The Chelsea and Arsenal bosses are at each other again as the Portuguese responded to criticism of having a ‘fear of failure’ by labeling the Frenchman a ‘specialist in failure’
It seemed as if Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger had put their differences to one side this season as the two focussed mainly on the football and less about each other.
However, this was just the calm before the storm, as the pair are at each other’s throats again, after the Chelsea boss accused his Arsenal counterpart of being accustomed to failure.
Here, Goal takes a look at some of the infamous insults that the pair have traded.
Wenger: “Take what Arsenal and Chelsea have won in the past eight years. I go with reality, with the football we play and the challenge we have ahead.
“I don’t see especially that Chelsea play more English players than we do. Who have they produced, homegrown? Just one, John Terry.”
Wenger defends himself after being critisiced for fielding an all foreign squad in a match against Crystal Palace.
Wenger: “I know we live in a world where we have only winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger.”
Mourinho parking the bus? Wenger accuses Mourinho of using negative tactics.
Mourinho: “I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He 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. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”
Mourinho feels Wenger’s criticism of Chelsea’s transfer activity is becoming tedious.
Wenger: “He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes.”
Wenger threatens to take legal action against Mourinho for calling him a ‘Voyeur’.
Mourinho: “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 so we have a very strong reaction. My objective is that it is enough.”
Mourinho responds by defending his strong attack of Wenger, and claims to have the Frenchman’s Chelsea insults on record.
Wenger: “If you would like to compare every manager you give each one the same amount of resources and say: ‘you have that for five years’. After five years you see who has done the most.”
‘Le Professor’ takes a cheeky dig at Mourinho on the eve of Chelsea’s 2007 League Cup final win over Arsenal, in which John Obi Mikel, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor were sent of for their part in an ugly brawl.
Mourinho: “Unlike Arsenal, we sought success and tried to build it through a concept of the game using English players.”
The ‘Special one’ points the finger at Wenger and Arsenal’s policy in his book.
Mourinho: “The English like statistics a lot. Do they know that Arsene Wenger has only 50 per cent of wins in the English league?”
Seven months after leaving Chelsea by ‘mutual consent’ the Portuguese manager can’t help himself but to have another swipe at Wenger.
Wenger: “You never say it doesn’t cross your mind but when you see how it looks on television it is the best demonstration to think: ‘Never do that again’.
“It looks, frankly, horrible. It’s a pity to see that from a big club.”
Wenger vents his disgust at the now Real Madrid manager’s decision to get Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos deliberately cautioned by the referee during a Champions League match with Galatasaray.
Mourinho: “Instead of speaking about Real Madrid, Mr Wenger should speak about Arsenal and explain how he lost 2-0 against a team in the Champions League for the first time [Braga]. The history about the young kids is getting old now. Sagna, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Song, Nasri, Van Persie, Arshavin are not kids. They are all top players.
Mourinho battles back, bringing out the classic ‘lack of success’ insult.
Wenger: “It is fear to fail. If you are not in a race, you cannot lose it. If you declare yourself not in the race, you cannot lose, it simple as that.”
Wenger says that the title is Chelsea’s to lose and that Mourinho is playing down his own team’s chances because of a fear of faiure.
Mourinho: “So maybe he’s right, maybe I’m not used to failing but the reality is that he’s the specialist because he’s had eight years without a trophy. If I do that in Chelsea I leave and I don’t come back.”
Mourinho responds with possibly his most hard hitting attack yet, claiming that Wenger is a ‘failure specialist’.
And so it rumbles on. The old rivalry has been sparked again, and that is certainly not going to be the end of it.