Jose Mourinho on Arsene Wenger’s Chelsea obsession and Arsenal failure
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hits back at Arsene Wenger and gives a damning assessment of his past eight years at Arsenal
Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger have been nibbling away at each other for the most of the season like a strained Premier League couple – and the Chelsea manager delivered fireworks on Valentine’s Day.
Mourinho reacted angrily after Wenger suggested that Chelsea and their other rivals were afraid to call themselves title favourites in case they should finish the season empty-handed.
I’ve a lot of respect for him and he is a great manager. But when he speaks about failure, failure is not to win a trophy for seven or eight years
In response to the Arsenal boss, Mourinho branded Wenger a “specialist in failure” as the 51-year-old made no attempt to disguise his frustration at the Gunners manager’s comments.
Quizzed whether he was annoyed, Mourinho curtly replied: “Yes.”
Asked to expand further, the Chelsea manager, whose side face Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round at The Etihad on Saturday, said: “Because he loves to look at this football club. I thought between 2007 and 2013 was enough time for him to forget us.
“But it looks like he always likes to look at this [Chelsea]. Am I afraid of failure? What is that?”
On the topic of failure, Mourinho went on to give a damning assessment of Wenger’s past eight years in charge of Arsenal, with the Gunners manager failing to add any silverware to the Emirates Stadium cabinet.
“I’ve a lot of respect for him and he is a great manager. But when he speaks about failure, failure is not to win a trophy for seven or eight years,” Mourinho said.
“If I don’t win a trophy in four years, I don’t want a [new] contract even if the club wants to give me one. That’s as simple as that.”
Mourinho has a heated history with Wenger. The pair engaged in a war of words during the Portuguese’s first reign at Stamford Bridge.
One of his more famous sound bites on his contemporary came in October 2005: “He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks and speaks and speaks about Chelsea.”
Over nine years later, and Mourinho apologised for his use of the word “voyeur” during that infamous media conference, saying: “I’m sorry for that [using the word voyeur].”
But while he may have felt a moment of remorse, Mourinho’s wrath was still simmering and he quickly acknowledged that he would be painted as the villain following his latest outburst.
“I believe at the end of the day I will be the impolite guy and aggressive in my words,” he said.
And it all started so well at Cobham on Friday, too. When asked to give an opinion on Manuel Pellegrini’s refusal to speak about the Chelsea manager, Mourinho said: “I also don’t like to speak about other managers. So if he doesn’t want to speak about me, that’s perfect.”