What today’s papers are saying:
THE SUN: Mario Balotelli is facing the fury of Roberto Mancini after being pictured coming out of a strip club in the early hours of yesterday. Also: Andre Villas-Boas has vowed: I won’t quit - even if Chelsea flop.
GUARDIAN: Andre Villas-Boas has risked further alienating the Chelsea hierarchy by publicly claiming his squad bears no comparison with that of the league leaders, Manchester City, in what will be perceived as a tacit criticism of previous managers and the overall strategy of Roman Abramovich. Also: The Football Association will wait until the final stages of the season before approaching Tottenham Hotspur about the availability of Harry Redknapp and is willing to continue without a permanent manager until the immediate build-up to Euro 2012.
DAILY MIRROR: Rio Ferdinand says Manchester United are ready to “blow teams away” and take charge of the title race. Also: Robbie Fowler is poised to join Blackpool’s promotion push after training with the Championship side for a second day.
DAILY MAIL: Chelsea last night launched an investigation after a smoke grenade went off in the dressing rooms at the club’s training ground. Also: Harry Redknapp’s chances of becoming the next England manager increased significantly yesterday with an insistence from the Football Association that Sir Trevor Brooking is not opposed to the Tottenham boss.
DAILY STAR: Andre Villas-Boas went into meltdown yesterday as he launched an astonishing rant about Chelsea’s sorry season. Also: Roberto Mancini has made Real Madrid star Gonzalo Higuain his No. 1 choice to replace Carlos Tevez at the Etihad Stadium.
DAILY EXPRESS: Martin O’Neill has reopened a festering 38-year-old wound by recalling the notorious pitch invasion by Newcastle fans which ruined his FA Cup final dream. Also: Andre Villas-Boas yesterday poured more gloom over his confidence-sapped squad by telling them they are not as good as Manchester City.
DAILY TELEGRAPH: Andre Villas-Boas claims that Manchester City’s squad is better than Chelsea’s because of their superior wealth, that he will never resign as manager and that everything will be all right at the Bridge once the club have his “organigram” in place.
THE TIMES: Andre Villas-Boas risked antagonising his players and employers at Chelsea yesterday by complaining that his squad is not as good as Manchester City’s and that he lacks the resources to compete with the Barclays Premier League leaders.
THE INDEPENDENT: The Chelsea manager, Andre Villas-Boas, has risked further testing the patience of the club’s owner, Roman Abramovich, by claiming his squad always lacked the quality to compete with Manchester City this season.