Jose Mourinho Aims Dig at Arsene Wenger and Arsenal Ahead of Chelsea Showdown

Rob BlanchetteFeatured ColumnistMarch 21, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park on March 15, 2014 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho has once again made an inflammatory comment in regard to Arsene Wenger, ahead of Chelsea's crunch match in the Premier League with Arsenal.

The Special One spoke of his admiration toward the experienced French manager ahead of Wenger's 1,000th game, only to turn his remarks around in typical Mourinho fashion.

Hayters' Julian Bennetts quoted Mourinho during Friday's press conference:

Mourinho also said he would like to repeat Wenger's managerial longevity at Chelsea. Daniel Taylor of The Guardian tweeted the Chelsea boss' remarks:

Arsenal now sit four points behind the Blues in the title race and need a victory to stay in contention.

Their form has weakened in recent months after injuries to key players but victory over Tottenham looks to have reignited their challenge.

Wenger's domestic record against Mourinho is unimpressive having never beaten the Portuguese manager after 10 attempts in all competitions:

Mourinho vs Wenger Premier League head to head record
Mourinho vs Wenger Premier League head to head

Chelsea could potentially extend their lead at the summit of the Premier League to seven points should they beat the Gunners, and Liverpool and Manchester City post negative results, per BBC Sport.

Mourinho is the master of the mind game, and his approach going into the title run-in is a typically aggressive one for him. To target Wenger and Arsenal in his comments puts the pressure on them, reminding the country of the Gunners' trophy drought, which dates back nearly nine years.

Mourinho is the master of using the press and making himself the central figure of any controversy in the build-up to vital games. 

This allows his team to prepare with the spotlight off them and on their manager instead. 

It is a trick Sir Alex Ferguson played for years at Manchester United, and Mourinho has taken his torch and now carries it alone. 

Wenger should be wise enough to be unaffected by Mourinho's comments, but the calm approach of the Frenchman will be used against him by the belligerent former Real Madrid coach. 

Mourinho knows his Chelsea side are close to an unlikely Premier League title and that it is time for him to ramp up the war of words against all of their competitors.

If he can steal a yard on the clubs in the top four, it could be just enough to see the Stamford Bridge outfit cross the line and be crowned champions once again.