Christophe Galtier takes swipe at ‘classy’ Jose Mourinho for taking Lille coaches to Tottenham

‘I am not Neymar’s father’ says Tuchel on forward’s trip to Madrid

Christophe Galtier was not hugely pleased with Jose Mourinho for taking some of his Lille coaches to Tottenham.

Lille boss Christophe Galtier took a swipe at “classy” Jose Mourinho for taking two of his coaches to become part of his new team at Tottenham.

Mourinho was appointed as the new man in charge of Spurs on Wednesday after Mauricio Pochettino and his assistants were sacked.

Former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss Mourinho moved quickly to arrange his backroom team at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos and Joao Sacramento both appointed from Lille.

There has also been speculation that Mourinho wants sporting director Luis Campos to join him in north London to take up a similar role.

Galtier does not blame his coaching staff for taking up a new position, but he made it clear he was none too pleased with the way in which Mourinho has gone about things.

 

“Everyone has their own way of doing things. It’s very classy, anyway, very classy to act like that,” Galtier said in ironic tones ahead of Lille’s Ligue 1 clash with Paris Saint-Germain on Friday.

“I was angry; the timing isn’t good. There are ways to do things. Regardless, what matters is that I agree with the decision of the president [Gerard Lopez].

“I have also been in a deputy role. They were asked, they believe in this project, they want to go. That’s football today.

“My president and Luis Campos could not do anything to keep two people who couldn’t stay in this project. We’re not in the world of the Care Bears.

“I learned it by phone from my president on Tuesday night. He told me about the situation. I didn’t see anything coming. We were preparing normally for the match in Paris.

“He explained it to me, and I understood. I would have done the same thing. If staff want to go to another project, it takes so much investment that if your head is 10 per cent elsewhere, you’re doomed to failure.”

Galtier certainly does not expect Campos to follow his former coaching staff to Spurs, though.

“Luis is 200 per cent invested in the project [at Lille] and I don’t see a 1000th of a wish to look elsewhere,” he said. “We’re close and looking forward.”

Webb Simpson leads RSM Classic

‘A dream of mine’ – 17-year-old Kim Joohyung on Asian Tour win

American golfer Webb Simpson set the pace on day one of the PGA Tour tournament in Georgia.

Webb Simpson carded a seven-under-par 65 to lead the RSM Classic after the opening round.

Simpson was almost flawless as the American golfer earned a one-stroke lead in Georgia on Thursday.

Playing on Sea Island’s Plantation Course – the easier of the two courses used this week – Simpson overcame a slow start, which saw him bogey his second hole.

Simpson was one over par before playing his final 13 holes in eight under to take the first-round lead ahead of Cameron Tringale and Lee Kyoung-hoon – who each played on the Seaside Course – and Rhein Gibson.

 

“He told me, no matter how I started out, to stay patient,” Simpson said of caddie Paul Tesori’s advice. “I think he knew scores would be good over there [on the Plantation Course]. He helped me weather the storm.”

Simpson – a five-time PGA Tour champion without a win since May 2018 – carded six of his eight birdies on his back nine, closing out the round with three in a row.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve won,” 2012 U.S. Open winner Simpson said. “I’ve given myself chances here. Starting this week, all I wanted was a chance Sunday because I do feel comfortable here.”

Scott Harrington, Tyler Duncan, Brian Harman, Alex Cejka, Rory Sabbatini, Scott Brown, Sebastian Munoz, Nick Taylor and Hank Lebioda are five under heading into the second round.

Meanwhile, defending champion Charles Howell III is five strokes off the pace.

Andy Murray not certain to play Davis Cup quarter-final, says Great Britain captain

Andy Murray admits that he didn’t deserve to win Davis Cup match

Great Britain captain Leon Smith has not yet decided whether Andy Murray will be involved in the Davis Cup quarter-finals.

Murray – who overcame Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) on Wednesday – was rested for Great Britain’s 2-1 Group E victory over Kazakhstan on Thursday.

The tie was level at 1-1 heading into a decisive doubles rubber, with Neal Skupski and Murray’s older brother Jamie coming out on top 6-1 6-4.

And Smith says former world number one Murray may not feature on Friday against Group C winners Germany.

“Andy is a team player and understands what is best for the team,” Smith told reporters in Madrid.

 

“There is no awkwardness about who is going to play, who isn’t going to play. It is a good, open and honest discussion. That’s what we will do again.

“It might be one of the more difficult decisions I’ve had to make, but it is also better when you have got the quality we’ve got to be able to have those discussions.

“We can look at who is in the best physical condition, and look at the match-ups again, linking those factors together to do what is best for the team.

“Because we are scheduled tomorrow evening, it gives us time to see if everybody is right and how they feel.”

Leading Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) officials charged with anti-doping violations

Several Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) officials, including president Dmitry Shlyakhtin, have been charged with doping violations

The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) has suspended several leading Russian Athletics Federation (RusAF) officials for their conduct during an investigation into high-jumper Danil Lysenko.

Russian athletes have been prohibited from representing their country since November 2015 following allegations of state-sponsored doping, which have been regularly denied.

Lysenko, a high jump silver medallist from the 2017 World Athletics Championships, was authorised by World Athletics to compete as a neutral athlete following the suspension of RusAF.

In June 2018, Lysenko was notified of a third “whereabouts” failure, with a notice of charge issued against him and a provisional suspension imposed in August 2018.

The AIU investigated the explanations provided by Lysenko, concluding the explanations were false and supported by forged documents.

A subsequent 15-month inquiry into RusAF’s conduct has led to senior officials, including the organisation’s president Dmitry Shlyakhtin, being charged with serious breaches of anti-doping rules, including a failure to co-operate with an investigation and obstructing an investigation.

In total, seven individuals associated with RusAF – Shlyakhtin, executive director Alexander Parkin, board member Artur Karamyan, senior administrator Elena Orlova, anti-doping coordinator Elena Ikonnikova, Lysenko and his coach Evgeniy Zagorulko – have been charged for anti-doping rule violations of tampering and/or complicity.

All seven have been handed suspensions with immediate effect.

RusAF has until December 12 to respond to the notice, and the AIU board may refer the matter to the World Athletics Council.

 

Marcelo Bielsa backs Mauricio Pochettino to land top job after ‘brilliant’ Tottenham work

Chelsea ‘very optimisic’ on overturning transfer ban – Cech

Mauricio Pochettino will capitalise on the credit he built up at Tottenham elsewhere, according to former mentor Marcelo Bielsa.

Mauricio Pochettino will get the chance to take charge of one of the best teams in the world due to his efforts at Tottenham, Marcelo Bielsa says.

Spurs sacked Pochettino this week after just five wins in 17 matches in all competitions this season and replaced him with former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

The 47-year-old’s departure came less than six months after he led Spurs to their first Champions League final, where they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool.

Bielsa, who coached Pochettino as a young player at Newell’s Old Boys and has been credited with influencing his post-playing career, says reaching that final showed just how well the Spurs side had been constructed even in a season in which no players were signed.

Bielsa now expects Pochettino to be given a chance by one of the world’s top clubs.

“I’m going to talk, not about the relationship I have with Pochettino, but for what I have observed in English football,” the Leeds United boss said on Thursday.

 

“The work Pochettino has done is brilliant. In the last year, he put Tottenham in a high level in the world. For any coach, it’s a very important achievement. For Pochettino, I think it’s even more important because the team that played in the Champions League last year was a team he built very carefully.

“The performance of this team was more linked by collective play rather than top players being bought for them. They didn’t buy big players to achieve this. This reality makes Pochettino’s work even more important.

“People who work professionally like that earn absolutely deserved credit. Maybe he couldn’t enjoy this credit at Tottenham. But he will take this credit and big teams in the world will look to capitalise on it.

“For sure, he is a manager who will lead one of the best teams in the world. He made Tottenham one of the most important teams in the world.

“I have a lot of affection and respect for Mauricio. When something that is not good happens to him, I can’t ignore it. If we look at the close effect of the situation, we can be sad. I feel sad.

“But in 15 days, he’ll be at the top again, because when you see things from a distance, without looking at recent facts, then you can realise what you’ve really achieved.

“Now, he leaves a team that is attractive to Mourinho – that has a lot of value. The next team who take him will express again the respect Pochettino has created.”

DP World Tour: Possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year – Rory McIlroy beams after eagle at 18th

‘A dream of mine’ – 17-year-old Kim Joohyung on Asian Tour win

Rory McIlroy described his stunning approach to the 18th as “possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year” as he closed with an eagle to surge into contention on day one of the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

The four-time major winner, seeking a third title at Jumeirah Golf Estates, carded a 64 on Thursday to sit one stroke behind leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the season-ending European Tour event.

McIlroy pulled clear in the second spot, two ahead of Race to Dubai contender Jon Rahm, with a three at the par-five last set up by a booming drive and pinpoint approach shot that landed within three feet of the pin.

“It’s possibly the best shot I’ve hit all year,” the world number two told Sky Sports. “It was one of those where if you get it right and you button it, it’s going to be perfect.

“The two shots into the last were right up there with the two best shots I’ve hit this year, I would say.

“I’m feeling comfortable with my game. I have done for the last while. I felt like [this] was just more of the same of how I’ve been feeling.

“I hit some really quality shots coming in which gives me a lot of confidence going into the next few days.”

 

McIlroy recently added an eye-catching finishing touch to his home, with the addition of a trophy cabinet that he would dearly love to contribute to this weekend.

His wife Erika had the cabinet put in place when McIlroy was busy securing further silverware at last month’s WGC-HSBC Champions.

“It’s sort of the last room that we’ve been waiting on to get finished in the house,” the Northern Irishman explained. “I like to have [the trophies] out so, in a reflective moment, I can go and have a look at all I’ve achieved on the golf course the last few years.

“I had not seen them – they were in storage for a year and a half – so just to come back to it was really nice.

“It’s a nice reflective moment, but it’s also a motivational moment that this is what I can do and I want more of it.”

I only have to be perfect for two seconds – Deontay Wilder in bullish mood ahead of Luis Ortiz bout

Bare-knuckle boxer accidentally hurts opponent as he raises their hand

Deontay Wilder has insisted he only has to be perfect for two seconds to triumph in his rematch with Luis Ortiz.

Deontay Wilder has issued a warning to Luis Ortiz ahead of Saturday’s heavyweight bout, claiming he only needs to be perfect for two seconds to win.

Wilder and Ortiz initially met in March 2018, when the American stopped the 40-year-old in the 10th round.

Victory over Ortiz in the rematch – with the WBC heavyweight title on the line – will pave the way for Wilder to go up against Tyson Fury in February.

According to Wilder, Ortiz will know he has to be at his best for 12 rounds to stand a chance of winning a fight the “Bronze Bomber” believes has little chance of going to 12 rounds.

“Don’t blink, this is war – you already know what to expect. This fight will not go the distance,” Wilder told a news conference.

“Get your popcorn, get your pizza, go to the bathroom, don’t let anyone disturb you. Don’t drop your cell phone, put it in your pocket, because you don’t want to be the one who dropped it and look up and say, ‘What happened?’

“As I always say, these guys have to be perfect for 12 rounds, I only need to be perfect for two seconds, and then, in the blink of an eye, it’s bam, baby, goodnight!

“I can’t wait. You guys are in for a treat. It’s going to be an amazing fight, an amazing night.

 

“I’m the best in the world and I say it with confidence. With that being said, I have to give the fans what they’re hungry for. That’s exciting fights.

“The heavyweight division was in a dark place, but now it’s on fire and I must keep it going. Luis Ortiz is one of the best in the world and one of the most dangerous men in boxing.”

Wilder was shaken at times during his first fight with Ortiz, and conceded he has learned from the mistakes he made 20 months ago.

“It was an amazing fight the first time and I’m going to make adjustments this time. That’s what it’s all about. I will be at my best on Saturday,” he added.

“I’d rather go through difficulty in the ring than go through my whole career being perfect. What kind of legacy would I have? I want to give you something to remember me by.”

Neymar set for PSG comeback as illness hits Kylian Mbappe

‘I am not Neymar’s father’ says Tuchel on forward’s trip to Madrid

Neymar is ready to return to action for Paris Saint-Germain against Lille on Saturday, but the Ligue 1 champions could be without Kylian Mbappe.

The Brazil superstar has not featured for his club since sustaining a hamstring injury during the October international break, continuing a tale of fitness woe that has stained his time at the Parc des Princes.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference, head coach Thomas Tuchel confirmed Neymar would be available for a mouth-watering week of fixtures, with trips to Real Madrid and Monaco coming after Lille’s visit to the French capital.

“Neymar feels good,” Tuchel said. “He has trained well and will be in the group for tomorrow’s match, but he will not be able to play 90 minutes.

“He will bring us quality and decisive things. When he is with us, we are super dangerous. That is necessary if we want to continue to win

“Lille, Real Madrid and Monaco represent three challenging games for us.”

Mbappe has often stepped up in Neymar’s absence, but the France forward has been laid low by illness having already suffered hamstring, thigh and groin setbacks this term.

 

“He had a fever, he has to start training today, we have to wait,” said Tuchel, who will be without midfield duo Marco Verratti (knee) and Ander Herrera (thigh).

Neymar’s rehabilitation took on a trip to watch the Davis Cup in Madrid this week, something which neither delighted nor angered his boss.

“What can I do? I’m not his father, nor the police. I am just his coach,” Tuchel added.

“He trained well. Did I enjoy his trip to Madrid? No. But he was very professional during those two weeks.

“He did more than others, working with the group and also individually. If all goes well, he can play [against Lille]. Tomorrow we will decide”.

Angelique Kerber announces new coach for 2020

Andy Murray admits that he didn’t deserve to win Davis Cup match

Angelique Kerber will work with Dieter Kindlmann in the next WTA season after announcing her fellow German as her new coach.

The three-time grand slam champion parted ways with coach Rainer Schuttler in July after just eight months.

Kerber, now ranked 20th in the world, confirmed the arrival of Kindlmann in a tweet on Thursday.

“As much as I’ve enjoyed my time off, I’m excited to get back into training,” wrote the former world number one.

“Happy to announce that Didi Kindlmann will be joining my team as the new coach! Work starts here, and I’m thankful for the people in my team that share the same vision moving forward!”

The move comes after she failed to win a title in 2019.

 

Kindlmann has previously worked with Madison Keys, Elise Mertens and, most recently, Ajla Tomljanovic.

Kerber’s most recent grand slam triumph came at Wimbledon in 2018, but she did not make it past the fourth round at any of the four majors this year.

Disrespectful, wrong, ungrateful – Gareth Bale’s Wales banner incurs media wrath in Spain

Flamengo arrive in Lima ahead of Copa Libertadores final against River Plate

Spanish newspapers have criticised Gareth Bale after he was pictured behind a banner that read: “WALES. GOLF. MADRID… IN THAT ORDER”.

Gareth Bale’s popularity in Spain appears to have sunk to an all-time low as he heads back to Real Madrid following international duty.

Not sighted in LaLiga for well over a month, the winger made his second Wales start in four days as Ryan Giggs’ men secured Euro 2020 qualification with a 2-0 win over Hungary on Tuesday.

Bale’s timely return to fitness prompted suspicion, and his actions after the game have attracted more scorn in certain sections of the Spanish media, who have routinely criticised him for spending too much time on the golf course.

In Cardiff, he was pictured celebrating with Wales team-mates behind a banner that read: “WALES. GOLF. MADRID… IN THAT ORDER”.

Madrid newspaper Marca, said to have close links to the powerful club that employs Bale, did not take kindly to what has been perceived as a mocking gesture.

The front page of its Thursday edition featured Bale and the headline: “DISRESPECTFUL. WRONG. UNGRATEFUL. IN THAT ORDER”.

 

AS, also headquartered in the Spanish capital, depicted the four-time Champions League winner sinking a close-range putt alongside the headline: “BALE IS IN A HOLE”.

Meanwhile, online newspaper El Espanol captured the order of priorities supporters expect – “MADRID. MADRID. MADRID. IN THAT ORDER” – while columnist Tomas Roncero summed up what appears to lay ahead.

His comment piece in AS included a simple, ominous quote for Bale’s future: “Out, out, out.”

 

The media message crossed borders ahead of Madrid’s meeting with Real Sociedad on Sunday.

In an interview with The Athletic, ex-Madrid president Ramon Calderon called Bale “childish” and claimed fans were “very angry” with the one-time €100million signing.

Davis Cup: Rafael Nadal dethrones Croatia and puts Spain into last eight

Andy Murray admits that he didn’t deserve to win Davis Cup match

Croatia’s hopes of retaining the Davis Cup are over after they were beaten by hosts Spain in Madrid.

Rafael Nadal ended Croatia’s reign as Davis Cup champions and put Spain into the quarter-finals after history was made in Germany’s clean sweep of Argentina on Wednesday.

Nadal sealed the hosts’ passage into the last eight at La Caja Magica with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Borna Gojo, the world number one’s 26th consecutive singles win in the competition.

That gave Spain a 2-0 lead and ensured Croatia could not finish above Russia in Group B due to Andrey Rublev’s defeat of Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday.

Bautista Agut earlier made amends for that loss by easing to a 6-1 6-3 thrashing of Nikola Mektic in the opening rubber on day three.

Germany made a dream start in Madrid, beating Argentina 3-0 with Philipp Kohlschreiber seeing off Guido Pella 1-6 6-3 6-4 and Jan-Lennard Struff a 6-3 7-6 (10-8) victor over Diego Schwartzman.

Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies put the icing on the cake against Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer by winning the longest Davis Cup tie-break – taking the final set 7-6 (20-18).

 

Germany are top of Group C and denied Argentina the chance to seal a spot in the quarter-finals.

Andy Murray marked his first Davis Cup appearance in over three years with a hard-fought 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 7-6 (7-5) win over Tallon Griekspoor in Great Britain’s 2-1 Group E success over Netherlands.

Novak Djokovic eased past Yoshihito Nishioka  6-1 6-2 in Serbia’s 3-0 triumph over Japan, while Australia progressed after beating Belgium 2-1 and the United States edged Italy 2-1 in a clash between two nations already eliminated.

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Anthony Joshua vows to ‘whup’ Andy Ruiz and show his greatness

Bare-knuckle boxer accidentally hurts opponent as he raises their hand

Anthony Joshua says history will not repeat itself when he steps into the ring with Andy Ruiz Jr for a second time.

Joshua has vowed to “whup” Andy Ruiz Jr and says everyone should bow to his greatness after he wins their world heavyweight title rematch.

Ruiz sensationally knocked Joshua out to claim his IBF, WBA and WBO titles at Madison Square Garden in June.

Joshua says it will be a very different story when he steps into the ring with the Mexican in Saudi Arabia on December 7.

“I’m fighting the best man in the world now,” Joshua told Sky Sports News. “I’m going to whup him, and show how great I am.

“They think he’s so great, so when I beat him I want everybody to bow to my feet and tell me how great I am.”

 

 

He added: “I couldn’t beat Ruiz Jr before and get the credit I deserved.

“You saw me in the ring – I wasn’t fighting King Kong, was I? [I didn’t have] that mindset.

“Apparently I’m fighting the quickest hands and the best fighter in the division. So once I beat him I want everybody to bow to me.”

Joshua says he has learned from the experience of his first professional defeat in New York.

The 30-year-old stated: “My body is in pain. I know how to fight, I know how to box. That’s a good place to be in – when you don’t second-guess yourself.

“You go into a boxing ring without questioning yourself. I feel like I can control myself, and I have learned. In the first fight when I put him down, maybe I should have controlled myself more.

“The blessing is that, out of such adversity, such great opportunity has come to right my wrong and become a two-time heavyweight champion. To prove to the world – no, not to the world. To prove to myself that the changes I wanted to make will pay off. That’s a good place to be in.”

 

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Rafael Nadal helps Spain past Russia, Canada stun USA

Andy Murray admits that he didn’t deserve to win Davis Cup match

Spain overcame Russia in their Davis Cup Finals opener as Rafael Nadal claimed a singles win.

Rafael Nadal helped Spain to an opening win over Russia at the Davis Cup Finals, while Canada stunned the United States on Tuesday.

After Andrey Rublev had edged Roberto Bautista Agut in Madrid, Nadal overcame Karen Khachanov 6-3 7-6 (9-7).

The 19-time grand slam champion did not play the doubles, but Marcel Granollers and Feliciano Lopez got the job done in a 6-4 7-6 (7-5) victory over Rublev and Khachanov.

Spain will face Croatia, who lost their opener to Russia, in Group B on Wednesday.

 

 

Canada created history as they reached the quarter-finals from Group F with a first ever win over USA.

The meeting of the two north American neighbours was over after the two singles matches, with Vasek Pospisil putting Canada ahead when he defeated Reilly Opelka via two tie-breaks.

Denis Shapovalov then sealed victory for his country – their first in 16 attempts against USA – as he recorded a 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 result against Taylor Fritz.

 

 

Argentina opened Group C with a comfortable 3-0 triumph over Chile.

Guido Pella and Diego Schwartzman defeated Nicolas Jarry and Cristian Garin respectively, both in straight sets, while the doubles pairing of Maximo Gonzalez and Leonardo Mayer sealed the sweep.

Also on Tuesday, France overcame Japan 2-1 in Group A, Kazakhstan were too good for Netherlands 2-1 in Group E and Australia swept aside Colombia 3-0 in Group D.

 

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UFC: Conor McGregor’s manager reveals Cerrone talks ‘progressing’

Jorge Masvidal has an interesting story about being in a club with UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya

Audie Attar is optimistic he will be able to make an announcement over Conor McGregor’s comeback fight in the near future.

Conor McGregor’s manager hopes to confirm a deal for the Irishman to make his UFC comeback against Donald Cerrone “in the coming weeks”.

The former two-weight world champion last month stated that he will make his return to the octagon on January 18.

McGregor has not fought since he was beaten by Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title bout in October 2018.

Cerrone urged the 31-year-old to “sign the deal” in October and Audie Attar, McGregor’s manager, is optimistic an agreement can soon be reached.

He told the South China Morning Post: “I would say that talks have been progressing. We’ve met them [Cerrone’s team], we’re in close communication with them.

“I would hope that an announcement could happen in the coming weeks, but at the end of the day, it’s still a work in progress.”

 

Thai pads on the tennis court

A post shared by Conor McGregor Official (@thenotoriousmma) on 

Attar believes McGregor can be crowned UFC champion again.

“I don’t see him slowing down,” he added.

“I think that fighting once a year for the last couple of years, it’s almost like it’s grown his appetite to stay active.

“In any sport, the more reps you take, the better you get. He’s no stranger to becoming a world champion multiple times over. He knows what it takes.”

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