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Report: Tottenham will replace Tim Sherwood as manager this summer

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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.

 

Bremen beats Wolfsburg to leave Bundesliga relegation zone

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL - AUGUST 10:  Serge Gnabry of Germany reacts during the Men's First Round Football Group C match between Germany and Fiji at Mineirao Stadium on August 10, 2016 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.  (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)
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WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) — Midfielder Serge Gnabry scored twice as Werder Bremen moved away from the Bundesliga’s relegation zone with a 2-1 win at fellow struggler Wolfsburg on Friday.

Bremen and Wolfsburg are level on points and two above Hamburger SV, which is in 18th place and in the relegation zone.

It was a fifth defeat in six games for Wolfsburg coach Valerien Ismael, who won the league and cup double as a player with Bremen in 2004.

Gnabry fired the visitors ahead with a deflected shot in the 10th minute and made it 2-0 eight minutes later, controlling the ball with his chest before prodding home on the volley.

Striker Borja Mayoral, who is on loan from Real Madrid, scored with his chest following a Wolfsburg corner as Wolfsburg hit back moments later.

Midfielder Daniel Didavi struck the post with a free kick as Wolfsburg kept pushing for an equalizer.

Mancini reportedly not interested in Leicester City, De Boer says no

GENOA, ITALY - APRIL 20:  Head Coach of FC Internazionale Roberto Mancini looks during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on April 20, 2016 in Genoa, Italy.  (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
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Two top candidates to replace Claudio Ranieri at Leicester City have reportedly turned down any interest in the job.

Roberto Mancini, the heavy favorite out of the gates after Ranieri’s dismissal, tweeted his support for Ranieri after the news broke. “I am sorry for my friend Ranieri,” Mancini said. “He will be in the history of LCFC, in the hearts of Leicester fans and all football lovers.”

However, the fellow Italian has rebuffed Leicester’s informal advances towards his services. According to Sky Sports, Leicester sent “intermediaries” to “sound out” Mancini’s feelings towards the position, but came back empty-handed. The report states Mancini was turned off to the club after a short and unsuccessful spell there as a player in 2001.

That leaves a host of other names who have been linked to the job, with no clear favorite. One person mentioned was Dutch legend Frank de Boer, who is unemployed after an unusually short stint in charge of Inter Milan. However, De Boer’s agent went public to say he was not ever in the running.

“There is zero possibility that Frank could go to Leicester,” agent Guido Albers told Italian publication Tuttomercatoweb. “I too heard these rumors, but that’s all they are – rumors. I can affirm without doubt that Frank will not become the Leicester City manager. This will 100 per cent not happen.”

Albers explained that De Boer is only interested in joining a club in the offseason, preferring to enter a project with a blank slate rather than joining midseason with particular goals already clearly laid out. With Leicester, it seems De Boer is turned off by the notion of a relegation battle.

Win over Las Palmas again has La Real on edge of CL spot

GETAFE, SPAIN - DECEMBER 11:  Xavi Prieto of Real Sociedad in action during the La Liga match between Getafe CF and Real Sociedad de Futbol at Coliseum Alfonso Perez stadium on December 11, 2015 in Getafe, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
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All it took was one mistake. Real Sociedad’s Xabi Prieto capitalized, and has La Real once again on the verge of next year’s Champions League.

La Real finished 7th in 2013/14, and 9th in 2015/16, and this year, they’re closer than ever. Preito’s goal on the mistake by Las Palmas goalkeeper Javi Varas gave Real Sociedad the 1-0 road win and has them just a point off a Champions League place.

[ MORE: Antonio Conte pulling from experience to keep Chelsea on top ]

That could be even closer next week, as fourth-placed Atletico Madrid has to welcome Barcelona to the Calderon tomorrow, leaving the door open for La Real to make another move next weekend.

The goal down the stretch is not just to win the games they should, but make the teams above them work. La Real has won seven of their last ten matches, but the three losses came to Real Madrid, Villareal, and Sevilla, all teams fighting at the top of the table. They still have chances down the stretch, with matches against Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, and Eibar coming up, with the latter on the docket next weekend.

Conte pulling from prior experience as title race pushes on

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 18: Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea looks on during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea at Molineux on February 18, 2017 in Wolverhampton, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Antonio Conte has recalled some painful memories to push himself and his players forward despite their commanding lead at the top of the Premier League table.

Chelsea sits eight points clear of Manchester City, and has the chance to go even further in front with many of the top teams off this weekend, but that won’t give the Italian any better sleep at night.

In the 1999/2000 season, Conte was nearing the end of his 13-year Juventus tenure. He’d won three league titles already, plus two league cup trophies and a Champions League title with the Serie A giants. With a comfortable nine point lead after 26 matches, the club became complacent. They would lose four of their final eight matches, collapsing on the final day in the pouring rain, allowing Lazio to come roaring back to win the title.

[ MORE: JPW’s Premier League picks for Week 26 ]

“I was captain of the team,” Conte said. “I remember after this game I must go to the European Championships with the national team. I didn’t sleep for six days because it was a shock for me to lose the title.”

Clearly, that still haunts him. “I have experienced this,” Conte continued. “When I continue to repeat that there are 13 games, there are 39 points… there is a long time before we can say we won the title. We must be focused, we must go step by step.”

The Blues host Swansea City at Stamford Bridge on Saturday before a trip to West Ham next weekend. If anyone believes the Chelsea players are complacent holding such a significant lead with 13 matches to go, it’s clear that’s not nearly the case. Anything can happen in three months.