With the London Derby between Chelsea and Arsenal set for this weekend, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho apparently believes now is the appropriate time to make comments teasing a possible move to Arsenal at a future date.
As expected, Mourinho was a bit cryptic and aloof with his remarks, saying, “one day I will leave Chelsea and when I do I will continue living in London.” Mourinho then rattled off the possible jobs for a football manager living in London, which includes Tottenham, Queens Park Rangers, West Ham United, the English National Team, and of course, Arsenal.
Those comments were in response to an inquiry from Arsenal fan Piers Morgan if Mourinho would ever have interest in managing the Gunners. Morgan is a well-known Arsenal fan who has frequently campaigned to have Arsene Wenger fired.
Always one to shoot for the top, Mourinho ruled out managing a club not in Champions League, concluding, “We are left with two options, yes? Arsenal and the England national team.” Thus, we have Mourinho hinting that he may want to become the manager of Arsenal one day.
Of course, last week in the lead up to Chelsea’s match against Everton, Mourinho proclaimed that he’d never “walk away” from Chelsea and that the club would never fire him. Of course, thinking that Roman Abramovich would never fire him or anyone else is foolhardy thinking, even for Mourinho.
Obviously, Wenger appears to be in the twilight of his managerial career, as he’s 65 years old and has been with Arsenal for nearly two decades. With that in mind, Arsenal may be in the market for a new manager sooner rather than later, and considering Chelsea’s start to the current campaign, Mourinho could be looking for work sooner rather than later as well.
But does Mourinho really want to become the manager of Arsenal? Perhaps, but this is most likely another one of his head games leading up to his showdown with the Gunners on Saturday. After all, Mourinho and Wenger make up one of the bitterest managerial rivalries in the Premier League. Their feud is highlighted by their physical altercation during a match last October, followed by the two snubbing one another after Arsenal took home the Community Shield last month.
To think that Mourinho is actually campaigning for the Arsenal job is nonsensical. However, from Mourinho’s point of view, it could be a way to get inside the head of Wenger and gain a psychological edge by having the aging Frenchman think that Mourinho is coming for his job. After all, while Arsenal currently sits in the top-4 of the table, within striking distance of the top spot, Chelsea is desperate for a win this weekend against their London rivals and Mourinho could be looking for any advantage he can find.