Strangely enough, the two subjects (The sack of Mourinho and the Super League fiasco) seem to run into each other as rumours circulated that Jose Mourinho had refused to take Monday training at Tottenham as they were announced as one of the breakaway “super elite” clubs signed up to the Super League. After checking this out thoroughly at Tottenham, I can tell you that is not true.
Mourinho did not take training because he was already aware that his days at Spurs had come to an end. The training session carried on but he did not attend. Chief Executive Daniel Levy arrived early and summoned Mourinho into his office situated at the training facility. There he gave Mourinho the news that he was fired! Managing Director Daniel Levy was unhappy with Mourinho criticising several of his players following their recent run of poor results.
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The players were angry that Mourinho had not supported them and in the dressing room all was not well and Levy became very alarmed. Mourinho never seems to learn his lesson. He was sacked at Chelsea, sacked at Manchester United and now sacked by Tottenham because he turned on his players and refused to take the blame personally for poor results. Once again the point is proven that if the players are not happy the manager has to go. The players were all sent a text informing them that Mourinho was no longer in charge. Levy was also upset that Mourinho had spent seventeen months at White Hart Lane and not produced a team superior to that of Mauricio Pochettino. In fact, the team has been far more negative in its style of football and tactics.
Levy was upset that players of the quality of Gareth Bale and Dele Alli were left sitting on the bench despite others struggling to get results. The biggest factor is that Mourinho has failed to deliver European Champions League football for next season and his position relied on a top four finish which is now only a remote possibility. Those are the three reasons Jose is heading back to Portugal with his family and all that is left for him is to ponder a future which does not look very encouraging. His time in the elite Premier League is over. Of course, one thing to bring a smile to his face is that Spurs now have to hand over two years salary which represents the time left on his contract. That is a cool £20million!
Lingard decides on his future
Despite approaches from Arsenal and Tottenham, Jesse Lingard has decided he wants to sign permanently for West Ham where he has scored a superb 13 goals in 10 matches since joining on loan from Manchester United. At the Hammers manager David Moyes has allowed Jesse a free role moving across the pitch as an attacking striker and midfielder. He has responded with several man of the match performances. United manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer has indicated that he would like Jesse back but cannot guarantee him a permanent first team place. I have been told that United have set a fee of £21.5million. West Ham have paid £3million in loan fees this season which means they will end up paying £24.5million which is considerably more than many media outlets have reported.
Cavani and Greenwood link up
Uruguan superstar Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood have formed an elite club despite a slight difficulty with the language barrier. Together they have worked to improve Mason and manager Ole Gunner Solskjaer says he is now a natural No.9 and the 19-year-old has developed bodily and mentally. Solskjaer said this week, “I can see that Edi really appreciates Mason’s talent, his hunger and willingness to learn. And in Edinson Cavani he is learning from one of the very best. I don’t want to see Mason playing with his back to the goal.” Despite all these positive remarks I have learned that Solskjaer will still play Mason out wide for the foreseeable future and believes he will move inside during the next couple of years. He added, “Maybe in the future he can play as a central striker but I still think that’s a few years away. Being a centre-forward in the Premier League is probably the hardest position to play. At the moment I think Mason is more suited to playing that wide role, dropping into pockets, finding space and running in behind.”
Aguero tops lists of big clubs after Haaland
With Sergio Aguero certain to leave Manchester City at the end of season, several big clubs are lining up to sign him. Chelsea are the latest to show interest and owner Roman Abramovich has told the Blues that he will endorse any approach by making the money available. However, he desperately wants the Blues to sign Erling Haaland and he is making it a personal endeavour to sign the Norwegian. At the same time, Italian giants Juventus have contacted Aguero’s agents to see if he is interested in linking up with Cristiano Ronaldo in Italy. Barcelona are also keeping tabs on the Argentine and they are drawing up a mouth-watering contract which is performance based and includes huge win bonuses and appearance money. Both Chelsea and Barca see Aguero as their fall-back position should either of them fail to sign Norwegian super striker Erling Haaland.
Wijnaldum wants to play alongside Memphis Depay
Liverpool’s Gini Wijnaldum’s quest to play for Barcelona at the end of this season is in some doubt because cash is a problem at the Spanish club. Manager Ronald Koeman is trying to sign Memphis Depay from French club Lyon and he and Gini have formed a strong partnership playing for Holland. Gini’s ambition is to link up with Depay at Barcelona and play alongside Lionel Messi. Wijnaldum and Depay are both out of contract this summer and therefore can negotiate their wages directly with the club. Gini’s agent has already worked out a deal which suits both Barca and Gini. Depay’s future is still not settled. Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp wants Gini to stay but will only offer a two-year contract whereas Barca have offered three.
How Guardiola taught Tuchel to beat him
When Chelsea beat Manchester City in the FA Cup last weekend most fans did not realise the tremendous influence that Pep Guardiola has been on Thomas Tuchel. It mainly happened seven years ago in Munich when both managers were working in Germany, The two were having dinner one night and the talk turned to football. Tactics were discussed and Pep cleared the table. He then used the pepper and salt pots and other items from their meal to show positions on the field and the best way to use players. Pep explained how he changed Barcelona, one of his previous clubs, when he bought Cesc Fabregas from Arsenal and then changed Lionel Messi and used him as a false number nine. He showed Thomas how to create space on the field with a back three and back four. Until last weekend the two had played each other five times and Pep never lost however last weekend those tactical talks and lessons were not wasted as Tuchel at last came out a winner.
Kane’s unenviable record
A sad fact but true: Harry Kane has just broken Liverpool’s unenviable record, held by Robbie Fowler, of having scored the most Premier League goals without ever having won the trophy! That is one reason Fowler and others have called for Harry to leave Spurs and seek success elsewhere before it is too late.
Hey Jude…you are best
It is ironic how fast things move along in football. Twelve months ago several clubs were watching and thinking about bidding for 17-year-old Jude Bellingham. He was invited and accepted a tour of Manchester United’s Old Trafford and the new Carrington Training Centre. In the end Jude signed for German club Dortmund because they promised him more first team appearances than United. Fast forward twelve months and Bellingham dominated the midfield for Dortmund against Manchester City in the Champions League. He played with confidence like a seasoned veteran. He had done the same thing in Dortmund’s previous European match against Spanish club Sevilla so this was no flash in the pan. Everyone tuned in to watch Erling Haaland but were left talking about Jude.