Mourinho in Manchester ended up feeling like a loveless celebrity marriage | Barney Ronay

His style at United has been defence-heavy and excitement-free but problems exist in all areas of the club

Farewell, then, José. It’s been fun. Or if not exactly fun then fitful, tedious and wreathed in a familiar sense of entropy. Either way José Mourinho’s abrupt departure from Manchester United on Tuesday morning completes a familiar three-year cycle of doomed hope, doomed decline and, by the end, simply doom.

There was at least an inevitability about the end. It has been clear since the summer that Mourinho was preparing for this moment, using his public pronouncements to shift blame, distance himself from the squad of players assembled, and tend to the one element that really matters: his glorious but increasingly distant legacy.

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via Football | The Guardian

Leicester City v Manchester City: Carabao Cup quarter-final – live!

Well wasn’t that a day to remember? But life goes on in Manchester, and as managerless United contemplate their next move, rivals City tonight take on Leicester City at the King Power in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

The hosts hope to make it to the semis for the first time since 1999-2000. But that could prove a big ask. They’ve lost all four of their previous League Cup ties with Manchester City, who beat them at this stage both last season and in 2013-14. They’ll most likely not face a weakened team, either, with Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne expected to get some sort of run-out on their journeys back from injury. Leicester’s old boy Riyad Mahrez could also play, too.

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via Football | The Guardian

Leicester City v Manchester City: Carabao Cup quarter-final – live!

Well wasn’t that a day to remember? But life goes on in Manchester, and as managerless United contemplate their next move, rivals City tonight take on Leicester City at the King Power in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

The hosts hope to make it to the semis for the first time since 1999-2000. But that could prove a big ask. They’ve lost all four of their previous League Cup ties with Manchester City, who beat them at this stage both last season and in 2013-14. They’ll most likely not face a weakened team, either, with Sergio Aguero and Kevin de Bruyne expected to get some sort of run-out on their journeys back from injury. Leicester’s old boy Riyad Mahrez could also play, too.

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via Football | The Guardian

Plan to scrap FA Cup fifth-round replays is brought forward to this season

• FA makes move to reduce fixture congestion for top six sides
• Fifth-round games will move to midweek from 2019-20 season

Plans to scrap FA Cup fifth-round replays have been brought forward to include this season, the Football Association has announced.

The decision had previously been made to get rid of fifth-round replays from the start of next season, deciding last-16 ties with extra time and penalties in order to create space in the calendar for a winter break from February 2020 onward.

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via Football | The Guardian

The Fiver | Continuing a festive tradition of Christmastime bootings

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“They say I’m in danger, but I don’t think so,” said José Mourinho in September. “If they got rid of me, do you have any idea how much money they would have to give me?” Something between £15m and £24m, according to the wild guesswork masquerading as news since United called Mourinho’s bluff on Tuesday morning and finally gave their miserable manager the heave-ho. The peevish Portuguese will now get to spend the next few weeks in his counting-house assessing the size of his bank balance, very much like the Dickensian character he has come to resemble, screeching “Bah!” and “Humbug!” at anyone with the temerity to wish him a merry Christmas.

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via Football | The Guardian

Unai Emery calls on Arsenal to show Tottenham respect in Carabao Cup tie

• Arsenal players criticised for derby victory selfies
• Manager calls Southampton defeat a wake-up call

Unai Emery has called on his Arsenal side to show Tottenham respect when they renew derby hostilities in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, but insists that “emotion is very important” in building a successful football team.

Arsenal’s players were criticised for posting selfies from the dressing room after their 4-2 victory over Spurs at the Emirates Stadium earlier this month, with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino suggested such moments should be saved for winning trophies. Emery did not concur but said that any expression of emotion should be tempered, and that applies to both sides.

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via Football | The Guardian

Unai Emery calls on Arsenal to show Tottenham respect in Carabao Cup tie

• Arsenal players criticised for derby victory selfies
• Manager calls Southampton defeat a wake-up call

Unai Emery has called on his Arsenal side to show Tottenham respect when they renew derby hostilities in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday, but insists that “emotion is very important” in building a successful football team.

Arsenal’s players were criticised for posting selfies from the dressing room after their 4-2 victory over Spurs at the Emirates Stadium earlier this month, with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino suggested such moments should be saved for winning trophies. Emery did not concur but said that any expression of emotion should be tempered, and that applies to both sides.

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via Football | The Guardian

Pochettino refuses to comment on Manchester United speculation

• ‘A lot of rumours happen but it’s not my business’
• Spurs coach offers no guarantees for next season

Mauricio Pochettino insisted that he would not and could not comment on “rumours” linking him to Manchester United at the end of the season, as he declined to offer Tottenham any guarantees he would remain with them next season.

United sacked José Mourinho on Tuesday morning, after a dismal run of results, and they intend to appoint a caretaker manager until the end of the season, when they will make permanent choice to lead them forward. They considered a move for Pochettino in 2016, after the dismissal of Louis van Gaal, only to go, instead, for Mourinho.

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via Football | The Guardian

What next for Manchester United? Sort Pogba mess and show humility

The Old Trafford to-do list before a permanent manager comes must also include appointing a transfers expert

The last thing a new manager needs is to walk into a divisive disagreement between the club and its most expensive acquisition. José Mourinho’s adversarial habit of picking fights with key members of staff is not for everyone, and his replacement will have to find out quickly whether the United dressing room is a happy place. It has frequently been suggested that Pogba’s apparent restlessness is down to a personality clash with the manager, in which case the air should be cleared now, and United could in theory find themselves virtually with a new player on their hands. On the other hand it is possible that Pogba wants away regardless, which would make it sensible to sell him in January and try to recoup at least some of the club’s losses. Pogba has rarely been seen at his exciting best since rejoining United for £89m in 2016. It might be a challenge too far, amid all the other challenges facing the next permanent United manager, to retrieve an awkward relationship at this late stage.

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via Football | The Guardian

Tottenham fan fined for hurling banana skin at black Arsenal player

Magistrate also bans Averof Panteli for four years, saying his actions had ‘racial element’

A Tottenham fan has been fined after throwing a banana skin at a black Arsenal footballer in a “targeted gesture” that had a “racial element”.

Averof Panteli admitted hurling the item on to the pitch at the Emirates stadium after the Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored and celebrated in front of Spurs’ travelling support earlier this month.

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via Football | The Guardian