Mourinho’s latest mind games feature brutal jab at Wenger

JoseMourinhoPSG (Getty)

By IVES GALARCEP

Jose Mourinho isn’t one to bite his tongue. If something comes to his mind, he’ll say it and worry about the consequences later.

Take for instance his Friday press conference to preview Chelsea’s next match. The Blues aren’t playing Arsenal (they’re facing Manchester City in the FA Cup), but that didn’t stop Mourinho from lobbing a verbal grenade at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, calling the Frenchman an expert at failure.

Mourinho’s response came after a leading question from an English journalist who quoted Arsene Wenger as saying that manager’s who claim to not be in the title race say such things out of a fear of failure.

That didn’t sit too well with Mourinho, who responded immediately with a brutal shot.

“He’s a specialist in failure. I’m not. I’m not, so if supposedly he’s right, and I’m afraid to fail, it’s because I don’t fail many times.”

Here is video of Mourinho’s full comments about Wenger, which included a jab about Wenger’s eight years without a trophy:


What do you think of Mourinho’s comments? Think it was overboard, or fair given what Wenger apparently said on Friday morning?

Share your thoughts below.

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81 Responses to Mourinho’s latest mind games feature brutal jab at Wenger

  1. slowleftarm says:

    This guy is awesome. And he’s right – no trophies for Arsene since 2005. I know Mourinho isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I think he’s hilarious and entertaining. Plus, his results speak for themselves.

    • Travis says:

      His results speak for themselves? He spent a TON of money at Real and won 2 trophies in 3 years (copa del rey, league title), I would call that a massive failure. Some of his earlier work was impressive but he lost a lot of his magic at Real

      • TomG says:

        Mmm, I would say a mild failure. He was certainly outdone by Barca who spent a good chunk less than he did, so yes, a failure, but also, it’s Barca, who have a special culture and a special mentality.

        • Travis says:

          Im also kind of looping in how much of the team/media/fans turned against him during that stop which pushed it to massive failure to me. Is he a good manager? yes however his prowess is over hyped IMO. Plenty of managers play mind games (SAF and Wenger do it all the time) but frankly he tends to take it to an overly personal attack at times. Not sure if anyone here followed the EPL in 2005 but take a look at the war of words Wenger and Mourinho had back then, they just don’t like each other.

        • Rich D says:

          To be the manager at Real Madrid and only bring in the amount of silverware he did is considered a huge failure. It was also the first time in his career that he lost over half of the locker room. He ultimately put himself in a no win situation with the fans and his own players which is why he quickly got outta there…

          • Paul says:

            Sure, he could’ve done better at Real. But to cal him a failure is rich. He was competing against the best team in the world at the time. Besides, how many titles has he won in Portugal, England, Italy, and Spain now? Seven, by my count. Not to mention those two Champions League titles.

            Dude is the anti-failure.

            • Travis says:

              As I mentioned before, I am only talking about his time at Real, before that he clearly had a lot of success. However I am not sure how you could call his time at Real anything but a failure, the results compared to the amount he spent did not match up at all.

              • Paul says:

                Still not buying it. He defeated Barca to win Real’s first Coppa Del Rey in nearly 20 years and first trophy of any kind in 3 or 4 years. He also won the league once and reached the Champions League semifinals twice. That isn’t a failure by any measure—especially when you consider that whole thing about Barca’s being in the league.

              • Travis says:

                It is absolutely a failure with the money the spent. He spent literally hundreds of millions of pounds in the span of three years and only won two trophies and the copa del rey really isn’t a big target for the top teams. Yes he won a league title in his second year but he also got destroyed in the league last year. Also Real was humiliated in the CL last year, I would say overall it was a failure

            • Gerard D. says:

              His time at Madrid was an epic failure.

      • TomG says:

        But there’s no question he’s an ouchebag of the highest order. I’d also rather watch Arsenal play beautiful football and lose eight days a week rather than watch TSO park the bus and win the way he often does. TSO plays ugly football with more money than just about anyone else and is a great winner. Arsene plays beautiful football on a budget and has still had a ton of success, just not the level of success TSO has had. I think what Arsene does is more difficult and much more valuable to the game than TSO.

        • Travis says:

          TSO = the special one?

        • Spectra says:

          Love him or hate him he is pure entertainment.

        • slowleftarm says:

          Remember of course that, ultimately, the point of playing is to win, at least at the professional level,. Playing beautiful and losing is failing. Sure, I prefer watching Arsenal to Chelsea but that’s because I don’t care about those teams.

          • Dale says:

            Playing ugly and losing is what got Mourinho expelled from Madrid. A couple of times people starter booing him from the very beginning of the game.
            Just wining is not always enough.

            • Travis says:

              Its also what got Di Matteo fired from Chelsea if I remember correctly so I am not sure why they brought Mourinho back when they knew exactly what he’d do.

          • Paul says:

            I am pretty sure the point of playing at the professional level is to make money (or to keep Putin from throwing you in jail and taking all of your money in the case of Abramovich.)

    • AcidBurn says:

      Mourinho’s delivery is snarky and smug but he’s completely right. 8 years without a trophy (keep in mind while competing in 4 competitions every year) is failure, no doubt about it. That’s 0 for 32, folks. A club with the resources of Arsenal should not go that long without some type of trophy.

      Yeah, his delivery could be more tactful, but he’s right.

    • slowleftarm says:

      I think it was fair to expect a little more maybe but you’d have to go back to Del Bosque to find a more successful Real Madrid manager. That place is a zoo.

      One title, 2 runners-up in the league, a copa del rey and three trips to the Champions League semi-finals – I think calling that a “failure” is a bit of a stretch.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        slow,

        It’s hardly a stretch if the main goal of Real Madrid was to outperform Barcelona. So, was that the main goal?

  2. Travis says:

    Wenger’s comments have been taken totally out of context. From what I have gathered he was asked why all the other coaches in the title race have dismissed their title chances and he answered fear of failure, not a specific shot at Mourinho at all. Yet Mourinho just feels like slinging mud per usual but I doubt he’s going to make Wenger cry in a corner, the man is a highly successful club manager. If Wenger was to suddenly not be Arsenal manager anymore, pretty much every club in the world would make a run at him, Real and PSG have both tried in the not so distant past.

    Also in the case of Mourinho I really would like to see what he does with a team that plays on a reasonable budget, cause he has spent wildly at every stop since Porto, essentially buying titles.

    • atleticodemadridfan says:

      Mourinho is as they say in Spanish, “una cara dura, sin verguenza, un hijo de su p**a madre.”
      In English, “a horses a**.”
      I have never cared for him.
      Arsene has more class (and soccer IQ) in his left toe, than TSO has in his whole body.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      People are enjoying the fireworks but I think he knows what he is doing, people are talking about him and Arsene and not the CFC team, which is quietly atop the table. The pressure goes on the coaches and the team just has to do its job.

      As far as success goes, he’s won several league titles, 2 with Porto, 2 with CFC, 2 with Inter, and 1 with Madrid. He’s won 10 domestic cups. He’s won 2 CLs, including one with Porto(!?!). He’s won a Europa league-equivalent. His teams also are highly effective at guarding home turf, the league winning streaks at home extend beyond CFC. He has been handed expensive squads since Porto but he has achieved a significant degree of results.

      Wenger hasn’t done anything of note since 2005, basically since the years he was feeding off the then-dominant French NT, eg, Henry, Viera. Once that team became ordinary his team did as well. The only thing in his defense is he’s had less money to play around with than many Big Clubs.

      • Travis says:

        I’m not doubting Mourinho’s accomplishments (especially pre-Madrid) I am just wondering what he would be able to do without essentially a blank check. The only time he’s won on a reasonable budget is at Porto and he did win big there.

        • Travis says:

          Also obviously these are just Mourinho mind games, its why he loves England. In Italy and Spain the press hated this kind of nonsense but in England they eat it up. Him and Wenger’s war of words goes back to 2005, they flat don’t like each other. I think there is a line of trash talk and Mourinho goes to far at times and gets way to personal with his attacks.

        • GW says:

          “The only time he’s won on a reasonable budget is at Porto and he did win big there.”

          You make that sound like no big deal.

          There are lots of very good managers in the world who have yet to win even one Champions league trophy.

          And Porto are a great club now but they were good but not great when Mourinho took over. Their last European Cup trophy was won in the late 80’s.
          Mourinho took over in 2002. Then they won the Treble, Championship, Cup and the UEFA Cup in 2003.. The next season they won the Champion’s League.

          That’s four trophies in two years on a reasonable budget.

          If you do that chances are you get a good shot at clubs with “unreasonable budgets.”

          • Travis says:

            Winning the CL at Porto was a big deal, that was the last team outside the big four leagues to win it right? A large part of me has just been soured by how Mourinho coaches his teams and how he handles himself in general. He spends more than just about anyone in the world over the last decade yet plays like a more talented version of a team fighting relegation.

  3. Mark says:

    Difficult to argue given Arsenal’s title drought, which pains me as a Gunner fan. However, I’d say that if Wenger managed at a club like Chelsea or Real Madrid where money doesn’t seem to matter, he likely would win quite a bit more.

    Arsenal is a wealthy team, and Wenger’s admirable sense of fiscal responsibility to keep it that way can be maddening as times, but the team doesn’t have unlimited cash like some other teams. So it’s not exactly a coincidence that the Arsenal title drought started shortly after petrodollars poured into the Premiere League, and other clubs around the world…

    • GW says:

      Excuses.

      You don’t need unlimited funds to win the Capital One Cup or the FA Cup and Wenger could not even manage that in 8 years of trying.

      • go euro or go home says:

        You actually really do because if you are competing in those competitions AND Champs League, you need tons of depth. Quite frankly, the domestic cups are not a priority for Arsenal when they are competing in Europe, whereas a mid table club can put much more emphasis and resources into the domestic cups.

        • TomG says:

          Agree completely with your comment. Your name… not so much :-)

        • GW says:

          More lame excuses.

          Arsenal are supposedly a top 4 team, they should have the depth to compete with the likes of the watered down EPL teams and the second division and lower teams others have put in those competitions.

          And after a couple of years of not winning anything, you would think Wenger would put something extra into those competitions just to get something in the trophy case and to remind his team of losers that winning any competition is something you learn, something you get into a habit of doing .

          But instead it seems, focusing on those competitions is beneath Arsenal.

          Wenger is an all time great, but he seems to have forgotten that, after 8 years his guys don’t know how to win things and have to learn. The Arsenal teams I’ve seen lately lack the cojones that a guy like Henry had.

          RVP saw that and left.

          Blame the owners all you want but eventually the responsibility for that is on Wenger if only for staying around and tolerating the skinflint attitude.

          • tim says:

            Jerks running away after 1 season of finally being healthy has been a huge reason for Wengers lack of success. Look at the talent he was essentially forced to move along RVP, Cesc, Nasri… you don’t just refill world class players like them.

            Solvency is what ownership forced Wenger to focus on as priority #1. Arsenal are soon to become the most liquid club in the BPL, if not the world… Paid off stadium, huge kit deal, huge stadium naming deal… gobs of excess cash from selling top players in their prime.

            It’s been a long wait and this year may still not be it, we’ll know more in the next two weeks if we get some bling or not. In the end, painful as it’s been, it will have been worth it.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      His success was so limited to a particular run with a particular set of (French) players that you can question his role in their success. He seems unable to find the formula for success since then. I’m overstating it, his mark on the team is evident, they play pretty soccer, but I think you can question whether he understands what’s necessary to win in the present EPL. Too much pretty possession, not enough strikers and physical dominance, perhaps a little soft in the back. And it’s year after year.

      • TomG says:

        Making the Champions League every single year, year after year, is also a huge level of success, though, and cannot be dismissed.

        • timmytwoshoezzz says:

          top four is a trophy, right?

        • GW says:

          For all the times Wenger qualified for Europe how many times did he win the Champion’s League?

          That be would zero times.

          In American terms he has been to the playoffs 8 years running and never won the championship.

          The Buffalo Bills went to four straight Super Bowls and lost them all.
          The Minnesota Vikings have been to three Super Bowls and lost them all.

          Just getting to the Super Bowl that many times was an accomplishment but it does not compare with winning one.

          This constant failure taints Wenger. Sooner or later you have to win something, And eight years is a real long leash to be on.

          • beachbum says:

            Vikings went to 4 SBs and lost them all–KC, Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland

          • Travis says:

            Comparing the CL to the playoffs is not fair at all. When the big teams enter the CL there is still 32 teams left in the thing. Hes made the semis a couple of times and lost in the final once (stupid crazy jens). Would I prefer if he won one? Yes. However I am not sure how people can honestly say making the last 16 for 12 years in a row is a failure, that is the second longest streak in the world. His CL success has been hugely important for the club.

            • GW says:

              Travis,

              For better or worse, the standard of comparison for Wenger is SAF.

              Cheap ownership at Arsenal?

              SAF also had allegedly cheap owners but just compare their last 8 years competing against each other.

              Wenger is an all time great but all these excuses you are making for him make him look even worse.

              I’m not advocating they fire him but if Arsenal expect to actually win anything any time soon they obviously have to do something different, what ever that is..

              • Travis says:

                Im not exactly sure where I made excuses. There were a couple years ago where he failed to make a key signing and it cost them the title (their goalkeeping was horrendous for about 4-5 years). I am just saying that this whole idea that Wenger is a failure solely because he hasn’t won anything for 8 years is laughable to me. Also United’s ownership has spent a lot more than Arsenal’s recently, they aren’t really comparable.

              • GW says:

                Travis,

                Citing the budget is making excuses.

                Wenger was outdone by SAF not just on the field but in talent development

                Man U might have had a few more bucks but then again the way you make up for that is by being smarter in player development.
                See Dortmund which has I’m fairly certain, has less money than Bayern Munich. You don’t see Klopp whining about how poor he is.

                Wenger is supposed to be a great talent evaluator and developer so I would expect him to prefer doing things that way.

                It takes time but Wenger has had at least eight years.

                I’m perfectly happy to see Wenger, a great manager, continue for years at Arsenal. I like their uniforms and they are attractive to watch.

                But I’m not an Arsenal fan and I don’t care if they ever win anything ever again. I’m thinking real Arsenal fans might feel a little differently from me.

              • Travis says:

                Im really confused, I have not made reference to Wenger’s budget once in this entire article. Arsenal over the last 8 years have been a disappointment I just don’t get how that can overshadow everything good Wenger has done, calling him a master of failure. If he is a master of failure then 99% of the coaches in the world would like to be as big a failure as him. He has made definite mistakes though, his refusal to strengthen last month could well cost them silverware again.

            • TomG says:

              Yes, agree with Travis. Absurd to compare. Making the playoffs in US Football is not nearly as great an accomplishment

              • GW says:

                The NFL teams I cited did not just make the playoffs.

                They made it all the way to the final game and failed many times.

                The point being that history is not kind to teams who constantly finish second or in Arsenal’s case, even third or fourth.

                Finishing second, third or fourth in the EPL but when you are Arsenal with the great Wenger in charge and do it consistently over an 8 year period without ever winning then it makes you wonder if Wenger has lost it.

  4. AcidBurn says:

    Shut up, voyeur.
    Be champions.

  5. beachbum says:

    all of this stuff makes things more interesting, heightens the tension and the pressure. it’s fun imo

  6. Ian says:

    Impressed. That was a pointed and impactful speech for someone who “says what’s on his mind” and “worries about the consequences later.” This is vintage Jose Mourinho right here. He’s absolutely right about Wenger, even if his words are indelicate and bordering on abrasive.

  7. biff says:

    I cannot stand Mourinho, but gotta admit that I chuckled when I first read the news story about it earlier today. Mourinho the Mouth is a showman and, man, he is stirring up the pot with these comments and creating even more interest in the Premier League. I mean, gosh, he’s even triggered a return of Ives Galarcep to SBI to pound out breaking news stories. Wow.

    And I do agree with comments above that Mourinho’s tenure at Madrid with a hugely expensive roster that, for example, was humiliated by BVB Dortmund last year in the Champions League and Bayern the year before could be labeled a failure. I have felt for some time he is overrated–but must sadly admit that Chelsea in recent weeks has shown flashes of brilliance and almost invincibility–at least until the draw with West Brom earlier this week and it was pure pleasure to behold the pain on Mourinho’s smug face after West Brom scored the equalizer.

  8. chrisitan rosales says:

    that wan’t a jab, that was an upper cut K.O. right on the money…he let RSVP and Fabregas go and always “betting” on youth

    • Paul says:

      he didn’t “let” them go. They were ging to walk so might as well get money for them.

    • Rich D says:

      He did not let them go. He is a manager, not the $ guy. Everyone wants to blame AW for not spending money but it is the board who do not spend, the same can be said with Liverpool, Man United, etc. The coach can only use what is at his disposal, and Wenger has done well with what he has and always sides with the board to creat a united front. Don’t blame the gaffer, blame Stan Kroenke, the Glazers, Henry/Red Sox, etc. They are the ones not willing to spend.

  9. tab says:

    Love it. Love an unpleasant prima donna Mou is.

    Loved watching him fail at Madrid. Yes, it was a failure.

    Pellegrini and Wenger are both class acts. This guy is like an annoying teenager.

    No question he’s a great manager. No question he motivates players.

    But he’s a douche. And his teams are not a pleasure to watch.

  10. SBI TroII says:

    Jurgen Klopp is better than both.

    In other news, I wish there would be a new season of Special1 TV.

  11. FingersCrossed says:

    It was an unnecessary statement by Mourinho who seemingly has determined that he has to make outrageous comments in the press on a regular basis. Anyone who would call Wenger a “failure” is a complete fool. His teams consistently win year after year and he has had Arsenal in the Champions League for 15+ straight years. Winning titles is not easy. Statistically, your odds of winning it all, even if you are the best team, are small. Jose has burned bridges at almost every stop along his coaching path and has been fortunate to work for clubs who operate with open check books. But Mourinho is smart. I doubt he really believes Wenger is a failure. He does these things to play with the British press because he knows that they will eat this stuff up. I think a lot of what he says is very calculated.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      All due respect but the CL-end of the EPL is pretty consistently a set of Big Clubs. Solid coach and an expensive team and you can qualify over and over. What matters is winning.

  12. biff says:

    I had not seen the video before my comment above, had only read the quotes in a news story. Just watched the video, and Mourinho looks like a pressure cooker ready to pop. Obviously, Wenger hit the nail on the head with his jab at Mourinho, who for weeks now has been basically saying how bad poor old Chelsea is and doesn’t stand a chance of winning the PL, that Man City has it in the bag. So when Wenger basically says publicly and correctly that Mourinho is full of it with his ridiculous comments and the reporter brings it up in the press conference and you can see fire in Mourinho’s eyes and he explodes. Man, the next Chelsea-Arsenal game is going to be great. March 22. Mark it on the calendar

  13. go euro or go home says:

    Mourinho has yet to show that he can sustain success anywhere. His management style is extremely harsh and I wonder if he is capable of staying in one place and having success there for more than a couple of years.

    • go euro or go home says:

      Wenger on the other hand has been at Arsenal for a decade+ and built a perennial contender while operating within a much tighter budget.

      • Ricky B. Free says:

        Perennial contender for what? Champions Leagues spots?

        Mou won with Porto. To bad you cant erase the past.

        • go euro or go home says:

          contender for the league title, yes.

          Porto is not some small club — that was their second European championship. Also, they beat Monaco in the final and Deportivo la Coruna in the semis…

      • Bean says:

        The money received for being in UCL help perpetuate a team’s success in staying in the UCL. One thing about Arsenal is that they do better than most in European competition.

      • GW says:

        No one doubts that finishing second or third in the EPL for 8+ years or whatever it is is a worthy accomplishment.

        But it is not a bigger accomplishment than actually winning the thing and Wenger has shown an inability to do that for some time now.

        You are content with second rate performance but other Arsenal fans want more and it is hardly unfair of them to criticize Wenger for not bringing in more.

        If he can finish second or third then surely he should be able to figure out what went wrong and correct it right? The fact that he has had many chances to do so and still failed makes you wonder if he ever will.

        • go euro or go home says:

          How many teams near the top of the table lose their best players regularly and also are not big spenders in the player market?

          • GW says:

            I don’t know but you have to ask yourself why those guys don’t want to stay at Arsenal.

            • go euro or go home says:

              The answer is none. I don’t care why they left — they each had their own reasons — but the fact is that Wenger does not panic and keeps the ship sailing steady as ever. He is at a huge disadvantage compared to other top teams in the league, so I’m not going to hold it against him too much for not winning it with a lesser team.

  14. Birgit Calhoun says:

    The Wenger comment obviously affected Mourinho. He was too serious for him to have taken Weger’s comment lightly. There is a little tiff between the two. Arsenal has more class and M. is more of a pouter.

  15. Free beer says:

    The guy can back up his talk but from the looks of that trollfest no wonder man united didn’t hire him

  16. Arsene Wenger,plays the Football cos of the Passion n entertainment and we make soo much profit after all.We ar all out 2 work in lyf 4 the profit n Wenger puts Arsenal as a top profit makin industry.Wenger,makes is de real Chosen one 4 Arsenal cos without him Arsenal wil go into Relegation zone n finally disappear from the league.Arsene,is rilly usin his brain in makin his fans happy wit the game n making his cool profit.I lik dat n I want the board 2 extend his contract to 2025 4 me 2 be enjoyin the EPL.Arsene,is the only Manager dat plays real football in England.

  17. Buh,Jose Mourinho is also a gud coach,anointed 4 Trophies.Mourinho,was a Wonder Man @ Real Madrid.The only Coach dat broke Barcelona Dominance in Spain n 4 me is a great Achievement cos so many Managers failed 2 do so n he did the same with Mancity unbeaten record @ Etihad.Tso,even afta describin his side as the little horse.The fact still remain that Jose wil still end the season wit Trophies.Tso,was born wit such anointin 4 trophies.Mourinho,came from Spain in 2013 summer 2 tk Chelsea 2. The top of EPL 4 a club dat is abt visitin Relegation Zone.I dnt tk wateva TS0 is sayin Wenger is a serious issue buh a Mere Entertainment in EPl.Cos,none of them is a failure.They ar all great Men of broad Achievements.

  18. Juan from L.A. says:

    I’m with team mourinho…Arsene wenger the most overrated coach in the world!!! He builds a London based United Nations team (disgusts me what he does) and has zero absolutely zero trophies and yet he is still there…finally someone said waht non Arsenal fans think about that French douche!!!