But, given the history of bad blood between the pair, Wenger appeared keen to avoid adding fuel to the fire by discussing Chelsea’s current troubles, Mourinho and their non-existent relationship ahead of their lunchtime showdown at Stamford Bridge.
The champions are languishing on the brink of the bottom three after their worst start to a Premier League season, while Arsenal are fourth, but Wednesday’s 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Maccabi Tel Aviv has lifted some of the gloom.
Mourinho also blanked Wenger following the Gunners’ Community Shield victory last month after making a point of shaking hands with each of the Arsenal players.
All I worry about is our performance tomorrow.
“I’m sure that when it comes to Saturday nobody will be stepping out on to the pitch thinking about midweek, they’ll be fully focused on what they’ve got to do”. “People come to football to watch football – everything else is secondary”.
“I select every player for the game because we have doubts and I don’t want to be in the situation where during the warmup somebody doesn’t have the best feeling and we have lots of players in this situation“. “We can wake up with a different state of mind”, said Mourinho.
He helped Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0 in the Community Shield at Wembley earlier in the season, so it will be interesting to see how he’s received by the Chelsea fans. “I leave that to the specialists and take care of my own team and my own problems”. Arsenal showed perfectly well more than anything else that they are vulnerable on the counter attack and they can as well lose chances.
“I always go to the opponents’ dug-out, or in the tunnel before the game“.
“We must forget cheap excuses and focus on the performance of the day”.
Meanwhile Arsenal have been in a good run of form as they stand forth in the league table with ten points in five matches, loosing only one, wining two and tied up in two matches so far.
“I try to use the best solution that gives us the most efficiency offensively”, he said.