Arsene Wenger hits back at 'silly' Jose Mourinho jibe
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted Sunday comments from Chelsea rival Jose Mourinho that he was a "specialist in failure" were "silly" and "disrespectful"
London: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted Sunday comments from Chelsea rival Jose Mourinho that he was a "specialist in failure" were "silly" and "disrespectful".
"I do not want to go into that - those were silly, disrespectful remarks," Wenger said when asked about Mourinho's recent taunt after Arsenal beat Liverpool 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium to advance into the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"I never spoke about him (Mourinho) in my press conference," the Frenchman added. "I know one thing, it is more embarrassing for Chelsea than it is for me."
Wenger, whose side are one point behind their London rivals in the Premier League title race, claimed on Friday that many of the teams at the top are afraid to back themselves due to a fear of failure, with Mourinho having labelled Chelsea the "little horse" behind Manchester City and Arsenal.
Mourinho responded with his "failure" jibe, a reference to the fact Arsenal under Wenger haven't won a major trophy since lifting the 2005 FA Cup.
"He (Wenger) is a specialist in failure," Mourinho said. "If supposedly he (Wenger) is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I don't fail many times.
"I have lots of respect for him (Wenger) and he is a great manager. But failure is not winning a title for seven or eight years," added Mourinho, who won the Premier League twice in his first spell as Chelsea manager between 2004 and 2007, as well as claiming the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan and taking league titles in four countries.
Wenger's remarks following the Liverpool match came after former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson earlier Sunday labelled Mourinho a "boring bully" for his habit of verbally attacking rival managers.
Wilson also suggested the Portuguese learn from the example of England football great and "gent" Tom Finney, whose death on Friday was marked by tributes to both his sportsmanship as well as his skill.
Asked about Mourinho's comments, Wilson told BBC Radio Five: "I think at best it was disrespectful, at worst despicable to be so dismissive of a genuinely good guy and a footballing man I think, whose presence in England in 17-18 years has opened eyes and ears and created wonderfully entertaining sides."
Wilson, a member of the Arsenal side that won the old First Division and FA Cup 'double' in the 1970/71 season, added: "It's obviously not the first time Mourinho has singled Arsene out.
"He called him a voyeur which is a disgusting claim and thankfully on that occasion he -- although belatedly -- he did apologise," the former Scotland international turned television football presenter said.
"I think it's personal, he is hugely talented, amazing manager Mourinho but I find -- at this moment -- I find him boring at the moment," the 72-year-old Wilson explained.
"This is a weekend when we honour a gent -- Tom Finney, Sir Tom, and I don't like bullies."