If you’re a manager and can’t handle the “sacked in the morning” chant, you’ve got one of the thinnest skins in your profession. Either that, or the building pressure on you’re under has you feeling way too sensitive. Regardless, this move on Thursday by André Villas-Boas comes off as petulant, even in the often stubborn, vindictive world of high-level soccer managers.
During Tottenham’s 2-0 win Thursday over Tromsø, the Spurs manager had a Norweigan fan removed from behind Spurs bench for taunting the embattled boss. And to hear Reidar Stenersen’s side of the story, the 29-year-old Manchester United fan did nothing worse than what Villas-Boas hears at every away ground in the Premier League.
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From the Guardian, who relied on Norway’s Nordlys for their report:
“I first sung after five minutes that he would be ‘sacked in the morning’ and he looked at me,” Stenersen told the Norwegian newspaper Nordlys. “At the half-time whistle, when it was still 0-0 and I started the same song, he pointed at me and suddenly the security came and threw me out.
“I know he is under a lot of pressure so I think my words hit him, even though I am only a little guy in little Tromso. He was being a bit petulant. This is the same thing that can be sung by 60,000 at the Emirates Stadium or other grounds.”
Stenersen was told he could continue watching the game from the other side of the stadium but declined to do so. According to stadium security, Villas-Boas had made a complain to a UEFA inspector, who then asked to have the fan moved:
“But I know that he [Villas-Boas] had spoken to the Uefa inspector who, in turn, spoke to our security. The situation was handled correctly. If there is verbal abuse shouted, the supporter should be spoken to and, in some cases, thrown out. In this type of match, there is greater security.”
If that’s the procedure and it’s there for Villa-Boas to use, so be it. But why is the Spurs boss all of a sudden worried about the Reidar Stenersen’s of the world? Perhaps because he’s not as immune to criticism as he thought. If Villas-Boas is feeling heat around White Hart Lane, this is how it comes out.
Bastian Schweinsteiger is waiting on a visa to make his trip to Chicago official.
It’s a formality, albeit a bit trickier now given the political climate in the United States. The former Manchester United midfielder is training at Real Mallorca ahead of the move.
The transfer was announced one week ago, and Schweinsteiger is anxious to get back on the pitch. Set for a 1-year, $4.5 million deal, the midfielder has not missed any Chicago matches yet.
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The Fire is 1-1-1 to start the new season under Veljko Paunovic, and has three home matches next: Montreal (Saturday), Columbus (Apr. 8), and New England (Apr. 15)
According to a report by The Sun, Arsenal is monitoring the progress of Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
The rumor does make sense. With Petr Cech at 34 years old and having a poor season in front of net and backup David Ospina failing to challenge him for the starting job, the Gunners are looking elsewhere to bring in a potential future starter.
Schmeichel has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League the past two seasons. Last season he led the Foxes to the Premier League title, organizing a stunningly good defensive line of patchwork players. This season, the defense has largely regressed and let Schmeichel down, but he has still performed well and has the metrics to remain one of the league’s top shot-stoppers.
The Danish keeper is 30 years old himself, but that puts him in his prime for a goalkeeper. He has been with Leicester City since 2011, and he will tick 250 appearances for the club with his next match. Schmeichel was rumored to be a member of the secret player delegation that worked hard to see Claudio Ranieri pushed out of the club, a sentiment which he and the other players have strongly denied.
Still, with an improbable Premier League title in hand and an appearance in the Champions League quarterfinals now on the cards, there probably isn’t much else for him at Leicester City. It’s possible Schmeichel could look to bank on his past performances and secure a move to a bigger club this summer.
Should Arsene Wenger stay with Arsenal past this season, a possibility that looks more and more likely, he could look to move on from Cech despite signing the former Chelsea goalkeeper just two summers ago.
Chelsea striker Diego Costa pulled up in Spain training on Sunday, and with the Blues in first in the Premier League and Costa in great form, there were obvious concerns.
With Costa struggling with leg and ankle injuries, the RFEF informed Chelsea that there was an issue, and Costa was pulled from training and sent for tests. X-Rays at the local hospital in Madrid were negative, and he’s rejoined the squad.
According to the RFEF, doctors will continue to monitor the 28-year-old and he will continue with the national team for the rest of the international break. With a World Cup qualification win over Israel already in the books and just a friendly against France to go on Tuesday, it’s odd that Spain would risk Costa moving forward, but they will continue to keep him around.
Costa has scored 18 goals this season to lead the Blues, and he scored in the win over Israel. Spain takes on France in Saint-Denis on Tuesday, with both teams leading their World Cup qualification groups. Spain has a goal-differential lead on Italy with both teams miles above the rest of the Group G, and France is ahead of Sweden by three points in Group A, with the Netherlands back in fourth.
Well, there must be something in the water down in Brasilia, because things got a little weird this evening.
Flamengo drew with Vasco da Gama 2-2, but that was just the start.
In the 54th minute, with Vasco da Gama leading 1-0 at Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha, 36-year-old Luis Fabiano was sent off for “headbutting” the referee. Headbutting is in quotes because looking at the video, it certainly appears there was little to no contact, and the referee flops.
Yes, the referee flopped. Take a look:
To be fair, Fabiano was already on a yellow, so getting in the referee’s face even without the headbutt/pelvic thrust would likely still have seen him sent to an early shower.
So the former Porto and Sevilla man was sent off, and Vasco da Gama was down to 10 men. Immediately after the red card, Flamengo took advantage, powering in a pair of goals via Willian Arao and Orlando Berrio to take the lead 2-1. But Vasco wouldn’t quit, and they earned a penalty five minutes into stoppage time, which Nene buried for the 2-2 draw.
To top things off, a player named Yago Pikachu scored the opener for Vasco da Gama, which was followed by a delay in the game seven minutes later after a power surge in the stadium. Go figure.