The mouthy one Jose Mourinho has no reason to want to help Arsenal or any other of the Premier League clubs involved in European competition this season. Less in fact as we all know that Mourinho and Arsene Wenger do not get on and his new club Manchester United are direct rivals with Arsenal for the EPL trophy.
But apart from his hopes and plans to get United back among the elite of Europe next season, Mourinho has no incentive for the comments reported by the Daily Mail this week, with the suggestion that the powers that be of English football need to give Arsenal and the other three English clubs in the UCL some more help than has been the norm in recent years.
The former Chelsea boss has a great record in Europe but his UEFA cup and three Champions League triumphs all came with clubs outside England. He thinks that EPL clubs are at a disadvantage in Europe because they do not get the help with fixtures that clubs in Spain, Italy, France and Germany get. And so he thinks that the new Friday league fixtures should be chosen with this in mind.
The Portuguese said, ‘Other countries care a lot about the Champions League.
‘In this country the Premier League will always come in front. The institutions that lead the competitions make it very clear.
‘The institutions do not give you that little protection which can be crucial – 24 hours more, 48 hours more, to rest and prepare.
‘Now you have a Friday night fixture, so if an English club is in an [important] Champions League [game] on a Tuesday I’d expect that they would be given the Friday fixture, to have one more day to rest. But I don’t know because until now nobody has had that protection.’
Is he right? Will the football chiefs listen? If they do would Arsenal and the other English clubs do better in the Champions League?