Well well well. Tonight’s match has been almost completely overshadowed by the escalating spat between Wenger and the Russians’ boss, hasn’t it?
While any war or words can come across as being unseemly – this one certainly has – in this instance Wenger is totally justified in hitting back, as it was – or can certainly be construed as being – a personal attack.
As Matt Dickinson in today’s Times points out, “Mourinho had described Wenger as a ‘voyeur’ who had a ‘sickness’, which, in any context, was personal and potentially offensive territory”.
Indeed it is, and Wenger replied accordingly.
“Everyone has the right to an opinion. If they don’t like our football, I can accept that. But when it becomes personal attacks, I don’t see why. He can talk about Arsenal if he wants, but I take the right to take action if it becomes personal like that.”
Then last night, another riposte following Chelsea’s defeat at Real Betis: “We have a file of quotes from Mr Wenger about Chelsea in the last 12 months. It is not five pages.”
“I accept the next answer being strong but it is time to stop because if he don’t stop we are there. We are in the fight.”
A file of quotes, eh? How very KGB.
Onto tonight, and Ljungberg’s injury has been offset by Henry’s return. This could well mean that Reyes will drop to the wing, as many people have suggested, but second-guessing Wenger is no good – we’ll just have to wait and see.
Either way, a win tonight and we’re through – how sweet would that be?
Enjoy the game. I’ll be at work, and I’m not in the slightest bit bitter about it, really I’m not.