Mourinho, Conte, Sir Alex React to Arsene Wenger Resignation


jose mourinho arsene wenger

(Update: five leading candidates to replace Arsene Wenger at Arsenal)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has announced, via an official club statement, his resignation, effective at the end of the season. Naturally, a football news event as massive as this has elicited reaction from all over the football community.

Many of Wenger’s former players and/or prominent members of the Arsenal community have weighed in, but what about the Frenchman’s biggest rivals? Three major Wenger opponents have all weighed in:

Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson (a manager that Wenger often is and will forever be compared against), current United and former two time Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho (his arch-nemesis, with which he has had frequent hostile rows) and current Chelsea boss Antonio Conte (the leader of Arsenal’s main rival, who might also end up leaving his club at the end of the season).

arsene wenger jose mourinho

We have reaction from all three, as this news was announced on the same day that Premier League managers typically hold press conferences.

“If he’s happy I’m happy, if he’s sad, I’m sad,” Mourinho told his press conference that was held primarily to preview tomorrow’s FA Cup semifinal against Tottenham Hotspur, but ended up a Q&A dominated by Wenger questions.

“I always wish the best for my opponents. You don’t know the way we respect each other even when sometimes it doesn’t look like we don’t. Players that get yellow cards and red cards by aggressive actions against each other; the manager is the same thing but the ones that respect more each other are the ones with the problems.”

“It’s power and ambition and quality against each other but in the end it’s people from the same business and we respect each others’ careers.”

Mourinho, who has referred to Wenger as a “specialist in failure,” had a ton of praise for the 68-year-old, which is certainly more than a bit surprising. He wasn’t done paying tribute either.

“I know what it means, three Premier League titles and seven FA Cups, what he did in Japan and France, what he brought to French football and what he gave to Arsenal in the period without Premier Leagues, the transition from stadium to stadium, we know what he did,” the Portugese added.

“If he’s happy with the decision, I’m really happy and I hope he doesn’t retire from football.”

Like Mourinho, Conte has a FA Cup semifinal to prepare for this weekend, as his Blues will battle Southampton on Sunday. The Italian believes that Wenger deserves a special tribute, as he’s a manager who’s longevity won’t be matched.

“He deserves a great tribute for his career. It would be very difficult to see in the future another manager staying for such a long time at the same club,” Conte said.

“Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger were a really good story for football. Now it will be very difficult to see that again, another situation like this. In the past you could have a story like Wenger’s story or Ferguson’s story. Now you must live the present in football, because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow — or even today.”

“To stay for such a long time and to work with the same club for such a long time, it’s not simple. Not easy. To imagine myself staying 22 years in the same club… it’s very difficult. For sure, you must feel the right sensation to continue to work for such a long time with the same club.”


As for Sir Alex, he posted the following statement via United’s official website.

It might be the greatest Wenger testament and tribute out of all the ones that we have seen today.

(For more Wenger resignation reaction and commentary go to this link)

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

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Powered by

Speak Your Mind