Cut it out, Bobby Robson tells Mourinho

Mourinho earned scorn for his lack of good grace after the Champions League exit at the hands of Barcelona, having also recently clashed with West Brom boss Bryan Robson. Robson, who worked with Mourinho at Barca, said: “He will lose friends, even within his own club. Chelsea have the big picture in mind. To rival Real Madrid and Manchester United across the world they have to win friends as well as trophies. “The incident that summed up the current problem was seeing Jose sarcastically applaud the referee after he sent off Arjen Robben at West Brom. “Wayne Rooney got sent off for a similar mock applause in the Champions League but even though he’s 20 he came out and apologised. “If Rooney can do it, so can Jose. He can’t blame the authorities and establishment all the time. “He has the potential to go down as one of the most successful and popular managers the game has seen, but this legacy is being put at risk by a seemingly never-ending stream of controversial incidents.” Abramovich rude and aloof: Gold BIRMINGHAM chairman David Gold has hit out at billionaire Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and insisted his conduct at Premiership matches is “inexcusable”. Gold claims Abramovich shows a lack of respect by refusing to associate with directors or staff from rival clubs. And he insisted the Russian’s behaviour was considered “rude and aloof”. “I criticise him because I would like to see him make a bit more of an effort to integrate with the Premier League and other clubs, and I don’t think he has done that,” said Gold. “It might be shyness, but it comes over as aloof and some people consider it rude. Why can’t he say to his assistant: “I would like you to go over to those people and thank them for being here this afternoon, sorry I can’t speak the language, but I have really enjoyed their company?’ “To walk out and ignore you, that is rudeness, aloofness or shyness, but its not excusable.” Wenger interested in Beckham Arsene Wenger has sensationally opened the door for David Beckham to quit Real Madrid and make a shock return to England with Arsenal. In a clear message to the England captain, the Gunners boss said that the road was clear for Becks to switch to North London. “Of course I would take him with all his baggage. I personally believe that Beckham has no big baggage. “The only baggage here is his stardom status. That’s not a problem. We’re not desperate to buy anybody. But if you find an exceptional player who can add a little class where we need it, we’ll do it. He could be one of them.” Becks (30), and Gunners skipper Thierry Henry embraced before and after the Euro clash at Highbury when Arsenal’s heroic youngsters dumped Madrid’s megastar flops out of the Champions League. Rooney signs US$8,7m book deal Manchester and England striker Wayne Rooney has made history by signing a blockbuster book deal with publisher HarperCollins. The 20-year-old signed a 12-year contract worth US$8,7 million plus royalties with the publisher to write a minimum of five books. The books are expected to cover the rest of Rooney’s playing career. There is also a book that will be aimed at younger fans as well. Rooney first debuted in the Premiership with Everton at the age of 16 in 2002. A year later, the striker became the youngest England international player. Manchester United acquired Rooney in 2004. FA talks to two candidates The FA have spoken to Alan Curbishley and Sam Allardyce as they begin their hunt for the next England manager. FA chief executive Brian Barwick reportedly secretly met the Charlton and Bolton bosses recently to discuss the possibility of replacing Sven Goran Eriksson after this summer’s World Cup. FA communications director Adrian Bevington confirmed the development: “It is accurate that we have met with Charlton manager Alan Curbishley. “We made it very clear three weeks ago that once the Uruguay game had taken place Brian Barwick would begin the process of recruiting the next England manager. Furguson’s wonderboy hailed Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed the performance of two-goal Wayne Rooney in the 2-0 victory against Newcastle United at Old Trafford last Saturday. England ace Rooney was in irresistible form for the Red Devils, but missed out on a hat-trick by spurning an open goal in the second half, having struck twice before the break. Ferguson said afterwards: “Wayne Rooney was marvellous. Apart from the chances he created for others, he made several for himself with his skill and footballing ability. “How he has not ended up with the match ball I do not know. He missed an open goal there. He said his shot hit the defender, but I could never imagine myself missing that kind of chance. “It was a marvellous performance. He doesn’t just take chances, he creates opportunities for himself with his skill and tenacity. That marks him out as a very special player.”

March 2006
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