Carter re­calls SA vi­o­lence

Lesotho Times - - Sport - Cruyff cuts ties with Ajax

MANCH­ESTER — Manch­ester City striker Ser­gio Aguero be­lieves he will be fit for Satur­day’s clash against Liverpool.

Aguero has been out since early Oc­to­ber with a ham­string in­jury sus­tained while play­ing for Ar­gentina.

“I don’t think I’m too far away now,” Aguero told City’s web­site. “Phys­i­cally, I feel good and I’ve kept as fit as I can dur­ing my lay­off.

“I still need to work hard for an­other week and if not this week, then maybe next, I hope to start train­ing with the rest of the lads and so my tar­get is Liverpool.”

Premier League lead­ers City take on Liverpool on 21 Novem­ber and are away to Ju­ven­tus in the Cham­pi­ons League next week.

Aguero scored a club record five goals in a 6-1 win over New­cas­tle United in his last City ap­pear­ance.

“I’ll take things slowly and not rush into any­thing, but I’m not far away,” he said.

Aguero also says he has been en­cour­aged by the early signs of his part­ner­ship with at­tack­ing mid­fielder Kevin De Bruyne and hopes they can form a strike­force that will drive the side on to tro­phy-win­ning suc­cess.

De Bruyne has made an im­pres­sive start to his Manch­ester City ca­reer since he joined from VFL Wolfs­burg in the close sea­son, bag­ging seven goals in 14 ap­pear­ances.

The first hint of a promis­ing al­liance be­tween the Bel­gian and Aguero came on Oc­to­ber 3, when City de­mol­ished New­cas­tle United 6-1 with the Ar­gen­tine scor­ing five, two of them as­sisted by De Bruyne, who scored one him­self.

“I’m re­ally happy be­cause I think the club did a great piece of busi­ness bring­ing Kevin in and you are al­ways happy when a qual­ity player ar­rives and he is cer­tainly that,” Aguero told club’s web­site.

“The few chances I’ve had to play along- side him have been en­cour­ag­ing be­cause we started to get an un­der­stand­ing of how each other plays.

“As I say, he is a great player and it’s re­ally im­por­tant he set­tles in and shows us what he can do and he’s also a great lad off the field as well so I’m look­ing for­ward to play­ing along­side him again,” he added.

Ni­co­las Ota­mendi had a shaky start to his City ca­reer but has since found his feet and pro­duced a man-of-the-match dis­play against bit­ter ri­vals Manch­ester United on Oc­to­ber 25, one of an im­proved level of per­for­mance praised by his com­pa­triot Aguero.

“Nico is a good player who will help our team and the more Ar­gen­tini­ans the bet­ter as far as I’m con­cerned,” Aguero said.

“We need a big squad be­cause we’ve got lots of games and many com­pe­ti­tions we’re try­ing to win and all the play­ers we’ve brought in over the sum­mer have made us stronger.”

Mean­while, Liverpool mid­fielder James Mil­ner has set his sights on re­turn­ing to ac­tion in time for Satur­day’s clash away at for­mer club Manch­ester City.

Mil­ner with­drew from the Eng­land squad for the two friendlies against Spain and France af­ter pick­ing up a ham­string in­jury in Liverpool’s Europa League win over Rubin Kazan two weeks ago.

The 29-year-old missed Liverpool’s 2-1 Premier League de­feat by Crys­tal Palace on 8 Novem­ber, their first loss un­der man­ager Juer­gen Klopp.

“It’s al­ways dis­ap­point­ing to miss any games — and ob­vi­ously miss­ing last week­end and the Eng­land games is dis­ap­point­ing,” Mil­ner told the club’s web­site.

“It shouldn’t be too long and hope­fully I’ll be back for the next game (against City).

“You never like to put a time­frame on it be­cause it’s a ham­string and they’re al­ways dif­fi­cult and a bit un­pre­dictable, but hope­fully I’ll be al­right,” he added.

Liverpool sit 10th in the ta­ble af­ter 12 games, nine points adrift of league lead­ers Manch­ester City.

Full week­end fix­tures Nov 21: Wat­ford v Manch­ester United, Ever­ton v As­ton Villa, Swansea v Bournemouth, New­cas­tle v Le­ices­ter, Southamp­ton v Stoke, Chelsea v Nor­wich, West Brom v Arse­nal, Manch­ester City v Liverpool.

Nov 22:

Tot­ten­ham v West Ham.

Nov 23: Crys­tal Palace v Sun­der­land.

— Reuters CAPE TOWN — All Black fly­half Dan Carter (pic­tured) has re­called a night of vi­o­lence in South Africa in 2002 when he played for the New Zealand Un­der-21 team.

In his new au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Dan Carter — My Story, Carter de­tails a sav­age beat­ing sev­eral of his team-mates suf­fered from bounc­ers at a Jo­han­nes­burg night­club.

Carter and team-mates headed to a bar sev­eral hours af­ter they had beaten Wales in the Ju­nior World Cup third-fourth place play­off.

The ma­jor­ity of the team wore team-is­sue po­los — which Carter de­scribed as “our armour”.

But af­ter sev­eral hours drink­ing at what Carter re­called as a “dodgy club”, the team’s choice of cloth­ing saw them be­ing tar­geted for a level of bru­tal­ity which the star fly­half never ex­pe­ri­enced dur­ing his 12 years of Test rugby.

“Out of the blue, a voice boomed out over the club’s sound sys­tem: ‘Could all the New Zealan­ders please leave the premises im­me­di­ately’,” Carter wrote.

Ini­tially the New Zealand team thought the an­nounce­ment was a joke, but then re­alised the se­ri­ous­ness of the sit­u­a­tion once it was re­peated.

Scuf­fles started break­ing out once the team left the venue.

Shocked at what was un­fold­ing, Carter and fel­low fu­ture All Black star Luke Mcal­is­ter fled the venue and the pend­ing vi­o­lence.

“We didn’t know it yet, but that one ran­dom, some­what self­ish de­ci­sion might have ended up sav­ing lives,” he wrote.

“As soon as we left things ex­ploded. Play­ers started brawl­ing with the bounc­ers. But what sent the whole scene over the edge was when re­in­force­ments ar­rived not long af­ter. “We never imag­ined that our team-mates - big, strong ath­letes in great con­di­tion - couldn’t han­dle them­selves against a few se­cu­rity guys. We didn’t know it yet, but that one ran­dom, some­what self­ish de­ci­sion might have ended up sav­ing our lives.

“As soon as we left, things ex­ploded, play­ers started brawl­ing with the bounc­ers... (and) re­in­force­ments ar­rived not long af­ter. It be­came a scene of ex­treme vi­o­lence, and guys were get­ting se­ri­ously beaten up. Sam Tuitupou laid a cou­ple of guys out, be­fore be­ing over­run.

“Then gun­shots rang out... our team re­treated to the vans. Sam had been pis­tol­whipped, Ja­son Shoe­mark had copped a hell of a beat­ing. As the vans tried to leave, the win­dows were smashed in — our guys were jump­ing fences, just run­ning for their lives.”

— News24 AM­S­TER­DAM — Leg­endary club fig­ure Jo­han Cruyff (pic­tured) is to stop work­ing as an ad­vi­sor to Ajax Am­s­ter­dam as a power strug­gle over the ap­proach to the game con­tin­ues to rum­ble at the club.

Cruyff says his vi­sion to im­prove Ajax’s youth struc­ture is no longer be­ing im­ple­mented and wants his name and any con­nec­tion re­moved from a play­ing and de­vel­op­ment phi­los­o­phy he has led for years.

It fol­lows last week’s re­moval of for­mer Dutch in­ter­na­tional Wim Jonk as head of youth de­vel­op­ment at Ajax.

Ren­o­vat­ing the club’s academy had been at the heart of plans Cruyff laid out for the for­mer Euro­pean cham­pi­ons with the Dutch­man us­ing his weekly news­pa­per col­umn to an­nounce his de­ci­sion to step down and to crit­i­cise Ajax di­rec­tors.

The 68-year-old Cruyff, who is be­ing treated for can­cer, won eight league ti­tles and three Euro­pean Cups with Ajax from 1964-73 on the way to be­com­ing one of the most recog­nis­able play­ers from the Nether­lands.

He also man­aged Ajax from 1985-88, win­ning the Euro­pean Cup Win­ners’ Cup in 1987 and im­ple­ment­ing an in­no­va­tive play­ing sys­tem that has been the hall­mark of Ajax teams since. — Reuters

City slicker Ser­gio Ar­guero has­sles Liverpool de­fender De­jan Lovren in this file photo.

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