Arsene Wenger Fires Back at Jose Mourinho Over Alexandre Lacazette Remarks

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintains that he was being straight-forward and honest about his team’s fitness and injury information, specifically relating to striker Alexandre Lacazette, heading into last weekend’s home loss to Manchester United.

The Frenchman, speaking at his news conference ahead of the Gunners Europa League clash against BATE Borisov, responded to United manager Jose Mourinho’s very sly swipe at him. Mourinho accused Wenger of gamesmanship and intentionally misleading his opponent.

It was yet another chapter in the book of Wenger versus Mourinho: arch-nemeses.

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“I thought he wouldn’t play. In the end, he could play. What did you want me to do, leave him at home?” Wenger said of Lacazette.

“I’m always (honest). I thought really that he wouldn’t play, that’s what I had been told. After, he had a test on Friday morning and went to the game. We weren’t sure he would play but he tried and he played, that’s part of football.”

Mourinho pointed out how his arch-rival declared Lacazette, his leading scorer, completely out for the contest. Yet Lacazette played the full 90 minutes and scored the Gunners’ only goal.

In his post match interview last weekend, Mourinho took multiple swipes at Arsenal, calling the team out for alleged diving and Laurent Koscielny in particular. Then came the dig at Wenger over Lacazette.

“I don’t want to forget my congratulations to both medical departments,” Mourinho said.

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“My medical department managed to recover (Nemanja) Matic from a maybe to a yes. But Arsenal’s medical department managed to recover a player from a no to a complete 90. Amazing. I congratulate them all.”

Mourinho has continued this habit of doubting his opponent’s veracity regarding star player fitness information heading into the Manchester Derby. Mourinho said he doesn’t believe Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola’s claim that David Silva is a doubt. Here is a link to much more on that.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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