Jose Mourinho has hinted that Arsene Wenger’s continued presence at Arsenal is preparing the club for “failure” like the Manchester United boss never has.

The Portuguese coach is currently in his second season at United, having spent spells of three years or less at the likes of Porto, Chelsea (twice), Inter Milan and Real Madrid during a nomadic career.

Mourinho has claimed that he intends on staying at Old Trafford for longer than his previous appointments, though he has a long way to go to beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s 26 years at the club.

But responding to suggestions that his time at United – who are top of the Premier League table – will be another ‘short-term’ stint, Mourinho told The Times he lays the groundwork for future success compared to managers who cling on as a club begins to slide.

“If people say that because I win and leave, I have to accept that because in a certain period of my career I did that,” he said.

“When I win the Champions League, at Porto, at Inter, I disappear. I left Real Madrid when the club wanted me to stay. The only place I was sacked was Chelsea, but always after winning the title.

“If people say that because I move from club to club, they’re right, but I don’t think I am [short-termist].

“I prepare clubs for success, I think I prepare clubs in a way, where, when I leave, the new manager arrives at a top club.

“And that is not short-term even if you leave. If you’re in a club one or two years – or any job – if you leave a structure to be even more successful without you than with you, that’s not short-term. That’s long-term. That’s long-term.”

The Arsene Wenger Arsenal Years – In pictures

Wenger is facing fierce criticism from Arsenal fans and pundits after a poor start to the new season, with two defeats from their opening three games leaving the Gunners looking unlikely to push for Champions League qualification after missing out last term.

Asked whether he was speaking about Real Madrid – who have won three of the last four Champions League titles, Mourinho responded: “I am, I am, as an example.

“Short-term can be the guy that is at one club 20 years or 15 years or 10 years and leave the club in conditions for… what is the opposite of success? [Failure].

“One who leaves the club in conditions of failure. That is a short-term manager. You can be there 10 or 20 years and when you leave the club, it’s ready for failure.”

Arsenal and Chelsea fans are well aware of Mourinho’s fondness for the word, with the coach declaring Wenger a “specialist in failure” during their war of words back in February 2014.


Arsenal were trophyless since the 2005 FA Cup when Mourinho responded to Wenger’s suggestion that other managers had a “fear to fail” in failing to declare their title chances.

Mourinho said of Wenger: “If he is right and I am afraid of failure it is because I didn’t fail many times. Eight years without silverware, that’s failure.

“He’s a specialist in failure. If I do that in Chelsea, eight years, I leave and don’t come back.”