Mourinho v Wenger: Spotlight is on Chelsea and Arsenal managers ahead of London derby clash

The spotlight is firmly on two of the game’s most high profile managers – Mourinho and Wenger – ahead of the London derby tomorrow.

Their personal rivalry adds to the pressure of the clash between the two clubs as Chelsea face Arsenal in the opening game of the weekend.

The two most successful managers in the Premier League have become bitter rivals over the last decade as a contrast in style has led to an ongoing war of words.

We take a look back at their rivalry in quotes.

Wenger criticised Mourinho’s defensive approach in 2005. He said: “I know we live in a world where we only have winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger.”

Mourinho made it personal with his response: “Wenger has a real problem with us and I think he is what you call a voyeur.

“He is someone who likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families.

“Wenger must be one of them – it is a sickness. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”

Mourinho arrived in England and labelled himself ‘The Special One’. Wenger disagreed (unsurprisingly).

He said:  “He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful.

“When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”

Mourinho left Chelsea in 2007 after upsetting owner Roman Abramovich.

His parting shot at Wenger included the following: “At Stamford Bridge, we have a file of quotes from Mr Wenger about Chelsea Football Club in the last 12 months – it is not a file of five pages.

“It is a file of 120 pages.”

Mourinho went on to manage Real Madrid during a six-year spell away from English football.

Despite coaching in different countries, the rivalry continued and Mourinho returned for a second spell at Chelsea.

He rekindled the spat in 2014 after Wenger’s comment that some teams are ‘afraid of failure’.

He said: “He is a specialist in failure. I’m not. So if one supposes he’s right and I’m afraid of failure, it’s because I don’t fail many times.

“So maybe he’s right. I’m not used to failing. But the reality is he’s a specialist because, eight years without a piece of silverware – that’s failure.”

Before a nine-year spell without a trophy, Wenger won the domestic double and managed the invincibles to an unbeaten season.

Many felt that he deserved more respect for his past achievements and that Mourinho’s comments were unfair.

The row escalated even further during Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal last season as Wenger entered Mourinho’s technical area and pushed him in the chest.

It was the first physical confrontation between the two and confirmed Mourinho vs. Wenger as one of the most bitter rivalries in football management.

Chelsea will be desperate to win tomorrow after an awful start to the season while Arsenal will be looking to recover from their shock Champions League defeat in Zagreb.

Both managers need the three points more than another headline-making spat.

Image courtesy of Sky Sports via YouTube, with thanks

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