Mourinho: Still the Special One?

 Posted by at 4:01 PM
May 272016

Jose Mourinho arrives at Manchester United as a serial winner.

The 53-year-old’s acrimonious exit from Chelsea in December and the debate about whether his style of play is the ‘United way’ has not clouded the fact the Portuguese virtually guarantees trophies.

In guiding Chelsea to their fourth Premier League title in 2014-15, Mourinho secured the 22nd trophy of his career.

Since taking charge of Porto in 2002, the self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ has swept all before him – both domestically and in European competition.

While still well behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 13 Premier League titles, the range of silverware in Mourinho’s trophy cabinet is no less impressive.

The former Chelsea boss has won the league in four different countries, lifted the European Cup with two clubs, won a Uefa Cup, an FA Cup and three League Cups, as well as securing an array of domestic cups in Portugal, Italy and Spain.

Still the best ever?

Despite a disastrous last season at Chelsea, losing nine of the first 16 league games and departing in December with the team just one point above the relegation zone, Mourinho’s win percentage is still better than any manager in Premier League history.

Combining his two spells in England, he won 140 of 212 Premier League games, a win percentage of 66%.

Includes only managers who have managed at least 50 games in the Premier League

Favourite opposition?

United fans will no doubt be delighted to read that, while at Chelsea, Mourinho had more victories against Liverpool than any other club in the league, having won eight of 12 games against the Merseyside club.

Big-game dominance

Mourinho’s record against his title rivals is what has set him apart from the opposition.

Out of 44 Premier League games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal, Mourinho lost just five times.

Mourinho’s ‘bogey teams’

While the Portuguese has an impressive record against sides challenging for the title, he has not fared as well against clubs from the north east.

Newcastle United are the only team to have defeated Mourinho’s Chelsea three times.

Middlesbrough, who earlier this month gained promotion to the Premier League after a seven-year absence, beat the Blues twice in 2006.

Produced by Nassos Stylianou

All data supplied by Opta

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Hodgson foresees winter break

 Posted by at 6:23 AM
May 272016
England coach Roy Hodgson has previously called for a winter break

England manager Roy Hodgson believes the scrapping of FA Cup quarter-final replays could be the first step to a Premier League winter break.

The Football Association approved the move to ease English football’s congested fixture list.

Hodgson suggested the FA and Premier League had been in discussions about the best way to achieve the objective.

“I think it’s all designed eventually to maybe providing that elusive winter break,” Hodgson said on Thursday.

“There’s been no doubt that one of the stumbling blocks has often been ‘hold on, you have all of these replays and you’re asking us to cut our season down’.

“I think it’s only positive that this sort of move has been made.”

He added that a break would be aimed at “freshening minds up”.

The top divisions in France, Italy, Spain and Germany have winter breaks.

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May 272016
Marouane Fellaini netted the winner against West Ham in April in the last ever FA Cup quarter-final replay

FA Cup quarter-final replays have been scrapped from next season.

The Football Association said the decision was part of its “ongoing review” of the competition and helped to “ease English football’s congested fixture schedule”.

Semi-final replays were phased out after Manchester United’s 1999 victory over Arsenal on their way to winning the treble.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said the change “adds excitement”.

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Great goals from this season’s FA Cup

Replays in earlier rounds remain, meaning lower-league clubs will still have the opportunity to earn lucrative second matches against higher-ranked clubs.

Manchester United beat West Ham in a replay in this season’s quarter-finals – Marouane Fellaini scoring the winning goal – before going on to lift the trophy in the final at Wembley.

Glenn added: “While fully respecting tradition and history, this new development will help the cup retain its status as a much-loved and world-renowned competition.”

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