Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal shows Manchester United his pragmatic approach

The lesson for Manchester United fans from Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands team’s performance in Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final was that the Dutch coach will cut his cloth accordingly – and he is not afraid to pick a team that will park the bus if he judges that the best way of prevailing. This is, after all, the man who schooled Jose Mourinho in the Chelsea manager’s early days as an assistant at Barcelona.

Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Can Lionel Messi be the clean-cut version of Diego Maradona?

In the build-up to the 1986 World Cup finals, Diego Maradona, it emerged years later, had been preoccupied with the unborn child – his child – that his lover Cristiana Sinagra was carrying. In his seminal biography of Maradona, The Hand of God, Jimmy Burns describes Sinagra as “perhaps the only woman Maradona had ever truly loved” and it would be fair to say that the footballer has known quite a few over the years.

FIVE signings to complete Big Sam’s West Ham squad

Sam Allardyce has wasted no time this summer in securing three signings – Ipswich Town’s Aaron Cresswell, Charlton’s Diego Poyet and Anderlecht ‘s Chiekhou Kouyate. But charged with the task of moving West Ham into European reckoning whilst simultaneously evolving their much-maligned attritional philosophy into something more commendable next season, the Upton Park roster is […]