“Heidi Klum has given Victoria Beckham a year’s supply of cupcakes as a birthday present”. Seeing that headline in a national newspaper, you would be forgiven for thinking that maybe the scale of world events that week (Afghanistan, Burma, food crises) didn’t quite live up to their potential. Or at least not enough to edge this story off The Daily Mail’s agenda. Model Klum, it said, spent £1,000 on a year’s supply of cupcakes for Posh’s 34th birthday. “Ms Klum has arranged for a dozen of the confections to be delivered to the Beckhams’ Los Angeles home at 3pm every Friday,” droned the Mail. “She eats one a day throughout the week – the other five going to her husband and children.” We could go on, but there’s already enough misery in the world.
Press Association Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal will expect his team to hit the ground running next season after improving their summer schedule. Van Gaal was critical of the programme for United’s pre-season tour of the United States last summer, believing the team spent too much time crossing time zones. United played games in Los Angeles, Denver, Washington, Detroit and Miami last year but have scaled back the travelling and will be based predominantly on the west coast this time. United will stay mainly in the Seattle and San Francisco Bay areas as they train and play four matches in the International Champions Cup. Van Gaal told MUTV: “When you see our pre-season last year in the United States of America, we won everything playing against big, top clubs, and then we had to play our first match against Swansea City and we lost. That cannot happen next year. “The most important aspect is building up our team with individual players so they are thinking like a team, but also we need fitness and match rhythm and therefore we have to play matches, but we also have to train also. “The problem was when we went to America (last year) we didn’t have so many times to train because we had to fly and travel a lot. “Now though, we have improved our America tour because we have two basecamps and we are at the other side of America so we have lower temperatures and can build up our fitness better. “Last year we had a lot of time differences. You cannot then train your body properly. Therefore it was not good. “Now we are always in the same basecamps so we have no time difference and we have chosen our hotel nearby the training accommodation. “So it is now more easy to train twice a day and that is very important in pre-season.” United face Club America in Seattle on July 17, San Jose Earthquakes in Berkeley on July 21 and then Barcelona in Santa Clara four days later. They then play Paris Saint-Germain in Chicago on July 29 as they head home.