Mourinho red-faced after video gaffe: Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has been left "red-faced", "angry" or "furious", depending on which paper you read, after being caught on camera dismissing the quality of the strikers he has available to him at Chelsea. Regardless of the degree of Mourinho's fury, all the papers are in agreement that his mood was not good on Monday after comments he made about Samuel Eto’o, Fernando Torres and Demba Ba were captured by French TV company Canal+ during a sponsorship launch with watch manufacturers Hublot last week. The Daily Mirror reports that Mourinho believed he was chatting privately to senior executives of the Swiss company as he discussed his team’s options up front, but to his horror, they emerged yesterday.
Paper Round's view: In one of the quotes, Mourinho admitted he did not think it is possible for Chelsea to win the Premier League without a striker - hardly a fillip for the likes of Eto'o, Torres and Ba - and if they are upset, that would be entirely understandable. As such, Mourinho will have a great deal of sweet-talking to do if he is to appease them, although it's not beyond the realms of possibility that this is all part of Mourinho's plan - it wasn't a gaffe at all and Mourinho is simply finding a new way of firing up his strikers for the final title tilt. You just wouldn't put it past him.
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Cancellation prompts doubts over Solskjaer future: Cardiff have cancelled a planned warm-weather training trip to Abu Dhabi this week, raising doubts over how long Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will remain the Bluebirds' manager. The Times reports that club’s hierarchy is growing increasingly concerned that the Norwegian may not be capable of turning around the club's slump and that the possibility of replacing the 40-year-old has been floated privately. That said, no action is expected imminently, the report adds. Meanwhile, the Daily Mirror claims that Solskjaer tore into his players in front of Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman after their 4-0 drubbing at home to Hull City on Saturday but that it was the manager's decision to cancel to the trip to the Middle East - and that the board remain "right behind" Solskjaer.
Paper Round's view: It's not said very often, but the tabloid version of events in this instance does seem more plausible. A luxury jolly to somewhere nice and hot when the team is horribly underperforming and the manager is angry would not give out the right impression- either to fans or in terms of hauling the team out of their malaise. And considering he's only been in the job seven games, another dismissal does seem rather pointless.
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Anelka case could spark racial hatred: Nicolas Anelka's 'quenelle' case is up before the FA today and the Daily Telegraph reports the outcome could spark race hatred on the streets of France. The paper quotes British-based French journalist, Philippe Auclair: “There’s a feeling that things are going to blow up at some point, that there’s going to be some great social convulsion, probably a violent one." The paper adds that establishing Anelka’s guilt may be easy but deciding what sanction to impose is a much thornier issue, one which will prove how tough the FA’s new punishments are.
Paper Round's view: The hearing isn't expected to be over until the end of the week but the decision, once it comes out, does indeed promise to be a monumental one. A top player's reputation - and, indeed, career - is on the line; the English game's governing body's integrity and stance on racism is in the spotlight and, apparently, the security of a nation is dependent on it. When did football stop being just a game?
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Ozil given extended break: Arsenal star Mesut Ozil has been given a fresh break to re-charge his batteries, reports the Daily Mirror. Ozil, who suffered a dead leg against Bayern Munich, was not risked in the 4-1 win over Sunderland and with Arsene Wenger subsequently giving all his players two days off after the Saturday's match, the midfielder will have had a decent period of downtime when he finally returns to training on Tuesday. Ozil has spent some of his time off with family and friends back in Germany, the report adds, but he hopes to be fit for Saturday's trip to Stoke.
Paper Round's view: Whether the Germany international would have been able to enjoy his break is debatable after reports emerged last night that he is to be questioned by police over allegations the car he was driving hit a photographer on Friday. For Arsenal's club record signing at the moment it never rains, but it pours.
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Sagna wants 100K a week to stay: The Daily Mirror reports that Arsenal defender Bacary Sagna wants a three-year deal worth £100,000 a week to stay put. The French right-back's current deal ends in the summer and the Gunners stand to lose him after negotiations stalled. Sagna wants to stay at the Emirates for the rest of his career but "sources close to the player" say he has been left "frustrated and disappointed" that Arsenal have not moved to tie him down quicker. The paper adds that Paris Saint-Germain, Monaco, Inter Milan and Galatasaray have all been alerted to the situation, with the Turkish club already having offered him a four-year deal worth £100,000 per week - £40K more than what he earns at the moment.
Paper Round's view: Sagna's 31 - hardly a spring chicken - but he is playing some of the best football of his career at the moment, so why shouldn't he ask for a pay rise. He has not had one since 2008. However, the logic of using his loyalty to Arsenal during that period as a reason not to now turn his back the club is somewhat confused.
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