Arsene Wenger has hit back at recent remarks from long-term adversary Jose Mourinho, claiming that his relationship with the Portuguese makes him feel like he’s in kindergarten.
Mourinho – who previously described the Frenchman as a ‘specialist in failure’ – recently alluded to the fact that Wenger’s autobiography does not mention him, despite their rivalry over the years. Mourinho went so far as to claim that the reason Wenger did not discuss him in his autobiography was because he ‘never’ beat him.
Wenger has now taken the chance to swipe back at thet ‘Special One’, claiming that Mourinho’s ‘permanent’ desire to provoke doesn’t bother him. Wenger told Canal+: “It doesn’t bother me. It’s permanent provocation. I feel like I’m in kindergarten with him. But that’s part of his personality.”
Mourinho and Wenger went head-to-head 19 times, with the latter getting the better of the now Spurs boss just twice during his managerial career. However, seven draws were also played out between their teams over the years.
Discussing this, Wenger added: “We beat him twice. We won, and there were also a lot of draws. It’s not ‘you’ who wins, you only participate in the victory. It’s ‘us’ who win. The manager is there to get the most out of a team.”
Elsewhere, in an interview with The Guardian, Wenger has admitted that he doesn’t have any real ‘connection’ with Arsenal anymore, despite his love for the club. He said: “I can go back but I have no real connection any more with the club. So I really don’t know. But I support the club and watch the games. I suffer when we don’t win and I’m happy when we win.”
While Wenger went on to win the Premier League three times and the FA Cup seven times, the former Gunners boss alluded to the malicious rumours which were spread when he first took over, causing pain and anger.
He added: “The pure hostility, lies, vile allegations…started with a radio host, a Spurs supporter, so I have been told. I had apparently been spotted in disreputable locations, in preposterous situations.
“It was intolerable. I wondered whether the world had gone mad, how such lies could be written without any evidence or truth, just to smear a man. I was very angry.
“I was quite surprised by the violence of these allegations because I didn’t know where they came from and why. But then I thought: ‘Why am I doing this job? Let’s focus on that.’ I was 47 years old and I knew who I was and what I wanted in life so it didn’t depress me too much.”