Jose Mourinho has been reflecting on the World Cup and how it may impact on Manchester United getting off on the right note in the Premier League.
Man Utd’s record signing Paul Pogba lifted the World Cup yesterday but Mourinho believes there is no chance of him being involved when the Premier League kicks off.
The Old Trafford boss thinks players need an absolute minimum of three weeks recovery time after their World Cup involvement, essential for ‘their body and soul’, bringing them back earlier with any intention of playing them from the start in the Premier League, would simply risk them missing bigger chunks of the Premier League season.
As well as Paul Pogba, the final weekend of games also saw the likes of Lukaku, Jones, Fellaini, Rashford and Young still in Russia for the third/fourth play-off.
It is only now 25 days until Manchester United start their league season, to cap it all, they are the first game on the Friday (10 August) night, at home to Leicester in live TV.
Which then brings us to the second Premier League game to kick-off, Newcastle hosting Tottenham in the 12.30pm lunchtime game on Saturday 11 August.
With Spurs, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City amongst the first five opponents, Rafa Benitez needs every bit of help he can get.
Lloris was a World Cup winner on Sunday, whilst on Saturday, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele finished third with Belgium.
Added to that, you had Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Kieran Trippier, Eric Dier and Danny Rose with England.
Difficult to see Mauricio Pochettino taking any more risks than Jose Mourinho, so there must be question marks against all of these nine playing against Newcastle United.
Christian Eriksen, Davinson Sanchez and Heung-Min Son were knocked out of the World Cup earlier so they should all have a better chance.
However, Ki Sung-yueng previously revealed that he had been given a month to recover by Newcastle United and would only be back at the training ground two weeks before the start of the season, which means he says, he has no chance of being 100% by the time of that Tottenham match.
With Mitro expected to leave shortly, Rafa will have had a full and perfect preparation with his team for the Spurs match, surely giving Newcastle a perfect opportunity to get three points on the opening day. Rafa Benitez and the fans are desperately disappointed with this transfer window so far, so grateful for any small mercy.
Looking ahead, with the Qatar World Cup now confirmed as running from November to December in 2022, I can’t begin to imagine how unhappy Premier League managers are going to be when that comes around.
Jose Mourinho talking to Russia Today:
“We cannot start the Premier League with our players that were in the World Cup.
“Which is a shame for the most important club competition in Europe.
“Three week is the minimum (recovery time) that their body and soul needs, which is the minimum for them to return and think about football again (after the World Cup).
“To bring them back before that would be…’OK, I can have you for the first match of the season but maybe I don’t have you in three or four months.
“I think three weeks is the minimum they need.
“Which means they (Man Utd players involved in World Cup final weekend) are going to be back in the week when the Premier League starts.
“This means they’re not ready to start the Premier League, which is I think difficult to understand, where we could have one more week to prepare everybody.”