Brad Friedel: Tottenham players backed Andre Villas-Boas


Veteran U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel has waved away suggestions that Tottenham’s players weren’t supportive of Andre Villas-Boas’ reign at White Hart lane.

Friedel, 42, believes his teammates were fully behind the young Portuguese manager and the American ‘keeper,  who rated AVB highly amongst the many managers he’s worked with, insisted nobody was happy to see Villas-Boas get his marching orders.

I’ll take that with a pinch of salt, because there will always be a few who fell out with the previous manager for whatever reasons, but will now surely catapult themselves back into the limelight.

But you can’t argue with what Friedel had to say on Fox Soccer.

“I think all the players in the changing room really wanted things to work out for Andre,” Friedel told Fox Soccer Daily.”From day one that he came to the club, (he had an) open door policy, very good communication with the players. None of us were happy to see him go. We still have to continue to have a very good team spirit, which I know we will. We have a lot of quality in the changing room.”

Soccer, especially in the Premier League, is a crazy game today.

In August and September Spurs were being lauded after they let Gareth Bale go and brought in several players for $150 million and started the season off well. AVB and technical director Franco Baldini were geniuses…

On December 16, Villas-Boas was fired after falling out with the fans and the media, as he gave off a persona that showed he was struggling to cope with the extra pressure of delivering a top four finish. After all he’d spent (alongside Baldini) vast amounts of money on players who simply aren’t performing. The buck stopped with him.

Friedel said the players were behind AVB, I don’t doubt that.

But watch how many of those player now flourish in AVB’s absence. Just watch.

Juan Carlos Osorio to become new Mexico boss

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Mexico looks to have found a new manager in Juan Carlos Osorio.

Osorio, who had stints managing in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, was most recently coaching in Brazil with Sao Paulo.

However, the Brazilian club released a statement today that Osorio had decided to step down from his position in order to take the Mexico job.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Following Miguel Herrera’s firing in July, Ricardo Ferretti was named interim manager of El Tri, and will coach the side in Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against the United States. However, Ferretti has stated he will not stay with Mexico past that match, and will return to Liga MX, where he serves as manager of Tigres UANL.

Osorio had recently been linked with the Mexico job, but said he would take his time in making a decision.

His only other exposure to Mexican football came during a short stint in Liga MX managing Puebla. He lasted just seven matches before resigning and returning to manage in his native Colombia.

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He was in line to take charge of the Honduras national team in 2011, but he was unable to get out of the contract with the Colombian team he was managing at the time.

There has been no official confirmation of the hiring from the Mexican Federation.

Benzema and Benitez in a war of words at Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Rafael Benitez (R) of Real Madrid CF gives instructions to his player Karim Benzema (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Malaga CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Karim Benzema has scored six goals in his eight appearances for Real Madrid this season, and is currently the top scorer in La Liga.

Despite being in great form, Benzema has continuously been substituted by manager Rafa Benitez, which has upset the French striker.

Benzema opened the scoring for Real in the Madrid derby over the weekend, but was taken off in the 77th minute. Atletico would go on to score minutes later as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Speaking after the game, Benzema said he was “fed up” with being taken off, but will continue to work to help his team.

Substitutions are what the coach decides, I’m just there to help my teammates.

It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off. I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always subtituted. He took me off to get a result, for defensive reasons.

It’s true that the electronic board always shows the No.9. Ask Benitez why that is.

When told about Benzema’s comments, Benitez said he made the change for tactical reasons, as Real was in the lead and he replaced the striker with a more defensive-minded player in midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

I needed to give the team some balance at that point in the game. I’m a huge fan of Benzema. If I were Karim, I’d also be angry at being taken off when I thought I was playing well and was on a great run of form.

What I’d do if I were Karim is score more goals so that next time I don’t have to be taken off and can say, ‘Hey, here I am.’

Benitez’s response comes off as a backhanded compliment, asking Benzema to “score more goals,” despite the player leading La Liga in scoring. In fact, Benzema has averaged a goal every 84 minutes this season, an incredible strike rate.

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Over the summer, Benzema was linked with a move away from Real Madrid, but he constantly denied the rumors and said he never thought about leaving the club, which he called the best in the world. Just a few matches into the new season, there may be some trouble in paradise.