The best quotes of the 2013/14 Premier League season, featuring Jose Mourinho, Wayne Rooney and Arsene Wenger
A look at the words of wisdom from across the campaign
Monday 12 May 2014
With the Premier League season having reached its conclusion, we take a look back at the best quotes...
"I think the way we played was as important as winning the title, the way we did it with the players and the fans enjoying it" - Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is pleased not only to win the Barclays Premier League, but to have done so in such style.
"Next year we have to be even better. If we want to be a big club this has to be one of many" - City captain Vincent Kompany targets even more glory.
"There is no doubt Manchester City will go on and win it" - Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers concedes the title to City after his side are stunned by Crystal Palace, in a 3-3 draw, in their penultimate game.
"That win means so much. They got back into the game but I think we showed today that we want to go to the wire. We want to go all the way" - A few weeks earlier it is a different story as emotional Reds captain Steven Gerrard reflects on a dramatic win over City at Anfield, which appeared to signal a shift in title momentum towards the Merseysiders.
"The title race is between two horses and a little horse that needs milk and needs to learn how to jump. Maybe next season we can race" - Back in February, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho makes one of several claims that his side cannot win the title, despite an impressive win over City. Interestingly, the other 'horse' he refers to is Arsenal, not Liverpool.
"We may be the chihuahuas that run in between the horses' legs" - Rodgers at that point warns Mourinho not to count his side out.
"If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn't fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that's failure. He's a specialist in failure" - Reigniting an old rivalry, Mourinho responds to a claim from Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger that managers are playing down their title chances because they fear failure.
"I'm very honest and I know where I am. If you look at the table and the games we have got left to win, we need a miracle" - Sunderland boss Gus Poyet, speaking with his side rock-bottom in early April, fears time is running out for his side.
"It's going to be remembered forever. There are going to be people talking in many, many years' time - 'Sunderland did it, it's possible, we can do it"'- Poyet again, speaking after the 'miracle' occurs with a four-game winning run.
"I was convinced before the game that we had a very good chance but today was what you would call in Germany a blackout" - Fulham manager Felix Magath reluctantly accepts time has run out for his side.
"You have just got to face the facts, don't you? I face it head-on. I knew what I was coming in to. I didn't make the impact I hoped for and I believed in" - Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer holds his hands up after failing to engineer survival following his mid-season arrival.
"I found the support inside Old Trafford has been terrific and, if there was ever a show of support for the football club and team, it was in this game. Inside Old Trafford it was terrific, it really was" - On the day a plane carrying a banner calling for his removal flies over Old Trafford, Manchester United boss David Moyes thanks his loyal supporters for their backing.
"I would like to thank the United staff for making me feel so welcome and part of the United family from my first day. And of course thank you to those fans who have supported me throughout the season" - Moyes noticeably does not thank the players, some of whom had reportedly turned against him, as he is sacked after 10 months as United manager
"Throughout his time at United, David, as he always does, has conducted himself with integrity and professionalism - values that he believes in and that have been strongly associated with the club and its rich tradition. It is therefore sad to see the end of David's tenure at United being handled in an unprofessional manner" - League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan criticises United over their handling of Moyes' dismissal, which was apparently leaked before being announced.
"We will go back to playing like Manchester United" - Ryan Giggs hopes to start putting things right after taking over as interim manager following Moyes' departure.
"I wanted to show them I will never give up. We have to keep together. I still believe in myself. I will never change. The players need to release the rubbish from their brains" - Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio vows to fight on after a defeat at West Brom prompted him to walk across and gesture in defiance to fans. It proved the final act of his chaotic reign. A day later he was sacked.
"I have great confidence in Rene and high expectations for our squad to respond" - Fulham owner Shahid Khan believes Rene Meulensteen is the man to turn the season around after a poor start and the sacking of Martin Jol.
"I knew the owners were freaking out a little bit that there was the possibility of the club going down" - Meulensteen, after just 75 days in charge at Craven Cottage, reveals he has been shown the door.
"Chris Hughton has been sacked by Norwich. Now? With 5 games to go? Utterly bonkers!" - Former England striker Gary Lineker tweets his shock at Norwich's decision to part company with Chris Hughton.
"I had to wait nine days for a letter that said a lot of very silly things" - Michael Laudrup is bemused by the reasons belatedly given to him for his sacking by Swansea.
"This club needs an impetus of energy - but I just feel tired to be honest. I'm worn out" - Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway, who guided the club to promotion, concedes the task of keeping them up could be beyond him.
"I'm still very ambitious. I like climbing hills. This is going to be a tough job but one I will relish" - Pulis, who replaced Holloway at Selhurst Park, arrives in bullish mood.
"Crystal clear - there will be absolutely no way I will be resigning from Cardiff City" - Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, amid considerable speculation over his future, vows not to jump ship before a push that became inevitable.
"The call to make that decision is not mine, because obviously I won't resign and I'm not a quitter" - Beleaguered Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas vows to fight on after a humiliating 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool, but the axe fell a day later.
"Some of these managers are touting themselves for my job. I don't think that's right. At every press conference at our training centre it's, 'You're keeping the seat warm for someone else'. Yeah I am, but the seat's getting quite hot!" - Villas-Boas' replacement Tim Sherwood hits back amid speculation over his future.
"Some people made me out like the villain. I'm supposed to be the Bond villain, but actually I'm James Bond" - Cardiff owner Vincent Tan is unimpressed with the image portrayed of him as a Bond villain.
"I have come to know well that fates are fickle in the business of English football. And I feel that I have pushed mine well past the limit" - Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner announces that he is seeking to sell the club.
"We lost a wonderful player who gave us so much. We wish him all the best. What we have to do is move on" - Villas-Boas expresses hope Spurs will benefit long term from the world-record £85.3million sale of Gareth Bale.
"The person that starts the story has to finish the story" - With the summer transfer window drawing to a close and after months of speculation linking Wayne Rooney with Chelsea, Mourinho calls on the Manchester United star to make his intentions clear.
"Did we miss out on a lot of targets? No. Was it disappointing? No" - Moyes comes out fighting after United appear to miss out on a host of targets in the summer transfer window.
"Everybody would want him. You could see the clubs who did want him but there was never a chance he was going to leave Manchester United, certainly not on my watch" - Moyes, in one of the few successes of his brief reign at Old Trafford, celebrates the capture of Rooney on a new long-term deal, worth a reported £300,000 per week.
"Chelsea is a top club and I have many friends there but you cannot turn down the chance to join Manchester United. I look forward to helping the manager and the team be successful in the coming years" - United have better luck in January and Juan Mata expresses his happiness after joining them from Chelsea in a club record £37million move.
"I wouldn't have signed him if we had another two or three days, but it was on Friday at 5pm" - Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hints at regret after rushing through a deadline-day deal for Kim Kallstrom, only to discover the player was injured.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
"His talent deserves to be out on the field rather than sitting in the stand" - Liverpool manager Rodgers is delighted after Luis Suarez belatedly opens what proves a phenomenal season, after suspension, with two goals against Sunderland.
"If you look at the world-class performers at the top of the game, their numbers are just exceptional and that is the level he is at" - Rodgers heaps further praise on Suarez after virtuoso four-goal display against Norwich.
"The club considers the conduct of Nicolas Anelka on December 28, coupled with his purported termination on social media, to be gross misconduct" - West Brom respond to a claim from striker Nicolas Anelka that he had unilaterally terminated his contract by sacking the Frenchman in the fall-out from the 'quenelle' affair.
"I did not threaten anybody in any moment and even less with a brick" - Swansea defender Chico Flores plays down a reported training-ground bust-up with then team-mate, later manager, Garry Monk.
"I am not taking legal action against any team-mate" - West Brom striker Saido Berahino dismisses speculation he could sue a team-mate after a dressing-room fracas that left him with a black eye.
"They can die as soon as they want, as long as they leave the club for the majority who just want to watch good football" - Hull City owner Assem Allam hits out at the fans chanting, 'City till we die" in protest at his plans to rebrand the club as Hull Tigers.
"I tried to push him away with my head. I apologise to everyone. I should not have got involved in it" - Newcastle manager Alan Pardew says sorry after headbutting Hull's David Meyler in a touchline spat.
"We are hugely concerned that a professional football club should take such an irresponsible and cavalier attitude to a player's health" - Luke Griggs, of brain injury charity Headway, blasts Tottenham boss Villas-Boas after he allows goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to play on despite being knocked out at Everton.
"Andre is disappointed that he failed to identify the correct player" - Professional Game Match Officials Limited, the referees' body, conveys Andre Marriner's regret after sending off Arsenal's Kieran Gibbs instead of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in a case of mistaken identity.
"I was surprised we were playing in Manchester and have a referee from Greater Manchester" - Liverpool boss Rodgers is unhappy with Bolton referee Lee Mason after critical decisions went against his side in a defeat at Manchester City.
"It is up there with my best" - Manchester United's Wayne Rooney is rather pleased after finding the net from just inside the opposition half against West Ham.
"It was a good strike on the ball by me and good goal but it is not goal of the season - it is not even goal of the day" - Norwich's Alexander Tettey strikes a superb volley against Sunderland, but then defers to Rooney's effort.
"He came in shouting 'goal of the season' - typical Jonjo. He's got that in the locker" - Swansea manager Monk hails his player Jonjo Shelvey's own long-range effort, from just outside the centre circle, against Aston Villa.
"It does not make a goalkeeper look good and, after it, I did not want to celebrate out of respect for him" - Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic scored from the longest range, but was rather more embarrassed after a wind-assisted effort beat Southampton's Artur Boruc.
"It had nearly everything you want to have - it was a great goal" - Wenger reflects on a superb Arsenal team goal, finished by Jack Wilshere, against Norwich.
"When managers have got decisions to make, whether it benefits me or not, I have to be man enough to take it" - Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, dropped for a period early in the season, is determined to regain top form.
"The problem with Chelsea is I lack a striker. I have Eto'o but he is 32 years old, maybe 35, who knows?" - In what he thought were unrecorded tongue-in-cheek comments, the Chelsea boss questions his striking resources.
"This is not the best league in the world. This is football from the 19th century" - The Portuguese is frustrated after a goalless draw against West Ham.
"The referee made many mistakes during the game, but that was not a mistake" - Mourinho clearly does not agree an error was made after his side were awarded a controversial late penalty against West Brom - even though referees' chief Mike Riley later apologised to the Baggies.
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