Chelsea v Arsenal: Jose Mourinho claims rival Arsene Wenger has been 'privileged' to reach 1,000th match

There has been no love lost between the pair over the years

Jose Mourinho paid Arsène Wenger a tribute of sorts, but made clear the pair were not “friends” and suggested that the Arsenal manager is judged far more favourably for similar indiscretions.

Follow Saturday's live Premier League action

The Chelsea manager was asked whether he was tired of being seen as the villain, with Wenger the hero, and he certainly agreed.

“Look, you see the charges from the last match, and you see I am different than everyone else in the eyes of people. That is obvious. It annoys me. Of course I am [treated differently]. I don’t know why.”

Mourinho was charged this week with misconduct by the Football Association for going onto the pitch during last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa, which he will contest. “For obvious reasons, I don’t accept the charges,” he said.

Saturday’s game will be the first between Mourinho and Wenger since the former called the latter a “specialist in failure”. The Portuguese was asked about that spat and asked for Wenger to be held to account as well. “You have to ask him if he regrets the comments he made. Then I’ll answer you.”

Mourinho contrasted his treatment with his own love for the English game. “Nobody working outside this country defends English football as much as I did during the five years I was working in Italy and Spain,” he said.

“I didn’t say that because I was expecting to come back one day, and wanted nice treatment. That’s not the point. Even after Saturday, I keep saying English referees are very, very good and I have complete trust of them. Even after Saturday. So imagine how I feel in relation to English football. But it’s obvious there is a measure for some and a measure for me. There’s a way where I can feel the differences, all the time.”

Mourinho said he would treat Wenger just as he would any other opposition manager when Arsenal visit Stamford Bridge today, but confirmed they were not especially close. “Not friends,” said Mourinho. “I don’t know your concept of ‘friends’. I don’t know if it is somebody you see three times in a year, and when you see them you see for five minutes or even less.

“To say that I am a friend with a football manager, a ‘friend’ friend, it is people that have moments and share something with me, I was their assistant or they were mine. So Louis van Gaal is my friend, I worked for him for so long. Other managers, you shake hands, it’s two minutes.”

While much of the football world was keen to pay Wenger respect, Mourinho’s own tribute was more ambiguous than most. “The tribute is to say that I believe that any one of us, we would love to have the same privilege with our clubs,” he said of Wenger reaching his 1,000th game. “There are many ways of paying tribute. I love my career and the experiences I’ve had in my career, but he’s in a position where everyone likes to be.”

Mourinho did point out, though, that Wenger’s longevity has included some periods of less success. “I admire him and I admire Arsenal, because it’s not possible to have 1,000 matches unless the club is also a fantastic club in the way they support the manager, especially in the bad moments and especially when the bad moments were quite a lot.”

Arsenal are making their best title challenge for six years, which Mourinho attributed to a change in Wenger’s philosophy. “They are different, for better,” he said. “They are a very good defensive team. They are a completely different side, going a bit against their ideas of attacking football.”

This Arsenal team is not as good as the first one Mourinho faced. “The team I met when I came to England in 2004 had everything to be admired, it was fantastic,” he said. “But there is only one Thierry Henry, only one Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Robert Pires. You have to try and build a second one.”

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Fans hold up a scarf at West Ham vs Liverpool
footballAfter Arsenal's clear victory, focus turns to West Ham vs Liverpool
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam