Jose Mourinho’s blunt dig at Arsenal appointing Mikel Arteta as manager in rant


A LOOK BACK: Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho had a few things to say back in December 2019, on the very same day that Arsenal hired Mikel Arteta as boss

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Arteta gives Arsenal team news before Everton clash

Jose Mourinho isn’t one to mince his words.

And back when Arsenal were in the process of hiring Mikel Arteta as their new manager in December 2019, the current Roma boss had a few things to say about inexperienced coaches getting the nod over seasoned professionals.

“The only point I can find – and it is for us to laugh a little bit – is that years ago the best managers were the guys with more victories and now the best is the guy with the fewest defeats,” said Mourinho, who was Tottenham manager at the time.

“So Ancelotti has three Champions Leagues, won the league in Italy, France and England and won cups here and there – but Ancelotti has lost, I don’t know, 200 matches?

“I have lost 150-180 – Carlo is a little bit older than me.

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“I think now it is not about how much you won, it is about the matches we didn’t lose. So probably the best managers now are the managers with zero defeats.

“The only reason I can understand is that they look through the CVs and see guys with more defeats and guys with fewer defeats, so guys with fewer defeats are given the job.

“I cannot find another reason.”

While Mourinho didn’t specifically name Arteta, his rant was certainly inspired by the Spaniard’s appointment, which took place on the exact same day as his outburst.

Two years on and the jury is still out on Arteta, who has experienced many highs and lows during his two years as Arsenal boss.

The highs include winning the FA Cup in 2020 and masterminding a strong run in the Premier League this season following a woeful start to the campaign.

Arteta’s signings have also started to show their quality, with goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and centre-back Benjamin White performing particularly well for the Gunners.

But Arsenal’s rhythm can be disrupted at a moment’s notice, as they proved on Monday night, throwing away a 1-0 lead against Everton to lose 2-1 at Goodison Park.

“I’m very disappointed,” Arteta told Arsenal Media, following the defeat.

“I think in the first half we were inconsistent with the ball and we had some moments of control, we didn’t concede anything apart from the goal that was disallowed by the set-piece, but we didn’t have enough penetration or threat on the opponents’ goal.

“One of the few times we did it we scored a goal from Martin and then in the second half we had to grab the game and we tried to do that, but again, in moments we were sloppy.

“We created four big, big chances, with Eddie, two with Martin and then one with Auba at the end.

“And when you don’t put them in the net away from home it’s very complicated to win the game, especially if you concede in the way that we did for example with the first goal.

“We gave too many balls away too easily and encouraged them against the movement that they had in the press. The few times that we did break the press we were open on goal, but we have to do it much more consistently.”