Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has dismissed Jose Mourinho’s recent remarks concerning the 53-year-old’s desire to break his face.
An email from Mourinho, sent in 2014, in which he claimed he would “find him [Wenger] one day outside a football pitch and break his face,” was made public on Thursday night by the Daily Mail.
These remarks signal another chapter in the ever expanding rivalry – reignited back in 2014 when Mourinho labelled Wenger as a specialist in failure – between the two.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s game with Chelsea, Wenger refused to comment on the recent disclosure.
“I haven’t read the book and I certainly will not read it so I cannot comment on that. I talk about football and that’s all I do,” Wenger said.
“I’m not in a destructive mood. Never. I’m more constructive and I cannot comment on that because I’m focused on tomorrow’s game and the way 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 maybe I say what I think but that’s part of the way I am.
“What is amazing is that this has nothing to do with our game tomorrow and I personally am just focused on just doing well in my job and respecting everybody else.”
These recent revelations conjure up some hilarious images: I can imagine Wenger, five years from now, sipping some claret in a wine bar, making polite conversation with friends, before receiving a tap on the shoulder followed by an enormous right hook from Mourinho. There he is, lying on the floor, dazed and confused, whilst the Portuguese runs off in similar style to his celebrations following Inter Milan’s historic away win over Barcelona in 2010.
On a serious note, though, this recent episode highlights the immense rivalry that continues to exist between Wenger and Mourinho. The Frenchman may calmly dismiss the story, playing the ‘I have respect for all managers’ card, but deep down there exists a sizzling hatred for the 53-year-old, an unquenchable annoyance at his failure to beat the Special One since he arrived in England 12 years ago.
One thing is for sure: United’s game with Arsenal on November 19 promises to be spicy.