COBHAM, February 15 – Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has gone one step further in his criticism of Arsene Wenger by claiming he would have quit by now if he had been as unsuccessful as the Arsenal boss.
The high-profile managers became embroiled in a war of words on Friday as the Premier League title race hots up, with Mourinho labelling his Arsenal counterpart “a specialist in failure”.
Wenger, whose side are one point behind their London rivals in the Premier League title race, claimed that many of the teams at the top are afraid to back themselves due to a fear of failure, with Mourinho having labelled Chelsea the “little horse” behind Manchester City and Arsenal.
Yet, just hours later, Mourinho hit back with his “failure” jibe, a reference to the fact Arsenal under Wenger haven’t won a major trophy since lifting the 2005 FA Cup.
– No trophy no contract –
Mourinho said that if he went even half as long as Wenger without winning a trophy at a club he’d resign.
“If I don’t win a trophy in four years then I don’t want a new contract – even if the club wants to give me one. It’s as simple as that.
“A manager should not be embarrassed if they give everything…But, for my mentality, I think there is a limit and you have to be strong enough and proud enough to admit when it is enough.
“The club (Chelsea) gave me a four year contract and that’s the period I will give everything to get results.”
When asked if he would be given eight years without a trophy like Wenger, Mourinho replied: “No. But I am not worried about it. I really believe in the quality of work. Sooner or later the trophy arrives.”
Mourinho, who apologised on Friday for branding Wenger a “voyeur” in 2005, added an explanation for his latest outburst at the Gunners boss
“I am annoyed because he loves to look at this football club. I thought between 2007 and 2013 it was enough time for him to forget it. It looks like he always likes to look at this club. Am I afraid of failure? What is that?
“I have lots of respect for him and he is a great manager. But failure is not winning a title for seven or eight years,” added Mourinho, who won the Premier League twice in his first spell as Chelsea manager between 2004 and 2007, as well as claiming the Champions League with Porto and Inter Milan and taking league titles in four countries.
– ‘Find another special coach’ –
Mourinho’s Chelsea side are away to Manchester City in the FA Cup on Saturday, where they will look to end the quadruple hopes of their Premier League title rivals.
“If Chelsea win they can’t win four trophies like their manager (Manuel Pellegrini) said was their target for the season,” he said.
Mourinho was hailed by Russia coach Fabio Capello, one of modern football’s most successful bosses for all his ll-fated time with England, as the manager of the year,
But the Portuguese believes another English top-flight chief is a worthy contender.
“I have to say thanks (to Capello), but I do not think I am the coach of the year. I think, always, the coach of the year is the coach of the champion. Always.
“And we can also find another special coach in somebody who has got a team in difficult circumstances and did something special.
“I’m thinking, for example, about Tony Pulis at Crystal Palace. (He took over when they were) bottom and many managers didn’t want to accept the job because the feeling was that the team had no chance.
“But Pulis has got the team and step by step – he’s done amazing job. I don’t think I am the coach of the year.
“I feel I am doing a good job with this team. But to be the coach of the year I have to win the Premier League.”