by Lewis Ambrose
At the fourteenth attempt Arsène Wenger and Arsenal finally beat José Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Much has been made of the rivalry between the two managers, with Mourinho always getting the better of Wenger on the pitch and frequently crossing the line in press conferences.
Now Wenger may just have the upper hand heading into the new season, beating Mourinho twice this summer. First the Arsenal boss clinched the signing of Petr Čech from Chelsea against the will of the Portuguese and now he has finally led his team to a victory against Mourinho with a 1-0 win in the Community Shield on Sunday, not that it means anything to the Arsenal boss.
“There’s an extra satisfaction because we won a game between two very good teams,” the Arsenal manager insisted to the media, but didn’t say beating Mourinho in particular meant anything. “We also didn’t concede a goal against the offensive potential that Chelsea has. At the end we wanted to win and we won.”
Though the negative record against his counterpart never affected him, Wenger admitted that it may have got to his players in the past.
“I must honestly say that it didn’t play on my mind at all. As long as I get it served every time in press conferences it can have an impact on the team. Certainly the way my team behaved during some periods in the game, it helped. It was important for them to get that hurdle out of the way,” said the manager.
It certainly is a watershed moment ahead of the new season. No more doubting ourselves, even at the back of our minds. We can beat Chelsea. We can beat Mourinho.
The two managers didn’t shake hands at the final whistle, but Wenger has also played down the importance of that along with the negative comments that Mourinho fired his way.
“We live in a job where you have to respect people and respect everybody. It’s a difficult job and we just think it’s vital – and I’ve said this many times in managers’ meetings – that managers respect each other.”
There hasn’t been much respect from Mourinho in the past. Maybe there will be some now that Wenger has got one over him, but I won’t be getting my hopes up