‘Fans, I’m coming,’ Mourinho Set To Arrive In Rome

(FILES) In this file photo taken on March 4, 2021, ex-Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho looks on during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage in London. NEIL HALL / POOL / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho’s era as Roma coach is set to begin with the Portuguese due to touch down in the Italian capital on Friday.

“AS Roma fans I’m about to pack my bags. See you soon,” Mourinho said in a video posted in English and Italian by the club on social media.

Mourinho is expected to arrive in the city in the afternoon.

The 58-year-old returns to Italy, where he left as a hero back in 2010 after leading Inter Milan to the treble — Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia.

Mourinho had only been out of work for 15 days after leaving Tottenham two months ago before his return to Serie A was announced on a three-year deal.

His departure from Spurs marked the first time since the early years of his managerial career in Portugal that the self-declared ‘Special One’ left a club without winning any silverware.

Mourinho has claimed 25 major trophies in his career and joins a club that hasn’t won Serie A since 2001.

As well as his triumphs with Inter he won the Champions League in 2004 and two Portuguese league titles with Porto, three Premier League titles with Chelsea and La Liga with Real Madrid in 2012.

He also led Manchester United to the Europa League in 2017.

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Ex-Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho takes a team training session at Tottenham Hotspur’s Enfield Training Centre, in north London on November 25, 2019, ahead of their UEFA Champions League Group B football match against Olympiakos. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

In Rome, he replaces fellow Portuguese Paulo Fonseca who left the club after two seasons.

The three-time Italian champions, who are trophyless since 2008, finished seventh in Serie A last season.

Fonseca replaced Claudio Ranieri, who had a brief spell as coach after Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked in January 2019.

Di Francesco had guided the club to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018.

AFP

Spurs’ 6-1 Win At Man Utd Was Freak Result, Says Mourinho

File photo: Tottenham’s Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho gestures during UEFA Europa League football Group J first-leg football match between Royal Antwerp FC and Tottenham Hotspur FC at the Bosuilstadion in Antwerp on October 29, 2020. JOHN THYS / AFP

 

Jose Mourinho said Friday that he does not believe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be using Manchester United’s 6-1 humbling by Spurs in October as motivation for their Premier League clash on Sunday.

Spurs dished out United’s joint heaviest Premier League defeat at Old Trafford thanks to a fine attacking display and a defensive horror show from the home side.

Former United manager Mourinho, now in charge of Tottenham, believes the match early in the season, in which United’s Anthony Martial was sent off, produced a freak result.

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“I believe that 6-1 doesn’t reflect the reality,” he said on Friday. “I go much more in the direction of the other two previous matches between us and United.

“We lost 2-1 at Old Trafford, with the penalty, and we draw 1-1 at home last season, also with a penalty. I think this is more the reality.

“If Solskjaer is going to use that result I don’t know. If it was my team losing 6-1 to them I would just say to my guys that it happened once and it’s not going to happen twice.”

United boss Solskjaer described the Old Trafford humbling as his most embarrassing experience in football.

But his side have made enormous progress since then. They are 11 points clear of sixth-placed Spurs and on course to finish as runners-up behind Manchester City.

A huge factor behind United’s resurgence has been their form on the road — they have not lost away in the Premier League since January last year.

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / POOL / AFP)

 

But Mourinho said that record would not intimidate his team, who are desperate to break into the top four after an inconsistent season.

“I am not going to comment on the record other than to say congratulations for the record,” said the Spurs boss.

“We are going to try and win the match. It is the only thing that I can say.

“It is very difficult for many reasons but that record is not going to stop us to think we can win and it is not going to stop us to fight to win.”

AFP

Mourinho Feels Pain After Worst-Ever European Night

File photo: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur at St Mary’s Stadium in Southampton, southern England on September 20, 2020. (Photo by ANDREW BOYERS / POOL / AFP)

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said he has never experienced a similar feeling to the pain of crashing out of the Europa League to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday.

Spurs took a 2-0 first leg lead to the Croatian capital, but a hat-trick of excellent finishes from Mislav Orsic claimed a huge shock for Dinamo.

Mourinho turned on his players’ attitude after the match, while Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris branded the result a “disgrace”.

In his two previous campaigns in the Europa League, Mourinho won the competition with Porto and Manchester United.

The Portuguese also won the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan, while the majority of his exits from European football’s top competition have come in the latter stages to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.

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“Honestly I don’t believe (I had) a similar feeling,” said Mourinho when asked if it was his worst European exit.

“I had in Europe moments of big pain but pain caused by what football is. I lost two Champions League semi-finals on penalties. It hurts you. (I’m) maybe still bleeding.

“But the passion for football, the respect for your job is something that hurts me deeply. And I have this very bad feeling. This very bad feeling because maybe for some people in football, football is a job or a way to make money.

“For me, it’s much more than that. That’s what I never lose – this basics of football, which is the passion, the heart, the desire. I feel very, very hurt that I cannot find more words to describe it.”

Mourinho’s future at Tottenham is now in doubt with a return to the Champions League next season looking unlikely.

Jose Mourinho (file photo)

 

Spurs are eighth in the Premier League, six points adrift of the top four, although they do have a game in hand away to Aston Villa on Sunday.

Mourinho also has one other chance to save his first full season in charge when Tottenham face runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City in the League Cup final next month.

But he acknowledged the size of the task his side face at Wembley if they are to halt City’s quest for an unprecedented quadruple.

“The only chance that we have to win a trophy this season is the final that we have to play against a very good team, against the next champions and a team that match after match show an incredible desire of winning,” added Mourinho.

“So it’ll be a very difficult final and if we want to have a chance to win it, the attitude has to be completely different.”

AFP

Mourinho Meets Familiar Foes Man Utd As Liverpool Resume Title Quest

Mourinho Blames National Coaches For United's Injury Woes
Manchester United’s Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho gestures from the touchline after the final whistle in the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 27, 2018.
Oli SCARFF / AFP

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to exact revenge on former employers Manchester United, while Liverpool aim to move within one win of the title as the Premier League’s return kicks up a gear across a four-day weekend of action.

The English top flight got its first taste of empty stands and strict hygiene protocols on Wednesday as Aston Villa’s goalless draw with Sheffield United and Manchester City’s 3-0 victory over Arsenal restarted the campaign.

Despite the muted atmosphere, there remains plenty to play for at both ends of the table with the clash between Tottenham and United pivotal in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Both sit outside the top four with nine games remaining. However, United’s position in fifth could be good enough to secure a return to the Champions League if Manchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European competition is unsuccessful.

Spurs could prove to be the biggest winners of the three-month lockdown.

Before the break, Mourinho claimed he could not wait for the season to finish as injuries to Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn appeared to have ended their campaigns.

All four are now fit again and victory would lift Tottenham to within one point of the club that sacked Mourinho in December 2018.

“The reality is we are now in a better position to where we were before,” said Mourinho.

“We got Harry and Sonny back, the players with the best stats in terms of scoring and assists. They give us this kind of attacking power.”

United were the form side in the league prior to the lockdown.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are unbeaten in 11 games but also benefited from the break as Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba return from long-term injuries.

Rashford has made waves for his power off the field with a campaign to provide vulnerable children with food vouchers forcing a British government U-turn.

But the England international is desperate to get back on more familiar ground after being sidelined by a back injury since January.

“It’s been a long time, but I think I needed it,” Rashford told Sky Sports.

“Within my body I definitely feel confident again and ready to play games. The timing has worked out well for me.”

Solskjaer said Pogba is “raring to go” after an injury-ravaged season and could be paired with January signing Bruno Fernandes in the United midfield for the first time.

– Liverpool excitement building –

City’s victory over Arsenal means Liverpool cannot seal a first league title in 30 years against Everton on Sunday, much to the blue side of Merseyside’s relief.

Jurgen Klopp’s men are just two wins away from the historic feat and victory at Goodison Park will allow them the chance to win the league on home soil when Crystal Palace visit Anfield on Wednesday.

“You can feel it,” said Klopp of the excitement building around his side’s return. “I feel the intensity everywhere.”

The match will take place in Liverpool despite fears over fans congregating outside both stadiums in the city. Goodison and Anfield are separated by less than a mile.

Klopp has urged his supporters to be “the best stay at home fans in the world”.

The earliest Liverpool could now be crowned champions is on Monday should the Reds win and City lose at home to Burnley.

At the other end of the table, Norwich, Villa and Bournemouth sit in the relegation zone, but just three points separate second-bottom Villa from Brighton in 15th.

Rock-bottom Norwich can ramp up the pressure on those above them even more should they close to within three points of safety in the first match of the weekend against Southampton.

Friday (all times GMT)

Norwich v Southampton (1700), Tottenham v Manchester United (1915)

Saturday

Watford v Leicester (1130), Brighton v Arsenal (1400), West Ham v Wolves (1630), Bournemouth v Crystal Palace (1845)

Sunday

Newcastle v Sheffield United (1300), Aston Villa v Chelsea (1515), Everton v Liverpool (1800)

Monday

Manchester City v Brighton (1900)

Tottenham Boss Mourinho ‘Desperate’ For Premier League Return

File: Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese head coach Jose Mourinho reacts during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Brighton and Hove Albion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on December 26, 2019. Tolga AKMEN / AFP

 

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he is “desperate” for the return of Premier League action despite mounting concerns about the English top-flight’s restart plans.

Several stars including Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose have gone public with fears about resuming the season during the coronavirus crisis.

Some top-flight bosses are also understood to have expressed concerns about the plan to play from mid-June when they spoke during a League Managers Association meeting on Wednesday.

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But Mourinho said he would relish the chance to get back to work despite the challenges and risks posed by the pandemic.

“I have not asked for any delay,” Mourinho said in a statement on Thursday.

“I want to train, and I am desperate for the Premier League to return as soon as it is safe to do so, particularly now we are seeing other leagues preparing to return to action.”

Mourinho was forced to apologise in April after being spotted breaking lockdown restrictions to hold a training session with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele in a public park.

Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko also had to say sorry after the Tottenham pair flouted social-distancing guidelines to train together.

Despite those incidents, Mourinho is happy with the way his squad have kept themselves fit during the lockdown.

“I am extremely proud of the way my players have maintained their fitness,” he said. “They have shown great professionalism, passion and dedication.

“We have all been working extremely hard through remote squad training sessions and isolated running now the pitches are available to use again at the training centre.

“Every player has been extremely committed in terms of their individual work and now we wait for clearance to commence working in small groups again, which I will fully support.”

AFP