Is this Wenger's final dig at Mourinho?

Arsene Wenger Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has offered his thoughts on who should claim Premier League Manager of the Year this term.

The 64-year-old Arsenal boss paid his utmost respect to the work achieved this season by a number of his rival managers in the Premier League but, crucially, there was one glaring omission from his tribute.

"We have plenty of candidates. We have two kinds of candidates, those who win the league and those who don't go down,” he explained.

"Amongst those who don't go down you have [Tony] Pulis, [Steve] Bruce, [Gus] Poyet now who has done a magnificent job [at Sunderland] because he got to a cup final as well.”

"Then after that you have [Manuel] Pellegrini who will win the league. Or Brendan Rodgers who has done remarkably well because Liverpool also play a very attractive game," he added.

The French boss named no less than five of his rival coaches at Crystal Palace, Hull City, Sunderland, Manchester City and Liverpool but left out a very special kind of rival in Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

The Portuguese coach has riled the Arsenal boss on several occasions this term as well as during his previous spell at Stamford Bridge but Mourinho is not alone in his feud with Arsene Wenger – the Arsenal manager has had previous conflicts with Tony Pulis during his time at Stoke over Aaron Ramsey’s leg break injury, and Wenger has also been a critic in the past of Manchester City for their spending sprees in the transfer market.

From his comments, one would deduce that Wenger either genuinely doesn’t think Mourinho deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the other contenders, which is possible given that Chelsea look likely to win nothing this term, or perhaps he just doesn’t want to devote any more energy to talking about the Chelsea boss.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch