Jose Mourinho has told Roy Hodgson to repay the loyalty of his players when he chooses his squad to go to the World Cup this summer.
Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are not sure of their places in Hodgson’s 23-man squad, to be announced on 13 May. But Mourinho said that if he were a national manager he would respect a moral obligation to the players who took him to a tournament.
“It’s not my decision,” the Chelsea manager said last night. “But I try to be pragmatic, so if one day I am the national team manager of any country, I think the players that take me to the Euros or to the World Cup are the players I’m going to take to the Euros or the World Cup. They took me, by qualifying; after that, I take them on my plane. I don’t think it makes a lot of sense if you trust some players to do qualification and, after that, you don’t select them and pick others.”
Lampard played seven of England’s 10 qualification matches, scoring four goals, second only to Wayne Rooney. Cole played four of the games but both players were in every squad when fit. Cole has missed just 16 minutes of tournament football for England since the start of the 2002 World Cup.
But Hodgson warned this week that he may have to disappoint a senior player when he names his 23 men, and seven replacements, two days after the end of the Premier League season.
“I am very conscious of the fact that I could have to leave a big name out,” Hodgson said. “I am pretty sure there will be a lot of debate.”
Lampard is under threat from the form of Jordan Henderson and Ross Barkley, while Cole, who has lost his place at Chelsea to Cesar Azpilicueta, could suffer from the emergence of Southampton teenager Luke Shaw.
Mourinho also said that national teams should only be for players born in the country, or with close family connections. Fernando Torres has lost his place in the Spain squad to Brazilian striker Diego Costa, while England are interested in the possibility of recruiting Manchester United’s Kosovan-Belgian midfielder Adnan Januzaj.
“When one day I’m a national coach, I will take only players born in my country. That’s for sure. Or if not born in my country, then with parents with a big connection with the country,” Mourinho said. “I will never take a player just because he has a passport from my country, thinking he can make my team stronger. If one day I coach Portugal, I’ll go with the Portuguese.”
Chelsea visit Fulham this afternoon and Mourinho said he has an “emotional connection” with their local rivals and hopes they stay up. “If I could choose I’d take defeat tomorrow, then 10 victories and the title,” he said.Reuse content