Mourinho defends Wenger "name-calling"

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has no regrets over calling Arsene Wenger a "voyeur" at the low point of a relationship where there is now mutual respect.

the face off

Early in his second season, after leading Chelsea to a first championship in 50 years by dethroning Arsenal, Mourinho said of Wenger: "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."

The comments stepped over the line, according to Wenger, who considered legal action.

More than eight years on there has been a reconciliation between the old adversaries ahead of Monday's Premier League top-of-the-table clash at the Emirates Stadium.

Yet Mourinho stands by the comments he made in October 2005.

"No, I don't regret," Mourinho said.

"He was speaking about Chelsea all the time, always making jibes and criticism, and the money and this and that... it was too much.

"These are football fall-outs, they are not personal fall-outs.

"Football fall-outs you have today and don't have tomorrow. For me (it was) nothing."

During his near six-year absence from the Premier League, hostilities between Mourinho and Wenger have lessened.

The Portuguese added: "In this moment he's totally focused on his team and on his club. He's not looking to us.

"Peacefully, we are living without any kind of problems.

"I have a good relationship (with Wenger). I'm not saying friends because to be friends you need a close relationship and you need to develop that relationship, but I have lots of respect and no problem at all."

Arsenal have spent much of this season at the top of the table and Mourinho was asked to evaluate the Gunners' title-winning side of 2004 and the current team.

"I don't like to compare teams and eras and moments, because it's not fair," he said.

"They have a very good team, but Thierry Henry isn't there. Tony Adams is not there. The best, Patrick Vieira, is not there. Robert Pires is not there. (Dennis) Bergkamp is not there. It's not fair.

"It's the same when people go to my other Chelsea and this Chelsea. There is no way back. I don't think it's good to compare.

"The other guys deserve our respect because they were unbelievable, and these new guys, they also deserve our respect too.

"How can you compare a Chelsea striker with (Didier) Drogba? How can you compare an Arsenal striker with Thierry Henry?

"Respect the other guys and what they did, and respect these guys and what they can do."

Mourinho, who has never been beaten by Wenger in nine meetings, downplayed the significance of Monday's match in relation to the Premier League title race.

"I don't think it makes a big difference," Mourinho said.

"If they lose, they will be one point behind the leaders.

"After the Christmas period - three matches, plus the one on January 1, four matches - after these four matches we can have a feeling. Maybe some gaps will be open, some gaps will close.

"I don't think it will make a big difference for them. I think they will feel they are strong contenders, and I respect them as that."



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