Jose Mourinho did win something on Thursday night, Dundalk are just lovely people and Neil Lennon can rest easy for once. It's Friday's Warm-Up...


Pochettino moves ahead of Raul in battle for Real Madrid job - Paper Round


Shock horror: Jose Mourinho is not happy. The Portuguese manager has repeatedly stated since arriving at Spurs he hopes to bring silverware to the north London club and has earmarked the Europa League as the one that will end their 12-year trophyless drought.

But Tottenham were everything Mourinho dislikes on a chilly autumnal evening in Antwerp. Sloppy, uninspiring, lethargic and a complete lack of desire... Spurs simply went through the motions as they failed to create a real chance in their 1-0 defeat to injury-riddled Antwerp whose arguably most renowned player used to play for Norwich City and Hull: Dieumerci Mbokani.

Even four half-time changes could do little to prevent Spurs' first defeat since the opening game of the season with Dele Alli and Gareth Bale not helping their starting XI hopes. Mourinho even hinted afterwards he may not play them, and many others, again. "After tonight, my future choices are going to be very easy" are words no Spurs player wants to hear.

Mourinho did win something on Thursday night though - he likes winning in case you didn't know - Instagram. This is brilliant.

Never change Jose... but obviously do change your XI for Brighton on Sunday.

The League of Extraordinary Dundalk

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta got a close look at his squad depth as he plots a course for a top-four Premier League finish this season and perhaps a Europa League trophy to boot.

The Spaniard was 'hurt' not to be able to use William Saliba, who was omitted from Arsenal's Europa League squad before a swathe of defensive injuries struck, and created a makeshift back three of Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Sead Kolasinac for their comfortable 3-0 win over Dundalk. It was another impressive night for the youngsters with goalscorers Joe Willock and Eddie Nketiah doing the business.

Interestingly Dundalk did not commit a single foul in the game - a feat no team has ever achieved before in the Europa League.

Now normally you would expect the manager afterwards to go on a post-match rant about how that shows a lack of commitment or aggression, but their head coach Filippo Giovagnoli was pretty relaxed about the record produced by his "gentlemen".

He said post-match: "I was talking about that with my staff - our team is so polite, gentlemen. It’s a compliment, we had no yellow cards against Molde and fewer fouls.

"Sometimes probably you need to use fouls with a bit of experience to stop the game and not let the opponent have the ball for so long."

Lovely stuff. Maybe they're saving the bloodbath for St Patrick's Athletic this weekend.


Neil Lennon has been under intense scrutiny from the Celtic supporters ahead of their crunch match against Lille on Thursday. A 3-3 draw with Aberdeen on Sunday saw the 51-time Scottish champions slip six points behind fierce rivals Rangers in the title race and "Eddie Howe" was trending on Twitter at the time.

But despite all the stick and letting go of a two-goal lead, Celtic fans can be pleased with a good draw against the Ligue 1 side as Lennon's side produced an entertaining attacking performance with Mohamed Elyounoussi scoring two really nice goals. The game felt like a turning point in Celtic's pretty miserable season.

It was another strong night in Europe for Steven Gerrard, too, who just cannot seem to get enough of the competition, as Alfredo Morelos equalled Ally McCoist's European scoring record for Rangers in their 1-0 win over Lech Poznan.

So basically, off the back of one night of European football, us neutrals are all looking forward to an Old Firm final in Gdansk in May, right? Good.


Remember Jordi Gomez? That bloke who played for Wigan seemingly forever and then randomly disappeared? Well it turns out he is still playing football and plies his trade of tidy football at Cypriot outfit Omonia Nicosia.

Check out this absolutely stunning strike from the 35-year-old against PSV last night and tell us how it reminds you of that mad goal Maynor Figueroa scored seven years ago.


Because it is the Jordi Gomez fan club today here is that Figueroa beauty in all its glory.


There is a good piece in the Athletic (£) exploring the sensitive issue of mental health in football further and the effect burnout can have on performance.

Over the next 18 months or so, players will be pushing their bodies and minds to deliver the best performances they can on the pitch with precious little time for respite from the pressures that brings, both inside and outside of their clubs.


It's Wolves vs Crystal Palace in the Premier League this evening, but it's pay-per-view so do what plenty of generous football fans across the UK are doing and donate to a foodbank instead please if you can.

Also tonight, Andre Villas-Boas' Marseille take on RC Lens while Coventry face Reading in the Championship. The football simply never ever stops.

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Premier League
'We are not in the title race, we are a small pony' - Mourinho
29/11/2020 AT 21:04