That Was The Week That Was

Everyone knows that Jose Mourinho is one of the world’s best managers. His rich collection of managerial honours (achieved since he was working as Sir Bobby Robson’s translator in Portugal and Spain) supports this. And after somewhat stagnating for a manager of his credentials, he is now under some serious pressure to win silverware in his third year in charge at Old Trafford.

Amidst feelings of unrest amongst the current playing staff, and a lack of star signings, it’s hardly ideal preparations for a title challenge. In fact, one glance at social media and it is clear that there are a growing number of Manchester United supporters feeling pessimistic ahead of the upcoming season. Not even the news of midfield maestro Marouane Fellaini extending his contract, is enough to persuade the United faithful that this season they can finish in the top 4.

Various news outlets have claimed Jose is chasing centre backs Harry Maguire and Toby Alderweireld. The former has apparently been valued at around £65m, with the figure having undoubtedly doubled after his impressive World Cup campaign.

At the moment, the only players who are going to be signing a contract at Spurs are those already at the club. This week, Mauricio Pochettino quelled any concerns about their lack of transfer business by adopting one of the game’s many cliches.

Because hold onto your hats Spurs supporters, Pochettino has sent you all this reassuring message “Players who have signed new contracts like Harry Kane, Son, Lamela, Davinson and Michel Vorm – that’s like signing five new players.”

Yes, Vorm was intentionally highlighted in bold.

Of course, this could all change with the impending signing of Jack Grealish for £20m. If they do finish the window with more than one incoming, it would not surprise me if the funds for these would have been benefited by the sale of Alderweireld.

They have made one significant announcement this week. It has been revealed that their new stadium will be named the ‘Tottenham Hotspur Stadium’. The name sees Tottenham joins Cardiff’s ‘Cardiff City Stadium’ in the small list of clubs who have adopted a less than catchy name for their new homes.

To me, they both sound like a couple of non-copyrighted Pro Evolution Soccer stadiums.

The impressive calibre of players that Wolves continue to bring in never ceases to amaze me. Their latest Portuguese addition is the brilliant Monaco play maker Joao Moutinho, for a cool £5m. It means that they now possess more Portuguese players than Porto, Benfica and Sporting Lisbon.

Fellow promoted club Fulham have also made a marquee signing, with World Cup winner Andre Schurle arriving from Borussia Dortmund. And he already knows where the goals are at Craven Cottage, having previously netted a hat-trick when he was at Chelsea. What about Cardiff then? Less said the better, unfortunately.

In last week’s column, you may remember reading my criticism of Mike Ashley’s running of Newcastle United. Since then, there has been developments in terms of transfers and Mike Ashley.

Firstly, the Toon have activated the £3m release clause of Deportivo La Coruna defender and Swiss International Fabian Schar. They also look set to complete the signing of Japanese World Cup forward Yoshinori Muto from Mainz, who themselves have announced that a deal has been agreed in principle. Fantastic news for them. For the Newcastle fans, it must have been a shock to see some actual money spent.

Meanwhile, Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah told Parliament on Monday that Mike Ashley’s lack of investment into Newcastle United needs intervention.

Good on her.

Have a great weekend everyone.