It’s no secret that current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger aren’t exactly fond of each other.
The two have consistently fallen out ever since Mourinho came to the Premier League in 2004 having won the Champions League with Porto.
Visible touchline altercations as well as comments in the press have all built up to make the shared hatred between the two almost soap opera-like in its nature.
And while there always seemed to be a sense that this anger was purely fuelled by footballing matters, comments from Mourinho, revealed in the Daily Mail, indicate, for the Special One at least, that this feud is much more personal than most may think.
Rob Beasley’s book ‘Jose Mourinho: Up Close And Personal’ is currently being serialised in the aforementioned newspaper and one extract in particular is sure to set tongues wagging about the pair’s rivalry once again.
It concerns Mourinho’s first season back in charge at Chelsea in 2013 following his successful stint on the continent with clubs like Inter Milan and Real Madrid, and more specifically the Blues’ sale of Juan Mata to Manchester United during that same term.
At the time Wenger criticised the timing of the transfer window because the Mata deal would effect his side whereas Chelsea had already played United twice during that campaign.
Wenger later on that season went on to say that the Portuguese was playing down his side’s chances of winning the title because he was afraid of failure to which Mourinho replied: “You know, he is a specialist in failure. Eight years without a piece of silverware, that’s failure. If I do that at Chelsea I leave London and I don’t come back.”
Following up on this comment, the true extent of how much disdain Mourinho holds for his north London foe was quite evident.
“When Mr Wenger criticises CFC and Man United over the deal with Mata… I will find him one day outside a football pitch and I will break his face,” Mourinho told Beasley.
Some of the things Mourinho has said in public about other coaches would be abhorred by some, but it is clear that what he says behind closed doors are another matter altogether.
Let’s just say Mourinho won’t be joining Wenger for a post-match dinner following their first meeting this term on November 19.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena