Mour­inho de­mands re­spect as he re­sumes ri­valry with Wenger

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Jose Mour­inho re­sumes his ri­valry with Arsene Wenger on Sat­ur­day 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 on Sat­ur­day at Old Traf­ford is the re­newal of the of­ten­spiky 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 tro­phy (2005-14).

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

“To­mor­row 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.”

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. United has strug­gled this sea­son in Mour­inho's first year in charge and goes into Sat­ur­day's game in sixth place, six points be­hind Arse­nal and eight points be­hind first-place Liver­pool af­ter 11 games.

Some be­lieve Mour­inho is al­ready los­ing his grip at United af­ter a num­ber of pub­lic out­bursts to­ward 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. Fu­eled 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.

That might be the rea­son why Wenger has had is­sues with Mour­inho. In 13 com­pet­i­tive meet­ings with sides man­aged by Mour­inho, Wenger's Arse­nal has never tri­umphed, draw­ing six times and los­ing seven times.

“That's not im­por­tant,” Mour­inho said. “I don't play against man­agers. It's my team that plays against an­other man­ager's team. Some records are bet­ter than oth­ers. But in the end, a foot­ball match is an iso­lated event.”

Wenger's only suc­cess over Mour­inho came in the 2015 Com­mu­nity Shield.

To­day Manch­ester United-Arse­nal ................... Crys­tal Palace-Man City ......................... Ever­ton-Swansea City ............................ Southamp­ton-Liver­pool ......................... Stoke City-Bournemouth ....................... Sun­der­land-Hull City .............................. Wat­ford-Le­ices­ter City ........................... Tot­ten­ham H-West Ham U ..................... To­mor­row Mid­dles­brough-Chelsea ......................... Mon­day West Bromwich-Burn­ley ........................

Cham­pi­onship

Yes­ter­day Brighton-As­ton Villa .......................... 1-1 To­day Barns­ley-Wi­gan Ath­letic ......................... Birm­ing­ham-Bris­tol City ......................... Black­burn Rovers-Brent­ford ................... Cardiff City-Hud­der­s­field T ..................... Derby County-Rotherham U .................. Ful­ham-Sh­effield W ............................... Pre­ston-Wolves ...................................... QPR-Nor­wich City .................................. Read­ing-Bur­ton Al­bion ........................... Ip­swich T-Nottm Forest .......................... To­mor­row Leeds United-New­cas­tle ........................

League One

To­day AFC Wim­ble­don-Bury ............................ Bolton Wan­der­ers-Mill­wall .................... Bris­tol Rovers-MK Dons ......................... Charl­ton Ath­letic-Port Vale .................... Fleet­wood Town-Ch­ester­field ................ Northamp­ton –P’boro ........................... Ox­ford U-Coven­try City .......................... Rochdale-Swin­don Town ........................ Scun­thorpe U-Old­ham Ath .................... Sh­effield U-Shrews­bury ......................... Southend U-Brad­ford City ...................... Wal­sall-Gillingham .................................

League Two

To­day Ac­cring­ton Stan­ley-Steve­nage ............... Bar­net-Crewe Alexan­dra ........................ Cam­bridge U-Wy­combe W .................... Carlisle United-Ex­eter City ..................... Chel­tenham Town-Portsmouth .............. Don­caster R-Hartle­pool U ...................... Ley­ton Ori­ent-Black­pool ........................ Mans­field Town-Craw­ley ........................ More­cambe-Lu­ton Town ........................ Notts County-New­port County .............. Ply­mouth-Grimsby Town ....................... Yeovil Town-Colch­ester U .......................

SCOT­LAND

Arsene Wenger (left) got into a touch­line al­ter­ca­tion with Jose Mour­inho (right) back in 2014

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