Jose Mourinho vs. Arsene Wenger: The verbal wars

        It seemed as if Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger had put their differences to one side this season as the two focused mainly on the football and less about each other.  The Chelsea and Arsenal bosses are at each other again after the end of what has been a six-month ceasefire as the Portuguese responded to Wenger’s criticism of having a ‘fear of failure’ by labeling the Frenchman a ‘specialist in failure’. However, this was just the calm before the storm, as the pair are at each other’s throats again, after the Chelsea boss accused his Arsenal counterpart of being accustomed to failure. Below is a timeline coined from of verbal conflicts both managers have engaged in.


Wenger: Take what Arsenal and Chelsea have won in the past eight years. I go with reality, with the football we play and the challenge we have ahead.”I don’t see especially that Chelsea play more English players than we do. Who have they produced, homegrown? Just one, John Terry.”

Wenger defends himself after being critisiced for fielding an all foreign squad in a match against Crystal Palace.



Wenger: “I know we live in a world where we have only winners and losers, but once a sport encourages teams who refuse to take the initiative, the sport is in danger.”

Mourinho parking the bus? Wenger accuses Mourinho of using negative tactics.


Mourinho: “I think he is one of these people who is a voyeur. He likes to watch other people. There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea.”

Mourinho feels Wenger’s criticism of Chelsea’s transfer activity is becoming tedious.


Wenger: “He’s out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful. When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes.”

Wenger threatens to take legal action against Mourinho for calling him a ‘Voyeur’.

Mourinho: “At Stamford Bridge, we have a file of quotes from Mr. Wenger about Chelsea football club in the last 12 months. It is not a file of five pages. It is a file of 120 pages so we have a very strong reaction. My objective is that it is enough.

Mourinho responds by defending his strong attack of Wenger and claims to have the Frenchman’s Chelsea insults on record.


APRIL 2007

Wenger: “If you would like to compare every manager you give each one the same amount of resources and say: ‘you have that for five years’. After five years you see who has done the most.”

‘Le Professor’ takes a cheeky dig at Mourinho on the eve of Chelsea’s 2007 League Cup final win over Arsenal, in which John Obi Mikel, Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor were sent off for their part in an ugly brawl.



Mourinho: “Unlike Arsenal, we sought success and tried to build it through a concept of the game using English players.”

The ‘Special one’ points the finger at Wenger and Arsenal’s policy in his book.


APRIL 2008

Mourinho: “The English like statistics a lot. Do they know that Arsene Wenger has only 50 per cent of wins in the English league?”

Seven months after leaving Chelsea by ‘mutual consent’ the Portuguese manager can’t help himself but to have another swipe at Wenger.



Wenger: “You never say it doesn’t cross your mind but when you see how it looks on television it is the best demonstration to think: ‘Never do that again’.”It looks, frankly, horrible. It’s a pity to see that from a big club.”

Wenger vents his disgust at the then Real Madrid manager’s decision to get Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos deliberately cautioned by the referee during a Champions League match with Galatasaray.

Mourinho: “Instead of speaking about Real Madrid, Mr. Wenger should speak about Arsenal and explain how he lost 2-0 against a team in the Champions League for the first time [Braga]. The history about the young kids is getting old now. Sagna, Clichy, Walcott, Fabregas, Song, Nasri, Van Persie, Arshavin are not kids. They are all top players.

Mourinho battles back, bringing out the classic ‘lack of success’ insult.



Wenger: “It is fear to fail. If you are not in a race, you cannot lose it. If you declare yourself not in the race, you cannot lose, it simple as that.”

Wenger says that the title is Chelsea’s to lose and that Mourinho is playing down his own team’s chances because of a fear of failure.

Mourinho: “So maybe he’s right, maybe I’m not used to failing but the reality is that he’s the specialist because he’s had eight years without a trophy. If I do that in Chelsea I leave and I don’t come back.”

Mourinho responds with possibly his most hard hitting attack yet, claiming that Wenger is a ‘failure specialist’.


And the war goes on. The old rivalry has been sparked again, and that is certainly not going to be the end of it. Looking at both managers, Mourinho is likened to a bully. Mourinho has been the one hitting the more painful words which is normal of him while Wenger on his own part seems to ignite the war and gets beaten by Mourinho who attacks back in the most disrespectful manner. Wenger tries to defend back but his words are weak compared to Mourinho’s. Mourinho’s words are portrayed in ways as if Wenger is nothing even though Wenger is 14 years older than him and Wenger is one of Europe’s successful managers in the last 2 decades. Well Mourinho can boast of that because he has never gone an 8 year trophy drought and has showed his credentials across Europe while Wenger has not and to put the icing on the cake, Mourinho has never lost to Wenger in competitive matches both have managed. There’s obviously no lack of respect between the two and it will take some time before that can happen.

Is Wenger going to have the upper hand against Mourinho in this war someday? It’s hard to tell because Wenger has failed to proove the great manager he is. If Wenger gets the upper hand in this war, it means Mourinho is no longer at the top of his game and that will be humiliating for him. While it’s not likely that Wenger will have the edge over Mourinho soon, the war goes on and the media and football world will love every moment of their confrontation.





Kunle Fayiga

Writer & Blogger

Share This Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

subscribe to our newsletter

stay up to date with the latest content

Subscription Form

© Kunle Fayiga's Blog copyright all right reserved.

Scroll to Top