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Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Who's manipulating who?

The wires are reporting that Arsene Wenger is considering legal action against Jose Mourinho after his recent outburst where he claimed Arsene was like a voyeur with an unhealthy Chelsea obsession.

Seeing this news elicited a slap of the forehead and a large groan from myself as I wondered how on earth two grown, professional men could let things deteriorate so publicly. After all, neither of them has spilt the others pint nor looked at the others bird! Will we see the two men rolling about on the cobbles with the likes of Dein and Kenyon shouting "Leave him alone he's not worth it!"

All joking aside it's a pretty sad state of affairs and only going to contribute to an already frosty relationship between the two clubs and add further spice to what already promises to be a titanic encounter when the sides meet again in the Premiership in mid December.

So how did things get to this latest war of words? It does seem to me that Arsene has been very vocal about Chelsea over the last year or so with opinion as to how the club is run to the teams form and whether the Chelsea owner is good for the game. In response Jose has not exactly been short of an opinion or two hmself.

The only problem is it's not as if Arsene is sitting down at press conferences and ripping into Chelsea. No it's more a case of the press have deliberately been asking leading questions knowing full well that Arsene will be only too obliging in giving his opinion. After all, what makes a better story? Arsene talking about the current injury crisis or venturing his opinion that Chelsea are now looking vulnerable? And if his opinion provokes a response from Jose, well then they have hit pay dirt.

The press remind me of the kids in school who ferment trouble between two boys that eventually end up duking it out in the playground at break. I can just see it:

"Jose, did ja 'ear wot Arsene just said about your team, man? He said day was rubbish like. Nah man dat's well bad. Are you gonna take that? You can't let 'im say dat about your team. You should tell 'im back man, or bus' 'im up!"

After all who is getting anything out of this unseemly spat other than the press, who will waste rain forests in column inches on this pointless tripe? Possibly only lawyers (if eventually involved) and Sky who can build up the December game as a needle match.

With a plot worthy of Easterners that will no doubt run and run, who says the Premiership is boring this season?



Blogger RedsMan said...

The hostility between the two managers is continuing to bubble. Wenger seethes after Cole-gate, seeing the London mantle of best team go to the Blues with little in return from the Gunners to retain it and now being called "a voyeur". Mourinho continues to allow comments in the press to get to him to the degree where he has to make comments himself. Mourinho has a right to defend himself, Wenger stated the blues are possibly wobbling a bit,but I have always said the answer is in the league. Chelsea top, unbeaten, by a margin. Arsenal struggling to find a regular spite of form that most are use to seeing from them. There is no need to reply.

Legal action in the form of a libel suit, perhaps? Wouldn't Wenger eventually concede that such an action would take away attention from Arsenal's progress? It would have to be very needy, and I don't think it is. Mourinho has a point in that Wenger should concentrate on Arsenal rather than Chelsea, but as you stated, blindjak, Wenger is asked the type of questions that precede an answer twisted to mean something else.

The press, lighting the firework and then stepping back to see it go off.


11/01/2005 5:25 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

LOL...yes...grown men indeed! Nice commentary.

From ESPN Star Sports:
"Arsenal's strained relations with Chelsea reached a new low after Wenger warned that Mourinho was 'out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful'.

The Frenchman also added 'When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes and not more intelligent'. Wenger's comments were made after the Chelsea manager declared: 'There are some guys, who, when they are at home, have this big telescope to see what happens in other families. He must be one of them. Being a voyeur is a sickness.'"

I agree that it is the press...and managers generally don't read much of it I don't think! I don't think either one of the is too bothered...its' the journalists that are being arsey!!! They haven't thrown pizza at each other yet (or soup) that's a good sign! Also, remember how Wenger stepped up to DEFEND Ferguson when he got is THAT a sign that these guys make comments for fun?

11/02/2005 12:54 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, the press are simply wringing their hands with glee. Then Mourinho says, "We have a file... It's not five pages... we have 120 pages of comments" by Wenger. Who exactly is obsessing over whom? Mourinho and co. attempted to steal away Cashley; I think it only natural that Wenger would comment about this and how he feels about Chelsea's conduct in general, no? You don't see comments by him about Wigan or Charlton because either he's not asked about them or they're not juicy enough to sell. The questions put to Wenger in the past were about ManU, but they're struggling as Arsenal are. I seriously doubt that Wenger would take any legal action. He's simply pissed off and giving a warning to Mourinho.

What I'd like to see is press conferences where the "journalists" have to sit in dunking booths. If the manager doesn't like the question, he can pull the cord. Now that would make for entertainment.

11/02/2005 2:02 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

Anonymous, the 120 page report. LOL, Jose might be a great manager but I wouldn't want him as captain of the debate team!

And Wenger is perfectly entitled to comment on the whole Colegate saga but when should comments on such things stop? If he dredged u the way Chelsea is run from the top next month would it still be relevant? Led by the press he’s often had plenty to say about how Chelsea is run months after the sorry event occurred. I think at this point it becomes uncalled for. Not that his recent comments went beyond the bounds of team affairs and form I hasten to add.

I’d simply like to see managers ignore questions that have no relevance to the next couple of games they are playing when talking about other teams etc.

11/02/2005 8:27 am

Blogger T said...

Blindjak, I couldn't agree more with many aspects of your article. I like your response Nturtle, and also the dunking suggestion by anon- particlularly to all those journalists who worship Mourinho and say 'he is a breath of fresh air'(Jamie Redknapp also falls into this category!!)!

However, I'm going to stick up for Wenger in this sorry episode. Mourinho's comments were ugly and debase football. I have never heard anything like it from a 'professional' football coach and he definitely crossed the line.

As you say, the journalists ask questions about Chelsea, and Wenger gave his response. He said that after a long flying run, when you take a hit, a few hits may follow. He said this may be happening to Chelsea- a quite hopeful suggestion!... but also one based on experience. He told reporters this is what happended to Arsenal after two flying runs- one of 31 games (in 2002-03) and one of 49 games.

When I heard these comments on the radio I knew that Mourinho would use it as ammo to fire his players up for the Blackburn game- so from a tactical Arsenal point of view I wish he hadn't been so analytical about Chelsea!

I heard Lmapard after the Blackburn game and he talked disdainfully about Arsenal not winning their game, and I knew then that Arsene's comments had been used by Mourinho to his team's advantage. Fair enough!

But Mourinho's comments on Wenger were terrible. It went beyond the professional and into the personal. It showed Mourinho up to be an undignified individual, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the Chelsea players were embarrased and slightly lost respect for him for having stooped so low.

I reckon this will be the case for a lot of football fans and players.

11/02/2005 10:20 am

Blogger BlindJak said...

T, no disagreement here. If Jose had just stuck to ‘he’s obsessed by Chelsea’ I would have been whole heartedly behind him. But to add the slimily of voyeurism and telescopes etc makes it a more personal attack which goes beyond the bounds of team affairs and I have to agree unacceptable.

11/02/2005 10:47 am

Blogger Skippy said...

T, I agree with your comments. I was shocked but not surprised when I heard Jose's comments.

Wenger has taken a lot of personal attacks since being in the English game, but this one was a step too far, and I hope Jose gets sanctioned for what he has done.

Chelsea players lost the plot last night. The way John Terry ran towards the officials after the game epitomised this.

11/02/2005 1:33 pm

Anonymous Bart said...

I agree, it makes Mourinho sound like an arrogant ass when he says such things. He'd do well to stick with a one-word answer we often hear in American sports: "scoreboard."

11/02/2005 1:50 pm

Blogger BlindJak said...

Skippy, I’d disagree that Chelsea players lost the plot last night. In the second half the ref gave every dive he could to Betis and this did lead to a large amount of frustration from the players. After the game three players, Terry, Gallas and Drogba approached the ref to voice their displeasure (now an all too common place sight at just about every game in the prem) at his performance (I would guess). Quickly Terry and Gallas said their piece and left with only Drogba unwilling to let it go.

With the possible exception of Drogba this is hardly losing the plot.

11/02/2005 1:57 pm

Blogger SKG said...

if you thought wenger v ferguson was good, wenger v mourinho is looking like a record breaker!

11/02/2005 7:34 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

Chelsea were aggrieved with some of the decisions going against them for what they felt was diving by Betis. When a Chelsea player touched Dani, off the ball, Dani fell down as if shoved on the back. Lampard went over to voice his disapproval and was pulled away by Joaquin. I find it very, very annoying when players fall from the least impact of contacts, in any aspect of the game, for they are attempting to get an undeserved advantage. In the Inter v Porto game, David Pizarro went down too easily from Pedro Emanuel's touch for their penalty. I've debated that when you tackle in your own box, it is essential to get contact on the ball blatantly, because otherwise you have a high risk of conceding a penalty decision. Nonetheless, Pizarro dived, something that is so prevalent throughout the game that it seems par to the course in order to get that much of an advantage, referees still cannot decipher that which is genuine from that which is not, even at the speed of play.

However, as much as they are entitled to protest, blindjak was right about Drogba, particularly where he squared up to an irate Pedro Contreras and earned an unnecessary booking for kicking out at another player. And some of the frustration I feel is that they couldn't get to score, much less win, to the expected disappointment of Mourinho, having had good chances from Gudjohnsen and Essien. I wouldn't say they lost the plot, but a percentage of their frustration was down to being unable to break Betis, as well as the decisions against them, though decisions, home and abroad, have gone Chelsea's way too.


11/03/2005 10:07 am


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