Manchester United manager José Mourinho conceded the English Premier League title to city rivals even before Christmas.
Though Mourinho has successfully returned the Red Devils back to some standard since he took over two years ago, he has failed to win the Premier title. He has as well failed to mount pressure on the winners of the two editions since he took over.
Many times this season, Mourinho was criticised by fans and pundits for his tactical approach to matches, as reported by Skysports. Yet, the manager has refused to change his tactics, claiming he has been applying same tactics to matches since the start of his career and it has brought him numerous trophies. This has been a way of bringing up past glories as excuses.
His tactics seem too old and outdated compared to the latest evolution in the game where managers prefer an attacking and high pressing style of football adopted by Liverpool and City managers Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola respectively.
Pep Guardiola is known for his ‘tiki-taka’ style of football since his days at Camp Nou, which is has seen Top Bookmakers favoured him to win the title even before the second half of the season. At the Etihad, Guardiola still maintains his style of play (though he made some alterations) with which he retains possession of the ball than his opponent while making impressive counter-attacks when there are chances for that.
Unlike Pep, Mourinho loves to play a defensive game where almost all his players – strikers inclusive – will move back to help defend against conceding a goal. United have only managed to score 63 goals this season compared to their neighbours, Manchester City, who have scored 87 goals.
During the Portuguese coach’s first stint at Chelsea, he believed that the person who has more of the ball is more susceptible to losing it. While that is true, he should recognise that the person who doesn’t have the ball has nothing to gain and everything to lose since he can’t execute without the ball.
Jose Mourinho needs to learn, adapt, change, or forget about winning altogether. Even if he deems Guardiola’s tiki-taka too limited, Klopp is a manager he could learn a lot from. The German has played Guardiola’s City four times this season winning three and losing one following a red card to one of his best players.
Klopp’s tactical style is quite similar – though not very much – to Mourinho’s as they both love counter-attacking and pacy players. These are two of the game’s finest managers – Klopp and Guardiola.
The EPL has shown that it is not a league for coaches who are not ready to learn from past mistakes, such is the fate of Arsene Wenger and Antonio Conte. If Mourinho wants to differ from this category of past glories, he needs to win the EPL. And, the only way he can win the EPL is by showing the world he can alter his ineffective tactics.
Sarri’s sack date revealed
Emerging reports hint that Chelsea chairman Roman Abramovich is already considering the sack of the club’s boss Maurizio Sarri after they were defeated again by Everton in the Premier League tie at the weekend.
The Italian boss had a fast start of his career at the Stamford Bridge with successive wins but the story has changed as he is now struggling to deliver good results at the club.
The embarrassing 6 – 0 defeat suffered against Man City and the 2 – 0 defeat against Arsenal in addition to the defeat against Man United has cast doubt on his ability.
It is speculated that he would be sacked during the international break as soon as they are able to have a successful consultation.
It is suggested that the former Napoli boss can no longer be trusted especially after the incident with goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga where he was publicly embarrassed by refusing his orders to leave the pitch.
However, the Italian boss has made it clear that he is not under any pressure and does not care about what is being speculated about his future, stressing that he is only concerned about how to get his players firing again.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have got a quarter-finals game of the Europa League to face as a major test.
Liverpool get £70m fee for 27-year-old target
English Premier League outfit Liverpool have been told they will have to pay the sum of £70 million to be able to secure the signature of their target James Rodriquez who is currently playing in the German Bundesliga with Bayern Munich.
James Rodriquez is currently on a 2-year loan with the Bundesliga giants which is expected to expire at the end of the season.
The Reds have indicated interest in his signature as it is unclear if he would be welcomed back at the Spanish capital especially with the return of manager Zinedine Zidane to the club.
The Bundesliga outfit have got the option to secure the service of the Colombia international on a permanent deal but that will be an option for Real Madrid as they are ready to cash in on the star player.
There are suggestions that manager Jurgen Klopp seeks to have additions at the club so as to be able to create options in his attack for Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino who are not in good goalscoring form at the moment.
However, Real Madrid have dropped the hint that James Rodriquez is for sale but they will not take anything less from Liverpool than the £70 million asking price.
Callum Hudson-Odoi gets hope of transfer wish
Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has been seeking a move away from the West London club for the past months over his lack of playing time.
The 18-year-old is, therefore, being wanted by German Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich, with the European giants submitting three different offers to Chelsea for his signature but they were all rejected.
The West London outfit have insisted on keeping the star player as he has been pointed as part of the club’s future but he has not been convincing enough to manager Jurgen Klopp to hand him regular playing time in the team.
However, there could be hope for Callum Hudson-Odoi with claims that he could be granted his wish to leave the club should they succeed in keeping Belgium international Eden Hazard.
The Blues face a big challenge of keeping Eden Hazard at the club with suggestions that he will be heading to the Spanish capital to join La Liga giants Real Madrid.
With the Blues already securing the signature of Christian Pulisic, there will be no need to keep Callum Hudson-Odoi should the Belgium international agrees to stay. But if otherwise, he would be forced to remain as a cover, having shown big prospect.
The big EPL record broken by Sadio Mane
Liverpool are still enjoying a good moment especially as they returned to the top in the Premier League table after a 2 – 1 win over Fulham away from home at the Craven Cottage.
With Man City involved in the FA Cup at the weekend, they now have a game at hand but returned back to the second position, all thanks to goals from Sadio Mane and James Milner.
Senegal international Sadio Mane is in hot form for the Reds as he has now delivered 11 goals in the last 11 games for the Merseyside outfit.
The fine form of the Liverpool star has been viewed as a blessing as it is coming when last season hero and Egypt international Mohamed Salah is struggling to find the back of the net.
Sadio Mane has been consistent, including in the Champions League where he scored a brace against German Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich to secure a qualification to the quarter finals.
However, Sadio Mane has already scored the highest goals in a Premier League by a Senegalese player in the history of the competition. There are suggestions he will do more before the end of the season.
However, the star player is hopeful to win the first EPL title as a Liverpool player.
What Eden Hazard is waiting for to decide Chelsea future
Belgium international Eden Hazard is still mute over his future despite the many speculations linking him away from the West London outfit Chelsea at the end of the season.
Eden Hazard has refused to sign a new deal at the Stamford Bridge with claims that he has already agreed on a move to Spanish La Liga outfit Real Madrid ahead of the coming season.
However, the speculations have become more serious with Zinedine Zidane returning to Real Madrid for second spell as their manager, knowing that Eden Hazard has been dreaming to work with the manager, who is his idol.
With the West London outfit pushing to have Eden Hazard pen a new deal at the Stamford Bridge, Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp said the star player is yet to make any decision as it would be determined by Chelsea’s ability to qualify for the Champions League next season or not.
He is of the opinion that the star player will not want to miss out of the Champions League next season, hence the first option for the Blues is to qualify for the Champions League.
Meanwhile, the qualification for Chelsea is now looking unlikely after they were defeated by 2-0 against Everton at the weekend.
How Sadio Mane became the man of the moment for Liverpool
Senegal international forward Sadio Mane has been at the center of Liverpool wins for the past week with his red hot form and that has been the lifting up for the manager Jurgen Klopp team.
Yet again, the star player helped his team with a 2 – 1 win over relegation-threatened Fulham away from the Anfield to return top of the summit with his first goal.
Although, the win was threatened by an error committed by Virgil Van Dijk which ensured that his goal was cancelled but there was still an opportunity to have the mistakes corrected to have a second goal for a complete three points capture.
However, the Senegal international has now scored 11 goals in 11 games to make him an important player in the Jurgen Klopp’s team.
Also, Sadio Mane ’s goal against Fulham makes it his 17th Premier League goals to level up with Egyptian international and Liverpool teammate Mohamed Salah and one more to catch up with Man City’s Sergio Aguero.
Meanwhile, popular suggestions are that Liverpool will be helped by the form of Sadio Mane for the title challenge but that will not stop the contest for the title from going down to the end of the season.
Cesar Azpilicueta reveals what will happen after Everton defeat
The West London outfit Chelsea lost 2-0 to Everton in their Premier League tie at the weekend which has slimmed down their hope of a Champions League qualification for next season.
They are now sixth place in the league table behind Man United and Arsenal who are also seeking to secure qualification ahead of next season.
The Blues captain Cesar Azpilicueta has revealed that his team must still qualify for the Champions League next season, stating that they will have the defeat behind them and focus on the coming games.
According to him, the remaining eight games left for them until the end of the season would be finals as they will approach it with all seriousness to be able to secure maximum points.
Also, manager Maurizio Sarri expressed his disappointment at the defeat, explaining that his team have mental issues as it cannot be regarded as a physical problem because of the way they played in the first half.
He is of the opinion that they will have to keep the fight on to proceed to be able to achieve the target.
Meanwhile, the Blues will now have about a 2-weeks break before any action as a resut of the international break.
Why Andy Robertson is unavailable for international duty
Liverpool left full-back Andy Robertson is reportedly out of the international assignment with his Scotland national team for their opening Euro 2020 qualifier against Kazakhstan.
The Reds star is the latest player to pull out of the Thursday game after claims that he will require a dental surgery which will make him unavailable for the Thursday but he could be available three days later when they feature against San Marino.
Although, Andy Robertson was available for Liverpool’s 2 – 1 win over Fulham on Sunday and that will be his last game before his surgery. The Scotland captain would be replaced by Kieran Tierney.
However, before Andy Robertson withdrew from the game, the Scotland Football Association had confirmed the absence of Blackburn captain Charlie Mulgrew, Millwall goalkeeper Jordan Archer and Sheffield midfielder Barry Bannan.
Meanwhile, Andy Robertson will be available for Liverpool when they return to continue the contest for the Premier League title at the end of the international break as they now top the league table ahead of Man City.
The Scotland international captain is optimistic that his Liverpool team will be able to deliver a title this season as they have their eyes set on the Premier League and the Champions League as well.
Man Utd Defender Rejects Sweden Call-up
Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof has surprisingly turned down an invitation to the Swedish national team ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Romania and Norway.
The 24-year-old has opted out of the latest games having been named as part of the Sweden squad for the aforementioned games.
Victor Lindelof has been replaced by New York City defender Anton Tinnerholm.
According to The Football Channel via Goal, Lindelof pulled out of the national team after his best friend John Guidetti was left out of the Sweden squad named for the Romania and Norway games.
2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinalists Sweden will host Romania on Saturday in the first match of their Euro 2020 qualifiers before they face Norway three days later.
Victor Lindelof has been in very good form for Manchester United this season in both the Premier League and the Champions League.
He has started 25 league games for the Red Devils in their bid for a top-four spot on the Premier League table.
Lindelof has formed a potent centre back partnership with Chris Smalling and the two players have been crucial to the run of just one league defeat in 13 games under interim Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Manchester United have won ten, drawn two and lost just once in the 13 league games managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
FA Cup: Wolves To Face Watford After Man United defeat
Wolverhampton Wanderers have been drawn against London club Watford in the semifinals of the FA Cup after their shock win over Manchester United on Saturday night.
The Midlands club got the better of Manchester United in their quarterfinal tie at the Molineux.
Wolves defeated the Red Devils 2-1 at home to continue their quest for a first FA Cup title in 59 years.
The four-time FA Cup winners have not won the trophy since their fourth triumph in 1960.
They gave themselves a fantastic chance following the 2-1 win over Manchester United.
After a goalless first half, Wolves took a 70th-minute lead through Raul Jimenez before striking partner Diogo Jota added a second goal six minutes later.
Wolves preserved their 2-0 lead until added time when Marcus Rashford pulled one back for the Red Devils.
It proved to be mere consolation for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his players.
Wolves will face Watford on April 7 at the Wembley Stadium with a place in the final up for grabs.
Watford were the first team to secure their spot in the last four of the FA Cup after their 2-1 home win over London rivals Crystal Palace.
Etienne Capoue and substitute Andre Gray were on target for the Hornets.
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