The Obligatory José Mourinho: Chelsea boss calls Manchester City lucky; says Citizens should have won more

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As if mandated by his contract, José Mourinho has vaulted himself into the headlines ahead of a big game, though given the vociferous way we consume all things Mourinho, the Chelsea boss’s big mouth is only half of this equation. We are talking about him, after all – reflexively writing up the seemingly trollish comments he produces at each glimpse of a microphone.

At this point, we know we shouldn’t take him too seriously, yet we keep listening. We keep reading. We keep clicking, tweeting, retweeting and sharing. We’re nauseatingly addicted to José Mourinho.

One day ahead of the Blues’ Monday match at Manchester City, Mourinho labeled the first place Citizens “fantastic” while also describing them as under-achievers. From the BBC:

“The team is fantastic, the squad is fantastic and normally they [should] win more titles.”

“In Europe they didn’t do well, or close to doing well,” added Mourinho. “Speaking objectively, they did very bad in the Champions League in previous seasons, also in the Europa League.

Mourinho went on to call Manchester City lucky, saying that recent disallowed goals by Liverpool, Newcastle, and Tottenham represent luck that is has not evened out. Again from the BBC:

“They are lucky,” he added. “The referees, they try to do their best and sometimes they make mistakes and normally during the season the mistakes are split between teams.

“In their case, they have everything in their favour.”

Point-by-point, there’s nothing controversial here. You can disagree that City should have won more with their talent, but the club obviously doesn’t. That’s why Roberto Mancini’s currently in Istanbul. The team didn’t do well in Europe under their former boss, but Manuel Pellegrini’s starting to change that. There’s isn’t much to debate.

As for luck, that’s where Mourinho gets a little trolly. Does luck even exist? And if so, does it even out? Even if it does, whose to say Manchester City has been more lucky than most? What Mourinho seems as calls that should have done the other way could merely be a series of coincidental controversies that say little about City’s ability to draw luck. Still, given the nebulous nature of luck, it’s hard to begrudge Mourinho’s opinion without also acknowledging “luck” is something that’s accepted by much of the sports-following public.

It’s the timing of the comments that’s the issue here. Of course Mourinho’s going to be asked about City before a match against the Citizens, but whereas most managers are able to say clear of gibes lie “lucky” or “[should] win more titles” in their pre-match press conferences, Mourinho seems to embrace them.

That’s not necessarily bad. At this point, though, it just seems kind of obligatory – part of a routine that’s getting old. It makes me wonder when we’ll finally reach a point of desensitization and cease this obsession with everything Mourinho.

Report: City Football Group set to expand outreach with Girona deal

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City Football Group appears on the verge of adding to its global outreach, and it’s next destination looks to be in Spain.

[ MORE: Are Southampton’s days of selling behind the club? ]

The group of investors, which are known for controlling Premier League side Manchester City, are reportedly nearing a deal to purchase a partial stake in Spanish club Girona — which is set to make its La Liga debut in 2017/18.

CFG is said to be gaining a near “50 percent” stake in the club, with the rest of the club owned by Media Base, a company owned by Pep Guardiola‘s brother, Pere.

Over recent years, CFG has vastly expanded its ownership outreach and currently has a stake in five clubs around the world, with Girona set to be the sixth.

MLS side New York City FC, Australian A-League side Melbourne City FC, Japan’s Yokohama F. Marinos and Club Atletico Torque in Uruguay are all part of the CFG enterprise, alongside Man City.

New York Red Bulls ink goalkeeper Luis Robles to new deal

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The “Iron Man” will keep up his amazing journey with the New York Red Bulls, after signing a new deal with the club on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder on verge of joining Los Angeles FC ]

Goalkeeper Luis Robles has extended his contract with the reigning Eastern Conference champions, as the American continues to raise his consecutive starts streak, which stands at 157.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed in the club’s release.

Robles joined the Red Bulls back in 2012 after playing in Germany, and the shot-stopper hasn’t missed a start ever since.

Report: Minnesota United adds Hearts midfielder Sam Nicholson

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Minnesota United has had its shares of ups and down in its debut MLS season, but the Loons are on the verge making an exciting young signing.

[ MORE: Wesley Sneijder closing in on Los Angeles FC move ]

ESPN FC is reporting that Minnesota will sign Hearts winger Sam Nicholson from the Scottish Premier League on a deal that makes him a Loon until 2019.

The young attacker is expected to join the MLS side when the summer transfer window opens on July 10.

Nicholson, 22, has played with the Edinburgh side since his youth days, and made his senior debut with the club in 2013. During his time at Hearts, Nicholson scored 16 goals in all competitions for the team.

Last season, Nicholson missed 16 matches due to a significant knee injury.

According to the report, Scottish sides Rangers and Aberdeen were also among those interested in acquiring Nicholson, while English Championship clubs Bristol City and Barnsley also reached out about the attacker.

Premier League vet Scott Parker calls quits on playing career

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Scott Parker has announced his retirement from soccer after a stellar 20-plus year career in England.

[ MORE: Chile bests Portugal on PKs to reach Confed Cup final ]

The 36-year-old spent almost the entirety of his career in the Premier League, and played with seven teams during his time on the pitch.

“I believe now is the right time to move on to the next chapter in my life and career,” Parker said in a statement.

“I feel incredibly honoured and proud to have enjoyed the career that I have and I’ve loved every moment of it.”

Parker began playing with Charlton after coming up through the team’s youth academy, before completing a move to Chelsea in 2004.

Throughout his career, Parker also spent time at Newcastle, West Ham and Tottenham, before finishing up at Fulham this past season.