The surprise London rival who Jose Mourinho considers his friend

Sam Allardyce Press Conference Disappointed 12/02/2014

It is no secret that Chelsea boss and Arsenal manager Wenger are often at war but there is another - West Ham United man - who he deems a surprise ally.

Considering the headlines Jose Mourinho made recently due to his 'failure specialist' comments aimed at Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, it is perhaps no surprise that the Frenchman is not mentioned when the Chelsea boss ponders the friendships he has made with rivals who fight for the same titles.

However, one man he does list as an ally - Sam Allardyce, or Big Sam as Jose calls him - does raise an eyebrow, particularly when one remembers back to how intensely the Englishman made Mourinho fume last season with, what Jose believed, was 19th century football.

"Big Sam - we live in the same city, we work in the same city, we like each other," said the charismatic Portuguese when answering a question from talkSPORT about whether he feels he can maintain good relations with his former mentor Louis van Gaal now the Dutchman is in charge of Manchester United.

"Do we have conditions to feed day by day that relationship? It’s very difficult. But good feelings? I have with lots of them."

The first time Mourinho faced van Gaal in a competitive environment was at the end of the 2009-10 season when Internazionale competed against Bayarn Munich in the Champions League final - Mourinho and Inter Milan were victorious.

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch