Mour­inho de­mands re­spect

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORT -

MANCHESTER, Eng­land (AP): JOSE MOUR­INHO re­sumed his ri­valry with Arsene Wenger to­day on the back of a sim­ple mes­sage: Give me some re­spect.

The big­gest sub­plot to the high­pro­file Pre­mier League match be­tween Manchester United and Arse­nal at Old Traf­ford to­day is the re­newal of the of­ten-spiky coach­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween Mour­inho and Wenger.

The man­agers have clashed re­peat­edly over the years, ei­ther on the touch­line – Wenger once shoved Mour­inho in the chest fol­low­ing an ar­gu­ment in the tech­ni­cal area – or via ver­bal barbs in news con­fer­ences.

Mour­inho is rarely short of an opin­ion when it comes to Wenger, hav­ing pre­vi­ously called the French­man a “voyeur” be­cause of his reg­u­lar com­ments about Mour­inho’s for­mer club, Chelsea, and a “spe­cial­ist in fail­ure” dur­ing Arse­nal’s nine years with­out win­ning a trophy (2005-14).

Yes­ter­day, Mour­inho won­dered out loud why, in his opin­ion, Wenger gets more credit for his achieve­ments.

“To­mor­row (to­day) is a match be­tween the two man­agers with the best record in the Pre­mier League, now Alex Fer­gu­son isn’t here any­more,” Mour­inho said, re­fer­ring to his and Wenger’s record of win­ning three league ti­tles each.

“Does that mean we should be re­spected, even in pe­ri­ods where our re­sults are not the best? I think Mr Wenger has that re­spect. I don’t think I have. Es­pe­cially be­cause my last Pre­mier League ti­tle was 18 months ago, not 18 years ago. I don’t think I get that re­spect.”

TAR­GETED FOR CRIT­I­CISM

Mour­inho’s most re­cent league ti­tle came in 2015, at the end of the sec­ond sea­son of his sec­ond stint at Chelsea. Wenger hasn’t won the league with Arse­nal since 2004.

Yet, Mour­inho feels he is tar­geted for crit­i­cism more than Wenger. Some be­lieve Mour­inho is al­ready los­ing his grip at United af­ter a num­ber of pub­lic out­bursts to­wards his play­ers and what some pun­dits be­lieve to be his out­dated play­ing style com­pared to some of the younger Pre­mier League man­agers.

Mour­inho said his track record of win­ning league ti­tles at ev­ery top club he has man­aged – FC Porto, Chelsea, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan – de­mands that he gets more time. And, that word again, re­spect.

“When I was sacked at Chelsea, I was not in trou­ble. I had lots of of­fers,” Mour­inho said. “I could be work­ing in some of the big­gest cubs in Europe and I waited for the chance to work at a club where I wanted to be.”

The ar­rival of Mour­inho in English foot­ball in 2004 is one of the ma­jor rea­sons why Arse­nal de­clined as a ma­jor force, dam­ag­ing Wenger’s rep­u­ta­tion in the process. Fu­elled by Ro­man Abramovich’s heavy spend­ing, Chelsea be­came the best team in Eng­land the sea­son af­ter Arse­nal won the cham­pi­onship by go­ing through the 2003-04 cam­paign un­beaten.

MOUR­INHO

WENGER

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