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Tottenham remain a hot mess under Jose Mourinho but youngsters offer hope for the future

Tottenham Hotspur’s 2-1 victory over Middlesbrough in the FA Cup may not have been perfect — one only had to watch Davinson Sánchez’s perversely entertaining disasterclass to know that — but it was yet another night on which their youngest players shone.

Such was the suspicion when José Mourinho named Japhet Tanganga in his starting XI to face Liverpool last weekend that many immediately concluded that the 20-year-old was little more than an unsubtle message to Daniel Levy to buy him a new defender: some kind of passive-aggressive email to the boss made flesh. Yet he has now been the club’s best player in successive matches.

If Tanganga was solid on Saturday he was superb in the dark and drizzle on Tuesday night: positionally intelligent, defensively resolute and a surprisingly effective attacking outlet to boot. His two performances have been all the more impressive considering the abject state of the Tottenham defence he has been parachuted into. Against Liverpool, he had to be perpetually aware of Serge Aurier’s breezy strolls forward. Against Middlesbrough, he meanwhile had to compensate for a Sánchez performance so bad it became difficult not to be deafened by an internal rendition of the Yakety Sax every time the ball went anywhere near him.

Such was Tanganga’s influence on the game that no player from either side had more touches of the ball. It is already difficult to envisage how Mourinho can leave him out for the trip to Watford on Saturday, particularly as his inclusion on the right-hand side of an asymmetrical defence presents the similarly impressive 19-year-old Ryan Sessegnon with so many opportunities to break free on the left. Interestingly: neither had much of a look in under Mauricio Pochettino.

Last summer, Pochettino had earmarked Tanganga for a possible breakthrough, playing him in pre-season friendlies against Bayern Munich and Real Madrid and inviting him to train with the first-team. Yet he would play him just once before his dismissal: in September’s dismal Carabao Cup defeat by Colchester. The result seemed to spook Pochettino: with Tanganga, 17-year-old striker Troy Parrott and 19-year-old midfielder Oliver Skipp all withdrawn in the second-half and barely seen under him again.

It continued a worrying trend. Initially so willing to trust in youth at both Southampton and Spurs, Pochettino’s increasing reluctance to drop ailing senior players for talented academy products became one of the most significant failures of his time at the club. Under Pochettino, a frustrated Tanganga began stalling on signing a new contract. Danny Rose was preferred to Sessegnon. Highly-rated prospects like Skipp and 22-year-old defenders Juan Foyth and Kyle Walker-Peters were rarely used and yet not loaned out to continue their development. Others, like midfielders Josh Onomah and Marcus Edwards, were sold. Edwards is now playing so well at Vitória de Guimarães that he has even been linked with an unlikely move back to the club.

Pochettino largely escaped criticism for Tottenham’s talent pool running dry because he had started his tenure by helping to bring through the likes of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Harry Winks. But his stubborn refusal to allow the club’s more talented academy players to leave on loan only stunted their development. And, at the bitter end of his time in north London — when the likes of Rose, Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen were so clearly off the pace — he had no readied young players to turn to. Trusting in youth was no longer an option.

It is here that Mourinho can learn from Pochettino’s mistakes.

When he replaced Pochettino, Mourinho immediately pledged to “play young players and help them evolve”. These are still early days, and Mourinho’s decision not to name Parrott in his matchday squad last night caused some consternation among the club’s more committed fans, but the faith he has shown in both Tanganga and Sessegnon as well as this morning’s acquisition of 21-year-old midfielder Gedson Fernandes at least suggests that he intends to stay true to his word.

Trusting in Tottenham’s young players will please both Levy and the club’s supporters — but it benefits Mourinho, too. One of the oft-repeated criticisms of Mourinho is that he is uninspiring. That he is too pragmatic and reactive. That, in a new age of adventurous ideologies and philosophies, he is stale and old and outmoded. Already, there have been grumbles that it is difficult to discern what his Spurs side are trying to do. But dutifully ushering in a new generation of talent helps to alleviate a lot of those criticisms. It gives supporters a reason to be patient, as well as providing them with something to believe in.

Perhaps this is all too much to hope for. Perhaps the likes of Tanganga, Sessegnon and Fernandes will get a run out in the FA Cup fourth round at Southampton later this month and then spend the remainder of the season watching on impatiently from the substitutes’ bench. But, if Mourinho really is the ruthless careerist that so many have concluded that he is, perhaps he will decide that entrusting in Tottenham’s youth is at this point his best hope for both immediate and sustained success.

This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is:

Chelsea transfer news: Lyon rule out selling Moussa Dembele in January window

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has “explicitly” ruled out selling Moussa Dembele in the January transfer window.

Chelsea have expressed an interest in the former Fulham and Celtic striker, who has scored 14 goals in 19 Ligue 1 appearances this season. 

However, Lyon are already without Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide until the end of the season due to injury, and Aulas insists that the club will not be selling Dembele this month.

Speaking on RMC, he said: “We have not changed our minds. We already made this issue clear in August.

“Moussa is an excellent player. A player who we need.

“We are taking explicit measures in our recruitment to not bring someone in who will compete for his position. It is not a question of money. Moussa will be with us.”

A number of Premier League clubs have scouted the 23-year-old this season, with Chelsea identifying him as one of their leading options to provide competition to Tammy Abraham. 

RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner is another option for Frank Lampard’s side, with the Germany international scoring 18 goals in 17 Bundesliga appearances this season, however, he is also unavailable in January.

This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is:

No, the world isn't ending, it's just a woman hosting Sunday Supplement

So, it shockingly wasn’t Donald Trump that did it. It wasn’t the US operation that took out General Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

It wasn’t the escalation of decades of stewing conflict between the United States and Iran that sparked absolute destruction. No, the ruination of man was a result of Sky Sports appointing a female to host the Sunday Supplement show.

“The world’s gone,” one tweet read. “The final nail in the coffin,” went another.

If you managed to survive the Apocalypse on account of not being An Absolute Moron and are consuming this from the other side of The End, welcome.

Jacqui Oatley will steer the debate of football’s big talking points on a Sunday morning and in memory of our fallen brethren, who wept that she ticked a box, let’s see which one that exactly is.

The presenter’s obsession with the sport took hold when she was 12 and having begun her football journalism career in 1999 after studying both print and broadcasting, she has anchored coverage on BBC’s radio and television properties.

Oatley was the first female football commentator on Match of the Day back in 2007 and has featured on Football Focus, Final Score, Sky’s Goals on Sunday and has led some of ITV’s football reportage.

The Wolverhampton native has covered World Cups, European Championships, Olympic football, has a handle of the English landscape well beyond the Premier League and has been a driver for the growth of the women’s game in all aspects.

Oatley is a qualified FA coach, has digested the Laws of the Game and was an awarded an MBE for services to broadcasting and diversity in sport.

So to summarise: she ticks the massively experienced box, the exceptionally informed box and the what-a-CV! box.

Oatley also has other requirements that aren’t compulsory for her male counterparts like super thick skin and a degree in slaying sexists.

She’s had to work, at the very least, doubly hard to carve a space for herself in the industry and did it back when Proper Football Men ruled supreme.

In many senses they still do, which is why there is such an overreaction when the crime of anyone different getting an opportunity is committed.

Oatley isn’t the host of Sunday Supplement because she is a woman, but because she is an A-list football broadcaster. It was not surprising to see those moaning that she is not the best candidate for the role fail to provide a weighty list of worthy alternatives.

There has been the fair question of whether it would have been better to have a writer rather than a broadcaster front the show, but those hard borders don’t really exist anymore.

Journalists have to be skilled in multiple platforms. Many print scribes are now regular TV and radio analysts and there is no ‘stick to papers’ shout. The industry, like all others, modifies with time.

There has never been a barrier to white men covering football on our screens, over the airwaves or in text, but talent alone has never been enough to smash through the blockade for everyone else.

It’s takes an incredible work ethic, persistence, extending your areas of expertise and continuously improving your craft of which Oatley is an excellent example.

Sure, media companies have finally become aware of the need to add diverse voices into the equation, but that doesn’t negate the above.

And as this latest episode proves, no matter how qualified and ace you are, there are still hordes who will scream ‘token.’

The ‘don’t feed the trolls’ retort is guaranteed to be rolled out, but this ignores the fact that they are self-fuelled by a toxic need to abuse and domineer. Even doing the job really well for decades offends them.

Those people are the problem, not Oatley. So, fellow survivors, make a brew this Sunday, tune in and toast to all of those who will “no longer be watching.” Good riddance.

This news item was provided by the The Independent - Premier League website - the original link is:

Laureus Awards: Liverpool, Lewis Hamilton, Andy Murray and Tiger Woods among nominees

Liverpool won the Champions League and finished second in the Premier League in 2018-19

Liverpool have been shortlisted among the nominees in the Team of the Year and Comeback of the Year categories in the Laureus World Sports Awards.

Jurgen Klopp's side - who won the Champions League in 2019 - are on a shortlist of six for Team of the Year.

The Reds are in the Comeback of the Year category for overturning a 3-0 Champions League semi-final first-leg deficit by beating Barcelona 4-0.

Andy Murray is a Comeback of the Year nominee after returning from surgery.

Britain's Murray broke down in tears after winning his first singles title since career-saving hip surgery by beating Stan Wawrinka at the European Open in October.

Lewis Hamilton is listed in the Sportsman of the Year category as a result of winning his sixth Formula 1 Drivers' Championship, while Tiger Woods is also named in the category after winning his 15th major title at the Masters in April.

Gymnast Simone Biles is bidding for her third Sportswoman of the Year Award, and is among six nominees including USA footballer Megan Rapinoe, who claimed the Women's World Cup Golden Ball and Golden Boot.

Boxer Andy Ruiz Jr is listed for the Breakthrough of the Year award after his 1 June win over Anthony Joshua and the winners of each category - voted for by the 68 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy - will be named in Berlin on 17 February.

Sportsman of the Year

Lewis Hamilton (GB) - Formula 1

Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) - athletics

Marc Marquez (Spain) - motor cycling

Lionel Messi (Argentina) - football

Rafael Nadal (Spain) - tennis

Tiger Woods (USA) - golf

Sportswoman of the Year

Simone Biles (USA) - gymnastics

Allyson Felix (USA) - athletics

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce (Jamaica) - athletics

Naomi Osaka (Japan) - tennis

Megan Rapinoe (USA) - football

Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) - skiing

Team of the Year

Liverpool FC (GB) - football

Mercedes-AMG Petronas (Germany) - motor racing

South Africa men's rugby union team

Spain men's basketball team

Toronto Raptors (Canada) - basketball

United States women's football team

Breakthrough of the Year

Bianca Andreescu (Canada) - tennis

Egan Bernal (Colombia) - cycling

Coco Gauff (USA) - tennis

Japan men's rugby union team

Andy Ruiz Jr (USA) - boxing

Regan Smith (USA) - swimming

Comeback of the Year

Nathan Adrian (USA) - swimming

Sophia Florsch (Germany) - motor racing

Christian Lealiifano (Australia) - rugby union

Kawhi Leonard (USA) - basketball

Liverpool FC (GB) - football

Andy Murray (GB) - tennis

Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability

Omara Durand (Cuba) - athletics

Diede de Groot (Netherlands) - wheelchair tennis

Oksana Masters (USA) - skiing and cycling

Jetze Plat (Netherlands) - triathlon and cycling

Manuela Schar (Switzerland) - wheelchair athletics

Alice Tai (UK) - swimming

Action Sportsperson of the Year

Italo Ferreira (Brazil) - surfing

Nyjah Huston (USA) - skateboarding

Chloe Kim (USA) - snowboarding

Rayssa Leal (Brazil) - skateboarding

Mark McMorris (Canada) - snowboarding

Carissa Moore (USA) - surfing

This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is:

Team news: Kolasinac, Bellerin, Chambers

Deyan Iliev has agreed to join Polish top division side Jagiellonia Bialystok on loan until the end of the season.

The goalkeeper, who has just returned from a loan spell in Slovakia with Super Liga side SKF Sered, made 17 appearances for our under-23s last season, keeping five clean sheets in Premier League 2 and captaining the side against Brighton & Hove Albion at Emirates Stadium.
Iliev, who has represented North Macedonia at every youth level, has been with us for eight seasons now. He joined the club in 2012 from FK Belasica and was included in the first team squad for our home victory over Norwich City in the Carabao Cup in October 2017.
Deyan's fine performances were rewarded with a new contract, which was signed in July.
Everyone at Arsenal wishes Deyan all the best for his time in the Polish Ekstraklasa with Jagiellonia Bialystok.
The loan is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.

Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

Arsene Wenger
This news item was provided by the Arsenal FC News Feed website - the original link is: