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Aston Villa


Manchester United will host Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup third round on Sunday, 7 May.

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Spurs beat Aston Villa 1-0 in their Premier League clash on Saturday. Jose Mourinho will be relieved to see his side come away with three points. However, his departure from the club now feels inevitable.

Tottenham are now just three points shy of the Champions League places. But as last week showed, they are now a team who are well capable of folding against mediocre opposition. For Mourinho, his death throes take months rather than weeks. At Manchester United he laid the groundwork for a November sacking by giving an unbearably depressed pre-season press conference. His sacking brought to an end a series of needlessly gratuitous provocations as he watched his players fail to deliver on the pitch. At Chelsea, there was something similar. There was the disgraceful carry-on with Eva Carneiro. He had already lost the commitment of his players with his need for aggression and strife. When they had their league title the pressure dropped and they grew sick of his needling.

Mourinho made seven changes against Villa, and brought in players he plainly does not rate. Modern players do not take well to such reality checks, and it feels unavoidable that they will repay him by essentially downing tools, and losing interest in their job. It happened at Chelsea and it happened at United. Spurs are not sufficiently different to escape the standard Mourinho downfall process.

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