Villas-Boas lashes out at Daily Mail in postmatch press conference (video)

2 Comments

After Tottenham finished level with Manchester United 2-2 in an exciting match, the press conference room was a lot less exciting.

Less exciting and way, way more awkward.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas mumbled his way through a scathing yet contradictory attack of the Daily Mail’s Neil Ashton and Martin Samuel.

On the heels of last week’s 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City, Ashton wrote an article saying AVB’s job could be on the brink, with Spurs sitting in ninth position in the Premier League table.

Villas-Boas rightly pointed out that his team does happen to be in the quarterfinals of the league cup and through into the knockout phase of the Europa League following a perfect group stage record.

However, the manager then went on to call Ashton’s article “agenda-driven” and an attack on “my integrity, my human values, and my professionalism.”

He continued, “It insults the success that I have achieved in other clubs and I don’t think it’s fair. I think it’s a lack of respect and an attack on a person’s integrity.”

What followed was incredibly awkward.  Ashton, present in the conference, fired back to ask “what was personal in the article?”

That’s where Villas-Boas got both contradictory and confused.

He replied, “You don’t attack people by the front, you attack them sitting when you write.”  What Villas-Boas failed to mention is that, unfortunately for some managers, happens to be Neil’s job – to write.

After firing more insults at Ashton, including calling his article “out of order,” and asking reporters to get to know him before making accusations, he came to the conclusion that “that is my opinion” and conceded that “you (Neil) are entitled to yours and I am entitled to mine.  Obviously Neil and Martin have theirs and I respect that.”

You respect that? Do you?

Another reporter then asked, “Surely you don’t think there’s a personal agenda against you” to which AVB replied “No, no, I don’t think that.”

What? Didn’t you just say….never mind.

Whether any of this makes sense or not, it made one thing clear: Villas-Boas is having a hard time taking criticism, deserved or not.  And as the NBC Premier League broadcast crew discussed, the manager is distracting the media from a pretty good result on the heels of a disastrous one, and replacing the focus from a positive team result back to a negative.

Where will he go from here?

El Tri star Lozano staying focusing amid Barcelona rumors

YURI CORTEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Hirving “Chucky” Lozano was a player everyone needed to pay attention to heading into the 2018 World Cup, and through two matches, the El Tri star has been every bit the price of admission for his country.

[ MORE: Group scenarios heading into the final group stage matches ]

Mexico sits atop Group F with six points at the moment, and much of the team’s success can be attributed to Lozano’s endless motor and creative attacking vision when he finds space down the wing.

The PSV Eindhoven attacker has been linked with various big clubs, including La Liga giants Barcelona, but that hasn’t halted Lozano’s pursuit of guiding Mexico to an unprecedented run at the World Cup.

“The important thing is to focus on the next [Mexico] game, do as well as possible and go step by step,” Lozano said.

Despite winning their first two games, El Tri needs at least a point in its final Group F match to ensure qualification without any complications.

Mexico will take on Sweden on Wednesday, as Juan Carlos Osorio’s side aims to remain perfect in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Andres Guardado — who has been a mainstay of the Mexican national team for years — only confirmed the work ethic of his teammate and hopes that a dream move becomes a reality for Lozano in the near future.

“It makes me very proud to say he is a kid that is very centered, despite everything he is going through,” said Guardado after Saturday’s 2-1 win over South Korea. “He is conscious that he has to continue like he’s not achieved anything.”

“He’s the same kid I met the first time he came with us,” continued Guardado. “Hopefully he stays like that and the rumors about a possible transfer to a big team become reality. It would be marvelous, he’s a great teammate.”

Video: Salah lob has Egypt off and running in first half

Twitter/@TelemundoSports
Leave a comment

Egypt’s run at the World Cup didn’t go according to plan, but the Pharaohs are looking in control on Monday.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Mohamed Salah‘s second goal of the tournament has given the Egyptians a 1-0 lead over Saudi Arabia in their Group A finale.

After a Saudi giveaway in the attacking half of the field, Salah latched onto a beautiful long ball from Abdallah Said, before lofting a shot over goalkeeper Yasser Al Mosailem.

Video: Suarez gives Uruguay early lead over hosts Russia

Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
Leave a comment

It only took Uruguay 10 minutes to break through, and the South American side could be on its way to capturing a third consecutive victory at the 2018 World Cup.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]

Barcelona star Luis Suarez scored his second goal of the tournament on Monday, as the veteran striker gave Uruguay the lead early on against hosts Russia.

Suarez stepped up for a free kick just outside the penalty area, and slotted the ball brilliantly past the Russia goalkeeper at his near post.

Both teams have already advanced out of Group A after winning their first two matches, however, Monday’s victor (if there is one) will likely decide who tops the group.

Argentine players likely selecting lineup for Nigeria match

Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Albiceleste entered Russia among the favorites to win the World Cup, but now Argentina is on the brink of disaster and possibly crashing out of the group stage.

Through two Group D matches, Argentina sits on one point, and needs a victory over Nigeria to have a shot at advancing to the knockout phase.

Drastic changes appear to be coming for the CONMEBOL nation, after relations with manager Jorge Sampaoli have soured significantly over the last week-and-a-half.

Rumors have suggested that Lionel Messi and the elder players in the squad will select the starting XI for Argentina’s do-or-die fixture on Tuesday, with Sampaoli simply staying on as manager to avoid further embarrassment to the federation.

Sampaoli is expected to still be on the sidelines for the match, though.

Meanwhile, Argentine television outlet TNT Sports LA revealed a potential lineup ahead of Tuesday’s Group D finale against Nigeria.

The starting XI, if true, would feature four changes from the Albiceleste’s 3-0 defeat to Croatia last Thursday, including the introduction of River Plate goalkeeper Franco Armani for Chelsea’s Willy Caballero.