Mourinho was back on the charm offensive and it was a fine start for Spurs boss

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first_imgTHE old rascal was on a charm offensive from the first moment until the last.There was a fire in the belly, there were winking eyes and there were warm words on his lips.4 Spurs chief Jose Mourinho is all smiles but will his happiness last?Credit: Getty – ContributorIf the Premier League audience had not been on this journey three times before, we might have mistaken Jose Mourinho for the toppermost of blokes.Our hearts might have gladdened when Tottenham’s new manager announced he felt back “where I belong” after the misery of an enforced 11-month sabbatical.This won’t last, of course. With Mourinho, it never does.Soon, there will be internal conflict, imaginary sieges and media blackouts.But for now this is an old master of his craft, happy to be back in his workshop.Tottenham have won their first Premier League away match since January, having played with great purpose and composure for the opening hour.ACCA WITH LADBROKES Pick up a whole load of acca features to help you land the big oneAnd Mourinho is at one with the world again.He said: “To confess, the most difficult moments for me were this summer, when I didn’t have a pre-season and was looking at other managers, clubs and teams doing pre-season.“The most weird feeling was going to stadia and I was asking myself what I was doing here — here in the media box, or in the Sky television studios.“Today is where I belong. My natural habitat. Was I extra emotional? No. Was I nervous before the game? No. But when things go your direction, it’s the best feeling.”Mourinho was high-fiving and fist-bumping the West Ham mascots as soon as he emerged from the team bus.During the match, he was constantly back and forth from the dugout to the technical area — a significant distance in this vast, soulless stadium — and good for the 10,000-step target on the pedometer.4 Spurs fans appreciated the efforts of their previous boss but welcomed the new man in chargeCredit: Getty Images – GettyAnd at the final whistle, Mourinho waited on the touchline as Dele Alli and Son Heung-min went over to applaud the Spurs fans, who sang their new manager’s name as if his two spells at Chelsea had never happened.George Graham never received such acknowledgement in three years as Spurs boss.Dele, emerging from a year of struggles with his form and fitness, is clearly going to be a pet project for his new manager and he was excellent here.The midfielder played a key role in the opening two goals, scored by Son and Lucas Moura before half-time.After Harry Kane headed the third from a wicked Serge Aurier cross on 49 minutes, a classic Mourinho team would have pulled down the shutters and ensured a clean sheet.This lot still have much to learn. They gave a woeful West Ham side a sniff, when Michail Antonio rammed home 17 minutes from time and Declan Rice had an effort disallowed for offside before Angelo Ogbonna netted deep into injury-time.Mourinho would normally be hopping mad about this sort of defensive laxity but he was charitable towards his new charges — blaming the physical and mental fatigue of international duty followed by a managerial change.4No matter how successful the first five years of Mauricio Pochettino’s reign had been, the Argentine had grown moody and distant in recent months, his squad looking tired and stale. So Mourinho — or at least the man Mourinho tends to be when starting a new job — was always likely to give Spurs a lift.No one has doubted his abilities in the short term, he won his first Premier League matches with Chelsea, twice, Manchester United and now with Spurs.He has tended to prompt a positive reaction for a year or two.But before too long, the mood always turns bleak.His relationship with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy — a hard-nosed tightwad — will be intriguing.This local rivalry with West Ham possesses genuine bitterness, especially at boardroom level, dating back to the turf war over this old Olympic venue.Spurs dodged a bullet on that one — ‘you sold your soul for this s***hole’, as their fans crowed towards their hosts yesterday.4 Harry Kane made it 3-0 to Spurs in the early stages of the second halfCredit: PA:Empics SportSo Levy would have revelled in showing off his new toy to the West Ham board, who now have a decision to make over their own manager.Manuel Pellegrini is seriously underachieving with a squad that should be challenging for Europe but are instead sinking worryingly towards the relegation places.The Hammers have taken one point from their last six Premier League matches, are winless in eight overall and have shipped nine goals in three games.Things will get tougher for Mourinho. Most weeks Spurs will encounter a keeper who can catch a ball, unlike West Ham’s Roberto, and a centre-half who will win the odd challenge, unlike Issa Diop.But this was a fine start for the new Tottenham manager.Most read in footballTHROUGH ITRobbie Keane reveals Claudine’s father was ’50-50′ in coronavirus battleTOP SELLERGavin Whelan has gone from League of Ireland to David Beckham’s InstagramExclusiveRIYAD RAIDMan City’s Riyad Mahrez has three luxury watches stolen in £500,000 raidPicturedAN EYEFULMeet Playboy model and football agent Anamaria Prodan bidding to buy her own clubI SAW ROORodallega saw Rooney ‘drinking like madman’ & Gerrard ‘on bar dancing shirtless’NEXT STEPJonny Hayes set to move to English Championship having been let go by CelticREF RELEASEDChampions League ref Vincic released by cops after arrest in prostitution raidKEANE DEALEx Man United youth ace David Jones says Roy Keane negotiated a contract for himREF RAIDChampions League ref Vincic ‘arrested in raid into drugs and prostitution ring’NICE RONCristiano Ronaldo goes on family bike ride with partner Georgina Rodriguez & kidsThe “mental barrier” of an away win was overcome, the players are motivated and the fans are instantly onside.They all need to enjoy it while it lasts.Tweet @davekidd_Mourinho praises Spurs star Dele Alli as the Special One wins his first match as Tottenham bosslast_img read more

Nagelsmann proves he would’ve been a better hire than Mourinho by humbling Spurs

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first_imgLucas Moura bursts into tears as Tottenham are dumped out of Champions League by RB Leipzig Yet he is no longer even playing to his old strengths. Tottenham’s defensive record is shocking – among Premier League clubs, only Aston Villa have conceded more goals since Mourinho was appointed in November.And player discipline is weak too, with Dele and Eric Dier both facing FA charges.Against elite opposition – England’s big six plus Leipzig and Bayern Munich – Mourinho’s record at Spurs reads played eight, lost seven.Manchester United arrive at the Lane on Sunday, unbeaten in ten.Spurs are winless in six – the worst run of Mourinho’s managerial career.Should United prevail, reaching next season’s Champions League will be a virtual impossibility for Spurs.There was an acceptance that Poch had grown stale and the Argentinian’s split with Spurs was not far off a genuine case of mutual consent.TOTTENHAM NEWS LIVE: FOLLOW LATEST SPURS UPDATESLATEST TOTTENHAM NEWSHARRY ALL FOUR ITKane admits Spurs must win EIGHT games to rise into Champions League spotGossipALL GONE PETE TONGVertonghen wanted by host of Italian clubs as long Spurs spell nears endBELOW PARRSpurs suffer blow with Parrott to miss Prem restart after appendix operationPicturedSHIRT STORMNew Spurs 2020/21 home top leaked but angry fans slam silver design as ‘awful”STEP BY STEP’Jose fears for players’ welfare during restart as stars begin ‘pre-season’KAN’T HAVE THATVictor Osimhen keen on Spurs move but only if they sell Kane this summerYOU KAN DO ITKlinsmann quit Spurs to win trophies but says Kane’s better off stayingTURBULENT PAIRINGDrogba and Mido had mid-flight brawl after stewardess prank went wrongBut surely a bright young manager more in tune with the modern game would have been a more apt successor.Leipzig’s impressive 32-year-old boss Julian Nagelsmann would have been a great shout.Mourinho got it wrong on Tuesday night but Levy has been getting it wrong a whole lot longer. IT is difficult to imagine a more humbling experience for Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.Spurs thoroughly dismantled and dumped out of the Champions League by the sort of young, vibrant and modestly-priced team that Mauricio Pochettino once crafted for him.4 Spurs fell to a meek defeat against RB Leipzig on Wednesday nightCredit: Rex Features4 Jose Mourinho failed to inspire his depleted sideCredit: Getty Images – GettyAn RB Leipzig side – partly constructed by Paul Mitchell, the recruitment chief who walked out of a similar role at Spurs over frustrations with Levy – running rings round Spurs.Then there was Poch’s successor, Jose Mourinho, blaming poor recruitment for exacerbating his squad’s injury crisis, leaving him without a striker.And Tanguy Ndombele – Levy’s £55million club-record signing – left on the bench after another public dressing-down from Mourinho.Levy was pleased with himself for hiring Mourinho, the former Special One who had the box-office appeal to raise the club’s global profile and light up the fly-on-the-wall Amazon series being filmed this season.But is he the man to revamp and revitalise a mid-table team? He has no track record of doing so.Not since the infancy of his managerial career had Mourinho operated without a transfer budget which could blow away most rivals.At Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United, he was loaded. Not so at Spurs.Before the crushing, yet flattering, 3-0 defeat in Leipzig, Dele Alli said it was no time for Spurs “to get the violins” out and feel sorry for themselves. Mourinho then got his violin out and felt sorry for himself.4 Julian Nagelsmann has assembled an impressive young side at LeipzigCredit: Getty Images – GettyAfter the match, Dele said Spurs cannot use injuries as an excuse. Jose then used injuries as an excuse.It does not feel as though the players are buying into their manager’s siege mentality. They do not feel the same close bond many enjoyed with Pochettino – despite the Argentine working them to the bone.As SunSport revealed in January, many Spurs players find Mourinho’s regime joyless, with training sessions mundane and the manager’s defensive tactics uninspiring.Will Harry Kane gladly stick around without Champions League football next season?The England captain turns 27 this summer and has never won a trophy.Word has it his representatives are ready to agitate for a move, though every agent knows how tough it can be to move a player out of Spurs.Levy oversaw the construction of arguably the finest stadium on the planet but it was embarrassingly overdue at a cost of £1billion.As a result, the quality of Spurs’ squad has been diluted.4Rewind to 2017 and Spurs had England’s best three full-backs in Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Kieran Trippier. All have left without being adequately replaced.Neither has playmaker Christian Eriksen. Neither has back-up striker Fernando Llorente, leaving Mourinho in the cart without Kane.Anyone with a basic knowledge of Mourinho will have known he was always going to call out recruitment shortcomings, which have been pronounced since the departure of Mitchell – who, like all those players, was never replaced.Yet despite injuries to Kane, Son Heung-min, Steven Bergwijn, Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies, Mourinho cannot escape scrutiny.In a crisis, the best managers can pull a tactical masterstroke or a supreme piece of motivation.Frank Lampard, who has outwitted Mourinho twice this term, is without Chelsea’s entire first-choice midfield, yet still getting some fine results.We always knew naturally cautious Mourinho was never in tune with Tottenham’s “glory, glory” ethos.“To dare is to do” has never been his mantra – hence the back five when trying to overturn a first-leg deficit in Germany on Tuesday.last_img read more

Injury toll mounting ahead of Lions Tour

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first_imgColes is facing a battle to be match-fit for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand after it was revealed he’s suffering from concussion symptoms.Coles hasn’t played for the Hurricanes since mid-March when he limped off against the Highlanders with a knee injury.He then suffered a calf injury at training but Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd says he also began experiencing headaches when exercising. It’s not known how he gained concussion nor how long he will be off the field.With All Blacks skipper Kieran Read suffering a broken thumb playing for the Crusaders at the weekend and All Black loose forward Jerome Kaino having a knee injury, experience is fast disappearing from All Black forward pack.Earlier this week All Blacks selector Grant Fox indicated they’d be prepared to select Read and Kaino without any match play between now and the first Lions test but that’s highly unlikely to be the case when comes to Coles concussion issues.Fox said they have already gone through and identified back up potential in all positions if first and second choice players aren’t available.last_img read more

Williams cleared to face Australia

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first_imgThe All Blacks centre was suspended for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Watson during the second Test against the British and Irish Lions last month.World Rugby initially ruled that the dual-code powerhouse would not be available to face the Wallabies in Sydney on August 19, as that would serve as the last installment of his ban.New Zealand Rugby argued that the world champions’ match of two halves against Taranaki and Counties Manukau should count as one of the four “meaningful matches” he must miss.The governing body has now ruled in favour of Williams.A World Rugby statement said: “An independent appeal committee has upheld an appeal by New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams against the matches counting towards his four-week suspension for dangerous charging.”An appeal by New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams against the matches which a disciplinary committee counted towards his four-week suspension following his red card for dangerous charging contrary to Law 10.4(g) during the second New Zealand versus British and Irish Lions test in Wellington on 1 July has been upheld by an appeal panel independent of World Rugby.”A game being played by New Zealand against Counties and Taranaki on 11 August that had been excluded from the suspension by the original disciplinary committee has now been deemed to comply with the regulations definition of a “match” and, as such, that match will be included as part of the player’s suspension. Accordingly, Williams is suspended from all forms of rugby up to and including 11 August.”last_img read more

Saint-Andre France will grow again

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first_imgPhoto: Stu Forster/ Getty Images. Caption: Former France coach Philippe Saint-Andre Benjamin Fall’s early red card – rescinded by a World Rugby judicial committee 48 hours later – left Les Bleus a man light in the second Test against an All Blacks side who, to say the least, have had their number in recent years. At the Westpac Stadium in Wellington – a venue known as ‘The Cake Tin’ – the visitors were cooked after 12 minutes, eventually going down 26-13 to lose the series with a game to spare.As if France’s losing streak against New Zealand was not bad enough, they have now been defeated in 14 of their last 16 away games. Once a perennial contender for the title, their last Six Nations success came eight years ago, when they secured Grand Slam glory with victory over England in the final round of matches.However, according to former France coach Philippe Saint-Andre, there are signs of encouragement.The green shoots of recovery may not be visible in terms of results on the season-ending tour to the reigning world champions, but the process of change is slowly happening behind the scenes. Finally, the French Rugby Federation and the Top 14 clubs appear to be reading from the same page.For Saint-Andre, the willingness for both sides to work together for the good of France is a long time coming. While the domestic game – awash with money – has risen in standard, the influx of finance, and consequently overseas stars, has been to the detriment of the national team’s fortunes.”The job of being the France coach is hard,” Saint-Andre – who was in charge between 2012 and 2015 – told Omnisport at the HSBC Paris Sevens event.”Like the Premier League in England, our [French] league is so strong, contains so much money and is so long. It’s very difficult to get access to the players to prepare well for games.”The clubs in the Top 14 need to play with more French players. We have started to realise that and we have some young players coming through with talent.”When you have the French champions and only a few players from the starting XV are actually French, as was the case in previous seasons, that’s not a good thing for the national team.”Your #WorldRugbyU20s Champions for the first time ever, @FFRugby pic.twitter.com/C02iFDn3EL— World Rugby (@WorldRugby) June 17, 2018While Saint-Andre fears the partnership between clubs and country may not have arrived in time to revitalise France’s bid for Rugby World Cup 2019 glory in Japan, he is at least now far more upbeat over the long-term outlook.There were further positive signs on Sunday when France won the World Rugby Under-20 Championship for the first time in their history, Les Bleuets’ 33-25 triumph over England in the final demonstrating the talent is coming through the system – now it just needs to have the chance to shine.”For years the money was so big, our young talent didn’t get enough game time,” he added. “Our young players need to play.”Money is important, but it’s not all that matters. If you want success, if you want a presence in the international game, these talented players have to be playing rugby.”It is what we’ve started to do – to be honest, we should have done this 10 years ago. But the game grew so much, the television rights became huge and presidents of clubs with lots of money wanted to buy the best players from around the world.”Now we realise it is the time to look again, to look after our national team. The clubs and the national federation now realise the need to work together. That was not the case five or six years ago.”I do think the French team will grow again. Maybe not for the next World Cup, but maybe for the one after that we will be competitive again.”CHAMPIONS! @Blitzboks have won the #Paris7s, beating @EnglandRugby 24-14 , and in doing so are the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Champions for 2018! pic.twitter.com/3LzqFGimz2— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) June 10, 2018Having co-founded PSA Academies in 2015, Saint-Andre is focusing on developing the future of the game, as well as working in the media.Yet having previously taken charge of Gloucester, Sale Sharks and Toulon, as well as a recent stint working with Cameroon, he is not ruling out a coaching comeback in the future – but only if he gets an offer that is simply too good to refuse.”I’m coaching young players. Developing players is so important,” Saint-Andre said.”I have PSA academies across Europe, and we open in the United States soon. We have young players from nine to 17 and are working with modern technology, as well as on their fitness and with different coaches.”I also do some radio and television work, but I would never say no [to coaching again]. If I have a great opportunity to take a team, I would do it.”But it has to be a great opportunity. I’ve said no to some projects, because when you’ve coached Toulon, Sale and France, it needs to be something quite exciting.”While unsure of his own return to the professional game, Saint-Andre is more certain over France’s future. After a prolonged period in the doldrums, he believes Les Bleus may finally be on their way back. Philippe Saint-Andre was speaking at the HSBC Paris Sevens on behalf of HSBC. The title sponsor of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is working in partnership with World Rugby to reach new fans, support the growth of Rugby Sevens worldwide and fulfil their shared goal of helping the sport thrive in the long term.last_img read more

Lewas beat Thailand by 7 wickets

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first_imgLewas won the toss and sent Thailand in to bat.Thailand were all bowled out for 6/70.Norma Ovasuru was the top bowler for the Lewas taking 3/13 off her 4 overs.Thailand’s opener Naruemol Chaiwai top scored with 25.The Lewas chased down the target slowly but steady in 17 overs.Norma Ovasuru was the key to the win and finished unbeaten and top scored with 36 runs.last_img

Fiji weightlifters move camp thanks to TC Winston

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first_imgYesterday, Times Sports caught up with the four women lifters training under the watchful eyes of weightlifting assistant coach Henry Elder. Elder said lifters Apolonia Vaivai, Julia Timi, Sophia Kinikinilau and Seruwaia Malani were brought to Suva by head coach Joe Vueti to continue with their training while the male lifters stayed back in Levuka to help in rebuilding the gym. “TC Winston demolished the training facility and all the houses in Baba, Levuka were either fully destroyed or partially but most had their roofs blown off, and these athletes came with only one piece of clothing on them,” Elder said. “They’re finding it really hard.“Most had to wear their clothes until they were really dirty before they washed them and covered themselves with their bathing towels, waiting for their clothes to dry up before they could wear them again. “It is very painful to see them,” Elder added. He said however, they are grateful to the FWF secretary Christopher Yee and Atma Maharaj for their assistance to the team. “Two boys were also here with the girls but have returned with Joe (Vueti) to help in whatever way they can to try and get everything back to normal. “I take my hats off to these players for they have been working hard to try and get themselves ready for the Oceania Championship despite all that has happened,” Elder said. The Oceania Championship will be staged in Fiji from May 23-27 and is also expected to bring home some of the world’s finest lifters who are still trying to get a spot in the Rio Olympics.Caption: Fiji will host the Oceania Weightlifting Championship – Oceania National Olympic Committees.last_img read more

Hunters face a tough Seagulls side

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first_imgHowever, their task won’t be an easy one with the Hunters looking for two in a row following their opening win over the Magpies last weekend.The two teams have started to develop a healthy rivalry in recent seasons and share the head-to-head honors evenly with each of the four games played won by the home side.The Hunters haven’t had much cause to celebrate at the venue, with the Jets knocking them off on their way to the title in their elimination final last year as well.While Seagulls coach Jon Buchanan has named a largely unchanged side with Braydon Greenhalgh a late change for Brendon Gibb; suspensions handed down last night to key players Atte Bina and Adex Wera sees the introduction of more new players into Michael Marum’s team, with Agmark Guria Tuvi Lepan set to make his first appearance as a Hunter.The coach will be heartened by the Cup debuts of some of his new faces last weekend, with Justin Olam and Benjamin Hetra both scoring tries in their win.The game will kick off at 3pm today in BMD Kougari Oval in Australia with both sides prepared to go on a showdown.last_img read more

Fake lottery wins and “magic pill” scams connected to Rio 2016 Olympics

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first_imgAccording to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab, scammers have been active since early 2015.As well as fake tickets, they are also thought to be distributing malware-ridden emails and phishing attacks.”According to our research, the creation of fake sites usually involves well organised, fraudulent, international gangs,” said Andrey Kostin, senior web content analyst at Kaspersky Lab.”They split tasks, so that each small group is responsible for a separate part of the work.”For example, one group creates websites, the other registers domains, another collects and sells the victims’ personal information, etc.”Fake wins in lotteries supposedly organised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) or the Brazilian Government are cited as the most frequent topic in spam emails.Fraudsters attempt to convince their victims that their email was selected from a large list and that they must respond with their personal information to receive their prize.Other fake emails – written in English and Portuguese – include offers for various goods and services including new TVs to watch the sports events and magic pills that promise to make the recipient an “Olympic champion”.Fraudulent ticketing services have also been cited from domains with names containing “rio” and “rio2016”.Some of these are “very well made”, the report concedes, even using cheap SSL certificates to provide “https” web addresses to make it hard for uses to distinguish between fake web pages from the official ones.These are considered “the most dangerous threat”. Brazil is condered a haven for financial cybercrime, Kaspersky claim, due to vague legislation and few arrests. “In order to avoid falling victim to these fraudsters, sports fans should be savvy when they buy tickets,” Kostin added.”They should only trust authorized resellers, no matter how attractive the low prices from other resources can be.”This comes alongside other ticketing scams associated with the Games, including one surrounding World Sports & Hospitality (WSH), an unauthorised company who have reportedly been illegally active in various Caribbean countries.Antigua and Barbuda Olympic Association President Paul “Chet” Greene survived calls for him to stand-down over allegations – which he denies – that he had agreed such a deal earlier this year.”Rio 2016 and the IOC have put in place a robust ticketing process in order to identify and deal with any integrity issues around ticketing,” an IOC spokesperson said in response to a question on this.”We are currently reviewing a handful of cases that may have not respected the rules of the ticketing process for the Olympic Games Rio 2016.”Some of those are currently being studied by the IOC Ethics Commission or by Rio 2016.”last_img read more

PNG Kapuls loses in penalty shootout

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first_imgThe second half grew more tense with the rowdy crowd begging Kapuls to score at least a goal but New Zealand defended well until nil all for fulltime.Then, came the extra time as both sides look tired and weary but continue the fight but again went off scoreless on both halves of the game.The moment of truth than pops in when the two teams chose their best to go for the shootout.After attempts PNG fell short of two goals after Raymong Gunemba missed fired a shot off the goal mouth and Koriak Upaiga’s kick was saved by the New Zealand goal keeper Stefan Marinovic.last_img read more