In Brief

Today’s back pages: the ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho says sorry for being the ‘Social One’

A round-up of the sport headlines from UK newspapers on 9 April

Shock announcement: Jose says sorry

If confirmation was needed that the country is going through a strange time it comes with the news that Jose Mourinho has apologised. 

The contrition from the “Special One” comes after he and some of his Tottenham players had an informal training session in a north London park on Tuesday, and it has given headline writers the chance for some light relief.

“I should have been the Spacial One” is the offering in the Daily Mirror, while Metro goes for “I was wrong to be the Social One”. 

Perhaps the Daily Star best sums up how the nation is feeling with its “Headline you don’t see very often: Jose, I was wrong”. 

The Guardian reports that Mourinho has been reminded of his responsibilities by his club and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. But it’s reported that the police - while “aware” of the incident - will not be taking any further action because “no complaints had been received in relation to this incident”.

As for Mourinho’s remorse, he issued a statement in which he said: “I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household. 

“It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.” 

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Big Ben honoured

England cricket hero Ben Stokes adorns many of the back pages this morning after he was named leading cricketer in the world by the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2020

The last time an Englishman received the sport’s highest individual honour was when Andrew Flintoff got the nod in 2005, having inspired his country to a thrilling Ashes victory.

Stokes failed to do that last year, but he was the main man as England won their first Cricket World Cup title. Despite the Ashes defeat, the all-rounder produced one of the greatest innings in Test history in scoring an unbeaten 135 to win the third Test at Headingley.

“Without him, this Almanack might have been another English hard-luck story,” said Wisden editor Lawrence Booth in announcing the accolade. “Instead, it’s a celebration. Stokes is their all-weather cricketer, a giant come rain or shine.” 

Solskjaer’s spending spree

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “eyeing bargains in sale”, reports the Daily Express and Daily Mirror.

The latter warns Manchester United’s rivals that the Norwegian intends to “spend, spend, spend” in the months ahead as they prepare for next season. 

“Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens,” said Solskjaer, reflecting on how the football world has been turned upside by coronavirus. 

“Who knows how the market is going to react to this. Who knows which clubs need to sell players. There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man Utd we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off. 

“I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to.”

According to the London Evening Standard, one player that Solskjaer has his eye on is Jadon Sancho.

The paper says Borussia Dortmund want around £120m for the England winger and the German club are “adamant the coronavirus will not see them lower their valuation”.

Today’s sport headlines

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