“Arsenal like to cry, it’s a tradition” – Mourinho blasts Gunners forwhining over tackles
Jose Mourinho has branded Arsenal cry babies following an ill-tempered goalless draw at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsene Wenger was upset his side were denied a penalty after Willian appeared to trip Theo Walcott in the box, while John Mikel Obi escaped a red card for catching Mikel Arteta’s ankle in a bruising clash.
The result means Liverpool top the Barclays Premier League at Christmas for the first time since 2008, with Arsenal second on goal difference after leading for three months and Chelsea fourth.
But Mourinho, who maintained his unbeaten record against the Gunners, blasted Arsenal.
‘You know, they like to cry,’ said the Chelsea boss. ‘That’s tradition. But I prefer to say, and I was telling it to the fourth official, that English people — Frank Lampard, for example — would never provoke a situation like that. Players from other countries, especially some countries, have that in their blood.
‘If you have contact or the opponent was aggressive, let’s go, keep going, this is English football. Foreign players are bringing lots of good things. They come here because they are talented, but I prefer English blood in football.
‘English blood in this situation is: “Come on, let’s go”. The (Mikel) tackle is a hard and aggressive one. Football is for men or for women with fantastic attitude.
‘It’s true, there are other sports without contact; fantastic sports which demand a lot from the players, and I respect those sports full of champions. But no contact.
‘Football is a game of contact. English football, winter, water on the pitch, sliding tackles at fantastic speed. Be proud. Play with pride. If you’re hurt, OK, you’re hurt.’
But Wenger, when asked about referee Mike Dean’s display and having seen Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey exchange angry words after the Welshman kicked the ball out after Ramires picked up an injury, said: ‘Of course, I can understand that Mourinho thought he (the referee) had a good game. I don’t think he had a great game at all. I think it (Willian on Walcott) was a penalty. Honestly. If I’m wrong, I apologise. I’ve not seen it again, but it looked like a penalty.
‘I have to watch the (Mikel) challenge again. On the pitch it looked bad, but the referee was in a good position. It’s Christmas so let’s give everyone his own opinion. I’ll have mine.’
Arteta said: ‘I haven’t seen the challenge from John Mikel Obi again but my ankle is swollen big time. He broke my shinpad and he was late. Theo Walcott is saying it was also 100 per cent a penalty.’