Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekly Football News 18 February 2014

Weekly Football News 3 February 2014
Mourinho branded an embarrassment for Chelsea

Even Chelsea's own fans have begun to turn on manager Jose Mourinho after the Portuguese's latest outburst at a rival manager in the English Premier League.

Mourinho - well known for raising the ire of other managers from his first spell at Chelsea - has continued in the same vein this season, with confrontations with Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers and Manchester City counterpart Manuel Pellegrini.

However, his latest victim, Arsenal's Arsene Wenger, has this weekend accused Mourinho of embarrassing Chelsea after he branded the long-time Gunners manager "a specialist in failure".

Wenger, whose last trophy at Arsenal came in 2005, said that Mourinho's words were "disrespectful" after watching his side advance to the last eight of the FA Cup with a battling 2-1 win over Liverpool.

"I do not want to go into that silly, disrespectful remark," Wenger said afterwards. "I never spoke about him in my press conference and I will not start.

"The only thing I know is it's more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me. I'm embarrassed for him, honestly. I'm not interested in the subject at all."

All change at Hamburg, again

Struggling Hamburg have put their proud Bundesliga record in the hands of experienced coach Mirko Slomka in the wake of Bert van Marwijk's dismissal.

Slomka, Hamburg's third coach of the season following Thorsten Fink and ex-Netherlands boss van Marwijk, has been tasked with ensuring the club avoid relegation from the German top flight for the first time in their history.

The 46-year-old German was himself sacked by Hannover in late December after a series of away defeats.

Now his challenge is to reverse the trend of recent results at Hamburg, who lost 4-2 at bottom side Eintracht Braunschweig, their seventh straight loss.

Slomka is best known for his work at Schalke, who he steered into the UEFA Europa League in both 2011/12 and 2012/13.

Toronto add Julio Cesar

MLS side Toronto FC have added another marquee signing to their squad in the shape of goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

The 34-year-old Brazilian shot-stopper, named in Luiz Felipe Scolari's extended Brazil squad for the friendly against South Africa on 5 March, has been keen to leave Championship side QPR to garner greater playing time in the run-up to this year's World Cup. Toronto have already added to their squad by recruiting Michael Bradley from Roma and Tottenham and England striker Jermain Defoe.

"Adding a player of Julio Cesar's experience and ability only strengthens our club both in the short and long term," Toronto general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said. "We are committed to creating a culture of winning at TFC, and there are few people in the world of soccer with a proven track record of consistently getting results that Julio has. We are very excited to bring him to Toronto FC."

Juve maintain 100% home record

Juventus have maintained their nine-point margin at the top of the Serie A table - and their 100% home record - with a 3-1 win over Chievo.

Kwadwo Asamoah, Claudio Marchisio and Fernando Llorente scored the goals for the league's frontrunners.

However, Roma kept alive their faint hopes of catching the runway Italian leaders with a straightforward 2-0 win over Sampdoria. They also have a game in hand over Juve, who still have to travel to the capital to face Roma on 11 May.

Marc Fox

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