The Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho loves talking about his accomplishments. And he tries spicing it up with potshots about his opponents, especially if it’s Arsenal! If it involves talking about Arsene Wenger then it energizes the Blues manager all the more.
But no matter how much Mourinho tries to provoke Wenger, the Frenchman keeps his cool. Of course, we are not talking about the infamous shoving incident which can be brushed aside as a one-off accident. So, the latest jibe from Mourinho too didn’t get Wenger too interested.
Mourinho spoke earlier this week that the Gunners’ boss will need a calculator because the club’s spending in recent years outstripped Chelsea. But Wenger brushed him off and said that he would not be interested in talking about the transfer spends.
“We spend when we think we have to spend and do not listen to what people think or say”, Wenger said.
Wenger was being practical when he said that any club would spend on their transfers when they have money. He was categorically mentioning that spending in the transfer market is not a signal of financial might – always.
Arsenal finished third in the Premier League – 12 points behind winners Chelsea last season. It is widely accepted that the Gunners will be the prime competitors for the title this season. And Mourinho must have been irked when his classy goal keeper Petr Cech chose to sign for his nemesis, early this transfer window.
Wenger was quick to point to his record of bringing through young players to the first team. He may have loosened his purse string a little bit by bidding huge amounts for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez. But, even Mourinho will acknowledge that the market is skewed up and inflated with the whims and fancies of the players and agents.
One thing that Mourinho conveniently bypassed is that the nett spend of Chelsea is brought down by some shrewd buying and selling. Mourinho oversaw the big money departures of Kevin De Bruyne, Andre Schurrle and David Luiz filling his coffers in the recent times.
Arsenal’s spending is not quite as dramatic as Mourinho made it out. The Gunners spent around £148 million since Mourinho returned to England in 2013 while Chelsea spent around £235 million during the same time. Mourinho may have missed out about Diego Costa, Filipe Luis, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas. Of course he will forget because he wanted to put one across Wenger.
The two managers will clash in the weekend’s season opener at the Wembley when Chelsea and Arsenal fight for honours. It may not be the marquee trophy in the calendar but both the managers understand that any good chance to put one across the other team is something they can ill afford to relinquish.