Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger focusing on Chelsea not Jose Mourinho
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has no interest in reopening a war of words with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.
The duo squared up in the dugout last season during the Blues' 2-0 win, while there was no handshake between the pair following the Gunners' 1-0 victory in the 2015 Community Shield -- Wenger's first ever win against Mourinho.
However, despite the intense media focus on the duo's rivalry, which has included Mourinho once branding the long-serving Arsenal manager a "specialist in failure," Wenger would prefer his side's performance on the pitch to make the headlines.
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He told a news conference: "No special relationship [between any manager] is my worry, all I worry about is our performance tomorrow," he said. "I respect everybody in the job and focus on what I love and that is football. All the rest honestly does not concern me much.
"Realistically, people come to watch football and all the rest is a little bit secondary. What is important is the quality of what we will see tomorrow at 12.45 [BST] and you want people to focus on that.''
Asked if he would shake Mourinho's hand and if he regretted their touchline bust-up, Wenger replied: "I don't want to talk about that. I have nothing more to say about this situation.''
Wenger was asked if he felt Chelsea were in decline following a start to the season which has seen them pick up just four points from five Premier League games.
"I don't know, I leave that to the specialists," he said. "I take care of my team and my own problems.''
Wenger, though, says he draws no pleasure from the issues facing his rival manager.
"It can happen,'' he said. "Let's not forget it is the start of the season and only five games have been played. For us it is a big game and we know our position at the end of the season will depend on how well we do in the big games.
"I do not think too much about where Chelsea stand in the league at the moment. I focus more on us performing well with full power tomorrow.''
While Chelsea enjoyed a 4-0 Champions League win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday, Arsenal opened their European campaign with a disappointing 2-1 away defeat at Dinamo Zagreb, where striker Olivier Giroud was sent off.
Wenger defended his decision to rotate his side in Croatia, with the Frenchman making six changes, including leaving goalkeeper Petr Cech on the bench, while allowing Aaron Ramsey and Hector Bellerin to stay behind in North London.
"In football you have to forget cheap excuses and focus on what matters on the day, which is the performance on the day," he said. "If you want to make a career at a club without any disappointment, or individual disappointment, it is not possible.
"I believe you can repair what happened. We are on a good run in the Premier League and it is important now to look at that. What you expect from these kinds of games is always a high intensity, full commitment and of course you want to prepare for that and play with a full focus.''
Wenger revealed midfielder Jack Wilshere is set for an operation next week to help heal a hairline fracture in his leg.
The Arsenal manager must also make a decision on whether to retain Giroud in attack or hand England international Theo Walcott another chance, following what was a fourth goal in his last three appearances for club and country when coming off the bench in Zagreb.
"I try to use the best solution that gives us the most efficiency offensively,'' Wenger said.