It is needless to say that Jose Mourinho is way better than Arsene Wenger in almost every aspect of managing a team and also a little bit better than Wenger when it comes to managing players individually. But the rivalry between these two tacticians has always been fierce and controversial in many ways.
The “Specialist In Failure” Comment made by Jose to Wenger is one such controversial jibe. Let us now compare these managers in the most preferred way of judging by using head-to-head statistics, and find out how comprehensively Jose has dominated Wenger over the last decade.
Jose and Wenger have faced each other 12 times in their managerial career and Wenger has not yet won a single game against Mourinho. Out of the 12 encounters, Chelsea have won 7 games, and 5 games have ended in a draw. Not just winning, but Wenger’s Arsenal has managed to score a mediocre 6 goals and has conceded 21 goals against Jose’s Chelsea in 12 fixtures.
December 2004 was the first time when these two met, and the game resulted in a 2-2 draw at the Highbury Stadium where Thierry Henry scored twice while Terry and Gudjohnsen scored for the Blues. The rivalry began from here as they both had different opinions on the referee’s decisions in that game. The second game resulted in a scoreless draw at Stamford Bridge in April 2005.
Jose’s first win over Wenger was in August 2005 at the Wembley Stadium in the FA Community Shield match that ended 2-1. The game also marked the beginning of Didier Drogba’s exceptional record against Arsenal. The Ivorian scored both the goals in the game and went on to score in almost every match against the Gunners. The next game was played in the same month at Stamford Bridge, which ended 1-0 in Chelsea’s favor, Drogba being on the scoresheet once again.
Another memorable win came in December 2005 when Chelsea defeated Arsenal by two goals to nil at Highbury. The verbal joust continued off the pitch regarding referee’s decisions. After the game, Wenger was in understandably frustrated state of mind and said,
“Essien was a straight red in my opinion. He did not play the ball; he played the player.”
Mourinho obviously thought otherwise and replied,
“I think he (Essien) deserves to be looked at as a great player and be careful of other teams’ reactions in relation to him. That for me is the negative point.”
The next game was a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, and it was Ashley Cole’s first game against his former employers in Chelsea colors. In February 2007, Chelsea defeated Arsenal at the Wembley in the League Cup final. Didier Drogba was once again the hero as he netted two important goals in extra time. The next fixture was in the Premier League and resulted in a 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium in May 2007.
Jose’s first game against Arsenal during his second spell as Chelsea manager was an impressive 2-0 win at the Emirates in the Capital One Cup. The next game resulted in a 0-0 draw at the Emirates in a Premier League fixture in December 2013. On seeing Chelsea play a very defensive game, Wenger lashed out by saying,
“He (Jose) is afraid of failure.”
Mourinho, as the world knows, was not going to pass up an opportunity to point out Wenger’s lack of silverware for the last 9 years and gave a rather controversial reply by saying,
“I think he (Wenger) is a specialist in failure.”
In the very next game, Arsenal were thrashed 6-0 at Stamford Bridge in March 2014. This season, Chelsea won 2-0 at Stamford Bridge back in October 2014. It was a case of salt being rubbed into open wounds for Wenger and Arsenal fans as their former captain and once fan favorite Cesc Fabregas was the star performer for Chelsea in the game.
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Edited By: Vikram Vadiganeni