Jose jumps the gun in war of words

The master of the mind games, Jose Mourinho (above), is at it again, goading Arsene Wenger and mocking Manuel Pellegrini.
The master of the mind games, Jose Mourinho (above), is at it again, goading Arsene Wenger and mocking Manuel Pellegrini.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

Even before new season starts, Mourinho is in combative mood as he takes swipe at rivals

NEW YORK • Jose Mourinho has begun the mind games before the Premier League season by taking aim at Manuel Pellegrini and Arsene Wenger.

The Chelsea manager questioned why his Manchester City counterpart criticised him for being self-obsessed rather than enjoying his holidays and said anyone who thinks Arsenal are not among the big spenders should "get a calculator".

Mourinho and Wenger square-off in the Community Shield on Sunday and the Chelsea manager firmly believes Wenger's side will be strong challengers for the league title.

He pointed out that Wenger has spent large sums to reach this point, with acquisitions of Mesut Oezil, Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers.

Wenger has signed only the goalkeeper Petr Cech, an £11 million (S$23 million) buy from Chelsea, this summer, but Mourinho said: "If you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years maybe you will find a surprise.

MARKET METHOD

Next year we are going to make the first bid on the day after the window closes. On that day, we will do a bid for the season later. Because at this moment (it seems) the market is closed. We are in a strange world.

JOSE MOURINHO, the Chelsea manager, hitting back after Everton manager Roberto Martinez criticised Chelsea for going public with their interest in Toffees centre-back John Stones

PRESSURE TACTICS

It's a good market. That is why smaller clubs if they have interesting young English players they use that in the right way. If the big clubs don't want to go over certain limits, they've to make a decision.

MOURINHO taking a jibe at Everton, branding them small

BLUES AGENDA

When a manager is on holidays and still thinks about me and speaks about me, I have nothing to say.

MOURINHO taking aim at Manuel Pellegrini, the Manchester City manager, who conducted an interview in his native Chile last month in which he said Mourinho "wants to take credit for everything" and that "I differ from him on all fronts".

WENGER SPENDER

If you add up the amounts clubs have spent in the last three or four years, I think maybe you will find a surprise. If you put (Mesut) Oezil plus Alexis Sanchez, plus (Calum) Chambers, plus (Mathieu) Debuchy you will maybe find a surprise.

MOURINHO suggesting that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is not a cautious spender

"If you put Oezil plus Alexis Sanchez, plus Chambers, plus Debuchy, you will find a surprise.

"It's a fantastic squad with good players, fantastic goalkeeper, they are more than ready to be title contenders. Get a calculator. That is the easiest thing, it leaves no space for speculation. If you want to be honest, objective and pragmatic it is the easiest job for a manager to do."

Should one whip out a calculator, however, it would appear that Chelsea have spent more on new signings than Arsenal since 2013.

According to the Press Association, the Blues spent £234.2 million over the last two years. In that period, Arsenal spent £148.2 million.

But the Gunners' net spending since 2013 has been greater - £106.1 million compared to Chelsea's £50.9 million.

Much of that difference is down to Chelsea's need to balance their books in a bid to comply with the rules of financial fair play.

In recent times, the Blues sold the likes of David Luiz (£50 million), Juan Mata (£37.1 million), Romelu Lukaku (£28 million) and Andre Schuerrle (£18 million) for significant profits.

Wenger yesterday refused to respond to Mourinho's comments on Arsenal's outlay, insisting that others will be the judge.

"One day you will look at the players we have developed here compared to the spending of other clubs and you will be surprised," the Frenchman said.

" I get different reproaches - that I don't spend enough then I spend too much. I let other people talk."

Wenger was not the only rival that Mourinho had words for. The Portuguese, who leads Chelsea into the final game of their North American tour against Barcelona in Washington DC this morning (Singapore time), also spoke about Pellegrini.

City's manager conducted an interview in his native Chile last month in which he said Mourinho "wants to take credit for everything" and that "I differ from him on all fronts". Mourinho was at a loss to explain why Pellegrini was discussing his character instead of relaxing after a mentally exhausting campaign.

"When a manager is on holidays and still thinks about me, I have nothing to say," he said. "I don't know why he did it. In my holidays I did zero interviews."

He added that he meant no disrespect in referring to the 61-year-old as "Pellegrino" last season.

"I had a player called Pellegrino and because there were two in football at the same time, one was Mauricio Pellegrino and Mr Manuel Pellegrini. I always made a mistake by calling one the other. The last thing I'd do is show a lack of respect."

THE GUARDIAN

 

 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 29, 2015, with the headline 'JOSE JUMPS GUN IN WAR OF WORDS'. Print Edition | Subscribe