Month: December 2017

Arsene Wenger: Jose Mourinho should learn to cope with richer clubs

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.

Jose Mourinho says Man United’s £300m transfer spending “not enough”

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said that the club’s investment of close to £300m on transfer since he arrived is not enough to compete.

Mourinho’s comments came at the post-match conference of the game which his side only able to force a 2-2 draw with Burnley at Old Trafford.

While the result has reduced the deficit against Premier League leaders Manchester City to 12 points after United battled back from 2-0 down at half-time, Pep Guardiola’s side can stretch their lead to 15 if they win at Newcastle United a day later.

Mourinho was also reminded that United have dropped eight points from their past five matches, and asked whether such a gap might be unacceptable for a club of United’s stature.

“One thing is a big club and another thing is a big football team. They are two different things,” the Portuguese replied. “We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that is not one of the best teams in the world.”

“Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club.”

It was then put to Mourinho that Manchester United also had huge investments in the transfer market — with figures revolving £261m — he responded: “It is not enough. And the price for the big clubs, the price for the big clubs is different from the other clubs. So the big, historical clubs are normally punished in the market for that history.”

“When you tell [describe] a club like Manchester United, do you think Milan is not as big as us? You think they are not as big as we are? Do you think Real Madrid are not as big as we are? You think Inter Milan is not as big as we are? There are many big clubs and you say big clubs, I know what is a big club.”

However, Mourinho remains positive about the result against Burnley. While he was unhappy with his side’s poor defending in the build-up Burnley’s first goal, but praised the way they recovered from going 2-0 down.

“The boys do what they can,” he added. “They are trying hard with the problems we have, with the injuries we have. I am not happy with the result, I was not happy with the result against Leicester, but I am happy with my players. No critics to my players.”

Pep Guardiola sets Sanchez and Van Dijk as January transfer targets

December 22 — Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has indicated that he would like to sign Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez and Virgil van Dijk of Southampton.

High-flying City visits Bournemouth on Saturday when they go in search of a record 17th successive Premier League victory.

Still, the Blues are keen to strengthen their squad in the upcoming January transfer window, despite already securing a record-breaking start to the season that has seen them establish a 11-point lead over second-placed Manchester United.

They had previously bid for Sanchez in the summer — and effort that failed after Arsenal decided against cashing in on the Chile international even as the player enters the final year of his contract with the Gunners.

Still, despite Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger reiterating his stance that the 29-year-old will not be allowed to leave the Emirates Stadium, renewed approach next month appears likely.

City could also be willing to wait until the summer if necessary, however, as they are aware that introducing a new signing too early in the campaign may potentially offset the balance of their current squad.

Meanwhile, there has been contact between City and Dutch internaional Van Dijk as Guardiola is keen to provide back-up for his defence amidst enduring concerns over the captain Vincent Kompany’s long-term fitness.

However, they will have to avoid a repeat of the summer saga in which Southampton reported Liverpool to the Premier League for an alleged illegal approach despite a well-established transfer link between both sides.

Van Dijk had since been restored to the Southampton first team under Mauricio Pellegrino after having a transfer request rejected.