Jose Mourinho re-opens war of words with Arsene Wenger
Jose Mourinho has re-opened his feud with Arsene Wenger by ridiculing the theory that Arsenal are cautious spenders.
Chelsea will face the Arsenal manager in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday, and Mourinho has resumed the mind games while on his side's tour of North America.
Days after accusing Chelsea's Premier League rivals of attempting to "buy the title", Mourinho trained his sights on Wenger and suggested that the Frenchman's transfer business over the past two years deserves more scrutiny.
Wenger has spent nearly £145m since the summer of 2013, including the record-breaking signing of Mesut Ozil for £42.5m, and last month secured goalkeeper Petr Cech from Chelsea.
Mourinho has upped the pressure on Wenger by insisting that spending should make him a title contender.
"Every club is different. We don't need to speak about them, but if you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years I think maybe you will find a surprise," he said.
"If you put Ozil, plus Alexis Sanchez, plus (Calum) Chambers, plus (Mathieu) Debuchy, you will maybe find a surprise.
"It's a fantastic squad with good players, fantastic goalkeeper. They are more than ready to be title contenders.
"This is the easiest thing to do, get a calculator. It leaves no space for speculation. If you want to be honest, objective and pragmatic it is the easiest job for a manager or journalist to do."
Mourinho's row with Wenger escalated last October when he was pushed by the Frenchman in the technical area at Stamford Bridge during Chelsea's 2-0 victory.
After the goalless draw in the return match at the Emirates Stadium in April, Mourinho said that it was boring to go 10 years without a title.
Wenger responded by accusing Mourinho of disrespecting his fellow managers.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has also been involved in a running rivalry with Mourinho over the past two years.
Pellegrini even accused Mourinho of "taking the credit for everything" last month, which drew a withering response from the Portuguese.
Mourinho said: "If other guys use holiday time also for interviews, it's their problem. I am always thinking about football but in my holidays I did zero interviews. Is he obsessed with me? I don't know."
Mourinho's primary concern last season, however, was not rival managers but Chelsea's treatment at the hands of referees.
The Portuguese sparked controversy in December by claiming that there was a campaign against the club, which earned him a £25,000 fine and a warning about his future conduct. He also made a surprise appearance on Goals on Sunday on Sky Sports this year in which he attacked officials and the media.
Mourinho apologised this week for that outburst but re-iterated that officials should be punished if they made game-changing mistakes.
"They should have a rest (a suspension), even if it's to take the pressure off them," he said. "When there is an accumulation of mistakes like we had last season I'm sorry, I find it difficult to accept.
"I understand the very difficult job they have and mistakes are part of the game, but a lot of mistakes are not. I'm emotional and this game doesn't allow us to make lots of mistakes because we are punished for that."
While City, Manchester United and Liverpool have all been active in the transfer market this summer, Chelsea's own business so far has been relatively humble.
Mourinho's only recruits are Radamel Falcao and Asmir Begovic, although he remains determined to sign Everton defender John Stones.
Begovic was recruited as a replacement for Cech, joining from Stoke City for £8m, while Falcao is an intriguing addition after an underwhelming season at Manchester United.
Speaking at the club's hotel in Montreal, Mourinho said: "He's the kind of player who's proved people wrong all of his career - at Porto, at Atletico and even at Monaco before his injury.
"I just feel it's a new opportunity for him. He comes after a bad season, but it's not up to me to speak about it or find the answers for it.
"I can just say that the analysis we did showed he is in good condition. We believe he can be very useful for us. Even two weeks ago Mr Van Gaal said he has nothing negative to say about him as a person or a professional. We believe he can be very important for us."
Chelsea will begin the defence of their title against Swansea City a week on Saturday but their real focus is on Europe.
There is an appetite within the squad to make a statement in the Champions League - the one trophy to elude Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
With Mourinho expected to sign a new four-year contract in the next few weeks, is he setting a target of winning the Champions League in that time?
"I cannot promise. Every English team in the top four is going to be a Champions League contender," he said.
"This season we are not going to be favourites but contenders for four years. Let's see if we can do it or not. We all have to be better this season, players, medical staff, everyone. I have told them we have to be better." (© Daily Telegraph, London)