Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United manager, has indicated that he intends to monitor closely the Football Association’s response to the misconduct charge facing Arsène Wenger.
The Arsenal manager has been accused of verbally abusing and pushing a fourth official during his side's win over Burnley on Sunday, and has until 6pm on Thursday to respond.
Mourinho wants to be sure that justice is done in the case of his rival, having declared that, despite facing a number of misconduct charges himself in the past, he had never shoved an official in the manner which Wenger is alleged to have done.
In 2015, when he was in charge at Chelsea, Mourinho received a one-match stadium ban for misconduct relating to his language and behaviour, having gone to speak to referee Jon Moss at half-time after being sent to the stand during a match at West Ham.
That came weeks after he received a suspended stadium ban for suggesting that referees were “afraid” to give penalties to his team.
Before that, in May 2014, Mourinho’s assistant manager Rui Faria, who has followed him to Old Trafford, was given a six-match stadium ban for an altercation with officials.
Faria was for confronting Mike Dean after the referee awarded Sunderland what turned out to be a match-winning penalty at Stamford Bridge in April of that year.
Wenger was charged after he was involved in a confrontation with fourth official Anthony Taylor at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday
The Arsenal manager, who has been sent to the stand for reacting angrily to a 93rd-minute penalty awarded to Burnley, then pushed Taylor as he tried to watch the match from the tunnel area. Wenger did later apologise for his conduct, but Mourinho said: “I never pushed the referee so I don’t have a comparison. So I have no idea.”
Mourinho was reluctant to get drawn too deeply into a discussion of his long-running rivalry with Wenger. The two managers have exchanged insults frequently down the years, and had a physical confrontation during a league match at Stamford Bridge in October 2014, when Wenger pushed Mourinho, then in charge at Chelsea. Asked about that, Mourinho responded: “No. I cannot comment.”
United’s manager, meanwhile, has warned Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw that they have to take their chances to impress in the first team if they are to start playing regularly again.
Left-back Shaw has not featured for United since the end of November, while Martial’s future has been the subject of speculation, with the forward’s agent suggesting he could move to Sevilla.
The France striker was allowed to spend a weekend in Paris after being left out of the United squad for last Saturday’s trip to Stoke, but Mourinho insisted he has no intention of letting either player go, while also warning them that they must improve.
He said: “I don’t think he [Martial] lost his focus. I think he just didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had. When we spoke about Memphis Depay, we spoke about it being the only position where we have overbooking.
“We have still five players for these positions. I cannot give to one player chances to play and kill the others. To kill the others, I think I did with Memphis by considering him the last option and by not giving him any option.
“Luke Shaw is ready to play now. If he plays Thursday or Sunday or next Wednesday, he’s not working with limitations so now he’s ready. But it’s a position where we have other options too. It’s one of the positions where they have to fight, they have to compete, they have to show quality and stability in their performances to be in the team.”
Independent News Service