Jose Mourinho threatened to field Chelsea’s U21 team in Tuesday’s Capital One Cup fourth-round trip to Arsenal in protest at being forced to play the game 48 hours after Chelsea’s 2-1 win at home to Manchester City in the Premier League. While Mourinho has since backtracked from suggesting he might field a youth team, he maintains that none of the players that featured in Sunday’s Premier League game would be available on Tuesday.
"If they want a big game, we cannot give a big game,” Mourinho said. “If they want the players that were playing against Manchester City, we cannot give them that. If they want us not to win a trophy, that's a help, because if they want a big game between two big teams in London they should put the game on Wednesday, not on Tuesday. I'm not going to give them that."
When asked if he would pick a youth team, the Portuguese added: "No, we have to respect our fans and we discussed that in the club. We have to protect our players too. We cannot put our players playing two matches in three days in October. Arsenal played at 12:45 on Saturday, so they will have had two and a half days to rest and prepare. So yes, I hope they all enjoy it. We are going to try and do our job and we will do our job the best we can."