They are two of the towering figures in the game’s managerial profession. Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho’s rivalry dates back since the latter’s first regime at Chelsea in the early 2000’s. There have been memorable yet infamous moments involving both when pitted against each other but who comes out on top when they square off? In the article, we take a look at several parameters which could influence our decision and then provide our readers on whom we think weighs more than the other.
Head top Head: Its simply a no debate here as Wenger has failed to beat Mourinho even once in 12 attempts; Mourinho winning 7, the rest 5 ending in draws. Chelsea have scored 21 goals against the Gunners with a majority of the share coming from the Blues’ 6-0 win last season which was incidentally Wenger’s 1000th game in charge. Perhaps the debate is skewed in the Special One’s favour thanks to his immaculate tactical acumen. Not only is it hard to beat Mourinho’s side in one-off games, Wenger’s side often lose control when in control.
Major Trophies Won: While Mourinho has won the league five times with Chelsea, Inter Milan (twice) and Real Madrid once in his career. Wenger though has won it thrice, all with Arsenal during his tenure at the North London side. But when it comes to win the Champions League, Mourinho has won the famed European title twice with Inter Milan and Porto while Wenger has failed to win it even once during his 19 years in charge. The former French Professor came close to lifting the title in 2006 but were beaten by Barcelona in the final at Paris.
Please note that we have not considered other leagues like the Portuguese Primeira Liga and the French Ligue One.
Sustainability: One of the key aspects that will go against Mourinho is that he has never stuck a club for more than three years in his career. His spell at Real Madrid could be termed as a failure but he did manage to do the unthinkable at Inter Milan and his first reign at Chelsea. However, talking about sustainability, Wenger clearly wins the battle as he has had to endear tight wage bills, oversaw the construction of the huge Emirates Stadium. Despite such financial constraints, Arsenal have never finished lower than fourth in the Premie League standings and have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League every time. Mourinho might not have been able to build such a long legacy at any club he has managed.
Style of Football: There is no denying that Wenger’s style of football is a treat to watch when at full flow. Mourinho though always emphasizes his side keeps his shape and then counterattack attacking the spaces left back by the opposition. This was Sir Alex Ferguson had once said, “Stay with your man, get the ball when you can and then counterattack finding spaces” Wenger though has always believed in free flowing passing style. As the Invincibles’ showed, Arsenal were a poetry in motion but were as hard as rock defensively when called upon action.
It’ s a tough job to pick out a winner from these two legends. But when it comes over a long span of time Arsene Wenger gets the nod. However in modern football when the owners demand instant results, Mourinho is perhaps the best in the world.
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