Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has told Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho that the Portuguese should learn to cope after Wenger himself spent the duration of his 21 years at Arsenal in the shadow of the Premier League’s financial elite.
Following a 2-2 draw against Burnley at Old Trafford, Mourinho said that his lavish spending on players since he took charge at Manchester United in the summer of last year — which stands at £261m — was not enough to level the playing field with Manchester City.
A shade of schadenfreude flashed as Wenger smiled broadly at his old rival’s plea of poverty, before saying that a manager simply had to find other ways to close the gap.
“I have been in that position for 21 years, so I will not start to complain now,” Wenger, 68, offered. “There is always one team, sometimes four, who were richer than I was, so I learned to cope with that and to deal with that.”
“I think what is most important is you deal with your own situation as well as you can and, yes, Manchester City are richer than us; yes, Chelsea are richer than us and Manchester United are richer than us but I still believe we have to find a way to be successful.”
However, Wenger himself did not rule out making a new signing in January, although he anticipated that he would be busier fielding enquiries about his fringe players.
“I will be busy, yes, because first of all you have clubs that call you to get players on loan or to buy your players,” he added. “As well, I’m open-minded to any possibility to strengthen our team.”
After seeing the Gunners win 2-3 at Crystal Palace, Arsene Wenger also said that he is not worried over losing Alexis Sanchez next month as the player’s contract expires at the end of the season.
“I am not fearful but that will be a subject that arises because of his contractual situation,” said Wenger, who equalled Sir Alex Ferguson’s record of 810 games managed in the Premier League after the games against Palace.