Hey, big spenders!
TNP ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA
On the eve of the Community Shield, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho agreed to meet before today's charity event to put the bad blood behind them. They agreed to play nice. It lasted less than a minute...
Mourinho: Good morning, Arsene. I couldn't see you there behind your enormous chequebook.
Wenger: Ah, that's very good, Jose. You sure you don't want to say something about my wife? Or maybe comment on my diet? Am I spending too much money on junk?
Mourinho: No, not since you sold Nicklas Bendtner.
Wenger: Oh, and Chelsea never make mistakes in the transfer market.
Mourinho: If we buy players, we tend to keep them at Chelsea.
Wenger: How about Kevin de Bruyne, Juan Mata, David Luiz, Demba Ba, Romelu Lukaku, Andre Schuerrle, Ryan Bertrand, Petr Cech and Filipe Luis?
Mourinho: Some things have a limited shelf life at Stamford Bridge.
Wenger: There are cartons of milk with a longer shelf life at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho: Ah, you make me laugh, Arsene. You have one season where you've got a lot of money to spend and you think you can buy the world.
Wenger: You've had one pre-season when you've got less money to spend and you can't stop sobbing. How's it going signing John Stones?
Mourinho: It'd be easier to sign the Rolling Stones.
Wenger: At least they'd bring down the average age of your central defence.
Mourinho: That's some impressive trash talk for a manager who has never beaten any of my teams "in any competition" ever.
Wenger: I was always operating under strict financial guidelines. I was never able to sign who I really wanted. I could never quite get a quality goalkeeper.
Mourinho: So you pinch my beloved Petr Cech. Well done. But I'm not worried. Asmir Begovic has promised to challenge Thibaut Courtois this season.
Wenger: Yes, I read that. Has Courtois stopped laughing yet?
Mourinho: You make me laugh. You're a big man now. You think you can buy the title now. I think a chequebook manager buying the title is terrible.
Wenger: Jose, you sound like Hugh Hefner criticising dirty old men for sleeping with teenagers.
Mourinho: You buy Mesut Oezil, Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy and my Petr Cech and then you pretend Arsenal are all about youth development. I'm just looking at the numbers. It's all about the numbers.
Wenger: You spent almost the same on Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Begovic.
Mourinho: All right, it's not all about the numbers.
Wenger: So what's it all about then?
Mourinho: I can't get my own way anymore! I haven't got the biggest chequebook anymore. I miss the good old days when Manchester City wasted most of their money. I miss those times when the Glazers at Manchester United were so tight they squeaked when they walked. And you used to be great, too. You hated losing money. You once dropped a pound coin, bent down to pick it up and it hit you on the back of the head.
Wenger: So, what you're saying is, you'd like a return to the good old days when none of us could compete with a Russian billionaire? Mourinho: Yes. The Premier League should go back to how it used to be.
Wenger: When there was only too much money at Stamford Bridge?
Wenger: Well, in the interests of fair play, do remember this is a Community Shield match at Wembley, the proceeds go to charity, so let's not go crazy in the curtain raiser, eh?
Mourinho: You want to save your players for when the season begins?
Wenger: No, I don't want you to beat me again.