Mourinho right to slam Man United’s scheduling?

4 Comments

It’s fair to say that Jose Mourinho goes into most of his press conferences to set an agenda.

Wednesday was no different.

[ MORE: Saints, United play to draw ]

After Manchester United’s poor display in a 0-0 draw at Southampton, Mourinho slammed the scheduling of their final game of the season against Crystal Palace on Sunday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on CNBC and online via NBCSports.com).

Why? United play in the UEFA Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm, Sweden, three days later.

“In any country in the world, the match would be Saturday. We are sixth, it doesn’t matter what [happens on Sunday]. Crystal Palace are safe,” Mourinho said. “So I think after the moment Crystal Palace beat Hull City and Hull are relegated, and Swansea are safe, I think in that moment the match has to be Saturday. In any country in the world, it would be Saturday. It’s frustrating for me.”

Mourinho was then asked if he’d made a request to have the game changed and simply said it was “a lost battle” and that English clubs playing in European competitions were not protected.

Does he have a point with this airing of grievances?

No. Not really. Mourinho has long been complaining about the number of games his team have had to play this season. They have currently played 61 times in all competitions after reaching the FA Cup quarterfinal, winning the EFL Cup and reaching the final of the Europa League.

With the Portuguese rotating his squad due to injury and freshness concerns over the past few weeks, his side haven’t won in their last five Premier League outings and they will finish in sixth place.

He placed all his eggs in one basket a few weeks ago and Mourinho complaining about the number of games his team have to play simply covers up the fact that this team has had an uninspiring season in the Premier League.

If United win the Europa League, as expected, against Ajax then all of this will be forgotten. However, if the Red Devils slip up and aren’t in the Champions League next season then Mourinho will be reminded about this tactic to slack of in the PL in the final month of the season when his team had a legitimate chance of finishing in the top four.

Any team, or manager, which is successful has to deal with a huge number of games. The amount of money United has spent on star names, plus the sheer depth in their squad, suggests that Mourinho should have no issues whatsoever juggling all of these games and doing better than United has done in the PL.

Daly collapses during match, treated for heat illness

Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images
Leave a comment

HOUSTON (AP) Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly collapsed during the final minute of a National Women’s Soccer League match against the Seattle Reign as temperatures climbed into the 90s.

The 25-year-old Daly was stretchered off the field and taken to the hospital, where the team said she was being treated for heat illness.

The temperature at BBVA Compass Stadium was 92 degrees at the 3 p.m. kickoff. The Reign won 2-0.

[ MORE: Perisic talking with Man Utd? ]

The NWSL issued a statement that said the league had worked with the Dash before the season to schedule any afternoon games early in the year to help avoid heat issues. The teams took a hydration break late in the match.

“We will immediately review these measures to prevent this situation from occurring in the future,” the statement said.

Reign coach Laura Harvey posted to Twitter: “Proud of the team today. Some of the hottest conditions I’ve seen. Road games are tough but that was crazy.”

MLS roundup: Outrageous dive, posts doom ‘Caps; Ramirez stays red hot

Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Six matches are in the books on a busy Saturday in Major League Soccer, and five of them finished 1-0.

How they got there? Much different stories. With the Cali Clasico still to play, let’s dig into the five that followed Seattle 1-0 Portland.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]


Vancouver Whitecaps 0-1 DC United

It’s especially difficult to win on the road in Major League Soccer, unless the hosts fritter away four good chances off the woodwork — including a Cristian Techera PK — and give away a spot kick of their own. Lamar Neagle converted the 61st offering after a sinister dive from Jose Guillermo Ortiz. He was taken off soon after, and is probably going to miss sometime when the DisCo is done with him. Outrageous.

New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution

Not one, not two, nor three, but four New England players saw a low cross slide by them for Daniel Royer to finish as New York came from behind to take all three points at Red Bull Arena. Cody Cropper committed a gaffe that allowed Bradley Wright-Phillips to equalize after a Lee Nguyen PK had put the Revs ahead early.

Colorado Rapids 1-0 Sporting KC

Homegrown defender and University of Denver product Kortne Ford has his first MLS goal, as the Rapids surprised the Western Conference leaders on Saturday. SKC outshot Colorado by nearly 20 attempts (Shoulder shrug emoji).

Minnesota United 1-0 Orlando City

There were questions as to whether NASL superstar Christian Ramirez could translate his game to Major League Soccer.

Yes. The answer is yes.

Ramirez has eight goals in 13 MLS matches, and should be hearing his name from a certain Bruce Arena around Gold Cup time. Those USMNT dreams of last season should come true.

Bobby Shuttleworth made six saves for his third shutout of the season. All have come at home.

Real Salt Lake 1-0 Philadelphia Union

Joao Plata keeps shooting, and the tiny Ecuadorian menace keeps scoring, too. His 36th minute goal was enough for the hosts at Rio Tinto.

Raiola: Zlatan to “100 percent” stay in Europe for two seasons

AP Photo/Martin Meissner
Leave a comment

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 and coming off major knee surgery, but that isn’t stopping suitors from lining up across Europe.

[ MORE: Perisic to Man Utd? ]

Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, says that MLS is not an option for the Swede over the next two seasons. From Sky Sports:

“Many clubs have asked for Zlatan. He can play two more years and will stay in Europe, 100 per cent.”

It would make sense for Ibrahimovic to stay around Manchester United, where he is admired by Jose Mourinho and coming off a season that showed he’s still capable of contributing at a high level.

But he remains beloved in Italy, and would be effective for most clubs in the Top 5 leagues should he return at even 75 percent of the Zlatan we’ve seen regularly.

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.