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Mourinho eyes Wenger’s FA charge


Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Jose Mourinho intends to keep a close watch on how the Football Association deal with the misconduct charge facing Arsene Wenger.

Manchester United manager Mourinho is keen to ensure Wenger is dealt with correctly after the Arsenal boss was accused of verbally abusing and pushing a fourth official during a win against Burnley on Sunday.

Mourinho wants to be satisfied that the laws are being applied consistently after his assistant Rui Faria was given a six-match stadium ban for an altercation with officials in May 2014.

That happened when Faria was working with Mourinho at Chelsea, with the assistant manager sanctioned for confronting Mike Dean after the referee awarded Sunderland what turned out to be a match-winning penalty at Stamford Bridge in April of that year.

And in 2012, then-Newcastle manager Alan Pardew was fined and given a two-match touchline ban for pushing an assistant referee during a game against Tottenham.

Wenger has until 1800 GMT on Thursday to respond to his charge, imposed after he was involved in a confrontation with fourth official Anthony Taylor at the Emirates Stadium.

The Arsenal manager, who had been sent to the stand for reacting angrily to a late penalty awarded to Burnley, then pushed Taylor as he tried to watch the match from the tunnel area.

Wenger did later apologise for his conduct, but Mourinho said: “I never pushed the referee so I don’t have a comparison. So I have no idea.”

Mourinho was reluctant to get drawn too deeply into a discussion of his long-running rivalry with Wenger.

The two managers have exchanged insults frequently down the years, and had a physical confrontation during a league match at Stamford Bridge in October 2014, when Wenger pushed Mourinho, then in charge at Chelsea.

Asked about that, Mourinho responded: “No. I cannot comment.”

– Shaw, Martial must improve –

United’s manager, meanwhile, has warned Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw that they have to take their chances to impress in the first team if they are to start playing regularly again.

Left-back Shaw has not featured for United since the end of November, while Martial’s future has been the subject of speculation, with the forward’s agent suggesting he could move to Sevilla.

The France striker was allowed to spend a weekend in Paris after being left out of the United squad for last Saturday’s trip to Stoke.

Mourinho has no intention of letting either player go, but has warned them that they must improve.

“I don’t think he (Martial) lost his focus. I think he just didn’t catch with both hands a big opportunity he had.

“When we spoke about Memphis Depay, we spoke about it being the only position where we have overbooking.

“We have still five players for these positions. I cannot give to one player chances to play and kill the others. 

“To kill the others, I think I did with Memphis by considering him the last option and by not giving him any option.

“Luke Shaw is ready to play now. If he plays Thursday or Sunday or next Wednesday, he’s not working with limitations so now he’s ready.

“But it’s a position where we have other options too. It’s one of the positions where they have to fight, they have to compete, they have to show quality and stability in their performances to be in the team.”

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