Jose Mourinho has said that the Premier League’s winter schedule makes life harder on the clubs competing for the European crown.
The 54-year-old manager believes that the winter schedule that clubs in England have to go through makes things harder for Premier League teams in the Champions League. With five top-flight English clubs in position for the knockout rounds, with the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham already qualified. While both Jose Mourinho’s side, his former club Chelsea and Liverpool should comfortably make it through the group stage.
However, despite the strong England contingent in the race to be crowned Europe’s best club, the Manchester United boss still thinks that the winter break taken by most leagues gives them an advantage. While the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1 and even the Serie A going on break for at least two weeks between the 20th of December and the 25th of January, the Premier League sides continue playing.
This break, according to Jose Mourinho will keep the English clubs from ever becoming a force to reckon with in Europe. In an interview with the Mirror, Mourinho said “I always say the Champions League only starts in February, and in February the English teams are [still playing] after December and January where we can play 20 matches over two months.
The Germans, the French, the Spanish, the Italians, they all come from a winter break. So I think they arrive in better condition than the English teams.”
Jose Mourinho: “I signed a three-year contract and when I signed that three-year contract it was basically to try and improve the direction of the football team." #MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtdUpdates_) November 16, 2017
But while the fixture congestion during the winter months is a cause for concern, it’s not the only one according to the Portuguese international. The 54-year-old and two times Champions League winner, also believes that there is a higher level of competition in England and that adds to the stress.
He further added “It’s also a fact that any match you play in this country, if you don’t go strong, you lose. We go to Bristol (City of the Championship next Wednesday) in the (EFL Cup) quarter-final and if you don’t go with a strong team, you lose. That’s as simple as that.
In other countries, between the top teams and the others, there is huge difference and not just in terms of talent and potential but also in terms of mentality. Here, the smaller teams want to win, want to compete, want to have the courage to try and get a result.”
Club football returns after nearly two weeks and for Manchester United, it’s time to get back to winning ways. The Red Devils face Newcastle United in the Premier League, before taking on Benfica and a win could take them through. However, with his squad being pushed to the limits with injuries to key figures, Jose Mourinho needs to dig deep to get United their Premier League title.