Mata and Luiz important to Mourinho

first_img Press Association Chelsea rejected the suggestion Mata or Luiz could be used in the bargaining for Rooney and pointed accusingly at United for suggesting the part exchange, which may have unsettled the duo. Mourinho insisted it was a cash-only offer and that the futures of Spain playmaker Mata and Brazil defender Luiz are in the blue of Chelsea. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has felt no need to reassure Juan Mata and David Luiz that they are part of his long-term plans after the pair were mentioned as possible makeweights in the bid to take Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to Stamford Bridge.center_img The duo are absent from the tour of Asia to take a break following the Confederations Cup before joining up with Mourinho’s Chelsea for the first time at the end of this month, ahead of the tour to the United States. “I am not going to contact them based on news that is not true and that they know that it is not true, because I told them they are very important for me,” Mourinho said. “How can I change that two days later because of a news (report)? So, no contact with them. “I spoke with them during the summer, in my period of holiday and their period in the Confederations Cup. “When they finished the Confederations Cup I just wished them luck and told them that I will see them on the 28th (July 28).” Mourinho insists he is a man of principle and loyalty is key among them. “Loyalty, for me, is fundamental, not just in football but also in life,” he added. “What I try to create in the team is that kind of principle in between them. “They must have the capacity to be critical with each other and when you are critical with a colleague you must have a big sense of loyalty so you can accept the criticisms from the other guy.” last_img read more

Syracuse football roundtable: Positives in the secondary, SU’s 2nd receiving threat and who has to step up against Virginia Tech

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Syracuse (2-4, 0-2 Atlantic Coast) hosts No. 17 Virginia Tech (4-1, 2-0) on Saturday at 3:45 p.m. It’s the two teams’ first meeting since the Hokies beat the Orange, 51-7, in 2003. Heading into the matchup, beat writers Tomer Langer, Chris Libonati and Jon Mettus answer three questions surrounding SU.1. Has the secondary had any bright spots amid its terrible start to the season?Tomer Langer: Do bright yellow flags flying because of pass interference calls count as “bright spots?” It’s been hard for this secondary, particularly after losing two starters to season-ending injuries. Daivon Ellison has had some nice moments, and most of the secondary has actually done a solid job tackling recently (when the DBs aren’t getting burned over the top) as Cordell Hudson, Kielan Whitner and Corey Winfield combined for 25 tackles against Wake Forest. And if we’re looking at silver linings, none of the DBs are seniors, so experience can only help for next year.Chris Libonati: If you watch games, you know this unit has had some head-scratching plays. That doesn’t fall totally on defensive coordinator Brian Ward, secondary coach Nick Monroe or any defensive back in particular because of the change in scheme. One player who has stood out as outdoing the rest of the secondary is Daivon Ellison. The 5-foot-8 safety has been impressive in clean-up duty from the back end for the Orange. Despite his size — he also only weighs 177 pounds, which is actually a nine-pound improvement over last season — he’s one of the secondary’s best tacklers. When he’s faced down bigger runners, he stays down and wraps up the ball carrier. Despite not starting in the first two games and not getting much playing time, he’s third for SU with 37 tackles. In coverage, he has one interception and hasn’t been beaten as often as his counterparts. His emergence has been and will be key for SU going forward.Jon Mettus: The secondary has looked bad for various reasons including miscommunications, poor coverage and bad routes taken to stop ball carriers. A lot of the big plays the Orange has given up — often for scores — fall on the shoulders of those in the secondary. Safety Daivon Ellison has looked the best after filling in for injured safeties Antwan Cordy and Kielan Whitner, now establishing himself as a starter. He makes plays at the line in the running games, looks like the best tackler in the secondary and has forced a fumble and snagged an interception. Cornerback Corey Winfield has been emerging slightly as a bright spot over the last three games where he’s recorded 15 tackles and broken up two passes, including a big hit in the backfield that led to an interception against Wake Forest. But he’s been plagued by missed tackles like almost every other defensive back.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBryan Cereijo | Staff Photographer2. How desperate is Syracuse to develop a second threat from the wide receiver position?T.L.: I’m not sure it’s a matter of developing that second threat per se as much of a finding the other threats to be more consistent. Wake Forest game aside, Ervin Philips had at least six catches in every game this season and Steve Ishmael has five in each of his last two games. But the catches all seem to come on a few drives with the offense getting shut out at other points. The weapons are there; the offensive execution just needs to be more consistent.C.L.: Well, I think SU has two. Amba Etta-Tawo and Ervin Philips. I think Philips hasn’t gotten as many looks simply because Etta-Tawo has simply been that good. In its last game against Wake Forest, Eric Dungey looked away from Etta-Tawo a lot without a ton of success. Once SU can spray the ball over the field (and get mismatches at more than one spot) rather than concentrate on one area, it’ll have more success. That’s a long way to say SU needs another outside threat more than it just needs a second general threat. If Steve Ishmael proves to be that guy remains to be seen. He’s a good receiver, but his skillset also doesn’t jibe with the system he’s in all the time. Ishmael isn’t as quick as the other wide outs on the roster. More than a second threat, SU needs to figure out its offensive line.J.M.: It’s not just a second threat that Syracuse needs, it’s a third and maybe even fourth. Right now, Amba Etta-Tawo is the primary and basically only deep threat. Ervin Philips has established himself as the secondary threat with 42 catches to Etta-Tawo’s 51, but Philips has more than 500 yards fewer than Etta-Tawo. Part of it has to do with the outrageous success that Etta-Tawo is having — save for the hurricane-filled Wake Forest game — but against teams with better secondaries, Eric Dungey needs to throw the ball to more than just one or two receivers when throwing it close to 50 times per game. The Orange is going to likely rely on the short passing game more, too, with a struggling offensive line and running game. It’s time for Steve Ishmael, Brisly Estime and maybe even freshman Devin Butler to step up.3. Which SU player has to step up in order for Syracuse to have a chance against Virginia Tech?T.L.: The entire offensive line, honestly. A lot of pressure came up the middle last week against Wake Forest so some might single out Colin Byrne or either of the two guards. But the truth is that this patchwork group as a whole hasn’t been that strong. It hasn’t been terrible, but it’ll need to be solid not only in pass protection but in run blocking if SU has a chance to beat VT.C.L.: Aaron Roberts/Evan Adams. Colin Byrne said WFU sent double A-gap blitzes, which is a horrendous mess to pick up and is a nightmare when you consider how patched together the SU offensive line is right now. Byrne has played well in place of starter Jason Emerich and maybe even better than Emerich would have played, but it’ll be up to SU’s guards to aid in interior blitz pickup. And you best believe a defensive coordinator like Bud Foster is going to try to blow up the SU offensive line with blitzes. Dino Babers mentioned Foster’s previous work during Monday’s press conference. If Babers doesn’t want his squad to end up on a highlight film for Foster, he’ll need his interior linemen to be ready.J.M.: Colin Byrne. The success of this offensive line starts at the center, both in position and space. Pressure up the middle makes it impossible to run the ball (see the 11 tackles for a loss by Wake Forest) and hard to throw the ball (see Dino Babers’ postgame press conference where he mentioned that receivers were open but Dungey couldn’t see them because of the pressure). Dungey is mobile enough that he can step up to avoid pressure from the edges, but from the center is disastrous. Byrne has been the most critical of his own play and the play of the group recently (interestingly, Dino Babers decided not to make him available to the media this week). All eyes should be on him and the middle of the offensive line. Comments Published on October 13, 2016 at 11:03 pmlast_img read more