Mourinho trains with Spurs six as Doherty tests positive for coronavirus

By Sports Desk November 16, 2020

Tottenham defender Matt Doherty has tested positive for COVID-19 while on duty with the Republic of Ireland, news that will no doubt anger an already frustrated Jose Mourinho.

Doherty featured for his country in both last Thursday's friendly loss to England at Wembley and the 1-0 Nations League reverse against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday.

However, Ireland announced on Monday that Doherty, along with team-mate James McClean, had returned a positive test result before the squad flew back to Dublin.

Neither will be involved in Wednesday's game against Bulgaria, while the self-isolation guidelines imposed during the pandemic will also mean the duo will not be available for their clubs this weekend.

Mourinho will therefore have to do without Doherty when Spurs host Manchester City in Premier League action on Saturday.

The Portuguese seemingly made clear his feelings about the November international break in an Instagram post that showed him working out after a training session that saw just six players involved.

"Amazing week of football. Great emotions in the national team matches, superb friendlies and total safety," Mourinho wrote. 

"Covid test results after matches been played, randomers running on the pitch while team sessions are taking place and much more.

"After another training session with only 6 players, it is now time to take care of myself."

Doherty has started six times in the league this season since arriving from Wolves, helping his new club sit second in the table.

After hosting Pep Guardiola's City, Spurs have a Europa League group game against Ludogorets on November 26, followed by a trip to face London rivals Chelsea less than 72 hours later.

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    However, with the pandemic still causing devastation in countries across the globe, there have been concerns that staging an Olympics in 2021 may be impractical.

    British newspaper The Times quoted an unnamed senior Japanese government source as saying: "No one wants to be the first to say so but the consensus is that it’s too difficult. Personally, I don't think it's going to happen."

    That is a perspective that is hotly disputed, with International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach telling Kyodo News: "We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo.

    "This is why there is no plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these Games safe and successful."

    Japan has strict border controls in place in an attempt to prevent travellers spreading coronavirus and bringing new strands of the virus into the country.

    The IOC executive board is due to meet on January 27, when it is set to receive updates from the Tokyo organising committee.

    A recent poll of Japanese public, conducted by broadcaster NHK, found there was widespread opposition to the Olympics going ahead this year.

    The Times said Tokyo would look to host the 2032 Olympic Games.

    Yet Australian John Coates, an IOC vice-president and chair of the Tokyo Coordination Commission, says the plan remains for the Games to be held in its current slot.

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    "For sure it is beautiful and important for me to manage in a club like Monza that are very ambitious. It is not easy to take a club from Serie C to Serie A but it is emotional because you have a lot of responsibilities and adrenaline is always rushing. As I said, to face strong clubs with your own aim and manage to overcome them, would make this even better." 

    Brocchi, who oversaw just seven matches as Milan coach before being replaced by Vincenzo Montella, continued: "Monza's aim is to improve. We started from C, we are in B and we want Serie A. The difference between us and other clubs is that once in Serie A we won't have the goal of avoiding relegation at the last game, but to rank in the top 10.

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    Balotelli and Boateng are set to play a key role in Monza's push for promotion following their high-profile arrivals.

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    Only Dany Mota has fired more shots on target than Boateng (23 to 10) among Monza players this term and the talented Portuguese forward has four league goals.

    Balotelli – coming off a difficult spell at Brescia before their relegation from Serie A – scored with his first touch in Serie B on debut for Monza last month before being sidelined through injury.

    "They [Balotelli and Boateng] arrived here in Serie B thanks to the acquaintance they had with Berlusconi and Galliani and even with me as a manager, since I trained them at Milan and we had a great relationship," said Brocchi, who was handed his first senior head-coaching role at Milan after replacing Sinisa Mihajlovic almost five years ago, having previously worked with the club's youth team.

    "They settled in very well, they always train hard, they lead by example by showing the will to take me, Berlusconi, Galliani and Monza to Serie A. So far they have been important, let's hope they can give us even more in order to make this dream come true."

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