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Predrag Mijatovic criticises Gareth Bale for lacking leadership qualities

first_imgFormer Real Madrid striker Predrag Mijatovic criticised Gareth Bale for lacking leadership qualities and hit out at coach Santiago Solari after the club’s La Liga title ambitions were dented by Thursday’s 2-2 draw at Villarreal.Real’s record signing Bale had to be substituted at halftime after a knock when his side was 2-1 up and Solari later took off playmaker Luka Modric, who had been ill with flu in the build-up to the game.Veteran midfielder Santi Cazorla then scored for the second time in the game by heading in an equaliser with eight minutes remaining, leaving Madrid in fourth place in the standings and seven points adrift of leaders Barcelona.”What keeps happening with Bale is a real shame. I like him a lot as a player but he is nowhere near being the leader of the team after Cristiano Ronaldo left,” Mijatovic told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.”It’s worrying that he gets injured so often.”Bale, who has scored only four goals in the league this season, has been injured over 20 times since his 105 million euro signing from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013.Take a look inside our dressing room! #RMLiga pic.twitter.com/amTcb6Upb2Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) January 3, 2019Although he has not suffered any serious injuries this campaign, he has been substituted 15 times in all competitions, sparking concerns about his ability to last 90 minutes.Mijatovic, scorer of the goal which won the 1998 Champions League final for Madrid over Juventus, also criticised Real coach Solari for removing Modric and said he has not enjoyed watching his former side this season.advertisement”If a player starts a game and feels good and doesn’t ask to be substituted, I can’t understand why you would take him off. He made a big mistake by taking off Modric,” he said.”I am struggling to watch Real Madrid this season. They played well in the first half (against Villarreal) then when we thought they were going to kick on they played a disastrous second half with no gameplan.”They have taken a step back in the league this season. I don’t think it’s a problem of attitude, but more one of impotence. The way they are playing does not make me feel optimistic.”Mijatovic’s feelings were echoed in the Spanish media.”It was like tearing your hair out,” said newspaper Marca of Madrid’s performance, also describing the team’s campaign, in which they sacked coach Julen Lopetegui in October, as “a recurring nightmare.”Also Watch:last_img read more

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IPL 2019: Time away from the game is helping me now, says World Cup-bound Hardik Pandya

first_imgHardik Pandya’s 21 runs of Pawan Negi’s 19th over for Mumbai Indians to overcome a tricky chase against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League 2019 match on Monday was yet another instance of the all rounder’s unmatched ability to finish games. This was the fifth instance in this IPL that Hardik’s ability to up the ante in a short burst proved decisive.Pandya’s ability to switch gears at will towards the end overs is going to be crucial for India at the 2019 World Cup. The Mumbai Indians all-rounder was named in the 15-man squad announced on Monday in Mumbai. Add his bowling ability and genuine all-round skills, Hardik becomes a crucial match-winning resource in India’s World Cup team.Important to keep hitting the ball well in the lead up to World Cup: HardikApproaching his first World Cup, Hardik wants to keep it ticking. “It’s pretty important to keep hitting the ball well because the World Cup is a big stage. This is the first time I will be playing. I was out of the game for some time and it was important to keep hitting,” he spoke in Mumbai after the win against RCB.Playing down his success ratio of finding and clearing the boundary in pressure situations, Hardik says that’s precisely his role. “I have been doing this for the past four years now. That’s my role for any team that I play for. I practice the same thing in nets. It’s all about handling situations and if you are smart enough then more often, you will get the result that you desire,” he said.advertisementTime away gave some time for my body and game: HardikA brief period of suspension and the criticism that followed could have easily bogged down another player. Not Hardik. The in-form all-rounder has come back strong from the Koffee With Karan controversy that cast doubts on his international cricket future.Asked about learning lessons from the enforced break, Hardik replied dismissively, “Nothing it’s ok. Everyone has a setback and I got to improve.”A more considered and remorseful stance would have earned him some brownie points but that’s not his personality.”It gave some time for my body and game. And the time I was out is helping me right now. I am in good mind space and everything is coming right,” he added.This will be his first brush with a 50-over World Cup but Hardik has played long enough at the highest level and was part of a World T20 at home and Champions Trophy in England, two years back. It’s with those lessons from the good and bad from India’s Champions trophy campaign that Hardik is looking to improve.”Learnings are a lot. It’s (Champions trophy) in the past and as a cricketer I have changed. But the conditions (in World Cup) we will have to see because the last time people told me that it will be swinging and it will be cold and I realised, I hadn’t played on such flat wickets before. So it depends on the conditions and situations that we play in. If it’s the same as it was last time in Champions trophy, it will be a help,” he said.Hardik said he wanted to continue what he has been doing for this long in the lead up to the 2019 World Cup. Simply put, he doesn’t want to complicate things.”Cricket is the same whether it’s the World Cup or IPL. I have always followed my basics and that’s what has got success for me and I will keep backing myself that way,” he said.Also Read | RCB didn’t bowl well in the Powerplay: Hardik Pandya after MI winAlso Read | MI vs RCB Highlights, IPL 2019: Mumbai crush Bangalore by 5 wicketsAlso See:last_img read more

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