• Premier League

Wenger: Jose's mind games don't work

ESPN staff
March 21, 2014
Arsene Wenger's 1,000th game discussed

Arsene Wenger has hit back at Jose Mourinho by claiming his mind games have no effect.

Mourinho on Friday stood by the "specialist in failure" barb he directed at his Arsenal counterpart last month.

The Chelsea manager would give no more than a back-handed compliment to Wenger before he reaches the landmark of 1,000 games as Arsenal manager in Saturday's game at Stamford Bridge.

Thanks for standing by me

The Frenchman arrived to north London in 1996 © Getty Images
  • Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger reveals his pride, regrets and humility in a typically waspish take on reaching a landmark few of his counterparts could dream of
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But the Frenchman wants to leave the episode behind him. "I represent my club, I don't represent myself and I will behave always in respecting the values of our club, and keep my own feelings far away from that [specialist in failure comment]," he said.

"What gives the teams advantages is performances on the pitch. Press conferences can be for you [media] less or more boring and I can understand you like some more than others, but the real excitement is the game and the game is on the pitch."

When quizzed about Mourinho's suggestion that Arsenal may go into the game at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as marginal favourites, Wenger insisted his team were merely one of the pack challenging for the title.

"Well, you cannot say they [Chelsea] are favourites or not, but they are among the teams who are fighting to win the Premier League, nobody can deny that," he added.

"The result [at Chelsea] will be linked with the performance of the day. We come out of winning 4-1 against Everton, we drew 1-1 at Bayern Munich and we won 1-0 at Tottenham. We are on a good run so let's take the confidence out of this run to make another surprise."

Wenger was then presented with a scenario that he could be toasting a Premier League and FA Cup double if his side were to go on a winning run in the final two months of the season.

"Theoretically I like your theory," he added. "I like it very much. My job is to transform theory into action. That is what I will try to do and yes it will work like that if we do it. We will give absolutely everything to try to achieve it."

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