For now, Arsene Wenger is biting his lip.
Following Arsenal’s 5-2 win away at Leicester City on Saturday, Arsenal’s boss was asked what he thought of Jose Mourinho’s comments regarding him.
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Just to remind you, here’s what Mourinho had to say about Wenger (we assume, as he didn’t directly name him) last Friday as the bitter feud between the duo continued.
“In this country, only one manager is not under pressure,” Mourinho said. “Every other manager is. I am under pressure, Steve [McClaren] is under pressure, [Manuel] Pellegrini is under pressure, Brendan [Rodgers] too. We cannot be below par. We have to meet the objectives. I have sympathy for Steve. I have sympathy with all of them, because it is a difficult job. There is one outside that list, but good for him. You know who. The one who can speak about the referees before the game, after the game, can push people in the technical area, can moan, can cry in the morning in the afternoon, nothing happens. He can not achieve; keep his job, still be the king. I say just one. I don’t have a theory why. I just have a reality, something that is real and objective.”
Yep. Mourinho said that.
Of course, the war of words on the touchline between Mourinho and Wenger has been heating up over the last few years, and Diego Costa‘s retrospective ban for hitting Laurent Koscielny in the face, plus Gabriel and Santi Cazorla also getting sent off (the former had his red rescinded after an appeal) during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal last weekend has done little to ease tension between the duo.
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However, Wenger is trying to be the bigger man as he admitted he hadn’t even seen Mourinho’s comments when speaking to the media after Arsenal’s win on Saturday, which sent the Gunners within three points of the top. So, is he the king, like Mourinho says?
“I didn’t realize that, I must say,” Wenger said. “No, I feel I have just done my job with the team and for our fans. That’s what you want. Honestly I’m not too much concerned about the other results. Thirty years in football now, and I know that what is important is to play football well. What we want is to manage a team who enjoys playing together and gets better every week.”
In the latest installment of Mourinho vs. Wenger, the latter has taken the high road. Is this getting boring at all? Or are these exchanges heating up the London rivalry between Arsenal and Chelsea? Both clubs, despite Chelsea’s poor start to the current campaign, will be in the offing for the PL title at the business end of the season, so expect plenty more mind games between Mourinho and Wenger between now and May.
Now, it’s over to you, Mr. Mourinho.