Wenger avoids Mour­inho ‘war’

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

ARSENE WENGER has re­fused to be drawn into a war of words with old ad­ver­sary José Mour­inho af­ter it was claimed the Manch­ester United boss once wanted to “break his face” dur­ing his time on the Chelsea bench.

Wenger said he was to­tally fo­cused on to­day’s Premier League match against Chelsea and would only talk about foot­ball mat­ters when the quote taken from Mour­inho’s bi­og­ra­phy was put to him at yes­ter­day’s press con­fer­ence.

Wenger and Mour­inho have had quite a few clashes while the lat­ter was coach of Chelsea.

Mour­inho’s book, which was se­ri­alised in the Daily Mail, out­lines al­leged con­ver­sa­tions with a foot­ball jour­nal­ist and in­cludes men­tion of an an­gry ex­change sur­round­ing Wenger, which, re­port­edly, ended with Mour­inho say­ing: “I will find him one day out­side a foot­ball pitch and I will break his face.”

“Look, I haven’t read the book and I cer­tainly won’t read it,” Wenger said.

“I can­not com­ment on that. I talk about foot­ball and that’s all I do. I’m not in a de­struc­tive mode, ever. I’m more con­struc­tive and I can­not com­ment on that be­cause I’m fo­cused on to­mor­row’s (to­day’s) game and how we want to play foot­ball.

“I have no per­sonal prob­lem with any­body. I re­spect every­body in our game and I don’t feel I com­ment a lot on other teams. Some­times I just say what I think, but that is part of the way I am,” Wenger added be­fore look­ing for­ward to to­day’s game, which will be his first con­test against new Chelsea boss An­to­nio Conte.

“Hon­estly, for me, it was al­ways just a big game and an im­por­tant game. And the per­sonal ri­valry that you sug­gest ex­isted stronger be­fore was never, in my head, a con­cern,” he added.

“What is al­ways im­por­tant is it’s a big game. Chelsea, in the last 10 years, had very, very strong teams. You re­alise that to­day as well. Be­fore that pe­riod, we were al­ways beat­ing them, af­ter they were al­ways the stronger team for a few years.

“Now, it looks like it’s a new era where it’s a bit more bal­anced again and we feel we are pro­gress­ing at the mo­ment so we have a good op­por­tu­nity to grab and to change what I call ‘the in­con­ve­nient facts’ of the re­cent years,” said Wenger.



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