If you, like me, are looking for something other than Barcelona’s ridiculous antics to laugh at today, look no further than José Mourinho’s latest foray into comedy. The Manchester United boss has declared the upcoming season will be “more balanced” because all top teams (he’s including his own in that list) will be playing in Europe.
“Not like last season, when Chelsea and Liverpool played all season one match per week, with all the others playing in Europeans competitions – especially us, playing in Europa League,” Mourinho told ESPN. Surprisingly, he didn’t go any further into all the travails United faced last season as they played the normal amount of football for a highly ranked club in England.
“Next season, six teams, and also Everton, are going to play in Europe and that is going to create a new situation for Chelsea and Liverpool,” Mourinho added, apparently having forgotten the word “seven”.
Mourinho also believes that the one game a week schedule helped Chelsea win the title.
“I don’t want to say it was ‘key,’ because if I say that, I don’t want to take credit from the credit that they (Chelsea) deserve. But obviously, to play one match per week and one, two or three days off during the week, have no injuries or no accumulation, the same with Liverpool, I think obviously it helps.”
And sure, Chelsea did manage to finish last season relatively unscathed — their players lost 324 days of the season (around 13 days per player) — but calling Liverpool lucky for their “no injury” season is laughable. The Reds lost 920 days of the season to injuries (which comes to around 29 days per player). But sure. Let’s go with a relatively “injury-free” season being the reason Liverpool finished 7 points ahead of United. Who, for anyone keeping count, lost 675 days to injuries (20 per player).
It’s a real pity United didn’t lose to Ajax in the Europa League final: it sounds like Mourinho would have liked to spend next season only playing domestically.