Jose Mourinho’s long-running feud with Arsene Wenger shows no sign of a reconciliation after the Chelsea boss appeared to launch an astonishing attack on the Arsenal boss.
Mourinho is seething at the Football Association’s decision to retrospectively ban Diego Costa for three matches following last weekend’s 2-0 win over Arsenal.
Costa is absent for the second game of his suspension at Newcastle on Saturday evening after being sanctioned for grappling with Laurent Koscielny, while Gabriel had a ban rescinded after being sent off for his exchange with the Chelsea striker. However, Gabriel has subsequently been banned for one match for his reaction to the original dismissal.
Mourinho refused to comment on the decisions, but instead appeared to wade into Wenger when asked about the pressure surrounding Newcastle manager Steve McClaren.
He repeatedly declined to name the Frenchman, whom he referred to as “the king”, but it was clear who he was speaking about. “I think in this country, only one manager is not under pressure,” Mourinho said.
“Steve is under pressure, I am under pressure, Brendan (Rodgers, the Liverpool boss) is under pressure, (Manchester City’s Manuel) Pellegrini is under pressure. “We cannot lose matches, we cannot be below expectations. “There is one that for some reason is outside that list. Good for him.”
Mourinho was repeatedly asked to name the individual he believes to be the exception but appeared to be referring to Wenger, who pushed him in the Stamford Bridge technical area in October 2014. He has been Arsenal boss since October 1996. “You know,” Mourinho said.
“He can speak about the referees before the game, can speak about the referees after the game, can push people in the technical area, can cry in the morning, can cry in the afternoon, nothing happens. Can be not achieved, keep the job, still the king. It’s a privilege.”
Mourinho insisted his comments were “not strong” and was asked why he thought there was an inconsistency. “A good question. I don’t have a theory. I just have a reality,” Mourinho added. “Just something that is real and is objective. If I speak about the referee, I am suspended. “If I push a manager in the technical area, I am banned from the stadium. “If I speak about players from other clubs and I ask for suspensions, I am in trouble. “So, clearly, the facts are there. I don’t envy (him). It’s good for him.”
Mourinho said the club were still awaiting the written reasons for the FA’s decision, although it is understood they were sent on Thursday. Following the midweek Capital One Cup win at Walsall on Wednesday, Mourinho said “retaliation is allowed” in relation to Gabriel’s kick which was aimed at Costa. Asked on Friday what he meant, Mourinho referred to the decision last season to suspend Chelsea’s Nemanja Matic for taking exception to a challenge from Burnley’s Ashley Barnes.
Mourinho said: “The reaction to something that happened before was always punished in football and now we now that it is not always. You can do that.” Radamel Falcao or Loic Remy will start up front in Costa’s absence, with Willian (hamstring), Oscar (knee) and Pedro (thigh) all fit to feature.
The Portuguese has never won a league game at Newcastle.
Asked why, he said: “They score always one more goal than us.”