Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho stands on the sidelines
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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho lobbying for NFL-style timeouts in the Premier League | SIDELINE

Timeouts in soccer — once the satirical "quick fix to make soccer popular" scheme of soccer-hating Americans.

But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

In fact, the "soccer needs timeouts" crowd got a ringing endorsement this week from one of the most level-headed notoriously eccentric figures in world soccer — Chelsea manager José Mourinho.

"I hope I am still in football," Mourinho, the much-acclaimed tactical genius, said following his side's 2-0 win against Leicester City on Saturday, "when they give the coach the chance to stop the game during the first half once and during the second half because you can make the game much better.”

He went on to commend former Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal for decisive tactical adjustments he made during his country's World Cup Round of 16 match against Mexico during a referee-mandated water break, and wondered why he shouldn't be afforded the same opportunity to speak with his players part of the way through each half of play.

“It would be interesting. Louis van Gaal in the World Cup, the referee stopped the game for the water break and he changed the system of his team and managed to win the game. So maybe I will one day have the chance to stop the game in the first half and once in the second half.”

His argument that having the ability to make adjustments and changes more frequently during the 90 minutes would improve the quality of the soccer being played is perhaps well-founded, but it would also serve to break up the flow of play and constant action on the field — an appealing aspect to many fans of the game.

Mourinho's call for timeouts isn't the first time in recent years that a Premier League manager has called for a massive overhaul to the game's rules. Just a couple years ago, then-Stoke City manager Tony Pulis suggested than an NFL-style challenge system, including red flags and all, be implemented.

Timeouts in soccer — yay or nay, for you? Would the additional ability to make adjustments increase the quality of the soccer being played? Enough to make sporadically breaking up the flow of action worth it?


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