As he basked in the glory of his side’s fortunate win at Wembley, Zlatan Ibrahimovic summoned the spirit of Jose Mourinho.
Speaking after the game which had saw him continue his flat-track-bully routine with two goals that won United the match (with a massive helping hand, again, from the officials), Zlatan said to reporters, “We are winning. After seven months I have two trophies with this club.
“There are other clubs that didn’t win for ten years. I’ve won what they won in ten years, so I’m happy with that.”
Everyone has immediately assumed he’s having a dig at Arsenal and it’s not hard to see why.
Arsenal are, after all, the only club to have gone that long without winning a trophy in the history of football. You would never know that Tottenham, for instance, had recently passed the total time Arsenal went without a trophy between the their 10th FA Cup win and their 11th. The media started counting Arsenal’s years without a trophy after only a couple, and they didn’t stop. It was a relentless narrative. You know, you were there.
The two trophies Zlatan is talking about are the Community Shield and the EFL Cup. I’m not even sure that even amounts to half a trophy. Nobody in football thinks the Community Shield is an actual, real trophy, and I certainly can’t think of anyone who would use it as a tool for boasting. As for the EFL Cup? Only Spurs ever really cared about that. It was their last trophy, back in 07/08. For the record, that is Spurs only trophy since their FA Cup win in 1990/91 – 26 years ago.
So let’s assume, as everyone else is doing, that Zlatan is having a dig at Arsenal.
Why would he do that?
Why would he think to have a dig at a club he has nothing to do with after winning a trophy? He’s new in this league, he’s had no real beef with Arsenal.
It makes no sense.
Two possibilities arise:
- Zlatan still holds a grudge for being asked to trial at Arsenal 17 years ago. This seems highly unlikely given the career he’s had since. He’s had many, many proper trophies to gloat with. Using the Community Shield and EFL Cup seems rather odd when he could have used any one of his titles.
- He’s listened to Jose Mourinho obsess over Arsenal so much he’s been brainwashed.
Number 2 seems the most likely, right?
This makes me enormously happy. To think of Mourinho grumbling every day about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger, about the respect they get while he gets none. Happy, happy, happy.
Wenger is in Mourinho’s head more than he will ever be in the Frenchman’s. Even when Wenger has long gone from this game, Jose will still be crying about him.
Mourinho still doesn’t understand why he is not afforded the same respect as Wenger, especially given the ten-year trophy drought. He doesn’t understand about building clubs and not just personal legacies.
Mourinho doesn’t even understand that his own obsession with being respected is a large part of why that doesn’t happen.
I wonder does he have a little part of his house or office dedicated to his Arsene Wenger collection. A place where he can store every piece of press that shows Wenger being respected for something Mourino feels he got no credit for.
It’s not that hard to imagine, is it? Is it really any weirder than Zlatan bringing up Arsenal after a final they had nothing to do with?
Also, if we are counting Community Shields as real trophies, then Arsenal have won four in the last 10 years, not two. But of course, nobody counts the Community Shield as an actual trophy. Usually.