What now for Mourinho, Man United?


MANCHESTER — His eyes fixated on the journalist sat in the corner of the press room at Old Trafford. He held three fingers aloft. He demanded “respect, respect” as he stormed out of the press conference room after letting everyone know how many Premier League titles he had won (three, in case you didn’t know).

This feels like the moment when Jose Mourinho finally flipped given all of the criticism and all of the negativity swirling around his Manchester United side.

Not to sound like a kid in a schoolyard but, well, he started this. Some of the criticism he has received is unfair given his record of winning trophies at some of the biggest clubs on the planet. But this is the here and now we are talking about, Jose.

[ MORE: Mourinho’s meltdown in full flow ]

At the start of their preseason tour in the United States this summer Mourinho spoke about a tough season ahead as he presumably tried to cajole the board, mainly executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, into action in the transfer market. Despite handing Mourinho a new long-term contract in January 2018, that didn’t happen as new center backs failed to arrive with combative midfielder Fred the only major signing. But Mourinho has still spent the second-highest amount on transfer fees since he arrived at United in 2016, so perhaps his previous buys persuaded Woodward that he’d keep his cash in the bank, for now.

Despite Mourinho’s spending there is no clear identity, no real plan for the way he is setting up his United team every time they step on the pitch. Pep Guardiola has it at Man City and so does Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham. Mourinho seems to be muddled in his tactical approach, with his players unsure what the real message is each time they step out onto the pitch.

With the negativity spreading to his players and the majority of the fans, Mourinho is now asking for “respect” and demanding journalists to stop asking him questions about defenders making horrendous mistakes because United played well for the first 45 minutes against Spurs.

The respect he is craving from the media and the wider public wasn’t afforded to his players this summer. Yes, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof in particular may not be good enough to play week in, week out for United but the huge mistakes they’re making are a product of doubts creeping into their minds about their manager, the way they’re being asked to play and all of the madness Mourinho has whipped up.

He’s a master of creating a siege mentality but the other inmates, his players, are being housed in a different asylum. They are not on the same page.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

But what now? Where does this leave Mourinho and, more importantly, United?

The most important thing is that he now goes back to basics. Part of his rant on Monday involved asking journalists whether playing well or getting results mattered more.

“When I win matches, I come here many times and you are not happy I won matches and you say the most important thing is the way of playing. You have to make the decision. I need to know from you what is the most important thing. To play well and play offensively? Or to win matches?” Mourinho asked, rhetorically.

He’s a man who has been hammered time and time again for being pragmatic but getting results. He grinds out wins. He wins trophies. He’s even won trophies at United that way in 2016-17. So, he has to go back to that system. He tried to play a more attacking way, with a 3-5-1-1 formation ripping Tottenham apart at times in the first half but United were so susceptible to counterattacks. Mourinho is trying to adapt his tactics but can he complete that transformation into the modern era of high-pressing and five-man defenses quickly transitioning into attackers?

Mourinho claimed United won the “tactical and strategic” battle against Tottenham on Monday and for the first half they did. And maybe that is the way Mourinho now wants to play, to be more open and hope that the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and others take their chances when they fall to them.

The safer option, and the route Mourinho will probably go down, is reverting to type. A solid 4-3-3 (4-5-1 when defending) and playing off Lukaku as the targetman as the rest of the team stay in their shape and try to get crosses from out wide as soon as they can. Those tactics delivered the League Cup and Europa League in Mourinho’s first season at United but his ideas were new, the players were more eager to adapt to his way of playing.

Now, as he enters the meaty part of his third season in charge at United, his players are questioning not only Mourinho’s tactics but his man-management as he’s fallen out and criticized many of them by now.

Therein lies the magic of Mourinho’s third-season syndrome. His abrasive, aggressive nature gets results for the first few years at a club but then, unless he adapts his methods, everything starts to turn against him. Speak to employees of Chelsea, Real Madrid or now United. They have eerily similar stories and this situation is eerily similar to what happened at Chelsea in 2015.

Mourinho must adapt his tactics and his attitude if he’s going to turn this around at United. The likelihood is that he won’t do either and that means more pain is on the horizon for the Red Devils.

Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions


Manchester City is on the chase for a historic treble and standing in the way is Inter Milan, one of Europe’s precious few clubs to claim such an honor.

[ LIVE: Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The Premier League winners three times running have an FA Cup under their belt after beating Manchester United on June 3 and the final jewel in their treble crown awaits with a win in Istanbul on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Pep Guardiola could lead a second club to a treble after he did it with Barcelona in 2008-09, and they would give heated rivals United domestic company on the treble stage right down the road.

Guardiola says it’s now okay to talk about the treble. We agree, and we’ve laid out why the achievement is so special after the jump.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Inter Milan.

How to watch Manchester City vs Inter Milan live, stream link and start time

Dates: 3pm ET June 10, 2023
Online: Live updates via NBCSports.com
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

What Premier League clubs have won the treble?

Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1998-99.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils are the lone Premier League club to win it.

That’s it. For now.

How many times has the treble been won?

Nine times in history has a team won its domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Champions League Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links. 

Man City (-250) vs Inter Milan (+625) | Draw over 120 mins (+380)

Over 2.5 goals (-160). Under 2.5 goals (+110)

Champions League Final predictions

Joe Prince-Wright: Man City 2-1 Inter Milan
Andy Edwards: Man City 3-1 Inter Milan
Nick Mendola: Man City 2-0 Inter Milan

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options


Inter Milan team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquin Correa. OUT: Dalbert.

Lionel Messi rejects Saudi Arabia mega-offer, will sign with Inter Miami


Lionel Messi will sign with Inter Miami, opting to move to MLS this summer rather than return to Barcelona or join Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and N’Golo Kante in Saudi Arabia, according to multiple reports.

[ MORE: UEFA Champions League final, Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The deal will reportedly include profit sharing with two of MLS’s biggest commercial partners, Apple and Adidas, alongside his playing contract. According to reports, it could also include an option to purchase a minority stake in the club, which is partially owned (and operated) by David Beckham, who signed a similarly unique deal when he joined MLS in 2007. Beckham’s contract gave him a $25-million option to purchase an expansion franchise, which he exercised in 2018.

Messi’s contract with Paris Saint-Germain is set to expire on June 30 and the Ligue 1 club announced earlier this month that the Argentine superstar — widely considered the greatest player of all time — will leave the club this summer.

MORE: Five players to watch in the Premier League’s summer transfer window ]

Perhaps Inter Miami and MLS weren’t Messi’s first-choice option this summer, as his father previously stated his son’s desire to return to Barcelona, where he famously won 21 major trophies before an unceremonious exit amid financial troubles in the summer of 2021, but those issues still linger two years later. The offer from Saudi Arabia would have reportedly paid Messi, 35, $1.6 billion over three years.

Gerardo “Tata” Martino, who previously worked with Lionel Messi at Barcelona (2013-2014) and Argentina (2014-2016), is reportedly the leading candidate to replace the recently departed Phil Neville as head coach.

Inter Miami, who currently sit bottom (15th) of MLS’s Eastern Conference with 15 points from their first 16 games, parted ways with Neville last week. In his two full seasons in charge, Neville guided the club to regular-season finishes of 11th (of 14) and 6th (of 14) in the Eastern Conference and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in 2022.

Follow @AndyEdMLS

UEFA Champions League Final: Key battles for Inter Milan vs Manchester City


Manchester City’s quest for the treble hits its final obstacle when Inter Milan goes toe-to-toe with the Premier League and FA Cup champions in Istanbul at Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.

Pep Guardiola’s weren’t at their very best against Manchester United in the FA Cup Final and still walked away with its second trophy of the season.

But City’s final two Premier League matches saw dropped points. The stakes were non-existent and the team quite changed by Guardiola, who’s known to fancy a tactical wrinkle. How will things change this weekend?

[ MORE: Man City vs Inter Milan preview, watch info ]

It would be stunning if Inter boss Simone Inzaghi came out in anything but a 3-5-2, which has been his go-to formation for Inter Milan this season regardless of opponent.

But might Inzaghi have something up his sleeve?

Inter’s only losses in the Champions League came in the group stage versus Bayern Munich. Add in their setbacks in Serie A and there’s still been no standard recipe for beating Inter. There isn’t one for Man City, either, of course.

Kevin De Bruyne vs Marcelo Brozovic

If there’s a single player capable of messing with Pep Guardiola’s plan to control the game and get the ball to his creators in dangerous spots, it’s Croatian veteran Marcelo Brozovic. The 30-year-old is a force who can both be the club’s metronome and break up the opposition’s best attacks. There are few players in the world like De Bruyne, but he needs to be found in space and City needs the ball to do that. Brozovic can be a big part of limiting both of those things.

Erling Haaland vs Francesco Acerbi

Maybe the two names need to be switched in order, because Acerbi is going to have his hands full with Haaland. The question is whether the 35-year-old Acerbi, still very good but no longer in his prime, can use his nous and vast experience to limit Haaland’s chances to do the exceptional. Haaland, meanwhile, just has to be himself. Ask yourself who’s being asked more.

Andre Onana vs Man City’s attack

Picking one player, even Haaland or De Bruyne, for this battle is unfair to the exercise because let’s be real. There is no chance that Inter Milan wins this game without a supreme moment or two from its goalkeeper. Andre Onana has played every Champions League match for Inter and has had his fair share of outstanding performances. He’s outperformed expected goals on target by 6.7 goals over the course of the tournament.

How many times has a team won the treble? Man City goes for history


There’s been a lot of treble talk these days, talk that’s found a new level of buzz since Manchester City moved within one win of joining the club.

It’s an elite club, by the way, of teams that have won their domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Nine times in history has a team won the treble, and only once has it been done by a Premier League club.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

That’s why Man City’s defeat of Manchester United earlier this month in the FA Cup Final rings so true for the Citizens; The blue side of Manchester would join the red side as treble supporters, as United won the treble in 1998-99.

Man City goes for the third jewel of its treble crown on Saturday versus Inter Milan in Istanbul when it kicks off the UEFA Champions League Final.

For more treble trivia, head below the jump.

How many times has the treble been won?

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.