London: Jose Mourinho insists he has been left with no choice but to send out an under-strength Chelsea team in Tuesday’s League Cup fourth round clash at Arsenal. Mourinho is fuming that League Cup fixture planners decided to schedule Chelsea’s trip to the Emirates Stadium just 48 hours after his side’s 2-1 win over Manchester City in the Premier League.
Mourinho’s complaints ignore the fact that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger routinely fields shadow squads made up of fringe players and youngsters in the League Cup, but that didn’t stop the Portuguese coach letting rip when asked if he would field a strong team for the last 16 tie.
“We are going to give the game that the people that put the game on Tuesday want. If they want a big game, we cannot give the big game,” Mourinho said.
“If they want the players that were playing today (Sunday), we cannot give them that. If they want Arsenal to win a trophy, that’s a help. “If they want a big game between two big teams in London, they should put the game on Wednesday and not on Tuesday, because I am not going to do that.” He claimed that, out of respect for Chelsea’s fans, he would stop short of sending out a starting line-up made up entirely of youth team.