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Mata moves closer to United switch

Mata moves closer to United switch

first_img “I can understand completely what Chelsea are doing. They could have sold him last week. “They do not make the rules, but maybe the rules should be adapted a bit more for more fairness.” None of this will concern United, who have endured such a poor campaign. Arguably their latest setback was the lowest point of all, given they found themselves outplayed at home by the team currently 19th in the Premier League, gifted Sunderland a last-minute goal that deprived them of a place in the final and then, after salvaging the situation through Javier Hernandez deep in stoppage time, conspired to convert just one of five kicks in what must go down as one of the worst penalty shoot-outs of all time. It has led to Moyes being savaged by some fans, who bombarded radio phone-ins to express their concerns. Others have been more measured in their assessment, acknowledging the squad left by Sir Alex Ferguson was flattered in the extreme by a 20th championship, achieved by a massive 11 points. It has created a situation where everyone, inside Old Trafford and out, accepts requires a major injection of morale, which former defender Gary Pallister insists Mata will provide. “He is a fantastic signing,” said Pallister, who was speaking at the National Football Museum, where he helped launch an exhibition dedicated to the 125th anniversary of the Northern League. “He has great skill, great imagination, flair and goalscoring ability. “A lot of people can’t quite understand why he has not been in Jose Mourinho’s team after being player of the year for the last two seasons. “He is the kind of player Manchester United fans want to see. He has great imagination and can get people off their seats in anticipation of the things he can do with a football. “We are delighted to get hold of him. Hopefully he can help lift Manchester United out of the spell they are going through.” As a teenager, Pallister spent 18 months in the Northern League with Billingham Town before moving on to Middlesbrough, where he caught the eye of Ferguson. He was part of the side that flirted with relegation in 1990 before eventually pulling clear of trouble and then winning the FA Cup, the start of almost a quarter of a century of unprecedented success with United. “That side was close to getting into a relegation scrap,” said Pallister, who won four Premier League titles and three FA Cups during his nine-year stint at Old Trafford. “We very nearly went into the relegation zone. “People have to remember it is very difficult to join a club the size of Manchester United. Even walking into the stadium as a supporter for the first time takes your breath away. “This is a work in progress – and everybody has to get behind the manager and staff.” Although it was widely assumed the Chelsea midfielder would head north for a medical on Thursday, Mata was forced to wait for the final details to be thrashed out between the clubs. United officials remained relaxed about the situation, giving no indication there had been any last-minute hitch that could delay the move. And, although some Manchester City fans have suggested Mata aborted his journey in the wake of United’s shattering Capital One Cup semi-final exit to Sunderland, it is widely assumed the formalities will be concluded within the next 24 hours. That would allow the 25-year-old to train with his new team-mates over the weekend, before being presented to the media next week, possibly ahead of what seems certain to be his debut against Cardiff at Old Trafford on January 28. Ineligible for the remainder of United’s Champions League campaign, Mata is tasked with trying to help his new club secure a top-four spot, having dropped six points adrift of Liverpool. Yet, whilst hopes of retaining their Premier League title have all but disappeared, United could have a significant say in who does win it. And it has not escaped Arsene Wenger’s attention that Mata will strengthen a United side that may have already faced Chelsea twice, but still have matches against Arsenal and Manchester City to play. “It opens up again questions about the dates of this transfer window,” said Wenger. “Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some others not. “If you want to respect the fairness for everybody that should not happen. Juan Mata is expected to complete his club-record move to Manchester United on Friday. Press Associationlast_img read more

Tottenham transfer news: Goal machine targets head-to-head

Tottenham transfer news: Goal machine targets head-to-head

first_imgWhat is being said?The skill I have for the game and the joy I play it with are gifts from God. I know I can help my team out with a goal or a pass at any time and that gives me a lot of confidence in myself and in my team-mates– Teofilo Gutierrez[Pochettino] has just given me the belief and opportunity to play. He has worked with me in this position that I play. It’s quite free, it’s all-attacking so it suits me but he speaks to me all the time about different situations and how I can improve my game– Jay Rodriguez on Mauricio Pochettino Tottenham striker transfer targets Teofilo Gutierrez and Jay Rodriguez 1center_img Strikers who can score goals. That’s what Tottenham need and it’s what they will get if manager Mauricio Pochettino gets his way in January. Here, talkSPORT’s Transfer Spotlight puts two targets head-to-head…What’s the latest?On Gutierrez:Pochettino apparently wants to overhaul his attacking line and has Teofilo Gutierrez in his sights as well as Borussia Monchengladbach attacking midfielder Patrick Herrmann. Gutierrez, who was linked with Ronald Koeman’s Southampton in the summer, could cost £6m if Pochettino decides he is his man.On Rodriguez:Emmanuel Adebayor and Roberto Soldado have not worked out as a partnership and Harry Kane has been used in cup competitions, which is why Rodriguez is being tracked having played under Pochettino at Southampton. It is believed the manager has been in regular contact with his pals on the south coast as he monitors the strikers fitness on his recovery from a knee injury. However, chairman Daniel Levy may have to part with £15m.What will Gutierrez bring?His link up play is good and his goal record is decent, with Gutierrez scoring six goals in 11 games for Colombia during their World Cup qualification in a partnership with Radamel Falcao. Former national coach Francisco Maturana has claimed that when Colombia play well, it’s “almost always down to Gutierrez” who managed one goal in four games in Brazil. A lifelong River Plate fan, he once required a police escort from the pitch when playing for Racing Club against River’s enemies, Boca Juniors when he gestured to the Bombonera crowd. Additionally, he also once pulled a gun on his Racing team-mates, which turned out to be a replica. All we’re saying is that Spurs have been accused of being too nice and lacking fiery characters..What will Rodriguez bring?Like Gutierrez, Rodriguez brings goals and lots of them. He ruptured his knee ligament in April, which ruled him out of the 2014 World Cup where he was said to be a shoo-in for a seat on the England plane having scored 15 Premier League goals in what was his second season in the Premier League. Prior to his move in 2012 he top scored for Burnley with 21 goals, was named Burnley Players’ Player of the Season and named in the PFA Championship Team of the Season.Video evidence:last_img read more

Senate Dems Express Increasing Alarm Over Website Issues

Senate Dems Express Increasing Alarm Over Website Issues

first_imgWith its first rocky month down, some say the most critical days are beginning for healthcare.gov. Meanwhile, the technical difficulties that have plagued the site are starting to chip away at the Democratic unity that has, so far, surrounded it. Some senators, for instance, are beginning to express concerns about its impact on the upcoming mid-term election and are calling for a delay in the individual mandate penalties if the website is not soon operational.ProPublica: A Month In To Healthcare.Gov, Real-Life Winners and LosersToday marks one month since the disastrous start of Healthcare.gov, the seriously impaired federal health insurance marketplace. And what a month it’s been (Ornstein, 11/1).The Wall Street Journal: Critical Weeks Begin For Health Law RolloutA potentially decisive month for the Affordable Care Act is beginning, with the Obama administration racing to meet its target of getting its health-insurance website functioning normally by the end of November. As a notice on the HealthCare.gov website suggests, normalcy is still a ways off.  The site’s core function–allowing people to sign up for health insurance–”isn’t available from approximately 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. EST daily while we make improvements,” says the notice (Paletta, 11/3).The Wall Street Journal: Officials Rebuff Call To Suspend Health SiteThe Obama administration said Sunday it had rejected a call from a senior Democratic senator to shut down HealthCare.gov until it is fully fixed, saying that wouldn’t help the government team racing to have the website up to scratch by the end of the month. November is developing into a challenging month for the administration, which is likely to face calls for more far-reaching changes to the Affordable Care Act if it can’t get HealthCare.gov in shape by Nov. 30. Some Democrats have said that if the site isn’t fixed soon, they would act to delay the law’s requirement that most Americans carry health insurance in 2014 or pay a tax penalty (Radnofsky and Paletta, 11/3).Politico: Max Baucus: Delay Obamacare Penalties If Website Still LagsSenate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus says Congress would need to consider delaying Obamacare’s penalties if the website is not repaired, but he said such conversations are “premature” at this point. “If it looks like Humpty Dumpty isn’t getting good, back together, maybe we should start thinking about delaying the penalties,” Baucus (D-Mont.) told News Talk 730 radio in Billings, Mont. But Baucus, one of the chief authors of the law, said he’d rather just see HealthCare.gov repaired (Haberkorn, 11/4).The Hill: Baucus: ObamaCare Site Is ‘Humpty Dumpty’ Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.) said Friday the penalty for the individual mandate should be delayed if the “Humpty Dumpty” ObamaCare website can’t be put back together again. “I think it makes better sense to see how much of this can be put together, how much Humpty Dumpty can be fixed in the next month,” Baucus said in an interview with Scott Fredericks of NewsTalk 730 KYYA (Easley, 11/1). CBS News: Take HealthCare.Gov Offline Until It Is Fixed, Feinstein And Rogers Say Both Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the HealthCare.gov website should go offline until it is fully functional. The website has been plagued by problems since its Oct. 1 launch. Earlier this month, President Obama appointed former CEO Jeffrey Zients, one of his economic advisors, to lead a “tech surge” intended to fix the site by the end of November. “It’s pretty clear, I think, to those of us who have been watching this rollout, that the technological base was not sufficient, and that the website didn’t function,” said Feinstein, who added that she told White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough that she thought the administration should take the site down “until it was right” (Kaplan, 11/3). Politico: Senate Dems To W.H.: Fix ObamacareDemocratic senators have a warning for the White House: Fix Obamacare’s problems or put Senate seats at risk next year. In interviews, Democratic senators running in 2014, party elders and Senate leaders said the Obama administration must rescue the law from its rocky start before it emerges as a bigger political liability next year (Raju, 11/3).Bloomberg: Health Site Flaws Test Democrats’ Unity As Attacks RiseSenate Democrats will get to question the administrators of President Barack Obama’s flawed health-care website next week amid mounting anxiety that may test their party’s unity. Democratic senators shot questions at White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough and other officials responsible for the website at a lunch at the Capitol Oct. 30, said a Senate Democratic aide (Dorning and Hunter, 11/2).ABC News: Obamacare Paper, Phone, Web Apps ‘Stuck In The Same Queue,’ Memos NoteA series of internal Obama administration memos obtained exclusively by ABC News reveal for the first time how dysfunction with HealthCare.gov has upended the entire Affordable Care Act enrollment process, including applications by paper and phone that officials have been pushing as more reliable alternatives. “The same portal is used to determine eligibility no matter how the application is submitted (paper, online),” reads a Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight memo from Oct. 11. “The paper applications allow people to feel like they are moving forward in the process and provides another option,” it says. “At the end of the day, we are all stuck in the same queue” (Dwyer and Karl, 11/4). The efforts to fix the site continued over the weekend when officials took the site down.Reuters: Obamacare Website To Be Down Again For Maintenance Late SaturdayThe glitch-ridden website used to sign up for insurance under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law will be down for “extended maintenance” overnight on Saturday, the Department of Health and Human Services said. The website has been plagued by technology problems and has not worked reliably since its launch on October 1, embarrassing the administration and providing ammunition for Republicans seeking to roll back the law known as Obamacare (Rampton, 11/2). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription. Senate Dems Express Increasing Alarm Over Website Issueslast_img read more