The dawn of a new era at Manchester United

Louis van Gaal hasn’t yet taken the reigns at Manchester United, but a new era is coming after last week’s signings of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, and the current Dutch boss has no intentions of leaving it there as United are linked to an array of other players.

Various news outlets have been speculating about who else is on van Gaal’s shopping list and here are the front runners:

Arturo Vidal – current team Juventus

The Italian based Chilean midfielder is regarded as one of the best in the world, there has been interest by United before but Juventus would not sell. Rated by his current club for £38 – £40m, it may prove too expensive for United.

 

Thomas Vermaelen – current team Arsenal

The Arsenal defender Vermaelen suffered an injury hit season last year and subsequently lost his place to Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny. He is rumoured to be close to signing a deal with United for a transfer fee of around £12m.

 

Alexis Sanchez – current team Barcelona

Another Chilean has roumoured to of caught van Gaal’s eye during the world cup, striker Alexis Sanchez. He is comfortable playing in a 4-3-3, a favourite formation for the next United manager and his speed and power would surely light up the premier league. Barcelona want around £30m for the striker.

 

Whatever happens I’m excited about the new season and just hope that Leeds can have a decent run and at least get to the playoffs, I would love to have the money to spend that United have but we will have to make do with what we’ve got. We’ll just have to wait and see if Dave Hockaday can do something that has aluded us in the past and reach the Premier League again, although not my first choice as a manager I support him and the team completely.

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Three does it again with #SingItKitty advert

Mobile phone network Three has revealed their latest advert and it’s great. A follow up to the award winning #DancePonyDance advert of last year, the #SingItKitty advert has a girl on a bike with a cat both singing the Starship’s 1985 hit ‘We Built this City’.

I actually paused the TV and called me wife into watch it when I first saw it, check it out below:

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This Would Scare the Bejesus out of me

This video produced for the launch of the film Devils Due, scared a number of people across New York City. And to be fair I can see why. It would scare me, not only because I don’t like children but it is a ugly evil looking thing making demonic noises. However I do worry that some people may react badly to it, scaring people silly is one thing, scaring them to death is another!

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Taxing Meat – Preposterous

cowSome things really get my goat in the news, on Friday it was an article in the Guardian (I know not the Daily Mail) that bugged me. Apparently some people (chief of the UN’s climate science panel to the economist Lord Stern) want to tax meat. Thus to encourage us to eat less of it and reducing global warming, because cows fart too much.

Yes it’s the methane which is produced from our farming, mainly from the sheep, cattle and goats. It is actually as simple as these animals fart too much, the idea of that does sound silly but the suggestion of taxing meat to cut down consumption is what is preposterous. The scientists who published in the journal Nature Climate Change said:

“Influencing human behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of any large-scale policy, and it is unlikely that a large-scale dietary change will happen voluntarily without incentives. Implementing a tax or emission trading scheme on livestock’s greenhouse gas emissions could be an economically sound policy that would modify consumer prices and affect consumption patterns.”

However I don’t believe a tax would work, especially as only a select few would probably implement the tax (the UK being first at the door for this extra income). Although in the UK increasing tax on petrol did cut use of cars it was only because people literally couldn’t afford to fill their tanks and people stopped using their cars unless an absolute necessity. However as public transport costs increase I predict people going back to their cars as it will turn out to be the more affordable option.

Same with tax on alcohol and cigarettes those that still want to and afford to still over indulge, those on a budget are the ones who cut down or do without and the same will happen with meat. Eventually it will become affordable o the rich. Now I know I will be able to afford it, but that’s not the point. The wife and I don’t eat a lot of meat, she is surprisingly a good cook, and so can make a joint last a few days. We eat a varied diet and I personally don’t think we overeat and as a tight Yorkshire man I can’t abide by waste.

The only way to cut meat consumption is to cut down what we produce, think of all the waste which goes into crap ready meals, dodgy chicken and beef burgers and the rest. Not wanting to sound like an old man, but what’s wrong with going back to the good old days and consuming meat like we used to. I’d much rather do that than pay tax and line the politician’s pockets?

Image courtesy of Lars_Pistasj

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Oh lardy dah!

Apparently there is a list to show that when have made it in life. If you have/own these things then you know! Great huh? I thought I would have a look and see how I compared!

A detached house – Check

A high end car – Check

A range cooker – No the wife can’t cook so would be a waste

A Jacuzzi – No

Private Gates – No

A gold card – Probably

A bathroom television – I wish

A swimming pool – Nope

Queen-sized bed – I have a king (more space between the wife and I)

A boiling water tap – What?

Apparently having a detached house makes people feel like they have made it or like me, being a miserable git who doesn’t like to hear his neighbours. A high end car, yes I suppose, however high end for me is a BMW or Merc and that’s more to do with the car than the status of owing it. A Range Cooker, perhaps, if it was a case of keeping up with the Joneses, however my wife can’t cook and spending that sort of money would be a massive waste.

Things like Jacuzzi’s and Swimming pools I suppose could be considered a statement for the rich, however it seems every Tom, Dick or Harry has one of those cheap blow up ones in their garden nowadays. Private gets well I suppose they keep the undesirables out but as I have found in the past myself as well when the electric fob breaks.

I’ve tried asking for a TV in the bathroom before but the wife doesn’t want to spend money on that not when we already have 3 TV’s in the house. Also I don’t take baths and a shower only lasts 2 minutes, however if I could watch TV in the shower I’m sure certain shows would extend my shower time…

I have a gold card that came because the wife spends a fortune on my credit card, which I pay off regularly. I also have a fancy bank account, for the rich, not that I spend much money in there. I’m not sure why a queen bed would be a sign of making it, a king sized one is bigger, but I suppose queen is bigger than a double bed. And then a boiling water tap, what the feck is one of those, don’t people have kettles?

Anyway, I must head out into the garden and assess the damage by the winds. The wife keeps nagging me because the wheelie bin is rolling off down the street and her bird table has more lean to it than the tower of Pisa.

 

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We need to learn more languages or one other at least

GlobeSo watching the news today and they were talking about how we Brits are pretty crap at speaking other languages. We have all been tarred with the same brush when it comes to travelling abroad, we are rude, drunken and unable to speak anything other than English. Which may be the case for some Brit holidaymakers going to the Spanish Costas but to be fair there are a lot of British people who are bi-lingual and some multi-lingual.

I myself am multi-lingual, well bi-lingual would be fairer as I can speak French, Spanish and German, however my German is pretty flaky now as I haven’t used it in a number of years and my Spanish mainly gets me to a bar, or ordering food at restaurants and getting around a bit. But I can’t speak full conversations much anymore. When I worked, my job saw me travel a lot around Europe, every other week I was in Paris for Lille for a meeting with bosses so I spoke fluent French, which I learnt in school. Trips to Germany saw me take this language on to help me whilst working over there occasionally. And Spanish was gained from lad’s holidays, hence the basic alcohol involved knowledge.

Learning languages is best done when you’re young. I started French in primary school, followed it to High School and took it GCSE gaining pretty high marks, considering the rest of my results. However sometimes you can have a natural ability which helps as I have mentioned learning it when young. One thing that can be tricky is the writing part, speaking does come easier, however there are places you can look for help on writing here. When it came to picking up German in my twenties it was much harder, I only got around because as I was learning it I was using it. However it hasn’t ‘stuck’ like French has so there defiantly are benefits learning it when you’re young.

So focus needs to be on early education in my opinion. According to the British Council most Brits cannot hold a conversation in one of the ten most important languages. I’ve found many of my mates round here don’t speak any other language but English (well Yorkshire) whereas when I lived in London many people in my circle of friends spoke a different languages. Some could speak as many as five! However the need to be bi-lingual in some walks of life is more important than others. The jobs my mates have round here wouldn’t need them to speak another language so after school they never bothered to carry on what they learnt.

I just hope we can improve languages in schools, although I think that’s going to be harder that they think!

 

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