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Arsene Wenger

Mourinho, Wenger and failing the game of soccer


With their steadfast refusal to shake hands after Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday, the highly-successful managers proved one thing, they both think that they are above the game of soccer.

From day-one as footballers we are taught that after the game, regardless of the result, you shake hands with your opponents. Managers do likewise, but not these two.

And why?

Because they think they don’t need to. They both think that because they are so successful as managers and so rich because of their managing capabilities that they don’t need to be held to the same expectations as everyone else.

And that is where both Mourinho and Wenger are failing the game of soccer – big time. At a time when the sport is trying to snuff out racism and verbal assaults on referees, Mourinho and Wenger have to step up and take the higher ground on this one.

Sure it makes for great drama and it leaves us all wondering what will happen next but it is disrespectful to the game of soccer to ignore the other manager after the match and it sets an incredibly poor example for the whole world to take notice.

No matter what happens during a match, even if you kick another player until their ankles bleed, it is always customary to shake hands with them after the game. It’s a sign of mutual respect in the spirit of competition and whether you believe in it at that moment or not, you do it.

But not so with these two arrogant managers.

So what if their dislike for each other is legendary? They are not above the game and somebody from either club or both clubs needs to tell them that. They can hate each other as much as they want. I’m not saying they have to get along and do a “spa-day” together. But out of respect to the game of soccer, which includes billions of people around this world, they need to do what grown men do after games – win, lose or draw.

Shake hands and show the game of soccer that you respect it.

Mark Vincent Lincir is the author of A Soccer Life in Shorts.


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  1. Michael

    August 4, 2015 at 11:25 am

    What has two managers, neither non-white, has to do with racism? Or verbal assaults on referees? Treat each issue separately rather than lump them into one category. Two mangers not shaking hands is nothing like racism.

  2. Biff

    August 4, 2015 at 10:34 am

    You’re gonna compare racism to two managers not shaking hands? I hope you weren’t paid for this piece of garbage.

  3. Skirr

    August 4, 2015 at 10:26 am

    I will join the chorus here and say this was the dumbest article I’ve read in a long time. I think, rather than being upset by two men not shaking hands, “the game of soccer” is more embarrassed by your writing, Mr. Lincir.

  4. mark williamson

    August 4, 2015 at 9:35 am

    I don’t think the word arrogance exists in Wenger’s dictionary. Honestly, Mr. Wenger is such a poster child for this great game that I think that Mourinho’s antics and his pompous attitude is enough for even Wenger not to be able to withstand.

  5. Cody

    August 4, 2015 at 8:48 am

    Give me a break.

    The 2 managers don’t get along, so they don’t acknowledge one another. Get over it.

  6. DESNJ

    August 3, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    Sometimes, albeit rarely, you read something on the internet that dumbfounds you with its total, utter lack of any redeeming value whatsoever. This article is that rare beast.

    “disrespectful to the game of soccer” – what utter, complete drivel. They hate each other and don’t respect each other. Do you think Aaron Ramsey was particularly interested in shaking Ryan Shawcross’s hand ?

  7. Steven

    August 3, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    People are making too big a deal over something that is minor when looking at the larger picture. Not shaking hands doesn’t affect the result nor determines what happens on the field.

    If people truly don’t like one another why should they shake hands when everyone knows it’s phoney. Besides, it all adds to the story line when these two teams meet.

  8. franck

    August 3, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    To say that Wenger is at fault is just being a sad loosing Chelsea fan…which you are.there are countless times when Mourinho has refused to shake hands with many epl Managers,he leaves the pitch a minute before the final whistle in all his arrogance..there were many occassions when Wenger had gone to try and shake him after a game only to see Jose Walking off without looking back knowing Wenger was walking towards him.He is a fool and you r a bigger one for ignoring the numerous times Mourinho has done this.and i know you wont publish my comment…but i know one thing…you would read it…it was meant for you afterall.

  9. Ken

    August 3, 2015 at 6:37 pm

    What an awful awful article. To suggest Jose was the offender here is ludicrous and does not represent the facts in anyway. Everyone has seen the video apart from you it seems.

    • Smokey Bacon

      August 3, 2015 at 6:45 pm

      Jose is the victim? Now that is ludicrous. He started this whole thing, baited Wenger for years to the point he has basically said enough is enough. Wenger has nothing to apologize for.

      • ribman

        August 3, 2015 at 6:50 pm

        Both are tools -complete failures as human beings which helps both be good at their jobs

        Everybody throws aside their personal values when YOUR guy wins- ok both are great managers but at that level almost all managers are tools -some exceptions sure but from Sir Alec to the phoney Brendan Rogers they are narcissistic jerks – you can separate their skills versus what the other is stating which is at least fake it better for the game that made you

        • ribman

          August 3, 2015 at 6:51 pm

          author not other

        • Biff

          August 4, 2015 at 10:37 am

          “complete failures as human beings”

          Do you live with them or something? How the hell do you know what they’re like off the pitch?

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