Jose Mourinho was in the headlines after his team drew 2-2 at home vs Burnley. He bemoaned Utd's inability to compete with football's heavyweights financially. His old foe Arsene Wenger was quick to remind him that he has been in the same boat for years. Wenger was speaking to the media ahead of Arsenal's match with Crystal Palace and he was asked about Mourinho's plight. He was quick to empathise with the Man Utd manager, as he has been in a similar situation for a long time.
As Mourinho moaned about over almost £300 million not being enough to spend, Wenger has lived off scraps in comparison. Speaking to the press on Wednesday he revealed: “I have been in that position for 21 years so I can't start to complain now.”
“There have always been three or four teams richer than I am. I've learned to cope with that. We deal with our own situation as well as we can. Man City, Chelsea and Man United are all richer than us. You have to find ways to be successful.”
In fairness to Arsene Wenger, his ability to consistently deliver Champions League football on a lower budget than others is a big achievement. Okay, he may have come up short last season, but the financial gap has grown exponentially in recent years. Wenger has had to balance the books and Arsenal can't rely on sugar daddy owners like City and Chelsea can.
The Glazers have spent heavily since buying Man Utd, even if the club has had to service a hefty debt. Other clubs like Spurs and Liverpool are also spending more. In fact, Liverpool are splashing £75 million on centre back Virgil Van Dijk, a huge outlay for a defender. If you consider that Arsenal's marquee signing, centre forward Alexandre Lacazette, cost over £20 million less, it just shows how hard it is for Arsenal to compete at the top.