a three-year deal with PSG with an annual salary of €3 million after taxes per season.”

Spanish football expert Sid Lowe made his feelings known on Alves:

Van Gaal has utilised winger Antonio Valencia at right-back this season, rarely providing Rafael with a chance to impress. The Daily Telegraph‘s report suggests he is “keen” on Alves, but they would have to offer in the region of £150,000 to entice him toward Old Trafford.

PSG, like United, are looking to quickly improve to launch an attack on the Champions League next season. Landing Alves on a free will rank among the bargains of the summer, particularly as he’s enjoyed resurgent form for Barcelona this season.

B/R UK’s Alex Dimond recently looked at which United players are likely to leave during the summer:

Van Gaal is still linked with a move for Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne, as reported by James Robson of the Manchester Evening News, but there’s a sense Alves’ capture could provide United with a unique spark from the back.

The Premier League has the added bargaining chip of Champions League football to throw at potential signings, something which could prove tempting to Schweinsteiger, Alves and many others who are yet to experience the English top flight.

A Wedding And A Challenge: Lebanese Couples Fight For Civil Marriage

No one ever said marriage was easy, but in Lebanon, it’s even harder: The country has 15 sets of matrimonial laws for 18 different religions and sects. Activists want the right to civil marriages.

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Letting The Freedom Of Truth Uncover The Value Of Life

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