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Erik ten Hag confirmed as Manchester United’s new manager


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David Dixon / Geograph

Erik ten Hag has been appointed as Manchester United’s new manager.

The Ajax boss, who took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after he was sacked in November, will take over from Manchester United’s interim coach Ralf Rangnick in the summer.

Rangnick is expected to step into a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag said in a statement: “It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead.

“I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

“It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United.”

According to Sky News, Ten Hag’s compensation is £1.7m. It is also reported that Manchester United’s good relationship with former player Edwin van der Sar, who is now Ajax’s chief executive, played a role in the negotiations.

Other candidates for the role reportedly included Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique. 

John Murtough, Football Director, said on the appointment: “During the past four years at Ajax, Erik has proved himself to be one of the most exciting and successful coaches in Europe, renowned for his team’s attractive, attacking football and commitment to youth.

“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that. 

“We wish Erik the best of luck as he focuses on achieving a successful end to the season at Ajax and look forward to welcoming him to Manchester United this summer.”


16-year-old darts sensation confident he can win World Darts Championship

He will play in the semi-final against Rob Cross later

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Sky Sports

A teenage darts player has said it will ‘take a lot to stop’ him as he sets his sights on winning the World Darts Championship.

Luke Littler has been playing darts since he was just a toddler as he started out using a magnetic board.

The 16-year-old has been wowing audiences as they’ve watched him rise up the ranks with an incredible run in the World Darts Championship.

Sky Sports

And with each passing set, Littler believes he has what it takes to win the tournament to become champion.

He’s now just two victories away from winning after his debut at the huge event.

After sweeping past Brendan Dolan to set up a semi-final against Rob Cross on Tuesday 2nd, he will play for a place in the final, held at Alexandra Palace on Wednesday night.

Sky Sports

“It’s going to take a lot to stop me,” he told the BBC. “It feels unbelievable. I never thought I would have got to the semis on my debut year.

“It’s crazy watching myself at 18 months or two years old in a nappy, but it has all paid off.

“One day we went to a shop with my parents and I pointed to a magnetic dartboard because they look similar. The rest is history.”

Sky Sports

Littler has got the darts world talking as he became the youngest player to win a match in the tournament as crowds taunted him with, ‘you’ve got school in the morning,’ during his first-round win against Christian Kist on December 20th.

Less than two weeks later he has banked £100,000 in prize money and is being asked for selfies with fans everywhere he goes, while getting to watch Premier League football matches sat in executive boxes.

“I’ve been to an Arsenal game, I went to a Tottenham game – people come up to me. I don’t know who these people are but they know me,” he said.

Sky Sports

“It is a good feeling and I will always take a picture with anyone. I was in (Tottenham midfielder) James Maddison’s box.

“It was good to meet him, get a few pictures and meet his family. It was really nice.”

Standing between Littler and a place in the final is Cross, who is number eight in the world.

Cross made history himself after becoming the first player to fight back from 4-0 to beat Chris Dobey 5-4 in his quarter-final.

Cross won the World Championship on his debut back in 2018 and thinks Littler has a similar kind of momentum behind him as he did.

Cross said: “Everyone loves an underdog story. It took a bit of pressure off me winning it first time as well.

“He’s fantastic and he deserves all the luck in the world – he is a nice young boy. Tomorrow we play darts, though, and I have to go down to business.”

Sven Mandel / Wikimedia

The other semi-final taking place is an all-England match also, which will see Scott Williams face third seed Luke Humphries.

Williams shocked Dutchman and three-time winner Michael van Gerwen 5-3 as he made it to the last four for the first time in just his second appearance at the World Championships.

Humphries, who won three major titles in 2023 and is the highest-ranked player left in the competition, is also in the last four who will play for a place in the finals at Alexandra Palace after he beat Dave Chisnall 5-1. It will be his first final.

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Man United’s Mary Earps named Women’s Footballer of the Year 2023


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@1maryearps / Instagram

England and Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps has been named the BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year.

Earps, 30, made history as the first goalkeeper to receive the award.

Speaking to BBC Sport, she said: “I am truly honoured. To be the first keeper to get their hands on the award is truly special and I am incredibly grateful.”

Fans voted on the BBC Sport website after five players were shortlisted for the award. A panel of experts made up of journalists, administrators, players and coaches from around the world chose Earps as one of those shortlisted.

@1maryearps / Instagram

Rumours were already circulating online that the Lioness goalie stood a good chance of winning the award after a stellar year playing for club and country.

She kept 14 clean sheets for Man United during the season 2022-23 – a WSL record – which earned the club their highest finish in the league, in second place.

Earps won the Golden Glove as England made it to the World Cup Final in August this year, though the Lionesses lost 1-0 to Spain despite Earps saving a second-half penalty. She also came fifth place in the Ballon d’Or.

In second place for the Footballer of the Year Award came Spain midfielder Aitana Bonmati, followed by Chelsea forward Sam Kerr, in third place.

@1maryearps / Instagram

Earps has also been making an impact off the pitch as well as on. This year she called out England’s kit manufacturer Nike for not producing replicas of her shirt for fans and aspiring female footballers to be able to buy.

In her speech, Earps continued: “To be honest, I thought Bonmati might take it. I mean, what a player.

“There has been a lot that has happened this year. Obviously, we’ve had the World Cup. We’ve had everything that’s gone on with the goalkeeper shirts. 

“I’ve had the whole goalkeeper union behind me, it seemed like. Not even just that, just incredible support from the public and many people.

@1maryearps / Instagram

“Last year was an incredible season for United. I think it’s been an incredible year, an incredible couple of years. I’m just trying to make the most of everything really.”

Two months after the World Cup had concluded, Nike produced the replica shirts and put them on sale. Within hours they sold out prompting Earps to thank her fans for all their support over social media.

England boss Sarina Wiegman congratulated Earps winning the award in a video, saying: “Hi Mary, here I go again. I can congratulate you again with the award for women’s world footballer of the year.

“Congratulations, but you’re not done yet. You have to keep going – get some more. Enjoy this award.”

@1maryearps / Instagram

After a two-year absence from the sport between November 2019 and September 2021, Earps considered retiring from football. But instead she has gone on to prove herself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

She added: “I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, the sort of things I went through, but I try to use my story as a beacon of hope for people – to show that there are better days coming.

“You just have to keep going and keep fighting. That looks very different to different people – everyone has their own battles and their own stories.

“I think what is incredible is how many people have reached out to me and shared their own stories through that. It’s been really great. Long may it continue.”

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Manchester City announce new six-part documentary following historic treble win

You can follow the Blues through their journey to winning the treble

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@ManCity / Twitter

Treble winners Manchester City have announced a new six-part documentary chronicling their three-cup victories.

City fans will be able to relive their team through their epic season of 2022/23 which saw them take home the treble, marking a historic achievement for the club.

Following the last documentary for Amazon Prime All or Nothing, the Blue’s new documentary will be called Together: Treble Winners, and will document behind the scenes footage of how events unfolded leading to City successfully achieving ‘football immortality by winning the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup’.

The Manchester City website reads: “It [The treble] was a truly historic achievement and to celebrate, our acclaimed fly-on-the-wall documentary Together is returning to provide an exclusive look behind the scenes of our Treble-winning campaign.

“The six-part docuseries, currently in production, will offer fans the complete inside story of City’s greatest-ever season, with unseen footage charting the immersive journey our players and staff experienced en route to securing football’s Holy Grail.

“This is the story of a season like no other, as City once again stunned the world with the brilliance of our football.”

@ManCity / Twitter

This statement might not go down so well with United fans who won the treble back in 1998/99 and may argue that theirs was ‘a season like no other’.

Either way, football fans who appreciate the game generally can simply watch the docuseries and get to find out what Pep said to players in team talks and all the dressing room antics that went on between teammates and backroom staff.

As for its release date and further details we will have to be patient just a little longer as Man City have only announced the new in-house production by City Studios will be ‘coming soon’, and that it is currently still in the production process.

@ManCity / Twitter

What will the club have in-store for next season, which starts tomorrow, Friday August 11th?

Perhaps the ambitious bunch will take home all four trophies and win a quadruple? It’s a crazy thought but perhaps the Blues might be the ones to do it. 

Let’s see how this season plays out…

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