Jose Mourinho says he does not feel the need to apologise to Arsene Wenger for the notorious “specialist in failure” comment from last February, saying he would rather forget the incident.
The Chelsea coach claimed he only said it because of comments that Wenger himself made, and Mourinho has not received an apology either.
The spat came on Valentine’s Day last season, when Wenger stated that some managers perhaps talked down their title chances because of a fear of failure.
Not-so-friendly rivals Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho renew acquaintances in early October at Stamford Bridge. Mourinho has refused to apologise to Wenger after criticising the Frenchman’s recent lack of success of Arsenal.
Mourinho responded with his infamous barb, seemingly bringing to a head a long-running rivalry between the two.
Asked whether he was sorry about it ahead of Arsenal’s visit to Stamford Bridge on Sunday, he said: “I didn’t get an apology. I don’t apologise. My feeling about it is, to [get] over it… to forget it and to move forward without thinking about what happened, you don’t need to apologise.
“Intelligent football people don’t need that. Finish, move and let’s go for another match with big responsibility for both of us. We manage two big clubs in London and we have a responsibility not to win, but to give a good match for the millions of fans both clubs have, and the billions of fans of the Premier League around the world, to have a big match with no problems.”
In response to whether he regrets the comment, Mourinho said: “It was a consequence of something. It wasn’t a deliberate first option to say something. It was a consequence of something.”
Mourinho also denied that Chelsea would have any psychological advantage after last season’s 6-0 victory.
“The 6-0 is once every 50 years, not year after year. It’s something that happens occasionally. Me against Arsene Wenger, I never had the pleasure of playing one against one against him, in beach soccer or anything. I never had that pleasure.
“It was always between Chelsea and Arsenal, and even that doesn’t play an important part of the game on Sunday. This game is out of that context. What happened in the past happened in the past.
“Can we win again? Yes we can. But it’s a big match against a very good team, and a difficult one.”