The Premier League season may have been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak but there has still been plenty to talk about so far this year – literally.
Here, the PA news agency takes a look at some of the best quotes from players and managers across the 2019/20 season to date.
“The game is in a really poor state for players diving, feigning injuries, all sorts. I found it peculiar. I was at a Premier League meeting a couple of weeks ago and they told us the worst that can happen is a yellow card. So basically every player in the Premier League can cheat at least once a game. Have you ever thought about that? I don’t know any sport where they tell you that you can cheat once a game. I’ve never seen that in sport before.” – Burnley boss Sean Dyche bemoans diving after his side lose at Arsenal.
“To be honest, it was a really complicated week and I’m happy when I’m back on my sofa this evening because I’m too old and too exhausted to celebrate. We have training Sunday morning and we have to analyse the game so for that I have to watch the game back. So it will be a pretty late night for me to be prepared, but hopefully on Sunday afternoon on the sofa I can have a coffee and a piece of cake, I will celebrate with this.” – Norwich boss Daniel Farke has big plans to toast a shock victory over champions Manchester City on September 14.
“My reaction is that I must apologise for this performance. I take 100 per cent responsibility for what happened today. This was absolutely no-go in any way and I want to say that I am proud of the fans – they were staying in the stadium until the end of the game – because it was not easy to watch it for anybody who is following us.” – Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says sorry to supporters after they are thrashed 9-0 by Leicester.
“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have hurt me deeply. People have said things like: “We will break your legs”, “Kill your wife” and “Wish that your daughter gets cancer”. That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium.” – Granit Xhaka on why he told supporters to “f*** off” as he was jeered off the pitch while being substituted against Crystal Palace on October 27.
“I think you can see that we need to find the balance. We are building a team during the season, while competing in the Champions League and Premier League, the toughest league in the world, and always that is dangerous, this type of situation can happen. You expect better results than you get. Of course we are in a process to build and we’ll see if we have time to build what we want.” – Mauricio Pochettino after his Tottenham side drew with Sheffield United, he was sacked soon after.
“I am humble. I am humble enough to analyse my career, and the problems. Happiness-wise I am convinced my choice was a great one. The club is huge. I know that I have potentially a great job in my hands.” – Jose Mourinho becomes the ‘Humble One’ as he is presented as the new Tottenham manager on November 21.
“I feel back home. I am extremely happy and proud to have been given the honour of being manager of this football club. I have prepared for the challenge and am ready. If I didn’t feel that, I would not be sitting in this chair. I have to engage the players, when I was here with Man City everyone was a bit down.” – Mikel Arteta knows his job after leaving his role as Manchester City assistant to return to Arsenal as he replaced Unai Emery as head coach.
“He decided to move there, when you have dreams you cannot stop it, you have to follow your dreams. Arsenal was important in his career, one of the best teams in Europe, I wish him all the best – I’m sure he’ll do an excellent job.” – Arteta’s former boss at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, backs him to be a success at the Emirates Stadium.
“In terms of walking off the pitch, I think that has to feel right in the moment, and until that moment comes I don’t want to guess what I would do. It would depend what the players were feeling and saying. But I would be absolutely, 100 per cent behind them if (they wanted to walk off), and I’m sure it would be a group decision.” – Frank Lampard says he would back his Chelsea players walking off the pitch after defender Antonio Rudiger claimed he was abused during December’s game at Tottenham.
“We are fuming. All the lads are livid. I’ve just watched it back. He has knocked the ball into my hand. If you are running with your arms like that with the rules as they are now it is handball, but it is not intentional. It is a kick in the teeth. I think they are the thoughts of every Premier League player, not just me – pretty much everyone doesn’t want VAR in the game.” – West Ham’s Declan Rice criticises VAR after the Hammers see a late equaliser against Sheffield United controversially ruled out for handball.
“I love football and I thought I was going to love VAR, that was my initial feeling. I love the truth… playing for three minutes and then after three minutes, the VAR gives a penalty, then if it’s a penalty no problem. We can wait 10 minutes. I just want the truth. I thought I was going to love VAR the way I love goal-line technology. I love goal-line technology because there is no mistake. The VAR has too many mistakes, too many.” – Mourinho is also not a fan of VAR despite seeing Spurs beat Man City 2-0.
“We took heed from Tyson Fury. We thought we’re going to go on the front foot and have it out with them. We were good and they were a little bit off.” – Watford captain Troy Deeney explains how the Hornets channelled their inner Fury to shock Liverpool and end their unbeaten run with a 3-0 win on February 29.
“I don’t think we had any great leadership last night, listening to the prime minister. I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of leadership and clear message. I heard one of the statements from the prime minister last night talking about listening, and that the decisions would be based on science and that there’s no necessarily a greater risk with people being together at sporting venues. If that’s based on science, fine, but that doesn’t necessarily make sense to me.” – Watford boss Nigel Pearson was left wholly unconvinced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s initial response to the coronavirus outbreak.