For Chelsea, if this is Maurizo Sarri's last position, the best scenario would be to win the Europa League and lose it to Juventus.
Or Roma. Or whatever in the Series A. What would they say differently? That here was a manager who brought the team back to the Champions League through domestic placement, who reached the final of a big national cup, lost undeservedly due to fines and then won a big European trophy – all in his first season in English football, at a club in a transitional state – and it still wasn't enough?
It is hardly a secret that Roman Abramovich is a demanding employer – the £ 9 million settlement with Antonio Conte last week has taken its compensatory pledges to managers at £ 93m since 2004.
Roman Abramovich needs a logical separation from Maurizio Sarri to prevent reputational damage
But even according to Chelsea standards, Sarri had to win in Europe and then be fired, it would be an extremely harsh judgment. Rafael Benitez also left after winning the Europa League, but he was only the interim manager.
Roberto Di Matteo barely got six months after winning the Champions League, but he had at least a short chance to take advantage of that success.
If Sarri goes this summer, we will never know if his football brand would have brought Chelsea to even greater glory, had given time and a well-structured pre-season.
Abramovich & # 39; s way of dealing with managers has already cost him some of the greatest coaches in the world – Pep Guardiola is someone put off by what he saw as the short-term thinking of Chelsea – and yet Sarri could be treated badly if he some even lower down the scale?
Take Frank Lampard for example. As a young manager, a season in his career, is it really worth risking his reputation at Stamford Bridge?
You would imagine that a European final, a national final and third place would be considered a brilliant first season for Lampard in the Premier League, after the promotion with Derby was hardly missed.
Would Chelsea affiliate Frank Lampard consider risking his reputation at Stamford Bridge?
But if the same CV yielded the bag for the previous manager, where should he go? Is Lampard, or anyone else, seriously expecting Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp to outwit the traps?
And almost certainly without the best Chelsea player of recent times, Eden Hazard.
Choose an owner, not a club, was always the advice of Sir Alex Ferguson to young managers and Abramovich needs a friendly, logical separation with Sarri if reputational damage cannot occur.
He certainly does not need any other change that makes his stewardship unreasonable or impossible to satisfy.
Whatever happens in Baku on Wednesday and Thursday, given the local 11 o'clock kick-off time, no one would claim that Sarri's first season was an unsuitable success.
There is a clear separation with fans and some players – and football has often been less than inspiring.
The conversion of N & # 39; Golo Kante from the best defensive screen in the world to an average midfielder is particularly enigmatic, but not the only decision that is baffled.
As the novelty of his chain-less presence on the telephone line deteriorated, Sarri seemed a cold, methodical character, dogmatic in his methods, with an unwavering belief that his football brand is more valuable than gifts that an individual can own.
If this mindset had produced the type of football that his Napoli team played, there would have been less resistance.
But Chelsea is Napoli Lite – or Napoli, low power. Too often they own the ball to no end. Take Hazard away and this season could have turned out very differently.
Sarri is unloved, but regardless of his first season with the Blues, it is an unqualified success
So, without a doubt, a timely offer from Juventus or Roma would solve many problems. Series A appears to be a more natural habitat for Sarri and, in this way, he could leave with both parties to keep honor intact.
Chelsea has lost a manager instead of firing one, Sarri will have found a more suitable job if he has reached his target at Chelsea – Champions League football.
If his last game shows him the first major trophy of his coaching career, all the better.
More worrying is what will happen if the opportunities in Italy do not become reality. Chelsea then has to decide whether he will be with a manager who is not very popular for all his achievements, and who can only be weakened by the absence of Hazard next season.
Or they fire him and move the compensation payments closer to nine digits.
Who can forget Abramovich & # 39; s face the night Chelsea won the Champions League? In turn happy and thoroughly miserable, knowing that he now had no choice but to offer Di Matteo the permanent position against better judgment.
Shall we see a repeat when the owner reaches Baku and Chelsea again? Is this not the impossible work? It always seems to run into tears on Chelsea, even if it isn't.
Why do UEFA City equate to PSG?
There is a reason why Manchester City currently sees undercurrents of racism to portray them as the worst of modern football. It all goes back to the original UEFA sanction in 2014. At the time, City made great efforts to demonstrate the positive aspects of their project to the administrative body.
The reconstruction in the east of Manchester, the new academy, the connections with the community, City were far ahead of the other club that was then punished, Paris St Germain. But when UEFA announced their decision, the fines were identical.
It was as if they saw all Arabs, all Arab owners, all Arab countries, all Arab companies, the same thing.
No attempt was made to distinguish between the clubs. It would be the same as viewing the Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United business models, the value and ability as interchangeable, on the grounds that their owners are all Americans.
Since then, when City has seen some rhetoric that is best translated as & # 39; all towel heads are the same & # 39 ;, this is duly noted, privately not publicly.
Manchester City sees undercurrent of racism because UEFA treated them the same as PSG
With the recent joint attacks on the club, the president of the city, Khaldoon Al Mubarak, no longer plays nicely and has made the decision to call the worst perpetrators.
This is why he reacted so strongly to Javier Tebas, president of La Liga and the latter to negatively connect City and PSG on the basis of shared ethnicity.
Saying that City blew up the transfer market as if they had spent Kylian Mbappe similar to PSG's releases, and Neymar is clearly wrong.
PSG's bid for Neymar was a game changer. In the meantime, the signatories have a £ 60 million signing for Riyad Mahrez and do not have the highest goalkeeper, defender, midfielder or player in the Premier League – or something like that – let alone Europe.
So although Tebas may not have intended to use racial prejudice in his words, it has always been an indicator to match the properties of the Gulf state.
Manchester City and PSG have football and ambition in common, but little but the tendency to scare established cliques.
After all, there was not much wrong with extravagant spending when Barcelona and Real Madrid were the best and little wrong with oil money when it sponsored Atletico Madrid.
Javier Tebas President of La Liga said that Manchester City and PSG have blown up the transfer market
Woodward cannot win with the Fergie factor
The last criticism of Ed Woodward is that he has alienated Sir Alex Ferguson from Manchester United by not consulting him on important policy decisions. This looks at the first call after Ferguson had dropped out – his successor – in which he was very involved.
If, after giving David Moyes a six-year contract and then firing him before the first year expired, Woodward had announced that he would return to Ferguson for a second recommendation, it is unlikely that he would be praised for his business acumen.
What? After that last debacle? Does the man have no ideas of his own? It is not that United has garnered universal praise, also with the willingness to embrace the past.
One of the criticisms of the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and the proposed engagement of Mike Phelan and old boys such as Rio Ferdinand about transfer commissions – is that the club is too steep in history.
Similarly, Manchester United has not cooperated with a football director, even since Ferguson has stopped. The transfer policy is largely the responsibility of the manager.
If Ferguson came in as a sounding board for the biggest calls, it would make him the overseer.
And how would that work out, given his relentless relationship with a number of important players? Ferguson, famous, did not agree with Mina Raiola, agent for several of the most important signatures of United.
So, if Woodward went to Ferguson and Ferguson said he would not have Raiola at the club, what would he tell Jose Mourinho about the acquisition of Paul Pogba or Romelu Lukaku?
It is not as simple as asking the opinion of a wise old sage. It would be an insult to ask and then ignore. But ask and then act on resources that potentially alienate the manager.
The holder of Ferguson is to work as an ambassador, not a consultant. He is there at competitions and, someone thinks, offers his thoughts. It is clear that he has Solskjaer's ear.
But who would like to lead Manchester United with the thought that Ferguson was doing his homework, vetoed his signatories, and gave his employers a running commentary?
So, yes, at least listen when the man speaks, as Ferguson Sir Matt Busby would have done – no one deserves that anymore – but Ferguson surrendered his right to direct policy to Manchester United when he stepped down six years ago.
Sir Alex Ferguson's captain is to work as an ambassador for Man United and not as a consultant
Mustafi & # 39; s logic is the real joke
A man walks into a cafe. & # 39; Evening, Jones the Sheepfold, & # 39; the bartender says cheerfully. & # 39; What will it be? & # 39;
The man orders a beer and sits down with a deep sigh. & # 39; That is really a nickname that you have there & # 39 ;, says a stranger. & # 39; I will say, & # 39; the man says.
He points outside the window. & # 39; See that library & # 39 ;, he says, & I built that from the ground up. Funded. Paid for every book. Do they call me Jones the educator? They do not.
& # 39; And do you see the hospital nearby? This city had nothing to do with it until I came by. Every stone of it is mine. Do they call me Jones the Healer? They do not.
& # 39; You f *** a sheep … & # 39;
A favorite joke, that. And I was reminded that I read Shkodran Mustafi while complaining that Arsenal would never get the credit for the 90 percent games that the defense didn't cost this season.
Just a gentle warning from the axis …
The warm-up defeat of England by Australia served as a small warning about complacency this summer. After the World Cup, the Ashes and Durham help us to see Cameron Bancroft find his form in English conditions.
He joins Steve Smith, Nathan Lyon, David Warner, Shaun Marsh, Usman Khawaja, James Pattinson, Joe Burns, Travis Head, Peter Handscomb, Peter Siddle and Glenn Maxwell in playing for English counties.
Some are on their third contract.
Mason Crane, on the other hand, is the only one playing a first-class game in Australian conditions. Only that spirit. What a generous fate we are. And a trifle dim.
Cameron Bancroft has joined a strong Aussie contingent that adapts to English conditions
Don't underestimate the damage inflicted on boxing, because the three best heavyweights in the world find ways of not meeting each other.
The last title fight of Deontay Wilder – if it could be called – against Dominic Breazeale took place last week, a 20-minute walk from my hotel in Brooklyn.
You wouldn't have known it was on.
Gill still helps Glazers make money
It's been 13 years since the takeover of Manchester United was leverage, but the club is still losing £ 496 million in debt.
Over the past three years, £ 65 million has been paid in shareholder dividends, mostly to the six Glazer brothers and sisters, including £ 22 million in the last year in which another director – presumably Ed Woodward – earned £ 4,152 million for driving a club with the highest payroll in the Premier League (£ 296m) up to sixth.
How fortunate that former Manchester United directors, such as David Gill, can influence what UEFA considers financially fair and desirable when running football clubs.
Because if a few United rivals were to make the rules, you would think the outcome would be quite different.
The influence of David Gill at UEFA helps the owners of Manchester United to exercise more control
Andy Murray has long maintained that one of the reasons why British tennis finds it difficult to produce champions is that life is too easy.
From an early age, he says, Spanish players ignore what they can earn, while British players can be part of a subsidized program for much of their career.
It is not the fault of the British tennis authorities that Katie Boulter was able to show up in Paris last week, was injured and earned £ 20,000 as compensation for the failure to play the French Open, but it hardly paints a picture of a system rewarding hard work and nothing less.
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