Spurs and Arsenal are in crisis, but Man Utd are closer to the brink of abyss

first_imgIT has been a three-month race to the bottom.And it does not look as if it will end any time soon.7 Solsjkaer, Emery and Pochettino are up the creek without a paddleCredit: Lovatto7 Arsenal have won four of their first 11 Premier League games this seasonCredit: Rex FeaturesWhile Liverpool and Manchester City are fighting for the crown, and Chelsea have made light of their transfer ban, the other three members of the Big Six are looking anything but Champions League contenders.For Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham, it is already threatening to unravel completely.Disunity among the players, a disconnect with the fans – and doubts over the futures of all three managers.Talk of crisis may not, yet, be entirely accurate, in any of the cases.All three clubs, though, do seem to be teetering on the brink of the abyss, their seasons stuck at those “sliding doors” moments where the next crucial incident could become make or break.And the bragging rights issues that normally lead to chest-beating have been replaced by questions over which of the three is in the deepest pit.Wednesday’s thumping win in Belgrade, their first on away soil since that astonishing night in Amsterdam in May, gave Spurs a little breathing space.But Mauricio Pochettiono and his players do not need telling the heat will be back on, and even heavier, if they fail to beat Sheffield United.All season, Spurs have been poor. Beyond poor, in fact.No cohesion, on or off the pitch, with too many of Pochettino’s squad aware the manager has post faith in them and the Argentine, in turn, painfully able to recognise he still needs to use the key squad members he no longer wants.The manner in which so many Spurs fans have turned on Christian Eriksen, pin-pointing him, above all, for the club’s downturn in form, is symbolic.7 Spurs have picked up just 13 points from 11 league games this termCredit: Rex FeaturesIt is fair, more than fair, to suggest the Dane has been pretty woeful. Indeed, each time you think he could never play worse, he seems determined to prove you wrong.But Eriksen is not alone – and the common link between the most under-performing players is them being in the final year of their current deals.In recent weeks, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen, the critical element and defensive partnership  of the Pochettino era, appear to have “got old” overnight, no longer able to deal with fleet-footed – or even moderately-paced –  attackers.And on the left, Danny Rose’s focus has been increasingly awry.It was, some may suggest, no surprise that, playing without Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen  – and with summer recruits Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele starting together for the first time, Spurs scored four in Serbia.An easy correlation. But, perhaps, a false one – after all, Red Star demonstrated a fortnight ago in N17 that they were, indeed, as bad as they appeared on Wednesday.Yet Daniel Levy’s recent comments have underlined the fact that he is backing the manager rather than – as United did when Jose Mourinho asked the question last year – the players.Spurs’ top four hopes are, at best, flickering, so poorly have they started.They do, though, retain the  permanent goal threat of Harry Kane – who will overtake Martin Chivers as the club’s third-highest all-time scorer when he next nets – and the pace and determination of Heung-min Son.Add in the seeming rejuvenation of Dele Alli and it suggests Poch might yet be able to salvage something from the wreckage.7At Arsenal, by contrast, despite the Prem table which suggests things should be rosier, they do not seem to be.Another lost lead in Portugal on Wednesday afternoon – the fact that the Gunners were playing in the curtain raiser to the games that mattered across Europe said much – put further scrutiny on Unai Emery.Last week’s Granit Xhaka debacle has not exactly aided Emery’s case and the fans who developed a taste for mutiny during the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s reign have the same flavour on their lips.The limitations of Arsenal’s defence are clear: only Aston Villa and Norwich have had more shots against them per game in the Prem this season.Emery was supposed to sort these problems out. He appears to have made them worse.Stats, of course, are what you make of them. It is a fact that Arsenal have lost just one of their last 14 games since that defeat at Liverpool in August (if you take the Carabao Cup shoot-out loss as a statistical draw, that is).But it is also a fact that their only win in the last six was the late comeback against Guimaraes last month.Four straight draws in all competitions, all from matches in which they led. Not good enough.The mood music is equally, if not more, of a concern. Something is wrong, clearly. And nobody seems convinced that it will be put right.Defeat at in-form and deeply impressive Leicester on Saturday evening would see the Gunners NINE points adrift of third and probably fourth – with Chelsea hosting Palace – and in serious danger of tumbling out of the top six.That might, indeed, prove the tipping point.7Yet arguably the bigger mess of the lot is 200 miles or so to the north.Irrespective of what happens in the Europa League this week, nobody can argue that things are good for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.Every step forward, such as the performances against Liverpool and Norwich, seems to be swiftly followed by a couple in reverse.United were limp and listless at Bournemouth as they slumped to a miserable defeat at the weekend.Faith in the Norwegian appears increasingly confined to Solskjaer himself, his coaching team and Ed Woodward.Not the supporters, even though many of them are desperate for him to crack it.The board appears to agree that there are too many overpaid players who need to go. But there is a lot of work to do.It is hard to see exactly what the Solskjaer philosophy is supposed to be and moans about the depth of his squad fall hollow given the sheer amount United have spent since Fergie left in 2013.Brighton will, of course, be underdogs this weekend. After all, they have NEVER won in 12 previous visits to Old Trafford and their last draw was in 1983.Were that run to end on Sunday, the repercussions could be severe.7LATEST MAN UTD NEWS Live Blogunited newsMan Utd news LIVE – Latest updates from Old TraffordMAN DOWNUtd and City face TWO-WEEK summer if they reach Euro finals before new Prem seasonDEPAY CHARTMan Utd flop Memphis used computer data and analytics to quit Old TraffordODS ON?Ighalo to leave Man Utd TOMORROW unless dramatic extension can be reachedPEA SHOOTERHernandez: Man Utd ‘still haunted’ by ‘mistake’ of Moyes replacing FergusonDEVIL’S ADVOCATEEx-Man Utd star Chadwick dreaded being picked for Keane’s team in trainingPicturedTRAINING DAYFernandes back in his Mini while Pogba arrives for training in yellow FerrariMARCSMANWatch Rashford floor Man Utd team-mates with ‘naughty’ bit of skill in trainingPicturedHOMER WINEngland and Dortmund star Sancho shows off new Simpsons and Sonic tattoosGossipBERN IT UPMan Utd, Arsenal and Chelsea on alert after Bernardeschi reveals Prem plansEven if not, United look further aware from returning to their “perch” than at any time since Ferguson himself talked about evicting Liverpool from it in the 80s.For United, that is a crisis – for the club believes it is defined by success, not failure.That hole looks deeper, and darker, then either of the ones in North London.Illustration by Lovatto7This Saturday’s Premier league sees Chelsea take on Crystal Palace and Leicester v Arsenallast_img read more

Lions Club to Invest over US$1m in Liberia

first_imgThe District Governor of 403, A2, Lions Club International, Tobias K. Bruce, has said the Lions are ready to assist Liberians in meeting some of their needs, including support for health and education.Lion Bruce, who was on an official visit to Liberia, made the commitment on Friday at the Liberia Chamber of Commerce office on Capitol Hill in Monrovia, shortly before departing the country.“Because of our plan to support some initiatives in the country, we had the opportunity to meet with the vice president, Joseph N. Boakai, authorities at the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital,” he explained.He said the lions will invest a million dollars on the John F. Kennedy Hospital project and a little over US$50,000 on education, with additional plans to increase the amounts to ensure that the projects meet their goals.Lion Bruce commended the lions in Liberia for their level of contribution to society. “They have made some progress on various projects inspected and we are working hard to see more completed and undertaken as well. As a governor, I have talked with the lions in the country and we want to increase our membership. “I am happy to receive two new clubs, which amount to 50 persons,” he said.“We want to work with the population of this country, and first want to appreciate the warm welcome by the Vice President,” said Lion Bruce. Lions Club International is an International secular, non-political service organization founded by Melvin Jones in 1917. As of April 2015, it had over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 200 countries around the world.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Jose Mourinho’s alternatives revealed in case transfer for top target falls through

first_imgHowever, according to The Independent, the Red Devils expect the deal to go right to the August 9 transfer deadline.Spurs are only willing to do a deal which includes Anthony Martial or a straight up offer of £55 million – something the Red Devils have baulked at.With Daniel Levy remaining as frugal and unrelenting in his negotiations as ever, Mourinho has listed two younger alternatives to the 29-year-old Belgium international instead.Leicester City star Harry Maguire and Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar have both been identified by Mourinho as potential options, should a deal for Alderweireld fail to come to fruition. Toby Alderweireld remains Manchester United’s top transfer target, but Jose Mourinho has a list of alternative options lined up in case.It was believed a deal for the Tottenham Hotspur centre-half was no longer a viable option for the Red Devils. 2 2 Alderweireld is valued at £55 million by Spurs Mourinho has lined up two potential back-ups to Toby Alderweireld Any deal for Harry Maguire is likely to cost an eye-watering sum, with the Foxes reportedly insisting the Red Devils equal the world record fee of £75 million for a defender.The report goes on to say Mourinho is desperate to sign a centre-half and a right-winger at the very least before the August 9 transfer deadline.United have been linked with Skriniar’s Inter teammate Ivan Perisic.It is understood the Croatian is likely to arrive as a replacement for Anthony Martial, who is ready to quit Old Trafford this summer.last_img read more