Saturday 19 October 2019

Jose Mourinho aims fire at Arsene Wenger again as simmering row continues

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (right) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (centre)
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (right) and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (centre)
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has aimed yet another dig at Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, as his Friday press conference turned into another showcase for his simmering anger over Diego Costa’s latest suspension.

Mourinho insisted he could not speak about the three-game ban handed out to Costa after his feisty exchanges in last Saturday’s game against Arsenal last weekend and they offered a sly jab at Wenger in the response he offered.

With a glint in his eye, this was Mourinho at his devious best and while he did not identify Wenger at any point in his colourful response, there was little doubt who he was referring to.

As Mourinho dodged numerous questions on the FA’s decision to hand Costa a three-game suspension, as he came up with an ingenious way to poke fun at the Arsenal manager with these comments.

“I don’t answer because if I answer I am going to be suspended,” Mourinho stated as he was pushed for a comment on Costa's suspension. “I don’t answer because I want to be on the bench.

“I don’t comment and I tell you why. In the rules book, it says some managers can speak about the referee before the game or after the game. Some others, they can not.

“I am in the list that are punished if they speak about referees before and after the games, so I have to stick with that rule book. This is what I am doing.”

The Chelsea press officer then interjected to try and stem Mourinho’s flow, as he insisted comments about referee before a game were not allowed and then the Chelsea boss stopped him in his tracks.

“We know that one can speak,” he argued. “It is an imaginary list, but clearly there is a list.”

It was then that he turned his focus towards an unnamed manager, which many will conclude was Arsenal boss Wenger, as he spoke about the pressure Newcastle boss Steve McClaren and Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers are currently under.

“I think in this country, only one manager is not under pressure,” he added. “Steve is under pressure, I am under pressure, Brendan is under pressure. (Man City boss Manuel) Pellegrini is under pressure. We cannot lose matches, we cannot be below the expectations. We have to reach our objectives, so I have sympathy for all of them. It is a difficult job,

“There is one manager who is for some reason outside of that list. Good for him.”

When asked who he was referring to, Mourinho responded: “You know. He can speak about referees before the game, who can speak about referees after the game. He can push people in the technical area. He can cry in the morning, cry in the afternoon, nothing happens.

“He does not achieve and he still keeps the job. Still the king. It is a privilege. Just one out of 20.”

Mourinho once suggested Wenger was a voyeur who is obsessed with Chelsea, but this latest episode may lead many to believe that jibe can now be directed in the opposite direction.

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