Sport shorts: Man Utd challenge Pogba, Newcastle appoint Bruce
Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 17 July
1. Solskjaer issues Pogba 'challenge'
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has claimed that Paul Pogba can find the “new challenge” he is after at Old Trafford.
The French midfielder expressed a desire to move on United earlier in the summer, but so far there have been no offers for the 26-year-old midfielder.
Speaking on United’s tour of Australia Solskjaer said: “I've not been upset by anything he’s said because we’ve had many conversations and I know exactly what Paul is thinking… I can give him a new challenge.”
The Norwegian has also pledged to make United fitter and stronger next season.
2. Newcastle appoint Bruce
Steve Bruce has been appointed manager of Newcastle United. He takes over from Rafa Benitez who resigned earlier in the summer. Bruce, 58, resigned from Sheffield Wednesday this week to take his first Premier League job since 2015. His appointment on a three-year contract was announced after Newcastle agreed compensation with Wednesday. “There is a huge challenge ahead of us, but it's one that my staff and I are ready for,” said Bruce, the former Hull, Sunderland, Birmingham City and Aston Villa boss. “This is my boyhood club and it was my dad's club, so this is a very special moment for me and my family.”
3. Is Huddersfield kit a joke?
Huddersfield Town unveiled their new kit on Wednesday, but fans are hoping the design is a prank by new sponsors Paddy Power. The top features the bookies’ logo running diagonally across the shirt, like a sash. The club described it as a “a modern spin” on their traditional look, but the design was universally panned on social media, with fans likening it to a hen-do outfit and pointing out that it appears to violate the rules on sponsors. Many observers are convinced the reveal was an elaborate joke.
4. Portrush ready for The Open
“Northern Ireland’s rugged and spectacular north-east coastline will come alive with excitement and expectation on Thursday when the Open Championship returns to Royal Portrush for the first time since 1951,” says the BBC. “The County Antrim club will host the 148th staging of the game’s oldest major, 68 years after it held the only other Open to be played outside of England and Scotland.” Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who set the course record as a 16-year-old, has said he might “burst out crying” if he wins The Open on home soil.
5. Arsenal want 'big, expensive' players
Arsenal, who have made just one signing so far this summer, are looking to recruit “very big, very expensive” players, says manager Unai Emery. “The Spaniard is frantically trying to overhaul his depleted squad after losing four senior players this summer then seeing skipper Laurent Koscielny go on strike,” says The Sun. “And he is confident he will get the injection of fresh blood he needs before the season kicks off next month.” William Saliba, Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos and Wilfried Zaha are among the players on his radar.
6. Judo champion found dead
Former judo world champion Craig Fallon has died aged 36. Fallon was the last British judo fighter to win a world title, claiming the -60kg title in 2005. He also won gold at the Commonwealth Games and twice competed in the Olympics. He was reported missing by his family over the weekend and his body was found at The Wrekin, a beauty spot near his home in Telford, Shropshire, in the early hours of Monday. Police said there were no suspicious circumstances.
7. Fleetwood manager Barton charged
Fleetwood Town manager Joey Barton has been charged with with causing actual bodily harm following an incident in the players tunnel after a match at Barnsley on 13 April. Police said a man was left with facial injuries. Barton has “emphatically denied” accusations he confronted Barnsley manager Daniel Stendel in the wake of Barnsley’s 4-2 victory. Barton, 36, has been bailed until 9 October.
8. Vunipola won't back down over Folau
England rugby star Billy Vunipola has refused to “take a step back” from his support for Israel Folau, who was sacked by Australia for homophobic views expressed on social media, and insisted he would continue to post messages. “The Rugby Football Union will not place any restrictions on England’s social media use at the World Cup – indeed, Eddie Jones was recently extolling its virtues – but while all players will receive guidance before heading to Japan, Vunipola’s insistence that he will not impose any ban on himself, as he did during the Six Nations, has the potential to cause the union a headache,” says The Guardian.
9. Stokes must deal with burden of adulation
Former England cricket captain Andrew Strauss has warned Ben Stokes that he must learn to live with the adulation and expectation after England’s World Cup triumph. Stokes, whose career was on a knife edge after he was charged with affray in 2017, was man of the match as he steered England to a thrilling victory. “What will be hard for Ben is the levels of adulation he’ll receive,” said Strauss, who added that it could become a “burden”.
10. South Korea's water polo team in tears
South Korea’s women’s water polo team celebrated wildly after scoring a goal at the world championships – despite conceding 94 in their first two games. They lost 64-0 to Hungary and were then beaten 30-1 by Russia. “Goalscorer Kyung Da-seul was the toast of Gwangju after finding the net in the final quarter to trigger tearful scenes,” reports The Guardian. “South Korea only managed to rustle up a team a month before the start of the competition, calling on former swimmers, with all but captain Oh Hee-ji still in their teens.”