Paris Saint-Germain’s beleaguered Italian manager, Carlo Ancelotti, says he is unaware of media reports that say the former Champions League winner could be out of a job by Christmas.
“I haven’t read the papers,” said the 53-year-old former Juventus, AC Milan and Chelsea boss.
“I don’t know what they are saying,” he added after a poor run of domestic form that has seen the team slip to fourth spot in the table and five points behind pacesetters Olympique Lyonnais following a 2-1 defeat away to OGC Nice on Saturday and a midweek League Cup elimination by AS Saint-Etienne.
The Qatari-backed club and their president, Nasser al-Khelaifi, are growing increasingly impatient with their management team led by director Leonardo Araujo, who is also in danger of dismissal after the Brazilian hand-picked his friend to take over on Dec. 31 last year.
Names mentioned as possible replacements are Real Madrid’s equally under-pressure manager Jose Mourinho, as well as former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola or Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Ancelotti can take comfort from the fact that he will be paid 11.3 million euros (US$14.7 million) if his contract is terminated with 19 months to run. Ancelotti insisted at the press conference ahead of yesterday’s Champions League match with Porto that the team can improve.
“Sometimes, criticism is deserved. Everyone at PSG are disappointed by our start to the season which hasn’t been good. We have lost three matches and we are five points behind Lyon. We’re all sorry, but everyone is convinced that things are going to change. When you build a new team, you are going to have problems. The championship is not finished and PSG will be very competitive but it’s true we have to improve,” he said.
On a brighter note, the capital club are already guaranteed a place in the knockout phase of the Champions League for the first time since 1995 when they beat Barcelona before going out 3-0 on aggregate against Fabio Capello’s AC Milan.
They can win Group A and guarantee a theoretically easier draw in the next round by defeating 2004 champions Porto — who lead them by a point.
The NBA said was re-evaluating its training program in China following allegations of abuse of young players by local staff and harassment of foreign staffers at a facility in Xinjiang. The comments come after a report by ESPN that quoted unnamed American coaches as saying that Chinese coaches hit young players. One American coach who worked at a camp in Xinjiang complained of harassment by local police, the sports network said. “The allegations in the ESPN article are disturbing,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum said in an e-mail statement on Thursday. “We ended our involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June
Taiwan Steel on Sunday grabbed three points with a narrow 1-0 win against Hang Yuan FC, to move into the No. 2 spot on the Taiwan Football Premier League (TFPL) log, while Taipower FC beat NTUS 2-0 to maintain first place. Taking advantage early in the match of opposition defenders who had not yet settled down, Taiwan Steel’s attacking trio of Wu Chun-ching, Marc Fenelus from the Turks and Caicos Islands, and Benchy Astama from Haiti pushed forward with good passes. After only one minute of play, Fenelus dribbled from the right flank, feeding a short pass inside the penalty area to
LEAVING IT LATE: Rakuten added late runs last night to add to wins on Wednesday against the Brothers and the Lions on Friday that went down to the last batter The Rakuten Monkeys rallied to post three late runs for another close win, prevailing 5-3 over the Uni-President Lions yesterday as Taiwan’s second-half CPBL season got started with lower scoring output, but exciting finishes. It was Rakuten’s third win in a row. In two games this week, they seized victory in dramatic fashion with their last at-bat and have drawn level with the CTBC Brothers on top of the table after yesterday’s results, 0.5 games in front of the Fubon Guardians and 1.5 games ahead of the Lions. It was tied at 1-1 early, with Rakuten hosting the Lions at the Taoyuan Intenational
STAYING COOL: Hamilton said that his ‘heart nearly stopped’ when he noticed the puncture, but he kept going to beat Alain Prost’s total of six home wins in France Lewis Hamilton said he feared he might not make it home when a last lap puncture almost derailed his charge to a record seventh British Grand Prix victory on Sunday. “I didn’t think I would make it round the last two corners,” the world champion said. The front left tire of his Mercedes had delaminated and deflated on his final lap, leaving the six-time world champion to nurse his vehicle to the finish as second-placed Max Verstappen hunted him down. “I just can’t believe it,” Hamilton said. “It was heart-stopping. I backed off and stayed chilled and was so glad it happened on