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Dec 8, 2006

Mourinho chides Wenger ahead of Bridge meeting

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has launched a thinly-veiled attack on old rival Arsene Wenger's tactical ability ahead of Sunday's match against Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.

When asked if he was jealous of Arsenal's free-flowing brand of football, compared to Chelsea's elegantly industrial approach, Mourinho scoffed at the suggestion, mocking Arsenal's frailty that sees them languishing ten points behind Chelsea, despite having scored as many goals as the reigning Premiership champions.

Mourinho said: 'We are a team adapted to the reality, which is why Arsenal cannot beat Bolton at Bolton and why Chelsea under me have played three matches and got three victories at Bolton with zero goals conceded.

'For my concept of football, the best football is the football adapted to the circumstances.

'You cannot play against Bolton at Bolton the same you play at home against Watford. My feeling is that some teams and some managers play every game with the same philosophy, with the same game principles and with the same game strategy.

'Sometimes they beat someone 6-0 and sometimes they lose a game they shouldn't lose.'

Arsenal lost 3-1 away to Bolton two weeks ago, after Wenger had criticised Sam Allardyce's side's forthright style following previous encounters between the two teams, who many consider to be at opposite ends of the attractive football spectrum.

Mourinho continued: 'One of the strengths in football teams is to adapt to different realities which is what I am trying to do with Chelsea in England and Chelsea in Europe. Chelsea cannot play in Europe the same way it plays in England.

'We've played some matches at home with three defenders; we've finished some games with five players in attack. So Chelsea is an attacking team but adapted to the reality. Against Bolton if you don't defend as we did in the last 15 minutes, you have no chance.'

Asked if he would like to emulate the eye-catching football of Arsenal's 'Invincibles' of three seasons ago, when the Gunners went through an entire Premiership campaign unbeaten, Mourinho replied: 'Pretty when they were champions without defeat, yes. Not pretty when they finish fourth, not pretty when they had to win their last game to qualify for the Champions League.'