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Mourinho focused on the present

Jose Mourinho has played down the significance of his personal stranglehold over Arsene Wenger ahead of Monday's top-of-the-table clash.

Last Updated: 21/12/13 at 09:51 Post Comment   

Jose Mourinho & Arsene Wenger: Ready for Monday's showdown

Jose Mourinho & Arsene Wenger: Ready for Monday's showdown

In nine attempts, Wenger's Arsenal has never beaten Mourinho's Chelsea and the 10th meeting takes place with the Christmas Day Premier League summit at stake.

Mourinho's Chelsea have won five and drawn four times in a duel which dates back over nine years, but the Portuguese insisted the sequence is merely because his side has played better on each occasion.

"It's not me against Wenger," said Mourinho, whose side could overtake the Gunners and go top of the standings.

"It's my Chelsea against his Arsenal. And that (the record) doesn't play Monday. It has no influence. That stat, for the game of Monday, means nothing.

"I just feel that we played better, we deserved more and we won these matches.

"In my time I remember just one game where we were close to losing, which was a game at home where (Michael) Essien scored the equalising goal in the last part of the game (in the December 2006 Premier League draw).

"After that, even at the Emirates, playing with 10 men for 75 minutes we played a fantastic match and we drew 1-1 (in May 2007).

"My memories are that against them we played very good matches. As a consequence of that we got good results."

Chelsea have already won at the Emirates Stadium this season, claiming a 2-0 win in the Capital One Cup two days after beating Manchester City in the Premier League.

Mourinho places no significance on the League Cup win ahead of this season's first Premier League meeting with the Gunners.

"Different competitions, different motivations, different responsibilities, different players in some cases," Mourinho added.

"Still Arsenal, still Chelsea, still a London derby, plus the fact that the first is playing the third, or the second, whatever you prefer.

"(It is a) big match for sure. It's a pity that it's not tomorrow (Saturday) because I'm waiting for the game and I'm ready to play the game and I want very much to play the game."

Given his record, Wenger may not be so keen to play, while Ashley Cole will require a late reprieve in order to feature.

Mourinho refused to publicly criticise Cole for attending Arsenal's Christmas party, but does not plan to select the England left-back at the Emirates Stadium.

On Monday, Cole will be "on the bench or at home", Mourinho confirmed.

Mourinho added: "From the beginning Ashley's not playing, (but) today is Friday, the game is Monday. Something can happen in between.

"I play (Branislav) Ivanovic right-back, I play (Cesar) Azpilicueta left-back. I play John Terry and I have to choose between (Gary) Cahill and David (Luiz)."

On the Christmas party, Mourinho added: "I have my opinion, but I keep (it to) myself. It was a free day for them, so I'm not a father, I'm a manager, and I can't control what they do when they are not with me."

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
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