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04-20-2018, 10:01 AM

Mourinho doesn't need to show anyone he's one of the best - Pochettino


Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino believes Jose Mourinho deserves more credit for his work this season and does not think his Manchester United counterpart needs to prove his credentials as one of the world's best.

Pre-season hopes that United could challenge for the Premier League failed to come to fruition, while the Red Devils were dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla in the last 16.

Put to Pochettino that Mourinho has not enjoyed the kind of plaudits he, Manchester City's Pep Guardiola and Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp have been afforded, the former Southampton coach insisted there was no questioning the Portuguese's quality."For me, Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in the world," he said. "I don't think he needs to show anyone that he is one of the best.

"Manchester United, for me, are having a fantastic season. Of course they will be disappointed like us to be out of the Champions League - it was massive obviously for them and for us."Yes we are in a similar position. They are better than us because they have more points in the Premier League.

"For me, he is doing a fantastic show in his second season in Manchester."Tottenham meet United in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday, with a much-changed Red Devils side having bounced back from a 1-0 home defeat to West Brom last weekend with a 2-0 win at Bournemouth on Wednesday.And Pochettino says his players must be ready for whatever XI Mourinho opts for at Wembley.

"I'm sure that the team that will play against us on Saturday will be tough," he added. "It will be a tough game to play, they have an unbelievable squad. "Of course Mourinho is a great manager who will know what he needs to do and I think it's an exciting semi-final because both teams are going to play to try to get to the final."

Asked which of the four semi-finalists needed the trophy most, Pochettino said: "It's fantastic Southampton, Chelsea, Manchester United or Tottenham will win the title, but it's not going to change our life.

"Who needs it more? I don't know."Every team is going to fight to try to win but it's not about need, it's about a title that would be a fantastic finish to the season."But it's not about who needs the trophy more."
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04-20-2018, 10:03 AM

Shaw eyeing FA Cup semi-final start after fight for Man Utd spot


Luke Shaw hopes his performance in Manchester United's 2-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth on Wednesday will earn him a start in Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against Tottenham.Shaw was handed his first start since February as Jose Mourinho rung the changes in the wake of Sunday's humiliating 1-0 home defeat to bottom club West Brom - a result that crowned Manchester City champions.

The Portuguese said after the match that he would not play the same XI at Wembley and that Antonio Valencia, Nemanja Matic and Romelu Lukaku were among the players who would "obviously" come back into the first team.

But Shaw, who has endured a largely frustrating time at Old Trafford since signing from Southampton in 2014, hopes to have given Mourinho something to think about as he plots a way past Spurs to the FA Cup final.

"When a manager makes changes like this, people are fighting for positions," Shaw told MUTV. "It's an opportunity for people to come in and showcase what they can do.

"Everyone wants to be playing on the weekend and it's down to the manager for that."That's why I think the team was so good, because they know the big game is on the weekend and everyone wants to play in it, everyone wants to be in that starting XI, including me."Chelsea face Southampton in the second semi-final on Sunday.
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04-20-2018, 10:07 AM

Wenger admits Europa League is Arsenal's priority after Premier League away-day 'failure'


Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admits he will use Sunday's clash with West Ham to prepare for the "absolutely vital" meeting with Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-finals.

The Gunners host David Moyes' side knowing a win could be crucial in the race for Europe, with Burnley able to climb above them into sixth place with a win over Chelsea on Thursday.

A top-four league finish remains mathematically possible but winning the Europa League represents Arsenal's most realistic way of securing a Champions League return.

With that in mind, Wenger is already planning for the visit of Atleti to the Emirates Stadium, telling a news conference: "I would say this weekend is a preparation for Thursday."I rested some players after the [CSKA] Moscow game so they will need a game. [Europe] is the priority because, in the Premier League, we go for not a lot. For us, it's the biggest priority now.

"We are Arsenal and we want to win football games. Every game is important and we love to win. At home, we've had quite a good season, it looks a little bit strange. It's away from home that we failed. It's absolutely important we maintain that record at home.

"We have a big opponent with Atletico Madrid. It's absolutely vital to beat them and have a chance to go to the final and win the competition. Atletico Madrid are seen as the favourite to win the competition but I believe, at our best, we can beat them."A disappointing result this weekend and a failure to get past Atletico would increase the pressure on Wenger's position, but the 68-year-old says his future is not a concern.

"My personal situation is not so much my worry at the moment," he said. My worry is to transform a season with many disappointments away from home into success. That's what matters to me.

"As I said the other night, my future is in front of me, every time I make a half-turn. It's not my biggest priority."If you have to give me some credit, if you look back at my career, you would have to accept that my priority has always been the interest of Arsenal Football Club.

"I'm responsible for the results and when they're not as good as everybody wants, people ask the question. I cannot master that. I can only master my commitment and the quality of my work."Wenger expects Aaron Ramsey to be fit to face West Ham after a calf injury, although Jack Wilshere and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are expected miss out.
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04-20-2018, 10:08 AM

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Wenger admits Europa League is Arsenal's priority after Premier League away-day 'failure'
Last time Manchester United wage Arsenal lata next season Champions League qualified wenna thiyana hodama chance eka Europa League win karana eka

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04-20-2018, 10:09 AM

Wenger wants VAR in Premier League


Arsene Wenger has criticized the Premier League’s refusal in institute VAR for next season, claiming the success of league has made it more risk averse.Premier League clubs voted against implementing the VAR for the 2018-19, though the system will continued to be trialled during that span.

While VAR remains controversial, and will not be instituted in the Champions League next season, the Bundesliga and Serie A both use it, while La Liga and Ligue 1 will institute it next season.

The Premier League’s decision against it is something that disappoints Wenger, who supports VAR and thinks it indicates a very conservative mindset.Commenting on VAR and the United Kingdom government’s decision to knock back an application from West Brom to introduce safe standing, Wenger took a critical approach to both outcomes.

"At the moment, I would say that the Premier League is very conservative in all its decision-making," Wenger said. "You can see that with VAR and you see it as well with standing. "I'm a bit more [understanding] with standing - because you can raise government rules, safety rules - than with VAR. Personally I'm in favour of it.”

Wenger further expounded on the idea that the refusal to institute VAR suggests a change in the league, as he thought the creators of the league wished to be trendsetters, not followers.

"The Premier League has been created by people who wanted to be in front of everybody else,” Wenger said. “Overall I must say at the moment we look a little more like we look first at what happens everywhere else, then if it goes well we follow it.

"But it's a bit of a conservative approach. That's the tendency, always, when you are successful, not to take many risks anymore."
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04-20-2018, 07:37 PM

Wenger to leave Arsenal



Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed he will step down from his role at the end of the season.

Wenger, 68, will leave a year before his existing contract was due to expire having led the club to three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups during a 22-year reign.Appointed on 1 October 1996, the Frenchman is the Premier League's current longest-serving manager and has taken charge of a record 823 games.

In a statement to the club's website, he said: "After careful consideration and following discussions with the club, I feel it is the right time for me to step down at the end of the season."I am grateful for having had the privilege to serve the club for so many memorable years.

"I managed the club with full commitment and integrity."I want to thank the staff, the players, the Directors and the fans who make this club so special."I urge our fans to stand behind the team to finish on a high."To all the Arsenal lovers take care of the values of the club."My love and support forever."

Wenger himself said on Thursday that former Arsenal midfielder Patrick Vieira "has the potential" to succeed him as manager.The club's majority owner Stan Kroenke asked Arsenal fans around the world to pay an appropriate tribute to the Frenchman who transformed the identity of the club.

He told Arsenal's website: "This is one of the most difficult days we have ever had in all our years in sport. One of the main reasons we got involved with Arsenal was because of what Arsène has brought to the club on and off the pitch. His longevity and consistency over such a sustained period at the highest level of the game will never be matched."Arsène has unparalleled class and we will always be grateful to him. Everyone who loves Arsenal and everyone who loves football owes him a debt of gratitude.

"Three Premier League titles, including an entire season unbeaten, seven FA Cup triumphs and 20 successive years in the Champions League is an exceptional record. He has also transformed the identity of our club and of English football with his vision for how the game can be played."We have high ambitions to build on Arsène's remarkable tenure and to honour his vision by ensuring that Arsenal competes for and wins the biggest and most important prizes in the game.

"We must now focus on making a strong finish to the season and ask our millions of fans around the world to join us in paying appropriate tribute to one of the greats of Arsenal's history and one of the greats of the game."

Sunday's 2-1 defeat defeat to Newcastle was their 11th in the league this season, equalling their worst tally in a campaign under Wenger.Arsenal finished outside the league's top four last season for the first time since Wenger arrived at the club in 1996, and are now 14 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham, with five matches remaining.They face Atletico Madrid in the Europa League semi-final with the first leg to come on April 26.
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04-21-2018, 09:32 AM

'Everybody wants to play under him' – Ozil pays tribute to Arsenal boss Wenger


Arsenal star Mesut Ozil paid tribute to Arsene Wenger, saying he was proud to have played under the outgoing manager.

Wenger announced Friday he would leave Arsenal at the end of the season after 22 years in charge of the Premier League giants.Ozil, who arrived at the club from Real Madrid in 2013, was full of praise for Wenger and the Frenchman's approach.

"He's the main reason I came here, he convinced me and I am proud to have played under him," he told Sky Sports ."Everyone has a lot of respect for him. He has won many titles, developed some good players and has always played excellent football, so you know as a player if you come here you are going to be able to develop and play in that style.

"He is an honest guy, a very respectful guy, has a good personality, and everybody wants to play under him." Ozil's future at the Emirates Stadium was uncertain before the Germany international signed a three-year deal in February.

The 29-year-old, who has scored four goals and assisted eight in the Premier League this season, said he always wanted to remain at Arsenal.

"He is the boss who brought me here and wanted me to stay so I said I am comfortable here, I never wanted to leave and that's why I stayed," Ozil said.
"Now we want to reach our further goals."
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04-21-2018, 09:33 AM

Messi is an alien but Sevilla can bring Barcelona back down to Earth, insists Montella


Vincenzo Montella described Lionel Messi as an "alien" but is confident his Sevilla side can bring Barcelona back down to earth in Saturday's Copa del Rey final.

Already on the brink of securing the LaLiga title, Barcelona are firm favourites to wrap up the first leg of a domestic double at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

Yet Ernesto Valverde's side were given a fright against Sevilla when the sides met in league action last month, with Messi coming off the bench to inspire a dramatic comeback in a 2-2 draw.




Montella has warned his Sevilla players they cannot allow the talismanic forward to shine again this weekend if the underdogs are to cause an upset in the Spanish capital."Barcelona are a great team, as we have seen in La Liga," the former AC Milan coach told a media conference.

"They have almost won it, so they are favourites but we have to think about ourselves and our attitude and quality and skills. We have to think how to face Barcelona that way."I also think that Messi is an alien. I hope he will be that high tomorrow instead of on the Earth. We have to try to avoid him receiving the ball.

"We've seen that it is possible to win against Barcelona, but for this to happen we have to be focused throughout the whole game and not lose concentration at any moment."I'm hoping for a balanced game, one that will be decided by smaller details, keeping us in the running."

Sevilla know what it takes to cause an upset in a cup competition - they knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League earlier this season thanks to a famous 2-1 triumph at Old Trafford.
The experience of overcoming the odds in Europe, coupled with their performance against Barcelona in the league, gives the squad added confidence they can spring a surprise, according to captain Sergio Escudero.

"We've been doing a good job and we come with the mentality of believing we can win in the final," Escudero said at Friday's pre-match media conference."Everyone makes Barcelona favourites but we've already shown we can do them a lot of damage. When the team is together and united we can beat anyone."
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04-21-2018, 09:34 AM

Arsenal should look to Germany for Wenger replacement, says former Gunner Podolski


Arsenal should consider appointing a German coach to replace the outgoing Arsene Wenger, according to Lukas Podolski.Wenger stunned the footballing world on Friday when he announced he will leave the Premier League club at the end of the season after nearly 22 years in charge.

Podolski - who spent two-and-a-half years working under the Frenchman at the Emirates Stadium - is intrigued to see what direction his former employers go in as they begin their search for a new manager.

The World Cup winner believes Carlo Ancelotti is an ideal candidate if Arsenal, who appointed German Sven Mislintat as head of recruitment last November, want someone with experience - but could see them instead looking for a younger option to take charge."If someone was in a club for 22 years, he leaves a lot of marks," Podolski said in an interview with Die Welt .

"I'm curious which successor they decide on. It's a question of whether they want someone with experience like Arsene Wenger, a guy like Carlo Ancelotti, or maybe a young, hungry coach. "I think Arsenal would be good for a German coach. That is my feeling. The club has been relying on German know-how for several years now."

Podolski has fond memories of his time under Wenger, including winning the FA Cup at Wembley in 2014."I got along great with him. He's a cool, laid back guy," he added.

"He never gets loud, is always calm - a gentleman. He is a great coach. And he was also always having fun."I always had the feeling that I had with Joachim Low or Jupp Heynckes."They are coaches who clearly knew what they wanted but did not annoy their team - and they [the team] usually paid them back."
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04-21-2018, 09:35 AM

I wanted to be like Arsene Wenger and create a dynasty, says Antonio Conte


Antonio Conte says he envisaged becoming Arsene Wenger-like figure by really integrating himself into one of his clubs as the Arsenal manager did in his 22 years in charge in London.Wenger shocked the football world on Friday morning as he announced that he will be leaving the Gunners at the end of the season.

As Conte's own future is in major doubt, having clashed with the club's board over transfers this season, the Italian says that he always wanted to find himself at a club for the long term but admits that he needs to find the "right situation."

“When you start to work for a new club, for sure your hope is to stay for many years because you bring your culture, you bring your football, you bring your methodology and your mentality," Conte told reporters. "Sometimes this is possible because you find the right situation.

"Sometimes this is not possible. But we must be ready, for every coach, every experience you start in your mind, there is the hope to stay for many years. You have to know that, every time you change and go to another team, you have to restart.

"You have to restart your work and bringing your ideas, your football, your culture, your methodology. And to restart every time is very difficult. Football is changing. If you compare this football with the past, it's totally different.

"In England, for example, in the past the managers could stay here and work for the same club for many years.When you know this and have this possibility, you live football and you stay more relaxed because you know you have time to work, to show the importance of your work.

"In the present, football is not the same like in the past. In England, you can see this difference. Now every club is ready to change manager if you don't get results, if you don't win. I think to live football in this way, your career could be less long because you live football with more pressure than in the past.”

While Wenger became one of figures synonymous with the Premier League during his 22 years at the helm of the Gunners, it is worth remembering he was a trailblazer as well.Arriving from Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan, Wenger was just the third manager to come to England from outside the British Isles.

The Chelsea head coach said that he understands Wenger's desire at the time to come and experience a new culture in English football and thinks that journey is one of the best parts of the job.“I'm enjoying having this experience," Conte said. "For me and for every coach who has the possibility to work in another country, it's a great opportunity.

"But, at the same time, I can tell you that it's not simple to work in a different country because you have to understand quickly and to adapt yourself to life in the new country. In Italy, we have different habits and a different culture. Different ways to have the training sessions. I'm enjoying [life in England] a lot but, at the same time, it's not easy.

"It's not simple to go into another country and bring your idea of football, especially if you have an idea of football. If you want to manage the situation, manage the players, it's more simple for everyone. But if you want to bring your idea of football, it's not simple to go into another country."Still, Conte believes such difficulties can forge a better manager, and thinks he has benefitted from his time in the Premier League.

"I consider this experience fantastic for me, and now I'm stronger than before I was when I started this experience. I'm stronger as a coach and stronger as a manager than I was at Juventus and with Italy.”
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