In more than one way, Jose Mourinho has Arsene Wenger beaten. Not just by the scores and results between Chelsea and Arsenal, but also in the battle of wits, minds and egos between them.
Wenger has been rattled. He has had enough, and he shoved Mourinho, or was blocked by him, although that seems highly unlikely. In 12 matches between the two managers, all the time as Arsenal and Chelsea head honchos, Wenger has yet to beat Chelsea once. The best he could muster has been five draws, while losing seven times.
This most recent loss wasn’t as humiliating as last year’s visit to Stamford Bridge, but it was just as painful. Wenger seemed a bit too focused on proving that his team has the ability to physically keep up with Chelsea and prove those doubting the toughness of his team wrong. On the way he forgot to teach his players to stop playing an offside trap or how to create chances inside the box, losing 2-0.
Last season was probably the peak of this rivalry. After Jose Mourinho parked the bus on Chelsea’s visit to Arsenal, Wenger spoke about how Mourinho doesn’t play to win matches because he’s afraid of failure. If Wenger had titles other than the FA Cup over the last nine years, maybe Mourinho would have stayed quiet. But Wenger hasn’t won a league title since 2004 and it’s been a very long time since his team has even been past the knockout stage of the Champions League. Easy for Mourinho.
From Mourinho’s answer, the one thing that stuck to everyone’s mind was one sentence, or label: Specialist in failure, which has stuck to Wenger ever since. Now, reaching the Champions League every season isn’t bad, but when you’re Arsenal, supposedly one of the biggest clubs in England, aspirations and expectation should be about more than just making a lot of money.
Wenger’s latest comment about envious of Chelsea’s financial power after he himself spent quite a lot of money over the last two years on the likes of Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez makes even less sense than saying Mourinho blocked him.
But Wenger has no out. His team is inferior, already nine points behind the league-leading Chelsea. His record can’t help him in his battle of words, so he makes up ridiculous claims about the differences between the teams. Wenger, like Mourinho, has always been able to twist the truth in an attempt to make himself look good. He’s only been less successful, which makes his attempts seem even more pathetic.