Jose Mourinho has aimed a fresh jibe at Arsene Wenger by suggesting Arsenal are “ready for failure” due to his continued presence at the club.
The Manchester United boss has been defending suggestions he is a short-term manager, insisting he always prepares clubs for success.
Mourinho, 54, has never spent longer than three years in one spell at any club and is on a contract of that duration at Old Trafford.
Despite success with the likes of Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, some detractors have pointed to an apparent lack of staying power – denying him the kind of legacy created by United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the Portuguese, speaking to The Times, responded defiantly to accusations of short-termism, and also launched an apparent dig at old adversary Wenger, whose achievements at Arsenal are at risk of being undermined by their recent struggles.
Mourinho said: “If people say that because I move from club to club, they’re right, but I don’t think I am [a short-term manager].
“I prepare clubs for success. I think I prepare clubs in a way where, when I leave, the new manager arrives at a top club. And that is not short term, even if you leave.
“If you’re in a club one or two years – or any job – if you leave a structure to be even more successful without you than with you, that’s not short term. That’s long term.
“You can be there 10 or 20 years and, when you leave the club, it’s ready for failure.”
Mourinho is famed for winning the league title in his second season at a club – a feat he has achieved five times – and United’s 2017-18 campaign has started promisingly, with three victories from as many Premier League matches.
Next up is Saturday’s trip to Stoke City, before the club’s return to the Champions League commences with the visit of Basel.