‘He will never reach the sole of Guardiola’s shoes’: Antonio Cassano continues feud with Mourinho

All in the Game: James Maddison transfers himself out of his own Fantasy Football team

Most weeks we bring you updates on the latest in Antonio Cassano’s feud with Jose Mourinho, and this one is no different. Here you go:

“Mourinho will never reach the sole of Guardiola’s shoes. When he retires, in three days he will no longer be remembered by anyone. I do not judge him as a person, but as a coach he is zero – he is still stuck at 30 years ago in the game.”

Apart from that, did he behave himself last week? Not really.

On Erling Haaland: “There are other strikers who know how to play football like Lewandowski and Benzema. Haaland doesn’t know how to play football. He’s a great scorer, he’s phenomenal. But don’t you prefer a striker who knows how to play football?”


And on Juventus coach Max Allegri: “His team is always behind the ball, all in defence. He has national winds and plays horrendously. Starting with Allegri next year would be suicide. If making mistakes is human, persevering is diabolical.”

National winds? No idea. But you get the gist. No love lost.


“You ask a five-year-old ‘what do you want for Christmas?’ and they tell you they want a Ferrari. You don’t say ‘oh, that’s a good idea’, you say ‘it’s too expensive – and any way, you can’t drive it’.”

Jürgen Klopp explaining to Liverpool fans why they can’t have Jude Bellingham. They might have to settle for a bike and a jigsaw.


That’s how many Premier League goals Erling Haaland now has, just two short of Andy Cole and Alan Shearer’s record of 34 (in longer seasons) – and Haaland still has eight games left. Cripes.

Maddison doesn’t trust himself

Not too many would have given poor old Leicester City much chance of taking anything from their game against Manchester City on Saturday, but you wondered if their players might have benefited from one of those bounces that teams often enjoy after the arrival of a new manager – in this case Dean Smith, who will be in charge until the end of the season having taken over from the sacked Brendan Rodgers.

So, how hopeful was James Maddison of he and his team-mates experiencing one of these very bounces? Eh, he transferred himself out of his own Fantasy Football team in advance of the game. So, not very.

Mind you, he was probably wise to dispense with his own services – according to his stats, he has owned himself for four of the 31 game weeks so far. We can only assume he was out injured for all four – he earned himself precisely zero points. You just hope for Leicester that Smith’s managerial skills are sharper.


“If he got sent off you would have said, ‘why didn’t you get him off?’ As we call it in my region in the Netherlands, ‘you’re looking a cow in the ass’.”

Erik ten Hag on why he took the yellow-carded Antony off in their Europa League draw with Sevilla – his version of ‘with the benefit of hindsight’.

“Football is football. And a match in Germany is a match in Germany. Everything can happen. It will not be over until we are under the shower”.

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel after that 3-0 first leg Champions League defeat by Manchester City – his version of ‘…. until the fat lady sings’.

“There is a good saying that goes well with this story: ‘The wind takes the chatter’.”

Real Madrid’s Carlo Ancelotti dismissing rumours that he will take over Brazil at the end of the season – his version of ‘idle speculation floating about the place’.


“I opened the door of his locker and about 30 parking tickets fell out. And a wage slip. He’d been fined £100,000 by the club that month £100,000 ... he had his car impounded 27 times and owed Manchester City Council tens of thousands of pounds when he left. I think the club paid it up for him.”

Former Manchester City kitman Les Chapman reminiscing about Mario Balotelli’s rather unforgettable – and costly – spell at the club.

“Cucurella? Who brings in a guy like that? Fofana? Really a waste of money.”

Apart from that, Wesley Sneijder was impressed with Chelsea’s defence against Real Madrid last week.

“You’re just a shit Graham Potter.”

As if Frank Lampard didn’t suffer enough on Saturday, this is how the Brighton fans serenaded him. (Along with the obligatory ‘you’re getting sacked in the morning’, even though he’d only been caretaker gaffer for nine days).

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times