What a week of sport it has been! Let’s have a look some of the best…
He wins Emery time
Unai Emery continues to make his mark on European football’s second most important club competition. He managed to guide his Villarreal team to a first ever Europa League trophy, beating Manchester United on penalties. Not only that, Villarreal won the competition without losing a single game against anyone. A total of 12 wins and three draws – including the final – makes them deserved winners of a competition they have consistently been a part of since its rebranding in 2009.
Emery has now won his fourth Europa League title, and at only 49-years-old you’d expect him to add a couple more of those before he leaves football. Still, he will be hoping to win a Champions League before all is said and done.
Will he ever get as close as when his PSG team lost 6-1 to Barcelona, at the Nou Camp, to lose on aggregate? Hopefully he does.
As for United, another fruitless season. There were a lot of positives, in spite of an awful start to the season. They have the team to win something, and it might be worth going all out for a domestic cup, just to stop the bleeding. The summer is going to be very important for the Red Devils who are in desperate need of a world class centre-back, and a decent holding midfielder so that Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba can push further up the field.
Some like to leave on a high
There seems to be a mass exodus of managers and players happening as leagues end around Europe. Many of these were expected but not the likes of Antonio Conte, Zinedine Zidane and Christophe Galtier.
Conte guided Inter to their first title in 11 years. It is rumoured that Inter are about to sell many of their key players in order to improve finances. A decision Conte clearly is not on board with. Inter Milan are owned by the Chinese retail group Suning, which is reportedly suffering financial pressure. In February, Jiangsu FC, also owned by Suning, folded just three months after winning their first Chinese Super League title. Obviously Inter won’t fold.
Zidane’s departure is a little more abrupt, as no one expected it. Yeah, they had a poor season, but can’t believe he would’ve been sacked. The most likely reason is the impending sanctions about to be placed on Real Madrid because of their reluctance to officially withdraw from the ESL.
Most surprising is the departure of Christophe Galtier just a few days after winning the Ligue 1 title. Apparently he doesn’t want to fall into a routine and he thinks he has done his time at Lille. Galtier has three appealing offers, and will likely take one of those.
Most likely destination for the coaches:
Conte: Tottenham or Real Madrid (latter is more likely depending on sanctions by UEFA)
Zidane: Outside chance he will go to PSG
Galtier: Napoli (Lyon and Nice are possible, too)
Desperate times call for desperate measures
Tottenham and Barcelona are two very desperate teams right now. One is desperate to keep Harry Kane at the club, and the other is worried Leo Messi will leave. Barcelona have already confirmed the free transfer of Man City’s Sergio Aguero. The Argentinian is a close friend of Leo Messi, and he is still pretty good, too. This is not a case of the signing of someone like Florent Indalecio. I know, that you don’t know, that I know you don’t know who that is. He is the 23-year-old former bricklayer that Newcastle signed, and have never utilised. Indalecio is star player Allan Saint-Maximin’s close friend.
As for Spurs, they have contacted ex-manager Mauricio Pochettino about coming back to the club that sacked him unfairly. If Pochettino returns to Spurs, Kane is more likely to stay, and that will ensure that Heung-Min Son stays, too.
What a start to the NBA Playoffs, with Clippers tanking against the two lowest ranked teams in the NBA in order to avoid the Lakers, Grizzlies eliminating Steph Curry and the warriors in the play-in tournament, and the “Big Three” at Brooklyn Nets – James Harden, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving – are finally back playing together.
So far there haven’t been many shocks, maybe apart from the Clippers losing both home games to a lethal Dallas Mavericks. Kind of embarrassing for a team that got exactly what they wanted in the playoffs.
King Lebron and Anthony “The Brow” Davis are back for the Lakers. The Lakers and Suns split the first two games in Phoenix, giving the Lakers the advantage in the series. Worst part for Suns’ fans is that Chris Paul is playing with an injury to his shoulder. Then again, if you know anything about the NBA, Chris Paul always gets injured in the playoffs.
Grizzlies and Jazz are also tied after two games which is already a surprise. Utah Jazz have been the best team in the NBA this season, and are expected to beat the Grizzlies comfortably, even without star player Donovan Mitchell. He did return with a bang in the second game, helping his side recover from a loss in game one.
Denver Nuggets and Portland Trailblazers are both on fire, splitting the first two games. Damian Lillard is doing what Dame does, and this season’s likely MVP, Nikola Jokic, is playing at a world class level. The Serbian can’t seem to do anything wrong at the moment. Even when they try to get him ejected for lashing out, he is calm and collected. What a player!
Elsewhere, Knicks and Hawks are tied in a great series. Nets are overpowering the Celtics, who are missing star player Jaylen Brown. Bucks are demolishing the Heat, and the 76ers are doing the same to the Wizards. Unfortunately for the Wizards, in game two, Russell Westbrook had to leave early with a sprained ankle, only for some moron from the crowd to pour popcorn onto him. That moron was surpassed by other morons in the “who can be the biggest moron of the week” thanks to racism by some Celtics fans, and some New Yorker spitting at Hawks star player Trae Young.
Nothing Max about this
Max Verstappen won the Monaco Grand Prix last weekend, in what was a very boring event. Unlike previous seasons, the 2020 F1 season is shaping up nicely, but Monaco continues to bore the living hell out of everyone. We have all probably had that friend or loved one see you watching F1 and said “nothing happens, they’re just going round in circles” only for you to go into detail about why they are wrong. Unfortunately, if they make the comment during the Monaco Grand Prix, there’s no way to argue with them.
There were ZERO overtakes in the race – passing people at the start and because of pit-stops does not count. In the end I was just seeing how many times the Haas drivers got lapped. They were lapped so many times that the Haas team are considering their existence in F1, and rightly so. Thankfully Azerbaijan will offer more excitement.
Jannik Sinner got himself fined for taking a toilet break against Aslan Karatsev. After losing the first set 6-0, Sinner decided to take a toilet break, but he didn’t pee. Once he returned, the chair umpire asked Sinner if he used the bathroom, similar to how a father asks the kids before they get in the car. Turns out baby Jannik didn’t actually go potty. The tournament referee – let’s call her mum – was even called down to clean the mess.
In the end Jannik was able to hold both his nerve and “it” until the end of the match, winning in three sets.
Lefty writes history
Phil Mickelson won the PGA Championship, becoming the oldest winner of a golf major, at the age of 50. Known on tour as Lefty, Mickelson has a huge following whenever he takes to the course, and rightfully so. Next month, he will have the opportunity to win the US Open and complete the career Grand Slam.
What a player!
See you next week for another round-up of events!