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Report: Tottenham will replace Tim Sherwood as manager this summer


Sky Sports is reporting that Tottenham Hotspur will replace Tim Sherwood as manager this summer. The club has yet to release any statement on the matter.

Sherwood refused to speak on the matter ahead of today’s match against Sunderland:

“I can’t say much right now. What I can say is tonight is business as usual. I’m setting this team up to win a football match for the benefit of the club and the 35,000 Spurs fans who will come and watch. I’ll speak at a later stage.”

Sherwood was appointed from club technical coordinator to interim manager by Spurs on December 23, 2013, following the sacking of previous manager, Andre Villas-Boas.

Upon naming him new club manager, Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy spoke of his hopes for Sherwood, saying “[w]e have a great squad and we owe them a Head Coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season.”

For Sherwood, the hiring represented not only an opportunity to dabble in coaching but to solidify his position as a Premier League manager. After losing his first match in charge to West Ham United in the Capital One Cup quarter-final, Sherwood guided Spurs to a 3-2 victory over Southampton and was thereafter handed an 18-month contact through the 2014/15 season.

Sherwood’s heart-on-his-sleeve style was a breath of fresh air following the departure of the over analytical Villas-Boas. Sherwood put the players at ease, provided them with freedom and motivation and even rejuvenated the long-forgotten Emmanuel Adebayor. The style change earned results in the Premier League as Spurs went on to lose only once in Sherwood’s first 12 matches, the 5-1 drubbing to Manchester City on January 29th.

A difficult March, however, has left the club reeling. A 4-0 league drubbing by Chelsea was followed by 1-3 home loss to Benfica in the Europa League, a 0-1 home league loss to Arsenal and a 2-2 draw with Benfica. The freedom that Sherwood had used to boost the squad had seemingly unwound them into a tactic-less side and now, if Sky’s sources are correct, the end of the road is near for the former Blackburn player.

Sherwood’s 18-month deal always felt at odds with Levy’s well-known desire to bring in a world-renowned successor to Villas-Boas. Prior to handing Sherwood the contract, Levy met with Netherlands manager, Louis van Gaal, who will relinquish the country’s managerial reigns to Guus Hiddink following the 2014 World Cup.

Since that meeting, van Gaal publicly noted his desire to manage in the Premier League and the 62-year-old is widely expected to be given the Spurs job this summer. Other candidates include Ajax’s Frank De Boer and Southampton’s Mauricio Pochettino, although both coaches are beloved at their respective clubs and would cost a high price to bring into White Hart Lane.

Sherwood’s record over 16 matches is nine wins, two draws and five loses as Tottenham currently sit 7th in the table. As more details emerge we will be sure to include them but for now Sherwood will be focused on finishing the season strong. That starts this afternoon (3:00pm ET on NBCSN and Live Extra) when Spurs welcome the Black Cats to White Hart Lane.


Report: Guardiola to take manager’s job at Man City next season

Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Manchester City desperately want to lure Pep Guardiola away from Bayern Munich and pay the Spaniard tactician lots and lots of money to come manage in the Premier League.

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Of course we’ve all heard it before — a number of times, in fact. So, what’s different about the latest report, hitting the headlines very late Thursday night in Europe, linking the 44-year-old to Man City?

Well, apparently, we’ve moved past “Man City will offer Guardiola whatever he wants to come to the Etihad Stadium,” and arrived at “Guardiola has agreed terms to become manager at Man City.”

However, the respected Spanish radio station Cadena COPE is reporting that Guardiola has already decided he would like “a change of scenery” and will succeed Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium.

“Pep Guardiola will leave Bayern Munich at the end of this season and will train Manchester City next season,” read the report.

“Guardiola has decided on a change of scenery. He considers his time in Germany will end on 30 June after three seasons and, therefore, fulfil one of his wishes: to coach in England.”

With all due respect to every player Man City have signed in the last decade, the acquisition of Guardiola would be, by far, their greatest coup to date — a manager with a clear ethos, a clear plan of action and a track record of having succeeded and won in the UEFA Champions League, which remains the most elusive trophy to City’s cabinet.

Mourinho-Costa feud could mean January transfer activity for Chelsea

Diego Costa & Jose Mourinho, Chelsea FC
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Perhaps no man in the footballing world has been embroiled in more controversy this season than Jose Mourinho, who remains in charge of Chelsea despite a horrid start to the club’s 2015-16 Premier League campaign.

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The Portuguese mastermind has fallen out with a number of his own players and staff this season, so why not add another name to the growing list? Come on down, Diego Costa, you’re Mourinho’s next combatant.

The two reportedly got into a heated locker-room exchange following Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv. Given Costa’s increasingly poor form all the way back to the final weeks and months of the 2014-15 season — just seven goals scored in the last 10 months — Mourinho is reportedly less and less sure the Brazilian-turned-Spaniard is the right man to lead the line for the reigning PL champions.

The details of Mourinho and Costa’s halftime spat, from the Guardian:

Mourinho, just as he did after a similar situation against Norwich on Saturday, made his frustrations clear at the forward’s lack of anticipation over an Eden Hazard pass, which would have provided the striker with a tap-in had he been on the move. Costa returned his manager’s remonstrations in kind. Oscar and John Terry tried to calm him down only to be pushed aside. The manager subsequently suggested there had been “a few kisses, a few cuddles” in the dressing room at the interval, and “no problem,” though the public show of dissent was notable.

The club’s hierarchy is reportedly considering dipping into the transfer market in January — something they’re extremely loath to do — to replace the misfiring Costa. The names of Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin Van Persie and Saido Berahino are the biggest currently linked with the Blues, given the lack of elite players typically available — as well as not being cup-tied in the Champions League — during the January window.

Chelsea, who currently sit 15th in the PL, return to league action on Sunday when they visit Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane (Watch live at 6:30 a.m. ET on USA and online via Live Extra).

Wenger expects “hunting lion” Sanchez to be fit for Norwich clash

Alexis Sanchez, Arsenal FC
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Alexis Sanchez is, by regular human standards, questionable for Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Norwich City on Sunday (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on Live Extra), thanks to a tweak to his hamstring during Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League victory over Dinamo Zagreb.

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There’s just one problem with the above premise: Sanchez, according to manager Arsene Wenger, isn’t exactly human; he’s more like a lion, says Wenger — a hunting lion chasing after and feasting on its prey.

Wenger, on Sanchez’s ability to recover quickly and star for the Gunners — quotes from the Guardian:

“When he does something, he does it 100%. He finishes and you think: ‘He’s dead now.’ But then he recovers and gives 100% again. You always see signs of exhaustion but it’s not [that], because two days later, he’s fine.

“His style is very explosive, it’s a very committed style. Jamie Vardy is a bit similar. When they go, they go. They are like the lion. He has to catch the animal in the first 200 metres. If he doesn’t get there, he’s dead [on his feet] afterwards. They are these kind of killers. When they go, it is to kill and after, they have to stop.”

“I take information, especially from the medical people who know him and treat him everyday and after, we look at his overall recovery as well. When there are alarming signs, we want to make the right decision at the right moment but as long as the guys are confident, they score goals – it is always difficult to rest them.”

Sanchez’s production this season — 9 goals, 4 assists in 17 appearances – all competitions — is right on par with his spectacular debut in the PL last season. “What is also remarkable is that he goes to South America to play,” Wenger went on to say. “He comes back on Thursday night and on Saturday he can play without a problem, even if he’s jet-lagged.”

Expect Sanchez to feature on Sunday, and probably to score a goal or two, as well.

“Unprofessional” Grealish banished to U-21s after nightclub incident

Jack Grealish, Aston Villa FC
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2015 has been an eventful calendar year for Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish, to say the least.

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First, there was his emergence as a prominent first-team player for his boyhood club; followed by the Villans’ run to the FA Cup final in May; then came the England-versus-Ireland tug-of-war for his international services; a forgettable vacation to Spain for the 20-year-old; and another managerial change at Villa Park. After yet another off-field incident last weekend, in which Grealish was photographed in a nightclub hours after a 4-0 defeat to Everton, his new manager, Remi Garde, has labeled Grealish “unprofessional” and sent him away to train with the club’s U-21 side.

Garde, on Grealish’s actions and subsequent punishment — quotes from the Guardian:

“This is not professional. It is not what is expected from my players. That is why now Jack is training with the under-21 team for the moment. He won’t be included in the squad for Watford. At this stage he is not playing this weekend and he is training with the under-21 team. That is all I can say for the moment.”

“Sometimes players in every country ask to stay in the city we have played in and this is not a problem for me, it happens one or two times a season. The problem with Jack was not that he wasn’t on the bus. The problem was elsewhere.”

Villa, who will welcome 13th-place Watford to Villa Park on Saturday (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET on Live Extra), currently sit rock bottom in the Premier League (5 points from 13 games), five points away from climbing out of the relegation zone.