Records Smashed: Mourinho’s Moaning and Wenger’s Woes discussed in Now and Then

By Rebecca Coles. Losing a Premier League game is one thing but losing an unbeaten record is another story. And after Jose Mourinho's reaction to last weekend's result and Arsene Wenger's back in 2004 when the same fate befell Arsenal – it’s also known to send managers crazy. The result of unbeaten records is the focus in this week's Now and Then series.

Jose should have been picking up three points last weekend but after Chelsea were defeated by Sunderland he decided to make a furious four points in a post-match interview.

However, congratulating Sunderland for smashing Chelsea’s home record and trashing their hopes of lifting the title was certainly not one of them.


Jose Mourinho was furious with Mike Dean’s decision to give Sunderland a late penalty

Instead he congratulated his players;  Sunderland for gaining 3 points and  Mike Dean for his unbelievable performance. Even referee’s chief Mike Riley got a mention for being fantastic!

Chelsea were left stunned by Sunderland. After 78 Premier League matches, the ‘Special One’ had forfeited his unbeaten home record.

Not only did things get crazy on the pitch after a controversial penalty, but off it too. On the sidelines Chelsea assistant manager Rui Faria reacted furiously towards the penalty decision in Sunderland’s favour. He was sent to the stands by referee Mike Dean. Ramires has not faired well either.


Chelsea’s assistant coach Rui Faria had to be held back after he was sent off by Mike Dean

It seems that Premier League records are the complete motivation for wanting to beat the opposition. And this isn’t the first time it has happened in the Premier League era.

John O’Shea revealed Gus Poyet had used Mourinho’s record as an incentive for a win that enhanced their fight in the relegation battle. United used the same criteria back in 2004, when they decided that they were ready to take down the Gunners and their unbeaten record at Old Trafford.

If you thought Mourinho’s reaction was explosive, let me remind you about Arsene Wenger’s outburst in 2004….


Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have shared an interesting relationship throughout the Premier League years

The season of 2003/2004 was a special one for Arsenal’s ‘Invincibles’. They went through an entire campaign without a defeat.

The Gunners continued this historic run into the 2004/2005 season until the game which will forever be known as ‘Pizzagate’.

Arch rivals Manchester United triumphed in a 2-0 win over Arsenal which ended their 49 game unbeaten record. They had though still overtaken the previous record – from 1977-8 Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forrest went 42 games without defeat.


Ruud van Nistelrooy celebrated the opener as United beat Arsenal 2-0 at Old Trafford to end the Gunners’ unbeaten stretch

The game also included a contentious penalty after Sol Campbell’s challenge on a newly-signed Wayne Rooney. The action didn’t stop there that afternoon either. Unlike Mourinho who saved his sarcastic rant for the post match interview. Wenger thought he would tackle the problem first hand.

Ruud van Nistelrooy made complaints after the game that Arsene Wenger had given him stick as he left the pitch. Resulting in Ferguson rushing back out to rival Wenger to tell him to back off his players.

So where did the Italian foodstuff come into play? Well, moments after both managers had exchanged some choice words someone launched a pizza at Sir Alex Ferguson leaving his suit covered in tomato sauce. Oh to be a fly on the wall.

Rumours circulated that the culprit was Cesc Fabregas but it has never been confirmed up this day.


The Arsenal Invincibles of 2003-04

The FA charged Wenger with his outburst over van Nistelrooy a week later and I am pretty sure it won’t be too long until Mourihno receives his fourth FA fine for his comments after the Sunderland match either.

Unbeaten records are without a doubt motivation for the opposition to win and the thought of losing that record causes the unbeaten team’s players and staff to lash out.

Stats and unbeaten records are officially sending managers over the edge.

Will we ever see a side go unbeaten again for an entire season? What’s the secret to remaining undefeated for such a long period of time? Which unbeaten run was more impressive – Arsenal’s or Chelsea’s?

Read the rest of the Now and Then series by Rebecca Coles here!

Follow @Rebecca_L_Coles

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