26 Oct

Januzaj blames ‘long ball’ for Man Utd struggles

first_imgAdnan Januzaj has suggested that a penchant for “long ball” in the Premier League and a lack of faith from Louis van Gaal are to blame for the struggles he endured at Manchester United.The Belgium international appeared destined for a bright future in England when bursting out of the Old Trafford academy system under David Moyes.His early showings were, however, to be as good as things got for the now 24-year-old winger. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? 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? Januzaj quickly fell out of favour at United and took in forgettable loan spells at Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland before securing a permanent switch to Real Sociedad in 2017.He has rebuilt his reputation in Spain, telling The Telegraph of his current standing and how he got to this point: “It’s been a good move.“I had other options but I really wanted to come and play in Spain. I also looked at how the team was … they love football and they love to play the beautiful game – that’s the most important thing in football and why you play.​“La Liga suits my style. It is much more technical, players are much more skilful. The positioning of the players is really clever.“In England, it’s a bit more physical, a bit long ball, more direct. In Spain, most of the teams try and play from the back. It’s great to have players around you who are comfortable on the ball, too, because it helps you. It makes attacking easier, it makes the difference.”​Adnan Januzaj Louis van Gaal Manchester UnitedJanuzaj believes his progress at United was stunted by the arrival of Van Gaal, with the Dutch coach placing little trust in his enigmatic talents.“I grew up there [United], I was really happy until one year I had a bit of a struggle with the manager and that slowed me down,” he said.“I always knew I had all the qualities to turn things around. The problem was, I was not playing and, then, every time I came in, it was difficult to change the game or make something happen, so, obviously, then imagine playing for a year like this? It makes it more difficult for you.”​Januzaj’s cause was made all the more difficult as a creative midfielder.He added: “Exactly, because you are the one player who can make the difference, score goals and you can imagine if he [the manager] does not give you the confidence to take your opponent on, it gets even more difficult for you because you don’t know what to do: to attack or to play simple.“I came in for a lot of criticism but, for me, it’s not a problem because I never look back on it. I just keep doing my stuff and now I’m in another league, I’m happy, I played in my second World Cup, I scored against England, too, so I showed to people that against an English team, who all play in the Premier League, I can still make the difference. It was a good moment.”​Januzaj netted against England during a group stage encounter at the 2018 World Cup, with the Red Devils then going on to edge out the Three Lions again in a third-place play-off. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more

2 Oct

Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman named head coach at Houston

Ohio State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom HermanCredit: Hayden Grove / Lantern TV Sports directorOhio State co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Tom Herman has officially been named the next head coach at Houston, the school announced Tuesday.Herman is set to be introduced at Houston in a Friday press conference, the school announced in a press release. His contract spans five years and is worth $6.75 million.The release said Herman will stay with the Buckeyes’ coaching staff until OSU’s run in the College Football Playoff comes to an end.“This is a tremendous opportunity for my family and I to come back to Houston and lead one of the top programs,” Herman said in the release. “I am looking forward to working with one of the top athletic directors in the country as well as (Houston Chancellor Renu) Khator in a partnership that will make the city of Houston and the great state of Texas proud.”Under Herman in 2014, the OSU offense finished fourth in the nation with 45.2 points per game. The Buckeyes were also eighth in the country with 507.6 total yards per game.In each of his three seasons at OSU, a Buckeye quarterback was named the Big Ten’s Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year.Current senior quarterback Braxton Miller won the award in 2012 and 2013 — as well as being named the conference’s MVP and Offensive Player of the Year both seasons. After Miller was ruled out for the season after injuring his shoulder during fall camp, Herman coached redshirt-freshman J.T. Barrett to a record-setting season and the Quarterback of the Year honor.In his only season as the starter, Barrett set the Big Ten and OSU record for total touchdowns in a season with 45 and set school records for passing touchdowns in a season and total yards in a season.Herman also picked up an accolade of his own this year, as he was named the 2014 Broyles Award winner. The Broyles Award is given annually to the top assistant coach in the nation.Herman — a California Lutheran University product —  joined the Buckeyes in 2012 along with coach Urban Meyer after holding the same position at Texas State, Rice and Iowa State in previous seasons. He also spent time as an assistant at Sam Houston State and a graduate assistant at Texas.The Simi Valley, Calif., native is set to replace Tony Levine at Houston after Levine led the Cougars to a 21-17 record over three seasons. Levine was fired on Dec. 8.Herman’s hiring was initially reported by Fox Sports on Monday.After coaching Barrett to an 11-1 record as a starter, Herman was also tasked with preparing another quarterback for their first collegiate start after Barrett fractured his ankle in the regular season finale against Michigan.With a week of preparation, Herman helped redshirt-freshman quarterback Cardale Jones throw for 257 yards and three touchdowns in his first start, leading OSU to a 59-0 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game. The win also helped the Buckeyes secure a spot in the first-ever College Football Playoff.Herman is set to coach Jones and the Buckeyes against No. 1 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on New Years Day. Kickoff for the semifinal matchup is set for 8:30 p.m. in New Orleans. read more