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‘Are you Dele or Dele’s brother?’ – Mourinho looks to reboot Spurs stars | David Hytner

Old mischief already evident as new Tottenham manager holds court with press and players José Mourinho had a question for Dele Alli, the Spurs midfielder, who has long since mislaid his best form. “I asked him if he was Dele or Dele’s brother,” Mourinho says. “He told me he was Dele. ‘OK,’ I said. ‘Play like Dele.’” It was a classic piece of Mourinho kidology, the kind of move he has pulled on numerous occasions and with which he seeks to establish a connection; to motivate. It is so easy to picture the sce[..]

Emma Hayes: ‘The WSL is the best league in the world. This is a utopia’ | Suzanne Wrack

The Chelsea manager, who has pulled off the signing of Australia captain Sam Kerr, believes the English game is surging forward “I struggle with putting these limitations on things: ‘don’t play in big stadiums,’ ‘don’t pay women too much’. Why? Why do we have these conversations? We should be aiming for the fucking top of the sky because you know what? If the product grows, so will the rest of it. Don’t limit it. In fact, invest more.” Emma Hayes oozes passion for women’s football from every pore. A week af[..]

Pep Guardiola ‘incredibly satisfied’ and pledges his future to Manchester City

• Manager says he will not leave if City fail to win title • Guardiola’s current contract runs until summer 2021 Pep Guardiola has said he intends to stay at Manchester City even if they do not win the title this season to claim a third consecutive Premier League crown. Guardiola, contracted at the club until summer 2021, said on Friday: “I want to stay, I don’t have any reasons to move. I am incredibly satisfied to work with this club, with these players, and if the people think I am going to resign for th[..]

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah may play through pain barrier at Crystal Palace

• Jürgen Klopp waits on Egyptian forward’s ankle injury • Klopp: ‘It’s still kind of there. We have to be sensible’ Jürgen Klopp has said Mohamed Salah must continue to play with pain but allayed concerns the Liverpool forward needs surgery on the ankle injury that has troubled him for seven weeks. Salah has trained during the international break although remains a doubt for the Premier League leaders’ visit to Crystal Palace on Saturday. The 27-year-old suffered the injury when fouled by Hamza Choudhury in[..]

Unai Emery tells Arsenal’s Lucas Torreira to improve for holding role

• Manager says midfielder has lacked consistency this season • Emery held talks with Uruguayan during international break Lucas Torreira faces further frustration if he wants a return to Arsenal’s holding midfield position, according to Unai Emery, who believes the player’s consistency has dropped this season and that he is not yet equipped to play in his preferred role. Talks have taken place between the pair this week following suggestions, made during the international break, that the Uruguayan is unsett[..]

Moise Kean will ‘definitely not’ leave Everton in January, says Marco Silva

• Italy coach and player’s father suggested Kean needs new club • Selling young forward ‘doesn’t make sense for us’, says Silva Marco Silva has said there is no prospect of Moise Kean leaving Everton in January despite the Italy international’s difficult start to life in the Premier League. The teenager has yet to score for Everton and has started only two league games, plus two in the Carabao Cup, since his £29m transfer from Juventus in the summer. Kean’s problems mounted before the international period w[..]

Frank Lampard’s season at Manchester City helped shape his coaching career

• ‘It opened my eyes to another club and structure’ • Lampard takes Chelsea to his former club on Saturday Frank Lampard has said his year at Manchester City introduced him to a different style of football and played a part in shaping his managerial approach. Lampard was nearing retirement when he left Chelsea in 2014 and he feels spending a season in Manchester before finishing his playing career at New York City FC gave him an idea of how he wanted to coach. He caused a stir when he joined City, who were [..]

Mike Riley admits VAR has ‘long way to go’ before it can be deemed successful

• Referees’ head sure system will become quicker and better • Priority is preventing VARs imposing mistakes on referees Mike Riley has admitted there is “still a long way to go” before VAR can be considered a success in the Premier League, as the manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) sought to defuse tension over the controversial new technology. Last week, Riley received the backing of Premier League clubs over VAR, despite the near-endless furore over its use since the start of [..]

What makes José Mourinho special? Former players give Spurs an insight | Fabrizio Romano

José Mourinho had plenty of success at Porto, Internazionale and Real Madrid and players who worked for him at those clubs reveal just how demanding the Portuguese manager can be José Mourinho is sincere, clear and says things to your face. He always gets the most out of his players. But the most impressive thing about José is his tactical preparation – he knows every player and every opponent perfectly. He always has the solution. Continue reading...

Brighton v Leicester City: match preview

Brighton will be without their captain, Lewis Dunk, for the match against Leicester. The centre-back serves a one-match ban after receiving five yellow cards. Adam Webster, who should be fit after an ankle injury, could replace Dunk in the side and will be tasked with containing Jamie Vardy. Brighton’s manager, Graham Potter, described the Leicester striker as ‘a top centre-forward, who does not need too many chances to score’ but his side have won their last three home games and so should be full of confid[..]

Bournemouth v Wolves: match preview

Bournemouth, on the slide after only one win in their past six matches, host one of the division’s form sides in Wolves, who have beaten only once in their past 11 games. Bournemouth will be without Josh King, who sustained a hamstring injury on international duty with Norway, so Dominic Solanke is likely to partner Callum Wilson in attack. Wolves will give Adama Traoré a late fitness test after the forward dropped out of the Spain squad last week with a hamstring problem. Rich Flower Saturday 3pm Continue [..]

Woman admits blackmailing Premier League footballer

Judge gives Natalie Wood suspended jail sentence after ‘deeply foolish’ behaviour A woman has been given a suspended jail sentence for trying to blackmail a Premier League footballer who jumped out of a hotel window in his underwear after being caught in bed with her. Natalie Wood, 28, met the high-profile player on social media but claimed she decided to expose him as a “love rat” after discovering he was in a relationship with another woman. Continue reading...

'I wouldn't manage Tottenham' - Lampard insists he will never follow Mourinho – video

The Chelsea manager Frank Lampard praised his former boss José Mourinho on Friday, after the Portuguese was appointed at Tottenham Hotspur this week. However, Lampard added he will never follow in Mourinho's footsteps as and when he moves on from Chelsea. He said: "No disrespect to Tottenham ... I can firmly say no. And you can replay that again in 10 years or whatever you want. No, it wouldn't happen." Continue reading...

Everton v Norwich City: match preview

Marco Silva believes Everton have “reacted strongly” to recent adversity, notably André Gomes’s horrific injury against Tottenham and the VAR debacle at Brighton, and three wins in their last five games in all competitions does suggest an upturn. They must exploit the lack of confidence in the league’s bottom club and give the manager’s claim greater substance. Silva’s side face a testing run of fixtures against Leicester, Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United following the visit of Norwich, who are with[..]

Guardiola on Mourinho's return, Silva's ban and Lampard’s success at Chelsea – video

Ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League clash against Chelsea on Saturday, Pep Guardiola praised Lampard as a 'perfect' coach for English football. The Manchester City manager also addressed Bernardo Silva’s one-match ban over a Twitter post about Benjamin Mendy and said the forward is ‘not like he is being accused’. When asked about José Mourinho's return to the Premier League, Guardiola said he was 'an incredible manager’ but admitted he was a little surprised at Mauricio Pochettino's sacking by Tottenh[..]

Miracle man Cazorla dances on as last of Spain’s pioneer generation | Barney Ronay

Watching Santi Cazorla against Romania it was hard to shake this sense of a player with an unusual grasp of time A few years ago the American novelist Nicholson Baker wrote a book about a man with the power to stop the world around him. In this state, called “the fermata”, his hero is able to peer into people’s pockets, examine their sock drawers, set in order, solve and – this being Baker – indulge in a series of energetically detailed 12-hour onanism marathons, while the physical world waits for permissio[..]

Slaven Bilic: ‘West Ham is a very difficult club to manage’

The Croat on how he is enjoying life at West Brom and why his wife thinks he is ‘a pain in the arse’ when he doesn’t have a job Slaven Bilic is rowing back to the early days of his West Ham United reign and the time he felt compelled to alter the pre-match playlist in his fourth league game in charge, a fruitful trip to Liverpool – their first win at Anfield for 52 years – following successive defeats. “Roy Keane said it can’t be Abba [playing] before a game and I agree with that. Before the game, we are al[..]

West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur: match preview

José Mourinho would love to begin his reign at Tottenham by heightening the pressure on Manuel Pellegrini. Mauricio Pochettino’s replacement has rarely seen eye-to-eye with his West Ham counterpart, whose side have slipped towards the bottom three during a run of seven games without a win in all competitions. Yet this is a hard one to call. West Ham raise their level in this fixture and Tottenham have not won away in the league since January, which is partly why they felt compelled to replace Pochettino wit[..]

The Fiver | Failing to qualify for a tournament has never been more difficult

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! With the group stages over and 20 teams already qualified for Euro 2020, there are still four places left up for grabs to be contested by 16 teams. Failing to qualify for a major football tournament has never been more difficult, but this morning Scotland fans were given a better idea of assessing their team’s chances of doing so for the 10th time in a row. Through the byzantine process of the Uefa wheeze that is the Nations League, Scotland have been guar[..]

Arsenal v Southampton: match preview

Unai Emery has his board’s public backing but that will surely wear exceedingly thin if Arsenal slip up against Southampton or, next weekend, Norwich. He may spring a surprise by recalling Granit Xhaka – a temptation given the thin midfield options at his disposal – but is more likely to use the bulk of the side that put in an improved performance at Leicester before the international break, perhaps reverting to a back four. A dominant showing is needed, for the first time this season really, against oppone[..]

Watford v Burnley: match preview

Watford finally claimed their first league win of the season to lift them off the foot of the table with a 2-0 victory at Norwich. They could make it two from two against a Burnley team who have not won away all season, though Watford are yet to take all three points at home. Burnley’s Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes have ten goals between them so Watford will have to keep them quiet to prevent a record 11th consecutive home game without a win. Will Dickson Saturday 3pm Continue reading...

Pep Guardiola criticises FA over Bernardo Silva’s one-match ban for Mendy tweet

• Midfielder will miss Manchester City’s game against Chelsea • Guardiola: “he’s been accused of something he’s not” Pep Guardiola has insisted Bernardo Silva is not guilty of sending a racially aggravated tweet despite an independent Football Association commission banning the forward for one game for the message he directed at Manchester City team-mate Benjamin Mendy. Silva will miss Saturday’s visit of Chelsea due to the commission’s verdict of last week. It concerned a tweet sent by Silva on 22 Septembe[..]

Manchester City v Chelsea: match preview

Here is a match the champions really have to win. If Liverpool beat Crystal Palace earlier on Saturday Manchester City will be 12 points behind at kick-off and so three points becomes vital against Frank Lampard’s resurgent Chelsea who arrive at the Etihad Stadium a place above Pep Guardiola’s team. The manager has Ederson back following injury and, given his side’s luck with VAR, will hope the contest will be incident-free. Jamie Jackson Saturday 5.30pm Sky Sports Premier League Continue reading...

Crystal Palace v Liverpool: match preview

Liverpool head to Selhurst Park having gone clear and beyond in the title race but with injury concerns. Potentially missing both Mohamed Salah and Andy Robertson hurts both attack and defence, with Robertson contributing four assists so far this season while Salah has scored six goals. Palace have the seventh-best defence in the league, but their lack of firepower up top has seen them score only 10 goals, the second lowest tally. If Liverpool score first, they will expect to take home three points. Will Di[..]

Eni Aluko will leave Juventus early and return to Britain at end of month

• Former England striker won three trophies with club • ‘My time in Juventus is complete and fulfilled’ The former England striker Eni Aluko is to leave Juventus at the end of this month, six months earlier than planned. She will return to Britain to consider the next step in her career, having won Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana in her year and a half there, as well as finishing last season as the club’s top scorer. “It’s just a matter of feeling like my time in Juventus is complete a[..]

Diego Maradona stays as Gimnasia manager following outcry by fans

• Supporters protested after Maradona quit on Wednesday • Took job on condition Gabriel Pellegrino stayed as president Just two days after announcing his departure as manager of struggling Argentinian first division side Gimnasia y Esgrima, Diego Maradona has now decided to stay in the role. Maradona said in an Instagram post on Friday: “I am very happy to say that I am still the technical director of Gimnasia y Esgrima. Continue reading...

Euro 2020 play-offs: Scotland draw Israel and Belfast could host all-Irish final

• Scotland to play Israel at Hampden Park, but drawn away in final • Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland | Slovakia v Republic Scotland will host Israel in the Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs next March while Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill could enjoy a Windsor Park farewell in a winner-takes-all clash against the Republic. Those were the results of a draw conducted in Nyon on Friday morning as Uefa determined the pairings of the 16 teams in the hunt for the four remaining places at next summ[..]

‘There is a lot of noise over Gareth’: Zidane happy Bale’s back at Real Madrid

• Manager backs Wales forward after criticism over flag • ‘There are a lot of comments outside but I’m not interested’ Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has insisted that Gareth Bale remains part of his plans, despite the fallout that followed him celebrating qualification for Euro 2020 behind a Wales flag that bore the slogan: “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.” The flag was inspired by remarks made by the former Madrid player and sporting director Pedja Mijatovic who said his impression is that Madrid[..]

Petr Cech: ‘Frank Lampard sets the tone – he has done a remarkable job’

Petr Cech says that while nothing beats playing after ending his glittering career he is enjoying his new role at Stamford Bridge “That was part of the education,” Petr Cech says when asked about visiting Theresienstadt during his youth in the Czech Republic. “They try to use it every single day to educate the young generation. Last year I was doing this for Czech television and the guest who was with me was a lady who was a Holocaust survivor thanks to the Nicholas Winton trains. There were six trains comi[..]

Southampton v Portsmouth: the strange story of the south coast derby

Take two cities steeped in war, tragedy, violence and football and you have a derby worth watching A film by Copa90 When Harry Redknapp stepped down as Portsmouth manager in November 2004, he said he needed “a break”. Portsmouth fans did not expect that break to end a fortnight later with the nightmarish scene of Redknapp hoisting a Southampton scarf above his head on the pitch at St Mary’s. Redknapp had helped to revive Portsmouth’s fortunes and now he was joining their bitter rivals. It added fuel to an a[..]

Welcome back José: football photographers such as me are delighted

When Mourinho is in the dugout you have to keep one eye on the pitch and one on the touchline. He is pure box office On Thursday I bumped into a couple of friends of mine, both dyed-in-the-wool Spurs fans. Before I even spoke to them, their shoulders slumped in unison and they let out a joint groan. It was as if they had just been summoned for collective root canal surgery. “Its not going to end prettily,” they grumbled. “Hang on,” I said. “He hasn’t even started.” Continue reading...

Did Bradley Wright-Philips' success show MLS's weakness or its strength?

The Englishman routinely tore through defences in North America after a humdrum career in Europe. But his Red Bulls career was far from a joke Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robbie Keane, Wayne Rooney, David Villa … they all left their mark on Major League Soccer, but none quite as profound (at least statistically) as Bradley Wright-Phillips. That’s right, the same Wright-Phillips who failed to make the grade at Manchester City before becoming a lower-league journeyman at Southampton, Plymouth Argyle, C[..]

EFL appeal against ‘lenient’ Bolton punishment for failing to fulfil fixtures

• League One side had five-point deduction suspended • EFL ‘disappointed by conclusions’ of disciplinary commission The EFL has appealed against Bolton’s suspended five-point penalty for failing to fulfil two league fixtures, declaring the sanction “too lenient”. The League One side, who began the season on minus 12 points after entering administration, cancelled a Championship game against Brentford at the end of the previous campaign and postponed a League One match against Doncaster in August. Continue r[..]

Ole Gunnar Solskjær: I feel no extra pressure at Manchester United after Pochettino sacking

• Norwegian insists he is not threatened by ex-Spurs manager • Solskjær: ‘I’ve got the best job in the world’ Ole Gunnar Solskjær has insisted he is not threatened by Mauricio Pochettino now being out of work despite the Argentinian previously being a candidate for the Manchester United job. Pochettino was sacked by Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday and replaced by José Mourinho as head coach. Yet while Pochettino is now on the market and may still be of interest to United in the future, Solskjær insisted he was[..]

Transformation from nice to nasty is one Spurs must undergo to be winners | Eni Aluko

Hiring of José Mourinho shows Daniel Levy has changed his mindset and the players must do so too if they are to succeed Tottenham have been a likeable club for such a long time. From David Ginola to Christian Eriksen they have had gifted players and allowed them to play nice football, without winning very much. There have been two League Cups in the past 20 years: this is a team that have not trod on many people’s toes. Outside Arsenal and Chelsea, and even then just for tribal reasons, nobody can really ha[..]

Football transfer rumours: Mourinho to sign Ibrahimovic for Tottenham?

Today’s tell-all is more tangled Slinky than coiled spring Olivier Giroud isn’t happy with his bit-part role at Chelsea, where the emergence of Tammy Abraham as first-choice striker means the Frenchman has featured in just four Premier League matches this season. Crystal Palace, Internazionale, Borussia Dortmund and several top-flight French clubs are all believed to be interested in acquiring his services, but the 33-year-old’s demands for a two-year deal worth £14m in wages are reported to be a bit too sa[..]

Premier League news and buildup to Euro 2020 play-off draw – live!

West Ham v Tottenham and Man City v Chelsea buildup Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend Email Scott your thoughts or comment below the line 9.10am GMT Where else to start but here? So many questions. Can Wilfried Zaha prosper against depleted leaders Liverpool? Will Teemu Pukki prosper at Goodison Park? Is there any chance of Chelsea upsetting Manchester City? All this and more. Clickity click, be about your business. And enjoy! Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this week[..]

Copa Libertadores final emerges from flames of unrest

The meeting between River Plate and Flamengo is a one-off affair for the first time in the competition’s history. It has had a troubled birth The decision to play this year’s Copa Libertadores final, the first ever one-legged decider in the competition’s history, in Santiago appeared logical. The city’s Estadio Nacional was newly renovated and Chile hadn’t had a finalist since 1993, so a comfortable and neutral ground for the final was all but assured. And, perhaps more importantly, Chile was still the mark[..]

Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

Wilfried Zaha is a threat to injury-hit Liverpool, José Mourinho checks in at Spurs, and Chelsea can make a statement It has been 50 weeks since the Sun led with the back-page headline “£40m to get Poch”, in which they detailed how Mauricio Pochettino was poised to take over from José Mourinho at Manchester United. “The Tottenham boss is the ONLY contender to replace Mourinho next summer,” they insisted, adding that “Daniel Levy faces a huge battle to keep his manager”. Mourinho did indeed leave United, and[..]

‘You’re playing into the hands of racists’ says Fifpro after Taison is banned

• Shakhtar Donetsk captain is suspended for one match • Brazil international reacted to abuse from Dynamo Kiev fans Football’s world players’ union Fifpro has described the decision to ban the Shakhtar Donetsk captain Taison – for reacting to abuse – as playing into the hands of racists. Earlier this month, the Brazil international made an offensive gesture towards Dynamo Kiev fans and then kicked the ball into their section of the stand before the referee led all the players off in the 77th minute. The 31-[..]

‘I will wear Spurs pyjamas’: Mourinho vows to eat, sleep and breathe new team

• ‘I have only one passion, and that’s my club. Now it’s Spurs’ • Mourinho says Premier League is his ‘natural habitat’ José Mourinho has promised to eat, sleep and breathe Tottenham, wearing their tracksuit by day and club pyjamas by night, as he insisted he was stronger for his 11 months away from the dugout – a period when he analysed his career and, specifically, what went wrong for him at Manchester United. The manager, who has taken over at Spurs from the sacked Mauricio Pochettino, spoke on a range o[..]

Anton Ferdinand: ‘Giving back to other people is where I feel I’m best’

The former West Ham defender on a tragedy shaping the next phase of his life and why he briefly gave up caring at Southend Anton Ferdinand has faced an unenviable amount of obstacles on the way to achieving his dreams. He grew up on a council estate in Peckham where the shadow of his older brother, Rio, loomed large over his own aspirations. From as young as nine, his resolve was hardened by the people who told him he would never follow in his brother’s footsteps and make it as a professional footballer. Bu[..]

Twinkly José Mourinho gives hint of things to come at beefed-up Spurs | Barney Ronay

Given past successes, the former Real Madrid manager may just be the one to turn Tottenham into a club to win trophies “I cannot come to this club and think it is about myself.” Perish the thought old bean. And indeed, lol. Over the years José Mourinho’s Premier League unveilings have tended to arrive expressly branded, like a high-end fairytale dwarf troupe. The pre-Tottenham years brought us Special, Happy and – looking back – Incredibly Angry. And now we have this. Welcome to Tottenham Hotspur, the Selfl[..]

'Absolutely heartbreaking': how Macclesfield Town fell into crisis

Late wages, a players’ strike and high-court dates are part of a cycle of bad news at the League Two club Tis almost the season to be jolly, just not at Macclesfield Town. Thirty-five miles south of the shell of Bury FC and a splutter away from the riches of Manchester City and United, another swell of supporters feel they have been reduced to pawns, collateral damage as another rudderless club beset by off-field turbulence fumbles around in the dark, seemingly squeaking by week on week, trapped in a cycle [..]

'He's not my friend or enemy': West Ham manager Pellegrini on Mourinho – video

Manuel Pellegrini addressed his personal rivalry with José Mourinho before West Ham's game with Tottenham at the London Stadium on Saturday. Welcoming the new Spurs manager for his first game in charge, the Hammers' manager said: 'He is not my friend but he is not my enemy either. Everyone has their options to play football the way they want and what they want to say.' Pellegrini added that he might have a drink with him after the match Continue reading...

The Fiver | Mourinho's one-man adaptation of The Little Book of Calm

Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now! At his unveiling as Manchester United manager in July 2016, José Mourinho announced his intention to win the Premier League title, get his new team playing good football and promote youth, like so many United managers before him. It turns out talk, as they say, really is cheap even if hiring José is anything but. Continue reading...

Tottenham and Gareth Bale shake it up – Football Weekly Extra

Max Rushden, Barry Glendenning, Philippe Auclair and George Elek discuss Pochettino, Mourinho and Spurs, Elis James’s Wales wonderland, Euro 2020 draw confusion and swapping Europa League for Barnsley Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and email. We start by discussing the shock move by Tottenham to replace well-loved Mauricio Pochettino with José Mourinho. Continue reading...

José Mourinho left ‘smiling for two days’ after taking over at Tottenham

• Manager is ‘stronger’ and ‘relaxed’ after break from football • Mourinho tells Pochettino Spurs will ‘always be his home’ José Mourinho says taking over as Tottenham manager has left him “smiling for two days” and made a point of telling his predecessor, Mauricio Pochettino, the club would “always be his home”. Tottenham sent shockwaves through the Premier League on Wednesday when they followed the surprise news of Pochettino’s sacking with the swift appointment of Mourinho. Appearing in front of the medi[..]

Female footballers deserve a fair deal. That’s why we went on strike | Ainhoa Tirapu

We dedicate our lives to the game, generating wealth yet getting little in return. In Spain, we have said enough is enough • Ainhoa Tirapu is a goalkeeper for Athletic Bilbao and Spain On Sunday morning, I didn’t set an alarm to remind me that it was match day. For the first time since I became a football player, I didn’t turn up to play. There weren’t any matches in the Spanish women’s first division: we all walked out. It was our decision to go on strike, but I’m upset that we were driven to do it. Relate[..]

Granit Xhaka is committed to Arsenal and ready to return, says Unai Emery

• Former captain could play against Southampton on Saturday • Emery: ‘He wants to come back and we are going to decide’ Unai Emery has left the door open for Granit Xhaka to return to the Arsenal side, suggesting he may even consider the former captain for Saturday’s home match against Southampton. It is a noticeable softening of stance from Emery, who said before the international break he did not know whether the midfielder would play for Arsenal again and admitted the club had discussed selling him in Ja[..]