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Mourinho's big mouth and more: EPL: three talking points

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

12-19-2015 13:11 BJT

By Colin Robinson

Welcome to EPL3TP, where we break down three of the English Premier League's biggest talking points. This week: Mourinho goes! Guardiola to come? And the transfer window hype train is gathering speed.


Mourinho's big mouth plays major part in his downfall

Chelsea José Mourinho was fired after the reigning champion's ninth league defeat of the season, a 2-1 loss at Leicester on Monday. Though Mourinho has won every domestic trophy in his two spells at Chelsea, this dismissal has looked inevitable for weeks.

After comfortably winning last season's league title, Chelsea has embarked on the worst title defense in living memory. In fact, Chelsea is much closer to the relegation zone (just one point above it) than to first place (a staggering 20 points away). The results have been woeful, but perhaps Mourinho’s strained relationship with his players was even more damaging.

In recent weeks, José has publicly slammed some of the stars of last season's championship-winning team. He's criticized last season's top scorer, Diego Costa, for his physical condition and Eden Hazard, Chelsea’s reigning Player of the Year, for his work ethic. And on Monday, he even implied that Hazard was exaggerating an injury.

As the self-proclaimed "Special One" has voiced his disapproval of his squad with more regularity and harshness, it seems he's transitioned from using public criticism of players as a shock tactic to motivate players to playing a blame game that deflects attention from his own failings.

Eventually, enough was enough for Chelsea, and technical director Michael Emenalo said Mourinho had been sacked because of a "palpable discord with the players." Fittingly, in his final post-match interview as manager, Mourinho delivered some of his most stinging criticisms, claiming that the team had "betrayed his work."

Is Guardiola on his way to the Premier League?

Pep Guardiola looks set to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season. Since he's already won just about every trophy possible in Spain and Germany, he may want to test himself in the so-called "Best League in the World."

Man City is the bookmakers' favorite to be Guardiola's next club. And if he joins, he'll be reunited with two former colleagues that he had an incredibly successful working relationship with him at Barcelona, City's director of football Txiki Begiristain and CEO Ferran Soriano.

A spell in the PL Guardiola would pose a couple of big challenges: Would his short-passing, possession-based tiki taka style work in a league that often favors physicality and directness over technique and patient football? If not, can he find a new winning formula?

All aboard the transfer window hype train!

With about two weeks to go before the transfer window opens, Premier League clubs are targeting players to buy or borrow, and papers are starting to churn out transfer rumors.

In theory, it's an exciting time when clubs can bring in players that can give them something extra they need to achieve their goals, or even to turn their season around. In reality, it's a time for hype, speculation and absurd rumors. What's more, the deals made in January often carry vastly inflated transfer fees, and many are borne out of sheer desperation.

Despite the frenzied coverage, the transfer window can often be a letdown. In this respect, its timing is apt: it begins January 2, just after New Year's Eve, one of the most notoriously disappointing nights of the calendar year.

But there's still fun to be had during the window. The real enjoyment starts on the final night: drink two fingers every time a club completes deal for a player you've never heard of; take a shot every time a reporter refers to the transfer window "slamming shut."

As the minutes to the window's close tick away, relish the schadenfreude: though the reporters' jobs may seem enviable, this is a humbling moment for them. They're compelled to bluster about their mysterious sources telling them about "interesting last-minute deals" even though they know there's no chance of these mythical transfers happening.

The fun doesn't stop there: Witness obscure signings given a shot at the big time fade back into obscurity and overpriced stars disappoint and frustrate fans, coaches and executives as they struggle to live up to their price tags. Above all, the window reminds us that while billionaires run PL clubs, they're human after all and they're prone to desperation and incompetence, just like everyone else.


( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )



Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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