Arsene Wenger pooh-poohs Mourinho’s ‘kindergarten’ jibe
Former Arsenal boss did not mention one of his main adversaries in his autobiography
Bengaluru — Arsene Wenger has brushed off Jose Mourinho’s reaction to being left out of the Frenchman’s autobiography despite their fiery touchline clashes over the years, saying that dealing with the Portuguese made him feel as if he was in kindergarten again.
Wenger’s autobiography, My Life in Red and White, looks at his 22 years at Arsenal but failed to mention his duels with Mourinho, whose Chelsea side dethroned the Frenchman’s “Invincibles” in 2004/2005.
Mourinho had said the reason he was not mentioned in the book was: “Because he never beat me. It doesn’t bother me. It’s permanent provocation.”
Wenger told Canal+: “I feel as if I’m in kindergarten with him. But that’s part of his personality.”
Mourinho’s rivalry with Wenger reached boiling point in 2014 when they physically clashed on the touchline in a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge. It took Wenger 14 attempts to finally beat Mourinho, who once called him a “specialist in failure”, and he managed only two wins in 19 meetings.
“We beat him twice. We won, and there were also a lot of draws,” Wenger added. “It’s not ‘you’ who wins, you only participate in the victory. It’s ‘us’ who win. The manager is there to get the most out of a team.”
Wenger, who left Arsenal in 2018, was appointed world soccer governing body Fifa’s chief of global football development in 2019. Mourinho is now in charge of Tottenham Hotspur.
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