Sunday 4 December 2016

Arsenal boss Wenger hits out at Mourinho's verbal attacks

Published 18/11/2016 | 00:02

Arsene Wenger thinks a new stadium does not always equal success
Arsene Wenger thinks a new stadium does not always equal success

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed his enduring feud with Jose Mourinho has been bad for the game, as the duo prepare to lock horns once again on Saturday.

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Wenger and Mourinho have been involved in a bitter war of words for the last 12 years, with the battle between the duo played out when the latter had two spells in charge at Chelsea.

Now Wenger is preparing to counting down to his first meeting with Mourinho as Manchester United manager, as he suggested the enduring war of words between the duo has long since become tiresome for football fans.

Wenger stated that his often feisty rivalry with former United manager Alex Ferguson was far more enjoyable as that tussle was focused on season-defining matches, rather than in spiteful comments delivered through the media.

“I had very, very, very heated moments with Sir Alex Ferguson, but today I am very happy to see him and we share a good glass of red wine,” said Wenger in an interview with Sky Sports.

“In my press conference it was more about the controversy between Jose Mourinho and me, but that’s not football.

“People do not enjoy that, you enjoy the quality of the game. They have access to the best quality in the world and the managers have to respect that.

“It is not a game of managers, it is a game between two clubs, big teams who want to do well, and what is important to me is we turn up on the day with a strong performance.

“He made mistakes, I made mistakes, we all make mistakes. What is important at the end of the day is how good will the game be on Saturday? That is what will remain in the mind of the people.”

Wenger went on to suggest he has yet to get over the frustration lingering from his side’s 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford last February, in a result that he believes ended Arsenal’s title hopes.

“The game we lost at Manchester United - I have still not swallowed that because it was basically our biggest chance to win the championship,” he continued.

“We could not afford to lose that game last year and I will never forget that result. All the rest you forget because that’s human beings being passionate and sometimes you go a bit overboard.

“We want to be a candidate to win the Premier League and to do that, it is important we stay compact at the top and we respond to a disappointing result against Tottenham with a positive result away from home.”

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