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It would be fair to say that Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho are not the best of friends.
The pair have exchanged jibes, barbs and downright insults ever since the Portuguese took over Chelsea, to great success, in 2004, as per the Daily Mail.
The rivalry between the two legendary managers was only made worse recently when Mourinho responded to a Wenger comment about managers.
As per the Guardian, in a thinly veiled jab at Mourinho, Wenger told a February 14 Premier League press conference that managers rule their team out of the title race because of "a fear to fail." He went on to say:
If you declare yourself not in the race, you cannot lose it, simple as that.
I just think our job is to be ambitious and to try to win.
And if we do not win, to take full responsibility for that.
It's very difficult when you're first in the league to distract people.
Mourinho was incandescent after hearing Wenger's comments and responded as only he can.
So if supposing Wenger's right and I'm afraid of failure, it's because I don't fail many times.
So maybe he's right. I'm not used to failing.
But the reality is he's a specialist because, eight years without a piece of silverware, that's failure. If I did that in Chelsea I'd leave London and not come back.
He is saying we're not candidates because we're afraid of failure?
Failure of what? Not winning a title this year? Or in two years?
I have a lot of respect for him, he's a great coach, but failure is not winning a title in seven or eight years. That's failure.
Am I aggressive in my words? I don't know. Ask him, not me.
If I don't win a trophy in four years, I don't want a new contract. It's as simple as that.
Wenger then responded back by calling Mourinho "embarrassing," as per the Daily Mail.
With the biggest game of the season just around the corner, these quotes will rear their ugly heads in the build up.
The saddest fact about this is that the two managers seem to be at opposite poles in an argument that no one can remember the origins of.
Wenger will lead his team out for the 1000th time against Chelsea. This is a remarkable achievement and it is one in which Mourinho, as the opposition manager, should lead the plaudits. There are very few men who get to stay in the game for as long as the Frenchman and he deserves all the credit he is bound to receive.
When Arsenal and Chelsea last met, they drew 0-0 at the Emirates Stadium. That brought Mourinho's overall record against Wenger to 10 games unbeaten.
Their head-to-head record reads as:
Played 10: Wenger: Win 0, Draw 5, Mourinho: Win 5
Tactically and philosophy wise, both men are from different planets. Perhaps this explains their animosity towards each other.
There is no better man to beat on his 1000th game for Arsene Wenger than Jose Mourinho. And there has hardly been a more important match for the Gunners over the last nine long years without a trophy.
This has all the makings of an epic heavyweight contest of the likes of Muhammad Ali vs. George Foreman.
Neither man will want to lose, and that guarantees a cracking game.
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