English Premiership

Wenger: Chelsea hoodoo over

2015-09-18 14:05
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho (Supplied)
Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho (Supplied)

London - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, while keen to play down his rivalry with Chelsea's Jose Mourinho ahead of this weekend's meeting, claimed on Friday that his players may have overcome a "mental block" by defeating the champions at last in August.

Wenger has still never beaten Mourinho in 10 previous Premier League matches and his team have not overcome Chelsea in the league since October 2011, when Andre Villas Boas was in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Last month, however, Arsenal won 1-0 at Wembley in the annual pre-season joust between the FA Cup winners and league champions.

"What's important is that Arsenal win games and it can sometimes be a mental block for the players when one team doesn't manage to beat a team, so on that front it was good," he told a news conference.

The Frenchman declined to shake hands with his opposite number after that match but was reluctant to discuss whether he would do so at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

"Look, too much attention is paid to it," he said. "People come to football to watch football - everything else is secondary."

Asked more questions about Mourinho and Chelsea's poor start to the season, he would only add: "It can happen. I take care of my team and my own problems."

Wenger is more concerned that there should be no hangover from the 2-1 midweek defeat away to Dinamo Zagreb in the Champions League after he made a number of changes.

"I take responsibility for my selection but I believe we can repair what happened," he told reporters.

"We're on a good run in the Premier League and it's important to look at that.

"Every defeat hurts but every defeat is an opportunity to respond in a very strong way.

"Usually different competitions have not too much link (between them)."

Wenger confirmed that England midfielder Jack Wilshere will have surgery on his latest injury - a hairline fracture of the shin - next week.

"It is a blow but it will not an impact on his future," the manager said.

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