Friday, August 8, 2008

No Wenger vs Mourinho Battle

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger regrets that there will be no reunion with former foe Jose Mourinho during the Amsterdam Tournament.

The pre-season competition sees Arsenal join Mourinho’s side Inter Milan, along with hosts Ajax and Sevilla, face-off in two knock-out games, but the draw ensures Wenger and his Portuguese counterpart’s team will avoid each other.

Wenger and Mourinho enjoyed a fractious relationship during the latter’s reign as Chelsea manager, with a number of high-profile disputes seeing Mourinho charged by the Football Association for inappropriate comments.

However, Wenger insists the rivalry was nothing more than professional chivalry, a sentiment echoed by Mourinho.

“I can understand your question because we had some battles,” Wenger said. “Unfortunately, Chelsea won many times.

“But I would have loved to play against Inter because they are a great side and it’s always interesting before the season to starts to measure against the top teams in other countries.

“It gives you a little bit of a view of how well you can do in Europe if you qualify and that’s why it’s very interesting to play different teams.”

Mourinho agreed, saying:

“Now that we are in different countries, we agree more times. I agree totally.

“I chose that for my pre-season we would play against Bayern Munich; now we have two different teams with the Spanish and the Dutch.

“After that, we go to Portugal and I think it is very, very important to play against different philosophies, different football, different tactics… make difficult things for ourselves.

“I don’t like friendly matches or pre-season to win 10-0. I like games against good teams.”

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