“When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent.”
Those were the words of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as he gave his arch-nemesis Jose Mourinho of Chelsea a proper dressing down back in 2005. It was only fair. Mourinho had suggested a month before, after all, that Wenger was some sort of “voyeur.”
Whether in disagreement over spending philosophies, development ideas, tactics, or trophies – nearly a decade later, Mourinho called Wenger a “specialist in failure” – this war of words (and, once, of handbags) has been a staple of the Premier League touchline.
But it’s a feud that won’t be coming to a head Sunday when Manchester United visits Arsenal for a crucial Premier League tilt. Sure, a Champions League berth is on the line for both sides. But Wenger, who called for peace on Thursday, was met not with derision as Mourinho addressed reporters Friday.
Rather, Mourinho offered there was no need to make peace at all.
“He doesn’t need to (make peace),” Mourinho said, as quoted by ESPN FC. “He doesn’t need to because there are no problems.
“In the last match at Old Trafford, we shook hands before and after. I remember that I still met him in the corridor for the press conferences, we shook hands again.
“He doesn’t need to make peace. When there is peace, we don’t have to have problem.
“I am a big boy, I’m in football all my life – I know a problem on the pitch the next day is not a problem at all.
“So for me, not a problem at all and I think he will be really pleased with me that I am going to change my team against Arsenal, so I think he’ll be really happy with me!”