German fans favour more liberal attitudes
German football fans want to see football taking a lead on social issues, according to a YouGov poll published over the weekend.
Only 18% of German fans believe that the German Football Federation (DFB) is doing enough to combat homophobia, with 55% saying not enough is being done. Regarding racism, 40% are happy with the DFB’s stance, whilst 46% want to see more action.
FIFA and UEFA fare even worse than the DFB according to the poll, with 56% of fans saying FIFA and UEFA are not doing enough to tackle homophobia and 51% saying they are not doing enough to combat racism.
FIFA’s new Head of Media Delia Fisher said: “This survey confirms that it is essential to continue in our common struggle against all forms of discrimination and to appeal to all levels of the football community.
“FIFA is aware of its responsibility to lead the way in this regard and has for many years led the fight against racism and discrimination in sport.”
I’m not sure about leading the fight for many years, but FIFA has certainly come a long way since Sepp Blatter advocated on-the-pitch incidents of racism be settled by a post-match handshake. For that, we should all be grateful.
Jose Mourinho storms out of press conference
A furious Jose Mourinho walked out of a press conference ahead of Chelsea’s Champions League game at Steaua Bucharest.
The Chelsea boss departed after being quizzed on his decision to leave out Kevin de Bruyne for his side’s group stage clash.
Having already been criticised for leaving out last season’s star man Juan Mata this term, Mourinho now had to filed questions about the Belgian whom he left out the squad to face Tottenham last weekend.
Mourinho said: “It’s amazing because nobody asks me about Mata and now you ask about Kevin de Bruyne. You are not interested in the players who play only those who don’t.
“Only 11 can play. I try to decide by what they do on the pitch and in training. Frank Lampard beside me knows me for nine years and he knows I make mistakes but I try to be honest.
“He’s not selected because I didn’t like the game he played at Swindon and the way he has trained.”
Mourinho then walked out leaving the already present Lampard to see out the rest of the press conference.
The incident came just days after Mourinho criticised Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas for a lack of maturity for the way in which he publicly aired his grievances.
Oh, the irony.
David Moyes throwing the baby out with the bathwater
David Moyes ignored Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to retain his Manchester United backroom team, according to the club’s former goalkeeping coach Eric Steele.
Steele was fired by Moyes in the close season, along with assistant manager Mike Phelan and first-team coach Rene Meulensteen.
Moyes chose to bring with him his Everton backroom staff comprising Chris Woods, Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden, whilst also appointing former United and Toffees midfielder Phil Neville in his first full-time coaching role.
United’s 2-1 home defeat by West Brom on Saturday means the club has now made its worst start to a league season for 24 years.
Steele has now revealed how Moyes handled the changes in coaching personnel.
“He spoke to me, Mick and Rene,” Steele is quoted as telling fanzine United We Stand. “I told him I thought it was a brave decision.
“He (Moyes) listened to the manager’s advice, but he wanted to be his own man.”
The 59-year-old says he respects Moyes’ decision but is not convinced it was right for the club.
“I didn’t want to leave. Why would I?” he added. “I knew that David was coming in and wondered who he’d bring.
“You had the United perspective – the manager saying, ‘Keep what we’ve got, keep the continuity, work with them and they’ll guide you through. You’re taking on a massive machine here. You’ve gone from Marks and Spencer’s to Harrods.’
“Then there’s David’s viewpoint, which I understand. I know him professionally. I know his work ethic, his hands-on approach.
“I don’t blame him for doing what he did. I’ve been in the game long enough to know how it is.
“But it’s ironic, isn’t it? You’ve just been part of a team that has had a great season and won the league. David De Gea’s had his best season. Does it make sense that you’re not retained to continue the good work? Sadly, that’s out of my hands.”
United find themselves in 12th spot in the Premier League table after six games, eight points behind early-season pacesetters Arsenal.
Goal of the day
This stunning strike from Leona Benka for Rijeka against Hajduk Split, brought to mind this effort from Marco Van Basten.
Quote of the day
“Ibrahimovic is a bitter prima donna if you ask me. He has never really gotten over his Barcelona exit. No team has ever been happy with him. He always brings problems with him.”
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness is not impressed with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s criticism of Pep Guardiola.
Juventus and Torino tweet up a storm
Following Juventus’win in the Turin derby on Sunday, both they and Torino have been dissatisfied with the others’ reaction to the game.
The Bianconeri took the points courtesy of a controversial Paul Pogba goal, but argue that Torino striker should have been sent off, rather than booked, for a foul on Carlos Tevez.
The Argentinian striker tweeted a photograph of his ankle after Immobile’s tackle with the caption.
“We always win with help, so that’ll be why someone who nearly breaks my ankle only gets a yellow card…”
After the game, Torino’s official website published a statement rebuffing Antonio Conte’s post-match comments about ball possession which seems to have stoked the feud between the two clubs.
“At the end of the derby Antonio Conte declared, responding to those who asked about the goal on which Carlos Tevez was clearly offside, said ‘Juve held the ball and attacked for 70 minutes. Therefore it’s normal there are going to be more incidents to discuss.’
“One has to ask what Conte’s using to count possession, considering that the statistics on the Lega Calcio website show Juventus had 52 per cent possession against 48 per cent for Toro. Therefore Juventus’ superiority was therefore not particularly overpowering.
With the Granata’s statement calling Conte’s mathematical ability into question, Juventus’ official Twitter feed responded by admitting;
“In fact, we’re not very good at Mathematics. We finish at zero, like the number of shots Torino had.”
This garnered an immediate response from Toro’s feed.
“Don’t put yourselves down”, it read. “You managed to count to 31 (Oops, 29).”
Juventus lay claim to 31 Scudetti, even unveiling a large number 31 on the pitch after last season’s triumph. The league have stripped the club of two of those titles as a result of their role in the Calciopoli scandal, however, making the official figure 29.
Saido Berahino earns £850 a week
West Brom’s match winner at Old Trafford on Saturday, Saido Berahino, earns just £850-a-week. A decent figure by most people’s standards, but by the standards of the Premier League that really is a paltry figure.
Berahino, 20, stunned the title holders with the winner but he also embarrassed United’s multimillionaires because he earns a tiny fraction of their salary.
The champions’ first-choice strikers Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie are both on £250,000-a-week – which works out as nearly as much in a day as Berahino gets in a year.
England Under-21 international Berahino’s existing contract gives the Baggies an option to extend his deal, on the same terms, until 2015.
Burundi-born Berahino, one of the smallest earners in the Premier League, could then leave for just £300,000 in compensation.
Skill of the day
Mesut Ozil spits out his chewing gum and flicks it back into his mouth with his boot.