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The Premier League sack race

Manager Watch about an hour ago
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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Dec 24, 2013

Mourinho shrugs off Arsenal criticism

Jose Mourinho has responded to Arsenal fans’ criticism of Chelsea’s performance in Monday night’s goalless draw by reminding them that Arsene Wenger is yet to get the better of him.

• Brewin: Holiday spirit missing
• McNicholas: Astute Mourinho
• Lythell: Mixed emotions

Over 10 games between the pair Mourinho is yet to suffer defeat against Wenger’s Arsenal, winning four times and drawing six.

Gunners’ supporters jeered Chelsea from the pitch and chanted that they were ‘boring’ but Mourinho shrugged off the accusations.

“I'd agree. I played against them 10 times and I never lost,” he said.

“'Funny, funny Jose'. Ten times, they don't win once. What do you want to call me?”

Mourinho was less happy to accept Arsenal’s behaviour on the pitch, claiming that the hosts’ foreign players have a bad habit of gamesmanship.

He added: “They like to cry -- that's tradition. I prefer to say that English people -- and I give one example, Frank Lampard - would never provoke a situation like that.

“Players from other countries, especially some countries, they have that in their blood.

“Foreign players are bringing lots of good things, but I prefer English blood in football and English blood in these situations is 'come on, let's go'.”

Mourinho was particularlyl irked by the reaction of Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta to a tackle from John Obi Mikel, a challenge he felt was fair.

“It was a hard one, an aggressive one,” he said. “Football is for men or for women with fantastic attitude.

“There are other sports without contact and fantastic sports and sports that demand a lot from the players, but no contact.

“Football is a game of contact. English football, winter, water on the pitch, the sliding tackles become at a fantastic speed. So be proud, play with pride.”

Overall, Mourinho was happy to come away from the Emirates with a point, leaving Chelsea in a strong position to mount a title challenge in the New Year.

“Happy with the result? I would say not unhappy,” he said. “We came to win, we wanted to win, we didn't want to lose. It's very important not to lose, because if we lose we are five points behind the leader.

“And, with a point, we are two points behind both leaders. That's a completely different picture. We tried to win, but we are not unhappy with the point.”

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