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Matt Doherty scores a late winner for Wolves against Newcastle1

Doherty strikes late for Wolves

Matt Doherty snatched victory deep into stoppage time as 10-man Newcastle succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Wolves at St James' Park.

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Manchester United v Arsenal: Jose Mourinho says talk of player unrest questions footballer's honesty ahead of Gunners clash

Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho hit back at talk of him losing the backing of his players by claiming any stories of footballers not playing for their manager calls their honesty into question.

With talk of several bust-ups with Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez looking a shadow of the Arsenal version, and Marcus Rashford among others looking happier playing for country than club, there has been plenty of questions about Mourinho's management.

The Red Devils' winless run in the Premier League extended to a third game with Saturday's 2-2 draw at Southampton, which again raised the question of whether his players were playing for him.

Mourinho was asked ahead of Wednesday's home clash with fourth-placed Arsenal, who United are eight points worse off than, if he still felt the players were all behind him.

The Portuguese said: "I still don't understand that story. If you think a player only plays when he is, in your words, behind the manager, what I have to call these players or, in this case, what you are calling them, is dishonest.

"A football player is paid - and very well paid - to be a football professional. What is that? It is to train every day in his limits, to play every game in his limits, is to behave socially according to the nature of his job, is to respect the millions of fans around the world and to respect the hierarchies in the club.

"If a player doesn't do that..one thing is perform well and perform not so well, another thing is to be a football professional.

"If you say that a player plays well or bad because of who the manager is, you are calling the player dishonest.

"I understand your question, but when pundits that were professional players say 'this player is not playing for the manager' - did they do that when they were players? Were they dishonest players? If they were they shouldn't be in front of a camera speaking to millions of people.

"I disagree totally with that question. You have to analyse a player by 'is he performing, yes or no?' You shouldn't go in that direction because you are calling the players dishonest."

He added: "You believe a player scores in his own goal and then runs and celebrates 'I scored in my own goal because I don't like the manager'? Do you believe in that? I don't believe in that."

Our Sporting Life betting preview for Manchester United v Arsenal
Our Sporting Life betting preview for Manchester United v Arsenal

Mourinho's relationship with Pogba again questioned

In the wake of the Southampton game Mourinho's relationship with Pogba has, once again, been a particular talking point, with reports having emerged of the manager, in front of the players in the dressing room after the match, having called the midfielder a "virus."

After he refused to be drawn on that on Tuesday, Mourinho was asked if Pogba's form was a concern and if he would not have a problem dropping him.

He said: "I am not going to analyse the performance individually. I told after the (Southampton) game the reason why, in the second half especially, we didn't have those consecutive waves of attack.

"I told that the reason why we were not consistent and didn't keep the opponent under pressure all the time was because we lost too many balls. Not the best decisions in terms of how many touches I need to pass the ball, the speed of the decision.


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"I told that without saying one single name, and I am going to say exactly the same without saying any names.

"The names I gave in Southampton were the names that I choose in a positive way to show that desire, that fighting spirit, that anger, that pride. When I told that (Marcus) Rashford was in a happy way, (it was) because I like to give good examples."

Mourinho also said the points gap between United and fourth place, and between them and leaders Manchester City (19 points ahead of the Old Trafford clash against Arsenal) was something something he "couldn't predict", adding "every team got better, and we didn't", before reiterating that his target was a top-four finish.

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Most Read Football

Matt Doherty scores a late winner for Wolves against Newcastle1

Doherty strikes late for Wolves

Matt Doherty snatched victory deep into stoppage time as 10-man Newcastle succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Wolves at St James' Park.

Check out today's Paper Talk2

Paper Talk: Barca want £200m Kane

PSG to rival any Eden Hazard bid and Barcelona desperate to land £200m Harry Kane - plenty more too in today's bumper edition.

We celebrate the best bets that have come in over weekend3

Weekend Winners: Canary bellow!

Norwich went top of our Christmas card list after bagging a 7/1 winner for the Sporting Life Accumulator, while one Sky Bet punter turned £1.59 into over £30,000.

The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will take place at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid4

Copa Libertadores set to conclude

The second leg of the Copa Libertadores final will finally be played in Madrid on Sunday but most of the focus remains on matters off the pitch.

Everton v Watford: Sporting Life's Premier League preview5

Silva to struggle against old club?

Marco Silva comes up against his former side but Watford are backed to stop their losing run and at least grab a point against Everton.

Football Tips

Everton v Watford: Sporting Life's Premier League preview

Silva to struggle against old club?

Marco Silva comes up against his former side but Watford are backed to stop their losing run and at least grab a point against Everton.

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