José Mourinho: ‘Big spenders’ Arsenal set for title challenge

Chelsea manager meant no disrespect when referring to Manchester City boss as ‘Pellegrini’

Chelsea manager José Mourinho gives no interviews while he is on his holidays. Photograph: Getty.

Chelsea manager José Mourinho gives no interviews while he is on his holidays. Photograph: Getty.

 

Premier LeagueWengerChelsea

Mourinho and Wenger face each other in the Community Shield on Sunday and the Chelsea manager firmly believes Wenger’s side will be challengers for the league title.

He was at pains to point out that Wenger has spent large sums to reach this point, including not far short of £100 million (€140m) on Mesut Özil, Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers since 2013.

‘Fantastic squad’

Mourinho, who leads Chelsea into the final game of their North American tour against Barcelona in Washington DC on Tuesday, also had words regarding Pellegrini. City’s manager conducted an interview in his native Chile last month in which he said Mourinho “wants to take credit for everything” and that “I differ from him on all fronts”.

Mourinho was at a loss to explain why Pellegrini was discussing his character instead of relaxing after a mentally exhausting campaign.

“When a manager is on holidays and still thinks about me, I have nothing to say,” he said. “I don’t know why he did it. In my holidays I did zero interviews. Since I left London, zero.

“Of course I am still thinking about football, yes but I don’t do any interviews, at least in that time. You are free of everything: questions, answers, controversy, interpretation and overreaction. My holiday time – zero. If other guys use holiday time also for interviews, it’s their problem.

“I finished the season, I went on holiday, nothing. To other managers – nothing. It is not a battle with the other managers. My team against the other teams, yes.”

Mourinho said he meant no disrespect in referring to the 61-year-old as “Pellegrino” last season. “I had a player called Pellegrino and because there were two in football at the same time, one was Mauricio Pellegrino and Mr Manuel Pellegrini – I always made a mistake by calling one the other. The last thing I’d do is show a lack of respect.” Guardian Service

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