Tottenham to bring Mauricio Pochettino in as new manager?

1 Comment

With Tim Sherwood’s days of sporting a suave gilet on the sidelines at White Hart Lane rumored to be nearing an end, it seems as though Tottenham Hotspur are already looking towards his successor.

Sherwood, who was only handed the job on a permanent basis in December, has seen his side slump against Chelsea and Arsenal in two-straight defeats, and many believe his 18-month deal as Spurs’ gaffer will be cut short at the end of this season.

Southampton are up next for Tottenham,which you can watch live on NBCSN this Sunday at 9:30am ET, and it is Saints’ manager Mauricio Pochettino who is rumored to be top of Spurs’ shortlist to take over in North London.

(MORE: Cracks starting to appear in Tim Sherwood’s leadership at Tottenham)

Pochettino, 42, has turned Southampton into a team brimming with top teenage talent, possessing a high-pressing style that’s baffled plenty of top Premier League teams this season. Currently Saints sit in eight spot in the PL, with 45 points from their 30 games. The flare, passion and commitment Pochettino had instilled in his players at Southampton is remarkable, as the former Espanyol manager has taken a solid group of players onto the next level after arriving in January 2012 to initially stave off relegation, then push Saints on this season.

Would the Argentine manager be a good fit at Tottenham? I have no doubt in my mind that he wouldn’t be any worse than Sherwood or his predecessor, Andre Villas-Boas. If anything, former Argentine international Pochettino would be an upgrade, as the man who has yet to give a press conference in English has worked wonders on the South Coast. Given money to spend and the chance to work with Spurs’ talented individuals, Pochettino’s emphasis on the team first could be something Tottenham’s fans would love to see implemented at their club.

The only snag is that Pochettino really has no interest in leaving Southampton. He is building a talented group of young players who understand exactly how he wants to play, and he’s enhancing his own reputation as a manager each and every week Saints continue to exceed everyone’s reputation.

Pochettino’s contract runs out after next season, so this summer he will have just one-year left on his deal at St. Mary’s. Will Spurs’ famous list of Argentine heroes (Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa et al.) be added to this summer? Pochettino could be the man to help Spurs finally crack open the attic door open and reach the UEFA Champions League.

But will Saints let him leave?

Salah returns to Egypt starting lineup

Getty Images
Leave a comment

A familiar name returned to the starting lineup for Egypt on Tuesday afternoon.

Egypt named star Mohamed Salah in its starting XI, after resting Salah in Egypt’s 1-0 defeat to Uguruay on June 15. Salah has been recovering from an injured shoulder that he suffered during the UEFA Champions League final in late May.

Salah makes his World Cup debut now against the host nation, Russia, at 2:00 p.m.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.

 

Senegal hold off late charge, defeat Poland on controversial goal

Getty Images
1 Comment

Two matches, two upsets.

For the second time on Tuesday, an underdog took down a favorite as Senegal defeated Poland, 2-1, with the game-winning goal decided in controversial fashion.

In the 60th minute, M’baye Niang was waved onto the field by the referee while the ball was still in play in the middle of the field, and Niang raced on to the end of a Gregorz Krychowiak backpass that stunned the Poland defense. Niang arrived at the pass a second quicker than goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, allowing the Senegal winger to score into an empty net.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

The VAR checked the goal but it was allowed, as it was a subjective decision of the referee to allow Niang back on the field following an injury, and not a clear and obvious error.

Senegal took the lead in the first half on the counter attack. With Poland slow in transition, Sadio Mane found Idrissa Gueye in space at the top of the box. After two touches, Gueye fired a strike to the far post in the 37th minute that took a wicked deflection off Poland defender Thiago Cionek and left Szczesny helpless.

Poland struggled all game against the pace and physicality of Senegal and the Lions of Teranga were very smart in controlling possession and switching the field, forcing the Poland squad to tire quickly.

Krychowiak did breathe some life into the game with a header goal off a free kick in the 86th minute, but despite some poor clock management from Senegal, its defense was able to hold off Poland’s last-ditch chance to tie the game, going level with Japan on three points at the top of Group H.

Report: Blatter to attend Portugal vs. Morocco as guest of Putin

Getty Images
1 Comment

Former FIFA president Sepp Blatter is still in the middle of an eight-year ban from the organization he once ran.

But that doesn’t mean he’s going to miss out on some of the World Cup action, live in Russia.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

BBC journalist Richard Conway reported early Tuesday that Blatter is set to watch Portugal vs. Morocco in Moscow as a guest of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The 82-year-old would normally not be able to sit in the presidential box due to his FIFA ban, though he likely could attend matches with a regular ticket like the vast majority of soccer fans.

Just four years ago, Blatter was president during the 2014 World Cup, one that was marred by corruption scandals in addition to the corruption scandals surrounding the World Cup bidding process for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

His reign of power at FIFA finally came to an end on June 2, 2015, when he resigned following an embarrassing month for FIFA in which many of its members were arrested in a joint-raid between the Swiss authorities and the FBI.

Blatter was eventually handed an eight-year ban from FIFA’s ethics committee for an “unauthorized payment” of $2 million from Blatter to Michel Platini, the former France star and FIFA vice president who was also handed an eight-year suspension.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Fekir negotiations back on; Chelsea waiting on transfer targets; and more

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Could Liverpool get its star attacking midfield target after all?

That’s what seems to be the case, as the agent for Lyon and France midfielder Nabil Fekir told French TV channel LCI Monday evening that negotiations aren’t over between Liverpool and Lyon.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

“He didn’t sign because um… it is not over! This is not the end of the story,” Fekir’s agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes reportedly said.

It was just two weeks ago when Lyon president Jean-Michael Aulas stated that Fekir, Lyon’s captain, would remain with the club for the upcoming season, after negotiations with Liverpool fell through. According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds wanted a second opinion on a previous knee injury, and had balked at the $70 million price tag.

But now it appears Liverpool and Aulas could still be in conversations to try and find a mutually accepted fee.

At the same time, stirring up transfer drama is in Bernes interest, as it could drive other teams into the race to sign Fekir and raise his transfer fee, meaning more money to him, Fekir (if he gets a cut) and Lyon. Watch this space for more to come during and after the World Cup.

Here’s some more transfer rumors from across the Premier League and Europe:

(more…)