Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

Mourinho the wind up merchant + midfield confusion

Posted by James Dall on 23, February 2007

Morning fellow Arsenal chums. A bit of a slow morning in terms of news, I expect plenty more will come in after this afternoon’s press conference. I shall work with what I have available though.

The story most seem to be covering is this new ‘jibe’ Wenger has made towards Mourinho. He said the following –

Plenty of managers have won the Champions League who will not be considered great managers. What is important is that you look at their careers in 10, 15 or 20 years. What kind of quality have you brought through in your work and on how consistent a level have you done it? If you would like to compare every manager you give each one the same amount of resources and say: ‘you have that for five years’. After five years you see who has done the most. We played a whole season unbeaten in 2004-05 but you did not see me jumping on the tables every week. Winning the Champions League will not change my life. I enjoy what I do. My obsession is not to be compared. I have an honest commitment everywhere and after that whether people judge me to be great or small, half great or half small, is down to them.

Now I thought I would post what Arsene was responding to –

Many great managers in the world have never done it. We have a big example, not far from us. Arsene Wenger is a top manager in the world. I am not laughing, I am speaking serious. He is a big manager in the world of football and he had never done it. So when I did it once, I can thank god for that. I have that privilege.

To sum up, Jose is basically bragging that he has won the Champs League and Arsene has not. He is belittling Arsene in a way of saying, unlucky pal, you are not quite as good as me. This is sad really, hence Arsene’s point about the fact we went a whole season unbeaten and he never brings it up or boasts about it. Clearly Arsene wants to win the Champions League but unlike Jose if he ever did he would not use it in a fashion that would draw upon comparisons with other managers. Jose is a prat, he really is. Arsene has never beaten him and I hope to god this Sunday is the day we do. Accomplishing it with the youngsters would be an unreal achievement. So moving onto some news about the game on Sunday.Hoyte and Clichy both face fitness tests. By the sound of it Clichy looks set to be up so Traore will definitely start. Eboue returns to training today but will not be ready, therefore if Hoyte fails his fitness test I imagine Djourou will slot in at full back. The following players will NOT play on Sunday – Henry, Gallas, Lehman and Ljungberg. This means that the door is open to Rosicky and Hleb, one I imagine will start, the other on the bench. I have a pretty good idea of who might play in defence and up front but the midfield area is one that intrigues me. Will Fabregas play or Gilberto? Or will Diaby and Denilson be involved. I guess I have two idea of how things might be –

Baptista, Aliadiere

Rosicky, Fabregas, Gilberto, Walcott

Traore, Senderos, Toure, Djourou


Of course the other option is to go with maybe Denilson and Diaby centrally. Or even Denilson on the left. If Hoyte is fit I would think that Johanne will step in for Senderos. I hope things clear up after this afternoon’s press conference. I cannot wait for the game. That is about it for today.

Hooray it is Friday! Cheerio.


9 Responses to “Mourinho the wind up merchant + midfield confusion”

  1. Tallguy said

    I have to say, I think Denilson will play. He looked great in the semi and Cesc is looking tired and is not at his best. There are a lot of big games still to come for him.

    I think Diaby will play, but am sure Gilberto will be involved in some way too – how I don’t know.

    It pains me to do it – but I have to say Mourinho did nothing wrong. He was answering a question as to whether he would be a failure if he did not win the champions league.

    His point was that you do not judge whether a manager is great only on what one does in the Champions league. He is saying that Wenger is a great manager and yet he has not won it – all true!

    It is just mischief making by the papers and Wenger’s response is in a similar vein – more mischief making by the papers!

  2. GoonerTed said

    I have to say I don’t see Mourinho’s comments as moronic at all. When the Prof is asked similar provocative questions he gives similar answers. They get interpreted in the most sensational way and people like you grasp a shred of it and blow a gasket.
    Why on earth would Prof start with Walcott, Denilson, Diaby and Senderos? That would be suicide against their powerful and experienced team. Bits of Senderos are still being picked out from between the studs of Dogbra’s studs, and Denilson was could have been playing in a doctor’s waiting room for the all the attention Srups gave him.
    Fabregas has to start and I would imagine the midfield as you have it.
    Hoyte has the pace to deal with Robben but Djourou lacks discipline so that would be a worry.

  3. AlanS said

    Denilson will defo get a starting place, hopefully in the centre. I honestly think that Fab4 needs a rest, so I would defo keep him for the Reading & PSV games the week after next. Would love to see Diaby and Denilson as the midfield pairing, especially after the display against Bolton. Although, I do suspect that the Flamster may get a starting berth!!

    Anyways, when it comes down to it, what do I know!! C’mon the reds!

    2-1 to the Arsenal (Baptista and Rosicky)

  4. I take into account your points about Mourinho simply reacting to what has been said but he disappoints me. I respect him as a manager and a coach, clearly he is shit hot but at times he is deluded. To be honest I am fed up with not beating Chelsea, this weekned is either going to be a very enjoyable one or a terrible one.

  5. Fishy said

    I sincerely hope we rest Fabregas & Bert for this game as we sorely need the midfield maestro combo for the up coming Blackburn/Reading/PSV games.
    I think we’ll start with Flamini/Diaby or Denilson and Helb / Rosicky in the Middle, with The Beast & Aliadiare up front. Toure will captain the young side with Hoyte, Clichy and Senderos in defence.
    Win or lose its been great to see all the talent comming through, beating the scousers twice in one week will always be a great achievement! Lets hope we get a great victory and the club can get over this blip and get back to winning ways.

  6. Well .. umm as regards Mourinho, well he just did what he always does. Wenger has not once but on a few occasions now shown signs of a bit of impatience. We all remember the Pardew incidence. Indeed i do agree with what Wenger says , but i think his response was more down to not having beaten Mourinho so far in the Chelsea Camp.

    AS for the midfield… Fabregas has to be rested. Giberto i think should be played thou. In Henry’s absence you need him there to lead the team. No way you can keep him out i think. And i would rather have walcot up for once and hleb on the right. But Wenger’s the manager .. so all the best to whatever the smart man of the Immortal Season can conjour up!


  7. Luis said

    I don’t blame you for seeing this way when you’re reading the BBC and English coverage in general. Sports journalism in the UK borders more on tabloid baiting then it does journalism. Checkout the same interview but covered from another perspective.

    No offense, but the day Mourinho walks is the day many of us will hit the snooze button on the EPL. Great job against Barcelona this week!


  8. Tudor said

    From a non-Gunner: Respect. Jose wound me up too. I’m still working on a reposte on ‘Leaders wed Deserve’. Doubt it will be as eloquent as Arsene’s.

  9. […] to an excellent Arsenal website, Jose Mourhino has been winding up the opposition prior to the Carling Cup final. The BBC also […]

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