Mourinho vs Wenger: Are both managers in the wrong?

Mourinho vs Wenger: Are both managers in the wrong?


Jose Mourinho’s comments concerning Arsene Wenger’s ‘specialist subject’ have sliced open the pair’s bitter and contentious war of words once more, and my how we have not missed it.


Mourinho reacted strongly to Wenger’s claim that the Chelsea boss had a ‘fear of failure’, and the ensuing fallout has been extensive and venomous.

Arsenal legend Bob Wilson has been the most vociferous in his objection to the feud, letting rip at the Chelsea manager,

“I think at its best it’s disrespectful, at its worst despicable,”  Wilson told BBC Radio 5 live.,

“I find him boring in the extreme.”

But how has the situation exploded with such ferocity? Why are we back to square one concerning the pair?

1. Arsene Wenger

Wenger was posed the obvious question while discussing title chances and cup ambitions. The tedious ‘horse and Chihuahua’ similes have taken its toll on us football fans, and Wenger seemed happy to hazard a guess at why this convoluted haze of poor imagery has been erected by the likes of Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers.

Unfortunately, the word ‘failure’ has been synonymous with Arsenal for a little too long, and Wenger’s casual use of the word to encompass other top flight managers was ill-advised.

While he may be right with his musings, Wenger put himself directly in the firing line with his comments. Unfortunately for us, Mourinho was holding a pump-action shotgun rather than a silenced pistol.

2. Jose Mourinho

While Mourinho is entitled to reply to Wenger’s words, as is anyone when criticism has been leveled, the Portuguese lacked class and subtly.

His dead-eye stare, petulant expression and lip-smacking arrogance ignited the situation with as much tact as a bear opening a balloon. There was an opportunity here for Mourinho to display his infamous wit and guile, but instead he callously went for the jugular.

“I don’t accept that one is always ‘Monsieur polite’ and the other one is always the bad guy,” said Mourinho after the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the weekend,

“I don’t accept, I’m sorry. The only thing I feel was that I was very quiet in my place and somebody spoke not in a nice way about us.”

When carefully dismantling the barbs, the Special One makes sense, and had it not been for the torrent of ill-humour, Mourinho could arguably have comfortably won this little scuffle.

 “I do not want to go into those silly, disrespectful remarks,” said Wenger after the FA Cup win over Liverpool on Sunday,

“I never spoke about him in my press conference and I will not start now. The only thing I know is it is more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me.

Regardless of the petty squabble, the Frenchman would do well to steer clear of more references to failure for the time being, especially when addressing the incorrigible Mourinho, who’s box-office penchant for the crude can really detract his from obvious brilliance.

What do you think? Let me know in the comments below…

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Based in London, I am a freelance journalist and a real football fanatic. Predominantly a feature writer, I currently contribute to, and, as well as maintaining my blog: I dream of reporting on football in the far flung reaches of the globe. A graduate from the London School of Journalism, I am passionate and determined to bring an impartial view on the game we all love and crave.


  1. The scabby journos are to blame for stoking this up, and Wenger, and especially Mourinho, should avoid loaded questions that clearly serve no fucking purpose other than to stir shit and sell papers.

    You yourselves are guilty of the same bullshit, for example with your quote: “Mourinho reacted strongly to Wenger’s claim that the Chelsea boss had a ‘fear of failure’”

    Wenger never mentioned Mourinho or Chelsea, the gaps have been filled in by dickhead writers.

  2. If you watch the opening 30 seconds of the above interview with Wenger, the first question posed mentions ‘horses and Chihuahuas’, which can only refer to Jose Mourinho and Brendan Rodgers.

    The second question leads Wenger to comment on managers in the title race other than himself and Manuel Pellegrini, which is, once more, Mourinho and Rodgers.

    It’s not a particularly giant leap to come to this conclusion, with Wenger even mentioning Chelsea specifically in his first response.

  3. hey Tom Gatehouse, assumption is the other of all screw ups. Your argument is baseless. Any intelligent individual would know Wenger was making an unspecific response when being asked a general question. Why don’t you try listening to the reporter’s question again.
    Also is Manuel Pellegrini and Man City not in the title race?

    • Your own comment is worst for somebody that can reason logically. Wenger said ‘any manager that says his team is not title contenders are only scared to fail’. Now tell me, how many top team manager said that? Its obvious wenger is referring to mourinho. Dont also forget that wenger in d same interview said only Chelsea have the Title to lose. . . Whoever know how to speak, should know how to manage response too. .

  4. Sorry Bob Wilson, you don’t make sense (quote) “I find him boring in the extreme”. Hmmm let’s take a step back and think who has the most charisma in the press conferences? The media love mourinho because he has character, it’s what the football audience wants to hear, to make things spicy. He is similar to Brian Clough in a sense. Wenger on the other hand is a bland, “boring” person who speaks exactly like Pellegrini, saying tediously we are in the title race and playing very well, that in mine and hopefully many other people’s views is seen as “boring”. Mourinho is surely not tedious when he says we are the little horse and arsenal and man city are the bigger horses, when he says that man city is like a jaguar, liverpool is a title contender, it’s all just entertaining and that is what is lacking in the premier league, CHARACTER in managers. You may say things about Mourinho that people can agree on but to say he is “boring in the extreme” is not relevant to the context of the topic and simply does not comply with the reality of the guy.

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