Monday 23 July 2018

Wenger to rise above Jose's jibe

Jose Mourinho may be playing mind games in the run up to Sunday's FA Community Shield
Jose Mourinho may be playing mind games in the run up to Sunday's FA Community Shield Newsdesk Newsdesk

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown believes Arsene Wenger can easily brush off Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's pre-season taunts. Mourinho knows full well Chelsea are in little position to accuse rivals of buying their way to the Premier League title given the Blues' history of big-spending under owner Roman Abramovich.

"I think that's just Mourinho being mischievous," said Keown. "At the end of the day if Abramovich hadn't arrived at Chelsea they were in serious jeopardy of going bankrupt never mind achieving what they have.

"So they've bought themselves out of trouble, and where they are now is down to the financial reservoir they have. To accuse Arsenal of the same thing, buying their way to the top, is a bit of an ironic comment from Mourinho.

"I think he's just being mischievous there.

"He has had a go at Wenger on more than one occasion, so this is quite light compared to some of the comments he's made about him. I think Arsene would probably be happy with that in relation to everything else. There wouldn't be too many managers that could lay claim to the kind of record that Mourinho has against Wenger.

"Like any record that you have, when Arsenal went unbeaten for the whole season, you start to feel like you're invincible, and you're never going to concede a goal or lose a game. And Jose will start to feel that way, and I'm sure such is his ego that he'll feel that way about his team.

"But he prepares his team not to fail against Arsenal and he'll be doing that this weekend. He's very proud of that record, it's an outstanding record.

"Whether it's a hang-up for Wenger I don't think so, I think it's more of a case of beating Chelsea."

Keown won nine major trophies with Arsenal between 1993 and 2004, and now believes the Gunners will be in the running to claim this term's Premier League crown.

Theo Walcott signed a new four-year deal on Friday, with Santi Cazorla also completing a long-term extension, leaving Keown expecting both men to make a big impact this season.

"I think they're in with a chance of winning the league," added Keown. "If you go into a new season it's on your radar, it's one of the goals you set yourself but nobody, not any of the groups are completely convinced they're going to win it, no one knows.

"I genuinely sense now among the players and the fans at the Emirates, that there's a sense of expectation and a feeling that Arsenal are getting ever closer and better equipped."

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