Jose Mourinho ramped up his long-running war of words with Arsene Wenger on Friday as the Chelsea manager hit back at criticism from his Arsenal counterpart.
Mourinho and Wenger have engaged in numerous verbal jousts during their time as Premier League rivals and there is no sign of any thaw in their frosty relationship ahead of their latest meeting at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
Mourinho’s Chelsea will be virtually assured of winning the English title if they defeat the second-placed Gunners, who already trail their London rivals by 10 points with six games remaining.
But Wenger is unimpressed by the manner of several of Chelsea’s recent performances, claiming on Friday that “it is easy to defend” as he reflected on the Blues grinding out narrow wins against Manchester United, QPR, Hull and Stoke.
That prompted a typically waspish response from Mourinho at his own press conference later in the day.
The Portuguese boss, who once angered Wenger by labelling him a “voyeur”, mocked Arsenal’s surpriseChampions League exit against Monaco this season and their manager’s lack of a tactical master-plan.
“It’s not easy (to defend). If it was easy, you wouldn’t lose 3-1 at home to Monaco,” Mourinho said.
“If he defends well he draws 0-0 against Monaco and wins in Monte Carlo. It’s not easy to prepare a team to defend.”
Although his caustic criticism of Wenger suggested otherwise, Mourinho insisted he doesn’t care how people view his Chelsea team.
“It matters what I feel, not what people feel, think or say. I don’t care about other things,” Mourinho added.
“We are the best team since day one and we want to be the best team until the last day. But, mathematically, they (Arsenal) can still be champions.” – Agence France-Presse