As the much awaited Premier League match between league leader Chelsea and second placer Arsenal is set to happen in a few days, fans are also eagerly awaiting the battle between Gunners manager Arsene Wenger and the Blues’ Jose Mourinho.
However, Wenger brushed aside the notion that his rivalry with Mourinho will be on of the highlights of the match on Sunday. “I do not want to talk about that,” Wenger said when asked about the idea in a news conference.
“What is of interest for people when the game starts at 4 p.m. is to have a great game. That is what English football needs. Arsenal vs. Chelsea is a big football game. It’s not a confrontation [between the two managers], it a confrontation between two teams.”
Wenger has yet to win a match against Mourinho in the 32 times that they have come up against each other. The two also had a minor physical confrontation earlier this season when they pushed and shoved each other at Stamford Bridge in October. Chelsea won the match 2-0.
The rivalry also extended outside the field with the two managers hurling words against each other in interviews. In early 2014, Mourinho referred to Wenger as a “specialist in failure”, after the latter failed to gain a trophy in the last decade. On the other hand, Wenger refused to acknowledge his rival as a “genius”
When asked if Mourinho has already changed his attitude after becoming Chelsea’s head, Wenger simply said “I don’t know, honestly I don’t know.”
Wenger also stressed that his standing game record against Mourinho would not be a factor that will affect the outcome of their upcoming match. “The result on Sunday will be down to the performance on the day. We are on a good run and we have an opportunity at home to beat them and we want to take it.”