Mourinho livid with FA over SIX injections given to Phil Jones

Jose Mourinho is far from pleased with the English FA’s medical team after their handling of Phil Jones. 

The Manchester United boss claims that the defender was given six injections on matchday before lasting just 25 minutes for England against Germany before being forced off with a thigh injury. 

The Portuguese, who says he has not spoken to England boss Gareth Southgate on the matter, claims he’s never seen anything of the sort in his career.  

“I have been a manager since 2000 and in 17 years I don’t have one single player that had injections of anaesthetic to play a friendly. Never. Never,” he told a press conference. 

“I am not an angel and I had players be injected to play official matches, crucial matches but a friendly — to get six local anaesthetic injections to play a friendly, I’ve never heard of that.

“But Phil Jones had it and had it before the match and after 25 minutes he was out and he is out [against Newcastle].

“I am just telling a fact. He was injected in the afternoon of the match, he didn’t feel good during the warm up. Between the warm up and the start of the match he had five more local injections to play the friendly.”

While the club will have to do without the services of Jones, Mourinho will be able to rely on several players who are returning from injury. 

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea boss confirmed on Friday that Marcos Rojo, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic were all available for Saturday’s matchday squad, though Mourinho made it clear that Ibrahimovic wouldn’t be in the starting side. 

Paul Pogba Zlatan Ibrahimovic Manchester United

“As a start, I see him on the bench and it’s where I see him,” he said. “It’s where he’s going to be tomorrow [Saturday], on the bench.”

He also hinted a potentially new role for the Swede, who said he fancies himself as a No.10, when he returns to action.

“[Ibrahimovic] can play everywhere and, this season, we’ve played with two strikers many times,” he said before going on to suggest the veteran could be playing in combination with Romelu Lukaku. “We’ve played [with two strikers] so many times, especially when we play with three at the back, with wing-backs, it allows us to bring in a second striker.

“We are ready to do it. We’ve been preparing ourselves since pre-season – when we started playing three at the back – so they can play together, no problem.

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“I’m excited because I have more options. I’m excited because the team can be better. I’m excited because I want to have the best players available.

“But, you know, I don’t want to make a situation of Zlatan and Romelu because I can play Zlatan and Romelu, just Zlatan, just Romelu or it can be no-one. I always want options and now I have more options in attack.”

The Old Trafford outfit sit second in the table, eight points back of Manchester rivals City, and take on a Newcastle side that have picked up just one win in their last six. 


Conte rules out taking Italy job: I’m totally committed to Chelsea

Antonio Conte has officially ruled out taking over as Italy national team manager, maintaining that he is “totally committed” to Chelsea.

The former Juventus boss was previously in charge of Italy for two years before leaving his post after Euro 2016 and heading for Stamford Bridge.

His replacement Gian Piero Ventura was sacked on November 15 after the Italians failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958 following a 1-0 play-off defeat to Sweden.

Goal understands Carlo Ancelotti is the primary candidate to take over  and although Conte had been mooted as a possible option, the Blues boss has denied he wants the job.

When asked if he would be interested in the Italy post, he told reporters: “[For now] I am very focused on doing my best for Chelsea, and my only focus now is to try to create a good structure at Chelsea.

“[I want to] create a good basis with this team, we won last season but we know very well there is a lot of work to do, and I am very focused on Chelsea and totally committed to the club.

“My feeling is the same as any Italian person. First of all, I am very sad. This is a big stop for our football movement. After 60 years and you miss the World Cup. You know very well the importance of football in Italy.

Daniele De Rossi, Italy

Gian Piero Ventura Italy

“Football is at the top of the interest of every single person but I think you have to try together to find the right solution. Every department in Italy has to take the responsibility – not only one, two or three people because when you fail, the whole country fails.

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“It is not the fault of one or two or three people. In this case, I think it is my failure, your failure [in the media], the failure of Italy and I think that this moment is very sad for us. But we must use this moment to reflect and to try and to find the right solution, not only with words but also facts.

“If you find a manager and you don’t put him in the job in the best way to change something, then it is not enough to change only the manager. You must also put this person in the best condition to change something, not for them to find a lot of obstacles in their way.”

Chelsea are back in action on November 18 following the international break when they face West Brom at the Hawthorns, with the Blues having beaten Manchester United last time out in the Premier League.


Conte unhappy with England over Drinkwater call-up: Southgate should’ve called me!

Antonio Conte is unhappy with England over their decision to call-up Danny Drinkwater for the international matches against Germany and Brazil, insisting they should have consulted him first. 

Drinkwater declined the opportunity to join up with the Three Lions, explaining that he felt pain in his calf after Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Manchester United, where he came off the bench in the second half. 

The Chelsea midfielder also wanted to stay a Cobham training centre to build up his fitness ahead of a busy festive schedule and Conte believes any criticisms aimed at the midfielder are unwarranted. 

Expressing his frustration at not being consulted over the call-up, Conte said: “Sometimes there is a very easy way [to solve this problem], because before you think to call someone [a player to the national team], try to call the [club] coach and ask: ‘Is it okay? Can I do this?’ I am telling you this because I was coach for the [Italy] national team.

Danny Drinkwater Chelsea

“In this way you can avoid a misunderstanding because I think, with Drinkwater, it was a misunderstanding. He was injured and also I think he wasn’t really 100 per cent fit to go with the national team.

“If someone asks me this then I can explain and if the coach wants to take the same decision, it is okay, but it is important to have more of a relationship between the [club’s] coach and the coach of the national team.

“It was the same for me. I spoke with Roberto Martinez [when Eden Hazard was coming back from injury] and explained and then he played. I am ready to help every single national team coach because I had this fantastic experience and I understand very well the problems of the national teams.

“For sure, I am more open than before when I was the coach of Juventus but sometimes there isn’t the communication. Before you call the player, if you call the coach and ask ‘is this player good or does he have a problem? Is he tired or not?’ Only [do] this [first] and then decide to call or not call a player.

“Otherwise the player has to pay for this misunderstanding. Drinkwater was very honest and he doesn’t deserve to be attacked from the press or from the public because he was very honest. In this situation every single player wants to go with the national [team]. [He is thinking] ‘The national team is calling me’ and we have to appreciate his behaviour and commitment.

“There is a good relationship [with Southgate]. Last season he came to Cobham when he was the Under-21 coach. He also has an assistant that has a great friendship with me in Steve Holland because he is a really good person, an intelligent person. If they want, I am ready to help every national team coach, not only the coach of England.”

Tammy Abraham Gareth Southgate England 10112017

Chelsea loan stars Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tammy Abraham made their debuts for their country during the international break and Conte admits he would be delighted if they made it into England’s squad for the World Cup.

“First of all, I was very happy for these calls with the national team,” he added. “Don’t forget that these are friendly games. I was a coach in the national team and this is the right moment to try to find and give the opportunities to young players.

“Don’t forget, Gareth Southgate was the coach of the Under-21s and he knows these young players very well. I would be very happy for Southgate to call them for the World Cup. It would be a great opportunity for them and it means they are really ready to play for a great team.

“You have to understand there are two different moments. If I call up a young player for World Cup qualifier, this is one thing. If you try to call a young player up during a friendly game and after you are sure you’re playing at the World Cup, then I think this is another thing because you can experiment.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek England

“It is a different pressure. We must be intelligent to understand these two different situations. You can [play young players] when the result is not important. For the club, the result is always important otherwise they sack the manager and there is the pressure of the press, it is totally different.

“I wanted this decision [for them] to go [on loan] and play regularly for their development. If the player understands this and the young player wants this, it is very difficult to keep him in the team. Why would you try and go against his will? For Ruben, it was the best solution for him.

“It was the best solution for Andreas Christensen. It is the best for Tammy Abraham. I think it is the best for them and the club, but if they didn’t want to go and play on loan, maybe they would be here [in the Chelsea squad].”

Conte has mixed news on the injury front ahead of Saturday’s meeting with West Brom, with Hazard, David Luiz and Gary Cahill all available but Victor Moses and Michy Batshuayi both absent.

On the Belgian’s injury, Conte said: “He went with the national team and then came back with this problem but [that was] three or four days before Manchester United. He took a knock in his ankle but for the game against Manchester United he was available – he then felt more pain in his ankle.

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Michy Batshuayi Chelsea 2017

“Now he is not available for the national team and also us. We have to wait and go day-by-day to understand why he has this type of problem in his ankle. It is better to speak with the doctor about this situation. It was an old injury and now he is feeling again the pain in his ankle.

“I want to explain it to you but I think it is better to speak with the doctor to explain what the problem is.”


Premier League and Serie A clubs interested in West Ham United’s Kouyate

Several clubs are interested in West Ham United’s Chiekhou Kouyate, according to agent Saffet Balkan.

The midfielder has been a subject of interest for English Premier League outfits and clubs from Italy after leading Senegal to their first ever World Cup since 2002.

But offers are yet to pour in for the 27-year-old who joined the London Stadium outfit from Belgian side Anderlecht in the summer of 2014.

“We have received a lot of interest,” Balkan told Turkish Football.

“Interest spiked after Senegal qualified for the World Cup [last week]. Several clubs and agents want to hold talks.

“The Italian and Premier League scouts have been very impressed.

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“Kouyate is very happy in England, he’s settled into life,” he added.

“There are no offers on the table at this stage, we will hold talks and consider our options.”

Kouyate who has played nine English top-flight games, scoring a goal for West Ham this season will be hoping to help them get back to winning ways when they travel to the Vicarage Road to take on Watford – under new manager David Moyes.


Stuttgart 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bosz pressure builds after more Burki mishaps

Another poor display from goalkeeper Roman Burki saw Borussia Dortmund slip to a third Bundesliga defeat in a row as they went down 2-1 at Stuttgart on Friday.

The Switzerland international, who has come in for criticism for displays in the Champions League in particular this season, endured another difficult 90 minutes as Dortmund slipped to a potentially damaging defeat that extends their recent run to one win in eight games in all competitions.

Much of the pre-match talk was dominated by the omission of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, dropped from the BVB squad for a breach of discipline, with Andre Schurrle handed his first league start of the season in the visitors’ attack at Mercedes-Benz Arena.

Under-pressure head coach Peter Bosz had hoped for a strong reaction to the 3-1 loss to Bayern Munich before the international break but they were behind inside the first five minutes, as Chadrac Akolo capitalised on a dreadful mix-up between Burki and Marc Bartra.

Dortmund levelled just before the break, with Maximilian Philipp blasting home after Schurrle had a penalty saved, but Burki allowed Josip Brekalo’s shot to slip through his legs six minutes into the second half after Dortmund’s defence was caught cold by a counter-attack.

Andriy Yarmolenko had a second equaliser disallowed but Dortmund did not create much else to worry Ron-Robert Zieler in the Stuttgart goal, as they fell to a defeat that leaves them six points behind leaders Bayern, having played a game more.

It took only five minutes for Burki to be thrust back into the spotlight. Bartra allowed a stray long pass to bounce and passed the ball back to his goalkeeper just as Burki was running off his line, which resulted in the ball deflecting into the path of Akolo, who had a simple task of finishing into the empty net.

Dortmund sought a swift response, with Yarmolenko causing problems down the Stuttgart left and Schurrle looking a threat, while Mario Gotze forced a save from Zieler at the end of a promising team move.

Gotze was again denied by an athletic stop from Zieler after being teed up by Yarmolenko but, despite their dominance of possession, the visitors were becoming frustrated by a tough-tackling Stuttgart who were denying them clear-cut opportunities to equalise.

That was until first-half injury time, though. Gotze’s cross was blocked by the elbow of Benjamin Pavard and, although Schurrle’s penalty was saved by Zieler, Philipp reacted quickest to rifle the rebound high into the net.

However, six minutes into the second half, Dortmund’s dreadful defending and Burki’s low confidence was again exploited. Brekalo raced clear on the break with nobody but half-time substitute Dan-Axel Zagadou tracking him, before cutting back onto his left foot past the centre-back’s poor challenge and firing a shot through the legs of Burki and into the net.

BVB heads had dropped again and only a superb sliding tackle from Bartra denied Takuma Asano from making it 3-1 from close range, while Berkay Ozcan nodded over the crossbar and Asano saw a header well held by Burki.

Yarmolenko lobbed Zieler in style but the goal was ruled out for a handball by the winger, and Dortmund got no closer to salvaging a point from another poor performance.

Pressure is now likely to mount on Bosz, with matches against Tottenham, Schalke, Bayer Leverkusen and Real Madrid to come in the coming weeks.