Jose Mourinho Jose Mourinho expects to still be the Chelsea manager even if the defending Premier League champions finish in mid-table.Chelsea enter Saturday’s match at home to Aston Villa 16th after four defeats in the opening eight games.Mourinho called for the backing of the Chelsea board after the October 3 loss to Southampton and a first vote of confidence of Roman Abramovich’s 12-year ownership was issued.Chelsea have dispensed with numerous managers, often when when Champions League qualification is in doubt.But Mourinho says he will not be sacked even if Chelsea are adrift in the race for the top four.Asked if he would still be in charge if Chelsea finish in mid-table, Mourinho said “Yes”, before added: “No. I was not told that because we don’t expect to finish mid-table.”Following the Saints loss, Mourinho, who has won three Premier League titles over two spells, suggested the Blues would be sacking the best manager they ever had if he was fired.Now Abramovich’s approach to his managers is different, according to the Portuguese, who was reappointed in June 2013.“It’s different for many reasons, since the moment I came back in 2013, when I had my first conversation with the owner and the board in 2013,” he said.The competition in the Premier League means Chelsea could miss out on the top four this term, as Manchester United and Liverpool have done in recent seasons.The Blues are seven points adrift and 10 behind leaders Manchester City.“Somebody will be out (of the top four). Do I think it’s Chelsea? No,” Mourinho said. 1
1 Roma will make a move for Internacional goalkeeper Alisson Becker – if Arsenal refuse to sell Wojciech Szczesny.Szczesny is currently on loan at the Serie A side but talk of a permanent swoop has yet to be discussed.Roma would like to sign the Poland international but are aware of his desire to make it as the number one at the Emirates.And, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian club are lining up a move for Becker if they cannot tie down Szczesny on a permanent deal.Becker has impressed for Internacional this season and made his debut for Brazil in October.The 23-year-old would cost around £6m and Roma are set to hold preliminary talks in case they cannot complete a deal for Szczesny. Wojciech Szczesny
1 Robbie Brady The Republic of Ireland grabbed the ascendancy in their Euro 2016 play-off despite Edin Dzeko’s late equaliser in Bosnia.In an encounter that’s entirety was threatened by a dense blanket of fog that descended after half time, the Irish survived intense first-half pressure before taking the lead through Robbie Brady with eight minutes remaining.Former Manchester City man Dzeko turned home a leveller just three minutes later but Martin O’Neill’s side hold the advantage with Brady’s away goal ahead of Monday’s return leg in Dublin.With several players, including the likes of John O’Shea and Shane Long, sidelined through suspensions and injuries, O’Neill fielded a depleted line up in Zenica.After a cagey opening 25 minutes, Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic began to grow into the game as the Irish sat back and looked happy to absorb pressure.But the hosts were guilty of squandering two clear openings before half time, with Ervin Zukanovic wasting a free header and Vedad Ibisevic volleying into the side netting.The visibility worsened significantly after half time with the contest’s duration cast into serious doubt.With both sets of players evidently struggling with the conditions chances were at a premium until Brady’s opener.The Norwich winger switched sides to the right, chopped back inside and arrowed a fine strike past Asmir Begovic at the Chelsea goalkeeper’s near post eight minutes from time.The Irish joy was shortlived though, as Dzeko illustrated his clinical finishing credentials by capping a flowing move to grab the equaliser with just five minutes remaining.The visitors, however, valiantly survived a late onslaught, knowing a win or a 0-0 draw in Dublin will see them reach next summer’s finals in France.
2 2 Christian Benteke signed for Liverpool in July As part of our build up to the new year, we reveal the most popular content on talkSPORT.com for every month of 2015, so here’s July…BEST OF TALKSPORT.COM: JULY 2015MOST READIt’s fair to say Arsenal fans were just a little excited when Karim Benzema posted THAT photo of himself on a plane. ‘He’s coming to London’ was the general consensus and talkSPORT collected some of the best reaction, which other fans found incredibly funny and you can see why here.MOST POPULAR FEATUREtalkSPORT had a bit of fun with the subtitles on a Bastian Schweinsteiger interview following his arrival at Man United in the summer. Sergio Ramos had been tipped to be the big name signing, but Germany’s World Cup winner joined instead and it appeared Ramos was very happy…MOST POPULAR INTERVIEWAt the start of July and before the deal was officilly sealed, talkSPORT’s man on Merseyside revealed in an interview with Alan Brazil that Liverpool had snapped up Christian Benteke.TALKSPORT.COM PICK OF THE MONTHWith each Premier League club gradually releasing their kits for the 2015/16 season, talkSPORT wondered what they would look like with retro sponsors. Have a look here and let us know which one looks best.
Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.The Coral spokesman reveals Manchester City are ahead of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United in the betting for FA Cup glory.He also says Lionel Messi is nailed-on to be named the winner of the Ballon d’Or on Monday, with the Barcelona superstar 1/33 to beat Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar to the prize.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast
Remi Garde has slammed his Aston Villa side after they were ‘humiliated’ at home to Liverpool.Jurgen Klopp’s Reds left Villa Park 6-0 winners on Sunday afternoon, in one of talkSPORT’s three live commentary games over the weekend. Boos rang around the West Midlands ground at half-time, as they trailed 2-0, and fans streamed out with 30 minutes remaining as their side put in a disastrous performance.The defeat was the first time Villa had conceded five or more at home in the Premier League and while Garde refused to comment on his future, he expressed his deep disappointment. “I feel humiliation when you concede six goals at home without scoring,” Garde said.“It’s very painful. We don’t have time to moan too much, we have to concentrate on the next game. “I have a lot of feelings but I will keep some for myself. The first 15 minutes we were not too bad but we gave them the first goal. We have 12 games to go, there’s still the possibility to win these games and we have to fight for it.“I will find 11 or 18 players who still have the desire to win those games.”The victory was Liverpool’s first league clean sheet of 2016 and it leaves Garde’s side languishing at the bottom of the division, eight points from safety.The Frenchman also labelled it his worst result as a manager after Villa suffered their 16th defeat of a wretched season. “I saw that as well,” he said when questioned about Villa’s lack of fight.“In the previous weeks and games it was not the case. I always knew this was a very fragile situation.“To keep fighting it’s not easy but you can imagine I didn’t ask for something different today. I haven’t got much explanation in that.”
Liverpool fan Brian Reece voices his opinion on the transfer situation at Anfield…Liverpool Football Club was once a European giant, a club whose name alone would strike fear into the game’s elite, but today the Reds struggle to make it into the Europa League.Why? Because the five-times European champions no longer attract top players due to the club’s current transfer policy.Jurgen Klopp publicly announced at his first press conference that he has the final word on who arrives at Anfield, which technically is true, but it is perhaps as important to ask, who has the first word?The role of Liverpool’s transfer committee is supposedly to identify players who will strengthen the Reds, but this is far from the sole criterion when the committee decides who to target. Transfer fee, age, position, Liverpool’s own valuation, proposed wages and, crucially, the player’s estimated resale value, all reportedly play a part when the transfer committee presents a list of players for Jurgen Klopp to choose from. So yes, the Liverpool boss may get the last word, but how much use is that if it’s from the transfer committee’s proposed list? These polices are commonplace in the US sports industry, especially baseball, when the resale value of a player is part of the buying process, but that doesn’t mean they can be applied successfully in football across the pond. Buying young, talented players with potential is a good long term move in theory, but what Liverpool need right now is experienced, top quality players that can fit into the first team immediately.The transfer committee must stop treating the transfer window as if it’s a trip to Marrakesh in an attempt to bag a bargain with two shakes of an aardvark’s tail.They need to stop believing that the name ‘Liverpool’ will make players starry eyed, because it no longer has that impression. If Liverpool want to become Champions League regulars again, then this transfer committee need to hand responsibility for recruitment to Jurgen Klopp.In fact, I would actually suggest that the current transfer policy – including the committee – is unfit for purpose, and represents the biggest threat to Liverpool in their search for a regular top four slot.Agree or disagree with Brian’s opinion? Comment below. Jurgen Klopp is shown around Anfield by Liverpool’s chairman and chief executive 1
“It was not intentional. It is something that I have never done before and it is not part of my character. I am extremely sorry. “I hope he does OK and everything works out for him. I wish him nothing but the best in his recovery.” Bruins head coach Claude Julien called it “a dirty hit.” “I’m not saying he’s a dirty player, all I’m saying is it was a dirty hit,” Julien said. “We’ll just have to let the league take care of it … and hopefully they will. “This is the third major incident that club’s had in 10 games. It’s something that has to be addressed there.” Jones’ hit is the latest incident involving the Flyers this season. Steve Downie was suspended 20 games after a hit to Ottawa forward Dean McAmmond’s head in an exhibition game. Then on Oct.10 in Vancouver, Jesse Boulerice cross-checked Ryan Kesler in the mouth, resulting in a 25-game suspension. Around the league Penguins: Pittsburgh’s $21 million payment to co-owner Mario Lemieux this month was part of a $100 million refinancing in which the other primary owner, California billionaire Ron Burkle, and additional investors split $25.3 million. The refinancing, at least the third undertaken by the Penguins since 1995, is common for major pro sports franchises and suggests the NHL team has a value of at least $200 million. Normally, NHL clubs can borrow or have lines of credit totaling half their value. Capitals: Alexander Semin signed a two-year, $9.2 million contract extension. The extension, which begins next season, rewards Semin for his productivity since returning from his NHL hiatus in Russia. The 23-year-old right wing set career highs in goals (38) and assists (35) last season with the Capitals.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Medical personnel cut away Bergeron’s jersey and shoulder pads as they worked on him, placing his neck in a brace. They placed him on a board and then onto a stretcher, his legs taped together and his arms folded across his chest. There was little sign of movement. The game was delayed some 15 minutes with 3:53 left in the first period. Jones drew a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct. Bergeron and Jones were chasing a loose puck when Bergeron took the hit in the back and hit the glass face-first. He went down on the ice on his back and lay virtually motionless as Jones continued pursuing the puck. As the whistle blew, Boston’s Chuck Kobasew went after Jones, drawing a roughing penalty. “Words really can’t express the way that I feel right now. I am very apologetic for the hit and what I did,” Jones said in a statement released by the team. From news services Bruins center Patrice Bergeron was taken from the ice on a stretcher Saturday against Philadelphia after losing consciousness when he was hammered into the boards face-first by defenseman Randy Jones, the third violent play this season involving a Flyers player. Bergeron was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and was diagnosed with a broken nose and a concussion by Bruins team physician Dr. Bertram Zarins. Tests didn’t show any other serious injuries to Bergeron’s head or neck, and he was awake and able to move all his limbs, Zarins said.
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The divide over the cut of DVD sales flowing to writers, as well as payment for shows distributed via the Internet, point to a long strike, according to published reports. Saturday, about 300 WGA, west, strike captains met at the guild’s Fairfax district offices to get their orders from chief negotiator, David Young, who has mobilized the union in advance of the midnight deadline. If the strike is a go, WGA members will be asked to picket in four-hour shifts, starting at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., outside studios or offices where they work. The guild claims about 12,000 members, about 4,000 of whom are in New York, where picketing also is planned by members of the WGA, east. The first casualties of a strike would be late-night talk shows. NBC’s “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” and Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” would begin re-runs immediately. – Daily News Wire Services Last-minute negotiations to avert a promised writer’s strike at midnight continued on today, with no word by midafternoon if the talks had made any progress. If no agreement is made, picket lines will go up at 9 a.m. Monday at 14 television and movie studio lots from Burbank to Hollywood to Manhattan Beach. The board of directors of the Writers Guild of America voted Friday to strike at 12:01 a.m. Monday if no deal is reached. By a margin of 9-1, guild members voted last month to authorize its leadership to declare a strike, according to published reports. Primetime programming is unlikely to be affected until January. Producers, anticipating a strike, have stockpiled shows and scripts, according to published reports. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre “The city is very proud of those who enlist to defend our freedom in far-flung areas of the world,” city spokesman Matthew Weintraub said, adding that the service was an attempt to remember and honor Heredia. “We’re always saddened by tragedies (like these).” – From staff reports 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The city hosted a memorial service Thursday for El Monte resident and Army Spc. Marisol Heredia, who died in September of wounds suffered in Iraq. Heredia, a 2005 Mountain View High School graduate, was wounded in a fire on July 18 at the Baghdad base where she worked as a petroleum-supply specialist, according to Department of Defense officials. She succumbed to her injuries at a Texas Army hospital on Sept. 7. At the memorial service – held at her alma mater – several guest speakers spoke about Heredia, including her former French teacher and a drill sergeant. Heredia was the first female soldier from the San Gabriel Valley killed in the Iraq war. She is the fifth soldier from El Monte to die in the conflict, according to Gutierrez.