Is the Special One on borrowed time at Spurs?

By Mariah Ramharack April 18, 2021

On many a Sunday, I realize that people have looked at the stories they have seen throughout the week with different lenses. I have my own personal take on some of these trending issues and I will share them with you. Welcome to #INCASEYOUMISSEDIT the 2021 edition with Mariah.

Jose Mourinho on borrowed time

Tottenham Hotspur has been struggling in the Premier League and there is speculation Jose Mourinho’s days at the club are numbered. Their 20/21 season has been atrocious and looks likely to miss out on Champions League qualification for a second consecutive season, having previously played in the competition four times in a row.

With six games left in the Premier League, Spurs are five points off fourth-placed West Ham. The team’s decline has been evident after its 3-1 defeat at home to Liverpool on January 28. They have lost seven of the following 14 Premier League games after that, they won five matches and drew two, conceding 21 goals, one less than they scored.

To make matters worse, Mourinho’s side exited the FA Cup in the fifth round with defeat at Everton and then collapsed in Croatia throwing away a 2-0 first-leg lead to lose 3-2 on aggregate at Dinamo Zagreb in the Europa League.

What is clear is that Mourinho is failing to get the best out of his players. When asked about his team’s poor run his response, “Same coach, different players”, suggests that there is also discontent in the dressing room.

Paul Pogba, who was Mourinho’s world-record marquee signing following his 2016 appointment at Old Trafford accused the former Manchester United manager of casting players, including himself, aside without explanation.

Former English footballer Danny Mills claimed that Jose Mourinho is preoccupied with protecting Tottenham’s backline and it has affected his selection decisions farther up the pitch.

 “Mourinho has continued to chop and change his centre-back partnerships over the last few months, with all of Tottenham’s centre-halves being guilty of some poor mistakes at the back,” Mills opined.

As of now, it seems the Special One is not that special anymore.

 

Time for Harry Kane to win a Premier League title

Despite Tottenham Hotspur’s woes Harry Kane continues to stand out for his club. He is currently the leading goal scorer for the Premier League but is yet to win a title. He’s now scored 20 or more league goals in five different seasons, a feat accomplished only by Alan Shearer, Sergio Aguero and Thierry Henry.

 Despite his productivity, it is unlikely that Kane will win a title at Spurs. They are not going to make the Champions League next season and nobody knows for sure what the future holds.

At age 28, Kane must make the move before it is too late. There will be clubs interested in signing him including the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City, both good options.

  Manchester United needs a Europa League win

Manchester United is set to face Roma and is favourite to win the Europa League given the quality of their opponents and their form at this point in the season. United beat Granada 2-0 at Old Trafford on Thursday to complete a 4-0 aggregate success and set up a semi-final against Roma, who edged Ajax 3-2 on aggregate and are outsiders to lift the trophy.

United have not lifted silverware since 2017 but can end that drought if they are successful in the Europa League this season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hoping to make it fifth-time lucky after United fell short in four semi-finals across last season and this.

United beat Ajax in the 2017-final in Sweden and to many, they are a better side now than they were then and have shown consistently this season that they have what it takes this season to beat some of the top teams in Europe.

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    Jose Mourinho is a good fit in Serie A and could be the man to take Roma back to the top, according to former Inter midfielder Ciriaco Sforza.

    Mourinho was this week appointed as Roma's head coach for next season, replacing Paulo Fonseca.

    It is a return to Italy for a coach who celebrated the treble with Inter in 2009-10 before departing, having also won the league in the previous campaign.

    Mourinho won 62.0 per cent of his 108 games in charge of the Nerazzurri, yet standards have since slipped.

    The Portuguese lasted only 86 matches at Tottenham, winning a disappointing 51.2 per cent, before his dismissal last month.

    But Sforza, who reached the 1997 UEFA Cup final with Inter, believes both Mourinho and Italian football can benefit from their reunion.

    For Roma, who are without a Scudetto in 20 years and have not claimed a major trophy since 2008, the appointment might herald a long-awaited era of success.

    "Mourinho is Mourinho. He will always remain the 'Special One'," Sforza told Stats Perform.

    "You can't turn down an offer by AS Roma, and Italy is also a country where he has won everything. I also think that Mourinho fits in well in Italy mentality-wise.

    "Roma is a team with a big tradition and they will build a new stadium. They have fantastic fans, so that fits.

    "I also wish him the best of luck because he carries football in his heart. He always wants to win, he has this mentality. And this is great for Serie A.

    "Italy needs people like this, Italy needs talent, which they have in the national team but they also need it in the teams.

    "When you look at Roma, they always have big talents that don't progress. I think they will be able to progress now with Mourinho."

    The Giallorossi have 27 points to make up to Inter, however, with Mourinho's former club confirmed as Serie A champions on Sunday.

    It was Inter's first title since Mourinho's treble triumph, but Antonio Conte's record at San Siro is marginally even more impressive than that of his old rival.

    Conte has won 62.2 per cent of his 98 games in charge, putting an end to Juventus' run of nine straight Scudetti.

    Asked if he had anticipated this success, Sforza said: "To be honest, no. I know what it is like at Inter at the moment, there is a little bit of turmoil.

    "But Conte and his coaching staff have managed to bring in this discipline, this hunger and winning mentality. He did that with brilliance.

    "He followed his line and not the line of journalists and that brought him the success.

    "I think they can establish themselves there, because they have a great manager, who knows what he wants and what he is capable of.

    "I think through the support of the fans, the 'tifosi', and I think there will be support arriving in summer, they will do well and fight for the title again."

  • Rumour Has It: Mbappe edging closer to Real Madrid, PSG holding out Messi hope Rumour Has It: Mbappe edging closer to Real Madrid, PSG holding out Messi hope

    Real Madrid and Kylian Mbappe – the two parties have long been tipped to come together.

    Mbappe is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain in 2022 and no closer to renewing his deal.

    Madrid are reportedly moving closer to prising the France international to the Spanish capital.

     

    TOP STORY – MBAPPE POISED FOR MADRID MOVE?

    Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is edging closer to joining LaLiga giants Real Madrid, according to Diario AS.

    Mbappe has long been tipped to swap PSG for Madrid, though the Ligue 1 holds continue to try to re-sign the World Cup-winning forward.

    PSG's Mbappe is determined to win the Champions League as he eyes the Santiago Bernabeu.


     

    ROUND-UP

    - Le Parisien, though, claims PSG are holding out hope on teaming Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi with Mbappe and Neymar in Paris. Messi is set to become a free agent at the end of the season and he has been linked with PSG and Manchester City. Neymar has also been linked with a Barca return. However, Le Parisien reports PSG are prioritising a move for Messi while trying to retain Neymar and Mbappe.

    Lautaro Martinez is on the verge of signing a new contract with Serie A champions Inter, says Gazzetta dello Sport. The Inter forward has been linked with Barca previously.

    - Tuttosport reports star Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma is a primary transfer target for Serie A rivals Juventus. Donnarumma is out of contract at the end of the season and the Italy international has not agreed fresh terms with Milan.

    Borussia Dortmund will ask for less than €100million (£86m) to sell Jadon Sancho amid interest from United, Chelsea and Liverpool, says Fabrizio Romano.

    - The Mirror says Liverpool are eyeing Roma star Lorenzo Pellegrini as incoming Giallorossi boss Jose Mourinho looks to overhaul the squad in the Italian capital. The front page of Thursday's Gazzetto dello Sport, meanwhile, claims Mourinho is looking to bring Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic and Madrid's Isco to Roma.

    - Soon-to-be free agent and City star Sergio Aguero is dreaming of a Barcelona move, according to Romano. InterTottenham and Chelsea have also emerged as options for the veteran forward.

    Maurizio Sarri is a candidate to take charge of Milan if Stefano Pioli fails to guide the Rossoneri into the Champions League, claims Gazzetta dello Sport. Sarri was reportedly set to join Roma before Mourinho's appointment.

    - Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga, Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli and Mikel Merino of Real Sociedad are on Barca's shortlist to replace Sergio Busquets, reports Mundo Deportivo.

  • Man Utd facing three games in five days after Liverpool game is rearranged Man Utd facing three games in five days after Liverpool game is rearranged

    Manchester United will host Liverpool in a rearranged clash on Thursday, May 13, meaning a run of three Premier League games in five days for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.

    Last Sunday's scheduled clash between the two most decorated sides in English football was called off after United fans protesting the ownership of the Glazer family prevented their players from leaving the Lowry Hotel pre-match and also stormed the stadium.

    The limited wriggle room left in the schedule means the game will now come after United travel to Aston Villa on May 9 and host Leicester City on May 11.

    Liverpool could argue they have been dealt a similarly punishing hand, with three games in six days – all of which are away from home – as they battle to snatch a top-four spot.

    The Premier League has moved its penultimate round of fixtures to midweek slots on May 18 and 19 to allow fans to attend, in line with the next stage of coronavirus restrictions being lifted.

    Manchester United remaining fixtures 2020-21
    Roma (a) - Europa League, May 6
    Aston Villa (a) - Premier League, May 9
    Leicester (h) - Premier League, May 11
    Liverpool (h) - Premier League, May 13
    Fulham (h) - Premier League, May 18
    Wolves (a) - Premier League, May 23
    Possible Europa League final, May 26

    Liverpool remaining fixtures 2020-21
    Southampton (h) – Premier League, May 8
    Man Utd (a) – Premier League, May 13
    West Brom (a) – Premier League, May 16
    Burnley (a) – Premier League, May 19
    Crystal Palace (h) – Premier League, May 23

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