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October 2020

Wenger, Mourinho Drama – Good Usually Triumphs.

By Tai Emeka Obasi.

Wenger, Mourinho Drama – Good Usually Triumphs.

As a man who earns his living authoring books of fiction and scripting movies, I may say I’m quite schooled in the protagonist and antagonist world of make-believe. Writers love to play God and if you happen to live within this most-times-alluring fantasy world you can only succeed if you play Him to a convincing degree.

There’s certainly no better market to buy your utopian powers from than the holy books.  God gave the ultimate antagonist, the Devil, unbelievable powers! Yet the master plotter Himself expects man to subdue this ever-lurking-around bad guy.  And that’s tough.  Very tough! But God is God. He chooses whom to bless and turns His back on those He wishes to turn His back on.  Which especially includes those who press the self-destruct button.

So when a certain Jose Mourinho arrived in England aged 41, he carried with him the overwhelming airs of a very successful football tactician. Having just won the UEFA Champions League with a modest outfit like Porto Fc in his home country, he was set for the future.

One could feel the strength of character, observe the seeming charisma, the newest actor in the global football circles… but behind all those was an overshadowing arrogance. It could be seen quite clearly from television screens all over the globe. The mischievous grin, the darting eyes, the evident carriage of I-know-it-all couriered nothing else but egotism – the very worst of it. As if one was in doubt, the self-acclaim, ‘The Special One’ summed up an individual, who believed the football world was his.

But is this going to be all about Mourinho and his antics? Definitely not. In well-scripted movies, the antagonist hardly overshadows the protagonist.

So, let’s introduce Arsene Wenger. Here is a man who sleeps, wakes, eats, drinks football. He loves the game so passionately that every effort he makes towards the game is the certainty that the beautiful game remains ever beautiful long after he’s gone. His philosophy is that football must not only remain a grade A entertainment sport that should be played without malice, dubiousness and crass disregard to its rules, but that it must also be a top-grade business to be engaged in.

Wenger’s strong-held views of the game he loves so much include but not limited to the following:

  1. A football club MUST be a profit-oriented entity. Whoever is interested in investing in the game must reap returns like other businesses the world over.
  1. A football club MUST, at all costs, avoid living above resources it could generate.
  1. Players MUST be respected and given enough chance to recover from loss of form and injuries instead of expressly signing others to replace those affected with such minor blips, thereby denting morale and psychology that could lead to premature end of career.
  1. Upcoming players MUST be nurtured, given their chances early enough in order not to lose such talents to frustration and career crisis.

The list could continue…

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Le Prof came to England, a good eight years earlier than his opposite, Mourinho.  Within those eight years, he won everything worthy in England there could be won, including two doubles and an unprecedented unbeaten season that stretched to 49 league games. Still a record that will take some beating!

But the Frenchman knew just trophies were not enough to sustain any club from bankruptcy… a big stadium, attracting big sponsorship and endorsements were needed. Hence, the little Highbury arena that squeezed in just 38,419 fans at its seams was no longer befitting for a club the status of the modern Arsenal he wanted to leave behind deserved. So, the Emirates was planned… and what an edifice to behold!

With over 60,000 capacity, the Emirates remains a statement no amount of trophies could ever equal in this modern era. The rest, they say, is history.

But that history would not be complete if one skipped the fact that despite selling players after players while this transition was being manoeuvred, Wenger and Arsenal never went missing on the Europe’s biggest stage – the Champions League.  It doesn’t just end there…all that while, however tough the group, whatever the inconsistencies and upsets, Arsenal always qualified for the knock-out stage or second round of matches. At the thick of it, they even got to the final in 2006!

It may be noteworthy to add that since Wenger’s coming, no team in the English soil has managed to stay in the top 4 with same consistency, despite none going through such huge financially-indulging transition. Neither have the Manchester Uniteds, Chelseas, Manchester Citys ever maintained same consistency of grasping knockout stages from respective groups. The Liverpools, Tottenhams, Evertons, despite huge investments in player acquisitions, couldn’t displace Arsenal from their permanent Top 4 status.

Time to bring back our antagonist. One billionaire in name of Roman Abravomich. The Russian oil tycoon was looking for a part-time hobby to take care of his amusement. He chose football, bought Chelsea and introduced the ‘Special One’ to the big stage.  For the continued beauty of the game, Roman should have saved the game the trouble of the loquacious Portuguese or better still found another means of amusement. But the innocent-looking Russian didn’t. And as a result, the English game lost its tranquillity. It didn’t end there – Roman’s billions turned Mourinho from a game tactician to a vociferous braggart, insulting just anybody in world football that picked his fancy.

And take this home, Wenger and Arsenal were fancy spots Mourinho hourly picked on even after Roman had had enough and booted the ex-Porto coach out of England in that hilarious coinage – mutual consent. All the while the British press, who besides Roman’s billions contributed immensely in turning Mourinho into the monster he  revelled as the foul-mouthed Portuguese insulted Wenger and Arsenal.

But Mourinho was not just a plain troublemaker. No. He was smart, still smart. While words like ‘decorum’ and ‘respect’ wouldn’t be found on any page of his dictionary, ‘smart’ would start every page.  He was spending millions all over Europe, winning his trophies, putting the game into more disrepute than his trophies were worth.  Yes. But the smart side of him told him Wenger’s eventual success on the trophy front would render him (Mourinho) irrelevant.

If Mourinho was a modest (another word not anywhere in his dictionary) man, he would have taken his sojourn in Spain to understand clearly he wasn’t the best in the world. Faced with a manager who matched him strength-to-strength in player quality, the ‘Special One’ met more than someone truly special. Pep Guardiola consistently humbled him that he (Mourinho), a very terrible loser, characteristically turned the beautiful and friendly sport of football into bullish fights – from ill-fated tackles to eye poking – which nearly destroyed the harmony in the Spanish national side.  He left Spain dented, but not completely broken.

There was still some pride left and his obsession to reduce Wenger to nothingness forced him to openly beg for the Chelsea job. And when he came to England for the second time, he made it clear he was in for the long haul, making statements that would suggest very long haul indeed.

He took off like he never did before…and some early signs of modesty seemed the Portuguese must have added some maturity after his tough spell in Madrid. But it was all a smokescreen.  Arsenal was his obsession and Wenger clearly his target.

Mourinho still believed players should be signed at all costs for trophies. Wenger still asked how much the trophies were worth to spend billions winning them. Unfortunately for the second-missionary Portuguese, the term, ‘specialist in failure’ didn’t stick like all other tantrums he had thrown at the French gentleman had done in the past. And from that moment, Mourinho’s demise took off. He had pressed the self-destruct button this once too often. He won the League title the following year…yes but only to prepare him for the ultimate disgrace. Winning the title at a canter meant his players were the best. Yet, with same set of players and few quality additions, Mourinho played 16 league matches, winning just four, drawing three and losing…wait for it…NINE!

Mourinho is a man who even while achieving much is still envious of his neighbour for achieving little. He hates Wenger for taking Arsenal to its present level. He envies a club that doesn’t depend on one sugar daddy for decisions and prompt actions. He envies an entity that has enshrined consistency in its eternal resume. He is still a great tactician but envy has consumed him.

The hallmark of good movies is that the good guy usually laughs last and best. At this climax of Mourinho’s demise will Wenger get his pound of flesh and win the title as a bold statement that Arsenal has finished planting and onto harvest times?

God, as the ultimate scriptwriter and movie director, would definitely give this modern-day drama a happy ending. Football is a sport to be played on friendly atmosphere where winners and losers hug and go home. Not a game in which winners curse opponents and play God. Football should be played the Wenger way…entertaining, fair in challenges and tackles, sumptuous goals and winning with all rules and fairness in the game. To protect the future of the game, Wenger should smile last. And that, would be God’s final curtain on this very cantankerous stage involving Mourinho.

I can’t wait for May.

41 comments to Wenger, Mourinho Drama – Good Usually Triumphs.

  • Big Lebowski

    Apart from the first 2 paragraphs and the last one referring to a mythical being a good piece.

  • Derek Papworth

    I like this very much.

  • Gideone

    A free-flowing, didactic, almost liturgical, Nigerian rendering of the Acts of Wenger and Mourinho in the beautiful game. Appreciated Tai – “your head dey dia.

    Someone tell Mourinho to repebt 🙂 😉

  • Gideone

    @Big Lebowski: Na you sabi

  • Gideone

    I meant: Someone tell Mourinho to repent 🙂 ?

  • Nonny

    Very sweet article Tai. I enjoyed every bit of it.

  • Ally2016

    Tai Emeka Obasi.

    You missed an important piece of information. Jose Mourinho has never lost a single match to Wenger with exception of that Charity Shield in 2015. This fact must be told when you are comparing the deeds of the good and bad.

  • Victor

    Great piece, Tai. And as it turns out, his pride did lead to his {self} destruction, football wise. Here’s hoping this experience humbles him and makes him wiser – and turns him to the real God. Mr Lebowski -a ‘big, mythical being’? That’s even more laughable than calling Wenger a specialist in failure. Please turn to Jesus, so you don’t end up worse than Mou…

  • Very good article, i enjoy reading, Mourinho should read this too

  • Roteh

    Your article was spot on.Keep the good work

  • chikezie

    well said, keep it up.

  • Sam Ezem

    This is good. It is the message we have been trying to pass on to some lovers of the game who think that football is only about winning trophies. May i also add that we now know that the arrogant one is not a football god afyter all!

  • Wumi_of_Christ

    uhm…perception… To you, He may be mythical but ask some of us, believe me, He is very real and tangible.

  • Tai

    Thanks @ all…

    Glad you found the article worth your while. The beautiful game must be protected.

  • Andy Mack

    I’m not so sure Le Prof wants to make the shareholders a profit out of the playing side of the company, but he certainly doesn’t want to make a loss. As everyone with sufficient brain cells knows, that’s just bad practice.
    I think he feels that any shareholder profit should come from the business side of the company, especially through marketing etc.

  • colario

    ”Mourinho is a man who even while achieving much is still envious of his neighbour for achieving little. He hates Wenger for taking Arsenal to its present level. He envies a club that doesn’t depend on one sugar daddy for decisions and prompt actions. He envies an entity that has enshrined consistency in its eternal resume. He is still a great tactician but envy has consumed him.” Quoted from the above text.

    I am not sure there is evidence for the claims made here. Yes I am aware of the many verbal attacks made by Mourinho on Arsene and others. What was actually meant,how much was just being provocative who knows.

    However that he was and may be is still unable to control his tongue is very sad, especially as he has stated that the late Sir Bobby Robson was his mentor.

    That he has moved from club to club may be solely due to his place of birth. Portugal is a small country, in order to prove himself as a great manager he needed to leave home so to speak. Had he been born in one of the bigger countries may be would have done an Arsene and established himself, may be he would have controlled his tongue.

  • SamuelAkinsolaAdebosin

    Tai Emeka Obasi, you’ve written well. But let’s forget about Jose Mourinho’s gibes for now as he’s no longer in the Premier League football management in England as of now, but concentrate on Arsenal 3 titles chanllenging.

    The most important issue now for we the Gooners is, will the Boss strengthens his squad with top quality additions in this ongoing transfer window?

    We the Arsenal fans have thought it wise the Boss strengthens his squad for the 2nd half campaign of this season that begins with our Ems FA Cup match against Sunderland this Saturday.

    In this our squad strengthening wish, there has been this strong rumour in the media that Arsenal are on the brink of signing a Basle’s midfielder to reinforce the Gunners midfield. If that rumour becomes true with the Basle’s player finally signed by Arsenal, it will turnout be a great signing for us I suppose.

    A news has emanated from the daily Telegraph new online claiming Arsenal have summited a bidding in excess of £40m to secure the services of Aubameyang from Dortmund. How far this claim is true is a matter of time to know if credence will be given to the rumour or dispel by the Arsenal Boss tomorrow in his FA Cup press conference.

    We the Arsenal fans have perceived that the games in all 3 competitions which Arsenal are vying to win the trophies therein, will be tougher than it were in the 1st half round campaign. And therefore not to lose any ground in any of these 3 competitions, Arsenal MUST consider stenghtening with at least a new top quality striker and a top quality midfielder to arguement the injuries suffered to their squad and upgrade option and cover in the Gunners’ line which I personally considered short with injury to Welbeck. I know Walcott can play there, but I think it will be better if the Boss leaves him to continue to manned the right mid-front 3 position as a first choice there.

  • Lanz

    Nice one, Tai. Tony & co, I also appreciate your choosing to be pretty much silent about the matter.

    Jose has a serious ego problem. Has anyone noticed that at each club he always has a player or two he simply cannot stand? Every club!!! May The Mythical Being help him!

    @Colario: Envy needs no proofs. Its fruits speak for it. Mourinho was mortally envious of Wenger!!!

  • Oshodi, Nigeria

    Mou the Moaner on the Mountain
    Heckled and humbled and humiliated
    9 Losses , No 9 lives After all
    Like a Ninja cat from Nottingham
    when you play God you enter the gutter
    entwines in a Gordian knot
    Beware and repent
    Don’t end up like those disproving God
    calling those that believe idiots
    thinking they know it all
    arriving at the square of those they seek to disprove .

    Mourinho , you hear it here first
    Wenger an institution , You a student
    Havard Colney and La Masia
    shall study Wengerianism long after he is gone
    But Your trophy haul shall be dwarfed multiple
    by this emerging generation of coaches and managers

    Mourinho, where ever you are, repent
    follow Jesus Christ
    and redemption shall substitute your free fall.

  • Usama Zaka

    Slightly off-topic, but it relates to Arsene Wenger.

    George Weah discusses his football career and Arsene Wenger

  • pappy

    Nice one bro…arsene is the best coach av ever seen in my life..#fact… also a good coach buh…why should him b pocknosing on others business when he also as his flaws?mou is proud,enivous….and other bad attributes isn’t far to him..iswear

  • Brickfields Gunners

    Awesome , well written and factual . Thanks , Tai .

  • serge

    Thank you so much.
    Best thing I’ve read on this blog for just about ever. Beats the regulars and indi writers and hope to see you back again. Perhaps you should script “The Arsene Wenger Story”

  • ARSENAL 13

    Don’t know about God, his script writing skills or his curtains…..BUT, Mr Wenger deserves to have a final laugh. After all hez been through, after all the sacrifices, he deserves it.

  • insideright

    Perhaps made all the more interesting when you remember that Abramovich’s first choice of club to buy was Arsenal (too complicated because of shareholder profile) with Spurs second (as usual too greedy and asked too much).
    Maybe if Roman had bought Arsenal Mourinho would have ended up there as replacement for Wenger when the trophies dried up because Wenger would have refused to just buy them via the transfer market?
    We should all be grateful that our manager has retained a club that we can be proud of in every respect rather than one built on sand.
    Actually the Arsenal Board should get a significant amount of any praise going on that front.

  • Mandy Dodd

    great stuff.
    Would love to see some of the AAA replies not published ….they can be quite particl to Mourinho

  • Fred

    Thanks Tai!Wenger is a nice coach, I love his play (conservative) and Mou is the direct opposite.
    so tackle people from their root-nature and you will be close to being fair.
    If you think wenger has a tradition of consistency, Then you should duff your harts to Mou that has shown great consistency in the strangest circumstances to replicate success.( e.g being a guru in medical field and Accounting-that’s how different and difficult Mou’s success is).

    They are similar in being driven by Objectives: Wenger is a biz man that is saddled with the responsibility of ROI (returns on investment to share holders and STILL maintains football beauty as his style) while Mou responds to Demand( first season in chelseafc was to give the Cup that was absent for fifty years and trailing extinction–so with his unrivaled wit he delivered and left the pundits to moan about Parking the Bus!…and has been driven passionately by success while Wenger by profit and beauty…

    I quote”Mourinho is a man who even while achieving much is still envious of his neighbour for achieving little” Wrong! Wrong !! Wrong choice of words… He is always after Giants not Lilliputians; envy is not one of them,instead insatiability… just a man according to economics. Mou has a loud mouth which is his tactics and grossly mistaken for many things…

    My friends there is no match for Mou yet in PL as it relates to achievement and ability, We all know the FACTS are not far-fetched. so STOP the beef! WISHING THE SUN AWAY because of the few moments of eclipse interruption is unwise. The SUN is THE SUN,So is Mourinho Alias Special One…

  • Its like looking into ma mind, & pouring it out with d perfect words i wouldnt av thought of… I enjoyed it

  • austinpaul

    Tai u made my day! Now I kno am nt d only Wenger’s apologist on d net;very coincise nd detailed post!I hope all AW must go ignoramuses will endeavour to read dis succintly crafted post! Bravo Tai for. Ur effort, Wenger to me remains d ultimate Manager a serious Club must hve in its ranks; d BEST in d world of Football nd sports generally, an embodiment of sports gudness worthy Of universal emulation; to me Wenger is it for another Arsenal 5 year term, in fact until his anatomical nd physiological make up call a date on him! As for MOU his envy of Arsene nd general arrogance plus lack of respect for anytin nd everytin including players, staff , collegues et al ensured his untimate decimation nd disgrace; am suprised he still. Wants to remain in England, d son of perdition must be shameless, I wonder which players would want to play under him or for him in d immediate future in. England after D Chelski fiasco nd unveiling of d real Jose*!

  • Incidentally , Wenger believes in God and strove to show His Creativity and Finesse and Fairness in the Football Landscape .His treatment of players and decorum is a derivative of his belief in a loving God Almighty

    Wenger is the closest thing to Jesus in football bar Kaka, Lucio, Luis etc who are also Christians by faith
    …No coach has emphaty-cally & lovingly mentored players from Africa with fatherly love like Wenger.
    Some call him “Baba -Ewe” in western Nigeria, a Yoruba adjectival phrase meaning ” Father of Youths”.

    Wenger is an institution to be learnt @ Harvard Business School and Footbal/Sports Academy all over the world .

    Wenger is an undisprovable witness of a “mythical” God.

  • Al

    One of the best articles I’ve read, well put. For all Arsenal and Wenger’s ‘failings’, mourinho was jealous of Wenger and the Arsenal model because he knew he could never achieve that, even if he tried for a 100 years. That’s why he reserved his most vitriol for Wenger, even though one could argue that his most immediate rivals should have been one of the Manchester clubs, and therefore it would have made sense if he had identified one of those two. But no, he wanted Arsenal, and went after Wenger at every opportunity. In Spain he identified Barcelona and their staff as his immediate rival, which made sense, and not some ‘struggling and mentally weak’ top 4 club such as Atletico Madrid, Sevilla or Valencia. Why?

    I also feel most of the resentment in the English media of Wenger stems from the same reasons. Perhaps that could explain why mourinho and the English media immediately took a shine to each other; they had a common ‘enemy’. We have a great coach in Wenger, a man that invokes so much jealous and hatred from rivals and even managers who should be neutral(some of these supposedly neutral managers have realised that they’ll endear themselves to the English media, even for a day only, if they manage to get one over Wenger, by hook or crook). We have a great great manager indeed. Unfortunately some of our fans choose not to see this.

  • Gaye

    Wow! Amazing stuff, best I have read in ages. Well done Tai

  • GoingGoingGooner

    Well that Spanish train still runs between,
    Guadalquivir and old Seville,
    And at dead of night the whistle blows,
    And people fear she’s running still…
    And far away in some recess
    The Lord and the Devil are now playing chess,
    The Devil still cheats and wins more souls,
    And as for the Lord, well, he’s just doing his best…
    – Chris de Burgh (Spanish Train, 1975)

    I’d like to think that Good always wins but…

  • Crovax

    As you proclaimed yourself “as a man who earns his living authoring books of fiction and scripting movies”, you will know that unhappy endings often make the best movies. Great story, though, and hopefully one that ends with the good guy on top for once!

  • Brickfields Gunners

    A pastor transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service. Only 3 people said hello to him, most looked the other way. He asked people for change to buy food because he was hungry. Not one gave him

    He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was told by the ushers that he would need to get up and go sit n the back of the church. He said hello to people as they walked in but was greeted with cold stares and dirty looks from people looking down on him and judging him.
    He sat in the back of the church and listened to the church announcements for the week.

    He listened as new visitors were welcomed into the church that morning but no one acknowledged that he was new. He watched people around him continue to look his way with stares that said you are not welcome here.

    Then the elders of the church went to the podium to make the announcement. They said they were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation. “We would like to introduce you to our new Pastor.”

    The congregation stood up and looked around clapping with joy and anticipation. The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. That’s when all the clapping stopped and the church was silent. With all eyes on him….he walked up the altar and reached for the microphone. He stood there for a moment and then recited so elegantly,
    a verse from the bible…..
    “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and
    you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did for me.’

    After he recited this, he introduced himself as their new pastor and told the congregation what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and bow their heads in shame. “Today I see a gathering of people here but I do not see a church of Jesus. The world has enough people that look the other way. What the world needs is disciples of Jesus that can follow this teachings and live as he did. When will YOU decide to become disciples?

    He then dismissed service until the following Sunday as his sermon had been given.

  • Georgaki-pyrovolitis

    I see a few God botherers have been piqued…

  • Menace

    Tai so beautifully put into language that is controlled and descriptive. Totally enjoyable.

    Wenger knows!

  • proudkev

    An absolutely brilliant article.

    So spot on it could have it’s own Domino named after it.

    The media and the AAA have treated Mourinho as some kind of tactical genius and used him as a weapon to insult Wenger. Arsene Wenger is in a totally different league to Mourinho, not only in football terms but on a human level. Mourinho is a MANAGEr of a team, nothing more. No manager in the last 15 years has spent more than him during his journey around Europes top clubs and little old Chelsea. He has had unlimited funds bestowed on him and in his time in England, used that to act as a playground bully.

    Meanwhile, Arsene was in the opposite position. Trying to balance the transfer fees and wages and being forced to develop young players – only to sell them once he had succeeded. Yet in a Country that despises wealth and excess, Wenger is treated as some kind of evil dictator and abused by a large section of the media – those who haven”t really got a clue about the game, despite their delusion.

    Mourinho is a scumbag that cares about nobody other than himself. He is also not a sspecial as the media say he is. Despite the highest wages, they were lucky to win the Premier league last season and this season Mourinho left them fighting relegation – the team with the hoghest wage bill.

    Wenger despite all the disadvantages he had to cope with, never finished below fourth.

    Different class.

  • Fred

    Why do people act the way they do? couple of times Arsenal trailed the top team, his very own rain abuses on him- Now you see why its not a surprise what you say about the special one…
    Even if you write a book comparing both, One always PALES compared to the Other. Just appreciate your own and be content, desist from spiting Mou

    @ proudKev”Mourinho is a scumbag that cares about nobody other than himself. He is also not a sspecial as the media say he is. Despite the highest wages, they were lucky to win the Premier league last season”…Who says He is not, Nobody but you and your assertions don’t count!!haha Lucky…

    I pray Wenger makes it to the PL CUP by finishing Tops–But just say Mou- the Special one is so Good……….

  • thierryhenry22

    Great article!! I honestly felt the same about Mourinho’s obsession for Wenger. I feel he actually tried to take Wenger out of the game and make him lose his job- but by doing so just suffered the same karma he was trying to inflict. Really enjoyed this article thanks, and thanks Untold, great scouting lol