Arsene shakes off Jose blast

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (left) and his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger standing close by as they watch their respective teams play in the Community Shield on Sunday. The two later continued their long-standing squabbles with Mourinho claiming that
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho (left) and his Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger standing close by as they watch their respective teams play in the Community Shield on Sunday. The two later continued their long-standing squabbles with Mourinho claiming that Wenger snubbed him by refusing to shake his hands after the match. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Arsenal boss denies snubbing rival and says team did not change plan to win

LONDON • Jose Mourinho accused Arsene Wenger of shunning the chance of a handshake and ditching his attacking philosophy as the feud between the Chelsea manager and his rival continued in the wake of Arsenal's 1-0 victory in the FA Community Shield on Sunday.

Wenger headed straight down the Wembley tunnel after his first victory over Mourinho in 14 attempts, then walked behind the Chelsea manager, who was waiting to shake the hands of the Arsenal players coming down the steps from the trophy presentation.

Mourinho threw his loser's medal to a young Arsenal fan in the crowd but fanned the flames of the row with Wenger.

He has labelled the Frenchman a "specialist in failure" in the past and was involved in a touchline spat with Wenger during a league match at Stamford Bridge last October. Mourinho also aimed a couple of barbs at Arsenal during pre-season, ridiculing the theory that Arsenal are cautious spenders.

"We live in a job where you have to respect people and respect everybody," Wenger said. "It's a different job and it's vital. I've said that many times in managers' meetings that managers should respect each other."

Mourinho claimed that he had acted properly on Sunday, and did not even mention Wenger's name.

"I have to do for myself and the club, which is to be there for the winners, to wait for them in a point that you only miss me if you want to miss me," he said.

"Every Arsenal player came in my direction, which was the easiest thing to do because I was just there. And if other people didn't come in my direction that is not a problem, not a story and not the end of the world."

Arsenal played mainly on the break after the interval, when they already had the lead through Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 24th-minute strike. Mourinho said that he was not concerned about losing to Wenger for the first time.

"Thirteen matches is an eternity, too much," he said. "I never pay attention to that. The best team lost and the defensive team won. The team defends well and leaves their philosophy in the dressing room and changes that attitude and philosophy, and they accumulate 10 players behind the ball all the time and play all the second half with nine players in front of the box.

"This is football, this is very good tactical organisation and, in the perspective, they scored one goal and deserved to win. Congratulations to them. One team played counter-attack and one had the initiative and played well without the sharpness you need."

Wenger declined to say why he did not try to shake Mourinho's hand and denied that he had changed his attacking principles.

"I shook a few hands today after the game, but nothing special there, just that's it," he said.

"We abandoned nothing, we defend our game on togetherness and solidity, and on defending well and attacking well. We defended, because maybe it was a physiological hurdle Chelsea had in the head of my players. We were concerned at 1-0 up to protect our lead.

"We have to accept that. I don't think that's giving up our philosophy, it's the fact in a game like that, we wanted to win, that's why we behaved like that. I'm proud of that."

Wenger denied that it was a personal relief to beat the Portuguese.

"Honestly, I would say it didn't play on my mind at all," he said.

"As long as I get it served every time in press conferences, it can have an impact on my team. Certainly the way my team performed, it was important to get it out of the way."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2015, with the headline 'Arsene shakes off Jose blast'. Print Edition | Subscribe