Jose Mourinho has received rare backing from a fellow Premier League manager following his recent complaints over the limited amount of time to work with his squad ahead of the 2018-19 season.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has agreed with Mourinho’s annoyance regarding the hasty turnover after the conclusion of the 2018 World Cup in Russia which has left a number of clubs without key stars for the whole of pre-season so far.
Speaking ahead of Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Club America in the opening match of their tour of the USA, Mourinho voiced his concerns over how many of his players will be absent when the Premier League campaign starts in three weeks’ time.
“The pre-season is very bad, the positive thing of the pre-season is only for the young boys that have a fantastic opportunity to train with us,” the Man United manager explained.
“I’m worried because I’m not training (with everyone) and then I go to the Premier League without lots of players, but it is what it is and we have to try and make the best out of it with the players we have here.”
Mourinho has practically already confirmed seven of his starters in the opener against Leicester City on Friday 10 August at Old Trafford, stating that Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw will be his defence and Alexis Sanchez, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial will be his forwards.
It’s doubtful this would be the case if stars such as Ashley Young and Romelu Lukaku weren’t only beginning their pre-season preparations a week or so before the date of that fixture, following long World Cup campaigns in which they helped England and Belgium reach the semi-finals.
Klopp’s squad situation isn’t as bad, but he’s still agreed with Mourinho and pointed out the introduction of the international competition ‘the Nations League’ will just cause more problems for clubs.
“It’s a really tough thing to deal with and in the future we have to change it. They play the World Cup, then the Nations League, next summer is the final of the Nations League which is really crazy.
“Everything is now so important in football and we have to collect their bones afterwards, more or less.”
Savour it, because this will probably be the only thing the two agree on all season!