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Jose Mourinho has aimed a thinly-veiled jab at Arsene Wenger while putting an end to rumors that he is a short-term manager.
The Portuguese suggested Arsenal have begun moving towards failure due to the continued presence of the French manager at the club.
The Manchester United boss has been refuting claims he is not with the United for the long haul, insisting he always prepares clubs for success.
Mourinho, 54, has never coached a club for more than three years and his contract at Old Trafford is for that duration.
Despite success with the likes of Porto, Chelsea, Inter and Real Madrid, some detractors have pointed to an apparent lack of staying power – denying him the kind of legacy created by United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
But the Portuguese, speaking to The Times, responded defiantly to accusations of short-termism, and also launched an apparent dig at old adversary Wenger, whose legacy at Arsenal are at risk of being undermined by their recent struggles.
Mourinho said: “If people say that because I move from club to club, they’re right, but I don’t think I am [a short-term manager].
“I prepare clubs for success. I think I prepare clubs in a way where, when I leave, the new manager arrives at a top club. And that is not short term, even if you leave.
“If you’re in a club one or two years – or any job – if you leave a structure to be even more successful without you than with you, that’s not short term. That’s long term.
“You can be there 10 or 20 years and, when you leave the club, it’s ready for failure.”
Mourinho is known for lifting the league title in his second season at a club – a feat he has achieved at five different clubs – and United’s 2017-18 campaign has started on a good note, winning all three of their season opener fixtures.
Next up is Saturday’s trip to Stoke City, before the club’s return to the Champions League commences with the visit of Basel.