Arsene Wenger admits he had ‘a lot of aggravations’ with Jose Mourinho in his first stint at Chelsea because Arsenal’s rivals ‘spent money they didn’t earn’… but their most infamous clash came 10 years later!
- Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has opened up on his rivalry with Mourinho
- The Frenchman admits it began with Chelsea spending big money back in 2004
- Both Wenger and Mourinho clashed on the touchline on numerous occasions
The long-serving Gunners boss had several clashes with Mourinho during the Portuguese’s spells with both Chelsea and Manchester United in the Premier League.
Both Wenger and Mourinho made barbs at one another in the press, while the duo were involved in numerous touchline spats after Mourinho took the reins at Stamford Bridge.
Arsene Wenger pushed Jose Mourinho during a Chelsea v Arsenal match back in 2014
The 72-year-old admitted Chelsea spending money they didn’t have started the fierce rivalry
The 72-year-old Frenchman, who is currently serving as FIFA’s chief of global football development, has opened up on how the heated rivalry began when the ‘Special One’ originally arrived in England.
It all started when Roman Abrahimovich took over Chelsea in 2003 before appointing Mourinho just a year later where they began splashing the cash in the transfer window.
The Blues signed Didier Drogba, Petr Cech, Arjen Robben, Ricardo Carvalho, Paulo Ferreira, Matej Kezman and many others that first summer, but that was just the beginning of the big-money spending.
Mourinho signed Arjen Robben, Petr Cech, Matej Kezman and many others when he arrived
Mourinho’s Chelsea signed Arsenal and England star Ashley Cole for £25million back in 2006
Mourinho’s Chelsea snapped up Arsenal and England star Ashley Cole in 2006 after a long transfer saga over the player between the two clubs, adding fuel to the fire between the two managers.
‘My rivalry was more with the clubs than the persons, I never made any statements on a personal level,’ Wenger told Sky Sports via Football Daily.
‘I had a lot of aggravations with [José] Mourinho at the time because I felt that Chelsea were the first club that came in and spent money they didn’t earn.’
Despite the rivalry going back to the beginning, the biggest bust-up between the two perhaps came in February 2014, when Mourinho taunted Wenger by calling him a ‘specialist in failure’ and later that year, they truly came to blows on the touchline.
Wenger had several clashes with Mourinho during both his spells at Chelsea
Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge in October 2014, a game that is best remembered for Wenger pushing Mourinho as the two clashed following a heavy challenge from Gary Cahill on Alexis Sanchez.
Mourinho responded to Wenger’s push by flicking his tie.
Wenger also waxed lyrical about the ‘turning point’ for football including the Premier League being the introduction of Financial Fair Play.
Tension between the pair had subsided significantly by the time Mourinho was United boss
Financial Fair Play was introduced in 2009 by UEFA as an attempt to curb excessive spending and to encourage clubs to pay out relative to what they earn
‘At the time you had no Financial Fair Play, since that moment in 2004, nowadays they have created a financial fair play and there is more control over the finances of the clubs,’ he said.
‘Overall that was the turning point.’