Tuesday 16 January 2018

Carrzone: Needing goals, might Van Gaal call home Hernandez?

van Gaal
van Gaal

HAS Louis van Gaal (inset) found the answer to the scoring problems that have seen Manchester United fail to find the net in their last two league games?

Trailing Arsenal (6) and Man City (9) in the goal difference table, Man United have a player on loan to Real Madrid who's making the most of his first team starts by banging in three important goals in two games at a tense time for Carlo Ancelotti's team.

Fans are asking if Van Gaal, who's brought out the best of Marouane Fellaini, would be able to fit the busy Javier Hernandez (26) into his plans. Moved to Real on loan for €2.5m, 'Chicarito' scored the goal that put them into the Champions League semi-final. Despite claiming Real is "the best team in the world", he may yet be considered surplus to requirements at the club.

Old Trafford is expected to have a buy-back clause in their contract. Real have until tomorrow to sign their loan player who will be an attractive proposition for a number of European clubs.

Is he a player Van Gaal needs in his squad?


"Negligent" badminton star has doping ban backdated

"DOPING? Ah sure no bother a'tall."

We can expect to see Malaysia badminton player Lee Chong Wei (32) going for gold in Rio next year because, despite having tested positive for a banned substance, the Badminton World Federation has backdated his eight-month ban for doping.

The former world number one is now free to compete in an Olympic qualifying event, the Sudirman Cup, next week.

The maximum sentence Lee could have faced was two years, a penalty he said would have forced him to retire. More good news for Lee is that he gets to hold on to the two bronze medals he won at the Asian Games in South Korea last September

Lee won Olympic silver in both 2008 and 2012 and has four Commonwealth Games golds.

Lee produced corroborating evidence which convinced "to the comfortable satisfaction of the panel" that he didn't set out to cheat.

However, he was deemed to have been "negligent". Lee said: "I am relieved. I will be stronger mentally for competitions to come."


From baseball to hurling, sports memorabilia sells

SPORTS memorabilia fans are enviously eyeing the recent sale of the famous Honus Wagner (T206), the Holy Grail of baseball cards, which went for €1.22 million after brisk bidding.

Due to a dispute (it's said the player complained that he didn't want to endorse smoking), fewer than 200 of the legendary Pittsburgh Pirates player were produced by American Tobacco Company (1909-11). In 2013, one of these rare cards went for €1.94m. And it's reported that Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick bought one for €2.58m in 2010.

The market for sports memorabilia remains buoyant. A pair of Michael Jordan's NBA Nike shoes worn in 1984, sold recently for €65,750.

Next month a photo of Michael Collins greeting the Dublin 1921 Leinster final hurling team at Croke Park will be auctioned by Adams (estimate €300-€500).


Are you watching the match?

RESEARCH by Maximum Media Network shows that 71pc of Irish men watch up to four sports matches a week on TV. Support is not all couch or bar-stool. 33% attend games up to three times a month. 43% of the 3,100 poll claim they play competitive sport regularly. Soccer (46%) is ahead of rugby (20%), hurling (13% and Gaelic football (8%) as the sports most watched. The Conor McGregor effect has MMA in the top 5 at 6%.

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