Monday Kickoff: Mourinho claims Man City underachieve; Wenger defends Källström loan; and more

Monday Kickoff: Mourinho claims Man City underachieve; Wenger defends Källström loan; and more

South American Soccer

Monday Kickoff: Mourinho claims Man City underachieve; Wenger defends Källström loan; and more

Chelsea Manager Jose Mourinho

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By DAN KARELL

Ahead of a key mid-season match between Chelsea and Manchester City, Jose Mourinho has taken the opportunity to make the first punch.

The Chelsea boss stated that considering Man City’s large squad and their financial power, it’s a wonder that they have only won three trophies since an Abu Dhabi consortium took over the club in 2008. Man City won the English Premier League title in 2012, FA Cup in 2011, and the Community Shield in 2012.

“They won one title, won a couple of cups,” Mourinho told BBC Sport. “The team is fantastic, the squad is fantastic and normally they [should] win more titles. In Europe they didn’t do well, or close to doing well. Speaking objectively, they did very bad in the Champions League in previous seasons, also in the Europa League.”

Despite Mourinho’s comments, Man City are currently still in the running to win four competitions this season, the EPL, UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, and League Cup. With a win on Monday against Chelsea, Man City could move up to the top of the Premier League again.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:

WENGER DEFENDS KÄLLSTRÖM LOAN

Everything on the field seems to be going smoothly for Arsenal, but off the field matters are at the other end of the spectrum.

Following their 2-0 home victory against Crystal Palace, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger defended his decision to sign Kim Källström on loan, despite the fact that the experienced midfielder is expected to miss the next six weeks with a back injury. Arsenal’s medical team had found the injury during the team’s physical but Wenger still gave the club permission to complete the deal.

“If you’ve played football, you might have played with a micro-fracture of a vertebra without knowing you had it,” Wenger told reporters. “You don’t even notice it. It crossed my mind [not to complete the deal] but I would not have signed him if we’d had two or three more days to do something.

“But it was 5pm on Friday night, so it was a case of sign him or nobody. We might need the players in March or April, you know, so it is a security and a free loan. We think four weeks is the best-case scenario; four to six weeks. The injury was an accident. Of course there’s a possibility, like there is for every player, that he does not actually play for Arsenal but there is also the chance he scores a wining goal that’s vitally important. We will only know if we’re right or wrong at the end of the season.”

Fans had expected Källström to help out an injury-riddled Arsenal midfield, with Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, and Theo Walcott all missing due to injury, in addition to Mathieu Flamini’s four-match suspension for a red card. Though the deal looks bad for Arsenal, Wenger revealed that Spartak Moscow, Källström’s current club, will pay his wages for the duration of the injury.

“It’s true that we have not sorted out the problem for the next four to six weeks but it was difficult to identify a player of Kallstrom’s stature on a free loan and for the short term,” Wenger said. “You don’t want to be locked into a deal for three or four years, where you pay them to do nothing. He has 108 caps for Sweden and played for seven or eight years in France, so I know the player well. I had a decision to make.”

VILLA SUFFERS HAMSTRING INJURY

Atletico Madrid will likely be missing one of their starters in their Copa Del Rey defense this week.

Ahead of their semifinals matchup against crosstown rival Real Madrid, Atletico learned that they’ll be without forward David Villa due to a grade one hamstring strain. The injury comes following a stretch with three La Liga goals in Villa’s last three games.

Villa scored Atletico’s first goal in their 4-0 victory against Real Sociedad on Sunday, though he went off injured in the 41st minute. The medical report released by Atletico doesn’t state a timetable, but it’s thought that he’ll miss Wednesday’s match against Real Madrid at least.

Since joining Atletico last summer from FC Barcelona, Villa has scored 13 goals in all competitions.

QUICK KICKS

Former Spain National Team head coach Luis Aragones, who won Euro 2008, passed away on Saturday at the age of 75. (REPORT)

Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler has returned to first team training on an individual basis for the first time since suffering a hamstring injury last December. (REPORT)

Lazio president Claudio Lotito said he had to sell Hernanes to Inter Milan because he had agreed a deal already with the club. (REPORT)

Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia could make a loan move to Galatasaray before the Turkish transfer window closes on Monday evening. (REPORT)

Around 100 fans of Brazilian club Corinthians broke into the club’s training ground and attacked forward Paolo Guerrero, upset at the club’s 5-1 defeat to Sao Paulo and subsequent 2-1 defeat to Ponte Preta. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Think that Mourinho has any right to make those statements? Do you see Man City defeating Chelsea? Think that Arsenal should have signed someone else?

Share your thoughts below.

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