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Manchester United too quick in firing Jose Mourinho – Marouane Fellaini

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Marouane Fellaini

Former Manchester United player, Marouane Fellaini, believes his former club were too quick to sack Jose Mourinho and criticised the club’s quick turnaround in firing and hiring managers.

The Belgian spent five-and-a-half years at United, during which time he played under four different managers, before leaving Old Trafford in January for Shandong Luneng in the Chinese Super League.

Fellaini won the EFL Cup and Europa League under Mourinho in 2017 but the Portuguese was sacked in December last year after a poor run of results.

However, United’s problems have not settled with Mourinho’s departure – with successor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer presiding over the club’s worst start to a season for 30 years this term – and Fellaini believes the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss should have been given more time.

“They brought in one of the best managers in the world in Jose Mourinho, he wanted to build a team and they sacked him,” Fellaini told reporters.

“It’s not easy to build a team in that time, you need more than two years.

“I don’t know what they will do with Solskjaer but, for me, to win things and to improve, you need time. Mourinho, for the first season, he did amazingly, he improved the team, won things. Ok, the second season was a bit more difficult, but he tried, you know, and did his best to help the team. Then they decided to sack him.

“For me, yes [United were too hasty in sacking Mourinho] because a manager like that comes and he needs a lot of players to implement his own philosophy. He wanted to build his team and after two years, or two years and a half, they decided to sack him because the results were not there.”

The 31-year-old played under David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Mourinho and, briefly, Solskjaer during his time at Old Trafford, winning the FA Cup under the Dutchman, and he says none of those coaches were given enough time in the role by the club.

“They brought in Moyes, they didn’t give him time. They brought in Van Gaal, they gave him two years and we started to do some things, he won the cup, but after that they sacked the manager because they want to win quickly, I think. A manager like Van Gaal tactically is very strong and has a lot of experience and they sacked him,” he said.

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“But when you look to build a team you need time, not change a manager every two years, every year. If the manager doesn’t do well for four or five games, they want to sack him.

“Manchester United won everything for years with Sir Alex Ferguson, so for someone else to come and do what he did is not that easy. They had a team and a strong base. It’s not easy for someone to come and do like Sir Alex Ferguson. People and supporters of Manchester United want that, but football has changed, the mentality of players has changed.”

 

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PSG sign striker Icardi on permanent deal

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Mauro Icardi

French champions Paris St Germain have signed striker Mauro Icardi on a permanent deal from Inter Milan, the Serie A club said on Sunday.

Argentine Icardi, 27, joined PSG in September on a season-long loan with a buy-out option.

“FC Internazionale Milano announces the transfer of Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint-Germain FC; the striker, born in 1993, has permanently moved to the French club.

“The club thanks the player for the six seasons he spent with us and wishes him the best for his future professional career,” Inter said in a statement.

Icardi scored 20 goals in 31 matches in all competitions before the season was officially concluded on April 30, with 10 games remaining due to the COVID-19 crisis.

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He has been competing for a place in the side with Uruguay striker Edinson Cavani, PSG’s all-time top scorer, whose contract expired on June 30.

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Ukrainian match postponed after footballers test positive for coronavirus

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Ukraine’s top professional soccer league said on Saturday it had canceled one of its first post-lockdown matches after several players and staff at Karpaty in the western city of Lviv tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

The match between Karpaty and Mariupol from the Azov Sea port of Mariupol was supposed to be played on Sunday behind closed doors.

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The football authorities did not specify how many players had been affected by the virus and when a rescheduled match may be played.

“Those infected were immediately transferred to self-isolation. They had no symptoms,” the league said in a statement.

Ukraine’s government has started easing restrictions imposed in March to prevent the spread of the virus and allowed sports events to continue if all participants are tested and comply with other safety requirements.

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The soccer authorities decided to resume competitions in the Premier League and the Cup with no spectators. Two of Ukraine’s most famous clubs, Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk, are scheduled to meet on Sunday.

Ukraine has reported 23,304 cases, including 696 deaths from the coronavirus as of May 30.

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Tennis’ world number 11 undergoes surgery on both ankles

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World number 11 Fabio Fognini underwent surgery on both ankles on Saturday to cure a long-standing problem.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the 33-year-old Italian tennis player said he had hoped the two-month break due to the coronavirus pandemic would have improved his situation.

“I’ve been having a problem with my left ankle for three and a half years now and it’s an issue I’ve learned to cope with,” Fognini said. “Then my right ankle started playing up in the last two years as well.

“After a medical examination and a long discussion with my team, I decided to have arthroscopic surgery on both ankles.

“I believe it’s the right thing to do while the Tour is on an enforced break. I will have surgery today`(Saturday).”

No professional tournaments have been played since the start of March because of the pandemic, and the ATP Tour has been suspended until at least the start of August.

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