Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s downbeat post-match interview after a damaging defeat at Newcastle is proof of how badly he is “struggling” at Manchester United, according to Robin van Persie.The Magpies inflicted a third Premier League defeat of the season upon the Red Devils on Sunday, securing a 1-0 win at St James’ Park thanks to a debut goal from 19-year-old Matthew Longstaff .The result leaves United 12th in the standings and just two points above the drop zone, with table-toppers Liverpool set to arrive at Old Trafford after the international break. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Solskjaer’s side have only managed to score nine goals in their eight fixtures this term, with Marcus Rashford failing to live up to expectations up front in the absence of the injured Anthony Martial.United are now in grave danger of missing out on a place in the top four, with some suggestion among fans and experts that the club has now reached it’s lowest point post-Sir Alex Ferguson.Speaking after the game at the weekend , Solskjaer said: “It’s my responsibility. I need to sort their heads out. Young boys lacking confidence, they need some help from experienced players and staff.”Van Persie, who inspired United’s last Premier League title triumph back in 2013, felt Solskjaer used the “wrong” words to describe the current situation at Old Trafford, admitting he’s not sure the 46-year-old boss can turn around the club’s fortunes.“You can see he’s struggling there, if I’m really honest, during that interview,” Van Persie told Optus Sport .“And I get it if you’re the manager of Manchester United during this period of time. So he’s searching for words, maybe he chose a few wrong ones there.“Because as a player, what does that mean, ‘sorting the players’ heads out’, what does that mean?“If you’re a player you’re a little bit like, ‘my head is fine’. Even though you can see the players are low in confidence, he needs to find a way to reconnect again and to get their confidence high.“As a manager, when you’re team is low in confidence get them up, when your team is too high in confidence, when they are becoming a little bit too much, you have to get them back to the middle again.“At the moment, based on this interview, and based on what I’ve seen in the game, I’m not sure if he really knows how to find the buttons there.”United will host Liverpool on October 20 , four days before resuming their Europa League campaign with a trip to Partizan Belgrade. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane expressed his happiness for Thibaut Courtois after he kept his first Champions League clean sheet of the season. The Belgian made three saves on Tuesday as Real saw off Galatasaray 1-0 at the Turk Telekom Stadium for their first group win. Zidane’s side had previously conceded five goals across their first two games, losing 3-0 to PSG before behind held to a 2-2 draw against Club Brugge. Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Courtois’ performances in goal have been cast under increasing scrutiny this season with the former Chelsea number one failing to convince fans he’s capable of stepping up at the Santiago Bernabeu.Zidane has however stuck with the Belgian in goal and was relieved to see him claim a much-needed clean sheet on Tuesday. “I’m happy for Courtois, we all are,” Zidane said post-match. “He is our goalkeeper, he has been good today and we have won the game, which was important.”We know we have to improve. We had many chances to score, we didn’t and we struggled.”This is Madrid, we have to keep working. We have to congratulate the players because the people who saw the game has to be proud of them.”Despite questions being asked of Courtois between the sticks, the man himself has never lost faith in his own abilities. “I never doubted myself, I know what kind of goalkeeper I am and I’m only interested in the constructive criticism of my teammates and the coach,” Courtois told Movistar Plus. “I think it was an important game, we had to win to gain oxygen and continue in the Champions League. We were fine from the beginning although they had two chances that I stopped well.”While boasting less possession in Turkey, Real should have done better in front of goal as they unleashed 26 shots but only found the back of the net once via Toni Kroos in the 18th minute. Zidane handed young players Federico Valverde and Rodrygo starts against Galatasaray with the manager admitting both were gambles but ultimately justified themselves. “Valverde is playing well, he is a good kid and I’m happy for him,” Zidane said. “Rodrygo was a coach’s choice, we had to bet on him and we did.”
“Both India and Sri Lanka failed to note it was the livelihood issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen and it has to be approached with a humanitarian touch,” he told The Hindu. (Colombo Gazette) “The whole exercise turned out to be futile and it was totally disappointing,” U. Arulanandham, president of the Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), told The Hindu . It was shocking that Ms. Swaraj could not prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to secure the release of 115 boats detained in the island nation for more than one-and-a-half years, he said. A cross-section of fisher leaders has expressed disappointment over the outcome of the recent high-level meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Delhi to find a solution to the long-standing ‘livelihood issue’ of Tamil Nadu fishermen, The Hindu newspaper reported.“We are not at all satisfied with the decision to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG), joint patrolling and hotline between the Coast Guards of the two countries to address the issue as none of the measure would help to find a solution to the issue,” a leader who was part of the delegation that held talks with their Sri Lankan counterparts, ahead of the high-level meeting, said. It was also distressing to note that Ms. Swaraj could not secure the release of the mechanised and country boats held in Sri Lanka, he said.Mr. M. Ilango, leader of the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), said the decision to set up a JWG was only an eyewash. “If Ms. Swaraj and Mr. Samaraweera could not decide on securing the release of the boats, it will be foolish to hope the JWG will secure the release,” he said.The decision to set up joint patrolling and establish hotline between the two coast guards was aimed at chasing away the Tamil Nadu fishermen, he said. No doubt Ms. Swaraj, recovering from an illness, took sincere efforts to find a solution, but the exercise went in favour of the Sri Lankan fishermen, he alleged. Most of the boats were badly damaged and the fishermen would receive only some wooden planks and scraps when the Sri Lankan authorities returned the boats, he rued. The Tamil fishermen from northern Sri Lanka, who were crying foul about destruction of marine resources, should understand the steps taken by the State government to protect the marine resources, he said.Mr. P. Sesu Raja said it was unfortunate that the Indian government, which wrested an assurance from the Sri Lankan government that the fishermen would not be attacked, failed to secure an assurance that they would not be arrested till alternative arrangements were made. The leaders had high hopes that the two governments would work out a solution and allow Tamil Nadu fishermen to fish in the Lankan waters in the Palk Bay for specific period till they switched over to deep-sea fishing or phased out bottom trawling; but, they were disappointed.