Sunday 4 December 2016

Mourinho renews attack on his bitter rival Wenger

Jason Burt

Published 26/09/2015 | 02:30

Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League...LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Managers Arsene Wenger of Arsenal and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea clash during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)...S
Chelsea v Arsenal - Premier League...LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Managers Arsene Wenger of Arsenal and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea clash during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)...S

Each word was coated with a sarcastic vitriol as Jose Mourinho laid bare his deepening antipathy towards Arsene Wenger - even claiming that it was "in the rule book" that the Arsenal manager can criticise referees and push other managers without being punished by the authorities.

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The Chelsea manager also mocked Wenger who "can moan, can cry in the morning, in the afternoon, and nothing happens. He cannot achieve [success], keep his job, still be the king".

Mourinho's attack confirmed again the distance that has grown and grown so damagingly between the two.

Asked whether he was claiming that Wenger is treated differently than other managers by the English FA when it comes to disciplinary action, Mourinho said: "A good question. I don't have a theory. I just have a reality. Just something that is real and is objective.

suspended

"If I speak about the referee, I am suspended. If I push a manager in the technical area [as Wenger did Mourinho at Stamford Bridge in October 2014], I am banned from the stadium.

"If I speak about players from other clubs and ask for suspensions, I am in trouble. So, the facts are there. I don't envy."

Mourinho's brooding anger was provoked by the three-match ban delivered to Diego Costa, whose behaviour was labelled "disgusting" by Wenger as he called for retrospective disciplinary action, after Arsenal's defeat away to Chelsea last weekend.

Gabriel Paulista was sent off during that match but the FA has subsequently upheld Arsenal's appeal although the defender has since been handed a one-match ban, and fined £10,000, for improper conduct after his on-pitch reaction.

Mourinho studiously did not name Wenger in his responses yesterday and asked whether he feared referees would now target Costa he said "no comment" before then adding: "I tell you why. In the rules book, it says some managers can speak about the referees before and after games. Some others cannot.

"Then comes the list. I am in the list of those who are punished if they speak about the referees before the game.

"I have to stick to that rule book and I am in the list of those who cannot speak about the referees."

Wenger criticised referee Mike Dean after last Saturday's clash - which can, depending on the strength of the criticism, provoke a FA misconduct charge.

However Mourinho said: "You know that some can [criticise]" When pushed as to whether he genuinely believed there was a "list", he added: "An imaginary list, but clearly."

This evening, Chelsea face Newcastle United at St James' Park - a stadium where Mourinho has, bizarrely, failed to win.

Asked for his thoughts on under-fire Newcastle manager Steve McClaren, he again turned it back to Wenger.

Again without naming him. Again it was a familiar attack.

"In this country, only one manager is not under pressure," Mourinho said.

"Every other manager is. I am under pressure, Steve is under pressure, [Manuel] Pellegrini is under pressure, Brendan [Rodgers] too.

"We cannot be below par. We have to meet the objectives. I have sympathy with all of them, because it's a difficult job. There's one outside that list, but good for him. I have sympathy for Steve."

Pushed as to whether he would name Wenger and who else may be on the imaginary list, Mourinho reiterated: "You know. The one who can speak about the referees before the game, after the game, can push people in the technical area, can moan, can cry in the morning in the afternoon, nothing happens. He can not achieve, keep his job, still be the king. I say just one."

Chelsea will study the full written reasons for Costa's violent conduct charge, which they received yesterday, before deciding whether to formally respond.

The FA will publish the reasons early next week although there remains some confusion as to why Gabriel's appeal was successful.

Even Wenger, at the time, said his player's conduct merited dismissal.

Mourinho claimed that, with this case, the FA is now effectively endorsing retaliation by players.

"One of the things that was clear in football was that, when a player reacts to something that happened before - like [Nemanja] Matic reacting last season after a criminal tackle [against Burnley] - retaliation is that the correct word - was always punished in football," Mourinho said.

"Now we know it isn't always. You can do that. You can do that."

Lurching

There has been a sense of Chelsea lurching from one negative story, or one drama, to another this campaign, with the failed John Stones transfer, injury to Thibaut Courtois, the terrible loss of form and, possibly most damaging of all, the treatment of first-team doctor Eva Carneiro who will not now return to work and who Mourinho refused to discuss.

"For me, you know, I focus just on the main story of the bad results," Mourinho said.

"Bad results. Lost two points against Swansea, three against Palace, three against City, three against Everton.

"That's my big problem. The problem that I can work to try and fix."

Mourinho added that he did not want to discuss whether Costa - suspended against Newcastle and for next Saturday's match at home to Southampton - needed to change his aggressive style of play.

"I can't answer. No. Because if I answer I'll be suspended," he said, although his opinion on the subject was clear.

"I don't want to touch the theme and everything that surrounds that situation because I want to be on the bench."

Newcastle Utd v Chelsea, Live, Sky Sports 1, 5.30

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