Petr Cech will not be going anywhere if Jose Mourinho gets his way, even if it means upsetting the long-serving Chelsea goalkeeper. “If the club decision is different to mine, I will accept with all the respect.” Cech is likely to be reduced to a watching brief once again when Liverpool arrive on Sunday. Chelsea are to get a guard of honour after wrapping up the title last week, but Mourinho is more interested in giving “dear enemy” Steven Gerrard the send-off he deserves. The Portuguese tried to coax the Liverpool captain to Inter Milan and Real Madrid, while made two attempts to sign him for Chelsea. Gerrard had appeared close to a move to west London in 2005, only to tell Mourinho his “red heart” prevented him. “It was difficult, difficult to do it,” he said. “It was difficult to do. He wants to do it for a few football reasons but can’t do it. It is fantastic.” Mourinho has no hard feelings against Gerrard – far from it, he is happy the midfielder stayed loyal to Liverpool. The Portuguese does, though, believe he could have done something England managers were unable to: make Gerrard and Frank Lampard play well together. “I always thought that both were the best two number eights in Europe,” he said. “Between 2004 and 2012, they were the best two number eights. “In my opinion and my vision with them you don’t play a number 10 you play with one number six and give the freedom to the two number eights because they score more goals than any number 10. “So Lampard with 30 goals a season from midfield and Gerrard with 25 they score more goals together than a number 10 and the striker.” Mourinho not only waxed lyrical about Gerrard in the pre-match press conference, with questions inevitably asked about Lionel Messi following his inspired display in Barcelona’s 3-0 defeat of Bayern Munich. “Almost every year I am there or thereabouts,” he said following the Champions League semi-final first leg. “Quarter-final, semi-final, final. “This season was the first season for many, many years that I wasn’t there. “I find it very, very normal not to be there once in a while. But watching Messi, you don’t miss being there! “You enjoy it so much that you don’t think about not being there. You just think about what the guy did.” This has been a difficult campaign for the 32-year-old, having been displaced as first-choice goalkeeper at Stamford Bridge after 10 seasons. Mourinho has plumped for Thibaut Courtois more often than not this term, leaving the Czech international understandably frustrated not to be playing a more regular role. Press Association Arsenal have been strongly linked with a summer move, but Mourinho wants Cech to remain at Stamford Bridge and certainly does not want him going to another Premier League side. “One thing is Jose Mourinho and another is Mr Abramovich and another thing is the board because the board includes a little bit of me, a little bit of other people,” he said. “But if it was me, if it was my decision, my decision is Petr to stay. That’s it. It would be my decision for Petr to stay.” Such a stance may upset Cech but Mourinho said he would be willing to go against the will of the player for the betterment of the club. “I think that the club is more important than the players and, as was proved this season, the club needs two very good goalkeepers,” he said. “Without Petr this season I don’t think the club would be champions because he played six important matches in the Premier League and without these points we probably wouldn’t be champions. “So for me, decision number one: Petr will stay. After that, second point to go but not in England. The option I don’t want is for him to go to an English club. “But, I repeat, I am just the manager and he means so much for this club and what he did in this club I think he deserves everything from this club.
Published on January 24, 2017 at 12:23 am After back-to-back road losses against Top 15 teams, Syracuse (11-9, 3-4 Atlantic Coast) returns home to take on Wake Forest (12-7, 3-4) on Tuesday night. Here’s how our beat writers think the game will end.Connor Grossman (12-8)Demon catchersSyracuse 77, Wake Forest 70For at least one more game, Syracuse will continue pedaling the narrative that it’s a different (better) team in the Carrier Dome than outside of it. That storyline is much likelier to shift after this weekend’s tilt against No. 6 Florida State. But against Wake Forest, SU won’t need its best game of the year to grab a fourth conference win. The Orange would do well though to flex some depth behind Tyler Lydon, Andrew White and Tyus Battle. Specifically in the frontcourt, Taurean Thompson, Tyler Roberson and Dajuan Coleman have been neutralized offensively. A big game out of that trio would be a good start to imagining an upset over the Seminoles, not to mention a win over the Demon Deacons.Matt Schneidman (10-10)Holding a wakeWake Forest 81, Syracuse 70The Demon Deacons have averaged 94.5 points in back-to-back wins heading into the Carrier Dome on Tuesday night. Syracuse, well, we know how the Orange fared this past week in its first two chances for signature conference wins. So much for being much better at home than on the road, as Jim Boeheim’s team continues its worst start ever under the head coach by slipping one game closer to .500. At this point, the NCAA Tournament isn’t even in the rearview mirror. The NIT may not even be within sight after this home loss.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPaul Schwedelson (13-7)Staying awakeSyracuse 71, Wake Forest 64The collective eyes of the Orange’s fanbase are right around that point late at night when they get heavy and it’s hard to keep them open. After a long day of work, it’d be easy to just let the eyelids shut and dream of a better season in 2017-18. But for at least another few days, Syracuse gives its fans a reason to keep their eyes open and watch this season. Wake Forest has won its last two, but lost four of five before that. The Demon Deacons don’t pose many dangerous threats outside of power forward John Collins. If SU can stay out of foul trouble (Collins draws 7.5 fouls per 40 minutes per Kenpom.com, which ranks 17th nationwide) and limit Collins, Syracuse should do just enough to squeak by. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+