Arsene Wenger vs. Jose Mourinho: Tale of the Tape

Mourinho: Wenger is a specialist in failure (1:34)

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho described Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as a "specialist in failure" ahead of his side's FA Cup clash with Manchester City. (1:34)

"Story over. No problem. No outstanding issues." That's the official line from Jose Mourinho after the Chelsea manager's little altercation with Arsene Wenger in the technical area at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon, though it's hard to believe that the two men are currently adding one another's names to their respective Christmas card lists -- especially considering their previous.

With Don King (probably) already piecing together a prize fight between the two pugilists, we at Toe Poke thought we'd whet your appetite by bringing you the tale of the tape, beginning way back in the primordial mists of 2005.


Whereas the animosity between the pair was already percolating nicely, it took until October 2005 for the first real flashpoint to occur, with Mourinho publicly reacting to Wenger's continual complaints about Chelsea's lavish spending by branding the Arsenal manager a "voyeur."


"He likes to watch other people," Mourinho quipped. "There are some guys who, when they are at home, have a big telescope to see what happens in other families. He speaks, speaks, speaks about Chelsea."

Mourinho's seedy, if slightly tongue-in-cheek, "voyeur" accusations riled Wenger up into a lather (presumably after the Arsenal boss secretly eavesdropped on Mourinho's news conference from next door by pressing a glass to the wall), with the Frenchman reserving some particularly choice words for his Portuguese nemesis in response.

"He's out of order, disconnected with reality and disrespectful," Wenger snapped. "When you give success to stupid people, it makes them more stupid sometimes."

Claws away, gentlemen.

The dossier

Following October's prolonged catfight, November of 2005 proved to be just as fractious as far as the rapidly souring relationship between the pair was concerned, with Mourinho backing up his "voyeur" remark by telling the press that he'd compiled a dossier containing all of Wenger's anti-Chelsea remarks over the past year.

"At Stamford Bridge, we have a file of quotes from Mr Wenger about Chelsea Football Club in the last 12 months," Mourinho said. "It is not a file of five pages. It is a file of 120 pages so we have a very strong reaction. My objective is that it is enough."


'Specialist in failure'

Tensions between Wenger and Mourinho eased slightly with the latter's departure and subsequent six-year sabbatical away from Stamford Bridge with Inter Milan and Real Madrid, though there was still time for a few jibes here and there.

Mourinho's 2013 return to the Premier League then heralded a new addition to the footballing lexicon -- once more at Wenger's expense.

With Wenger diagnosing Mourinho's constant refusal to openly admit Chelsea were title contenders as being down to a "fear of failure," the Blues boss infamously retorted by branding Wenger a "specialist in failure" -- a metaphorical stick that has sporadically been used to beat the Arsenal manager ever since.

Incidentally, Mourinho still refuses to apologise for the barb.

Shove me tender

And lo, we arrive at Sunday's little touchline ding-dong.

It looks like Wenger is going to escape FA action, but don't expect this to be the end of the pair's feud. We're predicting "Le Professeur vs. The Special One" at Madison Square Garden is just around the corner ...