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Friday 23 March 2018

Mourinho hopes to stay at Chelsea for 12 more years

Blues manager believes there's mutual 'respect' as great rivals go head-to-head

Arsene Wenger (L) and Jose Mourinho do battle on sidelines in December 2005 during their first head-to-head encounter as managers of Arsenal and Chelsea respectively getty
Arsene Wenger (L) and Jose Mourinho do battle on sidelines in December 2005 during their first head-to-head encounter as managers of Arsenal and Chelsea respectively getty

Jeremy Wilson

Jose Mourinho has revealed that his dream career plan would be to stay with Chelsea for another 12 years before leading Portugal to the World Cup and then retiring from football management at the age of 65.

The career to date of the self-styled 'Special One' has followed a pattern of spending between two and four seasons at a club before moving on to the next challenge, generally after plenty of silverware and controversy.

Mourinho, though, now craves the stability to build teams and, having previously mocked Arsene Wenger's record, sees much in the Arsenal manager that he would like to follow.

Asked if he wants to emulate Wenger, who is in his 18th year as Arsenal manager, Mourinho said: "I would say 12 years. I'm 51 next month. I'd say 12 years, and two years to go to a World Cup with a national team. I would prefer the Portuguese national team. England second.

"Realistically I have four years of my contract remaining. I hope at the end of those four years we sit, analyse the situation and that we will be at the point where we are both happy to carry on or happy to separate. My desire and my feeling is to work these four years and analyse the situation."

Mourinho also confirmed that he took a pay-cut to move from Real Madrid to Chelsea after being convinced by Roman Abramovich's desire for his next manager to implement a long-term plan. It is understood that Mourinho was paid £12.4m a year at Madrid and is now on £8.3m at Chelsea.

"If I was here for me I wouldn't be here," said Mourinho. "(There are teams that could have been) successful immediately, I had a lot of them in my hands. I had Real Madrid. I left them because I wanted to, not because they wanted me to. If I was here for financial reasons, I wouldn't be here getting a lot less money than I had at Real Madrid, where I had three more years on my contract.

"I didn't come here because the job was easy, or because I had a team ready to attack the title, or because I was coming here for the best contract of my life.

"It's the worst of my last six years. I'm here because I love the club, I love the project. I also love the country in terms of football, but the main reason is I was explained what the club wanted of me and I liked that."

Should Malky Mackay lose his job at Cardiff City, Wenger will have been manager of Arsenal for longer than all his Premier League counterparts combined. Mourinho has previously highlighted how Arsenal have not won a trophy since 2005 -- he has personally won 11 in the intervening years -- but is now suggesting that stability is more important than immediate success.

Asked whether the recent Arsenal or Chelsea model works best, Mourinho said: "It depends on the perspective. I think the best way to do it is with stability." Mourinho added that it would be "sad" if Wenger and Alex Ferguson prove to be the last of a managerial kind in England.

"The league doesn't get better if we kill the good things," he said. "One of the good things is that sense of stability, to let people work without pressure or that sense of a non-selfish job. That's something that's going to finish and is bad for this league.

"I hope some of us, we can show good work that keeps us for many years in the same club. This is something that, culturally, was a brand for the Premier League. We should influence other countries in the same direction, not let them influence us in the wrong way."

During Mourinho's first spell in the Premier League, he was regularly in angry conflict with Wenger as Chelsea toppled Arsenal's 'Invincibles'. Most notoriously, Mourinho called Wenger "a voyeur" and claimed that he was obsessed by Chelsea. "There are some guys who, when they are at home, they have a big telescope to see what happens in other families," said Mourinho.

Wenger's response was blunt. "When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes," he said.

Mourinho is still not backing down from his "voyeur" remark but he clearly now sees Wenger in a very different light. "I don't regret," he said. "These are football fallouts, not personal fallouts. Football fallouts you have today and forget tomorrow. I'm not friends with him because, to be friends, you need to be close and have time to develop that relation, but we have a lot of respect."

Asked if Wenger had stopped "looking" at Chelsea, Mourinho said: "Yes. Yes. Yes. He was speaking about Chelsea all the time. It was too much. At this moment he's totally focused on his team and his club. Peacefully, we are living without any kind of problems."

With Wenger in the final year of his contract, Mourinho also reminded Arsenal and their fans how his rival had so often been loyal in the face of other offers. Wenger has had opportunities to manage Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan, Germany, Bayern Munich and England during his Arsenal career.

"He was also loyal to the club in many periods where he could leave to go to other teams," said Mourinho. "When a manager is loyal to his club, I think there is a natural reason for the club to be loyal. I think they deserve each other."

Mourinho has won five and drawn four of the nine head-to-heads against Arsenal, but appeared to suggest that both squads are weaker.

"They have a very good team, but Thierry Henry isn't there," said Mourinho. "The best, Patrick Vieira, is not there. Robert Pires is not there. Dennis Bergkamp is not there. It's the same when people go to my other Chelsea and this Chelsea. How can you compare a Chelsea striker with Didier Drogba, or an Arsenal striker with Thierry Henry?" (© Daily Telegraph, London)



Irish Independent

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