‘The Happy One’, U21 failure and tax avoidance

An interesting week in football – managerial appointments, a truly dismal display from England U21’s in Israel and a mega story from Spain, involving Messi and an enormous amount of money.

Jose Mourinho Photo: Flickr
Newly-appointed Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho. Photo: Flickr

First of all, Mourinho’s press conference as he was reintroduced as the Chelsea manager after nine years after his first press conference, where he introduced himself as “The Special One.”

Six years after his last game at Chelsea, from which he went marching across Europe, dominating in Italy at Inter Milan, winning a Champions League in the process, and at Real Madrid where he broke, well more likely interrupted the Barcelona dominance, he returned to Chelsea a more sombre and professional figure.

Asked about whether he still considered himself “special”, he revealed that he was just “happy” about being back at Chelsea.

If anything, his press conference was fairly uneventful and slightly dull but that’s a scary thing. A more professional and less erratic Mourinho is a dangerous prospect.

If he can keep Abramovich sweet and of course build a winning Chelsea side, they may be very difficult to stop for several years.

So moving on from a potential success, to a devastatingly unsuccessful tournament for the England Under 21’s in Israel.

Drawn against Italy, Norway and hosts Israel, it appeared that England may have had an easy group.

But following 1-0 defeats to Italy and Israel and a 3-1 defeat to Norway, England ended up with 0 points and red faces.

Stuart Pearce blamed his players, saying he doesn’t believe he should be answering questions on their behalf.

With players like Zaha, Henderson and Shelvey to name a few, England obviously, should be doing a lot better but the lack of control on the ball, basic tactics, and inability to convert chances shows how far England have fallen behind on the world stage.

We keep hearing about St George’s Park in Burton, but the U21’s have shown that it will be at least 10 to 15 years until England look like they can challenge for an international trophy.

Looking at England’s abject performances in recent years at the World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012, it’s not surprising they underachieved at the U21 Euros’.

One story that broke this week however, is surprising and shocking (if it’s true.) Lionel Messi and his father. Jorge Horacio, are being investigated in Spain for allegedly defrauding the state of €4million (£3.4million).

With a wage of more than €15million a year, the amount Messi has been accused of embezzling is tiny but if he is charged for it and found guilty, he could face prison time.

Whatever happens, the accusation alone is enough to damage Messi’s seemingly  impeachable reputation.

Other news from this week includes Jose Mourinho’s first signing on his return to Chelsea costing £18million, Andre Schurrle appears to be joining The Blues from the Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen.

Schurrle will agree on personal terms before under going a medical. The deal will probably be completed early next week.

The last story to be confirmed before the completion of this blog is the news that Manuel Pellegrini will be the new Manchester City manager. The experienced former Malaga and Real Madrid manager is charged with winning five trophies in five years.

Things to look forward to next week includes the fixture list which is released next Wednesday on the 19 World Cup, the Confederations Cup.

Brazil take on Japan in the first game on Saturday, with other teams involved include World Cup and European Championship winners Spain, Copa America winners Uruguay, Euro 2012 runners up Italy all way down to Tahiti, who are the Oceania Champions, who are ranked 138 in the world. Mexico and Nigeria are the other two continental champions that make up the competition.

It’s set to be a busy summer and even more enthralling season as the build up to the World Cup kicks off.

The Linc Sport team will be here all the way with national and local football news to make sure you don’t miss a thing.

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