4 4 A crucial eight daysThe next week could make or break Mourinho’s future as manager of the Blues – exit from the League Cup, defeat to Liverpool and a Champions League struggle could easily spell the end of his tenure.But can the Portuguese do it on a cold, wet Tuesday night in Stoke?Mourinho’s crunch week starts tonight, when his side travel the Britannia Stadium to face Mark Hughes’ Potters in the fourth round of the League Cup. Then Chelsea return to league action with a potentially tough match against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool on Saturday. Klopp will be looking for his first league win as Reds boss and victory at Stamford Bridge would not only be a timely boost for the much feted German, but could also seal Mourinho’s downfall.The following Wednesday, Chelsea play Dynamo Kiev in a crucial European tie, where a win will be vital for the Blues’ chances of advancing from Group G. Mess that up and the pressure will surely be intolerable. Five months ago Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions in a season in which they were unbeaten for their first 14 league games, losing just three matches all campaign. Now, just 10 games into the defence of their crown, the Blues have already lost five matches and trail leaders Manchester City by 11 points.If it’s a dire situation for a club of Chelsea’s stature, it’s an unheard of calamity for manager Jose Mourinho, who’s won eight league titles in 13 full seasons as a manager, finishing outside the top two just once in the past 13 years.Those are the facts, and they explain why Mourinho is teetering on the brink in his second spell at Stamford Bridge, but what exactly will it take for the Portuguese to leave Chelsea Football Club? We outline the possible scenarios… If the fans turn against himUp until now, Chelsea fans have by and large remained firm in their support of Mourinho. As you can see below, they are still backing the manager despite the bad results, rifts within the camp, television outbursts and everything else that has happened so far in a whirlwind season at Stamford Bridge.In 2012 fans held up a banner asking Jose to come home, with Abramovich duly fulfilling the supporters’ wishes. But once fans turn against their own there is rarely a way back for a manager, so if that happens soon, will that spell the end for Mourinho? 4 When a suitable replacement is foundIf Chelsea are seriously considering parting ways with a man who has provided them with so much success over the last decade, they surely must be confident of securing a top class replacement.Long-term target Pep Guardiola is again being reported as the man Abramovich wants as his next manager, but he may have to find a short-term suitor to take the reigns for the time being. Bayern Munich boss Guardiola is out of contract at the Allianz Arena at the end of the season and he would be unlikely to leave his post any sooner, should he agree to manage in west London. And even that is far from certain, with Manchester City also keen on the Catalan, and Bayern seemingly intent on keeping him in Munich.Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is another target mentioned in the media and if the Russian oligarch wants to bring the Argentine on board, he would likely have to line up an interim manager, as he previously did with Guus Hiddink and Rafa Benitez, in 2009 and 2012/13 respectively.Avram Grant is current boss of Ghana’s national team in case you were wondering, Roman. Losing the dressing roomChelsea have a star-studded squad bursting with a variety of personalities. But too many of the players who were so influential in helping Chelsea to the Premier League title last season have gone missing this season, and Mourinho’s attempts to galvanise his squad have so far failed to do so.Worse than that, Mourinho has risked upsetting the applecart by dropping and publicly lambasting key players. He has already had high profile incidents this season involving John Terry and Eden Hazard, while there has allegedly been training ground rows involving Diego Costa and other team-mates.Reports in Tuesday’s newspapers suggest the Chelsea players already believe their manager’s departure is a case of when rather than if, so are they going to play for a manager they believe is on his way out? If he agrees to join another clubThe media has been full of speculation about the manager’s uncertain future and some outlets are reporting that Mourinho’s representatives have been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain, former club Inter and Monaco about taking over, and this may be the best option as a ‘mutual decision’, with Chelsea allowing him to leave.With ink still drying on the new four-year contract that he penned over the summer, sacking their boss could cost over £30million, which may be why Chelsea have held back up to now. Otherwise, it is unlikely Mourinho will leave for nothing and Chelsea will have to negotiate a hefty sum as part of a severance package and come to a ‘mutual agreement’, rather than a sacking. Further FA punishmentWith more disciplinary action from the Football Association pending, in addition to his recent suspended stadium ban and fine, Chelsea may have no other choice but to remove the 52-year-old from his position, as he could face further stadium bans and excessive fines.As well as having an effect on the team, it is more damaging publicity for Chelsea Football Club.If his outbursts against the FA, match officials or the media gets him into further trouble, do not be surprised if Chelsea decide enough is enough, on top of poor on-field performances. Abramovich rowThe main cause for his departure from the club in 2007 was a fallout with the Chelsea owner and, although that is water under the bridge (no pun intended), that relationship will surely be waning under current circumstances. Abramovich’s relationship with Mourinho had recently supposedly been better than ever, but the start of the 2015/16 season has seen a number of issues cropping up within the football club, from the Eva Carneiro fallout to dropping captain Terry, on top of the FA’s punishments and just three wins to leave them 15th after 10 games, losing more league games than the entirety of last season.In addition, Abramovich has sacked managers for much less in the past, according to former Chelsea player Tony Cascarino, who was speaking to Drive.What do you think it would take for Jose Mourinho to leave Chelsea? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below Jose Mourinho
1 Oldham Athletic have parted company with manager David Dunn. The 35-year-old only joined the club as a player in the summer and he took over the first team after Darren Kelly’s departure. The Latics sit third from bottom in Sky Bet League One and are without a win in eight games, six of which have ended in defeat.Oldham chairman Simon Corney said on the club website: “I would like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to David for his tireless efforts over the past four months under what have been extremely difficult circumstances and wish him all the best for the future.“He retained his dignity at all times and his hard work and dedication has been commendable.”Dunn joined Oldham as a player in July from Blackburn and took over the hotseat on an interim basis following Darren Kelly’s sacking in September.Dunn drew his first four games and was rewarded with a permanent contract.He only lost two of his first 12 games, securing wins against Swindon, Chesterfield and Mansfield, but his tenure has come to an end after just 20 matches.Home form has been a particular problem, with Oldham having only won once at Boundary Park in League One all season, which came back in August.Dunn’s assistant Dean Holden, who had an even briefer spell as manager last season, and first-team coach Keith Brown have also left the club.Corney said: “Dean has been a loyal and dedicated servant to the club and he leaves with our gratitude and best wishes.”Oldham will now begin the search for a fifth manager in less than 12 months.In a further statement Oldham revealed the club had made progress on finding Dunn’s replacement.“Following the departures of David Dunn, Dean Holden and Keith Brown, the club can confirm we are in talks with a replacement first-team manager and hope to make a further announcement tomorrow afternoon at the latest.” League One news: Oldham sack manager David Dunn after less than four months
Liverpool fan fury: Reds supporters believe this player’s issue is he ‘thinks he’s better than he is’
Liverpool midfielder Emre Can 1 Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has left many torn.The Germany international earned plenty of supporters in his debut campaign on Merseyside, but patience from Reds fans could be wearing thin with plenty dissatisfied by his lack of development in the Premier League.And the 22-year-old has come in for considerable criticism for his performance during Liverpool’s clash with Norwich City.Here’s what they had to say over his display…
1 Burnley manager Sean Dyche has committed his future to the club by signing a new deal at Turf Moor. The highly-rated boss, 44, is the 11th longest-serving manager in the country having replaced Eddie Howe in October 2012. The former Watford boss guided the Clarets to the Premier League in 2014 and he has since been linked with a return to the top-flight when vacancies arise. Dyche told the club’s website: “The chairman, the directors and myself have been discussing the future of the club now for a while, because that comes first. “On the back of that there is my role and we agreed a short while ago to start talks on a new contract. I am pleased to say that is now agreed. It’s an improved situation for myself and hopefully the club as well.“We have been building something here for the last three-and-a-half years and there have been lots of good times and lots of changes. “We want more good times here and I want to be a part of that. I made it clear in the summer when there were lots of questions, and I make it clear again now that my view is to continue to try and improve and build what we do at this football club. “There are no guarantees forever because we all know the complexities of this game, but it’s safe to say that I am signing for a good reason and that is to be here and do well.” Burnley were relegated back to the Championship last May but they look on course for an instant return, as they sit third in the second tier, just four points off leaders Hull.Chairman Mike Garlick added: “I am absolutely delighted at this news. “We have been speaking about this for a few months and it was never in doubt and quite simple to get done. “I think what we have currently is the best manager in the Championship and what Sean and I really want is for him to be the best manager in the Premier League.” Sean Dyche
No. 6 West Virginia 31, No. 25 Rutgers 3: West Virginia kept its BCS hopes alive with yet another win over Rutgers in New Jersey. Steve Slaton ran for three touchdowns and quarterback Pat White rushed for 156 yards and a score as the Mountaineers dominated the Scarlet Knights for their 13th straight victory in the series. Slaton went from sideline to sideline on a spectacular 38-yard run that gave West Virginia (7-1, 2-1 Big East) the early lead, and he scored on second-half runs of 1 and 6 yards to bury Rutgers (5-3, 2-2). White also threw for 144 yards, highlighted by a 51-yard screen pass to Slaton to set up a TD. Connecticut 22, No. 11 South Florida 15: Andre Dixon ran for a career-high 167 yards and Connecticut used a late goal-line stand to upset South Florida at UConn. It was the program’s first win over a ranked opponent.The victory keeps UConn (7-1, 3-0 Big East) in sole possession of first place in the Big East, and all but assures the Huskies of the first Top-25 ranking in school history. South Florida (6-2, 1-2) was ranked No. 2 just two weeks ago, but has lost two straight. Dixon ran for 115 yards in a rainy first half, helping UConn build a 16-0 lead. The Bulls came back in the second half and cut the lead to 19-15 in the fourth quarter, before a 20-yard Tony Ciaravino field goal with 5:19 left make it 22-15. The Bulls reached the UConn 2 late, but Greg Robinson tackled quarterback Matt Grothe for a 10-yard loss and then Grothe’s fourth-down pass sailed out of the end zone. No. 12 Kansas 19, Texas A&M 12: Brandon McAnderson rushed for a career-high 183 yards and two touchdowns as the visiting Jayhawks improved to 8-0 for the first time since 1909. Todd Reesing went 21-for-33 for 180 yards and the Jayhawks’ fifth-ranked defense did the rest, holding the Aggies to 127 yards and six first downs through three quarters. A&M gained 191 yards in the fourth quarter, after the Jayhawks built a 19-0 lead. Kansas improved to 4-0 in the Big 12 for the first time, snapped a seven-game losing streak to A&M and won in Texas for the first time since 2001. The Jayhawks have reached eight victories for just the 12th time in school history. The Jayhawks held the Aggies’ fifth-ranked rushing offense to 56 yards through three quarters. No. 13 Missouri 42, Iowa State 28: Lorenzo Williams recovered a fumble in the end zone at the start of the second half, giving Missouri breathing room and momentum in a Big 12 victory at home over stubborn Iowa State. The Tigers (7-1, 3-1 Big 12) were four-touchdown favorites against the downtrodden Cyclones (1-8, 0-5), but gained a season-low 366 yards. Backup Alexander Robinson had 149 yards on 21 carries with a 37-yard scoring run for Iowa State.Devin McDoell had a 25-yard interception return. Mississippi St 31, No. 14 Kentucky 14: Wesley Carroll threw for two touchdowns and Mississippi State forced a season-high six turnovers in the second half to upset Kentucky in Lexington. Kentucky (6-3, 2-3 SEC) has lost two straight since knocking off then-No. 1 LSU in triple overtime. The Homecoming loss to the Bulldogs (5-4, 2-3) likely knocks Kentucky out of the SEC title race. Kentucky quarterback Andre Woodson was sacked three times and threw three interceptions. Tennessee 27, No. 15 S. Carolina 24: After all the complaints about Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer, the Vols are in position to play for a conference title again. Daniel Lincoln kicked a game-tying 48-yard field goal with 5 second left, then provided the only points in overtime, and Tennessee recovered after blowing a big lead to upset visiting South Carolina. The victory, coupled with No. 20 Georgia’s victory over ninth-ranked Florida earlier Saturday, puts the Volunteers (5-3, 3-2) atop the SEC’s Eastern Division. Coach Steve Spurrier’s Gamecocks fell to 6-3, 3-3. No. 17 Texas 28, Nebraska 25: Jamaal Charles ran for fourth-quarter touchdowns of 25, 86 and 40 yards and finished with 290 rushing yards to carry Texas to a win at home, sending the Cornhuskers to their fourth straight loss.Nebraska has lost four in a row for the first time since 1961, another black mark for beleaguered Coach Bill Callahan, whose future with the Huskers beyond this season is in the hands of former Huskers coach and interim athletic director Tom Osborne. For Texas coach Mack Brown, the win was a milestone – No. 100 with the Longhorns. Nebraska (4-5, 1-4) led, 17-9, to start the fourth quarter behind two touchdown passes from Sam Keller to Nate Swift. Then Texas discovered it had a running game and Charles gained 216 rushing yards in the fourth quarter. No. 19 Michigan 34, Minnesota 10: Mario Manningham had five receptions for a career-high 162 yards and a victory-sealing touchdown early in the fourth quarter, helping Michigan pull away at home. The Wolverines (7-2, 5-0 Big Ten) have won seven straight since opening the season being stunned by second-tier Appalachian State and getting routed by Oregon. The Golden Gophers (1-8, 0-5) have lost eight of their first nine games for the first time in 15 years. N.C. State 29, No. 21 Virginia 24: Daniel Evans threw for a career-high 347 yards and three touchdowns, two to Donald Bowens, to lead North Carolina State past visiting Virginia, which was going for a school-record eighth straight win. Bowens finished with 11 catches for 202 yards for the Wolfpack (3-5, 1-3 ACC), who snapped a nine-game conference losing streak. Jamelle Eugene ran for 112 yards and Jameel Sewell threw for 260 yards and two scores for the Cavaliers (7-2, 4-1) before leaving the game with a leg injury with about seven minutes left. No. 23 Auburn 17, Mississippi 3: Brandon Cox threw a 34-yard scoring pass to Rod Smith in the final minutes and Brad Lester rushed for a career-high 96 yards, helping Auburn hold on at home and avoid another down-to-the-wire finish. Patrick Lee set up the drive with an interception in the end zone for the Tigers (6-3, 4-2 SEC), who were coming off a last-second loss at No. 3 LSU. The Rebels fell to 2-7, 0-6.160Want 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.“We couldn’t stop them,” Penn State coach Joe Paterno said. “That was a good football team and they played really well.” Several Buckeyes (9-0, 5-0, Big Ten) earlier this week complained they weren’t getting enough respect despite their No. 1 ranking in the polls and Bowl Championship Series standings. Penn State (6-3, 3-3) was only the second ranked team Ohio State has faced. A crowd of 110,134, the second-largest in Beaver Stadium history, was quieted quickly and the Buckeyes went on to their seventh double-digit victory. Ohio State has won 19 straight Big Ten games, tying the mark set by Michigan in 1990-92. ETC.: Penn State safety Tony Davis had his appendix removed Friday. From news services Maybe now No. 1 Ohio State will get the respect it’s looking for. Todd Boeckman threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and Chris Wells ran for 133 yards, leading the visiting Buckeyes to another easy victory, 37-17, over No. 24 Penn State Saturday night. The Buckeyes’ vaunted defense didn’t play up to its typical stingy standards, but it didn’t need to be at its best with Boeckman on a roll and Ohio State’s massive offensive line dominating.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the top commander in Iraq shortly after the fall of Baghdad, said this week that he supports Democratic legislation that calls for most troops to come home within a year. His comments come as welcome ammunition for the Democratic-controlled Congress in its standoff with the White House on war spending. This month, the House passed a $50billion bill that would pay for combat operations but sets the goal that combat end by Dec. 15, 2008. The White House threatened to veto the measure, and Senate Republicans blocked it from passing. The Pentagon on Tuesday said as many as 200,000 civilian employees and contractors will begin receiving layoff warnings by Christmas unless Congress approves a war-spending bill that President Bush will sign. “The improvements in security produced by the courage and blood of our troops have not been matched by a willingness on the part of Iraqi leaders to make the hard choices necessary to bring peace to their country,” Sanchez said in remarks to be aired Saturday for the weekly Democratic radio address. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“There is no evidence that the Iraqis will choose to do so in the near future or that we have an ability to force that result,” he said. Sanchez added that the House bill “makes the proper preparation of our deploying troops a priority and requires the type of shift in their mission that will allow their numbers to be reduced substantially.”
Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri Claudio Ranieri has explained why Leicester must win the Premier League this season, as they head into the final stretch of the campaign.The Italian boss has worked wonders with the Foxes, and they currently sit seven points clear of second placed Spurs with five games remaining.They only need three more wins from their remaining games to ensure they are picking up the Premier League trophy in May, and Ranieri has told his players that they need to win the title if they want to go down in history.The former Chelsea manager said: “We’ve made a good story, but to make something you will remember in 30 or 40 years we have to win.“We don’t achieve anything yet. We have to fight to achieve the Champions League.”The Foxes secured a top four finish with their victory over Sunderland last weekend, meaning they are guaranteed a place in the Champions League next season.However, only a play-off place is secured, and Ranieri wants to know his team will be playing in the competition proper come the start of next year.“It is two matches and two matches is not the Champions League, I want to play six. I don’t think there is the (Champions League) music,” he added.“I love the music. I think it will be a fantastic achievement. From the dream arrives the reality, but wait first.” 1
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ“On this national day of prayer and remembrance, we ask almighty God to watch over our nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come. We pray that he will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow. We thank him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.“As we have been assured, neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, can separate us from God’s love. May he bless the souls of the departed. May he comfort our own. And may he always guide our country.”Beautiful. And perfectly suited to the occasion. Alas, Gerson’s agenda in “Heroic Conservatism” is not to reprise the greatest hits of the Bush presidency but to scold his fellow Republicans for their miserly, cruel and indifferent conservatism, which he contrasts with his own – well, you’ve seen the title he gives his version. This is such an old, old story. Conservatives have been accused of cold-heartedness at least for several generations and maybe longer. But it is a little startling to see this old chestnut revived by a Bush administration insider. It’s as if Gerson were asleep during the 1970s when a long series of liberal intellectuals departed the Democratic Party after witnessing the harm that can come of unrestrained good intentions and sloppy follow-through in government. (They were called neoconservatives – a word whose meaning has changed since then.) It’s as if he never grappled with the practical limitations of government, or the corrupting effects of too much paternalism. At one point he writes, “Anti-government Republicans saw Katrina as an opportunity to cut off medicine to old people.” Yes, and to grind the faces of the poor. Please. Gerson cheerleads for a Gulf Opportunity Zone without acknowledging that it was just a renewal of an earlier Republican idea, the enterprise zone. And he chafes at the “budgetary constraints that made creativity on the domestic agenda nearly impossible.”His ambitions on the domestic front are Johnsonian (Lyndon). He would repair the racial and social ills of New Orleans. The Gerson healing balm would restore those “who had never had a bank account, never flown in a plane.” There would be new job-training programs – though the Bush administration itself has acknowledged (on the White House Web site) that the federal government already spends “$23billion annually for 30 different job training programs spread over 10 different departments and agencies.”The accusation of heartlessness against Republicans is silly and immature. Over the past two decades, a significant number of initiatives, from school choice to urban homesteading to health-care reform to crime fighting to welfare reform, have emerged from conservative think tanks and been championed by Republican politicians. All of these ideas were intended to improve the lives of the poor, and some have succeeded remarkably well.Toward the end of this book, Gerson eerily denies that he is falling into the trap of “blaming colleagues and enemies for blocking the arrival of (my) own private millennium.” But that is exactly what he seems to have done. And for all his eloquence and piety, he has been deeply ungracious in the process.Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. (e-mail: email@example.com).160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! There’s a lot to say about Michael Gerson’s new book, “Heroic Conservatism.” It has moments of lyricism; it is sometimes moving; it contains a concise and effective summation of the case for war with Iraq; and it has been slapped with a plagiarism charge by another former Bush speechwriter. In the current print edition of National Review, David Frum reproduces side-by-side the lines that appeared in his book, “The Right Man,” and in Gerson’s book. There is little room for doubt.Gerson will choose how to respond to Frum’s allegation. But there are other reasons to be distressed by this book. Michael Gerson is certainly one of the most gifted speechwriters in history. It’s an irony that he crafted language for one of the least literary and least articulate presidents in living memory. That this marriage came off at all is a minor miracle, and credit belongs both to the writer who adapted his prose for a Texas sensibility and to the president who stretched himself to master the eloquence Gerson and others provided.There were some rhetorically soaring moments in this presidency. At the National Cathedral, three days after 9-11, the president spoke these words to a grieving country:
AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champBefore the current storm, the last storm to produced more than an inch was in April 2006, Seto said. Though only about an inch of rain fell in most areas since Monday night, rainfall totals were much higher in the mountains. In Warm Springs, in the Angeles National Forest near Castaic, 3.95 inches fell. At the fire station in Malibu’s Monte Nido area, 2.13 inches fell as of 7 a.m., but no slides were reported in canyon areas denuded by the wildfires that broke out Nov. 24 atop Corral Canyon and Oct. 21 in Malibu Canyon. In Orange County’s fire-denuded Santiago and Modjeska canyons, no flooding or mudslides were reported. Parts of that burn area, in the Cleveland National Forest, have been coated with hydromulch, a gummy mixture of wood and paper that helps hold hillsides together. For the first time in two years, rainfall totals in Los Angeles were running ahead of the seasonal norm today. A little more than an inch of rain fell at the National Weather Service station at USC over the past day or so and, as of midnight, the seasonal total came to 3.34 inches since July 1, according to Stuart Seto of the NWS. The seasonal norm is 2.85 inches for this time of year, he said. In an average year, Los Angeles gets about 15 inches of rain, but last year only about 3.21 inches fell, making it the driest on record in 130 years. During the 2005-06 rainy season, the total was 11.6 inches. In the mountains, 3-7 inches of snow fell at elevations of 6,500 feet or more, and a NWS snow advisory remained in effect through noon. Seto said the brunt of the storm had passed, but a chance of showers would remain in the forecast through tomorrow. The weekend should be dry, and Monday and Tuesday — Christmas Day — should be mostly clear and warmer, with highs in the mid 60s and lower 70s. About 280 accidents handled by the California Highway Patrol in Los Angeles County between 5 p.m. yesterday and 5 a.m. today, compared to about 75 during the same period last week, said CHP Officer David Porter. One of those accidents left one person dead, he said, adding that it happened around 9 p.m. yesterday in Phillips Ranch. Details on the wreck were not expected until after 8 a.m. The storm brought 1.14 inches of rain in downtown Los Angeles, according to the NWS, with much heavier rainfall in Los Angeles County mountain areas, including 2 inches at Camp 9. The rain triggered power outages in Northridge, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power reported. It said that 25,500 customers were affected by outages, some of them brief, that spanned almost 10 hours, ending at 4:30 a.m., said Gale Harris of the DWP. Following are some other rainfall totals, as of 7 a.m.: — Bel-Air Hotel, 1.57 inches — Ballona Creek at Sawtelle Boulevard, 1.26 inches — Hollywood Reservoir, 0.99 inches — Los Angeles River at Firestone Boulevard, 0.72 inches — Chatsworth, 0.81 inches — Pacoima Dam, 1.85 inches — Santa Fe Dam, 1.14 inches 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!