Jose Mourinho claims Arsene Wenger deliberately avoided shaking his hand after Arsenal’s Community Shield victory against Chelsea.
A stunning first-half Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strike gave Wenger his first victory over Mourinho at the 14th attempt, and as the final whistle blew TV footage appeared to show the Frenchman walk behind his bitter rival rather than extend him the traditional courtesy on the touchline.
And when the moment was put to him in his post-match press conference, Mourinho suggested that Wenger’s actions were borne out of a deliberate desire to avoid acknowledging him.
“[At the final whistle] I was doing what the status of my club and my status as a manager what I have to do: wait for the winners in a way where you only miss me when you want to miss me, and every Arsenal player came in my direction which was the easiest thing to do because I was right there.
“If other people didn’t come in my direction it’s not a story.”
The two men have a long and acrimonious history of public sniping, with Mourinho infamously labelling Wenger a “voyeur” and specialist in failure” across his two spells at Chelsea and the Arsenal boss pushing his rival on the touchline during a Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge last season.
But when Mourinho’s accusation was put to him in the Wembley press conference room, Wenger was dismissive. “I shook a few hands today after the game,” he insisted. “There’s nothing special there.”
Wenger denied that he harbours any lingering resentment over Mourinho’s most cutting public insults but added: “I believe in a job where you have to respect everybody. It’s difficult job but it’s vital.”