Mourinho defiant: “No way I resign. There’s nobody better than me”


LONDON — With the bright lights of Stamford Bridge shinning down on Jose Mourinho, the Portuguese boss watched on in disbelief as Chelsea’s dramatic collapse continued with a 3-1 defeat to Southampton on Saturday.

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That loss signaled the Blues’ fourth defeat in eight Premier League games this season, and with fans booing his decisions, off-the-field incidents with Eva Carneiro dominating headlines and the reigning PL champs now 10 points off top spot, the pressure is building on Mourinho.

[ MORE: Mourinho – “If they want to sack me… sack me” ]

When speaking to the media afterwards, the 52-year-old was in a typically defiant mood and insisted he will not resign and leave Chelsea in the lurch.

“No way I resign. No way,” Mourinho said. “Why? Because Chelsea cannot have a better manager than me. There are many managers in the world that belong to my level, but not better. There is no chance I run away. Why? For two reasons. One: because I have my professional pride and I know that I am very good in my job. Second: I like this club very much and if that’s not the case it could be different. In the accumulation of both situations I want the best for my club and the best for my club is for me to stay. So, I stay.

“When we were champions I said ‘I am going to stay until the owner and the board want me to leave.’ No club can persuade me to leave. No financial offer can persuade me to leave. I am going to stay until the day the owner or the board tell me: ‘Jose, that’s enough.’ I said that when I was champion and I say that when I am 16th in the table. No chance I resign.”

Those words came after Mourinho had gone on an incredible seven-minute rant to TV cameras following the game, as he tried to deflect his players from criticism by complaining about penalty decisions not going the way of his team. But there is no way he can cover up the sheer ineptitude of Chelsea’s defensive performance. He knows it, and admitted several of his players are in a bad place with regards to their form and are “fragile” mentally as Southampton became the first team to score three times in a PL game at Stamford Bridge in the Mourinho era. Mourinho’s Chelsea lost just once at home in the PL during his first five season in charge. This season they have lost two of their first four home games, with Crystal Palace and Saints plunging the Blues into their worst moment under Mourinho. So where is it going wrong? How is this all unraveling so quickly?

Defense — an area Mourinho prides himself on as they had the best defensive record in the PL last season and he is revered as a defensive tactical genius — has been a huge issue for “The Special One” and after he recalled captain John Terry to the starting lineup (he had been dropped to the bench for four of the last five games), Terry and Gary Cahill were ripped apart by the pace of Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle‘s power. In truth, Saints were sensational but this isn’t the first time (and probably won’t be the last time) Chelsea will be ripped apart this season. Theorists suggested before the season began that Mourinho would suffer from his “third-season syndrome” something which has kept him moving from club-to-club in the past. His hot-headed approach often sees him fall out with players, staff and directors and means he will never be able to sustain success and be a legendary figure at one club for more than a few seasons. Right now, those theorists will be having a field day. But it’s not all Mourinho’s fault. His players are letting him down. Badly.

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Players like Terry, Cahill, Branislav Ivanovic, Nemanja Matic (who was subbed out midway through the second half despite coming on at half time), Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard are the most noticeable who are lacking in form and confidence. Mourinho admitted that moving forward he will give youngsters like Ruben Loftus-Cheek a chance to shine but stopped short of blaming his senior players for getting Chelsea in this shocking position in the first place. He didn’t need to admit it. It is clear for everyone to see Chelsea’s squad is in a dark place as their incredible collapse continues.

In this dark hour, Mourinho called for Chelsea’s board to back him, for stability to return to the Bridge and for everyone to work together despite a shocking run of results to open up their title defense. He admitted winning the title would be tough this season, and with Chelsea currently 10 points off top spot, it’s easy to agree with that. He did refuse to rule out a top four finish and called on Chelsea’s directors to change their ways after ruthless sackings of managers in the past for dips in form nowhere near as bad as the one he’s currently enduring.

“When I was contacted to come back, I was told ‘we had so many managers. We know you are the best,'” Mourinho revealed. “I think it is time for the club to act in a different way, to mark a position of stability, a position of trust. Three months ago we were all together in the buzz of the cups. It is time for all of us to be together now in the bottom of the league.”

Eight weeks into the 2015-16 Premier League season, nobody expected Chelsea’s title charge to be over. It is. Nobody expected Mourinho to be under pressure and for his future at Chelsea to be in jeopardy. It is.

Bundesliga preview: Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf

Bayern Munich v Fortuna
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Bayern Munich can take another huge step towards winning an eight-straight Bundesliga title when they host Fortuna Dusseldorf on Saturday at the Allianz Arena and below are details on how you can watch in the USA.

The German giants are now seven points clear atop the Bundesliga table after winning 1-0 at second-place Borussia Dortmund in midweek and Hansi Flick’s squad are now just 12 points away from sealing another title. Four wins from their final six games will guarantee a 30th German title, as they play before title rivals Dortmund and RB Leipzig this weekend.

[ LIVE: Bundesliga scores ]

However, the stakes are high for Fortuna Dusseldorf too. Uwe Rosler’s side launched a stunning comeback to beat Schalke 2-1 in midweek and were 2-0 up in the 88th minute at Cologne last weekend before coughing up two late goals to draw 2-2. Fortuna, who sit in the relegation playoff spot but are just one point behind Mainz in 15th, are direct and dangerous on the counter and Bayern will be wary of an upset at the end of a gruelling week in Germany’s top-flight.

In team news, Bayern will be without midfielders Thiago, Philippe Coutinho and Corentin Tolisso and an intriguing stat centers around top goalscorer Robert Lewandowski, who hasn’t scored against Fortuna in five previous outings. One of the stars of the show since Flick took over has been Canadian teenage sensation Alphonso Davies, who has excelled out of position at left back and was nicknamed ‘Roadrunner’ by Bayern teammate Thomas Muller after another fine display at Dortmund.

Fortuna haven’t beat Bayern in 30 years and Kenan Karaman has scored five times in his last five games to give them hope in their relegation battle. USMNT midfielder Alfredo Morales could return for Fortuna but U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen, on loan from Man City, remains out injured.

Below is how to watch Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf on TV in the USA this Saturday, while above you can follow the action live, as the three points are so valuable to both clubs but for very different reasons.

Bundesliga schedule

  • TV Channels: FS1
  • Stream Live: Via Fox Soccer
  • When: Saturday, May 30 – 12:30 p.m. ET: Bayern Munich v Fortuna Dusseldorf

La Liga to restart on June 11

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La Liga will restart on June 11, the Spanish sports council have confirmed, and below are details on the new schedule and how to watch on TV in the USA.

Three months after Spain’s top-flight was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic it will return with the full schedule yet to be released, but the plan is to open up with the Seville derby on June 11, Sevilla against Real Betis, then play the full Matchweek 28.

It follows the Premier League restart being confirmed for June 17, while Serie A will return on June 20 and the Bundesliga returned on May 16.

[ MORE: La Liga scores, schedule

The Spanish sports council released the following statement following detailed meetings with the Spanish FA and La Liga.

“The Spanish football federation [RFEF] and La Liga have agreed, as part of the Contact Group formed together with the National Sports Council [CSD], the format of the eleven remaining matchdays to complete La Liga Santander and La Liga SmartBank [the first and second divisions].”

Further details revealed the La Liga season will finish on July 17, which means the 11 games would be squeezed into just over a month with games every single day to fit this season in. The majority of games are set to be played late in the evening local time due to the extreme heat in Spain during the summer months, while players will be given at least 72 hours rest between games.

Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga but have a slender one-point lead over arch rivals Real Madrid, while the top four battle is incredibly congested and should lead to some epic battles in the final weeks of the season. The relegation battle is also intense with up to 10 times in danger of being relegated to the second tier. The Spanish second tier will also resume play in mid-June, with Cadiz and Real Zaragoza currently in the automatic promotion spots and Almeria, Huesca, Girona and Elche in the playoffs.

Matchweek 28 will be played from June 12 to June 15 with the full La Liga schedule below, while there are also details on how you can watch on TV in the USA.

La Liga schedule

  • TV Channels: beIN Sports USA
  • Stream Live: Via beinSports
  • When: From June 11 to July 17

June 11
Sevilla v Real Betis

June 12-15
Real Madrid v Eibar
Leganes v Real Vallodolid
Valencia v Levante
Real Mallorca v Barcelona
Celta Vigo v Villarreal
Espanyol v Alaves
Real Sociedad v Osasuna
Granada v Getafe
Athletic Bilbao v Atletico Madrid

FA Cup schedule released

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The schedule for the 2019-20 FA Cup has been released with the quarterfinals, semifinals and final now having dates.

All eight teams left in the competition are from the Premier League and FA Cup quarterfinal and semifinal games will be played at weekends and see their respective PL games rescheduled for makeup dates. The Premier League has confirmed it will return from June 17 and the FA Cup will now restart just 10 days later.

The quarterfinals will take place in late June, the semifinals in mid-July and then the final will be on August 1. This decision then allows Premier League clubs still in European action to play in the Champions League and Europa League in August, when UEFA are planning to host those competitions.

In the quarters Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal and Man United all face tricky away trips to Leicester, Newcastle, Sheffield United and Norwich respectively. It has not been confirmed whether or not the semifinals and final will be played at Wembley Stadium, as usual.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham revealed that the new dates are dependent on safety measures being met.

“The health and wellbeing of players, staff and supporters remains our priority. The competition has been an integral part of the English football calendar for nearly 150 years, and we would like to thank the Premier League executive and clubs for their support in scheduling the remaining matches during this unprecedented time,” Bullingham said.

With so much focus on the Premier League restart, the FA Cup almost became an afterthought but it will carry on and the oldest knockout competition in the world will continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Below is the FA Cup schedule with the planned dates to play the remaining games.

Quarterfinals – June 27-28

Leicester City v Chelsea
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Sheffield United v Arsenal
Norwich City v Manchester United

Semifinals – July 18-19

Final – August 1

Brendan Rodgers reveals he had COVID-19

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Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed he had COVID-19 and has recovered fully from the coronavirus.

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The Premier League manager spoke to BBC Radio Leicester and revealed that he contracted COVID-19 in March and has recovered fully.

“Me and my wife had it just after [the season] broke up. A week later I really started to struggle, I had no smell and no taste. I had no strength, and I really struggled, and my wife was the same as well. I got tested and we both had it. I could hardly walk,” Rodgers said. “It reminded me of climbing Mt. Kilamanjaro, as you climb higher you get more breathless. Walking 10 yards felt very different. I went for a run, and I just couldn’t do it. I felt really weak, had no real appetite, and had a weird sensation for three weeks of having no taste”.

Brendan Rodgers is the second Premier League managed confirmed to have had COVID-19, as Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta tested positive back on March 12, just before the season was suspended.

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All players and staff at Premier League clubs will be tested twice a week during the strict return to training protocols put in place, with contact training now allowed after a return to small-group training was a success.

The third round of COVID-19 testing saw a slight rise in positive tests compared to the last, as a total of 2,752 COVID-19 tests have now been carried out on Premier League players and staff with a total of 12 positive results. All 20 Premier League clubs have agreed to return to contact training in stage two of the ‘Project Restart’ plan.

The 2019-20 Premier League season will restart on June 17, the league confirmed Thursday, as ‘Project Restart’ is all systems go.

The Premier League held in-depth meetings with all 20 clubs and, among other matters, June 17 emerged as the date games will return. Due to the coronavirus pandemic the Premier League season was suspended on March 13 with 92 games remaining.