Analyzing the Jose Mourinho-Arsene Wenger Rivalry

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Analyzing the Jose Mourinho-Arsene Wenger Rivalry
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We've seen it throughout history, in any walk of life. When ideologies clash, conflict will always ensue.

Enter Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.

It will be 10 years this summer since Mourinho first came to England with enough swagger to consume the Premier League, let alone Chelsea.

From his first press conference, claiming to be the Special One, the Portuguese has set the agenda and it's often with him at the centre of it all.

This week has been no different, either, with Mourinho unable to resist a thinly veiled dig at his rival.

Clive Mason/Getty Images

Arsenal's visit to Stamford Bridge this weekend will be Wenger's 1,000th in charge of the Gunners and when asked to comment on the milestone, Mourinho's response was anything but complimentary.

Whereas some managers would maybe allow the sense of occasion to dictate a brief truce, the Chelsea boss wasn't willing to play ball in the slightest.

"I admire Wenger and I admire Arsenal, a club that stands by their manager in bad moments—of which there were quite a lot," Mourinho said in his pre-match press conference, as per The Telegraph.

If anyone was surprised, they shouldn't have been. It's par for the course where these two are concerned.

Neither Wenger or Mourinho enjoy giving praise to the other, and the Portuguese wasn't going to start ahead of a vital Premier League encounter that will help decide both teams' title fate.

It's a clash of ideologies with the pair but also characters.

Indeed, both Chelsea and Arsenal are fine examples as to the attributes of their managers.

Much like Mourinho, the Blues are an unrelenting force, a team that enjoys playing in the face of their opponent and isn't afraid to manipulate the rules when the time comes. Sometimes they will win in style, other times they do it ugly.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

Either way, it's success they are after and the Blues aren't too concerned how they go about obtaining it.

It's a somewhat different story with Arsenal, who never shy away from their footballing principles.

The desire in North London is to play beautiful, attractive football at all times, regardless of who they face. And despite defeats often coming on the back of this, the belief in their brand of football rarely waivers.

Wenger and Mourinho have their morals, but they're at different ends of the scale.

Both will maintain they are superior, of course—although, with Arsenal going without silverware for the best part of a decade, Mourinho often enjoys reminding his old foe of his shortcomings since 2005's FA Cup victory.

Whereas Wenger will risk success to stick by his principles, Mourinho cannot think of anything worse.

Wenger described this very attribute as a "fear of failure" in February, per ESPN. It may not be that drastic, but the mere thought of not succeeding has certainly motivated Mourinho throughout his career.

And that very notion is what remains the driving force in this rivalry. Mourinho may respect the way Wenger's team plays, but he likes winners and he evidently sees Wenger as falling on the wrong side of that line.

The Arsenal manager is the antithesis of what Mourinho respects.

Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson was a Mourinho manhe used to call him "The Boss" during his days as Manchester United manager.

With 26 years of success loaded behind him, it's not hard to see why.

There may have been bad times throughout Ferguson's career in management, but the Scot often recovered to rebuild his teams and take United forward.

Wenger's record in the 10 years since Mourinho arrived on the Premier League's shores suggests he hasn't. And Mourinho cannot respect that.

There have been too many "bad moments" as he puts it, and while he may have dressed it up as compliment, Mourinho was very clearly condescending of Arsenal's decision to maintain the services of a manager who has struggled to deliver success in the way he has.

Mourinho is a manager who thrives on the media attention, a man who enjoys manipulating hacks in order to taunt his opponents and make a nuisance of himself.

Jose Mourinho vs. Arsene Wenger
P W D L
Mourinho 10 5 5 0
Wenger 10 0 5 5

Soccerbase

Tongue-in-cheek or not, it's a strategy that has won him as many admirers as it has detractors, of which Wenger is very clearly one—mainly as he has often been the punchline to many of his soundbites.

Thus far, Wenger is yet to defeat Mourinho whenever they have come face-to-face. With his 1,000th game beckoning, could that time come at Stamford Bridge?

We'll find out soon enough, but one thing is guaranteed: There will be very little love lost come the final whistle at Stamford Bridge. There never is.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes

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