Arsene Wenger has played down suggestions that Monday’s clash with Chelsea is a battle between himself and Jose Mourinho.
Although their relationship is much more cordial these days, the pair have famously bickered in the past with the Portuguese referring to Wenger as a ‘voyeur’ and compiling a 120 page dossier on him.
But the boss says it’s about all about what happens on the pitch, not in the technical areas.
“I just want my players to be focused on the game and not what’s happening between the two managers,” he said. “That is not interesting.
“We had three disappointing results – Everton, Naples and Man City. That’s why it’s enough. I don’t feel the doubts have crept in.
“We have been in much more difficult situations. Three big games in six days was difficult and I knew that somewhere, at City, we were in trouble. I feel the team has the power to respond.”
And with Mourinho lauding Arsenal’s capture of Mesut Ozil – who played under him at Real Madrid – Wenger feels that it’s more even between the two clubs these days.
“I think it is more of a level playing field. We had restricted financial resources for years. Everybody knows that. It’s simple.”
There is, of course, the record of Wenger never having beaten a Mourinho managed side. A record that’s perfectly set up for being smashed tomorrow night.