Giggs: Di Maria has big role

first_img “This is the time really when results are the top focus and then the performances will come and the confidence you get from that,” said Giggs, who again denied media talk of a rift with Van Gaal by saying they had a “great working relationship”. “I think we’ve tried a lot of systems this year and obviously the manager’s new to the players and new to the league, so that’s going to take time. “But over the last three months or so we’ve only been beaten twice and we’re in pretty good form. “It’s tight and all the teams up there are in relatively good form. “It could come to a few head-to-heads and we’ve got to play a few of the top teams yet, so it’s going to be exciting right to the end.” Before then, however, United are focusing on the FA Cup and opponents against whom Giggs memorably scored an FA Cup semi-final winner in the club’s 1999 ‘Treble’ year. United have won the competition a record 11 times – a total cup holders Arsenal matched last year by beating Hull at Wembley – but not since 2004 when Giggs was part of the side which beat Millwall 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium in his native Cardiff. “We’ve got so much history in the cup that it’s long overdue,” Giggs said. “The club as a whole, the players and the fans are desperate to get to Wembley. “We’ve had great battles and tussles over the years with Arsenal, especially in the cup. “Of course, I’ve got fond memories of the semi-final (1999) and they beat us in the final (2005), but hopefully we can get through to the semis because whoever goes through in this tie has a great chance of winning the cup.” Giggs won the FA Cup four times during a celebrated United senior playing career which spanned an incredible 24 seasons but admits he is learning all the time on the coaching front. “I’ve enjoyed every minute working under Louis,” Giggs said. “He’s been brilliant with me and we’ve helped each other along the way. “He’s come into a new league which I know all about. I’m starting all over again with coaching and serving an apprenticeship and who better to learn from than someone who is a great leader and has won so much over the years? “I’m learning all the time and just trying to prepare myself the best I can that if I do become a manager I’m best equipped.” # Ryan Giggs was in Wales encouraging people to nominate a #GrassrootsHero for the FAW & McDonald’s Community Awards. To nominate visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards But United assistant manager Giggs is adamant Di Maria has a big part to play in the club achieving their end-of-season goals, starting with Arsenal’s FA Cup quarter-final visit to Old Trafford on Monday night. “I think his confidence is fine,” Giggs told Press Association Sport. “He’s a quality player and we’ll be looking for him to produce because it is big game after big game now. “Players get used to different leagues, sometimes quickly and sometimes it takes a bit of time. “He had a really good start to the season but with players who take risks and who can win games it’s always difficult to be consistent because they will try things that other players won’t do. “They’re capable of doing that and that’s why they’re match-winners and the best players.” United are involved in a thrilling race for Champions League football with Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Southampton still chasing a top-four Premier League finish as well as top two Chelsea and Manchester City. Louis van Gaal’s side are currently fourth after losing only two of their last 18 league matches and, although the nature of United’s performances have often been criticised, Giggs says that form counts for far more at this stage of the season. Di Maria became British football’s most expensive signing when he joined United from Real Madrid for £59.7million last August but the Argentina World Cup star has struggled to justify that huge fee since scoring three times in his first five appearances. The 27-year-old wideman has netted only once in 19 games and been substituted in United’s last three Barclays Premier League matches. Ryan Giggs insists Angel di Maria is not suffering from a crisis of confidence and expects him to play a major role in Manchester United’s push for FA Cup glory and Champions League qualification. Press Associationlast_img read more

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Las Lomas again center of debate

first_img“We are aware that your Neighborhood Council has received a lengthy `white paper’ and a letter from Los Angeles City Councilman Greig Smith which describes a mythical project that has little resemblance to the real Las Lomas plan, and yet urges your Neighborhood Council’s immediate opposition to his imaginary project – before you have even had an opportunity to independently study the real Las Lomas,” Palmer wrote. “The City Charter empowers you to advise the City Council – not the other way around.” Palmer goes on to say that he intends to formally present the Las Lomas plans to neighborhood councils within two months. Proposed more than five years ago and then stalled amid political opposition, Las Lomas is again a hot issue in City Hall. The site is just outside the city boundaries in county jurisdiction, where zoning limits the project to 200 homes. But Palmer wants to annex into L.A. to have access to the city’s water supply and to allow a denser project. Originally envisioned as a Mediterranean-style hilltop community of 5,800 homes and businesses, in the past two years Palmer’s team has recast the plan as an energy-efficient, environmentally stable, mixed-income community with up to 5,500 town homes and condominiums, a hotel, a school and a commercial center. This year, Palmer offered to pay the city for the staff time needed to process his development application. The City Council is now considering that request. Smith and others have argued that the city does not have to process Palmer’s development application. But Councilman Richard Alarc n, whose district would likely include Las Lomas if it joined the city, said Smith’s effort to kill the project in L.A. could end up hurting the city. “The developer could go to the county or Santa Clarita and work out a project that could be detrimental to Los Angeles,” he said. While Alarc n said he doesn’t support the project in its current form, he has urged the City Council to accept Palmer’s offer to have a fee-for-staff-time agreement so L.A. will have more control over the project and recoup the costs. The council’s Budget and Finance Committee will consider the fee agreement. [email protected] (213) 978-0390160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! San Fernando Valley neighborhood councils are getting dueling letters over the proposed Las Lomas mini-city – even before the 5,500-home development in the Newhall Pass has been considered by city leaders. Hoping to block the project, Councilman Greig Smith sent a letter to Valley neighborhood councils this week calling the project a “tsunami of sprawl” and asking them to officially oppose it at their next meeting. “It is too big, too dense, and in the wrong location,” he wrote. “The impacts of the proposed Las Lomas development are simply impossible to ignore.” In response, Las Lomas Land Co. President Dan S. Palmer Jr. is sending a letter to neighborhood council presidents asking them to hold off any decision until they have heard his side of the story and the project is fully studied. last_img
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