Tottenham Hotspur FC v SL Benfica - UEFA Europa League Round of 16

Tim Sherwood has “no respect” for Benfica manager after taunt

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Always one to wear his heart on his sleeve, Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has made clear the odioum he feels for Benfica boss Jorge Jesus ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League tie.

“I know exactly where he was coming from and I know what I saw. I have got no respect for the man,” Sherwood said when asked about Jesus following the Portuguese manager’s antics during Benfica’s 3-1 victory over Spurs last Thursday at White Hart Lane.

After Luisao hammered home Benfica’s third of the night the Benfica manager, standing within arms length of Sherwood, held up three fingers in the direction of his away supporters. The gesture irked the Spurs boss, who clashed with Jesus and later refused to shake his hand after the final whistle. Following the match, Sherwood accused his counterpart of having “no class.”

At his press conference on Wednesday, Jesus refused to apologize claiming the incident was ‘water under the bridge’: “We won’t run away from the question, it happened,” Jesus admitted. “It is normal as the benches were close together. A lot of coaches in England have similar problems and I did not disrespect the coach.”

Sherwood, of course, didn’t see it that way but pledged to take the high road following tonight’s contest:

I’ve got respect for the football club and I’ve got respect for his players. The club is a huge club and we’ve had a lot of emails from Benfica fans apologising for their manager’s behaviour. At the end of the day, I will shake his hand, because they are a giant of a club.

It’s been a tough go of it lately for Sherwood. First, he accuses his players of lacking character after the 4-0 loss to Chelsea. Then five days later he blows up at Jesus for holding three fingers in the air. Then three days after that Sherwood throws his coat in anger during the 0-1 loss to Arsenal. And now, he reiterates his disrespect for Jesus.

One can only guess what’s next for the Spurs boss. But it’s a string of conduct that Sherwood can be assured will factor heavily into Daniel Levy’s summertime decision of whether to hire a new manager.

Louis van Gaal, anyone?

VIDEO: Marco Verratti plays a brilliant pass to Eder for Italy goal

PALERMO, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 06:  Marco Verratti of Italy in action during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Italy and Bulgaria on September 6, 2015 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
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Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.

The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.

The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.

Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.


Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.

Agent: Liverpool contacted Klopp only after Rodgers firing

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 09:  Jurgen Klopp arrives to be unveiled as the new manager of Liverpool FC at a press conference at Anfield on October 9, 2015 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
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As soon as Brendan Rodgers was dismissed by Liverpool on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp’s name was tossed around as the likely successor to the then-vacant Liverpool managerial position.

However, according to Klopp’s representatve Marc Kosicke, Liverpool did not make contact with the German until after Rodgers had been officially let go.

“The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers,” Kosicke told Bild. “Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”

Club management was less committal than Klopp’s rep, but did say they had their eye on the German for some time. “We have learned to keep certain matters confidential. We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations. But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”

It’s relatively hard to believe Liverpool would have canned Rodgers without knowing for sure that a top-level target such as Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti were on board to replace him. It also would mean discussions of the contract terms and logistics would have moved at lightning speed, with just four days between the Rodgers dismissal and Klopp’s official unveiling.