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Manchester United: Erik Ten Hag must address these 5 issues



The Dutch revolution at Manchester United under new manager Erik ten Hag has officially
begun with the former Ajax boss starting pre-season training Monday at Carrington. Reports
suggest Erik ten Hag has given his United bosses a wish list of 5 players with Barcelona
midfielder Frenkie de Jong, sitting pretty at the top. There seems to be a deal there for United
as Barcelona are desperate to get their finances in order and want to offload De Jong because
he commands good value in the market and has exorbitant wages. Both of which are not a big
concern at United.With the new season just over a month away, we take a look at the top 5 concerns which Erik ten Hag must address to be successful at Manchester United:

1-Captain oh my captain !
According to reports in the English press, including the very reliable BBC, the Red Devils dressing room was split right down the middle over the issue of captaincy. Harry Maguire doesn’t command the respect on or off the pitch that someone wearing the armband should, and with Cristiano Ronaldo, David de Gea, and Bruno Fernandes, there are many contenders for that role.

2- A luxury goalkeeper!
With a $23 million annual salary, David de Gea is the highest paid goalkeeper in the world. Fact that he is unable to hold his place in the national team is testament to the mismanagement of Manchester United directors who felt he deserved such a high wage. This has made him impossible to drop for any manager, while also making him unattainable for other clubs. Many believed De Gea does not suit Erik ten Hag’s style of play which involves playing a high line, and the Spanish keeper lacks the athleticism to sweep his box, preferring instead to stick to the goal line. However, Dean Henderson is leaving on loan, so it seems DDG will be ETH’s first choice keeper.

3-Midfield McBurgers
The biggest area of concern for Manchester United has been the midfield. The first choice for the last couple of managers, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick have been Scott McTominay and Fred, the McFred midfield as it’s called. It’s a pairing which has become a bit of a joke with contrasting styles of play that create an imbalance in the middle of the pitch. As a result, United struggled to win back possession in midfield, or build attack from the backline. With Frenkie de Jong expected to join United it will be interesting to see who he gets paired with. Will United go from McFred to McFrenkie? Or will it be Fredkie ? Both sound terrible to be honest.

4-Floundering fullbacks
The style of play Erik ten Hag deployed at Ajax saw him utilise width across the pitch with creative use of his fullbacks. The likes of right back Noussair Mazraoui have since then been poached by German giants Bayern Munich. Ten Hag also deployed former Manchester United player Daley Blind on the left hand side to help pass the ball out from the back. At United this has been another area of concern. Ole bought Alex Telles, but the Brazilian has struggled with life in England. Luke Shaw remains United’s best fullback, but he has a tendency to get injured. Aaron Wan Bissaka has regressed in his progression and some reports suggest United are ready to listen to offers for the former Crystal Palace right back.

5-Misfiring strikers
Looking at Manchester United’s roster one would think attack would be the least of Erik ten
Hag’s concerns, strangely that’s not true. With Cristiano Ronaldo, United have a larger than life
presence in the dressing room which, last season, seemed to have cast a shadow on other
forwards, especially Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. The French forward headed off to
Sevilla in a loan move which ended in a disaster, while Rashford, a former Manchester United
player struggled for form all season. Many questioned his attitude, pointing to his off-field social
work as a possible distraction. There’s no denying the talents of both players, but to make them
click with the likes of Cristiano will be a challenge for ETH.

Written by Raghav Chopra, Senior journalist
(special to

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Dates revealed for Global Village Season 27




Hurrrray.…the countdown begins.

Global Village has announced its opening date for its coming season. The popular family-friendly destination will reopen on October 25, although little other details are known yet including when exactly it will run until and what will be new. However, on the official website, it says Season 27 followed by the dates “October 2022 — April 2023” which follows the typical dates the attraction usually stays open for.

Last season’s Global Village had a record 7.8 million guests visit during the six months it was operational. This also includes an extended period, which saw the attraction stay open for an extra four weeks until May 7.

The destination marked its 26th season with 26 pavilions representing more than 80 cultures from around the world.

Among the countries and continents represented were: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, South Korea, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Yemen, Russia, the Americas, Africa and Europe.

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Covid or recession cannot replace personal touch in networking, says BNI chief of UAE




Kumar Shyam

Dubai – A visit to the annual expo and members day of the Business Network International has revealed that the face to face meetings will still remain the preferred option for many.

While the world moved its business online wherever possible in the Covid-19 aftermath, the recessionary pressures that followed also meant people resorted to more networking.

“Not just this Covid, but four times in the past two decades that I have been associated with BNI, I have seen that membership figures have got the actual momentum only during times of recession,” said Bijay Shah, the national director of BNI for Qatar and UAE.

According to BNI, it is the world’s largest business networking and referral organisation. Shah put the member strength in the UAE to 800 members, who pay an annual subscription amount and then meet in person at a designated venue with a stipulated cover amount to cover for the costs of the venue and refreshments.

The annual day also provided businesses with an opportunity to explore mutual synergies through networking sessions while some also put up stalls to advertise their wares.

K Kalimuthu, Consul (Economic, Trade & Commerce) at the Consulate General of India also graced the event to mark 17 years of BNI in the UAE, which has mushroomed into 20 chapters and few about to start.


Bijay Shah, left, and K Kalimuthu chat on the sidelines of the BNI Expo Day at JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai. Courtesy BNI

Members also came together to share industry knowledge and trends while there was a panel discussion on the importance of integration of the metaverse in businesses.

While the businessmen and professionals have gone back to operating onsite, the era of Zoom and Teams meetings online ensured that networking can happen virtually too.

Ask Mr Shah and members from the BNI at the expo at JW Marriott Marquis hotel, Dubai, the unanimous verdict is that personal meetings have their own strengths.

In a recent PwC Consumer Intelligence Series survey, 75 percent of 15,000 consumer respondents confirmed the observation that when it comes to business, the human touch is still extremely important.

“In a world where automation and digitalisation are the way to generate new businesses, human relationships have been challenged since a long time and to greater degree post-pandemic. BNI significantly contributes that to business growth through the power of building interpersonal relationships.”

“We are growing in the UAE with close to 800 members and last year alone the members closed businesses worth over 336 Million AED,” Shah said. “Not just in the UAE, BNI has a proven growth track record globally and is a business model able to grow in any economic environment. BNI is now franchising across the Middle East (email to know more).”

Shirish Jain, a member, gave a real-life example to explain this. “What happens in online meetings is that the personal touch is lacking. Even in BNI, sometimes the important connections are made around the coffee table. For instance, four-five members are casually chatting and during a talk on metaverse, some shares an anecdote citing a friend whom I would love to do business with. So many times it has happened that we mention our friends and family who the network could benefit from and vice versa. So I would say in-person meetings are still better than online.”


ALSO READ: Oil pinch hurt growing in UAE


The Expo and Members Day was loaded with a range of learning events, such as panel discussions with keynote speakers and members sharing their success stories. The event ended with a spectacular awards ceremony honoring and recognizing the members’ achievements.

“Networking is an important element of every business. BNI aspires to be a guiding light for companies and individuals seeking to connect and thrive,” Mr Shah added.

About BNI
It is a 37-year-old business and professional networking organization that allows only one person from each trade or profession to join a chapter. BNI has over 289K members worldwide, in over 75 different countries, from over 300 different types of professions. In each chapter, there is a long list of categories for businessmen and profession. Once a member signs up and fills up that category, the chapter blocks out others in the same providing monopoly to protect the member’s interests.

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Eid Al Adha holiday announced for UAE public sector




Public sector workers will enjoy a long weekend to mark Eid Al Adha.The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources said the holiday would run from Friday, July 8 until Monday, July 11. Work will resume on Tuesday, July 12.

The crescent moon marking the beginning of the month of Zul Hijjah was sighted in Saudi Arabia yesterday Therefore, today, June 30, is the first day of the month. According to the official list of public holidays announced by the UAE Government, Arafah Day and Eid Al Adha holidays will be observed from Zul Hijjah 9 to 13. The corresponding dates on the Gregorian calendar are Friday, July 8, to Monday, July 11. This year, Eid Al Adha falls shortly after schools finish up for the summer holidays and airlines anticipate hundreds of thousands of people travelling during that period.

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