José Mourinho said his work had been ‘betrayed’ at Chelsea by the efforts of his players. Photograph: Jason Dawson/REX/Shutterstock
Chelsea have parted company with manager José Mourinho. The Portuguese returned to the club in 2013 and won the Premier League title last season, but having sunk to 16th place in the table, the Stamford Bridge outfit have dismissed their manager.
Mourinho’s side have lost nine league games this season, the worst defence of a Premier League title ever. The latest loss was to Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City, 2-1 at the King Power Stadium. Afterwards Mourinho took the unusual step of criticising his players. “I feel my work is betrayed,” he said. “I worked four days in training for this match. I identified four movements where Leicester score a lot of their goals and in two of the four situations I identified they scored their goals. I went through it all with the players, you can ask them.”
After the defeat it had seemed a matter of when, not if, Chelsea’s owner Roman Abramovich would act, with the club in real danger of slipping into the relegation zone over the crowded festive period.
When asked after the Leicester defeat if he could hold on to his job, Mourinho said: “The only thing I can say is that I want to. I have no doubts and I think you know me well enough, three years this time, plus three years another time, that I am not afraid of a big challenge, and in this moment this is a real big challenge. I want to stay, I hope Mr Abramovich and the board want me to stay.”
L’Équipe this morning have published the entire transcript of a fast-becoming infamous phone conversation between Karim Benzema and his childhood friend, who we can now name as Karim Zenati, dating back to October 6th. The 20-minute conversation, from which
snippets were released by Europe 1 yesterday, goes some way to explaining and confirming Karim Benzema’s alleged role and involvement in the supposed blackmail of Mathieu Valbuena. Get French Football News has reproduced the transcript in English.
( Read more... )
Okay so, I had to include a picture of Cesc since the article is about him. But I put a picture of him with Dave so that we can admire Dave's cuteness instead.
Cesc Fabregas has admitted he never would have dreamed of playing for Jose Mourinho three years ago when the two were arch-enemies in Spain.
The Chelsea midfielder now says he’s happier than ever playing for the former Real Madrid manager, compares him to Pep Guardiola, and says he is desperate to win the European Cup with him.
Asked in an interview in El Pais in Spain if he could ever have imagined working for Mourinho he says: ‘Three years ago no. It just shows you how you can never tell in life, and even more so in football. We had a very intense rivalry with Mourinho. It never reached the level of hatred, not even close, but there were disagreements with him and [John] Terry too. Chelsea were always the team that I most wanted to beat.’
Asked how Terry received Fabregas into the dressing room when he joined last summer the Spain international said: ‘He told me that anything I needed I could count on him.
( Ugh... )
Hmmm, personally I don't think Pep and Mou would be too happy at being compared to each other.
Iker Casillas talked to Cadena Cope about his last period at Real Madrid. He was asked about Mourinho/Ancelotti, Xabi Alonso, his bad moments and his future.
ABOUT XABI ALONSO SAYING NEUER IS THE BEST GK HE'S PLAYED WITH: "I don't care what Xabi Alonso says. [After being asked again:] In the last years our relationship has not been adequate, but it is always like this, you have teammates with whom you can get along well or not. Being part of the club demands from us to perform as a team to win titles and that's what we have done."
ABOUT WHO IS BETTER COACH, MOURINHO OR ANCELOTTI: "Ancelotti is better. Those were hard moments. From the outside they look different than from the inside, it is not the same being in the dressing room or looking at it from the outside. Our position is clear. Everyone can have an opinion, like in the case of Xabi Alonso, but in the end you have to follow your beliefs and that's what I did. In his time here I did not speak of him when he was in my locker room, nor do I think that I have to talk now when he is already managing another team and I'm with my team. It would be a bit self-seeking and little cowardly on my part. [I hope] things go very well for him. In the time that he was at Real Madrid, he won titles and you have to give him thanks. [Asked if he would greet Mourinho:] Without a problem. Maybe last summer when things were fresh each of us looked a different way, but if I cross paths with him tomorrow I am going to extend my hand, then it will be up to him if he shakes it. I think he would do it. We had a relationship of love and dislike."
ABOUT HIS FORM: I want to be considered the best goalkeeper in the world again, I train and compete for that. When you have won it 5 times, the standards are the highest. Now the last year they gave it to Neuer, and he deserves it, but my hope and idea is to compete and become the best again. I had moments when I felt alone, sad, hurt. You suffer. Some days I had to hold back my tears and sometimes I cried. I didn't feel isolated from my teammates, but from the team yes, because when you are injured you only hear crap, you are a scapegoat and you don't defend yourself. I didn't talk because I have to look for the benefit of the club and my teammates. I'm neither a saint nor a mole. I'm Iker Casillas and I only try to be in Real Madrid's goal every weekend to try and win titles and because that is my way to the national team. Yes, of course [I considered leaving Madrid]. You try to find solutions. Let’s just say that I had several meetings with the club ... But in the end I opted to stay. I told them that I must play or go. The only thing is that if you start the season and you’re not playing, you must understand and respect the coach's decision to choose someone else. I want to play, but I’ve never demanded to play. The club have behaved in a very loving way. They have always tried to motivate me during difficult times. I’m not thinking about June, only the next morning. At the end of the day, I’ve received so much [from Madrid]. I’m back focused on enjoying my time here, I feel important again and hope to exploit the opportunities I get. I’ll be 36 by the time my contract ends in 2017. I need to be realistic. At that age, things must slowly be considered. I hope the club tells me that they want me to continue, but I think I should go step by step. We’ll see when the times comes. I hope my head and body are still in terrific shape and that the club offer me the chance to continue for one or two more seasons. [President Florentino Perez] has always been kind to me and encouraged me to stay positive during my low points. I hope [to end my career here].
sources: 1, 2, 3
It was a long interview (over an hour) with quick questions and answers, so the responses and the tone might not get across perfectly with the quotes (I haven't been able to watch it all yet, but it reads much more serious than it sounded). You can watch it here if you understand Spanish. I wasn't aware there were problems before between him and Xabi Alonso?
Lukas Podolski has revealed Arsene Wenger declined to even say goodbye before he completed his loan move from Arsenal to Inter last week.
Podolski elected to join the Nerazzurri for the rest of the season after becoming disillusioned with a lack of opportunities at the Emirates Stadium this season, having made just 13 appearances in all competitions.
And the Germany international, who scored 19 goals in 60 appearances over two years at Arsenal but never managed to gain the trust of Wenger as a regular starter, has now accused the Frenchman of a lack of respect.
"He said nothing to me," Podolski told the Sun. "He did not call me or say goodbye.
"I don't need flowers or a kiss from him. But it is about respect, about saying goodbye. For me respect is important. Maybe he had other problems with me.
"I did everything for the club I possibly could have. I don't believe I did anything wrong. I did not get drunk in a club.
"I wish all of Arsenal and their amazing fans the very best for this season and I see myself as a Gunner. Nothing from him to me, though, but that is his way."
I don't know what to say but this is The Sun that's reported this so I won't believe it fully.
Also, I was going to do a transfer rumor roundup but I've fallen sick so I hope y'all don't mind waiting.
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? (For the record, I’ve never been there. I don’t smoke.)
A flat tire to start your morning, your usual taco joint was all out of barbacoa, you say through an insufferable lecture from your idiotic boss and to top all of that off, traffic is a nightmare on your way home to basement full of rain water from the night before. You just need a quick cigarette (or three — thanks, traffic!), and you’ll be good.
Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny seems to know this feeling all too well. Szczesny, who is apparently at least an occasional smoker, was reportedly caught lighting up in the St. Mary’s Stadium showers following Arsenal’s 2-0 New Year’s Day defeat, which was underlined by the Pole’s poor performance in goal. Here, Szczesny’s pair of blunders can be seen all but gift-wrapping Southampton the three points that afternoon and resigning the Gunners to sixth place for the time being.
According to reports, Szczesny was fined £20,000 for the incident by an enraged Arsene Wenger. From theDaily Mail:
Former Arsenal star John Jensen had claimed on Danish TV that Szczesny, 24, had suffered a bitter fall-out with Wenger and would not play again this season, although Arsenal denied that allegation and said Szczesny remains part of their first-team plans.
Szczesny wasn’t even on the bench for Arsenal’s 2-0 third-round FA Cup victory over Hull City on Sunday. That could, however, have very easily been a predetermined game off for Szczesny who has started 17 of 20 Premier League games this season, as well as all six in the club’s Champions League group.
tsk tsk, what do you have to say for yourself chezza?
smh!! (also i just grabbed a bunch of random tags. delighted to see drogba's, lol)
The midfielder feels the Club World Cup victory justifies his decision to leave the Allianz Arena and move to the Santiago Bernabeu and expects more trophies for his side in 2015
Toni Kroos believes winning the Club World Cup proves that he was right to leave Bayern Munich and join Real Madrid.
The midfielder joined the Santiago Bernabeu side in the summer for a reported €30 million and helped them to win the trophy on Saturday, after a 2-0 victory over San Lorenzo in the final, just months after he was crowned a world champion with Germany.
And Kroos, who also won the Champions League and Club World Cup during his time at Bayern, says he is happy to cap off a fine 2014 with another trophy and feels vindicated in his decision to join the Spanish giants.
"I'm so happy to win the Club World Cup for a second time," he told reporters. "This trophy is so good for Real Madrid, we are a great family.
"I chose Real Madrid and now I'm so happy. I was right to sign for Madrid.
"Before coming here, I didn't know what to expect, but I made the decision, I was looking for something new and I was lucky that I signed for Real Madrid."
The midfielder reflected on what has been a wonderful year for him and feels he and his team can progress even further in 2015.
"It was a great year, full of amazing moments, but you are not the champion of the world every year. Winning the final in Rio de Janeiro and lifting the cup was a very special moment.
"Germany had been waiting a long time for it. It was the best moment of the year. But 2014 was very good overall, so there are many good times to remember,
"Now we are looking forward to the Copa del Rey and Champions League, there are many great opponents like Barcelona, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.
"So it is going to be tough in the Champions League and in La Liga too. I think Barcelona and Atletico will be close in the table, so defending our position at the top won't be easy.
"Now in January we play Atletico in the Copa del Rey and if we win, we face Barcelona, so it will be very hard. But I think we have to look forward. We are in good form."
Cross-posted to hala_madrid.
Real Madrid step up their interest in David de Gea: HERE
(No, please. I like him in Manchester United. He's doing a great job and is the starting GK there. Why would he give that up to warm the bench for Iker?)
Arsenal consider Asier Illaramendi as an alternative to Sami Khedira: HERE
(Hmmm, I'd rather have Khedira with us because we need a DM like, now. Plus, there's an entire German contingent, including Bug Eyes, waiting to welcome him with open arms.)
And speaking of Khedira, practically every club still wants him: HERE
Hugo Lloris also on Madrid's radar: SOURCE DE JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY
(Loving these Iker replacement rumors.)
Manchester City make £10 million-a-year offer in bid to snap up Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United target Marco Reus: HERE
(As long as he doesn't go to Chelsea or warms the bench at the Etihad. Can he just pull a Jens Lehmann and Rosicky and just come to Arsenal?)
According to Rat-Face, Real Madrid was interested in signing him: HERE
(Well, well, well.)
Chelsea is interested in Antonio Rudiger as replacement for John Terry: HERE
(Wait, what? He's an Arsenal fan! He should come to us!)
Forgot to add this priceless one:
Madrid are looking at prodigiously buttocked Eden Hazard as a replacement for
(Nope. I'm quite certain that won't happen. Mou's not gonna give up Hazard, his protege to Real Madrid and Flo isn't gonna sell a player for whom he paid 100 million euros. It doesn't make sense.)
Some of this information has been posted at Hala Madrid as well.