It’s no secret that Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho hate each other.

While Wenger and Ferguson had ‘issues’ that were set aside when the latter retired, there was always an underlying mutual respect between the pair, pizzagate aside.

NYON, SWITZERLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum Chairman Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal FC Coach Arsene Wenger arrive for the UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum at the UEFA headquarters, The House of European Football, on Spetember 3, 2014 in Nyon, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)
NYON, SWITZERLAND – SEPTEMBER 03: UEFA Elite Club Coaches Forum Chairman Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsenal FC Coach Arsene Wenger (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images for UEFA)

But between Wenger and Mourinho there is nothing but animosity.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 05: Managers Arsene Wenger of Arsenal and Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea clash during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on October 4, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)
Off you shove… (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

Mourinho can’t stand the respect that Wenger receives for what he sees as a decade of failure. Building a club from scratch is not something Mourinho does, he prefers to burn them to the ground.

So on the day the Arrogant One finally got what he wanted and found himself at the helm of a club that is the antithesis of his own footballing philosophy, how funny it is that Ferguson was lavishing praise on the Arsenal manager?

A man holds a scarves featuring the image of Manchester United's new Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho are displayed for sale outside the club's Old Trafford football stadium in Manchester, north-west England on May 27, 2016. Manchester United on Friday anointed Jose Mourinho as their new manager to launch a third bid in less than three years to transform the Red Devils into a title-winning force again. After three days of talks, Mourinho agreed a three-year contract on a bumper salary reportedly worth more than $20 million (19.5 million euros) a year. / AFP / Clint Hughes
CLINT HUGHES/AFP/Getty Images

Sadly, when I went to read the comments printed in various newspapers online, it seems he said them a while ago in preparation for the Champions League programme and not in the wake of the latest manager to follow in his huge footsteps.

Still, I doubt there’s a millimetre of Mourinho that will enjoy reading the United legend and figurehead saying nice things about the object of his twisted obsession.

“He’s [Wenger] been fantastic,” Ferguson said.

“Now he gets a lot of criticism, but I admire that that you’re not going to bend to the will of the critics. He stays with what he believes in. And I think people who do that are outstanding coaches.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson (R) shakes hands with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after their English Premier League football match at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England on April 13, 2008. United won the game 2-1. AFP PHOTO/PAUL ELLIS
April 13, 2008 PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

“When you talk about consistency, Arsene’s never changed the way that his side has played. I think he inherited a team when he first came to Arsenal with Steve Bould and Martin Keown and Tony Adams – fantastic warriors – but his team evolved when they started getting players like Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Emmanuel Petit, Sylvain Wiltord. There was a change in the culture of the team. 

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal's French trio from left Sylvain Wiltord, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires line up a free kick during a champions league match against Spanish side Valencia at Highbury stadium in London, 04 April 2001. AFP PHOTO Odd ANDERSEN
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: Arsenal’s French trio from left Sylvain Wiltord, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires line up a free kick during a champions league match against Spanish side Valencia at Highbury stadium in London, 04 April 2001. AFP PHOTO Odd ANDERSEN

“They became a magnificent team and the particular experience that Arsene got with that team… he has never changed in the type of player he wants or the sort of play he wants. It’s always about penetration from runners off the ball, good passes into angles for the strikers.”

Jose Mourinho was officially announced as the Manchester United manager on Friday.

He has signed a three-year deal, allowing him just enough time to get United back in the top four, win the league, finish 9th, sell all their youngsters and get sacked.

[totally stole that joke from @Arsenalofka]

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.