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Wenger – Mourinho’s departure is bad for football

The word ‘voyeur’ will forever be etched into the memory banks of football supporters in this country for signalling the moment Jose Mourinho crossed the line between psychological warfare and a rival manager’s character welfare.

For the regretful remark appeared in a Portuguese publication accusing Arsenal’s legendary manager of being obsessed with Chelsea.

What the Portuguese had failed to appreciate was that all managers are constantly probed and pestered into offering their thoughts on somebody else’s situation and if Wenger spoke about Chelsea, it was only because he was asked to do so in front of room full of headline-hunting hacks.

As the plaudits for his achievements fly around the country today, it should be considered that this was hardly an off-the-cuff remark by Mourinho. Far from it. It was specifically designed to stir the slanderous rumours that greeted Wenger on his arrival in England a decade ago. As such, it was a cowardly, provocative and childish move by Mourinho which was dealt with in the only manner you would expect.

Wenger uttered a line like: “when you give stupid people money, they become more stupid” and threatened legal action.

To his credit, Mourinho recognised the error of his ways and offered his grovelling apologies. At least I hope he apologised of his own accord and was not made to do so by the considerable clout of his board. We’ll probably never know.

Either way, Wenger yesterday revealed he bore no grudge against the former Porto manager by saying the pair’s relationship had improved recently and expressed his sadness at the departure from Stamford Bridge of a ‘quality’ manager.

“A big surprise," Le Boss told Arsenal TV online.

“Maybe they had not the ideal start Chelsea, but Mourinho has done extremely well for Chelsea and it is basically sad because I feel that Mourinho is a manger of quality.

“And a manager of quality shows also his ability when the team doesn’t do as well - to shorten the crisis time. I’m basically a great believer in technical stability and therefore I don’t think its good news for football.

And how would he describe his relationship with Mourinho during his time at Chelsea?

“Not the best,” he said.

“I think recently it had become better but that doesn’t hide the fact that I respected what he did and the quality of his work. It doesn’t change my belief that you need to give managers time.

“He’s a great manager and I feel he arrived as well when Chelsea were on the way up. They had a good side already and [he] added something more and made them winners and he deserves a lot of credit for that. It’s never easy to win and in England its maybe even more difficult.

"You have two types of careers for managers; you come in for a short time or you like to build for a longer period and I thought for a while that having extended his contract that he was on the same way of thinking I do, [Sir Alex] Ferguson does – that means to try to impulse something over a longer period to a club."

And what does Le Boss make of Chelsea’s new manager Avram Grant?

“I know him very well from Israel. He spent some time here as well.

“When he was manager of Israel he visited some clubs and he came here for some common connections he had and since we have kept good relations.”

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Posted by Mo Khan on September 21, 2007 12:58 PM in
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Great posts first off. nice one.
its a typical example of the media sensationalists desperately gripping to any words that an influential person has to try and sell some papers. It must have been a slow day for Portuguese football that day.

Posted by: football JJ | September 21, 2007 4:31 PM

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