Video - Wenger refuses to be drawn on Mourinho handshake
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has rebuffed questions about his long-running feud with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho ahead of the duo's latest meeting at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
Wenger and Mourinho have endured an enduring rivalry that has long since become nasty, with the refusal of the Arsenal boss to shake Mourinho's hand after last month's Community Shield match at Wembley the latest episode in their bitter war.
After Wenger shoved Mourinho on the touchline when the duo met at Stamford Bridge last season and there have also been a series of verbal spats down the years that have highlighted the animosity between the London rivals.
Speaking at his Friday morning press briefing, Wenger was pressed on whether he would shake Mourinho's hand before or after the game on Saturday and he offered this response:
“I don’t want to come back on that," he said, before being asked about his shove on Mourinho last season as he stated: "I have nothing more to say about this situation.”
Both Wenger and Mourinho head into their latest showdown under pressure after Arsenal lost their opening Champions League game against Dinamo Zagreb and Chelsea have endured a miserable start to the season.
Arsenal will move an imposing nine points ahead of their rivals if they beat them on Saturday and Wenger accepted this will be a pressurised game for both managers.
“We know our position at the end of the season will depend on how we do in the big games," stated Wenger.
“I do not consider too much where Chelsea stand. I focus on us performing well tomorrow morning.
“I leave that to the specialists and take care of my own team and my own problems
“These are situations that are difficult to assess. It’s less enjoyable when it doesn’t go well but every manager in the game for a long time has to do deal with that.
“People come to football to watch football and all the rest is secondary. What is important is what people will see at 12.45 and let’s focus on that.
“I focus on what I love which is football and respect everybody and all the rest doesn’t affect me. What is important is football for me.”
Defender Per Mertesacker is a doubt for Arsenal ahead of their trip to west London, with Wenger confirming Jack Wilshere will have an operation on his leg next week that will keep him out for an extended period.
"It is a blow but it will not an impact on his future," added Wenger of Wilshere.