Monday 24 October 2016

Arsene Wenger: Jose Mourinho shows a lack of respect

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, right, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, left, clashed on the touchline at Stamford Bridge earlier this season
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, right, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, left, clashed on the touchline at Stamford Bridge earlier this season

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger feels Jose Mourinho showed a lack of respect when the Chelsea manager said 10 years without winning the title must be "very boring".

Some Gunners fans chanted "boring boring Chelsea" during last weekend's goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium, which moved the Blues a step closer to the championship for the first time since 2010.

In his post-match press conference, Chelsea manager Mourinho responded by turning the tables back on Arsenal, saying: "You support the club and you're waiting, waiting, waiting for so many years without a Premier League title, so that's very boring."

Those comments did not sit well with the Arsenal manager, who was given an opportunity to respond at Friday morning's media conference ahead of the match at Hull on Monday.

When asked what he thought of Mourinho's post-match statements, Wenger replied: "The biggest thing for a manager is to respect other managers. Some people have to improve on that."

Asked if Mourinho should conduct himself with more dignity, the Arsenal manager answered: "Look, everybody lives with his own internal problems and I live with mine. That's enough."

Wenger has endured his fair share of touchline bust-ups down the years, the fiery relationship with former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson the subject of many a back page while earlier this season the Frenchman had to be separated after squaring up to Mourinho in the technical area at Stamford Bridge.

The 65-year-old, though, believes coaches must eventually put a distance between professional and personal disagreements.

He added: "You can have incidents with other managers sometimes. It gets a bit heated when you fight directly with them, but in the end I believe time heals and the important thing is to respect each other as much as you can."

Arsenal's failure to beat Chelsea effectively ended any already slim hopes of a late title push, the Gunners now some 13 points off the pace although with a match still in hand.

Wenger was asked if he felt that a fair reflection of the difference between the two sides, with Arsenal having enjoyed a superb run of form in 2015 following a poor start.

"That is always very difficult to say because when you fight for the championship, you win some games because you smell you can do it, not because you're fourth or fifth. It doesn't always represent the value of the team," the Arsenal boss said.

"The gap is a gap and they have been more consistent than us from the start of the game. They had a very strong start and that kept them going until the end."

Arsenal could be down to fourth place by the time they kick off at Hull on Monday night.

Wenger has a near full-strength squad to choose from, with full-back Mathieu Debuchy doubtful because of a hamstring problem.

Midfielders Abou Diaby and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain could also come back into contention before the end of the season, along with captain Mikel Arteta.

"He makes progress week by week, but needs more time," said Wenger.

Arteta and Tomas Rosicky are out of contract at the end of the season.

Wenger suggested both men would agree new deals.

He said: "That will all be sorted at the end of May."

Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for an experienced goalkeeper, including Chelsea veteran Petr Cech.

Wenger, though, indicated that was an area which he had confidence already.

"I believe in the goalkeepers I have," added the Arsenal boss.

"I believe that (Wojciech) Szczesny is a very good goalkeeper and (David) Ospina has come in and done a fantastic job. You look at the numbers in the Premier League and who is top of all the goalkeepers and you will see it is Ospina."

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