Arsenal always had the upper hand over Chelsea for several years, but the scenario changed after the arrival of José Mourinho to Stamford Bridge. The Portuguese created a formidable winning machine that continuously made mincemeat of Arsenal for several years. Didier Drogba was often the architect of Arsenal’s downfall when it comes to bragging rights in London in the last decade.
Hence, it was not surprising to see Mourinho and Wenger going head-to-head against each other on several occasions.
Of course, the Mourinho of old was involved in a number of clashes against opposition managers. Benitez, Wenger, and Ferguson were all subjected to the famous Mourinho taunts. The clashes with Wenger, though, were legendary in their own right.
“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,”
said Mourinho in 2005 about Wenger after his constant criticism.
Annoyed by his failure to win the Champions League and seeing Mourinho taunt him with the same time, Wenger came out with a rant in 2007.
“Plenty of managers have won the Champions League who will not be considered great managers. What is important is that you look at their careers in 10, 15 or 20 years.”– Wenger
There have also been occasions when the rivalry between Mourinho and Wenger has translated onto the pitch. Perhaps, the infamous one happened in the 2007 League Cup final.
Yet, something appears to have happened between the two. The rivalry has mellowed significantly to such an extent where there was mutual praise between both managers.
“He’s a nice guy. I respect him a lot and I will show it always. I wouldn’t bet for one single problem between us.” – Mourinho in 2013.
Just when you are baffled by this seachange, Mourinho goes on by saying that he would love to have the stability enjoyed by Wenger over the years. At the same time, he would not go eight years without a trophy at a club.
“He has to teach me how (he has done it) because I want to be here 17 years.
“No, because of my mentality. I would feel strange [to go eight years without a trophy]. But you can do very good work for a club without winning lots of trophies, you can,” continued Mourinho.
Do you like ‘Mr Nice Guy’ Mourinho? Has he changed because he does not consider Arsenal as a threat in the coming season?