Mourinho backs Shevchenko to make a success of Genoa role

By Sports Desk November 20, 2021

Jose Mourinho believes Andriy Shevchenko has already shown that he can be a success as a head coach in Serie A ahead of his first game in charge of Genoa on Sunday.

The Ukraine legend replaced Davide Ballardini as head coach of the Grifoni two weeks ago after a 2-2 draw at Empoli made it nine games without a win.

Shevchenko's first game in club management sees him hosting Roma and Mourinho, who was at the helm at Chelsea when 'Sheva' arrived at Stamford Bridge as a player in 2006.

The 45-year-old recently left his role in charge of the Ukrainian national team after a quarter-final defeat to England at Euro 2020.

Shevchenko enjoyed a very successful time as a player in Italy, scoring 127 goals in 226 Serie A games for Milan, and Mourinho expressed his hope that he can have success as a manager as well.

"He was an incredible player," Mourinho said at a media conference on Saturday. "This is his first job in club management, but he did really well with Ukraine.

"I think he showed he has ideas, he has leadership... but I hope he loses the first of his club management career, like I did!"

Mourinho will also be looking to improve the fortunes of his own team, with Roma having won just one of their last seven games, and he will be missing several players through injury and COVID-19.

The Giallorossi announced on Saturday that Bryan Cristante and Gonzalo Villar have tested positive for COVID-19, and join injured quartet Matias Vina, Chris Smalling, Riccardo Calafiori and Leonardo Spinazzola on the sidelines.

"We didn't do any training this morning. It will be fun for you to think about how we will play tomorrow," Mourinho said. "The work we've done in the week has to go in the bin a bit.

"It's clear we need to find new solutions and perhaps some players will have to 'sacrifice' themselves in different roles."

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United manager knows the risks that come with playing a team under a new head coach, and believes that factor will make the clash all the more interesting.

"At the very least, it's going to be an entertaining, intriguing game," he added. "The Genoa fans will be up for the game, the players will want to impress the new coach. It's a beautiful stadium and I'm sure it will be a great atmosphere."

Related items

  • Fiorentina have received 'important offers' for Vlahovic Fiorentina have received 'important offers' for Vlahovic

    Fiorentina have received "important offers" for Dusan Vlahovic and would even be willing to let him move to rivals Juventus. 

    Vlahovic is one of the most in-demand players in Europe after a sensational 2021 saw him join Cristiano Ronaldo and Luca Toni as the only players in the past 60 years to score more than 30 Serie A goals in a calendar year. 

    The 21-year-old has found the back of the net 20 times in 24 appearances in all competitions this season alone, with Ciro Immobile (21) the only Serie A player to have registered more. 

    Vlahovic will be out of contract at the end of next season and has been heavily linked with Juve, Arsenal and Manchester City.

    Fiorentina are open to selling him and have received offers, but the lack of responses from the player's camp have hampered their chances of doing a deal during the January transfer window. 

    The Viola are hoping to receive in the region of €70million but have also offered the striker a new contract in an attempt to avoid losing him for nothing when his deal expires. 

    "We've received some important offers for him but have never received feedback from his agents," Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade told Sportitalia. 

    "There has always been great transparency on our part in all communication. All the doors are open. We really want to understand what the agents and the player want to do. 

    "We're ready to spend money with important offers for his renewal. We also have important offers to sell him. A club like Fiorentina cannot afford to lose a player on a free transfer.  

    "They were all valid and satisfactory offers, with payment methods that suited us. We couldn't go ahead with the deal because there was never any contact with the player's agents. 

    "It's an important valuation, over €70million with no swap deal and no way of paying in instalments. The president has imposed this on us." 

    Asked specifically if Fiorentina would even be willing to sell to Juve, Prade replied: "The doors are open to everyone." 

  • Cameroon 2-1 Comoros: With a defender in goal and 10 men, defeated Coelacantes push hosts all the way Cameroon 2-1 Comoros: With a defender in goal and 10 men, defeated Coelacantes push hosts all the way

    Comoros put in a tremendous performance despite being without a recognised goalkeeper and having 10 men for most of the game, as they succumbed to a narrow 2-1 loss to hosts Cameroon in the Africa Cup of Nations last 16. 

    After booking their place in the knockouts with a famous win over Ghana, Comoros' fairytale quickly turned into a nightmare when a coronavirus outbreak in their camp left them without a keeper for the clash with Cameroon. 

    Back-up option Ali Ahamada returned a negative result on Monday but was not authorised to play by CAF, meaning defender Chaker Alhadhur had to be deployed between the posts. 

    The task facing Les Coelacantes was made even more daunting inside seven minutes when they lost their captain Nadjim Abdou, who was shown a straight red card after referee Bamlak Tessema Weyesa reviewed footage of his challenge on Moumi Ngamaleu.  

    Cameroon struggled to test Alhadhur but finally broke through in the 29th minute when Karl Toko Ekambi dug out a shot that found the bottom-left corner.  

    Andre Onana did well to keep out Ahmed Mogni and Mohamed Youssouf in quick succession as Comoros still showed plenty of adventure, with Alhadhur matching his counterpart by thwarting Vincent Aboubakar and Ngamaleu in a memorable double save after the restart.

    Aboubakar sold Alhadhur a dummy to finally add to Cameroon's tally in the 70th minute, but Comoros rallied despite their numerical disadvantage and pulled one back through an incredible 35-yard free-kick from Youssouf M'Changama that sailed into the top-right corner. 

    It was too little too late for Comoros, though, with their sensational maiden AFCON appearance brought to a harsh end, while Cameroon face Gambia next.

  • Atalanta snap up Boga from Sassuolo Atalanta snap up Boga from Sassuolo

    Jeremie Boga has left Sassuolo for Atalanta in a deal reported to be worth €18million. 

    Former Chelsea winger Boga will be on loan at Atalanta for the remainder at the season, though the move will be made permanent in the close season. 

    The Ivory Coast international scored 18 goals and supplied seven assists in 98 Serie A games after joining Sassuolo from Chelsea in 2018. 

    Boga has attempted (152) and completed (80) more dribbles than any other player in Serie A since the start of 2021.

    His 90 carries with a take on in the same timeframe is also the most of any player in the Italian top-flight, with only Adama Traore (145), Allan Saint-Maximin (122), Kylian Mbappe (113), Vinicius Junior (104), Neymar (102) and Yannick Carrasco (94) boasting more across Europe's top five leagues. 

    "I'm really happy right now and so is my family as we've wanted to come here for a long time. Now we're happy that the deal is done," Boga told the club's official media. 

    "I think Atalanta are a great team, they are very strong and have proved to be an important team in Serie A over the past five or six years. 

    "I think it perfectly matches my style of play. I believe it's the right team for me to take another step and try to win something important. 

    "I know everybody expects something more from me and, at the same time, I expect myself to do better. I'm happy to be here. 

    "I know it's a solid team where everyone runs for the other, where each player works, and I think it's perfect, as you can see it's a real team." 

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.