Arsène Wenger has accused José Mourinho of disrespecting his fellow managers. The Arsenal manager did not take kindly to his Chelsea counterpart pulling no punches after their goalless draw last weekend, when Mourinho said that it was boring to go 10 years without a title.
“I think I just told you that the biggest thing for a manager is to respect other managers. Some people have to improve on that,” said Wenger. Mourinho was responding to chanting from Arsenal’s crowd but Wenger was disappointed that he felt the need to turn that into a dig at his record.
“Look, everybody lives with his own internal problems and I live with mine. That’s enough,” “You can have incidents with other managers sometimes. It gets a bit heated when you fight directly with them but in the end I believe time heals and the important thing is to respect each other as much as you can.” He said.
The two are open rivals. The spite between the two managers was very much in evidence earlier in the season at Stamford Bridge when Wenger pushed Mourinho. The Frenchman did not apologise for that.
On the subject on managerial conduct, Wenger empathised with Nigel Pearson, who evidently struggled to control his emotions during his media duties this week.
“I have sympathy of course. He apologised and he knows he was wrong but it is not always easy to deal with these kinds of situations. We are all human beings and when you play for your club not to go down, it is massive pressure,” Wenger said.
“Many, many, many times,” said Wenger. “You know you have to control yourself and remain polite and respectful. But of course sometimes you feel that people are not respectful of you.”
Wenger’s focus now is entirely on their final few games of the season, starting with a trip to Hull on Monday night and ending with the FA Cup final against Aston Villa. The target to finish in the top three, and thus avoid a Champions League pre-qualifier, is paramount. Finishing fourth, and squeezing two must-win European matches into the nascent Premier League season, brings “huge pressure” according to Wenger.
“You have to qualify and these kinds of games become more and more difficult. Our challenge is to finish well and take that strength into the next season,” he said.