Wenger talks about Mourinho ahead of Arsenal vs Chelsea clash
Despite his numerous successes over the years, Arsene Wenger is yet to taste success against José Mourinho in nine games. The Portuguese has had the upper hand over the Frenchman since moving to English football in 2004. Over the years, there has been intense war of words between the two managers. The rivalry has certainly mellowed in recent times partly because of Arsenal's failure to compete for major trophies.
Mourinho and Wenger will be facing each other after a long gap. There have been no mind games from Wenger ahead of the showdown, as he stated that this match is not about a personal battle. According to Arsenal's official site, he said:
"It's not a personal battle [with Jose Mourinho]. What is important for me is that I am completely focused on Arsenal Football Club and on my team and doing well in the team.
"Our relationship is respectful. We spent time [together] at Geneva at the managers’ meeting."
Arsenal will be taking on Chelsea on Monday night looking to reinstate their five-point lead, but they may not be leading the table by the time they go into the match. Liverpool, who are only two points behind them, could briefly go top of the table. The last three matches have left Wenger with more questions than answers, as they have failed to win any of them.
This includes the 6-3 thrashing at the hands of Manchester City last week. It brought back memories of Arsenal from recent years, as they are inept in defending throughout the encounter.
Wenger has rejected suggestions that Mourinho is a much better manager by saying that the Portuguese simply has had the better squads. He has recalled that the Chelsea team of 2004 was assembled by spending vast sums of money and it was bound to create an unfair competition. He continued:
"They [Chelsea] were fantastic teams and he is a good manager. That together makes it difficult.
"Mourinho came in and they bought Drogba, Carvalho and they were even stronger. They had a fantastic period."
Arsenal go into the match weekend after the loss of Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere. The former is ruled out with an injury, while Wilshere serves the first of his two-match suspension.