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Roberto Mancini strikes another sour note with ‘Judas’ gibe at Manchester City

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Roberto Mancini has been through this before, having been replaced at Inter Milan in 2008 despite winning a third straight Italian title. He knows what the expectations are at big clubs, and he knows what happens when you don’t meet them. If anybody should understand Manchester City letting him go after he failed to make progress last season, it’s Mancini.

Unfortunately, the current Galatasaray boss continues to be deeply embittered about his departure from Eastlands. Having previously tried to lay claim to City’s 2013-14 success, Mancini is back in the English press, calling his former clubs’ executives “Judas” for interviewing other coaching prospects while he was still under contract.

As reported by The Guardian:

“I found out [after leaving Manchester City] that they were talking to three or four managers in February, March and April. I know they were talking to Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. And these were the same people I sat down with for dinner before the FA Cup final. It was like Judas …

“… they were working behind my back and sacked me two games before the end of the season. I did not even have the chance to say goodbye to the Manchester City fans.”

Specially targeting City executives Ferran Soriano and Txiki Begiristain, Mancini said chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak “probably .. just followed [their advise].” Still, Mancini derided al-Mubarak for not being forthright in light of the pair’s four-year working relationship.

Mancini later took out a full page ad in the Manchester Evening News thanking fans of their support, a gesture the fans returned 10 days later. Since, the former Fiorentina and Lazio coach has moved to Istanbul, where he replaced Fatih Terim at Turkish champions Galatasaray this fall.

Four points back to Fenerbahçe in Turkey with Champions League resuming this month, you’d think Mancini has other things to do besides dwell on his former haunts. But we’ve all been dumped before, and as much as we’d like to turn the page and go on with our lives, too often we need more substantive closure with our former loves.

Mancini’s going through that progress. He’s hurt. He’s acting out as a way to cope. In the soccer world, that means complaining to the media. While from the outside it seems understandable that coaches like Guardiola and Ancelotti would be pursued by a team looking at potential replacements, Mancini’s view doesn’t all that. He’s still recovering from being dumped.

Maybe a nice “it’s not you, it’s me” not from Soriano and Begiristain would make everything all right. More likely, Mancini needs to deal with his frustrations on his own terms.

Podolski displeased with Mourinho’s treatment of Schweinsteiger

LEICESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 28:  Bastian Schweinsteiger of Manchester United in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Leicester City and Manchester United at The King Power Stadium on November 28, 2015 in Leicester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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The Jose Mourinho-Bastian Schweinsteiger relationship is a very puzzling situation for Manchester United, and most outsiders appear to be taking the German’s side.

[ MORE: De Bruyne sidelined a month with hamstring injury ]

Former teammate Lukas Podolski has chimed in on the matter, pointing out Schweinsteiger’s decorated career for both club and country.

[ MORE: Lewis Baker stuns Twente with long-distance golazo ]

Since the arrival of Mourinho this summer, the Portuguese manager has made it clear that the 32-year-old isn’t his plans, including dropping Schweinsteiger to United’s reserves.

Podolski recently spoke to Bild about the situation:

“When you look at the career Bastian has had, I can only say that what is happening there is simply not right for a player of his stature,” Podolski said.

“I do not know what Mourinho has discussed with Bastian. But is clear that it is not okay to drop someone like Basti to the reserves.

“A coach should always keep his door open to all players, and especially to players like Schweini.”

While Schweinsteiger’s contract doesn’t run out until 2018, the volatile relationship between the Red Devils midfielder and Mourinho certainly looks to be one that won’t last much longer.

Video: Lewis Baker nets stunning long-distance golazo

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The game was essentially over for Vitesse Arnhem, but Lewis Baker gave his fans something to cheer about in second-half stoppage time.

[ MORE: West Ham suffers embarrassing home defeat vs. Southampton ]

The on-loan Chelsea midfielder hit a lovely blast from over 30 yards out during Vitesse’s 2-1 loss against FC Twente on Sunday, as the ball dipped into the top corner and past goalkeeper Nick Marsman (Click on the video above).

Baker, 21, now has three finishes on the season in the Dutch Eredivisie after netting five during the 2015/16 campaign.

Perhaps this is a good sign of things to come for Chelsea fans.

“It can’t get any worse” West Ham captain Mark Noble slams team for struggles

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 10:  Mark Noble of West Ham United looks thoughtful after the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on May 10, 2016 in London, England. West Ham United are playing their last ever home match at the Boleyn Ground after their 112 year stay at the stadium. The Hammers will move to the Olympic Stadium for the 2016-17 season.  (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
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West Ham is in a massive slump, and with questions being asked around the whole squad, captain Mark Noble has said things are at an all-time low.

“If I’m honest, it could have been six in the end had Adrian not pulled off some good saves. On the bright side I don’t think it can get any worse.” Noble claimed after the 3-0 home loss to Southampton. The London club has the worst defensive record in the Premier League, having given up 16 goals in six matches this season, with the most recent games especially bad.

[ RECAP: Charlie Austin, Dusan Tadic down West Ham 3-0 ]

“We’ve conceded 11 in three games and it’s laughable and not good enough. We know that,” Noble conceded. “To be honest I think we could have kept playing until tonight and I don’t think we would have scored. It doesn’t seem to be going in for us at the minute.”

But he also preached togetherness if the team is to lift itself out of the relegation zone.

“We’ve got to stick together and not blame each other,” Noble said. “We have to do this as a team, because it’s not good enough.  You’ve got to work hard for each other. You can’t start talking in your little circles and blaming each other because we’ve got to look at ourselves. Luckily enough it’s early in the season and we’ve got a chance to turn it around.”

Bundesliga roundup: Schalke misery continues, Leipzig gets road point at Koln

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 24:  Markus Weinzierl the head coach of FC Augsburg speaks during the FC Augsburg Press Conference ahead of their UEFA Europa League round of 32, second leg match against Liverpool at Anfield on February 24, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)
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Schalke has spent 24 seasons in the German top flight, and made regular appearances near the top of the Bundesliga table in the past eight years.

This season is not looking true to that form. Schalke has yet to pick up a single point through five matches, with another loss today on the road at 9th-placed Hoffenheim 2-1. The visitors went ahead just four minutes in thanks to Eric Choupo-Moting, but they coughed up the lead, making way to goals from Lukas Rupp and former Leicester City midfielder Andrej Kramaric.

Schalke manager Markus Weinzierl only took charge this summer, and that has him already under pressure as the only team without a point in the German top flight, the club’s worst ever start to a Bundesliga season. Hoffenheim, meanwhile, picked up their first win, moving them to the top half of the table on seven points. The club had four draws in four matches up to this point.

Elsewhere, Red Bull Leipzig picked up a road point at FC Koln with a 1-1 draw. Both goal came early in the match, as 19-year-old Scotsman Oliver Burke scored just five minutes into his Bundesliga debut for Leipzig, and Koln answered on 25 minutes through Yuya Osako.

In that match, 20-year-old Leipzig striker Timo Werner became the youngest player to ever reach 100 appearances in Bundesliga play. Leipzig moves up to eight points with the draw, while Koln has 10 points moving them up to a surprising third, still without a loss.